Archive for June, 2006

Top Five Technology Trends

Posted in Copyright, Digital Culture, Digital Rights Management, Net Neutrality, Open Access, Privacy on June 26th, 2006

As usual, the LITA top 10 technology trends session at ALA produced some thought-provoking results. And, as usual, I have a somewhat different take on this question.

I’ll whittle my list down to five.

  • Digital Copyright Wars: Big media and publishers are far from finished changing copyright laws to broaden, strengthen, and lengthen the rights of copyright holders. And they are not yet done protecting their digital turf with punitive lawsuits either. One big copyright impact on libraries is digitization: you can only safely digitize what’s in the public domain or what you have permission for (and the permission process can be difficult or impossible). There’s always fair use of course, if you have the deep pockets and institutional backing needed to defend yourself (like Google does) or if your efforts are tolerated (like e-reserves has been so far, except for a few sub rosa publisher objections). In opposition to this trend is a movement by the Creative Commons and others to persuade authors, musicians, and other copyright holders to license their works in ways that permit liberal use and reuse of them.
  • DRM: The Sony BMG rootkit fiasco was a blow, but think again if you believe that this will stop DRM from controlling your digital content in the future. The trick is to get DRM embedded in your operating system, and to have every piece of computer hardware and every consumer digital device that can access and/or manipulate content to support it (or to refuse access to material protected by unsupported DRM schemes). That’s a tall order, but incremental progress is likely to continue to be made towards this goal. Big media will continue to try to pass laws that mandate certain types of DRM and, like the DMCA, protect its use.
  • Internet Privacy: If you believe this still exists on the Internet, you are either using anonymous surfing services or you haven’t been paying attention. Net monitoring will become far more effective if ISPs can be persuaded or required to retain user-specific Internet activity logs. Would you be upset if every licensed e-document that your library users read could be traced back to them? Unless you still offer unauthenticated Internet access in your library, that may depend upon your retention of login records and whether you are legally compelled to reveal them.
  • Net Neutrality: If ISPs can create Internet speed lanes, you don’t want your library or digital content provider to be in the slow one. Hope you (or they) can pay for the fast one. But Net neutrality issues don’t end there: there are issues of content/service blockage and differential service based on fees as well.
  • Open Access: If there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon for the scholarly communication crisis, it’s open access. Efforts to produce alternative low-cost journals are important and deserve full support, but the open access movement’s impact is far greater, and it offers global access to scholars whose institutions may not be able to pay even modest subscription fees and to unaffiliated individuals.
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    Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (6/19/06)

    Posted in Announcements on June 19th, 2006

    The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Certification in a Digital Era," "Digital Rights Management": Report of an Inquiry by the All Party Internet Group, "Fair Use in Theory and Practice: Reflections on Its History and the Google Case," "Investigating the ‘Public’ in the Public Library of Science: Gifting Economics in the Internet Community," Linking UK Pepositories: Technical and Organisational Models to Support User-Oriented Services across Institutional and Other Digital Repositories, "Managing Risk and Opportunity in Creative Commons Enterprises," "Reviving a Culture of Scientific Debate," and "Strategies for Developing Sustainable Open Access Scholarly Journals."

    For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans "Flashback" posting.

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      dLIST Information Sciences Digital Archive Announces New Editors

      Posted in Announcements on June 8th, 2006

      From the press release:

      We are pleased to announce the dynamic new team of editors for dLIST, the Digital Library of Information Science & Technology. These Information/Library & Information Science faculty and librarians will be
      responsible for specific subjects.

      dLIST is a cross-institutional, subject-based, open access digital archive for the Information Sciences, including Archives and Records Management, Library and Information Science, Information Systems, Museum Informatics, and other critical information infrastructures. The dLIST vision is to serve as a trusted archive and source for scholarly communication in the Information Sciences, broadly understood. dLIST seeks to positively impact and shape scholarly communication in our closely related fields. Editors represent diverse sub-disciplinary communities and work closely with scholars in different fields such as Digital Humanities and Digital Libraries (Marija Dalbello), Government Information and Social Informatics (Kristin Eschenfelder), Information Behaviors (Soo Young Rieh), Museum Informatics (Paul Marty), Scholarly Communication (Charles Bailey), Science Technology Studies (Fernando Elichirigoity), and Classics (Michael May). More information about each of the dLIST editors is available at http://dlist.sir.arizona.edu/editors.html.

      The new team invites you to self-register, self-archive and explore the many unique features of dLIST.

      Some dLIST features are:

      • DL-Harvest, an open access aggregator, which brings together materials from 14 global and open access archives in the Information Sciences for meta-searching and access to the full-text.
      • Detailed Usage Statistics, provide usage statistics of each item in dLIST .
      • RSS feeds and subscription alerts for items deposited in dLIST are available both by individual subjects (example: Academic Libraries) as well as the entire archive and anybody can be alerted automatically and quickly about new dLIST works.
      • A streamlined new web-based submission interface that lets authors upload and deposit their works easily.
      • Software patches and modifications (useful to Eprints archive maintainers) by Joseph Roback.
      • dLIST Classics is a new project that will be making fundamental and leading Library and Information Science texts openly accessible in dLIST.

      For more information about dLIST and to self-register please visit http://dlist.sir.arizona.edu/ or email dlist at u dot arizona dot edu.

      dLIST, Digital Library of Information Science & Technology
      Email: dlist at u dot arizona dot edu
      Contact: Garry Forger, Learning Technologies at the University of Arizona

      Anita Coleman

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        Netflix and the Long Tail

        Posted in Digital Culture on June 7th, 2006

        Netflix, the Internet company that rents DVDs, has an inventory that includes most of the 60,000 non-pornographic DVDs that are commercially available. What percent of these titles do you think rent each day? Five percent? Ten percent? Twenty percent at most?

        No, about 66%. That’s 35,000 to 40,000 titles (and an unspecified number of actual DVDs) out the door and into customers’ mail boxes every day. (There are about five million Netflix accounts.)

        The long tail at work.

        Source: Leonhardt, David. "What Netflix Could Teach Hollywood." The New York Times, 7 June 2006, C1, C5.

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          Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (6/5/06)

          Posted in Announcements on June 5th, 2006

          The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Business Models in Open Access Publishing"; "The Case for Scholars’ Management of Author Rights"; "Copyright: Finding a Balance"; "The Depth and Breadth of Google Scholar: An Empirical Study"; "Digital Library Federation (DLF) Aquifer Project"; "Finding a Balance 2: Signs of Imbalance"; "Follow-up on the Federal Research Public Access Act"; "Open Content and the Emerging Global Meta-University"; "Public Access to Federally Funded Research: The Cornyn-Lieberman and CURES Bills"; Scholarly Publishing Practice Academic Journal Publishers’ Policies and Practices in Online Publishing. Second Survey; and "Sustainable Digital Library Development for Scientific Communities in China."

          For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans "Flashback" posting.

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