Blog

Patent Law: Pharma vs. Tech

The Washington Post has a good backgrounder on the politics of the patent debate. I’ve written before about the problems with software patents. As much as tech companies use and abuse the patent system, there is a basic understanding that…

RIAA vs. Colleges Update

As I’ve mentioned before, recently the RIAA has increasingly targeted college and university students for lawsuits. In the past, most people who received notices settled out of court, but the winds may be changing. Ars Technica has been covering the…

Yale Access to Knowledge Conference

Boing Boing mentions Yale’s upcoming Access to Knowledge conference (April 27-29) addressing policy issues raised by new IT developments. Remote participation via the A2K Wiki is encouraged. We now have the ability to easily share knowledge with everyone in the…

WIPO Broadcast Treaty — Your Chance to Speak

Boing Boing points out the upcoming public hearing on May 9 about the WIPO Broadcasting Treaty. The Broadcast Treaty is a proposal to let broadcasters (and “webcasters” — people who host files and make them available to the Internet) claim…

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut died Wednesday. His deep skepticism and moral realism — his perception of the backwards world that treats the trivial as serious and vice versa — made him a hero of mine. I think that for both of us,…

Linutop

Linutop is a tiny, cheap computer. It uses less than 6 Watts of power and runs Linux (Xubuntu, to be specific) from a USB flash drive. If you just need a basic machine for web browsing, word processing or instant…

"Spock" People Search

TechCrunch previews Spock, a people-oriented search service. Like Google, they are indexing the entire web, but with some built-in data structure assumptions. If Google tried to catalog pages rather than just associate them, it would need a metadata standard. It…

Student PC Privacy & US v. Heckenkamp

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled on a case involving a university network admin’s search of a student’s personal computer. Inside Higher Ed covers the story. University of Wisconsin student Jerome Heckenkamp pled guilty to federal charges arising…

Blackboard's Dangerous Patent

EFF lawyer Jason Schultz says Learning Management System vendor Blackboard’s broad patent for e-learning gives it too much power over educational institutions. Ars Technica covers the story. The patent, which covers an “Internet-based education support system and methods,” could potentially…

Laura Quilter Copyright Talk

Our Library Copyright group was addressed by librarian, copyright attorney, and researcher Laura Quilter today. She did a great job of giving the group a background on copyright law and how it affects college libraries. She also answered our questions…