Yeah, I figured this out on my own just now, but thanks for the info. That's pretty weak. (But so am I for not figuring it out.)
"I've even heard of academics who had to redo pretty much the identical experiment because they couldn't even cite their own earlier results for fear of a copyright claim."
Then either you're being lied to, or those anonymous academics are idiots. You'd think the educated, especially those involved in publication, would understand at least a little about fair use.
When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.