Fair Play For Musicians Sounds Pretty Unfair For The Rest Of Us

from the 50-years-wasn't-fair? dept

Following yesterday's Gowers Report in the UK that had a lot of bad suggestions for intellectual property and one decent one (not extending copyrights on recordings), it seems like a bunch of musicians are upset about the recommendation. A group of about 4,000 musicians have signed a petition calling for "fair play for musicians" as if having been paid for work they did 50 years ago wasn't already fair. As we've discussed repeatedly, the point of copyright is to create incentives for people to create content that they wouldn't otherwise. It's hard to see how you stick by that purpose when you're trying to create incentives for content that was already created 50 years ago. The simple fact is that for most of the content that was created 50 years ago, they've already gotten all the value out of it that they could. Most recordings from that time no longer have any commercial value. The ones that do (i.e., from the musicians complaining quite loudly) have already paid their creators many times over. In no other business to people still get paid for the work they did 50 years ago.


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  1.  
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    frumiousb, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 11:57pm

    hm.

    I can imagine that if I were an artist I would want to make sure that I got paid during my lifetime for something I created. What would happen if the law said something like "for the lifetime of the artist or for a period of 50 years, whichever lasts longest". That way rights could not pass to a legatee for longer than 50 years from the date of creation.

     

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    Joshua, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 12:14am

    Why do so many people consider their creations to be under their sole discretion? If I create an idea (and that's all copyright ever covers, a concept, something ephemeral) what gives me the right to regulate the use of that idea?

    Copyright is there to provide an incentive to not keep things hidden and private. It's a grant of control so that others can make use of the idea (it does the public no good for the work to be stuck in an attic forever). It is not a right. It's the destruction of others' rights for the purpose of promoting growth.

     

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    johnlil, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 1:57am

    Patents get 20 years. Musicians are already too well off with 50 years.

     

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    James, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 2:12am

    Fair Play For Software Engineers & stuff

    As a software engineer, I would like to be paid too as long as my code resides in a commercial application as long as the application is used (10-50 years...). After all, it's my design, my implementation, my work.

     

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    Dan Hewton, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:03am

    Re: hm.

    agreed

     

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    Matthew, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:19am

    Re: Fair Play For Software Engineers & stuff


    Fair Play For Software Engineers & stuff by James on Dec 8th, 2006 @ 2:12am
    As a software engineer, I would like to be paid too as long as my code resides in a commercial application as long as the application is used (10-50 years...). After all, it's my design, my implementation, my work.

    Yes, and I'd like to be paid for the OC-12 I designed, installed, and maintained as long as it is used, but the fact is that I did not invent fiber, networking, or the hardware to make it work. I know how to manage these things, but I did not create it.

    Program coding, unless you've invented a new form of communication, is not yours to control. But thanks to open innovation, perhaps even copyright, you are given the privilege of learning and utilizing that software. If your work is good enough, people will hire you to do it over and better again and again.

     

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    Matthew, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:23am

    Re: hm.

    Well in some cases "lifetime of the artist" is not very long, and this clause might actually encourage the exceptionally greedy (and we know they exist) to start offing artists (more often?).

    Fifty years is too long. That the BeeGees might still be able to get paid for their "work" is a splash of hot coffee in the face. :shiver: :fear:

    I'd like a number much closer to 10 years if it must exist at all.

     

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    jay, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:51am

    I don't agree...

    If their music is being used for commercial purposes, they should be getting paid. End of story.

     

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    ehrichweiss, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:14am

    Re: I don't agree...

    Define "commercial". The courts define it much differently than the rest of us as it only has to mean that something is traded and does not have to imply that money is part of the picture.

     

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    haywood, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:14am

    I want paid again, now, for the newspapers I delivered as a kid. That was only 40 some years ago, and I'm sure some of the papers are still at work in attics.

     

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    The infamous Joe, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:30am

    The day the music died.

    Maybe each song should have a price limit... after an artist sells a record x many times or makes x amount of money from it directly, it loses it' status as a copyrighted work and becomes public domain. We can all see they're in it for the money (then again, who isn't) so just make it to where they have to keep making songs and touring.

    I dunno, it's early, I hope that all makes sense.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:38am

    Re: Re: hm.

    I agree, 10 years would be a good maximum period. Perhaps it could be even shorter but definately no more than 10 years, if I was a child actor/singer or whatever I would hardly be worried about loosing just now coppyright on something I did when I was 9 years old!

    And about loosing it when I get to 49? I would very much doubt that it would have more than sentimental value to me at that point and I would have done a hell of a lot more in that time period, the same for 10 years period. At this point I would either have a career well on it's way, having done lots in the mean time or I would have quit and decided to go to university instead.

    The same goes for software (a field I am concidering going into) for example how much of a loss to microsoft would it be to finally loose coppyright on wondows 95? or windows 3.1? Some people still use these but Microsoft won't sell you a coppy, if you want one youll just have to hunt it down of people who havn't thrown it out yet. This benifits microsoft how?

    At the very least there should be some sort of abandonware section in coppyright law that says coppyright expires on something after it has ceased to have any commercial value for a certain period of time eg microsoft hasn't sold windows 3.1 for more than 5 years (by a long shot!) so they have now lost coppyright on it.

     

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    Glenn T, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:38am

    extra 20 years was only 1.6%

    I liked the economic report where they calculated the returns on an extra 20 years to be 1.6%. They didn't provide a cost for shortening the period by 20 years, so you have say what, double that or 3%.

    An economic argument should have been made that the cost to society of providing artists with monopoly rights that return such a comparatively piddling proportion of revenue cannot be justified.

    The report should have at least looked at cutting the tail at 10% (say a 30 year reduction in the current term) or 20% (a 40 year reduction in the current term) rather than leaving it at its current ~ 3% cutoff.

     

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    David B, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 5:22am

    Copyright used as forced retirement

    Most of these musicians (and other artist) could care less about the work or what happens to it while they are out partying every night with P Hilton, etc. It's only when their "flash in the pan" is gone and they're broke that they sue everyone (including parents and managers) around them to get money to live off of so they can continue their life of mostly non work.

    Why not call it what it is "a retirement plan" and just require a certain withholding for 401K, etc. (kind of what they do for kid stars). That has been very successful (but could be better), and most of these artist are kids until they are 65 anyway.

    This would allow artist to support their self later in life without lawyers getting rich, plus would allow the copyright to be rolled back to 30 years without starving artist. After all the artist almost makes nothing 50 years later, because someone else usually owns all the important rights anyway.

     

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    Milton Friedman, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 5:33am

    Re:

    You might want to study a little economic theory before you say such things. Property rights are pretty much the foundation of the economic market in just about every country in the world. Without control over property, those who participate in the economy have no incentive to operate efficiently without the potential of reaping profits for their creations.

     

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    mememe, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 5:39am

    Joshua - wrong: you can't copyright an idea

    You can NOT copyright an idea.
    Depending what it is you might be able to patent it.

    For one thing, your work must be fixed in some tangible form to be copyrighted. So throw out your "ephemeral" concept.

    Check this:
    http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#wnp

     

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    DrummerBoy, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 5:56am

    Re: Copyright used as forced retirement

    If you think that musicians don't work, you need to come follow me around for a week. You can pack, unpack, setup, tear down and pack up my drum kit and P.A System. By the end of the week you'll be begging to go back to whatever it is that you do. I think that the artist should get paid for his work anytime that it is used during their lifetime. I do have a problem with Yoko Ono living off of the works of John Lennon. Especially when you consider that she was not even in the picture when he wrote most of his music.

     

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    KB, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 5:56am

    Old people need money too

    As a songwriter and musician, I hope I get paid for what I'm doing now fifty years hence. I may need the money.

     

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    Z32d, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 5:57am

    I like the fair use laws. Musicans don't get to set their own prices. If a company wants to use a musicans work for a tv commerical then they must pay for it, but at a predetermined price. If the company doesnt want to pay to use the song then they can spend the money to pay an artist to write a song specifically for them. Its like the HP tv commericals that used The Cures, Pictures of You, the song was a perfect fit for the HP add but why should HP gain by using The Cures song and not compensate the artist? The answer is they should not.

     

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    Derek c Foley, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 5:57am

    its all about creativity!

    If you create something as a work of art, wether it is a physical object or a virtual object, when you create it under international copyright law it belongs to you as soon as you create it.

    If it is a physical object, obviously selling it as a "one-off" means the artist who spent hours working on it is paid once, but the ownership of "the work" becomes transferred to whoever buys it, and the artist doesnt get any more payments, e.g. copyright doesnt apply.

    With a non-physical and intentional duplicatable item (music, literature, print etc) then it is a different matter entirely.

    Why shouldn't a creative person who spends a lot of time coming up with an idea (or coding) get paid well for his idea over time rather than a large single lump sum payment for his work - e.g. it dilutes the payments over time. A typical musician can get a crap record deal, but then earn 20,000 pounds a year for the next 20 years by royalties from playback on radio etc. This amount is far lower for "one hit" artists, and conceivably is lower than most people's normal job salaries.

    Comparing an artist of any kind is nothing like manual labour e.g. delivering newspapers, operating a machine or answering a phone for sales calls.

    Obviously if you are a programmer/artist/musician and are paid by the hour by an employer, they own the intellectual rights and copyright as they were paying you by the hour while you work on it.

    Similarly, if you are contracted to produce music, software, designs etc for someone as a one off payment, the "contract" says they are paying an agreed fee for the work, in the scope (fair usage) as agreed. If it is then used by other companies to make money later on, then its "out of scope" of the original agreement, unless rights were built into the original contract about who owns the future rights of the work.

    Really what happens to "an intangible creation" is all up to the original creator of the work, if they decide to make it free, but not for companies to freeload off their talents - then they can always say "for non-commercial use" which legally will mean someone should then agree to pay the creator if they want to use the work in a tv ad, or commercial (for profit) website.

    It seems from some of the comments here that a lot of people don't really understand what its like to be creative, and face the possibility of having your hard work as a creative person copied and ripped off by other companies.

    Its not fair - you might have spent weeks on a small web component, and someone else can profit from it by duplicating it without permission. Imagine how you would feel if you worked on something for months and a big multinational company made millions out of it.

    Of course the general and more realistic attitude that all artists have to face now is that not everyone realises that copyright is designed to protect artists rights for payment for their work. Not to mention the difficulties of enforcing law across geographical boundaries. Many artists and programmers expect that if their work goes on the net its "open season" and available to all, which is how most people in the world who are not creative conceive it. Take google images for a start. How many people rip these off without realising they are infringing copyright!

    Although I'm a creative person I have experienced the other side of the fence. Yes I copied video games years ago - why? Because they were damn expensive. When games went from being £5 instead of £30 I stopped.

    All the rubbish about movie pirates funding illegal industries like drug dealers makes me laugh.. what rubbish. People who buy pirate software/movies/music are just sick of paying too much for items - Many companies are way too greedy, e.g. DVDs & CDs, in the uk used to cost £20, now they can be bought for £6 I can only guess that due to falling sales figures (doh!) now they are having to reduce prices to compete with freeloaders and p2p sharing.

    Companies are really dumb if they have not predicted the long term effects of high technology and faster broadband, how many of us techies laugh at the ringtone market concept, its not rocket science to predict its a short term market, think of the ipod, again, who wants to carry around muiltiple devices... so again its a short term market. Portable video devices - eye strain long-term (again no suprises that market is dominated by audio playback only!)

    When you break it down its all about capitalism really - after all - Imagine a world without muiscians, artists, designers and engineers. If nobody got paid royalties - Nobody would bother taking such a career path - unless we lived in an idealistic "star trek" future, with no money, where everyone does what they are best at for the benefit of mankind without money ever changing hands, e.g. "doing it for love"

    Derek c Foley
    (web designer, photographer, artist, and ex musician)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re: hm.

    Problem with this is that not everyone is on th bleding edge of technology. I know many people who bought dvd playrs 10 years after they wer invntd. Thus, whats to stop them from gtting the cheap copy-right free material taking away from the profit of those working hard to create new things - promoting growth.

     

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    YouKnowNothing, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re:

    You're conflating intellectual propery with real, tangible property. Please don't do that. They are two different things.

    If they were the same thing, then the movie/music industry should pay property taxes on all the intellectual property they hold copyrights on.

     

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    David B, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re:

    The possibility of reaping rewards 50 years from now, would be very low on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and in most cases would not be an incentive. I think most artists produce work to fullfill the immediate needs for Love, Esteem and Self-actualization.

    This would mean that lowering the copyright from 50 to 30 years would not decrease the output of creative people.

     

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    Matthew, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 6:43am

    Re: its all about creativity!

    Why "ex musician"?

     

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    Anonymous Musician, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 7:16am

    Why is this a problem?

    If a product has a longer shelf life than the others, why shouldn't the creators be rewarded for it?

    However, as a musician, I'm not in favor of being able to transfer the copyright to another party _after_ death.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 7:20am

    Wow this is a hotbutton topic. Maybe we need intellectual property rights law that covers all forms of intellectual property. Say 25 years for all patents, all writings, all songs. That's a quarter of a lifetime to make money off an idea. So you can't live off from one song or one patent your whole life. Come up with 3 more.

    Granted few people live off from one single idea for any period of time, but this might spark innovation when a company or individual realizes they have only 5-10 more years of ownership and should start thinking up something new now.

     

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    Len, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 7:27am

    idiocy

    so I'm guessing noone here has written a song and just wants free music. I don't think the 7 cents that then get divided half to publishing then half 3.5 cents gets divided among everyone that wrote the song to feed and providefor them and their and their families meanwhile a record has to go gold to make $500k copies and the avg only sells 10k copies I thinkyou should get paid for what you create and there typically ain't no 1.0.2 version of the same song to keep turning over new profit. I've been a tech for years and consistently made more money than most of the guys that worked for simply bc of scale would you like to get rid of scale payment? I wouldn't I've worked my ass off for it. youguys need to learn more about the industry before you try to make a better one learn what pay for play is.....and try to figure out if you want to have to pay for the right to do whatever job you have is simply bc that's the club standard in a town try touring and see haw much it cost to make $400 one night and divide it up 4 or more ways then pay expenses and gas it's ridiculous that people get to evenb comment about something they know nothing about were you allBush appointees?

     

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  28.  
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    Bumbling old fool, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 7:53am

    Re: idiocy

    I have no idea what you just tried to say.

    Did you have a point to get across, or at least a statement?

     

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    notAFront, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 8:09am

    fair play for who (or is it whom?)

    I might feel different about this if it was actually musicians who were getting the benefit. I don't think there are many money-making songs that are still in the hands of the musicians who wrote them or recorded them.

    The recording industry just uses concern for musicians as a front for their own money-grubbing. The recording industry itself is the biggest pirate in the whole IP debate.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 8:11am

    musicians deserve the money

    When an artist paints something they can sell copies of it to make money off of the work repeatedly so why shouldn't musicians get the same right to sell their work repeatedly forever. Work should belong to the musician who wrote it for the rest of their life.

     

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    sceptic, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Copyright used as forced retirement

    If you think that musicians don't work, you need to come follow me around for a week. You can pack, unpack, setup, tear down and pack up my drum kit and P.A System. By the end of the week you'll be begging to go back to whatever it is that you do.

    Ummm... what you are describing here is earning money through an actual performance, care to show how that relates to question of copyright?

     

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    The record companies are the real issue, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 8:30am

    Anyone bitching about the money you get for club gigs is an idiot. It is a completely unrelated issue. If you get $400 for a club gig its because you being at the club are estimated to make the club $1000 more than if they just played freaking "records", and $400 more than if they brought in a band that will play for $250.

    The "Intellectual Property" tag on music is mostly bull. Music is ART, ART is supposed to be available to the people. If it is “Intellectual Property” it should lose the freedoms it is given and treated like any other product and be issued patents. Now don't get me wrong musicians need to get paid, first step should be legal action on the record companies that basically extort bands into either playing bars forever or signing away 80% of the money for the first few releases. It is a restrictive system that perhaps technology can overcome better than attempting to work in the current system.

    After you get the money spread around much more evenly 10year public lic rights should be more than fair. This would actually accomplish pushing artists to make more music to keep the checks rolling in.

    Commercially however they rights of the recording company, artists and writers should be protected forever. Why should Coke get to use a Beatles song to help make money for free or a $250mil budget move get a free sound track?

    Nothing in this issue is going to help the small struggling artists that are grinding the road. Your answer is to work smarter not harder.

     

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    sceptic, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 8:35am

    Re: musicians deserve the money

    When an artist paints something they can sell copies of it to make money off of the work repeatedly so why shouldn't musicians get the same right to sell their work repeatedly forever. Work should belong to the musician who wrote it for the rest of their life.

    You must have fallen off a branch... Would you like to point out where it says that a painter has a perpetual right to his work? Quite a few painters and their families would be interested in that one. And you manage to contradict yourself, if the musicians can have the rights to the music "for the rest of their life" then what happens after that?

    For the guy that said "there is no version 1.0.2 of a song" I would like to know how you manage to be around music and not notice works and re-works of music by the original artist as well as many other ones after them.

    For all you people crying how "no one here understands music industry" and that you "need" perpetual copyright protection, how about you take that to its logical conclusion. Look at your music and then compare to all the music has come before, if you manage to have no part of your music resemble someone else's piece, then you are either playing Acid Jazz or are in denial. Of course each musician would LOVE to think their music is like nothing else, but most of the time its just repackaged/softened/hardened/mixed/etc of what's been out there. Make everything copyright protected for eternity, and you won't be able to make an air-guitar move without a cease-and-desist order. Get over yourself, 50 years is more generous than most other inventors have and don't you dare say that music is harder to create than say, an x-ray laser.

     

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    David B, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 8:41am

    Re: idiocy

    I'm not asking for free music or saying artist shouldn't be paid (that's another topic). At issue is the term of the copyright. Prior to 1976 copyrights only lasted 56 years. Why should a Copyright last so much longer then a Patent?

    Should someone that puts 5 notes together be able to collect because of accidental use 75 years later, when the a drug company that creates a cure for AIDS (at a cost of millions of $) can only recover cost for 20 years?

    In 1790 when the US Copyright Act was created only a few books would be sold a year and it would take a lifetime to acquire wealth from a copyright and there wasn't CD's, movies, to even consider. Now however, an artist can reach the world in minutes and music can be turned into ringtones, movies, tv shows, etc, further expanding their profitability quickly.

    By decreasing the length of the copyright, artist would still receive most of their reward near the time the work is created, plus it would remove the extended, costly, (mostly) taxpayer paid legal battles 40 years later that are created when "this song, sounds like this song". Also by setting up a withholding plan on payments received (via 401K, etc) it would help provide for artist longer after most of their work had no commercial use.

    Also it was Sonny Bono (R-Cal) that helped extend (by voice vote, i.e. no record of who voted) the copyright term by 20 years , Ashcroft defended it, so it seems Bush appointees would more likely favor longer copyrights terms then shorter.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 9:02am

    Some Fakery here

    Not all the signatures are real. Lawrence Lessig points out that "at least some of these artists are apparently dead (e.g. Lonnie Donegan, died 4th November 2002; Freddie Garrity, died 20th May 2006)."

    If artists can sign pettiions after they are dead, who knows what they can do. Maybe copyright extensions long after the artist's death isn't such a bad idea ;)

     

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    AMP, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re:Malow?

    "very low on Maslow's hierarchy of needs" Well, maybe maybe not. For the super star bands probably. They have made enough $ to last 10 lifetimes and have met all needs to a large extent. However, most musicians (or any artist for that matter) are not super stars. Most musicians struggle. So the ability to earn money continually off of their work would go striaght to Basic survival, which I think is the first need right? But I may be miss-understanding Maslow, I only took Psych 101.
    Also, wouldn't lowering the number of years on copyright INCREASE the amount of creative work? If you are going to be paid lees for your work, it would satnd to reason that you are going to have to create more if you want to keep making money....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 9:28am

    to #6, you may not have created fiber, or the networking protocools, however you created a system to use those items.

    as a control engineer, i didn't invent pi regulators or clamping functions. however i create a specific system of how to automate a process. no one else came up with that idea. no one else came up with your network scheme.

    i should get paid for 50 years (or for as long as the system is in place, whichever is longer of course) because i need that money to come up with new controllers.

    on a side note: how many artists claiming copyrights have only one hit? because isn't the whole point of CR is for those artists to create MORE music? not just a OHW?

     

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    AMP, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 9:34am

    Re:

    mmmmm, pi

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 10:16am

    I'm a doctor, and I have saved literally hundreds of patients in the ER. A good number of which would not have been saved at that time with any other doctor in the hospital. Since these patients are now making money from my unique skills in saving them. Yet I was paid my standard salary for this work. I feel I should get a percentage of the people's incomes for the rest of their lives. I want those checks to come in for the rest of my life so I can sit around and do nothing. Don't tell me I haven't worked harder than many artists on this petition have. I also didn't blow all my money on women and drugs and want a couple of days of labor twenty years ago to support me forever.

     

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    flamsmark (profile), Dec 8th, 2006 @ 10:36am

    Copyright

    Actually, copyrights protect only non-ephemeral things, and does not include ideas. For copyright to cover a creation it must be recorded in a tangible form. So, you can't just hum a tune and have it copyrighted. You'd have to write down the score to it.

    Thus, the aim or copyright is to protect creations that people have worked to create.

    I'm not commenting on the need, justification, extension or otherwise of copyrights, I'm just correcting that misconception.

     

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  41.  
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    Dave, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 11:05am

    Musician

    I've sort of been on both sides of this as a musician. Instinctually I like to make sure that musicians get paid, but then I woke up to current reality.

    The old "RIAA-Music Industry" business model, trying to regulate intellectual property and dole out minimal amounts of money to artists, can't operate in this file-sharing world. And the only reason they're fighting this is to preserve themselves, not for the musicians' sake.

    So from my perspective, I need to find other ways to make money as a musician that have nothing to do with the outmoded publishing and royalty structures.

    Essentially, I opt out of the current system. And that's not necessarily a bad thing; I wouldn't have made money with the old model anyway. I think it's possible for regular musicians to make money this way, whereas they don't under the old model. Only the stars at the top of the food chain make any real money the old way.

     

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  42.  
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    David B, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:Malow?

    I agree that most artist struggle, what I meant with the Maslow comment was that the possibility of filling a need (even a Basic need) 70 years after ones death isn't much of a motivator. Later fulfillment of higher needs might be a motivator, but those are not really affected by CR.

    I do agree however that decreasing the number of years on a CR might actually increase the amount of work. This doesn't mean that it would increase the quality however, but neither does raising the CR. Quality doesn't seem to correlate to compensation, short or long term.

    Jimmy Buffett did say that Come Monday paid the bills so he could focus on his music (or something like that), but that effect would have happened whether the CR was 10 or 50 years long.

     

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  43.  
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    AMP, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:Maslow?

    "possibility of filling a need (even a Basic need) 70 years after ones death isn't much of a motivator" Ah, gottcha. Agreed.

    "This doesn't mean that it would increase the quality however" True. Quality would be up to the market? Theoretically, if quality is poor, the market will not adopt it thus forcing the artist to work harder to produce better quality product or move on to something else. Unfortunately, that doesn't always seem to be the case.

    "Jimmy Buffett did say that Come Monday paid the bills so he could focus on his music (or something like that), " I guess this would be the ideal situation right? To release a product that the market (or at least a segment of the market) views as high quality and worth purchasing. This gives the artist the opportunity to focus solely on their work thereby increasing the quality of work due to less distractions.

    Again, I think this applies more to the typical artist as opposed to the mega super stars

     

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  44.  
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    The infamous Joe, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 11:40am

    Re: Musician

    That's right, more artists need to remember that without the RIAA there would still be musicians, but without musicians, there'd be no RIAA... so why, in this file-sharing, youtube, myspace world are musicians content with handing over so much money that THEY earned to a group of businessmen and lawyers who do nothing? Musicans have all the power, yet they hand it all over? I don't get it.

    I have all the musical talent god gave a three-legged giraffe, so I can't see it from your point of view, but I'd love some insight.. chances are I'm missing somethig.

     

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  45.  
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    Paul, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 11:40am

    more than 10 years

    50 is way too long but I think 10 is a bit short. There are TONS of albums from 10 years ago that still sell well and still get airtime on the radio.

     

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  46.  
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    David B, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 12:02pm

    50 is way too long but I think 10 is a bit short. There are TONS of albums from 10 years ago that still sell well and still get airtime on the radio.

    I agree that 10 is too short, my point was that most likely 10 years after "Come Monday" Jimmy knew he was going to keep making music regardless of CR or the funds that were coming in from "Come Monday", so at that point it wasn't a motivator at all.

    Really I don't know why CR should be different then a patent which I think is 20 years.

    I'm I right in thinking that a CR is good for 70 after the creator dies?

     

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  47.  
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    Dave, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Musician

    Joe,
    Your question is a fair one. It seems to me that there are many reasons, and they're largely the same as the reasons why people don't become self-employed.

    Not everyone is good at running a business as well as participating in one. It's a totally different set of skills. In addition, people who are creative at something may have zero creativity in actually selling their wares.

    It goes to the top, too. I can think of many examples where famous people were completely screwed by their companies, associates, and management. You feel bad that they're taken advantage of, but you also see that they often willingly don't want to hear about the business-side of things, so of course they often get nailed.

    Also, many people feel more comfortable being under the protection of a large entity, such as a corporation or what-have-you; when you're running the show, you're all alone. But whenever you submit to that large entity, you buy into the advantages, but also the many ways they can screw you.

    Not to sound anti-corporate at all. :)

     

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  48.  
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    The infamous Joe, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Musician

    Hm, I think I see now, but, that being the case, why haven't musicians figured out what so many other workers have? Just start a group (aka a Union) and protect yourself, safety in numbers style? It's safe to reason that if several musicians grouped together, at least a few of them would be up to the challenge of dealing with the business side.. even if it turns out form an entity much like the RIAA, I'd rather get ripped off by the people actually doing something, than a bunch of lawyers throwing lawsuit after lawsuit at old ladies and the like.

    At the very least, they could negitoiate a better chunk of record sales for themselves, I'd think.

    But, what do I know?

     

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  49.  
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    sceptic, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Musician

    Hm, I think I see now, but, that being the case, why haven't musicians figured out what so many other workers have?

    Because without RIAA, more musicians will make out very well for themselves than now, but even fewer will be at the "stardom" level everyone gotten used to over 50 years. With record companies in control and their spin-machines working over time, you can create an idol out of an average singer/group. Obviously, a group of musicians by themselves might not ever have a clout like that without becoming the detested record companies themselves.

    So my guess is that a lot of musicians rather lose out some for the supposed security of record companies and a chance to be promoted to be superstars, rather than take the realistic approach where more of them gain.

     

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  50.  
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    Liberty Dave, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 1:10pm

    What Joshua?

    I have to vehemently disagree with you Joshua and others that want to put some timestamp on how long someone gets to benefit from their idea(s), creations, etc.

    The reason a lot of people come up with great things is for many reasons. Some do it to benefit society and they don't want payment. That's very honorable.

    Some people want to be paid for their creations, and that's fine, too.

    If you create something, say a picture, does anyone have the right to come up to you and say "You're only going to be allowed to get $100 for your picture. We don't want you being selfish or anything."? Even if the picture you painted becomes famous, everyone wants a copy, and it took you weeks, months, or years to finish and perfect? Because that's basically what you all are saying, that there should be some limit forced upon people as to what they're allowed to earn. And that's socialism, and that's ridiculous, unethical, and wrong.

    Let the market decide folks, it's always works out.

    If someone says "You can't use my song/art/creation for anything unless you pay me $XXXX per use." and no one wants to pay them for using their creation, they won't make any money and they'll have to adjust their price(s) accordingly, or they won't, and whoever wants to use their material will have to go elsewhere. Everyone wins that way, you vote with your dollars. The only people that don't win are those that want to force the creator to give it to them for what THEY feel it's worth, or just steal from the creator outright for whatever reason you come up with, or those that feel as though there should be some omnipotent force (government) that lays out rules for what people should get paid for their work.

    One way uses freedom, one way uses force.

    I say using force is evil, using freedom is not.

    The creator of something should also have the right to leave their material to someone else legally, so someone else can benefit from it however they see fit. If that person who gets the creation after the death of the original artist wants to charge huge amounts of money for the creation, then let them. If it's not valuable to others at that price they won't buy it, and the person will have to adjust their price if they want to sell it. No force is involved other than the natrual force of the market telling that person "Your product/service isn't worth what you're asking, so adjust for it."

    I'm not sure why it bothers people so much when others want to benefit from their creations, or creations that have been passed down to them by someone else.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    Re: musicians deserve the money

    'Cause the artist didn't sign a contract giving rights and ownership to a pimp?

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 1:21pm

    Re:

    "I'm a doctor, and I have saved literally hundreds of patients in the ER. A good number of which would not have been saved at that time with any other doctor in the hospital. Since these patients are now making money from my unique skills in saving them. Yet I was paid my standard salary for this work. I feel I should get a percentage of the people's incomes for the rest of their lives. I want those checks to come in for the rest of my life so I can sit around and do nothing. Don't tell me I haven't worked harder than many artists on this petition have. I also didn't blow all my money on women and drugs and want a couple of days of labor twenty years ago to support me forever."

    If this were a truly free market you COULD ask for what you're asking (yes, I know you're being sarcastic).

    You could offer your services to the marketplace and make it known that for your services you expect a percentage of a patient's income for the rest of their lives if you save their life.

    Of course if you do this no hospital would hire you, because there would be other doctors out in the marketplace competing with you that don't have that stipulation for their services.

    Plus most states would have laws that don't allow doctors to ask for such things I'm sure, so you would never even have that option as society would be against it.

    And I fully support states having the ability to make laws such as this, which is something supported by the constitution of U.S.A.

     

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  53.  
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    Liberty Dave, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 1:38pm

    Who determines value?

    The simple fact is that for most of the content that was created 50 years ago, they've already gotten all the value out of it that they could. Most recordings from that time no longer have any commercial value.

    Who says they've already gotten value from it? You? Me?

    No, the true measure of value for any product/service/creation is what the market will pay for that creation.

    If I create a machine that does something, and I rent out that machine, and it's able to run for 100 years, are you saying that I should only benefit from that for 10 years...20 years...or some other number simply because you don't like it that I can keep making money off this machine for that long?

    My point is it's none of your business how much money I make off my machine...or a song I write. That's between me and whoever else finds my creation valuable enough to pay something for it. I can make my price whatever I want, too, but if no one is willing to pay that price for the creation...guess what? I won't make any money off of it!

    So just let the voluntary exchange between free people to take place and all of this will take care of itself.

    If someone demands payment for something they created, I don't care WHEN they created it, it's a good like any other, then let them. If no one finds it valuable enough to them to pay for it the creator will not make any money.

    It's simple as that. Everyone wins.

     

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  54.  
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    the 2nd Computer, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 1:49pm

    try creating something new yourself...somtime

    musicians should just stop recording their creative work, they should only give live performances of their creative work and bar any recording devices at their live shows...this will force all those who like to copy or mashup music to finally bite the bullet, and learn how to play and instrument(s), and see how hard it is to have a creative idea....you might be surprise at how hard it can be to create something new.

     

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  55.  
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    David B, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re:

    And I fully support states having the ability to make laws such as this, which is something supported by the constitution of U.S.A.

    They can also have laws that say CR's only last 20-30 years that would be supported by the Constitution as well.

    I think the Dr. is asking why should there be law preventing him from requiring a life time commitment for his services (or someone that patents an invention) but a life plus 70 year CR to works of art. Is it that everything else is really important and the world should have access to it after 20 years, but art really doesn't matter, so who cares? I would hope not! I would think that "My Sharona" is at least as important as a pacemaker.

     

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  56.  
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    David B, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Who determines value?

    If I create a machine that does something, and I rent out that machine, and it's able to run for 100 years, are you saying that I should only benefit from that for 10 years...20 years...or some other number simply because you don't like it that I can keep making money off this machine for that long?

    Like it or not when your patent runs out I can copy your machine and sell one just like it (with a different trademark). So most likely you still could sell your machine in 100 years, but so could I. This is what drives companies to make better machines or go out of business.

     

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  57.  
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    AMP, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 2:29pm

    Re: try creating something new yourself...somtime

    Huh? If there were no record of music, how would anybody know that they liked a band enough to pay for a ticket to the live performance? No recordings would essentially drive the artist out of business. Are you going to pay $50 for a concert ticket on the hopes that the concert you are about to see is worth $50, or that you will even like the style of music that they are playing. The recording of music is essential to driving revenue from live performances, merchandising etc.

    Secondly, I don't think anybody is saying that the creative process is easy. Some people can do it, some people can't. What does that have to do with anything? This entire line of reasoning makes no sense.

     

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  58.  
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    sceptic, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 2:33pm

    Re: try creating something new yourself...somtime

    musicians should just stop recording their creative work, they should only give live performances of their creative work and bar any recording devices at their live shows...this will force all those who like to copy or mashup music to finally bite the bullet, and learn how to play and instrument(s), and see how hard it is to have a creative idea....you might be surprise at how hard it can be to create something new.

    Precisely what I said before, except that you are not getting the point. Most of the work out there is NOT purely original and if there was a perpetual right to it like some want, and the right was pursued as diligently as patents, then just about all new music would disappear. For sure, just about any variation of drums in a rock song would be borrowing from someone else, and should not be allowed to be used, so who gains? The idea of expiration of exclusive right to a creation is that it will eventually allow someone else to use and improve it in the way another individual could not fathom.

    It pains to see that people defending musicians still fail to understand that musicians have it by far easier than inventors that have to patent their creations. You want equality with everyone else? Ok, 20 years copyright for you and you first have to prove that it is actually something worth of a copyright. Don't cry that it's not fair, you wanted equality. And you can't tell me that Beatles songs once released into public domain would have the same value when sang by a garage band as when sang by Beatles themselves. The value of the original song by Beatles is that people want to hear THEM, not a wannabe impersonator.

     

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  59.  
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    AMP, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Who determines value?

    Somewhere Ann Rynd is smiling

     

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  60.  
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    trinsic, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Fair Play For Software Engineers & stuff

    As a software engineer, I would like to be paid too as long as my code resides in a commercial application as long as the application is used (10-50 years...). After all, it's my design, my implementation, my work.

    Thats would be all good and fine if you lived on a planet by yourself, the fact is you live with other people. The work you do helps people and money is a byproduct of that. The people decide weather or not you get compensated for your work, any time you want to control if and when you get paid you are abusing your position. People pick up on that and will no longer value your work. Too many people have mis-placed ideas of their value. Its not what you get from what you do, its what you do for other people and the world decides how to help you in return, dont try to take that power away from the public, it just bad karma on your part for doing so.

     

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  61.  
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    fishbane, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:10pm

    ...

    In no other business to people still get paid for the work they did 50 years ago.

    Investment?

     

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  62.  
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    The infamous Joe, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:18pm

    Hands Down

    I dunno, sceptic, I'd rather hear The Dan Band sing Total Eclipse of the Heart than Bonnie Tyler.. hands down.

    But, I suppose that's beside the point.

    The point is, I assume from the original story, that musicians and the like are holding on with (sometimes) cold, dead fingers to the 'rights' to their 'intellectual property' for decades past creation-- presumably because they feel that they can still make money off of it. Which is all fine and good, I suppose (Though whoever said musicians should stop recording would quickly find out that in the big scheme of things, music is useless and musicians should be thankful that the world is so bass akwards that they get paid at all, in my *opinion*) but I don't quite understand why it lasts past their own life... presumably, after they die, someone who had no hand in the entire creativity process (Though, with UK copyright laws, creativity is not a factor, I think) will start getting paid.

    In summary, British artists are in an uproar because someone wants to reduce the length of time that said artists can make money on their work after said artist is dead. You can't take it with you, Mr. McCartney, quit your bellyaching.

     

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  63.  
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    Anon, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Fair Play For Software Engineers & stuff

    Karma? What you do for other people? What the FU*K are you talking about. Maybe you should move to Cuba trinsic.

     

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  64.  
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    sceptic, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:39pm

    Re: ... by fishbane

    In no other business to people still get paid for the work they did 50 years ago.

    Investment?


    Oh yeah? So the companies you invested in just do nothing?

     

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  65.  
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    Reed, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:42pm

    Lets take it a step further!

    Since everyone is so keen on protecting their intellectual property lets examine where they got the idea first. I think everyone should make payments to their sources of inspiration! Thats right, if you were influenced by thoughts and ideas you "borrowed" shouldn't you pay residuals to that source?

    Then we can allow corporations to buy up all the great ideas ever thought of and run around and sue people whenever their creations show inspiration from something else.

    Every great musician/artist was inspired by someone/idea/concept, shouldn't they pay for that privilege?

     

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  66.  
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    David B, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Lets take it a step further!

    What about the person that invented the note, the cord, the guitar, shouldn't they (or their family) control who can use their creative process?

     

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  67.  
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    DL, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 9:53pm

    Re: try creating something new yourself...somtime

    ...Which is why no one does...

     

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  68.  
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    Joshua, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 11:32pm

    How is copyright anything but a monopoly on an idea? If you come up with a phrase, song lyric, or algorithm, how is it at all 'fair', reasonable, or valid to say that no one is allowed to ever again use that idea?

    A painting, photograph, song recording, algorithm, or piece of text is just an idea given a reproducible and transferable form. Like I said before, copyright is an incentive to get people to not keep these ideas to themselves. The fact that you are required to make a record of the idea is not proof that copyright is not about ideas. It is proof that others have to be able to use and copy that idea (I can't see the picture in your head, you have to put it to some external medium).

    I simply don't care about the people who base their business model on control of ideas aided by an artificial legal construct. So you aren't going to be paid forever (or at least a long long time) for something you did? I don't care. The most famous art in the world was done with the knowledge that the artist would only make money once (the Sistine Chapel or the Last Supper for instance). Why should anyone expect to be given privileges that have been prooven not necessary (the frescoes were painted without copyright)?

    I also don't feel for the people who whine about creativity being hard to do. So what? If it was that hard then less people would be doing it and complaining about copyrights. It is not so hard that only the brightest and best can succeed at it, it does not require paying vast amounts of money to be able to do it. Stop whining that you will have to be paid but once for a single act of "creativity".

    Turing didn't try to keep people from making computers, Pasteur didn't hoard the process for keeping milk from spoiling, and Newton and Leibniz didn't demand money from people using calculus. For those that believe in eternal copyright, how *dare* you use a computer, drink milk, or learn advanced math without paying the families of their "creative" originators? These people were not intellectually selfish. They were not in it just for the money they did it to create something meaningful. You sully their memory by demanding ongoing payment for what 'good' you do.

     

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  69.  
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    Dave, Dec 9th, 2006 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Musician

    Joe,
    "what sceptic said", and I'll add that Musician's Unions do exist, and they have all those very good intentions. However, in my town really the only people that benefit are classical musicians, so I let my membership lapse years ago. Purely wasted money on my part! A very formally organized group like a symphony can glean real benefit from a union. But most musicians aren't in that sort of group. Ironically, I play a fair amount of classical music these days.

    Different musicians have extremely different needs, so having a union that meets these needs is not trivial. It also seems to me that musicians (and other creative people) are notoriously difficult to organize. If you have, say, people that have some particular factory-type job, they might not be too hard to organize. But with musicians, you have multiple types of groups, tons of types of music, not much in common, so it would be like herding cats.

    Lastly, if you're a starving musician trying for a gig in a club, try telling the owner that you demand union scale. At this point the owner says, yeah right, and he'll do a certain pantomime with his hand going back and forth, after which he either says "I've got bands that will play for $30" or "I'll just play CD's".

     

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  70.  
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    Stevie b, Dec 21st, 2006 @ 2:09am

    music is air pollution - can i copyright peace & q

    I am a music maker. I have produced cd's. I want everyone to listen to my work. I cannot stop people copying my work because it is in the digital medium.
    I have a day job & that's what i do for a living. Copyright was something invented in an age when a recording was pressed into a form of tangible goods and an interesting curiosity.
    Now digital music is ten a penny and all the old stars with their beverly hills mansions want us to keep them in clover.
    Stuff 'em.
    I believe the only recordings that should have "copyright control" are those of live performances.
    That is "work" and if you didn't buy a ticket to see that performance then you ought to pay.

     

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