Copyright and shared networking technologies
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The technological zeitgeist has transformed the social-cultural, legal and commercial aspects of society today. Networking technologies comprise one of the most influential factors in this. Although this transformation can be discounted as a mere historical phenomenon dating back to the advent of the printing press, empirical data concerning usage of these technologies shows that there has been a radical shift in the ability to control the dissemination of copyright works. Networking technologies allow, in an unprecedented manner, user-initiated activities including perfect replications, instantaneous dissemination, and abundant storage. They are immune to technological attempts to dismantle them, and impervious to legal attempts to control and harness them. They affect a global audience, which in turn, undermine at negligible costs, the legal and business parameters of copyright owners. The problem is whether it will now be possible to establish a copyright framework which balances the interests of the following groups: (a) copyright owners in their control of the dissemination of their works; (b) authors demanding remuneration for the exploitation of their works; (c) users wishing to consume works with clear immunity guidelines using networked technologies; (d) technologists striving to continuously innovate without legal and policy restrictions. Copyright law is not a mechanism for preserving the status quo or a particular business model. It is, as suggested above, a reflection of the needs and interests of authors, copyright owners, entertainment industries, users and technologists. This thesis examines whether the balance between these actors can be achieved and, if so, how it can be implemented within international, regional and national copyright laws. It finds that a balance can be struck; but that this balance should be aligned along three key concepts: user integrity; technological innovation; and authors‘ and owners‘ remuneration. The proposal is that the optimal method for achieving this triptych is the introduction and global implementation of a reasonable and unobtrusive system of remuneration.
- Theses