Re:Create Recap – January 26, 2017

A Look Back At January 18, The 5-Year Anniversary Of SOPA/PIPA. Last week was the five-year anniversary of the SOPA/PIPA internet blackout — an important date that 9 million Twitter users were paying attention to. Re:Create Coalition Executive Director Joshua Lamel issued a statement on the anniversary noting, “The support for free speech online remains as strong as ever. We urge Congress and the new Administration to continue to enable creativity, innovation and freedom of expression on the internet.” Other organizations that weighed in on the anniversary include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumer Technology Association, Engine, TechCrunch, Internet Association, Boing Boing, Free Press and Techdirt’s Mike Masnick.

#CopyrightWeek In Review. More than 20 organizations participated in #CopyrightWeek, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day last week, various groups took on different elements of the law, addressing what’s at stake and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation. Among the many blog posts, CDT’s Stan Adams authored, Reservoir Clogs: Copyright and the Public Domain, on how the public domain’s value “depends on it being refreshed, replenished, and accessible” and how balanced copyright can play a positive role.

Op-Ed: Internet Freedom Isn’t Free. Mike Masnick, founder of Techdirt, penned the op-ed Internet freedom isn’t free: five years after the SOPA PIPA blackout for The Hill on why “it’s up to every internet user to stand up for what makes the internet great, and make sure it remains such a powerful tool of communication, connectivity and creativity.” The op-ed marked the five-year anniversary of SOPA/PIPA “not out of a sense of nostalgia, but out of a need to prepare for the future by revisiting our history.”

Can You Copyright A Cake? Quartz asks the question — Do cake designs count as intellectual property? — after a revelation that Trump’s inauguration cake was inspired by Obama’s cake. The local baker who designed the cake defended her creation, explaining that the difference between inspiration and imitation “is whether you have borrowed too much and impermissibly created a derivative work, or whether you have transformed the original into a new creation that could itself be considered original.” Though some critics have gone so far as to argue that Instagramming a meal could be considered copyright infringement, the original chef took the time to tweet congratulations to the baker inspired by his previous design.

Copyright Restrictions Could Endanger 3 Million Repair Jobs. Kyle Wiens with iFixIt wrote The DMCA Strikes Back: How Copyright Law Could Cost You Your Job to describe how digital rights management (DRM) restrictions put jobs in jeopardy by “[abusing] the DMCA to squeeze out the competition.” For instance, the increased computerization of automobiles has made it more difficult for local, non-OEM mechanics to diagnose issues. Some manufacturing companies argue they own the copyright on software and prohibit third-party repair shops from tinkering with the code. Wiens concludes that Congress, state legislators and the US Copyright Office must protect the 3 million repair jobs in this country from being DMCA’d out of existence.