OII - SDP - 2004 - Blog

Friday, July 23, 2004

The Accountable Net: Intellectual Property Rights [Palfrey]

John Palfrey, from The Berkman Centre for Internet and Society, and another 2003 OII-SDP alumni, presented a session that was to become an entrée into the broader issues for debate on IP.  In The Accountable Net: Intellectual Property Rights, Palfrey discussed the interplay between law and technology, and norms and markets.

He gave a narrative of legal issues using the famous Napster case as an example, before setting copyright in the context of other IP regimes.  (Napster - means of sharing digital media – in a matter of months, had tens of thousands of users - record industry was not happy and immediately brought loads of legal perspectives to the issue – they went after the network themselves).

Take a look at the Digital Media Project - http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/media/scenarios - that:

identifies several trajectories that could guide the future of music and movies online.  Based on this analysis and subsequent meetings, research on the Digital Media Project is currently exploring five scenarios as the different models vying to shape the development of digital media.

The session then turned into a group discussion on each of five scenarios that could change the shape of digital media, copyright, and IP:

  1. (a) status quo
    (b) status quo + self-help
  2. speedbumps
  3. tech lock down (think long-horm, AMD chips)
  4. alternative comp systems (register, tax, count, pay, catskills)
  5. entertainment co-op (voluntary associations)
  6. Publishing + performace, instead of catskills
  7. Utopian (scrap it all)

All in all, we should ask ourselves (says Palfrey):

By doing what you’re doing, are you causing someone to lose money?


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