The future of copyright in the age of convergence: is a change of approach needed?

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Abstract

In 2007 the European Commission finalised its proposals for replacing the Television without Frontiers Directive. The resultant Audiovisual Media Services Directive aims to provide a more suitable regulatory framework for the creative industries allowing it to benefit from the opportunities brought about by convergence. Convergence is the coming together of different technologies which have distinct functions to create one medium which performs each divergent function. The prime illustration of convergent technologies is arguably the coming together of telecommunications and broadcasting, through the internet and digital technology, so as to enable us to make voice telephony calls and watch television while sat at a computer. However, while convergence has created opportunities for the industry it has also created threats in that the same technology is also being used to infringe the copyright of content producers on a far greater scale. This is important as wide scale infringement may impact negatively on the creation of new works; as without protection from illegal copying the work has less economic value. It is argued that regardless of any other flaws the new Directive may have; its biggest weakness is not addressing the link between converged media platforms and the potential for increased copyright infringement. This work proceeds to evaluate whether the traditional approach to copyright protection is still the most suitable and whether in fact the arguments advanced in favour of this approach still have merit in the converged age. To this end an evaluation of a Creative Commons approach is provided in order to see whether this may have more advantages.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review of Law, Computers & Technology
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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