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Re: [News] Top EPO Figure: Patents Are Moot in Age of Cooperation

Phil Da Lick! <phil_the_lickREMOVETHISSPAMTRAP@xxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
> Mark Kent wrote:
>> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
>>> [Dr. Berthold Rutz, EPO:] Shades of "Open innovation" through the EPO Scenarios
>>> lens
>>> ,----[ Quote ]
>>> | The powerful paradigm of open and collaborative innovation is no longer 
>>> | limited to the area of software development but has found proponents in other 
>>> | technical fields such as consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and automotive. Are 
>>> | traditional forms of intellectual property protection such as patents, 
>>> | copyrights or design rights still appropriate in a world where knowledge is 
>>> | increasingly shared and innovation becomes a collaborative process? What role 
>>> | will IP rights play in the future and what challenges will they face?      
>>> `----
>>> http://www.dime-eu.org/files/active/0/Rutz.pdf
>>> The lawyers might disagree with him. They'd rather corrupt the system to secure
>>> revenue streams. Programmers were polled many times to show that they may want
>>> copyrights, not patents.
>> As the law stands at present, software is covered by copyright, not
>> patent... let's hope Dr Rutz's work will consider expanding the use of
>> copyright, and consider killing off, or at least, cutting back on
>> the patent process, something which dates back to pre-democractic
>> societies.
> IAWTP in some instances I do think copyright protection needs beefing up 
> a bit. Its not fair that a major studio in hollywood spends years and 
> $millions making a film that then gets pirated so other people can make 
> money from its distribution.

I agree that illegal copying of copyright material is quite wrong and
should not be tolerated.  I'm not sure what you mean by "beefed up",
though.  From my point of view, if a broadcaster in the UK streams
something to my house, and I record it, re-code it in some way, and move
it to another of my devices for later usage (time-shifting), then I can
see nothing wrong in that.  Similarly, if I purchase a CD, or DVD, and
rip it and recode it for use on another device, then again, I can also
see nothing wrong in that.

If you're prepared to accept that the two items above are acceptable,
it must surely be the case that downloading someone else's recording
of something which was streamed to your house but you weren't there to
watch it, and forgot to set the video, should also be okay, should it not?

And the same extension argument can be placed on the recorded CD argument.
If you've bought a CD, then presumably, downloading someone else's rip
ought to be okay.

Unfortunately, the music/film industries don't see it that way, mainly
because it's quite difficult to police.

There is another point I'd make here, though, which is that if the film
and music industry /really/ wanted to stop illegal copying, they could do
it at a stroke by reducing the headline price of their goods.  If their
CDs and DVDs cost not much more than blanks, then a) they'd sell far more
of them and b) anyone planning to make an improper copy would look at the
cost time and effort, and realise it's cheaper just to buy the real thing.

Why is this a major issue?  It's about economies of scale.  If it's less
expensive to buy your own CD writer and blank CDs than it is to buy the
proper copy, then there will always be temptation to make an illegal copy,
yet, the music industry should be able to churn out CDs for *less* than
the cost of a re-writable one - after all, the medium is considerably
less expensive, and their pressing plants are already in place, and per
CD, should cost a tiny fraction of the cost of making your own.

I appreciate that it costs money to make recordings, and that people
have to be paid, and so on, but as they're mostly planning on selling
about 1 CD per person per year in developed countries, it should be
possible to make the £billions that they seem to need.  I think that
2006 had almost 60 million CD sales in the UK, as an example.  

So, to sum up, I think that the BPI's best protection against illicit
copying would be to drop their prices to a point where it's not worth
making home copies. 

| mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk                           |
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| Cola trolls:  http://colatrolls.blogspot.com/                        |
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