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The Globe And Mail is running a CNET Story on the five major U.S. library associations filing a legal brief Friday siding with Streamcast Networks and Grokster in the California suit, brought by the major record labels and Hollywood studios. The development could complicate the Recording Industry Association of America's efforts to portray file-swapping services as rife with spam and illegal pornography.
Gary Deane shares a NY Times Story that says when it comes to downloading music or movies off the Internet, students at Penn State compare it with under-age drinking: illegal, but not immoral. Like alcohol and parties, the Internet is easily accessible. Why not download, or drink, when "everyone" does it?
This set of commandments has helped make people between the ages of 18 and 29, and college students in particular, the biggest downloaders of Internet music.
The NYTimes reports that a 1938 article from Homes & Gardens which describes Hitler's home in the Bavarian Alps is now being replicated on the Internet. The article was originally scanned in by Simon Waldman, a director of digital publishing, for his personal website. The editor of Homes & Gardens asked him to remove it - he did, but not before others had downloaded it to be shared.
The episode is an object lesson in the topsy-turvy world of copyright and "fair use" â€” an area made far murkier by the distributive power of the Internet and the subsequent crisscrossing of international legal codes. In the United States, the posting would most likely be considered fair use, said Wendy Seltzer, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. "Reprinting the article now, 65 years after its original publication, strikes me as more like reporting or commenting on a news story, or fair use, than photocopying a current scientific article to save the cost of buying more magazines," she said.
Britain's Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988 considers use of "reasonable portions" of some copyrighted material to be "fair dealing," provided they are used in private study, criticism and review, or news reporting. Simply posting an article on the Web might not qualify.
Indeed, the Internet has ensured that copyright can never be just about one nation's laws. "All copyright issues are international copyright issues," said Edwin Komen, an intellectual property lawyer in Washington. On the Web, he added, "you become vulnerable to just about any jurisdiction in the world."
The NYTimes discusses the recent ruling in the case of Martha Graham's heir, Ronald Protas. The Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance believes that when she sold her school to the Center that it became its employee -- and has the right to her body of work.
"This is definitely a success problem," Charles Reinhart, the director of the American Dance Festival, said in an interview. "These problems would never have existed 50 years ago, because the concept of a penny being made by a choreographer or from a dance was unheard of. So now that the commercial aspect of making money has prevailed in this nonprofit world of dance, and the valuable asset is the dance itself â€” hey, that's a success story. Now we've got to straighten it out and make sure we keep that value with the creator, the choreographer."
David Dillard writes "A Slashdot post about current activity in Congress regarding legislation for database protection served as a spring board for a
substantial NetGold post about database
protection legislation discussion and document sources that have been produced over a period of time.
Here is a sampling of the links found in the
NetGold message about database protection legislation: -- Read More
An anonymous patron pointed out this New York Times Magazine Column "The Ethicist" (second entry) about sharing library database passwords. In this case a university library user's password was offered a non-enrolled high school sibling. The Ethicist concludes that each "user must pay his or her fair share." Most university library database contracts provide for public access from within the library, however. This issue also comes up with serving non-affiliated users via consortial virtual reference systems.
Slashdot points to This Reuters article that says Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are circulating a proposed bill that would prevent wholesale copying of school guides, news archives and other databases which do not enjoy copyright protection.
The proposed bill would provide a legal umbrella for publishers of factual information, such as courtroom decisions and professional directories, similar to the copyright laws that protect music, novels and other creative works.
"Information, when not copyrighted, is something that can be shared. Once you start putting fences around information ... there's no freedom of inquiry, That doesn't make us smarter, it makes us dumber."
There aren't any blogs yet at Copywrongs.org, but it's any interesting concept.
"Copywrongs.org is a clearinghouse and connection point for individuals who are the subjects of P2P-related copyright enforcement actions, and a place for the public to learn first-hand about what's going on. Our first project is to offer blogs to all who have been subjected to digital copyright enforcement actions, particularly those who have been caught in the avalanche of RIAA music-trading subpoenas that began in July."
Yet another example from the topsy-turvy world of copyright, where emulating your pop culture heros gets you slapped with a law suit.
"A Madness tribute band has been told to pay Â£500 for copying the original group's famous walk during concerts.
On top of that, Ultimate Madness also faces having to pay a further Â£100 any time it uses the 20-second dance in future performances.""