After the recent events, we can ask ourselves the real aim of copyright office. In fact in today’s context, with the advent of internet and the fact that the essential of our business taking place on the web, to provide an adapted protection becomes necessary for US copyright Office.
Unfortunately, US copyright Office has missed the coach and in today’s world copyright protection has clearly reduced meaning out of internet.
In fact, when you want to register your website with copyright office “internet work” is not listed as a type of work. Whereas internet is the place where there are most cases of copyright infringement. So to register your website with copyright office you have to list it has a “literacy work”
Furthermore, there are no rules concerning the term “published”, nothing specifies if your web content is considered as published or unpublished work. You have to decide it when you register your website with copyright office. Consequently if you decide that your work is considered as published your work will have to follow published work criterion.
The problem of published or unpublished work is even more important in the case international copyright infringement cases as there is no way to prove in which country your work was first published or not.
And least but not last, when you register your website with copyright office you cannot register the source code, the method used is not adapted to the internet problematic. You can download your work trough eco online but you have limited time to download your work.
So it urges for copyright office to provide a satisfying solution to web content creators, otherwise it will soon become outdated and unsatisfying for those looking for internet IP protection.
The European Commission decided to suspend the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that had been signed by 22 countries. It questioned the European Court of Justice to determine if the agreement is in accordance or not with the EU rights (freedom of speech, IP rights, etc.). This decision had been taken after the gatherings of people all around the EU to protest against the violation of fundamental their rights that would generate this agreement.
From the beginning the 2012, the protection of IP rights in the field of internet is at the heart of discussions. It seems that governments and national organizations all around the world are realizing that current laws and regulations regarding IP are not adapted to internet. Nowadays, taking into account the importance of internet, it’s a necessity for countries to adopt new laws that would perfectly match with the reality and the future of this sector.
However, despite the facts, people fear that regulations in the field of internet would infringe their fundamental rights of freedom of speech. They fear that authorities shut down there website because they found one phrase that would be copied or a link that would send to an infringed content. The Trade Commissioner Karel De Gutch affirmed that such actions would not happen.
A debate is necessary to come to agreement. New laws must allow people to protect their creations on internet. However, limits must be well defined in order to avoid crossing the red line and entering into a system supporting censorship and the arbitrary closure of websites.
The shutdown of Megaupload has brought the “legal piracy” to greater prominence. What is Piracy: is an act of robbery, here we will deal with the robbery of a creation of the mind. Why Piracy does exist? First, why do we download movies or TV shows from the internet?
Because WE can’t wait!!! It’s in the human nature, we are all impatient!! Will you wait 3 months to see a movie in theatres or download it for free from the internet?
Apparently we are dealing with an all time issue: the “Offer and Demand” disequilibrium. Why people download from the internet illegally? There is no solution that meets their customers’ needs and is in respect of the law. Instead of considering Piracy as a threat to IP protection and blocking internet let’s see it as a business opportunity.
We all know that globalization and internet has redefined business, but governments are taking time to adapt national legislations and often don’t evaluate the negative consequences of some bills. Internet is a huge opportunity for every business, and we should learn to take advantage of it instead of limiting its access.
Like every coin has a reverse side, internet can constitute a threat for copyright but why not use it to protect copyright.
From my point of view, with internet everything is faster; all the industries that rely on copyright protection should adapt their speed and their offer to their customers need. Isn’t that business fundamentals?
Of course piracy is illegal and should not be legalized as such, but there is no legal alternative way to piracy. A legal “piracy” would be to offer the same service but paid at reduced prices.
« Hackers Step Up Attacks After Megaupload Shutdown » New York Times
« Anonymous: peering behind the mask » the Guardian
« FBI’s Megaupload bust, Anonymous’ hacks underscore SOPA battle » gcn.com
Here there are some examples of newspapers’ headlines.
You couldn’t miss this phenomenon.
However, before Anonymous broke the news, I’m sure you almost know nothing about them, so didn’t I.
Who are they?
First, Anonymous can be anyone. You … me … anybody that has minimum knowledge in IT can integrate the community.
The term « Anonymous » comes from the anonymity under which users post comments on internet.
They have no geographic or cultural similarities and operate only on the internet.
You can easily recognize them with their V-Vendetta masks.
Through piracy actions on the internet they defend the freedom of expression, the free access to culture and fight particularly.
On January 19th, the FBI shut down Megaupload alleging that the website represented an “international organized criminal enterprise” responsible for “massive online piracy”.
Anonymous reacted the following day by attacking dozens and dozens of institutional websites defending against censorship and copyright :
- US department of justice
- French department of justice
How do they proceed ?
Anonymous uses what we call DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service).
A DDoS is an organised internet attack on a server which by the massive sending of packets.
This way the server is saturated and overheats.
I believe there are two important issues while creating a website :
You must be careful not to integrate protected content.
You must ensure that nobody can steal your own content.
The first 2.2 demonstration: Yesterday several popular websites decided to protest against SOPA and PIPA bills by going black. Wikipedia was one of them.
Later on Wednesday , Mark Zuckerberg also showed its opposition to SOPA&PIA stating :“Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet. “
What have been the consequences of this strong opposition from web actors such as Facebook or Wikipedia? According to the business insider, since SOPA has been introduced as a bill several gaming companies such as tronic Arts, Sony and Nintendo have decided withdraw their support for the controversial US Stop Online Piracy Act. But the Blackout day had direct consequences since 4 of the co-sponsored of SOPA&PIPA bills have withdrawn their support according to Newsfactor.com
Today the SOPA act is being discussed in the senate. Apparently it will not pass. It seems that the opposition is working but will it last? Indeed we can notice that the US government has been trying to censor the net for a long period of time. May be SOPA& PIPA will be withdrawn this time.Can we be sure that there will be no other SOPA and PIPA?? The government should focus on how to protect the authors with easier judicial procedures granting them efficient priority reports instead of blocking the net.
Personally I don’t believe in government regulating the net, its solution will end up censoring the net. In a web and knowledge based economy this will constitute a real treat not only for innovation but also for business in general.
How to prevent a new SOPA&PIPA?
The best solution would be to eradicate piracy, counterfeiting or plagiarism, but of course this solution is not realistic. Another solution would be to stop buying products from companies that support such laws in order to show your opposition. And finally you can also protect efficiently your creation and limit the risks of piracy, plagiarism so the government has no point to introduce new censoring bills.
Capture: an automatic registration of web-pages that proves the ownership and the date of registration.
Deposit: a notarized certificate that constitutes a proof in case of infringement.
Monitoring: it registers competitor’s websites every month.
Registration: it registers the creation and delivers a certificate that will constitute a conclusive proof in case of copyright infringement, in the US.
Web scan: it detects plagiarism on the web.
Website registration & monitoring: it registers websites, monitor competitors and alerts in case of plagiarism detection.
Plagiarism warning banners: to discourage web-content thieves.
In the report published in November 2011, the WIPO deals with the changing face of innovation. It emphasizes a new trend: the dramatic growth of the demand for patent over the past few years. This observation totally changes the established key drivers a company had to focus on. Now, the ownership of IP rights by a company is essential and vital. It has to focus on innovation.
A growing demand of IP rights implies that an increasing number of firms protect their creation and that there is an increase of knowledge based on IP rights. In this situation, we can realize the importance of having well-functioning institutions in charge of ensuring patent’s quality and a balanced dispute settlement.
Even if developed countries are those which most spend money in R&D (70% of world total R&D spending), developing countries are increasing their R&D (China alone spent 10% of world total R&D spending).
A turnaround operated: Companies are now investing more in intangible assets than in tangible assets.
Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual property act are bills that were introduced in the senate and the US House of Representatives respectively. The PIPA was introduced in May 2011 and the SOPA in November 2011.This legislative campaign against online piracy was conducted to respond to the increasing online copyright infringement.The SOPA and the PIPA aims to protect the copyright holder by allowing the government or the copyright holder to block the domain-name of the infringing web site and more specifically foreign websites.These bills gave birth to a huge controversy due to their content. On one hand those that defend creativity (pros SOPA) and on the other hand those freedom of speech defendants (cons).more–>
SOPA what protection?
- The SOPA act allows blocking the infringing website domain name consequently not only the infringing content is blocked but the entire website.
- The copyright holder can also demand search engines such as Google to delete the infringing website from search results.
- With the Stop Online piracy, the infringing website is blocked before the court trial.
Personally I believe that it has become an urge to develop new legislative tools in order to prevent online copyright infringement but the SOPA and PIPA bills can be very dangerous for the freedom of speech. Additionally it guaranties no prior protection to the defendants in case of false accusations.
- It should notify the online content infringer before blocking any domain-name and giving a reasonable period of time to delete the copyright infringing content
- The SOPA should guaranty a prior protection to the defendant : a verification before blocking the domain name (with the numerous efficient techniques to track plagiarism)
With the new technological advances there are many tools that can help our legislative branch develop new efficient measures. Hopefully one day they will use those tools in order to provide a better protection to website owners.
For the past 12 years, I have worked hard to helps thousands of customers to protect their creations.During my accountancy MBA I learnt a lot data base and computers. I started to find a way to protect creators’ IP rights in the fashion and design industry. I created my first website that managed to meet entrepreneur’s needs and offer them a relevant solution. That is how I built the first IP website dedicated to design protection.The main problem for creators is the slow procedures of IP protection so I tried to offer them a simple and rapid solution.One day, someone stole my web content that I wrote 6 years ago and I never. At that time, there was no way to prove my rights so I decided to give up. I developed a solution to be protected the next time it will happen. I realized that it was a real need for E-entrepreneurs like me so I started to offer my services through Depot-WEB to companies and individuals. Depot–Web helps you to prove your prior art. That was the technical solution to web-content plagiarism, but often companies lack of information concerning IP news, Plagiarism, libel etc. In this blog, I will regularly post information concerning IP issues in order to help business to face copyright infringement or other problems such as libel.