Is copyright fit for purpose?

I was recently invited to contribute a position paper for CREATe, which is the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, based at the University of Glasgow. The topic was:

Is The Current Copyright Framework Fit For Purpose? 

And was subtitled 'Insight from the publishing industry and beyond'. I probably represent the beyond. So I was asked to investigate the current copyright framework and whether it is actually doing what it purports to do for writing, reading, and publishing in the digital age.

It's a topic on which I have written previously, so some of it may be familiar.

The proliferation of digital media has presented enormous challenges to writers and other creative professionals in an environment where downloading, copying, and streaming digital files can take precedence over the purchase or borrowing of physical artefacts.
My own perspective on copyright is informed primarily by my experiences as someone whose writing has appeared in print since 2000 and on the web since 1995. But it is also informed by my experience with if:book Australia, commissioning, publishing, and distributing creative work from others in a non-commercial environment.
Regardless of how it was initially conceived and for whom it was initially intended to benefit, modern copyright has evolved into a mechanism whose intention is to allow creators to benefit from original works by granting them control over it for a period of time. It means that creators of an original work can expect fair compensation and acknowledgement when their work is bought and sold, adapted, referenced, and so on.

To read on, head to the CREATe web site.