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Posts Tagged ‘copyright law

Just hurry up and pass this law!

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I don’t want to write too much about this but it is so easy to get carried away.  I’l try and limit myself, I want you to read the article and the video’s provided.*

This story and stories about our digital freedoms are never really in the mainstream media.  One reason why I highlight such issues here because it is important for us as internet users to know what is happening around us that is going on unseen.  There are loads of big businesses out there who want to control and lock down everything we do on the internet.  From the beginning there has been too much freedom on the Internet because it was never designed to be a closed system, big business has never liked this.  Just look at how music was being handled via mp3’s before they got a clue, lawsuits!  Suing customers.  This is just one example of big business seemingly unable to unwilling to compete and adapt their business models to the internet.  Now instead of suing customers they have turned to our governments to implement laws to stop copyright infringement, impose their old business models and most importantly stifle creativity.

This is an article from the Guardian in the Technology section.  It should not be in that section.  This is more than just about technology, it should be on the front page, the general public should be totally engaged with this.  The social implications are huge and yet only a handful or people are explaining these things to the general public.  Thankfully the Guardian has allowed comments with this article.

Anyway, considering the title.  I would like to imagine what would happen if this law is passed, people already have found ways around copy protection or found alternative sources to get the content they want.  This stuff will just not work.  When people find out they are denied their youtube or any other content on the web, they will either route around it and therefore educating them and many others in getting to the content or they’ll be pissed and the law will be changed.  I can’t see people just accepting this proposed law for what it is.  When the law is ineffective as it will be in this case and everybody is breaking it then I really want to know what happens next.

I’m not advocating mass copyright infringment (I won’t say pirating because that is an oversimplification of the issue), but such laws deny us any use of material, even legal forms involving sampling, parody, or reusing it in such a way it becomes derivative and the only reasons to do such things are for the fun and not to rob businesses of their profits.  They should be happy people are using their product and interacting with it in different ways.  But this law will allow anybody to issue a take down notice of ANYTHING without any judicial process or question of innocence.  There are loads of reasons to take down a website if somebody doesn’t like it.  The article explains this, but using Youtube isn’t a good example, it is accurate but it’s also sensationalist.  Google is massive and would simply take down offending videos.  Big business makes money from it.  On a small scale it means if somebody doesn’t like what you say they can shut you up, simple as that.  You’re ability to communicate is taken away from you.

Larry Lessig makes a good argument at a recent TED Talk (How creativity is being strangled by the law).  It sounds boring but it isn’t.

Everybody should watch it (highly informative and funny and clever because history has proved it keeps repeating itself when it comes to illustrating our fears)** and it will provide a better understanding of the issues here, far better than how I could explain it.  Video here.  I’m already talking too much but the scope of this law and many others is going to hurt us if we don’t have a greater awareness of our digital freedoms and abilities.

*I’m not even going to talk about the fact that Mandelson is writing this law with a huge amount of copyright lobbying with hardly any opposition other than the House of Lords.
** Funny because it does have to hold our attention long enough, if it wasn’t interesting we would never know about these things.

Written by jonathanjk

March 5, 2010 at 10:02


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