Chris Meadows revisits a subject, Google Books, that has been the focal point of legal action, disagreement within the publishing and library communities, and basically an issue lacking closure concerning the end product. Meadows reiterates the Second Circuit finding on Google Books and fair uses in his response to the continued quest of some groups to restore the “Library of Alexandria.” Please also see his related article, Oh Lord, please don’t let Google Book Search be misunderstood.
In what became a two part article, Chris Meadows responds to the continuing commentary and rebuttals on the Google Books decision and access to the search engine that remains available to query a huge index of full-text books and access the text of scanned copies of books in the public domain. The second part of Meadows’ rebuttal was prompted by the publication of yet another article, and is also republished on LLRX – Google Books is not Alexandria redux.
Ken Sawdon discusses the implications of copyright lawsuit that was settled in India which had been brought by several large textbook publishers against a photocopying services that created student coursepacks for educational purposes only.
Deans of Virginia University Libraries to Chairman Goodlatte: First Do No Harm in Copyright Revision
UVA Director of Information Policy Brandon Butler explains the implications of the Copyright Office plan to to issue a total rewrite of Section 108 of the Copyright Act and provides context on such a decision, which protects library and archives’ copying for preservation and research. Libraries and archives have said they do not want this, but the Office seems to be determined to do it. So, a group of Deans and Directors of Virginia university libraries has sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to ensure he realizes the controversy and context that surrounds the Office’s proposed changes. If you are a concerned library or librarian, consider writing your representative, especially if they sit on the Judiciary Committee.
Alan Rothman’s article focuses on a creative, innovative effort to deploy the blockchain as a form of global registry of creative works ownership – specifically a global rights database for images. The co-founders of a new metadata protocol they call the Mediachain enables creators working in digital media to write data describing their work along with a timestamp directly onto the blockchain. The implications of this technology impact multiple sectors such as: legal, financial, libraries, museums and archives, and social media.
3D printing is a growth market – for vendors, consumers, and for public libraries (providing them in combination with maker spaces – “a shared work area where people build things collaboratively.”) Within the sphere of this innovative technology there is growing recognition that 3D printing can produce objects covered by specific particular patents. This new area of copyright infringement is the focus of Alan Rothman’s article.
The library community welcomed the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust. The decision has implications for libraries that go far beyond the specific facts of the case. This paper by Jonathan Band offers some preliminary thoughts on what these implications may be.
Prof. Annemarie Bridy reviews the facts related to fair use and copyright in the long awaited decision delivered in the Google Book Search case on November 14, 2013 by Judge Chin. She focuses on the court’s deliberation of statutory requirements for the fair use defense to a claim of infringement based on weighing four critical factors. In sum, Bridy believes the opinion is an efficient and complete analysis of the required factors, and thinks that it will hold up well on appeal.
Jonathan Band provides a comprehensive guide to the recent international adoption of the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.” The Treaty is intended to promote the making and distribution of copies of books and other published materials in formats accessible to people with print disabilities. The Treaty would achieve this objective by obligating signatory countries (referred to as Contracting Parties) to adopt exceptions in their copyright laws that permit the making of copies in accessible formats as well as the distribution of those copies both domestically and internationally. This memorandum explains the Treaty’s provisions. The memorandum concludes that Title 17 of the United States Code complies with the Treaty’s requirements, and thus that the United States could sign and ratify the Treaty without making any changes to domestic law.
The recent Supreme Court decision, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, addresses fair use and the “first sale” doctrine, upon whose protection libraries, used-book dealers, technology companies, consumer-goods retailers, and museums have long relied. Professor Annmarie Bridy’s commentary focuses on the position that intellectual property rights in general and copyrights in particular are important, and when their scope is circumscribed to ensure the existence of a robust public domain, they benefit society. However important IP rights are, though – and reasonable people disagree pretty vigorously about that – they are not fundamental in the Constitutional sense.