Control is Fundamental to Copyright Theory — Devlin Hartline continues a discussion began last week when some criticized the assertion, made during Thursday’s copyright review hearing, that copyright is about control. Says Hartline, “All property law involves determining how much control to give to rightholders, and copyright is no exception. Copyright law presents its own unique considerations, no doubt, and the task of Congress is difficult as it determines where to strike the balance that it deems proper between the competing sets of claims as to what is best for the public good. But when considering where to strike this balance, it should be remembered that what is good for authors is often also good for the public.”

Department of Commerce releases report on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy — I have a summary of the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force’s Green Paper, released on Wednesday, over at Idea/Expression. “The purpose of the Green Paper is to review the development of copyright policy as it has responded to new technologies in recent decades, assess the current challenges facing copyright law, and provide a set of recommendations to address some of those challenges,” and will likely play an important role in copyright policy discussions going forward.

Getting Creative With the G.D.P. — “We have undervalued creativity and research,” notes the New York Times, as it reports on a significant change to how the G.D.P. is calculated. The Bureau of Economic Analysis will now give greater economic weight to a variety of creative works and intellectual property, to better reflect the value they generate for the economy. The change, which will be applied retroactively as well, will boost the size of the G.D.P. by tens of billions of dollars.

Steal a Little: Piracy & the Economy — More goodness from David Newhoff, who rebuts a recent assertion that we shouldn’t worry about infringement because the money not spent on creative works can be spent on other things. Well, sure, but that could be said about anything.

8 Takeaways from today’s IP Subcommittee Hearing — Chris Castle gives a good rundown of some of the highlights of Thursday’s hearing on technology and innovation in front of the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.

Why Telling Artists To Stop Selling Music & Just Make Money Through Live Shows Is Ridiculous — “Giving away all your music for free and trying to make your living via other revenue streams can be a valid approach. Except that I don’t know of any musicians actually doing that. The ones who do make all their music available for free are also selling it and some are doing just fine without touring at all. As a one size fits all solution, it still seems to be the fantasy mostly of people in the tech world, which is weird because one size fits all doesn’t work in their world either.”

Claeys on Aerial Trespass — Lawrence Lessig began his book Free Culture with the story of how commercial airflight was initially hampered by overly restrictive property rules; landowners had dominion over airspace above their land, creating nearly insurmountable obstacles to creating flight patterns. The implication being that this is analogous to the development of the internet and intellectual property. Now take a guess about how inaccurate the aerial trespass fable is.

1 Comment

  1. Only a matter of time before Google is busted by the Feds under RICO laws. Independent of that, I bet there’s a rather large class action suit being drafted now as well.