Two new public access bills and a directive from the White House have rekindled public access discussions in 2013. Here’s what’s at stake: increased access to federally funded research and accompanying data, and opportunities for new research using computational analysis (e.g. text and data mining). Already in effect, the White House directive requires certain federal agencies to implement public access policies for funded research. Pending legislation would strengthen public access requirements and extend coverage to additional agencies. Visit Copyright Corner to learn more about (1) these initiatives, (2) the copyright implications and impact on researchers and libraries, and (3) potential next steps.
The First Sale Doctrine and the Sale of Digital Goods in Light of Kirtsaeng and ReDigi, Inc.
A recent decision has attempted to clarify the scope of the first sale doctrine: Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi, Inc. In Kirtsaeng, a Thai graduate student, attending school in the United States, purchased foreign editions of textbooks in Thailand, shipped them to the United States, and then resold the books for profit. The Supreme Court held that the first sale doctrine would apply, as the doctrine extends to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad. The Court’s decision in Kirtsaeng is limited to the sale of tangible or physical items. In our advancing technological world, questions remain in how far the first sale doctrine extends to the sale of digital goods. In other words, can a consumer resell songs purchased on iTunes or eBooks they have downloaded to their Kindle? A Company called ReDigi, Inc. believes that consumers should be able to resell digital music, unsurprisingly Capitol Records, LLC disagrees……..
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Providing scholarly work and research digitally has become the norm. Online journals and electronic books have changed the landscape in how one can contribute to and access digital scholarship. Scholars are also providing insight into their research via Twitter and Tumblr. Additionally, the Internet provides the opportunity to make physical materials available through online exhibits and displays. But, while the ways in which we can receive and provide scholarship have changed, digital scholarship encounters many of the same issues that occur in the analog world. Author’s rights issues, copyright, fair use, transformation, issues related to data mining, preservation and accessibility are topics that impact both of these realms.
For many in academia the expanding possibilities of interaction, creation and construction on the Internet are enormous. With the change in landscape the arrival of many works in digital form brings about a different challenge in future cloth (if the work is ever published in a physical format) and publishing rights, translation rights and open access. Though in many ways the digital realm is similar to the analog publishing world, scholarly work affords a difference in the ability to edit, revise and/or submit for further peer review immediately in real time. Online journals also provide opportunities for interaction with creators; some projects may even allow users to view or submit in line commentary and notes. These digital capabilities further demonstrate the need for clarity on issues especially those involving copyright, author’s rights and fair use.
In this occasional series, I hope to discuss and highlight issues to consider in understanding copyright, author’s rights and others as they relate to digital scholarship.