December 6, 2006  ·  Lessig

The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property has been released. It is here.

Meanwhile, you can read two reports the Review commissioned. One is a fantastic report about the economics of term extension. You can download it here.

The second is a report about Orphan Works (I’ve not read this yet). You can get it here.

My piece in the Financial Times today about the report is here. The punch line:

There are some who believe that copyright terms should be perpetual. Britain did the world a great service when it resolved that debate almost 300 years ago, by establishing one of the earliest copyright regimes to limit copyright to a fixed term. It could now teach the world a second important lesson: any gift of term extension should only go to those who ask.

  • Rob Myers

    The lesson that Gowers (hopefully) teaches, and that we are trying to reinforce here in the UK, is that we don’t have to allow extension at all.

    At this point, far from being a useful compromise, selective term extension would be a major concession.

    Promoting term extension in the face of the leaked Gowers conclusions and against all the hard work that people in the UK are doing to oppose term extension is counterproductive at best.

  • Crosbie Fitch

    Gifts tend to be gratuitous.

    When it comes to asking for valuable concessions, these tend to require paying for.

    If the extension is valuable, let anyone bid for the copyright and extension of each copyrighted work in a free market. The government can then collect the revenue on behalf of the public who would otherwise enjoy the value of the published works.

    This way we can ensure that only works of no value end up in the public domain.

    Hang on a mo! The whole point of copyright was to procure valuable works into the public domain.

    Something’s gone terribly wrong.

    It’s time to abolish copyright.