Issues concerning libraries and the law - with latitude to discuss any other interesting issues Note: Not legal advice - just a dangerous mix of thoughts and information. Brought to you by Mary Minow, J.D., A.M.L.S. [California, U.S.] and Peter Hirtle, M.A., M.L.S. Follow us on twitter @librarylaw
"You may have heard of the difficulties and confusion that individuals have experienced in attempting to know when they can and cannot make use of older copyrighted works. This has especially been the case for those who have wanted to quote from, adapt, or perform potentially copyrighted works by James Joyce. Are such works in the public domain? In which countries? If thery are still in copyright, are they subject to fair use or another exemption? Can noncommercial readings of Ulysses or Finnegans Wake still be planned?
To address these concerns, the International James Joyce Foundation appointed a panel consisting of four members (Professors Paul Saint-Amour, Carol Shloss, Michael Groden, and myself) to research the copyright laws of various relevant countries and, so far as was possible, to learn about the copyright permissions policies and practices of the James Joyce Estate. After months of work, the panel produced its findings in the form of a list of Frequently Asked Questions, which may be viewed on the IJJF web site at http://english.osu.edu/organizations/ijjf/."
Good stuff, from some very good people. The principles found in the FAQ should apply well-beyond Joyce's works.
Take a look at my syllabus. In fact, make suggestions as to super-current important issues and reading, as I plan to supplement the syllabus with current events. Registration for nonstudents is through open university on a space available basis.
Librarian wins in trial against library that required her to work on Sundays. See law professor Howard M. Friedman's Religion Clause blog. The jury awarded her over $53,000. Rehm v. Rolling Hills Consolidated Library 2006, U.S. Dist. Ct for the Western District of Missouri, St. Joseph Division Case No. 04-6088-CV-SJ-JTM
CIPA, the Children's Internet Protection Act, now has a slippery little brother. Its name is DOPA, the Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006, proposed by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick. I'll grant that there's a compelling state interest in fighting online predators. And I wish someone could shake myspacers silly until they realized that revealing their innermost secrets online is not only dumb but dangerous. But I don't see how legislation could be crafted narrowly enough to keep out online predators without trampling on everyone else's free speech.
The proposed legislation (at least the version I see on politechbot) allows adult-supervised use. But children still have some free speech rights - we're not talking about legally prohibited speech here, as we were in the CIPA case. I don't see how such legislation could pass constitutional muster.
update: The bill is H.R. 5319 and should be in Thomas soon. Also, be sure to read Henry's analysis below - very helpful.
I was recently asked how the changes in the reauthorized Patriot Act affect libraries - specifically, how should administrators respond? Are there more points at which they need to excercise judgment or discretion? The American Library Association's analysis is here. Other thoughts?
We've all seen pictures of the front of the Ten Commandments monument that was removed from the Alabama Judical Building by federal court order.
Did you know that the back of the monument has a copyright notice?
Tim Lewis, Director of the Alabama Supreme Court and State Law Library sent me a photo of the back of the monument which has a copyright symbol, the year 2001, and the names of the copyright holders beside it.
The names are difficult to read even when you zoomc in so I will list them below and tell you who they are:
R.S Moore is, of course, Roy Stuart Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from 2001 until 2004. D.S. Melchior is Steven Melchior, the Chief Justice's lawyer in the case. Melchior is from Cheyenne, Wyoming. R.C. Hahneman is Richard Hahneman, the person who designed the monument. He is a former chemical engineer turned sculptor from Huntsville, Alabama. He took Moore's design for the monument and made some refinements before it was sculpted. I do not believe that Mr. Hahnemann sculpted the monument, but that it was done by a cemetery monument company.
My take: The artistic rendering of the monument is copyrightable if it has a modicum of original expression. Yet what would the copyright actually protect? The text is clearly in the public domain, and the shape is hardly original. It seems to me that it would protect only exact replicas of this particular monument itself and its particular selection of quotes. Might viewers think the copyright covers the quotes, the shape, or even the Ten Commandments themselves?
Nice idea - the Caxtonian invited various audience members to share their thoughts on the copyright symposium held at the Newberry library last month. See page 10-11 for my comments. I think it's a great idea to get audience members to contribute their impressions to the journal.