Archive for the 'Creative Commons/Open Licenses' Category

"Shrinking the Commons: Termination of Copyright Licenses and Transfers for the Benefit of the Public"

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on August 31st, 2009

Timothy K. Armstrong has self-archived "Shrinking the Commons: Termination of Copyright Licenses and Transfers for the Benefit of the Public" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt:

Federal law limits the free alienability of copyright rights to prevent powerful transferees from forcing authors into unremunerative bargains. The limiting mechanism is a statutory provision that permits authors or their heirs, at their sole election, to terminate any transfer or license of any copyright interest during a defined period. Indeed, the applicable provisions of the Copyright Act go so far as to invalidate purported waivers by authors of their statutory termination powers.

These statutory provisions may constitute an impediment to the effective grant of rights for the benefit of the public under widely used "open content" licensing arrangements, such as the GNU General Public License ("GPL") for software or the Creative Commons family of licenses for other sorts of expressive works. Although recent case law suggests that such open-source or open-content licensing arrangements should be analyzed under the same rules that govern other copyright licenses, doing so necessarily raises the possibility of termination of the license. If GPL or Creative Commons-type licenses are subject to later termination by authors (or their heirs), and this termination power cannot validly be waived, then users of such works must confront the possibility that the licenses may be revoked in the future and the works effectively withdrawn from public use, with potentially chaotic results.

Although a number of judge-made doctrines may be invoked to restrict termination of a license granted for the benefit of the public, the better course would be for Congress to enact new legislation expressly authorizing authors to make a nonwaiveable, irrevocable dedication of their works, in whole or in part, to the use and benefit of the public—a possibility that the Patent Act expressly recognizes, but the Copyright Act presently does not.

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    "Is Creative Commons Good for Copyright?"

    Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on August 31st, 2009

    Copycense has published an editorial asking "Is Creative Commons Good for Copyright?"

    Here's an excerpt:

    We conclude now, as we did in 2007, that the continued use and prominence of Creative Commons licenses actually obscures the real copyright issues we face in this country, and keeps Americans from settling on the proper parameters of digital information use, access, retrieval and preservation in the 21st century.

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      An Evaluation of Private Foundation Copyright Licensing Policies, Practices and Opportunities

      Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Grants on August 26th, 2009

      The Berkman Center for Internet & Society has released An Evaluation of Private Foundation Copyright Licensing Policies

      Here's an excerpt:

      This project, a joint effort of the Berkman Center, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Ford Foundation and the Open Society Institute, with funding from Hewlett and Ford, undertook to examine the copyright licensing policies and practices of a group of twelve private foundations. In particular, it looked at the extent to which charitable foundations are aware of and have begun to use open licenses such as Creative Commons or the GPL. We surveyed foundation staff and leaders and examined a number of examples where foundations have begun to take advantage of new licensing models for materials and resources produced by their own staff, their consultants and their grantees. The complete results of our study and our comprehensive analysis and recommendations are contained in the full Report of this project.

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        Google Books Adds Creative Commons Licence Options

        Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 16th, 2009

        In "Bringing the Power of Creative Commons to Google Books," Xian Ke, Associate Product Manager of Google Books, describes Google's new Creative Commons license options for rights holders, and indicates that, in the future, users will be able to restrict searches to works that have such licenses. Users will be able to download complete Creative Commons licensed books, and if the license permits, modify them.

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          Public Perceptions of Copyright and the Creative Commons: Bunnyfoot User Testing Report: OPSI—Crown Copyright

          Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on June 10th, 2009

          The UK Office of Public Sector Information has released the Bunnyfoot User Testing Report: OPSI—Crown Copyright.

          Here's an excerpt:

          75% of respondents did not recognise this image [Creative Commons Attribution License symbol].

          Lack of recognition was highest amongst the "general public"—87%. And lowest amongst respondents from the OPSI website—55% did not recognise the image.

          The majority did not understand the meaning of the image. Understanding was highest amongst the OPSI website respondents—35%.

          This is not surprising as this group was also the group in which the most had heard of Creative Commons licences before—47% (vs 10% of the "general public" and 29% of the OPSI database).

          Only those likely to be more familiar with copyright (inferred from their route to the survey) are likely to have a previous understanding of Creative Commons terminology and imagery. One might argue that if these are used moving forward, more people will become more familiar with these, however, the benefits at this stage of shared/added meaning would only really apply to a minority—a minority who are likely to have a strong understanding of Crown copyright already.

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            Creative Commons License Facebook App

            Posted in Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Social Media/Web 2.0 on May 19th, 2009

            Fred Benenson has released a Creative Commons License Facebook application.

            Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

            Last weekend I spent Saturday morning writing the Creative Commons License Application for Facebook. The premise is simple: installing the application allows Facebook users choose and place a CC license badge on their profile page indicating which license they want their content to be available under. Alongside the badge is text that explains what content (Photos, Videos and Status & Profile text are currently available as options) is licensed.

            This surrounding text also contains RDFa, though this is of limited utility to search engines since Facebook profiles are not yet publicly indexed.

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              Digital Video: Remix Culture: Fair Use is Your Friend

              Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Digital Copyright Wars on May 18th, 2009

              The Center for Social Media at American University has released Remix Culture: Fair Use is Your Friend.

              Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

              Last summer the release of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video nearly crashed our servers with people downloading the document. Based on this demand, we created Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend is a collaboration with the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property—a program of AU's Washington College of Law—along with Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project. The video was funded by Google.

              See also the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video.

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                Digital Video: The Commons: Celebrating Accomplishments, Discerning Futures

                Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on April 30th, 2009

                A digital video of the Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society panel discussion "The Commons: Celebrating Accomplishments, Discerning Futures" is now available.

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