Archive for the 'Digital Copyright Wars' Category

"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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    Like Deja Vu All Over Again: Microsoft's New MSN Mobile Music Service Includes DRM

    Posted in Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Rights Management on January 23rd, 2009

    Microsoft's new MSN Mobile Music service, which has been introduced in the UK, includes DRM protection.

    In "Q&A: Microsoft Defends Return to DRM," Microsoft's Hugh Griffiths answers questions about this development.

    Read more about it at "MSN Mobile Music Service Launches with Added DRM and Device Locking."

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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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        Google Book Search Bibliography, Version 3

        Posted in Bibliographies, Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Scholarship Publications, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on December 9th, 2008

        The Google Book Search Bibliography, Version 3 is now available.

        This bibliography presents selected English-language articles and other works that are useful in understanding Google Book Search. It primarily focuses on the evolution of Google Book Search and the legal, library, and social issues associated with it. Where possible, links are provided to works that are freely available on the Internet, including e-prints in disciplinary archives and institutional repositories. Note that e-prints and published articles may not be identical.

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          New from Boyle: The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Public Domain on December 4th, 2008

          Noted intellectual property expert James Boyle has published a new book, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind.

          It is under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License, and the PDF can be freely downloaded. It is available in print form from the Yale University Press.

          Here's an excerpt from the book's home page:

          Our music, our culture, our science, and our economic welfare all depend on a delicate balance between those ideas that are controlled and those that are free, between intellectual property and the public domain. In The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (Yale University Press) James Boyle introduces readers to the idea of the public domain and describes how it is being tragically eroded by our current copyright, patent, and trademark laws. In a series of fascinating case studies, Boyle explains why gene sequences, basic business ideas and pairs of musical notes are now owned, why jazz might be illegal if it were invented today, why most of 20th century culture is legally unavailable to us, and why today’s policies would probably have smothered the World Wide Web at its inception. . . .

          With a clear analysis of issues ranging from Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy of innovation to musical sampling, from Internet file sharing and genetic engineering to patented peanut butter sandwiches, this articulate and charming book brings a positive new perspective to important cultural and legal debates, including what Boyle calls the "range wars of the information age": today’s heated battles over intellectual property. Intellectual property rights have been viewed as geeky, technical and inaccessible. Boyle shows that, as a culture, we can no longer afford the luxury of this kind of willed ignorance.

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            "Comments on the Commission's Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy"

            Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on December 3rd, 2008

            Søren Sandfeld Jakobsen et al. have deposited "Comments on the Commission's Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy" in SSRN.

            Here's the abstract:

            This paper is a reaction to the [European] Commission's Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy. It discusses issues concerning the three step test model licenses, digitization and orphan works, disability discrimination and access to digital content, dissemination for teaching and research, dissemination through libraries and user created content.

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              Tennessee's Higher Education Filtering Law to Cost State Institutions Over $9.5 Million to Start

              Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, P2P File Sharing on November 18th, 2008

              The Tennessee Fiscal Review Committee estimates that SB 3974, a recently passed state law aimed at stopping copyright infringement in higher education institutions, will initially cost state institutions over $9.5 million, with ongoing annual costs topping $1.6 million in FY 08-09 and $1.9 million in succeeding years.

              Read more about it at "RIAA Gets Tennessee Law to Force Universities to Filter Networks for Copyrighted Content"; "RIAA Wins, Campuses Lose as Tennessee Governor Signs Campus Network Filtering Law"; and "Tennessee Anti-P2P Law to Cost Colleges over $13 Million."

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                Federal Judge John Sprizzo Tentatively Approves Google-AAP/AG Settlement

                Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on November 18th, 2008

                Federal Judge John Sprizzo has tentatively approved the Google-Association of American Publishers/Authors Guild copyright settlement.

                Read more about it at "NY Judge Tentatively OKs Google Copyright Deal."

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                  A Guide for the Perplexed: Libraries & the Google Library Project Settlement

                  Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on November 14th, 2008

                  ARL and ALA have released A Guide for the Perplexed: Libraries & the Google Library Project Settlement.

                  Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                  The guide is designed to help the library community better understand the terms and conditions of the recent settlement agreement between Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers concerning Google’s scanning of copyrighted works. Band notes that the settlement is extremely complex and presents significant challenges and opportunities to libraries. The guide outlines and simplifies the settlement’s provisions, with special emphasis on the provisions that apply directly to libraries.

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                    Georgia Harper on the Google-AAP/AG Copyright Settlement

                    Posted in ARL Libraries, Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on November 6th, 2008

                    In "The LJ Academic Newswire Newsmaker Interview: Georgia Harper," Harper, Scholarly Communications Advisor at the University Libraries of the University of Texas at Austin, discusses the Google-AAP/AG copyright settlement and the part that research libraries played in it. Also see her blog posting ("Google Book Search—and Buy").

                    Here's an excerpt:

                    Brewster Kahle has chastised public libraries for working with Google under a cloak of secrecy. Can libraries realistically refuse NDAs?

                    I think Kahle’s point, and others raise this point too, is more about the deleterious effects of secrecy on the negotiation process itself. Secrecy tends to be isolating. If you don’t consult with your colleagues at other institutions, your leverage may be diminished. Of course, a library could also hire a business and/or legal consultant to help, and bind the consultant to the NDA. Yes, Kahle has identified a very thorny problem, but it’s one we can ameliorate. I don’t think it’s workable simply not to do business with companies whose assets are ideas and information just because they feel compelled to protect them through secrecy. Either way, consultation does increase information, and information is power—in fact, the power of information is also the source of the [NDA] problem in the first place.

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                      Google-AAP/AG Copyright Settlement: Vaidhyanathan Questions, Google Answers

                      Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on November 6th, 2008

                      On October 28th, Siva Vaidhyanathan posed some questions to Google about its copyright settlement with the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild ("My Initial Take on the Google-Publishers Settlement"). Now, Google has replied ("Some Initial Answers to My Initial Questions about Google Book Search and the Settlement").

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                        How Much Will Large Doctoral Universities Have to Pay to Try to Stop Illegal File Sharing?

                        Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on October 20th, 2008

                        A new study says that large doctoral institutions could face costs that "easily exceed half a million dollars annually" as they try to clamp down on illegal file sharing in order to comply with Section 488 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

                        The Campus Computing Project's The Campus Costs of P2P Compliance report details the findings of its July 2008 higher education compliance cost study, which included responses from 321 two-year and four-year institutions.

                        Read more about it at "The Costs of Policing Campus Networks."

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