The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte
 Thursday, October 31, 2002

eBay Censors CD-Rs

Security Alert: eBay Prevents Musician from Selling Own CD-Rs

"George Ziemann, an independent musician, made an album with his band and like many small operators, he then produced copies of the the album on CD-R and attempted to sell them on the Web. He listed copies on his own Web page, on MP3.COM, on, and on eBay. All was going well... until eBay abruptly began to de-list the auctions.

Ziemann and his band were the authors, engineers, producers, and publishers of the album, and could prove that they owned the copyright and all other rights to it. Yet, eBay's 'droids' unilaterally removed all of his auctions merely because the item descriptions stated that the recordings were on CD-R media. (This disclosure is important, because some players will not play CD-Rs.)... Despite his repeated attempts to contact eBay and inform them that his products were legal, Ziemann was unable to prevent them from removing his album each time he listed it for sale.

Ziemann speculates, in his detailed account of the incident, that the RIAA has put pressure upon eBay to block sales of all CD-Rs -- not only to exclude illegal copies but to prevent independent musicians from self-publishing." [ExtremeTech]

Guilty by association. This is exactly what I mean when I say that implementation of the RIAA's proposals will leave no room for libraries to circulate material. The RIAA (and MPAA) wants to plug every hole and destroy media that could even possibly allow for open distribution.

I'm still waiting to hear about any kind of acknowledgement or proposal from them that their solutions will provide a means for libraries to circulate digital content. Odd that they are so quiet on this issue when they are so loud on others. Or maybe not. They don't talk about this, so I wish someone would call them on it.

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Boo Who?

A reminder that if you're not in or near a haunted building, you can keep tabs on the Willard Library's Ghost Cam and try to spot one of theirs.

"The Willard Library Ghost Cams were inspired by the question 'Is Willard Library Haunted?' It has become a fascinating, and somewhat credible, legend that drives thousands of people to search the library for remnants of lost spirits. The site is a virtual ghost hunting mecca. Take a virtual tour of the library with Greg Hager, Willard Library Director, and see if you can locate the cams hidden in the building. offers three cams for your ghost hunting pleasure. The Children's Room cam and the Research Room cam are both refreshed every thirty seconds. The newest cam, which is located in the basement, is virtually live - it refreshes every second!"

Totally cool, despite the truly awful implementation of frames. Who ya gonna call?

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Judge Amends Decision After Reading Correction on Blog

"A former law clerk noted an error in a Fifth Circuit decision on his blog. The judge who wrote the decision turns out to be a regular reader of said blog, and he immediately amended the decision and wrote to the blogger with the news. Judges read blogs. Judges correct Federal court rulings based on blogs. Wow. (Thanks, Pat!)" [Boing Boing Blog]

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Happy Halloween, even if you don't celebrate this greatest of all holidays. How can you not love a whole day devoted to chocolate?! No blogging last night because I was making French Silk pies. Yep, you read that right - my Mom's world famous French Silk pie. I apologize to those of you that have partaken of this delight in the past and are now drooling. SLS folks, on the other hand, can rejoice because there's one sitting in the refrigerator. We're going to be on quite the sugar buzz today, judging from the treats I was perusing in the staff room a little while ago!

And for my lawyer friends and my little brother, a Halloween joke courtesy of my Mom:

Q. Where do vampires go to learn how to suck blood?
A. Law school!

And for Andy B., one of our beloved bar jokes:

"On Halloween night, a skeleton walks into a bar and sits down on a stool.
The bartender asks, 'What'll you have?'
The skeleton says, 'Gimme a beer.'
The bartender comes back with a beer and asks, 'Anything else?'
The skeleton says, 'Yeah, a mop."

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