Clearing the minefield that is online copyright law lies in the hands of web programmers, according to the inventor of www, Tim Berners-Lee.
He was speaking at the www2012 conference in Lyon, France, where he used his keynote speech on Wednesday to reiterate his defence of internet openness and warn of the dangers threatening it.
A panel that also included European Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes discussed, among other issues, the controversy of proposed anti-piracy laws such as ACTA.
After the debate, one conference participant- a programmer and producer of music- asked how protecting intellectual property online could be reconciled with the idea of an internet that is open to all.
Berners-Lee advised him to be creative and use his computing skills to come up with a solution that would satisfy creators and consumers alike, telling him:
“Imagine what you want the world to look like, then go geek! Go and do it!”
UNLOVED ANTI-PIRACY LAWS
Many governments, backed by industry lobbyists, are trying to get bills passed that would prevent music, film and other intellectual property being consumed for free over the internet. Opponents of these bills claim they threaten basic freedoms such as privacy, expression and access to information.
The US administration saw its SOPA and PIPA shot down in a hail of popular protest. A new replacement bill, CISPA, has also drawn criticism from consumer groups.
The once smooth passage of a similar signed but, as yet, non-ratified multinational treaty, ACTA, has been slowed by growing accusations of violations of civil liberties.
FRANCE’S HADOPI ‘RIDICULOUSLY OUT OF WHACK’
Under the provisions of France’s own version, HADOPI, repeat offenders of online copyright infringement could have their internet connections cut off. Berners-Lee described HADOPI as “ridiculously out of whack” with the practical requirements of tomorrow’s internet. Punishing a teenager who illegally copies intellectual property by cutting off the internet connection to his/her whole household would be “weird,” he added.
There is undoubtedly growing public mistrust of government efforts to tackle what most people agree is a genuine problem for intellectual proprietors. For Berners-Lee and many others in the www community the best chances of a compromise may lie with programmers coming up with innovative business models rather than law-makers drafting new legislation.
Among those who agree is Neelie Kroes, the EU’s head of all things digital. She opened her keynote speech in Lyon on Thursday with the words: “The best thing about the internet is that it is open,” prompting immediate and warm from the audience, led by Berners-Lee.
We need to get rid of “digital handcuffs,” she added, brandishing a pair of real handcuffs to force home her point.
Members of the www community will keep a close eye on what Kroes, and the rest of Europe’s decision-makers, seek to put in place. In the meantime, they have been urged to dream up the solutions themselves.
- 1Newly-released video alleges Turkey is sending weapons to Syria
- 2Nigeria: Buhari inaugurated in first democratic transfer of power
- 3Ukraine’s former resort city of Shyrokine is now a ghost town
- 4Greece designs new two-euro coin amid fears of Grexit
- 5Blatter re-elected for fifth term as FIFA president
- 1Tony Blair to step down as Middle East representative
- 2Iraq ‘exhumes 470 bodies’, thought to be victims of ISIL-led massacre
- 3Eastern Ukraine: separatists ‘will not push for independence,’ says spokesperson
- 4‘Rampant corruption:’ US orders arrest of senior FIFA executives
- 5Jack Warner turns himself in after being accused of corruption in FIFA scandal
- 1Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin | euronews, world news
- 2Chomsky says US is world’s biggest terrorist | euronews, the global conversation
- 3euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 4Nepal: ‘equally big earthquakes coming in eastern regions,’ expert tells euronews | euronews, world news
- 5It’s a girl: Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge gives birth in London | euronews, world news
- 6Juncker to Hungarian PM Orban: “Hello, Dictator!”
- 7Evidence of ancient wine found in Georgia a vintage quaffed some 6,000 years BC
- 8Exclusive: unrest in FYR Macedonia could hit other Balkan countries warns Serbian PM | euronews, world news
- 9International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 10International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 11How Nepal earthquake devastated Kathmandu’s UNESCO heritage | euronews, world news
- 12Portuguese language reform law goes global | euronews, world news
- 13EU membership remains Serbia’s priority, says PM Aleksandar Vucic | euronews, the global conversation
- 14Spanish voters punish mainstream parties in local and regional elections
- 15Spain: the viral soldiers fighting in Madrid and Barcelona mayoral races | euronews, world news
- 16Recharging without cables: the road ahead for electric cars
- 17Andrea Ferrari: the graphene guru | euronews, science
- 18We will not be moved! China’s urban spread resistance [PHOTOS]
- 19Watch: France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen clashes with UKIP MEP Woolfe | euronews, world news
- 20How World War II shaped modern Poland | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 05:16 CET Mexico lawmakers demand president detail wealth after…
- 04:22 CET U.S. defence chief says China’s island-building erodes security
- 02:25 CET U.S. military orders review as anthrax mishap widens
- 01:20 CET Multi-vehicle crash in Egypt kills 16, including conscripts -…
- 00:48 CET Video shows Canada Parliament gunman praying before attack
- 00:14 CET Venezuela blocks Latam ex-presidents from seeing detained leaders
- 23:11 CET With no peace, Ukraine is beset by humanitarian risks – U.N.
- 22:51 CET U.S. considers airport preclearance centres in nine countries