Archive for June, 2005

The Supremes Landmark Ruling on MGM vs. Grokster

Posted in Copyright, Digital Culture, Digital Media on June 28th, 2005

The Supreme Court has ruled against Grokster. See "Supreme Court Rules against File Swapping" and "Court: File-Sharing Services May Be Sued" for details. For background information, see "File-Swap Fallout in Supreme Court Ruling" and the EFF’s MGM v. Grokster page. For in-depth discussion of the underlying issues, see Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation and Sonic Boom listed at "Digital Works Want to Be Free ."

The key quote in the ruling is:

For the same reasons that Sony took the staple-article doctrine of patent law as a model for its copyright safeharbor rule, the inducement rule, too, is a sensible one for copyright. We adopt it here, holding that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties. We are, of course, mindful of the need to keep from trenching on regular commerce or discouraging the development of technologies with lawful and unlawful potential. Accordingly, just as Sony did not find intentional inducement despite the knowledge of the VCR manufacturer that its device could be used to infringe, 464 U. S., at 439, n. 19, mere knowledge of infringing potential or of actual infringing uses would not be enough here to subject a distributor to liability. Nor would ordinary acts incident to product distribution, such as offering customers technical support or product updates, support liability in themselves. The inducement rule, instead, premises liability on purposeful, culpable expression and conduct, and thus does nothing to compromise legitimate commerce or discourage innovation having a lawful promise.

The EFF provides other key quotes.

Here’s an interesting take on the ruling: "File-Sharing Decision Hardly Apocalyptic".

ARL issued a statement for the Library Copyright Alliance that said:

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA)­a group composed of the American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, Medical Library Association, and Special Libraries Association ­welcomes this balanced decision that supports the interests of libraries while addressing issues of widespread copyright infringement. By focusing on conduct that induces infringement, rather than on the distribution of technology, the decision ensures the continued availability of new and evolving digital technologies to libraries and their patrons.

The Center for Democracy and Technology’s press release said:

The court has worked to craft careful balance that allows copyright owners to pursue bad actors, but still protect the rights of technology makers. We hope this decision will preserve the climate of innovation that fostered the development of everything from the iPod to the Internet itself.

The EFF was less sanguine in their press release:

This decision relies on a new theory of copyright liability that measures whether manufacturers created their wares with the “intent” of inducing consumers to infringe. It means that inventors and entrepreneurs will not only bear the costs of bringing new products to market, but also the costs of lawsuits if consumers start using their products for illegal purposes.

And, of course, many bloggers weighed in as seen in Eric Goldman’s roundup, the lively discussion on SCOTUSblog, and the tsunami of comments on Slashdot.

According to "Congress Applauds File-Sharing Ruling" Congress is unlikely to take any immediate action as a result of the ruling.

Robert Summer, former head of the Recording Industry Association of America and former president of Sony Music International, said of the music industry reaction to the verdict: "The response across the board was one of elation."

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    Open Access News Update

    Posted in Announcements, Open Access on June 28th, 2005

    From June 24, 2005 to June 30, 2005, Open Access News was down, and I posted Peter Suber’s e-mail updates here. OAN is now up, and Peter has updated it with the missing postings. My updates have been deleted from this posting.

    Links to the OAN messages in question are below.

    June 30 posting (2 items)

    June 30 posting (7 items)

    June 29 posting (1 item)

    June 29 posting (5 items)

    June 28 posting (4 items)

    June 28 posting (2 items)

    June 27 posting (2 items)

    June 27 posting (6 items)

    June 26 posting (5 items)

    June 25 posting (11 items)

    June 24 posting (2 items)

    June 24 posting (7 items)

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      Key Open Access Concepts

      Posted in Announcements, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on June 22nd, 2005

      An excerpt from the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals (OAB) that provides a brief overview of OA concepts is now available in HTML-tagged format. Additional links have been added, and old links checked and updated. As part of the OAB, it is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
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        Navigating the Library Blogosphere

        Posted in Emerging Technologies, Libraries, Webliographies on June 20th, 2005

        Needless to say, there has been rapid growth in blogging by librarians over the last few years, and library blogosphere has become more varied and complex. Here are some directories of library web logs to help you navigate the library blogosphere:

        Want more information about library web logs? Try Susan Herzog’s BlogBib.

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          Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (6/20/05)

          Posted in Announcements on June 20th, 2005

          The biweekly update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides brief information on 20+ new journal issues and other resources. Especially interesting are: A Companion to Digital Humanities, "EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers," an issue of the Journal of Library Administration on licensing, Online Submission and Peer Review Systems, "Open Access Self-Archiving: An Author Study," and "Using Dublin Core."

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            The Counting Game

            Posted in ARL Libraries, Libraries on June 14th, 2005

            Let’s say you run a research library and you have JSTOR. You are convinced that JSTOR is a safe, permanent electronic archive that fully substitutes for the included print journal volumes. It makes sense to take a second look at those print volumes. It’s a large number of volumes, and space (as always) is tight. What to do? You could withdraw them, you could put them in remote storage, or you could do nothing.

            A question that might come to mind is: What impact will withdrawing these volumes have on my volume count? And, if your library is in ARL, a second question might be: what impact would withdrawing these volumes have on my ARL ranking?

            Of course, if you are at one of the very top-tier libraries, this might be the proverbial drop in the bucket. If not, it might have an effect, possibly a big effect if you are at the bottom of the rankings.

            Another interesting twist comes when the same questions come to bear on cooperative print archives. The idea is that a group of libraries band together and put one archival copy of book or journal volumes in a collective print repository, freeing up a considerable amount of collective space. Perhaps it’s in response to a shift to electronic access, or perhaps it’s based on low usage. In either case, one archival copy is stored safe and sound for that someday when it might be needed.

            Makes sense—until you play the counting game.

            The problem with the counting game in the emerging electronic era is figuring out how to count electronic "holdings" so that they have the same weight as print holdings. This is make especially tricky by the fact that libraries do not own licensed electronic resources, only "rent" them. What’s held one year may not be held the next due to a wide variety of factors, making counting a bit more difficult than just adding this year’s new purchases to last year’s volume counts.

            Like it or not, research libraries are unlikely to stop playing the counting game. ARL’s E-Metrics project is one attempt to define meaningful new measures. In the long run, the counting game will have new rules, because it appears that the substitution of electronic information for print information is gaining momentum, driven by a variety of budgetary and other factors.

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              Version 58, Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography

              Posted in Bibliographies, Digital Scholarship Publications, Scholarly Communication on June 10th, 2005

              Version 58 of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography
              is now available. This selective bibliography presents over
              2,420 articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources
              that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing
              efforts on the Internet.



              The Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly
              Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals
              , by the
              same author, provides much more in-depth coverage of the
              open access movement and related topics (e.g., disciplinary
              archives, e-prints, institutional repositories, open access
              journals, and the Open Archives Initiative) than
              SEPB does.


              Changes in This Version

              The bibliography has the following sections (revised sections are
              marked with an asterisk):

              Table of Contents

              1 Economic Issues*
              2 Electronic Books and Texts
              2.1 Case Studies and History*
              2.2 General Works*
              2.3 Library Issues*
              3 Electronic Serials
              3.1 Case Studies and History*
              3.2 Critiques
              3.3 Electronic Distribution of Printed Journals
              3.4 General Works
              3.5 Library Issues*
              3.6 Research*
              4 General Works*
              5 Legal Issues
              5.1 Intellectual Property Rights*
              5.2 License Agreements
              5.3 Other Legal Issues
              6 Library Issues
              6.1 Cataloging, Identifiers, Linking, and Metadata*
              6.2 Digital Libraries*
              6.3 General Works*
              6.4 Information Integrity and Preservation*
              7 New Publishing Models*
              8 Publisher Issues*
              8.1 Digital Rights Management*
              9 Repositories, E-Prints, and OAI*
              Appendix A. Related Bibliographies
              Appendix B. About the Author*

              Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources includes
              the following sections:

              Cataloging, Identifiers, Linking, and Metadata
              Digital Libraries*
              Electronic Books and Texts*
              Electronic Serials*
              General Electronic Publishing*
              Repositories, E-Prints, and OAI*
              SGML and Related Standards

              Further Information about SEPB

              The HTML version of SEPB is designed for interactive use. Each
              major section is a separate file. There are links to sources
              that are freely available on the Internet. It can be can be
              searched using Boolean operators.

              The HTML document includes three sections not found in
              the Acrobat file:

              (1) Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (biweekly list of
              new resources; also available by mailing list—see second


              (2) Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources (directory of
              over 270 related Web sites)


              (3) Archive (prior versions of the bibliography)


              The Acrobat file is designed for printing. The printed
              bibliography is about 200 pages long. The Acrobat file is
              over 470 KB.

              Related Article

              An article about the bibliography has been published
              in The Journal of Electronic Publishing:


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                Something Wiki This Way Comes

                Posted in Emerging Technologies, Webliographies on June 7th, 2005

                Wikis are catching on in the library world. What’s a Wiki? "The simplest online database that could possibly work." (Quote from: "Making the Case for a Wiki.")

                Here’s a few examples of how Wikis are being used:

                If you want to dig in and learn more about Wikis, try Gerry McKiernan’s WikiBibliography.

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                  Library Juice Online Ph.D. Issue

                  Posted in Announcements, Information Schools, Libraries on June 6th, 2005

                  Library Juice has collected a subset of the JESSE messages about online Ph.D. programs and edited them together into an easy-to-read format for its volume 8, no. 10 (2005) issue.

                  Here is a complete list of the JESSE threads about online Ph.D.’s in the May archive (in the order they display in the topic sort):

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                    Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (6/6/05)

                    Posted in Announcements on June 6th, 2005

                    The biweekly update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides brief information on 20+ new journal issues and other resources. Especially interesting are: Jennifer A. De Beer’s master’s theses "Open Access Scholarly Communication in South Africa: Current Status, Significance, and the Role for National Information Policy in the National System of Innovation"; Debra Shapiro’s edited book, EScholarship: A LITA Guide; and a new issue of The Serials Librarian, with articles such as "Alternative Publishing—Revolution to Evolution," "Alternative Scholarly Publishing: A Commercial Publisher’s Perspective," and "The Economics of Scholarly Publishing: Through a Glass Darkly."

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                      Online Ph.D. Programs: A UK View

                      Posted in Information Schools, Libraries on June 3rd, 2005

                      As this excerpt from a recent JESSE message by Sheila Webber (Senior Lecturer, Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield) shows, the view of issues surrounding online Ph.D. programs can be quite different accoss the big pond. (You’ll recall that the Robert Gordon University is about to offer an online Ph.D. in addition to its six online master’s degrees.)

                      Firstly, the information (or an advertisement ;-) Sheffield University Department of Information Studies, in the UK, has options for our PhD programme—”Joint location” (full time—expected to complete the degree in normal 3 years, one year must be spent at Sheffield) and—"Remote location" (part time—there must be at least one face-to-face meeting per year, and there are conditions laid down for communication). At the moment, for example I am supervising one remote location student (an Irish librarian investigating Continuing Professional Development needs of solo librarians).

                      See: (info on studying away from Sheffield)
             (info on research degrees at Sheffield)
             (info on my Dept.—n.b. the detailed menu for more applications info, on the right of this page, including the format of the research proposal)

                      Sheffield is a research-led university and the Department of Information Studies has obtained the top possible score in all three of the UK’s Research Assessment Exercises (one of an exclusive band of Departments in any subject area to have done this). (OK, ad almost over.)

                      I *think* that British PhD programmes differ from North American ones in that the instructional component of British PhDs is less, with focus on developing and investigating your own research question throughout the three years. For full-time PhDs (on campus or joint location) there is a Research Training programme of credit-bearing modules (which most students would take during year 1). Part-time students do not have to take this programme. . . .

                      Finding people (in addition to your supervisor) to discuss your research with will obviously help you on your personal research journey, particularly people using the same research approach. For, e.g., some types of IR research there is a thriving research community within LIS and sometimes within individual Departments. For others (given the broad spectrum of research approaches which are employed across the whole LIS spectrum) you ideally would want to seek out fellow researchers elsewhere, anyway. Being a distance learner might push/encourage you to get "out there" that bit earlier. From that perspective, if you are able to identify a research community for that research approach internationally and engage in virtual and preferably face to face discussion (at conferences and seminars), this may exteremely valuable.

                      My feelings are that a mature PhD student may actually have the confidence to engage in this dialogue at an earlier stage, and also have have more command of resources (possibly!) to fund (or get funding for) attending research seminars etc. Also, having to explain and justify your research to interested fellow-practitioners back home can be very valuable & motivating. . . .

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                        The Journal of Electronic Publishing Is Reborn

                        Posted in Announcements, E-Journals, Scholarly Communication on June 2nd, 2005

                        Good news! The Journal of Electronic Publishing is coming back after a long hiatus (the last issue was published in August 2002). New issues will be announced on PACS-P and other lists. See the press release below for details.

                        Contact: Maria S. Bonn Director, Scholarly Publishing Office, 734-763-3343,

                        Journal of Electronic Publishing Re-Launched by Library’s Scholarly Publishing Office

                        Ann Arbor, May 31, 2005—The Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan University Library will re-launch The Journal of Electronic Publishing (JEP) in January, 2006.

                        "JEP is an excellent fit for us in several ways," says Maria Bonn, Director of the Scholarly Publishing Office. "It is another outstanding journal that we can make available free over the Internet, it fits with our commitment to library-based scholarly publishing, and it covers the very area we are involved in, electronic publishing." Michigan’s Scholarly Publishing Office currently publishes 10 journals and four scholarly monograph series online.

                        JEP was started by the University of Michigan Press in 1995. In 2003 the press agreed to transfer the journal to the Columbia University Press, but the transfer was never completed and the journal—still at—has had no new issues since then.

                        "Since its first issue, JEP has been a source of innovative ideas, best practices, and leading-edge thinking about all aspects of publishing, authorship, and readership in the electronic environment," says Mark Sandler, Collection Development Officer for the University of Michigan University Library. Returning after a three-year hiatus, JEP will "continue to document the changes in publishing with the growth of the Internet, and to stimulate and shape the direction of those changes."

                        The Scholarly Publishing Office (SPO; was founded in 2001 to support academic publishing through a library-based publishing platform. SPO is also teaming with SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition; on the recently announced Publisher Assistance Program to provide business planning and digital publishing services to facilitate open-access publishing in the social sciences and humanities. Those services will be available to JEP as well, ensuring its future and keeping it at its original University of Michigan home.

                        SPO’s first issue of JEP will be in January, 2006. "JEP burst on the scene with a focus on experimentation, vision, and prediction," Sandler said. He said that now, ten years later, electronic publishing practices have stabilized for some formats and markets (for instance, scholarly journals have shown significant convergence of distribution and pricing models), but that many unresolved issues remain for newspapers, trade books, magazines, and newer forms of publishing like blogs and wikis. "All aspects of electronic publishing still face considerable change and sometimes upheaval, and a great deal of the creative turmoil that JEP captured in the mid-nineties still challenges publishers, authors, librarians, and readers. We still struggle to understand author and reader preferences, and still search for stable economic models that will allow publishing to flourish in an age of electronic communication," he said. "The new JEP will continue to look back over the past 20 or 30 years to see how we’ve come to this point in the history of publishing, and look forward to where publishing may be heading. It will look inward at key players and practices of publishing, and also look outward at movements on the margins that are challenging traditional publishing interests, and at readers worldwide affected by the interplay of technological and economic forces that have revolutionized social communication."

                        JEP‘s editor, Judith Axler Turner, will remain at the helm, with editorial input and publishing support from Mark Sandler and Maria Bonn. A new editorial board will be constituted, and JEP will solicit articles that present wide-ranging and diverse viewpoints on contemporary publishing practices, and encourage dialogue and understanding between key decision-makers in publishing and those who are affected by the decisions being made.

                        The first new issue will focus on the changes in electronic publishing in the past three years, exploring topics such as the rise of open access publishing, the increasingly complicated intellectual property landscape, the rise of new communication technologies, and the new economics of scholarly publishing. JEP is actively seeking feedback on its new direction and is also looking for high-quality submissions on these topics. Authors and others are invited to discuss JEP‘s future or submit articles by contacting the editorial team at Back issues of JEP may currently be found at

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                          Digital Scholarship

                          Copyright © 2005-2015 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

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