SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION ISSUES

A NEWSLETTER FOR THE UIUC COMMUNITY

Issue No. 46

June 25, 2003

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian

Editor

 

 

 

MEDIA, CABLE COMPANIES CALL FOR GREATER COPYRIGHT PROTECTION
Heads of several media and cable companies have called for stronger copyright regulations, saying they have learned from missteps made by the music industry in recent years. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was among the executives at the National Cable Telecommunications Association's annual National Show who pointed to the music industry's experience as a cautionary tale. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 06/10/2003
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB105518481265463900,00.html

 

MATH WIZ CLAIMS PIRACY SOLUTION
A millionaire mathematician who runs the online Museum of Musical Instruments says he's developed a mathematical solution to online music piracy. Hank Risan's online museum, a website devoted to guitars and their role in music history, had become a virtual jukebox with thousands of songs from various musical eras and genres, drawing fire from the Recording Industry Association of America because visitors to the site
could download and copy songs easily. Risan, "dipping into his sizable bank account, put together a team of 16 software engineers in Santa Cruz.  After more than a year of research and development, his venture – called Music Public Broadcasting - has developed a set of products that it says can give record companies, Hollywood studios and other copyright owners unprecedented protection against piracy." Risan says his next project, an online radio service featuring songs from 160 different genres and time periods, will stream music in a way that will prevent digital recording on a PC.  Corante - Tech News: June 10, 2003  http://www.corante.com/internet/redir/24485.html

 

MASSACHUSETTS COULD BE 5TH STATE TO ADOPT ANTI-UCITA LAW
Massachusetts may be heading for an anti-UCITA law. Several states have enacted legislation to protect residents from the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA), whereas only two states have enacted the controversial law that sets terms favoring software vendors and frees them of liability for software problems. UCITA was enacted by Virginia and Maryland, and anti-UCITA measures have been adopted in Iowa, North Carolina, West Virginia and Vermont. The so-called "bomb shelter" legislation prevents the application of UCITA provisions on residents in states that have enacted anti-UCITA legislation. Randy Roth, with Corporate Contracts LLC, says the threat isn't over and awareness of UCITA is dwindling. "It's not dead yet. The message to that group is, Don't let your guard down."  Corante - Tech News: June 10, 2003
http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/software/story/0,10801,81812,00.html

 

BOWKER DATA SHOW UNIVERSITY PRESSES INCREASED OUTPUT, TRADE PRESSES DECLINE
A recent report on U.S. book production, taken from the R.R. Bowker Books in Print database, shows that U.S. title output increased 5.86 percent in 2002. New titles from the largest trade publishers, however, declined 5.02 percent, while university presses increased their titles by 10.21percent, reversing a decline in 2001. The report also charted prices. The average suggested retail price for adult trade hardcovers increased $.20 to $27.52, following a more modest increase in 2001. Adult paperbacks increased to $15.77, up $.02. Once again, university presses bucked the trend. The average retail
price for university press hardcovers was $51.09, a decrease of $.11. In 2002 alone, 10,305 new publishers came on the scene. Publishers across the board declared 131,611books out-of-print, an increase of 5.7 percent over 2001figures. Library Journal Academic News Wire: June 12, 2003

 

'FUTURE-PROOFING' THE PAST
The world produces 1-2 billion gigabytes of unique information each year, of which only 0.003% is in printed form, according to Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, and it's up to librarians, archivists and technicians to come up with ways to "future-proof" this legacy. Mark Bide, of the UK consulting firm Rightscom, says governments must step in to take the lead in digital preservation. "Traditionally, managing repositories has been the responsibility of libraries, but the question now is who is going to pay for this in the long run? It's very expensive. The U.S. Congress announced $100m for a Library of Congress digital preservation program: that's the scale of this sort of initiative. Certainly big publishers will also be looking at preservation issues within their own domain, but will they be looking at the next 100 years? Probably not." In addition to the Library of Congress's Plan for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, MIT and Hewlett Packard have sponsored the DSpace project, an open-source digital repository system. Following a two-year effort to set up the digital asset management system, the MIT Libraries announced the DSpace Federation, a collaboration with six other North American research universities and Cambridge University in the UK, to extend the scope of the project by encouraging more participation and the eventual establishment of "federated collections"—distributed digital libraries held in DSpace repositories in different locations. Meanwhile, several academic publishers have teamed up with libraries to work together toward electronic archiving of journals and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK has launched its Digital Preservation Programme and is working with a number of partners to set up the UK Digital Preservation Coalition and is planning a Digital Curation Centre for e-science. The big boost will come, however, when big companies like IBM, Sun and HP can figure out how to make this all profitable by launching commercial archiving and digital preservation products aimed at the academic (and other information-reliant) communities. At that point, predicts Digital Preservation Programme Director Neil Beagrie, we'll see a whole new market open up. (Research Information Spring 2003) ShelfLife, No. 110 (June 12 2003) http://www.researchinformation.info/rispring03data.html

 

U.S. SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS CIPA
The US Supreme Court has upheld Children's Internet Protection Act, which requires libraries to filter Web content or lose certain federal funds.  Opponents said CIPA
violated the free-speech rights of adults and could prevent minors from getting information about topics such as breast cancer or the Holocaust. In a 6-3 decision, the Court said that libraries could turn off the software upon request, so that people could have more access to Web material.  BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 6/24/03 Decision
at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/02pdf/02-361.pdf
Coverage at http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-1019952.html
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,59359,00.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/24/politics/24INTE.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/24/politics/24LIBR.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24548-2003Jun23.html

 

CHANGES IN THE REALM OF INFORMATION CONTENT
As it anticipated in its year-end Outlook 2003 Briefing, Outsell sees signs of the impact new technologies have on the Information Content (IC) world everywhere. Recent announcements show the changes are coming sooner rather than later:
   - Amazon: The online retailer has "Web Services Enabled" its databases.
This means that remote Web Services applications created by Amazon affiliates and partners can automatically browse the Amazon book catalog and return selected information about products. Partners can build links into their own Web sites, using Amazon's payment, fulfillment, and customer service without actually installing the software.
   - Reed Elsevier: This week Reed Elsevier announced that it will use ClearForest's content extraction services to create derivative content products out of existing Reed Elsevier scientific publications. The ClearForest technology will classify content, and extract named entities, facts, events, and relationships buried in documents, producing richly tagged XML documents.

-        EDGAR Online: A new XML-compliant application programming interface (API) is now available, in which all data and functionality is returned in XML. Developers will be able to use the EDGAR Online Explorer to integrate EDGAR data sets and build customized functionality and features for specific sets of users. 

Outsell's e-briefs,  June 20, 2003
 

DIGITAL FACILITATORS MAKING A USEFUL NAME FOR THEMSELVES
Within the mix of the traditional publishers, abstracting-and-indexing (A&I) services, and online information services, the industry group of digital facilitators is becoming increasingly more important—and useful. In addition to helping publishers digitize their products, these facilitators may host digital journal editions, conference proceedings and monographs—a service that typically includes authentication of customers to determine what services they qualify for. Digital facilitators also offer abstracts archives of the primary published documents—especially valuable since even the smallest facilitators host hundreds of journals from dozens of publishers. The variety and number of publishers and publications hosted by a single provider often make it unnecessary to run a search in a commercial A&I database. Another benefit is that the (usually free) abstracts they offer can help draw users to the publishers' sites without requiring a complete restructuring of the Web site. (Information Today June 2003) ShelfLife, No. 110 (
June 12 2003) http://www.infotoday.com/IT/jun03/jacso.shtml

 

GOOGLING AROUND
Simson Garfinkel, perhaps best-known for his well-received book, "Database Nation," says that Google would be even more popular than it already is if users learned a few simple tricks. Maybe librarians could cajole them into spending a little time to learn those tricks, but it won't be easy, because too many computer users "aren't interested in the details, options, and preferences available to them when they use a piece of software—they just want to get their job done. These are the people who are determined to work harder, not smarter, when faced with a daunting task." In this article Garfinkel highlights some of the Google tricks he finds most useful (dealing with such things as preference-setting, searching with quotes, strategies for broadening or focusing searches, using the Googlebar, and so forth). He concludes with a brief list of URLs offering "a few other resources and amusements." (Technology Review 4 Jun 2003)  ShelfLife, No. 110 (June 12 2003)
http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/wo_garfinkel060403.asp

 

E-MAIL DEVOURS SOURCE MATERIAL FOR TOMORROW'S HISTORIANS
When tomorrow's historians go to write the chronicles of decision-making that led to Gulf War II, they may be startled to find there's not much history to be written. The same is true of
Clinton's war over Kosovo, Desert Storm, and a host of other recent episodes of U.S. national security policy. Many of the kinds of documents that historians of prior wars have taken for granted—memoranda, minutes, and the routine correspondence among assistant secretaries of state and defense or among colonels and generals in the Joint Chiefs of Staff—simply no longer exist. It's not a deliberate plot to conceal evidence. The villain is e-mail. In olden days—say, the mid-to-late 1980s—Cabinet officials wrote memos on paper, then handed them to a secretary who typed them in triplicate and filed the carbon copies. Periodically, someone from the national archives would haul away the carbons for posterity. Nobody does this anymore, says Slate columnist Fred Kaplan. There are no typing pools, few written memos. Almost all Air Force documents, for example, are now presented as PowerPoint briefings. They're almost never printed and rarely stored. When they are saved, they rarely contain any explanatory text, so they're often incomprehensible. Certain high-level documents are usually (but not always) saved—memos that cross the desks of the president, Cabinet secretaries, and military chiefs. But beneath that level, it's hit or miss—more often miss. (Slate 4 Jun 2003) ShelfLife, No. 110 (June 12 2003)
http://slate.msn.com/id/2083920/

 

COPYRIGHT CONUNDRUM
PBS has an online Q&A with Lawrence Lessig and Matt Oppenheim of the RIAA, two of the leading voices on different sides of the file sharing debate. Lessig and Oppenheim field an array of questions posed by callers about the legality of file sharing and the future of copyright controls. Predictably, Lessig and Oppenheim disagree on many points, but do find agreement on a few issues in this long and edifying piece. Corante - Tech News: June 12, 2003  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/forum/june03/copyright.html


BOOKSTORE FINANCIALS

Talking before a large crowd of independent booksellers on Friday, May 30, at BookExpo America, ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz presented the financial findings of the ABACUS 2003 study. Findings: the average store cost-of-goods (COG) was 60.2 percent of gross sales, while the gross margin for an average bookstore was 39.8 percent.  The average store uses of gross margin were: 21.3 percent for payroll, 8.6 percent for occupancy, and 11.5 percent on "all other," resulting in a net income of –1.7 percent. Domnitz noted that, for bookstores in the top 30 percentile of profitability (higher profit stores), the average net income was 5.6 percent. Conversely, for bookstores in the lower percentile (lower profit stores), the average net income was –11.8 percent. The ABACUS study also showed that two critical factors in determining bookstore profitability were wages/salaries and occupancy expenses. One result of the ABACUS study, Domnitz said, was that the analysis of high and low profitability stores made clear that there were examples of successful stores in both rural and urban locations and in a range of sales volumes. "It has nothing to do with size," Domnitz said. http://news.bookweb.org/news/1522.html

 

HATCH ENDORSES TOUGH ACTION AGAINST FILE SHARING
The chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Committee said recently that he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet.  During a discussion on methods to frustrate computer users who illegally exchange music and movie files over the Internet, Sen. Orrin Hatch asked technology executives about ways to damage computers involved in such file trading. Legal experts have said any such attack would violate federal anti-hacking laws. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 06/18/2003
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6559-2003Jun17.html

 

THE POWER OF HARRY POTTER: TOO HEAVY FOR ROYAL MAIL

The Royal Mail had to lay on extra vans to deliver the new Harry Potter adventure because the 768-page book was too heavy for postmen to carry. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which took JK Rowling three years to produce, is 38 chapters and 255,000 words long and weighs 2.2 lbs. This exceeds the weight permitted under safety regulations. The rush of orders to London, Edinburgh and Glasgow is unprecedented and required its own fleet of dedicated vans. http://books.guardian.co.uk/harrypotter/story/0,10761,978292,00.html

 

HARRY MAKES HISTORY AGAIN

We knew it was big—the massive first printing, the media hype, the midnight release parties, the assured instant-bestseller status. But perhaps nobody knew Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix would be this big, this fast. According to reports from Scholastic, an estimated five million copies of the book were sold on Saturday, its first day of release. That number shatters all publishing records, including the high mark set by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which sold three million copies over its first weekend, back in July 2000. Records were similarly broken in the U.K., where more than 1.75 million copies of the book were sold on Saturday; Canadian retailers, including Indigo Books and Music (267 stores) also reported record tallies. With the rapid sales pace, Scholastic is considering going back to press. A new shipment of books is already headed to accounts that are running low. The company has press time reserved and paper on hand if the decision is made to go back for additional copies. A decision to print more copies could come soon.  http://publishersweekly.reviewsnews.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA306937&display=breakingNews 

 

GPO AND OMB COMPROMISE ON AGENCY PRINTING

On his last day in office, June 6, 2003, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Mitchell Daniels and Bruce James, public printer and head of the Government Printing Office (GPO), reached an agreement allowing government agencies to deal directly with private printers while obeying the mandates of U.S. Code Title 44. Daniels resigned his post to run for governor of Indiana. Bruce James assumed his position in January 2003.

U.S.C. Title 44 specifies that all government printing be done through the GPO. In May 2002 Daniels sent a memo to agency heads directing them to choose “printing and duplicating services based on the best quality, cost and time of delivery.  Patrice McDermott of the American Library Association said: “The Association supports the printing agreement because the agreement, particularly the crackdown on agencies’ in-house printing, will help make sure libraries get government documents. ‘This really begins to address the fugitive documents issue and it moves us a good way toward ensuring better public access to government information.’” (Friel, Brian. “Printing Office to Retain Monopoly Power.” Government Executive, June 10, 2003)

http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb030616-3.shtml

 

EBSCO COMPLETES ROWECOM PRUCHASE; divine SUED AGAIN

EBSCO officials have "definitively closed" the acquisition of the U.S. operations of RoweCom. The deal 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. EBSCO says that more than 70 percent of publishers support the deal and will fulfill the orders placed and paid for by libraries. For publishers, it remains to be seen how much money they will receive after divine's assets are tallied, but that figure is likely to be low.  Still, divine shareholders are far from through in their bid to sue divine's leadership. A class-action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on behalf of stockholders. Much like a suit filed by debtors earlier this year, the suit charges Andrew J. Filipowski and Michael P. Cullinane with a series of "material misrepresentations to the market... which served to artificially inflate the price of divine securities." The suit further suggests that divine was engaged in "a scheme of inflating its revenues by approximately $65 million by instructing employees of its wholly-owned subsidiary, RoweCom, to offer discounts to library customers that paid cash in advance--months before payments were due to publishers—even though divine had no plan to pay its obligations to publishers."  http://libraryjournal.reviewsnews.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA305345&display=breakingNews


ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURES GOING VIRTUAL
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the British Museum in London - the world's oldest public, national museum. Since its founding in 1753, it's become the home of countless archaeological treasures, including the Rosetta Stone and the world's oldest glass, dating from 1460 BC. It also boasts perhaps the world's largest collection of cuneiform tablets. These 4,000-year-old clay slabs bear writing from ancient
Mesopotamia, now Iraq, documenting the beginnings of civilization. Recently, the museum began making digital replicas of some of these tablets, which could help restore Iraq's looted cultural heritage, and bring the fragile tablets to a wider audience via the Internet. Such plans are crucial to the future of museums, says cuneiform expert Peter Damerow of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. "Many think that museums will only survive if they can interact with the public and scientists in a new way." Damerow is director of a separate project to create digital images of the cuneiform tablets in museums around the world and place them in a public online database. The initiative is pioneering new ways to present, link and study objects, he says: "Projects like this need a lot of cooperation between scientific and museum people." (Nature Science Update 6 Jun 2003) ShelfLife, No. 111 (June 19 2003)
http://www.nature.com/nsu/030602/030602-13.html

 

NLM DEFINES STANDARDS FOR ELECTRONIC JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS
To meet a long recognized need of a standard model for electronically archiving and exchanging journal articles, The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has created two Document Type Definitions (DTDs) designed for that purpose. Dr. David Lipman, Director of the Library's
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) says the DTDs "will simplify journal publishing and increase the accuracy of the archiving and exchange of scholarly journal articles." The Journal Publishing DTD defines a common XML format for the content of journal articles, but the structures are robust enough to support print publication as well. Built using the same set of elements, the Archiving and Interchange DTD provides a common format in which publishers, aggregators, and archives can exchange journal content. These DTDs and the Tagset from which they were created are in the public domain, with complete information and documentation available at http://dtd.nlm.nih.gov. (U.S National Library of Medicine 9 Apr 2003) ShelfLife, No. 111 (June 19 2003)
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/news/press_releases/dtd_ncbi03pr.html

 

ARL ISSUES THREE NEW PAPERS

The Association of Research Libraries has issued three new reports of note:  A White Paper on Publishers Mergers: A Consumer-Based Approach
to Antitrust Analysis
(PDF)   http://www.arl.org/scomm/mergers/WhitePaperV2Final.pdf
On the Transition of Journals to Open Access, by David Prosser, Director, SPARC Europe, in the ARL Bimonthly Report 227   http://www.arl.org/newsltr/227/openaccess.html
Collections & Access Issues: Report on Recent Activities of ARL Prepared
for the ALA/CLA Conference  http://www.arl.org/collectaccess/ALAjune2003.html


LOCKSS

The June 19 Economist profiles LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe) in Storing E-Text for Centuries. "Despite its complexities, LOCKSS, which is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Sun Microsystems and others, has shown that it works. A prototype version was installed at some 80 libraries worldwide to test the concept under real conditions. Lots of teething problems remain. But the biggest challenges may be economic rather than technical. Some publishers, in particular the more commercial ones, are none too keen on having their content cached elsewhere, although most of their concerns have been dealt with. More importantly, starting in 2004, the project will need to stand on its own financial feet. And that can only mean one thing: libraries and perhaps publishers, too, will have to make a contribution.” Vicky Reich, who oversees LOCKSS, is currently putting together an organization, which will be called LOCKSS Alliance, whose mission will be, among other things, to maintain the software, and ensure that there are a sufficient number of caches.  UIUC readers can access the Economist online through the gateway.  FOS News 6/23/03

 

BETHESDA STATEMENT ON OPEN ACCESS

The Bethesda statement on open access publishing was released on June 20. It's based on an April 11 meeting of foundations, scientists, editors, publishers, and open-access proponents, hosted by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  It makes headway in promoting open access by asking foundations to pay the processing fees charged by open-access journals. The public and private funding agencies in the room agreed that this was something they could and should do to promote open access. We welcome comments from every quarter. In a few months the participants will meet again to take public comments into account and draft a revised version of the principles.  FOS News 6/22/03  http://www.topica.com/lists/fos-forum/read/message.html?mid=907981080&sort=d&start=811

 

INTERNET SPARKS A COPYRIGHT FIRE

An article in the Washington Post provides a good exploration of how the Internet changed the copyright game for the entertainment industries especially music and movies. At least part of the blame for rampant online piracy falls on the entertainment industries, the story implies before going on to discuss the parallels with the
proliferation of audio cassette recorders and VCRs a generation ago: "It was still relatively difficult for average consumers to engage in piracy on a huge scale. The Internet and the availability of cheap, powerful computers changed all that. Technology now allows unlimited, near-perfect copying of digital files." The article summarizes the current state of the debate with discussions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Larry Lessig's Creative Commons project, current pending legislation and more.  Corante - Tech News:
June 24, 2003  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23481-2003Jun23.html

 

CORRECTION

In the last issue, we incorrectly stated that the New York Times' Tracker service
will cost $19.95 per month. The actual price will be $19.95 per year.  

 

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