Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Parody of a Mockumentary. Now That’s Meta; New York Times, 12/17/14

Suzy Evans, New York Times; A Parody of a Mockumentary. Now That’s Meta:
"And while Corky may have wished for mainstream recognition, Mr. Griggs realizes that the national spotlight might come at a cost.
“We don’t have any rights,” he said. “We’re doing it as a parody, and that’s worrisome.” He added that he is terrified about receiving a call from the movie studio. “I also know full well that it being in The New York Times, this’ll get us closed.”"

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rare Dylan Recordings Set for Release in Copyright-Extension Bid; New York Times, 12/5/14

Allan Kozinn, New York Times; Rare Dylan Recordings Set for Release in Copyright-Extension Bid:
"Thanksgiving has come and gone, and there’s a nip in the air — no question about it, European Copyright Extension season is upon us.
Since 2012, when the European Union passed a revised copyright law, extending the copyright on recordings from 50 years to 70 – but only if the recording was published during its first 50 years – record companies have been exploring their vaults for potentially marketable material in danger of losing its copyright protection if it is not released."

Grappling With the ‘Culture of Free’ in Napster’s Aftermath; New York Times, 12/7/14

Clyde Haberman, New York Times; Grappling With the ‘Culture of Free’ in Napster’s Aftermath:
"Napster did not last long, two years. But for a while at the dawn of this century it claimed to have 70 million registered users. It spawned a host of Internet music-swapping providers, more than a few of them falling on the dubious side of the law. Most important, it irrevocably altered not only the way in which Americans absorbed music but also their belief system in what they should pay. The conviction theologically held by many boiled down to a single word: nothing. “You have a generation of people now who expect their music for free,” Greg Hammer, managing director of Red Bull Records, a branch of the energy-drink company, told Retro Report. “It’s very difficult to change.”
The music industry is not alone in coming to terms with altered realities. As every sentient soul surely knows by now, the “culture of free” — words borrowed from the title of this week’s video — has turned the print world upside down, pushing newspapers, magazines and book publishers into a frantic search for financial safe harbors. With the advent of broad Internet use in the 1990s came a notion that information should be free. Never mind that the gathering and transmission of information can be a costly proposition and that (dirty word alert) money is needed if the survival of, say, a newspaper is to be ensured. As with music in Mr. Hammer’s observation, a generation now believes that the written word, whether on processed wood or in pixels, should come without charge."

Copyright Law Is Being Rewritten Right Now, and You Can Help;, 12/8/14

Kyle Wiens,; Copyright Law Is Being Rewritten Right Now, and You Can Help:
"Strap in, folks—because we’re about to talk copyright law. I’m aware that as soon as I string the words “copyright” and “law” together, eyes start to glaze over. I get it. Copyright law isn’t Kim-Kardashian’s-oiled-butt level stuff; it doesn’t break the internet. But important things hardly ever do. Believe it or not, copyright law is shaping up to be the next big battleground in technology. And its fundamentally redefining ownership.
Copyright isn’t just about pirating music or downloading DVDs anymore. Like a creature alive, copyright is evolving and expanding. Traditional “dumb” products are being replaced by an internet of things — and copyright is hitching along for the ride. Its DNA is being woven through the programming that powers your car, the firmware in your phone, the code in your kid’s talking teddy bear, and the software that calibrates your hearing aid."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sirius XM Has Setback in Lawsuit; New York Times, 11/16/14

Ben Sisario, New York Times; Sirius XM Has Setback in Lawsuit:
"A federal judge in New York has ruled against Sirius XM over an obscure copyright issue that has galvanized the music industry: royalties for recordings made before 1972.
Sirius XM and Pandora Media have both been hit in the last year by a series of lawsuits over old recordings. Neither company pays record labels or performing artists on songs recorded before 1972, when federal copyright protection was first applied to recordings. (Both services, however, pay separate royalties for songwriting.)"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Leahy Introduces Same-Sex Copyright Inheritance Bill; Roll Call, 11/12/14

Anne L. Kim, Roll Call; Leahy Introduces Same-Sex Copyright Inheritance Bill:
"A bill introduced Wednesday would let spouses in same sex marriages inherit their each other’s copyrights regardless of whether or not the state where the copyright owner dies recognizes same-sex marriage."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Open Minds, Open Access; Inside Higher Ed, 10/22/14

Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed; Open Minds, Open Access:
"What I will say is that it seems wonderfully appropriate that we are thinking through the legal implications of this practice during Open Access Week. This annual event is in its eighth year and we have seen progress made. If you're not quite sure what open access means, the best two-minute explanation was written by Peter Suber and he explains it well, if not in as much depth as in his book about it. A lot of scholars now buy into the idea that it makes sense for their research to be available to all who have an internet connection, not just to those who are lucky enough to work at a research institution or have the resources to purchase all the books and articles they might want to look at.
There's a persistent misperception among many scholars that all open access publishing operations charge authors (most don't), that they are not peer reviewed (most are), and that they're run by scammers (yes, some scammers have set up faux publishing sites, but they're pretty obviously bogus. Rejecting all open access publications as a result is kind of like saying you will only accept messages that come on paper in an envelope with a stamp because email is a scam run by Spanish Prisoner crooks.)
One argument against open access that has never made sense to me is that the system we have works perfectly well and anyone who needs access to research already has it. Publishers have said this to members of the US Congress with a straight face. To me, this is a startlingly anti-intellectual stance."