|—||Strong words from the ever-awesome Carrie Russell at ALA in a new blog post, Hooray for Hollywood? Choosing maximum copyright over justice.|
For more information, contact: Brandon Butler | 202-296-2296 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) applauds the introduction on May 9, 2013, of H.R. 1892, the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013, by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill guarantees that legitimate uses of digital works and technologies will not run afoul of copyright law, even if they require breaking digital locks. Prompted by the recent uproar over cell phone unlocking, the bill recognizes that issue as a symptom of a much larger problem and would fix that problem permanently.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed in 1998, made it illegal for owners of legally purchased digital media and technologies to modify their property if it would break digital rights management (DRM) and other forms of digital locks. The DMCA placed a shadow over a host of normal activities of libraries and their patrons: ripping DVDs to facilitate teaching and learning, converting ebooks to accessible formats, modifying tablets to run different software, and more.
Under current law, libraries and their patrons must ask the Copyright Office for special carve-outs every three years to allow these kinds of uses, even though they don’t infringe copyright. The Office has issued some favorable rules for library uses, but those rules are limited in scope, difficult to win, and can be revoked by the Office at any future rulemaking. Indeed, it was the revocation of the cell phone unlocking exception that raised recent alarms about the DMCA and the power it gives the Copyright Office
The Unlocking Technology Act does away with this bizarre aspect of the DMCA, freeing all non-infringing uses regardless of their effect on DRM. Importantly, the Act also permits the creation and distribution of tools required for unlocking, without which the right to unlock would be useless. LCA applauds the sponsors for their leadership and vision, and urges others in the House to support this important bill.
The sponsors’ press release, full text of the bill, and a section-by-section summary are available [here](http://lofgren.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=797:reps-zoe- lofgren-thomas-massie-anna-eshoo-a-jared-polis-introduce-bipartisan-bill-to-enable-cell-phone- a-wireless-device-unlocking&catid=22:112th-news&Itemid=161).
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) consists of three major library associations—the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries. These three associations collectively represent over 300,000 information professionals and thousands of libraries of all kinds throughout the United States and Canada. Find us on the web at http://librarycopyrightalliance.org/.
A PDF of this statement is available here.
Trade agreements that deal with copyright are all the rage. So far they’re mostly used as a way to avoid transparent, democratic processes while ratcheting up protection and locking in the worst aspects of US law. In these comments, LCA suggests the US change its approach and instead look to export user-friendly policies like the recent White House open access order, while eschewing efforts to harmonize our laws with the more draconian laws of Europe. The comments are brief and worth a quick read for anyone interested in the risks that these agreements pose to libraries.
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed a friend of the court brief today in support of Georgia State University in the appeal of Cambridge U. Press et al. v. Mark P. Becker et al. In its brief, LCA argues that GSU’s e-reserves policy is consistent with widespread and well-established best practices for fair use at academic and research libraries, and that these uses have no negative effects on scholarship. LCA is represented by Jonathan Band and attorneys from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The case is on appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
The case began in 2008 when Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publishers sued GSU for alleged copyright infringement. The publishers argued that GSU’s use of excerpts from copyright-protected materials in password-protected course e-reserves and class sites was a violation of the copyright law. Notably, the Association of American Publishers and the Copyright Clearance Center, the licensing arm for much of the academic publishing industry, organized and funded the lawsuit.
In May 2012, Judge Orinda Evans of the U.S. District Court in Atlanta ruled in favor of the university in a lengthy decision that reviewed each of 75 alleged infringements, finding only 5 infringing uses. In her ruling, the Judge saw little evidence of market harm to the publishers, and clearly understood that current teaching practices were beneficial to teachers and students, as well as being reasonable and fair. Because of GSU’s overwhelming victory, and the publishers’ aggressive litigation strategy, Judge Evans ordered the publishers to pay GSU’s attorneys’ fees and costs (nearly $3 million), an important ruling that could help discourage future aggressive lawsuits against good faith fair users.
Now that the issues are narrowed and clarified on appeal, LCA is one of several groups filing on the side of GSU in a striking show of solidarity across the academic community. The American Council on Education, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, and the American Association of University Professors, among others, are all represented in briefs defending the fair use rights of faculty, students, and librarians.
via Emily Goodhand, who asks one of the right questions: what happens to unpaid monies? Another right question: who collects the money? And another one: what does this have to do with incentivizing the creation of new works, since no author would be motivated one way or the other by what happens to her work if she disappears?
I suspect the real issue here is revealed by the one supporter of the measure, who is quoted saying that non-orphan rightsholders don’t want to have to “compete” with orphans that are free to use unless/until a rightsholder shows up. This is about raising costs to protect incumbent rightsholders, with no benefit to the public.
|—||India gets its GSU. The academic protection racket is spreading. Copyright organisation asks colleges to buy licence to photocopy book portions - The Economic Times|
Just finished a discussion with my co-workers regarding The Slow Death of the American Author in which we talked about what we agreed and disagreed about the piece.
E-books are not going away. Authors, publishers, and libraries are dealing with this, some are doing better than others. What I’m realizing that authors/publishers arn’t getting is that for the past 2+ years public librarians have been teaching people around America how to use their e-readers so they could buy your e-books.
Do they realize this? Because I’ve been doing it as a free services since becoming a public librarian. People come to me every day because they don’t know how to use their Kindle/Nook/I-pad, and I teach them FOR FREE. I don’t get a cut from the author or the publisher even though I am enabling them to buy books from them. Seriously, I even show them where to put their credit card information.
Yes, I also show them how to download free library books but I can honestly say that most people come to me because Amazon/Banes & Noble/Apple/Scott Turow did not personally take the time to teach them how to use their product. Some of these companies do offer classes and tutorials but for some reason they prefer coming to me, a public librarian willing to do it for free. You’re welcome!
As if to prove our point….
OCLC has posted video of the panel I moderated recently at their wonderful conference in Philadelphia:
MOOCs and Libraries: Copyright, Licensing, Open Access (by OCLCResearch).
I was told that all of my panelists had to have names that begin with K, but luckily three of the smartest library copyright lawyers around meet that criterion. Whew!
Authors Guild president Scott Turow in his New York Times editorial last Sunday, which many in the publishing world have criticized for its negativity and defensiveness.
He claims to be looking out for the financial and creative interests of new and midlist authors, and yet, as I myself have pointed out, he fails to acknowledge how invested the American public library system is in launching writing careers. (First novels are always a draw for collection development librarians, and I market them aggressively.)
Turow is, how do you say, desperately out of touch with the opportunities of the digital age. Sad.
Wildly out of touch—and out of touch with the opportunities of the analog age? What does he think libraries have been up to all this time?