Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Will the Web Make Us Free?

May 15, 2006

Moderator: Rob Hyndman

Panel: Ren Bucholz, Electronic Frontier Foundation
George Schlukbier, U.S. Library of Congress
Bob Young, Lulu.com

RH Question to George Schlukbier: What is the proper role of libraries now; what are libraries doing to adapt to this new reality; what is the future of libraries?

GS: Libraries have always been around in the digital age:
- digitization programs
- XML standards
- What are the formats for the 100 year archives? What are we going to keep, and who is going to keep it?
- Hopes we preserve more of the ‘Net than we currently have
- A lot of the issues will be addressed by the libraries

RH: Who is deciding this?
- a number of federal government agencies
- NARA gave a big grant for digitization preservation project

RH: libraries can be thought of where all the servers are kept. Are we not all creating libraries; are we not all content creators?

Bob Young: a lot of people are creating content that is being lost; a lot of this content deserves to get lost. How does the library differentiate what should be kept?

GS: That is part of what the libraries do, how the collection is focused. No one has put out a scope of what should be collected; for example, everything from the last election.

BY: whatever is popular is what they save at Lulu.com. They are trying to create a marketplace of content.

RH: How do you save what is worth saving?

BY: What authors need more at the beginning is distribution rather than protection or no one will be reading. Most authors need more distribution, not less. The moment you wrap DRM around a work, you are going to have less distribution. Once someone shows them authors and readers value DRM, then they will use it.

RH: Different shades of grey, or is DRM dead on arrival?

Ren Bucholz: For vast majority of authors, threat isn’t piracy but distribution. Late 1990s, early 2000s – Napster was more than a punchline; it was a Library of Alexandria of all the world’s music housed on individual computers – quite incredible looking at it without the hype. It made EFF sit up and take notice. The idea is not to shut it down but how to monetize the concept.

BY: We worry about DRM, privacy, and being shut down. What if, in the days of Napster, the music publishers had a powerful DRM and, if you were willing to pay, This helped more hear the music, and more people went out to the concerts as a result. The citizen and the consumer are the same person; why do we need the legislators tell us what we need?

RB: publishers trying to control rights they don’t actually have with regard to viewers and copyright holders.

See http://www.eff.org/share - mechanism for sharing

GS: When conceiving of the 100 year archive, they want a path to go back.

Looking for a tagging system so that people can tell them when it is the best thing they are doing and is worth keeping. Why isn’t the entertainment industry helping to pay for preserving their films and the like, and leaving it to government funding to do this?

RH: Open Content Alliance versus Google database

GS: Best thing that happened for libraries was Google’s announcement and the Open Content Alliance - suddenly this material is seen as having worth and being important.

Tag: Mesh06

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