or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Copyright Good News

   March 21st, 2013 Brian Herzog

Right-on signIn case you haven't heard, the Supreme Court issued their decision in Kirtsaeng v Wiley, and common sense has carried the day. Publisher's Weekly has a good write-up, and so does SCOTUSblog.

This of course doesn't mean libraries will never face another copyright-related threat, but it does prevent things from getting ludicriously horrible right now. If you're interested in following copyright and intellectual property news, I highly recommend the Copyfight blog, written by Alan Wexelblat.

And speaking of copyright, this decision also reminded me that I never posted a link to this great Copyright Guide from Cornell. It's a handy little quick-reference to figure out if something is or is not covered by copyright. Thanks Jason, and I'm sorry for taking so long to post it.

And finally, one of my pet-peeves: remember world, the past-tense of copyright is "copyrighted," not "copywritten."

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Update on Kirtsaeng v. Wiley

   November 7th, 2012 Brian Herzog

You've Been Owned: Stand Up For Digital First SaleEven though the election is over*, I wanted to keep things within the world of Government by providing an update on the Kirtsaeng v. Wiley Supreme Court case.

Oral arguments were heard last week, and things actually sound promising based on SCOTUSblog's recap of the arguments. Justice Breyer focused on the "parade of horribles" that could be the unintended consequences of Wiley's position - which Wiley's lawyer attempted to dismiss as not part of this case - to which Justice Kennedy responded

You’re aware of the fact that if we write an opinion with the . . . rule that you propose, that we should, as a matter of common sense, ask about the consequences of that rule.

And this is the entire issue for me - the state of the first sale doctrine after this decision. LISNews had a good, but frightening, characterization:

Notably, [Wiley's lawyer] didn't back away from the more extreme consequences of his client's win at the 2nd Circuit. If Wiley wins, he said, institutions like museums and libraries might need to get licenses from copyright owners for their activities.

More reading on this:

A ruling on the case is expected by June.

And a slight tangent: while I was looking for information on this case online, I came across Citizens for Ownership Rights - interesting.


*The 2016 campaign season starts today!

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