Legal Issues

Boucher Outlines \'Fair Use\' Fight

Slashdot pointed the way to This One on U.S. Congressman Rick Boucher, who is moving to strengthen \"fair use\"
provisions under federal copyright law, said he is introducing a bill that
would essentially restrict the record industry from selling copy-protected

He also said he would introduce a bill within the week that would update the
U.S. Copyright Office\'s Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), which he has criticized as being mired in outdated laws that tilt against Webcasters regarding royalties on
streaming music.


Libraries wait for warrants

This One from WI says A survey of 1,020 libraries by the University of Illinois in
January and February showed 85 libraries nationwide had been
visited by federal agents seeking information on patrons related to
terrorism. Specific information on which libraries were contacted was
unavailable because of gag provisions in the federal law that
broadened the federal government\'s investigation powers after the
Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Washington Post has a story as well.

Hermit points to The Study, or at least the googlechache.


Disney challenges town library\'s new mouse logo

A Sad Story from FL says Walt Disney Co. officials have until July 30 to decide whether to challenge the Genesee District Library\'s mascot for an alleged similarity to Mickey Mouse.

Last summer, the library submitted a trademark registry request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for \"Book Mouse,\" a blue, large-eared rodent wearing red-rimmed glasses and a backpack. Book Mouse appears on bumper stickers and in coloring books, and even marches in local parades.

Library attorney Patric Parker said \"I don\'t think we cut into their movie profits this last year.\"

Free The Mouse.


The Children\'s Online Protection Act Round Up

Mary Minow has A Story over at that has an extensive Q&A on The Children\'s Online Protection Act.


As sales stagnate, royalties for used CDs proposed

From the San Diego Union Tribute, with thanks to Metafilter:

The industry worries that the expanding used market is cannibalizing new-CD sales, as well as promoting piracy by allowing consumers to buy, record and sell back discs while retaining their own digitally pristine copies.

One proposed remedy being debated by record label executives is federal legislation requiring used-CD retailers to pay royalties on secondary sales of albums.

A cover story in last week\'s issue of the music trade publication Billboard quoted several executives who said they favor the establishment of an agency that would exert a flat royalty rate – say, 6 percent or so – on retailers\' sales of CDs sold over and over again.

Full article. Although a similar proposal by the music industry was rejected last year, this would still seem to merit attention given the downturn in book sales, and libraries\' reliance on the right of first sale and related laws to do business . . . I\'m sure the AAP will be next in line if the music moguls are successful this time around. Also worthwhile is Michael Fraase\'s Controlling Copyright Through Technology: When Elephants Dance (Thanks to wood s lot for this one.)


Deep Linking Danish Lawsuit - \'\'license to link?\'\'

The recent Danish
lawsuit against deep
had one
blogger ask
\"if link-blocking software is readily available and a website
doesn\'t employ it, does that imply a license to link?\"  Lawmeme\'s
poster took \"exception\" with that, opining that \"the idea that there should
be a license assumes that the owner of the website has some right to control
linking,\" continuing his explanation by reminding me IANAL with, \"but that
for some undefined reason there would be a rebuttable presumption of an
implied license.\"  It\'s a brief, lively defense of deep-linking and
points out the DMOZ
) as well as the ALA
deep linking resources (the latter, I\'m sure, to get a LISNews writeup;-).


FBI Given More Latitude

New Justice Department guidelines to be unveiled today will give FBI agents latitude to monitor Internet sites, libraries and religious institutions without first having to offer evidence of potential criminal activity, officials said yesterday.

Full Story from the Washington Post.


1 woman\'s war on the DMCA

From the Wall Street Journal:

For more than 15 years, [Pamela] Samuelson . . . a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, has been fighting what she sees as overzealous and innovation-stifling expansion of copyright laws in the high-tech arena . . .

Now she is taking on one of her biggest challenges so far -- attacking the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, an anti-piracy law backed by the entertainment industry. Ms. Samuelson thinks the law protects intellectual-property rights at the expense of technological research and innovation, as well as the broader public interest . . .




Eldred v. Ashcroft Web Site

Matt helped put together a new Eldred v. Ashcroft Site with Lawrence Lessig.

This site collects material related to the constitutional challenge of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which extended by 20 years both existing copyrights and future copyrights. It includes a Section on how you can help.


Fair Use Is Getting Unfair Treatment

BusinessWeek has This Story that points out Hollywood has been on a remarkable legislative and legal winning streak in its campaign to win increased protections.
\"first sale\" and \"fair use\" are threatened by the development of digital media and they way Big Media\'s has been able to completely control it, and this has destroyed the delicate equilibrium that is copyright law.



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