Intellectual Property

OCLC Claims Ownership of Data In OPACs

OCLC may be trying to pull something sneaky with its new policy of claiming contractual rights over the subsequent use of data created by OCLC. In other words, the data in library catalogues couldn't be used to make anything which competes with OCLC in any way.

Needless to say, this would have a hash chilling effect on the creation of open databases of library content.

As you might expect, the library blogosphere is on fire with the news. The podcast presenter at LISNews gave a commentary in the matter during LISTen #47.

Story from Slashdot.

Stifled by Copyright, McCain Asks YouTube to Consider Fair Use

After seeings its videos repeatedly removed from YouTube, John McCain's campaign on Monday told the Google-owned video site that its copyright infringement policies are stringent to the point of stifling free speech, and that its lawyers need to revamp the way they evaluate copyright infringement claims.

"We fully understand that YouTube may receive too many videos, and too many take-down notices, to be able to conduct full fair-use review of all such notices," wrote Trevor Potter, the campaign's general counsel, in a letter to YouTube and Google. "But we believe it would consume few resources — and provide enormous benefit — for YouTube to commit a full legal review of all take-down notices on videos posted from accounts controlled by (at least) political candidates and campaigns."

Full article here.

DRM In Your Library? Consider This...

Thinking about utilizing a service in your library which uses Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

Consider the wise comic of Randall Munroe:

TextBook Torrents Turns The Final Page and Closes Down

From relative obscurity, Textbook Torrents, the world’s largest BitTorrent index of textbooks, found itself in the world spotlight during July 2008 and was forced to close down by its host. The site returned weeks later, growing massively in the process, but now, just a couple of months on, the site has closed for good.

Full article here

Wal-Mart's DRM Nightmare Just Won't End

Wal-Mart has decided to keep the music that it sold wrapped in a layer of copyright protection playable, following a flurry of customer complaints about legally purchased music becoming unplayable. The probably wishes it had never tangled with digital rights management, because it's going to keep paying for it long after its switch to selling DRM-free MP3s.

An e-mail sent to Wal-Mart digital music store customers said the company will continue to support the DRM-ed song files sold on walmart.com starting in 2003. The e-mail reversed last month's announcement that Wal-Mart would shut down the servers that authenticate the copyright protected music it no longer sells. Unfortunately, doing so would render all protected music purchased from the store in the past five years unplayable.

Full story at Wired.com

This story is something to think about for libraries that collect materials that have DRM.

'Orphan Works' Copyright Law Dies Quiet Death

Lost in the House of Representatives' push to pass $700 billion bailout legislation is the so-called Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008.

Late Friday, the Senate passed the measure and sent it to the House, where it landed dead on arrival.

The act changes the rules and reduces and sometimes nullifies damages for infringing uses of so-called "orphaned" works as long as there was a "diligent" effort to locate the copyright owner. Orphaned creative works are those in which the copyright holder cannot be promptly located.

Full story here.

Jimmy Wales Interview on Open Licenses

Ellyssa Kroski, who writes at iLibrarian, also teaches a class at San Jose State University on the Open Movement and Libraries (Fall of 2008). As part of the class shes has done interviews with such notable figures as Stephen Downes of the National Research Council in Canada, and Nicole Engard of LibLime. Her guest a couple weeks ago was Jimmy Wales. You can hear the full 10 minutes interview with Jimmy Wales here.

Do library catalogs violate copyright and intellectual property rights?

Here is an article which discusses whether it's a copyright violation to display a book cover on library web sites.

Here is the.effing.librarian's opinion of the broader issue:

For years, librarians have been looking at books and telling people what the book is about: Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863 -- Fiction.

And for years, people, including competing authors, have been able to riffle through these collections of book records, or "card catalogs," to see what other authors are publishing. Visiting the stacks to examine these texts is time-consuming, but librarians have been bypassing the originals materials to make this very valuable and useful information freely available to competitors for years.

You can argue that the nature of cataloging is necessary to libraries; but is it, really?

Do libraries really need to decide in which subject category to classify a book for someone to find it? Can't people just browse through all the books to find what they want?

And worse yet, libraries have been uploading these catalogs onto the Internet, thus making all of this copyrighted material available to anyone with Internet access. Shouldn't authors and publishers be protected from this blatant disregard for their intellectual property rights?

Is this legal?
Sure, you can argue fair use, but really, what is fair? -- Read More

White House Opposes Expanded DOJ Copyright Enforcement

The Bush administration is opposing sweeping legislation granting it the ability to prosecute civil cases of copyright infringement.
The legislation, backed by Hollywood, labor unions and manufacturers, sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, 14-4, on Sept. 11.
In a letter (.pdf) to Sens. Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter, who were among the sponsors of the legislation, the Justice Department wrote Tuesday it "strongly" opposes expanding its powers. Doing so, the letter said, could undermine the department's prosecution of criminal cases and transform it into an office "serving as pro bono lawyers for private copyright holders."

Full story at Wired.com

Libraries, book cover images, and websites, oh my!

Blog post at LibrarianInBlack:

Ah the perennial library webmaster question: can libraries use book cover images on their websites? Lawyer and librarian Mary Minow weighs in on her blog, the LibraryLaw Blog. She posted a few weeks ago with her opinion (it's a case by case thing, unfortunately) and in the meantime many comments have been submitted with additional thoughts and questions.

Full blog entry here.

Syndicate content