Copyright Reform

By Dan Saul

The state of copyright is in flux as digital media displaces old media and new distribution methods emerge. This has created upheavals in various markets, from MP3's with Napster to BitTorrent and TV/Movie downloads. Despite this clash between old and new models, copyright was originally established to give content creators a limited exclusivity period to secure their income and create additional media.

Rather than promoting downloading and "you wouldn't download a car" rhetoric, a new modern copyright method is proposed. The goals of this method are to prevent content producers from double dipping for different formats, allow access to purchased content in case of loss, and have the system run by the government to ensure longevity. Other objectives include enabling the doctrine of first sale for digital purchases and making public domain accessible for digital purchases.

To achieve these goals, a government ministry responsible for managing licenses would be established. Content purchases would require a license from this body, and any downloads would require a micropayment covering only the cost of transmission. The license would cover any format of the content, and small additions to the content would not be considered a new product.

If a substantial amount of changes were made, the creator could charge additional fees, but the original purchase price would be subtracted from the new edition. Those who purchase a license for the new edition would also receive the original version. Licenses could be resold or inherited, and after the copyright period expired, anyone could download the material by paying the transmission cost.

Overall, this proposal is a step in the right direction, and with continued discussion and refinement, it has the potential to become a reality. It offers a balanced approach that considers both the needs of content creators and consumers, and could provide a framework for a more sustainable and equitable copyright system for years to come.

About Dan
Dan is a Software Developer based out of Canada.
© 2024 Dan Saul