Thursday, April 08, 2010

BPI bloke suggests scanning & copying card, says he was joking

Adam Liversage of the BPI was busy with other matters than simply watching his beloved Digital Economy Bill pass the other day, struggling with copyright. Rev Dan Catt monitored it on Twitter:

A conversation on twitter on the day the Digital Economy Bill was passed between Adam Liversage (Director of Communications for the BPI, the BPI that supports/wrote some of the DEBill) and Janet Liversage.

Janet: "Great. Bought a card but forgot the envelope - doh."
Adam: "There's some in my study on the shelf."
Janet: "yes but not necessarily ones that will fit the card I have bought"
Adam: "Crop the card using scissors - job done. Or scan the card, shrink it and re-print it."

Where Adam suggest stealing and repurposing a bought card.

Wait, I don't mean stealing I mean making a copy leaving the original intact, and then adjusting the second copy to better suit a purpose.

When you've shrunk it and sent it, the original will still exist. I assume you can just then use the original for something else, sell it on, or perhaps scan it again and again and again that's a money saving tip right there. Shame the copyright owner wont get the benefit of all those copies.

Just saying; copyright, it's a bit complicated.

The BPI's Communications Director rushed back to Twitter to make it clear he was only joking:
Is it really not obvious that my comment about cutting or scanning a card was a joke? Let me be clear: I do not condone card-scanning.

Liversage has missed the point - not unusual for people working in the copyright industry. Because had he scanned a card he'd bought to resize it, he would have technically breached copyright, but nobody could possibly object. Indeed, it would be a perfectly sensible thing to do. That was why you were being joshed, Adam, because you were proposing a quite legitimate remix.

It's actually a bit more surprising you felt the need to rush out a justification. Although the next tweet did swerve charges of being po-faced:
I also think that a card-cutting has the potential to ruin the artistic integrity of the original card, and I am also not in favour of it.

Back at the day job, and the BPI was busily making delighted honks that the narrow interests of a few foreign companies had outweighed the entire concept of democracy:
BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor welcomed the passage into law today of the Digital Economy Act as a key milestone in the development of the internet, which will help secure Britain’s world-beating status as a creative force in music and entertainment.

Geoff Taylor said: “The Act’s measures to reduce illegal downloading will spur on investment in new music and innovation in legal business models. An internet that rewards taking creative risks will mean more British bands enjoying global success, more choice in how to access music online, and more jobs in our fast-growing creative sector.

“These measures will not eliminate all piracy, but they will go a long way towards reducing illegal freeloading and will help to build a more sustainable ecosystem for content on the internet.“

Bless. You know what, he really does think it's going to make a difference. You know, the way the DMCA virtually stopped "illegal freeloading" in the US.

That's the bitter joke at the end of the week: the legislation won't do anything to address the 'problems' the BPI sees - all it will do is lead to the creation of a lot of expensive work for lawyers, create a couple of martyrs, and force Taylor to shuffle on breakfast TV sofas in about eighteen months to shiftily try and defend the implementation of a pointless, punitive law made in haste.

[Thanks for card story to @electroweb]