Just finished reading a little book by Cory Doctorow, “Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free. Laws for the Internet Age.” His basic premise is that copyright laws are completely outdated (which is obviously true). He believes that while copyright has a place in terms of large commercial transactions, the same principles should not be applicable to individual copying, downloads of music and other items. He is also resolutely opposed to any form of digital locks. As he puts it “Digital locks are roach motels: copyrighted works check in, but they don’t check out...Anti-circumvention isn’t copyright protection: it’s middleman protection.”
His “three laws” are:
• Any Time Someone Puts a Lock on Something that Belongs to You and Won’t Give You the Key, That Lock Isn’t There for Your Benefit.
• Fame Won’t Make You Rich, But You Can’t Get Paid Without It. (This is a very interesting chapter about crowd-sourcing and crowd-payment. Apparently this actually works).
•Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, People Do.
His concluding chapter, “What Is Copyright For?” sums up his position: “The purpose of copyright shouldn’t be to ensure that whoever got lucky with last year’s business model gets to stay on top forever...If we have to choose between that vision of copyright and a world where more people can create, more audiences can be served, where our devices are our honest servants and don’t betray us, where our networks are not designed for censorship and surveillance, then I choose the later.”
There’s lots of little tidbits scattered throughout the book. Definitely worth reading.