Fred Seibert is a guy I have a lot of respect and admiration for so it was quite surprising (and delightful) to see a post from him on the subject of copyright (something that is inexplicably fascinating to me). Fred’s post is actually a discussion/opinion on the news that Republicans in Congress released a paper in which they did a surprisingly good job of analysing the impact that copyright has and some of the myths that surround it.
I won’t go into the details because I want you to read the full post over on a regular haunt of mine, Techdirt. However, I do want to point out that Fred, being in the creative industries that he is, takes a very rational approach to the fact that copyright and the industries linked to it, are rapidly changing.
Rather than stick his head in the sand, Fred details, quite clearly, outlines why increased penalties and terms on copyright protection is detrimental:
….Completely aside from the fact that in this era of expansion of ease of sharing and distribution that more stringent copyright defense is the equivalent of putting up higher and higher anti-immigration fences along our borders, it just isn’t helpful to creative enterprise. Seriously.
And, we’re gathering the forces to realize that all the technological changes in our lives are *demanding* legal change.
A long time ago, copyright was the preserve of entertainment industry bigwigs and specialist lawyers. Today, everyone is at least familiar with the concept of copyright but unfortunately most do not understand the ramifications of the legal rights and restrictions it imposes on the person on the receiving end.
I’ve discussed the importance of copyright knowledge to animators and other creators before and I would encourage you to read up on it if you are not familiar with it beyond the basics. As Fred says:
What should you do? One, be smarter about the what’s what in the business you work in. And two, write your congressional representatives. Let them know what you think.
Be an informed citizen and creator. We are in the same era as those people living when the first Gutenberg bible was printed. They lived through the proverbial wringer; now it’s out turn.