European Intellectual Property Scholars: Copyright Extension Harms Innovation

from the good-for-them dept

Following the EU's misguided proposal to extend performance copyrights on songs from 50 years to 95 years, a group of professors from intellectual property, legal and innovation positions, have gotten together to send a highly critical letter, pointing out why such a copyright extension is not necessary and, in fact, will be quite harmful. Here's a snippet of the letter:
Unanimously, the European centres for intellectual property research have opposed the proposal. The empirical evidence has been summarised succinctly in at least three studies: the Cambridge Study for the UK Gowers Review of 2006; a study conducted by the Amsterdam Institute for Information Law for the Commission itself (2006); and the Bournemouth University statement signed by 50 leading academics in June 2008.

The simple truth is that copyright extension benefits most those who already hold rights. It benefits incumbent holders of major back-catalogues, be they record companies, ageing rock stars or, increasingly, artists' estates. It does nothing for innovation and creativity. The proposed Term Extension Directive undermines the credibility of the copyright system. It will further alienate a younger generation that, justifiably, fails to see a principled basis.
Hopefully, European politicians will actually pay attention to this condemnation of the proposed extension.
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Filed Under: copyright, copyright extension, eu, europe, innovation

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  1. identicon
    Shaun Wilson, 23 Jul 2008 @ 11:29am

    Respect for the rule of law

    It will further alienate a younger generation that, justifiably, fails to see a principled basis.

    As part of the "younger generation" at 20 years old (though intending on entering the copyright intensive computer games industry) I definitely agree with this statement. More than that however I think it creates a large problem in that it promotes disrespect for the law in general - if copyright laws are stupid and without basis why should any law be different?

    Huh, funny it seams I'm almost agreeing with the movie industry that breaking copyright law leads to other lawbreaking. Of course we differ in that I think the root cause of this problem, if it exists (and I'm not sure it does) is the law itself. Copyright infringement is as natural as was drinking during prohibition in the US or taking illegal drugs nowadays. Though personally I never take any mind altering substances* I fully support others rights to do so, from passing out drunk to getting completely high, it is your decision not mine, as long as you don't endanger me or anyone else then go right ahead.

    *legal or otherwise - I even don't use painkillers though that is more that painkillers don't seem to work on me (from headache tablets to 80mg codeine/1000mg paracetamol every 4-6 hours when I had a knee injury!) rather than my moral/aesthetic/worrying about the damage to myself/others concerns for other substances (though I would have some similar slight concerns if I ever needed really heavy duty medication - if it would even work on me)

    Eh enough rambling, need to post this already!

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