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.
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.
image © Jason PuckettIn 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.
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.
Court transcript from Herbert Mitgang, et al., v. Google, Inc. September 23, 2013, hearing before Judge Denny Chin in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
SPEC Kit 336 explores research libraries’ participation in institutional efforts to train faculty, staff, students, and other researchers in the principles of responsible conduct of research (RCR) and ethical research practices. The survey includes questions on the institution’s training activities, on training roles currently undertaken by librarians, and on librarians’ willingness to expand instruction into the arena of responsible conduct of research. The SPEC Kit includes examples of RCR websites, citation management guides, and RCR workshop and tutorial materials, and information about academic integrity and plagiarism, using copyrighted materials, data management, and research animal welfare.
This publication is available for purchase in both print and online versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf for complete pricing and purchase options information.
Link to the online SPEC Kit 336 on the ARL Digital Publications website.
ARL has published Responsible Conduct of Research Training, SPEC Kit 336, which examines research libraries’ participation in institutional efforts to train faculty, staff, students, and other researchers in the principles of responsible conduct of research (RCR) and ethical research practices. The survey includes questions on the institution’s training activities, on training roles currently undertaken by librarians, and on librarians’ willingness to expand instruction into the arena of responsible conduct of research.
This infographic by ARL, American University's (AU) Washington College of Law, and AU's School of Communication shows how and why libraries should use the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries.
Today ARL, American University's (AU) Washington College of Law, and AU's School of Communication released a new infographic that tells the story of library fair use and the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries in a clear and compelling way. The infographic is freely available as a full-size PDF, an embeddable PNG for blogs and website, and a print-ready 8.5” x 11” PDF to print and hand out at events.
Jonathan Band and Deborah Goldman provide examples of statutory limitations on contractual waivers of rights. These examples come from the US Code; the New York and California Codes; uniform acts; and the European Union. They provide ample precedent for Congress to adopt restrictions on the enforcement of contractual terms that attempt to limit exceptions to the Copyright Act such as first sale or fair use.
image © Dominique ArchambaultOn June 27, a Diplomatic Conference of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held in Marrakesh, Morocco, adopted the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. The Library Copyright Alliance has issued a new “User Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty” (PDF) by Jonathan Band. Read a condensed version of the user guide on the ARL Policy Notes blog.
image © Thomas HawkYesterday, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) submitted a statement on the role of copyright in innovation (PDF) to the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. The committee has been conducting a series of hearings on copyright issues as a way to educate members and prepare for reform. Today, the committee is holding a hearing on innovation and copyright. Next week there will be a hearing on technology and copyright.
image © Dominique ArchambaultThe Library Copyright Alliance applauds the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for finalizing the Treaty for the Blind, a treaty that will allow nations to share or make accessible copies for the print disabled in other countries, who, more often than not, have little access to reading materials. The treaty was signed on June 27 in Morocco.
HathiTrustOn June 3, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed an amicus brief (PDF) in support of HathiTrust and its partners as they defend their district court victory on appeal in the Second Circuit. LCA consists of three major library associations—the American Library Association, ARL, and the Association of College and Research Libraries—that collectively represent over 300,000 information professionals and thousands of libraries of all kinds throughout the US and Canada.
The ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities released this report to bring much-needed attention to the challenges of print-disabled individuals who are seeking access to both print and digital library products and services. The report contains recommendations for research libraries to make information accessible to their full range of diverse users equitably. ARL believes that research libraries are poised to provide critical direction—along with academic leadership, IT, and disability services—on the service and technology planning, procurement, and licensing necessary to create a fully accessible information environment.
RLI issue 281 includes:
"Cuppa MOOC," image © Cikgu BrianOn May 15, Brandon Butler, director of public policy initiatives at ARL, spoke about “MOOCs and the Copyright Challenge: Fair Use in the Balance” as part of the Leading Voices in Higher Education lecture series at Dartmouth College. The lecture series has featured visits from prominent writers, university presidents, and other figures in higher education.
image © ed_needs_a_bicycleOn May 10, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) submitted comments (PDF) on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a trade agreement currently being negotiated between the US and the European Union (EU). While negotiations are still in their preliminary stages, LCA urges the inclusion of provisions to harmonize public access to the results of government-funded research. LCA also cautions against the inclusion of an intellectual property chapter in the agreement.
image © Bjørn MolstadThe Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) applauds the introduction in the US House of Representatives on May 9, 2013, of H.R. 1892, the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013, by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill guarantees that legitimate uses of digital works and technologies will not run afoul of copyright law, even if they require breaking digital locks. Prompted by the recent uproar over cell phone unlocking, the bill recognizes that issue as a symptom of a much larger problem and would fix that problem permanently.
image © Jason PuckettThe Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed a “friend of the court” brief (PDF) late yesterday in support of Georgia State University (GSU) in the appeal of Cambridge U. Press et al. v. Mark P. Becker et al. In its brief, LCA argues that GSU’s e-reserves policy is consistent with widespread and well-established best practices for fair use at academic and research libraries, and that these uses have no negative effects on scholarship. LCA was represented by Jonathan Band and attorneys from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The case is on appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
image © Chrystal Parsons
In "The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley on Libraries" (PDF), Jonathan Band explains the recent copyright decision on the scope of the "first sale" doctrine, its context, and its likely consequences for libraries in the US. In short, the Supreme Court's opinion is a landmark victory that strengthens the legal foundation of library lending, and the Court's extensive reliance on the Library Copyright Alliance's amicus brief shows the importance of library engagement in policy debates. Continued vigilance will be necessary, Band explains, as rights holders disappointed with the Court's majority opinion could go to Congress for a change to the law.
image © Chrystal ParsonsToday the US Supreme Court announced its much-anticipated decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, a lawsuit regarding the bedrock principle of the “first sale doctrine.” The 6-3 opinion is a total victory for libraries and our users. It vindicates the foundational principle of the first sale doctrine—if you bought it, you own it. All who believe in that principle, and the certainty it provides to libraries and many other parts of our culture and economy, should join us in applauding the Court for correcting the legal ambiguity that led to this case in the first place. It is especially gratifying that Justice Breyer’s majority opinion focused on the considerable harm that the Second Circuit’s opinion would have caused libraries.
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) today filed reply comments (PDF) with the US Copyright Office in response to the office’s October 22, 2012, Notice of Inquiry (NOI) about the current state of play with orphan works and mass digitization.
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.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is evaluating whether 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 January 25, 2013, the DOJ requested an extension of the time they have to file an amicus brief.
Two organizations in which ARL partners recently released informational resources about the first-sale doctrine and the Supreme Court case Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons:
The Public View: Two-Minute “Person on the Street” Video by Owners’ Rights Initiative
First-Sale Fast Facts for Libraries: One-Page Summary by Library Copyright Alliance (PDF)
Does the approach of creating a code of best practices, anchored in professional practice, actually work to expand the utility of fair use? What has happened to others who used codes of best practices to gain access to their rights?
This topic is discussed at length in Aufderheide and Jaszi, Reclaiming Fair Use (University of Chicago Press, 2011), but some specific examples include:
Does your university offer intellectual property education to incoming students, or have an academic integrity policy that addresses copyright issues? These are important areas where librarians can be of service in offering balanced information about copyright and fair use.
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries suggests at various points that librarians consider the use of appropriate “technical protection measures” when making digitized materials available on-line, as a way of bolstering their fair use claims. Many libraries already employ such measures as a risk-management strategy.
When teachers bring Stacey, a librarian at a Midwestern private university, their course materials to upload on the university’s e-reserves system, she always checks to make sure that the course material has not been uploaded before—or at least, not in the last three years. If it’s fresh material, and it’s only a small fraction of the original work, she’s pretty sure that uploading it for the students to study could be considered a “fair use.” If it has been uploaded before, she tries to license the material, or have the professor find a substitute that the professor hasn’t used before. She knows that at some universities, e-reserves policies are more liberal, but her institution can’t afford a legal challenge, so she likes to err on the conservative side. After all, you can’t be too careful.
The Fifth Principle in the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries is entitled "Reproducing material for use by disabled students, faculty, staff, and other appropriate users." It describes in some detail the circumstances in which making and providing copies of collection materials in formats that are accessible to persons with disabilities constitutes fair use, as well as certain limitations to which that general principle is subject.