When Copyright Goes Bad

Posted by Prasad Krishna at Apr 23, 2010 08:00 AM |
A part of the Access to Knowledge Project, this short film by Consumers International is available on DVD and online at A2Knetwork.org/film.

For centuries, copyright law has existed to protect creative production whilst promoting public access. But the digital age is challenging this balance and fundamentally changing how we produce, access and distribute content. Suddenly, copyright rules no longer do what they are supposed to do. They have gone bad.

This is a film about how copyright has become one of the most important consumer issues of the digital age; why corporate lobbying risks criminalising the actions of hundreds of thousands of people; and what the future holds for the fight for fairer copyright laws.

When Copyright Goes Bad is an introduction to the renegotiation of copyright and is for anyone interested in how copyright is affecting consumers. It features some of the key players in the copyright debate, including: Fred Von Lohmann - Electronic Frontier Foundation; Michael Geist - University of Ottawa Law School; Jim Killock - Open Rights Group; and Hank Shocklee - Co-founder of Public Enemy.

Quotes from When Copyright Goes Bad

“People have realised that copyright affects them every day and the direction that we’ve seen over the last few years really troubles them.  That’s why so many people are speaking out.” Michael Geist

“In the U.S, over 35,000 Americans were targeted for lawsuits for downloading music.  In ten years time, everyone will look back at that as incredibly unjust and ridiculous.  No-one thinks that suing music fans one at a time is the business model of the future.” Fred Von Lohmann

“The industry is trying to demonise consumer behaviour.  They’re trying to create the idea that it’s a moral debate: is downloading something wrong or right?  Is it theft or not?  These are the wrong questions and they will only ever produce the wrong answers.” Jim Killock

Making copyright, right

When Copyright Goes Bad is being released under a Creative Commons (CC) licence, which means it’s free to copy and adapt, as long as content is attributed and the same CC licence is used.
We will also be making available extended interviews with all the contributors, as well as with other experts not featured in the film, under the same CC licence at A2Knetwork.org/film. By providing access in this way we are allowing others to go on and create further work around the issue.

View it on youtube