Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Debating the ownership of ideas

Lawrence Lessig and Richard A. Epstein debate the ownership of ideas in the new issue of Technology Review (via Metafilter).

You have to fight for your rights

"Perhaps the most important piece of advice this column has offered in 15 years of prognosticating about IT, is something you can do in the next few weeks: overcome your natural apathy over participating in the so-called democratic process and have your say on the matter of fair use rights over copyright material. ... We do not have those rights. Instead, Australian legislators have imposed what is arguably the most user-unfriendly copyright regime in the Western world ..."

More at the The Edge.

Dutch academics declare research free-for-all

FromThe Register:

Scientists from all major Dutch universities officially launched a website on Tuesday where all their research material can be accessed for free. Interested parties can get hold of a total of 47,000 digital documents from 16 institutions the Digital Academic Repositories. No other nation in the world offers such easy access to its complete academic research output in digital form, the researchers claim. Obviously, commercial publishers are not amused ...

Complete article via Metafilter.

John Edwards still mum on anti-school, anti-library law

David Rothman writes "John Edwards, podcaster, University of North Carolina professor and poverty-fighter, explicitly promised to try to answer all questions submitted for his podcasts. But sure enough, Podcast Two ignored our polite query on the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Read more at TeleRead. Reminder: The TeleRead site may go down during a server transfer."

RIAA and MPAA to sue students for trading music on Internet 2

Durst writes "An article in the Washington Post this morning talks about hundreds of college students at Boston University, Harvard, Michigan State, and others that are being sued for trading and downloading music using Internet 2 connections.

I2 is many times faster than current web technology available to the general public, enabling downloads of songs in 20 seconds and movies in less than 5 minutes."

NYPL Discussion on File Sharing

SarahL writes "From this morning's NYTimes. (Registration Required)

Exploring the Right to Share, Mix and Burn

Jeff Tweedy of the band Wilco and Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford professor, came together at the New York Public Library on Thursday for a discussion of digital file-sharing.

This article contains the following example of how unauthorized downloading actually revived this band's touring and recording career:

"It is a curious sight when a rock star appears before his flock and suggests they take his work without paying for it, and even encourages them to. Mr. Tweedy, who has never been much for rock convention, became a convert to Internet peer-to-peer sharing of music files in 2001, after his band was dropped from its label on the cusp of a tour. Initially, the news left Wilco at the sum end of the standard rock equation: no record/no tour, no tour/no money, no money/no band. But Mr. Tweedy released "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" for streaming on the band's Web site, and fans responded in droves. Wilco then took on the expenses of its tour as a band.

The resulting concerts were a huge success: Mr. Tweedy remembered watching in wonder as fans sang along with music that did not exist in CD form. Then something really funny happened. Nonesuch Records decided to release the actual plastic artifact in 2002. And where the band's previous album, "Summerteeth," sold 20,000 in its first week according to SoundScan, "Yankee" sold 57,000 copies in its first week and went on to sell more than 500,000. Downloading, at least for Wilco, created rather than diminished the appetite for the corporeal version of the work."

Copyright in libraries: Commission acts to ensure that authors are remunerated

Anonymous Patron writes "Copyright in libraries: Commission acts to ensure that authors are remunerated : One from Europe where The European Commission has decided to refer Italy and Luxembourg to the European Court of Justice for failure to implement fully into national legislation the “public lending right� provided for by a 1992 Directive. By introducing a public lending right� the EU is aiming to ensure that creative effort is protected and encouraged throughout the European Union. In a related development, the Commission has also launched infringement proceedings against Belgium, Finland and Sweden because these Member States have not complied with the 2004 rulings of the Court requiring them to implement the 2001 Copyright Directive."

Copyright Questions

I am giving a presentation to some law students about libraries, librarians, and copyright. One thing I was asked to address can only be answered by you. As a librarian what copyright issues effect you? Second question is, what topics of copyright or areas that deal with copyright should librarians be concerned with? If you have any other general comments about libraries, librarians, and copyright I would like to hear them.

Copyright case may conclude with public burning

Anonymous Patron writes "Native American Times reports A California tribe involved in an unusual copyright lawsuit will probably burn recordings an artist made of their sacred ceremonies, the tribe’s attorney said.

Native artist Lorenzo Baca and the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of California agreed in an out-of-court settlement that Baca would turn over all Me-Wuk videotapes and CDs back to the tribe."

Patent Threats Hurt Scientific Research

twistedlibrarian writes "EFF Asks Court to Protect Academic and Competitive Studies

Three consumer advocacy groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked the Supreme Court today to protect scientific researchers from patent-based legal threats. The case, Merck v. Integra, deals specifically with information researchers submitted to the Food and Drug Administration regarding a potential cure for cancer. But it raises broader questions about whether patent owners can stop academic researchers and inventors from studying patented inventions in order to research or improve upon them.

Electronic Frontier Foundation "

Submit an orphan works comment

The U.S. Copyright Office seeks to examine the issues raised by "orphan works," i.e., copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate. Concerns have been raised that the uncertainty surrounding ownership of such works might needlessly discourage subsequent creators and users from incorporating such works in new creative efforts or making such works available to the public. This notice requests written comments from all interested parties. Specifically, the Office is seeking comments on whether there are compelling concerns raised by orphan works that merit a legislative, regulatory or other solution, and what type of solution could effectively address these concerns without conflicting with the legitimate interests of authors and right holders.

The copyright 'copyfight' is on

Pete writes "The "copyfight" is the topic of BBC News technology contributor Bill Thompson's latest posting.

It is the "copyfight" - the continuing dispute over what sort of legal protection creative people or the companies that employ them should have over the ways in which their works are used.

In legal terms, the basic argument is between those who see creative works as just another type of property, with what are increasingly presented as inalienable property rights, and those who see copyright as a deal struck with creative people by the state, one which is intended to benefit both sides.

Remix culture is everywhere. All we can do is accept it, adapt to it and find ways to work and make a living within it

Copyright history supports the second view, but since the mid-1970's there has been increasing legal support for the first. "

Access DENIED to Maps

Durst writes "From Federal Computer News, this article about the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (formerly the National Imaging and Mapping Agency) and their move to restrict the public's access to aeronautical and navigational data. The agency cited concerns with copyright back in November 2004.

My question is this: if this information was collected by Uncle Sam and distributed by Uncle Sam, there is no copyright, right?"

Taipei Ministry of Economic Affairs cracking down on pirated books

Anonymous Patron writes "e-Government Website/Homapage says:
The Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs will concentrate on cracking down on pirated books, a TIPO official said Tuesday. Lu Wen-hsiang, vice director of the TIPO, told a news conference while unveiling an anti-piracy advertisement that book piracy has not aroused the same public awareness as piracy of software, music and movies, because, he claimed, it "prevails only among university students" who prefer to download digital books from the Internet or steal the work of authors by buying pirated books rather than buying authentic copies. "Therefore we will try to instill into them the respect for intellectual property through an advertising campaign using film and posters that should appeal to youth," Lu said. In order to get the maximum publicity, Lu said, the advertising campaign was timed to launch to coincide with the beginning of the new semester and the beginning of the Taipei International Book Exhibition 2005, which opened that day. Lu said he hopes the ads will also impress foreign publishers who visit Taiwan for the book exhibition."

Old Media Strikes Back

kmhess writes "All over the blogosphere, the word is out about the Tulsa World newspaper's attempt to silence one of its critics, the blog BatesLine. Apparently, documenting endemic corruption in local Tulsa politics made someone mad, and they have been accused of copyright infringement for copying and LINKING to Tulsa World articles that are available for free! You can read about it here.

If you are curious about fair use, Stanford Law has a good resource for copyright law. Last time I checked, its considered fair use to copy text so you can criticize it. However, I don't think linking is anywhere in copyright law - I wonder how much the World paid for that legal opinion?


ASCAP Sues 24 Restaurants for Playing Music without Permission

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) filed copyright infringement suits today against 24 eating and drinking establishments in 15 states. The establishments were charged with publicly performing the works of ASCAP's artists without permission (read: money).

"Informing business owners of their obligations under Federal Copyright Law is one of ASCAP's key roles," said Vincent Candilora, Senior Vice President of Licensing at ASCAP. "We provide any business using music the opportunity to receive permission through acceptance of a license covering the use of over 8 million copyrighted songs and compositions..."

Not looking good for the 24 businesses--ASCAP batted .1000 with their copyright litigation in 2004. More here from ASCAP press release via Yahoo and the Nashville City Paper

Virtual Information & Intellectual Freedom: Challenges for Knowledge Organiser and Information Manag


K.R.Mulla writes "ABSTRACT

Development of the Internet and the increasing popularity of the WWW have opened up a new realm of information access, storage, and delivery for librarians and information professionals. Libraries are striving to respond to the pervasive and persistent growth of global networking and manage the demand for access to this dynamic medium. Working in the trenches of the digital revolution, librarians and information professionals are beginning to offer Internet services to patrons; their work marks the beginning of the grassroots implementation of the “Public� digital library

Bleary Days for Eyes on the Prize

kmhess writes "Wired reports it's Bleary Days for Eyes on the Prize

Eyes on the Prize, the landmark documentary on the civil rights movement, can no longer be broadcast or sold new in the United States. It's illegal, because the rights to certain archival footage used in the film have expired.

Securing clearance rights to archival footage is a growing problem for independent filmmakers -- and documentary filmmakers in particular. Filmmakers must pay for the rights to use every song, photograph or video clip included in the film. Since many documentary films are made with small budgets, filmmakers often can only afford to buy rights for a limited amount of time. That leaves many filmmakers essentially renting footage, and rendering their work unusable after a certain number of years unless they can find more funding to clear the rights again.


Is 'Fair Use' in Peril?

AA alerts us to an article in Technology Review about a portion of Intellectual Property Protection Act regarding fair use: Technology Review: Is 'Fair Use' in Peril?

The Technology Review article is somewhat reactionary. For a more balanced source that includes related resources, take a look at this article from Public Knowledge.

S. 3021: Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2004

H.R. 2391, The Intellectual Property Protection Act: Senate Omnibus IP bill of 2004

Tarzan estate targets New Zealand author

VALIS writes "New Zealand novelist Nigel Cox is facing demands to stop publishing his novel Tarzan Presley. The novel is a humourous combination of the stories of Tarzan and Elvis Presley.

The demands come from Edgar Rice Burroughs Incorporated, the estate of Tarzan's creator, who claim copyright infringement. Cox's publisher points out that the novel is a literary reinvention, not an attempt at passing off as a genuine work by Burroughs. It would therefore seem to be protected under copyright law.

More convincing protection comes from the fact that Burroughs died in 1950 (Wikipedia). Under New Zealand copyright law, copyright in a literary work lasts for 50 years after the death of the creator (Copyright Act 1994).

As a possibly ironic aside, about eight years ago I worked for the Museum of New Zealand, ensuring the Museum complied with copyright legislation. Nigel Cox was my manager."


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