Thursday, December 14, 2006

Digital Library structure resource

A document explaining the structure of digital libraries and repositories in education. It also discusses and defines cyberinfrastructure, grid, and other technical concepts. It does not relate specifically to preservation, but it helps lay groundwork for it.

Digital libraries in education: analytical survey. Moscow: UNESCO Institute, 2003.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Weekly readings - 08 December 2006

European Digital Library Initiative. Europe's Information Society. Interim Report. October 16, 2006.

The High Level Group (HLG) on European Digital Libraries appointed a subgroup to discuss intellectual property rights issues. The Copyright Subgroup agreed on a number of principles, including: the importance of having legal certainty in the collections; getting permission for digitizing and accessing works. They identified three interlinked groups of issues:

  • digital preservation;
  • orphan works; and
  • out-of-print works.

They recognize that for some items, digitization may be the only way to ensure that some materials will be available for future generations. For preservation purposes, rights-holders should authorize institutions to make multiple copies and to migrate them as needed. “Preservation should be justified by the scarcity of the works in the market.” Coordination should take place between institutions to avoid duplication.

The DSpace Digital Repository: A Project Analysis. Stevan Chabot. Subject/Object. November 9, 2006.

An analysis of DSpace. There are some problems with it. Those used to working with commercial software vendors need to be aware that it is open source and commercial support does not yet exist. There are problems with metadata, particularly with the lack of authority control in fields. There are also many benefits. It is flexible and robust and should be able to handle most needs without customization, but it can be customized by an institutions programmers if needed.

PKI will grow, but policy problems remain. Jeremy Kirk. Computerworld. November 28, 2006.

Public key infrastructure uses certificates that have been verified by a certification authority which allows others to exchange information in a trusted way. This idea may be talked about more in the future, but there are still problems, such as changing policies and entities, and having an authority that can vouch for other entities.

Radio stations launch drive to save historic recordings. Charlie Imes. Raw Story. November 29, 2006.

The Pacifica Radio Archives is the oldest and largest audio collection of public radio programming in the United States. It contains 50,000 master reel-to-reel tapes from 1949 to today. The challenge is that these magnetic master tapes are deteriorating at a predictable rate. The Archives has started a campaign to preserve these tapes by transferring them to digital media. They are trying to fund the preservation through grants and public fund raising.

EMC announces embedded Documentum. Press release. Computer Technology Review. November 28, 2006.

EMC has launched the Documentum OEM Edition which contains a preconfigured version of the Content Server. It has the same functionality and API as the enterprise version.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Weekly readings - 01 December 2006

Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works. Library of Congress. 27 November 2006.

The Librarian of Congress, on the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, announced some exemptions to the technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. These include:

1. Audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university’s film or media studies department, when intending to make compilations of sections for educational use in the classroom by media studies or film professors.

2. Computer programs and video games, when circumvention is for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.

3. Computer programs protected by dongles if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.

4. Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.

5. Computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network.

6. Sound recordings, and audiovisual works associated with those sound recordings, distributed in compact disc format and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully purchased works and create or exploit security flaws or vulnerabilities that compromise the security of personal computers, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing, investigating, or correcting such security flaws or vulnerabilities. [See the full text at the copyright site.]

Smashing the Shackles of Intentionally Dysfunctional Technology. Terry Calhoun. Campus Technology. November 30, 2006.

One of the new exemptions permits film professors to legally break the copy-protection technology on film DVDs in order to copy snippets for instructional use. They already had the right to use the items under fair use, but could not use the items because of the copy protection. Many were doing this, but it was against the DMCA. The Copyright Office is willing to recognize exemptions for archivists. [See also this article for the Internet Archive perspective: Internet Archive Helps Secure Exemption To The Digital Millennium Copyright Act. November 29, 2006. ]

Data Can Now Be Stored on Paper. M. A. Siraj. Arab News. 18 November 2006.

A student has developed a technique for storing data on ordinary paper. The “Rainbow Technology” uses geometric shapes combined with various colors to preserve the data in images. The piece of paper or plastic sheet can be read with a scanner into the computer. The Rainbow Versatile Disc (RVD) could store 90 to 450 GB. This would be capable of storing files such as programs, data, audio or video. [Criticism of the concept: 256GB paper storage claims simply don't add up. Jeremy Reimer. Ars Technica. November 26, 2006. Mathematically, that amount of data can’t be stored in that small of space, and scanners would not be capable of reading the data error free.]

Avoid the top five disc-burning mistakes. Jon L. Jacobi. Computerworld. November 30, 2006.

CD/DVD recorders and media are pretty mature and stable products but burning errors still happen. Here are five ways to avoid disc-burning errors.

1. Use the software to verify the disc. This is probably the most important rule.

2. Use the correct media.

3. Burn at the correct speed.

4. Update the firmware for the burner.

5. Running other applications at the same time increases the chance of problems.