Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

Judiciary Committee Hearing on Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term

Posted in Copyright, Legislation and Government Regulation on July 17th, 2014

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on moral rights, termination rights, resale royalty, and copyright term.

Here's an excerpt from "Congress Takes On Copyright Term, Moral Rights, and More":

How is this going to work? It's hard to say. Probably not very well. The hearing structure allows a handful of witnesses to give very brief explanations of their views, but the question-and-answer format hasn't always been very productive. In the past, we've seen lawmakers in the committee raise pet issues instead of focusing on the topics on the agenda—take for example last month's hearing on the first sale doctrine, which included numerous questions about the unrelated issue of "piracy."

Moreover, in the absence of real public feedback during these hearings, the committee has sought to represent the public interest by inviting testimony from "both" sides of an imagined dichotomy. Hearings include witnesses from, say, a big company and a small company, a telecom and a publisher, or a copyright licensor and a licensee. This sometimes provides a good impression of balance, but on a panel addressing four separate issues, the odds seem long. It is also often the case that these "sides" don't include anyone who represents the public interest.

But let's not pass judgment before the hearing even takes place. For those who are watching the hearing, here is a primer on the four issues up for discussion:

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    "EFF Urges Appeals Court to Keep Protecting Fair Use"

    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton on July 15th, 2014

    EFF has released "EFF Urges Appeals Court to Keep Protecting Fair Use."

    Here's an excerpt:

    In this latest appeal, the Authors Guild (and its supporters) claim that fair use is being unjustly expanded, portraying Judge Chin's ruling and other recent court opinions as some kind of fair-use creep, stretching beyond the original intent of the doctrine. Specifically, the Guild argues that the first of the four statutory fair use factors—the purpose of the use, which asks whether the use of the copyrighted material is transformative and/or non-commercial—weighs against Google. The Authors Guild and its amici insist that a use cannot be transformative if it doesn't add new creative expression to the pre-existing work. But as Judge Chin so rightly recognized, a use can be transformative if serves a new and distinct purpose.

    Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

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      What Does the HathiTrust Decision Mean for Libraries?

      Posted in Copyright, Mass Digitizaton, Research Libraries on July 14th, 2014

      The Library Copyright Alliance has released What Does the HathiTrust Decision Mean for Libraries?.

      Here's an excerpt:

      The decision also demonstrates how the fair use right applies in the context of a specific library activity: mass digitization. The decision clearly indicates that the acts of a library digitizing the works in its collection, and the library's storage of the resulting digital files, are fair uses under section 107 of the Copyright Act. The decision, however, provides less certainty concerning the permissible access to those digital files. The only form of full-text access it addresses directly is access by the disabled. To be sure, this is an incredibly important result for these individuals. But the court provides little specific guidance concerning the permissibility of other forms of access. Nonetheless, the court's more general pronouncements concerning fair use should be helpful to libraries trying to determine the range of permitted access to their mass digitization projects.

      Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

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        STM Releases Its Own Open Access Licenses

        Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Open Access, Publishing on July 14th, 2014

        The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) has released its own collection of open access licenses.

        Here's an excerpt:

        STM believes that publishers should have the tools to offer a wide variety of appropriate licensing terms dependent on their economic model and business strategy. To that end, the Association has produced sample licences for a variety of uses within open access publishing.

        Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

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          European Commission Issues Action Plan for Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights

          Posted in Copyright on July 2nd, 2014

          The European Commission has issued an Action Plan for infringements of intellectual property rights.

          Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

          Here's an excerpt:

          The EU Action Plan sets out a number of actions to focus the EU's IPR enforcement policy on commercial scale infringements (the so-called 'follow the money' approach). The Strategy setting out an international approach examines recent changes and presents ways to improve the Commission's current means of action to promote enhanced IPR standards in third countries and to stem the trade in IPR infringing goods.

          Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

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            Economic Impacts of Adapting Certain Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright and Related Rights

            Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Reports and White Papers on June 27th, 2014

            The European Commission has released Economic Impacts of Adapting Certain Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright and Related Rights.

            Here's an excerpt from the summary:

            The first part of the study is the report by Charles River Associates "Assessing the economic impacts of adapting certain limitations and exceptions to copyright and related rights in the EU" (Langus et al., 2013, henceforth "CRA Methodology Report"), which establishes a methodology to assess exceptions and limitations to copyright. . . .

            In turn, the present report uses the aforementioned methodology to assess the economic impacts of specific policy options in several topics of interest, in view of providing policy guidance on these topics. This report focuses on the following topics:

            • Digital preservation by cultural heritage and educational institutions;
            • The provision of remote access by cultural heritage and educational institutions to their collections for the benefit of their patrons;
            • E-lending by publicly accessible libraries;
            • Text and data mining for the purpose of scientific research;
            • Reproductions made by natural persons for private uses.

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              Software Patents: Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Ruling

              Posted in Copyright on June 20th, 2014

              The Supreme Court has ruled in the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank software patent case.

              Here's an excerpt from "Bad Day for Bad Patents: Supreme Court Unanimously Strikes Down Abstract Software Patent":

              In a long-awaited decision, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank today, striking down an abstract software patent. Essentially, the Court ruled that adding "on a computer" to an abstract idea does not make it patentable. Many thousands of software patents—particularly the vague and overbroad patents so beloved by patent trolls—should be struck down under this standard. Because the opinion leaves many details to be worked out (such as the scope of an "abstract idea"), it might be a few years until we understand its full impact.

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                "Liberating the Publications of a Distinguished Scholar: A Pilot Project"

                Posted in Copyright, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Research Libraries, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on June 20th, 2014

                Julie Kelly has published "Liberating the Publications of a Distinguished Scholar: A Pilot Project" in Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship.

                Here's an excerpt:

                Many distinguished scholars published the primary corpus of their work before the advent of online journals, which makes it more challenging to access. Upon being approached by a distinguished Emeritus Professor seeking advice about getting his work posted online, librarians at the University of Minnesota worked to gain copyright permissions to scan and upload older works to the University's Digital Conservancy (UDC). This project then uniquely took the process one step further, using the sharing option of RefWorks to make these works accessible to the widest possible audience while concurrently offering the sophisticated functionality of a citation manager. With open access repositories gaining acceptance as an authoritative long-term venue for making resources available online, including older content that can be digitized, the methods developed in this pilot project could easily be followed by others, thus greatly increasing access to older literature from distinguished scholars.

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