“The GPO’s recent electronic publication of all legislation enacted by Congress from 1951-2009 is noteworthy for several reasons. It makes available nearly 40 years of lawmaking that wasn’t previously available online from any official source, narrowing part of a much larger information gap. It meets one of three long-standing directives from Congress’s Joint Committee on Printing regarding public access to important legislative information. And it has published the information in a way that provides a platform for third-party providers to cleverly make use of the information. While more work is still needed to make important legislative information available to the public, this online release is a useful step in the right direction.”
“Unless you’re reppin’ the MPAA, you probably know that the modern copyright regime doesn’t work. You don’t have to believe in radical copyleftism — or even progressivism — to understand this. But it’s hard to know how the current body of law governing copyright and intellectual property affects individual works, simply because of the way communication, and ideas in general, work. One thing connects to another, and pulling apart the causes from the effects requires an Aristotle-like familiarity with contemporary culture.
But one MIT economist, who recently presented his work recently at Wikimania, has found a way to test how the copyright law affects one online community — Wikipedia — and how digitized, public domain works dramatically affect the quality of knowledge”
via The Atlantic
“…[A]s little libraries have grown in popularity, they’ve come to the attention of city bureaucrats. And as “Metamorphosis” author Franz Kafka might suggest, bureaucracy can suffocate just the kind of human inspiration that results in little libraries. The problem is that most of Madison’s LLs are technically illegal. With dozens already installed and serving readers, the city has only recently realized that they don’t really fit under any of its existing codes.”
BBC – “The cultural life of Europe will suffer unless more effort is made to clarify what libraries can do with so-called orphan works, says a study”
SF Chronicle – “A spat over outdoor literature tables during Constitution Week led city officials in Redding to restrict leafleting outside the public library, an action that united a diverse set of opponents – local Tea Party groups and the American Civil Liberties Union. Now a judge has issued a ruling that could break new ground on free speech in civic plazas. “The library is an area dedicated to the free exchange of ideas,” Judge Monica Marlow of Shasta County Superior Court said Wednesday in an injunction halting enforcement of the restrictions that took effect in April.”