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3 November : Does copyright give companies the right to search your home and computer?

Walled Culture 
Copyright has mutated into a monster because it was never designed to regulate activities, as it does with software, just static objects like books and drawings.

27 October : Blind People Won the Right to Break Ebook DRM. In 3 Years, They'll Have to Do It Again

Baked into Section 1201 of the DMCA is a triennial process through which the Library of Congress considers exceptions to rules that are intended to protect copyright owners. Since 2002, groups advocating for the blind have put together lengthy documents asking for exemptions that allow copy protections on ebooks to be circumvented for the sake of accessibility. Every three years, they must repeat the process, like Sisyphus rolling his stone up the hill.


20 December : Study: Hadopi Has Been Great For Big Artists And Labels, Bad For The Spread Of Culture And Smaller Or New Artists

The point of copyright is absolutely not to create a music industry monoculture where only a few artists get noticed and survive. Yet this study seems to show that's what Hadopi did.


14 March : EU wants to require platforms to filter uploaded content (including code)

The Github Blog 
The EU is considering a copyright proposal that would require code-sharing platforms to monitor all content that users upload for potential copyright infringement (see the EU Commission’s proposed Article 13 of the Copyright Directive).


31 October : Copyright Law Makes Artificial Intelligence Bias Worse

Much of the data used to train algorithms is protected by copyright restrictions in the United States, and courts haven't yet decided whether training an AI amounts to infringement. Due to potential legal implications, major AI companies keep the data they use to train their products a secret, preventing journalists and academics from uncovering biases, as well as stifling competition.

2 October : Upload filters, copyright and magic pixie dust

Copy Buzz 
Last week, the European Commission unveiled a major initiative aimed at tackling “illegal content online“. As is so often the case when politicians want to be seen to be “doing something” about terrorism, it’s full of really bad ideas.

22 September : EC Diagnosed with © 'Ostrich Syndrome': Missing Study on Piracy

Copy Buzz 
German MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) published a ‘new’ copyright study [PDF] from the European Commission (EC) titled “Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU”. Yes, you’re reading the 1st paragraph correctly, an MEP published a study from the EC. If this sounds weird to you, that’s about right, and we know the feeling. So, before we dive into sharing some of the study’s findings, let’s first give you some insights on why this study is not so ‘breaking’ as one would assume, and how and why MEP Reda needed to dig it from under the sand and publish it online herself.

20 September : What the Commission found out about copyright infringement but ‘forgot’ to tell us

Julia Reda 
Does copyright infringement negatively affect legal sales? This is a fundamental question with profound implications on the way copyright and copyright enforcement policy should work. In January 2014, the European Commission awarded the Dutch company Ecorys a contract worth €360.000 to conduct a study on the question.

12 September : Copyright reform: 'Neighbouring right' will get in the way of quality journalism

The Parliament Magazine 
A new publishers' right would end up boosting fake news, warns Julia Reda.

6 September : International coalition joins together to halt potentially harmful copyright reform

Sparc Europe 
SPARC Europe is leading and collaborating with an international coalition in an effort to halt the adoption of harmful provisions found in the current draft of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, and certain amendments, which could threaten Open Access and Open Science.

5 September : New leak: Estonian Presidency ignored doubts by 6 Member States about the legality of censorship machine plans 
Last week we learned that the Estonian Council Presidency endorses the European Commission’s plans for censorship machines – a planned law that would force online platforms to surveil all user uploads in search of copyrighted content. Six EU member states expressed doubts about the legality of this proposal, we learn today in a new leak. Statewatch made public a list of legal questions put to the Council’s own in-house legal service by Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Ireland and the Netherlands. But the Estonian presidency didn’t care: They launched their proposals without waiting for the legal service to answer the questions – and without adequately addressing most of the specific concerns put forward.


27 July : The Rhetoric of Copyright Extremism

Communia Association 
However, we observe that rhetoric around ratcheting up extreme copyright protections plays a major role in the mainstream of regulatory conversations around copyright, while rarely recognized and called out as extremism. Rather, even the most far reaching positions are considered perfectly legitimate when brought forward in committee hearings, policy papers or campaigns. In a way, current copyright discourse is heavily skewed towards the side of copyright extremism, which makes any moderate and balanced reform of copyright laws difficult, if not impossible.


25 March : Online piracy ‘does not hurt the music industry’- EC study

Digital Strategy Consulting 
Illegal downloading has little impact on music sales and actually drives consumers to make legal purchases, according to a new study published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

7 June : Sharing is a cultural right, not a market failure

Philippe Aigrain's blog 
An endless stream of law proposals, soft-law initiatives and free-trade agreements keeps trying to eradicate or prevent the non-market sharing of digital works between individuals. New strategies are pushed using incentives and threats so that intermediaries will police the Internet to save the scarcity-based business models of a few from the competition of abundance. So is it business as usual? Well, no longer.