23 August 2016

When will all copyright get terminated?

The Blog

Efforts to reform copyright in an age of easy and convenient digital sharing could well "kill" copyright altogether, writes Kevin Carson.

Responding to an Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) lawsuit in a post for the Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) on 21 August, Carson offered the following commentary.

The EFF lawsuit states, "Section 1201 of the [US] Digital Millennial Copyright Act (DMCA)... is a violation of free speech rights under the First Amendment" since it "criminalizes not only the circumvention of Digital Rights Management (DRM), but criminalizes the sharing of information about how to do it".

Quoting Zag Rogoff at Defective by Design, Carson states the success of the EFF lawsuit would "amount to obliterating the “DRM Curtain” model of capitalism in the information field".

"It would put an end to the centerpieces of copyright culture today — DMCA takedowns, “three strikes” laws cutting off ISP services to illegal downloaders, and domain seizures of file-sharing sites", the C4SS writer elaborates.
The model of proprietary digital capitalism we’re familiar with — the central model of global corporate rent extraction — is absolutely dependent on police state measures like criminalizing the circumvention of DRM, the takedown (without due process of any kind) of allegedly infringing content online, and government seizure of Internet domains and web hosting servers without due process. Without them, it would simply collapse. 
But fortunately, that model of capitalism is doomed regardless of the outcome of EFF’s lawsuit (and I wish it well!). Even as it is, circumvention technologies have advanced so rapidly that DRM-cracked versions of new movies and songs typically show up on torrent sites the same day they’re released, and Millennials accept it file-sharing as a simple fact of life. This culture of circumvention is now spreading into academic publishing with SciHub. How long before it spreads to proprietary spare parts and diagnostic software?
Full post: Why “Reforming” Copyright Will Kill It

The analysis offered by Carson agrees with his overall thesis that intellectual property of any kind is untenable in the long term, as information and other types of production are easier to circulate and harder to control. All this is thanks to a revolution in the way we all communicate, with the aid of the internet and the diffusion of skills and technologies.

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