Why are the waiting lists for library e-books so long?

“If you haven’t visited your local public library lately, you might not realize that you no longer need to physically drop by to check out a book or a movie.

 

Thousands of public libraries now let their members check out e-books they can download on their smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. They also lend digital audiobooks anyone can listen to as they commute and streaming online movies to view on a computer, phone, or smart TV. Like other public library materials, they’re generally available for free to anyone with a library card….

This summer, publishing giant Macmillan announced that starting November 1, library systems will only be able to buy one digital copy of every book for the first eight weeks that it’s out….

Macmillan’s move drew criticism from major libraries and the American Library Association, which launched an online petition urging Macmillan not to implement the policy. So far, it’s drawn more than 89,000 signatures, but Macmillan hasn’t announced any changes to the program yet. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment….”

Invitation to participate in a new project: Help open journals’ deep backfiles | Everybody’s Libraries

“As I’ve noted here previously, there’s a wealth of serial content published in the 20th century that’s in the public domain, but not yet freely available online, often due to uncertainty about its copyright (and the resulting hesitation to digitize it).  Thanks to IMLS-supported work we did at Penn, we’ve produced a complete inventory of serials from the first half of the 20th century that still have active copyright renewals associated with them. And I’ve noted that there was far more serial material without active copyright, as late as the 1960s or even later.  We’ve also produced a guide to determining whether particular serial content you may be interested in is in the public domain.

Now that we’ve spent a lot of time surveying what is still in copyright though, it’s worth turning more focused attention to serial content that isn’t in copyright, but still of interest to researchers.  One way we can identify journals whose older issues (sometimes known as their “deep backfiles”) are still of interest to researchers and libraries is to see which ones are included in packages that are sold or licensed to libraries.   Major vendors of online journals publish spreadsheets of their backfile offerings, keyed by ISSN.  And now, thanks to an increasing amount of serial information in Wikidata (including links to our serials knowledge base) it’s possible to systematically construct inventories of serials in these packages that include, or might include, public domain and other openly accessible content….”

CCC’s Michael Healy on Frankfurt 2019: ‘A Sense of Possibility’

“And then, the two afternoon sessions on Wednesday afternoon–”Projekt DEAL and the Anatomy of a Transformative Agreement for Open Access Publishing” and “The Future of Transformative Agreements: Subscriptions, Rights & Open Access”–are designed to work as a pair,  Healy says, “because many people who attend one will want to attend the other.

“We all know the central position that open access has had in seminars and discussions for years, a dominant theme, often with different expressions and issues to highlight every year. But it does look like in 2019, at Frankfurt, a lot of people will be thinking about transformative agreements, will be asking how effective they’re likely to be, and–just as important–how you measure their effectiveness.

“What data can be applied to judge the effectiveness of a transformative agreement?

“I’d expect the topic most central to open-access this year will be the transformative agreement because in the run-up to the fair we’ve had so many inquiries about it, and to have both the funding agency and the publisher together in this” to talk about the Wiley transformative agreement “is going to be really interesting. They’re talking about what it means not only for the two partners but also for the wider industry.” …”

Pirate website Sci-Hub is making the world’s academic research free to all. But at what cost? | The Star

“Sci-Hub remains a one-woman show. According to Elbakyan, she does all the programming, server configuration as well as communication with users and media on her own. Sci-Hub’s expenses are a few thousand a month, covered by user donations. Payments are in bitcoin only. PayPal shut down her account in 2013 after a complaint from Elsevier about Sci-Hub’s copyright infringement. Donations have dropped off as a result, said Elbakyan. “People send donations to PayPal accounts very actively, unlike bitcoin.” …”

Pirate website Sci-Hub is making the world’s academic research free to all. But at what cost? | The Star

“Sci-Hub remains a one-woman show. According to Elbakyan, she does all the programming, server configuration as well as communication with users and media on her own. Sci-Hub’s expenses are a few thousand a month, covered by user donations. Payments are in bitcoin only. PayPal shut down her account in 2013 after a complaint from Elsevier about Sci-Hub’s copyright infringement. Donations have dropped off as a result, said Elbakyan. “People send donations to PayPal accounts very actively, unlike bitcoin.” …”

Free the Law – Amicus Brief in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org

“In 2013, Public.Resource.Org (PRO), a non-profit corporation based in California, purchased, scanned, and posted the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA).  The OCGA is the one and only official law of the State of Georgia, but the state objected strongly, maintaining that the only party who could make the OCGA available was their single, designated commercial vendor.  According to the State of Georgia, any other use–including PRO’s public dissemination of the law–is a copyright violation.

The State of Georgia sued Public Resource in the U.S. District Court and received judgement in their favor including a federal injunction prohibiting any and all dissemination of the code.  PRO appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and won a 3-0 victory, reversing the decision of the court below.

The State of Georgia appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Public Resource responded, maintaining that the State of Georgia has the law and the facts wrong, but nevertheless, the matter should be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

We prepared a amicus brief on behalf of 119 law students, 54 solo and small-firm practitioners of aw, and 21 legal educators in support of Public.Resource.Org, arguing that the Supreme Court should take the case to ensure that we have free access to all of the law nationwide, and not just to Georgia’s law.

The Supreme Court has since agreed to take the case….”

PACER Court Records ‘Can Never Be Free,’ Judge Says (1)

“Making the judiciary’s electronic filings free to the public without an alternative funding source likely would result in steep court fee increases for litigants and hinder access to justice due to cost, a federal judge told a congressional panel Sept. 26.

Judge Audrey Fleissig of the U.S. District court for the Eastern District of Missouri also said in testimony for the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, IP, and the internet that shifting costs away from users without another funding plan would burden courts with new costs.

“Our case management and public access systems can never be free because they require over $100 million per year just to operate,” Fleissig said. “That money must come from somewhere.” …”

Copyright Review Program | www.hathitrust.org | HathiTrust Digital Library

“Each year we invite your continued participation and seek new team members for copyright review projects. 

Typically there will be a call for nominations in September and January each year.  The January 2019 open call has been completed and participants selected for this year.

There was an informational webinar about the Participating in the HathiTrust Copyright Review Program held on September 11, 1:00-2:00pm ET for anyone seeking to learn more about participation.  Slides and recording.

To nominate for a copyright team member position on the US Monographs project you must:

be employed at a HathiTrust member institution
have the support of your institution to contribute 6 hours of regular work time each week for a year
be present at online class training sessions or watch the recorded classes promptly (late Feb-Mar)…”