15 December 2010

Checklist - 18 Things to Do to Manage Copyright Laws in 2011

See this practical list of things you can do right away!

12 December 2010

Copyright Questions in Copyright Newsletter

Four times a year, 3 questions and answers (for a total of 12 per year) are included in The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter. The quarterly Newsletter also provides in-depth, practical copyright compliance and management articles written in plain English. Obtain a free sample copy of the Newsletter.

27 March 2010

Qs & As now in copyrightlaws.com weblog

I am not responding to questions in this blog. All the content in this blog and much more is now at www.copyrightlaws.com. Thank you for all your questions on this blog which have now been imported to copyrightlaws.com - and please continue to post your questions, now at copyrightlaws.com.


13 March 2010

Answers in new weblog by copyrightlaws.com

We are currently amalgamating all blogs administered by Copyrightlaws.com. Our new weblog will soon be launched at www.copyrightlaws.com -- an announcement will be made herein.

In the meantime, please continue to post your copyright and licensing questions here; the answers will appear in our new weblog.


17 February 2010

Online Course on Copyright Education

The online course, Copyright Education: Demystifying Copyright in your Enterprise (“CE”). This course consists of 8 e-lessons and a private discussion blog.

This course has been developed by Lesley Ellen Harris, Copyrightlaws.com. Registration is at www.acteva.com/go/copyright.

1. Why Copyright Education
Organizational Considerations
2. Copyright Education Leadership
3. Evaluating Copyright Issues in Your Enterprise
4. Preparing a Copyright Education Plan
Implementing A Copyright Education Program
5. Developing Content for your Copyright Education
6. Format of Copyright Education
7. Copyright Program Development and Progression
8. Additional Copyright Education Resources

13 January 2010

17.0 News on Copyright Law

17.0 News on Copyright Law

17.3 What happened on World Fair Use Day in Washington DC on January 12 2010?
I attended “The First Annual World’s Fair Use Day” at the Newseum in Washington D.C. It was organized by the D.C.-based non-profit consumer advocacy group, Public Knowledge. There is lots of information and coverage on this event at http://worldsfairuseday.org/. I will limit my comments to some personal musings (in chronological order as the day unfolded.)

First, I note, the event was free.

Second, Nina Paley (listed bio as filmmaker, animator, cartoonist and copyright critic) wore a black short-sleeved t-shirt with the word: ©ensorship. We know her perspective on copyright. Nina did say that her content is free online however she sells her CD’s. Nina advocates copyright reform and/or broader fair use. Her comments were general but she wants full use of all content for use in her own creations. She is fine with others using her works in any manner.

Third, Dan Walsh, creator of Webcomic “Garfield Minus Garfield” is happy to make money from his work, but through ads, as he does not want to deal with licensing his own works.

Fourth, Pat Aufderheide, director of social media at American University’s School of Communication and person behind the many best practices guides on fair use for online video (remixes), education and documentary filmmaking, proudly shared her work. She mentioned future guides including one on fair use best practices for research librarians. Interesting guidelines and worth reading however remember they are guidelines and not what the Supreme Court or the Copyright Act is stating. My own perspective: having copyright compliance policies are almost always helpful; make sure your policies/guidelines work within the policies and culture of your own organization.

Fifth, Professor Peter Jaszi (AU Washington College of Law) words of wisdom: Best thing U.S. Congress can do is leave Section 107 on Fair Use alone and leave us all to interpret it. Concurred by Tony Falzone (Director of Fair Use Project and lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School). Tony also added: ambiguity and flexibility = strength behind fair use.

Sixth, internationally speaking, there was little discussion. It was mentioned that fair use as in the U.S. is uniquely American. Also, it is unlikely that fair use would ever be the international norm. During my time today I heard no panellists speak about the fact that fair use is likely/arguably broader in the U.S. than most elsewhere (including fair dealing in other countries), and what happens with national treatment and applying the standards in another country when content (legally used in the U.S.) is an infringement in another country? Also missing from the discussions -- moral rights protection which exist in most copyright laws around the world but only in a minor manner in the U.S. A relevant topic for online content use and remixes and mash-ups and other situations where a fair use defense may be claimed.

Seventh, a word from the U.S. administration. White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Andrew McLaughlin (also proud owner of a Droid phone and former global public policy head for Google) disclaimed anything he said could be held as representing the White House. He then said: the administration is “serious about IP enforcement”, fair use is not an excuse for infringement, and there is a need to balance both sides of the copyright equation - reward creators and have flexible fair use principles.

17.2 Question: What is the latest on revising the Canadian Copyright Act?
Answer: The Canadian government, as promised, held a round of public consultations in the summer of 2009 on revising the Canadian Copyright Act. Take the time to read the many submitted briefs offering a variety of perspectives at http://copyright.econsultation.ca.

17.1 Question: What is the word on the French Bill on Creation and the Internet?
Answer: The French Constitutional Council ruled on June 10th 2009 on the Bill on Creation and the Internet (Project de loi favorisant la diffusion et la protection de la creation sur Internet). The Bill contemplates the establishment of an administrative body (Haute Autorite pour la Diffusion de Oeuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet, "HADOPI") which would have been granted the authority to track illegal Internet downloading. The HADOPI was to be given the authority to cut off Web access for repeat offenders - three strikes and an accused offender would have been had his Internet service suspended for up to a year.

Throughout the course of the World Copyright Summit conference in June 2009 in Washington DC, members of CISAC and its guest speakers the Bill's three strikes provisions was seen as a leading example of how states, creators and rights holders can have some control against modern day pirates lurking in the online sea. A press release by CISAC referred to the Bill and its three strike provision as "a beacon of hope offered by the French in the continuing battle against the plague of Internet piracy". The Constitutional Council however ruled that the HADOPI should only be allowed to issue warnings and that any decision to order ISPs to cut access to alleged offenders would need to be made by a court of competent jurisdiction. See: http://www.conseil-constitutionnel.fr/conseil-constitutionnel/francais/les-decisions/2009/decisions-par-date/2009/2009-580-dc/decision-n-2009-580-dc-du-10-juin-2009.42666.html

Has the removal of this power truly dimmed the beacon for those trying to control illegal downloads of copyright-protected materials? Or will the creation of HADOPI, even with its limited powers, launch a new assault against the pirates’ activities by providing a centralized and collaborative approach to identifying and curbing would-be pirates and curbing potentially illegal activity? If the legislative intent is to curb unauthorized downloads by individuals, notice by an administrative body may be a sufficient deterrent. If however the French legislators were seeking to control wholesale piracy then without the ability to impose significant sanctions, the HADOPI will have a very limited impact.

Thanks to Lisa Balaban, Lawyer and Negotiations Consultant, who provided the answer to this question.

05 January 2010

Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News

It is hard to believe that 2010 is the 15th year of the free publication of the LEH-Letter. The LEH-Letter, also titled, Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News, began as a way to inform my clients and students about news in copyright. When created, its purpose was to save my office time in sending the news out individually! Times have changed with respect to how we all now share news. Thousands of people now subscribe to the LEH-Letter.

Our approach is global, practical and unique. We do not aim to cover all issues, but rather summarize specific news items from court cases to new legislation to interesting digital ventures. Many of our articles dealing with copyright compliance, managing the use of digital and print copyright-protected materials, and education on copyright and licensing. Online, in-person and conference sessions on copyright, licensing and legal aspects of digital property are covered in the e-letter, and related publications are mentioned.

We are fortunate that the National Library of Canada archives all issues of the LEH-Letter. You may view them at http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/202/300/copyright-a/.

The next issue will be available January 8 2010.

Lesley Ellen Harris

Museum questions on licensing

Section 15.0 below deals with museum related copyright questions.

Note that the book A Canadian Museum’s Guide to Developing a Licensing Strategy
is currently being updated to take into account the nature of
licensing by museums, archives and other cultural institutions in 2010
and beyond. The 2nd edition of the book will discuss direct licensing
from institutions as well as third party licensing, and licensing
strategies in relation to publishing e-books, and posting content on
social networking sites including flickr, Facebook and Youtube. The
first edition of this book, published by CHIN, is at http://www.pro.rcip-chin.gc.ca/propriete_intellectuelle-intellectual_property/guide_elaboration-guide_developing/index-eng.jsp . The book includes information on issues specific to Canadian
institutions, however much of the information on developing a
licensing strategy is global and relevant to all.

One chapter of the book includes questions and answers on licensing
strategies. Do you have questions? Please email them to me or post
them below in section 15.0, so they can be anonymously
addressed in the 2nd edition of the book. Also, I would like to hear
any interesting licensing situations your institution has recently
been involved in. All information will be kept confidential.

contact at copyrightlaws dot com