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IP & Related
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The battle to reform 300-year-old copyright law for the digital age

The Internet is built on copying. That's true at a purely technical level: as packets of data move around the world, they are copied from network to network, and finally to the end-user's device. But it's also true in terms of how people use the Internet: they are constantly sending copies across the network, whether partial snippets or entire works.
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Does the Copyright Office Belong in a Library? | Peer to Peer Review

It has been a busy time for those of us who watch the doings of the Copyright Office. In addition to releasing a massive report on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization, about which I have written here, the Copyright Office (CO) is the subject of a piece of legislation introduced as a discussion draft on June 3.
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Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal in Google-Oracle Copyright Fight

Many in the tech community expressed dismay at a Supreme Court decision on Monday not to hear the appeal of a copyright decision against Google.
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Have the copyright bullies pushed too hard?

The owners of the film Dallas Buyers Club and the multinationals supporting the world wide fight against illegal downloading have adopted tactics that go too far. While the media companies deserve a modicum of protection from blatant copyright infringement the Coalition’s heavy-handed legislation is likely to cause the average consumer far more headaches than discomfit online pirates.
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Sci-Hub Tears Down Academia's "Illegal" Copyright Paywalls | TorrentFreak

In a lawsuit filed by Elsevier, one of the largest academic publishers, Sci-Hub.org is facing millions of dollars in damages. However, the site has no intentions of backing down and will continue its fight to keep access to scientific knowledge free and open. "I think Elsevier's business model is itself illegal," Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan says.
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Australian Media Exec Uses Dickens & Shakespeare -- Who Both Thrived Without Copyright -- To Explain Why We Need More Copyright | Techdirt

It's really amazing the lengths to which some copyright maximalists will go to push their agenda. Take, for example, the CEO of News Ltd., (the Australian wing of Murdoch's News Corp.), Kim Williams. In a keynote speech to the Australian International Movie Convention, he gave one those typical barn burner speeches about how the entertainment and media industry are collapsing due to infringement and that we need greater enforcement and new laws. Typical stuff. Of course, it's almost entirely wrong.
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Canada Extends Duration of Copyright in Sound Recordings | Canadian Copyright Law, Fourth Edition

Canada has now extended the protection of copyright in performances and sound recordings to 70 years after the release date of the sound recording. This new term is effective 23 June 2015. So pencil in on page 132 of Canadian Copyright Law, Fourth Edition,  the new duration for sound recordings: 70 years.
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An open response to Taylor Swift's rant against Apple

Dear Taylor Swift, I have read your open letter to Apple where you give your reasons for refusing to allow your album ‘1989' to be included on their forthcoming Apple Music streaming service. 

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WIPO Seminar on Copyright and Value of Public Domain - YouTube

WIPO Seminar on Copyright and the Value of the Public Domain Professor Kristofer Erickson from Glasgow University presents his empirical assessment of “Copyr...
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"A Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee " by Matthew Rimmer

The film company, Roadshow, the pay television company Foxtel, and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and News Limited — as well as copyright industries — have been clamouring for new copyright powers and remedies. In the summer break, the Coalition Government has responded to such entreaties from its industry supporters and donors, with a new package of copyright laws and policies.
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UK private copyright exception 'unlawful', rules High Court

The government's decision to introduce private copying rules, which allow people who have acquired permanent and legal copies of copyrighted works to make personal copies of that material, without also introducing a mechanism to compensate rights holders for that activity, was not supported by sufficient evidence, the Court held.
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Netflix VPN Problem? Leave Consumers Alone, Aussie Minister Says | TorrentFreak

As Australia's site blocking Bill took a step closer to becoming law yesterday, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull made it extra clear that VPN use won't be a problem under the legislation. Ordering "the big boys" to sort out the VPN issue between themselves, Turnbull told rightsholders to leave consumers alone.
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Ending the Book Famine: Government moves to ratify Marrakesh Treaty | Australian Digital Alliance

The Marrakesh Treaty on accessible works for the blind and vision impaired has been referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) – the first step towards formal ratification.
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What's Behind The Attack On EU's Outdoor Photography? The Usual Copyright Maximalism And Anti-Americanism | Techdirt

Last week, Tim Cushing explained that one of the bad outcomes of the recent European Parliament committee vote on Julia Reda's copyright reform report was that it recommended limiting freedom of panorama -- the ability to take pictures and make videos of public objects -- to non-commercial use.
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Google's YouTube loses appeal in German copyright case

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A German regional court has ruled that Google's video-sharing website YouTube must prevent users from posting material that infringes copyright law once such a video has been brought to its attention.
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In high-stakes copyright suit, Cox’s “top infringers” beg for privacy

In November, BMG Music and Round Hill Music did what some copyright holders have long threatened: they sued a large ISP, Cox Communications, seeking to hold it responsible for the piracy taking place on its network.
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Amendments to Copyright Act will strengthen copyright holders' rights online | Clayton Utz

Until now there has been no efficient mechanism for copyright owners and exclusive licensees to block access to online locations based overseas that encourage copyright infringement. The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015, which commenced on Friday, introduces new laws to give rights holders who discover infringing material online a way of requiring carriage service providers (CSPs) to take reasonable steps to block access to the content, via an injunction from the Federal Court.
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Australia's dark year for digital liberty - CNET

Data retention, site blocking and three-strikes laws highlight 12 transformative months for online freedom in Australia. We reflect on the year's key moments in the words of the major players involved.
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Two Sides Of Copyright Law To Be Considered By WIPO Committee Next Week

The World Intellectual Property Organization committee on copyright is meeting next week with an agenda of discussions on a potential international instrument to protect broadcasting organisations’ copyrights, and at the same time exceptions and limitations to copyright for the benefit of libraries, archives, education, research, and persons with disabilities other than sight impairment.
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Freedom of panorama: EU proposal could mean holiday snaps breach copyright

EU plans to reform copyright law could see Britons facing legal action for publishing photos they have taken of famous landmarks
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Thoughts on the Copyright Office Report and Orphan Works | Authors Alliance

The Copyright Office report on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization is an important step in the long road toward resolving the orphan works problem and seeing more of our cultural and intellectual heritage made accessible to the public and to authors who want to build upon this heritage.
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Busted: Nonprofits Will Have To Pay The Photography Piper - Corporate/Commercial Law - United States

A nonprofit that is strapped for cash needs an image for its website. Its web designer does a quick online search, a simple cut and paste, and voilà—photographs for the website, free and easy. The nonprofit has heard that since it is nonprofit and tax-exempt, its uses are not commercial, and thus are "fair use." But not so fast—nonprofits are subject to copyright law just like any other person or entity and do not get a fair use pass simply by virtue of being a nonprofit. They must show, like anyone else, that their use is a fair use under the established tests—a very narrow and limited exception to copyright infringement.
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Why the Battle over Artists’ Termination Rights in Sound Recording Copyright Transfers Hasn’t Happened (and Probably Won’t) | JD Supra

January 1, 2013 was a date long-feared by the recording industry. It marked the 35-year anniversary of the effective date of the Copyright Act of 1976, which grants authors of works an absolute right to terminate a transfer of copyright thirty-five years after the date of transfer.
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Top universities dismayed over ‘weak’ copyright reform - University World News

The League of European Research Universities, LERU, has attacked a European Parliament committee for weakening a copyright reform statement, which had earlier clarified academics’ rights to data-mine and publish extracts from copyright protected material.
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'I don't like it': Labor MP Ed Husic hits out at unfair anti-piracy, website-blocking bill

Labor frontbencher Ed Husic has hit out at the Abbott government's controversial anti-piracy website-blocking bill despite his party's support of it, arguing it favours the interests of rights holders over consumers.
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