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Markus Beckedahl, blogger, digital rights activist and one of the representatives of Creative Commons Germany, inspired a raging controversy within the German blogosphere with the following simple statement:

“Anyone, who actively uses the Internet and shows media literacy, constantly infringes copyright.”
(German original: “Jeder, der das Internet aktiv nutzt und Medienkompetenz zeigt, begeht die ganze Zeit Urheberrechtsverletzungen.”)

David Ziegelmayer, lawyer at CMS Hasche Sigle, immediately cast doubt whether Beckedahl were serious and admits to be swept off his feet by that statement. He claims that, on the contrary, uneducated users are responsible for copyright infringments such as unauthorized copying of pictures and texts, not the media literate ones.

Simon Möller, law blogger at Telemedicus, however supports Beckedahl’s claim and gives the following five examples:

  1. Commented links in blogs: the media literate blogger copies passages of texts, includes the links and a short comment. such a behavior is not covered by the citation exemption of copyright due to the unqeual ratio between cited text and comment.
  2. Embedding videos in blogs, since this would often require a license.
  3. Using ID pictures:  the rights for publishing ID pictures online is normally not acquired from the photographer.
  4. Unclear terms in open content licenses such as, for example, the Creative Commons NonCommercial clause (see also “Standardizing via Polling” on this blog).
  5. Using cloud services, which are not necessarily covered by extant copyright exemptions, at least in Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

In two weeks from now, Sigrid and myself are going to take part in a three-day-workshop entitled “Consuming the Illegal: Situating Digital Piracy In Everyday Experience“.  This exploratory workshop is funded by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and mainly organized by Jason Rutter, a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the School for Mass Communication Research, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. The self-stated goal of the workshop reads as follows:

“This workshop places internet piracy – the illegal downloading of digital content – within a context of research on consumption and everyday practice. Bringing researchers from a range of social science disciplines it aims to develop theoretical and methodological perspectives to examine consumer behaviour, practices and understandings to investigate a phenomenon usually framed as deviant.”

In our contribution, entitled “Transnational Copyright: Misalignments between Regulation, Business Models and User Practice” (PDF), we want to question one of the basic premises in current debates  on copyright and also the conference title, namely that the demarcation line between legal and illegal can be easily drawn. Instead, we argue, that

Read the rest of this entry »

The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
September 2019
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All texts on governance across borders are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany License.