Tag Archives: Copyright

Campaign to free our history – reform copyright

“During the First World War Centenary, a collection of leading museums, libraries and cultural organisations have launched a campaign to provide greater access to important historical works through copyright law reform. Display cases in the Imperial War Museum, National Library of Scotland and University of Leeds sit empty. They should contain letters from the First World War; from a young girl to her father serving as a soldier and from soldiers to their families back home. Because of current UK copyright laws the original letters cannot be displayed. At the moment the duration of copyright in certain unpublished works is to the end of the year 2039, regardless how old the work is. The Free Our History campaign wants the term of copyright protection in unpublished texts to be reduced to the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.” (via CILIP)

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COURT: SEARCHABLE BOOKS DATABASE IS ‘FAIR USE’

“The creation of a full-text searchable database of millions of books is a fair use of copyrighted works, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, saying it also is permissible to distribute the books in alternative forms to people with disabilities. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision came in a lawsuit brought by authors and several authors’ groups after several research universities agreed in 2004 to let Google Inc. electronically scan their books and then created a repository for more than 10 million books published over many centuries and written in numerous languages.” (via The Associated Press)

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Libraries can digitize books without consent, says top EU court advisor

“European libraries are allowed to digitize books without the consent of the rights holder, the senior advisor to Europe’s top court said Thursday. The European Copyright Directive does not prevent the digitization of books in a library’s collection if those books are made accessible to the public on dedicated terminals, wrote Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen in a formal opinion to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Under the directive, member states must grant authors the exclusive right to authorize or prohibit the reproduction of public works. But there are specific exceptions that apply to libraries which are allowed to make books public for the purpose of research or private study, he said.” (via PCWorld)

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Authors Guild asks US court to rule against Google

“Saying Google Inc. is stealing business from online book retailers, the Authors Guild asked a federal appeals court Friday to reinstate its lawsuit contending that the Internet giant is violating copyright laws with its massive book digitization project. The Guild filed papers with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, saying that Google’s effort to create the world’s largest digital library was violating the rights of authors and stifling competition in the busy Internet book sales market. Google declined to comment on the Authors Guild’s effort to reverse a November ruling in favor of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company.” (via AP)

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Old Films Fall Into Public Domain Under Copyright Law

“They show up in discount DVD bins, or more often today online, sometimes looking a little worse for the wear. A general pall of darkness might cloud the image; the dialogue might be a bit tinnier than you remembered. Often the quality is not too shabby, though in the case of the web, it can be a surprise that they’re online at all. They’re films that have fallen out of copyright for one reason or another and must weather the wilds of the public domain. Thanks to the curious history of motion picture copyright, a number of well-known films — and some excellent obscure ones — have ended up in this purgatory.” (via Old Films Fall Into Public Domain Under Copyright Law)

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