Treasury Dept. Rules on Editing Clarified

The New York Press’ Jamie Pietras does a great job of explaining the rules set up by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control regarding editing of books by citizens of Axis-of-Evil countries.

The laws themselves have been around for years. Cuban trade restrictions first emerged in 1917, while the Arab trade regulations have their genesis in 1977 legislation.

The recent brouhaha came up when the IEEE became aware of the sanctions and asked whether they were breaking the law when they were publishing articles by scientists from those countries, and OFAC’s response resulted in the axe falling, then later a bit of more wiggle room.

OFAC finally got back to the engineers on April 2 of this year. Their widely publicized letter was posted on OFAC’s website and was meant to answer industry questions. Style- and copy-editing were okay, it conceded, and not just for works coming from Iran, but for all the previously mentioned embargoed countries. The clarifications suited the IEEE, which backed off and touted a “First Amendment victory.”

But in reality the current rules still make it difficult to publish works by writers from said countries.

Link first seen at TEV.