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Les photos du musée

Le Sismographe, le carnet culturel des journalistes du quotidien montréalais Le Devoir, rapporte le cas d’un internaute des USA qui a téléchargé près de 3000 photos du Musée national du portrait (MNP) au Royaume-Uni. Selon Wiki News,

he complaint by the NPG is that under UK law, its copyright in the photographs of its portraits is being violated. While the gallery has complained to the Wikimedia Foundation for a number of years, this is the first direct threat of legal action made against an actual uploader of images. In addition to the allegation that Coetzee had violated the NPG’s copyright, they also allege that Coetzee had, by uploading thousands of images in bulk, infringed the NPG’s database right, breached a contract with the NPG; and circumvented a copyright protection mechanism on the NPG’s web site.

The copyright protection mechanism referred to is Zoomify, a product of Zoomify, Inc. of Santa Cruz, California. NPG’s solicitors stated in their letter that « Our client used the Zoomify technology to protect our client’s copyright in the high resolution images. ». Zoomify Inc. states in the Zoomify support documentation that its product is intended to make copying of images « more difficult » by breaking the image into smaller pieces and disabling the option within many web browsers to click and save images, but that they « provide Zoomify as a viewing solution and not an image security system ».

In particular, Zoomify’s website comments that while « many customers — famous museums for example » use Zoomify, in their experience a « general consensus » seems to exist that most museums are concerned to make the images in their galleries accessible to the public, rather than prevent the public from accessing them or making copies; they observe that a desire to prevent high resolution images being distributed would also imply prohibiting the sale of any posters or production of high quality printed material that could be scanned and placed online.

Appropriation du domaine public par un musée et libération par un robin des bois numérique? Cas de violation de contrat d’utilisation d’un site par un individu obtus? Le débat est lancé…

Crimes États-Unis Exceptions au droit d'auteur Films Revendication Utilisation équitable

Les violations au delà de la tombe du droit d'auteur

Le groupe MIT Free Culture de l’université éponyme de Boston vient de lancer le site YouTomb (, un site qui recense des vidéos retirés de YouTube à cause d’une plainte de violation du droit d’auteur. Selon le site,

YouTomb is a research project by MIT Free Culture that tracks videos taken down from YouTube for alleged copyright violation.

More specifically, YouTomb continually monitors the most popular videos on YouTube for copyright-related takedowns. Any information available in the metadata is retained, including who issued the complaint and how long the video was up before takedown. The goal of the project is to identify how YouTube recognizes potential copyright violations as well as to aggregate mistakes made by the algorithm.

Au même moment, le quotidien britannique The Guardian publie un article intéressant sur la « CopyFraud » – néologisme qui évoque une appropriation inéquitable d’une oeuvre dans le domaine public par une corporation (Charles Eicher, Copyfraud: Poisoning the public domain) :

Committing copyfraud is astonishingly easy and costs nothing. I can borrow a public domain book from any library and scan it, or I could download the text from Project Gutenberg. I reformat it as a PDF, mark it with a copyright date, register it as a new book with an ISBN, then submit it to for sale. I may not even need to print and bind any books, I can offer it through Amazon’s Booksurge print-on-demand service, or as an ebook on Kindle. Once the book is listed for sale, I can submit it to Google Books for inclusion in its index. I could easily publish thousands of books; most would never sell, but with zero up-front cost, any sale is pure profit.

Merci à Jeff Roberts et son IP News This Week.

Canada Crimes Droit d'auteur États-Unis Revendication

Le Canada montré du doigt, et alors?

L’Office of the US Trade Representative (le ministre des affaires commerciales extérieur des USA) annonce la publication de son rapport annuel dans le cadre de la revue des pratiques en propriété intellectuelle de ses partenaires commerciaux, mis en oeuvre par la section 301 de son Code (2009 Special 301 Report).

Ce document liste les pays cancres en matière de protection et mise en oeuvre de la propriété intellectuelle. Fait inusité, le Canada est listé sur la liste prioritaire de pays à surveiller, tout comme la Chine et la Russie.

Comme le précise le professeur Michael Geist dans son blogue , dans une entrevue et sur le site de la BBC, le titulaire de la chaire de recherche en droit et Internet à l’Université d’Ottawa précise que cette situation met en lumière la nature douteuse de ce rapport qui ne semble pas avoir de méthodologie claire et puise largement dans les revendications des lobbys industriels. D’ailleurs, sur le site de la BBC il précise :

Canada may move beyond behind-the-scenes discussions now that it finds itself on the Priority Watch List alongside China, Russia, and Indonesia. If so, it would likely remind the US that it is compliant with its international copyright obligations. In recent years, it responded to US pressure by becoming one of the few countries to enact anti-camcording legislation. Law enforcement has prioritised intellectual property cases and the law contains tough statutory damages provisions that are regularly used by rights holders to obtain significant judgments.

Moreover, grouping Canada together with high-piracy nations does not stand up to even mild scrutiny. The Business Software Alliance’s 2008 statistics show that among the 11 other countries on this year’s Priority Watch List for which data is available, the lowest rate of software piracy is 66%. By comparison, Canada stands at 32%, not remotely close to any other country on the list. In fact, Canada’s software piracy rate is lower than all 46 countries named in the Special 301 report.

Similarly, 2008 data from the US Customs and Border Protection Agency on intellectual property seizures reports that Taiwan and South Korea rank fourth and fifth as sources of seized goods (China is number one), yet both were dropped this year from the Watch List. By comparison, Canada does not even appear in the rankings.

Voici le sommaire proposé par le US Trade Representative :

Canada will be added to the Priority Watch List in 2009. The United States appreciates the high level of cooperation between our two governments in many important bilateral and multilateral IPR initiatives. The United States also welcomed the Government of Canada’s reaffirmation earlier this year of its 2007 and 2008 commitments to improve IPR protection and enforcement. However, the Government of Canada has not delivered on these commitments by promptly and effectively implementing key copyright reforms. The United States continues to have serious concerns with Canada’s failure to accede to and implement the WIPO Internet Treaties, which Canada signed in 1997. We urge Canada to enact legislation in the near term to strengthen its copyright laws and implement these treaties. The United States also continues to urge Canada to improve its IPR enforcement system to enable authorities to take effective action against the trade in counterfeit and pirated products within Canada, as well as curb the volume of infringing products transshipped and transiting through Canada. Canada’s weak border measures continue to be a serious concern for IP owners. The United States hopes that Canada will implement legislative changes to provide a stronger border enforcement system by giving its customs officers the authority to seize products suspected of being pirated or counterfeit without the need for a court order. The provision of additional resources and training to customs officers and domestic law enforcement personnel would enhance IPR enforcement. The United States will continue to follow Canada’s progress toward providing an adequate and effective IPR protection and enforcement regime, including near term accession to and implementation of the WIPO Internet Treaties and improved border enforcement.

Contenu culturel Crimes Jugement

Dommages et intérêts statutaires

Un article intéressant vient de paraitre concernant les dommages et intérêts statutaires dans les causes en justice en droit d’auteur, qui prétend que les cours de justice n’ont pas pu établir une jurisprudence adéquate pour établir des lignes directrices en cas de violation des droits d’auteur :

Statutory Damages in Copyright Law: A Remedy in Need of Reform
Pamela Samuelson, UC Berkeley School of Law

Tara Wheatland, University of California, Berkeley – School of Law
U.S. copyright law gives successful plaintiffs who promptly registered their works the ability to elect to receive an award of statutory damages, which can be granted in any amount between $750 and $150,000 per infringed work. This provision gives scant guidance about where in that range awards should be made, other than to say that the award should be in amount the court « considers just, » and that the upper end of the spectrum, from $30,000 to $150,000 per infringed work, is reserved for awards against « willful » infringers. Courts have largely failed to develop a jurisprudence to guide decision-making about compensatory statutory damage awards in ordinary infringement cases or about strong deterrent or punitive damage awards in willful infringement cases. As a result, awards of statutory damages are frequently arbitrary, inconsistent, unprincipled, and sometimes grossly excessive.

This Article argues that such awards are not only inconsistent with Congressional intent in establishing the statutory damage regime, but also with principles of due process articulated in the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on punitive damage awards. Drawing upon some cases in which statutory damage awards have been consistent with Congressional intent and with the due process jurisprudence, this Article articulates principles upon which a sound jurisprudence for copyright statutory damage awards could be built. Nevertheless, legislative reform of the U.S. statutory damage rules may be desirable.

Assez paradoxal comme article, puisque les quatre responsables du site d’échange de liens vers du contenu The Pirate Bay viennent d’écoper d’un an de prison chaque et des millions de dollars de dommages et intérêts.

Canada Commerce et Compagnies Crimes Droit d'auteur États-Unis Rapport et étude Revendication

Le Canada, toujours un pays de pirates

À chaque année, l’International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA),
un lobby de l’industrie culturelle américaine, présente un rapport au U.S. Trade Representative, le « ministère » du commerce international aux USA, concernant l’état de la législation de la propriété intellectuelle dans des pays jugés à risque. Puisqu’il est édicté par un article précis de la loi, il est nommé « Section 301 Report ».

Comme le précise le communiqué annoncant la diffusion du rapport,

Canada continues to merit elevation to the Priority Watch List. Alone among developed economies in the OECD, Canada has taken no meaningful steps toward modernizing its copyright law to meet the global minimum standards of the WIPO Internet Treaties, which it signed more than a decade ago, and to which virtually all other OECD members have adhered. Although the government’s top leaders acknowledged many of these deficiencies and the need
for copyright reform over two years ago, such reform has not been undertaken.

Le rapport complet pour 2009 place le Canada sur la liste « prioritaire » de pays à observer. La raison principale est simplement que nous n’avons pas encore mis en oeuvre les Traités d’internet de l’Organisation Mondiale de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OMPI) de 1996. Par contre, il n’est pas clair que les actions des canadiens portent un préjudice sérieux aux intérêt économique des ayant-droits aux USA.

La position de ce rapport concerne UNIQUEMENT les intérêt des grosses entreprises amécicaines. Nous devons considérer ce texte en sa juste valeur, c’est à dire une prise de position qui renie les droits à l’appropriation culturelle, le dialogue et la médiation des positions divergentes en lien avec une réforme du droit d’auteur balancée et équitable.

Crimes États-Unis Images Utilisation équitable

Questions d'icône

Voici un curieux cas de violation du droit d’auteur qui implique l’image du président Barrack Obama. Suite à l’acquisition du portrait créé par Shepard Fairey par la National Portrait Gallery des USA, l’Associate Press prétend que l’artiste californien a violé le droit d’auteur d’un de ses photographes en adaptant une de leur photo. Voir aussi les détails du quotidien montréalais Le Devoir.

Crimes Musique Rapport et étude

Rapport sur le téléchargement dit illégal

Guillaume Bourgault-Côté nous indique à la première page du quotidien montréalais Le Devoir aujourd’hui que 95% des chansons téléchargées le sont illégalement. Son article, intitulé « Téléchargement de musique – Les pirates demeurent les rois » précise que :

C’est là le calcul fait par la Fédération internationale de l’industrie phonographique (IFPI), qui dévoilait cette fin de semaine son Digital Music Report 2009, dans le cadre du MIDEM (Marché international de la musique) qui se déroule à Cannes. L’IFPI représente environ 1400 maisons de disques réparties dans 70 pays.

Selon les estimations de l’organisme, ce sont 40 milliards de chansons qui sont passées en 2008 du cyberespace aux oreilles des mélomanes de manière illégale.

L’étude d’une trentaine de pages en anglais est diffusée gratuitement dans le site de l’IFPI. Le communiqué de l’IFPI précise que :

Single track downloads, up 24 per cent in 2008 to 1.4 billion units globally, continue to drive the online market, but digital albums are also growing healthily (up 36%). The top-selling digital single of 2008 was Lil Wayne’s Lollipop with sales of 9.1 million units – 1.8 million more than the 2007 best selling digital single.

The Report also shows how the digital age is expanding the role of music companies in developing and marketing artists and it outlines the progress being made internationally in getting ISPs to cooperate to curb mass-scale copyright infringement on their networks.

John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of IFPI, says: « The recorded music industry is reinventing itself and its business models. Music companies have changed their whole approach to doing business, reshaped their operations and responded to the dramatic transformation in the way music is distributed and consumed.

Crimes Gouvernance Internet Musique

Duke U. protège ses étudiants

Duke University modifie sa politique sur le droit d’auteur pour protéger l’anonymat de ses étudiants selon Christine Hall, The Chronicle (12 déc 2008, Cyber Stealing: The truth about Duke’s downloading policy :

A new Duke policy requires evidence of the transaction between both the student who acts as a server for the copyrighted material and the party that downloads from them.

Moneta adds, however, that Duke’s new policy is one of the most protective policies of individual privacy in America.

« This new policy is a novel approach, » Moneta says. « I’m imagining it will be within a matter of days that my colleagues around the country will be contacting me asking, ‘What’s up, and has the RIAA come down to hammer you about this?' »

Those peer institutions have dealt with the threats from the RIAA in different ways. Until recently, Duke’s policy was like that of many schools across the U.S.: to deliver RIAA messages to students without discretion, without taking judicial action against student offenders.

Duke’s recent policy change came about when administrators realized that the RIAA often served notices without sufficient evidence that students had actually violated copyright law.

Christine Hall, The Chronicle (12 déc 2008, Cyber Stealing: The truth about Duke’s downloading policy