Universities ignore growing concern over Sci-Hub cyber risk

“According to The Washington Post, Elbakyan, nicknamed the Robin Hood of science, is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for suspected criminal acts and espionage.

Elbakyan denies any wrongdoing, but scholarly publishers such as Elsevier have used news of her investigation to call on academic institutions to block access to Sci-Hub — not because the site is illegal, but because it poses a security threat. Several large publishers, including Elsevier, have successfully sued Sci-Hub for mass copyright infringement in recent years. The Sci-Hub repository contains more than 80 million research articles, including a large proportion of Elsevier’s catalog….

PSI, a company based in Britain that offers tools and services to protect scholarly copyright, maintains a list of web addresses associated with Sci-Hub, which institutions can download and use to block access to the site on campus.

Andrew Pitts, CEO and co-founder of PSI, said that so far, few U.S. institutions have downloaded the block list. Pitts, who has been writing about Sci-Hub’s links to Russian military intelligence for several years, said he struggled to understand why universities are not taking more immediate steps to protect their networks. “This is a matter of urgency,” he said….”

Universities ignore growing concern over Sci-Hub cyber risk

“According to The Washington Post, Elbakyan, nicknamed the Robin Hood of science, is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for suspected criminal acts and espionage.

Elbakyan denies any wrongdoing, but scholarly publishers such as Elsevier have used news of her investigation to call on academic institutions to block access to Sci-Hub — not because the site is illegal, but because it poses a security threat. Several large publishers, including Elsevier, have successfully sued Sci-Hub for mass copyright infringement in recent years. The Sci-Hub repository contains more than 80 million research articles, including a large proportion of Elsevier’s catalog….

PSI, a company based in Britain that offers tools and services to protect scholarly copyright, maintains a list of web addresses associated with Sci-Hub, which institutions can download and use to block access to the site on campus.

Andrew Pitts, CEO and co-founder of PSI, said that so far, few U.S. institutions have downloaded the block list. Pitts, who has been writing about Sci-Hub’s links to Russian military intelligence for several years, said he struggled to understand why universities are not taking more immediate steps to protect their networks. “This is a matter of urgency,” he said….”

Join Us in Washington D.C. to Celebrate Culture and Heritage on Public Domain Day

Creative Commons is pleased to be a part of the second annual Public Domain Day celebration held in Washington D.C. on January 30, 2020! 

In collaboration with the Internet Archive, the Institute for Intellectual Property & Social Justice, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, and SPARC, this event will “bring together a diverse group of organizations, musicians, artists, activists, and thinkers” to celebrate the works entering the public domain in 2020 as well as highlight the “elements of knowledge and creativity that are too important to a healthy society to lock down with copyright law.”

Public-Domain-Day-2020-v2

The program includes lightning talks on a variety of topics, such as bias in algorithms, shared cultural resources, and technological innovation. There will also be a panel discussion on “how the freedom to build upon creative works can inspire and move culture” and live performances by the Bob Schwartz Quartet! 

Location 

January 30, 2020 | 5:30-9:00pm American University Washington College of Law, Grossman Hall 4300 Nebraska Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

Program

  • 5:15 – Registration Opens
  • 5:30 – Facets of the Public Domain – Public Interest Organization Showcase and Reception (featuring the Bob Schwartz Quartet)
  • 6:30 – Realizing Access to the Public Domain 
  • 6:50 – Remixing the Public Domain
  • 7:15 – Too Important to be Protected: Limits on Copyright for a Healthy Society – Presentation by former MEP Julia Reda, followed by Lighting Talks
  • 8:30 – Reception: featuring the Bob Schwartz Quartet

Interested in joining us? Register here!

If you’re not able to attend, there will be a webcast available here starting from 6:30 PM EST on January 30, 2020!

The post Join Us in Washington D.C. to Celebrate Culture and Heritage on Public Domain Day appeared first on Creative Commons.

How Years Of Copyright Maximalism Is Now Killing Pop Music | Techdirt

“Almost five years ago, we warned that years of copyright maximalists brainwashing the public about ever expansive copyright and the need for everything to be “owned” had resulted in the crazy Blurred Lines decision that said that merely being inspired by another artist to make a song that has a similar feel, even if it doesn’t copy any actual part of the music, was infringing. We warned that this would lead to bad things — and it has.

Over the last few years, we’ve been detailing story after story of similar cases being filed. It’s become so common that we don’t even bother to write about most of the cases. As we’ve said, though, this really is the industry reaping what they’ve sowed. It’s gotten so crazy that even the RIAA (yes, that RIAA) has felt the need to tell courts that maybe their interpretation of copyright has gone too far in the direction of over-protecting copyright holders.

It’s now become such a fact of life that the NY Times has a giant article on how copyright is basically eating pop music these days. …”

14 Paris Museums Put 300,000 Works of Art Online: Download Classics by Monet, Cézanne & More | Open Culture

“First trips to Paris all run the same risk: that of the museums consuming all of one’s time in the city. What those new to Paris need is a museum-going strategy, not that one size will fit all. Tailoring such a strategy to one’s own interests and pursuits requires a sense of each museum’s collection, something difficult to attain remotely before Paris Musées opened up its online collections portal….”

Open content : plus de 100 000 œuvres des collections des musées de la Ville de Paris en libre accès | Paris Musées

From Google’s English:  “A new step in the development of Paris Museums’ digital policy, the launch of Open Content contributes to increasing and improving the dissemination of collections and reinforces actions in favor of better access to art and culture. It also promotes increased visibility of works and knowledge of municipal collections in France and abroad.

This opening of data guarantees free access and reuse by all of digital files, without technical, legal or financial restrictions, for commercial use or not.

Images representing works belonging to the public domain under CCØ license (Creative Commons Zero) are made available to all internet users via the Paris Musées collections portal. Initially, the reproductions of works in 2D which are not subjected to rights are available in Open Content, the images subjected to rights remain in low definition in order to illustrate the files of the website of the collections. Art lovers can for example download the works of the big names in photography (Atget, Blancard, Marville, Carjat …) or painting (Courbet, Delacroix, Rembrandt, Van Dyck …)….”

How India’s new Intermediary Liability Rules could limit everyone’s access to information online

“The birth of the World Wide Web thirty years ago brought with it the promise of a global meeting ground for open knowledge, innovation and connection that no one had previously experienced. While society has made tremendous progress, giving voice to millions and making knowledge available in places far and wide, we have also grappled with challenges — from misinformation to the spread of harmful content — that have compromised these goals. These challenges have led to growing scrutiny of the internet’s visitors and purveyors, including restrictions designed to regulate the flow and exchange of online information. While the intent that drives these moves may be valid, the unintended consequences from unilateral, closed-door actions by governments could have dire consequences on an open internet.

New changes to India’s intermediary liability rules — the rules that govern how websites with users in India host content on their platforms — which are currently being considered by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, highlight these risks….”

Introducing the CC Search Browser Extension

This is part of a series of posts introducing the projects built by open source contributors mentored by Creative Commons during Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2019. Mayank Nader was one of those contributors and we are grateful for his work on this project.

Creative Commons (CC) is working towards providing easy access to CC-licensed and public domain works. One significant step towards achieving that goal was the release of CC Search in 2019. Through this search and indexing tool, we’re making a plethora of CC-licensed images accessible in one place. As CC Search expands to include more than just images, CC is also developing a suite of applications and interfaces to help users across the world interact, consume, and reuse open access content.

CC Search Extension (1)

The CC Search Browser Extension is one such application. This browser extension is an open-source, lightweight plugin that can be installed and used by anyone with an updated web browser.

Why did we create this browser extension?

Browsers are the gateway to the web, and users often install browser plugins to improve productivity and overall experience. With the CC Search Browser Extension, users can now search for CC-licensed images, download them, and attribute the owner/creator without needing to head over to Flickr, Behance, Rawpixel or any other source of CC-licensed content. The other great feature? The CC Search Browser Extension works across different browsers, providing a familiar and intuitive experience for all users.

Key features of the CC Search Browser Extension: 

  • Search and filter CC-licensed content

You can use the extension filters to filter the content by the source website, types of licenses, and/or use-case.

CC Search Extension (2)

  • One-click attribution

One condition of all CC licenses is attribution. Attributing the owner/creator of CC-licensed content found using the extension is easy with one-click attribution. Both the Rich-text and HTML versions of the attribution are available.

CC Search Extension (3)

  • Download images (and attribution)

Download the image to use it in your works through the extension itself. You can also download the attribution information as a text file along with the image; this can be helpful when downloading multiple images in a single session.

  • Bookmark images

Bookmarking the images will save them in the extension. You can view and remove your bookmarks from the bookmarks section.

CC Search Extension (4)

  • Export and import bookmarks

As a user, you can easily archive and/or transfer your bookmarks. This feature makes sure that the process of archiving and transferring bookmarks is uncomplicated and straightforward.

CC Search Extension (5)

  • User-interface (UI) options available for custom settings

The extension also allows for setting default filters, etc. The “Options” page helps declutter the main popup of the extension, ensuring that it shows only the most necessary information. In the future, this “Options” page will also host additional and updated features.

CC Search Extension (6)

  • Sync your custom settings and bookmarks across devices

Chrome and Firefox have a built-in feature that syncs browser settings and preferences across your logged-in devices. The extension leverages this feature to sync your custom settings and bookmarks. This will make your experience more pleasant and familiar. 

  • Dark Mode

The extension also has a dark mode that you can toggle “on” by clicking the icon in the header. This reduces screen glare and battery consumption. You can set the dark mode as default in the “Options” page.

Future plans and development

  • Find and fix bugs
  • Add a review and feedback tab on the “Options” page
  • Integrate Vocabulary into the extension
  • Develop usability enhancements
  • Remove infinite scrolling and replace it with pagination or voluntary loading
  • Add search syntax for better specificity of results and a search syntax guide
  • Make the code more modular and add more tests
  • Port the features of the CC Search web application that are relevant in the context of the browser plugin

Installation

The latest version of the extension is available for installation via Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera.

Join the community

Community contribution and feedback is an essential part of the development process, so we encourage you to contact us if you have feedback or a specific suggestion. This is an open-source project, you can contribute in the form of bug reports, feature requests, or code contributions.

To install the development version of the extension, read the installation guide on Github.

Finally, come and tell us about your experience on the Creative Commons Slack via the slack channel: #cc-dev-browser-extension.

The post Introducing the CC Search Browser Extension appeared first on Creative Commons.