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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  • identicon
    User_X, 29 Aug 2008 @ 12:46pm

    His letter was promptly filed in the round cabinet

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ann, 29 Aug 2008 @ 1:28pm

    What a corporate little money can do

    Dear Lord, I would expect this of the US and its puppy Canada but the EU?!?! Who paid off the commissioners?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Poster, 29 Aug 2008 @ 1:47pm

      Re: What a corporate little money can do

      Mickey Mouse's leashholders.

      Oh, and probably the guys who own the rights to all those songs by that silly Beatles band.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2008 @ 3:59pm

    How disheartening it must be for an academic to realize that others do not seem to give a darn about his academic opinion. Poor baby.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 29 Aug 2008 @ 4:10pm

      Re:

      How disheartening it must be for an academic to realize that others do not seem to give a darn about his academic opinion. Poor baby.

      Actually, in Europe, they do take these things pretty seriously.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2008 @ 4:33pm

      Re:

      How disheartening it must be for an academic to realize that others do not seem to give a darn about his academic opinion. Poor baby.

      Looks like you are a few fries short of a happy meal

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dubber, 29 Aug 2008 @ 4:51pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2008 @ 6:14pm

      Re: Incomplete theory

      "Extending the term of copyright is bad."

      Why is that...?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2008 @ 9:04pm

      Re: Incomplete theory

      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.
      Why not 10? Or 5 1/2? Or 4 1/2? The point is, that 5 year number seems to be something you just pulled out of your ass.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2008 @ 9:56am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    bikey (profile), 31 Aug 2008 @ 1:04am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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