Saturday, December 08, 2007

Dec 13 Hearing on H.R. 4279, the “Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007”

Dec 13 Hearing on H.R. 4279, the “Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007”
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Courts, Internet and Intellectual Property.
Link to the bill summary and status on Thomas.gov

Seeking copyright parity

Seeking copyright parity
by PAUL SWEETING
Video Business, publication date:7 December 2007
"“[I]t seems clear that it is nothing more than a vehicle to enable the five major media companies to further harass and persecute Americans,” LiveDigital’s Jeremy Toeman wrote in a widely linked open letter to House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Perhaps most significant, however, was who wasn’t more critical.

The Digital Freedom Campaign, for instance, which includes the Consumer Electronics Assn., the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other frequent critics of the DMCA and other recent efforts at copyright “enhancement,” was relatively muted in its response."

Congress' copyright reform: seize computers, boost penalties, spend money

Congress' copyright reform: seize computers, boost penalties, spend money
by NATE ANDERSON
Ars Technica, publication date: 6 December 2007
"In addition to strengthening both civil and criminal penalties for copyright and trademark infringement, the big development here is the proposed creation of the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative (USIPER)."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Oregon: Ground Zero in fight between RIAA, alleged music pirates?

Oregon: Ground Zero in fight between RIAA, alleged music pirates?
by Jaikumar Vijayan
Computer World, publication date: 30 November 2007
"The state Attorney General's office this week filed an appeal in U.S. District Court in Oregon calling for an immediate investigation of the evidence presented by the RIAA when it subpoenaed the identities of 17 students at the University of Oregon who allegedly infringed music copyrights. It is the second time in a month that Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers has resisted attempts by the RIAA to force the university to turn over the names of individuals it says shared music illegally."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Conditions for the Digital Library of Alexandria

Conditions for the Digital Library of Alexandria
by FRANK PASQUALE
madisonian.net, publication date: 23 November 2007
"Given the diciness of the fair use case for projects like Google Book Search, courts should condition the legality of such archiving of copyrighted content on universal access to the contents of the resulting database. Landmark cases like Sony v. Universal have set a precedent for taking such broad public interests into account in the course of copyright litigation."

See also: interesting reply by James Grimmelman to the version of this post on Concurring Opinions

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Amazon-sized egos? Kindle reader to shun IDPF e-book standard? And, yes, the ugly box is the FINAL design

Amazon-sized egos? Kindle reader to shun IDPF e-book standard? And, yes, the ugly box is the FINAL design
by DAVID ROTHMAN
Publishers Weekly blog, publication date: 17 November 2007
"Of course, the core format is just part of the fun. Current .epub standards do not provide for DRM interoperability among vendors, without which .epub compatibility at the consumer level will mean squat if “protection” is used. And what about the same concept in regard to Mobipocket itself? Is it possible that Amazon will use Mobi on the Kindle but with one-of-a-kind DRM for the machine? I’d hope not."

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Copyright Catastrophe?

Copyright Catastrophe?
by Joy Austria and AJ Hannah
First Monday, publication date: September 2007
An interview with Siva Vaidhyanathan, a strong critic of the “Googlization” of libraries and copyright law. Mr. Vaidhyanathan, argues that Google’s library-scanning project could cause a copyright catastrophe by casting doubt on fair-use doctrine. (The interview is available as a podcast and as a written transcript.)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

SPARC letter to members on the PRISM anti-open access effort

SPARC letter to members on the PRISM anti-open access effort
by HEATHER JOSEPH
Association of Research Libraries, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), publication date: 6 September 2007
"This campaign is clearly focused on the preservation of the status quo in scholarly publishing, (along with the attendant revenues), and not on ensuring that scientific research results are distributed and used as widely as possible. The launch of this initiative provides a timely opportunity for engaging faculty members, researchers, students and administrators in dialogue on important issues in scholarly communications.

To assist in this conversation, the Association of Research Libraries has prepared a series of talking points that explicitly address each of the PRISM messages listed above. These very useful talking points can be found at http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/issue-brief-aap-pr-prism.pdf."

HD VMD to Battle Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD

HD VMD to Battle Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD
by ALAN STAFFORD
PC World, publication date: 8 September 2007
"At the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) trade show in Denver, a company promoting a new high-definition optical disc format demonstrated set-top players and high-definition movies that cost far less than ones that use the competing Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD formats. The only faux pas: Arriving late to a two-party format war that consumers are already reluctant to support.

Next month, New Medium Enterprises' 1080p set-top players, which use the HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) format, will go on sale..."

The First Close Look at Colleges' Digital Pirates

The First Close Look at Colleges' Digital Pirates
by BROCK READ
The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required), publication date: 7 September 2007
Ms. Elzy and Mr. Arbogast wanted financial support from the industry, and they got it. The Digital Citizen Project, as Illinois State calls it, has benefited from considerable entertainment-industry financing, including an influx ofseveral hundred thousand dollars that came shortly after the meeting. . Later, Illinois State secured promises that the information the university collects will not be used to prosecute students.

So the university opened up its campus network, collecting never-before-seen data on what files students were swapping and how they share them. It has started to survey students' opinions on copyright, hoping that a scholarly study will reveal how they can be persuaded not to download illegally. It is also working to create a sort of Consumer Reports for antipiracy tools, testing both legal downloading services and technology designed to block peer-to-peer file sharing.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Higher ed institutions copyright policy requirement introduced in draft legislation amending Title 20

Copyright policy requirement introduced in draft legislation amending Title 20
Bill summary via THOMAS, passed in Senate 7/24/07, received in House 7/26/07

The extension of the Higher Education Act of 1965 includes proposed changes to section 1092, Institutional and financial assistance information for students (this is a link to the text as it reads now). Adds a new requirement that institutions include copyright policies in the information disseminated annually to students. The text of the proposed addition:
`(P) institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement, including--

`(i) an annual disclosure that explicitly informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;

`(ii) a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws;

`(iii) a description of the institution's policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution's information technology system; and

`(iv) a description of actions that the institution takes to prevent and detect unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material on the institution's information technology system;'

[updated 8/11/07 5:43pmCT to correct House/Senate action dates]

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Copycrime bill raises its ugly head, again

Copycrime bill raises its ugly head, again
Electronic Frontier Foundation publication date: 26 July 2007
"Two months ago, the Justice Department floated draft legislation to expand the scope of, and stiffen the penalties for, criminal copyright infringement, and now a related bill has been introduced in the House."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Apple patent for charger DRM

Apple patent for charger DRM
by MAT LU
The Unofficial Apple Weblog, publication date: 21 July 2007
According to the New Scientist, Apple has filed for a patent on a new security measure for mobile devices. Basically, it involves locking a mobile device to a particular charging cable so that if it's stolen, it won't recharge when plugged into another cable.

Readin', Rattin', 'Rithmetic: RIAA wants colleges and universities to do their dirty work

Readin', Rattin', 'Rithmetic: RIAA wants colleges and universities to do their dirty work
by SHERWIN SIY
Public Knowledge, publication date: 20 July 2007
EDUCAUSE points us to this amendment, to be proposed by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). (EDUCAUSE’s take on the measure is posted below.) It conditions federal money for colleges on colleges putting DRM on their networks and compiling reports on these measures for the Secretary of Education. It also calls for the Secretary to report on which colleges get the most accusations of infringement from copyright holders.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Copyright events at ALA

Among the many excellent programs at the American Library Association Annual Conference this weekend will be these two: 

Legal Challenges to Digitization Projects:  Adopting Orphan Works. This program is scheduled for Sunday, June 24, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm   and will take place at the Renaissance Mayflower Colonial Room.

The speakers are:
Denise Troll Covey, Principal Librarian for Special Projects, Carnegie Mellon University,

Peter B. Hirtle, Intellectual Property Officer and Technology Strategist, Cornell University Library, 

Douglas Knox, Interim Director, Dr. William M. Scholl Center for Family and Community History, the Newberry Library.  

Miriam M. Nisbet, ALA Legislative Counsel. 

AND
Copyright 101: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid
to Ask


Monday, June 25 at the Marriott
at Metro Center, Rm: Salon D/1:30 - 3:30pm


This is a group poster session covering these topics: 
1. Copyright: A Limited, Statutory Monopoly—Exclusive Rights & Limitations 
2. Interlibrary Loan  
3. Electronic Reserves for Text and Media 
4. International Copyright:  How Does It Work?  
5. Fair Use 101  
6. Preservation & Replacement 
7. Copyright Advisory Network (www.librarycopyright.net) 
8. Copyright Term and the Public Domain 
9. Copyright in the Digital Age:  Developing Resources for Your Academic 
Community 
10.  Retaining Your Copyright: Author’s Rights  

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Library Groups Rally for Cablevision

Library Groups Rally for Cablevision
by ANDREA FOSTER
The Wired Campus blog, publication date: 12 June 2007
"The American Library Association denounced the decision. "If the district court's decision is upheld, libraries will not be able to serve their patrons in the most efficient and effective manner possible," Miriam Nisbet, the ALA's legislative counsel, said in a prepared statement Monday."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Copyright Silliness on Campus

Copyright Silliness on Campus
by FRED VON LOHMANN
Washington Post, publication date: 6 June 2007
"The House committees responsible for copyright and education wrote a joint letter May 1 scolding the presidents of 19 major American universities, demanding that each school respond to a six-page questionnaire detailing steps it has taken to curtail illegal music and movie file-sharing on campus. One of the questions -- 'Does your institution expel violating students?' -- shows just how out-of-control the futile battle against campus downloading has become."

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Google rejects Viacom's copyright claims

Google rejects Viacom's copyright claims
by JEREMY KIRK
Macworld UK, publication date: 2 May 2007
"A cornerstone of Google's defense will be the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which has safe harbour provisions that relieve carriers and hosting providers from responsibility for copyright offences as long as they remove the material.

'By seeking to make carriers and hosting providers liable for Internet communications, Viacom's complaint threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression,' Google said in its response."

Lawyers: The True Beneficiaries of Copyright Law

Lawyers: The True Beneficiaries of Copyright Law
by ELIOT VAN BUSKIRK
Epicenter (Wired blogs), publication date: 2 May 2007
"The executive told me that between regional coding issues, copyright protection such as HD-DVD, the webcasting royalty rate debate, and everything else going on with copyright these days, the best thing to study right now would be copyright law, because it's going to take a whole generation of lawyers to unravel this mess."

Copyright and scientific papers

Galactic Interactions : Copyright and scientific papers
by ROB KNOP
Galactic Interactions (Science blogs), publication date: 1 May 2007
"Scientists do not need, and indeed should not have, exclusive (or any) control over who can copy their papers, and who can make derivative works of their papers.

The very progress of science is based on derivative works! It is absolutely essential that somebody else who attempts to reproduce your experiment be able to publish results that you don't like if those are the results they have. Standard copyright, however, gives the copyright holders of a paper at least a plausible legal basis on which to challenge the publication of a paper that attempts to reproduce the results— clearly a derivative work!"

EU presses China for 'results' in WTO talks over copyright piracy

EU presses China for 'results' in WTO talks over copyright piracy

EUbusiness, publication date: 2 May 2007
"Commission spokesman Peter Power said the EU had joined the US case against China at the World Trade Organisation as an observer, as several other countries had done."

SPARC Open Access Newsletter issue #109

SPARC Open Access Newsletter issue #109
by PETER SUBER
SPARC Open Access Newsletter, publication date: 2 May 2007
"There is a rising awareness of intellectual property issues in the general public, rising impatience with unbalanced copyright laws, and rising support for remedies by governments (legislation) and individuals (CC licenses). Copyright laws are still grotesquely unbalanced, and powerful corporations who benefit from the imbalance are fighting to insure that the laws are not revised in the right direction any time soon. But in most countries an aroused public is ready to fight to insure that they are not revised in the wrong direction either, something we haven't seen in the entire history of intellectual property law.

However, this only guarantees that the content industry will have a fight, not that users and consumers will win. Just last week (April 25) we lost the first-reading vote in the EU parliament on the Second Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED2). But at least there was significant opposition and the bill has not yet been adopted.

...

Some lazy students believe that if something is not free online, then it's not worth reading. This has never been true. However, it's gradually becoming true and those who want it to become true can accelerate the process. Those who want to live in a world where all peer-reviewed journal literature is free online are themselves growing in numbers and will soon have the power in universities, libraries, learned societies, publishers, funding agencies, and governments to bring it about. "

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Geeks Will Not Be Silenced: Breaking: Digg Riot in Full Effect Over Pulled HD-DVD Key Story

Geeks Will Not Be Silenced: Breaking: Digg Riot in Full Effect Over Pulled HD-DVD Key Story
by MATT BUCHANAN
Gizmodo, publication date: 2 May 2007
"The power of Web 2.0 is in full effect over at Digg, where users are revolting over Digg's decision to pull a story (that netted over 15,000 diggs) and reportedly boot a user for posting the HD-DVD AACS Processing Key number, which would allow someone to crack the copy protection on an HD-DVD."

Monday, April 30, 2007

Feeding the Reader: New Ways to Monitor Library Regulations and Court Filings for Free

Feeding the Reader: New Ways to Monitor Library Regulations and Court Filings for Free
MARY MINOW interviews Stacy Stern of Justia
LibraryLaw Blog, publication date: 28 April 2007
This is very exciting for anyone who's ever struggled to get their hands on the full text of filings in an important case. Read the court filings for important copyright cases as they happen. Also includes a regulation tracker.
"We are making the federal civil district filings online available for free for the first time. Filings are categorized by state, federal district court and legal practice area, and include the presiding judge and cause of action information for each case. Visitors can subscribe for free to RSS feeds of new cases that meet specific criteria, or to RSS feeds for customized searches. For example, with an RSS feed, visitors can track new Federal Court patent cases, cases that are filed in a specific court or cases filed against a particular company."

Friday, April 27, 2007

Legal Issues and User-Generated Content

Legal Issues and User-Generated Content
via madisonian.net, 27 April 2007
from the linked report: "The group found common points of agreement:
• Participatory video is a vigorous new phenomenon that is promising both for free speech and for new business opportunities; however, it is in its embryonic stages and needs to develop.
• Existing copyright management techniques are either poorly exploited (fair use) or imperiled (section 512).
• Finding successful ways to manage unauthorized use is critical to keeping existing spaces for new opportunities for public expression and for business growth."

Jack Valenti

Jack Valenti
by WILLIAM PATRY
The Patry Copyright Blog, publication date: 27 April 2007
"But no one should mistake that for his real self. He was a gentleman in the old school sense who always kept his word and called it as he saw it. I am deeply honored to have known him. May he rest in peace."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

EU Copyright Group Seeks Solutions to Digitisation Roadblocks

EU Copyright Group Seeks Solutions to Digitisation Roadblocks
by DUGIE STANDEFORD
Intellectual Property Watch, publication date: 20 April 2007
"Problems related to digital preservation, orphan works and out-of-print materials must be resolved if European Commission plans to digitise and make accessible Europe’s cultural heritage are to succeed, copyright experts said in an 18 April report."

Ohio U. Restricts File Sharing

Ohio U. Restricts File Sharing
by ELIZABETH REDDEN
Inside Higher Ed, publication date: 26 April 2007
"Ohio University employees will begin monitoring the network Friday for use of such file sharing programs as Ares, Azureus, BitTorrent, BitLord, KaZaA, LimeWire, Shareaza and uTorrent. Any use of peer-to-peer technology under the new policy could result in a loss of Internet access and, upon the second offense, a disciplinary referral — although it’s important to note that the university will be phasing the policy in on a flexible, still undetermined time frame, targeting the biggest users first, according to Sally Linder, a university spokeswoman.

Individuals seeking to use the software for legitimate purposes, such as exchange of data for a research project, must petition for an exemption from the university’s peer-to-peer sharing block, and be ready to explain their specific needs."

Spy Act Only Protects Vendors and Their DRM

Spy Act Only Protects Vendors and Their DRM
by ED FOSTER
InfoWorld, publication date: 24 April 2007
"In other words, it's perfectly OK for basically any vendor you do business with, or maybe thinks you do business with them for that matter, to use any of the deceptive practices the bill prohibits to load spyware on your computer. The company doesn't have to give you notice and it can collect whatever information it thinks necessary to make sure there's no funny business going on. And by the way, another exception provision specifically protects computer manufacturers from any liability for spyware they load on your computer before they send it to you. Of course, the exception for software companies checking to make sure you're an authorized user is the strongest evidence of what this bill is all about. After all, in terms of function, there's not much difference between spyware and DRM. Too bad for Sony this bill wasn't already the law when its rootkit-infected CDs came to light."

Judge Denies RIAA "Reconsideration" Motion in Capitol v. Foster, Calls Plaintiffs' Counsel "Disingenuous", Motives "Questionable"

Judge Denies RIAA "Reconsideration" Motion in Capitol v. Foster, Calls Plaintiffs' Counsel "Disingenuous", Motives "Questionable"
Recording Industry vs. The People, publication date: 24 April 2007
"The Judge labeled as 'disingenuous' the RIAA's contention that had it not moved to dismiss the case, it could have proved secondary liability on defendant's part:"

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Transcripts for Jan 31 Section 108 Study Group roundtable online

Transcripts for Jan 31 Section 108 Study Group roundtable online
Just today realized that the transcripts from the Section 108 Study Group Chicago Roundtable (January 31, 2007) were posted on February 23.

Notice of Roundtable on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaty On the Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations

Notice of Roundtable on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaty On the Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations
Federal Register, publication date: 12 April 2007
"The United States Copyright Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announce a public roundtable discussion concerning the work at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) on a proposed Treaty on the Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations. Members of the public are invited to attend and observe the roundtable, or to participate in the roundtable discussion, on the topics outlined in the supplementary information section of this notice"

Monday, April 09, 2007

Recording, movie industries lobby for permission to deceive

Recording, movie industries lobby for permission to deceive
by DAWN C. CHMIELEWSKI and MARC LIFSHER
Los Angeles Times, publication date: 7 April 2007
"The California Senate is considering a bill that would strengthen state privacy laws by banning the use of false statements and other misleading practices to get personal information. The tactic, known as pretexting, created a firestorm of criticism when detectives hired by Hewlett-Packard Co. used it last year to obtain phone records of board members, journalists and critics.

But the Recording Industry Assn. of America and the Motion Picture Assn. of America say they sometimes need to use subterfuge as they pursue bootleggers in flea markets and on the Internet."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

MIT Drops DRM-Laden Journal Subscription

MIT Drops DRM-Laden Journal Subscription
MIT Library News, publication date 16 March 2007
"The MIT Libraries have canceled access to the Society of Automotive Engineers’ web-based database of technical papers, rejecting the SAE’s requirement that MIT accept the imposition of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology.

SAE’s DRM technology severely limits use of SAE papers and imposes unnecessary burdens on readers. With this technology, users must download a DRM plugin, Adobe’s “FileOpen,” in order to read SAE papers. This plugin limits use to on-screen viewing and making a single printed copy, and does not work on Linux or Unix platforms".

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Another brick in the copyright wall

Another brick in the copyright wall
by STEVE JOHNSON
Chicago Tribune, publication date: 16 March 2007
"Viacom's legal action, undertaken after it and YouTube couldn't come to an agreement, probably signifies the long-simmering copyright question coming to a boil. What the courts may settle is this: Is copyright ownership enduring and inviolate, as old media companies believe? Or is it a more transitory function that technology is overrunning anyway, even as its weakening will ultimately be good for everyone?"

Friday, March 16, 2007

Adobe Steps Back From ALM Precipice

Adobe Steps Back From ALM Precipice
by ED FOSTER
Ed Fosters Gripelog, InfoWorld, publication date: 12 March 2007
"So why did Adobe change its mind? From what I've been hearing from readers, it appears that customers made it clear they weren't going to accept vendor-specific licensing tools. 'From what we've seen, Adobe did a reasonable job in keeping ALM relatively unobtrusive,' wrote one reader after his company had finished its analysis of ALM. 'But there's a slippery slope if we go down that road. What if 18 months from now Adobe's having a bad quarter and needs a quick boost to revenues? Will they hold to the privacy promises they're making now about not giving the sales side your licensing data? So we've told Adobe we won't be moving to 8.0 or any other product that's going to require ALM.'"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dear Library of Congress...

Dear Library of Congress...
by KAREN SCHNEIDER
ALA TechSource, publication date: 7 March 2007
"It is both ironic and poignant that librarians are still worrying about “bibliographic control,” after ceding so much of the same to the companies that now rent them journal access per annum at usurious rates, digitize their book collections into DRM obscurity, or sell them ponderous, antiquated “management” systems that on close inspection do little more than serve as storehouses for the metadata specific to the formats of bygone eras, bold days when we saw our central roles as defenders and curators of our cultural heritage.



We have moved from the librarian as information artisan—a professional creating and using tools to manage information—to the librarian as surrogate vendor, facilitating what is essentially the offshoring of thousands of years of information into private hands. "

P2P Downloads Live On Long After Grokster Case

P2P Downloads Live On Long After Grokster Case
Brian Deagon | Investor's Business Daily, Inc.
publication date: 12 March,2007
"Even as the entertainment industry racks up wins in the courts and Congress, efforts to stop Internet users from swapping movies, music and other copyrighted content has proven far more difficult.

On an average day, about 9.3 million people worldwide log onto a software file-sharing services, up from 7 million in 2004, according to research firm Big Champagne, which tracks Internet usage. About a billions songs are traded illegally online per month.

Music sales have fallen 17% from its peak in 2000 of $12.7 billion, a trend the Recording Industry Association of America blames on illegal file swapping.

The Motion Picture Association of America says it lost $2.3 billion to Internet piracy in 2005."

Viacom sues YouTube over copyrights

Viacom sues YouTube over copyrights
By SETH SUTEL, AP Business Writer | publication date 13 March, 2007
"(AP) Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. is suing YouTube for $1 billion, claiming that the video-sharing site had built a business by using the Internet to 'willfully infringe copyrights on a huge scale.' Other media companies also have major concerns about YouTube, but Viacom's was the first lawsuit filed by a major media owner. Several media companies have reached agreements to supply YouTube with clips, including CBS Corp., General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal and the British Broadcasting Corp., but many others remain reluctant to deal with the Web site because of copyright concerns."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Anxious Times for Net Radio

Anxious Times for Net Radio
by JASON FRY
The Wall Street Journal | Real Time, publication date: 12 March 2007
"Net-radio fans are angry, but they shouldn't be too hasty in blasting the Copyright Royalty Board. The real problem is a pair of misguided decisions made by Congress in the 1990s.

Tim Hanrahan and I wrote about this issue nearly five years ago, and it's depressing to see how little has changed. A brief recap: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, building on 1995's Digital Performance Rights in Sounds Recordings Act, said Net-radio firms had to pay performance royalties on songs played in addition to composer royalties on those songs. Terrestrial radio stations pay composer royalties, but they don't pay performance royalties, under the long-established rationale that record labels benefit from the promotional value of songs played on the radio."

Microsoft guns Open XML onto ISO fast track

Microsoft guns Open XML onto ISO fast track
by ERIC LAI
Computerworld, publication date: 12 March 2007
"The International Standards Organization (ISO) agreed Saturday to put Open XML, the document format created and championed by Microsoft Corp., on a fast-track approval process that could see Open XML ratified as an international standard by August.

That’s despite lingering opposition to Open XML by several key voting countries, including some of whom whose governments are moving forward to adopt the alternative Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) format, which the ISO approved as a standard last year."

Friday, March 09, 2007

In Congress's Crosshairs

In Congress's Crosshairs
by ELIZABETH REDDEN and DOUG LEDERMAN
Inside Higher Ed, publication date: 9 March 2007
"Throughout the hearing, members also alluded to the possibility that safe harbor requirements — those minimal standards a college must meet to combat piracy in order to avoid risk of litigation at an institutional level under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — could be expanded. If that happened, universities could face a bigger burden of responsibility, particularly when it comes to installing technology that could block peer-to-peer file sharing.

College leaders say there’s a good reason why such technology isn’t already commonly in place. Although a new “University Task Force on Requirements for Filtering Networks” has been established to facilitate the development of new filtering technologies, John Vaughn, executive vice president of the Association of American Universities, said that to date, no technology exists that satisfies the three-pronged test. Colleges, Vaughn said, want filtering technology that is cost-effective, protects student privacy, and can discriminate between illegitimate file sharing and legitimate uses of peer-to-peer technology for research and other academic purposes.

"

Policy Makers call for University Internet Filters

Policy Makers call for University Internet Filters
by ALEX CURTIS
Public Knowledge, publication date: 8 March 2007
"Unfortunately, the point of this hearing was less about finding actual solutions to the high-content-demand on university campuses, and more of a “notice of intent” from certain members of the committee to ISPs (commercial or educational) that the content industry intends to drain your safe harbor."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Senators: Not so fast on Broadcast Treaty

Senators: Not so fast on Broadcast Treaty
by ERIC BANGEMAN
Ars Technica, publication date: 7 March 2007
"In a letter sent to the Register of Copyrights and the director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the ranking Republican member of the Committee expressed their concerns about the scope of the treaty. 'The Revised Draft Broadcasting Treaty appears to grant broadcasters extensive new, exclusive rights in their transmissions for a term of at least 20 years, regardless of whether they have a right in the content they are transmitting,' read the letter."
Also covered at EFF

Best Practices in Tech Transfer

Best Practices in Tech Transfer
by MIKE MADISON
Madisonian.net, publication date: 7 March 2007
"Licensing directors at 11 leading American research universities have released “In the Public Interest: Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology,” a best-practices-style white paper summary of strategies for university-based technology transfer. The points are:
...
Point 8
Be mindful of the implications of working with patent aggregators"

Google, Baidu race to set up online library in China

Google, Baidu race to set up online library in China
by SOPHIE TAYLOR
Yahoo News, publication date: 7 March 2007
"Baidu has already secured a strategic partnership with Peking University Library in Beijing, one of Asia's largest academic libraries, in preparation for the launch of its online book service, publishing and Internet sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday."

C-SPAN press release about copyright

C-SPAN TAKES LEAD IN MAKING VIDEO OF CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS, WHITE HOUSE AND OTHER FEDERAL EVENTS MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE TO THE ONLINE COMMUNITY
C-SPAN press release, release date: 7 March 2007
"C-SPAN is introducing a liberalized copyright policy for current, future, and past coverage of any official events sponsored by Congress and any federal agency-- about half of all programming offered on the C-SPAN television networks--which will allow non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, with attribution."

Copyright dispute puts Lennon film back on the shelf

Copyright dispute puts Lennon film back on the shelf
by STEVEN ROSENBERG
The Boston Globe, publication date: 7 March 2007
"In a letter that was sent to Berwick Academy, Dorothy Weber, Ono's attorney, asserted that Ono owns the tapes shot by Cox. 'Mrs. Lennon owns all rights, title and copyrights in and to all film, outtakes and videotapes embodying the images of the late John Lennon and herself as filmed by Anthony Cox in 1970,' wrote Weber."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Yahoo! China sued for alleged copyright breach

Yahoo! China sued for alleged copyright breach
Reuters, publication date: 7 March 2007
"Music industry giants including Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG.N: Quote, Profile , Research) are suing Yahoo! China for alleged copyright infringement by providing links to unlicensed music, trade organisation IFPI said on Wednesday.

Beijing's no. 2 Intermediate Court has accepted the case, which was filed in early January by 11 companies and seeks damages of 5.5 million yuan ($710,686), said Leong May-seey, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's (IFPI) Hong Kong-based regional director for Asia."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Patent fights are a legacy of MP3's tangled origins

Patent fights are a legacy of MP3's tangled origins
by DOUGLAS HEINGARTNER
The New York Times, publication date: 5 March2007
'The chairman of the MPEG group, Leonardo Chiariglione, is frequently given that designation in the international news media, though he rejects the title.

“I am not the father of MP3,” he said. “I am the inventor of the machine” that led to MP3 and other digital media technologies, by which he meant the MPEG group, which he helped establish.

For those confused about where to turn to obtain an MP3 license for a new device or piece of software, he offers little solace. “The rule is that the MPEG working group is not allowed to consider patent issues in our technical work, so there is nothing I can do about it,” he said, “even though I consider the situation in general not positive for the wide adoption of the standard, which is what I have been working on.”'

Monday, March 05, 2007

Justice Department takes aim at image-sharing sites

Justice Department takes aim at image-sharing sites
by DECLAN MCCULLAGH
CNet News.com, publication date: 2 March 2007
"Only universities and libraries would be excluded, one participant said. 'There's a PR concern with including the libraries, so we're not going to include them,' the participant quoted the Justice Department as saying. 'We know we're going to get a pushback, so we're not going to do that.'"

Microsoft attacks Google on copyright

Microsoft attacks Google on copyright
by JOHN GAPPER
Financial Times, publication date: 5 March 2007
"Mr Rubin will tell the AAP's annual meeting that Google's decision to take digital copies of all books in various library collections, unless publishers tell it not to, 'systematically violates copyright, deprives authors and publishers of an important avenue for monetising their works and, in doing so, undermines incentives to create'."

Return to Sender

Return to Sender
The Wired Campus Blog, publication date: 5 March 2007
The Chronicle of Higher Education
"But North Dakota officials told The Bismarck Tribune that they cannot pass those [RIAA prelitigation] messages along because they cannot conclusively match misbehaving students to the IP numbers. The university only keeps computer logs for 30 days, according to Dorette Kerian, its director of information technology, and the alleged copyright infractions took place more than a month ago."

The Boucher Bill is Back

The Boucher Bill is Back
by ALEX CURTIS
Public Knowledge, publication date: 5 March 2007
"A limitation for home and personal networking, expressly forbidding willy-nilly Internet distribution. The content industry is going to have to be creative when they tell consumers and legislators why they should have to buy specialized copies of their digital media for every device, when the content can be transfered easily in these limited environments, without the fear of piracy."

Rock archive web site countersues bands, labels

Rock archive web site countersues bands, labels
by ERIQ GARDNER
Yahoo News, publication date: 5 March 2007
"Responding to the suit, Wolfgang's Vault denies most of the allegations and offers 28 affirmative defenses, including lack of jurisdiction and standing, abandonment and forfeiture of the plaintiffs' IP, misuse of copyright and trademark, fraud, unclean hands, license and consent, fair use, statute of limitations and the unconstitutionality of the plaintiffs' claims."

Sunday, March 04, 2007

U.S. Copyright Royalty Board Rejects Webcasters, Embraces SoundExchange

U.S. Copyright Royalty Board Rejects Webcasters, Embraces SoundExchange
by ELIOT VAN BUSKIRK and SEAN MICHAELS
Listening Post [Wired News], publication date: 4 March 2007
"The board ignored the arguments of the International Webcasting Association and other webcasters, and apparently simply endorsed the proposal of the RIAA-associated SoundExchange royalty organization, which represents the major and some indie labels."

Blog revitalization

Blog revitalization
After a lot of procrastinating, Current Copyright Readings has been migrated to the Google Blogger. Unfortunately, we seem to have lost our blogroll in the process, so until I can resurrect the template that Google promises was saved somewhere, we'll be looking a little bare.

I also want to acknowledge and welcome new blog contributors, Paul Clough, Stu Baker and Brian Nielsen. All three are valued colleagues here at Northwestern. Paul and Stu both work with me in the Library, and Brian in Academic Technologies, which is physically housed in the University Library building.

And a disclaimer: the information published here represents our personal opinions, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Northwestern University, Academic Technologies or the University Library.

Library Copyright Alliance Strongly Supports H.R. 1201, the FAIR USE Act

Library Copyright Alliance Strongly Supports H.R. 1201, the FAIR USE Act (PDF file)
Press release from the Library Copyright Alliance
publication date: 27 February 2007
"At the end of 2006, Dr. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, approved six exemptions from the prohibition on circumvention of technological measures contained in section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). These exemptions will sunset in three years. The FAIR USE Act makes these six exemptions permanent. "Two of these exemptions are particularly important to the library community," said Miriam Nisbet of the American Library Association. "During the rulemaking proceeding before the Library of Congress, the library community supported the exemptions for screen readers for the visually impaired and film clip compilations for college media studies classes. The Fair USE Act will ensure that these important activities can continue in the future and the Act will go a long way to eliminate the negative affect the DMCA has had on lawful uses," Nisbet said.

Download DVD Specification Gets Approval

Download DVD Specification Gets Approval:
by MARTYN WILLIAMS
PCWorld.com via Yahoo News, publication date: 2 March 2007
"Despite Thursday's approval, services that allow consumers to legally download and burn movies in their own homes are unlikely to appear quickly. The DVD CCA said it will be initially restricted to professional uses. These might include kiosks in retail stores where consumers can purchase and burn discs in a controlled environment."

One Patent Claim Against Microsoft Dropped

One Patent Claim Against Microsoft Dropped - Yahoo! News:
by ELIZABETH MONTALBANO
PCWorld.Com, publication date: 3 March 2007
"According to Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans, a judge in the U.S. District Court in San Diego ruled that Microsoft does not infringe a patent for speech-recognition technology asserted by Alcatel-Lucent.

This is the only patent that was to be considered during a second trial in the series of claims, which had been scheduled in San Diego on March 19, he said. That trial has now been cancelled."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

China and Russia top roster of copyright violators

China and Russia top roster of copyright violators
by DAN NYSTEDT
ComputerWorld, publication date: 12 February 2007
"The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) put out the figures as part of its recommendations to the U.S. Trade Representative. It asked government officials to keep both countries on its Priority Watch List when it meets to discuss the annual Special 301 review of copyright piracy. The list is compiled each year, and nations placed on the list are watched closely for signs of improvement. Failure to take action can result in countries losing certain duty-free trade privileges."

Friday, February 09, 2007

Apple's bid to end music piracy protection may signal end to copyright system
by Gerry Everding
Washington University in St. Louis, publication date: Feb. 8, 2007

Boldrin and David K. Levine, Ph.D., both professors of economics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, are co-authors of a number of academic articles and a forthcoming book arguing that intellectual monopoly — patents, copyrights and restrictive licensing agreements — should be swept away.

Their theories, also deemed controversial, call for the eventual abolition of most intellectual property right protections. They view Jobs' plea for the abolition of the digital rights management (DRM) system as validation of their call for a new approach to intellectual property, one necessitated by the Internet's power to make digital content readily available worldwide.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Thoughts on Music

Thoughts on Music
by STEVE JOBS
Apple.com, publication date: 6 February 2007
"The problem, of course, is that there are many smart people in the world, some with a lot of time on their hands, who love to discover such secrets and publish a way for everyone to get free (and stolen) music. They are often successful in doing just that, so any company trying to protect content using a DRM must frequently update it with new and harder to discover secrets. It is a cat-and-mouse game. Apple’s DRM system is called FairPlay. While we have had a few breaches in FairPlay, we have been able to successfully repair them through updating the iTunes store software, the iTunes jukebox software and software in the iPods themselves. So far we have met our commitments to the music companies to protect their music, and we have given users the most liberal usage rights available in the industry for legally downloaded music."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Appeals Court Shoots Down Copyright Challenge

Appeals Court Shoots Down Copyright Challenge
by THOMAS CLABURN
Information Week, publication date: 23 January 2007
"Beyond extending the term of copyright protection, these two laws changed the copyright renewal procedure for works created prior to 1978 from an 'opt in' system to one that is 'opt out.' Copyrights thus are now renewed automatically to the maximum term allowed unless the copyright holder declines such protection.

The plaintiffs, Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive and Richard Prelinger of Prelinger Associates, filed suit in 2004 (Kahle v. Gonzales) seeking to overturn the automatic renewal provision on constitutional grounds."

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Streamburst antipiracy plan: don't use DRM

The Streamburst antipiracy plan: don't use DRM
by NATE ANDERSON
Ars Technica, publication date: 2007-01-19

"A UK startup has some interesting ideas about protecting video content: offer it as high-quality, unencrypted MPEG-4 files already formatted for various user devices. Instead of shackling users with artificial technological limitations on what they can do with their files, Streamburst hopes to secure content using a bit of personalization and a unique watermarking system, and they've already put their system to work selling the Ewan McGregor motorcycle trip documentary Long Way Round."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My Treatise is Now Available

My Treatise is Now Available
by WILLIAM PATRY
The Patry Copyright Blog, publication date: 10 January 2007
"One reason the book took as long as it did and is as big as it is, was my desire to break out of the specialist's blinders which I had voluntarily donned to my detriment for too many years. For too many years, I believed that copyright law was special, the Cinderella of the law, as some referred to it. This tunnel vision prevented me from understanding how the most important generalists in our society -- members of Congress and federal judges -- see copyright, but it also prevented me from seeing how some lines of case law in copyright law are simply wrong. "

Sunday, January 07, 2007

French court says Sony 'deceived' consumers: watchdog

French court says Sony 'deceived' consumers: watchdog
PARIS (AFP), publication date: 5 January 2007
"Sony has been convicted of misleading the French public and told to pay damages to a consumer watchdog for selling downloadable songs that only run on its own music players, the association has said.

France's Union Federale des Consommateurs (UFC) took Sony's French and British subsidiaries to court in February 2005 over the music download site Sony Connect. The lawsuit also targets Apple, maker of the popular iPod, whose case is expected to reach the courts later this year."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ailing music biz set to relax digital restrictions

Ailing music biz set to relax digital restrictions
by ANTONY BRUNO
Reuters, publication date: 2 January 2007
"Meanwhile, the music industry wants a strong competitor to the monster it created called iTunes. Forcing would-be competitors to sell music incompatible with the popular iPod is not showing any signs of working. Removing DRM would attract powerful new players to the market, and that -- the theory goes -- will result in more buyers."
Ailing music biz set to relax digital restrictions
by ANTONY BRUNO
Reuters/ Billboard, publication date: January 2, 2007
"In 2007, the majors will get the message, and the DRM wall will begin to crumble. Why? Because they'll no longer be able to point to a growing digital marketplace as justification that DRM works. Revenue from digital downloads and mobile content is expected to be flat or, in some cases, decline next year. If the digital market does in fact stall, alternatives to DRM will look much more attractive."

Has the tide turned in Digital Restrictions Management? A nice overview on developments from some of the major players in the online music industry.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Studios’ DVDs Face a Crack in Security

Studios’ DVDs Face a Crack in Security
by JOHN MARKOFF
The New York Times, publication date: January 1, 2007
"An anonymous computer programmer may have skewed the competition over standards for high-definition DVD discs by possibly defeating a scheme that both sides use to protect digital content."