How to stop video games being made unplayable once support ends

The Pirate Party has long played an important role in fighting the worst excesses of copyright in the EU. For example, when a major copyright update was being…

Forgotten books and how to save them

On the Neglected Books site, there is a fine meditation on rescuing forgotten writers and their works from oblivion, and why this is important. As its author Brad…

How copyright makes the climate crisis worse

Many of the posts here on the Walled Culture blog examine fairly niche problems that copyright is causing. Although they are undoubtedly important, in the overall scheme of…

Texts of laws must be freely available, not locked away by copyright; in Germany, many still aren’t

It is often said that “ignorance of the law is no defence”. But the corollary of this statement is that laws must be freely available so that people…

Important court ruling on copyright ought to lead to a blossoming of UK open culture – but will it?

There’s a post on the Creative Commons blog with some important news about copyright (in the UK, at least): In November 2023, the Court of Appeal in THJ…

Mickey Mouse is public domain now, but the battle to prevent copyright term extensions is not over

The beginning of the year is a great time for the public domain, since it sees thousands of copyrighted works released from the intellectual monopoly that prevents their…

Generative AI will be a huge boon for the public domain – unless copyright blocks it

A year ago, I noted that many of Walled Culture’s illustrations were being produced using generative AI. During that time, AI has developed rapidly. For example, in the…

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…

Interview | Fred von Lohmann: Copyright Battles, the US DMCA and EU Copyright Directive, Filters, and Interfaces

In this final bonus Walled Culture podcast episode – recorded mid-2022 and kept under wraps as a special 1st anniversary episode, we welcome Fred von Lohmann, former Electronic…

Here’s a puzzle: when is the public domain not in the public domain?

Walled Culture is a big fan of the public domain. The amazing artistic uses that people are able to make of material only once it enters the public…

Research shows that, when given the choice, most authors don’t want excessively-long copyright terms

Last week Walled Culture mentioned the problem of orphan works. These are creations, typically books, that are still covered by copyright, but unavailable because the original publisher or…

Public domain: a belated step forward, two huge steps back

The first day of the year is a special time in the copyright world. It’s when a flood of works whose copyright has expired finally emerge from behind…

How Minecraft’s “End Poem” ended up in the public domain

Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time according to Wikipedia, with hundreds of millions of copies sold. The game concludes with the End Poem by the…

A database of public domain works could reduce upload filter overblocking; it’s absurd we need one

One of many problems with the upload filters that Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive will bring in is that they are likely to overblock. That is,…

A concept that should not exist at all is already implemented: the “paying” public domain

A couple of weeks ago, Walled Culture reported on a terrible idea in France: requiring companies to pay for the use of public domain material. As the post…

Coming soon: the next phase of copyright maximalism – destroying the public domain

The public domain is the natural state of creative material. It’s where creations end up once copyright’s monopoly has expired. Crucially, it is the quid pro quo for…
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