Professor Slams European Commission For Ignoring The Evidence On Copyright Extension

from the it's-not-about-evidence,-it's-about-campaign-contributions dept

We were pretty surprised a few weeks back when the European Commission endorsed a plan for copyright extension, despite ample evidence that retroactive copyright extension is a bad idea. Soon after that announcement, a group of European academics sent a letter warning that such extension would harm innovation. The academics keep piling on, as Professor Bernt Hugenholtz, the director of the University of Amsterdam's Institute for Information Law (IViR) has sent an open letter to the Commission blasting them for ignoring all of the research showing that copyright extension is bad. Specifically, Hugenholtz is amazed that the Commission relied only on reports prepared by industry, and willfully ignored research prepared by independent academics, such as his own group, claiming that by ignoring such studies, the Commission has a clear intention to mislead the rest of the EU by hiding the research that shows why copyright extension is a bad idea.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    User_X, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 12:46pm

    His letter was promptly filed in the round cabinet

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    ann, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 1:28pm

    What a corporate little money can do

    Dear Lord, I would expect this of the US and its puppy Canada but the EU?!?! Who paid off the commissioners?

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 1:47pm

    Re: What a corporate little money can do

    Mickey Mouse's leashholders.

    Oh, and probably the guys who own the rights to all those songs by that silly Beatles band.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: What a corporate little money can do

    mm that would still be Mickey mouse Jackson?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Alias, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 2:08pm

    Ok, wait

    So you're saying he blasted the round cabinet instead of the EU. Niiiiiice. :)

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 3:59pm

    How disheartening it must be for an academic to realize that others do not seem to give a darn about his academic opinion. Poor baby.

     

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  7.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 29th, 2008 @ 4:10pm

    Re:

    How disheartening it must be for an academic to realize that others do not seem to give a darn about his academic opinion. Poor baby.

    Actually, in Europe, they do take these things pretty seriously.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 4:33pm

    Re:

    How disheartening it must be for an academic to realize that others do not seem to give a darn about his academic opinion. Poor baby.

    Looks like you are a few fries short of a happy meal

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Dubber, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 4:51pm

    Incomplete theory

    Hugenholtz is right... but it goes further than that.

    Extending the term of copyright is bad. That much is clearly true. The next conceptual step that needs to be taken is to consider that reducing the term of copyright is good. As long as:

    a) it's renewable; and
    b) there's a 'use it or lose it' clause.

    I wrote a post recently called How long should music copyright be? where I explain, and argue in favour of a 5 year renewable term.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re:

    "Actually, in Europe, they do take these things pretty seriously."

    The linked article suggests otherwise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Incomplete theory

    "Extending the term of copyright is bad."

    Why is that...?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    DanC, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re: Incomplete theory

    Primarily because the rationale behind the extension is not to promote new works.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Incomplete theory

    I wrote a post recently called How long should music copyright be? where I explain, and argue in favour of a 5 year renewable term.
    Why not 10? Or 5 1/2? Or 4 1/2? The point is, that 5 year number seems to be something you just pulled out of your ass.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2008 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Incomplete theory

    In all fairness, what the individual has expressed is a 5 year renewable term. Every 5 years a copyright holder has the option of either simply abandoning further claim to copyright or paying a renewal fee (i.e., a tax). Of course, this renewal could continue into the future far longer that the terms currently provided by law.

    His view in some regards mimics what US Copyright Law entailed prior to 1/1/78. The law embodied formalities that when met provided a 28 year copyright term, with the possibility of one extension for an additional 28 years.

     

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  15.  
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    bikey (profile), Aug 31st, 2008 @ 1:04am

    academics v commission

    When will Europeans realize that it's US lobbyists, and not academics that the Commissions listens to. Also, more than 'performers' these benefits go to record companies, lumped together with broadcasters as neighboring rights. Labeling this a benefit for poor performers is the same trick as 17th century printers saying 'it's about the poor authors'. It never was, it never will be. Performers will continue to get screwed, just as they always have. It's the lobbies, Europe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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