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OFAC reverses embargo ruling

Decision allows US publishers to edit manuscripts from Cuba, Iran, and Sudan

John Dudley Miller(johnmiller@nasw.org)

In a reversal of almost all of the controversial prohibitions enacted in September 2003 that led to a lawsuit against it by a coalition of US publishers 3 months ago, the Treasury Department reauthorized American authors and publishers to collaborate with and edit the scientific and other manuscripts of citizens in trade-embargoed countries yesterday (December 15).

The Treasury Department said it acted "to further promote the free flow of information around the world and to ensure the voices of dissidents and others living in Cuba, Iran, and Sudan are heard," according to an anonymous Treasury official speaking through a spokesperson.

But Edward Davis, one of the publishers' attorneys, said yesterday that the publishers are not yet ready to drop their lawsuit, filed September 27, because the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), by granting a general license, continues to assert that it can regulate informational materials. The plaintiffs argue that...

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