Copyright News: From the Office of Lesley Ellen Harris

BY Leslie Ellen Harris
Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News
This Newsletter is being reproduced for noon-commercial purposes on this blawg with the permission of Leslie Ellen Harris.
Volume 13, No. 3, April 7, 2009

ISSN 1489-954X

1. Studies, Legislation and Conventions UK Discusses a Digital Rights Agency
2. Legal Cases:

Blockshopper Linking Case Settles Aggregators May Freely Reproduce California Public Records Conviction Under Anti-Camcording Law in Canada Large CD and DVD Pirate Charge

3. Of Interest:

A Quick and Easy Way to Surrender Copyright Open Source Commercial Textbooks
4. Seminars and Publications:

World Copyright Summit Online Copyright Courses Book: Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians Copyright Blogs

Copyright, New Media & E-Commerce News is distributed for free by the office of Lesley Ellen Harris. Information contained herein should not be relied upon or considered as legal advice. Copyright 2009 Lesley Ellen Harris. This e-letter may be forwarded, downloaded or reproduced in whole in any print or electronic format for non-commercial purposes provided that you cc:

This e-letter, from 1996 to the present, is archived with Library & Archives Canada at:



UK DISCUSSES A DIGITAL RIGHTS AGENCY – In a recently released discussion paper called Copyright in a digital world: What role for a Digital Rights Agency, the UK government sets the stage for a digital rights agency. The paper clearly states that it is not the role of the government to mandate how rights are traded or used, but rather to examine how it can facilitate a market space for simpler and easier negotiations to take place, and to encourage rights holders to create business and distribution models that meet the needs of consumers. The paper is posed to start the discussion about how a rights agency might work and comments are requested from stakeholders and public discussions forums will be held. See:



BLOCKSHOPPER LINKING CASE SETTLES – A recent settlement in the U.S. case of Blockshopper v. Jones Day leaves us without a precedent on the legality of deep linking. In this case, Blookshopper linked to the Web profile of a prominent real estate lawyer in a posting that highlighted his purchase of a condominium. After the law firm Jones Day initiated a legal suit, the parties reached a settlement agreement that prohibits Blockshopper from using embedded links (links that hide the URL so possibly creating confusion as to the source of the page). Blockshopper is allowed to use deep links to Jones Day Web pages, but it must use a URL that displays the source Web site. See the settlement agreement at:

AGGREGATORS MAY FREELY REPRODUCE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RECORDS – On February 5th, 2009, the California Court of Appeals for the Sixth Appellate District released its decision in California first Amendment Coalition v. County of Santa Clara. In this case, the County of Santa Clara tried to enforce copyright in public records and to impose licensing restrictions (resulting in license fees) on commercial vendors. California first Amendment Coalition (“CFAC”) sued the county to release the public records. The Court rejected the argument that municipalities could claim copyright in public records or impose license fees. The Court dismissed adverse decisions from other jurisdictions. Now, a copyright claim in a California public record must have an express and specific grant of authority by the legislature. This means that aggregators may freely include California public records in their databases and license them to others. This is unless there is an appeal and reversal by the California Supreme Court or an enactment of legislation. See:

CONVICTION UNDER ANTI-CAMCORDING LAW IN CANADA – Luis Rene Hache was sentenced to 24 months probation and 120 hours of community service for illegally reproducing the film “Dan in Real Life” in a movie theatre in Montreal, Canada.

LARGE CD AND DVD PIRATE CHARGE – Rajdeep Singh Ramgotra is now facing 52 charge under the Canadian Copyright Act in relation to 200,000 CDs and DVDs the RCMP seized from Winnipeg-based



A QUICK AND EASY WAY TO SURRENDER COPYRIGHT – Creative Commons has launched CC0 (read: CC Zero), a universal waiver available to anyone who wants to permanently surrended copyright and database rights they own in a work. This would result in the work being freely available similar to the situation when copyright duration expires. See:

OPEN SOURCE COMMERCIAL TEXTBOOKS – New York-based Flat World Knowledge, Inc. is now offering free Web-hosted textbooks. The company provides students with options to buy print-on-demand softcover textbooks, audio textbooks, and self-print individual chapters, thereby earning revenue to pay its authors. Faculty are able to customize their textbooks and students who access their books in a digital format are able to do so for free. See:



WORLD COPYRIGHT SUMMIT – is a media partner for the upcoming World Copyright Summit in Washington DC, June 9 & 10, 2009. This is an international forum that brings together those directly involved in creative industries to openly debate the future of copyright and the distribution of creative works in the digital era. It is organized by CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers. Building on the success of the inaugural Copyright Summit held in Brussels, the 2009 event will bring together influential creators, creative industry leaders, rights societies, content services providers, broadcasters, telecom operators, technology and legal experts, political figures and law-makers from around the world to exchange their views. For further information, visit: or email:

ONLINE COPYRIGHT COURSES– is offering the following online courses from April 20 to May 22, 2009:

· Copyright Education: Demystifying Copyright in your Enterprise.

· Digital Content Management
· Copyright Law for Canadian Librarians (this is the first offering of this course)

For further information including the course syllabi, see: Registration is at: jointly with the Special Library Association/Click University is offering a 3 week interactive online course on Copyright Issues for Special Librarians, beginning April 21, 2009. A course on the practical aspects of international copyright issues for librarians begins May 18, 2009. Participants in these courses receive CEU credits and are eligible for the Click University Certificate in Copyright Management. These course are open to SLA members and to the public. See:

BOOK: LICENSING DIGITAL CONTENT: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR LIBRARIANS – Written by Lesley Ellen Harris, the 2nd edition of this book published by ALA Editions is now available for ordering through ALA Editions at: Also, see:

COPYRIGHT BLOGS – hosts the following blogs: – a forum for the public to ask their copyright questions and get quick and practical answers. – a blog about copyright and licensing compliance and education. – a site dedicated to the comparison of U.S. and Canadian copyright issues. – the e-companion to the print book, Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians, and a place to discuss licensing issues from the content owner and consumer/librarian perspectives.

By “following” any of the above blogs, you will be kept up to date when new postings are made to them.


This newsletter is prepared by Copyright Lawyer Lesley Ellen Harris. Lesley is the author of the books Canadian Copyright Law (McGraw-Hill), Digital Property: Currency of the 21st Century (McGraw-Hill), and Licensing Digital Content (ALA Editions). Lesley edits the print newsletter, The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter. Lesley may be reached at:


If you are looking for further topical and practical information about copyright law, obtain a sample copy of the print newsletter, The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter, from

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