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-- 
Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
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Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 17:45:45 +0100
From: Barry Mahon <mahons1@EIRCOM.NET>
Subject: FT.com | News and Analysis | World Article
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Apropos of my latest news, the following URL is an interesting article
on the subject of copyright, and shows that there is nothing new.....

http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT3RT0W43JC&live=true&tagid=ZZZAN4NOD0C

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 "http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagen ame=View&c=Article&cid=FT3RT0W43JC&
 live=true&tagid=ZZZAN4NOD0C"
Content-Location:
 "http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagen ame=View&c=Article&cid=FT3RT0W43JC&
 live=true&tagid=ZZZAN4NOD0C"

  =

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
 <html> =


<head> =

        <script language=3D"JavaScript">
                // Added/Modified Ad tracking and version-checking
                // 18-11 by jjohnson@ixl.com
                =

                // Checking what platform is being used (mac os, windows, etc)
                var vers =3D parseInt(navigator.appVersion);
                var agt =3D navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();
                if ( vers < 4 ) {
                        location.href =3D "http://globalelements.ft.com/global/version3/";
                }
        </script>
                                          =





  =

        <script language=3D"JavaScript">

                // Ad targeting
                document.cookie=3D'FTSection=3Dna/nbemai;domain=3D.ft.com;path=3D/';
                document.cookie=3D'FTPage=3D2nbinea;domain=3D.ft.com;path=3D/';
                                =

        </script>

        <!-- Upgrade to track cookie setting -->
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on/Track/FTTrack.js"></script>

        <script language=3D"JavaScript" src=3D"http://track.ft.com/track/track.j=
s"></script>

           <title>FT.com | News and Analysis | World Article</title>          =

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<body bgcolor=3D"#ffffff" link=3D"#330033" alink=3D"#996600" vlink=3D"#33=
0033" leftmargin=3D"0" topmargin=3D"0" marginheight=3D"0" marginwidth=3D"=
0"> =

  =



        <script>writeheader("");</script>
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<table cellpadding=3D"0" cellspacing=3D"0" border=3D"0" width=3D"778">
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ft.com/Common/Wrapper/clear.gif" width=3D"8" height=3D"1" border=3D"0"></=
td>  =

     <td width=3D"447" valign=3D"top" height=3D"1300">  =

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  <img src=3D"http://globalelements.ft.com/global/images/global/logon.gif=
" width=3D"150" height=3D"30" border=3D"0" usemap=3D"#logOn"><img src=3D"=
http://globalelements.ft.com/global/images/global/hdr_gutter.gif" width=3D=
"20" height=3D"30" border=3D"0"><img src=3D"http://globalelements.ft.com/=
global/images/news/world.gif" width=3D"277" height=3D"30" border=3D"0"><b=
r>
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<TABLE WIDTH=3D"447" BORDER=3D"0" CELLSPACING=3D"0" CELLPADDING=3D"0" VAL=
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    <TR><TD><p></p><font class=3D"bigHeadline"><b>Whigs and hackers in cy=
berspace</b></font><BR> <font class=3D"all">   Copyright laws before the =
European parliament should be treated as sceptically as they were by the =
Victorians, says James Boyle<BR>           Published: February 11 2001 20=
:20GMT            |    Last Updated: February 11 2001 20:28GMT<br>    </f=
ont> </TD></TR>
  <TR> <TD ALIGN=3D"LEFT" colspan=3D"2">  <br>   =


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                         =

    <IMG SRC=3D"/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTBlobServer?blobtable=3DImage&b=
lobcol=3Durlpicture&blobkey=3Did&blobwhere=3DFT35Y0N8O3C&blobheader=3Dima=
ge/gif" ALT=3D"Personal view" WIDTH=3D"130" HEIGHT=3D"130" ALIGN=3D"Left"=
>        <font class=3D"allwide"><P>Are there Whigs and Tories in cybersp=
ace? In the 1840s, as British MPs debated a proposed revision to the Copy=
right Law, passions ran high. Those supporting the measure, which extende=
d the copyright term, saw it as a defence of the sacred rights of authors=
=2E</P><P> To the bill's opponents, it was a tax on knowledge, a set of r=
ules that would inhibit writing rather than encourage it and raise the co=
st of books beyond the ability of the poor to pay for them. Like Macaulay=
, their best-known spokesman, these critics believed it was sometimes nec=
essary to create a legal monopoly to give writers an incentive, but they =
felt that the monopoly should be as small as possible. They worried that =
the system of copyright enforcement might give the state powers to restri=
ct speech by the back door in the same way the newspaper stamp-tax had do=
ne. Besides, they wondered, weren't the champions of authors' rights unwi=
ttingly helping established publishers who wanted to forestall competitio=
n and thought copyright law could be pressed into service? An unlikely co=
alition of sceptics developed: free-traders opposed to monopoly, radicals=
 defending the cheap press and civil libertarians wary of speech regulati=
on. </P><P>The European parliament is now debating a copyright directive =
that raises exactly the same issues. The only differences are that the in=
ternet has replaced the book trade, and that Macaulay and his fellow scep=
tics are poorly represented. A few of the absurdities of the US's Digital=
 Millennium Copyright Act have been avoided, but broadly speaking, this i=
s a victory for the protectionists. That is a shame. </P><P>The conventio=
nal wisdom about cyberspace is that it will lower the cost of copying and=
 thus increase piracy. In order to maintain adequate incentives we must i=
ncrease copyright protection, imposing taxes on media or devices that <I>=
might</I> be used for unauthorised copying, cutting back on the "fair use=
" or "fair dealing" rights of consumers and future creators, allowing med=
ia companies to wrap their products in digital barbed wire and making it =
a violation (even for a legitimate purchaser) to cut that barbed wire. Th=
is conventional wisdom is wrong, or at least incomplete. It is wrong whet=
her one looks at copyright as a system of economic incentives or a sacred=
 natural right. </P><P>The internet lowers the cost of copying. Does this=
 mean a net loss to rights-holders? Well, presumably one has to balance t=
he costs of the network (easier unauthorised copying) against the benefit=
s (free distribution, cheaper advertising, bigger markets, improved abili=
ty to search for unauthorised copies.) Is the balance unfavourable? Are c=
ontent industries suffering from this vast expansion of their markets? Ca=
ll me when the price to earnings ratio of content industries falls below =
the legal drinking age - maybe I will believe you then. </P><P>Hollywood =
said the same things about the threat posed by video recorders - but vide=
o rentals now make up the majority of the film industry's revenues. </P><=
P>If you care about incentives, a 10 per cent rate of unauthorised copyin=
g in a market of 300m is better for rights holders than a 2 per cent rate=
 of unauthorised copying in a market of 30m. Raising the cost of the medi=
a through taxation and legal monopolies may actually drive some people ou=
t of the market altogether. This is particularly worrying when we are tal=
king about the internet, which has a potentially unparalleled role in dem=
ocratic culture. At the very least, we should wait and see how the intern=
et develops before demanding state intervention. </P><P>Why are the conte=
nt industries so resolutely behind these measures? Partly, it is short-si=
ghtedness, partly they like doing business the way they always have. The =
technical measures protections and the "anti-Napster provisions" (which s=
trike broadly against private peer-to-peer file sharing) offer a warm bla=
nket of state-provided insulation against the chill winds of competition.=
 They fear that the internet might cut the middle man out of the distribu=
tion chain, or reduce the mark-up. Copyright and database protection can =
help fend off this danger. But this is hardly an attractive agenda; "auth=
ors' rights" sounds much better. </P><P>What of those who genuinely belie=
ve authors have a natural right to the protections granted them in the Di=
rective? I have great sympathy for authors' rights. But pick your favouri=
te natural rights thinker, put him on the stand, and ask whether authors =
have a <I>natural</I> right to the extra slice of revenue that could be g=
enerated if purchasers of a work could be digitally prevented from this o=
r that use. The idea is just silly. Somewhere along the way, the authors'=
 rights view lost the Lockean perspective that even natural rights have l=
imits; that "enough and as good" should be left for others. Natural right=
 became maximum monopoly. And in the name of authorial genius, the regime=
 proposed by the copyright directive offers us a bureaucratic system that=
 only a tax-collector could love. Is genius likely to flower in this worl=
d, with its regulations, its pervasive surveillance and its taxes on know=
ledge? I have my doubts. </P><P><I>The writer is professor of law at Duke=
 university</I>  </P><br></font>  <br>
</TD></TR>
<TR><TD>     <font class=3D"allWide"><br></font>      <FONT class=3D"head=
line">more from FT.com</FONT><br> =





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ection&cid=3DIXL8JPWGJAC"> <font class=3D"allWide">Read more from our col=
umnists</font><br></a>   =

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</TD></TR>
<TR><TD> <br>  <div align=3D"center"><a href=3D"/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=3D=
View&c=3DArticle&cid=3DFT3RT0W43JC&live=3Dtrue&useoverridetemplate=3DIXL8=
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