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Category Archives: Copyright

ALA releases National Policy Agenda for Libraries

ALA News: “Libraries are in a revolution fueled by rapid advances in technology, and thus the roles, capabilities, and expectations of libraries are changing rapidly. National public policy for libraries must reflect these changes. Today the American Library Association (ALA) released a National Policy Agenda for Libraries to guide a proactive policy shift. “Too often, decision makers do not yet understand the extent to which libraries can be catalysts for opportunity and progress,” said ALA President Courtney Young. “As a result, investments in libraries and librarians lag our potential to contribute to the missions of the federal government and other national institutions. We must take concerted action to advance shared policy goals.” The agenda was developed in concert with major library organizations that serve on a Library Advisory Committee for the Policy Revolution! initiative and with input from a public comment period. Funding for this project is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of a three-year grant that also supports efforts to deepen national stakeholder engagement and increase library advocacy capacity. “Libraries cannot wait to be invited to ‘the table.’ We need proactive, strategic and aligned advocacy to support national policies that advance the public’s interest in the digital age and support libraries as essential community assets,” writes Deborah Jacobs, director of the Global Libraries Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in a foreword (pdf) to the agenda (pdf). The agenda flows out of library values and the imperative of “opportunity for all,” as well as within a context of national political, economic and demographic trends. It seeks to answer the questions “What are the U.S. library interests and priorities for the next five years that should be emphasized to national decision makers?” and “Where might there be windows of opportunity to advance a particular priority at this particular time? The agenda articulates two broad themes—building library capacity to advance national priorities and advancing the public interest. Among the areas for capacity building are education and learning, entrepreneurship, and health and wellness. Public interest topics include balanced copyright and licensing, systems for digital content, and privacy and transparency. The agenda also identifies specific populations for which there are significant demographic shifts or bipartisan opportunities to address specialized needs.”

EFF – Europe Blocks Progress for Libraries and Educators at WIPO

EFF – “Last week negotiators from around the world came together as the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) standing committee on copyright (SCCR) resumed consideration of its two current work items: the on-again, off-again broadcasters’ rights treaty, and the harmonization of minimum copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries, archives, and education. EFF has opposed theContinue Reading

Job Opening – New Librarian of Congress

The Atlantic – Robinson Meyer: Experts say that a new librarian should digitize more works, raise more money—and use email. “The current librarian, James Billington, has held the title since his appointment by President Reagan in 1987. Though named by the president and confirmed by the Senate, the Librarian doesn’t change with every new WhiteContinue Reading

Report – Orphan Works and Mass Digitization

“The Copyright Office is reviewing the problem of orphan works under U.S. copyright law in continuation of its previous work on the subject and to advise Congress on possible next steps for the United States. The Office has long shared the concern with many in the copyright community that the uncertainty surrounding the ownership statusContinue Reading

Google announces Digital News Initiative

Laurie Sullivan – MediaPost: “Google began rolling out a digital news partnership with eight European newspaper publishers acknowledging past mistakes with news organizations. On Tuesday the Mountain View, Calif. company pledged more than $164 million to nurture, support and fund digital journalism and news organizations. The Digital News Initiative’s road map focuses on working withContinue Reading

Fair Copyright Reform for Libraries and Archives in Europe

The London Manifesto: “Fair copyright across Europe is essential. Without it we will fail to adequately support research, innovation and growth, and hinder the ambition for a digital single market. With it we will better foster knowledge across borders, meet the needs of disabled people and take full advantage of the digital age. We areContinue Reading

A critical analysis of Facebook’s Revised Policies and Terms

From social media service to advertising network – A critical analysis of Facebook’s Revised Policies and Terms DRAFT 31 March 2015. The authors are part of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT/Centre for Intellectual Property Rights(ICRI/CIR) of KU Leuven (www.icri.be), the department of Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication (SMIT) of the Vrije UniversiteitContinue Reading

NYT – Digital Neglect at the Library of Congress

New York Times Editorial – ” The Library of Congress has long been a beacon for an informed democracy, evolving in Washington into the world’s largest library and a revered institution built on the foundation of Thomas Jefferson’s many books and insatiable curiosity. This makes it all the more troubling that the current librarian ofContinue Reading

EFF – Automakers Say You Don’t Really Own Your Car

News release: “EFF is fighting for vehicle owners’ rights to inspect the code that runs their vehicles and to repair and modify their vehicles, or have a mechanic of their choice do the work. At the moment, the anti-circumvention prohibition in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act arguably restricts vehicle inspection, repair, and modification. If EFFContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Protective Service, Info Technology and Copyright Office, Children’s Health Insurance

Federal Protective Service: More Effective Management Needed in Delegating Security Authority to Agencies, GAO-15-271: Published: Mar 31, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2015: “FPS lacks reliable data, as called for by federal Standards for Internal Control, to accurately identify all the delegations FPS is responsible for managing and overseeing to ensure the protection of federalContinue Reading

UN Report – Copyright policy and the right to science and culture

“Science and culture are not only of great importance to the knowledge economy; they are also fundamental to human dignity and autonomy [this is the link to the report, Word doc.] In that area, two influential paradigms of international law — intellectual property and human rights — have evolved largely separately. Recent developments, however, haveContinue Reading

Denmark’s largest digital archive launched

The Copenhagen Post – “Denmark’s largest digital photo album with nearly two million images…open[ed] to the general public [February 20, 2015]. Danes will have access to the online database at Arkiv.dk, which includes 1,841,254  documents such as photos, diaries, letters, and sound and video recordings. Since the late 1980s, all items from the country’s moreContinue Reading