Internet Archive: new copyright laws for generative AI would “further entrench” market leaders

The current excitement over artificial intelligence (AI), particularly generative AI, has now reached the stage where governments feel they need to do something about it in terms of regulations. The EU’s AI Act was drawn up before generative AI took off, but is now being retro-fitted with bad ideas to take account of recent developments. …

Taking open access to the next level, by giving control to researchers, instead of to academic publishers

Back in February 2022, Walled Culture wrote about diamond open access (OA), perhaps the “purest” form of open access publishing, since there are no charges for either the reader or the researcher. In that post, I mentioned an excellent 2021 report on diamond OA, published by the open access group cOAlition S. The group has …

Newspaper publishers’ obsession with link and snippet taxes is bad for society – and bad for them

Traditional newspapers have been complaining about the rise of the digital world for decades. Their discontent derives from the fact that they failed to recognise opportunities early on, leaving the field open for a new generation of born-digital companies to meet the demand for alternative ways to access the news. Rather than trying to understand …

Lawrence Lessig on copyright, generative AI and the right to train

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and one of the biggest names in the world of digital copyright. Walled Culture’s 2021 interview with him runs through many of his key ideas and projects, although sadly he does not work directly in the field of copyright any more. …

How a flawed copyright takedown system is causing problems for online sales of perfume products

The copyright system is flawed at many levels, as hundreds of posts on this blog make clear. One particular class of problems concern takedowns. The best known of the ‘notice and takedown’ systems, that of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), allows the copyright industry to send takedown notices when they discover infringements on …

A welcome attempt to take down Piracy Shield, Italy’s pre-emptive and unfair Net block system

The copyright industry’s war on the Internet and its users has gone through various stages (full details and links to numerous references in Walled Culture the book, free digital versions available). The first was to sue Internet users directly for sharing files. By 2007, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) had sued at least …

How copyright drives Internet fragmentation, and why it is hard to fix

The EU Copyright Directive is arguably the most important recent legislation in the area of intellectual monopolies. It is also a failure, judged purely on its own terms as an initiative to modernise and unify copyright across the European Union. Instead, it includes many backward-looking features that go against the grain of the digital world, …

European Parliament sabotages the AI Act by failing to recognise that the right to read is the right to train

Walled Culture recently wrote about an unrealistic French legislative proposal that would require the listing of all the authors of material used for training generative AI systems. Unfortunately, the European Parliament has inserted a similarly impossible idea in its text for the upcoming Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act. The DisCo blog explains that MEPs added new …

Here’s another way that AI will reduce ad income for publishers – and what they can do about it

New ways in which the latest AI technology can be applied are popping up all the time. Here’s an interesting example discussed by Ben Werdmuller on his blog, Werd.io. It concerns the proprietary browser Arc, currently only running on macOS and iOS, but with a Windows version promised for later this year. A new feature …

The New York Times tried to block the Internet Archive: another reason to value the latter

Walled Culture has already written about the two–pronged attack by the copyright industry against the Internet Archive, which was founded by Brewster Kahle, whose Kahle/Austin Foundation supports this blog. The Intercept has an interesting article that reveals another reason why some newspaper publishers are not great fans of the site: The New York Times tried …

New French copyright law for AI creations would just mean more money for collecting societies

This blog has written a number of times about the reaction of creators to generative AI. Legal academic and copyright expert Andres Guadamuz has spotted what may be the first attempt to draw up a new law to regulate generative AI. It comes from French politicians, who have developed something of a habit of bringing …

Brown noise spam is another reason why music streaming payments need a radical overhaul

There’s an interesting story on Wired about “functional music” – things like white noise and brown noise – which is widely available on music streaming platforms. These kind of streams are causing a problem that arises from the fact that the money earned by streaming platforms is allotted in a rather odd way. All the …

Famous writers sue OpenAI for alleged copyright infringement, missing the point again

Last week, a group of prominent writers sued OpenAI, in what is just the latest in a growing number of lawsuits claiming that AI systems are infringing on their copyrights. The New York Times reports: More than a dozen authors filed a lawsuit against OpenAI on Tuesday, accusing the company, which has been backed with …

Copyright’s legal stranglehold on creativity has made putting works into the public domain absurdly hard

Bill Willingham is a well-known writer and artist of comics, famous for his work on the series Elementals and Fables. He’s written a long and interesting post on his blog about the shabby treatment he has suffered at the hands of his publishers, DC Comics, a subsidiary of the entertainment giant, Warner Bros. Discovery, which …

Publisher wants $2,500 to allow academics to post their own manuscript to their own repository

As a Walled Culture explained back in 2021, open access (OA) to published academic research comes in two main varieties. “Gold” open access papers are freely available to the public because the researchers’ institutions pay “article-processing charges” to a publisher. “Green” OA papers are available because the authors self-archive their work on a personal Web …

Unique collection of old TV culture put at risk by a heavy-handed copyright takedown system

Although copyright is mainly thought of as concerning books, music and films, it applies to other kinds of creativity in a fixed form. That includes apparently trivial material such as early commercial television programmes. These are important cultural artefacts, but unlike books, music or films, there are very few formal schemes for collecting and conserving …

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