Intellectual Property & Copyright

The issues between the owner’s rights to content and the user’s right to content fascinate me. Since the internet became accessible to all consumers via basic subscriptions and the first modems, content became very easy to find and share.

Right now, we in the year 2014 are becoming more and more dependent on downloads and on-line services. There are private e-mail, cloud and sharing services for everyone. There is one glaring issue though, namely what happens when we take on-line content off-line?

Per continent and per country there can be differences. As I live in the Netherlands the availability of on-line content for personal use is very diverse. It is even possible to access on-line content via off-line media like CDs, DVDs and books.

In general I agree with the need to protect intellectual property and copyright. The way they are handled though sometimes make my cringe while reading what took place. The case of Adecco and Turner Barr in 2013 was a terrible example. The Verve and their song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” are an example of how a band can lose all royalties over its own song.

There is also the issue of music before 1972. The music industry for years accepted that all music after 1972 would be limited in copyright as determined by the owners, thus the music industry. Big studios and media companies provide recording facilities, personnel, promotion, physical production and distribution of the music. They also claim ownership and part of the royalties.

The year 1972 was chosen by the American lawmakers at the time. Now in 2014 the music industry also want rights and royalties to music of the pre-1972 time. The music industry lobby seems to be determined to find loopholes to claim pre-1972 music as theirs. My problem with the current music industry is a simple one. I am happy to pay for access and content but the music industry just wants to cash in for being owners.

When I started collecting media years back I made one decision. When I find a something interesting and worthwhile I must buy a physical copy. The thought of letting an external company decide whether I can enjoy something or not is unpleasant to say the least.

Original authors of works deserve acknowledgement and their works protection. For that reason I buy their work and enjoy it.  Too bad not all the money goes to the original authors.