Monday, December 30, 2013
Dara Kerr, CNet; Authors Guild appeals decision in Google Books copyright suitt: "The Authors Guild has stuck to its word in promising to appeal a federal judge's decision to dismiss its copyright infringement lawsuit against Google Books. The trade association that represents book authors has filed an appeal to the Second Circuit court, according to Publishers Weekly... The Authors Guild believes that Google's project exceeds fair use and is now looking for another court to back its opinion. Authors Guild executive director Paul Aiken told Publishers Weekly that Chin's decision was "a fundamental challenge to copyright that merits review by a higher court.""
FEDweek; Report: Open Data Could be $3 Trillion Boon: "Standardized, machine-readable information, much of it government-generated has contributed to a push toward leveraging "big data" to gain new insight and drive innovation, and a recent report from McKinsey suggests seven sectors in particular could combine to generate over $3 trillion in additional value from open data. Open data (like that increasingly being made available at data.gov) is "giving rise to hundreds of entrepreneurial businesses and helping established companies to segment markets, define new products and services, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations," according to the report".
Elena Malykhina, Information Week; Veterans Affairs Website Offers Open Data: "The Department of Veterans Affairs has rolled out a new addition to its website as part of the federal government's over-arching Open Data Initiatives effort. Visitors to the VA site now have access to APIs, tools, and resources to develop applications using the VA's open data... Driving the open-data effort at the VA is Marina Martin, a former senior advisor to federal chief technology officer Todd Park. Martin was appointed as the agency's CTO earlier this year and has extensive background in open data as a Web developer and business efficiency expert. She had worked on Project Open Data, a collection of code, tools, and case studies to help federal agencies adopt the Open Data Policy, which the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy released in May. The Open Data Policy, together with President Obama's executive order, also issued in May, urged government agencies to make previously unavailable data accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers, and the public in open, machine-readable formats. Agencies now are required to create an internal index of their data, make a public list of their public data, and list all data that can be made public. They also have access to an open online repository of tools and best practices to assist them in integrating the policy into their operations. "Data is a valuable national asset that should be open and available to the public, to entrepreneurs, to scientists, and others -- instead of being trapped in closed government systems," Nick Sinai, federal deputy CTO in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote in a blog post on Data.gov in late October."
Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times; New Sherlock Holmes mystery: Where's my copyright? : "The court case required U.S. District Judge Rubén Castillo to become something of a Sherlock Holmes expert, and in a 22-page ruling issued last week in Chicago, he began by summarizing the four novels and 56 short stories Conan Doyle wrote about the fictional detective: The character first appeared in 1887. The final 10 Holmes stories appeared in the U.S. in 1923... Castillo's ruling allows anyone to use the Holmes character as long as they don’t use elements from the 1923 stories, which include details about Holmes’ and Dr. Watson’s past. "Conan Doyle fails to offer a bright line rule or workable legal standard for determining when characters are sufficiently developed to warrant copyright protection through an entire series," the judge wrote."
Sunday, December 29, 2013
On The Media; Happy Birthday: "Happy Birthday to You" is one of the most popular songs in the English language. It is also copyrighted. On the Media producer PJ Vogt investigates the long, surprising, and contentious history of the argument over just who owns the rights to the song."
Hilda Bastian, Scientific American; Open access 2013: A year of gaining momentum: "Was this the year open access for science reached critical mass? One hypothesis suggests that a transformative group needs to reach one-third to be prominent and persisting. Rogers’ theory on the diffusion of innovations that will eventually reach saturation level says the first 2.5% are innovators. By the time you get to 16% the phase of early adopters could be ending. If that’s the trajectory that accessible scientific publications is on, one estimate suggests it went past early adopter level in 2011, when about 17% of scholarly articles were available within 12 months (12% immediately). There had been just under 8% published in open access journals in 2009."
2013 in Review: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 12/28/13
Parker Higgins and Maira Sutton, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); 2013 in Review: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: "Negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) intensified in 2013, as trade delegates from the 12 participating countries aimed for (and ultimately missed) a year-end target for completing the sprawling agreement. Although the secretive nature of the negotiations means the public can't really know how far along it is, both leaked position documents and public statements indicate that there are still major unresolved areas of disagreement in the 29-chapter deal. The biggest TPP story this year was the publication by WikiLeaks in November of the chapter titled "Intellectual Property." Unfortunately, its contents confirmed many of our worst fears: from ratcheting up copyright term lengths around the world, to boxing in fair use, to mandating a draconian legal regime around DRM software, section after section contained clauses plucked from corporate wishlists and snubbed the public interest altogether. Against that backdrop, it makes sense that opposition to the agreement is mounting around the world."
Robin Thicke, Fair Use, Jackson v. AEG: Entertainment's Top Legal Disputes of 2013; Billboard, 12/27/13
Eriq Gardner, Billboard; Robin Thicke, Fair Use, Jackson v. AEG: Entertainment's Top Legal Disputes of 2013: "The year was so jam-packed with legal tussling that many show-stopping developments failed to make the cut of our top legal disputes from 2013...But in our view, here, in reverse order, are the ones that were the most gripping from 2013:... 7. Robin Thicke looks to protect "Blurred Lines" from theft claims For as long as there has been pop music, there's been fighting over who stole or borrowed or sampled what from whom. When Robin Thicke and his producers filed a lawsuit this past summer against Marvin Gaye's children, a few things raised the bar: The lawsuit was a preemptive strike against allegations that the year's most successful song was a derivative of Gaye's "Got to Give It Up." The litigation now involves both sides enlisting some of the industry's most esteemed lawyers to wrangle over the issue of when similarity in songcraft rises to copyright infringement. Now there's even a counterclaim that raises the issue of a conflict and lack of diligence by one of the industry's biggest song publishers... 5. "Fair Use" explodes as a public issue Technology has made duplication easier than ever. A counterpoint to copyright is fair use, or lawful exceptions to a rights-holder's ability to control derivatives. This past year brought two huge decisions on this front. First, after a nearly decade-long fight, Google got a federal judge to declare that its scanning of some 20 million library books was a fair use. Second, an appeals court concluded that artist Richard Prince had made fair use of most of photographer Patrick Cariou's work. Both cases are ongoing (on appeal or back at the trial court). Meanwhile, the issue of what's transformative and what's not has entered the public stream of conscious in other ways -- from Sony Pictures' win over a William Faulkner quote referenced in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris to the recent controversy over a toy company's use of The Beastie Boys' "Girls.""
YouTube's Merry Christmas: Letting Large Music Publishers Steal Money From Guy Singing Public Domain Christmas Carol; TechDirt.com, 12/24/13
Mike Masnick, TechDirt.com; YouTube's Merry Christmas: Letting Large Music Publishers Steal Money From Guy Singing Public Domain Christmas Carol: "Yet another in our ongoing series of stories concerning YouTube's broken ContentID system. While the company has still mostly remained mute over its recent policy change, which resulted in a ton of bogus ContentID claims, an even worse problem is that ContentID does serious harm to fair use and public domain videos. The latest example of this comes from Adam Manley, who recently posted a nice video about the month of December and how awesome it is. The second half of the video has him singing the famous song "Silent Night." "Silent Night" was composed in 1818. It is, without question, in the public domain. There is no question about this at all. Adam's rendition of the song is him singing it alone (so not using anyone else's recording). There is simply no question at all that what he did does not violate anyone's copyright. At all. So, what happened? YouTube's ContentID told him that he received not one, not two, but three separate copyright claims on the video, from three of the largest music publishers in the world -- basically all of the publishing arms of the major labels."
Joe Mullin, ArsTechnica.com; The case against Kim Dotcom, finally revealed: "Nearly two years after Kim Dotcom's New Zealand mansion was raided by police, US authorities have made their case as to why the man behind Megaupload shouldn't simply go bankrupt like previous copyright violators before have—he should go to jail, they argue. In a 191-page "Summary of Evidence," government lawyers marshal Skype chats, financial data, and dozens of e-mails to make their case that Megaupload was a criminal network designed from the start to distribute copyrighted material. It discusses the payments made to heavy uploaders to encourage them to drive traffic to the files of movies and TV shows they hid online. Megaupload built a wall of plausible deniability, prosecutors claim, by disabling any internal search of files stored on Megaupload, meant as a "cyberlocker" site. But its administrators, who include the men behind Dotcom's new site Mega, traded e-mails that show the real strategy."
Meredith Farkas, American Libraries; Libraries are making scholarship accessible to all: "Many academic libraries are working to make the scholarly and creative output of their communities widely accessible. They are also supporting the creation of sustainable publishing models through education, institutional repositories, and open access (OA) publishing... Some libraries are also developing their own digital publishing imprints in an effort to offer a solid alternative to traditional publishing. The University of Pittsburgh Library System, for example, offers a platform and support for publishing OA journals. It already publishes 30 OA scholarly journals using the Open Journal Systems platform and offers print-on-demand via an Espresso Book Machine. This arrangement supports journal editors in making their publications open access."
Nick Bilton, New York Time; Illegal Video Downloads Continue Upward Trajectory: "Some content creators finally admitted that illegal downloads aren’t all bad. In September, a senior Netflix executive said the company used pirating websites to determine the genre of new shows viewers might be interested in. “With the purchase of a series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” said Kelly Merryman, vice president of content acquisition at Netflix. HBO also acknowledged that piracy can be great free advertising. Time Warner’s chief executive, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, said on an earnings call that pirated content can be “a tremendous word-of-mouth thing.” And David Petrarca, the director of Game of Thrones, said during a panel discussion at Perth’s Writers Festival, that theft can create “cultural buzz” around a show that traditional methods can not. Those statements seemed like a breath of fresh air. Content companies like HBO could probably do more to decrease illegal downloads, namely by giving consumers more legal access points to shows. But but doing that, the companies would probably lose out on some of the underground attention that they also value."
Saturday, December 28, 2013
A judge just gave an elementary lesson on copyright to the owners of Sherlock Holmes; Washington Post, 12/27/13
Brian Fung, Washington Post; A judge just gave an elementary lesson on copyright to the owners of Sherlock Holmes: "As a character, Holmes was developed over the course of Conan Doyle's entire writing career, not laid out in a single book, the estate claimed. But Judge Rubén Castillo ruled otherwise, saying that every Holmes story that followed the first ought to be considered a derivative based on the original. As far as the court is concerned, Holmes and Watson were fully formed characters by the last page of "A Study in Scarlet."... The caveat, of course, is that anything Holmes published in or after 1923 still enjoys protection, meaning that any element that appears exclusively in those stories can't be used. The impact of Castillo's decision probably won't be limited to Sherlock Holmes. Some of pop culture's most important characters, such as Mickey Mouse and Superman, will see their copyrights expire in the next couple of decades. If a "this-but-not-that" approach to copyright winds up taking hold, we might expect a debate soon about which features of those characters will be covered (and not covered)."
Tom McCarthy, Guardian; Sherlock Holmes is public property … but steer clear of Watson's second wife: "Prospective authors of Sherlock Holmes fan fiction take heed: under a new court ruling, you may write that Sherlock Holmes was a cocaine-addicted martial arts aficionado cohabiting occasionally at 221B Baker Street, with a friend called Dr Watson. You may not, however, freely describe Dr Watson's own athletic background, the juicy fact of his second marriage or the circumstances of Holmes's retirement. A US district court in Illinois found itself wading into the details of the fictional detective's imaginary life this week in a copyright ruling on a forthcoming collection of original short stories featuring Holmes characters. An editor of the new book, In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, asked the court in effect to enlarge the elements of the Holmes story that are in the public domain. The court reinforced the public domain status of much of the work but denied part of the motion by the plaintiff, Leslie Klinger... Ten Holmes short stories, however, were published after 1923, the public domain threshold pinpointed by Melville Nimmer in his authoritative Nimmer on Copyright... The ruling applies only to the US. The entire Sherlock Holmes canon has been in the public domain in Britain since the end of 2000."
The Vast Majority of Raw Data From Old Scientific Studies May Now Be Missing; Smithsonian.com, 12/19/13
Smithsonian.com; The Vast Majority of Raw Data From Old Scientific Studies May Now Be Missing: "One of the foundations of the scientific method is the reproducibility of results. In a lab anywhere around the world, a researcher should be able to study the same subject as another scientist and reproduce the same data, or analyze the same data and notice the same patterns. This is why the findings of a study published today in Current Biology are so concerning. When a group of researchers tried to email the authors of 516 biological studies published between 1991 and 2011 and ask for the raw data, they were dismayed to find that more 90 percent of the oldest data (from papers written more than 20 years ago) were inaccessible. In total, even including papers published as recently as 2011, they were only able to track down the data for 23 percent... These might seem like mundane obstacles, but scientists are just like the rest of us—they change email addresses, they get new computers with different drives, they lose their file backups—so these trends reflect serious, systemic problems in science... There’s also the fact that so much of this research is paid for with public funding, much of it coming through grants that stipulate that resulting data be made freely available to the public. What’s the solution? Some journals—including Molecular Ecology, of which Vines is a managing editor—have adopted policies that require authors to submit raw data along with their papers, allowing the journal itself to archive the data in perpetuity. Although journals, like people, are susceptible to changing email addresses and technological obsolescence, these problems can be much more easily managed at the institutional scale."
Friday, December 27, 2013
Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times; Sherlock Holmes Is in the Public Domain, American Judge Rules: "A federal judge has issued a declarative judgment stating that Holmes, Watson, 221B Baker Street, the dastardly Professor Moriarty and other elements included in the 50 Holmes works Arthur Conan Doyle published before Jan. 1, 1923, are no longer covered by United States copyright law and can be freely used by creators without paying any licensing fee to the Conan Doyle estate... The judge did caution, however, that elements introduced in the 10 stories published after 1923 — such as the fact that Watson played rugby for Blackheath — remain protected... Benjamin Allison, a lawyer for the Conan Doyle estate, said it was exploring an appeal but asserted that the ruling did not imperil any existing licensing agreements or the estate’s separate claims under trademark law."
Variety, Todd Spangler; ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Breaking Bad’ Most Pirated TV Shows of 2013: "HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad” have the dubious distinction of being the most-downloaded shows of 2013 on illegal file-sharing services, according to piracy news site TorrentFreak. The “Game of Thrones” season 3 finale was downloaded 5.9 million times, most within one week after it aired in June, and “Breaking Bad” — which scored record ratings for its series finale — saw 4.2 million downloads of the ep. “Game of Thrones” also took the crown as 2012′s most-pirated TV show. Digital piracy has long been a source of concern for Hollywood and in other industries. But recently some execs have pointed out that the economic harms of illegal file sharing are mitigated by its promotional benefits."
James H. Burnett III, Boston Globe; Young musicians get lessons in the law: "The setting was the august boardroom of Goodwin Procter, a global law firm based in Boston, and the topics were the potentially dry-as-dust issues of copyrights, intellectual property rights, and fair use. The potential clients? Seventy teenagers, engaged, enthusiastic, and most certainly culturally tuned in, from some of Greater Boston’s poorer communities. As members of the Music & Youth Initiative, a nonprofit music training and mentoring program, they joined with three lawyers on a recent Thursday evening to understand their rights as songwriters. The teens peppered the attorneys with a variety of questions facing young musicians today: Can members of the public copy and download music they find in social media forums? What’s the legal recourse to plagiarism? How much can one “borrow” from another’s work without it being theft? The overarching themes were avoiding legal trouble and making sure your creations can’t be weasled away from you."
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Maria Pallante, Head of US Copyright Office, To Meet With Music Creators: Exclusive; Billboard, 12/18/13
Billboard; Maria Pallante, Head of US Copyright Office, To Meet With Music Creators: Exclusive: "The Recording Academy is convening leadership roundtables between music creators and U.S. Copyright Office register of copyrights and director Maria Pallante. The initiative ties in with Pallante's stated goal of hearing from the various stakeholders -- leading performers, songwriters and studio professionals -- of the current discussions on copyright. The roundtables will begin in New York on Jan. 14 and will continue to other Academy chapters contingent upon on the availability of Pallante and her team. The roundtables are part of a larger review of copyright law begun this year by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee... In the following Q&A, Pallante discusses the many music copyright issues now under review, her office's role in creating copyright legislation and the challenges ahead... What kind of timeline are you expecting for the discussions that lead up to actual action by Congress? I don't know. [Goodlatte] had six hearings, if you include the one he gave me, since March. We haven't had that many copyright hearings in a very, very long time. And he's announced three more. In the next few months there will be one on the scope of exclusive rights, there will be one on the scope of fair use, and there will be one on notice and take down provisions of the DMCA... We've got other provisions we've been working on for a really long time. We've been working on the public performance in sound recordings issue for a decade, if not longer. We've got orphan works issues. We've got pre-'72 sound recordings that we think should be federalized. We've got analog library exception rules that don't translate into the digital age."
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Kyle Wiens, Guardian; Using copyright to keep repair manuals secret undermines circular economy: "Perhaps it was characteristic of a generation touched by the Great Depression, but in my grandfather's era, repair information was practically public domain.... Ironically, we now live in an age where information has never been more abundant, and yet every day more repair manuals disappear. It's not an accident. Manufacturers of computers, mobile phones, appliances, and cars still create repair manuals for every product they ship. You're just not allowed to have them anymore. And that gap in repair information is hindering our efforts to create a circular economy.... It's unclear whether companies like Toshiba and Apple are within their rights. No one can legally copyright facts or procedures but you can copyright any form of creative work, like writing. Manuals, despite their lack of creative or artistic merit, are a form of writing. Companies aren't going out on a limb by hiding them behind the shield of copyright."
Nick Baumann, Mother Jones; You'll Never Guess Where This FBI Agent Left a Secret Interrogation Manual: "In a lapse that national security experts call baffling, a high-ranking FBI agent filed a sensitive internal manual detailing the bureau's secret interrogation procedures with the Library of Congress, where anyone with a library card can read it... The 70-plus-page manual ended up in the Library of Congress, thanks to its author, an FBI official who made an unexplainable mistake. This FBI supervisory special agent, who once worked as a unit chief in the FBI's counterterrorism division, registered a copyright for the manual in 2010 and deposited a copy with the US Copyright Office, where members of the public can inspect it upon request. What's particularly strange about this episode is that government documents cannot be copyrighted. "A document that has not been released does not even need a copyright," says Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists. "Who is going to plagiarize from it? Even if you wanted to, you couldn't violate the copyright because you don't have the document. It isn't available." "The whole thing is a comedy of errors," he adds. "It sounds like gross incompetence and ignorance." Julian Sanchez, a fellow with the libertarian Cato Institute who has studied copyright policy, was harsher: "Do they not cover this in orientation? [Sensitive] documents should not be placed in public repositories—and, by the way, aren't copyrightable. How do you even get a clearance without knowing this stuff?""
Matt Ennis, Library Journal; Digital Firsts: "The U.S Department of Commerce (DoC) has been collecting public comment on the topic of the first sale doctrine and digital files in recent weeks; the agency was scheduled to meet about the issue on December 12 in Washington, DC. First sale doctrine is a set of exemptions to U.S. copyright law that permit consumers to resell used books or DVDs and libraries to loan books without seeking permission from publishers. Yet for reasons examined in more detail below, first sale exemptions have not translated well for digital content. The DoC’s call for public comment could mark the beginning of a campaign to reassess what copyright and first sale mean in the modern digital era, notes one expert. While the case did not directly address digital content, the Supreme Court’s Kirtsaeng v. Wiley decision in March “has reawakened interest, on the content owners’ side, to revise first sale,” says Mary Minow, Follett Chair of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dominican University, and executive editor of Stanford University’s Copyright and Fair Use website. “Perhaps that’s even part of the impetus behind this call for public comment. The energy is there to revise copyright law in its entirety, including first sale. If libraries aren’t speaking up about what it is that we need, we’re just going to be bulldozed over.”"
After Beijing And Marrakesh, WIPO Copyright Committee Feels The Pressure; Intellectual Property Watch, 12/17/13
Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch; After Beijing And Marrakesh, WIPO Copyright Committee Feels The Pressure: "Expectations are high this week on the outcome of discussions of the World Intellectual Property Organization committee on copyright. On the agenda is a potential new treaty protecting broadcasting organisations, and limitations and exceptions to copyright for libraries, archives, and education. In the mix is a new proposal by Japan to include computer networks in protected broadcasts. After two consecutive successes in Beijing in 2012, with the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, and in Marrakesh in 2013, with the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled, the committee is expected to continue work on a treaty that would protect broadcasting organisations and has been under discussion for the last 15 years... For developing countries, the issue of limitations and exceptions to copyright for libraries and archives, educational, teaching and research institutions, and persons with other disabilities, is of central importance, according to several opening statements, such as the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries (GRULAC), the Asia and Pacific Group, and the African Group. Algeria, on behalf of the African Group, said the international copyright system should respond to both private and public interests and should help the universal propagation of knowledge. The Marrakesh treaty, the delegate said, paved the way towards this goal. No delegations “can dispute the need for developing countries to have greater access to knowledge,” she said."
Claire Cain Miller, New York Times; Government Requests to Remove Online Material Increase at Google: "Governments, led by the United States, are increasingly demanding that Google remove information from the Web... Often, the requests come from judges, police officers and politicians trying to hide information that is critical of them. The most common request cites defamation, often of officials... Government requests to remove information increased most significantly in Turkey and Russia because of online censorship laws, according to Google... Google also said officials were resorting to new legal methods to demand that Google remove content, such as citing copyright law to take down transcripts of political speeches or government news releases."
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Patricia Cohen, New York Times; Copyright Office Calls for Congress to Reconsider Royalties for Artists: "The last time the United States Copyright Office examined the issue of whether visual artists should receive a share of the profits when their work is resold, in 1992, it concluded that resale royalties — known internationally by the French term droit de suite — were not a good idea. Now, after a recent re-examination of the issue, the Copyright Office has reversed itself. In a report issued Friday, it recommended that painters, illustrators, sculptors, photographers and the like deserve a royalty when their work is resold at a profit."
Argentina Passes Open Access Act For Publicly Funded Research; Intellectual Property Watch, 12/16/13
Maximiliano Marzetti, Intellectual Property Watch; Intellectual Property Watch; Argentina Passes Open Access Act For Publicly Funded Research: "The Congress of Argentina recently passed a landmark law making publicly funded science and technology research publications free and open access. On 13 November, the Argentinian Congress passed a law (No. 26.899, Creating Institutional Open Access Digital Repositories, Owned or Shared) establishing that all institutions belonging to the National Science and Technology System (SNCYT, according to its acronym in Spanish) that receive public funds (partly or entirely) shall create free and open access institutional digital repositories where all the scientific and technological publications (which includes journal articles, technical and scientific papers, theses, etc.) and research data must be available... With the new law Argentina, clearly aligns with those countries advocating the so-called green route (self-archiving) to open access, making publications freely available after the end of an embargo period."
CBS News; Beatles recordings released 50 years later to protect copyright: "It’s a public domain thing. In the same way that some of the classical novels - now anyone can publish them for $1.99. The music industry wants to make sure that it doesn't happen with the crown jewels,” he said. “Let’s face it - the Beatles back catalog is as precious as it gets to the music business and to fans.” The point of releasing the previously unreleased Beatles records is not so much to sell more Beatles music, but it’s to keep other people from selling Beatles music and to beat new European copyright laws that say you have to “use it, or lose it.”"
BBC News; Beatles rarities being released to beat copyright laws: "EU law protects recordings for 70 years, but only if they get an official release. Otherwise, the copyright period lasts 50 years. In the case of The Beatles, that means the master tape for their 1963 debut album Please Please Me is protected until 2033, but the unreleased session tapes for that album are not. If the Beatles chose not to release the recordings before the end of the year, it would mean other record labels could theoretically put them out and profit from them. The band's 1962 debut single, Love Me Do, arguably slipped out of copyright last year, before the EU's copyright extension was signed into law. At least one record company issued a "remastered" version of the song, although that has since been deleted. The copyright law in question only covers the recordings - the songs themselves remain the copyright of the composer for 70 years after their death."
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Proposed EU Copyright Rules Could Aid Pandora, Spotify, Netflix, Lovefilm, In Fact Every Streaming Firm; Forbes, 12/10/13
Tim Worstall, Forbes; Proposed EU Copyright Rules Could Aid Pandora, Spotify, Netflix, Lovefilm, In Fact Every Streaming Firm: "The European Union is proposing some changes to how copyright works inside the bloc and one of the things they’re discussing could make it much easier for the streaming companies like Netflix NFLX +2.1%, Spotify, Pandora and all the rest. This is just, in this area at least, something under discussion, open for commentary, but it is one of those things that sounds like a good idea. The problem is that the EU market for copyright is extremely fragmented: to put it in US terms it’s almost as if each State offers copyright on things in that State."
Out-law.com, Register; One European copyright law-to-rule-them-all? EU launches review: "The European Commission is seeking industry views on whether to completely harmonise copyright laws across the EU. The Commission has launched a consultation in an effort to gather views on how to modernise the existing EU copyright framework (36-page/223KB PDF). Respondents are being asked for views on matters ranging from the accessibility of digital content across the trading bloc, limitations and exceptions to copyright protection and remuneration for rights holders. However, it is also consulting on whether to set copyright rules that apply consistently across the whole of the EU. At the moment there are a number of EU laws governing copyright but which each EU member state have implemented differently. "The idea of establishing a unified EU Copyright Title has been present in the copyright debate for quite some time now, although views as to the merits and the feasibility of such an objective are divided," the Commission said in its consultation paper. "A unified EU Copyright Title would totally harmonise the area of copyright law in the EU and replace national laws. There would then be a single EU title instead of a bundle of national rights.""
Natasha Singer, New York Times; In a Scoreboard of Words, a Cultural Guide: "“We wanted to create a scientific measuring instrument, something like a telescope, but instead of pointing it at a star, you point it at human culture,” Mr. Michel recalls. The pair approached Peter Norvig, the director of research at Google, with a pie-in-the-sky proposal: to mine Google’s library of digital books so they could apply automated quantitative analysis to the typically qualitative study of history. According to the book, Mr. Norvig was intrigued. But he challenged the graduate students by asking how such a system could work without violating copyright. After some thought, Mr. Aiden and Mr. Michel proposed creating a kind of “shadow data set” that would contain frequency statistics on the most common words or phrases in the digitized books — but would not contain the books’ actual texts. The pair developed a prototype interface, called Bookworm, to prove their idea. Soon after, engineers at Google, including Jon Orwant and Will Brockman, built a public, web-based version of the tool."
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Largest-Ever Open Access Publishing Initiative To Start At CERN In January; Intellectual Property Watch, 12/5/13
William New, Intellectual Property Watch; Largest-Ever Open Access Publishing Initiative To Start At CERN In January: "The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced today that the largest scientific open access initiative ever will begin on 1 January 2014. The initiative, called the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3), has the support of partners in 24 countries and will make available a vast portion of scientific articles in the field of high-energy physics, open access at no cost for any author. “[E]veryone will be able to read them; authors will retain copyright; and generous licenses will enable wide re-use of this information,” CERN said in a release. “This is the largest scale global Open Access initiative ever built,” it said, involving an international collaboration of over 1,000 libraries, library consortia and research organizations. SCOAP3 enjoys the support of funding agencies and has been established in co-operation with leading publishers, it noted."
IP-Watch Works To Open TPP Text; USTR Misses Response Deadline; Intellectual Property Watch, 12/4/13
William New, Intellectual Property Watch; IP-Watch Works To Open TPP Text; USTR Misses Response Deadline: "Intellectual Property Watch, an independent accredited journalist organisation, has been working with Yale Law School to make more information public about US government involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement under negotiation with 11 other countries. The TPP talks begun in 2008 have been conducted under an unprecedented lack of transparency from the standpoint of media and the public, making it difficult to report meaningful stories about the issue, or for the public to provide meaningful input. IP-Watch, www.ip-watch.org, has worked for more than a year with the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic (MFIA) to pursue a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request at the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) in order to obtain more information on the TPP. The request includes the US positions in the talks, and the lobbying influences that have shaped those positions. IP-Watch is particularly targeting aspects of the draft treaty related to intellectual property rights, but this is an issue that cuts across many other areas."
Steven Musil, CNet; Appeals court considers Oracle's Java copyright claims: "A US appeals court on Wednesday considered whether Oracle should be afforded copyright protection over certain portions of the Java programming language in a case that is being closely watched by software developers. The appeal, being heard by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, is the latest chapter in the company's long-running patent and copyright battle over Google's use of Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in Android. Oracle sued Google in 2010, alleging that Google's use of 37 Java APIs in its mobile operating system constituted patent and copyright infringement. Google argued it was free to use them because the Java programming language is free to use and the APIs are required to use the language. Oracle countered that Google knowingly used the APIs without a license from Sun Microsystems, which Oracle purchased in 2010."
EU lawmakers ask for help tackling copyright questions in the cloud era; IDG News Service via PC World, 12/5/13
Jennifer Baker, IDG News Service via PC World; EU lawmakers ask for help tackling copyright questions in the cloud era: "The European Commission on Thursday asked the public for feedback on whether the European Union’s copyright laws are fit for the digital age. The consultation is part of a reform of the E.U.’s copyright rules. The Commission wants to create a level playing field across the E.U. with the possibility of a single license to cover all 28 member states. It is thought this would help companies like Spotify, which offers music streaming."
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Dara Kerr, CNet; Hotfile forks over $80 million to settle MPAA copyright suit: "Hotfile agreed on Tuesday to pay $80 million to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the Motion Picture Association of America. It was also ordered to cease all operations unless it instituted "digital fingerprinting" copyright filtering technology... Not all cyberlockers have been deemed unlawful, however. In fact, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor protects online services as long as they obey some rules."
Economist; Does parody trump copyright? : "In most countries anyone wanting to use copyrighted material must obtain permission from the copyright holder (unless the holder has already issued a pre-emptive licence, such as one from the Creative Commons organisation). Two exceptions exist in American law. The first is compulsory licensing, which requires any song released to the public in any medium (from wax cylinder to digital download) to be available for any other party to re-record in a substantively similar form. The cover artist pays a fee to the composer for each copy sold or given away. The second exception is fair use, designed to allow parody, commentary and analysis that advance academic, political or social purposes. A four-part test determines whether a derivative work falls under fair-use protection. But the test is ambiguous and relies on litigation, which is costly. Most artists therefore avoid relying on fair-use provisions, and instead seek permission (as "Weird" Al Yankovic does with his parody songs) or avoid using copyrighted material that cannot be licensed... After receiving a complaint from the Beastie Boys' representatives, GoldieBlox filed a lawsuit commonly used in fair-use proceedings asking for a declarative judgment against the Beastie Boys, to affirm the advertisement's status as a parody... After the Beastie Boys published an open letter expressing their dismay at being sued, the toymaker pulled its ad and uploaded a new version with different music. It says it will withdraw its suit once the band agrees not to pursue its copyright-infringement action. Lawyers remain at odds over whether the advertisement represented a parody or simply a rip-off."
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Dave Itzkoff, New York Times; Beastie Boys Fight Online Video Parody of ‘Girls’ : "GoldieBlox had filed a lawsuit on Thursday that asserted its right to use the music in the video, which has gone viral with more than eight million views. It said in the suit that it “created its parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes.” But the Beastie Boys, in the letter to GoldieBlox, said the video was essentially part of a commercial enterprise and “an advertisement that is designed to sell a product,” for which the band says it does not allow its music to be used."
Monday, December 2, 2013
John Conyers, USA Today; Music legends deserve R-E-S-P-E-C-T: "A quirk of history protects songs recorded before 1972 under state law and songs recorded after Feb. 15, 1972 under federal law. Some digital radio services interpret that disparity to resist paying legacy artists who recorded music before 1972. The inexplicable result is that artists whose recordings were made before 1972 are not compensated by digital radio services while their counterparts whose recordings were made after that time are paid... While state law offers a patchwork quilt of protection, the Library of Congress has recommended revisions that ensure consistency and uniformity by bringing all sound recordings under the federal copyright umbrella. While we would need to work with the Library's experts, users and rights holders to address the complex issues presented by such a transition, it is worth the effort to protect older artists, curtail litigation and eliminate the untenable withholding of royalties."
Monday, November 25, 2013
Sophie Curtis, Telegraph; BBC throws weight behind open data movement: "The BBC has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the Europeana Foundation, the Open Data Institute, the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation, supporting free and open internet technologies... The agreements will enable closer collaboration between the BBC and each of the four organisations on a range of mutual interests, including the release of structured open data and the use of open standards in web development, according to the BBC."
James Estrin, New York Times; Haitian Photographer Wins Major U.S. Copyright Victory: "Photographers have struggled financially over the last decade as millions of images have been taken and published on the Web without proper attribution or compensation. And when photographers try to pursue copyright violators, it is often difficult and expensive. On Friday, the Haitian photographer Daniel Morel won a major copyright victory after a four-year fight over images he had originally sent out via social media. A Manhattan jury found that Agence France-Presse and its American distributor Getty Images willfully infringed upon Mr. Morel’s copyright of eight pictures he took of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and awarded him $1.22 million."
Kevin Melrose, ComicBookResources.com; DC wins ‘final’ appeal in long battle over Superman rights: "As Deadline reports, in a 2-1 vote the Ninth Circuit on Thursday tied up the loose ends in what it describes as “the long-running saga regarding the ownership of copyrights in Superman — a story almost as old as the Man of Steel himself,” reaffirming an October 2012 ruling that the Shuster estate is prevented from reclaiming the artist’s stake in the character by a 20-year-old agreement with DC."
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Ben Sisario, New York Times; Rap Genius Says It Will Seek Licenses for Lyrics: "Rap Genius, a website that was accused by music publishers on Monday of reprinting thousands of song lyrics without permission, revealed that it had a major licensing deal all along — and also indicated that the site was likely to pursue more such deals in the future rather than fight with publishers over copyright. The site, which publishes detailed annotations of rap lyrics, was listed as the top offender of what the National Music Publishers’ Association, a trade group, called “blatant illegal behavior” by using lyrics without licenses from music publishers, which control songwriting copyrights. A favorite of fans and journalists alike, Rap Genius was by far the most prominent of the 50 sites identified by the trade group (most of the others had formulaic-sounding names like lyricsmania.com and lyricstranslate.com)."
Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times; U.S. copyright industries add $1 trillion to GDP: "The economic contributions of U.S. copyright industries reached new heights last year, for the first time contributing more than $1 trillion to the gross domestic product and accounting for 6.5% of the nation's economy, according to a new report. The study tracks the economic effect and contributions of U.S. industries engaged in the creation and distribution of computer software, video games, books, newspapers, periodicals and journals, as well as motion pictures, music, radio and television programming. Those industries contributed $1.01 trillion in value-added services to the nation's GDP in 2012. That's up from $965 billion in 2011 and $885 billion in 2009, according to research slated to be released Tuesday morning by the International Intellectual Property Alliance, a private coalition representing the Motion Picture Assn. of America, the Recording Industry Assn. of America and other groups... The findings are being released in advance of a congressional subcommittee hearing on copyright issues, one of several to be held on the topic in Washington over the next several months. Maria Pallante, register of copyrights at the U.S. Copyright Office, has signaled her support for updating federal copyright law."
Monday, November 18, 2013
Angered by MOOC Deals, San Jose State Faculty Senate Considers Rebuff; Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/18/13
Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education; Angered by MOOC Deals, San Jose State Faculty Senate Considers Rebuff: "Mohammad H. Qayoumi, president of San Jose State University, has spent much of the year turning his campus into a testing ground for new online-teaching tools. But apparently he's also been testing the patience of faculty members, who say the idea of shared governance has been all but forgotten as he has sought technology that might eventually help the university teach more students for less money. Now the faculty is striking back. The Academic Senate is expected to vote on Monday on a proposed policy that would forbid the university to sign contracts with outside technology providers without the approval of tenured and tenure-track faculty members in whatever department would be affected... Mr. Qayoumi has cultivated close relationships with edX and Udacity, two major providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, and it's those relationships that have sparked conflicts with the faculty. EdX is a nonprofit undertaking backed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while Udacity is a for-profit enterprise founded by three Stanford University computer scientists. The fieriest clash occurred in late April, when philosophy professors at the university, dismayed by the provost's suggestion that they incorporate material from a famous Harvard professor's edX course into the curriculum, published an open letter in The Chronicle criticizing the notion of "one-size-fits-all vendor-designed" courses."
Article: WIPO Director Gurry In Hot Seat On Eve Of Election Deadline; Intellectual Property Watch, 11/18/13
William New, Intellectual Property Watch; Article: WIPO Director Gurry In Hot Seat On Eve Of Election Deadline: "An article in the local Geneva press today asserts that World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry is in the hot seat over the inability of member states to pass a budget for the UN agency. The article ties the budget delay in part to member states’ concern over Gurry’s signing of a deal to set up an external WIPO office in Moscow following a 2011 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It also raises serious issues over alleged DNA gathered from the offices of several WIPO employees without their knowledge during the tumultuous transition of Gurry’s WIPO predecessor, who stepped down a year early in 2008. The 18 November article, which appeared in the Tribune de Geneve, is available here (in French)."
Friday, November 15, 2013
Claire Cain Miller and Julie Bosman, New York Times; Siding With Google, Judge Says Book Search Does Not Infringe Copyright: "[Judge Denny Chin] cited the benefits for librarians, researchers, students, teachers, scholars, data scientists and underserved populations like disabled people who cannot read print books or those in remote places without libraries. He said it also helped authors and publishers by creating new audiences and sources of income... Paul Aiken, the executive director of the Authors Guild, said in an interview that the result was “obviously disappointing” and that the authors would appeal. “Google created unauthorized digital versions of most of the world’s copyright-protected books — certainly most of the valuable copyright-protected books in the world,” he said.“Google created unauthorized digital versions of most of the world’s copyright-protected books — certainly most of the valuable copyright-protected books in the world,” he said. Google issued a statement that said, “Google Books is in compliance with copyright law and acts like a card catalog for the digital age — giving users the ability to find books to buy or borrow.”... Case law has changed during that time, but so has the attitude toward digital texts, said Jonathan Band, a copyright lawyer for the Library Copyright Alliance, which filed an amicus brief in support of Google. “There’s an understanding that the way this technology works, there’s going to be copying,” he said. “And that there’s a sensibility in the courts that as long as the whole work is not displayed, and as long as the rights-holder isn’t harmed, then this copying that goes on behind the curtain just doesn’t matter.”"
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Peter Sayer IDG News Service via PC World; Leaked treaty draft shows US at loggerheads with Pacific states on copyright: "A secretive international trade treaty up for discussion next week could have far-reaching effects on Internet services, copyright law and civil liberties, a draft of the treaty obtained by Wikileaks suggests. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement's 95-page draft chapter on intellectual property highlights disagreements between the negotiating parties, often pitting the U.S. and Australia on the one hand against Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam on the other... The countries are fighting over rules that could extend the duration of copyright, limit exceptions to copyright, raise the level of damages for breaking technical protection measures such as digital rights management, and strengthen patents for drugs, medical procedures and living organisms."
Reuters; Google prevails over authors in book-scanning U.S. lawsuit: "Google Inc on Thursday won dismissal of a lawsuit by authors who accused the Web search and media group of digitally copying millions of books for an online library without permission. U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan accepted Google's argument that its scanning of more than 20 million books, and making "snippets" of text available for online searches, constituted "fair use" under U.S. copyright law."
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Ben Sisario, New York Times; In Music Piracy Battles, Lyrics Demand Respect Too: "When the forces of the music industry go after websites for using copyrighted content without permission, that content tends to come in the form of MP3 files or YouTube videos. But the National Music Publishers’ Association, a trade group representing thousands of publishers, noted in an online news conference on Monday that the Internet was also filled with sites that reprint song lyrics without licenses, selling advertising based on the enormous traffic they attract. According to the association, there are five million Google searches each day for lyrics, and more than half of all lyric page views are on unlicensed sites."
Monday, November 11, 2013
Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times; MPAA backs anti-piracy curriculum for elementary school students: "A draft of the curriculum, first published by Wired magazine, was blasted for presenting what critics said was a one-sided view of intellectual property by omitting the concept of fair use, which allows for the reproduction of copyrighted works without permission in certain cases, such as commentary and parody. "It sends the message that you always have to get permission before you can copy anything and that sharing is always theft and that if you violate copyright law all kinds of bad things will happen to you," said Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "It's a scare tactic." Fabio Marino, intellectual property rights attorney with the law firm McDermott Will & Emery, added, "The idea of educating the public starting with children about copyrights is a good one, but if you're going to do it, you should do it in an unbiased way.""
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Iranian publisher purchases copyright of Persian translation of George R. R. Martin’s works; 11/11/13, Tehran Times
Tehran Times; Iranian publisher purchases copyright of Persian translation of George R. R. Martin’s works: "An Iranian publisher has purchased the Persian translation copyright of all works by American master of modern fantasy George R. R. Martin (1948). Based on a recent agreement, Behnam Publications will have the rights in Iran and all Persian-speaking countries to translate and distribute books by Martin, an author of fantasy, horror, and science fiction prose, the translator of his books in Iran, Milad Fashtami, told the Persian service of ISNA on Sunday. Since Iran has not joined the Universal Copyright Convention yet, this will help respect and observe the rights of the writer, Fashtami said."
Friday, November 8, 2013
Guardian; Jay Z sued by TufAmerica over alleged copyright infringement: "Jay Z is being sued for allegedly sampling Eddie Bo's 1969 single Hook and Sling – Part 1 without permission. TufAmerica, the label representing Bo, claims that the sample appears in Jay Z's 2009 single Run This Town, which also featured Rihanna and co-producer Kanye West... TufAmerica has a history of suing over copyright infringement, with claims filed against the Beastie Boys, Christina Aguilera and West."
Law graduate film buff fined 10,000 yuan for copyright infringement; South China Morning Post, 11/8/13
Keira Lu Huang, South China Morning Post; Law graduate film buff fined 10,000 yuan for copyright infringement: "A 30-year-old Chinese man received a suspended sentence of three years in jail and fined 10,000 yuan for copyright infringement in Jiangyin, Jiangsu province on Wednesday. According to the Jiangyin People’s Court, Zhang graduated from an elite Chinese University with a degree in international economic law. However, instead of pursuing a legal career, Zhang, an enthusiastic movie fan, devoted himself to translating non-mainstream art films and selling them online. Zhang even learned English, French, Japanese, German, Russian and Korean to help him in his work... In China, awareness of copyright protection has slowly been building over the past 20 years... Zhang works alone and has always been aware that his actions violated the law, but he didn’t treat the copyright regulations seriously."
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education; With Open Platform, Stanford Seeks to Reclaim MOOC Brand: "Now Stanford is looking to reclaim some leadership in the MOOC movement from the private companies down the street. For some of its offerings it has started using Open edX, the open-source platform developed by edX, an East Coast nonprofit provider of MOOCs. And Stanford is marshaling its resources and brainpower to improve its own online infrastructure. In doing so, the university is putting its weight behind an open-source alternative that could help others develop MOOCs independently of proprietary companies. Why? "There are people who are uncomfortable for a range of reasons," says Jane Manning, director of platforms for Stanford Online, the university's new online-learning arm. "They've seen what happened on the research side of the house with the academic publishers, where academic publishers ended up having a lot of pricing power.""
Curtis Kendrick and Irene Gashurov, Educause Review; Libraries in the Time of MOOCs: "MOOCs give librarians new opportunities to help shape the conversation about changes in higher education and to guide administrators, faculty, and students through these changes. To assume this role, librarians must understand the MOOCs landscape. Numerous stakeholders will have an interest in the massive intellectual property that ultimately resides in libraries' owned and licensed digital repositories. Studying and adopting technologies to manage and monitor MOOC usage of library resources will be essential to controlling access and tightening Internet safeguards."
University of Minnesota - University Libraries; Thinking Through Fair Use [Interactive Tool for determining when use of a copyrighted work is fair use]: "Thinking Through Fair Use: Even after you've fully educated yourself about fair use (the information on our site is just a start), it can be difficult to remember all the relevant issues when you're looking at a potential use you'd like to make. We've developed one tool that may assist you in your thought process. The Office for Information Technology Policy of the American Library Association also steps you through the process with a similar interactive tool."
Copyright trolling: Make money by scaring people; District Dispatch, The Official ALA Washington Office Blog, 11/4/13
Carrie Russell, District Dispatch, The Official ALA Washington Office Blog; Copyright trolling: Make money by scaring people: "Actual copyright lawsuits against schools and librarians are rare. There are provisions in the copyright law that safeguard educators and librarians from statutory damages when they believed their use of a protected work was fair. The Eleventh Amendment shields institutions funded by the state from statutory damages. In other words, there is little money that can be awarded to the rights holder even if the case goes their way. Second, don’t fall for these hijinks. Just because a rights holder says you are an infringer does not mean that you are. More importantly, learn about fair use which is the most important thing you should know about copyright. This alone will help you better serve your community as a professional committed to the school’s educational mission and access to information for all."
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Brian Stelter, New York Times; Disney and Dish Wrangle Not Over Broadcast Fees, but the Future of TV: "Of course money always matters, but often, as in the Dish-Disney negotiations, which are steadily advancing in private, the bigger sticking points involve digital rights... At the same time, the industrywide plan to let paying subscribers log onto websites and watch television on laptop computers, tablets and phones, sometimes known as “TV Everywhere,” has not made nearly as much progress as its proponents would like. Both sides, the Disneys that produce programming and the Dish Networks that deliver it, say they are working on behalf of subscribers to make live and on-demand television more readily accessible. But conflicts keep cropping up, sometimes leading to programming blackouts. “Consumers are demanding, more and more, that they be enabled to watch whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want,” said Michael Willner, chief executive of Penthera Partners, who ran the cable operator Insight Communications until it was sold to Time Warner Cable last year. “The question on the table today is whether consumers are getting those rights with their current cable or satellite subscriptions or will they have to pay for them separately.”"
Monday, November 4, 2013
Tamar Lewin, New York Times; U.S. Teams Up With Operator of Online Courses to Plan a Global Network: "Coursera, a California-based venture that has enrolled five million students in its free online courses, announced on Thursday a partnership with the United States government to create “learning hubs” around the world where students can go to get Internet access to free courses supplemented by weekly in-person class discussions with local teachers or facilitators. The learning hubs represent a new stage in the evolution of “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, and address two issues: the lack of reliable Internet access in some countries, and the growing conviction that students do better if they can discuss course materials, and meet at least occasionally with a teacher or facilitator... Coursera is joining forces with the State Department’s MOOC Camp Initiative, now operating in 40 countries — about half using Coursera courses, and the other half courses from such providers as edX and Open Yale, whose courses are also available free on the Internet."
Randy Kennedy, New York Times; Tug of War Stretches Architect’s Legacy: "Ms. Magid, who has delved deeply into many of Barragán’s personal papers, letters and books that remain in a smaller archive in Mexico City, has made intellectual property rights a front-and-center subject of her show at Art in General mainly by going to gymnastic lengths to stay just outside the bounds of copyright infringement. Images of Barragán works are not reproduced. Instead she bought several copies of a 2001 Barragán book by Ms. Zanco and hung them on the wall like ready-mades, with frames around images so they resemble photographic prints. Unable to get the Swiss foundation to loan a Butaca chair, one of Barragán rare furniture creations, Ms. Magid photographed a miniature of the chair once produced by Vitra and enlarged it to actual size. Ms. Zanco has warned Ms. Magid in writing to be wary of “copyright implications” in the way she pursues her own Barragán fascinations. But in the interview, Ms. Zanco insisted that she bears no animus toward the artist: “The questions she poses are compelling,” she said. “I love that.” She added that she hoped the two could collaborate in the future."
Intellectual Property Watch; UK Implements Copyright Term Extension From 50 to 70 Years: "The United Kingdom has announced the implementation of new rules that extend the term of copyright for sound recordings and performers rights in such recordings from 50 to 70 years."
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Bill Bryson's copyright stoush with Mike Gerrard has wider implications; Sydney Morning Herald, 10/18/13
Nick Galvin, Sydney Morning Herald; Bill Bryson's copyright stoush with Mike Gerrard has wider implications: "Author Bill Bryson's warm and cuddly image has been somewhat tarnished after his publishers reportedly turned on a journalist for republishing an interview from nearly 20 years ago. British travel writer and guidebook author Mike Gerrard, who interviewed Bryson in 1994, recently decided to republish the interview as an 8000-word, 27-page e-book. According to travel industry blog, World Travel Market, Bryson’s lawyers took exception to Gerrard’s enterprise, claiming it breached the award-winning author's copyright. They demanded the book be removed from the Amazon store, a request Amazon agreed to, much to Gerrard’s annoyance."
Ben Sisario, New York Times; In Dispute Over a Song, Marvin Gaye’s Family Files a Countersuit: "According to the suit, which was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, a musicologist, Judith Finell, studied “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give It Up” and found “a constellation of at least eight distinctive and important compositional elements” between them... In a statement, Sony/ATV said that another musicologist had determined that “Blurred Lines” did not infringe on “Got to Give It Up,” and also defended its corporate role as a steward for songwriters."
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
15 years ago, Congress kept Mickey Mouse out of the public domain. Will they do it again?; Washington Post, 10/25/13
Timothy B. Lee, Washington Post; 15 years ago, Congress kept Mickey Mouse out of the public domain. Will they do it again? : "For most of history, a great character or story or song has passed from its original creator into the public domain. Shakespeare and Charles Dickens and Beethoven are long dead, but Macbeth and Oliver Twist and the Fifth Symphony are part of our shared cultural heritage, free to be used or re-invented by anyone on the planet who is so inclined. But 15 years ago this Sunday, President Clinton signed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which retroactively extended copyright protection. As a result, the great creative output of the 20th century, from Superman to "Gone With the Wind" to Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue," were locked down for an extra 20 years. Without the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, the book Gone with the Wind would have fallen into the public domain at the end of 2011, and the film would fall into the public domain at the end of 2014. (MGM) It was a windfall to the families and corporations that owned these lucrative copyrights. But it meant these iconic works would be off-limits to those who wanted to reuse or reinvent them without permission. And hundreds of thousands of lesser-known works aren’t available at all, because there's no cost-effective way to obtain permission to republish them. The copyright extension Clinton signed will expire in five years. Copyright holders like the Disney Corp. and the Gershwin estate have a strong incentive to try to extend copyright extension yet further into the future. But with the emergence of the Internet as a political organizing tool, opponents of copyright extension will be much better prepared. The question for the coming legislative battle on copyright is who will prevail: those who would profit from continuing to lock up the great works of the 20th century, or those who believe Bugs Bunny should be as freely available for reuse as Little Red Riding Hood."
Vitalii Soldatenko, Wired.com; Copyright and Intellectual Property: Change is Coming: "Against the backdrop of the new developments and opportunities in today’s information-centric culture, copyright registration can be an obsolete mean to an ineffective end. In many cases, it’s even a limiting factor for industry development, and oddly enough, infringes on the rights of authors. Our current intellectual property system benefits corporations by complicating the process of protecting the rights of content creators. In an era where opportunities and innovations abound our system is almost a tragic comedy."
FYI: Free Online Webinar Wed. Afternoon Oct. 30th: Copyright & Accessibility for Uploaded, Downloaded, Using Videos- esp. YouTube, October 30, 2013 3:00 PM EDT
FYI: "Free Online Webinar Wed. Afternoon Oct. 30th: Copyright & Accessibility for Uploaded, Downloaded, Using Videos- esp. YouTube, October 30, 2013 3:00 PM EDT Members Exchange: Copyright & Accessibility for Uploaded, Downloaded, Using Videos- esp. YouTube, October 30, 2013 3:00 PM EDT Bookmark and Share Members Exchange: Copyright & Accessibility for Uploaded, Downloaded, Using Videos- esp. YouTube October 30, 2013 3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time Leaders: Steve Gilbert and others Copyright for uploaded videos: Creative Commons, YouTube Accessibility for Videos: Captions, Tags, Transcription Accessibility: Google/YouTube This session is free to TLT Group Individual Members, to TOL4B registrants and planners. Don't forget to use the email address where you received this message as your username and login password when you come to the session. All of the TLT Group’s online offerings include use of “low threshold” tools, examination of controversial issues, options for participants with a range of experience, and suggestions for assessment as you integrate what you’ve learned into your repertoire. More information and online registration: Members Exchange: Copyright & Accessibility for Uploaded, Downloaded, Using Videos- esp. YouTube, October 30"
New York Times; Seeking Students’ Short ‘Hamlet’ Videos: "“Brevity is the soul of wit,” declares Polonius in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” And perhaps short videos of lines from one of the Bard’s most-loved plays will expose the souls of their performers, too. So The New York Times invites student actors and actresses to submit their performances of lines from “Hamlet” using Instagram. The Times’s critics have been cataloging the recent bounty of professional performances of Shakespeare’s plays. And with several stagings of “Hamlet” opening soon, we’d like to see how high school and college students interpret key lines from the play using the cameras and apps on the smartphones they might be carrying... The deadline to submit a video link is Dec. 1, [sic???] 2103. The best videos will be featured on nytimes.com later in December... By submitting to us, you are promising that the content is original, doesn’t plagiarize from anyone or infringe a copyright or trademark, doesn’t violate anybody’s rights and isn’t libelous or otherwise unlawful or misleading. You are agreeing that we can use your submission in all manner and media of The New York Times and that we shall have the right to authorize third parties to do so. And you agree to the rules of our Member Agreement, found online at our website."
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Peter Kimpton, Guardian; Web inventor's open data organisation announces new global network: "Just one year after its foundation in London, an organisation created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt to stimulate economic, environmental and social innovation through a system of open data sharing and analysis, has announced rapid global expansion of its ambitions. The Open Data Institute has announced the launch of 13 international centres, known as "nodes", each of which will bring together companies, universities, and NGOs that support open data projects and communities. The nodes will be based in the US, Canada, France, Dubai, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Argentina, with two extra US nodes Chicago and North Carolina. Three further UK nodes are to open in Manchester, Leeds and Brighton. The new ODI nodes will variously operate at local and national levels. Each one has agreed to adopt the ODI Charter, which is a open source codification of the ODI itself, and embodies principles of open data business, publishing, communication, and collaboration."
Sarah Lyall, New York Times; Star Characters, Spun Anew, May Live Well More Than Twice: "Authors’ estates that still hold copyright — in the case of Fleming, this will last until 2034, 70 years after his death — stand to make tidy profits from licensing the rights for sequels, and can also lure new readers to old franchises. “This is bringing a fresh, new interesting life to Bond,” said Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications. It’s “about the heritage,” she said, not the money... As for Mr. McCall Smith’s plans to rework “Emma,” various commenters groused on the BBC Web site that if there was ever a case to be made for not tampering with perfection, this was it. Mr. McCall Smith, though, said his assignment was simply to use “Emma” as a starting point for his own imagination. Austen has developed into a cottage industry, with reimagined books and movies — “Clueless,” “The Jane Austen Book Club,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” to name a few — appearing all the time. And the publishing world is littered with the entrails of authorized sequels to Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind,” including Emma Tennant’s “Tara” (the book fell apart when she fell out with the Mitchell estate) and Alexandra Ripley’s “Scarlett,” a commercial success but a critical disaster."
Friday, October 25, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle; Judge weighs restraining order in copyright case: "A federal judge is mulling whether to issue a restraining order against a former Idaho National Laboratory researcher being sued for copyright infringement of cybersecurity software he helped design as an employee of the lab. Lawyers for INL operator Battelle Energy Alliance filed a lawsuit earlier this month against Corey Thuen and his private company, Southfork Security. BEA attorneys contend Thuen copied cybersecurity software called Sophia, which tracks the network connections of energy facilities to detect unusual activity and alert the operator. The software is designed specifically for facilities that provide oil, electricity and natural gas across the nation."
Thursday, October 24, 2013
George Williams, Chronicle of Higher Education; “What Is Open Access?” An Explanatory Video: "As I wrote on Monday, it’s currently Open Access Week. If you’re unclear what, exactly, all the hubbub is about, then you’re in luck! Last year, a roughly 8-minute, animated video was created by Jorge Cham — creator of the comic strip PhD Comics — Nick Shockey of the Right to Research Coalition, and Jonathan Eisen, a biologist at the University of California Davis. You can watch the video embedded above, or go directly to the YouTube page where the video is hosted."
Adi Kamdar, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); Open Access Week 2013: The Time for Reform Is Now: "Today kicks off the sixth annual global Open Access Week. Open Access Week is at once a celebration and a call to action. Universities, libraries, organizations, and companies are hosting events all around the world to promote the ideals of open access: free, online availability of and unfettered access to scholarly works... On the national level, the most movement recently has occurred in the Executive Branch, where over twenty federal agencies have submitted open access plans to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in order to implement the White House's public access directive... While we are encouraged by the progress that has been made on the part of the agencies, we are concerned that the publishers are pushing an alternative plan—known as CHORUS—that would seriously cripple public access. In this scenario, the publishers themselves would be in charge of providing the nation public access to scholarly works according to their own rules... We've put our weight behind the Fair Access to Science & Technology Research Act (FASTR), which would open up a host of important and potentially life-saving research to the world at large. Although not perfect, the bill reduces the "embargo" period on papers to six months, meaning such papers must be freely available no later than half a year after publication."
Darren heitner, Forbes; Is The NFL Committing Copyright Infringement By Using Photos Without Consent? : "On October 21, 2013, seven photographers filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the National Football League (NFL), Replay Photos, Getty Images and the Associated Press. The lawsuit requests damages for copyright infringement from all the defendants, damages for vicarious and contributory copyright infringement, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. The basis for the action is that the NFL has used photos in violation of the photographers’ copyrights in the same. The photographers further allege that the NFL’s failed to receive consent to use the photos in connection with the NFL’s advertisements, news, promotions and products."
Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter; Sony Music Sues United Airlines Over In-Flight Music: "On Tuesday, Sony Music and various subsidiary labels brought a lawsuit against United Airlines, Inflight Productions and Rightscom over copyrighted music being made available through in-flight systems. According to a complaint filed in New York federal court, the defendants are duplicating sound recordings and music videos, installing the allegedly infringed copies to servers located on board aircraft and then transmitting performances to passengers. All without paying any baggage fees."
Darren Heitner, Forbes; Questions Concerning Copyright Of Athlete Tattoos Has Companies Scrambling: "The ink issue is over who owns the copyright to the images depicted by the tattoos emblazoned on athletes’ bodies. According to sources speaking to FORBES on condition of anonymity, the issue of copyright ownership concerning tattoos on football players has very recently been labeled as a pressing issue by the NFL Players Association. One source said, “I don’t blame [the NFLPA], but they should have been on top of it earlier. It was something that was mentioned at the NFL Combine — that was the first I had ever heard them mention anything on the issue of tattoos. They advised agents to tell their players that when they get tattoos going forward they should get a release from the tattoo artist and if they can track down their former artists, they should get a release.” While it is just now garnering attention within the world of sports, copyright ownership of body ink was the subject of a contentious lawsuit between S. Victor Whitmill and Warner Bros. when the film studio placed a tattoo on the face of actor Ed Helms in “The Hangover Part 2″ that mirrored the popular tattoo Whitmill designed for the face of former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world Mike Tyson. Before the case settled out of court, Whitmill alleged that he owned the copyright to the design of the face tattoo. This raised the question: does the person who receives a tattoo own the images that are tattooed on him or is the copyright owned by the tattoo artist? It is a question that has not been ruled upon by the U.S. Supreme Court... The question of whether a tattoo even warrants copyright protection is answered by Jeffrey Harrison, University of Florida Levin College of Law professor of Copyright. ”If it is copyrightable on paper, it’s similarly copyrightable on any medium that lasts, including skin,” said Harrison to FORBES."
Jim Dalrymple II, Salt Lake Tribune; Goblin topplers video removed after Utahn files copyright claim: "The Goblin Valley topplers video, which sparked outrage across the Internet, is disappearing. By Wednesday afternoon the video posted by The Salt Lake Tribune Oct. 17 had been removed from YouTube. In its place, the video hosting site displayed a short message: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Dave Hall." Hall shot the video, which showed Glenn Taylor pushing over a "goblin" rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park, then uploaded it to Facebook. After the video attracted attention from media and officials on the social network, The Tribune broke the story about the incident and an ensuing criminal investigation."
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Nella Letizia, American Libraries; How Open Access Scholarship Saves Lives: "According to Jason Priem, ImpactStory cofounder and doctoral student in information science at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, important parts of the scientific process, once hidden, are gradually being exposed online. As the workflows of scholars are moving online, the stuff of day-to-day science— conversations, arguments, recommendations, reads, bookmarks—leave traces on websites such as Mendeley, Twitter, blogs, and Faculty of 1000. Mining these traces, in addition to utilizing traditional metrics such as citation counts and journal impact factors, can give researchers and publishers faster, more diverse, and more accurate data of scholarly impact. Cancer detection breakthrough thanks to open access Open access caught international attention recently in part because of high-school student Jack Andraka of Crownsville, Maryland, who, in 2012 at the age of 15, developed a revolutionary cancer detection test. Designed to detect the presence of a protein for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer at the early stages, the test costs 3 cents, takes five minutes to run, and is more than 90% accurate, according to the Right to Research Coalition. The test is also 26,667 times cheaper, 168 times faster, and 400 times more sensitive than the current pancreatic cancer test. To research his cancer detection method, Andraka read free online articles he found at scientific journal websites and the PubMed Central. But, he noted, paid subscription requirements from other journals were an impediment."
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed; Not-So-Great Expectations: "Politics aside, Slocum’s case and others like it in recent months raise an important question: In the age of social media and smartphones, what expectations – if any – should professors have for privacy for lectures and communications intended for students? Very little, said Slocum – but that’s “an acknowledgement of fact, of the way the Internet works, rather than a normative statement.” Privacy and intellectual property experts agreed, saying that such communications are fair game for students to share. Higher education has a complicated relationship with copyright and other ownership questions, experts said, due to historical concerns about academic freedom. Legally, however, most all of what professors say to students in lectures and in e-mails would pass the "fair use" doctrine test, making it O.K. for students to record, share and comment on even copyrighted material for non-commercial purposes. “All of us have to figure out what our expectations should be in an age of smartphones and the Internet,” said Jessica Litman, a professor of law and information at the University of Michigan who specializes in intellectual property -- professors included... “Copyright doesn't protect extemporaneous utterances unless they are recorded with the permission of their author -- here, the speaker -- so he would have no copyright claim,” she said. If Penn’s lecture had been written down – including the “rant” – he could have a copyright claim, Litman said. But in that case, the student who recorded it would have a plausible fair use defense, she added, referring to the section of copyright law that allows for unlicensed, non-commercial use of copyrighted material."
Friday, October 18, 2013
Jasper Hamill, Forbes; Copyright Pirates Vow To Fight On After Filesharing Site Isohunt Walks The Plank: "Internet pirates are preparing to set sail for new waters following the shutdown of the decade-old filesharing site Isohunt. Following a long court battle, the world-famous site agreed to switch off the lights for good today and pay out a mammoth $110 million settlement, although there’s little sense of where this cash will come from and how it will be handed over to movie studios. However, supporters claimed the court case represented little more than a “paper victory” in an age where content was freely available to anyone who knows where to look. They vowed to continue campaigning for copyright reform."
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Steven Bell, Library Journal; In Higher Ed Some Intellectual Property Counts More Than Others: "The new AAUP Draft Intellectual Property Statement has nothing to say about works of scholarly publication. Are they not intellectual property? Or does some property count more than others? Faculty have always created content for their institutions. In the pre-digital world, there was far less tension between institutions and their faculty over who owned syllabi or course notes. The opportunity for mass distribution and potential profit beyond the institution was rare. Fast-forward to an age where online course content is widely produced by faculty, as well as marketable inventions that might offer big returns to universities. To maintain peace on campus, it’s critical for institutions to develop ownership policies that guide how faculty content and patentable inventions are managed and shared. This is particularly important as higher education increasingly goes online, and faculty seek clear rights to their video lectures and other content that is easily distributed and offered by other faculty at the same or other institutions. As higher education monetizes its intellectual goods, why are some scholarly assets being ignored?"
Stuart Dredge, Guardian; Kim Dotcom's Mega 'not being used for wide-scale copyright infringement' : ""Kim Dotcom may be seen as a villainous pirate-king by the creative industries, but his Mega cloud storage service is attracting white-collar professionals, according to its chief executive Vikram Kumar. "The segment that seems to be most interested in Mega, and in paying for space, security and privacy tends to be professionals," Kumar told the Copyright and Technology conference in London this morning, beaming in for his keynote interview via Skype. "Accountants, lawyers, financial advisers, architects... These are people that want to use the internet, are concerned that their confidential client information may get compromised, and who are willing to pay for security and privacy online.""
Brian Stelter, New York Times; An Alliance in Media Petitions Justices: "The nation’s biggest television broadcasters are collectively asking for the Supreme Court’s support in their quest to stop Aereo, a small Internet start-up that threatens some of the underpinnings of the TV business. In a filing on Friday, the media companies petitioned the court to determine whether Aereo’s method of sending television signals to paying subscribers from small antenna farms violates decades-old copyright law. Aereo says it does not, but the companies say it does. Lower court rulings on the matter have mostly favored Aereo to date. “Today’s filing underscores our resolve to see justice done,” one of the petitioners, Fox Television Stations, said Friday. “Make no mistake, Aereo is stealing our broadcast signal.” The other petitioners included divisions of the Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC; Comcast, which owns NBC and Telemundo; CBS, PBS and Univision. All of the companies own local television stations that transmit over the public airwaves and normally compete with one another; by joining together they are presenting a united front against what they say is Aereo’s illegal disruption of their business model. They are aware that they face long odds: the court grants about 1 percent of all petitions filed... Aereo, which is backed by the former Fox network co-founder Barry Diller, exploits what some analysts have called a loophole in copyright law involving public performances."
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
John Barnett, University of Pittsburgh ULS Scholarly Communications Librarian, has kindly provided the information below about two upcoming presentations: Event #1- Copyright & Your Research Tuesday, October 22, 4 to 5 pm Ballroom A, University Club Speaker: Peter B. Hirtle, Senior Policy Advisor, Cornell University Library, and Research Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet Security and Society, Harvard University * Learn about copyrights, author agreements, and publishing contracts * Learn to navigate public access requirements in federal grants * Discover new publishing options for Pitt authors Event #2- Open Access Policies: Coming Attractions Thursday, October 24, 4 to 5 pm Ballroom A, University Club Speaker: Michael W. Carroll, Professor of Law and director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, American University, Washington College of Law * Learn more about the White House directive on Open Access and the University of California System policy on Open Access * Better understand how scholarly publishing will be impacted * Discover the importance of reuse rights for Open Access works
Michael Cieply, New York Times; Suit Filed Against Warner Bros. in Screenplay Theft: "In Hollywood, where everyone is eager to claim credit for a great idea, charges of script theft are as common as cocktail receptions, and usually as fleeting. Few lawsuits ultimately prevail, partly because claimants often overvalue an idea’s originality. But the aggrieved keep trying. Just last week, James Cameron was granted dismissal of a suit — one of several similar actions against him — that claimed he had misappropriated material in creating “Avatar.” Two days earlier, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in a copyright case connected to the 1980 film “Raging Bull.”"
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Mike Masnick, TechDirt.com; Apple Makes Questionable Copyright Claim To Pull Down iTunes Contract: "There had been some buzz a while back when Digital Music News published an entire iTunes Radio contract, which was targeted at smaller indie labels, showing how Apple got to throw its weight around, presenting terms that were very much in Apple's favor over the labels if they wanted to participate in iTunes Radio. However, while it took a few months, Apple's lawyers finally spotted this and they have apparently made a copyright claim to get the contract taken down... That said, I question whether or not this really is a legit takedown. While Apple can claim a copyright on the contract, it seems that DMN has a really strong fair use claim."
Monday, October 14, 2013
South China Morning Post; Copyright theft harms China, too: "China is constantly at the sharp end of Western accusations that it is infringing intellectual property rights. The latest US government violations report keeps it on a priority watch list of 10 nations, expressing "grave concerns" about misappropriation of trade secrets and "incremental progress" in meeting perceived obligations. But theft of patents, designs and copyright is not just a problem in the countries that are named and shamed. It is an international phenomenon that has no boundaries. Hon Lik, the Chinese inventor of the electronic cigarette, well knows that. He claims he is being robbed of a fortune by companies in China and elsewhere that are unlawfully making copycats."
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Intellectual Property Watch; US Copyright Reform Hearing Rescheduled To 12 December  : "A hearing to consider a United States government “green paper” as part of the ongoing reform of the US copyright system has been moved to 12 December due to the government shutdown."
US Signs WIPO Marrakesh Treaty On Copyright Exceptions For The Blind; Intellectual Property Watch, 10/11/13
Intellectual Property Watch; US Signs WIPO Marrakesh Treaty On Copyright Exceptions For The Blind: "Despite signing, the United States might be a long way from ratifying the June 2013 treaty, as noted by Jonathan Band of policybandwidth in Washington, DC, who first announced the US signing. “Of course, signing the treaty is different from ratifying it,” he said on a listserv. “Signing the treaty was a decision within the control of the Obama Administration. Ratification requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, and the Senate Republicans have refused to ratify over 30 treaties signed by a variety of administrations over the past four decades, if not longer.”"