Archive for June, 2015|Monthly archive page
The Great Canadian Copyright Giveaway: Why Copyright Term Extension for Sound Recordings Could Cost Consumers Millions – Michael Geist
This is a useful companion piece to Geist’s more recent article on the foolishness of extending copyright for sound recordings in Canada to 70 years—and doing so in the absence of public discussion.
Relentlessly, because they can afford it, the moneyed classes continually try to make it very very difficult–impossible, even–for local and even state democratic efforts to have effect. Like mandating open source software. Thus:
Article 6 of the leaked text seems to ban any country from using free software mandates: “No Party may require the transfer of, or access to, source code of software owned by a person of another Party, as a condition of providing services related to such software in its territory.” The text goes on to specify that this only applies to “mass-market software,” and does not apply to software used for critical infrastructure. It would still prevent a European government from specifying that its civil servants should use only open-source code for word processing—a sensible requirement given what we know about the deployment of backdoors in commercial software by the NSA and GCHQ.
There are other pernicious articles drafted, one could be forgiven for guessing, by the corporations mostly likely to benefit from the treaty’s passage. Each makes local efforts to exclude by differentiation multinationals difficult; and to force by dint of transnational covenant neoliberal provisions. “Neoliberal” means here, broadly, that which is good for established transnational corporations.
PIJIP Summer Sessions Welcoming Reception and Distinguished Lecture » Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property
Jeremy deBeer’s work is invigorating. I’d love to be able to attend this lecture, as the Washington DC Program on Information Justice invariably draws interesting talent from all over the world. It’s not just about America. The subject of deBeer’s talk is provocative. I’ve long argued for more open source software and methods of making and distributing it but have also cautioned that open source software and its making is not a political or social solution. Pace Gates, but it does not lead to any ideological stance–witness now MSFT adopting open source software when it conveniences them. (Can one argue, though the inverse? That proprietary making and distribution lead to politics of inequality and division? Short answer: it depends on where you draw the boundary lines around the commons. Which would suggest a critique against boundary permanence.)
However, in the real world (or its near equivalent, my fantasy of it), tactics of exclusion and theft–you know, property–can be strategically challenged by the use of licenses which specify domains of open collaboration. But I think to make any such challenge anything more than a flash in the dismal pan is a notion of “society” or the “common good” that can work and then work again.
Shane is smart and interesting–I look forward to reading the text–and book?