Issues surrounding copyrights

From the view of the citizen

Should creators be rewarded? Depends
Should creators be acknowledged? Yes
Should publishers be rewarded? Depends
Should sharing be encouraged? Yes
Should culture be preserved? Yes

From the view of the creator

Should creators be rewarded? Yes
Should creators be acknowledged? Yes
Should publishers be rewarded? Yes
Should sharing be encouraged? Yes
Should culture be preserved? Yes

From the view of the Big American Publisher

Should creators be rewarded? Depends
Should creators be acknowledged? Depends
Should publishers be rewarded? Yes
Should sharing be encouraged? No
Should culture be preserved? No

The European politician’s conclusion: “We will do anything the Big American Publisher tells us to do.”

It is curious that European politicians tell us with one face (the one that grants subsidies for culture) that culture is not a product, and with the other (the one that says everything American publishers tell it to say) that it is.

An explanation of some of these points: I think that the average citizen, as a citizen, believes that people should be awarded fairly for work they do. The ‘depends’ refers to the measure of fairness.

With ‘big American publisher’ I mean the companies that belong to the top five earners in their field in the US. These companies have a lot of clout in Europe, and even if our politicians do not listen to them, the politicians’ actions are no different from if they did.

The Big Evil Publishers believe that sharing and preservation not only threaten their income stream, but also their power base. They will favour any political measure that destroys cultural heritage and sharing.

The acknowledgement of creators is part of their moral rights in Europe. If somebody publishes something I have written, I have the right to be recognized as the author. If somebody butchers what I have written, I have the right to distance myself from these edits. I know from personal experience that some publishers don’t think so (regardless of what the law says—if I want to earn money with my works, I will have to jump through the publishers’ hoops).

If I were a famous artiste, my name would suddenly become a useful brand, and then publishers would actually want to use my name; hence ‘depends’.

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