CBC: Who Owns Ideas?

A CBC Radio feature:

Jim Lebans, a producer with CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, looks at the tangled world of intellectual property and how the digital age is challenging ideas about who owns our culture.

Heart Codemns the Use of the Song Barracuda at the Republican Convention

Interesting note from the band's website.

The USA doesn't fully recognize moral rights, so there may be no legal case in the USA. In Canada, things might be different, so politicians should take note. According to the Creative Commons Canada Moral Rights FAQ:

The right of integrity also protects creators from having their works associated with products, services, causes or institutions that would harm their honour or reputation.

Green Party on copyright: responses from Dan Grice (Vancouver Quadra candidate)

Last Saturday, independent MP Blair Wilson announced that he will be sitting as a member of the Green Party of Canada. This is historic as it is the first Green Party member in a federal legislature in one of those few countries still using the First Past the Post voting system.

The Green Party will be taken more seriously because they have as many seats as the Reform party did prior to the 1993 election. Prior to that election their only sitting member was Deborah Grey who won in a 1989 by-election. During this election the Reform party won 52 seats.

With this in mind, people have been asking to hear more about their positions on copyright and related issues.

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's blog »

W3C Member Submission Request: ccREL

A submission has been made to the W3C to introduce the Creative Commons Rights Expression Language (ccREL). This compliments a number of other projects they are involved in to help create standards around Rights Expression (IE: digitally encoded license agreements) which are fundamental to the technical side of what in Copyright is called "Rights Management Information".

See also: RFC4946 - Atom License Extension

Disney's rights to young Mickey Mouse may be wrong

An article by Joseph Menn, a Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, focused on whether Mickey Mouse was in the public domain. The broader, and I think more important policy issue this debate brings forward, is why we are continuing to use such extremely complex formula for determining when human creativity finally becomes recyclable (copyright term expires).

Copyright Owners Must Consider 'Fair Use' Before Sending Takedown Notice in USA

According to a Wired article by David Kravets, a federal judge on Wednesday said copyright owners must consider "fair use" of their works before sending takedown notices to online video-sharing sites.

This is also yet another reminder that you cannot automate copyright issues in software. What is and is not permissible under copyright is something that requires human thinking about things such as fair use, and not something which can be objectively written into computer software. In a rational society this would kill attempts to force ISPs to install filters given there is no way the filter can be accurate.

Open Access textbooks, provincial ministers of education and Access Copyright

There is an interesting article by Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times talking about the "eye-popping costs" of college and university textbooks. Caltech economics professor R. Preston McAfee offers a solution, which is to create textbooks that can be freely distributed given the bulk of these costs come from copyright costs and the costs of largely unnecessary intermediaries. McAfee "finds it annoying that students and faculty haven't looked harder for alternatives to the exorbitant prices".

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's blog »

Article linked by Gavin Baker

U2's Bono for human rights, employee McGuinness against?

An amusing article by Steven Musil for cNet:

Four songs from the Irish rock band's forthcoming album found themselves on the Internet after U2 front man Bono was caught playing the songs a bit too loudly on his stereo at his villa in the south of France.

Copyright shift format

Today's globe and mail has an editorial on Bill C-61 which is critical of the bill, but not nearly critical enough. Here is the reply I sent to the editor. I could have said much much more, but the likelihood of being printed and the length of the submission has a very strong inverse relationship.


Recording Industry vs The People

For anyone who is not already following it, they should be following commercial litigator and internet law attorney Ray Beckerman's "Recording Industry vs The People" blog. This is where you can following the cases which the recording industry is increasingly losing due to their (and those they hire) questionable investigatory techniques and legal theories. It has been interesting to watch US cases turn the same way as the only Canadian case did: lost due to lack of evidence of infringing activity.

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