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Education Your Rights Online

Librarians to the Rescue 280

Duke Machesne writes "Citing concerns over materials being distributed to American students by the BSA, MPAA, and RIAA's evil minions, the American Library Association will begin distributing its own, more balanced material this winter. The material will deal with insignificant and oft-overlooked details like fair use. More information on Wired News."
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Librarians to the Rescue

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  • Go librarians! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Elpacoloco ( 69306 ) <elpacoloco&dslextreme,com> on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:10PM (#9971543) Journal
    Apparently, publishers don't like libraries. It decreases sales of their book.

    However, it massively accelerates research. Clearly a good thing.

    (Mod me down, this post is stupid.)
    • Re:Go librarians! (Score:5, Informative)

      by michaeltoe ( 651785 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:21PM (#9971591) Journal
      We barely used our libraries at school, we usually got our information off the web.

      This wasn't because the information in the libraries was bad (actually, it had a lot of good stuff), but as high school students we were generally lazy.

      Better than college though, where publishers will force people to buy whole new editions of math books just because they changed the order of the problems at the end of each chapter.

      • Re:Go librarians! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sparr0 ( 451780 )
        i tend to use resources on the web to write my papers. then ill go to the library to find the books the web site cites and cite them.
    • Re:Go librarians! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wfberg ( 24378 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:26PM (#9971617)
      Apparently, publishers don't like libraries. It decreases sales of their book.

      On the other hand, it massively decreases incentives to set up efficient second hand marketplaces for books. After all, first doctrine means the publisher never gets money for "used" books getting read by their new owners anyway.
      And if a library doesn't offer the latest Stephen King, romance novel or in a nutshell, a lot of people end up buying a new copy..

      Having said that, they're always working their evil little ways to get libraries to pay for lending out books or having copying machines.. When you have a dead poet's estate prohibiting a poetry festival from "performing" his poems, you know the system's gone mad.
    • Re:Go librarians! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jesterzog ( 189797 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:32PM (#9971650) Homepage Journal

      However, it massively accelerates research. Clearly a good thing.

      Not to mention literacy, which presumably sustains sales of books in the long term. Imagine what it'd be like if anyone who wanted to read had to pay.

      • Re:Go librarians! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2004 @11:48PM (#9972019)
        Imagine what it'd be like if anyone who wanted to read had to pay.

        We'd have a culture where most people get their information from visual and audio media like television and radio and ignore in-depth analysis found in newspapers and magazines.

        Oh.
            • Imagine what it'd be like if anyone who wanted to read had to pay.
            >br> We'd have a culture where most people get their information from visual and audio media like television and radio and ignore in-depth analysis found in newspapers and magazines.
          Sounds like things wouldn't change at all.
    • Re:Go librarians! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @05:52AM (#9972988)

      However, it massively accelerates research. Clearly a good thing.

      Not for publishers. Research lowers the cost of entering the publishing business, and thus increases competition. The Internet even allows publishing for free - and I don't mean book pirates, but people who upload their own texts for everyone to enjoy. I've read several book-length quality pieces of writing on the Net, and this had certainly decreased my need to buy paper books.

      Research threatens established power bases - or, more to the point, the fruits of research in the hands of the general public threaten established power bases - and thus is a bad thing, as far as those in power are concerned. Do you really think that the Internet would had been allowed to happen if the politicians and big business had known beforehand what it would become ?

      Freedom is the natural enemy of Power. People freely exchanging information and making their own decisions is the worst nightmare of a politician. People producing and trading with each other is the worst nightmare of a corporate overlord. And everyone having a cheap access to publishing is the worst nightmare of a publisher.

      All of which means that we will propably go back to pre-emptive censoring, of needing a prior permission to publish anything, before long. Propably as soon as we get mandatory DRM on our computers. That's the real reason for it...

  • well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:11PM (#9971546)
    don't get too excited slashbots... balance in this case is 80% closer to the RIAA and MPAA side than what you think balanced is. Use your computer for something useful, like reading up on copyright laws, and why we have copyrights.
    • Re:well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@ b a r b a ra-hudson.com> on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:18PM (#9971577) Journal
      For once I agree with an AC.

      And not just because to "balance things out", you'd have to push a line that would make all copyright questionable.

      The proper way to "balance" this is to not allow the **AA access to the schools. This isn't education, it's propaganda. Let them buy time in the media like every other business.

      • Re:well (Score:3, Insightful)

        i agree to the propaganda nature of this:

        BSA marketing exec 1: hey, what should we do this year to increase legal software sales?

        BSA marketing exec 2: i know! let's infiltrate the schools with some 'educational material' about copyrights, and how they should be reverently followed. 90 some odd years is not enough.

        BSA marketing exec 1: sound great, but how are we going to do that?

        BSA marketing exec 2: we'll umm, make a cartoon character and have the kids name it, yeah! it will be great

        BSA marke
        • Re:well (Score:4, Interesting)

          by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@ b a r b a ra-hudson.com> on Saturday August 14, 2004 @11:15PM (#9971867) Journal
          either that or...

          our children will grow up with no capability for creative thought, as that will violate some copyright somewhere somehow, and we know what that leads to.

          I seem to recall a recent sci-fi short story along those lines in one of the monthy anthologies. Stuff taught from textbooks with all sorts of copyright notices, and you could only be taught material that was he clear property of some copyright holder somewhere, for fear of "submarine lawsuits" for copyright infringement.

          Let's hope this is one case where sci-fi is more to provoke thought than to predict the future.

      • Re:well (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Let them buy time in the media like every other business.

        Uhm, they *are* the media.

        Ever noticed how "unfair and unbalanced" all the stories about copyright are? They kinda miss the whole "there's a large section of the population that think the laws go too far " kinda angle.

        Look at the latest stories about DVD Jon finding the streaming key for the AirPort Express.. "HACKER CRACKS AIRTUNES ENCRYPTION" .. uh yeah. I guess it's a more interesting headline than "SMART GUY FINDS HIDDEN NUMBER".

        I don't

        • Good point, both about the media, and about people's (un)critical faculties.

          Even now, after SCO has been whacked on the head so many times, the media still don't get it, and buyers still buy their SCO Lottery Tickets..

          Who knows, maybe the earth's supply of crack will be exhausted in a generation or two and things will get back to normal (OMG what will the moderators be on by then? Chip-heads?)

      • Re:well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Flexagon ( 740643 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @01:43AM (#9972447)

        This isn't education, it's propaganda.

        My kids are past elementary school, but we've had to deal with at least two other equally bogus programs that were nevertheless strongly supported by some of the administrators:

        • McDonald's providing arithmetic practice sheets driven by its products and pricing for use as in-class exercises. This would have been fine as a hand-out at its restaurants. The justification was that teachers can always use free teaching materials, whatever the source or motivation.
        • The American Heart Association running a fund raising drive disguised as PE and charity work for the organization's direct benefit, but during school hours. This one would have been fine if volunteers had been requested, and if it were held outside of the state-mandated teaching hours.

        Much of this nonsense didn't stop, despite numerous complaints from parents, until Consumer Reports wrote up the practice.

        The only role that these sorts of things have in the classroom is in a high school level civics style class that discusses why they should not be used in the classroom.

    • Re:well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kfg ( 145172 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:52PM (#9971756)
      It is possible to be both a strong supporter of the philosophy of copyright and yet oppose specific copyright law.

      Not to mention private interests being allowed to making their case as fact in the public schools without so much as a representative of a counterpoint.

      I certainly hope school librarians take up the gauntlet, but my experience suggests that to do so might well endanger their jobs.

      KFG
      • Re:well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by swillden ( 191260 ) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Sunday August 15, 2004 @12:46AM (#9972266) Homepage Journal

        It is possible to be both a strong supporter of the philosophy of copyright and yet oppose specific copyright law.

        Given the current copyright law, it's pretty much impossible to be a strong supporter of the US founders' philosophy of copyright and *not* oppose specific copyright law.

        The only way you can really support the current copyright system is if you buy into the content producers' notion that copyright is some sort of perpetual, natural and even inalienable right to collect cash for every use, rather than the carefully balanced social contract originally intended.

    • Re:well (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Melantha_Bacchae ( 232402 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @11:47PM (#9972017)
      I doubt most slashdot readers are ignorant of copyright laws, the founders distrust of the concept, and the decision to only include copyright in the US Constitution as a carrot to promote innovation.

      I imagine most slashdot readers are aware of the abuses of copyright law: the endless extensions, the DMCA, stifling of free speech and fair use, impoverishment of the public domain, the lack of rights for the creators of content (publishers using contracts and work-for-hire to take the copyrights for themselves). All of which are extensively documented on Slashdot.

      I imagine most slashdot readers are well aware of campaigns by copyright holders (the publishers) to use them to extort money from mostly innocent people (as few cases go to court and so the allegations of infringement are unproven).

      While it has been a while, I imagine at least some slashdot readers remember Microsoft's terroristic marketing campaigns to scare customers into buying too many licenses just to be "safe" from audits.

      If you don't, AC, maybe you should use your computer for something "useful". ;)

      It is good that libraries are going to be educating youngsters in Fair Use. After all, libraries are the sacred temples of Fair Use.

      As for the media sharks, remember the Yahlen? Quit being mean, or your yachts are belong to Mothra!
      (To be used in the Queen of Monster's thirty-eight year old War on Mean Terrorists.)
      "Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster", 1966
    • Re:well (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @02:30AM (#9972563) Homepage
      Wow, a strawman attack and you didn't even need to waste time setting up a strawman argument to attack! What a time saver!

      balance in this case is 80% closer to the RIAA and MPAA side than what you think balanced is

      Are you talking about balance as in giving a fair and honest explanation of existing copyright law, or balanced as in what balanced law should be? Not that it matters because the RIAA/MPAA/BSA fail on both accounts. Their "educational program" is pure propaganda to push an agenda. They have no interest in giving an accurate and balanced picture of copyright law. They ignore or misrepresent any aspect of copyright law which does not support their agenda, and they simplify and overgeneralize any portion of copyright law which does support their agenda.

      Oh yes, those eeeevil librarians are dong this to spread disinformation and lies to undercut the MPAA/RIAA/BSA's fair and balanced message. It's all part of the eeeevil librarians' plot to brainwash our children and conquer the world! Muahahahaha!

      As for what balance law should be, well things would be a lot closer to balanced if we simply repealed a couple of rotten laws the copyright lobby has bought in the last few years. The DMCA, NET, Sony Bono, AHRA, and one or two others. If we were to include state laws I think there were a few statyes stupid enough to pass Super-DMCA bills, and two that bought into the UCITA.

      But of cource that makes me some some evil anti-copyright nutjob because I want good old traditional copyright. A-yup. I'm an evil anachist for wanting the perfectly good laws we used to have.

      And actually there's a rather unlikely item I'd like to add to the list of bad copyright law, though I have to stretch waaaaay back to 1976. And what item would that be? TITLE 17 CHAPTER 1 Sec. 107 - Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. [cornell.edu]

      Yes, that's right, I want the Fair Use clause stripped out of US law.

      Why? Because it's redundant and it has led to widespread missunderstanding of fair use. You could strike that clause from the law and fair use would not change one wit! If you check the cogressional record when it was first passed they stated it was intended to reflect existing fair use, and that it was not intended to expand, restrict, or alter existing fair use in any way whatsoever!

      Since Section 107 of the law describes fair use, many people have the mistaken impression that that law somehow grants, defines, and restricts fair use. They have the mistaken impression that fair use can be altered/restricted/eliminated simply by rewriting that law. That is incorrect. Fair use existed before that law existed, therefore it cannot be that law which created fair use.

      You you actually read that clause carefully, it does not place any limitations on fair use at all! In fact what it says is that fair use is whatever the courts say it is. It merely lists examples of fair use, and gives a minimum list of factors to consider in determining fair use.

      If you read the history of copyright law, fair use was established by the courts on constitutional grounds from the very beginning. It was repeatedly found that copyright law would be unconstitutional if it actually attempted to impose the sweeping restrictions it claims to impose. Rather than striking down copyright law as invalid, the court bent over backwards to assume that copyright law implicitly never even attempts to apply in cases of fair use. That copyright willingly flees in the face of fair use.

      It is not copyright law which grants and defines and restricts fair use. It is fair use which rescues copyright law from being struck down as unconstitutional.

      Where fair use treads copyright is entirely swept away.

      The fact that fair use was written into law in 1976 in section 107 has led many people to false beliefes about fair use. Rather than acknowledging and protecting fair use rights as intended, section 1
      • Re:well (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Idarubicin ( 579475 )

        Why? Because it's redundant and it has led to widespread missunderstanding of fair use. You could strike that clause from the law and fair use would not change one wit! If you check the cogressional record when it was first passed they stated it was intended to reflect existing fair use, and that it was not intended to expand, restrict, or alter existing fair use in any way whatsoever!

        Since Section 107 of the law describes fair use, many people have the mistaken impression that that law somehow grants, d

  • language? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:14PM (#9971556)
    In September, the ALA will hold focus groups with teenagers to better understand...what language they use.

    OMGLOLWTFBBQ?
  • The BSA? (Score:5, Funny)

    by civman2 ( 773494 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:15PM (#9971560) Homepage
    "Citing concerns over materials being distributed to American students by the BSA" The Boyscouts of America?! What's wrong with the Boy Scouts?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:24PM (#9971607)
    The MPAA announced today that they will begin filing lawsuits against two current fifth-grade students who were former winners of the MPAA's own student essay contest. Winners were provided with MPAA T-shirts as well as copys of last year's Best Picture winner "Return of the King". According to the MPAA, one of the winners showed the video to her entire class during a "pirate pizza party" while the other student allowed his cousin to borrow his winning t-shirt w/ out paying the proper licensing fees.
    • ...the MPAA is cross-sued by the owner of the design for the T-shirt itself for trying to make money out of their T-shirt pattern without paying appropriate licence fees.
  • Not suprising. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c0dedude ( 587568 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:24PM (#9971609)
    Librarians and free media have always been the standard-bearer for issues of personal liberty. A while back, a group of publishers sued libraries for distributing books. Libraries have carried books, even when they've been shunned by society. They were the first ones to rail against the PATRIOT Act. They are one of the most significant forces against promoters ignorance, misinformation, disinformation, and junk science in existance right now. Remeber who had the fewest misconceptions about the Iraq war?
    • They are one of the most significant forces against promoters ignorance, misinformation, disinformation, and junk science in existance right now. Help me get a TV! [freeflatscreens.com]

      I find it extremely amusing that you talk of ignorance, misinformation, disinformation, and junk, and then include a link to a scam for a free LCD TV in your sig. Should have been modded funny.

    • rock on.
      my library gets free linux/windoze support from myself when their staff can't handle it. they have no formal IT department. it's pretty cool since i have it in with the head librarian. i tell them how it is, and as long as it doesn't break anything, it's all good.

      bwahaha
    • by Boiling_point_ ( 443831 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:56PM (#9971775) Homepage
      Remeber who had the fewest misconceptions about the Iraq war?

      You mean, apart from all the rest of us people outside the USA?

    • Re:Not suprising. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tunabomber ( 259585 )
      Heh, whatever. Laura Bush is a librarian. Although I guess its possible she has completely different political beliefs than her husband, but keeps her mouth shut about them in public like a good Christian housewife.
  • by LordStrange ( 19871 ) * on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:30PM (#9971640)
    ...by Kurt Vonnegut I Love You, Madame Librarian [michaelmoore.com]
  • by LibrePensador ( 668335 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:33PM (#9971656) Journal
    This borders on the obvious but librarians love books, which means that they are often well-informed liberals in the enlightenment sense of that word, i.e., someone who is broad-minded and tolerant of the views of others and expect others to behave in the same manner.

    They also understand that our cultural heritage depends on free sharing for its preservation and nurturing -as does innovation. Librarians are therefore quite suspicious of those who try to place limits on the sharing of cultural outputs, particularly when they do so to benefit from the social conjectures and economic dislocations produced by a given technological moment in history.
    • by jyoull ( 512280 ) <jim@medi a . mit.edu> on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:42PM (#9971706)
      I wish i had some mod points for that IDEA.Civilization / society owe a lot to librarians for just providing some of the glue that holds it all together (as much as it barely sticks together at all). Also you should work with reference librarians whenever possible, and don't give me that crap (prior post) about "we just use the Internet." A great research talent is an incredible secret weapon.
      • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @11:00PM (#9971791) Homepage Journal
        Also you should work with reference librarians whenever possible, and don't give me that crap (prior post) about "we just use the Internet."

        Actually, the idea that the Internet competes with libraries, while enticing, turns out to not be true at all. Public libraries all over are getting tied into the Internet, and for the poorer parts of society, this is often the only access to most of the world's information.

        Librarians have generally figured out that the Internet doesn't replace hard-copy books; they complement each other in useful ways. Having Internet access in the library gives the librarians the freedom to be a lot more selective about what books they have on their shelves. They are starting to figure out what sorts of things are best presented in book form and which are better online. And libraries are migrating to a system that stocks up on the former while making the latter available via computers.

        They just have to figure out how to handle the pr0n and spam problems ...

  • by sexybomber ( 740588 ) <boccilino @ g m a i l.com> on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:40PM (#9971694)
    What a refreshing break from "Your rights are being diminished." "Bush is on the warpath." "SCO is being generally evil."
    • What a refreshing break from "Your rights are being diminished." "Bush is on the warpath." "SCO is being generally evil." M

      Yes, it is!

      But before we start sing "Hosanna!", let's keep in mind:
      • Our rights are still being diminished, both by Ashcrofts & Blunketts and by corporate lackeys in the state and national legislatures.
      • Bush is still on the warpath and in fact he's moving up to 100,000 U.S. soldiers out of Europe and Asia [startribune.com], possibly for more "adventures" in the Middle East
      • SCO is still being generall
  • by Dave21212 ( 256924 ) <dav@spamcop.net> on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:43PM (#9971713) Homepage Journal

    The librarians have enlisted [ala.org] the help of Legolas Greenleaf [tuckborough.net] of Mirkwood, Sindarin decendent of the Teleri...

    I think the chance of being victorious over the BSA, MPAA, and RIAA's evil minions [tuckborough.net] is good !
  • by orthogonal ( 588627 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @10:59PM (#9971789) Journal
    "We're trying to educate children at a very young age about the importance of protecting copyrighted works," said Diane Smiroldo, vice president of public affairs for the BSA. "It's important to start talking to them at a very young age about creative works online and what you can and can't share with your friends."

    Smiroldo compared the BSA's program to an antismoking or antilittering campaign. The curriculum doesn't talk about fair use but focuses on what are "right and wrong" behaviors online.


    Hmm, lemme see, smoking harms the kid himself, littering defaces the entire community, and "pirating" copyrighted works hurts -- oh right, the Business Software Alliance.

    And lemme see, these kids, having mastered all that readin', writin', and 'rithmeticin' -- ain't no child left behind no any more --, they've got plenty of time to spend learning a corporate lobbying group's version of "right and wrong".

    I've never pirated music or software, and I do believe that the MPAA and the BSA should have the protection of copyright -- including the right to bring civil suit.

    But when they try to co-opt the education of children and get the Department of Justice to bring their civil suits for them, and to pile criminal charges on top, well, it seems to me the corporations are getting much more than a fair shake.

    Begins to remind me of the "War on Drugs" -- a "War" we'll never win but which benefits corporations building and running prisons (and the drug mafias and the prison guards' union) at the expense of cops and taxpayers and citizens.

    It even makes me wonder if the "content providers" have gone so far as to forfeit their moral rights to copyright protection. There comes a time when you just have to say that the "cure" is worse than the "disease" (as for instance, the "War on Drugs") and tell those grabbing more than their fair share of money and legal power, "this far and no farther".

    • The ALA's aims (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @12:41AM (#9972238) Journal
      Hmm, lemme see, smoking harms the kid himself, littering defaces the entire community, and "pirating" copyrighted works hurts -- oh right, the Business Software Alliance.

      To be fair, copyright is a mechanism with a purpose other than just enriching the BSA. It's part of a system designed to allow content funding to be produced.

      The ALA is just interested in people not having something presented as "right" and something else presented as "wrong" -- they'd rather have people consider the benefits themselves.

      I have no problem with copyright per se -- the question is whether it is still practical and useful in its current from in present day, where it is nearly impossible to enforce, and where it has been extended far, far beyond the intent of its creators.

      Many Slashdotters may not like Britney Spears. However, she clearly entertains many people, and I don't have a problem with publishers making money off her if they are entertaining people -- if that's what people want, let them have her.

      On the other hand, I'm not convinced that they should have her for her lifetime and well beyond, nor am I convinced that copyright can be enforced any more, nor am I comfortable with DMCA-based end runs around fair use. That doesn't mean that we should "drop copyright" -- we have a number of content-producing mechanisms that are based around it, and no good systems that will necessarily replace them. It does mean that copyright reform may be necessary, and given that I feel that the ALA is a group of people with a good deal of insight into copyright-related issues, I'm more inclined to listen to what they have to say than a number of the other players in the copyright game.
    • >I've never pirated music or software

      Have you ever sung "Happy Birthday" in a restaurant?

      It's still under copyright, by Summy-Birchard.

      If you've performed it in a public place without paying ASCAP, you are a pirate in the eyes of the RIAA.

      >it seems to me the corporations are getting much more than a fair shake.

      I agree with the folks who modded your post insightful.
  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @11:17PM (#9971874) Homepage
    IMHO, no other group of professionals in our society have done more to protect the American ideal of life. If you don't already, talk to your locla librarian. You will find them to be one of the most remarkable resources in your life.
  • We need your help (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2004 @11:40PM (#9971982)
    Librarians are getting overruled these days, not just by national directives such as the USA PATRIOT Act, but by activist governors.

    Last month the South Dakota governor removed a section of the state library Web site because it gave health advice to teens.
    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/webguide/internetlife /2004 4-07-13-sd-censor_x.htm

    This month the Kansas governor had rap CDs removed from all libraryies.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/Music/08/06/li brary y.cdsettlement.ap/index.html

    A Librarian
    • This month the Kansas governor had rap CDs removed from all libraryies. http://edition.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/Music/08/06/li brary y.cdsettlement.ap/index.html

      This statement is not helping your cause, trust me.

  • All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest © 1997-2004 OSTG.

    I think it's important to remind everyone that even slashdot seems concerned about protecting it's copyrighted material -- despite the stories selected for posting by people like michael.

    • Everyone does this. They've done it for years. It's a cover-one's-posterior thing, not a reduce-people's-rights thing.
      • Everyone does this. They've done it for years. It's a cover-one's-posterior thing, not a reduce-people's-rights thing.

        Cover one's butt from what? What are they trying to protect?

        Fact is they are claiming control of the information.

        And consider this: what is it that they REALLY provide in terms of content? The stories they mention aren't theirs. The comments aren't theirs. Just what is? Yet they assert their copyright while bashing others that do the same.

        Just think about that. They provide almost zero
  • by ShatteredDream ( 636520 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @11:50PM (#9972029) Homepage
    At many schools the attitude is already decidedly against those groups. At my university, James Madison University in Virginia, AudioGalaxy usage was so high that we almost had our own self-contained AG system because that's how many local users had that many mp3s to share. The university only eventually busted users for bandwidth abuse when it got to the point that people in certain dorms couldn't even really use basic online university services like webmail.

    Our CS program is also basically MS free and we're starting to get some real recognition by the NSA and DoHS for our information security work. Most of the CS and many of the other classes I've seen outside the department also are pretty hostile toward the views of these groups.

    Good work, thanks libraries. However, the situation is much better on most campuses than many would believe.
  • evil? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <aaaaa@SPAM.yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Saturday August 14, 2004 @11:54PM (#9972044) Journal
    I'm sorry, you can disagree but not label the other party evil. It sounds really childish and dilutes the meaning of a rather harsh term. It also distracts people from the message you are trying to get across.
  • Go ALA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wrathcretin ( 693632 ) on Saturday August 14, 2004 @11:56PM (#9972054)
    Not quite familiar with the ALA, but up here in Canada, my library rents out books. It has a couple of small shelves of hardcover new stuff that you'd get for roughly 2-3$ a week. Pretty fair. I'm sure they're paying whatever legal duties or price for those books to rent them out and you can legally read the new Steve King book without shelling out an arm and a leg. That said, I happen to find it bloody interesting that the ALA is getting involved in the whole online/copyrighted scheme of things. This is a public organization, supported by public money (ie your tax dollars) that acquires a broad amount of copyrighted material (and at my local library it extends to music cd's, film, magazines etc) intended for free public consumption. I'm liking the idea of a public library using public money to now make that content available over the internet. The ends will justify the means. Imagine how culturally enriched we could be as a society if every young person (or at least those online - which in 15 years will be all of them) who would never set foot into a library, (come on, the place is flat out boring) could actually access the entire catalogue of available material from their computer when they got bored of ebaum's world. The business world, MPAA, RIAA, BSA etc can rape us of fair use and any use of our purchased items, but I love the idea of the ALA getting involved in this, because the more the average Joe can equate the concepts of copyright with that place where you can pay 3$ for a membership and take out whatever the hell you want and pay $0.05 a day late fees, the more the general public concensus will sway towards maintaining fair use and maintaining copyright for its originally intended purposes.
    • In the States, public libraries lend books for free. You go to your town's library, give them some proof of residency (another resident's word is often enough) and they give you a card. You can then take out as many books as you want, usually for about 3 weeks, no charge. If you want to keep them longer, you bring them back and have the loans renewed. If you forget, they charge you a nominal 10 cents per day per book. In most states, that card is good at any other public library in the state. So I can go to
    • Re:Go ALA (Score:3, Informative)

      by Idarubicin ( 579475 )
      Not quite familiar with the ALA, but up here in Canada, my library rents out books. It has a couple of small shelves of hardcover new stuff that you'd get for roughly 2-3$ a week. Pretty fair. I'm sure they're paying whatever legal duties or price for those books to rent them out and you can legally read the new Steve King book without shelling out an arm and a leg.

      This sounds unusual, and I should correct what are likely misconceptions.

      First of all, public libraries in Canada are generally free to use,

  • Libraries (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Wonder how many hypocrite copyright holders have ever borrowed a book from a library (and thus ripped off a poor publishing house).

    Same with musicians. How many have benefitted from fair use and now vehemently oppose anyone "stealing" their work most of which is a derivation of fair use.
  • So where can we see the information?

    Yup, the article mentions high school librarians will get copies. I'm sure high schools will be thrilled to have more visitors to their libraries. We need a date posted, so we can /. libraries.

  • Burn, baby burn... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HermanAB ( 661181 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @12:44AM (#9972256)
    I think it is time that Americans come to their senses and burn all the evil libraries down.

    Repent! Repent! and Read no More!

    Come to think of it, the American school system is actually doing a marvelous job with creating illiterate young adults, so the **AAs have nothing to fear. Eventually, everybody will have to pay someone (in another country) to read for them and all reading will be outsourced to India.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @03:13AM (#9972676) Homepage Journal
    How about teaching kids their basic rights, like when they're stopped by police on the street, in their car, or in attempts to search their home? Is copyright more important to inculcate than Miranda rights? Or their rights in a jury to nullify an unjust law used in the trial? Until these priorities are addressed, public education is just another tedious exercise in corporate indoctrination.
  • by thrashor ( 554669 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @08:52AM (#9973306) Homepage
    I was pleased to hear this announcement and am hopeful that other national library organizations will follow suit in their own jurisdictions - students should not be exposed to a single perspective on this or any issue. To quote Tony Samek [ualberta.ca], of the University of Alberta's School of Library and Information Studies, "The largest current threat to intellectual freedom in Alberta [Canada] is the dwindling numbers of Teacher-Librarians employed in the province." Who else will defend intellectual freedom in the K-12 system?
  • by ShadowRage ( 678728 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @09:39AM (#9973466) Homepage Journal
    yay, go librarians. seriously. this is a good move. last thing I'd want is for my child having to go to school to get brainwashed by some companies to fit their financial interests.

    It's much like how the communists infiltrated schools, or the McCarthy era here, where all teachers told their children to report their parents' communist activities to them. etc.

    It's very sick that people use children as tools.

    One thing people always seem to do is use younge children and the elderly, becauset hey know the two groups arent likely to sock them in the face and tell them to fuck off.
  • by intnsred ( 199771 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @10:12AM (#9973584)
    While the story topic is nice, IMHO, the ALA's work in publicizing Ashcroft's demand that libraries remove information about certain US laws from their libraries is far, far more important of a public service!

    Everyone's favorite tyrant AG John Ashcroft wanted ordered the American Library Association to destroy all copies of the federal laws on asset forfeiture [rumormillnews.com] and to prevent disclosure of their content [november.org]. Thanks to quick action and a lot of publicity by the ALA and others, the fascists backed off [ala.org].
  • by makhnolives ( 135503 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @01:18PM (#9974529) Homepage
    As an anarchist librarian, it's good to hear that my association is going to launch an aggressive campaign about fair use and the problems with copyrights. I've been advocating against copyrights and intellectual property laws for over ten years, so it's really exciting that more and more people are seeing through the stupidity of IP laws. This swing will continue as the greedy corporations continue to engage in stupid things against the public domain and idea sharing.

    Hey Disney, you didn't invent Sleeping Beauty!
  • by IWannaBeAnAC ( 653701 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @01:47PM (#9974742)
    You know the world has changed when librarians start getting miltant...

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