The central legal question of the FCC’s new net neutrality rules is whether or not the Commission even has the authority to regulate the internet, which is classified as an information service. Net neutrality advocates wanted the web to be reclassified as a telecommunication service before any new rules were made so the FCC would have more power to regulate it. Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps voted for the new regulation, but says he has reservations about its legal foundation.
Via Kate (@librarian_kate)/Gothamist
What's in a name (Shakespeare rhetorically asked)...
The Chocolate Library is a chocolate store, not a library, and according to an arcane law, must not call itself a library.
A dreadlocked lawyer famous for his work on prominent criminal cases in Toronto's black community -- including those of Jane Creba witness Richard Steele and alleged police beating victim Junior Alexander Manon -- has won a discrimination case against the Peel Law Association after a librarian singled out him and two black colleagues and demanded their identification in a room full of lawyers.
Among its many services, Amazon.com offers hosting for websites in the form of data storage. When Wikileaks dumped a massive cache of diplomatic cables onto the Internet, it didn't take long for some technologically minded people to find out that Amazon had been hosting Wikileaks' data and content for quite some time. Yet, after the blow up over the cables, Amazon tossed Wikileaks from their servers, siting violations of their terms of service.
New York Times reports: BRUSSELS — Europe opened a formal antitrust investigation on Tuesday into accusations that Google had abused its dominance in online search, exposing the company’s zealously guarded technology to unwelcome scrutiny.
The investigation by the European Commission follows complaints from smaller Web businesses, which claim that Google downgraded their sites in its search results to weaken potential competitors for advertising. The commission said it would also look into whether Google might have given its Web services “preferential placement” in search results.
Google’s dominance on the Internet has been a sore point in Europe, where it controls more than 80 percent of the online search market, compared with about 66 percent in the United States, according to comScore, a research firm.
Google already faces antitrust inquiries, as well as investigations of its privacy and copyright protection policies, in several European countries. In addition, other American companies have fought lengthy legal battles with European regulators in the past.
In a statement, Google said it had strived to “do the right thing by our users and our industry.”
“But there’s always going to be room for improvement,” the company said, “and so we’ll be working with the commission to address any concerns.”
As I've seen quite a bit of chatter on library-related e-mail reflectors, it is perhaps best to mirror the new signage the TSA just put out for holiday travel. I'm attaching the PDF here so it will distribute outward as a booklet as far as iTunes is concerned in the podcast feed. Podcast feeds can handle more than just audio and video files...
You can find more signage and the government PSA we'll likely be airing here: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/holiday_travel.shtm
A contentious copyright case over e-reserves in university libraries has grown a little more tense. PW has learned that the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has sent a letter to the Copyright Clearance Center protesting its role in funding an ongoing publisher lawsuit against four individuals at Georgia State University over the use of electronic course content, and urging the CCC to “reconsider its role in funding the litigation going forward.”
The Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments in a copyright case that publishers say holds major implications for their businesses—even though the case doesn’t involve books. In Costco Wholesale Corporation v. Omega, S.A, the court will decide whether retail giant Costco can re-sell copyright-protected, foreign-made Omega wristwatches exclusively licensed for sale abroad in the U.S. market. But wristwatches aside, the copyright case holds larger implications for the publishing industry, as well as for libraries and booksellers, as it could also apply to the sale and importation of foreign-made editions.
The conflict began after Costco purchased Omega watches from third parties overseas which had legally acquired the watches from licensed Omega dealers. Costco then imported and sold the foreign-made watches in the U.S. at a steep discount, exploiting the foreign price differential. Omega watches, however, are subject to copyright, and after authorized Omega dealers in the U.S. complained about Costco’s price-cutting tactics, Omega sued to enjoin Costco from selling the foreign watches.
First-Sale Doctrine Under Fire
Technically the issue at the heart of the three-judge opinion issued last month is a technical point of copyright law. Practically, though, you could write a headline that screams "Decision threatens eBay, GameStop, and thousands of other used-product businesses." Bet that would get some attention.