This week’s 4cast:
1. British Library Warns of Emerging Copyright Crisis
The DRM and copyright battles are heating up on both sides of the Atlantic. The British Library has published a manifesto questioning current copyright law as it relates to digital content, and warning about the dire effect that overly zealous copyright protection will have on fair use priviledges – for education, preservation, and scholarly efforts in general.
- Intellectual Property: A Balance (The British Library Manifesto – PDF)
- British Library calls for digital copyright action (CNET)
- British Library, Council take on Creative Commons and DRM (Boing Boing)
- Fair Use Has a Posse (Learning.now)
2. Microsoft Defends Its Office
Lots of different companies have been challenging Microsoft’s supremacy in the productivity software realm by releasing MS Office-like utilities as free, online applications. With the recent release of Google Apps For Your Domain, it looks like Microsoft may finally be awaking from its slumber.
- Microsoft mulls free Web-based business software (Reuters)
- Microsoft Plans Web-based Works Suite – Including Word Processing And Spreadsheets (Read/WriteWeb)
- 17 MS Office Killers (Red Herring)
- The Evolution of Online Office Applications (LibraryCrunch)
3. Surf’s Up on Cellphones
A recent report estimates that the total number of cellular connections in the world has topped 2.5 billion, and more people are using their cellphones to access the Internet. Although the “.mobi” domain extension went live last week, a more fundamental problem exists – how to make already-existing content and image-intensive websites work on a tiny, handheld device?
- Rewriting the Web for Mobile Phones (Washington Post)
- Dave Winer Ponders Mobile (TechCrunch)
- Analysts question the point of dot-mobi (ZDNet)
- GPS Is Smartening Up Your Cell Phone (NPR)
4. Sony Unveils Its E-book Reader
After a considerable amount of hype, the Sony Reader has finally been released… to so-so reviews from both publishers and users.
- Sony e-book reader to ship next week, but does anybody want it? (Ars Technica)
- ‘Sony Reader: Nice, but no iPod,’ Publishers Weekly reports (TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home)
- Sony Reader questions answered by Sony Reader Team (MobileRead Networks)
- Sony Reader: So close… (Lean Left)