Many academic journals require their library subscribers to sign non-disclosure agreements to keep their pricing structures secret. This is obviously anti-competitive, and precludes any kind of free market from forming. Cornell has decided it’s had enough of this, and will refuse to sign any such agreement in the future, while making the (often exorbitant) prices it pays for journal subscriptions public.
One of the Rosetta discs was recently bequeathed to the University of Colorado libraries, and the Long Now put out a request for pictures of it in its new home. I eagerly responded by heading to the special collections in Norlin yesterday. It didn’t seem to be on display anywhere, so when the librarian made eye contact, I said I was here to see the Rosetta disc, and she sent someone off to get it. And they took it out of its Pelican case, and set it on the table in front of me (after I’d filled out a reader card and agreed only to take notes in pencil… or by digital means — no pens are allowed near the old books) At first I was hesitant to touch it, and asked if it was okay, and she said “Oh it doesn’t look like the kind of thing that requires any special handling.” So I picked it up.