[LINK] Is copyright dead? [WAS: Special Report: The Future Of File Sharing]

Chris Gilbey chris at perceptric.com
Fri Jun 5 19:21:39 EST 2009

> On Fri, Jun 05, 2009 at 11:41:06AM +1000, David Boxall wrote:
>> In an age in which use of content involves copying it to whatever device
>> it is to be used on at the moment, does copyright have a place? If not,
>> what will replace it to ensure that creators of content earn a
>> reasonable income from their endeavours?

This goes to the big question:

What is a reasonable income?

It is only when you have a revenue flow that enables creators to give up a
chunk of their income to investors that it becomes investible. To be
investible the piece that investors get has to be big enough to ensure that
it is worth while to take a risk.

The problem is that this philosophy has led to copyright laws being
increased in period, which reduces the amount of material that is in the
public domain, which leads to what we have now, somewhat counterintuitively,
which is a stagnant creative marketplace. This is one where music creativity
is, I would argue, in a downward cycle and, as a result, you have a lot of
covers that go on the chart.

I was talking to Grant Thomas (he was the manager of Crowded House for many
years) and he said to me that the record business is in trouble, but the
music industry is fine (when you measure it by live performance revenues).
Copyright owners and creators do get paid from live performances, so it has
a place. 

Downloads and copying is a way to promote live performance and therefore
leads to increased revenues.

Content wants to be free. Authors still want to be paid. And if the recorded
music industry stopped acting like King Canute they might get paid more and
be able to better remunerate their contracted writers, artists and other
indentured servants!


Chris Gilbey 

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