Category United States

Spotify Brings Music into Podcasts

(This is my first article in a while; I have been working on a larger-scale writing project over the past couple of months, about which I hope to be able to share more soon. I am also in discussions with the Copyright Society of the USA about the next Copyright and Technology conference; we are […]

Copyright Office’s Section 512 Report Finds the Balance Askew

Five years ago, the U.S. Copyright Office commenced a study on Section 512 of the copyright law, the section that defines limitations of copyright liability (“safe harbors”) for online service providers, arguably the most important part of American copyright law in the digital age. Last week the Office released the results of the study in […]

Wiley Reaches Detente with Academic Social Network ResearchGate

Academic and scientific researchers have their own social networks. One of the biggest differences between these services and LinkedIn or Twitter is that researchers are interested in other researchers’ content as much as they are in social interactions. This has led academic social networks to find ways of getting users to post their papers and […]

The Internet Archive’s Copyright Emergency

Sometime last year, I was chatting about digital first sale and e-lending with a highly respected copyright lawyer, someone who is deeply knowledgeable about those issues. We were talking about the library community’s longstanding attempts to get a lending right for digital files in law. We noted that those folks have apparently given up on […]

Plugging Another Analog Hole in Music Royalties

While many areas of the music industry have digital infrastructure in place to facilitate royalty payments more or less accurately, a few analog corners remain. These are for music uses where royalties are calculated based on incomplete information using statistical samples and other “black box” methods. One of them is terrestrial AM/FM radio: performance rights […]

Libraries Take E-Book Lending Fight into Antitrust Territory

The U.S. library community has gotten involved in the investigation that Congress recently opened into possible anticompetitive behavior by Big Tech. The American Library Association, the advocacy group for public and academic libraries, sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee last week complaining of unfair behavior from Amazon as well as Big Five trade […]

UC Davis’s Plan to Disrupt Textbook Publishing

We are entering a period of real disruption in the textbook publishing industry, as the major textbook publishers are finding out that their strategy of continuously raising prices isn’t working anymore. As we saw a couple of weeks ago, Pearson’s new strategy includes taking over relationships with professors and students instead of ceding them to […]

Pearson Launches Digital-First Textbook Strategy

Pearson, the world’s largest educational publisher, announced on Tuesday that it is transitioning to a digital-first model for textbook publishing, moving away from the print-edition-based model that has been the foundation of higher education publishing for centuries. In its press release, the company announced that it will move almost all of its 1500 U.S. textbook […]

Podcasting Leaves the Copyright Garden of Eden

For fifteen years — until last week — podcasting was a relatively untouched and unspoiled environment regarding copyright issues. Apart from clearing rights for music used within podcasts, no one in podcasting thought much about copyright. If you produced a podcast, you paid a distributor like Libsyn or Blubrry to host it and get it […]

For Digital First Sale, It’s Still 2001

Seventeen years ago, the U.S. Copyright Office — Congress’s official advisor on copyright issues — published an opinion for Congress on whether there should be a first sale right for digital content: a right for consumers to alienate (sell, lend, rent, or give away) digital files, like the one that exists for physical items like […]