John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

PATENT to Human Genome Ruled INVALID – Major Victory for the PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE MOVEMENT

A new ruling by the New York federal court declared illegal and invalid the Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation owned patents to the BRCA genes . The patent was restricting both scientific research and patients’ access to medical care. The lawsuit filed by ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation argued that patents on human genes violate the First Amendment and patent law because genes are “products of nature.”

20% of the 2000 human genes (gene maps) have already been patented. These patents prevent anyone from further research into the patented gene without permission or paying a royalty to the patent owner. All existing gene patents will likely be reviewed, and many overturned.

BRCA genes are known to be associated with hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Myriad & Univ of Utah’s patent to the BRCA gene was severely limiting competitive research into the causes of breast cancer and the development of new methods for detection and prevention of breast cancer.

Daniel B. Ravicher, Executive Director of PUBPAT and co-counsel in the lawsuit said: “No one invented genes. Inventions are specific tests or drugs, which can be patented, but genes are not inventions.”

30 March 2010 Posted by | Patent Copyright Intellectual Property IP, Scholarly Communication | , , , , , | Leave a comment

INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING EXERCISE for Archivists, Archivalists, Perpetrators of National Memory Projects, Storage Fans, and People Who Are Losing their Memory

Gizmodo.com has collected an excellent series of websites and videos that all pertain to memory: human, machine and corporate. Entertaining and instructive at the same time.
Here it is: http://gizmodo.com/tag/memoryforever

If you’re not sure you want to spend the time watching each video, here is an 2-minute summary article “The Future of Memory” from the New York Times online edition which includes a few of the more popular items. Here is the link to the NYT article: http://tiny.cc/oBPmr

Enjoy!

23 March 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing | , , | Leave a comment

The Key to an Efficient Archival System Must be How Quickly You Can Access the Content

Librarians have always been good at storage. And to a lesser degree, so have publishers. But the KEY TO EFFICIENT STORAGE MUST BE EASE OF USE. Most archival systems are evaluated in these terms:

– Permanence. Will it be there for the next generation?
– Responsibility. Who is going to build it? Who will maintain it?
– Buy-in. What percentage of our authors are contributing to the archive?
– Completeness. How comprehensive is the archive, how far back does it go?
– Copyright. What are the legal limitations of these archived materials?
– Cost. Can we afford to archive it?
– Accessibility. How do we get the data back out?

In my experience, the last requirement ACCESSIBILITY is not emphasized enough. From the design stages, the end user experience must be kept at the forefront. How user-friendly will the final product be is crucial to the success of all archival systems. If librarians and publishers have successfully stored away the past 200 years of scholarship, but you can’t find it on Google, how useful is it really? If the archived content is not being used, there is a danger it will be considered irrelevant and useless. Certainly, rarely accessed archives that receive little attention will find it difficult to raise funds when needed upgrades are due.

Archival solutions must fit the way humans think and must work with the tools we have on hand now. They must mesh smoothly with the popular search engines. A 2009 study by Dotov, Nie, and Chemero on the impact of inefficient tools on the human brain (citation into with DOI at bottom of this post), consistently shows that learning slows radically when the brain – tool link malfunctions.

If it takes too long to get there, the brain stops focusing on the subject, and starts focusing on packaging (the tool being used to access and evaluate the subject). Or in the case of online searching, if you are used to a search taking 3 seconds, and suddenly it takes 9, your rhythm is interrupted and your brain slows down. When I was at EBSCO we used to call it the “3-Clicks, You’re Out” rule.

An archival system that does not allow for near-immediate access is like frozen steak in the bottom of the freezer downstairs in the basement. If you’re hungry the food in the kitchen is what you’ll eat. Even worse would be a frozen steak in your neighbor’s basement!

Archival and storage systems from the onset must have the end-user access in mind. Just locking it away safely is not enough.

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Dotov DG, Nie L, Chemero A (2010) A Demonstration of the Transition from Ready-to-Hand to Unready-to-Hand. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9433. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009433

20 March 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing, University Publishing | , , | Leave a comment

Contract Law Takes Precedence Over Copyright Law: PINK FLOYD WINS IN COURT

“Pink Floyd Wins Court Battle With EMI Over Downloads” was announced last week in London. [ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/business/media/12pink.html ] A good reminder to authors and creators of intellectual property. Whenever you enter into a contract with a publisher (or in this case a recording company or record label) the wording of the contract supersedes and overrides copyright law.

In the case of Pink Floyd versus EMI, the contract in question was favorable to the artists’ interests, and limited the way EMI was allowed to sell (online or in any format) Pink Floyd’s recordings. In effect, EMI must sell only entire the entire album or CD, and is not allowed to sell individual songs online or in any format.

In essence this is the same battle that academic publishers are having with authors. Increasingly, authors want to control how their intellectual property (IP) is being used. Any contracts signed between author and publisher will supersede common copyright law. So when submitting articles for publication, please pay close attention to the fine print before signing away your future rights.

This has implications for university institutional repositories and open access publishing endeavors, obviously.  Choosing a Creative Commons License in effect will also supercede common copyright law, but once again, any contracts signed between author and publisher will supersede a Creative Commons license in the same way it overrides common copyright law.

LINK TO ORIGINAL NYT ARTICLE:   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/business/media/12pink.html

Creative Commons:  http://creativecommons.org/

15 March 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Patent Copyright Intellectual Property IP, Self Publishing, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Speed Bump by Dave Coverly on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent

Cute comic about the difficulties of e-books versus traditional print books.

Book clubs are for

Speed Bump by Dave Coverly on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent.

1 March 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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