“The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) applauds the introduction on May 9, 2013, of H.R 1892, the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013, by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill guarantees that legitimate uses of digital works and technologies will not run afoul of copyright law, even if they require breaking digital locks. Prompted by the recent uproar over cell phone unlocking, the bill recognizes that issue as a symptom of a much larger problem and would fix that problem permanently.” (via Library Copyright Alliance)
“The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) has filed an amicus brief (pdf) in support of Georgia State University in the appeal of Cambridge U. Press et al. v. Mark P. Becker et al. In its brief (pdf), LCA argues that GSU’s e-reserves policy represents the widespread and well-established best practices of fair use that includes limitations to ensure that the use of course materials is fair. The case will be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.” (via District Dispatch)
“Museums will have to pay upfront for orphan images, or images whose copyright owners cannot be found, after an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to limit proposals was narrowly defeated in the House of Lords. Several members condemned the government’s plans, which require holders of orphan works to pay for copyright licensing on use, rather than when a rights holder steps forward.” (via The Art Newspaper)
“The Ontario Council of University Libraries is disturbed by the recent news of a lawsuit which Access Copyright initiated on April 8th against York University. The Canadian Copyright Act was only recently amended. These amendments and recent Supreme Court judgments have guided Ontario universities, including York University, to provide fair dealing guidelines that reflect the existing and reasonable consensus within the education community in response to these legal realities. OCUL agrees with academic colleagues across Canada that it is very regrettable that Access Copyright has chosen this litigious route to question the clarity of the copyright law and the recent jurisprudence. It is also regrettable that we are forced to interpret this as an intimidating tactic to persuade Ontario universities to agree to the Access Copyright license” (via Ontario Council of University Libraries)
“What is a library? Until fairly recently, the answer to that question was simple: It’s a storehouse for books and manuscripts. The fact that books are increasingly “printed” on something other than paper doesn’t change the fundamental purpose of libraries. They are our collective memory. Fortunately for posterity, a well-made book isn’t hard to preserve. But in 1877, Thomas Edison invented a new way to preserve the past. He called it the phonograph, and it took a long time for librarians to figure out that the echoes of speech and music that Edison and his successors etched on discs were as important a part of our collective memory as the words that Johannes Gutenberg and his successors printed on paper.”
“The National Library of the Netherlands has made over the last years some great digitisation efforts. Amongst others, they have published their medieval manuscript collection and made their newspaper archive available under an open license. To make this material available they have to overcome many copyright issues. Their huge collection of material is created by many different authors. It can take years to track all the inheritors to ask for permission. For that reason they have experimented with an ‘opt-out’ model where they asked authors or inheritors to contact them when they did not want something to be published.”
“As the Digital Public Library of America approaches its April 2013 launch, copyright laws still hinder the library’s ability to make a wide array of written materials accessible to the public. Two years into its initial efforts—the DPLA was first envisioned in October 2010, soon after Harvard withdrew its collections from the Google Books digitization project due to legal concerns—primary founding member and Harvard University librarian Robert C. Darnton ’60 boasts that the DPLA has the potential to become the “mother of all libraries.” But as the project moves forward, the problem of digitizing copyrighted material, essential for public collections, remains unsolved.
Cengage Learning – Education Companies Settle Claims of Copyright and Trademark Infringement against Several Textbook Distributors
“Four leading education companies, Cengage Learning, Inc., John Wiley and Sons, Inc., Pearson Education, Inc. and McGraw-Hill Education, today announced they have settled five unconnected matters involving copyright and trademark infringement claims against companies relating to the sale of counterfeit textbooks. The five separate settlements call for the combined payment of more than $2.6 million dollars and agreements not to engage in any infringement going forward. The five distributors agreeing to settle the publishers’ claims are: Kentwood Industries in California, Texas Book Company in Texas, Sterling Educational Media in Florida, Davis Textbook in California and ABSnext Corporation (formerly known as Budgetext Corporation) in Arkansas.”
Do I, as an author, have the right to prevent people copying my books for free? Should I have it? Does it matter? “They have taken away my right to own a slave,” wrote Max Stirner, the opening words of the chapter on human rights in his great book, The Ego and its Own (1844). One paradoxical sentence to remind us that what we call rights are no more than what the law concedes to one party or another in any given conflict of interest. There are no rights in nature, only in a society with a legal system and a police force. Rights can be different in different countries, they may be notional or enforced.