Hathi Trust Digital Library Wins on Appeal

Yesterday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided four issues that support library usage of copyrighted works via fair use. The court held that 1. creating copies of copyrighted works for the purpose of making a full-text searchable database, and 2. providing those works fully accessible to individuals with disabilities are both legal under the fair use doctrine. Further, the court held that 3. the Authors Guild did not have standing to sue on behalf of other copyright holders, and 4.

Beastie Boys, Libraries, and Copyright

Yesterday, a New York City jury awarded the Beastie Boys 1.7 million in a copyright infringement case against Monster Energy Drink. Monster apparently admitted to using Beastie Boys songs in an online advertising video without the still living Beastie Boys and the estate of Adam Yauch’s permission.  The result of this case is odd when juxtaposed with a lawsuit filed by the Beastie Boys in November of 2013 against GoldieBlox, Inc.

Music and Copyright

Dealing with copyrights in music always presents interesting conundrums. First, music usually has two separate copyrights, one for the musical score ©, and one for the musical sound recording ℗. Thus, like real estate (receiving mineral rights and above-the-land real property rights), when one is dealing with music, he or she must take into account both types of copyrights.

Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 954 F. Supp. 282 (S.D.N.Y 2013) and Fair Use Revisited

In revisiting this case, we remember that Google entered into agreements with numerous libraries such as Harvard University, the New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress to digitize millions of print books maintained in the collections of these libraries. Although most of the books Google scanned were out of print, the majority were still protected by copyright.

Disseminating Information (Disinformation) With The Click Of A Button

The Internet and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can present conundrums when juxtaposing them with the law as it is written, and certain individual posts. For example, in 2012, a libel lawsuit manifested after the American Career College terminated an employee. After termination, the ex-employee allegedly posted libelous information about the College on Wikipedia.