Copyright and Global Libraries: Going with the Flow of Technology

Roberto Zamparelli


The current approach to the enforcement of copyright restrictions on intellectual properties to be distributed by electronic means (particularly, via the Web) aims at blocking unauthorised duplication by means of increasingly sophisticated protection systems (encryption, watermarks, net-active software, etc.). The paper argues that an approach of this kind runs counter to current technological trends, and that it should be eventually replaced by a model in which unauthorised duplication is not done because it is not convenient on the user's part, not because it is not possible. Such model rejects the pay-per-view concept in favour of a relatively expensive membership fee by which the user of an `Open Global Library' acquires the personal right to unlimited downloading. The fee is anchored to a range of intrinsically non-copyable services, to discourage `eavesdropping' by non-members, and coupled with a reward scheme to distribute part of the membership fee to the authors of the intellectual properties. Implications and open problems for advertising, private enterprise and environmental protections are discussed.

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