I have been part of different copyright-related projects for the last 10 years.
I believe that the old model of copyright is already exhausted. The huge music/audios/software/patent/etc industry needs a new model. Better said, the analog copyright versions should give way to the new, digital ones.
Why I thought about it? I was following an article, which was linked via a blog site of one of the Bulgarian politicians. His blog has no (C) nor (CC). The link in his blog was to his political party, which also has no copyrights listed on the site (e.g. note the difference with Bulgaria Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin, who is publishing under CC).
But the thing is that on the web site of the party, there’s a DOC (MS Word) file with an interview, which is actually copy & paste from a newspaper, that is, strict (C).
And there’s not a word about it in the doc file, or on the web site.
That is just yet another example why the analog model doesn’t workin the digital age.
I propose that we start thinking of a new model, and in the meantime, all such materials should be released by default in the public domain. Why would an interview with a politician be copyrighted (C)? Who is the author – the jouranlist, who is asking the questions, or the person answering them?
Let’s give the copyright holders substential amount of time, during which they have to come with new digital rights, and in the meantime allow non-commercial usage of all copyrighted material at will. Only such a move will push the industry in the right direction – that is, to sit and create their own, new, digital model. Otherwise here’s what happens – organizations like Creative Commons suggest changes, and the only thing they hear is, “That’s not good enough”. Big commercial companies, with millions of songs, stories, movies… They should be the one to create the new model, in cooperation with the users, sales, marketing, etc., etc.
I really hope that Bulgaria could also give some good example in that direction – e.g. by providing the first ever professinal writers’ creative commons theme. We, the Internet Society of Bulgaria, are working on it. I will keep you informed on the development there.
In the USA there is the DMCA with it’s ‘Safe Harbor’ provision, which gets ISP’s off the hook if they take down any offending material on notification. In practice this extends also to most users I think.
The problem in many countries, Bulgaria included, is that the US Trade Representative’s 301 Report is being prepared based on data, provided by the organizations, who benefit from it. That is, the data of BSA for “ilegal” software is totally faked in the report about Bulgaria. If one data is wrong, then the conclusion is also wrong. I wish that they create something like a “test mechanism”, where the BSA data can be checked against falsifications. (I’ve blogged about the USTR report here and here, in a letter to the USTR)
As for the content – yes, that gives the ISPs safe harbor, but in some countries the police first confiscates the computers, and then returns them, in a couple of years, thus making them useless.