[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.
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.
[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!
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.
The 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.
Previous 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.
A 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.
Intellectual property scholars and researchers from prominent universities in the U.S., Canada and Australia have released a submission to the Australian Productivity Commission strongly criticizing a report by PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PWC) on the economics of fair use (PWC Report).”
According to the Academics’ Submission:
The diffuse and forward-looking benefits of open exceptions like fair use may be hard to measure, but they are no less real. The PWC’s evaluation of the costs and benefits of fair use are not real. It is full of imagined horror stories that are unlikely to take place in fact.
Abstract: It has been nearly twenty years since section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act established the so-called notice and takedown process. Despite its importance to copyright holders, online service providers, and Internet speakers, very little empirical research has been done on how effective section 512 is for addressing copyright infringement, spurring online service provider development, or providing due process for notice targets.
This report includes three studies that draw back the curtain on notice and takedown:
[Paul Keller, Communia Assoc., Link (CC-0)] We spend a lot of effort pointing out that additional copyright, like rights for specific groups of rights holders, are a problematic concept that has potential to cause a lot of damage to the Public Domain. Most of our coverage has focused on efforts to establish an ancillary copyright for press publishers. We have seen the introduction of such rights first in Germany and then in Spain in recent years, and in both cases the legislators have failed to reach their objective. Especially in In Spain the newly introduced rights have caused so much collateral damage that the news publishers themselves (who were supposed to be the beneficiary) have come out against the concept of an ancillary copyright.
Last week, President Obama signed the Trade Enforcement and Trade Facilitation Act of 2015 into law. It made news primarily due to the provisions allowing Customs to block entry of goods made by slave labor, but readers of this blog might also be interested in the section on trademark and copyright enforcement. The bill requires customs officers to share information with rightholders upon suspicion that an import is infringing, it allows the seizure of anti-circumvention tools, and it sets up a new IPR “Coordination Center” within Immigration and Customs Enforcement. There are also coordination, reporting and training requirements.
[Australian Digital Alliance, Link (CC-BY)] This week is Fair Use Week/Fair Dealing Week, and initiative started by the Association of Research Libraries which celebrates the importance of flexible exceptions to copyright systems around the world.
So it seems like the perfect time to look again at the fair use debate in Australia. A few years ago the Australian Law Review Committee (ALRC) recommended that Australia adopt a fair use exception to replace its current fair dealing exceptions, as well as a number of other exceptions in our Copyright Act. The Productivity Commission is in the process of considering this recommendation, along with other potential changes to Australia’s IP system, and is due to report in August.
But what exactly was the ALRC recommending?