Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
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.
I stumbled across this one earlier today and it contains some great information. Cindy Curling, Electronic Resources Librarian for a Washington DC firm, did an informal survey of librarians and others on issues of privacy and filtering, and the responses and related comments are very interesting. I recommend taking the time to read the entire article and exploring the included links. Although the title mentions law libraries, specifically, the information contained in the article goes far beyond that. According to the author herself, \"I found the comments and opinions above to be interesting, and more importantly, thought provoking. I was especially surprised at how few librarians had any influence in the development of their firm/school/agency\'s Internet access policy...\" more...
This just in from Slashdot- a potentially grim development for those providing their patrons with free Web access:
\"A Norwegian newssite (digitoday.no) has a story . . . about a Swedish company\'s filter-system which enable content-delivery sites to differentiate between different ISP\'s. This means that the ISP has to pay a fee to the site in order to enable the site\'s content to the ISP\'s users. Another story (also norwegian) discusses the implications of this. They report that the swedish company (Tric AB) will \"act as a third party between ISP\'s and content-suppliers with the intent to let the content-suppliers get a share of the access-income. It will act as a clearinghouse where the income from the ISP\'s is distributed to different content-suppliers in relation to size and traffic\". According to a swedish newssite (Ekonomi24.se), Tric has already gathered the largest content-suppliers in Sweden and they are already in discussions with the large ISP and telecoms in Sweden (Telia, Tele2 etc.) which are positive to this. The background for this initiative is the problem of financing the content on the Internet. So far it\'s all been advertising and subsidising from other parts of the companies, now it will be the up to the ISP and telecom-companies to share the income with other actors. This would also be the death of smaller ISP\'s that feed off the free structure of the net, given that this model is applied to the entire net. And not to forget the new business created: clearinghouses. We were just waiting for another level of complicity.\" Either your ISP pays a fee to the content provider (raising your access fees, of course), or the provider blocks access to itself from all of your ISP\'s users and you have to deal with their complaints. We\'ll probably see this in the U.S. soon, as the next stage in the media consolidation.\"
Scroll down to about the 1/2 way mark on the page to find this article and a link to the 100+ outraged responses. Thanks to Metafilter.
Judith Platt has responded on her radical librarian remarks below.
\"The last thing that I intended was to anger or alienate the library
community. I value them as friends, colleagues and allies in the fight for
free expression and literacy. If publishers and librarians don\'t always see
eye-to-eye on copyright issues, we\'ve been able to seek workable compromises
in the past, and we have every expectation of doing so in the digital
I was quoted completely out of context ZDNet news article.
more....... -- Read More
News.com Is Reporting on the copyright controversy that casts us as villains simply for doing our job.
And you thought Pat Schroeder was bad a few months ago?
\"They\'ve got their radical factions, like the Ruby Ridge or Waco types, who want to share all content for free, said Judith Platt, a spokeswoman for the Association of American Publishers.\"
They say Publishing houses primary targets are now the public library.
You go ahead and worry about filters, or hotels, me, I\'ll be worrying about The DMCA and The AAP. We\'ll see what impacts libraries more.
\"I don\'t see the doomsday of libraries not existing,\" said Wayne Overbeck, a professor of communications at California State University at Fullerton, who\'s been closely watching the digital copyright debates. \"But I do see libraries having a smaller collection. It\'s going to cost a lot more money than ever for libraries to be up to date.\"
\"When there\'s a direct exchange between creators of art and their audiences . . .small charges could earn those creators a decent living - while the army of middlemen . . .could go back to selling detergent, real estate, and two-by-fours.\"
[via Rebecca\'s Pocket]
He says publishers new greedy \"pay-per-use model\" for information content that will largely shut libraries out. No kind words for Pat Schroeder who he quotes as saying that publishers have to \"learn to push back\" against libraries.
He points out Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of Rupert Murdoch\'s News Corporation is calling for legislation that \"guarantees publishers\' control of not only the integrity of an original work, but of the extent and duration of users\' access to that work, the availability of data about the work and restrictions on forwarding the work to others\". You can see what that would do.
I agree with him when he says:\"Too much is at stake to let the publishing industry undo the careful copyright balance we have all come to rely upon.\"
Where is the outrage on this that I see everyday over filters??
I got a response from Questia on This Story. I have also been granted an interview with Questia, so if you have Questions For Questia, post them below, and I\'ll pass them along.
\"I\'d like to respond to your Feb. 22 story on \"Questionable
Advertising @ Questia???\"
Questia\'s business and marketing philosophies seek the greatest degree of
inclusion possible. We believe the feedback and interest from the
librarian and academic communities, particularly, are crucial to the
quality of content and service Questia provides. Therefore, proactive
education campaigns to these audiences have been in progress for more than
More.... -- Read More
Questia seems to be using what some might consider questionable advertising techniques, personally I\'d call it SPAM, or worse, but make up your own mind.
Steven Bell pointed out (On COLLIB-L) some interesting posts he found on the new Google Groups (the old deja.com), so I did some searching, and found some very \"interesting\" posts from \"people\" about Questia. Interesting and people are emphasized here to highlight the important words I am questioning. They seem to be spamming, a number of academic oriented newsgroups, and Ebay under what may be considered false pretenses. The people posting the messages try to make it look like they are not affiliated with Questia (most of the time), but some evidence shows this is may not be entirely true. If they are really using this type of advertising they are guilty of fraud at worst, and being a slimy corporation at best. I have sent this story along to Questia for comment, and I really hope to hear back.
Read on to see what I found. -- Read More
It\'s a story about Patricia Schroeder (president of the Washington- and New York-based Association of American Publishers) and she says the AAP should \"have a very serious issue with librarians.\"
She says publishers do not believe that the public should have the same fair use rights in the electronic world as the prit world and the AAP is looking for ways to charge library patrons for information.