Although I am not nearly as far along as I would like to be in our reading for this week (Boyle), I am interested and intrigued by what this man has to say. It’s been a long week, so reading time as not come easy, don’t worry, I’ll be done by next weekend!
At the very beginning of this book, he had me hooked. He starts out by telling us exactly where he stands on his view of copyright (page 106 on kindle cloud reader). He tells us that he things copyright, or intellectual property, laws are outdated and that the whole policy is going in the wrong direction. If we don’t do something about it, it’s just going to get worse and worse. I had never really thought much about the long-term effects of such long copyright laws. To be quite honest with you, I had NO IDEA how long these rights lasted…70 plus years after the creator has passed away…Wow, that seems a little crazy, even for someone who doesn’t know much about these laws, like me!
Going right along with crazy long copyright laws, I had never thought about how this could damage a library, an electronic library. The point that he makes here is a good one. Many libraries today are making many of their books and articles available for reading via the internet. I did not know that if there is a copyright law in effect on a specific piece, and the creator is no longer alive to give permission to make it available, they can’t make it digital. This seems INSANE to me. Why would someone not want their work to go digital? I know a lot more people who use internet libraries that actually going to the library. Take me, for example. I live about four hours away from the campus of the university I attend. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t go to Hamersly Library to do some research. If I needed to see something that was available only in book form, I would be in trouble. I guess I just don’t see the point here. I think if a library has a book, it should be legal to make it digital. Obviously not for printing, but for viewing online only. (ideas from page 230, kindle cloud reader.)
Then Boyle talks about how we can fix the problem. I like that he actually thinks of some solutions to the problem, instead of just complaining about them. He talks about making the life of the copyright shorter, much shorter (5-10 years) and then having to purchase the extra years separately. I think this is absolutely brilliant. Most authors are going to get what they want from he piece they publish within that time frame. If they think there is more life left, go ahead and get some more time. There is no need for someone to have “rights” to a particular piece for more than 70 years after they are deceased. I’m sure there is more than meets the eye here…But, I think that the damage (think of the libraries) is going to very much outweigh the advantages of having such a long-terms. (page 305-316, kindle cloud reader.)
I am very excited to see how the rest of this book plays out. I think Boyle has some great ideas and I want to learn more about all of it. More next week!