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FTC Issues Amended Rule on Identity Theft “Red Flags”
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced publication of an Interim Final Rule on identity theft “red flags” that narrows the circumstances under which creditors are covered by the Rule. The agency originally promulgated the Red Flags Rule in 2007. In December 2010, Congress enacted the Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010 (PL 111-39) that narrowed the definition of “creditors” covered by the Rule. Those changes were primarily designed to exempt small businesses, such as doctors' offices, accountants, and small stores, from the requirements. Most colleges and universities are unlikely to be affected by the modification of the definition of a creditor.
ECPA Reform Moves Forward to Require a Warrant for Email
Today, November 29, 2012, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would require law enforcement officers to obtain a warrant from a judge before gaining access to the contents of email and other electronic communications stored in the cloud. The amendment to the Senate version of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) (H.R.
DMCA Section 1201 Rulemaking to Determine Exemptions to the Prohibition on the Circumvention of Technological Controls to Copyrighted Works
On October 25, 2012, the Register of Copyrights and the Librarian of Congress announced new recommendations for exemptions to Section 1201(a)(1)(A) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Section 1201(a)(1)(A) of the DMCA makes it illegal to circumvent technological controls found in electronic devices that control access to copyrighted works. Section 1201(a)(1)(B), however, allows the Register to grant exemptions to be reviewed every three years. In this triennial review, the Register upheld the legality of “jailbreaking” smartphones and decrypting DVD and e-book controls for the visually- and hearing-impaired.
A First 100 Days Innovation Agenda for the Next Administration
On November 13, 2012, the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution hosted a panel to look at ways to reform the U.S. economy, improve innovation, and address the difficult economic problems the country faces that need new solutions. Questions posed included: How can policymakers encourage growth through innovation? What areas offer the most promising growth for the 21st century? The discussion coincided with the release of the Brookings paper, Building an Innovation-Based Economy, and focused on broad topics in the areas of infrastructure, entrepreneurship, knowledge transmission, and protecting digital assets. Panelists included:
Major Internet Service Providers to Implement Copyright Alert System
Sometime in November 2012, the major Internet service providers (ISPs) will implement a copyright alert system (CAS) whose goal is to cut down on illegal peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted material. (See EDUCAUSE blogs on April 5, 2012 and July 5, 2011 for background information on this nascent effort.)
The Problem of Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: The Copyright Office Seeks Input
The Copyright Office has today, October 22, 2012, published a Notice of Inquiry on the subject of orphan works and mass digitization. The Office is reviewing the problem of orphan works under current U.S. copyright law in order to advise Congress as to what has changed in the legal and business environments and what additional legislative, regulatory, or voluntary solutions are necessary.
An “orphan work” is an original work of authorship for which a good faith, prospective user cannot readily identify and/or locate the copyright owner in a situation where permission from owner is necessary. (For further information, see the U.S. Copyright Office, Report on Orphan Works (2006) at: http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/orphan-report.pdf.)
The HathiTrust Decision: A Win for Fair Use and the Use of Technology
On October 10, 2012, Judge Harold Baer of the U.S. District Court in New York ruled in favor of the HathiTrust Digital Library (HDL) and its university partners in a copyright infringement suit brought by the Authors Guild (AG) and other groups. In his ruling the judge dismissed the AG’s arguments that the HathiTrust had violated copyright law by making scanned works available for certain uses.
Settlement Reached in the Google Books Suit
On October 4, 2012, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Google announced an agreement that will provide access to publishers' in-copyright books and journals digitized by Google for its Google Library Project. The settlement ends seven years of litigation.
OECD Internet Economy Outlook 2012 and Its Policy Implications
Evolving from a data network of wire-connected computers to a broader network of portable devices, the Internet has become fundamental infrastructure in our economy. Supported by time series data, OECD Internet Economy Outlook 2012 begins with an overview of trends. It highlights how the Internet sector has proven to be resilient during the recent economic crisis. It then examines the various drivers and impacts of Internet use and deployment, as well as emerging technologies, e-health, digital content, security and privacy, and it also discusses a methodology for measuring the Internet economy. This raises many important socioeconomic and political issues, as economies and societies become increasingly intertwined.
Supreme Court Cases of Interest to the Higher Education Community
The U.S. Supreme Court began its fall term on Monday, October 1, 2012. Among the array of cases it has agreed to hear, two are of interest to the higher education community. The first of these, to be argued on October 10th, is Fisher v. University of Texas. In this case a white student who was denied admission to University of Texas at Austin is suing the University on the grounds that its use of race in admissions decisions is unconstitutional.