A Ban on CD Ripping Marks This Year’s Lowest Point in International Copyright
2015 has been quite an interesting year for copyright law around the world—at least in the sense of that apocryphal Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times.” That is to say that most of this year’s copyright developments have been bad for users, but with one notable exception.
To open on a broadly positive note, let’s review that exception: the groundbreaking July resolution on copyright reform by the European Parliament, led by the long-suffering Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Pirate Party, Julia Reda. That resolution, although weaker than we would have liked, nevertheless sent several clear messages to the European Commission. Amongst these messages were that payment or permission should not be required before linking to websites or taking photographs of public buildings (“freedom of panorama”). On December 9, the Commission released a Copyright Communication (PDF) drawing on the Parliament’s report, that foreshadowed the introduction of a few modest changes to European copyright law, including a few new European-wide copyright exceptions such as freedom of panorama, and text and data mining. Details