This project seems to be something to watch.
The creative freedom initiative is well worth supporting. Here is a summary and a link:
As the natural world meets the digital opportunities are opening up for artists to connect with new audiences across the world. However, with the digitisation of media the lines between use and copy have become blurred. Laws regulating the act of copying have failed to keep pace with technology and soon ISPs will be forced to take down internet connections and websites of anyone accused (not convicted) of copyright infringement. Copyright law is now having the effect of limiting artists, restricting businesses, and harming public rights. The Creative Freedom Foundation speaks for artists concerned at this trend and through Our Goals we seek to bring Copyright Law into the 21st Century.
I should also mention this release from the NZ Open Source Society http://nzoss.org.nz/news/2009/nzcs-claims-copyright-law-ethically-flawed – the groups opposed to this egregious legislation is very respectable.
When it comes to copyright law, there are plenty of paid lobbyists etc who will defend the right of IP owners. But who can be trusted to defend the public interest? Grave concerns have been raised about this issue in
Quoting from the latter:
This is an election year, and if you want to be able to continue to use the internet without risking being accused of copying music, be able to move music onto your iPod from CD’s you own… We must stop this!
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is currently being negotiated under the radar. See:
- Computerworld article: Privacy advocates marshal to fight copyright regime – Groups converge to oppose secretive ACTA treaty
- Wikileaks ACTA
- InternetNZ blog on ACTA
- InternetNZ submission on ACTA
There are some major concerns about existing rights being signed away. The InternetNZ submission also makes numerous excellent points about TPMs (Technological Protection Measures). The major risk is that the interests of major multinationals will be allowed to outweigh the interests of citizens in a secretive, anti-democratic process.
Resistance is building thankfully, including international support for an open letter:
Signatories of the letter include everyone from the EFF to the Australian National University to the Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic to Korea’s Christian Media Network to the Dutch Consumentenbond to Thailand’s Drug Study Group (DSG) to the Ecologist Collective from Guadalajara, México to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080916-100-groups-demand-to-see-secret-anticounterfeiting-treaty.html