Liked Matt Asay’s piece today about how poorly Government is comprehending issues surrounding copyright, especially in moves to extend the times which generally have little of the intended benefits to the artists but inhibit the much more significant process of moving all the world’s information online.
He’s noting that a European Union proposal to extend copyright a whopping 45 years will net artists on average an extra $40. I’m assuming that number does not factor in the potential for those same artists to make money from derivative works that are much less likely to see the light of day under this proposal.
Although I’m not insensitive to the idea that online folks routinely violate copyright rules, and unlike many people I always groan when web 2.0 folks pretend that widespread unfair use is not common, it is also clear that the copycat is out of the bag and the most functional responses now are to develop systems that make sure artists can *track* and *claim ownership* when their works are used to make *other people money*. ie I think we need to move away from models that restrict use into models that *encourage* uses and derivative works but give the original artists powerful tools to claim ownership and claim a piece of the action if their derivative works are used to make money.
Sure, there are pitfalls here but the original idea of copyright is now obsolete, yet we keep trying to fit the new pegs into the old holes.