All entries for Sunday 27 August 2006

August 27, 2006

Copyright mortgage

The debate on copyright protection has been heating up in China recently. With its abundant selection of pirate products, some cheap, some looking as good if not better than the original ones, China is really the heaven for the consumers of the copyrighted products. During my recent visit to a bookstore, where the prices on printed products have gone skywards, I realised that many of the books I wanted I literally couldn't afford. And yet I craved for those books, for the knowledge, the pictures, the stories and etc. So the copyright fees have in a way created a barrier that hinders my further development. It essentially means I can only develop proportionately to my income.

I view copyright protection as a form of protection of human rights: it protects the intellectual property that celebrates one's achievements and dignity. But on the other hand, my human right to development suggests I should be at least assisted in obtaining access to things that may help me develop as a human being, but by protecting the copyrights in such rigid manner the government essentially assists in creating a barrier for my development. Seeing as the government should ultimately be responsible for providing both rights, its input in this case should be crucial. Libraries are one way of making it work. But maybe there is a more efficient way of making copyrighted products more available, easily accessible. I'm willing to pay the full price when I have become a strong member of the society, but before I can become one, I need a copyright mortgage to help me develop and become a citizen with income.


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