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This site is maintained by the Legislation Committee of the Music Library Association (MLA) as a resource for anyone interested in issues of copyright as they apply to the fields of music and music librarianship.


09 December 2013 - News on three cases of general importance to libraries

Oral arguments began on October 30th at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals for the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust case. Kenneth Crews wrote a summary on Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office's page.

On November 14th 2013, Judge Denny Chin issued a decision in the Google Books case. Brandon Butler wrote a summary on ARL's Policy Notes page.

Oral arguments began on November 20th for the Georgia State E-Reserves Case in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Kevin Smith wrote a summary on his blog: Scholarly Communications At Duke.

05 June 2012 - More News in the Georgia State E-Reserves Case

The Georgia State case now moves into the remedies phase.

The plaintiffs, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage, recently filed their required proposed injunction as part of Judge Orinda Evans' decision on May 11th.

Kevin Smith provides a helpful summary of the plaintiffs' proposed injunction. The plaintiffs seek to enjoin GSU from using without permission any excerpted materials from the publishers unless they met every single one of the four factors of fair use in a very specific manner. For instance: GSU would only be able to use the lesser of a single chapter or 10% of a book; they would not be able to use the heart of the work as an excerpt; and GSU would need to determine whether there was a license available for using the excerpt through the Copyright Clearance Center or directly through the publishers. The most controversial item in the plaintiffs' proposed injunction would allow the publishers access to GSU's course management system so that they would be able to ensure compliance.

According to Judge Evans' order, GSU has fifteen days to respond to the publishers' proposed injunction.

12 May 2012 - Decision Issued for Georgia State E-Reserves Case

A verdict was issued in the Georgia State case yesterday evening.

For a helpful summary and analysis of the case, please visit the most recent posting on Kevin Smith's blog, Scholarly Communications @ Duke: "The GSU Decision-- Not an Easy Road For Anyone"

Please click below to access the full text of the case:

02 February 2012 - U.S. Copyright Office Issues Report on Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 28th 2011 the U.S. Copyright Office released its report on potentially placing pre-1972 sound recordings under federal copyright protection.

To summarize, the Copyright Office recommends federal copyright protection for pre-1972 sound recordings with provisions mainly pertaining to length of copyright protection and issues of copyright ownership.

For further reading:

1. Michael Kelley's Copyright and Fair Use column in Library Journal

2. Joan Cheverie's blog post from Educause

02 February 2012 - U.S. Supreme Court Decision for Golan v. Holder

On January 18th, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court issued their decision against the plaintiffs in Golan v. Holder. Justice Ginsberg wrote the decision for the 6-2 majority. Justices Alito and Breyer dissented; Justice Kagan recused herself from the case.

To summarize the opinion, the majority states that Congress does have the authority to reinstate copyright in public domain works.

For further reading on this decision please consult:

1. Kevin Smith's post on the Scholarly Communications Blog at Duke University

2. Jeffrey R. Young's Technology column from the Chronicle of Higher Education

3. David Rapp's Copyright and Fair Use column from Library Journal

4. Lyle Denniston's analysis on SCOTUSblog

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