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Copyright

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Copywrongs

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

It seems that pretty much all the discussion about copyright these days is about the new online infringement laws. But I want to talk about another copyright issue that I think poses, on paper anyway, a bigger threat to free speech: the surprisingly narrow reach of our fair dealing defences.
I say “on paper” because copyright […]

Flogging content

Monday, April 26th, 2010

RNZ’s Mediawatch this week looked at the ethics of the media’s practice of drawing content, including pictures, from social networking sites. Host Colin Peacock mentioned a Herald on Sunday article that pulled material from a car accident victim’s Facebook site, including a photo of him, adding:
Like many people using the social networking websites these days, […]

NYT enforces copyright over bloggers

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I’ve noted before that lots of bloggers routinely flout copyright. One of the ways they do so is by lifting photos from others’ websites. This will rarely be protected by a defence of fair dealing. The US “fair use” defence is wider, but not that much wider. The New York Times has apparently gotten fed […]

A copyright anomaly

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Here’s a quirk in the Copyright Act that you may not be aware of: TV stations can use news photographs (even if they don’t have copyright) under the fair dealing defence, but newspapers can’t. I suppose this is because a broadcast or film is usually viewed fleetingly, so does not create a permanent record of […]

A post on 92A that David Farrar probably won’t link to

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

You may have noticed that I didn’t join the blackout in protest against section 92A.
It’s not that I don’t have concerns about the law. As you can see from the post below, it doesn’t seem to me that it’s been well thought through. I’m open to the idea that it goes too far.
But “guilt by […]

Officials drop the BORA on 92A

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Our Bill of Rights vetting process has failed miserably again.
This is the system that’s supposed to pick up rights issues when a Bill is introduced to Parliament and consider whether the proposals are demonstrably justified. When a Bill affects free speech, officials are supposed to highlight the problem and ask questions like: “What’s the evidence […]

Copywrongs

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

How ironic that ACT violated the Greens’ intellectual property rights by pinching their cute-kid photo. So much for the law-and-order party.
Still, I think this points up a gap in our law. Spoofs like this should be fair game, I think. The US has a fairly strong parody defence to copyright infringements. Australia has followed suit. […]

Regulating broadcasting content

Monday, May 26th, 2008

You may know that the government is having a big think about what to do about the patchwork of increasingly moth-eaten laws and regimes that govern broadcasting content.
It has produced discussion papers and invited feedback. The submissions are here.
More on this soon.

Soapbox: internet company ISPed off

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Don Price, head of the Hawkes Bay internet company Wasp, wrote in to argue that ISPs are grown-up enough to develop their own industry standards:

I find it very interesting that once again we (the internet business community) through the new Copyright Act will have the unenviable privilege of the legal fraternity with their intellectual might and […]

New notice-and-takedown regime for ISPs

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Under the most significant provisions of the new amendments to the Copyright Act (which have been passed by Parliament but haven’t yet come into force), ISPs can be liable if their users infringe copyright. But only if:

They’ve authorised or controlled the copying; or
They’ve stored the material and know or have reason to believe it’s an […]

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