Intellectual Property

Harry Potter and the International Order of Copyright

Tim Wu, writer over over at Slate takes on the aggressive worldwide legal campaign against the unauthorized Potter takeoffs in This Article.
It began last year when Rowling and Time-Warner threatened the publishers of Chinese Potter, who agreed to stop publication. On April 4 of this year, Rowling persuaded a Dutch court to block the import of Tanya Grotter to Holland. Harry Potter in Calcutta, in which Harry meets up with various characters from Bengali literature, was recently pulled by its Indian publisher under threat. Potter takeoffs have become international contraband.

Expanding the Public Domain

Anne Karle-Zenith writes "Check It Out!

Bravo to Representatives Lofgren and Doolittle from California, who introduced this bill yesterday. This is an important issue that more information professionals need to be aware of and hopefully, get involved with. As a former music business employee, I am only too aware of how powerful copyright holders are on Capital Hill. This is our chance to speak out. I encourage everyone on this list to read up on this issue, sign the petition and write to your Representatives in support of this bill! "

Why We Must Talk About The Information Commons has Why We Must Talk About The Information Commons, by David Bollier.
He says public libraries have a special role to play in the battles to preserve and extend the public domain in the digital age. But many other groups also require open access to information and creativity and the ability to share, quote and build upon the achievements of the past.

Canadian copyright laws explained

SomeOne writes "The tv columnist at the Globe and Mail describes "The Docket." It's a Canadian show that helps explain the law to laypeople. Tonight's show is about copyright. (repeats Saturday)

"Tonight's program is called Copyright Confusion and it explains the plain facts about tangled copyright law. It's very useful for anyone, but it pays particular attention to issues of copyright that affect children copying material in a library or from the Internet. This is all extremely timely. Anybody who writes, performs or creates anything for a living knows that most people are completely ignorant about copyright law and have the impression that they can steal other people's work without payment or penalty."

The Globe And Mail Has More "

Bollywood Copyright

Lee Hadden writes "The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about international
copyright issues. See the June 16, 2003 issue for: "Author Fights Tactics
Of 'Bollywood' Studios" By JOANNA SLATER
BOMBAY -- When British author Barbara Taylor Bradford suddenly
started getting mail from fans in India this spring, she was perplexed. One
admirer was thrilled that Ms. Bradford's best-selling novel, "A Woman of
Substance," would soon be on the air in India -- as a 262-part television
series. That was news to the author, who hadn't given permission for any
such project.
Now, Ms. Bradford is determined to stop India's entertainment
industry, called Bollywood, from making money off her ideas. "I created
these things, someone else didn't," she says. "It's not fair."
Ms. Bradford's decision to fight copyright infringement in Indian
courts is sending chills through Bollywood, which has a habit of borrowing


Saving Sandy's Database

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Last summer one of the worst disasters in post-WWII librarianship took place at the Hennepin County Library - Charles Brown decided to end using the Berman/Freedman Bibliographic Database founded by current ALA prez Mitch Freedman and built by HCL head cataloger Sandy Berman and his staff. I started a petition to save it. Subsequently HCL and the University of Illinois recently signed the legal documents that provides access to the database to the public thru the ALA Archives housed at UI.

Copyright controls 'out of tune'

Copyright holders like record labels have too much power over what people do with songs, argues technology analyst Bill Thompson, This BBC Story.After failing to persuade an appeals court of its case, US ISP Verizon is handing over the names of four of its customers to the lawyers at the Recording Industry Association of America.

The disclosure marks a significant shift in the way that customer privacy is dealt with in US law and will, as with many aspects of the regulation of the internet, have an impact on net users around the world.

Documentary about Copyright Infringement

Troy Johnson writes "There has been a documentary created about illegal copyright infringement. The documentary is called "Willfull Infringement". At the website for the documentary you can buy the DVD and also see a free clip of the movie. For librarians interested in intellectual property issues this is an absolute must see.You can view it at "

High court rules on expired copyrights

Bob Cox writes " Reports A unanimous Supreme Court cleared the way for companies to sell copies of movies or television programs on which copyright has expired without giving credit to the creator of the idea on which the originals were based.
Ruling in a case involving visual adaptations of Dwight D. Eisenhower's book about World War II, ''Crusade in Europe,'' the court said ''figuring out who is in the line of origin would be no simple task.''

Reclaim the Public Domain Petition

Steve writes "Sign The Petition

We, the undersigned, while believing in the importance of copyright, also believe in the importance of the public domain. We believe the public domain is crucial to the spread of knowledge and culture, and crucial in assuring access to our past. We therefore write to petition you to reconsider major changes that you have made to the copyright system. These changes unnecessarily threaten the public domain without any corresponding benefit to copyright holders.

In 1998, Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA). That Act extended the term of all existing copyrights by 20 years. But as Justice Breyer calculated, only 2% of the work copyrighted during the initial 20 years affected by this statute has any continuing commercial value at all. The balance has disappeared from the commercial marketplace, and, we fear, could disappear from our culture generally. "


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