Submitted by jajacobs on Thu, 2013-05-02 05:04.
The U.S. Department of Labor website was hacked Tuesday evening so that the computers of visitors to the web site would be infected with malaware. The malware infections appeared to have been stopped by late Wednesday morning, and the site has since been fixed. Details here:
Submitted by jajacobs on Mon, 2013-04-29 20:21.
"The Supreme Court on Monday said states are free to allow public records access only to their own citizens, delivering a blow to freedom of information advocates who had challenged a Virginia law.... Various other states, including Tennessee, Arkansas and Delaware, have similar laws, although some do not enforce them."
- Justices say states can limit access to public records, By Lawrence Hurley, Reuters (April 29, 2013).
In the ruling, Justice Samuel Alito said the provision of the Constitution in question, known as the "privileges and immunities clause," does not extend a sweeping right to all the information made available via freedom of information laws.
Submitted by jajacobs on Sun, 2013-04-28 15:03.
The White House now has a Tumblr account:
We see some great things here at the White House every day, and sharing that stuff with you is one of the best parts of our jobs. That’s why we’re launching a Tumblr. We’ll post things like the best quotes from President Obama, or video of young scientists visiting the White House for the science fair, or photos of adorable moments with Bo. We’ve got some wonky charts, too. Because to us, those are actually kind of exciting.
But this is also about you. President Obama is committed to making this the most open and accessible administration in history, and our Tumblr is no exception.
We want to see what you have to share: Questions you have for the White House, stories of what a policy like immigration reform means to you, or ways we can improve our Tumbling. We’re new here, and we’re all ears.
Submitted by jajacobs on Sat, 2013-04-27 15:17.
As you may know, works of the U.S. Government are not protected by copyright in the U.S. (17 USC §105), but we often discover copyrighted government publications that one would reasonably think would be in the public domain and, more recently, we see works that were treated as public domain in print suddenly being treated as copyrighted when they are converted to digital. No matter how clear the law is, this can lead to confusing situations. Take the case of a movie produced by the United States Information Agency. USIA was was prohibited by law from distributing films in the United States, but a Congressional Resolution did authorize USIA to sell six master copies of the film to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Then Carl Malamud obtained a copy of a video tape of the movie from NTIS, digitized it, and posted it at the Internet Archive. Now the Kennedy Center is claiming that the film is copyrighted and that the Center has exclusive rights for distribution and NTIS has requested that Malamud take down the digital copy he created.
The Resolution (Congressional Record, August 26, 1965, p.21256) says:
Accordingly, the United States Information Agency is authorized to make appropriate arrangements to transfer to the trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts six master copies of such film and the exclusive rights to distribute copies thereof, through educational and commercial media, for viewing within the United States. The net proceeds resulting from any such distribution shall be covered into the Treasury for the benefit of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The film begins with a notice (at 00:00:25) that says the film "is presented in the United States by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC, in accordance with a resolution of the Congress." It ends (at 1:26:08) with what looks like a copyright notice (it is hard to read in the digital version) that (I think) says "Copyright 1964 by the National Center for the Performing Arts, All rights reserved." I assume that these were added by the Center to the original film.
What will Malamud do? He asks you to advise him:
One agency of the federal government has issued a takedown notice to another agency of the federal government, which in turn demanded that we remove a film from the Internet. Not knowing what to do, I have appealed for your help.
I hereby bring this plea before the Court of Appeals for Wonderful Things, appealing to a jury of my peers, all happy mutants, for their verdict.
Read the complete story here:
And watch the movie while you can:
- John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning/Day of Drums (1964), United States Information Service, AVA11312VNB1, 1964. (Run time: 1h 26' 18")
The program dramatizes the thousand days of John F. Kennedy's presidency, from his inauguration in 1961 to his tragic death on November 22, 1963. The videotape emphasizes Kennedy's and America's hopes for his term as president. Uploaded by Public.Resource.Org under Joint Venture NTIS-1832 with the National Technical Information Service.
Submitted by jrjacobs on Tue, 2013-04-23 11:58.
Here's a reminder that we all have to be constantly diligent to make sure govt information continues to be freely available for the long term!
Australian Census Data Released Under CC License, But Official Site Tries To Make It Hard To Download
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the latest census data for free under a Creative Commons license but appears to be steering people towards a $250 mailed out DVD rather than making it easy to download the information directly over the internet.
Submitted by jajacobs on Wed, 2013-04-17 09:02.
Our friends Gary Price and Shirl Kennedy over at Full Text Reports have a handy reminder today:
...some of the papers and reports posted on FullTextReports.com are freely available online for just a limited time before they disappear behind a paywall (or go away entirely). If you see something you suspect might be useful to you (or a colleague) in the future, download it the day you see it because it may not be accessible later without a subscription (or it may have been moved or taken offline).
-- Note to FullTextReports followers — Grab It When You See It!, Full Text Reports (April 17, 2013).
Just another reason to remember that libraries should be collecting, not pointing. (See: When we depend on pointing instead of collecting.)
(By the way, in case you hadn't noticed: the left hand navigation pane here at FGI has a feed of the latest reports listed at Full Text Reports!)
Submitted by dcornwall on Sun, 2013-04-14 06:51.
It was another busy week at the State Agency Databases Project at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases.
For a full list of last week's activity, visit http://tinyurl.com/statedbs. Here are the week's highlights:
April Sheppard reorganized the Oklahoma page into the project's standard format. We hope this will make Oklahoma resources more directly comparable to those listed for other states.
COLORADO (Samantha Hager)
Minority and Women-Owned Businesses - a searchable database of minority and women-owned businesses from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Find businesses by name, topic, or NAICS.
MARYLAND (Siu Min Yu)
Waste Kitchen Grease Transporters Search - From the website, "Search here for certified transporters of waste kitchen grease. You may search by the type of certificate, the name of the company registered, or the license plate of the vehicle registered."
SOUTH CAROLINA (Ed Sperr)
State Salaries Over $50,000
WYOMING (Karen Kitchens)
Wyoming State Trademarks - This database covers state trademarks issued between 1906-current located at the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office. New applications and renewals are added monthly. This database will ultimately include the inactive applications and mark images for Wyoming trademarks located at the Wyoming State Archives, back to the first state trademark in 1881.
PROJECT WIKI SEEN AS USEFUL TO JOURNALISTS
We were pleased to learn that State Agency Databases Project got a brief shoutout from staff at NPR Stateimpact. At around the 52 minute mark of Basics of Data Journalism (April 11, 2013) at http://vimeo.com/63929281, the "State Agency Databases wiki" compiled by ALA is cited a very useful resource. We're happy to see the news of this project get beyond the library community.
Finally, this will be the last activity report for April due to some vacation time. We expect the next activity report will be May 5th.
Submitted by dcornwall on Sat, 2013-04-13 19:41.
Video from NPR Digital Services on the value of government information resources in journalism. Provides examples of data driven stories, discusses where to find data and how to effectively use data without making "rookie mistakes." Also contains information on using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get data not currently accessible.
If you watch till the end, you'll see a mention of the usefulness of the State Agency Databases project at about 52:00.
The Basics of Data Journalism (April 11, 2013) from NPR Digital Services on Vimeo
Submitted by jrjacobs on Sat, 2013-04-13 12:41.
I had a good time yesterday on a panel about Web archiving and digital preservation at the Society of California Archivists General meeting 2013 (slides to be posted there soon). The panel was organized by Scott Reed at the Internet Archive, and included Scott, Claude Zachary (University of Southern California), myself and my Stanford colleague Henry Lowood.
One of the coolest things -- other than the fascinating keynote by Dr. Michael Cohen, who talked about "Culture Wars: Engaging Undergraduates in Documenting the Crisis in California Through the Historian's Eye Project" -- was learning about the site archiveready.com. This is a handy little tool to test your Website's archivability. Paste in your url, and it goes through and checks things like standards compliance, accessibility, CSS, site maps, external media and proprietary objects like flash or quicktime, and lastly whether or not your site is already being collected by the Internet Archive's Wayback machine. Freegovinfo did pretty well in the test with an overall rating of 78%. We lost points for having some external images and external scripts (google analytics and a facebook badge), but I don't consider those things critical to the site for the long-term. How does your site do? Are you ready to be archived?!