Copyright Alert: House Passes Higher Education Opportunity Act

The House passed the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which includes provisions that require higher education institutions to take steps to curb illegal file sharing.

On July 30, 2008, EDUCAUSE issued a letter about the revised copyright provisions of the bill.

Here's an excerpt from that letter:

Section 493 (also below) is the result of much tug-and-pull over the last few months. In the end, it will require every college and university to certify that it "(A) has developed plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including through the use of a variety of technology-based deterrents; and (B) will, to the extent practicable, offer alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property, as determined by the institution in consultation with the chief technology officer or other designated officer of the institution."

The language of (A) represents a weaker requirement on colleges than had been discussed in some previous proposals. In particular, the Report language makes clear (see below) that technological deterrents "include bandwidth shaping, traffic monitoring to identify the largest bandwidth users, a vigorous program of accepting and responding to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices, and a variety of commercial products designed to reduce or block illegal file sharing." Further, the Report states that the bill is to be considered technology neutral. It should be up to the institution to determine its policy and corresponding technology, which can include policies that prohibit the monitoring of content.

The language of (B) is stronger than in the previous version, in that it requires that institutions certify that they "will . . . offer alternatives" instead of simply requiring plans for them. There is considerable flexibility, however, in that the institutions must interpret the "to the extent practicable" qualifier in the context of their own situation. Moreover, access to legal alternative services may be accomplished in a growing number of ways, including institutionally provided on-campus services, providing links to a variety of commercial services, and other procedures, as indicated in the Report language. "The Conferees recognize that there is a broad range of possibilities that exist for institutions to consider in developing plans for purposes of complying with this Section."

Read more about it at "Congress Tackles the Higher Ed Act" and "EDUCAUSE Comments on the File Sharing Provisions in the HEA."

Major Upgrade: Fedora 3.0 Released

Fedora Commons has released version 3.0 Fedora, which "completes all general release features."

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Dan Davis, Chief Software Architect, Fedora Commons, explained, "We are pleased to offer a Fedora 3.0 that is a foundational step towards a model-driven content architecture." He went on to say, "Users will find it simpler to maintain and operate their repositories with version 3.0-it's more scalable and fits better into the Web."

Fedora 3.0 features the Content Model Architecture (CMA), an integrated structure for persisting and delivering the essential characteristics of digital objects in Fedora. The software is available at http://www.fedora-commons.org/ and at http://sourceforge.net/projects/fedora-commons. The Fedora CMA plays a central role in the Fedora architecture, in many ways forms the over-arching conceptual framework for future development of Fedora Repositories. Fedora 3.0 features include:

Overview of new Features in Fedora 3.0 Release

  • Content Model Architecture—Provides a model-driven approach for persisting and delivering the essential characteristics of digital content in Fedora
  • Fedora REST API—A new API that exposes a subset of the Access and Management API using a RESTful Web interface contributed by MediaShelf
  • Mulgara Support—Fedora supports the Mulgara 2.0 Semantic Triplestore replacing Kowari
  • Migration Utility—Provides an update utility to convert existing collections for Content Model Architecture compatibility
  • Relational Index Simplification—The Fedora schema was simplified making changes easier without having to reload the database and significantly increasing scalability
  • Dynamic Behaviors—Objects may be added or removed dynamically from the system moving system checks into run-time errors
  • Error Reporting—Provides improved run-time error details
  • Multiple Owner as a CSV String—Enables using a CSV string as ownerID and in XACML policies
  • Java 6 Compatibility—Fedora may be optionally compiled using Java 6 while retaining support for Java Enterprise Edition 1.5 deployments
  • Relationships API—API-M has been extended to enable adding, removing, and discovering RDF relations between Fedora objects
  • Revised Fedora Object XML Schemas—The new schemas are simpler, supporting the CMA and removing Disseminators
  • Atom Support—Fedora objects can now be imported and exported in the Atom format
  • Messaging Support—Integrates JMS messaging for sending notification of important events
  • Validation Framework—Provides system operators a way to validate all or part of their repository, based on content models
  • 3.0-Compatible Service Releases—New versions of the OAI Provider and GSearch services are compatible with Fedora 3.0. The GSearch release also enables messaging support for GSearch, which allows for more robust and seamless integration with the Fedora repository.
  • Many new enhancements—see the Release Notes:
    http://www.fedora-commons.org/documentation/3.0b2/
    userdocs/distribution/release-notes.html
    .

ARL Revamps Scholarly Communication Resources Web Site

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has revamped its FAIR (Freely Available Institute Resources) Web site.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has updated and reconfigured the FAIR (Freely Available Institute Resources) Web site, where faculty and alumni of the ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication share outreach and program development tools with the broader community.

FAIR is a component of the Institute on Scholarly Communication, a joint program of ARL and ACRL that promotes the development of library-led outreach on scholarly communication issues. Hundreds of institute alumni form a community that provides peer support and professional sharing of information relating to campus outreach. FAIR’s reconfiguration is part of a larger reorganization and expansion of ARL’s Web pages on scholarly communication.

FAIR currently offers four resource collections:

  • outreach to faculty;
  • program planning and development tools;
  • staff development tools; and
  • a collection of position descriptions with scholarly communication components.

With FAIR’s reconfiguration, the collection of sample position descriptions has been significantly expanded with recent contributions from a range of academic institutions. Position titles range from Copyright Librarian to Digital Repository Coordinator in addition to many titles explicitly including the phrase "scholarly communication."

New CONTENTdm Add-on: OCLC Web Harvester

OCLC has announced the availability of Web Harvester, which allows CONTENTdm sites to import Web content into their systems.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

OCLC's Web Harvester evolved from collaboration with several state libraries, state archives and universities over a period of seven years. Participants emphasized the increasing importance of collecting and managing Web-based content as information resources move online yet remain within libraries' and archives' collection scopes.

The Web Harvester is integrated into library workflows, allowing library staff to capture content as part of the cataloging process. The captured content is then sent to the organization's digital collections where it can be managed with other CONTENTdm digital content. . . .

The Web Harvester is accessed via the Connexion client, OCLC's powerful cataloging service, and captures content ranging from single, Web-based documents to entire Web sites. Once retrieved, users can review the captured Web content and add it to a collection managed by OCLC's CONTENTdm software, a complete solution for storing, managing and delivering a library's digital collections to the Web. Once in CONTENTdm, then Web content can be accessed and managed in conjunction with other digital collections. Harvested items are discoverable from WorldCat.org, WorldCat Local and the CONTENTdm Web interface.

For additional security, master files of the captured content also can be ingested to the OCLC Digital Archive, the service for long-term storage of originals and master files from libraries' digital collections.

OpenDOAR/Google Maps Mashup

OpenDOAR is mapping repository data using Google Maps.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

SHERPA is pleased to announce the addition of a Google Maps extension to OpenDOAR, its directory of open access repositories (http://www.opendoar.org/find). Just run any search of the directory, and then change the output format from "Summaries" to "Google Map".

Here are a few examples:

1. http://www.opendoar.org/find?format=gmap&cID=jp
—Repositories in Japan . . .

3. http://www.opendoar.org/find?format=gmap&cID=us&ctID=6
—United States repositories holding theses & dissertations

4. http://www.opendoar.org/find?format=gmap&search=Nottingham
—Keyword search for "Nottingham"

5. http://www.opendoar.org/find?format=gmap&rSoftWareName=
CONTENTdm

—Repositories using CONTENTdm software

DSpace Foundation and Fedora Commons Announce Decision to Collaborate

The DSpace Foundation and Fedora Commons have announced that they will collaborate on future digital repository initiatives.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Today two of the largest providers of open source software for managing and providing access to digital content, the DSpace Foundation and Fedora Commons, announced plans to combine strengths to work on joint initiatives that will more closely align their organizations' goals and better serve both open source repository communities in the coming months. . . .

The collaboration is expected to benefit over 500 organizations from around the world who are currently using either DSpace (examples include MIT, Rice University, Texas Digital Library and University of Toronto) or Fedora (examples include the National Library of France, New York Public Library, Encyclopedia of Chicago and eSciDoc) open source software to create repositories for a wide variety of purposes. . . .

The decision to collaborate came out of meetings held this spring where members of DSpace and Fedora Commons communities discussed multiple dimensions of cooperation and collaboration between the two organizations. Ideas included leveraging the power and reach of open source knowledge communities by using the same services and standards in the future. The organizations will also explore opportunities to provide new capabilities for accessing and preserving digital content, developing common web services, and enabling interoperability across repositories.

In the spirit of advancing open source software, Fedora Commons and DSpace will look at ways to leverage and incubate ideas, community and culture to:

  1. Provide the best technology and services to open source repository framework communities.
  2. Evaluate and synchronize, where possible, both organizations' technology roadmaps to enable convergence and interoperability of key architectural components.
  3. Demonstrate how the DSpace and Fedora open source repository frameworks offer a unique value proposition compared to proprietary solutions.

The announcement came on the heels of an event sponsored by the Joint Information Systems Committee's (JISC) Common Repository Interface Group (CRIG) held at the Library of Congress. The event, known as "RepoCamp," was a forum where developers gathered to discuss innovative approaches to improving interoperability and web-orientation for digital repositories. Sandy Payette, Executive Director of Fedora Commons, and Michele Kimpton, Executive Director of the DSpace Foundation, reiterated their commitment to collaboration and encouraged input and participation from both communities as work gets underway.

Oxford Releases Report on Digital Repository Services for Research Data Management

The Oxford University Office of the Director of IT has released Findings of the Scoping Study Interviews and the Research Data Management Workshop: Scoping Digital Repository Services for Research Data Management.

Here's an excerpt from the report's Web page:

The scoping study interviews aimed to document data management practices from Oxford researchers as well as to capture their requirements for services to help them manage their data more effectively. In order to do this, 37 face-to-face interviews were conducted between May and June with researchers from 27 colleges, departments and faculties. In addition to this, the Research Data Management Workshop was organised to complement the findings of the scoping study interviews.

APSR Releases Investigating Data Management Practices in Australian Universities

The Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories has released Investigating Data Management Practices in Australian Universities.

Here an excerpt from the report's Web page:

In late 2007, The University of Queensland undertook a survey of data management practices among the university’s researchers. This was done in response to the increasing realisation that repositories need to include research data, in addition to the research outputs in print form already included, and to provide information which would enhance the support provided for those engaged in eResearch.

The survey was carried out using the Apollo software developed at The Australian National University and adapted by APSR. Two other universities, The University of Melbourne and the Queensland University of Technology, have now replicated the survey among their own communities, while adding some questions of local interest.

The survey covers questions such as the types of digital data being created (spreadsheets, documents, experimental data, images, fieldwork data, etc), the size of the data collection, software used for data analysis, data storage and backup, application of a data management plan, roles and responsibilities around data management, copyright frameworks, usage of high capacity computing, and much more.

Mellon Foundation's 2007 Scholarly Publishing Initiatives

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has released its 2007 annual report, and the "Scholarly Publishing Initiatives" section by Donald J. Waters and Joseph S. Meisel is of particular interest. The complete report is available as a PDF file.

Read more about it at "Mellon Foundation Assesses the State of Scholarly Publishing" (Chronicle of Higher Education subscribers only).

Microsoft’s Free Digital Tools for Scholars

At the ninth annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s External Research Division, discussed a variety of digital tools for scholars.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Add-ins. The Article Authoring Add-in for Word 2007 enables metadata to be captured at the authoring stage to preserve document structure and semantic information throughout the publishing process, which is essential for enabling search, discovery and analysis in subsequent stages of the life cycle. The Creative Commons Add-in for Office 2007 allows authors to embed Creative Commons licenses directly into an Office document (Word, Excel or PowerPoint) by linking to the Creative Commons site via a Web service.

The Microsoft e-Journal Service. This offering provides a hosted, full-service solution that facilitates easy self-publishing of online-only journals to facilitate the availability of conference proceedings and small and medium-sized journals.

Research Output Repository Platform. This platform helps capture and leverage semantic relationships among academic objects—such as papers, lectures, presentations and video—to greatly facilitate access to these items in exciting new ways.

The Research Information Centre. In close partnership with the British Library, this collaborative workspace will be hosted via Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and will allow researchers to collaborate throughout the entire research project workflow, from seeking research funding to searching and collecting information, as well as managing data, papers and other research objects throughout the research process.

Here's a list that indicates availability.

  • Article Authoring Add-in version 1.0 for Microsoft Office Word 2007 (download)
  • Creative Commons Add-in version 1.0 for Microsoft Office (download)
  • Microsoft Math Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007 (download)
  • Microsoft eJournal Service (alpha preview)
  • Research Output Repository Platform ("Currently in a limited alpha release, an open beta version will be available later in 2008.")
  • Research Information Centre ("This service is currently in beta testing. Microsoft intends to share the code widely by the end of the year.")

Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008

The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008 (S.3325) has been introduced in the Senate by Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).

Here's an excerpt from Public Knowledge's statement about the bill:

The provisions allowing seizure of equipment may be harmful to consumers. Seizing expensive manufacturing equipment used for large-scale infringement from a commercial pirate may be appropriate. Seizing a family's general-purpose computer in a download case, as this bill would allow, is not appropriate. This bill goes even farther, expanding the penalties under the flawed Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to create new grounds for allowing a family's computer to be seized if used to circumvent digital rights management, even if for fair uses.

In addition, this bill would turn the Justice Department into an arm of the legal departments of the entertainment companies by authorizing DoJ to file civil lawsuits for infringement, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.

E Ink to Hit the Newsstand: Esquire Will Use It for Magazine Cover

The October issue of Esquire will have an E Ink cover powered by a small battery.

Here's an excerpt from the press release.

Esquire, one of America’s iconic magazines, is turning 75 this year. As part of the celebration of this milestone, the October issue will be the first magazine ever to embed a revolutionary digital technology—electronic paper—into a mass-produced print product.

In partnership with the all-new Ford Flex Crossover and in collaboration with E Ink Corporation, the world's leading supplier of electronic paper display (EPD) technologies, Esquire’s groundbreaking cover will make a profound statement about how the print medium can expand its capabilities while continuing to exploit its own unique strengths. Ford will prominently feature its highly-anticipated Ford Flex on the inside cover, utilizing the same E Ink VizplexTM flexible display technology, in a double-page advertisement.

"This cover is both a breakthrough for magazines and an expression of the theme of our anniversary issue," said David Granger, editor-in-chief, Esquire. "We’ve spent 16 months making this happen as one of the ways we’re demonstrating that the 21st century begins this fall. The entire issue is devoted to exploring the ideas, people and issues that will be the foundation of the 21st century. . . ."

Esquire will distribute 100,000 issues with the special cover on newsstands. They will be available at Borders, Barnes & Noble and select newsstand vendors.

Read more about it at "News Flash From the Cover of Esquire: Paper Magazines Can Be High Tech, Too."

E-Book Reader Upgrade: New Sony Reader PRS-505 Firmware for Better PDF Reading, Using DRM-Protected PDFs, and ePub Format Support

Sony has released a firmware upgrade that will allow its Sony Reader PRS-505 to "reflow" PDFs, access PDFs with DRM protection, and use the ePub format. Next month, new PRS-505 models will ship with these capabilities.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Sony today announced that its Reader Digital Book will be the first eBook reading device to support the EPUB format, the International Digital Publishing Forum’s XML-based standard format for reflowable digital books and publications.

Starting next month, new Readers model PRS-505, will be able to access and accept secure and non-secure ebooks in the EPUB format. EPUB has gained acceptance among major trade book publishers, many of whom have committed to begin publishing forthcoming ebooks in the format.

Additionally, the device will support Adobe eBooks with digital rights management and have the capability to reflow standard text-based Portable Document Format (PDF) eBooks for improved flexibility and readability. These enhancements are now made possible with the support of Adobe Digital Editions 1.5 software, which is available as a free download at www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions.

"The Reader is an open device and we will continue to explore formats that will provide the widest variety of content for Reader users," said Steve Haber, senior vice president of consumer product marketing for Sony Electronics. "This upgrade opens the door to a whole host of paid and free content from third-party eBook stores, web sites and even public libraries."

Reader users can transfer these documents to their devices using Adobe Digital Editions software, or via the updated Sony eBook Library software that comes packaged with new Readers. Current owners of the PRS-505 model can upgrade their units now from the Sony support site:http://esupport.sony.com. . . .

PRS-505 model Readers will continue to support BBeB formatted eBooks offered at the Sony eBook Store. Therefore, users can retain and grow their current collections of eBooks without having to reformat or repurchase them. All files are conveniently managed by the eBook Library software.

NIH Mandate Works: Article Deposits in PubMed Central Dramatically Increase

Library Journal Academic Newswire reports that article deposits in PubMed Central have dramatically increased (e.g., 2,593 deposits in May 2008 vs. 948 in May 2007) as a result the NIH mandate, which requires "all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication."

Read more about it at "PubMed Central Submissions Jump Sharply Under New NIH Policy."

Six Largest UK ISPs to Crackdown on Illegal File Sharing in Deal with BPI

The UK's six largest ISPs and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding about restraining illegal file sharing.

Here's an excerpt from the BPI press release:

UK record labels' association BPI today reached a groundbreaking agreement with major internet service providers (ISPs) and government on measures to help significantly reduce illegal filesharing.

Following negotiations facilitated by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), BPI on behalf of hundreds of UK record companies big and small has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with the UK's six largest internet service providers. The Motion Pictures Association of America and BERR have also signed.

The MOU places joint commitments on the signatories to continue developing consumer education programmes and legal online services. Most importantly, for the first time ISPs will be required to work with music and other rightsholders towards a "significant reduction" in illegal filesharing.

To achieve this, in the first year hundreds of thousands of informative letters will be sent by participating ISPs to customers whose accounts have been identified by BPI as being used illegally. In addition, under the auspices of Ofcom, the signatories will work together to identify effective mechanisms to deal with repeat offenders.

Alongside the MOU, BERR has today published a consultation on proposed new legislation requiring ISPs to deal effectively with illegal filesharing. It is anticipated that the outcome of this consultation will provide a co-regulatory backdrop to the MOU.

Read more about it at: "ISPs to Send 'Hundreds of Thousands' of File-Sharing Warnings"; "ISPs Yet to Decide on File-Sharer Punishment"; "Online Crackdown: What You Need to Know"; "'This Is Not Three Strikes and You're Out. It Is a Letter'"; and "Transcript from BPI Call with Journalists This Morning."

Dean Krafft Named Cornell University Library’s Chief Technology Strategist

Long-term Cornell employee Dean Krafft has been named as the Cornell University Library's Chief Technology Strategist.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

"Dean Krafft brings a wealth of experience to this position, as well as a profound respect for the role research libraries play in the academy," said Anne R. Kenney, Cornell’s Carl A. Kroch University Librarian. "This is a brand new position for the library world, and I can't think of a better person to help us understand its full potential. . . ."

As the chief technology strategist, Krafft will serve on the Library’s senior management team, focusing his efforts on the development of a long-term vision for CUL’s technology future and assessing the IT trends and innovations that impact the Library. He will also serve as an ambassador for collaborative technology initiatives across the University and in national and international efforts.

"The very rapid changes in the information landscape and the needs and workflows of Cornell's faculty, staff and students make these challenging times," Krafft said. "I am very much looking forward to working with the Library staff and the Cornell community to help ensure that the Library remains at the intellectual heart of university life and scholarship."

Before his appointment, Krafft served as the senior research associate and director of information technology and in several positions in the Computer Science Department since 1981. He also received his Master’s and PhD degrees in computer science from Cornell.

RoMEO: Now with 400+ Publisher Self-Archiving Policies

SHERPA's RoMEO service now contains over 400 publisher self-archiving policies.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The RoMEO service, provided by the award winning SHERPA Partnership, uses a simple colour-code to classify policies and inform authors of what can be done with their articles, and offers users the ability to:

  • View summaries of publishers' copyright policies in relation to self-archiving
  • View if publisher policies comply with funding regulations, as some publishers are too restrictive and cannot be used to publish funded research
  • To search journal and publisher information by Journal Title, Publisher Name and ISSN

RoMEO is seen as an essential resource by many in the Open Access community. RoMEO is funded by JISC and the Wellcome Trust. Journal information is kindly provided by the British Library's Zetoc service hosted by MIMAS

Digital Will Be Default Format for Astrophysical Journal Letters in 2009

According to a 7/22/08 message by Michael R. Blake on liblicense-l ("American Astronomical Society Subscription Change"), digital distribution will be the default format for the Astrophysical Journal Letters starting in 2009. Customers who want a print version will need to request it. Print will be available at no extra cost in 2009; however, it is anticipated that there will be a charge at some future point.

Bibliography of Open Access Released

The Open Access Directory has released the Bibliography of Open Access.

The Bibliography of Open Access is based on my Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals, which was published in 2005 by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

With my permission and the agreement of ARL, most of the Open Access Bibliography has been converted to the MediaWiki format to form the basis of the Bibliography of Open Access. The new bibliography will be authored by registered Open Access Directory users, who can add or edit references. It is under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

The initial version of new bibliography has live links; however, they were last updated in August 2004, when the text of the Open Access Bibliography was frozen for print publication preparation. These links can now be updated by registered users.

The Open Access Bibliography, which contains textual sections not found in the Bibliography of Open Access, remains freely available in HTML and PDF formats at Digital Scholarship and as a printed book.

The Editor of the Open Access Directory is Robin Peek, the Associate Editor is David Goodman, and the Assistant Editor is Athanasia Pontika. The OAD editors, Peter Suber, and myself worked as a team on the initial version of the Bibliography of Open Access.

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