Christiaan A. Alberdingk Thijm is a partner at the boutique law firm SOLV. Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the firm specializes in technology, media and communications law. Christiaan is considered a copyright law expert, especially where it concerns the application of copyright in a digital environment. He frequently advises about e-books and has had the opportunity to speak about the subject on numerous occasions. Besides his work as an attorney he teaches copyright and information law at the University of Amsterdam. In June 2011 his debut novel The Trial of the Century (‘Het process van de eeuw’) will be published.
Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm @ the unbound book conference – photo cc by-sa Sebastiaan ter Burg
In theme with his professional experience working for Kazaa (the first file sharing company that received a positive victory from the supreme court) Christiaan focuses his discussion during the Digital Enclosures Workshop on the copyright and file sharing wars.
He believes that the publishing industry should think of itself and be thought of as a service company. He explains how others must pay them for a service with either royalties or a grand sum. This change in perception of the literary publishing industry in to a service company is a change they must make mentally in order to succeed.
The issue of rights has become a problem with e-books and publishing companies because of the fear of piracy. Like the music and motion picture industries, the realm of books must now confront this dilemma. Thijm mentions that the publishing world should take note and learn from instances of the past, such as what took place in music file sharing. However, the book and publishing industry is very old-fashioned and the question must be asked, are they capable of adapting?
Thijm mentions the institution of the Library as being a very culturally important establishment but also currently facing a large problem with public lending and e-books. Public lending rights don’t apply to digital books, but only to physical books which forces the Libraries to go to the specific publishers and ask permission to lend out digital books. Many publishers are subsequently only allowing downloads from the Library premises. This forces the librarians and institution builders to re-examine and focus in on the space of library to ensure that it is a comfortable, enjoyable environment for the public to reside and learn.
For more information, please visit http://www.solv.nl/people/christiaan-alberdingk-thijm/17522.