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A Guide for the Perplexed Part III: The Amended Settlement Agreement

On Friday, November 13, 2009, Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers filed an Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA) in the copyright infringement litigation concerning the Google Library Project. The amendments proposed by the parties are designed to address objections made by the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to the original proposed settlement agreement. While many of the amendments will have little direct impact on libraries, the ASA significantly reduces the scope of the settlement because it excludes most books published outside of the United States. This paper describes the ASA's major changes, with emphasis on those changes relevant to libraries.

pdf guide-for-perplexed-part3-nov09.pdf

 
 

How Fair Use Prevailed in the Harry Potter Case

In a highly publicized decision issued on September 8, 2008, US District Court Judge Robert Patterson ruled that Steven Vander Ark's Harry Potter Lexicon infringed J.K. Rowling's copyright. Although J. K. Rowling prevailed in the litigation, the big winner actually was fair use.

pdf band-harry-potter-29sept08.pdf

 
 

The Impact of the Supreme Court's Decision in Costco v. Omega on Libraries

On December 13, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Costco v. Omega in a manner that eliminated none of the uncertainty caused by the lower court's ruling in that case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had ruled that the copyright law's "first sale doctrine" did not apply to copies manufactured abroad. This ruling cast doubt on a library's ability to circulate books and other materials manufactured outside of the United States.

pdf lca-costco-31jan11.pdf

 
 

The Google Print Library Project: A Copyright Analysis

On August 11, 2005, Google announced that it would not scan copyrighted books under its Print Library Project until November, so that publishers could decide whether they want to opt their in-copyright books out of the project. Given the confusion in press reports describing the project, publishers should carefully study exactly what Google intends to do and understand the relevant copyright issues. This understanding should significantly diminish any anxiety publishers possess about the project.

pdf band-gbs-copyright-analysis-11aug05.pdf

 
 

A Guide For the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement

On March 22, 2011, Judge Denny Chin rejected the proposed settlement in copyright infringement litigation over the Google Library Project. Judge Chin found that the settlement was not "fair, reasonable, and adequate" as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Chin issued the decision over a year after the fairness hearing he conducted. His opinion agrees in large measure with the objections to the settlement asserted by the U.S. Department of Justice at the hearing and in its written submissions. This paper discusses the opinion and where it leaves Google Books Search.

pdf guide-for-perplexed-part4-apr11.pdf

 
 

A New Day for the DMCA: The Chamberlain and Lexmark Decisions

Recent circuit-level decisions in Chamberlain v. Skylink and Lexmark v. Static Control Components interpreted the Digital Millenium Copyright Act in a manner that will prevent its use to restrict legitimate competition in after-market components. By placing on plaintiffs the burden of proving intent to infringe copyright, judges on both panels not only dictate the correct outcome in these cases, but also provided defendants in other cases a way to short-circuit litigation when infringement is nowhere to be seen. Published in Electronic & Commerce Law Vol. 9 No. 45 (November 2004).

pdf band-dmca-chamberlain-lexmark-24nov04.pdf

 
 
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