When Recording Everything We See Is Standard, What Happens To Copyright?
from the that'll-be-a-fun-legal-battle dept
We’ve discussed in the past how technology can advance much faster than the law can handle. For example, we’ve recently had a few posts about the motorcyclist who was arrested for violating Maryland state wiretapping laws, after his helmet cam captured an off-duty cop jump out of his car with a gun drawn to stop the cyclist. That certainly raised some questions about an age when people more regularly film things going on around them. But, it goes way beyond that as well. Over the years, we’ve written about various experiments in building tools to let people record absolutely everything you see. Some might find this excessive, but there are some interesting applications — including helping people with their memory.
However, if such things become more common, laws are going to have to adjust — and copyright law is no exception. David Levine points us to a story about a guy who lost his eye in a hunting accident, and has replaced it with a prosthetic eye that doubles as a video camera, which can also broadcast what he’s seeing. Levine, in mentioning this, queries what happens when he goes to the movies? Or, what if he goes to a sporting event with an exclusive broadcast right? We recently wondered how long it would be until some enterprising team of folks all attends a sporting event with smartphones and broadcasts an “alternative” stream of the game.
Now, I’m sure defenders of the current copyright system will immediately dismiss these examples as being either one-off cases or situations where copyright law should apply and these people should definitely get in trouble or be stopped. But it’s really going to become overwhelming. As these tools get better and more useful and actually provide additional utility, along the lines of aiding memory or being able to do data lookups, it’s going to seem sillier and sillier for people to turn them off just to make some copyright holder happy. It could actually be a key point in making some reconsider the state of copyright law today.