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October 21, 2003

Creative Commons Blogs Digital Media Article

The Creative Commons folks just blogged my CC Licenses for Digital Media (audio and video) article.

It was also a hoot to see an article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal - "Can Copyright Be Saved?" (subscribers only) that echoes my CC piece.  I'd argue that it's a bit of a watering-down of the truth, though.  When they say "the digital age hasn't changed anything in terms of the rights of artists and entertainment companies to control the distribution of their creations", I beg to differ.  The entertainment companies, by and large, have seen the digital age as the opportunity to vastly expand their control over what used to be consumer rights taken for granted. 

The challenge is finding a way out of this mess. Efforts fall broadly into two camps. On one side, generally speaking, are those who revel in the freedom that technology has brought to the distribution of creative material, and who believe that copyright law should reflect this newfound freedom.

On the other side are those who believe that the digital age hasn't changed anything in terms of the rights of artists and entertainment companies to control the distribution of their creations and to be paid for them -- the essence of copyright law. For them, the answer is to leave copyright law intact, and to use technology to make it harder for people to make digital copies.


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