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Apropos

It is a universal law that when you buy a red (or white, or black, or any color) car, for example, all of sudden the streets seem to teem with red (or white, or black, or any color) cars of the same make and model as yours. So once I published my copyright math post, I suddenly saw quite a number of articles/post/tweets on the subject of copyright. Here are three that stood out for me:

800-pound gorilla

This sad and infuriating account by the Hebrew translator of the Harry Potter books gives some insight into the schoolyard-bully mentality of heavy-weights that make their money through copyright ownership and licensing deals yet steal the lunch money of smaller kids simply because they can. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is the same bullies who are relentlessly pursuing the most absurd pieces of digital rights legislation.

Screenwriters Complaining

An open letter (in German), signed by 51 screenwriters of the popular Tatort TV franchise. The letter is addressed to three specific political parties as well as to Internet users in general. It demands harsher methods of enforcement against illegal use of content. But times have changed, and digital storage and distribution have irrevocably altered the behavior and expectations of content consumers. No amount of enforcement and punishment will restore the pre-digital glory days. It reminds me a bit of this story I heard when I was young: After the electrification of British rail lines unions insisted (and succeeded) to have a locomotive fireman travel along on the electric engines even though there was no more fire to stoke.

Chaos Computer Club

The famous Chaos Computer Club (CCC) responds (in German) to the the screenwriters’ complaint. Their answer shows many of the complex layers in the evolving relationship between content creators, content consumers, and content rights management. What needs to be resolved, according to the CCC, is not a conflict between creators and consumers, but between pre-digital ignorami with a fetish for copyright overreach on one side and the creators of all the various kinds of content on the other.

One Response to “Apropos”

  1. Lauren Webb says:

    Thank you for sharing these interesting articles. The one about the 800lb gorilla is quite saddening, and I would be interested in reading more about it from others involved.

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