ation at both the national and the international levels. The committee believes that these legislative changes do not reflect adequate consideration of the potential negative impacts on scientific research and education and that they have been proposed for implementation at an unnecessarily precipitous pace. The committee therefore recommends that the Office of Science and Technology Policy, leaders from the science agencies and professional societies, and all those concerned with sustaining the health of the scientific enterprise should immediately take the following actions:

  1. Present to all relevant legislative forums the principle of full and open exchange of scientific data resulting from publicly funded research, and clarify the importance of sustaining such exchange to the nation's future whenever these forums consider laws that would apply to exchange of scientific data.
  2. Demand that national and international legislative processes now in progress slow to a rational pace, and that the deliberations become more public to allow the scientific and educational communities to present their views and concerns to lawmakers.
  3. Advocate the incorporation of equivalents of "fair use" as part of any regulatory structure applying to databases as such, or to on-line storage and transmission of data and other scientific information. As a corollary, ensure that the public-good aspects of scientific data are preserved and promoted in laws and regulations governing intellectual property on the Internet and in any future electronic networked environments.
  4. Work with Congress and the official U.S. representatives to the World Trade Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization to ensure that the nation's interests in maintaining preeminence in science and technology are not undermined.
  5. Pursue these issues not only within the United States, but also internationally through international scientific organizations and U.S. foreign-policy channels as they deal with trade and other agreements affecting intellectual property protection.



By "full and open exchange" the committee means that data and information derived from publicly funded research are made available with as few restrictions as possible, on a nondiscriminatory basis, for no more than the cost of reproduction and distribution. This definition is adapted from a basic tenet regarding availability of scientific data in global change research. See "Policy Statements on Data Management for Global Change Research" (July 1991), Office

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