by Mike Masnick
Thu, Mar 7th 2013 12:49pm
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jan 9th 2013 2:52pm
from the keep-digging dept
NNI made a submission to the effect that our view of existing legislation is that the display and transmission of links does constitute an infringement of copyright and our existing copyright law should not be amended in the manner discussed in the Consultation Paper.Meanwhile, the lawyers representing the charity have noticed that NLI appears to have backtracked ever so slightly and are now saying that "links alone" are not infringement, but if you include any text, you've gone over the line. They've put up a new statement reading, in part:
For commercial use: NLI does not require a licence from any organisation which only displays or transmits links to newspaper content. A licence is required when there is other reproduction of the newspaper content, such as display of PDFs or text extracts.Of course, whether or not they consider reproducing that text as copyright infringement is left as an exercise for the reader.
by Glyn Moody
Wed, Jan 9th 2013 10:43am
from the thin-end-of-the-wedge dept
Even against a background of repeated attempts to censor the Net, it's still possible to become a little complacent about some of the actions being taken by the copyright industries. For example, many people probably feel that blocking a site like The Pirate Bay isn't really a problem because, after all, it's just one site, right?
A post on TorrentFreak explains why that's a dangerous attitude:
Copyright activists often warn that a ruling in one case has the potential to be leveraged elsewhere and the wedge can become thicker frighteningly quickly if issues aren't dealt with early on. It seems that a case currently underway in Ireland involving The Pirate Bay is proving that assessment correct.
That's because the recording labels want the Web block to be extended to other ISPs. Again, some might say: well, it's still just one site. But here's where things start to get serious. It's not just about one site any more:
At the moment customers of the Irish ISP Eircom cannot access The Pirate Bay since an uncontested 2009 High Court ruling orders the ISP to block the site. But that's just one ISP, some people will say, and it's easy to switch to another. Nice try.
The plaintiffs (technically EMI, Ireland) have told the court that they are looking to achieve more than just a blockade of the world's biggest torrent site. In fact, they have a list of 260 other "objectionable" websites they have identified that they would also like blocked if this attack on The Pirate Bay is a success.
And of course, if the industry manages to get the court to agree to 260 sites being blocked, you can be sure that it will be back with another few hundred, or a few thousand, at some point in the future. Because once the court rules that Web blocking is acceptable, it's easier to go back to ask for more censorship, citing that judgement. That's why it's important to remember it's never 'just' one Web block.
What started out with Eircom agreeing to have The Pirate Bay blocked could now potentially lead to a few other Irish ISPs having to follow suit. In a worst case scenario that could play out to all ISPs having to block 260 other sites on the music industry's hit-list. Which sites? Only they know.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Nov 13th 2012 8:02pm
from the time-to-drop-the-irish-examiner dept
The scale of the piracy is astounding. In 2010, while every media company in the country shed jobs and cut costs to the bone, a single search engine operating in Ireland offered around 150,000 newspaper articles that cost publishers an estimated €46.5m to generate. Last year that site offered more than 350,000 articles at a cost equivalent to more than €110m. And all without paying one cent to those who created those articles.First of all, they seem to be claiming that search engines that index content, show a snippet and link people to the original content are "piracy." That's crazy talk. Furthermore, while they don't name the "search engine" they claim that it "offered" these articles. Of course, if it really posted all the articles itself, then there is no need to change copyright laws -- the company could already sue them for infringement. However, assuming that they're really talking about Google or just about any other search engine, what they really mean is that the search engines aggregated the content and linked people back to the original. The "cost" to produce those articles is irrelevant to the overall discussion. Yes, it costs money, but it's the job of a business model to bring in even more money. If the business geniuses who run your paper are too clueless to figure out how to monetize the traffic from Google, then perhaps you deserve to go out of business.
This free-for-all has put Ireland’s 8,600 creative enterprises, the 116,000 jobs involved — some 7.5% of GDP and 6.5% of total employment — under a darkening cloud. Multinational corporations, ironically styling themselves champions of free information having stolen it themselves, pretend that they see nothing wrong with hijacking the work of others. They do this to create entities that exist primarily, in a news context, to deliver rather than generate content. To rub salt into the wound these entities are determined to secure advertising revenue on the back of that snatched news content. This is the very revenue that made the gathering of the news possible in the first place.
In the end, as we've seen elsewhere, this isn't about "piracy" at all. This is about newspapers who don't know how to adapt, and are staffed by completely technologically illiterate folks, who simply see that Google is making money while they're struggling and assume (totally incorrectly) that Google needs to pay them for sending them traffic.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jul 11th 2012 12:28am
from the tweet-and-found dept
Oddly, it does seem worth noting that just days before, Deirdre had tweeted at the Irish Rail to find out about extra trains for an event. That appears to be the only time she tweeted at the Irish Rail since her account first appeared about a year ago. I'm guessing that's just a weird coincidence, though in this day of faux viral stories, it's at least worth noting...
Either way, assuming the story is accurate, it once again shows some of the unique power of modern communication technology -- even as some still continue to decry things like Twitter as useless. Prior to that, people could have posted a "lost dog!" message online, but the chances of it ever actually connecting with the owner were much more slim. But a service like Twitter, that makes it so easy to spread and share such info, creates the perfect conditions to make something like this happen.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 5th 2012 7:29pm
from the buy-high,-sell-low dept
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jun 29th 2012 5:19am
3 Strikes Plan Re-established In Ireland After Court Decides To Ignore Data Protection Commission Ruling
from the protect-what-data? dept
The labels fought back... and have now won. A court has rejected the findings of the Data Protection Commission (DPC) and argued, amazingly, that there are simply no privacy concerns at all with having ISPs track what you do online. Well, that's not quite how the court put it. Instead, it said that there's no privacy questions involved in "the detection and punishment of individuals who engage in unlawful Internet file-sharing." Er... considering the whole issue that kicked this off was false accusations against those who did not engage in such things, it seems the judge is pretty confused. Furthermore, the judge seems to think that there's a way to spy on users, but only track their infringing efforts. The problem -- and the main privacy concern -- is not so much in the tracking of infringing activity, but all of the legitimate activity that gets tracked as well.
Perhaps Justice Peter Charleton should open up his own log files to the public so that we can see if he's infringing. There is, according to his version of things, no privacy violations there, because we all promise only to make sure he's not breaking copyright law.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jun 18th 2012 2:05pm
Irish Bloomsday Celebrations Finally Possible Without Threat Of Copyright Claims From James Joyce Estate
from the yay-public-domain dept
In the US, the story is a bit more complex, however, as the Joyce Estate claims that Ulysses is still under copyright, having not been officially published as a book until 1934. Others, however, argue that the book is in the public domain, for a variety of reasons. I was a bit surprised, then, to read this PBS article, which seems to imply the work is officially public domain in the US. At best, that's a point of contention.
Either way, in Ireland, it's clear that Ulysses is in the public domain, and since this past weekend was Bloomsday, the popular celebration of all things Joyce (based on the date on which the book Ulysses takes place) there was, indeed, renewed excitement around the event (thanks to Joe for sending this and other links).
Unfortunately, it's not all good news. That link above talks a bit about how there are still efforts to control Joyce's "unpublished" works -- such as letters and correspondence -- by twisting the law. The law does cover published and unpublished works differently, but on the assumption that "unpublished works" were works that were intended to be published. When we're talking about letters and other issues of historical note, which scholars would love to make use of, it's ridiculous to stifle such things in the name of copyright.
Even worse, as Becky Hogge warns in The Atlantic, regulators who love to extend copyright law brought Joyce's works back in from the public domain in the past and could do so again:
2012 is not the first year Joyce entered the public domain in Ireland; that happened twenty years ago, only for the European Union to retroactively extend so-called authorial copyright from 50 years after the author’s death to 70. The extension handed control of Ulysses back to the estate, causing untold legal trouble for scholars already beginning to take advantage of its public domain status to release new editions.Hopefully, with a world more aware, thanks to SOPA and ACTA and the like, pushing through such things won't be quite so simple. But it is something that people need to be vigilant about.
I’ve witnessed at close quarters a similar extension granted to copyrights held by performers and record labels in the EU. What I learned then was that politicians extend copyright like most of us write thank-you notes: it’s the least they can do to show their gratitude for the attentions of an industry they’d have preferred to join had their looks and talent permitted. In the context of the subsidies granted to farmers or fishermen, extending copyright for the benefit of ageing rock stars is something EU lawmakers do in their lunch break
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 30th 2012 11:31pm
newspaper licensing ireland
from the uh,-no dept
"a licence is required to link directly to an online article even without uploading any of the content directly onto your own website"The lawyer representing Women's Aid smartly posted its own reply publicly asking NLI to "specify the statutory basis of this claim." It also notes the pricelist, including the fact that NLI seems to think that linking to between one and five articles requires €300 annually. Furthermore, the letter notes the terms of service on various news websites that allow linking -- even though this is really besides the point, since copyright law does not forbid linking in the first place.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Feb 29th 2012 4:08pm
from the block-block-block dept
The Irish Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, is insisting that the final version of the bill is much more limited than earlier proposals, and that it took guidance from recent EU Court of Justice rulings that say ISPs shouldn't have to be proactive about blocking. That still means that copyright holders can petition to force ISPs to block all access to various websites, and as we've seen in other countries in Europe, you can bet that the major record labels and studios will be doing just that very soon (if they haven't already) -- though their track record on properly calling out infringement isn't very good.
Sherlock, apparently realizing just how bad this looks to the citizenry, is trying to balance this announcement out by also saying that he's launching the "next stage" of the process to review copyright in Ireland, with the goal of "removing barriers to innovation." This is an ongoing process that we first wrote about last year, when the country realized that existing copyright law was holding back innovation.
Of course, the end result is that the government appears to be trying to move in two different directions at once. On the one hand, it's catering to the legacy entertainment industry interests and hindering the internet as the platform that enables new business models... while at the same time paying lip service to how it has to increase such innovation. Here's a tip: the first thing towards increasing innovation in business models online is not putting misplaced liability on service providers, not setting up a censorship regime, and not removing the incentives for the entertainment industry to actually embrace innovative business models.