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First off today, David Kravets of Wired reports that a judge has dismissed a lawsuit by the Authors Guild against several universities. The Universities, which had all participated in Google’s Book Search project by allowing Google to scan books in their libraries without rightsholder permission, had also been placing the digitized versions into a digital library named HaithiTrust. Hathitrust books were only available to those with print disabilities. Users can search the trust but only for books in the public domain or ones where the rightsholder gave permission. Without permission, the search would only show the page number where the query appeared. The judge ruled that HaithiTrust was a clear fair use of the books involved due to its highly transformative nature. There’s no word if the Authors Guild plans to appeal but the case raises questions about their separate suit against Google over Google Book Search, even though Google goes farther with its use of the digitized works.
Next up today, Israr Khan of The International News reports that, in Pakistan, the National Assembly has unanimously passed the IPO-Pakistan bill in a bid to update the country’s intellectual property laws and bring the country up to international standards for intellectual property protection. Most importantly, the bill sets the stage for Pakistan to enter the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a body of 185 countries that focuses on international IP policy. Pakistan is currently on the U.S. Trade Representatives special 301 report, it’s “watch list” of states that do not have adequate intellectual property protection. Pakistan is also hoping that the new legislation and action will result in it being removed from that list.
Finally today, The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development writes that WIPO and its member states brought their annual meeting to a close yesterday. Their greatest accomplishment this year, at least on matters of copyright, was to plan future discussions on international exceptions and limitations for visually impaired persons and others with print disabilities. There is widespread hope for a treaty next year because of these efforts though others are more skeptical as there are many outstanding issues to be resolved.
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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