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back to article Copyright law must be relaxed, says new group

Librarians, digital activists, ISPs, music managers and other associations and trade bodies have called for the relaxing of copyright law in the EU to allow more people to access and re-use copyrighted material. The bodies have joined together to launch a series of demands in a declaration they have called Copyright For …

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Big Brother

Won't Fly

Despite the admirable aims of treating all EU citizens & Countries equally this is doomed to failure.

Why?

Sky & Premiership footy is why.

Remember the case for copyright violation brought against pub landlord who perfectly legally bought their footy subscription from Greece? They apparently broke Copyright.

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Better

Much better that the Freetardia broken idea of Creative Commons or other similar totally broken denial of rights.

Also the EU wide copyright harmonisation should have idea that creators rights can only be licensed and not purchased outright. This should also apply to people working as employees. They are employees, not slaves or serfs. You are being paid, yes, but that should only give the company exclusive licence to exploit the products, not ownership of your creative thoughts.

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Boffin

Re: Creative Commons... "broken"

"...broken idea of Creative Commons or other similar totally broken denial of rights."

Actually, copyright is merely a contract with governmental protections (due to lobbying). Quite similar to EULAs, by the way (EULAs are explicit copyright licenses, after all). The Creative Commons is a contract that provides for the consumer the promise from the author or creator that they will not be prosecuted for explicit re-uses of the copyrighted work.

This Declaration is, again, lobbying to make such contractual statements apply to ALL copyright, even if it is not under the Creative Commons, and provide governmental protections.

This will not fly, because the ability to generate new works is fundamental to the existing copyright holders to create the latest series of dross^W entertainment to the masses.

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DJV
Alert

Bloody hell!!!

Someone's talking some sense - quick, lock them up before they start infecting and influencing the idiots in power.

</sarcasm>

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Not only that

but as the EU is an equal trading area, prices should be enforced to be the same (well, you pay the same euro-value for a product). Geographical price-gouging shouldn't be allowed in the EU. Companies should set the "EU Price" for a product, and that should be the same all over Europe.

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Paris Hilton

But shoorli

I think if someone invokes copyright protection then they should also make it easy for other people to contact them in order to use the stuff covered by copyright.

For instance: digital images.

Where these are marked copyright (usually no reproduction without prior consent) it seems reasonable for the copyright holder to facilitate contact by others in order to observe copyright.

Should one claim copyright and not facilitate means of contact by others then perhaps it is a breach of copyright too?

Basis: rights and responsibilities attached to copyright materials

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Anonymous Coward

The problem isn't just copyright...

...it's also - possibly even more - the subversion of our legal and political processes by vested interests and their lobbyists. Not to mention those legal and political figures with little conscience beyond how much silver passes across their palms.

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Coat

subversion of our legal and political processes

Subversion of our legal and political processes should be regarded as TREASON. After all, it is an act against the country and against the "rulers" of the country who allowed parliaments to act on their behalf to rule.

Bring the tower back into use!

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Anonymous Coward

Nice idea

Though I'd rather have less copyright than more exceptions. Not against copyright, mind, just think we could do with a less ridiculously overextended copyright period, nevermind the funky first publishing rules.

Of course it won't fly as the stakeholders with the most lobbyist influence are those whose failing business model depends on abusing copyright.

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Shame...

Shame the Digital Economy Bill is law already, eh ?

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Cpoyright works in different ways...

...in different markets.

Most of the arguments I read here relate to creators of mass media and large corporations who are not creators at all but merely distributors. There is a whole industry of small, independent creators selling direct to a public who are mostly ignorant of copyright or don't give a damn about the rights of creators anyway. Strong copyright used to ensure both that those creators could earn a reasonable living from their work and also that consumers got a good deal and good service. Let me explain.

I am a photographer selling to the general public as much as to businesses. Historicaly, business clients paid full price for time (ie service) and got prints very cheaply, while consumers got the service for almost nothing because we could earn our profits on the sale of prints. This situation developed because businesses understood the value of time, while consumers understood the value of physical products but not the value of time.

That situation actually benefited consumers as well as us because our earnings related directly to how much they liked our work. We had an extra incentive to please because if we did a good job, we could reasonably expect to earn better than from a mediocre job.

Now consumers still expect us to work as cheaply as ever, but take whatever prints they do buy to the nearest copyshop to avoid paying for originals. Little wonder that high street photographers have all but disappeared.

This isn't a case of buggy-whip syndrome - high street photographers still provide valuable services and our work is still wanted, but consumers simply don't appreciate what it really costs to produce. If we take the pricing strategy for businesses and apply it to consumers, i.e. charge realistically for service so as to charge less for prints, then we get no bookings at all because they believe we are charging too much for service.

Strong copyright, if enforced, would enable us maintain the social contract of low upfront charges with final costs being dependent on the quality of our work, but trading standards very seldom take infringement of small photographers copyright seriously. The copy shops ply their trade with relative impunity, to the ultimate detriment of both creators and the consumers, even when they are quite blatant.

It's easy to lose sight of the needs of small businesses when these issues are discussed, but well planned copyright, properly enforced at the local level, can be a benefit to both creators and consumers.

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Pirate

Small business be damned

The needs of small businesses seem to be explicitly ignored when it comes to copyright - the gov tried very hard to stick one on us with the DEB, and this latest 'group' sounds like more of the same. You have to wonder if the latest bunch of cheerleaders aren't those who lost out on the right to pimp the work of others in the DEB; the BBC, V&A etc warned of disastrous consequences for them if couldn't supplement their income with the fruit of other peoples labour, and I doubt they'll just take it lying down.

The thinking in the article is extremely muddled. If so-called 'creatives' need to use images, audio or video as raw material for hybrid works from which they will profit, they should negotiate and pay for the use of the copyrighted work, just as a photographer might pay for the use of a location, prop or model. You might include some opt outs for strictly amateur (as opposed to not for profit) use, but I still strongly maintain that all creators (originators as opposed to distributors, as mentioned above) have the right to say yea or nay to the use of their work elsewhere, not least to avoid the issues that arise when a photo, say taken in a nursery specifically to promote education, is lifted slapped front and centre in an adoption campaign by a charity.

Keep ignoring the copyright needs of small businesses, and eventually the big boys won't have any fresh material left to steal and repackage.

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