Learn about the Advocacy Committee
In a September 23 letter to the Register of Copyrights (drafted by the Intellectual Property Working Group), SAA President Dennis Meissner notes that, “For the vast bulk of what is in archives, mostly unpublished or rare materials where copyright claimants do not exist, ECL [extended collective licensing] would be unhelpful, irrelevant, unduly burdensome, and a disservice to the communities that archives serve.”
For the full letter, see: http://www2.archivists.org/news/2015/saa-comments-on-copyright-office’s-mass-digitization-pilot-program?
Stop the TPP's Copyright Trap
Officials are now working overtime to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secret controversial trade agreement that would trap the U.S. and its partners into excessive copyright term lengths. Speak out now and help us fight back against backroom deals that keep culture and knowledge locked up for decades.
For an update on the closed-door negotiations, see the Electronic Frontier Foundation: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/09/whats-going-tpp-more-closed-door-meetings-new-chief-transparency-officer
To sign a an EFF petition, see: https://act.eff.org/action/stop-the-tpp-s-copyright-trap
The Council on State Archivists is promoting the 3rd annual Electronic Records Day on October 10th as an opportunity to share information about what you are doing to manage your digital resources and to enlist help in preserving electronic records. This day is designed to raise awareness among state government agencies, the general public, related professional organizations, and other stakeholders about the crucial role electronic records play in their world.
For more check out the CoSA website: http://www.statearchivists.org/seri/ElectronicRecordsDay.htm
It’s an opportunity to:
For more on participating in this event see: http://www2.archivists.org/initiatives/askanarchivist-day-october-1
Archives Change Lives!
Watch SAA’s new video, which debuted during Plenary 1 of ARCHIVES 2015.
The Society of American Archivists, through its Council or Executive Committee, periodically is asked to take a position, make a statement, or take action on an issue that arises within the larger context of American society. Very recent examples include [the heinous murders of members of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015 or the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in support of gay marriage and certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act].
Some SAA members believe that SAA should speak for all archivists on these types of broader social issues. SAA has been compared with the American Library Association and other organizations that choose to issue statements on social issues, whether or not related directly to the missions of those organizations.
Although some – or even most – of SAA’s leaders, members, and staff may hold similar views on social issues and matters of social justice, the organization as a whole does not have the resources or knowledge of a consensus to comment or act on every social issue that emerges. To choose to comment or act on one issue to the exclusion of others would raise concerns about how SAA reaches a decision about when to become involved and when and how the broader membership is consulted (or even polled) about their individual positions on a given social issue.
SAA will take a position, make a statement, or take other action only on issues that are related directly to archives and archival functions. SAA recognizes that social issues and archival concerns may overlap (e.g., in matters of personal privacy, access to public information, or misuse of records for political purposes). In these cases, the SAA Council or Executive Committee will consider the prudence and potential impact of becoming involved in the issue.
Members may recommend that SAA take action on an issue by following Procedures for Suggesting SAA Advocacy Action.
As an organization that values social responsibility, the public good, and the completeness of the public record and that understands the importance of advocacy, SAA encourages its members to engage with social issues to the extent that they, as individuals, are able.
Adopted by the SAA Council, August 2015.
A Transparency Milestone
The CATO Institute announces the completion of their “Deepbills” project which finished adding computer-readable code to every version of every bill in the 113th Congress.
For more on this project, see the following article: http://www.cato.org/blog/transparency-milestone
Twitter's decision to ban archiving of politicians' deleted tweets is a mistake
Back in 2012, Twitter decided to allow the Sunlight Foundation to collect and curate deleted tweets from lawmakers and people seeking public office in order to hold them accountable by preserving their public statements on the record.
But in June of this year, Twitter shut down the deleted tweet project in the US under the guise of "honoring the expectation of user privacy." Then, this Sunday, Twitter dealt the final blow, killing the Open State Foundation’s effort to archive deleted tweets from public officials in 30 other countries.
For the full article see: http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/24/9198075/twitter-political-transparency-diplowoops-politwoops
De Blasio is reviewing public records requests for all New York City agencies in bid to control information
Mayor de Blasio, who promised to run the most transparent administration in New York City history, has taken steps to have his office review any public records request of any city agency that could "reflect directly on the mayor."
That broad mandate, outlined in a May 5 email obtained by The Associated Press, could give de Blasio's office control over virtually all newsworthy Freedom of Information Law requests from journalists, watchdog groups or members of the public.
Although the ramifications of the policy are not clear, transparency advocates fear such control could lead to prolonged delays in responding to records requests, a criticism both President Barack Obama and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced when they instituted similar policies.
For the full article, see: