Some notes on Copyfraud

Cornell lifted restrictions on Cornell-digitized public-domain books, and publicly acknowledged that the digital reproductions are themselves in the public domain. It explained its rationale in a public statement: to support OA, to encourage valuable uses and reuses of the literature, and to avoid copyfraud (false claims of copyright). Its exemplary policy should be widely imitated. Just as OA journals should use open licenses, digitization projects targeting works in the public domain should not impose new restrictions on use or reuse. But not all digitization projects follow this principle. The Seegras Logbook pointed out examples of copyfraud in Google Book Search. The US National Archives and Records Administration, yet again, digitized public-domain records with a private partner and allowed the private partner’s TA site to be the exclusive digital distributor, apparently without an expiration date. A public-private partnership digitized the Burney Collection of public-domain 17th and 18th newspapers, but made the results TA rather than OA. The London School of Economics deposited a group of images with „no known copyright restrictions“ in Flickr Commons, but attempted to bar commercial use without permission and payment. The city of Schenectady, NY, claimed that its ordinances were under copyright, charged for digital access, and even denied a freedom-of-information request for digital copies, all while planning to provide OA copies later this year. Amazon seems to understand the Cornell logic of lifting restrictions on public-domain works, but decided that restrictions were more important than public-domain content. In September it stopped, at least temporarily, making public-domain books available on the Kindle. Barnes & Noble just seems confused. It explained that it had to add DRM to its public-domain ebooks in order to protect their copyrights. (Peter Suber)

http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/01-02-10.htm

?s=copyfraud


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