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The Online Censorship Machine Is Revving Up: Here Are a Few Lessons Learned

April 18, 2019 copyright directive , Copyright Reform , DMCA , Fair Use , Music Licensing

About a week ago, I did my usual check-in with Rick Beato’s channel on YouTube to see what new videos he had in store for me. I’m a former working musician, and one who supplemented my income by teaching music, so I was easily sold on Beato’s combination of fun music-related videos like “Top 20 Greatest Rock Guitar Sounds” and in-the-weeds educational videos on music theory. His channel is one of many on YouTube that offer music education, cultural preservation, and creative ways to bring great music to wider audiences. So, needless to say, I was less-than-thrilled to see that he had just live streamed a rant against a huge uptick of efforts to block his videos and those by other creators who also rely on using musical elements to create new content. These copyright strikes had been targeting many of these creators’ most successful videos, which often had been around for years and had attracted big audiences — some with over a million views. One of the impacted videos was Beato’s 20-minute piece on the history of rock guitar, which was taken down for using just 10 seconds of a live, improvised guitar solo by Ozzy Osbourne’s former guitar player, Randy Rhoads. One of Paul Davids’s videos was blocked for playing one chord (Dsus2 for those music geeks following along) in a guitar lesson video. Even in the squishy world of fair use, these seem as close to slam dunk examples of fair use as you can get.

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The Copyright Directive Is SOPA Part 2, and It’s Coming for Your Internet

April 8, 2019 Copyright , copyright directive , EU , European Union , SOPA

Last week, the European Parliament voted 348 to 274 to pass the Copyright Directive. Unless something truly extraordinary happens during the upcoming meeting of the European Council — think of it as the Senate of the EU, where the governments of Member States are represented — draconian and highly disruptive new rules on content licensing and monitoring will become EU law.

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The Horrible EU Copyright Idea You Aren’t Hearing About

January 29, 2019 Copyright , copyright directive , European Union , Global , Platform Regulation

If you follow global tech policy, you probably know that the European Union is in the process of adopting a Copyright Directive to update its copyright framework. The Copyright Directive is infamous on this side of the Atlantic because of the mandate for automated web filters contained in Article 13 of the same. Elsewhere, we’ve written about the harmful effects for free expression that Article 13 would have.

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How Europe’s New Copyright Directive Targets Your Favorite Mods

July 5, 2018 copyright directive , European Union , gaming , mods

How many images or videos have you seen of Minecraft? If you’ve seen versions of the game with fantastic characters from some of your favorite franchises or exotic lands, then you may have been looking at a mod. Modifications (or “mods”) are how members of the gaming community add to the games they love. Companies realize that mods are great for business and keep games alive and popular, enabling them to stand on their own for much longer.

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The Five Worst Things About the Proposed EU Copyright Directive

July 3, 2018 Censorship , Copyright , copyright directive , European Union , journalism

On July 5, the European Parliament will vote on the Copyright Directive. Although the Directive is being sold as an attempt to modernize copyright law in Europe, it is an ill-conceived policy that will hurt consumers and stifle innovation. Here are the top five reasons to oppose this legislation.

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