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COP Leahy Grassley Analysis

COP Leahy Grassley Analysis

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Published by Peter Brantley
Post Judge Chin's ruling in the GBS class action proposal case, the Copyright Office has prepared an analysis of digitization and the legal framework, for background to Congress. This letter is dated April 1, 2011 and addressed to Chairman Leahy and Senator Grassley.

Permission to post online was received directly from Maria Pallante, Interim Director, Copyright Office on April 11, 2011.
Post Judge Chin's ruling in the GBS class action proposal case, the Copyright Office has prepared an analysis of digitization and the legal framework, for background to Congress. This letter is dated April 1, 2011 and addressed to Chairman Leahy and Senator Grassley.

Permission to post online was received directly from Maria Pallante, Interim Director, Copyright Office on April 11, 2011.

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Published by: Peter Brantley on Apr 11, 2011
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04/11/2011

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THELIBRARIANOFCONGRESS
April1,2011DearChairmanLeahyandSenatorGrassley:Lastweek,afederaljudgerejectedthependingsettlementof
AuthorsGuildetal.
v.
GoogleInc.,
theclassactioninwhichauthorsandpublisherschallengedGoogleforscanningmillionsofbooksforcommercialpurposesthroughagreementswithseveralmajorresearchlibraries.Inthemuch-awaitedopinion,JudgeDennyChinsaidthatthesettlementwouldinappropriatelyimplementaforward-lookingbusinessarrangementgrantingGooglesignificantrightstoexploitentirebookswithoutpermissionofthecopyrightowners,whileatthesametimereleasingclaimswellbeyondthosepresentedintheoriginaldispute.
I
Thedecisionprovidesanopportunityforustoshareourownanalysisofdigitizationandthelegalframework,incaseCongresswouldliketofurtherexploretheissues.JudgeChin'sopinionwasverywellreceivedattheLibraryofCongress,asitreflectsthesignificantconcernsexpressedabouttheproposedsettlementbyboththeDepartmentofJusticeandtheCopyrightOffice.Amongthesearethebasictenetsthatexclusiverightsaffordedbycopyrightlawmaynotbeusurpedasamatterofconvenience,andpolicyinitiatives,includingthosethatwouldredefinetherelationshipofcopyrightandtechnology;aretheproperdomainofCongress,notthecourts.iAtthesametime,JudgeChinacknowledgedthepotentialbenefitsofdoogle'sbookproject,notingthatbookswouldbecomemorereadilyaccessibletolibraries,schools,researchersanddisadvantagedpopulations.Henotedthepromiseofnewaudiences,newmarketsandnewsourcesofincomefortheauthorsandpublishersofolder,out-of-printbooks,inparticular.Andheopenlyobservedthat"thedigitizationofbooksandthecreationofauniversaldigitallibrarywouldbenefitmany."(Opinionatpages]and3.)ThebenefitscitedbyJudgeChinringtruefortheLibraryofCongressbecause,inanumberofways,wehavebeenworkingtowardthemformanyyears.Since1994,wehaveimplementedavarietyofdigitizationprojects,alwaysinaccordancewith,andwithrespectfor,longstandingprinciples,ofcopyrightlaw.Forexample,theAmericanMemoryprojectfeaturesdigitalimagesofmorethan16millionitemsrelatedtoU.S.historyandculture(organizedintomorethan100thematiccollections)andtheHistoricAmericanNewspapersprojectprovidesdigital
1
No.05-8136(S.D.N.Y.March22,2011)(orderdenyingmotionforfinalapprovaloftheamendedsettlementagreement),availableathttp://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/cases/show.php?db=special&id=115.
2
TheCopyrightOfficeworkedcloselywiththeDepartmentofJusticeonbothStatementsofInterestfiledonbehalfoftheUnitedStatesonSeptember18,2009andFebruary4,2010,respectively,availableathttp://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/authorsguild.htm.FormerRegisterofCopyrightsMarybethPeterstestifiedbeforetheHouseCommitteeontheJudiciaryonSeptember10,2009.
SeeCompetitionandCommerceinDigitalBooks:TheProposedGoogleBookSettlement,
availableathttp://judiciary.house.govlhearings/pdflPeters09091O.pdf("Regi'ster'sTestimony").
101IndependenceAvenue,S.E.Washington,OC20540-1000Tel.:(202)707-5205Fax:(202)707-1714E-mail:
 
-2-accessto900,000U.S.newspaperspublishedbetween1836and1922.
3
Thenaturalnextstepforsomeofthiswork,subjecttoresources,istomovefromaseriesofprojectstoamorestrategicandcomprehensiveeffortthatincludesprioritizingcontent,managinglicenseswithcopyrightowners,andcoordinatingnavigationandpointsofaccesswithotherimportantinstitutions."AnotherLibraryprogram-theNationalDigitalInformationInfrastructureandPreservationProgram(NDlIPP)--isdedicatedtocapturingandpreservingvaluable"borndigital"materials,suchaswebsites,maps,televisionbroadcastsanddigitalphotographs.Assessingandapplyingmetadataandotherstandardsisacriticalaspectofthiswork.Onarelatedfront,weareworkingwithpublishersonsubmissionstandardsforelectronicjournalsandotherpublicationsdisseminatedelectronically.Suchprojectsareinvaluableformanyreasons,nottheleastofwhichistheirabilitytoinformpolicydiscussionsrelatingtotechnologyandcopyrightlaw.Asanactiveparticipantinpolicydiscussions,theLibrary(andtheCopyrightOfficeinparticular)isawareofthesignificantinternationalinterestinJudgeChin'sopinion.Wearealsoawareoftherelatedandevolvinginterestamongforeigncountriesinusingtrustedgovernmententitiestobuilddigitallibraries.Forexample,theEUisbuilding"Europeana,"aswellasarelatedentitycalledtheEuropeanDigitalLibrary,anaggregatorofcontentfromseveralMemberStates,includingtheGermanDigitalLibrary.Similarly,theFrenchNationalLibrary's"Gallica"willofferFrenchhistoryandcultureandtheNationalLibraryofChinahasundertakenthedigitizationofChineseculturalheritage.Someprojectsincludecommercialpartners,asappropriate.Ineachcase,thegovernmentisalsostudyingtheinterplayofcopyrightlawandtechnology,includingtheappropriatescopeoflibraryexceptions,thepossiblebenefitsofcollectivelicensingregimes,andthechallengesoforphanworks."OrphanworksareafamiliarissueintheUnitedStates.In2006,theCopyrightOfficepreparedamajorstudyforCongress,entitled
ReportonOrphanWorks.
Boththe109thand110thCongressesintroducedlegislationadoptingtheOffice'srecommendationsthat(1)orphanworksreliefbelimitedtocircumstancesinwhichagood-faithusercannotlocatethecopyrightownerorotherappropriaterightsholderafterconductingadiligentsearch;(2)reliefbeappliedonacase-by-casebasis,meaninguserscouldnotdesignateorrelyuponpermanentorphanstatuswithrespecttoanywork;and(3)thecopyrightownerorotherrightsholdercouldcollectreasonablecompensation(fromtheuser)ifhelateremerged.
3
TheLibrary'sothermajordigitizationinitiativesinclude:(1)theWorldDigitalLibrary,ajointventurewithUNESCO;(2)WorldCultureandResources,whichpresentsbilingualdigitalcollectionsfromvariousmediafromdifferentregionsandcountriesaroundtheworld;and(3)PrintsandPhotographs,whichcontainsover1.2milliondigitizedimages.
4
TheLibraryhashaddiscussionsalongtheselineswiththeotherleadingpubliccollectinginstitutionsintheUnitedStates-theNationalArchivesandSmithsonianInstitution.Onanothertrack,theBerkmanCenteratHarvardhashostedmeetingstodiscussa"DigitalPublicLibraryofAmerica."
,5
Forexample,oneofEuropeana'smajorprojectsistheAccessibleRegistriesofRightsInformationandOrphanWorks("ARROW"),whichaimstosupporttheEC'sDigitalLibraryProjectbyfindingwaystoclarifytherightsstatusoforphanworksandout-of-printworks,aswellastoenhancetheinteroperabilityofrightsinformationbetweenrightsholders,agents,librariesandusers.
See
 
-3-
Asapointofcomparison,wenotetherejectedGooglesettlementagreementdidnotincorporateapriordiligentsearchrequirementforout-of-printworks.Rather,itwouldhaverequiredcopyrightownerstoclaimtheseworksthrougharegistryasaconditionofavoidingorphanstatus,inpartbecausetherightsclearanceprocessiscostlyandtimeconsuming-atleastinthecontextofmassscanning-andinpartbecausemanybookpublishingagreementsfromthepre-digitaleraareunclearastothedispositionofelectronicrights,asbetweenauthorsandpublishers.JudgeChindeferredexpresslytoCongressontheseissues,statingthatthe"questionofwhoshouldbeentrustedwithguardianshipoverorphanbooks,underwhatterms,andwithwhatsafeguards,aremattersmoreappropriatelydecidedbyCongressthanthroughanagreementamongprivate,self-interestedparties."(Opinionatpage23.)Asapracticalmatter,theissueoforphanworkscannotreasonablybedivorcedfromtheissueoflicensing.Thepremiseofanorphanworkssituationisthatauserwantstoexploitacopyrightedworkinamannerthatrequirespermissionoftherightsholder.Becauselicensingonacase-by-casebasiscanbechallenging,atleastwheremanyworksareatissue,itmaybehelpfultoconsiderwhethertheincreasedavailabilityofcollectivelicensingmightbehelpful-atleastforfacilitatingcertainprojectsandtransactionsofinterestandimportancetothepublic."Tobeclear,collectivelicensingcantakeseveralformsandmayoperateoneitheran"opt-in"oran"opt-out"basis.IntheUnitedStates,wehavehadsomesuccessinthemusicworldwiththe"opt-in"model,albeitwithsomepricingproblems.ASCAP,BMIandSESAC,forexample,licensethepublicperformanceofmanymusicalworksandcollectroyaltiesonbehalfofcopyrightowners.(Toaddresscompetition-relatedconcerns,ASCAPandBMIoperateunderconsentdecreesmonitoredbytheDepartmentofJusticeandenforcedbythecourts.)TheCopyrightClearanceCenterhasperformedasimilarfunctionforreprographicrightsfornonfictionbooksandmorerecentlyhasmovedintolicensingforthebroaderpublishingindustry.Inbothcases,theseorganizationsengageinreciprocalrelationshipswithcollectingorganizationsoverseasonbehalfoftheirmembers.Collectivelicensingofthiskinddoesnotrequirelegislation,butmaybenefitfromgovernmentfacilitationoroversight.Forneworganizations,thestart-upcostsandotherfundingchallengesmaybedaunting,asU.S.authorsa!ldphotographerscanattest,"Somecountrieshavelegislated"optout"models(knownas
extended
collectivelicensing)inthecontextoflibraryandeducationaluses."Thismodeloperatessomethinglikeaclassactionsettlement,inthesensethatrepresentativesofcopyrightownersandrepresentativesofusersnegotiatetermsthatarebindingonallmembersofthegroupbyoperationoflaw,e.g.,alltextbookpublishers,unlessaparticularcopyrightowneroptsout.Thegovernmentoratrusteddesigneeadministerspayments.Itisnotquitecompulsorylicensinginthattheparties(ratherthanthegovernment)negotiatetherates,butitrequiresalegislativeframework.
6
SeeRegister'sTestimony.
"Thecreationofarightsregistryforbookauthors,publishersandpotentiallicenseesisapositivedevelopmentthatcouldofferthecopyrightcommunity,thetechnologysectorandthepublicaframeworkforlicensingworksindigitalformandcollectingmicro-paymentsinanefficientandcost-effectivemanner."
7
Forexample,boththeAuthorsGuildandtheAmericanSocietyofMediaPhotographershaveattemptedtoofferlicensingregistriesforthebenefitoftheirmembersandusers,withvaryingdegreesofsuccess.
8
Denmark,Finland,Iceland,Norway,andSwedenhavethemostexperiencewiththismodel.

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