Friday, 28 September 2012

Further musings on Copyright reform (3)

So, parts one and two done already yada yada yada...

The Copyright hub.
Actually some good stuff in here. Firstly they're not trying to build from scratch, they've actually done some research and are starting off with a lot of work done by the Copyright Clearance Centre in the US. Now I don't know anything about whether this is a good model or not (shout out in the comments if you have any experience of them) but re-using what's there is good project technique. Even if it's slightly ironic in this context...

Hmmm, in section 84 they mention a lot of the challenges that the hub will need to overcome to, basically, jam this new web thing into the old copyright box. Maybe it's time to look at whether the box is really the best thing for it, or even necessary at all?

They still seem to imagine individual users going for licenses for you-tube videos (not going to happen!) but they at least recognise that the hassle-and-cost factor might lead to stuff just being dropped. They also talk about making sure that the overall result is a "bigger pie" but I wonder if they've seriously looked at the pricing behaviours of the major rights holders over the last few years.

There's a section on education and information and how they plan to add this to the hub to help navigate the complex world of copyright law, but this seems to be addressing the symptoms rather than the actual problem: that copyright law is too complex and is unfit for the internet-enabled world.
Also they don't mention how they'll tackle the thorny issue of different international laws.

Section 94 has another depressing example of anecdote-based-policy making. Apparently a rights database "could have specific advantages in copyright enforcement across the internet including
• peer to peer file-sharing by individual consumers
• illegal websites and search engines with illegal websites appearing in their search results
• advertisers monetising copyright infringing material
• payment providers serving copyright infringing subscription services."
Needless to say it doesn't actually talk about HOW this might happen. That's just an industry wish-list that's been tagged on to a bit of wishful thinking.
This is followed by a paragraph that says dispute resolution is going to be critical and difficult and... ...we have no idea how to fix this.

There's a chunk on copyright and education and how difficult it is to navigate. Given the purpose of copyright is to promote learning and understanding (via the mechanism of payments to creators - important distinction that) you'd think we'd be able to come up with something simpler and more direct for schools - i.e if it's used in education it's "fair use" (to use the American term) and therefore allowable.
Overall this key chunk on copyright and education just comes up with better ways to preserve the status quo, it also suggest further use of aggregators and middlemen to simplify the process for the schools but all this will do is add an additional cost into the end price.
All a bit disappointing.

Next up, music licensing - that might take a few posts and will definitely be one for another night...

No comments:

Post a Comment