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This may have gone around already, but the New York Times has an interesting story detailing a novel use of the DMCA. According to the NY Times, information about post-Thanksgiving sales was detailed on various online coupon Web sites prior to the date of intended release. This made the retailers (Wal-Mart, Target and others)angry, so they threatened the websites using the DMCA as the muscle behind their argument. However,
Legal experts said invoking a copyright law in this context was unusual, because the information appeared to be a set of facts rather than the kind of original or expressive work that is typically covered by copyright law. The Supreme Court has ruled that telephone white pages directories, for instance, do not fall within copyright law.
Russell McOrmond writes \"This is an ongoing online debate about Canadian copyright, focused so-far on different needs for authors of different types of works. A live debate was webcast, and archives of this debate are now online. Getting some feedback from librarians might be interesting, given that this is a community not currently represented in the debate.\"
Protected CDs \'should be labelled\' - from BBC News
The music industry risks alienating its core consumers by selling copy-protected CDs without warning labels, according to new research.
Record companies have begun placing blocking devices on many new CDs to prevent them being copied to MP3 files or blank discs, including albums from Michael Jackson, Natalie Imbruglia and Celine Dion.
A survey among adults and teenagers in the US found that 74% strongly agreed the industry should be required to label CDs.
But the survey also saw 82% of respondents say they believe it is actually legal to make copies for back up purposes and 77% believe they should be able to copy a CD or use it in another system.
And 60% believed they should be able to give another member of the household a copy.
Jen Young pointed out this NYTimes Story on the questions that revolve around whether choreographers in fact own their own dances and even wanted those dances to be seen after their deaths, a central issue most recently in the contentious Martha Graham case.
Jen Young passed over This One from the The Chronicle of Higher Education that says President Bush is expected to sign a bill, passed last week, that would open the door for professors to use some copyrighted works in online courses without having to seek permission.
There are 6 versions of Bill Number HR 2215 for the 107th Congress.
Yolanda writes \"This Economist Story says The original purpose of patents was to encourage innovation, and thus growth, by creating an incentive for inventors to disclose the details of their inventions in exchange for a limited monopoly on exploitation. Some argue that the modern system of IPR law is having the opposite effect—delaying the diffusion of new technology.
They cover a report from Commission on Intellectual Property Rights that says poor places should avoid committing themselves to rich-world systems of IPR protection unless such systems are beneficial to their needs. Nor should rich countries, which professed so much interest in “sustainable development” at the recent summit in Johannesburg, push for anything stronger.
The report is available here \"
Dan Gillmor says We must engage in copyright debate. He says we must stop letting the entertainment companies set the terms of the legal discussions. We need to re-establish some balance, we need to re-educate ourselves, congress, and the public, and to learn the alternatives to the cartel\'s offerings.
\"Average people are not part of the conversation, not in any way that matters. To the cartel and its chattel in the halls of political power, we are nothing but ``consumers\'\' -- our sole function is to eat what the movie, music and publishing industries put in front of us, and then send money.\"
writes \"TomPaine has a piece on The Endangered Public Domain
from the book \"Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth\"
He says content aggregators -- film studios, publishers, record labels --brazenly cast a broad net of claimed ownership rights in the intangibles of our culture. Whether it is an image, a sound riff, a screen persona or an acronym, chances are that some white-shoe attorney in Los Angeles or New York will send a \"nasty-gram\" letter claiming that our shared culture -- even silence -- belongs to some mega-corporation.
The Great and Powerful Joe writes \"Not that these stories are hard to come by these days, but Chronicle has a story on copyright and the DMCA among other things in this weeks Site Sampler.
If only Uncle Sam noticed the scarcity of articles talking about the wonderful cuddliness of 21st century copyright law.