Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Digitization 101: 2008 Year in Review

New Year's Eve BallAs has become my tradition at year-end in recent years, I'm stopping to take a look back and a look forward. What has stood out to me in 2008?
  • Google: (posts on Google)
    • continued to grow its books digitization program by adding more collections/libraries to it.
    • branched into digitizing magazines.
    • joined an effort to digitize newspapers.
    • added photos from Life magazine to its image collection.
    • settled issues related to copyright and its book digitization efforts.
  • Microsoft ended its book digitization efforts (post).
  • A side-by-side demonstration of four automated book scanners was done in Germany (post, post). Since most organizations could never do that, it was good to see a group take on the task. Also good to see that a report to be written on it.
  • JPEG2000 has gained wider acceptance. (related posts)
  • "Digital preservation" discussed as not being the correct term. Should we instead use words that describe the outcome not the process? (post)
Personally, I need to mention a few things, too:
  • My work on the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries. This has taught me things about libraries, library support agencies, and state budgets that I would have never learned otherwise. (posts)
  • Writing Federated Search Report and Tool Kit for Free Pint. This report took much effort and thankfully has been well-received. (post)
  • The changes coming to my work life in 2009. Actually, when you teach at the college level, there is a lot of work that must be done before classes begin, so I've already been working at my new job, but officially begin in a few days. I am definitely looking forward to the balance and interplay of teaching and consulting. (post)
And what do I see for 2009?
  • Google will continue to grow. I do wonder if/when Google will find itself with the same fate as DEC, IBM and others (fallen and no longer relevant).
  • Organizations and government entities will start to ask questions (more loudly) about the wisdom of relying on major corporations for creating, managing and preserving digital assets.
  • More organizations will cooperate to build sustainable digitization programs. Not only will libraries, museums and archives cooperate, but for-profit organizations will also find it useful to collaborate (on digitization, equipment and software development, and digital archives).
  • Shifting budgets will cause organizations to be more creative. An unusual benefit of a down economy is that organizations turn to more creative solutions; solutions that they would ignore in good economic times.
  • Unfortunately, many small organizations will still be unable to digitize materials that deserve broader access. I keep waiting for something that will help all small organizations jump on the digitization bandwagon...and waiting...and waiting.
Thank you for continuing to read this blog, for the comments and emails that you send, and for recommending this blog to other people. As you can see from the ClusterMap on the left side of this blog, this blog is read by people around the world. Your comments and questions, as well as the number of people who read this blog (and their locations) help me stay dedicated to writing nearly daily on digitization and its related topics.

If you are reading this blog and would like to receive updates in email or through your RSS reader, it is easy to subscribe to this blog to that can happen. Having updates delivered to you can make reading any blog easier for you.

Finally, may you have a Happy New Year! I know that 2008 has been a tough year for many people and organization because of the economy. At the moment, 2009 looks like it will throw us more challenges. However, may you and your organization find ways of getting through 2009 with your sanity, budget, etc. intact.

Related blog posts:

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Event: MEDES 2009

From the Sigdl-l list.

The International ACM Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems (MEDES 2009)

Technically sponsored by both ACM SIGAPP and ACM Chapter
October 27-30, 2009
Lyon - France

Description and Objectives
In the world of the Internet, the rapid growth and exponential use of digital medias leads to the emergence of virtual environments namely digital ecosystems composed of multiple and independent entities such as individuals, organizations, services, software and applications sharing one or several missions and focusing on the interactions and inter-relationships among them. The digital ecosystem exhibits self-organizing environments, thanks to the re-combination and evolution of its ?digital components?, in which resources provided by each entity are properly conserved, managed and used. The underlying resources mainly comprehend data management, innovative services, computational intelligence and self-organizing platforms. Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of digital ecosystems and their characteristics, they are highly complex to study and design. This also leads to a poor understanding as to how managing resources will empower digital ecosystems to be innovative and value-creating. The application of Information Technologies has the potential to enable the understanding of how entities request resources and ultimately interact to create benefits and added-values, impacting business practices and knowledge. These technologies can be improved through novel techniques, models and methodologies for fields such as data management, web technologies, networking, security, human-computer interactions, artificial intelligence, e-services and self-organizing systems to support the establishment of digital ecosystems and manage their resources.

The International Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems (EDES) aims to develop and bring together a diverse community from academia, research laboratories and industry interested in exploring the manifold challenges and issues related to resource management of Digital Ecosystems and how current approaches and technologies can be evolved and adapted to this end. The conference seeks related original research papers, industrial papers and proposals for demonstrations, and tutorials and workshops.

We solicit original research and technical papers not published elsewhere. The papers can be theoretical, practical and application oriented on the following themes (but not limited to):

- Digital Ecosystem Infrastructure
- Web Technologies
- Social Networks
- Data & Knowledge Management Systems
- Multimedia Information Retrieval
- Ontology Management
- Services systems and Engineering
- E-Services , E-Learning, E-Humanities and E-Government
- Emergent Intelligence
- Game Theory
- Networks and Protocols
- Security & Privacy
- Standardization and Extensible Languages
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Business Intelligence
- B2B, B2C, B2A, E-Commerce, E-Business, E-Marketing and E-Procurement
- Digital Library

Paper Submission
Submissions must be in an electronic form as PDF format and should be uploaded using the conference website.

Submissions should be at most 8 ACM single-space printed pages. Papers that fail to comply with length limit will be rejected. Submissions will be peer-reviewed by at least 3 peer reviewers. Selection criteria will include: relevance, significance, impact, originality, technical soundness, and quality of presentation.

Preference will be given to submissions that take strong or challenging positions on important emergent topics related to Digital Ecosystems. At least one author should attend the conference to present the paper.

The conference Proceedings will be published by ACM and indexed by the ACM Digital Library.

Important Dates
- Submission of papers to be mentored: April 1st, 2009
- Proposal for Workshops and Tutorials: April 1st, 2009
- Notification of Workshop & Tutorial Acceptance: May 1st , 2009
- Full Paper submission: June 15, 2009
- Notification of Paper Acceptance: September 5, 2009
- Camera Ready Papers Due and Registration: September 15, 2009
- Conference Dates: October 27-30, 2009

Special issues and Journal Publication
Extended versions of the selected papers will be published in one of the following reviewed journals.
- International Journal on Subject-Centric Computing (IJSCC)
- Journal of Organizational and Collective Intelligence (IJOCI)

Program Chairs:
Epaminondas Kapetanios (University of Westminster, UK) Agma Traina (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Workshops Chair:
Yinghua Ma (University of Jiaotong, China)

Local Organizing Committee Chairs:
Nicolas Lumineau (INSA - Lyon, France)
C?cile Favre (University of Lyon2, France)

International Program Committee:
(see the web site for the full list)

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More on the LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

My blog post on Dec. 2 about the LIFE photo archive hosted by Google received several comments about the copyright notice. Are all of those photos really under copyright protection? Two people, who are in contact with those on the project, said they would try to get an answer.

Checking the site, I see that all of the images still have a copyright notice and now contain the text, "For personal non-commercial use only".

Dear Time Inc. (owner of Life), you may think that's helpful, but it isn't. You haven't told us enough about your expectations. It sounds like you might want to consider a Creative Commons license such as "Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives." If that isn't what you mean, then create a page on the Google web site (or on your own) that explains what is legal in your eyes and what is not. Is educational/classroom use legal? Use in a student's report? Can an image be used in a blog? Can an image be used in a presentation that talks about digitizing photo archives? And if you want people to pay for an image, can someone pay for a digital copy?

Unbeknownst to you (Time Inc.), your users are web 2.0 savvy. They are not necessarily interested in printed framed copies of photos, but in digital versions that they can use in a variety of ways. Many don't want to use the images illegally, so they expect to understand how to gain legal access to the images. And if older images are marked as not being in the public domain, they need to know why.

Unfortunately for you, if you don't tell your users what you expectations really are and give them the correct tools, you're going to be disappointed with the results.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Federated search blogs, presentations, and a report

My interest in federated search, over the last few years, had led me to follow a few federated search blogs, attended related presentations and -- this year -- write a report on federated search. So let's take a quick look at what's out there, in case this topic also interests you.

Blogs: Here are five that are in my blog reader. There may, of course, be others.
Articles: Well, there are ton of articles on federated search and many of them are good. If you are interested in the topic, I would suggest skimming many articles so you can get a feel for the points of view being expressed. That will help you to narrow down on the types of articles that will be useful to you. For example, are you interested in articles about the industry or in articles on specific implementations? Do you only want to read articles on specific software?

Besides using an Internet search engine to find articles, be sure to use the databases at your library.

Presentations: I suspect that every library-related conference contains several presentations on federated search. Here are a few from 2008:
A Report: The Federated Search Report and Tool Kit, which I wrote for Free Pint, has been well-received. The report includes chapters and activities that guide you through the process of selecting a federated solution. And at £39.00 (or ~US $62.40), it is worthwhile investment. (Of course, I'm biased!)

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From the Sigdl-L email list.


Dubrovnik and Zadar, Croatia, 25 - 30 May 2009 Inter-University Centre ( ) and University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia ( Full information at: Email:

The annual international conference and course Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) addresses the changing and challenging environment for libraries and information systems and services in the digital world. Each year a different and "hot" theme is addressed, divided in two parts; the first part covering research and development and the second part addressing advances in applications and practice. LIDA brings together researchers, educators, practitioners, and developers from all over the world in a forum for personal exchanges, discussions, and learning, made easier by being held in memorable locations.

This is the tenth and last LIDA that will be held in Dubrovnik; after that LIDA moves to University of Zadar (Croatia) on a biannual basis.

Themes LIDA 2009

Part I: REFLECTIONS: Changes Brought by and in Digital Libraries in the Last Decade

Contributions are invited covering the following topics (types described below):
  • Synthesis of research, practices, and values related to digital libraries that were prominent in the past decade; conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches that emerged
  • Reflections and evaluations of the impact digital libraries have had on various social enterprises - particularly as related to scholarship, education, and government
  • Reflections and evaluation of the impact digital libraries have had on individuals in their everyday life; changes in use and users of digital libraries
  • Assessment of changes that digital libraries brought to traditional libraries and vice versa, changes in digital libraries based on requirements of their host institutions
  • Growth in involvement with digital libraries of a variety of institutions such as museums, professional and scientific societies, and other agencies
  • Emergence and effects of mass book digitization efforts, such as Million Book Project, Google Books Library Project, and others; library participation in these projects
  • Examples of good practices that emerged in a variety of efforts, such as digitization, preservation, access, and others
  • Reflections on challenges and lessons learned from national, funded digital library research and application projects such as US National Science Digital Library Program, the European Delos and Digital Library Project, and others ?Examination of international aspects of digital libraries with related trends in globalization and cooperative opportunities.
Part II: HERITAGE & digital libraries - digitization, preservation, access Contributions are invited covering the following topics (types described below):
  • Theories and taxonomies of heritage as related to digital libraries and heritage libraries in a digital world
  • Dimensions of e-heritage and areas of significance (documents, monuments - cultural and natural, as well as ancestry records broadly conceived to encompass bio-cultural heritage)
  • Institutional perspectives on creation, dissemination, and access to heritage including local, national, trans-national and global strategies for digital heritage
  • Perspectives on heritage information: cultural, political, educational, economic, legal, socio-technological, bio-technological
  • Surveys of preservation activities, programs, projects, best practices
  • Technologies for heritage information management: solutions and challenges
  • Forms of heritage, their representations, and connection to artifacts, memories, and record-keeping practices
  • Specific concerns for library and information science (including but not limited to digital curation, web archiving, automation of cultural heritage archives, etc.)
  • Preservation efforts related to scholarly communication and the knowledge continuum.
Types of contributions

Invited are the following types of contributions:
  1. Papers: research studies and reports on practices and advances that will be presented at the conference and included in published Proceedings
  2. Posters: short graphic presentations on research, studies, advances, examples, practices, or preliminary work that will be presented in a special poster session. Proposals for posters should be submitted as a short, one or two- page paper.
  3. Demonstrations: live examples of working projects, services, interfaces, commercial products, or developments-in-progress that will be presented during the conference in specialized facilities or presented in special demonstration sessions.
  4. Workshops: two to four-hour sessions that will be tutorial and educational in nature. Workshops will be presented before and after the main part of the conference and will require separate fees, to be shared with workshop organizers.
  5. PhD Forum: short presentations by PhD students, particularly as related to their dissertation; help and responses by a panel of educators.
Instructions for submissions are at LIDA site

  • For papers and workshops: 15 January 2009 (extended abstracts for papers).Acceptance by 10 February 2009.
  • For demonstrations and posters: 1 February 2009. Acceptance by 15 February 2009.
  • Final submission for all accepted papers (full text) and posters: 30 March 2009.
Conference contact information:

Course co-directors:

TATJANA APARAC-JELUSIC, Ph.D. Department of Library and Information Science University of Zadar; 23 000 Zadar, Croatia;

TEFKO SARACEVIC, Ph.D. School of Communication, Information and Library Studies; Rutgers University; New Brunswick, NJ, 08901 USA

Program chairs:

For Theme I: ELIZABETH D. LIDDY, Ph.D. Dean, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University; Syracuse, NY 13210, USA;

For Theme II: MARIJA DALBELLO, Ph.D. School of Communication, Information and Library Studies; Rutgers University; New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA;

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ms. George Oates and the Flickr Commons

From the Flickr CommonsThe Archives email discussion list carried messages yesterday about a "Tragedy at Flickr Commons" and pointed to this summary blog post on Archivalia. Flickr Commons has become a way for large repositories to share their photo collections with the world. Participants include the Smithsonian Institute, the George Eastman House, and the National Media Museum. At the moment, there are at least 17 institutions participating in the Commons.

The woman who was the chief architect of the Commons at Flickr was fired during Yahoo's recent layoffs. Ms. George Oates obviously had a vision in which both institutions and individuals saw a promising future. And while it is sad that Oates has lost her position, Tom Scheinfeldt wondered in his blog:
Is this just one of those things we see in a bad economy, or is it a reason why cultural organizations should roll their own rather than using commercial services for online work?
Later he wrote, in talking about the commercial organization that we've become reliant on:
...they are still big companies whose first responsibility is to their shareholders and the bottom line, not to cultural heritage, education, or the work of digital humanities.
I hope that the institutions that have been participating in the Commons ask Yahoo about its commitment to this program. And while I hope that Yahoo is committed for the long-term, I echo Scheinfeldt's concern about being overly reliant on organizations that are focused on their own bottom lines rather than on a higher good. However, what will it take for cultural heritage organizations to band together -- for the long haul -- and build the systems and services that they need? Can we indeed roll our own without Google, Yahoo, etc.?

George Oates reports in her blog that she is okay. Like many others, I'm horrified at how her dismissal was handle, but I'm sure she will land on her feet. Perhaps she should go to work for our cultural heritage organizations in order build a better system for our digital humanities?

Related posts:

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Happy Holidays!

There are several holidays celebrated in December. Each calls upon us to remember what is good in mankind and to be a positive influence. During the holidays, may your memories bring smiles to your face, and may your smiles bring smiles to those around you.

Happy Holidays!

Macy's holiday windows on 6th Ave. (NYC)

2007 photo of a Macy's holiday window on 6th Ave. in New York City

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

O'Reilly Webcast: Publishers and Digitization

Recorded on Nov. 12, 2008, in this 1 hour 11 min. video, "Liza Daly explains the ins and outs of digitization and how publishers can best utilize their options." She talks about digitization, OCR, XML and other stuff. She provides good examples and there is Q&A at the end.

BTW Daly uses the phrase "Digitization 101", which is not a reference to this blog. In hindsight (which is always 20/20), I should have trademarked that phrase.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

TV interview with Brewster Kahle

I'm surfing the Internet, looking through my Digitization 101 archives, and thinking about what is worth bringing to your attention as the year comes to a close. And so today, I'm posting an interview with Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and the force behind one of the mass book digitization programs. Yes, I've posted other interviews with him and I find each interesting, and containing nuggets of good information. This interview was done by KRON TV-4 in San Francisco did in July 2007. (Kahle portion of the video is less than 5 min.)

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Friday, December 19, 2008

The small, small screen

The number of small screens is multiplying. This means that more and more people are accessing the Internet and viewing your web sites on devices that likely didn't consider when you built your web site and made tons of historic information available. Have you checked your web site to see how it looks on a small screen, like an iPhone or Blackberry Storm? Have you tried to search for digital assets using one of these small devices? Do your assumptions about how people will access your site hold true when they access the site from an Internet device that fits comfortably in the palm of their hands?

Now the good news is it may not be difficult to create a site that works well on a mobile device. Some of the design techniques you need to use are design techniques that you should be using anyway! And you can create a version of your site specifically for mobile devices; one that only they see. But first, you really need to know how your site looks and feels on mobile devices. So seek out friends and colleagues who have various types of mobile devices with Internet access and ask them to surf your web site. It may be painful. It may be educational. It will definitely give you something to think about (and work on).

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Save the date: May 21-23, 2009 Symposium at Reed College

Teaching with Digital Collections in the Liberal Arts Curriculum
Save the date: May 21-23, 2009
Reed College, Portland, Oregon

What does it take to launch a digital asset management system that improves access and helps integrate digital materials into the curriculum?

Through funding from the Keck and Booth Ferris Foundations, Reed College has been investigating this question in the arts and humanities curriculum. The culmination of this project will be a two-day symposium to be held on the Reed College campus.

We invite you to come together with your colleagues to learn and share your experiences working with digital collections in the liberal arts context. This event is recommended for instructional technologists, IT staff, librarians and library support staff, visual resources professionals, and anyone interested in support for teaching with digital collections, particularly images.

There is no conference fee, and the single-track event will feature:
  • A meet-and-greet dinner on Thursday (opening) night;
  • Light breakfast, lunch and dinner on Friday; and light breakfast on Saturday;
  • Two keynote guest speakers;
  • Three to five other presentations, including guest speakers as well as Reed staff members involved with the digital asset management program and CONTENTdm at Reed.
Registration information information will be available in January.

For more information about Reed's "Teaching with Digital Collections" project, visit the website.

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Report: Library of Congress Photos on Flickr

The Library of Congress has released both a summary and full version of the report on their offering of historical photograph collections through Flickr. How well has the LOC photos been received?
In the first 24 hours after launch, Flickr reported 1.1 million total views on our account, with 3.6 million views a week later. In mid-March we began to load an additional 50 photos each Friday, with the result that more than 4,000 photos are now in the account. Today, Library of Congress (LC) photos on Flickr are averaging approximately 500,000 views a month and have surpassed the 10 million mark in total views. (Summary Report, p. 3)
And their statistics also demonstrate the popularity of these images: (Summary Report, p. 4-5)
  • 10.4 million views of the photos on Flickr.
  • 79% of the 4,615 photos have been made a “favorite” (i.e., are incorporated into personal Flickr collections).
  • More than 15,000 Flickr members have chosen to make the Library of Congress a “contact,” creating a photostream of Library images on their own accounts.
  • 7,166 comments were left on 2,873 photos by 2,562 unique Flickr accounts.
  • 67,176 tags were added by 2,518 unique Flickr accounts.
  • 4,548 of the 4,615 photos have at least one community-provided tag.
  • Less than 25 instances of user-generated content were removed as inappropriate.
  • More than 500 Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) records have been enhanced with new information provided by the Flickr Community.
In other words, ordinary people have increased their "ability to engage and connect with photos" by increasing their "sense of ownership and respect that [they] feel for these photos." (Final Report, p. 35)

And the good news is:
It should come as no surprise, then, that the Flickr team recommends that this experiment in Web 2.0 cease to be characterized as a pilot and evolve to an expanded involvement in this growing community (and other appropriate social networking opportunities that may arise) as resources permit. The benefits appear to far outweigh the costs and risks.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Do you speak the language of your users?

Many years ago, I used a local printing service that was owned by a husband and wife team. They did excellent work and attracted good clients. Sadly, they started this business as it was becoming easier for people to print things (documents, business cards, brochures) at home or in their own offices. So it was important for this printing business to explain their differential advantage to prospective clients. While you might think that they would say that they created business cards, brochures, etc. that would make you (their client) look professional and polished, what I heard the wife say was, "We do four color offset printing...." Ugh! She was not speaking the language that her customers -- or prospective customers -- understood.

Like her, I suspect that you are passionate about what you do. No matter if you are digitizing materials, creating metadata, or writing a grant, that work is very important to you. The terms you use are the terms used by the professionals that you work with...and you all understand each other. But that is not the language that others in your larger organization speak or the language that your end-users speak. And when they ask "what's new" and you response if full of jargon and "foreign" terms, you may have said much but - to them - you have said nothing.

Using the language that your internal and external users (or colleagues) speak will help them to understand what you do. If they understand what you do, they will value what you do more.

So here is something for you to try. When someone asks what you do, give them an explanation without using acronyms or terms that you don't hear on the evening news (in other words, you can't use works like digitization, metadata, migration, refresh, digital preservation, finding aid, pathfinder, ILL, etc.). I know, it may not be easy and you may have to stop and think about what words to use. That's okay. Your explanation will be interesting as well as understood. And that smile on the person's face? Yeah...that means that they understood you and really do find your work interesting.

And with all of the holiday parties that are still left, I think you'll have several opportunities to try this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Google is digitizing magazines, too (yawn)

SpellboundBlog has a good post about this. For me, well, the fact that they are doing it isn't news-worthy. We're past that. I wonder if the information industry will ever respond to these efforts in a way that is meaningful? I know...I sound like a broken record. I promise to stop...

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Museums and the Web 2009

Museums and the Web 2009 (MW2009) has a few digitization-related sessions. The program is online and registration is open. MW2009 will be held April 14-18, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Google buys Papers of Record

Google is in the news again. Quoting
Google has completed the purchase of 20 million digitized historical newspaper pages from The two have had an agreement for two years and has now concluded in a sale that was voted on by shareholders of PaperofRecord's parent company, Cold North Wind, Inc.
This will definitely boost their historic newspaper digitization initiative (post, post). However, as Steve Arnold said in his blog post:
My thought is that this acquisition may be like putting a toe in the water. If it “feels” good, the GOOG may start making commercial databases free to users. The content becomes a platform for the online ads. With commercial database publishers hanging on to an outmoded business model, the commercial database sector could suffer sharp revenue drops. Libraries will point users to “free” services and if these prove satisfactory, commercial databases may be starved for revenue.
Google's vortex is getting stronger...

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Book: The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

James Boyle -- who is the William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke Law School and co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain, and Chairman of the Board of Creative Commons -- has written a book, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind. The book is available for free on the book's web site and available for purchase as places like (He does explain on the web site why giving it away for free and selling it simultaneously makes sense.) He is using a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License.

What is this book about? Quoting Boyle (page xiii):
This book is an attempt to tell the story of the battles over intellectual property, the range wars of the information age. I want to convince you that intellectual property is important, that it is something that any informed citizen needs to know a little about, in the same way that any informed citizen needs to know at least something about the environment, or civil rights, or the way the economy works. I will try my best to be fair, to explain the issues and give both sides of the argument. Still, you should know that this is more than mere description. In the pages that follow, I try to show that current intellectual property policy is overwhelmingly and tragically bad in ways that everyone, and not just lawyers or economists, should care about. We are making bad decisions that will have a negative effect on our culture, our kids’ schools, and our communications networks; on free speech, medicine, and scientific research. We are wasting some of the promise of the Internet, running the risk of ruining an amazing system of scientific innovation, carving out an intellectual property exemption to the First Amendment. I do not write this as an enemy of intellectual property, a dot-communist ready to end all property rights; in fact, I am a fan. It is precisely because I am a fan that I am so alarmed about the direction we are taking.
Yet, he says that the message is not all doom-and-gloom. In fact, he believes that there is reason for hope.

This book is 333 pages, with notes and indexes. I've downloaded a copy and have been skimming it (I'll read in-depth later). Boyle does a good job "drawing in" the reader and making his point. And it is message that I hope we all can support.

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Article: The Current State-of-art in Newspaper Digitization: A Market Perspective

Yes, this is an old article (Jan. 2008), but not out of date. It is worth perusing, especially if you're into newspaper digitization. The article is the result of research and surveys conducted with newspaper digitizaton program and vendors. It discusses (in somewhat of a bird's eye view):

  • Market parties
  • Digital imaging
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Zoning and segmentation
  • Metadata
  • Searchability
  • Presentation

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Web 2.0 version of "A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections"

Thanks to Digitizationblog for pointing this out. The Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections has been made editable by anyone with an account on the site. As the site says:
Engage with your colleagues and help to build a stronger Framework by providing your comments on this website. Community participation in the framework includes providing feedback, annotations, resources, and discussion.
This move allows librarians, archivists, curators, and other information professionals to contribute to this valuable document. For more information contributing, go to How to Contribute on the web site.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

Google announced this archive in its blog last month and the Spellbound blog has done a nice review of it. Work on this 70+ year archive containing 10 million images was done by the Crowley Company. In talking about the project, the Crowley press release said:
When asked about the challenges of such a large project, [Crowley project manager DeAnne] Larsen says, “At this point, it’s down to a science, although the early months offered a lot of learning opportunities. Every time we’d open a negative drawer, there was a ‘size surprise’ and we became quickly adept at having stations for every type of image – 35mm, 120 mm, 4x5’s, 8x10’s, prints, you name it.” She continues, “It’s impossible not to be awed by this collection. In the beginning there were a lot of ‘Hey, check this out’s.’ We quickly realized that almost every photo in the collection had a wow factor.”
The press release noted that each photo was given a digimark for copyright protection. This photo taken in 1863 is of a former slave, who became a Union soldier during the Civil War. The photo shows the scars on his back from the beatings he suffered while a slave. There is a copyright on the photo page, but -- really -- this photo is still protected by copyright law? Really? According to my math, the answer is "no", but perhaps Life did something to extend the copyright?

I would like to see more text on the Google Life photo archive page that explains their expectations for this collection and their copyright claims. How do they expect people to use this collection? Do they have different expectations of students? What is copyrighted? Prints are for sale, but what if I wanted a digital image to use? What do they consider Fair Use?

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Rights holders have a limited time to opt out of the Google settlement

My fascination with the Google and its book search efforts is really showing, as I pounce on every new blog post in my RSS reader about it (and the impending settlement). Peter Murray in a recent blog post commented on Judge Sprizzo’s order granting preliminary settlement approval. Those -- rights holders -- who do not want to be included in the settlement must opt out soon. However, many may not realize that they need to do this. Murray wrote:
The number of people in the settlement class is huge — all of the authors who have self-published and/or retained copyright to their works and all of the publishers over the last eight decades, not to mention their heirs (since the current incarnation of copyright law extends the rights 70 years past the death of the author). It would seem that in the span of four months (January 5th to May 5th), all of these people need to see the notice and make a decision on whether they want to op-out of the settlement. Tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of people need to decide whether they agree with a sweeping new Books Rights Registry and what will probably become a template of an agreement covering retrospective, had-not-been-conceived digital rights.
While Google must publish notifications, I would think that it is in our best interest to also spread the word to people that are -- or may be -- right holders. If you want to opt out of this settlement and not be covered by it, you need to say so before May 5, 2009.

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