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Category Archives: Copyright

Libraries and Archivists Are Scanning and Uploading Books That Are Secretly in the Public Domain

Vice – Millions of books are secretly in the public domain thanks to a copyright loophole, a new project seeks to put them on the Internet Archive – “A coalition of archivists, activists, and libraries are working overtime to make it easier to identify the many books that are secretly in the public domain, digitize them, and make them freely available online to everyone. The people behind the effort are now hoping to upload these books to the Internet Archive, one of the largest digital archives on the internet. As it currently stands, all books published in the U.S. before 1924 are in the public domain, meaning they’re publicly owned and can be freely used and copied. Books published in 1964 and after are still in copyright, and by law will be for 95 years from their publication date. But a copyright loophole means that up to 75 percent of books published between 1923 to 1964 are secretly in the public domain, meaning they are free to read and copy. The problem is determining which books these are, due to archaic copyright registration systems and convoluted and shifting copyright law. As such, a coalition of libraries, volunteers, and archivists have been working overtime to identify which titles are in the public domain, digitize them, then upload them to the internet. At the heart of the effort has been the New York Public Library, which recently documented why the entire process is important, but a bit of a pain…”

Tech Paging Big Brother: In Amazon’s Bookstore, Orwell Gets a Rewrite

The New York Times – As fake and illegitimate texts proliferate online, books are becoming a form of misinformation.The author of “1984” would not be surprised. “I started browsing Orwell on Amazon after writing about the explosion in counterfeit books offered by the retailer. The fake books appeared to help Amazon by, for example, encouraging publishers… Continue Reading

The Decline of Online Piracy: How Markets Not Enforcement Drive Down Copyright Infringement

Quintais, João and Poort, Joost, The Decline of Online Piracy: How Markets – Not Enforcement – Drive Down Copyright Infringement (August 14, 2019). American University International Law Review, Vol. 34 , No. 4, pp. 807-876 (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3437239 “This article deals with the acquisition and consumption of music, films, series, books, and games… Continue Reading

Book publishers sue Audible to stop new speech-to-text feature

ars technica – Publishers say Audible’s new captions feature is illegal. Is it? – “Seven of the nation’s top book publishers sued Amazon subsidiary Audible on Friday, asking federal courts to block the company from releasing a new feature called Audible Captions that’s due out next month. The technology does exactly what it sounds like: display… Continue Reading

Linking Liability

Inside Higher Education – Sci-Hub, a repository for pirated research papers, is widely acknowledged to be illegal. But is sharing a link to the site illegal, too? “There is little dispute that Sci-Hub, the website that provides free access to millions of proprietary academic papers, is illegal. Yet, despite being successfully sued twice by major… Continue Reading

Anti-Piracy Efforts Are Unlikely to Beat Sci-Hub

Follow-up to previous posting with related links – Elsevier sends copyright threat to site for linking to Sci-Hub – see Torrent Freak – “Elsevier and other academic publishers see ‘pirate’ site Sci-Hub as a major threat to their billion-dollar industries. Many researchers, however, can’t function properly without the notorious site. Since anti-piracy efforts are unlikely… Continue Reading

The Radical Transformation of the Textbook

Wired – Digital-first. Open source. Subscription. The way textbooks are bought and sold is changing—with serious implications for higher education: “For several decades, textbook publishers followed the same basic model: Pitch a hefty tome of knowledge to faculty for inclusion in lesson plans; charge students an equally hefty sum; revise and update its content as… Continue Reading

Elsevier sends copyright threat to site for linking to Sci-Hub

Follow up to previous posting on BeSpacific – Science’s pirate queen Alexandra Elbakyan is plundering the academic publishing establishment (includes multiple sub-links) and SciHub continues to get attacked around the world – via Boing Boing: “Sci-Hub (previously) is a scrappy, nonprofit site founded in memory of Aaron Swartz, dedicated to providing global access to the… Continue Reading

The Law and Accessible Texts: Reconciling Civil Rights and Copyrights

“On July 22, 2019, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the University of Virginia (UVA) Library released this white paper, The Law and Accessible Texts: Reconciling Civil Rights and Copyrights, authored by Brandon Butler (UVA), Prue Adler (ARL), and Krista Cox (ARL). This white paper, part of a project supported by a grant from… Continue Reading

Justices to Decide if States Can Copyright Laws

Courthouse News: “The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to weigh in on the ability of a state to copyright its own official annotated codes, after an appeals court panel ruled Georgia could not. The court battle goes back to 2015, when the Peach State sought an order forcing U.S. technologist and public domain advocate Carl… Continue Reading