Monday, March 28, 2011

Joanne Siegel’s posthumous appeal to Warner Bros.;, 3/28/11; Joanne Siegel’s posthumous appeal to Warner Bros. :

"“My daughter Laura and I, as well as the Shuster estate, have done nothing more than exercise our rights under the Copyright Act,” Siegel wrote in the letter, obtained and published by Deadline. “Yet, your company has chosen to sue us and our long-time attorney for protecting our rights. [...] The solution to saving time, trouble, and expense is a change of viewpoint. Laura and I are legally owed our share of Superman profits since 1999. By paying the owed bill in full, as you pay other business bills, it would be handled as a business matter, instead of a lawsuit going into its 5th year.”"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

With Google Settlement Rejected, Library Groups Keep Eye on Access; Library Journal, 3/24/11

Josh Hadro, Library Journal; With Google Settlement Rejected, Library Groups Keep Eye on Access:

"What the vast majority of librarians hoped to see out of this lawsuit was a precedent-setting determination on the fair-use right to index and search copyrighted materials (recalling the scope of the initial complaint against Google). Barring that, most considered an acceptable consolation prize to be easy access to a full-text union archive of the nation's premier research collections, as the settlement would have provided.

As of Tuesday, neither of those options are in the offing. What librarians can look forward to instead: a renewed commitment from library advocates to make more content accessible to scholars and to the general public, whether via an alternative settlement agreement or legislative recourse."

NY court: Keep Internet copyright disputes at home; Sydney Morning Herald, 3/25/11

Michael Virtanen, Sydney Morning Herald; NY court: Keep Internet copyright disputes at home:

"New York's top court ruled Thursday that publishers should file Internet copyright infringement lawsuits in courts where their businesses are located, even if alleged copyright violations occurred elsewhere."

Baidu apologises to writers in copyright dispute; Sydney Morning Herald, 3/27/11

Sydney Morning Herald; Baidu apologises to writers in copyright dispute:

"Chinese search engine giant Baidu apologised on Saturday to writers who accused it of violating their copyright and promised to delete infringing items within the next three days."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Google, Authors, Will Need To Rethink Digital Book Settlement; Intellectual Property Watch, 3/23/11

Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch; Google, Authors, Will Need To Rethink Digital Book Settlement:

"In his conclusion, Chin said that objectors, including the US government have said that “many of the concerns raised in the objections would be ameliorated if the ASA were converted from an opt-out settlement to an opt-in settlement.” He urged the parties “to consider revising the ASA accordingly.”"

Book Ruling Cuts Options for Google; New York Times, 3/23/11

Claire Cain Miller, New York Times; Book Ruling Cuts Options for Google:

"Advocates of open access to orphan works cheered the rejection of the settlement, saying it could pave the way for legislation that would let anyone — not just Google — use the books...

Google has endorsed such legislation in the past, and people briefed on the negotiations said they expected Google to now aggressively pursue it in Congress."

A Digital Library Better Than Google’s; New York Times, 3/23/11

Robert Darnton, New York Times; A Digital Library Better Than Google’s:

"Perhaps Google itself could be enlisted to the cause of the digital public library. It has scanned about 15 million books; two million of that total are in the public domain and could be turned over to the library as the foundation of its collection. The company would lose nothing by this generosity, and might win admiration for its good deed."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Copyright troll Righthaven achieves spectacular "fair use" loss;, 3/22/11

Nate Anderson,; Copyright troll Righthaven achieves spectacular "fair use" loss:

"Last Friday, a federal judge ruled in one of the company's many lawsuits, saying that even the complete republication of copyrighted newspaper content can be "fair use."...

At a hearing last week, the judge decided that CIO's use of the full article text was, in fact, a fair use under the "four-factor test" enshrined in law."

Judge Rejects Google’s Deal to Digitize Books; New York Times, 3/22/11

Miguel Helft, New York Times; Judge Rejects Google’s Deal to Digitize Books:

"A federal judge in New York rejected Google’s $125 million class-action settlement with authors and publishers, delivering a blow to the company’s ambitious plan to build the world’s largest digital library and bookstore.

The deal was rejected by Judge Denny Chin of United States District Court, who said the deal went too far in granting Google rights to exploit books without permission from copyright owners."

Early Finding of Cal State U. E-Textbook Study: Terms Matter; Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/21/11

Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education; Early Finding of Cal State U. E-Textbook Study: Terms Matter:

"Whether or not students liked their digital textbooks depended on what rules publishers set on how the digital books could be used.

“Every publisher has a little bit different terms and conditions,” said Gerard L. Hanley, senior director of academic technology services at California State University’s office of the chancellor. Such rules, including whether a student can print the whole book or only a portion of it, or whether the text can be downloaded to a computer or only accessed online, “really impact the students’ ability to use the content,” he added."

Judge Rules Against Richard Prince in Copyright Case; New York Times, 3/21/11

Randy Kennedy, New York Times; Judge Rules Against Richard Prince in Copyright Case:

"A federal judge in Manhattan has ruled against the artist Richard Prince in a closely watched copyright case, finding that Mr. Prince – who is well known for appropriating imagery created by others – violated the law by using photographs from a book about Rastafarians to create a series of collages and paintings."

Once in the Public’s Hands, Now Back in Picasso’s; New York Times, 3/21/11

Adam Liptak, New York Times; Once in the Public’s Hands, Now Back in Picasso’s:

"The new case asks whether Congress acted constitutionally in 1994 by restoring copyrights in foreign works that had belonged to the public, including films by Alfred Hitchcock and Federico Fellini, books by C. S. Lewis and Virginia Woolf, symphonies by Prokofiev and Stravinsky and paintings by Picasso, including “Guernica.”"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Next chapter in recopyright law: Supreme Court; Denver Post, 3/8/11

John Ingold, Denver Post; Next chapter in recopyright law: Supreme Court:

"Although the case involves an obscure subject, it raises important constitutional issues, said Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Stanford University law school's Fair Use Project and another attorney on the case. Copyright, the plaintiffs argue, is like the spike strips in a car-rental parking lot: Once a work crosses over into the public domain, it can't back up...

The government, though, argues the recopyrighting law is necessary to comply with an international treaty, which in turn protects the copyrights of American works in foreign countries."

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Letter to Our Readers About Digital Subscriptions; New York Times, 3/17/11

New York Times; A Letter to Our Readers About Digital Subscriptions:

"This week marks a significant transition for The New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform. The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications."

New York Times to Launch Pay Wall March 28; Wall Street Journal, 3/18/11

Russell Adams, Wall Street Journal; New York Times to Launch Pay Wall March 28:

"The New York Times will begin charging readers for unlimited access to the paper's website March 28, an ambitious effort to get consumers to pay for digital news that the paper has long been giving away."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

As Library E-Books Live Long, Publisher Sets Expiration Date; New York Times, 3/14/11

Julie Bosman, New York Times; As Library E-Books Live Long, Publisher Sets Expiration Date:

"“We are working diligently to try to find terms that satisfy the needs of the libraries and protect the value of our intellectual property,” John Sargent, the chief executive of Macmillan, said in an e-mail. “When we determine those terms, we will sell e-books to libraries. At present we do not.”"

Monday, March 14, 2011

[Press Release] Restrictions on library e-book lending threaten access to information; American Library Association (ALA), 3/14/11

[Press Release] American Library Association (ALA); Restrictions on library e-book lending threaten access to information:

"As libraries cope with stagnant or decreased budgets, the recent decision by publisher HarperCollins to restrict the lending of e-books to a limited number of circulations per copy threatens libraries’ ability to provide their users with access to information...

The Equitable Access to Electronic Information Task Force (EQUACC) and the ALA will soon launch a website dedicated to developing a model for e-book lending."

Copyright System Must “Adapt Or Perish,” WIPO Director Says; Intellectual Property Watch, 3/15/11

William New, Intellectual Property Watch; Copyright System Must “Adapt Or Perish,” WIPO Director Says:

"“The enticing promise of universal access to cultural works has come with a process of creative destruction that has shaken the foundations of the business models of our pre-digital creative industries,” WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry told a recent conference in his native Australia.

He imparted his vision to the Blue Sky conference in Sydney, on the subject of “Future Directions in Copyright Law,” on 25 February.

The question is, Gurry said, “How can society make cultural works available to the widest possible public at affordable prices while, at the same time, assuring a dignified economic existence to creators and performers and the business associates that help them to navigate the economic system?”"

Depositions Reveal; Glimpse of Kirby/Marvel Copyright Lawsuit;, 3/11/11

Brian Cronin,; Depositions Reveal Glimpse of Kirby/Marvel Copyright Lawsuit:

"In summation, as soon as it was announced the Kirby family was going to attempt to terminate the copyrights to the characters in question, it was seen by many to be an uphill battle to get around the "work for hire" roadblock. Jack Kirby's situation at Marvel was quite dissimilar to earlier examples of notable copyright transferees that have received support from the Court, namely Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster selling their Superman strip to DC Comics or Joe Simon and Kirby selling Captain America to Timely, where the characters in question already existed in independent form before the comic book companies got involved. And after reading the five available depositions, the battle doesn't seem to be any less uphill than before."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Library Rights Are at Stake in New Supreme Court Copyright Case; Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/8/11

Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education; Library Rights Are at Stake in New Supreme Court Copyright Case:

"Does Congress have the right to restore copyright protection to foreign works that have fallen into the public domain?

That issue is at the heart of a major copyright case that the Supreme Court agreed to hear yesterday. Its resolution could have implications for libraries’ ability to share works online, advocates say."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fury over 'stupid' restrictions to library ebook loans; Guardian, 3/1/11

Benedicte Page, Guardian; Fury over 'stupid' restrictions to library ebook loans:

"Furious librarians are calling for a boycott of publisher HarperCollins over its decision to put a limit on the number of times its ebooks can be loaned.

Under the new policy, announced by distributor Overdrive in a letter to customers last week, libraries will only be able to lend out each purchased ebook published by HarperCollins a total of 26 times before the book's lifetime expires.

The development has led to an explosion of anger among librarians, who up until now have been able to lend any ebook as often as they like – just as they do with print copies. Loans are generally made via the library's website, with users gaining access via a PIN number, and downloaded ebooks remaining live for a two-week loan period."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

HarperCollins Puts 26 Loan Cap on Ebook Circulations; Library Journal, 2/25/11

Josh Hadro, Library Journal; HarperCollins Puts 26 Loan Cap on Ebook Circulations:

"In the first significant revision to lending terms for ebook circulation, HarperCollins has announced that new titles licensed from library ebook vendors will be able to circulate only 26 times before the license expires."