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Medicine

Submission + - Copyright Claim Setbacks Cognitive Impairment Dete (posterous.com)

Kilrah_il writes: A recent New England Journal of Medicine editorial talks about the mini-mental state examination — a standardized screening test for cognitive impairment. After years of being widely used, the original authors claim to own copyright on the test and "a licensed version of the MMSE can now be purchased [...] for $1.23 per test. The MMSE form is gradually disappearing from textbooks, Web sites, and clinical tool kits." The article goes on to describe the working of copyright law and various alternative licenses, including GNU Free Documentation License and ends with the following suggestion: "We suggest that authors of widely used clinical tools provide explicit permissive licensing, ideally with a form of copyleft. Any new tool developed with public funds should be required to use a copyleft or similar license to guarantee the freedom to distribute and improve it, similar to the requirement for open-access publication of research funded by the National Institutes of Health."

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