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back to article Academics must check contracts' effects on user rights

The use of contracts and technologies to bypass copyright law and users' rights must be investigated by academics, a review of contract and copyright law by a government advisory body has said. The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) is an independent but publicly funded body overseen by the Intellectual …

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Good idea

Academics might be the only way to get opinions from people who don't have vested interests. As long as there's no pressuring for certain outcomes, as the last government have been known to do with the drug assessment committees for example.

Maybe they could look at the software patent fiasco then...

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Sounds good . . .

. . . if I read it all right.

So, fair usage for those of us who have bought the thing in the first-place and simply want it in a different easier to use format.

And, finally, something to stop the studios just sitting on an artists work and not keeping it in circulation - if they don't use it, the artist gets the right to publish elsewhere.

Of course, the studios will have a fit, what with this cutting them out of the loop on both ends or forcing them to actually, you know, publish all th back catalogues.

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Anonymous Coward

Probably pointless

The publishers will just do the minimum that they have to do to retain copyright (such as offer the book for sale online for a rather high price) and everything will continue as before except that we are stuck with more complicated laws and some additional risks that we all end up paying for, except the lawyers, who will gain a bit.

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Badgers

Programmers

So, how are development shops going to work when your employment contract can no longer contain a waiver of rights to anything created while an employee?

Could a programmer (or a group of them) assert rights to a product no longer being sold that they worked on ?

Got to think these things though in terms of the larger picture, not just books and records...

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Contracts and copyright

I admit I stole this:

Copyright is the "exclusive right of the copyright holder to reproduce the work in any form."

As the creator of a work, you own the copyright in it.

There are two exceptions to that rule. First, if you are an employee and you create the work in the course of your employment, _the employer owns it_. Second, if you sign an agreement with an American publisher that refers to your work as a "work made for hire" or "work for hire" then it is as if you were an employee for the purposes of the creation of that work and the "employer" owns the work outright.

I presume something similar appears in UK law already.

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Programmers = Artists?

Authors, musicians,...artists, are not 'employed' by the studios or publishers. They create work which is then promoted/distributed/sold etc. under various standard forms of contract. The author has to produce the work first.

'Development shops' employ people to provide their hours slaving at a desk and they may or may not produce anything useful or original in that time. When and if they do, it is 'owned' by their employer. This form of contract of employment is standard and has been for many years.

I don't think any variation in standard forms of contracts of employment is being considered here.

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Anonymous Coward

Evidence based policy ?

If the academics don't make the right recommendation, they will be ignored.

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Private sector good, quangos bad

An independent but publicly funded body. Could that be something like a quasi non government organisation? Some of these quangos can offer up newsworthy stuff from time to time or is this just a bid for new funding by a creative team while the rest fall in the government's cull?

Funny, it looked to me for a moment as if this group was trying to protect some people from behemoths in the private sector.

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Terminator

Obsolete Software?

What about obsolete software?

For example, old versions of popular apps which are no longer sold? But the software industry sits on the copyright, refusing to distribute them.

Might that be a goldmine for software code monkeys? How would you assign copyright ownership of a work that involved a team of 50? I'm sure corporate lobbying will guarantee that never happens.

Your foster parents own the copyright, but they're dead.

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FAIL

Already been done...

This has been done already, essentially with the conclusion that (most) licenses do not respect fair use at all, and pretend it doesn't exist. These people, academic or not, are then dismissed as "freetards" and ignored.

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