Archive for the 'Legislation and Government Regulation' Category

Archival Electronic Records: President Barack Obama Signs the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Legislation and Government Regulation on December 2nd, 2014

President Barack Obama has signed H.R. 1233, the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Major updates to the Presidential and Federal Records Acts include:

  • Strengthening the Federal Records Act by expanding the definition of Federal records to clearly include electronic records. This is the first change to the definition of a Federal record since the enactment of the act in 1950.
  • Confirming that Federal electronic records will be transferred to the National Archives in electronic form.
  • Granting the Archivist of the United States final determination as to what constitutes a Federal record.
  • Authorizing the early transfer of permanent electronic Federal and Presidential records to the National Archives, while legal custody remains with the agency or the President.

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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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      International Trade Commission and Digital Data Regultation: "Brief of PK and EFF in ClearCorrect v. ITC"

      Posted in Internet Regulation, Legislation and Government Regulation on October 17th, 2014

      The EFF has released "Brief of PK and EFF in ClearCorrect v. ITC."

      Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

      In the sweeping and unprecedented decision below, the International Trade Commission found that its authority to regulate trade extends to pure "electronic transmission of digital data" untied to any physical medium. Generally, by statute, the Commission's jurisdiction is limited to oversight of "importation . . . of articles." However, the Commission expansively construed the term "articles" to potentially include anything "bought and sold in commerce," thereby leading to its conclusion that digital data was an article of importation. This broadly sketched statutory construction fails to indicate clearly any limiting principles on the Commission's power.

      Among other things, the Commission's decision leaves open the question of whether all transmissions of telecommunications data are within the scope of its authority.

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        "Codifying Collegiality: Recent Developments in Data Sharing Policy in the Life Sciences "

        Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Legislation and Government Regulation, Publishing on September 30th, 2014

        Genevieve Pham-Kanter et al. have published "Codifying Collegiality: Recent Developments in Data Sharing Policy in the Life Sciences " in PLOS ONE.

        Over the last decade, there have been significant changes in data sharing policies and in the data sharing environment faced by life science researchers. Using data from a 2013 survey of over 1600 life science researchers, we analyze the effects of sharing policies of funding agencies and journals. We also examine the effects of new sharing infrastructure and tools (i.e., third party repositories and online supplements). We find that recently enacted data sharing policies and new sharing infrastructure and tools have had a sizable effect on encouraging data sharing. In particular, third party repositories and online supplements as well as data sharing requirements of funding agencies, particularly the NIH and the National Human Genome Research Institute, were perceived by scientists to have had a large effect on facilitating data sharing. In addition, we found a high degree of compliance with these new policies, although noncompliance resulted in few formal or informal sanctions. Despite the overall effectiveness of data sharing policies, some significant gaps remain: about one third of grant reviewers placed no weight on data sharing plans in their reviews, and a similar percentage ignored the requirements of material transfer agreements. These patterns suggest that although most of these new policies have been effective, there is still room for policy improvement.

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          Legal Analysis: Technology, Equality and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act (TEACH Act)

          Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation on September 30th, 2014

          The EDUCAUSE Policy Office has released Technology, Equality and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act (TEACH Act).

          Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

          This analysis, however, demonstrates that the TEACH Act would actually create de facto enforceable standards for digital instructional materials and related technologies, and that in the process it would severely limit the ability of colleges and universities to effectively use technology to advance learning for all students.

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            "Bill Introduced in Congress to Let You Actually Own Things, Even if They Contain Software"

            Posted in Copyright, Legislation and Government Regulation on September 22nd, 2014

            Kit Walsh has published "Bill Introduced in Congress to Let You Actually Own Things, Even if They Contain Software in Deeplinks."

            Here's an excerpt:

            At last, someone in Congress has noticed how "intellectual property rights" are showing up in unexpected places and undermining our settled rights and expectation about the things we buy. Today, Representative Farenthold announced the introduction of the You Own Devices Act (YODA). If a computer program enables a device to operate, YODA would let you transfer ownership of a copy of that computer program along with the device. The law would override any agreement to the contrary (like the one-sided and abusive End-User License Agreements commonly included with such software). Also, if you have a right to receive security or bug fixes, that right passes to the person who received the device from you.

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              Digital Legal Deposit, An IPA Special Report

              Posted in Copyright, Legislation and Government Regulation, Publishing on August 21st, 2014

              The International Publishers Association has released Digital Legal Deposit, An IPA Special Report.

              Here's an excerpt from the press release:

              A new IPA report reveals how policies and processes are being developed and implemented which allow digital content, whether in the form of e-books, journals, blogs or website content, to be collected and archived. It contains in-depth analysis of schemes in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, France and Italy, as well as details from Japan, China, Brazil, the United States, Australia and Canada.

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                Judiciary Committee Hearing on Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term

                Posted in Copyright, Legislation and Government Regulation on July 17th, 2014

                The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on moral rights, termination rights, resale royalty, and copyright term.

                Here's an excerpt from "Congress Takes On Copyright Term, Moral Rights, and More":

                How is this going to work? It's hard to say. Probably not very well. The hearing structure allows a handful of witnesses to give very brief explanations of their views, but the question-and-answer format hasn't always been very productive. In the past, we've seen lawmakers in the committee raise pet issues instead of focusing on the topics on the agenda—take for example last month's hearing on the first sale doctrine, which included numerous questions about the unrelated issue of "piracy."

                Moreover, in the absence of real public feedback during these hearings, the committee has sought to represent the public interest by inviting testimony from "both" sides of an imagined dichotomy. Hearings include witnesses from, say, a big company and a small company, a telecom and a publisher, or a copyright licensor and a licensee. This sometimes provides a good impression of balance, but on a panel addressing four separate issues, the odds seem long. It is also often the case that these "sides" don't include anyone who represents the public interest.

                But let's not pass judgment before the hearing even takes place. For those who are watching the hearing, here is a primer on the four issues up for discussion:

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