October 12, 2011  ·  Lessig

Like a fever, revolutions come in waves. And if this is a revolution, then it broke first on November 4, 2008, with the election of Barack Obama, second, on February 19, 2009, with the explosion of anger by Rick Santelli, giving birth to the Tea Party, and third, on September 10, 2011 with the #Occupy movements that are now spreading across the United States.

The souls in these movements must now decide whether this third peak will have any meaningful effect — whether it will unite a radically divided America, and bring about real change, or whether it will be boxed up by a polarized media, labeled in predictable ways, and sent off to the dust bins of cultural history.

In the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., championed a strategy of non-violence: that in the face of state sponsored and tolerated aggression, the strongest response was a promise not to respond in kind.

In this movement, we need a similar strategy. Of course a commitment to non-violence. But also a commitment to non-contradiction: We need to build and define this movement not by contradicting the loudest and clearest anger on the Right, but instead, by finding the common ground in our demands for reform.

So when Ron Paul criticizes the “Wall Street bailouts,” and attacks government support for “special businesses” with special access, we should say, “that’s right, Congressman Paul.” Bailouts for the rich is not the American way.

And when Rick Santelli launches a Tea Party movement, by attacking the government’s subsidies “to the losers,” we should ask in reply, what about the subsidies “to the winners” — to the banks who engineered the dumbest form of socialism ever invented by man: socialized risk with privatized benefits. What, we should ask Mr. Santelli, about that subsidy?

Or when Republican Senator Richard Shelby tells NBC’s Meet the Press that the message in bank reform “should be, unambiguously, that nothing’s too big to fail,” we should say that’s right, Senator, and it’s about time our Congress recognized it.

Or when Sarah Palin calls GE the “poster child of crony capitalism,” we should say “Amen, Mamma Grisly”: For whether or not we are all believers in “capitalism,” we should all be opponents of “crony capitalism,” the form of capitalism that is increasingly dominating Washington, and that was partly responsible for the catastrophe on Wall Street in 2008, and hence the catastrophes throughout America since.

We should practice “non-contradiction,” not because we have no differences with the Right. We do. We on the Left, we Liberals, or as some prefer, we Progressives, have fundamental differences with people on the Right. Our vision of that “shining city on the hill” is different from theirs. Our hopes for “We, the People,” are more aspirational. More egalitarian. More ideal.

But even though our substantive views are different, we should recognize that we have not yet convinced a majority of America of at least some of our fundamental views. And that in a democracy, no faction has the right to hold a nation hostage to its extreme views, whether right or not. We should fight in the political system to win support for our Liberal views. But we should reject the idea that protest, or violence, or blackmail are legitimate political techniques for advancing views that have not yet prevailed in a democratic system.

Instead, we should use the energy and anger of this extraordinary movement to find the common ground that would justify this revolution for all Americans, and not just us. And when we find that common ground, we should scream it, and yell it, and chant it, again, and again, and again.

For there is a common ground between the anger of the Left and the anger of the Right: That common ground is a political system that does not work. A government that is not responsive, or — in the words of the Framers, the favorite source of insight for our brothers on the Right — a government that is not, as Federalist 52 puts it, “dependent upon the People alone.”

Because this government is not dependent upon “the People alone.” This government is dependent upon the Funders of campaigns. 1% of America funds almost 99% of the cost of political campaigns in America. Is it therefore any surprise that the government is responsive first to the needs of that 1%, and not to the 99%?

This government, we must chant, is corrupt. We can say that clearly and loudly from the Left. They can say that clearly and loudly from the Right. And we then must teach America that this corruption is the core problem — it is the root problem — that we as Americans must be fighting.

There could be no better place to name that root than on Wall Street, New York. For no place in America better symbolizes the sickness that is our government than Wall Street, New York. For it is there that the largest amount of campaign cash of any industry in America was collected; and it was there that that campaign cash was used to buy the policies that created “too big to fail”; and it was there that that campaign cash was used to buy the get-out-of-jail free card, which Obama and the Congress have now given to Wall Street in the form of a promise of no real regulatory change, and an assurance of “forgiveness.”

“Forgiveness” — not of the mortgages that are now underwater. The foreclosures against them continue. “Forgiveness” — not even of the sins now confessed by Wall Street bankers, for our President has instructed us, no crimes were committed. “Forgiveness” — just enough to allow candidates once again to race to Wall Street to beg for the funds they need to finance their campaigns. The dinner parties continue. The afternoons at the golf course are the same. It’s not personal. It’s just business. It is the business of government corrupted.

There is no liberal, or libertarian, or conservative who should defend these policies. There is no liberal, or libertarian, or conservative who should defend this corruption. The single problem we all should be able to agree about is a political system that has lost is moral foundation: For no American went to war to defend a democracy “dependent upon the Funders alone.” No mother sacrificed her son or daughter to the cause of a system that effectively allows the law to be sold to the highest bidder.

We are Americans, all of us, whether citizens or not. We are Americans, all of us, because we all believe in the ideal of a government responsive to “the People alone.” And we all, as Americans, regardless of the diversity of our views, need to stand on this common ground and shout as loudly as we can: End this corruption now. Get the money out of government. Or at least get the special interest money out of government. And put back in its place a government dependent upon, and responsive too, the people. Alone.

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil” — Thoreau, 1846, On Walden — “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one striking at the root.”

If this fever is to have its effect, if this revolution is to have any meaning, if this struggle — and the carnival notwithstanding, it is an obvious struggle to sleep on the streets — is to have real consequence, then we all, Left and Right, must strike first at that root.

“It is the duty of youth,” they say Kurt Cobain said, “to challenge corruption.” He may have meant a different corruption, if indeed he uttered this poetry too. But whatever he meant, embrace his words. It is your duty to challenge this corruption. And once you have ended it — once we have restored a government that cares about what its people care about first, and not just its funders — then let us get back to the hard and important work of convincing our fellow citizens of the right in everything that is left.

  • Anonymous

    This happened in the UK a long time ago, see the CDPA 1988 which extends copyring for Peter Pan, justified on social grounds: see CDPA 1988, s301 (schedule 6)

    Provisions for the Benefit of the Hospital for Sick Children … “the work” means the play “Peter Pan” by Sir James Matthew Barrie. … The trustees are entitled, subject to the following provisions of this Schedule, to a royalty in respect of any public performance, commercial publication, broadcasting or inclusion in a cable programme service of the whole or any substantial part of the work or an adaptation of it. … The right of the trustees under this Schedule may not be assigned and shall cease if the trustees purport to assign or charge it. …

  • Anonymous

    Talk about wanting something for nothing…..The greed of people everywhere just never ceases to amaze me.

  • Chris

    Not quite the same situation – in the Canadian case, all unpublished works in the specified time span would have been subject to this rather arbitrary deadline change. The LMM works were just the most visible part.

    The link given (cbc.ca) is an article so terse as to be almost cryptic. A more thorough explanation is here:

    Globe and Mail: Lucy Maud provision fades out

    Buried in the committee minutes from last June are some copyright horror items. As this was being debated in committee (not in the House) the first time, at least one MP described entering the public domain as ‘the death’ of works. Another misleading chestnut was the occasional reference to ensuring benefits for authors, which is silly when you realize that authors had to be dead for at least 50 years before any of this debate was relevant.

    Also missing from the debate was the whole question of what has been happening to any such works up to now. How did works go for more than 50 years without being published? If the rights holders haven’t been able to find a publisher in the last 50 years, maybe these works just aren’t all that valuable.

  • http://www.xanga.com/publicdomain WJM

    Terse!? The word “terse” is itself too terse!

    I particularly like this line:

    “The L.M. Montgomery estate and others were lobbying the federal government to extend the protection for unpublished works. “

    This is rubbish. I wanted to use the word “bullshit” but I don’t know if I’m allowed. Oh, too late!

    The ONLY literary estate that were so lobbying were Heirs of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Inc.

    They (LMM Inc, etc.) cited other examples, including Stephen Leacock. Not only was his estate (if it exists, he died in 1944) NOT involved, he had strong opinions on copyright (see my blog).

    They also cited John Macrae (“In Flanders Fields”, for those who know their famous WWI poetry)… which was especially sick, given that the ORIGINAL bill wouldn’t have affected his unpublished works (if any still exist). It was only the open-ended amended version, which would have abolished the public domain IN ALL UNPUBLISHED WORKS — going back to the cuneiform tablets still in the ground in Iraq — that put Macrae in play.

    Now, we’ve gotten rid of half the mess in Canada when it comes to unpublished works. However, those who died from 1949 to 1998 inclusive get an excessively long copyright duration, until 2048, rather than a time-clock ticking from their death. That means that Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King (died 1950) gets almost 100 years, while Trudeau (died 2000) gets the same for his published or unpublished works. Bizarre. But that’s what happens when Parliament tries to ram through a copyright amendment at the last minute (which is how it has usually worked here.)

    Bye-bye to s. 21 of Bill C-8. Hello to the Library and Archives of Canada, which is what the rest of the Bill is aimed at establishing.

    BTW, it also removes certain onerous red tape for archives in respect of “unpublished works”, i.e., everything that archives hold…

    AND it also expressly provides that it is NOT an infringement for the National Library/National Archives of Canada to copy and maintain copies of Canadian internet material, which means that ephemeral digital Canadiana can now be saved for posterity without the risk of copyright lawsuits!

    Now, why can’t regional or local libraries and archives gain this same right?

    Further on and further in.

  • Matthew Saroff

    Just you watch.

    They will try ti slime this through under NAFTA, or get another tradeal signed to gut this decision.

  • Stephen Gilbert

    As a Canadian, I always have trouble following these cases. Usually I only hear of them after the fact in the mainstream news, and I suspect I’m missing a lot. I know all the lawbloggers in the US; who’s covering things in Canada? Anyone have any suggestions?

  • http://www.bobtheking.com Jeramey

    Now if we could only get some rulings like that inside the United States.

  • http://www.xanga.com/publicdomain WJM

    For Canadian news, try:


  • Jeanne Broudy

    Oh for crying out loud. We’ve (the U.S.) have gone from the constitution’s original benchmark of 17 years to (now going on) 200 years. Please. Do we really need “I’ve Got You Babe” to be copyrighted until we’ve colonized Mars?

  • http://www.webpagex.org Peter T.

    I hope you don’t see this a personal attack. We do have hate speech laws in my country. I mean to tell you why after reading Lessig’s Code critically for my Information Society law course last year, I find the material by Lessig, less useful now. Code was well written and easy to read but…. I have been reading Rob Kitchin’s Cyberspace the past few months. He seems as a geographer to have some of the same legal dispute examples from the net(lambda moo) used by Lessig in Code. Yet his solutions to this new area of problems and changes is not legal in the sense the Lessig’s are.

    This is where I no longer need Lessig. His solutions all seem to be about the US consitution. Fine if your an American and most Internet users are I suppose. But most of the Internet legal commenators are saying we need international solutions. US free speech is not Canadian freedom of expression. Nor is it Indian press law nor is it Russian press law. Lessig in my mind is a cultural imperialist.

    Our Supreme court in Canada has taken different stances on patenting life, and just yesterday it seems, P2P file sharing. Also Canadian protection of personal information is more strict than American.

    But wait then there is Rob Kitchin who is in Ireland. I don’t know the details of the law there in Ireland. I do know the laws there are not American or Canadian. So why would we need a made in America solution to an international problem or set of problems brought on by the Internet?

    Now to the present issue copyright. I have been a creative artist for many years making almost nothing in income from this art. Just this past year I have started to collect royalties and now my wife is about to start to collect royalties. We are creative writers. We are extremely poor, disabled and struggle with our health. That we should as we start to become paid artists suddenly subscribe to giving our art away for free instead of profiting is I think advising us to commit suicide. I don’t mind my essays being given away and I usual post my school papers on my web sites. We both have lots of our poems also self web published. But I don’t post my songs for download. We should freely choose our copyright regime. I will not subscribe to the creative commons licence under pressure.

    I feel many academics are just another jumping on the band wagon. Reading about the Internet in school is getting to be difficult.

  • awgriff279

    In response to Peter T.’s comment, “I will not subscribe to the creative commons licence under pressure.” I agree one shouldn’t be coerced one way or the other. That is why I put a CC Attribution license on all my writing. I want to have the freedom to choose, and I want to give others the freedom to choose.

  • http://www.xanga.com/publicdomain WJM

    “Our Supreme court in Canada”

    The P2P case wasn’t Supreme Court, or even an appelate court for that matter. It was the trial division. There are two levels of appeal to go.

    “We are extremely poor”

    That is unfortunate. I know the feeling. Been there, done it. However, it does’t logically follow that broader copyright rights, on a wider range of uses, and for a longer period of time, will make anyone unpoor, at least in the latter instance, not them, not during their lifetime.

    No more so than stronger criminal penalties for bank fraud, theft, or any other economic crime will put more money in anyone’s bank account.

  • http://www.mythago.com/ mythago

    in the Canadian case, all unpublished works in the specified time span would have been subject to this rather arbitrary deadline change

    While technically true, this is an example of a “tall blonde man with one brown shoe” bill–that is, one which ostensibly benefits a group of people who meet the bill’s rather bizarre and exact criteria, but which in reality ends up helping the one (or few) lobbying for the bill.

  • Matthew Rimmer

    Perpetual Protection of Unpublished Works: Canada v Australia

    Canada was wise to revise the Copyright Act in 1997-98. Until then, unpublished documents enjoyed perpetual copyright protection. With the 1997-98 changes, works written by individuals who had died before 1949 were given a five-year grace period, to the end of 2003, before copyright expired and the works could enter the public domain.

    By contrast, Australia has not reformed the copyright term of unpublished works. The National Library of Australia expressed its chagrin over this state of affairs several years ago:

    “In the case of unpublished works such as manuscripts there is a need to reduce the duration of copyright. Section 33(3) of the Copyright Act, 1968 states that copyright in unpublished works continues to subsist until 50 years after the works are first published. Most manuscripts are never published, and remain in perpetual copyright. When the British Copyright Act was amended in 1988, no distinction was made between published and unpublished works as far as the duration of copyright was concerned. Section 12 of the British act states that copyright in literary works expires 50 years after the death of the author. The New Zealand Copyright Act, 1994 adopts this approach. Unless Section 33(3) is amended and the duration of copyright made finite, it will be very difficult for libraries and archives to undertake any large-scale digitisation projects involving manuscripts.”

    With the advent of the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, it looks like unpublished works will receive 70 years of protection after publication. It seems that unpublished works – which are never released – will receive perpetual protection.

    Matthew Rimmer

  • http://home.telepath.com/~hrothgar/telae_tabulae.html Timothy Phillips

    In the U.S. prior to the 1976 act, most unpublished works were subject to a common-law right of first publication which was indefinite. In theory it could be perpetual, but it could also in theory be lost. And it was a right of first publication only, not a “copyright”. Was not the Canadian situation similar ?

    It seems that copyright has ex-ter-mi-nat-ed some episodes of Dr. Who:


  • http://x x

    “That we should as we start to become paid artists suddenly subscribe to giving our art away for free instead of profiting is I think advising us to commit suicide.”

    Fine, that’s great; many of us create copyrighted works for a living. Nobody here wants to force you to give away your work during your lifetime. I hope you don’t care about having longer copyright terms for your works during the period after you’re already dead!

    These copyright extension laws give no meaningful benefit to the authors, since they’re extending copyright from one point after the author’s death to an even *later* point after the author’s death. The economic analysis indicates that such an extension is probably going to be worth absolutely nothing to you. :-P

  • http://x x

    “In the U.S. prior to the 1976 act, most unpublished works were subject to a common-law right of first publication which was indefinite. In theory it could be perpetual, but it could also in theory be lost.”

    Wasn’t it lost upon the death of the author?

  • Chris

    “Wasn�t it lost upon the death of the author?”

    In Canada, it was not. This was considered to be a large problem just waiting to happen. This the topic around which the whole LMM issue revolves.

    Imagine sifting through the ash of Pompeii, and finding a clay tablet with most of a private letter written, yet never sent or released. You, as an archaeological researcher, publish this clay tablet as part of your research findings. (It’s historically significant, because clay tablets likely weren’t used much by that time.)

    However, a particularly litigious distant relative of the person who wrote the letter sues you for copyright infringement! They argue that since copyright is extant in an unpublished work forever, they as the rightful heirs hold the exclusive right to publish that work. They might even have a good case, since 1925 years is significantly less than forever.

    But – “common sense revolts at the idea” that this is in any way how things should work out. But it was what the letter of the law stated, so the law was revised to limit the term of unpublished works, bringing the law into sync with common sense. Making the term the same as published works also made sense, since we had long since stopped requiring explicit registration of works for copyright purposes. In Canada, copyright in all works is now extant from the moment of their creation through 50 years following the author’s death.

    This whole case of LMM and any similarly situated works is just working through the temporary concessions the new act granted to those with old, unpublished works. It seemed unfair to instantly take a work that was currently under infinite copyright and suddenly give it just a few years, when the same author’s other works had only just entered the public domain. With the final pre-1949 concessions behind us, the only remaining timed item is the 2048 date for unpublished works of authors who died between 1949 and 1998. Any rights holders with unpublished works, who of course will not be the original authors, have another 44 years to publish within the granted monopoly.

    The new Act is consistent in treatment of works, easy to understand for all, easy to apply for librarians and archivists, and in general fair to all parties. Although death+50 will in some cases make for long terms, there are cases – such as the death of a just-published author – in which it makes a lot of sense. So, rather than create a byzantine legal structure, we’ve moved a little in the direction of the author, but gained a consistent treatment for all works. I think we can live (and die) with this.

  • http://www.faircopyright.ca LJM

    This is all great–Canadians don’t make enough noise about copyright by half. I was especially glad tho to read the comments of Peter T. I agree that “user rights” people have to take creators’ rights seriously. I love the idea of creativecommons, but agree that it is a lot easier for a salaried university professor, say, to be magnanimous than an independent creator: there are a lot of problems creativecommons can’t solve. The “cultural industries” are notorious for using creators’ rights as an alibi for their own often opposing interests–everybody feels sorry for poor artists so this strategy really works on MPs, congresspeople etc. This blatant fakery should be an opportunity: user rights people should be coming forward with education, dialogue opportunities, policy alternatives–they/we don’t want to be guilty of the same move, saying we speak for “starving artists.” Although I have various differences with the Creators’ Rights Association’s objectives (see http://www.cra-adc.ca), I admire their international scope, and also their recognition that the interests of rights-holders (including heirs, corporations etc.) are not the same as the interests of creators. (The Writers’ Union of Canada for example does not seem to recognize this.) Perhaps part of what needs to be done is a broadening of the scope so that copyright is not the only hope held out to artists. More copyright all the time is not going to help most creators–or, equally important, potential creators–those who are just amateurs, apprentices, or babies! The government promotes copyright as a solution partly because copyright costs it nothing–meanwhile I hear Canada is considering scrapping the FACTOR grants, that is, grants to musicians for making recordings–a support directly aimed at creators. This is pathetic. I’d love to network with Canadian artists/performers etc. to build some bridges, argue, get visionary, get realistic. Check out my website or email me if that’s a discussion you’d want to be part of.

  • http://www.xanga.com/publicdomain WJM

    “The new Act is consistent in treatment of works, easy to understand for all”

    Except for those unpublished works by the people who died in between 1949 and 1998. Instead of keying-to-death, the term is keyed to 2048, with the absurd result that — for example, Mackenzie King’s published works are now in the public domain, but his private papers will be under copyright for almost 100 posthumous years!

    This was the real problem that needed fixing in the copyright act, not poor old Lucy Maud’s works finally making the inevitable transition to the public domain.

    “easy to apply for librarians and archivists”

    You would think that it would have been a strong selling point, but the silence of the librarians and archivists in Canada on these issues has been absolutely deafening. I don’t get it. I know they like it quiet, but this is ridiculous.

    The National Archives and the Bureau of Canadian Archivists actually caved in, and, behind closed doors, gave the LMM estate exactly what they had lobbied for in the form of C-36.

  • http://paulschreiber.com/ paul

    In honour of this, I have put together my Canadian remix of Free Culture, with the appropriate spelling changes made. :)

  • http://- jason s tar

    I am probably in the wrong forum, and if so i would appreciate direction to the proper one. This being said, reading the most recent lessig book, i find myself with conflicting moral beliefs of pirating music from the internet. As much as I agree with lessig that this form of piracy is immoral, it is poosible to link piracy A and D as long as the motivation for piracy A is in service of piracy D, and sometimes/possibley C. In any case, they all seem to feed one another, i haven’t finished the book, but i hope that your blunt, lessig, opinion of piracy is so black and white. I believe in black and white, and probably finsih the book before i finsih this posting, so i will
    jason tar

    ps, i think. If my life becomes more enjoyable and “substantial” due to the download of pirated music, without having intentions of duplicating said music, isn’t that worh breaking the law so to speak? I love music, cds are expensive, i have no dsl, just a ghetto stolen wireless signal. Granted, the recent p2p sharing is in the architecture which makes it tedious and slightly long to download albums in their enirity, yet as stated with in chapter 1 or 5, or somewhere in there, piracy as a preview of what you may economically purchase is productive for everyone. This is the end of this rambling which I have forgotten the topic of.

    pss. what are lawrence’s view on the intellectual property of aesthetic objects and the plastic arts? Are there standard laws in existence or none whatsoever. This seems the least economical sector of copywrigt infrigement, yet curious as to how these types of physical/mental property are protected by “copiers”. Just curious

  • jason tar

    I must note that arcitectural designs do have protection of their designs, yet who is to say that an architectural treasure may be mimiced with slight changes. This seems to fit the mickey mouse analogy, but these are structures of cultural signifigance. Structure mind you, not a drawing of a mouse dancing on a boat. In an industry such as architecture, with a tradition of drawing from, and in many cases directly copying from, the styles and decorative effects of past architecture as a justification for creating such a design. There are progressive architects which are very much so looking into, it is just upsetting that the mainstream public is rarely aware of these architectural advances until decades after their ‘style’ has been defined by culture. wrong newsgroup or what?

  • http://www.neue.co.uk mark rushworth

    LOL yeah, you should be in my world, it makes dr zeus look plain.


  • Lutzi

    hi all,
    I have an extremely stupid and simple question re the Canadian Copyright Act, perhaps someone could help me out: What is the current duration of the protection term for “works made for hire”, that is corporate “authors” ?
    I dunno why I didn�t find skimming through?
    thanks a lot.

  • http://www.theelusivefish.com TragicLad

    In Canada, a copyright owned by a corporation has a duration that lasts the remainder of the calendar year in which that work is created, plus 50 years. For an individual, the copyright lasts until 50 years after the author’s death.

    I just finished reading Free Culture and I intend on emailing a pdf of the book, along with a long letter, to my member of parliment, to the minister of heritage and culture, and to the opposition critics for the minister of heritage and culture.

    Right now Canada’s gov’t is under tremendous pressure from American corporate interests to wage copyright war. If we have a chance to avoid such a path, I think now’s the time to step forward and speak up.

  • http://mellowtrouble.net andrea


    and i’m sure anne would’ve been against this extension of copyright, she was a poet after all….


  • Chris

    TragicLad: I thought the same as you, but I couldn’t find a solid reference. Can you provide a reference into either the Copyright Act or to a judicial decision on this?

    The only thing I found the Act when I went looking was your description – but it only applied to photographs.

  • daniel straub

    EU calls for new copyright law
    Stephanie Bodoni, London – 25 April 2004

    Copyright holders may soon benefit from a harmonized law on EU-wide licensing deals if a European Commission proposal gets the go-ahead.

    In a report published last Monday, which wraps up a seven-year consultation on the issue, the Commission concluded that the management of rights has so far been only marginally addressed by Community law. Member states, says the report, have largely been left to deal with the issue under their national laws.

    To ensure a proper functioning of the internal market, especially in the face of increasing demands for EU-wide licences, Community legislation on the collective management of rights has become �highly desirable�.

    �Rights holders and commercial users deserve a sound and modern management of these rights,� said internal market commissioner Frits Bolkestein. �That is why it is no longer possible not to address rights management at European level.�

    Rights management, which relates to the process of marketing copyright and related rights, can be carried out individually by the rights holder or by a collecting society acting as a trustee.

    In a 19-page communication, which concludes a consultation which lasted from 1995 to 2002 on both issues, the Commission found that collective rights management is well established in all member states.

    But with rights management becoming an increasing economic, cultural and social necessity in the expanding EU, the Commission asks whether existing methods are hindering the functioning of the internal market.

    It has launched an additional consultation to find out if a Community-wide legislation on the collective management of rights would benefit the internal market and what it should look like.

    To find out more and see the Commission�s communication,


  • Branko Collin

    Gijs Wirtz of Philips said recently at the Dutch Symposium for Author’s Rights that Europe does not want Digital Rights Management, but a better system of levies (what you call collective rights management). He claims that the two systems of rights management oppose each other.

    I could not understand much of the minutes of the symposium; it seemed to be about the economic consequences of copyright, and about whether copyright should be changed depending on its economic value. That would seem to me to be a nonsensical question: if copyright is a natural right, then the economic value is irrelevant. And if copyright is there to ensure innovation, then each change to copyright should ultimately be weighed against how good it is for innovation, regardless of whether it has positive or negative economic consequences.

  • http://nigritudeultramarine.blogspot.com Flashman

    Isn’t this wonderful? How I’d like to live in a country where large corporations understand that giving something away (or so cheap, it’s almost free) can actually be *good* for business. Or haven’t they twigged that lots of people won’t need to steal if the value proposition is right?

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