UCLA Copyright Lawsuit Over Streaming of Videos Dismissed–Again

A federal judge in California has for the second time thrown out a lawsuit that accused UCLA of violating copyright law by streaming videos online for student use.

Judge Consuelo B. Marshall of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles had previously dismissed the lawsuit in October 2011, but she allowed the plaintiffs, Ambrose Video Publishing Inc. and the Association for Information Media and Equipment, a trade group, to file a second amended complaint. In a ruling issued last Tuesday, she rejected the second amended complaint.

The plaintiffs contended that UCLA had acted illegally in copying DVD’s of Shakespeare plays acquired from Ambrose and streaming them online for faculty and students to use in courses. UCLA argued that streaming the videos was permissible under the fair-use principle, which can allow reproductions for teaching, and the Teach Act, which allows limited use of copyrighted materials for online education.

In her ruling, Judge Marshall said the plaintiffs had failed to provide adequate support for their infringement claim. The ruling hinges largely on findings that the plaintiffs lacked standing and that the defendants had sovereign or qualified immunity. But in a section of the ruling, Judge Marshall also considered four factors relating to the fair-use arguments.

One of those factors weighed in favor of not finding fair use, she wrote, “because the entire works were streamed, not just portions.” But, on balance, she wrote, “the court concludes that there is, at a minimum, ambiguity as to whether defendants’ streaming constitutes fair use.” She added: “Notably, no court has considered whether streaming videos only to students enrolled in a class constitutes fair use, which reinforces the ambiguity of the law in this area.”

A lawyer for the defendants, who include the UC Regents, said the ruling was “a complete victory.” The lawyer, R. James Slaughter of Keker & Van Nest LLP, told the news service Law360 that the ruling “confirms what UCLA has long believed: that streaming previously purchased video content over its intranet for educational purposes is not a copyright violation or a violation of any contract.”

Lawyers for the plaintiffs were not immediately available for comment.

–Adapted from an article by Charles Huckabee in the November 26, 2012 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

 

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Blue Mountain Project at Princeton to Digitize 34 Arts Journals

The Princeton University Library is pleased to announce the launch of the Blue Mountain Project, an open-access digital thematic research collection of avant-garde art, music and literary periodicals (1848-1923). Drawing together rare material from Princeton’s Art, Music and Rare Books libraries, the Blue Mountain Project will provide high-quality digital images as well as full-text searching, deep indexing of content, detailed metadata and descriptive essays to a broad audience.

With generous support from the NEH, the Blue Mountain Project will make 34 titles available over the next two years. A full list of these periodicals – which are in English, German, French, Danish, Dutch, Hungarian, Czech and Russian – can be found on the Blue Mountain project page . Check this site periodically as journals are made available, follow it on Facebook ((www.facebook.com/BlueMountainProject), or subscribe to its Twitter feed (@bmtnproj) for news and updates about the project’s progress.

Scholars interested in using Blue Mountain materials are encouraged to contact the project coordinator for collaboration. A conference will be held at Princeton in Fall 2013, bringing together researchers, curators, librarians and technologists to discuss methods of research and teaching with digitized periodicals. The Blue Mountain Project can be reached at: bluemntn@princeton.edu .

Authors Guild to Appeal HathiTrust Ruling

According to an article in today’s Publishers’ Weekly, the Authors Guilde announced its decision to appeal in a court filing late last week. A federal judge last month threw out the authors’ argument that HathiTrust Digital Library and its university partners had violated copyright law by scanning books and making them available for certain uses, a decision that observers hailed as a big victory for the principle of fair use.
Although few details were available at PW’s press time, it isn’t hard to imagine on what parts of the decision the Guild appeal might hinge: in a statement issued at the time of the decision, the Authors Guild said they “disagree with nearly every aspect of the court’s ruling.”

Comment on Proposed UC Systemwide Policy on Open Access

As announced today, Lisa Lampert-Weissig, chair of the UCSD Senate Committee on the Library, is gathering comments and discussion on a new policy on Open Access in Scholarly Communication that has been proposed by the systemwide University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC). This policy has significant implications for research, publishing, and teaching. A link to the proposed policy, background documents, as well as links to the UCSD campus Committee on Library’s response, can be found at http://senate.ucsd.edu/committees/library/oa.htm.

Feedback on the proposed policy can be viewed and submitted through the on-line discussion forum at https://senate.ucsd.edu forum through Friday, November 9th.

 

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UC San Diego Open Access Fund (Pilot)

Beginning this week, Open Access Week 2012, University of California campuses are launching a pilot open access fund for scholarly articles. This fund will help offset open access publishing charges for authors who do not have grant funds available to cover them. Eligible charges include Article Processing Charges (APCs) and Open Access (OA) fees for fully open access journals. Funds from the pilot may not be used for color charges, page charges, illustration charges, or submission charges. Articles must be made freely available at the time of initial publication, without any embargo periods.

UC San Diego faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, researchers, and staff are eligible to apply for funds. The fund will pay up to $1000 per article in a fully open access journal (journals in which all articles are immediately available open access), and has a cap of one article per author per year.

The California Digital Library (CDL) and UC campuses are providing the funds in order to support UC researchers interested in reshaping models of scholarly publishing. The chief goals of the program include fostering greater dissemination of the work of University of California scholars and encouraging greater awareness of authors’ rights. Campuses will track how the funds are spent, and the success and sustainability of the pilot will be evaluated after 12-18 months.

Additional details, as well as the application form, are located at http://ucsd.libguides.com/openaccess.

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Coming up soon:  On November 1, 2012, Stuart Shieber, James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, will discuss “Two problems in scholarly communication, and how to solve them.”  The talk will take place in the Seuss Room at Geisel Library at UC San Diego, and will last from 3:30-5:00 pm with a reception following from 5:00-6:00 pm.  This talk is being co- sponsored by the UC San Diego Center for the Humanities.

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HowOpenIsIt?

In 2002, the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) articulated the basic tenets of Open Access (OA) for the first time. Since then, thousands of journals have adopted policies that embrace some or all of the OA core components related to: readership; reuse; copyright; posting; and machine readability. It’s time to move the conversation beyond the deceptively simple question of, “Is It Open Access?” toward a more productive evaluation of “How Open Is It?”

PLOS, SPARC and OASPA have collaborated to create a guide called “HowOpenIsIt?” that identifies the core components of OA and how they are implemented across the spectrum between “Open Access” and “Closed Access.” This resource outlines the core components of open access (e.g., reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, etc.) across the continuum from “open access” to “restricted access.”  Its aim is to help authors make informed decisions on where to publish based on journal policies. It also provides a resource for funders and other organizations to help establish criteria for the level of Open Access required for their policies and mandates.

http://www.plos.org/about/open-access/howopenisit/

We hope that you find this guide useful — and that you pass it along.

Happy Open Access Week (October 22-28, 2012)!

 

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Linguistics Society of America to Move Publications to OA Framework

The Executive Committee of the Linguistics Society of America  (LSA) announced today that it will “significantly expand” the content and accessibility of its principal journal, Language,  by publishing new digital content under an Open Access framework. Among the chief components of LSA’s new publications policy are the following: 

  •  All content published in Language (both print and digital) will be made freely available on the new LSA website after a one-year embargo period.
  • Authors who wish to have their content available immediately, either on the Language site or on other websites, may pay a $400 article processing fee to do so.
  • The contents of Language will continue to be immediately available to subscribers of Project Muse.  (The UCSD community may directly access issues since 2001 of  Language. Contents of the journal from its beginning in 1925 up through 5 years ago are available to the UCSD community in JSTOR.)

LSA will also be hosting a session on OA at its January 2013 national conference in Boston, held jointly with the Modern Language Association of America. The session is being co-organized by UCSD Associate Professor of Linguistics Eric Bakovic.

“Two problems in scholarly communication, and how to solve them”

On November 1, 2012, Stuart Shieber, James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, will discuss “Two problems in scholarly communication, and how to solve them.”  The talk will take place in the Seuss Room at Geisel Library at UC San Diego, and will last from 3:30-5:00 pm with a reception following from 5:00-6:00 pm.

“In the sciences, research results are disseminated through the journal article. In the humanities, scholarly monographs are the predominant medium. Both distribution systems are exhibiting severe signs of distress, but the sources of the problems are quite different. I will describe the symptoms in the two modes of scholarly communication, diagnose the underlying problems, and propose treatments, some proven and some speculative.”

Professor Shieber’s primary research field is computational linguistics, the study of human languages from the perspective of computer science. His research contributions have extended beyond that field as well, to theoretical linguistics, natural-language processing, computer-human interaction, automated graphic design, the philosophy of artificial intelligence, computer privacy and security, and computational biology. He is the founding director of the Center for Research on Computation and Society and a director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

He received an AB in applied mathematics summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1981 and a PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 1989. He was awarded a Presidential Young Investigator award in 1991, and was named a Presidential Faculty Fellow in 1993, one of only thirty in the country in all areas of science and engineering. He has been awarded two honorary chairs: the John L. Loeb Associate Professorship in Natural Sciences in 1993 and the Harvard College Professorship in 2001. He was named a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence in 2004, and the Benjamin White Whitney Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for 2006-07.

His work on open access and scholarly communication policy, especially his development of Harvard’s open-access policies, led to his appointment as the first director of the university’s Office for Scholarly Communication, where he oversees initiatives to open, share, and preserve scholarship.

This talk is sponsored by the UC San Diego Center for the Humanities.

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Harvard scholars launch Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies

Stuart Schieber, Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Office for Scholarly Communication at Harvard University, and Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, Special Advisor to the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, have just compiled a document–intended to evolve–titled “Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies.” Based on policies adopted at Harvard, Duke, Stanford, MIT, Princeton, Kansas, UC San Francisco, and over a dozen other universities over the past three years, it includes recommendations that should be useful to institutions with other sorts of OA policy as well.  The document is based on a recommendation (4.2) developed and published in the report that came from last month’s tenth-year anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative.

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Another Fair Use Victory in the Courts

The cause of fair use at academic libraries got a big boost on Wednesday, when a federal judge handed the HathiTrust Digital Library and its university partners (including the University of California) a resounding victory in a copyright-infringement lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild and other groups. In a summary judgment, the judge threw out the authors’ arguments that HathiTrust and its partners had trampled copyright law by preserving and making scanned works available for certain uses.

In his ruling, Judge Harold Baer Jr. of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan agreed with the HathiTrust defendants that their handling of the scanned works did not violate the law. “Although I recognize that the facts here may on some levels be without precedent, I am convinced that they fall safely within the provision of fair use,” he wrote. “I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made” by the defendants’ mass-digitization project.

Those uses include making copies for preservation and full-text searching and indexing. HathiTrust does not make copyrighted material openly available to the public. “The copies serve an entirely different purpose than the original works,” the judge wrote. He noted that HathiTrust’s search functions “have already given rise to new methods of academic inquiry such as text mining.”

“On every substantive issue, HathiTrust won,” said James Grimmelmann, a professor of law at New York Law School, in an analysis posted on his blog.

–Adapted from a story by Jennifer Howard in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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