A new blog Collectanea from the University of Maryland University College's Center for Intellectual Property will help faculty, staff and students become more informed about the key issues, stakeholders, and legal repercussions in the increasingly volatile area of copyright, intellectual property, fair use, web publishing and downloading.
In a recent post "Quite an interesting conversation about fair use", the saga of Wendy Seltzer, a visiting assistant professor at Brooklyn Law School and former lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, was offered as a cautionary tale on just how limited fair use can be.
Ms. Seltzer received a takedown notice from YouTube for posting a brief snippet from the Super Bowl -- specifically, the NFL's standard copyright warning as an example of "how far copyright claimants exaggerate their rights."
FYI - the copyright warning reads: "This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent, is prohibited."
The music industry is also leaning more heavily on college students by sending "thousands more copyright complaints to universities this school year than last. In some cases, students are targeted for allegedly sharing a single mp3 file online."
Music industry cracks down on colleges
For the list of the top 25 schools cited by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), read Seek and Destroy
"The list, made at the request of the Associated Press, does not indicate which institutions are the worst infringers, just those that have received the most notices so far this academic year."
Ohio State University is protesting their #1 status in the list in University questions RIAA data. According to the article, the RIAA sent OU 1,287 notices of copyright infringement this academic year, up from 232 last year.
In a Sept. 21 email, OU warned students not to break copyright laws and encouraged them to use the legal service Cdigix to download free music.
Unfortunately for many universities Cdigix, a company who had contracted with universities to provide their students with free legal music downloading, is dropping that part of their business due to lack of interest on the part of students.
Larry Jacobson, the company's chief executive, wrote:
"Today's college students have grown up during the rise of illegal peer-to-peer services, and now there is an expectation that music should be free, that it should be available on multiple platforms, and that it should be easily transferred to their preferred portable device, including the iPod. These Internet-savvy consumers do not care for excessive rules being placed around the content they want, and until their needs have been addressed, the challenges of mass adoption will continue for a great many businesses."
Some good new - Ruckus, another legal music- and movie-download service will open its song library up to college students across the country, Students can listen to those songs for free, but they must pay a fee to download the tunes to MP3 players. Students must have working .edu e-mail addresses to subscribe to the free service.