WASHINGTON – On July 31, the TLPC, on behalf of its client Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) and in partnership with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization (CPADO), Deaf Seniors of America (DSA), the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (DHH-RERC), the Twenty-First Century Captioning Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (Captioning DRRP), the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access (IT-RERC), and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, supported by the American Association of the DeafBlind (AADB) petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address long-standing quality problems with captioning for live television programming.Continue reading “Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Groups and Researchers Call on FCC to Improve the Quality of Live Captions”
The following is a guest post by Luke Ewing, student attorney at the Colorado Law Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic. We’d like to thank Luke and his classmates Sean Doran and Andi Wilt, and their supervisor Blake Reid, at Colorado Law; and law students Eric Malmgren, Erica Row, and Julia Wu, and their supervisor Jack Lerner, at UC Irvine Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic for their assistance with the development of the Termination of Transfer tool and templates.
Yesterday, Authors Alliance and Creative Commons released the Termination of Transfer tool at rightsback.org. You may be wondering what the tool does and how termination helps authors. Along with many other beta testers, student attorneys at the Colorado Law Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic and the UC-Irvine Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinichelped verify that the tool accurately reflects the state of termination law. We scoured statutes, regulations, and case history to determine what is required to make the termination process go smoothly under a wide range of circumstances. We also tested the tool to ensure that its results accurately reflect the current state of the law. Finally, we drafted a standardized form and written guidance that make the paperwork simple once an author decides to exercise their termination right.
Authors who assigned their copyrights many years ago may feel that their works are being underutilized or misrepresented, or they may want to renegotiate their earlier agreements. Fortunately, Congress devised a mechanism by which authors can take back those rights. This is a critical opportunity for authors who made less-than-advantageous deals early in their careers, saw their works become unavailable when a publisher went bankrupt, or want to release their works into the public domain or under an open access license. But because the window for termination opens decades after that original transfer of rights and requires navigating a particularly difficult and complex area of copyright law, exercising termination rights can be daunting.
Termination windows are determined by three separate subsections of the Copyright Act (§ 203, 304(c), and 304(d)), the format and instructions for notifying the Copyright Office are spelled out in a list of very particular regulations, and each subsection of the Copyright Act yields a different list of regulations. Determining whether the window is open for a copyrighted work, or which subsection applies, depends on a number of variables, including:
- Was it published?
- If so, when was it published?
- When were rights transferred?
- Did those rights include the right of publication?
- Has the agreement already been renegotiated?
- Were there multiple authors involved, and do they all agree to terminating the transfer?
- Are all the authors still alive?
- And more.
Every one of these questions is relevant, and every answer leads down different branches of a decision tree that indicates whether, when, and how an author may exercise termination rights rights. Without help, trying to understand these rights can be tedious and discouraging.
The tool makes understanding the process easy. It knows which questions to ask and what to do with the answers to those questions. Within minutes, the tool helps authors better understand how termination of transfer works. Congress intended for authors to exercise these rights, and Authors Alliance wants to simplify the process by removing as much confusion and uncertainty as possible. If you want to learn more about taking back the rights to your work, or are just curious about the process, you can try out the tool right now. It’s free, simple, and only takes a few minutes.
And if you decide to exercise your termination rights, check out our termination of transfer resource page for notice of termination templates, a cover letter, and instructions on how to notify the Copyright Office as well as any relevant parties.
Today, New America’s Open Technology Institute, the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, and Free Press, with the assistance of the Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic at Colorado Law, including Colorado Law 2L student attorneys Nathan Bartell and Zachary DeFelice, filed a complaint at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the sale and disclosure of customer location information by all four major U.S. wireless carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.Continue reading “TLPC Files Complaint Against Wireless Carriers Over Unauthorized Disclosure and Sale of Customer Location Information”
(by Elliott Browning, Colorado Law 2L)
The TLPC is happy to release a white paper, prepared on behalf of and in collaboration with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, reevaluating the viability of sharing obligations in light of lackluster competition and deployment in the modern wireline broadband market. With an eye towards remedying this stagnation and encouraging the widespread deployment of fiber-to-the-home, the paper discusses the history and development of competition in last-mile connectivity.
Specifically, the paper evaluates the current market for high-speed wireline broadband in the U.S. with a specific focus on the deficiency in fiber deployment; reviews the development of competition in the local exchange from the invention of the telephone to the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996; and reconsiders the FCC’s 2005 decision to not extend sharing obligations to wireline BIAS providers in light of the modern market.
The paper will provide historical support for a broader series of policy papers by EFF aimed at improving competitive conditions in the wireline broadband market with the ultimate goal of connecting more Americans to a reliable, high-speed broadband network.
(by Blake Reid, TLPC Director and Kayla Enriquez and Sarah Rippy, Colorado Law 2Ls)
The Federal Trade Commission is conducting a workshop entitled Nixing the Fix, which is aimed at exploring issues around the right to repair. In our submission to the Commission, we have submitted a curated archive of the record developed during the Copyright Office’s various proceedings that have raised repair-related issues, including its 2012, 2015, and 2018 triennial reviews of exemptions from Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, its 1201 Policy Study, and its Software-Enabled Consumer Products Study.
(by Colleen McCroskey, Colorado Law 2L)
TLPC student attorneys Colleen McCroskey, Kevin Doss, and John Schoppert, along with TLPC Director Blake Reid and colleagues from the University of Cape Town, including Prof. Caroline Ncube recently presented to the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the intersection of copyright law and disability.Continue reading “TLPC Presents on Disability and Copyright at WIPO SCCR/38”
On October 26, 2018, based upon the recommendation of the Acting Register of Copyrights, the Librarian of Congress adopted exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prohibits circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. On behalf of its clients Ed Felten and Alex Halderman, and working together with the Center for Democracy and Technology, the TLPC helped secure a set of important changes to a pre-existing exemption for good-faith security research, expanding the ability for security researchers to legally test device and system software for cybersecurity vulnerabilities without violating the DMCA and risking criminal liability.
Important caveat: this post is intended only as general information and does not constitute legal advice. If readers wish to utilize the new exemptions granted by the Librarian, they should consult independent legal counsel before doing so.
TLPC student attorneys and Colorado Law 2Ls Kristine Roach, Trey Reed, and Jay Gurney recently finalized a white paper on municipal drone policy. The paper outlines some of the many drone applications for hobbyists, businesses, researchers and governments, while considering disruption and intrusion concerns.
Given these competing concerns and interests, the paper outlines different approaches to municipal drone policies and regulations, including the prospect of federal preemption. The paper also analyzes 4th Amendment limitations on municipal drone surveillance and open records requirements implicated by municipal drone use. While the analysis is most pertinent to Boulder, the drone policy considerations are intended to be applicable to municipalities across the United States.
Our thanks to Prof. Deborah Cantrell, Prof. Ann England, Prof. Margot Kaminski, Tom Carr, Boulder City Attorney, Julia Richman, Boulder Chief Information and Analytics Officer, and Cory Dixon, IRISS Chief Technologist for their help in the development of this paper.
In this white paper, TLPC student attorneys Colter Donahue and J. Parker Ragland outline steps that the FCC can take to avoid having rulemakings and other policymaking initiatives delayed or negatively affected by intellectual property issues. In recent years, the Commission has faced several situations, including in the context of 9-1-1 services, telecommunications relay services, and set-top boxes, where intellectual property issues have arisen and affected proceedings. The white paper urges the Commission to develop adequate expertise in intellectual property law and to proactively anticipate and address IP issues to avoid these situations in the future.
This semester, TLPC student attorneys Victoria Naifeh, Allison Daley, and Elizabeth Chance and student technologist Jeff Ward-Bailey worked with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission’s 911 task force to research the legal landscape surrounding 911 accessibility for the deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, and speech disabled communities in Colorado. The final project, a white paper summarizing the research, is now available here and on the the Social Sciences Research Network: