[ARW readers are familiar with the excellent work of Hugh Stephens and this post is no exception.  Mr. Stephens calls attention to the pincer attack on creators by the forces of evil  that sure bear a striking resemblance to the anti-artist yearnings of a certain ginormous advertising company based in Mountain View.]

 

As I write we are in the depths of the COVID pandemic. Each day brings new and more frightening predictions of what is to come, what we all need to do to “bend the curve”, and how it is affecting people globally from both a health and economic perspective. The pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime challenge….

[I]t is extremely disappointing to see special interest groups taking advantage of the COVID crisis to push their personal pre-COVID agendas. In the case of copyright, this consists of using the crisis to attack the fundamentals of copyright protection, namely the right of creators to control distribution of their work, and thereby to earn a return on the sweat equity they put into the creation in the first place.

In the case of copyright, the first shot was fired by the Internet Archive which declared that it would make its collection of 1.4 million copyright-protected books freely available through its online Open Library, using the COVID pandemic as the pretext. The Open Library’s self-professed goal is to make all works ever published available in digital format. To do this, it scans any works it can get its hands on, and inventories them in its digital library. While it has over 2.5 million public domain works in its catalogue, it is not too particular as to whether a work is in copyright or not; it’s all grist to the Open Library’s mill.

Read the post on Hugh Stevens’ blog: COVID is Not an Excuse to Throw the Accepted Rules Out the Window: Copyright as the Canary in the Coalmine. — Hugh Stephens Blog

An interesting battle between pro and anti-copyright industries in the US is being played out in submissions to the US Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) regarding whether South Africa should be stripped of its GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) status. According to USTR, “The GSP program provides for the duty-free importation of designated articles when imported […]

via Exporting the US “Fair Use” Doctrine to South Africa: The Battle Lines are Drawn — Hugh Stephens Blog

George Johnson is not a household name but he’s one of my heroes. If you are a songwriter you probably should pay attention to what this scrappy indie songwriter is doing. He may end up being a hero to you as well. The screen capture above says it all. he US federal government, Amazon, Google, Pandora, Spotify, The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).

via Who Is George Johnson? And Why Every Songwriter Should Thank Him — The Trichordist

Last week I examined some of the tendentious arguments put forward to oppose bringing Canada’s term of copyright protection into alignment with that of most developed countries. Canada made a commitment in the new NAFTA that it will extend the term of protection by twenty years for most works covered by copyright, although exactly how […]

via Copyright Term Extension in Canada and the Interesting Case of Broadview Press: Is it “Playing the Victim” or Just “Playing the Game”? — Hugh Stephens Blog