A Few of My Favorite Tools

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					                                                                                                                                                                   InformationToday            19
                                                                                                                                                                     www.infotoday.com   April 2010

    Given CCC’s business purpose, his-              I am not claiming the colleges and
tory, and its current push of its annual        universities are without fault or liability.         Library Stuff Revisited
copyright license to colleges and univer-       But I do maintain that the rightsholders’
sities as a payment facilitation and copy-
right compliance tool, it is worth raising
questions about the extent to which the
                                                normative view of copyright tends to be
                                                so narrow in the 21st century that user
                                                fault is virtually irrelevant. In publish-
                                                                                               A Few of My Favorite Tools
organization does or does not engage in         ers’ minds, any use of protected works         by STEVEN M. COHEN   |                                       person (always consider those
so-called enforcement actions or investi-       without compensation and permission is                                                                      marketing angles, right?) and

gations that lead to so-called enforce-         an infringement.                                        irefox has become in-                               then follow them (unless they
ment actions. Further, it also may be               The final issue that comes to mind                  creasingly popular with                             are a spam account, which hap-
worth asking whether there is any cor-          when I read about issues such as these                  the technology crowd                                pens often on Twitter). This is
relation between the amount of annual           is the lack of spine so many colleges and      over the past 4 years for three                              a must for those who maintain
fees a school pays to CCC and the likeli-       universities seem to exhibit in the face of    main reasons. First, it is consid-                           their library webpages or do
hood that the school will be investigated       any questioning about the use of copy-         ered anti-Microsoft; second, it                              any type of public relations.
for copyright infringement, either by CCC       righted works. Have colleges and uni-          is user-driven (folks can create                                Auto Reload (http://bit.ly/
or by a publisher for whom CCC acts as          versities become so afraid of being sued       add-ons and market them on              Steven M. Cohen      5AKOSc)—One of my favorite
royalty collection agent.                       that they will cave reflexively upon the       the Firefox site); and third, its                            add-ons in Firefox is Reload
                                                slightest trade group inquiry?                 progressiveness displays sheer brilliance. Every (URL), which will automatically
                                                    Litigation is time-consuming, disrup-          As I mention during most of my talks reload any webpage at any interval that
                 In publishers’                 tive to business, and often a poor resolu-     on the topic, it’s a good idea to take a look the user needs. I missed this immensely
                                                tion to a disagreement among former busi-      at the current version of Firefox, if you when I moved over to Chrome, but I was
               minds, any use                   ness partners. For these reasons alone,        want to see what Microsoft is going to do thrilled when I found a similar tool. Af-
                  of protected                  officers at colleges and universities have     with the next iteration of Internet Ex- ter you install Auto Reload, a blue circle
                                                good reason to avoid litigation. But it is     plorer. While I have been a loyal Firefox will appear on the right-hand side of the
                works without                   surprising to see how quickly some in-         user for a while, I still tested Google address bar. To activate the auto refresh,
            compensation and                    stitutions (some of them billion-dollar        Chrome when it was first released, but just click that button, and the page will
                                                organizations) cower in the face of the        the lack of third-party extensions turned refresh every 1 or 2 minutes. This is a
              permission is an                  slightest examination of copyright prac-       me away. Even though Chrome was faster useful tool when accessing a webmail
                 infringement.                  tices on campus. In my opinion, part of        (it takes up much less memory than In- program that logs you out after a certain
                                                the reason why the fair use doctrine is so     ternet Explorer and Firefox), the extension period of inactivity.
                                                weak and ill-defined is because higher         addict in me still needed my add-ons.                Google Reader Compact (http://bit
    The second issue worth in-                  education has failed to draw, maintain,        When Google finally announced the release .ly/6QCWTX)—If you use Google Reader
vestigating is a publisher’s normative view     and defend reasonable parameters for           of Chrome 4.0 (www.google.com/chrome/ as much as I do, you know that there are
of copyright law. As William Patry and          their faculty, students, and staff.            eula.html?extra=devchannel), along with plenty of extra parts of the tool that can
Jessica Litman have chronicled in law               Yet at the same time, too few insti-       it came the ability to use extensions. I slow down the service. With Google Reader
review articles, large, industrial and in-      tutions vigilantly conduct their own en-       immediately started to download them. Compact, these extra tools are taken away,
creasingly multinational copyright own-         forcement of copyright violations. Often,                                                        and you are left with a bare
Description: Firefox has become increasingly popular with the technology crowd over the past 4 years for three main reasons. First, it is considered anti-Microsoft; second, it is user-driven; and third, its progressiveness displays sheer brilliance. While the author has been a loyal Firefox user for a while, he still tested Google Chrome when it was first released. Some of his favorite things are: 1. URL Shortener, 2. Ping This, 3. Twitter reactions, 4. auto reload, 5. Google Reader Compact, and 6. better Gmail.
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