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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

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March 28, 2005

A-listers on the Copyfight

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Via Cory comes the news that a few "A-list" political bloggers are (finally) discussing the need for balance in intellectual property law and policy. Check 'em out:


  • Atrios @ Eschaton: "Once upon a time it seems we had a better understanding of what the purpose of IP laws were. Their primary purpose is to encourage innovation and creativity, and not to create and preserve asset titles for corporations and individuals. Now, I'm all for innovators and artists being able to profit from their works, but the ability to do so is a means to an end, not the end itself. The end itself is supposed to be a benefit to consumers in the form of more new gadgets and more and better chick lit. If the IP system stifles innovation and creativity, rather than fostering it, then it's time for a change."
  • Matthew Yglesias: "[The] rule that the petitioners [in Grokster] want to create will have a stifling impact on innovation in a broad sphere of activities, including software development, consumer electronics, and the provision of internet services. The public's interest in creating strong financial incentives for the creation of new works of film and music is real, but it's not so overwhelmingly real that we should sacrifice everything else on the table in an effort to minimize infringing uses."

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Laws and Regulations


COMMENTS

1. Neo on March 28, 2005 11:53 PM writes...

Lengthy copyright terms are also harming creation of new content. It favors one-hit wonders, for one thing: create one major hit and then retire on the royalties, which won't dry up for decades. A term of a handful of years at most would reward this author, but prod them into making something new because they will not have the revenue stream from the first work for too long. They have some time in which to work on the next thing in an unhurried way, but if they are to keep raking it in they have to keep creating new and innovative stuff. This argues for shorter patent terms also.

Additionally, shorter terms lead to a richer and more current public domain on which to build.

When terms started going up and up and up it is clear that the purpose of copyright law as determined by who was buying off the legislators had shifted from "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts" to "maximizing the profits of content owners".

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