File Sharing & Copyright (Whose Right Is It Anyway)?

This post was triggered by a thought-provoking post on Techdirt about the moral argument for file-sharing, as well as other recent events, blog-posts and articles which serve to high-light some interesting developments in the arguments for and against ‘free’ content, file-sharing and Copyright reform as follows:

 1. The aforementioned Techdirt article argues in favour of filesharing as a means of cultural evolution (among other things), but frowns on the idea of hoarding an infinite resource such as digital content, as currently enabled by existing Intellectual Property mechanisms

 2. Citizens versus Consumers – According to Bill Jones' post on the Copyright and Technology blog, the lines have become very blurred indeed when it comes to Copyright. 

 3. Google Books Program – BusinessWeek article describes the concessions made by Google to on its books program. It has limited the coverage of this program to the US, UK, Canada and Australia, but still intends to proceed with making Orphan Works available.

 4. Radiohead’s In-Rainbows Experiment – An NPR article discusses the outcome of this much lauded experiment, and the authors' paper about the experiment with key observations of how free does not mean devoid of Piracy, and that "popular music is popular everywhere it's popular", even on the Pirate networks!

 5.  Pirate Bay Tracker Is No More – but the Pirate Bay lives on with little or no noticeable difference to the end user, due to an evolution of technology whereby Torrent trackers are no longer necessary to find and share files

 The above should be enough to give an indication of the direction things are heading in the realm of digital file sharing and Copyright evolution. If you ask me, I think it means Citizens can Share, but Consumers Can't, or is it the other way round? I can feel a headache coming on, and I think I'll go lie down for a bit, but your comments are most welcome.

About the author
Jude Umeh is a trusted advisor and digital innovator with track record of helping clients identify and define forward-looking business / technology strategies to capitalise opportunities and adapt to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. A published author and Thought Leader in Digital Content and Rights Management, Jude currently works at Salesforce, in Advisory Services, he is a Fellow of BCS, Chartered Institute for IT (FBCS), and Liveryman at the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, All opinions are his own.

See all posts by Jude Umeh
July 2018
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