Category Archives: Copyright & IP

Creative Commons, copyright & IP in April

Copyright Criminals documentary: sampling & IP law

A documentary titled Copyright Criminals, which examines the messy three-way collision between digital technology, musical collage, and intellectual property law used 400 brief but unlicensed clips.

‘… one of those slapped with a suit was George Clinton—for sampling one of his own records. True story. “Yeah, I got sued for sampling my own stuff,” Clinton told us with a bemused smile.’

Copyright Criminals


Dutch government flips entire web copyright to CC0 by default


Science Commons: we’re launching the public discussion period for our CC patent tools


Peer-to-patent lets the public participate in the examination of patent applications Community Patent Review



PEW Research Center Report: The Impact of the Internet on Institutions in the Future download PDF


When complex business models collapse Clay Shirky on why online video will not generate enough revenue to support the cost base of existing TV companies.

[T]here are two ways to generate a profit: raise revenues above expenses, or cut expenses below revenues … for many media business, that second option is unreachable.


In [complex] systems, there is no way to make things a little bit simpler – the whole edifice becomes a huge, interlocking system not readily amenable to change. Tainter doesn’t regard the sudden decoherence of these societies as either a tragedy or a mistake—”[U]nder a situation of declining marginal returns collapse may be the most appropriate response”, to use his pitiless phrase. Furthermore, even when moderate adjustments could be made, they tend to be resisted, because any simplification discomfits elites.


Morozov “Think Again: the Internet” piece in Foreign Policy

They told us it would usher in a new era of freedom, political activism, and perpetual peace. They were wrong.


Digital power and its discontents. Morozov & Shirky discuss.


An economist on rival goods and public goods Why content is a public good


The “fair use economy” is enormous, growing, and endangered by the relatively tiny entertainment industry

Cory Doctorow


Jeremy Silver of Featured Artists Coalition on piracy, artists the music business and licensing

We want copyright to ensure that artists get paid for their work equitably in equal proportion to the effort involved in its creation, promotion and distribution. We want copyright to ensure that artists are credited by name for the work that they create. And we want copyright to ensure that specific moral and ethical requests made by an artist are respected. So if an artist says: “I don’t want my work used in advertising at all” that is adhered to. But that the default condition of their work is that it is available for use, to be licensed, from day one automatically – without need for negotiation.

The Music Void




Media law in April

Blogpost: BCA Drop Case Against Simon Singh Jack of Kent


And his libel fight is over: 50,000 signatures, 3 party pledges, 268 MPs backing EDM –


Does the Tories’ iPhone App violate the Data Protection Act? Call a friend


UK: Legal experts fear new case of ‘libel tourism’ European Journalism Centre


EU likely to push for net neutrality Public Technology


Canadian “Climatologist sues, wants paper to erase all traces of libel” Ars Techica


Out-law radio: Existing copyright law could protect free speech




Argentine philosophy professor Horacio Potel faces criminal charges and a possible jail sentence for posting  translations of Jaques Derrida’s work to his website for his students. Via Boing Boing and More

New Zealand scraps Controversial ‘3 Strikes’ Anti-Piracy Law which would have led to alleged copyright infringers being disconnected from the internet

A major new report published by the Rowntree Trust on the database state via Open Democracy

guardiantech: Channel 4’s 4ip fund invests in discussion tool Yoosk  ‘famous people. you ask. we connect. they answer’ Based in Warwickshire and Vietnam. About Yoosk . Download pdf

Music Week on Digital Rights Agency Geoff Taylor of the BPI would like government  enforcement against filesharing, but cheaper.

“…the [digital] rights agency is ‘an answer looking for a question’…without a clear remit or responsibility.”

No case for copyright extension on sound recordings. Academics’ letter to Times.

Downloadable font formats for the Web (article): An example of thinking about how the rights of creators can be respected without  resorting to DRM.  Exactly the kind of pragmatic discussion we should be having about other forms of creative work.


Newspapers: Seattle Post-Intelligencer ends printing. Staff cuts, continues as web-only publication

iPod headphones aren´t DRMed, just controlled by a proprietary chip that you have to license

Guardian Tech OFCOM sets out challenge of broadband Britain

More James Boyle and ‘How extending copyright term in sound recordings actually works’ with link to PDF

Guardian Tech Richard Smith. Good summary of James Boyle’s case for The Public Domain.

UK IPO office: since July ISPs issuing 1,000 notifications a week on behalf of copyright holders to P2P users