Regulating Minors\' Access to the Internet Can Backfire

Bob Cox passed along This One from SfGate that talks about the Child Internet Protection Act. This one comes down solidly against filtering, and says filters tend to block sites in a way ACLU representative Emily Whitfield describes as \"capricious.\" One interesting note in this story, the privately run Waldorf schools refuse to allow their under-12 students to use computers or television.

\"We\'re not concerned with online content. Instead, we believe that children should be free to develop their imaginations, and we feel the Internet provides prepackaged information that makes kids passive. Plus, we feel that physical activity leads to healthier minds. Sitting in front of a computer, pointing and clicking, is not a picture that we support as leading to later health.\"


Libraries ordered to filter Web in South Carolina

APRIL SIMUN from The State newspaper writes: \"The S.C. State Library board voted 5-0 Thursday to comply with a new state law requiring them to filter their own computers and to withhold money from local public libraries that don\'t filter.\" Full Story

And Annalee Newitz from the San Francisco Gate writes: \"...many experts and activists say our current methods for regulating kids\' access to the Internet, like blocking, are worse than useless.\" Full Story


Kansas City - We\'re all going to read a book

MIKE HENDRICKS from the Kansas City Star reports that \"KC loves this idea\" of the city reading the same book at the same time.

\"My phone has been ringing off the hook from Kansas City Metropolitan Library & Information Network members asking if and how we will be participating in this project,\" wrote Susan Burton, executive director of that group of 76 area library systems.
Full Story


County library patrons doing a cushy job

Are comfy chairs an issue at your library?

Patti Brandt from the Bay City Times writes about the selection of chairs at the Bay County Library System:

\"Staff members there have been asking visitors for the last week or so to rate six different chairs on size, comfort and eye appeal...Thomas Birch, managing librarian of the Bay City Branch, said choosing a chair is a very subjective matter.\"Full Story

Home alone — and at the library alone

An editorial in the Seattle Times says:

\"Libraries are icons of our sense of community. They\'ve long been seen as safe havens where adults and children spend hours immersed in books, maps and videos.

Now they want to limit children. It\'s not that libraries don\'t want children.\" It calls for more common sense and less rules. Full Editorial


Oppose Expanded Government Secrecy!

Amy Kearns writes \"I got this alert from the ACLU!
You can read more and send a FREE FAX from the action alert Here

Last year, with little debate and no public hearings, Congress adopted an intelligence authorization bill that contained a provision to criminalize all leaks of classified information. A firestorm of criticism from civil libertarians, major news organizations, academics and LIBRARIANS resulted and President Bill Clinton vetoed the bill. Unfortunately, at the request of Senator Richard Shelby (R- AL), this year\'s intelligence authorization bill may include the identical provision.

Separating Students From Smut

Wired has a rather indepth Look at Filtering and CIPA. They say 75 percent of schools use filtering already.

\"We believe schools should be a safe haven for children –- a place for children to learn and grow, not cesspools for the destruction of the minds and souls of children,\" said Kristen Schultz, a legal policy analyst with the Family Research Council.

Seems as though the internet is still the least of most peoples worries:

\"We have far more complaints about written materials like certain classics, novels, and plays than anything having to do with Internet resources.\"


125 years later, Twain fans end a story

Someone writes \"the USAToday is running a Story story on Mark Twain\'s unpublished \"blindfold novelette\" entitled \"A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage\". The summer issue of The Atlantic Monthly ran it, and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library launched a writing contest to finish the mystery that drew 730 entries from as far as Japan and Australia. The winners will be announced Oct. 13.


Breaking Microsoft\'s e-Book Code

Slashdot pointed the way to This Techreview Story on An anonymous programmer that has found a way to decrypt Microsoft Reader e-books.The decryption program enables purchasers of \"owner-exclusive\" Microsoft Reader titles—Microsoft\'s most highly protected form of e-book—to convert these titles to unencrypted files viewable on any Web browser. The programmer hasn\'t released it, saying he developed it for his personal use.

The Very Real Threat of the D.M.C.A.

If you have any doubts about the chilling effect of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on free speech, take a gander at this article from Salon. A British medical research firm has used the Act to force a U.S. ISP to remove the page of animal rights group critical of their work:

On Thursday, EnviroLink Network, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Internet service provider, took offline two Web sites belonging to the animal-rights activist group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. The action came in response to a letter sent to the ISP earlier in the week by Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British medical research firm. Citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Huntingdon accused the activists of violating its copyright. Although no charges have yet been filed, under the terms of the DMCA, Envirolink was forced to remove the sites to avoid potential legal liability. \"It\'s very clear that Huntingdon Life Sciences just wants to shut them up,\" says Josh Knauer, the founder of Envirolink, which provides free Web hosting to nonprofits . . .

More. This is a truly disgusting development.

U.S. Copyright Office: No Substantial Changes to D.M.C.A.

After a review of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the U.S. has concluded that offline copyright law does not apply to the digital world, and that the anti-circumvention clause does not merit further attention:

The study does give critics some ammunition to work with. It asks legislators, for example, to clarify whether temporary copies are legal, and advises Congress to give users of digital content the right to make archival copies. But the report also rejects the argument that offline copyright law should apply to the digital world, calling the analogy \"flawed and unconvincing.\"

The study also refuses to address the energetic public outcry over the DMCA\'s controversial anti-circumvention clause, which prohibits the creation and distribution of methods for getting around copyright controls. While it acknowledges that most of the people who criticized the law -- at public hearings and via e-mail -- \"expressed general opposition to the prohibitions on circumvention of technological protection measures contained in [the anti-circumvention clause section 1201], and noted their concerns about the adverse impact that section 1201 may have on fair use and other copyright exceptions,\" the Copyright Office, which falls under the authority of the Library of Congress, sidestepped public concern. . .

More from Salon (the free part.) The Copyright Office report can be found here.


Parents call book too explicit

Katie Pesznecker of the Anchorage Daily News writes:

\"Two parents of Anchorage grade school students say the sexual health book \"It\'s Perfectly Normal\" is not perfectly normal reading for their children and want it off school library shelves.\"

The book got national praise for it\'s \"normal\" look at sex education. Full Story


Smackdown at the Library

Bob Cox passed along a A Short Story on that WWF read-in that happened in MI the other day. WWF stars Stacy Keibler and Rhyno did the reading.

\"We\'re going for the reluctant reader, the male teenager that the WWF appeals to,\"

Salt Lake City PL New Director

Jill passed along more about SLC PL\'s new non-MLS director froma member of the board.
Full Story

\"Jim Cooper\'s business acumen, dedicated support for the library programs, ability to interact constructively with numerous constituencies and government interests and his deep commitment to the Salt Lake Valley community were viewed by the board as credentials more compelling than an advanced degree in library science. \"

Constitutional Freedom to Read Recognized

Luis Acosta writes \"There is an interesting item in today\'s Washington Post\'s \"District Extra\" section (not to be confused with the Metro section) about a U.S. District Court decision that recognizes the freedom to read:
Full Story
The decision at issue in the story is posted on the web page of the U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia,
While the defendant that lost is a public library, the decision recognizes the first amendment right to freedom to read/freedom of information, and therefore is good news.\"


Potter porn.

Calliope pass along This Story from MSNBC on the burgeoning Harry Potter Porn stories on the web. They say it\'s produced and consumed almost entirely by young women. Google Points The Way.
Warner Bros. is not very happy:

“It is not only our legal obligation, but also our moral obligation to protect the integrity of our intellectual properties,” the statement says. “This is especially true in the case of indecent infringement of any icon whose target audience is children.”
It\'s funny to read the have morals.


It Scans, It Formats, It Translates, but Can It Do This...?

There\'s a new version of software that will read scanned documents and convert the text into a format that you can edit. It also will recognize up to 114 languages. While it\'s doing all that, it\'ll even proof itself to make sure it captured every character from the original. Then, if you want it to, it\'ll read everything back to you, in one of 14 languages, over your computer\'s speakers. While that\'s all well and good, I\'m still waiting for the software program that will do the dishes, fix dinner, change diapers, put the laundry away, scoop out the litterbox, sort the trash, and walk the dog. more...


Separating Students from Smut

Katie Dean writes...

\"Over the next year, schools will be in danger of losing precious technology funding unless they can certify they have a filtering system that blocks obscene websites.
The Children\'s Internet Protection Act requires that by Oct. 28, schools must certify that they are either in compliance with filtering requirements, or are in the process of becoming compliant by evaluating blocking software. For many schools, it will be easy to comply. According to the Consortium for School Networking, 75 percent of schools use filtering already.\" more... from Wired News.

Library Bans Free Weekly Newspapers

Roger Aylworth, writing for The Chico Enterprise Record, asks...\"Do free weekly newspapers belong in a library lobby?\"

A decision by the Meriam Library at Chico State University says, \"no.\" and the decision has some publishers screaming foul. more...


First Seattle, Now the World (Toronto to Read One Book)

The Toronto Star reports that Toronto\'s librarian\'s are planning to follow Chicago\'s lead. The first idea Toronto borrowed from Chicago was the cows.
Although the program could begin as soon as next year, the mayor has yet to embrace the program and no book has been chosen.
Credit for the original idea goes to the Washington Center for the Book. See also...



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