Entries in "Copyright" ( for this category only)

Copyright Explained the Disney Way

What a great way to demonstrate and explain fair use.

C-SPAN Reduces Copyright Restrictions (for benefit of bloggers)

Confessions of a Mad Librarian notes that C-SPAN has reduced its own restrictions on copyright. The new policy reduces restrictions on its coverage of federal activities, so bloggers and other sites can use the material "to increase the political dialogue".

Blogs are starting to change the information and copyright landscapes for future users. I think Web 2.0 will have lasting ramifications on copyright.

Google Snippets Still Illegal in Belgium

The Library Journal has reported that a Belgian court upheld the earlier ruling that Google "snippets" of Belgian newspapers in Google News violated Belgian copyright laws.

[VIA: Library Journal Academic Newswire, February 15, 2007]

What Does Copyright and DMCA Mean in Virtual Environments?

A CNET News.com virtual interview with Anshe Chung, the Second Life's biggest land owner, was sabotaged by animated penises and pictures of the avatar's owner Ailin Graef. I guess this is the virtual world's equivalent of red spray paint on furs.

The incident may have long lasting ramifications in respect to copyright. The video of the virtual attack has been posted to YouTube and Google video. Snapshots have been published in newspapers. Graef has claimed copyrights violations under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) for those that have used the images of her avatar.

In the Second Life environment, no one argues against the fact that each person owns the copyright on anything they create. The media sources are claiming "fair use" for sharing the video. The CNET News.com article relates it to the same thing as a news cameraman filming an incident and the TV news showing it on the evening news.

I am in agreement with this theory. The virtual world is no different than the physical world. If you hold a press conference, video and/or pictures of the activity will be and should be shared. It appears Graef (Chung) is abusing DMCA in this situation.

No Google Snippets in Belgium

Google has lost a court case in Belgium to include "snippets" of newspaper articles in Google News. In the U.S., publishers have been asking Google to index more content in order to push subscriptions and pay-per-view purchases. I guess Google needs to walk a real interesting tight rope.

[VIA: Library Journal - Academic Newswire, September 28, 2006]

Continue reading "No Google Snippets in Belgium"

Promoting Copyright Management & Access

John Ober in Facilitating open access: Developing support for author control of copyright (C&RL News, April 2006, Vol. 67, No. 4) discusses the role librarians have in promoting and supporting copyright management within their organizations. He discusses educational aspects and managing institutional repositories.

Libraries should be clear and honest about the logic of our advocacy, too, which seems to be: Faculty copyright retention is a necessary precondition for developing new forms of dissemination that (possibly) allow restructuring of some of the economic patterns to be more sustainable. Or, more bluntly, copyright retention and subsequent grants of use (might) reduce/remove (some) economic barriers to acquiring content for research/teaching.
For one thing reader and author visits to IR create a point-of-use opportunity, and usually a specific need, to educate scholars about copyright management, and ensure that they do, in fact, have the right to deposit their work. And while IRs can be promoted as a way to serve the scholar and library interests mentioned above, to be used IRs have to strive for unusually good related services.

Have you read the MySpace Terms & Conditions?

Someone just pointed out to me some of the terms and conditions that users of MySpace agree to.

6. Proprietary Rights in Content on MySpace.com.
1. By displaying or publishing ("posting") any Content, messages, text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, profiles, works of authorship, or any other materials (collectively, "Content") on or through the Services, you hereby grant to MySpace.com, a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees) to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute such Content on and through the Services. This license will terminate at the time you remove such Content from the Services. You represent and warrant that: (i) you own the Content posted by you on or through the Services or otherwise have the right to grant the license set forth in this section, and (ii) the posting of your Content on or through the Services does not violate the privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, contract rights or any other rights of any person. You agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owing any person by reason of any Content posted by you to or through the Services.

As a librarian that has spent time in a corporate library so I was previously immersed constantly in patent and copyright law, and someone that strongly believes in negotiating your rights to your intellectual property before publishing or selling, I was shocked by these terms. First, it does protect users from others users copying, selling, or otherwise distributing their artwork, writing, pictures, music, etc. BUT, MySpace can profit from your creations in any way it see fit.

Ask yourself - how comfortable are you with MySpace having the ability to use an entry from your blog, taking one of your pictures, or sharing your music in an advertisement on its front page or in other marketing methods?

Would an artist or writer have less power to negotiate with a publisher or producer if their materials were already up on MySpace? Even though MySpace's rights are non-exclusive, can this hurt you in developing other alternatives? It may if the producer does not care for MySpace.

Scientific Publishing, the Internet, & Copyright

Andrew Kantor (USA Today, 3/23/2006) highlighted the major issues facing scientific publishing and the role the Internet has played.

Lets look further at the state of scientific publishing...

First, the procedure of traditional publishing is flawed from the eyes of libraries. An author freely gives their article to a publisher, and the publishers sells it at a profit. The author's library than purchases the content that was originally available within the organization. The author may have signed over full rights of the article to the publisher, thus the library has to pay for something that should have been available internally for free.

What advantages are provided by traditional publications? Basically, you are looking at name recognition and a system of distribution. I think it is fairly obvious how the Internet is changing those systems.

Kantor looks at several changes that are developing already. For example, the open access publishing movement, as demonstrated by the Public Library of Science.

Coming across this article was perfect timing. Kenneth Crews, Director of the Copyright Management Center just spoke at the Kelvin Smith Library on Tuesday, April 4th. He expressed how copyright laws are driven by international pressures, money, and many other factors. He pushed hard for authors to manage their copyright rights in order to meet the needs of their organizations and themselves well into the future. It is the one time, during author to publisher negotiations, that publishers can be convinced to change their ways.

(Originally shared on Open Access News, March 23, 2006)

Trends from the Entertainment Industry -Translate to Libraries?

Aaron Shaffer brought my attention to a very interesting article, called The Long Tail (Wired Magazine, Issue 12.10, October 2004). Most of us believe that the entertainment industry is driven only by the hits, probably due to all the award shows, rankings, etc. The "long tail" is all of the other albums, songs, movies, and books that account for a super large volume of sales if provided to the public. Examples like Amazon, Rhapsody, NetFlix, and eBay show that people are interested in and will buy the non-#1 materials if the resources are available to see reviews, get recommendations, and have easy access.

I think this article has long reaching consequences on libraries. First, what role does copyright have in the development of future library resources and services? I believe the intentions of copyright, that "Congress shall have the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries" (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8), is very important. As copyright protection limits are continually increased in length, are will still protecting "progress" or just monetary interests? Someone would argue that economic numbers demonstrate progress, but are we using this measure at the death of future educational, cultural, and scientific discoveries? Just look at the article I shared on the KSL Reference Weblog for an example.

It appears that the "long tail" examples also counteracts the statements by book and journal publishers that open access materials would mean death to their sales. The article showed that increased access, free or very cheap, only boosted sales drastically. As people gained access, they always wanted more and more.

I think in libraries we are seeing a similar fate with Google and other Internet resources. While people are going to Google first for their questions, it results in only more questions and curiosity. The type of questions I see in the library are becoming more complicated in nature and more inquisitive on the user's part.

I think the academic libraries in Ohio have been very lucky with OhioLINK. It has allowed individual libraries more freedom (i.e. money) to maybe focus on what could be considered items that fall into the "long tail." In addition to consortia, libraries need to find the other processes that allow users access to everything and anything. It appears CASE is headed in the right direction with the increasing amount of electronic resources and collections, such as Digital Case.

Observations on Blogging

I subscribe to Planet Case, Blog@Case Comments, and various RSS feeds from Case blogs and other blogs from several subject areas (library & information science, technology, engineering, etc). I am surprised by some of the activities I have seen on some blogs.

  • Copying word for word materials written by others, which would be a violation of copyright
  • Copying all or a portion of a material written by others without citing the original source
  • Posting an item, allowing extensive discussion to occur in the comments section, and than changing the original post so the commentators look like idiots
  • Allowing commenting to occur, than deleting comments you do not agree with
  • Not linking to the source that you are commenting about, so others can form their own opinions
  • On and on...
Many bloggers probably do not think of actions like this, because it is so easy to cut-and-paste or press a delete button. Actions like this happen on web sites all of the time, but unless cached by Google, the WayBack Machine, or other services it might not be visible to the casual reader. Email holds more accountabilty, because once you send an item you cannot recall it. The blogosphere falls in between these two realms. Changes, deletions, updates, etc. on blogs probably go unnoticed all the time, unless the blog owner makes a statement in their entry. RSS feeds though increase the level of accountabilty of blogs. Once a subscriber receives a RSS item in their reader or aggregator, it is no longer in control of the original blog owner. If someone follows a certain blog closely, especially by utilization of RSS, the writer's habits, changes, or style of writing now have gained a history outside of the blog owner's control.

I like the Bloggers' Code of Ethics that was created by CyberJournalist.net. And in a related note, CyberJournalist shared the New York Times view on blogging.

6th Annual Symposium on Intellectual Property

Sixth Annual Symposium on Intellectual Property
June 14-16, 2006

Sponsored by the Center for Intellectual Property at University of Maryland University College

"Copyright at a Crossroads: The Impact of Mass Digitization on Higher Education"

Two full days of seminars and discussions June 15-16.
Pre-symposium seminars the afternoon of June 14.

UMUC Inn and Conference Center
Adelpi, MD

Details forthcoming at http://www.umuc.edu/cip

Updated: Digital Millennium Copyright Act - Comments Are NOW Being Collected from January 4, 2006 through February 2, 2006

The LibraryLawBlog shares information about the current solicitation for comments about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The purpose of this proceeding is to determine whether there are particular classes of works as to which users are, or are likely to be, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumvention of access controls.

Are Copyrights a Textbook Scam?

In September 2005, Dean Baker wrote Are Copyrights a Textbook Scam? - Alternatives to Financing Textbook Production in the 21st Century, which was published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

Some of the interesting points that should make you want to read the full 9 page document:

  • "A student working at a minimum wage job would have to put in nearly 170 hours of work each year, just to pay for her textbooks."
  • "Textbooks are only expensive because they are subject to copyright protection."
  • "Copyright protection in textbooks leads to enormous inefficiencies, just like any other government intervention in the

Acquiring Copyright Permission to Digitize and Provide Open Access to Books

In October 2005, the Council on Library and Information Resources and Digital Library Federation published Acquiring Copyright Permission to Digitize and Provide Open Access to Books. It is available in full text.

[About Council on Library and Information Resources]
CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization. Through publications, projects, and programs, CLIR works to maintain and improve access to information for generations to come. In partnership with other institutions, CLIR helps create services that expand the concept of "library" and supports the providers and preservers of information.

[About the Digital Library Federation]
DLF initiatives change with needs; as some projects come to fruition or find new support, the DLF invests in others, staying flexible as a catalyst for experiment and change. For example, the DLF has promoted work on the following:

  • Digital library structures, standards, preservation, and use
  • Archives for electronic journals
  • Online collections for use in teaching
  • Internet services that expand access to resources of use to scholars
  • Assessments of the future roles of libraries.

Blogging & Copyright

Do you know that you could be breaking copyright with content in your blog?

ECommerce Times published an article on August 4th, 2005, called Bloggers Cautioned About Being Copy Cats. It provides a summary of some of the concerns about copyright as it relates to blogging.

U.S. Copyright Policies Enforced through Trade Agreements

I recently learned that trade agreements regularly include requirements for other countries to follow the same copyright laws that have been established in the United States. For example, a recent CNET news.com article, Copyright lobbyists strike again, reports that the new Central American Free Trade Agreement included various copyright restrictions and policies for enforcement.