Even though musicians seem to primarily create music for music’s sake, copyright law could still supply powerful incentives for music production in a way that not only caters to market demand, but also allows for broader artistic freedom. Copyright piracy that does not necessarily affect musicians’ intrinsic motivations could nevertheless affect music creation in terms of the time spent on music creation, the volume of investment in music creation and, ultimately, the quality of music creation. Most importantly, copyright incentives do not function as a reward that musicians consciously bargain for and chase after, but as a mechanism that preserves market conditions for gifted musicians to prosper, including a decent standard of living, sufficient income to cover production costs and maximum artistic autonomy during the creative process.
Wil Wheaton is right: Stop expecting artists to work for free — or worse, for “exposure” — After Huffington Post asked actor Wil Wheaton to republish an article he had written for free, Wheaton went public with the story and an exhortation to fellow writers, artists, and creators to value their work and think twice about offers to work for free, even when “free exposure” is promised. As Scott Timberg observes here, “when ‘free’ becomes the way creative work gets assessed, it undercuts the market for everyone, famous and obscure alike. We end up with a race to the bottom.”
Google Books and Fair Use: From Implausible to Inevitable? — Eminent copyright scholar Jane Ginsburg on the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Authors Guild v. Google. She asks, “How did the fair use doctrine go from a safety valve to enable second authors to create new works that productively incorporate reasonable portions of prior works, to a free (in both senses of the word) pass for mass commercial digitization – at least so long as the outputs from the commercial database communicate no expression or insufficient expression to infringe?”
New Tech Plans Aim to Take Copyright Office out of the 1970s — “According to the document, the office plans to revamp its website, Copyright.gov, by improving the site’s organization and boosting its interface to make it easier to use. This overhaul would also include enhancing the public records search engine to allow users to save their queries and receive unlimited results. The office is also looking to finish digitizing its pre-1978 copyright records, according to the document.”
Protecting Authors and Artists by Closing the Streaming Loophole — “Congress has a long history of modernizing copyright law to account for ever-changing technologies. Now that the internet has advanced to where streaming is a dominant method of illicitly disseminating copyrighted works, the time has come to close the streaming loophole and to harmonize the remedies for criminal copyright infringement.”