UK Publisher's Association Accuses British Library Of 'Tawdry Theft' For Supporting More Reasonable Copyright
from the no-shame dept
The UK Publisher’s Association seems to be making sure it appears as out of touch and obsolete as possible these days. This is the same group that, a few months ago, announced that fair use would put a “chokehold on innovation” despite the fact that we’ve got plenty of experience with fair use in the US, and see no such chokehold due to it. The latest is that the Publisher’s Association has apparently decided to go on the offensive (and I mean that in multiple ways), attacking all who call for more reasonable copyright laws — including the British Library — as defending “tawdry theft”:
[PA chief executive Richard Mollet] attacked organisations such as the Open Rights Group, research councils and the British Library, who he said all to varying degrees wish to erode copyright, and the tactics of lobby groups, who have “the temerity to appropriate the language of freedom of expression as a cloak for their tawdry theft”. He said it was “a grotesque attempt to draw moral equivalence between stealing someone’s work and the struggle for political representation”.
That’s pretty funny, since it appears that he (and many others on his side) are the ones who are actually “appropriating” language in a ridiculous way — such as referring to things like the public domain, open access and fair use as “stealing” or “tawdry theft.” The thing is, Mollet is coming down on the wrong side of history. People are growing up today with the internet understand the importance of unfettered communication and openness, and they don’t buy the mythical story that locking up works is good for anyone. All the Publishers’ Association is doing here is guaranteeing that they’re seen as obsolete and out of touch for the entire next generation.
But, really, when you stoop so low as to accuse the British Library of supporting theft, you would think that someone, somewhere, would point out to Mollet how ridiculous he looks. However, it does reveal the publisher’s true belief: things like libraries are apparently evil copyright abusers. Incredible.