What this tool can do for you:
- Help you better understand how to determine the “fairness” of a use under the U.S. Copyright Code.
- Collect, organize & archive the information you might need to support a fair use evaluation.
- Provide you with a time-stamped, PDF document for your records [example], which could prove valuable, should you ever be asked by a copyright holder to provide your fair use evaluation and the data you used to support it. [why is this important?]
- Provide access to educational materials, external copyright resources, and contact information for copyright help at local & national levels.
Looks nifty! I don’t have a reason to use it now, but it’s a great tool to remember.
The host site, Copyright Advisory Network from the ALA Office of Information Technology Policy has more great tools and information about copyright and the use of copyrighted material.
Excellent commentary on a recent NYT Op-Ed by Scott Turow (head of the Authors Guild). I definitely recommend reading both.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one to feel this way, but my overall impression of copyright, intellectual property, and swirling vortex of issues around those two issues can be summed up in one word: unsatisfactory. […]
Professionally, it feels like dancing through a landmine field. I am trying to steer people to the legitimate track of properly authorized and compensated copies of digital media, but society and business seems to conspire against this ideal. The social acceptance of media copying have lead me to the hardly surprising conclusion that people are copying the music and movies that they check out from the library at home. Over the course of my library years, I’ve even had the unfortunate experience of intervening when people were brazenly ripping CDs onto their laptops at the library. Some honestly didn’t know that it was a copyright infraction while others picked up on the fact that they could copy those CDs but in the privacy of their own homes. When it comes to eBooks, it’s tricky to guide people away from the ease of P2P downloading when the so called “friction” of eBook lending turns the question of borrowing into a overly long complex and extremely contextual answer. In trying to respect the owners of copyright, I end up showcasing all the madness that they have brought down on themselves in order to enforce it. It does nothing to encourage compliance nor engender respect for the concept or the laws supporting it.
Great post on his experience with downloading/file-sharing and copyright issues.
Finding free quality images is a tedious task - mainly due to copyright issues, attribution requirements, or simply lack of quality. This inspired us to create Pixabay - a repository for outstanding public domain images.
You can freely use any image from this website in digital and printed format, for personal and commercial use, without attribution requirement to the original author.
Some 125 years after his first appearance, Sherlock Holmes remains a hot literary property, inspiring thousands of pastiches, parodies and sequels in print, to saying nothing of the hit Warner Bros. film starring Robert Downey Jr. and such television series as “Elementary” and the BBC’s “Sherlock.”
But according to a civil complaint filed on Thursday in federal court in Illinois by a leading Holmes scholar, many licensing fees paid to the Arthur Conan Doyle estate have been unnecessary, since the main characters and elements of their story derived from materials published before Jan. 1, 1923, are no longer covered by United States copyright law.
This will be an interesting case to follow.
Kevin Smith at Duke draws the right conclusion from the ongoing outrage of the lawsuit against GSU.
The book publishing industry, already facing disruption from Amazon and e-books, will confront a new form of turbulence in 2013. Starting in January, publishers face the loss of their back lists as authors begin using the Copyright Act to reclaim works they assigned years ago.
Even by the standards of copyright law, the author reclamation rules are a messy cat’s cradle of ambiguous rules and technicalities. The math makes your head spin.
For instance, authors have a five-year window to exercise the right but must also provide advance notice at least two years but no more than 10 years beforehand. For 1978 authors — who are eligible to reclaim in 2013 — the window is already closing.
Note of interest: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion was published in 1978, so it’s one of the works that could be affected by this. It will be interesting to see whether the Tolkien estate (or any of the authors for whom this applies) does anything about it.
I get a little testy when every attempt at developing a new way to share scholarship is required to pass a sustainability test. What we’re doing now isn’t sustainable. So why should new things have to prove they can do something our current system cannot provide? I’m all for thinking through the implications and having a some kind of plan. I’m not in favor of abandoning ideas because we can’t figure out how to put them to a test that the status quo has already failed. Miserably.
The printing press was more than a disruptive technology or a new business model for copying stuff. True, the printing press was a great copy machine, but it had a more profound impact. It made it possible for us to discover our cultural past by making classical texts widely available in uniform editions. It gave us more time to write new texts because we didn’t have to painstakingly copy the old ones before they could be shared. The printing press enabled us to compare and share ideas and spread them further than ever before.
So why did we decide to go backward? Why do we deliver this stuff we do to a system that will lock it up with licenses and copyrights and firewalls to prevent unauthorized access? Why do we work so hard for a deliberately tiny audience? Why did we lose faith in the power of ideas as a force for good?
When there’s not a lot of good news around, it was uplifting to check Twitter late last night after a full day and find out that a federal judge has upheld fair use in an important case. Judge Harold Baer denied the Authors Guild et al’s motion for summary judgment (making quite a hash of their arguments in the process) but affirmed that what the Hathi Trust is doing is legal for three main reasons:
- Scanning books in order to create a giant index of them, without providing actual access to the works, is transformative.
- Copying for the purposes of preservation may not be transformative, but may well be a fair use.
- Making works available to the visually impaired is a fair use and one the judge finds particularly unarguable.
We’ve just added the following set of questions and answers to our FAQ for librarians, which is part of the rich package of resource pages that we’re maintaining to support users of the Code. As you’ll see, the impact of Judge Evans’ decision in the Georgia State University course reserves case on libraries following the Code should be fairly limited. The decision speaks directly to just one application of one principle out of the eight. In the narrow space where the decision and the Code overlap, they are arguably consonant in practice, though it seems Judge Evans is out of step with the library community on the theoretical question of “transformativeness.”
We hope this resource will help academic and research libraries as they determine whether and how the Georgia State course reserves decision should effect their own daily practice.
Figures. As soon as the other post goes up, I find another blog post I like on the subject. :) Some good points re: libraries are made in this post.
That doesn’t mean the decision is a total win for libraries and instructors. It’s a huge relief that most of the uses were found to be fair and that simply asserting possible financial losses would not automatically cancel out the other three factors. The judge found nothing compelling about the argument that publishers were threatened by fair use, but did imply that the fourth factor weighed more heavily if paying fees were made easy for the user. It’s worth noting that of the five infringing uses, four were from SAGE publications, and SAGE is the only one of the three plaintiffs that licensed permissions routinely for all of their books. There is now every incentive for publishers to assume all rights, leaving authors with little but the privilege of being published, and make payments slick and easy. It also provides incentives for institutions to avoid risk by simply paying up if that’s easier than thinking about fair use, simply passing the cost along to students or maybe the library. Can your students afford more expenses? How about your library? And to make things worse, the more money these licenses make, the more weighty the claim that not paying up harms the market.
Overall there is good news for libraries in the decision issued late yesterday in the Georgia State University e-reserves copyright case. Most of the extreme positions advocated by the plaintiff publishers were rejected, and Judge Evans found copyright infringement in only five excerpts from among the 99 specific reading that had been challenged in the case.
That means she found fair use, or, occasionally, some other justification, in 94 instances, or 95% of the time.
There are a lot of posts from various people about this decision (released on Friday), but this one provides more background than some of the others, and it’s written in terms this non-lawyer can understand. :)
While there was a big outcry against SOPA that included protest from many well-known Internet giants like Wikipedia and Reddit, the backlash against CISPA hasn’t had quite as many champions. Some sites that came out against SOPA, like Facebook, are actually pro-CISPA for very self-interested but logical reasons. Along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), whose opposition to the bill is frankly no surprise, the American Library Association (ALA) has also come out against CISPA, and in doing so have suddenly become my heroes. Here’s why.