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Looks like more good news.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Google’s university book scanning can move ahead without authors’ OK | Ars Technica
Court gives Google significant fair use protections.
by David Kravets - Jun 10, 2014 7:10 pm UTC

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the right of universities, in conjunction with Google, to scan millions of library books without the authors' permission.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in a case brought by the Authors Guild and other writers' groups, argued that the universities were not breaching federal copyright law, because the institutions were protected by the so-called "fair use" doctrine. More than 73 percent of the volumes were copyrighted.

The guild accused 13 universities in all of copyright infringement for reproducing more than 10 million works without permission and including them in what is called the HathiTrust Digital Library (HDL) available at 80 universities. The institutions named in the case include the University of California, Cornell University, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan.

Those with "certified print disabilities" like the blind may access the complete scanned works, which the New York-based appeals court also found are preserved indefinitely because of their digital reproduction. Those without disabilities may only search keywords in the books unless an author grants greater permission.

"We have no reason to think that these copies are excessive or unreasonable in relation to the purposes identified by the Libraries and permitted by the law of copyright. In sum, even viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Authors, the record demonstrates that these copies are reasonably necessary to facilitate the services HDL provides to the public and to mitigate the risk of disaster or data loss," the court wrote (PDF).

The fair use doctrine is a defense to copyright infringement and generally may be asserted for reasons such as scholarship and research, teaching, news reporting, commentary, parody, and criticism.

According to the appeals court:

    It is not disputed that, in order to perform a full‐text search of books, the Libraries must first create digital copies of the entire books. Importantly, as we have seen, the HDL does not allow users to view any portion of the books they are searching. Consequently, in providing this service, the HDL does not add into circulation any new, human‐readable copies of any books. Instead, the HDL simply permits users to 'word search'—that is, to locate where specific words or phrases appear in the digitized books. Applying the relevant factors, we conclude that this use is a fair use.

The court added that making volumes available in their entirety to the disabled "is an example of fair use."

Daniel Goldstein, who argued the case on behalf of the disabled, said the decision "changed for the better the lives of print-disabled Americans, that is, those who cannot readily access printed text, whether because of blindness, arthritis, dyslexia, cerebral palsy, upper spinal cord injury, or a host of other conditions."

The guild did not immediately comment on the decision, which largely affirms a 2012 lower court ruling.

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Some people (not me, you understand) might say that maybe the Author's Guild would have had more luck if they were subsumed into a strong Mafia-like but legal cartel, similar to (say) the music industry's **AA, but I couldn't possibly comment.

Mustn't have students getting any wrong-thinking ideas...
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
School cancels reading program rather than promote “hacker culture” | Ars Technica
Boing Boing editor responds, offers 200 free copies to the school's students.
by Joe Silver - Jun 10, 2014 6:04 pm UTC

After the Booker T. Washington Public High School in Pensacola, Florida, placed best-selling author and popular Boing Boing blog editor Cory Doctorow’s young adult novel Little Brother on its “One School/One Book” summer reading list, the school’s administration promptly cancelled the school-wide reading program.

In a blog post on Friday, Doctorow argued that the school’s motivations for gutting the program included the administration's desire to shield students from his book’s politics and content. The school’s principal, Michael J. Roberts, cited reviews that emphasized the novel's “positive view of questioning authority, lauding ‘hacker culture,’ discussing sex and sexuality in passing" as his motivation for trying to steer students clear of the book. He also said that a parent complained about profanity in the book.

Doctorow countered that there is no profanity in the book, “though there’s a reference to a swear word.” What’s more, Doctorow wrote that his publisher, Tor, has now agreed to send 200 copies of the book to the school, along with two lithograph posters containing the full text of the novel.

Doctorow's post continues to describe his motivations for freely distributing his book to the school’s students. "I think that the role of an educator is to encourage critical thinking and debate, and that this is a totally inappropriate way to address 'controversial' material in schools."

The school’s decision to gut its summer reading program of Doctorow’s book came despite the school’s extensive vetting of the novel and lack of a “formal challenge to the book and thus no reconsideration by a review committee to address the merits of the book or respond to any objections to it,” a spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Censorship explained in a letter to the school’s principal on Monday.

The book tells the story of Marcus, aka “w1n5t0n,” a seventeen-year-old who is "smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world... he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems," the book's description says. "In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days. When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself."

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Probably not part of Common Core then...

I had recently been thinking "Why the heck don't Microsoft think to make it easier to export their documentation?", after having had to copy copious amounts of their info using the FF add-in ScrapBook.

Taking TechNet Offline: Build Your Own Personalized Documentation
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Posted on: Jun 11, 2014
by  Ben Hunter

IT pro’s live and breathe information. You need accurate data at your fingertips all the time.  That’s why we are constantly creating new content just for IT pro’s to help you with tasks like Windows Deployment or Planning for App-V 5.0. We publish this information via TechNet Library which is a great resource when you are online but is not so great when not connected to the internet.  Our technical writers and support teams are frequently asked for downloadable versions of documentation from TechNet. Well you are in luck, TechNet has a little-known feature that allows you to create your own custom downloadable documentation from TechNet  with the click of a link.

Every page of the TechNet library has a link up at the top-right of the page that reads “Export.”  Click it and you’ll go here: This page explains how to build your own pdf or html document (.mht) from topics you select in the library.  That’s right, you roll up the content you want and download it.

Click the “Start” button and you’ll be taken back to the page you arrived from – the assumption being that’s a topic you want to export.  From there you can select all the topics you want to include in your personalized downloadable file.  Note there is a functional ceiling to the number of pages you can export at 200 topics.

Save your new doc set to any device and you’ll have it when you need it.  It’s that simple!

Nathan Barnett, Technical Writer, Microsoft Corporation

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Could be well worth checking out:
Download a Treasure Trove of 130 Free Ebooks from Microsoft
Patrick Allan Today 4:00am

Download a Treasure Trove of 130 Free Ebooks from Microsoft

It has happened before, and it is happening again. Microsoft's MSDN blog has released a whole new batch of free ebooks that cover everything from Windows 8, to Office 2013, to SQL Server, and more.
Grab Over 80 Free Ebooks from Microsoft and Learn Something Tech-y

Microsoft's MSDN blog has released a boatload of free ebooks on a range of technologies and…Read more

Eric Ligman, the Santa Claus of Microsoft ebooks, has unleashed the biggest collection yet, with 130 different titles. Each ebook is hundreds of pages long and filled with knowledge sure to help any IT pro or home use alike. Formats vary, but a majority of the titles are PDFs.

It's Christmas in July. Go open your presents:

Largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever, including: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 365, Office 2010, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, Lync 2013, System Center, Azure, Cloud, SQL Server, and much more | Microsoft MSDN blog - Eric Ligman via Tech Support Alert

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I think this might be good news, but it saddens me if it means that all the e-book OCR scanning might have had any/most relevant pictures stripped out. I mean, imagine "Alice in Wonderland" without the original engravings. Quelle dommage!
Read it at the link: Millions of historic images posted to Flickr | Internet Archive Blogs


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