Public Domain Works Partners with the Open Library

Public Domain Works has announced that it will partner with the Open Library, sharing its data about works that are in public domain. Public Domain Works supports the Public Domain Works DB, which is now in beta form.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The plan looks to be to upload the Public Domain Works data to the Open Library, and to use read/write APIs to continue to develop different front-ends for different jurisdictions—each with its own algorithms to determine which works are in the public domain.

The RIAA Sues Usenet.Com

The RIAA has sued Usenet.Com, a Usenet service provider. Usenet.Com offers SSH access with its Secure-Tunnel option from, and indicates that it does not log user activity.

There are a wide variety of Usenet service providers, including universities and colleges.

Here's an excerpt from Usenet.Com's Mp3 Newsgroups Page:

Today’s hottest way of sharing MP3 files over the Internet is Usenet; forget about all the peer-to-peer software applications, which quickly become outdated. . . . MP3 Newsgroups are the ultimate way of sharing as they are well organized and allow the users to find what they are looking for quickly and effortlessly.

Read more about the suit at "RIAA Sues Usenet, Decries It as Napster, Kazaa" and "RIAA Tries to Pull Plug on Usenet. Seriously."

The Jammie Thomas Appeal and More Follow-up

Jammie Thomas has filed a notice of appeal to the Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas verdict based on the premise that the statutory damages awarded were excessively large and constitute punitive damages. Thomas would like to have a new trial or to have the damages to be adjusted to $151.20 from $222,000.

Here's an excerpt from the motion reported in "Appeal in RIAA Case to Focus on 'Unconstitutionally Excessive' Punishment":

"In the instant matter, defendant Thomas urges the Court to consider the statutory damages to be tantamount to an award of punitive damages, since it is based not upon plaintiffs' losses, but rather defendant's conduct," concludes the motion. "Whether the Court recognizes actual damages of zero dollars, $20 or whatever figure plaintiffs suggest is a fair measure of their actual damages for the 24 subject recordings, the ratio of actual damages to the award is not only astronomical, it is offensive to our Constitution and offensive generally."

Further coverage of the motion is available in "RIAA Says Thomas Shirking $222,000 Payoff" and "RIAA's $222,000 Defendant Asks for a New Trial."

Here's further commentary on the verdict:

Co-Action Publishing News: One Journal Converts to OA and a New OA Journal Is Launched

Co-Action Publishing has announced that, starting in January 2008, the Swedish Nutrition Foundation's Scandinavian Journal of Food & Nutrition will become an open access journal and be renamed Food & Nutrition Research. Co-Action Publishing also announced the launch in the first quarter of 2008 of a new open access journal, Ethics & Global Politics. Both journals will be under Creative Commons licenses.

Muradora 1.0, a Fedora Front-End, Released

DRAMA (Digital Repository Authorization Middleware Architecture) has released Muradora 1.0, a Fedora front-end that provides identity control (via Shibboleth), authorization (via XACML), and other functions. DRAMA is a sub-project of RAMP (Research Activityflow and Middleware Priorities Project). A Live DVD image simplifies installation.

Here’s an excerpt from the fedora-commons-users posting:

  • "Out-of-the-box" or customized deployment options
  • Intuitive access control editor allows end-users to specify their own access control criteria without editing any XML.
  • Hierarchical enforcement of access control policies. Access control can be set at the collection level, object level or datastream level.
  • Metadata input and validation for any well-formed metadata schema using XForms (a W3C standard). New metadata schemas can be supported via XForms scripts (no Muradora code modification required).
  • Flexible and extensible architecture based on the well known Java Spring enterprise framework.
  • Multiple deployments of Muradora (each customized for their own specific purpose) can talk to the one instance of Fedora.
  • Freely available as open source software (Apache 2 license). All dependent software is also open source.

German Publishers Just Say No to Google Book Search: Libreka Launched at Frankfurt Book Fair

German publishers who want to retain control of their content have a new alternative to Google Book Search: Libreka, a full-text search engine that initially has about 8,000 books from publishers who opted-in for inclusion. Searchers retrieve book titles and cover images, but no content.

Source: "German Publishers Offer Alternative to Google Books." Deutsche Welle, 11 October 2007.

Web/Web 2.0 Tools

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

A Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas Juror Speaks Out and More Verdict Reactions

Michael Hegg, a steelworker who served on the Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas jury, has revealed what went on in the deliberations in "RIAA Juror: 'We Wanted to Send a Message'."

Here are more verdict reactions and follow-ups:

Omeka: The Open-Source, IMLS-funded Web Publishing System for Museums

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has provided further details about its IMLS grant for Omeka.

Here's an excerpt from the posting:

HNM is also celebrating its IMLS funding for Omeka, a next-generation web-publishing platform for smaller history museums, historical societies, and historic sites. From the Swahili word meaning “to display” or “to lay out for discussion,” Omeka is designed for these groups that they may not have the adequate resources or expertise necessary to create and maintain their own online tools. The free, open-source tool will allow many more museums to mount well-designed, professional-looking, and content-rich web sites without adding to their constrained budgets. It will also provide a standards-based interoperable system to share and use digital content in multiple contexts so that museums can design online exhibitions more efficiently. Beginning in October 2007, CHNM will plan, design, test, evaluate, and disseminate Omeka over four phases while working closely with our major partner, the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). MHS represents a wide museum network and a broad range of history and heritage institutions of different sizes, audiences, and subject area interests. In addition, we will make Omeka available to other small museums through conference presentations, direct mailings, and the CHNM website.

P2P Users Who Don't Use Blocklists Can Be Tracked by Media Companies

A study by Anirban Banerjee, Michalis Faloutsos and Laxmi N. Bhuyan ("P2P:Is Big Brother Watching You?") has shown that peer-to-peer file sharing users who do not employ blocklists can be tracked by media companies or their agents.

Here's an excerpt from the paper:

A naive user is practically guaranteed to be tracked: we observe that 100% of our peers run into blocklisted users. In fact, 12% to 17% of all distinct IPs contacted by a peer are blocklisted ranges. Interestingly, a little caution can have significant effect: the top five most prevalent blocklisted IPs contribute to nearly 94% of all blocklisted IPs we ran into. Using this information users can reduce their chances of being tracked to just about 1%.

Source: Anderson, Nate. "P2P Researchers: Use a Blocklist or You Will Be Tracked. . . 100% of the Time." Ars Technica, 10 October 2007.

Evergreen 1.2.0 Released

Version 1.2.0 of the open-source Evergreen ILS software has been released.

Here's an excerpt from the Frequently Asked Questions:

From a library perspective, what does Evergreen do? What modules or components are available?

Evergreen currently has modules for circulation, cataloging, web catalog, and statistical reporting. Evergreen also supports the SIP2 protocol for self-check and Internet/computer access control.

What does it not do?

Evergreen's Acquisitions and Serials modules are currently under joint development with the University of Windsor. Other features on our roadmap include a Z39.50 server, and telephony and credit card support.

The Lowdown on the MITH/Rice University Our Americas Archive Project

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities has posted a description of its IMLS-funded Our Americas Archive Project.

Here's an excerpt:

Rice University, in partnership with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland has received a three-year National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the amount of $979,578 for the Our Americas Archive Project (OAAP), with an additional $980,613 provided in cost share by the institutions. The project will develop an innovative approach to helping users search, browse, analyze, and share content from distributed online collections. OAAP will incorporate recent Web 2.0 technologies to help users discover and use relevant source materials in languages other than English and will improve users’ ability to find relevant materials using domain-specific vocabulary searches. Two online collections of materials in English and Spanish, The Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA), and a new digital archive of materials to be developed at Rice, will provide an initial corpus for testing the tools. Rice principle investigators, Geneva Henry (Executive Director, Digital Library Initiative) and Caroline Levander (HRC Director), along with MITH co-PI Neil Fraistat are undertaking this innovative digital humanities project with a view to supporting scholarly inquiry into the Americas from a hemispheric perspective. As Geneva Henry says, “our goal is to develop new ways of doing research as well as new objects of study—to create a new, interactive community of scholarly inquiry.”

Two significant online collections of materials in English and Spanish supporting the interdisciplinary field of hemispheric American Studies—Maryland’s Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA) [] and a new digital archive of multilingual materials being developed at Rice []—provide an initial corpus for developing and testing these new digital tools. The two multilingual archives illustrate the complex politics and histories that characterize the American hemisphere, but they also provide unique opportunities to further digital research in the humanities. Geographic visualization as well as new social tagging and tag cloud cluster models are just some of the new interface techniques that the Our Americas Archive Partnership will develop with the goal of creating innovative research pathways. As Caroline Levander comments, “we see this as a first step in furthering scholarly dialogue and research across borders by making hemispheric material available open access worldwide. Our goal is to further develop innovative research tools that will help generate a collaborative, transnational research community.” Ralph Bauer, MITH Fellow, general editor of the Early Americas Digital Archive, and collaborator on the project adds, “the added digital materials and tools to navigate seamlessly through these two collections is enabling new forms of scholarship. Because the OAAP makes available materials that are dispersed in different geographic locations, it facilitates collaboration and intellectual exchange among an international audience. The digital medium offers rich opportunities for multicultural exchanges and is therefore uniquely suited for a hemispheric approach to history.”

Boyle on 7 Ways to Ruin a Technological Revolution

Goggle has released a digital video of noted copyright expert James Boyle’s talk on "7 Ways To Ruin A Technological Revolution."

Here's an excerpt from the abstract:

If you wanted to undermine the technological revolution of the last 30 years, using the law, how would you do it? How would you undercut the virtuous cycle that results from access to an open network, force technological innovation into stagnation, diminish competition, create monopolies over the basic building blocks of knowledge?

The Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas Appeal and Further Reactions to the Verdict

Jammie Thomas will appeal the Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas verdict. More on this and further reactions to the case in the articles and posts below:

EDUCAUSE Urgent Call to Action on McKeon-Keller Bill’s File Sharing Provisions

You might recall that back in July, EDUCAUSE issued an urgent call to action about a file sharing amendment that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid intended to make to the Higher Education Reauthorization Act.

It's déjà vu all over again. Virtually the same proposal has been incorporated into Rep. Howard P. McKeon and Rep. Ric Keller's College Access and Opportunity Act of 2007, and EDUCAUSE has again issued an urgent call to action. Get the details at EDUCAUSE's P2P or File Sharing page.

Also read "A Controversial Antipiracy Measure Re-emerges." Here's an excerpt:

Like Mr. Reid’s amendment, the House proposal calls on the U.S. secretary of education to identify the 25 institutions that received the most notices identifying cases of copyright infringement of both music and movies. The colleges appearing on those lists would then be required to devise “a plan for implementing a technology-based deterrent” to illegal file swapping.

Source: Read, Brock. "A Controversial Antipiracy Measure Re-emerges." The Wired Campus, 8 October 2007.

Yet Another Music Copyright Lawsuit: Turn Off Those Staff Radios in the UK!

Kwik-Fit, a UK car repair company, has been sued by the Performing Rights Society over staff use of radios.

Here's an excerpt from "Kwik-Fit Sued over Staff Radios":

The PRS claimed that Kwik-Fit mechanics routinely use personal radios while working at service centres across the UK and that music, protected by copyright, could be heard by colleagues and customers.

It is maintained that amounts to the "playing" or "performance" of the music in public and renders the firm guilty of infringing copyright.

Source: "Kwik-Fit Sued over Staff Radios." BBC News, 5 October 2007.

DLF and if:book Ponder Mass Digitization Issues

The Digital Library Federation and if:book are seeking comments on a series of questions about mass digitization issues that they will raise in invited brainstorming sessions as part of a project they are calling "The Really Modern Library."

Here's a suggestion: use CommentPress or a wiki to further refine ideas as the project evolves.

Source: Vershbow, Ben. "The Really Modern Library." if:book, 8 October 2007.

The Amazon MP3 Music Service: No DRM; but Read the Terms of Use Agreement

MP3 files in the Amazon MP3 Music Service are free from DRM restrictions; however, the Amazon MP3 Music Service: Terms of Use agreement imposes legal restrictions that customers should be aware of and compare to their rights under the first sale doctrine with a CD purchase.

In section 2.1, it states:

Upon your payment of our fees for Digital Content, we grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use the Digital Content for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use, subject to and in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. You may copy, store, transfer and burn the Digital Content only for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use.

In section 2.2, it states (excerpt; italics added):

Except as set forth in Section 2.1 above, you agree that you will not redistribute, transmit, assign, sell, broadcast, rent, share, lend, modify, adapt, edit, sub-license or otherwise transfer or use the Digital Content. You are not granted any synchronization, public performance, promotional use, commercial sale, resale, reproduction or distribution rights for the Digital Content.

Source: Dudley, Brier. "Unlocked Music Isn't Unlimited." The Seattle Times, 8 October 2007.

More Reactions to the Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas Verdict

Here are some more reactions to the Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas verdict.