I would bet that the publishers are actually ok with this, as they can (and do) make authors pay huge sums to make their articles open access. So now authors are forced to pay those fees. For the author, that's fine if you have a grant or institution that will pay those fees, but it is hard for others to pay $1500 per article they want to publish. And it just shifts how institutions are paying for journal access.
However, I'd prefer mandating Open Access without providing those fees. Authors are not really forced to pay those fees, i.e. some authors will not be able to and hence not publish their work in the traditional, expensive journals. That would mean that they would be missing out on quality work, leading to a diminished reputation, and even researchers who can pay publishing fees to forego those journals.
Well, in theory at least.
I was nodding along until I got to that quote. Why does it have to be in the state-provided one? Can't you just set the rules and be done? And if you are concerned that researchers have to maintain a website, then you can have an optional state-provided repo. I hope this model is not adopted generally across states and just requiring transparent access is enough. That way places that comply with the spirit of the rule could arise without being run by the government or concerned with publishing to each grantor's repository.
The State of California funds a lot of research, and having it all available in one place should make things like archiving much easier.
My lab has all our papers available on our website,
but my supervisor is old. He's not going to live forever. It won't be too long after he goes that the website will go too. The server needs security updates every once in a while. The DNS will expire in ten years. We don't use HTTPS, but if we did, it would expire within a couple years. All easy stuff, but when the only person responsible for doing it has died, it won't get done.
- Does the research have to be funded solely by California, or is the requirement also for research partly funded by California?
- Do researchers have to manually take action a year after publication, or can they deposit it now and tell the repository when to make it public?
- Do researchers have to take action in the first place, or will the deposit happen automatically by publishers?
All in all, it's clearly a step forward, though I wouldn't call it "leading the way" - at least not internationally. The embargo period is a shame (whether it's six or twelve months), and it being in some state-provided repository rather than at the primary point of publication really harms discovery and hence its usefulness (though tools like Unpaywall  help). In short, it doesn't tick all the right Open Access boxes , but at least it doesn't let perfect be the enemy of the good.