Last week, I received a notice on the Google Settlement that both NISO, as a publisher, and I, personally, are parties to the settlement. Much like I do with other class action notices that almost every one of us receives on a regular basis, I almost recycled it. Not because I don't care about the Google Books settlement—quite the contrary, I am very interested—but rather because I get too many of these things to really care about them all. Also, I've never received a single penny from a class action lawsuit settlement.
However, this notice is quite different, in that it will radically transform the publishing and library worlds as we presently know them—presuming the courts approve it. One could argue that Google is doing a public service by digitizing the out-of-print and orphan works that had been unavailable in any place but a library. However, through this settlement, which runs hundreds of dense legal pages, Google has effectively purchased the rights to all of these books and simultaneously purchased a monopoly on that content until it passes into the public domain sometime over the ensuing decades. No other organization will be able to digitize content in the same way without risking a similar copyright lawsuit from the authors and publishers. This potential legal jeopardy, combined with the actual costs of digitization, makes similar undertakings nearly impossible.
Robert Darnton, Director of the Harvard University Library, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Review of Books last month about the trends in copyright particularly the growing monopoly that Google has on scanned books and the potential impact on research, learning, and society. His description of the historical context for sharing information is useful in this moment. However, some of his arguments sound strange in light of Harvard's participation in the Google digitization project that led to the settlement.
Google has done tremendous things and provided amazing tools to the community, for which they should be and are held in very high regard. And yet, there are always unexpected consequences when landscape-transforming legal or legislative action is taken. I expect that by agreeing to this settlement, the publishers and authors, through their representatives in this negotiation, are missing the forest for the 125 million trees that they see at the moment. The library community is also likely to be radically transformed by this settlement. Unfortunately, since libraries are not party to the settlement, there is little that they can do from the sidelines. Even NISO, as a (very small) publisher, could likely do little to change the direction this process is taking. Hopefully, Google will remain true to its sixth corporate tenant: "You can make money without doing evil."
New Specs & Standards
March Webinar: Data Movement and Management
NISO will be holding a webinar on Data Movement and Management on March 18, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).
Modern libraries consist of a variety of complicated data systems, many containing a portion of the data needed to address any specific question. Often data needs to be extracted from one system and moved to or compared with information in another. Frequently, these systems don't communicate well. This webinar will explore a number of ongoing data transfer and transformation consensus projects. Whether it is collections or holdings information distributed via ONIX, pricing data via CORE, or usage data via SUSHI, the community is working on strategies and structures to easily transfer data from one system to another. Each of these initiatives will contribute to saving librarians time and eventually money in managing their operations.
Speakers and topics for the program are:
Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the webinar. NASIG members may register at the NISO member rate. For more information and to register, visit the event website.
April Webinar: KBART and the OpenURL
NISO will be holding a webinar on KBART and the OpenURL: Increasing E-Resource Use through Improved User Access on April 8, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).
Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) is a joint project with the UK Serials Group (UKSG) to improve the quality and workflow of data in knowledge bases used for OpenURL linking. The Working Group is expected to release initial results of its work in the spring of 2009. This webinar will discuss the group's draft recommended practice in the areas of terminology, supply chain workflow, effective transfer of metadata to knowledge bases, needed education, and plans for Phase 2 of the project. Using the KBART recommendations will help to improve the accuracy and timeliness of streams of OpenURL and holdings metadata that facilitate OpenURL link resolution.
Significant interest in the project was expressed after presentations at the ALA Midwinter and ER&L conferences. Up-to-date information on the project will also be presented at the upcoming ACRL, UKSG, and NASIG meetings.
For more information on the webinar and to register, visit the event webpage. NASIG members may register at the NISO member rate.
ISO TC46 Meeting Week in Nairobi, May 11-15
The ISO Technical Committee 46 on Information and Documentation will be holding its annual plenary meeting in Nairobi, Kenya on May 15, 2009. Subcommittee 9 on Identification and Description and Subcommittee 11 on Archives/Records Management will hold their plenary meetings on May 14. NISO is the Secretariat for SC9 and Todd Carpenter will be leading that meeting along with Chairperson, Dr. Oh Sam Gyun, from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea.
Working groups and maintenance agencies provide updates on their activities at the meeting and/or in writing prior to the meeting. TC and SC members vote on open issues or on decisions needed to advance the standards. The TC and SC secretaries and chairs will also be holding strategic planning and coordination meetings prior to the plenary.
Several SC9 and SC11 working groups will be meeting in the three days previous to the plenary meetings to discuss project status and hold working meetings to further develop their standards. Among the groups meeting are: SC9/WG6 on the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI), SC11/WG1 on Metadata for Records, SC11/WG7 on Digital Records Preservation, and SC11/WG12 on Digital Records Conversion and Migration.
Subcommittee 8 on Quality, Statistics and Performance Evaluation has decided to meet on March 26-27 in Berlin, rather than going to the Nairobi meeting. SC4 on Technical Interoperability will also not be participating in Nairobi and has not announced an alternate meeting.
Anyone interested in attending the TC46 meeting or in participating in TC46 standards development activities should contact the NISO office.
CORE Standard to be Issued for Trial Use – Participants Needed
The Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Working Group is nearing completion of the standard that defines an XML schema to facilitate the exchange of financial information related to the acquisition of library resources between systems, such as an ILS and an ERMS.
The Working Group intends to issue the standard for a one-year trial use period. Trial participants will be asked to implement the CORE protocol in their own organization (or with another trial implementer), participate in a discussion list during the trial to share experiences, and provide feedback on any needed changes to the protocol prior to final issuance of the standard. The Working Group will be available during the trial to provide guidance and answer questions. Anyone interested in participating in the trial or who would like additional information, please use the Contact form on the NISO website to indicate your interest and provide contact information.
Feedback Needed on Standards Being Considered for Possible Withdrawal
NISO recognizes that its standards require regular review to remain effective. For ANSI/NISO standards under periodic maintenance, this must be completed not later than five (5) years after the ANSI approval date, with the first step of establishing a voting pool. Four NISO standards have failed to receive the required number of members (15% of NISO's voting membership) joining a reaffirmation ballot voting pool. Those standards will need to be reviewed by the NISO Board of Directors to determine whether administrative withdrawal, downgrading of these publications (i.e., to a recommended practice), or other steps are called for.
Prior to taking such action, NISO is seeking input from the community on whether any of these standards are being used, and if so, in what context. If you are actively using any of these standards or have comments on why they should be continued as ANSI/NISO published standards, please contact the NISO office with information on the value of these standards to your organization.
The four standards, listed below, are available for free download and review from the standards public comment page of the NISO website.
Save the Date for NISO Forums
Be sure to save the date for NISO's two upcoming in-person forums.
New Specs & Standards
ARMA International, Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles, Call for Comments
This set of generally accepted recordkeeping principles (GARP) is intended to serve as a framework for guidance in implementing records and information management programs. The public comment period ends on Friday, March 6.
A new link tag allows publishers with multiple domains that all point to the same website to designate one site as the master or "canonical" site so that search engines can avoid duplicate harvesting and duplicate search results. Since press time, Ask has also announced support for the tag. See also the separate announcements from Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.
This second edition of the international standard for Dublin Core was revised to update the changes made in 2007 to the NISO version (ANSI/NISO Z39.85-2007). The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set defines 15 metadata elements that can be used for cross-domain resource description.
ISO/IEC 13250-4:2009, Information technology – Topic Maps – Part 4: Canonicalization
This new standard defines a format known as Canonical XTM, or CXTM that guarantees that two equivalent Topic Maps Data Model instances (as defined in ISO/IEC 13250-2) will always produce byte-by-byte identical serializations, and that non-equivalent instances will always produce different serializations. The purpose of CXTM is to allow the creation of test suites for various Topic Maps-related technologies that are easily portable.
New versions of nine Web services specifications were ratified as OASIS Standards. The three WS Reliable Exchange (WS-RX) standards [WS ReliableMessaging 1.2, WS ReliableMessaging Policy 1.2, and WS MakeConnection 1.1] allow messages to be transferred reliably despite failures in software components, systems, or networks. The three WS Transactions (WS-TX) standards [WS-Coordination 1.2, WS-AtomicTransaction 1.2, and WS-BusinessActivity 1.2} describe an extensible framework for coordinating transactions across a mixed vendor environment. The three WS Secure Exchange (WS-SX) standards [WS-Trust 1.4, WS-SecureConversation 1.4, and WS-SecurityPolicy 1.3] provide methods for issuing security tokens, establishing trust relationships, and allowing key material to be exchanged more efficiently.
Open Web Foundation, Final Specification Agreement on Intellectual Property Use, Proposed Draft
A proposed agreement from the Open Web Foundation (OWF) Legal Committee that individuals or organizations could sign to make their specified intellectual property rights available to others who use or implement a particular standard or specification. This work-in-progress was posted to generate discussion before a committee draft is presented to OWF.
New Interfaces Bring Catalogs, Books to iPhone,
Other Mobile Devices
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NISO's free monthly e-newsletter reports on the latest NISO news, highlights new specifications and standards of interest including calls for public review and comment, abstracts significant media stories on topics of interest to the NISO community, and links to news releases of NISO member organizations
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Other Events of Interest
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News from NISO Members:
Sustainable Digital Preservation & Access Report
The New Music Preservation Site is Live!
Understanding PREMIS Metadata Guide Available
Identify Database Reaches 125,000
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