Intellectual Property

7-Year Battle To Stop Google From Digitizing Libraries Is Ending With A Whimper

A nice, non-legalese summary of the Google Books story from Read Write Web:

"Google's long-running fight to digitize the world's written works has closed two more chapters, but the story hasn't quite reached the end. Despite stakes that include millions of dollars of ad revenue for Google versus the potential loss of revenue and royalties for publishers and authors, however, the epic saga's climax is turning out to be surprisingly muted.

There are three parts to this story so far, with Google Books the protagonist (or antagonist, depending on your point of view) at the center of all of them. Following two separate court decisions this week and last, two of those parts are now concluded, leaving only one more thread of the tale to wrap up."

Another vendor appearing to need education about exactly WHO owns library data

These vendors/collaboratives exist to serve libraries, not the other way around. Libraries vote with their dollars and purchasing choices and to prevent this kind of behavior, they must utilize their power collaboratively. When libraries act separately, vendors/collaboratives frequently apply the "whack-the-mole" approach to divide and conquer. Libraries must band together and through their organizations issue a profession wide policy statement concerning library ownership of data. This policy statement should then be referenced in both purchasing and legal agreements as a requirement to be met.

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?"

Forensic Linguists: You Can Write, But You Can't Hide

According to forensic linguists, the experts who investigate a text’s originator, if they have an individual’s known writings, they can detect with up to 95% accuracy that person’s authorship of any other document. Forensic experts have been called as witnesses in the high profile lawsuit by Paul Ceglia, who has sued Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he owns half of Facebook. They’ve also been expert witnesses in murder trials.

Library catalog metadata: Open licensing or public domain?

As reported a few weeks ago, OCLC has recommended that its member libraries adopt the Open Data Commons Attribution license (ODC-BY) when they share their library catalog data online. The recommendation to use an open license like ODC-BY is a positive step forward for OCLC because it helps communicate in advance the rights and responsibilities available to potential users of bibliographic metadata from library catalogs. But the decision by OCLC to recommend the licensing route — as opposed to releasing bibliographic metadata into the public domain — raises concerns that warrants more discussion.
[Thanks Sarah!]

The Rise of the Virtual-Plagiarist

The Rise of the Virtual-Plagiarist
With that, I have found a new genre of copying that I would like to call virtual-plagiarism. Virtual-plagiarism is where a book is sold with the appearance that it is for the most part original content; yet the buyer often doesn’t know or realize they are buying free content.

Wikipedia and other open source providers have made the world a better place with their free content. But with all that beneficence, there are those who have found a way to misappropriate it.

MIT Economist: Here's How Copyright Laws Impoverish Wikipedia

What do copyright law, baseball, Wikipedia and Google have in common? Read on:

Everyone knows that the flow of information is complex and tangled in society today -- so thank goodness for copyright law! Truly, no part of our national policy is as coherent, in the interest of the public or as updated for the Internet age as that gleaming tome in the US Code.

Not.

But one MIT economist, who recently presented his work recently at Wikimania, has found a way to test how the copyright law affects one online community -- Wikipedia -- and how digitized, public domain works dramatically affect the quality of knowledge.

U.S. Is Pursuing a British Middleman in Web Piracy

An antipiracy case against a British college student, Richard O’Dwyer, is unusual because he did not publish pirated content himself but pointed the way for others.

Full article

Appeals Court: Librarian of Congress Must Be Able To Fire Copyright Judges

The Copyright Royalty Board, as currently constituted, violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on Friday according to Reuters.

The Board sets the rates that broadcasters must pay for copyright licenses. The three-judge panel is appointed by the Librarian of Congress, and the court held that giving the Librarian of Congress more ability to fire the judges would resolve the constitutional dilemma.

Full article

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