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First off today, in Australia the country’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has vowed to “urgently consider” changes to the country’s copyright following a recent high court win by the mobile carrier Optus. Optus was sued by various sports leagues and competitor Telstra over its DVR service that allows users to stream TV to their phone within minutes of it being recorded. The verdict calls into question millions of dollars in licensing paid by Telstra to the leagues for the sole rights to stream matches via mobile devices. The move has caused legislators on both sides to seek changes to the law to protect mobile streaming rights, though opposition leaders seem to feel that any legislation should be extremely narrowly-focused.
Next up today, British Labour MEP David Martin has been called to serve as the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the upcoming report on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The agreement, which was signed by the EU, US, Japan and over 20 nations, seeks to harmonize enforcement on copyright and other intellectual property matters. However, the treaty has been the subject of massive protests in the past weeks, prompting three nations in the EU to put on hold their internal ratification process. Martin replaces French Socialist Kader Arif, who resigned last week after blasting how the treaty was negotiated and handled.
Finally today, the UK’s equivalent of Silicon Valley has sent an open letter to it’s government asking for broad copyright reform. The letter, which was signed by Computing Society (BCS), Coadec (The Coalition for a Digital Economy), TechHub, Bootlaw and the BIMA asks for adoption of various proposed reforms including enabling format shifting, enabling the licensing of orphan works, working with the European Commission to craft cross-border licensing schemes and more. The letter follows on the heels of the Hargreaves Report, which made many of the same recommendations.
That’s it for the three count today. We will 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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