What does a Copyright Librarian do, anyway? Special user agreements

A lot of people I meet are curious what my job is like. In fact, a lot of my colleagues who work in the same library as me don’t know what I do with my time. So I’m going to highlight some interesting things that come up in my work. Hopefully, this may become a […]

Copyright Report #12; General shenanigans

“Who’s On First?” Routine goes to the Supreme Court The heirs to Abbott & Costello recently sued a Broadway play that involves quotation of the classic “Who’s On First?” comedy routine. Court decisions so far have disagreed as to whether the quotation in the play is a fair use or not, but a more fundamental […]

Copyright Report, #10

This news update is almost all about educational copying, though that’s entirely coincidental! The Copyright Office has revamped their website – https://www.copyright.gov/. They have also launched a new blog, Copyright: Creativity at Work. “Great Minds v. Fedex” – a US court case pinning down some details about Creative Commons licenses There has been a lot […]

Owning your own work, and letting others share it!

Saw this tweet yesterday, and was intrigued. Click to access on Twitter To unpack from Twitter’s 140-character limit, author Martin Paul Eve is saying that the publisher Taylor & Francis (“T&F”) has requested that one of his articles, originally published in the Journal of Victorian Studies (“@JofVictCulture”), be removed from some online site. In particular, […]

Copyright Report, Vol. 6 – lots of music action

General copyright news/info Madonna Gets Victory Over ‘Vogue’ Sample at Appeals Court | Billboard Court affirms sampling may count as de minimis, which may lay grounds for larger fair use. Does not follow Bridgeport music CBS Beats Lawsuit Over Pre-1972 Songs With Bold Copyright Argument – Hollywood Reporter So, this is fairly spectacularly ridiculous legal […]

We’re Not The ©ops – Copyright, “Compliance” and Communications

A few weeks ago I led a session at the annual Enhancing Quality Staff conference, which is aimed at library staff members from around the Twin Cities who are not formally “librarians”. I’ve found the participants at this conference uniquely willing to engage in dialogue with me and with one another, so it’s a really […]

Does [X] ‘count’ as published?

To a copyright lawyer, this question sounds like it’s probably about one of two things: was some work ‘published’ for the purposes of fair use analysis, or was the work ‘published’ for the purposes of public domain status determination. (It is often more likely to be fair use to copy from published material, and there […]

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Authors Guild v. Google

Scanning books in order to make them searchable is fair use. (The Author’s Guild asked the Supreme Court to review the previous court’s opinions that Google Books’ scanning project is fair use, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the appeal (‘denied cert (certiorari)’), and that means the Second Circuit’s opinion on the case stands.) […]

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