UK Moves to Solve Orphan Works Problem

web-copyright-2[1]Copyright may be one of the underpinnings of the publishing industry but it has clay feet: orphan works. It’s not uncommon for a really old work, or old personal documents, to sit molding in an archive because the copyright holder either can’t be identified or can’t be reached.

To solve that problem, the UK is implementing a license scheme which is expected to make up to 91 million works available for public use, including cultural artifacts which literally had no owner: Continue reading

The EU’s Proposed New Google Tax Would Hurt Too Many and Help Too Few

Gunther-Oettinger[1]Many legacy publishers have turned an envious eye on Google’s ad revenues, and now it seems they’ve found an ally in EU’s new Digital Commissioner.

Günther Oettinger is going to start his new 5 year term as a commissioner next week, and he recently gave an interview and shared a few details about his plans and goals. GigaOm first caught the story yesterday. It was originally published in German, so I’ll quote GigaOm’s summary:

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EU High Court Rules that Embedding a Video is Not Copyright Infringement (Except When it IS)

d2448a9938c648598ecc6e75c0485e5b-800[1]In its quest to generate more billable hours for attorneys, the European Court of Justice ruled last week that Europeans  might not have broken copyright law by embedding a Youtube clip from their favorite show in a blog post. Continue reading

German Publishers Cave, Grant Google Free Permission to Use Snippets in Search Results

google-germany-logo-06[1]Google’s 4-month-long fight with German news publishers over license fees for search result snippets came to a close today when the publishers threw in the towel.

VG Media, the rights management firm which 200 German publishers had intended to use to collect the fees, announced on Wednesday that they would be granting Google a free license to use the snippets, saying that they were “forced to this extraordinary step, given the overwhelming market power of Google”. Continue reading

Appeals Court Overturns GSU Library Fair Use Case – But For Good Reasons

4131837946_c83b57d877[1]A key fair use ruling was overturned a couple days ago, but you won’t find me crying into my bran flakes this morning.

Copyright Librarian and Techdirt reported on Friday that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its ruling in Cambridge University Press et. al. v. Patton, the 2008 copyright infringement lawsuit which is otherwise known as “the Georgia State library case”. Continue reading

Google Settles with Photographers over Google Books

google play booksGoogle has announced that they’ve settled a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a group of photographers, rightsholder associations, and affiliated trade groups. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, but Google’s announcement says that it does not include any admission of liability by Google. Continue reading

It’s Official: US Regulators Say that Monkey’s Selfie Cannot be Copyrighted

Macaca_nigra_self-portrait_(rotated_and_cropped)The US Copyright Office released the public draft of a new report today on their standards and practices, and buried in the 1,222-page procedural report was the death knell of an amusing but relatively minor copyright issue.

That famous monkey selfie which made the news a few weeks back officially has no copyright. Noting that “The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants”, the US copyright office ended the most captivating copyright debate of the year not with a bang but with the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen. Continue reading

Used eBook Website Faces Lawsuit in Europe

tom kabinet used ebook marketplaceThe used ebook marketplace Tom Kabinet is only a week old but it is already facing legal challenges to its business model. reported this morning that the Groep Algemene Uitgevers (GAU), the Dutch Trade Publishers Association, has already sent a warning letter to Tom Kabinet, demanding that the site cease operations. Continue reading