Friday, July 09, 2010

On vacation...

I'm taking a 2 week, "e-cold turkey" break. More posts on KLISS when I return...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The end of print for law?

Bob Berring muses on the future of print for law and references the Book of Kells and Newgrange...

In the magnificent long room in my Alma Mater, Trinity College Dublin, the book of Kells is on display and shockingly legible. By that I mean that it is a lot more legible than the text in the Wordstar files on the CP/M-based 8 inch floppies in my basement. Even if I could read them (which I can't) they wouldn't be "real" in the sense that the real files were on other floppies that were used to create replicas. In the digital world, no document is ever "real" in the way that the Book of Kells is real. Everything is a best-efforts replica of something which is itself a replica...all the way down to what you saw on the screen at the moment of content creation, inter-mediated by an operating system, then a software application, then a display device driver...This is deeply worrying stuff if you are trying to write down content for the ages : be it sacred texts or legal texts. I spend a goodly amount of my time these days thinking about this in the context of law, law.gov, data.gov and of course, the KLISS project.

It is fitting I think, to ponder this stuff and how it relates to law, in the Irish countryside because the Irish played an instrumental role in the creation of copyright law many, many moons ago. Cooldrumman, the location of the battle, is close to my house in Sligo, Ireland.