In 1709 (or was it 1710?) the Statute of Anne created the first purpose-built copyright law. This blog, founded just 300 short and unextended years later, is dedicated to all things copyright, warts and all. To contact the 1709 Blog, email Eleonora at eleonorarosati[at]gmail.com
A federal judge in California last week issued a preliminary
injunction preventing Canada’s Supreme Court from forcing Google to de-list a
website on its American search engine. The ruling greatly limits the reach of a
judgement that was widely welcomed by the music community as a step forward
in helping copyright owners tackle online infringement.
The dispute isn’t entirely resolved with last week’s
injunction, and further legal wrangling is incoming. Though Davila’s ruling
does seem to limit the reach of June’s Canadian judgement, which – of course –
the music industry was so keen to welcome.
For its part, digital rights campaign group the Electronic
Frontier Foundation welcomed last week’s ruling, but said more needs to be done
to stop other courts from issuing wide-ranging internet injunctions, like that
issued by the Canadian Supreme Court in June.
US judge has ruled that world+dog must help block Sci-Hub, a publisher of
scientific texts, which will likely result in protracted battles with Internet
companies over their responsibility for copyright infringement.
block order was handed down late last week by Judge Leonie Brinkema of the
Eastern District Court of Virginia, in response to a case brought by the
American Chemical Society (ACS).
Sci-Hub paints itself as a protest site against the academic
publishing business model, which makes access to published material expensive.
Academic publishers led by Elsevier see it as a pirate operation and have been
pursuing both Sci-Hub and its operator, Alexandra Elbakyan, since 2015.
The production company that made The Cosby Show has sued
the BBC (.pdf) over a documentary the British network aired about the rape
allegations against Bill Cosby. Carsey-Werner, the production company that is
the plaintiff in the case, says that the documentary is infringing its
copyright because it uses eight audiovisual clips and two musical cues from The
The documentary, titled Bill Cosby—Fall of an American Icon,
was broadcast on a BBC channel in the United Kingdom on June 5 of this year.
That was the same day that Cosby's prosecution for one assault began in
Pennsylvania. (The trial ended
in a hung jury.) The UK production company that made the documentary,
Sugar Films, is also named as a defendant in the case.
The push and shove of a copyright battle. Image Ben Challis (c) 2017
has moved at least 1.7 million articles to make them less easily available,
according to a publishers' group that sent mass take-down notices against
papers they said were in breach of copyright laws. At the beginning of October, the CRS, a group of
five publishers including Elsevier, Wiley and Brill, issued a wave of take-down
notices. Since then, 93 per cent of the CRS publishers'
papers had been made less accessible, explained Dr Milne, so that instead of
being instantly downloadable, users had to request a copy from the author.
CBS Corp. is at least one-third of the way back toward trial
on whether it owes royalties under California law for streaming pre-1972 music
over the internet.
Federal Circuit Judge Richard Linn, sitting as a visiting
judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sounded extremely
skeptical Thursday of the broadcaster’s defense that the process of digitally
remastering hits from the ’60s and ’70s made them derivative works of the 1980s
and therefore subject to post-1972 federal copyright law.
But Ninth Circuit Judges Marsha Berzon and Paul Watford
sounded somewhat more open to CBS’s argument, which if it stands could shut
down a campaign that’s produced tens if not hundreds of millions in settlements
from other internet broadcasters.
We shall await eagerly any update from this case as it
been no secret that the MPAA has been sticking its nose in the copyright laws
and enforcement of Australia for some time now. From pressuring government
officials in the country to force ISPs to act as copyright police, to trying to
keep Australian law as stuck in antiquity as it possibly could be, to trying to
force the country to enforce American intellectual property law except the
parts it doesn't like, the MPAA nearly seems to think of itself as an official
branch of the Australian government. Given the group's nakedly hostile stance
towards fair use, it should be no surprise that it doesn't want to see that
sort of law exported to other countries and has worked to actively prevent its
installation Down Under.
seems these efforts are not working, however, as the Australian government is currently entertaining not only adopting
American-style fair use laws, but also adding exceptions to geo-blocking as
well. The MPAA, as you'll have already guessed, is not happy about this.
Shani, the developer of the popular Kodi-addon ZemTV, is
asking the public for help so he can defend a lawsuit filed by American
satellite and broadcast provider Dish Network. A proper defense is needed to
avoid a bad precedent, he stresses. "The fight is rigged against the
little guy, they are trying to make something illegal that shouldn't be
The case is perhaps not as straightforward as either side
presents it. However, it is in the best interests of the general public that
both sides are properly heard. This is the first case against a Kodi-addon
developer and the outcome will set an important precedent. This CopyKat from Matthew Lingard (Walker Morris LLP)