The Web Is in Danger, Copyright Reform Can Break the Internet

Nino Vranešič | El Nino Blog | September 15, 2016

Basic copyright laws and enforcements have been in effect for hundreds of years.
Let’s go back in the history: First Industrial Revolution was based on water and steam power to mechanize production. The second was all about electricity which helped create mass production. The third, connected electronics and information technology to automate production. Now we live in “Fourth Industrial Revolution” which we also call the digital revolution. Digital revolution is characterized by a fusion of technology and society. It is also blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.

But this is only the beginning, as we are constantly developing new technologies on the fields such as Internet of Things, 3D printing, AR & VR, quantum computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, autonomous vehicles, etc. We are facing new challenges and endless opportunities. We cannot foresee in which direction this revolution will go, but the history suggest that this could be combination or even multiplication of existing technologies (and of course people). As we are moving more and more in the “Digital Era” we are facing laws that are old and outdated.

Copyright started with publishing industry that have been historically influenced by the socio-political and legal frameworks. Jurgen Habermas created the term “public sphere”, which is shaped by sociology, politics, economics and laws. This theory can be really useful in understanding any future modern copyright law. In this context, writers as a group historically played an important role in the development of copyright laws. With the rise of Web and Internet electronic media have transformed the public sphere by changing the models of public discourse...