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Tag Archive: copyright

Firing, fast tracked bill show clout of copyright holders

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copyright symbolIf there were any question of the clout big media wields in Washington, the fate of Derek Khanna, the House Republican staffer who called for scaling back the copyright protections these interests benefit from, should leave no doubt. Khanna, whose copyright paper was mistakenly published online by a House Republican policy making body, then quickly withdrawn after protests erupted from major media firms and their congressional allies, was fired earlier this month.

That's not the only potential win for the intellectual property protection lobby this month--the House Judiciary Committee today is taking time in the lame duck session to ...

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SOPA revolvers: Sixteen former Judiciary staffers lobby on online copyright issues

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As the House Judiciary Committee readies to consider a controversial bill that supporters say will crack down on websites pirating content, some interest groups may have a leg up on influencing the legislators.

That’s because 16 lobbyists, representing various companies and organizations favoring, opposing or watching the bill, used to work on the House panel. The committee plans to markup the measure tomorrow.

The bill, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, is hotly contested, dividing Hollywood, which wants tougher laws to protect copyrighted material, and Silicon Valley, which contends that SOPA would introduce new, uncertain liabilities for web companies ...

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Oregon Copyrights Laws Tells Public You Can’t Have Them!

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Last week John Wonderlich posted about the ongoing story of the GAO giving exclusive rights to digitalize legislative histories to Thomson West on the Open House Project blog. The government entering a deal with a private company and giving them exclusive rights to public documents creates a situation where the whole point of digitalization is lost. When large amounts of documents are available on the internet in easy to download formats it’s supposed to increase public access but this situation has the opposite effect. Unfortunately this problem isn’t exclusive to the federal government.

Via Boing Boing and Carl Malamud,

“The State of Oregon is sending out cease and desist letters to sites like Justia and Public.Resource.Org that have been posting copies of Oregon laws, known as the Oregon Revised Statutes.

We've sent Oregon back two letters. The first reviews the law and explains to the Legislative Counsel why their assertion of copyright over the state statutes is particularly weak, from both a common law perspective and from their own enabling legislation.”

Malamud goes on to state that Thomson West has also made copies of these statutes but haven’t received cease and desist letters from Oregon yet (it was stated that West will be receiving letters). Apparently many states have laws that are copyrighted and this begs the question of how appropriate this kind of copyrighting in an internet age is. How can a law that was written for the purpose of serving the general public not be available to them to reproduce?

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