Intellectual Property

Turns Out When Random House Said Libraries 'Own' Their Ebooks, It Meant, 'No'

Turns Out When Random House Said Libraries 'Own' Their Ebooks, It Meant, 'No, They Don't Own Them'

"That means they don't want to worry about having the company they bought their books from suddenly lock them out of their collection for reasons they won't explain. It means they want to be able to move those ebooks from platform to platform without permission. It means they want to be able to lend those ebooks to a friend. Some smaller publishers get this, provide DRM free ebooks, and make it easy for this to happen. Random House, on the other hand, doesn't seem to understand the issue at all."

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.

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