Sunday, December 30, 2012

Challenges with Digital Music Matching Services

Many reports have recently surfaced about the new scan-and-match feature for Google Music. According to a Daily Mail article: “Scan-and-match is a free service that scans a user’s computer, giving them online access to the songs it finds, provided Google can match those songs on its servers. The service saves you the time of manually uploading your music to Google Music by scanning the files in your library and comparing them to songs in the Google Music library.”

An article from The Verge describes how some American users have been experiencing problems with this matching service: “explicit” songs are being replaced by “clean” versions in some cases, and others are findings that “clean” songs are replaced by “explicit” versions. Users are able to use a “Fix Incorrect Match” feature as a way to restore the original version of their songs.

Though some are criticizing Google for censorship because of the “explicit” for “clean” version swapping, the Verge reports that “Whether this challenge is simply inherent to music matching services or something else is at play remains unclear.” As previously stated, the service does seem to be swapping “clean” for “explicit” in some instances so the problems are not simply censorship. However, it is interesting nevertheless to consider how censorship affects users of online services such as music matching. Similar problems have been reported in the past for the matching services provided through iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Current Facebook Vote on Data Use Policy

The Financial Post has posted an article on the current Facebook Governance vote. Facebook users are currently able to vote on proposed changes to the Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilites. The proposed changes would allow Facebook to share user information and data with other companies owned by or affiliated with Facebook. Instagram, a photo-sharing program, is one such affiliate. If passed, the changes would also put an end to any future voting on governance issues.

According to the article, the results of the vote are binding if 30% or more of active Facebook users vote. If less than 30% of Facebook users vote, the results are simply advisory. Users can vote, as well as review existing and proposed documentation, at the Facebook Governance site. Voting closes on Monday December 10, 2012.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Fall IFRT Report Released

The Fall issue of the ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table Report has been released. This report contains a number of stories and opinions on the topic of censorship in libraries, as well as a summary of current court cases on the freedom of expression. It also has a listing of the ALA committees and associations which address intellectual freedom and outlines how to get involved in these divisions.

See the ALA website for a listing of previous IFRT reports.