Apr 192017

[Riyadh Al Balushi, Link (CC-BY-SA)]  Kuwait passed a new Copyright and Neighbouring rights Law in June 2016. This is new law replaces the 1999 copyright law – the first copyright law that Kuwait ever had. This new law is probably motivated by Kuwait’s accession to the Berne Convention in 2014.

The new Kuwaiti Copyright Law of 2016 does not give authors drastically more rights than what they used to. Both the 1999 and the 2016 laws offer a broadly worded economic rights section that does NOT restrict economic rights to specific activities such as reproducing, adapting, performing, etc, but instead widely state that the author has the right to permit and prohibit the use and exploitation of his works and provide reproduction, adaptation, performance, and other rights as examples of the rights that authors have over their works. This obviously goes beyond what is required by the Berne Convention and all other copyright treaties. Continue reading »

Apr 182017

Photo by C.E. Kent (CC-BY)

The following letter was sent by 80+ organizations to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. For a printable PDF, click here.

We, the undersigned businesses, industry groups, civil society organizations, and transparency advocates, write to express our strong support for the bipartisan Open, Permanent, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act (S. 760). This bill, which unanimously passed the Senate in 2016, would establish a comprehensive policy across the federal government to ensure that government data is accessible to the public by default. Continue reading »

Apr 152017

[Parminder Jeet Singh, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)  The World Wide Web today stands at a crossroads, as its standards body, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), considers the demand of big content providers to provide them with the facility to be able to control user devices for ensuring that their content is not copied. This facility is called the Encrypted Media Extension (EME), which enables these companies to put digital rights management (DRM) into the user’s browser, whether the user wants it or not, and whether such restrictions are as per the user’s local national laws or not. Continue reading »

Feb 282017

At the Australian Digital Alliance Forum, the first keynote from the Productivity Commission’s Deputy Chair Karen Chester busted myths about fair use. “Fair use has become not a nice-to-have, or even a good-to-have, but a policy must-have,” she said. She also charged in Q&A that those myths are being fecklessly promoted by industry actors. Continue reading »

Fair Use in Korea

 Posted by on February 27, 2017  1 Response »
Feb 272017

The following presentation was given on February 24 at the 2017 Australian Digital Alliance Copyright Forum.  The slides are here.

Thank you for inviting me to the ADA Copyright Forum. I am more than delighted to be able to introduce the Korean experience on fair use. Frankly speaking, it is risky business to introduce fair use doctrine in a civil law country like Korea. Since Korea is a risk-taking country rather than a risk-averse country, Korea decided to introduce the fair use doctrine six years ago. We did so because the fair use doctrine can drive innovations for the industry, for users or works, and for creators in a fast changing internet environment. Actually, for more than thirty years, Korea has strengthened copyright for the benefit of creators. Many scholars including myself have raised serious questions about what happened to users’ rights under the Copyright Act of Korea. During the course of debates and discussion to strike a good balance between apparently conflicting interests of creators and users, Korea has faced two options. One option was to expand the scope of exceptions. Another option was to introduce a general clause on fair use. Korea opted for the second choice in 2011. Now, let me take a brief look at some cases. Continue reading »

Fair Dealing: To Replace or Reinstate?

 Posted by on February 24, 2017  1 Response »
Feb 242017

[Teresa Hackett, Electronic Information for Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] EIFL is participating in Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week, an annual celebration designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate success stories, and explain these doctrines. Over 40 countries around the world have fair use or fair dealing in their copyright laws. In this blog, Teresa Hackett, EIFL’s Copyright and Libraries Programme Manager, discusses the evolution of fair dealing in the copyright laws of five EIFL partner countries: Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Lesotho, Myanmar and Uganda. Continue reading »

Argentinian Copyright Office Proposes To Add Exceptions And Limitations To Copyright Act

 Posted by on February 20, 2017  Comments Off on Argentinian Copyright Office Proposes To Add Exceptions And Limitations To Copyright Act
Feb 202017

[Maximiliano Marzetti, guest contributor to IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] On 12 December, the Argentinian Copyright Office and the Ministry of Culture invited a group of stakeholders, among which was this author, to discuss the final draft of the Exceptions and Limitations Bill (Proyecto de Ley de Excepciones) to modify current Copyright Act no.11.723 of 1933. One wonders whether it would be better to draft from scratch a modern Copyright Act instead of patching up the old 1933 Act. Nevertheless, the bill is welcomed. Argentina, as this author has already expressed, has one of the most restrictive copyright laws in the world (see Propuestas para ampliar el acceso a los bienes públicos en Argentina – Estableciendo el necesario balance entre derechos de propiedad intelectual y dominio público, Maximiliano Marzetti, Buenos Aires, 2013). Continue reading »

Jan 232017

[Reposted from Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] The “Safe harbor” provisions of the DMCA have been critical to build the internet as we know it today. Provisions like this one have given space to intermediaries providing platforms to host and transmit user-generated content without being held responsible for third party acts. The above is the legal reason explaining innovation on user-generated platforms and ways to communicate and, as a consequence, enhance rights such as freedom of expression. Continue reading »

Panels Present Importance Of Fair Use In South Africa’s Draft Copyright Amendment

 Posted by on January 17, 2017  Comments Off on Panels Present Importance Of Fair Use In South Africa’s Draft Copyright Amendment
Jan 172017

[Lina Daniels, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] CAPE TOWN, South Africa — “Fair use” was at the heart of discussions between intellectual property stakeholders at a recent workshop called to discuss the revised draft copyright amendment bill of South Africa.

The one-day workshop, held in Cape Town on 6 December was the first of two IP sector workshops that brought together academics, activists and IP practitioners to discuss the merits and demerits of the copyright amendment bill and its anticipated revisions. The second one-day workshop was held in Johannesburg the same week on the 8th of December. Continue reading »

Dec 162016

Photo by C.E. Kent (CC-BY)

[Alex Howard, Sunlight Foundation, Link (CC-BY)] Amidst unanswered questions about the future of open government in the United States, the Senate has provided a unanimous endorsement of a set of enduring principles that the Sunlight Foundation has advanced and defended for a decade: that data created using the funds of the people should be available to the people in open formats online, without cost or restriction.

On Dec. 10, 2016, S.2852, the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, passed the Senate with an amendment by unanimous consent. The OPEN Government Data Act has been a core priority of the Sunlight Foundation in Washington in 2016. We are thrilled that the Senate has acted to move it and grateful to the bill’s co-sponsors for their support for open government. Continue reading »

Dec 052016

sean - 150x150Originally posted Nov 29, updated Dec 5, 2016

A Copyright Amendment Bill will be tabled in Parliament by the South African government proposing to reform the current system of copyright law in the country to include a “fair use” clause modeled on US law. American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) is visiting South Africa December 1 through 15 to participate in a series of workshops and lectures exploring how adoption of the proposed fair use standard may benefit creativity, innovation and development in the country. The workshops and presentations will include discussion of recommendations on the Bill submitted by legal scholars in a Joint Academic Submission on the Copyright Bill, consisting of a summary letter, table of section-specific comments, and proposed text for Sections 12 and 12A. Continue reading »

Nov 282016

cc2[Creative Commons blog, Link (CC-BY)] Below is an update from Creative Commons Indonesia, who recently worked with their national copyright office on proposed changes to law that will secure the ability of creators to use CC and other open licenses there.

In late 2014, Indonesia amended its copyright law to add several new provisions, including changes having to do with database rights, addressing copyright as an object in a collateral agreement, and making license recordation mandatory. The latter is something that could potentially be an issue with regard to the operation of Creative Commons licenses, as well as other open license in Indonesia. Continue reading »