Welcome to the Free Online Scholarship (FOS) NewsletterApril 22, 2002
* I'm now investigating five serious contenders to be the new host for the FOS Newsletter and discussion forum. All five have some connection to the FOS movement and would donate their services. I thank these five for their generosity and all the readers who have submitted ideas for potential new hosts. I should be able to say more soon.
* Because I haven't switched hosts yet, there may be ads in this issue. I won't know myself until I mail it and read my own copy. Please bear with me while I pick a new host and work out the details of the switch. This transition period will almost certainly cover more than one future issue.
* Péter Jacsó has written another very favorable review of the FOS Newsletter (see FOSN for 1/8/02). This one appears in the March/April issue of _Online Magazine_, but not as one of the free online articles. I've posted the FOSN portion of his review to our discussion forum.(Topica handled the diacritical marks in "Péter Jacsó" perfectly well in the text of the review, but choked on them in the title.)
* The Internet Public Library just added the 20,000th full-text book to its free online collection.
* For users with the means to take advantage of it, the DayPop search engine can now deliver its search results in RSS format. This allows users to syndicate new search results matching their queries, either to themselves privately or to any web site they create to carry the content. (PS: DayPop covers news and blogs, but its method could be adopted by search engines covering scholarly literature. This is not the future of current awareness if RSS remains a marginal technology, but it's an experimental step forward.)
* Extenza has launched an E-Publishing Services division. In October it will release software to help scientific and scholarly journals migrate from print to the internet. Neither the press release nor the company page gives a hint of the likely price.
Extenza E-Publishing Services
* There will be no more Frankfurt eBook Awards. The International eBook Award Foundation (IeBAF) reports that it cannot continue to raise the award money, which has exceeded $100,000 per year.
The _Guardian_ makes clear what the IeBAF press release does not, namely, that funding has dried up because Microsoft withdrew its support.
* Early last week Deutsche Bahn, the German national railroad, complained that Google, Alta Vista, and other search engines provide links to a radical organization's primer on railroad sabotage. (Early news reports that Deutsche Bahn sued or threatened to sue were mistaken.) Such sites are illegal in Germany. Later in the week, Google and Alta Vista agreed to remove the links from their indexes. (PS: If this was voluntary self-censorship because Google and Alta Vista don't want to promote railroad sabotage, I have no strong objection. I don't like the idea of railroad sabotage either. But if Google and Alta Vista acted to prevent a lawsuit or a court order, then I worry about the precedent. Selling Nazi artifacts in online auctions is illegal in France, but a U.S. court rightly ruled that French law cannot limit the First Amendment rights of Americans. See FOSN esp. for 11/9/01 and 11/16/01. I worry that censorship judgments in one country will be enforceable in other countries. I worry that nations will subordinate the freedom of their own citizens to a new world order in which they defer to the rules of less free countries. This ranking of values is already emerging as part of world-wide copyright enforcement, and will never be narrowly focused on terrorism. The complaining nation will not always be Germany, the offending content will not always be incendiary, and scholarship will not always be exempt. If instructions on railroad sabotage can be made invisible as a result, then the same thing can happen to histories of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, criticism of French law, and arguments for evolution.)
* The Canadian Supreme Court has recently found what the U.S. has lost, a balance between copyright holders and content readers, users, and consumers. Quoting the opinion: "The proper balance among these and other public policy objectives lies not only in recognizing the creator's rights but in giving due weight to their limited nature....Once an authorized copy of a work is sold to a member of the public, it is generally for the purchaser, not the author, to determine what happens to it. Excessive control by holders of copyrights and other forms of intellectual property may unduly limit the ability of the public domain to incorporate and embellish creative innovation in the long-term interests of society as a whole, or create practical obstacles to proper utilization."
Théberge v. Galerie d'Art du Petit Champlain
Michael Geist's article about if for the 4/18/02 _Globe and Mail_
New on the net
* The Baen Free Library is a free online archive of full-text science fiction novels. It's sponsored by Eric Flint, sci-fi author, and Jim Baen, sci-fi publisher. These are books on which authors hope to make money, hence quite distinct from scholarly journal articles. Yet all the books in the Baen Free Library are there with their authors' consent. Why would authors choose to create free online competition for their own source of income? Because the readership and word-of-mouth from free online distribution more than offsets the loss of royalties, and because the laws and technologies to stop online piracy are worse than the disease. Flint and Baen are clear that they hope the free editions will stimulate sales of the priced editions of the same works and increase the overall profits of Baen Books. (PS: The National Academy Press has been doing the same thing for all of its non-fiction books for years, and reports that it does increase overall sales. FOSN for 4/12/01, 9/14/01. The Baen experience is the best evidence I've seen that the same logic applies to fiction. Moreover, Flint's editorials on the web site are the best I've seen on the advantages of the free online distribution of works from which authors hope to make money.)
The Baen Free Library
Eric Flint's April 15 "Prime Palaver #6" ("Now, with a year and a half's experience with the Library actually established and running, our original assessment has been demonstrated in practice." The rest of his essay summarizes the evidence for this claim.)(Thanks to Politech.)
* The Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute (MCLI) has launched a free online archive of its legal briefs, motions, pleadings, and transcripts from over 9,000 civil rights cases going back to 1955. The collection also includes records of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) back to 1937. (PS personal note: When I launched a chapter of the NLG at Northwestern University Law School in 1980, and taught seminars on civil disobedience at Earlham College in the early 90's, I looked hard for these MCLI and NLG records and had to settle for photocopies. The new online archive is a long-needed resource for civil liberties law in the U.S.)(Thanks to ResearchBuzz.)
* Version 42 of Charles W. Bailey's huge Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography is now online. The new version contains over 1,550 books, articles, and other printed and online resources on electronic scholarly publication.
* JISC has created an OAI FAQ as a section within its larger Information Environment Architecture FAQ.
OAI has long had its own FAQ.
* CENDI has created a very thorough and up to date copyright FAQ. CENDI is the organization of federal government managers of scientific and technical information.
* Michael Rolenz shows what the U.S. Bill of Rights would look like if the copyright industry had its way.(Thanks to C-FIT.)
Share your thoughts
* The Council of Europe has written a Draft Declaration on Freedom of Communication on the Internet, and invites public comment. Send comments by May 1 to <media [at] coe.int>.(Thanks to QuickLinks.)
In other publications
* The latest issue of the _ARL Bimonthly Report_ is devoted to open access. The issue is dated February 2002, but it just came out this week. Because the issue is not (yet?) available online, and three of its four pieces are reprinted from online sources, I've included links to other versions of the three reprinted pieces.
(1) An essay by Mary Case and Prudence Adler summarizing an ARL Task Force recommendation that ARL's long-term goal for managing intellectual property should be "open access to quality information in support of learning and scholarship". Case and Adler also argue that libraries should embrace open access as a solution to problems created by tightening copyright restrictions on libraries and "monopoly-like control" by a small number of commercial publishers.
(2) A reprint of my editorial for _Cortex_ on where the FOS movement stands today
(3) The entire text of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI)
(4) Substantial portions of the BOAI FAQ and the related Self-Archiving FAQ.
* The May edition of Walt Crawford's _Cites & Insights_ is now online. In this issue Walt considers the problem of long-term access and preservation for zines like FOSN and his own C&I. In response, he is launching COWLZ (Coalition of Online and Web-based Library-related Zines) and calls on eligible zines to participate. He also calls for a friendly institution to donate five gigabytes on a server somewhere. (PS: I support this idea and FOSN will participate.) In the same issue he offers another edition of Copyright Currents, his detailed and comprehensive round-up of recent copyright news. He gives a similar round-up of recent writing on ebooks and etext.
* If you're persuaded that the internet's openness to innovation and the free exchange of information is due to its end-to-end architecture, then you'll be interested in Paul David's assessment that the architecture is threatened from many directions. This is an April 19 revision of a Fall 2001 publication.(Thanks to Red Rock Eater.)
* In the April 18 _CNN Sci-Tech_, Brian Sullivan has a short piece on the database at the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC), which SLAC claims is the world's largest. The database contains more than 500 terabytes of data on particle collisions recorded at the accelerator. That's 500,000 gigabytes, and would fill about 60 times the number of books in the Library of Congress.
* In the April 16 _Online Journalism Review_, Andrew Stroehlein adds to the growing evidence that regimes frightened by democracy and free speech may feel threatened by the internet, but they are finding increasingly effective ways to neutralize the threat.(Thanks to LIS News.)
* In an April 16 announcement, Philip Pothen , the JISC Communications Manager, spells out the implications of JISC's Information Environment Strategy (FOSN for 12/12/01). While JISC will continue to develop the DNER, it will also start to pursue methods of disseminating scholarly literature and educational content that go beyond the DNER. Pothen also announced the reorganization of JISC, which will be evident on its web starting in May.
* On April 15, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) put online the preservation statistics from 114 ARL libraries for 1998-99.
* In the April 15 _ComputerWorld_, Gary Anthes interviews Hadley Reynolds on the future of search engines. Reynolds sees the day coming when search engines will take questions and deliver answers, rather than take keywords and deliver an avalanche of citations.(Thanks to Gary Price's VASND.)
* On April 4, Metadata Watch put online its eighth report on the SCHEMAS project. The good news in this report is that metadata for different domains (e.g. audio-visual, cultural heritage, education, publishing) are becoming interoperable, and that the long-term sustainability of the standards is now an explicit subject of study by the various committees responsible for them. The SCHEMAS project is sponsored by the UK Office for Library for Library and Information Networking (UKOLN).(Thanks to Shelflife.)
* In the April 4 _Free Pint_, Deborah Kahn and Jenny Drey summarize a survey by DK Associates on how working chemists, as opposed to chemical librarians, seek and find chemical information online. The article includes links to the major chemistry collections and portals online (without saying which are free).(Thanks to the Manchester Metropolitan University Library.)
For another, shorter summary of the same survey, see this (from FOSN for 2/25/02).
* The April issue of _D-Lib Magazine_ is now online. It contains the following FOS-related articles.
Amy Friedlander, "The National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program: Expectations, Realities, Choices and Progress to Date"
Erik Duval and three co-authors, "Metadata Principles and Practicalities"
Marilyn McClelland and two co-authors, "Challenges for Service Providers When Importing Metadata in Digital Libraries"
Neal Beagrie, "An Update on the Digital Preservation Coalition"
Lutz Wiederhold, "The Middle East Virtual Library --MENALIB"
Christine Walker, "ATEEL (Advanced Technology Environmental Education Library"
Maureen Potter and Carolien Nout, "Testbed Digitale Bewaring: Working to Preserve the Digital Memory"(On a Dutch initiative in long-term digital preservation.)
Joanne Kaczmarek, "OAI-PMH Project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign"
Nick Poole, "The Cornucopia Database of UK Collections"
* The April issue of _RLG DigiNews_ is now online. It contains the following FOS-related articles.
Fred Stielow, "Digital Copiers and Scribal Musings"(On the significance of the trend to replace analog photocopiers with digital scanners, especially the potential for building digital archives.)
Michael Day, "The Final CEDARS Workshop: A Report from Manchester, UK"
Highlighted Web site: Open Archival Information System
This month's FAQ tracks 65 online journals launched in 1997 to see which are still publishing and why the others died.
* The April issue of _RLG Focus_ is now online. It contains the following FOS-related articles.
Richard Ovenden, "Goals for Cultural Materials in the University of Edinburgh"
Merrilee Proffitt, "Touring the Information Landscape: The Text Encoding Initiative"(Excellent introduction to the TEI.)
* The March/April issue of _Science Editor_ contains an interview with Paul Ginsparg. Only the issue's table of contents is free online.
* The March _Libres_ contains two FOS-related articles.
Michael Khoo, "Privacy in the 'Library Without Walls' : Library Practice in an Age of Digital Content"
John Matylonek, "Maintaining Quality of Library Web Sites Using Cluster and Path Analysis"
* In the February 25 _Byte_, Bill Nicholls writes about Meta Tools, and includes a good section on the OAI, and on Kepler, the software for making personal OAI-compliant "archivelets".
* In FOSN for 1/8/02, I said that only an abstract of Yuhfen Diana Wu and Mengxiong Liu's article, "Content Management and the Future of Academic Libraries", was available free online. But I just found this full-text PDF.(Thanks to Library Link Newsletter.)
To see past coverage of these stories in FOSN, use the search engine at the FOSN archive.
* More on the CBDTPA
Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has called on legislatures and police to fight a "war" against digital piracy. (PS: If this call for war is a call for the CBDTPA, then it's not a war against piracy so much as a war against universal Turing machines for all people for all purposes. We've seen an insidious escalation in this war, which the generals and profiteers cannot justify in public. Officially, it's a war against pirates of priced digital content, but it harms authors and readers of free digital content. We are the civilians killed by indiscriminate raids, the collateral damage from stupid bombs, the price worth paying to make the world safe for entertainment.)
* More on the CIPA trial
Jeanne Malmgren explains the CIPA issues well in the _St. Petersburg Times_, and gives anecdotes about real people in real libraries.(Thanks to LIS News.)
Lucie Willsie describes the dual assault on libraries and the First Amendment, from CIPA, and the USA PATRIOT Act.(Thanks to LIS News.)
* More on the DMCA
In the last issue I reported that the IEEE, which publishes 30% of the world's engineering and CS literature, required authors to promise that their works did not violate the DMCA. In response to criticism, the IEEE plans to delete that requirement from its copyright transfer agreement. This will free IEEE authors to publish on security, encryption, and copy protection.
The mainstream press is even reporting on the IEEE decision. (Well, OK, the geek and higher-ed press.)
* More on the Eldred case
The American Bar Association has decided not to submit a Morton David Goldberg's amicus brief opposing Eldred. This _LawMeme_ story by Ernest Miller dissects Goldberg's opposition to Eldred's position point by point.
* More on the Elcomsoft/Sklyarov case
Instead of ruling on Elcomsoft's latest motion to dismiss the case, Judge Ronald Whyte postponed the decision until May 6.
* More on Google and the scientologists
David Gallagher writes a comprehensive retrospective of the controversy for the _New York Times_. He makes clear that Google's decision to collaborate with ChillingEffects.org deters infringement complaints and promotes the free exchange of information.
Don Marti in _Linux Journal_ comes to the same conclusion.
* More on the Authors Guild v. Amazon
Jeff Bezos is urging his customers to join an email campaign defending Amazon's practice of selling used books on the same page as new books.
Here's a copy of Bezos' email to customers on the subject.(Thanks to LIS News.)
Amazon customers have rallied to Bezo's message and he thanks them. The Authors Guild wants this important clarification on the record: "it had never advocated forcing public libraries to pay a royalty fee to authors [as Bezos had charged]. Rather, the group said it supported a government-funded royalty system for authors whose books are borrowed from libraries."
M.J. Rose reports that authors are not responding the Authors Guild's request that they stop linking to Amazon from their web pages.
Hillel Italie zeroes in on the factual dispute between Amazon the Authors Guild. Amazon says that used book sales in general, and its own sales method in particular, increase both readership and new book sales for authors. The Authors Guild concedes the point on used book sales in general, but insists that Amazon's "excessively accessible" method hurts authors. Italie rightly wants to know who's right. (PS: Last week I argued that no one should stop Amazon from making used books easy to buy, even if doing so hurts authors. But I'd still like to know whether it does hurt authors. Can both sides document their quantitative claims? If Amazon is right, that will support the wider argument that revenue-expecting copyright holders are helped, not hurt, by methods of distribution that enlarge their audience without directly paying them.)
* More on patented internet protocols
Early in the week we heard that IBM had decided to claim royalties for ebXML, its patented protocol for electronic transactions.
But later in the week we heard that IBM was not going to claim royalties after all.
David Berlind presents the argument that internet standards must be royalty-free.
PS: ebXML does not affect FOS. But if companies like IBM break with the tradition of making patented internet protocols available royalty-free, a tradition unbroken until now, then all internet traffic will be taxed by patent holders. Either this will end free online content or require larger subsidies to keep it free.
* More on purges of scientific information U.S. libraries
At the request of the GPO, 355 libraries have destroyed CDs containing data on the U.S. water supply. Because the GPO did not cite national security, or any other reason, as the justification for destroying the information, a librarian asked why it was necessary. The reply is a classic specimen of doublespeak: "Subsequent contact with the Government Printing Office and the USGS Committee that sets official policy on restriction of sensitive information has reconfirmed the validity of the original written instruction from USGS and GPO to destroy the report."(Thanks to LIS News.)
* More on the Bush denial of the digital divide
Former Undersecretary of the Department of Commerce Clarence Irving is the latest to assert that President Bush is wrong to deny the existence of the digital divide in the U.S. and wrong to cut funds to bridge it.
Catching up (old news I should have discovered earlier)
* FreeBooks4Doctors is a collection of over 5,000 free, online, full-text medical books. The books are as recent as 2002, and can be browsed by specialty, title, or language (English, French, German, Spanish, and other). The site is funded by Bernd Sebastian Kamps and Amedeo, which also host a portal to free online medical journals (FOSN for 11/26/01). Kamps has strong FOS statement on the site: "Put your writings on the internet for free. You will have an infinite[ly] greater number of readers compared with paperback publications and you will establish a relationship with your readers. The spirit of science is to share information. Be part of it." Quoting the author of a cardiology textbook: "Publishers drink champagne from the skulls of their authors...."
* The Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library (THDL) is a free archive of cultural resources and texts in six languages. It is maintained by David Germano and the University of Virginia Library. The THDL is one of the first digital archives to use Cornell's Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture (FEDORA).
More on FEDORA
If you plan to attend one of the following conferences, please share your observations with us through our discussion forum. (Conferences marked by two asterisks are new since the last issue.)
* Information, Knowledges and Society: Challenges of A New EraHavana, April 22-26
* Current Awareness Services on the NetToronto, April 22 - June 3
* Workshop on the 6th Framework ProgrammeBarcelona, April 23
* DAI Institute on The State of Digital Preservation: An International PerspectiveWashington, D.C., April 24-25
* CLIR Sponsors' Symposium: New Challenges, New Solutions: Libraries for the FutureWashington, D.C., April 26
* The European Library: The Gate to Europe's Knowledge: Milestone ConferenceFrankfurt am Main, April 29-30
* WebSearch UniversityStamford CT, April 30 - May 1; Washington DC, September 23-24; Chicago, Octeober 22-23; Dallas, November 19-20.
* Council of Science Editors Annual MeetingSan Diego, May 4-7
* Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data MiningTaipei, May 6-8
* DLM-Forum 2002. Access and Preservation of Electronic Information. Best Practices and Solutions.Barcelona, May 7-8
* NISO/DLF Workshop on Standards for Electronic Resource ManagementChicago, May 10
* ContentWorld 2002 [mostly for commercial content]San Jose, California, May 13-16
* Copyright for Beginners [among librarians and information professionals]London, May 15
* National Conference for Digital Government ResearchLos Angeles, May 19-22
* Libraries in the Digital Age 2002Dubrovnik, May 21-26
* CAiSE '02. Advanced Information Systems EngineeringToronto, May 27-31
* Workshop on Personalization Techniques in Electronic Publishing on the Web: Trends and PerspectivesMalaga, Spain, May 28
* Society for Scholarly Publishing (AAP)Boston, May 29-31
** Fair Use SeminarPortland, Oregon, May 30
* Off the Wall and Online: Providing Web Access to Cultural CollectionsLexington, Massachusetts, May 30-31
* Multimedia Content and Tools: Towards Information and Knowledge SystemsLondon, May 30-31
* Advancing Knowledge: Expanding Horizons for Information ScienceToronto, May 30 - June 1
* Electronic Theses and Dissertations 2002Provo, Utah, May 30 - June 1
The Free Online Scholarship Newsletter is supported by a grant from the Open Society Institute.
This is the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter (ISSN 1535-7848).
Please feel free to forward any issue of the newsletter to interested colleagues. If you are reading a forwarded copy of this issue, you may subscribe by signing up at the FOS home page.
FOS home page, general information, subscriptions, editorial position
FOS Newsletter, subscriptions, back issues
FOS Discussion Forum, subscriptions, postings
Guide to the FOS Movement
Sources for the FOS Newsletter
Copyright (c) 2002, Peter Suber