Wednesday, February 19, 2014

licence to chill, licence to shill

What do Sting, Steven Tyler, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Deadmau5, Britney Spears, Mick Fleetwood and Ozzy Osbourne all have in common?


Besides international recording artists, 
they are pushing back on US Government.

Back in July the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a suggestion on copyright policy, and it has recording artists up in arms.

The USDOC folded, 
admitting there is no practical way to control digital files online. 

Artists are just going to have to get used to being copied or remixed and used within advertising, and all without request or permission.

Understandably, artists are incensed by this idea. 

If you’ve ever created something you know how it feels like “your baby.”

But being practical, it’s not. 
Not anymore.

So the DOC wants a compulsory licence, a “right” to do whatever you want with someone else’s art as long as you register intent and pay a small fee determined by legislature.

So in a letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week they’ve argued that this licence will have chilling effects on an artist's original right to designate the way their work is being used.

A black artist singing about black issues couldn’t stop the Ku Klux Klan from using his recordings as long as they pay a fee.

Imagine the tea party paying a fee so they can create a perception that Sting or Don Henley or Britney supports their campaign and their views.

The artists are going crazy.
On the other hand, routinely publishes the work of other photographers without their consent, and offers only on-page credit.

A permissionless cultural environment leads to abuse and inevitable degradation, 

but one could argue a small fee is small improvement.

For creators everywhere, 
this is heavy news.  

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