Category Archives: DAM

Cory Doctorow – How copyright threatens democracy

It would probably be more accurate to say “how copyright enforcement by multi-national entertainment companies can threaten democracy.” No, I’m not going all “copyleft” on you. This movie picks up on a thread from several weeks ago when I recommended watching RIP, A Remix Manifesto.

Current US copyright laws have arguably gone over the edge, as both RIP and this movie point out. In the process the individual creator is getting squeezed.  Part of the general public sees rights holders as unreasonable and greedy operators, trying to lock up the most recent version of our cultural heritage behind a pay wall forever (even as the current culture borrows liberally from intellectual property of the recent past.)

Many media conglomerates, meanwhile, see the residual value attached to the work of creators, and are doing their best to acquire all rights without regard to fair compensation to the creator. If the work has a hundred-year economic life, then they have even more reason to wrest total ownership of the work from other parties.

It is arguable that the extension of copyright has therefore hurt the economic interests of many creators.

At the recent NDIIPP partners meeting, we heard the phrase “fix the copyright problem”.  I don’t have high hopes that a fix would be working in the interest of the independent creator.

In any case, for your viewing pleasure. The intro to Cory starts at 9 minutes in. There’s a question about how this relates to photography at 52 minutes. (I’m going to turn comments back on, and hope the spam does not return):

Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet

Here’s another item I picked up at the NDIPP partners meeting – a report by some pretty heavy organizations about the economics of digital preservation.

The organizations included: U.S. National Science Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the U.S. Library of Congress, the U.K. Joint Information Systems Committee, the Electronic Records Archives Program of the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Council on Library and Information Resources.

PDF linked here, for your reading pleasure.

Glossary of the report after the jump

Continue reading Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet

NDIIPP Partners Meeting

I spent several days last week at the NDIIP partners meeting.  This is the Library of Congress program that supplied much of the dpBestflow funding. The groups is really an exceptional one, including people from academia, cultural heritage institutions, trade groups and  some companies,  Here are a few of the items I bookmarked from the program.

The NDIIPP website.

THATcamp – The Humanities And Technology unconference (like O’Reilly’s FOO Camp).  This is a yearly event where humanists and technologists work together. They happen all around the world.

Digital Pioneer Dan Gilmore has a blog on Salon.com

Serious 3-D geekery at the Metaverse Roadmap.

Andrew Turner (whom I met at the Foo Camp 2008) spoke about the future of geospatial data integration with digital collections. He’s now CTO of Fortius One.

Cathy Marshall from Microsoft did a hilarious and enlightening talk about personal archiving.

Pergamum is an energy-efficient file storage protocol that uses disks rather than tape.  The disks spend most of their time at rest, and spin up periodically to self-test.

Andrew Maltz spoke about The Digital Dilemma, an ongoing project from AMPAS (the Oscars people) that looks at the issues of archiving motion picture data. They have some great research to be published soon, under their NDIIPP award.

David Ferriero, Archivist of the US, gave a great presentation.  He’s both smart and funny. Here’s his blog.

I also got to reconnect with Howard Besser from NYU film school. I met him while I was at the archiving conference in Den Haag. Howard’s an unbelievably productive guy, working in motion image preservation.

RIP: A Remix Manifesto

Last year at SilverDocs, I saw a great piece of agitprop –  RIP, A Remix Manifesto by Brett Gaylor. In this film, Gaylor makes the case for remix culture: essentially he asserts that all culture is in the process of continual remix. And he also asserts that revisions to the copyright laws of the US do real harm to culture, creativity, and society in general.

I have some sympathy for his argument, particularly with respect to the music industry. I think he makes the case that copyright extensions have locked up borrowed music in the hands of the people who happened to be borrowing it at the right time. (The song, Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve The Rolling Stones is a great case in point).

In any case, if you make any of your living off the sale or licensing of copyrighted material, then you owe it to yourself to watch this movie.  It will allow you to see how copyright holders are viewed in some circles. (It will make you angry at some points – that’s part of what makes it great agitprop).

Here’s the movie.   Appropriately available free on the internet.

Good, Perfect, and Single Steps

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the world of digital photography. The images pile up relentlessly. The learning curve is constantly changing. And it may seem like there’s always someone out there telling you that you’re not doing it right. A lot of times, it seems people think that’s what I’m saying.

In reality, there is no one right way. What’s right for you is a combination of capabilities, objectives, time, budget and other resources.

The objective is to do it better, not necessarily to do it right.

I was at the Archiving 2010 conference and a speaker said that sometimes the most important short-term goal is to convince the IT department to not store the backups on the floor of the server room. Everyone laughed – some nervously.

Take things a step at a time – start with the easiest most effective stuff first.

If you don’t have a complete backup, make one.

If you don’t have three backups, do that.

If you already have three copies, make sure you have one of these stored offsite.

Do these even if, internally, things are kind of a mess. You’ll find out that the journey can start, but only after you have taken the first steps.

DNG Compatibility Settings

Adobe Labs has updated DNG conversion options in Lightroom, ACR, and the DNG Converter that offer some (possibly confusing) new options. You now have a preference pulldown for compatibility settings. What’s up with that? The short answer is that new functionality has been added to the DNG specification (and to the latest version of Camera Raw) that can do new tricks to the pictures.

For instance, there is now a way for Adobe (and others) to remove lens distortion from the image.  Since this is a new function, it’s necessary to make a new version of the spec that details how to save and apply the instructions. One thing this enables is for cameras that don’t work well with the current DNG spec to now be supported. Check out Tom Hogarty’s blog to see the new camera support.

Some new DNGs that make use of these new tools won’t be fully compatible with all DNG applications. You can save them so that they will work with the older software, but they will lose some of their rawness. How the heck does one decide which to use?

Answer after the jump. Continue reading DNG Compatibility Settings

SSD Drives coming of age

I’ve been waiting for solid state drives to start to live up to the expectations (speed, security, low power, adequate capacity, affordability) that the marketplace has.  According to Diglloyd, that day has arrived in the form of OWC Mercury Extreme SSD. This appears to be the first drive truly delivers (except maybe for affordability).

There are a couple of breakthroughs this drive offers.  First, some background, after the jump. Continue reading SSD Drives coming of age