Creators need paying after all
ON THE bright side of the copyright divide, in some circles our message is getting through. Jaron Lanier coined the term "virtual reality". For years he had toed the anti-copyright line that creators should forget about making money from copying of their work and live off public appearances. Jaron's also a musician. He noticed in the noughties he was being asked to play two benefits a month for musicians who'd followed his advice, spent the gig fees, and now needed life-saving operations.
Jaron's 2013 book Who Owns the Future? concedes that, yes, creators need to be paid royalties for copying. In January three books - Rise of the Robots and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford, The Internet is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen and Culture Crash: the killing of the creative class by Scott Timberg - appeared acknowledging that they're effectively follow-ups to this and reinforcing the case.
On 24 February Alan Graham of thrusting startup One-click License told a 400-strong gathering called by the "DG Connect" department of the European Commission: "Copyright is a civil right: when tech companies have shown us that information is more valuable than gold or oil I can't think of a right that is more important than copyright... We are all creators and we all need to protect that." Suddenly the anti-copyright line pushed by too many officials in DG Connect - and resisted by other departments - seemed dreadfully old-fashioned. Like 1995 old.