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Yale’s Posen Digital Library Brings Jewish Culture Online

Yale University Press has launched the Posen Digital Library, which makes available online the artworks, literary works, and artifacts from The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization.

Created by Yale University Press and the Posen Foundation, the 10-volume Posen Library collects the best of Jewish culture from throughout the ages, from biblical times to the present. The first volume, covering the period from 1973 to 2005, was published in print in November, 2012. James E. Young, professor of English and Judaic studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is the Posen Library’s editor-in-chief.

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The “Poor Man’s Copyright” Method is a Myth

It sounds almost too good to be true: Instead of going through all the paperwork and hassle of registering a copyright, all you have to do is send your work to yourself by mail to be protected. It’s called “poor man’s copyright” and there’s only one problem with the process. It doesn’t exist.

On the plus-side, before you’ve officially registered for copyright, you’re still protected by copyright laws, which kick in “the moment the work is created.”

Read the rest at No, “Poor Man’s Copyright” Does Not Exist.

If you are a publisher, you know that copyright is the lifeblood of the industry. For copyright advice geared specifically for your use, check out our Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers.

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New Copyright Law Shutters Google News in Spain

The latest casualties in the EU’s continuing war against U.S. tech companies are Spanish consumers. Google Inc. has folded its news service in Spain following Spain’s enactment of an ancillary copyright law that would require news aggregators to pay news publishers for displaying snippets or headlines, regardless of whether the publishers even wanted the fee.

–James C. Cooper

Spain's FlagGoogle decided to close its news-linking service in Spain in response to this legislation.

In a statement, the search giant said the new law makes the Google News service unsustainable and that it will remove Spanish publishers from Google News sites worldwide and shut down this service in Spain.

That means Google News will no longer be available to Internet users in Spain. But it also means that Google News users in the United States and elsewhere will no longer be able to access the real-time updates from publications such as El Pais, La Vanguardia and El Periodico de Catalunya.

For centuries publishers were limited in how widely they could distribute the printed page. The Internet changed all that — creating tremendous opportunities but also real challenges for publishers as competition both for readers’ attention and for advertising Euros increased.

Google executive, Richard Gingras

James C. Cooper is the director of research and policy of the Law & Economics Center, and lecturer in law, at George Mason University School of Law. He has written about this topic in depth at Spain’s New Copyright Law Hurts Consumers.

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Copyright Questions: Absent Authors

This is one of a series of questions submitted by attendees of the Copyright, Common Mistakes and Myths Webinar and answered by Laura N. Gasaway, author of Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers.

Laura N. GasawayQuestion: If we wish to print a poem in a magazine and have tried for months to either find the copyright holder or get a response from the copyright holder, is it OK to publish the poem with a line that says something like “Every effort has been made to contact the copyright holder” and also add that should the copyright holder come forward at some point we will publish the proper credit line as a correction?

Answer:It is unclear what you mean by “OK.” The copyright owner may come forward and demand royalties after the fact, and if the journal has published the poem without permission, it must pay. You might be able to negotiate for a lower rate, but the journal is bound to pay. The fact that the journal has tried and tried to get permission does not excuse the use without permission. It is possible that the solution you offer would be accepted by the copyright owner without any royalties, but it is definitely the copyright owner’s choice.

What the journal must do when it cannot find the owner is determine how important publication of the poem is to the journal. In other words, is the journal willing to assume the risk? The risk may be small or even nonexistent, but it is still a bit of a risk.  

Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers by Laura N. Gasaway and edited by Iris Hanney contains information vital to the publishing community.

Learn more about how copyright law affects your work or order it now.

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Copyright Questions: Song Lyrics in Articles

This is one of a series of questions submitted by attendees of the Copyright, Common Mistakes and Myths Webinar and answered by Laura N. Gasaway, author of Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers.

Laura N. GasawayQuestion: We have some journal authors who like to quote song lyrics. How should we approach this?

Answer: As with quoting other material, the amount quoted makes a big difference. Lots of old ballads have very long lyrics while pop music has many fewer with much repetition. So, assume that it is only a line or two from a long ballad. That is likely a fair use. But if it is a few lines from a pop tune, then permission is likely required. Typically, publishers require authors to get the permission, although some publishers offer assistance with this.  

Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers by Laura N. Gasaway and edited by Iris Hanney contains information vital to the publishing community.

Learn more about how copyright law affects your work or order it now.

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Copyright Questions: Facebook Memes

This is one of a series of questions submitted by attendees of the Copyright, Common Mistakes and Myths Webinar and answered by Laura N. Gasaway, author of Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers.

Laura N. GasawayQuestion: Can you comment on the copyright status of  Facebook Memes?

Answer: Well, the copyright status of a meme depends on the source. Assume it is a photo with a caption; was the photograph taken by the person who posted it? If so, that person owns the copyright and can post it with no problems. But if it is simply a caption on a photograph taken by someone else, posting it is copyright infringement.

In other words, the addition of the caption did not transform the photograph into a new work. In December of last year, Facebook announced that it was going to post links to more articles and allow fewer things to be posted that had been published elsewhere. I am not sure how well this has worked out, though.  

Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers by Laura N. Gasaway and edited by Iris Hanney contains information vital to the publishing community.

Learn more about how copyright law affects your work or order it now.

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Copyright Clearance Center has Acquired Infotrieve

Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC) announced this month that it has acquired Infotrieve, Inc., a leader in enterprise SaaS software and business services for scientific, technical and medical (STM) published content. The acquisition enables CCC to deliver new value to its corporate customers and publishers by combining Infotrieve’s best-in-class content management technology, document delivery solutions and business services with CCC’s global copyright licensing expertise. Combined, the companies service more than 35,000 customers in more than 140 countries. Terms were not disclosed.

“We have collaborated with Infotrieve for decades to enable customers to integrate licensing into their workflow. This acquisition establishes a broad new portfolio of complementary license and workflow offerings for our corporate customers, taps new growth potential for our publisher partners, and strengthens CCC’s mission to make copyright work for everyone,” said Tracey Armstrong, CCC President and Chief Executive Officer.

Read the full press release (PDF).

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Copyright Questions: Image Transformation

This is one of a series of questions submitted by attendees of the Copyright, Common Mistakes and Myths Webinar and answered by Laura N. Gasaway, author of Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers.

Laura N. GasawayQuestion: Regarding fair use, to what extent must an image be transformed to be clear of copyright?

Answer: Courts are struggling with this right now, so there is no definitive quantity, etc. The best way I know to describe the amount of transformation that must take place for a photograph is a whole lot! Almost so much that it no longer resembles the original image. So, cropping the photo is not enough or using only a portion, such as the central figure or central building, etc., would not be enough.  

Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers by Laura N. Gasaway and edited by Iris Hanney contains information vital to the publishing community.

Learn more about how copyright law affects your work or order it now.

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Copyright Questions: Figure Reuse

This is one of a series of questions submitted by attendees of the Copyright, Common Mistakes and Myths Webinar and answered by Laura N. Gasaway, author of Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers.

Laura N. GasawayQuestion: If I purchase permission through CCC to use a figure from a published article, do I need to secure author permission separately or does CCC handle obtaining permission?

Answer: I am sorry to say this, but “it depends!”

There are two possibilities for figures in published articles: (1) the author of the article actually created the figure and therefore owns the copyright because it is a part of the article or (2) the figure was first published elsewhere and the author got permission to include it in the article. In the first instance, the CCC permission is enough, and the figure is just part of the article. In the second instance, the CCC may be able to acquire permission for you for the figure. My assumption is that the CCC has the right to license the figure based on your question.  

Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers by Laura N. Gasaway and edited by Iris Hanney contains information vital to the publishing community.

Learn more about how copyright law affects your work or order it now.

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Copyright Questions: Author’s Reuse of Articles

This is one of a series of questions submitted by attendees of the Copyright, Common Mistakes and Myths Webinar and answered by Laura N. Gasaway, author of Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers.

Laura N. GasawayQuestion: We are a nonprofit society that publishes a scientific journal. We require authors to transfer copyright of published papers to the society, but allow authors “to reprint or reuse your own original material without requesting permission.” Can we allow authors to post their articles on websites without purchasing a reprint, either digital or hard copy?

Answer: I congratulate your journal on permitting authors to use their own works! This makes authors very happy, and I am delighted to hear that your journal has taken this modern approach. Assuming that the transfer of copyright is for the entire copyright (and not just the right to reproduce and distribute the work in the journal), by granting back to the author you are granting permission to use the work as you dictate. As the copyright owner, the journal can include anything in the grant, including posting articles on the author’s own website. There is no need to require a reprint be purchased. The author already has a digital version that he or she submitted to the journal.  

Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers by Laura N. Gasaway and edited by Iris Hanney contains information vital to the publishing community.

Learn more about how copyright law affects your work or order it now.

More Copyright Questions

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