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Posts tagged fair use

In Google Books appeal, Authors Guild decries Google’s impact on Amazon sales
April 12, 2014 | 6:12 am

The Authors Guild is appealing Google’s November fair use win in its Google Book scanning case. The Guild says that Google is “yanking readers out of online bookstores” and stifling online bookstore competition with its digitized books. "Google emptied the shelves of libraries and delivered truckloads of printed books to scanning centers, where the books were converted into digital format," the Guild's lawyers said. They wrote that the library project was designed to lure potential book purchasers away from online retailers like Amazon.com and drive them to Google. Wait, what? ...

UK intellectual property review frees up copying, parody
March 31, 2014 | 2:20 pm

The UK government has introduced a series of changes to copyright law across various media, including books. "These changes will affect how you can use content like books, music, films and photographs," says the introductory text at the UK Intellectual Property Office. "They will also introduce greater freedoms in copyright law to allow third parties to use copyright works for a variety of economically and/or socially valuable purposes without the need to seek permission from copyright owners." These remove the UK's anomalous legal restrictions on, for instance, ripping CDs and DVDs for backup and private home use, and open up...

Morning Links: Self-publishing is going to get bigger. Using samples for discoverability and more
March 13, 2014 | 9:00 am

self-publishingThe Business Rusch: Samples (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) I write a lot of short stories. I love them, which is one reason I write them. I also write short stories as a means to world-build my novels. *** Transformative or just taking? Lawyers struggle to define fair use in wake of Google Books case (GigaOM) The idea of “fair use” provides a critical exception to copyright law for artists, journalists and others. Increasingly, courts are asking if the new use is “transformative” – does this make sense? *** Self-Publishing is Just Going to Get Bigger, Embrace it (Brave New World) Some claim that by 2020 50% of all...

Fan artist complains of Anita Sarkeesian’s unauthorized use of Dragon’s Lair fan art
March 9, 2014 | 4:27 am

tropesvswomenHere’s an interesting conundrum concerning fair use of Internet artwork. It all started when an artist going by the moniker Cowkitty created some fan art of Princess Daphne, a character from Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair video game. Some time later, feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian crowdfunded a series of YouTube videos called Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. And promotional material used for the $150,000 Kickstarter campaign, which collected a number of female characters from video games, made use of Cowkitty’s fan art without asking permission. (The video series allegedly made use of footage from various YouTube “Let’s...

Getty Images offers free image embedding for noncommercial blogs
March 6, 2014 | 12:49 pm

istock-logoGetty Images, the world’s largest stock photo service, has just announced a program licensing noncommercial use of many of its images free to bloggers, provided they use code the site provides to embed the image in a frame with credit below it, linking back to the original picture on the site. This means that noncommercial bloggers have a way to use Getty pictures legitimately, with actual permission. The Verge reports: It's a real risk for the company, since it's easy to screenshot the new versions if you want to snag an unlicensed version. But according to...

Morning Roundup: Piracy, saviour of book industry? eBook fans demand print and more
January 31, 2014 | 9:00 am

piracyPiracy, Saviour of the Book Industry (Forbes) Piracy’s here. It’s staying. We can’t stop it. So we need to find inventive and attractive ways to work around it. *** eBook Fans Demand Print (GoodeReader) In a turn of events that even the publisher didn’t see coming, fans of author Colleen Hoover’s work–calling themselves the CoHorts–launched a Twitter campaign, petition, and general ruckus to have one of the author’s works made available in print. *** Fair Use Is About Much More Than Remixing: It's About Allowing All Kinds Of Innovation (Techdirt) On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee held yet another hearing concerning copyright and possible copyright...

ReDigi awarded patent on digital resale ‘without making a copy’
January 29, 2014 | 7:00 am

Yesterday I received a press release from ReDigi, the company trying to allow (and monetize) the resale of “used” digital goods such as music or e-books, with an embargo time of, well, right now. The release claims the award of a patent on the technology ReDigi wants to use to enable the resale of digital media. It says the patent covers the transfer of digital media files without making a copy. ReDigi has been in the news a great deal in the last couple of years. The RIAA complained, and record label EMI sued, over ReDigi’s plan to allow...

Shel Silverstein biographer’s fair use dilemma: Censorship at the sidewalk’s end
January 11, 2014 | 3:35 pm

On Slate, Joseph Thomas writes that the time and effort he has spent writing a biography of Shel Silverstein will likely come to naught because he cannot get permission from the Silverstein estate to quote from any of Silverstein’s material (probably because the biography covers Silverstein’s lesser-known adult work alongside his better-known children’s work, and the estate would prefer to preserve his kid-friendly image). And so I came up against the hard truth of the literary biographer: It’s crucial to establish friendly relations with the estates of deceased (and more rarely, living) artists whose work is...

GoldieBlox ‘Girls’ controversy resurfaces as Beastie Boys file suit
December 11, 2013 | 12:16 pm

If you thought the Beastie Boys’ tiff with GoldieBlox over the “Girls” parody used in their toy commercial was over when GoldieBlox dropped the song from the commercial and said they would drop their lawsuit (though as TechDirt points out, they technically, um, never actually did), better think again. GigaOm reports that the Beastie Boys have now filed suit against GoldieBlox, demanding it hand over profits gained from using the song without permission. The Beastie Boys are more than a little emotionally involved, given that they say they are honoring the dying wish of deceased band member Adam Yauch...

Judge Chin dismisses suit over Google Books mass scanning as fair use, setting stage for appeal
November 14, 2013 | 8:26 pm

Juli already mentioned the big news of the day: Google has prevailed in the Authors Guild’s copyright case against it for scanning millions of books for its Google Books project. Judge Chin determined that Google Books constituted a fair use, granted Google’s motion for a summary judgment, and dismissed the case. But let’s look at the background a little. This ruling comes a few months after an appeals court ruled back at the beginning of July that Judge Chin needed to hold up on deciding whether the Authors Guild could claim class action status and look at the fair...

Google makes case for Google Books scanning as ‘transformative’ fair use
August 28, 2013 | 10:15 am

Is Google’s book scanning practice “transformative”? Google argues that it is, the Authors Guild argues that it isn’t, This could be an important part of determining whether Google scanning all those books in violation of copyright could be considered a “fair use.” It follows on the heels of the appeals court decision back in July requiring that the circuit court rule on whether Google Book Search constituted fair use before deciding if the suit warranted class action status. Google argues that its book search program was such an improvement over existing search functionality for books that its use was...

All’s fair in fair use for algorithms, but not so much for humans
August 9, 2013 | 7:57 am

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor provision makes it a lot easier for websites to make “fair use” of content than for humans, says an opinion piece by author Peter Wayner on Wired.com. Web sites can get away with reusing images with, in most cases, no more liability than responding to a DMCA takedown can get them out of. But humans aren’t so lucky. Wayner tells the story of looking into adding photos to a book he was writing about productions of the play Death of a Salesman in 1949 and 2012. Adding such photos to a book...