Legal Issues

Legal Issues

Libraries And User Content Platforms Take the Heat for Artists' Struggles at WIPO

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 05/17/2016 - 09:52
Topic
However Europe is equally resistant to even discussing copyright limitations and exceptions that don't currently exist in its law, and unfortunately the United States delegation doesn't care enough to push the matter, leaving the heavy lifting to nonprofit stakeholders such as the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Meanwhile, industry groups refuse to countenance any limit on their own monopoly powers, even when such a limit is plainly in the public interest and addresses a pressing need. For example, libraries and archives seek the legal authority to preserve orphan works, and to source and lend works across national borders, while people with disabilities other than blindness or vision impairment need similar flexibilities to those now extended to print-disabled people.
From User Content Platforms Take the Heat for Artists' Struggles at WIPO | Electronic Frontier Foundation

White House wants more sharable, reusable code

Submitted by Blake on Sun, 04/03/2016 - 14:55
Topic
The White House is looking to make software code used by the federal agencies more open, sharable and reusable. In a March 10 blog post, federal CIO Tony Scott announced a new draft Federal Source Code policy that would create a new set of rules for custom code developed by or for the federal government. Once the new policy takes effect, software developed at agencies or created by contractors specifically for government use will be available to share and reuse across agencies.
From White House wants more sharable, reusable code -- FCW

WI Libraries can now report overdue fines to collection agencies or police

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 03/01/2016 - 10:25

Senate Bill 466 – permits a library to report to a collection agency or, under some circumstances, a law enforcement agency, information about delinquent accounts of any individual who borrows or uses the library’s documents, materials, resources, or services.  Authored by Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R – River Falls) and Representative Nancy VanderMeer (R – Tomah), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote.  It is Act 169.

From Governor Scott Walker Signs 46 Bills Into Law | Office of the Governor - Scott Walker

Apple and the FBI: Why is this relevant to libraries?

Submitted by Blake on Mon, 02/29/2016 - 11:31

Why is this relevant to libraries? I think it’s past time that we start paying very close attention to the details of our data in ways that we have, at best, hand-waved as a vendor responsibility in the past. There have been amazing strides lately in libraryland in regards to the security of our data connections via SSL (LetsEncrypt) as well as a resurgence in anonymization and privacy tools for our patrons (Tor and the like, thank you very much Library Freedom Project).

Data about our patrons and their interactions that isn’t encrypted at rest in either the local database or the vendor database hosted on their servers (and our electronic resource access, and our proxy logins, and, and, and…) is data that is subject to subpoena and could be accessed in ways that we would not want. It is the job of the librarian to protect the data about the information seeking process of their patrons. And while it’s been talked about before in library circles (Peter Murray’s 2011 article is a good example of past discussions) this court case brings into focus the lengths that some aspects of the law enforcement community will go to in order to have the power to collect data about individuals.

From Apple, the FBI, and Libraries | Pattern Recognition

Justice Scalia’s copyright legacy-and what his loss means for e-book cases

Submitted by Blake on Mon, 02/15/2016 - 07:31
Topic

It’s perhaps a little surprising, but it seems that Scalia was often on the same side as copyright reformers—helping to define fair use, insisting trademark not be permitted to trump the public domain, and feeling Aereo should have been permitted to continue. Of course, the cases where he wasn’t were some of the more important ones—most notably Eldred v. Ashcroft and Golan v. Holder.

From Justice Scalia’s copyright legacy—and what his loss means for e-book cases - TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond

Wikimedia Foundation removes The Diary of Anne Frank due to copyright law requirements

Submitted by Blake on Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:42

Today, in an unfortunate example of the overreach of the United States’ current copyright law, the Wikimedia Foundation removed the Dutch-language text of The Diary of a Young Girl—more commonly known in English as the Diary of Anne Frank—from Wikisource.[1]

Online legal publishers squabble over the right to copyright the law

Submitted by Blake on Fri, 02/12/2016 - 11:00
Topic

Two big-name legal research companies are battling in federal court over the right to exclusively publish the law—in this case, the Georgia Administrative Rules and Regulations.

The lawsuit (PDF) comes as states across the nation partner with legal research companies to offer exclusive publishing and licensing deals for digitizing and making available online the states' reams of laws and regulations. The only problem is that the law is not copyrightable—or so says one of the publishers involved in the Georgia litigation.