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Who wins when copyrightand free speech clash?Graham Smith@cyberleagleORGCon 2013London, 8 June 2013
Page 2Outline● Freedom of expression as law● Copyright and freedom of expression● 10 intersections• Digital and online cop...
Free speech as an idealIf liberty means anything at all, it meansthe right to tell people what they do notwant to hear.― G...
Freedom of expression as law
Freedom of expression as law
Page 61948Amendment IFreedoms, Petitions, AssemblyCongress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the p...
Page 71950
Page 8
Page 9"But a freedom which is restricted to what judges think to be responsible orin the public interest is no freedom.Fre...
Page 102000
Page 11How do fundamental rights bite?Effect in court – external corrective● Interpret legislation● Develop common law● In...
Page 12Rules of engagement (Europe)● Is freedom of expression engaged?● Is the interference prescribed by law?● Is it nece...
And when copyright meets free speech?
"Copyright does not lie on the same continuum as, nor isit the antithesis of, freedom of expression."Mance L.J. Hyde Park ...
Copyright v free speechPage 15"Thus copyright is antithetical to freedom of expression. Itprevents all, save the owner of ...
How does copyright engage free speech?
Page 17Ten axes of intersectionEXPRESSION TOIDEASEXPRESSION TOOPINIONORIGINALITY TOFACTSDISSEMINATION TOREFERENCEZERO TO P...
Page 181.Idea/expression dichotomy● WIPO Copyright Treaty 1996:• “Copyright protection extends to expressions and not toid...
Page 191.Idea/expression dichotomy● Relationship to freedom of expression• Chilling effect of preventing the copying of id...
Page 202.Opinion ranks high in hierarchy of protected speech● Significant potential for copyright to interfere• How can yo...
Page 212.EU copyright exceptions not always enough● Backstop - fundamental right of free speech● Unsuccessful• Ashdown v T...
Nadia Plesner – Darfurnica/Simple LivingExhibition T-shirts, posters, website (profits to charity)The Hague District Court...
Page 233.● “[1st Amendment accommodation by] … permitting freecommunication of facts while still protecting an author’sexp...
Page 243.● Backstop - fundamental right of free speech• HFA v FIFA (photomontage picture of FIFA World Cup“inseparable fro...
Page 254.● Prevention of dissemination of infringing copies● Referring to existence/location of infringing copies● Freedom...
Page 265.● Copyright term● Freedom of expression engagement• Orphan works?● Two unsuccessful attempts to challenge term ex...
Page 276.Who infringes?● Background• Pre-digital copyright- Plagiarists, manufacturers and distributors- Head of the chain...
Page 287.Degree of involvement?● Volitional act; causing infringing act● Facilitate, enable?● Accessory liability for acts...
Page 298.Acts restricted by copyright● Copying● Communication (including making available) to the public• Inherent engagem...
Page 309.Remedies for infringement● Criminal v civil• Liability triggers● For criminal• Imprisonment versus fines● For civ...
Page 319.Sanctions for online infringement● Simplified – not legal advice!!Pennies PrisonUK Download BrowseView streamUplo...
Page 3210.● Focus of remedies• Targeted on infringing material• Potential to affect non-infringing material● Engagement wi...
Copyright v free speech - Who wins?● No contest● Contest opens• Occasional wins for free speech in national courts in Euro...
Graham Smithgraham.smith@twobirds.com@cyberleagleBlog: www.cyberleagle.comBird & Bird is an international legal practice c...
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Who wins when copyright and free speech clash?

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Presentation to ORGCon 2013, London, 8 June 2013

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Who wins when copyright and free speech clash?

  1. 1. Who wins when copyrightand free speech clash?Graham Smith@cyberleagleORGCon 2013London, 8 June 2013
  2. 2. Page 2Outline● Freedom of expression as law● Copyright and freedom of expression● 10 intersections• Digital and online copyrightCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  3. 3. Free speech as an idealIf liberty means anything at all, it meansthe right to tell people what they do notwant to hear.― George OrwellI disapprove of what you say, but I willdefend to the death your right to say it.― Evelyn Beatrice Hall, The Friends ofVoltaireBecause if you dont stand up for the stuffyou dont like, when they come for the stuffyou do like, youve already lost.― Neil GaimanGive me the liberty to know, to utter, andto argue freely according toconscience, above all liberties.― John Milton, AreopagiticaWe can never be sure that the opinion weare endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion;and if we were sure, stifling it would be anevil still.– John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859A free press can be good or bad, but, mostcertainly, without freedom a press willnever be anything but bad.– Albert CamusIf all mankind minus one were of oneopinion, mankind would be no morejustified in silencing that one person thanhe, if he had the power, would be justifiedin silencing mankind.– John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859If we dont believe in freedom ofexpression for people we despise, we dontbelieve in it at all.– Noam Chomsky
  4. 4. Freedom of expression as law
  5. 5. Freedom of expression as law
  6. 6. Page 61948Amendment IFreedoms, Petitions, AssemblyCongress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,…1789What do they say about free speech?
  7. 7. Page 71950
  8. 8. Page 8
  9. 9. Page 9"But a freedom which is restricted to what judges think to be responsible orin the public interest is no freedom.Freedom means the right to publish things which government andjudges, however well motivated, think should not be published. It means theright to say things which "right-thinking people" regard asdangerous or irresponsible.This freedom is subject only to clearly defined exceptions laid down bycommon law or statute." Hoffmann L.J., R. v Central Independent TelevisionPlc. Court of Appeal 9 February 1994
  10. 10. Page 102000
  11. 11. Page 11How do fundamental rights bite?Effect in court – external corrective● Interpret legislation● Develop common law● Influence judicial discretion – "may"• Remedies● Declaration of incompatibility (UK HRA)● Override and invalidate – "trump"Copyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  12. 12. Page 12Rules of engagement (Europe)● Is freedom of expression engaged?● Is the interference prescribed by law?● Is it necessary in a democratic society for a legitimate purpose?● Is it proportionate?● Balancing with other fundamental rights and legitimateinterests• Validity of rule• Impact in individual caseCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  13. 13. And when copyright meets free speech?
  14. 14. "Copyright does not lie on the same continuum as, nor isit the antithesis of, freedom of expression."Mance L.J. Hyde Park v Yelland2000Copyright law contains built-in FirstAmendment accommodations (idea/expression dichotomyand fair use)Sup. Ct. Harper & Row v Nation Enterprises1985"Copyright laws are not restrictions on freedom of speechas copyright protects only form of expression and not theideas expressed"Sup. Ct. Brennan J. N.Y. Times v United States1971Copyright v free speechCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  15. 15. Copyright v free speechPage 15"Thus copyright is antithetical to freedom of expression. Itprevents all, save the owner of the copyright, fromexpressing information in the form of the literary workprotected by the copyright."Court of Appeal (Lord Phillips) Ashdown v Telegraph Group Ltd2001"… nothing whatsoever … to suggest that [intellectualproperty] is inviolable and must for that reason beabsolutely protected. … must be balanced against theprotection of other fundamental rights. " CJEU, SABAM vScarlet2011Publication of photographs on a fashion website wasexercise of freedom of expression and conviction forcopyright infringement interfered with that. ECt HR , DonaldAshby.2013Copyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  16. 16. How does copyright engage free speech?
  17. 17. Page 17Ten axes of intersectionEXPRESSION TOIDEASEXPRESSION TOOPINIONORIGINALITY TOFACTSDISSEMINATION TOREFERENCEZERO TO PERPETUITYSUPPLIERS TO USERSPARTICIPATION TOFACILITATIONCOPYING TOCOMMUNICATINGPENNIES TO PRISONTARGETED TOSCATTERGUNSCOPEWHODOINGWHAT?REMEDIES
  18. 18. Page 181.Idea/expression dichotomy● WIPO Copyright Treaty 1996:• “Copyright protection extends to expressions and not toideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematicalconcepts as such.”● Written into US copyright law:• “In no case does copyright protection for an original work ofauthorship extend to any idea … concept, principle… ” (S102(b))● Not written in to UK Copyright Act – question of degree● Written into some EU law e.g. Software DirectiveExpression IdeasCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  19. 19. Page 191.Idea/expression dichotomy● Relationship to freedom of expression• Chilling effect of preventing the copying of ideas• “ … copyright law contains built-in First Amendmentaccommodations. … First, it distinguishes between ideasand expression and makes only the latter eligible forcopyright protection.” U.S. Sup. Ct. Eldred v AshcroftExpression IdeasCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  20. 20. Page 202.Opinion ranks high in hierarchy of protected speech● Significant potential for copyright to interfere• How can you criticise without quoting?● Copyright makes exceptions for opinion• Fair use (USA)• Fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review ofpublished works (UK)- cf EU Copyright Directive• Parody?Expression OpinionCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  21. 21. Page 212.EU copyright exceptions not always enough● Backstop - fundamental right of free speech● Unsuccessful• Ashdown v Telegraph (public interest defence) (UK 2001)● Successful• Germania 3 (play commenting on Brecht’s politics in 1950s)(DE Federal Constitutional Court 2000)• Medienprofessor (engagement in public debate – responseto newspaper criticism) 4 Ob 140 01 (AT Supreme Court, 12June 2001).• Scientology v XS4ALL (public criticism) (NL Hague CA2003)Expression OpinionCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  22. 22. Nadia Plesner – Darfurnica/Simple LivingExhibition T-shirts, posters, website (profits to charity)The Hague District Court, May 2011 – preliminary judgment● “… the interest of Plesner to (continue to) be able toexpress her (artistic) opinion through the work "SimpleLiving" should outweigh the interest of Louis Vuitton inthe peaceful enjoyment of its possession [exclusive rightsto the use of the design].”● “the illustration is to be regarded as a lawful statementof the (artistic) opinion of Plesner … The order …will therefore be quashed in its entirety.”Page 22Copyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  23. 23. Page 233.● “[1st Amendment accommodation by] … permitting freecommunication of facts while still protecting an author’sexpression.” (U.S. Sup. Ct. Eldred v Ashcroft)● Freedom of expression engagement• Low originality threshold can impact ability torecommunicate facts imparted via copyright work- Database right…● Mitigated by exceptions from copyright• UK: Fair dealing for purpose of reporting current events (notphotographs)Originality FactsCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  24. 24. Page 243.● Backstop - fundamental right of free speech• HFA v FIFA (photomontage picture of FIFA World Cup“inseparable from the act of informing the public on thecourse of this major news event”) (FR C de C 2007)Originality FactsCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  25. 25. Page 254.● Prevention of dissemination of infringing copies● Referring to existence/location of infringing copies● Freedom of expression engagement• Access to information and knowledge● Web linking• “The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States …addresses the right to speak. The right to make reference tosomething is inherent in that right. On the web, to makereference without making a link is possible but ineffective - likespeaking but with a paper bag over your head.” (Tim Berners-Lee)• Universal v Reimerdes (Nov 2001 2nd Cir. Ct. App.) (DECSS)- US 1st Amendment arguments rejected (functional v speechelements)Dissemination ReferenceCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  26. 26. Page 265.● Copyright term● Freedom of expression engagement• Orphan works?● Two unsuccessful attempts to challenge term extensions in USA• Eldred v Ashcroft• Golan v Holder● 1st Amendment arguments unsuccessfulZero PerpetuityCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  27. 27. Page 276.Who infringes?● Background• Pre-digital copyright- Plagiarists, manufacturers and distributors- Head of the chain (strict liability)- Middlemen (with knowledge)- Not purchasers, borrowers, readers, viewers• Post-digital extended reach - users- Accidental result of digital revolution● Freedom of expression engagement• Chilling effect of imposing liability on users• Pending EU Court of Justice Meltwater referralSuppliers UsersCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  28. 28. Page 287.Degree of involvement?● Volitional act; causing infringing act● Facilitate, enable?● Accessory liability for acts of others● Freedom of expression engagement• The more tenuous the involvement:- Collateral damage to legitimate activities- Impact on online intermediaries- Engines of free flow of information• Deterrence of legitimate activities (chilling effect)• Incentivising over-removal (notice and takedown)Participation FacilitationCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  29. 29. Page 298.Acts restricted by copyright● Copying● Communication (including making available) to the public• Inherent engagement with freedom of expression- Cf Donald Ashby• Web linking- Newzbin2 and others- Pending EU Court of Justice linking/framing references- Svensson (unauthorised links to genuine site)- Die Realitat (unauthorised links to infringing material)Copying CommunicatingCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  30. 30. Page 309.Remedies for infringement● Criminal v civil• Liability triggers● For criminal• Imprisonment versus fines● For civil• Compensatory v aggravated, punitive, exemplary damages• Compensatory v statutory damages• Damages v injunctions against future dissemination• Penalties for breach of injunctionsPennies PrisonCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  31. 31. Page 319.Sanctions for online infringement● Simplified – not legal advice!!Pennies PrisonUK Download BrowseView streamUploadSupplier User Supplier User UserCivil (strictliability)Criminal(actual ordeemedknowledge)No (non-commercial)No (non-commercial)Copyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  32. 32. Page 3210.● Focus of remedies• Targeted on infringing material• Potential to affect non-infringing material● Engagement with freedom of expression• Interference with right to receive or impart legitimate information- Suspend/terminate internet access- Filtering injunctions against intermediaries- “that injunction could potentially undermine freedom ofinformation since that system might not distinguishadequately between unlawful content and lawfulcontent, with the result that its introduction could leadto the blocking of lawful communications.” SABAM vScarlet (CJEU)- Site blocking injunctionsTargeted ScattergunCopyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  33. 33. Copyright v free speech - Who wins?● No contest● Contest opens• Occasional wins for free speech in national courts in Europe● Recognition at pan-European court level• SABAM v Scarlet (CJEU: free speech prevailed)• Donald Ashby (ECtHR: copyright prevailed)Page 33< 20002000 >2010 >Copyright and free speech | ORGCon 2013© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  34. 34. Graham Smithgraham.smith@twobirds.com@cyberleagleBlog: www.cyberleagle.comBird & Bird is an international legal practice comprising Bird & Bird LLP and its affiliated and associated businesses.Bird & Bird LLP is a limited liability partnership, registered in England and Wales with registered number OC340318 and is authorised and regulated by theSolicitors Regulation Authority. Its registered office and principal place of business is at 15 Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1JP. A list of members of Bird & Bird LLP andof any non-members who are designated as partners, and of their respective professional qualifications, is open to inspection at that address.twobirds.comThank you

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