Economists Tell Spanish Gov't Its New Copyright Laws Are A Mistake

from the good-for-them dept

We recently pointed out that, following several very reasonable copyright lawsuit rulings in Spain (that recognized private copying shouldn’t be illegal, and that secondary liability didn’t make sense), the Spanish gov’t was backing copyright reform, supported by the entertainment industry, and would basically make Spanish copyright law mimic all the mistakes found in many other countries. Thankfully, some economists are speaking up to let the Spanish gov’t know that this sounds like a terrible mistake. As TorrentFreak notes:

The report, published by the economy research center FEDEA, harshly criticizes the Government’s plans to clamp down on the file-sharing public. They say that the current proposals are a “useless and an ineffective way to defend the artists because it is already an ancient form of fighting piracy.”

According to professors Fernandez and Boldrin, the proposed legislation only benefits the major labels and artists “at the expense of users and lesser-known artists.” They further say that it would be more effective for the entertainment industry to explore new business models instead of clinging to an old model that has proven to be ineffective.

“The Internet has changed the playing field and there are new rules that would allow a substantial reduction in property rights,” Professor Pablo Vazquez said commenting on the report. The researchers therefore advise the Government to stop its war on piracy and come up with legislation that would allow for reduced copyright terms .

You may recognize the name of one of the professors involved. Michele Boldrin is the co-author of Against Intellectual Monopoly, and took part in our CwF+RtB experiment last year, and even co-wrote a nice guest post on the site.

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Comments on “Economists Tell Spanish Gov't Its New Copyright Laws Are A Mistake”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I think one of the problems with the U.S. is the fact that you have one federal government, located at one specific location, that has so much control over so much area that it’s difficult for ordinary citizens that live far away from Congress to protest that federal government directly. The cost in traveling expenses and time are enough to deter most people from protesting. It also makes it more difficult for citizens to organize such protests. Yet I think citizens directly protesting is a necessary aspect of ensuring that the government represents the public.

Corporations, on the other hand, have the resources to pay for travel expenses and to pay lobbyists to spend time going to Washington and lobbying and are certainly a lot more organized.

This is one reason why the constitution tried to give the federal government very limited power and give the state governments more power. That way citizens have some place to protest that’s nearby. This also explains, in part, why countries the size of a U.S. state tend to be (but aren’t always of course) more representative of their citizens. When you have a government that’s only in charge of a smaller area it’s much easier for citizens to take time out of their day and protest (and travel expenses are much less too).

In the case of China and Russia, why do you suppose those governments don’t tend to represent their citizens? It is partly because they consist of one centralized government in charge of a whole lot of area.

This is also one reason why giving too much control to one huge international government is a bad idea.

Bubba Gump (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You bring up a good point: corporations have the resources…

YES, but the resources come from their CUSTOMERS. US.
DO NOT BUY PRODUCTS from companies that support legislation you dislike.

DO NOT BUY MUSIC from companies that lobby for stronger copyrights.

Yes, you might want to buy that album from the band you like that’s signed with a major label that lobbies for stronger copyright law. Deal with it. Your purchase supports the PROBLEM.

Dementia (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The problem is with corporations becoming so diversified, its hard to buy anything without giving them some form of funding. I mean, seriously, we have to have transportation, fuel, energy, and sustenance. While entertainment might seem to be a very small percentage of our spending, some things like what we spend on our cell phones, landlines, internet connections, etc is going into other pockets that help the entertainment lobbyists. Its really hard to avoid spending money on every corporation that lobbies for the pro IP side.

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