Too much information: links for week ending 6 January 2012

US: Proposed law would damage open access
Open Access advocates in the United States are organising against a proposed law that would block federal research funding agencies in the United States from having open access policies, effectively denying public access to publicly-funded research. The Atlantic have published a critique of the proposed law.

Spain adopts web blocking law
The BBC reports that the Spanish government has approved anti-piracy legislation that would allow for an expedited takedown process of websites accused by rightsholders of hosting copyright-infringing material. The so-called “Sinde Law” had previously been stalled after the extent of US diplomatic pressure on Spain to enact the law was revealed by leaked diplomatic cables in late 2010.

Public domain day celebrated
The entrance of new works into the public domain was celebrated on 1 January this year. In Europe and the US, where copyright term is life of the author plus seventy years, works by James Joyce, Louis Brandeis and Virginia Woolf were welcomed into the public domain. Canada, where the term of copyright protection is twenty years shorter, welcomed works by Hemingway and Jung into its public domain.
US and Europe | Canada

US: Deadline for public access and digital data RFIs extended
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has extended the deadline to January 12 for its Request for Information (RFI) from stakeholders in the debate over public access to publicly-funded scholarly research. Non-US organisations with experience of open access policies are also invited to contribute. The original deadline was 2 January 2012.

When science is hidden behind a smokescreen
The Guardian publishes a feature which originally appeared in Le Monde, examining the study of agnotology, or the spread of misinformation: “The advocates of ignorance have gained a new ally in the form of the internet”.

10 main internet governance developments in 2011
Internet infrastructure community website Circle ID publish a collaboratively-produced review of the year, highlighting trends such as the politicisation of internet infrastructure and the rise of cybersecurity as a narrative.

SOPA, misinformation and ignorance
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), legislation currently being considered in the US to address copyright infringement, has been met by a storm of protest from civil society, academia and business. These two feature articles examine what events surrounding SOPA have to tell us about the law-making process. A feature in Miller-McCune asks how much technical expertise we should expect from legislators, while analysis published on the Cato Institute blog picks apart figures supplied by pro-SOPA advocates that dramatically overstate the cost of copyright infringement.
Miller-McCune | Cato@Liberty

Book Review: The Information Diet
Forbes reviews The Information Diet, a book written by Blue State Digital founder Clay A. Johnson that urges readers to form good habits around the information they consume.

Book Review: Too Big to Know
Evgeny Morozov reviews David Weinberger’s book “Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room”, finding the author “too incurious to interrogate the modern state of knowledge or explain which of our current attitudes toward it are driven by the Internet and which by other social dynamics”.

Is it OK to be a Luddite?
Thomas Pynchon uses a review of classic science fiction to assert the value of techno-skepticism in the computer age, in this essay published in the New York Times Book Review in 1984.

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