Copyright – Copyright Clearance Center Rights Licensing Expert Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:33:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Copyright – Copyright Clearance Center 32 32 Scoreboard: 2018 Copyright Trends Fri, 14 Dec 2018 08:01:11 +0000 How did our predictions for copyright trends in 2018 stack up against reality? Read on for the wins, the losses, and more.

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This time last year, our experts made some predictions about what to expect in the world of copyright in 2018. Here is how those expectations stacked up to reality.

Trends that should grow: 4-1-2

  • 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 limit – 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’). Scoreboard: Win. It was an active year for legislation. The Music Modernization Act passed, hearings were underway as recently as September for both Senate 1010 and the CASE 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.) Scoreboard: Loss. Although Oracle v. Google and the European Commission made headlines throughout 2018, neither reached a conclusion.
  • 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). Scoreboard: Win. DLPA scaled back its efforts, but overall this trend continued to grow in 2018.
  • Open Access: I’d like to see greater clarity from the US Administration on their approach to Open Access (OA) for the research outputs of projects funded with Federal money. It’s been a while since the public has had any updates or reaffirmations on this. Scoreboard: Win. OA made even bigger waves than we anticipated with the introduction of Plan S.
  • 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 ThingsScoreboard: Tie. Self-publishing, YouTube and 3D printing may not have lived up to be the trends we anticipated, but creators still had a great 2018 with audiobooks and podcasts.
  • 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). Scoreboard: Win. Peer-review is a key value-add for many publishers, and 2018 saw notable efforts to streamline the process (as well as an increasing distaste for predatory journals).
  • 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. Scoreboard: Tie. We’re impressed by MIT’s PubPub, but overall this trend didn’t quite reach the heights we had hoped to see.

Trends that should dwindle or disappear: 2-1-0

  • 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. Scoreboard: Loss. Unfortunately, 2018 didn’t see much progress here.
  • 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. Scoreboard: Win. No extension occurred, so a variety of fantastic content will enter the public domain on January 1, 2019.
  • 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? Scoreboard: Win. The utopian dream became a legislative reality when the common-sense Music Modernization Act passed unanimously and was signed into law. May 2019 and beyond bring more fact-driven public processes.

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Publisher Voices Raised for Copyright Thu, 18 Oct 2018 19:12:30 +0000 Michael Healy and Michiel Kolman took the stage at the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair to discuss the state of copyright. What are publishers doing to ensure their voices are being heard in Europe, Asia, North America and elsewhere?

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Michael Healy, Executive Director, International Relations, Copyright Clearance Center, and Michiel Kolman, President of the International Publishers Association and Senior Vice President for Information Industry Relations, Elsevier, took the stage at the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair to discuss the state of copyright.

Making copyright fit for purpose for the digital world is a popular undertaking for governments– though almost never so for publishers. So-called “reforms” are often little more than thinly-veiled attacks on the fundamental principles of intellectual property and the livelihoods of publishers and authors. Notions of balance seem to have vanished as the scales tip further away from rightsholders. What are publishers doing to ensure their voices are being heard in Europe, Asia, North America and elsewhere? Who is helping publishers to defend their business and creative interests? How can you make certain your voice gets heard?

Stream the Discussion


Michael Healy: …You touched on something that I was going to ask explicitly about, which is perhaps the primary difference in recent years is how well funded and well organized the opponents of copyright are. As you were saying, these are really significant, global, politically powerful interests. Can we succeed against them when they marshal all this power and all this money against us?

Michiel Kolman: First of all, we have no choice. We’ve shown in Strasbourg that we can. One of the things which I thought was very interesting when I met with the MEPs is that there was a bit of overkill of aggressive lobbying on the other side. The MEP I met said that he got so many messages – actually also phone calls – where they told him we know what you voted last time, and we are going to watch what you’re going to vote this time. This was almost bordering on unacceptable behavior. And I think we showed that we can make that difference and we can also lobby for copyright effectively.

I do feel that we should slowly change the narrative. I feel that copyright should be far more embraced in discussions as an enabler of creativity, an enabler of the diversity of what we publish, or an enabler of innovation. So what is it that copyright can bring to society, rather than just that copyright is something where we protect our assets and it’s important for publishers to do their job.

MH:  You and I had lunch together in New York a couple of weeks ago, and you had just returned from a visit to Canada.  Everybody in this audience, in this book fair, is aware of the enormously damaging legislation that was passed in Canada in 2012.  That is now up for its five-year review.  You and your successor Hugo and Jose were there.  Any reasons to be cheerful, as they say, at the end of that?

MK:  So when I travel around the world and I talk to leaders or government leaders or members of parliament, etc., they will always say why should we not have an exception for copyright for education?  It’s so good that educational material will be more easily available for students, and it will help teachers as well.  Of course, I understand how easily attractive that argument is.

We will always give this example of Canada.  Five years ago, a blanket, broad exception for education was introduced in Canada, and we’ve seen devastating effects.  We’ve seen publishing houses closing down.  We’ve seen other publishing houses reducing their staff.  If you are a Canadian author, you want to write a textbook, why would you do it in Canada, because you know that you’ll not get the financial reward you’re entitled to?

I think another important aspect there is that Canadian students will not have access to Canadian textbooks that reflect the heritage, as they say in Canada, in other country, the culture – of their own country?  It could very well be, if we don’t do anything there, that it’s the Texas Board of Education who’s more or less determining what textbooks are going to be used in Canada.  That’s something that should not happen.

Now, in the discussions there, which we had with high-ranking officials and members of Parliament, they were surprised when I told them that in the international perspective, what happened in Canada five years ago was – they’re a complete outlier.  This is, I would say, the exception on exceptions… I cannot think of any other country which has such a broad exception for education, and they were not fully aware of that.  It was actually very powerful that they heard it from Hugo Setzer, our vice president, who testified in Parliament there, or from Jose Borghino, my secretary general, or myself, because we’re not Canadians.  We have this international perspective and could really show that what happens in Canada is an – they’re an outlier, and it’s really not a normal practice, as you would see in other countries, where they have small, well-defined exceptions with compensation, for instance.

MH:  …There’s all the lobbying and government relations associated with this effort.  There’s all the anti-infringement, anti-piracy work associated with it.  What about the other pillars?  The first one I want to talk about is copyright education.  Do we invest enough in educating readers and students and teachers in their responsibilities as well as their rights as consumers of content?

MK:  I think that’s a great opportunity.  I am an STM publisher.  We meet brilliant scientists, and they have very limited knowledge of copyright.  As a result, they will do things with their articles which is in violation of copyright, and they’re – either they don’t know or they’re not aware.  So there’s great opportunity there, absolutely.

But I would say overall in the copyright discussion, it’s linked to a much broader discussion, and that’s the value of publishing.  If the value of publishing is more broadly appreciated and recognized, the copyright discussions are easier.  And I think that is an area where we also should all invest in.  Whether you’re a trade publisher or a literary publisher or an educational publisher or a science publisher, I mean, if the products that we deliver – our books and articles and databases – don’t have that appreciated value, then the copyright discussions are becoming much more complicated.

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Highlights from the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair Thu, 11 Oct 2018 20:26:36 +0000 Even those who didn't make it to Germany in person can still access the top highlights from the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair with this roundup.

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From breaking industry news to intelligent analysis of business trends, there were plenty of highlights from the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair to remember. Browse the social media posts below for an insight into the exciting topics that defined #FBM18.



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U.S. Copyright News Must-Reads: Summer 2018 in Review Mon, 24 Sep 2018 08:00:38 +0000 Catch up on Summer 2018’s vital U.S. copyright news with headlines selected by CCC and Copyright Alliance from Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Reuters and more.

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Each quarter, Copyright Clearance Center and the Copyright Alliance team up to share a curated selection of important articles from the past few months on copyright issues in the U.S. Check out the following blogs and articles from summer 2018:

“U.S. appeals court revives case against CBS over pre-1972 recordings” from Reuters

Is a remastered track of an oldie substantially different enough to constitute a new creation with its own copyright protections? The answer determines whether royalties for use of the remastered track are due to the original musician, or to the producers of the new master. The 9th Circuit’s recent decision reversed a trial court opinion that the remastering process produced enough originality to warrant a new copyright, which had raised the specter that works could end up with eternal copyrights as long as they were remastered regularly.

“Senate Passes Music Modernization Act” via Variety

Recently approved by the Senate, new legislation supported by tens of thousands on social media continues on-track to become a law that would “fix” licensing and royalty legislation for the streaming era.

“The CASE Act is the Solution to the Alleged Copyright Troll Problem, Not the Cause” via Copyright Alliance

H.R. 3945 – the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017 – would offer a speedier “small claims court” for individual creators and small businesses that are victimized by infringement but can’t afford to enforce their rights in federal court. (Editor’s note: as of mid-September, the bill is waiting action in the House Judiciary Committee.)

“Appeals Court Won’t Take Up Copyright Decision That Raised Alarm About Embedding, Linking” via The Hollywood Reporter

A professional photographer’s image of Tom Brady went viral on social media, and in February a judge ruled that embedding social posts with the image constituted infringement. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency appeal of that ruling as “unwarranted” (although it may be appealed in the ordinary course when proceedings conclude in the trial court).

U.S. Judge Claims Using Photo Found on the Internet is Actually ‘Fair Use’” via Newsweek

Some experts consider photography protections seriously at risk after a judge from the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that a film festival’s commercial use of an image found online (and flagged “all rights reserved”) was fair use.

Related Reading:

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Pop Copyright: Summer 2018 in Review Mon, 17 Sep 2018 08:00:45 +0000 How have recent appearances of copyright law in popular culture impacted literature, movies, pirates and the taste of cheese?

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Underestimate the reach of copyright law at your peril – it has influenced and continues to influence nearly every major industry in the global economy. Each quarter, we recap the surprising ways that copyright has entered into major world events and popular culture.

“Edam it! The taste of cheese cannot be copyrighted, court told” via Politico Europe

Although some tastes may be as recognizable as a famous work of art, a case in the European Court of Justice finds that copyright law does not protect the flavor of a food product.

“Copyright Suit Over Blackbeard Shipwreck Footage Sinks” via Bloomberg Law

Queen Anne’s Revenge is at the center of the conflict between the State of North Carolina and an underwater videographer who alleges that N.C. infringed on his copyright by using his footage of the shipwreck.

“Cox Settles Trailblazing Lawsuit That Demanded ISPs Get Tough on Piracy” via The Hollywood Reporter

Protections against copyright infringement can be the linchpin in preventing large-scale infringement of entertainment media from BMG, Universal and Warner.

“Appeals Court Won’t Take Up Copyright Decision That Raised Alarm About Embedding, Linking” via The Hollywood Reporter

Social sharing of photographs clashes with copyright protections in the case of a tweeted photo of Tom Brady.

“G.M. Used Graffiti in a Car Ad. Should the Artist Be Paid?” via The New York Times

Graffiti may be gaining respect in the art world, but its ephemeral nature combined with the frequent anonymity of its creators leads to ambiguities in the application of copyright protections.

Related Reading

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Raising Up Journal Publishing Standards in Emerging Economies Mon, 10 Sep 2018 14:12:39 +0000 Dr. Haseeb Irfanullah and Sioux Cumming discuss the evolution of Bangladeshi scholarly publishing, and best practices applicable for emerging economies.

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“Bangladesh … is a very small and highly populous country in South Asia, better known for its natural disasters and other climatic impacts,” explains Dr. Haseeb Irfanullah, Programme Coordinator for the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Executive Editor or the Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy. “But we do research, and we do publish our journals. And you’ll be amazed to know that there are lots of journals being published from Bangladesh with support from the government.”

Raising Up Journal Publishing Standards

Dr. Inrfanullah is joined by Sioux Cumming, International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) program specialist, to discuss the evolution of Bangladeshi contributions to scholarly publishing, and best practices applicable to all emerging economies. Since 2016, Africa Journals Online and INASP have developed detailed publishing standards and a publication quality ranking system intended to guide local researchers and editors and spotlight their work. JPPS – the Journal Publishing Practices and Standards – is a framework for providing accreditation and support for journals that are hosted on the Journals Online platforms (JOLs). These include BanglaJOL in Bangladesh as well as others in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Latin America. JPPS has been shortlisted for the 2018 ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing, which will be announced on Thursday, September 13, 2018.

Interview highlights

Dr. Haseeb Irfanullah: “One of the purposes of this particular dialogue [about cultural change in Bangladesh] was being self-critical and regarding what can be done realistically because we can set our target really, really high, but it is not physical. (sp?) So one thing we did – I can summarize all the things we do in, say, four points. The first thing is what we can do on a short-term basis. For example, if we are not having quality manuscripts, what can be done? So there are some action points. How to (inaudible) your journal, how to make them attractive to (inaudible) authors.

“A second point is kind of a peer pressure. We proposed that, and it could be done, Bangladesh Journal Watch, it’s a kind of a watchdog which will kind of monitor whether a particular journal is doing well or not. You might be (inaudible) a new system, JPPS, Journal Publishing Practice and Standards, which is kind of a joint venture of African Journal (sic) OnLine and INASP. They tried to put stars on BanglaJOL journals, and only handful of actually got one or two stars out of three stars, and most of them actually found not doing that well. So that kind of peer pressure could be quite an interesting thing to have.

“The third thing I would like to say is more like a policy intervention. We don’t have any regulation from the government side, so what about having a national science publishing policy that will guide us what to publish, when to publish, and how to publish so that the journals can keep a particular standard.

And the final thing is one of the major issues why we publish so much, we want to publish, we focus on numbers – quantity – rather than quality because academics, they need to show that they have been publishing quite a lot, so they are trying to publish so many papers – (inaudible) papers and others. So we need to influence the academic system, our universities, and both private and public, so that they can actually shift from that kind approach, publish or perish, rather than focus on quality. So these four things can be done if we want to make a real change and be self-critical as well as innovative.”

Sioux Cumming: “We’ve been working with journals from these countries that you mentioned for a number of years now. Of course, African Journals Online started back in the 1990s, when most of these journals were largely invisible. They were housed in universities on bookshelves, and it was really difficult to get hold of this content. So we started this project largely to make these journals more visible. That was our aim at the beginning – just visibility, getting the journals online so that they could be discovered and so that this really valuable research being done in these countries was accessible to a global audience.

“As the project progressed, we began to realize that visibility was not all, that a lot of these journals are published by individuals, by scholars – what we call scholar journals – who have a limited experience of the publishing industry. While the research that they were publishing was fine, the publishing practices surrounding journal publishing were often not as good as they could be. So particularly in the last five years of a project at INASP, we focused very much on helping these journals to improve their quality.

“Prior to that, their policies were not as good as they could have been. They were not aware of things like copyright to a large extent, licensing permissions, the importance of explaining things like their peer review process. And then in the last three years in particular, both AJOL and ourselves have focused on helping the editors to address those publishing practices.

“I want to emphasize here that we’re looking at publishing practices. We’re not looking at the content. We are not subject specialists. So we can’t assist the actual content of the articles and the research that they cover. But we can look at the way in which the journals are being published.”


Read the full transcript here.


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Copyright Legislation in 2018: 4 Pending Bills to Know About Mon, 20 Aug 2018 15:37:48 +0000 Copyright Alliance’s Keith Kupferschmid sizes up the prospects for four popular copyright-related congressional bills in the latter half of 2018.

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For additional blogs by Keith and the Copyright Alliance team, please click here.

Back at the start of 2018, I reviewed several copyright bills pending before Congress and tried to predict which legislation might move forward this year. As we hit the mid-year mark and the legislative days remaining on the Congressional calendar dwindle, it makes sense to revisit these bills with an eye toward what may or may not move forward in the coming weeks and months.

H.R. 5447 and S. 2823, Music Modernization Act

Status Update: Music Modernization Act of 2018 Becomes Law

In January, I made the bold prediction that the bill “most likely to move forward in 2018 is actually one that wasn’t introduced until the end of 2017,” called the Music Modernization Act (MMA).

The MMA combines the previously introduced Music Modernization Act (MMA) of 2017, CLASSICS Act, and the AMP Act, and will, among other things, result in the most significant improvement of music copyright law in more than a generation. When passed, the bill will make it easier for creators across the music industry to earn a fair living through their creativity and will positively impact how music is licensed. It will enable legacy artists (who recorded music before 1972) to be paid royalties when their music is played on digital radio, and provide a consistent legal process for studio professionals – including record producers and engineers – to receive royalties for their contributions to music that they help to create.

The MMA has made its way through Congress steadily throughout 2018. There have been several bumps along the way, resulting in changes to the bill in the spirit of compromise, but none of these obstacles have proven fatal. Ultimately, the many diverse supporters in the music and technology industries, academia and the public continue to push Congress to repair a music ecosystem in need of fixing.

The diversity and breadth of support for the bill is so unheralded that it has resulted in unanimous passage in every instance it has been considered by Congress. Here’s a look at the timeline:

  • In April, the bill flew through the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 32-0.
  • Riding that wave of support, two weeks later, the bill then passed the House of Representatives by a monumental 415-0 vote.
  • From there, it moved to the Senate, where it was considered along with its Senate counterpart S. 2823 by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which (following a May 15 hearing) passed a manager’s amendment to the bill by a unanimous voice vote in June. During the vote, a few issues were raised by Senate Judiciary Committee members that have now been, or are in the process of being, addressed by the stakeholders. While some of the issues are significant, as of the writing of this blog, most were either resolved or on a trajectory to being resolved in the coming days or weeks.

The bill continues to move toward a floor vote. With close to 50 Senate co-sponsors and more likely to join, it seems certain the full Senate will pass a revised version of the MMA when given the opportunity.

Because this legislation is different than the version that passed the House, if the Senate passes the revised bill, the bill must go back to the House for a vote. Given the results when the bill was first considered by the House, it seems certain that it will pass the House and then land on the President’s desk to be signed into law at some point later this year.

H.R 1695 and S. 1010, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017

Status: Slow Progress

In April 2017, the House passed 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 confirmable by the Senate, by an overwhelming 378-48 vote. At the time, 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). Of course, now this feat is somewhat less impressive when compared to the tremendous support received for the MMA in the House.

After passing the House, H.R. 1695 headed to the Senate for approval where it was joined by companion bill S. 1010. 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 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.

In April, the Rules Committee was continuing to consider the bill when Senator Thad Cochran, who chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee, retired. This sent a ripple through Congress that would result in Senator Shelby moving from the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee to become Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Senator Blunt taking his place as the new Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. As with any change in leadership, it takes time for the new Chairman and the Committee staff to get up to speed. But now, with staff in place and several months to consider the bill, it appears that that S. 1010 is primed to move forward by the Committee. Accordingly, time permitting, the Committee may act on the bill later this summer, and hopefully the full Senate can consider and pass the bill before the end of the year.

H.R. 3945, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017

Status: Holding Pattern

Another bill that received a lot of attention and support in 2018 is H.R. 3945, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017. This proposed bill would create a small claims board within the Copyright Office to provide copyright owners with an alternative to the expensive process of bringing infringement claims to federal court. This new board, called the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), would cap damages at $15,000 per work infringed and $30,000 total.

During the House Judiciary Committee markup of the MMA, Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler expressed support for marking up the CASE Act. Despite this strong bipartisan support, little opposition and support from tens of thousands of creators across the country, the bill has yet to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee. It is possible that the Committee may take up the bill when the House returns from its August recess, but there are so few legislative days remaining on the calendar that this is becoming more unlikely. Instead, it is more plausible that the CASE Act will be reintroduced next year as one of the first copyright bills to be considered by the Committee in early 2019.

S. 2559, Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act

Status: Full Speed Ahead

In March, S. 2559, the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled — which would amend U.S. copyright law to allow the U.S. to implement its obligations under the Marrakesh Treaty — was introduced in the Senate.

Both the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees held hearings and unanimously passed the bill. Then, in late June, the full Senate passed S. 2559 by unanimous consent (and also provided its advice and consent for ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled).

After more than ten years without any copyright legislation being passed, it now seems like Congress is on the verge of passing as many as three copyright bills. And with the copyright legislative draught apparently over, and the Small Claims bill being teed up for next year, this momentum shows no sign of stopping.

Related Reading

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International Copyright News Must-Reads: Summer 2018 Mon, 09 Jul 2018 14:01:11 +0000 In a few minutes, catch up on vital international copyright legislation and court case news from Europe, Australia and Canada.

The post International Copyright News Must-Reads: Summer 2018 appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

As the summer season started in the Northern hemisphere, the global conversation about copyright heated up in a number of territories around the world. What happened, particularly, in Europe, Canada and Australia?

Europe: Proposed Copyright Directive for the Digital Age

As recently as on July 5th, we saw a step further in the long and somewhat winding road towards the updating of copyright rules for the digital age in the European Union. That day, the European Parliament voted not to endorse the report approved by its Legal Affairs committee on June 20th and to postpone until September consideration of the proposed new Copyright Directive after more discussions intended to take place in August (when most legislators are on vacation) and in the first weeks of September. At that time, if the then-draft legislation is approved by the Parliament (still a big if), the legislative process will take its next step, which is in negotiation by the Parliament with the other two EU bodies involved: the European Council (representing the EU’s Member States) and the European Commission (representing the European Union’s elected central administration).

Among other things, the proposed legislation creates a new right for news publishers to ensure they are fairly remunerated for the use of their work by sharing platforms and news aggregators. It also contains new measures to fight online copyright infringement, stronger negotiation rights for authors and performers and new exceptions to copyright for text and data mining, education and preservation by cultural heritage institutions such as libraries.

Resistance to the draft Directive from the large tech companies has been fierce and American-style lobbying has taken place, perhaps for the first time with this intensity in the European legislature. And it is not expected that that campaign will stop. In any case, if the Parliament in fact passes the legislation in September, and the negotiations with the Council and Commission are fruitful – none of which is definite – then final approval for the new law would not come before the end of 2018, at which point the EU Member States will then have to “transpose” the Directive into their individual national law, which will likely take two years or more.

According to Politico, Europe’s copyright fight is just getting started

See here the reaction from the Federation of European Publishers to the voting at the European Parliament on July 5th here.

And Billboard offers another take on the impact for the music industry here.

Canada: Royalties Settlement for Copibec

Copibec, the collective licensing organization for text works in Québec, has just published a notice about its recent settlement regarding copyright royalties with Laval University. This is the way in which both parties agreed last June to put an end to the legal dispute between them regarding copyright licensing for the university’s teaching and research activities.

Copibec had launched a class action against Laval in 2014, when the university refused to renew its Copibec license and put into effect an internal policy for the use of third-party works. Both parties now acknowledge that collective management offers important advantages and promotes academic freedom. The settlement (for which the notice, but not the actual text, has just been made public) remains subject to Court approval.

This is happening at a time when a review of the Canada Copyright Modernization Act is being conducted, and the collective licenses and fees from the other Canadian licensing organization for text works, Access Copyright, are being challenged by some education authorities and most universities in English-speaking Canada.

Australia: Copyright Modernization Underway

July 4th marks the final submission date for the consultation launched by the Australian Government on its projected “copyright modernisation”, which aims to bring up to date the Copyright Act of 1968.

Based on reports from the Productivity Commission, stakeholders have been able to contribute their views on the proposals to include new exceptions to copyright (for educational purposes, among others), regulate the use of ‘orphan works’ and how to handle conflicts between contract terms and the scope of exceptions.

See Hugh Stephens’ recent post on the International Publishers Association’s blog for a detailed account of the proposed changes and what is at stake in Australia, where the copyright review is expected to continue into 2019.

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Global Publishing Trends in 2018 Thu, 15 Mar 2018 17:45:00 +0000 The three driving forces behind digital disruption in global publishing are economic shifts, market fragmentation and consumer power.

The post Global Publishing Trends in 2018 appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

How big is global book publishing? And why should you care? Because within the business data lie critical clues for digital transformation.

Rüdiger Wischenbart , co-founder of BookMap, a non-profit initiative on international publishing statistics, believes an understanding of world book markets can drive decisions that will position your content to best advantage everywhere.

Global Publishing Trends in 2018

Author of the highly-regarded Global eBook Report, Wischenbart shared his latest data on the world’s biggest publishing markets during a recent Copyright Clearance Center webinar. As lines blur among books and other media, publishers must manage content assets and rights with the confidence that comes with quality data.

“When we speak here about digital, I’m not only talking about e-books. I’m talking about a digital transformation. I mean that a publishing company suddenly is driven and organized in a digitally organized value chain and work processes,” Wischenbart explains.

“Three major forces that really make the change. Number one, we have arrived – it’s not the future, it’s the present. We have arrived in a network economy for the book industry as well, and that means we have winner-take-all markets, where a few major and bigger and better-financed players are in a so much stronger position than all the little guys.

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“This is reinforced by market fragmentation,” he continues. “When I have a big organization, I can play around here and experiment there and acquire a little start-up or a little imprint from somewhere else. I can really play across all those different niches and fields. I even can fix a mistake that I may have made when – just recently in the US, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury [has been] so much more successful than the publisher had expected. I have the tools to do this, and that is making the competition so much stronger against all the small and middle-sized publishing companies.

“Finally, a third factor [is] that is publishing traditionally thought that the publishers, the authors, and their offer are defining the market. But in a networked economy, in a corporate economy, in all these digital pipes and channels and platforms, it’s the consumers, it’s the customers who define it.”

View the transcript here.

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Levy vs. License: Collective Licensing in the United States Thu, 08 Mar 2018 08:00:59 +0000 The model that we've developed enables rightsholders to choose whether to participate, and if so, which works to license through the system.

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Jessica Pettitt: I’m joined here today by Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel of Copyright Clearance Center, Fred Haber.

Fred, I’m interested in knowing more about the US approach to collective licensing— a market driven option approach.

Why is this more beneficial than a levy system, or something more compulsory, like what exists in other parts of the world?

Frederic Haber: The short answer is that our model provides for greater choice. The levy model, or another model like that, eliminates the possibility of choice on at least one side. What I mean by that is that, in a levy system, often one side or the other might want to opt out but effectively can’t. The model that we’ve developed over the years enables rights holders to choose whether to participate in the licensing system, and if so, which works to license through the system.

The classic example is that you can buy the New York Times on a newsstand for a dollar every day, but you can’t buy a high intensity research biology journal for less than $10,000 a year.

On the flip side, users choose whether or not to take a license based on the terms that are available. The US model is not exclusive in that if our price is too high for what it is that the user wants, for example, the user is able to go directly to the rights holder. If we’re out of line with what the market can support, then it’s possible for both rights holders and users to connect directly.

For example, the Wall Street Journal and a major bank probably have a one-to-one relationship for the use of the Wall Street Journal’s information within that bank. But the Wall Street Journal will participate with us as well, because we’re also going to issue licenses to companies that quarry rocks, or that run retail stores, or that are law firms, which might not be worth a one-to-one negotiation for the Wall Street Journal.

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JP:  Are there any further advantages of a voluntary licensing services beyond choice

FH: Yes, market sensitivity. Market sensitivity determines participation. If, in the long run, rights holders and users don’t both agree with the price at which we’re offering licenses, then one or the other won’t participate.

In a levy system, you’re all in or you’re all out. You really don’t get anything more to it than that.

What our system has also provided is respect for this market sensitivity. It exists in some other systems to a degree, but it doesn’t work all that well there. We offer different prices to different groups of users in the marketplace. This is based on surveys that we do, which indicate that, for example, R&D companies use far more of our science-oriented, copyrighted information than anybody else. So, the prices are higher there, than, for example, in the retail industry, where our surveys indicate very little of the stuff that we have available is used, so the price there is brought down commensurately.

For distributions to rights holders, we also have market sensitivity in that our distribution model is a compromise between a pure volume model (that is, the more that’s copied, the more money you make from us) and a pure value model (that is, the higher your prices in the marketplace already are, the more money you make from us). The classic contrast intended to explain what we are trying to do is that you can buy the New York Times on a newsstand for a dollar or so every day, but you can’t buy a high intensity research biology journal for less than $10,000 a year. There’s something that the market is saying there about the relative value of the two items, and that relative value is built into our distribution model as well.

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