PALIAct is the Progressive African Library & Information Activists Group. It has ties to CILIP (the UK library association) and the UK’s Information for Social Change, and publishes an online journal, Information Equality, Africa, the second issue of which is just out and available from the group’s website.
Category: Information Policy
As you may have noticed throughout the EPA library closure situation, the government’s big justification for closing the libraries has been that it is a digital age, meaning that physical libraries have lost their relevance. We know that that is hardly true, but aside from that, shouldn’t this argument mean that we will see EPA … Read more Reports disappearing from EPA library website
American Anthropological Association opposition to Open Access: a letter from the AnthroSource Steering Committee on FRPAA
The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (FRPAA), if passed, would mandate that research by Federal government agencies (publicly funded research) automatically go into publicly accessible open access repositories. The library community and most of the academic community is in favor of this bill as a way of protecting the information commons. Scholarly publishers … Read more American Anthropological Association opposition to Open Access: a letter from the AnthroSource Steering Committee on FRPAA
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which provides data on Federal “enforcement, staffing, and spending,” reported in March of this year that IRS data obtained through FOIA requests showed that audit rates for low income Americans were higher than the rates of tax audits for wealthy Americans, representing a significant change: Restricting the comparison to … Read more The IRS keeping audit statistics secret; covering up higher audit rates of the poor than the rich
From the AP story: WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission ordered its staff to destroy all copies of a draft study that suggested greater concentration of media ownership would hurt local TV news coverage, a former lawyer at the agency says. The report, written in 2004, came to light during the Senate confirmation hearing for … Read more FCC study on media ownership ordered destroyed
The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication passed a resolution against the Bush Administration’s anti-press policies yesterday in San Francisco, at it’s annual conference. The resolution says, “The relationship between the presidency and press has always been uneasy. This tension is both unavoidable and generally salutary: When each side conducts its duties with … Read more AEJMC anti-Bush resolution
Urgent message from the ALA Washington Office: On Wednesday, July 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the amended H.R. 5319, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), by a vote of 410-15. We believe the legislation will now go to the Senate, which may or may not have time to vote on this before their … Read more Contact your Senators about DOPA
A new FAIR Action Alert reports that FEMA security guards are blocking journalists from talking to Katrina victims in FEMA trailer parks. FAIR cites the original story from the Baton Rouge Advocate. The report says that FEMA guards told reporters that Katrina victims are “not allowed” to talk to the media, that they “do not … Read more Katrina victims muzzled
A preprint of a paper by Charles W. Bailey, Jr., to be published in Information Technology and Libraries 25, no. 3 (2006): “Strong Copyright + DRM + Weak Net Neutrality = Digital Dystopia?” (pdf) The title kind of says it.
The Bush administration is preparing to introduce sweeping new intellectual property legislation, called the The Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006. Among other things, this bill would create a new Federal crime, punishable by ten years in prison, for attempting to commit copyright violation; it would give the Justice Department new powers to prosecute “IP … Read more Scary New Intellectual Property Bill
The Smithsonian Institution has made an exclusive deal with Showtime Networks, Inc., allowing the cable TV content company to create a private cable station for documentaries that use footage from the Smithsonian’s collections. Part of the deal is that any documentarians using any Smithsonian footage will be limited to this new Showtime channel as the … Read more Smithsonian Sellout
Interested in using a phrase like “Feel Free,” “General Knowledge,” “Freedom to do what you want” or “That’s a great idea” but can’t because it would be trademark violation? Well, fear no more, Rentamark.com is here, with thousands of words and phrases in stock, ready for you to license for business purposes. “Thank God”?¢‚Äû¬¢ for … Read more Okay, who will say they still haven’t gone too far Now?
Last month the Annenberg Center for Communication at USC, an industry-centered think tank that focuses on the networked society, convened a group of scholars and industry insiders to discuss the hot issue of net neutrality, and recently released a statement that they say is intended to balance public and industry interests. Their statement, in my … Read more Annenberg Center’s (Compromised) Principles for Net Neutrality
I don’t read a lot of blogs or tech news, but last summer I couldn’t help noticing tons of commentary about the United Nations’ “threatened takeover of the internet,” which commentators described as though it would spell the end of freedom rather than a victory for fairness.?Ç¬† (I find it hard to imagine a rational … Read more Global governance is the internet’s hope