Library of Congress builds the record collection of the century

About an hour south of Washington, D.C., deep beneath rolling hills near the verdant Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, lies a storehouse filled with bounty.

At one time, during the Cold War, that treasure was cash — about $3-billion worth — that the Federal Reserve had socked away inside cinderblock bunkers built to keep an accessible, safe stash of funds in case of nuclear attack.

Now what’s buried here, however, is cultural rather than financial: The bunkers are a repository containing nearly 100 miles of shelves stacked with some 6 million items: reels of film; kinescopes; videotape and screenplays; magnetic audiotape; wax cylinders; shellac, metal and vinyl discs; wire recordings; paper piano rolls; photographs; manuscripts; and other materials. In short, a century’s worth of the nation’s musical and cinematic legacy.

This is the Library of Congress’ $250-million Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation, a 45-acre vault and state-of-the-art preservation and restoration facility on Virginia’s Mt. Pony. It’s here that a recent donation from Universal Music Group, nearly a quarter-million master recordings by musicians including Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Bing Crosby, is now permanently housed. Some staff members busy themselves daily cleaning and gluing fragile 100-year-old films back together; others meticulously vacuum dust from the grooves of ancient 78 rpm discs, which are washed before being transferred to digital files that can be accessed by scholars, musicologists, journalists, filmmakers, musicians and other visitors.

As part of the Library of Congress, this trove is available to anyone, free. But because of the complexities of copyright law, access is restricted to the library’s reading rooms in Washington and Culpeper. Library officials, however, are poised to unveil a new program that will significantly expand public access to a big chunk of the library’s goods, even if it won’t provide carte blanche availability to everything stored there. A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday to announce the details.

To read the rest, click here.

2011 Florida IP Symposium Filling Up Fast…Register Now!

The Second Annual Florida Intellectual Property Symposium will be held at the Riverside Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale on April 15th with a welcome reception and dinner the evening before on April 14th.  Space is limited, so register now!  To register, click here to download the registration form.

Why should you attend the 2011 Florida IP Symposium?

  • Advanced Level CLE meets IP Certification and Recertification Requirements.
  • Keynote Speaker Patent Commissioner Robert Stoll.
  • 8.0 CLE credit hours on advanced IP topics for only $410.
  • Great speakers you will not hear anywhere else.
  • Timely topics like DNA patents and IP and the First Amendment.

And so much more…Please join us!  Register today!  Click here now!

Ninth Circuit Invalidates First Sale Defense for Software Sold Pursuant to EULA

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the first sale defense does not apply to a downstream owner if the EULA that accompanies the software prohibits the transfer of copies by the first purchaser.

The ruling comes in a case involving the sale of used software on eBay.  The case is Vernor v. Autodesk and to read the decision click here.

Help Us Update the Florida Bar Intellectual Property Pamphlet!

It’s that time again!  Time to take a look at the current IP Pamphlet and figure out if it is in need of freshening up a bit now two years after its first publication.  Should it be tweaked in light of In re: Bilski?  Does the Supreme Court’s decision in Muchnick call for changes? 

Help us by reviewing the current version and offering your comments.  To download a version in MS Word, click here.  If you have any changes, send an email with your changes tracked to jrothman [at]  Thanks!

Application of In Re Bilski to Florida Patent Disputes: A Panel Discussion

Summary: After several months of waiting, the US Supreme Court finally issued its opinion in the matter of In Re Bilski – which addresses the issue of what constitutes a patentable “process” under 35 USC Section 101. While the Court make clear that business methods and software are not per se unpatentable, the supremes level several material issues up for grabs. This panel discussion comprising three well respected Florida patent litigation attorneys will address application of In Re Bilski to our practices, how Florida district courts may apply this opinion, and how Florida patent practitioners should counsel clients as to subject matter concerns.

Our Panel (click for materials):
Ury Fischer, Lott & Friedland (Coral Gables)
Doug McDonald, Carlton Fields (Tampa)
Steve Peretz, Pertez, Chesel & Herrmann (Miami)