Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

"Help the Copyright Office Understand How to Address Mass Digitization"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Mass Digitizaton on September 28th, 2015

The DPLA has published "Help the Copyright Office Understand How to Address Mass Digitization" in the DPLA Blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The U.S. Copyright Office recently issued a report and a request for comments on its proposal for a new licensing system intended to overcome copyright obstacles to mass digitization. While the goal is laudable, the Office's proposal is troubling and vague in key respects.

The overarching problem is that the Office's proposal doesn't fully consider how libraries and archives currently go about digitization projects, and so it misidentifies how the law should be improved to allow for better digital access. It's important that libraries and archives submit comments to help the Office better understand how to make recommendations for improvements.

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"Important Win for Fair Use in ‘Dancing Baby’ Lawsuit"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on September 16th, 2015

The EFF has released "Important Win for Fair Use in 'Dancing Baby' Lawsuit."

Here's an excerpt:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) represents Stephanie Lenz, who-back in 2007-posted a 29-second video to YouTube of her children dancing in her kitchen. The Prince song "Let's Go Crazy" was playing on a stereo in the background of the short clip. Universal Music Group sent YouTube a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), claiming that the family video infringed the copyright in Prince's song. EFF sued Universal on Lenz's behalf, arguing that Universal abused the DMCA by improperly targeting a lawful fair use.

Today [September 14, 2015], the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that copyright holders like Universal must consider fair use before trying to remove content from the Internet. It also rejected Universal's claim that a victim of takedown abuse cannot vindicate her rights if she cannot show actual monetary loss.

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"Sharing Research Data and Intellectual Property Law: A Primer"

Posted in Copyright, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management on September 2nd, 2015

Michael W. Carroll has published "Sharing Research Data and Intellectual Property Law: A Primer" in PLOS Biology.

Here's an excerpt:

Sharing research data by depositing it in connection with a published article or otherwise making data publicly available sometimes raises intellectual property questions in the minds of depositing researchers, their employers, their funders, and other researchers who seek to reuse research data. In this context or in the drafting of data management plans, common questions are (1) what are the legal rights in data; (2) who has these rights; and (3) how does one with these rights use them to share data in a way that permits or encourages productive downstream uses? Leaving to the side privacy and national security laws that regulate sharing certain types of data, this Perspective explains how to work through the general intellectual property and contractual issues for all research data.

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Enquiries Into Intellectual Property’s Economic Impact

Posted in Copyright, Open Access, Reports and White Papers on August 28th, 2015

OECD has released Enquiries Into Intellectual Property's Economic Impact.

Here's an excerpt from "Chapter 7: Legal Aspects of Open Access to Publicly Funded Research":

To explain the interplay between open access and IP laws, this chapter provides an overview of the IP regimes that protect research outputs in a sample of OECD jurisdictions. It then reviews the open access policies that are in place in some of those jurisdictions and examines two contexts in which IP questions can arise when open access principles are applied: public/private partnerships and text and data mining.

Also of interest: "Chapter 5: Copyright in the Digital Era: Country Studies."

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Copyright Reform for a Digital Economy

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Legislation and Government Regulation, Reports and White Papers on August 27th, 2015

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, has released Copyright Reform for a Digital Economy.

Here's an excerpt:

Congress can accommodate new technology innovation by:

(a) ensuring that fair use, which is integral to the fabric of the Copyright Act, remains a central consideration in any legislative effort;

(b) preserving the first sale doctrine to ensure that contractual restrictions do not limit the free movement of goods in the economy as more products increasingly incorporate digital components; and

(c) reforming the licensing landscape to ensure greater transparency as to copyright ownership and to better police against anticompetitive conduct, particularly where rights ownership is highly concentrated, and reforming Copyright Office functions to improve the quality and public availability of data about copyrighted works.

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Creative Commons License Court Decision: "Defining Derivatives"

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on August 25th, 2015

Kevin Smith has published "Defining Derivatives" in Scholarly Communications @ Duke in which he discusses the Drauglis V. Kappa Map Group decision. In this case, a photographer sued a publisher who used his CC BY-SA licensed photo on Flickr without permission.

Here's an excerpt:

One thing that is clear, and this is my second point, is that a Share Alike provision does not require that the second work be made available for free, as long as a derivative is not created. The compilation atlas containing Drauglis' photo was sold, of course, and the court said that was OK because there was no non-commercial restriction on the license and the commercial work was not a derivative (which would activate the share alike restriction).

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"TPP Undermines User Control and That’s Disastrous for Accessibility"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on July 28th, 2015

Maira Sutton has published "TPP Undermines User Control and That's Disastrous for Accessibility" in Deeplinks.

Here's an excerpt:

The passage of the Marrakesh Treaty led to a change in the TPP's Limitations and Exceptions section of the Intellectual Property chapter, expanding the definition of a legitimate use as one that is "facilitating access to works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled" (some of this wording is still contested, but on the whole is included in the most recent leak of the agreement). This was of course a welcome change to see in the TPP.

What's worrying however, is that in order to pass a new international exception for other kinds of disabilities, such as for the deaf, it will require another agonizing, years-long process. While Marrakesh was intended to set a lower limit on the number of potential exceptions for accessibility, the wording of trade agreements like the TPP could turn the same language into an upper limit. This is due to its approach to copyright exceptions, exemplified by its "three-step test" provision. It's a set of criteria that governments must follow in order to pass any new exception (like say, allowing works to be used for educational or even accessibility purposes). In practice, the three-step test can embolden restrictions against using copyrighted works, rather than being more permissive like fair use.

So instead of providing only a narrow right to people with visual impairments, the TPP could include an exception that would help anyone who has difficulty accessing work due to a disability. But unlike at Marrakesh there are no representatives of the disabled to make that argument in the closed negotiating rooms of the TPP.

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"Developing and Implementing a Technical Framework for Interoperable Rights Statements"

Posted in Copyright, Licenses, Standards on May 21st, 2015

Mark Matienzo has published "Developing and Implementing a Technical Framework for Interoperable Rights Statements" in DPLA Updates.

Here's an excerpt:

Within the Technical Working Group of the International Rights Statements Working Group, we have been focusing our efforts on identifying a set of requirements and a technically sound and sustainable plan to implement the rights statements under development. Now that two of the Working Group's white papers have been released, we realized it was a good time to build on the introductory blog post by our Co-Chairs, Emily Gore and Paul Keller. Accordingly, we hope this post provides a good introduction to our technical white paper, Recommendations for the Technical Infrastructure for Standardized International Rights Statements, and more generally, how our thinking has changed throughout the activities of the working group.

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"Derivative Works 2.0: Reconsidering Transformative Use in the Age of Crowdsourced Creation"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on May 20th, 2015

Jacqueline D. Lipton and John Tehranian have published "Derivative Works 2.0: Reconsidering Transformative Use in the Age of Crowdsourced Creation" in the Northwestern University Law Review.

Here's an excerpt:

As such, this Article reflects on the particular problems raised by the growth of crowdsourced projects and how our copyright regime can best address them. We conclude that future legal developments will require a thoughtful and sophisticated balance to facilitate free speech, artistic expression, and commercial profit. To this end, we suggest a number of options for legal reform, including: (1) reworking the strict liability basis of copyright infringement for noncommercial works, (2) tempering damages awards for noncommercial or innocent infringement, (3) creating an "intermediate liability" regime that gives courts a middle ground between infringement and fair use, (4) developing clearer ex ante guidelines for fair use, and (5) reworking the statutory definition of "derivative work" to exclude noncommercial remixing activities.

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Written Testimony of Maria A. Pallante, US Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on May 8th, 2015

The House Judiciary Committee has released the 4/29/15 written testimony of Maria A. Pallante, United States Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office.

Here's an excerpt:

Related to the problem of orphan works, the Office is completing its analysis of copyright issues inherent to mass digitization projects. In our study, witnesses have described some of the difficulties presented by mass digitization projects under current copyright law, and proposed specific statutory solutions.

As hearing testimony indicated, the problem with respect to mass digitization is not so much a lack of information as a lack of efficiency in the licensing marketplace. For a digitization project involving hundreds, thousands, or millions of copyrighted works, the costs of securing ex ante permissions from every rightsholder individually often will exceed the value of the use to the user. Thus, even where a library or other repository agrees that a use requires permission and would be willing to pay for a license (e.g., to offer online access to a particular collection of copyrighted works), the burdens of rights clearance may effectively prevent it from doing so. To the extent that providing such access could serve valuable informational or educational purposes, this outcome is difficult to reconcile with the public interest.

While fair use may provide some support for limited mass digitization projects—up to a point—the complexity of the issue and the variety of factual circumstances that may arise compel a legislative solution. In the Office's view, the legitimate goals of mass digitization cannot be accomplished or reconciled under existing law other than in extremely narrow circumstances. For example, access to copyrighted works, something many view as a fundamental benefit of such projects, will likely be extremely circumscribed or wholly unavailable. For this reason, as part of its orphan works and mass digitization report, the Office will recommend a voluntary "pilot program" in the form of extended collective licensing ("ECL") that would enable full-text access to certain works for research and education purposes under a specific framework set forth by the Copyright Office, with further conditions to be developed through additional stakeholder dialogue and discussion. Such input is critical, we believe, because ECL is a market-based system intended to facilitate licensing negotiations between prospective users and collective management organizations representing copyright owners. Thus, the success of such a system depends on the voluntary participation of stakeholders.

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ARL Signs The Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age

Posted in ARL Libraries, Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Research Libraries on May 7th, 2015

ARL has signed The Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

More than 50 organizations around the world—including ARL—have signed the Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age, which calls for immediate changes to intellectual property (IP) law and the removal of other barriers preventing widened and more equal access to data. . . .

The declaration asserts that copyright was never designed to regulate the sharing of facts, data, and ideas—nor should it. The right to receive and impart information and ideas is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but the modern application of IP law often limits this right, even when these most simple building blocks of knowledge are used.

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USTR Releases 2015 Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on May 1st, 2015

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released its 2015 Special 301 Report.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The "Special 301" Report is an annual review of the global state of IPR protection and enforcement. USTR conducts this review pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

USTR reviewed seventy-two (72) trading partners for this year's Special 301 Report, and placed thirty-seven (37) of them on the Priority Watch List or Watch List.

In this year's Report, trading partners on the Priority Watch List present the most significant concerns this year regarding insufficient IPR protection or enforcement or actions that otherwise limited market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection. Thirteen countries—Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela—are on the Priority Watch List. These countries will be the subject of particularly intense bilateral engagement during the coming year.

See also “Error: Copyright Balance Not Found in United States’ Special 301 Report” from the EFF.

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