Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Exemptions

In a followup to this story, Joe Hodnicki reports "U.S. Copyright Office has issued exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that may benefit media professors, archivists, and other academics. Details and links to official documents at the
Law Librarian Blog"

New Ruling on Media Copyright Works

Durst writes "Yesterday, the Librarian of Congress published a new rule in the Federal Register on six (count 'em) exemptions to digital copyright protection. Here's the story at Federal Computer Week or"

Wikipedia Plagiarism

Seth Finkelstein writes "AP reports: "A critic of an online encyclopedia written and edited by
its users has identified dozens of biographical articles that appear
to contain passages lifted from other sites, prompting the
encyclopedia's administrators to delete several pending a review."
Full study: Plagiarism by
Wikipedia editors
— "Here are the results of the first study of
plagiarism in Wikipedia that has ever been undertaken""

Plagiarism at Computerworld...

kmhess writes "At work, I was reading some aggregated news stories and one caught my eye becuase it was about the history of computing, regarding Pierre Jaquet-Droz and the creation of mechanical devices called Automata that were examples of mechanical computers a few decades before Babbages Difference engines. I was curious what Wikipedia had on the subject, and was surprised to find it was almost exactly the same wording as the news article, except the Wikipedia article was written in 2004. I tracked down the source of the news story to Computerworld, but unfortunately they've deleted the article from their online version.

You can read the wikipedia story here Googles cached version of "Geek's Garden" from Computerworld, 9/22/2006 here (this may not work)

I sent a note to the editors becuase I was concerned that this was plagiarism, and I guess it was. You can read
the statement from Computerworld's Editor here."

Students Protest

A Slashdot discussion points the way to a Washington Post article about the anti-plagairism company Turnitin.

Members of the new Committee for Students' Rights said they do not cheat or condone cheating. But they object to Turnitin's automatically adding their essays to the massive database, calling it an infringement of intellectual property rights. And they contend that the school's action will tar students at one of Fairfax County's academic powerhouses.

Are schools right to employ anti-cheating software, or is there a problem with funding a business model built around profiting from students' work?

Old books only in European Digital Library

Anonymous Patron writes " The EU wants to digitalise and online the vast volumes of cultural works in member state libraries to make them accessible to all, but unless the issue of copyright and intellectual property rights are solved, the European Digital Library may consist only of books and journals published before the 1920s. The European Commission in August urged the 25 EU member states to speed up and co-operate on the setting up of a European-wide digital library."

Blackboard Inc patents educational groupware

Melchior Sternfels writes "Via Slashdot comes word that Blackboard Inc
has patented the Learning Management System (LMS)

as an "Internet-based education support system and methods", and is
now suing a rival firm. You can read more about this development in
Chronicle of Higher Ed
. You can also read the patent itself.
At least two efforts are being made to collect examples of prior art
with a view to a possible challenge of the patent: at Wikipedia
and at Moodle.
In the present revision, it appears that most of the content of the
Wikipedia article has been deleted, but you can find it in a prior version of the article."

Flexible Copyright the Issue in Rio de Janeiro

The New York Times has a piece on the meeting over this past weekend of a broad range of artists to discuss the "Creative Commons" type of copyright. Lawrence Lessig , a Stanford University law professor and one of the originators of the concept said, "We want to move away from a maximalist position to create a future in which creativity can occur in a protected space without taking away anyone's rights."

Since the introduction of the Creative Commons concept in 2003, some 145 million "creations" (including have been registered. More than 100 million of those licenses have been issued in the last six months. Mr. Lessig said that blogs accounted for the largest number, followed by images and then music, although the video sector is growing.

Glass Artists Face Off in Court

Why is this story library related? Librarians should follow what is happening in the intellectual property arena because intellectual property is what we are all about. Too little protection and the fires of innovation could die, too much, and ideas can die. Librarians should be one of the groups that watch to make sure the engine does not die and also that no one is run over by the engine.

Fair Use - - On The Media

NPR has a show called "On the Media"
These two stories are on todays show.

Story #1 --Fair Use Follies
Simply put, "fair use" is a legal principle that allows copyrighted material to be used without permission from or payment to the owner. But a recent symposium on the subject at New York University demonstrated just how difficult it is to know what constitutes fair. And in the meantime, many creative types are left in the lurch. Amy Sewell, producer of the documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom", shares some war stories with Brooke.

Story #2 --Cloudy and Fair
Fordham University law professor Hugh Hansen is an advocate of strong copyright laws. But even he concedes that for low-budget filmmakers, copyright can be more of a burden than a blessing. Brooke speaks with him and with Duke law professor James Boyle, who thinks copyright holders have ushered in a "permission culture" that ignores the laws governing fair use.

At their website it is possible to listen to individual stories without having to listen to the entire program.

I highly recommend that you listen to both stories. Story #1 angered me because of the way copyright was being used. Story #2 really helped to put things in perspective.

Online Testing Patent ReExamined By Patent Office writes ". From
  At the request of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will reexamine a controversial patent for online test-taking from
  EFF filed the reexamination request because the extremely broad patent claims to cover almost all methods of online testing. has used this patent to demand payments from universities with distance education programs that give tests online. But EFF, in conjunction with Theodore C. McCullough of the Lemaire Patent Law Firm, showed that was not the first to come up with this testing method -- IntraLearn Software Corporation had been marketing an online test-taking system long before filed its patent request."

Copyright reform in Australia,

ADHD_librarian writes "yes, you no longer have to buy multiple copies of the same song in order to listen to it in different places.
You can now copy your vinyl records straight to your ipod (I know if I held onto them long enough they'd be useable again. Ha music industry, now I'm never buying '1986 just for kicks' on CD. The future's so bright I've got to wear shades!)
And for librarians, 'format shifting' of material such as newspapers becomes easier. (Although libraries who could argue they were doing it to maintain access to archival collections could do this in the past).

Here's More"

ALA's Copyright Advisory Network

cjovalle writes "ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy provides the Copyright Advisory Network at It's recently (today) been updated to provide additional resources (in addition to the forum) that the team working on the site hopes librarians will find useful. Let us know what you'd like to see... There are still some links to make active and some additional content to add, and suggestions are more than welcome."

Unintended Consequences: 7 Years under the DMCA

Seth Finkelstein writes "EFF has
released a new report about:
Consequences: Seven Years under the DMCA
"In the seven years since Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), examples of the law's impact on legitimate consumers, scientists, and competitors continue to mount. ... chilling free expression and scientific research, jeopardizing fair use, impeding competition and innovation, and interfering with other laws on the books.""

Canadian Supreme Court to Rehear Copyright Case

Cabot writes " The Globe and Mail is reporting that, in an unusual move, the Supreme Court of Canada has decided to re-hear a controversial case involving the rights of freelance writers so that its newest judge -- an expert in copyright law -- can participate in the decision."

Government Health Researchers Pressed to Share Data at No Charge

Anonymous Patron writes "Government Health Researchers Pressed to Share Data at No Charge; Political momentum is growing for a change in federal policy that would require government-funded health researchers to make the results of their work freely available on the Internet.

Advocates say taxpayers should not have to pay hundreds of dollars for subscriptions to scientific journals to see the results of research they already have paid for. Many journals charge $35 or more just to see one article -- a cost that can snowball as patients seek the latest information about their illnesses."

Bookfinder and Orphan Works Blog has an interesting piece about their submission of a public comment to the copyright office on the issue of orphan works.

University Film Group Charged with Copyright Violations

The Illinois State University (Normal, IL) Cinema Society, a registered student organization, has been socked with an $8,000 bill by New York Films because, according to a company spokesperson, the group has been offering "public performances" of the films. The group's faculty adviser disputes this and said, "The students' understanding was that they were providing an educational service," he said.

On the ISU student organization's Web site, the movie fans bill themselves as a group offering "weekly screenings of avant-garde, foreign, independent, activist and underground films, videos and documentaries." The society met in ISU classrooms and usually followed screenings with a discussion of the work.

More back and forth at the Pantagraph

Hershey's bitter over book jacket, sues publisher

The distinctive chocolate bar on the dust jacket of a new book about the founder of the Hershey Co. violates its trademark, the candy maker said in a federal lawsuit. Read the complete article here.
The cover of the book in question can be seen here.

Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression v Copyright

Seth Finkelstein writes "The Free Expression Policy
asks: "Are increasingly heavy assertions of control by
copyright and trademark owners smothering fair use and free
expression? The product of more than a year of research, [the report
by Marjorie Heins and Tricia Beckles] "Will
Fair Use Survive"
? paints a striking picture of an intellectual
property system that is perilously out of balance.""


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