Copyright & Fair Use
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Copyright & Fair Use
Copyright, Fair Use, and Madness
Curated by Chris Lott UAF
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Goldieblox and the Three MCs

Goldieblox and the Three MCs | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

"This could go either way, and should be a fascinating case to watch. I'm in favor of more case law in either direction, helping draw the lines for what artists can or can't do. It can be agonizing to make something that skirts the grey areas of copyright law without knowing whether you're going to end up bankrupt."

Chris Lott UAF's insight:

I think Andy Baio is spot on here and if you're interested in Fair Use, parody, etc., this is worth a read even though the controversial video has been removed.


The most important point is, as Andy puts it:


"It's entirely possible that the Goldieblox video is simultaneously:

  • A parody
  • An advertisement
  • A derivative of the Beastie Boys' copyrighted work
  • A violation of MCA's dying wishes
  • And, yet, perfectly legal under the fair use doctrine."


Ethically, the Godlieblox video stinks. Legally, I think they would have had a pretty strong case that fits right in the sweet spot of fair use and transformation, despite the profit motive (which is just one of four factors to consider and not the only effect of the video).


One other thing: if copyright terms were a reasonable length, then the legal questions might be moot. "Girls" was published in 1987...more than 25 years ago. Why shouldn't it be in the public domain by now anyway?

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A Win for AP: Clipping Content Is Not Fair Use

A Win for AP: Clipping Content Is Not Fair Use | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

A federal court has sided with the Associated Press and the New York Times (NYT) in a closely watched case involving a company that scraped news content from the Internet without paying for it.

Chris Lott UAF's insight:

A very poor decision. The most significant argument against the claim of Fair Use, from the judge's perspective, appears to be based on the profit factor, which the judge is equating with click-throughs. 


The problem with that argument is that the fact that users click-through at a low rate doesn't mean they are being diverted from otherwise using going to the AP content in question: it (most likely, I think) signals their disinterest in the story rather than being an indicator that they've gotten what they need. If that's the case, then the effect on profit is very, very small.


Attention is not not a zero-sum game...a fundamentally game-changing aspect of copyright in our age that the judge clearly doesn't get. A win for AP and siloed sources that are circling the wagons...a big loss for the rest of us.


I have to think the short-term gains that might come from this ruling for the AP and others will continue to be overwhelmed by the changed landscape they're trying to ignore: we'll pry Fair Use from them by prying their cold, dead fingers from their intellectual property buggy whips.

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Using Infographics to Teach Fair Use

Using Infographics to Teach Fair Use | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it
Chris Lott UAF's insight:

More precisely: a nice infographic explaining Creative Commons licenses.


You might be interested in an (uglier) infographic I made some time ago taking a somewhat different approach to explaining the main CC types.

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U.S. judge boosts Google 'fair use' defense of digital books

U.S. judge boosts Google 'fair use' defense of digital books | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday appeared to favor Google Inc's legal defense of its digital books project, which could imperil efforts by authors seeking to block it.Google, based in Mountain...
Chris Lott UAF's insight:

The suit against Google Books is ridiculous. It should be tossed out and the plaintiffs forced to pay legal fees. That's not going to happen...but hopefully this is a good sign that the judge gets it.

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This Charming Charlie and the power of fair use

This Charming Charlie and the power of fair use | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

'After exploding in popularity following its debut last August, the Tumblr page — created by Oakland, Calif., graphic designer Lauren LoPrete — came under heavy fire from Universal Music Publishing Group, the media giant that owns the rights to The Smiths’ music. According to a report from The A.V. Club, Tumblr was receiving removal requests from UMPG “almost hourly,” causing the blogging site to remove several of the beautiful posts and making LoPrete strongly consider deleting the page altogether.


Such an act of abandonment would have no doubt resulted in the page’s countless lonely fans muttering “maybe in the next world” before turning up The Queen is Dead to a volume just loud enough to deafen their ears and drown out the sobs, but never dull the sorrow.


Luckily for these morose Morrissey lovers, “the good of life is out there somewhere,” no doubt located in a little-known exception in U.S. copyright law called “fair use.” According to The Los Angeles Times, LoPrete’s lawyer Dan Booth has argued that her work fits perfectly into the definition of fair use, as “she posts only snippets of lyrics, puts them in a whole new context and doesn’t make any money off them or damage the market for the songs.” After LoPrete and Booth filed counter notices with Tumblr pleading this case, Tumblr stopped removing posts and UMPG suddenly ceased pursuing the case, allowing avid readers of the Tumblr to rejoice and say “I just might die with a smile on my face after all.”'

Chris Lott UAF's insight:

A victory for Fair Use. Hopefully.


But, the "little known" Fair Use proviso? Say it ain't so, Snoopy.

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Digital Copyright Slider

Digital Copyright Slider | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it
Chris Lott UAF's insight:

Use the interactive slider to get a bearing on whether a particular work is covered by copyright or not...a good starting point, particularly if you are considering a use that goes beyond the bounds of Fair Use.

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That Was Fast: Hollywood Already Browbeat The Republicans Into Retracting Report On Copyright Reform | Techdirt

That Was Fast: Hollywood Already Browbeat The Republicans Into Retracting Report On Copyright Reform | Techdirt | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

"...late Friday, we reported on how the Republican Study Committee (the conservative caucus of House Republicans) had put out a surprisingly awesome report about copyright reform. You can read that post to see the details. The report had been fully vetted and reviewed by the RSC before it was released. However, as soon as it was published, the MPAA and RIAA apparently went ballistic and hit the phones hard, demanding that the RSC take down the report. They succeeded."

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Your Right to Own, Under Threat

Your Right to Own, Under Threat | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

This is important. The more I read about this case the more I fear the unintended (and ignored) potential consequences right down to the individual creator and consumer level.

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YouTube Changes Copyright Algorithms

YouTube Changes Copyright Algorithms | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

"YouTube is changing its algorithms in a bid to cut down on invalid copyright infringement claims on its video-sharing site.


The site, a subsidiary of Google, said Oct. 3 it will begin to manually review some claims rather than its system ..."


Via Tania Rowlett
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Protecting creativity: new small claims track for IP cases

Protecting creativity: new small claims track for IP cases | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

SIGH.


"Boost for creative industries as fast and cheap legal process becomes available for small intellectual property claims..."

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Richard Stallman: On-line education is using a flawed Creative Commons license

Richard Stallman: On-line education is using a flawed Creative Commons license | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

"Prominent universities are using a nonfree license for their digital educational works.  That is bad already, but even worse, the license they are using has a serious inherent problem."


[cc licensed image by jeanbaptisteparis]

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Fair Use or Theft?: Rodney Ascher's 'Room 237' vs. Warner Bros. 'The Shining'

Fair Use or Theft?: Rodney Ascher's 'Room 237' vs. Warner Bros. 'The Shining' | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

"That's not the case for “Room 237,” Ascher’s feature debut. The 102-minute documentary deconstructs hidden meanings in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel “The Shining” — mostly by showing sequences from the actual film, a copyrighted work owned by Warner Bros. Since its Sundance debut in January, Ascher’s film has been acquired for distribution by IFC Midnight and snagged slots in the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight and Toronto film festival’s Vanguard sidebars. It will have an awards-qualifying run at the end of the year followed by a March release.


For this one, Ascher has no choice but to go down the rabbit hole of proving that the footage he’s used falls under fair use, which would prevent him from having to pay hefty licensing fees to WB or being sued for showing the film in theaters."

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Copyfraud: making the case for actual copyright enforcement

Copyfraud: making the case for actual copyright enforcement | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

"Jason Mazzone's Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual Property Law isn't just another book about how the expansion of copyright and trademark law has harmed innovation, free speech and creativity. Instead, Mazzone -- the youngest faculty member in Brooklyn law school's history to hold an endowed chair -- argues that the real problem is that copyright law isn't enforced enough."

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Elsevier Takes Down Papers from Academia.edu

Elsevier Takes Down Papers from Academia.edu | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

"Lots of researchers post PDFs of their own papers on their own web-sites. It’s always been so, because even though technically it’s in breach of the copyright transfer agreements that we blithely sign, everyone knows it’s right and proper. Preventing people from making their own work available would be insane, and the publisher that did it would be committing a PR gaffe of huge proportions.


Enter Elsevier, stage left. Bioinformatician Guy Leonard is just one of several people to have mentioned on Twitter this morning that Academia.edu took down their papers in response to a notice from Elsevier."

Chris Lott UAF's insight:

Interpreting Elsevier's lack of earlier action as a kind of "wink and a nod" agreement that they are OK with researchers publishing papers they've written* on their own websites is a classic mistake, assuming that publishers care at all about enriching the commons, the common good, etc. For the most part, they don't. Elsevier just hadn't bothered yet.


I hope this does turn out to be a huge blunder on Elsevier's part, but it will only be so if a signficant number of authors choose Open Access journals and other outlets instead of Eslevier. The "petition voicing displeasure" isn't going to change anything on its own.


* Note I don't say "their own papers" because they aren't their own papers anymore. Those authors gave those rights away.

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Here’s why isoHunt deserved to die

Here’s why isoHunt deserved to die | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

"Hollywood is sometimes cast as the villain in debates over copyright, so it's important to give credit when it's due. Today the Motion Picture Association of America announced that file-sharing search engine isoHunt would shut down and pay the studios $110 million in damages. It was a well-deserved victory for the motion picture industry. And the decision is the latest sign that the a landmark Supreme Court file-sharing ruling in 2005 struck the right balance."

Chris Lott UAF's insight:

I'm not sure the "inducement" criteria makes much sense and I definitely don't agree with the author here that it's "easy" to avoid getting caught up in a criteria that can easily be gamed (by either side).


But it doesn't matter: this cat is out of the bag. Few will miss isoHunt and, if they do, it will take them a minute or so to find one of the many alternatives. The whole approach the film industry is taking is back-assward.

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A Case of Fair Use: You Tube Videos on Trial

A Case of Fair Use: You Tube Videos on Trial | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

'The label sent a notice to sue a normal YouTube user unless the video “Lisztomania” was removed. Out of left field, Lawrence Lessig, one of the most famous copyright attorneys on Earth, is suing back. This likely makes history, as big and powerful and rich record companies can scare small YouTube users into backing down and taking down their videos. Lessig is a Professor at Harvard Law School, and he is very knowledgeable about how copyright law works. He comments on how the Internet allows people to “share their culture and remix other people’s creations.”

 

Lessig noted that initially YouTube removed the video, however the professor knew his rights and understood that he was entitled to use the clips through “fair use.” Lessig comments, “If I’m using it for purposes of critique, then I can use it even if I don’t have permission of the original copyright owner.”

 

Liberation music didn’t follow through with their threats, but that wasn’t good enough for the professor. He decided to go forward with suing Liberation Music using the section of the copyright law that “polices bad-faith lawsuits,” or threats fraudulently made without the proper basis. Professor Lessig is suing Liberation Music because he says he “wants labels to stop relying on automated systems to send out takedown notices.”'

Chris Lott UAF's insight:

Lessig standing up our cultural rights. Go get 'em.

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Morrissey saves 'This Charming Charlie' Tumblr from Universal's bullying

Morrissey saves 'This Charming Charlie' Tumblr from Universal's bullying | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

'This Charming Charlie, the Tumblr that rose to prominence earlier this year for juxtaposing angst-ridden Smiths lyrics with Peanuts strips, has overcome its copyright troubles with Universal. The site received a trio of takedown notices from Universal last month for using Morrissey-Smiths lyrics, which led some to condemn the label and claim Smiths frontman Morrissey was a "fun vampire." Morrissey answered the accusations noting that he is no longer represented by Universal, although the label does jointly own the rights to some of the artist's back catalogue.


MORRISSEY IS "DELIGHTED AND FLATTERED" BY THE STRIP

In a statement given to Morrissey fan siteTrue to you, the artist says he is "delighted and flattered by the Peanuts comic strip with its use of Morrissey-Smiths lyrics," adding that he "hopes that the strips remain." Without Morrissey's support, it would be difficult for Universal to file a full lawsuit against the strip. This Charming Charliecreator Lauren LoPrete has now informed the world that the label has decided to not pursue things further, with her lawyer adding that Morrissey's "generous approval removes any litigation threat."'

Chris Lott UAF's insight:

Good to see artists recognizing the value of art making fair use of their work. You don't have to give in to copyright bullying!

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Copyright expiration flowchart

Copyright expiration flowchart | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

A flowchart for determining duration and expiration of U.S. federal statutory Copyright.

Chris Lott UAF's insight:

Another useful resource for determining copyright status. It really shouldn't be this complex.

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Publishers Appeal 'Flawed' Decision in GSU E-Reserves Case

Publishers Appeal 'Flawed' Decision in GSU E-Reserves Case | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it
The three publisher plaintiffs in the Georgia State University e-reserve case yesterday lodged an appeal with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking to overturn one of the most significant fair use rulings in decades.
Chris Lott UAF's insight:

If there's a dram of fairness left in the world, this appeal will be thrown out on its ear. The fact that the uses which were approved by the original ruling are considered landmarks speaks volumes about the ridiculousness of the legal landscape right now when it comes to Fair Use.


And invoking authors' profits in this context is a complete red herring...if not an actual fabrication.

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A gentle introduction to Creative Commons for digital storytellers

A gentle introduction to Creative Commons for digital storytellers | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

Copyright in the old days: All of this is owned by me, contact me if you want to discuss the possibility of re-using it.


Copyright nowadays: You can still use the above model.


Or you can state explicitly and irrevocably up front that you’re happy for people to re-use your intellectual property in certain stated circumstances without them having to come to ask your permission every time.

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Talking About Fair Use in the Classroom - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Talking About Fair Use in the Classroom - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it
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An Awfully Big Blog Adventure: Copyright education

An Awfully Big Blog Adventure: Copyright education | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

A blog post that exemplifies the one-sided nature of a lot of "copyright education." It's a good way to instill fear... not so good at helping learners understand the Fair Use rights they *do* have, something that even well-meaning "creatives" tend to elide or deny.


Via Tania Rowlett
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Do patent and copyright law restrict competition and creativity excessively? Posner - The Becker-Posner Blog

Richard Posner: "I am concerned that both patent and copyright protection, though particularly the former, may be excessive..."

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California passes groundbreaking open textbook legislation

California passes groundbreaking open textbook legislation | Copyright & Fair Use | Scoop.it

"It’s official. In California, Governor Jerry Brown has signed two bills (SB 1052 and SB 1053) that will provide for the creation of free, openly licensed digital textbooks for the 50 most popular lower-division college courses offered by California colleges. The legislation was introduced by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and passed by the California Senate and Assembly in late August.


A crucial component of the California legislation is that the textbooks developed will be made available under the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY):


  • The textbooks and other materials are placed under a creative commons attribution license that allows others to use, distribute, and create derivative works based upon the digital material while still allowing the authors or creators to receive credit for their efforts.


The CC BY license allows teachers to tailor textbook content to students’ needs, permits commercial companies to take the resources and build new products with it (such as video tutorials), and opens the doors for collaboration and improvement of the materials.

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