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Category Archives: Copyright

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 Malamud to stop making the state code available online free of charge. Georgia’s code is available to the public free of charge, but with terms of use and without the annotations. The state claims the annotations available through Lexus Nexus are copyrighted, and therefore, Malamud’s activities are nothing short of Internet piracy. But Malamud told Courthouse News shortly after he was sued by the state that “the code, including the annotations, belongs to the people.” “If the attorney general wrote a haiku in the body of Georgia state law, that too would belong to the people,” he said.

The fight between Georgia and Malamud has actually been going on since 2013, when he first sent thumb drives with the annotated law to the House of Representatives. Malamud holds that the government should not charge its people for laws that constitutionally belong to them. “It goes back to Magna Carta … it’s a longstanding principle. It’s fundamental to the way our democracy works,” he told Courthouse News in 2015. “However, there’s a large part of federal and state law that isn’t readily available to the public and costs money to access.”

The European Copyright Directive: What Is It, and Why Has It Drawn More Controversy Than Any Other Directive In EU History?

EFF: “During the week of March 25, the European Parliament will hold the final vote on the Copyright Directive, the first update to EU copyright rules since 2001; normally this would be a technical affair watched only by a handful of copyright wonks and industry figures, but the Directive has become the most controversial issue… Continue Reading

UC terminates subscriptions with Elsevier in push for open access to publicly funded research

UC Office of the President: “As a leader in the global movement toward open access to publicly funded research, the University of California is taking a firm stand by deciding not to renew its subscriptions with Elsevier. Despite months of contract negotiations, Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to… Continue Reading

Internet Archive’s ebook loans face UK copyright challenge

The Guardian UK – “The Society of Authors (SoA) is threatening legal action against the Internet Archive unless it stops what the writers’ body claimed is the unauthorised lending of books unlawfully scanned for its Open Library. Set up in San Francisco 1996 to preserve pages published on the internet, the Internet Archive also collects… Continue Reading

Want to Stop Fake News? Pay for the Real Thing

The New York Times – “Facebook and Google have been brutal to the news business. But this primarily reflects a failure of imagination. The tech giants are the world’s best distribution platforms and could be an answer for journalism instead of a grave threat. As readers have shifted to digital sources, the two companies have… Continue Reading

Copyright Office Releases “Copyright and Visual Works: The Legal Landscape of Opportunities and Challenges”

“The U.S. Copyright Office has submitted a letter to Congress detailing the results of the Office’s public inquiry on how certain visual works, particularly photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations, are registered, monetized, and enforced under the Copyright Act of 1976. The Office sought commentary on the marketplace for these visual works, as well as observations… Continue Reading

For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain

Smithsonian.com: “At midnight on New Year’s Eve, all works first published in the United States in 1923 will enter the public domain. It has been 21 years since the last mass expiration of copyright in the U.S. That deluge of works includes not just “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which appeared first in… Continue Reading

All Copyrighted Works First Published In the US In 1923 Will Enter Public Domain On January 1st

Smithsonian.com: “A beloved Robert Frost poem is among the many creations that are (finally) losing their protections in 2019… “A beloved Robert Frost poem is among the many creations that are (finally) losing their protections in 2019”. “Whose woods these are, I think I”—whoa! We can’t quote any more of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods… Continue Reading

SciHub continues to get attacked around the world

Motherboard – ‘The Pirate Bay of Science’ Continues to Get Attacked Around the World: “A scientific research depository intended to provide open access to scientific data has had its domains blocked in Russia, after a Russian court declared that the website violates publisher copyrights. It’s the latest salvo in a global war on efforts to… Continue Reading