Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sarah Larson, New York Times; 


"The new Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, is highly motivated to make this library, and all libraries, a favorite object of the people. Hayden is the first person of color, and the first woman, to lead the Library of Congress; she is also the first actual librarian to lead it since 1974. Her predecessor, Dr. James Billington, a distinguished Russia scholar appointed by Ronald Reagan, was beloved for his intellect but criticized for mismanagement; he neglected, for many years, to appoint a chief information officer, which was required by law, and he also didn’t use e-mail. Hayden, a former head of the American Library Association, revitalized and modernized Baltimore’s twenty-two-branch Enoch Pratt Free Library system. President Obama nominated her, in 2010, to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board, and, last year, to become Librarian of Congress...

Like many librarians, Hayden is a big believer in the rights of all people to educate themselves, and in the importance of open access to information online. (This inclusive spirit has become more urgent nationally in recent weeks: see “Libraries Are for Everyone,” a multilingual meme and poster campaign, created by a Nebraska librarian, Rebecca McCorkindale, to counter the forces of fake news and fearmongering.) In September, Hayden gave a swearing-in speech in which she described how black Americans “were once punished with lashes and worse for learning to read.” She said that, “as a descendent of people who were denied the right to read, to now have the opportunity to serve and lead the institution that is our national symbol of knowledge is a historic moment.”...

I thought of the drafts of Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address that a curator in the Inaugurations exhibit had shown me. Lincoln had originally ended his speech with a challenge to the South: “Shall it be peace or sword?” William Henry Seward had suggested an edit that pushed Lincoln toward a more conciliatory tone, and the phrase “guardian angel of the nation.” Lincoln turned that into the sublime “better angels of our nature,” an appeal to our common humanity. Our greatest President was also, possibly, our greatest reviser—a cutter and paster who questioned his imperfect ideas, accepted input, made them better, and kept all of his drafts, so that history could learn not just from his speeches but from the workings of his mind. The contents of the library, like Hayden herself, often directed my attention to the systems by which progress is made and recorded."

Supporting Open Access; Library Journal, February 20, 2017

John Parsons, Library Journal; 

Supporting Open Access


Both Taylor and Schiff agreed that scholars and researchers need to be a significant part of the Open Access discussion. “Librarians like myself are very much Open Access advocates,” Taylor observed, “but it’s important for us to keep an open mind. We need to listen to what our researchers, scholars, students, and administrators want.” She cautioned against giving only the positive benefits of Open Access for institutions, without understanding the concerns and reservations of those doing the research.
“It’s important to get correct information out there,” Schiff added, “but it’s important to get scholars to jump into the conversation. For example, it would be great if scholars were more involved in discussing the economic challenges in the scholarly communication world. Librarians are naturally involved because our budgets are a huge part of that mix. But we’re paying for the work of scholars. They not only need to be more informed about how their work is part of this economic ecosystem, they also need to advocate for how they think that ecosystem should be sustained—and how resources should be allocated.”"

‘All of our federal data assets are currently at risk’ — here’s how people are trying to protect them; FedScoop, February 19, 2017

Samantha Ehlinger, FedScoop; 

‘All of our federal data assets are currently at risk’ — here’s how people are trying to protect them

"A group of coders, librarians, scientists, storytellers and others passionate about data came together at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., this weekend to preserve federal data that some worry could disappear under different Trump administration priorities. The goal of the DataRescueDC event: store federal climate and environmental data that is “vulnerable under an administration that denies the fact of ongoing climate change.”

But while fear of losing federal scientific data during the Trump administration has galvanized work across the country to preserve reputable copies of key data, during Saturday’s events experts involved in the project said that it also highlights the need for creating an official infrastructure for safeguarding federal data.

“We talk a lot in this country about our failing infrastructure, and it’s really obvious when drinking water supplies are dangerous to the people who drink them. And it’s really obvious when a bridge collapses over the Mississippi river. But what was not really obvious, I think, until this juncture that we are now at is how incredible vulnerable our infrastructure for federal data is. Like, there isn’t one really. It’s totally just absent in many — in very powerful ways,” said Bethany Wiggin, founding director of the University of Pennsylvania Program in Environmental Humanities, which is facilitating Data Refuge."

Monday, February 20, 2017

Information Access and the 800-Pound Gorilla; Inside Higher Ed, February 20, 2017

Bryn Geffert, Inside Higher Ed; 

Information Access and the 800-Pound Gorilla

"The first copyright statute, enacted in 1790, allowed authors to retain copyright in their work for 14 years. And they could, if they desired, renew that copyright for an additional 14 years. Congress believed that a maximum period of 28 years offered the “limited” protections authorized by the U.S. Constitution to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.”

Under the original statute, the Library of Congress, my library and any library in the world could digitize and disseminate without charge Miller’s, Flexner’s and Furtwangler’s studies of Hamilton to the homeschooled fifth-grader, to my 15-year old son, to the high school student in rural Arkansas, to the college student at a state university and to the scholar in Niger.

We have now, today, the technology to achieve the vision endorsed by our new (and possibly best) librarian of Congress -- a vision ostensibly shared by her admiring senatorial colleagues who, though they agree on little else, appear to agree on this.

What we lack and what we need is an old law -- an old law to serve new technology.

But first we need our new chief librarian to point at the gorilla, yell for Congress’s attention and beg the legislators who confirmed her to act in accord with the ideals they articulated last spring."

US Federal Court Bars Online Publication Of Copyrighted Standards Incorporated Into Laws; Intellectual Property Watch, February 17, 2017

Dugie Standeford, Intellectual Property Watch; 

US Federal Court Bars Online Publication Of Copyrighted Standards Incorporated Into Laws

"In a case pitting standards development organisations against internet content aggregators, a United States federal court ruled that Public.Resource.Org breached copyright by posting unauthorised copies of standards incorporated into government education regulations. Public Resource has appealed.
The 2 February opinion of the US District Court for the District of Columbia consolidates two cases, one of which is American Educational Research Association [AERA], Inc., American Psychological Association, Inc. and National Council on Measurement in Education, Inc. v. Public.Resource.Org. The plaintiffs in both cases are standards development organisations (SDOs); Public.Resource.Org (Public Resource) is a non-profit entity devoted to the public dissemination of legal information."

The Evolution of Open Access; Quora via Huffington Post, February 13, 2017

Quora via Huffington Post; 

The Evolution of Open Access

"What has been the evolution of open access, and where do you think we are heading? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world..
Answer by Richard Price, Founder of Academia.edu, on Quora"

Science journals permit open-access publishing for Gates Foundation scholars; Nature, February 14, 2017

Richard Van Noorden, Nature; 

Science journals permit open-access publishing for Gates Foundation scholars

"If research funders demand open-access publishing, will subscription journals acquiesce? An announcement today by the publisher of Science suggests they will — as long as that funder is as influential as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The global health charity, based in Seattle, Washington, has partnered with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in a year-long agreement to “expand access to high-quality scientific publishing”. This means that Gates-funded research can be published on open-access (OA) terms in Science and four other AAAS journals."

Google and Bing to deprecate piracy websites; Press Association via Guardian, February 20, 2017

Press Association via Guardian; 

Google and Bing to deprecate piracy websites

"Internet users will find it harder to search for pirated films and music and illegally streamed live football matches under a new plan to crackdown on piracy websites.

Search engine companies Google and Bing have signed up to a voluntary code of practice aimed at preventing users from visiting disreputable content providers.

The code, the first of its kind in the UK, will accelerate the demotion of illegal sites following notices from rights holders.

It means those who search for content such as music videos, digital books and football coverage will more likely to be taken to bona fide providers rather than pirate sites, where a user’s security may be at risk."

Kim Dotcom extradition to US can go ahead, New Zealand high court rules; Guardian, February 19, 2017

Eleanor Ainge Roy, Guardian; 

Kim Dotcom extradition to US can go ahead, New Zealand high court rules

"The high court in New Zealand has ruled Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the United States to face a multitude of charges including money laundering and copyright breaches.

US authorities had appealed for Dotcom’s extradition to face 13 charges including allegations of conspiracy to commit racketeering, copyright infringement, money laundering and wire fraud."

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Why the CRISPR patent verdict isn’t the end of the story; Nature, February 17, 2017

Heidi Ledford, Nature; 

Why the CRISPR patent verdict isn’t the end of the story

"The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a key verdict this week in the battle over the intellectual property rights to the potentially lucrative gene-editing technique CRISPR–Cas9.

It ruled that the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge could keep its patents on using CRISPR–Cas9 in eukaryotic cells. That was a blow to the University of California in Berkeley, which had filed its own patents and had hoped to have the Broad’s thrown out."

Feinstein: Trump trademark in China may violate Constitution; Politico, February 17, 2017

Kyle Cheney, Politico; 

Feinstein: Trump trademark in China may violate Constitution

"A decision by the Chinese government to grant President Donald Trump a trademark for his brand could be a breach of the U.S. Constitution, a senior Democratic senator warned Friday.

“China’s decision to award President Trump with a new trademark allowing him to profit from the use of his name is a clear conflict of interest and deeply troubling,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in a statement. “If this isn’t a violation of the Emoluments Clause, I don’t know what is.”

The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution prohibits federal officials — including the president — from accepting payments from foreign governments. Trump’s critics have argued that Trump’s opaque and byzantine business network could run afoul of this principle.

“The fact that this decision comes just days after a conversation between President Trump and President Xi Jinping where President Trump reaffirmed the U.S. policy of ‘One China’ is even more disturbing as it gives the obvious impression of a quid pro quo,” said Feinstein, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee."

Friday, February 17, 2017

When Machines Create Intellectual Property, Who Owns What?; Intellectual Property Watch, February 16, 2017

Bruce Gain, Intellectual Property Watch; 

When Machines Create Intellectual Property, Who Owns What?

"The concept of machines that can think and create in ways that are indistinguishable from humans has been the stuff of science fiction for decades. Now, following major advances in artificial intelligence (AI), intellectual property created by machines without human input is fast becoming a reality. The development thus begs the question among legal scholars, legislative bodies, and judiciary branches of governments worldwide of who owns the intellectual property that humans did not create."

Was ‘Weird Al’ the real star all along?; Washington Post, February 16, 2017

Geoff Edgers, Washington Post; Was ‘Weird Al’ the real star all along?

"As his friend Miranda has reminded him, he doesn’t have to get permission from artists. Parody is protected by the First Amendment. But Yankovic has built his reputation on respecting artists’ wishes.

“I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Yankovic says. “I don’t want to be embroiled in any nastiness. That’s not how I live my life. I like everybody to be in on the joke and be happy for my success. I take pains not to burn bridges.”
Prince never agreed to let him parody one of his songs, so he didn’t. Paul McCartney dissuaded Yankovic from turning “Live and Let Die” into “Chicken Pot Pie.” The former Beatle, a vegetarian and animal rights activist, suggested “Tofu Pot Pie.” Somehow, that didn’t have the same ring to it."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Winston Churchill's views on aliens revealed in lost essay; BBC News, February 15, 2017

Paul Rincon, BBC News; 

Winston Churchill's views on aliens revealed in lost essay

"Dr Livio told BBC News that there were no firm plans to publish the article because of issues surrounding the copyright. However, he said the Churchill Museum was working to resolve these so that the historically important essay can eventually see the light of day."

Don't get too excited about Amazon's drone delivery patent; CNet, February 14, 2017

Sean Hollister, CNet; 

Don't get too excited about Amazon's drone delivery patent

"Like with most patents, the specifics don't matter -- Amazon's lawyers wrote down as many possible ways of building such a thing (again, compressed air, steering fins) so Amazon has a better chance of defending the idea in court.

Ready for me to rain on the parade? The other thing about patents, particularly ones that have been granted, is that they describe old ideas -- ideas that may have been discarded.

Amazon applied for this particular patent in June 2015, and yet Amazon's first drone deliveries, in December 2016, didn't use such a system."

America as a Place of Innovation: Great Inventors and the Patent System: Thursday, February 16, 2017

America as a Place of Innovation: Great Inventors and the Patent System

[Kip Currier: Looking forward to attending this panel discussion at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.]


Thu, February 16, 2017
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EST


National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C 20013
The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution and the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at Antonin Scalia Law School invite you to a panel discussion at the National Museum of American History.
This panel will explore the history of innovation and the broader social, political, and legal context for inventors in late nineteenth century America. The panel will address the historical role of patents, research-intensive startups, litigation, and licensing during an important period of disruptive innovation.
  • Speakers:

    • Prof. Ernest Freeberg, University of Tennessee, discussing Thomas Edison and how the invention of the electric light impacted American culture. Professor Freeberg is the author of the book The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America(Penguin, 2014)
    • Prof. Christopher Beauchamp, Brooklyn Law School, discussing Alexander Graham Bell and the legal disputes that erupted out of Bell’s telephone patent. Professor Beauchamp is the author of the book Invented by Law: Alexander Graham Bell and the Patent That Changed America (Harvard University Press, 2015)
    • Prof. Adam Mossoff, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, discussing early American innovation by Charles Goodyear, Samuel Morse, and Joseph Singer.Professor Mossoff is the author of the influential article “The Rise and Fall of the First American Patent Thicket: The Sewing Machine War of the 1850s.”
    • Moderator: Arthur Daemmrich, Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
    • Closing RemarksAlan Marco, Chief Economist, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Open Science: Beyond Open Access webinar; Library Journal, February 21, 2017

Library Journal; Open Science: Beyond Open Access webinar

"Open Science: Beyond Open Access

Presented by: Dove Press & Library Journal
Event Date & Time: Tuesday, February 21st, 2017, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT
Collaboration can be a major driver for success. When data is shared among researchers, analysts and stakeholders, the opportunities for innovation and development increase exponentially, particularly in the medical and science fields. To be most effective, the Open Science framework demands more than simply sharing data–it requires dedication, transparency and responsible publishing.
Join this webcast to learn from our panel of experts as they discuss the challenges and benefits of Open Science in the context of global health and medical concerns. They will explain how the disruptive concept of Open Data can reshape and improve the nature of research and results.


  • Dr. Eric Little, VP of Data Science, OSTHUS
  • Dr. Robin Bloor, Chief Analyst, The Bloor Group
  • Andrew Johnson, Research Data Librarian/Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder


  • Rebecca Jozwiak, Editorial & Research Director, The Bloor Group"

These Are the Best Ways to Improve the Scientific Publication Process; Quora via Huffington Post, February 13, 2017

Quora via Huffington Post; 

These Are the Best Ways to Improve the Scientific Publication Process

"How should the scientific publication process be rethought to be more meritocratic? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Rishabh Jain, MIT PhD, Co-founded two Research based companies in India and America, on Quora:
There are two major hurdles en route to meritocratic publishing:
  • Speed to publication.
  • Peer review meritocracy/efficacy."

Monday, February 13, 2017

Harold Rosen, Who Ushered in the Era of Communication Satellites, Dies at 90; New York Times, February 2, 2017

Zach Wichter, New York Times; 

Harold Rosen, Who Ushered in the Era of Communication Satellites, Dies at 90

"Whether you are reading these words online or in print, there is a strong chance that Harold A. Rosen played a part in getting them to you. Mr. Rosen, who died on Monday at 90 at his home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., was a driving force in the invention of modern communication satellite technology...

Mr. Rosen received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Ronald Reagan in 1985 for his work developing geostationary communication satellites. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2003."

Why the rise of authoritarianism is a global catastrophe; Washington Post, 2/13/17

Garry Kasparov and Thor Halvorssen, Washington Post; Why the rise of authoritarianism is a global catastrophe

[Kip Currier: A must-read ethical-call-to-action by two people who have directly suffered under authoritarianism and are expending their energies and voices toward raising awareness and taking civil liberties-based action on behalf of humanity, against abject moral bankruptcy and appalling abuses of power by authoritarian regimes.]

Illustrative point excerpted below about authoritarian impacts on patent filings.]

"If injustice and oppression aren’t bad enough, authoritarian governments bear an enormous social cost. Dictator-led countries have higher rates of mental illnesslower levels of health and life expectancy, and, as Amartya Sen famously argued, higher susceptibility to famine. Their citizens are less educated and file fewer patents. In 2016, more patents were filed in France than in the entire Arab world — not because Arabs are less entrepreneurial than the French, but because nearly all of them live under stifling authoritarianism. Clearly, the suppression of free expression and creativity has harmful effects on innovation and economic growth. Citizens of free and open societies such as Germany, South Korea and Chile witness advances in business, science and technology that Belarusans, Burmese and Cubans can only dream of."

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Oracle refuses to accept pro-Google “fair use” verdict in API battle; Ars Technica, 2/11/17

David Kravets, Ars Technica; 

Oracle refuses to accept pro-Google “fair use” verdict in API battle

"Google successfully made its case to a jury last year that its use of Java APIs in Android was "fair use." A San Francisco federal jury rejected Oracle's claim that the mobile system infringed Oracle's copyrights.
But Oracle isn't backing down. Late Friday, the company appealed the high-profile verdict to a federal appeals court."

Trade Secret Misappropriation Rights: Defend Trade Secrets Act; National Law Review, 2/9/17

Craig S. Hilliard, National Law Review; 

Trade Secret Misappropriation Rights: Defend Trade Secrets Act

"In the recent past, a company would weigh the benefit of 1) filing a public patent with 20 year exclusivity and strong infringement remedies; or 2) choosing to keep the IP “secret” despite limitations on court actions and remedies. A balancing advantage for “trade secret” over patent is the indefinite period of protection. If the business keeps it well-hidden, it has a sort of quasi-monopoly over the “product.”

Unlike with patents, however, trade secret misappropriation rights have historically been limited. For example, if a suspected bad actor reverse-engineered a product protected by patent, it would be ruled an infringement with harsh penalties. For a trade secret however, accidental discovery or reverse-engineering are not protected rights. Both are valid defenses to a misappropriation claim...

Dealing with issues involving patents or trade secrets can be very complex. It is suggested that you consult with experienced legal council to assist with the process."

3 companies apply to patent 'fake news'; CNN Money via http://www.local10.com ABC affiliate, 2/10/17

Heather Long, CNN Money via http://www.local10.com ABC affiliate; 

3 companies apply to patent 'fake news'

[Kip Currier: I just posted (see post below this one) this CNN Money story by Heather Long, and then saw this version of the same story posted by local10.com WPLG in South Florida. In the original CNN Money article, Heather Long correctly used "trademark" in the headline. Inexplicably and mistakenly, local10.com WPLG changed the term "trademark" to "patent", rather than just going with the correct headline Heather Long had used.

(Psst...WPLG--trademarks and patents are different types of Intellectual Property!)

Looks like someone in that newsroom needs a primer on the different types of Intellectual Property (an *opportunity* for WPLG General Counsel?). Or an editor who understands the IP distinctions.]

3 companies apply to trademark 'fake news'; CNN Money, 2/10/17

Heather Long, CNN Money; 

3 companies apply to trademark 'fake news'

"Three U.S. companies are trying to trademark the term "fake news." One of the applications is from the animation team behind "The Simpsons." Another is from the group behind the popular game Cards Against Humanity.

These companies applied for a trademark to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on January 12, the day after the press conference when then President-elect Donald Trump called CNN "fake news" (a claim CNN debunked)."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Former judge wants to head patent office, says he’ll “Make Patents Great Again”; Ars Technica, 2/9/17

Joe Mullin, Ars Technica; 

Former judge wants to head patent office, says he’ll “Make Patents Great Again

"Who's the director of the US Patent and Trademark Office at the moment? It's a tougher question than you'd think.
A patent blog that closely watches USPTO internal politics, IP Watchdog, raised the question earlier this week. Reports last month from Politico and The Hill indicated that Michelle Lee, a former Googler who was appointed in 2014 and is favored by the tech sector, would stay on under the administration of President Donald Trump.
Those reports, published right around Trump's inauguration, seem much less reliable now. IP Watchdog reports that Lee continues to be seen on the 10th floor of the Madison building, where the USPTO director's office is. Yet others continue to advocate for themselves, and on Feb. 3, Lee canceled a scheduled speaking appearance in San Francisco. Since at least Feb. 6, the Commerce Department's website has listed the position of USPTO Director as "vacant" (screenshot by IP Watchdog).
In an e-mail this morning to Ars Technica, a USPTO spokesperson said only, "I cannot provide a comment at this time.""

Can you hold copyright in federal law?; Washington Post, 2/8/17

David Post, Washington Post; Can you hold copyright in federal law?

"Unfortunately, I think Judge Chutkan got the copyright analysis correct on this one; there is simply no provision in the Copyright Act that can be read to strip protection for works that become, after their creation, incorporated into the law.

It is a very unfortunate state of affairs. Almost 10 years ago, in response to a similar copyright claim (by the state of Oregon, no less) asserting copyright in the text of its laws, I wrote that “it  is completely outrageous that in 2008 [!!] we do not have a complete and authoritative compendium of all of the laws of the 50 States, and the federal government, available at no cost on the Internet.” It was true then, and it is true now; the idea that one has to purchase a copy of relevant regulatory requirements that you are required, by law, to comply with is outrageous — and the fact that one can consult a hard copy of the regulations at the Office of the Federal Register in Washington does not make it less so."

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Kylie Minogue vs Kylie Jenner trademark battle; BBC News, 2/7/17

BBC News; 

The Kylie Minogue vs Kylie Jenner trademark battle

"Jenner, who first shot to fame in the US reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, has been trying to trademark the name Kylie in the US.
But she has been blocked by the veteran Australian pop star Minogue, best known for hits such as I Should Be So Lucky and Can't Get You Out Of My Head."

How to access 375,000 beautiful, copyright-free images from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; Quartz, 2/8/17

Thu-Huong Ha, Quartz; 

How to access 375,000 beautiful, copyright-free images from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art

"New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has released 375,000 images of works from its collection, with no restrictions on what you can do with them. The images, all of art in the US public domain, were previously available online, but with some stipulations about commercial use. You can find them at the digital collection, with “Public Domain Artworks” checked in the left-hand column."

Monday, February 6, 2017

Penn State joining Open Textbook Network to support affordable course content; Penn State News, 1/31/17

Penn State News; 

Penn State joining Open Textbook Network to support affordable course content

"Penn State University Libraries is joining the Open Textbook Network to help support Penn State faculty’s use of and students’ availability to free, openly licensed academic course content.

“Penn State’s membership in the Open Textbook Network supports faculty and students’ access to a large volume of free, openly licensed course content, available online, to help reduce students’ overall cost of attendance,” Joe Salem, the University Libraries’ associate dean for Learning, Undergraduate Services, and Commonwealth Campus Libraries, said. “Joining the Open Textbook Network was one of the recommendations of the University’s Open Educational Resources Task Force as part of a multi-faceted approach to supporting open and affordable course content throughout the curriculum.”

The Open Textbook Network (OTN) helps support colleges and universities’ instructional use of open textbooks and practices. Its Open Textbook Library is the premiere resource for peer-reviewed academic textbooks, all of which are free, openly licensed and complete, according to its website...

Penn State is among the largest universities to join OTN, which was established in fall 2015, and an early supporter among its peer institutions. Other Big Ten Academic Alliance members participating in OTN include the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers, and the Milwaukee and Stout campuses of the University of Wisconsin system."

Restoration Hardware accuses Crate and Barrel of stealing trade secrets; Chicago Tribune, 1/31/17

Ally Marotti, Chicago Tribune; Restoration Hardware accuses Crate and Barrel of stealing trade secrets

"Now Restoration Hardware is trying to stop Crate and Barrel from opening a food and beverage operation in any of its stores for a year.

Crate and Barrel "effectively sought to steal a page from the successful RH playbook," using inside information such as how to sell coffee and wine in the same store in which customers buy stemware and settees, the suit alleges.

Also named as defendants were Crate and Barrel CEO Douglas Diemoz and another top executive, Kimberly Ahlheim, both former Restoration Hardware executives who are accused of stealing trade secrets and breaching contracts with their former employer.
The gallery's planning took years and was risky, court documents say. For much of that time, Diemoz, though based in California, was involved in the company's new business initiatives. The lawsuit says he signed an agreement when he left Restoration Hardware, agreeing not to use the company's proprietary information and not to recruit employees for at least a year."

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Rare Pacific Islander Captivates Its Neighborhood; New York Times, 2/1/17

Serena Solomon, New York Times; 

A Rare Pacific Islander Captivates Its Neighborhood

"According to Emori Tokalau, a governmental liaison to Taveuni’s clan leaders, only the flower’s custodian can tell the true legend. That is Ratu Viliame Mudu, the chief of Somosomo village on the island’s western side.

Mr. Tokalau described the custodianship “as a form of copyright,” giving the holder authority to grant permission for outsiders to visit the flower or use its likeness. He had to get the chief’s approval before using the tagimoucia on his office letterhead, he said.

To receive permission, one must arrive at the village with a sevusevu — a gift or offering — often the traditional root drink kava. A small ceremony is performed, with men in sarongs and women in long skirts gathered around."

We Want a Copyright Office that Serves the Public; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 2/2/17

Kerry Sheehan and Mitch Stoltz, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); 

We Want a Copyright Office that Serves the Public

"The Copyright Office, and those who lead it, should serve the public as a whole, not just major media and entertainment companies. That’s what we told the leadership of the House Judiciary Committee this week. If Congress restructures the Copyright Office, it has to put in safeguards against the agency becoming nothing more than a cheerleader for large corporate copyright holders...

We’re pleased to see both the Librarian of Congress and the House Judiciary Committee reaching out beyond the traditional players in copyright policymaking, to seek public input on decisions that impact everyone. But that’s just the first step – we need to make sure they’re giving the public’s feedback adequate consideration and that their final decisions represent the interests of everyone. We’ll be watching what they do, and speaking up to make sure that the interests of the public – including Internet and technology users, consumers, and independent creators – are protected."

The Copyright Barons Are Coming. Now’s the Time to Stop Them; Wired, 1/31/17

Josh Tabish, Wired; The Copyright Barons Are Coming. Now’s the Time to Stop Them

"FRESH ON THE heels of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, one of the largest pro-copyright lobbies in the United States is asking the newly elected president to increase the powers held by copyright holders.

In a recent letter addressed directly to Trump, the Copyright Alliance— speaking on behalf of high profile members such as the MPAA and RIAA—suggests the President create new digital borders on the internet. The concept is not dissimilar in spirit to the controversial and highly symbolic wall Trump has promised to build between the United States and Mexico or the restrictions he’s imposed on refugees and Muslims entering the country."

'This is the new reality': Panelists speak for Pitt cyber security institute; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2/3/17

Chris Potter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; 

'This is the new reality': Panelists speak for Pitt cyber security institute:

[Kip Currier: This was a fascinating and informative panel at the University of Pittsburgh on February 2, 2017, discussing cyberhacking, efforts to identify hackers and hacker-sanctioning actors/nation states, and responses to hacking threats and incidents.

Two comments (which I'll paraphrase below, without benefit of a transcript) by panelist and Russian journalist Andrei Soldatov, stood out for me:

1. Vladimir Putin's Russia has deftly understood and exploited the distinction between "cybersecurity" and "information security" (the West, Soldatov contends, has focused more on the former).

2. Under Stalin, technical training in Soviet universities and technical institutes did not include study of ethics and the humanities (largely relegated to those in medical professions).]

"The precise identity and motivations of the hackers who leaked sensitive Democratic emails during last year’s presidential election may never be known. But they left fingerprints that were familiar to Andrei Soldatov, a journalist who has written about Russia’s security state for the past 20 years.

Like much of the propaganda back home, Mr. Soldatov said at a University of Pittsburgh panel discussion Thursday, “It’s not about building the positive narrative, it’s about building the negative narrative. … To say everyone is corrupt and no one can be trusted — people will accept this.”

Mr. Soldatov was one of four panelists convened by Pitt’s fledgling Institute of Cyber Law, Policy, and Security and its new director, former U.S. Attorney David Hickton. The discussion drew a few hundred people to the first public event for the center, which focuses on cybercrime and cybersecurity."

Friday, January 20, 2017

CBS, Paramount Settle Lawsuit Over 'Star Trek' Fan Film; Hollywood Reporter, 1/20/17

Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter; CBS, Paramount Settle Lawsuit Over 'Star Trek' Fan Film

"Stand down from battle stations. Star Trek rights holders CBS and Paramount have seen the logic of settling a copyright suit against Alec Peters, who solicited money on crowdfunding sites and hired professionals to make a YouTube short and a script of a planned feature film focused on a fictional event — a Starfleet captain's victory in a war with the Klingon Empire — referenced in the original 1960s Gene Roddenberry television series. Thanks to the settlement, CBS and Paramount won't be going to trial on Stardate 47634.44, known to most as Jan. 31, 2017."