Issues and developments related to Intellectual Property (e.g. Copyright, Fair Use, Patents, Trademarks, Trade Secrets) and Open Movements (e.g. Open Access, Open Data, Open Educational Resources (OER)), examined in the "Intellectual Property and Open Movements" and "Ethics of Data, Information, and Emerging Technologies" graduate courses I teach at the University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information. -- Kip Currier, PhD, JD
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Caribbean Nation Gets an International Go-Ahead to Break U.S. Copyright Laws; New York Times, 1/28/13
Annie Lowrey, New York Times; Caribbean Nation Gets an International Go-Ahead to Break U.S. Copyright Laws: "Trade experts said that Antigua and Barbuda’s plan for retribution seemed designed to provoke American filmmakers and recording artists into pushing for Congress to allow foreign Internet gambling sites to serve American customers. They also noted that it was the United States that had pushed for the unusual “cross-retaliation” mechanism at the W.T.O., where trade violations that hurt one industry could be countered with trade actions against a completely different industry."
Playing Whac-a-Mole With Piracy Sites; New York Times, 1/28/13
Ben Sisario and Tanzina Vega, New York Times; Playing Whac-a-Mole With Piracy Sites: "This month, the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab released a report that ranked 10 ad networks on the amount of business they do with sites suspected of engaging in piracy, with Google and Yahoo placing high on the list. Ad networks use advanced computer algorithms to place ads on Web sites. They can be run by agencies, publishers or others. The implicit criticism of the report is that the operators of these networks know which sites traffic in copyright infringement and therefore could keep ads — and ad money — away from them if they wanted to."
As Music Streaming Grows, Royalties Slow to a Trickle; New York Times, 1/28/13
Ben Sisario, New York Times; As Music Streaming Grows, Royalties Slow to a Trickle: "A decade after Apple revolutionized the music world with its iTunes store, the music industry is undergoing another, even more radical, digital transformation as listeners begin to move from CDs and downloads to streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and YouTube. As purveyors of legally licensed music, they have been largely welcomed by an industry still buffeted by piracy. But as the companies behind these digital services swell into multibillion-dollar enterprises, the relative trickle of money that has made its way to artists is causing anxiety at every level of the business."
A Right to Unlock Cellphones Fades Away; New York Times, 1/25/13
Brian X. Chen, New York Times; A Right to Unlock Cellphones Fades Away: "Your right to unlock your cellphone is about to expire. Cellphone carriers say this is for your own good — and theirs. Unlocking a cellphone enables it to work on a wireless carrier other than the one you bought it from. If an AT&T iPhone were unlocked, for example, it could be used on T-Mobile USA’s network. In October, the Library of Congress decided to invalidate a copyright exemption for unlocking cellphones. This exemption expires Saturday, making the act of unlocking a cellphone potentially illegal, unless it is authorized by a carrier."
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Public Universities to Offer Free Online Classes for Credit; New York Times, 1/23/13
Tamar Lewin, New York Times; Public Universities to Offer Free Online Classes for Credit: "In an unusual arrangement with a commercial company, dozens of public universities plan to offer an introductory online course free and for credit to anyone worldwide, in the hope that those who pass will pay tuition to complete a degree program. The universities — including Arizona State, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Arkansas system — will choose which of their existing online courses to convert to a massive open online course, or MOOC, in the new program, called MOOC2Degree. The proliferation of free online courses from top universities like Harvard and Stanford over the past year has prompted great interest in online learning. But those courses, so far, have generally not carried credit."
A Year After the Closing of Megaupload, a File-Sharing Tycoon Opens a New Site; New York Times, 1/20/13
Jonathan Hutchison, New York Times; A Year After the Closing of Megaupload, a File-Sharing Tycoon Opens a New Site: "At 6:48 a.m. local time Sunday, the Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom opened his new file-storage Web site to the public — one year to the minute after the police raided the mansion he rents in New Zealand. The raid was part of a coordinated operation with the F.B.I. that also shut down Megaupload, the file-sharing business he had founded. Mr. Dotcom faces charges in the United States of pirating copyrighted material and money laundering and is awaiting an extradition hearing in New Zealand. But on Sunday, he said his focus was on the new site, which was already straining under heavy traffic within two hours of its introduction. In the first 14 hours of the site’s operation, more than half a million people registered to use it, Mr. Dotcom said."
A Revamped Myspace Site Faces a Problem With Rights; New York Times, 1/20/13
Ben Sisario, New York Times; A Revamped Myspace Site Faces a Problem With Rights: "The new Myspace, which like the old MySpace lets people listen to huge numbers of songs free, has won early praise for its sleek design. But while it has said its intention is to help artists, it may already have a problem with some of the independent record labels that supply much of its content. Although Myspace boasts the biggest library in digital music — more than 50 million songs, it says — a group representing thousands of small labels says the service is using its members’ music without permission."
NIH Access Policy Gains Teeth; Library Journal, 1/16/13
Meredith Schwartz, Library Journal; NIH Access Policy Gains Teeth: "Soon, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will explicitly link grant funding to the successful submission of a final peer-review manuscript to the PubMed Central repository, in an attempt to increase compliance with the Institute’s public access mandate. The exact date on which the new policy will go into effect hasn’t yet been announced, but Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH’s Deputy Director for Extramural Research, said on November 16, 2012, “We are giving funded organizations at least five months to prepare for our new process,” which would place the change at about mid-April or thereafter. The public access policy itself isn’t new: it was introduced on a voluntary basis in 2005, and made mandatory in 2008. But mandatory in theory didn’t always add up to compliance in practice: according to a 2012 report from the President’s National Science and Technology Council [PDF], fully a quarter of papers based on NIH-funded research are not submitted to PubMed Central."
Unlocking the Riches of HathiTrust; American Libraries, 1/16/13
American Libraries; Unlocking the Riches of HathiTrust: "The constitutionality of digital fair use was upheld this past October, when US District Court Judge Harold Baer summarily dismissed the Authors Guild’s year-old lawsuit against the HathiTrust library collaborative to block the use of its growing repository of millions of full-text book scans. Calling the project “the enduring work of libraries,” HathiTrust Executive Director John Wilkin told American Libraries the organization continues to plan “more and better” uses of its scanned content. An appeal is pending. Meantime, blogerati Karen Coyle, Barbara Fister, and James Grimmelmann shared with AL how they see this decision shaping the future of sharing digitally preserved print materials."
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Verizon Copyright Alert System Would Throttle Internet Speeds Of Repeat Online Pirates; HuffingtonPost.com, 1/11/13
Gerry Smith, HuffingtonPost.com; Verizon Copyright Alert System Would Throttle Internet Speeds Of Repeat Online Pirates: "Under Verizon's proposed program, subscribers accused of copyright infringement will receive a series of alerts, which critics of such programs call "six strikes." After the first two offenses, Verizon will send emails to subscribers with a link allowing them to see if illegal file-sharing is operating on their computers and how to remove it, according to the leaked document, which was confirmed as authentic by a Verizon spokesman. After the next two offenses, Verizon will redirect subscribers' browsers to a website where they must acknowledge receiving the alerts and watch a short video about "the consequence of copyright infringement," according to the document. After the fifth and sixth notices, accused copyright violators have the option of either accepting slower Internet speeds for two to three days or asking an arbitrator to review whether they are guilty of Internet piracy -- for the price of $35. If the arbitrator rules in the user's favor, the $35 is refunded and his or her Internet speeds go untouched. Verizon spokesman Ed McFadden said the leaked document was "a discussion draft" and had not been finalized."
Friday, January 11, 2013
“Buffy vs Edward” remix unfairly removed by Lionsgate; ArsTechnica.com, 1/9/13
Jonathan McIntosh, ArsTechnica.com; “Buffy vs Edward” remix unfairly removed by Lionsgate: "Buffy vs Edward has now been offline for 3 weeks. Over the past year, before the takedown, the remix had been viewed an average of 34,000 times per month. Since none of YouTube’s internal systems were able to prevent this abuse by Lionsgate and our direct outreach to the content owner hit a brick wall, with the help of New Media Rights I have now filed an official DMCA counter-notification with YouTube. Lionsgate has 14 days to either allow the remix back online or sue me. We will see what happens."
Irish Newspapers Budge Slightly: Now Say Links Don't Require Payment, But Snippets...; TechDirt.com, 1/9/13
Mike Masnick,, TechDirt.com; Irish Newspapers Budge Slightly: Now Say Links Don't Require Payment, But Snippets... : "Meanwhile, the lawyers representing the charity have noticed that NLI appears to have backtracked ever so slightly and are now saying that "links alone" are not infringement, but if you include any text, you've gone over the line."
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Chinese Man Pleads Guilty in Copyright Violation Case; New York Times, 1/8/13
Andrew Martin, New York Times; Chinese Man Pleads Guilty in Copyright Violation Case: "Mr. Li, who was based in Chengdu, paid a network of computer experts to scour the Internet to find commercial software they could “crack,” meaning they bypassed security protocols designed to prevent unauthorized access or reproduction. Ultimately, Mr. Li offered more than 2,000 pirated software products that could be used as applications in the military, engineering, space exploration, mathematics and explosive simulation, and sold them at a fraction of their retail price, which federal prosecutors said was over $100 million... On Monday, he pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Delaware to one count of conspiring to steal copyrighted software. He faces a maximum of five years in prison...Edward J. McAndrew, one of the prosecutors on the case, said Mr. Li’s arrest was among the largest criminal copyright cases to be successfully prosecuted by the government. "
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Sony Issues Dylan CDs to Extend Copyright; New York Times, 1/7/13
Allan Kozinn, New York Times; Sony Issues Dylan CDs to Extend Copyright: "In an unusual response to provisions in a new European copyright law, scheduled to take effect by 2014, Sony Music has released a compilation of early Bob Dylan recordings that is bound to become one of his most collectible albums. “The 50th Anniversary Collection,” which carries a subtitle — “The Copyright Extension Collection, Vol. 1” — that explains its purpose, was rushed to only a handful of record shops in Germany, France, Sweden and Britain just after Christmas."
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The Wrong War Over eBooks: Publishers Vs. Libraries; Forbes.com, 12/11/12
David Vinjamuri, Forbes.com; The Wrong War Over eBooks: Publishers Vs. Libraries: "In a society where bookstores disappear every day while the number of books available to read has swelled exponentially, libraries will play an ever more crucial role. Even more than in the past, we will depend on libraries of the future to help discover and curate great books...For publishers, the library will be the showroom of the future. Ensuring that libraries have continuing access to published titles gives them a chance to meet this role, but an important obstacle remains: how eBooks are obtained by libraries. This column is the first in a two-part series about libraries and their role in the marketing and readership of books...The solution to the current pricing problem lies in understanding that the argument publishers and libraries are having is the wrong argument."
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