Re: Future position of libraries towards copyright 2

Subject: Re: Future position of libraries towards copyright 2
From: Edward Barrow (
Date: pe 16 tammi  1998 - 00:47:17 EET

If we are to predict the future, we have to remove our blinkers. And even then we
will get it wrong. The only thing I can say for certain is that what I am
predicting will not happen. But parts of it will......
Angelique Mattioli ou Marianne Heimann wrote:

> Martijn - your questions just raise more questions!
> >Will there be librarians or publishers in the digital future?
> Librarians, yes. Publishers, less. Printers, no more...

Librarians as we know them today will vanish, but people with information
management skills will still be needed. Many of them may have trained as
librarians. . Publishers - there will be organisations that invest in, manage, and
add value to the creative work of authors. But they probably won't be the same
organisations as today's publishers, with the possible exception of the very
biggest. Tomorrow's small "publishers" are today working as web-designers,
computer programmers, multimedia developers - they're arty, commercial, techie
types, not booklovers at all.

> >Should the public sector continue to finance free or low-cost access to
> >information?
> Of course, it is paid that for.

There can't be an "of course". Hospitals, pensions, social security payments,
unemployment benefits all demand money from taxpayers, and yet taxpayers want to
pay less and less. Every penny from government has to be justified (and the
situation with public finances will get worse before it gets better).I think
public libraries are more important than operas, big agricultural subsidies, and
cars for government officials but less important than schools, hospitals and the
environment. But other voters have other priorities.

> >If so, is the public library model the right one?
> It's the only model !!!

>From inside the library, it is the only model you can see. But it is not the only
model. It may well be the best model, but librarians will have to argue the case
more strongly.

Up to now, everyone has associated books with reading with learning and knowledge.
But this association is breaking down as books are becoming less important. Some
books are important and educational. So are some videos and some interactive
computer works. The Internet is an important academic tool; perhaps 80% of the
traffic on some sections of the Internet is pornography.

It is important that good, educational and informative books, videos, computer
programs, websites, multimedia etc are made as widely available as possible and
as affordable as possible. There are many arguments about how to achieve this,
and some may involve public funding. But it must be profitable for people to
invest the time, money and effort in producing the good, educational and
informative content.

> >And, as well as publishers, remember that authors depend on copyright to
> >live. After all, copyright starts out as an author's right.

> In medical literature, authors HAVE TO transfer their copyright to publishers.It
> starts as an author right but the money gets to "perception societies"
> andpublishers.

There is no law that says they have to transfer their right to publishers.
Scholars choose to do so in order to be published. Maybe today's publishers have
too much power in that particular exchange, but that is mainly because scholars
collectively place so much importance on peer-reviewed publication.

Just because some publishers strongly excercise the rights they have acquired from
authors is no reason to deny all authors their basic right to control the way
their creativity is exploited.

The digital future and the information society will change absolutely our
pre-existing notions. It is sterile and pointless to think in terms of the old
battlegrounds between librarians and publishers. There will be creators, hopefully
many many more as the new technology makes it more accessible. There will be
investors. And there will be information specialists. But they won't be like book
authors, book publishers or librarians.

> Anglique Mattioli,
> Librarian, Poet & Writer.
> Institut de Pathologie et de Gntique asbl,
> alle des Templiers, 41, B - 6280 LOVERVAL
> +32(0) Fax : +32(0)
> *** *** ***

Edward Barrow's Unofficial Internet Copyright Pages
"We must take care to guard against two extremes equally prejudicial; the
one, that men (and women)  of ability, who have employed their time for the
service of their community, may not be deprived of their just merits, and
the reward of their ingenuity and labour; the other, that the world may not
be deprived of improvements, nor the progress of the arts be retarded"
-  per  Mansfield LJ in Sayre v. Moore, 1785.

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