Yesterday, the European Parliament approved amendments to the controversial Copyright Directive, a piece of legislation intended to update copyright for the internet age. Few pieces of legislation have polarized Europe this much in recent years. Critics said the vote heralded the death of the internet, while supporters congratulated themselves for saving the livelihoods of starving artists and giving US tech giants a poke in the eye.
Posts tagged copyright
The rules governing when a piece of creative content enters the public domain may seem initially straightforward, but determining whether something is truly in the public domain can result in a swamp of obscure rules, strange regulations, legal complexity, and varying interpretations of exceptions.
In most countries, copyright term is based on the life of the author plus an additional set duration of protection — usually from 50 to 70 years beyond the death of the creator. In Mexico, copyright protection lasts for 100 years after the death of the author. Within Europe there have been attempts to harmonise copyright terms across the Member States for about 25 years now. In theory, the copyright duration has been harmonised to 70 years after the death of the last surviving author. In practice however, each Member State has different public domain regulations.
on February 2012, one of the largest library on Earth burned, and no “mainstream” media, no politician denounced it. The reason for this silence is that the library was “illegal” and that it wasn’t a physical one. Library.nu was by far the biggest public library on the internet, with a catalogue of about 400,000 to 1,000,000 books. And, as Christopher Kelty said, it contained “not just any books – not romance novels or the latest best-sellers – but scholarly books: textbooks, secondary treatises, obscure monographs, biographical analyses, technical manuals, collections of cutting edge research in engineering, mathematics, biology, social science and humanities. The texts ranges from so-called “orphan works” (out-of-print, but still copyrighted) to recent issues; from poorly scanned to expertly ripped; from English to German to French to Spanish to Russian, with the occasional Japanese or Chinese text. It was a remarquable effort of collective connoisseurship.”
In Lovecraft, nothing is pure evil, and nothing is good either. The moral of every Lovecraft story is: the world is more complicated than you think, and sometimes in ways that will shorten your lifespan! That’s a hard thing to swallow. Science fiction readers have a better time swallowing it, I think, than some other groups (novelty is part of the reason people choose science fiction over some other genres), but nobody particularly likes to think that everything they know is wrong. That said, it’s a realistic worldview – and Lovecraft was prescient in the sense that it’s a worldview that is far more clearly realistic now, when communications technologies have made it very easy to come across dissenting opinions and well-documented facts that explode your umwelt, than it was during an era when a telephone was an expensive luxury and basic literacy was far less common.
The Atomium, a Brussels landmark, has a Twitter account and engages in copyright and more specifically Freedom of Panorama discussions. In the end it agreed that fixing copyright would make its life easier but admitted that it doesn’t fully understand the rules.
Alberta artist, Peter von Tiesenhausen, has effectively stopped oil corporations from putting a pipeline through his 800 acre property by covering it with artwork and copyrighting the top six inches of his land as an artwork. Realizing that mining companies can legitimately lay claim to any land underneath private property to a depth of six inches, van Tiesenhausen contacted a lawyer who drew up an intellectual property/copyright claim that said that if the oil company disturbed the top six inches in any way, it would be a copyright violation.
In many parts of the developing world, students face barriers to access academic materials. Libraries are often inadequate, and schools and universities are often unable to pay dues for expensive, specialized databases. For these students, the Internet is a vital tool and resource to access materials that are otherwise unavailable to them. Yet despite the opportunities enabled by the Internet, there are still major risks to accessing and sharing academic resources online. A current situation in Colombia exemplifies this problem: a graduate student is facing four to eight years in prison for sharing an academic article on the Internet. He wasn’t making a personal profit from sharing the article—he simply intended for other scientists like him to be able to access and cite this scientific research.
It is, in other words, no longer sufficient to justify a sanction or any other judicial order restricting one’s artistic or journalistic freedom of expression on the basis that a copyright law provision has been infringed. Neither is it sufficient to consider that the unauthorised use, reproduction or public communication of a work cannot rely on one of the narrowly interpreted exceptions in the copyright law itself, including the application of the so-called three-step test […]
So Sweden has granted private corporate interests – the copyright industry – more extensive powers than the Police, in terms of cracking down on the Net and making dissent and civil disobedience dangerous.