Monday, November 25, 2013

BBC throws weight behind open data movement; Telegraph, 11/25/13

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."

Haitian Photographer Wins Major U.S. Copyright Victory; New York Times, 11/23/13

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."

DC wins ‘final’ appeal in long battle over Superman rights;, 11/22/13

Kevin Melrose,; 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

Rap Genius Says It Will Seek Licenses for Lyrics; New York Times, 11/14/13

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 and"

U.S. copyright industries add $1 trillion to GDP; Los Angeles Times, 11/19/13

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

Siding With Google, Judge Says Book Search Does Not Infringe Copyright; New York Times, 11/14/13

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

Leaked treaty draft shows US at loggerheads with Pacific states on copyright; PC World, 11/14/13

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."

Google prevails over authors in book-scanning U.S. lawsuit; Reuters, 11/14/13

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

In Music Piracy Battles, Lyrics Demand Respect Too; New York Times, 11/11/13

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

MPAA backs anti-piracy curriculum for elementary school students; Los Angeles Times, 11/11/13

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

Jay Z sued by TufAmerica over alleged copyright infringement; Guardian, 11/8/13

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

With Open Platform, Stanford Seeks to Reclaim MOOC Brand; Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/4/13

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.""

Libraries in the Time of MOOCs; Educause Review, 11/4/13

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."

Thinking Through Fair Use [Interactive Tool]; University of Minnesota - University Libraries

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

Disney and Dish Wrangle Not Over Broadcast Fees, but the Future of TV; New York Times, 11/3/13

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

U.S. Teams Up With Operator of Online Courses to Plan a Global Network; New York Times, 10/31/13

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."

Tug of War Stretches Architect’s Legacy; New York Times, 11/3/13

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."

UK Implements Copyright Term Extension From 50 to 70 Years; Intellectual Property Watch, 11/4/13

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."