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Category Archives: Digital Rights

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 the former for close to a decade because it would give broadcasters new exclusive rights over any material that they broadcast, regardless of whether they own the copyright in that content, nor whether it is copyrightable at all. We support the latter, because it would clarify the rights of librarians, archivists and educators to carry out their important missions in the digital age, and as such is a natural and overdue counterpart to the WIPO Internet Treaties which similarly updated the rights of copyright owners almost two decades ago. On both counts, the week ended in a by-now familiar impasse, with no formal agreement being reached on either subject. But in the case of the broadcasting treaty, there was a sense of progress. Most member states now agree that new rights should be extended to traditional broadcasters to prohibit the unauthorized use of broadcast signals in the course of a transmission over any technological platform—including the Internet. We are concerned at the forward momentum of this ill-considered proposal in the SCCR, which would grant new privileges to an industry that is doing perfectly well without them. This would come at the cost of users and innovators who would be cut off from exploring a range of transformative activities using broadcast media including public domain material.”

Report – Who Has Your Digital Back?

Who Has Your Back? 2015: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests. July 2, 2015 | By Parker Higgins: “We live digital lives—from the videos shared on social networks, to location-aware apps on mobile phones, to log-in data for connecting to our email, to our stored documents, to our search history. The personal, the profound, andContinue Reading

Robots, Pirates, and the Rise of the Automated Takedown Regime

Carpou, Zoe, Robots, Pirates, and the Rise of the Automated Takedown Regime (April 6, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2591187 “The notice-and-takedown provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has become increasingly controversial, particularly with the ever-increasing use of “robo-takedown” requests — an automated procedure by which a copyright holder locates allegedly infringing contentContinue Reading

Boing Boing’s Doctorow leads campaign to ban digital locks on ebooks, music

James Bridle – UK Guardian: “In my last column I wrote about Tesco’s graceful exit from the ebook business, offloading its customers – and their precious libraries – to Kobo. While applauding the commitment to preserving customers’ purchases, it remains a shame that this sort of transfer is even necessary. Storing books – or anythingContinue 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

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

Over 310,000 free photos, vectors and art illustrations

“Finding free images of high quality is a tedious task – due to copyright issues, attribution requirements, or simply the lack of quality. This inspired us to create Pixabay – a repository for stunning public domain pictures. Your source for free vectors, free drawings and free photos. You can use any Pixabay image without attributionContinue Reading

Houston, We Have A Public Domain Problem – Commentary

Parker Higgins is an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation: “I received a bogus copyright takedown notice for using public domain audio on SoundCloud yesterday. The sound in question—the famous “Houston, we have a problem” snippet of the Apollo 13 mission—is incontrovertibly available to all, for any use, without copyright restrictions. The fact that it’sContinue Reading

Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books

Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books, Jean-Baptiste Michel, et al. Science 331, 176 (2011); DOI: 10.1126/science.1199644 “We constructed a corpus of digitized texts containing about 4% of all books ever printed. Analysis of this corpus enables us to investigate cultural trends quantitatively. We survey the vast terrain of ‘culturomics,’ focusing on linguistic and cultural phenomena that wereContinue Reading

British Library releases over 1 million images using Flickr Commons

British Library Digital scholarship blog: “We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselvesContinue Reading

Pew – Tablet and E-reader Ownership Update

Lee Rainie, Aaron Smith -Oct 18, 2013 “The number of Americans ages 16 and older who own tablet computers has grown to 35%, and the share who have e-reading devices like Kindles and Nooks has grown to 24%. Overall, the number of people who have a tablet or an e-book reader among those 16 andContinue Reading

Contentious Google Book Scanning Case Approaches Fall Trial Date

Publishers Week news in following Google Book Scanning project postings: “After a round of key filings, two Authors Guild cases challenging Google’s ambitious library book-scanning program are on schedule for early fall trial dates. Final reply briefs were filed July 27 for the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, with that case now fully briefed and allContinue Reading