(Michael Geist) On the heels of the leak of various country positions on ACTA transparency, an even bigger leak has hit the Internet. A new European Union document canvasses the Internet and Civil Enforcement chapters, disclosing in complete detail the proposals from the U.S., the counter-proposals from the EU, Japan, and other ACTA participants. The 44-page document also highlights specific concerns of individual countries on a wide range of issues including ISP liability, anti-circumvention rules, and the scope of the treaty. This is probably the most significant leak to-date since it goes even beyond the transparency debate by including specific country positions and proposals.
(OUT-LAW News) Cafes, pubs, universities and libraries that offer wireless internet access will not be granted a special exemption from measures aimed at tackling copyright infringement, the Government has said. The Government's controversial Digital Economy Bill makes an internet access subscriber liable for the copyright-infringing behaviour of others. Internet law expert Professor Lilian Edwards had previously warned that without an exemption the measure would have a damaging effect. The Government has now published guidance to the Bill which clarifies that organisations providing access will be granted no such exemption.
(Guardian) Microsoft has been forced to backtrack after it closed down a whistleblowing website after it published a leaked version of the company's "spy guide". The American software giant took action against the Cryptome website for publishing a copy of the Microsoft Global Criminal Compliance Handbook, a document explaining how law enforcement officials can access millions of people's private information online. Microsoft said the publication infringed its copyright and lodged a complaint with Cryptome's web hosting company, Network Solutions. Network Solutions shut down the website entirely - a move that caused uproar among civil liberties campaigners, and led Microsoft to withdraw its complaint so that Cryptome could go back online. The company did not intend to close the site - just remove the document in question.
(Michael Geist) Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor, has issued a 20-page opinion expressing concern about ACTA. The opinion focuses on three key issues: three strikes legislation, cross-border data sharing as part of enforcement initiatives, and transparency. Although the EDPS acknowledges the importance of enforcing intellectual property rights, he takes the view that a three strikes Internet disconnection policy constitutes a disproportionate measure. It can be questioned whether data transfers to third countries in the context of ACTA are legitimate. The principles of necessity and proportionality of the data transfers under ACTA would be more easily met if the agreement was expressly limited to fighting the most serious IPR infringement offences, instead of allowing for bulk data transfers relating to any suspicions of IPR infringements. The EDPS strongly encourages the European Commission to establish a public and transparent dialogue on ACTA, possibly by means of a public consultation.
(BBC) Bloggers told they have violated terms without further explanation, as years of archives are wiped off the internet. In what critics are calling "musicblogocide 2010", Google has deleted at least six popular music blogs that it claims violated copyright law. These sites, hosted by Google's Blogger and Blogspot services, received notices only after their sites ? and years of archives ? were wiped from the internet.
(Technology And Internet News) The Peer to Patent project has already earned its place in history. It was explicitly cited as inspiration for the open government initiative in the Obama administration, which recently released a comprehensive directive covering federal agencies. It's encouraging to hear that a new pilot has started in Australia and has gathered a small community of volunteer patent art seekers. You
can check out the official site
and its Wikipedia page.
(BBC) A Paris court has found Google guilty of copyright infringement in a ruling which could have ramifications for its plans to digitise the world's books. The search giant must pay 300,000 euros in damages and interest to French publisher La Martiniere. It was one of many to take Google to court for digitising its books without explicit permission. Google was also ordered to pay 10,000 euros a day until it removes extracts of the books from its database.
(Computing) Virgin Media is trialling a copyright infringement tool that could be built into the technology underpinning its upcoming music download subscription service. The Detica-supplied system is now being tested by the internet service provider (ISP) in what is claimed to be a UK first. According to Virgin, the trial is aimed at understanding how consumer behaviour is changing and will also support upcoming government requirements for measurement of copyright infringement levels on ISP' networks. see also Net piracy: The people vs the entertainment industry (New Scientist) and What does Detica detect? by Richard Clayton.
(Open Rights) by Francis Davey. This is an explanation and analysis of the "copyright infringement provisions" of the Digital Economy Bill. These provisions are being popularly referred to as "three strikes" law directed against peer to peer file sharing. This is an extremely serious misconception. The bill gives enormous powers - exercisable with no Parliamentary oversight - to the Secretary of State to require the disconnection of individuals' internet access for any reason. Not only is there no requirement for such disconnections to relate to a number of "strikes" there is no need for disconnection to be linked to infringement of copyright. The Bill's proposal goes far beyond what we have seen attempted in other countries such as France and New Zealand. See also
Explanatory notes prepared by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
(boersenblatt.net) Viviane Reding, Brüsseler Medienkommissarin und designierte EU-Kommissarin für Justiz, Grund- und Bürgerrechte, spricht mit boersenblatt.net über Google und den Rest der Welt, über verwaiste Bücher und deren Bewahrung für die Öffentlichkeit und über die Herkulesarbeit der Digitalisierung gemeinfreier Werke.
(Guardian) The digital economy bill is misnamed. A more honest title for the legislation, recently introduced in the Lords, would be the copyright protection and punishment bill. It is less about creating the digital businesses of the 21st century than protecting the particular 20th century business models used in music and film. See also Digital Economy Bill: Industry disputes gov't claims.
(EFF) We're happy to announce our involvement in a truly global project: Copyright Watch. Working with academics, libraries and copyright monitors from across the world, Copyright Watch brings together the most recent copies of laws from as many countries as we could find. And with that global team, we'll be tracking new proposals, consultations, and freshly passed regulations: finding the promising changes, and highlighting the spectacularly bad ideas hopefully before they can take hold.
(Reuters) Google and the Authors Guild filed a new version of a deal to create a massive online library in hopes that changes will answer possible antitrust and copyright concerns in the United States and overseas. Amendments to the settlement were crafted after extensive meetings with the Justice Department, according to the parties. Google's plan to put millions of books online has been praised for bringing broad access to books but has also been criticized on antitrust, copyright and privacy grounds. In one shift, money from unclaimed or orphan works will go to an independent fiduciary rather than go to the registry. Also, books in the registry and covered by the deal were reduced to those copyrighted in the United States or published in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
(Christian Engström, Pirate MEP) The European Parliament's delegation to the Telecoms Package conciliation process had a stormy meeting last Tuesday. It then adopted a text to serve as the basis for the continued negotiations with the Council of Ministers. On Thursday, the Council replied by proposing a modified version of that text. I called their proposal "An insult to the Parliament". The Parliament's text tries to stop Member States from creating laws and institutions to shut people off en masse from the Internet, without even a proper trial before it happens. The goal is to stop things like the French Hadopi law, or similar laws that are currently being prepared in the UK. I will go through the beginning of the text and point out what the various changes that the Council insisted on actually mean, and why the difference between the two versions is the difference between a yes or a no to Hadopi laws.
(RAPID) The European Commission has published a reflection paper on the challenge of creating a European Digital Single Market for creative content like books, music, films or video games. According to Commission studies, a truly Single Market without borders for Creative Online Content could allow retail revenues of the creative content sector to quadruple if clear and consumer-friendly measures are taken by industry and public authorities. The digital availability of content thus presents great opportunities for Europe, but also a number of challenges. First of all, regulatory and territorial obstacles still stand in the way of digital distribution of cultural products and services and can impede creativity and innovation. In addition, illegal downloads on a large scale can jeopardize the development of an economically viable Single Market for digital content; there needs to be much more encouragement for legal cross-border offers. The reflection paper outlines current challenges for three groups of stakeholders ? rightholders, consumers and commercial users ? and invites everybody interested to participate in a broad debate about the possible European responses to them. Comments can be sent by 5 January 2010
(RAPID) The European Commission has adopted a Communication on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy aiming to tackle the important cultural and legal challenges of mass-scale digitisation and dissemination of books, in particular of European library collections. The Communication was jointly drawn up by Commissioners Charlie McCreevy and Viviane Reding. Digital libraries such as Europeana will provide researchers and consumers across Europe with new ways to gain access to knowledge. For this, however, the EU will need to find a solution for orphan works, whose uncertain copyright status means they often cannot be digitised. Improving the distribution and availability of works for persons with disabilities, particularly the visually impaired, is another cornerstone of the Communication.
(RAPID) Viviane Reding Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media. EDiMA's White Paper on Policy Strategy for the Development of New Media Services 2009-2014 ? Launch Breakfast Event Brussels, 1 October 2009
(RAPID) Joint Statement of EU Commissioners Reding and McCreevy on the occasion of Google Books meetings in Brussels. Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, and Charlie McCreevy, Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, have made a joint statement setting out the important cultural and economic stakes of book digitisation in Europe. To face the daunting task of digitising Europe's books, of which there are tens of millions in Europe's national libraries alone, the two Commissioners stressed the need for fully respecting copyright rules to ensure fair remuneration for authors, but also welcomed public-private partnerships as a means to boost digitisation of books. They highlighted the need to adapt Europe's still very fragmented copyright legislation to the digital age, in particular with regard to orphan and out-of-print works. The statement of the two Commissioners comes ahead of a series of workshops and meetings between the Commission, cultural institutions, right holders, IT companies and consumer organisations, which start with an information hearing on the US class action settlement on Google Book Search. see also articles in BBC, Guardian and New York Times.
(Economist) The internet giant's plan to create a vast digital library should be given a green light. To its opponents, it is a brazen attempt by a crafty monopolist to lock up some of the world's most valuable intellectual property. To its fans, it is a laudable effort by a publicly minded company to unlock a treasure trove of hidden knowledge. Next month an American court will hold a hearing on an agreement, signed last year by Google and representatives of authors and publishers, to make millions of books in America searchable online. The case has stirred up passions, conflict and conspiracy theories worthy of a literary blockbuster. See also Google books - Tome raider. A fuss over Google's effort to build a huge digital library.
(New York Times) In response to Amazon's filing in opposition to Google's landmark settlement with publishers and authors, the Authors Guild, one of the parties to the settlement, fired back with a statement on its Web site. In its filing, Amazon said the settlement would violate antitrust laws by giving Google a monopoly over millions of so-called orphan works and create a cartel controlled by authors and publishers for setting prices for e-books. "Amazon"s hypocrisy is breathtaking," the guild's statement read. "It dominates online bookselling and the fledgling e-book industry."
(Guardian) Google's ambition to create the largest body of human knowledge on the internet by scanning millions of library books and turning them into a massive digital publishing venture is prompting growing opposition from authors and legal experts who object to its scope and copyright implications. Opponents and supporters of Google's plans are lining up for a showdown that will come to a head on 4 September, the deadline for submissions to be lodged with a Manhattan court that is reviewing the scheme, known as Google Book Search. see also A plan to scan (FT).
(Tech and Law) I'd previously blogged the Associated Press's announcement about a new system they were going to use to "wrap" their content to track its usage. As far as I could see from what the AP had said, it wasn't DRM in the sense that people normally understand it. I've now further updated my blog post to refer to an excellent article by Ars Technica which also can't figure out how on earth hNews can be used to "wrap" and "protect" content in the all-encompassing way that the AP seem to be suggesting. "One is struck by the thought that perhaps the AP has been snookered into believing that it's getting 'DRM for news', when in reality it's simply using an open-source news metadata markup language with Creative Commons rights expression". See previous QuickLinks item.
(BBC) Web users suspected of file-sharing are being cut off without warning by internet service provider (ISP) Karoo, based in Hull. Karoo, the only ISP in the area, makes customers sign a document promising not to repeat the offence in order to get their service restored.
(OUT-LAW News) A pioneering patent system being piloted in the US has been stopped from accepting new submissions. The Peer-to-Patent project harnessed web users' knowledge to improve patent quality but the project has been curtailed. It will no longer assess new patents, but will process those already on its books, which is expected to take until October. The system was launched two years ago as an attempt to harness the wisdom of web users to ensure that nobody was granted a patent monopoly on things that had already been invented. The service may be reinstated after a period of analysis, though. US President Barack Obama has named a supporter of the programme as the next head of the USPTO. David Kappos has been named as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.
(New York Times) In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm" from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them. An Amazon spokesman, Drew Herdener, said in an e-mail message that the books were added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have rights to them, using a self-service function.
(Guardian) The National Portrait Gallery has threatened legal proceedings for breach of copyright against a man who downloaded thousands of high-resolution images from its website, and placed them in an archive of free-to-use images on Wikipedia. There has been no formal response from the internet encyclopedia but Derrick Coetzee, who downloaded the images, promptly uploaded the letter from the London lawyers Farrar and Co, "to enable public discourse on the issue". See also Wikipedia painting row escalates (BBC).
(EPC) Senior members of the publishing world are presenting to Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding and Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, a landmark declaration adopted on intellectual property rights in the digital world in a bid to ensure that opportunities for a diverse, free press and quality journalism thrive online into the future. see the Hamburg Declaration. The declaration started life as a regional initiative in Germany and then enjoyed nationwide support. Now, with the support of members of EPC and WAN-IFRA, the "Hamburg Declaration" has become an important international initiative. see also Working with News Publishers (Google European Public Policy Blog).
(New York Times) Leading European newspaper and magazine publishers have called on the European Commission to strengthen copyright protection as a way to lay the groundwork for new ways to generate revenue online. The publishers said widespread use of their work by online news aggregators and other Web sites was undermining their efforts to develop an online business models at a time when readers and advertisers are defecting from newspapers and magazines. See Press Release (EPC) and the Hamburg Declaration. The declaration started life as a regional initiative in Germany and then enjoyed nationwide support. Now, with the support of members of EPC and WAN-IFRA, the "Hamburg Declaration" has become an important international initiative.
(01net) Lors du lancement de son nouveau site, l´institut a mis en ligne 200 000 spots. Interpellé dans une lettre ouverte par une société de production, il reconnaît ne pas avoir consulté les ayants droit.
(IDG News Service) A U.S. company will seek legal action against Lenovo, Acer and Sony next week over their shipment in China of controversial software that the company says stole its programming code. Solid Oak Software may also take action against other PC makers that have started shipping the software. The software, an Internet filtering tool that blocks pornographic and political content, copied files from Solid Oak's own Internet content control product, according to the company. In recent weeks China ordered domestic and foreign PC makers to bundle the software, called Green Dam Youth Escort, with all computers sold in the country. It postponed the requirement just hours before the original deadline this week, but said it did so only because PC makers needed more time to ship the program.
(Reuters) Le Conseil constitutionnel a censuré la partie sanction de la loi Hadopi la "riposte graduée" sur le téléchargement illégal. Considérant qu'"Internet est une composante de la liberté d'expression et de consommation", et qu'"en droit français c'est la présomption d'innocence qui prime", le Conseil rappelle dans sa décision que "c'est à la justice de prononcer une sanction lorsqu'il est établi qu'il y a des téléchargements illégaux". Le Conseil constitutionnel estime donc que le projet de loi enfreint deux articles de la déclaration des droits de l'homme de 1789, qu'il est également chargé de défendre. D'abord, l'article 11 qui protège "la liberté de communication et d'expression" et qui "fait l'objet d'une constante jurisprudence protectrice", expliquent les sages. A ce titre, le pouvoir de "restreindre l'exercice, par toute personne, de son droit de s'exprimer et de communiquer librement" ne peut "incomber qu'au juge", affirment-ils. Ensuite l'article 9 de la déclaration, qui "pose le principe de présomption d'innocence". "Seul le titulaire du contrat d'abonnement à Internet pouvait faire l'objet des sanctions instituées", dénonce le Conseil. Or, "pour s'exonérer, il lui incombait de produire des éléments de nature à établir que l'atteinte portée au droit d'auteur procède de la fraude d'un tiers", ce qui institue "une présomption de culpabilité" que les sages jugent inacceptable. "Le rôle de la Haute Autorité (Hadopi) est d'avertir le téléchargeur qu'il a été repéré, mais pas de le sanctionner", conclut le Conseil. Voir la Décision du Conseil Constitutionnel.
(CBC) The Conference Board of Canada (a not-for-profit research organization) has recalled three reports advocating tighter copyright rules, stating that the reports didn't follow research standards. The board said it was recalling Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Economy; National Innovation Performance and Intellectual Property Rights: A Comparative Analysis; and Intellectual Property Rights-Creating Value and Stimulating Investment. It said an internal review showed the reports "did not follow the high-quality research standards of the Conference Board of Canada." University of Ottawa law Prof. Michael Geist, who writes frequently about internet copyright issues, attacked the form and content of the reports, calling one of them "deceptive and plagiarized."
(BBC) Persistent illegal file-sharers should be cut off from the net, an alliance of UK creative industries will tell the government later. The alliance wants the government to force internet service providers (ISPs) to disconnect users who ignore repeated warnings about sharing illegal content. John Woodward, head of the UK Film Council, said illegal file-sharing was hurting film-making and risking jobs. The coalition says more than 50% of net traffic in the UK is illegal content.
(Communia) The Economist has launched a new online debate on copyright and wrongs. In support of the initial motion ("existing copyright laws do more harm than good") we have Professor William Fisher (Harvard Law School), while Professor Justin Hughes (Cardozo Law School, New York) argues against it. Users can publish comment all along and even vote on that motion.
(Rapid) The Commission welcomes the European Parliament's endorsement of a proposal to extend term of copyright protection for performers and record producers from 50 to 70 years. The Commission is also pleased that the Parliament's text has further strengthened the position of performers by introducing a new claim for session players amounting to 20% of record labels' offline and online sales revenue. According to the proposal, performers can also recover their copyright after 50 years, should the producer fail to market the sound recording. Finally, a newly introduced 'clean slate' would prevent record producers from making deductions to the royalties they pay to featured performers.
(BBC) Internet traffic in Sweden fell by 33% as the country's new anti-piracy law came into effect. Sweden's new policy - the Local IPRED law - allows copyright holders to force internet service providers (ISP) to reveal details of users sharing files. According to figures released by the government statistics agency - Statistics Sweden - 8% of the entire population use peer-to-peer sharing. Popular BitTorrent sharing site, The Pirate Bay, is also based in Sweden.
(New York Times) The dusty stacks of the nation's great university and research libraries are full of orphans ? books that the author and publisher have essentially abandoned. They are out of print, and while they remain under copyright, the rights holders are unknown or cannot be found. Now millions of orphan books may get a new legal guardian. Google has been scanning the pages of those books and others as part of its plan to bring a digital library and bookstore, unprecedented in scope, to computer screens across the United States. But a growing chorus is complaining that a far-reaching settlement of a suit brought against Google by publishers and authors is about to grant the company too much power over orphan works.
(Guardian) The government has fleshed out the digital rights agency proposed in Lord Carter's Digital Britain report and called for comment from the industry and consumers. The agency would establish a co-regulatory approach for navigating online copyright issues for film and music content, including illegal file sharing. The paper published by the Intellectual Property Office was described as a "straw man" - meaning it is designed to provoke debate rather than represent policy. The government called on creators, commercial rights holders and consumer groups to submit responses.
(BBC) YouTube will not reverse its decision to block music videos to UK users despite a plea from the Performing Rights Society to change its mind. It is removing all premium music videos to UK users after failing to reach a new licensing agreement with the PRS. Patrick Walker, YouTube's director of video partnerships said it remained committed to agreeing terms. But such agreement needed to be done "at a rate which is sustainable to all", he told the BBC. Thousands of videos were made unavailable to YouTube users from late on 9 March.
(CNET) Swedish police reported making a major Internet piracy bust. Authorities seized computer equipment belonging to a Stockholm-area man whom they suspected of violating local copyright law. The seized server contained 65 terabytes of digital data, consisting of films, TV series, computer programs, and the music equivalent of 16,000 movies, according to the Antipiracy Agency, an organization based in Sweden that's supported by a consortium of film and game organizations to fight Internet piracy.
(Guardian) The culture secretary, Andy Burnham, is aiming to have the framework of an international strategy to combat illegal internet downloads agreed with the US and European partners by the autumn. Burnham's ambitious plan, part of a five-pronged strategy to bolster the ailing music industry, was outlined by the government minister at a parliamentary reception involving groups including the BPI, which represents UK record companies. The ultimate aim of the plan would be to develop a consensus with other governments that would make the UK's own initiatives to combat internet piracy more likely to succeed. Burnham said the government is seeking a 70% to 80% reduction in illegal downloads with its plans in the UK.
(OUT-LAW News) Dell is trying to have a trade mark owned by rival Psion cancelled because it believes the term 'netbook' is now a generic name for small, cheap computers. Psion applied to register the term as a trade mark in 1996. Dell has filed for cancellation with the US Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO), arguing that the trade mark has been abandoned, that Psion has made false claims in declarations about the trade mark and that the term has now become generic. Psion has recently been asserting its rights to control the term 'netbook' as small, cheap computers become a fast-selling item.
(CNET) The trial against The Pirate Bay site has begun in Sweden. And while Sweden is depicted by copyright-enforcement groups as piracy's promised land, it is also a nation that experiments with legal music-service alternatives. For years, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the Motion Picture Association of America have depicted Sweden as rife with digital piracy. During the time leading up to the trial, though, at least three innovative, legal alternatives for listening to digital music have been launched in Sweden: Spotify, Tunerec, and Chilirec. Spotify has forged agreements with organizations such as Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, EMI Music, Warner Music Group, Merlin, The Orchard, and CD Baby, and now offers millions of songs streamed online. See also Pirate Bay: we don't know nothin' about org charts, contracts (Ars Technica) and Pirate Bay Crew Chums Up to Foes Over Lunch (Wired).
(Ars Technica) "Three strikes" rules have come to Ireland in a sudden and unexpected way, as the country's largest ISP settles a court case brought by the music industry and agrees to take action on file-swappers. Repeat offenders will be disconnected from the 'Net. One of Ireland's largest ISPs, Eircom, has capitulated to the major music labels and agreed to implement a full "graduated response" program - complete with disconnections. Users get two warnings regarding file-sharing, and a third violation brings down the banhammer. The music industry has already said that it intends to pursue the same agreement with Ireland's other ISPs. The dispute began some time ago when the Irish branches of EMI, Warner, Universal, and Sony filed suit against Eircom. They charged that the ISP was essentially aiding and abetting piracy by doing things like advertising its services on The Pirate Bay, and the labels believed they could get a judge to force the ISP to install network monitoring equipment.
(OUT-LAW News) The Government will create legislation forcing internet service providers (ISPs) to gather information on customers engaged in illegal file-sharing, and forcing them to contact repeat offenders warning them that their behaviour is against the law. The proposal forms part of an interim report, Digital Britain. The proposed legislation stops short of forcing ISPs to directly disconnect suspected file-sharers. The law will create a code on unlawful file-sharing which ISPs would have to sign, and whose enforcement would be carried out by media and telecoms regulator Ofcom. The Government will also create a new rights agency, which would gather together content creators in different disciplines and encourage them to find ways to prevent piracy and ways to make the legal use of their content more attractive. It would involve creators from the worlds of music, film, television, computer games and software, the report said.
(BBC) Ninety-five per cent of music downloaded online is illegal, a report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has said. The global music trade body said this is its biggest challenge as artists and record companies miss out on payments. There has, however, been a 25% rise since last year with downloads now accounting for a fifth of all recorded music sales. The IFPI said worldwide music market revenues shrank by 7% last year. This was blamed on falling CD sales, while the increase in digital sales failed to make up for this.
(Press Releae) The Intellectual Property Office has set out a framework to guide the UK's copyright policy for the 21st century. The Intellectual Property Office is seeking input from key players in the creative industries and a series of engagements, programmes and forums will look to develop a copyright agenda that supports creativity, investment and jobs and which inspires the confidence of businesses and users. The period of stakeholder engagement will run until February 2009. It will look to engage with hard to reach stakeholders like SMEs and consumers as well as the traditional creative industry sector. The Intellectual Property Office are looking to publish the final report before summer 2009. The new Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) will play an important role in the development of this work. Issues paper.
(TechCrunch) MySpace is getting back into the business of blocking third party widgets - they've banned embedded music widgets from the fast growing Project Playlist under threat of litigation from the major labels. MySpace they confirmed the ban, noting that they have received infringement notices from "major music companies". But see Good news for Project Playlist: Sony BMG strikes deal (CNET News). Project Playlist has struck a deal with Sony BMG to bring the label's catalog to its streaming-music service. It's the first major-label deal for Project Playlist.
(CNET) Negotiations between Warner Music Group and YouTube over renewing the licensing agreement for the record label's music videos broke down and Warner, the third largest record label, removed videos from the Google-owned video site. The impasse comes at a time when all four major labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and EMI, are renegotiating their licensing deals with YouTube.
(CNET) The Recording Industry Association of America said that it no longer plans to wage a legal assault against people who it suspects of pirating digital music files. The music industry has a new form of protection: Internet service providers. The RIAA will alert an ISP that a customer appears to be file sharing. The ISP will then notify the person that he or she appears to be file sharing. If the behavior by the customer doesn't change, then more e-mails will be sent. If the customer ignores these e-mails, then the ISP may choose to suspend the person's service. If all else fails, they can choose to discontinue service. see also Hollywood wants in on ISP "graduated responses," too (Ars Technica).
(Journal du Net) La ministre de la Culture, Christine Albanel a commandé le 2 novembre dernier une nouvelle étude relative aux "différentes solutions possibles à la question de la prévention de la lutte contre le piratage" au juriste Pierre Sirinelli, membre du Conseil supérieur de la propriété littéraire et artistique (CSPLA, placé sous la tutelle du ministère de la Culture). La ministre souhaite notamment que ce rapport étudie la piste d'une charte signée à la fois par les ayants-droit et les acteurs du Web 2.0, dans laquelle chacune des parties reconnaîtrait la bonne volonté et les engagements de l'autre en matière de lutte contre le piratage.
(Heise) Nach dem Landgericht hat nun auch das Oberlandesgericht München mit Urteil vom 23. Oktober 2008 seine zunächst im Eilverfahren ergangene Entscheidung im Streit des Heise Zeitschriften Verlags gegen verschiedene Unternehmen der Musikindustrie bestätigt. Danach bleibt es dem Verlag verboten, im Rahmen der redaktionellen Berichterstattung über Kopierschutzsoftware einen Link auf die Webpräsenz des Unternehmens Slysoft zu setzen.
(Guardian) It took a multimillion dollar lawsuit, two years of tense negotiations, and an awful lot of scanning. But yesterday the publishing world stood on the threshold of a digital era after a US deal paved the way to transform publishing. The agreement between Google and the US book industry means that internet users will soon be able to choose from and buy millions of titles, many out of print, or read them on a page-by-page basis. see New chapter for Google Book Search (Official Google Blog) by David Drummond and The Future of Google Book Search. See also Google settles with book publishers, becomes bookseller.
(OUT-LAW News) Google has lost two German court cases over copyright in images displayed as thumbnails in search results. German courts ruled in both cases that Google's display of miniature versions of pictures without permission infringed copyright in the originals. The search giant will lodge one appeal covering both cases.
(EDRI-gram) The President of the European Commission has refused French President Sarkozy's request to withdraw Amendment 138 included in the Telecoms Package recently voted by the European Parliament. Amendment 138 which basically reinstates the legal issue of the freedom to communicate of Internet users, reaffirming that only threats to public security can justify the restriction to the free circulation of information on the Internet without a court decision, was voted with a large majority by the MEPs, fact which largely displeased EU French presidency who has continuously pushed and pressed for the application of the three strike approach introduced by its "Création et Internet" draft bill.
(OUT-LAW News) A judgment by Europe?s highest court has strengthened the rights of database creators to protect their work from being used by third parties without permission. The database right protects against more than just copying and pasting, it ruled. The decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) means that the transfer of material from a protected database to another database may be prevented, even if there is no technical process of copying. The ECJ affirmed the right of the University of Freiburg to protect the content of a database of poem titles from commercial exploitation by an unrelated company. Directmedia Publishing GmbH v Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.
(Libération) Après des débats sru l du Paquet Télécom sous haute tension depuis plusieurs mois, le 24 septembre dernier, 88% des parlementaires européens ont voté ce texte qui établit que seule l´autorité judiciaire, et non une autorité administrative, peut restreindre les droits et libertés fondamentales. Dont l´accès à Internet. Depuis, se multiplient les insultes publiques et les pressions du gouvernement français, et de l´industrie culturelle, pour relativiser, puis faire annuler le texte. Suite à la publication de la lettre envoyée par Nicolas Sarkozy à José Manuel Barroso, le président de la Commission Européenne, pour faire rejeter le texte, la Commission s´est retrouvée dans une position assez inconfortable. La Commission a rejeté la demande de Nicolas Sarkozy. Aujourd´hui, on apprend que Viviane Reding a annulé sa venue aux Rencontres de Dijon 2008, les 18 au 21 octobre prochain.
The cost of registering community trade marks (CTMs) across Europe will fall from ?1,650 to ?1,000, according to the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), the body reponsible for the marks. The plan is the result of a meeting of the body's administrative board and budget committee.
Carl Malamud has devoted his life to liberating laws, regulations, court cases, and the other myriad detritus that governments produce daily, but often lock up in proprietary databases or allow for-profit companies to sell for princely sums.
The Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America are lobbying for a pair of bills to rewrite and expand digital copyright law, designed to give the federal government more power to police copyright violations.
(ISOC-ECC) The purpose of this Aide Memoire is to express the comments of European Chapters of the Internet Society with regard to proposed restrictions on access to and use of the Internet, in the name of protection of intellectual property rights. Recognising the importance of copyright, some proposed measures go beyond that which would be necessary or effective. In short, the signatories, consider that the proposed French law in particular is a disproportionate response to the stated objectives of the EU Commission's Communication and that the proposed measures and sanctions reflect a lack of understanding as to the nature of the Internet with unfavourable consequences for the use of the Internet for many economic and social purposes. See also version française.
(News.com) Microsoft has been granted a patent on 'Page Up' and 'Page Down' keystrokes. The software giant applied for the patent in 2005, and was granted it on August 19, 2008. US patent number 7,415,666 describes "a method and system in a document viewer for scrolling a substantially exact increment in a document, such as one page, regardless of whether the zoom is such that some, all or one page is currently being viewed". However, Page Up and Page Down keyboard buttons have been in existence for at least quarter of a century, as evidenced by this image of a 1981 IBM PC keyboard.
(OUT-LAW News) The European Commission "wilfully ignored" studies that it paid for whose conclusions disagreed with its policy and the Commission is misleading the European Union Council, Parliament and citizens over copyright extension, a leading academic has warned. Professor Bernt Hugenholtz is the director of the University of Amsterdam's Institute for Information Law (IViR) and has written an open letter to Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso that is starkly critical of its controversial policies on copyright extension.
The producers of a film defending the anti-evolutionary theories of Intelligent Design probably did not infringe copyright when they used a sample of John Lennon's song Imagine in the film. The judge ruled in the Supreme Court of the State of New York that "fair use is available as a defence in the context of sound recordings." Past rulings outlawed the use of even very short music clips without copyright holders' permission.
Breaching the open source licence that came with free software amounted to infringement of copyright, a US Court of Appeal has ruled. The landmark ruling has been welcomed as a major boost to the free and open source software publishing models.
The body behind the internet's addressing systems has said that it will settle disputes over who wins the right to new generic top level domains (gTLDs) by auction. ICANN has said that auctions will be used if two organisations vying for the right to a gTLD are tied on other grounds.
Microsoft is proving its silliness with the award of a patent on Page Up/Page Down functionality. It was that patents had to be non-obvious to make the cut, but Microsoft here demonstrates that the only obvious thing about patents is that the more they encumber the industry with both silly and even useful "inventions," innovation will be stifled.
A Federal judge refused to dismiss a suit claiming that Universal abused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when it issued a takedown notice to YouTube over a 30-second video of a baby dancing to a Prince song. Judge Fogel held that copyright owners must consider fair use before sending DMCA takedown notices.
(Guardian) A hardline letter sent by the BPI at the 11th hour threatened to undermine a deal to tackle illegal filesharing, prompting the government to express its displeasure of the music industry body in a terse response to record label executives. The BPI's letter, signed by the body's chief executive, Geoff Taylor, was sent to Baroness Vadera, the business minister; the UK's six biggest internet service providers; and the Motion Picture Association of America, the Hollywood studios' trade organisation.
(IDG News Service) Italian media conglomerate Mediaset Group has sued YouTube for ?500 million (US$780 million), alleging the Google video-sharing site illegally hosts thousands of video clips that belong to Mediaset. The suit, filed in civil court in Rome, names both YouTube and parent company Google. The company claims that on June 10, there were 4,643 video clips on YouTube, totalling more than 325 hours of material, owned by Mediaset.
(OUT-LAW News) The UK's six major internet service providers (ISPs) have agreed to write to 1,000 of their subscribers a week on behalf of the music and film industries warning them not to engage in copyright-infringing file-sharing. The announcement came as the Government admitted that an industry-wide voluntary agreement to tackle illegal file sharing is unlikely to emerge. The Government has brokered a deal between content owners and the UK's six major ISPs on the writing to subscribers and on negotiation over what action to take against persistent illegal activity. Those ISPs and the film and music industries will create a code of conduct governing what to do with subscribers who do not stop their activities when warned. No decision has yet been made on whether or not the code will require ISPs to terminate accounts which have been used for illegal file-sharing. See: The Government consultation, including the Memorandum of Understanding(66-page / 499KB PDF)
(AFP) Commission européenne et Etats membres sont tombés d'accord, lors de la réunion informelle des ministres européens de la Culture et de l'Audiovisuel mardi à Versailles, sur la nécessité d'une "obligation d'information" sur les conséquences du piratage sur internet pour les fournisseurs d'accès.
(RAPID) The Commission has adopted a Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy. The Green Paper is an attempt to structure the copyright debate as it relates to scientific publishing, the digital preservation of Europe's cultural heritage, orphan works, consumer access to protected works and the special needs for the disabled to participate in the information society. The Green Paper points to future challenges in the fields of scientific and scholarly publishing, search engines and special derogations for libraries, researchers and disabled people. Comments
should be submitted by 30 November 2008.
(BBC) Music download stores like Apple's iTunes could soon be able to operate one shop for the whole of Europe, under new rules brought in by EU regulators. Currently, iTunes has to negotiate the right to sell music with a different society in every European state. The European Commission says musicians should be free to choose from among the many collecting societies that handle music royalties in the 27-nation EU. The ruling will also let the societies license music in more than one country.
(OUT-LAW News) The European Commission has proposed a Directive that would give performers rights over recordings for 95 years after the recording. The change would give a player on a recording rights for the same length of time as the writer of the material. EU Competition Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has tried before to increase the term of copyright protection for performers but has previously lost the argument. The EU's commissioners have now decided to propose a Directive, though, extending the term from 50 to 95 years. See Terms of Protection page (Europa). See also Veteran rockers set for windfall (BBC).
(Guardian) eBay has won a four-year legal battle with Tiffany over the jeweller's complaint that the online website amounted to a "rat's nest" auction of counterfeit watches, bracelets and necklaces. A judge in New York ruled that eBay could not be held responsible for policing the contents of its site, and that it was Tiffany's role to draw fake designer jewellery to the auctioneer's attention. The verdict is a relief to eBay which lost a similar case in Paris two weeks ago when a French court ordered it to pay ?38.6m in damages to the luxury goods manufacturer LVMH for allowing the sale of fake bags, perfumes and designer clothes.
(BBC) Europeans suspected of putting movies and music on file-sharing networks could be thrown off the web under proposals before Brussels. The powers are in a raft of laws that aim to harmonise the regulations governing Europe's telecom markets. Other amendments added to the packet of laws allow governments to decide which software can be used on the web. Campaigners say the laws trample on personal privacy and turn net suppliers into copyright enforcers.
(BBC) Gooogle must divulge the viewing habits of every user who has ever watched any video on YouTube, a US court has ruled. The ruling comes as part of Google's legal battle with Viacom over allegations of copyright infringement. Digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called the ruling a "set-back to privacy rights". The viewing log, which will be handed to Viacom, contains the log-in ID of users, the computer IP address (online identifier) and video clip details. While the legal battle between the two firms is being contested in the US, it is thought the ruling will apply to YouTube users and their viewing habits everywhere.
(OUT-LAW News) Virgin Media has said that a threat sent out to 800 of its customers that they could be disconnected from the internet because of alleged copyright infringement was a mistake. The envelope containing a letter warning subscribers that their account was being used for illegal file-sharing was printed with the words "Important. If you don't read this, your broadband could be disconnected". A Virgin Media spokeswoman told OUT-LAW that the message was a mistake. "We are not accusing our customers of doing anything, we are alerting them to the fact that illegal file sharing has been tracked to their account. This could have been someone else in the house or an unsecured wireless network. This is an education campaign," she said. The company has shared information with music rights holders' group the BPI in order to identify accounts which may have been used for copyright-infringing file sharing. The spokeswoman said, though, that no names or addresses were passed to the BPI and that it had been responsible for the envelope, a mistake that it was "rectifying immediately".
(ZDNet) Le 1er juillet, la France prendra la présidence de l'Union européenne pour six mois. La ministre de la Culture entend en profiter pour dégager un consensus général sur la lutte contre le téléchargement sur les réseaux peer-to-peer. Christine Albanel, ministre de la Culture, veut transposer le modèle français de lutte contre le téléchargement illégal à l'ensemble de l'Europe. Elle a présenté à la presse ses objectifs en la matière, alors que la France s'apprête à prendre la présidence de l'Union européenne à partir du 1er juillet. voir aussi Projet Hadopi : retour sur les enjeux et les forces en présence.
(OUT-LAW News) Virgin Media has begun sending letters of warning to some of its customers saying that artists' lobby group the BPI has evidence of illegal file sharing from their accounts. Virgin, the UK's second largest ISP, is the first to take such action. The BPI and other content producers' lobby groups and the Government have urged internet service providers (ISPs) to operate a 'three strikes and you're out' policy to cut off internet access from people found to be engaging in illegal file-sharing. The Virgin letters contain no threat of disconnection, but do use a BPI-produced report of alleged illegal file sharing as the basis of the warning to customers to stop the activity.
Anyone who persists in illicit downloading of music or films will be barred from broadband access under a controversial new law that makes France a pioneer in combating internet piracy. Under a cross-industry agreement, internet service providers (ISPs) must cut off access for up to a year for third-time offenders.
CDT released a paper offering a set of principles for addressing potential privacy considerations when deploying digital watermarking technology. Digital watermarks encode information in a media file by making subtle changes to the image, audio, or video. Much like watermarks on stationary, these changes typically would not be noticeable to a person viewing or listening to the content.
(Intellectual Property Watch) Charlie McCreevy, the EU commissioner for the internal market, has suggested that a forum of those directly affected by private copying levies should be set up with a view to finding "common ground" on the surrounding issues between the collecting societies, which administer levies, and electronics firms, which are required to pay them. Artists and consumers groups should take part in this forum, too, he told a Brussels conference. See Opening speech, Conference on 'private copying levies' ? Public Hearing, Centre Borschette, Brussels - 27 May 2008.
(Guardian) Belgian newspapers are pushing for up to 49m in damages from Google for publishing and storing their content without paying or asking permission. Last year the search website lost a lawsuit filed by a number of French-language Belgian newspapers and was forced to remove their content which had been posted on Google News and stored in its search engine cache without the copyright owners' permission. Copiepresse, an organisation that represents the French and German language Belgian press, has summoned Google to appear again in September before a Brussels court that will decide on the claim for damages.
(BBC) A one billion dollar lawsuit against YouTube threatens internet freedom, according to its owner Google. Google's claim follows Viacom's move to sue the video sharing service for its inability to keep copyrighted material off its site. Viacom says it has identified 150,000 unauthorised clips on YouTube. In court documents Google's lawyers say the action "threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information" over the web. They also maintained that YouTube had been faithful to the requirements of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and that they responded properly to claims of infringement.
(Heise) Der Bundesrat hat das Gesetz zur besseren zivilrechtlichen Durchsetzung geistiger Eigentumsrechte abgesegnet. Rechteinhaber erhalten damit erstmals einen Auskunftsanspruch gegen an Rechtsverstößen unbeteiligte Dritte wie Internetprovider. So soll die Identität möglicher Rechtsverletzer etwa in Tauschbörsen einfacher aufgedeckt werden können. Über die Herausgabe von hinter einer IP-Adresse stehenden Nutzerdaten muss ein Richter entscheiden. Das Gesetz soll nun nach der Unterzeichnung durch den Bundespräsidenten und der Veröffentlichung im Bundesgesetzblatt in Kraft treten. siehe auch GVU-Vorstand wirft Providern Verweigerung im "Kampf gegen Raubkopierer" vor
(IDG) Internet service providers, Web site operators and manufacturers of devices that are used by some to pirate content should play a part in stamping out that piracy, Sumner Redstone, chairman and controlling shareholder of both Viacom and CBS, said.
(BBC) The charity Childnet is launching a global information campaign to warn children about the potential dangers of downloading music illegally. The campaign, which is supported by the music industry, will distribute a pocket-sized guide to schools and colleges in 21 countries. Childnet says the risks include breach of copyright, the threat of viruses and the loss of privacy and security.
(BBC) European politicians have voted down calls to throw suspected file-sharers off the net. The idea to cut off persistent pirates formed part of a wide-ranging report on creative industries written for the European parliament. But in a narrow vote MEPs backed an amendment to the report which said net bans conflicted with "civil liberties and human rights".
Patent lawyers beat up on large technology companies lobbying for a U.S. patent system revamp, arguing that their efforts could discourage start-ups, prompt foreign competitors to rip off inventions, and tear apart the economy more generally. The debate over patent system changes that has been raging for several years now largely pits a coalition of major Internet and technology companies--including Microsoft, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Amazon.com, eBay, Oracle, Dell, and Comcast--against seemingly every other industry that relies on patents.
(BBC) The head of one of Britain's biggest internet providers has criticised the music industry for demanding that he act against pirates. The trade body for UK music, the BPI, asked internet service providers to disconnect people who ignore requests to stop sharing music. But Charles Dunstone of Carphone Warehouse, which runs the TalkTalk broadband service, is refusing.
The High Court has overturned a decision of the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) to reject a patent application as being nothing more than software. The UK-IPO said that the ruling is incompatible with other decisions and will appeal. The patentability of software is a controversial area of UK intellectual property law. The question seemed to be settled in a decision by the Court of Appeal in 2006 which outlined how courts should determine whether an invention consists purely of software, and therefore should not be awarded a patent.
(BBC) Sweden's Supreme Court has ruled that advertising breaks inserted into films violate the film-makers' copyright. The case was brought by directors Vilgot Sjoeman and Claes Eriksson, who sued television channel TV4 for introducing ad breaks into their films. The two directors never gave permission for ads to be shown during their films. The ruling will not stop all ads on movies shown on Swedish TV as most directors have signed waivers to allow ads in order to obtain funding.
(OUT-LAW News) Ireland's biggest internet service provider (ISP) is being sued by the four biggest record labels over illegally downloaded music. The labels are demanding that Eircom take action to prevent its network being used to share copyright-infringing material. The Irish subsidiaries of EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner are taking a case under copyright law. They say that Eircom is infringing copyright because its network makes available copies of music without the owners' consent. The record labels want Eircom to filter the offending material out of its service, but Eircom will argue in Ireland's High Court that it has no legal obligation to monitor all the traffic on its network.
(BBC) Warner Music has signed a deal with media site 7digital.com to offer its music without copy protection. Customers in the UK, Ireland, Spain, France and Germany will be able to download albums by artists such as Madonna and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
(ZDNet.fr) Dailymotion annonce le déploiement généralisé de la technologie Signature sur tous ses sites dans le monde. En octobre dernier, le site français de partage de vidéos a passé un accord avec l'Institut national de l'Audiovisuel (Ina), créateur de ce système de protection des contenus audiovisuels. Fonctionnant à partir d'une base d'empreintes numériques, il a été développé en interne par l'organisme public. Signature reconnaît et bloque la mise en ligne de vidéos piratées sur les sites de diffusion tels que Dailymotion.