Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

Creative Commons and Public Sector Information: Flexible Tools to Support PSI Creators and Re-Users

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Open Access, Reports and White Papers on February 13th, 2011

The European Public Sector Information (PSI) Platform has released Creative Commons and Public Sector Information: Flexible Tools to Support PSI Creators and Re-Users.

Here's an excerpt:

Public sector information (PSI) is meant for wide re-use, but this information will only achieve maximum possible impact if users understand how they may use it. Creative Commons tools, which signify availability for re-use to users and require attribution to the releasing authority, are ideal tools for the sharing of public sector information. There is also increasing interest in open licenses and other tools to share publicly funded information, data, and content, including various kinds of cultural resources, educational materials, and research findings; Creative Commons tools are applicable here and recommended for these purposes too.

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    Managing Digital Collections: A Collaborative Initiative on the South African Framework

    Posted in Copyright, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Libraries, Metadata on February 10th, 2011

    The National Research Foundation has released Managing Digital Collections: A Collaborative Initiative on the South African Framework.

    Here's an excerpt:

    The objective of this Framework is to provide high-level principles for planning and managing the full digital collection life cycle. It aims to

    • provide an overview of some of the major components and activities involved in creating good digital collections
    • provide a sense of the landscape of digital collections management
    • identify existing resources that support the development of sound local practices
    • encourage community participation in the ongoing development of best practices for digital collection building
    • contribute to the benefits of sound data management practices, as well as the goals of data sharing and long term access
    • introduce data management and curation issues
    • assist cultural heritage organisations to create and manage complex digital collections
    • assist funding organisations who wish to encourage and support the development of good digital collections
    • advocate the use of internationally-created appropriate open community standards to ensure quality and to increase global interoperability for better exchange and re-use of data and digital content.

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      2010 U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement

      Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Reports and White Papers on February 8th, 2011

      Victoria A. Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, has released the 2010 U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement.

      Read more about it at "IP Czar Report Hits on All the Lobbyist Talking Points; Warns of More Draconian Copyright Laws to Come" and "White House Will Propose New Digital Copyright Laws."

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        Special Issue of PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication about the Creative Commons

        Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on February 7th, 2011

        PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication has published a special issue about the Creative Commons.

        Here's an excerpt from the issue's editorial by Elliott Bledsoe and Jessica Coates:

        We are privileged to be able to begin this issue with an interview with one of the leading thinkers in the field, Esther Wojcicki, the Vice-Chair of the Creative Commons Board of Directors. Esther is an award winning journalist and educator, who has taught at Palo Alto High School in California for 25 years and blogs regularly for The Huffington Post and Hotchalk. She is an articulate and experienced advocate of open, using it in her professional and personal life. In Wojcicki’s interview she introduces us to the background philosophy of Creative Commons through the lens of her experience, giving her take on why rights literacy is necessary to teach a generation that will work and play primarily on the net.

        Providing a broader overview of where things are at, the issue commences with Rachel Cobcroft’s piece chronicling the development of the international Creative Commons Case Studies initiative. The 2-year-old qualitative research project uses real world examples to gauge the impact of the Creative Commons licensing scheme's legal, technological, social, media and policy initiatives. As well as providing the fundamentals of the Creative Commons model, Cobcroft's piece examines the progress of open content licensing; identifies models of implementation and licensing trends across industry sectors as diverse as music, government, wikis and fashion; and, perhaps most importantly, explores individual motivations for the adoption of open philosophies.

        A similar focus on motivations is central to our second piece by Cheryl Foong. However, in contrast to the broad picture provided by Cobcroft, Foong takes a narrow focus for her analysis, asking the question can open philosophies go hand in hand with commercial gain? Drawing on examples of adoption of Creative Commons licensing by content creators and intermediaries, Foong concludes that, if used wisely, the open licensing scheme can be a useful tool for those creators who wish to circumvent traditional distribution channels dominated by content intermediaries, while maintaining a level of control over their copyright works. However, Foong identifies a need for caution – giving your work away is not a business model in itself, and only those who can successfully adapt the tools provided by the open movement to, as Techdirt CEO Mike Masnick puts it, connect with fans and give them a reason to buy,. . . will achieve success in this space.

        The message that open is valuable, but does not solve all problems is taken up in our third paper, a collaborative piece by Alexandra Crosby and Ferdiansyah Thajib. Viewed through the lens of video activism in Indonesia, Crosby and Thajib seek to explore the experience of individual creators attempting to tackle the behemoth of copyright in the liberated, but confusing, internet age. In doing so, they argue that while open licensing is an improvement on the models of the past, there is not yet a solution for the problems of copyright management that fits the Indonesian context. Of particular concern are issues of collaboration and credit in a world where attribution is the new currency, and the increasing gap between the global rhetoric of copyright enforcement and the diversity of practices on the ground. In the end Crosby and Thajib conclude that if the commons movement is to be successful in Indonesia, it must address cultural issues, images of imperialism and practical barriers to clear and open licensing in a society where no strong copyright tradition exists.

        The final paper by Peter Jakobsson also focuses on the principle of collaboration that underpins the current commons movement, but with a more critical, theoretical eye. Relying primarily on the analytical model provided by Rene Girard's theory of mimetic desire, Jakobsson examines the relationship between the growing trend, and rhetoric, of cooperation on the ‘social web' and the often undervalued importance of competition in the same field. In doing so, he argues that both competition and collaboration are not only valuable but central to the new forms and platforms of cultural production. Most interestingly, to demonstrate his argument he draws on the real world example of YouTube's Partnership program, demonstrating that even in a limitless world, scarcity still exists in resources such as viewer attention.

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          "The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Costco v. Omega on Libraries"

          Posted in Copyright, Libraries, Research Libraries on January 31st, 2011

          The Library Copyright Alliance has released "The Impact of the Supreme Court's Decision in Costco v. Omega on Libraries."

          Here's an excerpt:

          On December 13, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Costco v. Omega in a manner that eliminated none of the uncertainty caused by the lower court's ruling in that case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had ruled that the copyright law's "first sale doctrine" did not apply to copies manufactured abroad. This ruling cast doubt on a library's ability to circulate books and other materials manufactured outside of the United States. In a 4 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's judgment "by an equally divided Court." This means that the Ninth Circuit's ruling stands within the Ninth Circuit, but is not a binding precedent on courts in the rest of the country. Libraries must now decide whether to change their purchasing and lending practices in light of the Supreme Court's decision. This memorandum suggests that a combination of defenses, including section 602(a)(3)(C) of the Copyright Act, the Ninth Circuit's Drug Emporium exception, implied license, and fair use, allow libraries throughout the country to continue their existing purchasing and circulation practices with a fair degree of confidence that they will not infringe copyright by doing so.

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            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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