Thursday, June 9, 2011

Public Policy Connections: YouTube Sends Users To Copyright School: Should Content Owners Have to Go, Too?


YouTube Sends Users To Copyright School: Should Content Owners Have to Go, Too?

Google has faced mounting criticism from lawmakers and the entertainment industry for not doing enough to combat online copyright infringement, and on April 14 released a set of stricter copyright policies for YouTube online video users.  Copyright policy violators will be required to watch a "copyright tutorial" and pass a test before allowing them to continue using the service.

A posting by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) digs deeper into the issues, crediting YouTube for doing the right thing by jettisoning its one-size-fits-all three strikes termination policy, while also questioning  requiring users who receive takedown notices to go to “copyright school," and that school has a pretty misleading curriculum. EFF makes the point that if YouTube is going to ask users to learn more about copyright when they receive a takedown notice, they should require the same of right-holders whose takedowns are disputed. As we have been reminded all too often, many content owners are badly in need of copyright education.

Read POLITICO Pro news story: Google unveils 'copyright school"
Read EFF news story: YouTube Sends Users To Copyright School: Will Content Owners Have to Go, Too?
Read LA Times news story:  YouTube to require 'tutorials' for copyright offenders

Public Policy Connections: YouTube Sends Users To Copyright School: Should Content Owners Have to Go, Too?

SPARC introduces Open-access Journal Publishing Resource Index

New resource helps streamline launch and operation of open-access journals.

Washington, D.C. -- SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic
Resources Coalition) today released a free online Open Access
Journal Publishing Resource Index with information and documents
to support the launch and operation of an open-access journal.
Materials in the index will help libraries, presses, and other
academic units on campuses as they work together to make the work
of their researchers more widely available.

This new resource is launched in conjunction with the SPARC
Campus-based Publishing Resource Center
(, which delivers a guide to
critical issues in campus-based publishing partnerships, case
studies, a bibliography and resource list, an index of
collaborative initiatives (operated in partnership with Columbia
University Libraries), and access to the LIBPRESS online
discussion forum (operated by the University of California). The
Center is overseen by an editorial board representing library and
university press staff who are actively engaged in creating and
managing publishing partnerships.

The new index complements the rich existing resource center by
pointing to relevant sections in existing open-access journal
publishing guides and to sample journal proposals, policies,
bylaws, and other documentation to help with planning,
development, and collaboration issues. Topics covered include:

* New Journal Planning
* Journal Publishing Program Policies
* Governance
* Editorial
* Marketing & Promotion
* Technical Platforms
* Sustainability Planning

Relevant sections of existing open-access publishing guides,
including those by David Solomon, Carol Sutton, Kevin Stranack,
Jan Velterop, Howard Goldstein and Raym Crow, and others are
indicated under each topic area.

By highlighting samples and best practices, the index will help
give campuses the tools they need to develop and maintain
long-term, successful open-access publishing ventures. "As
campus-based publishing gets more ambitious in scope, it's
important to build on the successes and challenges of earlier
initiatives and adopt best practices," said Raym Crow, senior
consultant at SPARC. "Ultimately, campus-based publishing can
offer universities greater control over the intellectual products
they help create. SPARC is pleased to provide another tool to
support libraries and publishers in sustainable, professional,
open-access publishing."

Lee C. Van Orsdel, Dean of University Libraries at Grand Valley
State University, says faculty are beginning to consult
librarians for advice on journal publishing options, including
open-access models, and the SPARC site is a welcome resource.
"We're deepening our knowledge as quickly as possible, but it's a
whole new area of expertise for most of us," she said. "It will
save us time and increase the probability that we can get to the
right solution when advising our faculty on their best options."

The editorial board invites contributions from other campuses to
help build this resource and expand the bibliography --
especially with primary research papers on collaboration issues.
"SPARC hopes this will seed an effort where people will give
documents to share, making it a community hub," said Crow.
Members of the board and how to contact the managing editor with
suggestions are detailed on the Center home page.

The Open Access Journal Publishing Resource Index is available
online at


Excellent site to keep up date on copyright issues – I’ve added it to my reading list….HSM


[kol-ek-tey-nee-uh]. Join the Center for Intellectual Property's Scholar, Peggy Hoon, in a discussion of current copyright issues.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is E-Book Milestone Worth Cheering? –

 Is E-Book Milestone Worth Cheering? –

Is E-Book Milestone Worth Cheering?

By MIKE FLEMING | Tuesday July 20, 2010 @ 9:21am EDT is crowing that for the first time, its e-book sales volume has surpassed hardcovers. Am I the only one who sees this as an apocalyptic sign for the great pleasure of book reading? Amazon's basing  its assertion on sales figures for the last three months, when buyers were lining their Amazon Kindles with summer beach reading. Amazon chief Jeffrey Bezos marvels that the milestone is more remarkable given that Amazon has only been selling e-books 33 months, as opposed to the 15 years it has been moving hardcovers. A report on the milestone in The New York Times indicates that within the next decade, less than 25% of books sold will be in print.

The lure of e-books is easy to understand: with no trees killed, books come cheaper to consumers, who no longer have to lug around hardcovers when an entire library can be loaded into a single lightweight device. On the cost front, I wonder what will happen when the makers of Kindle and other devices corner the publishing market and are no longer interested in selling its software at loss leader prices so that it can move hardware. That confrontation is inevitable, when more brick and mortar stores vanish.

My biggest problem--and the reason I'll always stick to print books--is that I think the entire experience of reading a books is cheapened by technology, same as it was in music. Young people don't become invested in musical artists the way I did when I bought vinyl albums, savored the cover art and gave every song a chance (my kids pay a buck to download hits only and don't care about an artist's progression). Future generations of readers won't value the ritual experience of buying a book, appreciating its distinctive smell and formative heft, earning the way to the end, page by page, and then displaying the best ones like trophies on a shelf.

Now, the whole business of publishing is changing. More and more authors like James Patterson are co-writing novels. That's made them more prolific and wealthy, but it doesn't mean their books are better. Tom Clancy is taking this a step further this fall with the fall publication of Dead or Alive, a Jack Ryan thriller. All of the big authors write their signature franchise character books solo--Patterson works alone on his Alex Cross mysteries--Clancy wrote the Jack Ryan book with frequent collaborator Grant Blackwood. While other authors continued Ian Fleming's James Bond series, Robert Ludlum's Bourne series and even Mario Puzo's The Godfather characters, it's  only because those authors are dead. What's Clancy's excuse? I see it as another step in the wrong direction.

As for e-books, I'll give the last word to Elmore Leonard, who's still cranking out his customary 3 to 4 pages each day from 10-6, even as he prepares to turn 85. "To me, a book is a book, an electronic device is not, and love of books was the reason I started writing," Leonard told me recently. "I don’t have a word processor, e-mail, any of that stuff. I write in longhand mostly, then put it on my typewriter as I go along. I don’t have any interest in any of that electronic stuff, but I’m going on 85, and won’t have to worry about it too much longer.”

What about the rest of us, Elmore?

Is E-Book Milestone Worth Cheering? –

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Center Releases New Guide to Navigating Copyright Law - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Center Releases New Guide to Navigating Copyright Law - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education 

Center Releases New Guide to Navigating Copyright Law

By Sophia Li

Communications scholars often fret over the legal nuances of using copyrighted material in their research, says Pat Aufderheide, a professor of communication at American University and director of its Center for Social Media. Ms. Aufderheide and Peter A. Jaszi, a law professor at American, hope to help researchers rest easy with a new guide to using copyrighted work—like political cartoons or screenshots from online games—in their studies.

Because of the "fair use" provisions of copyright law, copyrighted work can be quoted if it is being used for a purpose different from its original intent, according to the report, which was vetted by a committee of lawyers.

The report, released today, gives communications scholars four types of research-related situations as examples: analyzing copyrighted material, quoting it to illustrate a point, using it to spark discussion, and storing it in a collection. The situations in the report were based on 387 responses to a survey of communications scholars conducted in collaboration with the International Communication Association.

The center's guides establish what's acceptable for a field and tell scholars how to apply the law to the cases they encounter, said Ms. Aufderheide.

The center plans to continue producing similar documents for other groups, like an association of research librarians, that want clearer guidelines on using copyrighted works, she added.

Center Releases New Guide to Navigating Copyright Law - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Friday, January 22, 2010

Scholarly Communications @ Duke » ScienceOnline and copyright anxiety

Scholarly Communications @ Duke » ScienceOnline and copyright anxiety 

ScienceOnline and copyright anxiety January 21, 2010

Posted by Kevin Smith in : Authors' Rights, Copyright in the Classroom, Open Access and Institutional Repositories , trackback

I attended parts of the ScienceOnline 2010 conference, held here in the Research Triangle this weekend.  There was a fascinating array of topics discussed and an interesting crowd of 270+ that included many working scientists, librarians and even journalists.  It was a great opportunity to listen to scientists talk about how they want to communicate with one another and with the general public.

There are some excellent discussions of what went on at this year’s conference, especially here and here on Dorothea Salo’s blog.  Those with a real passion for more information can check out this growing list of blog posts about the conference.  I won’t try to compete with these comprehensive recaps, especially because my selection of events to attend was rather idiosyncratic, and perhaps even ill-advised.  But I do want to make three quick observations about what I personally learned from the conference.

First, I discovered one more argument for open science that had not occurred to me before, but has the potential to be very compelling for scientists on our faculties.  One reason academic research should be online is that “junk” science is already there.  If the general public — including the proportion thereof who vote or require health care — do not make good decisions in regard to matters involving scientific knowledge, we can only blame ourselves when the best research is not available to them, hidden behind pay walls.

Second, I was fascinated to discover that health science bloggers have developed a code of ethics to try and account for the many issues that arise when scientists put important and potentially life-altering information onto the open web.  The benefits of this openness are indisputable, but so are some of the risks.  This code of ethics represents an attempt to address some of those risks and minimize them (there is a somewhat different discussion of a similar issue from the conference here).  The criteria applied to evaluate health care blogs (see the text of the code itself) — clear representation of perspective, confidentiality, commercial disclosure, reliability of information and courtesy — encapsulate standards that all of us who try to share information and opinion online need to be aware of.

Third, I was amazed at how important, and problematic, copyright issues were to this group.  I attended seven sessions at the conference, and five of them dealt with copyright as a major (although often unannounced) topic of discussion.  Even recognizing my tendency to gravitate toward such sessions, this is a high percentage.  I asked a fellow attendee why so many sessions raised copyright and was told, albeit with tongue in cheek, that it is “ruining our lives.”  More seriously, one scientist described trying to put his classroom lecture slides online and being told by his university’s counsel that all material that he did not create had to be removed first.  Apparently there was no discussion of the applicability of fair use and how to decide what was and was not allowable; just a wholesale rule that would discourage most scientists interested in sharing.  This suggested to me that it really is very important to improve the quality of copyright education on campus — for faculty, librarians (who are often the ones asked for advice) and even legal counsel.  We cannot reasonably advocate more online open access unless we also give our scholars the resources to accomplish that goal.  In many ways the technological infrastructure is becoming trivial and it is the policy and legal questions that must be addressed directly if we really want encourage openness.

Scholarly Communications @ Duke » ScienceOnline and copyright anxiety

Steinbeck and Guthrie Families Now Supports Google Book Plan - Media Decoder Blog -

 Steinbeck and Guthrie Families Now Supports Google Book Plan - Media Decoder Blog -

Steinbeck and Guthrie Families Now Supports Google Book Plan


Associated Press John Steinbeck

The families of the author John Steinbeck and the musician Woody Guthrie, which previously opposed the proposed Google Book settlement that would create a vast digital library of books, say that they now support it.

In a statement released Thursday by the Authors Guild, one of the parties to the settlement, Gail Steinbeck, the wife of Thomas Steinbeck, the author’s son, said “the majority of the problems that we found to be troubling have been addressed.”

The settlement of a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers against Google after the company began scanning books from university libraries, was originally announced in October 2008. Since then, a widespread group of authors, academics, librarians, public interest groups, as well as the Justice Department, have raised an array of objections based on antitrust, copyright and class-action issues.

Ms. Steinbeck, who had received notice of the settlement shortly before a May deadline for authors to opt out of it, sent a letter back then to several influential authors outlining her concerns. Responding to her urging to “stop it in its tracks right now,” a group of authors that included the musician Arlo Guthrie, Woody Guthrie’s son, asked the court for a four-month extension on the opt-out date. It was granted.

In September, the Justice Department laid out its concerns in a memorandum and in October, Google and its partners pledged to revise the settlement. The revised agreement was submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in November, making it easier for other companies to license Google’s digital collection of copyrighted but out-of-print books and established the position of an independent fiduciary, or trustee, who would be solely responsible for decisions regarding so-called orphan works, the millions of books whose rights holders are unknown or cannot be found.

In an e-mail message to fellow authors cited in Thursday’s statement from the Author’s Guild, Ms. Steinbeck wrote that the revision “meets our standards of control over the intellectual properties that would otherwise remain at risk were we to stay out of the settlement.” She added that neither the Steinbeck nor Guthrie families would “initiate a separate lawsuit against Google.”

Steinbeck and Guthrie Families Now Supports Google Book Plan - Media Decoder Blog -