Copyright

Danfox Davies : The Genetic Grinch Scenario

(or How Gene Patent Trolls Stole Your Food)

This article is made of a few different parts. The first is a hypothetical dystopian scenario, but one very much rooted in our lives and perfectly possible trajectories of trends. Company names and product names mentioned are used only as EXAMPLES in that part of the article, and no bias or prediction of actual corporate actions or combinations is intended. The fact that I have to say this makes some of my point for me.

The second deals with the present in the USA, and places the reader in the position of an American plains arable farmer, finishing with a mild dipping of toes into conspiracy conjecture.

The third compares the direction of the GMO food industry with that of pharmaceutical firms and puts it against the backdrop of TTIP/TPP/TISA negotiation.

The fourth explains more reasons why banning GMOs will not help.

The fifth is to say you should decide what you CAN do, and makes suggestions.

YOU WOULDN'T STEAL A LUNCH

iTunes is Illegal: Why Copyright Laws Need a Drastic Overhaul

The simple truth is that ‘big content’ lobbies are wrong in claiming that they are the sole voice of artists and the creative industries. Big corporations have unfortunately appropriated Intellectual Property laws as a kneejerk reaction to seeing their profits threatened time after time by innovators outside the industry (think Napster, Pirate Bay) – whose interests lie beyond financial gain – rather than helping artists and creators, as they are originally intended to serve.

Friday, 7 August, 2015 - 19:45

Pirate Party and Others Respond to Copyright Consultation

Thursday, 6 August, 2015 - 09:00

Our Government has always been one step behind when trying to legislate for technology. Since the Computer Misuse Act 1990 we've had very broad definitions of what can constitute a punishment under the law. Now the Intellectual Property Office is continuing this bad trend while blurring the lines between the different kinds of copyright breach. A consultation has been launched that threatens to increase existing criminal penalties for online file sharing from a maximum of 2 years, to a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment.

Opening the door to radical reform

Loz Kaye's picture

One of the defining issues that kicked off the Pirate movement was copyright. It was possibly the most defining issue, though post Snowden things look very different now. The web depends on sharing, transmitting, copying. And it was radical that this should be a political issue, not just an obsession for law geeks.

So obviously, it was seen of something of a triumph that Julia Reda  MEP was given the task of being Copyright Rapporteur. I'm sure we were all aware of the political danger. Anything too radical would have been ripped apart, not advocating for our views would be a significant failure. It's also true that being in the Green group is where we can get most influence now, they will also hold us back.  

Pirate Party Delivers on Copyright

Monday, 19 January, 2015 - 10:15

EU copyright rules simply aren't suited to cope with the increase of cross-border cultural exchange facilitated by the Internet, an upcoming European Parliament own-initiative report evaluating 2001's copyright directive finds. The draft released today by Julia Reda, MEP for the German Pirate Party, lays out an ambitious reform agenda for the overhaul of EU copyright announced in the Commission's work programme.

Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda said:

#VotePirate To Support Artists. Yes, Really

Loz Kaye's picture

The first skirmishes of General Election 2015 are being fought. Rather predictably, they have focused on the big parties' spending plans. With a breathtaking lack of self awareness Labour accused the Tories of producing a 'dodgy dossier' about their budget ideas. One of the spats that many people noticed was the Labour press office's rapid rebuttal of the idea that a Miliband government would reverse arts cuts. So, the election campaign has already seen a fight as to who can be the nastiest party to the UK's creative sector.

Satire and copyright - A start, but not nearly enough

Tuesday, 30 September, 2014 - 19:15

Limited changes to UK copyright law will come into on the the 1st of October. The change will for the first time allow the parody of copyright works.  At present anyone who uses clips of films, TV shows or songs without consent for parody (and almost anything else) risks being sued by the rightsholder.

This change will allow the use of material in copyright as long as it is fair, funny and does not compete with the original version.

Free speech victory as Wonga backs down on parody copyright claim

Payday lender Wonga has backed down on its attempt to remove a parody advert criticising them from Twitter after thousands of users (and the Pirate Party UK) defied the company by reposting the picture.

Wonga said:

"We accept that we were a little heavy-handed last week when we issued a Twitter Takedown notice for @BrandySnap's image, and having seen the full ‘Streisand Effect’ ourselves, we won’t be pursuing the notice"

The Streisand effect occurs when an attempt to remove or cover up information leads to it gaining significantly more attention than it would have done otherwise.

Wonga was on shaky legal ground by using a copyright claim under the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to ask Twitter to remove the image, although Twitter complied at first. Parody and criticism are protected as "fair use" under US copyright law.

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