Structural crisis of copyright, part 2

Copyright is a type of intellectual property. Not only is the Slovene term "avtorska pravica" (author's right) not the best translation of the term copyright (i.e. the right to copy an item), it is also misleading, as if the central person is the author and not the holder of the right to copy something. While the author is undoubtedly the holder of the moral copyright, he is rarely also the holder of the material rights. Moral copyright has no market value and is insignificant from the perspective of a social system where only money counts. The attitude towards copyright also depends on the business model, e.g. "long-tail" or "freechange". The freechange business model applies primarily to the Internet economy and appeals to the Net generation that is already used to free services and, at the same time, does not like copyright or, from a broader perspective, intellectual property protection. In the case of information in cyberspace, everything we thought we knew about intellectual property proved wrong. It would be wise to declare a moratorium over the legislation and international agreements on intellectual property protection until we develop the appropriate concepts for cyberspace. The area of copyright and related rights is full of contradictions. The valid (traditional) copyright paradigm, as presented by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is going through a structural crisis. The authors are unilaterally exploited by the copyright holders and must be protected against such exploitation with legal and other measures. The controversial 2011 Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is an attempt to define the "golden standards" with regards to the adoption of the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that represents the minimum framework for establishing these rights at an international level. American law proposals with the aim of preventing copyright violations by foreign websites, and a similar Australian legal act, adopted in June 2015, present a threat to the freedom of speech and to free access to online information, which are safeguarded on the Internet not only for American users but for users worldwide, and pose a great threat to the free and open Internet. The structural copyright crisis is primarily related to the fact that the legislation protects the copyright holders and not the authors of the copyright protected works. This is most prominent in the case of copyright protected works for which rightsholders are positively indeterminate or uncontactable (orphan works). The valid legislation on copyright and related rights also impacts the contents of full-text databases. Once databases were internationally marketed in Europe, the area of copyright protection of databases and the harmonisation of laws and regulations in this area became more significant within the EU. The connection between copyright and related rights and the tasks of libraries are visible in their relationship to open access to information, censorship, the right to rent and lend, privacy protection, cultural heritage and work ethics. The technological measures for protecting copyright protected works are strong generators of a digital shadow. A concept of copyright suitable for the digital age was predicted by the Croatian information scientist Božo Težak already at the end of the 1960s.


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31. 12. 2016
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