Research from the Motion Picture Association Of America (MPAA) claims that web-blocking in the UK is proving a substantial deterrent to online piracy - even where proxy sites enable users to access blocked services. An internal MPAA report , seen by Torrentfreak, shows that that visits to infringing sites UK sites that had been blocked declined by more than 90% in total during the measurement period or by 74.5% when proxy sites are included. The research is referenced in a report being prepared for the Australian government which is currently considering new anti-piracy measures, including web-blocking. Though Torrentfreak wonders if the fact the MPAA is conducting research of this kind suggests that it is planning on pushing for web-blocking in the US once again.
And UK Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has warned internet search engine companies legislation could be introduced if they do not make "real progress" in clamping down on links to pirate websites. He told the Annual General Meeting of the record label's trade association the BPI that he and Business Secretary Vince Cable had written to leading firms such as Google requesting they work with record firms in finding a way to stop giving easy access to sites which violate copyright saying " No industry - and no Government - can let this level of infringement continue on such a massive, industrial scale" noting that without enforceable copyright there would be “no A&R, no recording studios, no producers, no session musicians, no publicity, no artwork. None of the vital ingredients that take the music created made by talented artists and turn it into something the whole world can enjoy. It’s what our past success was built on, and it’s what our future success depends on” adding "Copyright infringement is theft, pure and simple".
"The next generation of wars over knowledge, culture, drawings, information, and data is just around the corner, and it’s going to get much uglier with more stakes involved on all sides. We have gotten people elected to parliaments (and stayed there) on the conflict just as it stands now. As this divide deepens, and nothing suggests it won’t, then people will start to pay more attention. And maybe, just maybe, that will be the beginning of the end of these immoral and deeply unjust monopolies known as copyrights and patents." An interesting article.
The UK's Copyright Licensing Agency and the China's Written Works Copyright Society have signed an agreement which will, for the first time, place numerous Chinese written works in the British market, including books, articles in newspapers and magazines and academic papers. Yan Xiaohong, deputy chief of the Chinese National Copyright Administration, said the agreement marks a milestone in copyright protection for Chinese works in overseas markets saying "It will encourage more Chinese writers and publishers to produce more high-quality copyright works appealing to foreigners, and guarantee their economic benefits" adding "Also, it will serve as a trailblazer for more agreements of its kind to be signed with copyright collective management agencies in other countries and regions of the world. Eventually, this kind of cooperation will boost Chinese cultural exports." The CWWCS is the only valid organization approved by the National Copyright Administration to collectively manage and operate copyright in China. Richard Mollet, chair of the UK Publisher's Association and the UK Alliance for Intellectual Property, and UK Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe also attended the signing ceremony.
And finally ..... and with echoes of Lawrence Lessig's tussle with Liberation Music over the use of a clip of a Phoenix track in a presentation on cultural and technological innovation - comes news that Professor Lionel Bently has similarly had a video temoved from YouTube - because the English Football Association Premier League claimed that it infringed their copyrights. TechDirt reports that the clip was used by Professor Bently at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) July Information Influx event, which included a panel discussion on "Who Owns the World Cup?" discussing the very question of copyright and sports clips.
It is reported (though this Kat can't confirm) that Professor Bently was arguing in favour of better copyright protection for sporting events - an area where the FAPL have struggled in their battle to prevent unauthorised broadcasts with courts finding that only certain elements of live match transmisisons protectable (logos, anthems and clips from past matches). In the Lessig case, Liberation Music reached a settlement with Lessig. The settlement included an admission that Lessig had the right to use a track by the band Phoenix, and Liberation admitted Lessig's use of the song was protected by fair use - and Liberation agreed to adopt new policies around issuing takedown notices. I wonder if, in the different regime of fair dealing, and with the newly revised S30A "quotation" exception not yet in place in the UK (due 1st October 2014 I believe), the Premier League will take the same approach in the UK - or maybe just apply some common sense? Whatever the FAPL do or don't do, the phrase that most springs to my mind (and others it must be said) is 'own goal'.
There is more on this story on the Kluwer Copyright Blog "Premier League claims copyright on football matches shown in copyright debat" by Thomas Margoni, Institute for Information Law (IViR)