Disclaimer: I am NOT a lawyer and this is NOT legal advice. I hope the material on this page will help prevent your needing a lawyer--or paying a lawyer for information you can find online. Bottom line: respect copyright.

Legal Threats Database (Citizen Media Law Project)

To search for a particular topic, press Control F on Your computer. On my PC the search term then appears in a small box in lower left corner, and I can click on Next or Previous to find where (and if) term occurs on that page.

"The thing about quotes from the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity."
~Abraham Lincoln

The Slow Death of the American Author (author and lawyer Scott Turow, president of the Authors Guild, NY Times Opinion pages, 4-7-13) The new, global electronic marketplace is rapidly depleting authors' income streams. In March 2013, the Supreme Court decided to allow the importation and resale of foreign editions of American works, which are often cheaper (so royalties are lower). E-books are much less expensive for publishers to produce, but instead of using the savings to be more generous to authors, the six major publishing houses all rigidly insist on clauses limiting e-book royalties to 25 percent of net receipts--roughly half of a traditional hardcover royalty.

Getting Permission: How To License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off by Richard Stim

The U.S. Constitution empowers the U.S. Congress "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." (Art. 1, Sect. 8, Clause 8)

The copyright clause allows Congress to protect and encourage the writings and discoveries of authors and inventors (no mention of publishers) -- only to the extent that they are original or inventive, and not just improvements on existing knowledge. Limitations on that protection (such as First Amendment rights and fair use) have been determined through decisions of the Supreme Court. The whole point is to encourage the advancement of knowledge.

Who wins and loses from DoJ's suit against Big Publishers and Apple? -- a roundup (with links) of stories and analysis about the Department of Justice's lawsuit against five major publishers and Apple for colluding to raise the prices of electronic books (eBooks).

Romenesko Speaks Dan Kennedy's excellent report on what Jim Romenesko did or didn't do wrong at Poynter, and why so many journalists rallied around him when he was at the center of a controversy about quotations and attribution (Huffington Post, 11-21-11)


Much food for thought in two interesting reviews of Chris Anderson’s new book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price: Malcolm Gladwell's Priced to Sell: Is free the future? in the New Yorker (7-6-09), and $0.00 by Virginia Postrel (NY Times Sunday Book Review, 7-10-09).

"Newspapers, even if every single one of them acted in collusion, cannot establish a monopoly on news. The main source of value for newspapers is reporting on events in the real world, and since those events can’t be copyrighted, and can be reported on by radio stations and television programs and non-profits and webloggers and twitterers and and and, news online will always be a competitive business in a way music is not."
~Clay Shirky, in Why iTunes is not a workable model for the newspaper business

"Don't go into something to test the water....go in to makes waves."
~ Source unknown

“Sacred cows make the best hamburger”
~ Mark Twain

"The Internet age with its multitude of blogs and online forums has led to an explosion of writing. But the losers in this development, at least financially, appear to be the writers."
~ DPA news agency (link below to full story)

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other comes from a strong won't.
~ Henry Ward Beecher

"Sir, no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money."
~ Samuel Johnson

"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork."
~ Peter DeVries

Quick Links

Find Authors

Copyright, work for hire, and other rights issues

Publishing contracts, copyright, work for hire, licensing, fair use, public domain, permissions, rights clearance, contract negotiations, rights grabs, and the like (with a focus on U.S. copyright law and practices, as that's what I know about)

• How, why, and when to register copyright
• How long does copyright last? When do works enter the public domain?
• Important copyright issues, FAQs, and explanations
• Work for hire (work made for hire)
• Fair use: A Primer, followed by links to good explanations, examples, and court cases
• Fair use, copyright, social media, and multimedia
• Copyright issues in the digital world, plus legal guides
• Discussion groups and listservs on copyright and intellectual property and organizations actively interested in intellectual property issues
• Piracy • Plagiarism
• Authors' rights (and publishers' rights grabs)
•Rights and contracts for academic authors (how not to give up all rights to academic journals)
• Moral rights
• Contracts, including book contracts
• Books about contracts, copyright, fair use, clearing permissions, and other issues important to writers, editors, and other "creatives"
• Reversion of rights to author vs. assigning rights in perpetuity to publisher
• Artists' looming battle with recording industry on copyright termination rights
• Rights and royalties management, licensing, issues about
(and what happens to works after authors died)
• First-sale doctrine meets digital world of rentals and licensing
• Copyright and academia
• Digital rights management (DRM)
• Orphan Works legislation
• Names, titles, domain names, and trademarks
• Clearing rights and finding rightsholders (licensing organizations and rights clearinghouses)
• Clearing rights in visual arts
• Clearing rights for music and sound
• Clearing rights for books, scripts, screenplays
• Permission and releases
• Net neutrality
• Google Book Settlement (pro and con)
•Digital Millennium Copyright Act, DMCA Takedown Notices, and Related Issues


If you found it on the Internet, is it public domain — meaning unprotected by copyright? No. And believing that material on a website or in an e-mail is freely copyable is one of many ways you can get yourself in trouble.

Copyright and fair use guidelines have changed since the advent of digital copies and the Internet, which in effect make the Internet a big copying machine. But copyright law still exists — copyright is, indeed, provided for in the U.S. constitution — and it is important to understand both how to protect your own rights and how not to violate those of others. In many ways, U.S. authors are not protected as well as authors in other countries; U.S. copyright follows the Berne convention in many ways, for example, except in protecting authors' "moral rights." As with other sections of this website, I will add more links and information as I find time. The copyright and fair use "quiz" that I provide when I teach a course on copyright basics is a good way to find out what you know and don't know about copyright. If I can figure out a way to incorporate a self-administered quiz in the framework of this Authors Guild website template, I will do so. In the meantime, click here for a copyright tutorial quiz from an excellent University of Texas website. Save yourself grief by mastering the basics of essential terms: copyright, licensing, fair use, public domain, Creative Commons, work-for-hire, and various forms of rights.

Writers: Be grateful to Dan Carlinsky, who years ago started teaching us that as copyright owners we own the rights to our works. We do not "sell" an article to a magazine but "license" it. Thanks, Dan, for starting an educational campaign we really needed. You in publishing: Pay attention. You, too, may be an author one day. Creators of all types: You should generally "license" use of your work rather than sell (or give) the copyright to someone. And be knowledgeable about which rights you are licensing. As a freelance journalist, you are typically granting a periodical "first rights" or "one-time rights," but you are retaining the copyright (unless you give in to a greedy publisher). Photographers have been better than writers about watching out for their rights. A photographer, for example, licensing use of a photo in a book might charge various fees for additional licenses -- for use of the photo inside a book (one fee), on the cover (a second fee), in marketing materials (an additional fee), on merchandise such as a mug or tee shirt (yet another fee). And generally as a photographer you would want to retain the right to use the photo yourself -- as a print, say, and in your own promotional materials.

Similarly, when you are clearing permissions, you need to specify which rights you are asking for. The more limited the rights, the smaller the audience or printing, and the lower the price of what you are selling, the lower the fee, generally.

And do pay read Mike Shatzkin's articles on new models of publishing, in the section on Publishing and e-publishing, as those changing models are going to affect how (much) income is shared with authors.

—— Pat McNees

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How, why, and when to register copyright
In the United States, as soon as you create a work and fix it in tangible form, copyright law protects it. You don't need to register copyright. In the past, U.S. law required authors to affix a copyright notice to their works; Congress eliminated that requirement in 1989. But if you want to collect damages for copyright infringement, you must register copyright. If a registered work is later infringed, the creator can recover actual damages (the fee that would normally have been paid for the use), as well as statutory (punitive) damages and legal fees. A work that is infringed and has not been registered can only generate actual damages (and in most cases the cost of the suit far exceeds recoverable moneys).

To register a work, submit a completed application form, a nonrefundable filing fee, ($35 if you register online or $50 if you register using Form CO); and a nonreturnable copy or copies of the work to be registered. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Registration Procedures.” E-filing takes much less time. Paper filing takes time partly because all mail (U.S. Postal Service) has to be screened offsite, as a security measure.

For more information about various aspects of copyright:
Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright (U.S. Copyright Office--very helpful)
Fair use, copyright, social media, and multimedia
Clearing rights and finding rightsholders
Permissions and releases
Copyright discussion groups and listservs
Links on copyright, work for hire, licensing, fair use, and contract negotiations
Copyright application forms (all categories, U.S. Copyright Office)
Copyright application for visual works, including photos (PDF)
Copyright: Sample Forms and Strategies for Registering your Online Content (Sarah Bird, The Daily SEO Blog, 3-24-08)
Current U.S. copyright registration fees
Tutorial for registering copyright on images (American Society of Media Photographers)
Filing a copyright application (for literary, artistic, dramatic and/​or musical works)
How your copyright application is processed
A guide to copyrights (Canada)
Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
Application for copyright registration in Canada
Copyright Registration in Canada (order this free guide from the Business Development Centre, a private firm)
Copyright Website and Copyright Wizard (private copyright-registration service owned by Benedict O'Mahoney). A few interesting links you might not find on the official copyright sites.


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How long does copyright last? When do works enter the public domain?


How long does copyright last? From the U.S. Copyright Office: "The term of copyright for a particular work depends on several factors, including whether it has been published, and, if so, the date of first publication. As a general rule [bullets added}:
• For works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. (What happened to the "life plus 50 term": Senator Orrin Hatch’s Introduction of The Copyright Term Extension Act of 1997. Copyright on the Disney movies was going to expire and the Disney Studios wanted longer protection. Copyright, developed to protect authors and other "creators," was now also to serve the "copyright industries," which contribute so much to GDP.
• For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first.
• For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors. To determine the length of copyright protection for a particular work, consult chapter 3 of the Copyright Act (title 17 of the United States Code).
• Works created on or after January 1, 1978, are not subject to renewal.
How Can I Tell Whether a Copyright Was Renewed? (the Online Books Page, edited by John Mark Ockerbloom)
More information on the term of copyright can be found in Circular 15a, Duration of Copyright, and Circular 1, Copyright Basics.
The U.S. copyright office offers a search service to investigate whether a work is under copyright protection. Go here for a search request estimate (currently $165 per hour or fraction thereof, 2-hour minimum).
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Public domain. When do works of intellectual property enter the public domain (become copyright free)?
When U.S. Works Pass into the Public Domain (Lolly Gasaway's wonderfully clear chart)
Welcome to the Public Domain (useful page from Stanford University Libraries)
Copyright Renewal Database (Stanford Library, searchable database of copyright renewal records U.S. Copyright Office received between 1950 and 1992--that is, covering works published in the period 1923-1962). Works published before 1923 are generally in public domain; works published after Jan.1, 1964, generally have copyrights automatically renewed, by statute. For works published between those dates, copyright had to renewed after the first term of registration or copyright expired. Tracking down which copyrights expired or were renewed took time and trouble; this database makes searches easier.
Public Domain in the United States (Cornell Law's excellent chart on when copyright terms expire under various circumstances--published works, unpublished works, works by foreign nationals, sound recordings, architectural works, etc.)
The Public Domain in the United Kingdom (and Other Countries) by Tony Laidig, whose blog Public Domain Blog us full of interesting things like Pimping the Public Domain (where you can download a PDF document about marketing nostalgic PD merchandise.
The Society of Authors (UK) Guides and Articles, many, many useful articles and guides, including Quick Guide to Copyright and Moral Rights (PDF). Slight charge for nonmembers on many items.
Is It Protected by Copyright? (Digital copyright slider, by Michael Brewer, American Library Association). Slide red carat sign along right to identify when a work was published and the answer will pop up bottom left.
Bound by Law? Tales from the Public Domain (clever online comic book explanation of copyright law, by Keith Aoki, James Boyle, and Jennifer Jenkins, for the Duke Center for the Study of Public Domain)
How Can I Tell When Copyright Was Renewed? (the Online Books Page, edited by John Mark Ockerbloom)
• The U.S. copyright office offers a search service to investigate whether a work is under copyright protection. Go here for a search request estimate (currently $165 per hour or fraction thereof, 2-hour minimum). See also the entry How long does copyright last?
Famous writers and books in the public domain (Cinemoose)
List of public domain music (Public Domain Information Project, PD Info). On their website, under Royalty-free Music , PD Info says "There are no public domain sound recordings in USA." There is a difference between the (sheet) music and recorded music!
5 Misconceptions About Public Domain Work (eBay guide 2-8-10)
The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish (Rebecca Rosen, The Atlantic, 7-30-13). A book published during the presidency of Chester A. Arthur has a greater chance of being in print today than one published during the time of Reagan. "Copyright correlates significantly with the disappearance of works rather than with their availability."
The Public Domain (Opinion, NY Times, 10-11-11). In Golan v. Holder, a lawsuit "brought by orchestra conductors, educators and others who challenged Congress’s ability to restore copyright protection to foreign works that had been in the public domain for decades" (including Prokofiev's “Peter and the Wolf”). Congress had restored copyright as part of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. From Wikipedia summary: "The US Supreme Court held on January 18, 2012 that Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act does not exceed Congress's authority under the Copy­right Clause, and the court affirmed the judgment of the lower court by 6-2, with the opinion written by Justice Ginsburg.[3][4] The practical effect of the decision is to confirm that works once free to use, such as Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, are no longer in the public domain and are subject to use only with the permission of the copyright holder, such as through paid licensing."

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Important copyright documents, issues, and explanations


The Next Great Copyright Act (26th Horace S. Manges lecture, by Maria A. Pallante, Register of the U.S. Copyyright Office. Notes on, and reactions to, the lecture:
~ARL Policy Notes (main points of the talk, Greg Cram, Rights Clearance Analyst, The New York Public Library)
~The Clyde Fitch Report Major copyright issues Congress must consider include exclusive rights, incidental copies, enforcement, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), digital first sale, exceptions and limitations, licensing, deposits for the Library of Congress, offsetting copyright term, making room for opt outs, and making the law more accessible, i.e. readable.
~Takeaways (Future of Music Coalition) "Pallante called the lack of a public performance right for over-the air (AM/​FM) broadcasts “indefensible.” We agree; by not compensating performers for radio play, America is in the company of North Korea and Iran."
~Columbia Law School "The last intense policy period in copyright law occurred in the mid-90s with the passage of the Copyright Term Extension Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which, among other things, extended copyrights and criminalized technology that circumvents copyright controls, respectively. But as technology continues to evolve, Pallante said it is time to revisit those laws and analyze their effects."

Copyright Law of the United States and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the U.S. Code. Includes amendments.
USC Title 17 (preliminary release, as posted by Cornell's Legal Information Institute)
Copyright Act of 1976, the core of U.S. copyright law now (plus amendments), went into effect Jan. 1, 1978. This link is to a helpful Wikipedia entry.
Title 18--Crimes and Criminal Procedure, U.S. Code (Appendix H). [This entry is incomplete and puzzles even me. I know it's here for a reason but I'm not sure why.]
Copyright Claims in Architectural Works (Circular 41). An original design of a building created in any tangible medium of expression, including a constructed building or architectural plans, models, or drawings, is subject to copyright protection as an “architectural work” under section 102 of the Copyright Act (title 17 of the United States Code), as amended on December 1, 1990. Copyright protection extends to any architectural work created on or after December 1, 1990. Also, any architectural works that were unconstructed and embodied in unpublished plans or drawings on that date and were constructed by December 31, 2002.
Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA, of 1998) Also known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act or the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, as well explained on Wikipedia: This act "effectively 'froze' the advancement date of the public domain in the United States for works covered by the older fixed term copyright rules," so works that would otherwise have entered the public domain (including Disney movies) would not.
In a piece called 5 Ways The Google Book Settlement Will Change The Future of Reading, Annalee Newitz wrote: "Known to policy-makers as the Copyright Extension Act, it was the result of intensive lobbying by the entertainment industry, led in part by Disney, to extend the copyright on any work created after 1923. Many of Disney's classic pieces of content, like Mickey Mouse cartoons, were about to pass into the public domain. So the company was naturally interested in keeping control of the Mouse as long as it could....The Act also gave birth to a loosely organized but powerful movement of copyright reformists....Over the past decade, many of these reformists migrated to jobs in Silicon Valley, where easily-copied digital media are constantly forcing the question of what copyright really means in the information age."
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) (PDF, U.S. Copyright Office). See section on DMCA and takedown notices further down on this website.
FBI Anti-Piracy Warning Seal. Effective August 13, 2012, the new 41 CFR Section 128-1.5009 authorizes use of the APW Seal by all U.S. copyright holders, subject to specific conditions of use. Copyrighted works can include, but are not limited to, films, audio recordings, electronic media, software, books, photographs, etc.
Distance Education and the TEACH Act (2002). The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act (2002) redefines the terms and conditions under which accredited nonprofit U.S. educational institutions may use copyright-protected materials in distance education--including on websites and by other digital means--without permission from the copyright owner and without payment of royalties. See also the UCCopyright (University of California) on the TEACH Act. • Copyright in the U.K. (Intellectual Property Office, U.K.) • Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty /a>
WIPO directory of intellectual property offices around the world
Copyright Watch (Electronic Frontier Foundations searchable database of copyright laws from around the world)
European Commission (helpful information and links to information about European Union countries)


Copyright: An Overview (Cornell, brief)
Rights Granted Under Copyright Law (BitLaw). The Copyright Act grants five rights to a copyright owner:
~ the right to reproduce the copyrighted work;
~ the right to prepare derivative works based upon the work;
~ the right to distribute copies of the work to the public;
~ the right to perform the copyrighted work publicly; and
~ the right to display the copyrighted work publicly.
BitLaw's explanations of these rights is helpful.
Common Myths About Copyright (Marion Gropen, The Profitable Publisher)
Copyright and Fair Use (Stanford University Libraries, with overview material drawn from Richard Stim's book Getting Permission: How To License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off
Copyright Web Sites (Stanford University Libraries' excellent links)
How long does copyright last and other FAQs, for UK (Design and Artists Copyright Society, DACS, UK -- see especially questions on moral rights)
Joint Ownership of Copyrights (Study prepared for the Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright, for the U.S. Senate, 1960). Interesting history and cases.
Intellectual Property Law (Virtual Chase's extensive list of links to resources on the subject)
Copyright Law Changes That May Affect You (Stanford University Libraries, Copyright and Fair Use)
Fairly Used Blog (Stanford University Libraries, Attack on Open Access)
Lolly Gasaway's "Copyright Corner" from Special Libraries Association's Information Outlook (links here to Lolly's good articles on just about everything you might want to know about--on topics ranging from academic freedom to circumvention, from Creative Commons to deep linking, from moral rights to webcasting)
Copyright Ownership: Who Owns What? (Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Site answers key questions: What are the exceptions to the rule that the creator of a work owns the copyright? Who owns the copyright in a joint work? Can two or more authors provide contributions to a single work without being considered a joint authors for copyright purposes? What rights do copyright owners have under the Copyright Act? Can a copyright owner transfer some or all of his specific rights?
FAQs about Copyright (Publishing Law Center)
• Can an idea be stolen? Is there such a thing as "idea theft"? (David Sheets, SPJ's Independent Journal, 4-22-12). Yes, though it is not as common as beginning writers think. Can you do anything about it? Probably not. Copyright does not protect ideas--it protects the expression of ideas. As Sheets writes, "The truth is, nobody 'owns' a story idea."
In the Courts: Can Distinctiveness of Musical Identity Be Protected Under U.S. Law? (Barry Werbin, WIPO Magazine, on the cases of Astrud Gilberto, Nancy Sinatra, Tom Waits and commercials that used songs or voices they'd become associated with)
Circuit court rules that Salinger's character, Holden Caulfield, is copyrightable Andrew Albanese (PW,6-17-09), Temporary Restraining Order Issued in Salinger Case. An interesting article on several counts.
Copyright Timeline: A History of Copyright in the United States (Assoc. of Research Libraries)
Copyright Challenge (a good quiz for students)
Copyright for Indexes, Revisited (Nancy Mulvany, in 1991, arguing that indexes are generally not works for hire, so the indexer may copyright them.)
Copyright Protection for Short Phrases (Copyright & Fair Use, Stanford University Libraries)
Copyright for Librarians (an online course for librarians, a joint project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), a network of library consortia in 50 countries)
Copyright in the Courts: The Da Vinci Code ( (Uma Suthersanen, WIPO Magazine, 6-06). Two authors of nonfiction works sued Dan Brown for copyright infringement. They lost; this article explains why.
Copyright Crash Course (University of Texas Libraries)
Using Photographs of Copyrighted Works and Trademarks (WIPO Magazine, 4-06, on unauthorized reproductions)
Copyright Primer for Editorial Photographers (Michael Grecco, Editorial Photographers)
Copyright, A Fair(y) Use Tale (clever video explanation making "fair use" of Disney cartoons)
The Editor's Interest (An American Editor, 3-1-11). "A question that sometimes arises, usually when an editor has difficulty getting paid for his or her work, is: What can the editor do to collect payment? I've been a long-time advocate of the position that the editor has a copyright interest in the edited version of the manuscript, a card that the editor should play in payment disputes."
The Real Purpose of Copyright (John N. Berry III, Library Journal, 7-1-2000). New laws converted a limited exclusive right into long-term ownership
Works Not Covered by Copyright (Digital Media Law, formerly Citizen Media Law Project)
The Real Reason for Germany's Industrial Expansion? No Copyright Law (Frank Thadeusz, Spiegel Online, 8-18-10). Bet he gets some arguments?
Why Is It Easier to Copyright an Unhealthy Yoga Routine than a Healthy One? (Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman, Freakonomics, 12-8-11). Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram Yoga, a popular and high-priced chain of yoga studios, dues rival studios who teach the Bikram method, or offer Bikram-style classes without Bikram-certified instructors. " Choudhury claims that his yoga sequence, when performed as directed and at the correct temperature has significant health benefits -- ranging from the alleviation of diabetes to multiple sclerosis and obesity. But a central feature of copyright law is that creations that have a function cannot be copyrighted. The more Choudhury's health benefits are true, in other words, the weaker his claim to copyright is. And that claim is pretty weak to begin with....Functionality is the master concept that divides copyright (which covers art, literature, and other non-functional things), and patent (which covers new machines, processes, and other functional things)."
Shifting Boundaries of Intellectual Property: Copyright, Intellectual Property, and Publishing on the WWW (Jeff Galin, University Of Pittsburgh)
• Integrated Circuitry Topography (Layout Designs) as trade-related intellectual property
~Appendix L of GATT, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property, U.S. Copyright Office
~Glossary definition, Canadian Intellectual Property Office
~Canadian Guide on the subject
What Chemists Need to Know about Copyright (American Chemical Society learning module)
Updating Copyright Laws to Address Concerns of Google's Cached Page Service (Hal Abelson, Ethics and Law on the Electronic Frontier, 12-10-03)

Intellectual property is intangible property created by the mind, as distinguished from real property (land, buildings, and anything attached to the land) and personal property(tangible property not affixed to or associated with the land, such as a necklace or computer). The four basic systems for protecting intellectual property involve copyright, trademarks, service marks, and patents. The National Paralegal College has a helpful primer on intellectual property: patents, trademark, and copyright
Ivan Hoffman's overview outline of intellectual property law
Trademark and Other Intellectual Property Resource Guide (Marcaria.com). Links and information about trademark law, copyright, trade secrets, patents.
Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents: Invention Guide for Kids (Mark Brown, Marcaria.com)
Hyperlinks, Frames and Meta-Tags: An Intellectual Property Analysis (Jeffrey R. Kuester, Peter A. Nieves, PTC Research Foundation of the Franklin Pierce Law Center, 1998)
IP Insider (updates from the Intellectual Property Law Practice Center)
What communicators (PR, advertising and marketing professionals) should know about intellectual property (Barbara I. Berschler, Esq.,, for Capital Communicator, Part 1, 12-14-09). Here's Part 2, Some situations in which IP issues may arise and some possible approaches to take.
• Intellectual Property Justice Project

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Fair Use, A Primer


Judges use four factors in resolving fair use disputes:
1) The Transformative Factor: The Purpose and Character of Your Use
2) The Nature of the Copyrighted Work
3) The Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Taken
4) The Effect of the Use Upon the Potential Market
* The "Fifth" Fair Use Factor: Are You Good or Bad?)

The 'Fair Use' Rule: When Use of Copyrighted Material Is Acceptable (Nolo, by Stephen Fishman?).
Fair use factors are explained helpfully with these rules as headings:
Rule 1: Are You Creating Something New or Just Copying?
Rule 2: Are You Competing With the Source You're Copying From?
Rule 3: Giving the Author Credit Doesn't Let You Off the Hook
Rule 4: The More You Take, the Less Fair Your Use Is Likely to Be
Rule 5: The Quality of the Material Used Is as Important as the Quantity

Fair Use (Stanford University Libraries' excellent chapter on fair use (free online).
Fair use or permissions on websites (Stanford University Libraries)
Thinking Through Fair Use (excellent University of Minnesota Libraries interactive tool for evaluating if a particular use is fair use). Also useful from U of Minn Libraries:
~Can I use that?, a map of use issues
~Can I use that? , as outline of issues, with links to further explanations
~Using Copyrightable Materials (uses you can and cannot make without permission)
What Every Writer Ought to Know About Fair Use and Copyright (attorney David L Amkraut, guest posting on The Book Designer, 2-8-10)
Fair Use Evaluator (an interactive tool for evaluating if something is fair use, Office for Information Technology Policy of the American Library Association)
"Legal Definitions: "Fair Use" and "Fair Dealing" (International James Joyce Foundation). Q: If a work remains in copyright, limited quotation is legal within fair use (U.S.) and fair dealing (U.K., etc.) provisions.What are the legal definitions of fair use (U.S.) and fair dealing (U.K., and the like)? (They are stricter in British copyright practice, applying mostly to photocopying brief passages for research and to quotations in "criticism or review." Briefly covers Ireland, Canada, and Australia, too.)
Legal Issues in Self-Publishing: What Authors Need to Know (Bernard Starr's interview with attorney Paul Rapp., Huff Post, 12-24-12). There is no fixed definition of fair use, for use of quotes, says Rapp. "If the quote drives your narrative, or if you are commenting on the quote or its author, or using a quote to support an argument then it's most likely going to be a 'fair use' of the quote, and therefore non-infringing....The one tricky area is when people use quotes that are just window dressing. Like when an author quotes the lyrics of a song -- even just couple of lines from a song at the beginning of a chapter, as Stephen King often does. Most music publishers take the position that you need permission because this kind of use, they claim, is not driving the narrative or otherwise a fair use. And they may be right -- the fair use doctrine is horribly imprecise." In gray area uses he suggests authors try to get permission as the licensing fee is often fairly minimal.
Codes of best practices in social media, multimedia, and various disciplines
The Conference on Fair Use: Interim Report (CONFU, December 1996). A sizeable taskforce from private and public organizations met monthly (1993-95) to try to work out fair use guidelines for navigating the electronic highway. (I was a participant, representing ASJA.) This is a once-over lightly report on the interim outcome, as regards digital images, distance learning, educational multimedia, electronic reserve systems, interlibrary loan and document delivery, use of computer software in libraries.
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (Center for Social Media)
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry (Center for Social Media)
The Law of Fair Use and the Illusion of Fair-Use Guidelines (Kenneth Crews, Ohio State Law Journal, 2001, PDF). From the research library viewpoint, the shortcomings of CONFU.)
Fairly Used Blog (Stanford University Libraries, emphasis on Open Access)
Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about Copyright and Fair Use (Chilling Effects Clearinghouse)
Fair Use Checklist (Cornell University's PDF file, to help you determine whether you may make or distribute copies of a copyrighted work without permission)
Fair Use and Permissions (links to Nolo articles on using copyrighted work)
Fair Use (Wikipedia's entry is helpful--especially its section on Common Misunderstandings)
Finally: A Guide for Journalists to Navigate Fair Use of Copyrighted Material (Jonathan Peters, MediaShift, 6-10-13):
Set of Principles in Fair Use for Journalism (Center for Social Media and Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University, with support from Robert R. McCormick Foundation)
Fair Use, Free Use, and Use by Permission: How to Handle Copyrights in All Media by Lee Wilson
Fair Use: What Every Writer Ought to Know (David L. Amkrau provides several scenarios illustrating what's likely to be infringement or fair use, guest-blogging on Joel Friedlander's TheBookDesigner.com)
A Writers' Guide to Fair Use ( Howard G. Zaharoff, from Jan.2001 Writer's Digest)
When Do You Need to Secure Permissions? (Jane Friedman, 1-23-12, explaining fair use)
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication (Center for Social Media, American University)
Daily Kos's primer on how to post pictures on the Internet without getting hauled into court
Chilling Effects' FAQ About Copyright and Fair Use . This pays more than ordinary attention to issues on the Web (e.g., "What is the look and feel of a site?" and "Does the fair use doctrine permit users to download MP3 files to make temporary copies of copyrighted sound recordings to 'sample' the music before deciding whether to purchase the recording?")
Copyright, Free Speech, and the Public's Right to Know: How Journalists Think about Fair Use (PDF, Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, Center for Social Media, School of Communication, American University)
Educational Fair Use Today (PDF file, Jonathan Band, Association of Research Libraries). Fair use ruling more likely in educational setting where uses involved repurposing and recontextualization.
Study This: Copyright Law Hurts, Helps Economy (David Kravets, Wired, 9-13-07, a report on the "Fair Use Economy," which is good or bad, depending on which industry is reporting. On the one hand, "The report issued by the Computer & Communications Industry Association is concluding that one-sixth of the United States' gross domestic product was spawned because of fair use exceptions recognized in copyright law." On the other, "Imagine how much GDP will expand, and how much revenue will be lost to pirating, once the Beatles recordings hit Apple's iTunes Music Store."
Doc-makers get specific about copyright fair use (Steve Behrens, Current.org, 11-22-05)
Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi. (Library Journal: "...sound advice on users' rights to copyrighted material in their survey of fair use, a "safety valve" built into copyright law. They remind readers that copyright was created to benefit the public, not to enrich producers..."

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Important Fair Use Cases:
"Fair use," says the Authors Guild, "is a defense to copyright developed by American courts to reconcile copyright protection with free expression. It’s rather vaguely defined and its application varies greatly from case to case. Many other countries, including Australia, recognize a similar but much more carefully enumerated exception to copyright known as fair dealing."
• The Betamax Case, (Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 1984). How courts reasoned about the first-use doctrine in the decision on the American film industry's first legal response to the home video revolution: "time-shift" programming (copying a program to watch later, in the home) was fair use. "At first, the major studios believed that the only logical way to market videocassettes was direct sales, reasoning that consumers wanted to buy cassettes and create 'libraries' in much the same way as they acquired record albums. But people preferred renting to buying and as the situation stood, retailers and not film producers initially wrung most of the profits from the market. After purchasing a cassette for around $40 wholesale, a retailer could rent it over and over at a nominal charge. In contrast, the film company's profit would be small, less than a few dollars after materials, duplication, and distribution costs had been covered." That decision legally enabled development of the consumer electronics industry. For more details, see Wikipedia on Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, IncElectronic Frontier Foundation (on how the Betamax case figures in lawsuits against peer-to-peer copying on other electronic devices). In July 2013, reports the Washington Post, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Fox Broadcasting v. Dish Network, says digital recorders that allow automatic skipping of ads do not violate copyright. ("Commercial-skipping does not implicate Fox's copyright interest because Fox owns the copyrights to the television programs, not to the ads aired in the commercial breaks," wrote Judge Judge Sidney Thomas. (See In Dish Network Case, Ninth Circuit Applies Dated Precedent to New Copyright Claim(The Recorder, 7-24-13).
Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises. Nation magazine scooped former President Gerald Ford's memoir on his account of his decision to pardon Nixon. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "fair use is not a defense to the appropriation of work by a famous political figure simply because of the public interest in learning of that political figure's account of an historic event."
A legal sweep (Inside Higher Education, reporting on Authors Guild vs. Hathi Trust: In its suit, the Authors Guild objected to the libraries' decision to make limited use of its holdings -- such as making digital book copies available to disabled students and allowing researchers to search the full digital texts for keywords -- without paying for permission. "Protecting the rights of disabled students appeared to play a crucial role in the judge's decision." The judge also ruled that "using the digital copies to power a discovery tool that queries the full texts of all the works in the database was sufficiently 'transformative' as to qualify it for exemption under the fair use provision."
Documentary Filmmakers Win Exemption From Digital Millennium Copyright Act (PRWeb, 7-28-10). "Documentary Filmmakers Granted Access to Previously Off Limits DVD Content, Restoring Their Fair Use Rights" -- From the Library of Congress: Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works.
“Orphan Works” Unresolved in HathiTrust Ruling (Authors Guild blog). Oct. 12, 2012: Ending a year-long lawsuit over a shared digital repository based at the University of Michigan, US District Court Judge Harold Baer ruled that the mass book digitization program conducted by five major universities in conjunction with Google is a fair use under US copyright law. Under that program, Google has converted millions of copyright-protected library books into machine-readable files, duplicating and distributing the digitized books to university libraries. The universities pooled the digitized books into an online database organized by the University of Michigan known as HathiTrust. "We disagree with nearly every aspect of the court’s ruling. We’re especially disappointed that the court refused to address the universities’ “orphan works” program, which defendants have repeatedly promised to revive. A year ago, the University of Michigan and other defendants were poised to release their first wave of copyright-protected, digitized books to hundreds of thousands of students and faculty members in several states. The universities had deemed the authors of these books to be unfindable." Within two days of filing its suit, the AG found "that the “orphans” included books that were still in print, books by living authors, books whose rights had been left to educational and charitable institutions in the U.S. and abroad, books represented by literary agents, and books by recently deceased authors whose heirs were easily locatable." For more, see Orphan Works legislation.
LCA Comments on Authors Guild v. HathiTrust Decision (ACRL Insider, 10-11-12). Judge Baer decided that the HathiTrust Digital Library's (HDL) use of digitized works is a fair use permitted under the Copyright Act. The judge's key holding: "I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made by [HDL] and would require that I terminate this invaluable contribution on the progress of science and cultivation of the arts that at the same time effectuates the ideals espoused by the [Americans with Disabilities Act]." "The HathiTrust Digital Library is operated by a consortium of universities...Many of the 10 million digital volumes in HDL were provided by Google in exchange for the universities' allowing Google to scan books in their collections for the Google Library Project. Among other holdings:
--The creation of a search index is a transformative use under the first fair use factor: "The use to which the works in HDL are put is transformative because the copies serve an entirely different purpose that than the original works: the purpose is superior search capabilities rather than actual access to copyrighted material."
--The use of digital copies to facilitate access for the print-disabled is also transformative. Because print-disabled persons are not a significant potential market for publishers, providing them with access is not the intended use of the original work.
--The goals of copyright to promote the progress of science are better served by allowing HDL's use than by preventing it. (See article for full list.)
Google Scanning Is Fair Use Says Judge (Andrew Albanese, PW, 10-11-12). "The Authors Guild filed its copyright infringement suit, in September of 2011, a parallel action to its case against Google, alleging that the HathiTrust, a digital preservation effort created by a collective of research libraries, was built with millions of 'unauthorized'ť scans created by Google." Baer found "that the scanning of books for the purposes of indexing is indeed a transformative act, with Baer acknowledging that copying entire works is after all necessary to offer full-text searching and access to the print disabled." And "the decision stands a major win for libraries, universities, and proponents of digitization." This cuts to the heart of the AG's suit against Google, which is currently stayed, pending a procedural appeal.
Why MLK’s 'Dream' Is So Hard to Find Online (National Journal, 8-19-13). Martin Luther King Jr.. filed copyright registration on his "I Have a Dream" speech soon after he gave it. The famous part was not in the written script, but the speech was recorded. An odd court ruling has forced news organizations to pay a fee for showing more than "fair use" parts of the speech.
Judge dismisses lawsuit over Faulkner line in 'Midnight in Paris' (Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 7-18-13) In a 17-page ruling, Michael P. Mills, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, said the use of the quote qualifies as a fair use. "At issue in this case is whether a single line from a full-length novel singly paraphrased and attributed to the original author in a full-length Hollywood film can be considered a copyright infringement. In this case, it cannot."
Long-Awaited Ruling in Copyright Case Mostly Favors Georgia State U. (Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5-3-12). "A federal judge in Atlanta has handed down a long-awaited ruling in a lawsuit brought by three scholarly publishers against Georgia State University over its use of copyrighted material in electronic reserves." Mostly the decision favored the university, but "Judge Evans proposed a 10-percent rule to guide decisions about what constitutes fair use in an educational setting. For books without chapters or with fewer than 10 chapters, 'unpaid copying of no more than 10 percent of the pages in the book is permissible under factor three,' she wrote in her ruling. For books with 10 or more chapters, 'permissible fair use' would be copying up to one chapter or its equivalent." An excellent analysis of the outcomes.
Fair Use Panel Cautions Against Adopting Georgia State Ruling as Definitive (Josh Hadro, Library Journal, 6-26-12). The ruling acknowledges a fair use case for education e-reserves and uploads on course managements systems, but the 10% rule is very "context-sensitive." Entertainment attorney Dean Cheley gives this "exceedingly clear set of criteria for fair use defense" to his clients, mostly including nonfiction filmmakers:
~Are you using the material to illustrate a specific point that you’re trying to make?
~Are you only using so much as is necessary to make that point?
~Is it clear to the audience what that point is?
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music (92-1292), 510 U.S. 569 (1994) (PDF, Legal Information Institute, Supreme Court opinions and decision. See also: Wikipedia account of this U.S. Supreme Court case (1994) that" established that a commercial parody can qualify as fair use. That money is made does not make it impossible for a use to be fair; it is merely one of the components of a fair use analysis. Wikipedia's summary explains how the four factors were applied.
Contents. In particular, look at Three Years after Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music,
Inc.: What Is Fair Game for Parodists?
(PDF, Kathryn D. Piele, Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review, 9-1-97). Piele discusses the implications of the case, including its distinction between parody and satire (parody making fun of the work itself, and satire using the original work as a vehicle to criticize something else, such as society itself, the latter NOT being fair use). It also brings in other cases, including Dr. Suess v. Penguin Books ("discounting the defendants' argument that its book about the O.J. Simpson case parodied the original Dr. Seuss works, and holding that the work broadly mimicked Dr. Seuss's characteristic style to simply retell the Simpson case"). And Sun Trust Bank v. Houghton Mifflin about the book The Wind Done Gone, the court upholding the parody defense, as it specifically criticized the depiction of slavery and relationships between blacks and whites in Gone With the Wind.
Case Summaries of Fair Use Cases (Copyright Advisory Office Columbia University Libraries). Particularly good on cases related to academia, photocopying research articles for use in a private firm (Texaco), teaching copies for classroom, quoting excerpts in scholarly presentations, posting items on websites for public access, using excerpts from sound recordings in videos, manipulating photo images for multimedia.
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Codes of Best Practices and Fair Use Guidelines
See general entries on fair use above this box.


Between 1993 and 1995, I (representing ASJA, along with Jill Wechsler) participated in a Conference on Fair Use, which met all day, once a month, for about three years. Paul Aiken was there representing the Authors Guild, to which I also belonged, and we spent all day discussing issues with smart people from many creator, producer, user, and scholarly disciplines. At first 40 groups and later 95 deliberated, in "working groups," on how to establish guidelines for fair use in the new electronic media and infrastructures. There was much disagreement. Researchers wanted information to be free; authors and publishers wanted to be paid for their products, but also depended on the fair use doctrine. Documentarians, librarians, and researchers wanted selections from movies to be fair use; the motion picture industry felt otherwise; they settled on an acceptable "safe harbor," in which a "fair user" might feel safe from lawsuits. University professors wanted to copy chapters from books to hand out, free, to their students; textbook authors counted on textbooks as sources of retirement income, and publishers had an interest in policing copying abuses. For that matter, the Patent Office (part of the executive branch) hosted the conference, and its director was raising rates for registering patents; the Copyright Office (part of the legislative branch) tries to keep its copyright registration rates low, so individuals can afford to register their creative works. I was told Bruce Lehman (director of the patent office at the time) wanted to merge the Patent and Copyright offices, UNDER Patents, probably, but that merger didn't happen. And Fair Use is really a copyright issue, but heck -- this was a multidisciplinary task force. The discussions about fair use that took place over those three years led us all to explore the nature of U.S. copyright policy from all angles, especially those of varying vested interests of CONFU's participants. Many of the following guidelines probably got their start in that period -- very few guidelines were finalized at that time. Note: guidelines are NOT LAW, and many of these guidelines are considered drafts.

CCUMC Fair use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia (Consortium of College and University Media Centers, posted on Visual Resources Association site)
Proposed (But Not Adopted) Educational Guidelines on Fair Use
The CONFU Digital Image and Multimedia Guidelines: The Consequences for Libraries and Educators (a paper by Christine L. Sundt)
Fair use guidelines for multimedia
Educational fair use guidelines for distance learning

The Center for Social Media at American University has posted excellent resources, especially on best practices in fair use of various multimedia, including the following documents:
Statement of Best Practice in Fair Use of Dance-Related Materials
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video (Center for Social Media, American University). Download PDF of the Code of Best Practices here .
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication
Fair Use in Media Literacy Education FAQ
Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video
Frequently asked questions about fair use, based on these statements of practice
The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy (YouTube)
Unauthorized: The Copyright Conundrum in Participatory Video
The Good, The Bad and the Confusing: User-Generated Video Creators on Copyright
Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use
Success of the Statement of Best Practices
Digital Futures: A Need-to-Know Policy Guide for Independent Filmmakers.
Legalities 19: Portfolio Rights (AIGA, an organization for designers, provides helpful advice in its Legalities posts.)
• Clearing rights and finding rightsholders

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Copyright issues in the digital world
What's fair use and fair online, on the air, in blogs, eBooks, on Google and other search engines?
Legal Guide for Bloggers (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
Legal Danger for Bloggers: Two Misconceptions, Three Resources, One Suggestion (Susan Weiner, ASJA, The Word, 11-28-12)
Legal Threats Database (Digital Media Law)
Lawsuits Against Bloggers (Digital Media Law)
Lawsuits Involving Forum Posts and User Comments (Digital Media Law)
Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story (Roni Loren, 7-20-12). Follow-up responses to FAQs on the Blog Photo Debacle
Where to Get Photos For Your Blog (Meghan Ward's Writerland, 6-21-12). with a guide to all the Creative Commons logos and codes
Creative Commons licensed pics (search for something you can get clearance on)
Fair Use, The Rights of Personality, and Unintended Consequences (Joel Friedlander, 5-20-10, advising you to READ those contracts before you sign them. "When dealing with a rights license, be careful you don’t give away more than you bargained for. And treat other people’s rights with equal zeal. We’re in this together."
What can you do when your work is copied online?, Legalities 34 in the excellent Legalities series on the AIGA website for the design community. See also Online Works: Registration and Copying (Legalities 9, AIGA)
The Slow Death of the American Author (Scott Turow, president of the Authors Guild, NY Times Opinion pages, 4-7-13) The new, global electronic marketplace is rapidly depleting authors' income streams. In March 2013, the Supreme Court decided to allow the importation and resale of foreign editions of American works, which are often cheaper (so royalties are lower). E-books are much less expensive for publishers to produce, but instead of using the savings to be more generous to authors, the six major publishing houses all rigidly insist on clauses limiting e-book royalties to 25 percent of net receipts--roughly half of a traditional hardcover royalty.
Podcasting Legal Guide (Colette Vogele, Mia Garlick, The Berkan Center Clinical Program in Cyberlaw, Harvard University), excellent on copyright, licensing, fair use, and publicity rights
Digital Journalist's Legal Guide (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press). for anyone disseminating news online, from an independent blogger to a reporter for a major media outlet, as well as media lawyers.
Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA, Wikipedia entry about a conditional safe harbor for online service providers)
Reselling Digital Goods Is Copyright Infringement, Judge Rules (David Kravets, Wired, 4-1-13) "A federal judge is declaring as unlawful a one-of-a-kind website enabling the online sale of pre-owned digital music files....The case weighed the so-called first-sale doctrine, the legal theory that people in lawful possession of copyright material have the right to resell it. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan, ruling in a suit brought by Vivendi’s Capitol Records, said the doctrine did not apply to digital goods."
Revolution in Resale of Digital Books and Music: Imagining a Swap Meet for E-Books and Music (David Streitfeld, Technology, NY Times, 3-7-13). "The retailer’s button might say 'buy now,' but you are in effect only renting an e-book — or an iTunes song — and your rights are severely limited. That has been the bedrock distinction between physical and electronic works since digital goods became widely available a decade ago....Sales of digital material are considered licenses, which give consumers little or no ability to lend the item. The worry is that without such constraints digital goods could be infinitely reproduced while still in the possession of the original owner. ...Amazon, which caused an uproar with writers and publishers when it started selling used books in 2000, made it as easy as clicking a button. 'Digital resale would change it even more,' Mr. Levine said."
Court Declares Newspaper Excerpt on Online Forum is a Non-Infringing Fair Use (Kurt Opsahl, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 3-10-12)
50 Years of the Video Cassette Recorder (Sylvie Castonguay, WIPO Magazine 11-06). The technology that triggered the first "format wars" and raised new copyright questions, establishing jurisprudence on fair use. Check the links.
For the Love of Culture: Google, copyright, and our future (Lawrence Lessig's fascinating long essay on the stranglehold copyright has on documentary film, and the implications of increasingly complex copyright laws for culture, New Republic, 1-26-10). Listen also to his TED talk: Laws that choke creativity (March 2007, on generational differences in attitudes toward, and use of, technology). See also Larry Lessig Threatened With Copyright Infringement Over Clear Fair Use; Decides To Fight Back (Mike Masnik, Techdirt, 8-23-13). "Given that it's Lessig, and with the involvement of the EFF, this is obviously going to be a case worth watching, but given the full details of the case, it may be a key one in establishing when 512(f) can be used to push back against bogus DMCA takedowns."
E-book rights. From where I sit, you can’t actually “sell” an ebook, writes Mike Shatzkin. His main point: Customers are not really buying those eBooks; they're licensing them. This has important implications for authors. When I buy a physical copy of a book, I can lend it to as many people as I want; I can't do that with an eBook, which is the clear sign that I've paid for a license to read, not a book. Publishers don't make that clear (in plain English), says Shatzkin, and should. This has important implications for publishing contracts, where royalties are paid on numbers of books sold (typically at a maximum of 15% per copy). Licensing of subsidiary rights (e.g., to book clubs) traditionally involves a 50-50 split in income, with half to the author and half to the publisher. Don't sign anything without full knowledge that you might be signing away substantial income. For more on this and related issues, see E-book rights, developments, conflicts, and struggles for market
Google Search, Copyright Penalties (Stephanie Morrow, LegalZoom, Feb. 2013). To discourage the promotion of websites that use copyright infringing content, Google will be lowering their search result listings on Google. Advice on how to behave online.
Copyright Issues for Social Media (Renee Hykel, 12-12). Be careful what you re-tweet!
A Matter of Ethics by Nathan Bransford (4-5-10). A response to the controversial New York Times "Ethicist" post defending the ethics of illegally downloading an e-book when you own the hardcover. "I think we need to get past the idea that an electronic format is value-less relative to print. It has value....An e-book is a fundamentally different product than a hardcover."
http:/​/​www.nytimes.com/​2008/​06/​16/​business/​media/​16ap.html
• Clearing rights and finding rightsholders
Bits Debate: Mixing It Up Over Remixes and Fair Use (Saul Hansell, Bits, NY Times, 1-16-08). Wednesday's question: What is fair use in the digital age? How much can I remix, quote, make fun of, or summarize without infringing on a copyright? Rick Cotton: "The debate about content protection in the digital world — and most particularly about content protection on the broadband Internet — is really and truly NOT a debate about fair use. The millions upon millions of pirated, infringing copies of entire movies, TV shows, games and software that are epidemic in today’s digital world have no claim whatsoever to being fair use."
FAQs (and answers) about linking (Chilling Effects)
FAQs (and Answers) about John Doe Anonymity (Chilling Effects)
Bits Debate About Copyright (Saul Hansell, NY Times blog on fair use, the Internet, remixes, and other digitally perplexing topics)
Chilling Effects (clearinghouse that monitors the legal climate for Internet activity)
Internet + Intellectual Property Justice Project
Brussels court rules against Google in copyright case (Thomas Crampton, NY Times, 2-13-07). A court in Brussels ruled that Google violated copyright laws by publishing links to stories from Belgian newspapers without permission, a case that legal experts said could have broad implications in Europe for the news services provided by search engines. "Legal experts in the United States said the ruling would not have a direct impact in that country, but noted that the validity of the methods used by Google News have not yet been tested by U.S. courts."
Getty Images (& Other) Settlement Demand Letters. What to do when Getty sues you for infringement when you wrongly post an image on your website.
What Orphan Works Could Mean to Bloggers (Jonathan Bailey, The Blog Herald, 4-28-08) What Orphan Works legislation can mean to bloggers and what you can do to protect your work.
Copyright Infringement: What If Someone Is Stealing From You? (John W. Dozier, Practical ECommerce, 1-15-05)
Second Life Dragged Into Legal Dispute Over Copyright Of Virtual Horses And Virtual Bunnies (Mike Masnick, Tech Dirt, 1-6-11). Second Life is a free 3D virtual world where users can socialize, connect and create using free voice and text chat. EFF Lawyer Says Second Life Copyright Issues "In Some Ways Worse" Than Real Life . Second Life's owner, Linden Labs, has an official policy on intellectual property , and a corporate statement on takedown notices , also, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Ellen DeGeneres Sued for Copyright Infringement (Allie, 9-11-09), the plaintiffs "alleging the production has used 'well over one thousand sound recordings owned or controlled by Plaintiffs' without permission" during the segment when, to popular music, she dances over to her desk after her opening monologue.
Embedded Video and Copyright Infringement (Citizen Media Law Project 7-10-07). See also: Embedded YouTube Videos - Copyright Infringement?(shibashake, HugPages)
The Digital Decade's Definitive Reading List: Internet and Info-Tech Policy Books of the 2000s (Adam Thierer, The Technology Liberation Front 12-29-09). Here's the group's blog pieces about copyright .
Faulkner vs. National Geographic's Effect on Author's Rights in Electronic Transfer (Allison Hundstad, Richmond Journal of Law & Technology, 2006). For those with the patience to read about copyright cases, analysis here starts on p. 9, which links the National Geographic case to the Google Book Search in terms of erosion of authors' rights, saying, "The Faulkner decision seems contrary to Congress’s purpose in creating the Copyright Act of 1976."
The Fine Art of Copyright (L. Gordon Crovitz, WSJ Opinion, 3-16-09). The "case of a photo-turned-poster of Barack Obama is a reminder that just because technology makes something possible doesn't make it right.
Fine Print Blurs Who's in Control of Online Photos (Joshua Brustein, NY Times 5-22-11)
Ellen DeGeneres Sued for Copyright Infringement (Allie, 9-11-09), the plaintiffs "alleging the production has used 'well over one thousand sound recordings owned or controlled by Plaintiffs' without permission" during the segment when, to popular music, she dances over to her desk after her opening monologue.
Embedded Video and Copyright Infringement (Citizen Media Law Project 7-10-07). See also: Embedded YouTube Videos - Copyright Infringement?(shibashake, HugPages)

Beware the copyright trolls. High-tech journalist Tam Harbert on Las Vegas-based Righthaven LLC and other firms who are less interested in preventing copyright infringement ("cease and desist") than in collecting for it ("insist," that is, send us the money).Attention: Righthaven, the "copyright troll." [Note: This firm is now in big trouble.] Read this profile of the Las Vegas firm Righthaven, which is making a business of suing nonprofits and individuals who reprint whole newspaper articles and images on their websites without clearing permission: Righthaven: saving the newspaper industry, one lawsuit at a time (Ars Technica, 9-9-10). The people Righthaven sues, says Ars Technica, are often the sources for the very stories they're suing about. Funded by the Las Vegas Review Journal, Righthaven sues random websites for copyright infringement for posting articles, or snippets of articles on their sites, often with a linkback, writes TechDirt in Righthaven Loses First Lawsuit; Judge Says Copying Was Fair Use. Unfortunately, says TechDirt, the case was not dismissed in another court, where a site was sued for content posted by a user on a user-generated site. Righthaven buys the license to articles wrongly reprinted on several websites, registers their copyright, then sues for damages the owners of websites that post the articles. In one case, a judge dismissed the suit because the posting was probably fair use:Judge tells copyright troll Righthaven no, it's fair use (Nate Anderson, ars technica,10-21-10). Most sites cave in and pay up (typically a few thousand dollars), because their owners can't afford court battles. Righthaven also seeks forfeiture of the website domain of those it sues. Righthaven is exploiting a loophole in copyright law, explains Wired Magazine , suing only sites "that have not registered a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown agent. The $105 filing fee more often than not would prevent a lawsuit in the first place." See The $105 Fix That Could Protect You From Copyright-Troll Lawsuits (David Kravets, Wired, 10-27-10). Download this form (PDF) from the Copyright Office and file it!
And then the worm turns: Righthaven's lawyers now targets of State Bar investigation (Ars Technica, 1-13-12).
Newspaper Chain’s New Business Plan: Copyright Suits (David Kravets, Wired, 7-22-10)
Digital Millennium Copyright Act, DMCA Takedown Notices, and Related Issues
Court Declares Newspaper Excerpt on Online Forum is a Non-Infringing Fair Use (Kurt Opsahl, 3-10-12). The judgment – part of the nuisance lawsuit avalanche started by copyright troll Righthaven – found that Democratic Underground did not infringe the copyright in a Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper article when a user of the online political forum posted a five-sentence excerpt, with a link back to the newspaper's website.
The $105 Fix That Could Protect You From Copyright-Troll Lawsuits (David Kravets, Wired, 10-27-10). "Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a website enjoys effective immunity from civil copyright liability for user content, provided they promptly remove infringing material at the request of a rightsholder. That’s how sites like YouTube are able to exist, and why Wired.com allows users to post comments to our stories without fear that a single user’s cut-and-paste will cost us $150,000 in court. But to dock in that legal safe harbor, a site has to, among other things, register an official contact point for DMCA takedown notices, a process that involves filling out a form and mailing a check" to the U.S. Copyright Office. Advises Kravets: "If you run a U.S. blog or a community site that accepts user content, you can register a DMCA agent by downloading this form (.pdf) and sending $105 and the form to Copyright RRP, Box 71537, Washington, D.C., 20024."

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Discussion groups and listservs
on copyright and intellectual property


Digital Copyright listserv(Center for Intellectual Property, University of Maryland University College)
Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property Copyright Listserv
Liblicense-L mailing list (discussion of Electronic Content Licensing for Academic & Research Libraries, sponsored by Yale University Library)
NewsNet (newsletter, U.S. Copyright Office,, about copyright-related legislation and other activities)
CNI Copyright Archives (August 1992 - February 2007), old discussion list on copyright, intellectual property rights, and public access to information in digital age (sortable by date, name, thread, subject)
University of Albany links

Organizations with an active interest in intellectual property rights and issues

American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
American Library Association (ALA)
American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
Authors Guild
Authors Guild vs. Google Settlement Resources
Authors Coalition of America, LLC (an association of independent authors' organizations representing text writers, songwriters, visual artists, illustrators and photographers -- created in 1994 to repatriate and distribute the creator's share of foreign non-title-specific royalty payments for American works photocopied abroad). See list of coalition's member organizations.
Business Software Alliance (BSA)
Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI)
Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)
Collecting Societies & Copyright Community and Other Useful Links for UK (DACS)
Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)
Copyright Royalty Board .
Design and Artists Copyright Society (UK -- a nonprofit visual arts rights management organization, established by artists, for artists)
Digital Future Coalition
Electronic Frontier Foundation Intellectual Property Resources (defending your rights in the digital world)
International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA, a private sector coalition of seven trade associations representing U.S. producers of content and materials protected by copyright laws, including computer software, films, television programs, music, books and journals)
Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) (members include the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries)
Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC)
Music Library Association's Copyright Information Page
National Writers Union (NWU)
Owners' Rights Initiative (ORI), supporting the First Sale Doctrine (the "right of a buyer of a material object in which a copyrighted work is embodied to resell or transfer the object itself"). See As Wiley Case Heads to the Supreme Court, Libraries Join “Owners Rights” Coalition (PW, 10-24-12)
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)
Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) (formerly Software Publishers Association, or SPA)
Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet (Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives)
U.S. Congress. How to contact your elected U.S. representative or senator Contact your elected U.S. representative or senator (find them here)
Visual Resources Association

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Piracy


The E-Book Piracy Debate, Revisited (David Pogue, Technology, NY Times, 5-9-13). "Even though we don’t know for sure, there’s mounting evidence that e-books are more like music files than DVD movies: removing copy protection doesn’t hurt and might help. And there’s very little evidence that copy protection is stopping piracy. That doesn’t mean the issue is settled either way. The point is, there’s very little evidence. More publishers in more categories should perform more experiments like Tor’s. Let’s quit opining about what will happen, and find out." Another good point: "... Apple and Amazon have had such success with the single click-to-buy button. To avoid piracy, it’s not enough to offer people a good product at a fair price. You also have to make buying as effortless as possible."
Pirates, Beware: Industry, ISPs Launch Copyright Alert System (Ira Teinowitz, The Wrap, 2-25-13). The entertainment’s industry new piracy warnings to computer users started flowing as the industry and internet service providers finally launched their long-promised Copyright Alert System, an effort by the movie, TV and recording industries and major cable providers to move much more swiftly to issue warnings whenever copyright owners discover that an account is being used to access or download pirated content.
Some Thoughts About Piracy (Mike Shatzkin, Idealogue 11-25-09)
Book Piracy: A Non-Issue (Paul Carr, TechCrunch 8-23-11). There is piracy (such as companies copying and selling books en masse) and there is nonpiracy (like borrowing books from the library)
Kindle e-book piracy accelerates David Carnoy, C/​NET 2-18-11). What's the dark side of the success of e-readers and e-books? In a word, piracy.
Confessions of a Book Pirate (C. Max Magee, The Millions 1-25-10)
What You Need to Know About SOPA in 2012 (that is, the Stop Online Piracy Act)
Stop Online Piracy Act, text of the bill before Congress.
Redditors discuss why they pirate e-books (TeleRead, 7-27-12)
How Do Music Pirates Get Caught? (Paul Gil, About.com)
Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use (Marc Fisher, Washington Post, 12-30-07) Industry sues for downloading songs from CDs to personal computers.
Happy Anniversary Pirates: 20,000 Copyright Lawsuits and Counting (David Kravets, Wired, 8-29-07). The Recording Industry of America learns that suing music fans en masse doesn't work against peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. Kill one Napster and seven Bit Torrents emerge.
Music Industry to Abandon Mass Suits (Sarah McBride and Ethan Smith, Wall Street Journal, 12-19-08)
Center for Copyright Information (a collaboration between the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America and five of America’s biggest Internet service providers: AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. The organization hopes to systematize how digital copyright infringement is handled.

Coming Soon: A Softer Approach to Online Piracy (Victor Luckerson, Time/​Business, 6-26-12). "Here’s how the new system works: An Internet user downloading media illegally gets flagged by the copyright holder (a record label or movie studio). The copyright holder doesn’t know who you are, but they can detect your IP address if you’re on an open file-sharing network. They tell your Internet service provider that they’ve noticed some questionable activity coming from your address. The ISP will email you a copyright alert, which informs you that your account has been used for illegal file-sharing and directs you to legal avenues to acquire movies or music."
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Plagiarism


Basically, plagiarism is "a verbatim republication of work that was originally published elsewhere, without clear attribution to the original publication." (Ellyn Angelotti, Poynter
Plagiarism.org (among other things, provides free, live webinars on Plagiarism in the Digital Age, and many helpful articles)
What Is Plagiarism?
The Unoriginal Sin: Differences Between Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement (Mark Fowler, Rights of Writers blog 7-4-11)
Copyright Infringement And A Medieval Apple Pie (Jane Smith, How Publishing Really Works)
The Difference between Plagiarism, Piracy, and Copyright Infringement (Jackie Barbosa 11-4-10)
Getting digital attribution right, Part 1 (Ellyn Angelotti, Poynter, 11-19-13). On using publicists and press releases as resources, not unattributed sources, and practical guidance on attribution from Arizona State University on everything you must do when you "copy and paste" information.
Hands Off, It's Mine: The case for protecting original work from plagiarists and 'remixers' Jeremy Philips' WSJ article about Mark Helprin's Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto
Anti-Plagiarism Day (Jane Smith)
Plagiarism Is a Community Issue
Someone Used My Research without Acknowledgement (Richard Labunski, History News Network, 5-21-12). Labunski details how another author, published by Regnery, claimed to have written the only work about the election of 1989, Madison, Monroe, and the Bill of Rights--but that he based most of of it on Labunski's earlier book and failed totally to credit Labunski, who was particularly upset that he failed to acknowledge Labunski's painstaking work compiling data about that election. The author didn't copy words, but he did steal the fruits of Labunski's labor and pass it off as his own. Maybe that's not plagiarism but it is intellectual theft.
Amazon's Plagiarism Problem (Adam Penenberg, Fast Company 1-12-12). Amazon's erotica section is a magnet for copyright infringement, and "Amazon doesn't appear too eager to stop the forbidden author-on-author action."
Why are there so many errors in The Anthology of Rap? The editors respond. It Was Written. Paul Devlin (Slate, 11-10-10) on how so many errors crept into this Yale University Press publication. (They apparently "leaned heavily" on material full of errors.)
Copyscape (free service site to learn if anyone has plagiarized a particular piece of writing)
SafeAssign (software for detecting online plagiarism, especially useful with students copying material from the Web)
See full section on plagiarism here.
• Argh. The Best Spinner vs. the Magic Article Rewriter. Please don't buy in to this ethic: "almost 100% of every content about anything has already been written or said at least once somewhere around the web. That being said it seems quite logic to do the research for any topic you want to write on where? Correct. On the Internet. So when you do that and then write your own article, you are actually rewriting articles that have been written already. You feel like it's your work, and it is. But it has been done before. By someone else. This is where The Best Spinner comes in. Since we agree that you are rewriting other peoples contents anyways, why not let a program do your work or at least help you doing it." This article then goes on to say you'll do even less work if you buy their Magic Article Rewriter. Oy! What are the clues that this was written by someone for whom English is a second language?

See fuller section on plagiarism here , under Ethics, libel, freedom of the press
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Authors' Rights (and Publishers' Rights Grabs)
Know your rights. Read the articles below,
including those on reversion of rights and termination rights.

• Be aware of the distinction between rights and copyright. Here's Victoria Strauss's take on the subject, for Writer Beware (7-2-12): Rights vs. Copyright
RIGHTS 101: What Writers Should Know About All-Rights and Work-Made-For-Hire Contracts (2003 position paper, American Society of Journalists & Authors)
Pay the Writer (Harlan Ellison demonstrating on video how to respond to people who ask for rights to use your work for free, in exchange for free publicity)
44 Places Where Writers (and Other Creative People) Can Obtain Free or Low-Cost Legal Help (Mark Fowler, Rights of Writers, 12-31-10). Includes this state-by-state directory of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
WhichDraft.com (the blog), a self-directed legal resource (not legal advice!), for those who can afford to take advantage of this contract assembly website (with multiple version tracking, comparison red lining, and online collaboration tools). We haven't tested it.
Your rights as an independent contractor (About.com on the IRS's Common-Law Rules -- formerly Twenty Common Law Factors)
Freelancers Fight State’s Independent Contractor Law (Andrea Shea, WBUR, Boston, 6-30-10). A law created to prevent exploitation of workers (among employers who avoid payroll, taxes, and benefits) creates genuine problems for freelancers and independent contractors on Massachusetts.
A Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP)
Steve Jobs biographer does not have to turn over unpublished material to agency pricing class-action plaintiffs (Chris Meadows, TeleRead, 7-30-12)
Advocates, Addendums, and Sneaks, oh my by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, author of the Freelancer's Survival Guide, which you can read free online (or purchase as an ebook). Her message in this blog entry: You can't count on publishers to give you a fair contract and you cannot always count on agents to watch out for your interests, Read every line of every contract and educate yourself on what to watch for, or get a good intellectual property lawyer to do it for you.
The perils of failing to read the fine print (Michelle Demers, Bad Egg blog, on how two clauses in a contract may operate independently -- so read them all, or have a lawyer do so!)
Keep Your Copyrights (Columbia Law School tries to help creators from giving away rights to intellectual property)
Freelance Rights blog (initially discussing settlement in the landmark lawsuit over unauthorized reuse of freelance authors' previously published newspaper and magazine articles--and later discussing Google Book Settlement)
No!Spec (educating the public about speculative (spec) work
Ghostwriters, Creators, Cheats (the case of the prolific author Alexandre Dumas and Auguste Maquet, the collaborator who helped him write The Three Musketeers and its sequels. WIPO Magazine). See also Book collaboration and ghostwriting (Writers & Editors website)
MAGAZINES ASKING FOR SHARE OF DRAMA AND MULTIMEDIA RIGHTS
Condé Nast query: What makes a rights grab? (Authors Guild, 1-15-13). "Condé Nast’s new boilerplate contract for freelancers, under which it acquires a free 12-month right to option dramatic and multimedia rights to articles appearing in its magazines and then, if it exercises that option, shares less than half the usual amount with the author... Taking dramatization rights breaks with industry practice. The publisher is compensating the freelancer for his or her journalism, not for speculative movie and tv deals."
Condé Nast Moves to Seize, Lowball Freelancers’ Film/​TV Rights (Authors Guild, 1-14-13). Condé Nast owns such leading publications as Bon Appétit, GQ, The New Yorker, Self, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Wired, among others. Authors and agents are pushing back.
Condé Nast Writer Deals Stir Dispute (Christine Haughney, NY Times, 1-13-13). "Condé Nast articles led to the movie “Argo,” which so far has generated $166 million in worldwide box-office sales, “Eat Pray Love,” which made $204 million in global sales and “Brokeback Mountain,” which brought in $178 million. But now, Condé Nast, whose magazines are battling a punishing business environment, wants to capture more of the film and television profits, which previously went to writers who owned the rights to these works. The new contracts have angered writers and their agents who argue that it’s another cut at their already rapidly shrinking compensation."
Random House Claims Digital Rights to Past Books (Jeffrey Trachtenberg, WSJ 12-12-09) Random House claims that "the exclusive right to publish 'in book form' or 'in any and all editions'" includes digital rights. But Random House lost its 2002 suit to prevent RosettaBooks publish author-licensed e-book editions of works by William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Robert Parker. Agent Nat Sobel says courts have agreed with the position that contracts 20 years ago didn't include electronic rights. This is a big issue.
E-book rights, developments, conflicts, pricing, and struggles for market. This page on the Writers & Editors site links to stories of prime importance to authors. Book publishers are trying to grab electronic rights from authors whose contracts 20 years ago didn't anticipate such a thing as electronic books--and authors MUST educate themselves about the issues involved, particularly because in the new electronic age it may make more economic sense to self-publish than to be content with the measly sums that will come from print-on-demand books the publisher arranges for, just to hang on to all rights on a book.
Collaboration agreements (Writers & Editors)
Copyright Termination: How Authors (and Their Heirs) Can Recapture Their Pre-1978 Copyrights (Lloyd J. Dassin, CopyLaw.com, on a legal provision designed to protect authors of older works from having to “live” with a bad deal they entered into when they had little negotiating skill or leverage)
• How publishers view rights. "One of the the first rules I learned when I came into publishing decades ago was 'acquire rights broadly, license rights narrowly,' ” writes Mike Shatzkin in Three words of wisdom: standards, rights, & data. He continues: "That is practice which was unambiguously the wisest commercial course until our current and developing age of digital delivery. Now agents (or publishers) having licensed rights 'narrowly' can cause books not to be available to customers who would be happy to buy them when they easily could be doing so." Another complication of the digital age: "The challenges with rights are, first, having them, and second, making sure a file’s metadata spells them out clearly."
Rights vs. Copyright( Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware, 7-2-12). Read that and then this, by the same author: The Importance of Reversion Clauses in Book Contracts (Writer Beware, 4-27-12).
Writers' Rights: Right? Jane Smith, blogging at How Publishing Really Works, reminds writers to master certain principles, including the difference between copyright and publishing rights and the difference between owning a thing and owning the copyright to it. See many useful links at end of article. See also: Copyright Day (Nicola Morgan, Help!I Need a Publisher!)and Let's Learn About Copyright: Get Blogging (Jane Smith)
Authors Rights: A Manual for Journalists (PDF file, European Federation of Journalists)
FAQs about publishing law (PublishLawyer.com on common legal issues affecting writers, publishers, editors, and the Internet community )
Position Paper on Yale University Copyright Policy (prepared by university librarian Scott Bennett for the Cooperative Research Committee)
International PEN's Declaration on the Rights and Responsibilities of Translators
Pay the Writer (Harlan Ellison, clip from the documentary "Dreams with Sharp Teeth")
New Kindle Audio Feature Causes a Stir (Geoffrey A. Fowler and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg). Amazon's new experimental text-reading feature reads text aloud with a computer-generated voice. "They don't have the right to read a book out loud," said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. "That's an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law."
Kindle Text-to-Speech Issue Is a Lot of Talk (Dan Moren, Macworld 2-11-09, makes an argument to counter the Author Guild's, about whether computer-generated text readers are a threat to authors' audio rights.)
Rights of Writers • (Mark A. Fowler's helpful blog). Answers such questions as Can I Mention Brand Name Products in My Fiction? Can I Have Don Draper Make a Cameo Appearance in My Novel? and "Any Damn Fool Can Be Accurate -- and Dull": Can I Be Liable to My Readers for Lying About Myself? . Many excellent explanations and answers to common questions.
Who Owns an Interview? (Mark Fowler, Rights of Writers, 1-7-11).
Copyright and taped interviews (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
Who Owns the Copyright in an Interview? (Bob Tarantina, Entertainment & Media Law Signal, 2-4-11, answers the question for under Canadian law).
Who Owns Oral History? A Creative Commons Solution Jack Dougherty and Candace Simpson,, On the Line, 8-11-12). Read the comments, too. An important discussion: "When an oral history narrator shares her story in response to questions posed by an interviewer, and the recording and transcript are deposited in an archive, who holds the rights to these historical source materials? Who decides whether or not they may be shared with the public, quoted in a publication, or uploaded to the web? Who decides whether someone has the right to earn money from including an interview in a commercially distributed book, video, or website? Furthermore, does Creative Commons, a licensing tool developed by the open access movement to protect copyright while increasing public distribution, offer a better solution to these questions than existing oral history protocols?"
• Who owns your Twitter post? Judge Rules That Protester Can’t Oppose Twitter Subpoena (Colin Moynihan, City Room, NY Times 4-24-12). Tweeter Harris "lacked the standing to oppose the subpoena because Twitter’s policies required that he agree to grant the company a 'worldwide, non-exclusive royalty-free' right to distribute messages, which are publicly viewable. He labeled “understandable, but without merit” the defendant’s contention that he had a privacy interest in his tweets."
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Rights and contracts for academic authors

Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine to help you generate a PDF form that you can attach to a journal publisher's copyright agreement to ensure that you retain certain rights (Science Commons)
Author Rights: Using the SPARC Author Addendum to secure your rights as the author of a journal article (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). Also available as a poster. See more SPARC Resources for Authors, addressing practical questions and issues, such as Can I post my articles on my course Web sites or in institutional repositories? Can I share my work freely after assigning exclusive copyright to a publisher? Is it okay for me to post my work in NIH’s PubMed Central?
Authors' Rights (Scott Bennett, Journal of Electronic Publishing, Vol 5, Issue 2, 12-99). How things are changing for academic authors, who in the past have given up their rights, in exchange for credits they valued for career advancement. See also this chapter on the academic publishing business, an excerpt from The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Transforming Academic Practice by Martin Weller.

Proposal Seeks to Safeguard Publishing Prospects of Scholars Forced to Put Work Online
(Authors Guild, 8-15-13) The American Historical Association is calling on universities to adopt new policies giving students the option of embargoing their dissertations for up to six years," because... “the book is the measure of scholarly competence used by tenure committees.” The pros and cons of putting dissertations online.
Managing your rights as an author: Who owns the rights to your scholarship? (Transforming Scholarly Communication, University of Minnesota). Onward, academic authors!
Journal Authors: intellectual property landlords - or migrant workers? (Dan Carlinsky, for American Society of Journalists & Authors)
Who Should Own Scientific Papers? (Steven Bachrach,R. Stephen Berry, Martin Blume,Thomas von Foerster, Alexander Fowler, Paul Ginsparg, Stephen Heller, Neil Kestner, Andrew Odlyzko, Ann Okerson, Ron Wigington and Anne Moffat, in Science 4 September 1998:
Vol. 281 no. 5382 pp. 1459-1460 DOI: 10.1126/​science.281.5382.1459)
Know Your Rights: Using copyrighted works in academic settings (using the works of others for teaching and learning)
Who Owns an Interview? (Mark Fowler, Rights of Writers, 1-7-11). Toward end of Authors' Rights (and Publishers' Rights Grabs) are more entries on who owns which rights to interviews.
Seizing the Moment: Scientists' Authorship Rights in the Digital Age (Mark S. Frankel's report on study for American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Authors and Their Rights (Association of Research Libraries), excellent links to sites with material on authors' rights, for faculty-authors
Collaboration agreements (Writers & Editors)
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Moral rights


Deconstructing Moral Rights (Cyrill P. Rigamonti, International Law Journal, 2006)
Moral Rights Basics (Betsy Rosenblatt, Harvard Law School, 1998)
Moral rights in the United States. Wikipedia, subsection of Moral rights (copyright law).
Moral Rights of Authors in the USA (Ronald Standler, 1998). Basic message: The U.S. doesn't recognize moral rights that are strongly upheld elsewhere. "Some of these problems could be avoided by a carefully drafted contract," writes Standler. "However, in reality, any written contract is likely to be drafted by the stronger party and offered to the weaker party as a Hobson's choice, without the opportunity for bargaining. Such contracts might later be attacked as an "adhesion contract". The essence of the problem in most of the above situations is that all of the power and control is in the hands of the stronger party, who is then in a position to abuse or exploit the weaker party. A written contract is unable to change this imbalance of power, or the consequences that flow from the exploitation of the weaker party."
A few things you should know about copyright. "The 'Moral Rights' are the right to a by-line or credit, and the right to object to distortion of your work," reads one line in item 8 in this interesting fact sheet from the London freelance branch of the National Union of Journalists (UK). Another sentence of interest: "You do have moral rights in, for example, a book - so long as it contains the magic phrase 'Moral Rights Asserted'."

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Contract terms (especially but not only in book publishing)
including reversion of rights clauses
and indemnity clauses


Improving Your Book Contract: Negotiation Tips for Nine Typical Clauses (Authors Guild). The Authors Guild provides free contract advice for members (sometimes with a bit of a wait), and the Guild's Model Trade Book Contract & Guide is sent to members when they join AG.
Contract Killer, a/​k/​a Killer Contract (Andy Clarke, 24 Ways, 12-23-08--a contract for website designers). A contract between you and your customers "doesn’t have to conform to the seemingly standard format of jargon and complicated legalese. You can be creative. A killer contract will clarify what is expected of both sides and it can also help you to communicate your approach to doing business. It will back-up your brand values and help you to build a great relationship between you and your customers. In other words, a creative contract can be a killer contract." See the updated Contract Killer
Collaboration agreements (samples and explanations of key clauses, Writers and Editors site)
Literary agent Rochelle Gardner on various contract clauses, for authors (Excellent practical explanations of important contract clauses, including whether royalties are paid on the book's cover price or on the net price--the price at which the publisher sells to the retailer)
10 Useful Legal Documents For Designers (PDF/​DOC) (Veronica Picciafuoco, Smashwords, 8-15-13). Free PDF download: 10 basic agreements for a variety of common business situations that creative professionals face.
Advocates, Addendums, and Sneaks oh my! (Kristine Kathryn Rusch, The Business Rusch, 5-4-11). Publishers give better contracts to authors with clout, lesser contracts to newbies; agents vary in how well they advocate for their authors.
Rights vs. Copyright (Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware, 7-2-12).
Negotiating Your Book Contract: 20 "Must" Topics to Talk About (Brenda Warneka, Absolute Write)
Book Contract Trouble Spots (publishlawyer.com). See, for example, the section on cross-collateralization, which is important if you do more than one title with a publisher.
Book Publishing Contracts: Checklist of Deal Terms (Howard H Zaharoff, Morse-Barnes-Brown Pendleton, MBBP.com)
Distinguishing the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Publishing Agreements (an entry on attorney Mark Fowler's blog, Rights of Writers, 2-26-11)
Editing Clauses in Publishing Contracts: How to Protect Yourself (Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware, 5-16-12)
Keep Your Copyright (a resource for creators) has a highly instructive feature that allows you to search for clauses by type of contract or grant, or type of creator, some sample contracts (good and bad), model contracts (particularly helpful on academic contracts), some before and after clauses, and so on. Check the site!
How to Deal with Indemnification Clauses (ASJA position paper, 2003, posted on Writers and Editors website)
Liability Shifts: How freelancers stand to lose their worldly goods (Writer's Contracts, sic). Here's why you should read those indemnity and liability clauses carefully, and be wary of warranting things you can't afford to warrant.
Q&A: What Does This Indemnification Clause Really Mean? (Jesse Salvar, Law Law Land, 2-24-12)
Indemnity clauses and liability insurance (The Writer, 1-31-02)
Problems with Publishers' Contracts (Adler & Robin Books)
Book Publishing Contracts: Checklist of Deal Terms (Howard G. Zaharoff)
Contract Red Flag: Net Profit Royalty Clauses (Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware, 5-31-11)
How to Read a Publishing Agreement (David Koehser, intellectual property attorney)
Wikipedia on Royalties. This long, informative entry contains a crystal-clear explanation of the $ difference between royalties on cover price and royalties on net. Scroll down to the chart labeled Book-publishing Royalties - "Net" and "Retail" Compared
Royalty calculations in book contracts (Ivan Hoffman, attorney)
Editing Clauses in Publishing Contracts: How to Protect Yourself (Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware 5-16-12)
Getting Out of Your Book Contract (Maybe) (Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware 6-23-11).
Publishing Contract Checklist (Timothy Perrin, Right-Writing.com)
Authors Guild legal services (among services available to members of the AG: a review of your book contract)
Publishing Industry Terms and Contracts: Some Resources, and Some Advice (Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware, very helpful)
Six Essential Issues in Any Ebook Contract Negotiation (The Passive Voice, who has more blog entries on contracts . (He's also a lawyer but "this is not legal advice."
Rx For Contracts (Daniel Steven, PublishLawyer.com, for Mystery Writers of America)
A Guide to Oral History and the Law by John A. Neuenschwander ((Oxford Oral History, with chapters on legal release agreements, subpoenas and FOIA requests, defamation, privacy issues, copyright, oral history on the Internet, institutional review boards (IRB), and duty to report a crime, with sample legal release forms, oral history evaluation guidelines (Oral History Association), and more.
Six types of Creative Commons licenses. "Every license helps creators — we call them licensors if they use our tools — retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially. Every Creative Commons license also ensures licensors get the credit for their work they deserve. Every Creative Commons license works around the world and lasts as long as applicable copyright lasts (because they are built on copyright)."
What Not to Miss When Drafting and Negotiating Your Book Publishing Contract (Lloyd J. Jassin, CopyLaw.com from the publisher's viewpoint)
Publishing Contracts (eight clauses agent Rachelle Gardner is most likely to negotiate for an author--an agent is more likely to negotiate changes than an author, which is one reason authors use agents)
Negotiating book contract terms and royalties (Morris Rosenthal, self-publisher)
Samples of good and bad clauses in publishing contracts (KeepYour Copyright.org, samples displayed in unusual ways)
Separate vs. Joint Accounting (former agent Nathan Bransford, 11-19-12). On a two-book deal, you want a separate account with your publisher for each book--not a joint account).
The Importance of Reversion Clauses in Book Contracts (Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware, 4-27-12). See section on reversion of rights, a different topic, below.
Mustering the courage to turn down a publishing contract (Kfir Luzzatto, guest blogging on Write Beware, 11-13-12)
Are you a moral writer? Agent Richard Curtis (in E-Reads 1-16-11) reports and comments on new morals element in HarperCollins' termination clause:
"8. PUBLISHER’S RIGHTS OF TERMINATION
If (i) Publisher determines that any of the representations of Author set forth in Section 6(a) is false, or (ii) Author breaches the covenants set forth in Sections I(f), I(g), 2(c), or 2(d), or (iii) Author commits a breach of any covenant contained in the Special Provisions section of Part I above for which Publisher is given a right of termination, or (iv) Author’s conduct evidences a lack of due regard for public conventions and morals, or Author commits a crime or any other act that will tend to bring Author into serious contempt, and such behavior would materially damage the Work’s reputation or sales, Publisher may terminate this Agreement and, in addition to Publisher’s other legal remedies. Author will promptly repay the portion of the Advance previously paid to Author, or, if such breach occurred following publication of the Work, Author will promptly repay the portion of the Advance which has not yet been recouped by Publisher."
Writer Beware's excellent advice and warnings about small presses, including vanity publishers disguised as small presses . Writer Beware, a service of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, is particularly helpful on fiction, but along the left you'll see links to articles on topics such as literary agents , self-publishing: print-on-demand and electronic, and the truth about literary agents' fees .
Bewares, Recommendations, and Background Check forum Absolute Write Water Cooler, where you will find many other cool features for writers.
PEN's model contract for translators. See also PEN's PEN America's answers to FAQs (How do I go about acquiring the rights to a foreign title I am interested in translating and shopping around to publishers? What is a work-for hire? Is it ever acceptable? What happens when a translation to which I have the copyright goes out of print? How do I assert my rights?)
Useful Legal Documents For Designers (PDF/​DOC) (10 basic agreements for a variety of common business situations that creative professionals face, gathered and presented by Veronica Picciafuoco, Smashing). You can download them free, individually or as a single document. Here are two of the links:
Standard Master Agreement for Design Services (AIGA, the professional association for design)
Short-Form Design Contract (Jacob Myers, on Docracy)

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Reversion of Rights to Author vs.
Rights in Perpetuity to Publisher


Until recently, there was a standard "reversion of rights" clause in book contracts, by which rights to the book would revert to the author, six months after the author's request, if the book was no longer in print or sales had dwindled to almost nothing. With POD printing available, publishers are noweager to hang on to those rights, selling one book at a time, POD--with measly returns to writers, who could make more reprinting the book on their own, once sales diminish to a trickle. So read up and DO NOT sign away "all rights in perpetuity"!
Reversion of Rights (Rachelle Gardner11-29-10)
Simon & Schuster Changes The Rules: Goodbye Reversion of Rights! (Kassia Krozser, Booksquare 5-19-07). "Reversion of rights... should be the most important topic on the minds of all authors in this current business environment."
Reversionary Rights in Book Contracts (Ivan Hoffman)
The Importance of Reversion Clauses in Book Contracts (Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware, 4-27-12).
Publisher ignores contract terms, refuses to revert rights to author Doranna Durgin , unless she buys remaining inventory of book (TeleRead, 10-16-11)
Missouri Rewrites Plot, Rehiring Editor in Chief of the University Press (John Eligon, NY Times, 10-5-12). When 41 authors who had works published by the university press asked for the rights to their works back unless the editor-in-chief, Mr. Clair Willcox, was rehired, the University of Missouri reversed its plans to close the university's publishing house and re-hired the editor.
In Perpetuity Contracts (Graphic Artists Guild, 2007). "The Authors Guild and the Graphic Artists Guild urge you NOT TO SIGN all rights in perpetuity contracts."
DO YOU KNOW ABOUT YOUR TERMINATION RIGHTS? If not, keep reading.



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Work for hire (work made for hire)


RIGHTS 101: What Writers Should Know About All-Rights and Work-Made-For-Hire Contracts (2003 ASJA position paper)
Works Made for Hire Under the 1978 Copyright Act (PDF, Circular 9, U.S. Copyright Office)
Sound Recordings as Works Made for Hire (Statement of Marybeth Peters, The Register of Copyrights before the Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property Committee on the Judiciary, May 25, 2000)
Copyright for copy writers (Sarah Laskow, CJR, 7-10-13). “Work-for-hire” contracts in a digital age: Work-for-hire contracts mean that requests and, more importantly, fees for reprints go to the publisher.
Work Made for Hire Agreements and Derivative Works (Ivan Hoffman, BA, JD)
Work for Hire (Wikipedia's helpful entry)
Working with Freelancers: What every publisher should know about the "work for hire" doctrine (and informative for the authors, too)
Don't Sign Away Your (Copy) Rights: Stop Work-for-Hire (Professional Artists League)
Work for Hire (Music Law)
Sound Recordings as Work for Hire (statement of Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights, before the Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, Committee on the Judiciary, 5-25-2000). Very interesting statement of history.
What does "work for hire" mean for designers? (attorney Frank Martinez, AIGA, 3-6-03) See also, on AIGA site,
Legalities 4: What is Work Made For Hire?

Film Schools Teach Wrong Copyright Lesson
(Corynne McSherry, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 9-20-07). Students, don't let a greedy university pull the wool over your eyes, as this University of Hawaii FAQs page tries to do.
Academic Exception (Glossary, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard). "Academic exception is the exception for teachers and academics to the general rule that employers hold copyright in the creative works produced by their employees in the course of their employment. Unlike the a work-for-hire situation, academics typically retain the copyrights in the scholarly work they produce, and may retain, sell or assign those copyrights, or dedicate them to the public domain, at their discretion." And here is that glossary's entry for Work for Hire. See also Copyright and Academia (Writers and Editors)

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Artists' looming battle with recording industry
on copyright termination rights

Mark your calendars: 2013
These termination rights apply to both books and music


Terminating Transfers: A Second Bite of the Apple A Guide to Terminating Transfers under Section 203 of the Copyright Act by Margo E. Crespin (Authors Guild). PDF of article available.
Publishers brace for authors to reclaim book rights in 2013 (Jeff John Roberts, paidContent, 11-27-12). A copyright law that lets authors break contracts after 35 years will start taking effect in January. The law, which is meant to give authors like Stephen King and Judy Blume a “second bite at the apple,” could provide yet another disruption for traditional publishers.
Your Copyright Termination Right Explained in Plain English: A Passing Opportunity to Recapture Publishing Rights ( Lloyd J. Jassin, 2010)
Navigating US Copyright Termination Rights (Brian D. Caplan, for WIPO)
Avoiding the Copyright War of 2013 (Caz McChrystal, Music Business Journal, July 2009 Music Law) "Section 203 of the Copyright Act allows an author to terminate an exclusive or nonexclusive transfer of a copyright executed on or after January 1, 1978; however, this termination right does not apply to works made for hire. Therefore, transfers of sound recordings by artists to their record labels are subject to the termination right only if those recordings were not made for hire."
Legislator Calls for Clarifying Copyright Law (Larry Rohter, NY Times, 8-28-11). "When copyright law was revised in 1976, recording artists and songwriters were granted 'termination rights,' which enable them to regain control of their work after 35 years. But with musicians and songwriters now moving to assert that control, the provision threatens to leave the four major record companies, which have made billions of dollars from such recordings and songs, out in the cold. As a result the major record labels — Universal, Sony, EMI and Warner — are now fighting the efforts of recording artists and songwriters to invoke those rights."
Record Industry Braces for Artists’ Battles Over Song Rights (Larry Rohter, NY Times, 8-15-11). "When copyright law was revised in the mid-1970s, musicians, like creators of other works of art, were granted 'termination rights,' which allow them to regain control of their work after 35 years, so long as they apply at least two years in advance....With the recording industry already reeling from plummeting sales, termination rights claims could be another serious financial blow." The recording industry claims the records are "works for hire" -- the musicians, their employees.
Dear Musicians: The RIAA Is About To Totally Screw You Over (Again!) (TechDirt). "Copyright law includes a 'termination right,' which cannot be contractually given up, which allows the original content creator to 'reclaim' the copyright on their works 35 years after it was created. The only real exception is in cases where the work qualifies as 'work for hire.'" The musicians expect a showdown with the recording industry.
Termination of Transfers Provision Applies to All Authors, Not Just Musicians (Tonya Gisselberg, Seattle Copyright Watch, 9-8-11). "That “little-noted” provision is 17 U.S.C. §203, Termination of transfers and licenses granted by the author. For grants made on or after January 1, 1978, §203 allows an author, or her surviving family or estate if the author is dead, to terminate a copyright grant after 35 years from the date the grant was made, if a certain procedure is followed."
Marybeth Peters (Tonya Gisselberg, Seattle Copyright Watch, 9-24-11). The former U.S. Register of Copyrights spoke about recording artists’ public performance rights in the non-digital broadcasts of their sound recordings, among other things.

Legislator Calls for Clarifying Copyright Law (Larry Rohter, NY Times, 8-28-11). Representative John Conyers Jr., senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, has called for a "revision of U.S. copyright law to remove ambiguities in the current statute about who is eligible to reclaim ownership rights to songs and sound recordings."
Copyright Termination Rights: The Looming Battle for Music Industry (Lesley Chuang, The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Blog). 2013 is going to be a big year for the music industry!

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Rights and Royalties Management, Licensing,
issues about

and problems with authors' and artists' estates


Executors or Executioners? Why Is My Biographer of Shel Silverstein Headed for the Sidewalk's End? (Joseph Thomas, Slate, 10-11-13). Thomas writes about "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 protected by copyright. You see, scholars have to request permission to reproduce more than a few lines of a copyrighted poem or song lyric. Or, more precisely, we don’t have to, but our publishers (largely academic, nonprofit university presses) tend to insist that we ask permission in order to protect themselves from lawsuits."
Keepers of the Flame: Literary Estates and the Rise of Biography by Ian Hamilton. What happens when there is a conflict between how much a biographer wants to tell, how clearly the subject of a literary biography has expressed his wishes about privacy, and whether the estate honors those wishes.
William Faulkner's Heirs Aim to Preserve His Legacy and Profit From It (Stefanie Cohen, WSJ, 7-26-13). Effort to Capitalize on Faulkner's Estate Raises Questions About What Happens to Works After Writers Die (must reading for authors, heirs, and universities and museums displaying authors' artifacts)
Judge dismisses lawsuit over Faulkner line in 'Midnight in Paris' (Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 7-18-13) In a 17-page ruling, Michael P. Mills, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, said the use of the quote qualifies as a fair use. "The court has viewed Woody Allen’s movie, 'Midnight in Paris,' read the book, 'Requiem for a Nun,' and is thankful that the parties did not ask the court to compare 'The Sound and the Fury' with 'Sharknado.'"
The Business Rusch. Fiction writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch (4-13-11) on inaccurate e-book royalty statements issued by the Big Six traditional publishers, and a follow-up column a week later: Royalty Statements Update (4-20-11)
• Electronic Rights. Lloyd L. Rich's publaw piece on publishing agreements (grant of rights and royalty clauses) seems to be aimed at publishers but raises at least one issue authors and agents should also be pondering: Are electronic rights sales income, from which author gets a royalty (10 to 15%), or subsidiary rights, meaning the publisher and author split the income 50/​50?
British photographers' concern over new 'micropayment' system (Patrick Smith, Press Gazette 6-30-08). Photographers fear their pictures could lose value due to a new 'micropayment' scheme created by a picture stock library to license images online.
Copyleft (Wikipedia on liberal licensing schemes in which author surrenders some but not all rights, thereby retaining some moral control over the material)
Creative Commons,a nonprofit organization that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation (creators say which rights they reserve and which they waive, as alternatives to the "permission" culture and tight controls on rights to films and music). Here's the Creative Commons license. This Wikipedia entry is interesting for its discussion of the issues.
GNU General Public License (a Free Software license, Creative Commons). Here is Wikipedia's entry on the license, and another entry on the GNU project, a free software, mass collaboration project.
Copyright Clearance Center ready to compete with AP’s News Licensing Group (Rick Edmonds, Poynter, 2-4-11).
Why the music-licensing model won't save newspapers by Jeff Bercovici (Daily Finance, 6-4-09)
DRM or not: a debate that won't be over anytime soon (Mike Shatzkin's excellent discussion of digital rights management, the software that controls what you can do with an ebook or any electronic property)
Performance royalties for films , one of several informative video clips from an ASCAP-related forum on The Life Cycle of a Song: Mechanical Royalties and Problems with Royalty Rates Today, 2008)
Mechanical license and compulsory mechanical license (Wikipedia)
• Clearing rights and finding rightsholders
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First-sale doctrine in a world of re-selling, rentals, and licensing
I bought the physical book or CD -- what rights does that give me?
First-sale doctrine (Wikipedia entry).
• The first-sale doctrine limits the distribution rights of copyright and trademark owners by allowing the purchaser of a copyrighted product to re-sell the physical product or phonorecord (e.g., recorded music). The right does not apply to unlawfully made audio or video tapes.
Reselling Digital Goods Is Copyright Infringement, Judge Rules (David Kravets, Wired, 4-1-13) "A federal judge is declaring as unlawful a one-of-a-kind website enabling the online sale of pre-owned digital music files....The case weighed the so-called first-sale doctrine, the legal theory that people in lawful possession of copyright material have the right to resell it. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan, ruling in a suit brought by Vivendi’s Capitol Records, said the doctrine did not apply to digital goods."
• Huge Supreme Court decision: Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & SonsJustices Permit Resale of Copyrighted Imports (Adam Liptak, NY Times, 3-19-13) The Supreme Court issued a truly major decision about international re-selling of books. See also Grimmelmann: Issues in Kirtsaeng 'Significant' (James Grimmelmann, PW, 3-20-13. an excellent explanation of issues). "Since the textbooks Kirtsaeng was importing were printed with the permission of the copyright holders, they were legal, and so were his imports." (Pirated books and music are not legal.) ... "However one comes out on first sale and imported textbooks, the issue, in books and beyond, is too significant to end here. Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante is already proposing significant reforms to the Copyright Act." (See The Next Great Copyright Act.).
Meanwhile, here's another take on the Kirtsaeng decision: "Supreme Court to Wiley publishers: your insane theory of copyright is wrong" (Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, 3-19-13) "The US Supreme Court has handed down a verdict in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, one of the most important copyright cases of the century. In it, the publisher John Wiley & Sons sought to block the import of legally purchased cheap overseas editions of its books by arguing that "first sale" (the right to resell copyrighted works) only applies to goods made in the USA. However you feel about cheap overseas editions and their importation into the USA, this was a disastrous legal theory. Practically everything owned by Americans is made outside of the USA and almost all of it embodies some kind of copyright. Under Wiley's theory, you would have no first-sale rights to any of that stuff -- you couldn't sell it, you couldn't even give it away. What's more, the other "exceptions and limitations" to copyright would also not apply, meaning that it would be illegal to photograph anything made outside of the USA (no di minimum exemption) or to transform it in any way (no fair use, either). Thanks goodness the Supremes got this one right!" Here is the decision (KIRTSAENG, DBA BLUECHRISTINE99 v. JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC. , decided 3-19-13).
Earlier, PW had reported in in As Wiley Case Heads to the Supreme Court, Libraries Join “Owners Rights” Coalition (Andrew Albanese, PW, 10-24-12), "Next week’s Supreme Court case will address the fallout from an August, 2011 ruling in John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Supap Kirtsaeng in which Kirtsaeng, a Thai-born U.S. student was successfully sued by Wiley for importing and reselling in the U.S. foreign editions of Wiley textbooks made for exclusive sale abroad. In its verdict, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit affirmed, by a 2-1 margin, that Kirtsaeng could not avail himself of the first sale doctrine because the law says that products must be 'lawfully made.'" The Second Circuit ruled that "foreign-made works" were not "lawfully made." PW: "That decision has raised alarms for a number of businesses, including libraries and the used book trade, and online sellers like Amazon, and eBay."
Why Ownership Rights Matter (background, from Owners' Rights Initiative)''
Supreme Court Holds that the “First Sale” Doctrine Protects Importation and Sale of Books and Recordings Lawfully Manufactured and Acquired Abroad (Bingham, 3-26-13). "The expanded resale market permitted under Kirtsaeng has the potential to lead to increased piracy of intellectual property. This is because it may not always be clear to resellers and consumers in the United States whether they are purchasing a lawfully made work manufactured for sale in a foreign market or an unauthorized pirated copy. The “first sale” doctrine does not apply pirated copies, and nothing in the Court’s opinion in Kirtsaeng changes the restrictions on selling such unauthorized works."
• See the Betamax case, Authors Guild vs. Hathi Trust under Fair Use (scroll to cases at end of Fair Use section.
Vernor v. Autodesk: Software and the First Sale Doctrine under Copyright Law (Marcelo Halpern, Yury Kapgan, and Kathy Yu) (Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, Vol.23, No. 3, March 2011). The Ninth Circuit ruled recently that "an individual who purchased and then resold secondhand software was not the 'owner' of that copy of the software and therefore could not resell it when the license agreement accompanying the software restricted such resale."
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Copyright and Academia

In academia,among other things, a wide-ranging discussion about open access is weakening academic journals' monopoly on profiting from publishing research findings. Different interest groups view this differently, of course. Meanwhile, as the publishing landscape changes, are academic authors, who have long abandoned claims to copyright on many of their scholarly articles (in the "public or perish" world of university faculty-making), less docile about publishing rights, with tenured faculty positions scarce?
The Research Works Act, open access and publisher boycotts ( Anna Sharman, Sharmanedit blog, 1-31-2012)
The Cost of Knowledge Researchers taking a stand against Elsevier, the greediest of the academic journals. Mathematician Tyler Neylon set up this page where researchers could publicly declare that they �will not support any Elsevier journal unless they radically change how they operate.'
Copyright in Academia: How Does It Work (informative slideshare presentation by Geoffrey Pinski and Howard Tolley, University of Cincinnati).
Academic Exception (Glossary, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard). "Academic exception is the exception for teachers and academics to the general rule that employers hold copyright in the creative works produced by their employees in the course of their employment. Unlike the a work-for-hire situation, academics typically retain the copyrights in the scholarly work they produce, and may retain, sell or assign those copyrights, or dedicate them to the public domain, at their discretion." And here is that glossary's entry for Work for Hire.
Rights and Royalties Management and Licensing and problems with authors' and artists estates.
Princeton goes open access to stop staff handing all copyright to journals -- unless waiver granted (Sunanda Creagh, The Conversation 9-28-11)
Open access and academic journals: the publishers respond (Sunanda Creagh, The Conversation 8-11-11)
• Journal Authors: Intellectual property landlords - or migrant workers? (Dan Carlinsky, ASJA). Alas, ASJA doesn't have this posted now; Dan, if you see this, I'll be glad to post it here, if you like. The title conveys the message, so I'll leave that here.
Copyright Issues in Open Access Research Journals (Esther Hoorn and Maurits van der Graaf, D-Lib Magazine 2-06). The Open Access environment has created a number of entirely new copyright models.
An end to bad heir days: The posthumous power of the literary estate (Gordon Bowker, The Independent UK 1-6-12). "On the last day of 2011, the 70th anniversary year of his death, James Joyce's work finally passed out of copyright. It was the dawn of a new age for Joyce scholars, publishers and biographers who are now free to quote or publish him without the permission of the ferociously prohibitive Joyce estate."
Copyright and research: an academic publisher�s perspective (K Taylor, (2007) 4:2 SCRIPTed 233)
Copyright Ownership & the Impact on Academic Libraries (Laura N. Gasaway, 2003)
Libraries, Users & the Problems of Authorship in the Digital Age (Laura N. Gasaway)
Balancing Copyright Concerns: The TEACH Act of 2001 (PDF, Laura N. Gasaway, Educause Review, policy@​edu, Nov./​Dec. 2001)
Copyright in Academia: How Does It Work?
Open Access is not about copyright abolition or author reprint royalties (Open Access Archivangelism).
Attack on Open Access (Eli Edwards, Fairly Used blog, Stanford, 1-6-12)
Author Rights: Using the SPARC Author Addendum to secure your rights as the author of a journal article (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). Also available as a poster. See more SPARC Resources for Authors
A new twist -- securing authors' rights when negotiating content licenses (Mary Minow and Eli Edwards interview Julia Blixrud, ARL and Ivy Anderson, University of California, Fairly Used blog, Stanford, 2-1-11)
Open Access to Scholarship, Part I: A Conversation with Michelle Pearse and Part II: An Interview with Richard A. Danner
The Impact of the NIH Public Access Policy On Professional and Scholarly Publishing (Association of American Publishers)
Copyright Information Center (Cornell University)
~What Authors Can Do
~
, gear especially to academic authors, who routinely give up their copyright without a peep
~Sample Copyright Agreement
~Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine (Science Commons). Helps you generate a PDF form you can attach to a journal publisher's copyright agreement to ensure that you retain certain rights.
~Resources from Copyright Information Center (slanted to protect Cornell's interests)
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Digital rights management (DRM)


DRM is any scheme that uses access-control technology to limit access, use, and sharing of digital content after the sale of copyrighted material. Those who want to can usually find ways to circumvent it, and making it hard to circumvent also makes things difficult for users.
How Digital Rights Management Works (Julia Layton (howstuffworks). What is DRM?
Digital rights management (Wikipedia)
Q&A: What is DRM? (BBC News)
DRM or not? a debate that won’t be over anytime soon (Mike Shatzkin, Shatzkin Files 6-27-09)
DRM and romance novels: One takeaway from Digital Book World that is not to be missed (Mike Shatzkin, Idea Logical Company, 1-30-12). About DRM, yes, but also about the importance in niche markets of metadata.
iTunes, DRM and competition law (Reckon), updates on the article The iTunes Music Store: does competition law hold the key to a closed shop? (Reckon, LLP; Regulation & Competition Economics, Sept. 2004)
DRM is failure in action (Digital Bits Skeptic 1-18-09)
Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networkstalk by Richard Stallman (Computer Science Club, University of Waterloo)
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Orphan Works Legislation


Orphan Works (Wikipedia entry: "An orphan work is a copyrighted work for which the copyright owner cannot be contacted. In some cases the name of the creator or copyright owner of an orphan work may be known but other than the name no information can be established. Reasons for a work to be orphan include that the copyright owner is unaware of their ownership or that the copyright owner has died or gone out of business (if a company) and it is not possible to establish to whom ownership of the copyright has passed." Good links to sources.
Statement of Marybeth Peters, The Register of Copyrights, before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, Committee on the Judiciary (3-13-08)
The Importance of Orphan Works Legislation (Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights, U.S. Copyright Office, 9-25-08). This "legislation would allow good-faith users of copyrighted content to move forward in cases where they wish to license a use but cannot locate the copyright owner after a diligent search."
Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 This bill to provide a limitation on judicial remedies in copyright infringement cases involving orphan works passed the Senate, died in Congress, 2008. Status shown here at Govtrack.us (a civic project to track Congress)
What Orphan Works Could Mean to Bloggers (Jonathan Bailey, The Blog Herald, 4-28-08) What you can do to protect your work.
Corporate Theft (Brad Holland of the Illustrator's Partnership talking about how the Orphan Works bill affects every artist and photographer, on YouTube)

Orphan Works Resource Page for Artists (Illustrators' Partnership)
See also entries for the Google Book Settlement, which is very much associated with the issue of orphan works.
Little Orphan Artworks (Lawrence Lessig, NY Times, 5-20-08). "CONGRESS is considering a major reform of copyright law intended to solve the problem of 'orphan works' — those works whose owner cannot be found. This 'reform' would be an amazingly onerous and inefficient change, which would unfairly and unnecessarily burden copyright holders with little return to the public. "



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Names, titles, domain names, and trademarks


What Are Patents, Trademarks, Servicemarks, and Copyrights? (U.S. Patent Office)
What does copyright protect (U.S. Copyright Office). Among questions answered on that site:
--How do I copyright a name, title, slogan or logo?
"Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases, these things may be protected as trademarks. Contact the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 800-786-9199, for further information. However, copyright protection may be available for logo artwork that contains sufficient authorship. In some circumstances, an artistic logo may also be protected as a trademark. "
--Can I copyright my domain name?
"Copyright law does not protect domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that has assumed the responsibility for domain name system management, administers the assignation of domain names through accredited registers. "
On the same website page, see also the answers to: How do I protect my recipe? Can I copyright the name of my band? How do I protect my idea? Can I get a star named after me and claim copyright to it?
Titles and the Law: Can I Call My Novel "The Great Gatsby"? (Mark Fowler, Rights of Writers, 2-17-11). Titles of any kind (book, song) aren’t copyrightable but they might in some circumstances be subject to trademark or unfair competition laws. "In short, using a title that has previously been used on another book is, more often than not, perfectly lawful. In a relatively rare instance where your title is likely to create confusion with a previously published book, your publisher will likely urge you to adopt a different, safer title..." (This applies in U.S.--British courts may differ.)
Domain Name Law & Domain Name Disputes (Lawyer Charles Runyan, on domain names and trademarks)
Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about Domain Names and Trademarks (Chilling Effects)
Trademark Law & Book Titles: How to Use Trademark Law to Create Multiple Passive Income Streams & Avert Legal Battles (Lloyd J. Jassin, CopyLaw.com)
And Now, the Tricky Part: Naming Your Business (Emily Maltby, WSJ, 6-29-10) and Name Choices Spark Lawsuits (Emily Maltby, "Start-Ups Can Get Mired in Costly Trademark Scuffles With Bigger Firms," WSJ, 6-24-10)
Trademarks (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)
Trademark FAQ (MarkLaw.com, and see their entry on the benefits of trademark registration.)
Trademark Law (an overview, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University)
FAQs, USPTO
US Patent Office search engine
Protecting Slogans (Ivan Hoffman)
TESS tips (tips about the Trademark Electronic Search System, which contains the records of active and inactive trademark registrations and applications)
Trademarks Basics Fact Sheets (International Trademark Association) and don't forget the Wikipedia entry, especially the part on Maintaining Rights.

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Clearing rights and finding rightsholders

Links below are arranged in this order:
• Clearing rights in visual arts
• Clearing rights for music and sound
• Clearing rights for books, scripts, screenplays
• Permission and releases
See also the section on Fair use (when it is okay to use material without requesting permission or clearing rights).

Five Good Reasons to Clear Rights Properly and to Request Permission When Needed (Joy Butler, Guide Through the Legal Jungle), online
The Permission Seeker's Guide Through the Legal Jungle: Clearing Copyrights, Trademarks and Other Rights for Entertainment and Media Productions by Joy R. Butler, an entertainment and business attorney, on "using someone else's intellectual property for financial gain" -- very helpful if you're clearing many rights.
Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story (Roni Loren, 7-20-12)
Hollywood's Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet by Peter Decherney. U.S. book publishers started as pirates, using British novels, such as Dickens, without paying for rights; in the 1930s they waged an unsuccessful PR campaign to criminalize library borrowing. Changes in copyright law made recorded music, radio, and cable legitimate, when they had been considered piracy (from live entertainment). We have a pervasive "permissions culture" now, that is strangling documentary-makers, writes Decherney.
Clearance & Copyright: Everything You Need to Know for Film and Television by Michael Donaldson
Copyright and permissions basics for websites. This chapter from Nolo/​Stanford's Copyright and Fair Use Overview focuses on unauthorized transfers of information to and from websites and website linking. Particularly useful: Linking and framing (which includes a permissions form).
We Stole Your Pictures, Now We’re Going To Sue You. Photographer Daniel Morel posted news photos on Twitter, claiming exclusive photos; moments later a second photographer uploaded them to his TwitPic account and claimed them as his. Suit and countersuit filed, as photographer 2 sold photos to agencies (including Agence France Presse), and Morel registered copyright so damages could be sizable. "With Morel’s lawyers claiming multiple infringements at $150,000 a piece AFP now face the possibility of a final bill far in excess of what the pictures would have cost if licensed legally."
Association for the Protection of Internet Copyright (APIC, also known as WebPosse). "Copyright protects original works of expression. These works include:Literary, Dramatic, including accompanying music, pantomimes and choreographic, Pictorial, graphic and sculptural. Motion pictures and other audiovisual, sound recordings, and
architectural."
Checklist of legal considerations for use in created videos (Wiley Publishers). See links for various release forms, including release forms for minors, music permission agreement, location release form, materials permission agreement)
Connecting to Other Websites (good Stanford explanations of linking and framing, and a model linking agreement)
Getting Permissions for Your Favorite Quote (Linda Blundell, WordSmitten on literary permissions research)
Quick Guide to Permissions (PDF, Society of Authors, applicable to authors in UK). Who obtains copyright permissions? Is the work in copyright? When do I need permission? Who and what to ask, What if I cannot trace whoever is entitled to give permission? What if, having made every effort, I still cannot trace the copyright owner? How much will the fee be? and Model Permission Licence Letter.
Giving Credit and Requesting Permission (Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly Media, chapter 7 from his book). Guidelines for using material other than your own. How do you know when you need permission? What doesn't need permission? Who owns the copyright? What pitfalls to avoid.

Oral History Consent Form (for interviewees, Jack Dougherty, form used for More Than One Struggle oral history project
FOB (firms out of business) (www.fob-file.com)...a database of publishing, literary and other firms out of business -- that is, printing and publishing firms, magazines, literary agencies and similar organizations that no longer exist -- and, where possible. which successor organizations might own any surviving rights. More About FOB, which is run jointly by the Harry Ransom Center (University of Texas, Austin) and University of Reading Library. The Harry Random Center also runs WATCH (Writers Artists and Their Copyright Holders), which a colleague tells me is a great idea but sadly out of date. The Authors Guild has tried to establish a similar database; I am not sure how good it is.
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CLEARING RIGHTS IN THE VISUAL ARTS:
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), trade association for photographers whose work is available for publication. Note their pricing guides.
Artists Rights Society provides support for copyright licensing and monitoring for over 50,000 visual artists and estates of visual artists, museums (painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, and so on)
Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO)
Digital Image Rights Computator (DIRC), a chart from the Visual Resources Association (VRA)
Art Resource (licensing reproduction rights for fine arts images)
• Cartoon syndicates include these two large organizations: Cartoon Stock and King Features (note difference between reprint rights and licensing)
Design & Artists Copyright Society (DACS, UK)
Photographers Index (for locating photographers worldwide)
Photography Registry (helps locate photographers so you can clear rights with them)
Visual Arts and Galleries Association (VAGA)
Intellectual Property and the Arts (College Art Association)
The MILE Project's Step-by-Step Guide to Clearing Rights for Digital Image Users. (MILE: Metadata Image Library Exploitation. The MILE Project "wants to make art available to everyone by improving metadata."
Where to Get Photos For Your Blog (Meghan Ward's Writerland, 6-21-12, with a guide to all the Creative Commons logos and codes)
Getty makes 35 million photos free to use. "Millions of images - including famous shots of Marilyn Monroe and Barack Obama - will now be available without cost to blogs and social media sites. [Note: this doesn't apply to books!] The photos will be "framed" with a code that links back to Getty's website.
Creative Commons licensed pics (search for something you can get clearance on)
Adding to Your Editorial Tool Kit: Image Research and Permissions (panel for Bay Area Editors' forum, 3-24-09)
Getty Images (& Other) Settlement Demand Letters. What to do when Getty sues you for infringement when you wrongly post an image on your website.
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Adding metadata to photos:
Please tell me about clear explanations that are not linked to here.
How to Add Copyright Management Information to Your Photos (Carolyn E. Wright, Photo Attorney, 6-22-11)
Why You Should Add Metadata To Your Photos (Carolyn E. Wright, Photo Attorney, 10-7-08)
Watermarking Slideshow PDF Files (Sean McCormack, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 8-2-07)
Why metalog (Controlled Vocabulary)
Mind Your Phraseology (Christina Wodtke explains "controlled vocabulary," Digital Web Magazine 8-13-02)
Examples of photo indexing for an electronic archive (Visual Edge '98)

• Clearing rights and finding rightsholders (licensing organizations and rights clearinghouses)
• Clearing rights for music and sound
• Clearing rights for books, scripts, screenplays
• Permission and releases
See also the section on Fair use

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CLEARING RIGHTS FOR MUSIC AND SOUND
Clearing rights for music is not for sissies. There are probably separate copyrights for the music and lyrics, not to mention synchronization rights (to embed copyrighted music in an audio-visual production), public performance licenses, and so on. (Keeping it simplest, you might want to produce your own music from sheet music; once a piece of music is recorded or performed, clearing permissions gets more complicated). Try searching the ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and BMI song title databases by song, title, songwriter, or publisher for information on songs and songwriters registered with these performing rights societies (liner notes on music may tell you to which society a writer belongs). If you don't find a songwriter registered with ASCAP, check with BMI or SESAC (both owned by the music industry). Songs that are not represented by ASCAP may be represented by the National Music Publishers Association . BMI and SESAC handle some rights, and the Harry Fox Agency (the chief music licensing agency, especially for recording rights) collects royalties from recording rights for most publishers. These organizations may be helpful in different ways:

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video (Center for Social Media)
Can I Use Song Lyrics in my Manuscript? (Brian A. Klems, Writers Digest, 5-13-08)
Blake Morrison on the cost of quoting lyrics (Blake Morrison, The Guardian, 4-30-10). 'I still have the invoices. For quoting one line of "Jumpin' Jack Flash": Ł500. For one line of "Wonderwall": Ł535'
So You Want to Use Song Lyrics in Your Novel? 5 Steps to Getting Rights to Lyrics (Anne R. Allen's blog entry presents Michael Murphy's "Five Steps to Obtain Song Lyric Rights." Using music lyrics was natural for his back-to-Woodstock novel, Goodbye Emily. Murphy "found that some lyrics aren’t as expensive as the ones Blake Morrison [previous entry] mentioned, and it isn't that hard to get permission. Lyricists are our fellow writers and they deserve to get paid too. (And don’t forget you need permission to use recorded music in your book trailer—even if the music is in the public domain—because musicians deserve to be paid as well.)"
A Guide to Oral History and the Law by John A. Neuenschwander ((Oxford Oral History, with chapters on legal release agreements, subpoenas and FOIA requests, defamation, privacy issues, copyright, oral history on the Internet, institutional review boards (IRB), and duty to report a crime, with sample legal release forms, oral history evaluation guidelines (Oral History Association), and more.
Who Owns Oral History? A Creative Commons Solution Jack Dougherty and Candace Simpson,, On the Line, 8-11-12).
Frequently asked questions about music copyright (PD Info). See also Music, Copyright, and the Public Domain.
Types of Copyright (BMI on public performing right, public performance license, reproduction right, mechanical license, synchronization license, digital performance right in sound recordings
Artists House Music, The Life of a Song. Watch video from this fascinating panel discussion held at a 2008 meeting of the American Bar Association’s Sports & Entertainment Law Forum, the panelists discuss how compositions generate fees and mechanical royalties from merchandising uses. Examples cited are lyrics printed on clothing as well as compositions and master recordings licensed for singing toys and a musical toothbrush. Scroll down right for more specific bits.
Frequently asked questions about music (CSUSA.org). For example, Can I legally make CDs or tapes of recordings for others so long as I don't charge or otherwise make a profit? Do I need a license if I want to record and distribute a CD of myself singing a popular tune? Do you need a license to play music over the radio? Do I need permission to upload music to my web site? How much does it cost to get a mechanical license? a synch license?
USA Copyright Law for Sound Recordings (PD Info on public domain and royalty-free music). "The Copyright Act of 1976 created a copyright category called Sound Recordings that now provides federal copyright protection for CD's, MP3's, WAV files, records, and other music recordings made after February 15, 1972." and this: "...pre-1972 sound recordings have no federal copyright protection, but they are still well protected under state law. Virtually every sound recording in the USA is copyright protected at least until the year 2067." That's what it says, on a site geared to public domain and royalty-free music. The music itself may be public domain, but the sound recording of it (say, "Mary Had a Little Lamb") may be copyright protected under state law.
Mechanical license and compulsory mechanical license, explained (Wikipedia entry)
License Songs for Your YouTube Videos at $1.99 Each (Samuel Axon, Mashable, 6-28-10)
Copyright Office notice of compulsory licenses (you can see who's getting mechanical licenses for what song, for a two-year period)
Who Owns the Rights to a Song? (wiseGeek)
***• How Performing Rights Organizations Pay Royalties to Artists (and how to make sure you’re getting paid) (Christiane Cargill Kinney, guest blog on The DIY Musician, 11-8-12). Understanding How Independent Artists Can Get The Most Out of Their Royalty Payments. Writes Kinney, "Performing Rights Organizations, also known as “PROs,” pay revenues to writers and publishers for public performances of their music, primarily through radio, television, and live performances. In the United States, the PROs are ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. Each of these organizations negotiate and collect license fees from various entities that publicly perform music, and then they distribute royalty payments to their members. Understanding how the PROs calculate and pay revenues to their members is important to consider when deciding which PRO to join. Each of the PROs have detailed explanations of how they pay royalties to their artists, including foreign royalty payments and payments for internet public performances beyond the scope of this article, which you can read in full at the following links:
ASCAP payment system – http:/​/​www.ascap.com/​members/​payment.aspx
BMI (How We Pay Royalties)– http:/​/​www.bmi.com/​creators/​royalty/​how_we_pay_royalties/​basic
SESAC (Everything You Need To Know About Getting Paid)– http:/​/​sesac.com/​WritersPublishers/​HowWePay/​PaymentInfo.aspx
Using copyrighted material in your video YouTube's webpage about clearing permissions, fair use and fair dealing, etc. As for "derivative works," or remixes, it advises: "The phrase 'derivative works' refers to creations such as remixes, where you might take images or sound from a recording and edit it into something new. Although the new video is your own creation, the images and sound you've used still belong to someone else. It doesn't matter if you recorded it for free from television, purchased a DVD, purchased a video game, or recorded it yourself at an event—you may still need permission from the copyright holder(s) of the material you drew upon to make your new creation." See video Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend

Lawsuit Seeking Greater Digital Royalties for Eminem’s Music Is Settled (Ben Sesario, NY Times, 10-30-12). Should royalties for downloads be treated the same as CDs or as licensed music, which pays substantially higher royalties? An important lawsuit on an important issue.
Fight Builds Over Online Royalties (Ben Sisario, Media & Advertising, NY Times, 11-4-12). A fight about the way digital royalty rates are set "pits the survival of Pandora Media and other Internet radio services against the diminished paychecks of musicians in the digital age....with streaming music starting to account for a significant chunk of the music industry’s revenue, and Pandora now a scrutinized public company, the issue has touched a nerve as never before. " See Copyright Royalty Board .

AARC (Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies) (protecting the rights of featured artists and sound recording companies in the areas of home recording and rental rights)
ASCAP (clearing rights for music and lyrics). See How to clear music for films and other and other frequently asked questions about ASCAP licensing and ASCAP Keeps You in Tune with the Copyright Law .
BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated).
Compulsory License for Making and Distributing Phonorecords U.S. Copyright Office, Circular 73).
The Difference Between ASCAP and BMI (informative video interview with Todd Braher. One of many really helpful explanations on site of Artists House Music (helping musicians and music entrepreneurs create sustainable careers). Check out featured articles and video interviews
Harry Fox Agency (HFA). Click on "Songfile" for online song search and mechanical licensing tool, for if you want to make 2,500 or fewer copies of a recording as a CD, cassette, LP, or digital download)
IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation)
NMPA (National Music Publishers' Association)
PD Info (a site to help you identify public domain songs and music, royalty-free music you can license, and public domain sheet music reprints)
RightsFlow (a licensing and royalty service provider). Limelight, a service of RightsFlow, simplifies the process of clearing cover songs. Interview with Michael Kauffman of RightsFlow. Limelight "allows artists to secure the necessary mechanical license for 100% of the publishing spectrum and also ensures that they are compliant with the law and pay the songwriter/​publisher 100% of royalties due."
SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers),performing rights organization
615 Music (where video people can get a blanket license to use songs from a 200 CD set of professional music)
Sound Exchange, collects and distributes digital performance royalties for featured recording artists and sound recording copyright owners (usually a record label) when their sound recordings are performed on digital cable and satellite television
Zoom License(music licensing for videography and digital imaging). See more at site of
Wedding and Event Videographers Association International (WEVA.com), professional wedding and event videographers
Frequently asked questions about public domain music.
Music Licensing for Museums (PDF factsheet, American Association of Museums)
I don't personally know how useful this fairly costly book is: The Mini-Encyclopedia of Public Domain Songs by Barbara Zimmerman (1998)
Music Top Myths(CSUSA--for example, If I upload to my Internet site music from CDs that I have purchased, I am not violating copyright law).


• Clearing rights and finding rightsholders (licensing organizations and rights clearinghouses)
• Clearing rights in visual arts
• Clearing rights for books, scripts, screenplays
• Permission and releases
See also the section on Fair use

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CLEARING RIGHTS for BOOKS, SCRIPTS, SCREENPLAYS, ETC.
Authors Coalition of America, LLC (an association of independent authors' organizations representing text writers, songwriters, visual artists, illustrators and photographers -- created in 1994 to repatriate and distribute the creator's share of foreign non-title-specific royalty payments for American works photocopied abroad). See list of coalition's member organizations.
Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS, United Kingdom)
The Authors Registry (a clearinghouse or payment agent for organizations wishing to distribute payments to individual U.S.-resident authors)
Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
Christian Copyright Licensing International
Copyright Clearance Center (academic and business rights licensing)
Creative Commons (simple, standardized alternatives to the “all rights reserved” paradigm of traditional copyright)
Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. (professional association of American playwrights)
Dramatists Play Service, Inc (rights for plays and musicals)
FOB (Firms Out of Business), a database of publishing, literary and other firms out of business, run jointly by the Harry Ransom Center and University of Reading Library
Hollywood Creative Directory (contact info for the film, television and new media industries)
Locating copyright holders (Lloyd J. Jassin, Copylaw.com)
Movie Licensing USA (get license to show copyrighted movies in your school or library -- legally)
Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) (offers a blanket license for the noncommercial exhibition of movies -- to corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations)
Publishers Marketplace (find agents, editors, publishers, packagers and writers)
Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization (rights for live plays)
Samuel French (rights for plays and musicals)
Search copyright records
WATCH (Writers, Artists and Their Copyright Holders, run jointly by the Harry Ransom Center and University of Reading Library.
Writers Guild of America, West (WGA), which provides a valuable service: WGAWRegistry.org, WGA's official script and screenplay registration service.
Writers Guild of America West Registry (WGAWRegistry.org), the official script and screenplay registration service of the Writers Guild of America, West and "the world's number one intellectual property service." Mail them your script,and when they get it they seal it in an envelope, record the date and time, and send you a numbered certificate, which gives you a dated record of your claim to authorship of a particular literary material--useful in court should there be any unauthorized use of the work. They seem to accept nonscreenplay manuscripts as well.

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Getting releases signed in advance

When you are taping an interview or performance, or taking photos, or otherwise recording images for later use in a publicaiton or production, be sure to read up first on which releases it makes sense to get in advance -- as you are conducting the interview or taking the picture, etc. I've provided links to some sample release forms below, but this is just to give you a sense of what is needed. You may want to consult a lawyer or at the very least a good professional organization or reference. (If I were doing photos, for example, I would consider joining ASMP, which does good rights education.) Among rights you do not want to violate: rights of privacy (using a nonpublic person's private information or images) or rights of publicity (using a person's image, voice, likeness, or name in a commercial endeavor); in some cases, rights of trademark; and of course claims of libel or slander (depending on what you record or photograph them doing), as well as claims of misuse of content.
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Permissions and Release forms
Sample talent release form, for video and other recordings (MediaCollege.com)
Sample interview release form for oral history interviews (Smithsonian, FolkLife)
Interviewer's Release Form (Veterans History Project, one of several forms and logs from VHP)
Interview Permission Form (University of Arizona Press)
Sample Interview Release (PDF, Duke University Press)
Permission form for reprinting illustrations (Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Press)
PROPERTY AND MODEL RELEASES (by Richard Weisgrau and Victor S. Perlman, ASMP, for images of real estate or personal property, including cars, pets, and works of art) and Why you need photo releases in advance(ASMP on rights of privacy, publicity, property, etc.)
Do I Really Need Model & Property Releases? (Sally Wiener Grotta, Wordsmiths, 11-24-06)
What's in a Release (ASMP)
Model Release for Adults (ASMP)
Model Release for a Minor Child (aSMP
Permission form for reprinting illustrations (Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Press)
Sample Model Release Form (Maine.gov)
Print release form FocusPoint Photography's release form allowing purchaser of high-resolution digital file from photography session to make prints for personal use; if FPP images are used for commercial or editorial purposes, permission must be sought.
Checklist of legal considerations for use in created videos (Wiley Publishers). See both checklist and links to Word docs for various release forms, including release forms for minors, music permission agreement, location release form, materials permission agreement)
• • Copyright and Permissions (sElsa Peterson, 62 pages, Lulu.com, cheduled for 2013)

Links to other resources on Writers and Editors website




Carmack's Guide to Copyright & Contracts: A Primer for Genealogists, Writers & Researchers by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Clearance & Copyright: Everything You Need to Know for Film and Television by Michael Donaldson
The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers by Lloyd J. Jassin and Steven C. Schechter
Fair Use, Free Use, and Use by Permission: How to Handle Copyrights in All Media by Lee Wilson
Getting Permission: How To License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off (Richard Stim, Nolo Press, an incredibly helpful book with special chapters and practical advice on music rights, artwork, trademarks, website permissions, academic permissions, and fair use--plus CD and 32 forms for clearing permissions of various kinds, linking agreements, interview releases, art for hire, etc.)
A Guide to Oral History and the Law by John A. Neuenschwander (Oxford Oral History, with chapters on legal release agreements, subpoenas and FOIA requests, defamation, privacy issues, copyright, oral history on the Internet, institutional review boards (IRB), and duty to report a crime, with sample legal release forms, oral history evaluation guidelines (Oral History Association), and more.
Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off by Richard Stim
Hollywood's Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet by Peter Decherney. U.S. book publishers started as pirates, using British novels, such as Dickens, without paying for rights; in the 1930s they waged an unsuccessful PR campaign to criminalize library borrowing. Changes in copyright law made recorded music, radio, and cable legitimate, whem they had been considered piracy (from live entertainment). We have a pervasive "permissions culture" now, that is strangling documentary-makers.
The Permission Seeker's Guide Through the Legal Jungle: Clearing Copyrights, Trademarks and Other Rights for Entertainment and Media Productions by Joy R. Butler, an entertainment and business attorney, on "using someone else's intellectual property for financial gain."
Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi. (Library Journal: "...sound advice on users' rights to copyrighted material in their survey of fair use, a "safety valve" built into copyright law. They remind readers that copyright was created to benefit the public, not to enrich producers..."
The Writer's Legal Companion: The Complete Handbook for the Working Writer, third edition, by Brad Bunnin and Peter Beren (Writes Dan Poynter: "covers contracts (intimidation, negotiating, terms), publishing in magazines (contracts, serializations), collaborations (problem areas, alternatives), agent relationships (finding, contracting), defamation (intrusive fact gathering, invasion of privacy, libel), copyright (the old law and the new, establishing, categories, length, derivative & collective works, notice, registration), protecting copyright (proving infringement, what to do), taxes & the freelance writer, resources (where to find a lawyer, how to choose, fees & bills), business (editor's role, the marketing process, non-traditional sales, premiums, special sales, the book trade, selling to libraries, subsidiary rights), new technology (eBooks, downloads, electronic media, negotiating), and much more."
The Writer's Legal Guide: An Authors Guild Desk Reference, third edition, by Tad Crawford and Kay Murray

I have not looked at these books, but a couple of people have found them helpful:
Contracts Companion for Writers by Tonya Evans-Walls
Business and Legal Forms for Authors and Self Publishers by Tad Crawford




Digital Millennium Copyright Act, DMCA Takedown Notices, and Related Issues
The $105 Fix That Could Protect You From Copyright-Troll Lawsuits (David Kravets, Wired, 10-27-10). "Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a website enjoys effective immunity from civil copyright liability for user content, provided they promptly remove infringing material at the request of a rightsholder. That’s how sites like YouTube are able to exist, and why Wired.com allows users to post comments to our stories without fear that a single user’s cut-and-paste will cost us $150,000 in court. But to dock in that legal safe harbor, a site has to, among other things, register an official contact point for DMCA takedown notices, a process that involves filling out a form and mailing a check" to the U.S. Copyright Office. Advises Kravets: "If you run a U.S. blog or a community site that accepts user content, you can register a DMCA agent by downloading this form (.pdf) and sending $105 and the form to Copyright RRP, Box 71537, Washington, D.C., 20024."
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (PDF, summary by U.S.Copyright Office).
Site plagiarizes blog posts, then files DMCA takedown on originals (John Timmer, Ars Technica, 2-5-13). All stories about a disgraced researcher get pulled by WordPress. Here's Tom Levenson's story on the same situation (The Land of Broken Links, Balloon Juice, 2-6-13). "It’s an example of the ease with which private censorship can manipulate the IP legal regime to disappear uncomfortable speech. I don’t know how many of you know of the excellent site Retraction Watch , founded and run by Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky."
What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)? (Wise Geek)
Wikipedia's explanation.
Libraries in Today's Digital Age: The Copyright Controversy. ERIC Digest (a clear explanation)
DMCA Safe Harbor (Chilling Effects)
Frequently asked questions about DMCA Safe Harbor, including Question: So what is all the controversy about the DMCA?
Online Service Providers (Copyright Office's explanation of who can acquire a Service Provider Designation of Agent to Receive Notification of Claims of Infringement. (Here's a Directory of Service Provider Agents for Notification of Claims of Infringement
Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA, Wikipedia entry about a conditional safe harbor for online service providers)
DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Takes Away Rights for Libraries, Consumers (Sarah Andrews, Iowa Librarian, 2002)
LC Unlocks Doors for Creators, Consumers with DMCA Exceptions (Beverly Goldberg, American Libraries 8-16-10)
The 2010 DVD Exemption to the DMCA (Eli Edwards interviews Abigail De Kosnik, Gary Handman and Mark Kaiser of University of California, Berkeley, 8-2-10). The latest round of Digital Millennium Copyright Act exemptions, granted by the Librarian of Congress, has received a lot of press, partly for an exemption for bypassing DRM on DVDs and partly for the 2 exemptions that allow "jailbreaking" of smartphone operating systems (such as the iPhone) to allow non-authorized software and applications to run on the phone, or use the phone on a non-authorized wireless network.
Documentary Filmmakers Win Exemption From Digital Millennium Copyright Act (PRWeb, 7-28-10). "Documentary Filmmakers Granted Access to Previously Off Limits DVD Content, Restoring Their Fair Use Rights" -- From the Library of Congress: Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works.
Copy protection software causes controversy (John McCormick, TechRepublic 11-7-05)
What New DMCA Copyright Loopholes Mean to You (Emily Price, PCWorld 7-26-10)
Copyright and DMCA Policy (Twitter page); see also For contentious tweets, Twitter now 'withdraws' instead of deleting (NBC News, Technology)


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Google Book Settlement (Pro and Con)


Here below are links to discussions of various issues and various positions (pro and con) on the book settlement.

Updates from Freelance Rights (updates by Irv Muchnick, lead respondent in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case for writers' rights, Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick (see PW story, The Objector (4-5-10). And I quote: "Since 2005, Muchnick has been the lead objector to a proposed settlement stemming from the central rights dispute of the digital age—Tasini v. New York Times—the landmark case in which members of the National Writers’ Union sued the newspaper and some electronic aggregators for, well, piracy. For those who think the other major digital rights case of today—the Google settlement—is close to resolution, consider this: Muchnick joined the Tasini case in 1994. In 1997, as a district court judge, Sonia Sotomayor ruled in favor of the defendants. In 1999, an Appeals Court reversed Sotomayor. In 2001, the Supreme Court affirmed that reversal. Four years later, in 2005, a settlement was announced. It was quickly approved, but Muchnick, and a handful of other objectors, including Anita Bartholomew, represented by Charles Chalmers, appealed."

Writers Groups Want Publisher-Google Terms Made Public (Jim Milliot, PW, 10-10-12). ASJA, NWU, and SFFWA have "asked the Department of Justice to review last week’s settlement between the AAP and Google that ended the publishers’ seven-year copyright fight with the giant company....A major issue for the organizations is the fate of books published before publishing contracts contained language about the ownership of e-book rights, with the writers contending that in contracts where the rights are not spelled out, e-book rights remain with the author. According to the writers, when publishers agree to give Google access to backlist books, it’s likely that the publisher is taking money for rights owned by authors, not publishers."

AAP and Google: Please Take It Outside (Peter Brantley, PW, 10-10-12). "I applaud the publisher agreement with Google, as it moves the ball forward on making more literature available through search and discovery, as well as opening up a larger marketplace for backlist titles...But I agree with the authors groups on this: the key points of the AAP agreement need to be made public....Best for the parties to take the key points of this agreement outside, into the sunshine, for all to see. "

The Google/​AAP Settlement: Less Than Meets the Eye? (Rick Anderson, The Scholarly Kitchen, 10-10-12). Until the Authors Guild’s class action suit is settled, the future of the Google Books project will remain very much up in the air.

Google Deal Gives Publishers a Choice: Digitize or Not (Claire Cain Miller, NY Times, 10-4-12). "After seven years of litigation, Google and book publishers said on Thursday that they had reached a settlement to allow publishers to choose whether Google digitizes their books and journals. ... "The publishers' private settlement, whatever its terms, does not resolve the authors' copyright infringement claims against Google," Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, said in a statement. "Google continues to profit from its use of millions of copyright-protected books without regard to authors' rights, and our class-action lawsuit on behalf of U.S. authors continues."
Publishers Settle Long-Running Lawsuit Over Google's Book-Scanning Project (Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, 10-4-12) Under the settlement, American publishers can now opt to remove their copyrighted books and journals from Google's library project or choose to make them available for use and sale.
Closing the Book (Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Education, 10-5-12). According to Tom Turvey, director of strategic partnerships for Google’s search services division, the basic thrust of the accord is this: All the books with PUBLISHER-OWNED copyrights that Google initially scanned into its database from university libraries will now be either removed from the company’s database or made more easily available through the Google Books interface, which lets visitors read 20 percent of each book for free. [all caps added for emphasis]
Google strikes deal with publishers over universal library (Julianne Pepitone, CNN MoneyTech, 10-4-12)
Judge Denny Chin�s 48-page decision on the proposed settlement of the Google litigation, released March 22, 2011
Dreaming of a Virtual Library: Authors Guild v. Google (Scott Turow, Authors Guild, in letter to the editor, New York Times 4-6-11). (The day of decision: Scott Turow (Authors Guild) on Google Ruling
Judge Rejects Google Books Settlement (Amir Efrati, WSJ, 3-22-11)
TeleRead's summary of the bases for Judge Chin's decision (Paul Biba, TeleRead 3-22-11)
Judge rejects Google's attempt to create a universal library (Laurie Segall, CNN Money 3-22-2011).
"Google's settlement agreement is a complex, 166-page document. While the company took pains to protect the rights of copyright holders -- only tiny snippets are revealed from in-print books -- it put the burden on authors and publishers to police their works' inclusion in the archive. Google will remove books on request, but without an explicit request, it will otherwise digitize anything it can get hold of."
"That didn't sit well with Judge Chin. He also expressed concern over the agreement's handling of 'orphaned' books -- works that are still under copyright, but no longer in print.
"'The questions of who should be entrusted with guardianship over orphan books, under what terms, and with what safeguards are matters more appropriately decided by Congress than through an agreement among private, self-interested parties,' Chin wrote in his ruling."

Google Books: Headed for the Bonfire? (Erik Sherman, BNET Wired In blog, 3-23-11, which links to his earlier posts). Sherman writes: "The two sides negotiated a highly controversial settlement that drew extensive criticism from the Department of Justice, including the following:
* "Class action suits generally address past actions. This one allowed Google to display copyrighted works in the future for anyone who did not opt out of the agreement.
* "It seemed questionable that any representative could adequately represent all rights owners, especially those who were unreachable but who owned rights to books that were under copyright protection but out of print.
* "Google needed active permission to use the in-print works but not out-of-print. Rights owners that did not claim money within five years would forfeit their money to those already registered. So the deal was stacked in the favor of those with rights to books currently in print, even though Google wanted to scan and display the out-of-print books."
Google's Book Deal (Times editorial, 3-30-11)
Google Book Search Settlement Agreement


-- More to come
___________________________________

There are HUGE issues involved in this book settlement (see especially Mary Beth Peters on the dangers of changing copyright law about orphan works through litigation rather than legislation). This kind of issue may give you a headache, but you should read up on it if you have ever written and published a book. Deadline for filling out the Google Book Settlement Claim form (which is not user-friendly) has been extended. The court overseeing Authors Guild v. Google extended the time for authors and publishers to opt out of the settlement by four months, to September 4th (Judge Chin's order). The fairness hearing will be on October 7th. Check out Kristine Smith's instructions for filling out the form (link below). See also links to stories about Orphan Works legislation.

The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers support the agreement. Among those who oppose it are Mary Beth Peters, U.S. Register of Copyrights, calls the settlement "a compulsory license for the benefit of one company," and believes it's the wrong way to go about handling the "orphan works" issue. Orphan works are copyrighted works for whom the rights-holders cannot be identified or located -- the very rights-holders who are also unlikely to come forward and opt out of the settlement. As Brewster Kahle writes, summing up objections of others: "Google would get an explicit, perpetual license to scan and sell access to these in-copyright but out-of-print orphans, which make up an estimated 50 to 70 percent of books published after 1923. No other provider of digital books would enjoy the same legal protection.... We need to focus on legislation to address works that are caught in copyright limbo. And we need to stop monopolies from forming so that we can create vibrant publishing environments."

"In the short run," concludes intellectual property expert Pamela Samuelson, "the Google Book Search settlement will unquestionably bring about greater access to books collected by major research libraries over the years. But it is very worrisome that this agreement, which was negotiated in secret by Google and a few lawyers working for the Authors Guild and AAP (who will, by the way, get up to $45.5 million in fees for their work on the settlement�more than all of the authors combined!), will create two complementary monopolies with exclusive rights over a research corpus of this magnitude. Monopolies are prone to engage in many abuses.

"The Book Search agreement is not really a settlement of a dispute over whether scanning books to index them is fair use. It is a major restructuring of the book industry�s future without meaningful government oversight. The market for digitized orphan books could be competitive, but will not be if this settlement is approved as is."
~ conclusion from Legally Speaking: The Dead Souls of the Google Booksearch Settlement by Pamela Samuelson (O'Reilly Radar, 4-17-09)

The SFWA statement (see below) provides another clear outline of objections to the settlement. Those who object may want to sign Ursula LeGuin's Petition Letter to the Judge of the Google Book Settlement (to be sent to Judge Chin by January 28th, 2010, attached as an exhibit to the brief to be submitted to the court by the NWU, ASJA, and SFWA, who oppose the settlement).

One member of ASJA, encouraged to sign LeGuin's petition, responded: "I can't sign the petition because I do not agree. I feel the agreement is useful and worthwhile. It verifies that Google's preemptive scanning was wrong and prevents others from going about it the same way. It sets up a best practices standard and mechanism for the transition from print to digital publishing. I respect the people who oppose the settlement and I know they have put much thought and concern into the matter. But I have not found their arguments convincing."

So, should you have opted out? Here are a few of the last-minute aids to decision-making that ASJA posted for its members at the time of the January 2010 deadline for opting out:
• Here's where to opt out: Google Book Settlement (you no longer have to list all your works).
• GBS frequently asked questionshttp:/​/​www.googlebooksettlement.com/​help/​bin/​answer.py?answer=118704&hl=en
• Here is an explanation of your options by law professor Pamela Samuelson of UC Berkeley (who objected to the settlement, hoping to make the settlement deal fairer for academic authors).
• Here are some of the objection letters, posted on The Public Index.
• Here is a webcast of a Jan. 20 panel workshop in New York, which ASJA cosponsored with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the National Writers Union, and the Internet Society. Speakers are NYU Law professor James Grimmelmann, AG executive director Paul Aiken, Lynn Chu of Writers Reps LLC, with Ed Hasbrouck of NWU, Salley Shannon of ASJA, and Michael Capobianco of SFFW. Webcast (video and audio). This is DEFINITELY WORTH LISTENING TO:http:/​/​www.isoc-ny.org/​?p=1282 and podcast (audio only): http:/​/​punkcast.com/​1704/​1704/​1704_google_books.mp3.
• Here's a podcast of a similar event in Berkeley, with Pamela Samuelson, the law professor, and Ed Hasbrouck (NWU's book division co-chair):http:/​/​punkcast.com/​1704/​sf/​NWU-GBS-Berkeley-22JAN2010.mp3.

Here is the Justice Department's Feb. 4, 2010, statement: Despite Substantial Progress Made, Issues Remain. And here's the New York Times on the Justice Department's statement(Miguel Helft, 2-10-10): "In a 31-page filing that could influence a federal judge�s ruling on the settlement, the department said the new agreement was much improved from an earlier version. But it said the changes were not enough to placate concerns that the deal would grant Google a monopoly over millions of orphan works, meaning books whose right holders are unknown or cannot be found.
"The department also indicated that the revised agreement, like its predecessor, appeared to run afoul of authors' copyrights and was too broad in scope.
"The revised agreement 'suffers from the same core problem as the original agreement: it is an attempt to use the class-action mechanism to implement forward-looking business arrangements that go far beyond the dispute before the court in this litigation,' the department wrote."
Here's the Authors Guild response:( To RIAA or Not to RIAA, That was the Question), explaining why they didn't press litigation through to the end. AG cites the Pyrrhic court victories of the Recording Industry Association of America and the collapse of the music industry. "The ace in the hole for musicians is that they're not as dependent on copyright as book authors are. Music is a performing art: people buy tickets to see musicians. Writing is decidedly not a performing art. Nearly all authors give away their performances, through book tours and readings, and are glad for any audience they can find. For most authors, markets created by copyright are all we've got.Protecting authors' interests has always been our top priority: in this case a timely harnessing of Google was the best way to do it."

The following links are to explanations, arguments, etc., that have been available for some time:

American Library Association's files on the Google Book Settlement. Information for the library community--links to news, to A Guide for the Perplexed: Libraries and the Google Library Project Settlement, and much more

Authors Guild v. Google Settlement Resources Page (AG)

Authors Guild Memo to Agents and Authors: William Morris's Google Memo Off Target. AG corrects both Morris memo and various myths circulating about the settlement. AG says that by staying in the settlement you aren't limited to the (quite favorable) royalty rate we've negotiated; you have the right to veto your publisher's decision to make your in-print book available in any way through the settlement; you have the right to block all displays of your out-of-print books, even if rights haven't reverted to you, even if your publisher wants to display the books; you have the right to have your work in Google's searchable database and display only snippets to users, blocking all other uses by Google; you have the right to change your mind (allow books you'd previously blocked to be displayed; block books you'd previously allowed to be displayed) at any time. Do read this one.

Google Book Search Settlement Notice for Authors and Other Rightsholders. There's a page here for opting out of the settlement; the deadline for opting out is Sept. 4, 2009. The Final Fairness Hearing is Oct. 7, 2009. If you opt out, you may want to read this overview of the Google Books Partner Program, one alternative that allows you to be part of the Google action.

Google Books Settlement FAQ
Public Index (an open archive of documents filed with the court, including objections. Scott E. Gant's objection is particularly cogent.

Justia (a second site of open access to documents filed on the case in Federal District court)

The Laboratorium: New White Paper on Settlement Objections (clarified by James Grimmelman of New York University)

ASJA joints groundswell of opposition to Google Book settlement

The best bit of the Google Book Settlement (access to the scholar's treasure trove of out-of-print books), Nate Anderson, Ars Technica

Bill Keller's Best Frenemy (John Koblin, The New York Observer, 5-19-09, on Google's Relationship with NY Times)

A book grab by Google (Brewster Kahle, Washington Post, 5-19-09)

Chilling effect of Google tracking your online book browsing (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Consumer Group Protests Google Settlement (Jim Milliot, PW, on Consumer Watchdog asking for delay on settlement because of orphan works issue and "most favored nation" clause)

DOJ Inquiry Over Book Deal Puts Google on Notice (Sam Gustin, wired.com)

European Opposition Mounts Against Google�s Selling Digitized Books (Kevin J. O'Brien and Eric Pfanner NYTimes, 8-23-09)

# Federal District Court Filings (Author's Guild vs. Google, 2005-2009)

5 Ways the Google Book Settlement Will Change the Future of Reading. (Annalee Newitz, io9 Publishing, 4-2-10). An interesting summary from Gawker's science fiction/​futurist blog about the implications of the settlement,only one highlight from which is quoted here:
"The Google Book Settlement could easily be the twenty-first century's most important shift in how we deal with copyright in the world of publishing. To understand it, you need a little back story on the previous giant shift in copyright law, which happened about twelve years ago.
* "Mickey Mouse Protection Act. In 1998, copyright was turned on its head by a piece of legislation often called the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act.Known to policy-makers as the Copyright Extension Act, it was the result of intensive lobbying by the entertainment industry, led in part by Disney, to extend the copyright on any work created after 1923. Many of Disney's classic pieces of content, like Mickey Mouse cartoons, were about to pass into the public domain. So the company was naturally interested in keeping control of the Mouse as long as it could....The Act also gave birth to a loosely organized but powerful movement of copyright reformists....Over the past decade, many of these reformists migrated to jobs in Silicon Valley, where easily-copied digital media are constantly forcing the question of what copyright really means in the information age.
One might say that the Google Book Settlement (GBS) is the result of this migration." Read on here.

Google and Book Publishers Settle (Andr�s Guadamuz, WIPO Magazine, July 2009)

Google Book Settlement Administrative Site

European publishers target Google (Richard Waters, Ben Hall, Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Financial Times, 8-12-09, on strong European opposition to the settlement) Free reqistration required

Google's Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars (Geoffrey Nunberg, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3-31-09). Nunberg writes:
"...50 or 100 years from now control of the collection may pass from Google to somebody else�Elsevier, Unesco, Wal-Mart. But it's safe to assume that the digitized books that scholars will be working with then will be the very same ones that are sitting on Google's servers today, augmented by the millions of titles published in the interim.

"That realization lends a particular urgency to the concerns that people have voiced about the settlement -- about pricing, access, and privacy, among other things. But for scholars, it raises another, equally basic question: What assurances do we have that Google will do this right?

"Doing it right depends on what exactly 'it' is. Google has been something of a shape-shifter in describing the project. The company likes to refer to Google's book search as a 'library,' but it generally talks about books as just another kind of information resource to be incorporated into Greater Google."

and later:
"...to pose those [research] questions, you need reliable metadata about dates and categories, which is why it's so disappointing that the book search's metadata are a train wreck: a mishmash wrapped in a muddle wrapped in a mess."

Read the whole Chronicle story here.

Google Books Settlement at Columbia, Part 1 (Mary Minow, LibraryLaw Blog,reporting 3-15-09 on a conference at Columbia University on The Google Books Settlement: What will it mean for the long term?)

Google Books Settlement at Columbia, Part 2 (Mary Minow, LibraryLaw Blog)

Google's Book Settlement Is a Ripoff for Authors: Why allow a single publisher to throw out a functioning copyright system? ? Lynn Chu's piece in the Wall Street Journal and a letter to the editor in response from Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild: The Google Book Deal Will Help, Not Hurt, Authors, which points out essential errors in Chu's piece. Anita Bartholomew, in turn, says the Authors Guild is providing false information.

Google Books Settlement Conference: What Will It Mean for the Long Term? (recording of conference of experts held at The Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts available for viewing online)

Google Book Deal in DOJ Sights (Erik Sherman, BNET, 6-11-09)

Google Book Search settlement gives Google a virtual monopoly over literature (Cory Doctorow, Boingboing, 4-17-09)

Google Faces Antitrust Investigation for Agreement to Digitize Millions of Books Online (transcript of Brewster Kahle, founder of Internet Archive, and Amy Goodman on Democracy Now Radio)

Google Hopes to Open a Trove of Little-Seen Books (Motoko Rich, New York Times, 1-4-09, on Google's massive book scan and search project)

Google Loses in French Copyright Case (Matthew Saltmarsh, NY Times, 12-18-09). Paris court rules against Google after publisher argues the industry is being exploited by Google's Book Search program, launched in 2005.

The Google settlement, answering some of the questions about the windfall (Mike Shatzkin 4-18--09)

Google settlement: What the Google Settlement Means for Authors and Publishers (Jonathan Kirsch, IBPA, 2-09)

Google Slammed by Photographers' Class Action (Erik Sherman, B-Net, 4-7-10). The American Society of Media Photographers -- with the Graphic Artists Guild, Picture Archive Counsel of America, North American Nature Photography Association, and Professional Photographers of America -- filed a class-action copyright infringement suit, alleging that Google failed to obtain permission to scan and display books from people who owned rights to photographs and illustrations that appear in the titles.

Google�s Plan for Out-of-Print Books Is Challenged (Miguel Helft, NY Times, 4-3-09)

Google's tangled quest for a universal online library (Farhad Manjoo, Slate, 5-6-09, Your Search Returned 12 Million Books) -- calls on authors and publishers to grant Google's competitors the same rights they're giving Google, to create a truly vibrant market for books

Google to cut the e-book middleman (Stan Schroeder, Mashable)

How to fill out the Google Book Settlement claim form (PDF file of instructions by example, compliments of Kristine Smith, chair of the digital rights management committee of Novelists Inc, via NASW)

How to fix the Google Book Search Settlement (PDF of James Grimmelmann's article in Journal of Internet Law)

How to understand the objections just filed in the Google settlement (Anita Bartholomew, Ask the Editor, who writes:
"it�s as if Search Engine X infringed my copyright but not yours. But in settling the case, I made a deal with Search Engine X that it could have your future rights along with mine, in exchange for something else I wanted. Do you think it would be fair for you to be forced into such a deal? I don�t either. And, aside from a dozen other arguments that could be made, I hope that Judge Chin recognizes the inherent injustice of such a deal and stops it right there.")

Internet Archive's objection to the Google Book Settlement ("give other companies that have scanned printed books the same copyright protection of orphan works that would be granted to Google in the settlement"), as reported in PW by Jim Milliot

In Google book settlement, business trumps ideals (Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service, PC News)

It�s Not Just Microsoft That�s Balking at Google�s Book Plans (Miguel Helft, NY Times, 4-4-09)

Judge Issues 4-Month Delay in Google Book Search Settlement (Ryan Singel, Wired.com)

Justice Department Seeks Information From Publishers on Pact to Make Text Available Online (WSJ, "Probe of Google Book Deal Heats Up," 6-10-09)

Justice Dept. Opens Antitrust Inquiry Into Google Books Deal *Miguel Helft, NY Times, 4-28-09)

Kernochan Center Conference Scrutinizes the Google Books Settlement (in four parts)

Lawyer and Author Adds His Objections to Settling the Google Book Lawsuit (Miguel Helft and Motoko Rich, NY Times, 8-18-09: Scott E. Gant "argues that the agreement, which gives Google commercial rights to millions of books without having to negotiate for them individually, amounts to an abuse of the class-action process. He also contends that it does not sufficiently compensate authors and does not adequately notify and represent all the authors affected.")

Libraries weigh in with worries on Google's book settlement (John Timmer, Ars Technica, 5-5-09)

Lynn Chu: Agent Unplugged, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett's interview with this principal of Writers' Representatives LLC in the public part of the January 2010 issue of ASJA Monthly, is as helpful an analysis of what authors should know about their rights in the new electronic world as you are likely to read. It starts on pp. 6-7 of this PDF file,then jumps to p. 13. Print those pages out and mark them up! Her comments on the Google Book Settlement appear on p. 13, and her most valuable comments are on how book publishers are trying to becoming licensing agents for e-rights while taking a print publishers' share of income and without doing what a licensing agent ought to do, and since authors will very quickly learn how much they can do without the publishers, they are playing a dangerous game.

**Mary Beth Peters, Register of Copyrights, on the Google Books Settlement (as reported by Mary Minow, LibraryLaw Blog, reporting 3-15-09 on a conference at Columbia University on The Google Books Settlement: What will it mean for the long term?)

Open Book Alliance: Diverse Coalition Unites To Counter Google Book Settlement. "One of the most significant developments in the history of publishing could be co-opted by the settlement of a class action lawsuit that creates an unprecedented monopoly and price fixing cartel," write Peter Brantley and Gary Reback in Open the Book on the Open Book Alliance blog. They claim the ettlement is bad for consumers and book-lovers; is bad for libraries and schools; is bad for authors and small publishers; and sets a dangerous and unprecedented process precedent.

Opposition to Google Books Settlement Jells (Miguel Helft, Bits, NY Times, 4-17-09)

Opting out of the Google Book Settlement, Pro and Con (Slashdot)

Pros and cons of the Google book deal (David Weinberger, KMWorld, covering content, document, and knowledge management)

The Public Index (a site to study, discuss, browse, and annotate the settlement, section by section)

PublishersLunch on the settlement, citing various foreign publishers and Amazon. Amazon's objection is that it is anticompetitive and amounts to price fixing; PL points out that Amazon fears a competitor with overhwelming power. "Among the objections repeated by many of the filers from abroad are assertions of problems in providing notice to class members around the world; failures to translate the entire settlement into other languages and inadequate translation of key legal terms such as "work for hire" for countries where such legal terms of art do not exist; errors in the books database that have made it difficult for rightsholders to identify all of their works; undue burdens in the process of having to opt out for historical lines of thousands of titles; and broadly incorrect classification of works in other languages as commercially unavailable."

A Raw Deal for Libraries (Open Content Alliance--an interesting discussion)

Scanning the Horizon of Books and Libraries (Amy Goodman, Truthdig, 9-29-09)

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America statement on proposed Google book settlement. This is one of the easiest to understand statements against the settlement, covering issues of particular importance to fiction writers, and these: "the settlement makes no distinction, nor does it provide a mechanism for discovering the difference, between works deemed out-of-print and works in the public domain"; the AG and AAP "are poor representatives of the class as neither represents the types of work perhaps most significantly affected by the settlement, namely scholarly works"; the "'opt-out' mechanism proposed for the settlement contradicts the very foundation of copyright; the "the class does not reflect the interested parties, primarily the holders of copyrights in 'orphan works' where the rightsholder(s) cannot be identified or found."

Some Fear Google�s Power in Digital Books (Noam Cohen, NY Times, Link by Link 2-1-09)

Steinbeck Heirs Seek to Slow Google Books Settlement (Miguel Helft, NY Times, 4-27-09)
Thousands of authors opt out of Google book settlement (Alison Flood, Guardian, 2-23-10)
What the Google settlement means for publishers and authors (Jonathan Kirsch, IBPA, 2-09)

Where to get a better deal than the Google Settlement? From Google (Anita Bartholomew).

Who's Messing With the Google Book Settlement? Hint: They're in Redmond, Washington (Steven Levy, Wired, 3-31-09), points out that Microsoft helped fund Grimmelmann.)

Why the Google Settlement Matters to You (pdf file, Access, the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency)

William Morris Agency Advises Clients to Say No to Google Settlement (Motoko rich, NY Times, 8-7-09). See William Morris's Google Memo Off Target on Authors Guild site.

Links to other resources on Writers and Editors website

[Go Top]


Authors Guild reports S&S rights grab:

Simon & Schuster has changed its standard contract language in an attempt to retain exclusive control of books even after they have gone out of print. Until now, Simon & Schuster, like all other major trade publishers, has followed the traditional practice in which rights to a work revert to the author if the book falls out of print or if its sales are low.

The publisher is signaling that it will no longer include minimum sales requirements for a work to be considered in print. Simon & Schuster is apparently seeking nothing less than an exclusive grant of rights in perpetuity. Effectively, the publisher would co-own your copyright.

The new contract would allow Simon & Schuster to consider a book in print, and under its exclusive control, so long as it’s available in any form, including through its own in-house database -- even if no copies are available to be ordered by traditional bookstores.

Other major trade publishers are not seeking a similar perpetual grant of rights.

We urge you to consider your options carefully:

1. Remember that if you sign a contract with Simon & Schuster that includes this clause, they’ll say you’re wed to them. Your book will live and die with this particular conglomerate.

2. Ask your agent to explore other options. Other publishers are not seeking an irrevocable grant of rights.

3. If you have a manuscript that may be auctioned, consider asking your agent to exclude Simon & Schuster imprints unless they agree before the auction to use industry standard terms.

4. Let us know if other major publishers follow suit. Any coordination among publishers on this matter has serious legal implications.

Feel free to forward and post this message in its entirety.

The Authors Guild (www.authorsguild.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest organization of published book authors.

Links to other resources on Writers and Editors website


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