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Category Archives: Copyright

USPTO wants to know if artificial intelligence can own the content it creates

The Verge: “The US office responsible for patents and trademarks is trying to figure out how AI might call for changes to copyright law, and it’s asking the public for opinions on the topic. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register last month saying it’s seeking comments, as spotted by TorrentFreak. The office is gathering information about the impact of artificial intelligence on copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property rights. It outlines thirteen specific questions, ranging from what happens if an AI creates a copyright-infringing work to if it’s legal to feed an AI copyrighted material. It starts off by asking if output made by AI without any creative involvement from a human should qualify as a work of authorship that’s protectable by US copyright law. If not, then what degree of human involvement “would or should be sufficient so that the work qualifies for copyright protection?”..

National Library of Israel uploads 120,000 historic books online

The Jerusalem Post: “The National Library of Israel (NLI) and Google have announced that 120,000 books from the library’s collection will be uploaded to Google Books for the first time as part of their collaboration. The books that are expected to be uploaded will, according to NLI, include all of the library’s out-of-copyright, royalty-free books… Continue Reading

Don’t Let Science Publisher Elsevier Hold Knowledge for Ransom

EFF: “…An academic publisher should widely disseminate the knowledge produced by scholars, not hold it for ransom. But ransoming scientific research back to the academic community is essentially the business model of the world’s largest publisher of scientific journals: Elsevier. In February of this year, after drawn-out negotiations broke down, the University of California terminated… Continue Reading

Copyright Law Should Not Restrict AI Systems From Using Public Data

Commentary – Center for Data Innovation: “In March 2019, IBM created the “Diversity in Faces” dataset to provide a set of photos of peoples’ faces of various ages and ethnicities to help reduce bias in facial recognition systems. Even though IBM compiled the dataset from photos people shared online with a license which allows others… Continue Reading

The Misadventure of Copyrighting State Law

Johnson, Eric E., The Misadventure of Copyrighting State Law (2019). Kentucky Law Journal, Vol. 107, No. 4, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3446229 – “Many states have asserted copyright over their own official state legal texts, limiting access to those materials and attempting to monetize them. This Article aims to provide helpful analysis for state officials deciding… Continue Reading

AAP Suit Seeks to Block Implementation of Audible Captions

Publishers Weekly – “The Association of American Publishers filed suit on August 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in a bid to stop Audible from moving ahead with its plans to implement its Audible Captions program. Under Captions, Audible will transcribe a book’s audio in order to create… Continue Reading

Libraries and Archivists Are Scanning and Uploading Books That Are Secretly in the Public Domain

Vice – Millions of books are secretly in the public domain thanks to a copyright loophole, a new project seeks to put them on the Internet Archive – “A coalition of archivists, activists, and libraries are working overtime to make it easier to identify the many books that are secretly in the public domain, digitize… Continue Reading

Tech Paging Big Brother: In Amazon’s Bookstore, Orwell Gets a Rewrite

The New York Times – As fake and illegitimate texts proliferate online, books are becoming a form of misinformation.The author of “1984” would not be surprised. “I started browsing Orwell on Amazon after writing about the explosion in counterfeit books offered by the retailer. The fake books appeared to help Amazon by, for example, encouraging publishers… Continue Reading

The Decline of Online Piracy: How Markets Not Enforcement Drive Down Copyright Infringement

Quintais, João and Poort, Joost, The Decline of Online Piracy: How Markets – Not Enforcement – Drive Down Copyright Infringement (August 14, 2019). American University International Law Review, Vol. 34 , No. 4, pp. 807-876 (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3437239 “This article deals with the acquisition and consumption of music, films, series, books, and games… Continue Reading

Book publishers sue Audible to stop new speech-to-text feature

ars technica – Publishers say Audible’s new captions feature is illegal. Is it? – “Seven of the nation’s top book publishers sued Amazon subsidiary Audible on Friday, asking federal courts to block the company from releasing a new feature called Audible Captions that’s due out next month. The technology does exactly what it sounds like: display… Continue Reading