The Other Future Of Copyright: The Draconian Suffocating One

from the well,-that's-unpleasant dept

The fourth piece in the Cato Institute's Future of Copyright series is a bit bizarre. Written by Tom Bell, who we've mentioned before for his efforts to get people to start calling "intellectual property" "intellectual privilege", it attempts to take a look at the "other" future of copyright. It's sort of the opposite scenario to Rasmus Fleischer's opening piece imagining a world without copyright. Bell's piece tries to get into the mindset of a Hollywood exec, explaining why it seems to make sense to make copyright more and more draconian in an effort to make the "costs" of infringement go up by attacking infringers with everything they've got. Of course, this isn't surprising, and even Bell sort of makes the half-hearted case for it, as he admits at the end. If anything, Bell comes to the conclusion that because we haven't already seen even more draconian copyright laws put in place, it may mean that even Big Content execs recognize the differences between copyright and real property. Still, I'm kind of surprised to find out that Cato couldn't at least get a Big Copyright exec to put up their opinion for this particular piece.


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  1.  
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    Dan, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 12:32pm

    "intellectual privilege

    I was very confused for a few seconds of reading, until I realized that you just forgot to close the quotation marks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 12:36pm

    Want the views of a "Big Copyright" exec? Read the annual reports of "Big Copyright" companies. Warner Music Group would be a good start.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 12:53pm

    Re:

    Want the views of a "Big Copyright" exec? Read the annual reports of "Big Copyright" companies. Warner Music Group would be a good start.

    Tried that. Didn't work.

    Warner Music Group is so confused it doesn't know which way is up.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20071114/151459.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/2008 0606/1752191338.shtml

    First they say that they inadvertently "went to war" with file sharers and would stop. There were just two problems with this: it wasn't inadvertent at all, but very much planned by Edgar Bronfman. Second, it hasn't stopped the war.

    That's not a defense of copyright. That's grasping at straws and trying to protect an obsolete business model by showing an unwillingness to deal with what the market is saying.

     

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    The Mad (Patent) Prosecutor, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 1:10pm

    I ran across your site a few days back.

    Most of you are intelligent people, but have a very poor understanding of intellectual property law (I am a former engineer, current patent attorney, worked in-house and at some of the largest IP/patent law firms in the world, coming up on a decade of experience in patents). While there are definite problems, there is so much misunderstanding. Still, I find it interesting to see the public's perception of the problems.

    Intellectual privilege? Most of the arguments with respect to why copyrights/other forms of intellectual property should be open to all can be applied to real property (e.g., consider the person that wants to cut across your yard - there is no taking of real property by him walking across your yard, multiple parties (within reason) can use the property at the same time, owning real property unnecessarily limits the actions of those who don't own but otherwise would put to good use the real property, etc.).

    I also find complaints with respect to copyright particularly interesting, because the complainers are not complaining that copyright unnecessarily limits their rights to anything they have created - they are complaining that they can't take what someone else has created. Restated, you want to take something of someone elses from someone else, and are irritated that you are limited in doing so.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 1:27pm

    Re:


    Most of you are intelligent people, but have a very poor understanding of intellectual property law


    Ah, another one. Every few weeks a patent attorney shows up here and makes this claim. It's getting tiresome, but let's go through the response:

    1. Yes, we do understand patent law.
    2. We're not writing about this from the perspective of the law, anyway, but from an economic perspective. Do you understand economics?
    3. We're not justifying taking the work of others. We're trying to show why the creators themselves would be better off by ignoring IP laws.

    Most of the arguments with respect to why copyrights/other forms of intellectual property should be open to all can be applied to real property

    Actually, that's not quite true. It's a favorite of IP attorneys, but it's cherry picking. For every similarity to real property, I can explain a difference. For example, if you think that it's the same as property, why can't the person who buys music give it away just like I could give away real property I purchased? Also, why doesn't real property go into the public domain after a period of time?

    I also find complaints with respect to copyright particularly interesting, because the complainers are not complaining that copyright unnecessarily limits their rights to anything they have created - they are complaining that they can't take what someone else has created. Restated, you want to take something of someone elses from someone else, and are irritated that you are limited in doing so.

    Actually, that's completely untrue in my case. I have made it clear that I do not engage in file sharing, nor do I encourage it. I am simply explaining the economics at play.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    Except that "taking" is the same as "stealing" where one party is deprived entirely of it's use.

    The record labels have become irrelevant. They are used to distribute physical copies of an album. Since the cost has dropped to free with the advent of the Internet and cd-burners for those wishing a physical copy, they should not be selling any services if the buyer looks at all options. The only problem is that bands are either stuck in licenses still, or are unwilling or afraid of how to work the new market.

    It's simple economics. The record labels are suing to make an artificial scarcity when if they didn't, it would be an unlimited good and as thus would have a price of 0.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re:

    There are very few differences between intellectual property and material property. Especially given matter and information are largely interchangeable when we get down to fundamentals. The primary differences we observe concern the facility with which we are able to apprehend or manipulate them. Tangibility, communicability, reproducibility, are three. Perhaps I've missed some?

    However, the differences in facility, have very little impact in terms of natural rights. Intellectual property rights and material property rights have only subtle differences.

    The thing that renders them chalk and cheese is not a difference in facility, but a privilege introduced 300 years ago - aka copyright.

    But for that unethical artifice we'd all be happy bunnies enjoying our natural rights unabrogated.

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 1:55pm

    Copyright Aggrandizement

    The The Mad(Patent)Prosecutor wrote "because the complainers are not complaining that copyright unnecessarily limits their rights to anything they have created - they are complaining that they can't take what someone else has created."

    The problem with this statement is that the copyright holders have been aggrandizing their so-called property rights. This comes at the diminishment of the property rights of the content users. Yes, content users also have property rights to the use of content they have bought.

    We simply should not accept the copyright discussion from the viewpoint of the content producer. Instead we should view it from a level playing field that also recognizes the property right of the content user to use that content.

    Copyright was meant to be a LIMITED monopoly, once it is over, you have a right to use that content anyway you like.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 3:21pm

    In a time when physically recorded music can be copied and distributed on a mass scale, the copyright is the only thing left for a composer (such as myself) to protect the way the music is used by others. I have my own personal beliefs about recorded music that are not shared with many. I believe that music can be created and credit given to that creator, but not "owned", in the "real property" example. I do believe very strongly that the creator of a work should have complete 100% control over how that work is used. Copyright without expiration. Ever.

    Live performance is what really matters, as a musical work will be performed differently each time, either in a recording studio or on stage.

    The future will have music artists charging a higher premium than even now on live performance, to make up for the lack of income that was generated via sales of recorded music.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 3:27pm

    To add, I also believe that copyrights by a composer or songwriter should not be transferable to a corporation or business entity for the purpose of profiting from the copyright. Let the corporations own the sound recording, but not the copyrights. The copyrights should be for the protection of the creator's works.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:00pm

    Re:

    Hey A.C.,
    Should I be allowed to record some of your music directly and use it in my own production? Can I use thematic elements from your music without your permission? How about a chord progression? Or a chord? How about a series of notes? How about a pair of two notes? Where are you going to draw the line?

    Actually, the line has been drawn, painstakingly and over a long period of time, in a way which maximizes the useful control left to the creator while precluding him from utterly restricting everyone else from touching the work and thus maximizing the total benefit to society. It is called fair use. Look it up.

    By releasing your music to the world, you unleash a plague. When we hear it, it infests our minds and changes us forever (if it is good). We cannot help but be inspired by that music or incorporate it into our lives, since it has incorporated itsself into us.

    You WILL NOT use that to wield power over us. We reject that, totally and altogether. As a generous thank you for having brightened our lives, we will allow you to enjoy some special privileges related to that work for a certain period of time. And now it is your turn to thank us.

     

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    The Mad Prosecutor, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re:

    You analysis is interesting. There are two possible flaws, in my opinion - the first being as far as I can recall, there is no clear economic indication that copyright laws and policies are or are not maximizing economic benefits, and the second being that economic benefits is the factor that should be maximized.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:34pm

    "By releasing your music to the world, you unleash a plague."

    I presume a most misguided usage of words? If not, it speaks volumes about your viewpoint concerning music.

    How do you define the release of music? I give a recorded copy of my composition to one person to listen to. They then distribute it to 10 of their friends, and then those give it to ten of their friends, etc. Am I to take it that I'm responsible for the distribution of my music to others. Does that include people selling copies too?

    "You WILL NOT use that to wield power over us"

    If you read my post carefully (which you obviously didn't) you'd note my views about ownership of music, which you conveniently bypassed or ignored.

    "maximizing the total benefit to society. It is called fair use. Look it up."

    I'm quite familiar with fair use and fair abuse, as well.

    I'm most interested to know what your own interpretation of "maximizing the total benefit to society." is.

     

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    The Mad Prosecutor, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Copyright Aggrandizement

    I agree that copyright "feels" like is it too long. I have a suspicion that terms will be perpetually extended, so that for example we will never see Mickey Mouse in the public domain. Nonetheless, when I am honest with myself, I realize I am complaining because I think that the copyright holder shouldn't be allowed to hold the right for that long, or I want to use something that I did not create. Too bad for me, is what it really comes down to.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:42pm

    "or I want to use something that I did not create."

    There's nothing wrong with that at all.

    I've created music that has been used by others who claimed authorship of my creation. That kind of use is all wrong.

     

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    The Mad Prosecutor, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It is true I do not have any degree or minor in economics. I have taken 4 or so undergraduate economic courses, though, and feel that I have at least a working undestanding of basic economic principles.

    I suppose without copyright laws, we'd all be subject to more click-through, shrink wrap, and traditional licenses.

    Usually when I talk to the beatnick copyleft types, the dialog goes as such:

    Maynard G. Krebs: Man, these copyright laws prevent my hip cat self from downloading songs without restriction. We have to stop this government intervention, man.
    TMP: If we didn't have copyright laws, you'd still be limited by agreement or technology. You still couldn't download songs without restriction.
    Maynard G. Krebs: No way man, they'd make laws to prevent that!
    TMP: I thought you wanted to stop government intervention?
    Maynard G. Krebs: [cerebral cortex undergoes a "ctr-alt-del," while said beatnick stands (or more correctly slouches) in slackjaw silience]

     

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    The Mad Prosecutor, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:53pm

    Re:

    "There's nothing wrong with that at all."

    This, however, is an opinion, and therefore cannot be more valid than someone else saying "yes, there is something wrong with that." Perhaps, in fact, if the author says "yes, there is something wrong with that" with respect to use of his creation, his opinion is more valid.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 5:08pm

    Re:

    I picked the metaphorical plagueish words on purpose. A plague rips through the countryside and can't be stopped and changes everyone it touches. Music does that--but in a good way.

    I define release in terms of the plague. Once it is unleashed, it is released.

    Of course I read your stupid post, I responded directly to it. You said you want 100% control over your music. Since we have assimilated it, you want control over us. That is the power you will not wield.

    I havent defined maximizing total benefit to society, that is the result of a long process of social deliberation, but I assure you that creating a climate of total fear of accidentally misusing ideas which have polluted your mind according to the 100% controlling desires of the ideas' originators is not part of a system blessing society with maximum benefit.

     

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  19.  
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    Jason (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 5:18pm

    Re:

    Oh blessings! We pay homage to your glorious condescension!

    "Most of the arguments...can be applied to real property"

    Yes, most of them can! That is, except for the most central argument:

    Whenever a copy is made,A unilaterally non-exclusive replication in both essence and substance of the so-called property occurs . When a copy is then distributed, the nature and form of the copy is has been transferred in full to the recipient without any transaction being enacted upon the original whatsoever.

    This point begs several questions:
    Is the right to reproduction and distribution inherent in the artifact of origin? or else, is the right fundamentally severed from the artifact?

    If the originator no longer has possession of an original or a copy, how then might the copyright be preserved if the right is severed from the artifact? To which of the rightful copy-holders can the originator go in order to demand reproduction for his benefit? If no such copy-holder complies with those demands, how might the separate rights be transferred? Shall the right to make further copies be forever at an impasse?

    If an exact copy, per se, were made - so as to be entirely fungible with the original and the two were then co-mingled, which may be retained and which distributed so that the originator retains his rights?

    If the copy in question is emblazoned upon the mind of an individual, then can those thoughts be imprisoned for nothing more than the cause of monopoly?

    On this point the existing law stands in complete contradiction to nature itself. There is no reconciliation between the two. The nature of the thing cannot be the question here.

    Then the only question remaining is whether and what it is reasonable to impose the originator's rights upon the natural liberty of the copy-holder and what is the basis for withholding. On this point the original purpose of the law as it was created has become obsolete. There is no longer benefit to the originator to withhold rights from the copy-holder. The problem is that we have allowed ourselves to be low-balled by our own reasoning.

    In order to promote art and productive commerce, we have arbitrarily created rights that do not exist naturally (and have imposed upon freedoms that do so exist), as we once deemed reasonable. Now that those reasons (or at least the weight of their claim over and above what is natural)have been superseded by technological advancement, we have, purely by the construct of social cognitive dissonance, clung to a fabricated reality beyond reason.

    The "complainers" aren't complaining about anything that has to do with taking. There has NEVER been a question of taking. Within the concept of "copyright infringement" initial distribution has occurred, at least presumptively. Nothing is being taken that was not already given.

    In fact the natural right to reproduction and distribution lay with the form and stuff of any of all of the copies of an original. For both original and copy are, by nature original. Copyright has no further value to us than to inhibit our natural creativity - the same creativity for which we first fabricated copyright.

    I'm not taking what is yours. I'm taking what you gave me under the mistaken presumption that you somehow kept some part of it, which in fact, both you and I know that you did not.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 6:03pm

    Re:

    I do believe very strongly that the creator of a work should have complete 100% control over how that work is used. Copyright without expiration. Ever.

    You are in an extreme minority on that one. Here's why it's a bad idea and doesn't make sense and is also against the very purpose of copyright in the first place:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070521/015928.shtml

    The future will have music artists charging a higher premium than even now on live performance, to make up for the lack of income that was generated via sales of recorded music.

    Actually, there's little evidence to support that (other than the expected inflation). What's happening instead is that more musicians can now make a living performing music, thanks to better tools for creating, distributing and promoting music -- and that has made the market more competitive. Those who try to raise prices find it's increasingly difficult to do so reasonably. But that doesn't mean that they make less money. That's because the free distribution and promotion of music means they can build much larger fanbases.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    the first being as far as I can recall, there is no clear economic indication that copyright laws and policies are or are not maximizing economic benefits

    Really? Then you haven't looked at much of the research. Any economic monopoly distorts a market such that it can no longer efficiently maximize economic benefit.

    the second being that economic benefits is the factor that should be maximized.

    What else would you suggest? If economic benefit can be maximized in such a way that it encourages the creation of more content, allows both content creators and consumers to be better off -- then how could that possibly *not* be the factor that is maximized.

    The constitution says that copyright is to promote the progress of the science and the useful arts. Progress is determined by economic growth. Something that holds back economic growth, therefore, goes against the purpose of that clause of the constitution.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: Copyright Aggrandizement

    Nonetheless, when I am honest with myself, I realize I am complaining because I think that the copyright holder shouldn't be allowed to hold the right for that long, or I want to use something that I did not create.

    That may be your reasoning, but it is not mine nor many of us who oppose copyright extension so please don't superimpose your reasoning on us.

    I oppose copyright extension for a very straightforward reason: copyright's sole purpose is to encourage the creation of content. It is a bargain made between the state and the creator: the state offers up a gov't granted and backed monopoly in exchange for the content being created, with the knowledge that it eventually goes into the public domain.

    Yet copyright extension that applies to works already created is changing the deal *after* the deal has already been struck. Obviously the deal worked originally: because the content creator figured it was worthwhile to create the content. If it weren't a good enough deal then s/he wouldn't have done so. So why do we sweeten it after the fact at the expense of not just the public, but also anyone who would make better content built on the backs of the earlier content?

    Finally, history has shown that creative content is almost always built on the work of those who came before. Yet, with copyright, we SLOW down that process, by making it more expensive and cumbersome to do so. Every time we increase copyright, we make it that much more difficult for new content to be created. That goes against the very meaning and purpose of copyright.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I suppose without copyright laws, we'd all be subject to more click-through, shrink wrap, and traditional licenses.

    Not at all. If you look at the history of content creation, what you would find is the opposite would happen. People would recognize that there's more *value* in freeing up their content. Those that lock it up will find that no one bothers.

    So newer, better business models develop, and those models focus on selling the scarce goods that the infinite goods make more valuable:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070503/012939.shtml

    Usually when I talk to the beatnick copyleft types, the dialog goes as such:

    Well, then you're talking to a different group now. We're not beatniks, and we're not copyleft.

    So... maybe try not arguing strawmen.

     

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    A Different Jason, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re:

    First, I've always suspected there's more than one "Jason" in the world, and now I have proof! (I hope the diction should be enough to distinguish the two of us.)

    Second, I've always found "hifalutin" talk to be either 1) a disguise for lack of knowledge or 2) a subtle threat that "you should listen to me because I'm smarter than you." Sadly, it only works on the gullible.

    You get clearer in that last sentence, but seriously ... don't try so hard and we might care to get your point.

     

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    That Other Jason Again, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Progress is determined by economic growth. Something that holds back economic growth, therefore, goes against the purpose of that clause of the constitution.

    I don't think I agree with you here, Mike. Certainly, there's more than one way to determine progress, and certainly economic growth doesn't factor into all of them.

    Also, I'm pretty sure economic growth was not the primary concern of the founders or of the constitution. IMHO, that's reading back into it.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


    I don't think I agree with you here, Mike. Certainly, there's more than one way to determine progress, and certainly economic growth doesn't factor into all of them.


    I've asked on this site repeatedly for a better way to measure progress, and I've yet to hear a single one. To be clear, again, when discussing economic growth, I'm discussing growth in a market that provides *more* opportunities and incentives for the creation of content, a better market for content and a better system for consumers to enjoy the content. A study of economic growth shows you that this is possible -- which is why that's what I look for.

    If you can come up with a way to define progress that doesn't include those things, I'd be interested to hear about it.

    Also, I'm pretty sure economic growth was not the primary concern of the founders or of the constitution. IMHO, that's reading back into it.

    Well, considering that the very idea of economics was born at about the same time as our country, I'd agree that they weren't thinking of it that concretely. But I think it's pretty clear from the language that they chose -- focusing on the progress of science and the useful arts. Note that they didn't say "content" or anything like that. They were specific that it was to be progress of science and useful arts -- both of which are focused on the practical. And, the history of economic growth has shown that the way you promote those things is through growth.

     

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    Jason, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 7:17pm

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

    Reduction in crime rate, improvements in the educational system, a more informed and active citizenry, movement and experimentation in the arts, etc., are all forms of progress that need not be directly tied to "economic development."

    I think it's pretty clear from the language that they chose -- focusing on the progress of science and the useful arts

    Again, if progress means only economic growth ...

    Note that they didn't say "content" or anything like that.

    I didn't say they did. I know you're defensive on this issue because of the many attacks, so I get why you're jumping at shadows in your reply, but I'm only arguing the points that I'm arguing.

    They were specific that it was to be progress of science and useful arts -- both of which are focused on the practical.

    Though I don't think it's unreasonable to understand "useful arts" in more than just practical terms. It seems clear that the founders thought similarly, given quotes like this one from Jefferson:

    "I like [the declaration of rights] as far as it goes, but I should have been for going further. For instance, the following alterations and additions would have pleased me...... Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions in literature, and their own inventions in the arts, for a term not exceeding __ years, but for no longer term, and no other purpose..."

     

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    Mike (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 7:42pm

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

    Reduction in crime rate, improvements in the educational system, a more informed and active citizenry, movement and experimentation in the arts, etc., are all forms of progress that need not be directly tied to "economic development."

    Actually, if you look historically, all of those *are* correlated with economic growth. So you might not want to knock it so quickly. :)

    Though I don't think it's unreasonable to understand "useful arts" in more than just practical terms. It seems clear that the founders thought similarly, given quotes like this one from Jefferson:

    Sure, with the clear goal of what Jefferson was saying was to set up a system that can better reward people for those sorts of things. If economic growth provides that system, then you don't need monopolies.

     

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    Jason, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 7:59pm

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

    Actually, if you look historically, all of those *are* correlated with economic growth. So you might not want to knock it so quickly.

    You know as well as I do that correlation and causation are very different things. Also, just because they correlate doesn't mean you can define one in terms of the others. Therefore, I still hold that progress need not be defined exclusively in economic terms.

    the clear goal of what Jefferson was saying was to set up a system that can better reward people for those sorts of things

    I would agree that economic concerns relate, but I still am not convinced the founders were thinking only in economic terms. In fact, the actual clause in the Constitution suggests the concern was more with establishing who does and does not have "rights" in regards to creations (for a limited time), solidifying the relationship between creator and creation (for a limited time), and recognizing the incentive of that right for creators, whether or not any actual economic gain comes from it.

    In other words, they recognize what many here don't seem to recognize: one of the incentives of copyright isn't economic at all, it's the assurance that you, as creator, can have exclusive rights to what you create (for a limited time). There's no guarantee of economic gain, just guarantee of limited control over your creations. Believe it or not, that's important to creators, sometimes more so than the money they might make from it.

     

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  30.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 8:28pm

    Re:

    I design websites and I create alot of graphics when I do it. I don't care who steals what, be it code or graphics. I'd be pretty flattered if they did. They could steal a whole design and resell it to someone else and that's cool, also. Honestly, I really don't care.


    Alot of my Photoshop brushes and patterns come to me free from people who don't care what I use them for. They are happy to make and distribute them.


    You have artists giving away music for little to nothing, photographers and artists paying to join sharing networks so they can share thier art for nothing, writers across the entire globe writing for nothing... Even this blog is free for you to use and quote and enjoy. So, no, I don't think the only people who have issues with the current system are just leeches.


    Maybe we remember when you could quote a news article, or play a song. When bands played for the love of music, not for the love of money. When artists painted beauty and not cash. When writers wrote because they had to write or explode.


    The point of copyright is money. The point of art is enjoyment and/or satisfaction. How do you expect a seller of enjoyment/satisfaction to make enough money to live comfortably by limiting the enjoyment/satisfaction that thier customers can have?


    The problem is not that we are refusing to pay. It's that we don't have to. The AP is scared because bloggers give away what they want to charge for. Record labels are scared because bands want to give away what they charge for. It seems to me that the leeches are the ones that are the most afraid of these changes.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I never realized you were a constitutional scholar. I always thought you were an MBA'er.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re:

    No, the problem is that you are refusing to pay by purposely availing yourself of a freebie that you know good and well was not released as such. No wonder so many software developers are loathe to release their products in other than CDs and DVDs.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "No, the problem is that you are refusing to pay by purposely availing yourself of a freebie that you know good and well was not released as such."

    What freebie did I take that wasn't released as such? Brushes and patterns clearly marked as free to use by the authors? Music offered for download for free from the creators and thier licensees? Software from download.com that is (once again) clearly marked as free to download and use by the author of the software? Writing that was offered for free on the Internet, both in html and .pdf form?

    What in the world are you talking about?

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 10:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If a content creator deliberately makes his or her content freely available, they are the ones who have made that choice.

    If a content creator does not make his or her content freely available, then that is their choice as well.

    The emphasis is on the word "choice". That is for the creator to decide, and not a user who without authority makes that choice for them.

    BTW, I post photos to a stocksite (SXC) with the proviso that users are free to do whatever they want. Make money selling exact copies? Fine with me. Place them on mugs and other cafe press items? Fine with me as well. The important thing to note is that I made this choice. It was not done for me by someone else.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Right... But what does that have to do with what I asked you? (If you are the same coward.) You said:

    "No, the problem is that you are refusing to pay by purposely availing yourself of a freebie that you know good and well was not released as such."

    I ask again: What freebie did I take that wasn't released as such?

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You analysis is interesting. There are two possible flaws...

    The most obvious flaws are in your response above:
    "No clear economic indication"
    Sorry, but stuffing your ears only enhances your own perspective on an argument from silence - no one elses.
    "Economic benefits is the factor that should be maximized"
    Yes, if we are talking about corporate policy, competitive strategy, and marketing tactics. ABSOLUTELY NOT if we are just talking about the law. Come on, you really expect to sell the notion that the should exist to line the pockets of the wealthy.
    Let's clarify: The law should encourage businesses to take the proper steps to maximize wealth within an appropriate framework of accountability. That framework should include accountability to the rights of people. The prioritization of those rights should follow something along these lines: 1. inalienable rights 2. other natural rights 3. artificial rights - and these only in the capacity that reason and good sense dictate such an artifice.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    The overly wordy Jason, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 10:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, I basically agree with you, so please accept my apology

    I'm sorry, my time was limited or I would have written something shorter.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    overly wordy again, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Mainly, I'm kind of a dork. If that makes you not want to listen, I understand. But don't go looking for a complicated explanation. I was just geeking out and trying to flesh out why I see it that way. I've just never tried to put it into words before, and it just happens I was also late for the last bus out of twn.
    Fail? Sure whatever, maybe i'll try again later when the wife doesn't need a cuddle.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Wordy Jason, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 11:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, but even the word 'creation' is just wrong here. An artist is not really a creator. He's an arranger of what already is. You can scarcely use the term re-creator - more like a human filter of crap. It's time we realized that and stopped asserting divinity and then wetting our pants the second we realize how perfectly easy it was for someone to copy and even improve on our so-called creation. If something is really my very own creation, then I don't need protection. You couldn't possibly copy it. If you can, then I need to question whether it was really mine in the first place. @ Different Jason, thanks for being different.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 1:14am

    Re:

    So you agree with record companies tying artists up in a contract that they get all royalties from a record the artist zero?

     

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  41.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 19th, 2008 @ 3:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not all of us are like the 'Different Jason'.

    I quite enjoyed your prose (and your arguments). :)

    Stick to your own style that lets you write with greatest ease and eloquence, and don't allow yourself to be co-opted by less appreciative members of your audience. :-/

    But, yup, a less ambiguous name would be the icing on the cake.

     

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  42.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 19th, 2008 @ 3:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's those laws of commercial privilege that interfere with natural rights.

    Without copyright, the natural right to free speech cannot be alienated by agreement. It is only people's familiarity with the ability for copyright to suspend free speech that lulls them into the belief that contract can do so if copyright is abolished.

    Laws do not create rights, they can only protect them or suspend them (with unethical privileges).

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    cram, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 4:19am

    economic growth and arts

    I don't think economic growth and progress in the arts are related at all.

    US - Plenty of economic growth, great strides in arts
    Singapore - Plenty of economic growth, little in arts
    Iran - Screwed up economy, political and social instability, great movies
    Pakistan - Screwed up economy, political and social instability, zilch in arts
    France - Plenty of economic growth, great strides in arts
    Saudi Arabia - Fabulously rich, zilch in arts

    Enough said.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Rhetorically, prose that is clear, direct, and as simple as possible given the subject matter is always going to find a larger audience than prose that is otherwise.

     

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  45.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jun 19th, 2008 @ 5:55am

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

    You know as well as I do that correlation and causation are very different things. Also, just because they correlate doesn't mean you can define one in terms of the others. Therefore, I still hold that progress need not be defined exclusively in economic terms.

    And yet you fail to provide a different definition of progress.

    The reason that economic growth is the proper one is that the focus is on providing the best possible incentives for the creation of new content and ideas. And as we all hopefully know by now, the best way to encourage a market is to remove regulations that encourage monopolies to let the market decide.

    I would agree that economic concerns relate, but I still am not convinced the founders were thinking only in economic terms.

    They were clearly thinking about *incentives* and that's what economics is. Understanding the incentives of trade.

    In fact, the actual clause in the Constitution suggests the concern was more with establishing who does and does not have "rights" in regards to creations (for a limited time),

    For the purpose of creating an *incentive*.

    recognizing the incentive of that right for creators, whether or not any actual economic gain comes from it.

    I don't see how you can have a non-economic incentive (note that economic does not mean *money*). There must be *some* reason why the content or hte idea is created, meaning that there is some marginal benefit to the creator to do so. Again, it need not be money -- but that benefit is in "economic" terms.

    In other words, they recognize what many here don't seem to recognize: one of the incentives of copyright isn't economic at all, it's the assurance that you, as creator, can have exclusive rights to what you create (for a limited time).

    But that *is* an economic benefit. Economics is not just about money.

    There's no guarantee of economic gain, just guarantee of limited control over your creations. Believe it or not, that's important to creators, sometimes more so than the money they might make from it.

    Again, you seem confused. Economics is not just about money.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 6:06am

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

    And yet you fail to provide a different definition of progress.

    Um, what? I provided multiple examples in my previous comment. Cram (a few comments ago) provided supporting examples as well.

    Economics is not just about money.

    As a discipline and theory, that's true, but the discussions here (perhaps only in the comments from others) seem to focus on money.

     

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  47.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Jun 19th, 2008 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Copyright Aggrandizement

    Here is a quote from a judge: " Kozinski: There are always threats to free speech. Government doesn’t like to be criticized. Owners of copyrights and other intellectual property rights are very grabby. They think they own everything, or they think they invented everything."

     

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  48.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 19th, 2008 @ 7:30am

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

    Never mind the quality, feel the width eh?

    Either you're a promoter pursuing a large audience, or you're an artist pursuing your art.

    Sometimes you wear both hats, each on a different day.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 7:59am

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

    Haha ... this is not the place for this debate, but ... how can I resist!?

    If your purpose is to persuade (which is what we're about here), then clarity and concision are important ... and are part of the quality. A good argument expressed poorly might still be a good argument, but it looses much of its persuasive force.

    Time for more coffee or something!

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    John Wilson, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Usually when I talk to the beatnick copyleft types, the dialog goes as such:"

    I assume that you're referring to copyleft as it's been described and adopted by the Free Software Foundation and by the GNU Public License.

    In that case you're not reading things very well nor are you understanding what you read.

    The GPL uses copyright as well as the license to enforce the terms of the license.

    The purpose is to ensure that the ability of a user of a given piece of code has the right to modify, study and improve it.

    Should they release it back into the wild it has to retain the license and the freedoms it grants. Also, it's entered into voluntarily.

    It is not and never has been about "theft". Nor is it about taking away the rights of anyone to make money off it. Usually through support and other services linked to the code.

    Oh, "beatnick" is more properly spelled "beatnik". Nice throw back to the late 50s and early 60s, though.

    At least try to get you points straight rather than all mixed up.

    It does, however, go a long way to illustrate your considerable biases.

    ttfn

    John

     

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  51.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 19th, 2008 @ 8:41am

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

    It always depends on your intended audience and as you say, your purpose.

    I don't argue here to persuade, but to learn and understand. Nor do I seek the largest audience.

    It is possible that Wordy Jason is not trying to find a larger audience. It is possible he is not striving to maximise the persuasive force of his argument.

    At least consider that these things may be possible. That then removes the persuasive force from your argument that his '"hifalutin" talk' is invariably either disguised ignorance or domineering pretentiousness.

    I'm sorry, is this a five minute argument or the full half-hour?

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 8:58am

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

    I still maintain that all speech is persuasive.

    At minimum, the speaker is attempting to convince the other to at least attend to his speech ... otherwise why speak? Self-speech is a method of self-persuasion (or, truly lacking that, then insanity) ... a way of "seeing what I think" so that I might consider the merits of it. This is (to me at least) self-evident.

     

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  53.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 19th, 2008 @ 9:34am

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

    The progenitor of this argument spoke coherently, cogently, and persuasively:

    "In order to promote art and productive commerce, we have arbitrarily created rights that do not exist naturally (and have imposed upon freedoms that do so exist), as we once deemed reasonable. Now that those reasons (or at least the weight of their claim over and above what is natural) have been superseded by technological advancement, we have, purely by the construct of social cognitive dissonance, clung to a fabricated reality beyond reason."

    I remain unpersuaded by your argument that this speech or the voice or language in which it is spoken is indicative of either pretentiousness or disguised ignorance.

    I grant you that if it were phrased more simply it would be more readily digested by a larger audience, but that is not without cost.

    Instead of berating the author for not taking this burden upon himself, you can instead digest it yourself, rephrase it, and then impart it to the larger audience that you apparently pursue.

    After all, we are trying to encourage the sharing of each other's speech and the building upon it, whether to simplify or to elaborate, to promote or to explain.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 10:22am

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

    This isn't the place for this debate. I was being flippant in my original comment (and probably unfairly so), but I still hold to the point behind it: it is on the burden of the one attempting to communicate to do so in a way that will be most persuasive given subject, occasion, audience, and purpose. In all cases, clarity and concision are helpful. There's no point in blaming the audience if it doesn't respond to a needlessly complex message.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Rob, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: ?????????

    What? I really, really, really tried to understand what you said. Failing that I tried to understand what you meant ... and failed.

    So you're saying that without copyright law, we could enjoy our "natural rights" to say ... music the same way we could enjoy our "natural rights" to oh ... a sandwich? Well I don't think so. After I eat the sandwich I suppose you can have what's left (after I use the facility) but I can' imagine you'd want it.

    So just what are these "natural rights" and who says what they are? Some cultures may not have "ownership" as a right (although I'm sure we'll knock that out of them soon enough).

    Sorry, I'm rambling here. Maybe reading this post caused brain damage. I hope it's temporary.

    Peace,

    Rob:-]

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Rob, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: There are no infinate goods

    The creative process takes time. Humans do not have infinite time on the planet. The "market forces" of nature make is obsolete.

    So what valuable in the world is the time it takes to make things. Modern factories have lowered the time it takes to make physical things and, thus, lowered the cost. But the non-recurring engineering (NRE) are part of the "fixed costs". It is mostly the variable costs that have been reduced by the factory. In the case of digital products the NRE is still there but the variable costs have approached zero.

    This is that basic economics you've been talking about.

    Why shouldn't the creator of something not be have his/her creation protected under the law so the NRE ... the cost of creation ... can be recovered and a profit realized.

    Peace,

    Rob:-]

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Rob, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So you're saying that taking something I created without my permission and selling it is not unethical. That is what you're taking about, right? The natural law of the jungle perhaps.

    Peace,

    Rob:-]

     

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  58.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 25th, 2008 @ 3:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: ?????????

    Digestibility comes under tangibility. If you can touch it, you can invariably disintegrate it, and thus digest it (people have eaten bicycles).

    So, yes, whilst you can eat the paper a music score is printed on, the process of digestion may transform the material property, but it will simply destroy the intellectual property (rather than transforming it). Material works are transformed by our stomachs. Intellectual works are transformed by our brains (our intellect).

    We have a natural right to do what we want with our music scores, whether to reproduce more manuscripts for those of us who like eating them or to perform or transform the music upon them as our aesthetic persuades.

    Unethically, some of these natural rights are suspended to privilege publishers.

     

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  59.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 25th, 2008 @ 4:00am

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

    No, I have never said anyone should take anything from someone without their permission, whether they created it or not.

    There are some who deny the validity of intellectual property, and whilst we may both decry the privileges of copyright and patent, those such as I steadfastly argue the self-evidence of natural intellectual property rights.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Rob, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Then I have misunderstood you

    A thousand pardons as I must have misunderstood you. I must admit that I've come late to this conversation. It is forcing me to think about these issues and try to figure out where I should stand. Challenging the ideas is the quickest way I know of to find that out. I often challenge ideas from the side I least agree with. It's been fun to have people willing to challenge right back.

    Peace,

    Rob:-]

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Mike, Dec 13th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    Re:

    Does that mean companies like Microsoft should forever hold a monopoly on the software industry. And I mean completely dominate a 100 BILLION dollar a year INDUSTRY FOREVER!!!!

     

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


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