A Daniel Has Come to Judgement
I just couldn’t resist posting about the fact that the Judge on the original Napster case is now calling for major copyright reform. It seems like there really is hope around the corner, even if it’s taken a long time coming.
The story is well covered on Wired’s blog, but essentially the good Judge Miriam Hall Patel appears to have come to the realisation that modern copyright is in dire need of a radical overhaul, if it is to cope with the demands of a digital world (as we’ve observed in a previous post). Perhaps no one else is better placed to make this statement more convincingly than Judge Patel, who also proposed the formation of a new copyright administrative body with the powers to effectively govern a more forward looking copyright system. Furthermore, and this is the best bit, this body must include representatives of ALL competing interests (including consumers and content creators), not just the usual suspects of music industry heavyweights, and their lobbyists, as is so often the case. Certainly makes a case for the five key stakeholder groups of: content creators, technologists, businesses, governance and consumers, to be represented at the very least
So we have a situation where a credible figure from the governance group (aka “the other side” for some) is calling for a common sense approach to addressing a major stumbling block to the frenetic innovation and opportunities presented by the world of digital content. I say hurrah for Judge Patel, and about time too, especially in light of the ever-raging debate over the future of music (a recent example of which can be found here). However, I think that even this proposal does not go far enough because, in order to create a truly successful copyright regime for a global Internet, this initiative really needs to be undertaken at a global level. But I’ll gladly settle for the US or the EU showing leadership in this area, especially as they may have the most to lose or gain, either way.
Note: This post was previously published on my BCS DRM Blog, where you can find the original post, and reader comments, in the archives.