Two Strikes and You're Out: Comcast Will Suspend Internet Service If Residential Customers Exceed New Monthly Data Limit Twice

On October 1, 2008, Comcast will implement a new 250 GB monthly Internet use limit for residential customers, and it will suspend Internet service for one year if customers exceed it twice.

Read more about it at: "Comcast Caps Highlight Lack of Broadband Competition," "Comcast to Cap Internet Usage for Customers," and "Comcast to Cap Monthly Consumer Broadband Starting Oct. 1."

Fedora Commons Wiki Re-Launched

The Fedora Commons Wiki has been re-launched using Atlassian’s Confluence enterprise Wiki software.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The new Fedora Commons Wiki provides a stable environment for developing Fedora software, documentation and communities. The new wiki features additional personalization and development tools for communication and tracking including a feature long-requested by the community–automated account registration with "Capcha." So it’s easy to join our community while making it difficult for spammers.

Please note that you do not need an account to read the Fedora Commons wiki—it’s open to everyone. You must register at the new wiki, however, if you want to add comments, articles, ask for help, or participate with other members of the community.

Institutional Repositories at Texas University and Health Science Libraries

Below is a list of operational institutional repositories at Texas university and health science academic libraries.

Texas has 35 public universities, 9 public health-related institutions, 39 private universities, and 1 private health-related institution; however, only eight institutional repositories could be identified (one repository, the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library, serves multiple health-related institutions).

The list was composed by consulting the following resources and then accessing repository sites to verify their existence: DSpace Repositories—Alphabetical, Fedora Commons Community Registry, Institutions Using the Digital Commons Platform, OpenDOAR, ROAR, and Repository 66.

Institution Repository Software
Baylor University (Baylor University Libraries) BearDocs DSpace
Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library DigitalCommons@The Texas Medical Center Digital Commons
Rice University (Fondren Library) Rice Digital Scholarship Archive DSpace
Texas A&M University (Texas A&M University Libraries) Texas A&M Repository DSpace
Texas State University (Alkek Library) eCommons@Texas State University Digital Commons
Texas Tech University (Texas Tech University Libraries) eScholarship Repository Digital Commons
University of Texas at Austin (University of Texas Libraries) University of Texas Digital Repository DSpace
University of Texas at El Paso (University of Texas at El Paso Library) DigitalCommons@UTEP Digital Commons

Texas also has the Texas Digital Library.

DCC Methodology for Designing and Evaluating Curation and Preservation Experiments V1.0

The Digital Curation Centre has released DCC Methodology for Designing and Evaluating Curation and Preservation Experiments V1.0.

Here's an excerpt:

The purpose of this document is to describe a Digital Curation Centre (DCC) testbed methodology which will serve as a workflow framework for designing experiments to validate the effectiveness of curation and preservation strategies. The methodology is grounded in the following general principles: the methodology must

  • conform to the fundamental standards of a scientific methodology,
  • be easy to follow and implement, i.e. accommodate experimenters of all levels of technical expertise,
  • be general enough to accommodate future changes and the evolution of ideas in curation and
  • preservation theory and practice,
  • be specific enough to provide concrete guidance in the immediate short term,
  • be sufficiently flexible and extensible to allow for technological advances and the evolving
  • complexity of available resources

RoMEO List of Publishers Who Allow Their PDFs to Be Deposited in Institutional Repositories

SHERPA's RoMEO service has made available "Publishers Allowing the Deposition of Their Published Version/PDF in Institutional Repositories."

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

SHERPA has analysed its records to determine which of the 414 publishers listed allow authors to deposit the publishers' version or publishers' PDF of a journal article into the author's institutional repository. 50 publishers allow immediate, un-embargoed deposit into repositories—even more allow use in restricted circumstances. This means that there is a large volume of work which can be deposited directly into repositories even if the author has not retained their own final draft. . . .

We have separated the publishers into sub-sets, indicating any restrictions that are imposed by the publishers on the use of their versions. The sub-sets are: no restrictions, embargos, fee required and embargo & fee required.

British Library Releases Its "Digitisation Strategy 2008-2011"

The British Library has released its "Digitisation Strategy 2008-2011."

Here's an excerpt:

Over the next 3 years we will build on our existing digitisation programme. Current projects include the digitisation of:

  • 20 million pages of 19th century literature [approximately 80,000 books];
  • 1 million pages of historic newspapers in addition to the 3m already digitised;
  • 4,000 hours of Archival Sound Recordings in addition to the 4,000 hours already digitised;
  • 100,000 pages of Greek manuscripts.

Our top priority digitisation programme in support of the Library's corporate strategy 2008-2011 is the digitisation of newspapers.

ALA-APA Survey: 2008 Mean Salary for Librarians with ALA-Accredited Master's Degrees is $58,960

The American Library Association has published the 2008 edition of the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian—Public and Academic.

Here's an excerpt from the press release ("Librarian Salary Survey Reports Mean Librarian Salary Up 2 Percent to $58,960 in 2008"):

Analysis of data from more than 1,010 public and academic libraries showed the mean salary for librarians with ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees reported increased 2 percent from 2007, up $1,151 to $57,809. The median ALA MLS salary was $53,251 and salaries ranged from $22,000 to $331,200.

Note that the press release headline says that the mean salary is "$58,960," while the first paragraph of the press release says it's "$57,809." According to the press release for the 2007 edition, the "mean salary for librarians with ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees reported increased 2.8 percent from 2006, up $1,550 to $57,809." The 2007 mean salary ($57,809) added to the 2008 $1,151 increase gives $58,960.

OCLC Announces WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry Beta

OCLC has announced the WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry beta, a union catalog of copyright information.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry is a community working together to build a union catalog of copyright evidence based on WorldCat, which contains more than 100 million bibliographic records describing items held in thousands of libraries worldwide. In addition to the WorldCat metadata, the Copyright Evidence Registry uses other data contributed by libraries and other organizations.

Digitization projects continue for books in the public domain, but books whose copyright status is unknown are destined to remain in print and on shelves until their status can be determined. The process to determine copyright status can be lengthy and labor intensive. The goal of the Copyright Evidence Registry is to encourage a cooperative environment to discover, create and share copyright evidence through a collaboratively created and maintained database, using the WorldCat cooperative model to eliminate duplicate efforts. . . .

The Copyright Evidence Registry six-month pilot was launched July 1 to test the concept and functionality. Users can search the Copyright Evidence Registry to find information about a book, learn what others have said about its copyright status, and share what they know. . . .

During a later stage of the pilot, OCLC will add a feature enabling pilot libraries to create and run automated copyright rules conforming to standards they define for determining copyright status. The rules will help libraries analyze the information available in the Copyright Evidence Registry and form their own conclusions about copyright status.

Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education

Ithaka Harbors has published Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education.

Here'e an excerpt from the Faculty and Librarian Surveys Web page:

Our 2006 survey of faculty members sought to determine their attitudes related to online resources, electronic archiving, teaching and learning and related subjects. This study affords the opportunity to develop trend analysis of many measurements that we collected in the 2003 and 2000 faculty surveys. . . . In 2006, for the first time, we are also able to offer extensive comparison with the attitudes and perspectives of academic librarians on the perceived roles of the library and librarian on campuses; the impact of transitioning to electronic material on library practices; the place of digital repositories in the campus information-services landscape; and the future plans of academic libraries. Librarians surveyed include both directors and collection development leaders from a wide variety of 4-year academic institutions across the United States.

Syracuse University's iSchool Establishes Limited Residency Part-Time Executive Doctoral Program

Syracuse University's School of Information Studies has established a limited residency part-time executive doctoral program.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Doctorate of Professional Studies in Information Management is a three-year program with fall, spring, and summer terms, which is offered in a limited residency, distance learning format. The 51-credit hour program involves 16 courses on methods, research, and practice topics (36 credits total), plus 15 credits for thesis work. . . .

The program received formal approval this spring by the Syracuse University Board of Trustees and the New York State Office of College and University Evaluation, and has begun accepting applications for the fall 2008 class. A successful candidate will have completed a master’s degree and have at least five years of experience in the information professions.

Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 Stalled in Senate

The Association of Research Libraries reports in the latest E-News for ARL Directors that the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S. 2913) has stalled in the Senate over state sovereign immunity and qualifying searches issues. It is uncertain if the bill will be considered further in this session.

Read more about it at "Orphan Works Legislation Fails to Move Forward in US."

Ireland's Higher Education Authority Enacts Open Access Mandate

Ireland's Higher Education Authority, a major research funding agency in that country, has enacted an open access mandate that requires searchers to "lodge their publications resulting in whole or in part from HEA-funded research in an open access repository as soon as is practical after publication, and to be made openly accessible within 6 calendar months at the latest, subject to copyright agreement."

Stevan Harnad reports that this is the "world's 52nd Green OA Self-Archiving mandate (the 27th funder mandate)."

Lenz v. Universal: Fair Use Must Be Considered before Takedown Notices Are Sent

United States District Judge Jeremy Fogel has refused to dismiss Stephanie Lenz's EFF-backed lawsuit against Universal Music Publishing Group that "asks for a declaratory judgment that Lenz's home video does not infringe any Universal copyright, as well as damages and injunctive relief restraining Universal from bringing further copyright claims in connection with the video." Universal had issued a takedown notice to YouTube for Lenz's brief video of her young son dancing to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." The Judge ruled that fair use must be taken into account before takedown notices are issued by copyright holders.

Here's an excerpt from the ruling:

Though Congress did not expressly mention the fair use doctrine in the DMCA, the Copyright Act provides explicitly that "the fair use of a copyrighted work . . . is not an infringement of copyright." 17 U.S.C. § 107. Even if Universal is correct that fair use only excuses infringement, the fact remains that fair use is a lawful use of a copyright. Accordingly, in order for a copyright owner to proceed under the DMCA with "a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law," the owner must evaluate whether the material makes fair use of the copyright. 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(3)(A)(v). An allegation that a copyright owner acted in bad faith by issuing a takedown notice without proper consideration of the fair use doctrine thus is sufficient to state a misrepresentation claim pursuant to Section 512(f) of the DMCA. Such an interpretation of the DMCA furthers both the purposes of the DMCA itself and copyright law in general. In enacting the DMCA, Congress noted that the "provisions in the bill balance the need for rapid response to potential infringement with the end-users [sic] legitimate interests in not having material removed without recourse." Sen. Rep. No. 105-190 at 21 (1998).

Universal suggests that copyright owners may lose the ability to respond rapidly to potential infringements if they are required to evaluate fair use prior to issuing takedown notices. Universal also points out that the question of whether a particular use of copyrighted material constitutes fair use is a fact-intensive inquiry, and that it is difficult for copyright owners to predict whether a court eventually may rule in their favor. However, while these concerns are understandable, their actual impact likely is overstated. Although there may be cases in which such considerations will arise, there are likely to be few in which a copyright owner's determination that a particular use is not fair use will meet the requisite standard of subjective bad faith required to prevail in an action for misrepresentation under 17 U.S.C. § 512(f).

Read more about it at "Fair Use Gets a Fair Shake: YouTube Tot to Get Day in Court," "Judge Rules That Content Owners Must Consider Fair Use before Sending Takedowns," "More (and More) Good News for Fair Use," and "Woman Can Sue over YouTube Clip De-Posting."

European Commission Launches Open Access Pilot Project

The European Commission has launched a pilot project to provide open access to EU-funded research results after a 6-12 month embargo period. Further information about the pilot project will be available on 9/1/08 at the Open Access Pilot in FP7 page.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Fast and reliable access to research results, especially via the Internet, can drive innovation, advance scientific discovery and support the development of a strong knowledge-based economy. The European Commission wants to ensure that the results of the research it funds under the EU's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7) with more than € 50 billion from 2007-2013 are disseminated as widely and effectively as possible to guarantee maximum exploitation and impact in the world of researchers and beyond. The Commission today launched a pilot project that will give unrestricted online access to EU-funded research results, primarily research articles published in peer reviewed journals, after an embargo period of between 6 and 12 months. The pilot will cover around 20% of the FP7 programme budget in areas such as health, energy, environment, social sciences and information and communication technologies. . . .

The Commission's open access pilot, to run until the end of FP7, aims to ensure that the results from EU-funded research are progressively made available to all. Grant recipients will be required to deposit peer reviewed research articles or final manuscripts resulting from their FP7 projects in an online repository. They will have to make their best effort to ensure open access to these articles within either six or twelve months after publication, depending on the research area. This embargo period will allow scientific publishers to get a return on their investment.

Open access to research articles, previously accessible through journal subscriptions, can help to increase the impact of the EU's € 50 billion investment in research and development and avoid wasting time and valuable resources on duplicative research. With access to a wider selection of literature, researchers can build upon this knowledge to further their own work. Small and medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs can also benefit from improved access to the latest research developments to speed up commercialisation and innovation.

Internet Radio, RIP?

With royalty fees eating up as much as 70% of projected revenue, major Internet radio station Pandora is facing serious financial difficulties, and this does not bode well for Internet radio stations in general, which have to pay higher fees than traditional radio stations.

Read more about it at "Giant of Internet Radio Nears Its 'Last Stand'," "Music Biz *Still* Trying to Kill Web Radio," "Pandora Could Be First Major Casualty of New Royalty Rates," and "Pandora: On the Brink of Closing Down."

FCC Issues Memorandum Opinion and Order about Comcast P2P Blocking

The FCC has issued its Memorandum Opinion and Order about Comcast's inteference with P2P traffic.

Here's the "Introduction":

We consider whether Comcast, a provider of broadband Internet access over cable lines, may selectively target and interfere with connections of peer-to-peer (P2P) applications under the facts of this case. Although Comcast asserts that its conduct is necessary to ease network congestion, we conclude that the company's discriminatory and arbitrary practice unduly squelches the dynamic benefits of an open and accessible Internet and does not constitute reasonable network management. Moreover, Comcast's failure to disclose the company's practice to its customers has compounded the harm. Accordingly, we institute a plan that will bring Comcast's unreasonable conduct to an end. In particular, we require Comcast within 30 days to disclose the details of their unreasonable network management practices, submit a compliance plan describing how it intends to stop these unreasonable management practices by the end of the year, and disclose to both the Commission and the public the details of the network management practices that it intends to deploy following termination of its current practices.

In the "Discussion" section, the FCC notes that ISPs may "may block transmissions of illegal content":

50. Comcast and several other commenters maintain a continual refrain that "all network providers must manage bandwidth in some manner" and that providers need "flexibility to engage in the reasonable network management practices." We do not disagree, which is precisely why we do not adopt here an inflexible framework micromanaging providers' network management practices. We also note that because "consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice," providers, consistent with federal policy, may block transmissions of illegal content (e.g., child pornography) or transmissions that violate copyright law. To the extent, however, that providers choose to utilize practices that are not application or content neutral, the risk to the open nature of the Internet is particularly acute and the danger of network management practices being used to further anticompetitive ends is strong. As a result, it is incumbent on the Commission to be vigilant and subject such practices to a searching inquiry, and here Comcast's practice falls well short of being carefully tailored to further the interest offered by the company.

Read more about it at: "Analysis: FCC Comcast Order Is Open Invitation to Internet Filtering"; "FCC Finalizes Comcast's Filtering Penalties"; "FCC Order Scolds Comcast for Changing Story on P2P Blocking"; and "Public Knowledge Praises FCC's Order Protecting Internet, Condemning Comcast Discrimination."

ARL SPEC Kit: Social Software in Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries has published Social Software in Libraries, SPEC Kit 304. The table of contents and executive summary are freely available.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

This survey was distributed to the 123 ARL member libraries in February 2008. Sixty-four libraries completed the survey by the March 14 deadline for a response rate of 52%. All but three of the responding libraries report that their library staff uses social software (95%) and one of those three plans to begin using social software in the future.

Survey results indicate that the most broadly adopted social software—chat or instant messaging—was also the earliest implemented social software. While one respondent was using instant messaging for reference and another was using chat for internal communication as early as 1998, the earliest use of this type of social software dates back to 1993.

While chat and instant messaging have been in use for several years, use of other types of social software in libraries is very recent. Beyond isolated cases, a steadily increasing number of ARL member libraries began implementing social software in 2005, with the largest rate of adoption being in 2007.

CLIR Report: No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century

The Council on Library and Information Resources has published No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century.

Here's an excerpt:

What are the critical functions of the research library in this changing landscape? How should we be rethinking the research library in a dynamic, swiftly changing landscape dominated by digital technology? To explore this question, CLIR convened a meeting of librarians, publishers, faculty members, and information technology specialists on February 27, 2008, in Washington, D.C. To prepare for the discussion, CLIR invited eight of the participants to share their perspectives on the future library in brief essays. The essays were circulated before the meeting and are presented in part II of this volume.

Hindawi Launches Open Access Institutional Membership Program

Hindawi Publishing Corporation, which publishes more than 125 open access journals, has launched an Open Access Institutional Membership program that allows institutions to subsidize Hindawi's article processing charges for their authors.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Hindawi's membership program is based on a flat rate payment that covers all accepted articles that are submitted by an author from a member institute during the period of the membership. The cost of the membership depends on the level of research output of the institute and their historical publishing pattern in Hindawi journals. . . .

In addition to the 125+ open access journals that Hindawi currently publishes, this membership will include any journal that is added to Hindawi's collection during the term of the membership.

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