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Category Archives: Intellectual Property

How librarians, pirates, and funders are liberating the world’s academic research from paywalls

Vox – The war to free science. “The 27,500 scientists who work for the University of California generate 10 percent of all the academic research papers published in the United States. …The University of California decided it doesn’t want scientific knowledge locked behind paywalls, and thinks the cost of academic publishing has gotten out of control. Elsevier owns around 3,000 academic journals, and its articles account for some 18 percent of all the world’s research output. “They’re a monopolist, and they act like a monopolist,” says Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, head of the campus libraries at UC Berkeley and co-chair of the team that negotiated with the publisher. Elsevier makes huge profits on its journals, generating billions of dollars a year for its parent company RELX.

This is a story about more than subscription fees. It’s about how a private industry has come to dominate the institutions of science, and how librarians, academics, and even pirates are trying to regain control. The University of California is not the only institution fighting back. “There are thousands of Davids in this story,” says University of California Davis librarian MacKenzie Smith, who, like so many other librarians around the world, has been pushing for more open access to science. “But only a few big Goliaths.”…

See also the related articles: Louisiana State Univ will terminate comprehensive subscription deal with Elsevier; UC terminates subscriptions with Elsevier in push for open access to publicly funded research; Thousands of scientists run up against Elsevier’s paywall

France Bans Judge Analytics, 5 Years In Prison For Rule Breakers

Artificial Lawyer – “In a startling intervention that seeks to limit the emerging litigation analytics and prediction sector, the French Government has banned the publication of statistical information about judges’ decisions – with a five year prison sentence set as the maximum punishment for anyone who breaks the new law. Owners of legal tech companies… Continue Reading

Lessons Learned Trying to Secure Congressional Campaigns

Idle Worlds: “You know how it happens. You try to secure one Congressional campaign, and then another, and pretty soon you can’t stop. You’ll fly across the country just to brief a Green Party candidate in a district the Republicans carried by 60 points. You want more, more, always looking for that next fix.This is… Continue Reading

Samsung deepfake AI could fabricate a video clip of you from a single photo

c/net: “Imagine someone creating a deepfake video of you simply by stealing your Facebook profile pic. Luckily, the bad guys don’t have their hands on that tech yet.  But Samsung has figured out how to make it happen.  Software for creating deepfakes — fabricated clips that make people appear to do or say things they never… Continue Reading

Accused of ‘Terrorism’ for Putting Legal Materials Online

The New York Times – “Carl Malamud believes in open access to government records, and he has spent more than a decade putting them online. You might think states would welcome the help. But when Mr. Malamud’s group posted the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the state sued for copyright infringement. Providing public access to… Continue Reading

Who Owns the Law? Why We Must Restore Public Ownership of Legal Publishing

LawAr Xiv – Who Owns the Law? Why We Must Restore Public Ownership of Legal Publishing, 26 J. Intell. Prop. L. 205 (2019). Authors – Leslie Street and David Hansen. Created on April 29, 2019. Last edited. April 30, 2019. Supplemental Materials osf.io/9enzr/ “Each state has its own method for officially publishing the law. This… Continue Reading

News organizations have all but abandoned their archives

BoingBoing: “Sharon Ringel and Angela Woodall have published a comprehensive, in-depth look at the state of news archiving in the digital age, working under the auspices of the Tow Center at the Columbia Journalism Review; it’s an excellent, well-researched report and paints an alarming picture of the erosion of the institutional memories of news organizations.… Continue Reading

Around $1bn Invested in 2018 Into Legal Tech/NewLaw Companies

Artificial Lawyer: “Research by investment bank, Investec, has found that around $1bn was invested into legal tech and related NewLaw businesses in 2018 alone (see below), at least in the major markets. Moreover, capital is expected to keep flowing into this sector in 2019 with consolidation seen as a likely driver of further change. The… Continue Reading

Trends in the Information Technology sector

Brookings: “The U.S. leads the global landscape in technology innovation. The country’s competitive edge, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Competitive Index, is due to its business dynamism, strong institutional pillars, financing mechanisms, and vibrant innovation ecosystem. Innovation is a trademark feature of American competitiveness and has powered its global dominance since the post-World-War… Continue Reading

The Beginning of the End for the ‘Big Deal’?

The Chronicle of Higher Education – Inspired by University of California’s decision to drop its “big deal” with Elsevier, university librarians are laying the foundation to follow suit. ” University librarians have long griped about the rising cost of their “big deals” with major publishers, but relatively few have followed through on threats to cancel… Continue Reading

Experts, authors and Guardian readers who illegally download books assess the damage

The Guardian – The UK Intellectual Property Office estimates that 17% of ebooks are consumed illegally. “…The UK government’s Intellectual Property Office estimates that 17% of ebooks are consumed illegally. Generally, pirates tend to be from better-off socioeconomic groups, and aged between 30 and 60. Many use social media to ask for tips when their… Continue Reading

Skyrocketing cost of textbooks prices – Four publishers control more than 80% of the market

Vox: “…A 2014 report by the Public Interest Research Groups [PIRG] found that two-thirds of surveyed students had skipped buying or renting some of their required course materials because they couldn’t afford them.Textbook publishers, for their part, have begun acknowledging that textbooks and other course materials have become so expensive that some students simply can’t… Continue Reading