Traditional copyright protection legislation cannot cope with the increasingly complex online world, delegates at the Les Blogs, Blogs and Social Software Conference at the Senat in Paris were told today.
According to Joi Ito, vice president of international and mobility at Technorati, and chairman of Six Apart Japan, a radical update in existing copyright law is vital to keep up with creation and use of digital content.
Ito, who is also on the board of Creative Commons and Icann, said: "It is very important to understand that the notion of intellectual property was created to protect traditional content. The idea now is that creativity can happen outside of corporations."
Ito claimed that digital web content needs to be regulated by a different and more flexible kind of licence, which he dubs Creative Commons. Such licences would allow creators of content to allocate certain rights to other users as they see fit.
"We need to allow authors and people to determine what they want to allow users of their work to do," he explained.
"The Creative Commons brand is s standardised copyright licence available on the web. It is not meant to compete with traditional copyright but to complement it.
"Whereas copyright is a big red light, Creative Commons is a green light with some rights reserved or even no rights reserved."
Ito went on to describe the internet as the basis for modern democracy. "The internet is a bottom up network and I think it is the cornerstone of democracy," he said. "We have created the network and now blogs are enabling people to communicate."
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