DMCA Handbook for Online Service Providers, Websites, and Copyright Owners

By Connie J. Mabelson  Published by American Bar Association. Section of Intellectual Property Law.  KF 3030.1 .M33 2018

By Connie J. Mabelson

Published by American Bar Association. Section of Intellectual Property Law.

KF 3030.1 .M33 2018

Enacted in 1998 as the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects online service providers (OSPs) from contributory copyright infringement in connection with the transmitting, caching, storing, or indexing of online copyrighted content. Within the DMCA are four safe harbors that give immunity to OSPs from monetary damages resulting from copyright infringement. Of course, some things are easier said than done. That is where attorney Connie J. Mabelson and her book DMCA Handbook for Online Service Providers, Websites, and Copyright Owners come in to save the day. Mabelson explains all that OSPs need to know about acquiring the immunity and protection promised by the DMCA in the event that the OSP, either knowingly or unknowingly, transmitted, cached, stored, or indexed infringing content on its servers. She begins, though, with the basics. She defines an OSP and what qualifies as a service provider, whether it be a website, a search engine, or a host of other providers of online content. She then provides an overview of the content protected by copyright law, how such content can be infringed upon, specifically in an online environment, and the affirmative defenses that an alleged infringer may assert in a suit for copyright infringement.

Mabelson reminds us that OSPs can limit their liability for claims of contributory or vicarious copyright infringement through the application of the safe harbors set forth in the DMCA. These safe harbors exist for transmitting, caching, storing, and indexing online content. However, the safe harbors can only be used if the OSP is eligible and if the OSP followed the process specifically laid out in the DMCA, including the take-down process. The author also includes some sample forms, such as take-down notices and letters to alleged infringers.

Whether you are a website owner, copyright owner, or content creator, you will want to read DMCA Handbook for Online Service Providers, Websites, and Copyright Owners for a clearer understanding of the DMCA, its requirements, and its protections.

Latest & Greatest – The Intellectual Property Handbook: A Practical Guide for Franchise, Business, and IP Counsel

Edited by Christopher P. Bussert and James R. Sims III  Published by American Bar Association Forum on Franchising and Section of Intellectual Property Law  KF 2979 .I4315 2016

Edited by Christopher P. Bussert and James R. Sims III

Published by American Bar Association Forum on Franchising and Section of Intellectual Property Law

KF 2979 .I4315 2016

Written for non-IP specialists, The Intellectual Property Handbook: A Practical Guide for Franchise, Business, and IP Counsel provides a substantive and practical overview of the most common intellectual property issues, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, cyber law, and social media issues. Besides describing the federal registration process, the authors explain basic trademark principles, everything from forms and types to the strength of the trademark and address the issues to consider when choosing a trademark. Equally important is the discussion of how to protect those rights and the types of legal actions to take to enforce those rights. In addition to highlighting domestic trademarks, the authors also cover domain names and trademarks on the Internet. Look for a discussion of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

Interested in copyright? The authors devote an entire chapter to the topic and define subject matter that is copyrightable, detail the rights granted by copyright, navigate the waters of the registration process, and address the issue of infringement.

Looking for information on patents? The authors have got you covered there as well. They explain what a patent is and what can be patented and help you with the patent application process. The authors also offer some patent protection strategies and enforcement remedies.

The chapter on trade secrets is full of useful information, such as what a trade secret is, its definitional elements, the steps to be taken to protect the trade secret, and the remedies available should the trade secret be misappropriated.

Lastly, the authors discuss data privacy and security, cloud computing, and social media and the IP concerns that may arise during the use of social networking services, including issues relating to trademark, copyright, personal information, and employee information.

Latest & Greatest – The Copyright Librarian: A Practical Handbook

By Linda Frederiksen  Published by Chandos Publishing  Z 649 .L53 F74 2016

By Linda Frederiksen

Published by Chandos Publishing

Z 649 .L53 F74 2016

Suppose a patron or professor or lawyer wants to photocopy an entire chapter of a multi-volume treatise. Can he? Is such copying considered fair use? Perhaps. Ask the copyright librarian; she will know. Ask the copyright librarian? Huh? Who's that? Look at it this way: you know what copyright is (well at least theoretically) and you know what a librarian is. Putting the two together results in a copyright librarian or a copyright specialist or as the author terms it, an information professional who educates others about the “ethical use and best practices surrounding copyrighted materials.”

In her book, The Copyright Librarian: A Practical Handbook, Linda Frederiksen points out that as the intermediary between the creators of information and the users of that information, librarians should be well-versed in copyright laws as to know and understand when an infringement of a creator’s copyright has occurred or to provide guidance when faced with a copyright dilemma. Considering the confusing, complex, and often ambiguous, nature of copyright laws, the task is far from simple and incredibly daunting. The Copyright Librarian is not a book for those seeking an explanation of the law of copyright but rather is intended for librarians and information professionals who are interested in becoming a specialist in the field of copyright, thereby enabling them to respond to questions about copyright and how it affects the use of information. The author describes how copyright is necessarily intertwined in library functions, from acquisitions and collection development to cataloging and circulation. She further explains how a librarian interested in copyright can acquire the necessary knowledge to become a specialist through professional development, continuing education, and current awareness and delineates what a copyright librarian ought to know.

If this a field that you would like to explore further, come to the Harris County Law Library and have a look at The Copyright Librarian: A Practical Handbook. Perhaps you can get in on the ground floor of this emerging specialization.

Perseid Meteor Shower Tonight!

Our hometown space agency NASA reports that the annual Perseid Meteor Shower is expected to produce quite a show this year and will peak tonight (Aug. 11, 2016) and tomorrow night (Aug. 12, 2016). While photographers throughout the world will undoubtedly capture phenomenal photographs of the event, very few can capture the types of images NASA will take from the International Space Station and other extraterrestrial locations.

So, how can you use these images when your camera equipment isn't mounted to a rocket? NASA makes it easy! As an agency of the federal government, NASA produces quite a bit of content that is not copyrighted (See U.S. Government Works on USA.gov). As such, beautiful photos and video of outer space, celestial events, and sleek spacecraft are available for use free of charge and without prior permission - especially for educational use - at NASA.gov! However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to follow the Media Usage Guidelines, which include giving NASA credit for the content the agency has produced.
  • Some of the content on NASA.gov is copyrighted by third parties, so you may have to get permission to use that content from the copyright holder even if you find it on NASA.gov.
  • The NASA Logo is protected under laws other than copyright and non-NASA entities are prohibited from using it without express permission under 14 C.F.R. § 1221.

Enjoy the Perseid Meteor Shower and visit the Law Library throughout the month of August for Space Law Month!