Jeroen Hellingman’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Jun 1st, 2012 @ 2:17am

    Re: Declare Public Domain

    In many jurisdictions, you just can't get rid of copyright, even on your own work. You may promise not to enforce it, but your heirs might change that after you're gone, and if you (or they) ever go bankrupt, the executioner may even try to revoke the CC license you've placed upon it.

    In the Netherlands, you can even be forced to pay mechanical reproduction royalties to a collecting society for playing your own self-composed and self-recorded music at a public event.

    Probably the best you can do is to follow medieval authors and put a highly potent curse on such behavior.... copyright wasn't written for authors in the first place.

  • Jun 1st, 2012 @ 2:11am

    What about GATT restoration and scope creep

    In the US, the GATT restoration has put a huge body of (foreign) works under copyright that wasn't before, many of these even public domain in their country of origin. Scope creep has pushed under the copyright regime that before weren't (and that is what this article is all about, scope creep taking away fair use a snippet at a time)

    In the EU, retro-active extensions have actually brought back under copyright a lot of work that were already public domain -- and mostly put that in the hands of publishers, not the original authors.

  • May 31st, 2012 @ 1:56am

    DRM on CC-works

    I am strongly against DRM and have released some of my own works under a CC license. If CC would allow others to place those works under DRM, I would not use CC, and I would instead draft my own license that prohibits it and also prohibits the suggested work-arounds like putting them twice on the medium. DRM on my works is just a big "NO", as it is the equivalent of a declaration of war against the people you wish to communicate with.

  • Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 11:19pm

    Sourced from Google Books and a scam

    Many of those "new" books offered for sale on Amazon are in fact print-on-demand editions based on Google Books scans of pre-1923 editions, without any additional value, and probably a bad deal, even for the low amount asked for it. Better go to the Internet Archive, locate the book there, and download it for free.

    All those cheap reprints involve another scam. Google Books will delete books, based on a publisher's claim it is still in print, even if it is Public Domain, so now some unscrupulous "publishers" will republish a book, based on Google's scans, then claim it is in print, and thus have it removed from the freely available books in Google (back to snippet view, or worse, completely eliminated).

    Good thing a user "tpb" has copied many of Google's scans to the Internet Archive.

  • Jun 9th, 2011 @ 12:21am

    It's all about the market...

    The fact that prices of "content" go down is dictated by simple market mechanisms. Technology allows the prices to go down, as it reduces to costs of copying and distribution to something very close to zero. The market will simply follow that possibility, given some healthy competition. If you look at storage capacity, prices have come down million-fold (expressed in dollars per megabyte), over the last two decades, and it should be no surprise that prices of "content" will follow. The only problem here is that we have copyright laws in place that seriously obstruct competition -- in name to correct a market failure, but in practice used to build unjustified monopolies. Fortunately, market forces will in time find ways around such obstructions, and still drive the prices down to levels that the technology allows. The real spoiled brats here are the companies that are stuck in the past, and do not want to adjust to the new reality, but try to stop technology and the progress it offers.

  • Jul 1st, 2010 @ 5:22am

    Non-waivable licensing schemes

    A country that has non-waivable licensing schemes are for example the Netherlands for mechanical recordings, where the collection agency (SENA) has a monopoly on collecting levies for playing music in publicly accessible spaces.

    This leads to the absurd situation that a dentist, who happens to be a composer/musician in his free time has to pay for playing a recording of his own music in his patient waiting room..., and never get anything of it back.

    Whether such things will hold under EU law is still an open question, but such cases are very costly to fight.

    Another example of non-waivable schemes are the levy on empty recording media in various European countries (as they are not attached to a particular work, so if your CC-BY work gets very popular, you can still claim your share of the booty, if you want to.)