History of copyright law
The first English copyright law
History of U.S. copyright law
The Berne Convention of 1906 and the Buenos Aires Convention of 1910
The World Intellectual Property Organization
The International Patent Cooperation Union and the Patent Cooperation Treaty
In the web sites below, see newyorker.com below for Jeffrey Toobin’s article, “Google’s Moon Shot,” and Miguel Helft and Motoko Rich’s New York Times article on the deal Google struck with the publishers who were suing Google to obtain payment in return for scanning copyrighted books.
Digital Piracy and Attempts to Control It
“Industry Laments Digital Piracy”: Digital piracy spreads, and the French have developed a model for trying to deal with it.
“The Associated Press Seeks to Rein In Sites Using Its Content”
"Microsoft Changes Policy Amid Criticism It Backed Suppression of Dissent in Russia": "Microsoft announced sweeping changes on Monday to ensure that the authorities in Russia and elsewhere do not use crackdowns on software piracy as an excuse to suppress advocacy or opposition groups, effectively prohibiting its lawyers from taking part in such cases....Mr. Smith said that Microsoft would make sure it was no longer offering legal support to politically motivated piracy inquiries by providing a blanket software license to advocacy groups and media outlets. They would be automatically covered by it, without having to apply."
"Judge Tells LimeWire...to Disable Its Software": "LimeWire, the big music file-sharing service...has been mired in a four-year struggle with the music industry. The case has already resulted in the company and its founder being found liable for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in damages."
Open Source Software
Proprietary Software Developers Fight Back
“Bottling the Magic Behind Google and Facebook”: three top engineers from Google, Yahoo, and Facebook, plus an ex-Oracle executive are developing commercial software based on the open source software Hadoop, “which provides the analytical magic behind the world’s biggest web sites.”
“Apache Hadoop is a free Java software framework that supports data intensive distributed applications. It enables applications to work with thousands of nodes and petabytes of data.”
The Fair Use Doctrine
“Some Copyright Holders Challenge the Sites That Copy and Paste”: a new challenge to the “fair use” doctrine.
Software That Copies DVDs to Players Is on Trial
Hollywood studios don't want to let people copy their movie discs, so they are suing RealNetworks to stop them from selling RealDVD software to consumers.
"What do you get when you mix the government, the court system, company lawyers and Joe Consumer? A serious mess that would send most people screaming into the night. But the Federal Trade Commission is no such entity. It wants to straighten Intellectual Property (IP) out and today said it will hold a series of hearings — the first in Washington, DC on Dec. 5 — it will use to examine IP law and the myriad issues surrounding it. Interested bigwigs from the tech industry, including Cisco, Yahoo and the Computer & Communications Industry Association are expected to testify along with professors, lawyers and other industry players. The patent system has experienced significant change and more changes are under consideration, the FTC said." The FTC held some different, but related hearings this week which addressed topics such as copyright law and DRM interoperability. Transcripts, podcasts, and summaries of the talks are available on the FTC-hosted "Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-ade" site.
Content for Free or for Pay?
“Why Are iPhone Users Willing to Pay for Content?”
Google’s Attempt to Digitize the World’s Books
Jeffrey Toobin, “Google’s Moon Shot,” The New Yorker, 2/05/07
“Google Settles Suit Over Book Scanning,” NYTimes, 10/28/08
John Darnton, “Google and the Future of Books,” The New York Review of Books, 2/12/09
“Google Working to Revise Digital Books Settlement”
"The Google Books Settlement: An Exchange": a response to John Darnton's article listed above and Darnton's reply.
“A Walk Through A Crop of Readers”: the release of Amazon’s Kindle 2 and other readers