Today's Copyright Laws: For Imbeciles And Lobbyists Only

from the well,-that's-one-way-to-look-at-it dept

We were mostly happy with the thoughtful Hargreaves Report on copyright in the UK, which made a bunch of modest, but intelligent suggestions on copyright law. Our only complaint was that it didn't go far enough, but in today's political climate on copyright issues, it went much further than most. It's been interesting to see the reaction. The industry hasn't reacted quite as negatively as I expected, in part because they're so cluelessly relieved that the report didn't suggest implementing "fair use" rules. And for those who recognize there are problems in the system, the report is seen as a vindication of their views. John Naughton has a nice piece for The Guardian, noting his surprise at the quality of the report, and putting this lovely summary on the state of today's copyright laws:
Hallelujah! At last we are getting somewhere. The notion that laws framed in an era when copying was difficult, imperfect and expensive could work in an era when copying was effortless, perfect and cheap was a proposition that only imbeciles and industry lobbyists could entertain. But up to now, our politicians subscribed to it.
Nice to see that sort of sentiment appearing in mainstream news publications, though I fear that Naughton's celebration may be premature. While the Hargreaves report pointed this out, it's unclear that any politicians will actually subscribe to it. After all, the predecessor report, the Gowers Report, also suggested some similar issues (much more mutedly), and was promptly trashed and ignored, as politicians went back to believing that more copyright is always good. I am hopeful that some politicians may take what's said in the Hargreaves Report to heart, but I'm not holding my breath.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 2:09pm

    To be fair, Mike, that was the era of Darth Mandelson, the only MP in UK history to have been found to eb in breach of the donation laws on three separate occasions, and one of the most corrupt people in power over here for a long, long time; it's noi wonder it was ignored.

     

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  2.  
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    Steven (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 3:00pm

    The report changes nothing

    Just to show how absolutely clueless, and at this point it has to be purposeful, these people are I'd like to share a quote.

    This is from the moderator (not one of the industry panelists) of the eG8 Plenary IV (the same one John Perry Barlow was in).

    "I read an interesting article some days ago saying that bittorrent, the famous illegitimate piracy movie site, was being now overthrown by Netflix, that the traffic on Netflix, which promotes legitimate content, was being bigger than the pirated content on bittorrent."

    Now I've stripped how the various Ah's and um's, and I'll ignore the somewhat bad grammar (the guy is French), but that statement is so wrong it can't even be intelligently responded to.

     

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  3.  
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    xenomancer (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

    Re: The report changes nothing

    "that statement is so wrong it can't even be intelligently responded to"

    Hmmm, I think the intelligent response involves a massive rubber stamp with "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!" written backwards on it, some tenacious permanent red ink, and handing out vanity mirrors to everyone. If he ever speaks again (and he will), simply hold up the mirror so he sees his indelibly imprinted forehead and continue the conversation his wrongness so belligerently intruded upon while he tries to tease out the depths of what his face is trying so desperately tell him.

     

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  4.  
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    nelsoncruz (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

    Lobbynomics

    My favorite part of this report is the suggestion that copyright laws are based on "lobbynomics" rather than evidence and economics.

    It's an absolutely fantastic word to describe what goes on in the making of these laws. I think activists will get a lot of mileage from this word "lobbynomics". :D

     

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  5.  
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    TDR, May 25th, 2011 @ 9:18pm

    In reference to the aforementioned imbeciles and lobbyists (aren't they one and the same?), I'll just quote the Duke here:

    "Your face, your a**... what's the difference?"

     

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  6.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 11:41pm

    Re:

    Well, one he can kick, and the other he can shred magnificently and defecate down the trachea.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 6:45am

    Re: Lobbynomics

    I think activists will get a lot of mileage from this word "lobbynomics".

    Except as a "created" word could it not be argued that its use falls under copyright? If a specific arrangement of already existing words is copyrightable then surely a wholly new word is. Copyright.... making perfect logical sense since 1709. :-)

    It is a top word though and a copyright suit about it would provide delicious irony.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re: Lobbynomics

    I think activists will get a lot of mileage from this word "lobbynomics".

    Except as a "created" word could it not be argued that its use falls under copyright? If a specific arrangement of already existing words is copyrightable then surely a wholly new word is. Copyright.... making perfect logical sense since 1709. :-)

    It is a top word though and a copyright suit about it would provide delicious irony.

     

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  9.  
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    alex (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 2:29am

    ++

    If it's anything like the Digital Economy Bill, they'll strip all the sensible stuff out of it before passing it as law. =/

     

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


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