Update: December 7, 2013
The Sidi Gaber Minor Offenses Court on December 7 commuted the sentences for the 21 female Brotherhood protestors. The 14 young women received a 1 year suspended sentence, while the 7 girls were ordered to be released subject to the three months of probation.
Stephanie Lenz’s effort to hold Universal Music Group accountable for abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to take down a home video of her toddler “dancing” to Prince in the kitchen is one step closer to fruition. Today, EFF and co-counsel Keker & Van Nest LLP filed an opening brief on behalf of Ms. Lenz in the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. And, as we explain in the brief, the case concerns whether Internet users—from Ms. Lenz to remix artists to scholars to documentary filmmakers—have any real protection against wrongful accusations of copyright infringement.Privacy info. This embed will serve content from youtube.com
Over the years, the case has garnered a great deal of media coverage. One reason for the interest is that Ms. Lenz was accused of infringement for doing something parents do all the time: documenting and sharing precious moments in the lives of their children. And it was not infringement: Ms. Lenz’s video was an obvious fair use, and protected expression under the First Amendment. Unfortunately, Universal's takedown policy was blind to fair use, and, therefore, guaranteed to result in these kinds of takedowns.
Section 512(f) of the DMCA is supposed to prevent this kind of abuse, by allowing users to hold copyright holders accountable when they misrepresent, in a DMCA notice, that the copy posted online is infringing. Universal claims that Congress never intended to require content owners to consider fair use before sending such notices.
Universal is wrong. When it passed the DMCA, Congress didn’t intend to give copyright holders a broad power to make other people’s speech disappear, without robust protection against abuse. That’s why Congress required copyright holders to consider whether a given use is authorized by law, as well as whether the copyright owner or its agent gave permission.
The brief also urges the Court to clarify that the sender of a takedown notice is required make reasonable determinations about the law. In other words, if a copyright holder is going to claim someone violates copyright law, it should first have some idea of what qualifies as a violation. Too often, we have seen copyright owners send takedown notices informed by only the vaguest notion of what actually qualifies as infringement. As we explain:
A law that grants a private actor the power to do what even a court cannot—cause the prior restraint of speech based on a purely ex parte review—alters not only the traditional contours of copyright protection but of our fundamental free speech doctrines. Such a law can only be tolerated, if at all, if the exercise of that power is tied to an obligation to understand what the law is, and to make reasonable assertions based on that understanding.
Ms. Lenz’s case offers the Ninth Circuit an opportunity to confirm that the DMCA balance remains what Congress intended and what the statute plainly provides. Let's hope the court takes it.var mytubes = new Array(1); mytubes = '%3Ciframe src=%22http://www.youtube.com/embed/N1KfJHFWlhQ?rel=1%26amp;autoplay=1%26amp;wmode=opaque%26?autoplay=1%22 width=%22400%22 height=%22250%22 class=%22video-filter video-youtube vf-n1kfjhfwlhq%22 frameborder=%220%22%3E%3C/iframe%3E'; Files: lenz.opening.public.pdfRelated Issues: Free SpeechIntellectual PropertyDMCARelated Cases: Lenz v. Universal
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This is a joint post with Maria Cecilia Ramirez.
This week, CGD’s Latin America Initiative hosted the members of the Latin American Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (CLAAF) for a fruitful three-day discussion on the main issues affecting the Latin American economic and financial outlook.
The main driver of our discussion was the ongoing change in the external economic environment facing Latin America. The US Federal Reserve’s May 22nd announcement on the possible “tapering” of its assets purchase program signaled that the era of lax monetary policy, which benefited most emerging economies, is bound to end sooner or later. As a matter of fact, capital flows to the main emerging market economies have since started to decelerate. In addition, lower demand growth coming from India and China are impacting negatively the region’s economic growth. In this sense, the lack of key reforms to boost Latin America’s productivity levels to sustain long-term growth is a deep concern.
It is clear that the bonanza years are over, and the new scenario is presenting new challenges and risks to Latin America and other emerging market economies. But, is Latin America ready? We think that the presence of a number of vulnerabilities built during the bonanza years could affect the region’s capacity to effectively deal with adversity. Thus it could be less prepared than conventional indicators would predict.
First, Latin American countries are showing current account deficits of about 4-6% of GDP, stemming from large private sector leveraging and worsening fiscal deficits. This contrasts sharply with the pre-global crisis situation, when the region displayed fiscal and current account surpluses. Second, if a scenario of lower economic growth in the region materializes, it could translate into higher unemployment and, therefore, higher fiscal deficits via lower tax collection and greater expenditure in social safety nets.
Third, high international liquidity and low interest rates may have fostered an overvaluation of assets prices, an unusual bank credit expansion, as well as higher foreign debt issuance by domestic firms. A crucial risk that seems to have gone unnoticed is a private sector currency mismatch: firms have to honor their debt in foreign currency, but their bank deposits are denominated in domestic currency. Hence a strong depreciation could create insolvency problems in the corporate sector, which would in turn affect banks’ balance sheets. This points out that we could be in presence of a serious risk mispricing in the banking system.
Last, policymakers’ response to economic turmoil has the potential to trigger further problems in the economy. For example, fiscal stimulus in a scenario of dwindling growth might not be appropriate, given the recent weakening of fiscal accounts, and the risk of losing access to external financing under a scenario of abrupt interruption of capital inflows (commonly known as a sudden stop)
Taking these risks into account, we have identified four key aspects that policymakers in the region, and other emerging economies, should be aware of when trying to deal with the challenges lying ahead:
- A clear priority is to go beyond the traditional indicators of economic and financial stability, and to place special emphasis on assessing the sources and magnitude of any potential hidden debts in the economy.
- Despite the huge international reserves accumulation observed over the past years, current reserves stocks in the region might not be enough to cope with a potential sudden stop. A proper buildup of international reserves is an essential tool to deal with capital flows interruptions.
- When taking policy decisions in the event of a sudden stop, policymakers must be aware that any monetary policy response entails an implicit decision between higher employment and higher income inequality. For example, recent research demonstrates that choosing a flexible exchange rate helps to bring down unemployment (via higher inflation and lower real wages), but could also induce higher income inequality (via a lower labor share on total income).
- Policymakers should try to minimize the impact of a sudden stop on medium-term growth. One way to do so is to tackle lower aggregate demand by prioritizing the stability of investment over that of consumption.
Click here to read our public statement and some relevant related academic material.Authors: Liliana Rojas-Suarez View Profile
For more news and analysis on these and other weapons-related security issues, consider subscribing to ACA’s monthly journal Arms Control Today. Available in print/digital and digital-only subscriptions.
- the Editors at Arms Control Today
Inspectors to Visit Iran Nuclear Facility on Dec. 8
UN inspectors are scheduled to visit the Arak heavy-water production plant on Dec. 8 for the first time in more than two years. Iran is opening the plant, which is designed to supply a reactor under construction nearby, to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as part of its Nov. 24 agreement with world powers. In the so-called framework agreement, Iran agreed to allow the IAEA additional monitoring and on-site inspections.
See “Assessing the First-Phase Deal to Guard Against a Nuclear-Armed Iran” (ACA Issue Brief, Dec. 2, 2013)
Experts from Iran, World Powers Meet on Dec. 8-9
The technical details of the implementation of the Nov. 24 agreement will be discussed by experts from the P5+1 countries and Iran in Vienna on Dec. 8-9.
Kerry to Defend Iran Deal on Capitol Hill on Dec. 10
More Hill Discussions on Iran…
“Making Sense of Nuclear Negotiations with Iran: A Good Deal or a Bad Deal?” Discussion with Alireza Nader, Daryl Kimball, and Paul Pillar at 2168 Rayburn House Office Building. Dec. 10 from 2:00-3:00. RSVP by calling Kurt Card at (703) 413-1100 ext. 5259 or online.
“Avoiding Future Irans: A New Course for U.S. Nonproliferation Policy.” Discussion with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Brad Sherman, Sen. Ed Markey (invited), Mark Wallace, Daryl Kimball, Kingston Reif, Christopher Paine, and Robert Zarate at B338 Rayburn House Office Building. Dec. 11 from 11:45-1:30. RSVP here.
Iran and IAEA Talks to Resume Dec. 11
Experts from Iran and the IAEA will meet in Vienna to discuss implementation of the six measures the two parties agreed to on November 11. Besides opening up the Arak facility to inspectors, Iran has agreed to provide: access to its uranium mine; information about new research reactors; information about 16 sites designated for the construction of nuclear power plants; information about additional enrichment facilities; and plans for laser enrichment technology.
Chemical Watchdog to Receive Nobel Prize on Dec. 10
The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in Oslo, Norway on Dec. 10. The ceremony will recognize the work of the 190 member states that have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Syria Disarmament Effort Facing Security Challenges
Poor security conditions in Syria are threatening plans of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to transport Syria’s bulk chemical arsenal out of the country for destruction. The OPCW planned to start moving the chemicals on the highway connecting Damascus to the port city of Latakia for transfer to Danish cargo vessel by Dec. 31 and then to a U.S. ship where the material will be neutralized, but UN officials say they have been unable to travel on the road because of the threat of violence.
For the latest on the subject, see Dan Horner’s report in this month’s issue of Arms Control Today.
Defense Authorization Bill Expected in the Senate Dec. 9
Delayed from before the Thanksgiving break, the Senate will again seek to pass its version of the National Defense Authorization Act; the House has already passed its version of the bill.
See “On Nukes, Senate Should Not Tie President’s Hands“ (ACA Issue Brief, Nov. 20, 2013)
- WHO Experts To Narrow Health R&D Projects For Developing Countries At December Meeting
- Medical R&D Projects Proposed By WHO Regions Show Diversity
- WHO Calls For Proposals To Finance R&D For Diseases Affecting Developing World
We are proud to announce that Action Against Hunger is teaming up with international music superstar Justin Bieber for a global campaign on the celebrity fundraising platform Prizeo to raise awareness and funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Donate to win a chance to meet Justin Bieber
The grand-prize winner receives a trip for two to Los Angeles in early 2014 to join Justin Bieber in the studio to watch and listen to him record new music. Want to get involved? Thanks to Prizeo’s innovative micro-donation platform, you can enter to win without breaking the bank: donations of $10 or more are eligible for exclusive rewards, including a campaign T-shirt, signed lyric sheets, and a pair of VIP tickets to the upcoming “Believe” movie premiere. Prizes will also be awarded to the “Biggest Sharers” who raise the most funds by recruiting friends and family to donate.
All these amazing prizes are Bieber’s way of thanking his fans for their support of Philippines disaster relief efforts. In a statement about the campaign, he expressed hope that his efforts would inspire his fan base to take action and help those affected by the typhoon:
“When I heard about the massive scale of the Typhoon Haiyan disaster, I wanted to help in any way I could. One of the best ways I can do that is to bring a major fundraising effort to my fans all around the world—especially via social media. Prizeo will make it easy for them to donate and to share the information with all their friends, hopefully maximizing the funds we can raise for the relief efforts.”
– Justin BieberYou can make a difference
Since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in early November, our teams have been on the ground delivering lifesaving aid to hundreds of thousands of people in need. Our relief efforts are made possible by our generous friends and supporters, and Robert Kelty, Action Against Hunger’s Global Campaign director, is confident that this campaign will galvanize even more people to help:
“We cannot thank Justin enough for stepping forward, and for volunteering to empower his immense international network of fans to get involved as well. For a campaign of this magnitude and a cause this urgent, we needed a strong, scalable technology platform to handle the level of traffic we expect Justin’s campaign will generate. Activating a massive fan base like Justin's will generate a great deal of awareness around these crucial relief efforts, and Prizeo will make it easy to translate that awareness into action.”
– Robert Kelty, Global Campaigns Director, Action Against Hunger
We’re so thrilled to be a part of this campaign that will generate even more support for our critical work in the Philippines. We hope you’re excited too! Help us spread the word about the campaign by using the hashtag #GiveBackPhilippines on your social networks—and don’t forget to enter to win a chance to meet Justin Bieber!2013 Typhoon Haiyan Philippines Emergency Response Top Featured Post No
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CONTACTS: Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, email@example.com
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Deepwater Horizon Trustees Release Draft Early Restoration Plan
Natural Resource Damage Assessment Process Moves Forward
(New Orleans, LA—December 6, 2013) Today, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees have released their draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) and their draft Restoration Plan for Phase III of early NRDA restoration projects. These projects, which were first announced April 30, will be funded through the $1 billion early NRDA funds that BP agreed to invest in restoration of damaged natural resources resulting from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster.
Leading national and local conservation organizations working on Mississippi River Delta restoration — Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana — released the following statement in response:
“More than three years after the largest oil spill in our nation’s history, today’s announcement is a positive step toward healing the battered Gulf. The Natural Resource Damage Assessment process moving forward through release of the PEIS signifies progress toward restoration. We encourage the NRDA trustees, BP and stakeholders to continue working together to implement these early restoration projects and help revive the Gulf Coast’s struggling natural resources.
“The trustees’ commitment to funding environmental projects in Louisiana, including nearly $320 million proposed for barrier island restoration, is an exciting advancement toward restoring the Mississippi River Delta. Barrier islands provide critical storm protection and are the first line of defense for New Orleans and other coastal communities. They also provide habitat for migrating birds and other wildlife, including the Louisiana brown pelican. These early restoration funds will help rebuild four barrier islands, including the Breton Island National Wildlife Refuge, which was ground zero during the oil spill.
“We look forward to reviewing and providing public comments on the draft PEIS and to working with the NRDA Trustees during the public comment period and the implementation stage to complete these vital restoration efforts. The communities and economies of the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River Delta have waited long enough for restoration, and these early restoration projects are a key step toward fairness and recovery.”