House Overwhelmingly Passes Bipartisan Legislation on Selection Process for Copyright Register — The big news this week was the passage of HR 1695 in the House by a broad and bipartisan vote of 378-48. The bill, which would make the Register of Copyrights a Presidential Appointee subject to Senate confirmation and limit the office’s term to ten years, is part of broader Copyright Office modernization efforts that began over four years ago. This bill was introduced separately given the current lack of a permanent Register.
The Copyright Office’s Amicus Brief from Mazer v. Stein — Zvi Rosen this week uploaded the full brief, along with appendices, from the classic 1954 case on copyright protection and useful articles. Also goes to show how long the Copyright Office has been considered the expert agency on interpreting the Copyright Act.
Is It Time to Break Up Google? — Jon Taplin has a new book out, Move Fast and Break Things, and he pens this NY Times op-ed laying out his basic premise: in just a few short months, a small set of internet platforms like Google, Facebook, and Amazon have become the largest companies in the world, and their success has come at the expense of the creative industries, privacy, and even democratic values.
Selling Piracy-Configured Media Players is Illegal, EU Court Rules — Stand-alone media devices that provide access to film and television content are becoming increasingly popular, but the downside is that many are being sold pre-configured with third-party addons that allow one-click access to infringing content. Andy at Torrentfreak reports, “In a long and complex ruling, the ECJ said that a media player with pre-installed addons, accessed through structured menus, grants users ‘direct access to the protected works published without the permission of the copyright owners’ and ‘must be regarded as an act of communication to the public.'”
“Consumer Advocates” Oppose Web Standard That Would Improve Privacy and Convenience — Daniel Castro writes about the fight over the standard, called encrypted media extensions (EME), which would allow encrypted media to be played in web browsers without plugins.