Businesses – Copyright Clearance Center Rights Licensing Expert Tue, 23 Jan 2018 19:23:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Businesses – Copyright Clearance Center 32 32 Creating an Information Center Strategy Driven By Data [5 Questions with Britt Mueller] Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:58:23 +0000 How do you create a data-driven content strategy? Information center expert Britt Mueller is sharing her top tips for justifying content spend.

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As information and knowledge managers, we want to be able to easily justify content spending, advocate for change, and request more information center resources.

This is difficult (bordering on near impossible) to do if you don’t have a strategy that incorporates your content data.

In a recent webinar, information expert Britt Mueller laid a four-step foundation for creating a data-driven strategy:

  1. Assess your data
  2. Establish a content portfolio
  3. Involve the right people
  4. Align your portfolio to organizational goals
Britt Mueller
Principal, InfoLiquidity Consulting
Solutions Architect, Library Services Business, Iron Mountain

Even with this guidance, it’s still no easy task. Here’s some guidance from Britt, based on questions she’s received around creating this type of strategy:

If one finds that there is content that is not directly related to the higher end goal of the organization, what steps can be taken to realign it?

BM: If you’re looking at your portfolio and you find that content doesn’t align with a strategic need – you need to closely evaluate it. Ask yourself: Am I buying the right thing? Do I need to market this differently, so it gets more eyes on it? What was the goal for this purchase when it was first bought, and is it still being used in that way?

To be valued, content needs to be used. Portfolios change, and sometimes your content is going to shift – and that’s okay.

How do you present data to stakeholders (beyond “your users used this journal x times”)?  How do you build your ROI calculation? 

BM: This is the crux of everything. To present data that goes beyond usage, always be asking yourself: What is the value of this content?

There’s no one-single formula for building this type of ROI calculation, but when it comes to ROI of the information center, it’s a no brainer to start where the top revenue generation is within your organization. How do I support those departments? Is my portfolio properly aligned to these top revenue generating areas of the business?

Start by looking at your technical content, business content, your legal content, or any other types of content you around your organization’s patents. This is one starting point to justifying your content investments.

What are the technical hurdles to linking content usage data to organizational data?

BM: There are two massive hurdles here. First, you need to get usage data. Next, you must get internal data. Finally, you must figure out how to marry those two.

Think about the questions first that you want to answer with your data. That will help you figure out what you need to collect.

When it comes to connecting the data, you’ll have to feed it into some sort of analysis space. Excel at the very minimum, a full-fledged database, or a tool like RightFind Business Intelligence.

I want to be able to talk to points that my stakeholders care about, but most times I’m not involved in the ‘behind the scenes’ meetings to know what they actually value today… Where should I start?

BM: Try very hard to be in the meetings where you’re gaining insight about what’s important to the organization. You might need to talk to your manager (who’s hopefully your advocate!) about being more involved in these types of “behind the scenes” conversations.

You can also start by seeking out the folks whose groups are using your content. Schedule a one-on-one, with an invitation that says “Your group is using this content actively. We want it to align with what you’re trying to do. Can we set up some time to discuss it?’

When the meeting happens, bring data about their group to that conversation. Pique their curiosity and make it about their bottom line.

Related Reading: Defending Content Spend: Make Sure You Involve the Right People

Do you have any strategies for continuing relationships outside of the information center throughout the year, not just when it’s budgeting time?

BM: It’s going to require some digging. You must be the active partner – if you’re in a large organization, they might not even know the information center exists. Be on their radar – but don’t waste their time. Make sure your information is brief, to the point, is interesting to them.

I always think of these types of meetings with the question: What is the present that I’m going to give them? What can I leave them with that will be of value?

This data can be presented in the form of a report or a visual presentation. And remember – this isn’t a onetime event. This should happen quarterly, at a minimum, even if it’s only for 15 minutes.


Ready to learn more from Britt? Check out the following blog posts:

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What R&D and Life Sciences Organizations Need to Know About IDMP Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:31:17 +0000 Beset by delays and revisions, IDMP—the set of new international standards for identifying and describing “medicinal products” is nonetheless being rolled out, month by month. Here’s what you need to know, with insights from Paul Milligan, Senior Product Manager at Linguamatics.

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Complex doesn’t begin to describe IDMP–the new set of international standards for identifying and describing medicinal products, that is currently being rolled out in Europe in phases, despite a plethora of delays and revisions. Short for “Identification of Medicinal Products,” IDMP is actually meant to make the tracking of medicinal products more streamlined in a global market, by standardizing descriptions of substances including dose forms and units of measurement.

That may sound simple, but many life sciences and R&D organizations don’t have IDMP on their radar, and are not set up to meet these standards. In a 2017 survey of life sciences companies conducted during a Pistoia Alliance webinar:

  • 42% of respondents said they knew very little about IDMP
  • 25% said they had only a basic understanding of the upcoming global regulations

Just as surprising in our high-tech age, 40% said their regulatory and R&D divisions still use “unstructured paper and PDF-based reports” to exchange information on substances.

“The goal of IDMP is to make sure companies have a truly standardized description of their products. But most still store their data in all sorts of formats, files and data bases, which means an organization’s internal description of a product or substances may be very different from what the regulators want,” says Paul Milligan, senior product manager at Linguamatics, a text-mining software company based in Cambridge, England. (CCC and Linguamatics are partners—Linguamatics’ I2E software is integrated with CCC’s RightFind™ XML for Mining.)

The good news is, with foresight and the right systems in place, life sciences and R&D organizations will not only be able to comply with the new standards, but can reap benefits that translate into time saved, problems solved and the potential for more profits down the line.

I talked with Paul Milligan about what IDMP issues should be top of mind:

What are the problems life sciences and R&D organizations face when it comes to complying with IDMP standards?

Paul Milligan: The basic challenge is for companies to get their own internal data into a format that can then be shared with regulators. It’s not that companies haven’t been providing this information—they have. The problem is, the different sources of information necessary to meet the IDMP labeling standards have typically been siloed in different data bases. That creates a challenge in terms of bringing the necessary pieces of information together in a timely fashion that makes sense with a company’s workflow.

Meeting IDMP standards is going to require a big push from pharmaceutical companies, biotechs and other stakeholders to break these silos down and find a systematic way of overcoming the technical barriers. The good news is, once that happens, it will be easier for everyone involved to learn from and explore the data, spotting new patterns, speeding regulatory submissions, and tracking adverse events.

What else do companies need to do, beyond gathering and standardizing the required information?

PM: The whole idea of IDMP is that a broad set of data elements need to be tied in with the product, such as manufacturer, indication, adverse events, along with dosage strength and formulation. On a basic level, that means organizations will be a need to establish a scalable process where it’s easy to tell what information is going in and what is coming out, where they can extract information easily, and where everything is done systematically, so nothing is inadvertently omitted. After that, you have to be able to put the information into context, meaning that if you spot an adverse side effect somewhere, you’ll also want to know the drug that caused it, the dosage, and any information that can give meaning to the adverse event. These are prerequisites.

Is it possible for organizations to do this manually?

PM: It’s possible, but it would take a lot of people and time to gather the information, and there’s more chance of introducing human error.  Pulling out the required IDMP data elements from regulatory text sources can be very time-intensive, and of course it needs to be kept up-to-date with new information. Here’s an example: Let’s say you need to review the literature for any new mentions of adverse events. If you do a standard keyword search, you type in an adverse effect and a drug and then you have to wade through all the documents to find the relationship between these two terms, otherwise you won’t be able to tell if a particular drug is causing the adverse effect.

If you’re using a machine-based approach to information extraction, you can immediately say, “We’ve found this term and it’s being reported as an adverse event caused by this or that drug.” Text mining can be a powerful way to pull out the adverse events in the data without having to read every document—the machine is doing the initial info-grabbing and summarizing—and specific, relevant documents can be read later.

Are there any unlooked-for benefits that could result from the push to satisfy IDMP?

PM: Organizations will be able to identify potential problems with products earlier in the development process. Text mining software, for instance, can rapidly sift through the scientific literature on a particular drug, extracting relevant notes on patients from clinical trials and identifying any adverse events sooner rather than later. That’s going to save organizations time, effort and money so they can focus their attention on what really matters—developing drugs, designing trials and getting the products submitted to regulators.

Organizations don’t want to throw out processes that have been working for them for years. How can new and old systems be easily integrated?

PM: By definition, people who pay attention to regulatory processes are cautious—and no one wants to have to reinvent the wheel to meet these new requirements.

One way for pharmaceutical companies to approach IDMP would be to have their normal team of reviewers looking at data and spotting errors and add in a layer of automation for super fast review cycles.


Keep Learning: 

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Copyright Law in 2017: A Look at What Happened in the News Thu, 11 Jan 2018 08:00:53 +0000 Changes to the Copyright Office, piracy attacks on major media corporations and trade negotiations put copyright on the front page.

The post Copyright Law in 2017: A Look at What Happened in the News appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.


by Keith Kupferschmid Keith is the CEO of the Copyright Alliance. For more blogs by Keith and the Alliance, click here.

2017 was a tumultuous year – even in the copyright world.

In this three-part series, we’re taking a look at the most significant U.S. copyright moments of 2017 from a few different perspectives: what happened on Capitol Hill, in the courts, and in the headlines.

Changes to the Copyright Office, piracy attacks on major media corporations and trade negotiations put copyright on the front page.

U.S. Copyright Office

Changes to the Copyright Office, piracy attacks on major media corporations and trade negotiations put copyright on the front page.

In 2017, the U.S. Copyright Office continued to publish important copyright policy reports to help shape and modernize U.S. copyright law. The most significant of these were reports on Sections 108 and 1201 of the Copyright Act.

Following a one and a half year public consultation process, the U.S. Copyright Office released its report on Section 1201, concluding that the overall framework of Section 1201 is sound. The Office does not recommend altering the basic framework of Section 1201, but did recommend certain legislative updates, including expanding existing exemptions for security and encryption research and adding new provisions to allow circumvention for other purposes, such as the use of assistive reading technologies and the repair of devices. The report also recommends an amendment to give the Librarian of Congress discretion to authorize third parties to assist the beneficiaries of temporary exemptions granted via the statute’s triennial rulemaking proceeding. In addition, the report identifies changes to the Office’s administration of the rulemaking to streamline the process for renewing previously adopted exemptions.

The Office also issued a Discussion Document to facilitate discussions involving potential statutory updates to Section 108 of the Copyright Act, which provides for certain limitations for libraries and archives for purposes of preservation, replacement, and research. In the Discussion Document, the Copyright Office states its “longstanding belief that Section 108 needs to be updated so that libraries, archives, and museums have a robust, comprehensible, and balanced set of exceptions in order to fulfill their missions. The primary objective of the Discussion Document is to provide a concrete framework for further discussion among stakeholders and Members of Congress.” The document also includes model statutory language that would, among other things, make many changes to the organization and scope of Section 108 as well as the provisions relating to making of preservation, research, and replacement copies.

The most anticipated report by the Copyright Office is still forthcoming. This is the report on Section 512 of the Copyright Act, which relates to the very contentious notice and takedown and safe harbor provisions of the DMCA. For the past two years or so the Copyright Office has been collecting information from stakeholders with the last request for information coming in the first quarter of 2017. Thus, it’s probably safe to assume that we will see this report sometime in 2018.

With legislation to modernize the Copyright Office apparently still far away, the Office chose not to wait and instead to try and do what it could to modernize the Office in areas where legislation was not necessary. Over the course of 2017, the Office issued proposed new or interim rules relating to the group registration of unpublished works, newspapers and secured tests (to name just a few), as well as revising the Compendium to improve the Office’s practices. The Office also took steps to implement a new electronic system to designate and search for agents to receive notifications of claimed infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Piracy Trends

2017 brought three new piracy trends. The newest piracy challenge is something called Kodi. Kodi is an open source media player application that is itself legal. The problem is that these boxes often come “fully loaded” with “impossibly cheap subscriptions to improbably large selections of Movies, TV shows, Live Sports, etc. [that] are not affiliated with the Kodi project.” These “criminal boxes,” as Kodi puts it, are the work of “criminals who profit from piracy.” Several movie studios including Universal, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Sony, and Netflix struck back, filing a lawsuit against one of the worst offenders – TickBox TV for “intentional inducement of, and knowing and material contribution to, the widespread infringement of Plaintiffs’ rights,” arguing that “TickBox urges its customers to use [TickBox TV] as a tool for the mass infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted motion pictures and television shows.”

Unfortunately, with each step forward that the music industry takes to reach its fans, there are bad actors one step behind who exploit these new capabilities and harm the industry, individual song writers, composers and performers and — most of all — the music fans. 2017 was no exception, as pirates turned to a new method of illegal copying called stream-ripping. Stream-ripping is a process by which everyday listeners can “rip” a file from a streaming platform and convert it into a downloadable file, and apps that facilitate this process are rapidly growing in popularity. A Music Consumer Insight Report published by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry found that “stream-ripping is the fastest-growing form of infringement,” surpassing even file-sharing. The study also found that nearly half of millennials age 16 – 24, in countries around the world, engage in stream-ripping from popular platforms like YouTube. The difficulty in combatting this problem is that there are no infringing links or content to pinpoint and eliminate. Instead, stream-ripping targets legitimate copies of music and creates illegal reproductions. One method for dealing with this issue, however, is to target the source. For example, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued the website “Youtube-mp3” for copyright infringement based on its stream ripping services.

The last piracy trend I will highlight is hackers ransoming copyrighted content. During the course of the year, hackers threatened to leak hit shows like Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, HBO’s Game of Thrones, ABC’s Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, and others, if the studios did not pay the millions of dollars in ransom that was being demanded by the hackers. When the studios refused to pay the ransom, the hacker leaked the shows. The Department of Justice eventually indicted the man responsible, Behzad Mesri. Mesri is charged with one count of wire fraud, one count of computer hacking, three counts of threatening to impair the confidentiality of information, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of interstate transmission of an extortionate communication.

International News

Immediately after taking office, President Trump signed an executive order directing the U.S. Trade Representative to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and another executive order stating the Administration’s intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). That action was followed in May by a letter from U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer to Congress stating President Trump’s intent to renegotiate the NAFTA, a formal requirement of the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation which initiates a 90-day period during which the Administration must consult with Congress before beginning renegotiations. The letter stated the Administration’s intention to “modernize” NAFTA to address digital trade, and to include “new provisions to address intellectual property rights,” among other objectives.

In July, the Office of the USTR released its “Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA Renegotiation.” On intellectual property, the USTR wrote that it wants to “ensure provisions governing intellectual property reflect a standard of protection similar to that found in U.S. law” and also “ensure standards of protection and enforcement that keep pace with technological developments, and in particular ensure that rightsholders have the legal and technological means to control the use of their works.” Later on the year, Ambassador Lighthizer released an updated version of the NAFTA negotiating objectives, which include “provisions governing intellectual property rights that reflect a standard of protection similar to that found in U.S. law, including, but not limited to protections related to trademarks, patents, copyright and related rights (including, as appropriate, exceptions and limitations)” and “rules that limit non-IPR civil liability of online platforms for third party content.” Although it was originally hoped that negotiations could be concluded before the end of the year that goal was not met and negotiations will now continue through 2018.

The USTR also “formally initiated an investigation of China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974…to determine whether acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce.” Presumably we will know about the results of this investigation in 2018.

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Copyright Law in 2017: 12 Big Court Cases to Know About Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:00:25 +0000 Top court cases in 2017 involved Fox, Universal, Elsevier, Penguin Random House, Disney, SiriusXM and more major media brands.

The post Copyright Law in 2017: 12 Big Court Cases to Know About appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.


by Keith Kupferschmid Keith is the CEO of the Copyright Alliance. For more blogs by Keith and the Alliance, click here.

2017 was a tumultuous year – even in the copyright world.

In this three-part series, we’re taking a look at the most significant U.S. copyright moments of 2017 from a few different perspectives: what happened on Capitol Hill, in the courts, and in the headlines.

With Congress concentrating on other issues, most changes to copyright law in 2017 came through the courts. A dozen cases made a notable impact, and another six are ones to watch in 2018.

Perfect 10, Inc. v. Giganews, Inc

A dozen cases made a notable impact, and another six are ones to watch in 2018.

In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower court ruling in favor of Giganews in Perfect 10, Inc. v. Giganews, Inc., a case involving the unauthorized distribution of photos over Giganews’ servers. The court found that Giganews did not engage in the volitional conduct necessary to be culpable for unauthorized display, distribution, and reproduction of Perfect 10’s images. The Ninth Circuit thus declined to hold Giganews liable for contributory copyright infringement, holding that Perfect 10 “failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether Giganews materially contributed to or induced infringement of Perfect 10’s copyrights.” The court also declined to hold Giganews liable for vicarious infringement, holding that the direct financial benefit inquiry requires evidence that a plaintiff’s specific works acted as a “draw” to a defendant’s service, rather than a showing that infringing activity in general acted as a “draw.” Later in the year, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the cert petition in the case.

Fox Television v. Aereokiller

In March, in Fox Television v. Aereokiller [aka FilmOn case] — a case involving whether a service which transmits broadcast television over the internet is eligible for a compulsory license under Section 111 — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a reversal of the lower court’s decision, held that internet-based retransmission services are not eligible for a cable compulsory license under Section111 of the Copyright Act. Shortly after the decision and the Ninth Circuit’s denial of FilmOn X’s petition for rehearing en banc, FilmOn X, which also had appeals pending in the DC and Seventh Circuits, settled all its disputes with CBS, Fox, Disney, and NBC.

Star Athletica v Varsity Brands

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a very important decision to the fashion design industry in the so-called cheerleader uniform case, Star Athletica v Varsity Brands, holding that a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection if the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the useful article, and (2) would qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic or sculptural work — either on its own or fixed in some other tangible medium of expression — if it were imagined separately from the useful article into which it is incorporated. In so holding, the Court explained that copyright affords “no right to prohibit any person from manufacturing [clothing] of identical shape, cut, and dimensions.” and that “two-dimensional designs appearing on the surface of [clothing]” including “combinations, positionings, and arrangements” of shapes, colors, lines, etc. are protectable by copyright.

Lenz v. Universal Music

The Court also denied the petition for cert in the famous dancing baby case, Lenz v. Universal Music, which concerned the liability of a copyright owner under Section 512(f ) for materially misrepresenting in a notification of claim that the challenged material or activity is infringing. The issue at stake was whether a DMCA takedown notice sender formed a good faith belief that material or activity is infringing.

Elsevier Inc. v. Sci-Hub, ACS v. Sci-Hub

Also in June, in Elsevier Inc. v. Sci-Hub — a case involving Sci-Hub’s unauthorized reproduction and distribution of Elsevier’s copyrighted works — the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of Elsevier, awarding the publisher $15 million in damages. Likewise, ACS took Sci-Hub to court, although that verdict included the additional boon of the ability to seek orders against search engines like Google to cut links to Sci-Hub due to its status as an infringer.

Disney v. VidAngel

In August, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling in Disney v. VidAngel, in which VidAngel which was providing a service that decrypts DVDs and filters “objectionable” content from movies and TV shows, and streams the programs to its customers. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, holding that its service violated Plaintiffs’ exclusive rights to reproduce and publicly perform the movie-studio plaintiff’s copyrighted works, and violated DMCA Section 1201(a)(1)(A) by circumventing the technological protection measures on DVDs and Blu-ray discs. It further rejected VidAngel’s argument that a content filtering service complies with the Family Home Movie Act (FMA) as well as its fair use defense.

Penguin Random House v. Colting

In September, in Penguin Random House v. Colting [aka Kinderguides case] — a case involving a series of children’s books that “contain a condensed, simplified version of the plot[s]” of classic American novels — Judge Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the authors and book publishers, holding that the series of children’s books “infringe[d] upon plaintiffs’ exclusive right to reproduce their novels … and [their] exclusive right to exploit the market for derivative works based on their novels.”

Naruto v. Slatter

Also in September, the famous Monkey-Selfie case — Naruto v. Slater — settled. The case, which PETA brought against photographer David Slater who they alleged infringed the copyright belonging to a monkey, raised the issue of whether a monkey can be considered the author of a photograph. Under the terms of the settlement, Slater agreed to “donate 25 percent of any future gross revenue that he derives from using or selling any or all of the monkey selfies to registered charities dedicated to protecting the welfare or habitat of Naruto and other crested macaques in Indonesia.”

Flo & Eddie v. SiriusXM

In October, in Flo & Eddie v. SiriusXM, a case concerning pre-1972 sound recordings, which are not protected under federal law, and the public performance right, Florida’s Supreme Court stated that, in bringing the case, “Flo & Eddie essentially asks this Court to recognize an unworkable common law right in pre-1972 sound recordings that is broader than any right ever previously recognized in any sound recording” and ruled that “Florida common law does not recognize an exclusive right of public performance in pre-1972 sound recordings.”

The Leaders Institute v. Jackson

In November, in The Leaders Institute v. Jackson, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas rejected the Perfect 10’s “server test,” in which the Ninth Circuit held that in-line linking (also known as “framing”) images on a website without actually hosting (i.e. copying) those images did not infringe the author’s right of public display. The Dallas court rejected that test, ruling that “to the extent Perfect 10 [case] makes actual possession of a copy a necessary condition to violating a copyright owner’s exclusive right to display her copyrighted works, the Court respectfully disagrees with the Ninth Circuit.” The court went on to say that “the text of the Copyright Act does not make actual possession of a copy of a work a prerequisite for infringement. To display a work, someone need only show a copy of the work; a person need not actually possess a copy to display a work.”

Signature Mgmt. Team v. Doe

Later that month another significant case, this one by the Sixth Circuit in Signature Mgmt. Team v. Doe, held that there is a presumption in favor of unmasking John Doe defendants after a judgment in favor of the plaintiff has been entered. The court explained that “courts must consider both the public interest in open records and the plaintiff’s need to learn the anonymous defendant’s identity in order to enforce its remedy” and that “where a Doe defendant’s speech is found to be beyond the protection of the First Amendment, countering the presumption will require a showing that the Doe defendant participates in a significant amount of other, non-infringing anonymous speech that would be chilled if his identity were revealed.”

U.S. v. BMI

And coming in right under the wire is U.S. v. BMI case, which was decided on December 19. At issue in the case was the Department of Justice’s 100% licensing mandate which it was attempting to enforce under BMI’s consent decree. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the lower court decision, ruling against the mandate and holding that no provision of BMI’s consent decree prohibits the performing rights organization from engaging in fractional licensing. The decision is tremendous victory for songwriters, composers, and music publishers.

Anticipated Verdicts

Looking ahead to 2018, there will no shortage of important copyright decisions. In 2017, oral arguments were heard in BMG Rights Management (U.S.) LLC v. Cox Communications in the Fourth Circuit, which involves standards for contributory infringement and repeat infringer policies under the DMCA; Capitol Records v. Redigi, in the Second Circuit, which concerns the applicability of the first sale doctrine to the distribution of digital files; and Oracle v. Google in the Federal Circuit, which relates to whether Google’s use of Oracle’s software code was fair use; Fox News Network v. TVEyes in the Second Circuit, a case involving TVEyes’ service copying of broadcasts from over 1,400 TV and radio stations 24/7 and distributes the content to subscribers under the guise of fair use; and Cambridge University Press v Becker [aka the GSU case] in the Eleventh Circuit, in which several publishers sued for a pattern of illegal distribution of copyrighted book and journal content through digital course management and similar systems controlled by Georgia State University.

In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the cert petition in Fourth Estate v. — a case concerning whether the requirement in Section 411(a) that a “registration of the copyright claim [must be] made” prior to instituting a case for copyright infringement means the application, fee, and deposit must have been submitted, or that the U.S. Copyright Office must have acted to approve or reject the application.

With all these important cases likely to be decided over the next 12 months, 2018 is shaping up to be another important year for copyrights in the courts.

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Copyright Law in 2017: A Look at What Happened on Capitol Hill Tue, 09 Jan 2018 08:00:17 +0000 Major 2017 legislation included Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017 and Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act.

The post Copyright Law in 2017: A Look at What Happened on Capitol Hill appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.


by Keith Kupferschmid Keith is the CEO of the Copyright Alliance. For more blogs by Keith and the Alliance, click here.

2017 was a tumultuous year — even in the copyright world.

In this three-part series, we’re taking a look at the most significant U.S. copyright moments of 2017 from a few different perspectives: what happened on Capitol Hill, in the courts, and in the headlines.

Copyright and Capitol Hill

In December 2016, we were recoiling from the Librarian of Congress’ abrupt removal of Maria Pallante as the Register of Copyrights. There was an immediate backlash against the Librarian in response to a public survey regarding the next Register. Around that same time, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and then-Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released the first policy proposal to come out of the Committee’s review of U.S. Copyright law. Among other things, that proposal made it clear “the next Register and all that follow should be subject to a nomination and consent process” and thus, not chosen by the Librarian.

Introducing the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017

The Rules Committee very rarely considers legislation relating to copyright or the U.S. Copyright Office, and therefore there was a significant learning curve for the Committee staff that took up most of the second half of 2017.

This proposal led to the introduction and eventual passage by the House of the H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, a bill that would make the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointee. This was a significant accomplishment as it represented the most substantive, stand-alone copyright bill to pass through the House in a decade (since the PRO-IP Act, which passed in 2008). It is worth noting that the vote was not even close — with the bill passing by an overwhelming 378-48 vote on April 26, which coincidentally is World IP Day.

The bill then headed to the Senate for approval where it was joined by companion bill Section 1010, which was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Instead of being referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where virtually all copyright bills are sent, the bill was referred to the Senate Rules Committee. The Rules Committee very rarely considers legislation relating to copyright or the U.S. Copyright Office, and therefore there was a significant learning curve for the Committee staff that took up most of the second half of 2017. At the same time, the Librarian agreed to pause her search for the next Register while Congress considers the legislation. With the Committee now sufficiently briefed on the issues by stakeholders, the bills are more likely to be considered going forward in 2018. If that proves not to be the case, it’s likely the Librarian will take her finger off the pause button and select a new Register. If and when that happens, we may very well revisit the turmoil we witnessed during the Fall/Winter of 2016.

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

Another bill that received a lot of attention and support in 2017 is H.R. 3945, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017, which was introduced in October by Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Tom Marino (R-PA), as well as Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Ted Lieu (D-CA). The bill would create a voluntary small claims board within the 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. With strong bipartisan support, little opposition and creators across the country beginning to voice their support for the bill, we expect H.R. 3945 to receive significant consideration in the House in 2018.

Several Music Bills Came to the Forefront

Several music bills, like the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, the AMP Act, the CLASSICS Act and the PROMOTE Act were also introduced. A much more controversial and contentious music bill, H.R. 3350, the Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act, was introduced by Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI). This bill, which would seek to establish a government-administered database for music and sound recordings within the U.S. Copyright Office, faced steep opposition from many in the music community, including the Copyright Alliance.

The music bill that is most likely to move in 2018 is actually one that wasn’t introduced until the end of 2017 (December 21 to be exact). For several months, Rep. Collins had been working with stakeholders on a bill called the Music Modernization Act that will change the way on-demand streaming services pay mechanical royalties and would create an organization to collect and distribute those royalties. That organization would create a database to make it easier to identify, locate and pay rights holders and reform Section 114 to improve the rate court process for ASCAP and BMI. The bill is co-sponsored by Congressmen Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Diane Black (R-TN), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Ted Lieu (D-CA).

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Managing Intellectual Property in the Era of the Socially Responsible Organization Mon, 08 Jan 2018 14:49:56 +0000 We're highlighting six core social responsibility practices for managing intellectual property and copyright in the era of CSR.

The post Managing Intellectual Property in the Era of the Socially Responsible Organization appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

Kraft Heinz released a 70-page document outlining its first-ever corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan, according to the Chicago Tribune. The plan includes the promise to use only eggs from cage-free hens by 2025, representing a significant shift for corporations to make a stronger commitment to socially sustainable initiatives. In fact, “sustainable, responsible and impact investing” in the U.S. totaled $8.72 trillion in 2016, a 33 percent increase from 2014 according to the US SIF Foundation: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.

This shift in spending is an indication that stakeholders now expect businesses to operate in ways that demonstrate their efforts to be good corporate citizens. Like Kraft Heinz, organizations should consider developing a strategy for corporate social responsibility. A CSR program consists of initiatives that support the three dimensions of economic, environmental and social responsibility. In particular, in the area of social responsibility organizations must integrate the respect for and protection of copyright and intellectual property into broader CSR initiatives.

Intellectual property and copyright compliance play an expanding role in CSR as well as broader governance, risk management and compliance strategies. Organizations need policies and processes to identify, capture, organize and protect their portfolio of intellectual property internally, such as copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets and related intangible assets with inherent value. It also includes — with growing awareness and focus —respect for and protection of intellectual property and copyrighted materials produced by others that fall within the corporation’s scope of responsibility.

The core social responsibility practices for managing intellectual property and copyright in the era of CSR are:

1. Understand your risk

An organization should conduct a regular assessment of its policies and controls to see how well they protect the copyrighted material and intellectual property of others — particularly how the company protects the rights of others who create and publish the materials used by the organization. This starts with understanding and creating an inventory of how copyrighted and protected information of all media types — print, electronic, images, motion pictures, music, and more — is used throughout the organization, and identifying areas of the organization at increased risk of noncompliance.

2. Monitor risk and business change

There is a constant cycle of change in employees, business partners, relationships and processes. There is also change in the copyrighted information being used within the organization at any given time. The organization must make sure it is current in understanding where and how copyrighted information is used and then take steps to keep employees and business partners up-to-date on the policies and protection of the company’s property, as well as the intellectual property of others.

3. Set the tone at the top

The critical message of the socially responsible organization, including respect for copyright and other intellectual property rights, must be communicated from and demonstrated by executives who follow the same rules as everyone else.

4. Keep policies and training current

Written policies that are inaccessible are meaningless. Organizations need active training programs to educate and develop a culture of respect and protection with respect to copyrighted information. This goes beyond messaging about compliance with the law, and extends to establishing a culture that behaves in a socially responsible way when using and sharing the information of others inside and outside of an organization.

5. Make someone accountable

Someone needs to be in charge. The socially responsible organization will see there is a role focused on keeping policies and controls current for the protection of copyright and intellectual property. This role serves as an advocate for developing such a culture and making sure policies are understood and training is completed.

6. Keep it consistent

Every organization needs ongoing assessment of intellectual property and copyright protection policies and controls to assess the state of compliance across the organization. This involves surveys, self-assessments and automated assessments for regular compliance risk and control monitoring. Success requires that risk assessments not only be done on a periodic basis, but also when there is significant business change that could impact compliance policies.

The sharing of information company-wide puts organizations at risk

A CSR plan is an opportunity to help reinforce an organization’s values and boundaries.

When related practices — including policies, training and controls — are not centrally defined, managed and communicated, organizations risk violating the copyright and intellectual property rights of others. The socially responsible organization understands this and ensures that the organization uses the property of others in a way that complies with the law and is respectful of copyright.

Still, the ability to share timely information is paramount for businesses striving to build and maintain a competitive edge. While technology has made it easy to find and use content, obtaining copyright permissions can be time-consuming and potentially expensive. An enterprise-wide annual copyright license which covers common uses of materials across the organization may be an effective solution to mitigate risk and increase efficiencies.

Keep Reading:

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2018 Copyright Trends: 7 I Want to See and 3 I Don’t Thu, 04 Jan 2018 08:00:51 +0000 Looking ahead at things to come for copyright. Some are welcome, some are not.

The post 2018 Copyright Trends: 7 I Want to See and 3 I Don’t appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

As is traditional, near the beginning of the new year, we take a look ahead at things to come in Copyrightland. Some prospects we welcome; some, not so much.

Trends that should grow

  • Legislation: I’d like to see Congress pass one or more of the many pieces of Copyright legislation that are currently in the legislative hopper. We’ve posted about the CASE Act already; I continue to think the innovation it represents – an Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure for copyright cases under a specified dollar limits – is basically a good idea. Passing Senate 1010 (about the appointing procedure for Register of Copyright) might also be to the good; I’d also like to see the situation improved with regard to creators getting paid for the use of their music in the streaming environment (cf H.R. 1836, see also Rep. Collins’ (R-GA) ‘Music Modernization Act’).
  • Battling Behemoths: I’d like to see the issues in Oracle v. Google resolved. I’m not counting on that, though. (I’d also like to see the European Commission pass some of the copyright revisions that they have been working on bravely for a couple of years already; but I am not counting on that, either.)
  • Digitize and preserve: I’d like to see more digitization of older works and collections by organizations like HathiTrust, the DPLA. So long as the substantial and legitimate concerns of actual rightsholders are respected, I am a great fan of preservation and digitization — these activities contribute to the public good, which is one of the core goals of copyright (the other is incenting creators to create).
  • Open Access: I’d like to see greater clarity from the US Administration on their approach to Open Access for the research outputs of projects funded with Federal money. It’s been a while since the public have had any updates or reaffirmations on this.
  • Creators: I’d love to see more individual creators, of all media types, thrive and prosper in the new year. “Shine on, you crazy diamond[s].” Let’s aim for more self-publishing successes, more young songsters getting their start through YouTube; more 3D-printed Things.
  • Peer-review: I’d like to see peer-review strengthened and made more efficient; I’d like to see the impact of predatory journals minimized, or fade from the scene entirely. This is one among many pressing issues in scholarly and scientific publishing, and you could do worse than to follow them on a daily basis here (Scholarly Kitchen).
  • Try it before you buy it: I’d like to see more publishing experiments, more pilot projects, and more funding for both. These guys (Digital Science), for example, are doing amazing things.

Trends that should dwindle or disappear

  • Infringement: I’d like to see fewer poorly-based infringement suits in the entertainment industries clogging up the courts. Sometimes, it turns out that someone copied your stuff; and, assuming you have a good shot at proving it, we all (quite appropriately) have resort to the courts. Usually, though, it may simply seem like your idea was copied; and that by itself is simply not actionable under copyright. It seems like the last guy who won one of these was Art Buchwald, back in 1992. My view is similar regarding suits stemming from critical comments within YouTube postings . Too often, these may amount to attempts to restrict legitimate criticism. Don’t do that.
  • No Term Extension: I’d like to see no extension of the term of copyright in the US. It seems to me that if 95 years isn’t enough, nothing is. In other words, I’m looking forward to seeing more materials enter the public domain due to their copyright terms expiring, a year from now.
  • Fact-driven policy: On a utopian note, I’d like to see less ideology and more practicality injected into copyright policy debates. But what are the odds of that happening?

Have I missed anything? You tell me – leave a comment.

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Presenting Content Data to Stakeholders? 4 Things to Keep in Mind Wed, 03 Jan 2018 16:00:35 +0000 Once you’ve compiled your content usage, spend and value data, here are a few tactics to keep in mind when presenting visualizations to stakeholders.

The post Presenting Content Data to Stakeholders? 4 Things to Keep in Mind appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

Visualizations enable information managers to deliver data in a clear, succinct, and targeted way. Internal stakeholders, such as senior management, while keen to understand why decisions are made, are largely unfamiliar with the complexity and nuances of the data itself. They want to see the bottom line, net effect of the data. What story is the data telling and how should the business adjust?

This excerpt below from our new white paper, Tell Your Information Center’s ROI Story Through Data Visualizations, highlights a few tactics to keep in mind when presenting visualizations to stakeholders:

Know Your Audience

The first and most important consideration is knowing what your audience cares about. What’s important to your key stakeholder in finance will likely not be of the same importance as it is to your R&D organization. Hone your message, emphasize what is important to each group, and target the message to align with their priorities.

When thinking about your visualization, ask “What exactly does my audience need to know?” From there, you can determine if that information should be presented simply, such as a single bar graph, or in a more complex breakdown that features additional elements.

Tell a Story

A visualization is only as good as the narrative that accompanies it. The best shot at gaining support from your organization’s stakeholders will be if you can present a story that’s both easy to understand and backed by facts.

Think about why this formula works.

  • A narrative, based on your own historical knowledge or intuition can be compelling, but it might not garner trust.
  • A visual on its own won’t be helpful if people can’t easily decipher what the data means.

Make that Story Actionable

Here’s a worst-case scenario. You just presented a data visualization, having spent hours perfecting the visuals. It might look beautiful, but after the presentation, your audience files it away, forgetting its relevance and takeaways.

The end goal is always to have your audience, particularly those unfamiliar with the data, to be able to quickly sum up what action needs to be taken based on what they learned from the data.

To the degree possible, tie your communications to overarching business goals. Ask questions, and rely on your entire organization to ensure you’re providing the best resources possible.

Related: What is Value Data and Why Do Information Managers Need It?

Keep Design Simple

The clearer, more succinct the message, the more memorable it will be. Start by presenting a high-level overview of the most important data and dig into the granular details when necessary.

A data visualization with legends, colors and charts may show the wealth of data at your disposal, but most people in your audience won’t want to spend time analyzing the message. Particularly for an audience seeing the data for the first time, this type of visualization will be overwhelming and ultimately ineffective.

Ready to learn more? Check out:

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3 Things for Information Managers to Keep in Mind for 2018 Wed, 27 Dec 2017 08:28:18 +0000 Check out three ways to overcome information manager challenges in 2018.

The post 3 Things for Information Managers to Keep in Mind for 2018 appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

What were your top challenges managing R&D content and providing information services this year? Every corporate information center is different, but industry trends show a clear pattern of pain points, regardless of company size.

According to Outsell, in 2017, information challenges at the forefront were: taking the reins of data; navigating shifting budgets; and managing smarter tools.

Moving forward, to address these challenges in 2018, here are few things you should keep in mind:

Create a Better Research Access & Search Experience

Publishers, researchers and libraries have relied on IP addresses to authorize content access for many years. But in today’s distributed environment, more effective solutions are needed to facilitate a seamless, intuitive and consistent user experience.

And even when researchers have seamless access to content, with 2.5 million articles being published annually, today’s researchers are tasked with sifting through more content than ever before. When looking for information, researchers need to have confidence they will find the relevant content they seek – fast. Information centers and knowledge managers support this effort– but weeding through irrelevant search results is an ongoing challenge.

To combat these challenges, look out for the tools at your disposal to provide better research experiences. For example, the Resource Access for the 21st Century initiative works to improve user access to subscribed content across a range of content platforms. You can learn more about RA21’s pilot programs in this on-demand webinar, featuring testimonials from GlaxoSmithKline and the American Chemical Society.

Another avenue to explore is semantic enrichment. Look at this white paper, Semantic Enrichment and the Information Manager, to learn how this concept can work across your organization, in areas like early phase research, competitive intelligence, pharmacovigilance and IDMP.

Find a Way to Showcase Your Information Center’s Value

Most information managers face the challenge of content being a target during budget cuts. When internal stakeholders and the C-Suite don’t have enough insight into what the information center does, making the case for content investments becomes more difficult.

There are several ways you can showcase your information center’s value – but data insights need to be at the helm of this strategy. Information managers have been using usage statistics for years to determine what content researchers consider important. While quantitative analytics are extremely important, standalone usage statistics are only the starting point. Data needs to tell a story that goes beyond numbers, and provides a more precise picture of what users are most interested in – and which content supports overarching business initiatives.

Here are a few steps to follow:

  1. First, make sure you are sharing the right data.
  2. Second, make sure you’re involving the right people.
  3. Third, make sure you’re showcasing the information in an easily digestible way, such as through data visualizations.

Turn Information into Knowledge

As corporate libraries evolve, there’s a need to shift from an explicit learning environment to a tacit one. Tacit knowledge, defined as personal and undocumented knowledge that’s dynamically created and experience based, requires information managers to think beyond managing content and move into determining ways to curate and disseminate this information in more consumable ways to help accelerate research.

How can you make changes that will incorporate tacit knowledge alongside traditional information resources? At Shire, Jill Shuman’s advice is to “start simply and begin by adding a series of podcast interviews with [your] scientists, and then perhaps branch out into building communities of practice, where like-minded employees can share best practices within an environment that can be both archived and searched.”

Continued Reading: What’s in a Name? The Library vs. Knowledge Management Center


What are your 2018 top goals for your corporate information center? Let us know in the comments below.

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Clash of the Copyrights: Google versus Oracle Tue, 26 Dec 2017 06:43:22 +0000 What happens when behemoths battle? Here's a look inside the copyright aspect of the Google vs. Oracle case.

The post Clash of the Copyrights: Google versus Oracle appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

The Google versus Oracle story dates back a few years, but the copyright aspect of the case is relatively new, and brings in some larger questions than the run-of-the-mill “you stole my code” case.

As many outlets, including The New York Times  and Business Insider, have reported, back in 2010 Oracle initiated a copyright infringement action against Google, based upon Google’s re-use of several thousand lines of Oracle’s Java programming code. This code is used in accessing Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) whose software function is to bring in and ingest data from a variety of sources, on-the-fly. Google argued fair use, claiming that its copying of Oracle’s lines of code was relatively small and ‘transformative.’

During the current round of the case, the jury made two crucial findings:  first was that these API’s met the criteria of copyrightability – they were determined to be sufficiently original, expressive, and fixed. (The first trial in the case had decided that the APIs were not protected by copyright law, and the first appeals court reversed that decision.) Secondly however, the jury went on to find that Google’s use of Oracle’s copyright-protected APIs was excusable as a fair use, a finding which again pushed the envelope of what fair use is said to be.

On appeal of the jury decision, Google has argued that its use of Oracle’s lines of Java code is a “transformative use,” stemming from the fact that Java had not previously been tweaked for use on mobile devices. Many students of copyright law find that assertion troubling.  As one of Oracle’s lawyers argued, “You cannot take the most recognizable part of a short story, adapt it into a film and then defend that by saying: ‘You were in books, we were in films’.

The other key point Google raised on appeal focused on the 4th fair use factor, “effect on the market.” It argued that since Oracle was unlikely to go into the market for applications on mobile devices, this factor (according to Google) should be weighed in Google’s favor.  In response, Oracle actually has some evidence that it had written Java code for mobile devices – and that Google knew that – but had simply not commercialized the development.

Google generally finds itself arguing in favor of greater openness and of greater latitude in the use of the materials owned or controlled by others. Oracle tends to go with a stricter “license as you go” model, and is a member of the Business Software Alliance.

Google’s use of the “transformative” notion here seems a stretch to me, as does its argument that its use had and will have no meaningful effect on Oracle’s potential market. But those were questions for the jury, and now again for the appeals panel.

The larger implications of this case

Taken more broadly, this is not simply a case between quarreling giants. If Google’s use of Oracle’s APIs were generalized, such that use of this sort became considered presumptively ‘fair’, what becomes of software producers and their profit motive? As Immanuel Kant, and my mom (and actually Oracle too), have asked, “What if everyone did that?” If Google’s reasoning prevails, what will become of the business of software development? Are its incentives to produce in danger of being reduced?

It seems likely, then, that these larger questions are going to need to be sorted out, possibly soon.  As we go on into our digital future, we will constantly be surrounded by software, whether it resides in devices in our pockets, our vehicles, or our refrigerators. This fight, like earlier fights in copyright, is not so much about money as it is about control. In that way, it might almost be seen as a primarily political contest, of which the court actions are merely a single aspect.

Most likely, a decision on the appeal will arrive in the spring of 2018. And then, another round in a higher court? Seems more likely than not.

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