The Digital Media Manifesto

 

Source

Melanie Dulong de Rosnay

Title

Comments on Interim draft of Digital Media Manifesto

No.

030903dulong01

 

Each comment starts with the section in bold type, followed by the quote from Interim draft of DMM, version 3

Proposed sentences are put in quotation marks.

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2. Overcoming the Digital Media dilemma

Digitised Media

As a consequence various instances of legislation have been widely adopted in different countries to achieve such goals as setting a limit to the number of copies permitted from a digital original…

Comment: I don’t know if such legislation exists that sets a precise limit expressed in number (except for archives). I would therefore propose to rephrase:

“ such goals as setting a limit to copies permitted from a digital original”.

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The legal solution

Established media companies have responded by legal actions on two fronts. The first is to start law suits against those whom they see as infringing on their rights and the second is to request law-makers to mandate ad-hoc blocking technologies in consumption devices.

Comment: I would proceed from general requirements to specific legal actions (prosecuting & lobbying), instead of presenting one means (law suits) and one example (blocking technologies).

Rephrasing could be:

“Established media companies have responded by legal actions on two fronts, law suits of against those whom they see as infringing on their rights (P2P networks and users) and legislative lobbying to request limitations on the scope of fair use and privacy (e.g. mandating ad-hoc blocking technologies in consumption devices, ending of fair use for on demand services, mandating ISP to deliver IP addresses of file-sharers…)”

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The benefits

Public authorities can pass on the general and specific benefits of DM to citizens.

Comment: Public authorities are also content producers: bills interim versions are confidential whereas reports and enforceable laws can and shall be communicated to the citizens. Many countries subsidize IT programs for public information dissemination and public access to administrative documents.

Proposed sentence extension:

Public authorities can pass on the general and specific benefits of DM to citizens “and disseminate administrative documents and public information.”

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3.1.1. Mapping rights traditionally enjoyed by users to the DM space

Current text, second paragraph: Part of this body of legislation concerns basic user rights that date back to the Berne Convention, such as…

Proposed complement of information: date of this first international harmonization text

Part of this body of legislation concerns basic user rights that date back to the Berne Convention, “1886”, such as…

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Four examples

Comment: The DMM provides four examples (quotation, personal copy, playback device, privacy).

Quotation, personal copies and back-up copies are not –yet- expressed by current legal phrasing directly as rights granted to end-users, but as free uses (Berne art. 10), fair uses (Common law) or exceptions to rights holders exclusive rights (continental law), meaning uniformly those actions are non-infringing and do not request prior authorization.

User associations referred to in the subsequent paragraph and many law academics promote those exceptions to become real rights.

So, the current phrasing might be arguable from rights holders’ point of view. It can also be interpreted as a political commitment toward end users.

NB : there’s no such nuance for right to privacy which is undoubtedly a right granted by law to individuals.

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3.1.2. Phasing out analogue legacies

The revenues deriving from levies are managed by national collecting societies and apportioned to the rights holders in accordance with their rights and contracts. Hence, creators and producers (by virtue of their neighbouring rights and their contracts with creators) benefit from this compensation for private copying. (just before >>>>REVENUE SECTION AND TRENDS TO BE INSERTED<<<<)

Proposed sentence extension:

Hence, creators and producers (…) benefit from this compensation for private copying “if they are registered in collective societies”.

Comment: you have to be a member of a collective society to receive a percentage proportional to reproduction and public communication  statistics. Unshared amounts can also be distributed by collective societies to emerging artists and training programs. Splitting rules between rights holders are often blurred and accused to favour biggest rights holders -> this could become a 5th concern from the levies)

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