I planned this blog with an agenda to put the case for copyright, to bring a positive message about it to the sea of negativity and to explore what the future might hold with an open mind.
There are many voices loudly and frequently raised which rail against copyright. It inhibits entrepeneurialism. It locks knowledge away. It protects the interests of big corporations and restricts the freedom of ordinary people. It inhibits innovation on the internet. And countless variations on the theme.
I disagree with all of these and most others besides. I think – and my long experience confirms – that copyright has been, and still is, a hugely positive driver of many of the things is stands accused of inhibiting. I think its principles are fundamentally right and that while it needs to evolve as the world it exists in evolves that doesn’t mean it needs to be destroyed. I think the debate, and the arguments of those who participate in it, are often simplistic, disingenuous and mask commercial interests.
Equally, it’s obvious that the issues which give rise to all these arguments are real, even if I disagree with the conclusions. The internet changes everything, so it seems, to its tempting to conclude that everything needs to change.
I want this blog to help raise the debate and avoid over-simplification. I want to discuss ideas and perspectives without getting bogged down in quasi-legal academic arguments and pedantic hair-splitting. I want to consider the issues from the same real-world perspective that I have had throughout my career managing, acquiring and exploiting copyrights. I take a practical approach to practical problems and think that is the right way to make copyright fit for the future.
I’m not a lawyer and I bring a practitioner’s perspective to things as I see and understand them. I start this as a true believer and a passionate advocate for all that good that copyright does. Having an open mind means I’m willing to be persauded otherwise. I doubt I will be, but it will be interesting to see.
As well as my own musings, the blog will also have occasional contributions from others with interesting or challenging perspectives on issues around copyright, creativity and culture