Report on HR 801, Fair Copyright in Research Works Act

Report Shows Campaign Contributions Given to Sponsors of Fair Copyright in Research Works Act

March 2, 2009 - The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act of 2009, HR 801, introduced by John Conyers (D-MI), would limit public access to peer-reviewed journal articles and research manuscripts. If passed, the bill would reverse the National Institutes of Health (NIH) public access policy, which has increased transparency and accessibility to journal articles and research manuscripts.

Those supporting the bill, including the Association of American Publishers, say the bill would "recognize the importance of the added value in quality assurance controls that journal publishers contribute" while those in opposition to the bill believe that if taxpayers are paying $29 billion to fund health research, then the public should have access to this research. The bill would also amend the U.S. Copyright Code, prohibiting federal agencies from requiring public access to the published articles, manuscripts and other products created by the research they fund. The bill is currently in the House Committee on the Judiciary.

MAPLight.org's research team released data today showing campaign contributions given to members of the House Committee on the Judiciary from publishing interests during the 2008 election cycle (Jan. 2007 through Dec. 2008). MAPLight.org analyzed campaign contribution data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and determined that the publishing industry gave an average of $5,150 to each of the bill's five bill sponsors and an average of $2,506 to each of the other 34 non-sponsor members of the Committee. Total publishing industry contributions given to the House Committee on the Judiciary were $110,950.

House Committee on the Judiciary
Committee Members (bill sponsors) Contributions received from book, newspaper and periodical publishing interests
Rep. John Conyers [D, MI-14] - Sponsor $9,000
Rep. Robert Wexler [D, FL-19] - Co-Sponsor $8,800
Rep. Darrell Issa [R, CA-49] - Co-Sponsor $4,500
Rep. Steve Cohen [D, TN-9] - Co-Sponsor $3,000
Rep. Trent Franks [R, AZ-2] - Co-Sponsor $450
   
Amount, on average, given to each bill sponsor
$5,150
   
Committee Members (non-sponsors)  
Rep. Howard Berman [D, CA-28] $14,050
Rep. Jerrold Nadler [D, NY-8] $10,950
Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX-21] $9,750
Rep. Brad Sherman [D, CA-27] $7,100
Rep. Howard Coble [R, NC-6] $7,000
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D, FL-20] $6,100
Rep. Adam Schiff [D, CA-29] $6,000
Rep. Robert Goodlatte [R, VA-6] $5,450
Rep. Melvin Watt [D, NC-12] $3,000
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [D, TX-18] $2,600
Rep. Frederick Boucher [D, VA-9] $2,250
Rep. Ted Poe [R, TX-2] $2,250
Rep. James Forbes [R, VA-4] $2,200
Rep. F. Sensenbrenner [R, WI-5] $2,000
Rep. Tammy Baldwin [D, WI-2] $1,800
Rep. Elton Gallegly [R, CA-24] $1,200
Rep. Charles Gonzalez [D, TX-20] $1,000
Rep. Steve King [R, IA-5] $500
Rep. William Delahunt [D, MA-10] 0
Rep. Daniel Lungren [R, CA-3] 0
Rep. Louis Gohmert [R, TX-1] 0
Rep. Jim Jordan [R, OH-4] 0
Rep. Jason Chaffetz [R, UT-3] 0
Rep. Thomas Rooney [R, FL-16] 0
Rep. Gregg Harper [R, MS-3] 0
Rep. Daniel Maffei [D, NY-25] 0
Rep. Anthony Weiner [D, NY-9] 0
Rep. Luis Gutierrez [D, IL-4] 0
Rep. Pedro Pierluisi [D, Puerto Rico] 0
Rep. Henry Johnson [D, GA-4] 0
Rep. Maxine Waters [D, CA-35] 0
Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D, CA-16] 0
Rep. Robert Scott [D, VA-3] 0
Rep. Linda Sanchez [D, CA-39] 0
   
Amount, on average, given to each non-sponsor committee member
$2,506
   
Total campaign contributions given to all committee members
$110,950

MAPLight.org's analysis included campaign contributions during the 2008 election cycle (Jan. 2007 through Dec. 2008) from the book, newspaper and periodical publishing industry, as classified by the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org).

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MAPLight.org illuminates the connection between Money and Politics (MAP) using a groundbreaking database of campaign contributions and legislative votes. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, MAPLight.org is based in Berkeley, California. We combine data from the Federal Election Commission, the Center for Responsive Politics, GovTrack.us, the National Institute on Money in State Politics, the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, and other sources to better inform Americans and local and national media about the role of special-interest money in our political system. Hundreds of newspapers, TV stations, radio shows and online news sites have cited our research, including CNN, the public radio show “Marketplace,” Harper’s magazine, The Washington Post, Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal. MAPLight.org has received numerous awards including a Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism; a James Madison Freedom of Information Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter and a Webby nomination for best Politics website. To learn more, visit MAPLight.org. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.