A new project aimed at improving the dissemination of scientific publications and data has been announced by people from Creative Commons. The National Institutes of Health is already proposing mandated Open Access to all NIH-funded research, and many scientists welcome the free redistribution of their papers, they just don’t know the legal details of how to do it. The Science Commons project will take on the copyright problems unique to scientists (things like pre and post prints, and electronic vs. paper journal distribution).
The mission of Science Commons is to encourage scientific innovation by making it easier for scientists, universities, and industries to use literature, data, and other scientific intellectual property and to share their knowledge with others. Science Commons works within current copyright and patent law to promote legal and technical mechanisms that remove barriers to sharing.