Globe and Mail on Kazaa vs. RIAA

Today's Globe and Mail editorial offered up its own comments on the Kazaa vs. RIAA settlement last week, and offered the following conclusion

"Whatever the mix of benefit and injury, if copyright is to mean anything, it should be enforceable on the copyright holder's terms. It's good to see another Wild West renegade acknowledge that."

Unfortunatly that argument wins frequently with more than just copyright. It results in daycares being sued for painting pictures of Mickey Mouse, or companies with domain names like volvo-tuning.com which specialize in Volvos losing their domain because Volvo asserts its trademark "rights". Books, films and music get routinely suppressed, all in the name of Intellectual Property.

In Ottawa, the copyright lobby is using this argument to get new laws and new rights for themselves. If they win, consumers will have to repurchase their music every time they upgrade their audio technology.

No. Once a copyright holder makes their creation public, there has to be a fair balance of rights. That is, they receive copyright protection in exchange for making their creation available AND giving up some rights to determine what can be done with the work. A convincing argument has yet to be made to conclude that individual Internet file sharing should not be one of those rights.