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News for ICSTI Members 2 December 2001

Cut and copied from a word .doc document. H.

News for ICSTI Members 2 December 2001

1. Two copyright  cases decided in favour of the entertainment industry 

The New York Times of November 29th reported that the entertainment
industry won a pair of copyright cases on Wednesday that could have
far-reaching ramifications for researchers. US Federal District Court
Judge Garrett E. Brown dismissed a lawsuit that Princeton professor
Edward W. Felten filed against the Recording Industry Association of
America. Felten alleged that the group tried to prevent him from
publishing research about circumnavigating digital copyright protection
systems by threatening him with lawsuits; however, the RIAA later
withdrew its case, leaving Brown to decide that Felten's lawsuit had no
Meanwhile, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in
Manhattan ruled that the Motion Picture Association of America was
within its rights to prohibit Eric Corley from publishing a program
designed to crack DVD copyright safeguards, despite assertions from
Corley and advocates that such a measure violated free speech rights. 
Electronic Frontier Foundation legal director Cindy Cohn said that these
decisions do not bode well for researchers, since it gives the
entertainment industry license to clamp down on innovation. 

2. Wiley InterScience and Celera link

Plans have been announced to develop links between cited article
references, abstracts, and full-text articles available on the Wiley
InterScience online service and the Celera Discovery System (CDS).
According to the companies this agreement will provide subscribers of
both services with "more direct access to a broad range of
bioinformatics data, full-text articles, and abstracts".

URL: Wiley http://www.wiley.com/ 				URL: Celera http://www.celera.com/

3. A series of interesting questions from Dan Sperber, Institut Jean
Nicod, (EHESS/ CNRS)
1bis av. Lowendal, 75007 Paris, France

Here is a concrete problem. The advice you provide will help us resolve
it and will also clarify, if they are not yet clear, the practical
consequences of the theoretical views under discussion in this debate.
We are tempted, at the Jean Nicod Institute (http://institutnicod.org),
to follow Stevan Harnad's advice and to set up eprint archives for all
the researchers of the Institute (several of us already have a personal
site with their articles on line). Ideally, it is the larger
institutions to which the Institute belongs (the CNRS, the EHESS and the
ENS) that should create such archives, but since this may not  happen
for a while, we might first do it at our level.
Is an Institute with some 20 researchers too small to follow Harnad's
Is it a good idea?
Would it be better not to do anything at all?
Whereas general CNRS Eprint Archives do not yet look imminent, the CCSD
does appear to be disposed to help the Nicod Institute to establish its
own Eprint Archives. I have had two extremely encouraging messages in
this connection from Franck Laloe and Daniel Charnay.
Our conference has hence already had concrete effects which I find very
positive. However, two questions I raised in this discussion thread
still remain unanswered.
Are there better alternatives?
Are there objections to online self-archiving by a research institution
like ours?
All the responses up to now have been positive, for which I am grateful.
I would now like to hear objections or alternatives, if there are any.
Although I myself am quite convinced of the benefits of the
self-archiving Harnad proposes, I hope I am open-minded enough to
reflect seriously on any counterarguments or cautions. I will in any
case share all feedback with the members of the Nicod Institute who will
be making a group decision. Thus, if any of you think we are on the
wrong track, this is the moment to say so! Your views will be of
considerable interest to this discussion of Harnad's text.
dan@sperber.com http://dan.sperber.com/ 

VISITING GENEVA? See http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/geneva02.html

Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
Laboratoire de Cristallographie               Phone: +41 22 702 62 49
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