Freedom for IP /blog Dreaming of Intellectual Prosperity Fri, 15 Feb 2008 21:39:19 +0000 en WIPO Targeted by Access to Knowledge Conference /blog/2008/02/15/wipo-targeted-by-access-to-knowledge-conference/ /blog/2008/02/15/wipo-targeted-by-access-to-knowledge-conference/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2008 21:16:28 +0000 Brian Rowe /blog/2008/02/15/wipo-targeted-by-access-to-knowledge-conference/ The 3rd annual Access to Knowledge Conference is taking the struggle to liberate knowledge directly to policymakers. The location and timing of this year’s conference is targeted at a new audience of international organizations and policy-makers, particularly those delegates preparing for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) General Assembly.

Here are the full details:
Date: September 8-10, 2008.
Location: Geneva, Switzerland.
Cost: Free and open to the public, but advance registration will be required

The Conference includes three days of plenary panels, as well as workshops for smaller working groups. I highly recommend saving the date and attending if possible.

More information at The Information Society Project at Yale Law School
Edit: The Information Society Project web site is not updated yet. This information is from the A2K mailing list.

Beyond Fair Use Panel at Columbia Law /blog/2008/02/11/beyond-fair-use-panel-at-columbia-law/ /blog/2008/02/11/beyond-fair-use-panel-at-columbia-law/#comments Tue, 12 Feb 2008 03:50:25 +0000 Brian Rowe /blog/2008/02/11/beyond-fair-use-panel-at-columbia-law/ Fair Use Comic DukeLast week Columbia Law hosted a conference on Fair Use. The panelists included several scholars I respect. Here are some highlights from the third panel of the conference.

Free Gaiman Download, You Choose /blog/2008/02/10/free-gaiman-download-you-choose/ /blog/2008/02/10/free-gaiman-download-you-choose/#comments Sun, 10 Feb 2008 08:17:36 +0000 Brian Rowe /blog/2008/02/10/free-gaiman-download-you-choose/ Neil Gaiman’s publisher HarperCollins has approved releasing one of Neil’s books online for Free. Here is the best part you get to choose which book to release.

“Which book, though…? Ah, that’s up to you.

What I want you to do is think — not about which of the books below is your favourite, but if you were giving one away to a friend who had never read anything of mine, what would it be? Where would you want them to start?”

It was a tough choice for me, I voted for twice (don’t tell) once for American Gods and once for Coraline. I have wanted to give copies of each of these books to total strangers and either would be great to have online. This is a great opportunity to show off the power of free online distribution to one of the Old Guard.

Neil’s Birthday Gift (Vote Here)
Thanks for the Image Boing Boing

Digital Freedom merely promoting corporations? /blog/2008/02/08/digital-freedom-merely-promoting-corporations/ /blog/2008/02/08/digital-freedom-merely-promoting-corporations/#comments Fri, 08 Feb 2008 22:47:34 +0000 Sarah Davies /blog/2008/02/08/digital-freedom-merely-promoting-corporations/ I got an email today from the Digital Freedom campaign. I found out about this organization about a year ago, after hearing that they had a huge pimped out booth at CES. I was immediately suspicious as free culture organizations are few and generally poor. I tried to do some digging around who was funding them and what their mission statement was. There was nothing on their website at that time and they didn’t answer emails.

The email I got today (a generic mailing list blast - they added me to their mailing list without my consent when I emailed them asking about their funding and mission) was hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and had CEA contact information at the bottom of the email.

They still don’t have a mission statement on their site. They call themselves a “campaign” rather than a nonprofit. They have no list of employees or funders. Their blog posts don’t have authors. This implies to me that they exist merely to push consumer electronics to free culture people. Take this blog post for example:

We told them there was money out there just waiting to be made if they were willing to think outside the box, or in this case, inside the X-box, PlayStation 3, and other video gaming systems. The popularity of gaming and the incorporation of music into those games, are providing a valuable new revenue stream for artists, songwriters, and yes – even music labels. The numbers are remarkable and very telling. We have known for some time that the music industry ignored the potential of technology and innovation at their own peril – but now there is a very real example of what the future could look and sound like.

Them? They? Microsoft is a member of the CEA. Sony is a member of the CEA. This is self promotion masquerading as revolutionary politics!

The only positive explanation I can imagine for this “campaign” is that electronics organizations are sending a message to record companies to lighten up on consumer restrictions. But CEA members are some of the worst DRM-loving anti-consumer user-exploitative corporations on the planet! So that explanation doesn’t seem to make sense.

I’ve put attributes on all the links in this post so that we won’t increase the pagerank of these shady organizations. I would be happy to remove them once I know the funders, employees, and motivations behind this “campaign”.

Doing an End Run around the Copyright Act /blog/2008/02/06/doing-an-end-run-around-the-copyright-act/ /blog/2008/02/06/doing-an-end-run-around-the-copyright-act/#comments Tue, 30 Nov 1999 00:00:00 +0000 Riana Pfefferkorn /blog/2008/02/06/doing-an-end-run-around-the-copyright-act/ God bless America: The day after the Super Bowl, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) introduced a bill, S. 2591, that would create an exemption from the Copyright Act to allow churches to broadcast the Super Bowl and other professional football games without having to worry about the NFL coming after them for infringement — so long as the broadcast is live and the church does not charge a fee to view the game. Soon Americans may have the right to watch a live football game in a house of worship, just as the Lord wanted us to.

The full text of the bill can be found on THOMAS by entering S. 2591 into the search box and selecting the “Bill Number” option. (If you read the bill and are wondering what an “entity defined under section 3121(w)(3)(A) or (B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986” is, as that link there will show you, it means “churches,” and only churches. Add an Establishment Clause analysis to the Art. I, § 8, cl. 8 and 5th Amendment takings clause analyses that I’m sure are boiling up in your brain.)
EFF and DWT defend CAIR against Michael Savage /blog/2008/01/31/eff-and-dwt-defend-cair-against-michael-savage/ /blog/2008/01/31/eff-and-dwt-defend-cair-against-michael-savage/#comments Fri, 01 Feb 2008 00:19:00 +0000 Brian Rowe /blog/?p=180 This week EFF and Davis Wright Tremaine acting as attorneys representing CAIR filed a motion for summary judgment, asking a U.S. District Court judge to throw out a copyright infringement suit brought by talk show host Michael Savage. Savage sued CAIR in December, alleging that CAIR infringed the copyright in his show when it posted on its web site brief excerpts from Savage’s radio program in order to criticize Savage’s remarks.

Savage’s copyright claims were a clear abuse of the copyright act in an effort to quell critical speech. I am thrilled to see EFF represent CAIR in this claim. This is another in a long list of examples where EFF has proven that they are the leaders in the fight for free speech online. Other examples include Swathmore Student v. Diebold.

Matt Zimmerman, the EFF attorney who wrote the Spocko Fair Use letter directed to ABC, was the principle attorney for EFF on the case. He does a great job of expanding the Fair Use claim in the Spocko letter to fit this case while directing the pleading to a 9th circuit court. The motion also contains some interesting information on RICO claims that are out side the IP scope of FFIP’s expertise but still an informative read.

Thanks for standing up for for our rights!

Related Links:
CAIR’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
FFIP’s December Article: Free Speech v. Copyright, Michael Savage v. CAIR

$500 for Best Fair Use Video /blog/2008/01/30/500-for-best-fair-use-video/ /blog/2008/01/30/500-for-best-fair-use-video/#comments Thu, 31 Jan 2008 01:37:00 +0000 Brian Rowe /blog/?p=179 University Film and Video Association is hosting a contest for the best short documentaries employing fair use, made by higher education students and faculty.

May 1, 2008 Deadline
* First Place Student: $500 & 1 year membership to UFVA
* Second Place Student: $250 & 1 year membership to UFVA
* Best Faculty Video: $250 & 1 year membership to UFVA

Entrants must employ fair use in quoting material in their documentaries, using the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use as a guide to their decision-making.

* Must have primary creative control of the work and have all rights and clearances for material not employed under fair use.
* Work must be submitted in NTSC, DVD (DATA only), miniDV, or via youtube* (For screening only. If selected, must provide a hard copy of the work.

* Work must be a documentary in any genre, including but not limited to essay, satire, parody, historical, musical, and personal
* Work must be 5 minutes or less

Download Submission Form
Download a Flyer
Other FFIP press on the Center for SocialMedia

Patent Litigation Issues: with Andrew Culbert /blog/2008/01/28/patent-litigation-issues-with-andrew-culbert/ /blog/2008/01/28/patent-litigation-issues-with-andrew-culbert/#comments Mon, 28 Jan 2008 20:01:00 +0000 Brian Rowe /blog/?p=178 Today at Seattle University Law, Andrew Culbert spoke on Patent Law and Trolls. Andy is associate general counsel at Microsoft in charge of patent litigation. This is the second time I have seen him speak; he was one of the session leaders at Lewis and Clark’s CLE on non-obviousness.

Andy started the presentation with some statistics from Troll Tracker, a patent blog that I highly recommend. Last year 35 Fortune 100 companies had been sued 500 times for patent infringement. This is an average of 14 times per company for patent infringement. Microsoft tops this list with 43 suits last year.

The first topic was, “Why is Microsoft getting sued?”
1. Large verdicts from juries, which are often overturned
2. Most cases are NOT filed by competitors but instead by Trolls
3. Recent trend, post-1980, to allow a liberal approach to patent claims
4. Consolidation of patents to the Federal Circuit
5. Little to no documentation for prior art on software
6. Patents w/o clear limitations (Software patents are often functional and nonspecific)
7. Integrated products which allow a relatively minor patent to claim against a large product like Windows or Office
8. Damages are astronomical in the US, $500M to $1.5B, several times larger then anywhere else

One of the most interesting parts of the talk was a list of Supreme Court cases that reflect improvements in the patent system:
Ebay — Limits on injunctions
KSR — New rules on obviousness
MedImmune — Easer to challenge patents
AT&T — Limits on territorial scope
LEG v. Quanta (Currently on review by the Supreme Court) — May expand patent exhaustion

Also from the Federal Circuit Court:
Seagate - limits on willful infringement
Nuijten /Comiskey - limits on patentablity

FFIP was able to get in one Question at the end of the talk:
What legislative changes do you think would make the most significant positive changes for the patent system?

1. Changes to Damage calculations. The current damage formula allows for extremely high damage awards that encourages questionable litigation.

2. Possibly Venue reform. It is difficult to limit venue for real claimants, but reform that limits nonpracticing entity or shell cooperations could make a difference. It is just not an easy rule to craft and allow real claims to bring suits in home jurisdictions.

This was a great presentation. Thanks to the speaker Andy Culbert, The IPLS at SU who sponsored the presentation and Apollo Fuhriman, a 2L who organized the event.

Photo by: Dan Schlatter

Hello /blog/2008/01/25/hello/ /blog/2008/01/25/hello/#comments Tue, 30 Nov 1999 00:00:00 +0000 Esther Benson /blog/2008/01/25/hello/ I’m Esther, I’m an MLIS student at UW and I’ll be doing some work on the FreedomforIP website. Basically, we are adding wiki functionality to the site, starting the caselaw and philosophy pages. We’re still in the development stages, and we’re planning to unveil the new wiki in mid-March.

We’ll keep you posted as we update the site.

Open Access Education: Cape Town Open Education Declaration /blog/2008/01/24/open-access-education-cape-town-open-education-declaration/ /blog/2008/01/24/open-access-education-cape-town-open-education-declaration/#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2008 21:04:00 +0000 Brian Rowe /blog/?p=175 FFIP just signed The Cape Town Open Education Declaration(CTOED). The CTOED is the next step in Open Access Education. The CTEOD identifies three strategies to increase the reach and impact of open educational resources:

1. Educators and learners: First, we encourage educators and learners to actively participate in the emerging open education movement. Participating includes: creating, using, adapting and improving open educational resources; embracing educational practices built around collaboration, discovery and the creation of knowledge; and inviting peers and colleagues to get involved. Creating and using open resources should be considered integral to education and should be supported and rewarded accordingly.

2. Open educational resources: Second, we call on educators, authors, publishers and institutions to release their resources openly. These open educational resources should be freely shared through open licenses which facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone. Resources should be published in formats that facilitate both use and editing, and that accommodate a diversity of technical platforms. Whenever possible, they should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet.

3. Open education policy: Third, governments, school boards, colleges and universities should make open education a high priority. Ideally, taxpayer-funded educational resources should be open educational resources. Accreditation and adoption processes should give preference to open educational resources. Educational resource repositories should actively include and highlight open educational resources within their collections.

One of the most progressive parts of this declaration is the understand that “Whenever possible, [resources] should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet” This is an important step towards embracing Human Rights and working to close the digital divide. The CTOED builds on the Budapest Open Access Initiative by expanding the focus and including collaboration which empowers communities to educate and learn cooperatively.

Take Action:
READ the full Cape Town Open Education Declaration
SIGN the Declaration as an Organizations or an Individual
ACT to implement the strategies

Related Stories:
FFIP Signs Budapest Open Access Initiative