Articles about Copyright Law

New Euro digi chief says he WILL consider an EU-wide copyright law

Europe’s new digi chief Gunther H. Oettinger has said that he could have a first draft of new copyright laws within six months. Oetti made the comments to the German Bundestag committee on the Digital Agenda on Tuesday, but with the German barely through the door of his new office at the European Commission – he officially …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Nov 2014
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiedangerous/ licensed under creative commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ please attribute

End well: this won't. European Copyright Society wants one EU law to rule 'em all

Copyright laws in every EU country should be the same, the European Copyright Society (ECS) has said. In a letter to the European Commission's digital commissioner Günther Oettinger (4-page 499KB PDF), the academic think tank on copyright said "actual Union-wide unification … of copyright" as opposed to simply further …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Jan 2015

EU copyright law: Is the Pirate Party's MEP in FAVOUR of it?

The Pirate Party's sole MEP, Julia Reda, unsurprisingly says that copyright law in the European Union is not fit for purpose. Reda presented her report on the EU’s current copyright law (the InfoSoc Directive) on Monday. As might be expected from a Pirate Party politician, Reda was critical of the Directive’s failure to grant …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Jan 2015
Monkey Selfie

US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

The US Copyright Office has refused to register the copyright of the infamous selfie taken by a monkey. The Office said in its latest copyright law compendium (PDF) that images taken by animals, including the 2011 primate self-shot, could not be registered for copyright by a human. Monkey Selfie "The Office will not register …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Aug 2014
'Broken Copyright' StockMonkeys.com

MEPs gear up to vote on Europe's copyright 'black spot' report

On Thursday, MEPs will make their opinions on copyright in Europe known – by voting on Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda’s review of the information society directive, aka the foundations of Europe's copyright rules in the internet age. You'll be forgiven for thinking that this vote will directly change the EU's rules on copyright. …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Jul 2015
Costumed pirate

Cutlasses rattle in Brussels as Black Spot copyright report argument heats up

MEPs have been scribbling furiously in response to Pirate MEP Julia Reda’s report on copyright. Reda told El Reg that her non-legislative report on the functioning of the so-called Infosoc Directive had received more than 550 amendments – a staggering number for a report that isn’t even legally binding. Reda’s report [which we …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Mar 2015
Splash! by Nino Barbieri licensed under CC 3.0 Unported

EU MEPs accept lonely Pirate's copyright report – and water it down

The European Parliament’s legal committee on Tuesday approved a non-legislative and non-binding report by Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda by a majority of 23-2 - albeit with several substantial amendments. Reda's report examines the EU’s current copyright law, the so-called Infosec Directive from 2001. A new draft directive is …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jun 2015
Somali pirates storm the box

Arrr: The only Pirate in European Parliament to weigh in on copyright

As speculation and arguments mount over proposed EU copyright legislation, the Pirate Party MEP will publish her report on the matter on 19 January. Julia Reda, currently the only Pirate in the European Parliament, has been made “rapporteur” on the implementation of the previous directive on the so-called 2001 Infosoc Directive …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Jan 2015

Google Tax part 94: EU's H-dot wavers over copyright levy

EU digi-chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger has been characteristically clear as mud in explaining his plans for copyright reform. Speaking on Wednesday night to the European Parliament’s working group on copyright, H-dot seemed to call for a so-called ancillary copyright law. This type of law, which requires news aggregators to pay …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Dec 2014
shutterstock_copyright_theft_burn_sidey must credit and link to shutterstock

One European copyright law-to-rule-them-all? EU launches review

The European Commission is seeking industry views on whether to completely harmonise copyright laws across the EU. The Commission has launched a consultation in an effort to gather views on how to modernise the existing EU copyright framework (36-page/223KB PDF). Respondents are being asked for views on matters ranging from the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Dec 2013
Julia Reda MEP, Pirate Party. Pic: Joachim S. Müller

Loneliest Pirate's EU copyright report secures MEPs' approval

The European Parliament adopted the “Reda report” on copyright yesterday. Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda’s report on the functioning of the current Infosoc Directive is widely seen as a bellwether for the coming copyright legislation overhaul. Digi Commissioner Gunther H-dot Oettinger is due to present his proposals before the …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Jul 2015

As H-dot Oettinger drafts Europe's new copyright laws – who's he been talking to?

The European Commissioner overseeing the drafting of Europe’s new copyright law appears so far to mainly be listening to content creators as the process goes on. Digi Commissioner Günther H-dot Oettinger held three recent “stakeholder” meetings to gather opinions as he draws up the legislation. Despite requests from El Reg, the …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Mar 2015
Belgian cricket. Original pic: Simon Blackley

We need copyright reform so Belgians can watch cricket, says MEP

Battle lines are forming over the EU’s promised copyright reforms, with Brussels’ lobbying machine going into overdrive. On Thursday, the European Film Agency Directors (EFAD), a network of directors of 28 film agencies based inside the European Union, begged the EU Commission to drop its plans for a major copyright overhaul, …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Mar 2015

Cracking copyright law: How a simian selfie stunt could make a monkey out of Wikipedia

Analysis That so-called Macaca nigra monkey selfie isn’t in the public domain, no matter what Wikipedia wants you to think. In fact, the encyclopedia's stance on the matter could backfire and hit it in the pocket. A photo sold by British snapper David Slater since 2011 hit the headlines again this month when Wikipedia refused to …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Aug 2014

Copyright minister: Those missing TWO copyright exceptions? We're still on track

Just this morning it appeared that the government had quietly dropped two of the five changes it wants to make to UK copyright law - but copyright minister Viscount Younger has just released a statement saying it "remains firmly committed to implementing each of these important exceptions". All five SIs are still listed on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 May 2014
'Broken Copyright' StockMonkeys.com

Open source Copyright Hub unveiled with '90+ projects' in the pipeline

The web has grown up without letting people own and control their own stuff, but a British-backed initiative might change all that, offering a glimpse of how the internet can work in the future. Their work will all be open sourced early next year. Britain's much-anticipated Copyright Hub was given ministerial blessing when it …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Jul 2015
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiedangerous/ licensed under creative commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ please attribute

Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

Musicians and composers have launched a High Court legal challenge to a change the government has made to UK copyright law. British bureaucrats insisted on introducing a long-overdue private copying exception without compensation - the only European state to do so. The exception "legalises" the making of a copy of legitimately …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Nov 2014

One-click, net-modelled UK copyright hub comes a step closer

Britain's experiment in "making copyright work like the internet" reached beta stage on Tuesday following a deal with a major picture library which gives developers half a million photos to work with. The non-profit, open source Copyright Hub is designed to bring about one-click licensing of relatively low-value digital works, …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Dec 2014
Street Fighter

Developer CEO 'liable for copyright infringement' over unlawful tool

The chief executive of a software company in Germany has been found liable for copyright infringement after software developed by the company was amended in an open source environment to allow copyright-protected material to be accessed unlawfully. Appwork created "JDownloader2", a download management tool, but allowed any …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Dec 2013
A Simple XMLFilter class

Google v Oracle: US Supreme Court turns to Obama in Java copyright war

The US Supreme Court hasn't decided whether it will hear arguments in the long-running dispute between Google and Oracle over Java copyrights, and it has asked the Obama administration to weigh in before it makes up its mind. On Monday, the Supremes posted a memo inviting US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr to "express the …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jan 2015

Euro judges: Copyright has NOT changed, you WON'T get sued for browsing the web

The highest European Court today confirmed that the internet can carry on working just like it has for 20 years. In doing so, it was batting away a strange request for "clarification" on copyright from the UK's Supreme Court. For the internet to function, it was established very early on that certain devices - such as routers, …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jun 2014
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

UK 'copyright czar' Edmund Quilty quits as Blighty's Director of Copyright Enforcement

Exclusive Britain's unofficial "copyright czar", Edmund Quilty, is moving on. Probably the most influential civil servant you've never heard of, Quilty has served as the Director of Copyright Enforcement and Policy at the UK patent office for six years, far longer than the typical stint for a career bureaucrat of two years. "We can …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Jan 2014
The Register breaking news

Oz to review copyright law for digital age

Australia will review its Copyright Act to ensure the they serve the nation in the digital age. The review, announced by Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, will “reflect the fact that technology is constantly evolving and testing the boundaries of copyright law," Roxon said. The eventual review will be handled by the …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Apr 2012

OK, EU chiefs, 3 years of copyright wrangling - let's get it sorted. Now this white paper... DOH!

+Comment Europe’s copyright reform process has stalled after a dispute between European commissioners – and reportedly some intense pressure from Silicon Valley’s “Third Senator”, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. The current reform process got going in May 2011 with a “blueprint” for IP rights reform, kicking off a long and cautious …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Using copyright to avoid Freedom of Info law? Ha, ha, NICE try!

Public bodies that disclose copyright-protected information in order to comply with a request under freedom of information (FOI) laws are not guilty of copyright infringement, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said. Although the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) states that public bodies must not disclose …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Aug 2012
Facepalm

Australia gets its Internet filter after Senate vote

Australia is to get its not-an-Internet-filter, with the government and the opposition joining forces to pass the bill in the Senate. “This bill will make a contribution” to copyright remedies, Labor's Jacinta Collins told the Senate, calling it a “modest” proposal bill. Saying that deterrence is only a partial solution, …

EU green-lights 'copyright land grab' law on orphan work

EU ministers backed new laws to allow libraries, museums and universities - among other organisations - to digitise works that have become "orphaned" from their creators. The Council of Minister's formal adoption of the EU's Directive on orphan works [29-page 154KB PDF] means that member states will now have to implement the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Oct 2012
shutterstock_copyright_sidey

ACCC calls for liberalised copyright in Oz

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission is siding with citizens over copyright holders – at least a little bit. In its submission to an inquiry into this country’s copyright law, the competition regulator suggests that a service such as Optus’ TV Now – banned by the High Court after a bitter battle with the country’s …

You CAN'T jail online pirates for 10 years, legal eagles tell UK govt

The UK government plan to jail online copyright pirates for up to 10 years has been attacked by legal boffins in a public consultation that ended yesterday. The British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association (BILETA), said the idea was “unacceptable, infeasible and unaffordable”. The public consultation invited …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Aug 2015

You gotta fight for your copyright ... Beastie Boys sue toymaker over TV ad

Hip-hop heroes the Beastie Boys aren't impressed by toymaker GoldieBlox's climbdown in their rather bizarre copyright dispute – which started when the building-block company used the band's music in an ad. The MCs have now filed a countersuit against the venture-capital-bankrolled toy biz, which sued the Beasties after …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Dec 2013

Haitian snapper humbles photo giants AFP, Getty Images in $1.2m copyright victory

Photographers have won a landmark victory after a US federal jury awarded $1.2m to freelance photojournalist Daniel Morel after media giants uploaded and credited to themselves some shots he had posted on Twitter. A New York jury decisively backed a Haitian photojournalist Morel in a copyright case against photo agency Getty and …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Bundestag holds 'unusual' hearing on German Copyright Act

A "highly unusual" additional parliamentary hearing on proposed changes to German copyright law is a sign that there is increasing opposition to the publisher-driven plans, an expert has said. A cross-party sub committee on new media is scheduled to stage a hearing of stakeholders' views on the proposed amendments to the German …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Feb 2013

UK.gov loses crucial battle in home-taping war with musicians

The British music industry has dealt a significant legal blow to the UK government – after the law was tweaked to allow Brits to copy audio CDs without another penny going to musicians and labels. Blighty's record industry, unhappy with these changes, today successfully applied [PDF] for a judicial review, meaning a judge will …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jun 2015
RoboCop

SECRET draft copyright treaty LEAKED: Meet the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The text of the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) isn't as bad as we thought. It's worse. A draft, published by Wikileaks, offers a patent-and-copyright wish list that would see the infamous DMCA automatic take-downs spread throughout the Pacific, plants and animals become patentable with few restrictions, and …
management regulation2

US State of Georgia sues 'terrorist' for publishing its own laws ... on the internet

The State of Georgia in the US is suing the owner of the Public.Resource.org website for publishing the State of Georgia's own laws online. According to the lawsuit [PDF] filed this week, Carl Malamud has "engaged in an 18 year long crusade to control the accessibility of U.S. government documents by becoming the United States …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jul 2015

Should all Europeans be able to watch Estonian football? Consultation launched

Europe’s Digital Commissioner wants to know what you think about copyright rules for satellite broadcasters and cable companies. On Monday, digi veep Andrus Ansip launched a public consultation on his favourite topic – geoblocking. The consultation asks whether 22-year-old EU rules that define where and how satellite …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Aug 2015
The Register breaking news

Republicans deny Hollywood pressure to pull copyright proposal

The Republican Study Committee, an influential caucus made up of members of the US House of Representatives, has denied pulling a policy paper calling for a reform of the existing patent system under pressure from lobbyists. The policy paper, entitled Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it, looked at …
Iain Thomson, 19 Nov 2012
Disney's Beagle Boys

Instagram Act: UK.gov's latest copyright landgrab stymied - for now

Analysis Remember the notorious ‘Instagram Act’? If you recall, clauses smuggled into April’s Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (ERRA) - in the name of allowing reuse of orphan works - paved the way for the Government to grab your photographs and other visual images, in breach of international conventions. The mechanics of the scheme …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Nov 2013
Panic button

Wikipedia jumps aboard the bogus 'freedom of panorama' bandwagon

Wikipedia has launched another anti-copyright campaign – but it's one that experts say is bogus and misleading. Thousands of pages on the site are now plastered with an appeal to "Save the Freedom of Panorama", a crusade minted by copyright activist and Europe's only Pirate Party MEP, Julia Reda. But Wikipedia users should …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Jul 2015

Australia's Copyright Act gets digital upgrade

The Australian Law Reform Commission has released the final terms of reference of its review of copyright. The Attorney-General’s Department received in excess of 60 submissions in response to the draft terms of reference, which were released for public consultation in March this year. The revised terms for "Copyright and the …
The Register breaking news

UK's first copyright swap-shop for cat pics (etc) still yonks away

The UK's Copyright Hub, designed for high-volume legit trading of copyrighted material, will launch in July. Ultimately the service will allow individual Brits to, for example, easily license music to use in wedding videos, cat photos for calendars or illustrations for books. But not just yet. Its chairman Richard Hooper …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

New NZ copyright law means ISPs could cash in

New Zealand ISPs could have a tidy new revenue stream courtesy of their illegal downloading customers as new copyright laws take effect in September. New Zealand Commerce Minister Simon Power yesterday announced that a NZ$25 fee will be charged by ISPs to rights-holders, such as movie studios, for processing each allegation of …
The Register breaking news

Chinese court orders Apple to cough £100k to writers for violating copyright

Apple got a nasty post-Christmas present in China on Thursday when a Beijing court hit it with a 1.03m yuan (£102,000) fine after ruling the fruity tech titan was responsible for applications which appeared on its App Store containing unlicensed content. The Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court concluded that Apple had …
Phil Muncaster, 30 Dec 2012
Woman puts hand in camera lens. Pic: Steve Purkiss

Security bods gagged using DMCA on eve of wireless key vuln reveal

Updated Researchers at IOActive have been slapped with a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) gagging order a day before they planned to release information about security vulnerabilities in the kit of an as-yet unidentified vendor*. A redacted version of the legal notice – posted on Google+ – has reignited the long standing debate …
John Leyden, 05 May 2015
The Register breaking news

Software functionality not subject to copyright: EU court

In a far-reaching decision for the software industry, the European Court of Justice has decided that the functionality of software – as distinct from the actual code – is not covered by copyright. The decision concludes a long-running court case first brought by SAS against World Programming Limited (WPL). WPL had gotten under …
The Register breaking news

Anonymous turns ire on Japan after anti-piracy law passes

It was only a matter of time – hacktivist group Anonymous has taken aim at the web sites of political parties and government departments in Japan in retaliation for a tough new anti-piracy bill passed last week. The update to the Copyright Law was brought about after heavy lobbying by a content industry dismayed that illegal …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Music resale service ReDigi loses copyright fight with Capitol Records

Updated A US District Court in New York has ruled that ReDigi, an online marketplace that allows users to sell their purchased music files, violates copyright law. Cambridge, Massachusetts–based ReDigi, which launched its service in October 2011, claimed to be "the world's first, real legal alternative to expensive online music …
Neil McAllister, 01 Apr 2013
Cow skull

TV networks peck at sun-bleached skeleton of Aereo, come away with $950,000

The skeletal remains of ill-fated TV streaming startup Aereo will pay out $950,000 in a copyright infringement settlement, putting to rest a lawsuit filed by US broadcasters that has already sent it into bankruptcy. For a couple of years, Aereo operated an online video service that captured live television broadcasts, recorded …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Apr 2015
Somali pirates storm the box

Should online pirates get the same sentences as offline ones?

New research commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has asked whether a decade behind bars would deter online pirates. Physical copyright offences carry a maximum 10-year penalty, but online infringers can only be sentenced for up to two years. The report, carried out by Martin Brassell and Ian Goodyer for the …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Mar 2015
The Register breaking news

Republican staffer fired for copyright reform suggestions

A Republican staffer who wrote a position paper suggesting that the current system of copyright legislation might benefit some market-based reform has been summarily fired. Last month the Republican Study Committee, an influential group made up of members of the US House of Representatives, put out a position paper saying that …
Iain Thomson, 07 Dec 2012