Articles on Copyright

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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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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? 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…
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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…

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