ARL 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, 2013, 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.”
NYPL, photo by Carol M. HighsmithToday, June 2, 2014, Greg Cram, associate director of copyright and information policy at the New York Public Library (NYPL), testified on the importance of the first sale doctrine to libraries at “First Sale under Title 17,” a field hearing held by the US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. The Library Copyright Alliance—which consists of the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries—endorsed Cram’s public support for the first sale doctrine.
Carla Myers, image courtesy CU Colorado SpringsOn May 13, 2014, the American Library Association (ALA) awarded Carla Myers the 2014 Robert L. Oakley Memorial Scholarship. The Library Copyright Alliance—which consists of ALA, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)—established the Robert L. Oakley Memorial Scholarship to support research and advanced study for librarians in their early-to-mid-careers who are interested and active in intellectual property, public policy, copyright, and their impacts on libraries.
Orphans’ Home, Atchison, Kansas, 1911, image © Thiophene GuyOn March 10–11, 2014, the US Copyright Office convened roundtables on orphan works and mass digitization. Several participants attacked fair use and libraries, misstated the purpose of the copyright system in the United States, or inaccurately portrayed the activities of HathiTrust. An ARL Policy Notes blog post examines some of these misconceptions, or myths, cited at the roundtables and responds to these inaccuracies. An earlier ARL Policy Notes blog post recaps the roundtable discussions, which covered best practices, fair use, licensing solutions, and the issue of whether orphan works and mass digitization need to be treated separately.
image © CoyauOn Friday, April 11, 2014, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), along with the American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, and other organizations, joined an amicus brief authored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in Garcia v. Google. The brief urges the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reconsider its decision in this copyright case in which a 2-1 panel ruled in favor of Cindy Lee Garcia, one of the actors in the film Innocence of Muslims. Garcia claimed a copyright interest in her performance after being tricked into appearing in a five-second clip of the film and subsequently sought takedown of the film from YouTube, which is owned by Google.
James Neal testifying at House copyright hearingJames G. Neal, Columbia University’s university librarian and vice president for information services, served as the voice of libraries to the US House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, when the subcommittee held a hearing on preserving and reusing copyrighted work. The hearing, “Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works,” explored a variety of copyright issues, including orphan works, mass digitization, and specific provisions of the Copyright Act that concern preservation by libraries and archives.
James G. NealOn Wednesday, April 2, 2014, the US House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet continued its copyright review. This hearing focused on “Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works” with six panelists: Gregory Lukow (chief, Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, Library of Congress), Richard Rudick (co-chair, Section 108 Study Group), James G. Neal (vice president for information services and university librarian, Columbia University), Jan Constantine (general counsel, the Authors Guild), Michael C. Donaldson (partner, Donaldson + Callif, LLP, on behalf of Film Independent and International Documentary Association), and Jeffry Sedlik (president and chief executive officer, PLUS Coalition). Written testimony from each witness is available on the House Judiciary Committee website.
James Neal’s statement (PDF), endorsed by the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), provides that the “overarching point is that the existing statutory framework, which combines the specific library exceptions in Section 108 with the flexible fair use right, works well for libraries, and does not require amendment.” In reaching this point, the written statement goes through four issues: (1) the importance of library preservation, (2) how the library exceptions under Section 108 supplement rather than supplant fair use, (3) the diminished need for orphan works legislation, and (4) perspective on the HathiTrust case.