Copyright Limitations, Exceptions, and Copyright’s Innovation Policy
Fred von Lohmann. Senior Copyright Counsel at Google
Copyright is not any more about creativity, but also about innovation. That is why we are increasingly seen exceptions or special treatments to initiatives like search engines, space shifting, ephemeral copies, remix culture, etc.
The problem is that we usually have to ask for permission first, and then innovate later, which undeniably hinders innovation, as we cannot always predict what is the kind of “permission” that is going to be needed. A first example is indexing, the way sound recognition works (as Shazam does), etc. all rely on making copies of existing works so that indexing or comparison is made possible. Of course, these are not copies that are going to be used themselves, but as a tool, as means to achieve other goals. How does copyright exactly fit in here? A second example is related to cloud computing.
Courts, safe harbours and fair use are ways to provide some flexibility for experimentation and innovation. Article 5, the adaptation right and the 3 step test have been tools that have worked quite well so far. But we’d rather revise the copyright directive to accommodate it to present times.
Javier de la Cueva: we usually speak about books or movies or music when we speak about intellectual property, but I believe that the real revolution in creativity is coming from code. Von Lohman: indeed, a good example of that is all the programmers coding Java that, somehow, they are working for Oracle.
8th Internet, Law and Politics Conference (2012)
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2012) “8th Internet, Law and Politics Congress (II). Fred von Lohmann: Copyright Limitations, Exceptions, and Copyright’s Innovation Policy” In ICTlogy,
#106, July 2012. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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