In this final installment of the copyright roundup I have been doing this week, I want to note some remarkable developments in the copyright law of the United Kingdom, where a hugely significant revision of the statute received final approval this month and will be given royal assent, the last stage of becoming law, in [...]

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Recently the Copyright Office has held a series of roundtable discussions and comment periods on the subject of orphan works.  As seasoned readers will know, this has become a kind of movable feast, happening at regular but unpredictable intervals.  My suspicion is that the CO is under a lot of pressure from big rights [...]

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Last week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a copyright case, and I want to make readers aware of it, but also point out that it is likely to have little impact on libraries. In Petrella v. MGM Studios, the majority of the Court, in an opinion written by Justice Ginsburg, held that the [...]

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This past week there have been a lot of angry blog posts about the new “Connected Casebook” plan from Aspen Publishers (Wolters Kluwer Legal Education) that would attempt to deprive students of their rights under the First Sale doctrine in U.S. law to resell the books that they buy.  Aspen publishes case books — the [...]

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Last week I received the April 2014 issue of Against the Grain, which, to be honest, is not a publication I read at all regularly.  But I do sometimes skim it for copyright articles, and today my eye was caught by an op-ed piece from Mark Herring of Winthrop University about the Google Books decision.

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Publishing ironies

On April 30, 2014 By

Would Karl Marx have waived his copyright on principle?  I don’t know for sure, but I rather doubt it.  Marx was not entirely in sympathy with Proudhon’s famous assertion that “property is theft,” and in any case probably expected to make at least part of his living off from his intellectual property.  Nevertheless, there is [...]

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I was reminded once again of Mark Twain’s comment — “Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet” — as I listened to Professor David Nimmer deliver the annual Frey Lecture in Intellectual Property at the Duke Law School this week.  As the [...]

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When I first saw the story about the conflict between the Social Science History Association (SSHA) and Duke University Press (DUP), I thought I had best not comment about it. But since then a number of my colleagues have gotten in touch with me and also made comments about the case that miss some [...]

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There has been a lot of attention given to the moves by publishing giant Elsevier to enforce its policy regarding authors’ rights to post his or her article on a personal website or in an institutional repository.  Since Elsevier began sending take down notices last fall, first to Academia.edu and then to individual universities, it [...]

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[NB -- Sharp-eyed readers have pointed out correctly that the authors listed in the first paragraph (at the *) all died in 1963, not 1943.  The list should have included Stephan Vincent Benet, Simone Weil, Radclyffe Hall, Beatrix Potter and R.G. Collingwood as those who died in 1943 and whose works, therefore, would be entering [...]

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