The European Court of Justice (the ECJ, “the European Supreme Court”) ruled three years ago that anything published openly on the web may be freely reused by anyone in any way on their own website. This ruling didn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserved, as it completely reverses a common misconception – the idea that you can’t republish or reuse something you happen to come across. The ECJ says that an open publication on the web exhausts the exclusivity of a work as far as the web is concerned, and that further authorization or permission from the rightsholder is not required for any reuse on the web after that, commercial or not.
EDRi on EU public consultations on Internet and Big Brother issues:
Public consultations are an opportunity to influence policy-making at an early stage, and to help to shape a brighter future for your digital rights.
Below you can find the public consultations which EDRi finds relevant in 2017. (…) We will update the list on an ongoing basis, adding our responses to the consultations and other information that can help you get engaged.
The Chinese government’s crackdown on the internet continues with the news that Apple has removed all major VPN apps, which help internet users overcome the country’s censorship system, from the App Store in China.
Tense nervous headache? Perhaps your name is Tim Cook. For poor Tim has woken up this Sunday morning with a giant headache, and its name is China.
It’s going to be much harder to view the full web in Russia before the year is out. President Putin has signed a law that, as of November 1st, bans technology which lets you access banned websites, including virtual private networks and proxies. Internet providers will have to block websites hosting these tools. The measure is ostensibly meant to curb extremist content, but that’s just pretext — this is really about preventing Russians from seeing content that might be critical of Putin, not to mention communicating in secret.
Since 2003, hundreds of new top-level domains have come onto the market, and there has never been more choice for domain name registrants. But apart from choosing a name that sounds right and is easy to remember, a domain name registrant should also consider the policies of the registry that operates the domain, and those of the registrar that sells it to them.
In Xinjiang, China, citizens are being forced to install a targeted surveillance mobile app called Jingwang. Additionally, the government has set up random checkpoints on the streets to check whether the spyware is properly installed on your smartphone. On July 10th, mobile phone users in the region received a notification letting them know that they had 10 days to download and install the Jingwang spyware. Failure to install the app is punishable by up to 10 days imprisonment, according to the notice. According to the government, the spyware app has benign functions.
The EU is in the process of hammering out a new copyright directive. Here is a leaked amendment from the European Parliaments Committee on Culture and Education (CULT)…
1. Member States shall ensure that, when authors and performers transfer or assign the right of making available to the public of their works or other subject-matter for online on-demand services, they retain the right to obtain fair remuneration derived from the direct exploitation of their works present in the catalogue of those services.
2. The right of an author or performer to obtain fair remuneration for the making available of his/her work as described in paragraph 1 cannot be waived.
This is totally absurd.
We are many who publish text, pictures, video and music under various Creative Commons licenses. Meaning that we waive parts of our copyright – making our works available for everyone to share freely. (Some CC licenses do and some don’t allow free commercial use; some state that the creator should be attributed; et cetera.)
According to point two above, in some cases, licenses such as CC=BY, CC=NC, and CC=0 will not be legal.
To take one example, this blog is published under a CC=BY license. Anyone could quote or share the text, as long as it is attributed to the 5 of July Foundation (or me). And we do hope you do. Even for commercial use, non-public sites, in the media, or on-demand.
If the amendment above becomes EU law – this might no longer be possible or legal.
Furthermore, not being allowed to freely share one’s creative work on certain sites surely is an unacceptable limitation when it comes to the artist’s rights.
If there is something like intellectual property (which the EU claims) – this must be a grave violation of the artists property rights.
To hinder creators from freely distributing their works must also be a serious limitation of freedom of speech.
And it doesn’t have to be about Creative Commons. Some artists just want to share their work for marketing purposes or just to be nice to their fans. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to?
This ill-conceived idea must be stopped before it becomes EU law.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg today ruled in favour
of the German civil liberties activist and pirate party member Patrick
Breyer (Commission vs. Breyer, C-213/15 P): It ordered the Commission
to give the press and the public access to the pleadings exchanged in
completed court proceedings. In the present case Breyer successfully
demanded the Commission disclose Austrian pleadings concerning the
non-transposition of the controversial EU Data Retention Directive.
However the Court fined Breyer for publishing the written submissions in
his own case on his homepage.
Pirate Times: EU Court rules on transparency of EU justice »
For example, the “snippet tax” would require commercial sites that quote even tiny portions of online press publications to pay a licensing fee for each one. Given the way social networks constantly quote and cross-link information, that’s clearly absurd. And yet the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee of the European Parliament has come up with a cunning plan to make it even worse. It wants the snippet tax to apply to physical publications as well as digital ones. (…)
Just as the ITRE committee wants to make the snippet tax even worse, so the Culture and Education (CULT) committee of EU politicians has come up with a way to make the upload filter dramatically more ridiculous. If the CULT committee’s amendments are adopted in the final law, EU citizens will no longer be able to upload copies of copyright material to the cloud, even if they have acquired them legally.
Glyn Moody @ PNI: EU copyright reform goes from bad to worse »