Four short links: 14 May 2009
Open Source Ebook Reader, Libraries and Ebooks, Life Lessons, and Government Licenses
- Open Library Book Reader — the page-turning book reader software that the Internet Archive uses is open source. One of the reasons library scanning programs are ineffective is that they try to build new viewing software for each scan-a-bundle-of-books project they get funding for.
- Should Libraries Have eBooks? — blog post from an electronic publisher made nervous by the potential for libraries to lend unlimited “copies” of an electronic work simultaneously. He suggests turning libraries into bookstores, compensating publishers for each loan (interestingly, some of the first circulating libraries were established by publishers and booksellers precisely to have a rental trade). I’m wary of the effort to profit from every use of a work, though. I’d rather see libraries limit simultaneous access to in-copyright materials if there’s no negotiated license opening access to more. Unlike the author, I don’t see this as a situation that justifies DRM, whose poison extends past the term of copyright. (via Paul Reynolds)
- Lessons Learned from Previous Employment (Adam Shand) — great summary of what he learned in the different jobs he’s had over the years. Sample:
- More than any other single thing, being successful at something means not giving up.
- Everything takes longer than you expect. Lots longer.
- In a volunteer based non-profit people don’t have the shared goal of making money. Instead every single person has their own personal agenda to pursue.
- Unfortunately “dreaming big” is more fun and less work than “doing big”.
- Flickr Creates New License for White House Photos (Wired) — photos from the White House photographer were originally CC-licensed (yay, a step forward) but when it was pointed out that as government-produced information those photos weren’t allowed to be copyright, the White House relicensed as “United States Government Work”. Flickr had to add the category, which differs from “No Known Copyright”, and it’s something that all sharing sites will need to consider if they are going to offer their service to the Government.