Copyright and disruptive technology

What if you could give a book to everyone on earth? Get an ebook and read it on any device, in any format, forever? Give an ebook to your library, for them to share? Own DRM-free ebooks, legally? Read free ebooks, and know their creators had been fairly paid?  –From About, unglue.it Copyright is a round hole.  Paper publications are nice, round pegs.  Electronic items are square pegs.  Hard copies can be passed around, shared from person to person across time and space.  A copyright holder’s distribution rights are curtailed by the physical transfer of the copyrighted item (by purchase or gift) Continue reading Copyright and disruptive technology

The Digital Age, Books, and Libraries

There’s a lot of flag waving (especially by alarmed librarians) about the imminent demise of the book and libraries.  Actually, that’s not true.  The librarians are trying to fend off those who are buying into the idea that printed books, and libraries as we used to know them, are pointless vestiges of a prior era.  The debate has been picked up by the New York Times, which is getting a lot of press (sorry) lately. The biggest issue, which is only obliquely hinted at in the arguments floating around, especially those in the Times opinion piece, is accessibility. I have Continue reading The Digital Age, Books, and Libraries

Code4Lib Journal, Issue 2 now available!

Seriously, lots of good stuff: Code4Lib: More than a journal Free and Open Source Options for Creating Database-Driven Subject Guides Using Google Calendar to Manage Library Website Hours Geocoding LCSH in the Biodiversity Heritage Library Toward element-level interoperability in bibliographic metadata Help! A simple method for getting back-up help to the reference desk Googlizing a Digital Library Participatory Design of Websites with Web Design Workshops Quick Lookup Laptops in the Library: Leveraging Linux with a SLAX LiveCD The ICAP (Interactive Course Assignment Pages) Publishing System Respect My Authority Conference Report: Code4LibCon 2008 Whether you are in a public library, academic Continue reading Code4Lib Journal, Issue 2 now available!

Code4Lib conference

I am heading off to another conference, this time to learn instead of teach. Code4Lib 2008 is in Portland, Oregon, next week. If anyone is interested in stacking the deck for next year, I’m not above a shameless plug for a vote for South Florida for next year’s conference. If you have a login account at code4lib.org, go here to vote (note, some firewalls block the port in this url – leave a comment here if you are having problems). If you don’t have a login account at the code4lib site, you can get one here.

Code4Lib Journal now online!

The first issue of Code4Lib Journal is now available, thanks to the efforts of Jonathan Rochkind, who spearheaded getting a group of volunteers to put it all together and get it up on the web. The journal’s mission is “to foster community and share information among those interested in the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future.” Jonathan’s Editorial Introduction explains it all. It is worth taking a look at, and keeping an eye on, whether you are involved in libraries or not. (As an aside, I happen to be one of the editors)