Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beware The Copyright Troll

If you write a book, record a song, make a great movie, you want to get paid for your work.  You don't want someone using your material to make money, and by extenstion, denying you profits for your work. That's why we have copywrite laws. To ensure you own your work and get paid for it. Love it.

Like everything else though, the laws can be abused, often by companies claiming to represent copyright holders, to tragicomic lengths. The worst example I saw came from Belgium, where a copyright collecting company is going after libraries where volunteers read to children, according to an on line report by writer Robin Wauters.

Apparently, the company wants to charge the libraries fees for reading the books to kids. Somehow I bet the agency, not the authors of the books the volunteers are reading, would get the fees.

The kids wouldn't immediately buy the books anyway, since they're so young, so nobody is losing out if they are read to. And as Wauters points out, reading to kids often ends up making them readers. Meaning they turn into the type of people who would buy books. Which would enrich the authors (hopefully!) and the agencies dealing the the copyrights

But logic doesn't matter too much here, I guess.

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