By , May 21, 2021.

Stages of Grief: What the Pandemic Has Done to the Arts — A compelling and devestating read from William Deresiewicz. “What has been happening across the arts is not a recession. It is not even a depression. It is a catastrophe. There is another thing the rest of us, the audience, do not fully appreciate: the crisis is rooted in the destruction that was visited upon the arts even before the pandemic—that is, in the scandal of free content, which has been going on for more than twenty years and which implicates us all.”

A Bounty of Fair Use: ‘Google v. Oracle’ and ‘Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith’ — Copyright attorneys Robert Bernstein and Bob Clarida discuss what impact the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Google v. Oracle may have on Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith, where the Andy Warhol Foundation is currently seeking for rehearing of the Second Circuit’s earlier decision rejecting a fair use defense. And this just in: the Warhol Foundation reply in support of its petition for rehearing, filed yesterday.

German musicians criticize planned copyright reform — “The German federal government is planning its most extensive reform of copyright law within the last two decades, as it faces a June 7 deadline to implement European copyright directives into its national law. The proposed bill has, however, drawn criticism; a recent open letter to the German Bundestag protesting against the reform was signed by 1,145 musicians, bands and singers, including Peter Maffay, Helene Fischer, Herbert Grönemeyer, H.P. Baxxter, Campino and Marteria.”

South Africa’s Parliament starts the process for a new Copyright Amendment Bill — “South Africa’s Trade and Industry Committee at the National Assembly met on 12 May to discuss a new draft of the Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB), which was sent back to the Parliament in June 2020 by President Cyril Ramaphosa due to constitutional concern about the law. . . . The creative community was critical of the scope of exceptions to copyright in the original law through the introduction of a wide-ranging fair use provision. Consumers groups and organisations representing blind people were supportive of the bill.”

The Myth of Internet Exceptionalism: Bringing Section 230 into the Real World — “Offering perhaps the most concrete legal embodiment of Barlow’s internet exceptionalism, Section 230(c)(1) as applied by the courts has exempted platforms from the common law duty of taking reasonable steps to prevent users of their services from causing harm. Ironically—and in many cases tragically—this reduces the likeli­hood platforms will moderate content, the opposite of what Congress intended. Free from potential liability, platforms have a financial interest in minimizing spending on proactive measures to prevent unlawful activity, and even on reactive measures to mitigate further harm when unlawful activity has already occurred. As a result, instead of creating an incentive to moderate content, Section 230 creates a misincentive. Platforms can conserve resources and invest more reck­lessly in growth, giving them a competitive edge over their brick-and-mortar rivals and allowing them to shift onto society the costs of combating (or failing to combat) harm”