Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

Three Chapters from Access-Right: The Future of Digital Copyright Law

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on January 27th, 2011

Zohar Efroni has self-archived three chapters from Access-Right: The Future of Digital Copyright Law in SSRN.

  • "Access." Here's an excerpt:

    This chapter scrutinizes the notion of "access to information" and attempts to translate it into a vocabulary property law can process and analyze. It turns out that very little about "access to information" as a property concept is self-explanatory.

  • "The Digital Reproduction Right." Here's an excerpt:

    It shall be posited that and explained why the reproduction right belongs to past chapters in copyright law's evolution; it has grown evidently unsuitable to lead the copyright system into the digital future.

  • "Anticircumvention Laws." Here's an excerpt:

    This chapter provides a broad overview and analysis on anticircumvention laws in the U.S. and Europe. . . . The statutory anticircumvention texts reviewed in this chapter do not provide straightforward answers to the nexus problem, that is, the relationship between anticircumvention bans and conventional copyright infringement.

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    Open Content Licensing Tool: Risk Management Calculator

    Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Open Access on January 23rd, 2011

    The OER IPR Support Project has released the Risk Management Calculator.

    Here's an excerpt from the press release :

    As more and more open content finds its way online, licensing and rights have become a key issue on a global level.

    Licensing is complex and the more open you make content under an end user licence the greater the risk if you haven't sought the necessary permissions. In partnership with the Higher Education Academy, JISC is funding a support project on IPR and licensing issues for Open Educational Resources. The latest addition to their suite of support resources is a new tool—the Risk Management Calculator—designed to help understand levels of risk associated with publishing open educational materials. Typical examples of this might include materials which are still in copyright, but for which the rights holders cannot be traced or are unknown (so called "Orphan Works"). The calculator helps those relatively new to licensing to make the right decisions when creating open content. . . .

    More and more organisations are realising the benefits of releasing their content under Creative Commons Licences, or similar open content licences such as the Open Government Licence, which explicitly grant the end-user permission to use materials, modify or redistribute them. Institutions like the British Library are releasing their bibliographic records to be reused without attribution and Creative Commons Licences are increasingly used by developing countries to open up content.

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      The New Renaissance

      Posted in Copyright, Digital Libraries, Digitization, Mass Digitizaton on January 16th, 2011

      The European Commission's Comité des Sages has released The New Renaissance.

      Here's an excerpt from the press release:

      The report, called "The New Renaissance," key conclusions and recommendations are:

      • The Europeana portal should become the central reference point for Europe's online cultural heritage. Member States must ensure that all material digitised with public funding is available on the site, and bring all their public domain masterpieces into Europeana by 2016. Cultural
      • Works that are covered by copyright, but are no longer distributed commercially, need to be brought online. It is primarily the role of rights-holders to digitise these works and exploit them. But, if rights holders do not do so, cultural institutions must have a window of opportunity to digitise material and make it available to the public, for which right holders should be remunerated.
      • EU rules for orphan works (whose rights holders cannot be identified) need to be adopted as soon as possible. The Report defines eight fundamental conditions for any solution.
      • Member States need to considerably increase their funding for digitisation in order to generate jobs and growth in the future. The funds needed to build 100 km of roads would pay for the digitisation of 16% of all available books in EU libraries, or the digitisation of every piece of audio content in EU Member States' cultural institutions.
      • Public-private partnerships for digitisation must be encouraged. They must be transparent, non-exclusive and equitable for all partners, and must result in cross-border access to the digitised material for all. Preferential use of the digitised material granted to the private partner should not exceed seven years.
      • To guarantee the preservation of collections in their digital format, a second copy of this cultural material should be archived at Europeana. In addition, a system should be developed so that any cultural material that currently needs to be deposited in several countries would only be deposited once.

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        A Copyright Office for the 21st Century: Recommendations to the New Register of Copyrights

        Posted in Copyright on December 7th, 2010

        Public Knowledge has released A Copyright Office for the 21st Century: Recommendations to the New Register of Copyrights .

        Here's an excerpt:

        First and foremost, the next Register of Copyrights should prioritize updating the copyright registration system so that it can meet the demands of modern copyright. There is no reason why, in an era of interconnected computers and sophisticated digital imaging, the registry should have long processing delays, be incomplete, not include visual works, and not be searchable from any Internet-accessible device. A complete copyright registry that takes full advantage of digital technology will reduce costs for copyright holders, those engaging in searches, and taxpayers. Importantly, a complete and widely accessibly registry will help to ensure that those seeking to make use of copyrighted works can more easily find and compensate their owners.

        Second, the next Register of Copyrights must recognize that copyright policymaking is no longer a sleepy backwater followed by a handful of copyright holders and their lawyers. Thanks largely to the clash of an overwhelmingly pre-VCR copyright law with digital technology, the length and terms of copyright law have become a matter of public debate. Moreover, ubiquitous computers and Internet access have made just about everyone a creator with a stake in copyright policymaking. Thus, the Copyright Office should take its cue from other government agencies and reach out affirmatively to various stakeholder groups and the public at large – not only to inform them of what the Copyright Office is doing, but also to seek their participation in policymaking.

        The increased interest, and the public’s stake, in copyright policymaking also make it essential that the Copyright Office follow the Obama Administration’s goal of a more open and transparent government. At a minimum, this means that the Copyright Office must reveal who is meeting with their staff and why.

        Finally, this paper recommends that Congress limit the term of the Register of Copyrights to no more than 10 years. Term limits make political appointees more accountable and reduce the possibility of capture by one or more existing stakeholder groups.

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          New York Law School Law Review Publishes Special Issue about Google Books Lawsuit and Settlement

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on December 6th, 2010

          The New York Law School Law Review has published a special issue containing papers from the NYU Law School's October 2009 D Is for Digitize conference on the Google Books lawsuit and settlement.

          Here are the papers:

          • "D Is for Digitize: An Introduction," James Grimmelmann
          • "Google Book Settlement and the Fair Use Counterfactual," Matthew Sag
          • "Fulfulling the Copyright Social Justice Promise: Digitized Textual Information," Lateef Mtima & Steven D. Jamar
          • "Orphan Works and the Google Book Search Settlement: An International Perspective," Bernard Lang
          • "H Is for Harmonization: The Google Book Search Settlement and Orphan Works Legislation in the European Union," Katharina de la Durantaye
          • "Continued DOJ Oversight of the Google Book Search Settlement: Defending Our Public Values and Protecting Competition," Christopher A. Suarez
          • "Digitial + Library: Mass Book Digitization as Collection Inquiry," Mary Murrell
          • "The Why in DIY Book Scanning," Daniel Reetz

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            Proceedings of the 157th ARL Membership Meeting

            Posted in ARL Libraries, Copyright on November 30th, 2010

            ARL has released Proceedings of the 157th ARL Membership Meeting.

            Here's a brief selection of presentations:

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              Emerald Group Publishing Limited’s Use of the Attributor Anti-Piracy Service

              Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on November 4th, 2010

              In "Thanks but No Thanks Emerald," Kristin Eschenfelder reproduces and discusses a letter that she received from the Emerald Group Publishing Limited. In short, this letter says that Emerald is expanding it's use of Attributor to detect copyright violations from "cyberlockers" to "the full breadth of the internet," and it requests the URLs for her personal, institutional, and corporate websites so that they can be excluded from Attributor searches and its "legally-binding takedown notices."

              Will this expanded use of Attributor affect self-archiving of articles from Emerald journals?

              Emerald's publication policies are detailed in its Authors' Charter and its Review Copyright Assignment Form. Emerald requires that authors assign their article copyrights to Emerald as a condition of publication.

              The Authors' Charter states that (I have added italics in certain places in the below quotes):

              Authors are not required to seek Emerald's permission to re-use their own work. As an author with Emerald you can use your paper in part or in full, including figures and tables if you want to do so in a book, in another article written for us or another publisher, on your website, or any other use, without asking us first.

              It further states that:

              It does NOT, in any way, restrict your right or academic freedom to contribute to the wider distribution and readership of your work. This includes the right to: . . . .

              2. Reproduce your own version of your article, including peer review/editorial changes, in another journal, as content in a book of which you are the author, in a thesis, dissertation or in any other record of study, in print or electronic format as required by your university or for your own career development.

              3. Deposit an electronic copy of your own final version of your article, pre- or post-print, on your own or institutional website. The electronic copy cannot be deposited at the stage of acceptance by the Editor.

              Authors are requested to cite the original publication source of their work and link to the published version — but are NOT required to seek Emerald's permission with regard to the personal re-use of their work as described above. Emerald never charges its authors for re-use of any of their own published works. Emerald does not allow systematic archiving of works by third parties into an institutional or subject repository.

              The Review Copyright Assignment Form says:

              This assignment of copyright to Emerald Group Publishing Limited is done so on the understanding that permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited is not required for me/us to reproduce, republish or distribute copies of the Work in whole or in part.

              Given the above, it would appear that the author can: (1) self-archive an article on his or her personal website, (2) self-archive an article in his or her institutional repository, and (3) self-archive an article in a subject archive (the restriction is for “systematic archiving of works by third parties,” not self-archiving). Institutional repository staff or subject repository staff cannot archive articles for authors.

              If this is not correct, it would be helpful to hear from Emerald what its interpretation of these documents is.

              Unlike the RIAA and the MPAA, scholarly journal publishers have a limited primary customer base—academic libraries. Moreover, academic librarians are authors as well as customers, and, for some publishers, they are a significant subset of their authors. The endless serials crisis has already seriously strained relations between academic librarians and publishers. Hopefully, scholarly journal publishers will be sensible and sensitive to customer concerns in their attempts to cope with difficult digital copyright issues.

              [See Emerald's reply in the comments.]

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                In Praise of Copying

                Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on October 24th, 2010

                In Praise of Copying by Marcus Boon has been published by the Harvard University Press. The book is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license, and it is available as a hardcover as well as a freely available PDF file.

                Here's an excerpt:

                My goal in this book is to account for our fear of and fascination with copying. I argue that copying is a fundamental part of being human, that we could not be human without copying, and that we can and should celebrate this aspect of ourselves, in full awareness of our situation. Copying is not just something human—it is a part of how the universe functions and manifests. The issue of regulating copying, of setting up laws restricting or encouraging copying, is secondary to that of recognizing the omnipresence and nature of copies and copying in human societies—and beyond.

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