From no less a “liberal” source than U.S. News and World Report comes news that IP addresses in the U.S. Congress have been linked to BitTorrent file-sharing of copyrighted movies:
In late October, someone at the U.S. House of Representatives decided to catch up on the latest season of Dexter, illegally downloading an episode of the TV series while at a congressional office. In the days that followed, with Hurricane Sandy threatening to keep federal workers hunkered down at home, employees of Congress downloaded the 2012 mob film Lawless, a Halloween-themed episode of The Middle, and an episode from Season 9 of CSI: New York.
Over the last four months, employees of the House of Representatives have illegally downloaded dozens of films and TV shows . . . .
This from the good folks who brought you SOPA, and PIPA. I wonder whether the Feds will prosecute members of Congress or their staffs for copyright infringement, akin to the witch-hunt against Aaron Swartz?
The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google today announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search. The agreement, reached after two years of negotiations, would resolve a class-action lawsuit brought by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers as representatives of the AAP’s membership. The class action is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
In conjunction with its endorsement of Senator Obama for President, today’s New York Times website has a great graphic illustrating its endorsements since 1860, alongside the winners for each year. For example, in 1888, the Times endorsed Grover Cleveland, who was defeated by Benjamin Harrison. Four years later, the Times again endorsed Cleveland, who won. The graphic also allows you to pull up the original published endorsements. Here’s an excerpt from the Times’ 1860 endorsement of Abraham Lincoln:
As a historical document, this is fascinating. But note the claim of copyright at the bottom, asserting copyright to something published in 1860. Say what!? The Times needs to read copyright laws a little more closely before asserting copyright to an editorial published 148 years ago. Even with Congress’ expansion of copyright terms, an editorial published in 1860 is not still copyrighted. (For more “recent” examples, see Lincoln’s 1864 endorsement, Grant’s 1868 endorsement, etc., also containing copyright notices).
Just a few days ago, I wrote about the Library of Congress’ new report on digital preservation (which itself followed the report of the Section 108 Study Group issued last March). Now, the Commission of the European Communities has released a green paper entitled Copyright in the Knowledge Economy, which discusses, among other things, digital preservation, the making available of digitized works, and orphan works.