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DoD Public Domain Archive To Be Privatized, Locked Up For 10 Years 183

Posted by timothy
from the oh-they're-only-tax-dollars dept.
Jah-Wren Ryel writes "Looks like the copyright cartel have raided the public domain yet again — the US DoD has signed an exclusive contract with T3 Media to digitize their media archive in exchange for T3 having complete licensing control for 10 years. Considering that all output from the US government is, by law, ineligible for copyright, this deal seems borderline illegal at best. To make matters worse, it appears that there is no provision to make the digitized content freely accessible after the 10 years are up — which means we risk having all that content disappear into T3."
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DoD Public Domain Archive To Be Privatized, Locked Up For 10 Years

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  • by Silentknyght (1042778) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @12:32PM (#45754097)

    It seems, lately, that there is a clearer-than-ever delineation between legality and enforceability. If our government commits an illegal act, who is able to enforce it? Who's able to hold them accountable? I wish I could say I had a good answer to that question.

    • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @12:44PM (#45754179) Homepage

      If our government commits an illegal act, who is able to enforce it?

      Dunno. Coastguard?

      • If our government commits an illegal act, who is able to enforce it?

        Dunno. Coastguard?

        But who guards the Coastguard?

        • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:55PM (#45754647)

          But who guards the Coastguard?

          The Reserve Coast Guard.

          Either that, or they guard the reserve coast. I can't remember.

      • by haruchai (17472) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:53PM (#45754635)

        That's what terrorists are for :-)

    • by mattie_p (2512046) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @12:47PM (#45754197)

      It seems, lately, that there is a clearer-than-ever delineation between legality and enforceability. If our government commits an illegal act, who is able to enforce it? Who's able to hold them accountable? I wish I could say I had a good answer to that question.

      The only thing with power over the US Government is other parts of the US government. Thus if the executive branch commits an illegal act, the Congress can impeach, the courts can make orders, etc. If the Congress passes an unconstitutional law, the courts can annul by ruling on the constitutionality. If the courts go overboard, the President and the Congress can appoint new justices. Checks and balances.

      This act is on the executive branch side, so it is up to the legislature and/or courts to enforce. Private citizens can speed up the process by trying to sue, but of course, good luck finding someone with standing in this case, based on recent court rulings about domestic surveillance (only the phone companies have standing, not the people whose records were obtained).

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:23PM (#45754431)

        It seems, lately, that there is a clearer-than-ever delineation between legality and enforceability. If our government commits an illegal act, who is able to enforce it? Who's able to hold them accountable? I wish I could say I had a good answer to that question.

        The only thing with power over the US Government is other parts of the US government. Thus if the executive branch commits an illegal act, the Congress can impeach, the courts can make orders, etc. If the Congress passes an unconstitutional law, the courts can annul by ruling on the constitutionality. If the courts go overboard, the President and the Congress can appoint new justices. Checks and balances.

          This act is on the executive branch side, so it is up to the legislature and/or courts to enforce. Private citizens can speed up the process by trying to sue, but of course, good luck finding someone with standing in this case, based on recent court rulings about domestic surveillance (only the phone companies have standing, not the people whose records were obtained).

        Thank you for the history lesson. Now let me give you one of my own. Checks and Balances was replaced with Greed and Corruption a long time ago, which really means you can throw all this bullshit about laws and constitution out the window.

        It'll be downright comical to see how our history books paint over the financial meltdown of 2008 as a "minor setback" when many children growing up in impacted households will remember damn well what it was like. Question is will the Sheeple give a shit any more then than they do now? You don't even need wool for the eyes these days, and the parents question still stands, as no part of the government seems enforceable or accountable. If you can find one, let me know.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:27PM (#45754471)

        The only thing with power over the US Government is other parts of the US government.

        Wrong. Thomas Jefferson, please excuse me waking you from your long nap, but I need an opinion. "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thank you Mr. Jefferson. You can now go lay down again. "Brrraaaaiiinnnss...." Yeah, I know. I miss 'em too, sir.

        • by 517714 (762276) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @08:42PM (#45757191)
          John Basil Barnhill, ca 1914. Not Thomas Jefferson.
      • by houghi (78078)

        That is nice on paper. I suppose he was asking about real life. So perhaps the question is not who could do it, but who will do it.

        All this talk about who should or could do it does not seem to be working anymore. If something is broken you either repair it or replace it. Yes, that might mean replacing some old pieces of paper by something better that DOES work and means something besides nostalgic reasons.

        (Probably going to hell for even thinking about this.)

      • by cascadingstylesheet (140919) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:53PM (#45755093)

        The only thing with power over the US Government is other parts of the US government. Thus if the executive branch commits an illegal act, the Congress can impeach, the courts can make orders, etc. If the Congress passes an unconstitutional law, the courts can annul by ruling on the constitutionality. If the courts go overboard, the President and the Congress can appoint new justices. Checks and balances. This act is on the executive branch side, so it is up to the legislature and/or courts to enforce. Private citizens can speed up the process by trying to sue, but of course, good luck finding someone with standing in this case, based on recent court rulings about domestic surveillance (only the phone companies have standing, not the people whose records were obtained).

        The executive branch is running amok with illegality?

        Huh ... I wonder if someone is in charge of the executive branch. Some, er, elected official or something. Someone we might hold accountable.

        • by Tanktalus (794810)

          Given that he can't be re-elected no matter how well or poorly he performs ... no, no one you can hold accountable.

      • It makes logical sense that we 'all' have standing, since these documents were in the public domain and are now not.

        Whether that makes legal sense, I don't know.
      • It seems, lately, that there is a clearer-than-ever delineation between legality and enforceability. If our government commits an illegal act, who is able to enforce it? Who's able to hold them accountable? I wish I could say I had a good answer to that question.

        The only thing with power over the US Government is other parts of the US government. Thus if the executive branch commits an illegal act, the Congress can impeach, the courts can make orders, etc. If the Congress passes an unconstitutional law, the courts can annul by ruling on the constitutionality. If the courts go overboard, the President and the Congress can appoint new justices. Checks and balances.

        This act is on the executive branch side, so it is up to the legislature and/or courts to enforce. Private citizens can speed up the process by trying to sue, but of course, good luck finding someone with standing in this case, based on recent court rulings about domestic surveillance (only the phone companies have standing, not the people whose records were obtained).

        Suing the Government and/or T3 could be problematic based on the example you cited. But there's another option: ignore the license agreement and continue distributing the material. They can try to DMCA you, and you can file a counter-notice. If they then file another counter-notice, wouldn't that give you standing to sue for a declaration that you have a right to distribute the material? If they sue you, well, you get to make your claim in court.

        • by kermidge (2221646)

          "continue distributing the material"

          Unless you already have a copy of said DoD archive, how will you distribute what you can't get? Unless you're able to pay the as-yet-unknown fees, or be patient enough to wait ten years, minimum, for unknown future terms and conditions, the public that paid for all this is screwed.

      • by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @06:06PM (#45756353)
        Checks and balances was replaced by parties. When your checks and balances are against another party, not another branch, the system won't work out as intended. The branch loyalty is smaller than party loyalty, so it's all a failure.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It seems, lately, that there is a clearer-than-ever delineation between legality and enforceability. If our government commits an illegal act, who is able to enforce it? Who's able to hold them accountable? I wish I could say I had a good answer to that question.

      According to my high school social studies teacher, the voters, of course!

    • by TEG24601 (1850816)
      If the Federal Government gets out of hand, the states are supposed to react and put them in check. That is what is meant by "Checks and Balances". The states are to check the power of the Federal Government and object to over reaching laws and those that are unconstitutional or illegal by various means, including invalidating those actions or laws within the state, suing the federal government in court, or calling a Convention of States, which is currently underway.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:27PM (#45754477)

      "Who's able to hold them accountable?"

      As a European, I'd like to answer: the people.
      Dear Americans, stop voting Republicans or Democrats.
      Thanks, the rest of the world.

      • Sadly, it took a European to tell us that "We the People of the United States" are the ones to hold our government accountable. Duh, hello! It's "We the People" that granted the United States any powers it may have. Any powers we did not specifically grant the government are powers it does not legitimately possess. And I am certain our European friend is also correct in that the rest of the world would be quite grateful were we to reign in our "monster".

        As a side note, perhaps now would be a good time to li

    • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @03:05PM (#45755181) Homepage

      It's supposed to be the courts. But when the courts rule one way and then law enforcement ignores it, we're just lost. It's depressing. Law enforcement will, for example, trample various right and punish locally even executing prisoners (calling it an accident) when they know the judiciary will rule against them. It's sick. It's disgusting. We don't have rule of law. We have rule of governments.

    • by BlueStrat (756137) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @03:29PM (#45755325)

      It seems, lately, that there is a clearer-than-ever delineation between legality and enforceability. If our government commits an illegal act, who is able to enforce it? Who's able to hold them accountable? I wish I could say I had a good answer to that question.

      The answer to your question is the same answer that's included in the Constitution, the same answer that's always been the ultimate answer to all out-of-control governments.

      You. The citizens.

      You and others that would be willing to put your lives on the line when all other options have been shown to be worthless/ineffective, to pick up a sniper rifle, build an IED, make Molotov cocktails, organize and plan, and target the criminal leaders and take them out..

      There are still a few peaceful options left to try yet, like the recent push for a convention of States to amend the Constitution to rein in the Federal government.

      http://conventionofstates.com/ [conventionofstates.com]

      However, if the government steps in to stop such reforms, there will be no alternatives left.

      Strat

    • by LifesABeach (234436) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @06:23PM (#45756429)
      I'm still trying to wrap my head around the part where Americans paid for something and now we don't own it? I'm hoping the Declaration of Independence isn't on the list.
    • "If our government commits an illegal act, who is able to enforce it?"

      But you passed over explaining why this might be an illegal act.

      With very few exceptions, government has no copyright to its papers and works. If something is not classified, it is public domain. (After all... it was produced with taxpayer dollars, and quite literally belongs to the public.)

      It is EXTREMELY unlikely that DoD has any authority to "license" information or paperwork to anybody.

    • by countach (534280)

      It should be the courts, which is why the idea of secret courts is an abomination.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21, 2013 @12:32PM (#45754099)

    Our only hope is Obama will stop this.

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @12:41PM (#45754159) Homepage

    From reading TFAs, it seems T3 is getting an "exclusive license to charge for access", which isn't really a legal concept AFAIK. It looks like T3 is taking public-domain DoD images and videos, digitizing and cataloging them, then charging for access to the digital form. They're exclusively selling that access to the digital catalog, but the images and videos themselves are still public domain. I'm not sure whether digitizing counts as creating a new work for copyright purposes.

    • by Trepidity (597) <.delirium-slashdot. .at. .hackish.org.> on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:02PM (#45754295)

      The government themselves do this kind of thing sometimes: charge for the actual delivery of the digital documents, which are public domain. That's not illegal, just not really sustainable. Since they're public domain, anyone who buys them could, if they choose, redistribute them. One instance of that that I recall was that in 1999, Bruce Perens bought the TIGER [census.gov] geographic data set from the US Census on CD, for I think $500 or $1000 or something, and then released it online freely. The Census Bureau wised up and you can now download new versions of the TIGER data set directly from the Census at the previous link instead of having to play that game.

      Another example is the court document database, PACER, which has public-domain documents but charges per-page for access. That's led to RECAP [cornell.edu], a project to slowly siphon documents out of it and republish them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        As an attorney, I love RECAP; but not as much as my clients do. Whenever I have a case where I pass the charges for access on to them, many are genuinely confused as to why they should be charged for the documents. I should point out, that a lot of RECAP access is being added for free because the first time (and only the first time) you see a document as the attorney on the case, you get to access it for free.

      • by _Ludwig (86077) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:34PM (#45754947) Journal

        Licensing the material from T3 would almost certainly involve agreeing not to redistribute. You wouldn’t be violating copyright (since there isn’t any,) but you’d be in breach of contract.

        • With what penalties? I don't believe I've seen an online contract (aka terms of service, which aren't really a contract at all) that matters that has enforceable penalties. So:
          1. download
          2. redistribute.
          2a. if redistributing anonymously, goto 4.
          2b. if redistributing in a fashion that is easy to link you to your account, goto 3.
          3. lose your account. who cares? end.
          4. continue as you please. end.

          • With what penalties? I don't believe I've seen an online contract (aka terms of service, which aren't really a contract at all) that matters that has enforceable penalties.

            They aren't going to let you download for free, they are going to want money and that is an entirely different type of contract than facebook/google/etc freebie terms of use click-throughs.

            And that money trail is going to give them a real and identifiable person to sue for violating the contract.

    • by HighOrbit (631451) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:38PM (#45754547)
      Sarten-X discribes exactly what is going on. In fact, the Contracting Officer probably decided it was in the public interest to digitize and get the data public as opposed to it sitting in the bottom of a box in the proverbial Indiana Jones warehouse lost to the public forever. DoD has some boilerplate contract clauses for this, mainly 252.227-7013 Rights in Technical Data--Noncommercial Items. Alternate I, which states:

      (l) Publication for sale.

      (1) This paragraph only applies to technical data in which the Government has obtained unlimited rights or a license to make an unrestricted release of technical data.

      (2) The Government shall not publish a deliverable technical data item or items identified in this contract as being subject to paragraph (l) of this clause or authorize others to publish such data on its behalf if, prior to publication for sale by the Government and within twenty-four (24) months following the date specified in this contract for delivery of such data or the removal of any national security or export control restrictions, whichever is later, the Contractor publishes that item or items for sale and promptly notifies the Contracting Officer of such publication(s). Any such publication shall include a notice identifying the number of this contract and the Government's rights in the published data.

      (3) This limitation on the Government's right to publish for sale shall continue as long as the data are reasonably available to the public for purchase.

      The point here is that sometimes the Government wants data to become available to the public (as opposed to sitting in a box in the basement) and uses commercial contractors to do it. An example would be something like this: Say somebody discovered several hundred boxes in the basement at Ft. Dix NJ of first-person interviews of soldiers during WWI and the Spanish flu. Now say university historians of WWI want access to these interviews. The historians can fly to NJ, get a hotel room, a rental car, and spend several thousand dollars and weeks digging through, cataloging, and copying the documents or alternately, the DOD can hire a contractor to digitize everything and any historian anywhere in the world can buy it for a few hundred bucks.

  • If I created a piece of art using public domain media, I would still own the copyright on the art... but only if it substantially altered or added to the original public domain work. Either T3's copyright is invalid, or they've just been given permission to rewrite our history.
    • Re:Derivative works (Score:5, Informative)

      by blueg3 (192743) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:18PM (#45754399)

      T3 isn't claiming copyright.

      • You're missing the point. Of course T3 doesn't claim the copyright. There can be no licensing control without a copyright, and there can be no copyright on a government work unless T3 has substantially modified or added to the work, which would be an even bigger story.
        • by blueg3 (192743)

          There can be no licensing control without a copyright,

          Not true at all.

        • by murpup (576529)

          Correction: there can be no copyright on work created by government employees. Work created by contractors on behalf of the government CAN be copyrighted, if the contracting officer allows it. Also, the government can hold copyright when said copyright has been transferred to it.

          See the FAR Subpart 27.4 as well as 52.227-14.

          Also, there are exceptions to the rule. NIST and Dept of Commerce maintains a government-asserted copyright to much of its property data, for example the IAPWS steam tables. The reas

  • Google obviously has the technical capability and facilities to handle the job.

    Did they have the opportunity to bid the job? Did they submit a bid?

    Did the bid evaluation process consider public benefit?

    I think we would have been better off had they gotten the job.

  • FOIA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @12:50PM (#45754209)

    These records would seem to be responsive to a proper FOIA request, and if the government already has already-paid-for access to the records, they would be required to pony up those records at the cost of duplication (which would arguably get around the third-party fees this company would charge).

    Why they didn't just give all this stuff to Google is beyond me. I'm sure they'd love to have a project like this, and they'd probably make it publicly available for the price of ads.

    • Re:FOIA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NoKaOi (1415755) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:13PM (#45754371)

      Why they didn't just give all this stuff to Google is beyond me. I'm sure they'd love to have a project like this, and they'd probably make it publicly available for the price of ads.

      Can you really not imagine why they might do this? How much money is T3 making off of this, and who are they brib^H^H^H^H contributing campaign funds to?

      • Re:FOIA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:55PM (#45754655)

        Can you really not imagine why they might do this? How much money is T3 making off of this, and who are they brib^H^H^H^H contributing campaign funds to?

        There's a simpler explanation than bribery: What's the average age of a US Senator? 57 years old. Average. Google to them is like space aged rocket science. Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. A lot of the government's actions can be explained by simple senility -- these people aren't just out of touch with society, in many cases they're in a phase of life marked by significant decline in cognitive reasoning, and studies have been done suggesting that the elderly are far more trusting than they should be due to biochemical changes in the brain. Put another way: They're easily suckered.

        This is an exceedingly obvious thing to have to point out, but it seems to be forgotten all the time by people who, were they to just divorce themselves from their own political views for a minute and contemplate the problem objectively, they'd realize that there is an organic element to the problem which far better explains the current circumstances than the radical ideas of conspiracies, bribery, and back room deals. I'm sure those happen, but they are far into the minority...

        • What's the average age of a US Senator? 57 years old. Average. Google to them is like space aged rocket science.

          Congress didn't make this deal.

        • There's a simpler explanation than bribery: What's the average age of a US Senator? 57 years old. Average. Google to them is like space aged rocket science. Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. A lot of the government's actions can be explained by simple senility -- these people aren't just out of touch with society, in many cases they're in a phase of life marked by significant decline in cognitive reasoning, and studies have been done suggesting that the elderly are far more trusting than they should be due to biochemical changes in the brain.

          I have always hated the term ageism, but damn it man, you are truly a bigot. What older folks have is experience and learning that the young simply do not. People are not born wise, it is something that comes with long years of trial and error, good time and bad, wrong decisions and lucky ones. I could just as easily say that the folks over 50 are the only ones I would trust to make political decisions because they remember when college education was a right not a privilege, when the US had goals and asp

        • by clovis (4684) *

          There's a simpler explanation than bribery: What's the average age of a US Senator? 57 years old. Average. Google to them is like space aged rocket science. A lot of the government's actions can be explained by simple senility -- these people aren't just out of touch with society, in many cases they're in a phase of life marked by significant decline in cognitive reasoning, and studies have been done suggesting that the elderly are far more trusting than they should be due to biochemical changes in the brain. Put another way: They're easily suckered.

          I've seen other posts of yours, and usually you're on target. This time your brain has failed you.
          You're looking at a group (average age 57) and extrapolating the deficiencies of a subset of that group ( those with severe cognitive decline) onto a different subset (US Senators).

          For example, some people take the fact that some women have debilitating problems during menstruation and extrapolate to all women to state that women can't be trusted to do, well, almost anything they want to stop women from doing.

  • by dmbasso (1052166) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @12:51PM (#45754217)

    Considering that all output from the US government is, by law, ineligible for copyright, this deal is illegal.

    FTFY.

    • by blueg3 (192743)

      They're not asserting or transferring copyright, and they won't be able to enforce copyright because they don't have it. That doesn't prevent them from making an exclusive-licensing deal, though since there's no copyright on the original works, the deal has less teeth than it normally would.

      • by dmbasso (1052166)

        [...] copyright because they don't have it. That doesn't prevent them from making an exclusive-licensing deal [...]

        See that beautiful house with the huge garden? It is not mine! But I'm going to rent it anyway, for your exclusive use.

  • Non-digitized (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @12:53PM (#45754227) Homepage

    I'm assuming the non-digitized archive is still public domain, and third party digitization of this public domain information isn't covered by this contract?

    • by gigaherz (2653757)
      The bit where they give "exclusive rights to digitize" would imply otherwise... but I may have misread.
    • by bjwest (14070)

      I'm assuming the non-digitized archive is still public domain, and third party digitization of this public domain information isn't covered by this contract?

      Until the sprinkler systems malfunction, or there's a real fire and the original documents are destroyed.

  • Keep exposing these slimy backdoor deals. For every one exposed, there's gotta be hundreds more.
    • ... and exposing one or two occasionally makes people THINK that someone is looking out for the interests of the public. It makes it easier to hide the rest!

  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @12:53PM (#45754237)

    If our legislators allow this sort of bastardization of our system, it is time to vote them all out and get in people who represent us, period.

    Freedom of knowledge of what our government is doing in all sorts of departments is the only way we get advance warning when they are going off the rails into tyranny and dictatorial powers.

  • Maybe it's time to start discussions of the 2nd American Revolution. Our government from the office of the President, to congress to the Supreme Court are completely out of control. All are doing illegal acts and NO ONE can enforce the laws against it - except WE THE PEOPLE! It's high time we start letting our government officials know that they are not above the law and that WE THE PEOPLE can REVOKE their jobs! This is why the 2nd Amendment was amended into our constitution. It was NOT for hunters and spor

    • by dmbasso (1052166)

      You're really naive if you think you stand a change in a fight with the military that consumes most money in the world (almost 700 billion dollars annually, compare that the second place, China, around 200 billion).

      And even if you could, violence is not the best way. This is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_to_propose_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution [wikipedia.org]

      Take money out of politics: http://www.wolf-pac.com/ [wolf-pac.com]

      • by fnj (64210)

        You're really naive if you think you stand a change in a fight with the military that consumes most money in the world

        Yeah, those dumb insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan were really naive. Except, duh, it was your vaunted military which was fought to a sandstill and is running out with its tail between its legs, having failed abjectly.

        • by dmbasso (1052166) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:45PM (#45755037)

          Except, duh, it was your vaunted military

          Not mine, I'm not American.

          which was fought to a sandstill and is running out with its tail between its legs, having failed abjectly.

          Failed? That's a matter of perspective. Dick Cheney and Halliburton would certainly disagree with you. Oh wait, did you think the war was about weapons of mass destruction, and bringing democracy to the region? Yeah, sure... :)

    • by Nkwe (604125)

      Maybe it's time to start discussions of the 2nd American Revolution. Our government from the office of the President, to congress to the Supreme Court are completely out of control.

      And after your revolt, what system of government would you replace the current one with? Be specific. What would prevent your proposed system from morphing into or having similar problems that our current government has? If you don't know how to change the overall system but just want to "throw the bums out", what is your plan to prevent the new "bums" from being just like the old ones?

      I hear lots of folks ranting on how bad government is, but I don't hear many coherent or comprehensive suggestions about w

      • Unfortunately history tells us the revolution is cyclic effective no plan works in perpetuity, Any setup that can be changed will slowly be changed for the worse. Any setup that is fixed does not respond to changing demands.

    • by wjcofkc (964165)
      The day the American people become so many, organized, and outraged that the United States military (likely the Guard) is ordered to open fire on US citizens, your revolution will start. It will not matter whether they follow the order or not. If things don't get better and the power of the people continues to slip, I believe it's entirely possible that will happen.
      • by kermidge (2221646)

        Yeah, Kent State worked. Oh, wait, it was just college students, musta been commie hippies, they don't count. Yawn.

  • by MichaelJ (140077) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:02PM (#45754299)
    If these images are then provided for money, does that have implications for requiring model releases for any photos with recognizable individuals in them?
    • If these images are then provided for money, does that have implications for requiring model releases for any photos with recognizable individuals in them?

      Excellant question. DoD has limits on the use of their material, will they apply to this material as well? More to the point, will the originals be available for copying form DoD even if they have been digitized?

  • I bet the penalty for whoever puts public that ex-public domain information will be more than 30 years this time. The next Aaron Swartz better don't get into activities like supporting the Occupy movement or similars because they know that political persecution goes unpunished in US.
  • As it stands, when a whistleblower leaks government secrets to news organizations and independent bloggers, the whistleblower gets in trouble, but the news can still be reported. Once those same government secrets are copyrighted, they'll still be able to go after the whistleblower, but I expect they will then start using DMCA takedown notices against anyone reporting about the leaks because of the unlicensed duplication of portions of their data inherent in any competent reporting of it. (I know, fair us
  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:52PM (#45754629)
    STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES

    Rev#3

    DIMOC Digitization and Storage

    The Defense Media Activity (DMA) is the headquarters responsible for several operations within the Department of Defense that creates, broadcasts, manages archives, and stores media. The Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DIMOC) is the operational arm of the Defense Visual Information Directorate (DVI), a component of DMA. The mission of DVI is to operate as the DoDs central visual information (VI) management and proponency office. The DIMOC integrates and synchronizes DoD imagery capabilities and centrally manages and archives current and historical visual information media in support of the Department and the National Archives and Records Administration. DIMOC serves as the official DoD VI Records Center for the storage and preservation of original and irreplaceable motion picture, video, still, audio, and mixed VI records depicting the DoDs heritage and current activities.

    In FY 2012, DIMOC was presented with a model used by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) that provides digitization of select records (e.g. documents, photographs, etc.) at no-cost to the Government. This no-cost model permitted a contractor to digitize the selected records and receive a return on their investment during a period of exclusivity in exchange for providing the National Archives digitized copies. This period of exclusive rights allowed the contractor to generate revenue via sales of the digitized records. After this period of time, the digital copies would become public domain via the National Archives. This process assists NARA in accomplishing their mission to increase the public accessibility of Federal Records far quicker than their capability to digitize there and resources would allow.

    With DIMOCs similar mission to the National Archives to collect, preserve and increase accessibility, DIMOC is attempting to adopt a variant of the NARA no-cost model. DIMOC used this model to solicit requests for proposals, and even held an industry day to gauge the feasibility to complete this mass digitization and storage for free for the Government. The industry day consensus was for the Government to share some of the up-front costs as a sign of good faith and viability for the contracts success. A clear message, that this project was not going to be feasible for industry without Government funding, was sent when only three RFPs were submitted post- industry day. Subsequently DIMOC is proposing a cost-share variant to the NARA no-cost model.

    II. OBJECTIVE

    The purpose of this contract is to provide for the digitization, storage and retrieval of still imagery, motion and audio recordings for the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center. DIMOC recognizes there is value to this content being made readily available accessible, and as such, we are soliciting industry proposals for providing the Government digitization, storage and retrieval in exchange for the opportunity to monetize immediate access to Department of Defense visual information material (during an exclusive period for up to 10 years).

    The Government intends to solicit a one-year base period with four full option years of performance. The total five-year period will permit a contractor time to digitize DIMOCs vast holdings and help realize a return on investment. The option years will allow for assessment each year on the success of the contract as determined by the contractor and the Government.

    The Government realizes the cost burden of digitizing and storing this content is on the vendor despite the contract award off-setting some of the costs. Accordingly the Government is allowing a period of exclusivity for 10 years for marketing and commercial sales of Government content digitized during the previous 5-year cost share term of the contract. Note that the additional five- year period of exclusivity is beyond the cost-share based contract. However, it is expected that the period of exclusivity for years 6 - 10 will be performed at no cost

  • It's because Obama's the most radical, socialist president ever.

  • by Pigeon451 (958201) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:09PM (#45754771)

    Title copied from Boing Boing, and the article there is full of hyperbole. T3 is providing digitization to the over 1 million physical media, organize and catalog everything, and then will charge a fee for access (however access for authorized government personnel is FREE). T3 is NOT claiming copyright, they just have an exclusive license for 10 years.

    Check this out:
    300,000 physical videos (300,000 hours!)
    37,000 films (11,000 hours)
    40,000 audio clips (1.5 million minutes)
    700,000 still images
    1.2 million digital images.

    Seems reasonable to me. HALF the library is not even accessible on the internet as they are physical only. This is a good way to preserve what has been accumulated, and a lot of it is very old.

    A much better summary is here:
    http://gcn.com/articles/2013/12/12/dod-library.aspx [gcn.com]

    • Title copied from Boing Boing, and the article there is full of hyperbole. T3 is providing digitization to the over 1 million physical media, organize and catalog everything, and then will charge a fee for access (however access for authorized government personnel is FREE). T3 is NOT claiming copyright, they just have an exclusive license for 10 years.

      *facepalms*

      NOBODY is claiming that T3 is claiming copyright on anything. Ironic, you claim FUD and misunderstanding, and misunderstand what is being said right in front of you. The problem is the DoD licensing out, restricting access to public domain stuff they made.

  • When file what ever the USA equivalent of an Official Information Request is.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      An app for filing FOIA requests would be a fine tool to have. :-)

      • No it wouldn't, because then everyone would do it.
        It would cost too much to service and then you'd end up with someone changing the law to allow service charges to be applied.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      FOIA requests will still be processed as they are today. Or you could pay a small fee and get a copy of the same thing from T3 - your choice.
  • A friend of mine was wondering how he could look up the military records of his great-grandfather. He knew that the man served during the Spanish American War but couldn't find anything online. It turned out that in order to get the record he would have to travel to Washington DC, look it up on the microfiche in the National Archives, then request a printed copy. I'm pretty sure the fee charged by T3 will be cheaper than the current system.
  • Depends on how well T3 does the cataloging and website, and how much they charge for copies.

    If it turns out the works are more easily accessible and searchable than at present, and the charges are reasonable (think ), then it's a good thing. [britishpathe.com]

    If the catalog website is poorly designed (see the existing DoD website [dvidshub.net]), or if T3 decides to charge, well, DoD prices for things, then not so good.

  • ... time to download all the interesting DoD sites, data, and documentation I've bookmarked over the years. Probably the rest of the government stuff (e.g. USDA) too, while I'm at it...

  • The next Edward Snowden will be purchased by intellectual property lawyers. This is much more scaring that CIA action units. Don't we have international treaties forbidding such kinked approach?
  • ....government gone rouge.... from a long and growing list that when it gets long enough the people will pull out the Declaration of Independence for the instructions teh founders wrote for the people.

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images. -- Jean Cocteau

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