Archive for the 'Digital Copyright Wars' Category

Canada Put on U.S. Copyright Blacklist

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on April 30th, 2009

Canada has joined countries such as China, Russia, and Pakistan on a U.S. copyright blacklist.

Here's an excerpt from 2009 Special 301 Report:

Canada will be added to the Priority Watch List in 2009. The United States appreciates the high level of cooperation between our two governments in many important bilateral and multilateral IPR initiatives. The United States also welcomed the Government of Canada's reaffirmation earlier this year of its 2007 and 2008 commitments to improve IPR protection and enforcement. However, the Government of Canada has not delivered on these commitments by promptly and effectively implementing key copyright reforms. The United States continues to have serious concerns with Canada's failure to accede to and implement the WIPO Internet Treaties, which Canada signed in 1997. We urge Canada to enact legislation in the near term to strengthen its copyright laws and implement these treaties. The United States also continues to urge Canada to improve its IPR enforcement system to enable authorities to take effective action against the trade in counterfeit and pirated products within Canada, as well as curb the volume of infringing products transshipped and transiting through Canada. Canada's weak border measures continue to be a serious concern for IP owners.

Read more about it at "Canada Placed on Copyright Blacklist."

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Justice Department Launches Antitrust Investigation into Google Book Search Settlement

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Publishing on April 29th, 2009

The Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation into the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement.

Read more about it at "Justice Department Looking into Google Book Settlement" and "Justice Dept. Opens Antitrust Inquiry Into Google Books Deal."

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Foreign Opposition to the Google Book Search Settlement

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on April 28th, 2009

Foreign opposition to the Google Book Search Settlement Agreement appears to be growing as the rights holder opt-out deadline nears.

Read more about it at "174 Writers, Poets Reject Google Book Search Offer"; "BA Warns Rights Holders over Google"; "Europeans Seem to Know Little About Google Settlement, But Enough Not to Like It"; and "German Authors Outraged at Google Book Search."

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Google Asks Permission to Extend Author Opt-Out Deadline by 60 Days

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on April 27th, 2009

Google has requested permission from the presiding court to extend the deadline for authors to opt out of the Google Book Search Settlement Agreement by 60 days.

Here's an excerpt from "Extending Notice on the Google Book Search Settlement":

It's pretty easy for credit card companies to contact their cardholders—they send bills to them all the time. The world's authors, publishers and their heirs are much more difficult to find. So, as the New York Times recently reported, the plaintiffs hired notice campaign specialists Kinsella Media Group to tell them about this exciting settlement, and Google has devoted millions of dollars to fund this notice campaign. . . .

The settlement is highly detailed, and we want to make sure rightsholders everywhere have enough time to think about it and make sure it's right for them. That's why we've asked the court for permission to extend the opt-out deadline for an extra 60 days.

Read more about it at "Delay Looming For Google Settlement Deadline?" and "Google Seeks More Time in Book Search Case."

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Judge Chin Denies Internet Archive’s Motion to Intervene in Authors Guild vs. Google

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on April 26th, 2009

United States District Judge Denny Chin has denied the Internet Archive's motion to intervene in Authors Guild vs. Google.

Read more about it at "Judge Rejects Internet Archive Motion to Intervene in Google Settlement."

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Taiwan Passes “Three Strikes” Law to Curb Illegal File Sharing

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, P2P File Sharing on April 26th, 2009

Taiwan's parliament has passed a "three strikes" copyright law, which is intended to curb illegal file sharing.

Read more about it at "Net Service Providers Now Can 'Strike Out' Pirating Surfers" and "Taiwan Boosts Intellectual Property Protection."

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A Win for Musicians, a Loss for the Public Domain: EU Parliament Extends Copyright Term for Music Recordings

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on April 23rd, 2009

By a vote of 377 to 178 (with 37 abstentions), the European Parliament has extended the copyright term for music recordings to 70 years from the first publication or performance of the work.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The European Commission had previously proposed an extension of the copyright protection up to 95 years. According to Mr Crowley, the compromise reached by the Parliament on 70 years takes into account Council's resistance and would facilitate an agreement with national governments. . . .

A dedicated fund for session musicians was also supported by the Parliament. This fund would be financed by contributions from producers, who would be obliged to set aside for this purpose, at least once a year, at least 20% of the revenues gained from the proposed extension of copyright term. This fund will reward those session musicians who gave up their rights when signing the contract for their performance. . . .

The Parliament also asks the Commission to launch an impact assessment of the situation in the European audiovisual sector by January 2010, with a view to deciding whether a similar copyright extension would benefit the audiovisual world.

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Copyright, Content and Class Action Lawsuits: A Debate on the Google Book Search Settlement

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on April 22nd, 2009

In "ALA Participates in ITIF Google Book Settlement Panel at Library of Congress," District Dispatch describes an ITIF meeting on "Copyright, Content and Class Action Lawsuits: A Debate on the Google Book Search Settlement" at the Library of Congress.

Here's an excerpt:

Yesterday, Dr. Alan Inouye, Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy, participated in a panel called Copyright, Content and Class Action Lawsuits: A Debate on the Google Book Search Settlement. The talk was sponsored by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), and held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Dr. Inouye offered remarks on the proposed Google Book Settlement from the library and public interest perspective. Also contributing to the panel were Dr. Daniel Clancy, Engineering Director for Google Book Search, Allan Adler, VP of Government Affairs for the Association of American Publishers, and Peter Brantley, Director of Access for the Internet Archive. Daniel Castro, Senior Analyst at ITIF, moderated the panel discussion.

A digital video of the debate is available at the meeting web site.

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“Will Copyright Law Prevent a Digital Library from Becoming Reality?”

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Rights Management, Licenses on April 22nd, 2009

In "Will Copyright Law Prevent a Digital Library from Becoming Reality?," Cynthia Gillespie provides an overview of how restrictive copyright laws, licensing, and DRM may hamper the development of digital libraries.

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Peter Hirtle on the Impact of the Google Book Settlement on Foreign Copyright Holders

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on April 22nd, 2009

In "Google Book Settlement, Orphan Works, and Foreign Works," Peter Hirtle discusses the impact of the Google Book Settlement on foreign copyright holders.

Here's an excerpt:

The scope of the foreign land grab could be considerable. Some initial estimates suggest that 7 million books could be included in the settlement. Of these it is estimated that 1 million are in the public domain. That would leave 6 million in-copyright but out-of-print books. Early efforts to try to understand the nature of the library collections that were being used to build the Google books database suggested that 50% of the works in the libraries were not in English, so it would be safe to say that at least 3 million of the books in the settlement will be foreign works. (Since Google added many European partners after this study was done, the number is likely to be much higher.) Some of these are going to be orphan works—but many more are going to have easily locatable rights holders that have chosen not to be active participants in the settlement. Their royalties are destined for the pockets of the Registry. I am willing to bet that a goodly percentage of the operating expenses of the Registry will come not from orphan works, but rather from foreign authors who do not understand the need to participate in the settlement.

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Letters Fly over Anticipated Appointment of PRO-IP Act’s “Copyright Czar”

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on April 21st, 2009

Copyright reform groups, such as Public Knowledge, and information industry groups, such as the Copyright Alliance, are staking out their positions with letters to the White House regarding the anticipated appointment of the Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement, a position which was mandated by the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act. Copyright reformers have been unhappy about the recent appointment of former RIAA lawyers to key Justice Department posts.

Read more about it at "Copyright Debate Heats Up over Obama Appointments."

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“The Google Book Search Settlement: Ends, Means, and the Future of Books”

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on April 19th, 2009

James Grimmelmann of the New York Law School has self-archived "The Google Book Search Settlement: Ends, Means, and the Future of Books" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt:

The settlement tackles the orphan works problem, but through the judicial process. Laundering orphan works legislation through a class action lawsuit is both a brilliant response to legislative inaction and a dangerous use of the judicial power. Many of the public interest safeguards that would have been present in the political arena are attenuated in a seemingly private lawsuit; the lack of such safeguards is evident in the terms of the resulting settlement. The solution is to reinsert these missing public interest protections into the settlement.

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