ENTRIES TAGGED "copyright law"

SCOTUS “first sale” ruling a big win for everyone but content publishers and software makers

Attorney Dana Newman on the implications of the Supreme Court ruling in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kirtsaeng dba Bluechristine99 v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. yesterday, upholding the “first sale” doctrine in the case of copies of copyrighted materials lawfully made outside the United States. O’Reilly GM and publisher Joe Wikert (@jwikert) quoted from the majority decision in a post about his surprise at SCOTUS’ decision:

“Putting section numbers to the side, we ask whether the ‘first sale’ doctrine applies to protect a buyer or other lawful owner of a copy (of a copyrighted work) lawfully manufactured abroad. Can that buyer bring that copy into the United States (and sell it or give it away) without obtaining permission to do so from the copyright owner? Can, for example, someone who purchases, say at a used bookstore, a book printed abroad subsequently resell it without the copyright owner’s permission?

“In our view, the answers to these questions are, yes. We hold that the ‘first sale’ doctrine applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad.

I reached out to transactional and intellectual property attorney Dana Newman (@DanaNewman) to find out what the ruling means in the short term and what broader implications the decision might hold. Read more…

Publishing News: Is Medium an evolution or a mashup?

Biz Stone and Evan Williams look to evolve publishing, the EFF offers further arguments against TPP, and a new report offers insights into the ebook market.

Here are a few stories that caught my attention in the publishing space this week.

An “evolutionary leap” toward the future of publishing?

The Obvious Corporation, led by Twitter and Blogger co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, launched a new publishing platform this week called Medium. Williams writes in a company blog post that they feel media and publishing can be done better, and that Medium is intended as an “evolutionary leap” in the right direction. He describes how the new platform will work:

“Medium is designed to allow people to choose the level of contribution they prefer. We know that most people, most of the time, will simply read and view content, which is fine. If they choose, they can click to indicate whether they think something is good, giving feedback to the creator and increasing the likelihood others will see it.

“Posting on Medium (not yet open to everyone) is elegant and easy, and you can do so without the burden of becoming a blogger or worrying about developing an audience. All posts are organized into ‘collections,’ which are defined by a theme and a template.”

Joshua Benton at Nieman Lab says that the new collaborative publishing platform raises “fundamental questions about how content on the web is structured” and looks at the evolution of the web and individual self-expression. He argues that the most radical aspect of Medium is its approach to authorship — while the platform doesn’t ignore authorship, it definitely makes it a secondary issue to content. He writes:

“Medium is built around collections, not authors. When you click on an author’s byline on a Medium post, it goes to their Twitter feed (Ev synergy!), not to their author archive — which is what you’d expect on just about any other content management system on the Internet. (The fact we call them content management systems alone tells you the structural weight that comes from even the lightest personal publishing systems.) The author is there as a reference point to an identity layer — Twitter — not as an organizing principle.

“As Dave Winer noted, Medium does content categorization upside down: ‘Instead of adding a category to a post, you add a post to a category.” He means collection in Medium-speak, but you get the idea: Topic triumphs over author. Medium doesn’t want you to read something because of who wrote it; Medium wants you to read something because of what it’s about. And because of the implicit promise that Medium = quality.”

Mathew Ingram wonders at GigaOm whether the new platform is all that ground breaking, arguing that “it’s not immediately clear what Medium offers that other services don’t.” Ingram says the service “looks a lot like a mashup of Pinterest and Tumblr.” He agrees that Medium’s approach to authorship, as noted by Benton, is indeed different, but he questions: “Is the combination of a topic focus and a voting system enough to make Medium something magical, in a way that will propel it beyond Pinterest and Tumblr and the growing cohort of other social-web tools and publishing platforms? I would hate to count it out, but I’m just not sure.”

Read more…

William Patry delivering Frey Lecture in Intellectual Property Law at Duke

Google Senior Copyright Counsel Bill Patry, who will be one of our keynote speakers at TOC 2010, delivered a great lecture at Duke last month dissecting the “moral panic” approach to copyright debate, as exemplified by the late Jack Valenti, former CEO of the MPAA. His talk is just under 30 minutes, and then he goes into Q&A with…

Orphaned Works Find No Home in House

Wired's Threat Level blog notes that the orphan works bill is likely dead on arrival in the House of Representatives after a positive vote in the Senate, as a result of the wee little fiscal problem confronting the country: The act changes the rules and reduces and sometimes nullifies damages for infringing uses of so-called "orphaned" works as long…