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Weekly News Digest

September 29, 2020 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

IFLA Shares WIPO Conference News

IFLA released a roundup of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) General Assembly, which was held Sept. 21–25, 2020, in Geneva and online. It states the following:

The agenda of this, the 61st meeting, included several important items including the overall governance of the Organization, programming and budgeting, the Treaties of which WIPO is the guardian, and staffing matters. …

IFLA, like others, highlighted in particular the success of the Treaty of Marrakesh. … This Treaty, aimed at facilitating access to published works for people who are blind or visually impaired, has now been ratified, or acceded to, by 71 contracting parties, which together with Europe brings the number of ratifying countries to 98 countries.

In its statement, IFLA congratulated WIPO on the work done, highlighting the essential role of libraries in the ABC Book Service. IFLA also stressed the need to continue promoting accurate information about the Treaty in order to ensure the most effective possible implementations at the national level. …

A key moment of controversy was around the opposition of China to the application of the Wikimedia Foundation as an observer to WIPO on a mixture of procedural and political grounds. As a result, the candidacy is now suspended until a next meeting of WIPO in 2021.

The blocking of the Foundation’s application is troubling, given the shared goals that IFLA and Wikimedia share. The intervention of the United States in order to support Wikimedia’s foundation was therefore welcome, but the silence of other blocs less so.

For more information, read the press release.

Sunlight Foundation Shuts Down

The Sunlight Foundation’s chairman of the board and co-founder, Michael R. Klein, writes the following on the organization’s website:

About fifteen years ago, in November 2005, Ellen Miller and I created the Sunlight Foundation in an effort to demonstrate that the then emerging tools of computer technology could have a positive impact on citizen understanding and oversight of government and the political spheres. … Over the years that followed, the staff and supporters of the Sunlight Foundation led the way in demonstrating those possibilities, facilitating many improvements in oversight, transparency and citizen participation. Best of all, that activity encouraged and facilitated a generation of others. … We have now reached the point at which Sunlight’s board has determined that its role is no longer essential to its original central mission. All good things come to an end. And so it is with the Sunlight Foundation.

Over the past months, virtually all of the activities and staff of Sunlight have been transferred to other engaged institutions, or closed.  What remains, Sunlight’s name, IP and [its] records have been transferred to the Internet Archive and to the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard. …

With appreciation for all any of you have contributed to this and related efforts, we therefore say thank you, good bye and good luck.

For more information, read the statement.

Clarivate Unveils Its Class of 2020 Citation Laureates

Clarivate introduced 24 new Citation Laureates for 2020, who were selected via analysis from its Institute for Scientific Information. These researchers—hailing from the U.S., Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the U.K.—have produced work that is considered worthy of a Nobel Prize.

According to the press release, “Each year since 2002, ISI analysts have drawn on Web of Science publication and citation data to identify influential researchers in the research areas recognized by Nobel Prizes: Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Economics. Out of some 50 million articles and proceedings indexed in the Web of Science since 1970, only 5,700 (or .01%) have been cited 2,000 or more times. It is from the authors of this group of papers that Citation Laureates are identified and selected. They are individuals whose research reports are highly cited and whose contributions to science have been extremely influential, even transformative.”

For more information and the full list of Citation Laureates, read the press release.

Ex Libris Is Now Certified for an ISO Data Privacy Standard

Ex Libris announced the following:

[T]he company has achieved certification for ISO 27701:2019, an international standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the only organization in the library software industry to do so. ISO 27701:2019 provides a code of practice for maintaining the privacy of data in a privacy information management system (PIMS). This standard establishes privacy requirements, helps organizations manage risks related to personally identifiable information (PII), and outlines a comprehensive set of operational controls that can be mapped to various regulations. … Ex Libris customers benefit from the assurance that Ex Libris complies with robust internationally recognized standards and that Ex Libris will continue to invest in complying with future standards as well.

For more information, read the press release.

Updates to TikTok's Legal Issues

Connor Perrett reports the following for Business Insider:

A federal judge on [Sept. 27] ruled against the Trump administration in granting TikTok an injunction against a temporary download ban that was set to take place [the same date] at 11:59 p.m. …

On [Sept. 23], TikTok filed for the preliminary injunction against the Justice Department order, which would ban downloads of the TikTok app in the US. … [L]awyers for TikTok filed the request as part of TikTok’s lawsuit against the US government, which challenges the legality of the president's proposed ban. …

During the [Sept. 27] dial-in hearing, lawyers for TikTok argued the download ban was ‘arbitrary and capricious’ and should be halted until a final ruling … was made in the company’s entire lawsuit against the Trump administration, as The Verge reported. …

The ruling in favor of TikTok’s injunction request delivers a blow to Trump’s months-long plans to ban the app in the US. In July, Trump first suggested he might ban the app, citing concerns about its Chinese ownership. TikTok has repeatedly denied that it shares US user data with the Chinese government, despite baseless claims from Trump’s administration. In August, the president signed two executive orders targeting TikTok, leading to the Commerce Department’s September 18 announcement about the download ban.

Still, criticism of TikTok has been bipartisan. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has likewise called for a US company to assume ownership of the video-based social platform.

For more information, read the article.

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