[LORD CHANCELLOR:] As to what has been said by Mr. Attorney General of the [Statute of Anne] being a monopoly, and therefore ought to receive a strict construction, I am quite of a different opinion, and that it ought to receive a liberal construction, for it is very far from being a monopoly, as it is intended to secure the property of books in the authors themselves, or the purchasers of the copy, as some recompense for their pains and labour in such works as may be of use to the learned world.

Gyles v. Wilcox, 2 Atk. 141 (1740)

Online infringement hurts: interviews with Australian creators — Australian professor Melissa de Zwart writes, “What became very clear from the interviews was that our Australian creative people are under financial pressure. This is affecting their capacity to create. Many have to supplement their creative work, such as songwriting, with other jobs, such as teaching. While many joked that even if they didn’t receive any money they would still go on creating, those who had been in the industry longest made it clear that significant personal investment was required to do so. The question we have to ask is, do we want to foster an Australian creative industry and provide a fair reward to those who work in the industry – or are we prepared to sacrifice our culture for cheap downloads?”

The Cathedral of Computation — A great piece on the tendency for the computational aspect of new innovations to overshadow the very ordinary processes that go into making those innovations; e.g., Google Maps relies just as much on people driving cars as it does on software. “This attitude blinds us in two ways. First, it allows us to chalk up any kind of computational social change as pre-determined and inevitable. It gives us an excuse not to intervene in the social shifts wrought by big corporations like Google or Facebook or their kindred, to see their outcomes as beyond our influence. Second, it makes us forget that particular computational systems are abstractions, caricatures of the world, one perspective among many. The first error turns computers into gods, the second treats their outputs as scripture.”

CJEU says exhaustion only applies to the tangible medium of a work (so no such thing as a digital exhaustion?) — Eleonora Rosati writes, “Of course this case was not about digital exhaustion. However, by suggesting that exhaustion under Article 4 of the InfoSoc Directive only applies to the tangible support of a work, the Court appeared to imply that there is no such thing as a general digital exhaustion under EU copyright. In other words: the decision in UsedSoft was possible only because of the lex specialis nature of the Software Directive.”

We’re being stigmatized by ‘big data’ scores we don’t even know about — Soon, if you want a good job, a good education, or access to good credit, you’ll need to conform your speech and behavior to what “bosses, banks, or insurers” deem appropriate.