Judge in GSU case declares “10% rule” for copyright

May 14th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

The judge’s ruling in the Georgia State University copyright case came down late Friday in what looks to be a win for educators and libraries. Of 99 alleged cases, only 5 were declared copyright infringements. Jennifer Howard has a write up in the Chronicle today summarizing the ruling. Of note to academic librarians:

One part of the ruling could be problematic for librarians and others trying to work out fair-use policies in academe. Judge Evans proposed a 10-percent rule to guide decisions about what constitutes fair use in an educational setting. For books without chapters or with fewer than 10 chapters, “unpaid copying of no more than 10 percent of the pages in the book is permissible under factor three,” she wrote in her ruling. For books with 10 or more chapters, “permissible fair use” would be copying up to one chapter or its equivalent.

You can read the entire 350-page ruling at Nancy Sim’s website.

Fair Use just got a little easier

July 29th, 2010 § Comments Off § permalink

image of cracked egg

photo credit: Nina Matthew's Photography

On Monday, the Librarian of Congress announced that certain acts of circumventing digital access controls (e.g. DRM) would no longer be considered a violation of copyright law. Every three years, the Librarian of Congress and the Register of Copyrights are required by law to decide if there are any classes of works that should be exempt from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) prohibition against circumventing access controls used in copyrighted material.

Specifically, the LoC stated the following acts no longer violate the DMCA:

  1. Disabling DRM in order to rip short portions of motion picture DVDs for educational purposes, documentary film making, and noncommercial videos
  2. Circumventing wireless phone software access controls to enable interoperability or wireless access
  3. Circumventing access controls on video games for the purpose of testing for security flaw
  4. Disabling access controls on ebooks in order to enable read-aloud functionality (if all available editions have such access controls)

You can read the “Rulemaking on Anticircumvention” at the government’s copyright website.

Here are some additional comments on the LoC’s decision:

Also, for more information on copyright law, Fair Use, and DMCA in Higher Education, check out:

However, before you go ripping and jail-breaking all your digital media, be aware that you can still violate your Terms of Service agreement which may void manufacturer warranties. Just sayin’.