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Institute/Association/Council/Academy/ Society/Organisation > Partnership programs / consortiums > Business Intelligence, knowledge management systems > Conference proceedings/Debates/Workshops/Seminars> General Information - Copyrights/Data Integrity/Ethical issues
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General Information - Copyrights/Data Integrity/Ethical issues

   
 

Publishers welcome 2019 USTR Special 301 Report addressing continuing copyright protection and enforcement concerns
- 26 Apr 2019

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has welcomed the release of the 2019 Special 301 Report by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The Special 301 Report continues to be a critical tool for policymakers to identify and highlight barriers that impede the ability of U.S. copyright owners to compete in foreign markets, including markets of importance to the publishing industry.

AAP is gratified that the U.S. government again highlighted the need for Canada to address the harm caused by the undefined fair dealing exception for education to educational publishers and authors, noting the government’s continued monitoring of the parliamentary review of the Copyright Modernization Act. China is again listed as a Priority Watch List country, as many of its longstanding issues remain unresolved for the government has not made the necessary structural changes to address inadequate IP enforcement, nor moved to advance the long-stalled copyright law reform process.

The 2019 Special 301 Report from USTR is available at https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/2019_Special_301_Report.pdf.

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CCC to host ‘Copyright Compliance in a Digital World’ panel at 2018 Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting
- 18 Oct 2018

Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC) will host a panel at the 2018 Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Annual Meeting at the Austin Convention Center, Ballroom BC, on ‘Managing Copyright Compliance in a Digital World.’

The event, scheduled for October 23 (9:00 am – 10:30 am), will see CCC’s Stephen Garfield, Vice President of Client Engagement, Hologic’s Theodore Allen, Senior Director of Intellectual Property Counsel, and Shire Pharmaceuticals’ Jeffrey Smith, Contracts Counsel, explore the challenges of technology’s escalating impact on infringement and the solutions it can offer for managing copyright compliance within organisations.

CCC will be located at Booth #311 in the Exhibit Hall.

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International publishers to gather in London for International Publishers Congress and The London Book Fair
- 08 Apr 2016

London will be the setting for the 31st International Publishers Congress, beginning April 9 -12, for the second time in the event's history.

Alongside panels on copyright and freedom to publish, the Congress will hear from renowned authors Philip Pullman and Alaa Al-Aswany, and Hachette CEO, Arnaud Nourry.

Francis Gurry, Director General of the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), will address 'Global Trends in Copyright', alongside Paul Doda, Chair of the IPA Copyright Committee and renowned copyright lawyer Jon Baumgarten, retired partner of the Proskauer law firm and former General Counsel of the US Copyright Office.

A panel called 'New Censors – Publishing in a Time of Fear', will see Turkish author Elif Shafak, once prosecuted in Turkey over a fictional work deemed 'insulting to Turkishness', and John Ralston Saul, former President of PEN International, debate the increasing challenges to freedom to publish. It will be chaired by Ola Wallin, chair of IPA Freedom to Publish Committee.

The Congress runs from April 9-12, 2016 and will take place during The London Book Fair (LBF) for the first time. Delegates will hear from international figures from the worlds of publishing, copyright and business from 17 countries, alongside keynotes from influential authors.

The Congress is organised by the International Publishers Association in partnership with the UK Publishers Association and The London Book Fair. The comprehensive programme will address the key policy and practical issues of the day for publishers.

The programme, strategically timed to coincide with The London Book Fair, ensures that delegates will not only benefit from the Congress but also a curated agenda throughout LBF.

Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) is the official Gold Sponsor and Nielsen and CPI are the official Sliver Sponsors for the 31st International Publishers Congress.

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Copyright in publishing will be a key theme at the International Publishers Congress in April 2016
- 01 Feb 2016

Francis Gurry, Director General of Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation, is confirmed to speak at the 31st International Publishers Congress in London in April 2016.

He will speak on a panel chaired by Paul Doda, Chair of the IPA Copyright Committee. The panel entitled 'Global Trends in Copyright: Fair Use and Beyond' will also include renowned copyright lawyer Jon Baumgarten, retired partner of the Proskauer law firm and former General Counsel of the US Copyright Office.

Francis Gurry is an Australian lawyer who has served as Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since October 1, 2008. He is the author of a number of publications, one of which has become a standard legal text in the UK and is published by Oxford University Press as Gurry on Breach of Confidence.

Jon Baumgarten is a renowned copyright law, litigation and policy lawyer who was appointed General Counsel of the United States Copyright Office in January 1976. Jon was a leading participant in the final formulation of the general revision of the U.S. Copyright Act and was responsible for the novel and comprehensive rulemakings and thorough overhaul of all Copyright Office regulations and practices required under the new law. Jon returned to private practice in 1980.

In addition to this panel, Richard Malka, a French lawyer specialising in media law who has been the lawyer for newspaper Charlie Hebdo since 1992, will give a presentation on '2015, the end of copyright – Taking for free is stealing'. Based on his essay, which prompted the French Publishers Association to launch a communication campaign aiming at raising the awareness of the general public in France in September 2015.

The Congress runs from April 9-12, 2016 and will take place at The London Book Fair for the first time. Delegates will hear from international figures from the worlds of publishing, copyright and business from over 17 countries, alongside keynotes from influential authors Philip Pullman and Alaa Al-Aswany.

The Congress is organised by the International Publishers Association in partnership with the UK Publishers Association and The London Book Fair. The comprehensive programme will address the key policy and practical issues of the day for publishers.

The programme, strategically timed to coincide with The London Book Fair, ensures that delegates will not only benefit from the Congress but also a curated agenda throughout LBF.

Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) is the official Gold Sponsor and Nielsen is the official Sliver Sponsor for the 31st International Publishers Congress.

Brought to you by Scope e-Knowledge Center, a world-leading provider of abstraction, indexing, entity extraction and knowledge organisation models (Taxonomies, Thesauri and Ontologies).

New iThenticate whitepaper examines ethics of self-plagiarism
- 30 Aug 2011

Plagiarism prevention software provider iParadigms has announced a new study titled ‘The Ethics of Self-Plagiarism,’ an area of growing concern in the world of scholarly research. The study offers a definition of self-plagiarism and how the reuse and repurposing of research by its originator can run afoul of copyright guidelines and fair use provisions.

The white paper is free to download from http://www.ithenticate.com/self-plagiarism-free-white-paper.

The pressure to publish, combined with an ever-growing body of scholarly research, makes it difficult for publishers and institutions to investigate and prevent cases of self-plagiarism. The issue continues to be a major source of misconduct and cause for retractions in scholarly research. Most recently, a noted Brazilian entomologist was forced to retract a paper for self-plagiarism.

iThenticate helps publishers and granting agencies reduce all types of plagiarism, including self-plagiarism, by comparing manuscripts against one of the world's largest comparison databases. iThenticate indexes and searches more than 14 billion web pages, more than 30 million published research articles from 150 leading science, technical and medical (STM) publishers, as well as 80,000 major newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals. Close to 500 publishers, research institutions and government agencies rely on iThenticate to ensure research integrity.

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Library Copyright Alliance releases statement on copyright reform
- 17 May 2011

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) has released a statement describing the key features copyright reform proposals should include in order to constitute significant improvement over current law for libraries and their users.

Interested parties are discussing with renewed vigor the issues of orphan works, mass digitisation, and even modernisation of Section 108 of the US Copyright Act in the wake of the Google Books settlement rejection by Judge Denny Chin of the Southern District of New York. The LCA statement, which represents the needs of library stakeholders in these debates, provides helpful guideposts for these discussions.

Libraries have always advocated for reasonable copyright policy - in the courts as well as in the US Congress. Library activities already benefit from broad, flexible protection under the fair use doctrine and related provisions in current law. The LCA's statement describes the status quo for libraries as well as the policies that would constitute substantial legislative improvement to existing copyright law.

The statement is available online at http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/lca_copyrightreformstatement_16may11.pdf.

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AAP submits annual review of global intellectual property protection to USTR
- 17 Feb 2011

The Association of American Publishers (AAP), through the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), recently submitted its annual Special 301 Report to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). The report details issues related to intellectual property rights protection and market access in a number of foreign countries.

AAP's report was part of the annual collective filing by the seven trade associations comprising the IIPA. The IIPA is a coalition representing US copyright-based industries working to improve international protection and enforcement of copyrighted materials and open up foreign markets closed by piracy and other market access barriers.

The American publishing industry is waging a multi-faceted campaign to identify and mitigate pirated content. Yet the American publishers continue to suffer significant economic harm in key overseas markets as a result of commercial scale photocopying, illegal print runs, unauthorised translations, CD-R burning of textbooks and increasing online piracy, it has been observed. The AAP report highlights copyright protection and enforcement problems in 40 countries/territories and recommends that 33 of them be placed on an appropriate USTR 'watch list.'

Canada's copyright reform legislation, Bill C-32, raises serious concerns for the publishing sector as it introduces a host of new exceptions to protection, many of which exceed international standards. Some are especially harmful to the publishing sector, threatening to erode distinct markets of the educational community and to negatively impact the well-established collective licensing mechanisms for administering permissions to copy works for educational use.

China is again a significant focus for AAP's anti-piracy efforts, with particular emphasis on online infringements affecting professional and scholarly publishers and continuing textbook piracy around university campuses. AAP remains concerned by the massive sharing of electronic copies of academic, scientific and technical journals by certain institutions with commercial entities in violation of their site licenses. Publishers are, however, hopeful that discussions with the relevant Chinese agencies will result in meaningful action on this issue.

India's inconsistent enforcement efforts and endemic delays in the judicial system also remain major concerns to publishers. In addition, the Indian government's current copyright reform proposal includes an amendment that would repeal the current protection against parallel imports which would greatly damage local and American publishers' market potentials.

Tom Allen, President and CEO, AAP, noted that through the Special 301 process, the copyright-related industries provide input into the federal government's annual review of intellectual property protection in several key global markets. He further stated that while publishers are actively engaged in numerous anti-piracy strategies, there is an escalating threat to the book and journal industry, particularly as access to online and mobile technologies increases. Persistent problems such as unauthorised large scale photocopying and now online book piracy impede the continued growth of US companies that are investing in the production of high value content.

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Paris hosts Sixth Global Congress on combating counterfeiting and piracy
- 03 Feb 2011

Over 800 delegates from intergovernmental organisations, national governments, enforcement agencies and business from more than 100 countries have assembled in Paris to address the serious global impact of the growing trade in counterfeit and pirated goods and the need to build respect for intellectual property in a balanced and sustainable way. The Sixth Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, meeting on February 2-3, 2011, is organised under the High Patronage of the President of the French Republic.

The Sixth Global Congress is hosted by France's Industrial Property Office (INPI) and chaired by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It is co-organised by INPI, WIPO, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO), in co-operation with the world's business community represented by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) through its BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) initiative, and the International Trademark Association (INTA).

INPI Director General Yves Lapierre outlined the French Government's actions to combat counterfeiting and piracy, which he noted have devastating effects both on the health and safety of consumers, as well as the economy. He said that INPI was active both on the national and international front to ensure respect for intellectual property, which is now widely regarded as a tool for development, and promoted public-private sector partnerships in the fight against counterfeiting. In addition to the creation of a National Anti-Counterfeiting body in 1995, which is premised on strong private-public partnership, France also developed in 2004 an international network dedicated to anti-counterfeiting - forty experts are posted in French embassies and economic services in over 80 countries.

Under the theme 'Building Respect for IP: Sustainable Solutions to a Global Problem', discussions at the Global Congress focus on a balanced approach to combating counterfeiting and piracy, underscoring the link between building respect for intellectual property and sustainable development. Overall, the Congress will seek to create a better understanding of the elements underlying the trade in illegitimate goods, and to discuss sustainable solutions to end it.

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Financial conflicts rampant among researchers, says 'Trials' Canadian study
- 10 Jan 2011

Open access publisher BioMed Central, UK, has announced that its journal Trials recently polled 844 researchers based in Canada about their experiences of conflicts, finding that 269 had personally experienced or witnessed such an event. Financial conflicts of interest are seen to be common in research, and procedures intended to reduce their impact are poorly adhered to, according to the Trials report.

Paula Rochon, vice-president, Senior Scientist at Women's College Research Institute, Toronto, Canada, worked with a team of researchers to carry out the e-mail survey. Of 1,109 eligible investigators at Canadian sites, 844 responded. According to Rochon, 236 of these had witnessed a financial conflict of interest situation, and 76 percent of these were related to industry-funded trials. The most frequently described situations related to recruitment pressures.

Adherence to preferred practices was generally poor, with less than half of the respondents reporting full compliance, but was at its highest when they were required by an external agent. Speaking about the results, Rochon claimed the study was the first to obtain information directly from investigators about practices related to financial conflicts. Guidance introduced early in the design of the trial could introduce changes regarding trail preparation, conduct and dissemination that would reduce potential effects of investigator financial conflicts of interest, it was observed.

Trials is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that seeks to cover all aspects of the performance and findings of randomised controlled trials.

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Medtronic paid surgeons to write about spine surgery product, says journal analysis
- 28 Dec 2010

US-based medical device maker Medtronic has, over the past decade, enlisted a small group of prominent surgeons from around the country to do clinical research or write articles about its new spine surgery product, bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2). According to a Journal Sentinel analysis of newly released company payments in 2010 alone, many of those doctors received payments of hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars each in royalties for a variety of other Medtronic spinal devices. Medtronic began disclosing the payments this year, in advance of a federal requirement set to take effect in 2013.

Since it won approval for narrow uses in 2002, BMP-2 has been an increasingly dominant force in spinal fusion surgery, with sales of about $800 million a year, often for use in other procedures, it has been observed. Independent doctors say the product's success is due largely to positive findings made by the surgeons affiliated with the company.

Doctors involved with two of the many research articles on BMP-2 published since it was approved - one in 2002, the other in 2004 - received a combined $6 million in royalties this year for other Medtronic spinal products, the newspaper found. The payments went directly to the doctors or business entities they are associated with.

There is no evidence any of the surgeons who have published articles on BMP-2 received royalties they did not deserve. However, the spinal surgery field has been plagued by troubling questions about transparency.

For years, published articles revealed scant information about the financial conflicts of authors, including not spelling out how much royalty money an author received. Doctors say those articles have incalculable value to device-makers trying to increase sales of their products. But that impact is greatly diminished when doctors read that an author got a large amount of money.

At the time BMP-2 was approved in 2002, little was known about the financial connections between Medtronic and doctors associated with the clinical trial. Likewise, little was known that year when the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques published the article on the trial. The paper made no mention of doctors getting royalties or having any financial connection to the company.

However, earlier this year Medtronic began listing payments to doctors on its website, a practice that will become law when the Physician Payment Sunshine Act goes into effect in 2013. Journal Sentinel used that database to check payments made this year to a core of prominent doctors who have published research about BMP-2 since its approval.

Three of the four authors of a 2004 article on the study of the product are listed as receiving nearly $4 million that year in royalties from Medtronic for a variety of spinal products, not BMP-2. That paper was important because it involved a clinical trial that had to be stopped because the product was causing troubling bone formation in the spinal canal of patients. In the paper, that finding was downplayed, with the authors describing the results as "encouraging."

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Access for print disabled, library exceptions termed top WIPO priorities
- 17 Nov 2010

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) closed its latest copyright meeting with a two-year work plan to improve access to the print disabled and to identify potential library exceptions in international treaty agreements. The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) will devote several days of discussion at meetings in June and November 2011. This development is seen to suggest that WIPO is committed to address the rights of users of information in addition to its long-established emphasis on strengthening copyright and enforcement measures. A commitment to a legal instrument to improve access for the print disabled could come as soon as September 2011 at the WIPO General Assembly.

In its final conclusion, the SCCR 'will undertake text-based work with the objective of reaching agreement on appropriate exceptions and limitations for persons with print disabilities and other reading disabilities'.

The US library community was represented by the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), of which ALA is a member, and internationally by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and the Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL). The LCA statement to the SCCR urged 'the Member States to focus on the twin issues of a national exception for countries that currently lack an exception (for persons with disabilities), and the cross-border distribution of works' as well as 'the development of a core set of library limitations and exceptions necessary to sustain a global information society'.

The US Delegation to WIPO, led by Justin Hughes, Under Secretary of Commerce in the USPTO, emphasised the need to address the issue of cross border sharing of accessible copies. Under international copyright law, member nations of WIPO cannot send accessible copies like Braille, large print, and audio texts to people with print disabilities in other nations. Known as the 'book famine', only 1 percent of published materials are available to developing and least developed nations. This immediate problem is directly linked to another associated WIPO priority, the 'Development Agenda' that has identified access to educational and informational materials as a necessary means toward the achievement of material progress and welfare of developing nations.

Representing the LCA, Janice Pilch cautioned that complete success is not guaranteed but WIPO's commitment to these issues is 'an unprecedented opportunity' for the print disabled and for libraries.

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WIPO to host meeting on copyright licensing
- 28 Oct 2010

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has announced that WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and Harvard University professor Lawrence Lessig will open a meeting hosted by WIPO in Geneva on copyright licensing. The event, scheduled for November 4 and 5, 2010, will feature a range of eminent speakers from government, business and civil society.

The global meeting on 'Facilitating Access to Culture in the Digital Age' will explore different approaches to licensing creative content in the rapidly evolving on-line marketplace and in view of the proliferation of new forms of on-line distribution. It will bring together a wide range of stakeholders, including leaders in the field of public policy-making and business, to explore the challenges confronting creators and users in accessing creative content and harnessing its commercial value in the digital environment.

Licensing is a mechanism used by right-holders to authorise others to use their intellectual property under agreed terms and conditions. It is therefore a key element in ensuring the availability of creative content and the remuneration of creators. The Global Meeting will help to showcase emerging content distribution licensing models and consider how these can coexist with more traditional licensing approaches in the online environment. It will examine the role of public authorities, including governments and international organisations, and explore the way forward.

Discussion will focus on the need to ensure that copyright licensing transactions are underpinned by improved rights management information and documentation as well as respect to competition rules. The meeting seeks to raise the awareness on the complexities underlining a wide range of licensing practices in different sectors, including the online market for music, the software industry and open access publishing. Speakers will address a range of target topics that will be analysed and discussed from an intellectual property and a competition law perspective.

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Better transparency needed on medical journals' competing interests, says research
- 27 Oct 2010

This week's PLoS Medicine has published a research article by Andreas Lundh and colleagues from the Nordic Cochrane Centre. The article concludes that journals need to develop policies to handle the inevitable competing interests that arise when they publish papers that may bring them reprint revenue or increase their impact factors.

An accompanying perspective by Harvey Marcovitch, ex-chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and an editorial from the PLoS Medicine Editors, discusses this issue further. The conclusion is that journals should apply the same degree of transparency that they require from authors, to themselves.

The article examined randomised clinical trials published in six general medical journals (not including PLoS Medicine but including New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the British Medical Journal (BMJ), The Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine, and JAMA, over two time periods, 1996 and 2005. It then assessed which of the trials were supported wholly, partly, or not at all by industry. The researchers then used the online academic citation index Web of Science to calculate an approximate impact factor for each journal for 1998 and 2007 and calculated the effect of the published RCTs on the impact factor.

The proportion of RCTs with sole industry support varied between journals. Thirty-two percent of the RCTs published in the NEJM during both two-year periods had industry support whereas only 7 percent of the RCTs published in the BMJ in 2005 had industry support. Industry-supported trials were more frequently cited than RCTs with other types of support; omitting industry-supported RCTs from impact factor calculations decreased all the approximate journal impact factors. For example, omitting all RCTs with industry or mixed support decreased the 2007 BMJ and NEJM impact factors by 1 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

Finally, the researchers asked the editor of each journal about journal income from industry sources. For the BMJ and the Lancet, the only journals that provided this information directly, income from reprint sales was 3 percent and 41 percent, respectively, of total income in 2005.

The authors conclude that journals [should] abide by the same standards related to conflicts of interest, which they rightly require from their authors, and that the sources and the amount of income are disclosed to improve transparency.

In the accompanying editorial "Increased Responsibility and Transparency in an Era of Increased Visibility" the PLoS Medicine Editors, who have posted their own journal's income on the competing interest page of the journal, conclude that "The Internet has spurred an intellectual revolution in the dissemination of medical information. Journals have thus far been accepted as one of the most trusted sources of information. It is clear, however, that in order to maintain that trust, journals and editors need to continue to consider all the pressures that can arise in publishing and put in place robust, transparent procedures for handling all the potential conflicts that can arise, whether they are those of authors, editors, or the journals themselves".

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Disclosures not revealing author-industry ties consistently, says study
- 14 Sep 2010

Medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine has published a study, according to which current journal disclosure practices do not yield complete or consistent information regarding authors' industry ties. It has become standard practice in medical journals to require authors to disclose their relationships with industry. However, these requirements vary among journals and often lack specificity. As a result, disclosures may not consistently reveal author-industry ties, says the study.

For the study, the journal examined the 2007 physician payment information from five orthopaedic device companies to evaluate the current journal disclosure system. Payment information for recipients of $1 million or more with disclosures in the recipients' journal articles were compared. Disclosures were obtained in the acknowledgments section, conflict of interest statements and financial disclosures of recipients' published articles. The study also assessed variations in disclosure by authorship position, payment-article relatedness and journal disclosure policies.

The study noted that of the 41 individuals who received $1 million or more in 2007, 32 had published articles relating to orthopaedics between January 1, 2008, and January 15, 2009. Disclosures of company payments varied considerably. Prominent authorship position and article-payment relatedness were associated with greater disclosure, although nondisclosure rates remained high - 46 percent among first-, sole-, and senior-authored articles and 50 percent among articles directly or indirectly related to payments. The accuracy of disclosures did not vary with the strength of journals' disclosure policies.

The study is seen to come at a time of increased transparency in the health sector. The US' healthcare reform law requires drug and medical device manufacturers to report payments to physicians in a searchable public database by 2013. The public is also seen to have become increasingly skeptical about drugs prescribed by their doctors. A recent study by Consumer Reports reveled that half of patients suspected that the choice of drugs their doctors recommended was influenced by corporate gifts.

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LCA and a coalition of public interest and technology groups join EFF to file amicus brief in UMG v. Veoh
- 28 Jul 2010

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) has joined a coalition of public interest and technology groups in an amicus curie or 'friend of the court' brief written by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asking the Ninth Circuit to reject the arguments made by Universal Music Group (UMG) and affirm the lower court's decision in UMG v. Veoh. The case involves the legal 'safe harbor' for online service providers hosting content on the Web. The safe harbor protects online service providers from damages liability if a third party using the online service infringes copyright.

In its original decision, the district court found that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protected Veoh, a Web-hosting service, against infringement claims brought by UMG. Though Veoh took down allegedly infringing material whenever it received a DMCA-compliant notice, UMG appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit. UMG advanced the same narrow interpretation of the DMCA argued by Viacom (and rejected by the court) in its litigation against YouTube. In particular, UMG argued that once a Web-host has general awareness that there might be infringing material on the website, the host loses its DMCA safe harbor.

The DMCA established a vital safe harbor for online service providers such as YouTube, Amazon, e-Bay, and other services, as well as non-commercial entities such as universities who provide Internet services to the university community. Interested parties may view the amicus brief online at http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/amicus_umg_veoh_072310.pdf.

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) consists of three major library associations-the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries. These three associations collectively represent over 300,000 information professionals and thousands of libraries of all kinds throughout the United States and Canada.

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New research community report presents 'grassroots view' of the current copyright framework in the UK
- 23 Jul 2010

The British Library has compiled a new report from the research community that looks at the UK's existing intellectual property framework - reflecting the challenges researchers face on a daily basis. The report titled 'Driving UK Research - Is copyright a help or a hindrance?' calls for a consensus across all sectors on the need for reform to meet the demands of a modernising world.

Sourced directly from researchers, this report presents a 'grassroots view' of the current copyright framework in the UK. Looking at the barriers they encounter on a daily basis, the contributors' feedback not only highlights the obstructions to creativity but also put forward proposals for reforming UK intellectual property legislation to reflect the needs of today's researcher.

The report is available online at http://www.bl.uk/ip/pdf/drivingukresearch.pdf. It has been published under a Creative Commons licence, enabling others to copy, distribute, and make derivative non-commercial works.

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ICMJE finalises conflict-disclosure form
- 12 Jul 2010

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recently announced the final version of its uniform conflict-of-interest disclosure document. The five-page form queries authors submitting articles for publication about their financial ties to industry firms in the previous three years.

In a shift from the original version unveiled in October 2009, authors will not be asked about their spouse's or children's financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. The document, which a user can fill out online, is aimed at simplifying the author-disclosure process. Many authors, after failing to share information about a financial conflict, claim confusion about what they were required to disclose. Hundreds of journals already follow the committee's uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals.

The form is available at the ICMJE website at http://www.icmje.org. The ICMJE is made up of 12 of the leading medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Public and private sector leaders meet to discuss copyright in the internet economy
- 05 Jul 2010

The Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently co-hosted a symposium to discuss the relationship between copyright policy, creativity and innovation in the Internet economy. The US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke together with leaders from the public and private sectors participated in the event, which was held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on July 1, 2010.

The day-long symposium included discussion of online copyright policy in the US, specifically the impact of current copyright laws, existing and emerging techniques used to illegally distribute and obtain protected works, the extent and economic impact of infringement, and the role of emerging business models for legitimate distribution of content. During the symposium, it was announced that the Department of Commerce will issue a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) later this month seeking public comment on the effectiveness of copyright law. This department will then issue a report which will contribute to the Administration's domestic policy and international engagement in the area of online copyright protection.

In addition to Secretary Locke, featured speakers included US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel; Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos; Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling; and other senior Obama Administration officials. The conference also included five panel discussions with participants representing the views of different stakeholders.

The Department of Commerce has assembled an Internet Policy Task Force to identify leading public policy and operational challenges in the Internet environment. Recognising the vital importance of both intellectual property rights and the Internet to US creativity and innovation, the Department has made it a top priority to ensure that both remain a vehicle for these important purposes. The Task Force is conducting similar reviews of cybersecurity, the global free flow of information goods and services, and information privacy.

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Three million orphan books in Europe, says European Commission report
- 05 Jul 2010

The European Commission has published a new report according to which at least 3 million orphan books exist in Europe - works which are still in copyright but cannot be digitised because the rights holders cannot be traced to grant permission. The study gathered responses from 22 cultural institutions involved in digitisation work, including many national libraries and national film collections.

Not only books are affected. There is an especially high percentage of orphan works among photographs and audiovisual collections, says the report. The report 'Assessment of the orphan works issue and costs for rights clearance' was carried out on the basis of the replies to a questionnaire sent to a number of cultural institutions or organisations from all sectors.

The Europeana plays a key role in making Europe's digital resources available online. In the 'Europeana - Next Steps,' report released in May, members of the European Parliament called on the European Commission to establish a simple and cost-efficient rights clearance system. Europeana is working with the ARROW project to speed up rights clearance for orphan works.

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Ethics experts call for scientific and ethical review to ensure integrity of research process
- 14 May 2010

US-based journal Science has published a paper in which experts have cautioned that important ethical issues in the testing of new therapies like stem cells may not be receiving the attention they deserve.

Carnegie Mellon University's Alex John London joined McGill University's Jonathan Kimmelman and Marina Emborg of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin National Primate Research Center to examine the way scientists, physicians, and regulators evaluate risk and benefit when testing new drugs in human beings for the first time. According to their report, scientists and regulators tend to focus on how individual patients should be protected from risks, and as a result, overlook how medical advance itself can be adversely affected by poorly designed clinical trials. London and his co-authors argue that debates over access neglect key ethical issues.

To safeguard the advancement of medical research, the authors suggest that four key questions must be answered when researchers propose human studies of new therapies. These include: Did animal experiments show reliable effects on disease?; are the animal models similar enough to human beings that favorable results are to also occur in human trials?; to what extent are researchers justified in believing that observations in animals will hold up in human beings?; and will clinical trials apply the exact conditions that were used in successful animal studies? The authors suggest that there are instances when human trials are initiated despite unsatisfactory answers to these questions.

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New study recommends blanket ban on medical ghostwriting
- 05 Feb 2010

PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed online publication of open access publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS), has published a study that proposes a strict ban on medical ghostwriting. A scientist who takes credit as an author on an article secretly written by a pharmaceutical company should be deemed guilty of academic misconduct, it states. The study was authored by Jeffrey Lacasse of Arizona State University's School of Social Work and Jonathan Leo of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee.

Medical ghostwriting refers to medical writers who, sponsored by a drug or medical device manufacturer, make major research or writing contributions to articles that are then published under the names of academic authors. It has been observed that scientists accredited for research articles, secretly penned by ghostwriters from pharmaceutical companies, are not reprimanded for their misrepresentations. On the other hand, their ranks and career trajectories often improve. Although this practice raises serious concerns about academic integrity, few institutions are seen to have policies to discourage it. The authors of the new study hope to bring medical ghostwriting on par with plagiarism and data falsification.

A survey on ghostwriting prohibition policies revealed that only 37 of the top 50 academic medical centres in the US have a clear policy that prohibits ghostwriting. Lacasse and Leo took the opportunity to propose an unambiguous policy on the matter in their article entitled ‘Ghostwriting at Elite Academic Medical Centers in the United States’.

Policies prohibiting ghostwriting in US-based academic medical centres were recommended in a 2009 report on conflict of interest in medical research, education and practice published by the National Academies' Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C. According to a representative of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), while NIH policy does not use the term ‘ghostwriting,’ federal regulations on research misconduct such as plagiarism and fabrication could be applicable to ghostwriting.

NIH is currently drafting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which could introduce revisions and enhancements to the current regulations, according to the representative. The notice will be posted for public comment as NIH develops the final rule, which is anticipated later in 2010.

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Most top medical journals allow public review of conflict of interest policies: JAMA study
- 26 Nov 2009

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has published a report, according to which nearly 90 percent of medical journals with relatively high impact factors have policies addressing author conflict of interest (COI) available for public review. But many journals do not require authors to sign disclosure statements, and there is variability in how COI is defined.

In an effort to protect the integrity of research and improve public trust, a number of organisations have published guidelines that include specific recommendations for disclosure of information about authors' COIs. Similarly, journal policies calling for authors to disclose COIs have evolved. However, it is unclear whether medical journals have consistent policies for defining and soliciting COI disclosures.

The JAMA report examined the COI policies of medical journals in the top 10 percent by impact factor to determine the prevalence and variability of disclosure requirements and definitions. The study consisted of a survey and analysis of Instructions for Authors and manuscript submission documents, including authorship responsibility forms for the journals, across 35 subject categories available from March through October 2008.

The authors found that 228 of 256 sampled journals (89 percent) had language requesting author COI disclosure, and that 54 percent (138) of the sampled journals required authors to submit signed disclosure statements. Definitions or examples of possible COIs for submitting authors were provided by 197 journals (77 percent). Of these COI definitions, most included direct financial relationships such as ‘equities interest or stock ownership’ (89 percent) or ‘consultancies’ (84 percent). A minority included other potential conflicts such as personal relationships (42 percent), paid expert testimony (42 percent), relationships with organisations (26 percent), or travel grants (12 percent), the study authors note.

The authors add that in comparison to findings of a 1997 study, there appears to have been a substantial increase in the prevalence of COI policies over the past decade.

The study only assessed the means by which the journals defined and solicited disclosures and did not determine their publication practices. Future investigations should determine whether all disclosures of authors are published by journals. Furthermore, it is important to assess whether detailed COI policies and mandating signed disclosure statements from all authors increases accurate reporting of author COIs, the study concludes.

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