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

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the oh-they're-only-tax-dollars dept.

The Military 183

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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183 comments

Legality vs Enforceability (5, Insightful)

Silentknyght (1042778) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (3, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#45754179)

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

Dunno. Coastguard?

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (1)

Snarfangel (203258) | about 7 months ago | (#45754233)

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

Dunno. Coastguard?

But who guards the Coastguard?

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 7 months ago | (#45754465)

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

Dunno. Coastguard?

But who guards the Coastguard?

Pirates!

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (1, Offtopic)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 7 months ago | (#45754587)

Are ninjas the next line of defense?

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

Cwix (1671282) | about 7 months ago | (#45754603)

Yes, and then the space aliens. After Ninjas, its space aliens all the way down.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

haruchai (17472) | about 7 months ago | (#45754711)

Yes, and then the space aliens. After Ninjas, its space aliens all the way down.

Wrong.
After Aliens, it's Cowboys, led by Taco Cowboy [slashdot.org] and CmdrTaco [slashdot.org]

Missing option (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45755551)

CowboyNeal [slashdot.org]

Re:Missing option (0)

haruchai (17472) | about 7 months ago | (#45755665)

D'oh!

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754753)

Yes, and then the space aliens. After Ninjas, its space aliens all the way down.

What? You just skipped over sharks with lasers? You'll be hearing from our Union representatives.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45755873)

I believe that should be: Sharks with "fricking laser beams"

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (4, Funny)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about 7 months ago | (#45754647)

But who guards the Coastguard?

The Reserve Coast Guard.

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

Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754667)

Canada

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45755339)

The Watchmen.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (4, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | about 7 months ago | (#45754635)

That's what terrorists are for :-)

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (5, Insightful)

mattie_p (2512046) | about 7 months ago | (#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).

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

mattie_p (2512046) | about 7 months ago | (#45754549)

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.

So... you're saying you agree with me? If the only thing with power over the government is the other parts of the government, then they certainly have nothing to fear from its citizens who can't even sue due to lack of standing (as determined by part of the government).

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#45754593)

So... you're saying you agree with me?

Of course not. Then we'd both be wrong.

If the only thing with power over the government is the other parts of the government, then they certainly have nothing to fear from its citizens who can't even sue due to lack of standing (as determined by part of the government).

Circular logic works because circular logic works because...

Sigh. If only there were some historical document [archives.gov] written, perhaps by the author I quoted that explained other remedies available to citizens... maybe then I wouldn't have to spoon feed the truth to people and they could infer from the quote the course of action needed. Or, I don't know, maybe just not falling asleep in civics class...

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (2)

mattie_p (2512046) | about 7 months ago | (#45754657)

Strangely enough, I was about to cite the opening paragraph. Let me ask you a question. Which more accurately describes America today: a) the government fears the people; or b) the people fear the government.

If the answer is a), then I am wrong, and should be modded into negative oblivion. If the answer is b), then my original answer was correct.

What should be done about it is another question entirely. But the only reason to "dissolve the political bands" is when b) is more correct than a).

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#45754707)

Let me ask you a question. Which more accurately describes America today: a) the government fears the people; or b) the people fear the government.

How about c) you're using a false dichotomy after already having your pants dropped over the use of circular logic. Don't double down on stupid -- there's more than two ways to approach the problem. Pop open your wallet. Flip over the dollar you got in there. What does it say on the back?

E Pluribus Unum.

That is not latin for "Roll over and play dead."

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 7 months ago | (#45754815)

Pop open your wallet. Flip over the dollar you got in there. What does it say on the back?
E Pluribus Unum.
That is not latin for "Roll over and play dead."

Perhaps not, but given the way the 1%'ers, corporations and the Government behave today, I'll defer to this quote by Veronica in "Better Off Ted" (Season 1, Episode 4: "Racial Sensitivity"):

"Money before people," that's the company motto. Engraved on the lobby floor. It just looks more heroic in Latin.

[ So, what would that be in Latin? ]

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 7 months ago | (#45754917)

Something along the lines of "Argentum in magis populus"

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (1)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#45755377)

Corporations only exist because we buy their products. The government only continues to misbehave because we mostly still vote for them regardless (more concerned about seeing our hero win the big game than fixing anything). The means for fixing these products is in our hands, but democracy means that most people have to care, which is not yet the case. Are you looking for a style of government where a few people who really care a lot can rule? I don't expect you'd like that (hint: you won't be one of them).

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 7 months ago | (#45755381)

Argentum in conspectu populi,

but yeah somebody needs to create a corporation that has as its Mission "To Increase the Public Good Where others have Failed"

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (2)

mattie_p (2512046) | about 7 months ago | (#45754901)

Let me ask you a question. Which more accurately describes America today: a) the government fears the people; or b) the people fear the government.

How about c) you're using a false dichotomy after already having your pants dropped over the use of circular logic. Don't double down on stupid -- there's more than two ways to approach the problem. Pop open your wallet. Flip over the dollar you got in there. What does it say on the back?

E Pluribus Unum.

That is not latin for "Roll over and play dead."

If it is a false dichotomy, it isn't mine. You're the one who brought up Jefferson's quote, not me. I consider it to be a sliding scale, my belief being that the current balance tips towards people fearing the government. While I'd like it to tip the other way, I don't believe that accurately describes the current conditions in the USA. As a result, the only thing with power over the government is itself. Whatever restraints it exercises (or doesn't) over its own power is self imposed. My logic wasn't circular, it was an if-then statement. I didn't even bring up the else:{ ... } as it wasn't pertinent to the discussion (in my belief).

As someone posted below, one false dichotomy is Republicans vs Democrats, because both are two sides of the same coin, coin (or dollars) being the only thing important to both parties.

I would note that "Out of Many, One" could describe just about every government in the world, from the USA back in the 1790's to the USSR of the 30's up to the present day. And that all governments derive their power from the consent (either implicit or explicit) of the people. It just so happens that the vast majority of the voters of the USA have granted their consent, one way or another.

Again, what should be done is an exercise best left to the reader.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45755925)

Circular logic works because circular logic works because...

Hmm. Perhaps a little to recursive for me....

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (3, Insightful)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about 7 months ago | (#45755043)

This is where the 2nd Amendment comes in. At least I'm fairly sure that violently overthrowing the government was one of the reasons it was put in, given that they'd just finished doing exactly that with privately owned firearms.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (1)

houghi (78078) | about 7 months ago | (#45754485)

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.)

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (3, Insightful)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754347)

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!

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (2)

TEG24601 (1850816) | about 7 months ago | (#45754395)

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.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45755087)

If the Federal Government gets out of hand, the states are supposed to react and put them in check.

That worked really well last time it was tried. Now we've got one in the white house.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#45755101)

But there is no other party to vote for? It's only a meaningful vote if it is for the party who wins!

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754489)

lone gunman?

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (2)

wickedsteve (729684) | about 7 months ago | (#45754543)

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 months ago | (#45755181)

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.

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (4, Informative)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 7 months ago | (#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

Re:Legality vs Enforceability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45755853)

No cop. No law.

Teabaggers strike again.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754099)

Our only hope is Obama will stop this.

Re:Teabaggers strike again.... (1)

Kuroji (990107) | about 7 months ago | (#45754117)

Yeah, sure, and maybe he'll keep his campaign promises while he's at it...

Re:Teabaggers strike again.... (-1, Flamebait)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 7 months ago | (#45754259)

Obama is the one doing it - the teaparty wouldnt have - its classic democrat policy to accuse the opposition of doing what they themselves are doing

good morning. Obama's team made the deal (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#45755027)

Good morning. I see you've been sleeping the past six years. Obama is the commander in chief and head of the administrative branch. It was Obama's team that came up with this idea (in violation of federal law) in the first place.

Pictures are public, but the index isn't. (4, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 7 months ago | (#45754159)

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.

Re:Pictures are public, but the index isn't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754185)

> I'm not sure whether digitizing counts as creating a new work for copyright purposes.

What do you mean you're not sure recording an analog movie with a digital camera counts as a new work? How can you not be sure of it when it's been prosecuted for decades? There's entire faux-education systems in place to beat that into the public's consciousness.

Re:Pictures are public, but the index isn't. (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 7 months ago | (#45754271)

And when DoD processes request for documents, they would pass on the charge imposed by T3, effectively allowing T3 to set the price of access.

Re:Pictures are public, but the index isn't. (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 7 months ago | (#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:Pictures are public, but the index isn't. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754417)

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.

Re:Pictures are public, but the index isn't. (3, Insightful)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 7 months ago | (#45754947)

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.

Re:Pictures are public, but the index isn't. (1)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 7 months ago | (#45755131)

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.

sustainable if legal (0)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#45755251)

> charge for the actual delivery of the digital documents, which are public domain.
> That's not illegal, just not really sustainable.

If I'm not mistaken, legally they are only supposed to charge enough to cover the cost of storing and retrieving them.
Any other self-sustaining effort would also need to cover the same costs and so would need to charge about the same, unless someone else paid the costs as a charitable contribution.

Of course that wouldn't be true if the federal government was inefficient and wasteful, but we know that can't be true, that's liberal canon. If a private organization such as Google, for example, could find and retrieve documents for less than the $3 per page that the government spends, that would mean government is a wasteful, stupid way to do things. That's not the case, of course. It would be heresy to say so.

Re:sustainable if legal (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 7 months ago | (#45755589)

PACER charges far more than the cost of operating the service; their goal (as instructed by Congress) seems to be to fund the entire court system's electronic infrastructure out of PACER fees, not only PACER itself. As a result, the service itself generates more than $100m annual surplus [joshblackman.com] .

Re:Pictures are public, but the index isn't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754301)

"Sweat of the brow" copyright exists in the UK, but not in the US.

Indiana Jones Warehouse (5, Informative)

HighOrbit (631451) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Pictures are public, but the index isn't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754691)

It doesn't matter if it's a legal concept, power makes it one. Google got away with privatizing works from the public domain by digitizing them, why shouldn't the DoD?

Derivative works (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 7 months ago | (#45754167)

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 (4, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | about 7 months ago | (#45754399)

T3 isn't claiming copyright.

Re:Derivative works (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 7 months ago | (#45755659)

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.

Re:Derivative works (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 7 months ago | (#45755875)

There can be no licensing control without a copyright,

Not true at all.

Google Books would be better. (2, Interesting)

FeriteCore (25122) | about 7 months ago | (#45754173)

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.

Re:Google Books would be better. (1)

torsmo (1301691) | about 7 months ago | (#45754249)

Which would have been fine had they remained merely a vendor to whom the process of digitising the archival content was contracted to, but here this company has essentially been granted the copyrights for said content. They are apparently doing the job for free, but will charge anyone seeking access to the digitised content.

Re:Google Books would be better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754809)

I'm surprised the NSA's new publishing division didn't get this job. Sure, their editorial staff is slow ... but their director of PR teasers has done a great job keeping everyone interested and waiting for their next teaser like no one ever has.

FOIA (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | about 7 months ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 7 months ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#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...

Re:FOIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45755323)

Never attribute to stupidity what can be attributed to malice.

They have entire teams of people telling them what they will get and others will lose from their decisions. There is no need to understand the exact mechanics of what they're voting on, senators don't care about that part. The important thing is people inferior to the senate's own expensively educated children will stay down where they belong, and the senator gets a kickback to his campaign or personal coffers in exchange. Everybody wins that matters!

Re:FOIA (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 months ago | (#45755453)

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.

illegal (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 7 months ago | (#45754217)

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

FTFY.

Re:illegal (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 7 months ago | (#45754413)

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.

Re:illegal (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 7 months ago | (#45754501)

[...] 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 (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 7 months ago | (#45754227)

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?

Re:Non-digitized (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 7 months ago | (#45754487)

The bit where they give "exclusive rights to digitize" would imply otherwise... but I may have misread.

Re:Non-digitized (2)

bjwest (14070) | about 7 months ago | (#45754527)

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 it up (2)

oldhack (1037484) | about 7 months ago | (#45754235)

Keep exposing these slimy backdoor deals. For every one exposed, there's gotta be hundreds more.

Re:Keep it up (1)

WoodstockJeff (568111) | about 7 months ago | (#45754269)

... 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!

Public Has a Right to Know! (3, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

This looks like a job forCarl Malamud (1)

Lexible (1038928) | about 7 months ago | (#45754263)

...and http://public.resource.org./ [public.resource.org]

American Revolution 2? (1)

gabrieltss (64078) | about 7 months ago | (#45754265)

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 sportsman. It was for protecting your family, your property and to fight a tyrannical government! Take a REAL read of the documents written by our founding fathers to see what their REAL intention was. Not the made up BS the anti-gun crown spews.

Re:American Revolution 2? (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 7 months ago | (#45754449)

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]

Re:American Revolution 2? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 7 months ago | (#45754895)

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.

Re:American Revolution 2? (3, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 7 months ago | (#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... :)

Re:American Revolution 2? (2)

Nkwe (604125) | about 7 months ago | (#45754553)

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 what to do about it. I do, by the way, agree with you that the second amendment is about creating a fail safe to protect the people from the government and I support having that fail safe in place. I do not however, believe that we are anywhere near needing to trigger that fail safe and even if we were, I would want a concrete plan as what to do after your revolution so that we do not end up in the same place again.

Re:American Revolution 2? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 7 months ago | (#45754599)

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.

Re:American Revolution 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754799)

Entropy. It's the Law.

Model Releases? (2)

MichaelJ (140077) | about 7 months ago | (#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?

Re:Model Releases? (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 7 months ago | (#45754601)

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?

30 years (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 7 months ago | (#45754447)

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.

Copyrighted is the New Classified (1)

Dialecticus (1433989) | about 7 months ago | (#45754453)

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 use is supposed to cover things like this, but how long do you really expect that to last in the current political climate? Look at what's happening lately with game review videos on YouTube for an example.)

WOULD YOU PREFER IT DISAPPEAR FOREVER !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754493)

Due to neglect ?? T3 is sent from HAVEN !!

DOD SOO (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 7 months ago | (#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 to the Government. To further clarify, this means the Government gives exclusive rights to the contractor to charge a convenience fee for access to this content to the public. The contractor shall provide Government customers access to the content free of charge as digits are produced from Government content available during the 5-year period of contract performance and during the entire 10-year period of exclusivity. Provide incrementally increasing storage for 20% of media volume per year for five years. Control of access to Government customers may be through the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center website, www.defenseimagery.mil or as technically agreed upon between the Government and the contractor. All said, the no-cost exclusivity period will end 10-years after the award date of the base contract.

The contractor will be enabled to immediately sell the digitized content with digital copies of this content immediately available for use by Department of Defense in maximum resolution as agreed between the Government and the contractor. As the contractor will retain all revenue generated by the sale of digitized imagery to the public, the entire contract is unique in that the contractor shall assume a majority of the risk for providing initial service to the Government with the likelihood of a future return on investment. This is a cost avoidance initiative of significant value to the Government in mission accomplishment while allowing for potential subsequent profit for a contractor. Physical VI material will not be shipped outside the Continental United States for this effort.

Reiterating the period of exclusivity, all DoD customers will have free access to these digital copies. At the end of the contract period of exclusivity, the Government will acquire all digital copies in the contractors possession not already copied to the Government storage, and will carry on its business of distributing imagery to the Military Services, Department, Federal Government, and general public.

III. SCOPEOFEFFORT

1. The Government is looking to acquire these capabilities: digitization, storage and retrieval of achieving this objective is also dependent on the governments ability to provide assets for said

The objective is to

get as many assets digitized, stored and made accessible as possible. The priority order for the

government is 1) video, 2) film, 3) still and 4) audio. While the government understands that

work, the offorers should be able to demonstrate their capability to process, digitize and make

accessible the maximum volume of assets on a monthly basis.

the visual information media (still imagery, motion and audio recordings) from the DIMOC Visual Information Records Center holdings. The contractor shall digitize, ingest, store, transcode, manage, and distribute media to the public for a convenience fee and provide to the Government at no-cost said digitized media with interim storage (minimum during the 5-year

period of contract performance) with subsequent transfer to the Government according to a mutually agreed schedule.

2. This cost-share solution is defined as the contractor providing a service of digitization, storage and retrieval of digitized records for a pre-determined period, five years, in exchange for charging the public a fee for access to those records for an exclusivity period of 10 years, at no- cost to the Government.

III. TASKS

1. Assurance & Accountability: The Government desires assurance of safeguarding the content regardless of the location of performance. The contractor shall return all original content (physical media) to the Government after digitization. The contractor shall also provide quality assurance/quality control plans for their workflow, handling and return of Government media. This assurance will include workflow processes that abide by, at the minimum, the National Archives and Records Administration visual information handling guidelines. The contractor shall provide accountability and the Government will have oversight and knowledge of the content, whether in physical or digital form, throughout the workflow process.

National Archives and Records Administration Technical Guidelines:

http://www.archives.gov/preservation/technical/guidelines.html

National Archives and Records Administration Duplication Specifications

http://www.archives.gov/preservation/formats/bw-copying-specs.pdf

National Archives and Records Administration Guidelines for Vendors Handling Records and Historical Materials?http://www.archives.gov/preservation/technical/vendor-training.html

2. Information Assurance:

a. The contractor should present within their proposal how they would meet the requirements and intent of DoD Instruction 8582.01, dated June 6, 2012, Security of Unclassified DoD Information on Non-DoD Systems. Specifically, the contractor should address each element of DoD Instruction 8582.01, dated June 6, 2012, enclosure 3, paragraph 2, subparagraphs a through m regarding the handling requirements for unclassified but unreleased imagery within their facility and IT infrastructure.

b. The contractor shall acknowledge and provide access to the government to verify and validate that the contractor is meeting the requirements of DoD Instruction 8582.01 on a continuing basis throughout the period of performance of the contract.

3. Estimated volume of media holdings from a 2010 inventory study:

Over 300,000 physical video assets 277,967.733 hours (average duration of 56.58 min)

Over 37,000 physical (motion) film assets 11,136.65 hours (average duration of 17.64 min)

Over 40,000 physical audio assets?1,408,935 min (average duration 65 min)?Over 700,000 physical still image and graphic assets

Additionally, the Government will provide approximately 1.2 million digital released images from more recent operations as reasonably available and as per applicable DoD policy.

The documentary period of the media holdings is from approximately the 1940s to the present.

3. The contractor shall have an initial period of 60 days for an inventory, if desired, prior to any digitization. The Government anticipates that the holdings can be prioritized per categories, such as high-priority, general collection, non-circulating, and non-archival. The Government will consider options of an on-demand digitization workflow for content in the lessor categories,?while the media in a high-demand maybe digitized for immediate delivery. The Government is willing to entertain an on-demand digitization per customer requests; in addition to a prioritized workload schedule. The Government will maintain the right to re-prioritize content on a case- by- case basis.

4. Digitization Workflow: The Government and contractor will mutually agree on prioritization for digitization. The Government will provide limited metadata to complement the contractors ingestion of content, after which Government editors will assist in completing metadata using the contractors system.

5. File Formats (minimum requirements):

H.264/MPEG4 (resolution-specs) JPEG (Q)12 (resolution)

If the contractor determines a higher quality resolution for both access and storage, the Government will request those file formats.

File formats decided upon will be compatible for migration to the evolving digital file- format standards over the course of this contract.

As media formats evolve, the Government will request the most up-to-date formats of digitized media.

DoD Instruction 5040.02 Visual Information, policy governing handling and manipulation of DoD imagery.

6. Access & Retrieval: The contractor shall handle all orders for customers external to the DoD/GOV and will be able to charge a reasonable price based upon comparable commercial cost to acquire a return on investment and profit. The contractor shall be expected to make the digital assets accessible for Government using a federated search (transparent/seamless access and retrieval) via DIMOCs website: DefenseImagery.mil as well as their own. All non-DoD/GOV customers (public) will be directed to the contractors website for order fulfillment/commercial sales. DIMOC will maintain customer service responsibility for all DoD/GOV customers via our current workflow. In addition, Government Customer Service personnel will be available to answer any inquiries to the use and background information pertaining to Government Imagery through a link via the contractors site. The Government will perform order fulfillment of physical copies for Government customers only. The contractor is expected to provide options for high- definition resolution download, along with low and medium resolution download streaming options. Governments desired approach is to have customers access media through two portals via DefenseImagery.mil. The first portal is for DoD/GOV access only and the second is a pass through to the contractor's website for public customers.

7. Government Storage: DIMOC will establish a schedule with the contractor to receive digital copies of the content from the contractor. The Government is considering its own scalable storage system with an overall minimum requirement of a redundant/back-up storage and server configuration. It is expected that a potential contractor will do the same.

How do you fight this? (1)

koan (80826) | about 7 months ago | (#45754649)

I've been saying for decades "deregulation and privatization" will only hurt the public in the end.

You guys do remember the weather company that got it's data form the governments weather stations and then tried to resell it to the public.

Freedom Of Information? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45754651)

The DOD would still be bound by law to comply with the Freedom Of information Act which creates a legal obstacle in itself.
                          Perhaps what we need as a nation both in private and governmental affairs are laws against complex contracts and agreements either when self standing or in combination with other documents. Items such as shell corporations and trust funds would no longer have any protection in law at all. Requiring all food and drink to be labeled in total with all ingredients and their proportions also needs doing without regard for supposedly proprietary secrets at all. These days we still are not allowed to know what we eat or drink. don't believe it? What is in a Coca Cola?

Re:Freedom Of Information? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 7 months ago | (#45755091)

Mostly sugar and water
The list ingredients are on the bottles I buy. Just not the quantity of each ingredient.

Of course, it's very obvious why this is happening (1, Offtopic)

haruchai (17472) | about 7 months ago | (#45754735)

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

As usual, summary is inflammatory (5, Informative)

Pigeon451 (958201) | about 7 months ago | (#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]

Re:As usual, summary is inflammatory (2)

Travelsonic (870859) | about 7 months ago | (#45754819)

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.

Wait for it to be nice and digitised (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 7 months ago | (#45755075)

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

Don't like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45755921)

This is terrible. I hope someone stops it from happening. It's like the government is stealing innovation and progress from the entire world when it locks up publicly funded public domain research.

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