1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Copyright wars are damaging the health of the internet

Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
War is Peace
I don't always agree with what Cory Doctorow has to say, and indeed I disagree with some fundamental points he makes in the article I am linking to here - but it is food for thought: if nothing else. Like Mr Doctorow, I do sometimes wonder if governments use the "fight against piracy" and the threat of internet porn (for example) as little more than useful excuses to increase surveillance and control on the internet, and censor and govern cyberspace.  But I don't see why existing content owners and those who have invested time energy and money in creating copyrighted works should see these used in new services and business models without some form of recompense - or be forced to participate in schemes so haphazard an stupid that they will never survive. I am not convinced 'internet freedom' rests on the wholesale infringement of other's rights. But, enough of that, you might well find the article linked to of interest, and as a taster, Mr Doctorow writes 

 "I've sat through more presentations about the way to solve the copyright wars than I've had hot dinners, and all of them has fallen short of the mark. That's because virtually everyone with a solution to the copyright wars is worried about the income of artists, while I'm worried about the health of the Internet 

Oh, sure, I worry about the income of artists, too, but that's a secondary concern. After all, practically everyone who ever set out to earn a living from the arts has failed – indeed, a substantial portion of those who try end up losing money in the bargain."

More at http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2013/mar/28/copyright-wars-internet

3 comments:

Jim Killock said...

Hi Ben, you ask:

"I don't see why existing content owners and those who have invested time energy and money in creating copyrighted works should see those used in new services and business models without and some form of recompense - or be forced to participate in schemes so haphazard and stupid that they will never survive."

I'd agree, but the question is whether the Internet needs extra regulation to achieve the goal you state (working businesses) or simply investment and marketing.

From where I sit, it feels that many rights holders have been cautious and demanded policies that result in reductions in infringement before ramping up investment.

Yet new restrictions don't seem to result in behaviour change of a positive kind. That seems to flow from attractive legal services.

Ben said...

You are right of course - some of the legislative changes asked for by the film and music companies amongst others have been quite disturbing and their concerns could have so easily been allayed by better (and more realistic) business models. But personally Jim, I am much more worried about the lobbying power of the tech companies - the likes of Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and the ISPs: in my own mind the tech companies have been far more effective than the content industries in modelling the internet to their own ends. You may have seen the article published today (again in the Guardian)looking at their ever increasing lobbying power. Even more food for thought - or indigestion! "Titans of tech raise millions to enter the political arena" at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/30/facebook-google-twitter-political-lobbying .

Ben said...

And another opinion here - "Beware the lure of Zuckerberg's cool capitalism" - by Nick Cohen


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/31/beware-zuckerberg-cool-capitalism