AfterDawn: Tech news

$1M donation to help challenge copyright laws

Written by Jari Ketola @ 05 Sep 2002 15:31

An anonymous donor has given Duke University's law school $1 million to fund advocacy and research aimed at curtailing the recent expansion of copyright law.
The school will use the money to fund a center focused on finding "the correct balance" between intellectual property rights and material that should be in the public domain.

James Boyle, a Duke law professor and co-director of the school's Center for the Study of the Public Domain, says that the center is likely to look skeptically at recent laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and a measure that extended duration of copyrights by 20 years.

Boyle says he is not a copyright abolitionist. He agrees that some legal protection is necessary. But, he added, "the burden of proof should be on those who say we need to have property rights in this situation. Why will this work? Why is this necessary? We see the system getting out of control, out of balance. This is a way to restore the balance."

Recent debates in Congress have started from the viewpoint of the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America, rather than from what's good for consumers, Boyle said.

Read the full story on CNET

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