S S Tempest
sstempest at lycos.com
Tue Aug 22 15:37:05 EDT 2000
I'm back, with further thoughts on the copyright debate.
The more I learn about the subject, the more I think that too many
people are asking the wrong question entirely. Rather than simply
"Does the use of this technology violate copyright law?" the debate
should ask, "How can we adapt copyright law to protect people, given
the development of these new technologies?"
The more I think about it, the more important I think it is that
artists retain the rights to their own work, with the ability to
license them to others and to profit from them. But the laws that
govern how this licensing works, and what constitutes fair use,
are not set in stone. Congress -- our own elected officials -- regularly adds to and adapts them.
There's a strong lobby by the recording and publishing industry
to have these laws shaped to their advantages. So it's really important
for us, as the audience for music and art and writing, to make sure
the laws that passed are in our best interest and in the interest
of the artists whose work we enjoy. I don't think that's going to
happen if we let big corporations determine the grounds of the debate.
I'd love to hear more thoughts on the subject.
Here are some links:
Text of the U.S. Copyright law
Charles C. Mann's article in The Atlantic, "The Heavenly Jukebox...from
Future of Music, an organization that tries to protect the interests of both musicians and fans
(incidentally, a performance by founder Jenny Toomey's band Liquorice
was one of the best concerts I have ever attended)
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