Copyright Is Not A Welfare System For Musicians

from the please-explain dept

As the battle over copyright term extension is still going on in the UK, the Register has an interview with a former general manager of Motown, talking about how those in favor of extending the length of performance rights screwed up because they had successful musicians like Cliff Richard as the figurehead for the movement, leading people to question why a successful musician needs any more money. Instead, he points out that they should have focused on the studio musicians or less well known players where "500 quid a year to them that's a significant amount of money." Of course, that bases the entire argument on the idea that copyright is some sort of welfare program for content creators. It's not. It's very clearly laid out purpose is simply to put in place the incentives for creation of new content. The content that was created 50 years ago does not need any more incentive to be created. Yes, additional money to these musicians probably would be nice for them, but copyright isn't designed as a system to support musicians. They did this work 50 years ago. They got paid then, and they've been paid for it for 50 years, as the law stated. It was enough incentive for them back then -- and it's one of the few jobs in the world where you get paid for work you did 50 years ago. If we want to create a welfare system for musicians, that's a different discussion -- but don't try to hide a welfare system in copyright.


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  1.  
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    fuzzix, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 5:42am

    A modest proposal...

    We should simply deny the ability for those under the age of, say, 40 to record music. After 50 years they'll likely be dead so the issue of royalties will no longer be relevant. We'll also be spared the caterwauling of these talentless, teenage starlets whe infest music like a bad case of worms ;-)

     

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    dorpus, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 5:52am

    Is Copyright a welfare system for the IT industry?

    Who depends on copyrights for a living? The software industry.

    Who depends on government contracts for a living, despite posturing to the contrary? The software industry.

    The same "free market" crowd that likes to bash the music industry is curiously silent on software piracy.

     

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    Ccharlie potataoes, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:01am

    the industry

    The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side...HUNTER S. THOMPSON

     

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    Wizard Prang, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:14am

    Which part of "The software Industry" would that b

    I'm a programmer. Have been for 21 years.

    Royalties received to date: $0.

     

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    Rob, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:16am

    Copyright

    Copyrights for musicians are not in existence to be an incentive for new content. People get paid for work they did 50 years ago because their work is still directly earning money. It's not designed as support for musicians. When the music stops selling, they shouldn't be paid. What's the problem?

    Not that the record labels (RIP) are going to really pay them anyway.

     

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    comboman, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:18am

    Re: Is Copyright a welfare system for the IT indus

    Do you hear anyone in the IT industry crying for copyright extensions? 50 year old computer code is absolutely worthless except for historical interest. Hell, even 15 year old programs are pretty much worthless (use Windows 3.1 much lately?). The IT industry doesn't need or ask for copyright extensions, so why should the music/movie/publishing industry get them? Just because their work is still in demand 50 years later, doesn't mean that the copyright protection hasn't already fulfilled its purpose. If you can't generate a profit on your creative work in 50 years, you need to get into another line of work.

     

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    misanthropic humanist, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:26am

    sometimes enough is enough

    That's true Dorpus.

    That's because copyright works well as a tool for protecting software.

    You can rewrite software. You can look at some source code, see how a person solved a problem, understand it and write it another way, or in another language.

    Likewise with classical text. There are many books on gardening. Different authors bring their own perspectives to the same knowledge. There are many crime novels that depict largely similar stories, but they have different twists and characters.

    Only the music business displays the audacious greed to try and copyright the abstract essence of a work, to call a reinterpretation of a theme a "cover version" and then try to extract money from new performers or arrangers.

    Copyright would work for software if its terms were 5 years. Most software is obsolete after that time. So, for programmers, copyright terms are already more than sufficient, even generous, for their intended purpose.

    The reason the music and film publishers are so vocal is because they think they are "special". Reasonable copyright periods are not good enough for them. They are whining communists, parasites and freeloaders who think they should be entitled to a lifetime of welfare for penning a melody that is of dubious utility to society anyway. The only reason they get away with it is that they have succeeded in hoodwinking society into thinking they deserve special treatment, they are spoiled children who have already been allowed to get away with too much.

    So, as you say, there is no essential difference between the application of copyright to software and music, but there is a world of difference between the attitudes of the producers. Perhaps the software industry is "curiously silent " because it is satisfied * with the law.


    * http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=satisfied

    The above term has largely fallen out of use in Western society. Hard though it may be for our modern culture to understand there is a state of mind in which a person seeks no more gratification, they have had "enough of something"

     

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    Wolfger, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:27am

    Re: Is Copyright a welfare system for the IT indus

    Dorpus, this has got to be one of the most idiotic comments you've made. This article is about extending copyright beyond 50 years. Software companies wouldn't care if copyright died after *5* years. Software is not long lived. There is a constant push to develop something new, something better, something shinier.

    ...something with more content protection to try to save the failing music and movie industries from their own incompetence.

     

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    Kevin, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:32am

    music copyright

    It isn't just about money. it's about control.

    You write some music when you're twenty, lots of people like it, and you make a few bucks. Great. Now you're fifty and your song is in a Toyota commercial and nobody asked you. Is it too much to ask that you retain control over how it's used?

     

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    Sanguine Dream, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:38am

    Re: Is Copyright a welfare system for the IT indus

    I don't think the individual programmers are the issue there. The problem is with the owners of those software companies (you know the ones that just sit in board meetings and don't do any actual coding) that want to own all the rights to the code that their employees come up with.

    But I will give this situation a hell of a lot more respect than the RIAA bull jive going on in the States. At least in the UK its the muscians (you know, the actual makers of the music) fighting for something. Meanwhile in the States you have some big suit exec that wants to control the consumer's access to music in every way in order to "protect the artists".

    And I have to ask. If the whole copyright thing is such a big deal and artists are suffering such "significant losses", "irreparable damages", and (my favorite) "lost revenues" then why is it that only the record labels are complaining about file sharing for the most part.? It would actually make sense if it were the musicians complaining about it like Metallica was a few years ago.

     

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    Nick, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:44am

    For the musicians...

    I have no problem with the musicians getting money for their old work - as the Motown guy said, most barely scrape a living. The problem is that very few musicians retain control of their work within the existing period, after very few it's almost all in the hands of the greedy RIAA massive corporates.

    I'd support this IF copyright reverted to the musician after 50 years, and they could then negotiarte payment for any future use...

     

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    EdB, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:51am

    Re: music copyright

    Yes.

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:53am

    Rob is right, Mike is wrong

    Mike, you've written several articles on this issue, and I have to once again respectfully disagree with you adamantly.

    I'm not sure what copyright law says exactly, but what it should say is something along the lines of this: "If you create something that people want, whether they want it now, 50 years from now, or 1,000 years from now, you have a right to be paid for your work."

    Since when does the passage of time suddenly make it where you no longer should be allowed to get paid for something you created? And if there is law that supports that philosophy, then I adamantly disagree with that, too. It needs to be changed.

    Why do you people care so much if someone makes money on something THEY CREATED?!? It's not hurting anyone, other than an entity (person or company) that wants to use that music for free, and gets annoyed when the creator of that something comes along and says "Hey, I created that, I own license to it, you can't use it without compensating me in some way that we both agree with". If the entity that wants to use the music/product/service does't want to pay for it, then fine, don't use it! Or create a mutually agreeable contract with the entity that created it.

    And why are people comparing software to music? That ridiculous. Those are two different things, but it's still up to the market (consumers) to decide how software is handled. If you create software and 50 years later people still want to buy it, fine. If they don't because they want something "better", or "different", then you can't make any money on the software you wrote 50 years ago.

    It boils down to this: ANY product (music, software, apples, shoes, ceiling fans, etc) has a value to some people. If they wish to exchange something of value with the owner of that product, no matter what year it is, or when that product was created, then so be it. If they wish to use something for free simply because X number of years have passed...then too bad! You dont have the right to have something for free just because time has passed.

     

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    Sanguine Dream, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:01am

    They kinda have a point but...

    did the architech that designed the Golden Gate Bridge get paid for it 50 years after it was built?

    And I'd really like to know why people in the music industry think they are so special. A guy can go to a forigen country, put his life on the line in war, make less money from his retirement than some spoiled brat that grows up to be a corporate exec, and still not be a riled up as the music industry. The displacement of wealth is seriously jacked up when a person can work in an assembly plant for 30 years but barely be able to afford medication and a 50 year old exec that has barely done any real labor in his whole life can settle the national debt in a less than a decade from his "pocket change".

     

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    TheDock22, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:03am

    Re: For the musicians...

    That's a great idea Nick! Let the rights to the music got to the actual musician.

    Beside, I think music should be allowed to be copyrighted passed 50 years if the contract is renewed. I mean, just because you sang the song 50 years ago doesn't mean you shouldn't get paid when people try to you your songs.

    Also, if artists are forced to pay royalties on music maybe those crappy remix songs (Every step you take, as long as it's off a cliff Puffy, although he might have paid royalties) might start going away and people will be ORIGINAL about their songs again.

     

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    misanthropic humanist, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:07am

    Re: Rob is right, Mike is wrong

    Liberty Dave, I'm afraid it is you who are in error.

    Since when does the passage of time suddenly make it where you no longer should be allowed to get paid for something you created?

    Since you never had that right in the first place. Nobody is going to dis-"allow" you from trying to make money on your creation. They are just not going to issue you with a state granted limited right to coerce others by force of law to pay you.

    Why do you people care so much if someone makes money on something THEY CREATED?!? It's not hurting anyone

    Actually beyond a point it is. If the terms of copyright are too long it's hurting society by impeding progress, which is the antithesis of the original purpose of copyright.

    Your faux moralising leaves a bad taste in my mouth because I speak as a creative person who has published works on which I've made money and collected royalities. I still make money this way. So this is my considered and informed opinion. I dare say I'm one of the few people who have an opinion on this subject that is qualified to make it. So, go away and research what copyright actually *IS* before moralising on the supposed rights of those who are creative, I don't need you to speak for me.

     

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    Matthew, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:11am

    Re: sometimes enough is enough by misanthropic hum

    Well done, sir. Well done.

     

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    Rob, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:19am

    Copyright debate

    The reason this all started is because the record labels got greedy and want to be paid 50 times for the same sale.
    It's pretty sad when being paid for your work makes you special.

    Most music is not financially successful, very few songs make it past 5 months, let alone 50 years. So if someone writes something that people still want to buy 50 years later, they should be paid. The musicians get pennies for a song. Is that ok?

     

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    Enrico Suarve, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:25am

    Re: Rob is right, Mike is wrong

    It boils down to this: ANY product (music, software, apples, shoes, ceiling fans, etc) has a value to some people. If they wish to exchange something of value with the owner of that product, no matter what year it is, or when that product was created, then so be it. If they wish to use something for free simply because X number of years have passed...then too bad! You dont have the right to have something for free just because time has passed.

    I assume from this you mean in whole and in part?

    i.e. that 50 years from now I can't take part of your work and reuse it in another manner without paying you

    sounds fair

    I'm typing this on a keyboard that I bought from Logitech, it uses infrared technology, neither of which are new ideas, it also utilises PCBs etc

    So by your logic to buy a simple keyboard the company who sell it should be remunerating everyone back to the days of Ben Franklin and co (it does after all use that electrickery stuff). If I can find a descendant of the Arab who came up with the alphabet we use I guess I should probably remunerate him too

    Sheeeet that's gonna be expensive pa

    Get over yourself

    I've got plenty of mates who are musicians and yeah if someone said they could still be earning off a tune in retirement that they wrote when they were kids, they'd probably say yes (you'd have to be pretty stupid to turn down free money) but I don't think even they could justify earning forever (even the ones with egos bigger than my house)

     

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    KB, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:25am

    The reason why it IS an incentive to create new works, is because of the monopoly the creator gets on his/her creations.

    I'm for extending copyright duration to infinity.

    You don't own a person's creative works. The creator of those works does. Get over it.

     

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    comboman, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:34am

    Re: Rob is right, Mike is wrong

    "If you create something that people want, whether they want it now, 50 years from now, or 1,000 years from now, you have a right to be paid for your work."

    Do you even understand what you are suggesting? Who is going to be collecting the royalties in 1000 years? Do you think that Mozart's great-great-great-grandson deserves a royalty check every time a symphony performs his music? My grandfather was a carpenter who built dozens of homes; should I get a cut every time one is resold? If people still want to live in those houses 1000 years from now, do my descendants have a right to be paid for my grandfather's work? There need to be limits, and 50 years is more than generous.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:46am

    Copyright is an ‘odious monopoly&rsquo As Jefferson remarked, it is something of an embarrassment to our fair republic.

    From its earliest days in the 15th century, copyright has served as an instrument of censorship and oppression. It is tolerable only to the extent that it lubricates crass commerce to a noble noble end: the advancement of knowledge and culture.

     

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    Paul, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:50am

    Re:

    Sorry, I think you're wrong on several points:

    First, if the artist is still alive and creating new works after 50 years, it's the money that he gets from the works he's created in the intervening 50 years that should be the incentive. If he's not created anything else that people want in those 50 years, that's his problem.

    Second, it's often not the artist who owns the copyright, it's his record company, who do make a fair amount of cash from selling the work of deceased artists (look at 2Pac's career for instance)

    But anyway, my problem here is the issue of orphaned works. I don't necessarily mind that a living artist can still make money from a 50-year old song - though I balk at the idea that he thinks he has a guaranteed right to do so.

    My problem is that less successful artists' work often risk being lost to history because nobody knows who owns the copyright. A 50 year limit on copyright solves this problem - a work is public domain after 50 years - but without this, some works risk never being allowed to be released in any form.

    Remember, if one artist is more successful than another, it may just mean that their marketing people were better, not that their music was better. Losing financially because of that is one thing, but why should they be lost to history as well?

     

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    ttaziuk, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Is Copyright a welfare system for the IT i

    Re: "50 year old computer code is absolutely worthless except for historical interest. Hell, even 15 year old programs are pretty much worthless."

    You are obviously someone who doesn't work with mainframes. I probably run batch jobs older than you. ;)

     

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    Enrico Suarve, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:08am

    Re:

    The reason why it IS an incentive to create new works, is because of the monopoly the creator gets on his/her creations.

    So an incentive to create art is monopoly and money? Wow - do you not think that kind of debases the entire music industry (artists included)?

    Does this include the artists who sing songs about "fuck the government" and run around preaching how governments and corporations are crooks? Or are they only being crooks when they are granting monopolies to other people?

    You don't own a person's creative works. The creator of those works does. Get over it.

    And I'm just guessing here that the only people whose work gets to be classed as creative are musicians and the rest of entertainment industry?

    So as per the software posts creating a piece of software isn't creative, nor is carving a block of wood, designing a car or *creation* of any kind of product?

    Can you guess what my problem with that hugely egotistical piece of garbage is?

     

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    kneeL, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:10am

    Re: Which part of "The software Industry" would th

    Sounds like you need to get a job

     

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    Joe Schmoe, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:13am

    This is sadly commical. Those of you who are championing the extension of copyright are blissfully overlooking the fact that the [copy]rights and protections are being sought and used by (RIAA/Record Companies) third parties now to the original creators (the Musicians) who in a very real sense sell their souls to that third party (wisely, foolishly, accidentally, whatever...). The actual, original, creators of content in this scenario are not the direct, or in many case even at all, beneficiaries any more. And those who end up on the short end of the sticks have to face contracts that lock up future works with those enititys to fulfill [contracted] quotas. You are [actually] fighting for slavery...

     

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    pegr, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:16am

    Easy to make copyright extensions fair

    Now I don't support copyright extensions, but if you want to do them fairly, don't make them retroactive.

    That is to say, make any change to copyright apply only to new works, not old ones. You get the copyright protection that was in effect when the work was created. This keeps everyone honest.

    Now if what I suggested was indeed the case, how many music publishers would be interested in copyright extension? Not nearly as many, as these people are short-term oriented. They wouldn't bother in "investing" in congresscritters for a gain they won't see in their lifetimes.

     

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    RiffRaff (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:27am

    Monopoly Money?

    Matel has been selling the game Monopoly for more than 50 years now and they still get paid for it every time someone purchases it. Why is a song any different? Songs are the product of musicians and as long as people are willing to pay for it the musician should get his royalty. It's not rocket science.....

     

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    Rob, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:30am

    Copyright apples to oranges

    Comparing music to anything misses the point.
    Copyright is how a musician is paid for the music that is sold.
    If an architect agreed not to be paid upfront and get paid pennies for each sale, then you can compare it.

    If the music sells nothing, then the musician is paid nothing.

    Remember, someone is getting paid when a song is sold.
    So the record label should make money and the artist shouldn't?
    Sounds like something a record label would say.

     

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    RD, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:34am

    Copyright extention/Cliff Richard, et. al.

    The problem is is that studio musicians typically do not have a high-profile representative who is as popoular and well-known as a Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, etc. Besides - and as Sir Cliff pointed out - it is not about the money - it is about holding on to something you created....althought I am sure the money is nice too! And Rob is right - the money musicians get from royalties is not something that is designed to support them - I get a royalty check once in a while for something I did in 1998 but - trust me -there is no way I could live on this!

     

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  32.  
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    Donaldson v. Beckett (1774), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:38am

    Donaldson v. Beckett

    Proceedings in the Lords on the Question of Literary Property, February 4 through February 22, 1774

    [...]

    Mr. Baron Eyre first rose and delivered his Opinion, with the Reasons whereon that opinion was founded, in substance as follows:

    [...]

    The baron next proceeded to brand an exclusive appropriation of literary works, with the epithets of "a monopoly," against every kind of which the statute of James I had sufficiently provided. Yet the baron contended, that even monopolies, in I some cases, were allowable, but then the state had taken care to allow them only for a convenient time.

    There is some doubt as to whether Donaldson v. Beckett was reported in his majesty's former American colonies in time to influence the framing of 1789. But there is no doubt that Lord Eyre's 'convenient time' refers to a 'limited time'.

     

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    EdB, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:46am

    Re: Copyright debate

    No it's not okay. Most music doesn't make it past 5 days because most music sucks. When an musician creates something good they should make money performing that music, and - within reason - selling copies of it. 50 years is way too long. 5 years is much more reasonable.

     

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    EdB, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:51am

    Re: Monopoly Money?

    Ford has been selling cars even longer but doesn't make money from someone who tweaks one of their products and resells it.

     

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    TheDock22, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:58am

    Re: Copyright debate

    We are talking about people's live here for crying out loud! If you had a spec of creative juice to produce a song people love for generations on end you would have a different point of view then "Yea, after 5 years if people still want to produce my song, I shouldn't be paid".

    And so what if the record company owns the majority of the money. 1) the artist still gets paid by the music company and 2) the music company is the one that MADE the initial investment to produce the song. They are therefore entitled to the rights.

    Assuming the company doesn't go bankrupt, they should continue to collect the royalties even after the artist is dead.

    And I agree, we can't compare music to computer applications and games. That is just silly. Nobody is saying you should have to PAY to hear the song, I mean radio is free and network television is too. The point is should music companies continue to get royalties when songs are used in tv shows, movies, commercials, or remixed by crummy artists who can't come up with a good song on their own.

    Obviously, I say yes. If you want to use the song to make money for yourself, then I don't care how old the song is, you should pay royalties.

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Rob is right, Mike is wrong

    Get over yourself

    No, actually all of you who keep using the same ridiculous example need to get over yourselves. You keep making an example of someone selling a product, such as a keyboard, and that by my logic you should be able to keep getting royalties for that keyboard.

    That's an idiotic comparison, and let me explain why.

    When you purchase a keyboard the agreement between you and the manufacturer is that you pay $x dollars for the keyboard, and then it's yours forever, you no longer have to pay anything else, you OWN that keyboard.

    The agreement with music or other types of art is entirely different. When you buy a CD or music is some format the legal agreement you're making with the author of that music is NOT THAT YOU OWN THE MUSIC.

    See the difference? If the agreement that someone wants you to bind to for a product or service isn't something you like for whatever reason...don't agree to it and go elsewhere.

    Why is it some of you feel as though it's your right to get something for what YOU feel is fair? You have no right to tell someone else what they should be charging for something, or what their incentive to create something must be. If you don't agree with them, don't buy their products or services.

    And to the gentleman/woman that said I don't need to speak for you because you do something for a living in the creative field, I'm not trying to speak for anyone. I'm simply putting forth a philosophy that differs from many of you, saying that the author or creator of something has a right to be paid for works they created. Period.

    To the person who said it's crazy to be paid for something someone in your family created over 1000 years or whatever: No, it's NOT crazy. If you create something, and the law allows you to pass on that creation to your siblings (and yes I think there should be such laws, but that's for the people of the state to vote on) then your siblings should have the right to collect royalties from your works. How's the hurting you or anyone else? Because you now can't use old music for what you want for free? How's that hurting innovation? Please explain, and please use an example that isn't completely different from the music industry or other creative work type of industries.

    To the person who says this type of thinking ruins innovation: You're wrong, what creates wonderful innovations in the world is giving people the freedom to benefit from whatever they create in whatever way they feel is right and just to them. If it's money, so be it. If they want to do something for the poor, so be it. If they're incentive is to create something to help children with cancer, so be it. Please explain to me how this type of thinking ruins innovation?

    We're talking about music, by the way, so how can it be that if you continue paying someone for THE WORK THEY CREATED it's ruining innovation? Please explain.

     

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    JLEPINE, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:07am

    Why not get paid

    Hey -

    Yes - musicians should absolutly get paid for their work PERIOD. Most people who say no are not musicians and are totally ignorant to how much time and effort that player did to produce their sound. Living or dead, musicians, guys who are studio or backup players. get chit for what they do mostly, and deserve credits where and when due, not matter how long the time of production is...

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Monopoly Money?

    Ford has been selling cars even longer but doesn't make money from someone who tweaks one of their products and resells it.

    Again, this argument is ridiculous, because the agreement you make when buying a car with the car manufacturer/dealer is that once you buy it, it's yours, no more money is owed. That's a completely different type of transaction in the marketplace.

    So that comparison doesn't make sense and does not strengthen the argument that people should not be given benefits for their work just because time has passed.

    If the agreement, when you buy music, is that you can use it for whatever you want, whenever you want, you own it, then sure, your argument stands up. Otherwise it doesn't, and I think you can see the difference.

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Copyright debate

    50 years is way too long. 5 years is much more reasonable.

    So again, you think that other people should be able to determine the worth of someone's work? That's very dangerous ground to start getting into.

    That's why I support letting consumers and market decide, no use of force whatsoever, other than forcing you to abide by an agreement that you made when purchasing a product/service.

    If the agreement is "Anytime you want to use this music for advertising, movies, or other uses for a profit you must pay [Enter name here] for license to use said works." Then you need to abide by the agreement. If you don't like the agreement, then don't enter it, meaning don't buy that product/service.

    No force is used, and if the seller isnt' able to sell their product service they'll have to change their selling price/agreement/etc so people will agree to trade, or buy, from them.

    Who are you or anyone else to say what someone's creation should be worth? Just leave it alone, it's not hurting anyone except those that want something for free, or want to force a seller to accept less than they otherwise would in a free market.

     

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    YouKnowNothing, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:25am

    Re: music copyright

    No.

    But only for 50 years.

    That's the entire point of Mike's post.

    You really need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills, Kevin.

     

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    TheDock22, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Copyright debate

    Here here Liberty Dave! And very nicely put.

    I really don't understand why people who will probably NEVER buy the music for commercial purposes, therefore having to pay royalties, are putting up such a battle (with really silly analogies).

    I won't be convinced that copyrights shouldn't last forever until someone from, oh I don't know, Fox or CBS gives me a good reason why they shouldn't pay for music to use in their shows.

    Everyone else out there, leave it alone. It doesn't affect you at all.

     

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    Rob, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:32am

    Copyright comparing apples to oranges pt 2

    A car is sold for thousands of dollars. All payment has been made upfront. A song sells for 99 cents. Payment is made over time.

    If someone buys the song it should be theirs forever to listen to. They shouldn't have to pay more than once.

    But if someone sells the song for money, the creator should be paid the pennies it earns.

    50 years from now the grand total for most of the songs out there will be a hundred bucks on a song. So keep the rants in perspective.

     

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    Michael Long, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:39am

    Few jobs...

    ...and it's one of the few jobs in the world where you get paid for work you did 50 years ago.

    Yes, and it's also one of the few jobs where the musician (or author, or developer, or director) can spend years creating his work, upfront, on spec, often using his own money and resources, with no guarantee of success, and does so without benefits, vacation days, sick days, insurance, or a retirement plan.

    Thus the nature of the incentive lies with the fact that IF people like his work and IF he's sucessful as a result, then he has a chance at a compensating royalty stream which can provide an income and provide the basis to fund new work. It's not a welfare scheme.

    That said, I am not in favor of increasing the length of the agreement, and in fact think it should be reduced to, say, twenty years or so. That should be more than enough time for repayment to occur, and for said payments to fund future work, while at the same time fulfilling the "social contract".

     

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    TheDock22, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:41am

    Re: Copyright comparing apples to oranges pt 2

    If someone buys the song it should be theirs forever to listen to. They shouldn't have to pay more than once.

    No one is arguing this and that IS the agreement on the copyright. If a song is bought for personal use, it's yours to listen to forever (unless you damage the cd, then you need to pay again).

    The copyright and royalty laws really only apply in commercial settings, not at home. Why shouldn't the artist or their families be paid if a movie uses their song? They should.

     

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    Rod Taylor, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:43am

    copyright

    what an idiot you are. it's not about being paid for a job. it's a property that's owned or partly owned by its creator. do you think that playing a song in a studio is the act of creation -- or is it a lifetime of work and in some cases suffering and certainly doing so without financial compensation that leads to the creation of a piece of musical property. the payment is not for playing, or "doing a job" as you put it. A surgeon isn't paid several thousand dollars for a 45 minute surgery, but for the many years of hard work, education and self denial that enables him or her to do the work. you are a communist. you probably think that's a compliment, so look around you at the pantheon of your brothers and sisters, the pol pots, the stalins, the maos of the world and see how they've contriubted to the oppression of the human spirt through murder and slavery. that is the result of the denial of two things - property rights and God, the ultimate creative source of all that's worthy.

     

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    Leo, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright debate

    "So again, you think that other people should be able to determine the worth of someone's work?"

    It is always other people that determine the worth of someones work. That is how a free market functions, your able to charge what people are willing to pay.


    I don't think that anyone is saying that artists shouldn't be paid for their work, but they should continue to work for payment. If their song is truly so great people will be willing to pay for them to perform it as opposed to other people copying. They might also pay for personal appearances and other things that can't be copied by others.

    Allowing works to go to the public domain greatly increases the worth to the public. Other people are be able to work with it, interpret it and use it in ways the original artist hadn't thought of. All this can also increase the value of the work to the original artist by generating interest in their current work.

    I work in a creative profession and feel I have an inkling of how creative people think. I don't work here because of great pay (it's not) I work here becuase it's what I would be doing whether or not I was getting paid. If I created something that was wildly popular now, great! If I have nothing new to offer 50 years down the road I would be ashamed to still be milking that old creation while not making use of it myself.

    Lastly, we aren't specifically talking about music but about copyright which applies to many things.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:04am

    the sales agrement argument is quite nice. however, when i purchase most items, they don't come with a ToS agrement. granted that most of the time it is understood, doesn't grant anything. everyone knows their miranda rights, but we still have to be read them when we are arrested (although i heard of a few places saying that you don't because it is common knowledge, i could be wrong) but also, many artists ARE paid upfront but that money goes into producing their priduct. intrument rentals, studio time, producing, promoting...things like that. so they get their money as a loan, and must repay what they borrowed. after that they make money. but who's fault is that? artists? the system? what?

    is it right for one person to make something, sell it and get paid years after the sale while someone else doesn't? that's the real argument. what makes artists different from programmers, carpenters welders...and so on?

    and just to add mroe confusion
    why are purple strawberries still red?

     

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    Rob, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:05am

    Copyright

    Actually, we are specifically talking about music.
    The article is about music and how it related to copyright.
    Where the argument gets muddled is bringing every single industry in and comparing it.

    It doesn't matter what went into creating the song.
    The terms are clear cut.
    When a song is sold someone is paid. If the story was about just the 50 years, fine. Then 50 years could be too long.

    But you open the article insulting musicians(Welfare) and finding other ways for them to earn money. ITunes sold a billion tracks for 99 cents. They weren't all from today.

    Do you really think that musicians are being paid what they were promised to begin with?

    How many musicians do you personally know with big royalty checks?

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright debate

    It is always other people that determine the worth of someones work. That is how a free market functions, your able to charge what people are willing to pay.

    I completely agree with you on that point, very well said. And it's the point I'm trying to make as well. If 'other people', or consumers more accurately, are willing to pay to use a piece of music for something that makes them a profit, or for something that is against the original agreement that you agreed to when purchasing the music, then what's wrong with that? Nothing, of course. And the creator of the work can be paid, whether or not they created it 50 years ago or not.

    But then you say:

    Allowing works to go to the public domain greatly increases the worth to the public. Other people are be able to work with it, interpret it and use it in ways the original artist hadn't thought of. All this can also increase the value of the work to the original artist by generating interest in their current work.

    The way you say this is so innocent, like someone saying "it's for the general welfare". Again, that's very dangerous, and completely the opposite of saying what you started out with, that consumers are the ones that will tell you what something is worth. In your remarks above the consumers are taken out of the picture, and government steps in and says "We don't care what consumers say, we don't care what the artist says, we as the great government body will take your work and allow other people to have it free of charge, and there's nothing you can do about it. Too bad, so sad, no use crying about it, you have no power over your creation any longer. It's for the public good after all."

    That to me is very, very, very wrong and completely against the creator, and the free market in general.

    But remember, you can still listen to music that your purchased whenever you want, other people can listen to it, it is available to the public. It's not like no one is ever allowed to listen to it again or anything. But there are conditions that you and everyone else must adher to, because you agreed to that when you purchased the product.

    Also, when you say something like "All this can also increase the value of the work to the original artist by generating interest in their current work." shouldn't that be for the artist to decide...if it's beneficial to just allow everyone to have it free of charge for whatever they wish?

    Why should anyone else have the right to take something from you that you created and let people have it for free without your consent?

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:21am

    Sales argument

    Hey Anonymous,

    Yes, I believe that unless specifically specified, as it is in music, movies, art work, etc, that it's understood that you own the product and never have to pay anything ever again to use it.

    is it right for one person to make something, sell it and get paid years after the sale while someone else doesn't? that's the real argument. what makes artists different from programmers, carpenters welders...and so on?

    This question just boggles my mind, that so many of you ask. The difference between most artists and a carpenter, or programmer, is that most artists have a stipulation with their artwork, and I think in most states and countries it's treated that way be default, that you cannot use that creative work for commercial uses. If a carpenter put that stipulation on their work they wouldn't get hired anywhere. It's like comparing apples to oranges. They're two completely different types of transactions. They're two completely different types of products. Do you go around trying to set limits on what a carpenter should be allowed to make at his/her job? Or programmers? No, consumers make that choice by voting with their money when purchasing or not purchasing a product/service.

    Also, with software, there are stipulations that you have to purchase the software on a per user basis, or per server, or whatever. Some software allows you to use it for free, but not for commercial purposes. It doesn't matter how much time has passed...if you break that agreement you will owe them money and be sued, if caught.

    Again, if you don't agree with the terms of the sale, don't buy it. No one has the right to declare or change the terms of sale after it's completed. That would be disastrous for everyone.

     

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    Rational Beaver, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:33am

    I think the pro-copyright-forever camp is missing something. The basis for copyright, the reason it is needed, is that music is, by nature, free. It is sound waves travelling through the air. That is not property. Noises can't be owned. Though you may design a particularly appealing sequence of frequencies (or words, for that matter), you can't truly own or control any of them.

    However, we like music. We want people to make it. Though people would no doubt make it anyway, we have decided to make it easier for truly great musicians to practice their art by granting them a limited form of commercial control over the sounds they make. This allows them to profit off of their noise arrangements before the tune joins all the rest of the freely available sounds in the universe.

     

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    Leo, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright debate

    "The way you say this is so innocent, like someone saying "it's for the general welfare". Again, that's very dangerous, and completely the opposite of saying what you started out with"

    Yes, it is somewhat innocent but it isn't opposite my previous statement. It simply addresses different issues.

    "we as the great government body will take your work and allow other people to have it free of charge,"

    The government is not taking your work away. Ending copyright protection is actually decreasing government intervention and protection. Copyright is not an inherent right that governments must step on to eradicate but is a government granted right to protect the artist's interests and promote creation of new material.

    "Why should anyone else have the right to take something from you that you created and let people have it for free without your consent?"

    They aren't taking anything from me, I'm giving it to them. It's the government's intervention that doesn't allow them to use it how they wish. If I don't want people to have it I should never have performed it publicly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:42am

    I'm all for extending copywrite to 75 years or the life of the creator, as long as the copywrite can not be transferred from the creator of the work.
    However, as very few of the creators actually own their own copyrights when it comes to music, I don't believe in copyright extensions as it stands today.

     

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    Boost8, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:58am

    copyright is your right

    When you create something recorded (in any fassion) with your name on it, then it belongs to you. It doesn't belong to anyone else and it never will. If someone wants to use your material, then they need to seek your permission to use it (by use it, I mean to make money off of it in some way). It doesn't matter if you wrote it 2 minutes ago or 100 years ago, God forbid. If you think that, just becuase it's old, it doesn't still belong to someone, you are just as ignorant as the RIAA. If they want to charge you money so you can rebroadcast their work, then you must suck up and pay it or use somene's work that has arleady passed on.

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright debate

    The government is not taking your work away. Ending copyright protection is actually decreasing government intervention and protection. Copyright is not an inherent right that governments must step on to eradicate but is a government granted right to protect the artist's interests and promote creation of new material.

    I agree with what you say about ending copyright protection, to a degree. I don't think the government should have anything to do with copyright protection, I think people should be free to enter into any contract with another person however they want. However, with something like music, artwork, or movies, since it can be played over the air for others to hear, they need some protection so other people can't use it for commercial purposes to make themselves money without you getting any compensation.

    That's very nice of you if you wish to just give your music away for free, but maybe other people don't want to do that. If a movie or company making a commercial decide to use your music and not give you any money, and you're fine with that, ok. But they should not be able to use any artist's work and profit off of it without payment to the artist. They are the creators of that work. It's wrong to take that away from them.

    You say they're not taking anything away from you, but this isn't about you specifically. You should be free to charge whatever you want for work you created, whether it's writing a book, creating a movie, or singing a song, or playing music you created. If you want to give it away for free, go ahead. If you want to charge for it, go ahead and do that.

    The government is not taking your work away. Ending copyright protection is actually decreasing government intervention and protection.
    That's like saying ending laws that protect your property from being taken from you by someone else is decreasing government intervention and protection. Government should protect people's person and property from theft, damage from others, and fraud. If you create music, artwork, a movie, a book, a piano, a table...whatever it is no one has the right to take it from you without paying for it, unless you give it away of your own free will.

    If I don't want people to have it I should never have performed it publicly. I have a problem with this philosophy. You're saying that it's okay to create something, but as soon as others hear it, too bad so sad now it's theirs to do with what they want, I'm not entitled to anything. I guess we have to agree to disagree. I support laws that give a creator entitlement to their creations, to charge what they want for it's use, for as long as they live (I won't go into a detailed explanation of passing on their creations to someone else). I think it's very wrong to say that you own something as long as you keep it secret, but as soon as others hear it it's no longer yours.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:07am

    Re: Rob is right, Mike is wrong

    I'm not sure what copyright law says exactly, but what it should say is something along the lines of this: "If you create something that people want, whether they want it now, 50 years from now, or 1,000 years from now, you have a right to be paid for your work."

    Why? The purpose of copyright is very, very clear.

    "the Congress shall have power . . . to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."


    That is, it is solely for the purpose of promoting the progress of science and useful arts, and it must be for a limited time.

    The reasoning makes sense (and you should read some of the history of the debates among folks like Jefferson and Madison concerning the thought process that went into that). The idea is that by its nature, content or ideas or music are infinitely copyable. You can copy it, and the originator does not lose it. There is tremendous benefit in allowing that, but it does make monetization more difficult in some cases.

    But it must be for a limited time, because otherwise you stifle all sorts of other innovations by limiting the use of an abundant resource. If you think that all content is created from nothing with no inspiration and not built on the backs of creators beforehand, then you work in a different world. All creativity is built off the backs of others who created beforehand. Based on your view, none of those new creations could create without paying a huge and burdensome cost to all that inspired them.

    Since when does the passage of time suddenly make it where you no longer should be allowed to get paid for something you created? And if there is law that supports that philosophy, then I adamantly disagree with that, too. It needs to be changed.

    Almost all work is paid for to be created and then the originator no longer has control over it. You are asking to change the very basis of the free exchange of goods and services.

    Why do you people care so much if someone makes money on something THEY CREATED?!? It's not hurting anyone, other than an entity (person or company) that wants to use that music for free, and gets annoyed when the creator of that something comes along and says "Hey, I created that, I own license to it, you can't use it without compensating me in some way that we both agree with". If the entity that wants to use the music/product/service does't want to pay for it, then fine, don't use it! Or create a mutually agreeable contract with the entity that created it.

    Actually, it hurts everyone. Absolutely everyone. Because you have unfairly burdened anyone who is trying to create something new. All creations are based on inspirations of other works, and you are saying that everyone needs to pay for that inspiration? That's an awful solution and would guarantee no creativity.

    The public gets hurt by having fewer creative works. The artists get hurt by having their works locked up. It's a terrible solution that would effectively stifle tremendous creativity.

    It boils down to this: ANY product (music, software, apples, shoes, ceiling fans, etc) has a value to some people. If they wish to exchange something of value with the owner of that product, no matter what year it is, or when that product was created, then so be it. If they wish to use something for free simply because X number of years have passed...then too bad! You dont have the right to have something for free just because time has passed.

    There are others who have held that idea in the past. You haven't paid them for that idea -- and yet, by your reasoning, you should be paying them or not expressing that idea.

    See where this gets problematic fast?

     

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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:09am

    Re: copyright is your right

    When you create something recorded (in any fassion) with your name on it, then it belongs to you. It doesn't belong to anyone else and it never will.

    I suggest you go learn a little bit about copyright law, because this is false both in theory and in practice.

    If I create a chair, once I sell it, it no longer belongs to me. But according to your thinking, if I sold you the chair, and then you tried to sell it again, you would owe me money as well. Does that seem fair?

    It doesn't matter if you wrote it 2 minutes ago or 100 years ago, God forbid. If you think that, just becuase it's old, it doesn't still belong to someone, you are just as ignorant as the RIAA.

    I'm afraid you should really read up on copyright law, because you are 100% wrong here.

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:13am

    Re:

    I think the pro-copyright-forever camp is missing something. The basis for copyright, the reason it is needed, is that music is, by nature, free.

    I disagree that music is, by nature, free. It's something that was created by someone else, usually by lots of hard work, years of dedication, and amounts of money that are sometimes small, medium, or large investments.

    Yes, sound waves can't be controlled. Yes, music, because of the way it travels through the air, can more easily be captured and duplicated than other creations.

    But that doesn't make it any more right, or justify you using it in some fashion against the creator's wishes, just because it's easier to capture and duplicate.

    You can also easily copy most software, professional photographer's images, movies, video games, etc. Does that mean those should be free just because they're so easy to copy?

    I think not.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re:

    I disagree that music is, by nature, free. It's something that was created by someone else, usually by lots of hard work, years of dedication, and amounts of money that are sometimes small, medium, or large investments.

    So are ideas. Yet you are willing to give away your thoughts on this topic for free?

    Is that because you don't find them valuable? By your reasoning, that must be true.

    But it's not true. Because you have recognized that there's more to be gained by giving away your ideas for free, even though they are valuable in your view.

    It is important to recognize a simple fact of economics: value does not equal price.

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: copyright is your right

    I suggest you go learn a little bit about copyright law, because this is false both in theory and in practice.

    And I think the current copyright law is wrong, if it isn't true that something you created doesn't belong to you.

    I don't know why you brought the argument of the chair into this, I think it's pretty much established that selling music and selling a chair have completely different agreements with the seller and buyer. If I sell you a chair, it's understood that you own the chair, I no longer have any claim to it, and is proven by your receipt in a court of law.

    Music on the other hand, works of art, digital creations such as photography, are different.

    And just because current law supports one thing doesn't make it right, either. So whether or not someone reads up on copyright law doesn't matter if you disagree with that law and think it should be changed, or at least debated, which we are doing here peacefully (which is my favorite way of debating).

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So are ideas. Yet you are willing to give away your thoughts on this topic for free?

    Yes, some people such as myself are willing to give away their ideas for free. Whether or not I find them valuable or anyone else does doesn't matter to me. They're my ideas, I decided to give them away for free, of my own free will.

    But I could also go be a consultant on certain topics, giving away my ideas or knowledge for free...or charge for it. If people want to buy it, great. If not, I will have to find something else to make a living at.

    It is important to recognize a simple fact of economics: value does not equal price

    That is very, very true, which I recognize, but I don't think that has any bearing on the discussion we're having. And where are you going with that statement? I'm not quite sure. Stating such a wise statement is nice and all, but I'm not sure why you're saying it, or what point you're trying to make with it.

    The main question I ask is why do you, or anyone else, think they have a right to tell someone when they can no longer profit off of something they created due to a passage of time? Why not just let the free market be, it works great. If someone has made a recording, for example, and stipulates a price for it, and also that it cannot be used commercially without their consent or payment in some fashion, then let consumers decide if that's of value enough to them to agree to that.

    If your so against artists making money after a certain time period then why not just make it one year? Why not one month? What's the magic number you'll use for it? Where do you come up with this number? How is it determined? And lastly, why do you or anyone else care so much what someone makes from their creation after the passage of a certain amount of time?

    If you don't agree with it you certainly have the right to say so, and so do I. I think we need to let the free market do the pricing for products and services. No one gets hurt, except envious people or people that want something for free.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Re: copyright is your right

    Liberty Dave,

    I do not understand your position at all. You claim that selling a chair is clear because everyone knows what the deal is. But selling music isn't because you don't like copyright law that says copyright is only for a limited time.

    However, everyone knows copyright law when the enter into a content transaction as well. They KNOW that they lose copyright after a certain time.

    Basically, all you are saying is that it's okay to enter into a transaction when YOU like the terms, but when you don't like the terms, suddenly it's not fair.

    That's not very compelling.

     

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    Rob, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:44am

    Copyright does not apply to chairs

    Mike says:" All creations are based on inspirations of other works, and you are saying that everyone needs to pay for that inspiration? That's an awful solution and would guarantee no creativity."

    That's a bit of a stretch, Mike. You must be laughing when you type this stuff just to get some responses. I don't think you mean it.

    Last time I checked, there's no shortage of music in the world.
    So I don't think anything would guarantee "no creativity."

    Chairs are a physical object. Music is an intellectual property.
    The terms of sale are different.

    I love how every other industry gets brought into a single topic.
    None of them apply.

    If you buy a song, the creator is promised a percentage of the sale. You can always write your own song if the idea troubles you.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is very, very true, which I recognize, but I don't think that has any bearing on the discussion we're having. And where are you going with that statement? I'm not quite sure. Stating such a wise statement is nice and all, but I'm not sure why you're saying it, or what point you're trying to make with it.

    Because everything else you say seems to go back to the idea that since content has value, you must attach a price to it. I'm sorry if I misunderstood your position, but without that, your argument falls apart. If you really believe that value and price are separate (as they should be) then the rest of your argument doesn't make sense.

    You are saying that the seller of the content sets the price, and that's only true if value equals price. But, the seller doesn't set the price. The market does. And the market sets the price based on supply and demand, and when supply is infinite, the price is going to be zero. That's just basic economics.

    The main question I ask is why do you, or anyone else, think they have a right to tell someone when they can no longer profit off of something they created due to a passage of time?

    I bring up the chair again, though you dislike the example, it's very relevant.

    I "create" the chair (you said "something they created"). I sell the chair. I'm now done. Why isn't it the same with content? You create the content. You sell the content. You are now done with selling that piece of content.

    But, you want to be able to keep selling it over and over again in perpetuity, which distorts the market.

    For a much more elegant explanation of why your view does not make sense, I'll let Thomas Jefferson explain:

    If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

    That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.


    If your so against artists making money after a certain time period then why not just make it one year? Why not one month? What's the magic number you'll use for it? Where do you come up with this number? How is it determined? And lastly, why do you or anyone else care so much what someone makes from their creation after the passage of a certain amount of time?

    I'm afraid that perhaps I haven't been clear. I do not believe artists should not make money. Not at all. I want them to make lots of money, but I want them to do so using the free market, not a gov't granted monopoly. That means learning to sell products that aren't infinitely available, but using their music to promote them.

    However, the purpose of copyright is to secure FOR A LIMITED TIME the monopoly, because the founders recognize the danger in securing infinite ideas for long. It limits the ability of others to learn and grow and create. It limits societies ability to learn and grow and create -- and that's BAD. Your suggestion is one that would LIMIT the creation of new ideas by making it impossible. That's bad for everyone, including the creators you think you're supporting.

    I care because I understand the nature of creation, and the fact that it comes from inspiration and the work of others. And without content in the public domain then no one would be able to create at all, and that would kill society. I prefer society.

    If you don't agree with it you certainly have the right to say so, and so do I. I think we need to let the free market do the pricing for products and services. No one gets hurt, except envious people or people that want something for free.

    If you support the free market setting the price, then why do you insist on a government monopoly? It makes no sense.

     

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  65.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:51am

    Re: Copyright does not apply to chairs

    That's a bit of a stretch, Mike. You must be laughing when you type this stuff just to get some responses. I don't think you mean it.

    How is it a stretch? I mean every word I say.

    Should every musician need to pay whoever came up with each musical note? Each combination of a musical note?

    If we are to just focus on music, then where is the limit?

    Last time I checked, there's no shortage of music in the world.
    So I don't think anything would guarantee "no creativity.


    And all of that music uses notes and combinations of notes that were originally created by someone else. By your reasoning, they should pay for each note and each sound. That doesn't make any sense.

    Chairs are a physical object. Music is an intellectual property.
    The terms of sale are different.


    Oh really? Yes, the ARE DIFFERENT. That's why I find it hilarious that you find it's okay for the terms to be different in that way, but you freak out when someone says the terms should be different on length.

    They ARE DIFFERENT. Exactly. And that's why we LIMIT the length. Because of the differences. With the chair, the term is until I sell the chair. With copyright, they realized that might not make sense, so they said "until the end of copyright."

    Why do you insist that the two types of property are different with one breath, and then insist that intellectual property must be treated like property (you own it, you get paid for it) with the next breath?

    If you buy a song, the creator is promised a percentage of the sale. You can always write your own song if the idea troubles you.

    Yes, but that song will use notes from other artists, and I'd be ripping them off by your logic.

     

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    misanthropic humanist, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:53am

    what a load of nonsense

    Good Lord! "Liberty Dave", for someone who disgraces that word by prefixing your moniker with it you show a dreadfully opinionated attitude to other peoples business.

    Your reasoning and your arguments are brimming with emotion and are quite specious and incoherent.

    We are not discussing the value of a creative persons work.

    We are not discussing any agreement between the artists and their audience.

    We are not discussing the operation of a free market economy.

    What we are discussing here is copyright extension. In order to participate in the discussion you need to understand what copyright is. You do not. You've jumped head first into a debate about a subject you clearly haven't a clue about. That is why I suggested you go away and read something about copyright in order to better offer something to the discussion.

    Study this and then see where your views lie.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

    I suspect that your motivations are good, that you want to see artists fairly compensated for their efforts. That is noble, but you do a disservice to all when you misrepresent the essential facts and philosophies of the argument. As I said, I've worked as a creative producer and have benefited handsomely from copyright provisions. For the mostpart I support the principle of copyright. That is why I oppose its debasement by the lazy bastards who seek to twist it to exploit both artists and audience. You do not seem to understand the nature of intellectual property, that it can be bought and sold as well as licensed and that in that process the public/audience and the artist may be equally abused and the wealth of intellectual activity destroyed.

    I'm simply putting forth a philosophy that differs from many of you, saying that the author or creator of something has a right to be paid for works they created.

    You're entitled to that philosophy, and you are entitled to put it forth. It is however, in my humble opinion, complete and utter bollocks.

    If it held then I would have a right to be paid for the post I have just written. If you still feel this way please let me know and I will make arrangements to invoice you.


    Period.

    Kindly refrain from menstruating in your posts.

     

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  67.  
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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: copyright is your right

    You claim that selling a chair is clear because everyone knows what the deal is. But selling music isn't because you don't like copyright law that says copyright is only for a limited time

    Mike, what are you talking about? You're twisting my words
    because I've never stated that selling music isn't clear. It's very clear. When you buy music you own the music, but you're not allowed to use it comercially without the author's consent. The author can be the record company, the author him/herself, or something else. Selling a chair is also very clear. When you buy the chair you own it. You can use it for whatever you want, however you want. You most likely can't duplicate it and sell it as your own, though, that would be stealing.

    However, everyone knows copyright law when the enter into a content transaction as well. They KNOW that they lose copyright after a certain time.

    True. And I disagree with the current law. Why should they lose their rights to control their content just because a certain time has passed? I know you've answered this question, and I disagree with your answer. I don't think they should lose that right.

    Basically, all you are saying is that it's okay to enter into a transaction when YOU like the terms, but when you don't like the terms, suddenly it's not fair.

    Um, no Mike, that's not really what I'm saying. Here's what I'm saying, in the simplest of terms: I disagree with copyright law as it stands if it limits someone's right to profit from their music after a certain amount of time has passed. I think that's pretty clear. I'm not going to talk about other products or industries, just music to keep the conversation concise for now.

    That's not very compelling.

    Ok, sorry you feel that way.

     

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    Leo, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Why not just let the free market be"

    Copyright protection does not equal free market. It is closer to the opposite.

    "And lastly, why do you or anyone else care so much what someone makes from their creation after the passage of a certain amount of time?"

    I'm not against the artist making money after a certain amount of time. I'm for being able to use the works to further innovate and create new products.

     

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  69.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: copyright is your right

    When you buy music you own the music, but you're not allowed to use it comercially without the author's consent.

    This is not true. You really should learn what copyright law is, because it's tough to discuss this with you when you clearly do not know what copyright law is.

    You make statements like the above that are false, and it's impossible to discuss this with you in a reasonable way since you do not seem to actually understand what you are talking about.

    So, you say "it's clear" but then when you describe the "clear" answer, you get it very wrong.

    Selling a chair is also very clear. When you buy the chair you own it. You can use it for whatever you want, however you want. You most likely can't duplicate it and sell it as your own, though, that would be stealing.

    Amazingly, you also have this extremely wrong.

    I'm sorry, but it's difficult to discuss this with you until you actually have a sense of the law and the reasoning behind it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:16pm

    The bridge example is moronic. It would only make sense if his design was his unique idea and got reproduced over and over.

    A better example would be a product like "Monopoly". Should Parker Brothers, or whoever, lose their copyright to that game after 50 years allowing any company to duplicate the game for free and resell it?

    Music can be reproduced and sold. Whomever owns the rights to that music, should be allowed to keep their right as long as they want.

     

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  71.  
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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:17pm

    Re: what a load of nonsense

    Your reasoning and your arguments are brimming with emotion and are quite specious and incoherent.

    Sorry you feel that way.

    We are not discussing the value of a creative persons work.

    Yes, some of us are.

    We are not discussing any agreement between the artists and their audience.

    True, and I don't think I made any mention of an agreement with an artist and an audience, per se. I made mention of an agreement between two parties, that enter into an agreement, one a seller and the other a buyer.

    We are not discussing the operation of a free market economy.

    Yes, some of us are. I think this subject ties into free market economics quite well. You obviously don't agree.

    In order to participate in the discussion you need to understand what copyright is.

    Really? Where was that rule when this was posted? Sorry, I seemed to have missed the part about "You must know as much as misanthropic humanist before posting your opinions on this thread".

    You've jumped head first into a debate about a subject you clearly haven't a clue about. That is why I suggested you go away and read something about copyright in order to better offer something to the discussion.

    Study this and then see where your views lie.


    You're entitled to your opinion about my intelligence on this subject. And I don't need to read the details of copyright to have an opinion on this subject, nor does anyone else.

    I suspect that your motivations are good, that you want to see artists fairly compensated for their efforts.

    Correct, I do.

    That is noble, but you do a disservice to all when you misrepresent the essential facts and philosophies of the argument.

    What have I misrepresented?

    It is however, in my humble opinion, complete and utter bollocks.

    Okay.

    If it held then I would have a right to be paid for the post I have just written. If you still feel this way please let me know and I will make arrangements to invoice you.

    Once again someone has created a ridiculous comparison. You're obviously just saying this out of frustration or you just haven't read the things I've said. But I won't bother with you because...

    Kindly refrain from menstruating in your posts.

    ...that comment makes me belive you're just an idiot.

     

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  72.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:17pm

    another misunderstanding

    I disagree with copyright law as it stands IF it limits someone's right to profit from their music after a certain amount of time has passed.

    Then you agree with copyright law as it stands since the contingent is not fulfilled. Once a copyright has expired it does not "limit someones right to profit from their music". It simply ceases to grant them a state sanctioned monopoly under the protection of law. If it were not for copyright then they never would have held that right in the first place. Fortunately they do not depend on copyright law to continue to make a profit if they are so able, although copyright significantly aides them, which was its intention.

     

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  73.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:19pm

    Re:

    Yikes. Please learn a little about intellectual property law before arguing about it.

    A better example would be a product like "Monopoly". Should Parker Brothers, or whoever, lose their copyright to that game after 50 years allowing any company to duplicate the game for free and resell it?

    It might help to learn the difference between a trademark and a copyright.

     

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  74.  
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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not against the artist making money after a certain amount of time. I'm for being able to use the works to further innovate and create new products.

    Why do people keep using this philantropic sounding argument? What new products or innovations would be stopped by allowing the creator of a piece of music the right of ownership to that music, and all the rights that ownership would grant them?

     

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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: what a load of nonsense

    M.H.: We are not discussing the value of a creative persons work.

    L.D.: Yes, some of us are.


    Liberty Dave, you and I just had this conversation where I thought you agreed that price had nothing to do with value. Yet here you are again saying that it does matter.

    I'm sorry, but your own arguments continue to be entirely inconsistent. Misanthropic Humanist's post was a very good one. You do not need to know about copyright to state your opinion, but your ignorance makes your argument extremely weak. You change the basis of your argument in nearly every post, every time any of us points out an inconsistency. It would very much help if you bothered to understand copyright, because you seem to have a blindspot to understanding why it does what it does -- and why your thoughts on copyright aren't just bad, they're harmful for the very artists you claim your position would help.

    What you are suggesting would make it impossible for any artist today to create any new works, by impossibly burdening them with tremendous costs based on all previous works. It really is that simple.

    Your position limits creativity and innovation by adding tremendous cost. That means, the only people who get to make money are the descendants of those who created years ago. How is that helpful to society?

     

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  76.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why do people keep using this philantropic sounding argument? What new products or innovations would be stopped by allowing the creator of a piece of music the right of ownership to that music, and all the rights that ownership would grant them?

    EVERY new product would be stopped. There isn't a new product today that isn't based on the intellectual underpinnings of those who came before them.

     

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  77.  
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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: copyright is your right

    Mike, it's really not tough to discuss something with someone just because they're not as knowledgeable as you on that particular subject.

    I have programming conversations with non programmers all the time, database design discussions with those who have no knowledge of it, and it works out fine.

    If you don't have enough time to succinctly explain why I'm wrong in my statements, then fine. But it's quite rude to have that high and mighty attitude with someone, but I guess I've gotten under your skin a bit, so your attitude is understandable.

    Are you saying that if you buy a chair you don't "own" it?

    Are you saying that when you buy music you ARE allowed to use it comercially without the artists consent?

    Or would it just take you an extremely long amount of time to explain your refuting points? Are you not able to summarize them, and also educate me in areas that I'm lacking?

    I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong, or learning new things, but I can't imagine that I must go read up on copyright law in order to have an opinion to your article. The part of your article I disagree with is this:

    The content that was created 50 years ago does not need any more incentive to be created. Yes, additional money to these musicians probably would be nice for them, but copyright isn't designed as a system to support musicians. They did this work 50 years ago. They got paid then, and they've been paid for it for 50 years, as the law stated. It was enough incentive for them back then -- and it's one of the few jobs in the world where you get paid for work you did 50 years ago. If we want to create a welfare system for musicians, that's a different discussion -- but don't try to hide a welfare system in copyright.

    That was my main reason for resopnding to your article, then others started responding, and I responded...and you know when that happens sometime people go off subject a little here and there.

    But give me a break. Just because I disagree with that above part of your post, and your opinion that musicians shouldnt' be paid after 50 years, doesn't mean I need to go read up on the details of copyright law.

     

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  78.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: what a load of nonsense

    You're entitled to your opinion about my intelligence on this subject. And I don't need to read the details of copyright to have an opinion on this subject, nor does anyone else.

    I'm not venturing any opinion about your intelligence Dave. I am pointing out the areas in which your knowledge of the facts is wanting.

    a ridiculous comparison

    No, it is a direct consequence of your logical argument.

    And I don't need to read the details of copyright to have an opinion on this subject, nor does anyone else.

    Don't be an arrogant coward. You do need to be informed about the subject domain otherwise you are just pontificating. You're entitled to do that of course, you're quite at "Liberty" to make a fool of yourself.

    I've offered you an opportunity to save face by informing yourself and you're too full of yourself to take it. When you're in a hole Dave, stop digging.

     

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  79.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: copyright is your righ

    Mike, it's really not tough to discuss something with someone just because they're not as knowledgeable as you on that particular subject.

    Dave, I'm not saying you're not knowledgeable. I'm saying you are consistently WRONG in stating the facts. That's why it's difficult to discuss with you. I've pointed out repeatedly why you are factually wrong, and you say it's a difference of opinion. It's not opinion. You are wrong. That's what makes the discussion difficult.

    We can discuss opinion, if you want, but it needs to be on a sound factual basis.

    But it's quite rude to have that high and mighty attitude with someone, but I guess I've gotten under your skin a bit, so your attitude is understandable.

    Not trying to be "high and mighty." Just saying that we can't discuss this reasonably when you claim things that are simply untrue.

    If you and I tried to discuss programming, and I kept insisting that programming didn't make any sense because my computer works fine, you would have trouble discussing things with me. Yet, that's the equivalent of what you're doing. Your making a totally different claim based on factually problematic information. All we're suggesting is that if you want to state an opinion on a subject, it helps to base it on facts rather than falsehoods.

    Are you saying that if you buy a chair you don't "own" it?

    No. I'm saying that if you copied a chair, you are not stealing (as you claimed).

    Are you saying that when you buy music you ARE allowed to use it comercially without the artists consent?

    Yes, you absolutely are allowed to use it commercially without the artist's consent, with extensive limitations that are explained within copyright. In fact, that's a large part of the point of copyright.

    Just because I disagree with that above part of your post, and your opinion that musicians shouldnt' be paid after 50 years, doesn't mean I need to go read up on the details of copyright law.

    Yes it does. Because the POINT of copyright law is to create the incentives for creations, NOT to support the artist. The whole point of my post was to say that if you want to create laws to support the artist ("welfare") then create those laws -- but don't use copyright for them. However, your continued insistence that copyright is designed to support the artist is FACTUALLY incorrect and is the basis of why your opinion is problematic and why we are trying to help you understand this.

    I'm sure you mean well, but you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

     

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  80.  
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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: what a load of nonsense

    Liberty Dave, you and I just had this conversation where I thought you agreed that price had nothing to do with value. Yet here you are again saying that it does matter.

    Mike, why must you keep putting words in my posts?

    Where in the following lines do I use the word "price"?

    M.H.: We are not discussing the value of a creative persons work.

    L.D.: Yes, some of us are.


    Where???

    You change the basis of your argument in nearly every post, every time any of us points out an inconsistency.

    I haven't changed my position in my posts, I'm not sure why you think that. You're confusing the heck outta me though because what I've been stating and what you say I've been stating is different.

    What you are suggesting would make it impossible for any artist today to create any new works, by impossibly burdening them with tremendous costs based on all previous works. It really is that simple.

    Well, you must be talking about some intricate details that weren't mentioned in your original post then. I'm simply talking about if Steve Vai writes a song, something no one has written before, then he is entitled to profit from that song in the manner he sees fit. He will demand something for his work (I dare not say the word price or value anymore, for fear you'll just upend things I say again), and he'll most likely copyright it (sorry, I know I shouldn't mention that word until I have read up on copyright). So 50 years goes by. Someone wants to use that song. I say he should still be able to profit from if he wants.

    My position is really as simple as that.

     

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  81.  
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    Boost8, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:52pm

    intelectual property vs. physical property

    Some of you seem to not understand the differnece between a physical property and intelectual property. Intellectual property is something you create from an idea in your head. This, by definition, cannot be anything measurable or tangible. The medium it is produced on is measureable and tangible, so a cd of your intelectual property can be sold. Your rights to your intelectual property can be sold under our current legal system as well. However, your intelectual property will always be yours.

    A chair can not be copyrighted or patented. It's design could be, though.

    Also, though I haven't looked up copyright law in a while, there is a time limitation to your rights to your copyrights or patents. However, I believe it is possible to renew your rights to your material or give them to friends or family in an estate or will.

     

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  82.  
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    Rob, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:56pm

    Copyright is not a welfare system for musicians

    Mike, you wrote:
    Should every musician need to pay whoever came up with each musical note? Each combination of a musical note?

    Isn't that a little much?
    We're just talking about a song. No one's had a problem so far.

    Just be nice to musicians, Mike.

     

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  83.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Copyright is not a welfare system for musician

    We're just talking about a song.

    Ok, Rob. How do you define a song?

     

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  84.  
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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: copyright is your

    Because the POINT of copyright law is to create the incentives for creations, NOT to support the artist. The whole point of my post was to say that if you want to create laws to support the artist ("welfare") then create those laws -- but don't use copyright for them. However, your continued insistence that copyright is designed to support the artist is FACTUALLY incorrect and is the basis of why your opinion is problematic and why we are trying to help you understand this.

    Ok, ok, ok. Now I see why we're not understanding each other. You seem to think I was acting as though I know copyright law and that I was saying incorrect things about it.

    So let me just state that I don't know all the details of copyright law, as you have so humbly stated on my behalf so many times.

    I wasn't insisting that copyright law is designed for anything...I was simply stating what I think it SHOULD do. So yes, I was taking the position that copyright law should "support the artist". And as you point out, it is factually incorrect to say "current copyright law is designed to support the artist". I tried not to say that...but yes my position is that copyright law should be to support the artist.

    Was I really that confusing to you and others? The points I was making were quite simple, I never attested to the fact that I know copyright law and I never tried to state what current copyright law does.

    I THOUGHT I was disagreeing with you, Mike, on current copyright law, and how it's being interpreted. I also thought I was disagreeing with others when they were supporting current copyright law or wanting the number of years reduced.

    And there are lawsuits, or have been, where someone was sued for copying another's furniture style. That's what I was getting at in terms of the whole chair argument.

     

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  85.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: copyright is y

    I wasn't insisting that copyright law is designed for anything...I was simply stating what I think it SHOULD do. So yes, I was taking the position that copyright law should "support the artist". And as you point out, it is factually incorrect to say "current copyright law is designed to support the artist". I tried not to say that...but yes my position is that copyright law should be to support the artist.

    Ok, well, glad we got that cleared up. :)

    Ok. Then, can I ask you why you think copyright law "should" support the artist?

    Earlier you claim that we should let the free market sort stuff out, yet here you seem to be suggesting that there are a class of people ("artists") for whom the free market cannot support, and therefore there should be government protection for them.

    I am trying to understand why you believe they deserve such protections when you also claim that the free market can sort it out?

    And there are lawsuits, or have been, where someone was sued for copying another's furniture style. That's what I was getting at in terms of the whole chair argument.

    Well, it depends on the specific lawsuit, but it may have been more about trademark than copyright -- which are quite different for very good reasons. Either way, though, it would not have been "stealing" but "infringement" which are quite different (and different in important ways).

     

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    Curious Bystander, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    After spending an hour reading the comments, geee Liberty Dave, get over it....you seem rather condescending about your "belief" on many related subjects. I know you are going to ask me to state one by one. I hv better things to do(even though I wonder why the hack am I writing a reply here, just can't help it but to give u a little 2 cents of mine)...I think there will be other bystanders who felt your defense on serveral subjects similar to the act of bigotry.... An idea is an idea....a creation is a creation...what makes it so special that music cannot be compared with chair or cars per se? I tell you, if there are laws protecting those creators who make big bulky "real" stuff.....they will jump infront of the musicians to claim longevity for any kind of claims or rights.

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 1:46pm

    Replying

    Sure, I'd be glad to explain why I think copyright law should support the artist.

    Earlier you claim that we should let the free market sort stuff out, yet here you seem to be suggesting that there are a class of people ("artists") for whom the free market cannot support, and therefore there should be government protection for them.

    No, sorry for the confusion if I came across as stating the free market cannot support "artists", that's not what I meant to convey at all. And I certainly didn't mean there should be government protection for them or any other industry. Or rather I'd prefer if government "protected" artists and industry by making sure no laws were made that hinder the free market, such as a copyright law. So I guess that would be government working in reverse to what it normally does.

    I would like copyright law to basically state that an artist has the ability to sell their materials at whatever price they wish, under whatever terms they wish, no one else could use their creation without their consent, as long as they could prove without a doubt that they're the original creator of the material. Also give them the ability to transfer "ownership" of the creation to anyone they want. That new "owner" would have the benefits the original owner had over that material. I could on and on about particular details, but those are the basics.

    Some people would say that's a "protection of the artist", and I guess it is, but it's also "protection of the creator of something".

    It's the same thing as government "protecting" you when you make a...chair...for example. You paid for the materials to make the chair, or got them somehow yourself by your labor. No one has the right to take the chair from you, it's your property to do with what you please. Sell it, destroy it, give it away.

    I also am still a bit confused with your earlier comment that this sort of protection would destroy other works, or the ability of other artists to create new works. It might have been due to our misunderstanding with one another, or maybe you were thinking that I support something such as the copyright of certain notes, and if anyone used those notes, even in a different arrangement, they could sue. I'm NOT for that. But that gets into some serious semantics, which for now I'll leave out due to it's complexity.

     

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    Wizard Prang, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Which part of "The software Industry" woul

    Very Droll.

    What's your point?

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 1:57pm

    Curious Bystander

    geee Liberty Dave, get over it

    Get over what? The enjoyment of having debates on subjects I feel strongly about? This is usually something someone says when they don't feel as strongly. And that's fine, more power to you. But you won't find me trying to beat you into caring about this conversation more than you already do.

    you seem rather condescending about your "belief" on many related subjects

    Well, I apologize if it came across that way, but I wasn't intending to. I did intend to say that comparing the sale of a car to the sale of music is ridiculous, but no offense to the person stating that viewpoint. There are just some comparisons that are ridiculous to me, that's all.

    To answer you question why music is "so special" that it can't be compared to a chair or car is, from what I tried to explain, the difference in the agreements between buyer and seller.

    Most products, such as a car, or a chair, are sold under the same basic agreement, that when you trade for it it's yours, you own it. The agreement also has the default trait that the seller will never again ask you for more payment for that product (I'm not talking about leasing or rentals here...purchases).

    Music, however, has different stipulations in it with the transaction. When you buy a CD for example, you OWN the actual CD, but NOT the music on it. Turn over your CD cover, see that copyright symbol with something similar to "All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of all applicable laws."? You don't have that type of stipulation with a product like a chair or car, for the most part. And please don't berate me Mike, if I have some part of that assumption wrong...I guess you COULD duplicate a car, which of course the manufacturer wouldn't like...or a chair, etc.

    So saying something like "Why should an artist get compensated over and over again for their work...furniture makers don't! Car makers don't! Vaccum Cleaner makers don't!" is a ridiculous comparison, in my opinion. If that's the reasoning then just pay the artist once, and never again. Of course that one payment is going to be a doozy!

     

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    misanthropic humanist, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 3:08pm

    opinion

    Wow, this ones exploded!

    Dave - I'm sorry if I insulted you, I'm a joker who argues provocatively. You *are* entitled to your opinions and they're as valid as the next man. As opinions.

    I still say your very wrong about many of the facts, but I respect someone who has the tenacity to stand their corner and at least you're showing signs of thinking it through.

    This is an opinion:

    Copyrights and patents were part of a great system erected by those who sought to protect the weak and vulnerable from exploitation and to help them get more chance of rewards for their labour. They were designed to benefit society as a whole by encouraging arts and scientific research. They were never meant as a guarantee of rewards, as an entitlement or welfare system. That is what they have become though. Not a welfare system for the artists though, a welfare system for the weak ones who only profit from the endeavours of others. That is why scaling copyrights back to their original 12 years or so would provide a massive benefit to artists and to society. It would take money away from those who do no work to deserve it but live off the work of others and give nothing back.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Replying

    And I certainly didn't mean there should be government protection for them or any other industry. Or rather I'd prefer if government "protected" artists and industry by making sure no laws were made that hinder the free market, such as a copyright law. So I guess that would be government working in reverse to what it normally does.

    I'm afraid I don't understand what you're saying here. You seem to be saying you don't want government protections, but you do if they're copyright?

    I would like copyright law to basically state that an artist has the ability to sell their materials at whatever price they wish, under whatever terms they wish, no one else could use their creation without their consent, as long as they could prove without a doubt that they're the original creator of the material.

    That's not a free market you're describing. That's fine, but you say you want a free market, yet you then say you want a situation where the market does not set the price, where there's no right of first sale and that the original creator of a good has power over the good after it's been sold.

    I'm just trying to understand how you align those positions, because they don't agree.


    It's the same thing as government "protecting" you when you make a...chair...for example. You paid for the materials to make the chair, or got them somehow yourself by your labor. No one has the right to take the chair from you, it's your property to do with what you please. Sell it, destroy it, give it away.


    Ok. But heres where things get tricky. Once you've sold your intellectual property the new owner should then also have the right to "sell it, destroy it, give it away." Right?

    I also am still a bit confused with your earlier comment that this sort of protection would destroy other works, or the ability of other artists to create new works. It might have been due to our misunderstanding with one another, or maybe you were thinking that I support something such as the copyright of certain notes, and if anyone used those notes, even in a different arrangement, they could sue. I'm NOT for that. But that gets into some serious semantics, which for now I'll leave out due to it's complexity.

    Ok. I think I understand your confusion, but let's look at it this way. Let's say I'm a musician, and I put together a set of notes in a pattern that sounds pleasing. Let's say I created a chord or a scale. According to you, I should now own that forever, and no one else should ever be able to copy it without paying me for it.

    So anyone else who uses those notes, chords or scales should have to pay -- making it increasingly prohibitively expensive to create any new song without paying up.

    You will say I've taken things to an extreme case and that's not what you're saying at all, yes? So, to you, the core "unit" that deserves protection is a full and complete song. But what if my song takes the rhythm of someone else's song and builds on it. What if I take the bassline from one song and the drums from another? Have I violated copyright?

    It begins to get quite messy.

    Now, what if I happen to write the exact same melody that someone else came up with? Should I have to pay them for it?

    And if you're using the song as the unit of measurement, what if it's a perfect copy, but for one note? Where's the line?

    The point is that you can't come up with a "fair" unit of measurement here, and any attempt only limits the creativeness of others.

    Creativity -- all creativity -- is built on what others have done before. Our founding fathers recognized this, and they wanted to encourage everyone to use the creative works of others to create new and innovative creative works, and THAT is why they limited the term of copyright. To encourage others to be able to build on the works of those who came before them in order to build more creative new ideas.

    Insisting that copyright lasts for ever suggests that no one could ever build on the works of anyone else -- and since all creative works do, you stop almost all creative endeavors.

     

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  92.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Curious Bystander

    If that's the reasoning then just pay the artist once, and never again. Of course that one payment is going to be a doozy!

    Actually that happens. Many times I have been in the position of negotiating and faced a choice between "points" or a "buyout". The latter is a straightforward purchase. It allows the creator to gamble on the likely returns over time versus money in the bank now.

     

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    Mar Onni, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Rob is right, Mike is wrong, royalties forever

    Please, please, PLEASE:

    Our Culture has been made putting one brick over another one, and that could be done because cultural bricks passed, after certain time, to public domain and free use.

    Holding control and grasping revenues from cultural items FOREVER would suppose the cultural death of a society.

    Examples:
    All music written in pentagram (99.99%) should pay to the monks who developed the latter. And all musician who works with the terms "Octave" or "third" should ask Pitagoras' heirs for permission.
    The "Nike" brand would have its copyright in Athens (Greece, of course).
    Is any trash-food chain paying the city of Hamburg for selling "Hamburgers"?
    Should all major "Maionese" brands, including Hellman's, pay royalties to the small city of Mahon (Spain) in wich it was developed, and after wich is named?
    Nearly 80% uf u.s. gov't buildings should pay (and ask for permission to be built) to the city of Rome (Italy) for the architectural models. Soon afterwards, Rome would be sued by Athens, Athens by Knossos, and so on.
    In the end, nearly ALL machinery should pay iraquis, heirs of Babylon, for using the WHEEL, something that NEVER will stop producing profits.

    That's, above impractical, just nonsense.

    As is nonsense that the royalties from my Beatles' cd's have gone to Michael Jackson, who owns them: royalties should ONLY be paid to the creators and, perhaps their most direct heirs.

    Less greedy societies came to ways to compensate social and cultural creators without forbidding the cultural evolution of its creations.

    Culture is not just a product, and only societies that don´t respect it, treat it that way.

    Regards

     

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    Newob, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 4:46pm

    A modest proposal

    The intent of copyright is to incent future creators of artistic work. Therefore only creators of art should own copyrights. The business of transferring copyright only leads to the person with the most money owning the most creative works and thusly earning the most benefit from them. This does not incent future artists, it only incents future monopolizers.

    Ideas should be free. A digital copy is more akin to an idea than it is to a physical work. A digital copy is just data, which is essentially an idea from the perspective of a computer which holds that data. We, human beings, are now entering a new phase in the evolution of ideas, in which artificial brains can think and make copies of their ideas, which like lighting one candle with another candle, does not diminish the fire but makes more of it.

    The founders of the Constitution did not have computers and so they did not consider whether computers should be able to share their ideas for free. But Jefferson did specifically say that a thing like fire that can be copied without reducing the original, should be free of ownership.

    I believe that computers should be able to share ideas for free, and so digital copies of songs, software, and all other data should be free of ownership. Copyright should therefore apply only to hard copies and the read-only media that contain data, and should not restrict digital copying.

    Today the law has got the issue of piracy backwards. The transfer of copyright is piracy, because it enables a business which appropriates the rights of creators for the person with the most money. On the other hand, the more abundant a digital copy is, the less possible is plagiarism and counterfeit. Digital distribution, which preserves attribution and permits virtually instantaneous searching and referencing, is the antithesis of plagiarism and counterfeit.

    I have a humble proposal. We, the cognoscenti who perceive that copyright as it exists is hindering the spread of factual information and hindering science, as well as hindering creativity by burdening new artisitic works with the cost of every copyrighted thing that they sample, should petition for an amendment to the constitution. This amemendment at is core should insist on two things: Copyright should not be transferable. Digital copies should be free to share over computer networks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Copyright apples to oranges

    That would be great if, after 50 years, the musician actually owned the copyright to their work. Very very few copyrights that are approaching the 50 year mark are owned by musicians or their descendants, They are owned by corporations instead.

     

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    fsafsdfsd, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Copyright

    Copyrights for musicians are not in existence to be an incentive for new content.
    Then just what do you claim it's purpose is?

     

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    Liberty Dave, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: Replying

    Ah yes, see I wasn't thinking in the terms you are. I agree with you that it would be bad for society if someone were to have the ability to copyright certain chords progressions, or scales. Just like if a programmer try to copyright certain keys on the keyboard or something crazy like that.

    That would be an abuse of they system for sure.

    I guess this article from the Cato institute sums up the difficulty with copyright law: http://www.cato.org/dailys/06-17-04.html.

    I was thinking in more general terms, not the specific terms you are thinking. I was thinking, this entire post, only of whole songs, whole pieces of work, as it's generally accepted by law.

    We could all be silly and say what if's, such as "what if a car manufacturer wanted to copyright the roll up window?" or "What if a home builder wanted to copyright a door that opens on hinges"? That would obviously be an abuse to the majority of people, and would be very detrimental to society.

    I'm talking about Led Zepplin for example, their song Stairway to Heaven...after 50 years if a company wants to use that song in a commercial they should still have to pay royalties to the bad, or their company (i'm not sure how they're set up legally). And the original post made it seem like you, and others, were against this idea, which is why I was so loudly against it.

    But I certainly agree with you about the abuse that can occur, according to your examples in post #91.

    Of course artists, lawyers, corporations etc will continue to try and push the envelope, as many of your past posts have pointed out. So it's still going to be attempted, which is sad, but hopefully your posts can continue to point out these crazy lawsuits and raise the alarm to at least some people, get them talking about it.

     

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    Celes, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Monopoly Money?

    That's an unfair comparison, I think. Your Monopoly game is more akin to the sale of an actual CD; once I buy it, it's mine (although that's a different much-debated topic these days). There's a difference between royalties and an actual product.

    For your logic to work, every time someone played Monopoly (who was not the Mattel corporation) they would have to pay a fee to Mattel.

    Even without copyright protection, I believe that the musician still makes money from sales of his/her product, like a CD (providing the RIAA doesn't take it all, of course, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

     

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    Celes, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:50pm

    Re:

    You know what? I think you make a lot of sense. However, what would you suggest when there are multiple creators of a musical piece and one of them has died?

     

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    Ethan Bauley, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:07pm

    Can we put an end to this??

    Liberty Dave,

    If you want to get up to speed on the point of copyright from a third party, please, please read the introduction and the first couple chapters of "Free Culture" by Lawrence Lessig, probably the preeminent IP lawyer in the universe, and a law professor at Standford.

    This very readable treatise on the point of copyright is available for free in pdf format here:

    Free-Culture.org

    You will really enjoy reading this. Really fascinating for someone argumentative like yourself.

     

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    Ethan Bauley, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Replying

    L Dave,

    You are definitely getting on the right track now. Please see my post about Free Culture.

    The thing is that under the status quo, you can't really have your cake and eat it too. Zeppelin can't demand that people pay them to use "Stairway..." in commercials in perpetuity in a world with decent copyright limits [30 years???]. Once that term is over, it's public domain, period.

    Of course, this is only in the current black and white world of copyright law: all or nothing.

    The Creative Commons organization is trying to come up with something in between. You should also read up on their site:

    www.creativecommons.org

    I am about to release a record on my label with their Non-Commerical/Sharing/Remixing/Share Alike license.

    Basically, the license says that whoever buys the record is allowed to NON COMMERCIALLY remix it and share copies.

    Woah! Craziness

     

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    Enrico Suarve, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Rob is right, Mike is wrong

    When you purchase a keyboard the agreement between you and the manufacturer is that you pay $x dollars for the keyboard, and then it's yours forever, you no longer have to pay anything else, you OWN that keyboard.

    Since you started the slagging - do you read the posts you respond to, are you deliberately misunderstanding or are you just thick?

    YES the keyboard is yours - you are free to reuse it time and time again and even sell it on. The point is that by utilising your logic it would be a VERY expensive keyboard in the first place, as the act of my buying it would have to reimburse all the people whose creativity helped progress concepts and development of such things as IR, printed circuit boards, switches etc etc

    I think the main thing people such as myself have a problem with is the idea of money for no effort... Another post states "what right do the manufacturers of the Monopoly board game have to keep earning money so many years on" (monopoly will be 50 this year incidentally). They have every right as you are not just buying the idea they came up with 50 years ago, you are buying the board and little plastic pieces manufactured with effort just the other month in a factory...

    I have no idea what the copyright on a board game is but when it runs out others will have the right to create and sell copies. I would guess Hasbro will start putting "the original and still the best" on their box at this point and others will have to "compete" - familiar phrases outside the music industry those aren't they?

    To counter another popular misconception in various threads copyright is NOT how musicians are paid, royalties are how musicians are paid. No one argues that if I go out and buy Led Zeppelins album tomorrow they shouldn't get some money and no one argues that if they get up on the stage 70 years after they write a song and play it they shouldn't get money. I think we do have a problem with the idea however that 70 years on with no extra effort from them they get paid because somebody else covers it

    I play guitar (albeit badly), the guitar I play is a very close copy of a Fender Stratocaster (a cover if you will), I could have bought an original Fender but decided to save money and buy a replica - Fender made no money off the sale

    Leo Fender spent a LOT of time, effort and money developing not just the Stratocaster but in conjunction with ideas from Adolph Rickenbacker, Les Paul and others the concept of the electric guitar itself. Yet their companies still make a LOT of money despite hundreds of copies of their guitars for musicians who decide to save money or can't afford the real thing. They would probably welcome the same rules in their industry to enable them to have more of a monopoly but sometimes life just ain't like that

    The 50 years copyright monopoly musicians get is already a privilege granted by the government and therefore the people, to then demand more is outright greed pure and simple

    If you don't like the current state of music contracts challenge them (and stop signing them). I don't think anyone would have a problem with you challenging concepts such as collateralisation, cross collateralisation etc, indeed I think most of us would back you. If you don't like the market and the rewards change the way it works, don't expect the rest of society to change their law further, creating even more dangerous precedents for other markets just to prop up your dying one

     

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    Paul, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 10:05am

    Wow....

    Things have gotten a little out of hand since I last looked at the post here. My opinion is a s follows, and please disagree if you have a valid argument to counteract...

    1) Copyright exists to give incenive to further works. After 50 years, enough 'incentive' has been give - if the artist hasn't made any further works after that amount of time, that's their problem.

    2) All art, whatever the format, belongs in essence to the public. For 50 years, the copyright allows the owner to have an exclusive right to make money from that art, after which the 'ownership' reverts to the public.

    3) After this reversion, the public can use the art in the way they wish, not removing the rights from the original artist (who, if still alive, can continue to make money), but rather allowing others to benefit from the art. For instance, a new artist could make a career recording cover version of songs over 50 years old, possibly brand new interpretations that surpass the original. Other acts could sample the work and use the samples to build a superior new work. A movie maker could make a movie set over 50 years ago, and increase the value of the movie by including music from that period without having to bloat the budget by paying millions in royalties to the deceased artists...

    There are so many arguments here, but at the end of the day, 50 years is a great gift to artists, after which the work should belong to the public. End of story.

     

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    frankthetank, Jan 29th, 2007 @ 9:27am

    making copyright compare to chairs

    i think i've found an argument with the chair vs. music

    i buy a chair. i own it. it's mine. no one disputes that, right? well, now say i move, or decide to have an addition put onto my house. if i move the chair to a new location, do i have to pay the creator again? i would hope not.

    that's what happens with music. if i get a new computer/player or whatnot, i'll have to rebuy the music because it's copy protected. it's protected because of copyrights.

    now here's something funny. back to the chair. if i break the chair, i can attempt to fix it. if if destroy it, yet have detail drawings/instructions i can build a new one. while it may not be the same molecules that the orginal chair was comprised of, it is still one chair, that i bought.

    now the market stuff. artist should be compensated, and that's what the market does. the market also shows that is possible to compete with free. CD sales still are the leader in music sales. why? many reasons. i would venture a guess at the standing physical medium in which it's on. next is the extra content you get. that little book with pictures/lyrics/band bios... the CDExtras with more pictures/ maybe a live performance, codes for concert tix. that all adds value to the music. it also adds costs of production, but as production goes to infinity, the costs go to zero...economics again

    well that's that and a bag of potato chips

     

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    |333173|3|_||3, Jan 29th, 2007 @ 6:20pm

    It is fair that copyright continues for the life of the creator, butt there must be various levels of copyright. If we say that you should not be able to copy and sell CDs for the life of the musician(s) who recorded it, most of you would accept that as fair. By extension of this, if I want to use your recording in an ad, I should have to come to an arangement with you. However, making my own recording is a different issue, since there may have been some work of originality granting me a copyright was well. It may also be wise to allow a period during which the composer has the right to limit performance of his music, but this should only be for five or so years, enough to stop others ripping off whoever he composed it for. THe lyrics could be considered as a seperate entity, as a written work, so that you cannot subtley change words to agree with your politcicla views (i.e. modifying ssongs for political corectness), but so that a parody is allowed. THis is a bbig issue, and one which one could easily think about full time, without a solution, but term extensions do not seem to be the way forward. Unfortuneatly, pollies may not read TD, so they will not see what people think.

     

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  106.  
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    Seabelo Modibe, Jan 31st, 2007 @ 9:37am

    Musicians Are simply protecting their assets. Their music are like an investment. Why should we earn once?

     

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    Peter Yew, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 12:23am

    Re: Rob is right, Mike is wrong

    I believe that copyright laws are written to protect the creators from being plagarized so that he or she can derive financial rewards for his or her work. I do not agree that copyright should be forever. I believe the 50 years limit is a fair period during which the creator can claim legal ownership of his work after which it pass into the public domain.

    Writing a song or composing a piece of music takes creative efforts. I can only guess that such efforts can be in a matter of days or even months. It will be really unfair and ridiculous to grant a perpetual right. At a certain point in time, that work must be released into the public domain when the creator would have deceased. Copyright works must not be for the families to benefit. I believe that if a piece of work is really good, the creator would have been justly rewarded by the royalties. If the work is mediocre or absolutely worthless, he should be content with the end result. After all, any intellectual property requires no other investment except one's ability and gift to feel, think and translate into the form that the public can understand and appreciate.

     

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  108.  
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    Waseem, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    For help

    With respect
    Sir,
    I am a musician. My age is 26 years. Nationality is Pakistani. My instrument is B Flat Cornet I am working in police brass band but I am not happy there due to ignorance and lack of promotion chances. There are many old musicians but there living standard is very low. We are working for people's happiness and give owner the respectable personality with the help of sweet and beautiful tones. But there the musicians have not respected. And no have any promotion chances except for requirement only some person. Due to the civilian and other officers have different eyes for musician except some great persons.
    I am a hard working student of music. Want to build my professionalism. My father was also a musician and he was the band master have many reward in there service but he can't get the treatment his disease of hart due to only lack of money and ignorance this professional. He was the great musician of piccolo. Some month's ago he died on duty but he can't see the good time in there life. Now I don’t know where we live. Same stories have many families of this profession I love this sweet profession. So I am searching a band there I can perform with other great musicians. And can get good knowledge for performing art and become a world standard musician. I am a fancily not strong but have the dream to become world standard musician. Can any one help me and invite me to join any great band so I can growth, and gave progress. Any great lover of this music profession or any great musician can help me

    After respect
    Syed Waseem Abbas
    Contact no
    00923334550993
    Waseemshah_lahore@yahoo.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
    identicon
    Waseem, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    For help

    With respect
    Sir,
    I am a musician. My age is 26 years. Nationality is Pakistani. My instrument is B Flat Cornet I am working in police brass band but I am not happy there due to ignorance and lack of promotion chances. There are many old musicians but there living standard is very low. We are working for people's happiness and give owner the respectable personality with the help of sweet and beautiful tones. But there the musicians have not respected. And no have any promotion chances except for requirement only some person. Due to the civilian and other officers have different eyes for musician except some great persons.
    I am a hard working student of music. Want to build my professionalism. My father was also a musician and he was the band master have many reward in there service but he can't get the treatment his disease of hart due to only lack of money and ignorance this professional. He was the great musician of piccolo. Some month's ago he died on duty but he can't see the good time in there life. Now I don’t know where we live. Same stories have many families of this profession I love this sweet profession. So I am searching a band there I can perform with other great musicians. And can get good knowledge for performing art and become a world standard musician. I am a fancily not strong but have the dream to become world standard musician. Can any one help me and invite me to join any great band so I can growth, and gave progress. Any great lover of this music profession or any great musician can help me

    After respect
    Syed Waseem Abbas
    Contact no
    00923334550993
    Waseemshah_lahore@yahoo.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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