University of Glasgow Intellectual Property Student Society: Interview with CopyrightUser.org’s Bartolomeo Meletti

Image credit: GU-IPS

In celebration of World Intellectual Property Day 2019 (Friday, 26 April), Anthony Rosborough (LLM Candidate in the Intellectual Property & The Digital Economy Programme at the University of Glasgow) conducted an interview with Bartolomeo Meletti (Creative Director of CopyrightUser.org) to discuss CopyrightUser.org, the challenges of making copyright law accessible for creators and users, and the future of copyright in light of impending EU reform. A full transcript of the interview is available via the University of Glasgow Intellectual Property Student Society webpage here.

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4th Annual European Copyright Society Conference: A Copyright for Authors and Performers (Oslo, 24 – 25 May 2019)

The European Copyright Society (la Société européenne du droit d’auteur) was founded in 2012 by leading scholars to support critical and independent thinking on European Copyright Law and policy.

This year’s conference will take place on 24-25 May at the University of Oslo.

The theme is: A Copyright for Authors and Performers

Speakers include Prof. Jonathan Griffiths, Queen Mary University of London; Prof. Martin Kretschmer, CREATe Centre, University of Glasgow; Prof. Estelle Derclaye, University of Nottingham; Prof. Bernt Hugenholtz, University of Amsterdam; Prof. Valerie Laure Benabou, Université de Versailles Saint Quentin; Prof. Alexander Peukert, University of Frankfurt; Professor Severine Dusollier, Sciences Po Law School, Paris; Professor Marie-Christine Jansens, KU Leuven; Prof. Christophe Geiger, University of Strasbourg; Prof. Raquel Xalabarder, Universitat Oberta Catalunya; Prof. Thomas Riis, University of Copenhagen; Prof. Alain Strowel, Université Catolique de Louvain; Professor Axel Metzger, Humboldt Universität, Berlin; Professor Martin Senftleben, VU University, Amsterdam; Professor Daniel Gervais, Vanderbilt University, US; Professor Lionel Bently, University of Cambridge; Professor Tatiana Synodinou, University of Cyprus

Conference website: https://www.jus.uio.no/english/research/areas/mic/events/2019/ecs-conference-2019.html

ECS website: https://europeancopyrightsociety.org/

Conference venue: Room “Gamle Festsal”, Faculty of Law, Karl Johans gate 47, Oslo, Domus Academica.

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Copyright Evidence Wiki April 2019 Round-Up

To view the full Wiki click here or the image above.

This is part of a series of summary posts rounding-up new entries to the Copyright Evidence Wiki (organised thematically). As part of CREATe’s workstream for the AHRC Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, the Wiki catalogues empirical studies on copyright. This month, we summarise new studies added to the database under the themes of: Piracy; Copyright in Courts, and; Perceptions of Copyright.
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Copyright, policymaking and the public voice: Vacancy for a post-doctoral researcher

A vacancy is now available for a post-doctorate research officer, to work one day a week on a project that will deliver a new model for copyright consultations, and for consultations on media policy more generally.

The AHRC-funded project is entitled ‘Improving Deliberation, Improving Copyright’, and the aim is to co-produce, with copyright stakeholders and members of the public, a set of guidelines for policy consultation processes that more effectively incorporate a wide range of stakeholder voices into debates about copyright policy.  CREATe (as part of the AHRC Policy & Evidence Centre PEC)  is a partner on the project, which is being led by Dr Lee Edwards (LSE) and Dr Giles Moss (University of Leeds). Continue reading

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Report: Seminar by Prof. Paul Heald on “The Effect of Copyright on Book Markets in South Africa (with application to other life-plus regimes)”

Report by by Amy Thomas (CREATe PhD candidate, sub-editor Evidence Wiki)

Paul Heald – professor of law

What happens to the availability and price of books when they move from copyrighted status to the public domain? This question is of primacy to the work of Prof. Paul Heald (University of Illinois), who presented on this topic and its application to the South African market on 22 February 2019 at the University of Glasgow.

Amidst the debates surrounding the Copyright Amendment Bill, Prof. Heald addressed two main questions for the South African regime:

  • First, is it preferable to follow the upward trend of extending the duration of copyright to last for the life of the author plus 70 years? Currently, South African copyright law extends to the life of the author plus 50 years, though the government is facing increasing pressure to extend this.
  • Second, is there evidence to suggest that the duration of an author’s reversion right should be dramatically reduced? Currently, and upon assignment of rights, a rights reversion occurs 25 years after the authors death in South Africa. Under the proposed reform, this would be reduced to 25 years following the actual transfer of the rights.

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Report: CREATe Public Lecture by Prof. Peter Drahos – The Great Transformation or Going to Hell in a Handbasket?: Innovation and Intellectual Property in the 21st Century

Report by Andrea Göhring (LLM Candidate in the Intellectual Property & Digital Economy Programme at the University of Glasgow)

For the third and final public lecture of this term, CREATe welcomed Prof. Peter Drahos (European University Institute), who gave a lecture on: ‘The Great Transformation or Going to Hell in a Handbasket?: Innovation and Intellectual Property in the 21st Century.’ to the interested audience. The event took place on the 6th of March in the University of Glasgow’s Arts and Humanities Theatre.

Director of CREATe, Prof. Martin Kretschmer, announced the lecture with the words ‘a lecture that will not be what you expect’. The lecture that followed sure lived up to this introduction. Prof. Drahos presented a project that does not directly address intellectual property, but capitalism and the transformation it will have to undergo in order to achieve climate change goals. In his lecture he discussed how we can create circular, green, low carbon, sustainable and, above all, more innovative economies. To this end, he asked the question: is intellectual property law’s exclusivity paradigm taking us into the right direction? Continue reading

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3D Printing and Intellectual Property Futures: post-seminar reflections by Dr Angela Daly

Guest post by Dr Angela Daly (Assistant Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law).

Image credit: Ippicture (Pixabay)

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a new emerging technology which has prompted significant debate and discussion regarding its social, economic and legal impact. From the emergence of 3D printed guns and the associated concerns regarding crime and terrorism, to the possibility of 3D printed food and houses, the implementations of this technology are wide ranging and have provoked both excitement and fear in equal measures.

One major issue for 3D printing’s design, use and implementation so far is its relationship with intellectual property (IP) law. 3D printing is a decentralised technology, a feature it shares with the Internet. This characteristic along with the availability of cheap 3D printing machines, has given rise to concern that 3D printing may facilitate mass IP infringement in a similar way to the Internet has done via easy data replicability and file sharing. 3D printing requires digital design files as an input, along with the raw materials, to create final objects. These digital design files may be found on, and downloaded from, Internet sites such as GitHub and Thingiverse. Another perspective on these possibilities brought by 3D printing is the idea that 3D printing may ‘democratise’ the creation of physical objects in the same way that the Internet has ‘democratised’ the creation of digital objects. Continue reading

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The Copyright Directive: Articles 11 and 13 must go – Statement from European Academics in advance of the Plenary Vote on 26 March 2019

Academics from the leading European research centres for intellectual property and information law have taken a consistent position on the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

Click image to download statement.

While we welcomed the ambition for copyright rules to be modernised “in the light of the digital revolution, new consumer behaviour and Europe’s cultural diversity” (Commission president Juncker’s 2014 “mission letter” to Günther Oettinger, then Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society), the implementation of this goal has been misguided.

Policy making moved from “legislative steps towards a connected Digital Single Market” towards supporting narrow sectoral interests. During a full parliamentary period, this new form of industrial policy was turned into an ideological battle between European culture and so-called “GAFA” (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), the multinational industrial complex dominated by US firms.

In our first open letter of 24 February 2017, we said:

“While the Proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (COM(2016) 593 final) contains a number of reasonable, common sense measures (…), there are two provisions that are fundamentally flawed. They do not serve the public interest.

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EU Copyright Reform: What you may have missed

Blog by Amy Thomas (CREATe PhD candidate, sub-editor Evidence Wiki)

Next Tuesday, March 26th, will be the final plenary vote on the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive. The focus has been on Articles 11 (press publishers’ right) and 13 (licensing obligation leading to upload filters), with demonstrations, petitions and blackouts, for example of the German, Czech, Danish and Slovak Wikipedia sites.

This blog post will look at some of the lesser-known provisions of the proposed Directive (and what provisions we’ve lost and gained since the original Commission draft in 2016). The discussion is based on the final compromise text agreed on 13 February available here.

Text and Data Mining (TDM) – Article 3

At present, the legality of TDM activities in the EU is uncertain, in part due to the narrow construction of existing copyright exceptions under Article 5(3) of the InfoSoc Directive. In order to clarify the status of such activities, the new Directive proposes to explicitly except TDM activities from copyright infringement, in a hope to boost research into important areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Continue reading

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Kretschmer at House of Lords Communications Committee

On Tuesday March 12th, I gave evidence at the House of Lords Communications Committee, which has a remit to investigate the media and creative industries. The Committee mirrors in some ways the Commons DCMS Committee. The meeting was a private session on the future of intellectual property policy. The brief for me (and for the other witness, Geoff Taylor, CEO of the trade body of the UK record industry: BPI/British Phonographic Industry) was to consider how the UK’s Intellectual Property framework could be improved for the benefit of the creative sector. The context included proposed EU copyright legislation and UK action under the aegis of the Industrial Strategy.

More specifically, there are a number of anticipated interventions relating to platforms and online harm. The DCMS Committee has just published its report on Disinformation and ‘fake news’.  And there is a question if the government’s long awaited Online Harms White Paper should include economic harm (such as copyright infringement).

Since intellectual property issues are a new concern of the Committee, my own short presentation focused on the basic trade-off underlying intellectual property law, between incentives and costs, under-production and under-use.  It did this through a review of reviews (such as Gowers 2006 and Hargreaves 2011). I identified three common groups of policy recommendations. Proposed interventions tend to focus on Lubrication, Enforcement and Innovation. Of these, the Innovation dimension is least understood: What is the Innovation we are looking for? Quotation in film, conceptual art, digitizing collections, sampling, user-generated content? Market entry? Technology? And what kind of evidence should underpin policy?

Inevitably, such discussion then touches Brexit, and the constraints and potential flexibilities associated with it. After the Committee meeting, I crossed the corridors to the Commons, and was admitted to the Commons gallery in time for the meaningful vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. A somber House, and a strange occasion for a German citizen residing in Scotland.

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