Print

Print


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 14:13:37 -0500
From: ALAWASH E-MAIL <[log in to unmask]>
To: ALA Washington Office Newsline <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [ALA-WO:102] Recent Copyright News


ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline
Volume 14, Number 21
March 11, 2005

In This Issue: Recent Copyright News

Note:  Background on all of the following topics can be found at
<www.ala.org/copyright>

1.  Congressmen Rick Boucher (D-VA), John Doolittle (R-CA) and Joe
Barton (R-TX) on March 9 introduced a fair use bill, H.R. 1201, the
"Digital Media Consumers Rights Act of 2005."  The bill is a new version
of H.R. 107, which was introduced in the 108th Congress and which was
the subject of a day-long hearing in May 2004.  The text of the bill
will be available soon at
<http://thomas.loc.gov > and on the ALA Copyright Web pages at
<www.ala.org/copyright>.  Libraries will be urging Members to
co-sponsor the bill.

2.  On March 9 the House Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress
passed S. 167, a copyright bill that had been approved by the Senate on
February 1.  The full House is expected to pass the bill soon.  The text
of the bill is available at <http://thomas.loc.gov>.

S. 167, the "Family and Entertainment Copyright Act of 2005," picked up
a number of provisions that were included previously in Senate and House
copyright bills in the 108th Congress that did not pass.  Libraries had
supported passage of some of these provisions, though not others with
which they were then joined, and are supporting the current bill.

Title I of the bill criminalizes the unauthorized recording of motion
pictures in a movie theatre.  Title II makes clear that consumers who
use technology in their homes to skip over offensive material in motion
pictures are not infringing copyright. Title III reauthorizes the
National Film Preservation Board and the National Film Preservation
Foundation, and will help ensure the preservation of our national film
heritage.  Title IV of the bill, the "Preservation of Orphan Works Act,"
would amend Section 108 of the Copyright Act to allow libraries to
engage in preservation, scholarship and research of musical works,
motion pictures, and other audiovisual works during the last 20 years of
their copyright term.

Note:  We are asking librarians to send us their "orphan works"
stories, so that we can more fully respond to the request of the Library
of Congress for comments by March 25.  If you did not see our ALAWON of
March 1, please read it!
<http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/washnews/2005ab/017mar01.htm>

3.  On March 1, library associations joined in an amici curiae
(friends of the court) brief with the American Civil Liberties Union,
the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg, in the case MGM Studios,
Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.  The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments
in the case on March 29.  All the briefs filed in the case, which are
numerous, can be found at <http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/MGM_v_Grokster/>.


The ACLU took the lead in writing the brief in support of the companies
Grokster and Morpheus, which offer peer-to-peer file-trading software.
The record companies and movie studios sued the companies for
contributory copyright infringement and vicarious liability. Both the
federal district and the appeals court concluded that Grokster and
Morpheus could not be held secondarily liable for the infringements of
users of their software. The courts relied on the 1984 ruling of the
U.S. Supreme Court in which the Supreme Court held that the maker of the
Betamax video cassette recorder (the Sony Corporation) should not be
held liable for copyright infringement simply because the device could
be used for infringing purposes. The district court in the current case
found that it was undisputed that there are substantial non-infringing
uses for the file-sharing software, such as to share public domain
materials and government documents.

4.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on March 4 issued
an opinion in Faulkner v. National Geographic Society, ruling in favor
of the NGS.
<http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/WOissues/copyrightb/copyrightcases/copyright
court.htm#NGS.>


The case concerns whether publishers of collective works and others who
may choose to legitimately digitize them can re-publish those works in a
digital format without seeking permission of authors or other
contributors. Several freelance photographers, as well as some writers,
sued the National Geographic Society (NGS) for copyright infringement
because some of their works are included in a CD-ROM produced by the
NGS. The CD-ROM contains photo-scanned images of the entire print
version of the National Geographic magazine from 1888 to 1996 in a
searchable format. A lower court found that the publication on CD-ROM is
permissible under the Copyright Act. The library and archives
associations filed an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief asking
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to affirm that
decision.  It is likely that the case will be appealed to the U.S.
Supreme Court.


******
ALAWON (ISSN 1069-7799) is a free, irregular publication of the
American Library Association Washington Office. All materials subject to
copyright by the American Library Association may be reprinted or
redistributed for noncommercial purposes with appropriate credits.

To subscribe to ALAWON, send the message: subscribe ala-wo
[your_firstname] [your_lastname] to [log in to unmask] or go to
http://www.ala.org/washoff/alawon.  To unsubscribe to ALAWON, send
the message: unsubscribe ala-wo to [log in to unmask] ALAWON archives at
http://www.ala.org/washoff/alawon.

ALA Washington Office, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Suite 403,
Washington, D.C. 20004-1701; phone: 202.628.8410 or 800.941.8478
toll-free; fax: 202.628.8419; e-mail: [log in to unmask]; Web site:
http://www.ala.org/washoff.  Executive Director: Emily Sheketoff.
Office of Government Relations: Lynne Bradley, Director; Carol Ashworth,
Don Essex, Joshua Farrelman, Erin Haggerty, Patrice McDermott and Miriam
Nisbet. Office for Information Technology Policy: Rick Weingarten,
Director; Carrie Lowe, Kathy Mitchell, Carrie Russell. ALAWON Editor:
Bernadette Murphy.