The US Copyright Office recently announced a new index of fair use cases, joining the Stanford Copyright and Fair Use site and the IP Watchdog site in offering useful ways to consult fair use case law. Kevin Smith, Director of the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communication at Duke, has reviewed the new index and compared it to previously existing resources.
YouTube’s content ID system blocked Rand Paul’s presidential announcement, presumably because of Warner Music Group’s “Shuttin’ Detroit Down,” a John Rich song that was used briefly as Paul entered and again when he left the stage in Louisville. Paul has tried to build an image as a digital pioneer…oops.
A publicist for the man who filmed a South Carolina police officer firing at a suspect has announced that from now on there will be a $10,000 licensing fee for use of the footage. US news media may argue that using the video of a newsworthy event as part of news coverage is a fair use. A similar claim was made in 1991 by George Holliday, who taped the Rodney King beating, but he ultimately received very little for use of that video.
The Copyright Office, a part of the Library of Congress, administers copyright law in the U.S. “So it’s no small irony then that a new book about Mark Twain, ‘co-authored by’ the Library of Congress, appears to contain text copied from at least five different sources, all with no attribution.”
In December, to a background of trumpet voluntaries, Nature Publishing Group announced that it would allow journal subscribers and journalists to share articles at no cost. However, it soon became apparent that this article sharing was open access in name only. Kevin Smith, at Duke, pointed out the many limitations in a blog entry on “Public access and protectionism.”
On a more solidly hopeful note, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently announced a new grant program designed to make significant out-of-print books in the humanities available as freely accessible e-books.
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