Legal Issues

Arizona HB 2439 - unnecessary legislation that will hurt Arizona libraries

Library districts need to adapt to the needs of their communities. A one-size-fits-all tax levy simply will not work. The library districts in Arizona have never been accused of abusing their authority, and, what’s more, they provide valuable service to all of the libraries in their geographic areas.

Read more from The Hipster Librarian.

Porn at libraries: Morris official's advice isn't an ethics violation, state says

An ethics complaint by a self-described "library watchdog" alleging a prominent Morris County official misled local libraries, telling them they have to allow pornography on publicly accessible computers, has been dismissed.

In the complaint, Dan Kleinman, who runs SafeLibraries.Blogspot.com, said Ann Grossi "has materially mislead the communities of Roxbury and Montville into allowing pornography in the public libraries, despite community desires to remove it and despite the law."

http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2014/01/porn_at_libraries_attorneys_advice_isnt_an_ethics...

The awkward copyright collision of Fair Use and Creative Commons

But Fair Use is an exemption from copyright enforcement- it is not a transfer of rights. There is no conceivable reading of Fair Use that allows an image user to then broker permissions for other users. Journal X cannot license my work away from me without my say so. They do not have standing to apply a CC license to my work.

The solution should be easy enough. Journal X could exempt contributed images from their blanket CC-license, and they should ensure the images are not atomized and separated from the rest of the paper. The Fair Use of images depends on their context within the publication, anyway.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/compound-eye/2014/01/19/the-awkward-copyright-collision-...

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Conan Doyle Estate Says Sherlock Not Free Yet

In a follow up to an earlier story, the Conan Doyle estate may appeal the ruling against it's copyright claim according to this Publishers Weekly story.

"Is Sherlock Holmes truly a free man? Not so fast say attorneys for the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

In a December 23 decision, an Illinois federal court held that Holmes and other characters and story elements in more than 50 Sherlock Holmes stories are in the public domain. But attorneys for the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle this week insisted that the complete characters of Holmes and Watson won’t be freed until the final 10 stories published after 1922 enter the public domain, in 2022."

What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2014?

http://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/publicdomainday/2014/pre-1976

What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2014?
The books On the Road, Atlas Shrugged, and The Cat in the Hat, the films The Bridge on the River Kwai, Funny Face, and The Prince and the Showgirl, the play Endgame (“Fin de Partie”), and more. . .
Congress Shrugged

Current US law extends copyright for 70 years after the date of the author’s death, and corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years after publication. But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years – an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years. Under those laws, works published in 1957 would enter the public domain on January 1, 2014, where they would be “free as the air to common use.” (Mouse over any of the links below to see gorgeous cover art from 1957.) Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2053.1 And no published works will enter our public domain until 2019. The laws in Canada and the EU are different – thousands of works are entering their public domains on January 1.

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Sherlock Holmes Is in the Public Domain, American Judge Rules

This New York Times story has the details.

"A federal judge has issued a declarative judgment stating that Holmes, Watson, 221B Baker Street, the dastardly Professor Moriarty and other elements included in the 50 Holmes works Arthur Conan Doyle published before January 1, 1923, are no longer covered by United States copyright law, and can be freely used by new creators without paying any licensing fee to the Conan Doyle estate."

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #263

This week we have an essay on information ethics, use the word "lethal" more times than usual in this program, and present a news miscellany that seems biased towards libraries news out of the United Kingdom.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec) (Speex), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Throw a paperback at us via this Amazon picklist.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Google Gets Total Victory Over Authors Guild: Book Scanning Is Fair Use

This one has been a long time coming, but this morning, Judge Denny Chin (who actually has a long history of siding with copyright holders) found that Google's book scanning project is fair use. This is a huge victory in a variety of ways. TechDirt has the story.

Content owners warn Congress of "fair use creep" draw ridicule

Groups representing the movie, music and photography industry testified before Congress on Thursday, and called on the government to consider changing laws to do more to address piracy and file-sharing.

The testimony, which took place before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, is part of a larger review by Congress of America’s copyright policy. The review is significant because it will help shape the rules for culture and creativity on the internet in coming decades.

http://gigaom.com/2013/07/26/content-owners-warn-congress-of-fair-use-creep-draw-ridicule/

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Mendeley and RefWorks Flow: The next, next generation of citation management software

A decade or so ago, ISI's EndNote bought out most of the competition, practically obtaining a monopoly on the reference manager business. In the early Library 2.0 boom, web-based products like Zotero and CSA's RefWorks became the norm. Thomson Reuters played catch up by introducing EndNote Web, and NoodleBib and other adware/freemium clones cropped up in what is now again a crowded marketplace.

Mendeley, recently purchased by Elsevier, has gained fame by offering social media integration and and sharing cababilities. It notably works on the old Questia model of selling itself directly to individual users, not institutions. ProQuest is also putting the finishing touches on RefWorks Flow, which features similar collaboration tools.

The way these newer products allow users to share articles with peers raises interesting questions about them potentially being used as a new "Napster for subscription journals," especially since they are now both owned by major publishers. See my comment for some more philosophical questions....

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