While the “brain damage” claim certainly feels (perhaps intentionally) hyperbolic, she’s actually making a really important point in calling it that: she notes that the entire mechanism of copyright is to cut off the flow of information, and analogizes that to a brain, noting that when information flow is cut off between sections of the brain, it’s a form of brain damage. That’s a somewhat extreme view to take, and I’m not sure it’s one that I think is a truly fair analogy, but damn if it’s not thought provoking. More.
The iconic image of the American farmer is the man or woman who works the land, milks cows and is self-reliant enough to fix the tractor. But like a lot of mechanical items, tractors are increasingly run by computer software. Now, farmers are hitting up against an obscure provision of copyright law that makes it illegal to repair machinery run by software. Take Dave Alford. He fits that image of the iconic farmer. If something goes wrong with one of his tractors Alford has to take it to an authorized John Deere dealer — the […]
After years of debate, EU copyright law is finally being revisited. The Commission will present a proposal for reform within 4 months of 31c3. And it’s high time: There has never been a bigger discrepancy between the technical feasibility to share information and knowledge across all physical borders and the legal restrictions to actually do so. This talk outlines the unique opportunity and the challenge to bring copyright into the 21st century that lies in front of us. Hackers ensured that people were heard during last winter’s public consultation. Can they now also ensure a […]
Copyright law used to be fairly simple, when it all began — it only lasted for two years. The first copyright law was created in the 18th century: the British Statute of Anne 1710. Passed to protect the rights of authors, the statute required them to renew their copyright every two years. If you didn’t renew, your work went into the public domain, and any printer could profit from it. But since that first statute, it’s only gotten more and more complicated. Trying to research your rights is like going down a never-ending rabbit hole. […]
If you’ve ever visited Paris, you’ve probably taken pictures of the Eiffel Tower. If you’ve done this during the daytime, that’s great. But take a photo at night and you’ve just committed a crime. In several countries architectural structures are protected by copyright. That means you have to ask permission from the copyright holder to use your own picture in public. This is also true for the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The famous landmark was built in 1889 which means that it falls within the public domain. However, the light show was added later and […]