This weekend I was at the second “DPLAfest” for the Digital Public Library of America. For a while I was in the national e-book program track. Participants from public and academic libraries, from consortia, from publishers, and from authors discussed what a national ebok program for libraries would look like. There were discussions of the multiple paths through which content could get into libraries: front-list titles, mid- and back-list titles, public domain works, independent publishers, and individual authors. And there was also discussion about many ways the ebooks could appear in libraries: in Adobe Digital Edition catalogs, through e-reader applications, in public access catalogs, and so forth. In between the sources and the destinations was the “marketplace” concept. And that reminded me of a similar architecture — the internet “hourglass”.
You could say “this is a service to watch” but that would be missing the point. Yesterday the ‘Unglue.It‘ service launched as a way to crowdsource the funding of a fee to authors to release their own works under a Creative Commons license.
On the second day of the OCLC Global Council meeting [agenda PDF] there was a presentation by Robin Murray (VP, OCLC Global Product Management) and Jim Michalko (VP, OCLC Research Library Partnership) called “Linked Open Data”. The title of the presentation was an understatement because the real heart of the matter was WorldCat data as linked open data. The presentation was about an hour long, and despite the technical difficulties was fascinating to listen to through the . OCLC says the archive of the meeting will be available at some point, and I urge you to check it out when it becomes available.
Welcome to the new year! Threads this week include a brief analysis of the legal problems in store if SOPA and PROTECT-IP become law, what an analysis of the problems with Best Buy might teach libraries, and why open source licensing of clinical tools is important.
This week’s big news is hard to miss — we have a decision by the judge evaluating the settlement agreement in the Google Book Search lawsuit. This is probably the first of many follow-ups in DLTJ as this case keeps taking interesting twists and turns. Also of note this week is Cornell Library’s statement that it will no longer sign contracts that include non-disclosure agreements. Lastly is a pointer to a 10 minute video of Hans Rosling’s TED talk on machines leading to increased literacy.
It is an all e-books edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads this week. The biggest news was the announcement of the policy change by HarperCollins for ebooks distributed through OverDrive. Beyond that, though, was an announcement of a new sharing model and program through the Internet Archive. Lastly is a slidecast recording of a presentation by David Lewis on the future of library collections.
This week’s Thursday Threads highlights includes two legal cases that bear watching. The first is the case of SkyRiver/Innovative Interfaces versus OCLC (covered on DLTJ previously); now that the case has been moved to OCLC’s home court (the federal district court located in Columbus, OH), it is asking for the case to be dismissed. The second legal cases is the UCLA streaming media case, with issues ranging from fair use to licensing terms to DMCA violations; if this one goes to trial we might get some new case law surrounding the intersection of copyright and libraries. The remaining two pieces are a look at how publishers (and librarians) should avoid paving cow-paths and the origins of the hash symbol.
On Saturday morning of ALA Midwinter 2010, Dr. Jennifer Younger moderated a session on the progress of the OCLC Record Use Policy Council. The meeting started with an introduction to the reasons behind the creation of the Record Use Council, the charge of the Council from the board of trustees, and how the framing of the discussion of the policy is guided by the values and history of OCLC the cooperative. There wasn’t much new here for those that have been following the progress of the policy discussion, so I am skipping over it most of it with the exception of a few notable topics. After that, I’m focusing on the lengthy question and answer session that followed Dr. Younger’s background presentation.
A controversy is starting to pick up in the business librarian community — primarily in the U.K. it would seem — regarding the licensing demands of Harvard Business Press (HBP) for the inclusion of Harvard Business Review articles in EBSCOhost. HBP content in EBSCOhost carries a publisher-specific rider that says use is limited to “private individual use” and explicitly bars the practice of putting “deep links” of articles from EBSCOhost (so called “persistent links“) into learning management systems. In my words, HBP is attempting to limit access to its content in EBSCOhost to those who find it through the serendipity of searching. And now HBP is going after schools that are using persistent linking, and this raises all sorts of troubling questions.