Blog – Copyright Clearance Center http://www.copyright.com Rights Licensing Expert Tue, 07 Jul 2020 18:51:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.copyright.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cropped-ccc-favicon-32x32.png Blog – Copyright Clearance Center http://www.copyright.com 32 32 South Africa: A Story of Fair Use & Unfair Dealing http://www.copyright.com/blog/south-africa-a-story-of-fair-use-unfair-dealing/ Wed, 08 Jul 2020 09:37:20 +0000 http://www.copyright.com/?post_type=blog_post&p=26537 South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, issued his long awaited decision about the Copyright Law amendments sitting on his desk, and wisely sent the bill back to the Parliament based on the perceived constitutional infirmities as to both substance and process.

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Earlier this week, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, issued his long awaited decision about the Copyright Law amendments sitting on his desk, and wisely sent the bill back to the Parliament based on the perceived constitutional infirmities as to both substance and process. The official statement noted:

The President also has reservations that several sections of the Copyright Amendment Bill may constitute retrospective and arbitrary deprivations of property in that copyright owners will be entitled to a lesser share of the fruits of their property than was previously the case.

President Ramaphosa is concerned as well that substantial amendments affected to various sections of the Bill — including Section 12A which deals with the fair use of a work or performance of a work — were not subjected to public comment before the final version of the Bill was published.

Other reservations cited by the President include copyright exceptions provide for in the Copyright Bill that may constitute arbitrary deprivation of property; may violate the right to freedom of trade, occupation and profession, and may be in conflict with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Treaty and the WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty, both of which South Africa subscribes to.

This was, of course, welcome news to most of South Africa’s creative community who had been warning the President about the grave risks to South Africa’s economic and cultural interests were the legislation to be passed in its current form. South African authors, musicians, songwriters and others in the creative community had previously highlighted the outsized role of American tech companies, academics and organizations in pressing for adoption of the law as part of their global policy agenda to expand fair use, without regard to the particulars of the South African experience, and without any consideration for the impact on the South African creative community. This was clearly exposed in an article in South Africa’s Daily Maverick, entitled: “The Copyright Bill is fundamentally flawed and strips creatives of their rights.”

The core issue with the Copyright Amendment Bill is that it will amount to the expropriation of intellectual property (IP) without compensation. This will deal a hammer blow to the production of local content in our book stores, on our television screens and in our educational institutions.

Although the bill was originally intended to benefit South African creatives, it will instead cut off their income streams. The losers will be local artists, writers and musicians. The winners will be the large, global tech companies who will gain free access to South African content thanks to the bill’s extensive exceptions to copyright, especially under an expansive set of principles allowing free use of copyright materials called “fair use”.

The breadth of opposition to the proposed legislation from South Africa’s creative community was underscored by Benjamin Trisk, Chairman of Trustees: Nal’ibali literacy organization:

“In its present form the Copyright Amendment Bill endangers authors and their output at a critical and formative time in the emergence of a new literary voice in South Africa. That voice has become more strident and more important as countless South Africans of colour begin to weave their personal narratives into fiction and memoir. Equally importantly are the many works of non-fiction that are emerging from a three-century old racist past to shed light on a history of South Africa that, until recently, was recounted only by the victors.”

South Africa’s music community was so concerned about the implications of the bill that they came together to create a song that implored President Ramaphosa to send the flawed Copyright Amendment Bill back to Parliament. They wrote:

As musicians and composers we are opposing certain sections of the bill, notably the overly broad exceptions that will apply through the adoption of ‘Fair Use’. Essentially this means that anyone can use our work, without compensating us, and claim that it was ‘fair use’ which is very poorly defined. The responsibility falls to the artist to challenge that use in court, which we all know is extremely costly.”

Vikela Mina is the latest in a stream of public appeals to the President to not sign the bill. These include a protest march in Cape Town, an Open Letter in the Sunday Times and other publications, petitions that have gathered thousands of signatures, as well as articles and interviews in the media.

The voices of the nation are literally rising to call for the President to protect their livelihood and South Africa’s creative heritage.”

I provide this background because the announcement by President Ramaphosa to send the bill back to Parliament has been met by some of the bill’s supporters with proclamations of betrayal — that somehow the President had sold out South Africa’s interests to appease the US and EU governments, each of whom had expressed concerns about the draft legislation. But these howls of protest have somehow managed to completely fail to reflect on the scope of local opposition from the very groups that this legislation was theoretically designed to help. And while I grant that some opposition is local, the loudest voices of protest seem to be emanating from outside of South Africa — from Julia Reda, former Pirate Party Member of the EU Parliament who campaigned vigorously in support of the legislation, and from US academics and organizations who were confident that their intense and long-standing engagement in South Africa was going to bear fruit and fuel their global ambitions to export fair use. In addition to ignoring the chorus of local voices opposed to the bill, their current narrative also fails to reflect on the outsized role by groups outside of South Africa in promoting the legislation.

This piece from André Myburgh, in addition to properly contextualizing the proposed amendments and why they fail to advance South African interests, also details the involvement of US academics, funded in part by US commercial interests that see themselves as part of “fair use industries,” a term that should be disturbing to all policy makers given the incongruity of building an industry on the back of unpaid creative labor. As I have previously noted,

“Fair use is theoretically limited to certain special cases that don’t conflict with a normal use of the work and don’t unfairly prejudice the legitimate interest of the creator. If unauthorized uses are the foundations of industries, one might be forgiven for thinking that by definition, they are not fair inasmuch as they suggest the presence of significant economic harm.“

André also just published a piece describing his experience as one of the four experts designated by the Portfolio Committee of the Parliament to review the law. He writes:

As a near-final step, the Portfolio Committee appointed a panel of experts, including myself, to review the Bill. The Committee did not want commentary from the experts, all they wanted was a mark-up of a document with the then-current version of the Bill.

However, as I wrote to the Committee in my advice, “The legal issues raised by the Bill and by the process it took to get to this point, are substantial and material, whether from the perspective of compliance with the Constitution, South Africa’s meeting of its obligations under the international treaties to which it is a party, and the conceptualisation of its provisions arising from the policy considerations that underly it. This advice shows that the Bill has material flaws in all these respects, very few of which can be corrected by mere changes in the wording of the clauses of the Bill.” All four experts drew the Committee’s attention to some very serious deficiencies of the Bill, many of which were subsequently raised in the President’s rejection of it….

Notwithstanding all of this, I was dumbfounded when, in my presence, the dti’s Consumer and Corporate Regulations Division reported to the National Council of Provinces that the panel of experts had “cleared” and “verified” key provisions of the Bill. This statement was clearly false. A letter I wrote to the Minister, the DTI and the Select Committee reporting on this untruth received no reply and had no impact on the process to pass the Bill in Parliament.

In short — an admittedly somewhat odd way of ending a piece that’s not entirely brief, I urge interested parties to look deeper into the complex web of relationships, interests and equities underlying President Ramaphosa’s decision to send the Copyright bill back to Parliament. This bill, originally intended to help South Africa’s creative community transition and thrive in the digital environment, was hijacked by a small group of ideologues committed to a principle of governance that bore little relationship to the situation in South Africa — aided, assisted or directed by entities outside of South Africa. The final result was, as expressed by so many South African creators, a bill that would have rewarded “large, global tech companies who will gain free access to South African content.” President Ramaphosa stood up for South Africa’s cultural and economic interests, and rejected the facile oversimplifications expressed in the draft. Reda et al really thought they were going to win. And I don’t deny that she felt that her win was also South Africa’s. She believes in what she’s selling. But luckily, President Ramaphosa didn’t, and understood that South Africa’s future lay down a different path.

This article originally appeared on Neil’s Medium page – republished with permission.

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How Does Aggregated Search Work? http://www.copyright.com/blog/how-does-aggregated-search-work/ Tue, 07 Jul 2020 13:34:49 +0000 http://www.copyright.com/?post_type=blog_post&p=26530 The goal of aggregated search is to provide integrated search across multiple, heterogeneous sources. There are broadly two technology approaches that have been used to achieve this; federated search and web-scale indexing, but those aren’t the only options.

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The following is an excerpt from Phill Jones’ recent white paper The Top Trends in Knowledge and Information Management. Download the full paper here

 

The goal of aggregated search is to provide integrated search across multiple, heterogeneous sources. There are broadly two technology approaches that have been used to achieve this; federated search and web-scale indexing, but those aren’t the only options.

Federated search

This approach passes the search query to multiple databases behind the scenes. Early versions used screen-scraping, which failed when a content provider changed their website. More recently web technologies like APIs have made this approach more robust.

Advantages:

  • Compatible with a broader variety of information sources. Many proprietary content providers won’t allow content to be indexed.

Disadvantages:

  • Can be fragile under some circumstances.
  • Search speed is limited by content provider systems.

Web-scale indexing

The best-known web-scale indexing service is Google. This technique involves creating a database of all the content needed to be searched. The index is searched like the index of a book and linked back to the content.

Advantages:

  • Fast and robust search creates a compelling user experience.
  • Computational techniques like indexed knowledge graphs can automatically surface connection between different sources.

Disadvantages:

  • Not all sources can be indexed. Google, for example, can’t index content behind a paywall.
  • Content needs to be regularly re-crawled to keep the index up to date.

A third way — fully aggregated search

Neither federated search nor web-scale indexing provides the perfect solution for a commercial knowledge and information management environment. A fully integrated approach can index content when possible and a knowledge graph of objects, concepts and connections can be created. Although the creation of real-time knowledge graphs is not computationally feasible, results that need to be retrieved in real time can be readily mapped onto a pre-existing graph. This hybrid approach can provide the best of both worlds.

Keep learning:

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Making Data FAIR – What Information Managers Can Bring to the Table http://www.copyright.com/blog/making-data-fair-what-information-managers-can-bring-to-the-table/ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 17:32:25 +0000 http://www.copyright.com/?post_type=blog_post&p=26499 Information managers can have important consultative roles to play in every aspect of creating and maintaining FAIR data and workflows. Mary Ellen Bates outlines how here.

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The following is an excerpt from Mary Ellen Bates’ recent white paper Vocabularies, Text Mining and FAIR Data: The Strategic Role Information Managers Play. Download the full paper here

The FAIR guiding principles, first articulated in a Scientific Data article in March 2016 are designed to make data both machine- and human-actionable:

  • Findability: Metadata is assigned consistently and permanently, and maintained in a searchable source.
  • Accessibility: Once identified, the data is accessible, given any necessary authentication and authorization; the metadata remains accessible even if the data is no longer available.
  • Interoperability: The data and metadata can be integrated with other data, and can be used by applications for analysis and further processing; metadata can reference other metadata.
  • Reusability: Metadata is applied to the data as thoroughly as possible, so that it can be reused in unanticipated ways and so that context and provenance is retained.

How Information Managers Add Fairness

Information managers bring a unique set of skills to the organization with their understanding of what information sources and tools are available, how information flows within the organization, and how various user groups acquire, use, and store information. They can have important consultative roles to play in every aspect of creating and maintaining FAIR data and workflows, outlined here:

  • Findability: Information managers can identify existing internal ontologies and vocabularies, third-party ontologies, and semantic enrichment tools to consistently apply the right metadata to internal and external data. This significantly increases the ability of a user to find the necessary data, regardless of its source.
  • Accessibility: Information managers are often tasked with identifying internal data sources and open source content, and licensing content from publishers and content providers. With their deep familiarity with the varied information needs and workflow processes of the organization, information managers bring a unique perspective to acquiring and licensing content.
  • Interoperability: Information managers can work with research teams to bring semantic enrichment to internal data, licensed content, and data streams, and work to facilitate the sharing of information collections, APIs, and ontologies. This de-siloing of data and resources increases the ROI of the content and leverages enterprise investments.
  • Reusability: Information managers have an enterprise-perspective on which groups could benefit from an information resource, and know how to leverage resources to make content acquisitions as cost-effective as possible. Their long familiarity with negotiating content licenses enables them to get better value for their content investments.

Information professionals have long been familiar with metadata—author, source, date, subject terms—enhancing the findability of published material such as journal articles or bibliographic citations. But this type of metadata is static and descriptive of the item as a whole, and does not capture relationships among concepts, nor do article-level subject headings capture all the concepts discussed within the article. Full-text searching, while allowing searchers to search for ideas mentioned only briefly in an article, suffers from the ambiguities and richness of language, in which a concept, disease, or entity could be described in a number of ways. Neither the metadata of bibliographic citations nor the entire content of full-text articles truly addresses the challenge of increasing both the relevance and recall of search queries while extending the search to disparate types of content.

Keep learning:

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What’s in a Name or a Number? RLSC by the Numbers http://www.copyright.com/blog/whats-in-a-name-or-a-number-rlsc-by-the-numbers/ Wed, 24 Jun 2020 05:00:19 +0000 http://www.copyright.com/?post_type=blog_post&p=26397 CCC’s market-leading solution makes it easy for publishers of all sizes to collect publication charges and manage a range of transformative agreements.

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People often ask, “What’s in a name?”, echoing the phrase from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. While names are important, one can argue that numbers are even more vital. Numbers like time and age influence many short- and long-term decisions such as when to eat and the best time to retire. Counts and percentages let us track pressing issues like Covid-19 pandemic data. Numbers also allow us to gauge success and measure progress against goals so that we can make good data-driven decisions.

RightsLink® for Scientific Communications (RLSC), the market-leading solution supporting publishers with a wide range of workflows for easy management, collection, and reporting on a variety of publication charges, has reached some impressive numbers and milestones over the last year.

1,500+

OA AND TRANSFORMATIVE AGREEMENT FUNDING APPROVED REQUESTS SINCE 2019

With RLSC, CCC is meeting the demands of publishers looking for solutions that reflect the evolving demands of transformative agreements in a changing marketplace. RLSC simplifies editorial and payment workflows and enables testing of new business models. RLSC is a scalable, flexible way to manage publication charges and transformative agreements with institutions and funders. In the last year, RLSC has approved more than 1,500 OA and transformative agreement funding requests.

Recently, CCC enhanced RightsLink for Scientific Communications support for Read and Publish, Publish and Read and other transformative agreements, as well as pure OA agreements, with a new touch-free workflow that removes the author, and optionally the institution or funder, from the APC payment and funding workflow. This new workflow helps eliminate the administrative burden for researchers and reduces the risk of Open Access publication delays under Read and Publish models.

Trusted by 30+

LEADING PUBLISHERS

More than 30 of the world’s leading publishers rely on RightsLink to manage APC workflows and a growing number of transformative agreements, creating a powerful RightsLink network effect. This effect drives collaboration, partnership and innovation in the evolving scientific publishing ecosystemThere’s strength in numbers, as evidenced by these milestones.

The value of the RightsLink network effect goes beyond publishers and is also felt by authors, funders and institutions who trust the solution’s familiar user experience and flexible workflow.

66%

OF AUTHOR FEES COLLECTED IN LESS THAN A WEEK

Publishers today understand that authors are looking for simplified and flexible options when choosing where and how to publish. RightsLink is easily customized to recognize the author, present the appropriate deal terms and simplify invoicing. Auto-dunning is supported, and optional collections support is available. RightsLink is the only solution that enables Read and Publish agreements between publishers and institutions without requiring author involvement. Today, nearly two thirds of author fees are collected in less than a week, saving valuable time.

While some publishers operate in an author-agnostic workflow, others rely on workflows that put the author at the center of the process. RightsLink can be configured to reflect standard and custom author, institution and manuscript metadata to pre-populate order details and terms that reflect the appropriate transformative agreement.

RightsLink for Scientific Communications now offers enhanced support for Read and Publish, Publish and Read, Pure OA and other transformative agreements with a new touch-free workflow that removes the author, and optionally the institution or funder, from the APC payment and funding workflow.  This not only facilitates alignment with mandates such as Plan S, but also improves transparency, reduces friction for the author, and lowers costs for all parties. With support for pre-paid funder and publisher accounts, RightsLink is the only solution that enables Read and Publish agreements between publishers and institutions without requiring author involvement.

We live in a data-driven world, so we track these numbers as a way to ensure we are meeting milestones and continuing to evolve our products and professional services to meet the needs of our publishers, institutions and funders. As statistician, professor and author William Edwards Deming was credited with saying, “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” 

Additional Reading

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4 Key Reasons Why Information Specialists and Research Scientists Should Search Patent Databases http://www.copyright.com/blog/4-key-reasons-why-information-specialists-and-research-scientists-should-search-patent-databases/ Tue, 23 Jun 2020 06:57:17 +0000 http://www.copyright.com/?post_type=blog_post&p=26335 It behooves information specialists to semantically search patent information in addition to scientific literature review. Jill Shuman shares why.

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Did you know? In the United States, the Patent and Trademark Office is responsible for issuing three types of patents:

  • Utility patents: machine, process, chemical, computer software, or a living organism
  • Plant patents: new and distinct varieties of plants, including seedlings
  • Design patents: new, original, or ornamental shape of a useful article

Any of these three types of patents might be of interest to an organization conducting research, regardless of the industry.

Why are Patents Important for R&D?

R&D departments are very comfortable searching the scientific literature to inform their innovation efforts.  However, according to a study published in World Patent Information, the first public disclosures of new chemical entities are typically published as patents prior to their publication in scientific journals. And the study goes on to say onlya small fraction of the new science and technology first reported in patents is subsequently disclosed in scientific literature sources.  

By excluding patent searches from a literature review, therefore, you could be missing an entire corpus of information that will never appear in the traditional biomedical databases.  As a caveat, patent applications are subject to examination by patent examiners but not by peer reviewers and may not provide the context and consensus that are the hallmarks of scientific research.  Therefore, it behooves information specialists to search patent information as an adjunct, not as a replacement for, scientific literature review. 

There are four key reasons why information specialists and research scientists should search patent databases:

1. Maximize your budget

It has been estimated that up to 30% of all R&D expenditure is wasted on redeveloping existing inventions. Most of these unnecessary costs can be avoided by searching existing knowledge on a topic first. While many researchers diligently go through scientific literature, they often forget about patents. Patents are a large source of information on science and technology, and should be included in all state-of-the-art searches for molecular compounds, devices, or other inventions.

2. Find relevant and high-value information not found elsewhere

Patents contain volumes of information that are not available from any other source.  Estimates from the European Patent Office (EPO) claim that up to 80% of current technological knowledge can only be found in patent documents.  This is due in part to the fact that it is easier to file a patent than to publish a peer-reviewed paper, and patents typically have no restrictions on the number of pages used to describe the experiments and results.  There are also some companies that choose to disclose their R&D results only through the issuance of patents.

Because filing a patent costs time and money, companies will generally file only when they believe their invention is of some value to their business.  If it has value to them, you should probably know about it, too!

3. Scope out the competition

Patent searches are the perfect way to gather business intelligence and monitor innovation strategies of other players in the field very early on in research.   By searching patents similar to your own proposed invention, you can focus on what may make aspects of your invention unique. You can use this information to adjust your R&D strategy or find potential collaborators.

4. Search the full text, not just the abstracts

For commercial reasons, the full text of scientific articles is often locked behind a paywall. As a result, popular literature search tools will only let you search abstracts, resulting in a lot of missing of important information in the rest of the article. Patents, on the other hand, are always available as full text, giving you the choice to search both abstracts and full text. Recognize, however, that some elements of a patent may include non-text elements such as images or gene sequences and may require a more sophisticated search tool.

Using Semantic Search to Find Relevant Patents Quickly

Semantically-enriched search allows researchers to find relevant patent documents quickly, easily, and with greater precision. While some keyword-based searches for patents aren’t reliable, semantic search can uncover hidden connections by cross-linking equivalent scientific concepts in different patents. And with tools like synonym type ahead, you can control your search by filtering out the noise, and get to the right content faster.

The Right Tools for the Search

Years ago, patent searching required extensive training or the assistance of an intellectual property specialist.  Researchers can now use a variety of web-based tools that can help you search multiple patent databases around the world.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark OfficeGoogle Patents, and the European Patent Office are good launching sites for performing initial free patent searches.

Interested in learning more about Copyright Clearance Center’s enhanced patent exploration options? Contact us today.

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Copyright Round-Up, Spring & Summer 2020 http://www.copyright.com/blog/copyright-round-up-spring-summer-2020/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 11:04:20 +0000 http://www.copyright.com/?post_type=blog_post&p=26313 We all know it has been a rough spring, and we are focused on larger issues than copyright and licensing. But while we all hunker down and hope for better days, policy and practice issues are not holding still; Congress is still in session, suits are still being brought (or settled), courts are still rendering decisions, and so on.

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We all know it has been a rough spring, and we are focused on larger issues than copyright and licensing. But while we all hunker down and hope for better days, policy and practice issues are not holding still; Congress is still in session, suits are still being brought (or settled), courts are still rendering decisions, and so on. As we cross from spring into summer, perhaps mostly because we can all use a distraction from the larger issues, I thought now a suitable time to do a copyright roundup.

US Copyright Office releases Report on Section 512 (of the DMCA).  The last time Congress passed broadly significant internet-copyright-related legislation was in 1998.  For historical perspective, that is the year Google was founded, and a full year before the launch of Napster.  At the time, I don’t think anyone anticipated the huge volumes of content, much less the business models based on mass infringement, that would come along in the wake of its passage. In the legislative process, often, what you cannot change, you often study.  Perhaps to that end, on May 21st, the USCO released a 250-page report on the status and operations of the Safe Harbor provisions of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  In the words of the Report, and as anyone involved in trying to protect content from infringement could have told you, “[t]he Copyright Office conclude[d] that the operation of the section 512 safe harbor system today is unbalanced.”  The Office continued:

In its examination of the balance established by Congress, the Office outlines five principles that guided its review, identifies its findings, and makes several recommendations for Congress to consider. The Report highlights areas where current implementation of section 512 is out of sync with Congress’ original intent, including: eligibility qualifications for the service provider safe harbors; repeat infringer policies; knowledge requirement standards; specificity within takedown notices; non-standard notice requirements; subpoenas; and injunctions. While the Office is not recommending any wholesale changes to section 512, the Report points out these and other areas where Congress may wish to consider legislation to rebuild the original balance between rightsholders and online service providers.

Relatedly, Congress, and especially Senator Tillis (R-NC), has been in the very initial stages of a review of the DMCA, and with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (which protects online service providers from liability) being thrown into high relief via Executive Order, this may be the time that tech companies are finally called to task.  Or not. Magic 8-Ball says, “Ask Again Later.”

Infringing practices of Internet Archive (IA)    As I mentioned, the DMCA has inadvertently led to business models build on infringement, in part by turning copyright into an “opt-out” regime.  One such billionaire Brewster Kahle-led effort is the Internet Archive, which developed goodwill in its generally useful “wayback machine” (which allows users to see many preserved webpages from the early years of the Internet). This year, the Internet Archive launched a so called “National Emergency Library,” in which it decided that it could make and give away unlimited free digital copies of in-copyright books without the consent of the author or other rightsholder.  (For the record, nothing qualifies the IA or the IA’s new creation as a “library” under US law.)  Uproar and moral argument from the Authors Guild seemed to have little effect on the IA’s hubris.  Subsequently, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) coordinated a number of individual publishers (including my former employer, John Wiley & Sons) to file a lawsuit.  That pressure, along with criticism from bloggers and Congress (specifically, the aforementioned Senator Tillis), has led to a recent announcement that the misnamed library is “closing” two weeks early.  The IA has announced a return to its prior, also potentially illegal (and obnoxious, to many authors) but marginally less egregious practice of  “Controlled Digital Lending” (CDL).  For those not familiar with the practice, controlled digital lending involves misappropriating the use of one book at a time, as distinct from distributing many copies simultaneously. To state the obvious, the National Emergency Library practice has no basis in law – as the IA has implicitly conceded by closing up in the face of a lawsuit – and  the IA’s version of CDL should be seen as, at best, only marginally better. While these moves by the IA may have shifted the classic Overton Window for such radically ambitious applications of fair use, courtrooms lack such windows.  Why is it so hard for wealthy tech magnates to recognize that authors have legitimate interests and would be happy to work with them, not against them, if given the chance?

Register of Copyrights.  Following the resignation of Karyn Temple to join the MPAA, and after months of soliciting stakeholder input on the process for selecting the next Register of Copyrights, the Library of Congress formally opened the position to applicants on April 15.  The posting closed on June 15, and now the applicant pool will be narrowed to three candidates with the assistance of first an executive search firm and ultimately a three-person hiring panel from within the government.  The Librarian has said she expects to make the final selection by July.

WIPO.  A coalition of copyright-unfriendly groups recently published an open letter to retiring WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, asking for his support of (what many, including myself, would call) radical openness of resources in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Signatories include many of the usual suspects among the “open everything” cadre.  While I am in favor of openness, including open content, open data, and open code,  open everything can quickly become open nothing unless supported by a sustainable business model.  Subscription, open access and mixed model publishers quickly and voluntarily made curated COVID-19 related content freely available. Thankfully, DG Gurry understands the need for incentives.  His response to the letter affirms a continued (and heightened) need for an incentive framework to encourage and sustain innovation during the pandemic.  In other words, the best path to a vaccine is not though discouraging research.  (Note:  Daren Tang, currently the Director of Singapore’s IPO, has been elected as the next WIPO DG and will take office on 1 October 2020.)

France.  No doubt in response to prior tactics used by Google to avoid publishers’ rights in countries like Spain, the French Competition Bureau, applying the ‘news publishers right’ created under the European Union’s recent Digital Single Market Directive, issued an order in early April requiring Google to negotiate with French press publishers and news providers.  The order demanded that the parties reach an agreement within three months regarding licensing fees for news content appearing in Google search listings in France.  (See, for example, Hugh Stephens, “Holding Google to Account, France Takes a Stand”.)  Given that Google’s market share in France makes it susceptible to pressure from the competition authorities, it remains unclear whether this pressure could be placed on other tech companies. On the other hand, perhaps Google’s market share makes it irrelevant whether others follow suit.

Canada. In the ongoing battles over exceptions and limitations under Canada’s 2012 legislative and judicial copyright revisions – revisions which have already led to the closure of publishing companies and irreparable damage to Canadian culture – we now have an appellate court ruling in the case of Access Copyright v York University.  Depending on how you look at it, the case was a mixed victory.  The court explicitly found that the fair dealing guidelines adopted by York to get out of paying rightsholders for the right to make coursepacks out of portions of many copyrighted works were not valid.  The court also held that copyright tariffs of the types established in Canada for everything from text to music were not mandatory, calling into question years of collective licensing practice.  While the latter part of the decision may be read as a partial victory for York, it is also the case that Canada makes statutory damages available to copyright rightsholders and it may be possible they will be applied to activity like that at York that was held to be infringing, so the risks to universities who follow the same guidelines as York just increased immensely.  As of this posting, the window for either party to seek an appeal to the Canadian Supreme Court has not expired and there is reasonable conjecture that both sides are likely to appeal the parts of the decision unfavorable to them.

Overall, the copyright culture wars continue apace, and should be expected to.  Let’s hope for a breakthrough vaccine and racial justice, so we can get back to a time when we can argue about copyright reasonably, without feeling somehow frivolous.

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Global Strategies to Combat Counterfeiting http://www.copyright.com/blog/global-strategies-to-combat-counterfeiting/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 09:38:37 +0000 http://www.copyright.com/?post_type=blog_post&p=26297 Piracy of content – whether it is textbooks, scholarly articles or monographs - produces no comic book heroes or heroines facing off against fleets or sailors. Instead, Powerful social media platforms have enabled piracy to be easy and widespread, even providing safe spaces for people to discuss how to circumnavigate our anti-piracy strategies.

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At the mention of pirates, most of us conjure up an image of swashbuckling buccaneers fighting against the tyranny of colonial powers.

Today in modern times, pirates still exist. Instead of the blue seas of the Caribbean, pirates operate and exploit file share servers and social media platforms. Instead of bounties of gold, they are pillaging content – in volumes, it is fair to say, that suggest value that far outstrips all the gold there is. And instead of fighting colonial powers, they are targeting publishers, institutions and authors.

Piracy of content – whether it is textbooks, scholarly articles or monographs – produces no comic book heroes or heroines facing off against fleets or sailors. Instead, Powerful social media platforms have enabled piracy to be easy and widespread, even providing safe spaces for people to discuss how to circumnavigate our anti-piracy strategies. Piracy is a global phenomenon.

Global Strategies to Combat Counterfeiting

Piracy is significantly undermining publishers in their key roles today. Publishers play a vital role in cultivating and establishing credibility for new knowledge, in upholding the values of academic freedom in an increasingly polarized society, and in providing trusted facts in an era of fake news. And today, during the Coronavirus pandemic, trustworthy information is more crucial and important than ever.

That leads me to an important point – that piracy also screams opportunity and innovation. Take the textbook market, for example, there are exciting initiatives from Pearson and Cengage trying subscription and rental models. In scholarly publishing, we are seeing publishers working collaboratively to streamline access to make it easier for researchers to discover trusted full text content. And access is more important today during the Coronavirus pandemic – and especially remote access as an alternative to those traditional avenues to content cut off by the virus.

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RightsLink for Scientific Communications Puts Customer Experience First http://www.copyright.com/blog/rightslink-for-scientific-communications-puts-customer-experience-first/ Thu, 18 Jun 2020 10:58:44 +0000 http://www.copyright.com/?post_type=blog_post&p=26253 Publishers must build a sustainable and intuitive infrastructure to support a variety of publishing models ahead of a shift to full Open Access.

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The transition from subscription-based reading models to full and immediate Open Access (OA) publishing is complex and varies by discipline, geography, and publisher. From APCs to Transformative Agreements, Subscribe to Open models and Pure Publish deals, each organization must choose a framework that meets its community’s needs.

As the scientific ecosystem evolves, sustainable, scalable infrastructure is necessary to support this paradigm. In order for OA publishing to be viable in 2020 and beyond, researchers, institutions, publishers and funders agree that there must be solutions that can address the needs and concerns of all stakeholders

Customer Experience First

Customer Experience First (CX1) is a core operating principle for CCC. We work with all stakeholder groups to build workflows in RightsLink for Scientific Communications that simplify and enhance the user experience–whether the user is an author, institution, funder, or publisher. For example, our Touch-Free workflow is the only solution on the market that removes the researcher from the funding request process at the publisher’s request, which is often a requirement of emerging OA agreements and terms of compliance. We have gained broad adoption across the dozens of publishers and more than 300 institutions who are using RightsLink to manage their increasingly complex agreements.

A Fresh, Intuitive Author Experience

We also recognize not all authors are funded. To avoid placing unnecessary burdens on researchers at the point of APC payment, our Summer 2020 RightsLink release introduced a major redesign of the payment workflow. This updated workflow streamlines the user experience at every stage of the payment process.

Our payment workflow redesign is not just about new styles and page outlines. Any OA program has to balance the needs of funded and unfunded authors–there is no single workflow that meets the needs of all stakeholders. RightsLink adapts to the user based on contextualized information such as whether an agreement exists, whether an author need to submit a funding request, and who ultimately pays the bill.   This new author payment workflow streamlines the payment process and removes unnecessary decision points from each stage.

Agreement Management Enhancement for Clarity, Transparency, and Analysis

The Summer release also enhances Agreement Management capabilities for connecting unique payer profiles to a parent agreement. Because of decentralized billing needs, decentralized funding approval needs, or other funding terms that may vary at the journal level, many publisher-institutional deals require multiple billing profiles to honor the terms of a single agreement. This change lays the foundation for easy filtering, reporting, and analytics so all stakeholders can measure the health of their deals in a common, scalable, and transparent way.

The pressure on publishers to innovate is high. To stay viable, they need automation and tools for testing and facilitating the transformation of their businesses at the pace their partners require.  With our ongoing investments in technology and support, RightsLink helps them adapt to an ever-fluid landscape of mandates, priorities, and business opportunities.

Recommended Reading

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Five Ways Researchers can Leverage Technology in Systematic Reviews http://www.copyright.com/blog/five-ways-researchers-can-leverage-technology-in-systematic-reviews/ Wed, 17 Jun 2020 08:06:31 +0000 http://www.copyright.com/?post_type=blog_post&p=26198 The introduction and acceptance of systematic review software has created a paradigm shift in the research industry that continues to evolve along with the changing needs of research teams.

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A systematic review involves collecting and synthesizing literature to use in answering a well-defined research question. The systematic review process has been popular with researchers for decades, and many consider it the gold standard for evidence-based research synthesis.

You can imagine how, over the years, the actual process of doing systematic reviews has changed as technology improves and advances.

For example, as recently as 20 years ago, systematic reviews were done using pen and paper. It was an incredibly arduous and time-consuming process that required a lot of manual work. As time progressed, researchers turned to spreadsheet programs to facilitate reviews, which removed the need for printing documents, manual highlighting, and filing studies away in cabinets. However, spreadsheets are not foolproof, and today’s researcher needs something better and more attuned to their specific needs. Enter: systematic review software.

The introduction and acceptance of systematic review software has created a paradigm shift in the research industry that continues to evolve along with the changing needs of research teams.

With that said, here are five ways researchers can leverage technology in their systematic reviews:

1. Manage projects remotely

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working was already an increasing trend among research teams. In the post-pandemic workscape, remote collaboration will become even more important. The ability to manage projects remotely is essential, especially when you consider the fact that team members are sometimes working in different cities or even time zones. When the team manager can easily run reports and check on the status of the review, it means they can ensure the proper protocols are followed and update stakeholders more regularly.

2. Automate mechanistic tasks

Today’s researcher is dealing with a constant influx of new information. On any given topic, hundreds or even thousands of new articles can be published on a regular basis. This poses a challenge for researchers as they are often dealing with resource constraints to efficiently process this large amount of data.

Automating some of the more mechanistic tasks involved in a systematic review enables researchers to focus on science, not administrative processes. It’s often said that if a task takes less than one minute for a human to complete, it probably can be automated by a computer. By greatly reducing the time spent on mechanistic tasks, researchers can spend more time defining their research question, developing their protocol and study design, and more.

3. Reduce friction between platforms

Consider the software you use daily. Next, think about how disruptive it can be when you are working in one program and then need to switch focus and log into another program for a secondary part of your job. For researchers, this is a huge challenge. Constantly logging into other programs or switching tabs on their browsers adds friction to their work. Interoperability between research platforms is essential because it helps integrate information, creates a seamless process, and also reduces the chance of duplicate work being done, or mistakes made by transferring information from one platform to another.

4. Produce transparent audit trails

Many industries in the regulatory and safety spaces require full transparency in reports. Producing a clear and accurate audit trail is essential in these cases. Creating an audit trail should not be something extra that the researcher needs to think about. For an audit trail to be truly effective, it must be automatic. Date, time and user stamping, and real-time reporting are essential for the industries that require audit trails.

5. Automate review updates

With the constant influx of new information, researchers must always be aware of new material that could impact their work. Systematic reviews are increasingly viewed as “living” reviews that need to be updated on a regular basis. One of the biggest challenges for research teams is finding the time and resources to keep track of new material and consider its relevance to their work.

By using technology to automatically cull new information from published materials, researchers can better maintain their living reviews and updates.

How does technology today measure up?

With a never-ending torrent of new information, tightening regulatory requirements, and the high demand for evidence-based research, it’s more important than ever that researchers have access to tools that will create efficiencies in their workflows. One tool that can help with this is DistillerSR, a cloud-based platform that enables users to collaborate from anywhere in the world. Using artificial intelligence to perform tasks such as ranking references based on likelihood of inclusion, the time it takes to perform systematic reviews can be greatly reduced. Additionally, software integrations, like the connection to CCC’s Document Delivery with RightFind that was added in DistillerSR’s latest update, will help researchers perform all their critical review tasks and quickly get access to documents from one central, cloud-based solution.

Interested in learning more about DistillerSR and RightFind? Request a free demo to see how your systematic review process can become more efficient.

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Transformative Agreements: How Innovation is Answering the Open Access Challenge http://www.copyright.com/blog/transformative-agreements-how-innovation-is-answering-the-open-access-challenge/ Tue, 16 Jun 2020 09:27:07 +0000 http://www.copyright.com/?post_type=blog_post&p=26204 For Open Access programs, Transformative Agreements accelerate the research journey from hypothesis to results. Join CCC on 18 June at 10:00 EDT as we review the latest developments in Transformative Agreements.

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For Open Access programs, Transformative Agreements accelerate the research journey from hypothesis to results. These deals are the fruit of creative business negotiation together with innovative publishing technology.

Join CCC on 18 June at 10:00 EDT/15:00 BST/16:00 CEST as we review the latest developments in Transformative Agreements. The Town Hall discussion will examine the impact as seen across the whole of the scholarly publishing ecosystem.

Publishers, authors, funders and institutions have all supported Transformative Agreements because they offer a sustainable, reliable business model for disseminating knowledge. Yet to be truly “transformative,” such agreements must transform publishing dramatically. Institutions and funders demand sophisticated data to track compliance. Authors expect more from the publishing experience. And every stakeholder requires state-of-the-art solutions that facilitate a productive workflow.

Join CCC and special guests to learn how innovation is answering the Open Access challenge.

Guest speakers include: 

  • Matthew Day, Head of Open Research Policy & Partnerships, Cambridge University Press
  • Ellen Finnie, Open Access Publisher Agreement Manager, California Digital Library
  • Jo McShea, Director, Market Intelligence, Science Group, Clarivate Analytics
  • Jamie Carmichael, Senior Director, Publisher Solutions, Copyright Clearance Center

Register now to join the Town Hall!

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