This week, in a campaign spearheaded by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, numerous organizations including the American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries are participating in Copyright Week. The campaign calls attention to the main challenges of copyright in the digital age, focusing on a different principle each day. These principles include “Transparency”, “Building and Defending a Robust Public Domain”, “Open Access”, “You Bought it, You Own it”, “Fair Use Rights”, and “Getting Copyright Right.” The goal of the campaign is to allow for the exchange of ideas and opinions on how to adjust copyright law for the digital age without infringing upon the free and open nature of the Internet.
These concepts have garnered an increasing amount of attention since the widespread internet protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) two years ago, and are still being debated by lawmakers in the US and around the world. While the public’s massive show of opposition against SOPA and PIPA in 2012 led legislators to reject the bills, the issues are far from settled. Dialogues such as the EFF’s Copyright Week are important in finding a way to regulate online piracy and protect copyrighted works without infringing on users’ rights or encumbering the Internet’s immense potential for spreading ideas and knowledge. This year will bring renewed efforts at passing anti-piracy laws, including a chapter in a huge international trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is reported to include new legislation on the subject. A robust and active discussion of copyright and its implications in the digital age is integral to ensuring that legislation remains transparent, fair, and productive for the future.
Stay informed about copyright law! These sources are a great starting point.
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