Q: It is fervently hoped that revisions to copyright law, which in the past have done a pretty good job in balancing owner protections with public interest (in the form of some very good "fair use" policies) will eventually figure out how to deal with the thorny question of "what happens when everyone can produce the medium?"

A: Fair use (as I explained somewhere else) is a US-only doctrine, and probably one that's falling by the wayside, with Sony v. Universal being its last great claim to fame. of course, it's hard to tell what's likely to happen in U.S. copyright law, the U.S. Supreme Court appointments process being what it is :) but the worldwide trend is towards increased rights for creators of intellectual property, as we now see the US going to a 70-plus-life-year term for copyright, and Europe taking a very hard line on database issues. Not that this is good; IMO intellectual property is probably one of the most important political/economic issues facing us today, but it's not exactly getting detailed analysis in the daily papers. Hell, the US media don't even seem to care about U.S. v. Microsoft...

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