One of the big founding councils in Canada, SSHRC, is looking at an open acces policy and Stephen Downes is asking us to voice our opinions.
If funding agencies start requiring open access, publishers could be in for a big change. They might be powerful compared to the average scientist trying to publish-or-perish, but the little scientist who must offer open access to his publications to keep his grant will suddenly grow some teeth.
Would I risk my federal grant for the whims of a publisher like IEEE? Never.
Once we have open access to most significant publications, the research game may change dramatically. In fields like Computer Science, it would make little difference, but I hear that philosophers are still very old fashioned about their publications.