ORG parliamentary and policy update/2013-w14

< ORG parliamentary and policy update

This is ORG's Parliamentary Update for the week beginning 01-04-2013

According to the House of Commons Recess dates the House of Commons is currently in recess from the 26 March 2013 to the 15 April 2013. The House of Lords is in recess from the 27th March to the 22nd April. As a result all parliamentary debates, questions, written answers and consultations are on hold until the recess has ended.

Official Meetings

Jim Killock and Peter Bradwell met the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education, along with other civil society groups, to discuss child protection online. Among the issues raised were network level filtering, including highlighting the existing problems with mobile internet filtering.

Peter took part in another working group at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as part of their Midata initiative; considering how the transmission of the data would work.

Jim met civil society groups at English PEN's meeting to discuss Leveson and bloggers.

Consultations and Departments

Leveson and bloggers

DCMS are holding ad hoc discussions with bloggers and Internet groups. If you want to input, you should contact Culture Minister Maria Miller MP directly.

A holding amendment to exempt “small bloggers” was added to the Crime and Courts Bill in the Lords last week, which is meant to give the government enough time to sort out what is really needed.

Government Bills

Crime and Courts Bill

The amendments made to the Crime and Courts Bill by the House of Lords have been returned to the House of Commons. According to the Progress of the Bill "The amendments will be considered on the floor of the house on a date to be announced."

Law and Legal Cases

Danish artist guilty of copyright infringement for pornographic collage

A Danish court has found the artist Kristian Von Hornsleth guilty of infringing the copyright of the photographer Lizette Kabré by using one of her shots in a pornographic collage. According to The Art Newspaper "The high court upheld an earlier decision by the Copenhagen City Court and ordered Von Hornsleth to pay Kabré DKr30,000 (around €4,000), plus DKr20,000 (€2,700) to cover the photographer’s legal costs." In court:

"Von Hornsleth said the collage was his artistic reaction to Stockmann’s article and claimed freedom of expression. He wanted to reply to her in his own language and the pornographic work showed how critics “fuck” others in the sense that they criticise them, he said. Kabré described the collage as “a personal attack motivated by revenge”.

U.S District Judge ruling on the reselling of digital goods

Following on from the Supreme Court ruling in Kirtsaeng, Dba Bluechristine99 v. John Wiley & sons, Inc whereby textbooks "and other goods made and sold abroad can be re-sold online and in discount stores without violating U.S copyright law." U.S District Judge Richard Sullivan has ruled that the 'first sale' doctrine does not apply to digital goods.

According to the New York Times:

"The company Redigi, opened an online platform in late 2011 that allowed people to upload and resell songs they had bought from online retailers like Apple's iTunes. ReDigi said its technology deleted the original file once a copy was put up for sale, but the major record labels were skeptical, and Capitol Records sued in early 2012."

The case represented a test of whether the first sale doctrine - "the legal principle that someone who owns a copy of a copyrighted work, like a book or album, is free to resell it - can be applied to digital goods." Judge Richard J. Sullivan of the United States District Court in Manhattan rules that 'ReDigi was liable for copyright infringement, and seemed entirely unmoved by ReDigi's arguments.

Full facts of the case available here

Google faces ICO legal challenge

Google's privacy policies are being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office ("the UK's independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting opened by public bodies and date privacy for individuals.") As V3 states "The move comes after the French data protection regulatory CNIL confirmed that Google had made no attempt to meet its concerns over its renewed privacy policies, first unveiled in March 2012." 'On 19 March 2013, representatives of Google were invited at their request to meet with the task force led by the CNIL and composed of data protection authorities of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.

The ICO has subsequently confirmed that an investigation will be underway. According to V3 a Google spokesperson has been quotes stating:

"Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the data protection authorities involved throughout this process, and we'll continue to do so going forward."

Aereo: retransmission not a "public performance" in the U.S

The Second U.S Circuit Court of Appeal has upheld the District Court's decision in favour of Areo The decision in Wnet et al. v. Aereo, Inc. (12-2786-cv) and ABC et al. v. Aereo, Inc (12-2807-CV) concluded that:

"Aereo's transmissions of unique copies of broadcast television programs created at its user's requests and transmitted while the programs are still airing on broadcast television are not 'public performances' of the Plaintiff's copyrighted works under Cablevision. As such, Plaintiff's have not demonstrated that they are likely to prevail on the merits on this claim in their copyright infringement action.'

Aereo transmits television broadcasts to user's mobile phones, computers and iPads via individual mini antenna or "rabbit ears" and positions itself as a cheaper alternative to cable and satellite.

ORG Media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details.

ORG contact details

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