Mar 072016
 

sean - 150x150This reply comment responds to key questions that we were asked of us and others at the Special 301 hearing.

Flexible Exceptions Work in Developing Countries

I was asked in the hearing to comment on the proposition that flexible exceptions like fair use are only appropriate for the U.S. or other countries with highly developed adjudication systems. As I noted in the hearing, this idea is based on some key fallacies. Continue reading »

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Mar 042016
 

krista cox[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. Continue reading »

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Feb 012016
 

cc-logo[Cable Green, Link (CC-BY)] Creative Commons (CC) believes publicly funded education, research and data resources should be shared in the global commons. The public should have access to what it paid for, and should not be required to pay twice (or more) to access, use, and remix publicly funded resources.

This is why we are pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has adopted a department-wide Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license requirement on intellectual property developed under a competitive Federal award process. Continue reading »

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Jan 122016
 
Photo by C.E. Kent (CC-BY)

C.E. Kent (CC-BY)

Jahan ‘Harry’ Taubman-Rezakhanlou for Intellectual Property Watch
Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)

More than 50 members of the United States Congress today sent a letter urging the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to exercise their legal authority to require medical patents that have emerged from government-funded medical research projects to be licensed on reasonable and affordable terms for public use. Continue reading »

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Dec 112015
 

sean at podiumStatement of Sean Flynn, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property

Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights: Thirty-First Session December 7-11, 2015 (Geneva, Switzerland)

Thank you for recognizing me on the issue of promoting limitations and exceptions for educational purposes, potentially within the discussions underway on the needs of libraries.  Continue reading »

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Dec 092015
 

effbig[Maira Sutton, EFF, Link (CC-BY)] The Internet is a diverse ecosystem of private and public stakeholders. By excluding a large sector of communities—like security researchers, artists, libraries, and user rights groups—trade negotiators skewed the priorities of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) towards major tech companies and copyright industries that have a strong interest in maintaining and expanding their monopolies of digital services and content. Negotiated in secret for several years with overwhelming influence from powerful multinational corporate interests, it’s no wonder that its provisions do little to nothing to protect our rights online or our autonomy over our own devices. For example, everything in the TPP that increases corporate rights and interests is binding, whereas every provision that is meant to protect the public interest is non-binding and is susceptible to get bulldozed by efforts to protect corporations. Continue reading »

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Nov 162015
 

butler150px[Reposted from TechDirt, Link] Last Thursday, Judge Pierre N. Leval, a renowned fair use scholar and judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, delivered the Fourth Annual Peter A. Jaszi Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Property (you can watch the recording at that link) at the law school where I teach, the American University Washington College of Law (whew). “Lecture” doesn’t really do it justice, though; Leval may have spoken in front of a lectern at a law school, but what he said was hardly dry or academic. Instead, it was a bravura exercise in storytelling, which is fitting, as storytelling and narrative are some of Peter Jaszi’s favorite subjects, second only to fair use. Continue reading »

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Nov 092015
 

cc summit[Originally posted on the Communia Blog, Link] The Creative Commons Summit, a bi-annual meeting of members of the CC network and friends of the Commons, took place in mid-October in Seoul, South Korea. One of the event’s tracks was devoted to copyright reform advocacy. The track was organised by member organisations of Communia, including Creative Commons.

In 2013, during the previous CC Summit, Creative Commons adopted a position on copyright reform. CC re-emphasized that even though the licenses are an essential mechanism to share creativity within the existing bounds of the law, it is now more important than ever to engage in a review and modernisation of copyright law itself. This commitment was confirmed during this year event. Continue reading »

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Oct 292015
 

butler 150x225[Cross posted from EIFL.org, Link (CC-BY)] For the last few decades, the United States has been aggressively and systematically “exporting” half of its copyright system. In treaties and in trade agreements, the US has insisted on longer terms of protection, stiffer penalties for infringement, legal protection for digital locks, and a variety of other measures designed to benefit copyright holders. Only recently, however, has the US even acknowledged the part of its copyright law that protects the public, including schools, libraries, technologists, and entrepreneurs, against overreaching copyright laws.

We in the US have known all along, however, that the real secret of the US’s relative success in both the culture and technology spheres is the balance to copyright protections provided by limitations and exceptions, especially the fair use doctrine. Continue reading »

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Oct 292015
 

baten-bianchi-moserAuthors: Joerg Baten, Nicola Bianchi, and Petra Moser

Abstract: This paper investigates whether compulsory licensing – which allows governments to license patents without the consent of patent-owners – discourages invention. Our analysis exploits new historical data on German patents to examine the effects of compulsory licensing under the US Trading-with-the-Enemy Act on invention in Germany. We find that compulsory licensing was associated with a 28 percent increase in invention. Historical evidence indicates that, as a result of war-related demands, fields with licensing were negatively selected, so OLS estimates may underestimate the positive effects of compulsory licensing on future inventions. Continue reading »

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Oct 162015
 
Photo by Beth (CC-NC-ND)

Photo: Beth (CC-NC-ND)

Judge Pierre Leval’s opinion today in the Google Books case offers another fascinating glimpse into the richness of his thinking about the concept of fair use. (For more, be sure to attend (or stream) his talk at WCL’s Fourth Annual Peter Jaszi Lecture on November 12.) A law review article by then-district court Judge Leval was the source of the now-dominant theory of fair use, grounded in a concept he called “transformative use,” an idea later adopted wholesale by the Supreme Court in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose and spread throughout the land in subsequent cases.

Although the outcome in Google Books (Google wins, duh) was obvious to anyone whose paycheck didn’t depend on their believing otherwise, the discussion that gets us there sheds light on a host of hot fair use topics in ways that courts and copyright wonks will be citing and unpacking for years to come. In a later post I’d like to explore the ways Judge Leval managed to weigh in on a remarkable number of fair use controversies over the course of a single opinion.

For now, though, rather than take a grand tour of all the nooks and crannies of the opinion, in this post I want to make my first foray into the text by highlighting one big idea that I think is woven throughout the fabric of the opinion in a fundamental way: the distinction between protected expression and unprotected facts. Continue reading »

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Oct 012015
 

chile flagChile is about to become the first country to successfully kill creative commons and other open licensing for audiovisual works with a copyright bill that has been already approved in the House of Representatives  in an unprecedented fast speed. It is now in the Senate. This dream bill for collective societies of rightholders is the Bill for Copyright for Audiovisual Authors.

Here is a link to the bill and the legislative discussions.  Here is how it works against open licensing: Continue reading »

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