Re:Create Recap – Week of November 30

Judge Strikes Down Safe Harbor In Cox Lawsuit. A recent decision in U.S. District Court ruled that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) doesn’t protect Internet service providers (ISPs) like Cox Communications from liability for its subscribers illegal downloading activity. ISPs are supposed to be protected by the DMCA’s safe harbor provision, but music companies successfully argued that Cox failed to stop repeat-infringers. The lawsuit will go to trial next week to determine if Cox is liable for any infringement and, if so, how much it will pay. In the Techdirt article Judge Mocks Public Interest Concerns About Kicking People Off Internet, Tells Cox It’s Not Protected By DMCA, Mike Masnick notes the impact a liability decision might have: “Accusations of infringement could potentially led to you totally losing access to the internet, which could really destroy people’s lives, given how important the internet is for work and life these days.”

Congress Tackles Copyright Modernization Issues During Hearing. Concerns about whether the U.S. Copyright Office can “meet the demands of the digital age” was the subject of the Committee on House Administration (CHA) hearing held on December 2. According to Politico Pro’s article Acting Librarian of Congress blames ‘vendor error’ for copyright outage, Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante emphasized the need for an independent investigation of this summer’s electronic outage and highlighted the Copyright Office’s broader IT problems. “It should be alarming to all of us that under this arrangement no one in the agency has complete control of or accountability for the authoritative records of copyright ownership under U.S. law,” Pallante told the Committee.

New Creators Explain Risks And Rewards Of YouTube And Fair Use. Following YouTube’s recent announcement to provide financial and legal assistance to creators fighting needless copyright claims and takedown notices, Mashable spoke directly to new creators in What creators are saying about YouTube’s help with copyright claims. “The announcement…allows for more creative freedom and opportunities to really go out there and make the content you want to make,” said Steve Oh with digital news organization The Young Turks. Many YouTube channels which use commentary, criticism, news and parody clips are automatically flagged by Content ID, regardless of fair use.

German Museum Attacks Wikimedia Over Photos Of Art In Public Domain. A German art museum filed a lawsuit against Wikimedia for posting photos of works of art in the public domain. The museum argued the works of art in the public domain, but the photos of them are new creations that are protected by copyright according to Tech Times article German Museum Sues Wikimedia Over Photographs Of Public Domain Works Of Art. “Copyright law should not be misused to attempt to control the dissemination of works of art that have long been in the public domain…The intent of copyright is to reward creativity and originality, not to create new rights limiting the online sharing of images of public domain works,” writes Wikimedia in a blog post.

Efforts To Obtain SOPA-Like Powers Shut Down. Alleged piracy website MovieTube quickly disappeared after the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) filed a complaint against the site, but Ars Technica reports on the highly controversial preliminary injunction that the MPAA proposed in Lawsuit in which MPAA sought SOPA-like powers ends with a whimper. The proposed injunction would have banned ad services, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, banks, payment processors and others from providing any services to MovieTube. Internet companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo quickly filed a joint amicus brief asking the judge not to grant this drastic order. Fortunately, once the website voluntarily shut down, the MPAA withdrew its request for an injunction.

CCIA And Others Petition European Parliament On Potential Copyright Reforms. By December 30, the European Commission is expected to adopt a “communication” or framework of regulations “detailing the Commission’s vision for copyright reform in the next years” and will not hear the concerns of stakeholders. This has prompted the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and others to send a letter to key European Parliament members about their concerns of transparency and reform. “The letters…reveal that there is widespread concern regarding future EU copyright reform,” said CCIA Europe Director Jakob Kucharczyk. “We regret that some critical questions in the platform consultation are only addressed to rights owners. Particularly questions that relate to controversial new rights for press publishers should have been framed in a neutral and open manner.”

ALA To Host Webinar To Discuss Burdensome Copyright Regulations. The American Library Association will host their monthly CopyTalk webinar and discuss 1201 rulemaking process and this year’s exemptions and some of the proposals offered for changing this outdated, regulatory nightmare. The featured speakers include Jonathan Band, ALA’s Legal Counsel and Sherwin Siy, VP for Legal Affairs at Public Knowledge. The event starts at 2 PM TODAY. Click here to sign up for the event.