‘Ireland’s SOPA’ to pass without parliamentary vote

Take action. Protect the Irish Internet from censorship

Stop SOPA Ireland

Wired UK report that “Ireland is soon to have a law similar to SOPA passed that would give music and movie companies the power to force Irish ISPs to block access to sites suspected of having copyright infringing material on them.” (emphasis ours)

“Irish citizens won’t have a chance to lobby their democratic representatives because there won’t be a vote on the law [...] in the Irish Parliament. Instead the law is being enacted by ministerial order because it is being prepared in the form of a Statutory Instrument.”

Sign at the petition against it at StopSOPAIreland.com.

Paolo Coelho Invites You To Pirate His Books

Paolo Coelho 2005 Dubai desert

Paolo Coelho

As a highly talented and internationally successful writer we won’t even attempt to explain his case better than him:

“I have nothing against people earning money from their books; that’s how I make my living. But look at what’s happening now. [SOPA] may disrupt [the] internet. This is a REAL DANGER, not only for Americans, but for all of us, as the law – if approved – will affect the whole planet. And how do I feel about this? As an author, I should be defending ‘intellectual property’, but I’m not. Pirates of the world, unite and pirate everything I’ve ever written!…

Some people will say: You’re rich enough to allow your books to be distributed for free. That’s true. I am rich. But was it the desire to make money that drove me to write? No. My family and my teachers all said that there was no future in writing. I started writing and I continue to write because it gives me pleasure and gives meaning to my existence. If money were the motive, I could have stopped writing ages ago and saved myself having to put up with invariably negative reviews…

When you’ve eaten an orange, you have to go back to the shop to buy another. In that case, it makes sense to pay on the spot. With an object of art, you’re not buying paper, ink, paintbrush, canvas or musical notes, but the idea born out of a combination of those products.

‘Pirating’ can act as an introduction to an artist’s work. If you like his or her idea, then you will want to have it in your house; a good idea doesn’t need protection. The rest is either greed or ignorance.”

Art at Risk: Copyright, Fair Dealings and Art in a Digital Age

A comprehensive online research report about Copyright has just been released by Dr Susan Ballard and Pam McKinlay of Dunedin School of Art, Otago Polytechnic. Titled Art at Risk: Copyright, Fair Dealings and Art in a digital age, the report is a collection of research materials about Copyright, Fair Dealings and Art in a Digital Age. It has a New Zealand perspective, offers information for classroom situations, and has been freely released undera Creative Commons license. Co-author Pam McKinlay writes:

From Flickr to Facebook to YouTube students engage both still and moving digital images and negotiate different permissions and database resources every day. In this research project we sought to develop guidelines around how to approach the use of digital images – and answered some of the questions that students ask everyday: What can you download from YouTube? Is everything on Flickr available to use? Can I cut this image up and call it my own? What happens if I upload my project to Facebook?

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Holloway-Smith to Give Reading at Enjoy Public Art Gallery

CFF Director, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, will be giving a reading at 12.30pm tomorrow, 3 November 2010 at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, L1/147 Cuba St, Wellington. The reading is from the Casco Issues: Past Imperfect, as part of the current exhibition Charming the Snake of Reason, curated by Marnie Slater.

The piece is a witty investigation of Bill Gates and his hypocrisy in relation to open content, Microsoft, and Gates’ subsequent corporation – Corbis – a large digital rights-holding company.

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Moral and Digital Rights for Artists

Marking the 10th Anniversary of both Australia’s DMCA equivalent The Digital Agenda Act 2000, and The Moral Rights Act 2000, this ABC discussion on moral rights and digital rights for artists is well worth a read or listen.

“Artists in particular are tetchy about their creations. Understandably they don’t want the meaning of their works twisted or distorted. And of course they don’t want others to reproduce their work without permission. But with everything being online these days, what tangible rights do artists have? Should they just go with the digital flow, or should they use all the legal weapons available to them?”

The discussion between interviewer Damien Carrick, Professor Matthew Rimmer of ANU Law School, and Brent Salter, legal academic at Macquarie University Law School covers issues ranging from Michael Palin and Monty Python’s response to various copyright situations, the YouTube vs Viacom dispute (recently won by YouTube), and several interesting case studies of moral rights disputes in Australian theatre.

Professor at the ANU Law School

Johanna Blakely: Lessons from fashion’s free culture

Presented at this year’s TED conference, this talk by Johanna Blakely on lessons that other creative industries can learn from fashion’s lack of copyright protection is well worth the watch. From the YouTube post: “Copyright law’s grip on film, music and software barely touches the fashion industry … and fashion benefits in both innovation and sales, says Johanna Blakley. At TEDxUSC 2010, she talks about what all creative industries can learn from fashion’s free culture.”

The PDF of her talk can be found on her project website: Ready to Share. “The Ready to Share project explores the fashion industry’s enthusiastic embrace of sampling, appropriation and borrowed inspiration, core components of every creative process.”

Food for thought…

UK Music Economist Gives ‘State of the Music Industry’ Address

Will Page from the PRS (a UK analogue to APRA) gives a presentation on how the music industry is doing and how, like New Zealand’s APRA, they’re up on last year’s profits and that “it’s not all doom and gloom out there, PRS revenues for 2009 are up; this is not a part of the music industry that’s about to fall off a cliff. I just want to provide some balance, you know often these armageddon-now scenarios that you hear in the industry – it’s not that bad, and some parts are doing actually pretty bloody well”.

One interesting part is that Will Page says that 25% of the music industry is now based on giving people music for free (radio, public performance, etc.).

NZOSS and InternetNZ Speak Out On ACTA

First don’t forget that this Saturday is PublicACTA so if you haven’t RSVP’d then get on that right away. Rumour is there’ll be a special FREE concert on at Bar Bodega (map) on Satuday from 8pm too so come along!

CW magazine report on the NZOSS and InternetNZ submissions, saying: “Changes that reduce the access the public have to creative content must only be considered where strong evidence suggests they are needed,” he says in a statement. “That evidence simply does not exist.” “We prefer a safe harbour approach for minimising ISP liability, in line with the current New Zealand approach,” Carter says. “We do not support the release of the details of alleged infringers to rights holders, and we do not support enhanced enforcement or protection of digital rights management systems or copyright management information.”

When They’re Not Selling Movies Anywhere Can They Claim Piracy Losses?

It took a month for the winner of the Academy Award’s Best Movie category The Hurt Locker to appear on New Zealand screens. It will be many more months DVDs are on sale and perhaps years before we can legally purchase the movie online and DRM-free. Rather than satisfying demand for the movie it was delayed and missed the hype of the Oscars. Will illegal downloads of The Hurt Locker be counted and should we respect them when they’re not even selling a movie?

If you buy a DVD exactly are you buying? Should owning a movie mean that you have a license to access it on any device, or should you be forced to buy it on DVD, then again for your iPod? The New York Times looks at the issue of ownership and how conventional rights are taken away when you buy books online: “I bought an e-reader for travel and was eager to begin “Under the Dome,” the new Stephen King novel. Unfortunately, the electronic version was not yet available. The publisher apparently withheld it to encourage people to buy the more expensive hardcover. So I did, all 1,074 pages, more than three and a half pounds. Then I found a pirated version online, downloaded it to my e-reader and took it on my trip. I generally disapprove of illegal downloads, but wasn’t this O.K.?

Cleaning The Barnacles Off S.S. Copyright

Arstechnica review a new research paper on how to make meaningful copyright reform. They say, “Bashing current copyright law is easy—just askJessica Litman, a professor of law at the University of Michigan. She calls current US copyright a “swollen, barnacle-encrusted collection of incomprehensible prose.” Or, to change the metaphor to aging, copyright law is “old, outmoded, inflexible, and beginning to display the symptoms of multiple systems failure.” Suggesting something new to replace it can be a harder job, and Litman turns her attention to that task in an unpublished new paper called “Real Copyright Reform” (PDF). Part of a spate of recent reform proposals (Public Knowledge is heading another high-profile effort, for example), Litman’s quest to reform the 1976 Copyright Act is, as she acknowledges, quixotic.”