Occupation Libraries: Gezi Parki Edition

You’ve all been following what’s up in Turkey, right?  Of course you have.

Turns out that park occupations continue to produce libraries.  Seems that folks have up and built one in Taksim Gezi Parki in Istanbul.

gezi

Further images & text in Turkish here; brief article in English here.

[crossposted at LibrarianShipwreck]

ETA: This following photo landed in our inbox this morning. Enjoy.

people's library gezi

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Filed under Friends of the Library, Jaime, Photographs, Solidarity

solidarity with #direngeziparkı

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by | June 1, 2013 · 08:56

Will Copyright Reform be SOPA in Disguise?

goodlattequestions

What does one do in honor of World Intellectual Property Day? For most people the response is to say “wait, it’s World Intellectual Property Day?” shrug, and then go back to other matters (like downloading intellectual property). But if you are US Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and you chair the House Judiciary Committee, well, you might celebrate with a bit more pomp! Especially, if that means that you are delivering remarks at the Library of Congress.

So what did Representative Goodlatte say? And, more importantly, did he say it at a proper volume so that it could be heard by all without him risking being shushed by a librarian? Luckily the text of his comments was made available in a press release (no shushing necessary) with the easily understandable title of “Chairman Goodlatte Announces Comprehensive Review of Copyright Law.

After opening his remarks with some light humorous patter (the revision of the copyright law in 1909 was to make it applicable to motion pictures [hilarious {you had to be there (I mean in 1909)}]), Goodlatte goes on to explain that copyright law has not exactly kept pace with the changes in the technologically enhanced dissemination of copyrighted material.  Example please (bonus points if you couch it in a reference to the founders)! Luckily Goodlatte obliges:

“Our Founding Fathers could never have imagined a day in which citizens would be able to immediately access the knowledge and news of the world on their smartphones as they walk down the street.”

This is a fair point, it may also be a fair point that “our Founding Fathers” might “never have imagined” assault rifles or ballooning student debt or climate change or Star Trek or People magazine, but I digress. Back to you Representative Goodlatte:

“The Internet has enabled copyright owners to make available their works to consumers around the world, but has also enabled others to do so without any compensation for copyright owners.  Efforts to digitize our history so that all have access to it face questions about copyright ownership by those who are hard, if not impossible, to locate. There are concerns about statutory license and damage mechanisms. Federal judges are forced to make decisions using laws that are difficult to apply today. Even the Copyright Office itself faces challenges in meeting the growing needs of its customers – the American public.”

The solution, as should be expected from the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is to announce:

“that the House Judiciary Committee will hold a comprehensive series of hearings on U.S. copyright law in the months ahead. The goal of these hearings will be to determine whether the laws are still working in the digital age. I welcome all interested parties to submit their views and concerns to the Committee.”

Let us start by stating the obvious: contemporary copyright laws are a mess, and they do need to be revisited for the current age. The number of works (particularly audio works) that may disappear because nobody is sure who the copyright holder is (and therefore authorized to approve digitization/conservation) is staggering. Most people seem rather befuddled by much of the tangle that is copyright law (I say this as somebody who explains what “Fair Use” means on a daily basis). And something does need to be done to give cultural creators better means of controlling the dissemination of their work (though there are certainly solutions other than tighter copyright laws).

In other words Representative Goodlatte’s basic insight is correct: copyright laws need to be updated. Librarians (and many others) have been saying that for years.

Yet this announcement should cause as much pause as optimism, if not more pause than optimism. Copyright law needs to be adjusted, but whose interests are going to be focused upon in the revamping of these laws? Will strengthening the public domain be the focus? Shall Creative Commons be used as an example? Or will this be a stealth way of executing many of the policies that have caused uproar from many groups of late? Does Goodlatte mean it when he welcomes “all interested parties?” Before you answer consider the following…

Representative Goodlatte was one of the original sponsors and coauthors of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and as should come as no surprise he was one of the Representatives who helped CISPA to pass the House (just last week [he cosponsored CISPA the first time around]). So what direction might his copyright review take? And whose opinions shall he solicit?

In the “Technology and Innovation” section of Representative Goodlatte’s website are the following helpful sentences:

“I support efforts to enforce our nation’s intellectual property laws to ensure that those who steal the intellectual property of others are prosecuted.  I also believe that technology can provide some of the most effective solutions to help protect intellectual property.”

Those do not seem to be the statements of somebody with a goal of broadening copyright to allow a more relaxed understanding of Fair Use (and other) policies. Rather they seem to be the words of somebody who wants to see SOPA or CISPA or whatever it’s going to be called, pass under the seemingly friendly guise of “copyright reform.” After all, he says “prosecuted” not “preserved” for the ages, or better yet, “shared.” Thus the challenge falls to those of us who would like to see copyright updated to benefit the public (and creators [as opposed to just those who hire creators]) to ensure that copyright reform is reform and not regression.

Copyright laws in the US need to be reformed, they need to be reformed badly; however, they need to be reformed in a way that benefits the public instead of in a way that simply ensures that a cartoon mouse thought up by a long dead anti-Semite never enters the public domain. And they need to be updated in a way that won’t result in you being prosecuted for making a mash-up video featuring Representative Goodlatte and an advertisement for where you can obtain a good latte.

True, all that has been announced so far is Goodlatte’s intention to review copyright laws but this is a conversation that we need to engage with at the outset instead of launching a campaign when the bill is already being voted on.

Do you want World Intellectual Property Day (which is actually the 26th) to be about the World, or do you just want it to be about property? Alas, I think we know how Representative Goodlatte answers that question.

[cross posted at librarianshipwreck.wordpress.com]

[Note: I first came across the press release at Library Journal, as part of the Info Docket blog]

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Filed under Technology

#StopCISPA

stop_cispa

If CISPA becomes law, the government can spy on you without a warranthttps://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/02/cispa-government-access-loophole #StopCISPA

If CISPA becomes law, when the gov’t downloads your private information, you’ll never even know:http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2012/04/13/cispa-is-terrible-for-transparency/ #StopCISPA

If CISPA becomes law, it makes it so companies can’t be sued when they do illegal things with your datahttps://www.eff.org/cybersecurity-bill-faq#company #StopCISPA

If CISPA becomes law, it makes every privacy policy on the web useless and violates the 4th amendmenthttp://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/government-doesnt-need-your-private-info-cybersecurity-members-congress-still #StopCISPA

CISPA BLACKOU

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Filed under Announcements

Media Round-Up Part III: Still #Winning

Annalisa Quinn at our beloved local NPR station WNYC mentions the city’s “almost apology…” read more…

Will Bunch on Philly.com sums it up perfectly in his headline “Books 1, Police State 0″ and breaks it down nicely for the haters “Even if you totally disagreed with the Occupy Wall Street movement (as I’ve noticed from past comments that one or two of you might), you must agree that authorities destroying so many books was creepy and smacked of what happens in totalitarian states. This is a small measure of justice, and in 2013 America we’ll take any justice we can get.” read more…

Shawna Gillen blogging at Policymic.com grudgingly predicts a precedent has been set here: “While the NYPD and Brookfield had a strong case to justify taking control of the park, they certainly took a cop out strategy to avoid even more fees. If this case sets any sort of precedence, protestors will have more opportunities to win settlements from New York City.” read more…

Business Insider‘s Michael Kelley reports quite accurately on the raid and destruction of the library “Around 1 a.m. on Nov. 15, 2011, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ordered the NYPD to evict protestors — some of whom had camped there for almost two months — from Zuccotti Park in New York City’s Financial District. The police threw away 5,554 books from the Occupy library and destroyed media equipment in addition to removing tents, tarps, and belongings.”…and even better, Business Insider refers to the movement, quite correctly, in the present tense “Occupy Wall Street is a movement, beginning on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square, that protests the role of Wall Street in the 2007 financial crisis and aims to resist the influence of major banks and multinational corporations.” read more…

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Filed under 11/15 Eviction, Announcements, Michael

Media Round-Up Part II: OWS v. Bloomberg Settlement

The Occupy Wall Street library in Zuccot

Huffington Post featured a photo of the later days of the library, when a good part of the collection was protected by Fort Smith (maybe someone will correct Wikipedia on this now..) and uses the AP story to declare “New York City has agreed to pay Occupy Wall Street protesters more than $100,000 for property damaged or lost when police cleared out their encampment in a downtown Manhattan park in 2011, according to court documents signed on Tuesday.” read more…

peopleslib

The Daily News chose to show off Steve’s smiling face and sounds surprised that a collection of graduate students, writers, artists, seasoned activists and librarians was able to work with a skilled civil rights attorney to win this case… as they report “Remember the anti-authority message of Occupy Wall Street? Remember the backlash over its vague goals and nebulous methods? Surprise! Occupy Wall Street (OWS) just struck a sizeable victory, and it came by working within the system.” read more…

4Occupy_Larisa%20Saenko

The Voice of Russia (American Edition) covers the story and connects it, unlike most of the other press, to bank bailouts! Follow the link to listen to the story: “The settlement has returned attention to the issue of bailouts, a central theme of Occupy Wall Street and a central theme of similar protests in Russia, where $25 billion was spent to bail out the financial sector and another $10 billion was spent to bail out the small business industry, said Dmitry Babich, a Voice of Russia political commentator.” read more…and listen here…

Protest-group-settles-suit-for-lost-books

UPI chose a photo for their story that doesn’t fit their description of the occupation as a “sit-in” nonetheless, they report “New York City and a property owner have agreed to pay the Occupy Wall Street movement for books and property destroyed during a sit-in by the group in 2011.” read more…

ows-v-bloomberg-full-text

Galleycat uses a photo of Stephen’s awesome sign that he made while trying to protect the library from being seized by the city. read more…

Zuccotti-Park-Occupy-Wall-007

This opinion piece on Gather gets at least, and perhaps only, one thing right when they refer to the Occupy movement as “radical” and “anti-capitalist.” The rest of it distorts the facts or just makes things up such as “The police even stored the books for pick-up.” Well…. actually the books that weren’t destroyed were sent to a sanitation garage, not held by the police, and the tweet from the mayor’s office was nothing more than a PR stunt because they were losing the image game in the press. This article also ignores the fact that Bloomberg’s office did not preserve any books or make them available (although they lied on twitter and said they had), because most of them had been thrown away or destroyed – as the city clearly admits in the settlement. read more….(although it’s really not worth reading)

NYPD-Occupy-Raid-Settlement

The Inquisitr, whatever that is, reports quite correctly that it was the NYPD (under Bloomberg’s command) who cost the city $366,000 in this case, writing “The NYPD’s raid on Occupy Wall Street in 2011 will cost the city $366,700. The raid was launched on November 15, 2011 when Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the police to evict protesters at Zuccotti Park.” read more…

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msn.com mentions the police brutality charges brought by journalists who were stopped from covering the violent eviction writing “Occupy Wall Street hasn’t scaled the same heights of publicity it had in 2011, but at least one NYC organization is still feeling heat from the group. That would be the NYPD, whose (some would say heavy-handed) November 2011 raid on the group’s Zuccotti Park encampment is going to cost them $366,700 in settlement money, according to a recent court ruling. That figure covers the destruction of books, computer equipment and bicycle-powered generators the group was using. What of the brutality charges levied against the NYPD by journalists arrested while trying to cover the raid? That’s covered in a separate lawsuit. So, $366K for one raid — was it worth it?” read more….

occupy-wall-street_top

And finally, Maclean’s uses the prototypical chanting protester image, but quotes Jaime’s blog post! “Our court case against New York City’s various officials and agencies is over!,” the People’s Library wrote on its website Tuesday. “The city has settled with us.” read more…

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Filed under 11/15 Eviction, Announcements, Jaime, Michael, Stephen, Steve S.

OWS v. Bloomberg Full Text of Settlement

The settlement text:

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Filed under 11/15 Eviction, Digital Archive, Michael