I’m sure that’s exactly what a lot of people in the copyright world would like to see. Graeme Philipson has called for the abolishion of copyright and intellectual property for many years. His recent opinion in last weeks SMH (June 24 2008) was no exception, and was in response to his previous article a fortnight ago, which I wrote a post about as well. I started to think about all the industries that rely on royalties, syndication and licencing as the basis for their existence. I wrote a quick short list: music, still photography, film, stock footage, software, hosted web applications, genetic technologies, pharmaceuticals, copyright lawyers and patent attorneys, not to mention news media organisations - for which Mr Philipson writes for. He goes on to say that without copyright, Musicians would have to play concerts instead of collecting royalties on recorded music. Therefore the Australian stills stock library market, which is roughly worth AUD$100 million, wouldn’t exist - the numbers are staggering. It also means that incredible tradeshows, such as Licensing International Expo wouldn’t happen, where I found another jaw dropping statistic, - “$19.3 Billion - total estimated worldwide retail sale of licensed product in the Art & Design category“. I must say I do enjoy his confronting perspectives, we need more devil’s advocates, it encourages us to step back, reassess and reshape our business model. However, I believe Armageddon will happen just moments before the end of copyright…and mankind.
Archive for the ‘Copyright/IP’
Graeme Philipson has all alarms and sirens wailing in his article about a leaked document, supported by a small group of US Congress members, proposes to put in place an anti-counterfeiting treaty at the next meeting of the G8. He reports in the SMH today that if this treaty were adopted then any boarder guard/security guard could seize electronic equipment on the suspicion that it infringes copyright or intellectual property. I agree it’s a chilling thought that your laptop can be confiscated and indefinitely based on suspicion not hard facts. However,he then goes on with a discourse about the abandonment of copyright in the digital era, flagging the greed of the record companies and movie studios in disallowing consumers to disseminate their content. Should commercial stock images be thrown in the same boat? Are the image libraries just like the record companies? I believe most photographers would be up in arms about the thought that their hard earned copyright should be scraped so it can be easily distributed. A distinction needs to be made between consumer driven industries and B2B industries, Wildlight licences images almost exclusively to third party companies, who in turn are selling a product or service, which has an intellectual property value. On Mr Philipson’s website he freely invites you to ‘rip off anything you want’ from his website, yet he still wants his moral rights upheld when he asks that you credit his stories. Isn’t he claiming ownership of his articles? That’s copyright isn’t it. So, he’s actually granting us a ‘free’ licence to use his words. I wander if he receives a royalty from sales when Fairfax syndicates his stories to overseas media outlets….?