Re:Create Recap – Week of January 11, 2016

Federal Ruling Marks End To Copyright Monkey Business. A federal judge ruled on January 6 that a monkey who snapped a selfie on a nature photographer’s camera cannot own the copyright to those pictures. In Judge says monkey cannot own copyright to famous selfies, Ars Technica reports the judge told the courtroom, “This is an issue for Congress and the president. If they think animals should have the right of copyright they’re free…under the Constitution, to do that.” PETA sued the photographer on behalf of the Indonesian monkey, seeking monetary damages for copyright infringement.

Re:Create Members File Comments With EU On Copyright Implications For Digital Single Market (DSM).
In response to the EU’s request for feedback on the proposed DSM, the Re:Create coalition and several of its members filed recommendations for modernizing European copyright regulations to balance the interests of rightsholders with the creative economy. Key issues addressed by the organizations included takedown notices, intermediary liability, ancillary copyright and access to public data. Highlights from the Coalition and its members’ comments can be found here.

180,000 New Free Reasons To Cheer The Public Domain. The New York Public Library announced the release of 180,000 images from its collection into the public domain. In the Quartz report, The most fascinating images from the New York Public Library’s release of 180,000 copyright-free materials, a spokesperson said that the images represent about one-third of the total images that have been digitized. Materials include historical photos, nature prints, sheet music and more.

3D Printing To The Rescue In Disaster Zones. The Guardian article When disaster strikes, it’s time to fly in the 3D printers demonstrates how NGOs are incorporating 3D printers into disaster relief plans. 3D printers have already been used to fix leaking pipes in Nepal post-earthquake, but experts envision producing spare car parts, buckets and blankets, among other crucial items. Furthermore, the technology is portable, inexpensive and has the ability to simplify logistics and supply chains.

The Future Is Looking Bright For Copyright. “It is time to seek out ways of thinking beyond the ‘us versus them’ paradigm,” writes Alan Inouye of the American Library Association. In his January 12 op-ed, Information Policy in 2016: Let’s Have Some Optimism, Inouye predicts a positive future for copyright and information policy. Inouye lists the Re:Create Coalition as an example of diverse coalitions bringing players from all political spectrums towards a comprehensive solution, and quotes Re:Create member Michael Petricone of the Consumer Technology Association who stated, “We need less focus on dividing the pie and more focus on growing the pie.”

TODAY: Public Knowledge Showcases Need For DMCA Reform. In a Capitol Hill briefing today, Public Knowledge is doing important work in raising awareness of the need to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In the briefing titled “Lessons from the Copyright Office’s Triennial Review,” the panel, including Corynne McSherry of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), CEO and co-founder of iFixit Kyle Wiens, Kartemquin Films artistic director Gordon Quinn and Mark Richert of the American Foundation for the Blind, is addressing how problems with the DMCA’s Section 1201 rulemaking process impact everyone from consumers, to creators, innovators, researchers, farmers, and Americans with disabilities. Ahead of the event, Slate published panelist Kyle Wiens’ op-ed Before I Can Fix This Tractor, We Have to Fix Copyright Law to urge substantive reform of the DMCA exemption process to permit modifications or repairs of equipment software.

Next Week Is Copyright Week (Jan. 18-22).
The annual Copyright Week, organized by EFF in concert with 12 other organizations, will take place next week (January 18-22) to explore how to ensure copyright promotes creativity and innovation. On the anniversary of the SOPA blackout protests, organizations and individuals are encouraged to contribute to the discussion via blog posts, op-eds or social media in support of the following principles: You Bought It, You Own It; Fair Use Rights; Transparency; and Building and Defending a Robust Public Domain.