Can copy license laws work on the Internet?
It is an argument that goes around and around, in and out of courts, but it never seems to make any progress one way or the other. Whether the issue is copy license protections, or patent protections, the Internet seems to encourage violations – or at best, “interpretations” of what has been the standard practice with copy protection. The question really becomes whether or not digital media needs to be covered by a different set of regulations that non-digital media, and if non-digital media exists anymore? When you think that you can take a video of anything, but that many performers ban videos of their performances – what then is acceptable?
The problem with immediate access
It isn’t just that the Internet and online sales have created an expectation with consumers of immediate access to products, but the rise of mobile phone use has created an expectation of the right to “share life as it happens.” That is great if you are talking about your kid’s soccer game, not so great if the moment you want to share is Kate Bush’s live concert. Consumers argue that the videos are personal, the artists claims they are denying them income – is either right?
Country to country, the rules are different?
One of the other issues is that a universal copy license code is needed as every country differs on what it allows and denies. Since none of this addresses the fact that license or not, the Internet is made of the stuff that allows for illegal copying, sharing and downloading; the cost of policing copy license efforts promises to be astronomical. What is at issue is not just the artist or creator’s livelihood, but the extensive industry of persons who work to get them in front of the audience.
How good is the creative commons license?
The creative commons license is an attempt to navigate these waters by setting up tiers of permissions for authors to release their work under. By creating the tiers, the hope is that there will be more honor involved in the use payment system. The problem with the creative commons license is that it has yet to show that it has successfully generated a profit on its own. It has allowed for creators to get their works out in front of the public – and then land lucrative contracts that are based in the old school copy license laws – creating a self-perpetuating cycle of problems.