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Copyright Study Group Seeks Comments

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the single-copyright-group-likes-walks-on-beach-romantic-ip-discussion dept.

45

jeh0bu writes "The Section 108 Study Group, a group of copyright experts, has been meeting to discuss Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is focusing on preservation of websites and access to digital copies of library materials. Representatives of Internet Archive, including Brewster Kahle, went to the group's public roundtable sessions in March. Google did not register to attend the roundtable sessions even though the findings of the Section 108 Study Group may impact Google's Library Project. The Section 108 Study Group seeks written comments through April 17, 2006, according to this Federal Register notice."

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For the sake of typing speed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050167)

Feel free to use "IANACL" for I am not a copyright lawyer...

Re:For the sake of typing speed (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050737)

IANACL and IANAPP, but won't this cause the universe to collapse, destroying us all?

And what site generates comments needing acronyms? (2, Insightful)

FearTheFrail (666535) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051000)

In the same vein, I think Slashdot editors ought to collect up the usual 10-15 of the top modded comments and send them off as a collective parcel to this group. ...they did ask for comments, after all. =D

Study Group? (-1, Offtopic)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050204)

I didn't realize there was a test! Oh well, time to break out the study food!
Let's see:
1 bag Vinegar and Salt Lays
1 Qt 2% Milk
1 can sardines
2 large Hungry Howie's Cheese Pizza's w/extra anchovies!

Re:Study Group? (1)

Criterion (51515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050846)

Dude, that's not "study" food, that's "staying in the bathroom all night with the runs" food.

Yuk.

Re:Study Group? (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052477)

Would you like a little food with your salt an acid?

Previous discussions (-1, Troll)

Jeff Carr (684298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050251)

Previous discussions can be found at the Section 108 website [section108.com] and can be downloaded in PDF format for only $99.99.

All discussion transcripts are ©2006 Section 108 Discussion Group. Any unauthorized distribution of these documents will prosecuted to the fulleste extent of the law.

Copyright Sucks (0, Flamebait)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050279)

Copyright sucks. That is all.

I sent them this essay (4, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050314)

Straight Talk About Copyrights [googlepages.com]

Hope the messg gets thru.

Re:I sent them this essay (1)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051021)

It would have helped if you spelled commoditization right.

Re:I sent them this essay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052309)

Look out, your American is showing.

No, Copyright is Good! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050420)

Copyright sucks. That is all.

It's the implementation of it that Sucks.

For an author to write a book and a company to print the book and recover costs and provide some income for the writer, that's a good thing. Extending it for eternity is evil.

cthulhu would be so proud

Re:No, Copyright is Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050748)

I thought slashdot loved copyright since it's the basis of your beloved GPL.

Re:No, Copyright is Good! (3, Insightful)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051024)

You misunderstood; The GPL is protected by Copyright, but that doesn't make the GPL unique. The GPL is unique for the rules set down in the GPL. Since code covered by the GPL can be considered software, the GPL is a license. If you dont want to follow the license, you can't use the code. Even without a copyright we could have a GPL, but if someone took it to court people would argue about whose was the code. This is still however a problem for most GPLd works (no registered copyright on many of them), and if there was no copyright protection then coders who avoided the GPL would only be worse off than those who used it.

In essense copyrights are supposed to protect those who bring content to others. Right now, 70% of copyright law does the opposite of that.

Re:No, Copyright is Good! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051128)

In essense copyrights are supposed to protect those who bring content to others. Right now, 70% of copyright law does the opposite of that.

Watch it, by being rational and intelligent you're flirting with a Flamebait mod!

Re:No, Copyright is Good! (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052039)

Sometimes you just have to purposefully avoid stating something as strong as it actually is. In this case Copyrights are in effect for about 100 years, and it would be really hard to argue the benefits of copyrights over 10 years. If I had stated 90% as I thought, the moderators probably would have went against me.

It's nice that you see things the same way though.

Re:No, Copyright is Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15054145)

not news here but...

it would be really hard to argue the benefits of copyrights over 10 years.

Unless you have the copyright lawyers to turn This [imdb.com] into This [imdb.com] and not pay anyone a dime.

but when it's your business model to manipulate and perpetuate copyright law, I guess you know what you're doing when 'scrounging' others works for good ideas. So this perpetual copyright helps ensure that the house of mouse is the only one that can continue to create and innovate freely, while everyone enlse is suceptable to being sued.

Re:No, Copyright is Good! (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15054105)

If you dont want to follow the license, you can't use the code.

Actually, that's not true. Copyright doesn't prevent you from compiling or running any source code you get a hold of; copyright only prohibits unlicensed redistribution and modification.

Even without a copyright we could have a GPL, but if someone took it to court people would argue about whose was the code.

Sure, without a copyright we could still have a copyright license named "the GNU General Public License", but it would be fairly inconsequential: a fair analogy would be for me to allow you to inhale the air I exhale--something for which you don't need my permission.

This is still however a problem for most GPLd works (no registered copyright on many of them),

Huh? \forall programs p: I have looked for p.license \Rightarrow I have found it.

Re:No, Copyright is Good! (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073111)

A license functions as a set of rules for using a item. You have to follow the rules if you wish to be a "good citizen". The problem of just stopping with a .license file is that you can't establish the date of creation in court. There are significant problems with registering a copyright. They are basically geared for large corporations, and at registration you are required to give expected income from the item. It's a lot of work to go through, and I'm sure many open source projects are not protected by the legal construct that is a copyright.

Re:No, Copyright is Good! (1)

jeh0bu (667493) | more than 8 years ago | (#15089893)

You don't need to register for copyright. Copyright is granted to any author who creates a new work and records it. See 17 USC 102. Registration is available under section 408, but it's not necessary. It's good to register though because you are then eligible to recover statutory damages under sections 412 and 504 in case of infringment. If you don't register and there is infringement you can go to court the get the infringing party to stop and you can recover actual damages, but you can't recover statutory damages.

Section 108 (5, Informative)

TechnoGuyRob (926031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050280)

For those of you who are too lazy to read Section 108 [cornell.edu] , basically it says the following:

1. Libraries can reproduce (copy) at most one instance of a copyrighted book if they promise to acknowledge copyright and not make money off it.
2. Copyrighted books/sources can be copied up to 3 times only for archival, preservation and research purposes; digital format archives/copies may not be distributed.
3. Copies of lost/damaged/obsolete material can be made up to 3 times if no actual manufacturer copy can be obtained and the copies are not made available to the public.
4. If a user requests an interlibrary loan or wants a material that cannot be obtained at a reasonable price, they may make a copy of a small section of the material, if the material becomes property of the user (e.g., too much late fees), and the library displays a copyright warning.
5. The library may not reproduce, display, or distribute work that is in its last 20 years of copyright if the work is still commercially circulated, a copy can be obtained at a reasonable price, or the copyright owner makes a special notice.

Keep in mind this only applies to text: "The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section do not apply to a musical work, a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work, or a motion picture or other audiovisual work other than an audiovisual work dealing with news."

Re:Section 108 (4, Interesting)

deopmix (965178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050399)

any such copy or phonorecord that is reproduced in digital format is not otherwise distributed in that format and is not made available to the public in that format outside the premises of the library or archives.
This appears to be the part applicable to google. It seams rather clear that while google can scan in the books, they cannot make them available to the public.

Re:Section 108 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050822)

This appears to be the part applicable to google. It seams (sic) rather clear that while google can scan in the books, they cannot make them available to the public.

But they're not making the books as such available to the public except where (a) they're out of copyright (so this law doesn't apply), or (b) they have been given explicit permission to do so by the publisher (so this law doesn't apply).

Where books are in copyright and no permission has been given to use them, Google are only giving the public access to the fact that a book contains a given search term, and they are using a snippet (literally just one or two lines of text) to illustrate the context. Anyone who wants to actually read the book must go and find a physical copy to read.

It seems very, very unlikely that what Google is doing will be considered copyright infringement by any sane interpretation of the law.

Doesn't apply to Google (2, Interesting)

yar (170650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052156)

Because Google does not meet the critiria to take advantage of Section 108. Section 108 applies to libraries and archives that are made without direct or indirect commercial advantage and has collections that are open to the public/researchers. Whether Google is or is not a library itself is debatable, and I suspect we'll have definitions after the Section 108 group is through, since right now one of the issues is that libraries and archives are undefinded. It doesn't matter, though, since Google right now doesn't act without direct or indirect commercial advantage.

Re:Doesn't apply to Google (1)

jeh0bu (667493) | more than 8 years ago | (#15089958)

Section 108 could apply to Google in a lot of ways. The Section 108 Study Group is set to draft amendments to Section 108. It could turn into something quite different than it is today. That's why Google should be at the table during the discussions. Section 108 could be changed to specifically allow the what Google wants to do with its Library Project. The libraries that participate in the Google Library Project [google.com] are effectively outsourcing library content to Google. The Section 108 Study Group is discussing the issue of digital outsourcing. Google should be involved in this discussion.

Re:Doesn't apply to Google (1)

yar (170650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15091117)

To clarify, I meant that the way Section 108 is currently written does not apply to Google.

Re:Section 108 (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050656)

Extend it to cover audio/visual works, and allow the rules to apply to individuals.

Note that this would still not permit piratebay style distribution, but it would effectively cement fair-use rights and allow the restoration and recovery of at-risk works.

Re:Section 108 (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050657)

Libraries can reproduce (copy) at most one instance of a copyrighted book

Yeah, that one-copy thing worked real well for the archivists at the Library of Alexandria.

Re:Section 108 (1)

deblau (68023) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051546)

The library may not reproduce, display, or distribute work that is in its last 20 years of copyright if the work is still commercially circulated, a copy can be obtained at a reasonable price, or the copyright owner makes a special notice.

Just to clarify.

That's sort of the opposite of the point. The point is that there is an exception to copyright explicitly allowing libraries to distribute copyrighted materials in the last 20 years of their statutory period (absent certain exceptions, like the work is still 'making someone money'). This provision was a compromise in a recent copyright term extension law. The way you stated the law, it sounded like libraries had this right already and the law was taking it away.

Re:Section 108 (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051700)

3. ... (Copies of) obsolete material can be made up to 3 times if no actual manufacturer copy can be obtained...

    This, plus the other refferences to 1 time, 3 times, etc, seem to go to the heart of the problem of copyright's current supression of older works.
      The library can meet isolated demand, if it is for 3 copies total or less for a given work. Normally, that same work will not be brought back into print unless there is a demand for at least 500 copies or more, given typical minimum print runs, AND the publisher has high confidence that such a demand actually exists. That gap between three and 500 or so represents the deliberate disregard for potential markets of just 4 to 499 people. The old fashioned publishing system treats these as too small to consider, and effectively says they are not even potential customers. Then those same publishers want to treat these small markets, too insignificant to even consider, as a massive threat that requires extreme legal restraint or it will somehow imperil their whole business. Which is it?

 

Re:Section 108 (1)

optimus2861 (760680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051754)

I don't understand the reasoning behind item 5, the "no reproduction in last 20 years of copyright" bit. Why take that right away from libraries when the work is over 75 years old? What is it about a work that's 75 years old compared to one that's 55 years old that merits it special "protection" from a library fulfilling its function?

I mean, I know the real answer, that some publishers' lobbyist bought off enough Congresscritters to get that in there at one time or another, but what was the transparent reasoning that was used to justify it?

Not intended to take away rights. (1)

yar (170650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052265)

People are interpreting the parent a bit differently than the law's intent. The parent notes that libraries can't make copies for various reasons if the work is still "commercially circulated, a copy can be obtained at a reasonable price, or the copyright owner makes a special notice" in the last 20 years of the work's protection. If none of those apply, libraries can make copies.

Prior to this rule, libraries couldn't make copies at all, even if those provisions didn't apply. What this rule does is let libraries make some copies in the last 20 years of copyright protection. Given how long copyright protection it, it's really of small solace, but institutions do take advantage of it when they can.

Re:Not intended to take away rights. (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15060475)

Prior to this rule, libraries couldn't make copies at all, even if those provisions didn't apply. What this rule does is let libraries make some copies in the last 20 years of copyright protection. Given how long copyright protection it, it's really of small solace, but institutions do take advantage of it when they can.

Well, really no solace: copyright is effectively immortal, even though the Supreme Court said "nyah nyah, no it isn't" when professor Lawrence Lessig presented evidence that it was (basically, that every 18 years, Disney goes before Congress and gets it extended).

So hopefully, 20 years from a couple years ago when the good professor was in DC, the Supreme Court will recognize the evidence as valid when he returns, and will stop Disney.

'Course, by then I'll be off the planet so I won't fucking care.

Re:Section 108 (1)

yar (170650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052197)

The other thing to note is that any libraries or archives that wishes to take advantage of these copying provisions cannot make the copies for direct or indirect commercial advantage, must be open to the public or researchers, and the copies must include a notice of copyright.

Ahh, Please stop, I'm dying! (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050380)

"The Section 108 Study Group, a group of copyright experts, has been meeting to discuss Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law.

No, please no more April Fools jokes, Please! Arghgh!!!

Re:Ahh, Please stop, I'm dying! (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053914)

No shit. Their press release last week said they were going to discuss Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

Section 108 is the new Area 51 (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050436)

Judging by all the responses posted so far, it seems noone wants to talk about it as if it even existed.

And the UK is still doing something similar (2, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050644)

For our boys and girls in the UK, don't forget that the Gowers review [hm-treasury.gov.uk] is still accepting responses to their call for evidence, and covers (inter alia) the same sort of questions.

Re:And the UK is still doing something similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15051064)

Now you mention UK consultations to do with IP I should remind everyone about the UK Patent Office Inventive Step Review http://www.patent.gov.uk/about/consultations/inven tive/index.htm [patent.gov.uk]

Copyright dorks (0)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050730)

Wow, that picture says a lot. Copyright dorks are even worse than us.

DRM must go (4, Interesting)

bigpat (158134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050741)

For the legitimate interests of fair use, including archiving in libraries, DRM must be circumvented. DRM must be considered incompatible with copyright protection.

In order for a DRM'd work to receive legal copyright protection it must be required to submit a non-DRM'd copy to the Library of Congress and 2 other public Libraries. Otherwise the whole concept of time limited copyright goes out the window, frankly. Unrestrained DRM is unconstitutional for that reason.

Re:DRM must go (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050855)

In order for a DRM'd work to receive legal copyright protection it must be required to submit a non-DRM'd copy to the Library of Congress and 2 other public Libraries.

But what if terrorist pedophile pirates broke into the Library of Congress and stole the non-DRM'd copy? The consequences could destroy America and harm our children! We cannot afford to weaken our resolve: if we are to win the War on Freedom, we must fight on bravely and never, NEVER make ANY concession to the forces of evil who would try to force our God-given intellectual property to be released into the so-called "public domain".

Let's pay attention here (3, Insightful)

NorbrookC (674063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050920)

It's easy to blow this off as "another bunch of lawyers bulls^H^H^H^H^Hdiscussing copyright law." Read the questions in the Federal Register!

I've seen enough "copyright=bad" or "copyright!=bad, implementation=bad", etc. posts on Slashdot over the years. Well, this is your chance to actually comment to people who are making the regulations and laws!

Here are some of the issues they're looking at:

Should non-physical or ''virtual'' libraries or archives be included within the ambit of section 108?

Access to Digital Copies Made under Subsections 108(b) and (c). Are there conditions under which electronic access to digital preservation or replacement copies should be permitted under subsections 108 (b) or (c) outside the premises of libraries or archives (e.g., via e-mail or the Internet or lending of a CD or DVD)? If so, what conditions or restrictions should apply?

They talk about archiving web pages, and this is a key question: Should ''no archive'' meta-tags, robot.txt files, or similar technologies that block sites or pages from being crawled be respected?

There are a lot more, and they touch on almost all the issues that have provoked a lot of discussion and outright flame wars around the Internet. I'm still reading through it, but the key point is that we need to pay attention to this. This is at the point where they are considering things which may end up in regulation and law, and silence or ignoring it is going to cause a lot of problems down the line.

My comments (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050965)

I'd give them my comments but they are copyrighted.

Re:My comments (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051283)

I'd give them my comments but they are copyrighted.

Yeah. People would just copy them on the Internet.
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