On June 20-21, the European Parliament will vote on the European Commission’s update of the Copyright Directive. The Directive aims to modernize the EU’s copyright rules to handle problems posed by the evolving digital world, with the stated goal of creating legislation that will unify Europe’s “Digital Single Market.” It has been the subject of international scrutiny, as European technology policy changes often spark global changes.
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Music Modernization Act (2018), a combination of the consumer-friendly Music Modernization Act (2017) and the CLASSICS Act, which seeks to create a “right to be paid” for pre-1972 sound recordings without fully federalizing these works.
Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a ruling in the ongoing Oracle v. Google litigation. The case involves the Java programming language’s application programming interface (“API”). First, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the district court and ruled that Oracle could assert a copyright over this API. Public Knowledge disagreed with this ruling.
Recently, bipartisan leadership of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees, Chairmen Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Bob Corker (R-TN), as well as Ranking Members Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), introduced the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559).
Later this month, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will launch their sixth round of negotiations for the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Recent news coverage has focused on whether the Trump administration will withdraw from the agreement or not. As civil society continues to be excluded from this process, there is still little information about actual intellectual property proposals, but the position of Public Knowledge remains unchanged: trade agreements must promote a balanced copyright system that serves the public interest.