Freedom of Information
US government sends itself a takedown notice
As you may know, works of the U.S. Government are not protected by copyright in the U.S. (17 USC §105), but we often discover copyrighted government publications that one would reasonably think would be in the public domain and, more recently, we see works that were treated as public domain in print suddenly being treated as copyrighted when they are converted to digital. No matter how clear the law is, this can lead to confusing situations.
Open access: four ways it could enhance academic freedom
The power of funding alone should not be enough to override academic freedom, argues Curt Rice, nor does open access automatically skew the world of scholarship
Order and Liberty: The DPLA Launches
I wasn’t entirely sure what the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) would look like when the long-awaited launch date of April 18 approached. The suspense is finally over: it looks great.
The DPLA is an effort to unify access to cultural assets of the nation and make them free to all. We are not the first country to try this; in fact we’re a bit behind, perhaps because we have a tradition of local library planning and support and because we don’t have a true national library.
Owner, new CEO of Powell’s Books see strength in brick and mortar
It’s tough to think about how people will read in 50 years when you’re worrying about what they’ll read tomorrow. So after just a couple of years as chief executive of Powell’s Books, Emily Powell — granddaughter of the bookseller’s founder — told employees last month she would step down and focus on the Portland company’s long-term strategy in a quickly changing market.
3D-printed guns are inevitable
NEW YORK–For months, a debate has raged in the media and on Capitol Hill about whether or not society (and the law) should allow 3D-printed guns. After listening to Cody Wilson speak for a few minutes, one can’t help but come away feeling that the national discussion is moot: 3D-printed firearms are inevitable.
The Dark Side of the Digital Revolution
How do you explain to people that they are a YouTube sensation, when they have never heard of YouTube or the Internet? That’s a question we faced during our January visit to North Korea, when we attempted to engage with the Pyongyang traffic police. You may have seen videos on the Web of the capital city’s “traffic cops,” whose ballerina-like street rituals, featured in government propaganda videos, have made them famous online.
Feds Push for Backdoor Wiretap Capabilities
Washington – The Washington Post reported today that the FBI is seeking authority to require surveillance backdoors in all popular Internet products and services.
“A wiretapping mandate is a vulnerability mandate,” said CDT Senior Staff Technologist Joe Hall. “The unintended consequences of this proposal are profound. At the very time when the nation is concerned about cybersecurity, the FBI proposal has the potential to make our communications less secure. Once you build a wiretap capability into products and services, the bad guys will find a way to use it.”
Human genome: US Supreme Court hears patents case
The US Supreme Court has heard arguments questioning whether the human genome can be claimed as intellectual property. The case relates to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2009, and centres on whether companies should be able to patent genes.
World Book Night 2013: half a million free books to be handed out
20,000 volunteers will hand out half a million books tonight as part of World Book Night 2013. The event, now in its third year, aims to promote literacy and share the joy of books with people who might not normally read.
Please feel free to pass along in part or in its entirety.
The Intersect Alert is a newsletter of the Government Relations Committee, San Francisco Bay Region Chapter, Special Libraries Association.