The Case for Copyright Exceptions and Fair Use

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

For on January 17, 1984, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that consumers could tape their favorite TV shows and watch them later without the copyright holder’s consent. It also underscores just how critical a balanced copyright law is for technology innovation.

Fascinating Meeting at the Copyright Office

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Last Friday I spent almost two and a half hours in a wide-ranging conversation with Maria Pallante of the Copyright Office (and two other folks whose full names I didn't write down). I would characterize the atmosphere as one of informed and intelligent skepticism on the part of the Copyright Office, with many questions exploring different positions. copyright exemption for serving the print disabled is commonly called the Chafee Amendment: Section 121 of copyright law.

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Upholding The Social Bargain: Bookshare and Copyright Compliance

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech's largest social enterprise is the Bookshare online library for people who are blind or otherwise disabled when it comes to reading print. copyright law. The Section 121 copyright exception (often known as the Chafee Amendment after the Senator who introduced it in 1996) makes it possible for Benetech to scan just about any book and make it available to this community. The copyright exception is designed to help only "blind or other people with disabilities."

Commercial Availability: The Poison Pill for Marrakesh Treaty Implementation

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

That’s the lobbying position of some companies in the intellectual property field when implementing the new Marrakesh Copyright Treaty. Libraries for people who are blind or dyslexic are the primary source of accessible books in audio, large print or braille. But, some companies want to empty the library shelves and insist that only books that can’t be purchased are allowed to be stocked in such libraries. That would pretty much defeat the purpose of having a library.

Benetech's Statement to the Treaty Delegates in Marrakech

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech, my nonprofit organization operates Bookshare, the largest online library dedicated to serving blind and print disabled people. Our library is made possible both by a domestic copyright exception that makes it possible for us to add any book requested by a blind person to our library, as well as strong cooperation with publishers who provide many of their books directly to our library for free, including the rights to serve people in certain other countries.

National Library Week and Bookshare

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Guest Blog from Amy McNeely, Bookshare Librarian This past week, April 12th through April 18th, was National Library Week. Every year, the American Library Association picks a different theme for the occasion. This year’s theme was “Worlds connect @ your library.” Bookshare is a unique library. I’ve been working in libraries for nine years. I’ve walked through a few libraries, but I can say that Bookshare is unique within my experience. Library 2.0

Accessibility Excitement in Geneva

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

There was also an associated effort called the Trusted Intermediary Global Accessible Resources (TIGAR) project, to ease the exchange of accessible book files between libraries for the blind and print disabled. My biggest argument was the “library with holes” problem.

Kyle's Adventures in Copyright Law, or: Yes, Your Work Belongs To You


Recently, in the Idealware Creating Great Graphics For the Web seminar, we were asked if the photos (or videos, blogs, other published materials) created by libraries or other government-run/funded organizations belonged to the organization or were automatically public-domain. And honestly, we didn't know - typically we talk about government-created work as a great resource for copyright-free images. Copyright Law for fun and games (e.g.

The Road to Accessibility without Borders: Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of the Marrakesh Treaty

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

One year ago, on June 28, 2013, at a diplomatic conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, the World Intellectual Property Organization ( WIPO ) agreed on a historic international copyright exception for people with print disabilities.

What is in the Treaty of Marrakesh?

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

However, as the founder of the Bookshare online library, we have a great deal at stake in how the Treaty gets implemented. First, it makes creating a national domestic copyright exception an obligation of countries that ratify the Treaty. Second, the Treaty allows for easier import and export of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works. It provides a crucial legal framework for adoption of national copyright exceptions in countries that lack them.

Fair Use Victory Advances a Future of Accessibility for All

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HathiTrust, a unanimous three-judge panel concluded that digitizing books in order to enhance research and provide access to individuals with print disabilities is lawful on the grounds of fair use —that is, a limitation and exception to the exclusive rights granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work ( Section 107 of the U.S. copyright law). In September 2011, the Authors Guild sued the HathiTrust, alleging massive copyright violations.

Why We're Blacking Out Sites: PIPA and SOPA

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Copyright hawks like Rupert Murdoch and the MPAA have attacked this movement as being for piracy, against jobs, and dangerous. Like almost all libraries, we're scrupulous in following the law, because we're serving incredibly important communities.

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Why Your Country Should Ratify the Marrakesh Treaty

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This historic international copyright exception treaty paves the way for a future in which people who cannot read regular printed materials can have equal access to books, regardless of where they live.

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We Have a Treaty…and It’s Great!

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I’ve been actively advocating for an international copyright exception model that would greatly benefit people with disabilities, as anyone who has read my blog over the years can attest! copyright exception.

Breaking News on the Global Treaty from Kareem Dale

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The United States is currently involved in important discussions at the World Intellectual Property Organization regarding ways in which to improve access to copyrighted materials throughout the World, including, specifically, for persons who are blind and visually impaired. We are committed to furthering international efforts to enhance the access to copyrighted materials. Tags: Kareem Dale blind SCCR18 copyright Obama copyfight SCCR global library Bookshare WIPO

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Receiving the 2013 Migel Medal

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

And when the idea of a peer-to-peer ebook library came to me, it was George who I went to with the idea. That treaty should replicate the successful copyright exception here in the U.S. award Fruchterman a11y Migel AFB Ferrell Bookshare accessibility blind copyright dyslexia Helen Keller copyfight SCCR treaty ebooks Earlier today, I attended the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) National Leadership Conference in Chicago where I received the 2013 Migel Medal.

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Our WIPO Statement on the Treaty for Access for People with Disabilities

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Statement of Benetech to the 22nd Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights at the World Intellectual Property Organization June 15, 2011, Geneva, Switzerland • Greetings from California’s Silicon Valley! Now, more than 30,000 current copyrighted books are available globally on Bookshare to thousands of users. • Bookshare has successfully piloted an international library for the blind, but we’ve barely begun to remedy the global book famine.

Bookshare’s Status as an Authorized Entity under Section 121

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Section 121 of the Copyright Act, also known as the Chafee Amendment (17 U.S.C. Bookshare actively cooperates with the Library of Congress in the provision of Bookshare’s services to people with disabilities, through its National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress (NLS). NLS provides Bookshare with confirmation of qualification for Section 121 services for people already registered with the Library of Congress.

Bring a Question: Creative Commons Hosts TechSoup Social Channels on September 17, 2014

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How can we use memes while still respecting copyright and making sure content creators get appropriate credit? What counts as a "commercial" versus a "noncommercial" use for nonprofits, libraries, and educational institutions? copyright Creative Commons storymakers Sharing is an essential part of storytelling, and our friends at Creative Commons are devoted to expanding the number of creative works that are available to (legally!) use, build on, and share.

Bookshare Volunteers Are the Best!

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When Bookshare was first created, we conceived of the concept of a digital library built by the people who use the library, instead of solely by librarians deciding what people with print disabilities should read. copyright law, our volunteers scanned the books they wanted to read and then were able to upload them to Bookshare so that others could enjoy these books as well. Tags: volunteer blind library Lyons Bookshare

Accessible eBooks for Equal Opportunity

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Consider how the accessible online library Bookshare – an initiative of Benetech , a Silicon Valley non-profit that builds technology solutions addressing social problems – is transforming the lives of American students with print disabilities.

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Poisoning the Treaty for the Blind

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I feel quite strongly about this because of how well a balanced copyright law can work, and does work, right here in the United States. Our Bookshare library is allowed to scan just about any book needed by a person who is blind or print-disabled: we now have 190,000 of the most in-demand books and textbooks needed in accessible forms like braille, large print, and audio output. Congress to gut our model copyright exception.

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Bringing Millions of Books to Billions of People: Making the Book Truly Accessible

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I believe it is a combination of copyright exceptions and business model innovations. For the content of books, this flexibility is expressed in ideas like public domain, when the copyright owned by the author or publisher ends at some point.

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society - Untitled Article

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The Google Library question is a hot one, and we believe that this project will lead to better access for disadvantaged people. The core question is whether Google's Library program is a fair use of copyrighted material. Good summary in the attached review post: Does Google Library violate copyright But, the disputes between Google and the publishing industry and authors needs to be concluded before things will move forward.

Big Meeting on the Treaty this Week!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The goal of the Treaty is to make a copyright exception for the blind and other people with disabilities that stop them from reading print, and to make import and export of accessible content legal. As the operators of Bookshare in the USA, which was made possible through a great exception in our copyright law here, we would love to make all of our books available to people with qualifying disabilities around the world.

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Bookshare without Borders: #1/3

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Bookshare International Library We’re always thinking about new ways in which Benetech could go deeper and help many more people. The third blog post in this series on Bookshare International will describe our adventures creating the library’s first offerings in Arabic.

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Optimistic about Marrakesh Treaty!

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We’re doing a ton of work with partners in India , the first country to ratify it, to allow people in India to take full advantage of India’s now-favorable copyright environment.

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Ratify Marrakesh!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

We are joining with our peers in the disability and library community in a joint statement to strongly encourage the Senate to ratify the treaty and for Congress to implement the minor legislative changes recommended as part of the package. Our nonprofit organization operates Bookshare , the largest online library in the world that focuses on the needs of people with these disabilities. The creation of Bookshare was made possible because of an enlightened copyright law exception.

My remarks just made at WIPO today

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Statement of Benetech to the 20th Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights at the World Intellectual Property Organization June 23, 2010, Geneva, Switzerland • My nonprofit organization, Benetech, operates Bookshare, the largest online library for people with print disabilities, with the mission of bringing accessible books to all people with print disabilities around the world • We have roughly 100,000 members in the U.S.

Why I’m Scared of the SOPA bill

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

We’re against piracy, and have made commitments to authors and publishers to encourage compliance with copyright law. Stopping fund raising and subscription revenue for Bookshare, the largest online library for people who have print disabilities. Bookshare is an online library for people who can’t read standard print books. But, when asked if we know whether or not there are “pirated” copyrighted materials, we can’t say.

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Donor Spotlight: Lavelle Fund for the Blind

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Twelve years ago, the Fund made its first grant to Benetech, in support of the then newly launched Bookshare , our accessible online library for people with disabilities that get in the way of reading print, including visual impairments and dyslexia.

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Bookshare Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary at Google

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Bookshare, Benetech’s pioneering digital library for people with print disabilities, celebrated its 10th birthday last night with a terrific party that was attended by many of our long-time friends and supporters. copyright law.

Making the Book Truly Accessible for All Students

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) selected our successful Bookshare library as the provider of accessible materials to every student in the U.S. with a legally qualifying print disability per the Chafee Amendment to the Copyright Act. Bookshare has grown into the largest online digital library of accessible books and periodicals in the U.S.,

Getting Close to a Treaty!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The latest session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) just concluded last week. Since many of our organizations operate as libraries, we note that commercial availability of a book rarely impacts the availability of that book on the shelves of a library. Why should people with disabilities be denied library services because the book might be available for sale in an accessible format?

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Advancing Reading Equality with Bookshare’s Exponential Growth

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I’m thrilled to share with you some of the recent amazing impact of Bookshare , a Benetech Global Literacy initiative and the largest accessible online library of copyrighted content for people with print disabilities. At Benetech, we always ask ourselves how our existing successful programs can reach more people who need our services and how we can apply technology in new ways to enrich and improve more lives.

I Need a Good Lawyer

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

We’re operating at the forefront of copyright limitations and exceptions, both in the United States and globally. But, I expect that 75% of the job will be about analyzing the legal issues from our programs, especially in our Global Literacy Program, which includes Bookshare, the largest digital library for the blind and dyslexic in the U.S., No, we’re not being sued (and we want to keep it that way).

Benetech’s Framework for Developing New Social Enterprises

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

To explain our approach, let’s look at Bookshare , our accessible online library for people with print disabilities. The Bookshare breakthrough put our users in charge of the collection with a crowd-sourced library built by—and for—the people it serves. copyright law.

Bookshare and the Power of We

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech’s Bookshare library is living proof that real, transformative change happens through partnerships and by helping people unleash their talents and energies. By partnering with all these stakeholders, we reinvented the traditional library for people with print disabilities and brought modern ebook technology to this underserved community. copyright law. As a result, we quickly became the world’s largest online library for people with print disabilities.

Towards Global Access for the Print Disabled

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

A Policy Update from an engineer, Jim Fruchterman of Benetech June 8, 2010 The international copyright negotiations in Geneva around a proposed Treaty for the Visually Impaired (“TVI”) have been steadily heating up. I would class this as TVI (nearly identical) plus additional provisions creating a similar exception for schools, libraries and archives. It has a statement encouraging national copyright exceptions for people with print disabilities as a Good Thing™.

Use TechSoup's Content for Free!

Tech Soup Blog

Content created by TechSoup is available to reuse by any nonprofit or library (for free!), Creative Commons is a charity that champions reduced restrictions on copyrighted work by creating licenses that make it clear how material can be used, changed, and shared.

Increasing Accessible Publishing Globally

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The third movement is the effort to make copyright exceptions a global norm , thus enabling easy import and export of accessible materials. A copyright exception allows specialist organizations (generally a government agency or disability NGO or library) to make an accessible version of a published book without having to get permission from the author or publisher. thanks to our domestic copyright exception.

Can I Use That Image for My Website or Newsletter?

Tech Soup Blog

copyright law, it is sometimes legally OK to use images you find on the web and often not. It may be useful to know that as soon as something is created, it is covered under copyright rules. Copyright Office. Copyright Fair Use Doctrine.

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Lawsuit over denying access to a student with learning disabilities

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

We're really proud of the rapid growth of our Bookshare online library for people with print disabilities. Statement on Bookshare January 24, 2011 Response to Request for Information Benetech, the nonprofit parent of the Bookshare online library for people with print disabilities, is responding to a request to answer specific questions on how Bookshare operates. Students do not have to be blind to qualify under the copyright exception.