Friday 13 March 2015

The CopyKat - Friday's feline feast

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have both sent letters to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) urging the organization to take strong action against the use of domain names for illegal and abusive activities including those related to copyright infringement. The RIAA had said it was disappointed with ICANN’s treatment of copyright abuse complaints and urged ICANN to make domain name registries and registrars investigate copyright abuse complaints and take swift action, not least because when ICANN recently opened up top-level domains, it included a provision in its contract with the registries of the new top-level domains which was called the Public Interest Commitment - agreeing that they would only do business with domain name registrars that prohibited its customers from distributing piracy, trademark and copyright infringement (amongst other things). More on Techspot here.

Here's an interesting take on copyright reform in the EU: "The reform of copyright also concerns linguistic precision - a distinction should be made between Anglo-American copyright and continental European authors' rights. With copyright exploitation rights are not necessary reserved for the creator." Its from Dietmar Köster, the European Parliament's EPP group shadow rapporteur looking towards a renewed consensus on the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the EU: That debate is being led by the rapporteur for parliament's legal affairs committee, Julia Reda, of the Greens/EFA group.

City University are organising a copyright-related seminar to be held at City Law School on Wednesday 1st April 2015, College Building, Room AG 02. The speaker is Professor Stavroula Karapapa (University of Reading), who will talk about "The Concept of 'Public' in Copyright Law" and will look at "what amounts to an actionable communication of copyright works to the public. Recent rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union uphold that infringement takes place not only where an unauthorised communication reaches the public but also where a communication is addressed to a «new public», i.e. a public that copyright holders had not taken into account when authorising the initial communication of the work. This newly developed doctrine does not refer to a public or a private circle in a copyright sense, but develops a sui generis legal fiction that fundamentally changes the communication right; it both restricts and expands its scope in ways that were not foreseen when the right was first introduced in international law, European copyright and the national laws of Member States. In its unnecessary complexity and complicated logic that challenges the credibility of copyright, the concept of the “new public” indicates that the extremely broad scope of the communication right is unworkable and counter productive, and invites a principle-based approach in examinations of infringement." More here.

CMU Daily reports that the City Of London Police's IP Crime Unit (PIPCU) has shut down a copyright infringing karaoke website following a complaint by PRS For Music. CMU tells us that KaraokeWorld was a BitTorrent site with a specific focus on accessing unlicensed karaoke tune. The service had a commercial element, with VIP memberships on offer from £5 to £90, which will have heightened the case for taking criminal rather than civil action against the operation. A 46 year old man believed to be the operator of the website was arrested as part of the shutdown. PIPCU Detective Chief Inspector Danny Medlycott told reporters: "The public needs to be aware that by accessing sites like this, they are putting money directly in the hands of criminals, which often then funds other serious organised crime, as well as putting their own financial and personal details at risk of being compromised and used for other fraudulent scams. These websites are stealing from the creative industries that employ thousands of people and PIPCU will continue to work closely with our partners to tackle the criminals behind these sites and bring them to justice".

AND FINALLY - AND coincidently set against the backdrop of the news that Sarah Brightman is working with Andrew Lloyd Webber on new material to perform in space -  this from a anonymous contributor who The CopyKat shall name only as 'Major Tom'.....

'Stimulated by Sarah Brightman's intention to be propelled into space in September, the EU has launched a Public Consultation into the collective administration of rights in extraterrestrial broadcasting. "We have asked her to delay her flight for an indefinite period - possibly several aeons - while we consult and decide on the cross-planet implications of the licensing of her performance', said an EU spokesperson. Elsewhere (George) Lucas Grange, supremo of Universal Music, said 'We are called Universal for a good reason. We have an exclusive arrangement with Ms Brightman and her ex-husband, with his Soyuzful Music Corporation, to handle all the publishing and artistic rights. People laughed at us when we signed everything for the Universe, but they are now laughing on the other side of their galaxies.' This claim was dismissed by Sergey Brin. 'Ms Brinman's voyage will take place in Google Rocket, propelled by Google Zoom. Her Google Watch will stream her singing via Google Play and Universal can go and sing for their royalties. Her destination was Google Moon, but if she fails in her mission then she and the royalties will fall into a Google Black Hole.' Speaking from a black hole in Brussels, an EU spokesperson stated that all modalities would be taken into consideration. The CEO of a central European collecting society, who wished to remain anonyme, said 'all public performance royalties from Ms Brightman's performances that cannot be distributed (and that means all of them) will be sucked into our black box, as is customary'.

To infinity ...... and beyond!

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