June 18, 2018

Copyright and Fair Use

Marrakesh Treaty Bill Introduced

On March 15 the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559) was introduced in Congress, moving the United States closer to implementing the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. The treaty was adopted in 2013 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)—the United Nations international copyright arm—at an international diplomatic conference in Marrakesh, and has since been ratified by 36 countries.

April M. Hathcock | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

How did April Hathcock go from corporate litigator to librarian? “I was working away on multimillion-dollar suits every night when I noticed the law librarians, who left at a decent hour, did much of the same research I did,” she says. “I realized I could do…the information wrangling I loved without [working] myself to death.” Now, as scholarly communication librarian at New York University (NYU), Hathcock still does legal work, helping with copyright or intellectual property research, library contracts, or access and rights issues. “But it’s combined with the values of librarianship,” she says.

LC Launches Web Cultures, Webcomics Archives

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (LC) announced June 15 the creation of two new born-digital collections: the Web Cultures Web Archive (WCWA), which will feature memes, GIFs, and image macros that surface in online pop culture, and the Webcomics Web Archive (WWA), which will collect comics created for an online audience.

New Bills Would Let President, not Librarian of Congress, Name Copyright Register

A bill empowering the president to appoint the next Register of Copyrights, which would effectively remove jurisdiction over the position from the Librarian of Congress, sailed through the House of Representatives 378–48 on April 26 and will now continue to the Senate. The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, also known as HR 1695, was introduced on March 23, and would make the Register—who has traditionally been appointed by the Librarian of Congress—a presidential appointment, with the advice and consent of the senate.

Impactstory Launches Browser Extension for OA Discovery

Nonprofit altmetrics pioneer Impactstory has launched Unpaywall, a free extension for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers that helps users obtain free full text copies of open access (OA) research papers.

New Mexico Librarians Use Lyric Analysis To Examine Indigenous Hip-Hop

Delores Tucker is often remembered for her criticism of “gangsta rap,” but she can also be credited with prompting a new form of hip-hop scholarship. In 1997 the activist and politician used several Tupac Shakur lyrics to issue a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the artist’s estate. Teresa Neely, then a doctoral student, heard the news and recognized the lyrics as being taken out of context. To her it was a sign that Shakur’s words needed to be studied as a whole to be understood.

Urban Librarians Unite Conference Proposes Advocacy, Activism

The theme of the Urban Librarians Unite (ULU) 2017 Conference, held at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library on April 7, was Dangerous Librarianship—an appropriate designation for a librarians challenging the status quo. Some 186 librarians from the New York metro area and beyond—including attendees from Massachusetts, Arizona, and California—gathered to share and learn about advocacy, social justice, alternative service models, privacy, leadership, and more.

Library Experts Weigh in On Next Register of Copyrights

In the wake of the October 29 resignation of Maria Pallante, the former Register of Copyrights, the Library of Congress (LC) has put out a call to the public for input on the expertise needed by the next Register of Copyrights. (On January 17, Pallante will join the Association of American Publishers as president and CEO). The survey, posted on the LC website on December 16, invites the public to answer a series of questions about the knowledge, skills, abilities, and priorities that the incoming Register should possess.

VHS Copyright and Due Diligence | Field Reports

In the mid-1970s, the advent of the VHS format revolutionized the ability of libraries to collect and loan film. Now, collections developed during the 25-plus years of the format’s dominance present an impending crisis.

EU Court: Treat Ebooks like Print Books

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has been making some interesting decisions that could affect libraries. A few weeks ago, it was liability for hyperlinking; this week it’s about ebooks and lending.