Cory Doctorow – How copyright threatens democracy

It would probably be more accurate to say “how copyright enforcement by multi-national entertainment companies can threaten democracy.” No, I’m not going all “copyleft” on you. This movie picks up on a thread from several weeks ago when I recommended watching RIP, A Remix Manifesto.

Current US copyright laws have arguably gone over the edge, as both RIP and this movie point out. In the process the individual creator is getting squeezed.  Part of the general public sees rights holders as unreasonable and greedy operators, trying to lock up the most recent version of our cultural heritage behind a pay wall forever (even as the current culture borrows liberally from intellectual property of the recent past.)

Many media conglomerates, meanwhile, see the residual value attached to the work of creators, and are doing their best to acquire all rights without regard to fair compensation to the creator. If the work has a hundred-year economic life, then they have even more reason to wrest total ownership of the work from other parties.

It is arguable that the extension of copyright has therefore hurt the economic interests of many creators.

At the recent NDIIPP partners meeting, we heard the phrase “fix the copyright problem”.  I don’t have high hopes that a fix would be working in the interest of the independent creator.

In any case, for your viewing pleasure. The intro to Cory starts at 9 minutes in. There’s a question about how this relates to photography at 52 minutes. (I’m going to turn comments back on, and hope the spam does not return):