Issue No. 41

April 7, 2003

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian




In 2002, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which for several years has been supporting Web-based projects to document the history of contemporary science and technology, turned to the library and archival community for guidance on how the foundation's data creators could preserve their digital documents. With a grant to the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the foundation sought to engage those who are best positioned to advise on digital preservation issues.  CLIR hosted a meeting of scholars, librarians, archivists, technologists, publishers, and funders to discuss the preservation of digital scholarly resources. The goal of the workshop was to identify the needs of various stakeholders—Web site creators; distributors and publishers of digital materials; representatives of archives, libraries, and repositories that want to collect these sites and make them available; end users; and anyone in the chain of scholarly communication who might want to discover and use these works for their own purposes—and to agree on common approaches to meeting those needs. The needs are great and the approaches not yet clear. Discussions of preservation needs included those of large-scale databases in the sciences and the published electronic record in all disciplines, but the participants' central concern was the complex needs of the digital resources documenting contemporary actions and ideas—digital objects that are created outside the library and seldom developed expressly for publication. These are wholly new types of information resources, so novel that no common term except "digital objects" or "sites" can describe them. Librarians, archivists, publishers, and others discussed how they are grappling with the problems presented by the complex and often unstructured digital objects that arrive on their doorsteps, too often unannounced, to be preserved. All participants tried to identify the work to be done to ensure digital object longevity and to articulate the new roles and responsibilities that all stakeholders in the research community must embrace to be good stewards of scholarly resources.  Abby Smith authored this report for CLIR.



Even as they face budget cuts and falling or flat revenues, most university presses haven't adjusted their book prices to keep pace with inflation, according to a study released by the American Association of University Presses. The report, titled The Price of University Press Books, 1989-2000, compares university press book prices with commercial press book prices for each year from 1989 to 2000. It suggests that by keeping their prices lower, university presses are "leaving money on the table," because their commercial counterparts have been able to sell more books even though their prices for comparable titles are higher. The report is the first in a series that the association will produce in a study of the accessibility of academic information; the work is being sponsored by a four-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.



Broadband internet access isn't just about surfing the web quickly anymore. Established content providers are debuting new packages of broadband video content, showing that broadband internet is emerging as an alternative to television and cable networks. Some of this new broadband content may cut out those traditional content distributors. Here are a few recent examples, each of which is breaking new ground:
      —ABC News plans to start a 24-hour, web-only news service exclusively for broadband            users. Dubbed "ABC News Live," the service will provide breaking news coverage, some       anchored coverage, and rebroadcasts from "World News Tonight" and "Nightline."            Envisioned as a baby step toward the first internet news channel, ABC News Live harkens       back to earlier days of cable TV when the notion of CNN's all-news channel was       groundbreaking.
      —Major League Baseball will start broadband webcasts of about 1,000 baseball games this        season, representing approximately 45 of 100 games played each week. Priced at 14.95 a     month, live feeds will come from local television stations, complete with the home teams'       commentary and ads. Local markets will be blacked out to preserve lucrative television            rights, but will be available 90 minutes after a game ends. This is the first time that a major     sports league will offer internet broadcasts for an entire season.
Greenhouse Effects, April 2003



Web services may still be a "disruptive technology," but for now, companies are focusing on everyday uses of Web services to boost efficiency and improve customer relationships. In short, "the hype surrounding Web services has faded" as companies work to overcome obstacles related to security and universal standards. Included: a look at the build-out of Web services in the consumer and healthcare sectors and another look at Microsoft’s .NET initiative. The long-term prognosis for Web services remains positive: "Though economic doldrums have nixed a lightning-fast adoption curve, what lies ahead may still remake the fabric of the online world."



Authors looking to spur sales of their books might want to think about the consequences. While you can give away paper copies of a book for free, e-books might net you some hefty bandwidth charges. Glenn Fleishman, author of Real World Adobe GoLive 6, was successful in spreading copies of his work. More than 10,000 copies were downloaded in 36 hours. Unfortunately, Fleishman may have racked up as much as $15,000 in bandwidth charges. Cory Doctrow, a sci-fi author who made his book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom available for download, says if the book were under an open license, it could have been distributed from many points instead of just from Fleishman's site. "It doesn't make any sense to be the sole point of distribution for a file like this. It highlights the design flaw in the client-server Internet. The more popular a file becomes, the more of a penalty people pay to get it. I think the lesson is 'Use P2P networks.'",1282,58219,00.html



Independent booksellers are grappling with a serious issue: In the age of the USA Patriot Act, which gives the FBI expanded authority to demand from any bookstore or public library its customer records, what should they do with their customer records? Some have made the decision to purge their databases—that way if the police do come knocking, they (hopefully) won't find anything. Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, has made a different decision, and here store co-owner Chuck Robinson explains why.




In 1995 Bill Clinton issued an executive order ruling that once information was declassified and released to the public, it could not be reclassified later. Late last month George Bush issued an executive order rescinding the Clinton order and at the same time classifying some previously public information. Which information? FOS News 3/27/03



If you’ve ever asked for FBI files under the Freedom of Information Act you know that parts are edited out.  FBI-Freedom of Information Act is a fascinating collection of scanned, redacted FBI files which have been released over the years to requesters using the Freedom of Information Act. Most of the files listed relate to historical events and figures (e.g., John Wilkes Booth, Alcatraz Escape)  Peter Scott’s Library Blog 3/27/03


The law blog LawMeme has a write-up on state-level legislation similar to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). According to LawMeme, the MPAA's attempts to pass DMCA-like legislation at the state level has found takers in eight states. The bills are reported to be even more restrictive than the DMCA, going to the point of making it illegal to obscure your identity from your ISP. According to Ed Felten (
Princeton professor previously charged with DMCA violations), this would make it illegal to encrypt your e-mail. "If you encrypt your email, you're in violation, because the "To" line of the email is concealed from your ISP by encryption. If you use a secure connection to pick up your email, you're in violation, because the "From" lines of the incoming emails are concealed from your ISP by the encrypted connection." Eight states have taken the bait and are contemplating awful, incoherent legislation to deal with this 'problem.' Ed Felten writes: "Both bills would flatly ban the possession, sale, or use of technologies that "conceal from a communication service provider ... the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication". Your ISP is a communication service provider, so anything that concealed the origin or destination of any communication from your ISP would be illegal—with no exceptions. LawMeme has links to the bills in Texas and Massachusetts.



Computer manufacturer Gateway Inc.'s latest promotional campaign hit an unexpected snag Thursday when the CBS television network balked at running the company's new commercial, saying it may violate the network's policy against advocacy ads. The commercial urges consumers to buy Gateway computers and receive a bundle of free songs. It closes with the address of a Web site that shows consumers how to copy music legally and calls on them to lobby Congress against anti-piracy mandates.  CBS has been a vocal advocate in Washington for such mandates, as has its parent company, media conglomerate Viacom International Inc., whose holdings include Paramount Pictures and Blockbuster Inc.  The mandates would apply to computers and other digital gadgets, including the ones sold by Gateway. Dana McClintock, a spokesman for CBS, said the network is still reviewing the Gateway commercial, which was scheduled to run during "CBS Evening News," and hasn't ruled out the possibility of airing it later. The network has a policy against running ads that advocate a position on any divisive issue, he said.

Gateway spokesman Brad Williams said it was ironic that CBS would object to the ad, given that the Web site aims to deter piracy while educating consumers about their rights. The issue is controversial because technology companies disagree with entertainment companies over how to squash piracy without eliminating consumers' ability to make personal copies. "We believe it's more important than ever that the rights of music fans and artists alike be understood and respected," the site states.  The 30-second ad, which would have cost Gateway as much as $40,000 to run, is slated to air on several cable channels and on NBC this week.  See Gateway’s RipBurnRespect site at


Colin Steele writes in “Phoenix rising: new models for the research monograph?” a preprint in the ANU E-Press Archive, forthcoming from Learned Publishing, 16, 2 (2003) pp. 111-122, "There is significant evidence that traditional university presses are continuing to face financial crises. Outlets for research monographs are drying up, print runs are being reduced and monograph costs are increasing. The combination of the digital networked environment and open-archive initiatives may, however, provide the opportunity, through institutional repositories, to rethink the role and nature of the distribution of research monographs in a university setting. The adoption of new models, untrammeled by the structures of the past, while still retaining editorial and refereeing standards, could revolutionize the access and distribution patterns of research knowledge within university frameworks. Ultimate success will depend, however on programs of scholarly advocacy in scholarly communication with the academic author as both creator and as consumer." FOS News 3/30/03


The British Phonographic Industry and its sister organization, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, have sent a letter to every university in Britain highlighting the problem of music piracy on campuses and raising the specter of legal action against universities that are complicit in such piracy. A spokesman for the two groups said that turning a blind eye to such illegal activity on the school's network sends students a message that conflicts with universities' calling for honesty and understanding about plagiarism in their academic work. Organizations representing universities and faculty offered several responses. One group said the music industry should help pay for filtering efforts on campuses. Another group said that while universities do not condone piracy, they have better things to do than snoop on network users.  Edupage, March 31, 2003,,2-625793,00.html



Rodney A. Erickson, the Provost at Pennsylvania State University at University Park, has sent a stern e-mail message to students, warning that sharing copyrighted material through the Internet could lead to fines and imprisonment under federal law. The message has some students at Penn State wondering if the university is stepping up its efforts to stop file sharing, and if it is bending to pressures from the recording industry in doing so.  The message details various punishments that students could face if they are caught downloading music or movies. The loss of Internet privileges, a standard punishment at many colleges, is mentioned, but the message also threatens expulsion, $250,000 fines, and the possibility of facing federal perjury charges. The message also mentions cases in which students have been sent to jail for copyright infringement.


The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has launched lawsuits against four university students who operated file-search services on their school's internal networks—two at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and one each at Princeton University and Michigan Technological University.  In its lawsuits, the RIAA compares the use of the campus search software—variously called "Phynd," "Flatlan" or "Direct Connect"—to the Napster service, dubbing the services "local area Napster networks."


A venture capitalist says the future of music is free. Greg Blonder of Morgenthaler Ventures looks at the debate over online file-sharing and decides "the best way to stem this tidal wave of thievery is to give the music away." He then proceeds to make a case for a solid business model that involves giving away music content. "Free content, by itself, is not at all that unusual. Broadcast television is free - at least to the viewer- courtesy of ad-supported subsidies, as are radio, many concerts and sporting events," he writes. "But even those services commanding a fee today should become free tomorrow as the economics of music distribution take radical new shape." Bonder says marketers of various products may well be willing to spend money to acquire new customers by giving away thousands of albums, digitally, as a promotion to buy their product or service. "The economics are such that it would take only one leading
company to break the music distribution mold." Corante - Tech News: April 3, 2003



The 20th anniversary edition of Trivial Pursuit, the best-selling board game that features the likes of Joey Buttafuoco, Tonya Harding, Suzanne Sommer's ThighMaster, Kato Kaelin, the 2000 Florida Presidential election scandal, the Chia Pet and the Smurfs, now contains the following digital library question:
            Q: "What children's classic was the top free download of the University of Virginia's digital library in its first year of operation?"
            A: Alice in Wonderland
Background: this refers to the UVA ebooks library (MS Reader and Palm)—— which opened in August 2000.




Koďchiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO, spoke at the recent Paris conference on Open Access. He has now put a summary of his UNESCO remarks online. Excerpt: "The new economic and technological environment is raising concerns about the erosion of access to certain information and knowledge whose free sharing facilitated scientific research and education in past decades....It is in this spirit that UNESCO has prepared a Draft Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace which will be submitted for adoption to UNESCO’s General Conference at its next session in autumn 2003. It will then be presented to the first World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva at the end of this year." The two chief points in the draft recommendation are (1) the "development of public domain content" and (2) "the equitable balance between the interests of rights-holders and the public interest".  FOS News 4/1/03



The French parliament just approved a new law that will pay publishers and authors for each book borrowed from a library. The government will reimburse publishers 1.50 € for each registered library user (1 € for each registered student).  The money is to be shared equally between publishers and authors. Libraries will also pay an extra 6% when purchasing a book in order to cover 'borrowing benefits'. Full details here (in French)



Because the government's electronic surveillance initiatives start small but inexorably expand, privacy groups must remain vigilant against even the slightest encroachment on Internet-based communications, three privacy advocates said on April 2 at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference.  Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, "those most vulnerable and who face the greatest threat are the non-citizens who live and work in the U.S." Martin expressed alarm that legislation to limit the privacy rights of non-citizens soon might secure unanimous passage in the Senate.

David Sobel of EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) said the Justice Department under both President Bush and former President Clinton have adopted an expansive view of the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which enabled wiretaps on digital telephone networks but included language barring the law's application to the Internet. Sobel said the FBI surveillance system popularly known as "Carnivore" disregarded CALEA's restrictions against Internet surveillance, and he cited a piece of draft legislation prepared by Justice Department officials would explicitly lower the standard for electronic surveillance of multi-function devices that receive both phone calls and e-mails. Speaking on the same panel, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Ann Beeson recounted the Kafkaesque experience of trying to take part in the secretive workings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. The court consists of three appeals-court judges picked by Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. Both it and the lower Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court were created under a law that set the statutory framework for electronic and other surveillance inside the United States that is aimed at collecting foreign intelligence information. In the first decision in its 25-year history, last November the review court overturned the lower court's decision limiting an expansive reading of an October 2001 anti-terrorism law known as the USA PATRIOT Act.  ACLU and other groups were disappointed with that result and filed a motion seeking Supreme Court review of the decision. Last week, the high court rejected that motion.



In his March column for American Libraries magazine, David Dorman talks about the "Questmasters" (a term coined by Dorman) that are being designed to present Web searchers with the most appropriate visualization of information on the Web, by providing a smooth and effective journey from discovery to delivery of information: "The rise of standard searching and linking protocols is finally enabling vendors to create systems that appear, from the user's perspective, to search any bibliographic database with as great an ease as any PAC [public access catalog] searches its own library catalog. (Of course, the questmaster is not really doing the searching; it is rather accepting the user's search input, passing it off to one or more local or remote servers that have their own search engines, getting back the results, and presenting those results to the user.) And the rise of standard protocols to transmit circulation and patron-related information among disparate systems will soon allow these products to manage circulation transactions, reciprocal borrowing, and interlibrary loans with any vendor's LMS [library management system] as well as any PAC manages such transactions with its own circulation system." The Questmasters are being developed as separate systems from the traditional back-end library management systems. (American Libraries March 2003)  ShelfLife, No. 100 (April 3 2003)­_and_Publications/Periodicals/American_Libraries/Technically_Speaking/2003_columns2/March_2003__The_Questmaster_Emerges_at_Midwinter.htm


In the April 15 issue of Library Journal, Lee Van Orsdel, dean of libraries,
Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, and Kathleen Born, director, Academic Division, EBSCO Information Services, Birmingham, AL, report on the 43rd annual Periodical Price Survey. They conclude that this is a time of turmoil: "The serials market was uneasy before the RoweCom crisis began. Plummeting budgets and rising journal costs account for much of the angst, of course. But concern about mergers, monopolies, and publisher profit margins is also widespread. The big scientific and medical publishers are being criticized openly and often by customers. Those same publishers have been pushing the so-called Big Deals, large bundles of journals sold for a combined price in multiple-year contracts that restrict cancellations. Though irresistible to many academic libraries and consortia, some of these Big Deals don't look so good two and three years into the contracts. It remains to be seen whether librarians will find a way to uncouple from the Big Deals and force publishers to give them more discretion over the purchase of their content." What are some solutions? The authors report that alternative approaches to disseminating scholarly information seem to be gathering momentum. They write: "The Association of American Publishers' Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division ( has launched a public relations campaign to woo librarians and researchers back into the fold. Until serial prices take a smaller bite out of the library budget, however, there is little reason to expect the rhetoric—or the anger at commercial publishers—to cool."  Library Journal Academic News Wire: April 03, 2003



The California State Assembly passed a nonbinding resolution Tuesday condemning the Internet piracy of music, movies and software. The state legislature, which numbers technology and entertainment companies among its most well-heeled constituents, has increasingly been focusing on digital media issues in recent months, but has passed no enforceable legislation addressing piracy. The resolution advised parents to educate their children that downloading copyrighted material online is no different than shoplifting. Lawmakers also called on businesses and universities to implement technical measures blocking online piracy. Other states have begun passing copyright bills that mirror or extend controversial federal rules applying to digital works. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 4/3/03


A 177-page report by the National Research Council suggests engineers who design biometric technologies and Internet authentication mechanisms should take more aggressive steps to preserve privacy.  The report represents the most detailed analysis to date of the tension between authentication and the dangers such systems may pose to the privacy and anonymity of people who use them.  Coverage at
Report at <>

BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 3/26/03



Microsoft admits it is gearing up to compete with Google.  Microsoft, the world's No. 1 software maker, on Wednesday said it is taking aim at privately held Google, the Web-search company that's so popular its name is used as a verb. "We do view Google more and more as a competitor. We believe that we can provide consumers with a better product and a better user experience. That's something that we're actively looking at doing," Bob Visse, director of marketing for Microsoft's MSN Internet services division, said. Visse said the company was making some significant investments in developing a better search engine. But the company has not offered specific plans. Microsoft would not be the first Web portal provider to step into the Web search segment. Last month, Internet media company Yahoo closed its $235 million purchase of Internet-search company Inktomi. Microsoft has said it’s been searching for ways to capitalize on its various technologies, for example data retrieval and analysis, by entering new markets. It has also targeted security software. Google, the No. 1 Web-search provider, has become so pervasive that it is not uncommon for people to refer to searching the Internet as "googling." A Google representative could not be immediately reached for comment. Google has been seen as a top IPO candidate despite a lagging economy, but a company co-founder recently told attendees at a high-tech conference that going public is not on the front burner for the Silicon Valley company.



Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced the Privacy Act of 2003 (S. 745), which would set a national standard for protection of personal information. The bill would also establish a two-tiered system of protection for personal information and require an opt-in system for companies to obtain explicit permission to share, sell or rent information to other companies. Companies could share non-sensitive information like names and addresses, providing they give individuals an opportunity to withhold the information. According to Feinstein, "Every American has a fundamental right to privacy, no matter how fast our technology grows or changes. A person should be able to have control over how his or her most sensitive personal information is used. But our right to privacy only will remain vital, if we take strong action to protect it."


Douglas Rushkoff points to the proliferating tools of self-expression and dissemination and suggests we may be in the midst of a new Renaissance: "Dictators, ruthless businesspeople, and anyone who depends upon the silent stupidity of the "masses" are fighting to maintain control of a world that is getting smart and out of hand." Doom and gloom may be in the air, he says, but in the big picture we're just in the midst of a transformative era, a second renaissance "as big as the one in the 15th and 16th  Century... and as accessible as the (you guessed it) wireless device right in your hand." His thesis: that the democratization of media coupled with pervasive and always-on communications is a global phenomenon that's being led by kids and holds great promise for the future.



The scholarly communications are also available on line at