The decade-long legal fight over Google’s effort to create a digital library of millions of books is finally over ... the Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge from authors who had argued that the tech giant’s project was ‘brazen violation of copyright law’ — effectively ending the legal battle in Google’s favour. Without the Supreme Court taking up the case, a federal appeals court ruling from October, which found that the book-scanning program fell under the umbrella of fair use, will stand.” More here
Getty Images has filed a formal antitrust complaint with the European Commission about Google image search. According to reports, Getty claims that high-resolution Google image search results, “scraped” from its customers’ sites, are “siphoning traffic and profits from photographers.” Getty argues, because people can view high-quality versions of its photos in image search results, consumers don’t need to click through to publisher sites, and traffic and revenues are suffering accordingly. Google and Getty Images had been in talks for some time over Getty’s concerns about high-resolution images in Google image search. However, Getty says that Google ultimately told the company to “accept the new image format or opt out of image search”. According to the Financial Times Getty said it felt coerced by Google’s market power into participating. Something it clearly now regrets doing. More here.
According to the IFPI's head of anti-piracy, calling illegal downloading "piracy" has become somewhat of a negative. The problem is that the concept of piracy is, well, just too 'romantic' and exciting. What's not to like about Pirates of the Caribbean (well quite a lot BUT the franchise got Keef in it). Graeme Grant is suggesting a name change - but can simply changing the name of something really change the beast?
Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, the UK's Minister for Intellectual Property, has confirmed that the British government is leaning toward the idea of increasing the sentence for online piracy, to bring it into line with that for physical infringement: “Last year the government consulted on increasing the maximum term to 10 years. We received over a thousand responses, which have played a significant part in helping to shape the discussion” she said.
Baidu, China’s largest search engine, has signed a formal agreement with the United Kingdom concerning the platform's management of intellectual property rights. There are no clear details of the new Memorandum of Understanding about IP infringement, except that the signing was witnessed by Dr Ros Lynch, Director of Copyright and Enforcement at the UK Intellectual Property Office, who is currently in China to promote UK-China copyright week, and that also attending were Baidu president Ya-Qin Zhang and Robin Li, Baidu’s co-founder, chairman and CEO of Baidu. The MoU concerns ‘Copyright Protection Collaboration’. We await details in the next IPO China newsletter! More here!
Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte has put out a statement and a video claiming that the House Judiciary Committee which he chairs is finally ready to start releasing some proposals in response to US Copyright Registrar Maria Pallante's call for Congress to create the "next great Copyright Act". Goodlatte says he is currently focussing on reforms where there is consensus, saying: "In the weeks ahead, we will identify areas where there is a likelihood of potential consensus and circulate outlines of potential reforms in those areas. Then we will convene stakeholders for further work on these potential reforms. And you have my personal commitment that as the review shifts to more focused work on potential reforms, the process will be transparent and the Committee will continue to ensure that all interested parties have the opportunity to weigh in on issues of concern to them. Our copyright system deserves no less." and "...it is critical that Congress understand the overall impact of any changes in copyright law before proceeding with formally introduced legislation. It is also clear that neither a solely copyright owner focused bill, nor a copyright user focused bill, could be enacted by Congress today, nor should they be. Goodlatte said that the review of the country’s copyright law, which included 20 formal hearings as well as public roundtables in Nashville, Santa Clara and Los Angeles, helped "develop a comprehensive record of the issues facing the American copyright system today.” TechDirt has its own opinion here and more on MusicWeek here.