The Cranky Copyright Book
June 2, 2009 10:37 AM   Subscribe

The Cranky Copyright Book
A new book project that expands the debate on copyright reform beyond the two poles that dominate it today – corporate maximalism and copyleft minimalism. What if there were a way to reform copyright to protect and benefit individual creators? My new book, which you can pitch in and help with, will explore this “third way” of copyright reform.

And! Perez Hilton is even gonna be in it!
posted by joeclark (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

A worthy and knotted subject and I wish you all the best in writing it.

When you say "pitch in and help with" do you mean donate money to you and provide you with free publicity, which is what your contribute page is mostly about, or do you mean that you want people to help you with the writing?
posted by Kattullus at 1:12 PM on June 2, 2009

I gave you money because I think there should be more voices in the mix and I look forward to seeing where the project goes.

That said, I would put Lessig further along on the spectrum than Cory Doctorow, who is basically the extreme anti-copyright bombastic position. Lessig's position is basically that he respects copyright and thinks it should last a generation or two instead of forever. That's about it.

A 30 to 60 year copyright is pretty good and covers small writers and photographers for much of their lives, but gives others a chance to remix things from the previous generation legally which is kind of win-win. Things are mostly out of balance due to it extending for the 90-120 years we're currently at, with no end in sight. Perpetual copyright is pretty dumb for society.
posted by mathowie at 1:55 PM on June 2, 2009

"And! Perez Hilton is even gonna be in it!"

This is where you lost me.

Seriously though, this is an interesting project. Looking forward to how it pans out.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:25 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

First, Good luck with the book project.

Maybe you were singling out Geist because he represents one of the few cogent voices on the topic, but I don't see how you could say Geist is some copyright radical. Ok, he reports on the misdeeds of the U.S. entertainment lobby astroturfing in Canada and exposes the dishonest politics that goes into the making of laws the lobbiests support, yet his championed approach, last time I checked was exactly what the entertainment lobby was pushing 10 years ago: national copyright licenses that individuals would be forced to buy, that would pay into artist slush funds. If you're Canadian, you're still paying the blank CD levy.
posted by acro at 8:15 AM on June 3, 2009

Kattullus, mon ami islandais, it’s gonna be a work of sole authorship. You could make a donation, run a banner ad, say something nice, or do something else. But I’m gonna write it.

Effigy, Perez Hilton raises important copyright questions beyond the issue of unauthorized duplication. He’s just tacky, at least as far as indie-rock copyleftists are concerned (also too gay). So they ignore these other questions.

I am pretty sure I never called Michael Geist a “radical,” Acro. (Who would? Maybe CRIA?) He espouses views fundamentally similar to Lessig’s, though, and advocates U.S.-style fair use in Canada. (Not necessarily a bad idea, but not immune to criticism, either.) Can you provide a link to this “national copyright licence” business?
posted by joeclark at 9:11 AM on June 3, 2009

I suspected so but I wanted clarification, if only to hear how you'd handle the copyright issues of collaboration :)
posted by Kattullus at 9:17 AM on June 3, 2009

Too gay?
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:05 PM on June 3, 2009

First, it appears my idea of "current" is circa 2007.

As I argued earlier this year (parts one and two), a levy to address P2P may make sense, yet the current approach, which could lead to levies on SD cards, doesn't work. If we're going to make P2P legal through a levy system, the system must (1) address both downloading and uploading; (2) consider addressing non-commercial use of content; (3) cover audio and video; and (4) more closely link the copying to those paying the levy. The government has yet to play its hand on this issue, but with the prospect of an unpopular levy and mounting pressure for a Canadian fair use provision, it will have to take a stand sometime soon.
You did not say radical - In your criticism of the Big 3, I saw you as equating copyright minimalism with the political left, which I was looking to suggest was not necessarily the case.
posted by acro at 8:00 PM on June 3, 2009

In American terms, there’s no question that Larry Lessig sits on the left. In Canadian terms, there’s also no question that Michael Geist and Cory Doctorow do.

Is it your contention that MPAA, RIAA, and similar lobbyists aren’t Republicans?

In any event, while moderately interesting, these issues are off-topic for my book.
posted by joeclark at 2:01 PM on June 4, 2009

I like your concept and I like the patronage model you're using. That in itself may be the most important aspect of your work. If you can show that people will patronize you, you've already unsettled one of the major dependencies: the creator's dependence on the label/publisher for advanced sponsorship.
posted by Galen at 12:40 AM on June 13, 2009

Cory Doctorow is the Andrea Dworkin of copyright law.
posted by Ratio at 4:45 PM on June 13, 2009

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