Copyright Week?

Apparently it’s Copyright Week, I read this on an email that came through four days ago and I haven’t read until today, in which many people are supporting more reasonable copyright laws. I’m assuming it’s the current week but it’s challenging to tell as many of the articles I’ve found have no date on them. I don’t understand why people would do that i.e. publish an article talking about a particular day or week and not tell us the parameters of that day or week, it’s a bit like talking about Australia Day when it’s really new and not telling us the date. Actually, that’s a great idea, why not change the date of Australia Day and not tell anyone the date so we have to celebrate every day of the year…we could celebrate something different about Australia each day in order to try and get it right.

Cory Doctorow is currently pushing to end DRM an awesome task and one that will help us in Australia. We currently have issues with DRM (Digital Rights Management) whereby the book or video is available in the northern hemisphere but not here as we have different DRM, there can be ways around it but the best way is to loosen up the laws to enable us to have access to the same books and videos as our friends or colleagues in the northern hemisphere.

You can read the Principles and more information here on the Copyright Week page. It’s supported by some amazing organisations including Creative Commons and the Australian Digital Alliance.

I’m not saying we should totally get rid of copyright laws, what would be the point of that? It would mean I could take a book by my favourite author and republish it under my own name without changing a thing, that’d be wrong, right? I’m in favour of having uniform copyright laws across the world so if I make a movie in one part of the world it’s not breaching copyright laws somewhere else. Take Mickey Mouse for instance, they managed to extend the copyright laws in the US from 50 years to 75 years which is fine as it makes the company lots of money but this is only in the US so you could easily make a Mickey Mouse movie in Russia without getting official permission but would it be allowed to be viewed in the US? So, you need official permission in the US but not in Russia? Bizarre, but yes. And if I understand this correctly, this is not for all of Mickey Mouse but just for their earliest movies.

Anyway, there was a similar problem which I’ve mentioned before with ebooks. Many people had 1984 deleted from their ereaders as the publisher suddenly discovered there was a problem with the copyright laws so the readers thought they owned the book but discovered they didn’t. And that’s another thing out of the many things I don’t understand, we buy a print book and we own it but we buy an ebook and we don’t own it, the publisher can delete it from our ereaders any time they choose. If we don’t own it then have we really bought it?

So, there’s my thoughts you can discuss or not as you choose.

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