|Formats they are a-changin'|
Suddenly The Republic of The Gambia is in the in the CopyKat's sights. First off, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, The Gambia’s minister of tourism and culture, has said that copyright must be strengthened in the digital environment in order to prevent infringements. The minister told The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute that creative works such as music can now be easily exploited on the internet via downloads and streaming, posing great challenges to both content creators and users saying “Sadly, in many of our countries in the sub-region, creators still cannot benefit from the sweat of their creations,” she said. “It is only through initiatives such as the Observatory that the creative community in our ECOWAS sub-region can start to live in a dignity befitting creators, and to allow our governments to also get returns from the investments in cultural infrastructure.” She said that in 2004, her ministry managed to have a new copyright law for The Gambia to replace the colonial law of 1913, which was "grossly inadequate". And in separate news, The director of Culture, Education, Science and Technology of the ECOWAS Commission informed stakeholders that the ECOWAS Regional Copyright Observatory (RCO) will present some computers and other office equipment to the Gambian Copyright Office at the National Council for Arts and Culture, to strengthen their capacity. Professor Abdoulaye Maga made this disclosure Monday at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute during the opening of a five-day training workshop for copyright administrators and members of the Collecting Society of The Gambia. On Monday a week-long training workshop for Gambia copyright stakeholders started at the Gambia Hotel School in Kanifing.
The training, organised by the National Centre for Art and Culture (NCAC) and funded by ECOWAS, is aimed at bringing a responsive copyright system in the country.
Wildly popular TV series The Simpsons have tackled copyright infringement and the issues surrounding the illegal downloading of movies - after Homer Simpson illegally downloads the movie 'Radioactive Man' from Bootleg Bay with the help of his son, Bart. Having been thrown out of the cinema as a paying customer during the said film, Homer takes to pirating movies so much that he sets up his own backyard movie theatre for friends and neighbours, showing them a pirated screener movie so they don’t have to pay a high ticket price and put up with rudeness and commercials while watching the movie! The episode is called 'Steal This' and it is in series 25 - there are some clips on the Simpson's Facebook page here. One reviewer called the episode "a perfect animated version of the great copyright debate on movie piracy".
|A nest of sexy beasts?|
And finally, in our globe trotting round up of all things shared, Germany’s highest court has ruled that parents are, in principle, not liable if their adult children use the family Internet connection for file sharing. The decision follows a November 2012 verdict where the Federal Court of Justice ruled that parents are not liable for those aged under 18 who file share, as long as they warned their child that unauthorized downloading and sharing of copyrighted material online is illegal and they were unaware their child violated this prohibition. The court has now said that where children are adults (18+), parents don’t have to warn them in order to avoid liability: here the stepson of a home owner used the family's internet connection to share 3,749 music recordings on the Internet. Record companies had tried to recover €3,454 (about US$4,700) in damages from the stepfather who owned the connection, rather than from the stepson. Whilst the stepfather signed an agreement that his Internet connection would not be used for that purpose again, he refused to pay, saying that he was not liable for his stepson’s deeds: In 2010 the Regional Court of Cologne and subsequently the Higher Regional Court of Cologne in 2011 both ruled that the stepfather was liable for the copyright infringement. He was ordered to pay €2,841 to the record companies by the Higher Regional Court. The German Federal Court of Justice have now overruled this, although the court did say that if the owner of the Internet connection had a specific reason to suspect that family members are using the connection for rights violations, he or she should take necessary measures to prevent infringements.