Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Deutschland Liebe Copyright

The new German coalition government has issued a 124 document, part of which explains the nation's plans for copyright. Like most governments, they're planning to make copyright "tighter":

Among them is the promise to mount a strong defence of copyright. The government says it wants to "achieve a high level of protection and an effective assertion of the copyright-law."

There's an almost theological flaw here - the belief that copyright law is primarily about protecting ownership of things, rather than designed to encourage creativity. If you work from that misconception, the copyright law you're going to create has to be bad for the general health of the nation.

Still, even the German government know when a idea is a bad one:
However, the prospect of removing Internet access for repeat infringers appears to be out of the question. "We want to promote the possibilities of an internal regulation with the participation of the right-owners and the Internet-providers," says the document. "We will not take initiatives for legal possibilities to block Internet access in cases of copyright infringements."

You'd have to be insane to propose doing so. Or French.


3 comments:

Olive said...

There's an almost theological flaw here - the belief that copyright law is primarily about protecting ownership of things, rather than designed to encourage creativity.

Well, it is, isn't it? The idea is that you get legal protection of your work for a certain period before it becomes public domain, and anyone can do anything they like with it. Even the Creative Commons licenses (for example) can only work with effective copyright laws.

simon h b said...

But then original impetus for copyright was not so much 'how can people make money off stuff they've created' as 'if we don't provide a way for people to make a decent return on what they have created, there will be nothing encouraging people to create'. It all comes down to the money, but the first approach will tend to lock everything up in copyright boxes for a long time, the latter suggests a lighter touch.

Olive said...

True. It's a pity that the people making the real money are often not the people who actually did the creating- how often do you come across stories where some poor sod has missed out on decades of royalties because their record company claim not to be able to locate him/her.
I accept that copyright is broken, not only by technological advances, but the number of parties with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

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