1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Friday, 31 October 2014

The CopyKat ..... hoping for a new public

The Drum reports that Google's move to "strangle" websites which publish copyrighted material has seen some sites suffer a 98 per cent collapse in visibility as a result of the measure - that's according to data from Searchmetrics.  The worst affected websites have been those which display links to, or directly host, copyright protected music, TV and movies. Searchmetrics has released a "top 30 loser" list, to highlight which sites have seen their rankings plummet since the changes, with Movie4k.to among those to see a 98 per cent drop.  Thepiratebay.se saw a 48 per cent fall in its Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) visibility.

And more on Google: Günther Oettinger, the man who will become the European Union’s digital economy and society commissioner in place of Nolie Kroes, is said to be considering taking the so-called “Google tax” law from his native Germany and applying it across the EU. Germany’s Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger (LSR), or “ancillary copyright for press publishers” law was passed in 2013 at the behest of publishers such as Axel Springer. The LSR gives publishers the right to demand royalties from aggregators such as Google News for the use of copyrighted text in their listings. the Spanish Parliament has passed a law to levy a charge on  aggregators and search engines for using snippets or linking to infringing content - with TechDirt saying "As plenty of folks have described, the bill is clearly just a Google tax". The Irish Minister of State for European Affairs Dara Murphy said the idea veered towards protectionism.and that itwent against the principles of Europe’s single market saying "“It’s important that Europe doesn’t lurch further and closer towards protectionism just because – to date – large Silicon Valley companies have been market leaders”. In his future role, Oettinger won't be responsible for EU competition policy, but he has been a vocal critical of Google's search antitrust settlement with the EU and may have more influence over negotiations during the next phase of negotiations. Previously, he's suggested that Google could be forced to display search results objectively and neutrally, the FT noted. 

It's all about linking right now! Now with both Svensson and Bestwater out, in their  recently published opinion, ALAI believes that the CJEU got it very wrong in Svensson, in particular, the adoption of the "new public" criterion - and on that very matter, Eleonora has just posed a very interesting piece on the IPKAt here .  Some early thoughts here.

And following on from the above, BLACA are hosting what looks like a very very interesting seminar simply titled "linking" with a distinguished trio of speakers:  Prof Dr Silke von Lewinski (Max Planck Institure) will be speaking about the CJEU's concept of the  'new public', Prof Dr Jan Rosen (Stockholm University) will be speaking about the ALAI opinion and Svensson, and Prof Lionel Bently  (University of Cambridge) will be speaking on the the basis of the opinion of the European Copyright Society. It's on Thursday 13th November at 18.30 at the offices of Berwin Leighton at London EC3R 6HE - and we are promised details on the BLACA website soon http://www.blaca.org/

And finally, every three years, the U.S. Copyright Office accepts petitions on what activities should get an "exemption" under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The sixth tri-annual rulemaking is now upon us, and the deadline is this Monday, November 3. Public Knowledge say they will be submitting petitions asking to legalize consumer ripping of DVDs, as well as allowing circumvention of DRM-based input to 3D printers. 

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