Copyright Law and Free Information

A couple interesting legal stories
Copyright laws out of balance from covers some of the problems with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Public libraries are in jeopardy under this law.

Free as Air, Free As Water, Free As Knowledge is a speech given at the Library Information Technology Association.


The Lure of Easy Columns

Someone submitted This \"amusing (and alarming) article on Internet misinformation\" from AJR News Link\". It turns out some \"Journalists\" are even more useless than I thought they were.

\"What journalists need to do is learn to distinguish between the crap on the Web and the good stuff,\" says Yale University researcher and lecturer Fred Shapiro. \"It\'s a crucial skill and one that some journalists need to be taught.\"


Web Reference Via XRefer

Newsbytes has this article about Xrefer providing reference service to content providers, for a fee (about $1500).\"Daryl Rayner,\'s marketing director, said that since the Web portal has been running for some time, many content providers have approached the company with information that is suitable for publishing on the Web. The problem has been that their information has been highly specialized, as well as having a higher value that our standard service,\" she said.\"


Hardware Stores in Montclair, New Jersey

I saw this story in the New York Times today. A company has created a new top level domain, .geo, which would allow people to search geographically via the web. Pretty cool idea, but ICANN hasn\'t approved it...yet.\"It is possible to find local services like movie theaters and car dealers on the Internet by typing your ZIP code into a search box on many Web sites. But the success of these searches depends on the indexing capabilities of the particular search engine, in addition to how well the site has been registered, two factors that can vary a great deal. It may be easy to find Web sites for museums in Florence, Italy, but shouldn\'t it be just as easy to find out what time the hardware store down the street closes?\"


ISI Citation Awards

Fiona writes \"The annual ISI Science Citation awards have been announced! An antidote to the Oscars, the Citation awards count citations and give awards to those that get the most mentions. Surely a prestigious addition to any scholarly bookshelf.

Full Story \"

They say in the world of science, ISI citations are likened to The Oscars, they measure how often a scientific publication is cited in the research of others.


Library Used to Commit Biggest Cyber-Fraud in History

[this one]
doesn\'t make some people nervous about online privacy, nothing will.
It seems that a number of the 400 wealthiest people in America, as listed by Forbes magazine, were ripped off by a busboy who used library computers to do the dirty deed. You\'ll be surprised at the names on this list and how many millions of dollars the thug is accused of stealing. And, he accomplished it via the Internet. One item of interest, he didn\'t try to rip off Bill Gates, whose name tops the list of America\'s most wealthy. [more...] from the New York Post.


Library Clerk Quits Over Offensive Magazine - Gets Support from City Officials

According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, \"a former Willowick, OH Public Library circulation-desk clerk quit her job in protest over the library\'s refusal to remove the February issue of Talk magazine, a monthly publication that focuses on politics, culture, and entertainment.
Julie Sbrocco was offended by a cover photo of actress Heather Graham in a low-cut dress, and two side-view snapshots of nude women included in a story about the pornography industry, according to the March 10 Cleveland Plain Dealer. Fearing children might see the magazine, which is displayed in the adult section, Sbrocco said she didn\'t believe in intellectual freedom without responsibility,the newspaper reported. The library has refused to remove the magazine, citing First Amendment protections.\"

\"Sbrocco complained to city leaders and has received some support. City Council President Richard Bonde told the Plain Dealer while the library is not expected to take on a parental role, we still don\'t condone the magazine. Councilman John O\'Donnell vowed to campaign against the library\'s next levy renewal if the magazine is not removed,\" the newspaper said. [more...]


Two Library Awards from NY Times

I found this story on Excite. The New York Times is going to give two awards ($2,500) to staff at libraries working in any of the five boroughs of NYC. That might explain why the price of the Times has gone up 3 bucks on Sundays.\"These annual awards, which will be given for the first time in 2001 as part of the commemoration of The Times\' 150th Anniversary, are intended to recognize those individuals who provide outstanding community service on a consistent basis.
One librarian and one library staff member from each borough of New York City will receive an award. Nominations for the Librarian Award will be made by librarians while nominations for the Library Service Award will be made by members of the public.


President Bush Unveils Education Plan: E-Rate Remains Intact


President Bush\'s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) package was unveiled today by Congressman Boehner (R-OH), Chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. The \"No Child Left Behind Act of 2001\", H.R. 1, stresses the importance of early child reading and literacy programs.

Due to the enormous grassroots efforts from library advocates and E-rate supporters, President Bush\'s education plan would not move the E-rate from the FCC and consolidate it with other education technology programs at the Department of Education. President Bush\'s initial education proposal would have shifted E-rate funds
from the stable and reliable funding source it now enjoys as part of the Universal Service Fund administered by the FCC to the Department of Education and the E-rate funds would have then been part of the annual appropriations process.

More details will be provided in later ALAWONS.


Noisy Libraries Speak Volumes About Us

Someone sent along This Story from The Washington
on the Arlington Road branch library in
Bethesda. Not the quiet library you would expect, and
just too loud for this author.

\"No, thanks.\" I wanted to say. \"I\'ll just head on
over to someplace where I can concentrate, like Chuck
E. Cheese.\"



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