Monday, 28 August 2017

The CopyKat - Part Deux

It's not often we report on the Pagan community, but the Wild Hunt tells us of concerns about Pagans violating copyright protections of Pagan books which have "resurfaced in a big way, with thousands of volumes being uploaded by the owner of one popular Facebook group". Authors and publisher’s agents who knew that no such permission had been granted have tried to get the files removed, and after several days those attempts appear to have been successful, to the disappointment of some group members. More here.

Rogers Communications wants the Supreme Court of Canada to reconsider a copyright ruling on pirated content that internet policy experts say could raise prices for law-abiding consumer. The Financial Post reports that the Toronto-based communications giant has filed for leave to appeal a Federal Court decision that stipulated internet service providers must turn over subscribers’ identities for free if copyright holders suspect them of copyright infringement. the Federal Court ruled internet providers could not recoup their costs because the fee could potentially make it too expensive for copyright holders to go after illegal downloaders. Instead, it suggested internet providers pass the costs along to all consumers – even those that do not infringe.

The Premier League in the United Kingdom is very very big business, with a large of the revenues provided by the commercial deal for match TV rights struck with Sky TV and BT.  and the FAPL will go to great lengths to protect those rights. With the start of the new Premier League season, the fight against illegal IPTV streams has stepped up, with ISPs being told to block streams of copyright content in real time - and this seems to have worked, with substantial disruption for viewers hoping to catch matches using these Kodi or web-based streams over the first weekend of the new season. TorrentFreak reports that several streams went dark within minutes of matches starting, leaving providers of the illegal streams to scramble to find new domains to host their content. With the recent closures of piracy-facilitating Kodi add-ons, it's looking like the days of being able to easily stream 'free' premium sports content might be coming to a close, although there are always people willing to use VPNs to evade the blocking abilities of the UK's ISPs. UPDATE - the Mirror says that 3 million watched the much hyped Mayweather / McGregor fight on at least 239 illegal streams. 
US President Donald Trump has instructed his trade envoy to examine China’s policies and practices concerning US intellectual property, a promise he made during the 2016 election campaign. The presidential memorandum signed tat the White House directs US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to “examine China’s policies, practices and actions” when it comes to transfer of US technology and “theft of American intellectual property” and use “all options” to protect US interests with Trump saying “We’re taking firm steps to make sure we protect the intellectual property of American companies and very importantly, of American workers” and “The theft of intellectual property by foreign countries costs our nation millions of jobs and billions and billions of dollars each and every year.”

The dispute between the major record companies and mixtape sharing app Spinrilla continues, with the former’s request for access to the latter’s source code high on the defendant’s current list of specific gripes. Interesting - the defs say this "The source code is the crown jewel of any software-based business, including Spinrilla. Even worse, plaintiffs want an ‘executable’ version of Spinrilla’s source code, which would literally enable them to replicate Spinrilla’s entire website. Any plaintiff could, in hours, delete all references to ‘Spinrilla’, add its own brand and launch Spinrilla’s exact website”.  More on CMU here

Songwriter groups in the USA and elsewhere have hit out at the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) over its submission to an official review of the moral rights of creators in the US. The songwriter organisations, including BASCA in the UK, say that the major record companies in the US are pursuing an anti-songwriter agenda on this point, while concurrently relying on vocal support from the songwriting community when it comes to lobbying for safe harbour reform. Both the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) and the RIAA are against the introduction of statutory moral rights for artists. They believe that the current system works well and they fear that it’s impractical and expensive to credit all creators for their contributions. Stark hypocrisy from the record labels in the US? Or too big a task to manage? BASCA say "even though the US signed up to the Berne Convention in 1989 it chooses NOT to recognise moral rights, saying they are confusing.  There really isn’t anything confusing about crediting the original creator of a song folks!!  So understandably the writer organisations in the US get very excised, rightly so, about this ongoing scenario.  The US Copyright Office this year conducted another study into the issue with some very strong statements from creators and submissions by writer organisations in support of the US finally recognising moral rights.  However the RIAA in its wisdom decided to continue to reject this position .... Thus writers from across the US, Canada, the UK and Europe – organisations representing many tens of thousands of songwriters and composers of all genres – have come together in an unprecedented alliance to explain to the RIAA why this is wrong and damaging to the very people whose works the music industry is built on."

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