Legal Issues

Economic Contributions Of Industries relying On Fair Use

Industries that rely on fair use exceptions to U.S. copyright law have weathered the recent slow economy better than other businesses, according to a new study released by a tech trade group.
Economic Contributions Of Industries relying On Fair Use[PDF]

Data retention bill could lure sex predators into libraries

Unhappy meal: Data retention bill could lure sex predators into McDonalds, libraries
If this legislation passes with the wireless loophole intact, residential broadband providers will be forced to retain identifying records that can be used to link users' online activities to their authenticated identities. Mobile phone carriers will continue to retain data voluntarily, and public WiFi networks will remain one of the last places where people, whether angels or devils, can browse the Internet anonymously.

City Sued Over Book

City library director Vicki Elkins never imagined that the hardcover book about Zephyrhills history she helped compile would end up controversial. It was supposed to be a gift to the community, preserving its history in 285 pages that took nearly a decade to compile. Then in April, more than two years after Zephyrhills From A to Z's release in December 2008, a resident sued the city not about its content, but about its price tag of $29.95, plus tax.

Police Department Finds Complaint Against Librarian Unfounded

A Dixon Police Department two-month investigation finds a claim that District Librarian Gregg Atkins violated the California Government Code as unfounded.

Back in April, former librarian Nancy Schrott claimed that Atkins and his staff violated the Government Code when they distributed 3,500 library cardholders’ e-mail addresses to a private public relations firm – AIM Consulting – hired by the library to drum up support for the library’s expansion project

Full article

Can Work Previously Held In The Public Domain Be Recopyrighted?

A legal battle that examines whether Congress has the right to recopyright works that were already placed into the public domain will take place during the Supreme Court's October session. The plantiff is Lawrence Golan a conductor at the University of Denver where the decision has been detrimental to his program as the increased cost of newly copyrighted works has placed a large selection of previously accessible material off limits. The law which was passed in 1994, gave foreign works the same legal protection that US works enjoy. This has huge implications for the digitization efforts of libraries across the country. If Mr. Golan wins his suit, libraries will feel much more comfortable making a great number of foreign-produced work more accessible through digitization.

http://chronicle.com/article/A-Professors-Fight-Over/127700/

Why non-academics should be following the Georgia State U case

Why non-academics should be following the Georgia State U case
"But no institution can police use decisions on the part of all its participants at the level of responsibility this suit seeks to impose without creating policies that wipe out any contextual sensitivity or flexibility in what is supposed to be copyright's "breathing space". Additionally, because copies for classroom use are an archetypical fair use, if the publisher-plaintiffs prevail in this suit, it undermines fair use claims in all of the other areas explicitly listed in the statute (including "criticism, comment, news reporting, [...] scholarship, or research") - much less those not enumerated specifically as examples of fair uses. This obscure academic fair use lawsuit has the potential for broad impact on us all."
[Thanks Steven!]

What You Don't Know About Copyright, but Should

What You Don't Know About Copyright, but Should
A lawyer and a librarian, Ms. Sims is copyright-program librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She's there to help people on campus and beyond—both users and owners of protected material—understand their rights.

"I'm not sure anybody has a very good knowledge" of copyright, she says.

GSU E-Reserves Trial To Begin Next Week

Despite a flurry of last-minute briefs, as of today the most significant copyright trial since the Kinko's coursepack litigation, Cambridge University Press et al v. Patton et al, is still on track to begin on Monday, May 16. The case revolves around the practice known as electronic reserves at Georgia State University. And while initial reports have characterized publishers as facing a difficult road, a pre-trial memorandum filed by publishers' attorneys on April 29 outlines a case that could be stronger than previously thought.

Full story at Publishers Weekly

Library leaflet lawsuits are filed; Tea Party Alliance, ACLU work together

Via The Record Searchlight:

"The North State Tea Party Alliance and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California Friday filed separate lawsuits against the city of Redding and the City Council, each claiming the Municipal Library's new leafleting policy is unconstitutional and should be overturned.

"We are working together, even though there are separate lawsuits, for the same end result," said Tim Pappas, the Shasta County assistant public defender who on his own time represents the North State Tea Party Alliance."

Full story

Ex-Revere Library Director Pleads Not Guilty to Embezzelment

Follow up to our story from mid-March, here...

Boston Herald reports: The former director of Revere’s public library has pleaded not guilty to embezzling more than $200,000 from the city (however, he did admit in this article to being a 'shopaholic') .

Robert Rice Jr. was released without bail at his arraignment Wednesday on charges of larceny, fraud and embezzlement, but was ordered to surrender his passport.

Authorities say the 45-year-old Rowley resident used city money to buy items, which he either kept for himself or resold online. The items he allegedly bought with city funds included a replica of a Thompson submachine gun and a camera which prosecutors say he described on purchase orders as books.

The alleged thefts took place between 2005 and his resignation in January 2009.

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