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On Thursday the U.S. Copyright Office released a report summarizing the findings from its study of the operation of 17 U.S.C. 1201. Section 1201, which was enacted in 1998 as a part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, places prohibitions on the circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs) that control access to and copying of works. The section contains several exceptions, and also enacts a triennial rulemaking cycle in which the Librarian of Congress can grant additional exemptions. In December 2015, the Copyright Office first called for comments on the operation of Section 1201. The American Association of Law Libraries responded to both ...
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Conan O'Brien is currently involved in copyright litigation in the Southern District of California, on the claims that he stole jokes.  The case is Kaseberg v. Conaco, LLC et al 3:15-cv-01637. Defendants include Conan O’Brien, various writers on his show, and Conaco, Conan’s production company. Judge Janis L. Sammartino ruled that the jokes were held under very thin protection, but would not grant Conaco summary judgment on charges that they stole jokes from comedy writer Robert Alexander Kaseberg, who has his own blog and has been a comedy writer for more than 20 years.  Kaseberg has contributed to television and radio, including submitting over 1,000 jokes ...
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The Ninth Circuit recently ruled that federal copyright law preempted the right-of-publicity state law claims brought by two former NCAA Division III basketball players in Maloney v. T3Media, Inc. T3Media contracts with the NCAA to store, host, and license images in the NCAA Photo Library. The plaintiff-appellants, two former student athletes, alleged that T3Media exploited their names and likenesses by selling non-exclusive licenses permitting customers to download photographs from the NCAA Photo Library for non-commercial art use without obtaining their consent. The statutory provision in the Copyright Act pertaining to preemption is 17 U.S.C. § ...
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On March 9th the Copyright Office launched a new blog, Copyright: Creativity at Work . The first post to the blog, by Acting Register Karyn Temple Claggett, introduces the members of the Office. Future posts will provide information on the work of the Office, including studies, reports, and registration, as well as new developments in copyright law.
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Last year, I attended AALLs annual meeting in Chicago. While there, I signed up for a conference-sponsored dinner. Halfway through dinner, one of the people seated with me turned my way and asked, So, Beth, hows the outsourcing going at your firm? Another person at our table, a man from California, added, Yeah, some of the California State schools outsourced their libraries. They let everyone go and hired new people at way lower salaries. Outsourcing law libraries isnt a new topic; its been written about plenty. But the prevailing thought about outsourcing or a library as a service is that once it happens youll be let go. The work will be done by people ...
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Ah, July 2016. The AALL Annual Meeting. The nominations of Trump and Clinton. Pokmon Go. Back in the day -- seven months ago -- I mused ( twice! ) about the connections between Pokmon Go and legal research. Since then, Pokmon Go has gone from a game that was changing the world to just another game. But wait ... there's an update : more Pokmon; more evolutions; more candy; and more! I doubt Pokm on Go will take over everything like it did in July. But you might see a few law students, attorneys, random visitors, and maybe even a hip judge (Neil Gorsuch, anyone?) stop by your place of employment if it's got a PokStop or Pokmon gym. And maybe a few ...
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art implemented a new Open Access policy on February 7, which makes more than 375,000 images of public-domain artworks in The Mets collection available for free, unrestricted use. The Mets digital catalog identifies images in the public domain with a Creative Commons Zero icon below the image: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) means that "[t]he person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform ...
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AALL's Government Relations Office has released an Issue Brief from the Copyright Committee discussing Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc. , a case from the Southern District of New York. In 2013, Fox News sued TVEyes, claiming that TVEyes' inclusion of Fox News content in a searchable database of broadcast media was copyright infringement. TVEyes countered that its use of Fox News' content was fair use. The Southern District of New York issued two decisions, in 2014 and 2015, and the case is currently on appeal to the Second Circuit.
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Wanting go to the 110th AALL Annual Meeting & Conference in Austin, TX, July 15-18 and need some financial assistance to attend? Then the Annual Meeting Grant is for you. The Annual Meeting Grant Awards Jury is seeking applications for the AALL Annual Meeting Grant Award The deadline to apply is April 1, 2017. All information and the application about the award can be found at: Annual Meeting Grant Awards . The AALL Grants Program provides financial assistance to experienced law librarians who are actively involved in AALL or its chapters and to newer law librarians or graduate students who hold promise of future involvement ...
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Greetings, As a disclosure, I admit wasn't a fan of going to Texas in the middle summer to sweat and step over dead bats. But now, that the Lieutenant Governor is trying to pass an anti-transgender bathroom bill, I'm definitely not going. To further the ridiculousness, a Texas judge also decided to block a federal law to strengthen transgender rights: http://keyetv.com/news/local/texas-judge-blocks-federal-transgender-health-protections I'm not going to pretend I'm the go to advocate of LGBTQ rights. I also know my boycott will make no difference to motivated bigots. But, I like to think that I'm a decent person and that the AALL ought to have standards. ...
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In Canada, a court recently ruled that a paywall does not exempt news agencies and publishers from Canadian fair use rules. Fair dealing is the Canadian version of fair use in the United States. The concepts of fair use and fair dealing are similar, in that fair dealing provides an exemption from infringement for the use of protected works for purposes like research, education, parody, satire, criticism, and news. In this case, an online news agency, Blacklock's Reporter, a publication geared towards policy wonks, claimed that Canada's Department of Finance violated fair dealing by passing along two articles without authorization. Although subscribers ...
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**posted on behalf of the editorial board. please excuse cross-posting** The Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship ( https://www.jcel-pub.org/ ) welcomes submissions for our next issue, Spring 2017. Works accepted include original research, practitioner experience papers, or legal analysis that discuss copyright as it relates to education and librarianship. Papers are selected by a process of peer review, with double-blind review of each paper. Although the Journal is published bi-annually in the fall and spring, articles will become immediately available online after they pass through peer review and editing. For more information, ...
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Do you operate a website or provide internet access to faculty and grad students? And do you like not getting sued for copyright infringement? Then you should read this and update your DMCA Registered Agent filing with the Copyright Office. Back in the late 1990s Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The major provisions of DMCA created a systemcommonly known as the notice-and-takedown systemthat limits liability for online service providers such as ISPs, websites, and others, for copyright infringement claims based on their users conduct, but only so long as those providers agree to take down or stop the infringing activity ...
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Perhaps you've noticed these phrases kicking around the internet recently, especially since the Presidential election: "Post-truth" Fake news Filter bubbles Confirmation bias Can we handle -- or even -- discern the truth? At least a few librarians say, yes, we can. The Ginger (Law) Librarian has a nice post about librarians, information literacy, and evaluating sources . Over the Thanksgiving weekend, two professors of information studies considered in detail how librarians might promote truth in a "post-truth" world ( 1 , 2 ). As legal information professionals, how should we help in separating truth from fiction, belief, ...
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One of the most popular civil rights protest songs, "We Shall Overcome," is currently the subject of a copyright lawsuit. On November 21, the copyright claims in We Shall Overcome Foundation v. The Richmond Organization, Inc. , No. 16-cv-2725 , survived a motion to dismiss in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. We Shall Overcome is a derivative work of an African-American spiritual. The songs origins can be traced back to 1909, when it was first printed and was called "We Will Overcome" at that time. The defendants possess two copyrights in the musical composition of We Shall Overcome, registered in 1960 and 1963. However, ...
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The Presidential election is over. (Very technical or #nevertrump folks might point out that the Electoral College still must vote and that Congress must count the votes. But barring a major calamity for Donald Trump, he will be President. I oppose Trump myself -- but I'm trying to be realistic here.) What impacts might an election and a new President have for a law library or a legal information professional? There could be effects on staff and client morale, areas of legal practice, etc. But I want to focus now on the possibly exceptional -- but not implausible -- situation in which a legal information professional is unsure about providing service ...
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I, for one, welcome our new Internet of Things contract overlords . (However, I'm still miffed at the Internet of Things for last week's attack on the rest of the Internet. Also, I'd be freaked out if Internet Thing 1 sued Internet Thing 2 for breach of contract. I presume the case would be heard and decided by the Honorable Internet Thing 3...) This kind of tech could have applications in law libraries: self-cataloging books; self-routing current awareness; etc. I suppose we have some of that automation already, though not via the Internet of Things. But right now I'm too mind-boggled by self-performing contracts and too deprived of caffeine to think ...
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A few months ago, I wrote a couple of blog posts about Pokmon Go and legal research [ post one ; post Mewtwo ]. One aspect I didn't mention was "augmented reality" (AR), in which the game places an overlay upon your phone camera's display of the real world. Thus you can pretend you're catching Pikachu in the actual field or room in which you're standing. You can turn off the AR feature if you'd prefer to focus entirely on catching Pikachu. Likewise, you can find apps that overlay photos or text upon a place. The overlay of extra information upon an original image strikes me as similar to the overlay of headnotes, links to cited authorities, or other ...
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As several blogs noted today , the site EveryCRSReport.com has just launched with more than 8,200 Congressional Research Service reports. It appears to be a useful resource, with features including a search engine, browsing by topic, RSS feeds by topic, and bulk downloads of metadata. The About page for EveryCRSReport says the site includes "every CRS report thats available on Congresss internal website." Moreover the number of reports "changes regularly" and presumably will increase. However, this page also indicates that "older reports" aren't available on the site. It refers the user to CRSReports.com , which is down at the moment. Even ...
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a summary judgment from the Southern District of New York, ruling that Barnesandnoble.com did not infringe on an e-book authors rights by allowing a customer to download a free sample through the websites cloud-based storage system. The case is Smith v. Barnesandnoble.com, LLC, 2d Cir., Docket No. 15-3508, 10/6/16. Louis Smith, an author of the book The Hardscrabble Zone, was published in 2009 by Smashwords. This title was listed for sale on barnesandnoble.com. By 2011, no copies of the book had sold, and Smith terminated the contract. Before the contract was terminated, in 2010 one Barnes & Noble ...
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