Digital Rights Management and Consumer Privacy: An Assessment of DRM Applications under Canadian Privacy Law

The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law has released Digital Rights Management and Consumer Privacy: An Assessment of DRM Applications under Canadian Privacy Law.

Here's an excerpt from the report's "Executive Summary":

This report confirms that DRM is currently being used in the Canadian marketplace in ways that violate Canadian privacy laws. DRM is being used to collect, use and disclose consumers’ personal information, often for secondary purposes, without adequate notice to the consumer, and without giving the consumer an opportunity to opt-out of unnecessary collection, use or disclosure of their personal information, as required under Canadian privacy law.

Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive Repository Launched

The University College Dublin has launched the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive Repository.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

VRLA is a digital archive containing a number of digitised collections from UCD’s holdings, of use and interest to Irish humanities researchers. The IVRLA has developed a sophisticated interface enabling users to browse, search, tag and cite digital objects and view or download them in a variety of file formats. This interface sits on top of an open source repository architecture that functions as the IVRLA’s base content store. An elaborate collection model has been developed ensuring all content is viewed within context and structure. This model is particularly suited for organic primary source collections and enables hierarchy and sub-division in how objects are arranged and held within collections.

National E-Books Observatory Project Studies Free E-Book Use

The JISC National E-Books Observatory Project has begun an in-depth study of the use of free e-books.

Here's an excerpt from the weblog posting:

JISC has funded a collection of e-books that will be freely available to students in all UK universities.

The aim of the JISC national e-books observatory project is to gather much needed evidence:

  • Evidence for publishers about the impact of e-books on traditional print sales to students
  • Evidence for publishers about how to create exciting e-books that will engage the digital native
  • Evidence for publishers and libraries about the pricing models for the future
  • Evidence for libraries about how to promote the use of e-books

The e-books, chosen, include some of the most popular texts in Business and Management Studies, Medicine, Engineering and Media Studies.

JISC is funding CIBER to study just what happens when these books are freely available to students. How will they find them? Will they use them? Will the e-books impact on their learning? Will medical students behave differently to Media Studies students? Will the Business and Management students stop buying from the bookshops? Will Engineering students use the e-books more or less than the other groups?

Publishers are collaborating by providing these e-books via Ingram Digital Group’s MyiLibrary platform and the Books@Ovid platform. Funding by JISC enables these publishers to experiment in a managed environment and mitigates any risk of revenue loss.

LibraryFind 0.8.2 Released

The Oregon State University Libraries have released LibraryFind 0.8.2.

Here’s an excerpt from the CODE4LIB announcement:

LibraryFind is metasearch software written in Ruby-on-Rails. It allows libraries to provide a unified search solution to their users, letting library users search across both licensed collections and local collections. LibraryFind is open source software (licensed under the GPL), and is free to download and use. More information on LibraryFind can be found at http://libraryfind.org.

SPARC Consulting Group’s Latest Member: Greg Tananbaum

Greg Tananbaum, former President of The Berkeley Electronic Press, has joined the SPARC Consulting Group.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Tananbaum is best known for his leadership as recent President of The Berkeley Electronic Press, though also for writing a regular column on emerging developments in scholarly communication for Against the Grain and for his work as past Director of Product Marketing for EndNote. He holds a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from Yale University. Since leaving The Berkeley Electronic Press in 2006, Tananbaum has offered a range of consulting services at the intersection of technology, content, and academia.

The DMCA Gets a Thumbs Up from the Register of Copyrights

At the Future of Music Policy Summit, Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters said of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act: "I'm a supporter; I think it did what it was supposed to do." Further, she asserted that: "I'm not ready to dump the anticircumvention."

In an analysis of Peters' comments, Cory Doctorow said:

The DMCA also makes it possible to censor the Internet by sending "takedown notices" to web-hosting companies alleging that some of their content infringes copyright. This system has been widely abused. . . .

The DMCA has also been vital to the music industry lawsuits against 20,000 US music fans, and resulted in the US threatening and jailing researchers and scholars who wrote about information security.

Despite all this, there is no evidence that the DMCA has curbed Internet infringement—indeed, all indications are that unauthorized music and movie downloading are on the increase and show no signs of slowing. Furthermore, the DMCA lawsuits against technology companies like MP3.com and Napster, and against tens of thousands of American music-fans, have not generated one cent of income for actual musicians. . . .

Of course, Peters (who doesn't own a computer!) is no copyright apologist—in May, 2005, she spoke out against the "Betamax" principle, a bedrock of American copyright law that allows technologies to be legally manufactured if they have a legal use. She also said that copyright infringement funds terrorism, and that the US should clobber foreign countries that sought to have local copyright policies that promoted cultural diversity and development. . .

Sources: Broache, Anne. "Copyright Office Chief: I'm a DMCA Supporter." CNET News.Com, 17 September 2007; Doctorow, Cory. "Head of US Copyright Says 'DMCA Does What It Is Supposed to Do." Boing Boing, 17 September 2007.

Digital Assets Factory Version 2.0 Released Under GPL

Bibliotheca Alexandrina has released version 2.0 of its open-source Digital Assets Factory software.

Here’s an excerpt from the project home page:

DAF v2.0 provides all the necessary tools required to manage the whole process of a digitization workflow, including its various Phases, User management, file movement and archiving. It provides the flexibility to manage multiple simultaneous projects with a diversity of materials, covering books, journals, newspapers, manuscripts, unbound materials, audio, video, and slides.

With the Exception of Some Archives, Online Access to The New York Times Will Be Free

The New York Times has announced that, with the exception of some articles in the 1923 to 1986 period, online access to its site will be free starting at midnight tonight. Free backfiles will be available for the 1851 to 1922 and 1987 to present periods.

Here's an excerpt from "Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site":

What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYTimes.com. These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue. . . .

Colby Atwood, president of Borrell Associates, a media research firm, said that there have always been reasons to question the pay model for news sites, and that doubts have grown along with Web traffic and online ad revenue.

“The business model for advertising revenue, versus subscriber revenue, is so much more attractive,” he said. “The hybrid model has some potential, but in the long run, the advertising side will dominate.”

Source: Pérez-Peña, Richard. "Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site." The New York Times, 18 September 2007, C2.

Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership Grants Awarded

The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities have announced the award of three grants under their Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership program.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

  • $347,520 to Historical Society of Pennsylvania for its project: PhilaPlace: A Neighborhood History and Culture Project. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania in collaboration with the Philadelphia Department of Records and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design will develop PhilaPlace, an interactive Web resource chronicling the history, culture, and architecture of Philadelphia's neighborhoods. Complete with maps, historical records, photographs, and digital models of select neighborhoods, PhilaPlace will serve as a prototype website for communities wishing to digitize their cultural heritage.
  • $349,939 to Tufts University, Medford for its project: Scalable Named Entity Identification in Classical Studies. The Perseus Project and the Collections and Archives of Tufts University will construct a testing database of scholarly and cultural documents about the ancient world. In the second part of the project, Tufts will develop a digital reference tool allowing researchers and librarians to conduct context-based “smart searches” of un-indexed words from existing databases in the Tufts Digital Library. By developing this database, and allowing for much shorter and complete context-based searches, Tufts hopes to lead scholars and students to the next generation of digital tools.
  • $349,996 to University of California, Berkeley for its project: Context and Relationships: Ireland and Irish Studies. The University of California, Berkeley in collaboration with the Queen’s University, Belfast, will develop a digital database of Irish studies materials to test three open-source digital tools. The Context Finder, Context Builder, and Context Provider tools will be aimed at establishing scholarly context. Using a common word search feature in digital collections, these tools will allow users to access the ideas that are associated with the words, thereby creating context through maps, primary texts and secondary works.

Wiley Reports Strong First Quarter Growth

Boosted by its acquisition of Blackwell, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. reported strong earnings growth in the first quarter.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JWa) (NYSE:JWb) announced today that revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 of $389 million increased 48% from $263 million in the previous year, including $116 million of revenue from Blackwell Publishing Ltd. (Blackwell), which Wiley acquired on February 2, 2007. Revenue excluding Blackwell increased 3% over last year's strong first quarter to $273 million, or 2% excluding favorable foreign exchange. . . .

U.S. STM revenue of $56 million was flat with the previous year's first quarter mainly due to the timing of journal, book and backfile releases. In addition to healthy journal license renewals, several new Enhanced Access Licenses were signed by academic and corporate customers around the world. Direct contribution to profit as a percent of revenue declined in the first quarter mainly due to the flat top-line results. Excluding Blackwell, global STM revenue was up 4%, including the favorable effect of foreign exchange. . . .

During the first quarter, U.S. STM signed several new, renewed, and extended contracts with societies to publish their journals, including a multi-year agreement with the American Association of Anatomists, with whom Wiley already partners, to publish Anatomical Sciences Education; the International Society for Autism Research to publish Autism Research; and the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) to publish IUBMB Life. . . .

According to the Thomson ISI® 2006 ISI Journal Citation Reports, Wiley and Blackwell combined now publish more journals in the Social Science Citation Index than any other publisher. A third of these titles experienced significant increases in impact factors, more than any other publisher.

Cut-and-Paste NIH Public Access Policy Message to Senate Updated

I've updated the cut-and-paste text on the Contact the Senate about the NIH Public Access Policy page to include mention of and a link to the ALA/ARL/SPARC "Mandatory Public Access to Federally Funded Research Does Not Violate Copyright Obligations" statement.

You can use the cut-and-paste text in the linked ALA Contact Your Senators in Support of Open Access Web form, which will allow you to easily e-mail your senators by entering your Zip Code.

Back from the Certificate in Digital Information Management Meeting

I'm back from the University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science's Advisory Group meeting for its Certificate in Digital Information Management program.

This online post-bachelor's certificate program is shaping up nicely, building on its unusual synthesis of archival, digital technology, and library perspectives. As intended, its attracting a student body from diverse work and educational backgrounds. Peter Botticelli has been hired to lead the certificate program. Recruitment for the next cohort of students is gearing up, and some IMLS-funded scholarships will be available for U.S. citizens.

The certificate program is composed of six three-credit graduate courses.

  • IRLS 671 Introduction to Digital Collections
  • IRLS 672 Introduction to Applied Technology
  • IRLS 673 Managing the Digital Information Environment
  • IRLS 674 Preservation of Digital Collections
  • IRLS 675 Advanced Digital Collections
  • IRLS 676 Capstone

More detailed information can be found on the Course Information & Schedules: Digital Information Management Certificate page.

CCIA Study Says Copyright Limitations Generate More Than $4.5 Trillion per Year in US

The Computer and Communications Industry Association has released a study that estimates that copyright limitations, such as fair use, generate over $4.5 trillion per year in the US. The report will be available on the CCIA website.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

According to the study commissioned by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and conducted in accordance with a World Intellectual Property Organization methodology, companies benefiting from limitations on copyright-holders' exclusive rights, such as "fair use"—generate substantial revenue, employ millions of workers, and, in 2006, represented one-sixth of total U.S. GDP.

The exhaustive report, released today at a briefing on Capitol Hill, quantifies for the first time ever the critical contributions of fair use to the U.S. economy. The timing proves particularly important as the debates over copyright law in the digital age move increasingly to center stage on Capitol Hill. As the report summarizes, in the past twenty years as digital technology has increased, so too has the importance of fair use. With more than $4.5 trillion in revenue generated by fair use dependent industries in 2006, a 31% increase since 2002, fair use industries are directly responsible for more than 18% of U.S. economic growth and nearly 11 million American jobs. In fact, nearly one out of every eight American jobs is in an industry that benefits from current limitations on copyright.

Postscript: The report is now available.

Contact the Senate about the NIH Public Access Policy by 9/28/07

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access, whose membership includes major library associations, has issued a new call to action about the NIH Public Access Policy that urges interested parties to contact their Senators by Friday, September 28, 2007. You can easily contact your senators using the ALA Action Alert Web form with my cut-and-paste version of ALA/ATA text or you can fax your Senators using the fax numbers in the press release (use the below link to get to the full press release)

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

As the Senate considers Appropriations measures for the 2008 fiscal year this fall, please take a moment to remind your Senators of your strong support for public access to publicly funded research and – specifically – ensuring the success of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy by making deposit mandatory for researchers.

Earlier this summer, the House of Representatives passed legislation with language that directs the NIH to make this change (http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/media/release07-0720.html). The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar measure (http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/media/release07-0628.html). Now, as the Appropriations process moves forward, it is critically important that our Senators are reminded of the breadth and depth of support for enhanced public access to the results of NIH-funded research. Please take a moment to weigh in with your Senator now. . . .

Feel free to draw upon the following talking points:

  • American taxpayers are entitled to open access on the Internet to the peer-reviewed scientific articles on research funded by the U.S. government. Widespread access to the information contained in these articles is an essential, inseparable component of our nation's investment in science.
  • The Fiscal Year 2008 Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill reported out of committee contains language directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to change its Public Access Policy so that it requires NIH-funded researchers to deposit copies of agency-funded research articles into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive.
  • Over the more than two years since its implementation, the NIH's current voluntary policy has failed to achieve any of the agency's stated goals, attaining a deposit rate of less than 5% by individual researchers. A mandate is required to ensure deposit in NIH’s online archive of articles describing findings of all research funded by the agency.
  • We urge the Senate to support the inclusion of language put forth in the Labor/HHS Appropriations bill directing the NIH to implement a mandatory policy and ensuring free, timely access to all research articles stemming from NIH-funded research – without change – in any appropriate vehicle.

(We’ll be making additional resources for patient advocates – including the recording of our August 30 Web cast and specific talking points – available shortly as well.

National Archives Seeks Comments on Draft Digitization Plan

The National Archives and Records Administration is soliciting comments on its draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The document is divided into several sections. The first section, INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND, provides information on NARA's mission, our archival holdings, and our past experience with digitization, to give you the context of the draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016. Section II, PLAN OVERVIEW, describes our planned goals, activities, and priorities for digitization. Sections III through V provide listings of current digitization activities being carried out by NARA and through partnerships to digitize and make available archival materials. Appendix A contains draft operating principles that we are using as we enter into partnerships and Appendix B references relevant NARA guidance that applies to handling of archival materials being digitized and the technical guidelines for image creation and description.

Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture

The MIT Press has published Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture by Tarleton Gillespie.

Here's an excerpt from the author's description:

In Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture, Tarleton Gillespie examines this shift to "technical copy protection" and its profound political, economic, and cultural implications.

Gillespie reveals that the real story is not the technological controls themselves but the political, economic, and cultural arrangements being put in place to make them work. He shows that this approach to digital copyright depends on new kinds of alliances among content and technology industries, legislators, regulators, and the courts, and is changing the relationship between law and technology in the process. The film and music industries, he claims, are deploying copyright in order to funnel digital culture into increasingly commercial patterns that threaten to undermine the democratic potential of a network society.

Leslie Carr on What to Do with Dead Repositories

In his "Decommissioning Repositories" posting, EPrints guru Leslie Carr grapples with the issue of what to do with repositories that have served their purpose and that no one wants to maintain.

Here's an excerpt:

But now the party's over, there is no more funding, and none of the partner institutions has offered to keep the repository going in perpetuity. Not even the hosting institution or the ex-manager wants to keep their repositories going. We know that even if we don't turn them off their hosting hardware will fail in a few of years. That sounds like very bad news because a repository is supposed to be forever! Was it irresponsible to create these repositories in the first place? Should it be forbidden to create a public repository whose life is guaranteed to be less than a decade? Or perhaps that should be factored into the original policy-making—"this repository and all its contents are guaranteed up to 31st December 2017 but not after." If that were machine readable then the community could have decided whether they want to mirror the collection, or selected bits of it.

Source: Carr, Leslie. "Decommissioning Repositories." RepositoryMan, 10 September 2007.

A Closer Look at OncologySTAT: Elsevier's Version of Open Access?

In a prior posting, I discussed Elsevier's release of OncologySTAT. In this one, I'll take a closer look at the system.

It appears that OncologySTAT permits registration by any type of user. As noted previously, it gathers fairly detailed registration information.

Is it an open access system? Let's look at it from the point of view of Peter Suber's' Open Access Overview. The barrier of registration exists, but the system removes price barriers. Since it doesn't change the underlying copyright terms of the included journals, it doesn’t remove permission barriers. However, as Suber states:

While removing price barriers without removing permission barriers is not enough for full OA under the BBB definition [see this explanation], there's no doubt that price barriers constitute the bulk of the problem for which OA is the solution. Removing price barriers alone will give most OA proponents most of what they want and need.

Moreover, some major open access advocates, such as Stevan Harnad, argue that free access is sufficient.

How is OncologySTAT funded? Here's an excerpt from the About OncologySTAT page:

OncologySTAT is commercially supported by online advertising, sponsorship, and educational grants. Individual access to OncologySTAT is free, based on users registering with the site.

The Advertise page offers a more detailed description of advertising options:

OncologySTAT offers an array of online advertising and sponsorship opportunities including:

  • Run-of-Site Online Advertising
  • Targeted Online Advertising: Behavioral, Contextual or Keyword
  • E-Newsletters: OncologySTAT InfoBLAST weekly e-newsletter
  • 27 Cancer-Type Sponsorships (Breast, Lung, Prostate, etc)
  • Banners, Spotlights, Skyscrapers, Keyword Search
  • iPanels – Interactive expandable ad units
  • Section and Content Sponsorship (Video, Chemotherapy Regimens, Article Downloads, etc.)
  • MicroSites: custom branded content/advertorial
  • Interactive live and on-demand Webinars

Here's what Suber says about ways that open access journals can be funded (italics added):

OA journals pay their bills very much the way broadcast television and radio stations do: those with an interest in disseminating the content pay the production costs upfront so that access can be free of charge for everyone with the right equipment. Sometimes this means that journals have a subsidy from the hosting university or professional society. Sometimes it means that journals charge a processing fee on accepted articles, to be paid by the author or the author's sponsor (employer, funding agency). OA journals that charge processing fees usually waive them in cases of economic hardship. OA journals with institutional subsidies tend to charge no processing fees. OA journals can get by on lower subsidies or fees if they have income from other publications, advertising, priced add-ons, or auxiliary services.

OncologySTAT is unusual in that the journals it covers also remain available under free-based, restricted-use licenses and as print subscriptions. However, if anyone can obtain free access though registration, is this a significant issue or an artifact of an older business model?

It appears that OncologySTAT is a limited open access experiment embedded in a larger conventional fee-based, restricted-access publishing model.

It will be interesting to see how OncologySTAT affects library subscriptions to these expensive medical journals. Cancellation decisions will be influenced by how permanent OncologySTAT appears to be: it will be more tempting to cancel subscriptions if the system shifts into a more permanent mode. Since there appears to be no change in underlying digital preservation arrangements, cancellation decisions will also be affected by how strongly libraries are committed to the long-term access to and preservation of these journals vs. short-term access to them. An immediate, massive rush to cancellation doesn't seem highly probable, and consequently OncologySTAT is more likely to add revenue than subtract it.

Elsevier Experiments with Free, Ad-Sponsored Access for Oncologists

Reed Elsevier has launched OncologySTAT, which offers oncologists free access to its medical journals in exchange for registration. Users will also have access to summaries of relevant research published elsewhere. Elsevier plans to support the service with online ads and the sale of mailing lists.

Here's an excerpt from "A Medical Publisher’s Unusual Prescription: Online Ads":

. . . Reed Elsevier executives hope that OncologySTAT.com users will be an attractive target for advertisers, providing a model for an array of portals they could set up for health care professionals. Future sites may focus on specialties like neurology, psychiatry, cardiology and infectious diseases, company officials said. . . .

Monique Fayad, an Elsevier senior vice president, said the total online advertising market was growing “in double digits” and added, “We expect it will be a $1 billion opportunity within the next two years.” . . .

Source: Freudenheim, Milt. "A Medical Publisher’s Unusual Prescription: Online Ads" The New York Times, 10 September 2007, C1, C5.

Copyright and the First Amendment: Golan v. Gonzales

On September 4th, Christopher Sprigman announced that the 10th Circuit Court has decided in favor of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society's appeal in Golan v. Gonzales.

Here's an excerpt from Sprigman's posting that explains the case:

The Golan case challenges the constitutionality of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, by which, among other things, Congress removed thousands of books, films, songs, and other creative works from the public domain and “restored” them to copyright. The Golan plaintiffs, a group of conductors and film distributors who used these public domain works, challenged Congress’s depredation of the public domain. The primary ground for the challenge was that Congress, by removing works from the public domain, departed from the “traditional contours of copyright protection” in a way that limited free speech in violation of the First Amendment. Limited how? By making the use of the former public domain works subject to the approval of the owners of the “restored” copyrights. By, in short, imposing copyright burdens on free speech where none had existed before.

The Golan plaintiffs’ First Amendment theory was built on something the Supreme Court said in Eldred v. Ashcroft. . . . . Where Congress does not act in accordance with history, but instead alters copyright’s “traditional contours”, courts must conduct a more searching First Amendment review to ensure that whatever Congress has done to the copyright law—which is, of course, a regulation of speech—does not burden speech in ways that cannot be justified.

Since Sprigman's post, there has been further commentary in the blogosphere. Here's a selection of postings:

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com