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Category Archives: Copyright

Copyright Infringement Litigation Fell 22 Percent in FY 2016

“New federal lawsuits over issues of copyright infringement fell 22 percent last year. Case-by-case court records compiled and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University found a total of 3,944 new federal copyright infringement cases were filed in the U.S. District Courts during fiscal year 2016. This is down from the peak level of 5,042 such suits filed during fiscal year 2015. This reduction represents a sharp reversal of previous trends which had seen the number of copyright infringement cases under 17 USC 501 climbing steadily year after year. This rise had been fueled by the growth of the internet as well as advances in technology. This made it easier both to legally distribute digital content as well as to pirate copyrighted material. While national trends were down in FY 2016, the Central District of California (Los Angeles) which had the largest number of suits in the country during each of the past two years saw its copyright infringement cases grow from 632 lawsuits filed in FY 2015 to 716 new suits in FY 2016. Similarly in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan), which had the second highest volume of copyright infringement cases, the volume of new cases grew from 460 cases in FY 2015 to 551 during FY 2016. All of the other nine districts that had at least 200 copyright infringement cases during FY 2015 — including New Jersey, Maryland and the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) — saw their litigation numbers tumble during FY 2016. Relative to their population size, Oregon with 2.6 times the national level and the Northern District of New York (Syracuse) with 1.6 times the national average, also had an unusually large number of FY 2016 copyright infringement suits. For the full report, including figures for all federal districts, go to: http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/civil/445/

A Fresh Look at Copyright on Campus

Rooksby, Jacob H., A Fresh Look at Copyright on Campus (October 1, 2016). Missouri Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 3, 2016; Duquesne University School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-03. Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2862675 “The role of copyright on the modern college and university campus is overdue for fresh examination. Copyright ownership issues… Continue Reading

Finding the Public Domain – The Copyright Review Management System

Issue Brief – Finding the Public Domain – The Copyright Review Management System, Melissa Levine, Lead Copyright Officer, University of Michigan, Ithaka S+R. October 26, 2016. “The public domain is the ultimate open access. It is key to the bargain of copyright. Rather simplistically, in order to incentivize authors to produce works, the public, through… Continue Reading

Authors Alliance and Internet Archive Team Up to Make Books Available

Internet Archive Blog, Michael Wolfe, Executive Director, Authors Alliance – “To write a book takes time, effort, more often than not, love. Happily, books are built to last, and with the proper stewardship remain relevant, provide insight and information, or entertain for generations. So why is it that, when the internet provides more avenues than… Continue Reading

Technological Neutrality: Recalibrating Copyright in the Information Age

Craig, Carys J., Technological Neutrality: Recalibrating Copyright in the Information Age (October 14, 2016). Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 5/2017. Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2852385 “This Article aims to draw the connection between how we conceptualize legal rights over information resources and our capacity to develop technologically neutral legal norms in the information… Continue Reading

EFF – Copyright Law Shouldn’t Punish Research and Repair

EFF: “…As part of an ongoing study, [the Copyright Office is] asking for comments (PDF) on whether it should recommend that Congress enact a series of permanent exemptions to the law for several important and useful activities, including security research and repair. On the one hand, any such recommendation may be too little and too… Continue Reading

EFF – EU copyright ruling has far reaching impact on copyright and deep linking

EFF – “In a case which threatens to cause turmoil for thousands if not millions of websites, the Court of Justice of the European Union decided today that a website that merely links to material that infringes copyright, can itself be found guilty of copyright infringement, provided only that the operator knew or could reasonably… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Deans of Virginia University Libraries to Chairman Goodlatte: First Do No Harm in Copyright Revision

Via LLRX.com – Deans of Virginia University Libraries to Chairman Goodlatte: First Do No Harm in Copyright Revision UVA Director of Information Policy Brandon Butler explains the implications of the Copyright Office plan to to issue a total rewrite of Section 108 of the Copyright Act and provides context on such a decision, which protects… Continue Reading

Digitizing Orphan Works: Legal Strategies to Reduce Risks for Open Access to Copyrighted Orphan Works

Hansen, David. 2016. Digitizing Orphan Works: Legal Strategies to Reduce Risks for Open Access to Copyrighted Orphan Works. Kyle K. Courtney and Peter Suber, eds., Harvard Library. “In the United States, the vast majority of 20th century creative expression—everything from books and movies to letters, emails, and notes—is protected by a copyright system that grants… Continue Reading

The Copyright Holdout Problem and New Internet-Based Services

Cross, John T. and Yu, Peter K., The Copyright Holdout Problem and New Internet-Based Services (July 29, 2016). EXPLORING SENSIBLE MECHANISMS OF PAYING FOR COPYRIGHT, Liu Kung-Chung and Reto M. Hilty, eds., Springer, 2016. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2815825 “This chapter examines the holdout problem involving a copyright holder’s refusal to license digital content… Continue Reading

Fair Use issues for journalists, researchers, bloggers

When Does ‘Fair Use’ Become Unfair? Copyright law allows journalists to quote just enough — but not too much. Who draws the line? 07.21.2016 / By Paul Raeburn “In the United States, copyright protection for authors and other creators comes with the explicit understanding that others have “the right to use copyrighted material without permissions or… Continue Reading

LC target of DNS attack and a commentary on LC and digitization challenges

FCW.com, July 18, 2016: “The Library of Congress was the target of a denial-of-service attack that has knocked out Congress.gov and the U.S. Copyright Office website, and caused outages at other sites hosted by the library. Library spokesperson Gayle Osterberg told FCW that the DNS attack was launched July 17 and continues to affect library… Continue Reading