Brief overview of recent anti-piracy developments influencing the future of copyright
The past few days have seen quite a significant number of actions take pro and against copyright. This made us reflect a bit over the future of copyright.
In Australia, the copyright reform is still keeping the headlines, with MPAA pressuring the authorities to take tougher measures against pirates – though the better solution is as simple as making movies cheaper – despite the fact that consumers express concern about copyright monitoring costs. On the other side of the world, members of the European Parliament are still discussing the future copyright reform, even after more than one year of such discussions. In UK, “innocent sites” are blocked accidentally and they will continue to have this problem for along time, since the High Court basically said “hard luck!”. No wonder, small british companies get confused about copyright. Russia continues to amend its anti-piracy law adopted last year. Lats but not least, it seems that Italy is down a path towards an extreme enforcement of copyright regulations.
In the meantime, the MPAA has donated a large sum of money to Carnegie Mellon University in support of its piracy research program. The association has also launched its own search platform, WhereToWatch, as an alternative to Google Search and in a bid to fight piracy. Furthermore, Warner Music strikes deal with China’s largest messaging service, Tencent, to stem piracy; and Columbia Pictures wants to keep its piracy policy secret for an undetermined period of time.
Moreover, there is a continuous talk about copyright for APIs, which will be a disaster for innovation, though with 3d printing traditional copyright is challenged. Keeping with the good news, a Hollywood director sides with the “pirates” in an attempt to expose the industry’s hypocrisy and one game studio decided to respond to pirates with free copies of their newly released game, already shared on TPB.
In addition, when talking about the future of copyright, we may need to talk about net neutrality as well, since it’s future can surely influence that of copyright. After the last protests against FCC’s decisions regarding net neutrality, president Obama has expressed his support for an equal internet traffic for everyone and for reclassifying broadband as an utility. FCC is skeptical about the latter and it’s possible to reject it in favor of a hybrid plan that no one actually likes, but neither does Comcast, as a broadband provider, like the idea of being called a utility.
So, how will this future be like? Will it be similar to what Rick Falkvinge imagines in his latest article on Torrentfreak, that the copyright monopoly wars will soon repeat, but much worse, with us, the pirates attacking the core of the politicians’ power? Will it strengthen even more the information oligarchy? Or will the pirates win?
Until next time, be sure to check our newspaper and skim through this super interesting collection of essays, Future of Copyright Anthology.