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Intellectual Property: An Historical Perspective on the Commodification of Information, by Darcy Sharman, a recent grad of the University of Alberta library school, presents a look at the development of commodified information from early beginnings to the technological present. It is an interesting paper that has relevence for the current practice of librarianship, because librarians make information available for free (with public or community funding) at a time when there is increasing pressure to view all information as a commodity.
The introduction is ahead: -- Read More
Murdock\'s Lies and the Representation of Information, by Australian professor Gordon Fletcher, takes a critical, postmodern view of the recent question, \"What is Information?\" Information Theory has encouraged us to look at information as something uniform, but this distracts us from what is actually represented by it. This paper looks at examples of information as artefacts, from a material culture perspective, and as stories, all with the point of providing insight into the social nature of what now circulates electronically in commodified form.
Go ahead for an excerpt from the conclusion: -- Read More
Someone posted this question on a list, and it got me thinking...
I am wondering if anyone knows more about the
implications of the UnCover suit? It seems to me -- woefully ignorant of
coprught law -- that this suit is similar to the recent Napster one and the
Screen Actors Guild one...in which musicians or actors are demanding payment
for each use of their material. Is this correct?
Next, I am wondering how this UnCover decision plays out in the academic
world. I have always had to sign away copyright to the publisher of the jrnl
in which my piece was to appear. (I am particularly sensitive about this
right now as I\'ve recently gone thru a period of strained relations with the
press that holds the copyright on one of my articles.) What is the future of
academic publishing after this decision? Will jrnls only publish articles
that have a re-sale value?
Library science is a field transformed by the cyber-revolution. A generation ago, \"the librarian had the crepe-soled shoes and the bun and was holding court in a book-lined environment,\" says Carol Hoffmann, assistant to the director of the University of Pittsburgh\'s library system.
The Argus Leader is Reporting The historic Carnegie Free Library building in downtown Sioux Falls will be a town hall for the public with some office space for city employees, the City Council decided Tuesday.
Andrew Carnegie - The Bill Gates of the past. -- Read More
Amos Hausner, a lawyer for U.S. scholar Robert Eisenman, said the decision inhibits the free use of scientific knowledge.
“It’s like copyrighting scientific truth, like Einstein copyrighting ‘e equals mc2,’” Hausner said. “These ancient texts are part of the scientific knowledge.”
Next up to be copywritten (if that\'s a word) The Bible?! -- Read More
Bob Cox sent in the IFLANET Library Humour site. You can read, and laugh along, with such classics as :
REVEYRAND\'S LIBRARY LAWS
The Top 13 Obscure Campus Library Rules
And many, many more.
Q: What happens when you cross a librarian and a lawyer?
A: You get all the information you want, but you can\'t understand it.
Super Helpful Lee Hadden writes:
An article in the September 4, 2000 issue of the Scientist talks about attempts to get medical information and access to articles available throughout the third world by e-publishing. Sponsored by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, publishers and scientist and representatives of medical literature societies got together to hash out plans to make current medical information available to poorer nations.
Bob Cox sent in this Yahoo Interenet Life has an Interview with James Billington, \"the nation\'s chief archivist\". They cover whats going online, and where he sees the library heading in the future. Including the obvious and over-asked question, will we need libraries in the future? -- Read More
The LOC has posted the replies on the DMCA. Comments included from American Library Association, American Association of Law Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, Medical Library Association,and the Special Libraries Association
This is a bad law that was written to protect big publishers and large corporations.
firstname.lastname@example.org writes \"PictureAustralia was launched this week by the National Library of Australia to provide access to the pictorial collections of a number of Australia\'s leading cultural institutions. http://www.pictureaustralia.org brings together almost 500,000 images of Australia and Australians from the collections of the National Library, the National Archives, the University of Queensland, the State Library of New South Wales, the Australian War Memorial and the State Library of Victoria. \"
The PANDORA Archive of selected Australian online publications such as electronic journals, organisational sites, government publications and ephemera. They have developed policy and procedures for the preservation of and provision of access to Australian online publications and a service for indexing and abstracting agencies by archiving indexed and abstracted items upon request and allocating a persistent identifier to them.
The current focus of the PANDORA Project is the development of an improved collecting system for gathering Web sites for the PANDORA archive.
Is it Wednesday? I always get so confused after these three day holidays. Luckily the Studio B Buzz gets put together anyway. Today\'s highlights include an
\"Library officials said Tuesday that the show taped a 15-year-old girl using a computer at the library to access pornographic Web sites.
The youngster also checked out an R-rated video.Library spokewoman Anya Breitenbach said library officials declined an invitation to appear on the show.
\"We felt it was a set-up, and we weren\'t interested.\" -- Read More
Here is an article from Newsbytes about those \"Ask A\" services that companies like Webhelp.com seem to think will rule the web searching realm in the future. A word to the wise when using these services...patience, patience, patience.\"After about six minutes, Shawn showed me a page with general information on Dalmatians and asked if this was what I was looking for. I said, \"No, I wanted to buy a Dalmatian.\"
About six or seven minutes later Shawn returned with a list of Dalmatians for sale on eBay.\" -- Read More
Henry Norr writes in the San Francisco Chronicle about e-books. His verdict: Won\'t it be wonderful when all our books are e-books? But for now, Norr writes, there are obstacles. Electronic, reusable paper with a programmable substrate of ink will be e-books\' salvation, he says, but not for a decade or so.
The fundamental issue is purely pragmatic: After centuries of evolution not only in paper production and printing but also in design, we\'ve arrived at paper-based forms that are supremely well adapted to the task of displaying information.
We hear a lot these days about the fact that web
\"vertical.\" And many new vertical portals are being
communities and researchers to focus better than ever
on special topics.
Vertical portals are major web sites or community
destinations focused on
specific topics, niches, or demographic affiliations. To
keep on top of the
latest news relating to vertical portals, their
successes and failures, and the communities they
seek to connect with, try
Vertical Buzz, a handy, hand-edited digest of vertical
Published every two weeks and designed to save you
To Subscribe: Send a blank email to
A companion web site about vertical portals is slated to
launch in the late
Timmy writes \"I saw this one over on librarian.net. The USAToday Travel Guide has an intersting story on some of the best library reading rooms from around the country, written by Ginnie Cooper, a librarian.\"
Full StoryThey include Louisville Free Public Library, Denver Public Library, The Library of Congress, and others.
Bob Cox sent in this Link to Howard Besser\'s Shirt Database. This database has been constructed by Howard Besser\'s library school students using cataloging instructions, with technical assistance from the Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE and design assistance from Masako Sho. There are 533 t-shirts in the database. See also Howard\'s 1996 Ann Arbor TShirt Exhibition.
forbes.com has \"The Story Of E-Books\". \"E-books, which are starting to go from novelty to mainstream, are definitely compelling. You can get them in minutes without going to a bookstore, customize the way they look, search through text, insert electronic bookmarks and even look up the meanings of words. \"
And from Buisnessweek:
Digital Talking Books Speak Volumes for the Disabled \"But books on audiocassette may soon go the way of the 78-rpm record. A dynamic new technology for spoken-word recordings, called digital talking books (DTBs), promises to rapidly replace tapes. The technology is about three years old and not commonly available in bookstores yet. But DTBs offer the flexibility of a print book harnessed to the power of a computer. You can download them from the Web. And best of all, whole libraries can now be fit on a few disks.\"