Issue No. 43

May 5, 2003

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian



Pennsylvania State University has suspended the Internet accounts of about 220 students after investigations showed they were using the school's broadband network to trade in "publicly listed copyright infringing materials." The school said connections will be restored once the copyrighted files have been removed from the systems. The move came about a month after the school had issued a warning to its 110,000 students,
alerting them that illegal trading of copyrighted materials was against the law, and just weeks after the Recording Industry Association of America slapped four students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Princeton University and Michigan Technological University with lawsuits. (Internet News 22 Apr 2003) NewsScan Daily, 23 April 2003

Author Howard Rheingold says that the freedom to innovate is under attack. The author delivered the keynote speech at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, warning that vested interests are trying to stifle tech innovation: "Our freedom to innovate is not necessarily going to be as free as it was in the pre-Internet era. We are at a pivotal point in the history of technology and a lot of assumptions should be questioned." Rheingold cited a range of political, legislative and technological barriers to innovation—including the "trustworthy" computing initiative, tight control of radio spectrum and other barriers. Rheingold also noted that it took a team to build the Internet, and that if a large company or the government alone had taken on the problem, they'd still be
struggling with it.,1283,58601,00.html


Stanford Law School professor Lawrence Lessig describes himself as "a strong believer in the copyright system for creativity." So why does he oppose Congress' frequent copyright extensions? Creators deserve a copyright, he says. But once they've created a work, Lessig points out, the creators sell it to a publisher, and no longer control how the work is used or who gets to use it. At that point, Lessig says, it's the publishers, like the recording industry or movie industry, that control the copyright and reap the financial rewards. And their efforts to extend copyright—11 extensions in the past 40 years—aren't to defend the rights of creators, but to preserve their way of doing business. Lessig explains: "The music industry make(s) money by selling copies of pieces of plastic. They're going to control distribution as much as they can. They're going to earn rents by controlling distribution. They have a concentrated market - that's their ticket, their cash cow for earning their returns." Then the Internet comes along and threatens that way of doing business. "So they launch a holy war against these new technologies." Lessig insists, "That is completely illegitimate - to use the law to protect a business model as opposed to protect the return from a particular kind of creative work. It seems to me inconsistent with what has been our tradition in the context of technology changing the way we distribute content." (Library of Economics and Liberty 7 Apr 2003) ShelfLife, No. 103 (April 24 2003)


Technology first developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in the mid-1990s is now helping classicists to decipher lettering on 2,000-year-old scrolls found in the buried town of Herculaneum, which was overrun by lava from Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The scrolls were excavated in the 18th century, but their blackened and petrified condition made them largely illegible. Now, with the help of a high-quality digital camera using infrared filters, more than 25,000 images have been burned onto 345 CDs, with many of the images producing legible lettering for the first time. Because the carbonized fibers of the Herculaneum scrolls created a black background on the papyri, making it extremely difficult to read the black ink written upon them, scholars had spent years trying to tease out the details without much success. Using a tunable infrared filter, however, produced more contrast between the background and the ink, rendering them readable. Computer professional Steve Booras, who spearheaded the digital imaging project, sampled dozens of narrow bands of visible and invisible spectrum, before finding that for most of the fragments a single pass in the 950-nanometer band provided clear imagery. Scholars are now hopeful that the discovered scrolls are just the tip of the iceberg, and that the villa where they were found might contain never-before-seen poetry, drama and philosophical treatises that could greatly enhance the world's knowledge of ancient Roman culture. (Wired May 2003) ShelfLife, No. 103 (April 24 2003)


Web browsers are passé
say technology experts who note that there's a lot more than surfing happening on today's Web. "It has become abundantly obvious that the Internet does not only consist of the browser," says Kim Polese, one of the early evangelists for Java programming language, which was key to browser innovation. "Now people are very actively using IM, music jukeboxes, video players, online games, alternative interfaces." During the "browser war" years, Microsoft and Netscape battled to offer browsers that were multifunctional, handling everything from e-mail to coding. That thinking has changed as innovation has moved to other fronts, including XML news feeds and music file swapping. So what form should the browser take, as the Internet increasing is used for functions beyond reading Web pages? "The big challenge is does it get more specific in the foreground or expand to include all these background news-scanning functions," says Clay Shirky, new media professor at New York University. "As Weblogs move from being interesting to important, do RSS newsreaders like NewsMonster become a separate application?" One enhancement could be to make the browser better at finding and organizing information, says Norm Meyrowitz, president of Macromedia Products. "One of the disadvantages of the browser is that there aren't very good ways of organizing information. Bookmarks don't do the whole job. There's no real sense of place for the information you want to come back to. One of the problems with the browser is that you're going out to find information; the user has to fetch everything. Sometimes people want to just have the information on their desktop. We think there's a real need for applications to do that intelligently." (CNet 16 Apr 2003) ShelfLife, No. 103 (April 24 2003)


Princeton University's Library and its Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies announced the official launch of CPANDA (the Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive), the world's first fully interactive, Web-accessible digital archive of policy-relevant data on culture and the arts. The CPANDA initiative is designed to help policymakers, journalists, scholars and others gain easy access both to current research findings and to previously hard-to-find data on the arts, including public opinion on the arts, city-specific data and recently released statistics. Accessible at, CPANDA will collect and make available a wide-ranging set of data about the health, status and organization of the nation's cultural life. CPANDA is the result of a collaboration between the Princeton University Library, the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies and the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts, which are supporting the development of CPANDA through an initial three-year, $1.9 million grant to the library. (Pew Charitable Trusts 2 Apr 2003) ShelfLife, No. 103 (April 24 2003)


Although more information is more readily available today than ever before, American libraries are in a period of serious decline, according to Kenneth E. Carpenter, a retired Harvard librarian. Carpenter has devoted the last three years of his retirement to studying the state of American libraries, and has uncovered local governments dissolving or merging libraries, a decline in interested readers, and the "diminished status and human resources policies that limit advancement of librarians." One of the greatest signs of decline, he says, is the popularity of "access by ownership," which allows libraries short on funding to justify small or static permanent collections by claiming access to a larger collection through sharing with other libraries. "Libraries are retreating back into a sameness of acquisition, justified by the ideal of 'sharing,' which sounds like commonality, but limits access," says Carpenter. (The Harvard Crimson 16 Apr 2003) ShelfLife, No. 103 (April 24 2003)


A US district court has ruled for a second time that Verizon must release by May 9 the identity of an anonymous Internet subscriber accused of swapping music files online.  The decision ends a second round of fighting in district court over the RIAA's attempt to subpoena Verizon for information about a subscriber accused of offering music files for download using Kazaa.   BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 4/25/03  Decision at  Coverage at,1,51784.story


O'Reilly & Associates is trying to lead by example. The company has announced that it will take a stand against dramatic extensions of copyright by voluntarily releasing some of its books into the public domain. The publisher is the first company to adopt the Founder's Copyright program of Creative Commons. O'Reilly is shortening the
copyright term of its books from life of the author, plus 70 years, to the original term allowed in 1790. The books will retain copyright protection for at least 14 years, with an option for another 14 years. Tim O'Reilly, chief executive of the company, announced the change at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. "We have a moral obligation to make books available for others to use." Books published by O'Reilly will be released only after the authors of the titles approve.  Corante - Tech News: April 25, 2003



In this quarterly newsletter, the National Academies plan to offer news from
ongoing National Academies projects that relate to intellectual property (IP) issues, as well as announcements of upcoming events, recent and forthcoming publications from the National Academies Press, and occasional topical features on matters it considers of significant public interest. The newsletter will focus on "what's new" rather than listing all ongoing projects. Additional details can be found at the IP @ the National Academies Web site,  Past copies of the newsletter will be archived on the IP @ the National Academies Web site.



The Ohio legislature is considering a bill that would prohibit state agencies from publishing any electronic information that is provided by two or more commercial publishers, even if the information was generated with taxpayer support and even if the commercial publishers charge fees for accessing the information and the state agencies provide it free of charge. The bill has nine co-sponsors, all Republicans. According to Mary Alice Baish of the American Association of Law Libraries, the bill was drafted by the Americal Legislative Exchange Council, a national organization of conservative state legislators. Similar bills have been introduced in a handful of other states but so far defeated in each one. FOS News 4/22/03


A federal judge in Los Angeles has dismissed much of the record industry and movie studios' lawsuit against file-swapping services Morpheus and Grokster, ruling the
companies were not liable for copyright infringements that took place using their software.  The court identified key differences for contributory and vicarious infringement copyright liability between the centralized Napster P2P model and the decentralized model used by Morpheus and Grokster.  The court added that the companies are "not significantly different from companies that sell home video
recorders or copy machines." The ruling does not directly affect Kazaa, software distributed by Sharman Networks, which has also been targeted by the entertainment industry. Decision at <>

Coverage at BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 4/28/03


Record Industry Will Send Warnings to Millions of Users of 2 File-Sharing Services


The Recording Industry Association of America will begin sending warning messages directly to millions of users of popular file-sharing programs, association officials announced on Tuesday. The messages will be a new component in what the association refers to as an "educational effort" aimed at stopping the illegal trade of copyrighted music files.


The recording-industry association will use a program that scans databases of material that individuals make available through two popular file-sharing services, KaZaA and Grokster. The program will look for names of artists and titles of popular songs, and then use the built-in instant-messaging features of KaZaA and Grokster to fire off warnings.


"It appears that you are offering copyrighted music to others from your computer," says the message the association will send. "Distributing or downloading copyrighted music on the Internet without permission from the copyright owner is ILLEGAL. It hurts songwriters who create and musicians who perform the music you love, and all the other people who bring you music." The message also reminds file-sharers that they can be identified and prosecuted or sued.


The recording industry says it will send out more than a million such letters every week. College students, as heavy users of file-sharing programs, could receive many of the warnings.


On many campuses, students are already subject to college-sponsored educational programs that discourage illegal file-sharing. Cary H. Sherman, the president of the recording-industry association, says the new campaign is not aimed specifically at college students, but could complement educational programs at many universities.

"Even to college students, who have been educated on this, it's a different thing when you get a message on your screen that says, Hey, we know who you are and that you're engaging in this activity," he says. "People feel invincible when they are doing this in the privacy of their dorm room. But, in fact, it is very public. This message is a way to remind them of that."


Although the warning message highlights the legal risks of file-sharing, and comes soon after the industry sued four students for operating file-sharing systems in their campuses, Mr. Sherman says the new program is not a precursor to more lawsuits. The screen names of those who get warnings will be saved in a database, but those names are often aliases and not useful for prosecution, he says. "We have no use for those in law enforcement," he says. "This is not an evidentiary thing. This is just an educational outreach.”


Also see the Mercury News which notes the irony that the RIAA is using technology to directly contact users of file-sharing services after claiming in its lawsuit with Verizon that it had no way to do so. That claim helped led a judge to order Verizon to surrender the names of two subscribers to its Internet access service. Corante - Tech News: April 30, 2003,1412,58676,00.html




Information systems that search private data, including the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program, may not be covered under privacy laws, experts in and out of government said recently.  The Office of Management and Budget is developing guidance to instruct agencies on how to carry out laws designed to protect privacy.  The E-Government Act of 2002 includes the first major revisions to federal information privacy mandates since the Privacy Act of 1974, which limits federal collection and use of personal information.  One change under the E-Government Act requires all new federal systems used for agency-conducted information collection activities to undergo a thorough assessment of how those systems address privacy protection.  But those requirements only apply to information held in databases operated by federal agencies, while more agencies are proposing to tap into private-sector sources for information and analysis, particularly for homeland security.  For example, the proposed TIA system, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency pilot program, would sift through financial data – for example, information held in databases operated by private banks – to find anomalies that could point to possible terrorist activity.



The webcast of the Harvard JOLT (Journal of Law and Technology) symposium, Copyright and Fair Use: Current and Future Prospects (2003), is now online. Panelists included Rep. Rick Boucher, Dan Gillmor, Gigi Sohn, Siva Vaidhyanathan, and Jonathan Zittrain.



ebrary has announced an Institutional Repository Pilot Program. According to the press release, ebrary subscribers will have access to tools for "cost-effectively" creating an open-access repository for institutional theses and dissertations, technical reports, research articles, teaching materials, and other documents. The repositories would integrate with other library databases and licensed services, offer searching within and across documents, and allow users to highlight words and turn them into links to relevant information ("definitions, biographical information, maps, translations and more"). Ebrary will give early adopters 500 megabytes to each repository.


Intellectual property expert Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of The Anarchist in the Library, says in the wake of the Patriot Act, "libraries have become the site of conflict. Libraries are perceived now as a den of terrorists and pornographers. And this is not only a misdescription of how libraries work in our lives, but I think ultimately a very dangerous assumption. The federal government has made librarians chose between retaining records that might be useful, for instance in budgetary discussions not to mention historical research, and protecting their patrons, so their patrons don't feel intimidated by the books they choose to read or by the potential of oversight of the books they choose to read. There are a lot of librarians around the country right now who are taking a very noble and strong stand against this situation, and I think we need to celebrate them and support them in this effort The library is also not just functionally important to communities all over the world, but a library in itself is the embodiment of enlightenment values in all the best sense of that. A library is a temple to the notion that knowledge is not just for the elite and that access should be low cost if not free, that doors should be open. Investing in libraries monetarily, spiritually, intellectually, legally is one of the best things we can do for our immediate state and for the life we hope we can build for the rest of the century." ShelfLife, No. 104 (May 1 2003)


As it has evolved over the past decade, the Web has emerged as a key information resource, used for everything from scholarly research to window-shopping. Basing their conclusions on a review of five annual surveys conducted by the OCLC Office of Research, the authors of a new report on trends in the evolution of the public web identify three key trends that have emerged in relation to the Web's growth. First, while the public Web is an information collection of enormous proportions, evidence suggests that its growth—as measured by the number of Web sites—has slowed steadily for the past five years. Over the last year, the public Web actually shrank slightly in size. A second trend concerns the globalization—or lack thereof—of the Web. Despite its "World Wide Web" moniker, the bulk of its content is published by entities originating in the United States, and the vast majority of the text is in English. Finally, the study shows that little if any progress is being made to render the material that is on the Web more accessible. Although metadata usage is common, the metadata itself is created largely in an ad hoc fashion. ShelfLife, No. 104 (May 1 2003)


The ERIC (
Educational Resources Information Center) database is undergoing significant changes following a sweeping reorganization of the U.S. Department of Education begun in 2002. Founded in 1966, ERIC—touted as the world's largest education database—boasts more than a million records through the networked contributions of 16 clearinghouses and 10 adjunct clearinghouses located at academic institutions around the country. And while customer service has always been a major part of its mandate, the new draft Statement of Work (SOW) would not renew the contracts for the clearinghouses (scheduled to expire in December 2003), thereby eliminating the customer-service component of the program. Clearinghouses currently process nearly 200,000 telephone requests per year and administer the 6-million-hits-a-week AskERIC Web service. The SOW calls for a revamped ERIC "to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-use, searchable, Internet-based bibliographic and full-text database of education research and information for educators, researchers, and the general public." David Lankes, Director of the Information Institute of Syracuse, which operates the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology and the AskERIC service, expressed relief that ERIC will survive the overhaul, but is concerned about the elimination of expert assistance provided by the 16 clearinghouses. AskERIC, for instance, provides a personal virtual reference desk service for the whole ERIC system and maintains searchable archives for more than 25 education-related electronic discussion groups. Lankes fears that the draft SOW looks like "throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The [ERIC] Digests are hugely popular and not listed. AskERIC is gone, along with all the customer side. It looks like they plan on just a database. That's a huge step back for ERIC in general whether it's centralized or decentralized." The clearinghouses and their supporters have launched a campaign to revise the draft SOW, but the deadline for receiving public comments is May 9. (Comments go to Jeff Halsted, 202-708-8283 (v), 202-708-9817 (f), .) ShelfLife, No. 104 (May 1 2003)



Version 48 of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography is now available.  This selective bibliography presents over 1,850 articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing
efforts on the Internet. (Acrobat link available from page.)

The HTML document is designed for interactive use.  Each major section is a separate file.  There are links to sources that are freely available on the Internet.  It can be
searched using Boolean operators. The HTML document includes three sections not found in the Acrobat file: (1) Archive (prior versions of the bibliography)
(2) Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources (over 230 related Web sites)
(3) Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (list of new resources)


The scholarly communications are also available on line at