Orphan Works Discussion in Wired News

Copyright Reform to Free Orphans?

Stories like these about so-called “orphan works” — items still locked up under copyright but where the owners are unknown or impossible to locate — are leading the U.S. Copyright Office to try to fix the problem.

The office is soliciting reply comments until May 9, and has already collected and posted more than 700 initial comments from artists, academics and copyright owners.

Jule Sigall, associate register for policy and international affairs for the copyright office, said the office will hold public hearings this summer and report its findings to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the end of the year. It’s possible that Congress will address the orphan works issue with legislation.

Copyright Office Site: Orphan Works

Copyright Frenzy

Via Sivacracy: Getting Fired for Sharing the Public Domain, citing Master of Whose Domain?

Dennis Karius, a former host of The Portside on WRPI public radio, recently found out just what sort of a climate of fear the recent media and legal attention to copyright violations has spawned. Earlier this year, he lost his radio show as a result of airing audio that he recorded off his television from C-SPAN.

[…] “The audio of the House and Senate is obtained from the House and Senate. We do not make a copyright claim on this audio,” C-SPAN representatives said in an e-mail message to Metroland. What is protected is their process of distributing. “C-SPAN’s transmission of this signal is protected by law and cannot be intercepted for the purposes of retransmission.”

Siva Vaidhyanathan, assistant professor of Culture and Communication at New York University and author of Copyrights and Copywrongs, also said there is no problem with recording the audio and airing it. “The legal restriction has to do with stealing cable service–tapping into a direct stream,” said Vaidhyanathan. “It’s a very different restriction than copyright.”

As long as the material Karius recorded and aired is within the public domain, he is free to use it as a radio host. “He did what any citizen can and may do. C-SPAN is our only source of the sounds of Congress, so we should feel free to use it for reporting and commentary,” Vaidhyanathan said.


I’m sorry about the paucity of postings — sadly, it’s not going to get any better until I get back from the *next* conference. I’ll try to get up what I can but, overall, posting is going to be erratic until after April 18. Sorry.

RIAA University Blitz Pending-Updated

Digital Music News notes that the RIAA is getting ready to file lawsuits targeting universities on the Internet-2. Their article cites Princeton and Columbia, but I see that the April 5 issue of the MIT student paper, The Tech, (V.125, N.17) heads with “Recording Industry Plans MIT Lawsuits.” Sadly, The Tech is not quite up-to-date with their electronic editions, but the physical papers are still accessible on campus. A few excerpts:

The lawsuits are coming.

[…] Last week, MIT received e-mails from the record industry saying that about two dozen more lawsuits are on their way, according to Jerrold M. Grochow ’68, the vice president for Information Services and Technology.

Nothing specific about Internet-2 cited in the article, but the letters haven’t yet arrived, either.

Later: RIAA cracks down on Internet2 file-swapping

The RIAA said its suits will be filed against no more than 25 students at each of the 18 universities: Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Drexel University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, New York University, Ohio State University, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at San Diego, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Pittsburgh and the University of Southern California.

Also Wired News’ Music Biz Sues High-Speed Traders

Also, BBC’s Music industry extends piracy war on the IFPI push