Julia Reda, the sharp-as-a-tack Member of the European Parliament for the German Pirate Party, has just tendered her draft report on copyright reform in the EU. It is full of amazingly sensible suggestions.
Among them: harmonizing EU exceptions to copyright (what would be called "fair use" in the USA), so that things that are permitted in one EU state are permitted in the others. This is very important because as it stands, a work that is legal in one EU country can be a copyright infringement next door, meaning that by crossing a border, you commit an offense, and meaning that artists who make transformative uses in one EU member state can be held liable for punishing fines next door.
Another good 'un: shortening the term of copyright to the term set out in the Berne Convention (life of the creator plus 50 years), ending the trend of extending EU copyright every time the Beatles and Elvis near the public domain.
Also: ensuring that the rights you have to analog media -- the right to lend and resell it, for example -- are carried over to the digital world; flexibility in interpreting fair dealing to allow for uses that no one has thought of yet (fair dealing is the start, not the end, of flexibility for the public and later creators), ensuring that copyright doesn't interfere with photos taken in public places, or data-mining, or text-analysis or R&D. And, of course, making sure parody is legal!
on the implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament
and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of
copyright and related rights in the information society
(Image: Julia Reda - Piratenpartei, CC-BY)
Felipe is a Portuguese game-developer who makes fun, crowdfunded minigames; he tweeted a tantalyzing video clip showing an idea for a Snake/Tetris mashup called "Snetris," and the response was so warm and excited that he's promised to develop a playable version!
The Authors Alliance is a nonprofit that advocates for authors, libraries, readers and scholars (I'm on their advisory board); they've done a ton of great work, notably a tool for authors to claim their copyrights back from publishers, even when the original contract specified that the rights were signed away "in perpetuity."
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