The original "copyright bargain" was developed in the world of the printing press to ensure that commercial publishers had an incentive to commission writers. It was justified as presenting a fair bargain between the creators and the consumers of artistic and literary works. New technology has constantly presented challenges to the existing copyright regime, and particularly to those who grew fat upon the old technology. Mostly the urge to create new culture from old has overridden the desires of the middlemen to retain their business model in framing copyright law with respect to new technology. Recent developments in copyright threaten not only the right to create but the right to engage with our culture, and in addition to stifle technological developments. The debate in recent years has been about ownership and reward. It is time for the debate to move away from concepts of property and profit and back to the fundamental question of not only allowing creativity but encouraging creative development of our cultural heritage. Too much existing work is being lost, and new work being stifled, just to keep hold of an outdated business model. What was originally justified as encouraging creativity has become an impediment to it.
This page contains the slides and the audio of the talk. It is released under a Creative Commons license (see below) as an example of practising what I preach. So far as I can tell, the images used in the slides are in the public domain (except the "Tired of being treated..." image, which is an EFF image used with permission). They are certainly available in at least one place on the web with no licensing restrictions obvious.
At the time I gave the talk I was a lecturer in the School of Systems Engineering at The University of Reading.
At the time he chaired the talk Cory was the EFF's European Outreach Officer.