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Copyright Study Group Seeks Comments 45

Posted by Hemos
from the single-copyright-group-likes-walks-on-beach-romantic-ip-discussion dept.
jeh0bu writes "The Section 108 Study Group, a group of copyright experts, has been meeting to discuss Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is focusing on preservation of websites and access to digital copies of library materials. Representatives of Internet Archive, including Brewster Kahle, went to the group's public roundtable sessions in March. Google did not register to attend the roundtable sessions even though the findings of the Section 108 Study Group may impact Google's Library Project. The Section 108 Study Group seeks written comments through April 17, 2006, according to this Federal Register notice."
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Copyright Study Group Seeks Comments

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Feel free to use "IANACL" for I am not a copyright lawyer...
  • Section 108 (Score:5, Informative)

    by TechnoGuyRob (926031) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:18AM (#15050280) Homepage
    For those of you who are too lazy to read Section 108 [cornell.edu], basically it says the following:

    1. Libraries can reproduce (copy) at most one instance of a copyrighted book if they promise to acknowledge copyright and not make money off it.
    2. Copyrighted books/sources can be copied up to 3 times only for archival, preservation and research purposes; digital format archives/copies may not be distributed.
    3. Copies of lost/damaged/obsolete material can be made up to 3 times if no actual manufacturer copy can be obtained and the copies are not made available to the public.
    4. If a user requests an interlibrary loan or wants a material that cannot be obtained at a reasonable price, they may make a copy of a small section of the material, if the material becomes property of the user (e.g., too much late fees), and the library displays a copyright warning.
    5. The library may not reproduce, display, or distribute work that is in its last 20 years of copyright if the work is still commercially circulated, a copy can be obtained at a reasonable price, or the copyright owner makes a special notice.

    Keep in mind this only applies to text: "The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section do not apply to a musical work, a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work, or a motion picture or other audiovisual work other than an audiovisual work dealing with news."
    • Re:Section 108 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by deopmix (965178) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:29AM (#15050399)
      any such copy or phonorecord that is reproduced in digital format is not otherwise distributed in that format and is not made available to the public in that format outside the premises of the library or archives.
      This appears to be the part applicable to google. It seams rather clear that while google can scan in the books, they cannot make them available to the public.
      • Re:Section 108 (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        This appears to be the part applicable to google. It seams (sic) rather clear that while google can scan in the books, they cannot make them available to the public.

        But they're not making the books as such available to the public except where (a) they're out of copyright (so this law doesn't apply), or (b) they have been given explicit permission to do so by the publisher (so this law doesn't apply).

        Where books are in copyright and no permission has been given to use them, Google are only giving the public
      • by yar (170650)
        Because Google does not meet the critiria to take advantage of Section 108. Section 108 applies to libraries and archives that are made without direct or indirect commercial advantage and has collections that are open to the public/researchers. Whether Google is or is not a library itself is debatable, and I suspect we'll have definitions after the Section 108 group is through, since right now one of the issues is that libraries and archives are undefinded. It doesn't matter, though, since Google right now
        • Section 108 could apply to Google in a lot of ways. The Section 108 Study Group is set to draft amendments to Section 108. It could turn into something quite different than it is today. That's why Google should be at the table during the discussions. Section 108 could be changed to specifically allow the what Google wants to do with its Library Project. The libraries that participate in the Google Library Project [google.com] are effectively outsourcing library content to Google. The Section 108 Study Group is dis
    • Extend it to cover audio/visual works, and allow the rules to apply to individuals.

      Note that this would still not permit piratebay style distribution, but it would effectively cement fair-use rights and allow the restoration and recovery of at-risk works.
    • Re:Section 108 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:52AM (#15050657)
      Libraries can reproduce (copy) at most one instance of a copyrighted book

      Yeah, that one-copy thing worked real well for the archivists at the Library of Alexandria.
    • The library may not reproduce, display, or distribute work that is in its last 20 years of copyright if the work is still commercially circulated, a copy can be obtained at a reasonable price, or the copyright owner makes a special notice.

      Just to clarify.

      That's sort of the opposite of the point. The point is that there is an exception to copyright explicitly allowing libraries to distribute copyrighted materials in the last 20 years of their statutory period (absent certain exceptions, like the work is

    • 3. ... (Copies of) obsolete material can be made up to 3 times if no actual manufacturer copy can be obtained...

      This, plus the other refferences to 1 time, 3 times, etc, seem to go to the heart of the problem of copyright's current supression of older works.
      The library can meet isolated demand, if it is for 3 copies total or less for a given work. Normally, that same work will not be brought back into print unless there is a demand for at least 500 copies or more, given
    • I don't understand the reasoning behind item 5, the "no reproduction in last 20 years of copyright" bit. Why take that right away from libraries when the work is over 75 years old? What is it about a work that's 75 years old compared to one that's 55 years old that merits it special "protection" from a library fulfilling its function?

      I mean, I know the real answer, that some publishers' lobbyist bought off enough Congresscritters to get that in there at one time or another, but what was the transparent re
      • People are interpreting the parent a bit differently than the law's intent. The parent notes that libraries can't make copies for various reasons if the work is still "commercially circulated, a copy can be obtained at a reasonable price, or the copyright owner makes a special notice" in the last 20 years of the work's protection. If none of those apply, libraries can make copies.

        Prior to this rule, libraries couldn't make copies at all, even if those provisions didn't apply. What this rule does is let libr
        • Prior to this rule, libraries couldn't make copies at all, even if those provisions didn't apply. What this rule does is let libraries make some copies in the last 20 years of copyright protection. Given how long copyright protection it, it's really of small solace, but institutions do take advantage of it when they can.

          Well, really no solace: copyright is effectively immortal, even though the Supreme Court said "nyah nyah, no it isn't" when professor Lawrence Lessig presented evidence that it was (

    • The other thing to note is that any libraries or archives that wishes to take advantage of these copying provisions cannot make the copies for direct or indirect commercial advantage, must be open to the public or researchers, and the copies must include a notice of copyright.
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:27AM (#15050380) Homepage Journal
    "The Section 108 Study Group, a group of copyright experts, has been meeting to discuss Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law.

    No, please no more April Fools jokes, Please! Arghgh!!!

  • Judging by all the responses posted so far, it seems noone wants to talk about it as if it even existed.
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:50AM (#15050644)

    For our boys and girls in the UK, don't forget that the Gowers review [hm-treasury.gov.uk] is still accepting responses to their call for evidence, and covers (inter alia) the same sort of questions.

  • DRM must go (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigpat (158134) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:59AM (#15050741)
    For the legitimate interests of fair use, including archiving in libraries, DRM must be circumvented. DRM must be considered incompatible with copyright protection.

    In order for a DRM'd work to receive legal copyright protection it must be required to submit a non-DRM'd copy to the Library of Congress and 2 other public Libraries. Otherwise the whole concept of time limited copyright goes out the window, frankly. Unrestrained DRM is unconstitutional for that reason.

    • In order for a DRM'd work to receive legal copyright protection it must be required to submit a non-DRM'd copy to the Library of Congress and 2 other public Libraries.

      But what if terrorist pedophile pirates broke into the Library of Congress and stole the non-DRM'd copy? The consequences could destroy America and harm our children! We cannot afford to weaken our resolve: if we are to win the War on Freedom, we must fight on bravely and never, NEVER make ANY concession to the forces of evil who would try t
  • by NorbrookC (674063) on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:17PM (#15050920) Journal

    It's easy to blow this off as "another bunch of lawyers bulls^H^H^H^H^Hdiscussing copyright law." Read the questions in the Federal Register!

    I've seen enough "copyright=bad" or "copyright!=bad, implementation=bad", etc. posts on Slashdot over the years. Well, this is your chance to actually comment to people who are making the regulations and laws!

    Here are some of the issues they're looking at:

    Should non-physical or ''virtual'' libraries or archives be included within the ambit of section 108?

    Access to Digital Copies Made under Subsections 108(b) and (c). Are there conditions under which electronic access to digital preservation or replacement copies should be permitted under subsections 108 (b) or (c) outside the premises of libraries or archives (e.g., via e-mail or the Internet or lending of a CD or DVD)? If so, what conditions or restrictions should apply?

    They talk about archiving web pages, and this is a key question: Should ''no archive'' meta-tags, robot.txt files, or similar technologies that block sites or pages from being crawled be respected?

    There are a lot more, and they touch on almost all the issues that have provoked a lot of discussion and outright flame wars around the Internet. I'm still reading through it, but the key point is that we need to pay attention to this. This is at the point where they are considering things which may end up in regulation and law, and silence or ignoring it is going to cause a lot of problems down the line.

  • I'd give them my comments but they are copyrighted.

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