Archive for the 'Copyright' Category

Dutch Cultural Institutions and Rights Holders Reach Landmark Digitization Agreement

Posted in Copyright, Digitization on January 30th, 2009

FOBID (Netherlands Library Forum) and VOI©E (Netherlands Association of Organisations for the Collective Management of Intellectual Property Rights) have reached a digitization agreement.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Dutch libraries, archives, and museums recently reached agreement with right holders on the digitisation and accessibility of their heritage collections. The organisations representing the libraries (FOBID) and the right holders (VOI©E) reached agreement within the Digiti©E Committee (Digitisation of Cultural Heritage) that was set up when a Declaration of Intent was signed at the opening of Amsterdam World Book Capital in April 2008. The agreement is a major breakthrough in the discussion regarding the copyright aspects of digitising collections held by libraries and archives.

As far as is known, this is the first agreement of this type anywhere in the world between libraries and right holders. There is concern in many other countries too regarding how to deal with the rights of right holders who cannot be traced, i.e. the holders of rights in “orphan works”. If the arrangement that has now been accepted in the Netherlands is imitated in other European countries, it will have an enormous effect on the availability of recent works in the “Europeana” digital library. . . .

The essence of the agreement is that the libraries that are represented receive permission, on certain conditions, from virtually all right holders to digitise their collections and make them publically available on their own premises for teaching or research purposes. The works concerned must be part of the Dutch cultural heritage and no longer commercially available. The libraries do not need to pay the right holders as long as the works are only made available on their own premises.

Separate consent is required, however, if the digitised works are made more widely available, for example by means of remote access or via the Internet. In that case, an agreed payment must be made; agreements in principle can be made regarding payment by the Digiti©E committee. Even then, the library will not need to go in search of the right holders because this will be done by collecting societies such as Lira and Pictoright.

The organisations representing right holders will shortly be setting up a Registration Centre for digitisation where libraries and archives can register proposed projects and get in touch with right holders regarding how they should be implemented. . . .

Kees Holierhoek, the chairman of the Lira copyright holders’ organisation and of the digital right holders working party, has this to say about the new agreement: “I’m very pleased about this agreement. It’s important for us that copyright should be respected, and that has been done in this case. At the same time, the agreement has done away with a major obstacle to making texts and photos accessible. Authors, freelance journalists, photographers, and publishers will all have a veto right if they do not wish to participate. If they do wish to participate, they can claim payment if their material is made accessible outside the institution’s own premises.”

Martin Bossenbroek, the acting General Director of the National Library of the Netherlands, says: “This agreement is a real breakthrough. It’s extremely good news for libraries like the National Library of the Netherlands whose core task is to manage nationally important heritage collections and make them available. The agreement regulates digitisation and the availability of digitised collections on our own premises. But that is only the first step, because we naturally want to also make the digitised collections available online. I think the real benefit of this agreement is that it shows how all the various interested parties understand one another’s positions and arguments. That constructive attitude will also make it possible to arrive at good follow-up arrangements for provision of material on the Internet.”

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    ALA Office for Information Technology Policy Launches Google Books Settlement Site

    Posted in Copyright, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on January 29th, 2009

    The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy has launched a Google Books Settlement Web site.

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      Podcast: "The Law and Policy of Web 2.0: Much Old, Some New, Lots Borrowed, So Don’t Be Blue"

      Posted in Copyright, Social Media/Web 2.0 on January 28th, 2009

      EDUCAUSE has released a podcast of a presentation by Beth Cate, Associate General Counsel for Indiana University System, called "The Law and Policy of Web 2.0: Much Old, Some New, Lots Borrowed, So Don’t Be Blue."

      Here's an excerpt from the abstract:

      Social networking sites and other Web 2.0 technologies offer rich tools for creation, collaboration, and community building. As such they have generated great excitement among faculty, staff, and students as they explore incorporating these technologies into their teaching and learning. Some of the most compelling features of these technologies—how quickly and easily materials can be shared and repurposed, how large and fluid Internet communities tend to be, how many cheap third-party services are available—are the same ones that raise questions about whether and how law and policy affect how we use these technologies in support of learning.

      In this session, Beth Cate reviews and answers questions commonly asked by faculty, staff, and university attorneys. She also talks about why, although technologies are continually evolving, the relevant legal and policy principles are generally quite familiar and not scary. She highlights a few new wrinkles and some unknowns and offers practical strategies for maintaining good communications with your campus counsel as you and your institution navigate these promising new technologies and look ahead to Web 3.0.

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        Max Planck Institute Releases Best Practices for Access to Images: Recommendations for Scholarly Use and Publishing

        Posted in Copyright, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization, Open Access on January 26th, 2009

        The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science has released Best Practices for Access to Images: Recommendations for Scholarly Use and Publishing.

        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

        The recommendations were prompted by the barriers encountered by those who wish to use and publish images of cultural heritage objects. High licence fees and complicated access regulations make it increasingly difficult for scholars in the humanities to work with digital images. It is true that the digitization of image collections has acted as a catalyst for scholarly research. However, archives, collections and libraries differ greatly with respect to the question of how, where and on what basis images may be used for scholarly purposes. Moreover, their policies in this regard are becoming increasingly restrictive, especially when it comes to new forms of e-publishing.

        The MPIWG drew up its recommendations for facilitating the scholarly use of digital images following consultations with international experts which took place in January 2008. The recommendations call on curators and scholars to develop a mutually binding network of trust. The aim of the initiative is to encourage stakeholders jointly to address the current and future challenges raised by the digital age. The document urges curators to refrain from restricting the public domain arbitrarily and calls on them to accommodate the needs of scholars for reasonably-priced or freely-accessible high-resolution digital images—both for print publications and new Web-based forms of scholarly publishing. It exhorts scholars to recognise museums, libraries and collections as owners and custodians of physical objects of cultural heritage and to acknowledge their efforts in making digital images available. Moreover, it urges them to take their role as guarantors of authenticity and accurate attribution extremely seriously.

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          "Google & the Future of Books"

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digitization, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on January 23rd, 2009

          Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor at Harvard University, has published "Google & the Future of Books" in the The New York Review of Books.

          Here's an excerpt:

          As an unintended consequence [of the Google Book Settlement], Google will enjoy what can only be called a monopoly—a monopoly of a new kind, not of railroads or steel but of access to information. Google has no serious competitors. Microsoft dropped its major program to digitize books several months ago, and other enterprises like the Open Knowledge Commons (formerly the Open Content Alliance) and the Internet Archive are minute and ineffective in comparison with Google. Google alone has the wealth to digitize on a massive scale. And having settled with the authors and publishers, it can exploit its financial power from within a protective legal barrier; for the class action suit covers the entire class of authors and publishers. No new entrepreneurs will be able to digitize books within that fenced-off territory, even if they could afford it, because they would have to fight the copyright battles all over again. If the settlement is upheld by the court, only Google will be protected from copyright liability.

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            “Editorial: Google Deal or Rip-Off?”

            Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on December 15th, 2008

            In "Editorial: Google Deal or Rip-Off?," Francine Fialkoff, Library Journal Editor-in-Chief, takes a hard look at the Google-Association of American Publishers/Authors Guild copyright settlement.

            Here's an excerpt:

            Clearly, the public had little standing in the negotiations that led to the recent agreement in the class-action lawsuit against Google for scanning books from library shelves. . . . Well, the suit was never about the public interest but about corporate interests, and librarians did not have much power at the bargaining table, no matter how hard those consulted pushed. While there are many provisions in the document that specify what libraries can and can't do and portend greater access, ultimately, it is the restrictions that scream out at us from the miasma of details.

            Other perspectives can be found in my recently updated Google Book Search Bibliography, Version 3.

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              Lessig Moves to Harvard Law

              Posted in Copyright on December 15th, 2008

              Noted copyright expert Lawrence Lessig has joined the faculty of Harvard Law School and become the faculty director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics.

              Here's an excerpt from the press release:

              Lessig—a widely acclaimed expert in constitutional law, cyberlaw, and intellectual property—comes to Harvard from the faculty of Stanford Law School. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 2000, he was on the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School and Harvard Law School. . . .

              As faculty director of the Center, Lessig will expand on the center’s work to encourage teaching and research about ethical issues in public and professional life. He will also launch a major five-year project examining what happens when public institutions depend on money from sources that may be affected by the work of those institutions—for example, medical research programs that receive funding from pharmaceutical companies whose drugs they review, or academics whose policy analyses are underwritten by special interest groups.

              “I am very excited to be returning to Harvard to work on a project of enormous importance to our democracy,” said Lessig. “The chance to extend the work of the Center to focus on the problems of institutional independence is timely and essential. I am eager to work with friends and old colleagues from the Law School and across the University to make this project a success.”

              A prolific writer, Lessig is the author of five books: “Remix” (2008), “Code v2” (2007), “Free Culture” (2004), “The Future of Ideas” (2001), and “Code, and Other Laws of Cyberspace” (1999). He has published more than 60 scholarly articles in leading law and technology journals. His work also appears regularly in the popular press, and he was a monthly columnist for Wired Magazine.

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                New Press to Publish Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own

                Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Open Access, Open Source Software on December 14th, 2008

                The New Press will publish David Bollier's Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own.

                Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                Reporting from the heart of this "free culture" movement, journalist and activist David Bollier provides the first comprehensive history of the attempt by a global brigade of techies, lawyers, artists, musicians, scientists, businesspeople, innovators, and geeks of all stripes to create a digital republic committed to freedom and innovation. Viral Spiral —the term Bollier coins to describe the almost-magical process by which Internet users can come together to build online commons and tools—brilliantly interweaves the disparate strands of this eclectic movement. The story describes major technological developments and pivotal legal struggles, as well as fascinating profiles of hacker Richard Stallman, copyright scholar Lawrence Lessig, and other colorful figures.

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