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EU Copyright directive

France establishes the DRM-regulation authority

12 April, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The independent authority foreseen by the new French law on copyright (DADVSI) was created in the last days of the Villepin government. This Authority for Regulations of the DRMs (Autorité de régulation des mesures techniques - ARMT) should ensure the interoperability of the DRM systems and allow the private copies.

Even though the law has been in force since August 2006, the official normative act creating the authority was published in the Official Journal only on 4 April 2007 and, a few days later, the Ministry of Culture has officially created the new authority. ARMT will be responsible, according to the DADVSI law, with seeing that the DRM systems do not create additional

General ideas behind a computer game are not copyrighted

28 March, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The UK Court of Appeal has ruled that general ideas in a computer game can be copied, in the appeal Nova Productions, producer of Pocket Money computer game, made against two rival companies, Mazooma Games and Bell Fruit Games.

Nova Productions had lost its case in first instance to the UK High Court by which it was accusing Mazooma Games and Bell Fruit Games for having used elements of its pool based game Pocket Money in creating their Jackpot Pool and Trick Shot games respectively, therefore infringing its copyright.

The High Court ruled against Nova in July 2006 when Nova argued that the EU's Software Directive of 1991 provided protection for programs as literary works claiming that the preparatory design material had been copied by its

Italian Supreme court decision on file-sharing case - nothing new

31 January, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

There has been wide reporting, in Italy and internationally, that an Italian court "ruled not-for-profit file-sharing legal". That statement is grossly overstated, if not completely wrong. The "dismal" state of Italian copyright legislation remains, unfortunately, unchanged.

One might argue that the media hype, per se, is an indicator of wider awareness of how overly strict copyright laws and rules stand in the way of free expression. In time this might indicate a shift in the public opinion, and even some hope that legislators and legal courts will be more aware of the problem. But it would be exaggeratedly optimistic to expect any truly relevant changes in the next few years.

EUCD Best Practice Guide published

20 December, 2006
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A network of European civil society experts, including several EDRI members, published in December 2006 a Best Practice guide for countries implementing the EU copyright directive.

The guide aims at legislators and advocates of a balanced copyright framework in countries hoping to join the EU in the next decade. It shows how these countries can maximise creativity, access to knowledge, but also political and cultural participation within the EU copyright regime.

The project's wiki contains a more detailed analysis of existing member states' legislation, and will continue as a resource for civil society campaigners for copyright reform in Europe and around the world.

Fileshares get different treatment in Europe's courts

8 November, 2006
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A few interesting decisions regarding the copyright infringement by fileshares have been taken in the last weeks by courts from different states in Europe. Usage of p2p programms has been considered totally different in decisions in Finland, Sweden and Spain.

At the end of October 2006, a judge from Turku, Finland convicted 22 people for copyright infringement deciding on a fine of more than 420 000 euros in damages, in favour of several plaintiffs including music, game and film producers. The plaintiffs had claimed 3.5 millions euro as damages.

The group of sentenced people had a peer-to-peer file sharing network with about 10 000 users, called Finreactor, and the judge ruled that the network

The French copyright law changed by the Constitutional Council

2 August, 2006
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The French Constitutional Council ruled on the most controversial copyright and related rights law, known as DADVSI law, concluding that some provisions of the law "violated the constitutional protections of property".

The Council has considered as unconstitutional several provisions adopted by the French Parliament that were meant to balance the initial text which was too much in favour of the industry, thus making the law even stricter.

One of the aspects considered by the Council as against the equality principle was the gradual system in the application of fines for making works available on P2P networks, which was ranging from 38 to 150 euros. Under the circumstances, the penalties remain at the level of 3

New French copyright law gives Apple satisfaction

5 July, 2006
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The most controversial DADVSI Law, now colloquially known also as "iTunes Law", was finally adopted in the French Parliament with a compromise allowing Apple to continue operating as before.

The law was adopted by the Parliament under emergency regime, which ended with a mixed commission, normally made of 7 senators and 7 deputies, from both the majority and the opposition. But the opposition left the commission, after 55 more amendments were brought to it by the rapporteurs at the very final step

The most controversial provision was that of interoperability. In a previous draft, the law imposed measures to allow interoperability, obliging thus Apple to give up its DRM system that made "iTunes" products strictly related

Open letter for supporting the private copy in Italy

21 June, 2006
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A new public campaign has been launched in Italy: its goal is to change Italy's copyright law to ensure that end-users have a full-fledged right to create a private copy of works they legally acquired.

The campaign, promoted by Scarichiamoli!, an Italian informal group of activists whose main goal is permitting the free circulation of knowledge, is aimed at revising Italian Legislative Decree 68/2003, that implements the European Directive 2001/29/CE on the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.

In particular, the suggested revision would change art.9 of the Decree by making sure that a private copy of a legally acquired work can always be made, even bypassing technical protection measures (TPMs), irrespective of whether such a copy is digital or analogue.

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