Given CCC’s business purpose, his-tory, and its current push of its annualcopyright license to colleges and univer-sities as a payment facilitation and copy-right compliance tool, it is worth raisingquestions about the extent to which theorganization does or does not engage inso-called enforcement actions or investi-gations that lead to so-called enforce-ment actions. Further, it also may beworth asking whether there is any cor-relation between the amount of annualfees a school pays to CCC and the likeli-hood that the school will be investigatedfor copyright infringement, either by CCCor by a publisher for whom CCC acts asroyalty collection agent.The second issue worth in-vestigating is a publisher’s normative viewof copyright law. As William Patry andJessica Litman have chronicled in lawreview articles, large, industrial and in-creasingly multinational copyright own-ers historically have been Congress’solestakeholders when copyright law andpolicy have been discussed and promul-gated. These copyright owners posit allsorts of theories to justify their positionson copyright.But to understand recent threatsagainst colleges for what may be edu-cational uses, let’s take a look at thehistory of the publishing industry andits never-ending fight to preserve theeconomic integrity of making one sale foreach intellectual work that is manufac-tured. This principle, which I have dubbedthe cost-per-click theory of copyright, isthe economic basis upon which entiremedia industries have been built.Of course, a key component of thatprinciple is having a physical item to man-ufacture, count, and sell, which is typicallya book. This principle does not withstandthe societal and technological disruptionof moving from entire books to chapters,or from chapters to sections, or from paperto digital. Yet in the publishers’minds,many of them continue to expect to be paidfor each item that is produced or madeavailable. Their business models dependon the cost-per-click theory. But adoptingthis attitude means that copyright has nolimitations and that protection is the de-fault and lasting state of original worksfixed in a tangible medium of expression.It also means that policy or statutory coun-terbalances to copyright monopoly, such asfair use, simply do not exist or exist onlywhen it would be embarrassing for a right-sholder to decline use or access.I am not claiming the colleges anduniversities are without fault or liability.But I do maintain that the rightsholders’normative view of copyright tends to beso narrow in the 21st century that userfault is virtually irrelevant. In publish-ers’minds, any use of protected workswithout compensation and permission isan infringement.The final issue that comes to mindwhen I read about issues such as theseis the lack of spine so many colleges anduniversities seem to exhibit in the face of any questioning about the use of copy-righted works. Have colleges and uni-versities become so afraid of being suedthat they will cave reflexively upon theslightest trade group inquiry?Litigation is time-consuming, disrup-tive to business, and often a poor resolu-tion to a disagreement among former busi-nesspartners. For these reasons alone,officers at colleges and universities havegood reason to avoid litigation. But it issurprising to see how quickly some in-stitutions (some of them billion-dollarorganizations) cower in the face of theslightest examination of copyright prac-tices on campus. In my opinion, part of the reason why the fair use doctrine is soweak and ill-defined is because highereducation has failed to draw, maintain,and defend reasonable parameters fortheir faculty, students, and staff. Yet at the same time, too few insti-tutions vigilantly conduct their own en-forcement of copyright violations. Often,and ironically, claims of fair use are par-roted across college campuses to excusethe most egregious and unjustified usesof protected works.Both these attitudes are unacceptablefor any learning institution, particularlysince it has such a vested interest in gen-erating scholarship and culture and mak-ingthat scholarship and culture avail-able for the purpose of learning. In theend, colleges and universities must do abetter job at understanding the copyrightsystem and rightfully defending againstcommercial restrictions of informationuse and access, but they must also pe-nalize those in their own communitieswho abuse the privileges of informationuse and access.
K. Matthew Dames is the executive ed-itor of
(http://copycense.com)and the new publication
(http://corecopyright.com), which helps persons learn U.S. copyright law. Send your comments about this column to email@example.com.
by STEVEN M.COHEN
irefox has become in-creasingly popular withthe technology crowdover the past 4 years for threemain reasons. First, it is consid-ered anti-Microsoft; second, itis user-driven (folks can createadd-ons and market them onthe Firefox site); and third, itsprogressiveness displays sheer brilliance. As I mention during most of my talkson the topic, it’s a good idea to take a lookat the current version of Firefox, if youwant to see what Microsoft is going to dowith the next iteration of Internet Ex-plorer. While I have been a loyal Firefoxuser for a while, I still tested GoogleChrome when it was first released, butthe lack of third-party extensions turnedme away. Even though Chrome was faster(it takes up much less memory than In-ternet Explorer and Firefox), the extensionaddict in me still needed my add-ons.When Google finally announced the releaseof Chrome 4.0 (www.google.com/chrome/ eula.html?extra=devchannel), along withit came the ability to use extensions. Iimmediately started to download them.
Some of My Favorite Things
Locating the extensions is easyenough. Just go to https://chrome.google.com/extensions and start searching orbrowsing. Google extensions are a bit dif-ferent in that most of them live on ornear the toolbar on the right-hand sideof the browser bar. It may take some timeto look there, but that’s a small issue.Here are some of my favorites that I amsure you will find useful as well.
(http://tinyurl.com/ y9sq3p6)—If you send as many links asI do to colleagues, this is the perfect ex-tension. When you click the icon at anysite, it will ask you which shortener youwant to use, and it will create a smallerURLwith one click. This will then becopied to your clipboard and sent out.There are more than 10 available serv-ices, and you can also send posts directlyto Twitter.
(http://tinyurl.com/y9ymvwz)—I use Ping.fm when I want to postsomething to all of my social networks atonce. This extension will do just thatwith a click of a button. This particularextension is similar to placing a PingThis bookmarklet on your favorites barin your browser.
(http://bit.ly/8Yzpdb)—This is one of those quick and easyextensions that allows you to see quicklywho has linked to (and maybe commentedon) any webpage on Twitter. I use thistool to see who has mentioned my blogand usually take the time to thank theperson (always consider thosemarketing angles, right?) andthen follow them (unless theyare a spam account, which hap-pens often on Twitter). This isa must for those who maintaintheir library webpages or doany type of public relations.
(http://bit.ly/ 5AKOSc)—One of my favoriteadd-ons in Firefox is ReloadEvery (URL), which will automaticallyreload any webpage at any interval thatthe user needs. I missed this immenselywhen I moved over to Chrome, but I wasthrilled when I found a similar tool. Af-ter you install Auto Reload, a blue circlewill appear on the right-hand side of theaddress bar. To activate the auto refresh, just click that button, and the page willrefresh every 1 or 2 minutes. This is auseful tool when accessing a webmailprogram that logs you out after a certainperiod of inactivity.
Google Reader Compact
(http://bit.ly/6QCWTX)—If you use Google Readeras much as I do, you know that there areplenty of extra parts of the tool that canslow down the service. With Google ReaderCompact, these extra tools are taken away,and you are left with a bare-bones RSSreader with the extra functionality thatyou are used to having. All of the foldersare still available as well as the search bar.Take this add-on for a ride, and you willsee the difference right away.
(http://bit.ly/4TJkzr)—This is an unofficial version of the BetterGmail add-on for Firefox, but it does manyof the same functions, such as removingads, hiding the chat interface and the “in-vite friends field” (when will Google getrid of that thing?), showing attachmenticons (instead of paperclips), and high-lighting the row when moused over. I havebeen a big fan of the official Firefox add-on and am glad that this was finally re-leased on Chrome. As I add to my collection over the nextfew months, I will be writing about themin my upcoming columns. I have beenrunning both Firefox and Chrome on mydesktop for the past few months and havebeen debating on getting rid of one in fa-vor of the other. But I have been unableto decide which one to cease using. That’sa good thing, I guess. That way, I get totry out neat tools to make my web expe-rience easier for myself and then pass onthe tips to you.
Steven M. Cohen is senior librarian at Law Library Management, Inc., in NewYork. He is the creator of Library Stuff,a blog published by Information Today, Inc. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your comments about this col-umn to email@example.com.
Library Stuff Revisited
A Few of My Favorite Tools
In publishers’ minds,any useof protected works without compensation and permission is an infringement.
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