Jailbreaking Is Not A Crime—And EFF Is Fighting To Keep It That Way
Thu 6 Nov 2014, 22:20

If you own a phone or a tablet, you should be able to run whatever software you want on it. It seems like a simple truth, but there are a surprising number of hurdles in the way. Most pressingly, if the manufacturer of that phone or tablet wants to, they can misuse the law to limit your control over the device long after your purchase. This week, EFF has filed a petition with the Librarian of Congress and the Copyright Office to extend and expand the exemption that allows you to "jailbreak" your phone from those restrictions, without running afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

That's important because jailbreaking (or "rooting," on Android devices) has real-world implications for users' ability to use their phones and tablets effectively and securely. It may be a necessary step before installing security updates after a device has stopped being supported by the manufacturer. In other cases, it may help users install accessibility software that allows them to use a device despite disabilities.

Belgian and French copyright laws ban photos of EP buildings
Mon 10 Nov 2014, 14:06

An obscure clause in EU copyright rules means no one can publish photos of public buildings in Belgium, like the Atomium, or France’s Eiffel tower at night without first asking permission from the rights owners.

The optional rule extends to the buildings of the European Parliament in Brussels and in Strasbourg.

“Every website of every MEP that uses [an image of] the parliament building on it is a copyright infringement in the sense of the law,” said Dimitar Dimitrov, a so-called Wikimedian or policy expert for the European Wikimedia chapters in Brussels, on Tuesday (4 November).


Spain Passes Much-Debated Intellectual Property Law
Sat 15 Nov 2014, 15:01

Spain passed its Intellectual Property Law, with its hotly debated, so-called Google tax that allows for fines on aggregators that show snippets of content without paying for it. Critics of the law argue that in addition to the confusion of including private copy in the law, the wording on what constitutes as piracy is "vague" and "weak," failing to offer a clear-cut definition to rule against sites that violate property rights. Additionally, Spain is altering its penal code to move more forcefully against copyright violation by closing down sites that link to illegal content.

France to Modify its Intellectual Property Code
Wed 29 Oct 2014, 01:00

French Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin has presented a bill which would implement Directive 2011/77/EU amending Directive 2006/116/EC on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, and Directive 2012/28/EU on certain permitted uses of orphan works.

Spanish Copyright Amendments Will Shakedown News Sites and Censor the Web
Thu 6 Nov 2014, 19:40
We've reported before on how news publishers in Germany and Ireland have demanded that Google pay royalties for the reproduction of news snippets and image thumbnails next to search results in its Google News product. In France and Belgium publishers took this claim to the courts resulting in an eventual settlement from Google, whilst in Germany, lawmakers unwisely caved in and passed legislation in 2013 to grant the special copyright-like rights in news snippets that the publishers had demanded.
New Bill Would Update Copyright Law to Recognize Marriage Equality
Tue 25 Nov 2014, 11:14

Last month, Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), along with Ilena Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Jared Polis (D-CO) and other co-sponsors introduced the Copyright and Marriage Equality Act, a new bipartisan bill that would amend the Copyright Act to more fully include same-sex married couples under the Copyright Act’s protection regarding the transfer of the rights to original work.