EFF comments the Motion Picture Association of America schemes for Internet censorship
Thu 22 Jan 2015, 23:40

Documents that were brought to light by the December 2014 Sony hack revealed the MPAA's plans to create SOPA-like Internet censorship mechanisms through agencies outside of the federal legislature in order to purposefully skirt the public oversight that comes with Congressional rule making. The first explosive revelation was that the MPAA had been colluding with, and even financing, state attorneys generals to go after Google.

But another set of documents revealed Hollywood's other crooked plan—to persuade the International Trade Commission (ITC) into forcing Internet service providers to block sites that allegedly distribute copyright-infringing content. The ITC is a federal, quasi-judicial agency that regulates the importation of goods coming into the United States. It recently held in a patent case (which is under appeal) that its authority extends to data transmitted online. The MPAA wants to take advantage of the ITC's expansive new interpretation of its mandate to fight contraband online, and extend that to blacklist content in the name of fighting piracy.

Exhaustion of rights - the broader implications of the CJEU's ruling in Art & Allposters
Fri 30 Jan 2015, 17:00
The principle of exhaustion is a hot topic in copyright with important commercial ramifications, particularly in relation to 'online exhaustion' and the viability of a second-hand market in digital content.
 
A key aspect of the CJEU’s ruling is its view that the exhaustion of the distribution right under the InfoSoc Directive covers the tangible object into which a work (or a copy of it) is incorporated. In other words, it is inherently tied to the physical medium (e.g. paper, canvas) on which the work is expressed.
TPP negociations to extend copyright terms
Thu 5 Feb 2015, 03:20

New reports indicate that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators have agreed to language that would bind its 12 signatory nations to extend copyright terms to match the United States' already excessive length of copyright. Nations including Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Canada would all be required to extend their terms and grant Big Content companies lengthy exclusive rights to works for no empirical reason. This means that all of the TPP's extreme enforcement provisions would apply to creative works for upwards of 100 years.

These are the terms of the proposal, revealed by several leaks of the TPP Intellectual Property chapter: If the copyright holder is an individual, the minimum copyright term would extend to the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years after her death. This means restrictions could easily be in place for a century after a work is created. In the case of works with corporate authors, the term extends to 95 years from the first publication, or if not published within 25 years of its creation, 120 years from then. These terms go far beyond what is required by international standards set out in the Berne Convention (WIPO) and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Julia Reda: Share your opinion on copyright
Fri 13 Feb 2015, 16:40

This year, a reform of the Copyright-legislation will be started. On behalf of the European Parliament, Julia Reda is currently working on an evaluation of the current Copyright directive. The stakeholders who are loudest so far are the collective societies but creators themselves are heard much too seldom.

Do the plans of the collecting societies really reflect the interests of all artists? Are they satisfied with the legislative status quo? Do they really want to re-negotiate the rights for their works for each country or would they prefer a single European market? Are they really opposed to remixes? What would their priorities be when it comes to updating the copyright framework?

EFF comments on TPP
Fri 13 Feb 2015, 04:40

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) poses massive threats to users in a dizzying number of ways. It will force other TPP signatories to accept the United States' excessive copyright terms of a minimum of life of the author plus 70 years, while locking the US to the same lengths so it will be harder to shorten them in the future. It contains extreme DRM anti-circumvention provisions that will make it a crime to tinker with, hack, re-sell, preserve, and otherwise control any number of digital files and devices that you own. The TPP will encourage ISPs to monitor and police their users, likely leading to more censorship measures such as the blockage and filtering of content online in the name of copyright enforcement. And in the most recent leak of the TPP's Intellectual Property chapter, we found an even more alarming provision on trade secrets that could be used to crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers who report on corporate wrongdoing.

EFF warns about the threats of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP)
Fri 20 Feb 2015, 12:28

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) will force other TPP signatories to accept the United States' excessive copyright terms of a minimum of life of the author plus 70 years, while locking the US to the same lengths so it will be harder to shorten them in the future. It contains DRM anti-circumvention provisions that will make it a crime to tinker with, hack, re-sell, preserve, and otherwise control any number of digital files and devices that you own. The TPP will encourage ISPs to monitor and police their users, likely leading to more censorship measures such as the blockage and filtering of content online in the name of copyright enforcement. And in the most recent leak of the TPP's Intellectual Property chapter, we found an even more alarming provision on trade secrets that could be used to crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers who report on corporate wrongdoing.