Two Cases Decided by the Supremes Today

Today, the Supreme Court released its opinion in the American Broadcasting v. Aereo case. Aereo had sold to subscribers a technology that permitted subscribers to watch television programs via the Internet at approximately the same time the programs were broadcast over the air. The Supremes decided this was copyright infringement. They concluded in this manner by determining, based on the current 1976 Copyright Act, that such dissemination of the broadcast programs equated to a “performance “ “to the public.” As part of the general bundle of copyrights, copyright holders have the sole authority to perform their copyrighted works in public. Therefore, today the Court analyzed whether Aereo had committed copyright infringement by “performing” copyrighted works “to the public.”

In determining whether Aereo had made a performance, the Court cited the Transmit Clause that conveys transmitting a performance occurs when it is communicated by any device or process whereby images or sounds are received beyond the place from which they are sent. Thus, the Court determined Aereo’s dissemination of the programing was a performance because it was receiving and making a copy of broadcasts from another location. Then, Aereo subscribers could watch said broadcasts when they wanted. The Court further reasoned that when an Aereo subscriber wants to watch a program, Aereo then streamed the program over the Internet to that subscriber. Aereo therefore communicated to the subscriber via a device or process the programs images and sounds. Therefore, Aereo in effect transmitted a performance whenever its subscribers watch a program.

Did Aereo perform these copyrighted works in public? The Court held yes, because the Copyright Act declares that an entity performs publicly when it performs at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances are gathered. Thus, the Court reasoned “public” iconsists of a large group of people outside of family and friends. The Court further reasoned that it did not matter that subscribers may be spread out over large geographic locations, the receiving of the content is still by the “public.” This is because the Transmit Clause conveys that an entity may perform publicly whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times.  Thus, the Court held that Aereo performed copyrighted works to the public without permission or paying for a license.

 

Also, today, in Riley v. California, the Supremes held that police need a warrant to search cell phones.  In this decision, the Court noted that privacy outweighs this type of a search; law enforcement has the technological means of tracking suspicious phones; and due to the large storage capacity of modern phones, such a search would give way to an enormous  digital record that might not outweigh one’s privacy. Forbes has a good blog post about this case. 

User Experience Study of Library Tools for LGBT Special Collections

The University of North Texas Libraries is seeking participants to help evaluate two websites used to promote and support research in LGBT History and Humanities. Participants will review two websites and answer questions about their usefulness. Individuals over the age of 18 are eligible to participate in this study. Participants will receive a $10 Amazon.com gift card at the completion of the one-hour session.

Participants in this study will be required to attend a scheduled one-hour session with UNT Librarians at the Resource Center (2701 Reagan St., Dallas TX 75219) or at Willis Library, on the campus of the University of North Texas.
 
Interviews are currently being scheduled for:

  • Resource Center (Dallas) – Friday, July 18, 2014 9 am – 4 pm
  • UNT Willis Library (Denton) – Monday, July 21, 2014 9 am – 4pm

In 2012 the UNT libraries acquired the Resource Center Collection of LGBT history, an important collection of primary source documents, photos, publications and artifacts.  LGBT History is a collection development priority for UNT Libraries.

To participate in this study please contact Morgan Gieringer. In your email please include your selected interview location and your availability that day.  You will receive a confirmation e-mail with details about the interview time and location.

Website Survey

UNT is also seeking participants to complete an online survey regarding user experience of tool for LGBT special collections. The survey is aimed at improving tools for people doing research in the field of LGBT history. The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

After submitting your survey results you will have the option of providing contact details in a secondary form. By entering your information on this form you will eligible for a random give away for one of two $50.00 gift cards to an online merchant.

The web survey may be found at this location: https://www.library.unt.edu/forms/special-collections-study.

Portal to Texas History Named First Service Hub in the Southwest

The Portal to Texas History, administered by UNT Libraries to provide access to more than 385,000 digitized books, photographs, maps, newspapers, letters and other historic materials, has been named a Service Hub by the Digital Public Library of America.

The DPLA Service Hubs are state or regional digital libraries that aggregate information about digital objects from libraries, archives, museums and other cultural heritage institutions within their given state or region. Each Service Hub offers its state or regional partners a full menu of standardized digital services, including digitization, metadata, data aggregation and storage services, as well as locally hosted community outreach programs, bringing users in contact with digital content of local relevance.

The UNT Libraries received an award of $99,767 from DPLA to support the portal, with the award expiring March 31, 2015.

To learn more, please see the full article in UNT's InHouse: Portal to Texas History named first service hub in the southwest.

Shifting Materials

The UNT Libraries are shifting materials in Willis Library and Eagle Commons Library (ECL) during the spring and summer semesters of 2014. Please see the table below for the current location of materials by call number.

If you have questions about the shifting process or need help with a collection item, please contact the Eagle Commons Library, Eagle Commons Library Service Desk (940-565-2194), or the Willis Library Services Desk (940-565-2413).

For a detailed list of the shifting process, please see University Libraries are Shifting Materials.

Call Number Current Location A - AZ Willis Library, 3rd Floor B - BX Willis Library, 3rd Floor C Willis Library, 3rd Floor CMC (Curriculum Materials Collection) Willis Library, 3rd Floor D - DU Willis Library, 3rd Floor E - F Willis Library, 3rd Floor GN - GV Willis Library, 3rd Floor H Willis Library, 3rd Floor HA - HJ Eagle Commons Library HM - HX Willis Library, 3rd Floor Film Willis Library, Lower Level J - JX Eagle Commons Library J (Juvenile) Willis Library, 3rd Floor K - KX Eagle Commons Library L - LJ Willis Library, 3rd Floor M - MT (Music) Willis Library, 4th Floor Mic (Microforms) Willis Library, Lower Level N - NX Willis Library, 3rd Floor P - PZ Willis Library, 3rd Floor Q Willis Library, 3rd Floor QA76 - QA76.9 Discovery Park Library, Room B112 QB - T Willis Library, 3rd Floor TA, TE - TL, TS Discovery Park Library, Room B112 TxD (Texas Documents) Eagle Commons Library, Main Floor U - VM Willis Library, 3rd Floor Z Check the UNT Library Catalog

Graduate Student Checkout Privileges

You asked and we listened! We recently received feedback from the UNT Libraries Graduate Student Library Advisory Board which included giving graduate students semester-long checkout privileges.

Beginning Summer 2014:

  • Graduate students will receive semester-long checkout privileges.
  • Reserves, laptops, media items, music CDs, and items noted as "non circulating" are excluded.
  • Regular circulating items are subject to recall by other patrons. 

More information, including Holds and Recall Policies and Overdue Materials Policies, can be found on the Borrowing Books and Other Regular Circulating Items page.