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Category Archives: Digital Rights

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’s been yanked from my SoundCloud page, though, is a sad demonstration of how completely many online services have swallowed the fallacy that “unauthorized” means “unacceptable.” It’s a dangerous myth, that we should all need permission any time we’re getting value out of a piece of culture. And it’s one that gets entrenched deeper each time we accept the idea that we’re able to make use of a work because a copyright owner is or would be OK with it, and not just because we have a basic right to participate in culture that is more fundamental than anybody else’s desire to maximize profits.” [Thanks to Darlene Fichter]

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

EU Commission sets out "blueprint" for Intellectual Property Rights to boost creativity and innovation

EUROPA press release: “Intellectual property rights (IPR), which comprise patents, trademarks, designs and geographical indications, as well as copyright (authors’ rights) and rights related to copyright (for performers, producers and broadcasters), have been around for centuries. Often, without our even realising, they affect our daily lives: they protect the technology we use (cars, mobile phones,Continue Reading

Comment: Why Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses Should Be Protected as Personally Identifiable Information

McIntyre, Joshua J., The Number is Me: Why Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses Should Be Protected as Personally Identifiable Information (August 15, 2010). DePaul Law Review, Vol. 60, No. 3, 2011. “Although computer logs typically correlate online activity only to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, those addresses can be used to expose the individuals behind the computers.Continue Reading

BookServer is an open system to find, buy, or borrow e- books

Internet Archive BookServer: “The widespread success of digital reading devices has proven that the world is ready to read books on screens. As the audience for digital books grows, we can evolve from an environment of single devices connected to single sources into a distributed system where readers can find books from sources across theContinue Reading

Cory Doctorow's Commentary on How DRM Becomes Law

A Behind-The-Scenes Look At How DRM Becomes Law: “Cory Doctorow looks at the back room dealing that allowed entertainment companies and electronics companies to craft public policy on digital rights management.”

Viacom Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against YouTube

FindLaw: Viacom Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against YouTube and Google Over Unauthorized Use Of The Company’s Shows: Viacom International, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., YouTube, LLC, and Google, Inc., March 13, 2007. Viacom statement: Suit Seeks Court Ruling To Require YouTube And Google To Comply With Copyright Laws And Pay $1 Billion In Damages Google statement:Continue Reading

Reps. Boucher and Doolittle Introduce the FAIR USE Act of 2007

Press release: “U.S. Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA) and John Doolittle (R-CA), today introduced the Freedom And Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007 (FAIR USE Act) to protect the fair use rights of users of copyrighted material and thereby enable consumers of digital media to use it in ways that enhance their personal convenience. TheContinue Reading

Proposed Framework For Evaluating Digital Rights Management

CDT press release: “Evaluating DRM: Building a Marketplace for the Convergent World” tackles the complicated subject of copyright protection technology, offering a clear set of metrics for consumers and product reviewers to consider when evaluating DRM-protected devices and services. The goal of the paper is to educate users about what questions to ask to determineContinue Reading