Copyright

The internet as a commons

Since the beginning of the “information revolution” there has built up a tension between the rights of the owners of information and other intellectual property and the practical ability and desire of others to exploit that property using the developing technologies. This tension heightened considerably with the popularisation of the internet and the web as […]

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Divergence from EU: Copyright Directive

The government recently indicated a willingness to diverge from EU regulations post-Brexit. Perhaps one of the more significant moves in this direction is the announcement by Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore that the UK will not implement the controversial EU Copyright Directive. The main criticism levelled at the directive was down to Article 17* […]

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The new EU copyright directive: backing creatives

The new EU copyright law that copyright lawyers, artists, management and media companies have been waiting for was passed on 17 April 2019 as Directive (EU) 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC. The directive is not law as is (although some of its provisions […]

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Digital copyright: new challenges and opportunities

Copyright law is being challenged by disruptive technologies such as AI and blockchain, themes addressed in the recently published 5th edition of the author’s book Digital Copyright, on which this article is based. Artificial intelligence and virtual reality The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) are starting to pose significant challenges to […]

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Brexit, copyright and liminality

I’ve always liked the word “liminality” – a threshold that marks the boundary between two phases. If nothing else, Brexit presents an opportunity for its appropriate use. The UK’s current state, where we are still in the EU but apparently heading somewhere else, does feel liminal, with its quality (to quote Wikipedia) of ambiguity or disorientation. You can sense […]

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Take care when users post on your website

One of the decisions that website owners often need to make these days is whether to allow people to add comments or other content to their website. Of itself, this isn’t a legal issue, but a decision to allow comments or other user content on a website does give rise to legal considerations. These considerations […]

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Copyright in website images

As simple as it is to find images online, one could be forgiven for thinking it is just as easy to know which images may be used. Unfortunately, the complexities of copyright law and the limited awareness of its rules can make the process of finding and using images a potential minefield for businesses. No […]

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The future of digital copyright

Copyright is the property right the law gives authors/creators and those taking ownership from them to control the copying and other forms of exploitation of their creations or “works”. The traditional view is that copyright arose out of lobbying by printers to prevent the piracy of their books. So in one sense it was a […]

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Copyright, fair use and the advance of culture

The problem with a lot of the debate about copyright is that it becomes polarised. It’s “big media” v the “little guy”. It’s “closed copyright, a barrier to innovation” v “open internet, cultural advancement and freedom of expression”. It’s bad guy, good guy. It’s also not unusual to read that the absence of a “fair […]

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Can copyright adapt to the digital age?

The copyright “paradox” Copyright works, created by professionals and amateurs alike, are ubiquitous on the network, on social media platforms, websites and online services. In June this year, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and Imperial College published new estimates of investment in the UK’s copyright industries, of which the publishing industry is a significant part. […]

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Music crime – is the record industry buckling under the pressure?

Illegal downloading is a devastating problem for the record industry. £650 million was lost last year to music crime and £1.1 billion in the three preceding years. Illegal downloading takes place when a user obtains a digital music file over the internet. The source of this digital file is known as the uploader. More often […]

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