EFF, libraries: Keep your ACTA out of our Internet!

19 07 2009

[Note from ell: Please notice this one, carefully . . . this is how we got the DMCA . . . the thing was, essentially, slipped through, first, as a trade agreement then rammed down the throat of Congress. Here we go again]

A coalition of digital lobbying groups and library organizations are demanding that the US government drop its support for the most controversial part of the (generally controversial) Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Internet-related issues

ACTA, currently being negotiated secretly by the US, Japan, Canada, the EU, and others, will cover a host of cross-border concerns. And what could be more cross-border than the Internet? That’s why ACTA contains a blank section on Internet issues; the text is still being negotiated, but we already know that copyright holders hope that goodies like ISP filtering and graduated response end up in the final language of the treaty. Government negotiators refuse to give hints about what sorts of measures they are pushing for inclusion in this key section of the treaty.

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New Zealand proposes new “3 strikes” process for P2P users

15 07 2009

New Zealand’s first attempt at passing a “three strikes” law fell apart as rights holders and Internet service providers were unable to agree on a voluntary code of practice. One of the biggest concerns was the lack of due process; how could New Zealand avoid presuming that the accused were guilty yet still develop a means of judging accusations that was cheaper and faster than the country’s High Court?

Given the rancorous debate over the subject, the government scrapped its law earlier this year and went back to the drawing board. It convened a working group of “intellectual property and Internet law experts” to advise it on a fair solution to the problem of repeated online copyright infringement. That group has now concluded its work, and New Zealand’s Ministry of Economic Development yesterday issued its policy proposal (PDF) for public comment.

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European publishers want a law to control online news access

10 07 2009

The desertion of advertising dollars from the ailing print media industry has left publishers searching for more of the one thing that the Internet seems intent on denying them: paying customers. Print publications in the US and Europe are scrambling to find ways to charge somebody—readers, link aggregators, blogs, competitors—for deriving any sort of benefit from the reporting they’re doing.

A group of European publishers has recently released a declaration of principles, the “Hamburg Declaration,” that amounts to a long-winded rant against the Internet for stealing their news. They want the government to step in and fix the situation by force of law.

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More on WIPO and Indigenous Knowledge

6 07 2009

AGRICULTURE: A Stormy Time for Indigenous Wisdom
By Stephen Leahy*


VIENNA, Jul 6 (Tierramérica) – Indigenous peoples risk losing control over their traditional knowledge if the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) insists on strict standards for managing access to information.

more

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Traditional Knowledge should not be ignored – IIED

29 06 2009

Namaste
Since a London institute has recognised this, probably…probably there would be some debate about recognising the importance of community knowledge.

dhanyavaad
Ayush

‘Traditional knowledge should not be overlooked

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) Communities the world over risk losing control over their traditional knowledge because a UN agency insists on using existing intellectual property standards for managing access to the information, a global research organisation has warned.

more

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British music boss: we should have embraced Napster

28 06 2009

Geoff Taylor, head of UK major label trade group BPI, wrote an op-ed piece for the BBC today in which he called Napster the “Rosetta Stone of digital music,” said it was “simple to understand and use,” and said that the music industry should have “embraced Napster rather than fighting it.”

While this might sound radical, it’s not actually a controversial position among major label executives anymore—a top RIAA executive said the same things to me last week at the Jammie Thomas-Rasset trial in Minnesota.

More interesting is the rationale for why such a deal never got done. If Napster was truly the “Rosetta Stone” that unlocked the mysteries of digital online distribution, why was it sued out of existence?

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Japan Strengthens Copyright Law

28 06 2009

Billboard.biz

June 16, 2009

By Rob Schwartz, Tokyo

The Japanese parliament has passed an amendment to the existing Copyright Law that extends further protections to copyright holders and, for the first time, makes it illegal for private users to download copyrighted material that has been uploaded without the rights holders’ permission.

The new statute will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2010 but contains several caveats that raise the question of how it will be enforced. The user must be aware that the files were illegally uploaded and the new law does not stipulate any fine or jail term for contravening it.

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Record biz tries suing Irish ISPs into submission

23 06 2009

The major music labels are committed to the idea of graduated response, but they aren’t wedded to any particular method of implementation. In France, disconnecting repeated online copyright infringers has been pushed by legislation. In the US, the RIAA wants ISPs to sign up to a voluntary scheme. But in Ireland, the “sue-them-into-doing-what-we-want” school of thought has triumphed.

The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) has filed lawsuits against two of the country’s largest ISPs, seeking to force compliance with an Internet disconnection scheme. It worked well enough earlier this year, when Ireland’s largest ISP Eircom settled a similar case with the industry and agreed to implement a graduated response program. After a third accusation of online copyright infringement, Eircom will disconnect a user’s Internet connection.

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Who’s afraid of a digital world? The World Copyright Summit

12 06 2009

Over the last two days, copyright owners from around the world gathered in Washington, DC for the second World Copyright Summit. Christine Albanel, the French Minister of Culture, was supposed to speak but had to withdraw at the last minute. Why? She offered no explanation, but we have a guess.

The event was organized by CISAC—the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers. In other words, this is a society of societies. CISAC is chaired by Robin Gibb of Bee Gees infamy, and Gibb has just one thing on his mind: stayin’ alive Internet piracy.

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Stern letters from ISPs not enough to stop P2P use after all

10 06 2009

Last year, the UK-focused Digital Entertainment Survey came to a shocking conclusion: 70 percent of people sharing copyrighted files on the Internet would change their piratical ways if they received a warning notice from their ISPs. This was music to the ears of the record business, but it couldn’t last; this year, the 70 percent figure has plummeted to 33 percent.

The 2009 survey finds that UK file-swappers just aren’t worried about warning letters alone anymore. The change may be due to the UK government’s quite public pronouncements that “disconnection” of repeat offenders isn’t going to happen, removing the implicit threat behind the warning letters.

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