Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reconsidering the fundamentals of ©

Today is the 300th anniversary of the world's first copyright law, the UK Statute of Anne. To mark this occasion the British Council is running a global debate on the future of copyright. You can read my contribution at their site. My conclusion:
An exclusive ‘right to copy’ is an unenforceable anachronism in a world filled with consumer technology that can copy, remix and redistribute works at almost zero marginal cost. Governments should be developing new legal frameworks to support necessary investment in creative works while enabling the benefits to society that flow from widespread sharing and reuse. Sadly, they instead seem focused on negotiating a secret ‘anti-counterfeiting’ treaty that will turn copyright into an even greater barrier to a productive and equitable information society.

There are also contributions from Lawrence Lessig, Jimmy Wales, Cory Doctorow and Yochai Benkler.


chris said...

As my publisher says in the debate, 14-year copyright term, extensible once on request, as in US in 19th century?

Ian Brown said...

Indeed — as The Economist also argues.