Thursday, April 17, 2014

Of Bundles, Bindings, and the Next Great Copyright Law; Library Journal, 4/17/14

Kevin L. Smith, Library Journal; Of Bundles, Bindings, and the Next Great Copyright Law:
"What will the next great copyright law look like? It depends to a large degree on what we think is great about the current copyright law. Many of the problems and proposals for reform that I listened to in Berkeley made me think that the pressure of digital technology is too much for the very notion of copyright, and that the legal regime built around that concept is collapsing under the weight. The question, I think, is whether we should try to keep strengthening the structure of the law to withstand that pressure, which is the approach we have taken so far, or whether perhaps we should reduce the pressure by returning to a more lightweight set of protections. As someone pointed out during the week, our first copyright law in the U.S. protected simply the right to copy, publish, and vend a work. Maybe we could return to that approach by just protecting the right to commercially exploit a work of authorship and stripping away many of the protections, and hence the required exceptions, that cause so many problems for museums, schools, universities, and individuals who simply want to engage in socially beneficial activities that do not threaten the core markets for those works."

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