Tuesday, June 05, 2007

SLA 2007 - Day 3 (Tuesday)

More courses today. Fortunately, several of them appear on other blogs, so I can save some typing time.

SLA Hot Topic - Collaboration vs. Copy Protection
A panel discussion with prominent folks from several areas in the copyright battle. This session looked to present all the possible viewpoints for what can be done with copy protection in the 21st century.

First was Stephen Abrams, who brought up the inconsistency of treating creative works the same as scholarly works. Do authors really make continued discoveries 70 years after their deaths?

Next, moderator Victor Camlek talked about the need for continued copy protection in order not to disrupt the current business model. Users and publishers can sometime come into contention, and something needs to be worked out to keep information flowing, while still "following the money"

Bill Burger from Copyright Clearance Center talked about the difference between the desire for financial protection, and the need for recognition. Different kinds of writers have different goals, and CCC has several products out there now that help users figure out exactly what permissions they have with a specific piece of material. The goal of CCC is to make it easy to do the right thing.

Crystal Megaridis of Praxair Inc talked about her company, and its need for both correct and complete content. These can be at odds, since one can't necessarily trust things that come from outside one's institution. Yet, that is where most information exists.

Finally, Thinh Nguyen of Science Commons spoke of a parallel world where the "amber of copyright was softened", and science was able to lead to cures and discoveries that many years sooner. The cost we face in living in the world we do is invisible to us, since we cannot see what might have happened. By using the semantic web, he hopes we can loose the facts from publications, distributing them as quickly as technology allows, while still providing protection for the creative part of the work.

In the Q & A, some asked if Fair Use was dead. No, definitely not. Google, for one, is banking on it with its digitization efforts. Nguyen quipped that Fair Use was a 'license to hire a lawyer'. Its a primarily American concept, Abrams points out, and that's why the music genome service Pandora is only available in the US.

Is there hope? Of course. By working with publishers and copyright holders, and by using new protection measures like Creative Commons, we have the potential for keeping the vital information flowing, while still protecting the economic investment of those involved in creating a work. As Abrams pointed out, copyright isn't a restriction; its just a need to ask permission. Often times, you'll get it.

20 + Tips for Searching the NEW Web
presented by Mary Ellen Bates
Thankfully, J of J's Scratchpad already did this one for me. You can read it here. I highly recommend that you do.

SLA Bloggers get-together at the Rialto Cafe
A wonderful chance for me to get to meet some of the people I'm subscribed to, as well as help figure out how to provide even better conference coverage next year. This should be appearing on the SLA blog shortly, and I'll edit the post to link into that once it comes up.

EDIT on 5-6-07: Here is the link to the post on the SLA Blog. Good photos for all the years. I hope to show my smiling face in this pic-series from now on.

Oh, man, am I tired. I think once INFO-EXPO wraps up, I'm going to call it an evening (until the Gold Digger's Ball). I could use a little feet-up time. Perhaps dinner with a high-school friend of mine who's in the area...

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