Part 1 of this post explained the background to the development of shadow libraries and their growth in recent years. This post will analyse the nature of the works downloaded and discuss the implications of shadow libraries for the future of scholarly publishing. What is being downloaded? Over the 4.5 month period in 2014/15, 760,868…

In January 2018, Google filed a petition to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review two adverse rulings by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the Oracle Am. Inc. v. Google Inc. case. The first was the Federal Circuit’s 2014 decision overturning a district court ruling that several thousand declarations that Google…

The lyrics “stay with me” and “lay with me” were common in love songs were not entitled to copyright protection, and protectable elements of the parties’ songs were not substantially similar. Dismissal of the songwriter’s infringement claims was affirmed. Case date: 13 February 2019 Case number: No. 18-5915 Court: United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit A full…

Introduction In 2016, Science published a short report on the usage of SciHub, a piratical scholarly journal article distribution service. Set up by Alexandra Elbakyan, a kazakhstani scientist, SciHub allows users to bypass journal publishers’ paywalls, so everyone can have access to journal articles for free. The report, based on a dataset provided by Elbakyan,…

The resale of copyrighted digital sound recordings through a web-based “virtual” marketplace for “pre-owned” digital music operated by ReDigi Inc. was not protected from copyright infringement claims by the first sale doctrine codified in Section 109 of the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City has held. The Second Circuit affirmed…

The 1976 Copyright Act did not preempt applications for attorney fees filed by two auction houses following a determination that the California Resale Royalties Act (CRRA)—a statute that grants visual artists a right to receive 5% of the proceeds on any resale of their artwork under specified circumstances—was expressly preempted by the 1976 Act with…

The federal district court in Indianapolis, Indiana, did not abuse its discretion by imposing monetary sanctions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and 28 U.S.C. § 1927 against an attorney who had represented a company accused of publishing an unauthorized copy of photographer Richard Bell’s photograph of the Indianapolis skyline, the U.S. Court of…

The Copyright Act’s registration requirement was a non-jurisdictional element of a copyright infringement claim; therefore, a lawsuit brought by online legal research provider Fastcase, Inc., against a competitor to resolve a dispute over the publication of regulations for the State of Georgia should not have been dismissed on the ground that the district court lacked…

On remand in a dispute between three academic publishers and Georgia State University about the university’s practice of distributing to students digital excerpts of copyrighted works without paying the publishers, a federal district court misinterpreted the mandate of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta and misapplied the defense of fair use when it granted…