IP review (16-20 July 2012)
The IP world is becoming less calm, more interesting.
There have been lots of debates around Supreme Court of Canada’s rulings regarding 5 important copyright cases, which mostly favoured the users rather than the copyright holders. We recommend that you firstly take a look at this good overview to get familiar with what these rulings actually mean for the consumer and then to read the Canadian creative industry’s viewpoint on the recent copyright decisions. On another note, the Canadian Parliament passed the C-11 Bill, the Amendment of the Copyright Act finally reaching a decisive conclusion.
Moving the focus away from Canada, we found two other interesting rulings in Germany and France. A confused and mixed ruling at the Federal Supreme Court in Germany suggest that cyber lockers are not liable for uploads directly, but if they are alerted of copyright infringement, they should have a system in place to filter content and prevent that file from being uploaded. The French Supreme Court issued other somewhat contradictory rulings with regard to the role of online service providers in policing copyright infringements. The Court ruled that Google's autocomplete feature Google Suggest actually “provided the means to infringe copyright and related rights”.
In the Netherlands one can hear the sound of the copyright infringement irony, as one Dutch music royalty collection agency got a € 20K fine for...copyright infringement! The agency used music from one of its clients in its anti-piracy advertisements, without any permission and failing to pay royalties.
A coalition of leading organisations that support learning, libraries and librarians warned that the UK Digital Economy Act risks limiting internet access in libraries, schools & universities, and therefore threatens the learning process. Meanwhile, a UK media monitoring company suggest that the Government should legislate on web browsing copyright issues, rather than waiting for UK or European Court rulings on the matter. Blocking pirate websites doesn’t seem to be an effective long-term solution, as a BBC article shows by analysing the Pirate Bay case.
The Megaupload case doesn’t seem to come to an end any time soon. The judge overseeing the Kim Dotcom extradition case has stepped down after making comments during a copyright conference, suggesting the United States was the "enemy". Here are some interesting opinions about this decision: “Pro copyright judges never drop cases over conflicts, so why does Megaupload judge have to step down?” and “What Judge Harvey actually said.”
In the meantime, Kim Dotcom has launched a campaigning site called kim.com that accuses the US of waging war on him and a music video called Mr President that attacks Megaupload’s enemies...
And last but not least, we would like to mention a must read regarding the Google’s Transparency Report. This is a very interesting viewpoint on how Google inadvertently provides the largest database of links to pirate media, opening up the possibility for outsiders to mine this data for pirate search engines.
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