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Copyright Advocacy's Next Steps Discussed At Two-Day D.C. Summit
On June 4–5 in Washington, D.C., the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers' World Creators Summit focused the global creative community's attention on today's intellectual property issues. In his keynote speech, ASCAP President and Chairman and GRAMMY-winning songwriter Paul Williams said, "Forces that want to control and diminish the value of our work for their own economic benefit are systematically attacking the rights of creators. They are methodically attacking the validity of copyright laws." Lawmakers involved in Congress' comprehensive review of copyright law spoke with entertainment industry executives about finding the right balance between protection for creators and technological innovation. Additionally, new umbrella group Link held its first meeting at the summit, aiming to operate as a think tank and coordinate international advocacy by creators and by the organizations that represent their interests and livelihoods. Overall, the event presented a sense of optimism as artists continue to strive for the respect and compensation they deserve.
European Digital Chief Outlines Upcoming Net Neutrality Regulations
European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes gave a preview of the approach she is developing to protect Europe's open Internet and Net neutrality, speaking during a European Parliament event on June 4. Kroes will rely on the general categories of innovation, transparency, choice and competition, and she criticized Internet service providers that engage in anti-competitive conduct. "Many Europeans expect protection against such commercial tactics," Kroes said, "and that is exactly the EU safeguard we will be providing. A safeguard for every European, on every device, on every network: a guarantee of access to the full and open Internet, without any blocking or throttling of competing services." Kroes warned that ideological approaches or slogans trivialize the challenge to find the right balance of "when to step in and set out rules; or when to hold back and let people make their own choices."
Online Tweens And Teens Deceive Overwhelmed Parents
On June 4 consumer digital security company McAfee released the results of a study "exploring the online disconnect between parents and kids." One may find oneself suppressing a guilty chuckle at the gap separating Internet-empowered kids and their parents, who are mostly reduced to hoping for the best. As one example, the study showed 41 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 12 use mobile apps on smart phones and must contend with password security their parents put in place. On the parents' side, 60 percent believe their kids do not know the password. On the kids' side, 92 percent know it and can bypass security. Those kids surveyed are also not allowed to have Facebook accounts based on the company's terms of service, but 85 percent do, and 58 percent are confident they can hide their online activity from their parents. "The onus really is upon the parents to accelerate their digital savvy and be actively engaged on educating their kids about how to live safely online," said McAfee Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer Michelle Dennedy.
Quick Roundup Of Major News On The Patent Front
Several important announcements were made on June 4 regarding patents, the other major form of intellectual property beside copyrights. Perhaps most significantly, the White House weighed in against so-called patent trolls with "five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations designed to protect innovators from frivolous litigation and ensure the highest-quality patents in our system." Additionally, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that imports of some older Apple iPhone and iPad models should be banned because the devices infringe a patent held by Samsung. In related news, China's State Intellectual Property Office signed on to adopt the same patent classification system currently used by Europe and the United States.
The Recording Academy actively represents the music community on such issues as intellectual property rights, music piracy, archiving and preservation, and censorship concerns. In pursuing its commitment to addressing these and other issues, The Recording Academy undertakes a variety of national initiatives. ArtsWatch is a key part of an agenda aimed at raising public awareness of and support for the rights of artists. To become more involved, visit Advocacy Action @ GRAMMY.com and sign up for Advocacy Action E-lerts.
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