Why Farmers Need A “Right to Repair” Their Tractors. The Guardian took a look at how copyrighted software prevents farmers from fixing their own machinery in A right to repair: why Nebraska farmers are taking on John Deere and Apple. Because much of today’s farming equipment is high-tech, the article noted that “Only manufacturers and authorized dealers are allowed [to repair software], and they charge hundreds of dollars in call-out fees to use it. For a fifth-generation farmer in an increasingly squeezed industry…it’s a tough pill to swallow.” The R Street Institute hosted an event this week to discuss these issues, including insights from Cory Doctorow, Heritage Foundation’s Alden Abbott, Open Technology Institute’s Robyn Greene, R Street’s Sasha Moss and FreedomWorks’ Wayne Brough.
Chronicling The Past 50 Years Of Parody In Music. From the Beatles’ “Back in the USSR” to Weird Al Yankovic and This Is Spinal Tap, Pitchfork takes a look at music parodies from the past 50 years. In Killer Riffs: A Guide to Parody in Popular Music, Pitchfork’s Simon Reynolds noted that “even at its meanest, the parody is a backhanded compliment: You can only be caricatured if you’re distinctive and stylistically striking. That’s why pop stars are nearly always delighted when ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic targets them: It’s a sign you’ve made it.” Parody is a protected fair use under U.S. copyright law.
SXSW Watch: Re:Create Member Panels And Events. Next week at SXSW,Re:Create members will be there to help drive important conversations around tech policy and the new creative economy. The R Street Institute released its guide to policy events, which highlights important tech policy panels at SXSW, including its own The Internet of Things You Don’t Own, which will feature R Street’s Sasha Moss and Public Knowledge’s Raza Panjwani. Additionally, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is hosting its fourth annual Innovation Policy Day at SXSW on March 14 , where panelists will explore a variety of issues, including tech policy in the new Administration. The Re:Create Coalition will also be highlighting its Day in the Life of Fair Use at SXSW infographic, which shows how attendees come into contact with copyright law and the benefits of fair use.
European Parliament Proposal Finds That Linking To Articles Is Not Necessarily Bad For Press Publishers. Politico EU’s Chris Spillane reports on a proposal before the European Parliament that would allow media publishers to sue internet platforms that showcase their work without permission. In Publishers to get power to sue internet platforms, Spillane reports that the proposal represents a break with the Commission on how to handle digital journalism and surprised publishers since it only creates a legal channel to enforce claims, falling short of their lobby efforts to be able to charge companies for displaying parts of their articles. Spillane notes that the Parliament’s draft concluded that linking to news articles on internet platforms is not necessarily bad for press publishers. He quotes from draft that, “In some cases, it is these linking or referencing systems (such as hyperlinks) that facilitate the finding by users of news online portals … Non-commercial sharing of such news or opinions is also important in modern democratic societies.”
3D Printer Produces House In One Day. In just 24 hours, Apis Cor, a startup based in San Francisco, used a 3D printer to build a 400-square-foot house in Russia for only $10,134. The house has one bedroom, one bathroom and is built to withstand heavy snowfall. TIME featured the construction of the house in this video.
German Court Fines Father For Audiobook His 11-Year-Old Son Downloaded. In a German court this past week, a father was held liable for his 11-year-old son’s illegal download and fined 956 euros in damages and legal costs. In Not Warning Kid About Piracy Makes Father Liable, Court Rules TorrentFreak reported that “The targeted account holder is sometimes the perpetrator, but it could also be another member of the household or even a complete stranger, if the Wi-Fi network is unsecured.” Though the father instructed his son to limit internet use to school-related purposes, the court ruled the father was “negligent.”