Last week on the Internet: lawful piracy, European copyright reform, Sweden vs Asange, Wikimedia vs NSA, Günther Oettinger vs net neutrality


  • Legal historian Robert Spoo, the author of the book Without Copyrights is interviewed on the long US history in Lawful Piracy, common in the publishing industry for more than 100 years. An interesting concept indeed.
  • A second U.S. company has entered the Canadian IP system last week. The aim seems to be only to abuse the copyright system by sending out notices that are actually threats and scare people into paying a settlement. A perfected practice in US.
  • Techdirt present a short analysis of MPAA abusing DMCA takedowns and focusing on treating people as criminals instead of giving them what they want. At the same time, MPAA is going all the way for ICANN, in their crusade to control the Internet, raising some important questions around ICANN’s role and its future after “IANA Transition” will be completed.

We cannot have a cultural policy that only works in the interests of consumers.

Carole Tongue, Chair of the Association of European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity.
  • A copyright troll convinced the UK’s second largest ISP, SKY, to hand over the personal details of customers.
  • “Many industry bodies argue that higher penalties are necessary and desirable[..]”, a new study
    commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) says. And Mike Weatherley MP, ex IP advisor to the Prime Minister, said in 2014 that disparity between the penalties between offline and online copyright offenses “sends all the wrong messages”.
  • Piracy is a scapegoat and a whipping post for an industry in transition, Rick Falkvinge told to The Inquirer.
  • Speaking about “industry in transition”, HBO seems to find it difficult to adapt to the Internet framework and it continues to find “innovative” ways to keep possible customers away, now streaming exclusively with Apple.
  • On the same topic, Indian Film Industry goes even further and punishes paying customers with 3-month film release boycott with the hope that “the movie pirates will go out of business”.
  • The absurd prohibition by the Bavarian State to publish Hitler’s Mein Kampf, seems to end in 2016, once their monopoly on the copyright of the book is over. Maybe it is more efficient and
    constructive to prevent, through education and social values, the development of the kind of mentality the book promotes, instead of prohibiting the publishing of a book (which is anyway available for download for many years now).


  • Sweden proves it stalled Assange case on false pretenses and now, after more than 4 years, the  Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny wants to question Julian Assange in London.
  • In contrast to the big tech companies who take no action, Wikimedia sues NSA over the abuse NSA had on  Wikipedia users, by spying on them.
  • The magnitude of NSA abuses is already well known, but new revelations are still coming out of the documents Edward Snowden released. The recent leaks show that New Zealand is spying neighboring  countries for NSA.
  • More than ever before, people are aware about the threats imposed by monopolies on the digital tools we use and the lack of personal control over them. Richard Stallman, the person who spoke most on digital freedom in the last 30 years, is taking on why we need Free digital hardware designs.
  • Under the motto “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear” the TPP negotiations are still being conducted with a total lack of transparency and some of its measures seem to have an impact on health, a report found.

Net Neutrality

  • Günther Oettinger, the EU Commissioner in charge of net neutrality legislation, made recently some comments about Net Neutrality being A ‘Taliban-Like’ Issue. The Pirate Party’s MEP, Julia Reda addresses these remarks and poses a couple of questions to the European Commission, whose response is much awaited by interested parties on the topic of Net Neutrality.

Featured image based on: NunsWithGuns – by John Jacobson  // Public Domain