Re:Create Recap – Week of September 7th

U.S. Copyright Office Online Registration System Is Working Again. After 9 long days, the U.S. Copyright Office online registration system was up and running again Sunday evening. In Copyright and other Library of Congress computer systems are working again by the Washington Post’s Peggy McGlone on Sept. 8, Library of Congress officials confirmed the news while at the same time announcing Bernard A Barton Jr. will be the new Chief Information Officer. In addition to underscoring the dire need for modernization of the Copyright Office, the system failure had other significant impacts. U.S. Copyright Register Maria Pallante estimated the computer failure “cost the agency between $82,500 and $110,000 a day in lost fees. Meanwhile, thousands of disabled patrons were unable to download files from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.”

Congressional Eyes On Copyright Modernization. With lawmakers back in session, Politico Morning Tech reports that they are likely to turn more attention to copyright reforms. According to the Library of Congress, Copyright Reform (subscription required) item on September 8, “With Librarian of Congress James Billington set to retire at the end of the year, lawmakers are likely to spend time this fall discussing the future of the institution and fielding more complaints that it’s far from prepared for the modern age. The House Judiciary Committee is asking people who’ve testified before on copyright reform to share their thoughts again, which could spark new debates over the Copyright Office, music licensing and more.”

Questionable Copyright Infringement Cases Make Things Awkward For Meme Enthusiasts. In How copyright is killing your favorite memes, the Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey uses copyright infringement cases over the Socially Awkward Penguin meme – the property of National Geographic – to examine how popular Internet memes are impacted by copyright law.  In the September 8 story, Dewey writes: “Is it silly? Yeah. It’s a talking penguin. But it’s also the cornerstone of a thriving, mash-up culture, one that transforms even the most staid nature photography into commentaries on politics, technology and modern life.” Her story also quotes Tim Hwang, a researcher at the think tank Data and Society: “Culture is remixing content, borrowing ideas, accessing ideas to make something new. We don’t want to end up chilling cultural production.”

Nothing Is Agreed Until Everything Is Agreed On TPP Copyright Negotiations. Although negotiations are nearing an end, there is a still a chance opponents could prevail in extending the length of copyright in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The September 8 blog “Nothing is Agreed Yet – We Can Still Stop the TPP’s Copyright Trap” by Jeremy Malcolm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reiterates the near consensus of the many involved who oppose copyright extension. Policy experts and businesspeople from Canada, Malaysia, Japan and New Zealand have all expressed concern over the extension of copyright terms and its potential negative impact on creators and innovation. Malcolm charges “if they press ahead and include this term in the agreement regardless of the public’s wishes, we will together rise up and defeat the TPP as a whole, just as we defeated ACTA and SOPA before it.”

American University Washington College Of Law To Celebrate Copyright Milestone Anniversaries. On Thursday, September 17, the American University Washington College of Law Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) will commemorate two milestone anniversaries of public interest copyright initiatives. The event will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Digital Future Coalition, the first broad-based civil society coalition that formed to address copyright policy issues; and the 10th anniversary of the best practices in fair use, through which a series of creative communities have transformed their approach to this vital copyright doctrine. Several Re:Create members including Sherwin Siy with Public Knowledge, Rebecca Tushnet with the Organization for Transformative Works, Prue Adler with the Association of Research Libraries, Ed Black with the Computer and Communications Industry Association and Re:Create’s Josh Lamel will be part of panel discussions so be sure to check it out or tune in to the webcast. For more information, click here.