Digital Curation Issues Involving Open Government Data

Open data is a well-defined concept but in the public sector, there is some difficult work ahead for its digital curation. Although the support and production of open data from governments around the world varies (with many not yet supporting it at all) there are clear movements to encourage and grow open government data initiatives. Within the realm of governments that do support and produce datasets open to the p ... Continue Reading →

E-books: New Experiences and Problems with Access

I first read an e-book a few years ago when I decided to see how War and Peace felt on my phone. Engrossing. And probably no less so than it is on paper. Now I like both paper books and e-books but the spread of e-books is about more than just enjoying them or not. The introduction of e-books (among other digital content) changed the interactions and responsibilities of publishers, authors, academics, librarians, g ... Continue Reading →

Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom: Our Pragmatic Ignorance

A common way to model the relationships of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom is the DIKW pyramid. Starting with its base, each concept builds on top of the former. The gist is that we require data to form information → we use information to gain knowledge → and we use knowledge toward developing wisdom. This model is one doorway to understanding the relationship between these concepts. For workaday pragm ... Continue Reading →

Copyright Law, TPMs, and Appraisal

This is the third part in a series of three posts. Part 1 — The TPM Environment and Copyright Change from C-11 Part 2 — Long Term Digital Preservation and the Role of TDRs Part 3 — Copyright Law, TPMs, and Appraisal Download the whole document (PDF). The Canadian Council of Archives (CCA) identifies five categories of appraisal criteria. Some of these criteria mix poorly with copyright law and TPMs on th ... Continue Reading →

Long Term Digital Preservation and the Role of TDRs

This is the second part in a series of three posts. Part 1 — The TPM Environment and Copyright Change from C-11 Part 2 — Long Term Digital Preservation and the Role of TDRs Part 3 — Copyright Law, TPMs, and Appraisal Download the whole document (PDF). Archives face inexorable problems with the duty to preserve massive quantities of information, stored on frail digital media. There is at once, the archives ... Continue Reading →

How Recent Copyright Legislation (C-11) and TPMs Prevent Digital Preservation

Recent copyright legislation prevents archives from legitimately fulfilling key requirements for the long term preservation and provision of access to digital fonds. Bill C-11 (An Act to amend the Copyright Act)[1] changed many elements of copyright law but the area posing the greatest problems to archival practices is the portion that prohibits circumventing technological protection measures (TPMs). The problems s ... Continue Reading →

Conservatives to Ignore the Canadian Copyright Consultation in Favour of DMCA?

The Conservatives still appear to be steering Canada toward a DMCA-like future: one that enslaves our culture to a few controlling (mostly foreign) companies, stifles science and freedom of expression, and anchors Canada’s economy to the digital dark age rather than propelling it toward what could be an incredibly innovative and lucrative future on the world stage. I’ll recount some of the issues, then ... Continue Reading →

First Take on the Public Domain Manifesto

Communia published its Public Domain Manifesto. The manifesto identifies the public domain concept with respect to historical development and more urgently, its relevance to culture today. I think it makes an important statement, in terms of offering a level, common understanding that could be used widely across society, government, and business. Early in the manifesto, it says the public domain Continue reading & ... Continue Reading →

Response to Canadian Copyright Consultation

The government set up public consultations and a web site for discussion and formal submissions of responses to questions concerning copyright reform. The web site posed five questions, which I thought about for a bit and then hastily wrote some responses today. I’ve been away travelling for a while–there’s nothing like last minute writing before the submission deadline tomorrow. :-) In any case, ... Continue Reading →

Rip Movie

Just saw the film, Rip, last weekend. The movie explores most of the present day struggles with copyright and notions of ownership of “intellectual property.” I thought it was interesting in how it presented a US government decision in the 90s (through interviews with those responsible) to definitively shift its economy from a manufacturing oriented one, to a more pure idea trade, in which ideas are pro ... Continue Reading →

Ephemera and the National Memory

I continue to be concerned with what I once called digital cultural amnesia. Though in reflecting on the word “amnesia” I no longer think it’s the best way to express the problem. Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, writes about the phenomenon in The Observer. Too many of us suffer from a condition that is going to leave our grandchildren bereft. I call it personal digital diso ... Continue Reading →

Some Notes on the Canadian Digital Information Strategy Draft

I’ve been reading the draft consultation version of the Canadian Digital Information Strategy (PDF). The strategy proposes strengthening content, ensuring its preservation, and maximizing its access and use. These are important for many reasons the report addresses regarding culture; the report also has some anchors in industry, stating that “nations that nurture their digital information assets and inf ... Continue Reading →

Motivating Anti-IP Activism in Canada

In the scheme of things, few people have the interest (or is it patience?) to delve deeply into the concept of “intellectual property” (IP). I think that is why IP regulation is among the most under-considered issues in public political discourse today. It’s difficult, in the snap of a soundbite, to make an easily understood and appropriately deep point regarding IP. Recently, I sent a couple Cana ... Continue Reading →