Bill Thompson does an excellent job at BBC Online (The copyright 'copyfight' is on) of summarising the key issues debated at a seminar I attended at the ippr yesterday afternoon as part of their Digital Manifesto project.
I won't try to precis it myself, but three issues came to mind during and after the event:
a) Can a creator assert a 'moral right' over their work once it is made publicly available? Uncomfortable though it maybe for musicians, writers, artists etc, I am not sure that you can. You can say that you don't want a sculpture amended, but a copy of it? I would argue that the act of changing a copy of something, be it music, writing, paintings etc, so long as the original remains should be allowed - the artist's intention remains and, so long as credit to the creator is given, the developmental work based on a copy should be allowed.
When the Chapman Brothers amended copies of Goya prints many people were appalled. The brothers argued that the prints were copies, other originals remained and so it was legitimate that they could create something new with them.
b) The official topic was about the public domain: does it need protecting? One speaker, Damian Tambini suggested there are parallels with the discussions about public service broadcasting in the UK. If this is the case, and I think it should be explored, is it possible to ask the same questions about what the public views as in the public domain and ought to remain in the public domain, as various groups did about public service and public value?
c) Finally, was Cory Doctorow editing BoingBoing during the other presentations?