Commentary: Are The Copyright Wars Chilling Innovation?

“[...] Today’s turmoil over copyrights contains a disturbing new twist, however. Digital technology — from MP3 players to software that makes it easy to build Web pages — shatters almost all of the technical barriers to duplicating and sharing copyrighted works. That has caused unparalleled anxiety among copyright holders. As a result, music and movie companies have adopted a strategy of targeting digital technology itself as well as those who design it and those who use it.

In time this could threaten the delicate balance between copy protection and technical innovation. The intent of copyright law in the U.S. is to promote learning and innovation while giving artists, musicians, and writers a limited monopoly on their work. The goal isn’t to assure that artists or intellectuals make oodles of cash.

[...] Nobody disputes that digital technology has created unforeseen dilemmas for copyright protection. But changing the laws to target versatile technology and scientific investigation rather than bad behavior is asking society to pay too high a price.”

SOURCE: Business Week Online

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