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No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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hmm | 397 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Preservation
Authored by: Wol on Monday, November 19 2012 @ 01:04 PM EST
Needs covering. A registration gives the registrant a *duty* to preserve. Only
their unique contribution, but that's enough.

So a novelist needs to make sure (maybe by contracting with a publisher) that
the public can buy the book. A film studio needs to make sure the public can
watch the film. A musician needs to make sure the public can hear or play the
music.

A publisher, on the other hand? Not much responsibility at all. After all,
they're fulfilling their responsibility by getting it into the hands of the
public.

HOWEVER, that responsibility will discourage little "tricks" like
creative editing. A small change to the document, a *large* increase in
responsibility! :-)

And of course, if the public has no access to the work, collectors have every
right to preserve copies (even by copying) because either the work is
unregistered, or the registration is invalid for "lack of
preservation".

(Of course, being unable to contact the registrant would also invalidate the
registration and therefore permit preservation and copying.)

Cheers,
Wol

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

hmm
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 19 2012 @ 02:19 PM EST
I don't necessarily mean that compulsory blanket licensing of the entire work
should be available for ALL works right away. Obviously big interests like
Disney would never allow that.

What I want is similar to how coffee-shop owners can get a blanket license to
play whatever music they want, in exchange for a flat rate fee to some central
agency which will then dole it out to the copyright holders of that music based
on how often their stuff gets played.

But I want that model for other things too: I want rap artists to be able to pay
a blanket licensing fee to be able to sample from and remix the work of other
contemporary artists (and for the sampled artists to get paid based on how often
samples of their work are used).

In the current situation for example, it can be very difficult to make a
documentary, because you want to use various orphaned works but you can't even
figure out who owns the copyright on them, and how to make sure you won't get
sued for using their footage. So documentary makers should be able to just pay
a blanket licensing fee and use excerpts of whatever they need. And rap artists
should be able to just pay a blanket licensing fee and use samples (excerpts)
from whatever they need. And maybe there's other areas we haven't even noticed
yet where the same model would work well.

Compulsory licensing for software might not make sense at all, or it might make
sense only for works which have passed their first 15 years and gotten renewed,
or something.

I think my larger point is this : We shouldn't treat all copyrighted works
identically, because there are vast differences between the different industries
that commercially produce those works, and intrinsic differences between
different kinds of works (movies / music / pictures / software / novels / etc).
We should tailor our copyright laws so that they give more benefits to the
public, while still allowing big business interests to do their thing and make
boatloads of money selling (or "licensing") their copyrighted works.
But we should not just let the big business interests who control a small
fraction of all copyrighted works, dictate the policies that apply to ALL
copyrighted works. The public interest has been almost absent from the debate
until now, because individuals could basically ignore copyright and still do
what they wanted to do. But we're entering an era where attempts at
technological restrictions (DRM etc.) are starting to actually interfere with
this. E.g. HDMI prevents you from just copying DRM'ed signal to a file on your
computer. You have to break through the technology, which is illegal under the
DMCA. So we need to get people to care about these bad laws and fix them, so
that we can all benefit from the rich cultural stockpile of copyrighted works we
have created (rather than letting a few strong lobbies have all the benefit).

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

  • hmm - Authored by: Wol on Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 07:14 AM EST
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