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May 09, 2005
Slater Defends the Middle Ground in the Copyfight
Last week, Derek Slater wrote an excellent post defending the middle ground of the copyfight (The Commoners' Common Platform):
However, I am deeply uncomfortable with their excusing and encouraging widespread, infringing P2P file-sharing, and I particularly disagree with their doing so as a means to destroy the major record labels. I think that association with this stance poses the greatest danger to succeeding in the copyfight.
We can argue that lawsuits against file-sharers will not reduce infringing file-sharing and, in turn, help provide sufficient compensation for artists (and rights holders). In that light, we can argue that the lawsuits are bad on the whole and that a VCL would be an optimal resolution. We should care about ensuring sufficient compensation, and we can do so without saying that we want to do whatever it takes to ensure it no matter the costs. We can recognize that not all file-sharing is harmful and that there is not firm evidence that it has already done significant harm.
But we can say all that without supporting widespread infringement on P2P and, indeed, by actually saying, don't infringe. Not to say it without any nuance, but still to say in general, as Lessig is willing to do, "I have no patience for people who download music contrary to the wish of the original copyright owner. "
Read the whole thing.
posted by Ernest Miller |
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