Archive for the 'Digital Copyright Wars' Category

"The Blurred Lines Copyright Verdict Is Bad News for Music"

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

EFF has released "The Blurred Lines Copyright Verdict Is Bad News for Music."

Here's an excerpt:

Artists evoke elements of common culture all the time, to make their point or simply to entertain by putting their own twist on what has come before. This is what makes culture a conversation and not a series of disjointed soliloquies. Copyright law, though, is dangerously disconnected with the way culture gets made, and as a result it pushes entire genres and communities to the margins, such as those that involve sampling, remix, and other adaptations. A staggering amount of such work is generated noncommercially and available online, but the broad sweep of copyright exclusivity, the risk of disproportionate statutory damages, and the uneven application of the fair use doctrine mean that such authors are typically excluded from commercial opportunities. Far from being incentivized by copyright, such authors typically create in spite of the threats posed by copyright law.

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    You Didn’t Think It Was Over, Did You? New Motion in GSU Copyright Case

    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Publishing, Research Libraries, Scholarly Journals on March 9th, 2015

    According to "Publishers' Move Could Mean 'Whole New Trial' in GSU Copyright Case," the plaintiffs have filed a motion to "reopen the trial record, and have asked that new evidence be used to determine whether some of the university's online e-reserve course readings are infringing copyright."

    The article also mentions a recent e-print by Brandon Butler, "Transformative Teaching and Educational Fair Use after Georgia State."

    Here's an excerpt from the e-print:

    The latest installment in the history of educational fair use, the 11th Circuit's opinion in the Georgia State e-reserves case, may be the last judicial word on the subject for years to come, and I argue that its import is primarily in its rejection of outdated guidelines and case law, rather than any affirmative vision of fair use (which the court studiously avoids). Because of the unique factual context of the case, it stops short of bridging the gap between educational fair use and modern transformative use jurisprudence. With help from recent scholarship on broad patterns in fair use caselaw, I pick up where the GSU court left off, describing a variety of common educational uses that are categorizable as transformative, and therefore entitled to broad deference under contemporary fair use doctrine. In the process, I show a way forward for vindicating fair use rights, and first amendment rights, by applying the transformative use concept at lower levels of abstraction to help practice communities make sense of the doctrine.

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      UK Launches New Licensing Program for 91 Million Orphan Works

      Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Legislation and Government Regulation on November 4th, 2014

      The UK has launched a new licensing program for orphan works that will cover around 91 million works.

      Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

      A new licensing scheme launched today (29 October 2014) could give wider access to at least 91 million culturally valuable creative works-including diaries, photographs, oral history recordings and documentary films.

      These works are covered by copyright, but rights holders cannot be found by those who need to seek permission to reproduce them. Under the new scheme, a licence can be granted by the Intellectual Property Office so that these works can be reproduced on websites, in books and on TV without breaking the law, while protecting the rights of owners so they can be remunerated if they come forward.

      Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

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        Fair-Use and E-Reserves: "A Reversal for Georgia State"

        Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Reserves, Publishing on October 20th, 2014

        Kevin Smith has published "A Reversal for Georgia State" in Scholarly Communications @ Duke.

        Here's an excerpt:

        The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its ruling in the publisher appeal of a district court decision that found most instances of electronic reserve copying at Georgia State to be fair use. The appellate court ruling is 129 pages long, and I will have much more to say after I read it carefully. But the hot news right now is that the Court of Appeals has reversed the District Court's judgment and remanded the case back for proceedings consistent with the new opinion. The injunction issued by the District Court and the order awarding costs and attorney's fees to GSU have been vacated.

        Read more about it at "Publishers Win Reversal of Court Ruling That Favored 'E-Reserves' at Georgia State U." and "A Win for Publishers."

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          "Copyright’s Paradox: The Public Interest and Private Monopoly"

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on September 9th, 2014

          Nicholas Ruiz has self-archived "Copyright's Paradox: The Public Interest and Private Monopoly."

          Here's an excerpt:

          Copyright in its current state presents two major concerns: 1) The broad scope of the derivative right undermines the idea/expression dichotomy and adds doubt in the minds of the secondary users; and 2) The custom of extending durations of "existing" copyrights is unconstitutional and is causing a stagnate public domain. As a consequence of these problems, the free flow of ideas and dissemination of information has been thwarted. In response to these problems, I have researched possible remedies, looking to copyright systems abroad, other legal scholars, our history, and other developed areas of law.

          There must be some kind of mechanism to limit Congress' ability of extending existing copyright terms; otherwise the Constitutional mandate of a "limited" term will have no consequence. This comment suggests reinstating requisite formalities, the two-term copyright regime, and a new formulation of the derivative works right.

          Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

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            Google Settles American Society of Media Photographers, Inc. et al. v. Google Inc.

            Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Google and Other Search Engines, Publishing on September 8th, 2014

            Google has settled the American Society of Media Photographers, Inc. et al. v. Google Inc. lawsuit. The agreement is confidential.

            Here's an excerpt from the press release:

            The agreement resolves a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Google in April, 2010, bringing to an end more than four years of litigation. It does not involve any admission of liability by Google. As the settlement is between the parties to the litigation, the court is not required to approve its terms.

            This settlement does not affect Google's current litigation with the Authors Guild or otherwise address the underlying questions in that suit.

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              "The Rise, Fall, and Rise of ACTA?"

              Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on August 26th, 2014

              Peter (Jay) Smith has published "The Rise, Fall, and Rise of ACTA?" in Digital Studies.

              Here's an excerpt:

              In July 2012 the European Parliament defeated the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Supposedly the attempt to impose global norms on intellectual property rights and thereby restrict digital copyright was dead. Or was it? This paper argues that the spirit of ACTA may live on in a host of other trade agreements currently being negotiated. That is, ACTA, or even more restrictive versions of it, could be imposed through the back door at least upon weaker states through bilateral agreements with the United States and the European Union. The result could be a spaghetti bowl of rules on digital copyright with some countries enjoying more digital rights, online freedom, and privacy than others.

              Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

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                "EFF Urges Appeals Court to Keep Protecting Fair Use"

                Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton on July 15th, 2014

                EFF has released "EFF Urges Appeals Court to Keep Protecting Fair Use."

                Here's an excerpt:

                In this latest appeal, the Authors Guild (and its supporters) claim that fair use is being unjustly expanded, portraying Judge Chin's ruling and other recent court opinions as some kind of fair-use creep, stretching beyond the original intent of the doctrine. Specifically, the Guild argues that the first of the four statutory fair use factors—the purpose of the use, which asks whether the use of the copyrighted material is transformative and/or non-commercial—weighs against Google. The Authors Guild and its amici insist that a use cannot be transformative if it doesn't add new creative expression to the pre-existing work. But as Judge Chin so rightly recognized, a use can be transformative if serves a new and distinct purpose.

                Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

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