copyright

The Reward For Re-Discovering Archive Collections

Documentarians spend most of their time digging up materials that few people know exist. They frequent basements and dark storage rooms, endure conversations with crazy collectors, and typically develop vitamin-d deficiency and light sensitivity in search of what they need.

Their reward for finding the material? A bill from the original creators (the ones who lost and forgot about the work in the first place) for the privilege of using it.

Ars Technica reports a story about filmmaker David Hoffman who had to pay $320,000 for materials used in a film about Sputnik hysteria that swept the US in the 1950s. Unfortunately, the best The History Channel would pay for the entire film is $200,000.

YouTomb Tracks Takedowns On YouTube

YouTomb continually monitors the most popular videos on YouTube for copyright-related takedowns. Any information available in the metadata is retained, including who issued the complaint and how long the video was up before takedown. The goal of the project is to identify how YouTube recognizes potential copyright violations as well as to aggregate mistakes made by the algorithm.

Copyleft: Defending Intellectual Property

Anybody who thinks Free Software is anti-copyright or disrespectful of intellectual property should take a look at Mark Jaquith’s post, What a GPL’d Movable Type means. Let’s be clear, Anil Dash takes issue with Jaquith’s interpretation, but the point is Jaquith’s offense at what appears to be Six Apart’s grabbiness for any code somebody might contribute.

Freedom 0 was one thing, the willingness of a person to pour his or her sweat into something, then watch somebody else (or even risk watching somebody else) profit from it is another.

A Fair(y) Use Tale

From The Chronicle:

Copyright law, a constant thorn in the sides of scholars and researchers, is generating a lot of public discussion this week, thanks in part to a new 10-minute video that parodies the law. “A Fair(y) Use Tale” has been downloaded from YouTube about 145,000 times since it was posted online Friday. The video uses 400 cuts from 27 different Disney films to mock copyright law as overly protective of the interests of copyright owners — Disney among them.

Eric Faden, an assistant professor of English and film studies at Bucknell University, who produced the video with help from seven of his students, said it took eight months to make. “The most important thing is that it’s getting people to talk about these issues” of copyright and fair use, Mr. Faden said today. Worried that Disney may sue him for copyright infringement, Mr. Faden has retained Stanford University law professors.

Rather read a tale of copyright tyranny than watch one? Try “The People Who Owned the Bible.”

“I Hate DRM” And Other Projects To Preserve The Digital Artistic Commons

| People hate <a href="http://maisonbisson.com/blog/search/drm">DRM</a>. It prevents law abiding folks from <a href="http://maisonbisson.com/blog/post/10683/">enjoying the music and movies they've purchased</a>, and it does little to prevent crackers from <a href="http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=copy+dvd+css&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8">making illegal copies</a>. In response, somebody's created <a href="http://www.ihatedrm.com/" title="I Hate DRM">I Hate DRM</a>, “a site dedicated to reclaiming consumer digital rights.” And on the content creator's side: <a href="http://www.crftp.com/propaganda.html" title="CRFTP.com - Propaganda">Creative Remixes For The People</a>. » about 200 words

Can Actors Sell Their Digital Clones?

| <a href="http://web.media.mit.edu/~wex/">Alan Wexelblat</a> in <a href="http://copyfight.corante.com/archives/2006/03/15/what_right_in_digital_actors.php">Copyfight poses a question</a> from a reader about the future of entertainment: <blockquote>what rights do you purchase/license/contract for in creating such a reproduction of a real person? Rights to the “likeness?” Performance rights? Do either of these cover things the actor never physically did or said? Is there an exclusivity clause? There are clearly some issues around the ownership of a character, if that character has appeared before (e.g. Connery's Bond) but usually the character rights reside with the studio. But if you want the Connery Bond instead of a generic James Bond you also have to incude Connery in the deal, as well as whatever studio or estate has the Bond character rights.</blockquote> » about 300 words

Love Letters From Your ISP

A friend got his own cease and desist letter the other day. His ISP forwarded the notice from a copyright enforcement agency along with five pages of content intended both to stop those that know they’re sharing and help out parents (or others) who may not be aware of what all is going on with […] » about 200 words

Queen Mashups Are All The Rage

Michael Sauers pointed out Q-Unit, a mashup of Queen and 50 Cent. They’re sure to have Disney (the rights owner for Queen’s catalog) on their back soon. At least, it didn’t take Disney long to shut down The Kleptones, whose “A Night At The Hip-Hopera” has a spot on my iPod.

And that’s where the story comes around, are we at the point where we can say Queen’s music has taken on the status of a modern fairy tale? And are these artists — The Kleptones and Q-Unit — the new Disneys, remaking old tales for new times?

Copyright and Academic Libraries

Back when I was looking things up for my Digital Preservation and Copyright story I found a bunch of info the University of Texas System had gathered on issues related to copyright, libraries, and education. In among the pages on copying copyrighted works, A/V reserves, and electronic reserves I found a document titled: Educational Fair Use Guidelines for Digital Images.

It’s some interesting stuff — if you get excited about copyright law. Beware, however, that they cite Texaco a bunch, and Laura Quilter has issues with that.

Laura Quilter Defends Google Print

With all the talk about Google scanning or not scanning copyrighted books, I was happy to see Laura Quilter talking about Google as a library.

The Internet Archive is certainly a library. […] Libraries may be private, semi-private, public; for- or not-for-profit; paper or digital. Why is Google not a library?

More interestingly, she casts a critical eye on the Texaco decision that everybody points to as the guiding law on fair use. This, and the rest of her blog are good reading.

DRM = Customer Lock-In

Donna Wentworth is now saying what I’ve been saying for over a year now. Digital Rights Management (DRM) isn’t about preventing copyright violations by ne’er-do-wells, it’s about eliminating legal me2me fair use and locking in customers. In Your PC == A Toaster, Wentworth quotes Don Marti saying: Isn’t it time to drop the polite fiction […] » about 300 words

Digital Preservation and Copyright

We’re struggling with the question of what to do with our collection of vinyl recordings. They’re deteriorating, and we’re finding it increasingly difficult to keep the playback equipment in working order — the record needles seem to disappear. We’re re-purchased much of our collection on CD, but some items — this one might be one […] » about 300 words

DRM: Bad For Customers, Bad For Publishers

The news came out last week that the biggest music consumers — the ones throwing down cash for music — are also the biggest music sharers. Alan Wexblat at Copyfight says simply: “those who share, care” (BBC link via TeleRead). Rather than taking legal action against downloaders, the music industry needs to entice them to […] » about 600 words

The Failures Of Permission Culture

Donna Wentworth, over at Copyfight pointed out a JD Lasica piece detailing the responses from seven studios to his requests to use short (10-30 seconds) clips of their films in a non-commercial project he was working on with his child. …four of the studios refused outright, two refused to respond, and the seventh wobbled. This […] » about 300 words

Blogger’s Legal Guide

Copyfight is pointing to the EFF‘s new Legal Guide for Bloggers. Most of the content is about liability, but it also addresses issues of access and privilege that are generally granted to journalists, election law, and labor law. From the introduction: Whether you’re a newly minted blogger or a relative old-timer, you’ve been seeing more […] » about 400 words

Professionals Don’t Use Ofoto Or Wal Mart Photo Services

At least that’s the only thing a person can conclude from the stories at Copyfight earlier this week. This post reports on two stories where the photo services concluded that the photos to be printed were too good to have come from an average customer. Upon trying to order prints of her child, one Ofoto user found the following:

Your order has been cancelled because it appears your order contains one of the following… 1. Professional images.

And Wal Mart told another mother:

We can’t release the pictures to you without a copyright release form signed by the photographer.

At least Ofoto gave the mother the opportunity to sign an affidavit warranting that she was the photographer or had permission from the copyright owner. Wal Mart wouldn’t even accept that.

So, like I noted in the headline: Professionals apparently don’t use Ofoto or Wal Mart. I wonder if they promote that as a selling point…

Seltzer’s post notes the new copyright warning that Canon is putting in their camera manuals and the trouble{#157&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0} that the developers of the open-source Gallery image management software project found themselves in recently.

What?

I’m not sure what to think about Steve J’s WWDC announcement (video stream) of Apple’s switch to x86 processors. Coverage at MacNN, Mac Rumors, Ars Technica, etc. I’m not sure, but it would be easier to take if I wasn’t the only one who saw conspiracy in it. Does this relate to Intel’s recent shoehorning of DRM onto the CPU?

It wasn’t long ago that I was praising Apple for making devices that served the remix world that exists in the void between fair use and copyright infringement, but moves since then have concerned me. I live with iTunes DRM, but can I tolerate DRM throughout the OS all the way down to the hardware? Can I tolerate something that eliminates the (entirely legal) me2me sharing that I expect (and is revered in the analog world)?

Anyway, there’s some mixed news about PPC on X86 emulation that will be part of the next OS release, and I expect the jabbering about the effect of this announcement will last all summer. Here’s some now from MacNN, and PowerPage{#14641}. And here’s something I can laugh at.

On The Media Does Copyright Issue

I had just sat down to post a note about an interview with J.D. Lasica in On The Media (listen to MP3) this week when I found David Rothman beat me to it. The interview was one of the better treatments of copyright issues that’s I’ve heard/seen in the (relatively-) popular media. Here’s the summary […] » about 300 words

Copyfight Friday

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did another one of his monkey acts when he went ape about music and DRM. Most people still steal music…We can build the technology but there are still ways for people to steal music. The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen’. It could just be a picture […] » about 400 words