Archive for September, 2007

Free Version of the Copyright Cataloging Database Now Available

Posted in Copyright, Open Access on September 30th, 2007

In response to the U.S. Copyright Office's reply to a letter from Carl Malamud and Peter Brantley (and other co-signers) about the $86,625 cost of the U.S. Copyright Cataloging database, public.resource.org has made the database freely available (Web access and FTP access).

Here's an excerpt from the bulk.resource.org website:

  • The "code" directory contains PERL code from 2000 which is used to convert MARC-format records into XML.
  • The "raw" directory contains the bulk database product as sold by the Library of Commerce as of the year 2000.
  • The "hids" directory contains all bulk data from 1978 to the present. . . .

In posting these data, we rely partly on voicemail from the Honorable Marybeth Peters, the U.S. Register of Copyrights received Fri Sep 21 16:17:02 PDT 2007 in response to the above-mentioned letter, in which Ms. Peters states that "I think our records should be available to the public. Certainly there's no copyright in any of the copyright records. Certainly they're public records and they should be openly available."

Source: Brantley, Peter. "Making a Brouhaha in the Blogosphere." O'Reilly Radar, 30 September 2007.

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    2007 Digital Preservation Award Goes to DROID

    Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on September 29th, 2007

    The Digital Preservation Coalition has given its 2007 Digital Preservation Award to the The National Archives (UK) for its DROID (Digital Record Object Identification) software.

    Here's an excerpt from the press release:

    An innovative tool to analyse and identify computer file formats has won the 2007 Digital Preservation Award. DROID, developed by The National Archives in London, can examine any mystery file and identify its format. The tool works by gathering clues from the internal 'signatures' hidden inside every computer file, as well as more familiar elements such as the filename extension (.jpg, for example), to generate a highly accurate 'guess' about the software that will be needed to read the file.

    Identifying file formats is a thorny issue for archivists. . . . But with rapidly changing technology and an unpredictable hardware base, preserving files is only half of the challenge. There is no guarantee that today's files will be readable or even recognisable using the software of the future.

    Now, by using DROID and its big brother, the unique file format database known as PRONOM, experts at the National Archives are well on their way to cracking the problem. Once DROID has labelled a mystery file, PRONOM's extensive catalogue of software tools can advise curators on how best to preserve the file in a readable format. The database includes crucial information on software and hardware lifecycles, helping to avoid the obsolescence problem. And it will alert users if the program needed to read a file is no longer supported by manufacturers.

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      SEPB Archive Zip File (Versions 1 to 69)

      Posted in Bibliographies, Digital Scholarship Publications, Scholarly Communication on September 28th, 2007

      The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography archive file has been updated to include version 69. The ZIP archive file is about 40 MB in size.

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        Japanese Authors Write Novels on Cell Phones

        Posted in Digital Culture, E-Books on September 28th, 2007

        Texting has been raised to a new level as young Japanese authors have taken to writing novels on their cell phones.

        Here's an excerpt from "Ring! Ring! Ring! In Japan, Novelists Find a New Medium":

        When Satomi Nakamura uses her cellphone, she has to be extra careful to take frequent breaks. That's because she isn't just chatting. The 22-year-old homemaker has recently finished writing a 200-page novel titled "To Love You Again" entirely on her tiny cellphone screen, using her right thumb to tap the keys and her pinkie to hold the phone steady. . . .

        Most of these novels, with their simple language and skimpy scene-setting, are rather unpolished. . . . But they are hugely popular, and publishers are delighted with them. . . . Several cellphone novels have been turned into real books, selling millions of copies and topping the best-seller lists.

        Source: Kane, Yukari Iwatani. "Ring! Ring! Ring! In Japan, Novelists Find a New Medium." The Wall Street Journal, 26 September 2007, A1, A18.

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          Web/Web 2.0 Tools

          Posted in Coding, Social Media/Web 2.0 on September 28th, 2007

          Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

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            Open Access Documentary Project Grant

            Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Communication on September 27th, 2007

            The Open Society Institute has given BioMed Central and Intelligent Television a grant to fund the Open Access Documentary Project.

            Here's an excerpt from the press release:

            The Open Society Institute has awarded a grant to support the production and distribution of the Open Access Documentary Project, a collection of online videos celebrating the benefits of open access to scientific and medical research. Intelligent Television and BioMed Central are co-producers of the Project.

            The Open Access Documentary Project will facilitate the ongoing work of BioMed Central and Intelligent Television in promoting open access to science and medicine in fields as diverse as malaria research and particle physics.

            The producers are now assembling an international editorial board and contacting institutions that hold archival and production resources that will be vital to the project. Principal production has begun in London, New York, and at CERN in Geneva, featuring video interviews with publishers and consumers of scientific and medical information in the developed and developing world—and with other stakeholders in open access including foundations, government agencies, and the media.

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              Copyright Office Replies to Malamud et al. about the Cost of the Copyright Catalog

              Posted in Copyright on September 27th, 2007

              In response to a letter by Carl Malamud and other notables questioning the $86,625 price tag on the copyright catalog, the U.S. Copyright Office has replied, and that reply has been posted on the Library of Congress Blog.

              Here's an excerpt:

              The U.S. Copyright Office neither sets the price nor receives any direct revenue from the sale of the Copyright Cataloging database. Rather, access to these records is a service offered through the Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) of the Library of Congress, which is mandated by Congress to provide this and other services to the public at a charge of production and distribution cost plus 10%. . . .

              Fortunately, recent cost savings realized within CDS are anticipated to result in a drop in the price of many services available from CDS, including the Copyright Cataloging database subscription service. Any new pricing structure will appear first at on the CDS Web site www.loc.gov/cds/ in late October or early November 2007, then in the 2008 CDS Catalog of Products in January 2008.

              Source: Raymond, Matt. "The Price of the Copyright Catalog." Library of Congress Blog, 26 September 2007.

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                IMLS Announces $18 Million in National Leadership Grants for 2007

                Posted in Digital Libraries, Digitization on September 26th, 2007

                The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced the recipients of National Leadership Grants for 2007.

                A complete list of recipients, which is organized by state, is available.

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