Jul 192016
 

belgium-flag-300x205Dimitar Dimitrov, Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU, Link, (CC-BY)

Thanks to synchronised interplay between our EU-level policy initiative and the steady work of our Belgian community, a new copyright exception allowing for thousands of new images on Wikimedia projects is now in place. But how exactly did this public policy ping pong work out? Continue reading »

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Jul 182016
 

south africa flag[Charlie Fripp, htxt.africa, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] After a series of public consultations and written submissions, South Africa’s somewhat controversial Copyright Amendment Bill will be put before parliament this month. The Bill has been both praised and criticised by activists at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as its effects are potentially far-reaching. Minister Rob Davies in the Department of Trade and Industry made the announcement through a Government Gazette, published on 5th July. Continue reading »

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Jul 112016
 

communiaAnna Mazgal, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)

The right to quote is a pivotal element of science, study, critique, and art. By evoking somebody else’s words and creations we are able to enter into an intellectual dialog that is a foundation of our culture. Quotations substantiate scientific discourse and discovery of new knowledge. They are used widely in memes that have become a signature feature of social media.

Within the Best Case Scenarios for Copyright series, we present Finland as the best example for quotations. Below you can find the basic facts and for more evidence check the Best Case Scenario for Copyright – Quotations in Finland legal study. EU, it’s time to #fixcopyright! Continue reading »

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Jul 082016
 

tf[Ernesto for TorrentFreak, Link, (CC-BY-NC)] Last year the UK Government announced a plan to increase the maximum prison sentence for online copyright infringement to ten years. The current maximum of two years is not enough to deter infringers, lawmakers argued. The plan followed a recommendation put forward in a study commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) a few months earlier. This study concluded that criminal sanctions for online copyright infringement could be increased to bring them into line with related offenses, such as counterfeiting. Continue reading »

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Jun 272016
 

capitol building - USG photoJan Schakowsky and U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and John McCain introduced H.R. 5573; the Price Relief, Innovation and Competition for Essential Drugs (PRICED) Act. As reported on congress.gov, the bill would “amend the Public Health Service Act to shorten the exclusivity period for brand name biological products from 12 to 7 years.” (The full text has not yet been uploaded.)  This would allow generic firms to enter the market sooner, pulling down prices through competition.

A press release by Rep. Schakowsky notes that the legislation has been endorsed by a number of large civil society groups, including AARP, and the AFL-CIO. It also lists  Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT),  and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) as co-sponsors in the House. Continue reading »

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Jun 162016
 

chile flag[Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] In May we learned that Chile’s Chamber of Deputies approved an amendment to a bill that would create a new, unwaivable right of remuneration for authors of audiovisual works. The law would apply to all audiovisual works, even those published under open licenses. This would mean that audio and video creators are supposed to be compensated even if they do not wish to receive royalties. Creative Commons and CC Chile are concerned that the bill could create unnecessary complexity for authors who want to share their works under CC licenses. Continue reading »

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Jun 082016
 

effbigThe bill now sits with the State Senate Judiciary Committee and must be defeated.

Ernesto Falcon, EFF, Link (CC-BY)

California’s A.B. 2880 will give government agencies the power to put copyright restrictions on their work. That means state bureaucrats will be able to wrap their reports, research, e-mails, and even videos of public meetings in onerous legal restrictions, backed by federal lawsuits and six-figure penalties. The bill would change California from one of the most open state governments to one of the least open. EFF opposed the bill and explained its dangers to the State Assembly. Continue reading »

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Jun 082016
 

communia[Anna Mazgal, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)]  Freedom of panorama is a fundamental element of European cultural heritage and visual history. Rooted in freedom of expression, it allows painters, photographers, filmmakers, journalists and tourists alike to document public spaces, create masterpieces of art and memories of beautiful places, and freely share it with others.

Within the Best Case Scenarios for Copyright series we present Portugal as the best example for freedom of panorama. Below you can find the basic facts and for more evidence check the Best Case Scenario for Copyright – Freedom of Panorama in Portugal legal study. EU, it’s time to #fixcopyright! Continue reading »

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Jun 062016
 

australia flagCopyright Advisory Group to the COAG Education Council

Executive summary: Australia’s copyright laws operate as a serious roadblock to preparing children to be the creators and innovators of the future.

Government policy and community expectations require schools to take an increasing role in STEM education, industry collaboration, and equipping students with the digital skills they need to be successful in the workforce of the future. However, Australia’s copyright laws – designed in the age of classroom-based “chalk and talk” teaching – are simply not appropriate for today’s world of flipped classrooms, digital learning, and collaboration. Laws designed for photocopiers are ill-equipped to cope with interactive whiteboards, tablets and robotics. Continue reading »

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May 192016
 

chile flagThe Chilean Congress  House of Deputies has approved a bill that creates a new unwaivable right of remuneration for authors of (and contributors to) audiovisual works. To make things worst this new right is to be exercised only through collective management organizations. Here is the link to bill as approved in the House of Representatives.

This will mean that the music composer of a work embedded in any  audiovisual work, the writer of the drama, the Director, the camera man, etc, will not be able to waive their rights or license for free through a creative commons license or any other open licenses, or give works to the public domain. Continue reading »

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May 092016
 

aust productivity commPrevious infojustice posts about the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Intellectual Property Arrangements have focused on its recommendation that Australia adopt fair use in its copyright law (here and here).  This post highlights the findings regarding the extension of terms for pharmaceutical patents. Australia’s law, in effect since 1999, grants extensions to pharmaceutical firms to make up for time during which the patented drug is awaiting marketing approval.  Total patent term may be extended up to a total of 25 years. Continue reading »

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May 022016
 

australia flagA draft report by the Australian Productivity Commission (APC) concludes that the current copyright law fails to properly balance the interests of copyright holders and users.  It warns that “Australia’s copyright arrangements are weighed too heavily in favour of copyright owners, to the detriment of the long-term interests of both consumers and intermediate users.”  The APC makes recommends changes to the law to address the imbalance, including “the introduction of a broad, principles-based fair use exception.” This follows the 2013 Australian Law Reform Commission report on Copyright in the Digital Economy, which also recommended that Australia amend its copyright law to include fair use. Continue reading »

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