"Digital media and the Internet have expanded the ways in which we can borrow, transform, and share creative works, making the iterative process of innovation more rapid and more granular. This year, CDT revamped its Online Art Rights project, which provides an overview of the issues artists and others may face when creating or expressing online and the legal risks associated with those issues. Fair use, part of the fulcrum in the balance between free expression and copyright, features prominently among those issues."
"Current US law extends copyright for 70 years after the date of the author’s death, and corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years after publication. But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years—an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years. Under those laws, works published in 1959 would enter the public domain on January 1, 2016, where they would be “free as the air to common use.” Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2055.1 And no published works will enter our public domain until 2019. "
"Visual art professionals are not making use of fair use, a new report issued by the College Art Association (CAA) says, in large part because they're concerned about the repercussions of not obtaining copyright permissions."
Heather Perkinson's insight:
This report demonstrates the work of scholars and museums has been impeded by excessive anxiety about limits on Fair Use. See also:
Opinions about the source of the Librarian of Congress' authority revolve around which branch controls the Library of Congress. The LoC Librarian recently ruled that unlocking a cell phone is a copyright violoation.
Wayne Bivens-Tatum in his Peer to Peer Review column compares current eBook publishers' practices to the candlemakers in Bastiat's 19th century satire. While I think Bivens-Tatum goes a little too far in his condemnation of copyright protections, somewhat missing Bastiat's point (light is not unique and original, copyright-protected works are, by definition), he does make some good points about the way publishers are restricting libraries' access to ebooks. And for those of you who teach students about satire, there is a link to Bastiat's essay.
Richard Byrne explains how he uses a video from Common Craft to explain to students why they need to pay attention to rights and permissions when using and reproducing media they access online. For more information about finding images and other media that are licensed for re-use and about citing images, see the GHS Library's Research Help page:
The release of more than 180,000 digitized items represents both a simplification and an enhancement of digital access to a trove of unique and rare materials: a removal of administration fees and processes from public domain content, and also improvements to interfaces — popular and technical — to the digital assets themselves. Online users of the NYPL Digital Collections website will find more prominent download links and filters highlighting restriction-free content; while more technically inclined users will also benefit from updates to the Digital Collections API enabling bulk use and analysis, as well as data exports and utilities posted to NYPL's GitHub account. These changes are intended to facilitate sharing, research and reuse by scholars, artists, educators, technologists, publishers, and Internet users of all kinds. All subsequently digitized public domain collections will be made available in the same way, joining a growing repository of open materials.
Creative Commons licenses are free copyright licenses that creators can use to indicate how they'd like their work to be used. Creators can choose from a set of six licenses with varying permissions, from the most open license to the least open license.
Heather Perkinson's insight:
If you haven't checked out Graphite yet, this article will give you a good sense of how useful the site can be.
"Graphite™ is a free service from nonprofit Common Sense Education designed to help preK-12 educators discover, use, and share the best apps, games, websites, and digital curricula for their students by providing unbiased, rigorous ratings and practical insights from our active community of teachers."
In the age of mashups, fan fiction and content sharing, online media creation has spurred new complexities in copyright, effectively turning the legal concept of “fair use” on its ear, according to a new study from Georgia Tech.
If this doesn't convince you that copyright law needs to be reformed and simplified, I don't know what will. The Economist explains how copyright law could have affected a Canadian astronaut's YouTube video of his performance of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" on board the ISS.
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