Even though our tax dollars fund scientific research, the results are protected by confidentiality agreements, Intellectual Property Rights laws and
Patent Rights. "Confidential" research results include information about the dangerous effects of prescription drugs. Many scientists say private
ownership of scientific information blocks progress. The global Open Access movement has been working to correct the situation. Last October, the US
National Institutes of Health (NIH) took the bull by the horns and made Open Access publication a condition of funding. Now, independent organizations
like the Biological Innovation for Open Society (BIOS) and the Science Commons are setting up Open Source access to biotechnology information.
"To push research forward, scientists need to draw from the best data and innovations in their field. Much of the work, however, is patented, leaving
many academic and nonprofit researchers hamstrung. But an Australian organization advocating an open-source approach to biology hopes to free up
biological data without violating intellectual property rights.
The battle lies between biotech companies like multinational Monsanto, who can grant or deny the legal use of biological information, and independent
organizations like The Biological Innovation for Open Society, or BIOS, and Science Commons. The indies want to give scientists free access to the
latest methods in biotechnology through the web.
...Under an open-source contract between scientists, just like open-source software, developers would be free to use these methods to create new
products. The products themselves would be proprietary, but the techniques and components used to make them would be open to all, meaning more
bio-products, competition, smaller markets and faster improvements, Jefferson said.
...If Jefferson and his fellow rebel scientists succeed, biotech companies stand to lose their monopoly on creating integrated biological systems. But
he believes human health, safety and standards of living will all suffer under the present patent structure."
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
This one is a no-brainer, in my opinion. We help pay for it, so we have a right to it. And we need the information to protect ourselves in this
unnatural chemical environment we've constructed.
The two big arguments against Open Access and Open Source are:
1. Ordinary people aren't smart enough or educated enough to understand the information or interpret results correctly, so they will panic
2. Terrorists will use scientific information to do bad things.
The same arguments are being used to justify controlled access to the Internet.
Truth is, information is power - and industry benefits big time by keeping research results secret. Looks like "confidentiality" and "rights" are more
about keeping ordinary people in the dark, and holding power for the corporate takeover.
The terrorist scare tactics just smell like the usual red herring.
Related News Links:
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
NEWS: NIH Bypasses Need for Open Access Legislation
ATS: Merck and Vioxx: A Twisted Tale of Cover-ups, Pork and Profits
SCI/TECH: Medical Study Says Knowledge Makes People Sick, Advocates Internet
ATS: Tenet Calls For Internet Security/Control