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Intellectual Property Fair Use For Me, But Not For Thee

Above the Law – Fair use is for everyone and benefits rightholders just as it benefits consumers. “A common misconception about fair use in copyright law is that it is relied upon solely by consumers. The reality, however, is that everyone uses fair use, including large rightholders like movie studios and publishers. Even while rightholders are often seen as advocates for strong intellectual property rights, even while they oppose fair use when bringing a lawsuit themselves, they are not shy in asserting their own right to fair use…”

While publishers took a dim view of fair use when libraries were creating own searchable database (and providing accessible copies for people who are blind or print disabled), they raised fair use as a defense in the creation of a publisher-owned database. In White v. West Publishing (litigation that happened at the same time as HathiTrust), two attorneys — Edward White and Kenneth Elan — claimed copyright infringement after West Publishing and Reed Elsevier ingested legal briefs written by these attorneys into their Westlaw and Lexis databases. The databases converted the legal documents into text-searchable electronic files and tagged it with metadata to allow the users to find and retrieve the documents more easily and included links to other filings in related cases and links to authorities cited. Anyone who has gone to law school understand the benefit of these online searchable databases and the content within them serve a much different purpose than the one for which they were originally created. The publishers noted in their filings that fair use is a “necessary tool to further the goals of copyright law” and successfully relied on this doctrine in the creation of its database…”

Science Under Trump: Voices of Scientists across 16 Federal Agencies (2018)

Union of Concerned Scientists – Center for Science and Democracy – Promoting Scientific Integrity: “A year and a half into the Trump administration, its record on science policy is abysmal: undermining the role of science in decision-making, expanding the influence of regulated industries, excluding public voices, censoring scientists, overriding and dismissing science advice, and hindering… Continue Reading

Training curriculum for Wikipedia + Libraries now available online for library trainers

OCLC and WebJunction: “This training curriculum will help you confidently begin to use, edit, and teach Wikipedia at your library. These materials were created during OCLC’s Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project to strengthen ties between US public libraries and English-language Wikipedia. The project ran from December 2016 through May 2018 and was funded by the… Continue Reading

10 charts that sum up 2018 (so far)

Recode – News cycles come and go, but data is forever. It’s still summer and yet 2018 has felt years long. Here’s a look at the year so far — with a focus on tech and business stories — told through charts. Continue Reading

Greater Commitment Needed by Fintech Firms to Ensure Automated Algorithms Protect Against Discrimination in Loan Applications

“Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II announced today the findings of his investigation into the small business lending practices of Financial Technology (FinTech) companies. Last year, Congressman Cleaver launched an investigation to study the methods that FinTech companies use to protect consumers against discriminatory practices. One of the primary focuses of the survey was the use of… Continue Reading

Inside Trump’s Judicial Takeover

Rolling Stone – How conservative operatives and Senate Republicans are helping the president pack the courts at a record pace: “One evening last November, Don McGahn, the top lawyer in the Trump White House, walked onstage in an opulent ballroom at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. He looked out at the audience of several… Continue Reading

Paper – The Effects of Sexism on American Women: The Role of Norms vs. Discrimination

The Effects of Sexism on American Women: The Role of Norms vs. Discrimination. Kerwin Kofi Charles, Jonathan Guryan, and Jessica Pan. August 2018. “We study how reported sexism in the population affects American women. Fixed-effects and TSLS estimates show that higher prevailing sexism where she was born (background sexism) and where she currently lives (residential sexism)… Continue Reading

Facebook opens up to researchers – but not about 2016 election

NBC News – Facebook’s decision is a roadblock for experts who want to examine possible factors behind President Donald Trump’s victory: “Last month, academic researchers got word of a tantalizing offer. Facebook said it would give them a way to study how web addresses are shared on its social network, for the first time opening… Continue Reading

Those Partisan Agencies Spent the Most on Google Ads

Statista: “In an effort to increase transparency, Google disclosed American political groups’ expenses in advertising on its platform in the current election cycle. As our chart shows, organizations affiliated with both parties spend huge amounts of money to advertise their policies. Within the top 10 one can find six organizations with a direct link or… Continue Reading

WSJ – What Your Car Knows About You

Auto makers are figuring out how to monetize drivers’ data [paywall]: “Car makers are collecting massive amounts of data from the latest cars on the road. Now, they’re figuring out how to make money off it. With millions of cars rolling off dealer lots with built-in connectivity, auto companies are gaining access to unprecedented amounts… Continue Reading

The origins of the Society of American Archivists

National Archives History – As the Society for American Archivists (SAA) meets for the 82nd annual meeting here in Washington, DC, we’re taking a look back at the origins of the organization. SAA was founded just two years after Congress created the National Archives and came to be, in part, because the efforts of National… Continue Reading

Book Review: Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment

Blog of the London School of Economics: “In Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment, Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease delve into the hypocrisies and failings of international justice projects. Their book offers a timely reminder that the current international justice regime has not offered a silver bullet for complex political problems, writes Teemu Laulainen. “In the absence of… Continue Reading