Legal Issues

Legal Issues

Leading authors press for Supreme Court review of Google's digitised library

Submitted by Blake on Wed, 02/10/2016 - 14:07

The web giant’s digitisation of millions of books – many in copyright – faces a fresh legal challenge, backed by authors including Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey, Ursula Le Guin and Malcolm Gladwell

From Leading authors press for Supreme Court review of Google's digitised library | Books | The Guardian

Authors Guild Petitions Supreme Court to Rule on Google Copying Millions of Books Without Permission

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 01/05/2016 - 12:27

Today, the Authors Guild, the nation’s largest and oldest society of professional writers, filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States requesting that it review a lower court ruling that allowed Google, Inc. to copy millions of copyright-protected books without asking for authors’ permission or paying them. At stake, the Guild claims, is the right of authors to determine what becomes of their works in the digital age. Read the full press release here.

'Mein Kampf' Enters Public Domain; Arguably, Anne Frank's Diary May, Too

Submitted by Bibliofuture on Fri, 01/01/2016 - 14:49
Topic

It's been more than 70 years since the end of the Holocaust, but by a fluke of fate — and international copyright law — two stark reminders of the genocide may be entering the public domain in Europe on Friday. Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic manifesto, sees its European copyright expire after Dec. 31; so too for Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl, according to several French activists.

http://goo.gl/KTo9i5 (NPR)

‘Happy Birthday’ Copyright Case Reaches a Settlement

Submitted by Blake on Fri, 12/11/2015 - 11:04
Topic

After more than two years of litigation, “Happy Birthday to You” — often called the most popular song in the world, but one that has long been under copyright — is one step closer to joining the public domain.

From ‘Happy Birthday’ Copyright Case Reaches a Settlement - The New York Times

Librarians and privacy advocates ally to condemn cybersecurity bill

Submitted by Blake on Wed, 12/09/2015 - 12:12
Topic

US librarians have joined with a host of civil liberties groups to condemn a cybersecurity bill now passing through Congress they claim will be both “unhelpful” and “dangerous to Americans’ civil liberties”.

From Librarians and privacy advocates ally to condemn cybersecurity bill | US news | The Guardian

New copyright law in Poland heralds new era for libraries

Submitted by Blake on Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:56

The new Polish Copyright Act [link in Polish] enters into force on 20th November 2015 bringing library services in Poland into the twenty-first century.

Major new provisions enabling digitization for socially beneficial purposes, such as education and preservation of cultural heritage, are the centrepiece for libraries of the new law.

TPP's Copyright Trap

Submitted by Blake on Wed, 11/11/2015 - 14:22
Topic

One of the defining battles in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations is whether its signatory countries will standardize copyright terms lengths to a minimum term of the life of the author plus 70 years. This would effectively set the maximum duration of copyright holders' monopoly rights to over 140 years. This is the demand from rightsholder groups such as the RIAA and MPAA who advise the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). A precedent for such a provision has been set in previous Free Trade Agreements with countries like Australia and Singapore.

Official Release of TPP Text Confirms Massive Loss to Canadian Public Domain

Submitted by Blake on Wed, 11/11/2015 - 09:50
Topic

Unchanged from the leaked text is the confirmation of the extension of the term of copyright to life of the author plus an additional 70 years. This marks a 20 year extension in the term of copyright, dealing a massive blow to access to Canadian heritage and resulting in hundreds of millions in cost.  For example, there are 22 Governor-General award winning fiction and non-fiction authors whose work will not enter the public domain for decades.  These include Margaret Laurence, Gabrielle Roy, Marian Engel, Marshall McLuhan, and Donald Creighton.