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.\"


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