CNI Spring 1996 Task Force Meeting Summary Report
384 people attended the Spring 1996 meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Task Force which was held on March 25-26 in Washington, D.C.
Paul Evan Peters, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information, opened the meeting noting that it marks CNI’s sixth birthday. He described CNI’s original strategy of encouraging innovation and transformation using networks and networked information. The Coalition’s new strategy is to focus on specific needs and issues that are impeding the progress that institutions and organizations are trying to make in the networked environment. He commented that the Coalition works best when it is a responsive, agile, and dynamic presence for its sponsors and members.
Four plenary speakers addressed the theme for the meeting, “The Networked Information User,” focusing on the growth in size and the diversity of the user population of the Internet and the WorldWideWeb and the need for new strategies to reach specific elements of that population.
THE NETWORKED INFORMATION USER
Kenneth C. Green, Visiting Scholar, The Claremont Graduate School, presented “From Unique to Ubiquitous: The New Role of Information Technology in Higher Education.” Since 1990, Green has produced an annual Campus Computing Survey. He described the key underlying factors that affect use of technology in higher education: changing student demography, competition for state money, aging faculty, questions about quality from authorities, and infrastructure (e.g. buildings and technology).
Green noted that our aspirations for technology in the twentieth century have led to great expectations for each wave of technology: movies, television, and now computers. Our ability to deliver remains quite small in relation to expectations. Students coming to campuses often have better technology in their homes than they find in laboratories on campus. Many come from homes with long-standing subscriptions to online services like America Online or Compuserve.
Green’s research shows that campuses invest in information technology because of:
- market expectations and competitive position
- expectations for curriculum enhancement
- labor market preparation (e.g. preparing students for an information economy)
Technology can be used to address in various ways the three components of the instructional mission of higher education institutions:
- Content (e.g. structure of syllabus, and transfer of content from teacher and library to student)
- Context (e.g. learning environment, campus, resources, socialization, time and place)
- Certification (e.g. course sequencing, program, degree, skills, licensing, and outcomes)
As the higher education market becomes segmented between adults and traditional students, the emphasis on the importance of each of the three components will shift.
Green’s extrapolations of his survey suggest that there are more than seven million users of the Internet on college campuses alone. This is a huge market for information services. In a year, the percentage of college classes using e-mail has doubled, and between 6-10% of college courses are using the WorldWideWeb. The use of technology has increased similarly in all types of higher education institutions. Higher education has crossed over the line separating early adaptors from the early majority.
Green observed that there is a tension between faculty on the one hand and provosts and presidents on the other regarding the meaning of “productivity.” Faculty generally think that technology makes them more productive in the sense of an improvement of quality. Presidents and provosts in general are focused on improvements in costs.
Green believes that the campus technology infrastructure drives innovation — if it’s not out there, faculty rarely will push for more. Infrastructure encompasses campus networks, libraries, bookstores and copy centers, off-campus network access, smart cards and metermaids, and user support.
Green closed by describing “Five Not So Easy Issues” that higher education must address:
- making copyright work
- differential access to the network
- sound planning for amortization of equipment
- infrastructure and support services
- classroom and instructional integration of technology
Karen Hitchcock, Interim President, University of Albany, State University of New York, described the higher education cultural transformations that are needed in relation to new technologies. She said, “This is a defining moment for higher education; we need to be re-engaged with those we serve. The academy needs to examine its premises.” Innovations in curriculum and pedagogy have not been embraced at the core of the enterprise. The use of networks and networked information resources has had profound effects on research and student services and could transform our learning environment, but progress is not very apparent or widespread. New educational paradigms must be developed. We need to rethink basic practices and assumptions of teaching/learning, such as place and time, and faculty as the sole disseminators of knowledge. Most faculty think of such notions as remote from their daily activities. While the university must develop infrastructure strategies, a faculty development program is essential to assure that the promises of the infrastructure will be realized.
As students become co-discoverers with faculty, technology will help create a new infrastructure that will facilitate exploration and in which students can become part of a research community. In a new program at the University of Albany, “Renaissance,” students will participate in a learning community that includes faculty and information specialists facilitated by networking technology. Much of the course content will be developed on the network, resulting in a hyperlinked collaborative resource. The power of Project Renaissance is that it intertwines curricular reform with the use of new technologies.
Hitchcock closed her remarks with a number of recommendations for change. She stated that major changes are needed in the institutional culture, particularly in regards to the role of faculty, the relationship of faculty to information specialists, and the use of information resources. Despite the many unknowns, we must allocate resources to support the changing learning environment on campus which involves new faculty roles and new uses of information resources and technology. She recommended that campuses create a center for learning to encourage faculty development, make profound changes in reward structures, and help faculty reorder their priorities to acknowledge the shift in society’s expectations that more attention needs to be paid to teaching on campus. Administrators must support these curricular innovations and also the partnerships of librarians, information technologists, and faculty. We must argue for measures of accountability for faculty which better reflect our aims. Such an agenda for change will be our institutional legacy.
John Quarterman, Secretary and Editor of Matrix Information and Directory Services, demonstrated his capture of data illustrating Internet use during snapshots taken every four hours. He posts this information on the Internet at URL:http://www.mids.org. He described what usage of the “Matrix” (all the computers worldwide that can exchange at least electronic mail) and usage of the “Core Internet” (all computers that can provide interactive Internet services such as FTP and WWW) looks like and the difficulties in measuring such use. His estimates from October 1995 showed 16.9 million users of the Core Internet and 19 million users in January, 1996. Quarterman found that there are markedly different national characteristics to the use of the Internet; for example, only the U.S. and Japan have large percentages of Macintosh users. The gender ratio is close to two men for every woman. By generous estimate, only one-fourth of Internet users come in through service providers such as America Online and Compuserve.
Quarterman noted that in the future, it may become much more difficult to gather data on the use of the Internet. While in the past the National Science Foundation had the public responsibility to disseminate information about network usage, privatization of the U.S. region of the Internet makes it much harder to get figures on network traffic because many providers do not want to share these data with their competitors.
Gary Puckrein, President, American Visions Society, is a pioneer of Internet strategies for the black community. His organization is developing NorthStar, a Black American Internet navigator, managing a forum on Compuserve, and building a Website for the Afro-American community. Puckrein emphasized the positive potential of the Internet and the information superhighway for African Americans. He stated that the National Information Infrastructure (NII) will be central to all our lives in the near future. Through it we will educate our children and ourselves, handle our finances, keep ourselves informed of the news, and have government services delivered to us.
To achieve social interconnectivity, we need to avoid new types of stratification. The network must be accessible to individuals of all groups. If not, the network could force enormous social distance between those who have access and those who do not. Some individuals could slip into a new virtual homelessness. The have-nots could include once-prosperous American families, not just the historically disenfranchised. He stated that the Clinton Administration’s NII Agenda for Action paints a rosy picture of the world once the network is built, a world that contains new jobs and new industries. However, the agenda glosses over social and economic implications of the revolution. The pending competition is about the reordering of the global marketplace on a scale that is almost incomprehensible, not just about competition for phone service. It is quite possible that we will see serious social dislocation due to workers needing to find new careers. The Administration accepts as an article of faith that the network will be available to all sectors of society. We should not enter the Information Age blind to the possibility that a crisis situation may develop.
The building of the network may be achieved without serious social interruption, but the network as a social and economic force should be the focus of study by the Clinton Administration. How well the network serves the needs of low income people should be one of the things measured. What is unknown is how the underclass will fare as the Information Revolution unfolds. Will successful navigation of the network require some minimum competencies and will those who don’t have them be cut off from the network? About one-third of American households earn $20,000 or less per year; these households are not prepared for an Information Revolution. Low-income families are currently not able to access the Internet and are already lacking the skill development that many others are receiving. If we are going to have mass penetration of the market, we need hardware costs of under $100 and Internet access fees of about $4/month. We need to optimize the transition into the Information Age. The connection between economic prosperity and social stability is an important one and must be addressed.
NETWORKED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS MANAGEMENT
Two other plenary session speakers provided contrasting views of the networked intellectual property landscape.
Robert Weber, Senior Vice President, Electronic Publishing Resources, Inc. discussed the impact of emerging rights technologies on authors, publishers, libraries, and individuals in his presentation “Is Rights Management the Right Opportunity for Higher Education?” He stated that technologies are coming to market that constitute a secure, distributed electronic commerce and rights management operating system layer that can :
- protect copyright
- ensure payment, if a fee is charged
- collect usage information
- enable distributed electronic value chains, just like “real” commerce
These technologies will enable ad hoc rights and business relationships among plural parties, including authors, publishers, and libraries, in which customers and providers will agree on appropriate levels of privacy and confidentiality. They will support familiar pricing models such as the subscription, but will also facilitate transaction pricing such as “pay per use.” Weber described this capability as an opportunity for producers and consumers to have the best of both worlds — transaction pricingand subscription pricing. The availability of actual data on usage, which these systems will provide, will assist librarians and publishers in understanding usage and coming to terms on appropriate pricing strategies. Advanced rights management capabilities will offer persistent rights protection for all kinds of digital properties, making copyright compliance easy, which is an important incentive to creators and publishers.
Weber described technical strategies that are being developed for rights management systems. He described a system which employs “containers” with several components: control records (which can include such parameters as an expiration date or amount of time that an item can be used), control sets (limits on the ways in which an item can be used), and prices (with variations by type of user). Weber stated, “These technologies allow electronic commerce to happen.” Several companies, including his own, will offer these technologies in the near future and he expects that they will evolve rapidly over the next two to five years.
In a realistic scenario, Weber described how the technology would work: the content creator places an article in HTML format in a “container.” He/she specifies usage rules (e.g. how much someone must pay when he/she reads the article), stipulates conditions (e.g. the user may not print the article), and specifies distribution rules (e.g. the publisher may or may not add a markup). The publisher then specifies usage rules, may combine the article with other value (e.g. a photograph) specifies distribution rules, and places the modified “container” on his/her Website. The user looks at a publisher’s Website, selects the illustrated article, downloads the article, and an application checks the user’s budget or credit card to see that sufficient funds are available to purchase the item. The user opens and views the item and pays via credit card, deposit account, or some other vehicle. Usage and required payments are included in a secure database and reported periodically to a financial clearinghouse. The financial clearinghouse disaggregates the transaction and sends money due to the creator(s) and publisher.
In closing, Weber asked rhetorically “What happens to copyright law?” He expects that copyright law per se will become less important and will be used mostly as a last resort to go after those who infringe; the focus will be on developing agreements between providers and users on the use of content. Another critical change he anticipates is that the permissioning process will evolve from one of explicit permissions to a system of pre-approved permissions, which will be detailed in an online database. He stated that he feels that “fair use” will decline in significance. In answer to the question posed in the title of his talk, how higher education will be affected, he stated that libraries have been concerned about the fact that much knowledge produced by faculty is given to publishers and then sold back to higher education. New systems create an opportunity for creative rethinking of pricing structures. These technologies can reinforce the opportunity of self-publishing communities in higher education.
Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University, and a key organizer of the Digital Futures Coalition, discussed national policy issues related to copyright in the electronic environment. Responding to some statements made by Robert Weber, Jaszi described what he sees as the continuing relevance of copyright. He stated that copyright does indeed play an important role in structuring markets and information. He described the underlying principles of the Statute of Anne, a British law of the eighteenth century on which much of our modern copyright system is based, and which balances the rights of authors and publishers with the rights of society. While publishers gained an easily enforceable publisher’s rights in the statute, they also were subjected to significant limitations, such as the limited duration of copyright and the requirement for deposit of copies in library collections for the purpose of public access. Over the years, additional rights have been secured for the interests of society, including the originality requirement, the “first sale” doctrine, and “fair use.”
Jaszi then discussed the current legislative proposals that have emerged from activities of the Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF) of the Clinton Administration. One of a series of studies to examine legal requirements for the development of the National Information Infrastructure (NII) is a white paper on intellectual property, issued last summer. Jaszi stated his view that the narrative of the report purports to describe current copyright law as applied to the networked environment, but some things in it are less than straightforward and it shades the narrative towards the proprietary view. The white paper includes proposals to bring copyright law into the Digital Age, which has resulted in pending pieces of legislation, moving relatively quickly in the House and more slowly in the Senate. There is also a less visible process influencing the current policy scene — on the same day that the Administration’s white paper was released in the U.S., it was released in Geneva to a group discussing copyright in the international context. Jaszi noted that whatever the fate of the domestic legislation, the U.S. may be party to one or more international agreements which will also compel certain obligations domestically.
Jaszi described three key elements of the current legislation before Congress and his concerns with them:
- articulation of a new right — transmission — that stipulates that digital transmission of a protected work without permission is potentially infringing copyright;
- anti-circumvention provisions which broadly prohibit the manufacture or distribution of technologies which could be used to avoid technical protections which have been imposed on works by their originators; and,
- copyright management information — the imposition of “draconian” penalties for those that would circumvent copyright management information.
Jaszi expressed concern that some issues are absent from the new legislation but should be included in a complete overhaul of copyright: e.g. the fate of the “first sale” doctrine and the marginalization of “fair use.”
Jaszi stated that the proposed legislation gives us a vision of a market where information is “locked down” and information owners can relax those controls to provide access to those customers they wish to serve and in which every transaction in the system can be observed and monitored. He asked, “Are we comfortable with giving up on the traditional balance? We need measured discourse around the topic of what kind of system users and creators wish to enjoy.”
Project Briefing Sessions
A number of project briefings focused on network policies and issues at both the institutional and national level:
“An Overview of the Telecommunications Act of 1996”, by Heather Boyles, FARNET (Federation of American Research Networks); “The New NSF Program for High-Performance Connections to the Internet”, by Mark Luker, NSFNet, National Science Foundation; “The Virtual Magistrate: A Pilot Project for Online Dispute Resolution,” by David G. Post, Georgetown University Law Center and Cyberspace Law Institute; and, “Campus Information Policy Issues,” by William H. Graves, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Patricia A. Wand, American University, Anne S. Parker, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Sharon Hogan, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Electronic Publishing projects were described in a variety of sessions:
“Integrating Bibliographic Databases with Primary Journal Literature,” by Peter Ciuffetti, SilverPlatter Information, Inc.; “Columbia University Online Books Evaluation Project,” by Carol Mandel, David Millman, and Mary Summerfield, Columbia University, Ursula Bollini, Oxford University Press, and Kate Wittenberg, Columbia University Press; “The Electronic Journal on Excellence in College Teaching (EJECT): A Libraries-initiated Publishing Venture,” by Judith Sessions and Stacey Kimmel, Miami University; “HighWire Press and Project Muse,” by Vicky Reich, Stanford University, Michael J. Jensen, Johns Hopkins University Press, and Ellen Meserow Sauer, Johns Hopkins University; and, “The JSTOR Project of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,” by Kevin Guthrie, JSTOR, and Wendy Lougee, University of Michigan.
Several sessions developed the intellectual property themes of the plenary session:
“A Look on the Digital Horizon,” by Kelly L. Frey, Copyright Clearance Center; “Networked Intellectual Property: Rights Management and Public Policy,” by Michelle Arden, Electronic Publishing Resources, Jeff Crigler, IBM infoMarket, Kelly Frey, Copyright Clearance Center, Peter Jaszi, American University, Alistair Kelman, IMPRIMATUR Legal Consultancy, Mary Grace Smith, Northeast Consulting Resources, and Robert Weber, Electronic Publishing Resources; “IBM infoMarket: Rights Management Strategies, Products, and Services,” by Jeff Crigler, IBM infoMarket; and, “Secure Electronic Commerce and Digital Rights Protection,” by Michelle Arden and Robert Weber, Electronic Publishing Resources
Several sessions focused on developments in the arts and culture:
“Consortium for the Computer Interchange of Museum Information (CIMI) Cultural Heritage Information Online (CHIO) Project: Update on Z39.50 Application Profile for Cultural Heritage and SGML DTD for Museum Exhibition Catalogs,” by John Perkins, Computer Interchange of Museum Information, Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress, Robin Dowden, National Gallery of Art, and Steve Dietz, National Museum of American Art; “The National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH), and the American Arts and Letters Network (AALN),” by David L. Green, National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) and Charles Henry, Vassar College; and, “MESL Project Description,” by Jennifer Trant, Getty Art History Information Program, Steve Dietz, National Museum of American Art, Gregory Welsh, American University, David Millman, Columbia University, and Howard Besser, University of Michigan.
Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval was the topic of two project briefings:
“State of NIDR in Colorado: ACLIN, BPL, Z39.50, DIPP & other TLA’s (Three-letter Acronyms),” by George H. Brett II, University of Colorado at Boulder; and, “SOSIG — The Social Science Information Gateway: A Subject Approach to Network Navigation,” by Nicky Ferguson, University of Bristol.
Updates on a number of Coalition projects were given in sessions:
“Cost Centers and Measures in the Networked Information Value Chain,” by Paul Evan Peters, Coalition For Networked Information, and Mark A. Tesoriero and Robert N. Ubell, Robert Ubell Associates; “Access to and Services for Federal Information in the Networked Environment,” by Joan Cheverie, Georgetown University and Coalition for Networked Information, Peter Graham, Rutgers University, Joan Lippincott, Coalition for Networked Information, and Patrick Wilkinson, University of Vermont; and, “Enterprise-Wide Information Strategies: A Discussion of a New CNI Initiative in the Making,” by Paul Evan Peters, Coalition for Networked Information.
Other project briefings included:
“Assessing the Academic Networked Environment: Strategies and Options,” by Charles R. McClure, Syracuse University; “PURLs: Persistent Names for URLs,” by Terry Noreault, OCLC, Inc.; “AMICUS System Implementation at the National Library of Canada,” by Louis J. S. Forget, National Library of Canada, and Louis-Paul Normand, CGI; “Interactive Data Service In Academic Libraries: The UVA Experience,” by Patrick M. Yott, University of Virginia; “The WORLD 1 Online Information Service: A Progress Report,” by Kerry Webb, National Library of Australia; “Senior University Administrators for Information Resources and Technology Services,” by Arnold Hirshon, Lehigh University; “Planning for Digital Archives,” by Ronald Larsen, University of Maryland at College Park, and Peter Hirtle, National Archives and Records Administration; “Levelling the Road Ahead: The Effective Use of Computers and Online Information Systems by Persons with Visual and Physical Disabilities,” by Judith M. Dixon, Library of Congress; “Using Networks to Build Bridges: Reaching Out To and In From The Black Community,” by James Briggs Murray, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Rosie Albritton, Wayne State University, E. David Ellington, NetNoir Inc., Itabari Zulu, University of California, Los Angeles, and Gary Puckrein, American Visions Society; “The Electronic Library of Delaware and The New Hampshire Automated Information System: Statewide Networking Strategies,” by Tom Sloan and James Cayz, Delaware State Library, and Kendall F. Wiggin, New Hampshire State Library; and, “The International Library School in Central and Eastern Europe: A Call for Collaboration and Involvement,” by Maria Sliwinska, University of Torun, Poland, Czeslaw Jan Grycz, University of California Extension, and Barbara Rodes, Library Consultant.
Fall 1996 Task Force Meeting
The Fall 1996 CNI Task Force Meeting will be held on December 6 and 7 at the PARC 55 Hotel in San Francisco, CA, immediately following the CAUSE ’96 Annual Conference. The theme of the Fall Meeting will be “Enterprise-Wide Information Strategies.”
Many documents from the Spring 1996 Task Force Meting are available on the Coalition’s Internet server.
If you choose to access the materials via WWW, you can use this URL to access an HTML formatted document:
If you access the Coalition’s server by gopher, point your gopher client to gopher.cni.org 70 and follow this series of menus:
Coalition FTP Archives (ftp.cni.org)
Coalition Task Force Meetings (/CNI/tf.meetings)
Spring, 1996 Meeting of the Coalition Task Force
If you choose to access the materials via FTP, browse the directory /CNI/tf.meetings/1996a.spring on the host ftp.cni.org.
If you need additional information, contact:
Joan K. Lippincott, Assistant Executive Director Coalition for Networked Information 21 Dupont Circle Washington, D.C. 20036 Voice: 202-296-5098 Fax: 202-872-0884 Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note on Redistribution
You are encouraged to use this Summary Report to provide information to interested individuals in your organization or institution by, in part or in full, posting it to institutional and organizational electronic distribution lists or incorporating it into relevant newsletters, reports, and the like. Publishers of periodicals and other materials that cover networks and networked information are also encouraged to use this Summary Report in similar ways.