We're not actively doing anything on "linking liability" in Brussels, but
there are a few proposals on the table that push for more liability in
exchange for some copyright reform.
I do think it is something that generally concerns us, but we lack a
general consensus what our position on this is. Since we're not likely to
have a position on it soon, the forwarded message is FYI and gives an
example of what others are doing.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steve Anderson <steve(a)openmedia.ca>
Date: 2015-05-05 1:21 GMT+02:00
Subject: Last Chance -- join the launch of Save The Link
To: Steve Anderson <steve(a)openmedia.ca>
Hi all, on Wednesday morning OpenMedia be joining organizations (EFF, Fight
For The Future, Creative Commons, World Wide Web Foundation and many more)
from over 17 countries to launch the http://SaveTheLink.org
If your organization would like to join the campaign you can sign on here:
Our right to link and host links to content and services online is under
threat. We believe:
"Linking is the foundation of the Web. We oppose regulations that aim to
censor links to content or otherwise penalize services that utilize
If you scroll down on the website <https://savethelink.org/> you can learn
about some of the threats to the 'right to link' we hope to take on.
Please also consider joining the ThunderClap promoting the launch:
Executive Director, OpenMedia.ca
Follow me on Twitter <http://twitter.com/Steve_Media>
Friend me on Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/Steve.Media>
* *Let's have access to affordable phone and Internet rates.
**Do you think we deserve a fair deal in our digital future? -->>
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Hi advocacy advisors,
I wanted to let you know that the Wikimedia Foundation joined a letter to
President Obama, asking him to reject legislation that would force
companies to deliberately weaken the security of their products. The letter
was organized thanks to TechFreedom, with a wide variety of co-signers with
a stake in digital security. Strong encryption and security are fundamental
for our work online, so this letter is worth supporting to ensure that
users can read and speak freely on our projects.
The full letter is available online:
*NOTICE: As an attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, for legal and ethical
reasons, I cannot give legal advice to, or serve as a lawyer for, community
members, volunteers, or staff members in their personal capacity. For more
on what this means, please see our legal disclaimer
I'm a legal intern in WMF's San Francisco office. I'm doing some research
on Freedom of Panorama and the digital single market. If anyone is able to
suggest any cases or other sources that discuss or demonstrate the effects
that harmonizing FoP laws would have on the single market, please get in
touch. Thanks very much!
149 New Montgomery Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
NOTICE: *This message might have confidential or legally privileged
information in iIf you have received this message by accident, please
delete it and let us know about the mistake. For legal reasons, I may only
serve as a legal intern for the Wikimedia Foundation. This means I may not
give legal advice to or serve as a lawyer for community members,
volunteers, or staff members in their personal* *capacity.*
The European Commission has presented its Digital Single Market Strategy
last week  and there are two important takeaways for us:
*They will propose a change in copyright legislation before the end of the
*They are looking for 2-6 exceptions and limitations that can be harmonised
The harmonisation candidates will have to be real cross-border issues and
ideally an obstacle to innovation and new jobs in Europe. The Commission
units are doing the Impact Assessment now. This is a document that analyses
various issues, states whether the problems are within the Commission's
authority and draws up several policy solutions. It is by its very nature
evidence-based and less polemic than general political communication. 
For us this means that we should write a moderately long letter that
provides evidence and concrete examples on how Freedom of Panorama is a
European rather than a national issue and how it hurts the "single market".
Ideally it will also make a connection to the DSM Strategy.
I would be very grateful for everyone who is willing to help gather data
and specific cases and who wants to work on polishing the text, as I
believe it is a decisive step in our advocacy efforts. We're looking for a
style that combines academic and legal writing. We have time for this at
least until beginning of June, so there is no need to rush, but the earlier
it comes, the more time the Commission has to read it.
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the week!
I am happy to be able to finally invite you to a Freedom of Panorama
Experted Seminar hosted by us and the Legal Affairs Committee chair Pavel
The event will take place in the European Parliament on 27 May between
9-11. The goal is to have a rather academic analysis of the current
situation, although a certain amount of politics is inevitable two weeks
before a vote in committee that will include our point.
For us it is important to make sure that this topic is less controversial.
Having it hosted by the largest and most "copyright-reform-reluctant" group
is in itself a success. We need to be prepared with data showing that
opposition to FoP is based on very shaky and speculative presumptions. The
counter-voice in the panel will be the president of the French visual arts
collecting society, who will of course try to argue that "licensing is the
solution and we don't need to change the law". I've asked WMFR to send a
representative, as they have met with this collecting society to negotiate
and I am afraid their panel speaker could misrepresent the talks.
Event poster here:
If you'd like to attend, please ping me briefly, as you probably require
registration to enter the buildling.
Good evidence of commercial impact, and the damage of orphan works:
Heald, Paul J. and Erickson, Kris and Kretschmer, Martin, "The Valuation of Unprotected Works: A Case Study of Public Domain Photographs on Wikipedia" (February 4, 2015). DOI:10.2139/ssrn.2560572 Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2560572
Two documents from the EU Commission that were leaked by Politico have
already been mentioned on this list:
- Single Market: The Evidence *1
- A Digital Single Market for Europe *2
I have looked closer at the these working papers, which give us a
preliminary idea about what the Commission wants with its initiative for
a Digital Single Market(DSM). There are plenty of bright spots, and
also a few reasons to be wary.
The final, official version of the strategy will be presented in not too
long, so I'll keep this preview brief.
As the Commission has already indicated on several occasions, they are
primarily looking to DSM reform as a way of boosting the struggling
European economies. Therefore, reforms with an excepted economic impact
will be on top of their list. We expect them to talk mostly about ending
geoblocking and cutting prices for cross-border deliveries of physical
goods. However, also a few changes that benefit free knowledge are
realistic to expect.
We will likely see copyright reform that clarifies the legal environment
for data mining, whether commercial or non-commercial.
Most importantly, the Commission states that they view the national
differences in copyright exceptions as a problem, and may propose that
some of the exceptions are harmonized. This is a more cautious approach
than the one that Julia Reda has proposed in the European Parliament
about harmonizing all copyright exceptions, but nevertheless a step in
the same direction.
The Commission wants to focus on harmonizing exceptions where problems
as a result of fragmentation have been identified. This reinforces the
importance of reminding them of the very real problems that different
European Freedom-of-Panorama regulations are causing.
The Commission wants to balance measures that the content industries
will dislike (such as banning geoblocking) with measures that strengthen
copyright enforcement. While they seem reluctant to revisit the
notice-and-action principle in the e-Commerce Directive (which says that
an intermediary is not responsible for users' copyright infringements as
long as they remove unauthorized material when given a notice), they
suggest harmonized procedures for swift removal.
There are also formulations about limiting which services should be
subject to the exception from liability.
Standardization and Interoperability
The ironing out of European ICT standards will continue and increase in
pace. The advisory group "European Multi Stakeholder Platform on ICT
Standardisation" will play a key role. Perhaps it could make sense to
look into how the Wikimedia movement can be more involved in this
process to ensure the use of truly open standards?
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