[A2k] Non-market sharing should not be “compensated for”, the “creative contribution” has other aims

Philippe Aigrain (perso Wanadoo) philippe.aigrain at wanadoo.fr
Thu Sep 6 07:37:19 PDT 2012

The commons thread to my work on the non-market sharing of digital works
between individuals is to defend that when carefully delineated, this
sharing is a right whose definition lies outside the realm of copyright.
As such it can not be the object of copyright-based compensation. I
developed this point in Internet & Creation (in French, 2008), though
the point was blurred because the amount of the new financing scheme I
suggested remained based on a compensatory reasoning. In Sharing
(February 2012), I separated the recognition of non-market sharing and
the detailed design of the creative contribution. The latter was
explictly based on the needs of creative and expressive activities of
individuals and on providing a new source of support to production and
added-value intermediaries. This separation became even more explicit in
my recent elements for the reform of copyright and related cultural

A new form of resource pooling is useful and needed to reward and
support the creative activities that fuel digital culture. It can be
socially accepted, provided one starts by recognizing that the right to
non-market sharing is a primary condition of existence for digital
culture, and only if one makes sure that the collected sums are truly
received by contributors (authors, artists, technicians) and creative
projects. There are many reasons to abstain from basing the amount of
this new financing on a compensatory reasoning. Since most independent
studies conclude that the non-market sharing of digital works between
individuals is only responsible for a very limited part of the cultural
industry problems in the digital world, adopting a compensatory
viewpoint could ironically lead to very small amounts or to an unfounded
capture of funds by media interests. In this post, I focus on another
reason for rejecting a compensatory assessment of needs for a new
financing source, which is how it would impact the cultural economy.

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