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Donna Wentworth
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Ernest Miller
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Elizabeth Rader
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Wendy Seltzer
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Aaron Swartz
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Alan Wexelblat
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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

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December 15, 2004

Title 17 v. Reality

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Frank Field, whom I miss dearly living out on this coast, is at Freedom v. Control, Rights Management in the Digital Age, where Jonathan Zittrain, Wendy Seltzer, Hal Abelson, and Siva Vaidhyanathan are speaking today. He's blogging as much of it as he can, and captures a few nice bits from Jonathan right off the bat:

"[In] the language of current copyright debate, libraries are bastions of organized piracy -- an organized conspiracy to share a book, rather than buy one; note that this [concept] runs up against yesterday’s Google search announcement in libraries."

"[We have] two copyright regimes - title 17 and reality - collision between these two regimes continues to shape everything that goes on in this."

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Events


COMMENTS

1. Mary Minow on December 16, 2004 11:04 AM writes...

Actually, the first sale doctrine (17 USC 109) makes it possible for libraries to share their books WITHOUT being pirates. In many other countries (England, Germany, Canada etc.), libraries do not have that exception to rely on, and in fact must pay a "public lending right" royalty to the author, based on the number of times the book circulates.

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2. Donna Wentworth on December 16, 2004 12:02 PM writes...

Yes, I believe that was Jonathan's point -- that if we take the content industry rhetoric at face value, libraries would be considered dens of piracy, when of course they are not.

I had no idea that there was a "public lending right" royalty in England, Germany, Canada, and elsewhere. That seems very sad to me.

On the Title 17 v. reality, I believe Jonathan was making a broader point about how some parts of copyright law don't jibe with current copynorms.

Permalink to Comment

3. Mary Minow on December 16, 2004 2:03 PM writes...

It would be awful in this country, but it may be more reasonable in other settings. The royalties are given only to national authors, to encourage local talent. (e.g. only Canadian authors get royalties from their works lent by Canadian libraries). There were some symposia to consider adopting this regime in the U.S. maybe twenty years ago, but the idea did not take on. If it did (absent other funding), we would be left with decimated public library collections in the U.S.

Permalink to Comment

4. Donna Wentworth on December 16, 2004 4:45 PM writes...

Very interesting, Mary -- thank you for sharing this information.

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