Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, February 21, 2004

More on trade embargoes on scientific publications

Mary Curtius, U.S. Embargos [sic] Extended to Editing Articles, Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2004. Excerpt: "For U.S. publishers, changing so much as a comma in an author's work can be more than a delicate process. It can be criminal --punishable by fines of up to a half-million dollars or jail terms as long as 10 years. In a move that pits national security concerns against academic freedom and the international flow of information, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control recently declared that American publishers cannot edit works authored in nations under trade embargoes. Although publishing the articles is legal, editing is a 'service' and it is illegal to perform services for embargoed nations, the agency has ruled. This week, one publisher [the American Chemical Society] decided to challenge the government and risk criminal prosecution."