The German Enquete commission “Internet and Digital Society” is a multilateral commission instituted by the German parliament to discuss and make recommendations on, well, Internet and digital society. I’m a member of an expert advisory council for one of the parties involved in the commission. I received the following catalog of questions and thought I’d share the questions here and maybe we can have a good discussion. For international readers, it may be helpful to read Wikipedia on German copyright law. So, here are the questions.
- Is the Internet changing the production of creative goods? Should we change copyright law (“Urheberrecht” in German) accordingly? In what ways should we change copyright law? How to better accommodate the changing roles of users and creators?
- Should we change the goals of copyright law due to the Internet and digital society? (Note: The previous question assumed set goals; this question wants to know if we should change those goals.) Specifically, is there a conflict between access to information and creative potential of a society?
- Assuming changes in copyright law, can they be handled effectively on a national level? (Examples of possible changes are provider liability or blanket compensation for copyright holders.) Or, is European or even global action necessary? What changes can be handled sufficiently on a national level?
- Please name specific technologies that might prove disruptive to the current copyright law and that should be considered in recommendations by the commission. An example for such a disruptive technology might be (the increase in) video streaming.
- The questions above are specifically about copyright law. What other intellectual property laws are or should be affected by current societal changes (relevant to this commission) that we should be thinking about? An example might be software patents.
I’m providing a separate page for the discussion of each question; please click on the questions above and comment on the page the link takes you to. Thanks!