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The Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force (Task Force) released its Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (Green Paper) July 31, 2013 and now seeks public comment on copyright issues critical to remixes, first sale, cultural development, economic growth, job creation, damages, secondary liability, licensing etc.

The Task Force will have an initial public meeting on October 30, 2013 in D.C., and will consider public comments received before Oct 15.

DATES: Comments are due on or before November 13, 2013. Any comments received before October 15, 2013 will be considered in the discussions in the public meeting. The public meeting will be held on October 30, 2013, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time. Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m.
ADDRESSES: The Task Force intends to hold the public meeting in the Amphitheatre of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20004.

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Theresa Hackett has alerted us that a new EIFL guide out for libraries on the EU Orphan Works Directive.  The October 2012 Directive 2012/28/EU, she says, set out common rules for digitization and online display of orphan works, but unfortunately it has not realized hopes for large-scale digitization of orphan works by libraries.

The Guide explains the background and key provisions, and it makes  recommendations for libraries to implement in EU countries, and advises libraries in countires that have bilateral agreements with the UE.

Download or browse the Guide.
Check out other EIFL resources here,
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Short and to the point, a new article by Brandon
Butler in the ARL/CNI/SPARC’s Research Library Issues

explodes “Urban Copyright Legends.”  

Is Fair Use always a high burden for the
education community to defend?  If
a license is available, does that automatically negate Fair Use?  If your university is relying on the
Teach Act, does that trump Fair Use? 
(I’m horrified, by the way, that some think it does). 

I like it that this article is
readable, yet cites case law and other authoritative sources. That’s always a
trick – to make copyright reading understandable yet not oversimplified beyond

Butler does it exceedingly well. In a sense, he creates a starter “SNOPES”
for copyright legends that he says he sometimes wishes for.

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The blog of trogool has a useful delineation of the different ways “open” is used wrt Open Source, Open Standards, Open Access and more. The post points out that the open-access movement exhausts itself contending with the
same old misunderstandings over and over again.

To help fix that problem, the post offers a “brief, simplistic guide to
several flavors of open,” organized around the following questions:

  • What is the target of this movement? What is
    being made open? As compared to what?
  • What legal regimes are implicated?
  • How does openness happen? What are the major
    variants of open works of this type?

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Public Knowledge reminds us that the deadline is approaching to send comments to Victoria Espinal, the U.S. Intellectual Property enforcement Coordinator. Although the request for comments is geared towards stepping up enforcement efforts, Public Knowledge points out that the comment solicitation is open to the public and that it is a chance to ask the government to support balanced copyright.and to weigh in on new enforcement initiatives like like Internet filtering, three-strikes policies, and ACTA.

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Michael Geist offers us a useful background on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) talks happening now in Mexico in The ACTA Guide, Part One: The Talks To-Date

He includes a chronology going back to 2004 on origins of the anti counterfeiting trade agreement. He also provides a summary of the leaked U.S. proposal from last November. See especially these provisions that tighten inducement and access (as the DMCA does).

Paragraph 2 – Third party liability. 
The third party liability provisions focus on copyright, though an EU
document notes that it could (should) be extended to trademark and
perhaps other IP infringement.  The goal of this section is to create
an international minimum harmonization regarding the issue of what is
called in some Member States “contributory copyright infringement”. 
The U.S. proposal would include “inducement” into the standard,
something established in the U.S. Grokster case, but not found in many
other countries.  This would result in a huge change in domestic law in
many countries (including Canada).

Paragraph 4 – Anti-circumvention Provisions. 
ACTA would require civil and criminal penalties associated with
anti-circumvention provisions (legal protection for digital locks). 
This goes beyond the requirements of the WIPO Internet treaties and
beyond current EU law which “leaves a reasonable margin of discretion
to Member States.”  There is no link between the anti-circumvention
provisions and copyright exceptions.  The U.S. proposal also requires
the anti-circumvention provisions to apply to TPMs that merely protect
access to a work (rather than reproduction or making available).   This
would again go beyond current EU law to include protection against
circumventing technologies like region coding.  From a Canadian
perspective, none of this is currently domestic law.  As previously
speculated, the clear intent is to establish a Global DMCA.

Paragraph 5 – Civil and Criminal Enforcement of Anti-Circumvention.
As noted above, this section requires both civil and criminal
provisions for the anti-circumvention rules, something not found in the
WIPO Internet treaties. The anti-circumvention provisions are also
designed to stop countries from establishing interoperability
requirements (ie. the ability for consumers to play purchased music on
different devices).  The EU notes that this not consistent with its
law, which states “Compatibility and interoperability of the different
systems should be encouraged.”  Of course, might reasonable ask why
such a provision is even in ACTA.

Paragraph 6 – Rights Management Information protection. This section includes similar criminal and civil requirements for rights management information.

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Here’s a great opportunity to talk with Stanford Law Library folks who are co-hosting the free workshop with Carl Malamud ( on making primary legal materials more accessible. Joining the discussion will be Anurag Acharya (Google) and Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard).

Registration is required. Contact Erika Wayne to register.

Here’s the schedule. Hope to see you there.

Law.Gov Workshop
Stanford University Law School, Rm 290
January 12, 2010

9AM – Coffee available for early arrivals

10AM – Welcome and Overview

10:30AM – The National Inventory of Primary Legal Materials
Discussion of how to define primary legal materials.
Discussion of how to structure the national survey, including what  
information to collect.

11:15AM – General Discussion of Legal Issues
Discussion of issues such as copyright over primary legal materials,  
enabling legislation, and other issues of the law.

12PM – Lunch

1PM-2PM – Public Presentation, Room 290
“Law.Gov – A Revolution in Legal Affairs”
Anurag Acharya (Google), Carl Malamud (Public.Resource.Org), Jonathan  
Zittrain (Harvard)

2:15-3:30 – Technical Discussion
Discussion of technical challenges, including specification of a core  
open source system, issues of markup and citation, issues of privacy,  
issues of ingestion, issues of authentication.
Pay parking available at Parking Structure 6 (PS6) at Campus Drive
East and Arguello Mall and the Tresidder Lot near Tresidder Union and
the Faculty Club, off Mayfield Ave.

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SSRN Abstract:     

The conventional rationale for copyright of written works, that copyright is needed to foster their creation, is seemingly of limited applicability to the academic domain. For in a world without copyright of academic writing, academics would still benefit from publishing in the major way that they do now, namely, from gaining scholarly esteem. Yet publishers would presumably have to impose fees on authors, because publishers would no longer be able to profit from reader charges. If these author publication fees would actually be borne by academics, their incentives to publish would be reduced. But if the publication fees would usually be paid by universities or grantors, the motive of academics to publish would be unlikely to decrease (and could actually increase) – suggesting that ending academic copyright would be socially desirable in view of the broad benefits of a copyright-free world. If so, the demise of academic copyright should probably be achieved by a change in law, for the “open access” movement that effectively seeks this objective without modification of the law faces fundamental difficulties.

Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished? Working Paper by Steven Shavell

Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) December 18, 2009

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The Copyright Royalty Judges are asking for comment on proposed regulations resulting from a settlement between SoundExchange and the Digital Media Association concerning he statutory minimum fees Commercial Webcasters must pay to play sound recordings and make ephemeral recordings.

Comments and objections are due January 22, 2010 to More details at Federal Register: December 23, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 245)

Royalty fees for the public performance of sound recordings and for ephemeral recording.

* * * * *
    (b) Minimum fee–(1) Commercial Webcasters. Each Commercial Webcaster will pay an annual, nonrefundable minimum fee of $500 for each calendar year or part of a calendar year of the period 2006-2010 during which it is a Licensee pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 112(e) or 114. This  annual minimum fee is payable for each individual channel and each individual station maintained by Commercial Webcasters, and is also payable for each individual Side Channel maintained by Broadcasters who are Commercial Webcasters, provided that a Commercial Webcaster shall not be required to pay more than $50,000 per calendar year in minimum fees in the aggregate (for 100 or more channels or stations). The minimum fee payable under 17 U.S.C. 112 is deemed to be included within  the minimum fee payable under 17 U.S.C. 114. Upon payment of the minimum fee, the Commercial Webcaster will receive a credit in the amount of the minimum fee against any royalty fees payable in the same calendar year.
    (2) Noncommercial Webcasters. Each Noncommercial Webcaster will pay an annual, nonrefundable minimum fee of $500 for each calendar year or part of a calendar year of the license period during which they are Licensees pursuant to licenses under 17 U.S.C. 114. This annual minimum fee is payable for each individual channel and each individual station maintained by Noncommercial Webcasters and is also payable for each individual Side Channel maintained by Broadcasters who are Licensees. The minimum fee payable under 17 U.S.C. 112 is deemed to be included within the minimum fee payable under 17 U.S.C. 114. Upon payment of the minimum fee, the Licensee will receive a credit in the amount of the minimum fee against any additional royalty fees payable in the same calendar year.

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World’s Fair Use Day (WFUD) is a free, all-day celebration of fair use: the legal right that allows innovators and creators to make particular uses of copyrighted materials. The day will highlight new and innovative uses of existing content; provide the perspectives of artists, policymakers, academics and business innovators; and teach how fair use can enrich your creative work. Also via facebook.

Tentative Schedule of Events

* Fair Use Film Screenings

* Morning Keynote: The Honorable Mike Doyle

* Panel 1: Artistic Innovations and Participatory Culture

* Panel 2: Emerging Media: Commentary, Criticism and the New Publishing Paradigm

* Panel 3: Tech Unbound: Fair Use for Innovation

* Panel 4: Speed Fair(Us)e