New Electronic Resources Management Mailing List

The LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group has established a mailing list (lita-erm@ala.org).

Here is a description of the IG from its home page:

Established in 2005. The purpose of the LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group is to promote and enable the exchange of information and discussion among librarians, publishers, electronic resource management system vendors and related service organizations concerning issues related to the management of electronic resources. The group will assist in developing appropriate and responsive systems and standards by fostering open and collaborative discussions and implementation issues.

The World’s First Cyberwar?

The New York Times reports today ("War Fears Turn Digital After Data Siege in Estonia") that Estonia has suffered massive distributed denial-of-service attacks on its Internet infrastructure as a result of removing a statue of a Soviet solder from a park in Tallinn. Botnets were used to intensify the ferocity of the attacks. As many as one million zombie computers worldwide may have been involved.

The article notes:

The 10 largest assaults blasted streams of 90 megabits of data a second at Estonia’s networks, lasting up to 10 hours each. That is a data load equivalent to downloading the entire Windows XP operating system every six seconds for 10 hours.

Linton Wells II, the Pentagon’s principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration, said: "This may well turn out to be a watershed in terms of widespread awareness of the vulnerability of modern society."

Source: Landler, Mark, and John Markoff. "War Fears Turn Digital After Data Siege in Estonia." The New York Times, A1, C7.

Happy Birthday Open Access News!

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.

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

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. . . ."

E-Book Trial on ScienceDirect

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.

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

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.

Proposed Legislation Would Make Attempted Copyright Infringement a Crime

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.

ALCTS PARS Defining Digital Preservation Weblog

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."

Link Resolvers and the Serials Supply Chain Report

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.

Archivists’ Toolkit Beta 1.1 Released

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
  • Here’s a Chance to Hire Walt Crawford

    Here’s a rare opportunity to hire a leading thinker in the library profession.

    Walt Crawford is looking for work. For those of you who are not librarians and may not have heard of Walt, he is one of the most influential and important figures in the library world, and he was ranked among the most cited authors for the period 1994–2004 in a March 2007 College & Research Libraries article titled "Analysis of a Decade in Library Literature: 1994–2004" (unfortunately this article is not out of the C&RL embargo period yet and is not freely available).

    Here’s a reproduction of Walt’s blog posting about this matter:

    A special message:

    Ever thought you or one of the groups you work for or with could use a Walt Crawford? Here’s your chance.

    The RLG-OCLC transition will be complete in September. I’ve received a termination notice from OCLC, effective September 30, 2007.

    I’m interested in exploring new possibilities. For now I’m trying not to narrow the options too much.

    The basics: A new position could start any time after October 15, 2007 (possibly earlier). January to April 2008 might be ideal as a starting date, but earlier or later is quite possible.

    I’m looking for a mutually-beneficial situation, which could be part time, could be full time, could be based on sponsorship of current writing and possible expansion to new areas, could be contract or consulting. I’m open to an exclusive working relationship—but also to more piecemeal possibilities.

    Writing is important to me—but so is sensemaking, at the heart of what I’ve done at work and professionally for a few decades. I find numbers interesting (particularly exposing weaknesses in statistical assertions and finding the numbers that make most sense for an organization) and understand them well. I’ve been analyzing, synthesizing, designing (sometimes programming) and communicating throughout my career. I’m interested in the whole range of issues surrounding the intersections of libraries, policy, media and technology, and have demonstrated my effectiveness as a writer and speaker in those areas.

    You can get a good sense of what I’ve published here, including my 15 (to date) books and many of the 400+ articles and columns.

    I would certainly consider a short-term (say two to four years) situation—but if you have something that makes sense for both of us for a longer term, I have no set retirement date. If I had to name an ideal, it would probably be roughly two-thirds time with benefits (or full time if Cites & Insights was considered part of the job).

    Clear limitation: There are very few places we’d be willing to relocate, most of them in temperate parts of the Pacific Rim—that is, California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, or maybe Australia or New Zealand. Otherwise, for most possibilities outside of Silicon Valley (or the Tri-Valley area around Livermore), I’d be looking to telecommute—and perfectly willing to travel on a reasonable basis.

    If you have acquaintances who are unlikely to see this blog, within "groups that work for/with libraries"—publishers, vendors, search-engine makers, consortia, what have you—where you think I might be a good fit, I’d be delighted if you told them about this. If you’d like to blog about it, please do, saying whatever you like. (Schadenfreude?Be my guest.)

    I don’t have a proper resume. I suspect I’m more likely to be hired by someone who knows who I am or is more interested in a full vita, available here. (OK, I’ll be 62 in September and I have an international reputation that is only slightly related to my daytime job: Maybe not the ideal combination for a classic "hit ’em with the keywords" resume.)

    Offers, inquiries, questions, comments should go to me at my gmail address: waltcrawford. If you’d like to meet during ALA Annual, let me know.

    For those of you who care about Cites & Insights: I have every intention of continuing and, with luck, improving C&I. I have every intention of keeping it free to the reader. I’ve been thinking about a spinoff in an area that I find increasingly important and that requires more room and time than I’ve been giving it—and that spinoff might or might not be free, depending on arrangements that come to light. Naturally, finding the right position will help ensure the future of C&I.

    Here’s the brief bio:

    Walt Crawford is an internationally recognized writer and speaker on libraries, technology, policy and media.Crawford was for many years Senior Analyst at RLG, focusing on user interface design and actual usage patterns for end-user bibliographic search systems. Through September 30, 2007, he works on RLG-OCLC transition and integration issues.

    Crawford is the creator, writer and publisher of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, an ejournal on the intersections of libraries, policy, technology and media published monthly since 2001. He also maintains a blog on these and other issues, Walt at Random.

    Crawford’s books include Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change (2007), First Have Something to Say: Writing for the Library Profession (2003), Being Analog: Creating Tomorrow’s Libraries (1999), Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness & Reality (with Michael Gorman, 1995), and eleven others going back to MARC for Library Use: Understanding the USMARC Formats(1984).

    Crawford writes the “disContent” column in EContent Magazine and has written columns for American Libraries, Online and Library Hi Tech. In all, he has written more than 400 library-related articles and columns appearing in a range of library publications.

    Crawford was recently cited as one of the 31 most frequently cited authors in library literature 1994-2004 (the only American writer on that list outside academic libraries). In 1995, he received the American Library Association’s LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education, followed by the ALCTS/Blackwell Scholarship Award in 1997. He was president of the Library and Information Technology Association in 1992/93.

    More information is available at Crawford’s home page.

    The REMAP Project: Record Management and Preservation in Digital Repositories

    The REMAP Project at the University of Hull has been funded by JISC investigate how record management and digital preservation functions can be best supported in digital repositories. It utilizes the Fedora system.

    Here’s an except from the Project Aims page (I have added the links in this excerpt):

    The REMAP project has the following aims:

    • To develop Records Management and Digital Preservation (RMDP) workflow(s) in order to understand how a digital repository can support these activities
    • To embed digital repository interaction within working practices for RMDP purposes
    • To further develop the use of a WSBPEL orchestration tool to work with external Web services, including the PRONOM Web services, to provide appropriate metadata and file information for RMDP
    • To develop and test a notification layer that can interact with the orchestration tool and allow RSS
      syndication to individuals alerting them to RMDP tasks
    • To develop and test an intermediate persistence layer to underpin the notification layer and interact
      with the WSBPEL orchestration tool to allow orchestrated workflows to take place over time
    • To test and validate the use of the enhanced WSBPEL tool with institutional staff involved in RMDP activities

    What Does Out of Print Mean in a POD Era?

    A contract language change by Simon & Schuster that makes all its books available by print-on-demand technology "in print" has raised the hackles of the Authors Guild. The issue is that as long as a book is in print the rights do not revert back to the author, who could then look for another publisher who would actively promote the book and boost sales.

    Source: Rich, Motoko. "Publisher and Authors Parse a Term: Out of Print." The New York Times, 18 May 2007, C3.

    Copyright Alliance Launched to Promote Strong Copyright

    Twenty-nine membership organizations and big media companies have launched the Copyright Alliance to advocate stronger copyright laws that protect their intellectual property.

    Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

    The Alliance comprises 29 member organizations from the worlds of entertainment, arts, technology and sports, and represents an estimated 11 million Americans working in copyright-related industries. Its Executive Director, Patrick Ross, is a former journalist and think tank senior fellow with more than 10 years of expertise writing about and advocating for the importance of intellectual property.

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) welcomed the coalition’s formation in a statement read at the launch event, which also featured a panel discussion with Grammy-winning musicians, a noted academic expert, and working artists.

    "Strong copyright laws are essential to protect the livelihoods of millions of artists and inventors," said Conyers. "But just as importantly, strong copyright is important to all Americans by driving creativity and innovation in our economy." . . .

    Members of the Copyright Alliance include: American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; American Society of Media Photographers; Association of American Publishers; Broadcast Music, Inc.; Business Software Alliance; CBS Corporation; Directors Guild of America; Entertainment Software Association; Magazine Publishers of America; Major League Baseball; Microsoft; Motion Picture Association of America; National Association of Broadcasters; National Collegiate Athletic Association; National Music Publishers’ Association; NBA Properties, Inc.; NBC Universal; News Corporation; Newspaper Association of America; Professional Photographers of America; Recording Artists’ Coalition; Recording Industry Association of America; Software & Information Industry Association; Sony Pictures Entertainment; Time Warner; Viacom; Vin Di Bona Productions; and The Walt Disney Company.

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