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[Fsfe-uk] Gowers

From: Alex Hudson
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] Gowers
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2006 13:08:49 +0000

I haven't seen the full thing yet, but they're releasing some of the
ancilliary reports:


The one on copyright extension for audio works is available, which I'm
guessing is what people got an early peek at.

The economic analysis of the copyright system looks particularly
rigorous, on both the part of the report writers and
PriceWaterhouseCoopers, who did a report for the BPI. Telling is this
quote, pp32:

        "Thus, according to the PwC report, retrospective term
        extensions will deliver a maximum 1.9% increase in the present
        value of revenue from existing recordings"

So much for Cliff Richard's pension plan - 2% is a modest increase in
anyone's language.

They also estimate the prospective increase in revenue due to term
extension to be less than 1%!

The reciprocity argument ("we should do the same as others") is also
shot down:

        "[The US and Australia are our main markets, and copyright is
        already extended their - our actions will make not difference in
        those cases]
        "Only India, Honduras and Guatemala apply 'comparison of terms'
        and if we (generously) assume that British recordings account
        for half the international repertoire, the trade benefit from an
        increase in the copyright term is unlikely to be substantial
        (some portion of
        $17 million)."

And finally, cost to the consumer:

        "Taking the upper bounds for producer gains determined in
        previous sections, this implies consumer costs of between 240
        and 480 million pounds from retrospective term extensions."

Having only briefly read this, it does seem to be a stunning critique on
the general arguments for extension of intellectual property.



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