Today the Ninth Circuit Court ruled in favor of Stephanie Lenz in a Fair Use case that may have long-reaching consequences.
In 2007, Lenz posted a 29 second video to Youtube of her baby dancing and bouncing to the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy”. Universal, at the time the owner of the copyright on that song, sent Youtube a request to have it removed since they claimed it violated copyright.
Now, after an extended legal tussle, the 9th circuit has come down with a pro-fair use decision, with Circuit Judge Richard Tallman writing (for the 3-0 panel) that:
“Copyright holders cannot shirk their duty to consider in good faith and prior to sending a takedown notification – whether allegedly infringing material constitutes fair use,”
Copyright holders, following this ruling, may be held much more accountable (and perhaps legally liable) if they do not take fair use into account when issuing take-down orders. It seems that there may be a smaller amount of these orders sent out in the future if this decision holds up.
For more on the ruling and it’s potential implications, read Thomson Reuters review of the case and decision.
Click here to read or download the decision itself.
2015 has been a whirlwind year of change for UW Libraries, even though most of it is not obvious to users. The campus (and entire UW system!) recently switched our library catalog platform and modified several of our web discovery tools.
Zotero, a free and very helpful citation manager used by many Law School faculty and staff, was also recently updated and changed in Firefox. Instead of seeing a book icon (or folder, journal article, etc.) in your address bar, the Zotero translator tool is now located to the far right in your Firefox browser, as indicated in the screenshot below:
To save your item (book, article, website, etc.), click on the drop-down menu and select how you want the resource to be saved. It’s an easy-to-use upgrade, but one that was rolled out somewhat quietly.
All these changes, however, have caused one part of Zotero to go on the fritz. If you try to save a book, etc. from the UW library catalog, Zotero currently cannot detect all of the information about the item and so doesn’t know that it is saving information for a book or journal. It will simply try to save them item as a webpage…which leaves a lot of useful information behind.
The UW team is aware of the problem, but it may take some time to fix it as there are so many other changes to work through at this time. In the meantime, a helpful workaround is to go to Worldcat.org, a catalog of library materials worldwide, and locate your book, etc. there. You will be able to save your item with all of the important data and information quickly and easily.
If you have any problems or questions, feel free to contact either Kris or Bonnie and we’ll figure out a solution.
Copyright and it’s component Fair Use, are two of the stickiest and (at least for me!) most headache-inducing areas of law. There are so many shades of gray and changes that it can be difficult to follow whether the use of an image or video is allowed or not and under what circumstances something can be used.
Hopefully the US Copyright’s office new Fair Use Index will help make the issue a little bit clearer. Users can search cases that deal exclusively with Fair Use and quickly see how the decision has been rendered (if Fair Use was found or not). You can narrow your search by jurisdiction and, importantly, by format (text, audio, computer, etc).
You can check out the Fair Use Indexes searching capabilities here on their website and read the US Copyright Office’s press release here.
Remember that the use of the index does not constitute legal advice, but does give users a better idea of the recent developments in Fair Use. Thanks to the UW Law Library’s Government Documents librarian, Margaret Booth for alerting us to this new resource!
From the FDLP News:
The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) marks its 154th anniversary of opening for business today. Since March 4, 1861, GPO has seen many changes as the agency continually adapted to changing technologies. In the ink-on-paper era, this meant moving from hand-set to machine typesetting, from slower to high-speed presses, and from hand to automated bookbinding. While these changes were significant for their time, they pale by comparison with the transformation that accompanied GPO’s adoption of electronic information technologies, which began over 50 years ago with a plan to develop a new system of computer-based typesetting. By the early 1980s this system had completely supplanted machine-based hot metal typesetting. By the early 1990s, the databases generated by GPO’s typesetting system were uploaded to the Internet via the agency’s first Web site, GPO Access, vastly expanding the agency’s information dissemination capabilities. Those functions continue today with GPO’s Federal Digital System on a more complex and comprehensive scale, which last year registered its one billionth document download.
As a result of these sweeping technology changes, GPO is now fundamentally different from what it was as recently as a generation ago. It is smaller, leaner, and equipped with digital production capabilities that are the bedrock of the information systems relied upon daily by Congress, Federal agencies, and the public to ensure open and transparent Government in the digital era. As GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks has pointed out, GPO is not just for printing anymore. Late last year, Congress and the President recognized GPO’s technology transformation by changing the agency’s name to the Government Publishing Office.
GPO’s new name provides an opportunity to introduce a new, modern logo representative of the 21st century. Based on the Lubalin Graph typeface, the G forms an arrow pointing forward, showing the direction the agency is moving. The arrow points to the P, which stands for publishing and conveys the significance of the communication services GPO provides today. The new logo will be phased in throughout the agency.
See the new logo here.
“GPO is on the move as a publishing operation. With publishing as our new middle name, GPO is offering a broad range of products and services to Federal agencies, ranging from conventional print to digital apps, eBooks, and bulk data downloads,” said GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks. “In our mission to Keep America Informed, we will continue to adapt to the new technologies that the Government and the public have come to expect from us.”
A great new addition the world of legal research is the recently launched Collateral Consequences database from the ABA. With it, legal researchers can search across all 50 states and federal jurisdictions to discover and analyze how collateral consequences impact individuals with criminal convictions. These consequences can be hard to nail down and were certainly not available all in one place, so this database is welcome to fill that gap.
Check out the free database at: http://www.abacollateralconsequences.org/map/ and read more about the development of the database here.
Coming on the heels of Hein’s new Author Profile pages that Bonnie detailed last week comes Hein’s ScholarRank. This interesting tool gives users a glimpse at which Hein authors are not only cited the most by other articles and cases, but also have the most views of their own articles. Basically, ScholarRank is trying to determine the 250 most influential legal scholars by analyzing and crunching these important numbers.
UW’s faculty is represented at number 90 by Professor Emeritus Marc Galanter, who has written numerous influential articles throughout his career. The list is a veritable ‘who’s who’ of legal scholars, including such well-known names as Scalia, Renquist, Bader-Ginsburg, Brandeis and many others. University of Chicago Senior Lecturer Richard Posner is number 1.
You can review the list (and review each author’s enhanced profile page) by visiting the Hein ScholarRank page.
As Bonnie mentioned last week, HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library is available to anyone at the UW Law Library, as well as at the State Law Library, the Dane County Legal Resource Center, the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center, and Marquette Law School. It is also available remotely to Wisconsin State Law Library cardholders who work at a firm or organization with fewer than 25 attorneys (for more information, see WSLL website).