Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

"British Invasion: How the United Kingdom’s Approach to International Harmonization of Copyright Law Can Inform United States Orphan Works Legislation"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on June 12th, 2013

Abigail Bunce has self-archived "British Invasion: How the United Kingdom's Approach to International Harmonization of Copyright Law Can Inform United States Orphan Works Legislation" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt:

This Note argues that the United States should propose and adopt legislation to resolve the orphan works issue based on the licensing system recently enacted in the United Kingdom. Part I discusses the common economic principles underlying the American and British copyright systems and traces their different approaches to international harmonization. Part II introduces orphan works and the various issues they present, from their first identification through their present controversy within the mass digitization context. Part III discusses the past and current approaches on the American, British, and European Union stages to solve the orphan works issue. Finally, Part IV evaluates and compares the approaches, arguing that while the U.S. should primarily adopt the system advocated by the U.K., the U.K. system could equally benefit from ideas inherent in the U.S. system.

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    "Brief of Digital Humanities and Law Scholars as Amici Curiae in Authors Guild v. Hathitrust"

    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Humanities, Publishing on June 12th, 2013

    Matthew Jockers, Matthew Sag, and Jason Schultz have self-archived "Brief of Digital Humanities and Law Scholars as Amici Curiae in Authors Guild v. Hathitrust" in SSRN.

    Here's an excerpt:

    This Amicus Brief was filed in the United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit in the case of Authors Guild v. Hathitrust on June 4, 2013. The case is on Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11 CV 6351 (Baer, J.)

    Amici are over 100 professors and scholars who teach, write, and research in computer science, the digital humanities, linguistics or law, and two associations that represent Digital Humanities scholars generally. . . .

    The Court's ruling in this case on the legality of mass digitization could dramatically affect the future of work in the Digital Humanities. The Amici argue that the Court should affirm the decision of the district court below that library digitization for the purpose of text mining and similar non-expressive uses present no legally cognizable conflict with the statutory rights or interests of the copyright holders.

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      The Future of Creative Commons

      Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on June 6th, 2013

      The Creative Commons have released The Future of Creative Commons.

      Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

      During our review, we spent a lot of time asking questions and listening to our Affiliate Network members around the world. We hired some consultants to help run a process and to talk to people outside of the organization about how they viewed the role of Creative Commons. As navel-gazing goes, we gave it a solid effort. We also realized how important it is to declare our mission, vision, and priorities for action. The resulting publication, The Future of Creative Commons (2.7 MB PDF), lays out priorities for each area in which we work. These overall priorities are already guiding staff in how they use their time and set targets for each program area. They also give us a good base to measure how well we are doing.

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        "Educational Fair Use Brief in Support of Georgia State University on Behalf of Amici Curiae Academic Authors and Legal Scholars"

        Posted in Copyright, E-Reserves, Publishing, Research Libraries on May 9th, 2013

        David R. Hansen et al. have self-archived "Educational Fair Use Brief in Support of Georgia State University on Behalf of Amici Curiae Academic Authors and Legal Scholars" in SSRN.

        Here's an excerpt:

        In this case, Plaintiff Publishers accuse GSU and its faculty of violating their copyrights through this practice. But, as the district court correctly found, such uses are fair, especially because they primarily use factual information to promote the purposes of education and teaching, the amount taken was reasonable in light of its purpose, and because Plaintiffs' evidence of a cognizable copyright market harm was speculative at best. However, the district court erred when it incorrectly concluded that these uses are not transformative. Using an unduly narrow definition of the concept, it failed to consider how educators repurpose scholarly works in productive ways that bring new meaning to and understanding of the works used.

        As scholars and educators who produce and repurpose such works, amici urge this Court to affirm that these uses constitute a transformative use under the first fair use factor, and to reaffirm the findings under the other factors that these uses are fair. A finding of fair use in this case not only furthers the underlying goals of scholarship and education – access to knowledge – but also the very purposes of the Copyright Act itself.

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          Copyright in the Digital Era: Building Evidence for Policy

          Posted in Copyright on May 6th, 2013

          The National Academies Press has released Copyright in the Digital Era: Building Evidence for Policy.

          Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

          The report describes a wide range of questions that are ripe for analysis: how incentives of creators, distributors and users are changing, what are the enablers of and impediments to voluntary licensing, what are the costs and effectiveness of copyright enforcement methods, and what are the costs and benefits of copyright exceptions and limitations. Answers to these questions will help inform decisions about copyright scope and duration, more effective licensing arrangements and enforcement mechanisms, and appropriate safe harbors and fair use exceptions.

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            Library Copyright Alliance Files Brief in Georgia State University E-Reserves Case

            Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Reserves, Publishing, Research Libraries on April 29th, 2013

            The Library Copyright Alliance has filed a brief in the Cambridge U. Press et al. v. Mark P. Becker et al. e-reserves copyright case that was prepared by the EFF and Jonathan Band.

            Here's an excerpt from the EFF announcement:

            In the amicus brief filed today, EFF urges the appeals court to see what the district court saw: the vast majority of uses at issue were protected fair uses. Moreover, as a practical matter, the licensing market the publishers say they want to create for e-reserves will never emerge—not least because libraries can't afford to participate in it. Even assuming that libraries could pay such fees, requiring this would thwart the purpose of copyright by undermining the overall market for scholarship. Given libraries' stagnant or shrinking budgets, any new spending for licenses must be reallocated from existing expenditures, and the most likely source of reallocated funds is the budget for collections. An excerpt license requirement thus will harm the market for new scholarly works, as the works assigned for student reading are likely to be more established pieces written by well-known academics. Libraries' total investment in scholarship will be the same but resources will be diverted away from new works to redundant payments for existing ones, in direct contradiction of copyright's purpose of "promot[ing] progress."

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              House Judiciary Committee Chairman Announces Comprehensive Review of Copyright Law

              Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on April 25th, 2013

              House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte has announced that his committee will undertake a comprehensive review of copyright law.

              Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

              There is little doubt that our copyright system faces new challenges today. The Internet has enabled copyright owners to make available their works to consumers around the world, but has also enabled others to do so without any compensation for copyright owners. Efforts to digitize our history so that all have access to it face questions about copyright ownership by those who are hard, if not impossible, to locate. There are concerns about statutory license and damage mechanisms. Federal judges are forced to make decisions using laws that are difficult to apply today. Even the Copyright Office itself faces challenges in meeting the growing needs of its customers—the American public.

              So it is my belief that a wide review of our nation's copyright laws and related enforcement mechanisms is timely. I am announcing today that the House Judiciary Committee will hold a comprehensive series of hearings on U.S. copyright law in the months ahead. The goal of these hearings will be to determine whether the laws are still working in the digital age. I welcome all interested parties to submit their views and concerns to the Committee.

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                "Access, Progress, and Fairness: Rethinking Exclusivity in Copyright"

                Posted in Copyright on April 24th, 2013

                Nicolas Suzor has self-archived "Access, Progress, and Fairness: Rethinking Exclusivity in Copyright" in SSRN.

                Here's an excerpt:

                This Article examines models of supporting and coordinating cultural production without exclusivity, including crowdfunding, tips, levies, restitution, and service-based models. In their current forms, each of these models fails to provide a cohesive and convincing vision of the two main functions of copyright: instrumentally (how cultural production can be funded) and fairness (how authors can be adequately rewarded). This article provides three avenues for future research to investigate the viability of alternate copyright models: (1) a better theory of fairness in copyright rewards; (2) more empirical study of commons models of cultural production; and (3) a critical examination of the noneconomic harm limiting function that exclusivity in copyright provides

                .

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