Libraries Are Updating for Today’s Digital Needs. Congress Needs to Clear the Way. | Public Knowledge : Public Knowledge

“Many libraries have found a solution, at least when it comes to making physical books available digitally. This system is called Controlled Digital Lending (CDL). Libraries have a strong argument that fair use makes it possible to make an electronic copy of a book, and allow someone to “borrow” it, to the extent that such copying simply replicates what would have been possible with physical books under first sale. Under CDL, a digital copy of a physical book can only be read and used by one person at a time. While it is being “lent” electronically, a library engaged in CDL would take the physical book out of circulation, and only one person can “borrow” an electronic book at once. Since any of the copies made under this system necessarily cannot have an effect any different than normal lending could, libraries are on pretty solid ground that these acts of copying are fair uses.

But CDL only gets you so far. While it works with physical books, electronic materials often come with licensing and contract terms, as well as copy-prevention technology, that set highly specific conditions on how the library can lend it out. Certainly, some libraries buy special library editions of books and have various library-specific arrangements with publishers — but they don’t have to. With physical books, libraries are free to buy a book at any bookstore, or take books via donation, and lend them out freely as part of their collection. With electronic materials, libraries generally have to buy licenses for special, restricted library editions, that carry significant usage restrictions and might even expire over time or cause the files to “self-destruct” after a set number of loans.

It’s time for Congress to step in and clarify that libraries should be as free to buy and lend books today as they have been for centuries. We need legislation that ensures that libraries are free to buy ebooks and other electronic materials and lend them out, just as they can with physical media. A library should have the right to simply purchase an ebook at its mass market retail price, and then check it out to patrons one at a time. Licenses for library ebooks shouldn’t expire, and they shouldn’t carry restrictions that prevent libraries from carrying out their educational and archival missions. This legislation should also clarify that existing CDL programs for physical media are lawful, to avoid costly litigation over the fair use arguments….”

COVID lessons – copyright and online learning | EIFL

“As teachers look to preparing lessons for the new academic year and librarians try to manage access to library collections, a reliance on temporary fixes and the goodwill of individual publishers is raising questions about the real resilience of the legal framework in delivering for education and science globally, and the need to explore new approaches, especially for times of crisis.

For example, in the UK, Research Libraries UK coordinated an open letter to the Secretaries of State for Education and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport calling for copyright rules to be relaxed to enable remote learning and research during the COVID-19 crisis.

In Europe, LIBER, the Association of Research Libraries in Europe, called on the European Commission and member states to issue urgent guidance to ensure that researchers, educational establishments and libraries are able to fulfil their responsibilities without fear of litigation, stating the need for a public interest defence in times of medical, environmental or economic crisis, such as COVID-19.

COMMUNIA put forward the case that basic rights such as freedom of information and the right to science and education, enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, should be capable of being applied as a break on exclusive copyrights in exceptional situations. 

In the US, library copyright specialists reaffirmed the role of fair use in supporting remote teaching and research in the wake of the COVID-19.

Also in the US, the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library (NEL), launched at the start of the pandemic to provide books to support emergency remote teaching, is being sued for mass copyright infringement by four commercial publishers….”

COVID lessons – copyright and online learning | EIFL

“As teachers look to preparing lessons for the new academic year and librarians try to manage access to library collections, a reliance on temporary fixes and the goodwill of individual publishers is raising questions about the real resilience of the legal framework in delivering for education and science globally, and the need to explore new approaches, especially for times of crisis.

For example, in the UK, Research Libraries UK coordinated an open letter to the Secretaries of State for Education and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport calling for copyright rules to be relaxed to enable remote learning and research during the COVID-19 crisis.

In Europe, LIBER, the Association of Research Libraries in Europe, called on the European Commission and member states to issue urgent guidance to ensure that researchers, educational establishments and libraries are able to fulfil their responsibilities without fear of litigation, stating the need for a public interest defence in times of medical, environmental or economic crisis, such as COVID-19.

COMMUNIA put forward the case that basic rights such as freedom of information and the right to science and education, enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, should be capable of being applied as a break on exclusive copyrights in exceptional situations. 

In the US, library copyright specialists reaffirmed the role of fair use in supporting remote teaching and research in the wake of the COVID-19.

Also in the US, the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library (NEL), launched at the start of the pandemic to provide books to support emergency remote teaching, is being sued for mass copyright infringement by four commercial publishers….”

IP Books – Open Access | SpicyIP

“With the Open Access movement continuing to grow, there are an ever-increasing number of Open Access books on various aspects of IP law and policy. Of course, very few deal directly with Indian law and that’s something we hope gets remedied over time – but in the meanwhile, there are a number of very well written Open Access books on foreign aspects and general principles of IP law that should keep the IP enthusiast quite busy. We’ve attempted to list a number of useful books below. Outside of the list below, the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center has a great collection of their own Open Access books, 37 at last count, available here. And Prof Grimmelman has put together a well categorized list of ‘inexpensive and open-access’ American IP textbooks here. There are some other fantastic resources out there, such as the Database of Open-Access Books (DOAB), the Open Textbook Library, and the Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN). However it does take a bit of sorting and searching to find books that one may find useful. So, we’ve listed several of those books in our list below.

This list has been put together in no particular order and will continue to be periodically updated. And the presence of a book on this list does not mean SpicyIP endorses the quality or contents of the book. Additionally, the term “open-access” is being used loosely, to include various types of open licenses – the primary objective being to provide readers with a list of IP books they can legally access without payment rather than focusing on any specific type of license. As with our list of Non Open Access IP Books, we request readers to let us know of notable omissions (and mistakes, if any) in the comments section of this post. …”

L’open science en transition : des pirates à la dérive ?

From Google’s English:  “For years, institutions and scientists have launched great maneuvers to switch to open access. If open science progresses, we remain far from the objectives and the budgets devoted to scientific publications explode. 

In mid-June, the University of California signed an open access agreement with one of the five multinational publishing companies, Springer-Nature. It follows in particular those signed in May by the Dutch and Swiss universities with the other behemoth in the sector, Elsevier. The MIT announced a few days earlier  to end negotiations with Elsevier  for a new subscription contract to its scientific journals, putting forward ”  the principles of open access  ” to justify itself.

Since 2010, the balance of power between the open science movement and the major scientific publishers could appear completely reversed. That year, MIT felt compelled to actively collaborate (while pretending to take a neutral stance) in the investigation against its young student Aaron Swartz….”

Passenger Pigeon Manifesto – A call to GLAMs – Google Docs

“A call to public GLAM institutions to liberate our cultural heritage. Illustrated with the cautionary tales of extinct animals and our lack of access to what remains of them….

We are supposed to learn from history yet we don’t have access to it. Historical photographs of extinct animals are among the most important artefacts to teach and inform about human impact on nature. But where to look when one wants to see all that is left of these beings? Where can I access all the extant photos of the thylacine or the passenger pigeon?

Historical photos are kept by archives, libraries, museums. Preservation, which is the goal of cultural institutions, means ensuring not only the existence of but the access to historical material. It is the opposite of owning: it’s sustainable sharing. Similarly, conservation is not capturing and caging but providing the conditions and freedom to live.

In reality, most historical photos are not freely available to the public – despite being in public domain. We might be able to see thumbnails or medium size previews scattered in numerous online catalogs but most of the time we don’t get to see them in full quality and detail. In general, they are hidden, the memory of their existence slowly going extinct.

The knowledge and efforts of these institutions are crucial in tending our cultural landscape but they cannot become prisons to our history. Instead of claiming ownership, their task is to provide unrestricted access and free use.

In reality, most historical photos are not freely available to the public – despite being in public domain. We might be able to see thumbnails or medium size previews scattered in numerous online catalogs but most of the time we don’t get to see them in full quality and detail. In general, they are hidden, the memory of their existence slowly going extinct….”

SPARC Statement in Support of the Internet Archive and Controlled Digital Lending – SPARC

“The Internet Archive (IA) plays a critical role in democratizing access to the world’s knowledge. As a library, it provides a wide range of services, that include collecting and preserving materials ranging from books to audio recordings to the full content of the World Wide Web, and ensures that the public has barrier free access to this content.  

In June, a group of publishers filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of one of these services, the National Emergency Library (NEL), a temporary program that the IA set up to ensure the public could access books online while most libraries are physically inaccessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Critically, the lawsuit also targets the practice of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), the process of scanning a copy of a print book and lending it one digital copy at a time to one reader at a time—mirroring the long-standing library practice of lending physical books. CDL plays an important role in many libraries, and has been particularly critical to many academic and research libraries as they work to support students, faculty, and researchers through this pandemic. 

SPARC supports Controlled Digital Lending and has joined other libraries, library organizations, and individual librarians in signing this Position Statement to voice our support for this important library practice, and we encourage others in the community to consider signing this statement as well….”

EIFL endorses Open COVID Pledge | EIFL

“EIFL has pledged its support for the Open COVID Pledge that seeks to remove barriers to the use of intellectual property (IP) to help end and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Pledge was developed by the Open COVID Coalition, an international coalition of legal experts, engineers and scientists who are calling on companies, universities and other organizations to make their patents and copyrights temporarily available free of charge to accelerate the rapid development and deployment of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, medical equipment and software solutions in this urgent public health crisis….”

More Impacts of the National Emergency Library – Internet Archive Blogs

“Following our previous post, we have continued to receive messages about the impact of the National Emergency Library before it closed last week. If you’d like to share your story of how you used the NEL, please leave a testimonial.

The following statements are condensed from testimonials sent to the Internet Archive:…”