Archive for February, 2008

Creative Commons License Option for ETDs at the University of Auckland

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), Institutional Repositories, Licenses, Open Access, Self-Archiving on February 29th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The University of Auckland now gives students submitting an electronic theses or dissertation the option of putting it under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Read more about it "University of Auckland Embeds CC Licensing" and "Guidelines for Formatting a Digital Thesis."

To Loan an Electronic Article from an Elsevier E-Journal, Print It, Scan It, and Send it with Ariel

Posted in E-Journals, Licenses, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on February 29th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Of late, there has been discussion on the Liblicense-L list about how libraries should go about performing interlibrary loan transactions for articles published in licensed e-journals.

Since, in the U.S., print journals are owned, are subject to the "first sale doctrine," and are covered by long-standing CONTU Guidelines, libraries have not had to generally grapple with complex ILL issues for them; however, e-journals from major publishers are licensed, licenses are publisher-specific, and the terms of the license agreements determine if and how ILL can be performed.

Elsevier has clarified for the list how articles from its e-journals should be handled: the article should be printed, and then "mailed, faxed or scanned into Ariel (or a similar system) as means of delivery to the borrowing library." (Ariel is an ILL system that is widely used by libraries to deliver digital copies of documents.)

To recap the Ariel workflow, the digital article should be printed and then it should be digitized for delivery via Ariel.

See the ScienceDirect Interlibrary Loan Policy for more details.

Are Publishers Ready for the JISC/SURF Licence to Publish Author Agreement and Its Principles?

Posted in Author Rights, Copyright, Open Access, Publishing, Self-Archiving on February 29th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The SURFfoundation has published Acceptance of the JISC/SURF Licence to Publish & accompanying Principles by Traditional Publishers of Journals.

Here's an excerpt from the "Management Survey" section (I have added the link to the Licence to Publish):

In 2006, JISC and SURF drafted several Principles and a model Licence to Publish in order to persuade traditional publishers of journals to move in the direction of Open Access objectives. According to these Principles:

  1. the author merely issues a licence to publish instead of transferring his/her copyright.
  2. the author may freely deposit the publisher-generated PDF files of his/her article in an institutional repository, with an embargo of no longer than 6 months.

To set an example, a model Licence to Publish (hereafter: LtP) was drawn up as well. Yet, using the LtP is not a necessary requirement for meeting the—more important—Open Access objectives of the Principles.

This report presents the results of an enquiry by e-mail among 47 traditional publishers of journals. They were asked whether they would support the Principles and/or the LtP, which had first been explained to them. Two Open Access publishers were also asked for a reaction merely out of interest, since they do not belong to the target group. . .

The results showed that a substantial group of one-third of the contacted publishers conforms to the first aspect of the Principles; they make use of a licence to publish instead of a copyright transfer. Furthermore, the same number of publishers (16) already has a repository policy in place which is compatible with the Principles. Moreover, 7 publishers conform to both aspects and thus they endorse all the Principles. The support for the model LtP developed by SURF and JISC, however was low; no publisher did as yet endorse it.

Scriblio Final Report: Open Source WordPress-Based Online Catalog and CMS

Posted in OPACs/Discovery Systems, Open Source Software, Social Media/Web 2.0 on February 28th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Scriblio project, which was partially funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has issued "Scriblio MATC Project Final Report." Scriblio is an open source, WordPress-based online catalog and content management system.

Here's an excerpt from the report:

Open source software may be good for the community, but it succeeds because it solves problems for those who use it. For Plymouth, this is an easy question: compared to commercial offerings now available, Scriblio can be said to have saved the University hundreds of thousands of dollars in acquisition, license and support costs. Further, the staff time necessary to develop and support Scriblio for Plymouth’s use is similar to that necessary to support those commercial alternatives. Because ongoing development is limited to the library-specific features not provided by WordPress, the investment required to maintain the software is expected to remain low and Plymouth is likely to continue using and supporting Scriblio as long as it continues to deliver value and solve problems. . . .

Some features, such as development of a hosted solution based on WordPress MU suitable for representing consortia, OAI input and output (including eXtensible Catalog project-specific OAI features), support for additional ILSs, and OpenSearch (and Z39.50) input and output are outside the strict scope of Plymouth’s needs, but would greatly aid adoption of the software and build the community. Softer features, such as the development of reusable sample content and more discussion of best practices in online library services, would also greatly aid the project. Because a rich and active Scriblio community will lower the development costs for all participants, Plymouth is seeking opportunities to begin development on those features and expand the community.

The "Community Conscious Internet Provider" ISP: Utah Wants to Certify Porn-Free ISPs

Posted in Internet Regulation, Net Neutrality on February 28th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Under a bill in the Utah legislature (H.B. 407), Utah would certify a qualifying ISPs as a Community Conscious Internet Provider (CCIP). The designation would be renewed annually.

Among other provisions, a CCIP ISP must "prohibit its customers by contract from publishing any prohibited communication"; "remove or prevent access to any prohibited communication published by or accessed using the Internet service provider's service within a reasonable time after the Internet service provider learns of the prohibited communication"; "maintain a record for two years following its allocation of an IP address of the IP address, the date and time of the allocation, and the customer to whom the IP address is allocated"; and "cooperate with any law enforcement agency by providing records sufficient to identify a customer if the law enforcement agency requests the information and supplies reasonable proof that a crime has been committed using the Internet service provider's service."

Prohibited communications are either pornographic (Section 76-10-1203) or harmful to minors (Section 76-10-1206) as determined by Utah law.

Read more about it at "Proposed Utah Bill Would Give Special Designation to ISPs That Block Porn" and "'This ISP Has Been Rated 'G' By the State of Utah'."

Intellectual Property? OK, Let's Tax It as Property

Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on February 28th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Scientist Dallas Weaver has suggested that if copyright holders want "property" rights then they should be subject to a significant fixed annual tax in order to continue to hold the copyright. This tax would encourage copyright holders to put their works in the public domain.

Read more about it at "Copyright This."

Topaz Released: Open Source Digital Publishing System from PLoS

Posted in E-Journal Management and Publishing Systems, E-Journals, Open Source Software on February 27th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) has released Topaz, an open source digital publishing system that is used to support several PLoS publications.

Read more about it at "Topaz Release Candidate"

Australian ISP Porn Filter Test Gets Green Light

Posted in Internet Regulation, Net Neutrality on February 27th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Australian government is ready to proceed with testing an ISP Internet filter that aims to eliminate digital pornography. Customers who do not want a filtered Internet connection will need to opt out. Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said that the government's previous $85 million PC-based filter program, the NetAlert program, had "clearly failed."

Read more about it "ACMA Report Finds Little to Support Conroy's Enthusiasm for ISP Filtering," "Australia Moving Ahead with Plans to Erect ISP Porn Filters," "Net Filter at Test Phase," and "Web Porn Software Filter a Dud."

JHOVE 1.1 Released: Identification, Validation, and Characterization of Digital Objects

Posted in Digital Libraries, Digital Repositories, Open Source Software on February 27th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Version 1.1 of the open-source JHOVE (JSTOR/Harvard Object Validation Environment) software has been released.

Here's an excerpt from the project home page that describes JHOVE:

JHOVE provides functions to perform format-specific identification, validation, and characterization of digital objects.

  • Format identification is the process of determining the format to which a digital object conforms; in other words, it answers the question: "I have a digital object; what format is it?"
  • Format validation is the process of determining the level of compliance of a digital object to the specification for its purported format, e.g.: "I have an object purportedly of format F; is it? . . . ."
  • Format characterization is the process of determining the format-specific significant properties of an object of a given format, e.g.: "I have an object of format F; what are its salient properties?"

Koninklijke Bibliotheek to Preserve Portico E-Journal Archive

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, E-Journals, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on February 27th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Koninklijke Bibliotheek will preserve a dark copy of Portico's archive of digital journals in its e-Depot service.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Portico and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands (the KB), are pleased to announce they have reached an agreement for an off-line copy of the Portico archive, which exceeds 6 million articles and 60 million files, to be held for safekeeping by the KB. Through its e-Depot program the KB has demonstrated its role in the vanguard of digital preservation. Placing a Portico-owned copy of the archive, in a secure access- and climate-controlled facility operated by the KB is one component of the replication strategy Portico is implementing to ensure the safety and security of the archive upon which a growing, international community relies. This arrangement also illustrates one way in which organizations internationally recognized for their digital preservation obligations and expertise can cooperate to form a strong, supportive network to safely preserve digital materials.

Here's a description of e-Depot from its home page:

The e-Depot is a digital archiving environment that ensures long-term access to digital objects which would otherwise be threatened by rapidly evolving software and hardware platforms as well as media decay. It is the dedicated archiving environment for the KB’s national electronic deposit collection. In addition, it will include the Dutch web archive and digitised master images. In line with the international nature of information provision, the KB has extended its e-Depot services to publishers worldwide. The e-Depot is supported by sustained research and development efforts geared towards maintaining the integrity of stored digital objects.

Here's a description of Portico from its "About Portico" page:

Portico began as the Electronic-Archiving Initiative launched by JSTOR in 2002 with a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build upon The Foundation's seminal E-Journal Archiving Program. The charge of the Electronic-Archiving Initiative was to build a sustainable electronic-archiving model, and for more than two years, project staff worked on the development of necessary technology and engaged in extensive discussions with publishers and libraries to craft an approach that balances the needs of publishers and libraries while generating sufficient funding for the archive. In 2004, the Electronic-Archiving Initiative became a part of Ithaka Harbors, Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to accelerate the productive uses of information technologies for the benefit of higher education around the world. Building upon extensive input gathered from commercial and not-for-profit publishers and guidance offered from libraries at a range of small, medium and large academic libraries, an electronic archiving service, known as Portico, was developed. Portico was launched in 2005 with additional support from JSTOR, Ithaka, The Library of Congress, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Why Digital Copyright and Net Neutrality Should Matter to Open Access Advocates

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Net Neutrality, Open Access on February 26th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

It is highly unlikely that open access would have emerged if the Internet did not exist. The Internet makes the low-cost worldwide distribution of e-prints and other digital documents through institutional and disciplinary repositories possible, and it significantly lowers the cost of publishing, which makes open access journals possible. Open access in a print-only or proprietary network environment would require significant subsidies. The relative cost of providing open access on the Internet is trivial.

It would be a mistake to assume that the Internet will remain as we know it. With the rise of digital media, powerful interests in the music and film/television industries have become alarmed about file sharing of their content, and they have lobbied legislatures across the globe to stop it through restrictive copyright legislation and technological measures.

Since open access doesn't deal with popular music, film, or television, why should open access advocates care? The answer is simple: restrictive measures are unlikely to make fine-grained distinctions about content. New copyright measures won't exempt scholarly material, and new Internet traffic shaping or filtering technologies won't either.

Open access materials won't be limited to simple text documents forever: digital media and data sets will become increasingly important. These files can be large and increase network load. Digital media files may include excerpts from third-party copyrighted material, which are utilized under fair use provisions. Will filtering and traffic shaping technologies exclude them or will they be the inadvertent victims of systems designed for an entirely different purpose?

Even simple text documents will be governed by restrictive copyright laws and subject to potential copyright filtering mechanisms.

For example, the Tennessee State Senate is considering a bill (SB 3974) that would require every higher education institution to "thoroughly analyze its computer network, including its local area and internal networks, to determine whether it is being used to transmit copyrighted works" and to "take affirmative steps, including the implementation of effective technology-based deterrents, to prevent the infringement of copyrighted works over the school's computer and network resources, including over local area and internal networks."

You'll note that the bill says "transmit copyrighted works" not "transmit digital music and video works." Does this mean that every digital work, including e-prints and e-books, must be scanned and cleared for copyright compliance? That is unlikely to be the real intent of the bill, but, if passed, it will be the letter of the law. Why couldn't academic publishers insist that digital articles and books be vetted as well?

Net neutrality and digital copyright legislation are issues that should be of concern to open access advocates. To ignore them is to potentially win the battle, but lose the war, blind-sided by developments that will ensnare open access materials in legal and technological traps.

Comcast's P2P Traffic Management Practices Probed at FCC Hearing

Posted in Net Neutrality, P2P File Sharing on February 26th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Comcast's peer-to-peer traffic management practices were probed at an FCC hearing at the Harvard Law School as it answered tough questions from the FCC and squared off against net neutrality advocates.

Read more about it at "Comcast, Net Neutrality Advocates Clash at FCC Hearing," "Comcast Slams Critics, Denies Blocking BitTorrent," "FCC Chief Grills Comcast on BitTorrent Blocking," "FCC Head Says Action Possible on Web Limits," and"Net Neutrality Hearing: When Is an Internet Traffic Delay O.K.?"

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