Section 108 Study Group Report Released

http://www.section108.gov/docs/Sec108StudyGroupReport.pdf

At 212 pages, it’s not going to be a quick read. Let’s see what happens to copyright and libraries, archives, and museums…

More on the Turnitin Suit, and Blizzard going after Glider

As usual, William Patry as some very insightful things to say regarding anything going on in the copyright world.
http://williampatry.blogspot.com/2008/03/turn-it-in-and-kiss-it-goodbye.html

He mentions a few of the problems that I have with Turnitin. I don’t like requiring students to turn over their work in that manner, I despise heavily one-sided End User License Agreements, and I don’t like assuming that my students are cheaters- even when we have found some that do cheat… at any rate, it’s one of those situations where I’m not particularly sympathetic to the party I think probably should win in the copyright arena. The judge found that Turnitin’s use was fair, and I think that’s a good thing for copyright and society, even though I think it’s a bad thing for the students. (I’m also not happy with the resulting reinforcement of EULAs.)

A similar situation is in Blizzard’s case against the creators of a bot (automated) program (Glider) in their World of Warcraft game.
http://gamepolitics.com/2008/03/24/blizzard-bot-program-creator-file-new-motions-against-each-other/

Once again, I’m not very sympathetic to the creators of the bot program, but I am very much opposed to Blizzard’s legal arguments. They’re attempting to use the bypassing of their Warden (anti-cheating) software as a violation of their EULA (which it very well could be) and by extension a violation of copyright (as circumventing a technological protection measure… ugh). They’re probably using copyright because that’s where the law has very strong protections and very harsh punishments, which speaks poorly for them and the law, in my opinion… At any rate, while I don’t condone cheating even in games, I am much more troubled by the implications of Blizzard’s actions. (Yes, people debate whether or not the use of the bot is cheating, and I tend to lean towards the idea that it probably is cheating.)

Turnitin Lawsuit

The results of this lawsuit are quite interesting!
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080326-plagiarism-screener-gets-passing-grade-in-copyright-lawsuit.html
The district court in Virginia found that Turnitin’s use was transformative and legal under the fair use doctrine and covered by the End User License Agreement. It also looks at issues of creativity, non-monetary incentives for creativity (ie, grades), and duress.

My blogroll has vanished under mysterious circumstances, so I’ll be updating it again soon.