Re:Create Recap – August 25, 2016

Farmer Explains How Copyright Law Impacts His Crops. In How Digital Copyright Law Is Being Used to Run Roughshod Over Repairs, NBC News interviewed Nebraskan farmer Doug Hall about how copyrighted software prohibits him from repairing his own farming machinery, as the warranty specifically required authorized technicians to service it. This kind of copyright protection is enshrined in Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which is having a “chilling effect on the fix-it industry in general” as well as owners of connected equipment and devices, from farming equipment to coffee machines.

Buzzfeed: 8 Ways The Online Community Adapted To The Ban On GIFs. The Rio Olympics may be over, but many fans still want to revel in Team USA’s success (Phelps, Ledecky, Biles, Rollins and the 100-meter hurdle sweep). Unfortunately, fans were held back this year from reliving many of our favorite moments because the International Olympics Committee’s rules prohibited the sharing of GIFs, Vines, and other animated platforms to protect exclusive broadcaster’s copyrights. The online community overcame these absurd copyright rules, adapting with creativity and hilarity. We rounded up some of our favorite examples in this Buzzfeed post.

Re:Create At SXSW 2017 – Vote For Us! For a second consecutive year, the Re:Create Coalition is applying to bring the copyright conversation to SXSW. Our panel, Know Your CopyRIGHTS as a Digital Creator, features a YouTube personality, journalist/author and a digital attorney discussing fair use, what is considered infringement and other complex copyright regulations. Show us your support and vote for our panel!

CloudFlare Fights Back Against Copyright Bullies. Service provider CloudFlare is once again fending off vague copyright takedown attempts, this time from the Recording Industry Association of America. After winning an injunction against MP3Skull by default (MP3Skull did not show up to their court date), the RIAA is now trying to use that same vague injunction in an attempt to interrupt CloudFlare’s services. In the blog post CloudFlare Protects Internet Users By Insisting On Lawful Orders Before Blocking Customers, Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Mitch Stoltz highlights how this case and others like it have a large impact on the internet. “The limits on court orders against intermediaries are vital safeguards against censorship, especially where the censorship is done on behalf of a well-financed party. That’s why it’s important for courts to uphold those limits even in cases where copyright or trademark infringement seems obvious.”

Courts Hold ISP Liable For Users’ Illegal Downloads: Why We Should All Be Concerned. In an August 12 story, the Washington Post’s Brian Fung examines the latest ruling in an ongoing case between Cox Communications and music rights company BMG, which requires Cox to pay a $25 million penalty after being held liable for the illegal piracy activities of its users. Fung spoke with Public Knowledge’s Charles Duan who expressed significant concerns about how this ruling may encourage further lawsuits, stating: “It’s not quite patent trolling, but it sure has a lot of the flavors, and if I were an ISP I’d be worried about being the target of the next campaign.”

Court Case May Also Endanger Free Speech. In the article, The Internet’s Safe Harbor Just Got a Little Less Safe, Wired’s Klint Finley also looks at the Cox Communications case and how it will impact the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA’s Section 512 by writing, “In short, the DMCA…enabled the explosion of online speech over the past two decades.” The court decision is also a dangerous step forward for proponents of “notice-and-staydown”. “People use [the internet] for their jobs, to interact with government…The circumstances in which it’s reasonable to cut someone off are narrower now than 20 years ago,” said Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) attorney Mitch Stoltz.