Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Publishers on Copyright

This short article on the May 2008 copyright conference in Manhatten appeared on the Publisher's Weekly web site.

It gives a glimpse into the ongoing (at times heated) debate about the ongoing role of copyright. Is it an important tool to ensure a profit motive for artists and their publishers or is it an unhelpful device that prevents the spread of ideas and unduly limits exposure of creative material.

It is easy for librarians to be caught in the middle on this one. I think many of us are worried about overly restrictive copyright interpretations that challenge the very core of what we do (provide free information to others). However, if all information was freely available, say on the computer network you are currently reading, then that also promises to challenge our position as information mediators. Interesting times...

On other quick observation the article raises the question of the relative merit of electronic vs print information when reviewing Rowling's suit against the Harry Potter Lexicon. It notes that Rowling apparently was ok with an online lexicon but is opposed to the print manifestation and asks why the print is more onerous then electronic copy. I had not seen this issue framed this way and thought it was intriguing.

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