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First off today, Ben Blanchard at Reuters is reporting that China’s top official for fighting piracy has accused the western media of distorting the seriousness of the problem of piracy in China, blowing it out of proportion. According to Tian Lipu, the head of China’s State Intellectual Property Office, his government has been making great strides in fighting pirated goods and that his country is the largest payer for patent, trademark and royalty rights as well as one of the largest software buyers. However, Microsoft and the Business Software Alliance claim that 80 percent of all software in China is pirated and and the International Intellectual Property Alliance, says that at least $3.5 billion of the total $15 billion lost to piracy each year worldwide is from China, making it the largest country for such losses.
Nets up today, Andrew Orlowski from The Register writes that rights groups in the U.S. are preparing to launch a litigation campaign against the United Kingdom should the country move forward with its planned “orphan works” legislation. The legislation, which will legalize, in some circumstances, the use of works which the owner is unknown or can’t be located, is strongly opposed by photographers and visual artists whose works often are passed around without attribution. The UK legislations come ahead of legislation in the EU. However, while the larger EU’s provisions do not allow commercial use, the UK’s provision do, which has largely sparked the controversy. The groups have threatened to sue the country should the law impact foreign works, claiming that the legislation is a violation of international treaties the country has signed. The threat was outlined in a letter to business minister Vince Cable.
Finally today, Tim Hicks at Future Proof writes that a section of his site dedicated to posting laptop repair manuals has been asked by Toshiba, a major manufacturer of laptops, to remove all of their books. Hicks makes the manuals available for free download to assist others with repairing their machines and says that he’s had no problems with other manufacturers. However, Toshiba recently asked him to remove the books citing concerns about quality of repairs, safety of people performing repairs, protecting proprietary information and copyright infringement. Repair manuals are protected by copyright but manufacturers typically do not actively pursue their removal as they are not viewed as a key business interest and open access to them is generally seen as helpful to consumers.
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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