Welcome to the website of the Creators' Copyright Coalition. We at the CCC are committed to access to our creative works just as we are committed to copyright: we work for copyright legislation that ensures both. Here on our op-ed pages we will be posting opinion, commentary, links, and news of interest to creators and others engaged in copyright reform. Elsewhere, you'll find our archive of studies, handbooks and press releases. And while we're not currently hosting a discussion forum, comments sent to us may be posted or noted here (unless you ask us not to).

Monetizing digitizing

By Christopher Moore | March 14, 2007

Remember when information wanted to be free and cyberspace was going to be the new frontier beyond law and beyond commerce? When young IP law profs assigned themselves the task of creating a new ethos for a whole new universe where no one would own anything and everyone would share?

Today the big legal news is the fight between the gazillion-dollar behemoth Viacom and the other gazillion-dollar behemoth Google over rights to what’s on YouTube — see Globe & Mail coverage here.

Can you remember which of these company is new-economy and which is old? Neither can I.

What matters here is that the day when digital information could be valued at Zero is dead, dead, dead. It’s valuable. It’s becoming the most valuable commodity in the world. YouTube ain’t free — it’s a moneyspinner. The question here is simply whether Google’s people get all the money or Viacom’s get a share too.

And the way to handle it is to monetize it. It’s unfortunate that the Viacom-Google battle is still construed as Viacom forcing Google to take down copyright material, to make copyright material unavailable. That’s playing into the IP lawyers’ obsolete idea that everything must be free so everyone has access. That’s not where this is really headed.

Where it’s heading is licensing: make it available — and licence it. Digital access has immense benefits for everyone. Licensing means the benefits will shared with those who create the value, and then there will be more of it.

The solution to digital copyright doesn’t lie with IP profs anymore. It’s with the economists. The lawyers are stuck with utopian concepts that expired in the 1990s. The economists are ready to assign and distribute real value.

Permanent Link | Send Us A Comment

Send us a comment

While we don't publish a comments section on our site directly, all mail is read by representatives of the CCC for possible response or incorporation into the op-ed section of the site, unless you ask us not to. Drop us a line at remove all the numbers from the following, and replace % with @, ^ with .: e987d9it12o44r%c439reat9922orsc922opyrig630ht^c98a.

Op-Ed Pages Op-Ed Archives