The Internet has often been labeled a disruptive technology, and nowhere has that been more clearly the case than in the field of intellectual property (IP) law. Although debates over IP policy have raged in academic circles and law and economics journals for decades, with the rise of the Internet, IP issues have captured the public's collective attention like never before. Suddenly, the teenage creator of file-swapping sensation Napster appeared on the cover of Time magazine as the mass media took notice of an explosion of interest in digital downloads, CD burning, and widespread peer-to-peer file sharing among the general public. But the mass movement to share songs and other digital content online was met with a firestorm of criticism from copyright and patent holders, who struck back with a vengeance, filing lawsuits and pursuing legislative and regulatory remedies for what they regarded as intellectual property piracy on a scale never before envisioned.
This debate has sparked a newfound interest in timeless questions about the nature of intellectual property and how it should be protected, including why do we protect intellectual property at all; do we really have "property rights" in our intangible creations the same way we have property rights to our homes and our land; aren't there better ways to encourage artistic creation and scientific discovery than through the use of copyright and patent laws that protect a limited monopoly? Copy Fights presents a thought-provoking exploration of these questions.
This book explores what the American Civil Liberties Union calls the "third era" in cyberspace, in which filters "fundamentally alter the architectural structure of the Internet, with significant implications for free speech." Although courts and nongovernmental organizations increasingly insist upon constitutional and other legal guarantees of a freewheeling Internet, multi-national corporations compete to produce tools and strategies for making it more predictable. When Google attempted to improve our access to information containing in books and the World Wide Web, copyright litigation began to tie up the process of making content searchable, and resulted in the wrongful removal of access to thousands if not millions of works. Just as the courts were insisting that using trademarks online to criticize their owners is First Amendment-protected, corporations and trade associations accelerated their development of ways to make Internet companies liable for their users’ infringing words and actions, potentially circumventing free speech rights. And as social networking and content-sharing sites have proliferated, so have the terms of service and content-detecting tools for detecting, flagging, and deleting content that makes one or another corporation or trade association fear for its image or profits. The book provides a legal history of Internet regulation since the mid-1990s, with a particular focus on efforts by patent, trademark, and copyright owners to compel Internet firms to monitor their online offerings and remove or pay for any violations of the rights of others.
This book will be of interest to students of law, communications, political science, government and policy, business, and economics, as well as anyone interested in free speech and commerce on the internet.
This book offers an original analysis of private copying and determines its actual scope as an area of end-user freedom. The basis of this examination is Article 5(2)(b) of the Copyright Directive. Despite the fact that copying for private and non-commercial use is permitted by virtue of this article and the national laws that implemented it, there is no mandate that this privilege should not be technologically or contractually restricted. Because the legal nature of private copying is not settled, users may consider that they have a ‘right’ to private copying, whereas rightholders are in position to prohibit the exercise of this ‘right’. With digital technology and the internet, this tension has become prominent: the conceptual contours of permissible private copying, namely the private and non-commercial character of the use, do not translate well, and tend to be less clear in the digital context.
With the permissible limits of private copying being contested and without clarity as to the legal nature of the private coping limitation, the scope of user freedom is being challenged. Private use, however, has always remained free in copyright law. Not only is it synonymous with user autonomy via the exhaustion doctrine, but it also finds protection under privacy considerations which come into play at the stage of copyright enforcement. The author of this book argues that the rationale for a private copying limitation remains unaltered in the digital world and maintains there is nothing to prevent national judges from interpreting the legal nature of private copying as a ‘sacred’ privilege that can be enforced against possible restrictions.
Private Copyingwill be of particular interest to academics, students and practitioners of intellectual property law.