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Dear Joel,
    Thanks for your posting. I've retired now, so I cannot speak for my
successor, but I see little need for an "open source" software decoder for
CDs. Any CD player with an SP-DIF output is capable of replaying everything
(including the track flags) complete with error-correction, so the audio and
the flags may be moved to any other audio hardware capable of the necessary
sampling-frequency and bit-resolution. (The AES digital connection-standard
will copy the audio, if necessary for very long physical distances; but it
does not include track flags. Our experiences with Betamax videotapes with
digital audio also showed it was relatively simple to retro-fit the machines
with SP-DIF outputs).
    When I was employed by the British Library, I also bought an Odixion
"digicopier" for CDs. This also had the option of an equivalent for the DOS
"Verify" command - namely, after a CD is copied, it compares the copy with
the original, and warns you if an uncorrectable error has occured.
    My personal view about Linux is that, while it is indeed an "open
standard", the manual for even Version 2 was far too indigestible for most
people; and I believe the current version is about Version 5. For nerds
only, I fear!  Far better not to have an "operating system" at all, if you
can manage without one.
    In respect of the last point you make:  Here in Britain, we have "case
law" to illuminate the law of copyright, and it was decided about 25 years
ago that any chip which forms a digital read-only memory counts as
"hardware" (not "software"), so is subject to patent law rather than the law
of copyright.
Peter Copeland

-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Bresler [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 10 March 2003 16:29
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Copyright and hard drives

Peter,

Intriguing points, all, but an open source  _file format_ is just the first
step, as you allude to in your message.

In playback, does the BL intend as a fail-safe method to use an "open
source" software decoder for CDs? Does this decoder run under the (open
source) Linux operating system? Is the hardware running the Linux software
built on proprietary or open source chips/components? (If there is such a
thing as the latter...)

Thanks,

Joel

At 10:52 AM 3/10/2003 +0000, you wrote:
>Dear All,
>   but I have the
>following objection to using hard drives for "serious archival work" (which
>I consider different from *exploitation* work)!
>     As far as I know, all hard drives (and indeed DLT and its rivals)
>involve *software*, and there is always copyright in software. This
includes
>both the error-correction system and the formatting of the medium.
>     A couple of months ago, we heard about California introducing
>*permanent* copyright for some purposes, which might mean ARSC members in
>that unhappy place would *never* be able to reproduce sounds from
>software-controlled media when the hardware fails. Even if it were possible
>to import legal copies of the software from somewhere else, it would have
>been "compiled" for a particular microprocessor (for example Intel or
>Motorola), and it seems very unlikely that such chips would be available in
>fifty years' time, which is the term for software here in the United
>Kingdom. This problem can only be circumvented by having access to the
>"source code" (written in a standardised computer language), and then
buying
>"compiler" software for new generations of microprocessors. (The compilers
>will also be copyright, of course!)
>     In my view, the solution is to use only "open standards" for storing
>sound. This is why the British Library Sound Archive chose "Red Book" CD-R
>discs; when the Philips/Sony patents for CDs expired, it became such an
>"open standard". (And the same technology is familiar to users for on-site
>access). When other sampling-frequencies or bit-resolutions need to be
>stored, I know my successor is thinking in terms of Broadcast Wave format
>(like Sue Salinger), which again is an open standard.
>Peter Copeland
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Joel Bresler [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: 05 March 2003 03:19
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Archiving to hard drive
>
>Sue wrote:
>
> >You're likely to have to migrate off the cd's or server at some point in
> >the near future...
>
>Thanks for the helpful post. Once the music is on a server (presumably on a
>hard disk) why would it necessarily need to be migrated? SCSI drives have
>built in error correction, and the data could be mirrored on another hard
>disk for security. Isn't this the most likely long-term data storage
>solution, bar none?
>
>Best,
>
>Joel


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