Hi policy folks,
tl;dr: Please check out and participate in the new copyright strategy on
Meta <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Copyright_strategy>, and attend the
accompanying IRC office hour
As you may have already seen on other mailing lists or through messages
on-wiki, we on the WMF legal team have been putting together a new strategy
for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing copyright issues that affect
Wikimedia <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Copyright_strategy>. The goal of
the strategy is to improve how Wikimedia does its copyright-related work by
providing a centralized place for everyone—staff and non-staff alike—to
organize and collaborate on that work. There’s more information on Meta:
The strategy is designed to work with all sorts of issues, including things
like MediaWiki feature design, Creative Commons license compliance and
project copyright policies. I’m hoping the copyright strategy pages will
also become a place to track and discuss copyright-related public policy
opportunities and developments. If a copyright lawsuit is filed, copyright
legislation is proposed, or an opportunity arises to share Wikimedia’s
perspective on copyright with policymakers, it can be added to the
strategy’s list of issues
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Copyright_strategy/Issues>. We can then
all talk about it and propose responses or activism.
The goal of the strategy is not to replace this mailing list, the public
policy portal <http://policy.wikimedia.org>, or anywhere else where policy
discussions are already thriving, but to supplement existing forums. By
documenting discussions and keeping them active on-wiki, we can help make
sure we don’t lose track of anything.
If you have questions about all of this, I encourage you to leave a comment
on the copyright strategy talk page
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Copyright_strategy>. The legal team
will also be holding an office hour on IRC
discuss the strategy on September 15 at 14:00 UTC.
I hope you’ll participate!
Charles M. Roslof
NOTICE: This message might have confidential or legally privileged
information in it. If you have received this message by accident, please
delete it and let us know about the mistake. As an attorney for the
Wikimedia Foundation, for legal/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
Possibly of interest to Americans on this list.
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Library of Congress <loc(a)service.govdelivery.com>
Date: Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 11:10 AM
Subject: U.S. Copyright Office, NewsNet Issue 648
[image: Copyright Newsnet]
NewsNet Issue 648
December 16, 2016
*Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights*
The public will have the opportunity to provide input to the Library of
Congress on expertise needed by the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian
of Congress, Carla Hayden, announced today.
Beginning today, December 16, an online survey is open to the public. The
survey will be posted through January 31, 2017. Input will be reviewed and
inform development of knowledge, skills, and abilities for fulfilling the
Information provided through the survey will be posted online and
submitters’ names will appear. Note that input will be subject to review,
and input may not be posted that is off-topic or contains vulgar,
offensive, racist, threatening or harassing content; personal information;
or gratuitous links to sites that could be considered spam. The Library’s
complete comment policy can be viewed here
To provide input through the survey, click here
This email was sent to ryan(a)publicknowledge.org using GovDelivery, on
behalf of: Library of Congress · 101 Independence Ave, SE · Washington, DC
20540 · 202-707-5000 <(202)%20707-5000>
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I occasionally send out some policy-related updates to our Creative Commons
network. Someone asked me to share it over here too. I hope it's
interesting or useful.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Timothy Vollmer <tvol(a)creativecommons.org>
Date: Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 4:37 PM
Subject: DEC 15 Creative Commons Policy Roundup
*Information Policy under a Trump administration*
Here's an informative post
<https://poynder.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/tracking-trump.html> by David
Wojick that explores some of the possible scenarios regarding public access
to publicly funded research and data under a Trump administration,
especially in relation to OSTP's 2013 policy
which requires that U.S. federal agencies with extramural research budgets
in excess of $100m/year to make that research publicly available no later
than 12 months after publication. Researchers are also concerned
“While we may not see the straightforward deleting of data, we expect to
> see access to data starved out,” Michelle Murphy and Patrick Keilty, who
> are spearheading a “Guerrilla Archiving” event at the University of
> Toronto, told me in an email. “It takes effort and money to keep databases
> and portals updated and maintained, and to make them publicly available.
> Moreover, data can move from being publicly shared through portals that
> make it immediately accessible to less accessible, but still technically
> public forms of availability.”
*Academic publishing houses lose appeal against Delhi University &
A Delhi High Court confirms
photocopying materials for educational course-packs is not an infringement
of copyright. Good.
*AAP, news publishers congratulate Trump; remind everyone they need more
rights, more enforcement*
The Association of American Publishers sent a letter
to Trump: "Surely you understand the role that meaningful intellectual
property rights play in American entrepreneurial success..." A nefarious
nod to the publisher's opposition to the fact that the public should get
access to the research, education, and data its tax dollar pay for is
expressed in this little jab: "Publishers also need to be able to operate
in an environment free of overreaching regulations and unfair government
competition with the products and services they provide." And one news
went so far as to suggest that fair use must be curtailed, because, you
know, news publishers never rely on fair use in their reporting.
*The rent is too damn high!*The Alliance of Science Organisations in
Germany wrote a letter
Elsevier about the unsustainable pricing for access to scholarly journals
for academic and research institutions.
> Despite its current profit margin of 40 percent, the publisher is still
> intent on pursuing price increases that are higher than the licence fees
> paid until now. The publisher rejects more transparent business models that
> are based on the publication service and would make publications more
> openly accessible.
Now it appears
more than 60 major German research institutions will have no access to the
full texts of Elsevier journals beginning 1 January 2017.
*Senate moves ahead legislation to improve access to research, data*
The OPEN Government Data Act
which would make government data assets open by default (when not otherwise
prohibited by law). "To the extent practicable, Government data assets
published by or for an agency shall be made available under an open license
or, if not made available under an open license and appropriately released,
shall be considered to be published as part of the worldwide public
domain." Another piece of legislation passed by the Senate is the 21st
Century Cures Act
It includes language that clarifies that the NIH director has the authority
to mandate the sharing of data and research outputs. It also provides
funding for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
*Commercial sites must check all their links for piracy, rules Hamburg
Reported by ArsTechnica
a Hamburg court ruled that "the operator of a website violated copyright by
publishing a link to material that was infringing, even though the site
operator was unaware of this fact." This decision goes further than the earlier
judgment <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GS_Media_v._Sanoma>, which held
that linking to freely available material placed on the internet without
consent of the rights holder could be considered an infringement if the
person sharing the links knew the permission had not been granted, but they
still shared the link for financial gain.
The German case was unusual in that it concerned a link to a photograph
> originally released under a Creative Commons (CC) licence, thereby making
> it freely available subject to certain conditions. On the site where the
> copy in question was stored, the terms of the CC licence were not observed
> properly, which meant that it constituted a copyright infringement. The
> website owner that linked to that copy was unaware of this fact, and did
> not check that the CC licence had been followed.
the potential implications of this ruling: "It is obvious that such an
interpretation means that basically every kind of website run by a person
or company in business can trigger the obligation to rebut the presumption
that the link was posted in full knowledge of the unlicensed nature of the
publication linked to. It is most questionable if such outcome was really
intended by the CJEU."
*Launch of the Open Research Funders Group*
Today marks the launch
of the Open Research Funders Group, a coalition of mostly philanthropic
funders that will work to increase access to research outputs. Inaugural
members include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the American Heart
Association, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable
Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold
Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the Robert Wood Johnson
*Copyright Reform in the EU*
COMMUNIA has been providing analysis of various parts of the European
Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single
It's released position papers on the education exception
text and data mining
and the proposal to create a new right for press publishers
More to come.
*Copyright Reform in the U.S.? *
The Judiciary Committee released a single-page copyright reform proposal
mainly focusing on changes to the Copyright Office. Says TechDirt
"the proposals in question are not horrible, but they're certainly not good
Invest in an open future. Support Creative Commons today.
Brussels was very much preoccupied with the proposed EU copyright reform in
November. The European Parliament appointed responsible committees and
rapporteurs. We have a timeline that will give us time until March to
propose changes. Wikimedia drafted several changes and started discussing
them with potential partners and decision-makers.
This and past reports: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/EU_policy/Monitor
*Lead committee:* The Legal Affairs committee (JURI) will have the lead on
copyright reform.  This means that the members of this committee will
vote on changes (so-called amendments) to the text originally proposed by
the European Commission. The version agreed upon by JURI will then be voted
on by all MEPs in the plenary. Further changes in the plenary vote are less
likely, but not uncommon. Within the committee, the rapporteur will be Ms.
Therese Comodini (EPP, MT).  She is from the largest and traditionally
centre-right, conservative group. Every parliamentary group appoints a
shadow rapporteur who represents her group's positions and negotiates in
its name. Ms. Comodini and her shadow rapporteurs will meet regularly,
exchange their views, will try to find compromises and forge majorities for
amendments. The rapporteur is the only one who can propose compromise
amendments. These are attempts to pull together several amendments from
different political groups or MEPs in order to assure a large majority. The
shadow rapporteurs are Lidia Geringer (S&D, PL) , Jean-Marie Cavada
(ALDE, FR) , Ange Dzambazki (ECR, BG) , Julia Reda (Greens, DE) ,
Laura Ferrara (EFDD, IT)  and Marie-Christine Boutonnet (ENF, FR) .
These are the key decision-makers at this stage. Of course the other MEPs
in this committee are also relevant, as they also vote in the end of the
committee procedure. If you have MEPs from your country in JURI,  it
would be a good idea to contact them after letting Dimi know that you will
do so (if he hasn't contacted you first).
*Opinion committees:* Next to the Legal Affairs committee, three more
committees will write and present so-called opinions. These are small
reports that propose changes or support aspects of the EU copyright reform
proposal. These documents are not binding, but, depending on the lead
authors, can carry significant political weight. Catherine Stihler (S&D,
UK)  will be rapporteur on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
(IMCO)  committee's opinion. The opinion of the Culture and Education
(CULT)  committee will be lead by the French MEP Marc Joulaud  from
the EPP Group. We expect the Industry, Trade and Research (ITRE) 
committee to appoint an ALDE member as rapporteur. Again, all the MEPs in
these three committees will have a vote on the respective opinions, so
contacting the ones from your country/region might make a lot of sense.
*Timeline:* Ms. Comodini has published a very ambitious timeline, 
according to which until mid-January MEPs will be listening to
stakeholders' views. Then she will meet with her shadows for a first
exchange of views and will draft a report (i.e. sharing her version of what
the text should look like). We have until the end of March to propose
amendments. After that the shadows and Ms. Comodini will try to see if and
how many amendments they can include in the text with a broad compromise.
The agreed upon parts of the text will be voted on in committee in June. If
some amendments couldn't be forged into compromises, they will be voted on
separately during this vote. If they get a majority, they will be in the
text. If not, they will be dropped. A plenary vote could happen end of July
the earliest. Chances are the timeline will be delayed.
*Council:* In parallel to the European Parliament, the Member States'
governments are also starting to review the Commission's proposal. The
European Council will get a chance to amend the text after the European
Parliament has added its changes. However, the national ministries have
started to work on their positions already and are exchanging views among
each other.  The Council might reach its preliminary position
("negotiating position") around summer. The main work on this dossier is
expected to be handled during the Estonian Presidency (H2 2017) . Now
is the time to start telling our national governments what we expect from
this reform. We should then follow-up in the first half of 2017.
*Our demands:* We will lead the charge on three positive changes - a full
Freedom of Panorama, safeguarding the PD ("no new rights on digitisations")
and a recalibration of database rights ("protection upon registration").
For this we have drafted amendments (write to me off-list and I will share)
and are coordinating with potential coalition partners and MEPs to generate
traction. Further, we will actively support a full text and data mining
exception, as the limited version proposed by the Commission may hinder our
ability to automatically re-use data like population censuses or medial
information. The lead on text and data mining will be with LIBER, the
association of European research libraries. We will also speak out against
compulsory content recognition systems for user generated projects.
European Digital Rights (EDRi) will coordinate the efforts on this article.
European culture quotas exists for TV and cinema. The proposal to include a
20 percent quota for European content for online audiovisual service
providers like YouTube, iTunes and CanalPlay is being currently hotly
debated. Also, a legally prescribed protection of minors from inappropriate
content is also to be extended to online services. The big question here is
whether a platform like Wikimedia Commons would qualify as a video sharing
platform under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. If it does, the
quota and protection of minors provision could applicable. Currently there
are strong arguments for (equal rules for all market participants) and
against (questionable effectiveness). It seems like the protection of
minors is less contested, but the definition of what it could look like is
still unclear. A committee vote is scheduled for the end of January 2017.
Nothing really new on this front, mostly internal deliberations by the
Commission on whether or how to differentiate between messengers (e.g
WhatsApp) and SMS services. We are expecting a reform proposal by the
European Commission in January 2017 and perhaps a Christmas leak this
December. This Directive will deal will cookies, collection of user data
and tracking, so it will be a fundamental text for the everyday privacy of
everyone who goes online in Europe. 
Dimi continued working together with chapters/user-groups/activists on
contacting the national goverments with our loclalised positions on the
copyright reform. (Still to do: Belgium and Luxembourg). He was also in
touch with the rapporteurs' and shadow rapporteurs' offices in the EP to
map out potential support for our demands. A Wikipedia workshop for the EPP
Group was organised.
Dimi and John (WMDE) drafted ammendment proposals and collected feedback
from decision-makers and potential coalition partners. Organisational
meetings with various potential coalition partners were organised. As we
are not ready to publish them yet, please get in touch if you want to have
a look and give input!
Heikki from WMFI was welcomed in Brussels and met with four Finnish MEPs to
present our issues.
Xavier, WMFR's upcoming superstar for institutional partnerships visited
Brussels to learn about the FKAGEU and how we can cooperate effectively on
the Brussels-Paris public policy line.
Attendances: OpenCon in Washington DC (open access policy, potential
third-party funding for FKAGEU); EU IPO Observatory working group meetings
in Milan (PD Contribution Study, potential IP awareness campaigns funding
2017); EU XXL debate in Vienna (public discussion of EU copyright reform).