GigaOm reports that Spotify launched in Germany this past week without backing of GEMA, the German Society of Administration of Copyrights. The organization represents the copyrights of more than 64,000 members, as well as over 2 million copyright owners all over the world. Negotiations between GEMA and Spotify are still ongoing, with the final negotiations said to take place later this month. Spotify has always placed weight on the by-the-books legality of their service, which is why it is interesting they went ahead with the launch.
Elisa, one of the largest internet service providers in Finland, has been forced to block access to The PirateBay for its customers. Elisa issued a press release (in Finnish) on the matter moments ago. The decision was given by a local district court in Helsinki. Elisa has stated that they will seek correction to the decision in supreme court. As of today, all Elisa and Saunalahti (part of the same group) customers will be denied access to ThePirateBay on an operator level, meaning they have denied access to the servers in their name servers.
Last night I came home to read some news that Finland is considering adding a copyright tariff on external hard drives. A similar tariff is added to all different empty media, in this case empty CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes and so on. Now, the Finnish parliament is discussing the possibility of adding this tariff to all external hard drives. It's plain stupidity that will offer artists comfort for a year or so, before it begins to both hurt them and businesses selling hard disks.
This morning the results of perhaps the largest survey in the area of immaterial property rights, conducted in Finland, were released. The findings are based on a sample size of 709 companies, so it can be said to be a notable population. In total, the questionnaire was sent to about 17 000 companies founded after the year 2000. In short, the study suggests that only a third of the companies have understanding of IPR-issues while others have not protected nor even understood to cover their work in any way.
To understand and go about something, the first step is usually the understanding of the different terms related to an issue. With regard to IPR-issues, most companies understood terms such as domain names, patents and copyrights and how these are related to your business. However, the umbrella term immaterial property rights (IPR) was only known by 20% of the companies and how it affects their business.