Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

How much copyright protection does the internet need?

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A fine balance

Jan 23rd 2003

From The Economist print edition

How much copyright protection does the internet need?

THE subject sounds as dry as dust, but the debate on copyright has been extremely lively. On one side stand the entertainment and publishing industries, and the intellectual property lawyers who make their living from them. On the other is a motley collection of consumer advocates, law-school professors and cyber-libertarians. Both sides claim that nothing less is at stake than the future of creative endeavour itself. Will the internet and related technologies unleash an unprecedented burst of intellectual and artistic effort, benefiting producer and consumer alike? Or will the web end up as an intellectual wasteland, deprived of content by the fear of rampant copying?