Industries who rely on copyright laws face a number of problems caused by by the disaggregation of their works (think CDs and newspapers) as well as the problems caused by the disintermediation of distribution chains. These problems are not, however, legal problems, but rather market problems, and they can only be solved by responding to market demands: strong copyright protection cannot make consumers buy things they do not want to buy. The principal problems faced by the copyright industries are not caused by technologies or by consumers acting badly, and they cannot therefore be solved by laws, and certainly not by more draconian laws.
William Patry is Senior Copyright Counsel at Google Inc. He previously served as copyright counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, and as a Policy Planning Advisor to the U.S. Register of Copyrights. For 12 years, he was also in the private practice of law, litigating copyright cases in court and advising clients. He is the most prolific scholar on copyright in history, in any language, beginning with a 6,500 page treatise, Patry on Copyright. His most recent book is How to Fix Copyright (Oxford University Press, January 2012). He is an avid bass clarinetist.
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