Issue No. 39

March 11, 2003

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian





The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has introduced the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) System, through which some of NARA's holdings of electronic records can be searched.  AAD provides online access to a selection of nearly 50 million historic electronic records created by more than 20 federal agencies on a wide range of topics; the ability to search for records for specific information; and important contextual information, including code lists, explanatory notes from NARA archivists, and for some series or files in AAD, related documents. AAD supports NARA's mission, strategic plan, and vision by providing the public with "ready access to essential evidence." AAD is the first publicly accessible application developed under the auspices of the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) Program. The ERA Program is addressing the challenges of preserving the increasing variety and volume of Government records that have been created and stored in electronic form.



Columbia University Press (CUP) recently and suddenly dismissed its Director and President William Strachan.  The CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION reported that Strachan was fired for failing to meet the press's "financial goals." John Davis, chairman of the CUP Board of Trustees, who decided to fire Strachan, told the CHRONICLE that it had been "several years since the press broke even." Gruen, however, could not comment on what "financial goals" were set for Strachan. Davis acknowledged to the CHRONICLE that university presses were facing financial difficulties, but added that he thought a new director could help Columbia into the black. Gruen stressed that, despite the firing, the press was "very healthy" and in a solid financial position. Despite the declining sales reported by many presses, Columbia's net sales increased by 12 percent last year, and are up six percent thus far this year, making the decision to fire Strachan puzzling—or perhaps more clear. Did the board lose patience with a director who could increase sales in a difficult economy but could not effectively manage the press into a profit? Or did the board slight the success of a director who found a way to increase net sales in a tough climate and kept the press from operating even further in the red? The press is one of the nation's leading scholarly publishers. Under Strachan it had, in conjunction with other Columbia ventures, branched out into a wide array of innovative scholarly publishing ventures, including the Gutenberg-e Monograph project, and the award winning Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO) database. Rebecca Schrader, who has been the CFO since 2001, will be acting president until a permanent replacement is named.  Library Journal Academic News Wire: February 27, 2003



According to a new report from Probe Research, Inc. entitled North American CDN Markets, the content delivery network (CDN) market will begin to regain revenues in 2003. At the same time, Probe expects that the line between CDNs and hosting will disappear as hosting providers offer more CDN-like services and CDN providers expand beyond basic content delivery. The report looks at the handful of players left in the space and forecasts overall revenues to 2007. It predicts that the market, which grew about 10% in 2002, will grow more than 20% in 2003 and sustain reasonable growth thereafter. Two of the main players have already reached profitability, with a third close. Enterprise CDNs (eCDNs), whether set up and maintained by the enterprise itself or offered as a service by CDN providers and other carriers, are expected to become increasingly widespread in 2003. Since high set-up costs may deter some enterprises from setting up these networks, service providers such as Akamai, Sprint, Qwest, Equant, and IBM have developed their own. According to Probe, no new players will emerge in 2003, and competition will come from other service providers moving into the space, in addition to hosting providers. Only a couple of players are expected to remain that offer plain CDN services, while others will fight it out based on content types supported, Web services, security services, and other edge services such as content transformation and optimization.



New research from Jupiter Research, a division of Jupitermedia Corporation, indicates that by 2008, the market opportunity for Web content management will be $2.8 billion. According to Jupiter Research's latest report entitled "Web Content Management: Covering the Essentials, Avoiding Overspending," over-complicated, end-to-end packages can as much as quintuple Web site operational costs over human alternatives.  In fact, 61% of companies who have already deployed Web content management software still rely on manual processes to update their sites. The essentials of Web content management, which Jupiter Research defines as lending structure to content, supporting pre-existing process and separating content from presentation, are not being met cost effectively. The new report, part of the Jupiter Research Content Management Coverage Area, is intended to help companies make the right decisions about buy versus build, vendor selection, and cost-effective implementation. Jupiter Research also advises vendor clients in the content management space on how to effectively target their solutions to best capture the market and its evolving needs.



The Associated Press reported on February 27 that a shipment of books imported into Cuba by American diplomats at the U.S. Interest Section had been confiscated by the Cuban government.  The books were intended as gifts for Cuban citizens, including the volunteers who have opened more than one hundred independent libraries on the island in recent years with the goal of opposing censorship.  Included among the 5,101 books seized in the shipment were Spanish translations of works by Martin Luther King, Jr., John Steinbeck and Groucho Marx.  When asked by a group of journalists why the Cuban authorities had seized the books, James Cason, the head of the U.S. Interests Section, replied: "It's fear of losing political control. That's how Groucho Marx... can suddenly

become a subversive."  Displaying a packing list with the titles of the confiscated publications, Cason declared that previous book shipments sent to the Interests Section had encountered no interference from the Cuban government.  The Associated Press article stated that the Cuban regime "takes exception to, but largely tolerates, the scores of independent libraries now operating across the island.  However, it resents their contacts with American officials."  Books are sent to the new libraries from many countries, and diplomats from several embassies in Havana attended a recent award ceremony at which Gisela Delgado, the national director of the independent library movement, launched an anthology of prize-winning entries to the Heraldo literary contest, which is sponsored annually by the independent libraries.



A freedom-of-information request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has uncovered information about 26 research grants awarded for the Defense Department's controversial Total Information Awareness (TIA) program. The Defense Department tried to block the release of the grant information, but a federal district court ruled that the information must be turned over. Future funding for the TIA program has been blocked by Congress, pending an accounting of how the program will deal with privacy issues. The grants described were approved before Congress took action to limit funding. Grant applicants included large and small corporations and large research universities. According to EPIC, the grant program solicited proposals dealing with repository technologies; collaboration, automation, and cognitive aids technologies; and prototype system technologies. Internet News, 27 February 2003  Edupage, March 03, 2003



A project at the new Alexandria Library in Egypt hopes to make virtually every existing text available online. The Alexandria Library Scholars Collective uses software called CyberBook Plus designed to link archives of digital texts from around the world. In addition to offering a single point of entry to access most of the world's texts, the software includes virtual lecture halls, a hub for international scholars, and a gateway for ordinary readers. David Wolff of online-learning venture Fathom noted that doing any one of these successfully would be challenging. The challenges confronting the project include copyright, language barriers, and funding. The project's primary sources of funding are currently the Egyptian government and UNESCO.

New York Times, 1 March 2003 (registration req'd) Edupage, March 03, 2003



Experts speaking at a University of California at Berkeley conference were in general agreement that copyright law is currently being applied inappropriately. The event featured speakers from a range of companies and institutions, representing a variety of perspectives on the issue of copyright. Most speakers faulted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and its application, saying the interests of the majority of persons involved are not being served. Notable DMCA opponents Larry Lessig and Edward Felten spoke out against the current state of copyright enforcement. Alex Alben of RealNetworks also attended the conference. He criticized a recent action by Lexmark, which has won a preliminary injunction under the terms of the DMCA to prevent a competitor from selling a chip that would allow Lexmark printers to function with non-Lexmark toner cartridges. "This is a travesty," Alben said. "This is not what we intended when we created the DMCA."  CNET, 1 March 2003   Edupage, March 03, 2003



In the latest CLIR Issues, Deanna Marcum discusses what we must do to realize the potential of digital libraries: Build massive, comprehensive digital collections that scholars, students, and other researchers can use even more easily than they use traditional book-based collections. The digital library of the future will have three general characteristics.

- It will be a comprehensive collection of resources important for scholarship, teaching, and learning.

- It will be readily accessible to all types of users—novices as well as veterans.

- It will be managed and maintained by professionals who see their role as stewards of the world's intellectual and cultural heritage. 

Creating such a digital library will not be easy or inexpensive, but it is possible. To do so, we must consider not only the obvious challenges, such as copyright restrictions and funding, but also some less-obvious challenges, such as deciding how to organize the effort and establishing partnerships outside the library. Fundamentally, building a digital library will require change within the library itself.





Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) introduced a resolution Feb. 11 that would make the Library of Congress's Congressional Research Service products accessible to the public via the Internet.  The CRS researches and reports on topics of interest to Congress at the request of members of Congress.  The resolution, introduced Feb. 11, would allow public access to much of the CRS information available to members of Congress. A similar resolution was proposed a few years ago.  Under the currently proposed legislation, the public would be able to access CRS documents such as Senate gift reports, issue briefs, and authorization and appropriations reports. The public would not have access to information deemed confidential by the director or head of a federal department or agency that provides information to CRS.



Publishers have mostly reported small gains, but the Association of American Publishers (AAP) somehow has a brighter report on sales for the past year. Total book sales rose 5.5%, to $26.87 billion, in 2002, according to preliminary estimates from the group. The sales increase, which represents a significant improvement over 2001, was led by a 12.4% gain in the college segment, to nearly $3.9 billion, and an 11.7% increase in sales of mass market paperbacks to $1.73 billion. Trade (excluding mass-market) had an 8.8% sales increase to $6.93 billion.  The improvement in the trade segment appears high given reports from publishers and retailers. The Census Bureau, for example, reported that bookstore sales rose only 1.5% last year. Among major publishers, only Harper and AOLTW had double-digit gains; most of the rest had gains in the low single-digits.  The discrepancy between publishers' sale and bookstore sales could be explained in part by aggressive discounting by the stores—which would affect store sales but not publishers' receipts—and more sales through non-bookstore channels, though the evidence here is mixed. Online bookstores did well in the year, but Advanced Marketing Services, a major supplier of books to warehouse clubs, had a soft year. In other financial news, acquisitions and organic growth in John Wiley's international operations helped drive sales and earnings gains for the company in the third quarter. Total revenue at Wiley rose 6.4%, to $221.2 million, and net income increased 13.1%, to $24.2 million, in the period.



 According to London's SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, Oxford University sold off one the world's most valued literary treasures, a First Folio of William Shakespeare's plays, to pay for building maintenance and textbooks. The Folio, sold by
Oxford's Oriel College, reportedly fetched a whopping 3.5 million pounds ($5.6M) to pay for building repairs and textbooks. The book, printed in 1623, was kept in the college's library for more some 200 years. The folio was purchased by philanthropist Sir Paul Getty. The TELEGRAPH reported that some scholars at the university expressed concern that the sale could mean that other literary classics could be sold to meet short-term funding gaps.   Library Journal Academic News Wire: March 06, 2003



In a case that's being closely watched by DMCA critics, Lexmark is suing Static Control Components, a company that remanufactures toner cartridges to make them compatible with Lexmark printers.  The printer company says Static Control reverse-engineered a chip on laser toner cartridges meant for Lexmark printers, in violation of the DMCA. Static Control announced on Monday that it is countersuing Lexmark; it alleges unfair trade practices and seeks more than $100 million in damages.  Auto parts makers are concerned that this could be used to try to prevent them from producing or remanufacturing parts for vehicles, which could prevent competition and raise prices. About 75 percent of cars (after warranty) are repaired by independent repair facilities that regularly use aftermarket parts, many of which are computerized.  In addition, a car's antilock brakes, emissions sensors, ignition system, radiator, oxygen sensors that monitor a car's catalytic converter and airbags could potentially include DMCA-protected chips.,1412,57907,00.html



EBSCO Industries, Inc. has executed definitive agreements to acquire the U.S. operations of RoweCom, Inc., which includes the operations of Dawson, Inc., Dawson Information Quest, Inc., The Faxon Company, Inc., Turner Subscription Agency, Inc., McGregor Subscription Service, Inc., and Corporate Subscription Services, Inc. The acquisition is contingent on a number of variables, including: U. S. bankruptcy court approval, successful closure by EBSCO of its acquisition of RoweCom's European operations, and support of publishers representing at least 50% of the aggregate monetary amount paid to RoweCom by customers, which was not subsequently forwarded on to publishers on behalf of these customers. U.S bankruptcy court approval is expected by early April. EBSCO expects to receive French regulatory approval and close the RoweCom Europe acquisition in two to three weeks. The publisher support contingency could be satisfied even sooner.



Christine Soares reports on the response to Bernard Wood’s proposal that paleoanthropologists create an open-access archive of their data on unique and far-flung physical specimens. Wood is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Origins in the Department of Anthropology at George Washington University and Adjunct Senior Scientist at the National Museum of Natural History. Quoting Wood: "We should all be wanting to democratize science. We should be making science, or the opportunity to do science, as widely available as possible."  Phil Walker, incoming president of the American Association for Physical Anthropology, commented, "The more access people have, the healthier the field will be. It just doesn't make sense to work partially in the dark, trying to figure out these very complex issues." Gerhard Weber of the University of Vienna goes further and proposes that providing open access to one's data should be a condition of publication in the field's major journals.  FOS News 3/10/03



For the third time in four months, the Copyright Clearance Center is coordinating a lawsuit on behalf of Elsevier Science, MIT Press, Sage Publications, University of Chicago Press, and John Wiley & Sons for photocopying course packs without obtaining permissions.  This latest suit was filed against Notes & Quotes here as well as against copy shops in Austin, Texas and Minneapolis.  The increased frequency of the suits reflects a stepped-up effort on the part of CCC and publishers to combat illegal photocopying of course packs.




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