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I Contenuti Digitali: Tecnologie, Diritti e Libertà
  • Nicola Lucchi, New York University School of Law

The book explores the laws and policies governing technology and the access to information. In recent years the content industry is facing a second "Gutenberg revolution". To meet the new consumers demands, in an environment reshaped by new technologies, information and knowledge are reinventing themselves and their business models. The book offers the opportunity to stimulate the knowledge and awareness concerning key strategic choices for the future of digital content. Over the past two decades, as the diffusion of digital technology has become more and more ubiquitous, its incredible methods of reproduction and distribution have created new important issues for copyright law and access to information . Society is affected, both positively and negatively, by from technological developments, and therefore regulation may be required to try to balance the interests of the industry and society. Recently, legislators have addressed some of these issues by taking the nontraditional approach of directly regulating the manufacture, development, and distribution of technology. The volume examines copyright regulation of technology by analyzing the relative merits of current legislations in relation to the broader objectives of copyright law. In particular, the survey aims to initiate a discussion on what is likely to be questioned by some scholars: the fundamental principle of ensuring remuneration for creative work to the copyright owner. The analysis does not intend to dwell on the debate about the legitimacy of reward or not the authors of a work. The crux of the matter is that, since some years, millions of people around the world can have free access to digital copies of works that are the brainchild of some authors. It is correct to discuss and argue, knowing however that there is no going back. On the contrary, it is necessary to invest time and intelligence not only in ethical, ideological, or legal dissertations, but also - and especially - in research and development of a complementary or alternative model of remuneration, effective and functional. The times seem ripe for the materialization of a compromise solution that can ensure new forms of compensation for content producers (possibly organized differently from the past). A solution tailored to maintain attractive the investment to build new content and, at the same time, does not undermine the evolution of technological innovations that the Internet is able to generate and, most importantly, a solution capable to adequately protect also the end-users (i.e. consumers). Alarms in defense of copyright - in relation to the phenomena of illegal digital content distribution - follow each other at regular intervals of time. However, the issue goes beyond the mere protection of intellectual property rights. Redefinition of these rights seems, in fact, a paradigm of many other issues related to the so-called “era of digital control”. Shall we be able to face, in a "cooperative manner", the distortion of copyright and the inevitable conflicts that this brings with it? And at the same time, will these new forms of content distribution open a period of extraordinary opportunities or just a future with less freedom? Modern dynamics of information and communication technologies are uncontrollable, but they can provide growth and benefits for all. Unfortunately, the balance point still seems far away. On the one hand we have the conservatives at all costs, the "merchants of content", which continue to launch alarms without doing anything concrete to adapt to change. On the other lie those institutions - the European Union in the first place - that would have the duty to find original solutions to entirely new problems when the single State is not able to keep up. The risk around the corner is represented by a private control of digital content exclusively delegated to corporations. Will governments be able to ensure a sustainable future for digital content? The book attempts to answer to the question moving according to the three pillars that should guide the work of the legislator: rights, technology and liberties.

Publication Date
Springer Italia
Citation Information
Nicola Lucchi. I Contenuti Digitali: Tecnologie, Diritti e Libertà. Milano(2010)
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