Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

"Removing All Restrictions: Cornell's New Policy on Use of Public Domain Reproductions"

Posted in Copyright, Digitization, Public Domain on November 1st, 2009

Peter Hirtle, Cornell University Library's Senior Policy Advisor, is interviewed in "Removing All Restrictions: Cornell's New Policy on Use of Public Domain Reproductions," which has been published in the latest issue of Research Library Issues.

Here's an excerpt:

Restrictions on the use of public domain work, sometimes labeled "copyfraud," are generating increasing criticism from the scholarly community. With significant collections of public domain materials in their collections, research libraries are faced with the question of what restrictions, if any, to place on those who seek to scan or otherwise reproduce these resources with the intention of publication.

Cornell University Library has responded by adopting new permissions guidelines that open access by no longer requiring users to seek permission to publish public domain items duplicated from its collections. Users planning to scan and publish public domain material are still expected to determine that works are in the public domain where they live (since public domain determinations can vary internationally). Users must also respect noncopyright rights, such as the rights of privacy, publicity, and trademark. The Library will continue to charge service fees associated with the reproduction of analog material or the provision of versions of files different than what is freely available on the Web. The new guidelines are found at http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/guidelines.html.

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    "A Defense of the Public Domain: A Scholarly Essay"

    Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on October 29th, 2009

    Laura N. Gasaway, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, has self-archived "A Defense of the Public Domain: A Scholarly Essay" in SelectedWorks.

    Here's the abstract:

    Much has been written for librarians about copyright law. Despite the importance of the public domain, it has attracted much less scholarly attention than has copyright law generally, and yet a healthy and robust public domain is crucial to our society. It provides the building blocks for authors, composers, artists and movie makers who can borrow from public domain works without seeking permission of copyright owners. Unfortunately, the public domain is under attack from expanding the term of copyright, to making it more difficult for works to enter the public domain to the restoration of some foreign copyrights that had entered the public domain in the United States. Some librarians have asked whether vigorous application of fair use could not substitute for the shrinking public domain. It cannot. Fair use is a defense to copyright infringement and is very fact determinate. A court's finding of fair use applies only to the two parties to the litigation while the public domain is available to everyone from individual users of works, to artists and authors and to publishers and producers. It is crucial that the public domain be energetically defended. Today, it is not clear whether an author can even place his or her work in the public domain since copyright attaches automatically. A statutory method must be developed so that authors who wish to do so can easily place their works in the public domain.

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      Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums

      Posted in ARL Libraries, Copyright, Digitization on October 29th, 2009

      The Cornell University Library has published Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums by Peter B. Hirtle, Emily Hudson, and Andrew T. Kenyon. A PDF copy of the book can be freely downloaded and the print version can be purchased from CreateSpace.

      Here's an excerpt from the press release:

      How can cultural heritage institutions legally use the Internet to improve public access to the rich collections they hold?

      "Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums," a new book by published today by Cornell University Library, can help professionals at these institutions answer that question.

      Based on a well-received Australian manual written by Emily Hudson and Andrew T. Kenyon of the University of Melbourne, the book has been developed by Cornell University Library's senior policy advisor Peter B. Hirtle, along with Hudson and Kenyon, to conform to American law and practice.

      The development of new digital technologies has led to fundamental changes in the ways that cultural institutions fulfill their public missions of access, preservation, research, and education. Many institutions are developing publicly accessible Web sites that allow users to visit online exhibitions, search collection databases, access images of collection items, and in some cases create their own digital content. Digitization, however, also raises the possibility of copyright infringement. It is imperative that staff in libraries, archives, and museums understand fundamental copyright principles and how institutional procedures can be affected by the law.

      "Copyright and Cultural Institutions" was written to assist understanding and compliance with copyright law. It addresses the basics of copyright law and the exclusive rights of the copyright owner, the major exemptions used by cultural heritage institutions, and stresses the importance of "risk assessment" when conducting any digitization project. Case studies on digitizing oral histories and student work are also included.

      Hirtle is the former director of the Cornell Institute for Digital Collections, and the book evolved from his recognition of the need for such a guide when he led museum and library digitization projects. After reading Hudson and Kenyon's Australian guidelines, he realized that an American edition would be invaluable to anyone contemplating a digital edition.

      Anne R. Kenney, the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University, noted: "The Library has a long tradition of making available to other professionals the products of its research and expertise. I am delighted that this new volume can join the ranks with award-winning library publications on digitization and preservation."

      As an experiment in open-access publishing, the Library has made the work available in two formats. Print copies of the work are available from CreateSpace, an Amazon subsidiary. In addition, the entire text is available as a free download through eCommons, Cornell University's institutional repository, and from SSRN.com, which already distributes the Australian guidelines.

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        Publisher Self-Archiving Policies: Major SHERPA RoMEO Upgrade

        Posted in Author Rights, Copyright, Publishing, Self-Archiving on October 25th, 2009

        SHERPA has released a major upgrade of its RoMEO service, which lists publishers' self-archiving policies.

        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

        A major upgrade to RoMEO has been released today, giving:

        • Extra Category for the self-archiving of the Publisher's Version/ PDF
        • Expanded Journal Coverage
        • Extra Search Options for Journal Abbreviations and Electronic ISSNs
        • New Tabular Browse View for Publishers
        • Selective Display of Publishers' Compliance with Funding Agencys' Mandates . . . .

        Previous versions of RoMEO have concentrated on highlighting information on the use of the pre-print and post-print. There has been great support from the community for also providing clearly labelled information on the use of the publisher's version/PDF as a separate item. This feature has now been included and sits alongside information on self-archiving rights for Pre-prints and Authors' Post-prints. The information is available in both individual publisher entries and in the new Tabular Browse View.

        RoMEO now provides expanded journal coverage, enabling users to draw from both the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the Entrez journal list for the Life Sciences, along with the existing resource of the British Library's Zetoc service.

        In addition to searching for journals by Print ISSN, users are now able to search by Electronic ISSN. They can also search for journals using title abbreviations.

        The new Tabular Browse View enables users to display comparative charts of publishers, to quickly determine and compare what different Publishers allow them to deposit, and if the Publisher has a Paid OA Option.

        If you or your authors receive funding from any of the 50 plus agencies listed in JULIET, you will now be able to restrict your search results to display Publishers' compliance with any of the funding agencies' policies listed in JULIET.

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          European Commission Adopts Communication on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton on October 20th, 2009

          The European Commission has adopted a Communication from the Commission: Copyright in the Knowledge Economy.

          Here's an excerpt from the press release:

          The European Commission today adopted a Communication on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy aiming to tackle the important cultural and legal challenges of mass-scale digitisation and dissemination of books, in particular of European library collections. The Communication was jointly drawn up by Commissioners Charlie McCreevy and Viviane Reding. Digital libraries such as Europeana ( http//www.europeana.eu ) will provide researchers and consumers across Europe with new ways to gain access to knowledge. For this, however, the EU will need to find a solution for orphan works, whose uncertain copyright status means they often cannot be digitised. Improving the distribution and availability of works for persons with disabilities, particularly the visually impaired, is another cornerstone of the Communication.

          On adoption, Commissioners McCreevy and Reding stressed that the debate over the Google Books Settlement in the United States once again has shown that Europe could not afford to be left behind on the digital frontier.

          "We must boost Europe as a centre of creativity and innovation. The vast heritage in Europe's libraries cannot be left to languish but must be made accessible to our citizens", Commissioner McCreevy, responsible for the Internal Market, stated.

          Commissioner Reding, in charge of Information Society and Media, said: "Important digitisation efforts have already started all around the globe. Europe should seize this opportunity to take the lead, and to ensure that books digitisation takes place on the basis of European copyright law, and in full respect of Europe's cultural diversity. Europe, with its rich cultural heritage, has most to offer and most to win from books digitisation. If we act swiftly, pro-competitive European solutions on books digitisation may well be sooner operational than the solutions presently envisaged under the Google Books Settlement in the United States."

          The Communication addresses the actions that the Commission intends to launch: digital preservation and dissemination of scholarly and cultural material and of orphan works, as well as access to knowledge for persons with disabilities. The challenges identified by the Commission today stem from last year’s public consultation on a Green Paper ( IP/08/1156 ), the Commission's High Level Group on Digital Libraries and the experiences gained with Europe's Digital Library Europeana ( IP/09/1257 ).

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            Digital Videos: Presentations from Access 2009 Conference

            Posted in Copyright, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories on October 13th, 2009

            Presentations from the Access 2009 Conference are now available. Digital videos and presentation slides (if available) are synched.

            Here's a quick selection:

            1. Dan Chudnov, "Repository Development at the Library of Congress"
            2. Cory Doctorow, "Copyright vs Universal Access to All Human Knowledge and Groups Without Cost: The State of Play in the Global Copyfight"
            3. Mark Jordan & Brian Owen, "COPPUL's LOCKSS Private Network / Software Lifecycles & Sustainability: a PKP and reSearcher Update"
            4. Dorthea Salo, "Representing and Managing the Data Deluge"
            5. Roy Tennant, "Inspecting the Elephant: Characterizing the Hathi Trust Collection"
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              Google Books Settlement Status Conference Reports

              Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on October 8th, 2009

              Kenneth Crews and James Grimmelmann have posted blog reports about the Google Books Settlement status conference on October 7th. An amended agreement is anticipated to be filed by November 9th.

              Here's an excerpt from the Grimmelmann's post:

              Judge Chin is trying to move this case, and his overall attitude seemed to be that he wants as clean a record as possible, and soon, so that he can act on it. That would incline me to think that he is hoping to be able to approve the settlement, or at the least to kick some of the legal issues upstairs to the Second Circuit for its guidance.

              Read more about it at "Amended Google Deal Targeted for November 9."

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                Vernor v. Autodesk: First Sale Doctrine Covers Licensed Software

                Posted in Copyright, Licenses on October 5th, 2009

                U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones has ruled that resale of licensed software from Autodesk is not a copyright violation.

                Here's an excerpt:

                The legislative history of § 109 and § 117 informs the court's decision in several respects. First, as the court noted, it suggests that "owner" not only had the same meaning when both sections were enacted, but that the meaning was that ascribed to the term in decisions like Wise. Congress did not amend the term "owner" when amending the statutes. Second, the legislative history reveals not only that Congress has modified § 117 and § 109 to specifically address computer software, but that when it does so, its modifications are not subtle. This makes it even more improbable that Congress ascribes two different meanings to "owner." Third, the legislative history shows that despite incentive and opportunity to modify the term "owner," Congress has not done so. . . .

                Autodesk's claim that Mr. Vernor promotes piracy is unconvincing. Mr. Vernor's sales of AutoCAD packages promote piracy no more so than Autodesk's sales of the same packages. Piracy depends on the number of people willing to engage in piracy, and a pirate is presumably just as happy to unlawfully duplicate software purchased directly from Autodesk as he is to copy software purchased from a reseller like Mr. Vernor. The court notes, moreover, that even if CTA had never opened its AutoCAD packages, never installed the software on its computer, and thus never raised the possibility of piracy, Autodesk would still take the position that CTA's resale of those packages was a copyright violation.

                Read more about it at "It's Still A Duck: Court Re-Affirms That First Sale Doctrine Can Apply to 'Licensed' Software."

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                  The Google Books Settlement: Who Is Filing And What Are They Saying?

                  Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on September 29th, 2009

                  ACRL, ALA, and ARL have released The Google Books Settlement: Who Is Filing And What Are They Saying?.

                  Here's an excerpt:

                  The Association of Research Libraries, the American Library Association, and the Association of College and Research Libraries have prepared this document to summarize in a few pages of charts some key information about the hundreds of filings that have been submitted to the federal district court presiding over the Google Books litigation. The Google Books Settlement is the proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit brought against Google, Inc. by groups and individuals representing authors and publishers who objected to Google’s large-scale scanning of in-copyright books to facilitate its Book Search service. The Settlement would bind not only the groups who sued Google, but also most owners of copyrights in printed books ("class-members"), unless they choose to opt out of the Settlement. Class-members who opt out retain their right to sue Google over its scanning activities, but will not be part of the collective licensing scheme created by the Settlement. Under the Settlement, participating class-members will get a one-time payment in compensation for past scanning as well as a share of Google’s future revenues from its scanning activities. A new, non-profit entity called the Book Rights Registry will represent rightsholders under the Settlement going forward.

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                    Kenneth Crews on the U.S. Department of Justice Google Book Search Settlement Filing

                    Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on September 28th, 2009

                    In "Justice and Google Books: First Thoughts about the Government's Brief," Kenneth Crews, Director of the Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia University, discusses the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division's filing on the Google Book Search Settlement.

                    Here's an excerpt:

                    The filing is remarkable for its lucid dissection of select issues. It is diplomatic, and it holds out repeated hope for the continued talks among the parties to the case. But clearly the DOJ does not like what it sees.

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                      Google Book Settlement Fairness Hearing Postponed

                      Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on September 27th, 2009

                      U.S. District Judge Denny Chin has postponed the October 7th fairness hearing for the Google Book Search Settlement; however, a status conference will occur on that date.

                      Here's the ruling.

                      Read more about it at "Google Judge Calls 'Status Conference' for 7th October" and "Judge Agrees to Postpone Google Books Hearing."

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                        "Copyright as Information Policy: Google Book Search from a Law and Economics Perspective"

                        Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on September 24th, 2009

                        Douglas Lichtman, Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, has self-archived "Copyright as Information Policy: Google Book Search from a Law and Economics Perspective" in SSRN.

                        Here's an excerpt:

                        The copyright system has long been understood to play a critical role when it comes to the development and distribution of creative work. Copyright serves a second fundamental purpose, however: it encourages the development and distribution of related technologies like hardware that might be used to duplicate creative work and software that can manipulate it. When it comes to issues of online infringement, then, copyright policy serves two goals, not one: protect the incentives copyright has long served to provide authors, and at the same time facilitate the continued emergence of innovative Internet services and equipment. In this Chapter, I use the Google Book Search litigation as a lens through which to study copyright law’s efforts to serve these two sometimes-competing masters. The Google case is an ideal lens for this purpose because both the technology implications and the authorship implications are apparent. With respect to the technology, Google tells us that the only way for it to build its Book Search engine is to have copyright law excuse the infringement that is today by design part of the project. With respect to authorship, copyright owners are resisting that result for fear that the infringement here could significantly erode both author control and author profitability over the long run. I myself am optimistic that copyright law can and will balance these valid concerns. The Chapter explains how, discussing not only the formal legal rules but also the economic intuitions behind them.

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