Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top 10 political copyright infringements.Stuff.co.nz, 9/17/14

Liam Hyslop, Stuff.co.nz; Top 10 political copyright infringements:
" Many candidates use tracks without permission in the hopes the artist will not notice and then, when they are inevitably caught out, issue an apology.
It seems to have become increasingly common in recent years, with 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain having no fewer than six artists asking him to not use their music.
In light of all of that, here is our top 10 list of political copyright infringements."

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pitt sets deadline for transfer of intellectual property rights; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/12/14

Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Pitt sets deadline for transfer of intellectual property rights:
"Asked if researchers must transfer intellectual property rights to campuses in return for federal funding, the National Institutes of Health Office of Extramural Research provided a three-paragraph statement that said signed agreements verifying compliance with Bayh-Dole are required. The language did not appear to specifically address transferring intellectual property rights to universities.
The faculty assembly Tuesday passed a resolution drafted by the Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee asking Ms. Beeson and Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher to slow down the process to allow faculty and administrators to jointly address the ramifications.
Barry Gold, pharmacy faculty member and co-chairman of the Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee, said he has heard from a couple of investigators who are refusing to sign and others with concerns. Pitt administrators and Michael Spring, president of the faculty assembly, have said the agreements would be subject to the existing campus policies and therefore no additional rights would seem to be ceded, but some have asked what happens if the policies change, Mr. Gold said. “Does that mean we would get to re-sign those agreements?”
Asked his reaction to Monday’s memo, Mr. Gold replied: “I don’t know what to say other than this is just another effort to steamroll faculty into signing.”"

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Questions raised about intellectual property rights at Pitt; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/11/14

Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Questions raised about intellectual property rights at Pitt:
"The University of Pittsburgh is telling all faculty and nonclerical staff they must sign agreements stating they “irrevocably assign and transfer to the university my rights, title and interest to all intellectual property” they develop while employed there.
The administration says the agreements simply reflect existing campus intellectual property policies and that the signatures have become necessary to obtain federal research funding because of a 2011 Supreme Court case that Pitt says requires schools not only to have policies but also confirmation that employees will abide by them.
But an official with the American Association of University Professors, which has seen a number of agreements drafted by schools since the Stanford vs. Roche decision, said Wednesday such signatures are not a requirement to secure grant funding. Forcing faculty to sign them is a violation of academic freedom, said Cary Nelson, AAUP’s immediate past president."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How copyright became the best defense against revenge porn; Washington Post, 9/8/14

Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post; How copyright became the best defense against revenge porn:
"Reddit had, in effect, just learned a lesson that revenge-porn activists, attorneys and victims have known for years: Despite the obvious privacy violations, the apparent harassment, and — in many cases, including this one — the overwhelming evidence of computer crimes, the quickest, easiest way to get compromising images off the Internet is frequently copyright law.
“It’s the path of least resistance,” explains Amanda Levendowski, a recent graduate of NYU Law who has written extensively on revenge porn and copyright. “I wouldn’t say it’s the best solution, and it’s not a perfect fit, but it does do what victims want.”
“Doing what victims want” — a.k.a., getting their misappropriated images off the Internet — turns out to be a messy, labyrinthine legal goal. For one thing, Levendowski says, every revenge porn case is different: some photos are selfies and some aren’t; some were hacked and some were uploaded by exes; some victims are under 18, and some are well over it. Different laws and legal concepts apply in each of those cases, which makes any kind of comprehensive approach impossible."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Reddit and 4chan Begin to Button Up; New York Times, 9/8/14

Mike Isaac, New York Times; Reddit and 4chan Begin to Button Up:
"Reddit said its moderators were unable to keep up with a torrent of requests under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to remove the images, made by those who own rights to the photos. After a moderator removed a post in response to a D.M.C.A. request, another post would pop up in its place. Taking down the entire forums, Reddit said, was the only way to avoid playing a never-ending game of “whack-a-mole.”
The moves came amid an continuing debate over the role websites play in hosting objectionable content online, and how much user-generated content platforms should or should not interfere with what their users post. Twitter, for instance, has faced increasing pressure to protect users from abuse and hate speech on its service, while YouTube has been used at times for distribution of horrifying videos.
Despite its content removal, Reddit continues to maintain its hard-line stance on issues of free speech, even as it decided to take down the forums in question. The company said it had always dealt with D.M.C.A. removal requests by redirecting rights holders to the companies that host the photos on their servers. It has also held a zero-tolerance policy toward some content, such as child pornography.
“We uphold the ideal of free speech on Reddit as much as possible not because we are legally bound to,” said Yishan Wong, Reddit’s chief executive, but because the company believes that the user “has the right to choose between right and wrong, good and evil,” and that it is the user’s responsibility to do so. His company blog post was titled “Every Man Is Responsible for His Own Soul.”"

Mickey Mouse Takes Deadmau5 to Court; Daily Beast, 9/3/14

Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast; Mickey Mouse Takes Deadmau5 to Court:
"As Mouse-watchers know, none of these questions really matter to Disney, which has gained a reputation as the world’s largest copyright enforcer (some would say copyright troll). Ranked #66 on the Fortune 500, Disney has plenty of lawyers to keep busy. They’ve sued Etsy stores, Stan Lee, Megaupload.com, YouTube, and hundreds of unauthorized merchandisers, dealers, and artists.
And in addition to passing the Mickey Mouse Protection Act just before the Mouse himself was to enter the public domain, Disney lobbied hard for SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, which would have authorized court orders barring search engines and advertisers from even linking to infringing websites.
And Disney doesn’t just sue—it gets nasty. In 2008, Disney sued a family that bought unauthorized Tigger and Eeyore costumes on Ebay for $1 million plus legal costs. Really? A million bucks for a Halloween costume?
And now, Deadmau5.
There are three reasons why this case may be different, though."

Saturday, September 6, 2014

AAAS Chooses Not To Advance Open Access; Science 2.0, 9/4/14

The Conversation, Science 2.0; AAAS Chooses Not To Advance Open Access:
"Some universities and funding organizations, including those administered by governments, now mandate open access, recognising its potential to increase the impact of research paid for by public money. The United Nations is considering the importance of open access to ensure the “right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications”.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which is the largest scholarly society in the world, has recently launched a new open-access journal. But its approach is at odds with that of other major open-access publishers and could impair the goals of the movement.
The journal Science Advances, to be launched in February by the AAAS, plans to publish articles under a license that would prevent commercial reuses by default. This includes publication on some educational blogs and incorporation into educational material, as well as reuse by small-medium enterprises. By definition, this is not open access. AAAS will give authors the option to publish their work under a fully open license, but will levy a US $1,000 surcharge on top of the US$3,000 base publication fee. A reason for this surcharge was not given.
Science Advances is going to be an online-only journal, but AAAS will also charge authors US$1,500 more to publish articles that are more than ten pages long. They believe editorial services are enough justification for this charge, but there is no calculation to support this claim."