More than 40 countries with over one-third of the world’s population have fair use or fair dealing provisions in their copyright laws.
My first impressions: a) I’m awfully suspicious that it means nothing good for writers who want to get paid for their work using the current compensation model, b) If Amazon actually wants this to work they are going to have to become strikingly transparent in their processes… c) if I were a lawyer I would already be salivating at the class-actions suits to be filed the very first time it becomes clear that Amazon is reselling eBooks that are not, in fact, the sole versions of that specific, originally sold copy…
Writer John Scalzi in response to last week’s news that, per GeekWire’s Todd Bishop, “Amazon has been awarded what appears to be a broad patent on a ‘secondary market for digital objects’—a system for users to sell, trade and loan digital objects including audio files, eBooks, movies, apps, and pretty much anything else.”
This is a hugely important development for librarians to track. I confess I’m confused how ownership versus licensing comes into play in a patent. Can Amazon resell ebooks if they don’t actually own them? Would the publisher have to grant that right in cases where Amazon is not the publisher?
Russell Blake’s comment from Scalzi’s post:
Amazon sells a license, not an actual ebook, so there can’t be a used ebook. If and when they change their Ts and Cs to reflect that self-publishers are agreeing to allow them to sell the actual ebook versus the license, then we’d all have to worry. But my hunch is that isn’t going to happen – self-pubbing at Amazon would basically dry up, and the trad pubs would never go along with it, so they’d be putting a bullet in their own, well-developed market. I personally don’t see that happening.
*Cut to Heather’s brain exploding*
The copyright in most of these works is owned by our faculty members, and it is well past time that we just refused to transfer those rights to commercial entities that undermine our best interests.
Kevin Smith at Duke draws the right conclusion from the ongoing outrage of the lawsuit against GSU.
LJ executive editor Josh Hadro also took a crack at explaining First Sale in 1000 of the most commonly used words, but decided to go with a little bit of a more narrative treatment:
The Book-Sharing Places (which for sure have more than just books and have lots of other great things, though today we will call them Book-Places for short) for a long time have spent money on books and then shared those books all around to let other people work to make the world better at thinking and deciding on things. This sharing was an okay thing to do, because there are Important Words That Everyone Follows or Else that say it is okay.
But some people a little while ago said the Important Words (that everyone follows or else) that make the Book-Places able to share the books are not right. They said that if the books are made Over There instead of here, giving money for books does not mean what we think it means — it could mean that Book-Sharing Places can’t share the books the same way. Instead, they might have to pay more, or buy only books that are made right here, which is not very many books at all.
Everyone who thinks this is important went and told The People Who Pick the Important Words how they were feeling. The People Who Pick the Important Words listened a lot to everyone, and have been reading and thinking deep thoughts.
Soon, The People Who Pick the Important Words will decide who was right. The good news would be if the Book-Sharing Places could keep doing the sharing that they are good at doing.
The not-so-good news would be if book-sharing ideas get very hard to understand, and there are no clear new Important Words.
In that case, All the People Picked from All the States would have to decide, and they are not often good at deciding things that are important.
Keep paying attention! Important things are happening!
“Important things are happening!” is clearly the best line.
From LJ’s Posting A Parody Video? Read This First:
Lansdowne Public Library’s “Read It” video, based on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, was originally yanked from YouTube for a copyright violation. But the story may have a happy ending: the library director told LJ that “The Lansdowne Public Library ‘Read It!’ parody is back up on YouTube and I believe that it will stay there.”
When the video was first proposed, Lansdowne badly needed a project to educate and inspire its teen population. In the impoverished suburb just outside the Philadelphia city limits, the local teens are a textbook example of the digital divide.
Open Now: Free Copyright Webinar for School Librarians and Educators
Can I copy a textbook that I have and make copies for my students? Can I be thrown in jail for copyright infringement? These are just some of the questions that educators and school librarians have about use of copyright law in school environments. Oftentimes, they do not receive helpful guidance on the subject, which leads them to make overly conservative decisions.
To assist educators and librarians who prepare learning materials for students, the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy will host Complete Copyright for K–12 Librarians and Educators, a free interactive webinar developed specifically for instructors and school librarians on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, from 4:00-5:00p.m. EST (Register now).
Bestselling copyright authority Carrie Russell will host the webinar and discuss common copyright concerns explored in her newly released book of the same title. The webinar will offer clear guidance on ways to legally provide materials to students and explore scenarios often encountered by educators in schools, such as using copyrighted material in lesson plans, classroom assignments, school plays and performances.
Webinar participants will learn:
- Copyright must-knows for librarians and educators
- Fair use
- Creation of the copyright law
- Use of copyright materials in school settings
- Copyrighted content in the social media age
Please note that there are 50 spaces available for the webinar, and the registration deadline closes December 3, 2012. Registration for the free webinar is available now. Webinar participants who register in advance will receive a 10 percent discount on their purchase of the book, Complete Copyright for K–12 Librarians and Educators.
The blind are going to add much more of their genius, their jazz, to our world, and the rest of us will never see the landscape in quite the same way again.
Michael Kelley, in a moving LJ Editorial.
Unless the Authors Guild succeeds in trying to have the decision overturned, that is.
One of the most closely watched e-reserve cases in recent memory came to an end—though an appeal is still possible—on May 11, when Judge Orinda Evans of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled in Cambridge University Press (CUP); Oxford University Press (OUP); Sage Publications v. Georgia State University (GSU). The case alleged copyright infringement in GSU’s e-reserves, and in essence the judge came down on the side of libraries in a 350-page decision delivered almost a year after she heard closing arguments.
Of the 75 cases of alleged infringement she considered, Judge Evans held five to be infringement. The rest were either held to be fair use, or the question did not arise, because the copying was held to be de minimis—when virtually no one actually read the posted work—or because the publishers did not demonstrate to the court’s satisfaction that they had standing to make the claim.
— From LJ, Meredith Schwartz’s recent story on copyright, e-reserves, and the recent Georgia State case.
This isn’t about freeloaders and pirates. This is about some of the fundamental principles of education.
So, were Google permitted to provide complete online access to all the world’s books, in their entirety, the gain in access might more than offset the loss in authors’ royalties.
When it comes to the boundaries between exempted “fair use” of copyrighted materials and unlawful infringement, academic libraries spent 2011 in a defensive crouch.
Last May, a trio of academic publishers, with backing from the Association of American Publishers (AAP), laid out in court documents what they believe to be the limitations of fair use in the context of library e-reserves. Then, in September, the Authors Guild sued a group of research libraries over its attempts to build a shared repository holding digital copies of their collections.
Now the libraries’ own trade group is going on offense — not with a lawsuit, but with a formal set of guidelines that it hopes will help libraries be more confident and less fearful of crossing ordinary copyright thresholds under the auspices of fair use.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released a “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries” — a 32-page document, based on interviews with dozens of librarians, outlining the principles and limitations it believes are relevant to eight common scenarios. The guidelines also recommend additional actions libraries can take to insulate themselves against legal challenges.
» via Inside Higher Ed
On New Year’s Eve, the Twitter feed of UbuWeb, an online archive of the avant garde, posted a link to an article in The Irish Times about the expiry of European copyright on the work of James Joyce. The link was accompanied by a curt message to Joyce’s grandson and sole living descendent: “Fuck you Stephen Joyce. EU copyright on James Joyce’s works ends at midnight.” While the language may have been unusually confrontational, the sentiment it expressed is widespread. The passage into public domain of Joyce’s major works has been talked up in certain quarters as though it were a bookish version of the destruction of the Death Star, with Stephen Joyce cast as a highbrow Darth Vader suddenly no longer in a position to breathe heavily down the necks of rebel Joyceans.-Mark O’Connell on what the post-Stephen will bring: http://nyr.kr/xj2D9F
This is big news for Joyce scholars. Read more about the finicky and controlling Joyce estate, steered by his grandson Stephen Joyce, in this great 2006 New Yorker article.
Libraries represent another educational group that could face fallout from SOPA. The Library Copyright Alliance, a group whose members include the American Library Association and two other major library organizations, has also written a letter to the House of Representatives [pdf].