Songwriters Guild Boss Claims Songwriters Can't Write Without Copyright

from the oh-really-now? dept

Last week, we wrote about a rather level-headed and quite interesting FT opinion piece written by The Pirate Party's Christian Engstrom, who now represents the Swedish Pirate Party in the European Parliament. While the entertainment industry has tried to paint the Pirate Party as a bunch of thieves who just want stuff for free, Engstrom's piece was quite sensible in explaining the real thinking behind the party: a focus on individual rights and worries about privacy invasion. Of course, the usual copyright supporters couldn't let such thinking go unchallenged...

Rick Carnes, the head of the Songwriters Guild of America wrote a letter to the Financial Times, responding to Engstrom, but the letter is odd, poorly supported, flat-out wrong in some spots and seems to have totally ignored what Engstrom was actually saying. Let's take a look:
Christian Engstrom of the Pirates party is absolutely correct in his assumption that Elvis's music does not belong to him. It belongs to great songwriters like Otis Blackwell, who wrote so many of Elvis's big hits such as "All shook up" and "Return to sender", and who fought for years to protect and strengthen US copyright law. Without copyright, Mr Blackwell would never have been able to create that "common cultural heritage" that Mr Engstrom wants to think of as his own.
First, this is a near total misreading of what Engstrom said. You have to assume that Carnes -- by no means an unintelligent person -- is simply deliberately misstating Engstrom's claims to further his own protectionist positions. Engstrom's point is just in noting how odd it is that we can't share a key part of our common cultural heritage. If you look at pretty much all of human history up until recently, part of what made a common cultural heritage possible was the ability to share it. Engstrom wasn't claiming that it was his own as Carnes states, but that as part of our common cultural heritage it makes sense that we'd like to share it with others. That's how culture works.

But, more importantly, Carnes is flat out wrong in claiming that Mr. Blackwell would never have been able to create those works without copyright. The incentives may have been different, but as we've been showing time and time again, there are tons of alternative business models for the creation of music that do not rely on copyright. And, given the massive demand for musical entertainment, it's pretty clear that such business models would certainly allow for compensation of songwriters as well. This assumption that copyright is the only way to pay songwriters is just silly and ignorant. It's just not true and has never been true. For someone who positions himself as a creative person, to insist that there's only one mechanism for songwriters to earn money is simply unbelievable.
He forgets that it isn't technology that "opens up new possibilities" -- it is the people who create the technology, the very people who earn their livings from patents and copyrights.
No, actually, Engstrom is quite clear that he does not forget the people. He's quite focused on actually supporting their individual rights. What he's against is the abuse of their rights via overly encroaching government monopoly. Furthermore, Carnes is again wrong in claiming that these people "earn their livings from patents and copyrights." They do not. They earn their living by putting in place (or working for a company that has put in place) a workable business model that involves providing goods and services that people or companies want and pay for. They may use patents and copyright as a part of that, but it is false and misleading to claim they earn their money from the patents and copyrights. The patents and copyrights, by themselves, pay nothing. In fact, the only way to get money from such intellectual endeavors is to offer people something they want in order to generate money in a business model. No one is trying to take that away. We just think that it need not have the gov't setting up unnecessary and limiting barriers.
Computer code, songs, artwork and drug patents don't appear "as if by magic". These people invest their lives, their dreams, their money, their time and all their hopes for the future in their work.
Indeed. No one has suggested otherwise. But part of that investing of lives, dreams, money and time is making sure they put in place a reasonable business model.
Creative people don't necessarily create only for money, but the money is necessary if only for them to continue to create.
Again, this is a total strawman. Carnes is pretending that Engstrom said that creators shouldn't earn money. He did not. He was pointing out that how they earn money may change, but no one is saying they shouldn't earn money. That Carnes seems to think that copyright is the only way to make money from content is either willful ignorance or blatant lying by someone whose job it is to push for greater protectionism for his constituents.
The real "restriction" on Mr Engstrom's access to an Elvis song is a paltry 99 cents for a download on iTunes. For that he wants us to abandon the copyright and patent laws that have been constructed over hundreds of years.
Again, this is a total misreading of Engstrom's comments. Engstrom's complaint isn't with the 99 cents one needs to pay to download a tune (though, I don't believe they use American money in Sweden...), but with the fact that he should have to pay to share and promote such a cultural artifact with others. It is only with intellectual property that such a restriction is placed on it, and it is a massive limitation on how people interact through culture these days.
Nor is the world "at a crossroads", as he claims. We will not face the apocalypse if people have to pay for music again. What is already causing serious cultural damage is the failure to enforce copyright law on the internet. I started making my own music at eight years old and by 13 I was making money at it. By 27 I was a professional songwriter and built a lifelong career as an "active" creator of musical culture; until, that is, I was put out of business by illegal downloading.
Again, Carnes seems to have misunderstood and is misrepresenting what Engstrom said (I don't believe he reflected him accurately once in the entire letter, which is impressive). No one is saying we will face the apocalypse if people "have" to pay for music again. He's simply noting that it's impossible to stop what technology has allowed. There is no such thing as people having to pay for music again. No one has to pay for anything. They make decisions in the marketplace -- and many are choosing not to pay for music anymore.

Furthermore, while Carnes may sincerely believe that "illegal downloading" put him out of business, the only thing that really put him out of business was his apparent inability to adapt to the changing marketplace. There is absolutely nothing stopping him from writing any more songs, other than an apparent lack of creativity in adjusting to a changing marketplace.
Mr Engstrom warns that "society has to make a choice" between total anonymity or totalitarian control on the internet. This is naive. The right choice is neither. Instead, we need to find some sweet spot in between. It is simple to conflate the ideas of privacy and theft. I could, for instance, claim that it is my right to wear a ski mask into a bank in order to keep my identity "private" from the prying eye of the bank security camera. The security guards might take exception to that, and for good reason.
Must we really explain the difference between copying and theft yet again? Engstrom is not talking about theft. He's talking about the ability to share and to communicate through content.
Similarly, while governments should limit intrusion into people's private lives they also have the responsibility to protect citizens from the theft of their property.
Indeed. They do. But this is not about theft, and it's not about property.
Laws are passed based on history, common sense and hopefully the common good. The internet is a new medium and the world is still trying to come to grips with the balance between privacy and security. I would ask Mr Engstrom to give that a chance to happen by toning down the rhetoric.
This is the most amusing of all, seeing as Engstrom's piece was rather devoid of inflammatory rhetoric, but was amazingly reasonable and level-headed. And speaking of rhetoric, it was Carnes who recently did an amazingly inflammatory interview where he used all sorts of bogus rhetoric. In it, he referred to the internet as "cyber somalia." He claimed the days of the stand alone songwriter were "over." He claimed that those who are sharing and promoting music online are "a mob of anonymous looters." He said he was hoping for "a 'bail-out' for all the songwriters who lost their jobs because their intellectual property was not protected by the US Government on the Internet." He calls Google "a real culture-killer." He called anyone who suggested that perhaps songwriters should explore new business models in a changed market "unbelievably arrogant and self-serving."

So... if we're talking about "toning down the rhetoric" perhaps Carnes should start with himself? At the very least, he might want to take a step back and try responding to what Engstrom and others are actually saying, rather than this straw bogeyman he seems to have set up in his mind.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 11:58am

    Let's flip that around

    People write filk songs, create mashups, produce AMVs, etc., despite the constant threat of being SUED over it.

    It's pretty obvious that people will create DESPITE copyright. It's not AT ALL obvious that copyright is necessary.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    please, please let carnes keep it up

    the more he does this, the worse it looks for Carnes and the better for the piratebay cause. It's so far backwards that it should drive plenty of people to donate to the pirate party hopefully.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    "No one has to pay for anything. They make decisions in the marketplace -- and many are choosing not to pay for music anymore. "

    ...and he is choosing to no longer write the songs. That's the true story here, the longer term effects of the lack of income for song writers as a result of rampant piracy.

     

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    rw (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    The only ones I can think of "earning their livings from patents and copyrights" are lawyers

     

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    Fiercedeity (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    Re:

    And amazingly, I've never heard anyone lament the lack of songs being written by Mr. Rick Carnes. It's almost as if no actually gives a shit. Except Mr. Carnes, or course.

    He can stop writing all he wants. Other artists can stop. Who the hell cares if they do? Other (smart) artists will take up the slack, and then some. Despite "piracy" more music and movies are being created that at any other time in history. And it's only going to get better.

     

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    AC's long lost brother, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Total bulls**t

    If songwriters can only write and make money with the help of copyright protection, then how can one explain that Bach composed over 1500 pieces of published music. Mozart, despite only living to the age of 35 composed at least 626. If the only reason someone is writing songs is to get paid, they need to be in a different line of work.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 12:50pm

    How hard can he fail? He's been writing songs since he's 13 and nobody has ever heard any of them? Or of him?

     

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    Osno (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    Bach and Mozart were paid for writing songs. Without copyright. Which I think is your point anyway.

     

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    MAtt, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 12:58pm

    Maybe singer/songwriters, but

    I usually fall on the side of "the music is free" argument, but I never before thought of all those people who write songs for other people. They cannot benefit from making money off the performance; their only chance for recurring revenue is a deal with the record company. Sure, they can write songs for however long and get paid each time they do, but the monetary incentive - at least as it is structured in the current model - disappears.

    I don't buy the "cultural damage" argument from either side. The music will free itself via whichever people are there to perform it at the time. Corporations, songwriters, performers, pros and amateurs, a guy on the street with a bucket - music is in us and will be long after copyright and DRM. Like water coming down from the mountain, it can only be held up for so long before it finds a way.

     

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    Jon B., Jul 15th, 2009 @ 12:59pm

    Re:

    For every one writer who stops writing due to piracy or lack of copyright, there are one or more writers who stop writing because they continuously get paid for writing only one or two good songs.

     

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    Ryan, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    One point missed

    Laws are passed based on history, common sense and hopefully the common good.

    Historically, the vast majority of works have been produced without copyright. Common sense dictates that we do not need a copyright because we can see all these other business models that make money off freely distributed music. And it is completely, indisputably, 100% in the interest of the common good to relax copyright protections, which are currently subsidizing lazy artists at the expense of the public.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:04pm

    Hey Mike, question

    I would like to see your article here (or a close varient of it) submitted to the FT as a response to Carnes to be published in the FT just as the original and poor reply were.
    Would you consider doing that?

     

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    Valkor, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    Universal $.99 license!

     

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    CleverName, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    Re:

    " ... and many are choosing not to pay for music anymore. "
    " ... the longer term effects of the lack of income for song writers as a result of rampant piracy.

    You attempt to link the two, but that may not be he case at all. People may choose to not listen, buy or pirate music - then what ? You assume too much and do not provide any evidence to support your assumptions.

     

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    Valkor, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    Universal $.99 License!

    "The real "restriction" on Mr Engstrom's access to an Elvis song is a paltry 99 cents for a download on iTunes."

    Hear that guys? But a track on Itunes, and get ready to remix and reimagine to your heart's content! That's all we need to do to share our interpretation of our culture!

     

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    mobiGeek, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Maybe singer/songwriters, but

    Not at all. Many get paid by advertising companies to come up with jingles. Others get contracted by artists. Some work directly for the labels.

    To say that "the monetary incentive, as it is structured, disappears", is saying "the market is changing". It always has been changing and it always will be.

     

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    Osno (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Mr Carnes is absolutely right. Who would write software without the knowledge that his work will still be paying him off 70 years after he's dead? Oh, right... everybody.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Maybe singer/songwriters, but

    Very few companies offer pensions anymore because the concept is absolutely absurd. It sounds like this is exactly what the song writers guild is looking for.

    -Sure, they can write songs for however long and get paid each time they do, but the monetary incentive

    Exactly, when I stop working I stop getting paid, what a novel idea.

     

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    Fiercedeity (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re:

    Good point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    mike -- you seem to be confused. you think that a business model is successful when you sell a product or service that someone wants to buy. however, it is much cheaper and easier to sell a product or service that people basically don't have a choice in buying.

    it's the difference between one customer who is happy to do business with a company, and another customer who does business with a company only because all other options are more expensive either by time, money, difficult, or a combination.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    Back in 1980's, we in the Soviet Union were taught that the REAL writer, musician, etc. creates because he WANTS to create, regardless of pay. Pay is the reward for the creation, but not the driving force of the creation; one of the driving forces is the natural human desire to be recognized, first by the peers, then by the public.

    Of course this is USA and I'm about to be punched many times over now, but at least you have a little insight. :-b

    (and BTW, mind you, the aforementioned approach didn't leave the Soviet Union writer- and musician-less, despite what the copyright lobby might be claiming :-b )

     

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    scarr (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Maybe singer/songwriters, but

    You don't need to be a performing artist to make money from free music. Look at producers and engineers - they're paid for their service, not their goods. A professional songwriter would still be paid in that same way.

     

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    scarr (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 2:11pm

    "People write filk songs, create mashups, produce AMVs, etc., despite the constant threat of being SUED over it."

    "If songwriters can only write and make money with the help of copyright protection, then how can one explain ... Bach [and] Mozart...."

    These are excellent examples that should be mentioned more often in these discussions. They're making me rethink some of what purpose I thought copyright served.

     

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    Ryan, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    Bingo. Which is why the powers-that-be resist change instead of adapting--it's easier. In some cases, this is a pretty valid business model; diamond companies, for example, are able to drive up their profit margins by buying up most available diamonds and thus lowering the supply. Drug producers derive the same benefit from the "War on Drugs".

    But the RIAA/MPAA are not using market forces to modify the supply, they are using the government to resist technological progress. This is supremely more difficult as we go along and will almost certainly fail in the long run once stupid politicians die off and the public slowly realizes the fallacy of the old system's defenders. Which is why their policies are short-sighted.

     

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    BAlbrecht (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Maybe singer/songwriters, but

    ...which is precisely the point made in the OP. It's up to the songwriters to come up with a viable method of charging for their services, just like in virtually every other industry. Personally, I don't see any good coming out of the subsidization of their current business model. The current arguments for industry protectionism fall grossly short in this case, considering the harm done to innovation and how simple it is to change the earning model.

     

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    Vincent Clement, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Maybe singer/songwriters, but

    Why are they automatically entitled to recurring revenue in the first place? Why do we have laws that entitles these people to royalties? Shouldn't that be something left to negotiation between the performer and the writer?

     

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  27.  
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    Christopher K. Hornisch, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 3:01pm

    Fools On Parade

    When another human being obtains a song without paying for it, or distributes a song without consent from the owner, it is unjust.

    One man gets a song, the other gets nothing. How is this a fair trade? How can you rationalize obtaining the fruits of another man's labor for free?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: Maybe singer/songwriters, but

    I, for one, have always wondered why royalties (if desired by a songwriter) are not handled via contract. We have laws to enforce contracts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Fools On Parade

    Because it isn't a trade. No one's fruits are being obtained. The artist still has the fruits. Someone else just has an identical copy of that fruit.

     

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    minijedimaster (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Maybe singer/songwriters, but

    Working in I.T. I wish I could get paid a small royalty every time a user uses a PC I deployed to them whether I was at home, on vacation in Costa Rica or at work. Sure would be nice....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Fools On Parade

    How dare you admire that expensive sports car that pulled up beside you!

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Fools On Parade

    When another human being obtains a song without paying for it, or distributes a song without consent from the owner, it is unjust.

    You have obtained my writings without paying for it. By your definition, you reading this website is unjust.

    Notice the problem?

    One man gets a song, the other gets nothing. How is this a fair trade? How can you rationalize obtaining the fruits of another man's labor for free?

    No one is rationalizing that. We're simply noting the reality of the market, by which you *can* use that to your advantage. Thus, it is not "unjust." It is merely a question of responding to what the market wants.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    While "entertainment" content may be viewed as something that contributes to "our cultural heritage", I am not at all sure the same can be said for utility apps. They are generally utilitarian and not cultural.

    Having thought about this for quite some time, I have as yet to identify a business model for a company that is in the business of creating and distributing utility software. Apple writes utility software, but then it is primarily a hardware manufacturer. Adobe, Corel, etc. write utility software, but they are not in the business of manufacturing and selling hardware.

    What are your thoughts?

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Universal $.99 license!

    I'll be the collection agency on that.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 15th, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Fools On Parade

    "One man gets a song, the other gets nothing. How is this a fair trade? How can you rationalize obtaining the fruits of another man's labor for free?"

    It's utterly unfair. Please stop posting; I don't want to rip you off any more.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 5:10pm

    Re:

    I think one could make an argument that popular utility software do, in deed, end up having an effect on our culture. Think about Photoshop, for example. The act of photo-chopping digital images, re-imagining of existing images, image re-mixing, if you will, has and will continue to affect our culture.

    One could probably even make a similar argument about operating systems too...windows, mac, linux...the communities that have grown up around them, all cultural artifacts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 7:37pm

    not exactly sure

    What about all the great jazz music? I can't imagine they had copyright protections... I must have heard about 30 different renditions of 'Take the A Train' by artists working during the same time period.

    Somehow they managed not only to survive as artists (and write new music) but they are beloved American icons as well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 2:22am

    hang on, the pirate party article was "level headed and quite interesting"...? Good one, mate!

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 4:18am

    Re:

    hang on, the pirate party article was "level headed and quite interesting"...? Good one, mate!

    Do you have an actual point? If you don't believe it is, then why not actually respond to the points. I was actually quite *surprised* at how level headed and interesting it was.

    But you don't add any explanation for why you disagree. From that I can only assume that you didn't even bother to read it, you just assumed it was bad. Credibility?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re:

    standard Mike dismissive comment, version 7.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 7:34am

    For every writer /artist that gives up because they don't get protected, there will be another that will replace them who can make it without the protection...

    Therefore, all these just seems like protection for the disabled/handicapped...

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 7:56am

    This sort of thing always scares me ....

    "Mr Engstrom warns that "society has to make a choice" between total anonymity or totalitarian control on the internet. This is naive. The right choice is neither. Instead, we need to find some sweet spot in between. "

    We all know how badly governments do when it comes to censorship and monitoring, they end up leaning towards totalitarian.

    So my question is who chooses the middle ground and how do we prevent the slide/need/want/fear mongering that leads to new and more oppressive rules.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    A vague and generalized accusation against a vague and generalized response to a vague and generalized accusation.

    Watch out! If this keeps going, we might actually know what's being talked about!

     

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    Digital Protector (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 9:24am

    Might I suggest that Carnes was driven from the market by the Beatles, who started the implied need for a band to write its own material?

     

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    Christopher K. Hornisch, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Fools On Parade

    Anonymous Coward: Someone's fruit is being obtained. The creator's song is now in the possession of another person. That other person has "obtained" the song. Just because the creator still has the song as well, doesn't make taking possession of a copy just.

    Put another way, if a man spent a summer growing a crop of corn, and another man had the ability to make a copy of it for his own use when the crop was finished. I do not see how it is it fair that one man labored for months to create the crop, while the other man benefits from that labor without consent or compensation.

     

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    Christopher K. Hornisch, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Fools On Parade

    Mr. Masnick: I think you are overlooking the role that "consent" plays when discussing distribution and use one's property. You offer your writing for free. Because you wrote the piece, it is your choice to deploy and distribute it as you see fit. Thus, all readers of this forum have been granted your consent to consume your words without compensation. The sole right you have to deploy and distribute your work (i.e. property) as you see fit is something that copyright law entitles you to decide.

    If a songwriter writes a song and does not choose to give it away for free to his fellow men, he currently does and should continue to be granted the sole rights to make that decision. When another man comes along and decides to distribute or copy that songwriter's work without consent, he is violating the songwriter's sole right to deploy his property as he sees fit.

    Regarding the reality of the market, I agree that the current market conditions "could" be used to one's advantage. But that is a true statement given any product and any market condition. It is a morally and intellectually nuetral statement. The consumer in any market "wants" to get everything for free, however he does not go about doing so because there are laws that prevent it (i.e. thou shall not steal). Those laws are constructed to ensure just interaction between men. Just because the technology allows one to benefit from another's work without their consent or compensation, doesn't mean it is a just way to go about interacting with your fellow men.

     

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

  47.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "standard Mike dismissive comment, version 7."

    No, "Do you have an actual point" is standard Mike dismissive comment v. 1.0

    Bring it, or stay home.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Christopher K. Hornisch, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Fools On Parade

    Anonymous Coward: The sports car analogy is a bad analogy. The difference here is control of the property. I cannot look at the sports car, let alone drive it around whenever I choose. When a song is copied one can listen to it whenever and wherever one wants. In my mind, if that luxury is obtained by a man, his sense for what is just should compel him to compensate the creator of the content being enjoyed.

    I have no problem with people deriving enjoyment from overhearing somebody's else song on the radio or blaring from a cd player on the beach(which would be appropriately analagous to enjoying the sight of someone's expensive sports car).

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Christopher K. Hornisch, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Fools On Parade

    By writing on this forum, I have granted consent to all to enjoy my words for free. Thus, you have not ripped me off whatsoever. Thank you for your concern though. I encourage you to extend that concern as broad and towards any many of your fellow men as possible.

    (see my comments to Mr. Masnick for a more detailed illustration of consent)

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Fools On Parade

    I think you are overlooking the role that "consent" plays when discussing distribution and use one's property.

    You are confusing content with property. Don't be confused by the terms. They are entirely different.

    You offer your writing for free. Because you wrote the piece, it is your choice to deploy and distribute it as you see fit. Thus, all readers of this forum have been granted your consent to consume your words without compensation. The sole right you have to deploy and distribute your work (i.e. property) as you see fit is something that copyright law entitles you to decide.

    It's not because of copyright.

    If a songwriter writes a song and does not choose to give it away for free to his fellow men, he currently does and should continue to be granted the sole rights to make that decision. When another man comes along and decides to distribute or copy that songwriter's work without consent, he is violating the songwriter's sole right to deploy his property as he sees fit.

    Well, first you're still confused about property. But fine.

    SO WHAT? People clearly don't care about that. So why not adjust and take advantage of that? If you can be BETTER OFF by using it to your advantage, aren't you a total fool to sit back and push against the tide?

    Regarding the reality of the market, I agree that the current market conditions "could" be used to one's advantage. But that is a true statement given any product and any market condition.

    Indeed. So why are you still trying to sell buggy whips to the market when they're all driving automobiles?

    It is a morally and intellectually nuetral statement.

    Yes. Of course. That's economics.

    The consumer in any market "wants" to get everything for free

    This is not true. Consumers are absolutely more than willing to buy things if it's seen as a fair transaction.

    however he does not go about doing so because there are laws that prevent it (i.e. thou shall not steal).

    Yes, for stealing. But this is not about stealing. This is about sharing, copying and promoting. And in other contexts that is absolutely encouraged. That's why so many people have trouble understanding why it's suddenly "wrong."

    Just because the technology allows one to benefit from another's work without their consent or compensation, doesn't mean it is a just way to go about interacting with your fellow men.

    Right, and I'm not defending unauthorized file sharing. I'm just saying you're a fool if you don't look to take advantage of it and pretend that people will magically stop file sharing and start giving you money if you don't put in place a better business model.

    It's just economics.

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    monkyyy (profile), Jul 17th, 2009 @ 11:08pm

    on the sports car thing people CAN easyly take a pic of the car then view it later
    and most people would think ur creepy but NOT CALL IT STEALING

    "Right, and I'm not defending unauthorized file sharing"
    this is probably the only thing i dont agree with mike on when it comes to copyright laws
    go breaking stupid laws

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    craig, Sep 20th, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Fools On Parade

    No laws don't stop people getting what they want free, practicallity does.

    Copying real items is long hard and easy to police, music is easy. Providing the internet exists it will never be possible to police it due to clever encryption and information hiding techniques.

    This is the market as it is today, compnaies will have to adapt or fall, thats the way economies work (laws effect economies but only when they can be applied).

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Don, Dec 20th, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Double irony

    So much public domain nowdays - hard to keep music and video from being misused. Take the YouTube video "Spoiked" for example (Google it).

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    Childsmile, Feb 14th, 2014 @ 3:22pm

    Songwriter Royalties

    Does the Pirate Party have a plan in place to compensate the songwriters whose work, like any human beings work, has a value attached? If not, does this not make the Pirate Party a party based upon the abuse of human rights? Not saying, just asking

     

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


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