Yesterday, the US House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held another hearing on copyright review. This hearing focused on the scope of fair use and included five witnesses: Peter Jaszi (professor, American University), June Besek (professor, Columbia University), Naomi Novik (author and co-founder, Organization for Transformative Works), David Lowery (singer/songwriter and lecturer, University of Georgia), and Kurt Wimmer (general counsel, Newspaper Association of America). In advance of the hearing, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) submitted a written statement (PDF) discussing how libraries rely on fair use in order to serve their users and meet their mission, how the federal government relies on fair use for photocopying and in the patent examination process, and how rights holders rely on fair use in developing new works. The LCA statement concludes that no changes are needed to the fair use doctrine.
remix of image by Patrick HoeslyOn January 8, the Library Copyright Alliance submitted additional comments (PDF) on the US Department of Commerce “green paper,” Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (PDF), following a public meeting held by the Commerce Department in December. The post-meeting comments focus on four issues: the recent fair use court decision in the case Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens, digital preservation, remixes, and collective rights organizations.
image © ed_needs_a_bicycleARL joined 28 other organizations and 71 individuals in a letter opposing a copyright term of life plus 70 years in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Authors of the letter, sent to TPP negotiators on December 6, noted, “There is no benefit to society of extending copyright beyond the 50 years mandated by the WTO. While some TPP countries, like the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore or Australia, already have life + 70 (or longer) copyright terms, there is growing recognition that such terms were a mistake, and should be shortened, or modified by requiring formalities for the extended periods.”
In this case, we are asked to decide whether ß43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U. S. C. ß1125(a), prevents the unaccredited copying of a work, and if so, whether a court may double a profit award under ß1117(a), in order to deterfuture infringing conduct.
remix of image by Patrick HoeslyThe US Department of Commerce is seeking comment on the recently released Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy. In response, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), of which ARL is a member, provided comments (PDF) on a number of issues raised in the Green Paper. LCA commented on issues relating to statutory damages, online licensing, collective rights organizations, and contractual restrictions on copyright exceptions.
This week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is hosting Copyright Week, with each day devoted to a different issue. Copyright Week will last six days, ending on Saturday, January 18, the two-year anniversary of the Internet blackouts protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). ARL and 16 other organizations are participating in Copyright Week. Throughout the week, the participants will discuss key principles that should guide copyright policy.
remix of image by Patrick HoeslyOn Thursday, December 12, the US Department of Commerce hosted a daylong event at the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in Arlington, Virginia, to discuss some of the copyright policy issues raised in the PTO “green paper,” Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (PDF). Each of the following topics was addressed by a panel of speakers representing key stakeholders, moderated by officials from the PTO and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA):
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) decided not to participate in the appeal of the case Cambridge University Press v. Mark Becker as amicus curiae. The case concerns the use at Georgia State University (GSU) of electronic course reserves (e-reserves) and electronic course sites to make excerpts from academic books available online to students enrolled in particular courses. It was widely reported that the US Copyright Office requested that the DOJ file an amicus brief either on the side of the publishers or as a neutral party. On February 22, 2013, the DOJ sent this letter to the court stating that the US Attorney General had decided not to file an amicus brief in the case.
Google BooksOn November 14, Judge Denny Chin of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the digitization of millions of books from research library collections was a fair use and dismissed the Authors Guild case against Google and its Library Project, saying that the project “advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration of the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.” In his decision, Judge Chin cited a November 2012 amicus brief (PDF) submitted by the Library Copyright Alliance (comprised of the Association of Research Libraries, the American Library Association, and the Association of College and Research Libraries). The Authors Guild has stated that they disagree with the decision and plan to appeal.
Google BooksAfter eight years of litigation, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York today upheld the fair use doctrine when the court dismissed Authors Guild v. Google, a case that questioned the legality of Google’s searchable book database.