Re:Create Recap – April 25, 2019

Can Laws Be Copyrighted? A new copyright lawsuit asks: can you copyright the law? The startup UpCodes was founded to simplify the construction process, giving users access to building codes, code updates and local amendments in 32 states. The complexities of code compliance have “been cited as a key reason for reduced productivity in the construction industry and rising home prices” according to TechCrunch. UpCodes insists the use of codes is protected by fair use, however, the International Code Council is now suing the company, claiming copyright on the building codes. “I think citizens being able to freely access and discuss laws is critical to democracy and to hold the government accountable,” said co-founder Garrett Reynolds.

EU Copyright Directive Marches Forward. With the European Council’s “rubber stamp” approval of the controversial EU Copyright Directive on April 15, attention will now turn to implementation by member states. Noting that France’s culture minister is hopeful to implement it by summertime, Mike Masnick wrote for Techdirt that “if France actually follows through on the dumbest of all implementations (a decent possibility), it will also make for an interesting test case to see if companies simply decide to block services in France.” Masnick made the connection between the subsequent years of court battles over the flawed laws expected to follow and why “successful internet companies don’t seem to ever come from the EU.”

“CeFRO” Jared Polin Promotes Balanced Approach To Copyright. In an Inside Sources op-ed, new creator Jared Polin emphasized the importance of maintaining a balanced copyright system that promotes creativity while protecting content. As the founder and “CeFRO” of Fro Knows Photo, Jared contributes to the growing American New Creative Economy with two employees and a global customer base. He warned that restrictions to the internet may impede his ability to interact with customers, thus harming his small business in the years to come. Jared concluded the piece with a hopeful call to maintain the balanced nature of the American system, saying “Do not put the lock back on the gate; we will find a way to break it open one way or another.”

Starz Misuses DMCA Takedowns On Twitter. Despite studies that show piracy is on the decline, Gizmodo profiled the latest misuse of the DMCA takedown notice after TV network Starz claimed copyright on tweets linking to news stories about episodes that had been leaked. Twitter removed tweets from news platform TorrentFreak, EFF and journalist Mathew Ingram. “I think it’s an egregious over-reaching interpretation of the DMCA and I’m disappointed that Twitter agreed to take my tweet down — and a similar tweet by the EFF — when they are clearly not infringing,” Ingram told Gizmodo. “And I think it’s extremely disturbing that Twitter is taking down tweets that have links to news articles in them.” “Obviously, it’s not copyright infringement to report a story about someone else engaging in copyright infringement,” said EFF’s Mitch Stoltz. “And it’s not copyright infringement to comment on a story about a bogus takedown. Starz is misusing DMCA takedowns here, and suppressing truthful reporting.”