Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Proposed EU Copyright Rules Could Aid Pandora, Spotify, Netflix, Lovefilm, In Fact Every Streaming Firm; Forbes, 12/10/13
Tim Worstall, Forbes; Proposed EU Copyright Rules Could Aid Pandora, Spotify, Netflix, Lovefilm, In Fact Every Streaming Firm: "The European Union is proposing some changes to how copyright works inside the bloc and one of the things they’re discussing could make it much easier for the streaming companies like Netflix NFLX +2.1%, Spotify, Pandora and all the rest. This is just, in this area at least, something under discussion, open for commentary, but it is one of those things that sounds like a good idea. The problem is that the EU market for copyright is extremely fragmented: to put it in US terms it’s almost as if each State offers copyright on things in that State."
Out-law.com, Register; One European copyright law-to-rule-them-all? EU launches review: "The European Commission is seeking industry views on whether to completely harmonise copyright laws across the EU. The Commission has launched a consultation in an effort to gather views on how to modernise the existing EU copyright framework (36-page/223KB PDF). Respondents are being asked for views on matters ranging from the accessibility of digital content across the trading bloc, limitations and exceptions to copyright protection and remuneration for rights holders. However, it is also consulting on whether to set copyright rules that apply consistently across the whole of the EU. At the moment there are a number of EU laws governing copyright but which each EU member state have implemented differently. "The idea of establishing a unified EU Copyright Title has been present in the copyright debate for quite some time now, although views as to the merits and the feasibility of such an objective are divided," the Commission said in its consultation paper. "A unified EU Copyright Title would totally harmonise the area of copyright law in the EU and replace national laws. There would then be a single EU title instead of a bundle of national rights.""
Natasha Singer, New York Times; In a Scoreboard of Words, a Cultural Guide: "“We wanted to create a scientific measuring instrument, something like a telescope, but instead of pointing it at a star, you point it at human culture,” Mr. Michel recalls. The pair approached Peter Norvig, the director of research at Google, with a pie-in-the-sky proposal: to mine Google’s library of digital books so they could apply automated quantitative analysis to the typically qualitative study of history. According to the book, Mr. Norvig was intrigued. But he challenged the graduate students by asking how such a system could work without violating copyright. After some thought, Mr. Aiden and Mr. Michel proposed creating a kind of “shadow data set” that would contain frequency statistics on the most common words or phrases in the digitized books — but would not contain the books’ actual texts. The pair developed a prototype interface, called Bookworm, to prove their idea. Soon after, engineers at Google, including Jon Orwant and Will Brockman, built a public, web-based version of the tool."
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Largest-Ever Open Access Publishing Initiative To Start At CERN In January; Intellectual Property Watch, 12/5/13
William New, Intellectual Property Watch; Largest-Ever Open Access Publishing Initiative To Start At CERN In January: "The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced today that the largest scientific open access initiative ever will begin on 1 January 2014. The initiative, called the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3), has the support of partners in 24 countries and will make available a vast portion of scientific articles in the field of high-energy physics, open access at no cost for any author. “[E]veryone will be able to read them; authors will retain copyright; and generous licenses will enable wide re-use of this information,” CERN said in a release. “This is the largest scale global Open Access initiative ever built,” it said, involving an international collaboration of over 1,000 libraries, library consortia and research organizations. SCOAP3 enjoys the support of funding agencies and has been established in co-operation with leading publishers, it noted."
IP-Watch Works To Open TPP Text; USTR Misses Response Deadline; Intellectual Property Watch, 12/4/13
William New, Intellectual Property Watch; IP-Watch Works To Open TPP Text; USTR Misses Response Deadline: "Intellectual Property Watch, an independent accredited journalist organisation, has been working with Yale Law School to make more information public about US government involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement under negotiation with 11 other countries. The TPP talks begun in 2008 have been conducted under an unprecedented lack of transparency from the standpoint of media and the public, making it difficult to report meaningful stories about the issue, or for the public to provide meaningful input. IP-Watch, www.ip-watch.org, has worked for more than a year with the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic (MFIA) to pursue a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request at the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) in order to obtain more information on the TPP. The request includes the US positions in the talks, and the lobbying influences that have shaped those positions. IP-Watch is particularly targeting aspects of the draft treaty related to intellectual property rights, but this is an issue that cuts across many other areas."
Steven Musil, CNet; Appeals court considers Oracle's Java copyright claims: "A US appeals court on Wednesday considered whether Oracle should be afforded copyright protection over certain portions of the Java programming language in a case that is being closely watched by software developers. The appeal, being heard by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, is the latest chapter in the company's long-running patent and copyright battle over Google's use of Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in Android. Oracle sued Google in 2010, alleging that Google's use of 37 Java APIs in its mobile operating system constituted patent and copyright infringement. Google argued it was free to use them because the Java programming language is free to use and the APIs are required to use the language. Oracle countered that Google knowingly used the APIs without a license from Sun Microsystems, which Oracle purchased in 2010."
EU lawmakers ask for help tackling copyright questions in the cloud era; IDG News Service via PC World, 12/5/13
Jennifer Baker, IDG News Service via PC World; EU lawmakers ask for help tackling copyright questions in the cloud era: "The European Commission on Thursday asked the public for feedback on whether the European Union’s copyright laws are fit for the digital age. The consultation is part of a reform of the E.U.’s copyright rules. The Commission wants to create a level playing field across the E.U. with the possibility of a single license to cover all 28 member states. It is thought this would help companies like Spotify, which offers music streaming."