Today we’re releasing our newest report, “Captured: Systemic Bias at the U.S. Copyright Office.” This report examines the role of industry capture and the revolving door between the content industry and the Copyright Office, and the implications that capture has had on the policies the Office embraces. In the report, we investigate how the Copyright Office.
Yesterday, Charles Duan, Director of Public Knowledge’s Patent Reform Project, released a white paper that details our goals for patent reform. It’s clear that the patent system is an important motivator for new technologies. But there are many loopholes in the system, making it a hot spot for exploitation and abuse. This harms new technologies rather than promoting them. In the paper, Duan presents five areas that people should look to when talking about potential reforms.
Our new PKThinks white paper takes a look at one aspect of the changing relationship between copyright owners and owners of copyrighted things: the first sale doctrine.
Today, we’re releasing a white paper called “Copies, Rights, and Copyrights.” It’s about the conflict between the owner of a copy of a work—like you, when you buy a paperback—and the owner of the copyright in that work – the author, or the author’s publisher. It’s often an invisible conflict, because to us, the basic boundaries in that relationship are so customary as to be obvious: the copyright holder gets to prevent the book being copied, and the owner of the copy gets to use that copy any other way she wants.
But things get trickier as we start looking at digital copies—in particular, copies that are sold as downloads instead of on physical media like CDs or DVDs.
That’s because most of the ways in which we use digital media require making copies—just reading an ebook or listening to an mp3 will make additional copies within the device as it is being buffered or cached. Transferring ownership of a copy from one person to another also requires making copies—unless you’re handing over your entire hard drive to someone.