The civil law tradition was one of the obstacles when civil societies and lawmakers tried to introduce flexible and open-ended fair use exceptions into the Korean Copyright Act (“KCA”) in 2005 and 2009. According to opposers, the fair use doctrine, developed under the rules of equity in common law countries such as the U.S., did not fit with the Korean civil law system.
Electronic Information for Libraries, Link (CC-BY)
EIFL marked the inaugural Assembly of the Marrakesh Treaty for print disabled people with a statement congratulating member states, civil society, and the many individuals who worked tirelessly to achieve this historic Treaty, which entered into force on 30 September 2016. The inaugural Assembly of the Marrakesh Treaty took place on 5 October during the 2016 WIPO General Assemblies – WIPO’s highest decision-making bodies – in Geneva (Switzerland).
The other important agenda item for EIFL at the 2016 WIPO General Assemblies concerned the future work of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). In relation to this item, EIFL presented a statement calling for an international treaty to support libraries’ public service mission.
[Anubha Sinha, CIS-India, Link (CC-BY)] In a landmark judgment, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw of the Delhi high court has held that reproducing books and distributing copies thereof for the purpose of education is not copyright infringement. The ruling legitimises the practice of photocopying prevalent in universities and other spaces of learning. The question of whether such photocopying without the permission of the copyright holders was legal arose in 2013. A group of five prominent publishers had filed a suit against the University of Delhi and its photocopying service provider, alleging infringement of their copyrighted titles.
Abstract: This article considers both national and multilateral approaches to facilitate access to copyrighted materials for educational purposes in developing countries. It emphasizes the need for both normative re-ordering and institutional reform. In case of normative re-ordering, the article highlights the role that national institutions like courts, in addition to legislators, might play in crafting case-by-case educational exceptions. However, it argues that limitations and exceptions in themselves are insufficient doctrinal mechanisms on which to place the sole burden of facilitating effective access to educational materials. At the international level, the article proposes an approach that goes beyond the current emphasis on limitations and exceptions. Such an approach should evolve within the international intellectual property (IP) system and its affiliated institutions like WIPO and the WTO. The failure of attempts to provide normative solutions for access to other public goods such as public health or climate-related technologies, strongly suggests that institutional reform and normative re-ordering must be simultaneously pursued in the international arena.
[Association of Students for Equitable Access to Knowledge, Link] In a rare and incredible order today, the Delhi High Court has dismissed the copyright infringement case filed by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis (Routledge) against Rameshwari Photocopy Shop in Delhi School of Economics and Delhi University. Justice R.S Endlaw in a 94 pages long judgment interpreted educational exception under section 52(1)(i) of the copyright act in broad enough manner to cover the acts of photocopying.
Kennisland, Sept. 8, 2016 Link (CC-BY)
Today Kennisland launches CopyrightExceptions.eu, which collects information related to the national implementation of 22 exceptions and limitations to copyright in the 28 member states of the European Union. CopyrightExceptions.eu provides much needed clarity of the current state of implementations of the exceptions open to member states.
International Federation of Library Associations, Link (CC-BY)
The signing of the Treaty of Marrakesh in 2013 was a first step towards providing access to knowledge for some of the most vulnerable in society. It offers a response to the book famine that people with print disabilities have long faced. However, IFLA is concerned that when ratifying the Treaty, some countries risk introducing new barriers to access. This is completely contrary to the spirit of Marrakesh.
Abstract: This Article shows how the substantive balance of copyright law has been overshadowed online by the system of intermediary safe harbors enacted as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) in 1998. The Internet safe harbors and the system of notice-and-takedown fundamentally changed the incentives of platforms, users, and rightsholders in relation to claims of copyright infringement. These different incentives interact to yield a functional balance of copyright online that diverges markedly from the experience of copyright law in traditional media environments. This article also explores a second divergence: the DMCA’s safe harbor system is being superseded by private agreements between rightsholders and large commercial Internet platforms made in the shadow of those safe harbors. These agreements relate to automatic copyright filtering systems, such as YouTube’s Content ID, that not only return platforms to their gatekeeping role, but encode that role in algorithms and software.
Restrictive copyright laws create legal barriers to using resources for education, research and socio-economic development. This can have significant consequences for people who use libraries in developing and transition economy countries, where the ability to produce and use knowledge is a major factor in development.
This post uses two common indicators of innovation to see how the technology hardware sector compares in countries with and without fair use. It illustrates that research and development spending by firms in these industries has been higher in countries with fair use, controlling for other firm- and country-level factors. It then shows more patents have been granted to the technology sector in countries that have adopted fair use, relative to patents granted to firms in the same industries in other countries, controlling for other country-level factors.
Abstract: This paper analyses the influence of the right to freedom of expression and information on European copyright law in the digital context. Drawing on the practice of the two major European courts – the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) – it begins by exploring how this fundamental right shapes both the scope of copyright protection in Europe and what is traditionally termed as “exceptions and limitations” to exclusive rights. Specifically, a long-standing practice of the ECtHR, in accordance with which copyright in turn may be viewed as an exception to freedom of expression and must hence be narrowly interpreted, is scrutinized.
Dimitar 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?