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Otro frente se abre

Antes de irme 3 dias y medio de viaje a la maravillosa Mallorca para la boda de Nana, la primera intern que trabajó en Bichako, no puedo dejar de comentar el informe que me chupé anoche a las 2.30am sobre la propuesta de nueva directiva europea sobre propiedad intelectual que los Estados Miembros deben trasponer en breve. El análisis es escalofriante. Si no lo remediamos, nos encaminamos hacia el desastre. Las predicciones de Lessig sobre Internet y de su lenta agonía, se tornan en macabro presentimiento sobre todos los europeos. ¿no vamos a ser capaces de hacer entender a la sociedad de que el Patrimonio Común de Innovación no debe beneficiar a las empresas tradicionales?


Si alguien tiene que ganar aqui es la sociedad articulando nuevos servicios alrededor de la tecnologia, y no parar la innovacion en base a leyes que lo unico que intentan es proteger los intereses de otra época de las empresas de media, básicamente. He escrito sobre esto, aunque me pronunciare mas claramente dentro de poco. Quién está antes los derechos de las empresas tradicionales que quieren modificar la red en su propio beneficio, o el de los consumidores? ante la duda, la Sociedad tiene que apostar por la comunidad, se lo merece. Algunas de las consecuencias que esta proposicion de Copyright tendría. "A threat to Competition and Liberty"* The Internet, and communications firms generally:

Phone companies and ISPs are starting to get a lot of court orders, especially in America, ordering them to disclose customer names, block content or do urveillance. The orders now mostly come from the music industry trying to ntimidate people who swap songs online, though the pornographers are also etting into the act. These lawsuits, which make life very hard for phone ompanies, mostly use a law called the DMCA. The new EU Directive will be imilar but worse. It will make the business environment in Europe very hostile o phone companies and ISPs; they will be liable to all sorts of legal harassment, including equipment seizures, limitless injunctions and damages calculated on a different standard from today. It will undermine the deal done in the E-commerce directive which limited the liability of common carriers. It will thus undermine the adoption of information society services in Europe. * The Single Market: the European Union was set up to create a free-trade area, yet its draft Directive will undermine that. Within a few years, products such as clothes will all contain radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, which will be used as market control devices. Think of them as like DVD region coding, only for blue jeans. Unfortunately the Directive will give them special legal status: any grey importer who tampers with RFID devices will be committing a criminal offence. At present, market control centers on trade-mark law and distribution contracts; the EU has largely managed to hammer down the trade barriers (but not entirely). RFID plus the draft Enforcement Directive will set back the cause of free trade by twenty years. It will enable brand owners to undermine the Single Market and challenge the principal economic benefit of the European Union. * Software competition: at present, the EU Software Directive permits EU companies to reverse engineer their competitors' products in order to produce compatible, competing products. This is a historic compromise, worked out 17 years ago to promote enterprise and competition while still respecting the rights of incumbents. The Enforcement Directive will fatally undermine it. The result will be that existing software companies (such as Microsoft) will be much harder for new, innovative companies to challenge. The draft Directive will be particularly bad news for small to medium sized enterprises. For example, many EU companies in the computer gaming business survive by selling software and accessories independently of the console vendors. The Directive will make it much harder for them to escape paying royalties to Sony. In the motor industry, it will make life harder for traders who move cars and motorbikes to higher-price markets such as the UK, and for third-party manufacturers of spare parts. * Universities, libraries and the disabled: these groups will be hit by the restriction of `fair use' and `fair dealing' rights under copyright law. In future, publishers of electronic books will be able to use technical mechanisms to suppress the right to make copies for private study, or to use devices such as book readers that render published matter into formats accessible to the blind. Also, European universities will be immediately subject to the intense legal harrassment which the record industry has inflicted on some US universities over students swapping songs. If universities are held liable for the content that passes over their networks, then they will have to start policing this content - which will be profoundly contrary to academic values. Finally, the Directive does not contain any exemption for research; it may become illegal to possess a laser, as a laser can be used to forge a hologram * Culture: there are many others who will lose out; for example, under the proposed directive, EU member states will have to criminalise street music - except for musicians who limit themselves to their own compositions, or to the works of composers who have been dead for at least 70 years. This may improve the quality of the music on offer on the London Underground, but is hardly compatible with most people's idea of a free society. * Privacy: probably the strongest of the factors undermining privacy, both online and offline, is the increasing importance of price discrimination - see the paper on this subject by Andrew Odlyzko. By giving strong legal protection to price discrimination technology, the Directive will increase both the incentives and the opportunities for companies to price discriminate in ways likely to be privacy-invasive. * Justice: by insisting that member states make things easier for plaintiffs in copyright and trademark cases, the Directive will distort the system of justice itself. Why should we make it specially easy for McDonalds to sue businessmen in Scotland for being called McDonald or even having the prefix `Mc' in their names, when someone suing McDonalds for compensation after their child dies of food poisoning has to jump traditional hurdles? Introducing special procedural privileges for certain classes of litigant is a drastic step, for which no intellectual justification has been offered. La semana que viene estudiaré escribiré más sobre este tema. Me he encuadernado diferentes informes para el viaje a Mallorca, por lo que espero sacar algunas conclusiones la semana que viene que incluire en La Pastilla. Esperemos que de alguna manera desde la comunidad organicemos esto para poder parar lo que nos viene. El Patrimonio Comun de Innovacion está ahora más que nunca en franco peligro. Al final, tendremos que emigrar a las Islas Mauricio o la Polinesia, mis sueños siguen intactos! aunque comienzan a ganar muchos enteros, Africa. Cuestión de intuición y de seguridad, por qué no.

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