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Archive for the ‘copyright’ Category

Lots of folks are encouraged and stoked by the new DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) exemptions (aka “Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works”) recently released by the Library of Congress and announced in a press release. Over at Profhacker, Kathleen Fitzpatrick reports:

The exemption on the cracking of CSS [content scrambling system] now extends to all college and university instructors, as well as students in film and media studies courses, and the permitted “educational uses” now include critical commentary and documentary production, as well as the exceptionally broad category of “non-commercial videos.”

This is good news for a number of our faculty who use digital media in their courses and for other projects, as before these exemptions it had been illegal to extract clips from DRM-protected media, even if they were for use in class and even though use in class would be legal otherwise.

Another Profhacker post by Jason Mittell goes into more detail about implications for teaching and research, including that faculty across all disciplines can now rip clips and do it for use beyond the classroom, such as conference presentations and publications.

If you agree that this is wicked good news, be sure to thank the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who were responsible for a lot of the legwork behind this fair use victory.

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Back in April on copyright’s 300th birthday On the Media (OTM), a radio program critically examining media practices today, looked at “Copyright’s Wrong Turn,” exploring the history of the law and why extending copyrights for dead people and corporations might be a wee bit unproductive.

Call it the Magna Carta of copyright – England’s Statute of Anne was born 300 years ago this weekend and, for the first time in history, conferred upon authors certain rights to the work. Unfortunately, says Duke Law School professor James Boyle, modern copyright law has strayed far from Anne’s original intent.

You can have a listen or read the transcript on OTM’s site.

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