There is something that people in the book world often don’t understand about copyright. When I say book world I mean librarians, booksellers, reviewers, researchers, authors, and sometimes publishers. A question that people often want to know the answer to is “Who owns the copyright” to a work, because they may want to know if … Read more Something people in the book world often misunderstand about copyright
Category: Information Policy
MIT has posted podcasts from the five plenary sessions at Media in Transition 6, at the Comparative Media Studies program’s podcast page. The plenary sessions were on “Archives and History,” “New Media, Civic Media,” “Institutional Perspectives on Storage,” “The Future of Publishing,” and “Summary Perspectives.” I think these plenary sessions were the best part of … Read more Media in Transition 6 – Podcasts
Stephen L. Carter, a law professor who writes about democracy, has an article in The Daily Beast entitled, “Where’s the Bailout for the Publishing Industry?” It begins: Like a lot of writers, I am wondering when Congress and the administration will propose a bailout for the publishing industry. Carnage is everywhere. Advances slashed, editors fired, … Read more Stephen L. Carter – Where’s the Bailout for the Publishing Industry?
The Fair Copyright Act is to fair copyright what the Patriot Act was to patriotism. It would repeal the OA policy at the NIH and prevent similar OA policies at any federal agency. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where Conyers is Chairman, and where he has consolidated his power since … Read more The Conyers Bill is Back (copyright)
New article by Lincoln Cushing: Privatizing the Commons: The Commodification of New Deal Public Art. Lincoln Cushing is an important person in the world of political graphic art, having put together books on Cuban poster art and Chinese propaganda posters, both very enjoyable and interesting books. Lincoln is a librarian who had an earlier career … Read more Privatizing the Commons: The Commodification of New Deal Public Art
ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy had its annual retreat this month. Barbara Fister, frequent poster to the ACRL blog and a librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, presented a talk there called “Open Access and Books in a Digital World – What Role Should Libraries Play?” Her talk is an interesting exploration of … Read more Barbara Fister on Google and OA
I have not been following this, but apparently OCLC has issued proposed new policy guidelines that would allow it to claim ownership of its catalog records, with serious consequences for libraries and other organizations that use information about books. Aaron Swartz (of Open Library) puts it in context on his blog in a post from … Read more OCLC Powergrab?
It’s a new dawn in more ways than one. One of the things I hated most about the Bush administration, from a librarian’s point of view, was their ever increasing secrecy. Every year it seemed that more and more government information, information that people needed in order for democracy to function, was being hidden in … Read more Talk about government transparency and sunshine
Canadian Association for Information Science: Call for Papers The Canadian Association for Information Science invites abstract submissions for its 37th Annual Conference, to be held May 28-30, 2009 at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, as part of the 2009 Congress of the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Deadline for proposals is January … Read more Call for Papers: Mapping the 21st Century Information Landscape: Borders, Bridges and Byways
MediaLens is a UK organization dedicated to raising awareness of the way the media system distorts reality as a result of the forces of free-market capitalism. Their analysis of things is along the lines of Chomsky and Herman’s propaganda model of media filtering. This month they have published a three-part analysis of current goings on … Read more MediaLens on journalism’s filtering system in action
Marjorie Heins of the Free Expression Policy Project has some commentary published on the FEPP site about an interesting copyright case. It’s a Fair Use case that even copyright moderates ought to get riled up about. It concerns a play called Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire, which uses the character of … Read more Blanche survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire, only to face off with the copyright police
I’ve always been appalled by British libel law as long as I’ve known about it. Basically it puts a strong onus on defendants to prove that what they have said is true, rather than on the accuser to prove that it is false. The result is an excessive real-world limitation on freedom of speech for … Read more UN says British libel law violates human rights
Public Knowledge, the DC public interest group, has a very informative discussion of ACTA – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. ACTA is an international trade agreement now being worked out behind closed doors, outside of the relatively open framework of the the World Intellectual Property Organization. It is a so-called “executive agreement,” rather than a treaty, … Read more ACTA – Policy laundering IP
A Marxist Analysis of the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (PDF) Policy Futures in Education Volume 4 Number 4, 2006 RUTH RIKOWSKI London South Bank University, United Kingdom This article examines the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). There are many WTO … Read more Ruth Rikowski on the WTO and intellectual property rights
ALA has an important policy, Policy 61, on library services to poor people. This policy was brought about in the mid-90s through the dedicated work of SRRT’s Homelessness, Hunger, and Poverty Task Force (HHPTF), with the leadership of Sandy Berman. The HHPTF is still going strong as one of SRRT’s more active Task Forces, and … Read more Survey report on library services to the poor
Want to know if something is in the public domain or under copyright? Use the ALA OIT’s new digital copyright slider to find out. They’ve had an actual slide-rule like physical one in publication for a few years, and many people have asked for a digital version. I’m pleased to see it.
A favorite debate of pessimistic sophomores, or perhaps sophomoric pessimists, is as to whether our society and its future is more like George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. It’s such a common juxtaposition and so simple to talk about it that I bring it up at the risk of terribly oversimplifying things. … Read more Intellectual Freedom advocacy in a Huxleyan world
In my view, one of the most important documents and position statements that ALA has produced in the last few years was its June 2007 report, “Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions.” This was produced by a subcommittee of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, now dissolved, called the Subcommittee on the Impact of Media … Read more ALA IFC’s Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries, and ALA’s grey literature in general
John Ronald sent me a link to a review of a British pamphlet titled Rethinking Public Service Reform: The Public Value Alternative, from the Trade Union Congress (UK). The review is in the blog A Very Public Sociologist, which has the subtitle “Sociology with a Socialist Punch.” Sociology should have a socialist punch, shouldn’t it? … Read more Democratizing Public Services
Here’s a brief essay in the New York Times by Edward Rothstein that I am afraid I don’t have much to say about at the moment. I think I agree with it, at least partially, but I get the feeling that there is an important counterpoint that is not coming to mind. The editorial essay … Read more The problem with cultural property