International conference The Impact of Internet on the Mass Media in Europe
European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST - Action A20)
Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
Delphi, April 26-28, 2006
Based on the case of music in the internet, this paper explores the framework and the parameters of the conflict arising between copyright (in the sense of the protection granted by law to the authors by allowing them to prohibit unauthorized use of their works) and the right of the citizens to be informed. It presents some paradoxes that often result during litigation the degree to which the established legal approach of the peer-to-peer music file exchange complies with recent developments.
The paper discusses also the challenges that the internet creates for the recording industry, the phases of the "war on copyright infringement" in which the industry is involved, as well as its strategy. A major asymmetry is actually established in this field: the very notion of intellectual property - being socially constructed (and therefore culturally determined) - is incompatible with new types of practice and new forms of culture that proliferate in the internet and the public "cybersphere". Furthermore, it is incompatible also with cultures ignoring the concepts of individual creativity and of the autonomous and accomplished individual artwork.
Finally, the paper discusses some issues which are really at stake and extend far beyond the industry concerns about lost profits.