[CC European Open Education Policy Project, Link, (CC-BY)] On the 18th of February, Creative Commons organized a debate on „Really Open Education. Domestic Policies for Open Educational Resources”, hosted by Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, MEP. The meeting brought together almost 40 experts and stakeholders from a range of educational projects, national schooling systems, and national and international non-governmental organizations across Europe.
[Official Release, Link] The ALRC was asked to consider whether the current exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act are adequate and appropriate in the digital era.
The Report, tabled on 13 February 2014, is the result of an 18-month Inquiry during which the ALRC produced two consultation documents, undertook 109 consultations and received 870 submissions.
The Report contains 30 recommendations for reform. The key recommendation is for the introduction of a fair use exception to Australian copyright law.
Textbook costs are often substantial for stunts and can be a barrier to attaining a college education. According to the college Board, the average student spent $1,200 on college books and supplies during the 2012-13 academic year. The price of new textbooks has increased 82% over the last decade according to GAO, and yet, textbook costs are one of the most overlooked impediments to college affordability and access.
The Affordable College Textbook Act (S.1704) would address this problem by providing grants to colleges and universities to create and expand the use of open textbooks.
The College Art Association has commenced a project with American University Professors Jaszi and Aufderheide to develop a Codes of Best Practice in the Creation and Curation of Artworks and Scholarly Publishing inthe Visual Arts. The first phase of the project was to conduct “interviews with one hundred visual arts professionals and a survey of CAA members” and produce a report on “current practices and attitudes among visual arts practitioners (including artists, scholars, editors, and curators) regarding copyright and fair use.” The full report is available here.
[Cross posted from the Assoc. of Research Libraries (CC-BY) by AU Professors Patricia Aufderheide, Brandon Butler and Peter Jaszi.] Copyright Week is the perfect occasion to celebrate fair use, certainly the most dynamic and arguably the most important doctrine in copyright law. The last 15 or 20 years have seen a remarkable series of developments that make fair use, now more than ever, the most vital protection of the public interest in the Copyright Act. For Copyright Week, we wanted to highlight a part of the fair use landscape that, perhaps more than any other, puts fair use in the hands of practitioners who need it most: the Fair Use Best Practices movement.
[Cross posted from CCUSA, Link (CC-BY)] Much of what we hear about the globalization of copyright law around the world does not favor users. The dominant trend of lengthening terms, increasing criminalization and “deterrent” penalties and expanding third party liability has the intent and effect of privatizing more and more of the public domain. But one trend moves in the opposite the direction – the recent shift toward a global expansion of fair use.
The term “fair use” is often used to refer the specific limitation and exception to copyright contained in the US Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 107. But it has also come to have a broader meaning
[Maria del Pilar Sáenz in Las 2 Orillas, Link, (CC-BY-SA)] Hace más de un año un anuncio de la universidad de Harvard estremeció a la comunidad académica: la universidad no estaba dispuesta a seguir pagando los altos costos que implica el acceso a las publicaciones de las editoriales de mayor prestigio, como Elsevier, que piden sumas elevadas para acceder a los artículos. El final de 2013 nos sorprendió con otra noticia aún más preocupante; en una ofensiva sin precedentes, Elsevier empezó a enviar cartas legales amparadas en la Ley de Copyright estadounidense pidiendo a todo el mundo, universidades, portales de publicación científica y hasta investigadores, que quitaran de sus sitios artículos que infringen sus derechos como editorial.
[Tim Vollmer. Reposted from Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] The public domain is the DNA of creativity. Whereby current copyright law requires permission in order to use a work, the public domain is a copyright-free zone whereby anyone can use the work for any purpose without restriction under copyright law. One way works rise into the public domain is when the copyright protection term expires. Over the years, copyright terms have been extended again and again, making it really difficult for creative works to enter the public domain. While most early copyright terms lasted only a few years, a majority of copyright terms today last for the duration of the life of the author + 50-100 years. Increasing copyright terms have stymied creativity, drastically raised the prices of books, and exacerbated the orphan works problem (where authors of works can no longer be located to ask permission to use a work).
[Internet Association, Link (CC-BY-SA)] The Internet Association appreciates Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch’s recognition that the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 must address key trade issues in the marketplace. The Internet drives global trade and commerce and enables U.S. businesses of all kinds, from multinational corporations to small businesses, to reach global markets, ultimately providing significant economic and societal benefits for consumers. By recognizing the growing significance of the Internet as a platform for international commerce, this bill takes a step toward modernizing U.S. trade policy.
[Unni Karunakara in PLoS, Link (CC-BY)] Open data and data sharing are essential for maximizing the benefits that can be obtained from institutional and research datasets . In 2012, the medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) decided to adopt a data sharing policy for routinely collected clinical and research data (http://www.msf.org.uk/msf-data-sharing). Here we describe the policy’s principles, practicalities, and development process. We hope this paper will encourage and help other humanitarian and nongovernmental organizations to share their data with public health researchers for the benefit of the populations with which they work.
[Maximiliano Marzetti, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-ND)] The Congress of Argentina recently passed a landmark law making publicly funded science and technology research publications free and open access.
On 13 November, the Argentinian Congress passed a law (No. 26.899, Creating Institutional Open Access Digital Repositories, Owned or Shared) establishing that all institutions belonging to the National Science and Technology System (SNCYT, according to its acronym in Spanish) that receive public funds (partly or entirely) shall create free and open access institutional digital repositories where all the scientific and technological publications (which includes journal articles, technical and scientific papers, theses, etc.) and research data must be available.
Movimiento Derecho a la Cultura
LAC Latin America, Link (CC-BY-SA)
2013 has been a year of deep discussions about copyright in Uruguay, which has ended with a copyright law reform intended to add exceptions and remove criminal sanctions for nonprofit infringements. A review of the recent events allows us to contextualize this process.