Stop Copyright Extension Now

[Originally posted at pirateparty.org.uk in April 2011]

Once again a move to extend copyright is making its way through the European Parliament. The move to extend the copyright on sound recordings (and other “neighbouring rights”) began in April 2009 when, under intense pressure from the music publishing lobby, the European Parliament agreed to increase the duration of this copyright from 50 years to 70 years (compromising on the Commission’s and lobbyists’ demand of 95 years). However, before this could be implemented, elections were called and a new Parliament was voted in, including one member from the Pirate movement. Now, nearly two years later, this process has been resurrected following a change of heart within the Danish government.

This time, however, we have a chance of fighting back. A campaign to challenge this extension (or at least demand that it be debated by the new Parliament) has been started by Christian Engström from within the European Parliament. All he needs to open this issue up is 40 or more signatures from MEPs. There are currently 72 UK MEPs, so we can make a difference here.

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The Digital Economy Act On Trial

This is a compilation of posts written for the Pirate Party summarising the main arguments made during the hearings for the Digital Economy Act Judicial Review – otherwise known as R (on the application of BT and TalkTalk) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. It covers the details of the first, third and fourth day of the oral submissions, I was unable to make the second day but summaries can be found elsewhere.

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Artist’s Resale Right

Background

In the early 20th century a new right was created in France known as the droit de suit (lit. “right to follow”). This was designed to ensure that an artist receive some form of royalty from the resale of their work. This contrasts with the American notion of the first-sale doctrine. In practice, this only applied to works of art acquired at auctions and resulted in major art trades being made in places without an equivalent right, such as London.

After much debate, the notion of a resale right was put into European law by a directive “on the resale right for the benefit of the author of an original work of art”.1 This was implemented into UK law via the Artist’s Resale Right Regulations 2003.2 Read the rest of this entry »