Silly Season

On October 31, 2011 By

It is traditional in political reporting to refer to the run-up to primary elections as the “silly season” because of all the amazing things candidates will say while trying to appeal to different constituencies and bear up under the glare of media coverage.  Recently this time of year has also seen some developments in the [...]

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Librarians have raised a pretty loud outcry (for librarians) about the new e-book pricing policy announced last week by Harper Collins, under which libraries would be able to loan an e-book only a set number of times before having to pay again to continue lending.  This model seems unfair to libraries, especially because they [...]

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Yesterday’s announcement that the Library of Congress was designating new classes of works exempt from the anti-circumvention rules of the DMCA has generated lots of Internet buzz, especially about the exemption for those who “jailbreak” their cellular phones.  The major exemption for higher education, allowing circumvention by faculty for a range of defined educational purposes, [...]

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Last week I wrote, but had not yet posted, a comment about the proposed copyright reform in Brazil and the more nuanced approach they took to anti-circumvention rules that protect technological systems intended to prevent unauthorized access.  In the course of that discussion I again criticized the Library of Congress’ long delay in announcing new [...]

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The title of this post is an axiom I learned in law school, drilled into us by a professor of tax law but made into an interrogative here.  Because the copyright law is often compared to the tax code these days, I have usually just accepted the complexity of the former, as with the latter, [...]

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What has changed

On May 27, 2009 By

Courts in the U.S. have asserted for years that our copyright law is compatible with the First Amendment guarantee of free speech by citing to principles — fair use and the rule that copyright protects only expression and leaves the underlying ideas free for all to appropriate, reuse and build upon.  Both of these safeguards [...]

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As the Library of Congress considers new exceptions to the anti-circumvention rules that legally protect the DRM systems that are used by many companies to lock up digital content of all kinds, it is helpful to consider if those protections really accomplish what they were intended to.

Digital Rights Management, or electronic protection measures, [...]

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Chipping away

On October 10, 2008 By

Digital rights management, or DRM, is a delicate subject in higher education.  Also called technological protection measure, these systems to control access and prevent copying are sometimes used by academic units to protect our own resources or to fulfill obligations we have undertaken to obtain content for our communities.  Sometimes such use of DRM in [...]

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As the new school year begins there has been lots of reporting about E-textbooks, and the welter of stories offers an opportunity to assess the overall state of play.

This story from Inside Higher Ed outlines some of the “next steps” for E-texts, as well as the “remaining obstacles,” which are substantial. [...]

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There is a good deal of value in reading older works, even in a field that changes as rapidly as copyright. It is a fascinating exercise, for example, to read attempts in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s to influence the direction of the “new” copyright law being considered (which was passed in 1976). L. [...]

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