Thursday, April 17, 2008

Digital Preservation Matters - 11 April 2008

Section 108 Study Group Releases Report. George H. Pike. Information Today. April 10, 2008.

An advisory study group has been created to make recommendations about copyright issues and the role of libraries and archives in preserving information. Section 108, part of the Copyright Act of 1976, does not adequately define archiving web content, preservation of analog and digital works, and digital copies. It currently only recognizes "published" and "unpublished" works. The study group identified a new category of "publicly disseminated" works which includes copyrighted works transmitted by broadcast, online streaming, etc. The group recommended changes to Section 108 to allow libraries and archives to make "a preservation copy of any at-risk" publicly disseminated work.

This new exemption would be limited only to non-commercial unique or rare "at-risk" works that may be lost due to an unstable or ephemeral format or medium. Only libraries and archives that have comprehensive preservation programs would be allowed to make and preserve these copies. Access to these preservation copies would be restricted and not part of a library’s general collection. Only publicly accessible content could be captured. [The full report is available here; it is a 212 page PDF.]

In Storing 1’s and 0’s, the Question Is $. John Schwartz. The New York Times. April 9, 2008.

The amount of digital materials in increasing, but much of the data is ephemeral. It is very fragile; “there’s no one-size-fits-all model for preserving data in the digital age,” and the biggest problem is how to pay for it. The National Science Foundation has started a $100 million program (DataNet) to help develop methods and technologies to preserve data that make economic sense . Choices have to be made about what to keep. It is just as important to keep the right information.

Sun fixes Java SE for a fee. Gavin Clarke. Register Developer. April 7, 2008.

Sun is extending the support program for Java Standard Edition 1.4, which will officially retire this summer. The support program will require payment and will extend to 2017. Otherwise, users must upgrade to the latest edition of Java SE; free support for the software will be three years now instead of six.

Agency under fire for decision not to save federal Web content. Heather Havenstein. Computerworld. April 11, 2008.

NARA has discontinued its policy of taking a "digital snapshot" of all federal agency and congressional public Web sites at the end of congressional and presidential terms, since they believe the content is already saved by each agency as permanent records. "The fact that digital preservation is done by others outside NARA isn't an excuse for NARA to abdicate their responsibility, but an argument that they should be capable of fulfilling it. "As members of Congress and federal agencies increasingly move their work online, robust digital archiving will only become more important."

Seagate Delivers World's First 1TB Drive with SAS Interface. Press Release. April 7, 2008.

Seagate announced it is now shipping a 1 Terabyte enterprise-class hard drives with a Serial Attached SCSI interface. It includes a five-year limited warranty.

Library of Congress Groans Under Data Strain. James Rogers. Byte and Switch. April 9, 2008.

Library of Congress has to find a way of dealing with an unbelievable amount of information. The library currently has more 500 TB of digital data, split across three data centers and many different storage technologies, most are online or nearline, and some on tape. They also need help deciding which digital data needs to be preserved. “This is all about preservation and future-proofing.” They estimate the information produced every 15 minutes is equivalent to all information currently in the Library of Congress.

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