Posted tagged ‘Boing Boing’

Oregon’s on Notice

May 1, 2008

The state of Oregon is currently claiming that it’s laws fall under copyright laws and that they may not be printed without permission.  William Patry, Google’s senior copyright council has written a truly excellent analysis of this travesty, with the best title for a blog post ever: Oregon Goes Waka Waka Hunka Kuna (via Boing Boing).  And I had such a good opinion of the Pacific Northwest before this.

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Wiki Unit

April 27, 2008

Clay Shirky (via Boing Boing), has just posted a great essay on where the time necessary for writing the Wikipedia came from.  Briefly he has posited that the cognitive capacity required for creating the site was equal to 1/2,000th of what was dedicated to watching TV in the U.S. last year.  This is a brilliant comparison to my mind, and really makes me want to find the time to read Shirky’s new book, Here Comes Everybody.

Losing the public domain

April 15, 2008

Boing Boing has managed to find a way to anger me first thing in the morning today. Thanks to research conducted by public.resource.org the Government Accountability Office has sold exclusive rights to its legislative history to Thomson West (a company that has probably changed ownership again in the time its taken me to write this).

It sounds like the driving reason behind this sale was actually about using Thomson West’s resources to digitize the contents 2,595 linear feet of shelving and not about the profit. I can sort of forgive that, but the fact remains that a part of the public domain has been sold off to a private organization, and I can’t help feeling like a horrible precedent has been set here.

Weeding turns ugly

April 9, 2008

This blog seems to rapidly be becoming a list of referrals to articles I saw on Boing Boing. I guess anyone reading this blog should just subscribe to the feed over there. Anyway, today they’ve brought me a truly horrifying lawsuit from Universal Music. Universal has stated that throwing away their promotional cd’s, qualifies as an unauthorized distribution.

The link above to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s opinion is pretty good, and mostly just finds this attack on the first sale doctrine to be laughable. So librarians, just keep in mind that next time you plan on weeding that you could be a pirate.

Kind of reminds me of my first library job, where our patrons were so possessive of the materials their tax dollars had purchased that I would have to run garbage bags full of rotting books across the street under cover of darkness and toss them into the cans behind the school next door when no one was looking.  Really that’s not an exaggeration.

Things that terrify me

April 9, 2008

This isn’t really library news, but I just had to share.  Monique Davis, a Democratic representative from Illinois has just said one of the downright scariest things I’ve ever heard.  During a testimony regarding a separation of church and state challenge, she told the speaker that it was dangerous for children to even know that his atheistic philosophy existed.

Just click on the link above, I’m actually too upset by this to be able to discuss it rationally.