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Michael Geist says U.S. copyright lobby is 'out of touch'

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 24 Feb 2007 7:33 User comments (7)

Michael Geist says U.S. copyright lobby is 'out of touch' Internet law professor Michael Geist has wrote an interesting article in his column on the BBC News website. Geist brings forth some facts about the United States Intellectual Property protection views and highlights how they are, in cases, out of touch with the rest of the world. Here is an extract from his intriguing piece...
The US implementation, contained in the 1997 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, represents the world's most aggressive approach to the WIPO Internet Treaties, setting very strict limits on the circumvention of Digital Rights Management systems and establishing a ban on devices that can be used to circumvent DRM, even if the circumvention is for lawful purposes.

Given the US experience, it is unsurprising that many countries have experimented with alternate implementations.

This experimentation invariably leads to heavy criticism from the IIPA as countries such as Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Israel, Mexico, and India are all taken to task for their implementation (or proposed implementation) of anti-circumvention legislation.

Further, countries that have not signed or ratified the WIPO Internet treaties (which still includes the majority of the world), face the wrath of the US lobby group for failing to do so.

Second, in a classic case of "do what I say, not what I do", many countries are criticised for copyright laws that bear a striking similarity to US law. For example, Israel is criticised for considering a fair use provision that mirrors the US approach.

The IIPA is unhappy with the attempt to follow the US model, warning that the Israeli public might view it as a "free ticket to copy." Similarly, the time shifting provisions in New Zealand's current copyright reform bill (which would permit video recording of television shows) are criticised despite the fact that US law has granted even more liberal copying rights for decades.
Read the rest of the article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6379309.stm

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7 user comments

124.2.2007 9:18

Or rather, U.S. copyright in itself was DOA starting from the year 2000. We need to make a complete overhaul in all laws in this country, because most of them are just the ideals of over-zealous Post-Nazi Catholics that would rather have the US citizens begging for mercy and total allegiance if they could. It's starting to get on my nerves living here with no one paying attention to the group of people that are supposed to be the most supported.

224.2.2007 10:00
AirGaijin
Inactive

hmm, vague ending but the rest was spot on

324.2.2007 10:40

I like the fact that they want to bring in a universal law. But why does it have to be American based. Why can it not be a joined venture.

Quote:
he IIPA is unhappy with the attempt to follow the US model, warning that the Israeli public might view it as a "free ticket to copy." Similarly, the time shifting provisions in New Zealand's current copyright reform bill (which would permit video recording of television shows) are criticised despite the fact that US law has granted even more liberal copying rights for decades.
They want to even try video recording. Thats nuts. They have let it go but come on video recording and even DVD recording would not be the same quality and give you the same things as a normal DVD off the shelf would. Remember recording would be full of adds and even if you record without adds it would never b spot on.

424.2.2007 17:02
duckNrun
Inactive

Quote:
Remember recording would be full of adds and even if you record without adds it would never b spot on.
A simple video editor solves that problem, I would reccommend Womble as a good choice.

But I agree that the quality would not be a good as if bought on DVD.

Now the question of time shifting is this: Was the intent to allow time shifting intended to provide the consumer with an unlimited repository of material to be watched at will, forever with no further compensation to the copyright holders who were intially compensated only ONCE at the time the show was timeshifted?

The Media would say that it was not intended to do so. Their point would be that time shifting was designed to allow the consumer the opportunity to watch a program at a later point in time that they were unable to watch at the time it was recorded. Once the consumer has consumed the product by watching the show then just like if they were watching it on 'live' tv it would 'disappear' and the next regularly scheduled program would be shown. The non timeshifting consumer does not have the option of rewatching that episode of whatever once it has ended. BUT if they are so inclined then they are able to purchase the product (or more aptly a license to watch the product) by buying the DVD or paying for a legal download via iTunes or something.

Most of us here would respond that the Media companies are just trying to turn a repeat profit for products that they were already compensated for throught the purchase of that product by whichever network showed it and supported it with the adverts (that most of us who catalog shows edit out). Adverts that are NEVER paid for again (edited out or not) by the advertiser to the copyright holder upon recurrent viewing. If someone REALLY wanted to archive the show they WOULD BUY the DVD for the better quality video, sound, extras etc. And the person who does not do so but instead chooses to keep a complete season (or complete series) of say Smallville taped off the broadcast would in fact NEVER buy the DVD anyways (though this is in fact debatable due to their being a big difference between being satisfied with low quality broadcast recording and being satisfied with not being able to have the show period unless purchased).

Truth of the matter is there is always a cost of doing business, whether you are a department store, a fast food restaurant or in this case a media company. The fact is that episode discs ARE selling. Movie discs ARE selling and made for TV movies that are later put onto discs ARE selling as well!

I never would have gone out bought the previous seasons of Smallville UNLESS I had watched the timeshifted catalog that was provided to me from a guy I met in passing. I would not have WATCHED the show unless this guy had given me these episodes that were shown on TV but that I did not timeshift at the time because I was traveling for years with work and didn't have the time to watch the tele, let alone timeshift something. HOWEVER I now tune in to every episode and that INCREASES viewership which makes the live broadcast worth even more when they sell the adverts!

So by some guy not only timeshifting a complete 3 seasons of a show, and by this same guy keeping those shows beyond the one time he viewed them the Media Companies have come out ahead by my conversion to the viewership of their content. And I am sure that I am not the only one that has decided to start watching a show because some bloke turned him onto old episodes!

/rant ;-)

524.2.2007 21:59

yes the us copywrite lobby is out of touch, with the rest of the world who would rather pay nothing for our high quality high budget hollywood movies.
the rest of the world does not agressivly enforce copywrite laws because 9 times out of 10 the movie being downloaded is from hollywood. why would that country care if most of the piracy that goes on has absolutly no affect on the bottom line of any of that countries native companies, and doesnt affect available jobs. in fact these countries love piracy, it brings in free goods. the us doesnt see it that way since the goods are usualy comming from us.

626.2.2007 7:20

Unfortunately the US is going down the socialist path just like the countries we came from are. This is not a good thing and having a unified power is not a good thing as well look at the EU/UN what a joke that is. Why is it that if one country/state/province does something everyone else has to as well? The old adage of if your buddy jumps off a cliff will you do the same, holds true.

Georgeluv – very good point and how true but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be able to protect our investments and reverse engineer something. I do understand a company wanting to protect there investment and what most might not understand is, it takes a lot of time and money to produce new products. There is a fine line here and unfortunately big money is winning the battle as laws are made totally in their favor. Why can’t we learn form others mistakes instead of repeating them?

To me the solution that is good for all is don’t gouge people and you won’t have to worry about copy protection and theft. You’ll always have piracy the key is to keep it at a minimum of course. If your product is priced proper you won’t have to waste tons of money trying to protect it, only to have it hacked and end up throwing more monies at it causing the price tag to increase. It’s a vicious cycle that can drive the best companies into the ground.

73.3.2007 17:49

Originally posted by Rikoshay:
Or rather, U.S. copyright in itself was DOA starting from the year 2000. We need to make a complete overhaul in all laws in this country, because most of them are just the ideals of over-zealous Post-Nazi Catholics that would rather have the US citizens begging for mercy and total allegiance if they could. It's starting to get on my nerves living here with no one paying attention to the group of people that are supposed to be the most supported.

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