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.
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 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.
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.
image © 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.
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):
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.
On November 13, 2013, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), of which ARL is a member, provided these 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. LCA commented on issues relating to statutory damages, online licensing, collective rights organizations, and contractual restrictions on copyright exceptions.
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.
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 © 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.
"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 © 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.
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.
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.
The advent of Massive Open Online Courses raises serious legal questions that in turn pose important and fundamental policy challenges for research libraries. As universities rush to find ways to add courses to emerging MOOC platforms, research libraries are being asked to take on new responsibilities (or new versions of old responsibilities) to support this new mode of teaching and learning.
Before the Court are two motions for judgment on the pleadings and three motions for summary judgment.