Respecting fan use

After yesterday’s rant about journalists, it is fair that we highlight informed commentary. Billy Bragg has written a refreshing article calling on the music industry not to penalise fans with their misguided 3-strikes strategy. He comments that:

“Stating that a “write and sue” policy will not work is an admission that the current copyright law is no longer fit for purpose in a digital age. The government has pointed out to the BPI that if it wants to crack down on unauthorised file-sharing, the law is already on its side. Fearful of the prospect of dragging their customers though the courts, with all the attendant costs and bad publicity, members of the record industry have come up with a simple, cost-free solution to their problem: get the ISPs to do their dirty work for them. They are asking the government to force the ISPs to cut off the broadband connection of customers who persistently download unauthorised material, without any recourse to appeal in the courts.”

Hear, hear! Trying to turn ISPs into enforcement mechanisms will n0t work. Just wait for the first news story of little Johnny’s educational prospects dashed by being disconnected from the Web because his brother is keen on downloading music, and the whole absurdity of the scheme will finally dawn on some people.

On a smilar note, Techdirt has picked up on Cory Doctorow’s plea for some sort of fan-use copyright exception. Am I allowed to feel a bit smug by the fact that I have been pleading for some form of fan art licence for a while?

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