The Deadliest Aspects of Copyright

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According to Ben Franklin, the only certainties in this world are “death and taxes”. Since a discussion of taxes is far too complicated, that leaves me with no alternative but to turn to that other certainty in life, and examine how it relates to copyright. Continue reading “The Deadliest Aspects of Copyright”

Voluntary Piracy Site Blocking in British Schools: An Idea Worth Considering for Broader Application

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Disabling user access to offshore copyright-infringing websites (aka “site blocking”) is becoming an established practice in the UK (and in a number of other jurisdictions including Europe, Australia and elsewhere) where rights-holders can go to court, or use administrative means, to obtain an order requiring major ISPs to block access to specified offshore websites whose main purpose is to host and promote access to pirated content. After initial resistance, in countries where site blocking has become routinized ISPs generally do not oppose the orders and have accepted their responsibility to comply with them. Now, in the UK, this is being taken a step further. An article in TorrentFreak reports that a not-for-profit ISP, run by a charitable trust which supplies broadband to thousands of schools in London, will voluntarily block access to large numbers of pirate sites. The domains to be blocked will be drawn from the “Infringing Website List” maintained by London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit. Continue reading “Voluntary Piracy Site Blocking in British Schools: An Idea Worth Considering for Broader Application”

Feminism and Copyright Revisited

A few weeks ago I put my foot tenderly into the minefield of feminism, arguing in a blogWhat Does Feminism have to with Copyright in Canada”, that statements made by Carys Craig, a law professor at York University to the effect that robust copyright protections were anti-feminist were off base. My argument was that copyright laws, unlike law in some other areas, is gender-blind and in fact copyright has been an important factor in strengthening protection and welfare for all creators, both male and female. To ensure my message got out, I tweeted it as well as posting it on my blog. Continue reading “Feminism and Copyright Revisited”

Taiwan: A Centre of Reading, Publishing…and Democracy

Credit: Taipei Book Fair Foundation.

A recent article in Publishing Perspectives on the 2019 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) caught my attention because it highlighted both the progress that Taiwan has made over the years in becoming an important centre for publishing (despite some ongoing problems with content piracy) and the important connection between reading, publishing, good governance and democratic values. The book fair, the 26th edition, took place in mid-February, featuring Germany as the “Guest of Honour” this year. The Director-General of the German Institute in Taipei (in effect Germany’s “unofficial embassy” to Taiwan), commented that; Continue reading “Taiwan: A Centre of Reading, Publishing…and Democracy”