NO, Kodi Users Are Not Risking Ten Years in Prison — Torrentfreak dives into some fact-checking over a provision in the UK’s new Digital Economy Bill. “To fall foul of the new law a user would need to communicate a copyrighted work to the public. In piracy terms that means ‘uploading’ and people streaming content via Kodi do nothing of the sort. The Digital Economy Act offers no remedy to deal with users streaming content – period – but let’s not allow the facts to get in the way of a click-inducing headline.”
In Defense of an Inclusive IP Conversation — CPIP’s Kevin Madigan discusses the recent Robert Merges article responding to Mark Lemley’s “Faith-based IP” article. Madigan writes, “Merges points out that by relegating all non-empirical theories into a single, derogatory category, and raising his preferred empirical/utilitarian theory to a ‘true path to enlightenment’ status, Lemley commits the fatal error of promoting an exclusive approach to scholarly discourse. Lemley’s argument has roots in the works of Oliver Wendell Holmes and Richard Posner, who dismissed non-empirical foundations as incapable of being influenced by reason. But Merges repeats that he is ‘not rejecting empirical evidence of all kinds, but expressing honest doubts about the adequacy of the available evidence,’ and that Lemley’s mischaracterization of this skepticism is ‘more in the way of propaganda than scholarship.'”
The Latest “Twist” for the “Dancing Baby”: It’s Broke…But Don’t Fix It! — Stephen Carlisle writes, “The latest twist in the never ending saga of the “Dancing Baby” case hit the dance floor on May 5, 2017. On that date, the U.S. Solicitor General responded to the Supreme Court of the United States’ request last October for guidance on whether it should take up the case of Lenz v. Universal Music Group…. The brief itself is a bit of a shock. It contends that not only did the 9th Circuit get it wrong, but everybody got it wrong. On top of that, not only did everyone get it spectacularly wrong, but the SCOTUS should not fix it by taking up the case.” Also check out David Newhoff’s take on the brief at Illusion of More.
The MP3 Is Officially Dead, According To Its Creators — NPR has an interesting look at the compressed audio format, which played a starring role in the early days of online piracy, but has since been overtaken by more advanced formats. “And it’s not just that more efficient and complete ways of storing music have been developed. There was a deeper problem. The engineers who developed the MP3 were working with incomplete information about how our brains process sonic information, and so the MP3 itself was working on false assumptions about how holistically we hear.”
The Intellectual Property Treaty Landscape in Africa, 1885 to 2015 — “This paper maps the 130-year history of the global international IP treaty landscape governing the protection of, and access to, knowledge in Africa. Our approach looks to the past and present in order to build a rich context for policymakers looking to the future. This approach offers a preliminary overview of the opportunities for IP policy innovation in each country, and the continent as a whole.”