Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

Pamela Samuelson et al. Send Letter to US District Court Judge Denny Chin about Authors Guild v. Google Case

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on February 19th, 2012

Pamela Samuelson, Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the UC Berkeley School of Law, and other scholars have sent a letter ("Academic Author Objections to Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification") to US District Court Judge Denny Chin about class certification issues in the Authors Guild v. Google Case.

Here's an excerpt:

We believe that our works of scholarship are more typical of the contents of research library collections than works of the three named plaintiffs in this case. Betty Miles is the author of numerous children's books. Jim Bouton is a former baseball pitcher who has written both fiction and nonfiction books based on his experiences as a baseball player. Joseph Goulden is a professional writer who has written a number of nonfiction books on a variety of subjects, including a book about "superlawyers." None of these three are academic authors. Their books are aimed at a popular, rather than an academic, audience. As professional writers, their motivations and interests in having their books published would understandably be different, and likely more commercial, than those of academic scholars. Hence, our concern is that these three do not share the academic interests that are typical of authors of books in research library collections. As we explain further below, the clearest indication that the named plaintiffs do not share the same priorities typical of academic authors is their insistence on pursuing this litigation.

| Google Books Bibliography | Digital Scholarship |

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    How to Fix Copyright

    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on February 7th, 2012

    William Patry, Senior Copyright Counsel at Google, has published How to Fix Copyright (publisher's description).

    Here's an excerpt:

    Our current laws are the result of "lobbynomics," the continual use of exaggerated (and often false) claims and crises as an excuse to pass laws that are unnecessary and many times harmful. . . . We will never fix our laws unless we clean house and start all over again, this time on a sound, empirical basis: Simply adding on to a failed structure will no longer work.

    | Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography 2010 | Digital Scholarship |

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      "Golan v. Holder: A Farewell to Constitutional Challenges to Copyright Laws"

      Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on February 7th, 2012

      The Library Copyright Alliance has released "Golan v. Holder: A Farewell to Constitutional Challenges to Copyright Laws" by Jonathan Band.

      Here's an excerpt:

      The majority opinion in Golan closes the door on constitutional challenges to copyright statutes unless those statutes contain absolutely no time limits or directly undermine the idea/expression dichotomy or fair use. Justice Breyer failed to convince the Court that under the Constitution Congress had the authority to enact only utilitarian copyright statutes that incentivized the creation of new material. The majority opinion leaves Congress as the sole venue for fighting draconian copyright laws.

      | Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography, Version 80 | Digital Scholarship |

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        Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age

        Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on February 5th, 2012

        The Amsterdam University Press has released Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age.

        Here's an excerpt:

        This book is about file sharing for creative, expressive or informative works in all media. More specifically, it is about file sharing between individuals and without profit motive. File sharing is the act of making a file available to other individuals by putting it on-line, by sending a copy, or by rendering it accessible through a file sharing software. We defend the view that sharing without direct or indirect monetary transaction—or "non-market" sharing—is legitimate. We also claim that sharing is socially and culturally valuable and will play a key role in the future of our culture and the creative economies. Furthermore, this book proposes a means to strengthen and exploit the synergy between file sharing and creativity, for the general benefit of society and the enrichment of the cultural economy.

        | Digital Scholarship |

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          Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries

          Posted in Copyright on January 25th, 2012

          The Association of Research Libraries, the Center for Social Media at the School of Communication of American University, and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at the Washington College of Law of American University have released the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries.

          Here's an excerpt:

          This is a code of best practices in fair use devised specifically by and for the academic and research library community. It enhances the ability of librarians to rely on fair use by documenting the considered views of the library community about best practices in fair use, drawn from the actual practices and experience of the library community itself.

          It identifies eight situations that represent the library community's current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials and describes a carefully derived consensus within the library community about how those rights should apply in certain recurrent situations.

          | Digital Scholarship's Digital/Print Books | Digital Scholarship |

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            "Orphan Works: Definitional Issues"

            Posted in Copyright, Reports and White Papers on January 24th, 2012

            David Robert Hansen has self-archived "Orphan Works: Definitional Issues" in SSRN. This is a white paper from the Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project.

            Here's an excerpt:

            When discussing orphan works, two basic definitional questions arise: (1) exactly what is the "orphan works" problem?, and (2) what is the size of this problem? The answers to these two questions are central to understanding how proposed solutions work to remedy the situation. Though both questions have long been posed, the answer to the first (what is the "orphan works"; problem) can vary based on the type of work or the particular user, and the answer to the second (what is the size of the problem) remains difficult to state with precision. This paper explores both and identifies areas where further research is needed.

            | Digital Scholarship's Digital Bibliographies | Digital Scholarship |

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              Public Domain Defeat: US Supreme Court Golan v. Holder Ruling

              Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on January 19th, 2012

              In a major defeat for public domain advocacy, the US Supreme Court has ruled against Lawrence Golan and others in Golan v. Holder.

              Here is an excerpt from a synopsis of the case from the Legal Information Institute:

              Congress enacted Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act in order to comply with the international copyright standards of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Section 514 restores copyright protection to foreign works currently found in the public domain. Lawrence Golan and other performers, educators, and motion picture distributors brought this suit challenging Section 514, arguing that Congress's removal of works from the public domain exceeded its Copyright Clause powers. Golan also argues that Section 514 violates the First Amendment because the law does not serve any important government interests. Attorney General Holder counters that the Copyright Clause does not restrict Congress's authority to remove works from the public domain. He further argues that Section 514 does not violate the First Amendment because the government has a substantial interest in complying with the Berne Convention and protecting American works abroad.

              Here's an excerpt from the ruling:

              Congress determined that U. S. interests were best served by our full participation in the dominant system of international copyright protection. Those interests include ensuring exemplary compliance with our international obligations, securing greater protection for U. S. authors abroad, and remedying unequal treatment of foreign authors. The judgment §514 expresses lies well within the ken of the political branches. It is our obligation, of course, to determine whether the action Congress took, wise or not, encounters any constitutional shoal. For the reasons stated, we are satisfied it does not. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is therefore Affirmed.

              In a lengthy dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer said:

              The fact that, by withdrawing material from the public domain, the statute inhibits an important preexisting flow of information is sufficient, when combined with the other features of the statute that I have discussed, to convince me that the Copyright Clause, interpreted in the light of the First Amendment, does not authorize Congress to enact this statute.

              Justice Samuel Alito also dissented.

              | Digital Scholarship |

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                Three New Documents about Creative Commons Licenses for Data

                Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management on January 16th, 2012

                The Creative Commons has released three new documents about the use of its licenses for data: "Data," "Data and CC Licenses," and "CC0 Use for Data."

                Here's an excerpt from the announcement by Sarah Hinchliff Pearson:

                We have done a lot of thinking about data in the past year. As a result, we have recently published a set of detailed FAQs designed to help explain how CC licenses work with data and databases.

                These FAQs are intended to:

                1. alert CC licensors that some uses of their data and databases may not trigger the license conditions,
                2. reiterate to licensees that CC licenses do not restrict them from doing anything they are otherwise permitted to do under the law, and
                3. clear up confusion about how the version 3.0 CC licenses treat sui generis database rights.

                | Digital Scholarship's Weblogs and Tweets | Digital Scholarship |

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