Scholars and Advocates Urge NAFTA Negotiators to Protect Free Speech Online
[Eric Goldman] Fifty-five Internet law experts and organizations have written a letter urging Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. trade negotiators to protect Internet businesses from being sued for content posted by others on their sites. The letter comes as representatives from the U.S., Mexico and Canada are working on changes to modernize the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA. In 1996, the U.S. enacted a law, called “Section 230,” that says websites are not liable for content posted on their sites by third parties. The letter asks negotiators to incorporate that principle into NAFTA’s next draft. Click here for more.
Australian Copyright Law Reform Update: A Lot to Celebrate and a Lot to Look Forward To
[Delia Browne] 2017 was the year that Copyright was a gift that kept on giving in Australia as a raft of new copyright laws and regulations were finally passed after many years of dogged advocacy by the Australian Education sector. As we all know Copyright law reform takes a very long time, and the process can be disheartening and toxic but with armed with compelling evidence and arguments and tenacity, it is possible to achieve great results. This is important to keep in mind in the EU and other jurisdictions currently undergoing copyright law reform reviews. Click here for more.
Captured Copyright Law
[Jonathan Band] A new book by Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles, The Captured Economy, contains important insights on how the U.S. copyright system impedes economic growth and promotes income inequality in America. Lindsey, vice president of the Niskanen Center, describes himself as a libertarian. Teles, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University, describes himself as a liberal. Their basic thesis is that powerful corporations and professionals use government regulation to eliminate competition and increase their wealth, thereby promoting inequality and slowing economic growth. Intellectual property law is one of their case studies. Click here for more.
Creative Commons USA Releases OER State Legislative Guide
[Creative Commons USA] This week, Creative Commons USA released a new resource for state policymakers interested in tackling the high cost of college textbooks and improving student outcomes in the process. The resource, an “OER State Legislative Guide,” is meant to provide policymakers and staff with a cross-sectional, annotated set of legislative texts that help expand the use of OER (open educational resources), a powerful alternative to the broken textbook market. The move comes in conjunction with our partners at SPARC, who released an “OER State Policy Playbook,” detailing recommendations and strategies for how states can take ownership of the problem. Click here for more.
Educators Ask for a Better Copyright
[Communia Association] Today COMMUNIA sent a joint letter to all MEPs working on copyright reform. The letter is an urgent request to improve the education exception in the proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. It is supported by 35 organisations representing schools, libraries, universities and non-formal education, and also individual educators and information specialists. The future of education determines the future of society. In the letter we explain the changes needed to facilitate the use of copyrighted works in support of education. We listed four main problems with the Commission’s proposal. Click here for more.
How Closed Trade Deals Ratchet Up the Copyright Term Worldwide
[Jeremy Malcolm] … differences in copyright term make things more complicated for copyright holders, there are constant efforts by some copyright holders to try to homogenize the duration of copyright so that they can more easily enforce their copyrights worldwide—and of course, they would like them to be harmonized at the life-plus-70 year term, so that they can extract another 20 years of monopoly rents, over and above the Berne Convention’s standard life-plus-50 year term. Trade agreements are one way that they are trying to achieve this. Click here for more.