Intellectual Property

Bollywood Copyright

Lee Hadden writes "The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about international
copyright issues. See the June 16, 2003 issue for: "Author Fights Tactics
Of 'Bollywood' Studios" By JOANNA SLATER
BOMBAY -- When British author Barbara Taylor Bradford suddenly
started getting mail from fans in India this spring, she was perplexed. One
admirer was thrilled that Ms. Bradford's best-selling novel, "A Woman of
Substance," would soon be on the air in India -- as a 262-part television
series. That was news to the author, who hadn't given permission for any
such project.
Now, Ms. Bradford is determined to stop India's entertainment
industry, called Bollywood, from making money off her ideas. "I created
these things, someone else didn't," she says. "It's not fair."
Ms. Bradford's decision to fight copyright infringement in Indian
courts is sending chills through Bollywood, which has a habit of borrowing


Saving Sandy's Database

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Last summer one of the worst disasters in post-WWII librarianship took place at the Hennepin County Library - Charles Brown decided to end using the Berman/Freedman Bibliographic Database founded by current ALA prez Mitch Freedman and built by HCL head cataloger Sandy Berman and his staff. I started a petition to save it. Subsequently HCL and the University of Illinois recently signed the legal documents that provides access to the database to the public thru the ALA Archives housed at UI. -- Read More

Copyright controls 'out of tune'

Copyright holders like record labels have too much power over what people do with songs, argues technology analyst Bill Thompson, This BBC Story.After failing to persuade an appeals court of its case, US ISP Verizon is handing over the names of four of its customers to the lawyers at the Recording Industry Association of America.

The disclosure marks a significant shift in the way that customer privacy is dealt with in US law and will, as with many aspects of the regulation of the internet, have an impact on net users around the world.

Documentary about Copyright Infringement

Troy Johnson writes "There has been a documentary created about illegal copyright infringement. The documentary is called "Willfull Infringement". At the website for the documentary you can buy the DVD and also see a free clip of the movie. For librarians interested in intellectual property issues this is an absolute must see.You can view it at "

High court rules on expired copyrights

Bob Cox writes " Reports A unanimous Supreme Court cleared the way for companies to sell copies of movies or television programs on which copyright has expired without giving credit to the creator of the idea on which the originals were based.
Ruling in a case involving visual adaptations of Dwight D. Eisenhower's book about World War II, ''Crusade in Europe,'' the court said ''figuring out who is in the line of origin would be no simple task.''

Reclaim the Public Domain Petition

Steve writes "Sign The Petition

We, the undersigned, while believing in the importance of copyright, also believe in the importance of the public domain. We believe the public domain is crucial to the spread of knowledge and culture, and crucial in assuring access to our past. We therefore write to petition you to reconsider major changes that you have made to the copyright system. These changes unnecessarily threaten the public domain without any corresponding benefit to copyright holders.

In 1998, Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA). That Act extended the term of all existing copyrights by 20 years. But as Justice Breyer calculated, only 2% of the work copyrighted during the initial 20 years affected by this statute has any continuing commercial value at all. The balance has disappeared from the commercial marketplace, and, we fear, could disappear from our culture generally. "

DMCA may ban book on Xbox Hacking

Troy Johnson writes "There is a story at Business Week titled "'Banned' Xbox Hacking Book Selling Fast." book describes how to hack the Xbox. Publishers will not publish the book because they worry they will be in violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The author is self publishing the book because of this. Intriguing article that has numerous points of interest for librarians that follow intellectual property issues.

Un-public domain

Rachel writes "“Great!” she enthused. “I’ll just need to see a photo ID and a major credit card.” As I handed them over, she was not amused by my little joke about how the library must be taking overdue fines pretty seriously to ask for a credit card. She proceeded to have me sign an array of Terms of Service, Acceptable Use, and Privacy Policy documents.

“Just one more,” she finally said. “Initial this here and here to show that you agree your use of all lending library materials will be governed by the appropriate Microsoft End User License Agreement.”

She must have misunderstood, I said. I wasn’t there to get any software. I just wanted to borrow a few books for springtime reading. Why would I need to agree to a Microsoft EULA for that?"

Ed Foster asks "Will DRM and the challenges to fair use spell the end for your local library?"
Read Un-public domain and find out.

Scanning text books - a new form of intellectual property theft?

IT-Analysis Has This Article on news ways to steal textbooks. They say textbooks are expensive and in areas where there is a velocity of discovery, through development and invention, they very quickly become redundant. Reference works are expensive. Academic and reference libraries are increasingly short of funds. There is the potential for small-scale copyright infringement.
Theft of e-books is unlikely to become a major form of economic theft in the way that downloading of music did, but e-books do illustrate that the scope of intellectual property theft is expanding.

California octegenarian gets more than $500k for her sampled voice on rap record

This item is a few weeks old, but I just caught it on News of the Weird today. The full story is on the VH1 website.

Several years ago, Geneva Burger left a message on an answering machine belonging to a friend of her grandson, saying, in part, "When people get hooked on pot, can they get sick if they don't get it?" The friend, musician Johnny Lupo, made the answering machine tape available to the rap group Magic, and they used the question as a sample in a track called "No Limits" in 1998.

When Burger found out, she filed suit against record producer Master P, Snoop Dogg (rapper on the album), and Priority Records. Her claim was that the material was used without her knowledge or permission, and she suffered "embarrasment and anxiety" when she found that her voice was on the gangsta rap song. Priority and Snoop settled for $300k and $75k respectively, but Master P decided to go to court. When the case closed in December he was required to pay $105k in damages.

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