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IP-Watch Summer Interns

IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

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    “Entrenched Anti-Consumer Bias” Found In Copyright Laws; Creators Launch Petition For Better Contracts

    Published on 23 April 2012 @ 7:17 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    A major consumer group today released the results of its annual survey of 30 countries’ copyright laws and concluded that bias against consumers in favour of multinational copyright holders is “entrenched” and that there is a “global outcry” about overly strong copyright enforcement legislation. Meanwhile, international journalists groups joined songwriters, composers, film directors, screenwriters, illustrators, photographers and visual authors across Europe today to launch “a public campaign to bring an end to the unfair contractual practices facing creators.”

    Consumers International in London released its fourth annual IP Watchlist report, stating that it is “calling on copyright holders and intellectual property (IP) legislators to work with consumers, not against them, to avoid future mass protests over the right to access the internet without interference.”

    The 2012 report is available here in pdf form [pdf]. The CI Access to Knowledge programme is here.

    According to CI, “49 criteria were developed by a panel of IP experts, who weighted each of the criteria to account for its relative importance to consumers. Reports were then completed for the 30 countries in a collaborative effort by CI’s member organisations and partners worldwide.”

    The group said 30 countries took part in this year’s survey, and that the top five countries for consumer-friendly IP legislation were Israel, Indonesia, India, New Zealand, and the United States. The bottom five countries were Jordan, Argentina, United Kingdom, Thailand, and Brazil, it said.

    Of the 30 countries rated in this year’s report, it added, “none scored higher than an overall ‘B’ grade. Most scoring particularly badly in terms of draconian enforcement practices and restrictions on freedom for consumers to share and transfer legally purchased digital content.”

    Consumers International (CI) has over 220 member organisations in 115 countries.

    Creators Demand Better Treatment

    Separately (but also on the occasion of so-called World Copyright Day), a range of content creators launched an online petition today that states:

    “Today authors are frequently coerced to waive, or assign parts of our statutory authors’ rights in the name of freedom of contract and flexibility. ‘Flexibility’, which merely allows producers and financiers to impose one sided contracts on individual authors with impunity. Individual creators are often forced to accept manifestly unfair contract terms and conditions which are drafted in advance and presented to them as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition: creators are regularly told that if they do not sign a particular contract, unamended, they will never work again for the company “offering” it. This problem is compounded by concentration of ownership: in some cases there is a monopsony – a single buyer for one class of creative work. These unfair contracts are (in the great majority of EU Member States) irreversible once signed.

    “We see this as a distortion of the market and unfair competition. If authors are chosen not because of their professional qualifications, but on the basis of their willingness to assign more rights, or in worst case, waive all their rights, this will ultimately have a negative effect also for consumers.”

    The petition contains a “Call for Action – 8 Unwaivable Principles in Contractual Agreements,” such as fair pay, no work-for-hire clauses, and the right to negotiate contracts collectively.

    The petition offers support for a complaint brought by the European Composers and Songwriters Alliance (ECSA) on 17 January “against a group of European broadcasters and their alleged anti-competitive practices through coercive commissioning and unfair contractual agreements signed under duress,” the petition says.

    The International/European Federation of Journalists press release is here.

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. » Canadian Universities Have One Week To Stop A Disastrous Copyright Licensing Deal says:

      [...] interfere with the ability of professors to do their job: Read more . . . via Techdirt [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="copyright (Photo credit: A. Diez Herrero)"][...090594428_583b943fba_m.jpg" alt="copyright" width="240" height="222" [...]

    2. Darrin says:

      It seems like the content creators are stuck in a catch-22. Consumer freedom allows each content creator to choose individually whether or not to enter into a contract – even if doing so assigns away all rights to the content they create as part of the contract. Once they have obtained a certain measure of power they can negotiate the rights they want. Until then their only option is to sign away all their rights or not sign the contract at all.


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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