During the cookies and lemonade break during JCDL this afternoon I surprised one of the well-respected elders of the field with this question: are we really making progress? are we winning a fight against entropy 1? I wasn’t out for a quote for publication at the time so I won’t reveal the individual’s name, but I will report that there was a chuckle then the reply “cautiously optimistic.”
If you look along the right-most row in this picture, about midway vertically in the shot, you can see someone in a cream-colored shirt with an Apple laptop. (You can tell it is an Apple laptop because of the glowing white logo in the center.) That’s me.
ZoneTag Photo Monday 10:19:18
Originally uploaded by jacksonfox.
The plenary session of JCDL this morning was Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard Law School and University of Oxford) entitled “Open Information: Redaction, Restriction, and Removal.” This was so good that I couldn’t stand to stop and take notes. I did write down one bit: “Libraries are the best hope…for the controlled release of information.” His point was that the library profession is a trusted gatekeeper — librarians have a track record of providing orderly access to shared information resources and taking seriously the responsibility to provide access to those resources under the terms with which they were acquired. (Although there was a great deal of humming in the room at one key point of the presentation — those that were there know what I mean.) Can publishers entrust content to us such that the library controls the DRM that protects the content? Would publishers be willing to give the library the content in an unrestricted form with the promise, in the form of a legal agreement, that the library will apply the appropriate DRM at the appropriate time? Could that be a new role for libraries in this new DRM-happy society?
JCDL is ranking high one of the most useful (and when not useful one of the most interesting) meetings I’ve attended. This is my first time here, and although I’d heard about it before I did not realize what a treat it would be to attend. I’m a practice-oriented guy with an eye towards useful (implementable) theoretical stuff, and so far JCDL has hit that sweet-spot very nicely. The down side is this — here at the start of the second day of the meeting I just need to dump my brain into this and a few other postings and hope that I’ll have a chance to get back to these thoughts some day.
I am excited almost beyond description to be sharing a panel with Sandy Payette (Cornell
University, USA), Andrew Treloar (Monash University, Australia), Matthias Razum (Fiz
Karlsruhe, Germany), and Carl Lagoze (Cornell University, USA) at the upcoming Joint Conference on Digital Libraries. The tutorial is on Sunday afternoon (Sunday, June 11, 2006, 1:30-5:00pm local time) with the title “The Fedora Service Framework – Advanced Applications and Panel Discussion”. Sandy’s recent announcement include this abstract: