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Re: What does Tasini mean for us librarians?

Two remarks:

1.  For reference, note that the appeal case is listed as: Belejack et al
v. The New York Times Company et al.  If you do a search on 'Tasini', you
may well end up with the District Court case.

2.  The issue turned on the contracts each of the appellants had with the
publishers, and the application of s 201 (c) of the Copyright Act 1976.
Essentially, the matter concerned freelance journalists.  This can easily
be distinguished from the position of scholarly journal authors, who
generally assign copyright to the publisher or grant exclusive publishing
rights in all media.  But it is a salutary warning to all those publishers
who are not rigorous about their author contracts.

John Cox
John Cox Associates
E-mail: John.E.Cox@btinternet.com

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ann Okerson [mailto:aokerson@pantheon.yale.edu]
>Sent: Sunday, October 24, 1999 10:49 PM
>To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu; consort@ohiolink.edu
>Cc: Scott Bennett
>Subject: What does Tasini mean for us librarians?
>Finally I got around to reading the Second Circuit decision of "Tasini vs.
>New York Times," handed down on September 24th, 1999.  This decision has
>been the subject of much discussion on the cni-copyright list, but not yet
>on liblicense-l.  But, shouldn't it be?
>In this recent ruling, an overturn of the decision of the lower court, the
>judges gave to writers, at least freelance writers whose material is
>republished in an electronic aggregation-database, a major victory.
>That is, the judges ruled that a publisher who wishes to grant rights to
>an aggregator to include works in that aggregators database, may not
>automatically do so.  The publisher must have the author's permission.
>The publisher is *not* protected by the privilege against copyright
>infringement afforded to publishers of collective works.  This very
>readable decision describes the process by which a periodical or newspaper
>is made available to NEXIS and how an article loses any sense of its
>original context in the subsequent aggregated database publication.
>My reading of the decision, hardly an authoritative reading of course,
>says to me that the aggregations that my library colleagues and I license
>(collections like Lexis-Nexis, Academic Universe, ProQuestDirect, Ebsco
>Academic and others) are likely to contain numerous articles whose authors
>have not, therefore, given permission for inclusion in such collections.
>This in turn suggests to me that suddenly those aggregators may have
>discovered that they did not have the right to further license those
>aggregations to customers such as my library.
>So, now what?  Any experts out there?
>Ann Okerson
>Yale University Library