A recent post on copyriot.se criticizes the balancing of copyright rights and privacy rights against one another, arguing that positioning two individual rights against one another is not necessarily fruitful.
The first panel at Free Culture Forum follows this line of thought, stressing new economic models over rights-based discussions. Yann Moulier Boutang draws a parallel between collaborative economies and bees. Michel Bauwens talks about open money and open production as alternatives to our current financial systems. Still, one panelist points out that to some extent we’ve realized the internet is not so much larger than the nation state, so given that the new production methods rely on net presence how secure are we in relying on creativity driving the creative industries forward? David Levine says that as long as we get control over the last mile, innovation, even in the creative industries, can proceed.
The political debate should, as far as I can see, be focused more on innovation. Eva Lichtenberger, one of my parliamentary colleagues and a panelist this morning, brings up the institutional desire to secure production and capital. From almost any political viewpoint, innovation or progression are considered reasonable means for achieveing this aim. Supporting the existing media conglomerates, or even supporting very small labels, movie-makers or book publishers, in the way that is currently done with copyright laws is clearly not innovative. With non-rights based revenue systems like AUAMUSIC.COM, Flattr.com, Investic, Kickstarter, Magnatune and YProductions represented at the forum, there certainly isn’t a lack of innovative effort in business models for creativity.
It is difficult for me to defend a license based model for creativity given the long history of licensing failures in business model innovation for creativity: Spotify could have been a reasonable streaming service if constant problems with license rewarding, license withdrawal, different licenses for different countries and different extents of licenses for different countries hadn’t followed them around. iTunes, with regional offers and deals, suffers the same problem. Live concerts, merchandise, vo.do or Jamendo representing even more non-rights based, and therefore non-license based, business models, turn the ongoing flat rate discussions into an issue of politicians incentivising or disincentivising certain types of business model innovativity. If, politically, renumeration is solved by a state controlled solution such as a flatrate, what risk do we run of stopping alternative business models from rising either by suppressing consumer demand or by causing business model developers to be passive?
I can’t see any way of trivialising this: privacy, online rights, freedom of speech, autonomy of the individual and other liberal values are clearly very important to many people and under threat from, yes, for a large part the copyright industry and media conglomerates. How can that issue be solved politically in a fast and efficient way? Flat rates are certainly appealing: you have money, industry and consumers, all of them clearly defined and the revenue streams predictable. At the same time, the predominant theories of economic advancement would, or so I presume, suggest that politicians are better off guarding and creating favourable circumstances for new market developments.