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1: Europe’s Creative Industry Slams EU Commission for Rewriting Copyright Rules

First off today, Foo Yun Chee at Reuters reports that the European Commission has concluded a consultation period on the bloc’s new copyright regulations and many publishers and creators are upset, claiming the commission is attempting to rewrite legislation.

In 2019, the European Union passed a very controversial new set of copyright directives that included Article 17, which required many hosts to implement filters to catch infringing material before it’s uploaded. The European Commission (EC), the executive branch of the EU, is now issuing guidelines for how the member states should implement the law.

However, according to a trade groups representing various content industries, the EC is going too far with its recommendations and is making suggestions that go against both the letter and the spirit of the law. Though the guidance is non-binding and only available in draft form, many are worried that this is an attempt to rewrite Article 17 without going through the legislative process.

2: Aboriginal Flag Copyright Talks Under Way

Next up today, Rebecca Gredley at the Australian Associated Press reports that, in Australia, the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and WAM Clothing have begun negotiations over the copyright of the Aboriginal Flag.

The Aboriginal Flag was designed by an Indigenous artist named Harold Thomas in 1971. However, non-Indigenous WAM Clothing obtained the commercials rights to the flag and, in recent years, have been aggressively enforcing those rights, including sending cease and desist letters to Aboriginal companies.

According to the NIAA, they’ve been in negotiations with WAM Clothing since July but say that the negotiations are delicate. The issue of the Aboriginal Flag has also come before the Australian Senate, which held an inquiry on it last week.

3: Censoring Jon Hamm’s Penis Doesn’t Violate Copyright Law, Federal Judge Rules

Finally today, Matt Novak at Gizmodo reports that a district court judge has ruled in favor of HuffPost in a lawsuit filed by photographer Lawrence Schwartzwald over the site’s use of an image that he took.

The image it issue is a photo of Jon Hamm that appears to a large bulge in his pants. This made gossip-site headlines and HuffPost republished the image without permission from the photographer. However, the judge has ruled that HuffPost’s use of the image was fair use because it was adequately transformative.

Specifically, HuffPost cropped the image then placed a black bar over Hamm’s pants that reads “Image Loading…” According to the judge, while that wasn’t likely to qualify as a parody, it was transformative enough for him to rule it was a fair use. There is no word if Schwartzwald plans on appealing the decision.

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