Economics

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
economy, eu, intellectual property, ip



New Report: IP Laws Are Crippling The EU Economy

from the economic-freedom-and-personal-freedom-go-hand-in-hand dept

Glyn Moody points us to a new report from the group EDRI, claiming that intellectual property is harming the economy of Europe. The group lists out a few key points:
  • Harmonise exceptions to copyright to create legal certainty across the EU about the permitted uses of works covered by IP
  • Establish pan-European licensing arrangements as a matter of priority, and tie future enforcement policy to the successful development of such proposals
  • Abandon repressive enforcement measures that would materially damage people's fundamental rights
  • Establishes a moratorium on the exporting of repressive IP enforcement to third countries
  • Makes a firm commitment to robust, objective evidence and re-evaluation of policy on the basis of it.
Much of the report is about harmonizing both patent and copyright laws across Europe or creating pan-European infrastructure for patent and copyright laws. I'm of a mixed opinion on those proposals. While I can definitely see the problems of having so many different local patent and copyright laws, historically, attempts to "harmonize" such laws only lead to much more draconian laws with little flexibility. Having different laws in different places allows for countries to experiment with, perhaps, less protectionist efforts, and to show that you don't necessarily need greater protectionism for the economy to function. On top of that, in my discussions with people throughout Europe, one of the concerns with harmonization was that each market is so different, that a single set of laws would lead to very bad policies in certain countries.

However I do appreciate the concerns about repressive enforcement and the aggressive expansion of repressive enforcement to other countries. All in all, it does seem like another useful report on the problems of today's intellectual property laws.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2011 @ 11:50pm

    Re: Re:

    Not really, thought some of what he says is somewhat incoherent. But I don't expect IP maximists to have enough merit to be coherent communicators, that would require effort.

    First of all, he says

    "Many are still sceptical about Spotify’s business model, but Mr Parker believes it’s a “dramatic paradigm shift” in consumption that “implies the traditional music companies are undervalued”."

    He confuses value with price and industry revenue. He seems to think that any value that anyone gains should be monetized by the industry to the fullest extent possible. Of course none of this will benefit the actual artists.

    "“In the last 10 years we have presided over the greatest destruction in value in the history of the music industry,”"

    No, that occurred when copy protection lengths kept on getting extended. That's a destruction in value (remember, monopolies create dead weight losses). Don't confuse a destruction in wrongfully acquired revenues with a destruction in value.

    "if you believe the broken distribution systems are on the verge of being fixed, those recordings are dramatically undervalued.”"

    By broken distribution system being 'fixed' what he means is that a distribution system that allows anyone to freely make music available is 'broken'. It needs to be 'fixed' by implementing laws that force him to be the middlemen of all provided content. Then he benefits at everyone elses expense. He believes this will be 'fixed' through regulatory capture.

    "Speaking with perhaps surprising coherence"

    What coherence? This person is too lazy to make the effort required to learn how to communicate coherently.

    "“Here I am, the greatest beneficiary of this transformation and also one of its greatest victims."

    Did you hear that? He's the greatest beneficiary of this transformation. His efforts are about him and how they benefit him, not the public nor the artists.

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