The copyright industries hire a lot of people, and employment figures are often used to argue for stronger protection for rightholders. But do the industries in countries with stronger protection for rightholders hire more people than the same industries in countries with limits on the scope and enforcement of copyright? Do countries with more robust limitations and exceptions to copyright have fewer ‘copyright industry’ jobs?
[Creative Commons U.S.A. Link (CC-BY)] Yesterday, Representatives Hinojosa and Miller introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act. The text mirrors that of the Senate bill introduced last week by Senators Durbin and Franken (see CCUSA’s statement on the Senate bill here).
The Affordable College Textbook Act would provide funding for the creation of textbooks, which would be made available to the public under open licenses, allowing students and educators to “access, reproduce, publicly perform, publicly display, adapt, distribute, and otherwise use the work and adaptations of the work for any purpose, conditioned only on the requirement that attribution be given to authors as designated.”
[Reposted from CC-USA, Link (CC-BY)] Senators Dick Durbin and Al Franken today introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act, which directs the Secretary of Education to fund the creation of college textbooks and materials to be made available under open licenses. The licenses will allow students and educators to “access, reproduce, publicly perform, publicly display, adapt, distribute, and otherwise use the work and adaptations of the work for any purpose, conditioned only on the requirement that attribution be given to authors as designated.”
Today, the long-awaited Google Books opinion is out. And it’s a winner. The New York district court dismissed the case, writing that “Goggle’s [sic] motion for summary judgment is granted and plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment is denied.” Although the failure of a federal class action in this case caused the potential mammoth settlement to fall apart, the outcome has been a far stronger validation of the copyright fair use doctrine than any settlement could be.
In the midst of the controversy surrounding the release of a Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiating text on intellectual property by Wikileaks yesterday, over 80 law professors of intellectual property law and related disciplines have written to President Obama, Members of Congress and the United States Trade Representative calling for the creation of a public process to vet the TPP’S intellectual property proposals.
The letter specifically notes that “even in light of yesterday’s release by WikiLeaks,” public debate on the agreement’s proposals “beyond speculation would be impossible since there has not been any official release of text.”
[UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education] A new country report on Open Educational Resources in Poland has been published by IITE. The authors Kamil Sliwowski and Karolina Grodecka describe the national educational policy and the structure of the recently reformed educational system of Poland, national programmes and projects aimed at digitization of schools, top-down and bottom-up activities in the development of Open Educational Resources (OER).
The Irish Copyright Review Committee has released its report, Modernising Copyright. Below are two excerpts from the introduction. Click here for the full report.
Summary of Recommendations
The centerpiece recommendations relate to the establishment of a Copyright Council of Ireland and specialist intellectual property tracks in the District and Circuit Courts, and to the introduction of tightly-drawn exceptions for innovation, fair use, and very small snippets of text in the context of online links.
Abstract: The chapter discusses the statutory and treaty basis for compulsory patent licensing, briefly reviews instances in which compulsory licenses have been issued, surveys the economic rationale behind compulsory licensing and compares the potential application of compulsory licensing in essential medicines and climate change mitigation technology.
Creative Commons, the global network of non-profit organizations best known for their promotion of standard-form copyright licenses that allow creators to voluntarily waive certain exclusive rights and share their content more easily with others, has thrown its weight into the global push to expand users rights in copyright reform. Last week, the organization, through Creative Commons Headquarters and blessed by its Board of Directors, released a statement endorsing “ongoing efforts to reform copyright law to strengthen users’ rights and expand the public domain.”
Reposted from Open Educational Resources Policy in Europe, Link (CC-BY-SA)
A week ago, the European Commission launched the “Opening Up Education” initiative, a proposal for modernizing the European educational system. The proposal contains a strong “open” component. We’re using this opportunity to strengthen open educational policies in Europe, and we started our project with a workshop in mid-September. Below you can learn about the outcomes of our workshop, including an overview of the OER landscape in Europe, concept for a policy brief, and ideas for policy-related activities.
[Jonathan Band and Jonathan Gerafi] In the copyright policy debate, proponents of strong copyright protection tend to be dismissive of the quality of freely available content. In response to counter-examples such as open access scholarly publications and advertising-supported business models (e.g., newspaper websites and the over-the-air television broadcasts viewed by 50 million Americans), the strong copyright proponents center their attack on amateur content. In this narrative, YouTube is for cat videos and Wikipedia is a wildly unreliable source of information.
Recent studies, however, indicate that the volunteer-written and -edited Wikipedia is no less reliable than professionally edited encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Moreover, Wikipedia has far broader coverage.