Thursday, May 31, 2012

Judge Allows Class-Action Suit Over Google’s Book Scanning; New York Times, 5/31/12

Julie Bosman, New York Times; Judge Allows Class-Action Suit Over Google’s Book Scanning:

"A federal judge in Manhattan granted class-action status on Thursday to authors suing Google over the company’s ambitious book-scanning project, allowing the long-stalled case to move forward...

James Grimmelmann, a professor at New York Law School who has studied the legal aspects of the case, said the judge’s decision “makes it very likely that we’re going to have a very high-stakes decision about Google’s book-scanning project.”"

Daddy, What Were Compact Discs?; New York Times, 5/30/12

Sam Grobart, New York Times; Daddy, What Were Compact Discs? :

"ONE day, when my children are a little older, I will gather them close and I will tell them about how I lived through the Great Format Wars.

I will recount to them a seemingly endless cycle of battles. From LP to cassette to minidisk (oh wait — not to minidisk) to CD. From Betamax to VHS to DVD to HD-DVD to Blu-ray. From punchcards to magnetic tape to floppy disks to zip drives to DVD-ROMs."

Libraries Grapple With The Downside Of E-Books; NPR's Morning Edition, 5/29/12

Ben Bradford, NPR's Morning Edition; Libraries Grapple With The Downside Of E-Books:

"BRADFORD: Another problem is that almost all U.S. libraries that offer e-books do so through an outside company called Overdrive. And libraries don't actually buy the e-books. They're in a way renting them. Here's Tom Galante, who runs the Queens Library.

GALANTE: When you license content through them, you really aren't owning the content. Every year you have to pay them to continue to have that subscription service or you lose your content that you've already paid for.

BRADFORD: If a library stops using Overdrive, it could lose all the books it's licensed through the company. Robert Wolven heads an American Library Association group that's trying to develop a new model - one that that publishers would buy into and would eliminate middlemen."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Google Publishes Data on Copyright Removal Requests;, 5/24/12

Chloe Albanesius,; Google Publishes Data on Copyright Removal Requests:

"Google today announced plans to disclose the number of copyright-related takedown requests it receives on a daily basis.

The search giant today released information dating back to July 2011 and said it will update the data every day. "The number of requests has been increasing rapidly," Fred von Lohmann, Google's senior copyright counsel, said in a blog post. "These days it's not unusual for us to receive more than 250,000 requests each week, which is more than what copyright owners asked us to remove in all of 2009.""

Saturday, May 26, 2012

UCSF Implements Policy to Make Research Papers Freely Accessible to Public; University of California San Francisco, 5/23/12

Kristen Bole, University of California San Francisco; UCSF Implements Policy to Make Research Papers Freely Accessible to Public:

"The UCSF Academic Senate has voted to make electronic versions of current and future scientific articles freely available to the public, helping to reverse decades of practice on the part of medical and scientific journal publishers to restrict access to research results.

The unanimous vote of the faculty senate makes UCSF the largest scientific institution in the nation to adopt an open-access policy and among the first public universities to do so.

“Our primary motivation is to make our research available to anyone who is interested in it, whether they are members of the general public or scientists without costly subscriptions to journals,” said Richard A. Schneider, PhD, chair of the UCSF Academic Senate Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, who spearheaded the initiative at UCSF. “The decision is a huge step forward in eliminating barriers to scientific research,” he said. “By opening the currently closed system, this policy will fuel innovation and discovery, and give the taxpaying public free access to oversee their investments in research.”"

'Canal Zone' Collages Test The Meaning Of 'Fair Use'; NPR's All Things Considered, 5/16/12

Joel Rose, NPR's All Things Considered; 'Canal Zone' Collages Test The Meaning Of 'Fair Use' :

"Richard Prince is an art world superstar. His paintings sell for millions, and many hang in the world's great museums. But one recent series of works cannot be shown in public — at least, not lawfully. Last year, a judge found Prince liable for copyright infringement for using the photographs of another artist without permission. A federal court in New York is set to hear Prince's appeal Monday, and the outcome of that appeal could have major implications for the art world and beyond."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Free Webinar by TLT Group: Cable Green, Creative Commons, Thursday, May 24, 2012 2 PM EDT

"FridayLive! ON A THURSDAY! May 24 Copyright: Cable Green, Creative Commons:

Guest: Cable Green, Director of Global Learning, Creative Commons"

Free Webcast by Association of Research Libraries (ARL) on Georgia State University e-Reserves Case: Thursday, May 24, 2012 2 PM EDT

"Register Now for ARL Webcast on GSU Decision:

Washington DC—The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is holding a webcast on Thursday, May 24, from 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET, on the substance and implications of the recent decision in the lawsuit over Georgia State University's (GSU) e-reserves program. Brandon Butler, ARL Director of Public Policy Initiatives, and Jonathan Band (policybandwidth) will recap the basic facts of the case and the key holdings in the decision, discuss the possible next steps in the litigation, and suggest some of the possible consequences for libraries making their own decisions about how best to implement a fair use policy in the context of course reserves.

To register for this free webcast, please visit

To read ARL's Issue Brief on the GSU decision, visit"

Federal Judge Strikes Down California’s Art Royalties Law; New York Times, 5/21/12

Patricia Cohen, New York Times; Federal Judge Strikes Down California’s Art Royalties Law:

"A federal district judge has struck down as unconstitutional a California law that gave artists a part of the profits when their work is resold...

Artists in most of the United States have long complained that unlike composers, filmmakers or writers, they do not receive a share of any future sales — known by the French expression droit de suite — under copyright law."

Supreme Court Passes on File-Sharing Case, but Still No End Is in Sight; New York Times, 5/21/12

Ben Sisario, New York Times; Supreme Court Passes on File-Sharing Case, but Still No End Is in Sight:

"The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in one of the record industry’s longest-running cases over unauthorized file-sharing.

The court effectively let stand a jury’s $675,000 damages award against Joel Tenenbaum, a former Boston University student who admitted to downloading some 30 songs on the unlicensed file-sharing service Kazaa."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Georgia State Copyright Case: What You Need To Know—and What It Means for E-Reserves;, 5/17/12

Meredith Schwartz,; Georgia State Copyright Case: What You Need To Know—and What It Means for E-Reserves:

"One of the most closely watched e-reserve cases in recent memory came to an end—though an appeal is still possible—on May 11, when Judge Orinda Evans of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled in Cambridge University Press (CUP); Oxford University Press (OUP); Sage Publications v. Georgia State University (GSU). The case alleged copyright infringement in GSU’s e-reserves, and in essence the judge came down on the side of libraries in a 350-page decision delivered almost a year after she heard closing arguments.

Of the 75 cases of alleged infringement she considered, Judge Evans held five to be infringement. The rest were either held to be fair use, or the question did not arise, because the copying was held to be de minimis—when virtually no one actually read the posted work—or because the publishers did not demonstrate to the court’s satisfaction that they had standing to make the claim."

Google, Author’s Guild Clash Over Class Action and Standing;, 15/10/12

Meredith Schwartz,; Google, Author’s Guild Clash Over Class Action and Standing:

"Judge Chin heard oral argument in the Google Books case on May 4 and ultimately reserved decision. The parties will go ahead with their summary judgment motions, with oral argument scheduled for September."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beastie Boys Face New Suit Over Sampling; New York Times, 5/8/12

Ben Sisario, New York Times; Beastie Boys Face New Suit Over Sampling:

"In the suit, filed in United States District Court in Manhattan, TufAmerica, the company that controls the rights to Trouble Funk’s music, says it found that the Beastie Boys had used pieces of the group’s songs “Say What” (from 1982) and “Drop the Bomb” (from 1985). These samples were so fully integrated into the Beastie Boys’ music, the suit claims, that they are undetectable to a casual listeners, and that “only after a careful audio analysis” was TufAmerica able to find the sample. The suit seeks unspecified damages."

CBS Sues ABC Over 'Big Brother'-Type Reality Show 'Glass House'; Hollywood Reporter, 5/10/12

Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter; CBS Sues ABC Over 'Big Brother'-Type Reality Show 'Glass House' :

"CBS has followed through on its threat last week to bring a legal action against ABC over the planned reality show Life in a Glass House. CBS believes the show is a "carbon copy" ripoff of its Big Brother and is being produced by a team that formerly worked on the long-running hit series.

A source tells The Hollywood Reporter that the lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. In the complaint, a copy of which was obtained by THR, CBS alleges causes of action for copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, among others."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Village People Singer Wins a Legal Battle in Fight to Reclaim Song Rights; New York Times, 5/8/12

Larry Rohter, New York Times; Village People Singer Wins a Legal Battle in Fight to Reclaim Song Rights:

"In a court ruling with significant implications for the music industry, a California judge has dismissed a suit by two song publishing companies aimed at preventing Victor Willis, former lead singer of the 1970s disco group the Village People, from exercising his right to reclaim ownership of “YMCA” and other hit songs he wrote.

Early last year, Mr. Willis invoked a provision of copyright law called “termination rights,” which gives recording artists and songwriters the ability to reacquire and administer their work themselves after 35 years have elapsed."

A DVR Ad Eraser Causes Tremors at TV Upfronts; New York Times, 5/16/12

Brian Stelter, New York Times; A DVR Ad Eraser Causes Tremors at TV Upfronts:

"Mitch Stoltz, a staff lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which argued against the network suit a decade ago, said, “Giving customers the ability to skip commercials automatically may be a business problem for the TV networks but it’s not a clear copyright violation.

“Unfortunately, the damages that copyright law allows are so high that threatening litigation can create a lot of leverage in negotiations, so that copyright can act as a veto on innovation.”"

Friday, May 18, 2012

FREE Copyright Webinars: Friday, May 18th & Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Free Webinars on Copyright:

1] Free Webinar > Copyright: Kenneth Crews, Columbia University > May 18 2012 > 2 PM - 3PM (ET)

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2] Free Webinar > Hot Issues in Fair Use and Copyright!> May 22 2012 > 1:00 PM (ET)

Brandon Butler, Association of Research Libraries >

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Publishers and Georgia State See Broad Implications in Copyright Ruling; Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/14/12

Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education; Publishers and Georgia State See Broad Implications in Copyright Ruling: "The publisher plaintiffs in the closely watched lawsuit over Georgia State University's use of copyrighted material in electronic reserves say they are "disappointed" with much of the ruling handed down by a federal judge on Friday. But they made the best of it in statements issued Monday, playing up points on which the judge had agreed with them. And one plaintiff, Oxford University Press, said that the decision "marks a significant first step toward addressing the need for clarity around issues of copyright in the context of higher education.""