3 Count: Spaced Out

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1: US-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal Carries Copyright Implications Across Borders

First off today, Claudia Rosenbaum at Billboard reports that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump have reached an agreement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a trade deal between the three countries.

Part of the deal addresses copyright issues and would see both Canada and Mexico adopt key aspects of U.S. copyright law. The highlights of this would include a 20-year copyright term extension for Canada and Mexico, extending it to the life of the author plus 70 years for works of individual authorship, and implementing safe harbor provisions similar to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Though rightsholders have expressed broad support for the agreement, they’ve also expressed concern over the broader implementation of safe harbors. They say that such safe harbors, if expanded, could further devalue music on user-generated content sites, such as YouTube, and harm rightsholders ability to negotiate fair contracts with streaming sites.

2: The Pirate Bay Seems to Be Testing a Streaming Option Again

Next up today, Aliya Chaudhry at The Verge reports that The Pirate Bay has launched a new service, BayStream, that allows users to play illegal movies and TV shows directly from the site rather than having to download it to their computer first.

This isn’t The Pirate Bay’s first attempted at providing a streaming service. Back in 2016 the site enabled the Torrents Time plugin that allowed users to stream BitTorrent content in their browser. However, the new site allows for streaming in much higher quality and represents their first in-house effort to move to streaming.

The move is likely a response to recent shifts in the piracy landscape that has seen download sites, like The Pirate Bay, lose ground to streaming websites. That trend follows one in the legitimate market where users have moved to streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, instead of purchasing copies.

3: SpaceX Just Retroactively Put Copyright Restrictions on Its Photos

Finally today, Karl Bode at Vice reports that the private space exploration company SpaceX has changed the copyright license on its Flickr photos, making them no longer available for unrestricted use, switching to a Creative Commons license.

In 2015 Motherboard and other pundits asked if the move to private space exploration would mean losing public access to space imagery. Since NASA is a federal agency, it’s photos and other works are public domain. SpaceX responded to this query by making all of its Flickr photos CC0, which makes them free for any use at any time with or without attribution.

However, the account has since changed with all of the images being placed underneath a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic. This means that the photos can not be used for commercial purposes and require attribution when they are used. Many fear that this may cause confusion about when and how SpaceX photos can be used and may lead to greater reluctance in sharing them.

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