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.