Thanks to Asimov Foundation and the great people from the Budapest Hackerspace I had the chance to participate – along with a small Polish copyright reform dream-team – in the V4 Paradigm Shift in Copyright workshop.
All in all, two days of heavy thinking on copyright reform with a group of people from all of the Visegrad Four countries.
In my humble opinion the most important result of the workshop was meeting all the people away from keyboard, in real life, and getting a birds-eye view on copyright situation in all the V4 countries. We did not dream of finding the perfect solution to copyright problems in digital era just yet; we did, however, verify and reality-check our respective ideas against situation in the rest of the countries, and the ideas of the rest of the activists.
One very important thing is that we all agreed we need to work on the language. Currently the discussion around copyright continues to use a language imposed by one of the sides. This does not bode well for the ability to find good solutions, as it slants the playing field in one direction.
Hence, we have started to create a very rudimentary dictionary.
The most crucial thing here is the fact that “intellectual property” term is completely unacceptable. Neither anything it supposedly describes is bona fide “property” (being in fact time-limited monopolies), nor does lumping them together make any sense. Simply put, copyright, trademark laws and patents are completely different and should be treated separately in discussions. Trying to talk about them together only complicates things and blurs the situation (no doubt, an effect welcomed by the proponents of the term).
An additional important positive result of taking part in the thing was for me the possibility to finally talk a bit with Amelia Andersdotter. Brain-scratching discussion on how privatisation of infrastructure creates new problems for those striving to uphold personal rights and freedoms in the Internet. I will probably get back to this topic.