Tuesday 29 April 2014

Today the CopyKat pokes a ponderous paw at politics

Stan McCoy, the assistant US Trade Representative who oversaw the creation of the copyright provisions in ACTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership has left the Obama administration for a job at the film industry's lobbying group, the MPAA. The Obama administration has headhunted software industry lobbyist Robert Holleyman  (who supported SOPA) to take over his job. More on this revolving door between the US government and content owners' lobby groups and trade associations on Vox here.

Karl Marx
An unusual copyright spat has caught the attention of a number of blogs who noticed that the radical publishing house Lawrence & Wishart - at one time was connected to Great Britain's Communist Party - was demanding the removal from the Marxists Internet Archive of the "Marx-Engels Collected Works" - a series of US $25-$50 hard cover books - because the texts were their translations - and they had copyright in those translations. The archive has posted a message to its readers informing them that Lawrence & Wishart's material would be removed by April 30 although that "English translations of Marx and Engels from other sources will continue to be available." The Socialist Worker asks "Should Marx and Engels be copyrighted?" quoting an opinion from Andrew Leonard who says  'I wonder — just how angry would Karl Marx get if he learned that the publisher of his collected works, in the name of maximizing profits, was using copyright law to hinder the cause of “equipping the working-class movement with the scientific ideology… for the realization… of communism” ?' More here: http://socialistworker.org/blog/critical-reading/2014/04/26/should-marx-and-engels-be-copy

Reed on oh great minister
Popular Bulgarian musicians have delivered proposals for amendments to the Bulgarian Copyright Act at the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in Sofia to Bulgarian Minister of Culture Petar Stoyanovich and Deputy Minister of Culture Vasil Vasilev by symbolically handing over their proposals written on papyrus. The proposals for amendments concern five articles of the Bulgarian Copyrights Act: Article 21 (cable re-transmission); Article 26 (free carriers); Article 40 (tariffs regulation); Article 58; and Article 98. At the meeting it was agreed to hold another meeting in two weeks. Different Bulgarian musicians have united under the motto “For REVIVAL of the Bulgarian culture” supporting the cause of establishing stable legal preconditions for development of the Bulgarian culture and the wish of Bulgarian artists to declare their will for the establishment of an optimal mechanism for protection of their rights. The ministers expressed readiness to do their best to establish a normal environment where the Bulgarian artists can work and create. 

Trevor Clarke, Assistant Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has told a conference in Tehran that although Iran has taken concrete steps to protect the intellectual property rights, it should join the Universal Copyright Convention. Iran joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2001 and approved the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration in 2005.

And the United States has removed the Philippines from its blacklist of countries which fail to properly protect U.S. copyrights and patents, the U.S. Trade Representative said on Monday.
Whilst the Philippines had introduced laws to better protect intellectual property rights and also beefed up enforcement, there was more to be done with the USTR stating "Although significant challenges remain, the commitment of Philippine authorities and the results achieved merit this change in status". 

And finally, PCWorld lets us into a leak from the European Commission which reveals that EU lawmakers believe that micro-licensing could solve copyright problems related to user generated content (UGC). The document, which pre-dates the latest public consultation on EU copyright reform, takes the view that although there are problems with UCG, “legal certainty” may be provided through micro-licences: The document says that “There remain technological obstacles to the ability of UCG generators to identify themselves and reap economic reward for their work”.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ben, why are you posting the photograph or a collecting society driven lobby group? Or is this site perhaps confused with a European Commission consultation website? 'Yes to Culture' is all very fine, but it's worth the very very short read to get inspiration and concrete suggestions right?

Ben said...

Ah. sorry it was meant to be an ironic reference to an earlier post on this Blog on 24.02.14. But if you don't like it - it can be changed! And it will be.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ben, you do take care of your readers! and thanks for keeping this wonderful blog.