Copyright Wars Chilling Innovation

from the bad-news dept

Ed Felten has written about a Business Week article that quotes him and many others in academia who are specifically avoiding areas of research or teaching, because they fear lawsuits by the entertainment industry. The industry’s response: “It’s easy to assert you feel chilled, but I don’t see any evidence to support that.” Of course, there’s plenty of evidence right in the article, just by counting up the number of people who are avoiding certain lines of research out of a fear of being sued. Meanwhile, researchers outside of this country will continue to do research, making sure we fall further behind. The entertainment industry is causing a tremendous amount of harm to itself. It’s a short-term strategy with long term disastrous consequences. Imagine if the auto industry was told it couldn’t build new automobiles because the horse and buggy industry would be harmed? Imagine if Gutenberg was sued for creating the printing press, because it would put monk scribes out of work? The market is changing. It’s time that the entertainment industry learned to change as well.

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