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First off today, the FTC is considering several proposals to bolster the struggling mainstream media in the United States in an attempt to protect the industry from what it calls “free riders” such as aggregators and search engines. Under one proposal, “hot news” would be formally protected, offering copyright protection to facts gathered at expense. Another would narrow fair use exemptions, specifically to block “caching” by the search engines. Yet another would open up the door for a compulsory licensing system, such as in the music industry, to open the door for micropayments.
Next up today, a controversial memoir by Chinese author Li Peng was slated for publication in Hong Kong but that publication has been scrapped, allegedly due to a copyright concern. According to the would-be publishers of the book, New Century Press, they are scrapping plans to publish the book due to the fact they did not have adequate copyright clearance. The book, entitled “The Tiananmen Diary of Li Peng”, deals with the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, an incident the Chinese government has gone to great lengths to try and deny and erase from its own history.
Finally today, according to a new paper by Felix Oberholzer-Gee of Harvard and Koleman Strumpf of the University of Kansas argue that, though file sharing and related technologies have weakened copyright, at least in the U.S., it has had a positive benefit on society including increasing the number of albums released, books published and the overall size of the music industry. According to the authors, only 1/5 of the decline in music sales can be attributed to piracy, the rest to other factors such alternative forms of entertainment. The record industry, however, disagrees strongly with these opinions.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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