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Copyright and Technology

These two mostly work hand in hand especially as a change in one typically brings about a change in the other, think P2P file sharing and DMCA or Digital Economy Act. So why is this the case, and will it ever change?

It is hard to think of a scenario where copyright is not tightly related to technology, for the simple reason that even the act of copying (at least to any economically significant scale) is highly dependent on having access to an appropriate copy technology. Interestingly, the UK’s Statute of Anne, which is widely regarded as the first fully fledged copyright law, came into being after the introduction of print duplication technology, aka the printing press. Given where we are today, with ubiquitous and massively available digital duplication and dissemination technologies, copyright has become even more intertwined with everyday technology; from early music players to broadcast receivers and shiny new mobile / media / communication devices. As a result, it has become even more urgent to find ways in which to make copyright and technology work better together.

These and other pressing topics will be up for debate at the inaugural / eponymous Copyright and Technology 2010 conference which will be taking place this Thursday in New York City, and yours truly will be there to participate and hopefully get some indication of where things are heading in the near-mid term. The two tracks of this conference are divided equally between technology and legal aspects of copyright, which should make for some interesting cross-fertilisation of ideas and potential insight to the future of copyright. Watch this space.

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