Thursday, May 31, 2007

on copyright

"The copyright system is perfect ... for people who have all the money in the world to pay lawyers."
(Lawrence Lessig's parting shot at the CISAC - International Confederation of Authors and Composers Society, Brussels, 30 - 31 May, 2007.)

An interesting, not commonly considered front against copyright holders, that is the distributors of digital content, which have a strong voice against the old fashioned copyright holders and who do not want to be help responsible for piracy happening over their nets.
There is also an intersting attack by Crett Cottle (chair of CISAC's board of directors: "Don't treat the authors like the record labels or the entertainment companies. Hollywood's Jurassic, and we're the mammals.

This comparison joins the unrest against big industry voiced at the launch of the Swiss version of the Creative Commons Licence by the two plenary speakers John Buckman (image) and Volker Grassmuck

Following some excerpts out of a report from the
The Hollywood Reporter, Leo Cendrowicz and Mark Sutherland , May 31, 2007

"BRUSSELS -- The inaugural CISAC Copyright Summit kicked off here Wednesday in with some lively initial sessions.

CISAC -- the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies -- says it represents 217 copyright societies in 114 countries and 2.5 million creators and publishers in music, drama, literature, audiovisual, photography and the visual arts.

The two-day summit, attended by more than 500 delegates, goes under the banner "Creators First" and is focused on the protection of copyright in the digital age.

But in his keynote address, British Telecom CEO Ben Verwaayen issued a brutal warning to rights owners, telling them that business models that had been sustained for more than a century were coming to an end

"Your industry has not changed for 20 years, maybe 50 years. You have to rethink how you work in the digital age," he said. "Are you just a rights administrator that sends me a bill, or are you something more?"

Bragg and others called for "solidarity" among artists to help protect their income.

"The power in the creative industries is moving away from retailers and the industry toward artists and our relationships with our audiences," he said.

While attacking those who commercially exploit user-generated content, or UGC, as indulging in "sharecropping for the digital age," Lessig also told a packed conference hall that Creative Commons licenses are aimed at those who had no interest in making money from their creativity.

"There's an explosion of UGC that never wants to be part of the commercial economy," he said. "If we're arguing, it's only because you think the only model for copyright is the commercial one."

Cottle hit back: "The problem is you give credence to the general anti-copyright argument, particularly in developing countries. Don't treat the authors like the record labels or the entertainment companies. Hollywood's Jurassic, and we're the mammals."


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