The U.S. Copyright Office recently proposed a seemingly small addition to copyright law that bears some huge implications. It wants to enable copyright holders to protect unauthorized versions of their work from hyperlinks. You read that right: it could soon be illegal simply to link to certain content.
Think about that for a second. Let’s say you find a YouTube video that uses some random Miley Cyrus song as a soundtrack, but the maker of the video never got permission to use the song. You link to that video in a blog post. Boom—you just broke the law.
Read the full post @ Gizmodo.
To most consumers it is common sense that they can make a backup copy of media they own, but in the UK this is currently illegal.
After a public consultation and a thorough inspection of local copyright legislation, the UK Government decided to change current laws in favor of consumers. The changes have been in the planning stage for a few years, but this summer they will finally be implemented.
Starting in July people are free to make copies of DVDs, CDs and other types of media, as long as it’s for personal use. To inform the public about these upcoming changes the Government has just released a consumer guide, summing up citizens’ new rights.
“Copyright law is being changed to allow you to make personal copies of media you have bought, for private purposes such as format shifting or backup,” the UK’s Intellectual Property Office writes.
“The changes will mean that you will be able to copy a book or film you have purchased for one device onto another without infringing copyright.”
Read the full post @ Torrent Freak.
I honestly appreciate this LinkedIn endorsement I received earlier today though I’m pretty sure I’m reading it much differently than how it was intended.
And for the record, just because I may be good at something that doesn’t mean I do it with any regularity or intention.
You’ll have a hard time finding a copyright monopoly maximalist who insists that public libraries should be banned. This would be political suicide; instead, they typically tell lies about why it’s not the same thing as online sharing. Let’s have a look. A concept that’s becoming increasingly useful is “Analog Equivalent Rights.” Culture and...Read more →
By allowing limited use of copyrighted material for things like criticism, review, commentary, parody, or just personal non-commercial use, fair use has a widespread and often invisible impact on today’s social internet. Yet its very ubiquity means it’s often taken for granted by individuals — and the internet companies who benefit from it.
This is worrying because fair use is under threat, and one of the culprits is the DMCA takedown notice that provides copyright owners an easy tool to remove content they claim to be unlawfully posted. Copyright owners send these notices to web companies who host content; the companies must then remove the content or risk legal liability themselves. Meant to promote the quick removal of impermissible copyright infringement, the DMCA system works well in many cases.
Unfortunately, an increasing number of copyright holders misuse this system to target even lawful fair use of their work. And the current DMCA system enables these aggressive copyright owners by providing virtually no penalties for failing to consider common exceptions to infringement — like fair use.
Many times per week, WordPress.com receives such DMCA takedown notices that target what we can plainly see is fair use. An all too common example is a notice directed at a blogger who is criticizing a company or its products, and therefore using screenshots of the company’s website or a photo of the company’s wares in their post. This isn’t just an outlier case; given our unique vantage point, we see an alarming number of businesses attempt to use the DMCA takedown process to wipe criticism of their company off the internet.
Read the full article @ Wired.com.
You can dismiss pirates as just being greedy and surely able to pay if they wanted, just as you could dismiss the colonist tea drinkers as greedy bastards who surely could afford to pay the tax on their English tea. And in doing so, you’d be missing the point entirely, choosing to grotesquely mischaracterize a situation in order to stay comfortable but ignorant.
“But the Boston Tea Party was about taxation without representation!”, some would say. “The copyright monopoly issue is different!”
Is it, really?
Let’s review the facts at hand. The copyright monopoly laws were constructed to benefit the public, and the public only. In the U.S. Constitution, we can read clearly that the purpose of the copyright monopoly is “to promote the progress of science and the useful arts”. Nothing more, nothing less.
Read the full article @ Torrent Freak.
Here’s a bizarre one on so many levels. The FBI has a top secret 70-page “interrogation manual.” For years, the ACLU has been trying to get its hands on a copy, finally receiving a heavily redacted one. However, it turns out that if the good folks at the ACLU had just decided to wander...Read more →
More proof that the current system does not benefit the public:
Dozens of demo recordings, studio outtakes and some 1963 BBC performances by the Beatles are temporarily released for sale online today, in a bid to protect the rare tracks from falling into the public domain next year.
Known as The Beatles: Bootleg Recordings 1963, the release encompassed a 59-track collection.
The featured songs include, for instance, alternate takes of classics such as She Loves You, live performances of Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven and other songs, as well as demos that the iconic Liverpool band recorded but eventually passed on to other artists, including Bad to Me and I’m in Love.
The tracks were never officially released, although hardcore Beatles devotees have traded lo-fi, bootlegged versions for years.
According to media reports, Apple Records and Universal Music Group staged a brief release of the Beatles cache via iTunes in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and North America today. The tracks were then removed shortly thereafter.
Read the full article @ CBC News.
After more than two years of community discussions and many drafts, the nonprofit Creative Commons has released a new version of its popular copyright license suite. These licenses allow rightsholders to release some of the exclusive rights associated with copyright while retaining others, in a way that’s easy for re-users, indexable by computers, and...Read more →