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Tag Archives: Intellectual Property

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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Systematic bias at the US Copyright Office

Wow, just … wow! Go right now and download (or better yet, store a copy in your local repository like we’re going to do!) Public Knowledge’s new report about the US Copyright Office entitled Captured: Systemic Bias at the US Copyright Office. This is how a completely unaccountable government agency runs roughshod over the public interest and trust.

Public Knowledge‘s new report, Captured: Systemic Bias at the US Copyright Office makes a beautifully argued, perfectly enraging case that the US Copyright Office does not serve the public interest, but rather, hands out regulatory favors to the entertainment industry.

Starting from the undeniable evidence that the easiest way to get a senior job at the Copyright Office is to hold a senior job in a giant entertainment company first (and that holding a senior Copyright Office job qualifies you to walk out of the Copyright Office and into a fat private sector gig as an entertainment exec), the report documents the numerous instances in which the Copyright Office has said and done outrageous things, and grossly misinterpreted the law, leading in many cases to being slapped down by the courts.

This is 100% pure, white-hot smoking gun. What’s more, since the Copyright Office is in charge of much of American internet/technology policy, it’s a national scandal.

via The US Copyright Office is the poster child for regulatory capture / Boing Boing.

Lunchtime Listen: A history of intellectual property

Here is an entertaining and informative 52 minute podcast that gives an historical overview of patents and copyright and other “intellectual property” issues from an American perspective. Although they do not discuss government information issues specifically, the history they do discuss provides the context for the public good of public information and the attempts to privatize or commodify public information.

This is definitely informative, but The American History Guys of Backstory (Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh) are more like the Car Guys than your high school history teacher. They discuss everyone from Mark Twain to Phyllis Diller and guests include Ananda Chakrabarty, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Kembrew McLeod, University of Iowa, Doron Ben-Atar, Fordham University. Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia, and Chris Sprigman, University of Virginia School of Law.

Listen and enjoy.

HR 3155 Intellectual Property Enhanced Criminal Enforcement Act of 2007

Put this in your “picture is worth 1000 words” file. Can you guess the effect of HR 3155, the Intellectual Property Enhanced Criminal Enforcement Act of 2007? Thought so… But if you’d prefer to read about analysis of the proposed law, see “Copycrime Bill Raises its Ugly Head, Again” from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.