American Council on Education and the MPAA Spar over College Opportunity and Affordability Act

The American Council on Education has sent a letter to Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Michael B. Enzi regarding copyright infringement provisions in the College Opportunity and Affordability Act.

In it, the ACE states:

Recent investigations and reports to the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities concluded that legitimate online alternatives and technologies designed to deter illegal file sharing are largely ineffective. A widely distributed 2005 study commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) indicated that 44 percent of its domestic losses due to illegal file sharing were attributable to college students. However, MPAA revealed in January that a re-examination of those data determined that the estimated loss due to college students was in fact 15 percent, not 44 percent. Moreover, since only 20 percent of college students nationwide reside on campus, only 3 percent of MPAA losses can be attributed to college students using campus networks.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has responded with its own letter, refuting the ACE letter. It states:

One filtering product is now deployed at approximately 70 colleges and universities across the country, and it has demonstrated the ability to impede illegal P2P activity on a number of campus networks.

Further, the letter claims that one university has had significant cost savings as a result of filtering.

Meanwhile, an MPAA study revealed that the movie industry experienced record-breaking profits in 2007, casting some doubt on how significant the piracy threat really is.

Read more about it at "Entertainment Industry Urges Congress to Get Tough with Colleges on File-Sharing," "Hollywood's Record Year Shows MPAA's Piracy Folly," and "MPAA to Congress: Filtering Is in Colleges' Best Interests."

Trade Dispute: Antigua Says It May Allow Violations of Copyright Agreements with the U.S.

As a result of a trade dispute over Internet gambling, Antigua may allow violations of copyright agreements with the U.S. by the end of the month. In 2007, the WTO awarded Antigua $21 million from the U.S. (it had wanted $3.4 billion) and backed it to collect those damages via copyright violations if the Internet gambling issue could not be resolved.

Read more about it at "Antigua Says It's Going to Start Ignoring US Copyrights (For Real This Time)" and "Antigua Threatens to Allow Piracy."

ARL Statistics 2005-06 PDF Published

The Association of Research Libraries has published a freely available PDF version of the ARL Statistics 2005-06.

The "Monograph and Serial Expenditures in ARL Libraries, 1986-2006" graph on page 13 shows that serial expenditures continue their sharp upward climb: there has been a 321% 1986-2006 increase. Serial unit cost, which peaked in 2000, has begun to climb again after a multi-year drop to a 180% increase. Monograph expenditures dropped slightly to a 82% increase, while monograph unit cost rose to a 78% increase.

Vertov Plug-in Brings Digital Audio/Video Annotation to Zotero

Concordia University’s Digital History Lab has released Vertov, an open-source Zotero plug-in that allows users to create clips from digital audio or video files, annotate them, and include the annotations in Zotero.

Read more about it at "Vertov: A Media Annotating Plugin for Zotero" and "Vertov Brings Video Annotation to Zotero."

Preserving Mixed Analog/Digital AV Archives: PrestoSpace Project Case Study

The Digital Curation Centre has published DCC Case Study—PrestoSpace: Preservation towards Storage and Access. Standardised Practices for Audiovisual Contents in Europe.

Here's the "Executive Summary":

Explicit strategies are needed to manage 'mixed' audio visual (AV) archives that contain both analogue and digital materials. The PrestoSpace Project brings together industry leaders, research institutes, and other stakeholders at a European level, to provide products and services for effective automated preservation and access solutions for diverse AV collections. The Project’s main objective is to develop and promote flexible, integrated and affordable services for AV preservation, restoration, and storage with a view to enabling migration to digital formats in AV archives.

Alternative File Formats for Storing Master Images of Digitisation Projects

Koninklijke Bibliotheek has published Alternative File Formats for Storing Master Images of Digitisation Projects.

Here's an excerpt from the "Management Summary":

The main conclusions of this study are as follows:

Reason 1: Substitution

JPEG 2000 lossless and PNG are the best alternatives for the uncompressed TIFF file format from the perspective of long-term sustainability. When the storage savings (PNG 40%, JPEG 2000 lossless 53%) and the functionality are factored in, the scale tips in favour of JPEG 2000 lossless.

Reason 2: Redigitisation Is Not Desirable

JPEG 2000 and JPEG are the best alternatives for the uncompressed TIFF file format. If no image information may be lost, then JPEG 2000 lossless and PNG are the two recommended options.

Reason 3: Master File is the Access File

JPEG 2000 lossy and JPEG with greater compression are the most suitable formats.

Berman May Introduce Orphan Works Legislation

Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, may introduce legislation about orphan works in the next few months. Berman held a Subcommittee hearing about orphan works on March 13th to gather further information. One outcome of that hearing was the need to pay special attention to the problem that photographs and other visual works may not have information that identifies copyright owners.

Read more about it at "Hearing on Promoting the Use of Orphan Works: Balancing the Interests of Copyright Owners and Users," Library Copyright Alliance statement, and "Orphan Works Are Back on Congress’s Radar Screen."

Purdue Faculty Affairs Committee Endorses Addendum to Publication Agreements for CIC Authors

The Purdue Faculty Affairs Committee has endorsed the Committee on Institutional Cooperation's Addendum to Publication Agreements for CIC Authors.

Here's an excerpt from the Addendum:

  1. The Author shall, without limitation, have the non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, distribute, and create derivative works including update, perform, and display publicly, the Article in electronic, digital or print form in connection with the Author’s teaching, conference presentations, lectures, other scholarly works, and for all of Author’s academic and professional activities.
  2. After a period of six (6) months from the date of publication of the article, the Author shall also have all the non-exclusive rights necessary to make, or to authorize others to make, the final published version of the Article available in digital form over the Internet, including but not limited to a website under the control of the Author or the Author’s employer or through digital repositories including, but not limited to, those maintained by CIC institutions, scholarly societies or funding agencies.
  3. The Author further retains all non-exclusive rights necessary to grant to the Author’s employing institution the non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, distribute, display, publicly perform, and make copies of the work in electronic, digital or in print form in connection with teaching, conference presentations, lectures, other scholarly works, and all academic and professional activities conducted at the Author’s employing institution.

Read more about it at "Purdue University Senate Passes CIC Author's Copyright Contract Addendum."

Italian Agency Says Tracking File Sharing Activity without Permission Violates Privacy Rights

The Italian agency in charge of protecting personal data has ruled that Logistep violated the privacy rights of Italian file sharers by tracking their activity and ordered that these tracking records be destroyed. Previously, the Swiss data protection commissioner made a similar ruling against Logistep.

Read more about it at "Anti-Piracy Company Breaches Privacy, Ordered to Shut Down"; "Anti-Piracy Company Illegally Spied on P2P Users"; and "Italian File-Sharers Let Off The Hook."

Presentations from the Open Access Collections Workshop Now Available

Presentations from the Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories' Open Access Collections workshop are now available. Presentations are in HTML/PDF, MP3, and digital video formats. The workshop was held in association with the Queensland University Libraries Office of Cooperation and the University of Queensland Library.

Verizon Wants to Improve Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Performance with P4P

As other ISPs try to reduce and shape P2P traffic, Verizon has taken a different tack: investigating how to improve throughput with the new Proactive network Provider Participation for P2P (P4P) protocol. In tests with file sharing company Pando, use of P4P boosted performance between 200 and 600 percent.

Read more about it at: "Goodbye, P2P! P4P is Coming" "Verizon Embraces P4P, a More Efficient Peer-to-Peer Tech" and "With Eyes Open, Verizon Peers into the Future."

Peggy Hoon Wins 2008 L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award

Peggy Hoon, Special Assistant to the Provost for Copyright Administration at North Carolina State University, has won the 2008 L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Peggy Hoon is the 2008 recipient of the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award: In Support of Users’ Rights, which was established to recognize the contributions of an individual who pursues and supports the Constitutional purpose of U.S. copyright law, fair use, and the public domain.

Ms. Hoon currently serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for Copyright Administration at North Carolina State University. In that role, Ms. Hoon helps shape the university’s policies and regulations with regard to copyright, and she has shared that knowledge with countless other libraries and universities, through a busy speaking schedule and strong presence on the Internet.

Ms. Hoon has also prepared position statements on several pieces of federal legislation, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act. Further, numerous public interest groups that fought the Federal Communications Commission’s broadcast flag rule are beneficiaries of Ms. Hoon’s statement to the court. Her affidavit challenging the rule established standing for the petitioners (including ALA), which allowed the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals to review the case on its own merit and ultimately rule against the broadcast flag.

Iowa Provost Issues Statement about Open Access MFA Theses Dust-Up

MFA students at the University of Iowa have been upset about a requirement that would make their theses available as open access documents either immediately or in two years (if they ask for an extension). A number of student blog postings have protested this requirement. Part of the problem is that MFA theses can be creative works (or other types of works, such as nonfiction works) that may have commercial potential. Peter Suber has analyzed the situation in his "Controversy over OA for Fine Arts Theses and Dissertations" posting.

The Interim Provost, Lola Lopes, has now issued a statement about the conflict.

Here's an excerpt from that statement:

For some time now our library, like most major academic research libraries, has been exploring ways to make its collections more accessible by digitizing some materials. As part of that process, there has been discussion about the possibility of making graduate student dissertations and theses available in electronic format. But any such process must be preceded by developing policies and procedures that allow authors to decide whether and when to allow distribution.

On Monday, March 17, I will begin pulling together a working group with representatives from the Graduate College, University Libraries, our several writing programs, and all other constituencies who wish to be part of the process. Under the leadership of Carl Seashore in 1922, Iowa became the first university in the United States to award MFA degrees based on creative projects. Although this has been a rocky start, I like to think that Iowa will again lead the way by developing policies and procedures that safeguard intellectual property rights while preserving materials for the use of scholars in generations to come.

Read more about it at "Iowa's 'Open Access' Policy Is Nothing but a Trojan Horse"; "Students, UI Grapple over Online Publishing"; "Thesis Policy Sparks Uproar"; "U. of Iowa Writing Students Revolt Against a Plan They Say Would Give Away Their Work on the Web"; and "Writing Students Want UI Not to Give Away Their Work."

Planets Project Releases White Paper: Representation Information Registries

The Planets (Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services) project has released White Paper: Representation Information Registries.

Here's the "Executive Summary":

This document is a report on the state-of-the-art in the field of Representation Information Registries (RIRs). RIRs are widely recognised as a critical component of digital preservation architecture in general, and a number of such registries are being developed as part of the Planets architecture in particular. This document discusses the development of the concept of representation information, and of the use of registries as a means of exposing that information for use by digital preservation services; it describes the RIR implementations which currently exist or are under development globally; it assesses planned and potential future developments in this area; it discusses the role which RIRs play within the Planets project, and concludes with recommendations for future areas of research within Planets and beyond.

2008 Library Journal Movers and Shakers Awards Announced

Library Journal has published its 2008 Movers & Shakers awards (see the March 15th issue table of contents).

It has also released a complete list of all Movers & Shakers award winners by state.

Special congratulations to current and former Texas winners (institutional affiliation listed at the time of the award):

Four Japanese ISP Organizations Say They Will Terminate Service to Illegal File Sharers

Four Japanese ISP organizations, representing around 1,000 ISPs, have said that they will terminate service to customers who use Winny and other file-sharing software to illegally download copyrighted material if they fail to heed warning e-mails from ISPs that are based on violation information provided by copyright holders.

Read more about it at "ISPs in Japan Agree with Copyright Owners to Ban Persistant File Sharing," "Rising Sun Sets on Illegal Downloaders," and "Winny Copiers to Be Cut Off from Internet."

Random House Group Executive Gail Rebuck on Publishing Books in a Digital Age

Gail Rebuck, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Random House Group, recently delivered the Stationers' Company Annual Lecture on "New Chapter or Last Page? Publishing Books in a Digital Age." Among other topics in this interesting, wide-ranging presentation, she discussed publishers' digital copyright concerns and Google Book Search, including saying:

Piracy threatens to erode the copyright protection that is the cornerstone of our creative industries and their successful exports. Vigilant policing and joined-up legislation across all countries is essential. Education is vital, too, to show that these crimes are in no sense 'victimless,' however harmless they may seem. Indifference to copyright protection and copyright worth will prove highly destructive. . . .

For texts held in the public domain the project [Google Book Search], seems entirely laudable, even exciting, since it brings an inconceivably rich library to anyone's desktop. But Google's initial willingness to capture copyrighted works without first asking permission was, to say the least, surprising. . . .

Google’s attitude towards copyright is merely a corporate expression of the individualist, counter-cultural attitudes of many of the Internet pioneers. As Stewart Brand, author of The Whole Earth Catalog once declared, 'information wants to be free.'

Swedish Ministers Say That ISPs Should Be Forced to Reveal Illegal File Sharers Identities

In an opinion article in Svenska Dagbladet, Swedish Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask and Minister of Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth have said that they will propose a law that requires ISPs to reveal the identity of illegal file sharers to copyright holders after they provide evidence that infringement has occurred.

Read more about it at "Sweden to Clamp Down on File Sharing" and "Sweden to Get Tough on File-Sharers."

Open Access Advocate Jan Velterop on Leaving Springer

Jan Velterop has posted "Onwards from Open Access" on his Weblog The Parachute in which he discusses his decision to leave his position Director of Open Access at Springer to join Knewco.

Here's an excerpt from the posting:

As many of my readers will already know, I have recently decided to leave my position of Director of Open Access at Springer for that of CEO of Knewco Inc. Several reactions that I have since received indicate to me that my move is not necessarily understood by everyone, and I've even seen speculations that my leaving open access might mean that it is not going anywhere at Springer.

Let me say the following to that. First of all, OA has developed some very solid roots within Springer and I am most confident that OA is being further developed with alacrity by my successors at Springer.

Secondly, I don’t feel that I am leaving open access. Open access is not some club that one is a member of or not; it is a 'thought form' that one adheres to. And open access is only one of the ways in which the speed, efficiency and quality of scientific discovery can be enhanced. . . .

If the underlying motive is, however, to get the most out of the scientific knowledge that has been gathered, which it is in my case, then moving on from open access to the semantic web—the concept web, if you wish—feels, at least to me, an entirely logical step. . . . We are in a situation of overwhelming—and growing—abundance of scientific information, and methods that deal with that abundance are clearly needed. This is what Knewco people are working on, and I am very excited to join them.

NDIIPP's Carl Fleischhauer on Video Formatting and Preservation

The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress has released Carl Fleischhauer's presentation on "Video Formatting and Preservation" at the Digital Library Federation 2007 Fall Forum.

Here's an excerpt about the presentation from the March 2008 issue of the Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter:

Fleischhauer discussed content wrappers, bitstream encodings, metadata and format profiles for born-digital content. He also spoke about emerging reformatting practices at the Library’s new facility for audiovisual collections and a handful of notable NDIIPP projects.

Google Book Search Book Viewability API Released

Google has released the Google Book Search Book Viewability API.

Here's an excerpt from the API home page:

The Google Book Search Book Viewability API enables developers to:

  • Link to Books in Google Book Search using ISBNs, LCCNs, and OCLC numbers
  • Know whether Google Book Search has a specific title and what the viewability of that title is
  • Generate links to a thumbnail of the cover of a book
  • Generate links to an informational page about a book
  • Generate links to a preview of a book

Read more about it at "Book Info Where You Need It, When You Need It."

Music Industry Consultant Says It's Time for an ISP File Sharing Surcharge

Jim Griffin, Managing Director of OneHouse LLC, has suggested that ISP users should pay a small monthly surcharge to compensate music companies and performers for lost revenues from file sharing. This public proposal by a music industry consultant suggests that there may have been a shift in the industry's thinking since the EFF released "A Better Way Forward: Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing" in 2004, which suggested a similar plan that was dismissed by the industry.

Read more about it "$5 a Month for Legal P2P Could Happen Sooner Than You Think" and "Music Industry Proposes a Piracy Surcharge on ISPs."

France's Answer to Mass Digitization Projects: Gallica 2 to Go Live after Paris Book Fair

France's Gallica 2 digital book project will go live after the Paris Book Fair, which ends on March 19th. Initially, it will contain 62,000 digital works, mostly from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Publishers will have the option to charge various kinds of access fees.

Read more about it at "France Launches Google Books Rival."