Feeds

The Google Review: Now Speak Your Brains

Opt in for your rights

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

If you ask nicely, we'll give you your rights back

What's new is that the Government also wants comments on something that hardly featured in Hargreaves at all - and hasn't been part of the public debate - a copyright registration system.

Under international treaties, you own your stuff, you say how it's used, and these rights are is automatic - you don't have to sign up to any creator's rights members club. An Extended Collective Licensing regime turns these rights and obligations upside down. Creators would have to opt-out of an ECL system. A work not covered by ECL becomes an orphan (heads you lose, tails we win).

Creating the consultation paper was a intense collaborative exercise

Whitehall-watchers say ECL is the personal crusade of the IPO's top ideologue Ed Quilty, who privately floated the idea of opt-in copyright registration two years ago, but was rebuffed. He has seized upon Hargreaves as a Trojan Horse for ECL and has been doubly-blessed: the BIS minister responsible Baroness Wilcox - who provides a foreword to the consultation - hasn't got a clue what is going on, or what the implications might be. It's also a stealth project - ECL was omitted from the Executive Summary that only hurried politicians and the media ever read. Since this augurs the biggest break in copyright law for a century - and has huge policy implications for UK - you'd think it would merit some debate.

Amateurs should be as alarmed, if not more so, than professional creators about the consequences of market destruction - if you've ever posted a photo to Flickr, you should take note. There's a good layman's discussion here. It concludes:

…in sectors where an ECL scheme is imposed, authors will lose the right to control the use of their works unless they take the steps required for them to opt out. Otherwise their works may be used commercially without their authorisation. They may also be used in ways that are distasteful to the author, damage his or her reputation, or injure the future market for the work. What is currently being proposed is the mass appropriation of private intellectual property, much of it belonging to the original creators, and its licensing to commercial corporations, with archives and libraries that hold copies of the originals receiving inducements to participate.

[emphasis added]

In other words, the state is stealing your stuff for the 'common good'. Don't say you haven't been warned.

Finally, you can begin to get an idea of how much of Hargreaves was written by the IPO, when you read the proposals to vastly expand the scope of …. the IPO itself. This is enthusiastically endorsed by the consultation paper: "more for us to do, please", it says, "how big do you want the IPO to be?". (We paraphrase). There's a problem with this in that the IPO, which nominally has the job of bringing clarity to IP issues, and supports IP-based businesses, instead brings confusion and finds ever more ingenious ways of screwing them.

But this kind of mission creep is what happens when you invite bureaucrats in to help with the typing. ®

Related Links

The Consultation closes in 14 weeks.

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.