Excerpts from the Free Online Scholarship (FOS) Newsletter
August 8, 2002
Back from limbo
In early June I had a good dialog with Rick Anderson and a few other
correspondents on the LibLicense discussion list. The topic was how to get
past DMCA-bashing to a constructive alternative. If the DMCA is bad for
scholarship and libraries, then what would be good? If our fair-use rights
are being violated, then what amendments are needed to respect them that
won't violate legitimate IP rights on the other side? I liked the
challenge of not imitating the IP industry in simply making the infantile
demand for a one-sided remedy.
The dialog went through many layers. Unfortunately, when it finally
petered out I discovered that my postings in the LibLicense archive were
empty. It's still not clear why --some unusual convergence of bugs and
incompatibilities at the two ends of the communication. Ann Okerson, the
LibLicense moderator, has been very helpful in restoring the postings to
the archive from her personal email box. I thank Ann.
Rick and I took the conversation offline after a point, where it continued
for another 4-5 layers. If there's any interest, then with Rick's
permission I can post those messages to the FOS forum.
The thread, "DMCA Alternatives"
At first the FOS News blog was an experiment to see whether it could carry
some of the burden formerly carried by the newsletter. It has definitely
succeeded. I love the way that I can post items immediately, open the door
for other contributors to post items, give every item a unique URL, and let
users choose whether to read the results on the web, by email, or through
So here's where things stand in the evolution of the FOS Newsletter.
(1) News items with and without short comments will go straight to the FOS
News blog. If you signed up for the newsletter in order to get these news
items, then you should start visiting the blog regularly, add it to your
RSS newsfeed aggregator, or sign up for email delivery (on the blog page).
The newsletter will no longer carry these items.
(2) I'll send press releases, interesting postings from other discussion
lists, and other tidbits to the FOS discussion forum. Subscription to the
forum is free but separate from subscription to the newsletter. I
separated them early last year because many newsletter subscribers did not
want the extra traffic in their mailboxes represented by forum postings.
(3) Conference and workshop information now goes to a dedicated web page,
not the newsletter. This allows you to get updates as soon as I do, and
see the conference information as far into the future as I have information.
(4) FOSN will continue to be the place where I write longer pieces of
analysis. However,as my work for the 02-03 school year kicks in, these
will not be frequent.
I'm happy to report that the blog now has eight excellent contributors. It
will serve everyone better, however, if I can recruit more. As the 02-03
school year deepens, I'll not only have less time for writing essays for
the newsletter, but less time for posting short items to the blog. And so
far my postings have constituted about 90% of the whole. As I slow down, I
worry about gaps in its news coverage. We can prevent this if we add
contributors from different disciplines, different nations, and different
sectors of the scholarly communication universe. The more the
merrier. Please consider joining the blog's board of contributors. Read
more about it and drop me a line if you're interested.
I'm also happy to report that the tally of newsletter subscribers continues
to grow (now 1220+), even while the newsletter frequency declines. To all
the newcomers I say welcome and thanks for your interest. If you're
wondering why the newsletter is slowing down just as you're signing up, the
reasons can be found in the May 30 issue.
FOS News blog
FOS home page
(Subscribe to the discussion forum, search the FOS pages.)
The Free Online Scholarship Newsletter is supported by a grant from the
Open Society Institute.
This is the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter (ISSN 1535-7848).
Please feel free to forward any issue of the newsletter to interested
colleagues. If you are reading a forwarded copy of this issue, you may
subscribe by signing up at the FOS home page.
FOS home page, general information, subscriptions, editorial position
FOS Newsletter, subscriptions, back issues
FOS News blog
FOS Discussion Forum, subscriptions, postings
Guide to the FOS Movement
Sources for the FOS Newsletter
Copyright (c) 2002, Peter Suber
Received on Fri Aug 09 2002 - 20:17:28 BST