Should copyright law change in the era of the Internet?October 31, 2013 5:33 pm Leave your thoughts
It has been difficult to reconcile traditional copyright law with the inherent openness of the Internet. For many years, different aspects of creative intellectual property were controlled by gatekeepers. Publishing companies chose when to print books. Record labels decided when to sell albums. Network executives dominated television shows and studios released movies.
It's true that all of these gatekeepers still exist today. But thanks to the Internet, their grip on their respective industries has been weakened somewhat. Legitimate digital companies, like Netflix, have offered consumers an alternative to watching television in the traditional manner. Illegitimate entities, like file sharing sites, let music lovers trade files without having to pay for them in the first place.
But there's more. A whole host of technology lets creators make art and share it with the world without the help of any gatekeeper. Short stories can be uploaded onto blogs. Art can be scanned and posted on Tumblr accounts. Short films can be put on YouTube.
What does all this mean for copyright law?
Wired contributor Vitalii Soldatenko argues in a recent article that "technology is worlds ahead from legislation." He calls for the simplification of current law that would allow for better distribution of creations.
"I believe new systems are possible, and that there are no technical obstacles barring us from putting these systems into place," Soldatenko writes. " All of these questions lead to a single answer, which is the simplification of registration. Easier copyright recognition will open doors to a new era of digital distribution and intellectual property rights transfer."
For this to happen, he adds, society must be prepared to move forward and embrace the future of copyright.
Categorised in: Entertainment Law
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