Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

Two Strikes and You're Out: France Plans to Disconnect Digital Pirates from the Internet

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Culture on November 26th, 2007

The French Ministry of Culture has proposed a number of measures to deal with illegal downloading on the Internet, including a controversial proposal to terminate accused pirates' Internet access after two downloading violations.

Here's an excerpt from "French Gov't Plans to Disconnect Content Pirates":

The government has won agreement for its latest proposals from the French media industry, which will implement the watermarking measures and make legal downloads of films more widely and rapidly available. Albanel signed the agreement Friday with TV channels, Internet service providers (ISPs), and groups representing filmmakers, authors and musicians rights groups.

In return for the support of these organizations, the government will create a new agency to monitor Internet traffic for the presence of watermarked files and handle complaints from rights holders. Anyone whose Internet connection is used to download such files could receive an official warning from their ISP. A second offense could result in their contract with the ISP being terminated and their name being added to a registry of offenders.

Read more about it at "The Insanity of France's Anti-File-Sharing Plan: L'État, C'Est IFPI," "French Pact Aims to Fight Unauthorized Downloading," and "Pirates Face Crackdown over Movie Downloads."

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    U.S. Copyright Office Publishes Updated Title 17 on Web

    Posted in Copyright on November 26th, 2007

    The U.S. Copyright Office has published a completely updated version of Copyright Law of the United States and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code. Freely available in HTML or PDF formats, the updated document includes "all amendments enacted through the end of the second session of the 109th Congress in 2006."

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      ARL's Authors and Their Rights Web Page

      Posted in ARL Libraries, Author Rights, Copyright, Scholarly Communication on November 20th, 2007

      ARL's Authors and Their Rights Web page provides access to ARL libraries' Web pages dealing with author rights topics and to other related resources.

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        Goliath Just Got Smaller: Free Software Foundation Establishes Expert Witness Defense Fund to Fight RIAA Lawsuits

        Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Culture on November 20th, 2007

        The Free Software Foundation has established an Expert Witness Defense Fund to "help provide computer expert witnesses to combat RIAA's ongoing lawsuits, and to defend against the RIAA's attempt to redefine copyright law." Ray Beckerman and a group of selected attorneys will advise the fund. You can make tax deductible contributions to the fund, which is a registered 501(c)3 organization.

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          Infringement Nation: Does Typical Digital Technology Use Made Us All Infringers?

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on November 20th, 2007

          John Tehranian, Professor of Law at the University of Utah, has written a paper for the Utah Law Review titled "Infringement Nation: Copyright Reform and the Law/Norm Gap."

          Here's an excerpt from the paper where Tehranian summarizes the infringement activity of a hypothetical U.S. law professor during a single day:

          By the end of the day, John has infringed the copyrights of twenty emails, three legal articles, an architectural rendering, a poem, five photographs, an animated character, a musical composition, a painting, and fifty notes and drawings. All told, he has committed at least eighty-three acts of infringement and faces liability in the amount of $12.45 million (to say nothing of potential criminal charges).

          If copyright holders were inclined to enforce their rights to the maximum extent allowed by law, he would be indisputably liable for a mind-boggling $4.544 billion in potential damages each year. And, surprisingly, he has not even committed a single act of infringement through P2P file sharing. Such an outcome flies in the face of our basic sense of justice. Indeed, one must either irrationally conclude that John is a criminal infringer—a veritable grand larcenist—or blithely surmise that copyright law must not mean what it appears to say. Something is clearly amiss. Moreover, the troublesome gap between copyright law and norms has grown only wider in recent years.

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            Analysis of the the Intellectual Property Enforcement Act of 2007

            Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on November 19th, 2007

            Public Knowledge's Alex Curtis has written a useful section-by-section analysis of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Act of 2007.

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              Eduserv Releases Study about the Use of Open Content Licenses By UK Heritage Organizations

              Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Museums, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on November 17th, 2007

              The Eduserv Foundation has released Snapshot Study on the Use of Open Content Licences in the UK Cultural Heritage Sector (Appendices).

              Here's an excerpt from the "Executive Summary":

              This study investigates the awareness and use of open content licences in the UK cultural heritage community by way of a survey. Open content licensing generally grants a wide range of permission in copyright for use and re-use of works such as images, sounds, video, and text, whilst retaining a relatively small set of rights: often described as a ‘some rights reserved’ approach to copyright. For those wishing to share content using this model, Creative Archive (CA) and Creative Commons (CC) represent the two main sets of open content licences available for use in the United Kingdom.

              The year of this survey, 2007, marks five years from the launch of the Creative Commons licences, two years since the launch of the UK-specific CC licences and two years as well since the launch of the UK-only Creative Archive licence.

              This survey targeted UK cultural heritage organisations—primarily museums, libraries, galleries, archives, and those in the media community that conduct heritage activities (such as TV and radio broadcasters and film societies). In particular, this community produces trusted and highly valued content greatly desired by the general public and the research and education sectors. They are therefore a critical source of high-demand content and thus the focus for this project. The key objective has been to get a snapshot of current licensing practices in this area in 2007 for use by the sector and funding bodies wishing to do more work in this area.

              Over 100 organisations responded to this web-based survey. Of these respondents:

              • Only 4 respondents out of 107 indicated that they held content but were not making it available online nor had plans to make it available online;
              • Images and text are the two content types most likely to be made available online;
              • Sound appears to be the most held content type not currently available online and with no plans to make it available in the future;
              • Many make some part of their collection available online without having done any formal analysis of the impact this may have;
              • 59 respondents were aware of Creative Archive or Creative Commons;
              • 10 use a CA or CC licence for some of their content; and
              • 12 have plans to use a CA or CC licence in the future.
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                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

                Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Culture on November 15th, 2007

                Despite the opposition of higher education officials, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 was approved by the House Education and Labor Committee with an illegal file sharing provision intact.

                Read more about the provision and its approval at "Campus Copyright Mandates Threaten Financial Aid Funds and Campus Networks," "House Antipiracy Measure Passes through Committee," "House Committee on Education and Labor Puts out 'Supporters of Intellectual Property Theft' Propaganda," "Politicos Near Vote on Anti-P2P Rules for Universities," and "Swiftboating Higher Education on P2P."

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                  Urgent EDUCAUSE Call to Action on Illegal File Sharing Provision

                  Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Culture on November 12th, 2007

                  EDUCAUSE has issued an urgent call to action regarding an illegal file sharing provision in the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007.

                  Here's the text of 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

                  For further information, see EDUCAUSE's P2P or File Sharing page, especially the talking points and the suggested templates for calls and letters. You can use Congress Merge to find contact information for your Congressional representatives.

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                    Copyright Crash Course Revised and Moved

                    Posted in Copyright on November 12th, 2007

                    Georgia Harper has revised her well-known Copyright Crash Course, and it is now hosted by the University of Texas Libraries.

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                      Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States Updated

                      Posted in Copyright on November 10th, 2007

                      Peter B. Hirtle, Intellectual Property Officer at the Cornell University Library, has updated his handy Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States summary. Aside from a new URL and a PDF version, the biggest changes are the addition of sections on published and unpublished sound recordings and architectural works.

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                        Coverage of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Act of 2007

                        Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on November 9th, 2007

                        Yesterday, DigitalKoans reported that Senators Patrick Leahy and John Cornyn introduced the Intellectual Property Enforcement Act of 2007, which is sometimes called the "PIRATE Act."

                        Here are some of the most interesting articles about the bill:

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