Saturday, April 19, 2014

Pandora sued by record labels for copyright infringement; CNet, 4/17/14

Dara Kerr, CNet; Pandora sued by record labels for copyright infringement:
"Pandora has been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit by major record labels, according to The New York Times. The labels contend that the music streaming service must pay license fees for songs recorded before 1972.
The suit was filed in New York state court by Sony, Warner, and Universal, according to the Times. The labels argue that even though older songs, like James Brown's "I Got You" and the Beatles' "Hey Jude," aren't protected under federal copyright law -- they are covered by state laws.
The record labels claim they lose millions of dollars yearly from Pandora, other streaming music services, and satellite radio companies for playing older songs. Many of these songs are played on streaming stations like "Golden Oldies" and "50s Rock 'n' Roll," and the labels say they should get royalties for these pre-1972 songs."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boy named after Wayne Rooney not allowed personalised Easter egg due to 'copyright law';, 4/14/14

Sarah Ann Harris,; Boy named after Wayne Rooney not allowed personalised Easter egg due to 'copyright law' :
"A LITTLE boy named after England striker Wayne Rooney was told he could not have his name written on an Easter egg because of "copyright issues".
Staff at a branch of Thorntons in Bury, Greater Manchester, refused to ice three-year-old Rooney's name on a chocolate egg in case it broke copyright laws, said the child's angry mother, Jo-anne Scholes.
She said instead, as a compromise, staff agreed to put her son's full name, Rooney Scholes, on the egg, bought by a family friend on Saturday...
There is no copyright or trademark protection for people's names under UK law."

Of Bundles, Bindings, and the Next Great Copyright Law; Library Journal, 4/17/14

Kevin L. Smith, Library Journal; Of Bundles, Bindings, and the Next Great Copyright Law:
"What will the next great copyright law look like? It depends to a large degree on what we think is great about the current copyright law. Many of the problems and proposals for reform that I listened to in Berkeley made me think that the pressure of digital technology is too much for the very notion of copyright, and that the legal regime built around that concept is collapsing under the weight. The question, I think, is whether we should try to keep strengthening the structure of the law to withstand that pressure, which is the approach we have taken so far, or whether perhaps we should reduce the pressure by returning to a more lightweight set of protections. As someone pointed out during the week, our first copyright law in the U.S. protected simply the right to copy, publish, and vend a work. Maybe we could return to that approach by just protecting the right to commercially exploit a work of authorship and stripping away many of the protections, and hence the required exceptions, that cause so many problems for museums, schools, universities, and individuals who simply want to engage in socially beneficial activities that do not threaten the core markets for those works."

Big data and open data: what's what and why does it matter?; Guardian, 4/15/14

Joel Gurin, Guardian; Big data and open data: what's what and why does it matter? :
"Big data and the new phenomenon open data are closely related but they're not the same. Open data brings a perspective that can make big data more useful, more democratic, and less threatening.
While big data is defined by size, open data is defined by its use. Big data is the term used to describe very large, complex, rapidly-changing datasets. But those judgments are subjective and dependent on technology: today's big data may not seem so big in a few years when data analysis and computing technology improve.
Open data is accessible public data that people, companies, and organisations can use to launch new ventures, analyse patterns and trends, make data-driven decisions, and solve complex problems. All definitions of open data include two basic features: the data must be publicly available for anyone to use, and it must be licensed in a way that allows for its reuse. Open data should also be relatively easy to use, although there are gradations of "openness". And there's general agreement that open data should be available free of charge or at minimal cost."

SOPA Defeat Haunts Efforts to Rein In Illegal Copying, British Official Says; New York Times, 4/17/14

Michael Cieply, New York Times; SOPA Defeat Haunts Efforts to Rein In Illegal Copying, British Official Says:
"Following the defeat in 2012 of the Stop Online Piracy Act, movie companies and other advocates for copyright owners both here and in Britain have been pointed toward voluntarism. That has meant, among other things, agreements under which Internet service providers send escalating warnings to those who are believed to be downloading copyrighted material illegally.
But at a news briefing in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Mr. Weatherly, a plainspoken type, also talked of escalating pressure — legal and otherwise — on those who advertise on sites where illegal downloading is taking place. “There are some laws in place, but we might need to beef up a couple of them a bit more,” suggested Mr. Weatherly, who spoke of an effort to “strangle the advertising revenue from the illegal sites.”"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ted Hughes Estate Cuts Off Access, Biographer Says; New York Times, 3/31/14

Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times; Ted Hughes Estate Cuts Off Access, Biographer Says: "
The estate did not offer an explanation for its withdrawal of access, but rejected the suggestion there were any secrets it was “attempting to keep hidden,” according to The Guardian. The Hughes archive was purchased by the British Library in 2008, but copyright remains with the estate. Mr. Bate said his contract with Faber was canceled by mutual consent, and that he would rewrite the book for HarperCollins, consulting with lawyers about how much he could quote or paraphrase in keeping with fair use laws."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Trace the past with NY Public Library's Open Access Maps Project; CNet, 4/7/14

Bonnie Burton, CNet; Trace the past with NY Public Library's Open Access Maps Project:
"For over 15 years, the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division at the New York Public Library has been scanning maps from all over the world including those of the Mid-Atlantic United States from 16th to 19th centuries and even topographic maps of Austro-Hungarian empire ranging from 1877 and 1914.
Most notably, the NYPL has scanned more than 10,300 maps from property, zoning, and topographic atlases of New York City dating from 1852 to 1922.
There's also a "diverse collection of more than 1,000 maps of New York City, its boroughs and neighborhoods, dating from 1660 to 1922, which detail transportation, vice, real estate development, urban renewal, industrial development and pollution, political geography among many, many other things," NYPL posted in late March on its blog.
These and many more of the 20,000 cartographic works scanned are now available as high-resolution downloads for anyone who wants to visit their site.
"We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions," NYPL posted. "To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.""