Legal Issues

TPP's Copyright Trap

One of the defining battles in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations is whether its signatory countries will standardize copyright terms lengths to a minimum term of the life of the author plus 70 years. This would effectively set the maximum duration of copyright holders' monopoly rights to over 140 years. This is the demand from rightsholder groups such as the RIAA and MPAA who advise the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). A precedent for such a provision has been set in previous Free Trade Agreements with countries like Australia and Singapore.

From TPP's Copyright Trap | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Topic: 

Official Release of TPP Text Confirms Massive Loss to Canadian Public Domain

Unchanged from the leaked text is the confirmation of the extension of the term of copyright to life of the author plus an additional 70 years. This marks a 20 year extension in the term of copyright, dealing a massive blow to access to Canadian heritage and resulting in hundreds of millions in cost.  For example, there are 22 Governor-General award winning fiction and non-fiction authors whose work will not enter the public domain for decades.  These include Margaret Laurence, Gabrielle Roy, Marian Engel, Marshall McLuhan, and Donald Creighton.

From Official Release of TPP Text Confirms Massive Loss to Canadian Public Domain - Michael Geist

Topic: 

'Fair Use in the US Economy' (2010)

PDF of a report from 2010:

This report employs the latest data available to answer a very important
question: what contribution is made to our economy by industries that
depend on the limitations to copyright protection when engaged in
commerce? As this report shows, such industries make a huge contribution.
In an era of highly competitive markets for information goods and
services, changes to the boundaries of copyright protection will alter
the economic landscape. Broader regulation of economic activity by
copyright might encourage additional creativity, but it will deter certain
types of technology innovation, and may undermine competition and
free expression. Our information policy must therefore balance the
incentives that IP regulation creates against the disincentives that
result. For 300 years, copyright law has recognized this fragile balance.

From Wired.com PDF [PDF]

Release of the Full TPP Text After Five Years of Secrecy Confirms Threats to Users’ Rights

Now that we finally have the final text of this agreement, we'll be digging deeper into the implications of this sprawling agreement in the days and weeks to come. However, if there's one thing we can take away from this, it's that the TPP's secretive, lobbyist-controlled policymaking process has led to a deal that upholds corporate rights and interests at the direct expense of all of our digital rights. We’re going to do all we can to ensure this agreement never gets ratified by the United States Congress or any other country that is a party to this deal. To do so, government officials need to hear from us loud and clear that we won’t stand by and let them trade away our rights to powerful multinational corporations.

From Release of the Full TPP Text After Five Years of Secrecy Confirms Threats to Users’ Rights | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Topic: 

The Samuelson Clinic releases "Is it in the Public Domain?" handbook - Berkeley Law

The Samuelson Clinic is excited to provide a
handbook, “Is it in the Public Domain?,” and accompanying
visuals. These educational tools help users to evaluate the
copyright status of a work created in the United States between
January 1, 1923 and December 31, 1977—those works that were
created before today’s 1976 Copyright Act. Many important
works—from archival materials to family photos and movies—were created during this time, and it can be
difficult to tell whether they are still under copyright.

The handbook walks readers though a series of
questions—illustrated by accompanying charts—to help readers
explore whether a copyrighted work from that time is in the
public domain, and therefore free to be used without
permission from a copyright owner.  Knowing whether a work
is in the public domain or protected by copyright is an
important first step in any decision regarding whether or
how to make use of a work.

From The Samuelson Clinic releases "Is it in the Public Domain?" handbook - Berkeley Law

Victory for Users: Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses

The new rules for exemptions to copyright's DRM-circumvention laws were issued today, and the Librarian of Congress has granted much of what EFF asked for over the course of months of extensive briefs and hearings. The exemptions we requested—ripping DVDs and Blurays for making fair use remixes and analysis; preserving video games and running multiplayer servers after publishers have abandoned them; jailbreaking cell phones, tablets, and other portable computing devices to run third party software; and security research and modification and repairs on cars—have each been accepted, subject to some important caveats.

From Victory for Users: Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Google book-scanning project legal, says U.S. appeals court

A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that Google's massive effort to scan millions of books for an online library does not violate copyright law, rejecting claims from a group of authors that the project illegally deprives them of revenue.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected infringement claims from the Authors Guild and several individual writers, and found that the project provides a public service without violating intellectual property law.

From Google book-scanning project legal, says U.S. appeals court | Reuters

Topic: 

Illegal to film in the library?

Illegal to film in the library? This video raises that question.



Library policies: https://multcolib.org/policies-manuals/behavior-rules-governing-use-multnomah-county-library
Topic: 

N.H. Public Library Resumes Support Of 'Tor' Internet Anonymizer

The Kilton Public Library in West Lebanon had decided to use its spare bandwidth to serve as a relay for the network. New Hampshire Public Radio reports the library had turned off the relay node after police and Homeland Security warned the library that, among other bad things, the network could allow criminals to move child pornography anonymously.

From N.H. Public Library Resumes Support Of 'Tor' Internet Anonymizer : The Two-Way : NPR

Topic: 

Appeals court strikes a blow for fair use

In an opinion (PDF) published this morning, the three-judge panel found that Universal Music Group's view of fair use is flawed. The record label must face a trial over whether it wrongfully sent a copyright takedown notice over a 2007 YouTube video of a toddler dancing to a Prince song. That toddler's mother, Stephanie Lenz, acquired pro bono counsel from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF in turn sued Universal in 2007, saying that its takedown practices violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

From Appeals court strikes a blow for fair use in long-awaited copyright ruling | Ars Technica

Topic: 

Pages

Subscribe to Legal Issues