Copyright And The First Amendment

from the congress-shall-make-no-law... dept

There is a growing number of scholars questioning how to align the First Amendment's rule that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech...." with intellectual property law that often does, in fact, abridge freedoms of speech. I'm in the middle of reading an entire book on the subject -- which I'll be reviewing here shortly. And, just recently, we saw a court (for the first time) note that parts of copyright law were unconstitutional due to the First Amendment. Law professor Peter Friedman points us to the latest of many recent treatises on the subject, by Christina Bohannan, entitled Copyright Harm and the First Amendment, which questions why copyright law does not require any showing of "harm" to get around the First Amendment issue.

Other laws -- such as defamation -- require that in order to adbridge the freedom of speech, harm needs to be shown. And that seems like a reasonable condition. Bohanan agrees and suggests, not just that copyright law should be changed to include a burden on those declaring infringement to show that actual harm has been done, but that the First Amendment requires this. In fact, she finds it troubling that rather than putting the burden on the accuser to show harm, it's often flipped around, and the burden is placed on the defendant to prove a lack of harm -- which creates the chilling effects so many people warn about. It is these "chilling effects" that seem to go entirely against the First Amendment.
This article argues that copyright law, at least as it is applied in many cases, is unconstitutional. When there is no harm to the copyright holder's incentives, copyright law burdens speech without serving any countervailing governmental interest. Thus, the First Amendment requires proof of harm in copyright infringement cases. Consistent with the government interest in encouraging innovation, the harm requirement would allow a finding of infringement only where the copyright holder can show that the defendant's use is likely to cause real harm to the copyright holder's incentives to create or distribute copyrighted works. As such, the harm requirement would allow restrictions on speech only when necessary to keep the "engine of free expression" running. Although the harm requirement is no panacea for all speech issues in copyright law, it would help courts to identify and eliminate cases involving false conflicts between the First Amendment and copyright -- that is, cases in which there is arguably a speech interest in allowing the defendant's use and no speech interest in prohibiting it.
It's definitely a worthwhile read. Combined with some other recent scholarship, it seems likely that these issues are likely to get tested in court in the relatively near future. It would be great to see the courts recognize that copyright law has expanded so far as to violate the First Amendment in more and more situations.


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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 10th, 2009 @ 7:12pm

    Meh.

    It would be great to see the courts recognize that copyright law has expanded so far as to violate the First Amendment in more and more situations.

    Yeah, that'd be great. It's also increasingly irrelevant. The actual reach of 'the law' over copyright concerns is ultimately minimal outside of commercial arenas, and only growing moreso.

    It's like they're playing Whack-A-Mole, but where each successful hit generates another Whack-A-Mole machine.

     

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    Roy, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 7:33pm

    I agree that there should definitely be burden on the copyright holder to show harm.
    However, potential harm is still harm in my opinion.
    Should the freedom of speech be restricted TO AN EXTENT because of copyright? YES

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:08pm

    Re:

    Roy, you do not have the right to say that

     

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    dave, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:17pm

    "potential harm is still harm in my opinion."

    You rapist!

    (Well, you have the *potential* to be a rapist - you've got all the parts, right? And this is why potential harm differs from actual harm)

    Copyright was intended to give artists temporary exclusive rights to profit from the creation of a desirable, tangible product, to wit: a stack of bound paper with a specific sequence of information imprinted upon it. Copyright was necessary in this world because widespread information sharing was only possible by imprinting it on valuable, and costly media.

    In today's world, the cost to spread information is effectively nothing. By rights and by economic models, copyright law should be diminished as it is much easier today to recoup the cost of "publishing" information. Instead, it is being expanded to the point of ridiculousness, and is now encroaching on fundamental, inalienable human rights.

    This is simply asinine, and I for one am not going to follow unjust laws solely to ensure the recording industry's business model. I will support artists by purchasing their merchandise, by attending their concerts, and by helping to make them popular by sharing their art with those who will appreciate it. I will expend my valuable time and bandwidth to promote them.

     

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    DMNTD, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:37pm

    Re: Roy

    I agree with dave...its become what it never should have.

    Also Roy that in all rational sense is against the constitution soo that makes you a traitor. Just so control can be established to persons usually against advancement?

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:48pm

    If you eliminate copyright (and patents, and all related stuff) you run into the very simple problem:

    Why innovate or create if you cannot profit from it?

    Yes, I understand that certain groups of people would still innovate or create just for the sheer pleasure or personal accomplishment of the act, but I think we can all agree that financed research and developments have advanced society greatly. Giving an author the ability to make money with their work allows to get financing to have the time to create the work, and allows them the luxury of time to create works in the future.

    If Chris Anderson releases his "FREE!" book on one day, and the next day the shelves are stocked with someone else's duplication of his book at half the price, the time and effort he has put into the book is lost.

    As for the question of harm versus potential harm, I think that torrent sharing is a great example. In purely technical terms, there is no specific way to measure harm in direct financial terms, yet harm is done (the more people have something for free, the less chance they will buy it in the future). Example of the latest U2 album, because it became available online for free before it was for sale, there is indication that a couple of hundred thousand copies less were sold (when compared to their previous album first week sales). That harm cannot be proven completely, but the potential harm is clear and even likely.

    Dismissing copyright as a violation of the first amendment would pretty much kill innovation in the US.

     

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    Jon, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:17pm

    Harold I actually get where you're coming from. I don't think the answer here is to ban all copyright. The judge pointed out that only some parts of copyright law are infringing on a person's free speech.

    Yes, a author should have the right to sue if he or she releases a book and a day later a blatant rip off right next to it on the shelf, however, it is the author's responsibility to prove that the book is infringing Hypothetically, a fantasy author releases a novel entitled "Against Good and Evil." At the same time a psychologist releases their research in a book under the same title. Why should the fantasy author sue the psychologist? Has there been any harm?

    As far as incentive to innovate, I'm of the opinion that the best artists aren't in it for the money. If you bang out a novel to make a buck, its a pretty good chance that your book is gonna suck. There are exceptions; but not many in this day and age. Creation for love of your work will always trump creation for your love of money, at least in the media world.

     

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    not dave, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:50pm

    think more

    The medium was never the message or the value, nor was the "share-a-bility", it's the content. Why should a content creator/artist be less important or valuable due to a different distribution method?

     

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    Nathan, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 3:48am

    Re:

    Even without copyrights and patents, the creator still gets the advantage of being first to the market. In the case of patents, one isn't obligated to tell others how to recreate your product.

    The competition has to buy your product, figure out how it works, and find a way to reproduce it. Then, they have to either make it better or find a way to sell it for less.

    By that time, you have already been monetizing for some time and you have hopefully created a good reputation. Even without IP laws, the innovator still has a distinct advantage in the marketplace.

     

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    pr, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 5:37am

    Dave says:

    Copyright was intended to give artists temporary exclusive rights to profit from the creation of a desirable, tangible product, to wit: a stack of bound paper with a specific sequence of information imprinted upon it. Copyright was necessary in this world because widespread information sharing was only possible by imprinting it on valuable, and costly media.

    Actually that's exactly wrong. Except for the part about exclusive rights.

    The purpose of copyright then was the same as it is now: it's cheaper to produce a copy of someone's work than it is to create the work in the first place. The difference is that it was easier to police then. Typesetting and such was hard and expensive, because few people had the equipment to copy and because so few works were worth copying, since you still had to compete against the original publisher. It was trivial to trace the illegitimate copy back to the unauthorized publisher.

    They could pay the content creator by pricing the good a little bit higher than the mass production cost but less than the individually produced copy cost. Anyone who tried to cut costs by mass producing copies without paying the content creator would get caught and punished.

    That started to go away with the tape recorder and the copy machine, but it still wasn't (usually) worth the trouble. With digital copies and the internet, it's trivially easy and nearly free to make as many perfect copies as anyone wants. Hence, copyright is still a valuable concept, just unenforceable. The cost of an individually produced copy is zero, so the content producer gets fraction*quantity*0.

    I don't know how to fix that. The only way the old way is going to keep going is for the masses to decide that it's a good thing worth supporting. If there was sufficient social pressure to not copy certain items it might be possible to keep the old ways going for a while. Trouble is the organizations that profit from copyright have traditionally gone out of their way to raise contempt for it. It's hard to have much respect for a system that still requires payments for "Steamboat Willie" and "Happy Birthday".

    If I was king I'd drastically cut the term of copyright, to something like ten years for personal copies, somewhat longer (maybe 20 years) for publishing a copy for sale or other profit. The latter would include not only re-printing someone else's book, but also hosting a web site with someone else's content on it. It might be possible to get that system to work on those terms. Expecting people to pay a buck for an MP3 of Woody Guthrie never will.

     

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    Luci, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 5:44am

    Re:

    No. It should not. Congress shall make NO LAW... well, you know how it goes, I think? Unless you're outside the US. Then I'll just point you at our Constitution.

     

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    ASH, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 8:31am

    Well, this article is a bit of a train-wreck. Copyright can't be "unconstitutional", by definition, because it *comes from* the Constitution.

    What you have here are "competing constitutional rights", which are balanced against each other in the same way as all other competing constitutional rights (say, the Free Exercise clause and the Establishment clause)--by the Supreme Court weighing the importance of both sides, and then deciding which, under the circumstances, should prevail.

    For example, you may have the right to Free Speech; but the public has a right to its safety, so you can't go off and give our nuclear codes to the Russians or Chinese. You can't hold a rock concert in your front yard at 3 a.m., because your neighbors have a right to some peace and quiet. And so on.

    Meanwhile, the idea that the burden of proof in defamation cases is "often flipped around" is likewise almost completely off the rails. The only time that the burden is "flipped around" is when the person pressing the lawsuit is legally defined as a "public figure"--because, as a matter of good civic policy, the Supreme Court wants citizens to have a free and open discourse about its public affairs, without constantly worrying about being sued (which actually WOULD interfere with Freedom of Speech).

    The idea of "harm" being required is a misstated one as well. Interfering with your rights, whether it actually costs you money or not, *is* harm, by its very definition. And if by "harm" you're requiring "monetary harm", well... that's just stupid. Under that concept, someone could come live in your house without permission while you're on vacation, so long as they cleaned up before you got back, and you'd be powerless to stop it, even though your property rights are likewise constitutionally guaranteed.

    In fact, though they are the defamation cases you most often hear about--because the plaintiffs are famous--"public figure" lawsuits actually represent only a small fraction of defamation cases, and the overwhelming majority are private-figure cases in which the burden of proof doesn't "flip".

     

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    kirillian (profile), Apr 11th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    Why innovate or create if you cannot profit from it?


    It's a good thing that artists throughout history didn't ask themselves that question, or we wouldn't have the rich history and culture that we do have...It's such a sad thing that there are no examples throughout all of history that show the relationships that purveyors and creators of art can have without money being directly exchanged.

    O...wait...that's right...the direct exchange of money for art didn't even surface until the middle ages when artists were commissioned...O, and the rise of popular music didn't even start until, WHAT?, the 20th Century!?!?!?!

    So...we're looking at the past 50-100 (ya...I'm being REALLY generous) as the meter for how economies SHOULD work?

    Right...good thinking there.

     

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    kirillian (profile), Apr 11th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re:

    @ASH
    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.


    Um...the Constitutional Copyright Clause...

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


    The First Amendment...

    It seems pretty clear cut here...the copyright clause gives the United States Congress the power to create laws to give authors and artists limited copyrights. The First amendment, clearly LIMITS this power. There is no conflict. The First Amendment CLEARLY has priority in this case.

    Mike's argument is that the courts are FINALLY acknowledging this.

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re:

    Not really.

    The more recent deal from the courts is on a very narrow, very thin, piece of copyright (specifically for items that were "clawed back" from the public domain as a result of an international accord).

    The only think it implies is that once a work hits the public domain at the end of it's copyright period, someone using that material cannot be found to be infringing. It doesn't in any way limit congresses ability to pass, maintain, or update copyright law going forward or on material that is current in copyright.

    In the end, you are falling for what exactly Mike is hoping you would: Taking a small exceptional case, and thinking that is applies to all of it. Congrats.

     

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    ASH, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 1:41pm

    Kirillian--

    Glad you're working from a copy of the Constitution. More than some folks around here.

    However, you've identified exactly what I said the first time around: that these are both constitutional rights. The First Amendment doesn't "limit" the copyright clause any more than the Second Amendment limits the first, or the Third Amendment limits the second, and so on.

    As I've said, the courts have to balance these two rights and figure out which one should prevail under the specific circumstances. And, while you're certainly entitled to have your own opinion about which is more important, 200+ years of American jurisprudence has disagreed with you.

     

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    dave, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 2:37pm

    Re:

    Copyright was established at a time when the only way a copy could be made was on a tangible medium, where the encoded medium was itself a trade item.

    "The cost of an individually produced copy is zero, so the content producer gets fraction*quantity*0."

    This is an incredibly common misconception - it's NOT true.

    The P2P CONSUMER bears the cost of creating the copy (the bandwidth, the computer, the disk space, and the power to run it are all valuable products and services). The consumer provides a valuable service to the artist, by assuming his distribution costs. The artist pays the P2P consumer with an intangible product (a copy of an artistic work). The P2P consumer provides the artist with distribution and another intangible, yet absolutely vital product: popularity. The artist can leverage this popularity to increase the desirability of merchandise, concert tickets, etc.

    The solution is not with the masses changing their ways. the solution is with the artists changing their business models to utilize the services P2P consumers are willing to provide, instead of insisting on providing similar, less desirable and thus less valuable services themselves. Which is why I'm ignoring the remainder of your post, which merely seeks to reinstate the fundamental business model that is no longer feasible in today's marketplace.

     

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    dave, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    Re:

    The problem is that the state of copyright laws today are not the laws implied by the copyright clause in the constitution. Today's copyright laws have expanded beyond the intentions of the founding fathers, to the point that they interfere with other constitutional rights.

    The copyright laws on the books today were enacted by legislation - not by the constitution. They have been expanded by legislation - not the constitution. And there is a clear precedent that if a legislated law violates the constitution, the law becomes invalid.

    You should be able to see the fallacy of your argument at this point.

     

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    dave, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 3:02pm

    Re:

    Why innovate or create if you cannot profit from it?

    Nobody is asking innovators to operate at a loss. What I am saying is that innovators need to adapt their business model to the market. Forcing the market to adapt to your business model is one of the hallmarks of an unjust society. As a society, we prohibit and/or regulate anti-competitive practices that contort the free marketplace specifically because they are unfair to the consumer. Now, we're being told that we must agree to operate in a twisted marketplace, or artists will all starve.

    It's a load of fertilizer. Adapt to the market, or go bankrupt.

     

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    VRP, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 4:21pm

    Civil Law - Common Law

    It's because "ignorance of the law is no excuse" that law ought to be taught in every grade of school past kindergarten.

    Any of you ever hear of suing for Declaratory Judgment? It's applicable in copyright law, as most others. Damages not in issue.

    With a good basic knowledge of the law, when admitted to law school, you'd be able to teach the profs a little about it.

    VRP

     

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    Dr. Kopp E. Wright, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    Say WHAT ?????

     

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    Dr. Kopp E. Wright, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    Say WHAT ?????

     

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    Dr. Kopp E. Wright, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 5:39pm

    Nice theory...but it doesn't work that way in the real world !!

    A friend of mine invented the "mood ring" (Josh Reynolds / Laguna Beach).

    Sales were great......then a flood of them came to our shores illegally
    as a complete "rip off" from China AT HALF PRICE....and my friend was out of business overnight !!!!

    HULA HOOPS were a protected patent....otherwise, China would have sold them for 50 cents....and they probably DID.

    PROTECT THE INNOVATOR.....give him his exclusive monopoly as his reward, then turn it over to the public domain 70 years after his death (Camp Town Races Five Mile Long...Doo Dah, Doo Dah) ....its a great paradigm as is....
    quit messin' with perfection.

    Pirates SUCK....except for Johnny Depp.....and he gets $20 Million and fame to be all that.

     

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    Nathan, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 7:08pm

    Re:

    Typically, when there are two competing pieces of legislation, more weight is given to newer one. An example of this would be prohibition. The 18th amendment was never taken off the books; it was superseded by the 21st amendment.

    Although I personally wouldn't take this stance. A decent legal argument could be made that the 1st amendment would take precedence over the copyright clause since it was passed at a later date.

     

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    mike42 (profile), Apr 11th, 2009 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Nice theory...but it doesn't work that way in the real world !!

    Damn, those copyright/patent laws worked great, didn't they!

    I would bet that, had he KEPT innovating, he wouldn't have gone out of business. And, had he not trusted in the promise of copyright/patent, I bet he would have.

    Sorry, your story just shows how stupid copyright/patent laws are now.

     

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    mike42 (profile), Apr 11th, 2009 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Weird Harold,

    Wow, you are a US lawyer? I thought you were Canadian.

    Perhaps you should pass the bar BEFORE you give legal opinions.

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Gee Mik42, your an asshole? I thought you were just a jerk.

    perhaps you should have a colon cleasing before you give your asshole opinions again.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 8:46pm

    When there is no harm to the copyright holder's incentives, copyright law burdens speech without serving any countervailing governmental interest. Thus, the First Amendment requires proof of harm in copyright infringement cases. Consistent with the government interest in encouraging innovation, the harm requirement would allow a finding of infringement only where the copyright holder can show that the defendant's use is likely to cause real harm to the copyright holder's incentives to create or distribute copyrighted works.

    If the article proceeds on the above basis, then we have a serious problem in academia when it comes to defining what cmprises "scholarship".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 8:47pm

    Re:

    typo: cmprises of course should read comprises.

     

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    dave, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 11:33pm

    Re: think more

    The medium was essential to the value of the combined product. The message alone is desirable, of course, but it is not scarce. The medium alone has a tangible, but minimal value: it is not desirable. When you combine the desirability of the message with the scarcity of the medium, you have created a valuable product.

    BUT! If you can subsequently separate the desirable part from the scarce part, (ripping the data off a CD) the scarce part will be abandoned, leaving the desirable part without scarcity, and thus without value.

    It's simple economics, and the recording industry is doing its damnedest to spread FUD on this fundamental truth.

     

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    CB3ROB, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 12:41am

    Re:

    RedHat makes money... lots of it.
    People will still buy books and maybe even music and movies and stuff and attend concerts etc, in order to sell stuff it is not required to have a "unique" monopoly on doing so, people buy screws and nails and milk and pretty much everyone with a cow can make milk.

     

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    Cap'n Jack (profile), Apr 12th, 2009 @ 12:57am

    Re:

    Weird Harold, there are a few assumptions you're making that I don't seem very informed. But before I reply, I have to ask you this: Are you saying that you agree that the First Amendment should be ignored to protect copyright holders? In other words, are corporations and artists in such imminent dangers that lawmakers need to ignore one of this society's most important values in certain scenarios?

    This isn't about dismissing copyright, either. It's about putting the burden of proof on the copyright holders, to protect the consumers so that copyright law is not abused. Your post is basically one huge straw man to divert attention from the main issue here, and you never actually stated your stance on it. So what is your stance, Weird Harold. Do you believe the law NEEDS to be bent for the good of the entire country?

    "Why innovate or create if you cannot profit from it?"

    Are you saying copyright is the only way people can profit off their work? For this to be true, you'd have to claim that for thousands of years, people have NOT been innovating or creating and profiting from that, or, at the very least, that people have been stealing the work of others for thousands of years and profitting greatly off of it. I am a big believer in history repeats itself, so if you can find historical examples of such occurences, that'd go a long way in helping your argument.

    But I think that, if you look at it with a clear mind, you'll see that people WANT to support artists they love. Look at the HUGE adoration fans have for their favourite rock stars, or video game nerds have for their favourite company. Humans naturally attach themselves to things they appreciate, and support those things. In the end, its fans that drive sales. Fans WANT to see their favourites succeed.

    If you write a book, and someone plagiarizes the entire thing and releases it right after, WORD will get out. Yes, that person might make some money off it, but people would catch on (especially in the age of hyper-communication) and support for that person would go away, and they'd lose all their credibility. For example, someone can't create a carbon copy of Harry Potter and expect to make money, even if copyright didn't exist - I'm sure if there were a bootleg Harry Potter book being sold for a quarter of the price, some people would consider buying it, but in all reality, those people probably wouldn't have bought the book in the first place.

    And, you know what, if someone creates something similar to what you wrote, but does it in their own words, or changes characters or whatever, and it becomes massively successful... Do you deserve credit for it? There are knock-off Harry Potter books starring a female lead and other massive variations Russia, and JK Rowling can't shut it down, but that brings up questions like, "Do those books harm or help JK Rowling's sales?" If the books help JK Rowlings (because people are likely to figure out the source material and want to read that, too), then she shouldn't be complaining, even if it does infringe on copyright law.


    Unfortunately, and this is a truth that is hard to deny these days, most people want their cake and want to eat it, too - copyright holders are the ones who want to profit off their own work, and off the work of others. If they made some success off something, and someone else made more success off a similar thing, they want to leech off that success. We see it all the time, in all sorts of avenues, including newspapers that try to make Google pay them for traffic they're getting from Google, or musicians trying to make Google pay for hits that are getting them attention on YouTube... It's all pretty ridiculous, and at this point, I think if people don't start working on restricting copyright to make it more fair, lots of people are going to lose some pretty basic rights.

    "That harm cannot be proven completely, but the potential harm is clear and even likely."

    It's neither of those things. If it were clear, it wouldn't just be likely, and if it were just likely, it wouldn't be clear.

     

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    ASH, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: Nathan

    "Typically, when there are two competing pieces of legislation, more weight is given to newer one. An example of this would be prohibition. The 18th amendment was never taken off the books; it was superseded by the 21st amendment.

    "Although I personally wouldn't take this stance. A decent legal argument could be made that the 1st amendment would take precedence over the copyright clause since it was passed at a later date."

    First, the 18th and 21st amendments aren't pieces of legislation.

    Second, the reason that the 21st amendment repeals the 18th amendment is because it says: "The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed."

    Third, the idea that subsequent legislation "typically" supercedes previous legislation just isn't correct. Typically, what happens is courts try to reconcile both pieces of legislation so that they work cooperatively. Such as, you know, balancing the copyright clause and the First Amendment, although those aren't pieces of legislation either.

     

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    VRP, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    Geez ASH, obviously you've been reading law! At a minimum...

    So why would you impart any intelligence on a bunch of yahoos like the posters in this forum? What a waste... Doesn't the legal industry depend on ppls ignorance of the law? We need to keep quiet about what we know...

    VRP

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re:

    As much as Americans go on about the 1st Amendment, it really isn't an absolute. Your rights to total freedom of "speech" (which includes much more than speech, really) are limited or impaired in all sorts of ways every day. The most common (related to this site) would be movie ratings systems. Total free speech is limited by a ratings system that says "you cannot say that to anyone under 18". It comes to a question of harm and of orderly society. There are rules for everything from libel and slander to obscenity, false statements, and even communications with certain groups or people in other countries. The scholarly types in the article would certainly be able to go about that at some length, there are hundreds of years of case law on that one!

    Do you believe the law NEEDS to be bent for the good of the entire country?

    There is no bend here. Copyright (and patent and trademarks for that matter) creates certain restrictions of free speech, nothing more. In the end, copyright is no different from things like court ordered publication bans, classified government documents, or hundreds of other restictions on free speech that exist every day without you realizing it.

    In simple terms, do you know why you drive on the right side of the road and not the left? That limits your freedom of automotive expression, doesn't it? I know, an extreme example with plenty of other law in the way, but safe to say that the government can create restictions to your absolute freedom when they are in the common good interest, or when the "potential harm is clear and even likely".

    We don't have to have too many head on collisions to know.

     

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  36.  
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    Nathan, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The movie rating system is voluntary and set up by the movie industry itself. The first amendment protects from government interference with speech. This is the why movies can be released is Not Rated.

     

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  37.  
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    Weird Harold, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When was the last time you saw an unrated movie in a theater?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Of course WH is right, there are no unrated movies in theaters ...
    oh wait, what's this?

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/mpaarating.htm?rating=Unrated&yr=2009&p=. htm

     

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  39.  
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    dave, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    "Third, the idea that subsequent legislation "typically" supercedes previous legislation just isn't correct. Typically, what happens is courts try to reconcile both pieces of legislation so that they work cooperatively. Such as, you know, balancing the copyright clause and the First Amendment, although those aren't pieces of legislation either."

    The copyright clause is not legislation. The laws that say copyright is protected for 70 years after the artist's death are legislation. (Please show me the clause in the constitution that requires this condition. You can't, because this condition was added by legislation much later.)

    The DMCA is a part of copyright law. It is legislation. Some terms of the DMCA (for instance) can be construed as infringement on free speech. If the courts construe these terms in this way, it becomes unconstitutional to enforce these terms.

    "In simple terms, do you know why you drive on the right side of the road and not the left? That limits your freedom of automotive expression, doesn't it?"

    I forgot about amendment 1a: "The right to automotive expression shall not be infringed". Oh wait...

    Driving is not an inherent right, it is a privilege. Speech is not a privilege, it is an inalienable right, which extends to the point that it begins to infringe on the rights of others. You can't yell fire in a crowded theater because it infringes on the rights of other people. You can't threaten someone because it infringes on their rights.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    A new low in doublespeak

    > However, you've identified exactly what I said the first time around: that these are both constitutional rights

    The copyright clause establishes no right. It only establishes the authority of Congress to create a copyright system. It is entirely at the liberty of Congress to completely revoke that system at any time it sees fit.

    Calling the copyright clause something that establishes an individual right is the height of dishonesty.

     

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  41.  
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    Weird Harold, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 4:21pm

    Re:

    Driving is not an inherent right, it is a privilege. Speech is not a privilege, it is an inalienable right, which extends to the point that it begins to infringe on the rights of others. You can't yell fire in a crowded theater because it infringes on the rights of other people. You can't threaten someone because it infringes on their rights.

    ...and thus, you have cited examples where freedom of speech isn't an absolute. Further, you have also shown that your personal rights do not supercede the rights of others, including the right to their own speech.

    So in the end, you have proven the point for us.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Nice theory...but it doesn't work that way in the real world !!

    70 years. You gotta be kidding. 10-20 years tops.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re:

    us ?

    for whom do you work?

     

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    ASH, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 8:34pm

    Jedidiah--just because something is enacted by legislation doesn't mean that it's not a constitutionally-derived right. For example, you've got a constitutional right to vote, even it's enacted by legislation (which, actually, even varies from state to state).

    All of which is actually beside the point--copyright is a property right, which most definitely is protected by the Constitution.

     

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    ASH, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 8:35pm

    Oh, and by the way--yes, Weird Harold is completely wrong about the movie ratings system. It's just as voluntary as the Comics Code Authority has been for comic books, and just about every publisher large and small has now abandoned it.

     

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    dave, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 9:59pm

    Re: Re:

    "and thus, you have cited examples where freedom of speech isn't an absolute. "

    You are right, speech is not absolute. It extends to the point that it causes harm to other people, i.e. infringes on their rights.

    Is copyright absolute? Is it permissible for copyright to encroach on the rights of the people? Do the personal rights of an author supersede the rights of the people?

    If the answer to these questions is anything but an absolute "yes" then you're on the wrong side of the argument.

     

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  47.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 12th, 2009 @ 10:16pm

    Re:

    Well, this article is a bit of a train-wreck.

    Thanks for your confidence, though I'd disagree.

    Copyright can't be "unconstitutional", by definition, because it *comes from* the Constitution.

    Uh, no, not at all -- and an awful lot of legal scholars disagree with you. Copyright law can absolutely be unconstitutional. The Constitution does let Congress create certain restrictions, but that DOES NOT mean (by any stretch of the imagination) that anything it does in the name of copyright is constitutional. That's what this paper is arguing.

    To brush it aside is kind of odd. It's a discussion that's been occurring for years.

    What you have here are "competing constitutional rights", which are balanced against each other in the same way as all other competing constitutional rights (say, the Free Exercise clause and the Establishment clause)--by the Supreme Court weighing the importance of both sides, and then deciding which, under the circumstances, should prevail.

    Right. And the point of the article (you read it, right?!?) is that the courts have repeatedly determined that the only real exception for the first amendment were in cases where harm is shown. Thus, without harm being shown, it's reasonable to question why copyright law, as written (not the constitutional clause) violates the first amendment.

    The idea of "harm" being required is a misstated one as well. Interfering with your rights, whether it actually costs you money or not, *is* harm, by its very definition.

    Not at all. If you are better off, rather than worse off, how can that be harm?

    In fact, though they are the defamation cases you most often hear about--because the plaintiffs are famous--"public figure" lawsuits actually represent only a small fraction of defamation cases, and the overwhelming majority are private-figure cases in which the burden of proof doesn't "flip".

    I have to admit, I don't know what you mean here. I wasn't commenting on lawsuits involving public figures, so this seems misguided.

     

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    dave, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 10:25pm

    Re:

    I thought you were headed there, but you jumped the track again...

    The laws supporting the right to vote cannot violate other constitutional rights.

    The laws supporting copyright cannot violate other constitutional rights.

    The laws supporting property rights cannot violate other constitutional rights.

    THE LAW CANNOT VIOLATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

    Are we done? Can we move on to a more productive argument now?

     

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    Nathan, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 11:57pm

    Re: Re:

    I just thought of another thing. Wouldn't copyright law, in many cases, be exercising prior restraint, which has been deemed to be illegal?

     

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    Mike (profile), Apr 13th, 2009 @ 12:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As much as Americans go on about the 1st Amendment, it really isn't an absolute. Your rights to total freedom of "speech" (which includes much more than speech, really) are limited or impaired in all sorts of ways every day.

    Yikes. For someone who keeps pretending he understands US law, you have a long way to go. The First Amendment has never been about "total freedom of speech." It is ONLY about saying that Congress cannot limit free speech (or the press).

    The most common (related to this site) would be movie ratings systems.

    Wow. Is that ever wrong. First, the movie rating system has nothing to do with Congress. Congress had no say in it at all. It's not a law.

    It's a voluntary agreement among movie theaters and the MPAA.

    So, uh, no, the movie rating system is not a violating of the First Amendment.

    There is no bend here. Copyright (and patent and trademarks for that matter) creates certain restrictions of free speech, nothing more. In the end, copyright is no different from things like court ordered publication bans, classified government documents, or hundreds of other restictions on free speech that exist every day without you realizing it.

    You still seem confused about what the First Amendment actually says.

    I know we've told you this in the past, but you really ought to try reading before you comment. It'll make you look less foolish. You have rejected this suggestion in the past, and I've only now figure out why: you are purposely being wrong. You are doing this all as satire. It's the only explanation that makes sense.

    Given that... good show. Very amusing.

     

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    Weirdness Herald, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 5:43am

    Re:

    >If Chris Anderson releases his "FREE!" book on one day,
    >and the next day the shelves are stocked with someone
    >else's duplication of his book at half the price, the
    >time and effort he has put into the book is lost.

    As we all know, you love to state things as facts with absolutely no proof and contrary to what seems to be the model today.

    There are knock offs of nearly every major designer, and yet... the designers continue to thrive.

    People buy a brand, whether that brand be something like Aramni or Prada, or whether that brand be a person.

    There are many books out there that basically say the exact same thing, but people buy the book from a noted author quicker than they buy a book from a first time publisher.

    It's about perceived quality... and, something you constantly leave out of your arguments, it's about supporting the artist. Plus, blatant plagarism hurts the reputation of the publisher.

    If Deepak Chopra releases a new book, people who are fans of his are going to buy the copy FROM him... not the knock off copy from John Smith. They want to support Deepak and have him write more books.

    Same thing with Stephen King... people are going to buy the book from Stephen King and not the knock off from Steven King.

    Will some people buy knockoffs? Of course... they do now. But let's face it, if the knockoff wasn't available, they wouldn't buy the real product - because they do not perceive the VALUE of the real product.

    It's all about perceived value. The more the author, inventor, etc. can create a higher perceived value, the more business he's going to create.

    It might mean authors, etc. will have to work harder to create that perception... but they should already be doing that, not just expecting people to blindly accept the AUTHOR'S idea of the value.

    That's the biggest problem with the RIAA and MPAA, people don't perceive the VALUE in paying $40-$50 for a night at the movies (night admission for two plus snacks). They studios think their movie is "da bomb" but in reality, the value is determined not by the studios, but by the consumers. Advertising, interviews, actors appearing in the movie, director, commercials, etc. all increase perceived value.

    That's the major reason some movies have such a great opening weekend and then die out. The hype created a greater perceived value, but the actual product was of inferior quality.

    Without copyright, author's, etc. would have to actually WORK at creating the REAL value and maintaining it.

    That's why some people still ask for name brand medications instead of generic (I know, I work at a hospital). It's about perceived value. And, in the case of medications, some name brands have less (or less severe) side effects than generics.

    Copyright is antiquated in it's current form. Information and soceity is changing at a much more rapid pace that ever before. Information and ideas are outdated LONG, LONG before the 70 years.

    If you make something, you should be rewarded by being able to sell it. But just like the little boy who sets up a lemonade stand on a street with two other lemonade stands, you need to have a way to draw people to your lemonade... is is fresher? sweeter? etc.? Or maybe it's time to toss the idea and sell ice cold tea.

     

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    Some dude, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 8:44am

    The first amendment protects freedom of speech. Using copyrighted material would be freedom of someone else's speech.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 10:31am

    Some dude, exactly. What does free speech have to do with copyright law? Unless someone sells their work to someone else (assigns copyright) how can our own work violate copyright law?

     

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    anymouse, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Gotta love those trolls

    Wow Harold, just WOW. Who but an industry apologist would try to use their own industry guidelines (movie ratings) as an example of something they think supports the 'law'. It doesn't matter how many times you repeat it, people are not going to equate movie ratings with law (okay, a small percentage will accept the lie as fact, roughly 5-10%, and they will go on repeating it to others, who will not know the source and may accept it as fact).

    Lets check the statement, WH said, "Total free speech is limited by a ratings system that says "you cannot say that to anyone under 18"." Most people only need to read this sentence to understand how mixed up and confused WH really is (or how good of a troll he is, depending on your viewpoint - and as much as I love pointing out the faults and misconceptions in WH's statements and arguments, I can't deny that the discussions would be much more limited without his continued support of these various improbable positions). Free speech is in NO WAY limited by (or even related to) movie ratings, WH's industry has voluntarily adopted a rating system that defines what is acceptable speech under each of those ratings, and that industry has agreed to abide by those ratings when they show their wares in public venues. If anyone (WH?) doesn't understand why a voluntary rating system is not in any way related to the LAW, they they are either beyond help or a troll.

     

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    JMG, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    Example of the latest U2 album, because it became available online for free before it was for sale, there is indication that a couple of hundred thousand copies less were sold (when compared to their previous album first week sales). That harm cannot be proven completely, but the potential harm is clear and even likely.

    This is a bit misleading. First of all, how can anyone prove that the sales dropped due to piracy (or anything for that matter? What the there was global bad weather when U2 released the album, and people didn't want to leave their homes for fear of being flooded?). Maybe, just maybe, it was because the album was panned by fans, who heard the first single or "pirated" songs before the official release. Should people have to buy products they don't like?

    Second, the Dark Knight was hugely successful in theatres this summer AND was widely pirated, a counterexample to your "piracy = lowered sales" claim. Any comment on that?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    Again I ask, what does the 1st amendment have to do with copyright?

     

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    dave, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re:

    "People buy a brand, whether that brand be something like Aramni or Prada, or whether that brand be a person."

    Exactly. In a filesharing business model, a P2P consumer assists the artist in building his brand. P2P takes over a significant portion of the marketing and distribution roles that are currently occupied by record labels, publishers, et al. It removes a middleman between the artist and his audience.

    If anyone should be upset by the trend towards digital information, it should be authors. Musicians, songwriters, performing artists, even movie producers have built a business model that can be readily converted to utilize the efforts and talents of P2P users. Authors, on the other hand, generally don't have nearly as many choices to offer in the market place.

    Of course, paper is still the preferred medium for most books, offering simplicity, durability, low costs, and excellent ease-of-use.

     

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    dave, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    Re:

    "Again I ask, what does the 1st amendment have to do with copyright?"

    Well, they are both concerned with speech, in its broadest definition. The first amendment protects your right to say it, and copyright is intended to ensure that you have a temporary exclusive right to profit from it.

    You might recognize the issue when person B makes a review, criticism, or parody of a work created by person A. Both the first amendment protections to free speech and copyright law apply to B's review. Overly strict copyright laws would tend to interfere with B's right to speak his mind regarding A's work.

    The original post reminds us that the sole purpose of copyright is to "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". If copyright laws fail to promote the progress of art and science, the effect will be an unnecessary infringement on another person's right to free speech. The original post asks us to consider the effect of these laws on a situational basis, rather than on a general basis. If the circumstances of a specific situation are such that the "infringing" use causes no significant harm, no crime has been committed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    >>"Copyright can't be "unconstitutional", by definition, because it *comes from* the Constitution." >"Uh, no, not at all -- and an awful lot of legal scholars disagree with you. Copyright law can absolutely be unconstitutional. The Constitution does let Congress create certain restrictions, but that DOES NOT mean (by any stretch of the imagination) that anything it does in the name of copyright is constitutional. That's what this paper is arguing." Mike, you've skipped off the tracks here again. Your original idea wasn't about any specific "copyright law" (obviously, anyone can craft one that's unconstitutional-- "copyright for black people only lasts for 5 years," etc.); rather, you were talking about whether the [i]existence[/i] of copyright law is unconstitutional (as a violation of free speech). That is not, and has never been, the case. >>"The idea of "harm" being required is a misstated one as well. Interfering with your rights, whether it actually costs you money or not, *is* harm, by its very definition." >"Not at all. If you are better off, rather than worse off, how can that be harm?" Well, that's one from the "duh" file. I break into your house every day and wash your dishes. Am I suddenly not trespassing? That's just stupid. What you can't seem to fathom is that violating someone's rights *is* harm, by definition.

     

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    aikishugyo, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 11:45pm

    new business models by ingenuity

    In answer to weird Harold and others: human ingenuity, entrepreneuship, these are the brains that will come up with answers to questions, not state dicatates thought up by a small group of economically dumb people.
    Just as asking for the state to do anything for us simply makes us all poorer, not to mention shackled, so asking for the state to provide the brains for the economy is pointless.
    Free economic conditions are all that is required for people to discover, by a process of trial-and-error, whereby those who succeed are profit and those who fail suffer losses, what works in order to market products profitably.
    If people did not have to work to survive, it is likely that many would not do so. However, in order to have anything, people do put in the requisite effort, and will do so in future also in order to achieve their goals, whatever those might be.

     

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    nasch, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: think more

    You mean with zero price - not without value. Don't be Weird Harold. ;-)

     

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    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Educating Harold

    > Your rights to total freedom of "speech"
    > are limited or impaired in all sorts of
    > ways every day. The most common (related
    > to this site) would be movie ratings systems.

    Apparently Weird Harold needs to be schooled again. Must be Tuesday...

    The movie ratings system is not a law. You are perfectly free to make a movie that would otherwise be rated R, rent a venue and show it to whomever you like. There's no legal requirement that you even submit it to the MPAA for a rating, let alone enforce that rating at the door and exclude anyone under 17.

    The ratings system is a voluntary one, entered into contractually between the studios, the MPAA, and the theaters. It has absolutely no force of law whatsoever.

    So your "prime example" of a limitation on free speech is actually nothing of the sort.

    Here endeth Harold's latest lesson.

     

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    Yishi Li, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 3:36pm

    I am VERY surprised to realize that copyright law does NOT require the plantiff to show the evidence of harm. It would be very interesting to watch how this issue proceeds. I personally would be on the side of 1st Amendment.

     

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    dave, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: think more

    Well, it depends on the definitions of price and value. I've been using "price" as the amount of money that the SELLER demands in payment. I regard "value" as the amount of money the typical BUYER (also referred to as "the market") is willing to pay, regardless of what the seller is asking for.

    Value is directly related to supply and demand; price is not: price is a number the seller decides upon for his own, arbitrary reasons (usually to maximize profits).

    Where demand is finite, as supply approaches infinite, value approaches zero. Without both desirability AND scarcity, a product can have no value in the marketplace. The seller can still ask you to buy this product for a specific price, but you wouldn't be interested because you would already have it.

     

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    Christopher Lewis, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 8:04pm

    to Raymond

    "Why innovate or create if you cannot profit from it?"

    Here strawman, strawman, strawman. How can it be assumed that one can only make a profit if their work is copyrighted? Can it not then also be assumed, conversely, that copy is a form of flattery? and that the attention brought about by someone copying another should then draw even more attention to the original?
    Innovation and invention will always exist. Competition will only make it better.

     

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    Amy Alkon, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 10:49pm

    Re: same title, don't think you can sue

    "At the same time a psychologist releases their research in a book under the same title. Why should the fantasy author sue the psychologist?"

    Many works are published or produced with the same title. I don't believe this is an actionable offense, unless the title is also trademarked.

     

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    Amy Alkon, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 10:52pm

    knockoffs

    But let's face it, if the knockoff wasn't available, they wouldn't buy the real product - because they do not perceive the VALUE of the real product.

    I know a number of weathy women in a class I take who buy knockoff purses. They also own "real" designer purses. But, they think they're getting a steal -- and they are stealing from the designer -- by going downtown and getting a $600 bag for $30.

    I wouldn't buy a $600 bag -- nor would I buy a knockoff. Miuccia Prada has a right to charge whatever outrageous amount she wants for the fruit of her labor. If you think it's too much, don't pay it -- do not steal it from somebody enabling you to do it by reproducing it in China and hawking it for a song.

     

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    Dave, May 4th, 2009 @ 10:56am

    Re: Ray

    I agree that there should definitely be burden on the copyright holder to show harm.
    However, potential harm is still harm in my opinion.
    Should the freedom of speech be restricted TO AN EXTENT because of copyright? YES

    Then why don't you move to a COMMUNIST COUNTRY!
    You must think we live in CorpMerica, Bush is still our dictator, the Bill Varietz is a famous baseball player who plays second, and the constitution is a high priced toliet.

    BTW, they are so many prisons you can't arrest us all, nor deport us all. The government has their head up their asses including black bush (obama) and it is time to get it out because is smells.

     

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    gil, Jun 6th, 2009 @ 9:14am

    copyright laws

    COMMUNISM & THE DEVIL WORSHIPPING COPYRIGHT LAWS or THE GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT VS THE PUBLIC BRAIN EXPERIENCE
    6/04/09
    COPYRIGHT LAWS CAUSE EXPONENTIAL DECAY!


    Yep!! You heard me right! Copyright laws are straight from the communist party and second cousin to the devil. “How’s that work?” you say? Well when article 1, sec 8 of the constitution was written it started the largest “bailout” in American history. The founding fathers just wanted to protect artists and inventors from the pirates, and that was very noble of them. Now I have nothing against protecting inventors and other nonfiction works, after all they do a very large service to all humankind. Therefore, this complaint is against the arts only! After all, singers and actors swiped all the accolades when the radio, TV, and motion picture, etc was invented. The public was “blindsided” into believing the artists were the genius behind our new technology.
    After a couple hundred years and billions of dollars later, we are still protecting the artists from what? The answer is, protecting them from competing in the business world. Plain and simple they have a free ride with the aid of the communications and entertainment industries unions, guilds, associations, and their contractors. Unions and that’s what I’m talking about! The largest collection of unions in America bonded together by one kind of glue, “copyright protection”! It’s nothing new, “Ayn Rand”, “Red Star over Hollywood”, “Roy Brewer”, “and Communists in America”, “How Communists Seduced the American Film Industry”, and the list of evidence goes on. The proof is there to be had for anybody that wants to view it.
    The roots of anticopyright run deep, past the fringe fanatic liberal left, and straight into our ultraconservative moral Christian soul. Let us change the perception that the anti-copyright crowd is always a left wing action. A strong Christian moral right that supports less government and more self-sufficiency can replace copyright laws. Government intervention into the business world has always had some kind of repercussion. With the copyright business being bigger than the auto industry (GDP estimates at 5%) its time we look at the real bailout in America. In this case, the artists have found a way to live like kings off the royalties from some simple country song or just a cartoon drawing of an animal. In some cases the “one hit wonders” can support an entire family for several generations from their simple production.
    So, what’s wrong with somebody making big bucks from a one hit wonder? First of all it’s “golden calving”. When Moses came down from the mountain and saw that some people had made a golden calf and were worshipping it, he was angered. As should any man of God, be! It is a shame when you see young girls swooning and even fainting in idol worship of a musician or entertainer. That is what happened when the artists were making the golden calf. The women and children stood around them remarking on the quality of art, and what great and talented artists they were. In these day’s they would have even gotten a copyright on that calf. Copyright laws suborn IDOL WORSHIP OF GRAVEN IMAGES! Is copyright law part of the Mark of the Beast? Do we treat this kind of idolatry indirectly, going roundabout and with a backhanded ambiguity ignoring, it’s true nature? Is it arrogance and folly to claim copyright over God? (Mark 7: 21-22) Idolatry is the Devils Backbone, it is the foundation for all other sin, and the backbone of the backbone in today’s modern world is copyright law. Idolatry is so many things, it is worshipping a God, or an object, it is devotion and attachment, to admiration and love. It breeds jealousy, envy, covetness, greed, lust, etc., and births murder, rape, robbery and pure evil. Copyright is a government’s indocile to Gods common sense laws. They sanction sin, obtusely, perversely without penchant to reason.
    GOD DESTROYED THE PEOPLE OF ALABAMA FOR THEIR IDOL WORSHIP. In the mid 1800’s, Alabama was a prosperous thriving state. Mineral explorations found large deposits of iron ore. The state grew wealthy and Birmingham was once named the “magic city” because of its incredible growth and prosperity. In 1903, the people of Alabama built a 52-foot tall iron statue of the underworld God Vulcan. It was made completely of iron ore from Alabama, and is the largest statue of its kind in the world. In 1903 it must have been one of the most grandiose sights to behold on the face of the earth. The abomination was created to celebrate Alabama’s great iron industry wealth. People didn’t fall to their knees and pray to this god, but the Lord God of us all was still jealous and offended. In just a mere decade, after this Vulcan (largest iron statue in the world) was built the enormous prosperity of Alabama disappeared completely. To this day as the statue sits on a mountaintop perch overlooking Birmingham the people of Alabama remain one the poorest of all the states. A testimony that idol worship goes beyond praying and serving a false god. “Thou shall have no other Gods before me.” Exodus 20:3, Jeremiah 25:6, Deut 6:14 Is the Vulcan the largest demigod graven image in the world? If so what a shame it is here in America! People of Alabama, God is not slack! If you do not remove this demon god from your midst, our father may bring it down by shaking the ground it stands on! As someone that believes in the resurrection of Christ I am inclined to suspect that God punished all of America by sending us the great stock market crash of 1929, which led to the great dust bowl. Remember this isn’t some 2 foot tall statue, or even a 10 foot statue, it was the largest Demigod in the world at the time it was built. It is a monument! “One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel” Chaucer
    THE PARABLE OF THE SIRENS OF ULYSSES. We all know Homers story, and how Ulysses tied himself to the mast of his ship, even as some men jumped to their deaths for want of the sirens song. Those of us who took heed from such tale know there is a real life to it. Men and women drunk and drugged take their lives by the thousands every year. Many are encouraged and hypnotized to end their life with the assistance of seductive music and art. Come on now, its time to “cheapen “the stranglehold hold art has on us. Remember it could be your children next to commit suicide while listening to some Sicko horrible rock song! HOLLYWOOD GLITZ, GLITTER, AND GLAMOUR IS THE REAL LIFE SIRENS OF ULYSSES! IDOLATRY TRANSENDS RELIGION! Even if you don’t believe in God, the premise of idolatry is to train ones mind to avoid the pitfalls of becoming a victim of the diabolic Sirens. “Art in it’s final degeneration exists only to shock” George Orwell Shock and Awe is defined in Wikipeda as a military term “rapid dominance”, overwhelming power, spectacular displays used to paralyze perception. Exactly what Hollywood is doing to YOU the American public right now! The Sirens of Hollywood have shown their true colors with the creation of the SOPRANOS, a television program that glorifies organized crime. They have convinced the public that terrorists, murders, rapists , diabolic and insane people are to be applauded, enjoyed, appreciated, and served up as role models. The sopranos is an utterly despicable vile protagonist of evil, and doesn’t belong in America, and on TV. The Sopranos is proof of the power of the real life sirens of Ulysses, created by the direct authority of copyright law. The harm may stay invisible until someday when some serial killer emerges and talks, saying “I was just trying to be like Tony Soprano”. Even then the communications industry will find a way to sweep it under the rug. Are you one of the fans of the Sopranos? If so, then you have been brainwashed by the drain waters from the sewers from Hades, and you are nothing more than a minion of The Sirens of Hollywood. God Save You!

    AN UNLIMITED NUMBER OF COPYRIGHTABLE EXPRESSIONS IS NOTHING MORE THAN A REDUCTIO AB ABSURDUM FIGURE OF SPEECH! Copyright advocates have had a thousand years to develop the perspective that there are an infinite number of copyrightable expressions. Using the word “infinite” almost hypnotizes people. They have cloned in the idea that we must have government protection of the arts. That art as a business could not survive without the assistance of the government. Complicated math combined with the abuse of the infinite and eternal identification leaves today’s copyright lawyers unchallenged. You see THERE REALLY ISN’T 6 BILLION NAMES FOR GOD. That’s just another example of word magic. Oh, if you want to start calling God names like Fred, Bill, Susie, or horse and dog then you will find 6 billion names. Call him rumplstilskin for all I care, but it’s not a true name for God. If it is true then we would see some new kinds of art, we very seldom do! Now we have talking French Fries and Milkshakes because artists can’t find uncontested designs. They are scrapping the bottom of the barrel of creativity. And the only thing under the bottom of the barrel is nothing. HOW MANY MELODIES ARE THERE IN THE UNIVERSE? Go to “everything2.com” and see one guy’s answer. According to the author it almost rivals the infinite. Unfortunately he should have made it “how many copyrightable and tuneful, and useful melodies are still uncopyrighted”? Don’t forget to factor in the annual 25 million + hits on the copyright office website (an indication of increased copyright literacy). Multiply exponentially the human population growth rate (approximately 75-80 million per year). Add any increase in Berne convention countries, etc., plus any new systems on recognizing unregistered copyrighted works, any new tech to speed up the copyright application process, all treaties and agreements, and I’m sure many other variables. When it’s all said and done you may not like what you see.(one melody will cause an exponential decay of useless songs). IT MAY BE PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO CREATE NEW MELODIES WITHOUT INFRINGING ON EXISTING COPYRIGHTS! The problem is mathematics, which can be applied to all things, must be demonstrable and logical to be useful. Any formula would be rife with rifts for debate. I guess that’s why the U.S. Copyright Office has not responded to my request for “how many copyrightable and tuneful, and useful melodies are left in the universe”. Keep in mind a perfect world scenario would be global and not the existing real world of domestic squabbles. BOTTOM LINE is, one million copyrighted melodies could displace a billion plus expressions, and even if it isn’t true exponential decay the sheer magnitude of numbers is destroying the creativity field. SO WHY IS CONGRESS PASSING LAWS WITHOUT THE STATISTCS? The Sony Bono copyright extension and all the other new laws are in contempt of science if they didn’t at least try to create a mathematical summary of the number of available uncopyrighted expressions. Just how much does it cost to pay for an inquiry by a team of professionals? The answer will most assuredly be in the reductio ab absurdum, as there isn’t an infinite number of expressions that can be copyrighted. I like using rap music this time as an example. It all has pretty much the same beep bop and lyrics. I have not heard anything different and new from the rap music industry since its inception. The lyrics may vary a little and the names of the artists are different, but rap is still just rap. You may say the same of country music or heavy metal, etc. and contrary to what the industry experts say “You Are Right”! We may never in this lifetime prove or disprove how many expressions of any one category can be used for copyright, but at least we can try. Why should FEAR rule the day as it has done so often before? The ancient Catholics banned translating Latin bibles into native languages because they feared losing power.

    “A musician must make music, and artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself” Abraham Maslow. What will tomorrow’s musicians and artist do when copyright has settled in permanently as a stumbling block against creativity?
    One sin begets another! You have let in the golden calf in America. Then the communists took the next sin by unionizing the artists and controlling free enterprise! How many times can they remake King Kong before people stop paying to see it? The answer is forever, as long as the unions make sure it’s the only new release at the cinema. The consequences are we are still living in the dark ages of art. The day the government gets out of the copyright protection business is the day we will see A NEW RENAISSANCE OF ART IN AMERICA. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, thousands of new arts will arise, along with millions of new jobs and businesses. A thousand years of government control in this business has left us weak and dependant. We can prosper and probably make even more money without the government’s protection. YOU SEE PEOPLE WILL PROSPER WITHOUT COPYRIGHT LAW. In fact the artists will probably make more money. They will find ways to distribute their product more effectively. Simultaneous distribution will allow them to maximize their profits. Oh. Sure a small handful of artists might get lost in the shuffle. The true artists will manage by being qualified to create new art on a continuous basis. Manufacturing and distribution will replace the government’s copyright protection. They will control in such a manner as to maximize distribution that will eliminate infringement. No longer will the artists of the gray zone be left out in the cold, having to resort to under the table shenanigans. LAISSEZ-FAIRE- It’s only art. For once let the people run the business without the government!
    Millions of pieces of art that manufactures and distributors will not touch because it might be infringing will immediately be available. They do not want to risk the lawsuits! These gray area arts can have a high probability that is not infringing. Unleash this art into the new renaissance of a copyright free world. Open the market and utilize the manufactures, so they no longer serve the pirate industry.
    WE ARE LIVING IN THE DARK AGES OF ART. My favorite example is the theatre industry. The theatre industry services have not changed much in the last 100 years. We have the same old dusty dark box seating. Soft drinks that have that chemically treated taste, and popcorn with the “other” butter. They don’t have to compete because copyright laws protect them. The new movies are sent to the theatre for a month or two, then on to the cable, and finally on DVD. If we took away copyright protection for the arts the producers and corporate bosses would panic. We’d have them in the sweatbox! It’s fairly obvious they would opt to release all new movies on the same day to the theatre, cable, and DVD. Let them compete for customers! Free enterprise would prevail! We are in the dark ages of movie theatres because futuristic theatres don’t exist. The theatres would have to offer new amenities to attract customers. FUTURISTIC THEATRES COULD INCLUDE: dining options, theme park simulation, cubicles for those that want to talk while viewing (like an old fashioned drive in theatre, but indoors), download availability, and who know what else?
    It’s time for the government to get out of the copyright bailout of artists. Say no to the AM/FM royalties!!!
    COPYRIGHT PROTECTION MADE SENSE HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO. Today we have millions of people per year accessing the copyright offices website. This mushroom cloud of copyright savvy is accelerating into a real monster. Our courts can’t even handle deciphering what is and isn’t infringement. The judges create an enigma of myriading formulas to work with. They have the abstraction test, the subtraction test, the patterns test, and the totality test. Is it extrinsic or intrinsic, is it contributory, and is it similar? The real question is do the judges even have a remote idea of what they are doing? Can we tolerate infringement suits because 4 notes in a melody are similar? Is the copyright mongering corporations creating derivative/permutation works solely to expand their percentage of infringement protection? Example: If your percentage of similarity is 20% then create a derivative work that is 20% different and you have a protection from infringers that is 40%. Do the judges know the difference between the eastern scale and western? It is time to take the founding fathers advice and call “Time Out” to copyright protection for the arts! So many people would like to see an end to copyright law. The ease of copy machines, cd, and downloads render copyright obsolete. Those that defend copyright ignore one very important factor. A world without copyright law doesn’t mean artists will be without protection. People are adaptable, and in this high tech generation it’s probable that we can do it better without the government. Even the judge that presided over the NAPSTER TRIAL proposed a plan to reform copyright laws. A plan that would employee manufactures and developers with public and private administrators to oversee rules and regulations, etc. Patel said, “Our copyright laws have become a patchwork of amendments that are adopted as emergencies arise”. I wonder if Patel was thinking of LUKE 5:36 “NO ONE TEARS A PIECE OF CLOTH FROM A NEW GARMENT AND SEWS IT TO AN OLD ONE. IF HE DOES, THE NEW CLOTH WILL TEAR, AND THE TWO PIECES WILLNOT MATCH”. Honest people waste hundreds of hours searching for copyright permission only to reach a dead-end. They are more than willing to pay the royalty fee but some times can’t even find out who owns the copyright. What a bunch of crock the government has given us! Then they offer to let us pay an orphan fee, money that goes to the government not the author. It’s like a deadbeat dad paying off the gov instead of the kids. Look how heinous our courts have become that you can’t even place a Christmas bow around a statue. In Prise de Parole vs. Guerin edituer Ltee (a Canadian case) the courts ruled that it’s a MORAL violation to alter art with something as simple as a piece of ribbon.
    REVERSE ENGINEERING LAWS VIOLATE THE AXIOMATIC AGE OLD AND ACCEPTED CONCEPT “SCIENTIFIC INVENTION, DISCOVERY, AND INNOVATION.” Innovation ceases to exist, because we cannot study what has already been created. We become like the Eloi of the H.G. Wells movie, “The Time Machine.” Obey and never ask the How or Why of things. If invention and discovery are the fruits of civilization then innovation is the stem and stalk that makes the flower grow. If our copyright laws existed 10 thousand years ago we would still be talking the wheel. Our modern airplanes are not solely the product of the Wright brother’s invention.


    COPYRIGHT LAWS ARE DEAD
    Like a dinosaur on the verge of extinction it is dead. The belief that there is an unlimited, infinite, bountiful supply of untapped art is now over. It has been replaced by the computer that can create an endless supply of art overnight using computer programs and robotics. Mass production and distribution can delivery billions of pieces of art globally in just a few hours to your doorstep. Only a handful of “uncle toms” still believe that copyright protection serves any useful purpose. As more and more art is created the number of infringement related altercations ties up our courts, creating an enormous backlog. How many times can you copyright a picture of a circle and it still have the identifiable appearance of being a circle? Maybe it is 10 billion or 50 billion to the 10th power, so what, they outlived any usefulness way back under a million. Every example is unique. Creating billions of names for God is impossible without offending his personality. Creating billions of circles only offends the nature of its serviceability. So a small group of people gets copyright and the rest of the world can’t make a living drawing pictures of circles without making it a square and calling it a circle? How is that right for us all? The world is a lot more complicated than it was in the 6th century when King Diarmed copyrighted baby calves. In today’s world clever, cunning predators have learned to manipulate a complex system of laws, to no godly purpose, instead they serve greed, hate, contempt, and corruption, like unto serving a false god.

    “IF CREATIVITY IS A FIELD, COPYRIGHT IS THE FENCE”-John Oswald
    If it is a fact that our emotions, reflexes, react to music and other forms of art before we think and form an opinion on said music, then true art appreciation demands and chooses freedom from the constraint copyright laws dictate.
    COPYRIGHT SEQUESTERS CREATIVITY!

    IS CREATIVITY A LEARNED BERHAVIOUR? There sure seems to be some experts that say it is developed. Another thing, is a personal one for me, I call it Universal Thought. Whether or not it’s some kind of mental telepathy or communication from God it does exist. Which means many artists have been given their inspiration, sometimes subconsciously and sometimes directly from the hand of the Father? So it really isn’t your art, its Gods.” For the earth is the lords, and the fullness thereof” 1 Corintians10: 26 Don’t believe in God? There is a unity of thought and perception that is dependant upon the wholeness of life’s experiences. “No man is an island”! (John Donne)
    Please don’t let a few desperate sour pusses destroy our heritage by making free music on radio disappear. That’s what will happen if the stations have to pay to play. Many will switch to talk radio or use more talk to serve as filler between songs. Those artists knew what they were getting into when they began a career in music. The free music on radio has been around for almost 100 years; let’s keep it going awhile longer, for the sake of our American culture and heritage. God said, “Give and it shall be given unto you” Luke 6:38 Oh!, and don’t forget PATTERN THINKING. Pattern thinking is defined as one who organizes ideas and things together in a way that allows them to become useful and fitting to the product or endeavor. Our minds form patterns beginning on the day we are born, and we cannot have them without other forces allowing them to interact with us. Many tattoo artist’s trace from a pattern. It may look complicated but they trace it just like a paint by numbers coloring book. Many other artists are using patterns memorized from some earlier study. If you really think about it most artists with the help of pattern thinking are almost all infringing to some degree. THE GOOD, BAD, AND UGLY OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. In some cases the pattern is set in gold. Did you see the movie “Pale Rider” 1985? It was marvelous, everybody loved it!! Yada,yada,yada. Go see it, but before you do check out Alan Ladd’s movie “Shane” 1953, when you are finished watching both movies I think you’ll understand why copyright laws need to change. Makes me wonder if some of the professional writers are using some kind of copyright loophole software to recreate old flicks and alter them just enough to circumvent the infringement bounty hunters. Copyright infringement bounty hunters! Hmmm mmm will we see the reality show someday? Now if the copyright laws were really “tight” we would never have had the opportunity to see Pale Rider. Can you imagine how many other artists less financially backed that can’t risk productions, and have really good art they would like to distribute? How many scenes can you find in Pale Rider that are identical to Shane? ANTICOPYRIGHT IS NOT THE ENEMY OF CREATIVITY! It’s more likely that copyright forces us to conformity and conventionalism. Pale Rider is the living proof (in the court of public opinion) that the “other” art can be better than the original thing. Some say true creativity comes from the beginning of understanding and is therefore pure from contamination, but don’t expect to see that in the real world. (This article in no way suggests that Pale Rider was and/or is infringing in any way). In Walker v Time Life Films Inc. 1986 that ended in a ruling “scenes a faire” is not infringement the subject of the dispute seems to be related, but who am I to say it is?
    THE PUBLIC BRAIN EXPERIENCE DOES EXIST! We have already created computers that link directly to the human brain that can operate complex machinery. As seen on TV, scientists have proven beyond any doubt that we can link the human brain with the help of the modern computer. It’s only a matter of time before we have the use of downloadable memories that will enhance intelligence. Stage 1: The invention of the computer and internet.(some would say stage 1 is the public brain experience). Stage 2: Scientists linked the brain directly to the computer bypassing voice and keyboard (it’s already here). Stage 3: The ability to insert other peoples memories and ideas by downloading them directly into the brain (you go to bed at night and wake up speaking a dozen new languages). Stage 4: The whole shebang goes wifi. Overnight we could turn into Star Treks “Borg” , only we will still be able to laugh and smile and move about without the robotic movements. Now you “Doubting Thomas” types are already saying “where is this stage 3”? It’s people like you that disbelieve in Jesus, and you were the ones that said “man will never fly” But we did fly and we are sailing ships under the sea, we also went to the moon, and we will soon start filling our brains by downloading knowledge from the computer. Will the dark force/power of the GDP quash and destroy our final approach to evolutionary intellectual freedom, and the second coming of Christ? For surely as we reach stage 3 God the Father will say to himself “Now they are ready to be approached as a civilized people”! Mathew 24:34, “And Knowledge Shall Increase” Daniel 12-4 PBE = End of Idolatry! Intelligent people will recognize reality. They will someday know that art is the personification of idolatry!
    EXPERTS LIKE TO SUGGEST THAT COPYRIGHT LAWS SECURES FIANANCIAL REWARDS FOR AUTHORS. I challenge these experts to prove it. Validate that protections would not happen without the governments hand. These experts would also have us believe that copyright policy serves as a stimulus for creativity. Again I say, “Where is the proof”? It is just as plausible to say “copyright laws stems and stymies like a brick wall against the road of imagination, blocking many artists and inventors from every finding the final destination”. The lack of clarity that infringement brings has the potential for millions of authors to be left out of the design frame. The gray area of legitimacy sparks fear and resentment against the establishment that is manipulated by the upper class of authors and artists. The privileges wealthy copyright holders have garnered afford them monopoly powers capable of batting lesser artistic creations out of the ballpark. Ruthless tactics designed to preserve old stale art and keep competition down adorn our halls of entertainment. Pray that their time is done. The end result is the established dominant authors are not really the genius they have been likened to. Perhaps they are just old tired worn out has beens, unable to compete with new art and clinging to the government protections like a dog that covets his bone collection. And the copyright office may very well cater to these wolves. I’ve heard that it can take up to a year to get some works copyrighted. This can be construed as a tactic to leave new artists standing in the soup line.
    I reiterate that you cannot scientifically prove the necessity of copyright law on our modern society. In all likelihood authors may find greater rewards by learning to protect their works without the government. Quality industrial services in a globalize system of accessibility will prove to be the ultimate protection, and provide greater rewards to the artists. It’s like someone offering to buy 1 million dollars of your product for 5 years of use. Then he offers you an extra 125 thousand if you are willing to take 5 annual payments instead of the lump sum. Anybody that’s owned a small business knows to take the 1 million, because the customer might not come back next year. You’ll have a larger lump sum payout vs. the trickle down royalties that the copyright laws give you.
    Remember copyright protection is ONLY A RIGHT FOR A LIMITED TIME. The founding fathers didn’t authorize eternal services.
    IN THE END BY BREAKING FREE OF THE HOLLYWOODLAND UNION CONTROLS AND GOVERNMENT INDULGENCES WE WILL UNLEASH A TORRENT OF ART, A RENNAISSANCE LIKE NEVER SEEN BEFORE ON THIS PLANET EARTH, AND THE PROFITS WILL SOAR BEYOND IMAGINATION!
    When the transition happens some people will lose out, but new jobs and businesses will be created to replace government control. We will survive and prosper like business as
    Usual. The fluency of the art will resonate without copyright, producing enormous profits for authors, yet keeping a natural check and balance by filtering out the old stale art that has outlived its usefulness.
    THE COURT JESTER IS NOW THE KING. Well it worked out for the better with Reagan, but that doesn’t mean every singer, dancer, actor that has a hair to become a politician will be as good as him. We’ve given to much power and wealth to the artist community. Reduce their stranglehold on our country and let the real politicians get the votes. Hey! Hey! Vote for me I’ve got Big Muscles. Check out my biceps, just the right size for president eh! “Oh what a wicked web we weave when a first we do deceive”. You sowed us copyright law and now the vines of government abuse will suffocate the lifeblood from our souls. Radio paying royalties will equal “HARDCORE” paid advertising and that will be the end of free radio. It was the free music that allowed radio to survive the television. Now we will see an era of RUSH LIMBAUG and Howard Stern SPAWNS spewing up across the country like little demons returning to their haunt 10 fold. It won’t matter what side of the fence they represent just as long as it doesn’t exceed the company budget. Let us keep the court jesters in their field of entertainment by eliminating copyright laws. Do you want some Bozo as your President or would you have Judge Harvard Yale, a man learned in the science of law and politics? Copyright laws have turned the Bozos into the crème de la crème and they have developed the knack to jump careers into politics at a whim (thanks to the success of Reagan). Don’t expect every song and dance act to be as good as he was! The point is artists were to be an accompaniment to our daily life. The Kings Court, his armies, scientists, workers, etc. were to have a little art in the background, instead of leading us!
    AS THE RECESSION ROLLS ON CONGRESS PLOTS TO DESTROY MORE JOBS AND FAMILIES. Millions of unemployed and more businesses on the chopping block of Bill # H.R. 4789. If hundreds or even thousands of radio stations cannot afford to pay the royalties, the next step will be to the poor house. Why take a chance with this bill during the great recession? Just to satisfy a small handful of old washed out artists that cannot compete any longer. They cannot cut new music so they have found the proverbial buried bone in the back yard to dig up. I say, “Bury the old bone”, they are still young enough to learn a new trick or song. Say NO to BILL H.R. 4789

    ARE THE ATROCITES OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LITIGATION HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC EYE BY SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS AND SLAP SUIT TACTICS? Before congress acts they must get the whole story. Look at the case of Beatty Chadwick a lawyer imprisoned 11 years for not paying child support. Just one example of the dark side, and a government in need of more safeguards. Has anybody in congress seen a categorical survey of the arts potential? If drawing a picture of a cartoon animal is a category then how many times can you draw a cat without becoming an infringer? It must have some resemblance of a cat, some identification pattern to fit the category. Change your medium to jeweled bumbleebee brooches and the numbers get smaller and smaller. THE CASE OF DMITRY SKLYAROV, he was arrested for creating tools to read encrypted books. In the Middle Ages the Catholic Church persecuted scholars who tried to translate Latin bibles into the common languages. In some MUSLIM countries today they still permit Arabic wording only when copying the Koran. Does history repeat itself or not brothers and sisters?? Is there any difference between Islamic fascists that will put a man to death for translating the Koran in another language other than Arabic, and the government copyright laws that arrested Dmitry for translating encrypted books? “Necessity hath no law. Feigned necessities, imaginary necessities are the greatest cozenage that men can put upon the Providence of God, and make pretenses to break known rules by”. Oliver Cromwell What copyright boils down to be simply a monopoly approved by the government. We are fighting a war in Afghanistan because some people have decided they are the property owners (copyright holders) of the KORAN and its translations, interpretations, and enforcements.
    IS INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY A CONSECRETED RIGHT SOLELY FOR WEALTY COPYRIGHT HOLDERS? Doesn’t our conscience owe us an equal opportunity for all? Many of today’s copyright holders avail themselves to mass production strategies in lieu of simpler age-old systems. Crafters in flea markets, craft and art fairs, basements, and in the garage create art that is outside the realm of big business, and is frequently found to be infringing. It’s not fair to the street corner musician and all the others that work out of a car, bus and boat to make an honest buck. Simple remakes of ancient art altered and online by clever vendors out for a quick buck, along with a plethora of other types are forcing the issue of right and wrong. Yet the only way people can have this art is through the underground and on the Internet. There is obviously a lacking of brotherly love and charity from the copyright holder. The Grand Architect bids us to the common mans struggle like a crusade and an obligation against ignorance, fanaticism, and error. Because in the end we are responsible for our own actions, which means there is a system beyond government copyright law.
    IT DOESN’T TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST AMOUNT OF INTELLIGENCE TO KNOW THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO GET OUT OF THE COPYRIGHT BUSINESS. The constitution has already promised that the government will limit its time of involvement into to this private sector business. Obviously, the Founding Fathers knew that there are not an infinite number of copyrightable expressions. The universe is infinite, but I haven’t seen anybody with the ability to make our life on earth anything more than the finite experiences we have. Such a task is only in the hands of God, and he hasn’t yet given it.

    “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 posses 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 none possess the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He, who receives an idea from me, receives instruction 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 instructions 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 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.” -THOMAS JEFFERSON

    IF THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT GET OUT OF THE COPYRIGHT BUSINESS WHAT WILL HAPPEN? One possible action is people could step in and replace the copyright office anyway. Create a system to help poor people get their art copyright protected by registering it online so the time stamps of the Internet could be a partial protection. Such an action would help put the courts in a backlog and tie up litigations for the next hundred years. Free enterprise copyright assistance already exists thru the attorney, but the mantra of service is lacking and they are only out for the quick buck. A discount copyright clearinghouse for the unregistered could take us to a new playing field. With the help from the FOIA freedom of information act one could copy the entire copyright offices business and figure out how to operate it better than the government does. Thank God for the “Creative Commons” people, they are trying to do the right thing by encouraging authors to share their works. Maybe they should be allowed to take over management of the copyright office? “The freshness of transformation is the freshness of the world. It is our own, it is ourselves”. Wallace Stevens
    “WHATS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS ALSO GOOD FOR THE GANDER” or another way to say it is communists’ work from within the capitalist system by embracing copyright laws as a source of money and influence. Maybe they did outgrow true communism after the fall of the Soviets, but the system is still in place for their eventual take over of the U.S.
    COPYRIGHT LAWS INSTIGATE AN ABOMINATION AGAINST GOD! They allow a conglomeration of the arts to gain momentum and unity for no divine purpose. Where as individuals they may be harmless ungodly works, combined they are a monstrosity of evil that feeds solely on the human palate for passion and greed. Look at how black and white television was replaced with color, and radio with TV. We will dispose of cartoons and sitcoms, dramas and anything else as soon as we are bored and ready for something new. History repeats itself! Do not embrace copyright laws out of fear. Seek the truth in mathematics. “The great architect of the universe now begins to appear as a pure mathematician” Sir James Jeans Every time you pass a new copyright protection law you are elevating art to a new platform. What started out as a simple courtesy that allowed free speech and art is growing into a giant tree of idol worship. The effects of new copyright laws may be subtle and/or invisible to the eye, but they are there nonetheless. The more obvious are criminals, murders, rapists, street and biker gangs, and organized mobsters using copyright laws to strengthen their evil armies. They work within the laws as a way to further mock our society, reaping profits and admiration alike, all the while serving idolatry, and satanic reason. Why the RICO ACT doesn’t have a blanket clause prohibiting known gangs from owning copyrights is beyond me?

    “GIVE AND IT WILL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU” Luke 6:38 What you put into the public domain may come back as new works in some way or fashion.

    Now wouldn’t it be something if thousands of radio stations refused to play any more music rather than pay royalties? We could have an enormous boycott of the new law (if it gets passed). How about if everybody in the world stopped buying music completely? More likely that the stations will start using extortion contracts to promote new music. Locals bands will sign on to get their sound out and never get paid a cent in royalties until they make it to the top, then the will hire a high priced lawyer to find a sympathetic judge.
    What a shame if this bill gets passed! Free radio and TV is a large part of what we have identified with as a major force of the basic freedoms enjoyed by Americans. You can’t run a train without first laying tracks. This bill is a forerunner to destroying what has been a standard for freedom in America. IS THE AM/FM ROYALTIES BILL DEMONSTRATING AN ACT OF LAZINESS? “There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the real labor of thinking” Thomas Edison

    Who are the Crowned Martyrs of Copyright? I would start out with Eric Eldred; can you fill in the list for me? We will probably never learn of the people that couldn’t afford an attorney and opted to submit to the demands of the copyright holder’s attorney.

    DON’T FORGET THE COLLEGE TEXBOOK RIP OFF SCANDEL! Who doesn’t know that story? Thank copyright laws for that one too.

    Copyright law multiplied by exponential growth/decay factors (EGF/EDF) = AAD art at death. Exponential growth factor is a variable in exponential decay of copyright.
    EGF/EDF could include: 1. Human population growth 2. Copyright literacy 3. Mass production 4. Copyright laws. 5. Accelerated copyright evolution 6. Convergence factors 7. New technology
    Copyright laws can be demonstrated to be EXPONENTIALLY DECAYING.
    A simple example using the Solfege scale, do,ra,me,fa,so,la,ti,do: If it was copyrighted, then any other combinations are infringing, ra,me,fa,so,la,ti,do ra. And the next five permutating notes means all copyrighted melodies create a exponential decay of the number of melodies available. Do,ra,me,fa, plus any combination/permutation of so,la,ti, subtract one note and add all the combinations, like trying to figure all the possibilities of a combination lock, and this is just using seven notes without any pitch, tone, etc. that would create even more combinations. It may even be possible for one melody to wipe out thousands of melodolic combinations. A million copyrighted melodies can dispose billions of potential art. VALIDATING EXPONENTIAL DECAY OF COPYRIGHT COULD BE THE ULTIMATE COURTROOM BATTLE! The amount of ED that is obviously useless by infringement will most certainly be less than that which could be produced and served to the people as enjoyable and unique artistic expressions. Clusters of redundant expressions surround the immediate vicinity of the original work, followed by an enormous amount of useful art, which is followed by more redundancy. Adding parodies to the formula can create a Mega Exponential Decay especially if the original work has manifested it’s own parodies.
    1 copyrighted melody does not equal 1. Instead 1 =s hundreds and even thousands of useful melodies that cannot be used for copyright and enjoyment.
     = 5%of GDP(gross domestic product) by PBE(public brain experience) = the end of copyright. Copyright business is bigger than the auto bailout, the recession, and the war on terrorism. Why? BECAUSE COPYRIGHT IS THE WAR ON TERRORISM. Muslim fanatics have laid claim on the interpretations of the KORAN. This claim is what we know as intellectual property rights or copyright.
    IF THE AM/FM ROYALTIES BILL IS PASSED THEN THE COPYRIGHT BUSINESS WILL INCREASE ITS PERCENTAGE IN THE GDP. Do you want that? The Public Brain Experience may have rendered copyright as fragile as a butterfly in a child’s hand.

    “Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul” MARK TWAIN
    You don’t need a religion to be anti-idolatry!

    Joshua fought the battle of copyright, copyright, copyright,
    Joshua fought the battle of copyright,
    And the laws came tumbling down.

    You may talk about your kings of creation,
    You may talk about your men of song,
    There's none like good old Joshua,
    At the battle of copyright falls.

    Now that I’m almost finished with this rant I am just beginning to realize the one kind of people that I like, that would lose out if the Royalties bill is passed will be the small AM stations that play old Rat Pack FRANK SINATRA era music. They don’t have much advertising as most of the listeners are old timers. I believe those little stations just play music for some old friends, not to get rich. To Bad!, it’s always the little “mom & pop” businesses that take the fall.

    COPYRIGHT LAWS ARE TURNING ARTISTS INTO GODS!!!!!!! Should today’s singers and actors even be considered as artists? Unlike the actors of old that had to rely on memory, modern entertainers rely on the “take 5”, a repeat of the act until it’s been captured in its perfected state. The current direction of copyright laws obstructs the popular movement in America. Civil disobedience is charged by social interactions as a antithesis to the governments slavist articles. Corporate types sit in deaf deliberation of its anticipated reward. “A corporation has no conscience” Thoreau Government worker drones at the copyright office must surely wash their hands quite often. Will our congress do likewise? Remember copyright protection is a privilege, not much different than your drivers license. That’s because it is a law unlike other laws that is supposed to end soon. Congress and/or the courts can at any time stop protecting copyrights, and they can do it by any means they choose. The courts could even decide to stop hearing infringement suits, any and all or picked by category.
    April 29, 09
    I thought I was through with this story until last night. In a dream some movie producer or mobster (I couldn’t tell the difference, nor was I awake to enough to ask) advised me that I had left out the most important part of the story. It was:
    PUBLIC DOMAIN REMAKES ARE NOT TRUE ART!
    We see the numbers of PD art being revitalized , copyrighted, and rising by the thousands, freshly dredged from the public domain. If this were some old PAINT BY NUMBERS” the creativity of it all and copyrighting would garner quite a few laughs. This is more evidence of the ineptness of our government, that karaoke paint by number music is allowed a copyright. Give them a subcategory of copyright, call it a “royalties rights certificate”, call it something that keeps it out of copyright. WHATS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN SHOULD STAY IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN! This PD copying is not art and it’s certainly isn’t an invention. The authors can still sell it without a copyright. You know the old saying “ people will buy anything”! Using some lesser designation for this kind of ART will still afford them some legal protection. PAINT BY NUMBER MUSIC IS NOT REAL ART!!! Music taken from the public domain and altered replayed and copyrighted is still just a copy, nothing more. It would be like me taking the Mona Lisa and painting a mustache on her and asking for a copyright(they would probably give you one).

    DID HE REALLY WRITE THAT SONG OR BUY IT FROM SOME POOR CAT IN THE GHETTO? You probably heard that story before now, famous artists from the pre-civil rights era, rumored to have gotten their music from some down-and-out that had to sell it for the price of a meal. “Aspiring songwriters came to demonstrate tunes they hoped to sell. When tunes were purchased from unknowns, with no previous hits, the name of someone with the firm was often added as co-composer (in order to keep a higher percentage of royalties within the firm) or all rights to the song were purchased outright for a flat fee (including rights to put someone else’s name on the sheet music as the composer). Article, “Tin Pan Alley”, Wikipedia
    WE ARE A PLANET OF COPYCATS. Everything we do from wearing shoes and hats to walking the dog and stirring your cream and sugar is copied from other people. It’s sometimes called keeping up with the Joneses. The government is trying to punish people for what comes natural. The laws of INEVITABLE DISCOVERY say we will create whatever it is anyway. Even art follows enough common threads to theorize we will create a similar pattern sooner or later. Inevitable discovery makes sense when you are mapping out the genetics of the human body, but music might seem a little far fetched. However we all have similar pleasure zones and the artists are supposed to be working at reaching your zone. The lyrics and notes might be different but the satisfaction will be the same, and you’ll never know what you missed. You can’t fill the void if you didn’t know it was empty! You will never know what you missed unless you have read this rant and understand that copyright laws destroy creativity. You my friend are half way to the ball game, now all you have to do is write your congressman and demand we put an end to copyright (fake) protection for the arts.

    In defense of copyright: You can’t copyright everything at once, and even if you could you couldn’t afford it!

    Tessellation makes me think of honeycombs, fine floor tiles, and Persian rugs. It’s pleasing to use tessellating thoughts. Our copyright laws make me think of saws with broken teeth trying to cut a knotty hardwood, or running a hand planer against the grain of a nice Maplewood. We need to put the tessellation in copyright laws and soon!
    Fin
    Exponential Decay by Copyright

    Let’s say that all art can be reduced to pixels, like the pixels or bits used to define computer images. Every piece of art and music is reduced to its simplest numerical understanding, a pixel, which we will call Unit of Expression UE.
    Let’s go on and say we have created a melody and it is copyright protected. This melody consists of 100 UE’s, 50 are lyrics and 50 are notes, ½ notes, ¼ notes, sharps, flats, etc. Each note and word equals one unit of expression (obviously musical notes are much bigger than a pixel)
    ∞ equals infinite
    ∞ – 100 EU ≠ ∞
    How many UE’s are displaced from use for copyright by 100 UE ?
    Original work= 100
    Use a substitution system of permutations and combinations- replace one unit, then two, three and until all numerical combinations are filled.
    Replacing one unit equals 9,900
    Replacing two units = 970,200
    Three 970,200
    Four 9.41094e+7

    After the complete sequence is run the repeat using doubles, triples, etc.
    11,22,33,
    111,222,333
    Using the solfa scale as an example do,ra,mi.fa,so.la,ti,do
    Do,do,, ray,ray, mi,mi many combinations and permutations would infringe if solfa was a copyrighted work.
    With lyrics we would have to attempt word substitutions that could mean combinations with separate permutations.

    It is easy to demonstrate that one melody can produce a million + permutations and combinations. Will a melody that has combinations produce separate permutations from the combinations? What is the average percentage of infringement found in permutations? When you have found a place in the formula that isn’t infringing has it crossed over to someone else’s copyright?
    As it is self evident that because of permutations copyright laws cause exponential decay should they be allowed to continue? Perhaps we should go with the flow and wait for the screws to tighten again. New laws that allow copyright holders to inexpensively protect the permutations would most certainly put an end to art. As human population grows exponentially waste and decay closely follows behind. Copyright laws are creativity overload excrement.

    Good article to read: Learning from the Animal Toy Patent, by Gene Quinn, www.ipwatchdog.com/patent/animal-toy/
    I was searching the internet for copyright info and found Rebecca Tushnet.com, a Georgetown Univ law professor. She must have umteengazillon pages written on copyright. A lot of interesting stuff, now if she can only change the world with it.

    May 22, 09
    A post on Sirius Buzz.
    A Deeper Look at The Royalty Bill

    How sad that this is being pushed by the black community, by a small handful of uncle toms that can’t create new music and want a free ride. In the process they destroy a part of what is America, the freedom, the culture, the history, and it’s what helped blacks find the place in life they own now. The proposed bill is only the first step of many steps that will be walked, the suggestion that small stations will pay as little as $500, when placed in the hands of government worker drones will escalate with late fees, taxes, annual increases, and amendments, etc., that will compound with a rise in infringement and usage suits that will bankrupt the small stations. Like I said before “the small mom and pop stations are dead with this bill”. Many of those that will die will be black owned stations, Conyers succeeded in killing his own people. Forgive them Lord for they no not what they have done!


    We had a little dinner party with the usual collection of acquaintances. Before eating we enjoyed a little music, some people danced and others sipped drinks while checking out the art on the walls of our state room. The call for dinner came and we abandoned our ourderves, and sent the musicians home, leaving the art on the walls, and our hearts went to what really mattered, a good meal with family and friends. The frivolous talk earlier was replaced by the words of the day, War, Work, God and Home. We became one people united over tea and cake. I hope the musicians were paid well, have some cake in the kitchen before you go!

    If there are more copyrights(and there are) then extra manpower is needed to process them, and there will be more problems, disputes, and lawsuits. Creativity is becoming blemished and strained so that something must be done about it. Science, law, and math is much like magic, as the experts like to covet their knowledge. Question them on every aspect, force all issues, knowledge in the courtroom or in congress can prevail for the good people.

    Possible free learning tool invention: Based on Edgar Cayce, the sleeping prophet. Under the pillow sleeping books. Cayce was allegedly capable of reading a book while asleep, by placing it under his pillow. I tried it and it was like sleeping on a rock. I don’t really know if anybody else has tried it but printing a book on cloth and then placing it under the pillow would work much better. Whether you are psychic enough to absorb the book is another problem, but at least you can try it with a cloth book that a little more gentle on the head. Could be used along with sleep learning cds, and cassettes. This is the other PBE!

    Next Week:
    1. Should churches be allowed to own copyright? Or is the correct question; should church congregation using church assets to develop music and then claiming copyright get it? After all they are not paying taxes! Are churches using copyright laws to trounce on First amendment freedom of speech? Cite The Freedom of Imagination: Copyrights Constitutionality, by Jed Rubenfeld(copied from nonpaginated online version) A story about an ex-scientology person that had posted on the internet portions of the churches healing technology, with the intent of exposing scientology as a fraud. The police raided his home and seized his books and files, and deleting text, for seven hours they searched his home. WOW! Someone tried to expose Scientology but couldn’t because of copyright laws. Don’t worry, I already believed scientology is a fake religion. The real issue is how to take their copyright protection away. If someone or something can be proven to be a fraud or committing a crime they shouldn’t be protected by copyright.

    2. Negative role modeling caused by gladiator sports(today’s sports equivalent). Children grow up believing they don’t need to get an education because they will make more money as pro ball players or musicians. So we get adults with a 3rd grade education biting off someone’s ear because they don’t know simple right from wrong. Thank copyright laws for that one. Licensed pro sports memorabilia is the money that makes it all go. Some gladiators in ancient Rome were volunteers, the lure of fame and fortune was a lure greater than the risk of death.
    3. Censorship and copyright- if we can’t change the copyright laws maybe we can reinvent censorship, to get the evil art off the channels.

    John Browns body lies a smoldering in his grave,
    But his truth goes marching on.

    Tehnoslavery is their new way to control,
    Laws that take your money and tell you where to go,
    Copyright is the devils way to sow,
    Our freedom is coming soon,
    Glory, glory, hallelujah,- - -
    I believe there isn’t one lawyer or politician that knows exactly how many laws exist in the United States. If I’m wrong someone let me know. It appears, using heuristic speculation, that better than 90% of all the laws passed in America since our beginning have in some way taken our freedom away. New laws outright ban something, or they make access difficult through certification, licensing, and user fees. It is a steady and continuous system that may end up as a new type of slavery. Our politicians and lawyers use laws as a tool of their trade, and it is only natural that they take the tools and make something. Pray to God that they use some common sense and stop this direction of slavery that we are heading. It’s bad enough they pass laws telling us to wear belts while driving and not to swim out past the deep water and other things of a personal nature, and that they use false science in making some of these laws. Seatbelt laws are based on the fact there have been less traffic fatalities in the last 20 years, one could, using the same facts, conclude that because more accidents have happened in the last 20 seatbelts are causing more accidents. This is entirely possible because it could be scientifically demonstrated that the seatbelt puts pressure, strain, blocks, prohibits the upper torso to reach it’s fullest potential necessary to achieve optimal body-mind coordination used to turn and eye the blind spots your mirror doesn’t see. Of course seatbelts for passengers make sense.
    So what does this got to do with copyright laws? Remember this is my rant and I just wanted to point out that we are going in the wrong direction with this am/fm royalties bill. It’s just one more law aimed at destroying something that is free in our country.

    Is our politician’s a conglomeration of General Mandibles (from the movie Antz)? Are they looking down on us as worker-filth unable to create art under their familiarities? So the musicians are the colony, and like the Sony Bono extension they will indulge themselves with perfectionist autotheistic fantasies. Yes, evil doth grow! They have hardened their hearts against truth and justice choosing to worship themselves as the sole proprietors of knowledge. When in fact, the copyright laws are promoting, elevating, and raising art to a higher and greater level. What was natural idolatry is now UNNATURAL IDOLATRY! It took a thousand years for the evil to grow to a recognizable size. A certain amount of natural idolatry has always been acceptable to God and man. The beauty of a flower, the surf crashing on sand is simple and natural idolatry. In today’s world we can see the devastation supernatural idolatry has wrought on the psyche, like a malignant cancer of negativity and decay.









    This article is copyright free. Use any part or all of it or lose it any way you want.
    Social evolution of scenes a faire?



    DARN DOG CAN’T FIND ANY REAL FOOD, SO HE DUG UP THIS OLD BONE FROM OUR BACK YARD! Picture of dog with bone in his mouth and inscription on bone reads; “am/fm royalty bill” is missing. Sorry!

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Curt Doolittle, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 7:48am

    Copyright As It Relates To Free Speech

    Interesting Question 1:

    >>>" What does free speech have to do with copyright law?"

    a) Books, magazines, movies, plays, music (at least, in theory, music with lyrics), advertising, speeches, lectures, photographs, works of art, are products that market ideas (largely narratives.) Copyright law attempts to protect narratives from theft just as patents protect manufactured goods, from profiteering by copying and redistributing other people's inventions.

    b) Any of these 'narrative product' may contain political speech.(content)

    c) Determination of political content is extremely difficult. Harmful or beneficial political content is hard to judge (pornography for example), and therefore the law (as a profession) seeks to avoid having to make those decisions.

    d) Free speech as a practical constitutional concept rests on two assumptions:
    d.i - that the admitted harm that comes to society from free speech is offset by the protections we obtain from free speech.
    d.ii -- And to narrow these protections to just those that are overtly political is extremely difficult to the point of practical impossibility.

    e) Some products are political by definition, and copyright can be used to deny political works to the market, and especially intellectual products that are purely social and political in nature.

    f) copyrights (like patents) should not allow a product to be held from the market, for the purpose of increasing it's price. (Granted a monopoly.)

    So, speech and copyright law are effectively tied-concepts because they are mutually dependent. One cannot have copyright without speech, because all copyright is dependent upon speech. We would have far less speech (content) and experimentation (innovation) without copyrights. The scope of speech that needs protection is untestable, and perhaps unknowable, and it is therefore impossible to regulate by content.

    The argument from the Anarchist position is that copyrights AS THEY ARE CONSTRUCTED create a host of reasons for abusive government, regardless of the attempts of the creators of copyright law to prevent just such abuses. But the practical, measurable empirical evidence is that copyrights do improve innovation, wihc in turn, improves competitiveness, which in turn, reduces prices. The Hoppian/Rothbardian solution, even if they would not advocate it, would be to privatize copyright protections, so that we are not burdened by abusive government, or the costs of administering other people's works.

    Again, the fundamental problem here is that it is very difficult to develop criteria by which one thing is equal to another thing, for the purposes of copyright. It is very difficult and expensive to regulate and jury. THe other is that artificially increasing prices of easily reproduced goods is counter to the premise on which the market is based.

    I think that the solution, as others have said above, is that reproduction for commercial or self use is different from reproduction for the purpose of distribution and sale. I think personal reproduction, even if it deprives the author of profits is within the speech and copyright objectives. I do not see that there is an argument wherein the authors have the right to prevent you from doing whatever it is once you've purchased a commercial product from within the market. I do see that someone concentrating capital for the purpose of profiteering from activity in the market, based upon the innovations of others, without paying a commission for doing so, is simply theft, and is not beneficial. The market political theory requires us to innovate, even if innovation is simply opening up new markets.. I do not see the value in copying. That's just parasitism.

    I do not think that the market philosophy (even in libertarianism) supports parasitism. I know libertarians do not support rent seeking (parasitism) by the use of organs of the state. Why should we tolerate parasitism in absence of the state? Or is it that we care more about the state than we do about the very market society which we hope to entrust with our social order?

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Looking at Patent Drawings, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Some Slight Confusion....

    This is a very lively and interesting discussion. This might sound simplistic of me, but in what ways do copyright laws infringe on the first amendment? I don't quite understand.

     

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

  72.  
    icon
    tyciol (profile), Dec 17th, 2011 @ 10:19pm

    Some very valid points here,

     

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


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