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[News] [SOT] Web Thrives Despite Anti-Freedom Laws

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The Web Thrived In Spite Of The DMCA, Not Because Of It

,----[ Quote ]
| So, yes, the safe harbors provided by the DMCA are a good thing -- but to 
| extrapolate from that and a few other questionable points that the DMCA is 
| responsible for the rise of things like blogging and YouTube is hard to 
| square with reality. It's quite likely that things wouldn't be all that 
| different in the absence of the DMCA -- except we'd have a lot fewer abuses 
| of it.     


Important new ruling:

Google settles copyright lawsuits with publishers, authors

,----[ Quote ]
| The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Google 
| announced the settlement on Tuesday.  



Air Force cracks software, carpet bombs DMCA

,----[ Quote ]
| The Court of Federal Claims that first heard the case threw it out, and the
| new Appellate ruling upholds that decision. The reasoning behind the
| decisions focuses on the US government's sovereign immunity, which the court
| describes thusly: "The United States, as [a] sovereign, 'is immune from suit
| save as it consents to be sued . . . and the terms of its consent to be sued
| in any court define that court's jurisdiction to entertain the suit.'"
| In the case of copyright law, the US has given up much of its immunity, but
| the government retains a few noteworthy exceptions. The one most relevant to
| this case says that when a government employee is in a position to induce the
| use of the copyrighted material, "[the provision] does not provide a
| Government employee a right of action 'where he was in a position to order,
| influence, or induce use of the copyrighted work by the Government.'" Given
| that Davenport used his position as part of the relevant Air Force office to
| get his peers to use his software, the case fails this test.
| But the court also addressed the DMCA claims made by Blueport, and its
| decision here is quite striking. "The DMCA itself contains no express waiver
| of sovereign immunity," the judge wrote, "Indeed, the substantive
| prohibitions of the DMCA refer to individual persons, not the Government."
| Thus, because sovereign immunity is not explicitly eliminated, and the
| phrasing of the statute does not mention organizations, the DMCA cannot be
| applied to the US government, even in cases where the more general immunity
| to copyright claims does not apply.
| It appears that Congress took a "do as we say, not as we need to do" approach
| to strengthening digital copyrights.


Canadian open source community upset over proposed copyright law

,----[ Quote ]
| The Government of Canada has angered those who believe that a proposed
| copyright law threatens the country's open source business model.
| Russell McOrmond, a member of the Canadian Software Innovation Alliance
| (CSIA), says that Bill C-61, the proposed copyright legislation unveiled by
| the government last month, ignores just about every recommendation made by
| CSIA, a coalition of open source businesses and supporters, in a white
| paper...


The future of books

,----[ Quote ]
| The BookCamp will be a wonderful chance to discuss next generation textbooks,
| print-on-demand, ebook readers, why DRM (better known as Digital Restrictions
| Management) is bad and many other topics.
| Richard Stalmann, President of the Free Software Foundation, will deliver a
| speech (via phone) with a quite straight title: “Fighting the Swindle of DRM
| on E-Books”.


Microsoft Misleads on Copyright Reform

,----[ Quote ]
| The Hill Times this week includes an astonishingly misleading and factually
| incorrect article on Canadian copyright written by Microsoft.


Court Rejects Attempt to Expand the DMCA

,----[ Quote ]
| Yesterday, a district court dismissed several claims in the case Coupons,
| Inc. v. Stottlemire, in which we had, in March, filed an amicus brief.
| Coupons offers online coupons that consumers can access and print using
| software provided by Coupons.
| [...]
| This is because controlling use of copyrighted material is already addressed
| by copyright law, and addressing it again in the DMCA would upset the careful
| balance between the rights of copyright owners and those of the public. As
| the court properly understood, maintaining a clear distinction between
| access-control claims and rights-control claims "leaves room for individual
| fair uses, adaptations for the blind, library research, and the other
| statutory exceptions to copyright."


Fight the Canadian DMCA!

,----[ Quote ]
| On Wednesday, Industry Minister Jim Prentice introduced a bill that
| BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow described as making it "flatly illegal to break
| any kind of digital lock, or to violate terms in one of those absurd end-user
| license agreements that make you promise to agree to let the record industry
| kick your teeth in and drink all your beer, just for the dubious privilege of
| paying for a song at iTunes or watching a video on Viacom's website.


RIAA Hopes New Judge will Nab Sharers

,----[ Quote ]
| Rather that directing the lawsuit at the same defendants as before, the RIAA
| directed it at John Doe (a defendant to be identified later), therefore
| obtaining a new judge ... who may not be so strict about the "making
| available" clauses.
| Nice move, RIAA.


Canada Warming Up Its Own DMCA

,----[ Quote ]
| Bill C-61 is essentially a series of amendments to the Copyright Act that
| would ratify the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright
| Treaty, which the DMCA did for the USA in 1996.


Canada moots tough sanctions for DRM flouters

,----[ Quote ]
| The Canadian government today unveiled a controversial proposal to update the
| country's copyright laws.
| [...]
| It's a somewhat confusing solution that government officials behind the bill
| call a "balanced approach to truly benefit Canadians".


Red Hat founder speaks against Canada's copyright reform

,----[ Quote ]
| Lulu Inc. CEO Bob Young is a major voice in the open source software
| industry, but according to him the entire community has been unjustifiably
| ignored throughout the Canadian government's copyright reform initiatives.
| Last year, the Conservative government vowed to adopt copyright laws which
| would make it illegal to modify or remove any device or software fitted with
| a technical protection measures (TPMs). After months of hearsay and numerous
| delays, the buzz on Parliament Hill now suggests a proposed copyright bill
| from Industry Minister Jim Prentice is imminent.
| In the wake of these rumors -- which many industry activists have begun
| referring to as the Canadian version of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright
| Act (DMCA) -- a new open source software alliance has added their name to the
| lengthy list of opposition to the Industry Minister's soon-to-be-unveiled
| legislation.

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