The blog Modern Sourcery reports that Google Books and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), comprising the Big Ten and the University of Chicago, have announced an agreement with Google to digitize works from its libraries as part of the Google Book Search project.
In a multi-year project, Google will scan and for search millions of items in the collections if the CIC, which includes 6 of the nation's 20 largest libraries.
According to a release,
Public domain materials can be viewed, searched and downloaded in their entirety. For books under copyright protection, a search will result in basic information (such as the book's title and the author's name), and a snippet of text surrounding the search term. Users seeking further information from the text will be directed to avenues for purchase or library access.
The CIC plans to implement a digital archive of the public domain material, both for preservation and to enable academic study and collaboration.
there's no such thing as a wasted vote.
The election process is about more than just who wins. Sure, the winner is important, but there are other factors that have an impact on the behavior of government. For the sake of discussion, let's assume that one of the two major parties will win in November. Why vote for someone else?
A vote is a statement of your general favor for a given candidate. It's a winner-take-all proposition; you don't get to divide it among three candidates you like. It's assumed that you don't believe the candidate is perfect for you; he was just good enough to get your vote.
Voting for a third party or write-in candidate sends the signal that A) you care enough to vote and B) neither of the two major party clowns was good enough for you. To the extent that your vote matters at all, you have used it to tell the major parties that if their policies were more like the one for whom you voted, they might get your vote.
A vote for a third party encourages that party, and also the other minor parties. They see the number of people who voted for them, and know where their support is.
A vote for a third party lends them authority when they speak out. A press release from a party that got
But, it might be argued, doesn't that split the support for one of the major parties, causing the Most Evil Party to win instead of the Not Quite So Evil Party? Possibly, and that is part of the choice. Unless your tiny party is at one extreme of the spectrum occupied by the two majors, support for it will come proportionately from both of them.
Most people want to vote for a winner. To vote for a third party you have to get past that sense of wanting to be on the winning side and remember to vote your own mind. If you only vote for the candidate you think is going to win, you have effectively allowed someone else to vote for you.
Finally, voting for a third party encourages those who don't want to "waste" their vote that it's not such a waste. Voting is a herd phenomenon. When others see your party's vote total rising from past elections, they'll be more likely to vote that way themselves.
The commentary (an early version of which also appears in LinuxWorld and is Google cached) analyzes what SCO is actually claiming in Linux. The goal was to explain (with Groklaw's help) the letter's bogus claims so that programmers and lawyers would both understand how far off base those claims actually were. We'd still like more input, to keep Linux and the BSD's safe from SCO or the next opportunist who declares open season on Open Source.
"... a page of history is worth volumes of logic." - USSC, Eldred v Ashbrook
On whether economics or the quest for knowledge are the primary factor behind copyrights:
The public benefits not only from an author's original work but also from his or her further creations. Although this truism may be illustrated in many ways, one of the best examples is Noah Webster[,] who supported his entire family from the earnings on his speller and grammar during the twenty years he took to complete his dictionary."
-- House Hearings on Copyright Term Extension Act of 1995, at 165.
Because I was interested, I tracked down the Senate Judiciary Committee report (PDF) on the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1995. They interviewed Bob Dylan, Don Henley, and Carlos Santana. Really. Here is the gist of the part I found most relevant:
"... the principal behind the U.S. copyright term--that it protect the author and at least one generation of heirs--remains unchanged by the bill....
"As the foregoing discussion indicates, the primary purpose of a proprietary interest in copyrighted works that is descendible from authors to their children and even grandchildren is to form a strong creative incentive for the advancement of knowledge and culture in the United States. The nature of copyright requires that these proprietary interests be balanced with the interests of the public at large in accessing and building upon those works. For this reason, intellectual property is the only form of property whose ownership rights are limited to a period of years, after which the entire bundle of rights is given as a legacy to the public at large."
SCO's contention that copyright is primarily for the economic benefit of the copyright owner is utterly without merit.
(I'm a computer geek, not a lawyer)
In every hierarchy the cream rises until it sours. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter