2 newspaper digitization projects: Australia and Switzerland

  • The Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program is a project by the National Library of Australia to digitize out-of-copyright newspapers. The Australian Newspapers beta was launched in July 2008. Digitization is still underway.
  • The digitized archives of the Journal de Genève, in print 1826-1998, recently went OA online. The project was led by Swiss newspaper Le Temps, with funding from the Swiss National Library and other public and private sources. Two other newspapers, La Gazette de Lausanne and Le Nouveau Quotidien, are also being digitized. See the report in English from GenevaLunch or in French from Le Temps (behind a paywall).

2 newspaper digitization projects: Australia and Switzerland

  • The Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program is a project by the National Library of Australia to digitize out-of-copyright newspapers. The Australian Newspapers beta was launched in July 2008. Digitization is still underway.
  • The digitized archives of the Journal de Genève, in print 1826-1998, recently went OA online. The project was led by Swiss newspaper Le Temps, with funding from the Swiss National Library and other public and private sources. Two other newspapers, La Gazette de Lausanne and Le Nouveau Quotidien, are also being digitized. See the report in English from GenevaLunch or in French from Le Temps (behind a paywall).

Debate on access to data on bird flu drugs

Sangeeta Shashikant, North-South fight on IP, Benefit Sharing issues in influenza talks, SUNS, December 19, 2008. (Thanks to Glyn Moody.) Report on the World Health Organization’s Intergovernmental Meeting on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness.

… Brazil proposed language that “Member States should make available through WHO Secretariat in a timely manner publicly available information related to health regulatory approval of H5N1 and other influenza viruses with human pandemic potential vaccines diagnostics and pharmaceutical products … WHO Secretariat should examine the feasibility of creating a database of such information.”

[The proposal] was resisted by France on behalf of the EU and the US, as they could not accept language that required the sharing of regulatory data even when these are publicly available.

On one occasion during discussion on sharing of regulatory data, [Jane] Halton, the Chair of the IGM, on hearing Brazil’s proposal questioned Brazil whether it was seeking information that would violate commercial confidence (i.e IP laws).

A legal expert familiar with US laws privately noted that the if WHO member states are speaking of pandemic preparedness, the EU, US, Japan and Australia should be asked to share on a mandatory basis not only regulatory data that is publicly available but also data that is confidential because such data is critical for obtaining regulatory approval at the national level for treatments and vaccines used in the pre-pandemic and pandemic stages.

The expert said that Article 39.3 of the TRIPS Agreement requires countries to protect such data against disclosure, except where necessary to protect the public. …

Comment. From what I’ve read, it’s not clear to me whether there are any proposals for OA to the regulatory data, or just that the data be shared among regulators. If you have any information, please let me know.

Debate on access to data on bird flu drugs

Sangeeta Shashikant, North-South fight on IP, Benefit Sharing issues in influenza talks, SUNS, December 19, 2008. (Thanks to Glyn Moody.) Report on the World Health Organization’s Intergovernmental Meeting on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness.

… Brazil proposed language that “Member States should make available through WHO Secretariat in a timely manner publicly available information related to health regulatory approval of H5N1 and other influenza viruses with human pandemic potential vaccines diagnostics and pharmaceutical products … WHO Secretariat should examine the feasibility of creating a database of such information.”

[The proposal] was resisted by France on behalf of the EU and the US, as they could not accept language that required the sharing of regulatory data even when these are publicly available.

On one occasion during discussion on sharing of regulatory data, [Jane] Halton, the Chair of the IGM, on hearing Brazil’s proposal questioned Brazil whether it was seeking information that would violate commercial confidence (i.e IP laws).

A legal expert familiar with US laws privately noted that the if WHO member states are speaking of pandemic preparedness, the EU, US, Japan and Australia should be asked to share on a mandatory basis not only regulatory data that is publicly available but also data that is confidential because such data is critical for obtaining regulatory approval at the national level for treatments and vaccines used in the pre-pandemic and pandemic stages.

The expert said that Article 39.3 of the TRIPS Agreement requires countries to protect such data against disclosure, except where necessary to protect the public. …

Comment. From what I’ve read, it’s not clear to me whether there are any proposals for OA to the regulatory data, or just that the data be shared among regulators. If you have any information, please let me know.

See also our past posts on avian flu.

CC, EULAs, and OA

Niva Elkin-Koren, Governing Access to Users-Generated-Content: The Changing Nature of Private Ordering in Digital Networks, forthcoming in Governance, Regulations and Powers on the Internet; self-archived December 29, 2008. Abstract:

This paper analyzes the rise of private ordering as a dominant strategy for governing creative works in the digital environment. It explores the changing nature of private ordering in the Web 2.0 environment, where it is used for governing User-Generated Content (UGC). Private ordering is playing an ever greater role in governing the terms of access to creative works. Rightholders often use End-User License Agreements (EULA) to expand the scope of protection provided under copyright law, by limiting the rights of users under legal doctrines such as ‘fair use’ and ‘first sale’. At the same time, private ordering has also been employed in recent years by Open Access initiatives, to promote access to creative works and facilitate interaction, exchange and sharing of creative materials. …

CC, EULAs, and OA

Niva Elkin-Koren, Governing Access to Users-Generated-Content: The Changing Nature of Private Ordering in Digital Networks, forthcoming in Governance, Regulations and Powers on the Internet; self-archived December 29, 2008. Abstract:

This paper analyzes the rise of private ordering as a dominant strategy for governing creative works in the digital environment. It explores the changing nature of private ordering in the Web 2.0 environment, where it is used for governing User-Generated Content (UGC). Private ordering is playing an ever greater role in governing the terms of access to creative works. Rightholders often use End-User License Agreements (EULA) to expand the scope of protection provided under copyright law, by limiting the rights of users under legal doctrines such as ‘fair use’ and ‘first sale’. At the same time, private ordering has also been employed in recent years by Open Access initiatives, to promote access to creative works and facilitate interaction, exchange and sharing of creative materials. …

APS allows authors to post derivative works to wikis

Gene D. Sprouse, APS now leaves copyright with authors for derivative works, Reviews of Modern Physics, October 1, 2008.  An editorial.  Excerpt:

When you submit an article to an APS [American Physical Society] journal, we ask you to sign our copyright form. It transfers copyright for the article to APS, but keeps certain rights for you, the author. We have recently changed the form to add the right to make â??â??derivative worksâ??â?? that reuse parts of the article in a new work. The importance of this change is discussed below….

[T]he APS has been very generous, by the standards of journal publishers, in giving rights to its authors to use their articles as they wish. The APS has allowed authors the right to publish the APS-prepared, ?nal, and de?nitive version of the article on their web site or on the authorsâ?? institutionâ??s web site, immediately upon publication. The authorâ??s ?nal version could also be put onto e-print servers such as the arXiv. Authors and their institutions could make copies of their articles for classroom use, and others could copy the article for noncommercial use. As authors expect additional rights of use, we will consider adding them.

Recently, some of our authors have asked for a new set of rights in regard to the reuse of material from an article in a new work. If substantial material from the original article appears in the new one, the new article is a â??â??derivative work.â??â?? Under the â??â??fair useâ??â?? provisions of copyright law, most scienti?c, technical, and medical publishers allow reuse in other publications of up to 3 ?gures and 800 words of text from an article, without permission from the publisher, but with proper attribution. APS has been at least this generous for noncommercial reuse. Most of our authors reuse ?gures and equations from their articles in conference proceedings and in lectures posted on the web, and we encourage these forms of communication. However, a problem has arisen when our authors write articles for web resources such as Quantiki or Wikipedia. For understandable concerns of their own, these sites are very strict about permissions and require that authors hold copyright to material that they post. When authors write new material for the broader audience that use these sites but make substantial use of equations and ?gures from their articles, they put themselves in danger of creating a â??â??derivative workâ??â?? to which they cannot hold rights under the system we have had in place.

We have thus changed our copyright agreement to correct this situation. In the new agreement, copyright rests with the author for derivative works that contain at least 10% new material and not more than 50% of their article that is published in an APS journal. We believe that this will allow authors suf?cient freedom to reuse material from their articles in APS journals when writing for a new audience, while protecting the APS from wholesale copying of our content. We recommend that if authors wish to post a complete article from an APS journal, they instead provide a link to our site, or to a free copy of the article on their personal web sites….

The new copyright form is available [here].

Comment.  For detail on the APS author requests for additional rights, and their desire to repost chunks of their APS articles on wikis, see my post from March 2008.  The author requests were very reasonable and I commend APS for acceding to them.

APS allows authors to post derivative works to wikis

Gene D. Sprouse, APS now leaves copyright with authors for derivative works, Reviews of Modern Physics, October 1, 2008.  An editorial.  Excerpt:

When you submit an article to an APS [American Physical Society] journal, we ask you to sign our copyright form. It transfers copyright for the article to APS, but keeps certain rights for you, the author. We have recently changed the form to add the right to make ‘‘derivative works’’ that reuse parts of the article in a new work. The importance of this change is discussed below….

[T]he APS has been very generous, by the standards of journal publishers, in giving rights to its authors to use their articles as they wish. The APS has allowed authors the right to publish the APS-prepared, ?nal, and de?nitive version of the article on their web site or on the authors’ institution’s web site, immediately upon publication. The author’s ?nal version could also be put onto e-print servers such as the arXiv. Authors and their institutions could make copies of their articles for classroom use, and others could copy the article for noncommercial use. As authors expect additional rights of use, we will consider adding them.

Recently, some of our authors have asked for a new set of rights in regard to the reuse of material from an article in a new work. If substantial material from the original article appears in the new one, the new article is a ‘‘derivative work.’’ Under the ‘‘fair use’’ provisions of copyright law, most scienti?c, technical, and medical publishers allow reuse in other publications of up to 3 ?gures and 800 words of text from an article, without permission from the publisher, but with proper attribution. APS has been at least this generous for noncommercial reuse. Most of our authors reuse ?gures and equations from their articles in conference proceedings and in lectures posted on the web, and we encourage these forms of communication. However, a problem has arisen when our authors write articles for web resources such as Quantiki or Wikipedia. For understandable concerns of their own, these sites are very strict about permissions and require that authors hold copyright to material that they post. When authors write new material for the broader audience that use these sites but make substantial use of equations and ?gures from their articles, they put themselves in danger of creating a ‘‘derivative work’’ to which they cannot hold rights under the system we have had in place.

We have thus changed our copyright agreement to correct this situation. In the new agreement, copyright rests with the author for derivative works that contain at least 10% new material and not more than 50% of their article that is published in an APS journal. We believe that this will allow authors suf?cient freedom to reuse material from their articles in APS journals when writing for a new audience, while protecting the APS from wholesale copying of our content. We recommend that if authors wish to post a complete article from an APS journal, they instead provide a link to our site, or to a free copy of the article on their personal web sites….

The new copyright form is available [here].

Comment.  For detail on the APS author requests for additional rights, and their desire to repost chunks of their APS articles on wikis, see my post from March 2008.  The author requests were very reasonable and I commend APS for acceding to them.

OA and the digital public domain

Michael Carroll, The Digital Public Domain, Carrollogos, December 30, 2008.  Excerpt:

Whatever one thinks about the rest of the Google Book business, I think it’s important to focus on the digitization of public domain books by both Google and the Open Content Alliance and to use these efforts as the basis for conceiving of the Digital Public Domain as a more robust version of the traditional public domain.

Here’s the gist of the argument:

1. Copyright and the Encouragement of Learning.

…The purpose of copyright law has been to promote learning and the progress of knowledge. Two features of copyright law should provide the guide for how to respond to access concerns. First, copyright is an author’s right. This is definitional….

Second,…copyright is a time-limited right. Copyright expires so that the public may ultimately gain unlimited access and use rights. This also is definitional….

Therefore, by design, all copyrighted works are destined for the public domain….

2. The Digital Public Domain

In the age of the Internet, we need to reconceive the public domain as the Digital Public Domain. In the Digital Public Domain, it is not enough that a work is free from copyright restrictions. A positive commitment to universal access to the public domain requires first that public domain works be digitized or at least be subject to a protocol that enables digitization when cost effective.

Second, works free from copyright restrictions should be made accessible over the Internet. Mass digitization of the public domain promotes the goals of universal access, improved learning, and the progress of science.

Third, works free from copyright restrictions should not be subject to technological measures or contractual restrictions or "terms of use" that in any way inhibit members of the public from exercising their usage rights in public domain works.

Fourth, access and the absence of legal restrictions alone are insufficient. Those who search the Internet for information often do so for active purposes. It is not sufficient to find information that is topically relevant. The information also must be useful for the researcher’s purposes. Marking and tagging works with their use rights enables computers to search for information that is both topically relevant and useful. I’ve argued more extensively about use relevance here.

From this principle follows the corollary that the digital public domain should be tagged and marked as such….

Consequently, those public and private bodies that laudably have been investing in efforts to digitize public domain works should increase the returns on their investment by marking and tagging public domain works as such. Creative Commons provides a metadata standard for digitally marking works with their use rights, the Creative Commons Rights Expression Language (ccREL). Specifically, Creative Commons provides a means of marking a public domain work as such. Creative Commons requires support to implement plans to update this protocol to provide more robust information about public domain works.

3. The Open Access Connection

…Faculty authors and other professional researchers have a responsibility to manage their copyrights in a way that ensures public access to the scholarly record well before copyright expires in these works. Why? Because the standard justification for granting author’s rights does not neatly apply to these scholarly authors. They are motivated by the desire to be read and are not remunerated by journal publishers for publishing their work.

When authors have no need to limit access to their work for purposes of remuneration, they should make their work freely available to promote the progress of science. When researchers have been funded by the government or by private charities, it is inexcusable not to ensure reasonable and timely free public access to the fruits of this research consistent with copyright….

4. The Role of Universities

…Mandates work. Requests do not….

This post is derived from my presentation at the Boston Library Consortium’s Universal Access Digital Library Summit in September with the aim of showing connections between book digitization projects and the open access movement.

OA and the digital public domain

Michael Carroll, The Digital Public Domain, Carrollogos, December 30, 2008.  Excerpt:

Whatever one thinks about the rest of the Google Book business, I think it’s important to focus on the digitization of public domain books by both Google and the Open Content Alliance and to use these efforts as the basis for conceiving of the Digital Public Domain as a more robust version of the traditional public domain.

Here’s the gist of the argument:

1. Copyright and the Encouragement of Learning.

…The purpose of copyright law has been to promote learning and the progress of knowledge. Two features of copyright law should provide the guide for how to respond to access concerns. First, copyright is an author’s right. This is definitional….

Second,…copyright is a time-limited right. Copyright expires so that the public may ultimately gain unlimited access and use rights. This also is definitional….

Therefore, by design, all copyrighted works are destined for the public domain….

2. The Digital Public Domain

In the age of the Internet, we need to reconceive the public domain as the Digital Public Domain. In the Digital Public Domain, it is not enough that a work is free from copyright restrictions. A positive commitment to universal access to the public domain requires first that public domain works be digitized or at least be subject to a protocol that enables digitization when cost effective.

Second, works free from copyright restrictions should be made accessible over the Internet. Mass digitization of the public domain promotes the goals of universal access, improved learning, and the progress of science.

Third, works free from copyright restrictions should not be subject to technological measures or contractual restrictions or "terms of use" that in any way inhibit members of the public from exercising their usage rights in public domain works.

Fourth, access and the absence of legal restrictions alone are insufficient. Those who search the Internet for information often do so for active purposes. It is not sufficient to find information that is topically relevant. The information also must be useful for the researcher’s purposes. Marking and tagging works with their use rights enables computers to search for information that is both topically relevant and useful. I’ve argued more extensively about use relevance here.

From this principle follows the corollary that the digital public domain should be tagged and marked as such….

Consequently, those public and private bodies that laudably have been investing in efforts to digitize public domain works should increase the returns on their investment by marking and tagging public domain works as such. Creative Commons provides a metadata standard for digitally marking works with their use rights, the Creative Commons Rights Expression Language (ccREL). Specifically, Creative Commons provides a means of marking a public domain work as such. Creative Commons requires support to implement plans to update this protocol to provide more robust information about public domain works.

3. The Open Access Connection

…Faculty authors and other professional researchers have a responsibility to manage their copyrights in a way that ensures public access to the scholarly record well before copyright expires in these works. Why? Because the standard justification for granting author’s rights does not neatly apply to these scholarly authors. They are motivated by the desire to be read and are not remunerated by journal publishers for publishing their work.

When authors have no need to limit access to their work for purposes of remuneration, they should make their work freely available to promote the progress of science. When researchers have been funded by the government or by private charities, it is inexcusable not to ensure reasonable and timely free public access to the fruits of this research consistent with copyright….

4. The Role of Universities

…Mandates work. Requests do not….

This post is derived from my presentation at the Boston Library Consortium’s Universal Access Digital Library Summit in September with the aim of showing connections between book digitization projects and the open access movement.