Sep 022014

elkin-koren and frischman aforiAuthors:  Niva Elkin-Koren and Orit Fischman Afori

Abstract:  Exceptions and limitations to the rights of copyright owners aim to promote copyright goals in a rapidly changing world. Policymakers are often faced with the choice of either adopting an open-norm, such as fair use, to facilitate flexibility and adaptability, or opt for a strictly defined list of exceptions and limitations to facilitate more certainty and predictability. So far, this binary choice between bright-line rules and vague standards has created a deadlock.

This paper argues that in order to promote a reasoned implementation of fair use and serve both the purpose of copyright law and the rule of law, courts should subscribe to the doctrinal indeterminacy mandated by fair use, while at the same time encourage the implementation of concrete rules within that standard. Incorporating bottom-up norms, such as Codes of Fair Use Best Practices, in fair use analysis, would enable courts to do just that. Continue reading »

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Aug 152014

south africa flagWe would like to invite you to a workshop on Copyright Users Rights and the Clearance Culture in South African Filmmaking on August 18, at 10h00, at the NFVF, 87 Central Street, Houghton, 2198, Johannesburg. This workshop will be hosted by SASFED and its Affiliates, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) at American University Washington College of Law in the United States, and the Intellectual Property Unit at the University of Cape Town. The workshop follows, and will report back on, research by the partner organisations on documentary filmmaker views and perceptions on the rights of filmmakers to reuse and transform material in their filmmaking without licensing restrictions. Continue reading »

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Jul 172014

euro open edu policy project logo[Cross posted from the European Open Edu Policy Project, Link (CC-BY)]  It is well known that the rules that allow for certain educational uses of copyrighted works under certain conditions without permission of the rights’ owners vary greatly between countries. But how different are those rules? And how difficult is to access those differences? Can a teacher with no legal background determine alone whether a certain use is allowed or not in his/her country? Continue reading »

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Jun 132014

hong kong[Press release, government of Hong Kong, Link]  The Government will introduce the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 into the Legislative Council (LegCo) on June 18 to update Hong Kong’s copyright regime and ensure that it keeps pace with technological and overseas developments.

The Bill also provides a number of copyright exceptions to facilitate reasonable uses of copyright works.

[UPDATE: the draft bill is published - Copyright Amendments Bill 2014.]

Continue reading »

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May 142014

CJEU-logoA recent judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union (Case C-435/12 ACI Adam BV and Others) ruled that private copying limitations cannot permit downloads from unlawful sources.

João Pedro Quintais & Alexander de Leeuw, have a detailed peice on the case on the Kluwer Copyright Blog.

Here is an excerpt from the ruling: Continue reading »

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May 062014

wipo circular logoJoint media release  by 10 Library and Archivist Associations | Download PDF

[Reposted from EIFL, Link CC-BY)] Discussions by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright & Related Rights (SCCR) broke down in the early hours of Saturday morning 3 May, after the European Union (EU) attempted to block future discussion of copyright laws to aid libraries and archives fulfill their missions in the digital environment. Continue reading »

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Apr 182014

TDM report coverReport prepared for the EC Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, prepared by an Expert Group chaired by Ian Hargreaves with members Lucie Guibault, Christian Handke, Peggy Valcke, Bertin Martens, and Ros Lynch, supported by Ros Lynch and Sergey Filippov.  The full report is available here (PDF), and the executive summary follows.

Text and data mining (TDM) is an important technique for analysing and extracting new insights and knowledge from the exponentially increasing store of digital data (‘Big Data’). It is important to understand the extent to which the EU’s current legal framework encourages or obstructs this new form of research and to assess the scale of the economic issues at stake. Continue reading »

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Apr 032014

sean at podium30 international intellectual property law professors from around the world filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court today in ABC v. Aereo. Aereo is being accused of being directly liable for copyright infringement by supplying equipment for a remote DVR service that allows consumers to record and play back free-to-air television programming. The brief responds to arguments made by IFPI et al and some other amici supporting ABC that international copyright law — including the Berne Convention, WIPO Copyright Treaty and several Free Trade Agreements — control the case. This brief argues that international law is not controlling, but rather leaves countries free to hold that Aereo’s equipment only facilitates private copying by consumers. Continue reading »

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Jan 302014

Carolina Botero

[Reposted from Digital Rights LAC, Link, (CC-BY-SA)]  At Digital Rights LAC we wanted to ask different specialists in the region about their personal appraisals on digital rights issues. This is the case of Carolina Botero from Colombia. We asked her what the main achievements were regarding the “exceptions and limitations to copyright” and what direction these discussions took in 2013. Here is her reply. 

Bearing in mind that Colombia is anticipating a copyright reform, essentially to fulfill the commitments of the FTA with the USA (ie commercial interests of the holders), 2013 was, however, an interesting year for the “positive agenda” that the country’s Karisma Foundation is pushing, which has exceptions at its central axis, which are understood as guarantees of fundamental rights and not as favors for the holders. Continue reading »

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Jan 172014

copyright-square-1[Cross posted from CCUSA, Link (CC-BY)] Much of what we hear about the globalization of copyright law around the world does not favor users. The dominant trend of lengthening terms, increasing criminalization and “deterrent” penalties and expanding third party liability has the intent and effect of privatizing more and more of the public domain. But one trend moves in the opposite the direction – the recent shift toward a global expansion of fair use.

The term “fair use” is often used to refer the specific limitation and exception to copyright contained in the US Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 107. But it has also come to have a broader meaning Continue reading »

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Jan 102014
Image: Lumin Consulting for EFF (CC-BY)

Image: Lumin Consulting for EFF (CC-BY)

Sean Flynn, American University Washington College of Law, 202-274-4157,
Margot Kaminski, Yale Law School,
David Levine, Elon University School of Law, 336-279-9298,

The release of a Trade Promotion Authority bill yesterday, including provisions to increase Congressional oversight of the trade negotiation process, is a welcome sign that Congress may be preparing to increase its oversight over international trade, including trade laws that alter or restrict our domestic intellectual property laws. Unfortunately, the bill does not go far enough to ensure public transparency and participation, and does little to ensure that the products of such negotiations promote the public interest. Continue reading »

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Dec 162013

2013 GC-OA logoResearchers, scholars and policy specialists from over 40 countries drafted and endorsed a declaration of Fundamental Public Interest Principles for International Intellectual Property Negotiations that are starkly at odds with some trade agreement negotiations.

The Principles were adopted at the Third Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest which met in Cape Town, South Africa December 7-13, 2013. The principles are strongly critical of the process and presumed substance of the negotiation of intellectual property provisions in the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Continue reading »

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