Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

"Justifications for Copyright Limitations & Exceptions"

Posted in Copyright on March 18th, 2015

Pamela Samuelson has self-archived "Justifications for Copyright Limitations & Exceptions."

Here's an excerpt:

The essay traces the historical development of L&Es in U.S. copyright law. . . .

The essay then considers nine justifications for the existence of these L&Es. One set promotes ongoing authorship. A second recognizes both authorial and broader public interests in dissemination of news, freedom of expression, and access to information. A third protects privacy, personal autonomy, and ownership interests of consumers. A fourth aims to fulfill certain cultural and social policy goals. A fifth enables public institutions, such as courts and legislatures, to function more effectively. A sixth fosters competition and ongoing innovation. A seventh exempts incidental uses lacking in economic significance. An eighth addresses market failure problems. A ninth encompasses L&Es adopted for politically expedient reasons.

It also discusses a tenth type of L&E, those designed to enable copyright law to be flexible and adaptable over time.

The essay concludes that the optimal policy for L&Es may well be to have specific exceptions for categories of justified uses that are relatively stable over time and for which predictability is more important than flexibility and to have an open-ended exception such as fair use to allow the law to adapt to new uses not contemplated by the legislature.

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    "The Blurred Lines Copyright Verdict Is Bad News for Music"

    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on March 16th, 2015

    EFF has released "The Blurred Lines Copyright Verdict Is Bad News for Music."

    Here's an excerpt:

    Artists evoke elements of common culture all the time, to make their point or simply to entertain by putting their own twist on what has come before. This is what makes culture a conversation and not a series of disjointed soliloquies. Copyright law, though, is dangerously disconnected with the way culture gets made, and as a result it pushes entire genres and communities to the margins, such as those that involve sampling, remix, and other adaptations. A staggering amount of such work is generated noncommercially and available online, but the broad sweep of copyright exclusivity, the risk of disproportionate statutory damages, and the uneven application of the fair use doctrine mean that such authors are typically excluded from commercial opportunities. Far from being incentivized by copyright, such authors typically create in spite of the threats posed by copyright law.

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      "Fair Use Week 2015 Highlights"

      Posted in ARL Libraries, Copyright on March 12th, 2015

      ARL has released "Fair Use Week 2015 Highlights."

      Here's an excerpt:

      Each day, new blog posts and resource materials were produced. Daily recaps are available for each day of Fair Use Week and additional resources are available on the website. Over the course of the week, more than 90 blog posts, 13 videos, 2 podcasts, a comic book, an infographic, and several other great resources were released. Below are some highlights from the week.

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        You Didn’t Think It Was Over, Did You? New Motion in GSU Copyright Case

        Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Publishing, Research Libraries, Scholarly Journals on March 9th, 2015

        According to "Publishers' Move Could Mean 'Whole New Trial' in GSU Copyright Case," the plaintiffs have filed a motion to "reopen the trial record, and have asked that new evidence be used to determine whether some of the university's online e-reserve course readings are infringing copyright."

        The article also mentions a recent e-print by Brandon Butler, "Transformative Teaching and Educational Fair Use after Georgia State."

        Here's an excerpt from the e-print:

        The latest installment in the history of educational fair use, the 11th Circuit's opinion in the Georgia State e-reserves case, may be the last judicial word on the subject for years to come, and I argue that its import is primarily in its rejection of outdated guidelines and case law, rather than any affirmative vision of fair use (which the court studiously avoids). Because of the unique factual context of the case, it stops short of bridging the gap between educational fair use and modern transformative use jurisprudence. With help from recent scholarship on broad patterns in fair use caselaw, I pick up where the GSU court left off, describing a variety of common educational uses that are categorizable as transformative, and therefore entitled to broad deference under contemporary fair use doctrine. In the process, I show a way forward for vindicating fair use rights, and first amendment rights, by applying the transformative use concept at lower levels of abstraction to help practice communities make sense of the doctrine.

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          "Fair Use Rising: Full-Text Access and Repurposing in Recent Case Law"

          Posted in Copyright on February 16th, 2015

          Brandon Butler, has published "Fair Use Rising: Full-Text Access and Repurposing in Recent Case Law" in a special issue on copyright of Research Library Issues.

          Here's an excerpt from the issue introduction:

          In "Fair Use Rising: Full-Text Access and Repurposing in Recent Case Law," Brandon Butler, practitionerin- residence at the American University Washington College of Law, reviews six recent fair use decisions that cut across many socially important and beneficial purposes. He highlights the trend of courts finding in favor of allowing "the broad redistribution of unaltered, full-text documents for new purposes." Butler explains how this trend presents new opportunities for research libraries to use and re-purpose the full text of copyrighted works in their collections.

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            "The Valuation of Unprotected Works: A Case Study of Public Domain Photographs on Wikipedia"

            Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on February 11th, 2015

            Paul J. Heald et al. have self-archived "The Valuation of Unprotected Works: A Case Study of Public Domain Photographs on Wikipedia."

            Here's an excerpt:

            We study the biographical Wikipedia pages of a large data set of authors, composers, and lyricists to determine whether the public domain status of available images leads to a higher rate of inclusion of illustrated supplementary material and whether such inclusion increases visitorship to individual pages. We attempt to objectively place a value on the body of public domain photographs and illustrations which are used in this global resource. . . . We find that the large majority of photos and illustrations used on subject pages were obtained from the public domain, and we estimate their value in terms of costs saved to Wikipedia page builders and in terms of increased traffic corresponding to the inclusion of an image. Then, extrapolating from the characteristics of a random sample of a further 300 Wikipedia pages, we estimate a total value of public domain photographs on Wikipedia of between $246 to $270 million dollars per year.

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              Public Domain: "Negotiators Burn Their Last Opportunity to Salvage the TPP by Caving on Copyright Term Extension "

              Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on February 9th, 2015

              Maira Sutton has published "Negotiators Burn Their Last Opportunity to Salvage the TPP by Caving on Copyright Term Extension" in DeepLinks.

              Here's an excerpt:

              New reports indicate that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators have agreed to language that would bind its 12 signatory nations to extend copyright terms to match the United States' already excessive length of copyright. This provision expands the reach of the controversial US Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (or the "Mickey Mouse Act" as it was called due to Disney's heavy lobbying) to countries of the Pacific region. Nations including Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Canada would all be required to extend their terms and grant Big Content companies lengthy exclusive rights to works for no empirical reason. This means that all of the TPP's extreme enforcement provisions would apply to creative works for upwards of 100 years.

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                "Let’s Make It Easier to Expand the Public Domain"

                Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on January 27th, 2015

                John Bergmayer has published "Let's Make It Easier to Expand the Public Domain" in Copyright Reform.

                Here's an excerpt:

                The fact that a license is "perpetual" doesn't require the copyright holder to keep offering the license; it just means the license, once granted, can't be revoked.

                Except it can be. Copyright termination means that any license, including a perpetual public license, can be revoked. This means, for example, that contributors to projects like Wikipedia (where an original contributor continues to own the copyright to her work, but licenses that copyright under a liberal license) can revoke that license. It also means that people who transfer actual ownership of their copyrights to stewards like the Free Software Foundation can claw back that ownership.

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