Thursday, December 07, 2006

Copyright Penalties to be Extended

No change otherwise

I'm snowed under at work, but someone has to say this: Andrew Gowers is a reactionary old goon who should be ignored. He's the bloke who's supposedly going to recommend that the government not extend the period of copyright beyond the current 50 years.

Well, pardon me if I don't give even one cheer. While a lot of fuss has been made about Cliff Richard's impending loss of earnings from hits he had in the 1950s, and how marvellous it is that some ex-editor of a rightwing paper has seen sense in leaving our times' most controversial area exactly as it is, not a lot has been said about the sting in the tail of his report: that filesharers are recommended to be lumped in with forgers and imprisoned for up to 10 years.

Does this man actually live in the same century as the rest of us? It's bad enough that people who want to share their delight in new music are criminalised under existing legislature, drawn up in times when copying music cost money. Now, if this old duffer has his way, practically everyone with a computer is heading straight to jail.

The man's an idiot. Don't give him the time of day.


Blogger Julian said...

I didn't read it like that but maybe I'm being optimistic. I understood:-

- No new controls on file sharing
- ISPs encouraged to voluntarily work with their association and hence with th BPI to stop file sharing
- Increased penalties for commercial counterfeiting.

It does seem to be extremely hard to discuss this rationally and to separate *commercial* counterfeiting for *profit* from *private* individuals sharing files for *free*.

But then he also suggested that while copying for pesonal use should be made legal it shouldn't be retrospective and should only apply to purchases made after the law changes. And for old CDs, the record companies should sell us a blanket license to copy. As if! So clearly he is a "reactionary old goon who should be ignored."

Monday, December 11, 2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger The Peer said...

As you may have guessed from my opening sentence, this rant was based on press responses, not a close reading of the actual report, but I think Gowers' "qualified yes" to his task of establishing "whether the system was fit for purpose" says it all. I wouldn't put it past the next government (whomever's at the helm) to legislate something rather nasty under the guise of complying with this report, and probably still extend the copyright term under pressure from our transatlantic pals.

Monday, December 18, 2006 1:15:00 AM  
Anonymous jambrose said...

You might say this dude is a "reactionary old goon who should be ignored", but then you will bash Disney etc, who want The Mouse to continue reaping the dollars well after the death of Walt.

The key is in the judges who must recognize the purpose of copyright law is benefit the creator and the public. There must be a balance.

Unfortunately, WIPO is owned by Mickey and his cronies.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 3:30:00 AM  
Blogger The Peer said...

Jambrose, you seem to be criticizing me for something you think I will say. I have never said anything about Disney. Apart from classing filesharers as criminals, my gripe with Gowers is that he is bascially advising the UK government to do nothing. If I said that I would prefer copyright terms not to be extended, it would be like saying I would prefer to drown in water than in shit.

Copyright law only benefits 'content owners' - not creators. And at the expense of everyone else. It should be abolished, at least on things which can be freely copied; WIPO should be wiped out.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 9:35:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home