Copyright Camp is Back!

Don't miss Copyright Camp at the University of Michigan's Hatcher Library, from 1-5 p.m. on July 29th. Co-sponsored by the U-M Library's MPublishing office and the Open.Michigan Initiative, this unconference-style event will provide a forum to discuss copyright and how it affects you on a daily basis.

After the opening plenary there will be a large board with open time slots for any attendee to add any topic they want to facilitate, or you can submit your suggestions in advance on their website. There will also be an Antiques Roadshow style "Open Content Roadshow" where you can bring an "item" (like a presentation, publication, photo or other copyrightable material) for the panel of experts to review and make recommendations for making this item open and adaptable.

This event will take place on July 29th, 2011 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Hatcher Graduate Library, Library Gallery (Room 100)

For more Info and to Register (no charge):

Cyber-Safety Series -- Copyrights ...and Wrongs?

image by dimitri c, sxc.huimage by dimitri c,
Copyright is an issue that often goes undiscussed in talks about cyber-safety. As the recording industry cracks down on intellectual property violations, a culture of ripping remixing, and mashups continues to grow. An intriguing development is the growth of Creative Commons – an alternative to copyright in which the creators of artistic and literary works decide for themselves how others can use their work. I’m not going to lie; I am a real fan of creative commons! If you enjoy remixing or need audio, video or visual content for your projects, using creative commons materials simplifies the process enormously – and you get to participate in a reciprocal community of artists and creators. What's not to like?

Here are some resources to help find creative commons and public domain content.

Photos: Every Stock Photo, Stock.Xchng and Wylio.
Music and sound effects: ccmixter, Incompetech, Beatpick and the Internet Archive.
Video: The Internet Archive’s stock footage database and
More Info: The Public Domain and this list of 30 creative commons sources.

To learn more about the issue, try these.

Copyright Criminals
Rip! A Remix Manifesto

Bound By Law? – A graphic novel about a filmmaker’s copyright woes.
Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates
Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
The Pirate’s Dilemma
Viral Spiral

Norwegian cartoonist Kim Holm Discusses Comics Publishing in the New Media Century

Kim HolmKim Holm

Join us Monday, November 22 from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm at the Malletts Creek Branch for a fresh view on the debate over the future of copyright during this interactive discussion with Norwegian cartoonist Kim Holm. Does copyright law ensure innovation and personal creativity, or does it steal from the public domain? While digital piracy is claimed to be an inevitability by some and a threat to capitalism by others, Kim has embraced the distribution methods used by pirates to broaden his audience. He has explored publishing models that altogether eschew the use of copyright, releasing his work into the public domain as a digital edition while simultaneously selling print editions on his website. During this presentation Kim will raise some provocative counter-arguments to commonly-held beliefs about current copyright law, exploring some of the ways it may be improved, if not discarded altogether.

Future of Music

Recently on Digg Dialogg they interviewed Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. The questions were voted on by the community and a few of them revolved around the future of music. Nine Inch Nails has gotten some press about their use of Creative Commons on recent releases, selling limited edition, deluxe and various digital formats. Notable was their release of the instrumental work Ghosts I-IV under a CC license while still ending 2008 as the top selling album on

Questions from the interview include advertising, tips for bands getting started and opinions on the future of the industry. You can watch the interview in full online

For those interested in the topic of music and the changing industry we have:

The future of music - Covering a little history and a lot of the future of the music industry, this book gives a glimpse at what might be available in a few years. CDs and traditional music stores will be replaced by various digital distribution channels, an increase in consumer choice and avenues of discovery.

Appetite for self-destruction : the spectacular crash of the record industry in the digital age

For a more general overview and debate we also have:

Off the record : the technology and culture of sound recording in America - If you're interested in a bit more history of sound recording then this is the book for you. From Thomas Edison to high fidelity to the home recording movement, the history, successes and failures are covered.

The anarchist in the library : how the clash between freedom and control is hacking the real world and crashing the system - How the digital age is evolving and affecting our culture is the focus of this book. While touching on music and P2P, this one is much more broad and philosophical in scope.

Free culture : how big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity - The title says it all and the book is of course also available online in multiple formats licensed under a Creative Commons license.

The pirate's dilemma : how youth culture is reinventing capitalism - From punk to hip hop, the reuse and remix culture and how it is shaping our economy.


Related to all this is the idea of making money by giving things away. Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail is currently working on a book about this and you can read many of his ideas on the subject on his blog. He gave a talk about this idea at the O'Reilly Media Tools of Change Conference and you can listen to it below:

"Hope" in Dispute - Copyright vs. Fair Use


Street artist Shepard Fairey who created the famous Hope image of Barack Obama sued The Associated Press, claiming his use of an AP photo in creating the poster did not violate copyright law, because he has dramatically changed the nature of the image and therefore, is protected under the so-called "Fair Use" provisions.

The AP said it is owed credit and compensation for the artist's rendition of the original photo taken by Mannie Garcia who was on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club. (Read the whole story).

Just today, Mannie Garcia discussed on NPR his own legal battle with the AP, claiming the photo was taken while he was working as a freelance photojournalist.

Maybe reading Elizabeth T. Russell’s Art Law Conversations : a surprisingly readable guide for visual artists (2005) might help clear up the muddle? But I doubt it.

BTW...signed originals of both the Hope poster and the Garcia photo have been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

Copyright and Culture Wars


Come to the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room on Wednesday, November 12, 7-8:30 p.m. for a lively talk about Copyright and Culture Wars: How Federal Courts Have Become The Arena For Fights Over Music, Parody, Fan Fiction, Art and Fantasy Sports. Presenter Susan M. Kornfield of Bodman LLP has been an intellectual property attorney for 27 years. She's taught courses in Intellectual Property Law and in Copyright Law at the University of Michigan and has been selected as an expert witness, mediator, and arbitrator in intellectual property disputes.

Photocopy a book, improve the Michigan economy?


Have you ever found a great recipe in a cookbook and photocopied it? If you have, then you've been exercising your "fair use" rights to copyright. In other words, even though an artist or publisher owns the rights to that book, movie, or song, you can still do a few things with that book even if you don't own it. Like check it out from a library!

Copyright geeks have been abuzz this month because a new report suggests that those few exceptions to copyright are worth big bucks: $507 billion in 2006, nearly 20% of U.S. GDP, to be exact. Or at least so says the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a business group representing such heavy hitters as Microsoft, Apple, and Google.

Okay, so maybe you copying that recipe didn't really spur the creation of new jobs. But the fact that Google, Yahoo, Ask, and their cohorts can crawl through websites (another fair use exception), even though those sites are copyrighted, certainly did. Which begs the question: should we have more exceptions to copyright? After all, the Copyright Clause of the Constitution is meant to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts," i.e. spark new ideas and innovations. Perhaps we should even consider shortening the copyright term? What do YOU think?

BitTorrent > Scholastic

Now that the potterdammerung surrounding the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has subsided, its publisher, Scholastic, has some debriefing to do. Despite some pretty extensive security, a bonafide copy of the book was released on the peer-to-peer file sharing network BitTorrent several days before the book.

The leaked copy consisted of a digital photograph of every page of the much sought-after volume, a fact that may help Scholastic track down the culprit. Nonetheless, the event is making book publishers wonder if they, like the music recording industry, should worry about internet piracy. Their concerns may grow as the market for ebooks increases, as they may prove just as easy to copy as digital music files.

What do you think? As books are increasingly being digitized, should book publishers be worried about pirates?

What if public libraries didn't already exist?

As he did in Levitt and his 2005 book Freakonomics, Stephen Dubner poses yet another interesting question on the Freakonomics blog: "If public libraries didn’t exist, could you start one today?" The post actually produced so much interest that it crashed their site.

Dubner's basic contention is that book publishers would vehemently oppose creating public libraries today, if they didn't already exist. Their response would probably mirror the music recording industry's reaction to Napster and other such peer-to-peer filesharing sites. After all, libraries, with their booksharing tendencies, may very well contribute to lower sales for book publishers. According to NCES, libraries circulated over 2 billion items in 2004. Even if only a fraction of the people who check out books bought them, that's a big chunk of change.

So what do you think? In this age of copyright disputes, could we create public libraries if they weren't already around?

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