Professor Slams European Commission For Ignoring The Evidence On Copyright Extension

from the it's-not-about-evidence,-it's-about-campaign-contributions dept

We were pretty surprised a few weeks back when the European Commission endorsed a plan for copyright extension, despite ample evidence that retroactive copyright extension is a bad idea. Soon after that announcement, a group of European academics sent a letter warning that such extension would harm innovation. The academics keep piling on, as Professor Bernt Hugenholtz, the director of the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law (IViR) has sent an open letter to the Commission blasting them for ignoring all of the research showing that copyright extension is bad. Specifically, Hugenholtz is amazed that the Commission relied only on reports prepared by industry, and willfully ignored research prepared by independent academics, such as his own group, claiming that by ignoring such studies, the Commission has a clear intention to mislead the rest of the EU by hiding the research that shows why copyright extension is a bad idea.

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Comments on “Professor Slams European Commission For Ignoring The Evidence On Copyright Extension”

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15 Comments
Dubber (profile) says:

Incomplete theory

Hugenholtz is right… but it goes further than that.

Extending the term of copyright is bad. That much is clearly true. The next conceptual step that needs to be taken is to consider that reducing the term of copyright is good. As long as:

a) it’s renewable; and
b) there’s a ‘use it or lose it’ clause.

I wrote a post recently called How long should music copyright be? where I explain, and argue in favour of a 5 year renewable term.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Incomplete theory

In all fairness, what the individual has expressed is a 5 year renewable term. Every 5 years a copyright holder has the option of either simply abandoning further claim to copyright or paying a renewal fee (i.e., a tax). Of course, this renewal could continue into the future far longer that the terms currently provided by law.

His view in some regards mimics what US Copyright Law entailed prior to 1/1/78. The law embodied formalities that when met provided a 28 year copyright term, with the possibility of one extension for an additional 28 years.

bikey (profile) says:

academics v commission

When will Europeans realize that it’s US lobbyists, and not academics that the Commissions listens to. Also, more than ‘performers’ these benefits go to record companies, lumped together with broadcasters as neighboring rights. Labeling this a benefit for poor performers is the same trick as 17th century printers saying ‘it’s about the poor authors’. It never was, it never will be. Performers will continue to get screwed, just as they always have. It’s the lobbies, Europe.

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