Wednesday, March 25, 2020

"Is Copyright Broken"? UK activist Tom Scott gets reaction from lawyers on what reforms really would work

Virtual Legality (Hoeg Law) does a one-hour constructive criticism, “Is Copyright Broken? A Lawyer Responds to Tom Scott”.

I discussed Brown’s video today on my “Bills Drama Reviews” blog (see the profile).

Hoeg starts out by noting the history of ideas like copyright as far back as the Articles of Confederation, and there was a recognition that the benefit of a man’s learning should not be too tied to the corporate world. He notes that in the beginning copyright was more closely tied to trademark and patent than it is now, however, and it took some effort to separate them.

He puts Brown’s idea that self-publication and self-broadcast wasn’t really possible until rather suddenly in the mid or late 90s. At the legal bureaucracy that big businesses used had been set up for a time when things moved slower. That’s true, but it is true of a lot of things, including patent.

He notes corporate good will or “largesse” is not necessarily a product of law, as he talks about the Electronic Arts case, where the company appears to have used copyright claims to quash “criticism”.
He somewhat agrees with Brown on the idea that the DMCA Safe Harbor has a lot of abuse by false claims from bad actors.

But Hoeg somewhat disagrees with Brown over Brown’s ideas that copyright terms should be shorter and probably end with death of the author. Hoeg maintains that making a living from your online is important for the stability of the system.

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