"Over the course of several decades, copyright protection has been expanded and extended through legislative changes occasioned by national and international developments. The content and technology industries affected by copyright and its exceptions, and in some cases balancing the two, have become increasingly important as sources of economic growth, relatively high-paying jobs, and exports. Since the expansion of digital technology in the mid-1990s, they have undergone a technological revolution that has disrupted long-established modes of creating, distributing, and using works ranging from literature and news to film and music to scientific publications and computer software. In the United States and internationally, these disruptive changes have given rise to a strident debate over copyright's proper scope and terms and means of its enforcement--a debate between those who believe the digital revolution is progressively undermining the copyright protection essential to encourage the funding, creation, and distribution of new works and those who believe that enhancements to copyright are inhibiting technological innovation and free expression. Copyright in the Digital Era: Building Evidence for Policy examines a range of questions regarding copyright policy by using a variety of methods, such as case studies, international and sectoral comparisons, and experiments and surveys. This report is especially critical in light of digital age developments that may, for example, change the incentive calculus for various actors in the copyright system, impact the costs of voluntary copyright transactions, pose new enforcement challenges, and change the optimal balance between copyright protection and exceptions."
New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer: "Just as military contractors, air traffic controllers and federal workers are coping with the grim results of a partisan impasse over the federal deficit, the Library of Congress, whose services range from copyrighting written works — whether famous novels or poems scribbled on napkins — to the collection, preservation and digitalization of millions of books, photographs, maps and other materials, faces deep cuts that threaten its historic mission. Of the $85 billion in federal cuts for the current fiscal year, known as sequestration, half will come from military spending, and half from domestic programs like health care, research, education and the library. The library’s budget for the year has declined to $598.4 million, a 4 percent cut that is likely to slow its digitalization effort and has already caused copyright applications to back up. The worry spreads far beyond Washington because the Library of Congress — founded in 1800, burned and pillaged by the British in 1814 and replaced by Thomas Jefferson’s personal library — is home to an unrivaled history of the nation’s wars, presidencies, culture and place in the world."
"The PLUS Registry is an online resource developed and operated cooperatively by a global Coalition of all communities engaged in creating, using, distributing and preserving images. Search the Registry to find rights and descriptive information (“metadata”) for any image, and to find current contact information for related creators, rights holders and institutions. Register for a free listing to allow anyone in the world to easily find and contact you. Register your images and image licenses to allow authorized users to find rights and descriptive metadata using a PLUS ID or image recognition.
Via LLRX.com - Copyrights, Fundamental Rights, and the Constitution - The recent Supreme Court decision, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, addresses fair use and the “first sale” doctrine, upon whose protection libraries, used-book dealers, technology companies, consumer-goods retailers, and museums have long relied. Professor Annmarie Bridy's commentary focuses on the position that intellectual property rights in general and copyrights in particular are important, and when their scope is circumscribed to ensure the existence of a robust public domain, they benefit society. However important IP rights are, though – and reasonable people disagree pretty vigorously about that – they are not fundamental in the Constitutional sense.
FindLaw - Adam Ramiriz: "A federal judge has declared a unique website enabling the online sale of pre-owned digital music files unlawful. "The first sale defense is limited to material items, like records, that the copyright owner put into the stream of commerce," ruled U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan. This is bad news for ReDigi, which launched in October, 2011 with a bold idea: If the "first sale" doctrine in copyright law permits the re-selling of acquired copyrighted material, let's create an online market for "used" digital music. Judge Sullivan's ruling has, for now, dampened the idea of reselling of digital goods. If it holds up, the ruling could mean digital sales venues would have to get the permission of right holders. Stay tuned for updates on this evolving area of the law."
CDT: "The Supreme Court issued a decision today that is a major win for everyone who relies on copyright law's "first sale" doctrine -- including the millions of Internet users who have flocked to Craigslist, eBay, and similar online tools to buy, sell, and "freecycle" all kinds of stuff. The case, Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, effectively asked the Court to consider whether copyright owners should fully control all downstream distribution of copyrighted items manufactured overseas. As CDT and technology industry allies explained in our legal brief in the case last summer, giving copyright owners this kind of indefinite stranglehold on foreign-made goods would be disastrous for everything from yard sales to libraries to the thriving online resale markets that are empowering individual Internet users and small businesses. It would mean that, before you could sell or even lend a legally purchased book (or DVD, or toy with a copyrighted logo, or device with built-in software, etc.), you would have to get the copyright holder's permission...In clear and decisive terms, today's decision confirms that, once you lawfully acquire a book or album or toy, you own it and can re-sell, lend, or give it away as you please. You don't have to try to determine where is was printed or manufactured before you put it up on Craigslist or eBay."
John Palfrey: "Publishers, ebook vendors, and libraries are engaged in a “tug of war” over the lending of electronic books, according to Library Journal’s recent ebook survey. This clash inhibits most libraries from fulfilling their important institutional missions to provide access to knowledge and preserve our cultural heritage. In the best case, this tug of war will be a temporary struggle. The best outcome is not a winner who holds all the rope and another lying on the ground with rope-burned hands. If there must be a winner of any kind, it ought to be the reading public."
R. David Edelman: "Thank you for sharing your views on cell phone unlocking with us through your petition on our We the People platform. Last week the White House brought together experts from across government who work on telecommunications, technology, and copyright policy, and we're pleased to offer our response. The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties. In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It's common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers' needs."
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jennifer Howard: "Fair use and electronic course reserves are back in court. A keenly watched copyright case that pitted three academic publishers against Georgia State University has entered the appeals phase, with a flurry of filings and motions this week and more expected soon. One surprise motion came from the U.S. Department of Justice, which requested more time to consider filing an amicus brief either in support of the publishers or in support of neither party...he case in question is Cambridge U. Press et al. v. Mark P. Becker et al. In 2008, Cambridge, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publishers sued Georgia State, asserting it had committed widespread copyright violations when it allowed some of their content to be used, unlicensed, in e-reserves. The Association of American Publishers and the Copyright Clearance Center, which specializes in licensing content to universities, bankrolled the legal action."
Tracey Samuelson, Marketplace for Monday, January 28, 2013: "If consumers want to “unlock” their cell phones in order to take their phone from one cellular network to another, they now need to ask the permission of their carrier. Starting January 26, unlocking phones without the provider’s OK is against the law. But perhaps the most surprising part of these changes is that they came from the Library of Congress, a government department better known for its archives than its regulatory abilities. But in addition to cataloging gems from the country’s past -- everything from old musical performances to little-remembered presidential speeches -- the Library of Congress also oversees copyrights."
EFF: "In Associated Press v. Meltwater, AP claims its copyrights are infringed when Meltwater, an electronic news clipping service, includes excerpts of AP stories in search results for its clients seeking reports of news coverage based on particular keywords. In its argument, AP asks the court to accept an extraordinarily narrow view of fair use – the doctrine that allows for the use of copyrighted material for purposes of commentary, criticism, or other transformative uses – by claiming that Meltwater's use of copyrighted excerpts cannot be "transformative" fair use unless they are also "expressive." In an amicus brief filed [January 18, 2013], EFF argues that AP's theory would restrict the use and development of services that allow users to find, organize, and share public information."
the Chronicle of Higher Education - Jennifer Howard: "Academic libraries’ indexing of digitized works counts as fair use. So says the federal judge overseeing a major copyright-infringement lawsuit brought last year by the Authors Guild against the HathiTrust digital repository and its university partners. At stake was the uses the libraries could make of millions of scanned books. “I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses” made by the defendants, Judge Harold Baer, of the U.S. District Court in New York, wrote in a ruling issued late Wednesday [copy of which is via EFF]."
News releases: The Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Google today announced a settlement agreement that will provide access to publishers’ in-copyright books and journals digitized by Google for its Google Library Project. The dismissal of the lawsuit will end seven years of litigation. The agreement settles a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Google on October 19, 2005 by five AAP member publishers. As the settlement is between the parties to the litigation, the court is not required to approve its terms. The settlement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright-holders. US publishers can choose to make available or choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project. Those deciding not to remove their works will have the option to receive a digital copy for their use."
EFF: "A new study from Australia presents the latest evidence that loosening copyright restrictions not only enables free speech, but can improve an economy as well. The study, published by the Australian Digital Alliance, indicated that if Australia expanded copyright exceptions like fair use, along with strengthening safe harbor provisions, the country could potentially add an extra $600 million to their economy. In addition, the report details how vital copyright exceptions are to the Australian economy as a whole. As ADA’s executive officer and copyright advisor Ellen Broad told EFF, "Australia's sectors relying on copyright exceptions currently contribute 14% of our GDP, around $182 billion and they're growing rapidly. It's essential that Australia's copyright policy framework adequately support innovation and growth of these sectors in the digital environment.”
Via Jeff Lamicela: "The latest available data from the federal courts show that during July 2012 the government reported 296 new copyright civil filings, according to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). This is the fourth straight month where filings have reached close to 300 or more per month -- higher than they have been since July 2008. Federal copyright lawsuits are 41.3 higher in July 2012 than they were for the same period one year ago, and have generally been rising over the last two years. Read the full report, including a list of those districts in which lawsuits of this kind were filed with the greatest rates relative to population."
"The First Amendment Center has supported an annual national survey of American attitudes about the First Amendment since 1997. The State of the First Amendment: 2012 is the 16th survey in this series. This year’s annual survey repeats some of the questions that have been administered since 1997 and includes new questions on the role of religion in the presidential election, attitudes about government’s control of the Internet, and opinions about the use of copyrighted material on the Internet. This report summarizes the findings from the 2012 survey, and where appropriate, depicts how attitudes have changed over time. The first section of this report presents the survey methodology used to conduct the State of the First Amendment research. The second section highlights the key findings from the 2012 project. The final section presents the complete survey results including question wording and trend data."
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 all but set for a November trial in Judge Harold Baer’s courtroom. And in the Authors Guild v. Google case, motions for summary judgment were also filed July 27, with a final round of reply briefs due September 17 and oral arguments set for October 9 before Judge Denny Chin. With the summary judgment motions now in, the question before the courts this time around is refreshingly simple compared to the complex 300-plus–page settlement agreement between the authors, publishers, and Google that was rejected by Judge Denny Chin in March of 2011: digitizing millions of books for preservation and indexing is either authorized by Congress under the Copyright Act’s fair use provision, or it’s not. The Authors Guild holds that the unprecedented mass digitization programs exceed Congress’s stated intentions, while lawyers for Google and the HathiTrust (a coalition of research libraries) argue that the public benefits and transformative nature of the scanning projects easily qualify them as fair use."
Via LLRX - The Decline of DVD-by-Mail, or Further Thoughts on the Digital Death of Copyright’s First Sale Doctrine - Prof. Annemarie Bridy comments on a dynamic new area of online copyright and licensing as she focuses on how Netflix is transitioning from an operating model that is clearly covered by an exception to copyright law to one that (very probably) requires permission for every content delivery.
How Fair Use Can Help Solve the Orphan Works Problem, Jennifer M. Urban - University of California, Berkeley - School of Law, June 18, 2012. Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 27, 2012. UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2089526
Copyright and Innovation: The Untold Story by Michael A. Carrier via SSRN
"For the first time in any U.S. trade agreement, the United States is proposing a new provision, consistent with the internationally-recognized “3-step test," that will obligate Parties to seek to achieve an appropriate balance in their copyright systems in providing copyright exceptions and limitations for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. These principles are critical aspects of the U.S. copyright system, and appear in both our law and jurisprudence. The balance sought by the U.S. TPP proposal recognizes and promotes respect for the important interests of individuals, businesses, and institutions who rely on appropriate exceptions and limitations in the TPP region. The United States is proposing this at the current round of TPP talks in San Diego. The proposal has benefited from the input of a wide range of stakeholders, and we look forward to discussing it further and sharing more information as the TPP negotiations progress."
Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications - Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, June 2012
Sag, Matthew, Predicting Fair Use (February 25, 2012). Ohio State Law Journal, Vol. 73:1 47-91 (2012); TRPC 2011; Loyola University Chicago School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-005. Available at SSRN
Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc., Case3:10-cv-03561-WHA Document1202 Filed 05/31/12: "In 2007, Google Inc., announced its Android software platform for mobile devices. In 2010, Oracle Corporation acquired Sun Microsystems, Inc., and thus acquired Sun’s interest in the popular programming language known as Java, a language used in Android. Sun was renamed Oracle America, Inc. Shortly thereafter, Oracle America (hereinafter simply “Oracle”) sued defendant Google and accused its Android platform as infringing Oracle’s Java-related copyrights and patents. Both Java and Android are complex platforms. Both include “virtual machines,” development and testing kits, and application programming interfaces, also known as APIs. Oracle’s copyright claim involves 37 packages in the Java API. Copyrightability of the elements replicated is the only issue addressed by this order...This order does not hold that Java API packages are free for all to use without license. It does not hold that the structure, sequence and organization of all computer programs may be stolen. Rather, it holds on the specific facts of this case, the particular elements replicated by Google were free for all to use under the Copyright Act. Therefore, Oracle’s claim based on Google’s copying of the 37 API packages, including their structure, sequence and organization is DISMISSED. To the extent stated herein, Google’s Rule 50 motions regarding copyrightability are GRANTED (Dkt. Nos. 984, 1007). Google’s motion for a new trial on copyright infringement is DENIED AS MOOT (Dkt. No. 1105)."
"Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are the principal means for establishing ownership rights to inventions and ideas, and provide a legal foundation by which intangible ideas and creations generate tangible benefits to businesses and employees. Intellectual property (IP) protection affects commerce throughout the economy by: providing incentives to invent and create; protecting innovators from unauthorized copying; facilitating vertical specialization in technology markets; creating a platform for financial investments in innovation; supporting startup liquidity and growth through mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs; making licensing-based technology business models possible; and, enabling a more efficient market for technology transfer and trading in technology and ideas.
Follow up to previous postings on the Google Book Search project litigation, this posting via The Public Index Blog, Class Certification Granted, by James Grimmelmann [Thursday, May 31, 2012] "Today, Judge Chin issued an opinion granting class certification. The Authors Guild lawsuit will proceed as a class action on behalf of:
News release: "Google expanded its transparency reports program today by releasing a detailed report of content removal requests from copyright holders. The new copyright report joins its semi-annual government takedown transparency report, and covers more than 95% of the copyright takedown requests it has received for Search results since July 2011.1 Though Google has posted the content of takedown requests to Chilling Effects where possible before, this report presents the data collectively (and graphically) for the first time."
Briefing Paper on Embedding Creative Commons Licences into Digital Resources - Naomi Korn, Strategic Content Alliance IPR Consultant, March 2011
A License is Not a 'Contract Not to Sue': Disentangling Property and Contract in the Law of Copyright Licenses - Christopher M. Newman, George Mason University School of Law, February 24, 2012, George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 12-23
Business Use of Intellectual Property Protection Documented in NSF Survey by John E. Jankowski1, February 2012
"The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) announces the release of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries 2012, a clear and easy-to-use statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use developed by and for librarians who support academic inquiry and higher education. The Code was developed in partnership with the Center for Social Media and the Washington College of Law at American University. Winston Tabb, Johns Hopkins University Dean of University Libraries and Museums and President of ARL, said, “This document is a testament to the collective wisdom of academic and research librarians, who have asserted careful and considered approaches to some very difficult situations that we all face every day.”
Follow up to previous posting on ALA - PIPA, SOPA and the OPEN Act Quick Reference Guide, via the White House, Combating Online Piracy while Protecting an Open and Innovative Internet
PIPA, SOPA and the OPEN Act Quick Reference Guide, Corey Williams, American Library Association
How SOPA Affects Students, Educators, and Libraries: "...Libraries represent another educational group that could face fallout from SOPA. The Library Copyright Alliance, a group whose members include the American Library Association and two other major library organizations, has also written a letter to the House of Representatives raising major issues with the bill. Alarmingly, the librarians point to “three pending copyright infringement lawsuits against universities and their libraries relating to their use of digital technology,” reflecting “a growing tension between rights holders and libraries, and some rights holders’ increasingly belligerent enforcement mentality.” That same enforcement mentality, under SOPA, could lead to criminal prosecutions of libraries, even for activities that are a fair use and conducted without the intention of commercial gain."
via LLRX.com - The Digital Death of Copyright's First Sale Doctrine: An important copyright case won't be argued in the Supreme Court, which on October 3, 2011 declined to review Vernor v. Autodesk, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving the applicability of copyright's first sale doctrine to transactions involving software and other digital information goods. Law professor Annmarie Bridy discusses the wide reaching impact of the first sale doctrine, without which there would be no free market for used books, CDs, or DVDs, because the copyright owner's right of distribution would reach beyond the first sale, all the way down the stream of commerce.
The Song of the Sirens: Google Book's Project and Copyright in a Digital Age, Clarice Castro and Ruy De Queiroz, September 1, 2011
CRS - Illegal Internet Streaming of Copyrighted Content: Legislation in the 112th Congress, Brian T. Yeh, Legislative Attorney, August 29, 2011
Press release: "On September 12, 2011 the Authors' Guild and a number of other entities filed suit against HathiTrust and a number of its university partners. The issues in the suit are the orphan works project as well as the digitization effort that we have been engaged in for almost two decades. Digitization is a reflection of library prudence, rather than the reckless activity as characterized by the Authors' Guild complaint and accompanying statement. From its inception, the primary motive driving our digitization effort has been, and remains, preservation. Preserving the scholarly and cultural record is at the core of the Library's mission. Digitization offers a means of preserving the intellectual content of books whose lives as objects are subject to the vagaries of storage conditions and their own composition; for example, the vast majority of the volumes in our collection are printed on acid paper. Many of these volumes are protected by copyright, but if we wait until they enter the public domain they will be too brittle to circulate or digitize, and of no use to anyone. The Orphan Works Project is an example of library prudence in other ways. Digitized collections offer other obvious benefits. They can be more readily shared with our community, who increasingly expect their research materials to be available in digital form, and they can also provide a trove of data, both humanistic and scientific, that will help scholars and researchers discover and create new knowledge. And in many cases, they can also be made available to anyone in the world with a connection to the Internet. The way in which the HathiTrust partners share this particular collection is guided by a deep and abiding respect for intellectual property and US copyright law, particularly Sections 107 and 108, which help define how libraries may lawfully share their collections. While the law does not specifically address orphan works, we are certain that our scholarly purpose, along with our careful methodology in determining whether these works have a market or an extant copyright holder who can be contacted, make this sharing legal. Sharing, by the way, which is limited to online reading by our faculty and students in the United States, and one-page-at-a-time downloads; not, as the Guild complaint states, worldwide availability and full PDF downloads."
News release: "On September 6, 2011, we announced that we are making journal content in JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world. This “Early Journal Content” includes discourse and scholarship in the arts and humanities, economics and politics, and in mathematics and other sciences. It includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals. This represents 6% of the content on JSTOR. While JSTOR currently provides access to scholarly content to people through a growing network of more than 7,000 institutions in 153 countries, we also know there are independent scholars and other people that we are still not reaching in this way. Making the Early Journal Content freely available is a first step in a larger effort to provide more access options to the content on JSTOR for these individuals. The Early Journal Content will be released on a rolling basis beginning today. A quick video tutorial about how to access this content is also available."
News release: "The National Music Publishers Association announced it has reached a resolution with YouTube in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed in 2007. As a result of this resolution, music publishers will have the opportunity to enter into a License Agreement with YouTube and receive royalties from YouTube for musical works in videos posted on the site. HFA's licensing and rights administration expertise was instrumental in making this opportunity possible. HFA will administer the license agreements which will be available to all music publishers regardless of affiliation."
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, trains), the food we eat and the music we listen to or the films we watch. But in the last few years, technological change and, in particular, the growing importance of online activities, have completely changed the world in which IPR operate. The existing mix of European and national rules are no longer adapted and need to be modernised. That is why the Commission has adopted today a comprehensive strategy to revamp the legal framework in which IPR operate. Our objective is to enable inventors, creators, users and consumers to adapt to the new circumstances and to enhance new business opportunities. The new rules will strike the right balance between promoting creation and innovation, in part by ensuring reward and investment for creators and, on the other hand, promoting the widest possible access to goods and services protected by IPR. Getting this balance right will make a real difference to businesses (from the individual artist working alone to the big pharmaceutical companies) by encouraging investment in innovation. This will benefit the EU's growth and competitiveness which is delivered through the single market. Consumers will benefit from wider and easier access to information and cultural content, for example online music. The strategy deals with many issues to ensure IPR are covered comprehensively - from the patent a business needs to protect an invention to tackling the misuse of such inventions via a proposal also adopted today which will strengthen action on counterfeiting and piracy. Among the first deliverables of this IPR overall strategy are today's proposals for an easier licensing system for so-called "orphan works" that will allow many cultural works to be accessible online, and for a new regulation to reinforce customs actions in fighting trade of IPR infringing goods."
Building a Collaborative Digital Collection, a Necessary Evolution in Libraries, Michelle M. Wu, Georgetown University Law Center, Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 11-47, Law Library Journal, Forthcoming
News release: "Scholars, artists and other individuals around the world will enjoy free access to online images of millions of objects housed in Yale's museums, archives, and libraries thanks to a new "Open Access" policy that the University announced today. Yale is the first Ivy League university to make its collections accessible in this fashion, and already more than 250,000 images are available through a newly developed collective catalog. The goal of the new policy is to make high quality digital images of Yale's vast cultural heritage collections in the public domain openly and freely available. As works in these collections become digitized, the museums and libraries will make those images that are in the public domain freely accessible. In a departure from established convention, no license will be required for the transmission of the images and no limitations will be imposed on their use. The result is that scholars, artists, students, and citizens the world over will be able to use these collections for study, publication, teaching and inspiration."
Larsson, Stefan, The Path Dependence of European Copyright (April 15, 2011). SCRIPT-ed, Vol. 8, No. 1, April 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1824228
Rethinking Music: A Briefing Book Compiled and Presented By The Berkman Center for Internet & Society At Harvard University, April 2011.
A Guide For the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement - "On March 22, 2011, Judge Denny Chin rejected the proposed settlement in copyright infringement litigation over the Google Library Project. Judge Chin found that the settlement was not "fair, reasonable, and adequate" as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Chin issued the decision over a year after the fairness hearing he conducted. His opinion agrees in large measure with the objections to the settlement asserted by the U.S. Department of Justice at the hearing and in its written submissions. This paper by Jonathan Band continues the series in which he discusses the opinion and where it leaves Google Books Search."
EPIC: "Judge Denny Chin struck down a proposed settlement between Google and copyright holders that would have imposed significant privacy risks on e-book consumers. Google's proposal would have entitled the company to collect each users' search queries as well as the titles and page numbers of the books they read. In a February 2010 hearing before the Court, EPIC President Marc Rotenberg explained EPIC Press Release: EPIC Urges Court To Reject Google Books Settlement; EPIC: Google Books Settlement and Privacy."
The Risky Business of Information Sharing: Why You Need to Care About Copyright: Copyright is an essential tool in the spread of new ideas, and the workplace has become ground zero for infringement. Ask employees up and down the corporate hierarchy, and they'll tell you that whisking information electronically to co-workers is integral to their jobs. Their employers will emphatically agree. But unauthorized swaps of information also carry enormous potential risk: Ordinary office exchanges, so natural to the digital world, can easily violate the copyright rights of others and bring costly lawsuits or settlements. Now the same technology that has dramatically defined the Internet age is drawing a new roadmap to compliance, with software tools that simplify adherence to copyright requirements.
News release: "Today, the Federal Communications Commission grants—with conditions and enforceable commitments—approval of the assignment and transfer of control of broadcast, satellite, and other radio licenses from General Electric Company (GE) to Comcast Corporation. The approval will allow GE and Comcast to create a joint venture involving NBC Universal, Inc. (NBCU) and Comcast. An Order further explaining the Commission’s reasoning and the conditions and commitments will be issued shortly. The Commission's decision is based on a thorough review of the record, which includes extensive data and voluntary commitments from the applicants, as well as thousands of comments from interested parties and public input received at a public forum held in Chicago. Based on this review, the Commission has determined that granting the application, with certain conditions and contingent upon enforceable commitments, is in the public interest."
Stakeholders' Platform Launches Project to Facilitate Access by VIPs to Published Works: "An unprecedented initiative to facilitate access to published works by the visually impaired and the print disabled was announced on October 23, 2010, in New Delhi, India at the 5th meeting of WIPO’s Stakeholders’ Platform. The Platform approved the launch on November 1, 2010, of TIGAR – the trusted intermediary global accessible resources project – which will enable publishers to make their titles easily available to trusted intermediaries. These intermediaries will create accessible formats and share them amongst each other and with specialized libraries. This site is a platform for initiatives in the intellectual property (IP) field aimed at facilitating access to information and cultural content by the blind, visually impaired, and other reading-impaired persons (VIPs). An objective of the IP system is to promote creativity and culture, while returning value to creators and providing widespread, affordable access to content for the public. Digital information technologies add a new dimension to the need for balance between protection of rightholders on the one hand, and the needs of specific user groups to benefit from reasonable exceptions to rights, on the other. Such users include more than 160 million VIPs around the world."
The Library: Three Jeremiads, by Robert Darnton, New York Review of Books, December 23, 2010.
Telecommunications: The Proposed Performance Rights Act Would Result in Additional Costs for Broadcast Radio Stations and Additional Revenue for Record Companies, Musicians, and Performers, GAO-10-826, August 04, 2010
In his letter to bi-partisan Congressional leadership President Obama highlights "the devastating economic impact of budget cuts at the state and local levels that are leading to massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters." Je goes on to request support for his small business legislation that "includes a new lending initiative to help creditworthy firms access loans through community banks and innovative state partnerships..."
Official Google Blog: "Today we’re announcing an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage [to] digitize up to a million out-of-copyright works. The libraries will select the works to be digitized from their collections, which include a wealth of rare historical books, including scientific works, literature from the period of the founding of Italy and the works of Italy's most famous poets and writers. It marks the first time we’ve ever joined forces with Italian libraries, and the first time we've worked with a ministry of culture."
An investigation by Katie Scott: "A proposal that could give select institutions the power to take snapshots of websites without their owners' permission is being ruminated by our Government. Civil servants at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport are now processing opinions on whether we should be archiving websites for future generations. While it is likely that any changes to the 2003 Legal Deposit Libraries Act won't be tackled by the present government, the public consultation has raised some interesting questions -- should we be treating websites as culturally important artefacts; should we be taking regular "snapshots" of websites and saving them in a searchable and accessible archive; whose responsibility is this; and most importantly, should copyright on websites be ignored so that their content can be saved? The British Library, the National Library of Wales and the Wellcome Library are among the institutions that lobbied the government on the 2003 Legal Deposit Libraries Act."
Follow up to previous postings on Google Book Search: "Now that the fairness hearing on the Google Books Settlement has occurred, it is up to Judge Chin to decide whether the proposed settlement is "fair, reasonable, and adequate." The attached chart attempts to diagram some of the possible paths forward. Notwithstanding the complexity of the chart, it does not reflect all the possible permutations. For example, it does not mention stays pending appeals nor whether litigation would proceed as a class action. Moreover, the chart does not address the substantive reasons why a certain outcome may occur, e.g., the basis for Judge Chin accepting or rejecting the settlement. And it doesn't begin to address the issue of Congressional intervention through legislation. In short, the precise way forward is more difficult to predict than the NCAA tournament. And although the next step in the GBS saga may occur this March, many more NCAA tournaments will come and go before the buzzer sounds on this dispute."
Follow up to postings on Google Book Search resources and related litigation, the latest news from The Laboratorium - GBS: Fairness Hearing Report [held February 18, 2010, U.s. District Court, Southern District of New York], with Part I here and Part II here. These report cover the arguments of settlement supporters and opponents; and the arguments made by the Department of Justice and the parties, along with a few brief comments of Law Professor James Grimmelmann.
Follow up to previous postings on Google Book Search, this annotated public interest resource: "The Public Index is a project of the Public-Interest Book Search Initiative and the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School. We are a group of professors, students, and volunteers who believe that the Google Book Search lawsuit and settlement deserve a full, careful, and thoughtful public discussion. The Public Index is a site for people from all points of view to learn from each other about the settlement and join together to make their voices heard in the public debate."
Follow up to previous postings on Google Book Search, this news, Justice Department Submits Views on Amended Google Book Search Settlement - Department Says Despite Substantial Progress Made, Issues Remain
Follow up to previous postings on Google Book Search - Google & the Future of Books: An Exchange By Paul N. Courant, Laine Farley, Paula Kaufman, John Leslie King, Theodore Koditschek, Anthony Lewis et al.
"To the Editors: In his recent article criticizing the Google settlement [Google and the New Digital Future, NYR, December 17, 2009], Robert Darnton fails to acknowledge the significant role that libraries have had in the creation of Google Book Search as well as the concrete steps they are taking to address the sorts of concerns he raises. Libraries are using Google-digitized volumes to create the "truly public library" that he seeks, and these same libraries are taking responsibility for the preservation of Google-digitized volumes. More than thirty research libraries have made agreements with Google to digitize their collections as part of their long-standing tradition of providing the highest level of access to scholarly materials. These libraries have worked successfully with Google to ensure the integrity of their physical collections and to digitize those collections in accordance with broadly held standards for digital capture."
A Guide for the Perplexed Part III: The Amended Settlement Agreement - On Friday, November 13, 2009, Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers filed an Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA) in the copyright infringement litigation concerning the Google Library Project. The amendments proposed by the parties are designed to address objections made by the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to the original proposed settlement agreement. This paper by Jonathan Band describes the ASA's major changes, with emphasis on those changes relevant to libraries.
Follow up to previous postings on the Google Book Search settlement,
this letter to DOJ Antitrust Division: "The American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries (the Library Associations) write to express our views concerning how the United States should respond to the Amended Settlement Agreement filed by the parties on November 13, 2009. In brief, we believe that active supervision of the settlement by the court and the United States will protect the public interest far more than any additional restructuring of the settlement."
News release: "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL.net), and other international copyright experts joined together today to launch Copyright Watch -- a public website created to centralize resources on national copyright laws at www.copyright-watch.org. Copyright Watch is the first comprehensive and up-to-date online repository of national copyright laws. To find links to national and regional copyright laws, users can choose a continent or search using a country name. The site will be updated over time to include proposed amendments to laws, as well as commentary and context from national copyright experts. Copyright Watch will help document how legislators around the world are coping with the challenges of new technology and new business models."
Follow up to previous postings on Google Book Search, news from the Authors Guild that 14 minutes before before midnight on November 13, 2009, "the parties filed with the Court an Amended Settlement Agreement and a motion for preliminary approval of the amended settlement. The parties' motion also seeks Court approval of a Supplemental Notice which, if approved, will be sent out in early December 2009." Here is a short FAQ.
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 the Web to read on whatever device they have. Publishers are creating digital versions of their popular books, and the library community is creating digital archives of their printed collections. BookServer is an open system to find, buy, or borrow these books, just like we use an open system to find Web sites. The BookServer is a growing open architecture for vending and lending digital books over the Internet. Built on open catalog and open book formats, the BookServer model allows a wide network of publishers, booksellers, libraries, and even authors to make their catalogs of books available directly to readers through their laptops, phones, netbooks, or dedicated reading devices. BookServer facilitates pay transactions, borrowing books from libraries, and downloading free, publicly accessible books."
Follow up to previous postings on Google Book Search, this insightful commentary from The American Lawyer - Scanning the Future, by Ben Hallman: "Lawyers familiar with the talks say the book publishing industry had watched in horror as the music business waged a scorched-earth campaign against file-sharing sites like Napster, only to see their profits plunge and antipathy to their tactics grow. They didn't want to follow the same path. In the spring of 2006, executives and lawyers began e-mailing various proposals about how a comprehensive settlement might work, say lawyers familiar with the negotiations. The authors were most interested in getting paid for their out-of-print works. The publishers, meanwhile, wanted to ensure nothing could be done with in-print books without their permission. Google wanted a deal that would incorporate the most troublesome class of books: in-copyright, out-of-print books, for which the rights holders cannot be determined."
Follow up to previous postings on the Google Book Settlement, this New York Times Op-Ed today: A Library to Last Forever, by Sergey Brin/Google: "Because books are such an important part of the world’s collective knowledge and cultural heritage, Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, first proposed that we digitize all books a decade ago, when we were a fledgling startup. At the time, it was viewed as so ambitious and challenging a project that we were unable to attract anyone to work on it. But five years later, in 2004, Google Books (then called Google Print) was born, allowing users to search hundreds of thousands of books. Today, they number over 10 million and counting. The next year we were sued by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers over the project. While we have had disagreements, we have a common goal — to unlock the wisdom held in the enormous number of out-of-print books, while fairly compensating the rights holders. As a result, we were able to work together to devise a settlement that accomplishes our shared vision. While this settlement is a win-win for authors, publishers and Google, the real winners are the readers who will now have access to a greatly expanded world of books.
Terms of Service - "These Terms of Service (“Terms”) govern your access to and use of the services and Twitter’s websites (the “Services”), and any information, text, graphics, or other materials uploaded, downloaded or appearing on the Services (collectively referred to as “Content”). Your access to and use of the Services is conditioned on your acceptance of and compliance with these Terms. By accessing or using the Services you agree to be bound by these Terms...Your Righst: You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed)."
Follow up to previous postings on what is becoming the saga of the Google Book Settlement, the following articles, legal documents and commentary today:
Follow up to previous posting on Google book search, this news release today: Justice Department Submits Views on Proposed Google Book Search Settlement: "The Department of Justice today advised the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that while it should not accept the class action settlement in The Authors Guild Inc. et al. v. Google Inc. as proposed due to concerns of the United States regarding class action, copyright and antitrust law, the parties should be encouraged to continue their productive discussions to address those concerns. In its statement of interest filed with the court, the Department stated: "Given the parties’ express commitment to ongoing discussions to address concerns already raised and the possibility that such discussions could lead to a settlement agreement that could legally be approved by the Court, the public interest would best be served by direction from the Court encouraging the continuation of those discussions between the parties and, if the Court so chooses, by some direction as to those aspects of the Proposed Settlement that need to be improved. Because a properly structured settlement agreement in this case offers the potential for important societal benefits, the United States does not want the opportunity or momentum to be lost."
eWeek.com: "Google agrees to provide 2 million non-copyrighted book titles for On Demand Books printing and cutting using its high-speed Espresso Book Machine. Google Books titles offered via the Espresso Machine will have a recommended sales price of $8 per copy, though the price is subject to change by retailers. On Demand may have access to sell more works if Google's Book Search deal with authors and publishers passes muster with the New York District Court in October." Wired also has the story.
Statement of Marybeth Peters, The Register of Copyrights before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives 111th Congress 1st Session, September 10, 2009
The relationship between public libraries and Google: Too much information, by Vivienne Waller. First Monday, Volume 14, Number 9 - 7 September 2009
Via Out of the Jungle, insightful commentary and content from a fee based Chronicle of Higher Education article, Choosing Up Sides to Hate or Love the Google Books Deal: "...And—this is what intrigues me the most—how will Judge Chin decide what role the federal courts can and should play in the creation and oversight of what almost everyone agrees will be a digital library the likes of which we have never seen before? Will he agree with Marybeth Peters, the U.S. Register of Copyrights, who told a late-to-the-game House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday that the settlement "inappropriately creates something similar to a compulsory license for works, unfairly alters the property interests of millions of rights holders of out-of-print works without any Congressional oversight, and has the capacity to create diplomatic stress for the United States" because of other countries' objections? (I wonder what the judge will make of the suggestion that Congress has a role to play here.)"
"CDT filed a "friend of the court" brief in the Southern District of New York [September 4, 2009] requesting that key privacy requirements be included in the Court's approval of the class-action settlement that would dramatically expand Google Book Search. CDT previously released a report in July analyzing the privacy implications of this settlement and is urging the judge to guarantee strong privacy safeguards for the exciting new services Google will be able to offer. The brief asks that the court approve the proposed settlement of the copyright infringement lawsuit between Google and authors and publishers, but to retain oversight in order to monitor implementation of a privacy plan."
bizjounrals: "Amazon.com Inc. this week joined the groups filing objections in court against Google Inc.'s settlement with authors and publishers. Amazon said in its 41-page brief filed in federal court that Google will stifle competition if the settlement is approved."
Follow up to previous postings on Google Book settlement, BBB News reports - Tech giants unite against Google - "Three technology heavyweights are joining a coalition to fight Google's attempt to create what could be the world's largest virtual library. Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo will sign up to the Open Book Alliance being spearheaded by the Internet Archive. They oppose a legal settlement that could make Google the main source for many online works."
TIME: "In a complex settlement agreement, which took three years to hammer out and spans 135 pages excluding attachments, Google will be allowed to show up to 20% of the books' text online at no charge to Web surfers. But the part of the settlement that deals with so-called orphan books — which refers to out-of-print books whose authors and publishers are unknown — is what's ruffling the most feathers in the literary henhouse. The deal gives Google an exclusive license to publish and profit from these orphans, which means it won't face legal action if an author or owner comes forward later. This, critics contend, gives it a competitive edge over any rival that wants to set up a competing digital library. And without competition, opponents fear Google will start charging exorbitant fees to academic libraries and others who want full access to its digital library. "It will make Google virtually invulnerable to competition," says Robert Darnton, head of the Harvard University library system."
Follow-up to previous postings on Google Book Search, Deal or No Deal: What if the Google Settlement Fails? by Andrew Richard Albanese, Publishers Weekly.
Follow up to previous articles on Google Book Search: "The University of Michigan today announced that it has expanded its historic agreement with Google Inc. to create digital copies of millions of U-M library books and journals. The amended agreement, which strengthens library preservation efforts and increases the public's access to books, is possible because of Google's pending settlement with a broad class of authors and publishers. The U-M library is the first in the nation to expand its partnership with Google."
Can Collaboration Solve Copyright Status Questions? The WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry - As Roger V. Skalbeck documents, one of the underlying obstacles to reproducing older books is a central place to look for information about what is protected by copyright and what may have passed into the public domain is lacking. Responding to this need, OCLC recently introduced a beta service, the WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry (CER). It could be a very valuable resource for recording and sharing copyright status information."
Update to May 1, 2009 posting - White House Website Adds Links to FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace - the Official White House Photostream on Flickr
Follow up to Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Landmark Settlement, from the Authors Guild: "The court overseeing Authors Guild v. Google extended the time for authors and publishers to opt out of the settlement by four months, to September 4th (Judge Chin's order). The fairness hearing will be on October 7th."
Follow up to previous postings on Google Book search, "The [Internet] Archive is one of many Internet content providers that have an interest in opposing the proposed [Google Book]Settlement Agreement because it effectively limits the liability for the identified uses of orphan works of one party alone, Google Inc., and provides for a Books Rights Registry, the interests of which are represented solely by identified rightsholders, to negotiate their exploitation. All other persons, including Internet content providers such as the Archive, would not be able to use orphan works broadly without being exposed to claims to infringement."
News release: "Starting today, The eBook Store from Sony will provide access to more than a half-million public domain books from Google optimized for current models of the Reader. At Sony’s eBook store (ebookstore.sony.com), a button on the front page leads to the books from Google, which people can transfer to their PRS-505 or PRS-700 Reader at no cost. The process is seamless for Reader owners who have an account at the store. Those new to the store will need to set up an account and download Sony’s free eBook Library software. To start, people can access more than a half-million public domain books from Google, boosting the available titles from the eBook Store to more than 600,000."
Timothy B. Lee: "Speaking at Princeton on Thursday, Richard Sarnoff, chairman of the Association of American Publishers, discussed the landmark settlement in the Google Book Search case. Sarnoff speculated that the agreement could effectively give Google and Amazon a "duopoly" in the online book market."
News release: "Acting U.S. Trade Representative Peter Allgeier announced today that a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel has found important aspects of China’s intellectual property rights (IPR) regime to be inconsistent with China’s obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). The United States brought claims against China because of serious concerns about several shortcomings in China’s legal regime for protecting and enforcing copyrights and trademarks on a wide range of products."
A Guide for the Perplexed: Libraries and the Google Library Project Settlement: Jonathan Band's article outlines the settlement’s provisions, with special emphasis on the provisions that apply directly to libraries. The settlement is extremely complex (over 200 pages long, including attachments), so this paper of necessity simplifies many of its details.
Follow up to October 28, 2008 posting, Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Landmark Settlement, from the Harvard Crimson: "Harvard University Library will not take part in Google’s book scanning project for in-copyright works after finding the terms of its landmark $125 million settlement regarding copyrighted materials unsatisfactory, University officials said yesterday."
News release: "The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google today announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search...Under the agreement, Google will make payments totaling $125 million. The money will be used to establish the Book Rights Registry, to resolve existing claims by authors and publishers and to cover legal fees. The settlement agreement resolves Authors Guild v. Google, a class-action suit filed on September 20, 2005 by the Authors Guild and certain authors, and a suit filed on October 19, 2005 by five major publisher-members of the Association of American Publishers: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; Pearson Education, Inc. and Penguin Group (USA) Inc., both part of Pearson; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; and Simon & Schuster, Inc. part of CBS Corporation. These lawsuits challenged Google’s plan to digitize, search and show snippets of in-copyright books and to share digital copies with libraries without the explicit permission of the copyright owner."
Electronic Frontier Foundation: "This document, Unintended Consequences: Ten Years under the DMCA, collects reported cases where the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA have been invoked not against pirates, but against consumers, scientists, and legitimate competitors. It will be updated from time to time as additional cases come to light. The latest version can always be obtained at EFF.org. This document is Version Five. The previous version, from April of 2006, is available here."
News release: "After more than a year of intensive study, the U.S. Copyright Office issued its report on whether to maintain, modify or eliminate Sections 111, 119 and 122 of the Copyright Act. It will serve as the basis for discussion for possible changes to the statutory licenses. Section 109 of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA) of 2004 requires the Copyright Office to examine and compare the statutory licensing systems for the cable and satellite television industries under Sections 111, 119 and 122 of the Copyright Act and recommend any necessary legislative changes no later than June 30, 2008."
Inside Google Blog Search: "U.S. Copyright Office records. Records from 1978 onward are online but not downloadable in bulk. The Copyright Office hasn't digitized their earlier records, but Carnegie Mellon scanned them as part of their Universal Library Project, and the tireless folks at Project Gutenberg and the Distributed Proofreaders painstakingly corrected the OCR. Thanks to the efforts of Google software engineer Jarkko Hietaniemi, we've gathered the records from both sources, massaged them a bit for easier parsing, and combined them into a single XML file available for download here."
News release: "Handling about 550,000 copyright claims annually, the U.S. Copyright Office in the Library of Congress is making it much easier for the public to register and protect its collective creativity. On July 1, the Copyright Office will enter the next phase in the implementation of its multi-year business process re-engineering effort to modernize operations from a paper-based to a Web-based processing environment...In July the Copyright Office also plans to release the new Form CO, which effectively replaces six traditional paper application forms. Users will complete a Form CO online, print it out and send it to the Copyright Office with payment and a copy(ies) of the work being registered. Each Form CO is imprinted with 2-D barcodes that are scanned to automatically transfer the information contained in the form into an eCO service request record. The fee for registering a basic claim using Form CO is $45."
ASCAP news release: "The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York today made public a decision in the proceeding to determine reasonable license fees to be paid to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) by AOL (Time Warner Inc., RealNetworks Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. for their online performance of musical works.
The decision covers license fees for periods starting as far back as July 1, 2002, and continuing through December 31, 2009, for the performance of musical works in the ASCAP repertory by AOL, RealNetworks and Yahoo! Based on the formula established by the Court, the total payments to be made to ASCAP and its membership by these three services for that full period could reach $100 million. The Court's comprehensive 153 page decision was based on extensive evidence presented by both sides in the case regarding the online performance of musical works by AOL, RealNetworks and Yahoo!"
The Orphan Works Act of 2008 (HR 5889 and S 2913) "attempts to create a system where new creators can use old works without fear of massive lawsuits, provided that a good faith effort has been made to find out if the work in question is copyrighted." [Link]
"After nearly three years of intensive work, the independent Section 108 Study Group has issued its report and recommendations on exceptions to copyright law to address how libraries, archives and museums deal with copyrighted materials in fulfilling their missions in the digital environment...Section 108 is the section of the Copyright Act that provides limited exceptions for libraries and archives so that they may make copies to replace copyrighted works in their collections when necessary, preserve them for the long term and make them available to users."
IDC's Worldwide Software Pricing and Licensing Taxonomy and Report Guide, 2008, Mar 2008, Doc #210950: "This IDC study defines the classification scheme, or taxonomy, used by IDC's Global Software Business Strategies group to analyze the software licensing strategies of vendors and requirements of end-user organizations. IDC's software pricing and licensing taxonomy represents a fundamental view of the way software is created, priced, sold, and supported."
copyrighthistory.org: "This website provides a digital resource relating to the history of copyright in five jurisdictions (France, Germany, Italy, the UK and US) for the period up to 1900. It will include the 50 most important documents from France, Germany and the UK, and the 20 most important from Venice and the United States. The documents are in the process of being selected by national editors, under the guidance of an international advisory body. They will then be digitised, and where appropriate transcribed and translated. The national editors will also provide commentaries on the documents, explaining their significance and why they were selected." [Fred von Lohmann, EFF]
Creative Commons and Public.Resource.Org announced [February 11, 2008] that the first revision of a substantial corpus of U.S. federal case law is available for download by developers. The files are all clearly marked with the new Creative Commons CCØ label, indicating that the contents are Works of the United States Government and are thus free of copyright or other restrictions for their dissemination and reuse. Developers may access this information here. [This] release covers all U.S. Supreme Court decisions and all Courts of Appeals
decisions from 1950 on. The release is equivalent to 1,858 volumes of case law in book form, a stack of books 348 feet tall. The files have all been converted to the XHTML standard and make extensive use of
CSS style sheets to allow developers to build new search engines and user interfaces."
Google Book Search: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly, 1/1/2008, By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology.
The Threat Posed By Inflated Statutory Damages, Comments on the January 25, 2008 Meeting Hosted by the Copyright Office: "The PRO IP Act (H.R. 4279) proposes to weaken the long-established “one work” rule, which today imposes a measure of certainty on how copyright statutory damages are calculated. Under current law, a copyright plaintiff may seek up to $150,000 per work infringed. In the case of compilations, the one work rule recognizes that the compilation is being marketed as one work, although it may in fact consist of multiple components. Section 104 of the PRO IP Act seeks to undo a central underpinning of statutory damages: ensuring that the damages award for infringement of a compilation does not result in catastrophic multiple awards through a separate award for each component of that compilation. For example, current law authorizes a statutory damages award of up to $150,000 for a single infringement of a magazine containing 100 photos, or a software application containing 100 modules. The proposed changes in Section 104 would allow a plaintiff to claim up to $15 million for the same act of infringement."
"The University of Michigan's University Library has just put the millionth book from its collection on-line. That's one million out of the 7.5 million volumes in the library's current holdings. Digitized materials are made available publicly via the Mirlyn library catalog and MBooks. MBooks provides full text of works that are in the public domain, creating new ways for users to search and access U-M Library content. Materials that are currently in copyright are available for searching on-line, allowing users to assess the contents of a book before deciding whether to purchase it or borrow it from the library."
Press release: "The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today announced that three universities - [text of the guidelines linked as follows] Hofstra, Syracuse and Marquette — have reached agreement with the AAP on new copyright guidelines affirming that educational content delivered to students in digital formats should be treated under the same copyright principles that apply to printed materials. The guidelines, which were developed separately by the three universities, govern how librarians and faculty members distribute copyrighted content through library electronic course reserves systems, course management systems, faculty and departmental web pages and other digital formats. AAP worked with each of the three universities in cooperative efforts to establish easily understood and common-sense standards that help faculty and staff understand and interpret their rights and responsibilities when using copyrighted content in educational settings. Each of the guidelines reflects the specific needs of the particular university and is consistent with the principles of fair use while providing helpful guidance as to when permission from the copyright holder is required to copy or post materials in digital formats. AAP believes the guidelines, which are similar to those adopted by Cornell University last year, will serve as models for others colleges and universities."
Pew Internet Project Data Memo, Video Sharing Websites, January 9, 2008: "The audience for YouTube and other internet video sites has risen sharply the past year. Nearly half of online adults now say they have visited such sites. On a typical day at the end of 2007, the share of internet users going to video sites was nearly twice as large as it had been at the end of 2006."
New Study on Copyright and Creativity from the Center for Social Media, Posted by Hugh DAndrade: "Free video hosting sites like YouTube, Yahoo! Video, and Daily Motion are enabling creators to share video instantly with millions of viewers around the world. A new report from the Center for Social Media takes a close look at these user generated sites, and finds that there is much more at stake than the SNL and Daily Show clips often referenced in the usual Viacom v. YouTube debates on copyright infringement. Recut, Reframe, Recycle shows that far from simply uploading content, more and more users are remixing prior works to create new (and often surprising) works of transformative creativity. Users are borrowing from film, television, and pop culture at large to create parodies and satires, commentaries, pastiche, quotations, as well as archives of important work that cannot be shown due to copyright restriction. By illustrating each category with some of the best examples of user-generated content from the past few years, the study attempts to clarify "the difference between quoting for new cultural creation and simple piracy."
"CDT has created a list to alert consumers about music download Web sites that charge fees and claim a large selection, but do not appear to have obtained licenses to ensure that users' downloads from the site are legal. Consumers looking to download music lawfully for the new computers and MP3 players they receive this holiday season may want to check CDT's list before paying money to unfamiliar but legitimate-looking music services. CDT hopes that warning consumers about these sites can help avoid confusion and promote the continued growth of the lawful online music market."
This series is a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and Research Center for Information Law at University of St. Gallen. Authors, John Palfrey and Urs Gasser.
Democrats: Colleges must police copyright, or else, by Anne Broache, News.com: "New federal legislation says universities must agree to provide not just deterrents but also "alternatives" to peer-to-peer piracy, such as paying monthly subscription fees to the music industry for their students, on penalty of losing all financial aid for their students. The U.S. House of Representatives bill (747 pages, PDF), which was introduced late Friday by top Democratic politicians, could give the movie and music industries a new revenue stream by pressuring schools into signing up for monthly subscription services such as Ruckus and Napster. Ruckus is advertising-supported, and Napster charges a monthly fee per student."
Press release: "Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Committee member Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) Wednesday introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen U.S. government efforts to combat copyright infringement and counterfeiting at home and abroad. The Judiciary Committee Wednesday also held a hearing today, Examining U.S. Government Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. The Intellectual Property Enforcement Act introduced Wednesday by Leahy and Cornyn would strengthen law enforcement capabilities and resources in thwarting copyright theft. The bill [Section-By-Section Analysis] would give civil copyright enforcement powers to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, and it would authorize additional funding to investigate and prosecute intellectual property crimes involving computers and the Internet. The bill also requires the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assign a minimum of 10 agents to work on intellectual property crimes, and it classifies both the importation and exportation of pirated works as infringement."
Press release: "Online video-hosting services like YouTube have ushered in a new era of free expression online, as well as vigorous copyright enforcement efforts. Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and a coalition of leading public interest groups issued a "Fair Use Principles" document that sets out six concrete guidelines designed to minimize the collateral damage that copyright enforcement efforts may inflict on video creators who are "remixing" copyrighted material into new video
YouTube Video Identification Beta: "YouTube Video Identification will help copyright holders identify their works on YouTube. We have worked with Google to develop one-of-a-kind technology that can recognize videos based on a variety of factors. As its Beta status indicates, our Video Identification is brand-new, cutting-edge stuff, so we will be constantly refining and improving it. Early tests with content companies have shown very promising results. As we scale and refine our system, YouTube Video Identification will be available to all kinds of copyright holders all over the world, whether they want their content to appear on YouTube or not."
Press release: Several of the world’s leading Internet and media companies today announced their joint support for a set of collaborative principles that enable the continued growth and development of user-generated content online and respect the intellectual property of content owners. The principles serve as a comprehensive set of guidelines to help user-generated content (UGC) services and content creators work together towards their collective goal of bringing more content to more consumers through legitimate channels. The principles acknowledge a collective respect for protecting copyrights and recognize that filtering technologies must be effective and are only a part of what is necessary to achieve this goal. The companies supporting these principles include CBS Corp., Dailymotion, Fox Entertainment Group, Microsoft Corp., MySpace, NBC Universal, Veoh Networks Inc., Viacom Inc. and The Walt Disney Company."
"The Copyright Office is pleased to announce that it has implemented a new email subscription service to make it easier to receive messages on the topics that interest you. This service is an expansion and replacement of the existing NewsNet newsletter. At this time, we are offering three topics:
"Fair Use exceptions to U.S. copyright laws are responsible for more than $4.5 trillion in annual revenue for the United States, according to the findings of an unprecedented economic study released today. According to the study commissioned by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and conducted in accordance with a World Intellectual Property Organization methodology, companies benefiting from limitations on copyright-holders’ exclusive rights, such as “fair use” – generate substantial revenue, employ millions of workers, and, in 2006, represented one-sixth of total U.S. GDP. The exhaustive report, released today at a briefing on Capitol Hill, quantifies for the first time ever the critical contributions of fair use to the U.S. economy. The timing proves particularly important as the debates over copyright law in the digital age move increasingly to center stage on Capitol Hill."
Press release: "In a report released [August 29, 2007]...the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) provides the only comprehensive look at the four-year litigation campaign waged by the RIAA against music fans. The report traces the RIAA campaign from its beginnings in 2003 against a handful of students at Princeton, Rensselaer Polytechnic, and Michigan Tech to the current spate of "pre-litigation settlement" letters being sent to universities nationwide."
EFF Report - RIAA v the People: Four Years Later (25 pages, PDF)
Knowledge Networks pays $300,000 to settle internal copyright complaint - "Firm's marketing group distributed press packets to employees containing newspaper and magazine articles under copyright."
Memorandum and Decision Order in SCO v. Novell, Civil Case No. 2:04CV139DAK, Dale A. Kimball, United States District Judge, U.S. Distrcit Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, August 10, 2007. (102 pages, PDF - via Groklaw]
The court also concludes that, to the extent that SCO has a copyright to enforce, SCO can simultaneously pursue both a copyright infringement claim and a breach of contract claim based on the non-compete restrictions in the license back of the Licensed Technology under APA and the TLA. The court further concludes that there has not been a change of control that released the non-compete restrictions of the license, and the non-compete restrictions of the license are not void under California law. Accordingly, Novell's motion for summary judgment on SCO's non-compete claim in its Second Claim for breach of contract and Fifth Claim for Relief for unfair competition is granted to the extent that SCO's claims require ownership of the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights, and denied in all other regards."
"On Thursday [July 5, 2007], a majority of the members of the Bundestag from the governing grand coalition and the FDP voted in favor of the government's controversial proposal (PDF file) for a second version of the country's Copyright Act for the Information Society, which includes the amendments proposed by the parliament's legal committee. [via heise online]
Google's response [via Google Watch] to Viacom's copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube.
WSJ free feature: Policing Web Video With 'Fingerprints' - Sharing Sites Say Technology Could Help Them Identify, Remove Unauthorized Clips: "Proponents of fingerprinting technology say it can help spot TV shows and films that are posted on video-sharing sites such as Google Inc.'s YouTube without their owners' permission, so the sites can remove them or share advertising revenue."
"The Report on Digital Preservation, Orphan Works and Out-of-Print Works, Selected Implementation Issues is an advisory report on copyright issues to the European Commission, presented on 19 April by the EU's High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries - which includes, inter alia, stakeholders from the British Library, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, the Federation of European Publishers and Google."
Agence France-Presse CEO Pierre Louette commenting in a press release today: "The agreement will allow uses of AFP's content in ways that go beyond its typical use of content in Google's services, which features just headlines and snippets of text to provide just a taste of what an article offers..."
"The Copyright Renewal Database makes searchable the copyright renewal records received by the US Copyright Office between 1950 and 1993 for books published in the US between 1923 and 1963. Note that the database includes ONLY US Class A (book) renewals. The period from 1923-1963 is of special interest for US copyrights, as works published after January 1, 1964 had their copyrights automatically renewed by the 1976 Copyright Act, and works published before 1923 have generally fallen into the public domain. Between those dates, a renewal registration was required to prevent the expiration of copyright, however determining whether a work's registration has been renewed is a challenge. Renewals received by the Copyright Office after 1977 are searchable in an online database, but renewals received between 1950 and 1977 were announced and distributed only in a semi-annual print publication. The Copyright Office does not have a machine-searchable source for this renewal information, and the only public access is through the card catalog in their DC offices."
House Judiciary Committee Hearing on “Reforming Section 115 of the Copyright Act for the Digital Age,” March 22, 2007.
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.
Now available: Determination of Rates and Terms for Webcasting for the License Period 2006-2010 in [Docket No. 2005-1 CRB DTRA] Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings and Ephemeral Recordings (155 pages, PDF)
Press release: "The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and Elsevier have established an agreement to make author manuscripts of articles published in Elsevier and Cell Press journals publicly available six months following final publication. It takes effect for articles published after September 1, 2007...Elsevier will deposit author manuscripts of original research articles, along with an article's supplemental data, on which any HHMI scientist is an author - including HHMI investigators, group leaders and fellows at the Janelia Farm Research Campus, and other institute employees - to PubMed Central (PMC), the digital archive of biomedical and life sciences literature maintained by the National Institutes of Health. The author manuscript has been through the peer review process and accepted for publication, but has not undergone editing and formatting."
Press release: "Advancing its longstanding mission of bringing government closer to the people, C-SPAN announced today two major initiatives designed to greatly expand citizen access to its online video of federal government activities, such as congressional hearings, agency briefings, and White House events...[thanks to Peggy Garvin]
Press release: "...the Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a report that concludes that the distributors of five popular filesharing programs repeatedly deployed features that they knew or should have known could cause users to share files inadvertently. The report, Filesharing Programs and "Technological Features to Induce Users to Share, identifies five features in recent versions of five popular filesharing programs that could cause users to inadvertently distribute to others downloaded files or their own proprietary or sensitive files. "Computer programs that can cause unintended filesharing contribute to copyright infringement, and they threaten the security of personal, corporate, and governmental data," noted Jon Dudas, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property-the Bush Administration's point person on copyright policy."
RIAA press release: "The recording industry today launched a new and strengthened campus anti-piracy initiative that significantly expands the scope and volume of its deterrent efforts while offering a new process that gives students the opportunity to avoid a formal lawsuit by settling prior to a litigation being filed. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), on behalf of the major record companies, today sent 400 pre-litigation settlement letters to 13 different universities. Each letter informs the school of a forthcoming copyright infringement lawsuit against one of its students or personnel. The RIAA will request that universities forward those letters to the appropriate network user. Under this new approach, a student (or other network user) can settle the record company claims against him or her at a discounted rate before a lawsuit is ever filed."
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. The legislation contains several improvements to the Digital Media Consumer's Rights Act, similar legislation which the lawmakers introduced in the 108th and 109th Congresses. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) is an original cosponsor of the legislation."
Press Release: "The Fair Use Project of the Center for Internet & Society at Stanford Law School announced that it has teamed with Media/Professional Insurance and leading intellectual property attorney Michael Donaldson to provide critical support for documentary filmmakers who rely on the “fair use” of copyrighted material in their films...In order to help solve this problem, the Fair Use Project has announced that it will agree to provide pro bono legal representation to certain filmmakers who comply with the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use published by the Center for Social Media at American University." [via Darlene Fichter]
Follow up to previous postings on a legal dispute between a group of Belgian newspaper sites and Google over removal of copyrighted materials from the search engine index, news today that the court reaffirmed its decision against Google.
Google's Moon Shot, by JEFFREY TOOBIN - The quest for the universal library. New Yorker, Posted 2007-01-29
"This morning, February 6, 2007, ALA President Leslie Burger testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), concerning the recent closure of several libraries in the Environmental and Protection Agency (EPA). Link to Burger’s full testimony.
"Counterfeiting and piracy costs U.S. companies between $200-$250 billion a year and roughly 750,000 jobs to date. Nearly all industries are being affected, from apparel and footwear, high-tech industrial goods, medicines, autos and auto parts, food and beverages, and cosmetics to copyrighted works, including entertainment and business software, movies, music, and books. The U.S. Chamber through its National Chamber Foundation has launched a broad initiative to effectively thwart the growing global threat of counterfeiting and piracy to the U.S. economy, the global business community, and consumers."
Stanford Center for Internet and Society: " Kahle v. Gonzales - In this case, two archives ask the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to hold that statutes that extended copyright terms unconditionally — the Copyright Renewal Act and the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA)— are unconstitutional under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, and that the Copyright Renewal Act and CTEA together create an "effectively perpetual" term with respect to works first published after January 1, 1964 and before January 1, 1978, in violation of the Constitution’s Limited Times and Promote...Progress Clauses. The Complaint asks the Court for a declaratory judgment that copyright restrictions on orphaned works — works whose copyright has not expired but which are no longer available — violate the constitution."
Press release: "The Internet Archive Receives Grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to Digitize and Provide Open Online Access to Historical Collections from Five Major Libraries...The Sloan Foundation is proud to support the digitization of these high-value collections from five of the nation's leading cultural institutions and to ensure that these materials will always be available through public channels for future use...These collections include:
The following articles are available in the December 2006 issue of LLRX.com:
Live Search's WebLog: "The U.S. beta launch of Live Search Books is a big step forward in advancing the way people discover information through the integration of content that has been "off-limits" to the traditional Search experience, until now. This release makes tens of thousands of out-of-copyright books available from our library scanning initiative, including books from the University of California, the University of Toronto, and the British Library. In addition, we are announcing new partnerships with the New York Public Library and the American Museum of Veterinary Medicine...The team is also taking this opportunity to announce an update to the beta of Live Search Academic. We're adding millions of new articles—primarily bio-medical content. Live Search Academic now indexes thousands of academic journals in the computer science, engineering, physics, and bio-medical fields. We’re also now indexing theses, dissertations, and books within these disciplines."
Press release: "...Internet Archive has successfully advocated for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA prohibits circumvention of technological measures employed by or on behalf of copyright owners to protect their works ("access controls"). Specifically, 17 U.S.C. §1201(a)(1)(A) provides, in part, that “No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.” In order to ensure that the public will have continued ability to engage in noninfringing uses of copyrighted works, such as fair use, subparagraph (B) limits this prohibition. It provides that the prohibition against circumvention “shall not apply to persons who are users of a copyrighted work which is in a particular class of works, if such persons are, or are likely to be in the succeeding three-year period, adversely affected by virtue of such prohibition in their ability to make noninfringing uses of that particular class of works under this title” as determined in a rulemaking proceeding." [thanks to Darlene Fichter]
Follow up to September 18, 2006 - posting Belgian Court Rules Against Google in Copyright Dispute:
Inside Google Books Search blog: "...we've just launched a bunch of new features and a whole new interface to make your online book experience better. First, we made it easier to find books you may be interested in by improving the "About this book" page. If you're a bookworm looking for your next book to devour, you can easily find new books via the related books feature....If you're trying to beef up your research by uncovering relevant work, then you may want to check the references from books and scholarly works....Once you find a book you might be interested in, you can now see its chapter titles, key terms, and selected pages all on the same page, helping you get a feel for it. Next, we designed a new browsing interface. You can simply scroll through the pages, or, for full view books, view them in two-page mode and flip through just like a book. You can zoom in, switch to full screen, and jump directly to the chapters that interest you. If the book is part of the public domain, you can comfortably read it on screen or download it if you prefer. For an in-copyright book, just follow the links to buy it or to find it in a library."
Press release: "November 13, 2006 - Google Inc. announced today that it has closed its acquisition of YouTube, the consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos. In connection with the acquisition Google issued an aggregate of 3,217,560 shares, and restricted stock units, options and a warrant exercisable for or convertible into an aggregate of 442,210 shares, of Google's Class A common stock. The number of shares of Class A common stock issued and issuable by Google was calculated by dividing $1.65 billion less certain amounts (approximately $15 million) funded to YouTube by Google between signing and closing by the average closing price for the 30 trading days ending on November 9, 2006. 12.5% of the equity issued and issuable in the transaction will be subject to escrow for one year to secure certain indemnification obligations." [emphasis added] See also this AP article discussing the $200 million set-aside for potential future lawsuits.
Kahle v. Gonzales will be argued by Larry Lessig on November 13, 2006.
From the Official Google Blog, November 3, 2006: "The world's libraries are a tremendous source of knowledge, much of which has never been available online. One of our goals for Google Print is to change that, and today we've taken an exciting step toward meeting it: making available a number of public domain books that were never subject to copyright or whose copyright has expired. We can show every page because these books are in the public domain. (For books not in the public domain we only show small snippets of the work unless the publisher or copyright holder has given us permission to show more.)"
Follow-up to September 18, 2006 posting Belgian Court Rules Against Google in Copyright Dispute, reports that Begian news rights representative Copiepresse is continuing its breach of copyright action against Microsoft and will target Yahoo in future.
Press release: "Together, the UW-Madison and Google will expand access to hundreds of thousands of public and historical materials from the UW-Madison libraries and the Wisconsin Historical Society Library. Some wonderful examples from their collection can be found here. The combined 7.2 million holdings of these libraries comprise one of the largest collections of historical documents and books to be found in the United States."
Following up on articles by Jonathan Band published on LLRX.com - The Google Library Project: The Copyright Debate, and The Authors Guild v. The Google Print Library Project - news from Bloomberg: "Google Inc. will subpoena information from Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. to help fight copyright lawsuits over its book-scanning project."
Press release: "Working together, Google and the University Complutense of Madrid will digitise the university's hundreds of thousands of public domain works, so that anyone, at anytime will be able to view, browse, read, and even download the full texts from the library's historic and special collections. The library of the Complutense University of Madrid is the largest university library in Spain."
Related news and postings:
Follow-up to September 18, 2006 posting Belgian Court Rules Against Google in Copyright Dispute, this press release from the World Association of Publishers, September 22, 2006:
Mazzone, Jason, "Copyfraud". Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 40 Available at SSRN [via Public Knowledge]
Google press release: "Starting today, readers can find new, and free, downloadable versions of some of the world's greatest books on Google Book Search. Working with our library partners, we're expanding access to books that are out of copyright and have become public domain material. Users can search and read these books on Google Book Search like always, but now they can also download and print them to enjoy at their own pace."
Related sources and information:
The Chronicle of Higher Education obtained a copy of the 13 page agreement between Google, Inc. and the Regents of the University of California that details the scope of the digitization project, as well as copyright and ownership issues.
Can Our Culture Be Saved? The Future of Digital Archiving, by Diane Leeheer Zimmerman, New York University - School of Law, July 25, 2006
Press release: The University of California libraries today (August 9, 2006) announced their partnership with Google to digitize books from the libraries' collections. UC becomes the latest partner in the Google Books Library Project, which was launched in December 2004 to digitize books drawn from the libraries of the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University, and the New York Public Library. The digitized books will be searchable through Google Book Search."
Matwyshyn, Andrea M., "Technoconsen(t)sus" (May 2006). Posted July 19, 2006 [Link to download]
Federal Judicial Center: Copyright Law, Second Edition, 2006, 241 pages.
Press release, June 14, 2006: Google Launches Shakespeare Website. See Google Search Beta's complete plays of Shakespeare
Mass Digitization: Implications for Information Policy , May 9, 2006 (NCLIS).
Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks: WIPO Marks E-Renewal System
Circumventing Competition: The Perverse Consequences of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (PDF, 28 pages), by Timothy B. Lee
WSJ free feature - Google Wins Copyright Battle; Archiving Issue Is Still Unclear: "A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Google Inc. of wrongful conduct, including copyright infringement and defamation, providing the latest court opinion to weigh in on the contentious area of search engines and copyright."
Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property
Oversight Hearing on "The Report on Orphan Works by the Copyright Office."
Witness statements (in PDF):
New York times: Ruling May Undercut Google in Fight Over Its Book Scans
See also this related commentary:
Press release: "Today, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman unveiled the results of a top-to-bottom review of U.S.-China Trade Policy at a news conference. The report, U.S. - China Trade Relations: Entering a New Phase of Greater Accountability and Enforcement (29 pages, PDF), is the first comprehensive statement of U.S. trade policy towards China since it joined the WTO in 2001. The report was provided to Congress this morning with a cover letter (2 pages, PDF) from Ambassador Portman to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees. In this letter, he outlined his objective of closer collaboration with Congress on U.S.-China trade policy."
John Batelle posted the text (PDF) of University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman's keynote address at the Association of American Publishers Conference, February 6. She defended her university's participation in the Google Library Project as well as the overall value and importance of library digitization programs in general.
"The Copyright Office has completed its study of problems related to 'orphan works'—copyrighted works whose owners may be impossible to identify and locate. As requested by Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator Patrick Leahy, the Office submitted its Report on Orphan Works to the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 31, 2006. The Report is also available for download on this page in two versions, the Full Report with Appendices (207 pages, PDF), and the Main Text (no appendices) (133 pages, PDF)."
Press release: "A task force of global and European publishers organizations, led by the World Association of Newspapers, has agreed to work together to examine the options open to publishers to assert their rights to recognition and recompense, and to ultimately improve the relationships between content creators/producers and news aggregators and search engines."
Efficient Process or "Chilling Effects"? Takedown Notices Under Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Summary Report, Jennifer M. Urban, Director, Intellectual Property Clinic, University of Southern California and Laura Quilter, Non-Resident Fellow, Samuelson Clinic, University of California, Berkeley. [Links and Law]
Senate Draft of the Digital Content Protection Act of 2006
From askSam, "Search and analyze the full text of the Copyright Law of the United States of America & related laws contained in Title 17 of the United States Code."
The January 15, 2006 issue of LLRX.com includes the following articles:
Related to yesterday's posting, Digital Rights Management: A Guide for Librarians, see Campus Copyrights and Responsibilities: A Basic Guide to Policy Considerations (39 pages, PDF), AAU, ARL, American University Press.
Digital Rights Management: A Guide for Librarians, by Mike Godwin (44 pages, PDF)
CRS Report - The Google Book Search Project: Is Online Indexing A Fair Use Under Copyright Law (6 pages, PDF), Published 12/28/2005, by Robin Jeweler, American Law Division.
Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control (76 pages, PDF), by Marjorie Heins and Tricia Beckles, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, Free Expression Policy Project, December 2005.
Press release: "HarperCollins Publishers today announced they will create a digital warehouse for all of its content and will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) this month as part of an effort to develop the necessary technical infrastructure to broadly exploit its content digitally. The plan is the first step in satisfying the demands of the marketplace, which is increasingly requiring that content be made available online and in numerous formats, while allowing the publisher to remain in control of its digital files and intellectual property."
"Online Rights Canada (ORC) is a grassroots organization that promotes the public's interest in technology and information policy. We believe that Canadians should have a voice in copyright law, access to information, freedom from censorship, and other issues that we face in the digital world." [press release]
From WSJ free features, Project Gutenberg Fears No Google is a Q&A with Project Gutenberg's founder, Michael Hart (the inventor of ebooks). His vision and determination are reflected in this project, which has been sustained for over three decades. The site, which currently offers over 17,000 full text books, has a million downloads per week.
From The Nutritional and Dietary Supplement Law Blog: "In a complaint filed last week in federal court in California, Salu, Inc., the owner of the popular cosmeceutical site SkinStore.com has sued the owners of competitor NewSkinSpa.com for trademark and copyright infringement accusing them of copying the SkinStore.com html code and using it to create the site at NewSkinSpa.com. In so doing, SkinStore.com claims that NewSkinSpa.com has been able to obtain a higher Google ranking for search terms like 'Hylexin,' a popular cosmeceutical product for under-eye dark circles."
This profile of Sidney Verba, Harvard University Library Director, professor of government, and author of numerous books and articles, addresses key aspects related to the university's participation in the Google Book Search project.
From the Official Google Blog, "When we launched Google Print, our goal was to make it easier for users to discover books. Now that we're starting to achieve that, we think a more descriptive name will help clarify what our users can do with it: namely, search the full text of books to find ones that interest them and learn where to buy or borrow them...We want to make all the world's books discoverable and searchable online, and we hope this new name will help keep everyone focused on that important goal."
From Salon, Throwing Google at the book - "Google's new search engine of books puts a world of knowledge at our fingertips. Publishers say the Internet giant is robbing them of their rightful fees. Maybe it's time to call copyright laws history," by Farhad Manjoo.
Press release: Amazon.com Announces Plans for Innovative Digital Book Programs: "...the company is currently developing two new programs that will enable customers to purchase online access to any page, section, or chapter of a book, as well as the book in its entirety. The first program, Amazon Pages, will "un-bundle" the physical-world experience of buying and reading a book so that customers can simply and inexpensively purchase and read online just the pages they need...
The second program, Amazon Upgrade, will allow customers to "upgrade" their purchase of a physical book on Amazon.com to include complete online access."
Google press release: "Today, Google Inc. announced the availability of the first large collection of public domain books on Google Print. This collection, scanned as part of the company’s book digitization project with several of the world’s largest libraries, includes works such as U.S. Civil War history books, government documents, the writings of Henry James and other materials. Because they’re out of copyright, these cultural artifacts can be read in their entirety online at http://print.google.com, where anyone can search and browse every page. They are fully searchable and users can save individual page images."
Acquiring Copyright Permission to Digitize and Provide Open Access to Books, Published by the Council on Library and Information Resources and Digital Library Federation, (72 pages, PDF)
Related references to Google's announcement that Print Program scanning will resume, along with clarifications on the programs goals:
In following recent postings on opposition to the Google Print Program by publishers and authors, see these corporate responses, from the Official Google Blog:
Reuters via CNN International: Publishers throw book at Google
Related documents and links:
From WSJ free features today, Photo Agencies Scour the Web For Copyright Violations.
In following the continuing saga of the Google Print Program, from WSJ's Free Features today: Authors' Second Chance "Google's ambitious plan to put books online could give authors and publishers a new lease on life. But Google Print's critics say the ambitious plan runs afoul of copyright laws."
Descriptive metadata for copyright Status, by Karen Coyl:
Federal Register, October 3, 2005: Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. Notice of inquiry.
Edited by Michael Geist, In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law, "...reviews international copyright norms, assesses dozens of specific Bill C-60 provisions, and identifies potential future copyright reform initiatives." This book was published under a Creative Commons license, permitting legal downloads for personal use [Slaw.ca, and Connie Crosby]
"The Open Content Alliance (OCA) represents the collaborative efforts of a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world that will help build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia content. Content in the OCA archive will be accessible soon through this website and through Yahoo!. The OCA will encourage the greatest possible degree of access to and reuse of collections in the archive, while respecting the content owners and contributors. Contributors to the OCA must agree to the principles set forth in the Call for Participation."
Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Protecting Copyright and Innovation in a Post-Grokster World. Grokster is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing program that enables users to share any digital file including images, audio, video, reports and documents. September 28, 2005."
From AP today, this article highlights the battlelines that have been drawn, and are hardening, between publishers and Google concerning the expansive plan to digitize significant library collections from throughout the world, thus allowing users to search content on the web.
Susan Kuchinskas reported that Google Extends Book Scanning Operation to allow users in 14 countries, including the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa to conduct English language key word searches and then read selected pages from books the site has indexed.
Yet another follow-up to my previous postings on this issue here and here; see this statement, Google Print Library Position 'Backwards': Copyright holder should not have to opt-out, from the Text and Academic Author's Association past president.
Roberts v. the Future, by Jeffrey Rosen: "...in the next 10 or 15 years, as technology and science continue to advance and America's demographic profile continues to change, the Supreme Court will, in all likelihood, be asked to decide a fascinating array of divisive issues that are now only dimly on the horizon."
LC press release: "The Library of Congress has launched a new public Web site to cover the groundbreaking work of a special independent committee. By 2006, this committee will recommend changes to copyright law that recognize the need for exceptions to the law for libraries and archives in the digital age. The site offers the group’s mission statement, its schedule of meetings and links to relevant sections of the Copyright Act. The site also offers links to background papers pertinent to libraries and archives and the rights issues they encounter when working with digital materials."
USAToday.com reports on new copyright protection products that debut at 10 colleges this fall, in the form of CDs, DVDs and even a USB drive, that limit the creation of multiple copies of course materials.
Although not a surprise to members of the organization, as well as special librarians, researchers, publishers, Congress and...in any case, here is a link to an article from the ABA Journal acknowledging the American Library Association's successful lobbying efforts on issues that include the Patriot Act, DMCA and CIPA.
The Assn. of American Publishers comments on Google's announcement yesterday to delay Google Print Program within the context of this LA Times article today (reg. reg'd). Today's Washington Post article, Google Delays Book Scanning (reg. req'd) also addresses the factor of marketplace competition to allow consumers access to portions of books online prior to purchase. In addition, the New York Times has a related article as well, Google Alters Plan for Searchable Library Databases.
Posted late last night by Adam M. Smith, Google Print Product Manager, on the Google Blog: "As with many ambitious ideas, Google Print has sparked a healthy amount of discussion...Today I'd like to mention two new features that reflect these discussions and which we feel will considerably improve both programs. If you're in the Publisher Program...you can now give us a list of the books that, if we scan them at a library, you'd like to have added immediately to your account. This way you can have your books in Google Print, which will put them into Google.com search results, direct potential buyers to your website, provide ongoing reports about user interest in your books, and your books will also earn revenue from contextual advertising – even if they are out of print....To allow plenty of time to review these new options, we won’t scan any in-copyright books from now until this November."
From the August 4, 2005 Federal Register: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, Preregistration of Certain Unpublished Copyright Claims, Copyright Office, Library of Congress.
Via this excellent Resource Page on Copyright and Licensing Digital Materials by Therese A. Clarke Arado, a link to Lolly Gasaway's PowerPoint presentation, Copyright Permissions for Multimedia, from the AALL 2005 annual conference.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing July 28, on Issues Related to MGM v. Grokster.
Whose Work Is It, Anyway? - "The use of 'orphan works' of art and literature, whose creators cannot be identified, puts scholars and artists at odds over changes in copyright law."
White House press release, July 22, 2005: "The President intends to appoint Christian Israel, of Virginia, to be Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement at the Department of Commerce."
Another follow-up to groups voicing opposition to Google's project to digitize major library collections, this time from the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), which is "the international trade association for not-for-profit publishers and those who work with them." The group's July 11, 2005 "response to Google Print for Libraries digitisation project" (3 pages, PDF) includes the following statements:
From the Canadian Globe and Mail, Could Googling become illegal?
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios v. Grokster, LTD., Argued March 29, 2005, Decided June 27, 200. Opinion author: Souter
Tobe Liebert, Assistant Director for Collection Development & Special Projects at the Tarlton Law Library, has launched a new Current copyright literature website, which he indicates will be updated several times each week. Tobe is a recognized expert in this area, so be sure to add this website to your regular reading list, intranets and blogs.
FTC press release: "Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technology offers significant benefits but also poses risks to consumers who use it, according to a Federal Trade Commission staff report issued today. The staff report, Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Technology: Consumer Protection and Competition Issues (51 pages, PDF), analyzes the consumer protection, competition, and intellectual property issues that were discussed at the FTC's December 2004 workshop on P2P file sharing. The report recommends that industry and government take steps so that consumers receive the many benefits from this technology while avoiding the risks that it creates."
As a follow-up to my June 17 posting, Details Revealed on Google Library Project at U. Michigan, from BusinessWeek.com today, A New Page in Google's Books Fight: "The newly revealed contract with the University of Michigan is stoking publishers' fears about plans to digitize library collections."
Following are links to several related documents worth reviewing on the Google Library Project to digitize the entire collections of participating libraries.
Press release: EFF Announces its New Legal Guide for Bloggers - "The Electronic Frontier Foundation EFF) is pleased to release a document that informs bloggers of their legal rights. EFF's Legal Guide for
Bloggers is a collection of frequently asked questions (FAQs)designed to educate bloggers about their legal rights in a number of areas, including libel law, copyright law, and political advocacy."
Updated May 11, 2005, Copyright Protection of Digital Television: The Broadcast Flag: "This report addresses the adoption of a broadcast flag system by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect digital television (DTV) broadcasts from unauthorized redistribution. The report also addresses the recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversing and vacating the FCC's broadcast flag report and order. It will be updated as events warrant." [EFF: Deeplinks]
Press release, May 25, 2005: Acting Assistant Attorney General John C. Richter of the Criminal Division, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Michael J. Garcia, and Assistant Director Louis M. Reigel of the FBI's Cyber Division today announced the first criminal enforcement action targeting individuals committing copyright infringement on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks using cutting edge file-sharing technology known as BitTorrent. This morning, agents of the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed 10 search warrants across the United States against leading members of a technologically sophisticated P2P network known as Elite Torrents. Employing technology known as BitTorrent, the Elite Torrents network attracted more than 133,000 members and, in the last four months, allegedly facilitated the illegal distribution of more than 17,800 titles-including movies and software-which were downloaded 2.1 million times."
"The UK Copyright Service provides copyright registration for original works by writers, musicians, artists, designers, software providers, authors, companies, organisations and individuals. Known as Copyright Witness internationally, and the UK Copyright Service in the UK, the service supports international copyright protection by securing independent evidence that will help prove originality and ownership in any future claims or disputes." [Webuser]
From BusinessWeek.com, A Google Project Pains Publishers - The major presses are raising thorny legal issues with the search giant's initiative to digitize the books of the world's great libraries.
From Federal Computer Week, this article reviews the challenges of digital preservation programs initiated by LC and GPO. The agencies are seeking technology solutions that harvest data on government documents to fulfill directives to digitize collections, archives and websites. Challenges to these initiatives include copyright issues, vast deep web document repositories, and the tremendous scope of data involved.
"Lawrence Lessig first published Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace in 1999. After five years in print and five years of changes in law, technology, and the context in which they reside, Code needs an update. But rather than do this alone, Professor Lessig is using this wiki to open the editing process to all, to draw upon the creativity and knowledge of the community. This is an online, collaborative book update; a first of its kind." [Link]
From EFF, Bloggers Speak Up in Apple Case: "Groups working to protect journalists' press freedoms, the creator of a blog-search tool, weblog publishers, and more than a dozen individual online journalist/bloggers filed a friend-of-the-court brief (PDF) [April 11] in Apple v. Does -- the case in which Apple Computer is seeking to unmask online journalists' confidential sources for articles about forthcoming Apple products."
Supreme Court Standards for Peer-to-Peer and Beyond - "The upcoming ruling on copyright infringement in P-to-P networks will have important implications for future technology development."
Piercing the peer–to–peer myths: An examination of the Canadian experience by Michael Geist, First Monday, volume 10, number 4 (April 2005):
"Canada is in the midst of a contentious copyright reform with advocates for stronger copyright protection maintaining that the Internet has led to widespread infringement that has harmed the economic interests of Canadian artists. The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) has emerged as the leading proponent of copyright reform, claiming that peer–to–peer file sharing has led to billions in lost sales in Canada. This article examines CRIA's claims by conducting an analysis of industry figures. It concludes that loss claims have been greatly exaggerated and challenges the contention that recent sales declines are primarily attributable to file–sharing activities."
From the New York Times, A Supreme Court Showdown for File Sharing.
Press release from Public Knowledge: "The U.S. Copyright Office should permit movie makers, recording artists, authors, scholars and others to make a "reasonable effort" to find copyright owners as a way of making "orphan works" more available..."Orphan works" are copyrighted materials for which the copyright owner can’t be reasonably located. Artists who want to use such material in new creations could be liable for copyright infringement under present law."
"This Yahoo! Search service finds content across the Web that has a Creative Commons license. While most stuff you find on the web has a full copyright, this search helps you find content published by authors that want you to share or reuse it, under certain conditions." Additional details available from Internetnews.com
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, this commentary, available free: Hollywood Profits v. Technological Progress: "Commenting on a case that pits entertainment companies against peer-to-peer program developers, which is scheduled for argument in the Supreme Court next week, Doron Ben-Atar, a professor of history at Fordham University, writes that it is impossible to contain the abuse of technology without undermining the free flow of knowledge."
From the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), the following documents:
Press release today: "About 36 million Americans—or 27% of internet users—say they download either music or video files and about half of them have found ways outside of traditional peer-to-peer networks or paid online services to gather and swap their files, according to the most recent survey of the Pew Internet & American Life Project."
Thursday, March 3 at 6:30pm ET - "Lawrence Lessig, professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, Lessig is the author of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace and an expert on the issues of copyright and "copyleft." He is the inventor of the revolutionary concept and application Creative Commons, which invites the right to use material under specific conditions."
From the Cato Institute, Peer-to-Peer Networking and Digital Rights Management: How Market Tools Can Solve Copyright Problems, February 17, 2005:
Press release: "Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a white paper (Dangerous Terms – A User's Guide to EULAs) warning consumers about how they can be harmed by end user license agreements (EULAs) for consumer electronics and online services. Many EULAs contain terms that damage consumer interests, including invitations for vendors to snoop on users' computers, prohibitions on publicly criticizing the product in question, and bans on customizing or even repairing purchased devices."
SUMMARY: "The Copyright Office seeks to examine the issues raised by "orphan works,'' i.e., copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate. Concerns have been raised that the uncertainty surrounding ownership of such works might needlessly discourage subsequent creators and users from incorporating such works in new creative efforts or making such works available to the public. This notice requests written comments from all interested parties. Specifically, the Office is seeking comments on whether there are compelling concerns raised by orphan works that merit a legislative, regulatory or other solution, and what type of solution could effectively address these concerns without conflicting with the legitimate interests of authors and right holders." [Federal Register, January 26, 2005...thanks Heidi]
From Internet News - Hollywood: P2P is Not About Technology: "The entertainment industry urged the U.S. Supreme Court Monday afternoon not to give the companies developing peer-to-peer (P2P) music file swapping software a "perpetual free pass" to engage in "mind-boggling" copyright infringement. In a 67-page brief filed in advance of the March 29 Supreme Court oral arguments in MGM vs. Grokster, attorneys for the music and movie studios claim Grokster exploits "this massive infringement for profit, and petitioners are suffering extreme harms as a consequence."
"Baruch College, a senior college within The City University of New York, and Kognito Solutions LLC today announced the release of a free interactive guide to help faculty determine the appropriate copyright guidelines they must follow when using different types of copyrighted media in their courses. Structured as a subway map, the interactive guide asks faculty a series of questions related to the nature of the copyrighted works they want to use and the methods in which they plan to use them. As each question is answered, the faculty progress through the virtual subway system, learning important copyright rules that apply to their specific situations. At the "final stop," faculty are provided with a list of guidelines for using the copyrighted media." [Link]
Press release from the EFF: "The US Supreme Court set the date for the oral argument in MGM v. Grokster for March 29, 2005, in Washington, DC. EFF is defending StreamCast Networks, the company behind the Morpheus peer-to-peer (P2P) software, against 28 of the world's largest entertainment companies. The companies first brought this lawsuit against the makers of the Morpheus, Grokster, and KaZaA software products in 2001, hoping to obtain a legal precedent that would hold all technology makers responsible for the infringements committed by the users of their products. The entertainment companies lost in District Court, then lost again on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals."
From Harvard's Digital Media Project, a new report, Assessing the Impact of Policy Choices on Potential Online Business Models in the Music and Film Industries (83 pages, PDF):
From PCWorld, Legislative Year in Review: All Talk, Little Action: "For good or ill, Congress kept to its usual snail's pace on a number of controversial issues ranging from digital copyright to spyware; other government agencies, however, made up for some of the slack."
From the EFF press release: "The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision today that will stop entertainment corporations from gaining access to the names of people using peer-to-peer (P2P) networks unless the companies file lawsuits against them and furnish actual evidence of copyright infringement."
The Shadow Internet - "They start with a single stolen file and pump out bootleg games and movies by the millions. Inside the pirate networks that are terrorizing the entertainment business."
From the press release: "...Google Inc. today announced that it is working with the libraries of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oxford as well as The New York Public Library to digitally scan books from their collections so that users worldwide can search them in Google...Today's announcement is an expansion of the Google Print™ program, which assists publishers in making books and other offline information searchable online."
Additional details about the non-exclusive digitization project, to be financed by Google, are that it will encompass scanning some 15 million titles at a cost of $10-15 per book, requiring at least 10 years for completion. WorldCat links for those titles not available in full-text will be provided. There are significant considerations associated with this effort, including preservation, copyright and e-commerce issues, so there no doubt will be more news in future.
Related Articles and Links
Go to www.llrx.com for abstracts of, and links to, all 11 new articles in the current issue:
"A national survey of self-described artists and an online survey of 2,755 musicians find: Artists and musicians on all points of the spectrum from superstars to starving singers have embraced the internet as a tool to improve how they make, market, and sell their creative works...Artists and musicians believe that unauthorized peer-to-peer file-sharing of copyrighted works should be illegal. However, the vast majority do not see online file-sharing as a big threat to creative industries. Across the board, artists and musicians are more likely to say that the internet has made it possible for them to make more money from their art than they are to say it has made it harder to protect their work from piracy or unlawful use."
As a follow-up to my May 7, 2004 posting, Copyright Regulation and Access to Web Document Archives, a link via LISNews.com to a copy of the United States District Court For the Northern District of California decision (26 pages, PDF), November 19, 2004, BREWSTER KAHLE, et al., Plaintiffs, JOHN ASHCROFT, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States, Defendant. No. C-04-1127 MMC.
From the FTC press release: "The Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop, Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Technology: Consumer Protection and Competition Issues, to explore consumer protection and competition issues associated with the distribution and use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing. The workshop will be held December 15 and 16, 2004. It is free and open to the public."
Press release: "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) capped its historic victory in a copyright abuse case against electronic voting machine manufacturer Diebold today. The corporation agreed to pay $125,000 in damages and fees...Diebold is the first company to be held liable for violating section 512(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which makes it unlawful to use DMCA takedown threats when the copyright holder knows that infringement has not actually occurred. The section also stipulates that anyone who issues such frivolous threats must pay damages, including costs and attorneys' fees, to those harmed by the misrepresentations."
Report of the Department of Justice's Task Force on Intellectual Property (October 2004, 96 pages, PDF):
The controversial Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004 (Induce Act), S. 2560, is stopped in its tracks, at least for this session. But via Corante and Ernest Miller, see this posting, with details on H.R. 4077 the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004, "To enhance criminal enforcement of the copyright laws, to educate the public about the application of copyright law to the Internet, and for other purposes."
From AP: "The Supreme Court was asked Friday to hold two Internet file-sharing services responsible for their customers' online swapping of copyrighted songs and movies."
EFF press release: "In a landmark case, a California district court has determined that Diebold, Inc., a manufacturer of electronic voting machines, knowingly misrepresented that online commentators, including IndyMedia and two Swarthmore college students, had infringed the company's copyrights. This makes the company the first to be held liable for violating section 512(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which makes it unlawful to use DMCA takedown threats when the copyright holder knows that infringement has not actually occured. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Center for Internet and Society Cyberlaw Clinic at Stanford Law School sued on behalf of nonprofit Internet Service Provider (ISP) Online Policy Group (OPG) and the two students to prevent Diebold's abusive copyright claims from silencing public debate about voting..."
From the September 30 New York Times: Panel Considers Copyright Bill
Internet Points of Control, by Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 54 , Boston College Law Review, Forthcoming [Link to abstract]
This EFF press release and related testimony document and provide support for the proposed creation of free, online open-source access to the entire archive of the BBC's radio and television programming.
"Plenty of music available online is not just free but also easily available, legal and — most important — worth hearing." [Link]
Frequently Asked Questions About Copyright - A Template for the Promotion of Awareness Among CENDI Agency Staff, CENDI/2004-8, Updated August 06, 2004 (CENDI is an interagency working group of senior Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Managers from 12 U.S. federal agencies)
A DoD video produced as a teaching tool for citizens to learn about access to government documents was edited due to concerns that footage included was subject to copyright restrictions. This report from AP also states that a FOIA request to obtain a copy of the video (clips of which are available at this url: http://wid.ap.org/video/video/040831foia.rm) was made a year and a half ago by AP.
Prepared Statement of Attorney General John Ashcroft - Digital Gridlock, Wednesday, August 25, 2004:
From EFF: "Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made a crucial decision (PDF, 26 pages) in support of technology innovators by declaring that distributors of the peer-to-peer software Grokster and Morpheus cannot be held liable for the infringing activities of their users."
From the Congressional Budget Office, Copyright Issues in Digital Media, August 2004.
An Examination of S. 2560, The Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004, Senate Judiciary Committee Full Committee, July 22, 2004
From the EFF press release: "A broad group of organizations and companies representing diverse sectors of the U.S. economy has come together to form a new organization, the Personal Technology Freedom Coalition. With members ranging from the telephone industry to high-tech firms, libraries, universities and the public-interest sector, the Coalition is committed to repairing recent damage dealt to the Founders' original commitment to balanced copyright protection. Specifically, the Coalition will press for consumer protections in the use of digital music and movies, including working to ensure that consumers can legally use and have access to digital content they have purchased."
The Economics of Open Source Hijacking and Declining Quality of Digital
Information Resources: A Case for Copyleft, by Andrea Ciffolilli, Department of Economics, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.
Hearing today: H.R. 107, The Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2003, Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
Information Cannot Be Owned by Jean Nicholas Druey, April 2004:
The New Surveillance, by Sonia Katyal, Case Western Law Review, Vol. 54, No. 297, 2004.
A new data memo from the Pew Internet Project notes a decline in the rate of music downloading from its heyday in 2003, but millions of Americans continue to obtain music using filing sharing applications. Many users have been deterred from downloading however by the highly publicized anti-piracy campaign waged by the music industry.
Application of the DMCA Safe Harbor Provisions to Search Engines, by Craig W. Walker, Virginia Journal of Law & Technology, Volume 9, Issue 1 - Winter 2004:
Of note for bloggers and others interested in fair use and the Internet, as posted on p2pnet.net, Reuters News Agency will deploy FAST ESP this month to track and identity fair use violations of their website content. Will this include the use of portions (how small or how large) of articles whose content is quoted and posted with attribution? An issue that merits further tracking.
Free Culture, by Lawrence Lessig: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity:
Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004 (Introduced in Senate on March 25, 2004) [S. 2237]
United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, Committee on the Judiciary, March 11, 2004 Hearing on "Section 115 of the Copyright Act: In Need of Update?
On March 3, the House passed the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004 (H.R. 1417):
From the Committee for Economic Development:
"Promoting Innovation and Economic Growth: The Special Problem of Digital Intellectual Property, a new CED policy statement is now available. The statement includes an overview of copyright law and business innovation, as well as recommendations for overcoming the challenges inherent in digital media. Developing and testing new business models is a central recommendation set forth by the CED statement."
From an EFF press release this afternoon:
From an EFF press release today:
From the Federal Register: February 6, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 25), Page 5693-5702:
From the Copyright Office, January 26, 2004:
From the Sunday, January 25 New York Times Magazine, The Tyranny of Copyright? reviews the impact of the Internet in the context of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Copyright Term Extension Act, the Copy Left movement, and the Creative Commons.
Today the House Judiciary Committee passed the Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act, H.R. 3261. The bill has the backing of global publishers Reed Elsevier and Thomson Corp.
From the EFF advisory, Recording Industry Announces Lawsuits Against Music Sharers:
Copyright Office Announces Voluntary Negotiation Period for Rates and Terms for Digital Performance Right in Sound Records and Ephemeral Recordings. [Link]:
Ten music downloaders in Colorado have settled copyright infringement lawsuits by the RIAA by agreeing to pay fines of up to $4,000 each. [Link]
Sharp decline in music file swapping: Data memo from PIP and comScore Media Metrix, January 4, 2004 (link to full-text of the memo including graphics, in pdf).
This past May, I posted on a digital book scanning project underway at the Stanford University Libraries. As a follow-up, the USA Today reports on automated digital scanning hardware and software from Kirtas Technologies, Inc. that facilitates the "digitization of massive document libraries, fully automating the scanning of bound documents (emphasis added) at a capture rate of 1200 pages per hour." The Library of Congress has an Information Technology Services (ITS) scanning team, and Amazon has undertaken a program to scan millions of books for its Search Inside the Book application.
The Third Draft Agreement (November 21, 2003) of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) includes an extensive section on Intellectual Property Rights. According to the advocacy group IP Justice, the "expanded copyrights...endanger civil liberties and competition....and one of the most controversial sections of the IPR chapter requires countries to outlaw the circumvention of technological restrictions." [Link] The group is sponsoring an "online petition calling for the deletion of the entire chapter on intellectual property rights in the FTAA Treaty." (Thanks to Andrew Sitzer)
As a follow-up to my posting, E-Voting Machine Co. Docs. on Product Flaws Published on Web, this evening an EFF press release announced that Judge Jeremy Foley, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California scheduled a meeting of the parties, via telephone conference, for December 1. This action follows Diebold's decision to withdraw the cease and desist orders it had issued to ISPs hosting websites that posted documents on voting machine flaws obtained from Diebold's website. Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio joined Diebold's ranks of critics and posted links to several of the contested documents on his voting rights website and a request that the House Judiciary Committee hold a Hearing On Diebold’s Abuses Of Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
When Free Isn't Really Free: Free applications may include adware, spyware, virusus, and result in copyright infringement lawsuits (music downloading). The article refers to the CDT report on spyware issued last week, about which I posted here and legislation to protect consumers against the collection of personal data via spyware, about which I posted here.
Judge Jeremy Foley, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, will rule in the next several weeks on whether internal documents stolen from Diebold Inc., and posted to or linked from a range of personal, non-profit and university websites, must be removed due to copyright infringement. See my November 14 posting which details relevant information associated with this case.
An EFF advisory addresses a legal challenge (initiated by two Swarthmore students, an ISP and a privacy group) in response to cease and desist orders issued by an electronic voting machine manufacturer. These orders were in response to the publication on the web of some 13,000 pages of internal corporate documents which included extensive discussion of equipment flaws. The manufacturer, Diebold Systems, Inc. is one of the country's largest suppliers of touch screening voting technology, with 33,000 of their machines in use in 37 states.
Related resources from EFF:
Related articles include:
Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act (ART Act). Statement by Senator Dianne Feinstein On Cornyn-Feinstein Legislation to Crack Down on Video and Audio Piracy, November 13, 2003.
Digital Preservation and Copyright, by Peter B. Hirtle. The author focuses on allowable methods for libraries to copy and archive electronic data as provided by 17 USC, Sections 117 and 108, as well as the DMCA.
As a follow-up to my posting on October 29, LC Grants Limited Digital Copyright Exemptions, Attorney James S. Tyre of the Censorware Project posted this entry on his blog, Censorware Exemption to DMCA Anti-circumvention Provisions In Effect For Another Three Years, that includes the full text of the Register's recommendation in support of the censorware exemption (congratulations to Jim and Seth Finkelstein).
Last year I posted about 321 Studios' DVD copying software, and the company is once again back in the news with regard to the recent Library of Congress ruling granting limited digital copyright exemptions. The company's request for an exemption for its class of works under the DMCA was denied.
"More than a million households deleted all the digital music files they had saved on their PCs in August, according to new information released by The NPD Group. NPD credits the ongoing RIAA anti-piracy campaign and related media attention as having had a measurable effect on the actions of many consumers in regard to the illegal sharing of digital music. In a related survey of consumer perception, however, NPD found that consumers’ overall opinion of the recording industry is suffering as a result of the record industry association’s well-publicized legal tactics."
Napster has agreed to provide students at Penn State University with free access to their music downloading service. This program is the first in what apparently will be a number of offers to students on campuses throughout the country in an effort to stem the tide of digital music piracy.
From the EFF press release:
Amazon's Search Inside the Book database which allows consumers the chance to search the text of books and print pages (up to 100 in some cases) prior to purchase, ran into controversy with its launch October 23. Today Wired reported that the service will no longer permit users of the service to print pages that they may view from within books, due to objections from authors.
As I posted on October 27, two students at MIT created an innovative and supposedly legal music downloading service for use by the students. Reports now indicate the service (called LAMP) has been curtailed due to a licensing dispute.
From 60 Minutes, Pirates of the Internet:
Press release from IP Justice: Consumers Still Unable to Make Lawful Use of Digital Media:
Today the New York Times reports on two students MIT students who, with the backing of their university, have devised a music sharing system called the Libraries Access to Music Project (LAMP), which they contend will eliminate the contentious copyright issues currently associated with file sharing on campuses nationwide. Their work is financed by Microsoft, through which music from 3,500 CDs is provided via the university's cable TV network.
PBS.org Online NewsHour published an article yesterday with details on the statements made in letters the RIAA sent to 204 individuals last week notifiying them of impending lawsuits as a result of illegal music downloads in excess of 1,000 songs.
From the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, Bonneville International Corporation et al v. MaryBeth Peters (United States Register of Copyrights), No. 01-3720, October 17, 2003: the court affirmed the Copyright Office ruling that broadcasters who stream music on the web must pay royalty fees to recording companies, composers and musicians.
From today's Washington Post: The RIAA and the Music Piracy Debate:
This afternoon the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property Committee on the Judiciary approved the Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act of 2003, (H.R. 3261). See my previous postings on this legislation here and here. The Chair of the Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), one of the bill's co-sponsors, stated: "Databases require substantial investments of time, personnel and money...Information companies must dedicate resources to gathering and verifying factual material, presenting it in a user-friendly way, and keeping it current. In cyberspace, technological developments represent a threat as well as an opportunity for collections of information. Digitally copying factual material from a third party's collection, and using it to form a competing information product is cheaper and easier than ever." [Link]
The premier issue of the first free journal from the Public Library of Science, PLoS Biology, is now available online, although traffic to the site since the announcement has resulted in intermittent access. From the editorial statement:
Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act (Introduced in House, October 8, 2003) [H.R.3261.IH]
As a follow-up to my August 14 posting, Publisher Sues Financial Services Firm for Copyright Violation, this news from Reuters, Legg Mason told to pay $20 mln in copyright suit.
Copyright and authors, by John Ewing:
Analysis of the MediaMax CD3 Copy-Prevention System, by John A. Halderman:
From dc.internet.com: "Sen. Norm Coleman (R.-Minn.) has added copyright infringement penalties to his laundry list of complaints about the music industry's litigation campaign against individual file swappers, telling reporters Thursday he will introduce legislation to reduce the current range of $750 to $150,000 fines per downloaded song."
From the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF): Unintended Consequences: Five Years under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Hearing, Privacy & Piracy: The Paradox of Illegal File Sharing on Peer-to-Peer Networks and the Impact of Technology on the Entertainment Industry, 9/30/03. Includes links to Member Statements as well as witness testimony (from four panels).
From the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this website on MGM v. Grokster:
According to Declan McCullagh, the Amerian Library Association (ALA) planned to file an amicus brief today (9th Circuit Court of Appeals), contending that file sharing companies Streamcast Networks and Grokster should not be forced to close down. The ALA was joined by the Association of Research Libraries, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Medical Library Association and the Special Libraries Association.
From the Sunday New York Times Magazine, Turn On. Tune In. Download.
On September 16, Sen. Sam Brownback introduced the Consumers, Schools, and Libraries Digital Rights Management Act of 2003.
The New York Times spotlighted ISP SBC Communications' refusal to join its competitors in providing customer information in response to the recent avalance of recording industry subpoenas issued to those accused of downloading and sharing music files.
From the independent group, the Foundation for Information Policy Research, this new guide, published September 8, Implementing the EU Copyright Directive, (128 pages, pdf). See this link for a table of contents to download specific sections in html, which include the following:
According to a WSJ article today, the RIAA contends that the target of its current spate of 261 lawsuits, filed around the country, are individuals who have compiled substantial libraries of pirated music, comprising 1,000 or more songs, which were then made available via file sharing programs such as Kazaa and Grokster. The RIAA has not made available a list of those it has sued, but the following articles provide further information on where the suits were filed, and against whom:
Sen. Norm Coleman, who has taken an active interest in the agressive efforts by the music industry to prevent music downloading, issued a statement on September 8 responding to the RIAA's amnesty program, which said in part:
"Recording Industry Begins Suing P2P File Sharers Who Illegally Offer Copyrighted Music Online." This press release, from the RIAA website, may be difficult to access as the site has been intermittently unavailable, due no doubt to the volume of press attention to these lawsuits.
Judge Gerald Bruce Lee, of the US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia released a decision on September 5 that stated "Alas, we computer users must endure pop-up advertising," in the case of U-Haul International, Inc., v. WhenU.com, Inc., et al., Civ. Act. No.03-1469-A. Partial summary judgment had already been granted on June 23 against U-Haul, who was seeking to bar pop-up ads that orginated from WhenU.com in what U-Haul claimed was a violation of their trademarks and copyright.
Reuters reported that House Committees, Judiciary and Energy and Commerce, will hold joint hearings in the near future on a proposed bill "that would prevent wholesale copying of school guides, news archives and other databases which do not enjoy copyright protection." Thanks to Marv Johnson for the link to the draft of this bill, the Database and Collections of Information Misappropriations Act.
Cem Kaner, Professor, Department of Computer Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, posted on his blog the text of ten suggested principles that comprise a "Software Customer Bill of Rights" which he authored in an effort to "restore integrity and trust -- and consumer confidence, consumer excitement, and sales - in this stalled marketplace."
Cryptome.org has a free link to this informative WSJ article from August 27, "A New Battleground In Web Privacy War: Ads That Can Snoop -Software Programs Track Where Users Go On Net, Then Target Them With Pop-Ups." Although certainly not a new story, it is nevertheless worth reading as it succinctly addresses privacy, copyright and trademark issues associated with spyware programs and consumer tracking applications, which can be associated with such frequent web activities as music downloading and online shopping.
Princeton University computer science professor, author, security expert, and of course, blogger (his blog is called Freedom to Tinker, Ed Felten warns in this interview of "A collision is happening between creativity and protecting intellectual property."
Today, the California Supreme Court issued a decision (53 pages, pfd) in DVD Copy Control Inc. v. Andrew Bunner, resolving "the apparent conflict between California's trade secret law and the free speech clauses of the United States and California Constitutions." Thanks to Jim Tyre for the heads-up.
RIAA's Subpoena Strategy is Chilling Downloads: "The possibility of a copyright infringement suit from the Recording Industry Association of America is apparently having a chilling effect on individuals who swap online music, according to new research from the NPD Group. The market research firm said households acquiring music files online illegally reached a high of 14.5 million in April of 2003, but that the number dropped off to 12.7 million households in May, followed by another drop to 10.4 million households in June."
From PCWorld: The RIAA, the MPAA and the NMPA "have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to overturn the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson" denying the entertainment groups' request to shut-down music downloading services Grokster and Morpheus. For more details on the case, see my previous posting here.
From Library Journal (reg. req'd): Fair Use Under Fire - ALA's copyright expert gives her take on the challenges digital rights management presents for end users - and librarians:
A decision from the U.S. District Court, Maryland, July 10, Lowry's Reports v. Legg Mason, found that the financial services firm had violated copyright terms stipulated by its subscription to Lowry's report, through the ongoing distribution of the publication's content on the company's firm-wide intranet and via e-mail. [From BNA's Internet Law News]
GartnerG2 and The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School released a study, Copyright and Digital Media in a Post-Napster World (46 pages, pdf), which addresses:
NetCoalition Sends Letter to RIAA Requesting Answers about Subpoena Initiative:
From the EFF press release this afternoon:
"The Americans for Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions (AFFECT), the national coalition opposing the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), applauds the decision of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) not to spend any additional resources in promoting state adoptions of UCITA. The proposed legislation has been the subject of considerable controversy for a decade. NCCUSL was responsible for drafting the proposed uniform law to provide rules for licensing software and other computer information transactions. On Friday NCCUSL also announced that it would be discharging its Standby Drafting Committee for UCITA." [via EFF]
From the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Alert, File-Sharing: A Fair Share? Maybe Not:
Prof. Anthony D'Amato, Northwestern University School of Law, notes his opposition to Loyola University Chicago's compliance with an RIAA subpoena for the names of two students who allegedly engaged in file-sharing, contrary to university policy.
Music Downloading, File-sharing and Copyright: A Pew Internet Project Data Memo [Link]
"Pacific Bell Internet Services, a unit of SBC Communications Inc., claims subpoenas filed by the Recording Industry Association of America and Titan Media Inc. threaten the privacy rights of its subscribers, most of whom live in California." [Link]
"Copying is Theft ..." And other legal myths in the looming battle over peer-to-peer, by Mark D. Rasch, J.D., former head of the Justice Department's computer crime unit, and now Senior Vice President and Chief Security Counsel at Solutionary Inc.
Interesting article discussing online book piracy from "South India's Leading News Site." With so much focus generated by the RIAA's increasingly aggressive pursuit of individuals who download and "share" or "pirate" music files, the burgeoning enterprise of downloading books, from the latest best sellers to older but no less popular works, has not been the target of such aggressive reporting.
File Sharers: See If the Recording Industry Is After You: "EFF is assisting Internet users by offering a mechanism for people to check the username they use on a file sharing service against a database of those usernames specified in hundreds of subpoenas the RIAA issued this month to Internet Service Providers (ISPs)."
From MIT News (via The Register): "MIT recently received a subpoena from the Recording Industry Association of America that was issued under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The subpoena requests the name and address of the individual whose computer was, according to the RIAA, sending out copyrighted songs on the Internet...MIT of course has a policy of complying with lawfully issued subpoenas. But in this case we have been advised by counsel that the subpoena was not in compliance with the court rules that apply to these subpoenas, and did not allow MIT time to send any notice as the law requires."
The Stanford University Libraries' Copyright & Fair Use website has been relaunched with a new design, enhanced navigation and content in areas which include:
SLA Annual Meeting 2003: Programming for SLA Legal Division. Links to resources that include:
Music Industry Wins 871 Subpoenas Against Internet Users: "The music industry has won at least 871 federal subpoenas against computer users suspected of illegally sharing music files on the Internet, with roughly 75 new subpoenas being approved each day, court officials say." See also this RIAA press release, Recording Industry To Begin Collecting Evidence And Preparing Lawsuits Against File "Sharers" Who Illegally Offer Music Online.
Legislative hearing on H.R. 2517, the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2003, to enhance criminal enforcement of the copyright laws, educate the public about the application of copyright law to the Internet, and clarify the authority to seize unauthorized copyrighted works.
The Author, Consumer and Computer Owner Protection and Security Act of 2003 (H.R. 2752), introduced on July 16. "The bill carries penalties of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for uploading a copyrighted file to a peer-to-peer (P2P) network, " according to dcinternet.com.
Wiley Technology Publishing has determined that its publication of a planned forthcoming book, Hacking the Xbox, may have resulted in a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), prompting the author to find a new publisher, who plans to distribute the book later this month.
From News.com: "Through a caching feature on the popular Google search site, people can sometimes call up snapshots of archived stories at NYTimes.com and other registration-only sites. The practice has proved a boon for readers hoping to track down Web pages that are no longer accessible at the original source, for whatever reason. But the feature has recently been putting Google at odds with some unhappy publishers."
Webcaster Alliance, Inc. "announced its' concerns about anticompetitive conduct in the market for Internet radio, which were made in a letter to the Recording Industry Association of America. The Alliance notified the RIAA of its' intention to initiate legal proceedings unless the RIAA takes concrete steps to address anticompetitive conditions in the market that threaten to eliminate small commercial webcasters." As of this afternoon, there has been no response on the RIAA site to this announcement.
From News.com: Search engines' display of miniature images is fair use under copyright law, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, but the legality of presenting full-size renditions of visual works is yet to be determined.
From the Gainsvilles Sun: "In an effort to squelch the illegal sharing of copyrighted files in its residence halls, the University of Florida simultaneously launched an Internet piracy awareness campaign in the dorms and a new computer management system called ICARUS, which stands for Integrated Control Application for Restricting User Services. ICARUS monitors the UF computing network and detects when students in the residence halls are sharing a large number of files...It then "pulls the plug" on the offending dataport, cutting the student off from communication outside of UF and sending a pop-up message explaining why."
See also, RIAA Prepares for Extensive Legal Action Against File Sharers and USC May Assist RIAA In Prosecuting File-Sharing Violations.
Reps. Lofgren and Doolittle Announce the Public Domain Enhancement Act to Address the Need for Copyright Reform. From the press release of June 25:
From a June 25 Recording Industry Association of America press release: "Starting tomorrow, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will begin gathering evidence and preparing lawsuits against individual computer users who are illegally offering to "share" substantial amounts of copyrighted music over peer-to-peer networks....The RIAA expects to use the data it collects as the basis for filing what could ultimately be thousands of lawsuits charging individual peer-to-peer music distributors with copyright infringement. The first round of suits could take place as early as mid-August."
From today's Washington Post, Overview: Short History of Copyright in the Digital Age, Internet Sparks a Copyright Fire. From the battles between the entertainment industry, "fair use rights" advocates, consumers and copyright holders, this article touches on the complex, high-stake issues, legislative initiatives and key players making news in this arena.
H.R. 2517 (introduced June 19 by Rep. Lamar Smith), the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2003, to enhance criminal enforcement of the copyright laws, educate the public about the application of copyright law to the Internet, and clarify the authority to seize unauthorized copyrighted works. In the bill language is the following statement:
National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program: An Interview with Laura Campbell, Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives Library of Congress.
According to The Register, "the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sent "cease and desist" letters to four people it alleges were illegally offering hundreds of copyrighted songs over the Internet. The names were handed over by Verizon, which until now has refused to reveal the identity of its punters accused of pirating music, claming the matter could have a "chilling effect" on Internet users." See some of my previous postings on this case here, here, and here.
According to an article in the USC Daily Trojan, the university, which is an ISP, may be "legally obligated to turn over the names of account holders suspected of breaking computer copyright laws."
A tempest is swirling around the prepared and spontaneous statements of Senator Orrin Hatch before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, "The Dark Side of a Bright Idea: Will Personal and National Security Risks of P2P Networks Compromise the Promise of P2P Networks?" on June 17.
Internet Law 2003, Program of Instruction for Lawyers, Harvard Law School, presented by Prof. Jonathan Zittrain, Prof. Charles Nesson and John Palfrey. Links are provided to resources on course topics that include: jurisdiction on the internet; P2P file sharing; digital democracy; litigation and the digital environment; and privacy.
Copyright and licensing for digital preservation. "Libraries cannot preserve digital material they do not own. Adrienne Muir describes a new project to identify copyright and licensing issues that currently hinder digital preservation and looks at whether new legislation (UK) will help."
The dead poets society: The copyright term and the public domain, by Matthew Rimmer.
"This paper...advocates a critical theory of copyright law, which highlights the gap between the symbolic significance of legislation, and its instrumental effects in terms of economic impact and cultural costs. It demands a greater scrutiny of the politics and the rhetoric of Congress, the judiciary, and the public domain. This paper claims that the case of Eldred v Ashcroft offers a lens through which a disciplinary pattern can be discerned. It is interested in how copyright lawyers have analysed the dispute and certain kinds of assumptions. This paper evaluates the relative influence of the various intellectual disciplines at play on the decision of the Supreme Court."
See Lawrence Lessig's response to the article here.
Professor Pamela Samuelson, School of Information Management and Systems, University of California at Berkeley, published a new article, The Constitutional Law of Intellectual Property After Eldred v. Ashcroft, 50 J. Cop. Soc'y (forthcoming 2003). Link via A Copyfighter's Musings, which reviews the article, and its significant citations from other forthcoming articles.
Notification of Agreement Under the Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002, Federal Register, June 11, 2003. "The Copyright Office is publishing an agreement which sets rates and terms for the reproduction and performance of sound recordings made by a noncommercial webcaster under the section 112 and 114 statutory licenses." See also a recent posting with additional links on this issue here.
Commercial Law for the New Commerce UCITA (Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act) and UETA (Uniform Electronic Transactions Act) (PowerPoint) by Patricia Brumfield Fry, Visiting Professor of Law, Wm. Mitchell College of Law.
Privacy vs. Internet piracy: "Verizon and Earthlink have informed five Internet service customers that they can expect to be hearing from the record industry very, very soon. But the Recording Industry Association of America says it hasn't decided what to do with the names it won last week in a bitter court battle over Internet piracy." See my recent posting on this case here.
From PBS OnlineNewsHour:
Music labels coming to grips with Web piracy: "...for the first time in the Internet file-sharing wars, record industry executives have in recent weeks started to address music fans directly, both offering carrots and wielding sticks to persuade people to buy their product again. How well they succeed is likely to determine the way music is produced and consumed for years to come."
European Parliament adopts Declaration against Piracy in Europe. "The European Parliament (June 5) sent an important political signal that piracy will not be tolerated, when it adopted a Declaration on the Fight against Piracy and Counterfeiting in the Enlarged EU. A majority of Euro MPs signed the Declaration that calls for concerted action against the alarming levels of piracy in the Member States and the piracy epidemic in the EU accession countries of Eastern Europe."
The text of the declaration is available here.
See this recent paper authored by 12 CalTech scientists, Fast TCP: From Theory to Experiments, which details their work, demonstrated through a number of controlled and public experiments, that allows users to download text, images and video from the Internet at "6,000 times the capacity of the ordinary broadband links."
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that ISP Verizon Communications must provide the RIAA with the names of four customers accused of using the service to pirate copyrighted music using file sharing sofware. For a history of this case, please see this link.
The RIAA press release is here.
The Radio and Internet Newsletter reports that non-commercial webcasters have reached a royalty agreeement with SoundExchange, an organization that represents hundreds of large and small recording labels by licensing, collecting and distributing copyright fees.
From the American Library Association Washington Office Newsline: "The U.S. Supreme Court on June 2 issued its opinion in Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. (case no. 02-428), in which ALA participated as a "friend of the court" in support of Dastar Corporation. The Court has ruled unanimously 8-0 (Justice Breyer did not participate in the case) in favor of Dastar, ruling that the company did not act illegally when it repackaged and distributed a television documentary which had entered the public domain. The reasoning of the court is extremely helpful to supporters of balanced intellectual property laws."
Related documents include:
Proposed rules changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which constitute a Part 27 rewrite, were published in this May 28 Federal Register notice (pdf), and intend to "clarify, streamline, and update guidance and clauses on patent, data, and copyrights to provide a more logical presenation of this complex material." Also see the government's acquisition information website FAR, which provides links to the Current FAR (in HTML and PDF) and includes amendments from FAC 14 effective as of 05/22/03.
According to ALAWON, the ALA Washington Office Electronic Newsline, on May 29 Vermont Governor Jim Douglas signed HB 148, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). "This bill included a UCITA (Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act) bomb-shelter provision in its Choice of Law Section. Such bomb-shelter laws have been enacted in four states: Iowa, West Virginia, North Carolina and now Vermont. The laws are called "bomb-shelters" because they protect the residents and businesses of the enacting state from the reaches of UCITA. For related information, see the ALA UCITA website.
DVD-CCA v. Bunner, on appeal before the California Supreme Court, involves the posting of free software for the DeCSS code (to decrypt DVDs) by Andrew Bunner on his website. Prior to the beginning of this case in 2000, the DeCSS code had been published widely on sites around the world. According to SFGate.com, "California Attorney General Bill Lockyer joined the movie industry in contending that the DeCSS code was simply a burglary tool designed for breaking, entering and stealing a trade secret -- the industry-owned code designed to prevent unauthorized playback of movies recorded on digital versatile discs, or DVDs." See also this posting on the case from Freedom to Tinker.
See the following updates on The Eric Eldred Act website:
The Chronicle of Higher Education published the text of a dialogue, New Approaches to File Sharing, between Penn State President Graham Spanier and students from throughout the country and abroad. Issues addressed included the possible institution of fees for using P2P applications via campus networks, acceptable use policies, the implementation of legitimate file sharing applications that meet the requirements of fair use within the context of research and library related activities, and other interesting perspectives on the issue.
The EFF reports that on May 21, Colorado Governor Bill Owens vetoed House Bill 1303, the so called Super DMCA legislation for which the Motion Picture Association provided the draft model language used in state legislatures throughout the country.
Mark Stamp provides a thorough, enlightening commentary on DRM, examining applications, value and the associated controversy on the topic as it impacts commercial and consumer users in the areas of privacy and copyright.
On May 20, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), submitted to Congress, as required by the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002, its report, Technological Protection Systems for Digitized Copyrighted Works (pdf).
On May 20, the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property conducted a markup of H.R. 1417, the "Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2003."
See also the following statements on CARP made before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property Committee on the Judiciary, April 1, 2003
From the American Libraries Association (ALA) DMCA Section 1201 Anti-Circumvention Rule site: "On May 9, the U.S. Copyright Office concluded a round of hearings in Washington, D.C. pursuant to its rulemaking, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA), to determine potential exemptions to the Section 1201 prohibition on circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The five major U.S. library associations were represented at three of the Washington hearings by their outside counsel, Jonathan Band, of Morrison & Foerster, who testified in support of several exemptions that the libraries have requested through the written comments submitted to the Copyright Office."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), joined by "45 organizations (including the American Library Association) - 27 consumer and privacy groups and 18 ISPs and ISP associations," filed a 35 page brief (pdf) on May 16 with the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, suporting Verizon's continued refusal to reveal the name of a customer who used the ISP to distribute music via a file sharing application, as demanded by the RIAA.
Penn State President Graham Spanier has assumed a high-profile role in attempting to broker an agreement in the escalating battle over student use of networked file sharing applications and the increasingly aggressive entertainment industry response to pursue, identify and punish individuals who they believe are engaged in digital piracy. Mr. Spainer has apparently suggested that the issue could be mitigated by the payment of a yearly downloading fee to the recording industry.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston, Northern District of California, in a hearing of 321 Studios v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (C-02-1955.e), is reported to be substantially persuaded in favor of copyright holders as she considers whether it is fair use for consumers to continue to purchase and use a $50 (after rebate) DVD duplication software application which the movie industry contends circumvents the DMCA and should be banned. See my previous post on 321 Studios, and this Reuters article on new industry lawsuits against five more companies that market DVD copying software.
From afterdawn.com, "A federal appeals court has extended the 14-day deadline for Verizon to give up its subscriber's personal details to RIAA. The 14-day limit was set by a district court at the end of April." See my previous posting, Verizon Must Identify Customer In Privacy Case.
This New York Times article, Library's robot is a real page-turner, available via the International Herald Tribune, describes a fascinating, ambitious, costly, technically challenging and also interesting from the perspective of fair use, project underway at the Stanford University Libraries. Using a robotic book scanner from 4DigitalBooks™, the libraries are undertaking projects to digitize their bound materials, but are also working on unbound materials as well. For more details, see this May 7 report from Stanford (pdf) - Robotic Book Scanning at the Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources: Report on the Status of Digitization Facilities and Services for Bound Library Materials. In addition, here is a link to a November 26, 2001 article from the Wall Street Journal Europe on this digital robot.
From Duke University School of Law, the Winter/Spring 2003 issue of Law & Contemporary Problems has 13 full-text articles on public domain issues, including Mapping the Digital Public Domain: Threats and Opportunities and Reconciling What the First Amendment Forbids with what the Copyright Clause Permits: A Summary Explanation and Review. The articles and essays in the issue result from the Conference on the Public Domain, Duke Law School, November 9—11, 2001.
Ohio State University (OSU) has shut-down dormitory-based computers running a network used to share music files with 3,000 students. The students were using a legal P2P file sharing application called Direct Connect. From the OSU student newspaper, the Latern, Raid pulls plug on illegal network, which states, "A group consisting of a computer crime specialist, a detective and a university police officer went to each four residence hall rooms Monday night - armed with search warrants - looking for the evidence."
From the May 5 USA Today (reg. req'd), an interesting article provides some background about and carefully crafted "no comments" from the three of the four students who settled file-sharing infringement cases with the RIAA. In related news from the same paper, see also Piracy has its hooks in. This article details the win/lose scenarios of various anti-piracy efforts undertaken to date by the entertainment industry, and points out the the need for new business models as well as consumer acknowledgement of the invariable consequences of the fee vs. free battle.
According to this article, Bradley University has joined over 200 other universities participating in the ultra-high speed broadband Internet2 consortium. This project is a collaboration between academia, government and industry, and not available to the public. According to Jeff Huberman, dean of Bradley's communications school, "Boundaries become irrelevant with Internet2. It's an entirely different playing field." Does Internet2 raise the prospect of an expanded battleground over P2P file-sharing on campuses?
The entertainment industry is working with software developers, such as Overpeer Inc., to create applications that will thwart P2P filing services and networks. Although such efforts pre-date the recent decision in favor of filing sharing companies Grokster and Morpheus, the focus on a software solution appears to have a renewed purpose and impetus. According to Overpeer's CEO Marc Morgenstern, "We intervene on behalf of our clients to protect their content from piracy."
See also, Heading off film piracy - Movie trade group staying one step ahead in lobbying efforts.
Point: The Truth About The Peer to Peer Privacy Prevention Act, by Rep. Howard L. Berman. "In July, three colleagues and I introduced H.R. 5211, the Peer to Peer Piracy Prevention Act. The bill ensures that copyright owners won't face liability for using reasonable, limited self-help to prevent the theft of their works on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks."
Counterpoint: How the Motion Picture and Recording Industries are Losing the Copyright War by Fighting Misdirected Battles, by Peter K. Yu.
The recording industry agreed to settlements of the copyright infringement lawsuits, filed separately against four college students on April 3, in federal courts in New York, Michigan and New Jersey.
According to AP, the fines are as follows: "Princeton University student Daniel Peng and Michigan Tech student Joseph Nievelt each agreed to pay $15,000 in damages to the RIAA. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Rochester, N.Y., student Jesse Jordan agreed to pay $12,000, and fellow Rensselaer student Aaron Sherman agreed to pay $17,500." Payment will take place on an installment plan over the next three years, none of the students admitted guilt to the allegations, but they have agreed not to engage in any future on-campus networked file sharing activities.
The spin on the settlements and related details are available through various sources:
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the New Jersey Institute of Technology "has banned the use of file-sharing programs on the institute's network." Efforts to educate the community about the consequences of using P2P applications did not result in changes in behavior, according to the Dean of Students. Is this the beginning of a trend to ban such activities on college campuses throughout the country?
From Eyeteeth, this interview with professor and author Siva Vaidhyanathan, whose books include The Anarchist in the Library, which details the impact of peer-to-peer networks on the dissemination of information, and Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity.
His comments about libraries and the Patriot Act include the following: "What we’re doing though is making librarians choose among their values. Librarians believe very strongly in recordkeeping and in maintaining archives. It’s part of the historical record; that’s half of what they do. But the other half of what they do is serve and protect their patrons. The federal government has made librarians choose between retaining records that might be useful, for instance in budgetary discussions not to mention historical research, and protecting their patrons, so their patrons don’t feel intimidated by the books they choose to read or by the potential of oversight of the books they choose to read. There are a lot of librarians around the country right now who are taking a very noble and strong stand against this situation, and I think we need to celebrate them and support them in this effort."
The RIAA launched yet another new anti-piracy campaign, this time using instant messaging (IM), to communicate with millions of individual users it has identified as sharing music files using KaZaA and Grokster. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the target group, college students, will be contacted in an "educational outreach effort" which also includes an explicit warning to discontinue file-sharing activities. From the text of the RIAA message: "When you break the law, you risk legal penalties. There is a simple way to avoid that risk: DON'T STEAL MUSIC, either by offering it to others to copy or downloading it on a "file-sharing" system like this. When you offer music on these systems, you are not anonymous and you can easily be identified."
The screen shots of the RIAA message are here and here.
News that the Florida House of Representatives pushed ahead the vote on pending Super DMCA legislation by one day, and passed H79, Relating to Communications Services, on Thursday, April 24, - YEAS 109 NAYS 0. See my previous posting on this and other Super DMCA legislation here.
The Consumer Electronics Association issued a press release today in support of Friday's decision in the file sharing case of Grokster and Morpheus. See also, Copyright Battle Now Turns to Other Fronts, from the LA Times (registration req'd), and not surprisingly, Kazaa applauds P2P ruling--heads back to court. Also, this Interview With the President of Grokster about the summary judgment.
In a 34 page decision released this afternoon that surprised many, the entertainment industry at the top of the list, Judge Stephen V. Wilson (Central District of California) "denied a request to shut down Internet song-swapping services Grokster and Morpheus." The judge wrote, "It is undisputed that there are substantial noninfringing uses for (the) Defendants' software." See this Reuters article for more information. Also see RIAA reacts badly to court's file share ruling which states, "What makes this judgment even more interesting is the implication for ISPs. This judge has effectively ruled that those who have no direct control of the use of their services cannot be held responsible for any misuse of those services."
From News.com, Are file traders next? the author predicts that this defeat for the music industry will only result in an accelerated effort to sue individuals who have allegedly engaged in copyright infringement using P2P apps.
Resources and news of note on Super DMCA legislation ("to combat broadband and communications piracy") that is proliferating at the state level, driven in large measure by relentless lobbying on the part of the Motion Picture Assocation of America (MPAA), and which, for the most part, is based on the organization's proposed model legislation. The Broadband & Internet Security Task Force, an industry sponsored organization, is also a key player in the effort to enact such legislation.
From the American Library Association (ALA), see this 'Super' DMCA State Legislation Table. Via Tech Law Advisor, this commentary on pending Florida legislation (H79 and S1078) contends the legislation "would take away your right to potentially own or operate a TiVo, network firewall, or WiFi device. Not to mention your right to privacy..."
From the Chronicle for Higher Education, a Michigan grad student moved his research on information hiding techniques (steganography) to a server in the Netherlands for fear of prosecution under Michigan's Public Act 672, which prohibits conduct with regard to telecommunications access devices.
And from Information Week, this article about software developer Tom Liston's network security application to fight worms, called LaBrea. Mr. Liston has been directly impacted by Super DMCA legislation enacted on January 1, 2003 in Illinois, such that he felt compelled to remove his software from public access via the Hackbuster site, on April 16.
Once again Judge John D. Bates (United States District Court for the District of Columbia) has ruled (55 page pdf) that Verizon Internet Services must reveal, within fourteen days, the name of an anonymous customer accused of using a peer-to-peer file sharing application (KaZaA) to pirate copyrighted songs. The judge's earlier ruling of January 21 also ordered Verizon to release the customer data, but the company sought a stay and continued to battle the RIAA, who contended the DMCA allowed them to subpoena customer data from ISPs based soley upon on an allegation of copyright infringement.
Verizon's senior vice president and deputy general counsel, John Thorne, stated in this press release, "We look to the Court of Appeals to decide this case in a narrow manner that avoids a chilling effect on Internet users' private communications, such as e-mail, instant messages or surfing the Internet."
Cary Sherman, President of the Recording Industry Association of America, stated, "A federal district court has again affirmed that the law which provides copyright holders with a process to identify infringers is both Constitutional and appropriate."
See the Center for Democracy & Technology statement on the decision here, and the response from the Electronic Frontier Foundation here.
O'Reilly & Associates, a leading publisher of books on computer technologies, announced it will adopt the Founders' Copyright from the Creative Commons project, "that allows copyright holders to voluntarily release their works to the public after the period envisioned in the original 1790 US copyright law--14 years, with the option of one 14-year extension." The Sony Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 extended the duration of copyright, on works published on or after 1978, from 50 years to 70 years.
See also this PCWorld article that states O'Reilly is "...taking a dramatic stand against automatic extensions of U.S. copyrights by voluntarily limiting its own copyright protection."
In the continuing saga of Napster, this news that venture capital firm Hummer Winblad Venture Partners was sued in U.S. District Court (LA) by Universal Music Group and The EMI Group for contributing to global copyright violations by the bankrupt file sharing service.
See also my previous posting on the new book about Napster. And on the broader topic of music piracy, see this recent report, commissioned by the Business Software Association (BSA), Expanding Global Economies: The benefits of reducing software piracy (pdf).
College students are increasingly discovering that file sharing has serious consequences. Just ask 220 Penn State students accused of using an LAN to bypass the university's network bandwidth restrictions. They have lost the privilege of Web access in their dorm rooms.
See also my previous posting on four college students who were sued by the RIAA for using LANs to collect and distribute copyrighted songs. In addition, see this New York Times article, Recording Industry Goes After Students Over Music Sharing, that documents the responses of students and administrators at other colleges and universities throughout the country. Also, Univ. of Minnesota stuck in middle of music, movie download dispute.
An update on the Penn State students, April 24: "The 220 students caught last week trading copyrighted material received a slap on the wrist from the Office of Judicial Affairs after promising not to share illegal material again."
All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster, was reviewed in the Sunday Washington Post as "a richly reported behind-the-scenes account of the rise and fall of Napster Inc., the online music-swapping phenomenon." From the Boston Globe, see also this article by the book's author, Joseph Menn, The Man Who Hijacked Napster, adapted from his book.
On April 18, the DOJ filed a brief with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that supports the RIAA's case against Verizon to compel the release of personal customer data of an individual who allegedly engaged in Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) violations through file swapping. The DOJ contends the government's position is a defense of the constitutionality of the DMCA. Verizon has sought to quash the court' subpoena as it "violates the constitutionally protected rights of free speech and due process of Internet subscribers." (quote is from this New York Times article.) See also this Wall Street Journal article and this Washington Post article for more background.
Professor Edward Felton, whose blog Freedom to Tinker focuses on information technology and law issues, was interviewed by Slashdot yesterday. Issues addressed include the DMCA, compulsory copyright liscensing and network identity.
Two recent articles focusing on the digital rights controversy merit noting: The Pirates Among Us: "The entertainment industry is battling the illegal distribution of copyrighted music and movie files-and will stop at nothing to enlist your help."
Pirates and Posses: The Battle over Digital Copyright by James L. Gattuso, Bruce Mehlman, Alec French, Gary Shapiro, Heritage Lecture #785. "The blessing of the digital age is that you can make an infinite number of perfect copies of any one piece of content at a very, very low cost. The curse is that you can make an infinite number of perfect copies of any content without paying for it." The authors suggest the following remedies:
As a follow-up to my previous posting on Massachusetts House Bill 2743, see these related articles: Activists assail antipiracy proposal - Argue civil rights would be violated under Mass. law and MPAA's Drive for Tougher Fraud Laws Hits Bump.
The innovative Yale Journal of Law & Technology (YJoLT) is now using a blog publishing application, provides links to other Yale sponsored blogs and legal-tech content, and offers readers the choice between viewing the journal articles in Word of PDF. See this article from the current issue, Copyright’s Digital Reformulation, by Brodi Kemp (YLS 2004). The author "argue(s) that content providers are 'recreating the bottle' around their intellectual property, using digital technologies to reinforce their business models and supplant copyright." Please note that a previous version of this article by the same author, dated September 2001, was published here.
From the Library of Economics and Liberty, this April 7 interview with Larry Lessig covers the Eldred copyright case and the recent Supreme Court decision, the Creative Commons copyright project, and discussion of the following questions: "Should the law treat intellectual and physical property differently? What are the key economic aspects of digital property? How much, if any, control should we put over the Internet? How does the evolution of creative culture build on past creation?"
Fred von Lohmann, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), contributed an opinion column to The Daily Princetonian on the relentless music industry campaign against students who engage in file sharing on campuses across the country. He suggests, "We need to collect a pool of money from Internet users, and agree on a fair way to divide it among the artists and copyright owners."
From Kevin Heller, see Compulsory Licensing Makes Me Cringe and Facts and Myths of Compulsory Licensing.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), has published an analysis and a group of very useful resources on the so-called Super DMCA legislation that is under consideration in state legislatures around the country. See their press release here, and the following links:
My thanks to attorney Walter Simon who responded to my request for assistance with a translation concerning yesterday's posting about the new German copyright law. Walter sent me this link to his blog posting of April 10 that references resources in English on the new law. In addition, he also recommended this link from the Lenz blog, by Karl-Friedrich Lenz. Along with primary source references to the new law and the EU Copyright Directive, Mr. Lenz links to this article, in English, Compromise reached over German copyright bill.
Princeton University student Joseph Barillari posted an essay, which has since been updated several times, titled An analysis of the RIAA's complaint against Dan Peng '05, on his blog. This document is a useful resource that contributes to the understanding of the specific technologies and their applications at issue in the RIAA's lawsuit on contributory copyright infringement against his fellow student. In addition, see this site by Zack Rosen, that provides a information capsule on each of the students involved in the lawsuits, with links to the complaints and the respective websites they operated, related news articles, and a well illustrated description of file sharing technologies across local area networks (LANS), an issue with which many of us are not familiar.
One ramification of the lawsuits is evident in this message to students from the Office of the Dean of Harvard College (Harry R. Lewis). Quoting from the letter, "The College, therefore, will terminate the network access of any student who is a repeat offender, that is, a student who has been warned about a first incident of copyright infringement and who is again found to have been downloading, reproducing, or distributing copyrighted material in violation of the copyright laws. The length of termination will be one year. Termination of network access includes all devices owned or registered by the student." Try going a week without web access, let alone a year, when you are in college! See also Lewis Threatens To Unplug Illicit File Traders. And while you're at it, see Will the RIAA Sue Google?
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the recently amended German Copyright Law (pdf - in German) now exempts universities from fees associated with providing students and scholars with copyrighted materials in a digital environment. For additional information, please see this April 10 posting from amiga-news.de, New Copyright as Good as Succeeded, which provides some additional background about the law, as well as a link to an article from the German IT news publication, Golem (no translation available), and one from Der Spiegel (also in German). Anyone who can provide translation assistance for the law and these articles for beSpacific readers, please contact me. My thanks in advance. See also this brief article, Germany trying to copy DMCA (in English).
See also my recent postings on U.S. copyright and distance learning issues here and here.
Today the the Copyright Office held a hearing on its Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works. The panel that testified on "compilations of lists of websites blocked by censorware ("filtering software") applications," included attorney Jonathan Band (who represents many organizations including the American Association of Law Libraries), David Burt, a pro-filtering advocate, former librarian and software tester who works for Internet filtering software company N2H2, Inc, and programmer/anti-censorship activist Seth Finkelstein.
U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns (MA) dismissed a lawsuit by the ACLU on behalf of Harvard law student and cyber-activist Ben Edelman who argued a first amendment right to create software to decrypt an Internet blocking program by N2H2. The filtering software, used by public and school libraries, is marketed as "CIPA compliant." Edelman posted a copy of the decision here, and for reference, also see his Edelman v. N2H2, Inc. - Case Summary & Documents site. The Washington Post also reported on this case here.
The Information Law Weblog was launched March 28, is by librarian/researcher/author Paul Pedley, and focuses on copyright, data protection and freedom of information issues in the UK. Well worth a visit. (Thanks to DC for the link.)
Heather Newman at the Detroit Free Press reports that the damages sought by the RIAA in just one of the four lawsuits they filed on April 3 against college students total the unbelievable sum of $97.8 million (incorrectly stated as trillion in the article). This calculation results from multiplying the maximum damages per copyright violation ($150,000) times the over 625,000 songs the RIAA contends were pirated. The RIAA has certainly chosen an attention grabbing strategy in a campaign that will probably not be limited to actions against college students alone.
See also this article on Princeton student Dan Peng '05 who was sued by RIAA.
As a follow-up to my posting yesterday on the lawsuits against four college students filed by the RIAA, this article provides further details. The RIAA is seeking $150,000 for each of the music files allegedly copied by the named students. Officials from Princeton and the Michigan Technological University registered their displeasure with the charges as in effect undermining their institution's efforts to combat piracy. See also this article from MTV.com that names the students and indicates that the LANs run by them "offered up more than 1 million song files in violation of copyright law."
From FindLaw, here are links to the complaints, in PDF, all of which were filed on April 3: Atlantic Record Corp. v. Daniel Peng; Atlantic Record Corp. v. Jesse Jordan; Atlantic Record Corp. v. Aaron Sherman; and Atlantic Record Corp. v. Joseph Nievelt.
The RIAA today announced lawsuits against four students who run local area networks on university campuses used to "illegally distribute millions of copyrighted songs." According to this Reuters report, two of the students attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, one is at Princeton University and the other at Michigan Technological University.
Via A Copyfighter's Musings, a report on what transpired during the public hearing held April 3 on Massachusetts House Bill 2743; MA Super DMCA Hearing Report. See my previous posting on proposed legislation to extend the DMCA here.
From Freedom to Tinker, MPAA Revises Model Super-DMCA Legislation that links to "revised version of its model Super-DMCA language."
The Penn State provost, Rodney A. Erickson, issued an e-mail warning to students concerning potential penalties administered by the university and copyright holders against students making illegal copies of copyrighted music, movies and recordings. The tenor and tone of the message conveys the obvious impact made on academic institutions by the industry campaign to blunt increasing file sharing activities on campus.
Library associations including the ALA, AALL and ARL are voicing their collective opposition to the Super DMCA bills about which I posted on March 31. According to letters sent to the Colorado and Arkansas legislatures, the library groups contend that the proposed legislation will erode fair use, and "While digital piracy is a serious problem...some of the proposed amendments will undermine the ability of libraries to provide important information services."
From Reuters, this announcement that the new trial of Jon Johansen has been scheduled for December 2. He posted to the Web the code to facilitate mass copying of DVDs, and his first trial ended in an acquittal.
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has launched an anti-piracy campaign on university campuses similar to the well publicized one undertaken by the RIAA here in America. The estimated size of the UK piracy market for 2001 is documented by the industry in this chart.
For additional perspective on the CD burning controversy, see Downloads Save The Music Business, a report from Forrester Research that states, "Labels are in trouble, and it's not from file sharing. To tap into $2 billion in new revenues, they must let people find, copy, and pay for music on their own terms."
From Edward Felton's Freedom to Tinker, this page, State Super-DMCA Bills and Laws, provides a chart listing legislation introduced in nine states (AL, CO, FL, GA, MA, MD, MI, SC, TN, TX) that would preclude corporate and personal use of firewalls, routers and encrypted e-mail.
See also this related posting from LawMeme about an April 2 public hearing for the Massachusetts DMCA legislation "to establish a crime of illegal internet and broadband access and establishing penalties therefor," House Bill No. 2743. From CNet, see DMCA critics decry state-level proposals, and from Politech.com, see this posting that quotes language from the Michigan (this amended section takes effect March 31, 2003) and Colorado legislation.
The Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property postponed their March 27, 2003 Legislative Hearing on H.R. 1417, the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act. See my previous posting on the demise of music webcasts as well as Declan McCullagh's March 27 article.
Copyright Versus Consumers' Rights: How Companies are Using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to Thwart Competition, March 25. From the article: "Unlike in prior DMCA disputes, the object of Lexmark's DMCA claim is not to prevent piracy of a copyrighted work. Instead, it is to prevent rivals from offering cheaper cartridges for Lexmark's printers. This is not copyright protection, but profit protection."
Via Copyfight, this link to The Media Institute's "new online forum for the discussion of the many issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property in the digital age," the Copyright Colloquium.
S.692, A bill to require the Federal Trade Commission to issue rules regarding the disclosure of technological measures that restrict consumer flexibility to use and manipulate digital information and entertainment content. Sponsor: Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] (introduced 3/24/2003). See Wyden's press release here.
Slow Start for Long-Awaited Easing of Copyright Restriction describes the challenges faculty are facing in their efforts to properly comply with copyright requirements for distance learning stipulated by the TEACH Act. The article includes a helpful guide for professors, Copyright Checklist for Online Courses, produced by North Carolina State University.
Brown University temporarily terminated Internet access for 67 students after they were identified as having downloaded files using P2P applications through the campus network. See also this Message to the Brown Community on Illegal Downloading of Music and Videos and Your Vulnerability, which links to the Using Computing Resources at Brown University guidelines.
According to this article in the March 18 Chronicle of Higher Education, an important conflict has been identified between the Teach Act (2002), which lifts specific copyright restrictions for the purposes of distance learning, and the DMCA (1998), that has a provision preventing the circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been pursuing a high-profile campaign against P2P file sharing that stretches from college and university campuses to the cubicles of corporate America. On March 12, RIAA President Cary H. Sherman sent letters to 300 companies warning that "significant legal damages" could result from employers and employees who had already been identified via their IP addresses as having conducted music downloads using their respective corporate networks. AP reports that "the letters point out the copyright owners can collect up to $150,000 per song copied without permission, plus legal fees and profits earned by the infringer, and that the equipment used to make illegal copies can be confiscated. "
The Harvard Journal of Law & Technology (JOLT) Symposium 2003, Copyright and Fair Use: Present and Future Prospects, was held on March 15, and comments on several sessions were blogged on Copyfighter's Musings and FurdLog. Bios for the program's participants, including Rep. Boucher, are here.
On March 13, the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property held an Oversight Hearing on "International Copyright Piracy: Links to Organized Crime and Terrorism" Links are as follows to the:Witness List, John Malcolm, Rich LaMagna, Joan Borsten Vidov, Jack Valenti.
Although not a focus of the hearing, campus-wide file sharing was mentioned. See this related article from IDG News in which Representative John Carter (R- TX) is quoted as stating, "I think it'd be a good idea to go out and actually bust a couple of these college kids... If you want to see college kids duck and run, you let them read the papers and somebody's got a 33-month sentence in the federal penitentiary for downloading copyrighted materials."
Professor of Computer Science Lee A. Hollaar has made available, at no fee, virtually the entire text of his treatise, Legal Protection of Digital Information, published by BNA. The Table of Contents provides direct links to each chapter and respective sections therein, which include the following topics: Copyright Overview, Software, Copyright, Digital Copyright, Patent Overview and Software Patents. This news is via UnivAtty.
From the Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 2003, this extensive and well documented resource, An Education in ©opyright Law: A Primer for Cyberspace. The author, Dr. Robert N. Diotalevi reviews copyright law basics, the fair use doctrine (and provides examples of permissible and non-permissible uses), how copyright applies to distance learning (illustrated by a chart of Institutional Policies and Procedures, along with respective web links), and the DMCA and Teach Act. (link via the ResourceShelf)
Creative Commons, the unique copyright licensing project that facilitates the sharing of creative works, announced the launch of their new international program "dedicated to the drafting and eventual adoption of country-specific licenses." Link submitted by Donna Cavallini.
On March 4, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the Benefit Authors without Limiting Advancement or Net Consumer Expectations, or BALANCE Act, that mirrors the text of H. R. 5522, the Digital Choice and Freedom Act of 2002, introduced by Lofgren October 2, 2002.
From yesterday's press release: "This legislation would ensure that consumers are able to buy content that is compatible across platforms, thereby encouraging technological development and competition,".... Specifically, it will allow consumers to make backup copies and display digital works on their preferred digital media devices."
The Copyright Office has now posted all the public comments received on DMCA exemptions to the proposed rulemaking on anticircumvention as it applies to copyrighted works. See my previous posting here.
Reuters reports that the January 7, 2003 decision from the Oslo, Norway Court of First Instance, acquitting teen Jon Johansen of criminal charges related to creating a utility (DeCSS) that descrambled the code for DVD players, has been appealed. The new trial is scheduled for Fall 2003. See my previous posting on the case here.
The DOJ announced Monday that 'Operation Pipe Dreams' had resulted in the seizure of domain names that were a conduit for the sale of "illegal drug paraphernalia."
Yesterday, the DOJ announced it had taken control of the website and domain for www.iSONEWS in accordance with a plea agreement on criminal copyright charges against the site's owner for the sale of pirated game chips, in violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).
See also, Eminent Domain: Seizing Web Sites, March 9, 2003.
The Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property held an oversight hearing on "Peer-to-Peer Piracy On University Campuses," February 26, 2003. The following documents and testimony are available via their website: the Witness List, Statement of Chairman Lamar Smith, testimony of Molly Broad (President of the University of North Carolina), testimony of Hilary Rosen (Chairman and CEO, Recording Industry Associaition of America) testimony of Graham Spanier (President of the Pennsylvania State University), and testimony of Dr. John Hale (Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Director, Center for Information Security, The University of Tulsa).
According to Rosen's testimony, "More than 2.6 billion music files are illegally downloaded every month on unauthorized P2P systems. Of this number, a significant percentage of the transfers occur over campus networks."
See also Lawmakers Demand That Colleges Crack Down on Illegal File Sharing.
The February 2003 issue of Spectrum (PDF), from the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), published an article, beginning on page 7, "Supreme Court Hears Case on Copyright, Mickey Mouse and Congress." Please see my previous post here for background on Eldred et al. v. Ashcroft, Attorney General.
See also Larry Lessig's February 20 article in the Financial Times, Exclusive rights to stagnate, in which he states that the U.S. patent law system is "broken," and warns that Europe should not emulate our mistakes.
Global media publisher Bertelemann, an investor in the pioneering music file swapping company Napster, was sued in federal district court in New York by fellow music publishers, for $17 billion. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, details from the 18 page complaint "allege that Bertelsmann contributed to the wide-scale infringement of their copyrighted works by funding Napster, a now-defunct online file-swapping service that once teemed with pirated music." The story was also reported by ZDNet here. For a copy of the docket in this case, 03-CV-1093, Leiber, et al v. Bertelsmann, AG, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Civil Docket, click here. Please be advised that you will have to update this docket to obtain the most current information available.
In related news, global market research company Ispos Reid issued a press release on their survey, "An Estimated 26 million Americans Have Burned Rather Than Bought Music." See also associated charts in PDF indicating file-sharing usage by age and gender, projected population of file-sharers, and prevalence of file-sharing usage by age.
The March 2003 issue of Scientific American includes an article, Some Rights Reserved, on the non-profit Creative Commons licensing project that promotes a new avenue of sharing copyrighted works while retaining different levels of rights of authorship. See my previous post on this topic here.
ICSU (International Council of Scientific Unions) launched a new online global discussion forum focused on ensuring universal access to scientific knowledge. There are currently 26 articles posted on the site from authors around the world, and issues addressed include copyright, privacy, digital rights and the free and unfettered publication and distribution of scientific research via the Web.
The International Intellectual Property Alliance industry trade group issued a press release, in PDF, discussing recommendations it made to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to combat global Internet piracy. In addition, the group published a study, 2003 Special 301 Report on Global Copyright Protection and Enforcement, that reviews piracy in 63 countries and contends that U.S. trade loses from activities in 52 of these countries totaled $9.2 billion in 2002. The report provides detailed data on which countries should remain on the USTR Priority Watch List.
The music and film industries are expanding their crusade against file-swapping from college campuses to corporate cubicles. See this RIAA press release, dated February 13. As part of their effort, they are distributing a publication titled, A Corporate Policy Guide to Copyright Use and Security on the Internet (PDF) to Fortune 1000 companies.
Verizon has requested a stay in Judge John D. Bates' (United States District Court for the District of Columbia) ruling in favor of RIAA, compelling Verizon to release personal customer data on a subscriber who downloaded copyrighted music. See my previous post on this issue here.
As previously reported, college and university students are under growing scrutiny for downloading digital files using campus provided ISP access. Brown University is the latest institution in the news to formalize efforts to control the parameters of student use of file sharing applications. Keeping the DMCA (PDF) firmly in mind, and with an awareneess of their escalating bandwidth costs, the university is instituting an education program and implementing policies for the abuse of Internet privileges.
In related news, Rebecca Cohn of the California assembly introduced House Resolution No. 5--Relative to online piracy, adopted by committee on 1/28/2003. It states in part that the "Legislature further requests corporate, governmental, and educational institutions to implement employee policies and technical measures to ensure that their networks are not being misused to infringe copyrighted works.."
Copyright and piracy issues associated with file sharing are the subject of news articles, lawsuits and web forum discussion groups. Add another element to this mix: a company whose business is to monitor file sharing traffic from popular applications such as Kazaa and Morpheus. The company is called BigChampagne, and it tracks 25 million searches each day, conducted by an estimated 20 million individuals, noting downloads from specific artists and by individual song track. Despite their public battle against P2P music users, the music industry is very interested in monitoring the choices of this huge file sharing community.
The USPTO held a hearing yesterday in accordance with the requirements of the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002 (known as the TEACH Act), Public Law 107-273. See my previous post here on this issue of protecting digitized copyrighted works that are used in distance education. Public comments from the Federal Register notice on the TEACH Act are here.
The University of Indiana Digital Student reported that several hundred students were forced to remove music download files from their computers or their Internet access would be discontinued, in accordance with an RIAA demand. I have made a series of posts on RIAA's communications with college and university presidents indicating that they are responsible for blocking student use of P2P applications via the institution's ISP (see here and here.)
Verizon is appealing the district court's decision compelling the ISP to release customer data to RIAA in a copyright dispute concerning music downloading. According to Verizon's deputy general counsel, "If this ruling stands, consumers will be caught in a digital dragnet - not only from record companies alleging infringement of their copyright monopolies - but from anyone who can fill out a simple form."
Sharman Networks Ltd., owner of the file swapping application Kazaa, has responded to the January 23, 2003 order from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denying their motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit by the music and recording industries. Sharman filed its answer and counterclaims on January 27 in which it contends that the plaintiffs have "monoplize(d) the market for distribution of digital rights managed works."
In October 2002, I posted on the RIAA communicating their strong recommendation to college and university presidents that they put the brakes on the escalating rate of music downloading by students. Last week's decision in RIAA v. Verizon has given the industry impetus to follow-through on identifying those who engage in extensive downloading of copyrighted music, and many students qualify as members of this targeted group. In an article from today's Chronicle of Higher Education, RIAA President Cary Sherman states, "We have no current plans to do that, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't in the future." Sherman goes on to say that academic institutions qualify as ISPs under the DMCA, and could be subpoenaed for the names of infringers.
Via Larry Lessig's blog, The Economist published an editorial, A radical rethink, stating "The best way to foster creativity in the digital age is to overhaul current copyright laws." Also, see this commentary, Copyright extensions put profits ahead of the public.
Lawrence Lessig has not laid down the gauntlet in his crusade to amend the term of copyright protections despite last week's Supreme Court decision. See his Op-Ed, Protecting Mickey Mouse at Art's Expense, in the January 18 New York Times, as well as his announcement about a new effort to tackle the issue on the legislative front via The Eric Eldred Act FAQ, "a proposal to help move work that has no continuing commercial value into the public domain."
Also worth noting is After the copyright smackdown: What next?, an insightful commentary on the digital rights advocacy movement whose consumer supported agenda is gaining momentum, and some strong support in Congress.
Chad Little, owner of Planet Replay, a P2P service that allows users to share TV shows they have digitally recorded using SonicBlue's ReplayTV, has issued a press release indicating the discontinuation of part of his website's service. This was done to protect the privacy of site users as a result of the entertainment industry's copyright suit against SonicBlue, for which he was deposed.
See also this Washington Times article, Gadgets outpace laws in digital age, on the battle between the TV and movie industries and consumers over fair use issues involving ReplayTV and copying DVDs.
The National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council Report 2001-2002 (in PDF) to Congress is a joint effort by DOJ, USPTO, State Dept., U.S. Trade Representative, Commerce, and the Copyright Office. "The mandate of the Council is to coordinate domestic and international intellectual property law enforcement among federal and foreign entities." See also the DOJ site cybercrime.gov, for details on prosecutions involving computer piracy cases.
On January 17, PBS aired a program on Copyright in America, which included a useful timeline on the history of copyrights. In addition, they also published the transcript of an interview conducted by Rick Karr, called Tollbooths on the Digital Highway, with such industry advocates of copyright fees as Jack Valenti, Chairman, Motion Picture Association of America and Pat Schroeder, president of the Association of American Publishers, and fair use advocates including former American Library Association President Nancy Kranich.
On January 15, the Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision in Eldred et al. v. Ashcroft, Attorney General, upholding the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, and extending by 20 years existing copyrights and future copyrights.
The transcript of the oral arguments from October 9, 2002 is here.
See Wired's article on the decision here, and the Washington Post article here. Needless to say, there are many blog postings on this decision, so start with one of the most comprehensive, here at Copyfight.
Yesterday afternoon, the Recording Industry Association of America announced via this press release that "key members of the recording and technology industries" had reached an agreement on a set of principles as the foundation for their joint anti-piracy and copyright protection lobbying efforts in the 108th Congress. The agreement is a result of efforts by three organizations: RIAA, the Business Software Alliance, and the Computer Systems Policy Project, whose participants include all the major industry players - Microsoft, Dell, Apple, HP, and Adobe, among others.
The agreement titled, Technology and Record Company Principles, available in PDF, is a one page document comprising seven statements of principle. The Consumer Electronics Associations and the Computer and Communications Industry Association did not participate in this agreement, nor did the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which issued this press release.
With Microsoft making news today regarding their efforts against government use of open source software (OSS), this newly revised article, Making Copyright Ambidextrous: An Expose of Copyleft, is a useful resource on the history of OSS and associated licensing issues.
Via ZDNet there is news that Sharman Networks, the investment consortium based in Sydney, Australia that owns the popular and controversial P2P software Kazaa will fight the copyright infringement lawsuit brought against them in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California (CV 01-08541-SVW, CV 01-09923-SVW) by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, after the court issued a 46 page decision denying Sharman's motion to dismiss the case.
The CEO of Intel, Craig Barrett, spoke about digital rights at the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show. His comments sought to strike a balance between fair use rights for consumers who legally purchase digital services and media, and appropriate punishment for those "who grossly violate anybody's content."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a redesigned website, and also published a new report, Unintended Consequences: Four Years under the DMCA. The conclusion of the report states, "Four years of experience with the 'anti-circumvention' provisions of the DMCA demonstrate that the statute reaches too far, chilling a wide variety of legitimate activities in ways Congress did not intend. "
For all of us who stream music from radio stations around the country (and may I add, support them with donations), times are bleak. The Net Radio Act that stipulated a new webcasting royalty rate has not secured the future of music webcasts. This Wired article indicates that humdreds of stations are dropping the feeds due to prohibitive costs. This is a real loss.
The source code for the Microsoft Reader e-book as been hacked and posted online by UK programmer Dan Jackson. The program is aptly named Convert Lit (for the .lit format), and removes Microsoft copy protections from files, thus allowing them to be read on competitiors' devices. Here is a link to the EU Copyright Commission Directive for reference.
Via Slashdot, here is a link to an interview on digital IP issues with Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Senior IP Attorney Fred Von Lohmann, conducted by TechFocus. Topics covered include Kazaa, DVRs, the impact of the DMCA and the need for legislative reform of the act, and balancing fair use with the rights of authors.
Kazaa, the immensely popular P2P file swapping software that claims to have 163 million users worldwide, remains one-step ahead of law suits for infringement. The company's catch me if you can business operations model is purposefully convoluted and complex, stretching across three continents, according to this interesting BizReport article.
According to the Boston Globe, the DMCA will be the focus of increasing controversy and lobbying by industry and consumer advocates in 2003. The Business Software Alliance, one of the act's powerful backers, is fighting any expansion of consumer rights concerning the use of music and movie industry products, including legislation introduced by Rep. Boucher.
In a related article, today's New York Times reports on the the entertainment industry's increased use of digital rights software to prevent consumers from bypassing fees when they download music, movies and TV programs.
On January 3, 2003, Supreme Court Justice O'Connor lifted the stay she ordered on December 26, 2002 in DVD Copy Control Association v. Matthew Pavlovich (S 100609), and upheld the California Supreme Court decision that Pavlovich (a Texas resident who does not do business in California) cannot be forced to stand trail in that state for publishing DVD descrambling source code.
Wired details a DMCA dispute that is pitting ISP Verio against veteran thing.net communications from New York, a hybrid non-profit (serving the arts community) and for-profit telecom service. Thing.net hosted a site that lampooned Dow Chemical, using the company's trademark, resulting in the termination of their service by Verio.
JD's Blog mentioned a new site, Protect Fair Use, that is championing the right to make backup copies of DVDs. The site provides background on the copyright law as it applies to digital media, links to related pending legislation as well as to the DMCA, and press about how consumers have been impacted when attempting to exercise their fair use rights.
This website campaign ties in with the litigation involving major movie studies and "321 Studios", a company that distributes DVD copying software. See my previous postings on this copyright conflict here and here.
The EU Directive 2001/29/EC (22 May 2001) "on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society" has only two signatories as the deadline for its adoption came, and went. Only Greece and Denmark agreed to implement the EU's counterpart to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), much to the disappointment of software, music and film industry lobbyists who have worked to obtain support for wider implementation of the directive.
The Library of Congress Copyright Office has a new site for public comments submitted in response to the proposed rulemaking "on exemptions from prohibition on circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works." The comments were submitted between November 19 and December 18, 2002, and include the individual's name, organization (if provided), a summary of the comment, and the option to view the full-text in PDF or download it via FTP.
Creative Commons, the non-profit organization whose focus is providing workable alternatives to current copyright laws for the digital world, has created a new public domain copyright license for web content. See their press release here,
and read about how the licensing process works from the perspective of an early adopter, pioneering attorney/blogger Denise Howell.
Cryptome.org purchased copies of court documents from the USA v. Elcom ebook copyright case and has made them available at no fee here. A jury found the Russian software company not guilty on December 16, 2002.
See also this News.com article for more details about the decision, as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) press release and archive of case-related links. Also, George Washington University law professor Orin S. Kerr's analysis of the decision is here.
The non-profit Center for Democrary & Technology is involved in keeping discussions of digital copyright issues front and center. The organization filed comments with the FCC concerning the escalating controvery over proposed copy protection systems for digital TV broadcasts for coypyright holders. They support the position that there must be a balance of the discretionary rights of consumers to use digitial products and services they have legitimately purchased.
From the press release at Rosettabooks.com: "RosettaBooks LLC, a leading publisher of electronic books, and Random House, Inc., the largest English-language trade book publisher, announced today that they have settled the pending litigation filed by Random House last year over RosettaBooks' publication of e-book editions of several Random House, Inc. titles. With no financial payment being made by either party, both sides agreed to settle their differences by partnering in further developing the e-book market through a collaborative endeavor that will expand both RosettaBooks' already substantial e-book library and the quantity of major Random House, Inc. titles available to consumers as secure electronic downloads."
321 Studios has chosen to play David to Motion Picture Association of America's Goliath in the legal arena. This small company has released a software application for $99.99 that allows purchasers to easily make copies of DVD movies to blank DVDs. The MPA contends that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 prevents 321 Studios from a blatant circumvention of DVD encryption control technology, referred to as CSS (Content Scrambling System). 321 Studios argues fair use allows consumers to legitimately make a backup copy of any DVDs they have purchased for personal use.
FatWallet.com has taken up the fight against the Digital Millennium Copyright Act with their claim that "a group of national retailers forced FatWallet.com to remove Day After Thanksgiving sales information from its site. In letters sent to FatWallet, each retailer claimed that the Copyright Act gives it a monopoly over this price data."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) published a paper by Seth Finkelstein titled
How To Win (DMCA) Exemptions And Influence Policy, which includes key links concerning the act and carefully documents specific directions and references essential to apply for an exemption.
According to this article in digitalMass, a father-son programming team is marketing a software application that allows users to copy DVDs onto CDs. Hollywood is none too pleased with consumers copying their films, and is commited to battling against the creation and distribution of applications that allow them to do so.
See also this related commentary from PCWorld's November 2002 issue.
The Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic at Boalt Hall is actively involved in educational efforts focused on privacy law, digital rights management and copyright issues.
The site maintains a BriefBank, to which public interest groups and legal scholars contribute briefs on law, technology and public policy. The site has a basic search engine (parties to the case and court of jurisdiction), and briefs are available in HTML. In addition, the site hosts conference materials and links to related sites sponsored by UC Berkeley. See their press release on an "Enforcing Privacy Rights" conference, held Nov. 15 and 16.
About a month after colleges and universities were warned about file sharing and associated piracy issues by the RIAA, and in turn sounded the alarm, EPIC has chimed in with another warning. The non-profit privacy rights organization informs educational institutions that aggressive monitoring of online activity impacts students privacy and their right to academic freedom.
On November 6, Microsoft released an essay, An Agenda for Innovation, that focuses on hot button issues such as cybercrime and protecting copyrights.
Winnie the Pooh is at the heart of a 20 year legal battle with a potentially huge payout in terms of online royalties. Disney and Stephen Slesinger, Inc. both claim copyright control over the commercial rights to the characters that would generate $1 billion in online merchandizing revenues.
It would appear that the RIAA and their industry colleagues made a quick and deep impression on university presidents with their warning letter on piracy, about which I previously posted here. TechTV reports that the huge volume of P2P traffic, which has stressed the IT infrastructure at UC Berkeley, has resulted in the implementation of a bandwidth management application called PacketShaper.
Senator Jesse Helms stopped the vote on the compromise webcasting agreement which had passed the House and seemed very likely to pass the Senate. Opposing reasons for his action are mentioned in this Raleigh-based News & Observer article. Either he was trying to protect the webcasters by negotiating even lower rates for them, or he is working on behalf of religious broadcasters who oppose the bill. It certainly can't be both!
The bill would have allowed copyright holders access to the PCs of individuals suspected of software piracy. For additional background, see Rep. Berman's press release on the bill from July 25, 2002.
A joint "outreach letter" from the associations representing the motion picture, music and songwriters groups was sent to the Presidents/CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies. Similar to the "polite" warning sent to college and university presidents (see my previous posting at http://www.bespacific.com/mt/archives/000292.html), this letter warns that there is extensive music and video piracy in the corporate environment which must be addressed.
See this informative Financial Times article for a perspectives on US and EU copyright laws provided by Prof. Lawrence Lessig of Stanford Law School, Thomas Hazlett, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, law professor Richard A. Epstein, University of Chicago, Edward Welbourne, and Frank Walker, chief executive of the Newspaper Licensing Agency Limited.
This Chronicle of Higher Education article profiles this shy man whose love of the great books and his fight to make them freely available on the web has resulted in a national focus on the Supreme Court case that bears his name.
Although the Senate adjourned without voting on H.R. 5469, the compromise crafted by the House between webcasters and broadcasters, the Washington Post is reporting that an interim deal has been worked out. SoundExchange, an organization that represents hundreds of large and small recording labels by licensing, collecting and distributing copyright fees, has announced a temporary payment plan: "by October 21st, these eligible small webcasters may instead pay only the $500 annual minimum fee set by the Librarian of Congress for each year or portion thereof they have been in operation since 1998 (a maximum of $2500) until this Congress has had the opportunity to act on the pending legislation."
Copyright fees go into effect on October 19 for all webcasters streaming music to listeners. See this article.
A bi-partisan, bi-cameral resolution (S.J. Res. 51), sponsored by Rep. Cox (R-CA) and Senator Wyden (D-OR), calls for a Consumer Technology Bill of Rights. The sponsors seek changes to current copyright law for consumers who have legitimately purchased CDs, DVDs, e-books and subscriptions to satellite TV broadcasts. Such consumers should have the right to record or copy digital content for their own use/viewing at a future date.
RAIN: Radio and Internet Newsletter reports that the Small Webcaster Amendments Act of 2002 (a.k.a. H.R. 5469), which would have provided webcasters a "percentage of revenue" option to the "per-performance" rate determined by the Librarian of Congress, failed to reach the Senate floor on the final day of the Congressional session -- reportedly the victim of a "hold" by North Carolina Republican Senator Jesse Helms.
See also this Blogcritics.com post that provides details of the pros and cons of the agreement and the behind the scenes maneuvering by certain Senators to stall its passage.
The Supreme Court transcript in Eric Eldred, et al., Petitioners
v. John D. Ashcroft, Attorney General, No. 01-618 October 9, 2002, Wednesday, Washington, D.C., was posted here.
According to this USA Today article, the National Religious Broadcasters and the National Association Broadcasters are not pleased with the webcasting royalty rate compromise reached by the House, which may derail its chances for passage by the Senate.
This Copyright Office notice of inquiry seeks comments by December 18, 2002 on the "exemption to the prohibition on circumvention of copyright protection systems for access control technologies."
See Lawrence Lessig's blog for a first person narrative about his Supreme Court experience.
The Senate and the House have approved DOJ spending via The 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act that now awaits the President's signature. Bundled into this authorization is a revision to Section 110(2) of the U.S. Copyright Act, called the Educational Use Copyright Exemption. The title of the Senate version is "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act," or the "TEACH Act." This law now permits the fair use, wihtout permission, of portions of copyrighted images, text and sound during the course of instructional programs only by "accredited nonprofit educational institution(s)."
For additional information on the background and implications of this law, please see the American Library Association's (ALA) resource, The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act. See also this related article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Congress Eases Copyright Restrictions on Distance Education.
Students are taxing the capacity of high speed Internet connections provided by their colleges and universities through unrestricted downloading, without appropriate permissions or fees, of audio, video and text files. The ubiquitous RIAA has informed college presidents about the "theft of copyrighted works that is plaguing college campuses." The associations representing college and university presidents received the message loud and clear, and dispatched their own letter to all members urging them to act swiftly to address the problem.
Supremes sympathize in copyright immortality case; Justices Hear Arguments in Challenge to Copyrights;
U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Copyright-Protection Case; Justices Doubt Free Speech Link; Case puts copyright in public spotlight;Declan Mccullagh's photos of Lessig after the oral argument on the steps of the Supreme Court; and The New York Times published "Excerpts From Arguments in Copyright Case," but did not make the article available online. The print citation is October 10, 2002, Thursday, Late Edition - Final, Section C; Page 10; Column 3; Business/Financial Desk.
The Voice of Webcasters (VOW) provides information and resources on the effort to "promote and defend the industry," and seeks support for passage of H.R. 5469 , the bill to suspend for 6 months the implementation of royalty rates. The group also sponsors a moderated listserv for members of the industry.
The Washington Post has published a useful background report outlining the issues of the Edlred case argued in the Supreme Court on October 9. Included are links to primary documents, a list of organizations and their web sites that support Eldred and the government's position respectively, and reactions to the arguments from the American Library Association and the Motion Picture Association of America.
According to Declan McCullagh, Duke University law school's Center for the Study of the Public Domain will be in the position to advocate aggressively against the DCMA and copyright extensions with their new $1 million anonymous grant.
New legislation signed by the President has altered the copyright landscape for distance educators who may now use excerpts from recordings of dramatic literary and musical works -- such as plays, musicals, and operas -- on course Web sites without seeking permission from the copyright owners.
The EU Competition Commissioner has issued a regulation that approves the administration of licensing rights for web broadcasting by 18 countries (15 EU members and three European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
Via his blog, Professor Lessig shares some thoughts prior to his oral argument in Eldred v. Ashcroft.
The Google News Beta has a quick and easy canned search to follow news stories on the Eldred v. Ashcroft case.
The Google News Beta has a quick and easy canned search to follow news stories on the Eldred v. Ashcroft case.
Via MSNBC.com, you can read an article by Steven Levy, Glitterati vs. Geeks
Two heavyweights, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, take the fight over content to the Supremes.
According to the Radio and Internet Newsletter (RAIN), this afternoon the House passed by voice vote a manager's amendment on H.R. 5469, agreed to last night by the respective parties. It allows royalties to be paid as a percentage fee of revenue rather than on a per-song fee basis. Please see 148 Cong.Rec. H7043-01 for the text of the bill, in which Sensenbrenner states, in part, "I am happy to report that introduction of this bill placed a burr under the saddle of both the copyright holders and the small webcasters to conclude negotiations on these matters that began last summer. Since last week, the parties have negotiated around the clock. They have now arrived at a deal that sets new rates and payment terms that will obviate the need for further legal and administrative intervention. The manager's amendment simply codifies the terms of that deal."
Declan McCullagh's coverage of the RIAA v. Verizon cases notes that at issue are copyright, privacy and free speech arguments. The two companies are battling over access to the identity of a subscriber accused of file trading. Declan links to an amicus brief filed on behalf of Verizon by high profile advocacy groups that include EPIC and the EFF, which also happens to maintain an archive of links to legal documents on this case.
Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California has introduced legislation that seeks to balance the right of copyrightholders of digital content, with the right of consumers who purchase and make personal copies of materials including CDs, DVDs and e-books. A press release on the legislation is available on her website, as well as a link to the full text of the Digital Choice and Freedom Act of 2002.
An advocacy group, the Save Internet Radio Campaign, is rallying supporters of streaming media to support passage of H.R. 5469, introduced by Rep. Sensenbrenner.
House Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner, sponsor of H.R. 5469, a bill that would have given webcasters a six month grace period before enactment of copyright royalty fees, pulled his bill before the vote. He did so based on a potential agreement under discussion between the recording industry and webcasters.
H.R. 5469, referred to as the "Relief for Small-Business Webcasters" bill, was introduced on 9/26/2002 by Rep Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. Its purpose is to buy time for webcasters by delaying for six months "the determination of the Librarian of Congress of July 8, 2002, relating to rates and terms for the digital performance of sound recordings and ephemeral recordings."
On October 20, new royalty fees on webcast music will take effect. These fees were determined by the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel. The final rule and order from the Copyright Office were published in the Federal Register on July 8, 2002. Details concerning the rates were published in Appendix A and establish a performance fee, per performance, of 0.07 cents for "simultaneous internet transmissions of over-the-air AM or FM radio broadcasts."
A useful resource on this issue comes from the advocacy group Save Internet Radio, who provide news links, background information, government resources, and identify webcasters who will be impacted by the royalties.
Unlikely adversaries, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Verizon Internet Services Inc. are tangled in a controversy over alleged music piracy. The RIAA is seeking to enforce a subpoena issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to ascertain the identity of a Verizon customer has allegedly committed copyright infringement through file sharing, and futher to prevent this individual from continuing the activity.
The Motley Fool has an interesting article on this dispute, and the overlapping issues of privacy, music sales, and copyright.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California indicted Dennis Baker of San Jose, California for the operation of a website through which he marketed pirated copies of game and business software.
"The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress is providing an opportunity to all interested persons to file comments to a motion requesting a stay of its final rule which clarifies that transmissions of a broadcast signal over a digital communications network are not exempt from copyright liability under section 114(d)(1)(A) of the Copyright Act."
This Federal Register notice for comments from the Copyright Office, with a closing period of September 16, 2002, deals with addressing claims for royalties on copyrighted music that is webcast.
The use of crawlers (automated index tools) to mine data from web sites to create market comparison shopping services for subscribers is the focus of this Wall Street Journal article, Are Bots Legal?. An example of such a service is Bargain.com , whose home page proclaims, "Never Pay Retail Again!." Users may search through categories of consumer goods for competitive pricing options that then lead to deep links on the sites that range from real estate brokers to auctioneers. These deep links bypass e-commerce based sponsors and links that are hosted by the "retailers," which they contend causes them to lose business, and revenue.
The National Journal reviews the ongoing Internet copyright battle framed from the Hollywood perspective that focuses on widespread evidence of digital piracy, and Silicon Valley (the tech marketplace) position that argues making personal copies of various forms of digital content (CDs, DVDs) is fair use. This is a battle between titans, and the stakes are very high for the music, movie and publishing sectors. Both sides have advocates on the Hill who have introduced legislation that is noted in this article.
F***edcompany.com, the notorious, and apparently lucrative site that foretells the demise of dot-coms, succumbed to Ford's threats concerning copyright infringement (after being shut down by their ISP for two days), and removed postings which were send-ups of several of the auto manufacturer's popular advertising slogans.