Publishing and Politics

What’s Old is New: Mandela Lives On in OBS Archives

At first glance, the OBS Archives Site appears to be an outdated list of hyperlinks with layout and formatting reminiscent of the early 1990s. At that time, Mosaic browsers and hyperlinks were completely reforming our ideas about creating and sharing information. The Internet was just entering into the public consciousness. The world was changing, and

Library of Congress Shuttered, Citizens’ Access to Universal Education Restricted

When the Library of Congress published a free edition of Jefferson’s Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress, Ralph Eubanks, former Director of Publishing at the Library, noted in his introduction Most important, this free, electronic book fulfills Thomas Jefferson’s belief in universal education. “…Enlighten the people generally,” he urged, “and tyranny and

Gov. Patrick Signs Tech Tax Repeal

Last Friday, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick ended a two-month controversy by repealing the 6.25% “tech tax” levied on all computer and software services as part of a transportation bill passed in July. Software companies across the state challenged the tax the moment it passed into law, claiming it inhibited their ability to compete with firms

Massachusetts New Software Services Tax

On July 31, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a bill that established a sales tax of 6.25% on all software services offered in the state. Among the few states in the U.S. that have taxable computer services, the Massachusetts tax is by far the highest – New Mexico’s tax is 5.125%, Hawaii and South Dakota

Corporate Content Grab: The Elsevier Edition

Just weeks after Amazon’s highly controversial acquisition of GoodReads, major scientific publisher Elsevier has pulled a similar content grab by purchasing Mendeley, a cloud-based social media platform featuring open source content provided by academics. A detailed summary of the argument against Elsevier’s recent acquisition can be found at The Cost of Knowledge, but essentially, academics