Author: Krista Cox

Study Examines Copyright Permissions Culture in Software Preservation, Implications for Cultural Record

A report released today, The Copyright Permissions Culture in Software Preservation and Its Implications for the Cultural Record, finds that individuals and institutions need clear guidance on the legality of archiving legacy software to ensure continued access to digital files of all kinds and to illuminate the history of technology. The first product of an Association of Research Libraries (ARL) project funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the report is based on extensive research and interviews with software preservation experts and other stakeholders. This research will inform a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Software Preservation to be published in fall 2018, and to be supported by webinars, workshops, online discussions, and educational materials. The Code will advance the mission of memory institutions to safeguard the digital record and promote research that engages it.

Read More

Louisiana State University Files Suit Against Elsevier; Elsevier Has Not Accepted Service

Krista Cox, Association of Research Libraries, Link (CC-BY) On February 27, 2017, Louisiana State University (LSU) filed a lawsuit against international science publisher Elsevier after the publisher breached its contract and refused to allow LSU’s veterinarian school faculty and students to access Elsevier content licensed by LSU’s Libraries. ARL’s press release is available here. Background LSU currently holds a license with Elsevier to cover its entire Baton Rouge campus. LSU’s veterinary school, which is located on main campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, previously held its own license with Elsevier. Upon the expiration of the veterinary school’s license with Elsevier, the veterinary school users continued resources licensed by LSU Libraries. The LSU Libraries’ license (attached as an exhibit to the end of the complaint) unequivocally covers its entire Baton Rouge campus, including the veterinary school. Despite the fact that LSU Libraries license covers IP ranges specifically covering the veterinary school, Elsevier blocked access to users at the veterinary school. Upon discovery, LSU contacted Elsevier on October 11, 2016 to request reactivation of the IP ranges for the veterinary school. Elsevier unblocked those IP addresses, but then in January again blocked access for users at the veterinary school. Elsevier refused to respond to LSU’s written requests to reactivate these IP addresses. Additionally, when LSU Libraries made a request to license 19 additional veterinary titles from Elsevier, the publisher initially...

Read More

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2017 Highlights Balance in Copyright System

[Reposted from Assoc. of Research Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] The fourth annual Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week took place February 20–24, 2017, growing to 140 organizations—as well as numerous individuals—celebrating the important and flexible doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. This year’s event was organized by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and participants included universities, libraries, library associations, and many other organizations, such as Authors Alliance, Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the R Street Institute, and Re:Create. Forty-five ARL member institutions contributed a wide range of resources this year. Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week was observed worldwide, with participants in such countries as Australia, Canada, Colombia, Israel, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United States. Throughout the week, participants celebrated the essential limitations and exceptions to copyright that fair use and fair dealing provide, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. While fair use and fair dealing are employed on a daily basis, Fair Use/Fair Dealing week provides a time to promote and discuss the opportunities presented, share successful stories, and explain these doctrines. Each day, new blog posts and other resources were produced and shared and institutions hosted a variety of live events, such as panel discussions, film screenings, button- and card-making stations, and more. Daily roundups and additional resources are available on the Fair Use/Fair Dealing...

Read More

USPTO Hosts Unbalanced Global Intellectual Property Academy Copyright Seminar

[Cross posted from ARL Policy Notes, Link] Several weeks ago, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted a copyright seminar at its Global Intellectual Property Academy for two dozen intellectual property officials primarily from countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. While the first several days involved an “overview” of copyright and mostly time with United States government officials, September 22 was labeled “Industry Day.” The speaker list revealed a very heavy focus on rightholders, in several cases the panels did not have any voices advocating for the importance of consumers and the role of limitations and exceptions in copyright law. Although I appreciated the opportunity to have participated on a panel on issues related to publishing, I was disappointed to learn that USPTO planned such a highly unbalanced lineup of speakers, overall. By hosting a day almost exclusively comprised of copyright maximalists, USPTO provides its audience, intellectual property officials in other countries, only one side of the story. Balance is critical in a functional copyright system to ensure that user rights are protected. In addition to the numerous specific limitations and exceptionsin copyright law, the United States has a strong “safety valve” in its copyright system: fair use. This flexible doctrine accommodates new technologies and circumstances. It ensures that Congress does not need to pass new legislation each time a new limitation or exception is needed....

Read More

Google Wins Another Fair Use Case

[Cross posted from Association of Research Libraries blog, Link (CC-BY)] On May 26, 2016, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Google in its battle against Oracle.  Oracle brought suit claiming that Google infringed  by using Java application programming interface (API) in Android’s mobile operating system.  Google argued that its use of the code in the Android system, which relies partly on Java (an open source code that was acquired by Oracle in 2010), was fair use. After three days of deliberation, the ten jurors unanimously returned a verdict in favor of Google, answering “yes” to the question of whether the use of Java API’s was fair use. The jury’s decision is a welcome one and another win for fair use, particularly as developers continue to rely on open source languages to build new technologies.  This case demonstrates yet again why fair use has been called the “safety valve” of copyright, supporting the evolution and development of new technology. For further reading: Ars Technica: Google Beats Oracle–Android makes “fair use” of Java APIs EFF: EFF Applauds Jury Verdict In Favor of Fair Use in Oracle v. Google DisCo Project: Sanity Wins Again: The Jury Verdict on Oracle v. Google ...

Read More

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2016 Highlights Balance in Copyright System

[Reposted from the Association of Research Libraries Policy Notes, Link (CC-BY)] On February 22–26, 136 organizations and numerous individuals participated in Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2016, an annual celebration of the important—and flexible—doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. This year’s event was organized by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and participants included universities, libraries, library associations, and many other organizations, such as Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the R Street Institute, Re:Create, and Wikimedia. More than double the number of organizations participated in 2016 compared to 2015. Fifty ARL member libraries contributed this year, producing blog posts, comic books, and other resources, including five videos on fair use and fair dealing. Participants celebrated the essential limitations and exceptions to copyright that fair use and fair dealing provide, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. While fair use and fair dealing are employed on a daily basis, Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week provides a time to promote and discuss the opportunities presented, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines. Each day, new blog posts and resource materials were produced and shared. Daily roundups are available for each day of Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week and additional resources are available on the Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week website. Below are some highlights of the materials shared over the course of the week. Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week...

Read More

Infographic Shows Fair Use’s Importance in a Day in the Life of a College Student

[Association of Research Libraries, Link (CC-BY)]  In conjunction with Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2016, ARL is releasing an infographic that shows how a college student relies on fair use numerous times in a typical day. Fair use and fair dealing are vitally important rights for everybody, everywhere—students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted material. These doctrines provide balance to the copyright system by allowing the use of copyrighted resources without permission from the rightholder under certain circumstances, thereby promoting creative progress and accommodating freedom of expression. The “Fair Use in a Day in the Life of a College Student” infographic is freely available as a PDF to embed on blogs and websites and to print and hand out at events. Share the link, embed the PDF on your site, print copies for your next event, and continue to support and work with your campus partners on promoting fair use. Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is an annual, community celebration coordinated by the Association of Research Libraries to promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, highlight successful stories, and explain these doctrines. Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2016 is being celebrated this week, Monday, February 22, through Friday, February 26. You can participate on a single day during the week, multiple days, or the full week—publish a blog post, host an event, share resources. Visit http://www.fairuseweek.org/ to...

Read More

Analysis of the Final TPP (Leaked) Text on Intellectual Property: Mixed Results

Cross posted form ARL Policy Notes, Link (CC-BY) On October 5, 2015, the twelve trade ministers of the TPP negotiating parties (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States) announced that they had come to an agreement on the large regional trade agreement that had been under negotiations for the past five years. While the agreement has been criticized for a number of reasons, it is important to recognize the areas where the agreement has improved from the initial proposals made by the United States in February 2011. Civil society, technology companies and academics have participated throughout the negotiating process to improve the language of the final text and many of these efforts are reflected in the agreement. Of course, one of the main points of criticism regarding the TPP was the lack of transparency; without the various leaks of the intellectual property chapter throughout the course of the negotiations, substantive debate, criticism and proposed alternatives may not have been possible. It is worth noting that the agreement was signed by the trade ministers of the twelve negotiating parties in Atlanta, GA without a single official release of any chapter of the TPP. Notably, when international agreements are negotiated in multilateral fora such as at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the negotiations are much more transparent and stakeholders have the...

Read More

Copyright Office Releases Report on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization; Recommends Burdensome Legislation

[Reposted from ARL, Link (CC-BY)] On June 4, 2015, the Copyright Office released its Report on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization, including recommendations for legislation on orphan works and the creation of an extended collective licensing (ECL) regime for mass digitization. This post focuses only on the Copyright Office’s recommendations on orphan works.  This blog post is also available as an issue brief here. Report on Orphan Works The Copyright Office’s report asserts that “the orphan works problem is widespread and significant” and that “anyone using an orphan work does so under a legal cloud, as there is always the possibility that the copyright owner could emerge after the use commenced and seek substantial infringement damages, an injunction, and/or attorneys’ fees.” The report sets forth the problem of orphan works, noting: The uncertainty surrounding the ownership status of orphan works does not serve the objectives of the copyright system. For good faith users, orphan works are a frustration, a liability risk, and a major cause of gridlock in the digital marketplace. The consequences of this uncertainty reverberate through all types of uses and users, all types and ages of works, and across all creative sectors. By electing to use a work without permission, users run the risk of an infringement suit resulting in litigation costs and possible damages. By foregoing use of these works, a significant part of the...

Read More

Fair Use Week

This week is Fair Use Week! There are a number of great activities lined up across organizations and institutions, including live panels and workshops, webcasts, blog posts, videos and chats/AMAs. I’m happy to announce that the website is now live where you can read posts, find great resources, and see the calendar of events. This site will be updated as folks add posts and videos as well as new events. You can visit the site here: http://fairuseweek.org/  ...

Read More

The Intellectual Property Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Investment in Developing Nations

University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2014. Abstract:   The United States has some of the highest standards of intellectual property protection in the world, though many copyright and patent laws in the United States are limited through balancing provisions that provide exceptions to the exclusive rights conferred by the intellectual property system. The United States has engaged in efforts to raise intellectual property standards worldwide through creation of new global norms, such as through negotiations of free trade agreements like the currently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Higher levels of intellectual property protection be unnecessary to attract investment in developing countries. In fact, increasing intellectual property standards may actually result in negative impacts on development for low- and middle-income countries. This paper examines the role of intellectual property rules in attracting investment for developing countries. Click here for the full paper on SSRN....

Read More

In Georgia State University E-Reserves Case, Eleventh Circuit Endorses Flexible Approach to Fair Use

Reposted from Association of Research Libraries’ Policy Notes blog, Link, CC-BY On Friday, October 17, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit released its long-awaited decision in the Georgia State University (GSU) e-reserves case.Some key takeaways from the majority opinion include: Affirms that fair use is applied on a case-by-case basis; Rejects bright-line rules, such as using a ten-percent-or-one-chapter rule to allow fair use (a rule that the district court adopted); Affirms that even if a use is non-transformative, a nonprofit educational purpose can still favor fair use; Rejects the coursepack copying cases as applicable; Finds that a publisher’s failure to offer a license will tend to weigh in favor of fair use in terms of the fourth fair use factor; and Gives weight to a publisher’s incentive to publish, rather than focusing on the author’s incentive to create. Another positive aspect of the case is the Eleventh Circuit’s discussion of the purpose of copyright, affirming the fact (as has long been held by the Supreme Court) that copyright is not a natural right of the author, but rather, is designed to stimulate creativity and progress for the public good. Nancy Sims has an excellent analysis of the court’s ruling covering what she liked and didn’t like from the opinion. It is important to note that while the case has been reversed and remanded, the Eleventh Circuit did not rule against GSU....

Read More