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 of discussion (sometimes validly grounded, sometimes intended to stir up doubt) about the meaning of the “noncommercial” aspect of Creative Commons licenses. A producer of “open” textbooks sued FedEx(Kinko’s) for making copies of their books at the behest of a public school district. Recently, a court ruled that this was still a noncommercial use, since it was -for- a noncommercial user.
- Background from the Creative Commons organization – https://creativecommons.org/2016/08/30/defending-noncommercial-uses-great-minds-v-fedex-office/
- News story covering the division for interested lay people – https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170306/06290936849/important-ruling-perennially-problematic-creative-commons-non-commercial-license.shtml
- More detailed analysis for lawyers from Eric Goldman – http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2017/02/copyshop-covered-by-non-commercial-creative-commons-license-great-minds-v-fedex.htm
- Fair use(ish issues) around the world!
- Indian courts ruled strongly in favor of educational copying. The suit was brought by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Taylor & Francis. Recently, in March, they have chosen not to appeal the case to a higher court.
(People who track educational use cases may recognize that some of those are the same parties who sued US educational users in the Georgia State University case. In the US, they’re continuing to appeal.
- News report about decision not to appeal – http://indianexpress.com/article/education/delhi-university-photocopy-shop-publishers-withdraw-case-against-rameshwari/
- Indian IP blog with more detailed analysis – https://spicyip.com/2017/03/breaking-news-oup-and-other-publishers-withdraw-copyright-suit-against-delhi-university-and-photocopier.html
- International IP blog with review of the case after the original opinion – http://ipkitten.blogspot.sg/2016/09/to-photocopy-or-not-delhi-high-courts.html
- Special 301
The United States issues a yearly report, via trade-related agencies, on countries it considers to have inadequate copyright protection. From the US end, the process is dominated by corporate content interests, and rarely considers public interest issues or exceptions. However, other countries’ responses to the process often emphasize those issues.
- Testimony from a representative of the American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) about the results of international adoption of fair use on US content interests. – http://infojustice.org/archives/37845
- Canada has officially rejected the process. http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2017/03/canadian-government-on-u-s-special-301-we-dont-recognize-validity-of-flawed-report/
- Paper an a possible Kenyan shift from fair dealing to a more flexible fair use approach by author Victor B. Nzomo – https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2929252
- Interesting analysis from Michael Geist about the confusions that collective licensing for campus copying creates, since campus licenses often do -not- cover many on-campus uses, but this is not transparent to users. http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2017/03/who-is-on-the-wrong-side-why-the-copyright-mistake-at-concordia-highlights-the-problems-with-collective-licensing/ (From Canadian context, but collective licenses in the US have similar limitations.)