BTB #245: The Answer to the Machine

Angela Mills WadeAre content creators and the creative industries taking full advantage of digital technologies to streamline copyright permissions and boost their businesses online? In Europe, a proposed alliance of creative industries aims to build the essential technological framework for a modern approach to rights management. “The Answer to the Machine” – they propose – “ is in the Machine.”

Continuing special programming from Europe by RightsDirect for Beyond the Book, Victoriano Colodrón speaks from Madrid, Spain, to UK-based Angela Mills Wade, Executive Director of the European Publishers Council. She details the EPC’s submission to the European Commission for “A Big Idea for the Digital Agenda.”

“The key ingredient that we identified for 21st-century rights management is to use the Internet for what it’s really, really good at, and that’s the management of myriad individual data transactions,” Mills Wade explained.

The name of the project is drawn from the word of Charles Clark one of the late twentieth century’s foremost thinkers and shapers of copyright who recognized at a very early point that digital developments –particularly the internet – would completely change the way in which copyright needs to be administered. His now famous aphorism – “The answer to the machine is in the machine” – was first used as the title of a chapter in the 1996 version of The Future of Copyright in the Digital Environment (ed: P. Bernt Hugenholtz).

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