Tuesday 25 September 2012

The Digital Age: a thought on users and owners

This blogger recently received information concerning a half-day seminar, "Copyright in the Digital Age: What Users Say and Do About Intellectual Property", which will be held on 28 November 2012 in the lovely setting of RSA House, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ. Described as an event for "policymakers, consumer group members, researchers and industry workers", it seeks to reflect on the results of new research about the ways in which copyright is justified by users, rightsholders and policymakers. The promotional material continues:
The research, publicly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, focused on the issues underpinning conflict and consensus between industry, policymakers, users and third parties in the current copyright debate. At the seminar, you will learn about how users in the digital age understand copyright, formulate ideas about reasonable use of copyrighted products in their day to day lives, and draw conclusions about the messages communicated to them by industry and policymakers.
The cast is quite imposing: Professor Ian Hargreaves (for it is he) will give a keynote address , Chair of Digital Economy at Cardiff University and author of Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. The keynote response will be given by Jim Killock (Open Rights Group chair) and Helen Goodman MP are also participating. Attendance is free, but places are limited. To confirm your attendance and secure your place, just email commcopyright@leeds.ac.uk by 15 October 2012.

At the moment there is no shortage of comment and discussion on copyright in the digital age.  The only thing in short supply is any measure of consensus as to what should be done about IP: should it be (i) bolstered to encourage firmer, fuller enforcement, (ii) reformed and purged of rights and effects that consumers consider anachronistic in an era of increasingly accessible content or (iii) left alone on the basis that a situation in which both the pro- and anti-rights lobbies appear to be equally dissatisfied is the best-balanced compromise we can hope for?

Are rights owners and those who depend on their well-being welcome at events that are so overtly and explicitly targeted at everyone except them? And would their presence either hinder discussion or assist it?  It is a little sad that, after rights owners are criticised for not taking heed of the interests and needs of IP users, those very users may be choosing not to take heed of rights owners in return.


Thais Linhares said...

Something to think about. Here in Brazil occurs in a similar way. Users ignoring the authors!

James said...

Did this event ever happen? I sent an email requesting a place (representing rightsholders) and didn't hear anything back...

Anonymous said...

If you still want to know what happened in the event.