“The case involves the Internet Archive’s decision to create a temporary “National Emergency Library” at the height of the pandemic’s first wave—a service that expanded how many e-books clients could borrow simultaneously. The publishing industry sued, saying the non-profit was handing out digital books without permission.
The Internet Archive case has received national attention—a widely shared article in The Nation described it as “publishers taking the Internet to court”—and has drawn attention to the reality that, as library branches close over COVID concerns, patrons must often wait 10 weeks or more to borrow the digital version of a best-seller….”
“The webinar where Cory presented was the first mention I’d seen of a new group called the Scholarly Networks Security Initiative (SNSI). SNSI is the latest in a series of publisher-driven initiatives to reduce the paywall’s friction for paying users or library patrons coming from licensing institutions. GetFTR (my thoughts) and Seamless Access (my thoughts). (Disclosure: I’m serving on two working groups for Seamless Access that are focused on making it possible for libraries to sensibly and sanely integrate the goals of Seamless Access into campus technology and licensing contracts.)…”
“I question whether such rich personally identifiably information (PII) is required to prevent illicit account access. If it is collected at all, there are more than enough data points here (obviously excluding username and account information) to deanonymize individuals and reveal exactly what they looked at and when so it should not be kept on hand too long for later analysis.
Another related, though separate endeavor is GetFTR which aims to bypass proxies (and thereby potential library oversight of use) entirely. There is soo much which could be written about both these efforts and this post only scratches the surface of some of the complex issues and relationships affect by them.
The first thing I was curious about was, who is bankrolling these efforts? They list the backers on their websites but I always find it interesting as to who is willing to fund the coders and infrastructure. I looked up both GetFTR and SNSI in the IRS Tax Exempt database as well as the EU Find a Company portal and did not find any results. So I decided to do a little more digging matching WHOIS data in the hopes that something might pop out, nothing interesting came of this so I put it at the very bottom….
It should come as no surprise that Elsevier, Springer Nature, ACS, and Wiley – which previous research has shown are the publishers producing the most research downloaded in the USA from Sci-Hub – are supporting both efforts. Taylor & Francis presumably feels sufficiently threatened such that they are along for the ride….”
“This is the world we live in. That is what I understand from reading about the Scholarly Networks Security Initiative. and it’s now famous webinar, via Bjorn Brembs october post.
I just found this, after the post I wrote yesterday. I had no idea about this collaboration between publishers and academics to put spyware on academic networks for the benefit of publishers.
What I find worrying is not that publishers, like Elsevier, Springer Nature or Cambridge University Press, want to protect their business against the Sci-hub threat. This is natural behaviour from a commercial point of view. These businesses (not sure about CUP) see their activity atacked, so they fight back to keep their profit up.
The problem is with the academics. Why do they help the publishers? For whose benefit?…”
“A decision by GitHub, a leading software development platform, to reinstate a popular free software tool for downloading videos, means that human rights groups will be able to continue to use the software without interruption to preserve documentation of human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch, Mnemonic, and WITNESS said today. GitHub had removed the code for the software, youtube-dl, from its platform in response to a request by the Recording Industry Association of America Inc (RIAA)….”
“Throughout the survey, we noted that with two relatively overlapping systems in place, cultural heritage professionals are likely to use the one that provides the best solution, with the other one remaining mostly unused. We therefore recommended considering retracting the Orphan Works Directive. We also noted its clear flaws so that the same mistakes would not be repeated again.
We noted the following:
The diligent search for rights holders is problematic, with the sources it is mandatory to consult often irrelevant and difficult to access. Pertinent sources are sometimes not included.
The time and resources that an institution needs to dedicate to conducting a diligent search present challenges, particularly as after completing this process there is still no full guarantee that the institution will always be able to use the work lawfully.
The very limited scope of the Directive in different types of works is a clear downside; including embedded works (for example, the multiple works contained in a scrapbook) in those whose rights holders have to be searched for makes the determination extremely time-consuming and almost impossible.
The Directive does not provide a sufficient level of clarity regarding the compensation that rights holders can claim; this lack of clarity has strongly disincentivised cultural heritage professionals from relying on this scheme.
The EUIPO Orphan Works database can be cumbersome when working with large datasets and is not sufficiently interoperable with the repositories of cultural heritage institutions.
Having two overlapping schemes is likely to raise a lot of uncertainties for cultural heritage professionals, for instance when trying to assess which of the two options to rely on. The out of commerce works provisions in the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, while tackling the same challenges, offer much better solutions and less cumbersome conditions, perhaps to a large extent given the lessons learned from the Orphan Works Directive, and we are hopeful that they will deliver their promise. …”
“This paper follows these threads to investigate a series of case studies of electronic access to books and cultural heritage, each incorporating some notion of a public-private partnership and some notion of the importance of open access or public good agendas, using as case studies projects like the HathiTrust’s Digital Library, Google Books, and Microsoft’s partnership with the British Library in the ill-fate Live Search Books project. The paper asks how the principles of open social scholarship contribute to a better and more nuanced understanding of digitization as a cultural practice and asks how a better understanding of the networks, partnerships, and paperwork (agreements, policies etc) of digitization could inform developments in open social scholarship. …”
“Though copyright law is the root of the problem, it is also the source of potential solutions. As the Supreme Court of Canada has stated, copyright is supposed to achieve “a balance between promoting the public interest in the encouragement and dissemination of works of the arts and intellect and obtaining a just reward for the creator.” Indeed, many of the activities about which my fellow educators worried are already protected within the scope of users’ rights. Canada’s Copyright Act contains exceptions for reading in public, for education and training (including for lessons communicated online), and a fair dealing defence for the purposes of education or private study. These provisions are to be interpreted with a view to the copyright balance, which “should be preserved in the digital environment.” If reading aloud to a class or showing an illustrative image on a PowerPoint slide was lawful in a classroom, it should be lawful in the online classroom.
The problem is that the specific educational exceptions are narrowly drawn and difficult to understand and satisfy, while the broader fair dealing defence requires a context-specific case-by-case assessment, making educators and their institutions reluctant to rely upon it. The result is a permission-first or ‘clear-for-fear’ culture that undermines user rights and unduly restricts the educational activities of teachers and students….”
Abstract: In the face of a pandemic, copyright law may seem a frivolous concern; but its importance lies in the ever-expanding role that it plays in either enabling or constraining the kinds of communicative activities that are critical to a flourishing life. In this article, we reflect on how the cultural and educative practices that have burgeoned under quarantine conditions shed new light on a longstanding problem: the need to recalibrate the copyright system to better serve its purposes in the face of changing social and technological circumstances. We begin by discussing how copyright restrictions have manifested in a variety of contexts driven by the coronavirus lockdown, focusing first on creative engagement and then on learning, foregrounding the damage done by encoding a permission-first approach into governance structures and digital platforms. These stories unsettle the common copyright narrative—the one that tells us that copyright encourages learning and the creation and dissemination of works—laying bare its disconnect from the current realities of our digital dependency. Turning to consider the justifications for copyright control, we underscore the critical role of user rights and substantive technological neutrality in crafting a flexible and fair copyright system for the future. The article concludes with some lessons that might be drawn from these tales of copyright in the time of COVID-19 to inform the development of new digital copyright norms for whatever “new normal” emerges.
“When readers need access to a book that is essentially “locked up” in print, help is starting to be on the way through the concept of Controlled Digital Lending. This is an approach to library curation that allows print books to be digitally loaned in an environment that restricted people’s abilities to redistribute or copy the book while providing digital access on e-readers, computers, or even phones. Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) was started so that readers could access books that are out of print or difficult to find but are still in copyright. CDL functions similarly to how a library lends out physical materials. This means that libraries have complete control over the number of copies of each book that is circulating….”