Happy Birthday Open Access News!

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Communication on May 26th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Open Access News is five today. OAN‘s indefatigable primary author Peter Suber has written over 10,800 OAN postings during this period. Going further back to 2001, he has written 109 issues of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter (formerly called the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter) as well as important papers on open access.

Thanks, Peter. The open access movement owes you a huge debt of gratitude for this fine work.

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Finnish Court Says DRM Has to be Truly Effective to Warrant Legal Protection

Posted in Copyright, Digital Culture, Digital Rights Management on May 26th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Although it is a lower-level court, a recent ruling by the Helsinki District Court has raised questions about whether DRM systems that can be cracked by easily available software warrant protection under Finnish and European Union copyright laws.

Here’s a excerpt from Mikko Välimäki’s analysis, "Keep on Hacking: A Finnish Court Says Technological Measures Are No Longer ‘Effective’ When Circumventing Applications Are Widely Available on the Internet":

In an unanimous decision given May 25, 2007, Helsinki District Court ruled that Content Scrambling System (CSS) used in DVD movies is "ineffective." The decision is probably the first in Europe to interpret new copyright law amendments that ban the circumvention of "effective technological measures." The legislation is based on EU Copyright Directive from 2001. According to both the Finnish copyright law and the underlying directive, only such protection measure is effective, "which achieves the protection objective." . . .

The background of the Finnish CSS case was that after the national copyright law amendment was accepted in late 2005, a group of Finnish computer hobbyists and activists opened a website where they posted information on how to circumvent CSS. They appeared in a police station and claimed to have potentially infringed copyright law. Most of the activists thought that either the police does not investigate the case in the first place or the prosecutor drops it if it goes any further.

To the surprise of many, the case ended in the Helsinki District Court. Defendants were Mikko Rauhala who opened the website, and a poster who published an own implementation of source code circumventing CSS. They were prosecuted for illegally manufacturing and distributing a circumventing product and providing a service to circumvent an effective technological measure. . . .

The decisive part of the process was the hearing of two technical expert witnesses. One was invited by the prosecutor and another was invited by the defense. Asked about the effectivity of CSS, they both held it ineffective from the perspectives of technical experts as well as average consumers. The court relied on the testimonies of the witnesses and concluded: ". . . since a Norwegian hacker succeeded in circumventing CSS protection used in DVDs in 1999, end-users have been able to get with easy tens of similar circumventing software from the Internet even free of charge. Some operating systems come with this kind of software pre-installed. . . . CSS protection can no longer be held ‘effective’ as defined in law. . . ."

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DLF and OCLC Release Registry of Digital Masters Record Creation Guidelines

Posted in Digital Libraries, Digitization, Metadata on May 24th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Digital Library Federation and OCLC have released their Registry of Digital Masters Working Group’s Registry of Digital Masters Record Creation Guidelines.

Here is an excerpt from the Purpose section of the document:

By recording materials in the Registry, institutions are signaling the intent to preserve and maintain the accessibility of the described materials over an extended timeframe. This implies that materials were born digital or have been converted to digital form, that the digital objects are stored in professionally managed systems, and that the institution is committed to retain and preserve them. . . .

These guidelines detail which MARC 21 elements should be used to carry Registry-required information. Registry records describe materials that an institution intends to digitize, either from existing paper- and/or microfilm-based materials (“intent to digitize”), as well as born digital materials, and to indicate the standards by which the registered objects have been digitized.

A Registry record also provides information about whether a specific item has already been digitized, and if so, whether the digitization has been done at an adequate level such that another digital copy is not required, what institution is responsible for the digitization, what institution is responsible for the preservation of the digital content, and what specific materials are available.

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Google Book Search Adds Its First Belgium Library

Posted in Digitization, E-Books, Mass Digitizaton, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication on May 24th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent has joined the Google Books Library Project.

Earlier in the month, the La Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire de Lausanne in Switzerland joined the project.

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E-Book Trial on ScienceDirect

Posted in E-Books, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on May 24th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Elsevier has announced that it is conducting an e-book trial on ScienceDirect with over 900 research libraries and corporations.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

The trial will provide participating institutes with preliminary access to 500 of the 4,000 scientific and technical books that will be launched on ScienceDirect in the third quarter of 2007. . . .

The eBooks program represents a major expansion to the reference works, handbooks and book series already available on ScienceDirect. At launch, the program will comprise high-quality selected titles published from 1995 to the present day. The books will cover a wide range of scientific disciplines, including those published under the renowned Pergamon and Academic Press imprints. Following the launch, approximately 50 newly published titles will be added to the eBooks list on ScienceDirect each month, offering researchers unparalleled integration and linking between the latest online book and journal information.

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Interview with the Executive Director of the Digital Library Federation

Posted in Digital Libraries on May 23rd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

In this podcast, Gerry Bayne of EDUCAUSE conducts a wide-ranging interview with Peter Brantley, the Executive Director of the Digital Library Federation, at CNI’s 2007 Spring Task Force Meeting.

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Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (5/23/07)

Posted in Announcements on May 23rd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

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, technical reports, and white papers.

Especially interesting are: "Advocating for Digital Scholarship: Highlights of the Report of the ACLS"; "ARROW, DART and ARCHER: A Quiver Full of Research Repository and Related Projects"; "Building an Institutional Repository at Loughborough University: Some Experiences"; "A Challenge for the Library Acquisition Budget"; "Digital Preservation Service Provider Models for Institutional Repositories: Towards Distributed Services"; "Pleas’d By a Newe Inuention?: Assessing the Impact of Early English Books Online on Teaching and Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder,"; "RoMEO Studies 8: Self-Archiving: The Logic Behind the Colour-Coding Used in the Copyright Knowledge Bank"; and "Ten Major Issues in Providing a Repository Service in Australian Universities"; and "Trends Favoring Open Access."

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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Proposed Legislation Would Make Attempted Copyright Infringement a Crime

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on May 22nd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Justice Department has proposed the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007, which, among other things, would make it a criminal offense to attempt to infringe copyright .

Here’s the key section that deals with this issue:

SECTION 4. CRIMINAL INFRINGEMENT
(a) IN GENERAL—Section 506(a)(l) of title 17, United States Code, is amended
(1) by inserting "or attempts to infnnge" before "a copyright" and
(2) by striking the comma and "if the infringement was committed" after "18";
(3) by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting "(A) if the infringement was committed or attempted for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain";
(4) in subparagraph (B), by striking "by the reproduction or distribution" and inserting "if the infringement was committed or attempted by the reproduction or distribution"; and
(6) by inserting at the beginning of subparagraph (C) "if the infringement was committed".

In "Proposed Crime of the Century: Attempted Copyright Infringement," Mathew Honan of Wired sums up the proposal this way:

Essentially, the bill would turn copyright law into something more akin to existing drug laws: The government could seize personal property, wiretaps would become legal for the first time, violators could face life in prison and, in an ambiguous and far-reaching provision, the mere attempt to violate a copyright would become a crime.

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ALCTS PARS Defining Digital Preservation Weblog

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on May 22nd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) has started the Defining Digital Preservation Weblog to get feedback on the efforts of a working group that has the following charge: "to draft a definition for digital preservation that would be suitable for the needs of PARS and available to support the work of ALCTS and ALA, for use on the web, in policy statements, and other documents."

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Report on Ingest Tools for Digital Repositories

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Metadata, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on May 22nd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Cairo Project has released Cairo Tools Survey: A Survey of Tools Applicable to the Preparation of Digital Archives for Ingest into a Preservation Repository. It has also released a related report, Cairo Use Cases: A Survey of User Scenarios Applicable to the Cairo Ingest Tool.

Here’s a description of the Cairo Project from its home page:

Cairo will develop a tool for ingesting complex collections of born-digital materials, with basic descriptive, preservation and relationship metadata, into a preservation repository. The project is based on needs identified by the JISC-funded Paradigm project and the Wellcome Library’s Digital Curation in Action project. It is a key building block in the partner institutions’ strategy to develop digital repository architectures which can support the development of digital collections over the long-term.

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Link Resolvers and the Serials Supply Chain Report

Posted in Linking, Linked Data, and Semantic Web on May 21st, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The UK Serials Group has issued a report by James Culling titled Link Resolvers and the Serials Supply Chain: Final Report for UKSG.

Here’s a summary of major issues and barriers from the "Summary of Findings":

  • Whilst some content providers are very aware of the role of link resolvers and the significance of data feeds to them for driving traffic to their content, there remains a significant number that do not make their collection details available to resolver suppliers at all, simply through not realising that this is a desirable thing to do.
  • Whilst some content providers are very aware of the role of link resolvers and the significance of data feeds to them for driving traffic to their content, there remains a significant number that do not make their collection details available to resolver suppliers at all, simply through not realising that this is a desirable thing to do.
  • Whilst link resolver suppliers state that the level of co-operation from some publishers is still not all that it might be, many publishers comment that a lack of open engagement and transparency regarding knowledge base requirements from the link resolver suppliers (as a group) has been problematic for them.
  • Where data is provided to link resolver suppliers and libraries by content providers, a lack of understanding or appreciation as to the use to which the data will be put may be a factor in incompleteness and inaccuracy.
  • Most of the link resolver suppliers have separately invested much time and staff resource in working around difficulties with data from content providers, rather than trying to address the problems at source. Many have concluded that full text aggregators in particular focus their energies in other areas and metadata accuracy is never (voluntarily at least) going to be of high concern to them.
  • Competition between organisations in the supply chain sometimes hinders co-operation and data sharing.
  • There is a lack of clarity and transparency in the supply chain regarding: standards for data formats, expected frequency of data updates, construction of inbound linking syntaxes and OpenURL support. These issues hinder broader adoption and limit the pace of information transfer through the supply chain, restricting the potential of link resolver systems.
  • Whilst the community’s attention has been mostly focused on what it means to be OpenURL compliant, a code of practice and information standards to ensure optimal knowledge base compliance have been sorely absent and overlooked.
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Archivists’ Toolkit Beta 1.1 Released

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Open Source Software on May 21st, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Archivists’ Toolkit Beta 1.1 has been released for testing by interested parties.

Here’s a description of the Archivists’ Toolkit from the project’s home page:

Key Features:

  • Integrated support for managing archival materials from acquisition through processing:
  • Recording repository information
  • Tracking sources / donors
  • Recording accessions
  • Basic authority control for names and topical subjects
  • Describing archival resources and digital objects
  • Managing location information
  • Customizable interface:
    • Modify field labels
    • Establish default values for fields and notes where boilerplate text is used
    • Customize searchable fields and record browse lists
  • Ingest of legacy data in multiple formats: EAD 2002, MARC XML, and tab delimited accession data
  • Rapid data entry interface for creating container lists quickly
  • Management of user accounts, with a range of permission levels to control access to data
  • Tracking of database records, including username and date of record creation and most recent edit
  • Generation of over 30 different administrative and descriptive reports, such as acquisition statistics, accession records, shelf lists, subject guides, etc.
  • Export EAD 2002, MARC XML, METS, MODS, and Dublin Core
  • Support for desktop or networked, single- or multi-repository installations
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