Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

Swedish Ministers Say That ISPs Should Be Forced to Reveal Illegal File Sharers Identities

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, P2P File Sharing on March 14th, 2008

In an opinion article in Svenska Dagbladet, Swedish Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask and Minister of Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth have said that they will propose a law that requires ISPs to reveal the identity of illegal file sharers to copyright holders after they provide evidence that infringement has occurred.

Read more about it at "Sweden to Clamp Down on File Sharing" and "Sweden to Get Tough on File-Sharers."

Music Industry Consultant Says It's Time for an ISP File Sharing Surcharge

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, P2P File Sharing on March 13th, 2008

Jim Griffin, Managing Director of OneHouse LLC, has suggested that ISP users should pay a small monthly surcharge to compensate music companies and performers for lost revenues from file sharing. This public proposal by a music industry consultant suggests that there may have been a shift in the industry's thinking since the EFF released "A Better Way Forward: Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing" in 2004, which suggested a similar plan that was dismissed by the industry.

Read more about it "$5 a Month for Legal P2P Could Happen Sooner Than You Think" and "Music Industry Proposes a Piracy Surcharge on ISPs."

After Israeli Court Orders HttpShare Blocked, It Has to Upgrade Hardware to Respond to Increased Traffic

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Net Neutrality, P2P File Sharing on March 12th, 2008

After an Israeli court ordered ISP providers to block HttpShare, a torrent search engine and link-only site, traffic sharply increased as a result of news coverage. The site now has a banner that says "Big Thanks to IFPI that bring us alot traffic!"

Read more about it at "'IFPI Advertising' Boosts Visitors to Blocked File-Sharing Site," "IFPI Gets Israeli ISPs to Block Hebrew Peer-to-Peer Site," "IFPI Pressure Forces ISPs to Block Another File-Sharing Site," and "'Year of Filters' Turning into Year of Lawsuits against ISPs."

Four Music Companies Take Legal Action Against Irish ISP to Stop Illegal Downloads

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Net Neutrality, P2P File Sharing on March 11th, 2008

EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner have taken Ireland's biggest ISP, Eircom, to court to force it to stop illegal music downloads on its network.

Read more about it at "Eircom Taken to Court over Illegal Music Downloads" and "IFPI Takes ISP to Court to Impose Music Piracy Filter."

Several Publisher Associations Release Joint Statement on Journal Publishing Agreements and Copyright Agreement Addenda

Posted in Author Rights, Copyright, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on March 10th, 2008

The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM), the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers (PSP), and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) have released the "STM/PSP/ALPSP Statement on Journal Publishing Agreements and Copyright Agreement 'Addenda'."

Here's an excerpt from the STM press release:

The debate on the rights that authors have (or indeed it is claimed inaccurately, do not have) over their published works continues to rage, and much coverage has been given to purportedly restrictive practices or policies, when in fact they do not exist for the majority of publishers.

The most recent examples surround the vote of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard for university ownership and distribution of research papers (February 2008). One advocate of the Harvard policy claims that this step was taken because "the scholarly publishing system has become far more restrictive than it need be [… m]any publishers will not even allow scholars to use and distribute their own work." (See http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2008/02.14/99-fasvote.html).

This is not only an inaccurate perception of the role of publishers and copyright, but also means that advocating authors to modify existing journal publishing agreements with "copyright addenda" is simply a call for needless bureaucracy. . . .

STM publishers invariably allow the authors of journal articles to use their published papers in their own teaching and for educational purposes generally within their institutions. Most journals have policies that permit authors to provide copies of their papers to research colleagues, and to re-use portions of their papers in further works or books. Although some news-oriented science and medical magazines have a few restrictions on pre-publication posting, almost all research journals permit the posting by the author or the author's institution of some version of the paper on the Internet.

Controversial Provision in the PRO-IP Act Dropped

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on March 7th, 2008

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property dropped a controversial provision of the Pro-IP Act (HR 4279, the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007) that would have made infringers liable for damages for each part of a compilation work (e.g., each song on an album). The Subcommittee then approved the bill.

Read more about it at "House Panel Kills Controversial Copyright Provision," "Public Knowledge Comments on Intellectual Property Bill Action by House Subcommittee," and "Rep. Berman Pulls Controversial 'Compilations' Rule from PRO-IP Act."

Acta Crystallographica Section E Adopts Author-Pays OA Model and Creative Commons License

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, E-Journals, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on March 6th, 2008

The International Union of Crystallography has adopted a very modest publication fee ($150) to support open access to Acta Crystallographica Section E: Structure Reports Online. It has also put the journal under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Read more about it at "Acta Crystallographica E is Open Access."

EDUCAUSE Urgent Call to Action about the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, P2P File Sharing on March 6th, 2008

EDUCAUSE has issued an urgent call for action by March 7 about the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007, which contains a provision about illegal file sharing.

Here is the provision:

Section 494: Campus Based Digital Theft Prevention

(a) IN GENERAL—Each eligible institution participating in any program under this title shall to the extent practicable—

(2) develop a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity

See EDUCAUSE's talking points, action call template, and file-sharing resources. For further background, see "In a Win for the MPAA and RIAA, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 Is Approved by the House Education and Labor Committee."

You can use Congress Merge to find contact information for your Congressional representatives.

Creative Commons License Option for ETDs at the University of Auckland

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), Institutional Repositories, Licenses, Open Access, Self-Archiving on February 29th, 2008

The University of Auckland now gives students submitting an electronic theses or dissertation the option of putting it under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Read more about it "University of Auckland Embeds CC Licensing" and "Guidelines for Formatting a Digital Thesis."

Are Publishers Ready for the JISC/SURF Licence to Publish Author Agreement and Its Principles?

Posted in Author Rights, Copyright, Open Access, Publishing, Self-Archiving on February 29th, 2008

The SURFfoundation has published Acceptance of the JISC/SURF Licence to Publish & accompanying Principles by Traditional Publishers of Journals.

Here's an excerpt from the "Management Survey" section (I have added the link to the Licence to Publish):

In 2006, JISC and SURF drafted several Principles and a model Licence to Publish in order to persuade traditional publishers of journals to move in the direction of Open Access objectives. According to these Principles:

  1. the author merely issues a licence to publish instead of transferring his/her copyright.
  2. the author may freely deposit the publisher-generated PDF files of his/her article in an institutional repository, with an embargo of no longer than 6 months.

To set an example, a model Licence to Publish (hereafter: LtP) was drawn up as well. Yet, using the LtP is not a necessary requirement for meeting the—more important—Open Access objectives of the Principles.

This report presents the results of an enquiry by e-mail among 47 traditional publishers of journals. They were asked whether they would support the Principles and/or the LtP, which had first been explained to them. Two Open Access publishers were also asked for a reaction merely out of interest, since they do not belong to the target group. . .

The results showed that a substantial group of one-third of the contacted publishers conforms to the first aspect of the Principles; they make use of a licence to publish instead of a copyright transfer. Furthermore, the same number of publishers (16) already has a repository policy in place which is compatible with the Principles. Moreover, 7 publishers conform to both aspects and thus they endorse all the Principles. The support for the model LtP developed by SURF and JISC, however was low; no publisher did as yet endorse it.

Intellectual Property? OK, Let's Tax It as Property

Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on February 28th, 2008

Scientist Dallas Weaver has suggested that if copyright holders want "property" rights then they should be subject to a significant fixed annual tax in order to continue to hold the copyright. This tax would encourage copyright holders to put their works in the public domain.

Read more about it at "Copyright This."

Why Digital Copyright and Net Neutrality Should Matter to Open Access Advocates

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Net Neutrality, Open Access on February 26th, 2008

It is highly unlikely that open access would have emerged if the Internet did not exist. The Internet makes the low-cost worldwide distribution of e-prints and other digital documents through institutional and disciplinary repositories possible, and it significantly lowers the cost of publishing, which makes open access journals possible. Open access in a print-only or proprietary network environment would require significant subsidies. The relative cost of providing open access on the Internet is trivial.

It would be a mistake to assume that the Internet will remain as we know it. With the rise of digital media, powerful interests in the music and film/television industries have become alarmed about file sharing of their content, and they have lobbied legislatures across the globe to stop it through restrictive copyright legislation and technological measures.

Since open access doesn't deal with popular music, film, or television, why should open access advocates care? The answer is simple: restrictive measures are unlikely to make fine-grained distinctions about content. New copyright measures won't exempt scholarly material, and new Internet traffic shaping or filtering technologies won't either.

Open access materials won't be limited to simple text documents forever: digital media and data sets will become increasingly important. These files can be large and increase network load. Digital media files may include excerpts from third-party copyrighted material, which are utilized under fair use provisions. Will filtering and traffic shaping technologies exclude them or will they be the inadvertent victims of systems designed for an entirely different purpose?

Even simple text documents will be governed by restrictive copyright laws and subject to potential copyright filtering mechanisms.

For example, the Tennessee State Senate is considering a bill (SB 3974) that would require every higher education institution to "thoroughly analyze its computer network, including its local area and internal networks, to determine whether it is being used to transmit copyrighted works" and to "take affirmative steps, including the implementation of effective technology-based deterrents, to prevent the infringement of copyrighted works over the school's computer and network resources, including over local area and internal networks."

You'll note that the bill says "transmit copyrighted works" not "transmit digital music and video works." Does this mean that every digital work, including e-prints and e-books, must be scanned and cleared for copyright compliance? That is unlikely to be the real intent of the bill, but, if passed, it will be the letter of the law. Why couldn't academic publishers insist that digital articles and books be vetted as well?

Net neutrality and digital copyright legislation are issues that should be of concern to open access advocates. To ignore them is to potentially win the battle, but lose the war, blind-sided by developments that will ensnare open access materials in legal and technological traps.


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