Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

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. "

DMCA may ban book on Xbox Hacking

Troy Johnson writes "There is a story at Business Week titled "'Banned' Xbox Hacking Book Selling Fast." book describes how to hack the Xbox. Publishers will not publish the book because they worry they will be in violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The author is self publishing the book because of this. Intriguing article that has numerous points of interest for librarians that follow intellectual property issues.

Un-public domain

Rachel writes "“Great!” she enthused. “I’ll just need to see a photo ID and a major credit card.” As I handed them over, she was not amused by my little joke about how the library must be taking overdue fines pretty seriously to ask for a credit card. She proceeded to have me sign an array of Terms of Service, Acceptable Use, and Privacy Policy documents.

“Just one more,” she finally said. “Initial this here and here to show that you agree your use of all lending library materials will be governed by the appropriate Microsoft End User License Agreement.”

She must have misunderstood, I said. I wasn’t there to get any software. I just wanted to borrow a few books for springtime reading. Why would I need to agree to a Microsoft EULA for that?"

Ed Foster asks "Will DRM and the challenges to fair use spell the end for your local library?"

Read Un-public domain and find out.

Scanning text books - a new form of intellectual property theft?

IT-Analysis Has This Article on news ways to steal textbooks. They say textbooks are expensive and in areas where there is a velocity of discovery, through development and invention, they very quickly become redundant. Reference works are expensive. Academic and reference libraries are increasingly short of funds. There is the potential for small-scale copyright infringement.

Theft of e-books is unlikely to become a major form of economic theft in the way that downloading of music did, but e-books do illustrate that the scope of intellectual property theft is expanding.

California octegenarian gets more than $500k for her sampled voice on rap record

This item is a few weeks old, but I just caught it on News of the Weird today. The full story is on the VH1 website.

Several years ago, Geneva Burger left a message on an answering machine belonging to a friend of her grandson, saying, in part, "When people get hooked on pot, can they get sick if they don't get it?" The friend, musician Johnny Lupo, made the answering machine tape available to the rap group Magic, and they used the question as a sample in a track called "No Limits" in 1998.

When Burger found out, she filed suit against record producer Master P, Snoop Dogg (rapper on the album), and Priority Records. Her claim was that the material was used without her knowledge or permission, and she suffered "embarrasment and anxiety" when she found that her voice was on the gangsta rap song. Priority and Snoop settled for $300k and $75k respectively, but Master P decided to go to court. When the case closed in December he was required to pay $105k in damages.

Who decides who\'s a digital criminal?

Someone Sent over This BBC Editorial by Bill Thompson who says Laws should be there to protect individuals and not corporations.

He says even where he is clearly infringing someone\'s rights he doesn\'t not think he is doing them any real damage.

\"I still believe that the only way we are going to make the net work is to bring it under proper democratic control, and that means political engagement on the part of all those who care about its future.\"

AT&T Has No Freedom of expression

Here\'s an odd little One From The NYTimes on Kembrew McLeod, assistant professor of communications studies at the University of Iowa, who registered \"freedom of expression\" as a trademark in 1998. And now that AT&T is using the phrase in some print ads, he wants the company to stop.

Yesterday, Mr. McLeod sent AT&T a \"cease and desist\" letter, asserting that consumers might infer a link between the company and his anti-corporate publication, \"Freedom of Expression.\" The bigger idea behind his legal action, he said, is to object to corporate power over words, speech and even ideas.

Jury Begins Deliberations on Copyright Case

The Tampa Tribune is carrying this today. It\'s about the Russian software company that\'s been accused of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Read More.

Retailers Enter DMCA Frey

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.

Please see these related Web sites:

DMCA U.S. Copyright Office Summary [.pdf]

Rabble Rumble on Copyright Reform

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.\"

Survey says copy-protected CDs should be labeled.

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.

Forum Asks, Who Owns a Dance?

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.

Congress Eases Copyright Restrictions on Distance Education

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.

Intellectual-property rights for the poor

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 \"

We must engage in copyright debate

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.\"

Stopping The Privatization Of Public Knowledge

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.

Chronicle on Copyright

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.

Read The Full Story \"

Copyright in the Balance: LJ Talks with Lawrence Lessig

Here\'s An LJ Interview with Stanford University professor Lawrence Lessig. They talk about Eldred, copyright, and other challenges threatening the work of libraries.

CFA Assails Digital Copyright Efforts

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is pushing congress to rethink its approach to copyright legislation, stating that, \"The experience of consumers in the information age reaffirms our belief in the need to ensure consumer rights. Consumers and the economy are best served by open standards and networks that afford them maximum choice, encourage use and promote unfettered innovation by both consumers and producers.\" He also makes reference to the view by movie companies in the 80s, that VCR\'s should never hit the public market. Videos now account for 40% of the movie industry\'s revenue. Read more.

EU Database Directive Draws Fire

Lee Hadden writes: \"The EU scientific community is disagreeing over the provisions of
copyright law. There is an article in the July 8, 2002 issue of The
Scientist by Eugene Russo about this difference in law and cultural
diversity, on page 18.\"

The Story [requires some kind of registration] raises some interesting questions. Who owns the mountains of data contained in
databases--whether stock prices, real estate values, or
countless genome sequences? What intellectual property rights
do database creators have? And how much protection is too


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