Archive | Intellectual Property

Just stupid

A group of fansubbers who turned the tables on BREIN by taking the anti-piracy group to court have lost their legal battle. The Free Subtitles Foundation sought a legal ruling determining that fansubbers act within the law, but this week the Amsterdam District Court sided with BREIN on all counts.

Torrentfreak: Unauthorized Subtitles For Movies & TV Shows Are Illegal, Court Rules »

TNW: Court rules fan subtitles on TV and movies are illegal »


German law limiting »WiFi liability« approved

Germany has approved a draft law that will enable businesses to run open WiFi hotspots without being held liable for the copyright infringements of their customers. Copyright holders will still have the ability to request that certain sites are blocked to prevent repeat infringement.

Torrentfreak: Germany Approves Draft Law to Protect WiFi Operators From Piracy Liability »


EU to ISP:s: Scan and censor everything

Under the extreme rules proposed by the Commission in the Copyright Directive, uploads to the internet would need to be scanned to assess if any photo, video or text that is being uploaded can be “identified” based on information provided by copyright holders. This would block, for example, memes that include copyrighted images or videos, parody, quotation and other perfectly harmless activities.

In order to encourage internet companies to monitor and delete information as thoroughly as possible, it is also proposed that their legal liability for uploads would be increased.

EDRi: EU moves one step closer to the world’s worst internet filtering law »


Is the idea of an EU »link tax« finally dead?

Just in, regarding the EU Copyright package:

It seems as if the rapporteur in the European Parliament has killed off the proposed EU »link tax« (art. 11) and the demand for ISP:s to filter and censor user generated content (art. 13).

Julia Reda: MEP: European Parliament poised to reject EU copyright expansion plans »


Fake news is nothing new

The debate on »fake news« might be new to some. But for us who are activist when it comes to a free and open internet, privacy and civil rights – this is what we have been fighting for a very long time.

Governments strive towards »total information awareness« has always been excused with e.g. the war on terror, the war on drugs, child protection, fighting organized crime and national security.

The same arguments – and some other, like hate speech – have been used to restrict free speech and freedom of information.

Then we have the corporatist battle over copyright vs. the Internet – sacrificing a global, free flow of information to save outdated business models.

When activists find out and go public, the reaction from politicians and bureaucrats is normally that we have got it all wrong. But the swarm is resourceful, and often we find some sort of a smoking gun. In a few cases, we manage to stop what is going on (like ACTA). In some cases, we manage to change details (like the EU telecoms package). But normally we loose. Then the proposals become law. And most things we warned people about is actually happening.

Told you so.

(In some very rare cases – like EU data retention – the European Court of Justice or the European Court of Human Rights objects strongly enough to stop what is happening in its’ tracks.)

Today the concept of total information awareness is a reality in countries like the U.S., the U.K., and France. In Germany, it has just been legalized.

And after decades of legal battles, it seems as if Big Entertainment is getting closer to having the Internet Service Providers to police the Internet – leading to extrajudicial filtering and censorship without the possibility to redress.

During the processes leading up to all of this – politicians and bureaucrats have labeled resistance as delusions and activists as tin foil hats. Doing so, they have managed to keep their plans under the radar, away from the public eye and the media. Until it’s too late.

I have seen lots of disinformation, faked news, and cover-ups trough the years. It has been used by politicians, governments, and special interests – forcing their restrictions on our free and open internet, undermining a democratic society and disturbing the free market.

The concept of fake news might have become a bit more obvious lately – but it is nothing new. The only reason it’s such a big thing at the moment is that it has been used by others than governments, mainstream politicians, bureaucrats and special business interests.




The latest on EU »link tax«

On 24 February 2017 the Rapporteur of the European Parliament (EP) Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), Catherine Stihler MEP, published her draft Opinion on the Copyright Directive. The Opinion sends a strong message against the most extremist parts of the European Commission’s proposal: the “censorship machine” (aka upload filter) proposal in Article 13 and the suggestion to expand the “ancillary copyright ” (aka “link tax”), that failed so miserably in Germany and Spain to every country of the EU.

EDRi: A positive step forward against the “censorship machine” in the Copyright Directive »

Julia Reda, Pirate MEP: New copyright study shows fundamental flaws in EU Commission plans for upload surveillance »


Swedish Pirate Bay case slowing to a halt?

At the end of 2014 Swedish police confiscated dozens of servers which many believed to belong to The Pirate Bay. The authorities later confirmed that an investigation involving copyright crimes was ongoing, but not much progress has been reported since. According to the prosecutor, the case isn’t getting any stronger, as the statute of limitations for several key crimes is expiring.

Torrentfreak: Pirate Bay Prosecution In Trouble, Time Runs Out For Investigators »


Germany: No liability for open WiFi

Wenn Gäste illegale Downloads starten, müssen Cafébetreiber keine Gerichtskosten mehr fürchten. Das soll ein neuer Gesetzentwurf regeln, der auch klarstellt: Es gibt weiterhin keine Passwortpflicht für offene Netze.

So, it seems that operators (cafés, hotels, etc.) of open WiFi nets in Germany no longer will be held liable or risk legal costs if it is used by someone for e.g. illegal downloads.

Nor will there be any requirement as such for password protection. However, a court or a national authority can issue an order against a WLAN operator to prevent the repetition of an infringement.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Weniger Haftungsrisiken für offene W-Lan-Netze »


The next EU battle: Link tax

Opponents of the plan, including some small web publishers, worry it could choke traffic to their sites by creating a thicket of regulations that will dissuade Google and other platforms from driving users to them. These critics also argue that a publisher’s right will create a “link tax” (a phrase that supporters liken to a slur) but won’t achieve its backers’ main aim: to save the news sector’s broken business model. (…)

Comodini Cachia will present a report next month, including suggested amendments to the proposal, but it’s unclear whether the hard protections demanded by the publishers will survive. Plan to make Google pay for news hits rocks »