The age of digitisation has opened new doors to distribution of information including for libraries and archives. However, librarians and archivists are often confronted with risk of liability for copyright infringement, nationally and in cross-border activities. This week, they asked the World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee to provide them not only with some exceptions to copyright, but with protection against liability.
The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is taking place from 14-18 November. On the SCCR agenda is copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives. On 17 November, librarians and archivists took the floor to explain why an international standard protecting them against liability is indispensable.
Source: Librarians, Archivists, Call On WIPO Members To Create Safe Harbour Against Copyright Liability – Intellectual Property Watch
As it promised it would earlier this year, the U.S. Copyright Office is reviewing current safe harbor policies that say that YouTube and other internet companies cannot be held liable when their users upload and distribute content without licences, provided that they take it down when informed of the infringement.
To help guide their decision, the Copyright Office has opened a new comment period that it says will provide, “an opportunity for interested parties to reply or expand upon issues raised in written comments (previously) submitted and during the public roundtables held in May.
Source: U.S. Copyright Office Reopens DMCA Takedown and Safe Harbor Debate, Asks For Comments – hypebot
The recent appellate decision in the long-running lawsuit brought by record labels and music publishers against MP3Tunes didn’t get a tremendous amount of attention, but Google, Facebook, eBay, Twitter and other digital giants are aghast at the result and warning of dire consequences without a do-over.
On Oct. 25, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals gave copyright holders some big victories by narrowing the circumstances whereby internet service providers can claim safe harbor from copyright liability.
Source: Internet Giants Warn of Mass User Terminations If Recent Appellate Ruling Left Untouched | Hollywood Reporter
The European Commission, the EU executive, is looking at imposing an obligation on platforms hosting user-uploaded content — such as YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion — to seek agreements with rights holders “reflecting the economic value of the use made of the protected content”, according to a draft paper, seen by Reuters, listing the preferred options for the EU’s copyright reform.
The Commission also wants online sharing platforms to put in place “appropriate and proportionate measures, such as content identification technologies, to ensure the functioning” of the agreements with rights holders.
Source: EU may require YouTube, DailyMotion to seek deals with music industry | Reuters
Making Google a good corporate citizen and pay creators fairly won’t break the internet, a leaked impact study on copyright suggests. The 200 page impact assessment (IA), leaked to Statewatch, addresses the thorny issue of content sharing platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
“Some online service providers refuse to negotiate any agreement, which means that despite the availability of copyright protected content on these platforms no revenues are generated for right holders for the use of their content. Refusals of agreements have above all been reported by right holders in the music and images sectors. At the same time, some online service providers have argued that right holders have requested terms that they considered unreasonable for the type of service they provide,” it notes.
It urges the platforms to be more positive about using filters to weed out infringing UGC.
Source: An ethical Google won’t break the internet, leaked EU report finds • The Register
Any day now, according to the scuttlebutt in copyright policy circles, the U.S. Copyright Office could release its findings from its study of Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ordered up last year by the House Judiciary Committee, which is conducting a review of the DMCA and U.S. copyright law in general. Along with those findings, the Copyright Office is widely expected to offer recommendations to Congress for changes to the 512 “safe harbor” provisions, including perhaps replacing the current “notice-and-takedown” rules with a “notice-and-staydown” requirement.
Though a long way yet from becoming law the Copyright Office’s recommendations would add a jolt of momentum to the an increasingly aggressive campaign by rights owners, particularly though not exclusively within the music industry, to rewrite the rules of the safe harbors to shift the legal (and, not incidentally, financial) burden of policing copyright infringement on web platforms from rights owners to the platforms themselves.
This week, a group of 180 big-name artists and songwriters signed on to an open letter to members of congress calling for changes to the law to require that online platforms keep infringing content from reappear on their sites once it has been removed. The letter, organized by super-agent Irving Azoff is running as an ad this week in the Capitol Hill publications Politico, The Hill, and Roll Call.
Some of the artists involved had also signed an open letter to YouTube last week, accusing the online platform of using the safe harbors as leverage to shortchange artists and rights owners. Continue reading “Rocking the Rights-Tech Boat in a Safe Harbor”