Blog – Copyright Clearance Center Rights Licensing Expert Fri, 18 Jan 2019 19:54:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Blog – Copyright Clearance Center 32 32 Copyright Law in 2018: Top 10 Court Cases Fri, 18 Jan 2019 08:00:26 +0000 2018's major copyright court cases involved major organizations including Google, Oracle, Amazon, Fox, Capitol Records, Cambridge University Press and CBS.

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There were many significant copyright-related court cases decided during 2018. Breaking them down, the most significant were:

ABS Entertainment v. CBS Corporation

A case involving whether digitally remastered pre-1972 sound recordings are independently copyrightable.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the lower court’s grant of summary judgement in favor of CBS, holding that “the creation of an authorized digital remastering of pre-1972 analog sound recordings that qualify as copyrightable derivative works does not bring the remastered sound recordings exclusively under the ambit of federal law,” and that “the district court erred in concluding that plaintiffs’ state copyright interest in the pre-1972 sound recordings embodied in the remastered sound recordings was preempted by federal copyright law.”

BMG v. Co

A case in which BMG Rights Management accused Cox Communications of contributory and vicarious copyright infringement based on its subscribers’ peer-to-peer file-sharing.

The lower court had held that Cox did not qualify for safe harbor protection under the DMCA because “no reasonable jury could find that Cox implemented a [repeat infringer] policy” as required by the DMCA to obtain safe harbor. The Fourth Circuit reviewed the district court’s grant of summary judgment on this matter de novo. Cox argued that the district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of BMG and that the term “repeat infringers” as it is used in § 512(i)(1)(A) should be limited to adjudicated infringers. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with Cox’s interpretation and affirmed the lower court, stating that “Congress knew how to expressly refer to adjudicated infringement, but did not do so in the repeat infringer provision” and holding that “term ‘infringer’ in § 512(i) is not limited to adjudicated infringers.” The Court also found that Cox was “clearly determined not to terminate subscribers who in fact repeatedly violated the policy,” and that, “[a]t a minimum… an ISP has not ‘reasonably implemented’ a repeat infringer policy if the ISP fails to enforce the terms of its policy in any meaningful fashion” as Cox did in this case. For those reasons, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling that Cox is ineligible for DMCA safe harbor protection for failing to reasonably implement a repeat infringer policy “in any consistent or meaningful way — leaving it essentially with no policy.” BMG petitioned for a rehearing but was denied, and the parties eventually ended up settling the case.

Cambridge University Press v. Albert

A case brought by several academic publishers in 2008 that alleged infringement by Georgia State University in connection with its course e-reserve system.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that the district court misinterpreted its previous mandate and misapplied the fair use test. Specifically, the court agreed with the publishers’ arguments that the district court erred when it made its new findings of fair use after the first appeal, both when it revisited its factor four analysis and when it again applied a “mathematical formula” for weighing and balancing the four factors in its overall calculus of fair use for each excerpt. The court also held that the district court erred when it considered the cost of purchasing licenses in finding that the third factor favored fair use. Finally, the Eleventh Circuit vacated the lower court’s decision finding GSU a prevailing party and awarding it attorneys’ fees.

Capitol Records v. ReDigi

A case involving a service that allowed users to “resell” digital mp3 files.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit published its long-anticipated decision affirming the district court’s finding that ReDigi infringed the reproduction rights of plaintiffs. The court affirmed the district court’s holding that ReDigi’s service created a new copy of a sound recording, and the reproduction right is not subject to the first sale doctrine, which applies solely to a particular phonorecord. The court also rejected ReDigi’s argument that its technical process of deleting the original copy of the file in the course of reselling a sound recording does not constitute a reproduction. Further, the court held that the deletion does not nullify the fact that a reproduction has been made, and that ReDigi’s fair use defense (relying heavily on its fair use decision in TVEyes) does not stand up.

Code Revision Commission v.

A case concerning whether the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) was eligible for copyright protection.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that “where the official who created the work is entrusted with delegated sovereign authority, where the work carries authoritative weight, and where the work was created through the procedural channels in which sovereign power ordinarily flows – it follows that the work would be attributable to the constructive authorship of the People, and therefore uncopyrightable,” finding the OCGA uncopyrightable as a result.

Davidson v. United States

A case involving a photograph of the Lady Liberty replica statue in Las Vegas, which was reprinted on U.S. postage stamps under the mistaken belief that the photograph was of the original statue in New York.

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled in favor of the sculptor in the amount of $3.5 million plus interest. The USPS argued that the replica statue “is too similar to the original in New York Harbor and that the government’s use copied nothing original to plaintiff,” and also asserted a fair use defense. But the court held that “Mr. Davidson’s work was original and … the Postal Service’s use of it was not permitted by statute.”

Fox News v. TVEyes

A case concerning whether TVEyes’ subscription service allowing users to view, download, and email ten-minute clips of Fox’s programming qualified as fair use.

The TVEyes’ service, which was available for $500 a month to businesses, governments, and professionals (but not for personal use), offered recorded programming 24/7 from over 1,400 television and radio stations. It also compiled the recorded programs into text-searchable databases. Subscribers could search the database by keyword, or by date and time, and could then watch, archive, download, and email the ten-minute-long clips contained in the search results. The District Court held that the function in TVEyes’ service that enabled subscribers to search for videos and clips using keywords (“Search Function”) and the functions that allowed subscribers to watch, archive, and share relevant clips with others (“Watch Function”) were both allowed under the fair use exception. The District Court held that the functions that allowed TVEyes’ subscribers to download and freely email clips or to watch clips obtained by using search functions other than by keywords were not fair use. Fox appealed the decision relating to the Watch function to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Second Circuit reversed the District Court’s finding of fair use on the Watch Functions, and remanded the case to the District Court to revise the injunction in light of its fair use ruling.

In its fair use analysis, the Second Circuit undeniably regarded the fourth factor concerning potential market harm as the “single most important element of fair use” and weighed in favor of Fox. Further, the Court found that TVEyes displaced revenue that Fox should have earned on its work, and further determined that, instead of properly licensing from Fox, TVEyes distributed and provided access to Fox’s content without licensing, therefore depriving Fox of the opportunity to get properly paid undermining the basic rule of copyright law that a copyright owner is entitled to control how to license (if at all) to those who want to use the work. The Court stated that, since “the ability to re-distribute Fox’s content in the manner that TVEyes does is clearly of value to TVEyes, it (or a similar service) should be willing to pay Fox for the right to offer the content.” The Court concluded by noting that “TVEyes ha[d] usurped a function for which Fox is entitled to demand compensation under a licensing agreement,” and weighed this factor in favor of Fox. TVEyes subsequently filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court, which the Court recently denied.

Goldman v. Breitbart

A case concerning “how images [here, a photo of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady] shown on one website, but stored on another website’s server, implicate an owner’s exclusive display right.”

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the photographer’s partial motion for summary judgment, stating that “when defendants caused the embedded Tweets to appear on their websites, their actions violated plaintiff’s exclusive display right; the fact that the image was hosted on a server owned and operated by an unrelated third party (Twitter) does not shield them from this result.” In so holding, the court rejected the “Server Test” that was articulated in Perfect 10 v. Amazon, explaining that the “plain language of the Copyright Act, the legislative history undergirding its enactment, and subsequent Supreme Court jurisprudence, provide no basis for a rule that allows the physical location or possession of an image to determine who may or may not have ‘displayed’ a work within the meaning of the Copyright Act.” (The Second Circuit rejected an immediate appeal of the decision in July, but the decision will likely be appealed when the district court makes a final judgment.)

Oracle v. Google

A case concerning Google’s use of Oracle’s Java APIs in the Android platform. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, reversing the lower court, held that Google’s use did not constitute fair use as a matter of law, and remanded the case for a trial on damages. On the first factor, the Court rejected Google’s argument that using the APIs in a smartphone context was transformative enough while on the fourth factor, the Court held that Google effectively prevented Oracle from accessing the potential mobile devices market for the APIs. The Court stated that “[t]here is nothing fair about taking a copyrighted work verbatim and using it for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform,” and that Google’s “superseding use is inherently unfair.” Google plans to file a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court recently extended its deadline for doing so to January 2019.

3 District Court Fair Use Cases of Note in 2018

There were also several district court fair use cases worth noting simply to highlight how colossally the district court botched the fair use analysis. The three cases worth mentioning here are: Philpot v. Media Research Center, Brammer v. Violent, and Bell v. Powell.

In Philpot v. Media Research Center, Media Research Center used two of Philpot’s photos without permission in two separate online articles: a photo of Kenny Chesney in an article about pro-life celebrities; and a photo of Kid Rock in an article about his rumored U.S. Senate campaign. On summary judgment, the district court held both uses to be fair use on the basis that (1) defendant’s use was transformative because the purpose in using the photos – “to identify the celebrities as pro-life advocates or conservative Senate candidates” – was different from plaintiff’s purpose in taking the photos; (2) the use was not commercial because, while defendant collected display advertising revenues from its articles, it “does not charge readers for access to its articles, nor did it sell the Chesney and Kid Rock photographs to other parties” (the court also gave weight to the defendant’s status as a non-profit organization); and (3) the fourth fair use factor weighed in favor of fair use because “Defendant’s use of the Chesney and Kid Rock Photographs cannot impair the marketability of plaintiff’s works where, as here, plaintiff has not actually contemplated marketing those works” (because plaintiff had uploaded the photos to Wikimedia under a nonexclusive Creative Commons license).

In Brammer v. Violent – a case involving the Northern Virginia Film Festival’s alleged infringing use of Brammer’s time-lapsed photograph of a D.C. neighborhood on its website – the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held that the conduct constitutes fair use in part because, “while Brammer’s purpose in capturing and publishing the photograph was promotional and expressive, [the defendant’s] purpose in using the photograph was informational: to provide festival attendees with information regarding the local area,” and therefore, the court held that the use was transformative. In discussing the fourth factor, the court held that the use did not adversely affect the market for the photograph, because the photograph has been licensed at least two times since the alleged infringement, “demonstrating that [the defendant’s] use did not affect the market for the photo” and because the defendant “did not sell copies of the photo or generate any revenue from it.”

Bell v. Powell is a case involving an organization that published a brochure to promote its conference and included in the brochure a photograph of the Indianapolis skyline without permission from the photographer. In the case, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, on a motion for summary judgment, concluded that defendant’s use was a fair use because the photograph was not a prominent feature of the brochure, but rather it “appeared with two other photographs to show the location of the conference,” and that the defendants did not profit from the use of the brochure. The Court also relied on its determination that “the nature of Bell’s Indianapolis Nighttime Photo was a depiction of a city skyline in order to sell copies of a photograph of the Indianapolis skyline, whereas the nature of the photograph on MRNISO’s brochure was to provide a factual depiction of Indianapolis to inform the public about where an educational, professional conference on sexual assault would be held.” All three of these cases are painful for anyone who knows even the slightest bit about copyright fair use. Just about every part of the fair use analysis in the cases is completely incorrect. These holdings, if they are permitted to stand and be used as precedent when deciding future cases, could potentially be damaging to copyright owners—particularly press and stock photographers.

Predictions for 2019

While 2018 was certainly filled with both interesting and bizarre copyright court cases, 2019 promises more of the same. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear two cases: Fourth Estate v., on January 8, and Rimini Street v. Oracle, on January 14. The Fourth Estate case concerns the issue of whether the registration requirement for initiating an infringement suit is satisfied by the “application approach” or the “certificate approach.” The Rimini Street case concerns whether §505 of the Copyright Act limits what costs a court may award to a prevailing party in a copyright infringement case. Of course, as noted above, the Court will also decide whether it will take on the much-publicized Oracle v. Google fair use case.

Toward the end of 2018, we also saw several copyright infringement cases filed against Epic Games (the creator of the wildly popular video game Fortnite) and others, alleging infringements of dance moves. So, it looks like 2019 will also be the year we find out the scope of copyright protection afforded to dance moves.

Related Reading

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Copyright Law in 2018: Focus on the Copyright Office Thu, 17 Jan 2019 15:53:43 +0000 Changing rules in the Copyright Office impacted photography, newspapers, newsletters, serials, ebooks, online literature and administrative modernization.

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It certainly seemed as if the Copyright Office had never been busier than they were in 2018. Here’s a short synopsis of various highlights from Copyright in 2018 at the Copyright Office.

New Final Rules

In January, the Office published a final rule “modif[ying] the procedure for registering groups of published photographs (GRPPH), and establishing a similar procedure for registering groups of unpublished photographs (GRUPH).” The process will require applicants “to use a new online application specifically designed for each option, instead of using a paper application, and will allow including “up to 750 photographs in each claim.” The rule, which became effective in February, alters the existing registration procedure for groups of published photographs (GRPPH), and establishes a new registration process for groups of unpublished photographs (GRUPH), while maintaining the pilot program for registering photographic databases. The rule also eliminates the current pilot program for registering groups of published works and the “unpublished collection” option.

Perhaps the most significant detail of the rule is that it limits each registration claim to 750 photographs. Other significant changes include: copyright owners are required to use an online registration application instead of a paper application; digital copies of each photograph must be deposited, limited to certain formats, along with identifiable information about each photograph; and, for published photographs, the applicant must identify the month and year of publication for each photograph within the group registration. The new rule makes clear that each individual photograph within a GRUPH or GRPPH group registration will be “treated as a separate registration,” thereby providing a copyright owner with the ability to seek multiple awards of statutory damages versus the single award provided to photographic databases.

Also in January, the Copyright Office also issued a final rule (which went into effect in March) to update its regulations governing group registration of newspapers by, among other things, “require[ing] applicants to file an online application rather than a paper application, and upload a complete digital copy of each issue through the electronic registration system instead of submitting them in physical form (although applicants may continue to submit their issues on microfilm on a voluntary basis if the microfilm is received by December 31, 2019).

In October, in its sixth 1201 triennial rulemaking, the Copyright Office published a final rule adopting exemptions to the provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that prohibits circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The Acting Register recommended renewal of all existing exemptions, along with expansions to existing exemptions related to audiovisual works and computer programs.

The Office also published a final rule on group registrations for newsletters and serials, effective December 30, 2018. The final rule requires applicants to file online rather than use a paper application and upload a complete digital copy of each issue through the electronic registration system instead of submitting them in physical form. To satisfy the mandatory deposit requirement, if the newsletter or serial is published in the United States in a physical format, two complimentary subscriptions must be provided directly to the Library of Congress (unless the Library notifies the publisher otherwise). In addition, for group newsletters, the rule eliminates requirements that each issue be a work made for hire and be registered within three months of publication. For group serials, the rule clarifies registration requirements, including that serials must generally be published at intervals of at least a week and that the publication dates need not match the dates on the issues themselves.

Lastly, at the very end of the year, the Office published a final rule on streamlining the single application and clarifying the eligibility requirements, which becomes effective January 28, 2019. The new rule adopted by the Office sets forth the eligibility requirements for the Single Application, an online registration option that allows a single author to register a claim in one work that is solely owned by the same author and is not a work made for hire. The rule confirms that the Single Application may be used to register one work that is created by and solely owned by one author and is not a work made for hire, and that it may be used to register one work (including one sound recording). The rule also clarifies the eligibility requirements for the Standard Application and eliminates the “short form” version of the Office’s paper applications.

New Rulemakings

In April, the Copyright Office published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding mandatory deposit of electronic-only books, which would – among other things – “create a new demand-based mandatory deposit scheme for electronic-only books, similar to that for electronic-only serials”; “define electronic-only books to be an electronic literary work published in one volume or a finite number of volumes published in the United States and available only online”; and “create ‘best edition’ requirements for electronic-only books, mirroring the Library’s Recommended Formats Statement.”

In May, the Office also published a notice of proposed rulemaking for the establishment of a new fee schedule for Copyright Office services. The new schedule would significantly raise several fees. In addition to fees for electronic standard applications increasing from $55 to $75, the Office is proposing to raise fees for group registration of published photographs (“GRPPH”) and group registration of unpublished photographs (“GRUPH”) from $55 to $100; and fees for electronic applications of group registration of newspapers and newsletters, from $80 to $95, among other changes. Based on a fee study by an outside consultant, the Copyright Office determined “that [overall] fees should increase an average of 41%” and estimated that “revenues generated by these proposed fees will be roughly $41 million per year.”

At the end of the year, the Office published a notice of proposed rulemaking to potentially create a new group registration for short online literary works. The rule would create a new group registration option to allow 50 works to be registered with one application, as long as the works meet the following criteria: they must “contain at least 100 but no more than 17,500 words”; “[be] created by the same individual, and that individual must be named as the copyright claimant for each work”; and “[are] all published online within a three-calendar-month period.” (As noted in part I of this series, the Office also has begun the process of implementing the MMA, which involved various rulemakings and studies.)

Other U.S. Copyright Office News

On May 29, Regan Smith became the new General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights, succeeding Sarang (Sy) Damle who left earlier in the year for private practice.

The Office also joined the Solicitor General in filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in the Fourth Estate case in favor of the application approach; and an amicus brief in Rimini Street v. Oracle in support of Rimini Street, in favor of the view that full costs does not include nontaxable fees.

On October 12, American Airlines filed a lawsuit against the Copyright Office, seeking judicial review of its decision denying the airline’s copyright registration application for its logo. Shortly thereafter, the case became moot when the Office’s Review Board reversed a previous refusal to register American Airlines’ logo as a two-dimensional artwork, upon finding that the work is copyrightable after review of higher resolution images submitted by American that “illustrated additional creative choices and details that were not viewable in the original deposit material.”

Predictions for 2019

With the MMA now passed into law, the Office will be busy in 2019 working with stakeholders on all the different rules and studies required by the new legislation. The Office began that process in November of 2018 and will continue throughout 2019 and beyond. We also expect to see the results of several Office studies, including studies on section 512 (of the DMCA), moral rights, and visual artists.

In addition to all of these initiatives, many Copyright Office activities during 2019 will involve efforts to modernize its IT processes. The Office infrastructure and IT systems are seriously outdated. So, after finally receiving funding from Congress, it has begun the long process of modernization. In so doing, it has requested comments by mid-January on various registration modernization initiatives and continues to solicit input from stakeholders on its new registration and recordation systems. There can be little doubt that the modernization of the Office will be a major focus in 2019.

Related Reading

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Copyright Law in 2018: 2 Bills Become Law, 3 Pending for 2019 Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:00:19 +0000 The Marrakesh Treaty and the Music Modernization Act were signed into law in 2018, and the same might happen soon for other copyright bills on Capitol Hill.

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2018 will be known as the year that the copyright legislation drought ended. It may pale in comparison to the Cubs 108-year World Series drought or Henry Winkler’s 42-year Emmy drought, but in copyright circles this was big news.

Prior to 2018, it had been more than ten years since the last piece of substantive copyright legislation was enacted into law (the PRO-IP Act passed in 2008). If you ask most copyright experts which bill ended the drought, they will tell you it was the Music Modernization Act, and they would be wrong. The bill that ended the dry spell was actually…

The Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act of 2018

The Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act of 2018 (MTIA), Public Law no. 115-261, which was introduced by Senators Grassley (R-IA), Feinstein (D- CA), Harris (D-CA), and Leahy (D-VT) on March 15 of last year, amended section 121 of the Copyright Act and created a new section, Section 121A, to facilitate cross-border exchange of accessible format copies by making it easier for accessible copies to be created and shared. These changes were made so that the United States could join the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled” (“Marrakesh VIP Treaty”), which the Senate agreed to ratify in June 2018.

The MTIA allows an authorized entity to export copies of a previously published literary or musical work in accessible formats to another country that is a party to the Marrakesh VIP Treaty, and for an authorized entity or an eligible person (or their agent) to import accessible formats of a previously published literary or musical work. Not surprisingly, there are numerous requirements placed on authorized entities to ensure that the copies only go to eligible recipients.

The MTIA was signed into law by President Trump on October 10, 2018, which was one day before…

Music Modernization Act

The Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA), Public Law no. 115-264, was enacted. The MMA combines three previously introduced bills: The Music Modernization Act of 2018 (S. 2334), the Classics Protection and Access Act (S. 2393), and the AMP Act (S. 2625).

This new legislation helps creators across the music industry make a living through their creativity by:

  1. Improving compensation to songwriters and streamlining how their music is licensed;
  2. enabling legacy artists (who recorded music before 1972) to be paid royalties when their music is played on digital radio;
  3. providing a consistent legal process for studio professionals – including record producers and engineers – to receive royalties for their contributions to music that they help to create.

Impressively, the bill was unanimously passed by both the House and the Senate before being signed into law by the President on October 11, 2018 – not an easy feat for any legislation as complex as the MMA, and certainly not any easy feat for any music bill.

More specifically, the MMA creates a compulsory blanket mechanical license covering activities related to the making of permanent downloads, limited downloads, and interactive streams of musical works embodied in sound recordings. The rates for this new blanket license will be determined through a willing buyer/willing seller standard (a market-based standard). Further, the Act creates a mechanical licensing collective (“MLC”) to issue and administer the new blanket licenses for digital downloads and reproductions.

The MLC will:

  • collect, distribute, and audit the royalties generated from these licenses to and for the respective musical work owners;
  • (ii) create and maintain a public database that identifies musical works with their owners along with ownership share information;
  • (iii) provide information to help with (and engage in) matching musical works with their respective sound recordings; and
  • (iv) hold unclaimed royalties for at least 3 years before distributing them on a market-share basis to copyright owners, as reflected by royalty payments made by digital music providers for the covered activities in question.

The Act also provides a new exclusive federal right for sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972 (“pre-72 sound recordings”), which were previously not protected under federal copyright law. Noninteractive digital audio transmissions of pre-72 sound recordings would be subject to the same statutory licensing provisions that apply to sound recordings protected by federal copyright law. The Act preempts actions for state and common law claims for pre-72 sound recordings for activities taken on or after the enactment date and covered under the statutory license for digital audio transmissions of post-72 sound recordings, and preempts state copyright law claims regarding reproduction and distribution rights for pre-72 sound recordings as well. The Act creates a procedure to enable persons to engage in the noncommercial use of pre-72 sound recordings that are not in the public domain and are not being commercially exploited and includes a rolling timeline for pre-72 sound recordings to enter the public domain, with sound recordings receiving protection for a period of at least 95 years after publication.

In addition, the Act also changes the way that judges are assigned to oversee the public performance royalty rate proceedings that ASCAP and BMI are subject to and sets forth a process that enables studio professionals – including record producers and engineers – to receive royalties for their contributions to music that they help to create. With the legislation now enacted, the burden shifts to the U.S. Copyright Office to implement the many requirements included in the Act.

Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017

But not all copyright legislation considered by Congress was passed during 2018. A bill that received significant consideration and support, but which fell short of being passed by Congress, was S. 1010, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017 (RCSAA). S. 1010 would have made the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointee confirmed by the Senate. A companion bill, H.R. 1695, passed the House by an overwhelming 378-48 vote on April 26, 2017. S. 1010, which was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), SJC Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), was referred to the Senate Rules Committee (SRC).

On December 12, the Rules Committee unanimously agreed to discharge the bill so that it could be taken up by the full Senate, and a substitute amendment was filed by SRC Chairman Blunt. The bill was then “hotlined,” a process to determine if any Senator objects to moving the bill through the Senate by unanimous consent, and it was during this process that Senator Ron Widen (D-OR) put a hold on the bill. Unfortunately, there were precious few days left in the 115th congressional session and, during those waning hours, the Senate was focused on passing the budget (which also did not happen, resulting in a partial government shutdown). So, unlike the MMA and the MTIA, neither H.R. 1695 or S. 1010 were enacted into law in 2018. However, given the tremendous support for these bills, from both Congress and stakeholders, the legislation is certain to receive favorable consideration in the 116th Congress.

Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017

Another bill that received a lot of attention and support during 2018 was H.R. 3945, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017. The bill would create a voluntary small claims board within the U.S. Copyright Office to provide copyright owners with an alternative to the expensive process of bringing infringement claims in federal court. This new board, called the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), would cap damages at $15,000 per work infringed and $30,000 total. Small claims legislation has been introduced in the past, but in 2018, buoyed by grassroots creator support from across the country, the bill finally started its long trek through the congressional legislative process. After negotiation sessions in February and March, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill in September.

Those who testified on the bill included David Trust (Chief Executive Officer of Professional Photographers of America), Matthew Schruers (Vice President of the Law and Policy, Computer and Communications Industry Association), Jenna Close (Director of Photography at Buck the Cubicle), Jonathan Berroya (Senior Vice President and General Counsel at the Internet Association), and Keith Kupferschmid (Chief Executive Officer of Copyright Alliance).

The witnesses discussed the barriers that exist within the current copyright system of enforcement, as experienced by both their respective organizations and businesses as well as the independent creator community overall. All the witnesses agreed on the need for the creation of the type of process the CASE Act proposes, while some of the witnesses proposed changes that they thought would improve the bill. And most, if not all, of the Committee members expressed general support for bill. With such strong bipartisan support from legislators, as well as from creators across the country who voiced their urgent need for the bill, the CASE Act is likely to garner significant consideration by Congress in 2019. If one copyright bill passes the next Congress, the CASE Act is likely to be that bill.

American Royalties Too Act of 2018 (ART Act)

The last significant copyright bill worth mentioning is the S. 3488 and H.R. 6868, the American Royalties Too Act of 2018 (ART Act). The identical bills were introduced in the Senate – by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT)); and in the House (by Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Doug Collins (R-GA) – so late in the session (September 25) that there was insufficient time for Congress to consider it during 2018. The legislation would provide for a resale royalty right by amending the Copyright Act to provide creators of visual art a 5% royalty of the price paid for their art when it is resold at auction.

2019 Predictions

It’s clear that the RCSAA, the CASE Act and the ART Act will all likely be considered by Congress during 2019. Congress may also consider legislation to help modernize the U.S. Copyright Office registration system as well as legislation aimed at addressing the continual problems of online piracy.

Related Reading

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Have You Heard? Changes are Coming to COUNTER Usage Reporting Tue, 15 Jan 2019 06:36:29 +0000 COUNTER usage reporting is changing. In this three part blog series, we explain how this will impact information managers.

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Beginning in 2019, information managers will see changes to the usage data they receive from publishers, because of a new release of the COUNTER Code of Practice.

COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources) is an initiative formed by NISO (National Information Standards Organization). Comprised of libraries and publishers to provide consistent, credible, and comparable usage reporting, COUNTER’s goal is to help libraries understand how content they obtain from a variety of vendors and publishers is being used. The updated Code of Practice will feature updates to the reports and metric types provided. To help you understand what these changes entail, this is the first in a series of blog posts that explain exactly what COUNTER is, what changes you can expect moving forward, and why it’s important to information managers.

Let’s begin with the basics.

For a publisher or vendor to be considered “COUNTER compliant,” they must undergo an independent audit to show compliance with the COUNTER Code of Practice (that their usage reports follow the standard reporting structure). You can see the current list of compliant entities here.

What usage reports are provided through COUNTER?

In terms of the usage reports provided, COUNTER reports include usage information on journals, databases, books, and more. These reports are provided on the publisher website or through SUSHI. SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) is a standard protocol created by NISO that automates the harvesting of COUNTER usage statistics. Usage reports are available monthly.

In 2017, COUNTER announced that they would be updating the COUNTER Code of Practice and moving from Release 4 to Release 5. According to their website, “Release 5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice is designed to balance changing reporting needs with the need to make things simpler, so that all content providers can achieve compliance and librarians can have usage statistics that are credible, consistent and comparable.”

Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we will dive into these changes and outline what information managers should expect in 2019. To learn more about COUNTER usage reporting, you can visit their website at

In the meantime, here are some additional resources about usage data, and why it’s so important for information managers:

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Are Rightsholders Ready for Public Domain Day? Thu, 03 Jan 2019 16:50:21 +0000 Copyright limitations for thousands of works expired on January 1, 2019, aka Public Domain Day. Are publishers, creators and other rightsholders ready?

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On January 1, 2019, the New Year rang in untold numbers of additions to the public domain in the U.S., including hundreds and maybe thousands of works with at least a small public reputation. This, of course, is due to the expiration of the terms of their copyrights, some of which have been extended multiple times since the 1960s. 

This is a good thing from many perspectives, including that of authors, publishers, museum curators, teachers, old-book readers and music and film buffs. It possibly may be a slightly bad thing for a few people — primarily certain estates representing long-dead authors and other creators.

What’s a “term” in the context of copyright?

The duration, or term, of U.S. copyright is set by Congress, and has gradually crept up over time from the original 14 years (plus 14 more if the author was still alive and renewed the copyright) — in Thomas Jefferson’s time — to a whopping “life of the author plus 70 years,” as set by the 1998 “Copyright Term Extension Act” (CTEA, which extended it from life plus 50).

For works first published between 1909 and 1978, the maximum term was finally set by Congress at 95 years (assuming the author complied with a whole lot of rules, alluded to below).  And for post-1978 works, in instances where the author/creator is not a human being (such as a business commissioning a “work made for hire” under rules developed in the case-law) or the work was published under a pseudonym for an unknown person, the term can be as long as 120 years! The copyright in a work, duly registered at the time that registration was required (pre-1978), may never have been renewed, and so its protection may have quietly lapsed some time ago; for many more obscure works, it’s hard to know.

Fun fact: This Copyright Term Extension Act is also known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Congress named it in memory of the composer of “I’ve Got You, Babe,” who, as a member of Congress from Southern California, was among the authors of the bill; he unfortunately happened to die while it was being worked on in committee. Prior to 1978, the term of U.S. copyrights was determined by fixed terms of years, subject to publication, registration and notice requirements. Here are more details on that.

How do works pass into the public domain?

Currently, works pass into the public domain according to a complex schedule, combining (sometimes awkwardly) the rules of various laws implemented over the past century.

Bear in mind, however, that many works have passed (or “fallen” or “lapsed,” as the older phrases had it) into the public domain in the U.S. for reasons other than term expiry, even during the 20 years of the CTEA extension. According to the law in effect prior to 1978, if the work was published but never registered in the U.S. Copyright Office, it did not receive protection under copyright law; a work might also not be protected by U.S. copyright law if it lacked proper notice — the © symbol and the proper wording — or if the work’s registration was not renewed after its first 28-year term expired. Or if, as a work of the federal government, it never enjoyed copyright protection in the first place.

Qui Bono? (get it?)

As it turns out, it is not just re-publishers of “classic” texts, such as Dover Thrift Editions, which benefit when new works become available. Textbook and educational publishers frequently re-use old short stories and essays in larger collections, and a work of marginal utility might become more attractive as a potential addition to these collections once the cost of clearing the rights is reduced.

For example, a few years ago a 1922 story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” (whose U.S. copyright had lapsed) was adapted into a feature film. To me, the lesson to be gleaned is that many works of the early 20th century still appear to bear some cultural cachet (or at least continuing value to society) — such that more no-cost access to these works (by their passing from copyright protection to the public domain) should have the overall effect of helping them find new audiences.

Note: Bear in mind, all of these examples are simply illustrative — without a full and careful copyright search, it is difficult to be certain of the copyright status of almost any work. On that, more below.

New works coming into the U.S. public domain also will have the effect of giving researchers new texts to run Text and Data Mining (TDM) algorithms across. It also may add to the richness of film and cultural studies.

Mark Twain proves this isn’t so easy

Unfortunately, determining when a work has in fact “fallen” into the public domain due to the term of its copyright having expired is not always as simple as one might hope.

For example, one might think that everything ever laid down by the pen of Mark Twain (S.L. Clemens, d. 1910) would be in the public domain by now. But, since he left a treasure trove of unpublished works, their copyright protection has extended for many years after his death, because, under pre-1978 law, those works’ copyright protection would not start until the works were published. The distinction between published and unpublished works has been discarded under post-1978 law, but won’t be fully effective for another 30 years. So, some items in the microfilm edition of Twain’s letters and manuscripts (their first publication) are still considered to be under copyright. He’s also enjoyed considerable success recently with the full and final publication of his autobiography.

Twain, a student of intellectual property, steadfastly argued for a perpetual copyright, but he came to realize that this was not permitted under the copyright clause of the U.S. Constitution, which refers to “securing [protection] for limited times.” But, in an age when copyright only protected works for which registrations had been obtained, he did point out that most books wouldn’t be affected by a longer term at all — for the vast bulk of them had no commercial life remaining to them a very few years after their initial publication:

One author per year produces a book which can outlive the forty-two-year limit; that’s all. This nation can’t produce two authors a year that can do it; the thing is demonstrably impossible. All that the limited copyright can do is to take the bread out of the mouths of the children of that one author per year.

I made an estimate some years ago, when I appeared before a committee of the House of Lords, that we had published in this country since the Declaration of Independence 220,000 books. They have all gone. They had all perished before they were ten years old. It is only one book in 1000 that can outlive the forty-two-year limit. Therefore, why put a limit at all? You might as well limit the family to twenty-two children.

– S.L. Clemens, in testimony to Congress, concerning proposed copyright legislation (1906)

“Forever minus a day,” another idea which has been occasionally bruited about (particularly by Congressman Bono and his widow, who was later elected seven times in her own right to Congress), would not constitute much of an effective limit, and so would, I believe, violate the Constitutional limitation; 95 years (an estimated average of the “Life plus 70” term) seems closer to a natural lifespan for a copyright — to me at least. If you and your heirs somehow can’t get the commercial value out of your work before nearly a century is out, I think there’s a takeaway lesson there.

On the other hand…

… some works do have cultural lifespans exceeding the term of copyright. The estates of certain literary, film and musical creators may stand to lose when the copyright in some of the works in their respective repertories lose copyright protection due to the lapse of their terms. For some examples of works entering the public domain on January 1, 2019, that may still have financial value to the author/creator’s heirs: Hemingway’s “Three Stories and 10 Poems” was first published in 1923; it was also the year of release for “Safety Last!” a silent film from Hal Roach Studios, starring Harold Lloyd, which many people remember. The same year saw the first publication (of the sheet music) for “Who’s Sorry Now?” which was a hit recording for Connie Francis in 1958.

But, on balance, “Nothing gold can stay,” as Robert Frost observed in a poem that — I’m pretty sure — entered the public domain on January 1st.* The reading, listening, and viewing public should expect to be the main beneficiary of these works entering the public domain. Indeed, 95 years is a good run for the commercial exploitation of a work. Now it’s everybody else’s turn to benefit.

*If it hasn’t already. Copyright searches, on the detail level, can be quite difficult and time-consuming. See: For any proposed commercial republication, it is certainly the course of wisdom to consult with an attorney and have a full copyright search done.

A version of this article originally appeared in TechCrunch.

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2018 in Review: Top Podcast Episodes on Tech Trends Mon, 31 Dec 2018 08:00:00 +0000 The digital disdain for boundaries is a powerful change agent. Catch up on the top episodes from Beyond the Book in 2018 about tech trends.

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As the year nears its end, Beyond the Book is looking back at the last twelve months of our programs. In this edition of our three-part review for 2018, CCC’s Chris Kenneally picks out clues on the future direction of publishing.

Coming To A Booktore Near You: Digital Transformation

Throughout the year, digital transformation enjoyed a remarkable run in usage, turning up in every corner of the publishing industry – from pre-publication manuscript workflow to digital reading and data gathering on sales and consumer habits. Not only publishing is stuck on digital transformation. Around the world, dozens of conferences on digital transformation for every field are held every month.

Digital transformation usually takes two roads. We can choose to have more digital products, services, and formats, or we can become digital organizations fit for survival in the fully digital world. Before a London Book Fair audience in April, John Newton, CTO and founder of Alfresco, told publishers that the explosion in content was about more than quantity or volume.

“Total volume of content goes up with the total capacity of storage on the planet right now, which continues to grow exponentially. What’s happening, though, is that content is getting richer, has greater context, and is just more involved in more processes,” said Newton, who has enjoyed one of the longest and most influential careers in digital transformation and content management.

“Over time, this [digital transformation] process has just gotten faster. And it isn’t just the publishing industry. Government is a huge publisher of information, and they’re doing it in such a way that information is becoming more actionable as well, serving citizens more effectively. Also, financial services are streamlining entire processes – moving not just money and not just transactions, but all the information that clients need to make intelligent decisions about their investments.”

Amazon and other Internet businesses have already turned media and retail upside down. In 2018, they began to turn those worlds inside out as well. On a Christmas Eve visit to a crowded Amazon Books in Manhattan, award-winning, music industry journalist Cherie Hu realized that Amazon had flipped the table on the analog environment of traditional bookselling.

“I live a couple blocks away from the Amazon Books store [in New York City],” she said. “The way that I chose a book in that physical bookstore [was] because of the way the store is formatted, and that was the same way I would choose a book on Amazon, which is by looking at the user ratings. I was fascinated by how the physical experience was imitating the digital experience.

“What Amazon does in their bookstore is to take certain features from their website and print that out on a card and place it underneath every single book. Underneath every single book, you’ll see a rating out of five stars. For select books, if 95% of users rated it more than four stars, you’ll also see that piece of information. There’s a whole shelf dedicated to books that have been reviewed more than 10,000 or 15,000 times, if you’re interested in tapping into what more people are talking about these days.”

Artificial intelligence is a trendy, catch-all term for software applications and algorithms that approximate or impersonate human activities including thinking and problem solving. In the media world today, “AI” can compose music as well as generate reports on financial results and baseball games. While these may sound or look much the same as similar works by humans, the media that AI is able to produce in 2018 is distinguished by an absence of expression or intention. Putting this idea another way, the “robot” music composer lacks soul – and this has important legal implications.

“Copyright was set up from 1710 for creators to take possession of the rights in their work. The law has a human person in mind,” notes David Davis of Copyright Clearance Center. “Now, a program does not have an intent. You set it up and let it go. You may wind it up like a toy, and it marches around the room, but a robot is not trying to express anything. It is functioning. It is not expressing.

“We can say this screenplay or these works of music are the intellectual property of the people that wrote the program, or maybe even the people that are using the program,” he continued. “If the artificial intelligence was aware of itself and was trying to express a point, at that juncture, we would have to say the copyright goes to the AI. We’re a long way off from that, but it’s interesting to think about.”

Frankenstein is a novel whose composition resembles the famous creature itself – a stitched-together assemblage of Gothic horror, Romantic philosophical reflection, and science fiction published in 1818 by 20-year-old prodigy Mary Shelley. Frankenbook, launched online in January 2018 as part of Arizona State University’s celebration of the novel’s 200th anniversary, is a collection of contemporary scientific, technological, political, and ethical responses to the original Frankenstein text.

The innovative publishing platform that hosts Frankenbook is PubPub, among the first experiments to escape the lab at the Knowledge Futures Group, a collaboration of the MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab. The KFG mission is to transform research publishing by incubating and deploying open source technologies meant to build a new information ecosystem, according to Terry Ehling, Director for Strategic Initiatives with MIT Press.

“We would like to serve as a test kitchen, an incubator, and a staging platform for the development and launch of open source publishing technologies and aligned open access publications,” she said. “The open source approach not only reduces the precarious dependency that most nonprofit academic publishers have on costly outsourced technologies and a limited network of commercial vendors, but it also provides a foundation for greater insourced experimentation and innovation.

“I think this is really a way for us to control our future,” she added. “We are no longer technology-informed, we are technology-driven. [Up to this point,] much of that technology resides outside of our control.”

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2018 in Review: Top Podcast Episodes on Publishing Trends Fri, 28 Dec 2018 08:00:55 +0000 In digital publishing, the virtual is very often the perfect substitute for the physical - but some things can’t be digitized, including trust and truth.

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As the year nears its end, Beyond the Book is looking back at the last twelve months of our programs. In this edition of our three-part review for 2018, CCC’s Chris Kenneally considers how digital transformation has led to unexpected consequences, good and not so much.

Digital Publishing Confronted Digital Challenges in 2018

In the human body, fatigue can lead to physical weaknesses as well as to mental decline. Fatigue makes us angry and fickle, it lowers our capacity for good judgment, and it can leave us vulnerable to making poor or improper decisions. News fatigue may be having similar effects on the body politic, argues Ariana Tobin, an engagement reporter at Pro Publica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produce investigative journalism on a range of topics including government and politics, business and the environment. As 2018 opened, Tobin foresaw a day when the news audience would choose to turn away from the firehose of news pouring out at them.

“I think it may have already started happening, honestly. I used to work in audience analytics. I had a job where every day my responsibility was to look at what was happening on terms of page views, where audiences were coming from, what they were clicking on, what topics they gravitated toward. If you take any look at the numbers, you can already see it happening. We know that people are getting tired,” she said. “I think that as journalists, that’s part of our responsibility to our audiences: to figure out how the news is resonating, whether what we are producing is actually making it into the hands of the people who could use it.”

In the spring, “data harvesting” by Cambridge Analytica was revealed. The company had legally collected information on the personal interests of as many as 50 million Americans from Facebook’s open online platform, then later used that data to shape advertising and messaging in the 2016 US presidential campaign.

Data hoarding has made good business for Facebook, Google and Twitter – as well as for a host of opportunistic data brokers and data dealers. Their financial gain is often your privacy lost, says author B.J. Mendelson. In his 2018 book, Privacy, Mendelson makes the case that your personal life is up for sale.

“Tech companies have done a wonderful job – fortunately for them, unfortunately for us – of painting themselves as cuddly and friendly and promoting all these wonderful things. But the bottom line has always been, and since 1994, that your data equals a whole lot of money, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get as much of it as they can,” he said.

After an interval of more than a quarter of a century, the International Publishers Association Congress returned to India in 2018. In 1992, IPA members had arrived in a nation with a developing economy that relied heavily on foreign aid. In 2018, India numbers among the G-20 gathering of wealthiest nations in the world and boasts the planet’s fastest-growing economy.

As much as India has transformed over the last 25 years, so has publishing. National barriers to the flow of information have largely fallen, while the ubiquity of mobile devices places a virtual global library in nearly every human hand. Yet the core concerns of IPA endure. In an age of fake news, censorship and piracy, says IPA President Michiel Kolman, publishers can be stewards of truth and quality.

“Trust in reliable, high-quality information is now even more important than ever before,” noted Kolman. “And it’s the publishers around the world that have risen to this challenge and are publishing what I would call trustworthy information, as they have been doing for ages. That’s true for science publishers, for trade publishers, or educational publishers. It only illustrates the importance of publishing today.”

At a gala evening in the New York Historical Society’s palatial headquarters in June, the Audio Publishers Association announced the winners of the 2018 Audie Awards, the Oscars of spoken-word entertainment. Neil Gaiman won an Audie for narration by author. Other winners included Bruce Springsteen, Trevor Noah, and Ann Leckie.

No wonder, really, that the publishing world has rolled out the red carpet for audiobooks. Revenue from audiobook sales has more than doubled since 2012, yielding a welcome digitally-driven boost to publishers’ bottom lines in an otherwise tight book market.

“CDs are having kind of a slow slide down. They’re still a big part of what people do, and there are still a lot of people that like to listen on them. But digital is where the growth is,” explained Michele Cobb, APA executive director.

The steady decline in demand for recordings on compact discs hasn’t led to the business losses seen in music and video because of the arrival of a now ubiquitous device, she said. “The smartphone. We’ve all got one, we’ve all got audiobooks on them. We are also starting to see a lot of activity around the smart speaker or your Google Home device. A lot of people are listening in the evenings, listening to children’s stories, listening to audiobooks.”

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Information Professionals Share their Top Tips for 2019 Thu, 27 Dec 2018 05:26:20 +0000 We asked information professionals inside and outside the walls of Copyright Clearance Center to share one tip for the new year. Here’s what they said.

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Back in October, CareerFoundry released a list of 17 Tech Buzzwords You Need to Know in 2018. Unsurprisingly, that list included terms like artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data.

Information professionals certainly aren’t safe from these buzzwords creeping into their daily lexicon. But often, talking and reading about these burgeoning technology concepts feels abstract – and it’s hard to decipher if there’s an actionable takeaway. After all, no one can just “start doing artificial intelligence.”

So, we set out to learn what information professionals are actually looking to accomplish in 2019 in addition to technological advancements, and what advice they’d give to their peers to achieve these goals.

We asked information professionals inside and outside the walls of Copyright Clearance Center to share one piece of advice for the new year. Here’s what they said:

Britt Mueller, Library Services Solutions Architect, Iron Mountain

I would say pushing traditional boundaries can create opportunities on many fronts. This one piece of advice has been critical to growing and reimagining my own career but has also had direct influence on the success of a number of projects on which I have had the pleasure to work. It can be hard to do this when traditional approaches are ingrained and often work well. My approach is two fold – 1) bring outsiders into the discussion and 2) consciously approach the issue at hand as if it was entirely new. The fun comes when marrying new ideas with successful existing strategies!

Hal Kirkwood, Special Libraries Association, 2018 President-Elect

Look for opportunities to create partnerships. Information professionals are often perfectly placed to identify connections within an organizations that others won’t, or can’t, see. Creating partnerships strengthens the value information professional or info center, as well as strengthening the overall organization.

Victoria Richard, Manager of Business Intelligence, Greenberg Traurig LLP

I’d say that the best thing info pros can do in 2019 is continue to uplevel their analysis skills. As the automation of research continues to grow, the best Info Pros will continue to add value by providing the “human” perspective that machines can’t.

Emma Davidson, Special Collections Librarian, SLA Chapter Cabinet Chair

My advice for 2019 is simple: invest in yourself. It can be hard to justify the time, energy or expense of self-investment, but it is always worthwhile. My challenge to you for 2019 is to do something which develops you in some way, whether that’s learning a new skill, taking on an interesting volunteer assignment, or attending a training event. Top tip: professional associations are an excellent source for all these things! For example, SLA is holding a symposium dedicated to personal leadership development in New Orleans in January, which I cannot wait to attend, and there are many other opportunities for learning and involvement throughout the year.

John Boon, Senior Information Specialist, UCB

For information professionals looking to demonstrate the value of your information center, it’s not enough to simply provide content and expect the organization to know how and where to access it. One tip for 2019 is to create stronger relationships with your users. By doing things like hosting one-on-one meetings, providing tailored user training sessions, and conducting end user subscription surveys, you can turn content users into advocates for your information center.

Jill Shuman, Director of Engagement, CCC

Information professionals should consider creating a consolidated place to store both internal and external content, coupled with a single enterprise-wide search function. This allows employees access to everything they need in one basic search effort instead of having to check each disparate source individually. This approach saves time, money, and most importantly, protects organizations from loss of institutional knowledge, which could cost millions of dollars.

Maria Hugger, Agile Product Owner, The Library Corporation

Always be learning and updating your resumé. As information professionals, we’re constantly surrounded by new things to learn, so take advantage. Try taking a class on new technology to improve your skill set, joining professional organizations to connect with colleagues and attend educational events, studying a subject that interests you, or learning something more qualitative, like how to navigate difficult work situations. Whether you’re on the clock or off, you should learn from many kinds of vectors on many topics. This will always improve your knowledge base and abilities, even if it doesn’t always tangibly improve your resumé or CV. Should something happen to your job, having that resumé ready to go will make you more prepared (and hopefully less anxious about job hunting). Finally, find yourself some high caliber mentors! Their value is priceless.

Casey Pickering, Product Manager, CCC

In 2019, I would encourage information managers to embrace data storytelling as a strategy for justifying content spend and services provided by the information center. While narrative is compelling, when it is coupled with data (usage stats, as an example), it helps explain to stakeholders why something is valuable to the organization and allows them to have metrics to support data-driven decision making. This can be key when trying to advocate for the information center with people who aren’t as familiar with your department.

Manika Lamba; PhD Research Scholar; Department of Library and Information Science, University of Delhi

We need to keep the users engaged and interested in the libraries activities by introducing exciting and new services. Just like personalised medicine where according to one’s genetic mapping, particular treatment is suggested. On the same lines, we need to lay down measures for the functioning and survival of all the libraries according to their strengths and weaknesses.


Keep Learning:


What are your top tips for information professionals in 2019? Sound off in the comments below!

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3 New Year’s Resolutions to Make Your Company More Copyright Compliant in 2019 Wed, 26 Dec 2018 06:40:01 +0000 If making a firm commitment to copyright compliance is part of your 2019 organizational goals, here are three achievable resolutions.

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The secret to making New Year’s Resolutions that can be stuck to throughout the year? Ground them in a core value, then break them into baby steps to make them achievable.

For your organization, consider resolving to make a firm commitment to copyright compliance in 2019.

This goal may already be closely aligned with your company’s core values. Copyright is all about protecting creative thinkers who power our economy with their innovations, and it has been a foundational part of American business with roots all the way back to the Constitution.

When it comes to following through on a resolution for making your organization more copyright compliant, sure, as copyright experts we could offer tips that completely overhaul the status quo. But the other half of a successful resolution is achievable steps.

So instead, we’re offering three attainable goals to strive for in 2019.

Resolution #1 – Develop (and Promote!) a Corporate Copyright Policy

Our top resolution, admittedly, will be the most time-consuming. But it also will be your best tool to teach employees about respect for copyright.

Developing a corporate copyright policy is an important step to inform your employees about compliant copyright practices, reducing copyright misconceptions and your risk of accidental infringement. Here at CCC, our recommendation is two-fold.

First, create a copyright policy. This is a document that provides guidelines for the use of your organization’s copyright materials, and identifies the steps employees should take to determine if copyright permissions are needed, and how to request and obtain them.

Not sure how to get started? Check out this blog post for more tips: Practical Steps for Creating a Corporate Copyright Policy

Second, keep that policy front of mind with onboarding and refreshers. It’s not enough to simply create a policy that sits in a drawer. Too often, organizations I speak with have a policy, but their employees have no idea what the policy entails or where it lives. Keep your policy front of mind with these steps:

  • Include your copyright policy in onboarding and training programs that are required when employees join the company
  • Create periodic reminders that the policy exists and where it can be found.
  • Issue announcements via email or your company’s intranet when new copyright laws, regulations or court decisions are brought forth (see Resolution #3!)

Resolution #2 – Commit to Learning More About Open Access

Open Access (OA) content isn’t going away any time soon – and with Plan S emerging in Europe, it’s likely more publishers will be transitioning to OA models.

From a copyright perspective, understanding different models of OA will be critical moving forward. Each OA model and Creative Commons license has different rules about how content can be used.

In a recent blog post, my colleague Christine McCarty outlined the challenges of using OA content:

“A great deal of open access content is published under a Creative Commons (CC) license. There are several flavors of CC licenses that indicate how the content can be used. Some of these licenses do not allow for commercial use, but they do not clearly define what commercial use is, and interpretation varies across publishers and across corporations consuming the content. Confusion can also arise between the types of commercial use, like individual research versus large-scale copying and distribution for Sales and Marketing purposes.”

Our advice? Always properly attribute the author, and read the terms and conditions to make sure you are responsibly using the content in a way that’s consistent with the open access license terms and your company’s compliance policies.

Learn More: Unlock More Content with Open Access

Resolution #3 – Stay on Top of Copyright in the News

Did you know the Music Modernization Act of 2018 became law this year? Or that Disney and Redbox battled in court?

Copyright law isn’t a theory in textbooks – it is a living part of today’s global economy. Sharing information about what’s happening in the world of copyright will help your organization take the risk of infringement seriously. Most employees recognize the risks and implications of copyright infringement (a study we conducted in 2016 had this figure at 76%).

But, without awareness to what’s happening in the news and in the courts, the risk that employees’ actions could have consequences is less of a reality.

Not sure where to start? Keith Kupferschmid of the Copyright Alliance rounded up some of the top copyright stories of 2018 here.

Now it’s your turn to tell us – what are you doing in 2018 to become more copyright savvy? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out Copyright Clearance Center’s Learning Resources:


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2018 in Review: Top Podcast Episodes on Globalization Mon, 24 Dec 2018 08:00:33 +0000 Publishing's global culture of excellence in science and the arts continues to push boundaries – new markets; new technologies; and new communities.

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As the year nears its end, Beyond the Book is looking back at the last twelve months of our programs. In this edition of our three-part review for 2018, CCC’s Chris Kenneally look at ways that globalization is shaping publishing as a business and a profession.

Publishing & Globalization In 2018

From Vienna, industry analyst Rüdiger Wischenbart recently shared highlights from his latest report, eBook 2018: Phase 02. In data he has gathered about consumers’ relationship with digital publishing across Europe, North America and Asia, Wischenbart sees the curtain about to rise on the second act in the e-book play.

“It’s so funny to see that even Steve Jobs, the big innovator, when he innovated the iPad didn’t anticipate what he would do next with the iPod and with the iPhone,” Wischenbart explains. “Because it was the iPhone which kicked off all that smartphone revolution where we are in. One of the consequences for books is suddenly we realize that not even the book is a holy grail. Suddenly, people take in the stories by listening to the stories, and they don’t just listen to them from the iPhone or the smartphone. Now they have Alexa speakers and other smart speakers in their living room read to them and reading books for them.”

Book markets around the world have much in common, from the challenges of online commerce to bestseller lists dominated by authors with internationally recognized brands. As Rüdiger Wischenbart observed, digital reading is concerned not just with books or even audiobook, but with storytelling. This brings books in whatever format into direct competition with other screen media. Porter Anderson, editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives, observed at BookExpo that book-centered storytelling is in grave danger.

“It’s under attack,” he declared. “It may no longer lie with publishers. It used to be everything started with the book, and whether the film was good or bad, you came out wanting the book, right? Now, we have such fine, high-quality television coming through from Amazon Studios, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, all of them, that you get a very satisfying experience from just seeing a piece that was developed originally for television, that stays on television. No longer do you come out saying, ‘I must have the book.’ In publishing we have to keep remembering now is that our readership is someone else’s viewership and is someone else’s listenership.”

With thousands of publishers working in dozens of languages, India is the seventh-largest book publishing nation on Earth. The English-language book market alone is the world’s second largest, after the US. The Association of Publishers in India considers books to be essential to India’s future, as resources for educational ambitions and as outlets for creative expression. Nitasha Devasar, API’s newly elected president is editor of the award-winning Publishers on Publishing: Inside India’s Book Business; she detailed the multi-faceted local market in India.

The Indian market is very segmented because of the size of the country, the size of the subcontinent,” she explained. “It’s highly price-sensitive. There are also regional variations, so one size does not fit all. The positive side of that is, of course, which means both print and digital can survive simultaneously. Smaller players, medium-size, and big players can all be there. But the downside is that it makes it very complicated for people to come in.”

In the fall, the Workplace Equity Project reported on the survey’s findings. Among other results, the findings described a gap between an organizational policy that affirms respect for diversity, and the actual practice in the office and by management. Simone Taylor, a WE project co-founder, noted that staff members don’t live the policy – they live the experience. She cited a positive step that organizations can take immediately.

“Mentoring and advocacy was something that we felt could be improved. The industry has done a great deal. But I think to make really positive change, we need to go beyond mentoring to actual sponsorship and advocacy,” Taylor said. “I think [this approach] makes a significant difference in a professional career, especially for people looking to move into more responsible leadership roles. It really helps where you have somebody advocating for you to move forward.”

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