This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.
First off today, it is that time again. Every few years, as part of the DMCA, the Library of Congress holds hearings and adds exemptions to the DMCA’s anti-circumvention rules. However, this time around the hearings seem to be drawing quite a crowd as the battle between the EFF and Apple over jailbreaking phones, in particular the iPhone, heats up.
The previous hearing, held late last week, saw the two sides battle it out in front of the USCO panel. Also, the movie studios battled it out with educators and others that want to circumvent encryption for the sole purpose of making fair use of copyrighted materials. Apparently, when asked how this would actually hurt copyright holders, the MPAA attorney was at something of a loss for words.
One a personal note though, it appears that EFF attorney Fred Von Lohman has cut off his trademark pony tail. As a guy with a pony tail himself, this has me very depressed and I’m starting to wonder how many male copyright activists (on any side) are left sporting longer hair…
Next up, the IFPI has been emboldened by The Pirate Bay verdict in Sweden, even though the verdict is currently on appeal and are currently going after the hosts of various bittorrent trackers in Sweden.
After the verdict, many trackers closed down voluntarily and others after some pressure was applied, but in the case of one private tracker, the IFPI has been sending threatening letters to their host, rather than the operators directly, to get them shut down.
The site in question did go down briefly but appears to be back up now, indicating the demand has not yet been met.
Finally today, in an article for The Guardian, Naomi Alderman calls for an end to staggered releases, where movies and other items are released in some regions before others, saying that creating demand for a product when it is not available encourages piracy.
Though the argument is unproven, it does make sense. Movie studios and other copyright industries have long used region encoding and staggered releases but, in the age of the Internet, demand for a work can spread instantly. As such, people rise to fill the demand one way or another.
While it doesn’t excuse piracy, I do think it may offer at least a theory as to why and something practical that big copyright holders can do to minimize the impact.
That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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