Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News

The current newsletter from my office:

Vol. 12, No. 7, December 5, 2008
ISSN 1489-954X


1.Studies, Legislation and Conventions:

Canadian Government Commitment to Copyright Reform
World Blind Union Proposes WIPO Treaty
WIPO Deadlocked on Traditional Knowledge Treaty

 2.Legal Cases:

Harvard Professor Challenges Copyright Law
Judge Approves Google Book Agreement

3.Of Interest:

MySpace Allows Copyright-Protected Videos, With Advertisements

4.Seminars and Publications:

E-Tutorial Copyright Courses
Certificate in Copyright Management
The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter


CANADIAN GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT TO COPYRIGHT REFORM – In November’s Speech from the Throne, the Canadian government set out its intent to “proceed with legislation to modernize Canada’s copyright laws and ensure stronger protection for intellectual property.” The Canadian Parliament is currently prorogued until the end of January 2009.

WORLD BLIND UNION PROPOSES WIPO TREATY – The World Blind Union has proposed a World Intellectual Property Organisation (“WIPO”) Treaty for Improved Access for Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons. The treaty would provide a minimum standard for limitations and exceptions fo rthe blind and visually impaired, and would allow and encourage the impor tand export of works in accessible formats. The World Blind Union hopes that the proposed treaty would make works more accessible to blind people indeveloping countries. See:


Traditional Knowledge and Folklore announced in October 2008 that it had failed to reach an agreement on a proposed treaty to protect traditional knowledge and culture. Further meetings are scheduled.


HARVARD PROFESSOR CHALLENGES COPYRIGHT LAW – A Harvard Law Professor has launched a constitutional challenge against the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999. Charles Lesson argues that the law is unconstitutional because it enables a private group (the Recording Industry Association of America) to carry out civil enforcement of a criminal law.

JUDGE APPROVES GOOGLE BOOK AGREEMENT – In November 2008, a U.S. District Judge issued an order tentatively approving Google’s settlement of copyright lawsuits by publishers and authors. The deal would see Google pay $125 million to resolve claims over the company’s book-scanning project, and would enable Google to expand its Google Book Program, allowing readers to search for and buy books in whole or page-by-page. A hearing is scheduled for June, 2009.


MYSPACE ALLOWS COPYRIGHT-PROTECTED VIDEOS, WITH ADVERTISEMENTS – MySpace recently announced a partnership with certain video producers, such as MTV Networks, which will allow users to post copyright-protected videos in return for advertising revenue. Each time a MySpace user posts a video by MTV Networks or one of its partners, technology will identify the clip and overlay an advertisement on it. Advertising revenue will be shared between MySpace, Autitude (who provide the technology to identify the clip) and copyright holders.


E-TUTORIAL COPYRIGHT COURSES – has set its Winter/Spring 2009 schedule for e-tutorial courses on copyright. A variety of courses (primers on copyright, managing copyright, digital rights management, copyright education and developing a copyright policy) are being offered between January and May 2009. Each course is unique and provides up to date information. The courses have different demands in terms of time and work. For a description of each course, schedule, how to choose the right course for you, and pricing, see: Registration is at:

CERTIFICATE IN COPYRIGHT MANAGEMENT – This program, designed for librarians, consists of 5 online courses and 2 in-person courses. It was developed and is taught by Lesley Ellen Harris in partnership with SLA Click University. Participants have two years to complete the 7 courses required for the certificate, or may take any course à la carte. The first course, Introduction to Copyright Management Principles & Issues, begins on January 6, 2009. (Note that there is an alternative course on Canadian copyright law – for Canadians enrolled in the program.) For more information, see:

THE COPYRIGHT & NEW MEDIA LAW NEWSLETTER – This unique publication deals with copyright law, licensing and related matters for a diverse audience of copyright professionals including librarians, archivists, curators, educators, lawyers, publishers, and digital content creators. This is a print and PDF newsletter, begun in 1997. It is published four times per year, with contributors and authors from around the world. For more information, see: To subscribe in 2009, visit:

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