SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION ISSUES

A NEWSLETTER FOR THE UIUC COMMUNITY

Issue No. 36

January 27, 2003

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian

Editor

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Welcome to all our new readers.  This Newsletter appears regularly throughout the year.  I welcome your comments and suggestions about coverage.  Please send them to me at ptk@uiuc.edu.

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IN MAJOR COUP, EDITOR BOLTS PRESTIGIOUS JOURNAL FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE

The Public Library of Science (PLoS), the non-profit organization of scientists working to make the world's scientific and medical literature a freely accessible public resource, announced a major coup recently when it named a leading scientific journal editor to head PLOS's recently announced publishing venture. Vivian Siegel, Ph.D., is currently the editor of CELL, one of the most prestigious and influential journals in biomedical research. The PLoS announced last month that it was launching its own scientific publishing venture, backed by a five-year, $9 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. At PLoS, Siegel will direct the open-access publishing initiative, recruit editors for PLoS journals, and develop the policies and public education activities of the new organization. Credibility was one of the major issues facing the PLoS in its move to publish its own open-access journals. With Siegel’s appointment it seems that scientists may be ready to actively support the PLoS' goals of open access through its publishing efforts, if not through its earlier proposed boycott.

Library Journal Academic News Wire: January 16, 2003

 

NYPL GETS MALCOLM X PAPERS

The brouhaha that arose when some papers of Malcolm X’s were put up for sale on a subsidiary of eBay has ended happily.  A daughter of the slain black leader has given New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture a collection of his handwritten speeches and journals that were kept during his travels to Africa and the Middle East in 1964, the year before his assassination. The documents cover the period when Malcolm X broke from the Nation of Islam and renounced racial separatism. The collection, which is valued in the half-million-dollar range, has been the subject of controversy because of a dispute over the daughter's failure to pay some fees on the storage unit. The Schomburg Center will now be the depository for the collection for 75 years, an arrangement that could be renewed with the mutual consent of both of the parties. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-01-07-malcolm-x-papers_x.htm   ShelfLife, No. 89 (16 January 2003)

 

MICKEY WINS SUPREME COURT BATTLE

The Supreme Court has upheld longstanding copyrights designed to protect the profits of songs, books and cartoon characters, a huge victory for Disney and other companies. The 7-2 ruling, while not unexpected, was a blow to Internet publishers and others who wanted to make old books available online and use the likenesses of a Mickey Mouse cartoon and other old creations without paying high royalties. Hundreds of thousands of books, movies and songs were close to being released into the public domain when Congress extended the copyright by 20 years in 1998. Justices said the copyright extension, named for the late Rep. Sonny Bono, R-Calif., was not unconstitutional. The Constitution "gives Congress wide leeway to prescribe `limited times' for copyright protection and allows Congress to secure the same level and duration of protection for all copyright holders, present and future," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said from the bench. A contrary ruling would have cost entertainment giants like The Walt Disney Co. and AOL Time Warner Inc. hundreds of millions of dollars. AOL Time Warner had said that would threaten copyrights for such movies as "Casablanca," "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone With the Wind." Also at risk of expiration was protection for the version of Mickey Mouse portrayed in Disney's earliest films, such as 1928's "Steamboat Willie." Congress passed the copyright law after heavy lobbying from companies with lucrative copyrights.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=509&u=/ap/20030115/ap_on_bi_ge/scotus_copyrights&printer=1

Jesse Walker, of Reason, "interviews" Mickey about his continued captivity under the Supreme Court-approved Copyright Term Extension Act. http://www.reason.com/links/links011703.shtml

 

DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT COMES UNDER FIRE

A report released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation concludes that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is subverting free speech and hampering innovation. The study, titled "Unintended Consequences," says aggressive applications of the law have reached beyond the intent of the measure, quashing free expression and scientific research, jeopardizing fair use, and impeding competition. "In practice, the anti-circumvention provisions have been used to stifle a wide array of legitimate activities, rather than to stop copyright piracy," says the report. The study cites more than a dozen cases where intellectual property holders have used the DMCA over-aggressively, including that of Edward Felten, a Princeton professor who backed down from giving a speech about his research efforts following threats from the record industry. The report's release comes as some Washington lawmakers have introduced a bill to scale back some of the DCMA's provisions. (CNet News.com 10 Jan 2003)

http://news.com.com/2100-1023-980112.html

See http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/20030102_dmca_unintended_consequences.html for the report.  ShelfLife, No. 90 (23 January 2003)

 

ABA DIRECTS DELEGATES TO DELAY UCITA VOTE

BNA's Electronic Commerce & Law Report reports that the American Bar Association's Business Law Section has directed its delegates to the ABA House of Delegates to move to delay a vote on a resolution that would give the ABA's approval for the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act to be submitted to state legislatures for adoption. Alternatively, the delegates are directed to vote against the UCITA resolution to be presented at the ABA's midyear meeting in Seattle.  Article at http://pubs.bna.com/ip/BNA/eip.nsf/is/a0a6h9e9a0

BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 1/23/03

 

HIGH-TECH GROUP BATTLES HOLLYWOOD ON COPYRIGHT ISSUES

The Alliance for Digital Progress (ADP)—a new Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group whose members include Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Motorola and the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA)—is specifically designed to oppose Fritz Hollings' CBDTPA, which has not yet been reintroduced in the new session of Congress, or to gather tech muscle and money to neutralize Hollywood muscle and money on technology and copyright issues. The ADP website contains a good deal of research and a web form for sending a message to one's Congressional delegation. http://alliancefordigitalprogress.org/ADP/ and http://shorl.com/hyrogygogrovy NewsScan Daily, 24 January 2003

 

KEY TO ENDING MUSIC PIRACY IS TO INVADE PRIVACY?

The record labels' legal assault is winning battles and losing the war. The industry needs to educate its customers, not prosecute them. Kids make CD compilations for their law-abiding parents at Christmas. Friends burn songs or entire albums for friends. Some don't know that it's stealing. Most simply don't care. After all, until now, no one worried about negative consequence. All that changed on Jan. 21, when a U.S. District Court ruled that Internet service provider Verizon, if requested, must unmask the identity of subscribers suspected of trading unauthorized music files on peer-to-peer file-sharing services. In a 35- page ruling, Judge John Bates dismissed Verizon's claims that revealing the name of a subscriber who had offered to share 600 copyrighted songs would be an invasion of privacy. Specifically, downloading and sharing hundreds of copyrighted songs is neither fair use nor a form of protected speech, the judge ruled. Bates's ruling marks an important new phase in the music industry's three-year war on Internet piracy. The RIAA's war on piracy already has angered many die-hard music fans. Branding too many customers criminals could incur the wrath of the larger music community, which still buys CDs. The goal is not to alienate but to educate. Until now, the main strategy of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been a legal assault on high-profile distributors of copyrighted material, including Napster, Aimster, Morpheus, and KaZaA. And in the courtroom, the RIAA has won every time. Yet the industry doesn't appear to be winning where it really wants to—in the marketplace. CD sales continue to fall. In the first half of 2002, U.S. music shipments dropped 7%, to $5.53 billion from $5.93 billion in the first half of 2001.

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/jan2003/nf20030127_9897.htm

 

GO BACK TO THE CONSTITUTION FOR COPYRIGHT TERMS ECONOMIST ARGUES

An editorial in a recent issue of Economist argues for a 14 year copyright term, renewable once, the rule in force at the time of the adoption of the U.S. constitution. This victory for the public domain should be balanced by a victory for the content industry in the form of strong Digital Rights Management (DRM) backed by laws prohibiting its circumvention. After conceding that both sides in today's copyright wars have merit (piracy is harming the content industry, but the response is harming the public domain), the editorial makes this argument: "Over the past 50 years, as a result of heavy lobbying by content industries, copyright has grown to such ludicrous proportions that it now often inhibits rather than promotes the circulation of ideas....Starting from scratch today, no rational, disinterested lawmaker would agree to copyrights that extend to 70 years after an author's death, now the norm in the developed world....The flood of free content on the internet has shown that most creators do not need incentives that stretch across generations. To reward those who can attract a paying audience, and the firms that support them, much shorter copyrights would be enough." http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1547223

 

VIRTUAL TECHNICAL REPORTS CENTER

Trying to find technical reports? The University of Maryland’s Virtual Technical Reports Center provides access to the technical reports issued by a number of institutions either as full-text reports or searchable extended abstracts of their technical reports on the World Wide Web. The site contains links to technical reports, preprints, reprints, dissertations, theses, and research reports of all kinds. Some metasites are listed by subject categories, as well as by institution. This site will be updated monthly. http://www.lib.umd.edu/ENGIN/TechReports/Virtual-TechReports.html

 

PARALLEL PRESS

The University of Wisconsin has developed a reprint capability under the imprint "Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries." Its first publication is Stephen Atkins’ 1991 monograph The Academic Library in the American University. The initial motivation of this venture was modest—to provide copies for sale to students in Maryland’s "Academic Library Seminar."  The cost for the undertaking was relatively small—60 copies (including a new cover design and copyright royalty) were produced for $1200, or a cost of $20/copy for the initial print run.  If needed, more copies can be printed at a substantially lower unit cost.  The book is also freely available on the Internet in a version that is searchable.  http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/UWDLR.AcadLib

 

MORE ON FAXON’S FATE

Following withdrawal of interest from SWETS (see the last issue of this Newsletter), RoweCom, Inc., doing business as RoweCom, Faxon or divine Information Services, late last week announced the signing of a non-binding letter of intent with EBSCO Industries, Inc., the global leader for the delivery of integrated information systems and services, for the proposed purchase of the RoweCom worldwide subscription agent business. The proposed transaction was also endorsed by the steering committee of the ad-hoc group of publishers and library customers of RoweCom. The committee, including the publisher members, the American Institute of Physics, the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers, Elsevier, Oxford University Press and Wiley, will try to expand the group of publishers supporting this transaction as they believe the contemplated agreement is a significant step forward for customers and publishers. The proposed transaction is subject to due diligence and definitive documentation, among other customary conditions to be satisfied prior to completing the transaction, including regulatory approval and the like. Additionally, the proposal will require publishers and libraries to work with EBSCO regarding the fulfillment of prepaid RoweCom orders. The U.S. transaction will be implemented through a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of RoweCom. This announcement follows the December 20, 2002 press release by RoweCom's parent company, divine inc. ("divine"), which indicated that divine had decided to no longer support the Business. Since late December there has been considerable concern and uncertainty among RoweCom's customers and publishers with respect to orders placed with RoweCom, most of which have not been placed with publishers. However, a number of publishers had agreed to grace RoweCom customers while investigations and negotiations ensued over a possible restructuring of the RoweCom business. For customers of RoweCom's European operations, all orders placed with RoweCom will be fulfilled. The parties intend to execute definitive purchase documents within 10 days subject to French regulatory filings as required by French law. divine has agreed to provide working capital funding for RoweCom's European operations in the interim. Once the transaction receives French regulatory approval and the transaction closes, EBSCO will remit payment to publishers in full. Until that time, EBSCO is asking publishers to continue to fulfill subscriptions. EBSCO has already secured participation from the majority of the publishers and is optimistic the remaining publishers will agree, now that the situation appears to be clarified. http://www.ebscoind.com

For those interested in the ad-hoc creditors group, a list-serve group has been set up on Yahoo at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rowecomcreditors

 

INDUSTRY CONSOLIDATION IN JOURNAL PUBLISHING

SPARC recently sponsored a forum on what journal publishing consolidation means for libraries.  The current round of corporate acquisitions in the profitable STM journal publishing industry appears to be concentrating enormous market power in a few hands. What is the impact of this industry consolidation on journal subscribers? On competition? On access to information? What government scrutiny do these deals receive? Should libraries be concerned? What can they do about it? These issues were examined by: Mark J. McCabe, Assistant Professor, School of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Theodore T. Bergstrom, Aaron and Cherie Raznick Chair of Economics, Economics Department, University of California Santa Barbara, and Mary M. Case, Director, Office of Scholarly Communication, Association of Research Libraries

http://www.arl.org/sparc/core/index.asp?page=h25

 

COLLECTIONS AND ACCESS FOR THE 21st CENTURY SCHOLAR

In its December 2002 Bimonthly Report, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) highlights papers presented at its October 2001 forum on "Collections & Access for the 21st-Century Scholar." A prevailing theme of papers and discussions at that forum was how the changes in the environment of scholarly communication were shifting or blurring boundaries of responsibilities within the library, across campus, and externally among the many stakeholders in the system. The forum participants concurred that this fluid and unsettled environment presented both leadership opportunities and challenges for a library, especially in regard to the library's collection management decisions and access strategies. In early 2002, the ARL Collections and Access Issues Task Force was formed to follow up on the discussions at that forum, and to make recommendations on new or revised collections and access agendas for the Association. Also included in this issue is the task force’s subsequent paper that identifies what it believes to be the salient factors that are influencing the general climate of change for these research libraries, as well as the significant changes and emerging trends in collection management and access strategies. The findings are based on a summer 2002 Web survey of ARL member libraries, a review of recent selected publications, personal experience, and conversations with colleagues who also direct research libraries.

http://www.arl.org/newsltr/225/index.html

 

BUSH OFFERS HELP TO RECRUIT NEW LIBRARIANS

Laura Bush announced that President Bush's 2004 budget will include a proposal for increased funding for the nation's libraries and museums. The President's 2004 proposed budget will be sent to Congress on February 3, 2003. Over the next 16 years, America's libraries are projected to lose 58 percent of their professional librarians. The President's budget proposal addresses this loss with a special focus on recruiting and training the next generation of librarians. Last year, the President's budget included $10 million for this initiative. This year, the budget requests $20 million for this initiative. The 2004 budget request includes a total of approximately $242 million for museums and libraries, which is a 15 percent increase over last year's request. Federal funding for the 122,000 libraries and 15,000 museums in the United States is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  Grants from IMLS help libraries and museums use new technology; attract state and local support; preserve our cultural heritage; and bring information, knowledge, and ideas to children, families, schools and communities.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030123-4.html

 

INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS BACK ISSUES

The Institute of Physics has digitized the past issues of all its journals, back to 1874, and put them online in searchable, interlinked PDF files. This comes to more than 500 volume-years of journals and over 100,000 articles, including some of the early works of Schrödinger and Boltzmann. Subscribers to the historical archive have access to full- text. Non-subscribers can run searches and read abstracts. Copies of the archive are also for sale. For more information, see the press release, visit the archive, or run a search.  http://www.iop.org/journal/archive/IOPJournalArchiveA4.pdf

 

RETAILERS FORM THEIR OWN DIGITAL MUSIC VENTURE

Six retail music store chains are teaming up to form a joint venture called Echo, which will offer retailers technology and access to individual tracks for downloading to portable devices and PCs. Each retailer will be able to decide how to use the Echo service—for example, stores could offer a compilation CD of music tracks, allowing customers to access some of them for free and charging a fee to listen to the rest. Portable players could be sold pre-loaded with music that buyers could listen to for a fee. Retailers could also allow customers to download tracks at in-store kiosks or via Web sites like Radio Free Virgin. The Echo founders are Best Buy, Tower Records, Virgin Entertainment Group, Wherehouse Music, Hastings Entertainment and Trans World Entertainment, operator of FYE, Strawberries and Coconuts stores. "We're trying to make digital music work in a mass market way, for millions of people. That hasn't happened yet," says Echo CEO Dan Hart. "I think consumers will pay, but you have to provide the greater level of value. We're the traditional trading partner of the labels. We understand marketing and how to provide value to consumers." Echo is working with Microsoft and RealNetworks to incorporate digital rights management software in order to control how the songs are copied or shared over the Internet. (AP 27 Jan 2003)

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20030127/D7OQER1G0.html

NewsScan Daily, 27 January 2003

 

DIGITAL DILEMMAS

“Governments of the industrial world, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from cyberspace, the new home of mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”  In 1996 John Perry Barlow, a former cattle rancher, lyricist for a rock band, the Grateful Dead, and commentator on technology, posted these words in an online discussion group. His “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” was an 800-word credo which claimed that users of the internet inhabited a new world of creativity, equality and justice which would forever remain beyond the reach of existing governments. “We will create a civilization of the mind in cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before,” he concluded with a flourish.” Mr. Barlow's musings struck a chord at the time, spreading rapidly through the internet. The declaration encapsulated the exhilaration and wonder of millions of people as they logged on to the world wide web for the first time. It really did seem possible that the internet had launched a spontaneous revolution that might lead to a brave new borderless world. Seven years later, Mr Barlow's claims may sound absurd: just another example of the 1990s hype that produced the dotcom boom and bust. The internet, it seems, has turned out to be simply another appliance, a useful new medium like radio or television, not something likely to usher in a “civilization of the mind”. Cyber gurus like Mr. Barlow have also lost heart, and now issue equally exaggerated warnings about the internet's strangulation by government and corporate interests. With the help of governments, big entertainment companies are trying to “control everything that we know”, Mr. Barlow says. “The fight about this will, in my view, determine the future of humanity.” Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford professor who is also a leading commentator on the internet, is almost equally apocalyptic: “The existing dinosaurs are succeeding in stifling the creativity inherent in this new medium.”  Says the Economist: The taste for hyperbole of Mr. Barlow, Mr. Lessig and their sort may be easy to mock, but they are right in their fundamental claim: the internet and its related technologies are capable of transforming society. Far from being over, the computer and telecoms revolution that created the internet has barely begun. These technologies will change almost every aspect of our lives—private, social, cultural, economic and political. In some areas, the changes may be marginal, but in most they will be profound, and unprecedented. This is because new electronic technologies deal with the very essence of human society: communication between people. Earlier technologies, from printing to the telegraph, have done likewise, and have wrought big changes over time. But the social changes over the coming decades are likely to be much more extensive, and to happen much faster, than any in the past, because the technologies driving them are continuing to develop at a breakneck pace. More importantly, they look as if together they will be as pervasive and ubiquitous as electricity. Whether this will be for good or ill is impossible to predict, because how they are applied will be a matter of social and political choice. Many of these choices will be difficult and divisive. Read it all at:

http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?Story_id=1534303

 

ANTIPIRACY PLAN SHAPING UP

The music and software industries have reached a "landmark consensus" in a divisive debate over copy protection, trade groups representing both sides said in a statement.

Details of policy plans endorsed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Computer Systems Policy Project (CSSP) were released jointly.  One notable trade group missing from the announcement was the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which represents the movie industry. The MPAA and the RIAA have worked side by side to sue companies and individuals alleged to be distributing copyrighted works illegally.  http://news.com.com/2100-1023-980540.html?part=dht&tag=ntop

 

WHAT DOES THIS NEW RIAA-INDUSTRY COPYRIGHT DEAL MEAN?

Reaction to the RIAA-Industry digital copyright deal focused largely on the absence of the MPAA from the agreement, with critics noting that neither it, nor the Consumer Electronics Association, show any sign of letting up on the issue of whether new regulations are needed.  Others argued that the voice of consumers may be lost as part of the deal and that proactive legislation protecting fair use rights was still needed.

http://news.com.com/2100-1023-980671.html

http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,57211,00.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/15/business/15PIRA.html

 

The scholarly communications are also available on line at http://www.library.uiuc.edu/administration/news.htm