Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

More on the end of the trade embargo

The Free Expression Network has issued a public statement, Editing a Scientific Manuscript Is Not 'Trading with the Enemy', April 12, 2004. Excerpt: "The undersigned organizations protest application of Treasury Department trade embargo rules to scientific, literary and artistic work originating in countries that are currently the subject of an American trade embargo. This is a violation of the First Amendment right of Americans to read and learn from writers, artists, and thinkers of all nations....While the recent clarification from OFAC resolves some issues, it leaves many unanswered. OFAC reiterates that any 'substantive or artistic alterations or enhancements' of a manuscript from an author in a sanctioned country is prohibited without prior government approval, and that 'a collaborative interaction' is considered 'a prohibited exportation of services.'...There is no claim that these restrictions are necessary to protect the United States from terrorism, nor are they likely to persuade these countries to adopt policies that advance US interests. Indeed, it appears that they serve no purpose other than to keep Americans ignorant of work done by scientists, writers, and artists in certain parts of the world."

The statement is signed by American Association of University Professors, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, First Amendment Project, National Coalition Against Censorship, Peacefire, PEN American Center, and the People For the American Way Foundation. (Thanks to C-FIT.)