Copyright thoughts

Some people may think I am anti-copyright, but that is far from the case. I think laws, and other intellectual property laws, are very important to a country and an economy.

However such laws are about a balance between creator and the public. With no such balance, there would be no ability to quote extracts of a written work, to record a TV show off the television, to tape a off the radio etc.

I do think music companies should be able to take action against people download music, to avoid paying for it. This is one reason I quite like the new S92A. Under the old Act, there was no cost effective way to take non-commercial infringers to court. The new S92A allows cases to be heard relatively cheaply by the Copyright Tribunal.

So it is a mistake to portray opponents of the old S92A (or those scrutinise the treaty) as opposed to copyright. Sure a few people may fit into that category, but not the vast majority.

The biggest frustration I have is that models are not changing quickly enough to take account of the Internet, and this is one reason why so many download works for free. I’ll give an example.

At a dinner on Friday night with the organisers of the Public conference, one of the organisers mentioned to me she had just purchased Leonard Maltin’s “151 Best Movies You Have Never Seen“.

Now most film goers will know Leonard Maltin is – the God of reviewers. So I thought that sounds like a really good book.

But that then got me thinking about how one would go about seeing those 151 movies. By their nature, they are not top viewing ones, that you could easily pick up at the video store. There is no website in NZ where you could order them from. If you were really dedicated you could spend hours wading through Amazon locating them and pay $6,000 or so to buy them all individually, and wait a month or so for them to arrive. Oh yeah, would also need a cupboard to store them all in.

But in reality, what many people would do if they have that book, is go to a torrent site and search for a torrent of the films listed. Because that is the easiest and quickest  way to do it.

But what if you could buy all 151 movies legally, easily and for an affordable price? Say the books costs you $25, but for an extra $250 you could also buy a 300 GB external hard drive with all 151 moves on it at Whitcoulls or Borders?  Hell, I’d buy that as a xmas present for a loved one, and so would many other people I reckon.

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