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Four short links: 10 June 2010

Adventures in Digitization, DIY on TV, Copywrongs, and Web Testing

  1. Gallery: Digitizing the Past and Present at the Library of Congress (BoingBoing) — amazing pictures and stories about preserving and protecting the Library of Congress, it’s papery past and its pixellated future. We can’t afford any damage to anything,” said Eric Hansen, chief of the Preservation Research and Testing Division. “Never take a sample; be completely nondestructive. … We know there will be advances in technology and that current techniques will become outmoded.”
  2. Mark Frauenfelder on The Colbert Report — It’s great to see Make and DIY culture getting an articulate outing on national television, but I’m entranced by the useless device. Its motion is so emotionally evocative, I’d swear it exhibits shyness. Reminded me of EJ Park’s work.
  3. Copyright Elephant in the Middle of Glee — if the TV show Glee were real life, the characters would have racked up millions on penalties from their infringing actions. In one recent episode, the AV Club helps cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester film a near-exact copy of Madonna’s Vogue music video (the real-life fine for copying Madonna’s original? up to $150,000). Just a few episodes later, a video of Sue dancing to Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit Physical is posted online (damages for recording the entirety of Physical on Sue’s camcorder: up to $300,000). And let’s not forget the glee club’s many mash-ups — songs created by mixing together two other musical pieces. Each mash-up is a “preparation of a derivative work” of the original two songs’ compositions – an action for which there is no compulsory license available, meaning (in plain English) that if the Glee kids were a real group of teenagers, they could not feasibly ask for — or hope to get — the copyright permissions they would need to make their songs, and their actions, legal under copyright law. Punishment for making each mash-up? Up to another $150,000 — times two.
  4. Sikuli a visual technology to search and automate graphical user interfaces (GUI) using images (screenshots). (via liza on Twitter)
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