[pp.int.general] [Vrijschrift-Kern] [Cafe] levies

Peter Roozemaal mathfox at xs4all.nl
Mon Mar 24 13:20:52 CET 2008

Reinier Bakels wrote:
>> Fred von Lohmann has updated the EFF Voluntary Collective Licensing paper:
>> Monetizing File-Sharing: Collective Licensing Good, ISP Tax Bad
>> http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/03/monetizing-file-sharing-collective-licensing-good-isp-tax-bad
>> Better than levies?
If we have iTunes and Napster do the collection and distribution of
music and money, it looks like Fred's ideas are already largely implemented.

> I believe we need a more radical solution. The very (perceived) need for 
> drastic measures such as levy systems shows that the copyright system is not 
> fit for the 21st century. The basic premise for copyright has been 
> superseded by technology. In the past, one had to buy an pile of printed 
> paper in order to read a book, and a piece of black plastic in order to 
> listen to a record. Technology virtually has detached media from content.

And the paradox: "To allow widespread distribution of creative works,
distributors must have the right to forbid others from distributing the
same works." Economic equations change when marginal costs are zero.

> If anything should be voluntarily, it should be the (direct) funding of 
> artists. A modern day mecenate. If copyright is there to foster (artistic) 
> culture in the true sense, it is fundamentally wrong to accept a market 
> economy as the ultimate judgement. Economic value and cultural value have no 
> relationship whatsoever. Yes, that creates an dependence from subjective, 
> personal judgements of sponsors. But that is always better than a scheme 
> based on the premise that who is making most money is culturally most 
> valuable - a preposterous thought.
> Having said that, modern technology makes a mecenate scheme much more 
> feasible than in the past. People can find each other over the internet 
> (open source model!) and e.g. making recordings is much cheaper than it used 
> to be. Publishing books without an editor has become very simple due to 
> lulu.com and bod.de.

With a printing press on every desk, most people read from a LCD screen.

The big issue is that "the Net" is a level play field where established
monopolists have to work to earn their money, instead of getting their
money by virtue of being sleeping giants. Don't feed them levies for
oversleeping through the raise of the Internet. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO

Reinier, I think you underestimate the value of hobby artists. A lot of
people can afford to be their own mercenaries, l'art pour l'art. And on
the internet they can distribute (pictures, recordings of) their works
too. I don't know whether there is a network of art blogs already, but
they can form the connection between creator and viewer, like galeries
do in the physical world.

The question remains: what kind of copyright do we need in a digital age
where creation of art and publication has been democratised? Levies
require too much overhead in administration.


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