Instead, much energy has been devoted to interpreting or changing legal rules in hopes of defending older business models against the threats posed by the new technologies. These efforts to plug the multiplying holes in the legal dikes are failing and the entertainment industry has fallen into crisis. This provocative book chronicles how we got into this mess and presents three alternative proposals—each involving a combination of legal reforms and new business models—for how we could get out of it. William W. If that potential is to be made real, we must reconcile it with the legitimate and important claims of copyright.
In this beautifully written and careful work, Fisher, more completely than anyone else, maps the choices that we might make. He argues for a choice that would produce enormous social good. And while not everyone will agree with the conclusions he draws, no one who cares seriously about creators or culture can ignore the framework that he has set.
There are choices that we as a society must make. What should happen when an artist combines an audio recording, a video recording, and some new material to create a novel work of the sort described in Chapter 1? Suppose, to make the problem concrete, that the new material consisted of more than 5 percent of the final recording, so the registrant thereof checked the next-tolast box in Question 7. The same considerations discussed in the preceding example seem germane. The only difference is that the owners of the copyrights in the underlying audio and video recordings would split roughly 75 percent of the resultant revenue stream, leaving the remainder to the masher.
Could the owners of the copyrights in the audio and video recordings object? Not if they had registered their works in the system. So far, we have considered only one layer of derivative works. But once such a system were in place, one would expect to see multiple layers--mashups of expurgated films and rap recordings, and so on.
Would the system continue to allocate to each contributor to the final work his or her fair share? Yes, but only up to the point past which the administrative costs associated with tracking each contribution and distributing the resultant money made it senseless to do so. Modern computer technology would place that point well down the road. But, again roughly speaking, once the chain of derivative works became long enough that the share attributable to one of the contributors to an early link dipped below 1 percent, he or she would cease receiving any revenue.
Almost but not quite everyone would benefit from adoption of this system. The most direct beneficiaries would be consumers. Against this backdrop, consider how, in the first year of its operation, the proposed regime would affect the three major subsets of consumers. The group that would benefit most dramatically consists of the But in return,  they would now have convenient ad-free access to unlimited amounts of recorded entertainment for no additional charge.
Assuming, plausibly, that they formerly spent at least average amounts on music and films, they would be far better off. The Options A and B would leave them better off; option C would leave them no worse off. They too would still be able to gain access to entertainment in the traditional fashions--buying CDs, renting and buying videotapes, listening to commercial radio, watching commercial television, and so on. In that sense, they would not be injured.
They might reap an ancillary benefit from the creation of the new regime: for reasons we will consider shortly, the variety of music and movies in public circulation would likely increase. On the other hand, at least some of those new products would probably only be available online--and thus would be beyond their reach.
Bottom line: they would be unlikely to suffer net harm and might even gain. To be sure, some consumers would have to buy new kinds of electronic equipment to take full advantage of this new system. But Americans are already buying personal computers--the most expensive component of an Internet-based entertainment system--at extraordinary rates for reasons entirely unrelated to obtaining music and movies.
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- Democracy in the European Union: Towards the Emergence of a Public Sphere (Routledge Advances in European Politics).
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- Promises to Keep: Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment (Stanford Law Books).
Most of the other possible components are not especially costly. And consumers who made the shift would no longer need to buy and repair the gadgets necessary to handle the old formats: CD players, VCRs, DVD players, and so on. From the standpoint of consumers, the new regime would have other advantages as well. Because the marginal cost of entertainment would now be close to zero, they could listen to and watch as many songs and films as they wanted.
We would come to experience recorded entertainment of all sorts the way we now experience the material available on the radio and television. It would be always available, and would seem free. Another major change is that, within the portion of the entertainment market governed by the new system, price discrimination would be eliminated. No longer would consumers be separated into classes, differentiated on the basis of their ability and  willingness to pay for recordings.
Now, all consumers would pay the same low amount- -through taxes on electronic products and services--for audio and video recordings. Should we applaud that effect? For obvious reasons, consumers would benefit. But what about society at large? You will recall that the closing sections of Chapter 4 suggested that, on balance, the sorts of refined price-discrimination schemes made possible by effective encryption systems would be inferior, from a social-welfare standpoint, to the combination of monopoly pricing and second-degree price discrimination practiced by record companies and movie studios today.
That conclusion is debatable. But there is no question that uniform, marginal-cost pricing would be better, from a social-welfare standpoint, than either of those strategies. Finally, as compared either to the current state of affairs or to the reform proposals considered in chapters 4 and 5, the proposed regime would have a large additional advantage for consumers: they could do whatever they wanted with the digital recordings they received.
The potential for semiotic democracy--of the sort considered in detail in Chapter would be enormous. Artists of all sorts would also benefit in two ways from the new system. First, their incomes would be protected from corrosion. Second, they would enjoy greater artistic freedom and financial independence. The latter effect is easiest to see--and probably would be greatest--with respect to musicians. Chapters 1 and 2 showed how and why most performing artists suffer in the current music industry. Until recently, they could only hope for fame and fortune by entering into long-term contracts with the major record companies.
The terms of those contracts typically were onerous. The net result was that only a few stars, heavily promoted by their companies, prospered. Recently, a decline in the costs of musical production has encouraged a growing number of artists to break free of those arrangements and set up shop on their own. But the absence of a plausible business model for selling their recordings directly to fans has limited the number of such defections.
The proposed regime would expand the opportunities sharply. In the new environment, musicians could create at modest cost their own recordings, set up Websites, and offer their wares to the world at large. Consumers would not pay for the recordings directly. Rather, the musicians would receive royalties through the government--the magnitude of which would depend on the popularity of their music. An important side effect would be a substantial increase in the variety of recordings available to the public.
For the reasons sketched in Chapter 2, the range of entertainment products generated by the major suppliers has been declining recently. The number of films released annually in the United States has been stable in recent years, but many observers think that the variety has been diminishing. Similar narrowing has occurred in the music industry. If distribution by the major intermediaries--record companies and studios--is no longer the only way of profitably providing recorded entertainment to consumers, one can expect the set of suppliers and the kinds of things they supply to increase radically.
In addition, the proposed system would help us to reconcile two goals long considered to be in conflict--facilitating cumulative innovation, and ensuring that pioneers are adequately compensated.
Situations involving tensions between those two aspirations arise in many economic and cultural contexts. In each of these instances, we wish to provide X sufficient legal rights to encourage potential pioneers in the future to produce analogous breakthroughs and then to make them available to the public--but also to prevent X from exercising those rights in ways that interfere with the ability of others to improve upon their breakthroughs. First, they are notoriously vague. This process is expensive and often unpredictable.
Second, the doctrines are poorly designed to identify and excuse improvements upon prior works, rather than mere consumptions of prior works. Finally, these doctrines are capable of generating only one of two outcomes with respect to a given controversy. For these purposes, the proposed compensation system would work better than either copyright or patent law on many dimensions.
Using that data and some formulae, the revenue stream attributable to each composite product would be divided among the various contributors to it in rough proportion to the relative magnitudes of their contributions. The result would be a cheap, predictable, easily administered system in which both pioneers and improvers are appropriately compensated. As entertainment products that build overtly upon other entertainment products become ever more common and important, this advantage of the proposed system would loom ever larger.
All to the good. But what about those artists whose creations are appropriated without permission-- the director whose masterpiece is sanitized; the singer whose signature recording is incorporated into a motion picture whose message the singer considers loathsome; and so on? Under current copyright law, they or their assignees would be able to block the preparation of such derivative works. Under the proposed alternative compensation system, they could not. For some artists, the prospect of such a loss of control over the manner in which their works are presented to the public is horrifying.
They might find some solace in two aspects of the system--one legal, the other technological. First, the proposed regime would leave untouched the rules of trademark law that forbid deceiving consumers concerning the sources of goods and services. Thus, for example, it would violate the Lanham Act to distribute to the public an expurgated version of a Spielberg movie without making clear that it differed from the version Spielberg originally created.
Sexually explicit language and scenes have been deleted.
ISBN 13: 9780804758451
The creator and copyright owner of the original version are not responsible for these changes. The result is that any consumer could easily ascertain the composition of any registered audio or video recording--what other recordings it incorporated and how much original material had been added to them. Together, these features would reduce to a minimum the danger that a consumer would mistakenly give a composer, performer, or filmmaker either too much or too little credit for a given work. Nevertheless, it remains true that artists would, under this regime, lose a good deal of the control they exercise under American copyright law over what happens to their works once they enter the public arena--and that some artists would find that loss painful.
A blithe response would point out that this and only this aspect of the new regime would be voluntary, insofar as the privilege to make derivative works only applies to audio and video recordings registered in accordance with the new scheme. Thus, artists truly appalled at the prospect of losing creative control could simply refuse to register their recordings and would thereby retain the entitlements they currently enjoy under section 2 of the Copyright Statute.
But that would not be a fair retort. The new system, if it worked, would be far superior to the existing regime as a mechanism for distributing entertainment products. If they wished to make money or to reach large audiences, most artists would likely feel compelled to use it. After all, artists of many other sorts  are obliged to tolerate revisions and reconstructions of their works. The rights of a cabinetmaker are similarly limited. Both of those examples involve unique works of art. The interest of a musician or filmmaker in blocking the modification and subsequent redistribution of one among millions of duplicates of his creations seems demonstrably weaker.
Finally, and perhaps more important, whatever modest weight the right of integrity might have in this context is more than offset by the competing value of semiotic democracy--of enabling the public at large to participate more actively in the construction of their cultural environment. A reader unconvinced by this argument might find congenial an ingenious approach suggested by Jamie Boyle. If we wished to preserve some degree of protection for moral rights under the new regime, we might create a separate track within the system for artists reluctant to expose their works to mash-ups, sampling, parodies, and so on.
By checking a box on the registration form, registrants could retain the entitlements they currently enjoy to control the preparation of derivative works entitlements qualified, of course, by the fair-use doctrine. Electing this option would have a price; by checking the box, registrants would agree to be paid only, say, two thirds of the amount to which they would otherwise be entitled under the system.
The foregone funds both would discourage artists from taking this tack cavalierly and would roughly compensate the artists who did not choose this option for the diminution in the stock of materials upon which they could draw in the future. Who else might have cause for complaint?
The manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of the containers currently used to store audio and video recordings plainly would. The largest cost savings in the proposed system result from cutting them out. The big players in the existing system--the record companies and studios--would not be injured initially. On the contrary, for a few years at least, the proposed regime would help them by replacing the revenues they lose to Internet activities with money transmitted through the Copyright Office. Their longer-term fate, however, would be more in doubt.
Marketing and promotion would remain crucial functions in the brave new world. Because the income of a copyright owner would, as before, depend upon the popularity of his or her creations, stimulating consumer demand for a particular song or film would continue to be important. In one scenario, the record companies and studios could capitalize on their marketing experience and power to remain vital and profitable in the new environment. In another scenario, however, they would be outperformed by newer, leaner enterprises, better able to develop and exploit the different kinds of marketing tactics enabled by the Internet.
It would all depend upon the flexibility of the existing companies. What about the manufacturers of consumer electronics and the suppliers of broadband access? Under the second of the two taxation options discussed above, their products would be subject to substantial taxes. But the levies would not be exorbitant--far less, for example, than are imposed on alcohol, cigarettes, and gasoline.
More important, the new system would make their products far more valuable to consumers and would thus increase demand for them. Thus, on balance, they would be better, not worse off. Finally, society at large would benefit in various ways from the shift to such a regime. The most obvious is that total transaction costs would decrease.
There is substantially less law in this model than in any of the models considered in previous chapters. Many of the doctrinal questions that stimulate litigation under the current system--and that would persist in the regimes described in Chapters 4 and would be irrelevant. Should Launch. Millions of dollars currently turn on the answers to such questions.
In the proposed system, they would be irrelevant. The results: fewer disputes, fewer lawyers, less social waste. The costs of enforcing rules would also drop sharply. As we saw in Chapter 3, the resources devoted by content providers and society at large to policing violations of copyright law have been rising fast in the past decade. Under the proposed model, they would largely disappear. Nor would content providers bear the costs of developing and deploying encryption systems. To be sure, the proposed regime would not be free. We have estimated, conservatively, that administrative costs during the startup period would absorb 20 percent of the new tax revenues.
But compared with the costs associated with all of the plausible alternatives, that drain would be modest. At least as important as these economic advantages of the proposed regime would be elimination of the widespread lawbreaking fostered by the current regime. In the spring of , approximately thirty-five million Americans were downloading digital entertainment from the Internet without permission. After the RIAA began its highly publicized campaign to locate and sue individual downloaders, that number dropped sharply.
But by the end of the year, at least eighteen million Americans were still engaged in the activity. A side effect or perhaps the primary purpose of that campaign has been to increase sharply the percentage of the population that acknowledges the illegality of this behavior. Yet millions continue to do it. That so many people are knowingly violating the law is culturally unhealthy. The reforms outlined in Chapters 4 and 5 would reduce the number of violators considerably, but many people would continue to evade the enhanced legal and technological defenses of copyrights.
The proposed regime would enable us to avoid this unfortunate state of affairs altogether. So far, the proposed system looks pretty good. To be sure, we have already discussed two substantial problems to which it would give rise. But, with these reservations, the system has many substantial attractions. Two other aspects of the proposal create serious cause for concern. The more obvious is that the proposed regime would confer on a government agency--most likely, the Copyright Office--a substantial amount of discretionary power. For the reasons explained above, the office would have no control over which artists within each entertainment category received which shares of the pot of revenue allocated to their genre.
But the office would determine the total amount of money paid in royalties and the portions given to each type of copyright owner. Moreover, the office would make those determinations on the basis of an unavoidably vague criterion: sustaining a vibrant and flourishing entertainment culture. To give any institution that much power is problematic.
To be sure, we often do it. For example, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Communications Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission all enjoy as much or more discretionary authority and shape equally important aspects of our collective lives. This danger is real, but is at least mitigated by two factors. First, the procedural precautions and the appellate mechanism discussed in Chapter 5 would reduce somewhat the vulnerability of the Copyright Office.
Second, as was suggested above, the economic power of the primary extant intermediaries the record companies and studios may diminish under the new regime. Rather than confronting a tension between a concentrated and well-funded interest group and a dispersed community of consumers, the Copyright Office would, reasonably soon, be called upon to balance the needs of consumers against the needs of a similarly dispersed community of artists. The final disadvantage is that a system of the sort outlined in this chapter--a taxand-royalty regime instituted only in the United States--would leak across national boundaries.
French musicians and filmmakers who registered their recordings with the American Copyright Office would be compensated, out of tax funds collected from American consumers, when those recordings were heard and watched by American consumers. But American musicians and filmmakers would receive nothing when their recordings were heard or watched by French citizens. This effect would likely make American taxpayers justifiably resentful. To be sure, American creators under such a regime would not be significantly worse off than they are at present.
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- Coating Substrates and Textiles: A Practical Guide to Coating and Laminating Technologies.
- Servant-Leadership Across Cultures: Harnessing the Strengths of the Worlds Most Powerful Management Philosophy.
In the new world, as in the existing one, it would be illegal, under French copyright law, for French citizens to download American songs and films from the Internet without permission. In the new world, as in the present one, many French consumers would ignore the pertinent legal prohibitions and would fill their hard drives with American entertainment. So the new system would not hurt American producers. The Copyright Office would have to be revamped.
The registration system would have to be designed and implemented. Congress would have to authorize new taxes. If Congress opted for a tax on devices and services, rather than an increase in the income tax, the Copyright Office would have to conduct extensive hearings to develop data much more detailed and reliable than I have been able to offer here concerning the size and shape of the tax base and the amount of money necessary to offset the injuries that would be sustained by copyright owners as a result of being deprived of their traditional sources of revenue.
Once all these pieces were in place, the federal copyright statute would have to be amended to permit consumers to engage in a host of activities that are currently illegal. What, more specifically, would the necessary revisions of the copyright statute encompass? You will recall, from Chapter 2, that section currently grants the owners of copyrights in musical compositions, sound recordings, and motion pictures an extensive set of exclusive rights.
Sections through balance that grant with many exceptions and limitations. Once the regime described in this chapter were operational, Congress could and should add a new provision to the list of exceptions. The new provision call it section A would permit the following:. Reproduction of a musical composition, sound recording, or motion picture for noncommercial purposes that is, consumption, not resale ;.
Preparation of a derivative work of a sound recording or motion picture registered pursuant to the new scheme, provided that the derivative work is also so registered before it is made available to the public; . Distribution of a sound recording including a musical composition embodied therein or motion picture via the Internet;. Public performance of a sound recording including a musical composition embodied therein via a digital audio transmission; . Public performance of a motion picture via a digital video transmission. A crucial ancillary issue: What would be the role, if any, for digital rights management in this new environment?
That issue has three dimensions. First, would a copyright owner be permitted to register an audio or video recording formatted so as to limit the ways or number of times in which it could be copied or altered such as the sound recordings distributed by Apple through its iTunes Music Store and then collect money from the government when those recordings were reproduced or performed in ways permitted by the copy-protection system such as streamed by a Webcaster? Second, would a copyright owner be permitted to register an unencrypted version of a particular recording but also to distribute to the public, presumably for fees, encrypted versions of the same recording?
The answer to none of these questions is obvious; with respect to each, reasonable arguments could be made on both sides. On balance, however, the best answers seem to be the following. On the first issue, no. One of the main aspirations of the new regime is to foster semiotic democracy and more broadly to free consumers and artists to reproduce, modify, and redistribute recordings. Permitting copyright owners to impose partial restraints on their creations would limit our achievement of that end. With respect to the second issue, it would seem sensible, at least until the new regime had proven its effectiveness, to permit copyright owners to adopt such a hybrid marketing strategy--for example, to sell copy-protected CDs while simultaneously registering and distributing for free via the Internet unencrypted MP3 versions of the same songs.
For much the same reason, it would seem unnecessary--at least at first--to withdraw audio and video recordings from the protection of the DMCA. Let skeptical musicians and filmmakers continue to use technological self-help measures to restrict access to their creations--and let them continue to call upon the aid of the legal system to protect those measures from hackers. If the new regime is as efficient as we have argued, the skeptics will soon discover that it is simpler, cheaper, and more profitable to register their recordings with the Copyright Office and rely upon distribution of royalties from the government for their source of income.
Those, then, are the primary statutory adjustments that would be necessary to launch the new regime. Unless modified, these treaty provisions would seem to forbid the curtailment of copyright law necessitated by the proposed regime.
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- READ Promises to Keep: Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment (Stanford Law Books).
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- Media, Modernity, Technology: The Geography of the New.
But no such discretion is permitted with respect to cinematographic works. The bottom line: before implementing the proposed regime, the United States would have to obtain a modification of the Berne Convention. What about domestic law? Would the United States Constitution interfere in any way with the creation of such a regime? But such a claim would almost certainly fail. The Fifth Amendment is indeed applicable; intellectual-property rights-- including copyrights--are shielded by the Constitution against uncompensated expropriation.
But the expropriation effected by the new regime would not be uncompensated. On the contrary, the proposed system is explicitly designed to protect creators, as a class, against injury. That may well be true, our hypothetical challenger might respond, but not every individual copyright owner would come out equally well under the new regime as he or she would under an unmodified copyright system. So much for the establishment of the regime. Once in place, it would begin, quickly, to evolve. The advantages--in terms of cost and convenience--of obtaining audio and video recordings over the Internet would entice growing numbers of consumers to buy the equipment and subscribe to the services necessary to participate in the system and simultaneously to reduce their expenditures on CDs, videotapes, and DVDs.
The  resultant reduction of the revenues flowing to copyright owners through traditional channels would, in turn, compel the Copyright Office to increase the volume of royalty payments. Would taxes rise? In the aggregate, certainly. If the method by which the money was raised were an income tax, then the increase in aggregate taxes over time almost certainly at a rate faster than the growth of the population would also generate an increase in per-capita taxes.
The number would be larger in each subsequent year, until such time as virtually all audio and video recordings were distributed under the auspices of the new regime. How high might the taxes go up? Would there ever come a point at which consumers would be paying more, on average, in taxes for access to entertainment than they currently pay under a market-based system? The new regime would be substantially more efficient than the present one for several independent reasons. First, it would eliminate the many costs associated with manufacturing and distributing containers CDs, DVDs, and so on.
Second, for the reasons sketched in Chapter 1 and emphasized by May and Singer in their analysis of Internet distribution, the overhead costs and marketing expenses of the major intermediaries would diminish under the proposed regime--in ways that the Copyright Office could and would take into account when making its annual adjustments of royalty and tax rates. Again, those savings would be reflected in the annual accountings conducted by the Copyright Office and thus would mitigate tax increases.
A reprise of the calculations outlined earlier in this chapter lends credence to that blanket prediction. Assume that, instead of displacing 20 percent of the distribution systems currently employed in the record industry and 5 percent of the analogous systems in the film industry, the new regime displaced percent of both. Ignore, for the time being, the potential savings, just mentioned, in overhead, marketing, legal expenses, and encryption.
Finally, assume, conservatively, no increase in the size of the population over which the taxes would be spread. How much would the average household have to pay in income taxes in order to run the expanded system? Note that this is a worst-case scenario; almost certainly, for the reasons just outlined, the number would be lower.
What if the money were raised, not through an income tax, but through a tax on devices and services? Again, the aggregate tax burden would of course rise over time. But the rate of increase would be partially offset by growth in the number of households purchasing the equipment and services necessary to take advantage of the new system. Indeed, on the assumption that the new regime would fully displace the old one only when close to percent of American households had broadband access, the average tax burden per household under this approach would actually be lower than under the income-tax approach simply because the total number of households in the United States is larger than the number that pay federal income taxes.
Unlike the income tax, these levies would not be imposed on a progressive basis. In other words, poor households would pay approximately the same amounts as wealthy households. If successful, the system might expand over time to cover other forms of digital entertainment. The distribution of electronic books, for example, could easily be brought within its ambit. The electronic-games industry is a bit different, but might be folded into the system with some adjustments.
Promises to Keep: Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment
These additions would require a further increase in tax rates, of course, but the benefits of the regime would expand correspondingly. One change in the structure of the system may be forced by technological advances. At some point in the near future, Americans may cease to gain access to the Internet through individualized ISP accounts. Some other business model may emerge to enable consumers to take advantage of the rapidly developing technologies for connecting to the Internet through wireless networks.
If so, running the system through taxes on devices and services--the most important of which are broadband subscriptions-- would no longer be feasible. At that point, Congress would have no choice but to change to an income tax. Such a shift would be fair, insofar as, by then, the large majority of taxpayers would be beneficiaries of the regime. For the reasons sketched above, it would reduce administrative costs.
And, by then, it might even be politically acceptable. Finally, the success of the system might prompt countries other than the United States to institute similar systems. Each would establish a registration system, permitting copyright owners from every country to register audio and video recordings. Ultimately, these separate national offices might be superseded or supplemented by a global registry for digital works.
Using schemes like those already outlined, each country would estimate the relative frequency with which those recordings were consumed by its residents--and would then distribute its tax revenues accordingly, to both domestic and foreign registrants. An interlocking set of national regimes of this sort would cure the third of the three major disadvantages of a tax-and-royalty system noted in the previous section--namely its tendency to leak across national boundaries.
All of the national regimes would continue to leak, of course. But the leaks would occur in both directions--and would fairly reflect the extent to which consumers within one country were relying for their entertainment on works created by artists in other countries. There are many advantages to a governmentally administered alternative compensation system of the sort outlined in this chapter.
"The Legal Treatment of Traditional Knowledge" by William W. Fisher
But what if no government were willing, at least initially, to institute such a system? Could it be created without state aid? In other words, could a voluntary analogue to such a regime be constructed in the shadow  of current copyright law? If successful, such an enterprise could serve as a demonstration project--reassuring skeptical legislators of the feasibility of a more comprehensive, compulsory, tax-based regime.
Alternatively, if successful enough, it might survive indefinitely without governmental aid. This final section sketches such a system, then considers its strengths and limitations. The registration process for obtaining a unique identification number for a digital version of an audio or video recording would be virtually identical.
The form the copyright owner filled out and the process of filing it would be the same. The registration process would differ in only two respects. First, instead of the Copyright Office, the registrar would be a private organization--which for reasons to be explored shortly we will call The Entertainment Coop. By contrast, the source of the funds necessary to run the system would be different. Instead of taxes, the money would come from subscription fees. In other words, if and only if an individual consumer wished to participate in the system, he or she would pay a flat monthly sum.
How much? The system would be funded by taxes. Fisher is one of the founders of Noank Media , a private enterprise similar in many ways to the proposal of Promises to Keep. Noank licenses and distributes digital content by collecting blanket-license revenues from internet services providers and distributing revenues to authors and artists based on the size of their audience.
Fisher was among the lawyers, along with his colleague John Palfrey and the law firm of Jones Day, who represented Shepard Fairey , pro bono, in his lawsuit against the Associated Press related to the iconic Hope poster. An alumnus of Amherst College , Fisher received a law degree and a Ph.
He was a law clerk to U. Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall. Fisher is currently teaching an online course on copyright law, based on the same course that he teaches at Harvard Law School.