New study suggests copyright is too complex

"Tulevaisuuden elinvoimainen Suomi" - "The vibrant Finland of the future" -study (in Finnish, tho') lead by our PM Matti Vanhanen has some interesting conclusions[2], such as:

  • Copyright now belongs to the realm of industrial politics rather than cultural politics
  • The current copyright legislation is outdated, and needs to be redesigned as soon as possible
  • Digital distribution over multiple channels to a single person is not supported by current copyright legislation[1]
  • Copyright system is not flexible and is too complex for creation of commercial services
  • Copyright ownership is too concentrated to big, multinational corporations
  • Finland should start to push for copyright renewal in the EU
  • Government organizations should adopt Creative Commons -licenses as much as possible to speed up innovation. Things created using public funds should be available for as free dissemination as possible.

More discussion at Digitoday.

I think this shows how small streams create big effects: the discussion last year showed that there is more and more dissatisfaction at how copyright issues are currently being handled, and therefore it's easier to voice your opinions now. The different campaigns are having impact. Saying that the current copyright system does not work is no longer the sign of the lunatic - and people are starting to realize that you can speak against copyright monopolies and current practices, without opposing copyright in general. The climate may be shifting, though it will take a few years before the EU moves.

Now is the right time to start adding more steam to the discussion. Now would be a good time to start offering good, constructive ideas to MPs, now that they are beginning to be aware of what is really wrong. Now is the time to start to collect experiences, suggestions, ideas, and to be constructive instead of bitching and moaning how the copyright mafia and megacorporations trample over the little guys, using the artists as human shields to protect their enormous profits.

This report seems to be a good start.

[#1]: There's a big controversy around cell phone TV in Finland right now: the copyright levies are based on the amount of potential listeners. According to Gramex and other copyright organizations, this payment must be made separately for each new channel. Broadcasting corporations violently disagree, as they cannot reach more than the 5 million people, for which they are already paying anyway.

[#2]: Though, since this report was commissioned to Koulutuskeskus Dipoli, it should be noted that everyone involved was working for the government in one way or the other, with strong ties to the Helsinki University of Technology. This, of course, will be used against them - I'm pretty sure someone will shout that no copyright organizations were consulted in making of the whitepaper.


I am highly skeptical about this report's conclusions. It would not be the first time that a Finnish governmental report paid lip service to the populace's wishes, only to end up shelved, just like when an ex-miss and a mediatized pot smoker recently forced their copyright reform with full support from a recording industry goon - despite massive citizen protests. The same thing happened a few years ago with the Immigration Law: passing the draconian police-state reform that came in 2004 was supposedly unavoidable and mandated by authorities high above, a milder version had already been turned down a year before and, anyhow, this country's hands were tied, so it had to be done. Then, fast-forward just a year later and several reports call the Finnish Immigration Act of 2004 a complete failure that has brought Finland unnecessary blames on its bad treatment of immigrants and thus a law that must be trashed and redone from scratch. Doesn't that pattern sound familiar?

--AnonymousCoward, 10-Feb-2006

So you're really sceptical about the ability of the Finnish government to heed and execute the matters laid out in the report, not about the conclusions per se.

Well, at least there's something out in the open now. It's thus time for grassroots movements to take this stuff and run with it :)

--JanneJalkanen, 10-Feb-2006

All these elements were already known by the grassroot movements and brought up during the Lex Karpela struggle. They were also flatly ignored. This country's legislative tradition is: pass ugly laws first, look stupid later and avoid admitting to have repeatedly wasted the taxpayer's money on expansive comitees and studies whose goal was to prove the taxpayers wrong.

--AnonymousCoward, 10-Feb-2006

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