This session examined the growing importance of copyright issues within the public consciousness over the last decade and the rising inclination of young people to fight for their right to access, share and download online content. It was noted that there is a growing consensus around approaches to copyright enforcement – although technical measures to enforce copyright are unlikely to be fully effective without significant curbs on innovation and online freedom. Discussion also suggested the development of new revenue generating business models will be the swiftest route towards providing attractive legal alternatives to copyright piracy. The copyright landscape is also likely to become more complex as the boundary between the consumers and producers of online content and services becomes progressively blurred – and further challenges emerge in relation to applying copyright to content dynamically created by machines. The future creative incentives for content producers and the implications of advertising/commercially driven content creation models were also explored – alongside the role of trust networks in supporting collaborative online creation and consumption. Finally, it was considered whether access to the Internet should be defined as a human right or public good, or whether the best approach would be to leverage and enforce existing human rights within an online context.

Specific questions for further discussion

(links take you to the relevant forum subtopic):

Q1: Online trust networks - how far can they go?

Q2: does the "creating to share" incentive have a limited online shelf life?

Q3: Should governments intervene to balance the public interest against online commercial incentives?

Link to main discussion topic: