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Russian President: Time To Reform Copyright 293

An anonymous reader writes "While most of the rest of the world keeps ratcheting up copyright laws by increasing enforcement and terms, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev appears to be going in the other direction. He's now proposing that Russia build Creative Commons-style open and free licenses directly into Russian copyright law. This comes just a few days after he also chided other G8 leaders for their antiquated views on copyright."
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Russian President: Time To Reform Copyright

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  • by cgeys ( 2240696 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @06:50AM (#36360620)
    I'm starting to like Russia. It's also understandable why US tried to fight for copyrights so much - that's basically the only thing they produce now. Rest of the world produces actual products. US can try to attack rest of the world all it can, it only makes other countries see it faster - when rest of world start supporting free licenses and free copyright, US collapses really, really bad.
  • Finally! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThunderBird89 ( 1293256 ) <zalanmeggyesi&yahoo,com> on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @06:56AM (#36360640)

    A 'Soviet Russia' joke that's not disparaging of Russia: "In Russia, you reform copyright law. In America, copyright law reforms you..."

  • Well, he's right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordNacho ( 1909280 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @06:57AM (#36360648)

    IP rights seem to have gone to point where only lawyers benefit. As anyone who's ever been billed by one knows, it's friggin expensive. Probably a lot of the world's productive capacity is used on this kind of paperwork, and with questionable results (will Metallica really stop making music if they didn't have copyright? Are drug patents approved for the drugs people actually need? Etc, big can of worms...). Time for a cleanup. Not sure how, as any transition phase would be internationally fragmented and highly contentious, but we'd all benefit from a less complex system.

  • by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:15AM (#36360714) Journal

    I think we'd be far better off if that were the entirety of the reasoning behind US copyright policy; an economy based on cerebral creative work is not inherently worse than one based on welding and riveting. That's not the whole of the issue, though: an awful lot of recent copyright legislation - from domain seizures to DMCA to term extensions - does little to help the creative industry as a whole, but an awful lot to help the few companies (many of whom are just middlemen anyway) with deep pockets and a vested interest in preventing their business models from changing, often even to the detriment of both the consumers and the actual creators.

    It's not an attempt to protect an IP-based economy, it's straightforward crony capitalism stemming from the lobbyists who don't want change. Their business model isn't threatened by infringement: 'piracy' is barely even slowed down by any of the countermeasures attempted, yet the industry continues to post record profits, implying that people do recognise that they need to pay, even for a crippled product. What they're actually threatened by is the emerging landscape in which they aren't the gatekeepers of all creative content.

    Fifteen to twenty year terms would be a more than adequate incentive for the creation of new works, as well as providing a huge catalogue of new public domain works every year which would, in turn, stimulate further creative re-use. Essentially infinite terms coupled with DRM that is illegal to remove have very little impact on infringement, but they practically obliterate the possibility of legitimate resale or re-use that would actually help the industry as a whole.

  • Re:Citation. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:24AM (#36360756) Journal

    The real scarcity isn't in the intangible 'products' themselves, it's in the people who create them. For now, the West has a great advantage in skills and education - China and India might be able to pump out generic copies for a pittance once the designs are leaked, but so far the latest and greatest designs are still coming largely from the US and Europe.

    Of course, this will change, and is changing, in the same way that most companies wouldn't have been able to outsource their manufacturing to China fifty years ago. For now, though, it isn't so much an economy based on closely guarded ideas, it's an economy based on creating those ideas.

  • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:42AM (#36360838)

    Here is a great book [] against intellectual property laws.

    I am a believer in natural law theory. This basically means there are laws that govern how humans interact with each other just like those that we describe with physics. The goal of human law should be to work with those laws.

    There is a natural intellectual monopoly that goes with any discovery. When a new product is first created it isn't obvious if it will be successful. It is only after it is successful do others want to copy it. This gives the creator a natural monopoly in which they can be the only seller. Also what is interesting is that unlike our legal monopoly the natural one adjusts based on how advanced the discovery is. Something that is obvious like the one click buy button can be instantly copied. But a new piece of hardware that is a generation more advanced might take competitors years to reverse engineer and gear up for fabrication

  • by Xelios ( 822510 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:56AM (#36360900)
    What it boils down to is the simple idea that copyright as it stands is too big to fail. Much like certain banks were deemed too big to fail when their shoddy business practices landed them in a world of financial trouble. If you ask me "to big to fail" is just another way of saying "it's broken". We let it run out of control for too long and now we're in a real bind. I don't see any way out but to let it fail and suck up the consequences, otherwise it's just going to get more and more ridiculous until it eventually collapses anyway, possibly dragging other good things down with it (like the internet as we know it today).
  • by JasterBobaMereel ( 1102861 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @08:16AM (#36361006)

    Parts of the Creative industry do not have copyright or Patents at all ... The fashion industry , they are almost totally US/Europe based outsource most of their production the the far east, and seem to be doing very well ...

    It is a myth that the creative industries would not survive without Copyright and Patents, they do already, the only downside for the fashion industry it they have to keep innovating, constantly, "That's so last year.." was invented by the fashion industry for a reason ..

    Note fashion houses/designers copy each other, the public, students etc.. and the high street stores copy the fashion designs with cheaper materials, and pay the fashion house little or nothing, but the designers still make plenty of money ...

  • Re:Finally! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Forty Two Tenfold ( 1134125 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @08:23AM (#36361048)

    Read your own sig, Winston doesn't see anything that needs fixing.

    He doesn't because he's dead. That doesn't make his mistake acceptable though.

  • Exactly. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @09:50AM (#36361796)
    I was observing the core of the issue. Unfortunately I didn't give the implied conclusion: Copyright in specific and intellectual property in general is about adding scarcity to things that do not inherently suffer from it. Especially in the Information Age.

    Now, with that said: there is a future problem for content industries. Technology and content are becoming commoditized. Rendering technologies, places like Pixar, are becoming more and more realistic. And those technologies will eventually have Free implementations. Also, Free content, right now predominately in operating systems, is beginning to spread to other areas: props, character models, textures, sounds, music, and scripts: anything imaginable to make a story whether interactive or not. Eventually, using nothing more than creative commons material and lots of computer rendering power any individual or small group of individuals will be able to match the creative quality of today's Hollywood. There will be a collapse eventually for movies, fictional books, and music. It can only be held off.

    Until then, I also will continue to buy all my games, and books - I don't really buy any new music nowadays: for that I'm satisfied. And the reason I will: because in the now I want to enjoy quality entertainment - if not for the current work then as you say for the next. But above all that: I do see the end for for-profit content approaching unless giving away your effort is made illegal for everyone.
  • by Blymie ( 231220 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @10:42AM (#36362316)

    I'm Canadian, but I pay attention to US politics from time to time.

    I don't think it's quite fair to state that Obama didn't take action. He did. However, the first *big* change he advocated during the election, Health Care Reform, was quite effectively blocked. He's spent years on that, and years fighting to prevent a reversal for the meager changes he could push through.

    It isn't like Obama can wave a magic wand, and make change. It isn't like any president can. He did what he could, he brought forward the idea of change. He spearheaded change. Many attempted to block that change, including many Democrats.

    I'm all for pointing out flaws, but at least point at the right flaws.

    An alternative example, was during first few weeks of a Conservative government up here. They canceled the national day care program. Many people were upset by this, which is fine, but people claimed Harper was a 'bad leader' for doing so.

    Ur, bad leader? He *campaigned" on abolishment of that program, and was democratically elected. If he *hadn't* canceled that program, he'd have been a bad leader! He'd have *lied*.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is -- is sounds to me like health care reform was an attempt at massive change -- that failed through no fault of Obama's. So, what are you blaming him for, exactly?

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter