03 April 2008

British Library = National Disgrace

I've noted before that there's something rotten at the heart of the British Library, which insists on locking down knowledge in Microsoft's proprietary formats. Now NoOOXML starts to pull all the threads together:


the company Griffin Brown, of which the BRM convenor Alex Brown is the director, sent out a press release 13 March 08 celebrating the 10th anniversary of XML:

Recent moves by Microsoft to standardise its Office products around XML file formats merely confirms that most valuable business data in the future will be stored in XML. … Alex Brown is convenor of the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 Ballot Resolution Process, and has recently been elected to the panel to advise the British Library on how to handle digital submission of journal articles.

What's the betting those digital submissions end up in OOXML?
(Via Boycott Novell.)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The British Library provides one in three electronic documents as Secure Electronic Delivery (encrypted) PDF's. These documents require the Adobe Digital Editions software for which there is no Linux version currently available.

Why do these documents need to be encrypted?
Why do they need to be locked after 30 days by the adobe software?
Why provide something electronically if you can't reference it later?

I am disappointed that what should be one of our great British Institutions is hoarding our information and succumbing to corporate influences.

It is my duty as a scientist to share my knowledge. It is the responsibility of the British Library to share the knowledge of others.

British Library SED

glyn moody said...

Couldn't agree more. The British Libary is not just a disgrace, it is an actual obstacle to learning now...

Crosbie Fitch said...

You can read, but you can't copy.

I daresay the monks and other fanatical scribes would have broken any printing presses they could lay their hands on.

The church would also have 're-adjusted' any heliocentric orreries to be properly geocentric.

It's a matter of religion, not science that has decided that thou shalt not copy.

In other words it is a superstitious affectation that directs the Luddites of the information age, that all likenesses of an intellectual work collapse into a single object, which is the property of a single, 'rightful' owner, and theirs to control as they see fit. They believe that readers may learn by reading, but not by copying - as to learn through copying was a pre-renaissance delinquency that technology can now thwart, even against those who'd wheedle the excuse that such theft may be sanctioned for educational purposes.

So, blame human beings for their susceptibility to superstition.

Even those in charge of the British Library must be forgiven for being intellectually inferior to the authors of its contents, the knowledge and learning that might enlighten them out of their superstitious ignorance.

How can one deprogram people out of this modern mental illness that holds unauthorised copying as inherently wrong? Especially people who find themselves in positions where they may attempt to apply their deranged beliefs and implement all manner of measures to impede people's ability to share and build upon mankind's cultural commonwealth.

The librarians are lunatics in change of an asylum and are locking up the books as if the rarity of their contents must be secured from thieves, and provided only on a strictly 'need to know' basis.

The individual loonies who make this policy should be named and shamed for posterity. No doubt they will think they're doing the 'right thing' today and believe their anal policy is a thing to be proud of. They need to be given a fricking doubt!

glyn moody said...

Sadly, those in charge of the BL seem so trapped in their mindset that they're immune to criticism.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a bigger campaign of criticism launched at the BL, which is indeed an utter disgrace. Much of the available space is given over to cafes, a bookshop, and general fatuous fresh air, while the reading rooms are inadequate and it is impossible to get a seat. To get inside you have to be frisked and have your personal belongings palpated by some teenage praetorian. Prince Charles knew it was rotten from the start, when he commented the building looks like a municipal swimming pool.