Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Copyright

Commentary – End intellectual property

End intellectual property – Copyrights, patents and trademarks are all important, but the term ‘intellectual property’ is nonsensical and pernicious

“There are four areas of US federal law linked under the rubric of ‘intellectual property’ that we ought to keep separate in our minds. In an essay published in The Politics of Law (2010), Keith Aoki defines each as follows. Copyright protects ‘original works such as books, music, sculpture, movies and aspects of computer programs’ that are ‘embodied or fixed in a tangible medium’. This protection does not require a work to be entirely novel and extends only to its ‘original aspects’, to ‘a particular expression … not the underlying ideas’, and not to ‘independently created or similar works’. Under the umbrella of copyright law are original, concrete expressions, not ideas – the same story and script idea can generate many distinct movies, for instance. Then there are patents, which cover ‘new and useful inventions, manufactures, compositions of matter and processes reduced to practice by inventors’ with ‘rigorous requirements of subject matter, novelty, utility and non-obviousness’. Patents protect realised inventions and ideas in gestation – eg, here is a new method for collecting rainwater, and this is a machine that does just that. Trademarks (and the related ‘trade dresses’) meanwhile protect consumers from ‘mistake, confusion and deception’ about the sources of commercial goods: the ‘G’ in Gucci, Apple’s apple, a distinctive packaging. Finally, there are trade secrets, or secret information that confers economic benefits on its holder and is subject to the holder’s reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy…”

52,438 High-Definition Images of Artworks Into the Public Domain

Kottke: “The Art Institute of Chicago has placed high-definition images of 52,438 public-domain artworks onto its website (with magnification tools) under a CC0 license (no rights reserved), including The Great Wave, A Sunday on La Grand Jette (unfortunately not magnifiable to this extent), Nighthawks, Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait, Warhol’s Mao, and Two Sisters on the Terrace…” Continue Reading

In Groundbreaking Decision, Feds Say Hacking DRM to Fix Your Electronics Is Legal

Motherboard: “The new exemptions are a major win for the right to repair movement and give consumers wide latitude to legally repair the devices they own. The Librarian of Congress and US Copyright Office just proposed new rules that will give consumers and independent repair experts wide latitude to legally hack embedded software on their… Continue Reading

Appeals Court Says Georgia’s Laws (Including Annotations) Are Not Protected By Copyright And Free To Share

techdirt: “The 11th Circuit appeals court has just overturned a lower court ruling and said that Georgia’s laws, including annotations, are not covered by copyright, and it is not infringing to post them online. This is big, and a huge win for online information activist Carl Malamud whose Public.Resource.org was the unfortunate defendant in a… Continue Reading

Publishers Escalate Legal Battle Against ResearchGate

Inside Higher Education: American Chemical Society and Elsevier are again suing academic networking site ResearchGate in an attempt to stop it distributing copyrighted research papers. “ResearchGate, a popular for-profit academic social network that makes it easy to find and download research papers, is facing increasing pressure from publishers to change the way it operates. On… Continue Reading

Image rights metadata in Google Images

Google Blog: “As part of a collaboration between Google, photo industry consortium CEPIC, and IPTC, the global technical standards body for the news media, you can now access rights-related image metadata in Google Images. It’s traditionally been difficult to know the creator of images on the web, as well as who might own the rights.… Continue Reading

The text and data mining exception in the proposal for a directive on copyright: why the European Union needs to go further than the laws of member states

Nicolas Jondet, ‘The text and data mining exception in the proposal for a directive on copyright: why the European Union needs to go further than the laws of member states’, Propriétés Intellectuelles , no. 67 (April 2018): 25– 35. “The European Union is currently debating the adoption of a copyright exception for text and data… Continue Reading

The Internet of Garbage

Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief, The Verge: “Today, The Verge is publishing an interim edition of Sarah Jeong’s The Internet of Garbage, a book she first published in 2015 that has since gone out of print. It is a thorough and important look at the intractable problem of online harassment. After a year on The Verge’s staff… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

Court Vacates Injunction Against Publishing the Law

EFF – Win for Public Right to Know: Court Vacates Injunction Against Publishing the Law – Industry Groups Want to Control Access to Legal Rules and Regulation: “San Francisco – A federal appeals court today ruled that industry groups cannot control publication of binding laws and standards. This decision protects the work of Public.Resource.org (PRO),… Continue Reading

EU – 3D printing: sorting out the legal issues

EU Parliament News: “3D printing is transforming how products are made, but many legal issues such civil liability and intellectual property rights still need to be clarified. Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, is changing how products are designed, developed, manufactured, and distributed. By 2021, the 3D printing market could be worth €9.6 billion,… Continue Reading

UN Food and Agriculture Organization launches Open Access for all publications

“As of [June 18, 2018], FAO will implement an Open Access policy, enabling maximal reach and ease of use for FAO knowledge products. FAO has been disseminating knowledge since its foundation in 1945, and its publications have been freely accessible in the FAO online Document Repository since 1998. The new Open Access policy goes a… Continue Reading