I remember taking part in a debate at 'Cyberia', one of the first Internet cafes - remember them? - in 1994 about whether the Internet was killing copyright or making it redundant. As I recall, the score was one all. Votes for copyright disappearing down a black hole in Cyberspace were balanced by those in support of a photographer who saw the new medium as an exciting way to market his photographs to a global audience and get paid for it and that copyright was integral to those transactions.
Fast forward 20 years and I'm looking forward to taking part in a debate at the Stationers Company, the first home of copyright, on Monday October 20th at 6:30pm on a similar theme. The debate will be led by publishing industry guru David Worlock, Dominic Young, CEO of the Copyright Hub and me, digital media lawyer and partner in national law firm Shoosmiths.
We're expecting a lot of audience participation and you're warmly invited attend. Booking details can be found in the attached flyer - Download Stationers_Copyright_Event_20.10.14. So if you're coming, please either complete the order form in the attachment or go online to the Stationers’ website, here. In addition to the lively debate and discussion, they'll be some excellent networking.
Whilst the headline theme might suggest that things haven't moved on that far, in fact we've moved a long way from an existential copyright debate to a focus on practical. consumer-driven solutions. A great example is the Copyright Hub's work to fastrack the development of standards to make licensing simpler or, as I like to put it, moving rights management from the filing cabinet to the network.
Alongside that, there is a lot of action on the legislative front we have seen an expansion to copyright exceptions here in the UK with the introduction of new exceptions for private copying, quotations and parodies and updating for exceptions for non-commercial research, education libraries.
That said, European Commission Report on the responses to the Public Consulation on the Review of the EU Copyright Rules published earlier this year, whose legislative fate depends on the new Commission's agenda, shows the breadth of copyright issues that remain on the table. They include territoriality, the development of pan European licensing, the scope of exceptions and the continuing discussion about whether to introduce a single European copyright title.
Furthermore, alongside encouragement for improved licensing and innovative business models, Enforcement of IP Rights, especially as regards commercial piracy vs. consumer infringement, remains firmly on the agenda.
So there's lots to discuss. Hope to see you on October 20th.
Meanwhile, have a good week.