Sunday, January 4, 2009

How Copyright Should Work

1. Copyright, as it is currently understood, should be abolished.

2. An internationally-recognized organization is set up, named perhaps the International Copyright Bureau (ICB).

3. When an artist makes a piece of artwork/music/software/whatever, he/she can decide to apply a copyright to it. If he/she decides to apply a copyright, he/she sends a copy of the artwork (hi-quality photographs of 3d-artwork are fine) to the ICB, along wiht contact information and other important info (like a title, description, tags for easy location in a database, what information may be allowed to be made public, etc.)

4. Much like an ISBN number, the artist in return receives a ICB-copyright number. These numbers should encode within them certain information, such as what # copyright this artwork is, and the time and date the artwork was copyrighted. (Perhaps some kind of hash could be used?) Anyway, Wherever the artist publishes the artwork/music/software/whatever, they should include a copy of this ICB #.

5. The ICB's database could be placed online, allowing anyone to locate and submit copywrited works and get in contact with artists.

6. Here's the controversial part: the artist has no rights controlling non-commercial distribution of the artwork. If, however, commercial distribution takes place, it can easily and quickly be shown that the artwork is copyrights and has been copyrighted for a period of time. Furthermore, companies interested in using the artwork commercially could quickly find out where they should send royalties and obtain permission from.

7. The ICB could employ pattern-checking software on incoming work with similar tags to make sure that it's unique.

8. The ICB would settle all disputes over copyright claims, therefore acting as an international copyright court.

9. Artists can still make money off their work: think about all of those artists that make money even though they release their music for free online. (Examples: The Capitol Steps, any band on MySpace, etc.)


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