that has most touched me and my friends – far more than Napster since I know so many writers – is being heard by the Supreme Court next week: Writers Fight for E-Rights. A couple of things spring to mind. First, there were signed contracts that specified the limited rights of the publications that purchased the articles. Second, this can be dealt with easily by splitting things up the middle – keeping the publications and historians happy by mandating that the items be licensed by writers for archival purposes, but paying them for the additional usage. Third – this is coming to the music world eventually. As I’ve written, I’ll come much closer to supporting record labels in their anti-Napster (etc.) fight the minute I see them taking steps to commit to paying the artists for electronic rights to the music.
Derek Powazek on copyright. I share some of his uncertainty on this matter. Every writer, designer, artist, musician, programmer… well, everyone should be a little uncertain. Even if you think Napster is the cat’s ass (and I do), there’s no panacea here. There’s no technical system that pops us into an ethical new world in which ideas are shared on principle and credit is given as a matter of course.