Tag Archives: copyright - Page 2

Central Govt funds PIPCU

On 2nd Sept, Torrent Freak reports that Sajid Javid notes that central government is funding the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. Javid’s speech is posted on gov.uk, and he says,

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Who do PIPCU serve?

Torrentfreak are following the activities of the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit; they reported one intervention in a story called “UK Police Accuse Domain Name Registrar of Facilitating Criminal Activity”. An extraordinary story in which a police force threaten domain registrars with action if they don’t take action on alleged infringing sites using their services. If you read the story, you’ll see the accusations and language used by the police seem to have forgotten the British legal principle of innocent until proved guilty. Many of the comments were the normal pro-piracy comments although there’s one or two more thoughtful. It provokes me to write the following, although I should shorten it if I choose to publish these views as a comment there.

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What do London’s MEP candidates think about digital?

ec-london

Yesterday the Open Rights Group held its final European Parliament hustings at Shoreditch Village Hall in Hoxton, London. It’s been a while since I visited and it’s certainly cleaned up well. It was great to be there. On the way in, I met Claude Moraes, Labour’s spokesman who told me that the Tories non-attendance was deliberate policy. I don’t know if it’s shame at their behaviour on the lobbying around the data protection directive or fear of a digitally educated audience. The meeting was moderated by Glyn Moody, who led the meeting through the issues of privacy, surveillance, whistle blowing, net neutrality, lobbying and copyright reform. The Tories absence meant that representatives from Labour, the LibDems, both represented by incumbents Claude Moraes and Sarah Ludford,the Greens (Danny Bates) and UKIP (Paul Oakley) who were not, were present.

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Policy for Labour on the Digital Economy

The Labour Party’s proposed policy programme only mentions the digital economy once, and this is to promise more speed, everywhere it can go. There are two internal pressure group style swarms/groups/initiatives looking to do better.  The first is launched by the front bench incubated if not commissioned by the impressive Chi Onawaruh MP, currently shadow spokesperson for the Cabinet Office. This has it’s home at this site, Chi publicised the initiative at in an article at Labour List called How can we make Digital Government work better for everyone?. A great deal of thought has been undertaken in launching this initiative. The second initiative is @LabourDigital,

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in which I attend the launch of ‘A Copyright Masquerade’

Monica Horten has a new book, and I went over to the LSE to attend a panel session entitled “Copyright and Freedoms in a Digital Europe: Liability of Intermediaries” to launch it, or boost it. The book’s called A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms. The panel was chaired by Anne Barron of the LSE , and was attended by Jeff Taylor (BPI), Nick Lansman (ISPA).

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Contributing to a fairer European Copyright law

I have today submitted evidence to the EU’s Copyright Consultation. I used  http://copywrongs.eu/ to help me, they filter the questions for you, and I wrote about exceptions (we, especially in the UK, need more) , clarity and derived works (again arguing for more), the balance of rights between copyright holders and citizens (more rights for citizens) and the appropriateness of old laws and concepts to the digital age (they aren’t).

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Is piracy really the most important issue facing the creative industries

Today, Parliament released the “Culture” select committee’s report “Supporting the Creative Industries”. The headline pursued by most media outlets is that Google’s efforts to limit copyright infringement by its ‘users’ is, to quote the committee chairman, John Whittingdale, “derisory”.  This is reported by Computing, which extends Whittingdale’s quotes which demand further action from Google which is erroneously singled out as the single largest source of piracy and thus the single largest source of damage to Britain’s creative industries. Peter Bradwell of the ORG, and Paul Bernal of UEA cover the report and its impact, in Peter’s case on the ORG Blog, in an article called, Culture Committee copyright report one-sided and simplistic and in Paul’s case on his blog in an article called, Supporting the creative economy?. The ORG verbal evidence to the committee is available as a video here…, on Parliament TV. Enjoy the show and Peter’s persistant return to statistics and facts

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Capitalism and Creativity…yeah right

I stayed in the Hilton to take part in a fringe event called “The economic contribution and growth potential of the creative industries” with speakers from the CBI, UK Music and UKIE. The meeting was planned to be chaired by Tom Watson, but Sion Simon stood in for him.

Matt Fell from the CBI’s competitive markets division spoke first. He started by pointing  out the bleeding obvious that creative is becoming digital; except it’s not! Most musicians make more money performing than they do through licensing their content. It’s industrial music and its parasitical lawyers, agents and accountants, and now it would seem commentators, lobbyists and analysts that need copyright and the corporate industrial cocoons. He also stated that there was a lack of government backing, absolutely look at the coalition’s abolition of the British Film Council and he called for strong intellectual property laws. I wanted to ask how they could be stronger!

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Without news rooms and journalists, we won’t get the news!

On my way to the Housing Fringe, I bumped into a Times journalist, who asked if I was attending their meeting, which was branded around one of their columns which I had not heard of, and was starring Peter Kellner, ex-political columnist and now star poller. I rather rudely said I hadn’t read the Times since it went behind a paywall neglecting to mention that I hadn’t been a fan before and I was challenged about how to pay for investigative journalism.

While I could have carried on with my rudeness asking when the Times last broke an important story such as ‘Phone Hacking’ for instance,  I quoted the fact that 80% of the cost of newspapers is about paper, logistics and ink. This was denied.

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Who wins when copyright and free speech clash?

The short answer is, I suppose, it depends on which courts you sue in. (This article at Torrent Freak shows what happened when the Pirate Bay claimed Free Speech rights; both the Swedish courts and the ECtHR ruled against them. If watching the Good Wife, you’ll believe that  free speech is a recognised defence for copyright infringement and monopolistic behaviour), however techdirt.com probably has a more accurate and less optimistic view as to the power of the First Amendment in the USA.

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Cameron, Free Trade, copyright and the NHS

So Cameron and the Tories are up shit creek on the subject of Europe. The disarray of the Tory Party and the coalition makes front page reading for the last few weeks, but I want to explore a slightly different dimension. The Tory malaise is actually aggravated by the UK’s Chairmanship of the G8 which Cameron is using as a platform to evangelise a US-EU Free Trade treaty. This is no doubt to try and focus the Tory/UKIP spatfest on “Common Market” & Trade issues so as not to have to deal with his right wing critics on justice, sovereignty and immigration.

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Linking is legal again

Seventeen senior academic lawyers have published a powerful opinion that internet hyperlinks, to copyright infringing content is legal. The EU Court has been asked for an opinion/ruling by the Swedish Government, the case is summarised on the marvellous 1709 blog in an article entitled “CJEU to consider copyright implications of linking and framing”. The lawyers have published this opinion under the auspices of the European Copyright Society. This is not exactly news but it’s an important statement of common sense.

Let’s hope the Judges agree!

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HMV, a tale of hubris, tax and monopoly

HMV, the UK’s leading bricks & mortar creative industries retailer has gone into administration. Lets hope that its winding up is not as brutal as at Jessops which also failed last week. The FT reports in an article, published yesterday, entitled, HMV calls in the Administrators that the rug was pulled when their suppliers of the music, films and computer/console games refused to extend credit terms to allow them to refinance their debt.

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