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11. Thinks that the bill prohibits the republication of data compilations with the mark but not without the mark.
12. There is precedent for the authority granted under the bill relating to the adoption of a symbol or mark by the Secretary, the imposition of civil penalties for its unauthorized use, and obtaining an injunction to prevent and restrain violations of the Act.
13. Intends to recover evaluation costs under some circumstances, but not research costs.
14. The decision to make compilations will be based on the need for the information rather than on the basis of how many people will buy it.
15. Thinks that, in special cases, NBS could furnish a request for one customer at full cost without depleting the appropriations.
16. Believes that over a 4- or 5-year period the level of the expenses to operate the system will be on the order of $20 million a year.
17. Thinks that this bill is an exception to the copyright law by statute.
18. Would not object to limiting the time for which the mark would be valid. Intends to use a mark which contains a date.
JUNE 30, 1966.
WITNESS: DR. FREDERICK SEITZ, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES A. Highlights of statement. 1. Background:
(a) An effort to provide critical tables of standard reference data, International Critical Tables of Numerical Data of Physics, Chemistry, and Technology, was determined impossible to repeat in 1955 due to
(1) Expanse in size of scientific fields and in data requirements
(5) Other data-compiling projects involving annual expenditures of about $1 million. (6) Recognizing the need for central planning, NAS—National Research Council created in 1957 the Office of Critical Tables. It was assigned among other things, the stimulation of new compilation projects. It failed in this one aim because no agency was able to provide the necessary funding.
(c) The establishment in 1963 of SRDS at NBS was the beginning of a strong central coordination and management center which would, hopefully,
receive adequate funding. 2. Evaluation of data is an international problem. VAS has helped to create an International Coordinating Committee for Data in Science and Technology to stimulate programs in other countries.
3. NAS and the scientific and technical community it represents are in full agreement with the overall purposes of the bill.
(a) Stresses that SRDS is a cooperative program. Non-government laboratories, both university and industrial, are included.
(0) Expresses concern about 7(b) which could, if not watched, serve as a deterrent to a free flow of scientific data.
(c) Is in accord with fair remuneration for sale of some of NBS work. Is concerned about the possibility that charges might become so great that individuals of organizations might be prevented from having the volumes.
(d) Is concerned about section 6. Thinks Government may be subjecting itself to criticism if erroneous data should find its way into compilations bearing the mark. Thinks that debate concerning correctness of data should be a continuing process, and a mark should not be allowed to stop
this. B. Highlights of questioning
1. Does not think it is necessary to have a symbol associated with the data compilations. Feels that the fact the compilations come from these volumes, whose quality is well known, will serve the same purpose.
2. Thinks the material should be made available at a reasonable fee. 3. Thinks the data compilation project would be ideally handled by NBS.
WITNESSES: CURTIS G. BENJAMIN, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, MCGRAW-HILL
BOOK Co., INC., AND W. BRADFORD WILEY, PRESIDENT, JOHN WILEY AND SOxs, PUBLISHERS
A. Highlights of statement
1. Support the general purpose of the bill.
2. Are in accord with the idea that those who make use of special services for standard reference data should make a contribution to the cost. 3. Believe the Committe should consider the following questions :
(a) Think it is possible to include the private sector quite heavily.
(b) Question whether it is proper for the government to put what is in effect an official imprimatur, the mark, on any scientific data. Feel that the publication of the data under the auspices of the Bureau will be well known and that the mark will be unnecessary.
(1) Is the mark a guarantee?
(3) Does it establish a precedent for a U.S. Government "seal of approval”? Will all other Government information be considered “Grade B”?
(4) How will it psychologically affect the ranking of similar nonapproved data issued by private groups? (c) Sections 6 and 7 involve a bypass of the copyright law.
(1) Feel this will invite similar circumventions in the in-house pro-
(a) To protect interests of private and foreign contributors.
(d) To protect use in computers. 4. Production of a federally supported SRDS by NAS would be more palatable to private publishing industry than would in-house production by the Bureau of Standards. NAS, as a contracting agency, could copyright the data.
5. Scientific and technical book publishers have been very concerned over what they consider unfair Government competition. Since such a large percentage of research is funded with Federal funds, the private sector should publish the results of these efforts in order to prevent what could become a Government monopoly of scientific and technical information.
6. The private sector procedure would lead to some recovery of costs, although it is too difficult to estimate how much of the recovery would be in the form of royalties paid by a private publisher. Some recovery would be in the form of cost savings in production, printing, and distribution. B. Highlights of questioning
1. Thinks that the U.S. should recover 50 to 60 percent of any expense of preparing the material from foreign customers.
2. The only control over copying in foreign countries would be copyright protection.
3. The technical publishers would prefer to have everything possible done outside of Government agencies.
4. The private pubilshing industry is concerned about the possibility of government preemption of basic scientific and technical data publication.
5. Feels that the government should subsidize the low ability consumer rather than subsidize 90 percent of the market by charging a very low price to get it down to the level of the lower 10 percent of the market.
6. Thinks the private publisher would do a better job of disseminating the data to the customers.
WITNESS: JOHN F. HALEY, STAFF DIRECTOR, JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING A. Highlights of statement
Recommends that there be an assessment of the use of composition capabilities presently at the Government Printing Office.
PERTINENT COMMENTS OF WITNESSES ON H.R. 15638 Section 1. Dr. Hollomon states that this legislation is needed because existing mechanisms for producing critically evaluated data compilations have not been able to keep up with the flood of new data appearing in the literature, NAS and the scientific and technical community it represents are in full agreement with the overall purposes of the bill. Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Wiley support the general purpose of the bill.
Section 2. No pertinent comments.
Section 3. Dr. Hornig states that the Federal Council was unanimous in believing that the NBS ought to play the central role in setting standards and in coordinating the data gathering activities. Dr. Seitz thinks that the data compilation project would be ideally handled by NBS. Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Wiley would prefer for NAS to handle the project and to copyright the data. They consider the provisions of the bill unfair government competition.
Section 4. Dr. Hollomon and Dr. Astin state that this is new authority provided for the Secretary to provide criteria for the publication of compilations by anybody else.
Section 5. Dr. Hornig sees nothing in the bill to bar the private sector from participating in this program. He thinks that the use of reasonable use charges is one of the best ways of determining the value of services performed and that the user should bear some cost of providing the services.
Dr. Hollomon and Dr. Astin wish to recover by user charges a significant part of the cost of the materials, the printing, and the reproduction, and some part of the editorial and compilation costs—on the average 20 or 25 percent, ranging from 20 to 60 percent on a given volume. If the costs are not recovered, and the more services rendered, the less money would be available to develop new methods. The charge would be based on a judgment as to the degree to which this data were needed and, to some extent, how many possible customers there are. In a special service for one customer, the user would be expected to pay full cost. In no case does NBS intend to recover more than the costs.
Dr. Hollomon and Dr. Astin state that the bill would permit private organizations to use the mark with the consent of the Secretary so long as they meet the required standards. They state that this section provides a new authority to bypass GPO and to place user charges on the data. There are two reasons to bypass GPO: to recover user charges and to permit private publication of data in some cases.
Dr. Seitz agrees with fair remuneration for sale of some of NBS work but is concerned about the possibility that charges might become so great that some customers would be unable to purchase volumes.
Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Wiley agree that users of special services of the program should make a contribution to the cost. They feel that the government should subsidize the low ability consumer, rather than lower the price of all volumes within his reach. They feel that the private publishers would do a better job of disseminating the volumes.
Mr. Haley recommends that there be an assessment on the use of composition capabilities presently at GPO.
Section 6. Dr. Hornig does not think the government would be "guaranteeing" the information with a mark, but would be judging it as the most reliable information the best experts have been able to determine. Mr. Farrer states that the only thing the government "guarantees" is that the data has been critically evaluated. Dr. Seitz thinks that use of the mark may subject the government to criticism if erroneous data should find its way into compilations. He thinks that the mark may be a deterrent to continuing debate concerning correctness of data. He does not think the mark is necessary and feels that the reputation of the volumes will be sufficient to serve the same purpose. Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Wiley agree that the reputation of the volumes will suffice, and that the mark is unnecessary.
Section 7. Dr. Hornig thinks that the word "copy" in 7(b) should be interpreted to mean commercial republication. Dr. Hollomon states that 7(b) makes it illegal to copy any data compilation bearing the mark and suggests that the word "copy" be changed to “reproduce for sale.” He thinks that the bill prohibits republication of data compilations with the mark but not without the mark. He feels that this section provides, in effect, for an exception to the copyright law. Dr. Seitz expressed concern that 7(b) could, if not watched, serve as a deterrent to a free flow of scientific data. Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Wiley feel that the data should be protected by copyright to protect it against foreign republication and to allow commercial publication of the volumes.
Section 8. Dr. Hollomon states that penalties for unauthorized publication and sale of compilations bearing the symbol would serve to maintain its integrity as well as to protect the system of user charges.
Sections 9, 10, and 11. No pertinent comments.
BY CURTIS G. BENJAMIN
COPYRIGHT AND GOVERNMENT 1
“A Sea of Troublesome Questions"
(By Curtis G. Benjamin)
Advisory Committee, and the Department of State. The language of the US Copyright Act of 1909 was carelessly vague in several places, but most of these lapses have been corrected by subsequent legislation or by key court decisions. Strangely enough, the lapse that most directly involves the Federal Government still persists, much to the frustration and dismay of publishers, authors, and Government officials.
Section 8 of the Act decreed that "No copyright shall subsist .. in any publication of the United States Government,” but Congress forgot to define its terms. What is a "publication of the United States Government”? Official documents and Government records? Speeches and books by Federal employees? Reports on Governmentsponsored research? Textbooks developed by Government-funded curriculum committees?
The answers have never been clear, and in attempting to improvise some practical rules of thumb, both Government agencies and the publishing industry have shown a confusing inconsistency. In the years ahead, the Government's massive commitment to scientific research and curriculum reform—including the development of new information systems and new teaching tools—threatens to pose even more complex copyright problems. Unless the new copyright bill now
1 Reprinted from Library Journal, February 15, 1966. Copyright© R. R. Bowker Co., 1965.