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Copyright was first created back in 1709 by the Statute of Anne, so it makes sense that anyone alive today takes the existence of it for granted. However, the technological landscape has changed greatly in the 300 years since copyright was created, and as a result, some laws and rules concerning copyright are starting to feel a bit draconian.
So, what if we were able to craft copyright laws today, without the existing baggage of 300 year-old laws? What would they look like? How would we encourage creation of new content in this world?
As media giants wage a piracy war, “infringement” is not the real issue, but rather “predictability” as to what makes a digital content delivery business model lawful. Indeed, the recent Viacom v. Google decision is on many levels a conflicting retread of the Grokster ruling, making it more apparent than ever that courts have failed to provide consistent parameters. To truly make digital content delivery a viable industry in the long run (for content creators and new marketplace entrants), a coherent framework governing how third party content may be exploited must be devised. In other words, digital content delivery players need clear and reliable guidelines to assess whether their business model is permissible or not.
This panel will deconstruct the latest line of cases in order to outline the framework upon which new business models can be built. To do so, panelists will look at the Grokster and Viacom cases, and compare them to other decisions that could impact the structure of any such business model.
The panel will examine what constitutes the “inducement” of copyright infringement, and will parse out still uncertain areas of the law from those that are well established. Based upon those preliminary conclusions, panelists will establish basic principles upon which any new business model needs to be built while looking forward to new technological development.
The U.S. Copyright Group has quietly targeted tens of thousands BitTorrent users for legal action in federal court in Washington DC. The defendants, all Does, are accused of having downloaded independent films such as "Far Cry," "Steam Experiment," and "The Hurt Locker" without authorization.
What is the U.S. Copyright Group? How are they suing so many people? What should you do if you're sued? If you're a movie fan, should you be worried? If you're the producer of an independent film, should you be suing your fans?
We're going to find out.
11th–15th March 2011