The interplay between the present copyright laws and freedoms of information and expression is an emerging concept that will have to be addressed in court and legislative bodies as the free information movement and the digital revolution move forward.
The relationship between copyright law and freedom of expression has not been directly discussed by many courts in the context of emerging technologies. There is some tension between the imperative of copyright law (thou shall not use another’s expression, unless the use is fair) and the core of the right to freedom of expression, and that has been ignored by the law thus far, as the law typically lags behind technology for quite sometime. Old judges scared of new things, I guess, can’t determine their place in the law until new things have become old things with a sense of permanence in the culture.
A court in England recently stated that “…rare circumstances can arise where the right of freedom of expression will come into conflict with the protection afforded by the Copyright Act…”, and that ”in these circumstances, … the court is bound, … to apply the [copyright] Act in a manner that accommodates the right of freedom of expression.”
What I’d like to do is see what people have to say in the comment section. I will pay close attention to this thread and comment right along with you. This is a fascinating emerging are of law where there is a confluence of technology and law and I want to know how people feel about it, and what you think might happen as these cases wind their way through the courts. Is this an issue of free information? Freedom on the internet? Is it an issue of privacy? Piracy? An issue of intellectual property trumping all other rights?
Now shut down your Pirate Bay for a minute and let’s chat!