Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

EFF Submits Amicus Brief in Cambridge Press v. Georgia State University E-Reserves Copyright Case

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Reserves, Publishing, Research Libraries on February 20th, 2017

The EFF has submitted an Amicus Brief in the Cambridge Press v. Georgia State University case.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

On behalf of three national library associations, EFF today urged a federal appeals court for the second time to protect librarians' and students' rights to make fair use of excerpts from academic books and research.

Nearly a decade ago, three of the largest academic publishers in the world—backed by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) trade group—sued Georgia State University (GSU) for copyright infringement . . . GSU argued that posting excerpts in the e-reserve systems was a "fair use " of the material, thus not subject to licensing fees. GSU also changed its e-reserve policy to ensure its practices were consistent with a set of fair use best practices that were developed pursuant to a broad consensus among libraries and other stakeholders. . . .

But that was not enough to satisfy the publishers. Rather than declare victory, they've doggedly pursued their claims. It seems the publishers will not be content until universities and libraries agree to further decimate their budgets. As we explain in our brief, that outcome would undermine the fundamental purposes of copyright, not to mention both the public interest, and the interests of the authors of the works in question.

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"An Empirical Study of Law Journal Copyright Practices"

Posted in Copyright, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on February 9th, 2017

Brian L. Frye, Christopher J. Ryan, Jr., and Franklin L. Runge have published "An Empirical Study of Law Journal Copyright Practices" in the Review of Intellectual Property Law.

Here's an excerpt:

This article presents an empirical study of the copyright practices of American law journals in relation to copyright ownership and fair use, based on a 24-question survey. It concludes that many American law journals have adopted copyright policies that are inconsistent with the expectations of legal scholars and the scope of copyright protection. Specifically, many law journals have adopted copyright policies that effectively preclude open-access publishing, and unnecessarily limit the fair use of copyrighted works. In addition, it appears that some law journals may not understand their own copyright policies. This article proposes the creation of a Code of Copyright Best Practices for Law Journals in order to encourage both open-access publishing and fair use.

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Creative Commons Releases CC Search Beta

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Google and Other Search Engines, Open Access on February 8th, 2017

The Creative Commons has released CC Search Beta.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Our goal is to cover the whole commons, but we wanted to develop something people could test and react to that would be useful at launch. To build our beta, we settled on a goal to represent one percent of the known Commons, or about 10 million works, and we chose a vertical slice of images only, to fully explore a purpose-built interface that represented one type but many providers. . . .

After a detailed review of potential sources, the available APIs, and the quality of their datasets, we selected the Rijksmuseum, Flickr, 500px, the New York Public Library as our initial sources. Later, after discussions with the Metropolitan Museum of Art regarding their collection of public domain works, which were released under CC0 on February 7, 2017, we incorporated their 200,000 CC0 images as well. . . .

The prototype of this tool focuses on photos as its first media and uses open APIs in order to index the available works. The search filters allow users to search by license type, title, creator, tags, collection, and type of institution.

CC Search Beta also provides social features, allowing users to create and share lists as well as add tags and favorites to the objects in the commons, and save their searches. Finally, it incorporates one-click attribution, giving users pre-formatted copy for easy attribution.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art Puts Images of Public Domain Artworks under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) License

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Museums, Open Access on February 8th, 2017

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has put images of public domain artworks under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) License.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This morning, we announced a major update to the Museum's policy governing the use and reuse of images in our collection: all images of public-domain artworks in the Museum's collection are now available for free and unrestricted use under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). This updated policy, known as Open Access, enables everyone to utilize more than 375,000 images of public-domain artworks in The Met's collection in any media without permission or fee.

See also: "Introducing Open Access at The Met."

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"Out of Print: The Orphans of Mass Digitization"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Mass Digitizaton, Public Domain, Publishing on January 30th, 2017

Mary Murrell has published "Out of Print: The Orphans of Mass Digitization" in Current Anthropology.

Here's an excerpt:

In the 2000s an interconnected set of elite projects in the United States sought to digitize "all books in all languages" and make them available online. These mass digitization projects were efforts to absorb the print book infrastructure into a new one centered in computer networks. Mass book digitization has now faded from view, and here I trace its setbacks through a curious figure—the "orphan"—that emerged from within these projects and acted ultimately as an agent of impasse. In legal policy debates, an "orphan" refers to a copyrighted work whose owner cannot be found, but its history, range of meanings, and deployments reveal it to be considerably more complex. Based on fieldwork conducted at a digital library engaged in mass digitization, this paper analyzes the "orphan" as a personifying metaphor that digital library activists embraced in order to challenge and/or disrupt the social relations that adhere in and around books.

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AAP and RIAA (and Others) Send Letters to Trump

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on December 16th, 2016

The AAP and the RIAA (and others) have send letters to Donald Trump expressing copyright concerns.

Here's the AAP letter.

Here's an excerpt:

Provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), which Congress enacted in 1998 to encourage online availability of popular copyrighted works while promoting a balance of interests and cooperation between copyright owners and Internet service providers in dealing with online infringement of such works, wildly succeeded in encouraging such availability. However, the relevant DMCA provisions do not achieve that intended balance and cooperation due to numerous instances of judicial misapplication and the unanticipated appearance of service provider business models that foster, exploit and profit from online infringement by their users while offering only token compliance with the law.

Here's the RIAA letter.

Here's an excerpt:

However, much more needs to be done. Search engines, user upload content platforms, hosting companies, and domain name registrars and registries should follow others' example to effectively stop theft and assure fair payment.

Further, there is a massive "value grab" as some of these corporations weaken intellectual property rights for America's creators by exploiting legal loopholes never intended for them—perversely abusing U.S. law to underpay music creators, thus harming one of America's economic and job engines.

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Draft Model Publishing Contracts for Digital Scholarship Released

Posted in Copyright, Publishing, Scholarly Books on December 15th, 2016

Emory University and the University of Michigan have released draft versions of two model publishing contracts for digital scholarship.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

In order to ensure this contract meets the needs of both authors and publishers, we are soliciting feedback from authors, publishers, and other interested stakeholders, and will make draft versions of these documents publicly available for comment. Materials will be available for review until February 15, 2017, at which time we will incorporate feedback into a revised version of the documents, which will be shared publicly and available for adoption, reuse, and modification.

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Assessing the Operation of Copyright and Related Rights Systems: Methodology Framework

Posted in Copyright on December 12th, 2016

The Finnish Foundation for Cultural Policy Research has released Assessing the Operation of Copyright and Related Rights Systems: Methodology Framework.

Here's an excerpt:

The methodology, such as it is outlined in the framework, can serve as a basis for the formulation of copyright and related rights policies and strategies at the national level. It can therefore facilitate further development of the copyright system. The methodology framework consists of relevant key indicators that are useful in identifying trends and good practices while acknowledging the different contexts in which the national copyright systems operate. Assessing the operation of the copyright system increases transparency and provides an information base for public discussion on copyright policy.

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"Blockchain Technology as a Regulatory Technology: From Code Is Law to Law Is Code"

Posted in Copyright, Emerging Technologies on December 7th, 2016

Primavera De Filippi and Samer Hassan have published "Blockchain Technology as a Regulatory Technology: From Code Is Law to Law Is Code" in First Monday.

Here's an excerpt:

To illustrate the extent to which blockchain code can assume the function of law, let us take the example of a hypothetical blockchain-based DRM system. Copyright law introduces "artificial scarcity" in the realm of information, by prohibiting (or constraining) the reproduction of creative works without the consent of the corresponding right holders. Yet, given the ease with which one can produce an identical copy of a digital work, copyright infringement has become widespread in the digital world. Since many years already, content providers have been relying on technological means (such as DRM systems, or other technological measures of protection) to restrain the way in which content can be accessed, used or reused by introducing a new set of technical rules, as a complement to the legal provisions of copyright law. Yet, most of these systems are limited by the fact that it is impossible to distinguish one digital file from another. By leveraging on the transparency and immutability of blockchain technologies, it is possible to restore the unicity and transferability of digital works, by linking every digital copy to a particular token on the blockchain. Authors can then associate these tokens with a particular set of rights to their digital works and trade them in the same way as they would trade digital tokens. Blockchain technology can thus be used to implement "artificial scarcity" at the level of each individual file—thus potentially allowing for the reintroduction of the first sale doctrine [11] in the digital realm, without the need to rely on any contractual or legal means.

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Finding the Public Domain: The Copyright Review Management System

Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on October 28th, 2016

Ithaka S+R has released Finding the Public Domain: The Copyright Review Management System .

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The project team documented these lessons in a book called Finding the Public Domain: Copyright Review Management System Toolkit. The Toolkit shares practical insights gained in this effort in the hope of supporting others interested in copyright review. This brief complements the practical toolkit. It explains the history of CRMS and introduces the basics of the CRMS procedure. It then discusses some of the lessons, successes, surprises, and challenges of the work.

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"What Kind of World Is STM Living In?

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Open Access, Publishing, Research Libraries, Scholarly Journals on September 20th, 2016

The League of European Research Universities has released What Kind of World Is STM Living In.

Here's an excerpt:

4 September saw the International Association of STM publishers (STM) issue a response to the EC's proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which flies in the face of LERU's views contained in its own Press Release. Amongst other things, STM is calling for the extension of ancillary copyright to cover academic publishing, implying that they will take legal action if this does not happen. . . . Ancillary copyright in this case would extend copyright protection, not allowing academics and universities freely to link to/use the world of information on the Internet, placing publishers in control of the information environment. LERU rejects this as counter to academic freedom and to the EC's vison for Open Science.

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"State of the Union 2016: Commission Proposes Modern EU Copyright Rules for European Culture to Flourish and Circulate"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on September 15th, 2016

The European Commission has released "State of the Union 2016: Commission Proposes Modern EU Copyright Rules for European Culture to Flourish and Circulate."

Here's an excerpt:

"I want journalists, publishers and authors to be paid fairly for their work, whether it is made in studios or living rooms, whether it is disseminated offline or online, whether it is published via a copying machine or commercially hyperlinked on the web."—President Juncker, State of the Union 2016

Read more about it at: "EU Announces Absolutely Ridiculous Copyright Proposal That Will Chill Innovation, Harm Creativity"; "EU Digital Copyright Reform Proposals Slammed as Regressive"; and "EU Copyright Plans a Big Win for Old Media, But Public Concerns Ignored."

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