Monday, January 13, 2014

Current copyrights matter

Recently, I heard a couple of news regarding copyright. 

In the US, the supreme court began to investigate the case that some broadcasters sued Aereo TV, an internet television company with invasion of copyright.

Aereo is broadcasting several programs that were created by some famous broadcasters via the internet without consent. It developed lots of antennas to catch the electric waves of the TV programs. Then it sent the programs to subscribers. Thus, Aereo is acting as an intermediary. Such behaviors are tend to be disliked because they make no product by themselves. However, it is also true that there is a certain need for intermediaries.

If Aereo wins, broadcasting companies will face to a severe peril. They will have to invest much more to protect their contents. Finally the customers pay the cost.

In Japan, the other day, National Diet Library stopped putting on view some articles via the internet, under the demand from publishers. They are some Buddhist textbooks which were on the discussion. National Diet Library had uploaded their texts to the internet because copyrights of them had been expired. However, some publishers asked to stop it on June 2013. National Diet Library finally accepted their claim partially, although no legal problems were identified around this matter. Now, some of the articles are available via the internet again.

I do not support the claim of publishers. They have no right to stop the act of National Diet Library. The reaction of National diet Library is extremely friendly to the publishers. However, in a result, there are some people who are interfered from reading these copyright-free articles.

On the other hand, National Diet Library is about to launch a service of sending digital materials to other libraries. This new attempt is enabled under the reform of Copyright Act for the first time. I welcome this movement.

Copyright and any other intellectual properties are essential for further development of non-material contents. Meanwhile, excessive protection of the creators lead to shrink of the industry, and it will disturb the growth of our society indirectly. It is a great dilemma.

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