Getty Art: Is There a Catch?

September 24, 2014

Navigate to “100,000 Digitized Art History Materials from the Getty Research Institute Now Available in the Digital Public Library of America.” Interesting collection. Our view is that a person may want to verify that there are no fees, encumbrances, or late arriving letters from lawyers informing one of a copyright violation. It’s not that I don’t trust the Getty folks, but I think prudence is appropriate despite the warm, rah rah, cheery words in the announcement.

Stephen E Arnold, September 25, 2014

IDC Attivio Report Spotted by a Librarian

July 1, 2014

Who gets the $3,500?

News and an unwelcome surprise for me a few days ago. I am now an Amazon author. I had no idea I had attained that status.

An MLS—a law librarian, no less—spotted a report with my name and that of an IDC professional on the Amazon Web site. I took a look this morning (July 1, 2014, 7 am Eastern) and sure enough, an IDC report using my proprietary information is for sale. The price? Only $3,500. Seems fair if one is uninformed I suppose.

amazon attivio

Here’s the url http://amzn.to/1k9xhQV to the report authored by an IDC “professional” named Dave Schubmehl, a former OpenText employee. If you want to buy a $3,500 copy of the IDC version of my work, carrying the IDC professional’s name, and the IDC copyright, go now to http://amzn.to/1k9xhQV. I suppose someone at IDC will do the “oh, my goodness” thing and the report will disappear / go away like some listings in the Google index for European individuals uncomfortable with what’s online about them.

A thought: Odd. I don’t recall signing a contract with IDC for my work. But as a person within a whisker of 70 years old, I am pretty sure that the IDC have a massaged explanation. I assume that the sale of my information on Amazon is one of those actions that big companies sometimes take without operative internal checks and balances. The need for revenue has interesting effects I think.

Flashback: Pat McGovern, founder of IDC, once spoke with me about joining IDC. I elected to pass on his rather unexpected and generous offer. I was nervous about Mr. McGovern for no specific reason, his publications’ editorial approach, and his consulting operation. That was 25 years ago, maybe more.

With the dust up between Amazon and certain “real” publishers like Hachette, maybe Amazon is on the right track to cut out the traditional publishing intermediaries. So far as I know, Amazon has not intentionally violated my rights. I wonder who or what action caused a report with my name to appear in the digital WalMart.

Is Amazon comfortable with the sale of my work without my permission? Is IDC? Am I? Good questions. When one purchases information from a consulting firm,  it may be a good idea to ask these questions:

  • Who did the research?
  • Who wrote the report?
  • Who gets paid?
  • Are contracts in place?
  • Is the information filtered for advertising purposes?
  • Do consulting clients get to speak with the people who did the research and analysis?

If I were still working at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, I would be darned sure that I had my ducks in a row before selling another person’s work with a Booz, Allen logo and employee’s name on the document.

!idc header

The IDC report title page showing my colleagues’ and my work as Dave Schubmehl’s. Note the IDC logo and title. Believe it or not, IDC sent me this document even though I had no contract or guarantee of remuneration. I am trying to convince myself that IDC just forgot about a contract, payment, and my rights and those of my researchers.

Dr. William P. Sommers, my boss at Booz, Allen would probably invite the person recycling another’s work without following procedures to find his or her future elsewhere. (Translation: Get fired immediately.) That may be one small difference between certain consulting firms and pay to play companies that sell consulting services?

A New Era: Ah, times have changed. Misinformation, disinformation, and reformation seem to be more and more prevalent. But what I can do is ask questions; for example, Is IDC’s Dave Schubmehl an “expert” doing his own work? Is the Amazon listing a fluke? Is a big magazine and consulting company chasing revenues using interesting methods?

If you want free Arnold reports, just navigate to www.xenky.com/vendor-profiles. You can even look for brief profiles without charge in Beyond Search.

And if you believe you have a legitimate reason to want information about Attivio (a company awash in venture funding with its open source, proprietary code, business intelligence model), you may write me at seaky2000 at yahoo dot com.

I will — on a case by case basis — evaluate each request. If your email stating your need for an unfiltered Attivio profile makes sense to me, for free I will provide a rough draft of an ArnoldIT in-depth Attivio report. Also, if you want free search and content processing profiles, you can check out write ups like the AeroText story and 11,000 other search- and content related stories in Beyond Search or peruse the list of free profiles at www.xenky.com/vendor-profiles.

Stephen E Arnold, July 1, 2014

File Sharing Torrent Site Goes Down

May 26, 2014

I read “Largest Torrent Search Engine Torrentz.eu Taken Down by UK Anti-Piracy Police.” Torrent sites are often associated with motion picture downloads, but there are other types of files on these systems. According to the write up, Torrentz.eu pointed to files and did not host the copy protected content. I noted this passage:

Torrentz.eu acts as a search engine for torrents rather than storing the files itself, making the move unusual among police shutdowns. The site receives millions of visitors a day and is thought to be one of the largest torrent sites on the internet.

In my forthcoming Prague police and intelligence lectures I review sites and access methods that are providing some users to content making it possible to obtain copyrighted content. The step is encouraging to some copyright holders. The existence of alternative paths is likely to create opportunities for additional enforcement measures going forward.

Stephen E Arnold, May 26, 2014

Yale Online Course Catalog Update

January 20, 2014

I read “Yale Censored a Student’s Course Selection Website. So I Made an Unblockable Replacement.” The author seems to be a Yale student. Excitement will definitely ensue. Also, I am encouraged that the workaround is a Google Chrome extension. Good news for students who want to use a popular browser to respond to administrative actions. Perhaps a Googler will help out in the spring?

Here’s the passage I noted:

Banned Bluebook never stores data on any servers. It [the code] never talks to any non-Yale servers. Moreover, since my software is smarter at caching data locally than the official Yale course website, I expect that students using this extension will consume less bandwidth over time than students without it. Don’t believe me? You can read the source code. No data ever leaves Yale’s control. Trademarks, copyright infringement, and data security are non-issues. It’s 100% kosher.

Yep, kosher.

Stephen E Arnold, January 20, 2014

Google Books: All Society Benefits

November 15, 2013

You can read the news about the Google win in many places. I wanted to capture a quote from the New York Times’s story “Siding with Google, Judge Says Book Search Does Not Infringe Copyright.” You can find the story on page B7 of the rural Kentucky edition of the paper or you can try this link. (If it is dead, hey, don’t complain to me. Ring up Google’s SEO help desk.)

Lots of juicy quotes. Here’s the keeper:

Judge Chin wrote in his ruling, “Indeed, all society benefits.”

If Google benefits “all society” in this instance, will there be further drift so that Google’s action are okay in other spheres. With Amazon enlisting the US Postal Service to deliver talcum power and Kindles, what part of the government will Google tap. The key is the “all society.” I wonder how folks in other countries feel about the “all society” phrase?

Stephen E Arnold, November 15, 2013

Googles Latest Plan to Rule the Web

September 2, 2012

InfoWorld recently reported on a new algorithm by Google that targets torrents sites in the article “It’s Google’s Web, We Just Search in It.”

According to the story, Google recently announced its plan to penalize sites accused of copyright violations by lowering their search rankings. Since Google is not a copyright holder, and can not identify whether or not a site is violating copyright laws, it will not be removing any web pages completely unless it receives a valid copyright removal notice.

On of the potential downfalls of this plan is:

“that Google is only counting complaints lodged with Google. If you own a content site and your biggest competitor spams Google with removal requests naming your URLs but doesn’t send the removal requests to you, how will you know? Will Google notify you, or will your site just stop showing up on the first page of search results? As Public Knowledge blogger John Bergmayer notes, Google’s new policy could actually encourage more companies to file bogus removal requests.”

The majority of complaints so far have been filed by members of the music industry, porn industry, and Microsoft. It is also no surprise that Google owned YouTube will not be affected by this new policy. It seems like Google could easily use this new policy as a way to take down its competitors along with accused copyright violators.

Jasmine Ashton, September 02, 2012

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