Copyright protection is way overrated...

… or at least way too long. Ben White of the British Library gave a really good illustration of this during his presentation at the EuropeanaConnect workshop on Extended Collective Licensing that took place in Luxembourg over the last two days. On one of his slides he showed the results of a recent study on the commercial availability of print publications that the BL had done. For this study they took 10 random publication from each decade between 1870 and 2010 and checked how many of them are…

NRC writes about piracy, plagiarizes statistics in doing so

Had a bit of a deja-vu this morning when browsing through the economics section of friday’s NRC Handelsblad: Page two of that section contains a full page article (‘free jukeboxes against piracy’) on music streaming services such as spotify.com (click to enlarge, no online version available): As you can see from the photo above, the article does come with a nifty info-graphic that illustrates how little artists earn from their music being available on services such as spotify (the number 4.882.7…

Strange things are happening...

Not sure why this is happening, but it appears that commons sense is slowly starting to make a comeback in the discussion about copyright. Yesterday we had the British Prime Minster announce that his government is undertaking a review of the parts of the intellectual property laws in order to enable more flexible use of copyright protected works along the lines of the the US fair-use doctrine: The second new announcement I can make today is to do with intellectual property. The founders of Googl…

Publishers are stupid

So imagine this scenario: you are on an isolated tropical island that does not have a bookstore, you are out of books, but you happen to have an electronic reading device with you that is wirelessly connected to the internet and that is tied to you credit card account (which is not maxed out). This should constitute one of the most ideal business cases for selling books to this particular individual, but for some reason the publishing industry does not seem to be willing to cater to this scenari…

You are in napster

Just came across this brilliant foto while reorganizing my photo folder (i am locked away in a museum basement without any form of internet access: no wireless & no mobile phone reception): I took this at a stall selling bootleg CDs at the Kwakoe Festival in Amsterdam southeast in the summer of 2006. To me it perfectly captures the essence of the revolution caused by napster when it launched 10 years ago (give or take a couple of weeks): If your work is not available on napster is is probabl…

(UK National Portrait Gallery vs. Wikimedia) vs. the Public Domain

You might have heard that the Wikimedia Foundation and the National Portrait Gallery are having a bit of a row these days. At the core of the dispute lies the fact that in march an English wikipedia administrator by the name of Derrick Coetzee uploaded more than 3000 high resolution images of paintings held by the National Portrait Gallery to the Wikimedia Commons. The images uploaded by were not simply taken from the NPG’s website and re-uploaded to the wikimedia commons, as the NPG does (and d…

Using Creative Commons as a fig leaf

I have always had an unspecified strange feeling about Tribe of Noise. Tribe of Noise is an Amsterdam-based online music platform that allows musicians to upload and share their work as long as they agree to make it available under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license (CC-BY-SA). Simply put this license allows everybody to redistribute the songs on the platform, make remixes of them and redistribute these remixes under the same licensing terms. In all cases credit needs to be given…

Taking the copy out of copyright

Last Wednesday I attended the launch of ‘Adieu auteursrecht, vaarwel culturele conglomeraten‘ the new book by Joost Smiers. In this book he argues that (a) copyright is harmful, because it has led to large conglomerates dominating the production of culture and that (b) the world would be better off without copyright because it would be better of without these conglomerates and therefore (c) copyright needs to be abolished and the conglomerates must be broken apart. According to Smiers and his co…

Dark fibre

In march we spend a week in bangalore with jamie and the darkfibre crew. we had flown there to take pictures of them while they were shooting for dark fibre (more pictures will become available later). Dark fibre crew at work on the rooftop terrace of a IT office building in South Bangalore It was fun and extremely interesting to watch the production from behind the scenes and i am really looking forward to the film (jamie has promised that there will be a trailer on the 13th of may). i…