Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

"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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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              HathiTrust Responds to First Amended Complaint in Authors Guild, Inc. et al. v. HathiTrust et al. Copyright Case

              Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on December 5th, 2011

              HathiTrust has responded to the plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint in the Authors Guild, Inc. et al. v. HathiTrust et al. copyright case.

              Read more about it at "HathiTrust Answers Authors Guild Lawsuit; Trial Schedule Set" and "Authors Guild v. HathiTrust et al. Resources."

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                SOPA/PIPA Alternative: "Fighting the Unauthorized Trade of Digital Goods while Protecting Internet Security, Commerce and Speech"

                Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Legislation and Government Regulation on December 4th, 2011

                Senator Ron Wyden and others have released a draft proposal, "Fighting the Unauthorized Trade of Digital Goods while Protecting Internet Security, Commerce and Speech," that presents an alternative to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PIPA).

                Here's an excerpt:

                We found that using trade laws to address the flow of infringing digital goods into the United States makes it possible to avoid many of the pitfalls that would arise from other legislative proposals currently being advanced to combat online infringement. Namely by putting the regulatory power in the hands of the International Trade Commission—versus a diversity of magistrate judges not versed in Internet and trade policy—will ensure a transparent process in which import policy is fairly and consistently applied and all interests are taken into account. When infringement is addressed only from a narrow judicial perspective, important issues pertaining to cybersecurity and the promotion of online innovation, commerce and speech get neglected. By approaching digital good infringement as a matter of regulating international commerce, we are able to take all of these factors into account.

                Read more about it at "SOPA on the Ropes? Bipartisan Alternative to 'Net Censorship Emerges."

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