Here's a nice surprise. Recently, the UK announced plans to commission a report that would review copyright laws
from top to bottom. While we felt that it was odd for the UK to do this, since it had done pretty much exactly the same thing four years ago
, it sounded as though they were going to focus on things like the importance of fair use and the public domain -- which would definitely be a good thing. While we were a little concerned
about the decision to have a journalism professor, Ian Hargreaves, lead the process, it's worth noting that a panel has been put together to help Hargreaves
. And among the panel members is James Boyle -- author of The Public Domain
as well as the guy we were just talking about for his recent FT column about how we should stop relying on fantasy numbers
in these copyright debates. Now I'll admit that I know Boyle as a regular email acquaintance, but he's one of a very short list of folks who I think is absolutely essential to be advising any government on copyright reform policies -- so this is pretty exciting. I'm not nearly as familiar with the other four members of the panel, though scanning through some of the research done by a few of them, it should make for some interesting discussions...