Press Release: Copyright Alliance Statement on Maryland Court Granting Preliminary Injunction to Publishers in eBook Licensing Case

Washington, DC—February 17, 2022—Today, the Copyright Alliance released the following statement in response to the news that the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland ruled in favor of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), granting a preliminary injunction that suspends the eBook licensing law at the center of the AAP v. Brian Frosh case:

According to Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid, “We are thrilled to learn of the Maryland court’s decision in granting a preliminary injunction in the case involving AAP challenging the state’s unconstitutional eBook licensing mandate, and in concluding that AAP has clearly satisfied the four preliminary injunction factors. We have believed all along that the eBook legislation would be preempted and that the court would reach the right decision, as it has clearly done. 

“The bill would have forced publishers to license their eBooks to libraries on terms that are determined by the state of Maryland (not by publishers). The court explicitly recognized that this sort of forced transaction between publishers and libraries would effectively strip publishers of their exclusive right under the Copyright Act to decide whether, when, and to whom to distribute their copyrighted works.

The court also made clear that forcing publishers to offer licenses for electronic literary products on terms that would enable public libraries to provide library users with access to the electronic literary product will not necessarily increase access to those products for library users over time, and that it is only through the protection of copyright law that books and other creative works may be generated and distributed at all.“In its decision, the court recognized that, ‘The economic philosophy behind the [Copyright] [C]lause…is the conviction that encouragement of individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance public welfare through the talents of authors and inventors’ and that ‘[C]opyright law serves public ends by providing individuals with an incentive to pursue private ones.’ We agree with the court’s decision and offer our thanks for it coming to the right conclusion.”
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ABOUT THE COPYRIGHT ALLIANCEThe Copyright Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest and educational organization representing the copyright interests of over 1.8 million individual creators and over 13,000 organizations in the United States, across the spectrum of copyright disciplines. The Copyright Alliance is dedicated to advocating policies that promote and preserve the value of copyright, and to protecting the rights of creators and innovators. For more information, please visit https://copyrightalliance.org.

@ipwatchdog: Publishers Win Preliminary Injunction Against Maryland Law that Requires Licensing Digital Works to Libraries

[This is a big win for sanity against the Google & Co. shills at American Library Association as well as what sure looks like a proxy price fixing campaign leveraging the huge market controlled by librarians aka Big Tech’s human shields.]

Publishers scored a win yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland when the court granted their request for a preliminary injunction enjoining enforcement of the Maryland Act, which essentially calls for compulsory licensing of electronic literary works to libraries on “reasonable terms”. The law went into effect on January 1, 2022.

Read the post on IP Watchdog

@SamTalksIP: What the Legal Community is Saying About the Google v. Oracle Decision

[Editor Charlie sez: this is an important roundup of commentary about the Supreme Court’s failing in the Google v. Oracle case.]

On April 5, the Supreme Court published its decision in Google v. Oracle, a case that many expected to make a substantial impact in copyright law, specifically in how software code is protected. While the decision appears to have very limited applicability, many in the copyright community voiced concerns regarding how the case was decided and what the decision’s potential ramifications are. Below is a compilation of various reactions to this decision…

Read the post on Copyright Alliance

Google Founder Building World’s Largest “Air Yacht” At Taxpayer’s Iconic NASA Hangar

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The Guardian tells us:

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is building a hi-tech airship in Silicon Valley destined to be the largest aircraft in the world, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the project.

“It’s going to be massive on a grand scale,” said one, adding that the airship is likely to be nearly 200 meters long. This would make it by far the world’s largest aircraft today, albeit smaller than the epic Hindenburg Zeppelins of the 1930s, or the American navy airship USS Macon that was once based in the very same hangars where Brin’s aircraft is now taking shape.

The sources revealed details of the airship on the condition of anonymity, citing confidentiality agreements. Brin has revealed nothing of his airship ambitions and is building the airship in a giant hangar on a Nasa airfield far from the eyes of the public.

Brin wants the gargantuan airship, funded personally by the billionaire, to be able to deliver supplies and food on humanitarian missions to remote locations. However, it will also serve as a luxurious intercontinental “air yacht” for Brin’s friends and family. One source put the project’s price tag at $100m to $150m.

Google’s use of the Moffett Field hangar at below market rates was called out by Senator Grassley (now chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee) in 2012 at the height of the Obama/Google love fest:

The Honorable Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
Administrator
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Two Independence Square
300 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20546

Dear Administrator Bolden:

I am writing you concerning Google Inc.’s (Google’s) partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its activities at Moffett Federal Airfield (Moffett Airfield) in Santa Clara County, California. My office recently received troubling allegations regarding the Google fleet of aircraft housed at Moffett Airfield.

As you know, this private airport is operated by the NASA Ames Research Center, and according to public reports, Google signed a forty year lease with NASA in 2008 for 42 acres at Moffett Airfield for $3.7 million per year.

According to information provided to my office, Google allegedly houses a variety of airliners including a Boeing 767, a Boeing 757, multiple Gulfstream G550s and helicopters.

Whistleblowers have questioned the benefit to the U.S. government from the Google fleet being housed at Moffett Airfield. A recent investigative report analyzed Google flight tracking data, which indicated only five percent of flights were science missions.

Further, many Google jets based at Moffett Airfield allegedly have flown all over the world, including Italy, the Caribbean, China and Ireland.

Additionally, my office received allegations that Google has purchased jet fuel from the government at a discounted price, a price allegedly well below the market price due to its tax treatment.

In order to gain a more complete understanding of these allegations, please respond to the following requests:

1) How did NASA arrive at the lease amount of $3.7 million per year? Does that represent a fair market rate for the lease? Which individuals at NASA and Google negotiated the lease amount?

2) As of the date of this letter, how many aircraft owned or operated by Google are present at Moffett Airfield? Provide detailed descriptions of all aircraft.

3) Why does Moffett Airfield house Google aircraft and when did this arrangement begin? Provide all contracts between Google, NASA, and/or the military related to aircraft and aircraft fuel at Moffett Airfield.

4) Please describe the agreements by which Google obtains fuel for its aircraft at Moffett Airfield and provide fueling records for each aircraft over the past five years.

5) Are any of the aircraft used to support NASA research? Provide a specific explanation regarding the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet.

6) Have any NASA officials flown on the Google aircraft? Please provide a list of each official and describe the nature and purpose of each trip in detail.

7) For each aircraft owned or operated by Google, provide all flight plans and passenger manifests for each flight originating and landing at Moffett Airfield in the last five years.

8) In the last five years, have any other aircraft owned by private companies or individuals housed aircraft at Moffett Airfield? If yes, provide a detailed description of the aircraft, the ownership of the aircraft.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to these matters. I would appreciate receiving a response by no later than May 25, 2012. Should you have any questions, please contact Brian Downey or Rob Donovan of my staff.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

Ranking Member

T-Bone Burnett’s Comments on Reform of the DMCA Safe Harbor

The U.S. Copyright Office has invited the public to comment on potential reforms of the DMCA “safe harbors” and the incomparable T-Bone Burnett delivered this video version of his insightful comments on DMCA abuse. (See also Billboard article on T-Bone’s comment and my 2006 post on MTP, The DMCA is Not An Alibi.) It is important […]

via T-Bone Burnett’s Comments on Reform of the DMCA Safe Harbor — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY