Skip to comments.Digital archiving gains new tool ~ developed by the Library of New Zealand and the British Library.
Posted on 09/26/2006 9:09:08 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
A tool that makes it easier to gather and store digital archives has been developed by the National Library of New Zealand and the British Library.
As more and more information goes online the race is on to create meaningful digital archives.
The web curator tool automates the process of collecting and storing information.
It will become a key part of the British Library's existing digital preservation programme.
The libraries worked in partnership with technology firm Sytec under the auspices of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC). The IIPC wanted a process that did not require a high level of technical knowledge to use.
The web curator tool that was developed will be available to other organisations as an open source release by the end of the year.
The practise of web harvesting - using software to search out and gather snapshots of websites - will become increasingly important as organisations seek to preserve web pages, which often have a shelf-life of just a few months before disappearing.
The temporary nature of the web and the sheer amount of information available online makes digital preservation tricky.
According to Stephen Green, the British Library's web archiving programme manager, the tool will concentrate on sites considered to be an important part of British cultural heritage, such as the websites of political parties and information around significant events such as the July 7th bombings.
One obstacle in the plans to create extensive digital archives is current copyright legislation and The British Library is currently embroiled in a battle to extend the terms of copyright to the digital realm.
As part of its intellectual property "manifesto", launched on Monday, it warned that the UK's national music archive could be lost under current copyright law.
It is not only academic institutions that are keen on creating a digital archive. Google is currently involved in attempts to scan millions of books, a plan that has been heavily criticised by some publishers.
Google gained one ally this week as the Complutense University of Madrid Library announced it will join the project.
It will allow Google to digitise its out of copyright books, which includes some of the greatest works of Spanish literature as well as works in French, German, Latin, Italian and English.
|The British Library Gets It!|
|Monday, September 25 2006 @ 04:04 PM EDT|
Finally! Somebody gets it that DRM is altering the copyright law bargain, by not allowing fair dealing/fair use. And it's the British Library that is speaking out and saying that the same rules of the road should apply in the digital world as they have always done. Copyright law includes fair use/fair dealing, and there will be incalculable damage if copyright law in the digital environment doesn't retain those limitations on the copyright owner's rights. The Library has issued an IP Manifesto [PDF]. I wish to say thank you to the British Library for issuing this document.
The IP Manifesto's key recommendations include, quoting from the press release:
* Existing limitations and exceptions to copyright law should be extended to encompass unambiguously the digital environment;
In other words, copyright law should not change in the digital environment, and if it doesn't change, then fair dealing and fair use are just as applicable there. Here's the press release. This sentence says it all: "Licenses providing access to digital material should not undermine longstanding limitations and exceptions such as fair dealing.'" And here's another angle to the story.
I am so thrilled, I can't even express myself. And you know how rare that is! You may recall that I wrote a lengthy article detailing exactly what DRM was like and what it was doing to their collection and accessibility of the world's knowledge, The British Library - The world's knowledge DRM'd and for a price," and if I contributed to today's result in any small part at all, I can die happy. Of course, it is Larry Lessig who first noticed the problem and made it an issue for us all to consider.
You know how I always tell you that the law often moves to a better place as people get to understand new issues? It's happening. I see it. And I am glad.
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