back to article EU copyright chief: We could SMASH these infinite copyright contracts... just wait

Europe's competition authority could open up an examination of unfair copyright contracts, according to the region's copyright chief. Speaking at a Westminster Forum seminar, Maria Martin-Prat, EC Head of the Copyright Unit for the Internal Market Directorate General (DG MARKT), said the Commission should look at whether …


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  1. Radbruch1929

    Interesting choice of fights

    It is interesting that the copyright people still want to fight the legal basis of exhaustion. Exhaustion is not a legal issue but an economic one: nothing prevents the copyright holder from offering his works for rent only. It is just not accepted in the market and the consideration is/would be lower than for a purchase transaction. Fighting exhaustion also has the added economic disadvantage that you have to fight your customers that paid you.

    On the other hand, very little is done with regard to "content aggregation", i.e. businesses that chose not to purchase a license from you but that exploit the copyright exceptions. Oh well.

  2. Buster

    Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 excludes copyright

    The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 specifically excludes copyright from its protection. Why should producers of IP, who are mostly self employed individuals, not be protected by this legislation which covers every other aspect of commercial activity when they are such an important part of our economy. This was brought to the attention of the Hargreaves review, the IPO and the minster/s in charge and it was ignored.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: who are mostly self employed individuals

      So, Time-Warner, Disney, and Fox are self-employed individuals?

  3. Suricou Raven

    The lending thing makes sense.

    The purpose of the EU in most areas is unification of markets. They just want to prevent a situation where a book is published in one EU member state but not legally available in another. A lending exception would help a little here.

  4. Anon5000

    Remote researcher

    When you cannot stream legit copyrighted content due to having a rooted android phone or linux laptop because of DRM, even with a subscription that allows you to stream it, you can become a 'remote researcher' over a loosely secure VPN network and everything just works.

    Sometimes it's not copyright laws that needs to change, it's the greedy corporations that try to keep an unhealthy amount of control through licencing clauses which would not be allowed in any other industry. The way they blocked VPN users from the US Netflix is another example of how they turned paying customers in to pirates.

    Instead of you owning digital downloads it is often they are just rented or licensed to you so you never actually own them. They managed to sneak that one in under everyone's noses. So you can't lend your digital movie, music album or digital book to anyone else like you could a physical copy. Restrict people too much and they will pirate. Changing copyright laws won't change that.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about some background?

    As to who is this Ms Martin-Prats?

    Allow me:

    As for copyright in Germany (and Austria), it's correct to say that it cannot be re-assigned and that it belongs to the "artist". However, who the "artist" is depends on whether you are a freelancer (then you are the artist) or under someone else's employment (then your employer is the artist).

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: How about some background?

      That sort of distinction certainly used to exist in the UK. If you were a photographer was held by who owned the film. Not a perfect rule, but a simple enough distinction between a newspaper employee and a member of the public. In the age of digital cameras, the difference is less clear.

      What matters most of the time is the licensing of the copyright. Why should a social media site need to own the copyright? All they need is a license to use the material?

      Some of the stuff, on both sides of the arguments, seems to come from lawyers who know very little of what the technology does.

      And at least some of these claims struggle to be consistent with statute law.

      The details vary, but the same things keep on happening about different material. The US requirement to register copyright to get any protection ended in the 1970, but you still see cases of companies claiming your work isn't protected, (US registration adds to the protection: for one thing, it proves a date for the work)

      And the "(c)" doesn't work. Use "©".

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