We are the future…

Well, not quite, despite Music Thing‘s inventive paraphrasing, but as the Gowers Review slowly seeps into reality (and I mean slowly… still no sign of the full report, but it can’t be long now), the word is good, not only for anti-copyright-extension activists, but also for the remix and mash-up communities.

The Times summarises:

“The report suggests that exemptions to copyright law should be allowed for “transformative works”. This would permit the use of copyright material in new and creative ways, so long as it did not detract from the value of that material or offend artistic integrity. It calls on the EU to amend the law to allow for that exception. It would allow “rappers” and other creators to rework old material.”

Gotta love those “rappers”, eh?

However, as one would expect, there is already a whiff of caution in the air. Laurence Lessig pops up in the Financial Times to warn on the copyright term recommendations:

“There is not much doubt about what it will say on this proposal. There is much more doubt about whether the government will follow the report’s sensible advice.”

Coming into an election year, this is a serious likelihood. And, especially if there is a change in power, it is also entirely possible that the more radical recommendations of the report, such as the above “transformative works” exemptions, could quietly slip off the agenda completely.

Still, as openDemocracy points out:

“…until this point, there has been no effective, accessible forum for debating IP in the UK – or indeed anywhere. “The sense that democratic dialogue is failing on this topic is a serious one”, write Kay Withers and William Davies of the Institute for Public Policy Research in their recent paper Public Innovation, concluding a nine-month research project into the UK’s current intellectual-property framework. Gowers, it seems, opened the doors to such a dialogue. How his review is interpreted by government later this week will be crucial.”

And equally crucial will be the continuing strength of the effort to keep these doors open, and the debate alive and kicking until these recommendations become law.

Yet even if you’re not interested in participating in the intellectual debate, all you have to do is lead by example, and keep mixing

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