The United States Copyright Office has recently issued a new report on “orphan works,” or copyright-protected work for which rights-holders are not determinable or contactable, as well as on digitization en masse.
Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: A Report of the Register of Copyrights (June 2015)
From the Executive Summary on page 1:
This Report addresses two circumstances in which the accomplishment of [the] goal [to facilitate the dissemination of creative expression [as] an important means of fulfilling the constitutional mandate to “promote the Progress of Science” through the copyright system] may be hindered under the current law due to practical obstacles preventing good faith actors from securing permission to make productive uses of copyrighted works. First, with respect to orphan works, referred to as “perhaps the single greatest impediment to creating new works,” [footnote omitted], a user’s ability to seek permission or to negotiate licensing terms is compromised by the fact that, despite his or her diligent efforts, the user cannot identify or locate the copyright owner. Second, in the case of mass digitization – which involves making reproductions of many works, as well as possible efforts to make the works publicly accessible – obtaining permission is essentially impossible, not necessarily because of a lack of identifying information or the inability to contact the copyright owner, but because of the sheer number of individual permissions required.
Disrupting the subscription journals’ business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access
A Max Planck Digital Library Open Access Policy White Paper
Published: 28 April 2015
License: CC-BY 4.0, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Authors: Ralf Schimmer¹, Kai Karin Geschuhn¹, Andreas Vogler¹
¹ Max Planck Digital Library, Amalienstraße 33, 80799 München, Germany
This paper makes the strong, fact-based case for a large-scale transformation of the current corpus of scientific subscription journals to an open access business model. The existing journals, with their well-tested functionalities, should be retained and developed to meet the demands of 21st century research, while the underlying payment streams undergo a major restructuring. There is sufficient momentum for this decisive push towards open access publishing. The diverse existing initiatives must be coordinated so as to converge on this clear goal. The international nature of research implies that this transformation will be achieved on a truly global scale only through a consensus of the world’s most eminent research organizations. All the indications are that the money already invested in the research publishing system is sufficient to enable a transformation that will be sustainable for the future. There needs to be a shared understanding
that the money currently locked in the journal subscription system must be withdrawn and repurposed for open access publishing services. The current library acquisition budgets are the ultimate reservoir for enabling the transformation without financial or other risks. The goal is to preserve the established service levels provided by publishers that are still requested by researchers, while redefining and reorganizing the necessary payment streams. By disrupting the underlying business model, the viability of journal publishing can be preserved and put on a solid footing for the scholarly developments of the future.
A New Interface and New Web Archive Content at Loc.gov
A total of 21 named collections on wide-ranging subject matter are now available in the new archive interface.
Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.
The American Library Association (ALA) has issued the report:
The State of America’s Libraries 2015
For the associated press release, “New State of America’s Libraries Report finds shift in role of U.S. libraries,” please see here.
From the press release:
[A]cademic, public and school libraries are experiencing a shift in how they are perceived by their communities and society. No longer just places for books, libraries of all types are viewed as anchors, centers for academic life and research and cherished spaces.
Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.
The Washington, DC-based http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Think_tank Center for Economic and Policy Research earlier this year issued:
Failing on Two Fronts: The U.S. Labor Market Since 2000 (January 2015) by John Schmitt
From the Introduction:
For almost four decades and by almost all available measures, economic inequality has been increasing in the United States. For a portion of this period, the United States could console itself, in part, by celebrating its success as a “jobs machine.” Indeed, the two issues were often linked in the standard economics account of the post-Reagan era: widening wage inequality rewarded the skills of those at the top, while providing job opportunities for those at the bottom. In countries where inequality did not increase, the story went, employment suffered.1 But, for almost 15 years, that story has not held. The U.S. jobs machine has broken down. The employment-to-population rate at the peak of the business cycle in 2007 was substantially lower than it had been at the peak of the preceding business cycle in 2000. The employment rate has barely increased in the five years since the official end of the “Great Recession” in the summer of 2009. And almost the entirety of the decline in the unemployment rate since 2010 is the result of workers giving up on job search rather finding new jobs.
The long-standing rise in inequality, now joined by an extended period when the economy has been unable to generate jobs for the country’s growing population, constitutes a deep failure on two fronts: steeply rising inequality combined with a poor employment performance. This paper argues that a key driver of both of these developments is conscious economic policy, with a particularly important and under-appreciated role for macroeconomic policy. The paper first demonstrates the remarkable “flexibility” of U.S. labor markets relative to the situation in other rich economies. The paper then links this policy-induced flexibility to high and rising inequality and shows that such flexibility ceased long ago to contribute –if it ever did– to greater job creation.
The recent experience of the United States stands as a sober warning for European economies seeking to escape from their own immense employment problems.
The University of North Texas (UNT), in furtherance of its commitment to the global open access movement, sponsors an annual symposium on Open Access.
Please see here for information about previous years’ events, speakers and presentations.
The 2015 symposium’s theme is “Open Access and the Law.”
The scheduled dates of the 2015 symposium — at the UNT Dallas College of Law — are Monday-Tuesday, May 18-19, 2015.
It will open on Monday evening May 18th with a reception.
Substantive programs will then take place the following day.
Speakers will include individuals working on the authentication of electronic legal materials as well as on institutional repositories.
More information on the 2015 symposium will become available soon.
Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.
Earlier this month the U.S. Library of Congress made available — on Congress.gov — “a new optional email-alerts system that makes tracking legislative action even easier.”
Please see the explanatory news release “Congress.gov Offers Users New Alert System” of 5-Feb-2015 here.
A pilot program in Fresno, California to create and distribute court transcripts in The Cloud offers hope on the legal transcript front — please see:
Sean Doherty, Law Technology News
See also here for YesLAW Online.
Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.