Thursday, July 30, 2020

Internet Archives Fires Back in Lawsuit Over Covid-19 Emergency Library; Vice, July 29, 2020

Matthew Gault, Vice; Internet Archives Fires Back in Lawsuit Over Covid-19 Emergency Library

"In a brief filed in a New York district court on Tuesday night, the Internet Archive fired back in response to a lawsuit brought against it by five of the world’s largest publishers. The lawsuit seeks to shut down an online National Emergency Library started by the Internet Archive during the Covid-19 pandemic and levy millions of dollars in fines against the organization."

Friday, July 24, 2020

Internet Archive to Publishers: Drop ‘Needless’ Copyright Lawsuit and Work with Us; Publishers Weekly, July 23, 2020

Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly; Internet Archive to Publishers: Drop ‘Needless’ Copyright Lawsuit and Work with Us

"During a 30-minute Zoom press conference on July 22, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle urged the four major publishers suing over the organization’s book scanning efforts to consider settling the dispute in the boardroom rather than the courtroom.

“Librarians, publishers, authors, all of us should be working together during this pandemic to help teachers, parents, and especially students,” Kahle implored. “I call on the executives of Hachette, HarperCollins, Wiley, and Penguin Random House to come together with us to help solve the challenging problems of access to knowledge during this pandemic, and to please drop this needless lawsuit.”

Kahle’s remarks came as part of a panel, which featured a range of speakers explaining and defending the practice of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), the legal theory under which the Internet Archive has scanned and is making available for borrowing a library of some 1.4 million mostly 20th century books."

Attorney Gregory S. DeSantis Breaks Down Copyright Law—and Just What Constitutes 'Fair Use'; Playbill, July 21, 2020

Gregory S. DeSantis, Playbill; Attorney Gregory S. DeSantis Breaks Down Copyright Law—and Just What Constitutes 'Fair Use'

"With theaters of all sizes closed, performing artists find themselves at home with an uptick in weekly screen time. Entrepreneurial-minded performers are attempting to benefit from this trend by producing more digital content than before. As a result, a lot of exciting streaming content has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic from Star Wars-themed ballet classes to at-home musicals. However, anyone using another copyright- or trademark-protected work risks receiving cease and desist letters, monetary fines and potentially imprisonment when incorporating protected content into their online brand."

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Reforming Digital Lending Libraries and the End of the Internet Archive; Jurist, July 20, 2020

, Jurist; Reforming Digital Lending Libraries and the End of the Internet Archive

"The lack of certainty relating to the legality of CDL as fair use is hampering its growth by creating a chilling effect. Libraries are under the fear of costly litigations. IA itself is under the risk of bankruptcy, as the publishers are not inclined to take back their suit, even after IA stopped ELP. This is the very problem section 108 intended to resolve. Hence, it is pertinent that the section is amended to meet the needs of the digital age and provide certainty in this regard. Some countries have already moved in this direction. While Canada has permitted a limited right to provide digitized copies to patrons of other libraries, the EU has been considering proposals to allow digitization of cultural heritage institutions, including libraries."

Open-access Plan S to allow publishing in any journal; Nature, July 16, 2020

Funders will override policies of subscription journals that don’t let scientists share accepted manuscripts under open licence.

"Funding agencies behind the radical open-access (OA) initiative Plan S have announced a policy that could make it possible for researchers to bypass journals’ restrictions on open publishing. The change could allow scientists affected by Plan S to publish in any journal they want — even in subscription titles, such as Science, that haven’t yet agreed to comply with the scheme.

Plan S, which kicks in from 2021, aims to make scientific and scholarly works free to read and reproduce as soon as they are published. Research funders that have signed up to it include the World Health Organization, Wellcome in London, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, and 17 national funders, mostly in Europe. The European Commission also says it will follow the plan.

Under the initiative, scientists funded by Plan S agencies must publish their work OA. If a journal doesn’t allow that, researchers can instead post an accepted version of their article — an author accepted manuscript, or AAM — in an online repository as soon as their paper appears. This kind of author-initiated sharing is sometimes called green open access. Under Plan S, it comes with a key condition that has so far been anathema to many subscription journals: the AAM must be shared under a liberal ‘CC-BY’ publishing licence that would allow others to republish and translate the work."

Monday, July 20, 2020

Twitter disables video retweeted by Donald Trump over copyright complaint; The Guardian, July 19, 2020

Reuters via The Guardian; Twitter disables video retweeted by Donald Trump over copyright complaint

"Twitter has disabled a campaign-style video retweeted by Donald Trump, citing a copyright complaint.

The video, which included music from the group Linkin Park, disappeared from the president’s Twitter feed late Saturday with the notification: “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”

Twitter removed the video, which Trump had retweeted from the White House social media director, Dan Scavino, after it received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice from Machine Shop Entertainment, according to a notice posted on the Lumen Database which collects requests for removal of online materials."

Friday, July 17, 2020

Russia Is Trying to Steal Virus Vaccine Data, Western Nations Say; The New York Times, July 16, 2020

, The New York Times; Russia Is Trying to Steal Virus Vaccine Data, Western Nations Say

"Chinese government hackers have long focused on stealing intellectual property and technology. Russia has aimed much of its recent cyberespionage, like election interference, at weakening geopolitical rivals and strengthening its hand.

“China is more well known for theft through hacking than Russia, which is of course better now for using hacks for disruption and chaos,” said Laura Rosenberger, a former Obama administration official who now leads the Alliance for Securing Democracy. “But there’s no question that whoever gets to a vaccine first thinks they will have geopolitical advantage, and that’s something I’d expect Russia to want.”"

How to protect algorithms as intellectual property; CSO, July 13, 2020

, CSO; How to protect algorithms as intellectual property

Algorithms can now be considered trade secrets or even patent-worthy. Prevent them from being stolen by taking these security steps.

"Intellectual property theft has become a top concern of global enterprises. As of February 2020, the FBI had about 1,000 investigations involving China alone for attempted theft of US-based technology spanning just about every industry. It’s not just nation-states who look to steal IP; competitors, employees and partners are often culprits, too.

Security teams routinely take steps to protect intellectual property like software, engineering designs, and marketing plans. But how do you protect IP when it's an algorithm and not a document or database? Proprietary analytics are becoming an important differentiator as companies implement digital transformation projects. Luckily, laws are changing to include algorithms among the IP that can be legally protected."

The Great Gatsby prequel set for release days after copyright expires; The Guardian, July 15, 2020

, The Guardian; The Great Gatsby prequel set for release days after copyright expires

"US copyright in The Great Gatsby, which is generally regarded as one of the best novels ever written, expires on 1 January 2021, meaning that the work enters the public domain and can be freely adapted for the first time. Farris Smith’s prequel, Nick, will be published four days later, on 5 January, in the US, by Little, Brown; and on 25 February in the UK by No Exit Press."

He stockpiled Washington NFL trademarks for years. Now he faces backlash online.; The Washington Post, July 15, 2020

"Trademark attorneys have said any registered or pending trademarked team names would be ripe for challenge. Trademark holders must be able to show that they have been using the name in a legitimate commercial manner. While McCaulay has sold merchandise featuring some of his team names online, he acknowledged in a tweet that his trademarks would be “worthless to me because selling 10 shirts in 6 years is a weak defense.”
“This is an expensive hobby for him,” Heitner said. “He’s not intending to be a troll. He’s not intending to cause harm to the organization. And to the extent the organization wants to utilize any of the names he’s applied for, he wants to open the door to those communications.”"

Monday, July 13, 2020

Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate sues Netflix for giving Sherlock Holmes too many feelings; The Verge, June 25, 2020

Adi Robertson, The Verge; Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate sues Netflix for giving Sherlock Holmes too many feelings

"The estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has sued Netflix over its upcoming film Enola Holmes,arguing that the movie’s depiction of public domain character Sherlock Holmes having emotions and respecting women violates Doyle’s copyright.

Enola Holmes is based on a series of novels by Nancy Springer starring a newly created teenage sister of the famous detective. They feature many elements from Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, and most of these elements aren’t covered by copyright, thanks to a series of court rulings in the early 2010s. Details from 10 stories, however, are still owned by Doyle’s estate. The estate argues that Springer’s books — and by extension Netflix’s adaptation — draw key elements from those stories. It’s suing not only Netflix, but Springer, her publisher Penguin Random House, and the film’s production company for unspecified financial damages.

The Doyle estate made a similar argument five years ago in a lawsuit against Miramax for its film Mr. Holmes — among other things, it claimed Mr. Holmes included plot details about Holmes’ retirement, which only happens in the final stories. But its new argument is a lot more abstract: basically, if this movie wants Sherlock Holmes to express emotions, its creators need to pay up."

Sunday, July 12, 2020

A Trademark Attorney Explains Why the Former Lady Antebellum Is Suing the Black Singer Lady A; Slate, July 10, 2020

Rachelle Hampton, Slate; A Trademark Attorney Explains Why the Former Lady Antebellum Is Suing the Black Singer Lady A

"Trademark rights are what the Lady A dispute centers on. As we discussed today, trademark rights arise from use of any word, phrase, logo, symbol, etc., as a source indicator in connection with the sale of specific goods or services, like Greyhound for bus services or Dasani for bottled water or Tony the Tiger for cereal or a [Nike] swoosh for athletic apparel."

Copyright Office Celebrates its 150th Anniversary with Virtual Event – August 5 at Noon; U.S. Copyright Office, July 8, 2020

U.S. Copyright Office; Copyright Office Celebrates its 150th Anniversary with Virtual Event – August 5 at Noon

"On July 8, 1870, Congress centralized the administration of copyright law in the Library of Congress. Join the U.S. Copyright Office for a virtual celebration in recognition of our 150th anniversary, and register for “Copyright Office Presents: Celebrating 150 Years of Creativity” on August 5 from noon to 1:00 p.m. eastern time.

This online event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required.

Since its establishment 150 years ago today, the Office has driven the evolution of copyright law and been a key player in copyright law revisions, from the Copyright Act of 1909 to the Copyright Act of 1976 to the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act and beyond. The Office also provides critical services, helping copyright owners protect their works and preserving a public record of the country’s creativity.

“Copyright Office Presents: Celebrating 150 Years of Creativity” will highlight the rich and sometimes surprising history of the Copyright Office and copyright itself, the importance of the Office’s connection with creators and users of copyright-protected works, and the role of the Office in engaging creativity through a conversation with Copyright Office experts, past and present. Presenters include:

  • John Cole, Library of Congress historian and author
  • Frank Evina, curator of prior Copyright Office exhibit and former senior information specialist, Copyright Office
  • Heather Wiggins, supervisor in the Literary Division of the Registration Program, Copyright Office, and adjunct professor

“Copyright Office Presents: Celebrating 150 Years of Creativity” kicks off a yearlong celebration with special events and activities to mark this anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, the Copyright Office is building awareness of how copyright can "Engage Your Creativity.” For more resources and selected videos, visit our new Engage Your Creativity webpage."

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Targeting intellectual theft; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 11, 2020

The Editorial Board;

Targeting intellectual theft

A new bipartisan bill will help the U.S. clamp down on the theft of American innovations

"Many American innovations and technological advancements originate with the work of academics and researchers at U.S. colleges and universities. This, unfortunately, has made those university-backed research projects a target for foreign operatives seeking to steal American intellectual property in recent decades."

Democracy activists' books unavailable in Hong Kong libraries after new law; Reuters, July 5, 2020

Reuters; Democracy activists' books unavailable in Hong Kong libraries after new law

"Books by prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy figures have become unavailable in the Chinese-ruled city’s public libraries as they are being reviewed to see whether they violate a new national security law, a government department said on Sunday. 

The sweeping legislation, which came into force on Tuesday night at the same time its contents were published, punishes crimes related to secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison.

Hong Kong public libraries “will review whether certain books violate the stipulations of the National Security Law,” the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which runs the libraries, said in a statement.

“While legal advice will be sought in the process of the review, the books will not be available for borrowing and reference in libraries.""

Library seeks community's help to document COVID-19 changes to daily life; University of North Georgia, May 21, 2020

Clark Leonard, University of North Georgia; Library seeks community's help to document COVID-19 changes to daily life

"Joy Bolt, dean of libraries at UNG, said part of the impetus for the project came when she and Allison Galloup, special collection and digital initiatives librarian, sought documents related to the 1918 flu pandemic.

"We were both somewhat surprised to find little in our collection on the subject," Bolt said. "This is one reason why we thought it was important for us to collect information about the experiences of our Northeast Georgia community for future scholars and researchers. It will be there when people want to look back on this time and see how things were for so many of us."

To submit your story, use the library's collection form and upload your file or email it to

Galloup knows many people will wonder if their items are needed or worth sending. She has a simple message.

"Nothing is too mundane to share. We cannot do this without the community's help. While there may be similarities in all of our stories, each person's experience and perspective is unique," Galloup said. "We're asking you to share whatever you'd like, in whatever format you'd like. Those who would like to participate can submit videos, voice recordings, scans, photographs, or text documents.""

Do Online Storytimes Violate Copyright?; American Libraries, June 16, 2020

, American Libraries; Do Online Storytimes Violate Copyright?

Lawyer-librarian fields legal questions

"Our online column Letters of the Law explores a wide range of legal issues that arise in libraries, with the help of a pair of leading authorities: Mary Minow, a librarian who became a lawyer, and Tomas A. Lipinski, a lawyer who became a librarian. Together they have authored four books on the subject, including The Library’s Legal Answer Book (ALA Editions, 2003, with a new edition forthcoming in 2021), and led forums at American Library Association (ALA) conferences in collaboration with the Public Library Association (PLA).

In this column, Lipinski explores two topics that have made headlines this year: privacy concerns around the 2020 US Census and copyright issues surrounding traditional and online programming...

What are the copyright concerns when it comes to singing or playing music, on a piano or guitar, during storytimes or other programming?"


Friday, July 10, 2020

American Girl Walks Back Threat to Sue 'Karen' Doll Parody Meme; Comic Book Resources, July 8, 2020

Kelvin Childs, Comic Book Resources; American Girl Walks Back Threat to Sue 'Karen' Doll Parody Meme

"American Girl has walked back its previous assertion that it would take legal action against a spoof ad for a "Karen 2020 Girl of the Year" doll.

On Twitter, the company said, "American Girl has no intention of censoring this parody meme and anything shared to the contrary was in error. We apologize for any misunderstanding.""