buy kamagra usa buy stromectol online kaufen cialis buy antibiotics online Online Pharmacy vermectin apotheke buy stromectol europe buy zithromax online levitra usa buy doxycycline online stromectol apotheke deutschland doxycycline buy ivermectin online buy amoxil online

Fighting Copyright Extension

Lawrence Lessig, a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, is currently leading a constitutional challenge of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which when passed, extended existing and future copyrights in the USA by 20 years. The campaign is called Free the Mouse, after Mickey Mouse – Disney’s original copyright on Mickey Mouse expires in 2003. Lessig is arguing against the continual extension of copyright in the USA, which has happened 11 times in the past 40 years. The argument is that it prevents the flow of creative material into the public domain. There is much more to it, and the essential details are here.

Lessig has lost this case twice, and is now presenting to the US Supreme Court. The October 10th Economist features an update on Lessig’s fight to reduce copyright protection.

The copyright issue is a tough one – as a librarian and musician, I can see both sides. When I copy an article 135 times for a class I’m teaching, I complete a log so that proper payment gets made (often not to the author, however). As a musician, I support downloading of music, but not for resale. I don’t believe this makes me a hypocrite – musicians like Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, who led the charge that brought down Napster, have not suffered greatly from downloading. Those that have suffered need to look in the mirror, and question the quality of their product before blaming the web.

For me, the issue is that through the Internet and downloading, I am exposed to more artists than would be humanly possible otherwise. In many cases, downloading of music has led me to purchase indie CDs I would have never heard of otherwise. The same applies to popular music of late. I borrow music from the public library, and if I like it enough, I’ll buy it. If I don’t like it enough, I might download one or two songs, and that’s it. Why should I fork over hard-earned cash for a product that’s subpar at best? I think this is the larger issue facing creators of artistic works.

Janis Ian wrote a convincing essay in favour of downloading, and followed it up with a second piece, on the fallout from her first writing. It’s worth your while to read them. She notes, in her second piece, that there are “three operative issues that explain the entertainment industry’s heavy-handed response to the concept of downloading music from the Internet”. Let me share with you her first issue:

“1. Control. The music industry is no different from any other huge corporation, be it Mobil Oil or the Catholic church. When faced with a new technology or a new product that will revolutionize their business, their response is predictable:

a. Destroy it. And if they cannot,
b. Control it. And if they cannot,
c. Control the consumer who wishes to use it, and the legislators and laws that are supposed to protect that consumer.” – Janis Ian

One Response to “Fighting Copyright Extension”

  1. zuchris Says:

    I’m like you in that I see both sides of the argument here. However, what angers me is how the Canadian government sees fit to impose heavy surcharges on recordable media like CD-R’s in the name of copyright protection etc. when everyone knows it’s a tax grab/cash cow.

Leave a Reply