In the local election of Innsbruck, the Austrian Pirate Party has sent shockwaves by taking its first Austrian seat, finishing at 3.8% in the election.
This caused frontpage news in Austria – the tweeter @Exiledsurfer was kind enough to tweet the pictured frontpage. Taking one seat in the city parliament of Innsbruck in a local election may not seem like much – but it’s large enough to make the front page story, heralding a strong trend all over Europe – you can almost read the strong headline (“Pirates Get Their First Seat”) as though it read “It Begins!”. It is also noteworthy that their election budget was a mere three thousand euros.
This is a common recurring theme across Europe right now. South America is coming along well too, but appears to have trickier party registration rules – in any case, the PPs of Brazil and Argentina have been frequently seen in the community. The United States is boosting its presence state by state as well, although they have a different political system and will have to work with a slightly different modus operandi.
As I just wrote on TorrentFreak, it’s important to understand that when you take 5% of the votes in Europe, you get 5% of the seats. (Read more)
The Swedish government has formally recognised a “church” whose main belief is the right to file-share, in a move that is unlikely to be well-received by the Hollywood studios.
The recognition of the Church of Kopimism as a religion by the state of Sweden was revealed in a statement on the Church’s Website, after more than a year of trying to gain formal recognition. (Read more)
Recall that books published through 1922 are in the public domain in the US; those published since then are covered by copyright…..
So any arguments about underexploitation of unprotected works seem untenable.
If this were a moving wall, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad: eventually, books would come out of copyright and be released in new editions. But Disney does keep going back and insisting that nothing can ever be returned to the Commons from which they so liberally drew, and Congress loves Disney; we might reasonably expect another copyright term extension act to keep the wall fairly rigid.
This is the moment academic publishers gave up all pretence of being on the side of scientists. Their rhetoric has traditionally been of partnering with scientists, but the truth is that for some time now scientific publishers have been anti-science and anti-publication. The Research Works Act, introduced in the US Congress on 16 December, amounts to a declaration of war by the publishers.
The USA’s main funding agency for health-related research is the National Institutes of Health, with a $30bn annual budget. The NIH has a public access policy that says taxpayer-funded research must be freely accessible online. This means that members of the public, having paid once to have the research done, don’t have to pay for it again when they read it – a wholly reasonable policy, and one with enormous humanitarian implications because it means the results of medical research are made freely available around the world.
But, due to lobbying by academic publishers, “If passed, the Research Works Act (RWA) would prohibit the NIH’s public access policy and anything similar enacted by other federal agencies, locking publicly funded research behind paywalls.”
What we have here is a lobbying effort to take work out of the public domain and put it behind a copyright-like wall. (Read more)
The case, heard at the Patents County Court in London on 12 January, could have serious implications for photographers, according to photographic copyright expert Charles Swan, a lawyer at Swan Turton, who said: ‘His honour Judge Birss QC decided that a photograph of a red London bus against a black and white background of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, with a blank sky, was similar enough to another photograph of the same subject matter to infringe copyright.’ (Read more)
GoDaddy not only helped write #SOPA they are also exempt from it.
You may have heard about the mass exodus of customers from GoDaddy due to their support of SOPA. You may have also heard that GoDaddy no longer supports SOPA. The problem is, only one of those things is true. While GoDaddy no longer publicly supports SOPA, that is just a PR move. They have not withdrawn official support for the bill, let alone actually come out in opposition to it. But it gets worse. According to [THIS ARTICLE], not only did GoDaddy help write the damn thing, they are also exempt from complying with the law! (Read more)
Imgur to Boycott GoDaddy Over SOPA Support
The website did not itself host unlawful downloads or video streams, but acted as a directory of links to others that did, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
American authorities allege that Mr O’Dwyer made more than $230,000 by selling advertising on TVShack in three years until December 2010.
District Judge Quentin Purdy rejected all three of the defence’s arguments against extradition, including claims Mr O’Dwyer would not get a fair trial in the United States and that if a crime was committed he should be prosecuted in Britain. (Read more)
On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder urged Americans to fink on their neighbors and report intellectual-property offenses like popping or hawking unapproved pharmaceuticals and downloading music and movies illegally.
The announcement at the White House came as the Justice Department kicked off a public campaign against intellectual-property theft, which like all successful wars against societal scourges, will have public-service announcements on MTV.
“Fortunately, we can all be part of the solution. Anyone who suspects an IP crime can visit cybercrime.gov, fbi.gov, or iprcenter.gov to report suspected offenses,” Holder said. “The public’s proactive attention to these issues can help us to disrupt the sale of illegal goods; to prosecute the individuals, gangs, and international criminal organizations that profit from these activities; and to stop those who would exploit the ingenuity of others for monetary gain.” (Read more)
News Corp. honcho Rupert Murdoch threw his weight behind Congress’ attempt to restrict the Internet, personally lobbying leaders on Capitol Hill Wednesday for two measures that purport to combat piracy.
Murdoch’s media empire is among some 350 large corporations that have come out in favor of the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, as well as the Protect IP Act in the Senate.
Both measures would require Internet operators to police activity online, and would mandate Internet giants like Google and AOL (the parent company of The Huffington Post and an opponent of the bills) and credit card companies to take down sites that have content deemed to be in violation of copyright rules.
The battle has pitted huge content generators like Disney and the motion picture industry against their online competitors, with each side reportedly spending some $90 million on lobbying efforts. (Read more)
The U.S. government wants you to know, when you buy pirated goods, the terrorists win.
A new series of advertisements produced with U.S. taxpayer money is ruffling some feathers among opponents of anti-piracy legislation being considered by Congress. The short films take a highly dramaticized approach to showing the largely made-up world of piracy being run by gangs, thugs and child slavers, all of whom are allegedly supported through illegal downloads and bootleg products.
Nevermind that the facts do not bear these allegations out: the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is making the case anyway. (Read more)
One in three people in Switzerland download unauthorized music, movies and games from the Internet and since last year the government has been wondering what to do about it. This week their response was published and it was crystal clear. Not only will downloading for personal use stay completely legal, but the copyright holders won’t suffer because of it, since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products.
swissIn Switzerland, just as in dozens of other countries, the entertainment industries have been complaining about dramatic losses in revenue due to online piracy.
In a response, the Swiss government has been conducting a study into the impact downloading has on society, and this week their findings were presented.
The overall conclusion of the study is that the current copyright law, under which downloading copyrighted material for personal use is permitted, doesn’t have to change. (Read more)