We're taking part in Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what's at stake, and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation.
All around the world, copyright policy is on the agenda. In the United States, lawmakers are nearly two years into a process that promises to lead to the "Next Great Copyright Act." In Europe, parliamentarians are re-examining some of the basic elements of the "Information Society Directive." In Australia, the Law Review Commission and the Attorney General are butting heads about which direction to take reform. And through all this, courts and companies are changing the way we think about our relationship to media and technology.
Internet users need to be part of that discussion. For the second year in a row, we're joining a large and diverse coalition of partners in celebrating Copyright Week. This week, we'll be talking about critical copyright issues, and highlighting some of the key principles that should guide copyright policy. To emphasize the importance of public engagement, Copyright Week follows just after the 3-year anniversary of the SOPA blackout protests, in which millions of people in the U.S. and around the globe pushed back against dangerous and unfair copyright restrictions—and won.
Copyright should promote innovation and creativity. Too often, however, it's having the opposite effect. Our key principles are intended to bring copyright back in line with its original purpose. If you agree, please lend them your support:
- You Bought It, You Own It. Copyright policy should foster the freedom to truly own your stuff: to tinker with it, repair it, reuse it, recycle it, read or watch or launch it on any device, lend it, and then give it away (or re-sell it) when you're done.
- Fair Use Rights. For copyright to achieve its purpose of encouraging creativity and innovation, it must preserve and promote ample breathing space for unexpected and innovative uses.
- Transparency. Copyright policy must be set through a participatory, democratic and transparent process. It should not be decided through back room deals or secret international agreements.
- Building and Defending a Robust Public Domain. The public domain is our cultural commons and a public trust. Copyright policy should seek to promote, and not diminish, this crucial resource.
These principles are simple, but there's a lot to say about them! So throughout the week, we'll be collecting and sharing blog posts from all the participants on the Copyright Week landing page.
We hope you can follow along and take part in the discussion. We don't have to accept copyright rules that unfairly restrict speech, limit our control of our devices, and make our stuff less safe. This Copyright Week, let's make it clear: it's time to take copyright back.