30 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.
[Electronic Information for Libraries, Link, CC-BY)] Libraries in EIFL partner countries perform a vital role getting reading and other materials into the hands of people who need information and knowledge for education, research, health or leisure. The seven point plan submitted by EIFL in response to the European Commission’s Public Consultation on the review of EU copyright rules highlights some issues that libraries want to see addressed.
“Librarians want to do their work effectively, efficiently and of course, legally,” said Teresa Hackett, EIFL-IP Programme Manager. “But sometimes, it seems as if the weight of the system is against this.”
Here are some of the things librarians in EIFL-partner countries told us for the European Commission consultation:
[Official Release, Link] The ALRC was asked to consider whether the current exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act are adequate and appropriate in the digital era.
The Report, tabled on 13 February 2014, is the result of an 18-month Inquiry during which the ALRC produced two consultation documents, undertook 109 consultations and received 870 submissions.
The Report contains 30 recommendations for reform. The key recommendation is for the introduction of a fair use exception to Australian copyright law.
The College Art Association has commenced a project with American University Professors Jaszi and Aufderheide to develop a Codes of Best Practice in the Creation and Curation of Artworks and Scholarly Publishing inthe Visual Arts. The first phase of the project was to conduct “interviews with one hundred visual arts professionals and a survey of CAA members” and produce a report on “current practices and attitudes among visual arts practitioners (including artists, scholars, editors, and curators) regarding copyright and fair use.” The full report is available here.
[Cross posted from the Assoc. of Research Libraries (CC-BY) by AU Professors Patricia Aufderheide, Brandon Butler and Peter Jaszi.] Copyright Week is the perfect occasion to celebrate fair use, certainly the most dynamic and arguably the most important doctrine in copyright law. The last 15 or 20 years have seen a remarkable series of developments that make fair use, now more than ever, the most vital protection of the public interest in the Copyright Act. For Copyright Week, we wanted to highlight a part of the fair use landscape that, perhaps more than any other, puts fair use in the hands of practitioners who need it most: the Fair Use Best Practices movement.
[Internet Association, Link (CC-BY-SA)] The Internet Association appreciates Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch’s recognition that the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 must address key trade issues in the marketplace. The Internet drives global trade and commerce and enables U.S. businesses of all kinds, from multinational corporations to small businesses, to reach global markets, ultimately providing significant economic and societal benefits for consumers. By recognizing the growing significance of the Internet as a platform for international commerce, this bill takes a step toward modernizing U.S. trade policy.
Movimiento Derecho a la Cultura
LAC Latin America, Link (CC-BY-SA)
2013 has been a year of deep discussions about copyright in Uruguay, which has ended with a copyright law reform intended to add exceptions and remove criminal sanctions for nonprofit infringements. A review of the recent events allows us to contextualize this process.
Researchers, 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).
The copyright industries hire a lot of people, and employment figures are often used to argue for stronger protection for rightholders. But do the industries in countries with stronger protection for rightholders hire more people than the same industries in countries with limits on the scope and enforcement of copyright? Do countries with more robust limitations and exceptions to copyright have fewer ‘copyright industry’ jobs?
Today, the long-awaited Google Books opinion is out. And it’s a winner. The New York district court dismissed the case, writing that “Goggle’s [sic] motion for summary judgment is granted and plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment is denied.” Although the failure of a federal class action in this case caused the potential mammoth settlement to fall apart, the outcome has been a far stronger validation of the copyright fair use doctrine than any settlement could be.
The Irish Copyright Review Committee has released its report, Modernising Copyright. Below are two excerpts from the introduction. Click here for the full report.
Summary of Recommendations
The centerpiece recommendations relate to the establishment of a Copyright Council of Ireland and specialist intellectual property tracks in the District and Circuit Courts, and to the introduction of tightly-drawn exceptions for innovation, fair use, and very small snippets of text in the context of online links.
Yesterday, American University’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property held an even the Law and Economics of Copyright Users’ Rights. The event was the launch of an interdisciplinary project to conduct empirical research on the effects of flexibility in copyright law, including both the effects on consumer welfare and on innovation in the technology and creative industries. The project involves both law professors and econmics professors from AU, and like much of our other work, will be done with partners from institutions around the world.
The webcast and speaker presentations from yesterday’s event are online here. A very brief description of the first panel is below, and a description of the second panel will be posted on the blog shortly.