Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Copyright Utopia, Day 2 - International Panel

International Approaches
Kimberly Bonner (moderator), Susan Anthony, Olufunmilayo Arewa, Matthew Skelton

This panel session basically provided a peak at other countries' approaches to copyright and fair use, and served primarily to emphasize how different US copyright law is from other Berne Convention member countries, especially with regard to fair use. Several European countries, including Germany and France, use private copying levies as an exception to copyright holders' exclusive reproduction rights. These levies are charged to manufactures of machines and data storage devices used to make copies of copyright-protected materials. Copyright holders then use an intermediary organization for remuneration with governments to recover levies. Although the US fair use doctrine does allow for some private copying, it is not as permissive as private copying levies.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently released a paper/statement on participatory media. Participatory media or UCC (user created content) does not apply/cover consumptive entertainment. UCC - blogs, wikis, mashups, social networking sites - currently dominated by young, male creators. Making an entire copy of anything is virtually never fair; good rule of thumb? Maybe...

Culture by definition is shared. US fair use law is atypical in context of other international copyright laws. The Berne Convention's education exemption is neither transparent or apparent, so lots of countries don't use it. The debate between producers and users of copyrighted materials plays out in different ways internationally, but still plays out.

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