/** Tools */

01 July 2005

Copyright & Law - Rip. Mix. Burn

A surprising burst of rationality from the Economist following the Senate/Grokster ruling:
"In America, the length of copyright protection has increased enormously over the past century, from around 28 years to as much as 95 years. The same trend can be seen in other countries. In June Britain signalled that it may extend its copyright term from 50 years to around 90 years.

This makes no sense.

Copyright was originally intended to encourage publication by granting publishers a temporary monopoly on works so they could earn a return on their investment. But the internet and new digital technologies have made the publication and distribution of works much easier and cheaper.

Publishers should therefore need fewer, not more, property rights to protect their investment.

Technology has tipped the balance in favour of the public domain."

Source: The Economist
This organic tipping-of-balance that technology has lent itself to, especially since the advent of high-speed digital media, is no bad thing when you remember that 'the public domain' is the domain in which all of us live.

The 'public domain', dear reader, is your public domain. It is the public domain of you, your family, your friends and your colleagues.

The Antagonist suggests that it would be wise for us all to remember our part, and the part of everyone we know and love, in the public domain as we read stories of billion-dollar, international industries issuing legal threats against relatively impoverished individuals in the 'public domain'.

While we're on the subject of considering rational approaches to the issue of copyright, below are a few other articles which explain more about the rights of everyone that are lost to copyrights when such 'rights' are used against the public interest they were designed to protect:
Misinterpreting Copyright by Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Softare Federation.

Time To Give Up On Copyright Law? by Ed Quillen.

Copyright Creators, Proprietors & Users from the Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society.

RIAA's Statistics Don't Add Up to Piracy by George Ziemann.
More demystification soon...

No comments: