The movement to boycott journal publishers requiring restrictive copyright agreements of their authors is in full swing, as
evidenced by this open letter signed by
an impressive array of scientists and scholars.
We support the establishment of an online public library that would provide the full contents of the published record of research and scholarly discourse in medicine and the life sciences in a freely accessible, fully searchable, interlinked form. . . To encourage the publishers of our journals to support this endeavor, we pledge that, beginning in September, 2001, we will publish in, edit or review for, and personally subscribe to, only those scholarly and scientific journals that have agreed to grant unrestricted free distribution rights to any and all original research reports that they have published . . .
Cabot writes:The Canadian federal government is taking a look at copyright issues to ensure legislation is keeping pace with the digital revolution.\" There\'s
This Story And This One on how the Canadian Govt. is moving to change copyright laws in the great white north. They are starting with two consultation papers related to Internet
issues. One outlines possible solutions to digital copyright issues, while the other addresses the rules by which radio and television signals may be retransmitted over the Internet. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters seems to like it, which is probably a bad sign.
\'\'Canada needs a copyright framework that continuously adapts to a fast-changing digital environment,\'\' Industry Minister Brian Tobin said.\"
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced that it has joined several other literary groups supporting Captain America creator Joseph H. Simon\'s effort to reclaim his copyright from Marvel Comics. The SFWA joined the Authors Guild Inc., the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the National Writers Union, Novelists Inc., the Society of Children\'s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Text and Academic Authors Association in an amicus curiae brief supporting Simon\'s claim. \"
They give a little mention to Docster, but the story is very limited on any details of the panel discussion or anything else.
Anyone have a better link to what went on there?
I\'d love to hear more about what was said.
If you\'ve read most of the other stories I posted on this subject there isn\'t much new here, but he makes some good points. Joshua S. Bauchner says the corruption of copyright harms the public interest, and contravene the principles of a democratic society.
Since copyright holders, often not the creative authors, ensured the massive expansion of their monopoly, many of the new laws we are seeing around the world work against the people who were supposed to be protected in the first place.
Coalition for Networked Information director Clifford Lynch holds forth on \"competing visions for the future of the book in the digital environment.\"
Commercial publishing interests are presenting the future of the book in the digital world through the promotion of e-book reading appliances and software. Implicit in this is a very complex and problematic agenda that re-establishes the book as a digital cultural artifact within a context of intellectual property rights management enforced by hardware and software systems. With the convergence of different types of content into a common digital bit-stream, developments in industries such as music are establishing precedents that may define our view of digital books. At the same time we find scholars exploring the ways in which the digital medium can enhance the traditional communication functions of the printed work, moving far beyond literal translations of the pages of printed books into the digital world. This paper examines competing visions for the future of the book in the digital environment, with particular attention to questions about the social implications of controls over intellectual property, such as continuity of cultural memory. [from First Monday ]
The bad news about the copyright grab just keeps on coming. It really looks like we are losing something important, and we have to act. Here is a story in the San Diego Union Tribune about how actual laws are being copyrighted - and the copyright found to be valid in court cases, including a Federal appeals court. In other words, governments are not free to distribute the whole of the law - in some cases you have to buy it from a private party in order to read it, or your library has to buy it (as long as that is still allowed - publishers are working on that now). This is so bad you\'d think it is a hoax, but it seems to be real. Slashdot has a discussion on this article from a few days ago.
Lisa Bowman writes...
Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association and EFF have been wildly successful overturning crackdowns on Internet content, including the Communications Decency Act. But so far, they\'ve been on the losing side of battles to protect free speech in the face of corporate copyright owners seeking unprecedented digital privileges--battles such as the DeCSS case. [more...] from ZDNet.
John McNaughton writes... \"The RIAA is so obsessed with the supposed threat of the internet to its members\' prosperity, it is prepared to go to unbelievable lengths to stamp out that threat. Readers of this column will be aware that the RIAA is suing a US magazine for publishing the code of a small computer program called DeCSS that unscrambles DVD files so that Linux users can play their own disks. What is perhaps less well known is that a company that prints the DeCSS code on a T-shirt is also being sued. Sooner or later, free societies are going to have to rein in the pretensions and power of the RIAA. If this nonsense isn\'t stopped, the days when you could do what you please with your own hard disk are numbered.\"
[more...] from The Observer.
Lawrence Lessig wrote an interesting OP-ED Piece at the NY Times on how silly copyright law is getting. Congress has extended the term of existing copyrights 11 times in the past 40 years. Current copyright law says the term is the life of the author — plus 70 years.
He says \"At some point, every story — and certainly one like this — should be free for others to use and criticize.\"