Geist: Time's choice could prove inspired

Dr. Geist's weekly Law Bytes column is back (Toronto Star version, homepage version) with some reflections on Time Magazine's selection of "You" as the person of the year. Starting from the premise that the choice may ultimately be viewed as the tipping point when the remarkable outbreak of Internet participation that encompasses millions of bloggers, music remixers, amateur video creators, citizen journalists, wikipedians, and Flickr photographers broke into the mainstream, Dr. Geist focuses on how governments and policy makers might assess how they fit into the world of a participatory Internet and user-generated content. He argues that it can do so by focusing on the three "C’s" - connectivity, content, and copyright.

p2pnet: The Pirates of Osan has an interesting article about commercial infringement in South Korea, and how the major labels, studios and "software manufacturers" tend to have their priorities misplaced by seeming to be focused on non-commercial sharing.

Public Domain Day 2007

New years day is an important day to celebrate as it is also Public Domain Day, the critically important time of the year when the public domain grows. Creativity always builds on the past, and access to that past is ensured only through a vibrantly growing public domain.

Wallace McLean has posted a list of only a few of the creators whose works have after long last entered into the public domain.

With so much material "out of print" (not commercially available) when technology could make that concept obsolete, and with so many more average citizens having the technology to more easily participate in culture, it is far past time to be considering simplifying and reducing the term of copyright to more quickly enrich society.

New Years: Chronology of Canadian Copyright Law

As 2007 fast approaches I have tried to document key changes in Canadian copyright over the last century, starting from before Canada even had our own Copyright Act separate from the British Act. Contrary to the ludicrous lobbying efforts of the legacy recording industry in Canada, the first all-Canadian copyright act was in 1921 and not 1908. As the chronology will make clear, the Canadian Copyright Act is also a document that has seen radical changes over the years, with much of what we currently think of as Copyright coming out of the 1980's.

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