Weak Copyrights Would Kill Fair Use
from the another-opinion dept
Last month we had a story about a new study suggesting that intellectual property laws harm developing nations by keeping them from making use of valuable information, and that some developing countries would be better off not adopting strict intellectual property laws. John Carroll has written a response to this argument suggesting that there would be additional unintended consequences to weakening intellectual property laws – with the death of fair use being at the top of the list. His argument is that developing nations have a lot of other problems right now, and the last thing they care about is intellectual property, but by giving them a free pass to ignore intellectual property laws, it will only anger intellectual property owners even more. In response, they’ll push forward with extra-crippling digital rights management technology, effectively killing any chance for fair use rights. It’s an interesting argument, but I’m not sure I agree. As it stands right now, companies are pushing forward with strong DRM already, no matter what the intellectual property laws are. Furthermore, strong DRM that pisses off customers opens up the opportunity for new companies to offer non-DRMed competing products that customers would flock to instead.