There has been a spirited discussion on a list to which I subscribe about the plight of this graduate student who is trying to publish an article that critiques a previously published work.  I’ll go into details below, but I want to start by noting that during that discussion, my colleague Laura Quilter from [...]

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On Thursday the European Union’s Court of Justice issued an opinion that allows libraries to digitize books in their holdings and make those digital copies accessible, on site, to patrons.  In a way, this is a remarkable ruling that recognizes the unique place of libraries in the dissemination and democratization of knowledge.  Yet the [...]

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Earlier this year I wrote about a lawsuit involving the Duke University Press and their dispute with the Social Science History Association over who would control the journal Social Science History. A decision from the trial court in North Carolina has now been issued in the case, so it seems like a good time [...]

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By now, most people know about the macaque monkeys that took pictures of themselves in the Indonesian jungle, and the controversy over who, if anyone, owns a copyright in the resulting pictures.  The events actually took place several years ago, but the popular news media has recently picked up the story because of threats by [...]

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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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