BookTok shows how fans can power sales; imagine what could be done without copyright anxiety

A little while back, the Guardian covered the rising literary power of BookTok – short videos on TikTok devoted to the pleasures and pains of reading. As well as plenty of background information about the BookTok phenomenon, it has the following perceptive comment from Kat McKenna, a marketing and brand consultant specialising in children’s and …

YouTube is “neck-and-neck with Netflix”, and bigger than the world’s entire recording industry

Everyone knows that Google (strictly speaking, the parent company, Alphabet) is a digital giant. But recent figures reveal that YouTube alone is also enormous, and in two markets: video and music. Alphabet’s third quarter results showed that YouTube ads went from $5 billion to $7.2 billion, year on year. As Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business …

It’s time to end the anti-circumvention exemption circus

Copyright as we know it goes back to the Statute of Anne of 1710. A law that old is clearly going to struggle to cope with the enormous changes in technology that have taken place since then – notably the Internet. But even relatively recent copyright laws were framed in ways that have become unworkable …

Interview | Dr. Eoin O‘Dell: The copyright creation myth, a permission-based society, and EU vs US copyright law

Dr. Eoin O’Dell, Associate Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin University), explains some copyright fundamentals: its origins and basic premises, the creation myth, the shift to a permission-based society, and the differences between the EU and US approaches. Do you prefer watching our passionate interviewees talking about the 21st-century walls blocking access to …

Does copyright give companies the right to search your home and computer?

One reason why copyright has become so important in the digital age is that it applies to the software that many of us use routinely on our smartphones, tablets and computers. In order to run those programs, you must have a licence of some kind (unless the software is in the public domain, which rarely …

Interview | Rebecca Giblin: Reversion Rights, Out-Of-Print Books And How To Fix Copyright

ARC Future Fellow and Associate Professor within the Melbourne Law School, an expert on e-lending, and co-author of “What if we could reimagine copyright?,” Rebecca Giblin talks about the crucial but little-known area of reversion rights, how to rescue out-of-print books, and fixing some of the worst problems of copyright by making sure that creators …

Billions of dollars pour into music copyright “assets”: how much will the creators ever see?

A few weeks ago, this blog reported on the spectacular 45 billion euro valuation of Universal Music Group (UMG) when it went public on Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange. It seems that was just a foretaste of a huge inflow of money to the music industry – and of a fundamental shift in the way music copyrights …

A good copyright ruling from a wise judge means you still don’t need to care what a CDN is or does

Many people are unaware of what a “Content Delivery Network” (CDN) is, or does, even though they probably make use of one hundreds of times a day. And that’s fine: a CDN is just part of the Internet’s plumbing. Typically, it is a global network of computers that “cache” – store copies of – digital …

Technological progress + outdated copyright laws = huge swathes of our cinematic culture lost forever

Physical books can be bought, shared, and accessed in libraries quite easily. Films in a physical form, on the other hand, are hard to acquire, share or view in archives. Writing in the Guardian, the non-fiction filmmaker Charlie Shackleton says that 90% of archive collections consist of film prints that will never be seen. Moreover, …

Why copyright’s absurdly long term is no big friendly giant to creators and their public

As this blog noted last week, nowadays copyright in a work can easily last more than a century. A recent piece of news shows what that can mean in practice, and why it is so bad for creators and their public. It concerns the well-known children’s author Roald Dahl, who died in 1990. Copyright in …

Interview | Mirela Roncevic: Open Access, Open Science, Scholarly Monographs, E-Book Lending

Scholar, writer, editor, content developer, and publishing and library consultant, Mirela Roncevic talks about the long journey of open access and open science, how to pay for scholarly monographs, and the complex challenges of e-book lending. Do you prefer watching our passionate interviewees talking about the 21st-century walls blocking access to culture? Then check out …

We don’t have walled culture because of piracy, but because of corporate profiteering

Last week, Universal Music Group (UMG) went public on Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange, and ended up with a valuation of 45 billion euros (over $50 billion). An article on Quartz explained: The strong public debut signaled a win for the recorded music industry, which struggled to maintain revenues and profitability in the early 2000s as physical …

Yet another move to funnel money to big copyright companies, not struggling creators

When modern copyright came into existence in 1710, it gave a monopoly to authors for just 14 years, with the option to extend it for another 14. Today, in most parts of the world, copyright term is the life of the creator, plus 70 years. That’s typically over a hundred years. The main rationale for …

Interview | Cory Doctorow [Part 2]: New publishing models for creators, Amazon as a frenemy, and the Internet Archive court case

Author, journalist, and activist Cory Doctorow talks about the new publishing models available to creators, the consolidation of the publishing and distribution markets, the emergence of Amazon as a frenemy to publishers and the misunderstandings that led to the Internet Archive court case. Do you prefer watching our passionate interviewees talking about the 21st-century walls …

Interview | Cory Doctorow [Part 1]: Newspapers, Big Tech, Link Tax, DRM and Right to Repair

Author, journalist, and activist Cory Doctorow talks about the evolution of newspapers, the role and threats posed by big tech, the collateral damage created by link taxes and the impact of digital rights management systems (DRM) on our daily lives, including on our right to repair. Do you prefer watching our passionate interviewees talking about …

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