Thursday Threads: Publisher/Librarian Rights, Cultural Commons, HTML5 Web Apps, Wifi Management

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This week's list of threads starts with a pointer a statement by the International Coalition of Library Consortia on the growing pressure between publishers and libraries over the appropriate rights and permissions for scholarly material. In that same vein, Joe Lucia writes about his vision for libraries and the cultural commons to the Digital Public Library of America mailing list. On the more geeker side is a third link to an article with the experience of content producers creating HTML5-enabled web apps. And finally, on the far geeky side, is a view of what happens when a whole lot of new wireless devices -- smartphones, tablets, and the like -- show up on a wifi network.

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ICOLC Response to the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical (STM) Statement

A recent statement by the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) advocates a set of new guidelines for document delivery ( While intellectual property laws vary from country to country, STM's approach would radically alter well-established library practices that advance knowledge, support scholarship, and are compliant with current copyright laws. The STM recommendations are in conflict with widely held principles that provide a copyright exception for interlibrary loan (ILL) activities. The regime anticipated by the STM statement would place unfair restrictions on researchers' access to information. In particular, ICOLC contends that:

  1. interlibrary loan, under existing principles and laws, is consistent with the three-step test of Berne;
  2. cross-border deliveries are adequately and appropriately governed by current copyright law;
  3. digital document delivery directly to an end-user is best coordinated through the end-user's library or community of learners;
  4. libraries are able to deliver on-site articles to library walk-up patrons in any format, including both digital and print;
  5. current copyright law appropriately places the burden on the library user to affirm that the documents they receive are for private, non-commercial use.

The ICOLC strongly supports IFLA's Draft Library Treaty, Article 7, which states "It shall be permissible for a library or archive to supply a copy of any work. . . lawfully acquired or accessed by the library or archive, to another library or archive for subsequent supply to any of its users, by any means . . . provided that such use is compatible with fair practice as determined in national law" ( See also ARL's statement clarifying legal protections afforded to libraries for national and international ILL use (, and related documents ( and

- ICOLC Response to the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical (STM) Statement, International Coalition of Library Consortia, issued June 22, 2011

On the heels of last week's frightening copyright scenario comes this statement from the International Coalition of Library Consortia. It was short, so the main content of the statement is posted above. Follow the link in the citation to find contact information for the ICOLC statement. Library Journal also has an article on the statement with quotes from Tracy Thompson-Przylucki and Ann Okerson.

Libraries & the Cultural Commons

Reduced to its medium-independent core, the mission of libraries is to subsidize and sustain barrier-free access to intellectual and cultural resources for our constituents and communities. In that sense, libraries establish a bridge between the proprietary realm of commercially supplied intellectual property and the gift economies of intellectual and cultural expression. From my perspective, everything we do flows from that core function. The DPLA will be, in effect, a new global networked digital face of the library as cultural and intellectual commons.

- Libraries & the Cultural Commons, by Joe Lucia, DPLA mailing list, 22-Jun-2011

Joe Lucia, University Librarian at Villanova University, posted this broad and, frankly, energizing view of the role for libraries to the Digital Public Library of America mailing list. If you want a concise view of how libraries are about content and services and not the historical carrier and delivery mechanisms, then take a look at this message.

The FT and NPR: HTML5 as part of a multi-platform strategy

I had heard that the FT and Apple were struggling to come to an agreement on digital subscriptions, so it came as no surprise to me that the FT has launched an HTML5 web app. Some folks have added sneer quotes around app, but I’m not going to. The HTML5 version of the FT’s app looks, behaves and has even more functionality than their native iPad app.

I think there is a strong future in common agreement of web markup standards over proprietary app development. I've made that point serveral times on DLTJ, so I remain attuned to stories that point in that direction. This article points to how the U.K.'s Financial Times built an iPad app using the built-in Safari browser and the HTML5 tools like advanced cascading stylesheets and offline storage for reading when you are off the net (just like the old Financial Times native app). And, of course, the techniques work on other tablet platforms with minimal modification. NPR is experimenting with the same technique using Google's Chrome web browser.

Wi-Fi client surge forcing fresh wireless LAN thinking

IDC reports that twice as many smartphones and tablets, nearly all with Wi-Fi, will ship compared to laptops this year. The number of Wi-Fi certified handsets in 2010 was almost 10 times the number certified in 2007, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance. Tablets, e-readers and portable audio devices are helping to drive this growth.

The result is a very different wireless environment in terms of radio behaviors, Wi-Fi implementations, applications, usage and traffic compared to just a year or two ago. This raises a different set of issues from simply managing these mobile devices with tools from vendors...

Long ago I used to have to manage network infrastructure. That was back in the days when, for a small organization, one person could be the unix system administrator, the network administrator, and help with desktop support. With the complexity and pervasiveness of devices, though, I don't think one person can do all of that any more. It is articles like this one that talk about the difficulties managing wireless networks that are bursting at the seams with new devices that make me realize how far networking has come in the past two decades.

The text was modified to update a link from to on November 21st, 2012.