This summer, COMMUNIA joined efforts with the Copyfighters to raise awareness on the ongoing Copyright Reform in EU at the music festival SZIGET. Sziget Festival is one of the most important, well attended and well known music and cultural festivals in Europe, gathering visitors from all corners of the world each August. In the heart of Hungary, the Obudai-sziget island, people across the world visit the festival for a few days to enjoy the music and to be inspired. Sziget has a Civil Island where current social issues can be discussed. On this island, in tent 50, we offered information about the current copyright reform and how it will affect citizens.
On three consecutive days, between 8th and 11th of August, surrounded by the SZIGET beats and its unique vibes (of freedom), we have discussed and raised awareness on the current importance of copyright issues in Europe and the potential affects that draft copyright regulations would have on digital freedoms.
Festival goers and visitors of SZIGET’s Tent 50 were asked what values they find important and how these values relate to the importance of copyright. They suggested words such as Europe, sharing, learning, knowledge and art as important values or concepts that are (or should be) equally or more important than copyright.
Having an upcoming vote on the proposed Copyright Directive scheduled on September 12th, the current copyright reform is in the eye of the legislative storm in Europe. Copyright laws in their essence, are an instrument aimed in the creative sector, with the purpose to keep the balance – between the interests of creators and the public.
The 2018 version of CopyCamp will take place on October 5th and 6th in Warsaw. For the past 6 years, CopyCamp has been a place for interesting, insightful and engaging discussions about copyright in the EU. Every year an international, interdisciplinary group of artists, experts, scientists, and activists meets to exchange experience, and show that this law affects everyone.
If you would like to join COMMUNIA at CopyCamp please know that the call for speakers is open until until July 31st. You can find more information about that here.
5 Tracks at CopyCamp 2018
Every year CopyCamp has a different focus, for this edition five different thematic tracks have been developed.
Author social security
How to acknowledge and remunerate authors? How to help them to negotiate contracts and secure their career and financial stability in the long run, also during retirement? What are the perspectives of alternative compensation schemes?
The history of copyright
It is the hundredth anniversary of the modern Polish copyright and industrial property law. The evolution of the law has been accompanied by the evolution of cultural activities regulated by these laws. Are there any lessons that can be drawn? What has changed in culture that the law should address better?
EU copyright reform
Is the new directive #ACTA2? We need to have a meaningful discussion on how to fix copyright that transcends such simplifications. CopyCamp has been the place for such a discussion since 2012. This year you are more than invited to share your proposal for the copyright for the future.
How can technology be used to benefit authors and their audiences? Is blockchain the answer? Will it live up to the expectations? Most importantly – what exactly does blockchain fix in copyright, and whom it will empower?
Reuse of heritage archives
Heritage is an important source for appropriation artists, who use it to retell old stories and build their own stories by reusing existing culture. There are not just legal, but also ethical questions in this area. We invite the GLAM sector to share their experiences from digitization and reuse, and we also invite authors and researchers to openly talk about their needs when it comes to building upon heritage.
About the conference
CopyCamp 2018 is organised in partnership with the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland, Society of Authors ZAiKS, Polish National Film Archive–Audiovisual Institute, and Google Poland. It is supported by EDRi, COMMUNIA, Open Knowledge International, and Open Forum Europe.
The event is open for everyone and entrance is free.
Last week more than a hundred of copyright reform activists got together in Brussels for the the European Copyright Action Days to make it clear to EU lawmakers that the copyright reform effort that is currently being discussed in the European Parliament and the European Council is not good enough. In a series of events organized by Copyright 4 Creativity, Create.Refresh, Communia and others, activists and other stakeholders discussed the shortcomings of the current reform proposal as well as ideas for a more future-proof overhaul of the outdated EU copyright system.
As part of the Copyright Action Days we organized a a roundtable on the future of education in the European Parliament, our first ever COMMUNIA Salon on the future of copyright in the Museum of Natural Sciences and two workshops for copyright reform activists.
Video documentation by Sebastiaan ter Burg.
Roundtable on the future of education
The roundtable on the the future of education hosted by Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake was a full room event at the European Parliament, with over 40 policymakers and stakeholders attending. We discussed the intersection of educational policy, technology, copyright reform and open licensing policies. Irish school teacher Leanne Lynch talked about the use of technology, social media platforms and digital copyrighted materials in the classroom. Mitja Jermol – UNESCO Chair on Open Technologies for Open Educational Resources and Open Education – talked about how new technologies can support educational goals. Andreia Inamorato dos Santos from EC’s Institute for Prospective Technology Studies presented results of their latest report on open education policies in Europe. Finally, Damjan Harisch from the Slovenian Ministry of Education and Maja Bogataj Jančič, Director of the Slovenian Intellectual Property Institute, presented the position of Slovenian Ministry of Education on the copyright reform During the event, Teresa Nobre also presented our latest research on licences for educational uses. We are happy that we had the opportunity to exchange views on the matter with representatives of publishers and CMOs.
The Future of Technology in Education roundtable, photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg. More photos here.
The COMMUNIA salon in the Museum of Natural Sciences brought together more than 70 activists, academics and policy makers to discuss challenges on the intersection of creativity, value creation and copyright in the online environment. Under the title “Copyright for the future” the discussions attempted to draw up a perspective that looks beyond the current legislative proposal. Continue reading
This spring the ongoing effort to modernize the outdated copyright rules enters into the decisive fase. It is widely expected that both the European Parliament and the EU Member states will their position on the proposed Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive. Right now things are not looking good: instead of a much needed update of the copyright framework that would enable new uses driven by technological innovation, policy makers in Brussels are working towards new restrictions that would would limit how information and creativity can be shared and enjoyed online.
Against this backdrop we are organising European Copyright Action Days on 19-21 march in Brussels. During these days we want to highlight the broad opposition of civil society, libraries, the users industry and many others concerning the restrictive aspects of the copyright reform proposal. During these days activists will convene in Brussels to discuss with lawmakers and advocate for a more future proof reform and to raise attention for the dangers of the proposed measures. Continue reading
In our capacity of permanent observers of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, we are attending the 35th session of the Committee, which is taking place in Geneva from 13 to 17 November 2017.
The following is the statement made by Teresa Nobre on our behalf on agenda item 7: Limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and for persons with other disabilities.
This post is based on the talk Anna gave during CopyCamp 2017 “Paradigm Lost? How Our Freedoms are Weaponized Against Us and What We Can Do About It”. A video of the talk is available here.
How do you lobby for a great copyright in the post-political world? With difficulty, since it is also a post-factual world: politicians seem to care more about marketing than evidence. Perhaps when the facts are not important we should then look for a better propaganda?
Copyright beyond the bubble
This “better propaganda” should not be populist or based on lies. Digital rights organizations need a better, compelling narrative to convince people to care more. We need to test new approaches because European citizens do not realize that they are bound by the copyright framework every time they access news, knowledge or entertainment on the internet.
We also need to find more compelling ways to talk about rights in the digital environment because these days everybody is a creator and the only difference is that some of us identify as such and many of us don’t. Those of us who don’t, also don’t think that our small acts of creativity such as memes or photos we post online are serious enough to give us this status, but this does not change the fact that we are indeed creators.
From creativity to celebrity
In both cases creativity is crucial for self-expression, and self-expression is key to one’s identity. Today all three: creativity, self-expression and identity become market commodities, increasingly so via social media. So what happens when they enter the market?
Last Wednesday, June 21st, COMMUNIA organised an event in the European Parliament, hosted by MEP Marietje Schaake (ALDE) on copyright reform for education. We wanted to share one important voice often overlooked in the copyright reform, that of the educator. What is the type of copyright exception that we need to support 21st century education? We heard from practitioners, experts and policymakers during the event.
After an introduction by Marietje Schaake and moderator Lisette Kalshoven, we officially presented the results of the RIGHTCOPYRIGHT campaign to MEP Schaake. As Alek Tarkowski noted:
“In the copyright reform debate, we tend to see copyright as a core issue. For educators, copyright is a tool – or a barrier – to attaining educational goals. We should not forget this.”
Over 4800 people have supported the petition for a better copyright reform for education to date, and we hope MEP’s will listen to their demands.
What we can’t let educators share
Next we heard from Hans deFour, founder of KlasCement a very successful online educational resources platform in Belgium. More than 70.000 educators from Flanders are members, which means almost 50% of educators in primary, secondary and special education. Continue reading
One of the issues that has been glaringly absent from the Commission’s proposal for Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive is better protection of the Public Domain from Cultural Heritage Institutions who are trying to appropriate Public Domain works that they have digitized.
Most of Europe’s Museums, Libraries and Archives digitize Public Domain works in their collection in order to make them available without any restrictions (in line with our Public Domain Manifesto and Europeana’s Public Domain Charter). However, a minority of institutions uses loopholes in copyright legislation to claim exclusive rights over digital reproductions of works for which copyright protection has expired.
The legal basis for such claims is often found in copyright rules that also afford some form of protection to non-original photographs. These are photographic reproductions that qualify for copyright protection because they do not constitute the “own intellectual creation” of the author. Such loopholes exist in 7 EU member states and the proposed DSM directive would have been an opportunity to close them. Continue reading
Later this week in Toronto we’ll be joining hundreds of Creative Commons community members, supporters, and activists at the CC Global Summit. The summit program will feature keynotes and a variety of sessions organized around five tracks, including Policy & Advocacy, the Useable Commons, Community & Movement, Spheres of Open, and the Future of the Commons.
We’ll be joining many of the sessions, especially in the Policy & Advocacy track. As Lisette explained last week, the Policy & Advocacy track will focus on sharing information about our work in support of copyright reform and commons advocacy, and increasing the effectiveness of our community in the current and future hotbeds of law and policy change. These are exactly the areas in which COMMUNIA has been working since the summer of 2014, when we rebooted as an advocacy team to respond to the then-upcoming reform of the EU copyright rules. We know that other governments around the world are engaged in (or planning) updates to rules that govern the creation and sharing of creativity and knowledge. Some of these changes acknowledge the importance of user rights in the digital and online world, but many of the proposals only call for an increase in protection and enforcement of copyright that benefits powerful rights holders and content publishers.
In Communia Association we are well aware of challenges which copyright reform brought for the whole movement of activists actively engaged in copyright debate. Currently we’re facing the Commission’s proposal that restricts access to information, internet freedoms and threaten digital economy. Moreover, the voice of civil society is not heard in Brussels. Therefore we also believe that one of the biggest challenges for the movement is to motivate everyone, who cares about sharing and creativity. Therefore we took part in Mozfest, the event connecting a global group of people working toward an open, innovative, and censorship-free web.
The most important for us was the opportunity to meet advocates interested in a variety of different areas, including open education, Wikimedians, and those dealing with network neutrality and online censorship. They all have reasons to be interested in the direction of the development of copyright law in Europe, and we did our best to get them them on board with copyright reform actions.