Re:Create Recap – May 25, 2017

What Does Copyright Have To Do With AI? A May 17 op-ed in Canada’s Globe and Mail addresses the challenges restrictive copyright rules can play on the development of AI services, despite dedicating millions to research and efforts to attract high-level talent. In Why copyright law poses a barrier to Canadian AI ambitions, Canadian copyright law expert Michael Geist pointed out that, “Copyright law crops up because restrictive rules may limit the data sets that can used for machine-learning purposes…Given the absence of a clear rule to permit machine learning in Canadian copyright law (often called a text and data mining exception), our legal framework trails behind other countries that have reduced risks associated with using data sets in AI activities.” Geist highlighted fair use in the U.S. as a model to emulate in order for Canada to overcome its AI copyright barrier.

Copyright Reform To Geek Out Your Toaster? There’s Legislation For That. In the latest episode of the Copy This podcast, U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold (TX-27) discusses the copyright debates happening right now in the corridors of Congress. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, a key issue for Rep. Farenthold is how the prevalence of copyrighted software in everyday devices and household appliances prohibits owners from repairing their electronics. Rep. Farenthold introduced the bipartisan You Own Devices Act to modernize copyright law for the digital age.

Wikipedia Urges Australia To Reform Copyright To Include Fair Use. In an online campaign, Wikipedia is urging the Australian government to reform copyright law to include fair use exceptions, reported Business Insider Australia. According to Electronic Frontiers Australia Executive Officer Jon Lawrence, Australia’s copyright laws are “absurdly outdated.” “Forwarding an email. Reposting a meme you found online. Uploading a picture of your toddler mangling the words of a song to Facebook. Our law hasn’t caught up with any of these common usages, and as a result Australians inadvertently infringe copyright dozens of times a day,” said Lawrence.

Jokes Go To Court. Last week, United States District Judge Sammartino decided that Kasberg v. Conaco will go to trial in August, according to NPR’s Laurel Wamsley. The lawsuit was filed by former Jay Leno comedy writer Alex Kaseberg who accused Conan O’Brien, TBS and Time Warner of using his jokes on the late-night talk show, “Conan.” The case is expected to set a precedent for whether or not comedians can actually copyright jokes. Aaron Perzanowski, professor of intellectual property law at Case Western Reserve University, told NPR that if the joke was not directly copied and meets the minimal requirements for originality, then the claim of copyright infringement will be found baseless.

Rebutting the Critics: Technology Empowers Boom In Creative Economy. Legal expert Glenn Manishin penned a blog post for Project DisCo countering recent, hyper-exaggerated claims by the entertainment industry that internet platforms are “illegal monopolies.” Manishin explained how the premise is “flatly wrong…Money isn’t being reallocated away from the creative class; actually, more money is flowing directly to content creators on account of these platforms.” Manishin also pointed to Michael Masnick’s Sky Is Rising report, which found that the internet has empowered a “true renaissance period for content around the globe.”