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November 11, 2013

This is what passes for discussion with the CopyLeft

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Apparently the folks over at Engadget sponsored a conference in New York this past Sunday, and of course they did a panel on copyright policy. Of course they did.

But balance wasn’t apparently high on the agenda. In fact, hearing from people who actually create, own, and market creative goods—the main stakeholders in copyright—apparently wasn’t on the agenda at all. Here was the makeup of the panel:

  • Mike Masnick, Techdirt. Well known for having informed, thoughtful positions on copyright policy (not).
  • Julie Samuels, Electronic Frontier Foundation. Not exactly a bunch of copyright fans there.
  • Michael Carroll, American University Washington College of Law.  Which is nice and all, congrats Michael, but he’s also on the board of directors of the Creative Commons, AND is also affiliated with the Center for Democracy & Technology somehow.

The point here is that these are three hardened critics of copyright. No one on the panel who creates, no artists. No one who produces or who uses copyright in their business. No one who depends on copyright actually working.

No, we're only going to hear from three people who will pat each other on the backs for their enlightened anti-copyright views, and who will try to top each other in their anti-copyright rhetoric.

This is what passes for discussion for the CopyLeft. And they'll all leave such panels feeling smug about the wonderful discussion they had, all agreeing with one another.

And then the CopyLeft echo chamber will all blog and link to the great panel discussion that was had about copyright policy, and about how awful and outdated it is.

Unfortunately, this is typical of panels on copyright held at places like the Consumer Electronics Show, or at events sponsored by the tech world. They should know that they do both themselves and the overall debate about copyright a disservice.

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