Intellectual Property Law

November 2009

I wrote to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, (BRERR) and submitted evidence to the review on Laws regulating Illegal File Sharing. I blogged about it on 3rd November 2009, in an article called, Filesharing, Economics & Human Right. When I finish the white paper, I’ll host it here.

What I said elsewhere

I blogged on Monopoly Copyright and Efficiency on my Sun Blog and on Free, the right price for software there as well, where some of my ideas were first developed.

I blogged here about Mark Thomas on the Culture Show and the music industry’s response

I reflected on my contributions to Paul Carr’s TechCrunch article in a blog called Perhaps its not so bad

I blogged here about Billy Bragg’s contribution to the Panorama article, are the net police coming to get you. This is an iplayer url, and so may not be available next week. 18 March 2009.

I blogged in an article called Wifi and academic freedom about the results of the refusal to offer the public sector, university and libraries protection against the copyright liabilities of Digital Economy Bill. 24 March 2010

Later I attended the picket/demo at parliament. I took a few pictures which are hosted in a group called debate the bill at flickr. 24 March 2010

Another post here, where I posted some of my current thoughts on the Digital Economy Bill at http://members.labour.org.uk. I hope to provoke Labour Party members and supporters into campaigning to see the bill defeated or amended. 27 March 2010

I posted a short article called Copyright Stakeholders, provoked by Jessica Litman‘s paper Real Copyright Reform. This is a must read article and while about the US and their law, is really insightful. I hope to review this soon. 30 March 2010

I posted an article called Real Copyright Reform, half review, half derived polemic based on Jessica Litman’s academic paper of the same name. 4 April 2010

So the Bill became an Act in the last days of parliament, I reflected on the vote and the following weeks events as the General Election took off in an article called A week’s a long time in Politics 16 April 2010

After meeting Joan Ruddock, the week before I posted my thoughts on voting and the post election campaign in an article called Get your own facts on this bliki 26 April 2010

I blogged about how I was going to vote, and commented about what to do if the DE Bill, now Act was important to you. 5 May 2010

A silly note on the US Constitution’s take on Copyright, on 18 May 2010.

In the summer of 2010, I blogged in an article called, Music Copyright, Qui Bono? about the economic dominance of four companies and how, the British participant in this oligopoly is now owned by Citigroup private equity. This was meant to be a look at the resultant monopoly structure that copyright monopoly rights create, and an introduction to the International Trade implications of intellectual property law. I managed to avoid mentioning the singer’s tax affairs.

In September, Glynn Moody blogged in an article called “The Origin of Europe’s Suicidal Copyright Policies where he reviews the most comprehensive piece of independent research on current Media Economics, a report called Media Economics in the Emerging Economies, which is available for free download at http://piracy.ssrc.org/the-report/. Its chief author, Joe Karaganis also precises the report on Torrent Freak in an article called Europe’s odd anti-piracy stance: Send money to the US!. These documents are worth reading.

Campaigning

The Open Rights Group seem to be the noisiest opponents to the proposals to warn people on the accusation of rights holders, and use the warnings in evidence so lets see how open they are.

Notes

I found these notes lying around my computer, and so have posted them here.

The copyright law is broken. It creates a market in rights which generates super-profits and sub-optimal resource allocations. It defends the wealth of non-creative distribution business, i.e. sales staff, lawyers and accountants. It is fair and efficient to pay for time, and pay for materials. It is not fair and efficient to pay for ‘rights’. The licence has become a proxy by which rich corporations seek to recover their costs and make profits. There profit levels and the fact that lawyers own more than artists show the failure of this to work. Intellectual Property is not ‘Property’.The internet and free downloading has been the platform for a number of acts and bands to launch and obtain the notice

It should also be noted that in the case of UK public policy, research needs to be done to see how much of the allegged ‘lost revenue’ will in fact be imports.

Copyright should be shorter

Copyright should not license for use. i.e. a consumer should be free to buy a CD have unlimited personal right to use.

File downloading should not be illegal. They are not scarce goods. The record companies loose no income because

Making this illegal and pursuing downloaders is not a neutral act. It is taking sides in innovation markets.

ISP customers should not pay for civil suit.

Music has always lobbied to protect their economic interests.

Its because they want to charge for use, they need these laws. Why should internet users pay a tax to help the record companies pursue a license for use.

A number of successful music acts today used the internet and free distribution to launch themselves using and creating sites like myspace and facebook.

Pay for radio license, listen to music, buy a CD, buy an itunes download, buy an .mp3 why?

Billy Bragg is quoted as saying

Capitalism is killing music

He is also quoted as having the veiw that digital downloading/hosting is marketing and should be free.

When writing to the Lords, I considered the macro economic value of sharing and the example of BT FON & OpenView, I said

Another example of sharing sunk cost is BT’s FON offering where BT home hub customers share their wireless signal to other BT customers.

which doesn’t say very much. BT’s licence prohibits you from sharing your bandwidth, unless you subscribe to BT FON & BT Openview, which then allows you to use all the other people, businesses that share their wifi infrastructure. They then offer this as benefit to their sharing customers. Its a buy-in club, and you can of course pay cash to get more openview time. Its also an example of hardware, i.e. physical resources or capital that has a marginal cost to consume of zero.

Music Industry

Wikipedia has a page, Music Industry which documents the dominance of Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and EMI in the supply of recorded music, shipping 71.6% Worldwide in 2005. EMI had a 13.4% share worldwide. (The UK figures more recently would be good, although I believe that EMI are loosing money).

Let’s see what happens, please comment if you see fit

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