[Fsfe-ie] Copyright consultation

Ben North ben at redfrontdoor.org
Wed Jun 22 13:48:12 CEST 2011

A useful discussion last night on how IFSO might respond
to the consultation on copyright.  Some points which could
be included are below.  Things to do are:

Resolve ref about previous Irish Copyright act and fair-use
rights.  I'll try to do this.

Find examples of DMCA abuse in the USA.

Put together into letter.

Fair use rights would be great, but must make sure that
DRM doesn't undermine them or make them void.

My draft said 'legally-acquired content'; could add 'and

Interoperability rights should be preserved.

Previous Irish legislation [check ref] explicitly had some
clause along the lines of 'fair-use rights [or whatever they
were called at the time] cannot be contracted away'.  This
shows some history in Ireland of recognising their importance
and is something we could ask to be re-introduced.

Find some examples of DMCA 'unintended consequences',
especially those where a company has tried to prevent a
competitor making a compatible product. Garage door
openers, printer cartridges.  Even if some of these cases
eventually were resolved in favour of the new product, the
threat of such cases dissuades innovation.

Dublin Bikes iPhone app, which was blocked.  (Unclear on
what grounds, but might have been database rights.)  Do
other outfits like this seek to prevent use of data by copyright
law?  (E.g., terms of use of a website, perhaps based on
copyright, preclude what you can do with data on the site?)
Price comparison websites?

Software should be an area where barriers to entry are very
low, and so also low start-up costs for innovation, but legal
threats act against this.

Data produced with public money should be publicly available.
E.g., Ordnance Survey data; finding gold in Fermanagh from
geological survey data.

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