Legal Issues

Judge Says Fair Use Protects Universities in Book Scanning Project

Excellent! A federal judge on Wednesday said universities had a fair-use defense to charges of copyright infringement when they systematically pooled millions of books they had digitized without permission from rights holders.

U.S. District Judge Harold Baer of New York dismissed an infringement lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild. The guild accused the University of California, University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Cornell University and University of Michigan of wanton copyright infringement for scanning and placing the books into the so-called HathiTrust Digital Library.

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U.S. Supreme Court To Hear First-Sale Doctrine in Copyright Law Case

Tucked into the U.S. Supreme Court’s busy agenda this fall is a little-known case that could upend your ability to resell everything from your grandmother’s antique furniture to your iPhone 4.

At issue in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons is the first-sale doctrine in copyright law, which allows you to buy and then sell things like electronics, books, artwork and furniture as well as CDs and DVDs, without getting permission from the copyright holder of those products.

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Attorney sues library over ban on plaza exhibits

David J. Kolhoff is suing the Allen County Public Library after it barred him from having a demonstration against the federal health care law.

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Librarian of Congress Names Interim Copyright Royalty Judge

The Librarian of Congress has named an interim copyright royalty judge to serve for the next six months or until the vacancy is filled.

Richard Strasser has been appointed to fill the vacancy left by Judge Stanley Wisniewski, who retired at the end of August. James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, appoints copyright royalty judges in consultation with the register of copyrights.

Should L.A. give Undocumented Immigrants I.D. (library) Cards?

Important story from the LA Times earlier this week: Los Angeles is considering a major step in providing ID cards to illegal immigrants. The Los Angeles Public Library card could one day become a form of identification for the city's large illegal immigrant population that would allow them to open bank accounts and access services.

Here's the follow-up in the Opinion Pages.

How copyright enforcement robots killed the Hugo Awards

The site for all things sci-fi and fantasy, iO9, has the story:

"Last night, robots shut down the live broadcast of one of science fiction's most prestigious award ceremonies. No, you're not reading a science fiction story. In the middle of the annual Hugo Awards event at Worldcon, which thousands of people tuned into via video streaming service Ustream, the feed cut off — just as Neil Gaiman was giving an acceptance speech for his Doctor Who script, "The Doctor's Wife." Where Gaiman's face had been were the words, "Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement." What the hell?"

Not Illegal Yet in California: New Bans

In Southern California — once legendary for its love of freedom — cities, school districts and even libraries have been outlawing beach bonfires, napping and perfume.

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Authors destroy legal e-book lending

Roughly two weeks ago, the popular e-book lending site LendInk was taken offline thanks to a group of terrified authors who couldn’t be bothered to read the fine print. LendInk was a website dedicated to helping book lovers lend books to each other through features implemented by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The site’s only purpose was to serve as a front end — it hosted no e-book files, linked no torrents, and never directed users to a file locker.

Justice Scalia Writes Guide for Interpreting the Law

 

Interview with Scalia on the PBS News Hour about his new book - Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts

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