The judge responsible for shutting down the original version of peer-to-peer service Napster proposed an interesting plan this week to reform copyright by establishing public and private organizations that will be in charge of licensing and enforcing the law in this digital age.
Judge Miriam Hall Patel had this to say at the Fordham University School of Law in New York City: "There needs to be a comprehensive revision of the provisions that relate to the administration of copyright licensing, royalties and enforcement. I propose that a joint public/private administrative body made up of representatives of all competing interest, including the public, be established and authorized to, among other powers, issue licenses; negotiate, set and administer royalties; and adopt rules and regulations to carry out these purposes."
"It was not surprising that the notion of free music caught on," she added. "What is surprising is how the industry seemed to be caught so short. While it was fumbling the new ways to distribute digital music at a profit in the new age, savvy innovators were moving full speed ahead. Sadly, it is the artists and composers who have been the most neglected in this matter. [In regards to legislation,] our copyright laws have become a patchwork of amendments that are adopted as emergencies arise."
Judge Patel's recommendations (Thanks to Wired.com):
Report by David Lowe-Bianco.