Sunday, June 1, 2014

New Authors Alliance wants to ease some copyright rules; SFGate, 5/31/14

Meredith May, SFGate; New Authors Alliance wants to ease some copyright rules:
"Academic authors aren't generally known for making a lot of noise, but these days, 250 of them are speaking up to call for a change in U.S. copyright laws, which they say make it hard to access and share their work online. They want the law changed to reflect the reality of publishing in the digital age.
The Bay Area-based Authors Alliance was formed recently at the Internet Archive in San Francisco to push for a new Copyright Act that loosens the restrictions on citing, digitizing and sharing published work...
The new alliance's goals include making it easier for scholars, libraries and private citizens to enter pre-Internet, out-of-print and "orphaned" works whose copyright holders are unknown, into the public domain. They want copyright law clarified and amended to allow libraries, archives and heritage groups the right to digitally reproduce and store books.
"Copyright law is so strict, stretching up to 95 years from publication in some cases, that without the right to digitize it we are in jeopardy of losing our long-term cultural and intellectual history," said alliance founding member Pamela Samuelson, a UC Berkeley law professor who filed briefs on Google's behalf during the eight-year book scanning controversy. The Authors Guild lawsuit against the tech giant was dismissed in November by a federal court in Manhattan."...
Others worried
But the push to allow more digital access to academic work is creating a schism among writers, pitting scholars against commercial writers backed by the Authors Guild, who fear their books could be too easily digitally copied and shared by universities, libraries and corporations, much the same way illegal song sharing has undermined the music industry.
The fears of commercial authors are unfounded, Samuelson maintains."

No comments: