Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Chatham House Rule

I am on five different boards of directors/trustees and involved in other organizations, in ADDITION to my own consulting work. Yes, I'm busy and in many conversations. One group recently introduced me to the Chatham House Rule and I thought I'd share it here. According to Wikipedia:

Under the Chatham House Rule, anyone who comes to a meeting is free to use information from the discussion, but is not allowed to reveal who made any comment. It is designed to increase openness of discussion. The rule is a system for holding debates and discussion panels on controversial topics, named after the headquarters of the UK Royal Institute of International Affairs, based in Chatham House, London, where the rule originated in June 1927.

CC-BY-Mapbox-Uncharted-ERG_Mapbox-a108I like this idea of having an open discussion, exchanging information, and allowing people to use what they heard without revealing who said it. This allows for a freer flow of information in and outside of the meeting. Given some of the conversations we all need to be having in our society, the Chatham House Rule could be very useful.

Have you used this rule? How did you get people comfortable with it? What benefits have you seen?  Please leave a comment and let me (and others) know. Thanks.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Google v. Oracle: A Good Day for the Open Web

Earlier this month, Lila Bailey wrote about the Google v. Oracle decision by the Supreme Cout regarding Java. She wrote:

In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court held that Google’s copying of many declarations associated with the Java SE API (including only those lines of code that were needed to allow programmers to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program with their own implementing code) was a fair use of that material as a matter of law. That means that this ruling applies to all APIs, not just the one at issue here.
While Java may - in some circles - not be as heavily used as it once was, the real impact is as Bailey noted - applying it to other APIs. I can imagine many programmers jumping for joy because of this decision.  I can also imagine a number of companies agonizing that some of these computer code can now be used by others under fair use. No matter what, this is a win for interoperability!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Creative Commons Podcast

Open Minds Logo
I enjoy listening to podcasts and am pleased to now be listening to this one. In February, the Creative Commons launched a new podcast called Open Minds … from Creative Commons. The debut episode featured a conversation with Creative Commons CEO Catherine Stihler. Stihler talked about her career (wow!) and her vision for what's next for the CC movement. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, and more. You can also subscribe via the show’s RSS feed.

It is hard for me to believe that the Creative Commons is 20 years old! I have fond memories of hearing Larry Lessig talk about the "open" movement. Through his various streamed or recorded presentations, he ingrained into me the reality that we need to be able remix content. The idea of building upon each other's works is at the core of what we do as people. Our technology now let's us create and remix in new ways. The Creative Commons allows us to say to others "use my work!" as you create your own works. The licenses are liberating!

The Creative Commons licenses have become important to creators and users around the world. For me, they help to fuel what I do. I am thankful for Lessig and everyone else who has made the Creative Commons a reality and kept it going. I welcome what Stihler's impact on the organization will be.

Monday, April 05, 2021

National Library Week: Welcome (?) to Your Library

Today began National Library Week in the U.S. This year's theme is "Welcome to Your Library."  Given the COVID-19 pandemic, budget cuts, furloughed staff, closed physical spaces, a move to online programming, more of a reliance on digital resources, and the impact of racism on us all, "welcome" can be a hard word to say.  

The Welcome Mat is Out

Right now we are welcoming people to come into our physical spaces and asking them to do so in a way that protects their health and the health of library staff. We're asking community members to engage with us in different ways than before, again in an effort to keep people safe from COVID. We're finding ourselves doing more cleaning - or asking patrons to sanitize spaces - and worrying about airflow. We're reassigning staff to help with COVID testing, contract tracing, and COVID vaccinations, where we hope they can be a helpful and a welcoming community presence. We are busy!

Looking to the Future

The pandemic and its effect are not over. Racism has impacted all of communities and it having us re-evaluate our collections now, thanks to Dr. Seuss. And we're advocating for an improvement in our budget shortfalls caused by the rippling effect of COVID on our communities. There is much for us to do to ensure that we are seen as welcoming in the future.  Maybe the events of this week will help to fuel us for what us ahead.

ALA National Library Week Events

Each day this week is focused on something different:

Happy National Library Week!

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Understanding Fair Use During an Emergency, like a Pandemic

Copyright license choiceRegistration is now open for event! Anyone interested in copyright is welcome to attend.

On May 13 (2:30-4:00 p.m. ET), I'm giving an online workshop for the American Library Association (ALA) entitled Understanding Fair Use During an Emergency, like a PandemicDescription:

No one would have predicted that when the pandemic struck copyright would become a hot topic. However, when libraries and school closed their physical doors in spring 2020 and moved online, questions emerged about the use of materials in the online environment. For example, could a book be read in an online storytime? Confusing the matter were publishers who “gave” permission, while those knowledgeable in copyright said that permission was not needed.

This webinar will use four common scenarios to discuss the application of Fair Use during a pandemic and other emergencies, as well as in normal times. Each scenario will focus on a common library activity. Basic copyright information with be provided, so that everyone enters the scenarios with similar knowledge. There will be time for participant questions throughout.