Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

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After years of debate, EU copyright law is finally being revisited. The Commission will present a proposal for reform within 4 months of 31c3. And it’s high time: There has never been a bigger discrepancy between the technical feasibility to share information and knowledge across all physical borders and the legal restrictions to actually do so. This talk outlines the unique opportunity and the challenge to bring copyright into the 21st century that lies in front of us. Hackers ensured that people were heard during last winter’s public consultation. Can they now also ensure a progressive outcome of the reform process?



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Copyright law used to be fairly simple, when it all began — it only lasted for two years.

The first copyright law was created in the 18th century: the British Statute of Anne 1710. Passed to protect the rights of authors, the statute required them to renew their copyright every two years. If you didn’t renew, your work went into the public domain, and any printer could profit from it.

But since that first statute, it’s only gotten more and more complicated. Trying to research your rights is like going down a never-ending rabbit hole. And asking for advice can get you a dozen different answers, even when you’re talking to professional copyright lawyers.

But one thing is clear when it comes to copyright: It’s only gotten more and more restrictive since that first statute. Instead of only lasting two years, copyright today is still in place for decades after the creator’s death in most countries.

Copyright, the Internet and Why It Matters to You - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

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If you’ve ever visited Paris, you’ve probably taken pictures of the Eiffel Tower. If you’ve done this during the daytime, that’s great. But take a photo at night and you’ve just committed a crime.

In several countries architectural structures are protected by copyright. That means you have to ask permission from the copyright holder to use your own picture in public.

This is also true for the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The famous landmark was built in 1889 which means that it falls within the public domain. However, the light show was added later and this is still protected by copyright.

It may sound absurd, but taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower at night and sharing that online may be copyright infringement. The stance is confirmed by the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, who note the following on their website.

The Eiffel Tower’s website reads:

Daytime views from the Eiffel Tower are rights-free.

However, its various illuminations are subject to author’s rights as well as brand rights. Usage of these images is subject to prior request from the “Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel” (the Eiffel Tower’s operating company, or SETE).

The citation “Eiffel Tower”, the names of the various services offered on the monument as well as domain names are also registered.

At the heart of the problem is the fact that the light shows are copyrighted. More confusing, if the tower is simply lit, does that constitute infringement? How much is it enforced? Who knows.

Photo credit.

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Have you ever been confused about whether or not you can use a photo you find on the Internet? The Visual Communication Guy has made a handy flow chart infographic to help you out.

I created the guide below to help sift through the complexity of it all. The reality is, though, as long as you become familiar with four terms–copyright, fair use, creative commons, and public domain–you’ll have a pretty good idea what you can and can’t do with images. If it’s all new to you, spend most of your time learning the fair use clauses. That’s where the ambiguity in copyright laws exist. As with most laws, the ambiguity is for our benefit, but it sure can make copyright laws fuzzy at times.

My rule above all else? Ask permission to use all images. If in doubt, don’t use the image!


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Who’s Stealing eBooks? - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

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