Stifling Innovation and Getting in the Way of Users
Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 6 August 2010
“Is Flipboard Legal? http://bit.ly/d20eC1 >> interesting how copyright often seems to be in the way of consumers when it comes to progress” tweeted Jonathan Grimes recently. This comment on how copyright can stifle innovation and hinder benefits to users reminded me of an (unsolicited) email I received recently from the Marketing Manager of the Copyright Licensing Agency.
The email was advertising an event on ‘Intellectual Property Will Save the British Economy’. However the email footer informed me that “The contents of this email and any attachments are confidential to the intended recipient“. So it would seem that I am not allowed to mention the event!
Whilst I clearly appreciate the need for copyright I also understand how the Internet is challenging traditional views on copyright. There is therefore a need for copyright to change, just as the Internet has changed many other aspects of our life. One would hope that organisations which are actively involved in copyright issues would be leading developments, perhaps by providing a Creative Commons licence for marketing materials. Sadly this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Meanwhile, as I discovered from a post entitled Is copyright a help or a hidrance to UK research? on the UoL Library blog the British Library has published a report entitled “Driving UK Research: Is copyright a help or a hinderance” (PDF Format).
As described in the press release “This report has been published under a Creative Commons licence, enabling others to copy, distribute, and make derivative non-commercial works. All future uses of the material contained within this report must but appropriately attributed and shared under the same licence agreement as the original publication.“ It’s good to see that the British Library understand the advantages to be gained from licencing copyrighted materials under a Creative Commons licence.