Monday, May 23, 2011

ANADP in Tallinn - day 2


The keynote speaker at the ANADP conference for the second day was Gunnar Sahlin from the National Library of Sweden. One of the National Library's explicit tasks is to support university libraries. Open access and e-publishing are key initiatives together with the other 4 Nordic countries. Linked open data a more problematic topic because of resistance by publishers, but the National library strongly supports Europeana's efforts in this area. There is a close cooperation with the public sector, especially Swedish radio and television. The Swedish Parliament is considering a new copyright law that may clarify some issues.

Standards panel

The standards panel began with the idea that we have both too many standards and too few. Standards can be seen as a sign of maturity in a field. Digital preservation has not only its own standards, but many from other areas -- a Chinese menu of choices. Information security standards are for preserving confidentiality, integrity, and the availability of information. Many memory institutions have to comply with these standards. The issue was especially important for Estonia because of internet attacks, especially denial of service attacks. In general information security is well integrated into plans in the Baltic countries, but long term digital preservation is not. Only 12% have an offsite disaster recovery plan.

The UK Data Archive is an archive for social science and humanities data since 1967. "A standard is an agreed and repeatable way of doing something -- a specification of precise criteria designed to be used consistently and appropriately." In fact many standards are impractical, with unnecessary detail (8 [?] pages to explain options for gender in humans). Cal Lee spoke about 10 fundamental assertions, including that no particular level of preservation is canonically correct. Context is the set of symbolic and social relationships. With best practices and standards, trust is a key issue. PLANETS is concerned about quality standards and such standards begin with testing. Trust consists of audits, peer-reviewing, self-assessment, and certification. The process moves from awareness to evidence to learning. The biggest technology challenge comes from de facto standards from industry, and we have little control there. Good standards have metrics and measurement systems. Within our lifetime everything that we have as a preservation standard now will be superseded, but the principles will remain.

Copyright panel

Digital legal deposit is a key element, but not a form of alignment. In the UK, for example, legal deposit is still just for print material. In the Netherlands there is a voluntary agreement that works well. Territoriality is a problem – how to define the venue in which publishing takes place in the digital world, what is unlawful, what is protected, etc. The variance in legal deposit between countries leads to gaps. The rules for diligent search for orphan works are so complicated that they are too expensive to use. Even within the context of Europeana cross border access to orphan works is a problem. In US law contract law takes precedent over copyright law. Too many licenses could undermine the ability to preserve materials.

To a question about Google a speaker said that Google's original defense of the scanning project was "fair use" (17 USC 107) and they had a good chance there. It changed to a class-action suit, which is more complicated. The breakout session on copyright went into further depth about what problems exist in dealing with copyright across national borders. Apparently a feature of Irish copyright law is that the copyright law takes precedence over private contracts. Generally contracts take priority.

Summary of the sessions

Panel chairs gave a summary of their sessions and breakout sessions. For the technical group I spoke about the need for testing, trust (or distrust) and metrics and argued that we are really just beginning to address these issues.

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