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Daily Archives: June 9, 2013

Brief of Digital Humanities and Law Scholars as Amici Curiae in Authors Guild v. Hathitrust

Jockers, Matthew L., Sag, Matthew and Schultz, Jason, Brief of Digital Humanities and Law Scholars as Amici Curiae in Authors Guild v. Hathitrust (June 4, 2013). Available at SSRNThis Amicus Brief was filed in the United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit in the case of Authors Guild v. Hathitrust on June 4, 2013. The case is on Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11 CV 6351 (Baer, J.)  Amici are over 100 professors and scholars who teach, write, and research in computer science, the digital humanities, linguistics or law, and two associations that represent Digital Humanities scholars generally.  Mass digitization, especially by libraries, is a key enabler of socially valuable computational and statistical research (often called “data mining” or “text mining”). While the practice of data mining has been used for several decades in traditional scientific disciplines such as astrophysics and in social sciences like economics, it has only recently become technologically and economically feasible within the humanities. This has led to a revolution, dubbed “Digital Humanities,” ranging across subjects like literature and linguistics to history and philosophy. New scholarly endeavors enabled by Digital Humanities advancements are still in their infancy but have enormous potential to contribute to our collective understanding of the cultural, political, and economic relationships among various collections (or corpora) of works – including copyrighted works – and with society.  The Court’s ruling in this case on the legality of mass digitization could dramatically affect the future of work in the Digital Humanities. The Amici argue that the Court should affirm the decision of the district court below that library digitization for the purpose of text mining and similar non-expressive uses present no legally cognizable conflict with the statutory rights or interests of the copyright holders. Where, as here, the output of a database – i.e., the data it produces and displays – is noninfringing, this Court should find that the creation and operation of the database itself is likewise noninfringing. The copying required to convert paper library books into a searchable digital database is properly considered a “non-expressive use” because the works are copied for reasons unrelated to their protectable expressive qualities – the copies are intermediate and, as far as is relevant here, unread.  The mass digitization of books for text-mining purposes is a form of incidental or “intermediate” copying that enables ultimately non-expressive, non-infringing, and socially beneficial uses without unduly treading on any expressive – i.e., legally cognizable – uses of the works. The Court should find such copying to be fair use.”

NYT and WaPo: How the U.S. Uses Technology to Mine More Data More Quickly

Follow up to related postings, via the New York Times: “Today, a revolution in software technology that allows for the highly automated and instantaneous analysis of enormous volumes of digital information has transformed the N.S.A., turning it into the virtual landlord of the digital assets of Americans and foreigners alike. The new technology has, for… Continue Reading

UK Guardian identifies leak of NSA Surveillance memo, EPIC cites Presidential Policy Directive 20, Atlantic highlights use of metadata

Follow up to previous postings: UK Guardian – Verizon forced to hand over telephone data – full court ruling;  EPIC: Sweeping NSA Domestic Surveillance Order Approved Without Any Ties to Foreign Intelligence Collection and EPIC – Congress Begins Investigation of NSA Domestic Surveillance Program see: Via EPIC: “Presidential Policy Directive 20 orders the creation of… Continue Reading

Notable Government Documents of 2012: Looking Back, Moving Ahead

Notable Government Documents of 2012 (Federal, State and Local) – determined by the ALA/GODORT PANEL “While the 2012 presidential campaign raged, and the brink of the fiscal cliff loomed large, government information continued to be disseminated unabated. One year ago, there was a great hue and cry because the 2012 edition of the Statistical Abstract… Continue Reading

Paper – News-Driven Return Reversals: Liquidity Provision Ahead of Earnings News

News-Driven Return Reversals: Liquidity Provision Ahead of Earnings News – Eric C. So, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Sloan School of Management; Sean Wang, University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. June 7, 2013 “This study documents a six-fold increase in short-term return reversals during earnings announcements relative to non-announcement periods. Following prior research,… Continue Reading