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Library Copyright Alliance Urges Lawmakers to Update Statutory Damages Safe Harbor

boats in a calm harborimage © Mario LapidOn July 23, 2014, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA)—the American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)—filed a statement (PDF) with the US House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet for the subcommittee’s July 24 hearing on copyright remedies. The LCA statement focuses on problems with statutory damages. The statement notes that the existing safe harbor requiring a court to remit statutory damages when a library, archive, educational institution, or public broadcasting entity believed and had reasonable grounds to believe that its use of material constituted fair use applies only to the reproduction right. The statement recommends an update to reflect the digital era so that this safe harbor applies to any type of use, including uses implicating performance, display, distribution, or derivative work rights. 

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Issues Statement Opposing Copyright Term Extension

U S Capitol buildingimage © Wally GobetzOn July 15, 2014, the US House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet continued its copyright review with a Hearing on Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term. The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA)—the American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)—filed a statement addressing copyright term (PDF), noting the negative effects that lengthy copyright terms have on the public domain.

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Files Amici Brief in Authors Guild v. Google

screenshot of Mrs Dalloway in Google BooksGoogle BooksOn July 8, 2014, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA)—the American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)—filed an amici brief (PDF) in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Authors Guild v. Google in favor of Google’s transformative use in creating Google Book Search (GBS). The Southern District of New York previously ruled in favor of Google, finding that GBS provided significant public benefits and constituted fair use.

 
 

Authors Guild v. HathiTrust: Implications for Libraries

open-book-folded-pagesimage © Thomas HawkJonathan Band, policybandwidth and legal counsel to the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), released on July 7, 2014, an analysis of the recent Authors Guild v. HathiTrust decision, “What Does the HathiTrust Decision Mean for Libraries?” (PDF). As Band notes, “The decision has implications for libraries that go far beyond the specific facts of the case. This paper offers some preliminary thoughts on what these implications may be.” The paper reviews several issues including mass digitization and storage, access to works, suggestions concerning other forms of access, and associational standing. Band concludes:

 
 

Coalition Opposes Copyright Term Extension in Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

container ship on oceanimage © ed_needs_a_bicycleOn July 9, 2014, ARL joined 34 other organizations in sending a letter to ministers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating parties, expressing opposition to the copyright term of life plus 70 years proposed by the United States. These organizations—representing libraries, archives, authors, educators, students, digital rights advocacy groups, and technological innovators—note that this extended copyright term threatens the public domain. The letter states: 

 
 

Authors Guild v. HathiTrust Decision (June 2014)

On June 10, 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the lower court decision in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust in favor of HathiTrust Digital Library. 

pdfagvhathitrust-decision-jun2014.pdf

 
 

LCA Amicus Brief in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. Appeal

On July 8, 2014, the Library Copyright Association filed an amicus brief for Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

pdfamicus-GoogleBooksAppeal-final-8jul2014.pdf

 

 
 

Libraries Applaud Landmark Copyright Ruling Affirming Fair Use

open-book-folded-pagesimage © Thomas HawkThe Library Copyright Alliance is extremely pleased with today’s decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, finding in favor of fair use. The Library Copyright Alliance filed an amicus brief (PDF) in the case, supporting HathiTrust’s position and the lower court’s finding of fair use.

 
 

NYPL Represents Libraries at House Judiciary Subcommittee Copyright Hearing

nypl-fortitude-lion-sculptureNYPL, 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.

 
 

Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: LCA Submits Comments to Copyright Office

orphans-home-atchison-kansas-1911-postcardOrphans’ Home, Atchison, Kansas, 1911, image © Thiophene GuyOn Friday, May 16, 2014, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) submitted additional comments on orphan works and mass digitization (PDF) in response to the US Copyright Office’s notice of inquiry. These comments address the discussions from the March 10–11, 2014, public meeting, noting the complete lack of consensus on these issues, the concerns regarding extended collective licensing solutions, and the appropriateness of best practices developed by user communities. Transcripts of the first day (PDF) and the second day (PDF) of the public meeting are available on the Copyright Office website.

 
 

Library Associations Select Robert Oakley Scholarship Winner

carla-myersCarla 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.

 
 

Orphan Works and Mass Digitization Roundtables: Myths and Realities of Copyright and Fair Use

orphans-home-atchison-kansas-1911-postcardOrphans’ 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.

 
 

ARL Joins Amicus Brief in Garcia v. Google Copyright Case

film-reelimage © 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.

 
 

Garcia v. Google Amicus Brief

In April 2014, the Association of Research Libraries signed on to the Garcia v. Google amicus brief. In the brief, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urges a federal appeals court to reconsider its decision to order Google to take down a controversial video while a copyright lawsuit is pending as the decision sets a dangerous precedent that could have disastrous consequences for free speech.

April 11, 2014 EFF Press Release

pdf amicus-brief-garcia-vs-google-15apr2014.pdf

 
 

Jim Neal's Supplemental Testimony for Hearing on Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works

James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian for Columbia University in the City of New York, testified at the April 2, 2014 Hearing on Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works for the Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. This is his supplemental testimony, which expands upon some issues that came up in the hearing.

pdf testimony-supplement-Jim-Neal-9apr2014.pdf

 
 

Fair Use Promoted at House of Representatives Copyright Hearing

james-neal-testifying-at-house-copyright-hearingJames 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.

 
 

Columbia’s James Neal Testifies before US House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works

james-g-nealJames 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.

 
 

Jim Neal's Written Testimony for Hearing on Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works

James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian for Columbia University in the City of New York, testified at the April 2, 2014 Hearing on Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works for the Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. This is his written testimony.

pdf testimony-jim-neal-2apr2014.pdf

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Comments on EU Consultation on Copyright Rules

european-union-flagimage © Rock CohenOn March 3, 2014, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) submitted a response (PDF) to the European Union (EU) consultation on the review of copyright rules. The EU website provided a list of 80 questions for stakeholders to answer; the LCA response focuses on those questions most relevant to the library community. The categories of questions to which LCA responded cover digital transmissions, term of protection, limitations and exceptions, preservation and archiving, e-lending, mass digitization, teaching, research, and access for persons with disabilities.

 
 

Scope of Fair Use: Library Copyright Alliance Submits Statement for House Judiciary Hearing

fair-use-infographicYesterday, 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.

 
 

Copyright Week Explores Principles of Copyright Policy

copyright-week-logoThis 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.

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Submits Comments on Copyright Reform to Commerce Department

green crop circles including copyright symbolremix 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.

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Additional Comments on Commerce Department Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy

On January 8, 2014, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), of which ARL is a member, provided these additional comments on a number of issues raised in the recent US Department of Commerce “green paper” on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy. These 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.

pdf lca-commerce-dept-copyright-green-paper-8jan2014.pdf

 
 

Strong Fair Use Decision Issued in Bouchat v. Ravens

baltimore-ravens-playing buffalo-billsimage © Lauren SwiecickiIn a long-running legal dispute between Frederick E. Bouchat and the Baltimore Ravens along with the National Football League (NFL), a federal appeals court has ruled that the use of the former Ravens logo by the Ravens and the NFL was fair use. The case involved the incidental use of copyrighted logos in films about historical events—football games, in this instance.

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Participates in Public Meeting on USPTO Copyright Green Paper

green crop circles including copyright symbolremix 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):

 
 

Copyright Term Extension in Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Opposed by 29 Organizations and 71 Individuals

container ship on oceanimage © 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.”

 
 

Letter Opposing Copyright Term Extension in Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

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.”

pdf ltr-opposing-tpp-copyright-extension-6dec2013

 
 

Google Books Case Dismissed—Victory for Fair Use and Libraries

screenshot of Mrs Dalloway in Google BooksGoogle 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.

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Comments on Commerce Department Green Paper

green crop circles including copyright symbolremix 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.

 
 

GSU Copyright Case: Post-Argument Panel to Be Held, Webcast Nov. 19

Georgia State University LibraryGSU Library
image © Jason Puckett
In 2012, the North Georgia District Court ruled largely in favor of Georgia State University (GSU) in the ongoing copyright lawsuit initiated by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publishers. The decision was the first US federal court decision specifically addressing fair use and electronic reserves. Plaintiff publishers appealed on many points of the ruling.

 
 
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