Since the information transmitted over the internet is often embodied in copyright works, some right owners consequently claim the right to control or at least to participate in the corresponding revenues. They direct their claims to intermediaries at different layers of the network or directly to users. Intermediaries often invoke legal defences such as the safe harbour, but there is also a noticeable track of contracting, in particular whereby collecting societies license so-called “platform operators”. So, while intermediaries often avoid liability or contract it away, users remain threatened by the risk of copyright infringement claims. There is even a prospering “business model” used to “monetize” alleged copyright infringements in which mass “cease and desist” notices are sent to individuals offering them a waiver of claims in exchange for a payment. A rough assessment follows that although various intermediaries have managed to find themselves a legal niche, individuals engaging in non-commercial peer-to-peer file sharing are a legal underdog.
We, at the Modern Poland Foundation, believe it is high time to raise awareness that this unequal treatment of decentralized communications threatens the openness of the Internet, which is essential for the freedom of its users. As we wait for the European Commission’s proposals for changes in the EU copyright framework we hope to open up this conversation and to seriously analyse the problem in order to arrive at concrete solutions. We are particularly interested in opinions on whether and to what extent the current copyright framework unfavourably treats the peer-to-peer non-commercial file sharing and how it can be amended to reconcile user freedom with authors’ interests and revenues.
To reach this end, the Modern Poland Foundation will be hosting its annual CopyCamp conference, this year with a special focus on the Future of Copyright in Europe. This will be the 5th edition of CopyCamp, which in previous years has succeed in bringing together a remarkable number of representatives from cultural institutions and the media, creative sectors, academics, as well as representatives from legal, political and non-governmental circles. All our guests are encouraged to participate in the discussion about the impact of copyright on social life, education, economy and politics in a neutral and friendly setting.
The Conference will take place in Warsaw, from October 27-28th. We are pleased to invite all interested individuals to participate in our open call for presentation submissions. Presentation proposals must be submitted at: https://copycamp.pl/en/contact/register-speaker/. The deadline is 10th August. Please include an abstract of no more than 1800 characters under one of the thematic tracks (detailed description of tracks can be found at: http://copycamp.pl/en/). Presentation should not exceed 10 minutes.
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