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Underground/alternative comic book publisher Fantagraphics is putting out a plea for survival. The company that houses such greats as R. Crumb, Los Bros Hernandez (of Love and Rockets fame), and the visionary author of Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, Chris Ware, is in deep financial trouble.
I know that much of what Fantagraphics puts out is challenge-bait for public and school libraries, but anyone in charge of a large public collection should at least devote some time to their website to see if you can justify purchasing a few of these ground-breaking titles. If nothing else, buy yourself something.
Don Saklad points over to Kur5hin.org and This Look At Spyware, Adware, Back doors, and all the other stuff vendors put in programs to spy on your machine.
They say the biggest problem, might come in the form of back doors to popular programs, which may give software vendors complete access, and in some cases complete control, to an end user's system.
There's a list of possible solutions, and a list of links to other stories for background readings as well.
Jill O'Neill passed along This IT-Analysis Story on divine, who you probably know filed a petition to reorganise under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy rules on Tuesday.
They cover some history, and say that Rowecom had collected some $50m worth of subscriptions for magazines and other publications on behalf of a variety of publishers but had then used the money to pay off its own debts and to cover running costs rather than coughing up to the publishers.
I don't know enough about this to make any judgements, but apparently the story missed some points, or made some mistakes.
Gary "Visit The ResourceShelf" Price sent over This Chronicle of Higher Education Story that says Elsevier Science announced new procedures last week for handling journal articles in its databases that are the product of plagiarism or other research misconduct. Librarians and scholars have complained that the Anglo-Dutch publisher was jeopardizing the integrity of scholarship by removing articles from its databases with little explanation.
I received this short email today with no other details.There\'s also no mention on the Cancerlit Site.
\"We regret to inform you that NCI is discontinuing the
CANCERLIT bibliographic database. Therefore, no more updates
will be distributed to licensees. This decision is the
result of a reassessment and prioritization of NCI cancer
information products and services, given limited resources.
Thank you for your interest in helping distribute
cancer-related information to the widest possible audience.
If you do not already license other NCI products and
services, we encourage you to explore those possibilities.
Information is available on the Web at
http://www.cancer.gov/licensing. In the near future, we will
be calling you to answer any questions you may have.\"
Paula J. Hane, over at InfoToday is keeping up on the RoweCom saga.
She says the beleaguered subsidiary of divine filed a 14-count lawsuit in the same court against its parent company, alleging that divine had made “fraudulent transfers” of over $73.7 million of RoweCom funds and had looted the company.
You can read the exact text of RoweCom’s allegations can read the original complaint filed with the bankruptcy court by downloading this PDF file.
Steve writes \"I found This Story from eWeek to be so ironic as to be funny. In it, Microsoft cautions that significant damage may be done to its business model by the open source software movement. Hmmmmm, why can\'t I shed any tears for Microsoft? And why do I inwardly shout Hip Hip Hooray for open source?!\"
This Chicago Tribune article (free registration may be required) says that EBSCO is close to reaching a deal to buy RoweCom (formerly Faxon). The publishers that RoweCom didn\'t pay with the money libraries paid to RoweCom are apparently in separate discussions with EBSCO regarding this deal. Swets Blackwell pulled out of its talks to buy RoweCom, citing liability issues.
A bit more on The Divine Story from The Chicago Tribune.
They say Chicago-based Divine Inc. is in negotiations with a handful of publishers and a Dutch competitor to resolve a problem that threatens to interrupt the flow of periodicals to thousands of libraries across the nation.
A Divine subsidiary, RoweCom, collected at least $50 million from as many as 4,000 libraries for subscriptions last year, but failed to pay the publishers. The money was used to pay RoweCom\'s operating costs and debts, Divine executives have said.
\"Our strategy is to structure this so that a portion of the money would be put forward by the RoweCom side,\" Hess said. \"Swets Blackwell would put together some of the money. And concessions, discounts, by the publishers would cover part of the cost.\"
The Chicago Tribune has This Story on the thousands of libraries across the country that may be out $50 million after a subsidiary of Chicago-based Divine Inc. accepted their money last year to buy periodicals but failed to pay the publishers.
\"This is unconscionable, unethical and moving rapidly toward grand larceny,\" said Susan Davis, head of periodical acquisitions at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her e-mail, sent to a RoweCom sales representative last month, is part of a lawsuit filed against the company by the New York State attorney general\'s office