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Analysis and Comment (43)

Let’s hope PG Tips don’t see this. Let’s hope PG Tips don’t see this. EPA

Graffiti copyright battles pitch artists against advertisers

Graffiti is sometimes considered a lesser art as it is either produced illegally or just displayed on the streets and therefore outside the official art gallery circuit. Yet graffiti, and street art more…
No make up on me! No make up on me! Wikimedia

So who does own the copyright on a monkey selfie?

Whilst visiting a national park in North Sulawesi wildlife photographer David Slater had his camera stolen – not by a thief, but by an inquisitive crested black macaque. The resulting selfies are causing…
Making ISPs liable for the actions of their users almost certainly won’t help artists. Making ISPs liable for the actions of their users almost certainly won’t help artists. AAP/Joe Castro

Why Australians should back Turnbull in the stoush over copyright

Attorney-General George Brandis is at loggerheads with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull over proposed reforms to the Copyright Act. Brandis wants ISPs to take more responsibility for copyright…
Sherlock Holmes and his friends will remain in the public domain. Sherlock Holmes and his friends will remain in the public domain. EPA/ Andy Rain

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Copyright

Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court dismissed a plea from the Conan Doyle Estate, which was trying to stop the publication of a new book based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective Sherlock…
American internet sensation Michelle Phan is being sued for copyright. American internet sensation Michelle Phan is being sued for copyright. AAP Image/Lancome/Michelle Phan Images

Who really suffers in Michelle Phan’s YouTube copyright case?

The latest case of a popular YouTube blogger being sued for using music by other artists in her videos without permission raises the question of who really benefits from the re-use of music. In a claim…
Get ready to comment once Attorney-General George Brandis officially releases the Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper. Get ready to comment once Attorney-General George Brandis officially releases the Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper. AAP/ Alan Porritt

Brandis' leaked anti-piracy proposal is unrealistic

The Australian Government has proposed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) monitor and punish Australians who download and infringe copyright. In a discussion paper circulated by Attorney-General George…
Australia has not yet signed the Marrakesh Treaty and time is running out. Australia has not yet signed the Marrakesh Treaty and time is running out. China's Nanjing Blind School. EPA/Jerry Lu

The Marrakesh Treaty could bring the world’s books to the blind

An estimated 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired. Some 90% of those live in developing nations, where less than 1% of the world’s books are available in a form they can read. In developed…
The allegations come a long time after Zeppelin and Spirit toured together in 1969. The allegations come a long time after Zeppelin and Spirit toured together in 1969. Musikhalle Hamburg, März 1973: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page/ Photo: Heinrich Klaffs

Borrowing a Stairway to Heaven: did Led Zeppelin rip off a riff?

More than 40 years after the release of Stairway to Heaven, English rock band Led Zeppelin are facing allegations that its iconic guitar riff was stolen from Taurus, a song released in 1968 by the American…
Anti-piracy laws are thin on the ground in Australia at the moment, but do we really need more? Anti-piracy laws are thin on the ground in Australia at the moment, but do we really need more? Scurzuzu/Flickr

Stop the pirates? Behind Brandis' copyright crusade

Copyright has been firmly back on the agenda in recent months. We’ve seen the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) release its report on copyright which recommended that Australia adopt a “fair use…
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has overstepped its bounds. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has overstepped its bounds. Ken Lund/Flickr

Innocence or arrogance? US court oversteps on internet regulation

The legal drama that has followed the online publication of the “Innocence of Muslims” film may be worthy of being used as the plot for a movie in its own right. And, given a recent judgement by Chief…
Catch me if you can: Google wants an extension of laws that would exempt the company from copyright liabilities. Catch me if you can: Google wants an extension of laws that would exempt the company from copyright liabilities. EPA/Boris Roessler

Don’t sue us for search: Google’s unnecessary safe harbour appeal

Amidst a number of submissions to federal communications minister Malcolm Turnbull’s media regulation reforms last week pushing for deregulation was one from search giant Google – calling for legislative…
Fair use helps distinguish “piracy” from what ordinary consumers and creators do all the time. Fair use helps distinguish “piracy” from what ordinary consumers and creators do all the time. funkandjazz

The only way to fix copyright is to make it fair

Everyone knows there’s a problem with copyright. Artists get paid very little for their work, and legitimate consumers aren’t getting a very fair deal either. Unfortunately, nobody agrees about how we…
Parody is a key tenet of ‘fair use’ in the US copyright system. Parody is a key tenet of ‘fair use’ in the US copyright system. LaMoe79

GoldieBlox would beat the Beastie Boys rap in court

This week, a US toy firm withdrew a viral ad that used a parody of a song by the Brooklyn hip hop greats the Beastie Boys, after the band challenged the company’s right to use their tune in a commercial…
There are doubts provisions will benefit copyright holders. There are doubts provisions will benefit copyright holders. AAP/Lukas Coch

Trade pact would make internet services more expensive

Last week Michael Froman, a US trade representative, took his son touring around the Paramount lot in Hollywood to visit a sound mixing stage, watch a movie and pose for happy snaps with company executives…
Changing ways educational organisations use film content in learning environments could see major changes in the way film producers are paid for their copyright. Changing ways educational organisations use film content in learning environments could see major changes in the way film producers are paid for their copyright. Public Record Office Victoria

Copyrights and copywrongs: reforming educational film rights

At the end of November, after 18 months of deliberations, the Australian Law Reform Commission will hand down its report on the appropriateness of existing copyright laws in the new digital environment…
Today’s court decision is an important win for Google – and society. Today’s court decision is an important win for Google – and society. Horia Varlan

Google Books wins ‘fair use’ but Australian copyright lags

Australia wants to foster innovation in a digital economy, but our copyright laws discourage businesses from investing in new technologies and make it harder for individuals to access the knowledge upon…
Artists see very little of the “millions” of dollars paid to major record labels for the right to stream content. Artists see very little of the “millions” of dollars paid to major record labels for the right to stream content. Blixt A. via Flickr

Music streaming revenue structures stacked against artists

Streaming services like Spotify and Pandora pay many millions of dollars each year for the rights to the music they play. But how much of this ends up back with artists and songwriters? The answer: not…
Copyright is changing. Some are yet to catch on. Copyright is changing. Some are yet to catch on. eddiedangerous

MPs have missed the mark in attacking copyright reform

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee set out some fairly strong views last week about how its members think the UK should approach copyright reform. I have an interest to declare in…
Some 95 years after the last Sherlock Holmes story was published, several parties are locked in a landmark US litigation case. Some 95 years after the last Sherlock Holmes story was published, several parties are locked in a landmark US litigation case. Flickr/Tom Margie

Free Sherlock Holmes: the Copyright Battle of Baker Street

Sherlock Holmes faces his greatest challenge – since his fight to the death with Professor James Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls. Who owns Sherlock Holmes, the world’s greatest detective? Is it the estate…
A proposed sequel to Maurice Sendak’s children’s classic Where the Wild Things Are has ended after his publisher sought an injunction, claiming breach of copyright. A proposed sequel to Maurice Sendak’s children’s classic Where the Wild Things Are has ended after his publisher sought an injunction, claiming breach of copyright. EPA/Frank Armstrong

Where the wild things aren’t: Sendak sequel stymied by US copyright law

It seems we won’t be checking up on Max and the “Wild Things” any time soon. A campaign on crowdfunding website Kickstarter to fund a sequel to the late Maurice Sendak’s bestselling picture storybook Where…
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being negotiated as we speak, but inventors and internet users look to lose out. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being negotiated as we speak, but inventors and internet users look to lose out. Ian.Go

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: a knockout blow for innovation?

Free trade: it sounds good for innovation, doesn’t it? Well, not necessarily - and here’s why. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement under negotiation among various Pacific Rim…
The long-lost British World War II slogan ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has been revived in recent years, leading to it being successfully trademarked by a British businessman. The long-lost British World War II slogan ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has been revived in recent years, leading to it being successfully trademarked by a British businessman. Nima Badley

Keep calm and trademark it: privatising the English language

In the heart of Northumberland, England, is the pretty town of Alnwick. For bibliophiles, a stop at its second-hand bookshop is a must. Barter Books is housed in the town’s old railway station and, on…
Will China’s copycat culture spawn a host of smartglasses? Will China’s copycat culture spawn a host of smartglasses? SewPixie

Baidu Eye: ‘micro-innovation’ or copying Google Glass?

The tech press reported recently that Chinese search giant Baidu.com was working on a new “smartglasses” device, dubbed Baidu Eye – a computerised headset with a small LCD screen, voice commands, image…
Silver bullets are elusive when it comes to curbing illegal downloads. Silver bullets are elusive when it comes to curbing illegal downloads. aquella manera

Smacking down online piracy – does New Zealand know best?

We know online piracy exists; we know governments want to stop it – but what are the options? Richard Freudenstein, CEO of Australia’s largest pay-TV provider Foxtel, has joined the chorus of entertainment…
Concerns about the NBN destroying Australian music are just scaremongering. Concerns about the NBN destroying Australian music are just scaremongering. AAP/Joel Carrett

The NBN will be disastrous for the music industry … really?

The NBN could have disastrous results for the local [music] industry. At least, that was the view of peak recording industry body the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and local…
Yesterday’s Federal Court decision has the potential to change the future of online broadcasting. Yesterday’s Federal Court decision has the potential to change the future of online broadcasting. Alan Klim

Battle royalty: is this the end of online radio streaming?

Online streaming of radio broadcasts may be a thing of the past after the Full Federal Court yesterday handed down a ruling that will result in radio stations paying higher royalties to the recording industry…
Hola! will increase Australia’s access to content, but is it legal? Hola! will increase Australia’s access to content, but is it legal? Movie reel image from from www.shutterstock.com

Say Hola! to the newest route around web censorship

The ongoing copyright arms race between content owners and internet users has taken a new turn. Israeli firm Hola! has recently launched a suite of products that are variously designed to bypass geoblocking…
Files stored on Mega are useless to anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key. Files stored on Mega are useless to anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key. NZN Image/Laura McQuillan

Can Kim Dotcom’s Mega beat the law where Megaupload failed?

Just 12 months after being arrested for copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering for his involvement with now-defunct cyberlocker Megaupload, and despite facing extradition from New Zealand…
Instagram’s revised terms and conditions may or may not be good for your image. Instagram’s revised terms and conditions may or may not be good for your image. Philippe Moreau Chevrolet

You’ve been framed: putting you in the picture with the Instagram deal

Instagram’s announcement yesterday of a new set of terms and conditions has elicited a backlash from many of its 100 million users, with many vowing to ditch the service before the changes take effect…
When it comes to IT products, Australian consumers pay more than their American counterparts. When it comes to IT products, Australian consumers pay more than their American counterparts. AAP

When the price is not right: technology price gouging in Australia

Apple Inc. has often portrayed itself as the champion of consumers, with its advertising campaigns on “1984”, “Think Different”, and “Rip, Mix, Burn”. However, this reputation has been called into question…
What does 3D printing mean for Australian copyright law? What does 3D printing mean for Australian copyright law? Wikipedia Commons

Creation and copyright law: the case of 3D printing

The Australian Law Reform Commission is conducting an inquiry into copyright law and the digital economy in 2012 and 2013.The President, Rosalind Croucher, stated: “While the Copyright Act has been amended…
Optus has exhausted its legal avenues to appeal against a decision finding it breached copyright on its TV Now service. But should the issue of technology neutrality be reviewed? Optus has exhausted its legal avenues to appeal against a decision finding it breached copyright on its TV Now service. But should the issue of technology neutrality be reviewed? Flickr/IntelFreePress

Optus and TV Now: will copyright law catch up to the cloud?

A legal decision which forced Optus to shut down its time shifting service TV Now may eventually lead to reform of existing copyright law to cater for cloud technology. On Friday, the High Court denied…
News Ltd chief Kim Williams took aim at ISPs and the NBN over illegal downloads, but new copyright laws are not the answer. News Ltd chief Kim Williams took aim at ISPs and the NBN over illegal downloads, but new copyright laws are not the answer. AAP

New copyright laws are not the answer to illegal downloads

Earlier this week, Kim Williams, CEO of News Limited, spoke at the Australian International Movie Convention on the Gold Coast and called for new copyright laws to better protect digital property rights…
Is it breaking the law to bypass criminally poor broadcasting? Is it breaking the law to bypass criminally poor broadcasting? sp3ccylad

So what’s wrong with watching the Olympic Games over the internet?

Reports of people the world over watching coverage of the Olympics via BBC’s online streaming portal abound. The reasons for this behaviour vary in the detail, but the common feature is: local coverage…
Leaders of the member states of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) from 2010. Leaders of the member states of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) from 2010. Gobierno de Chile/Wikimedia Commons

A mercurial treaty: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the United States

According to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Ron Kirk, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is “an ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement that reflects U.S. priorities and values…
Will opening the door to region-specific content invoke the ire of rights holders? Will opening the door to region-specific content invoke the ire of rights holders? AZRainman

FYX ISP will unlock ‘geoblocked’ sites, but will it breach copyright?

The launch of a new internet service provider (ISP) in New Zealand isn’t something that would normally be worth mentioning. But the launch of FYX (pronounced “fix”) by established online services provider…
The Convergence Review came close to understanding the nature of user-generated content but not quite. The Convergence Review came close to understanding the nature of user-generated content but not quite. Flickr/Bruce Clay, Inc

Convergence Review: a bet each way on user-generated content

The Australian Federal Government’s Convergence Review, released yesterday, had a mammoth task. It was trying to establish just how to regulate the future standards, conduct, and technical aspects of today’s…
Debates about online copyright protection have been particularly heated of late. Debates about online copyright protection have been particularly heated of late. marfis75

Will the internet kill copyright? Here’s hoping …

IDEAS AND OWNERSHIP: The concept of protecting ideas and innovation by legal means dates back to antiquity. But many of our existing laws are under strain, their suitability and ultimate purpose called…
A court has found downloading live-streamed content on your iPad or mobiles doesn’t breach copyright. A court has found downloading live-streamed content on your iPad or mobiles doesn’t breach copyright. AAP

Who owns footy rights? Optus web copyright victory explained

Yesterday’s Federal Court ruling that Optus customers are able to view sporting matches minutes after they are streamed live without breaching copyright is a landmark decision that alters our understanding…
A fully regulated internet may have come another step closer. A fully regulated internet may have come another step closer. Horia Varlan

UK court ruling on ISP filtering: copyright victory or download defeat?

Last week, the English High Court ordered British Telecom (BT) to block access to a members-only website that offers links to pirated films. NewzBin2, the site in question, offers links to pirated films…
Last week’s Google Books ruling was a win for copyright protection. Last week’s Google Books ruling was a win for copyright protection. AAP

Google Books decision shows we need to turn a new page

The decision by a US Federal Court judge last week to reject a $US125 million settlement between Google Books and the publishing industry allows authors to protect their copyright and prevents Google from…

Research and News (3)