Commentary | Letter

Daily outed as copyrighted hypocrite

RE: “Copyright this” | Commentary; “Creative Commons: some rights reserved” | Culture | Sept. 15, 2008

Despite two pieces in last Monday’s Daily about the evils of the current copyright regime, including an editorial slamming the very notion of it, what does one find at the bottom of the masthead?

“All contents © 2008 Daily Publications Society. All rights reserved.”

This line – and The Daily’s use of it – is what copyright is about. The editorial team (or an author, musician, software developer, etc.) has put a lot of effort into producing a product, and they should have the right to prevent other people from profiting from it for a certain amount of time. Without copyright, there would be nothing preventing someone from taking all The Daily’s contents, republishing it as the McGill Dainty, and making money off the advertising they sell.

Yes, the current system has many problems – it lacks some sorely-needed exemptions and in many cases lasts too long – but the notion of copyright is sound, and it does a pretty good job of giving people a reason to invest the time and money to produce new and innovative works.

As for The Daily itself, it’s high time that it follow its own advice and Creative Commons-license all its content, and “put society’s interests above the failing business model of these [small student-run] corporations.”

Daniel Langer

U3 Engineering

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