of Science and Technology Policy, DOE/EP-0001P, Washington, D.C., and National Research Council, Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data (1995), On the Full and Open Exchange of Scientific Data, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., p. 2.


    Throughout this report, the term "scientific data" refers to data in the natural sciences.


    The Landsat privatization effort, described in Chapter 4, is one example of unrestricted monopolistic data distribution under which the scientific community suffered loss of access. Nevertheless there may be situations in which the scientific community would benefit if a body of data were distributed either by a competitive set of private firms or by a single adequately constrained private source.


    Before the electronic era, copyright evolved as a protection for authors and their assignees; under copyright, a document could be reproduced only with the approval of the copyright holder, under whatever terms that person chose. Copying machines made possible, even easy, violations of this protection. A doctrine of "fair use" then evolved to allow very limited copying by scholarly, educational, scientific, and other not-for-profit users, but not by any who would make commercial use of the copies. The fair use doctrine has become a principal protection of the right of the public-and thus of the scientific community-to have ready, low-cost access to copyrighted material; its economic and cultural justification rests on the nature of information as a public good that benefits users.


    Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co., 111 S. Ct. 1282 (1991).


    See the recommendations in National Research Council (1995), Preserving Scientific Data on Our Physical Universe: A New Strategy for Archiving the Nation's Scientific Information Resources, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.


    By "adding value" in this case is meant any transformation of the data beyond that necessary for scientific research that increases the value of the information for some or all potential users of the data.

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