Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

Google Granted Safe Harbor Protection in Viacom v. YouTube Billion Dollar Lawsuit

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Google and Other Search Engines on June 24th, 2010

Judge Louis Stanton of the United States District Court Southern District of New York has granted Google and YouTube's motion for a summary judgment in Viacom v. YouTube based on "safe harbor" protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s 17 U.S.C. § 512(c).

Here's an excerpt from "YouTube Wins Summary Judgment in Viacom DMCA Lawsuit" by EFF's Kurt Opsahl:

The wealth of legislative history and precedent visible in this opinion shows just how uncontroversial the decision is. An online host is only liable if it doesn't take down specific instances of infringement it actually knows about. That's been well established, as have the principles that the host doesn't have a duty to actively monitor everything on the site, or that the online service can do more than merely store works. If the parties involved here had been a small video blogger and a local bulletin board, this case would have attracted almost no media attention, because it's not breaking any new legal ground. The amount of attention—the reason this is a big deal—is really due to the size of the companies and the numbers at stake. The only new ground that could have been broken would have been if the judge had deviated from the history of the statute and the ever-lengthening line of precedent that reaches just the same conclusion.

Read more about it at "Google Defeats Viacom's $1 Billion YouTube Suit," "How the YouTube-Viacom Ruling Will Set the Web Free," and "Judge Sides with Google in Viacom Video Suit."


ALA: "Copyright Update—June 2010"

Posted in Copyright, Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access on June 23rd, 2010

The ALA Office of Government Relations has released "Copyright Update—June 2010."

Here's an excerpt:

Rep. Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, introduced The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (H.R. 801) on February 3, 2009. Unfortunately, this not-so-new bill seeking to amend copyright code and create a new category of copyrighted work differs only in the bill number assigned from its predecessor in the 110th Congress (H.R. 6845) that ultimately died in the House Judiciary Committee.

Just as in the last Congress, H.R. 801 negates or reverses the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy currently in place, rolling back hard-fought progress on public access to taxpayer-funded NIH research on the Internet. The bill would effectively reverse the NIH Public Access Policy, as well as make it impossible for other federal agencies to put similar policies into place. Library advocates should continue to express to their members of Congress they strongly oppose H.R. 801, as it seeks to amend copyright law and reverse the NIH Public Access Policy.


2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on June 22nd, 2010

Victoria A. Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, has released the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement.

Here's an excerpt:

The U.S. Government supports the free flow of information and freedom of expression over the Internet. An open and accessible Internet is critical to our economy. At the same time, the Internet should not be used as a means to further criminal activity. The Administration encourages cooperative efforts within the business community to reduce Internet piracy. The Administration believes that it is essential for the private sector, including content owners, Internet service providers, advertising brokers, payment processors and search engines, to work collaboratively, consistent with the antitrust laws, to address activity that has a negative economic impact and undermines U.S. businesses, and to seek practical and efficient solutions to address infringement. This should be achieved through carefully crafted and balanced agreements. Specifically, the Administration encourages actions by the private sector to effectively address repeated acts of infringement, while preserving the norms of legitimate competition, free speech, fair process and the privacy of users. While the Administration encourages cooperative efforts within the business community to reduce Internet piracy, the Administration will pursue additional solutions to the problems associated with Internet piracy, including vigorously investigating and prosecuting criminal activity, where warranted.


"ACTA and the Specter of Graduated Response"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on June 8th, 2010

Annemarie Bridy has self-archived "ACTA and the Specter of Graduated Response" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt:

This short paper, prepared for a workshop on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the Public Interest at American University’s Washington College of Law, considers the draft Internet provisions of ACTA in the context of concerns raised in the media that the treaty will require signatories to mandate graduated response regimes (à la France’s controversial HADOPI system) for online copyright enforcement. Although the Consolidated Text of ACTA, released in late April, confirms that mandatory graduated response is off the table for the treaty’s negotiators, the treaty in its current form both accommodates and promotes the adoption of graduated response. Moreover, opponents of graduated response should be wary of the fact that public law mechanisms – be they domestic or international – are not the only means by which graduated response can effectively become the law for Internet users. The United States and Ireland provide examples of the trend toward private ordering in the project of online copyright enforcement.


The Economics of Copyright and Digitisation: A Report on the Literature and the Need for Further Research

Posted in Copyright, Digitization, Reports and White Papers on June 7th, 2010

The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy has released The Economics of Copyright and Digitisation: A Report on the Literature and the Need for Further Research.

Here's an excerpt:

The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy (SABIP) has commissioned this report in order to inform its future research agenda. One task is to undertake a critical overview of the theoretical and empirical economic literature on copyright and unauthorised copying. On the basis of this literature, two further aims of this report are to: (1) identify the salient issues for copyright policy in the context of digitisation; and (2) formulate specific research questions that should be addressed in order to inform copyright policy.


Canadian Copyright: Bill C-32, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on June 6th, 2010

The Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-32, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced the introduction of legislation to modernize the Copyright Act. This legislation is a key pillar in the government's commitment in the 2010 Speech from the Throne to position Canada as a leader in the global digital economy.

"Our government promised to introduce legislation that will modernize Canadian copyright law for the digital age while protecting and creating jobs, promoting innovation and attracting new investment to Canada," said Minister Clement. "This legislation will ensure that Canada's copyright laws are forward-looking and responsive in a fast-paced digital world.". . .

The popularity of Web 2.0, social media, and new technologies such as the MP3 player and digital books have changed the way Canadians create and make use of copyrighted material. This bill recognizes the many new ways in which teachers, students, artists, software companies, consumers, families, copyright owners and many others use technology. It gives creators and copyright owners the tools to protect their work and grow their business models. It provides clearer rules that will enable all Canadians to fully participate in the digital economy, now and into the future.

This legislation will bring Canada in line with international standards and promote home-grown innovation and creativity. It is a fair, balanced, and common-sense approach, respecting both the rights of creators and the interests of consumers in a modern marketplace. The Government of Canada is working to secure Canada's place in the digital economy and to promote a more prosperous and competitive Canada.

For more information, visit

Read more about it at "The Canadian Copyright Bill: Flawed But Fixable," "Canadian Library Association Gives Passing Grade to New Copyright Legislation, and "Moore's Strong Rejection of Three Strikes Model for Canada."


"The Google Book Settlement and the TRIPS Agreement"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on May 23rd, 2010

Daniel J. Gervais has self-archived "The Google Book Settlement and the TRIPS Agreement" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt:

The proposed amended settlement in the Google Book case has been the focus of numerous comments and critiques. This "perspective" reviews the compatibility of the proposed settlement with the TRIPS Agreement and relevant provisions of the Berne Convention that were incorporated into TRIPS, in particular the no-formality rule, the most-favored nation (MFN) clause, national treatment obligations, and the so-called three-step test, which constrains the ability of WTO Members to provide new exceptions and limitations to copyright rights.


WIPO: Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public Domain

Posted in Copyright, Public Domain, Reports and White Papers on May 23rd, 2010

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has released Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public Domain.

Here's an excerpt:

Protection of the public domain comprises two steps, as laid down by the [WIPO] Development Agenda: first, identifying the contours of the public domain, thereby helping to assess its value and realm, and, second, considering and promoting the conservation and accessibility of the public domain.

The present study will follow the same direction as it will first assess the scope of the public domain, as defined by copyright laws, history and philosophy, before turning to the issue of its effectiveness and greater availability to the public and society at large. This will lead to the formulation of some recommendations that, by viewing the public domain as material that should receive some positive status and protection, might help to support a robust public domain, as advocated by the Development Agenda.


Digital Video of Intellectual Property Breakfast Club Session on Google Book Settlement

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on May 20th, 2010 has released a digital video of the Intellectual Property Breakfast Club's the Google Book Search Settlement and E-Book Licensing session on May 11, 2010.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The panelists included:

  • Jonathan Band, Counsel, Library Copyright Alliance
  • Michael Capobianco, Vice President, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America
  • Sherwin Siy, Deputy Legal Director, Public Knowledge

Digital Information Management Podcasts/Videos from DigIn

Posted in Copyright, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Libraries, Information Schools on May 20th, 2010

The University of Arizona Digital Information Management (DigIn) certificate program has released a series of podcasts and videos about information management topics.

Here's the press release:

The University of Arizona Digital Information Management (DigIn) certificate program recently hosted a series of talks by members of the program's national advisory panel. The resulting podcasts offer an in-depth discussion of critical themes we explore regularly in the DigIn courses as we help information professionals meet the challenges we face in the digital environment today.

All podcasts are available at:

Friday, April 23, 2010
University of Arizona Main Library

"Career Paths for Information Professionals: Looking Ahead to 2020"

A panel discussion with members of the national advisory panel for the Digital Information Management (DigIn) graduate certificate program. This discussion examines the evolving role of the information professions today, and focuses on the skills and knowledge professionals need to build effective careers in a fast-changing environment.

Peter Botticelli
Director, DigIn program

Charles Bailey, Jr.
Publisher, Digital Scholarship

Richard Pearce-Moses
Past President, Society of American Archivists
Deputy Director for Technology and Information Resources,
Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

Christine Szuter
Professor of Practice and Director
Scholarly Publishing certificate program,
Arizona State University

Pete Watters
Technology Officer
Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

Friday, April 23, 2010 James E. Rogers College of Law

Roberta I. Shaffer Law Librarian of Congress

"Digitization and the Future of Law Libraries"

Legal Information is increasingly born digital and presents challenges of authenticity and preservation that are critical because of the role of legal authorities in establishing the "rule of law." This presentation by Roberta I. Shaffer, the Law Librarian of Congress, will discuss unique challenges that face law makers, law practitioners, and information professionals who are the stewards of our legal legacy. Ms. Shaffer will also discuss developments at the Library of Congress that are designed to address some of the concerns.

Friday, April 23, 2010 University of Arizona Main Library

Richard Pearce-Moses
Past President, Society of American Archivists
Director of Digital Government Information,
Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

"Curating the Digital Past: Lessons from the PeDALS Project"

As the volume and complexity of digital information continues to grow, archivists and librarians have begun to develop the tools needed to preserve society’s legacy of digital records. This presentation by Richard Pearce-Moses will discuss the PeDALS project, a nationally-recognized digital preservation initiative funded by the Library of Congress, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) as part of its Preserving State Government Information initiative. This initiative focuses on capturing, preserving, and providing access to a rich variety of state and local government digital information.

DigIn is part of the University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science. Major funding for the program comes from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which has also provided scholarship funding.

Additional details on the program, including course descriptions, admissions requirements and application forms may be found on the program website:

Applicants may also contact the DigIn staff at:


Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Impact on Individuals and Intermediaries

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Reports and White Papers on May 19th, 2010

The Australian Digital Alliance has released Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Impact on Individuals and Intermediaries.

Here's an excerpt:

ACTA might have a negative impact on individuals as Internet citizens and as consumers of digital technologies because some of its requirements go beyond Australian law. ACTA will facilitate excessive damages payouts by mandating the controversial 'lost sale analysis' for the assessment of damages and encouraging punitive style statutory damages that set arbitrary amounts for infringement. ACTA will also broaden the scope of commercial scale infringement to criminalise purely private acts that occur in the homes of some Australians, and will create a new criminal offence for 'camcording'. ACTA may strengthen existing procedures to lock up copyright material and prevent Australians from accessing or using it in certain legitimate ways.


"Catching Up with the RIAA"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, P2P File Sharing on May 13th, 2010

Walt Crawford has published "Catching Up with the RIAA" in Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large.

Here's an excerpt:

Briefly, Jammie Thomas was the defendant in the first case where an RIAA filesharing infringement suit actually went to a jury—despite RIAA's best efforts to avoid that happening. Thomas seemed like a sympathetic defendant: Single mother, Native American. But her IP address was attached to a KaZaA account offering more than 1,700 recordings with a user name she'd apparently used for years on several different accounts…and shortly after receiving a settlement letter from RIAA, Thomas had Best Buy replace the hard drive in her PC. And, under questioning, said it had been replaced a year earlier. To make a long story short—up to October 2007, at least—the jury found her guilty, not surprising given the evidence in the case. The judgment was for $220,000. She appealed the decision, in part based on a claimed flaw in the jury instructions. That's where things stood at the time of the earlier article.

Court activities can sometimes seem to be in very slow motion. Most of this article brings things up to date on the Thomas case—and, so you're not too surprised, it's not over yet. (There's other stuff about RIAA and copyright at the end of the article—but the Jammie Thomas saga is fascinating.)


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