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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Another example of a step backward

One of the things we worry about at FGI is how technology that could be opening up information access is too often used to reduce access. Amazon.com’s Kindle e-book reader is a completely proprietary device. You can’t buy a “Kindle” book and loan it or re-sell it or give it away or read it on any device except on one Kindle. Amazon even charges you to convert PDFs into the Kindle format (or so I have heard). It also has a nice feature that allows text to be vocalized — great for the blind, but not a replacement for audiobook performances read by professionals. But the Author’s Guild sees this as a threat and Amazon, while claiming (rightly, I think) that the feature is legal, is nevertheless willing to disable text-to-speech on a title-by-title basis at the rightsholder’s request.

More here:

Caving into bullies (aka, here we go again), Lawrence Lessig, February 28, 2009.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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