Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wayback Wednesday: Giving Your First Conference Presentation: What No One Tells You (recorded webinar)

Maurice Coleman
I haven't done a "Wayback Wednesday" in a while.  This one was sparked by a recent inquiry and conversation.

In October 2013, Maurice Coleman and I gave a one-hour webinar  entitled “Giving Your First Conference Presentation: What No One Tells You (or When PowerPoint and Good Intentions Meet Reality)”.  Over 80 people attended it live and more watch the recording or accessed the handout. 2.5 years later, I think it is a topic that is still important and a recording still worth watching.  The webinar description is:
Part of your professional development and support of the profession is giving presentations at conferences about your research or new initiatives. This professional presentation should help to propel your career, so how can you create and deliver content that will do just that?
Intrigued?  Go ahead and watch it! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Copying Fashion: Legal and Successful

This 2010 TEDxUSC talk by Johanna Blakley is well-worth watching, if you're interested in the sharing culture, creativity, and copyright.

Description: "Copyright law's grip on film, music and software barely touches the fashion industry ... and fashion benefits in both innovation and sales, says Johanna Blakley. In her talk, she talks about what all creative industries can learn from fashion's free culture."

Length: 16 minutes

Since this video, I think the thought around the copyright on tattoos has changed, although likely there is still a lot of sharing of designs  by most tattoo artists.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"Happy Together" - Not! - The Turtles versus Sirius XM Radio
The Turtles (1967)
Pre-1972 music and its copyright status are back in the news!

The copyright holders of the Turtles' number 1 hit - Happy Together - filed suit against Sirius XM Radio over its use of pre-1972 music.  The suit was file in federal court and it was referred to New York State court, since the copyright of pre-192 music is covered by state law.  The New York Court of Appeals has agreed last week to hear this case. Below are a few articles where you can read the details of the case. Since this is being heard in state court, I will not only be interested in the ruling, but also in what precedents it sets.  Let's hope that the court hears the case soon.


Monday, May 09, 2016

Copyright and the Public Domain

My Sunday paper contained a short article on using works that are in the public domain.  The article included information on two relevant books, which might also be of interest to you.  These are available through a variety of different booksellers, including Amazon (which is where the links will take you).


The article also pointed readers to the local library for more information on copyright. Yes, librarians, our communities do believe that we are knowledgeable about copyright! Let's ensure that is so.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Go Boldly in Fair Use, Copyright Litigation and Life

Floor of the Reception Building at CERNAs I sat in silence one day, the phrase "go boldly" entered my mind. Go boldly where? Ideas bounced around my head and I want to share a few with you.

We're approaching the end of the spring semester and the end of my copyright class.  Graduate students have spent the semester learning and thinking about copyright.  They learned for real what the law says, and now rely on that rather than hearsay.  Once they learn about Fair Use, it becomes a part of the ongoing conversation.  They like Fair Use, but then realize that a final determination of Fair Use does not rest with them (either as a user or a creator).  They then get cautious about Fair Use.  Finally, once they've dug into some court cases, they seem to re-embrace it.  My message to them is indeed a version of "go boldly" and use Section 107 (Fair Use).  Yes, use it or we might lose it.

Their third assignment is to dig into a copyright court case of their choosing.  It is one of my favorite assignments, because of what students learn from it, what they then share with each other, and the boldness of both plaintiffs and defendants.  In fact, some might even say that the courts themselves have been bold.  Users of materials sometimes continue their use even after being contacted by the copyright owners (e.g., Legg Mason).  Copyright owners may push ahead with appeals even when it doesn't seem as if they will win, because they clearly have something they want to prove (e.g., GSU).  And the courts can boldly decide, overturn, and set new precedents (e.g., HathiTrust).

Being bold in terms of Fair Use, in terms of using the law overall, in terms of contesting specific uses does not happen if there are no original works in fixed form.  This is the week after Prince died. He and David Bowie epitomized bold. Both boldly followed their passion. Both boldly created new music up until the end of their lives.  Both are models, I think, of how we should live.  Be giving, supportive, creative, thankful, gracious, there is no tomorrow. 

By the way, since our creative class is thankfully not going away, let's make sure that they understand how to protect their works, how to use the works of others, and especially how to push the boundaries of Fair Use.  That will help them truly go boldly.