Copyright Is A Political Issue

After reviewing all the comments to my SueTube post, I have to conclude that copyright is a political issue. Or maybe a religious issue. There are copyright hawks and copyright doves.

Steve, who is a copyright hawk, said this:

Yes, I too love YouTube. But since when does that mean its the right
thing to do under law? Since when does mob emotion outweigh the rights
of minorities (e.g. property owners)? Lots of people like looting. Lots
of people would like to arbitrarily redistribute your personal net
worth. Should we make that legal?

Sam, who is a copyright dove, said this:

If these media companies spent as much time innovating and
discovering ways to monetize new media (like Google) as they do in
creating these lawsuits against them, then maybe their bottom line
would actually increase. Provide value to the consumer maybe?

I am a copyright dove. I think the legal structures that were created in the analog world must be revisited in the digital world. We have concepts that make no sense. As Sam points out, it’s possible to monetize content in a supercharged digital world like Google has shown us that makes a mockery of the old fashioned command and control models that the traditional content companies want to hold on to with their dear life.

My friend Albert told me today that he’s sure Google will lose this case if it goes to court. I don’t really care if they win or lose because I am not a Google shareholder or a Viacom shareholder. But I want it to go to court to bring focus to this issue that is not going to go away. What is fair use? What is copying in the digital world? Why is the onus on YouTube to determine if the person uploading a video is the owner or not?

Steve thinks that it’s time to rip up DMCA and that our government can be trusted to figure this out with new legislation. Not me. I have never met a politician who really understands digital technology. I’d rather this get settled in the marketplace.