Is Morality Even A Question In Copyright?

from the and-should-it-be? dept

I've explained in the past why I think it doesn't make much sense to include a moral argument in discussing things like copyright law. If you can structure things such that everyone is better off, then morality shouldn't even come into play at all. My focus, then, is on setting up systems that do tend to benefit everyone, so there isn't a moral question at all. If even the content creators are better off under certain systems, then where is the moral question? The problem, of course, is that it's often not the actual content creators whose livelihoods are at stake. Instead, it's various middlemen who have worked themselves into a certain position. But arguing that they need to prop up their own obsolete business model isn't very interesting, so they tend to play the morality card, claiming that a system where content is given away for free has some sort of negative moral component. That's hogwash.

William Patry recently did a series of posts over at The Volokh Conspiracy, and addressed this issue as well, concerning copyrights and morality, where he noted:
Morality is used in the Copyright Wars as a way to cover up the inability to justify expansion of rights on economic grounds.
Indeed. Since copyright is intended as an economic right (as detailed and cited in Patry's post), the arguments over copyright need to focus on the economic issues. And a properly calibrated system is one where there's the greatest overall economic good and everyone has the greatest opportunity to benefit. At that point, where's the morality question at all? The answer is that there isn't one. Claiming morality in an economics discussion on copyright is a crutch used by those who can't support their position. There is no moral issue at all.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:09pm

    A basic flaw in your thought process is to dismiss everyone who isn't an artist or a consumer as leeches. When you start with such a basic misunderstanding of how the world works, the rest of the discussion loses it's value.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:20pm

    Copyrights is interesting and all, but I for one would like to read how you would apply your views to matters such as the current "health care" debate.

     

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    ..., Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:33pm

    Re:

    If not leaches, then what are they?

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:06pm

    YOUSE PIRATEZ WILL ALL BURN IN HECK!!!!!

    That is all.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, consider this:

    if you go to a grocery store, how many people were involved in the process of the food coming from the field to the store? There are many "middlemen" in the process, unless you are either growing your own food or buying directly from the farmer.

    In music, example, it is the same thing. Between the artist producing music and people consuming it, there are any number of middlemen, all required to make the process go. Yes, you can in some cases get your music directly from the artist, but even Mike knows that the opportunity costs of an artist actually selling their own music to individual buyers is insane.

    The middlemen make it possible for the artist to be an artist, not CD seller, not a webmaster, not a bus driver, not a press release writer, no a rights manager, etc.

    Mike truly misses it with this comment:

    he problem, of course, is that it's often not the actual content creators whose livelihoods are at stake. Instead, it's various middlemen who have worked themselves into a certain position.

    There will always be middlemen. Even if an indy band is selling their material on Itunes, there is a middle man called Apple in the game.

    Where Mike is going is down the "weepy morality play" road, which he also did about 2 weeks ago. It's crap, it's the admission of no true valid arguments against the system, just a "feeling". It ends up mostly as socialistic horse hockey. His logic, applied to any other business, would be to destroy the business and give the product away because it makes the people happy, with no consideration of the implications on not just the immediate middlemen, but the very supply itself.

    Emotional pleas are pretty much a logical dead end. It appears that Techdirt has hit a wall.

     

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    Lisa (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:27pm

    "Where Mike is going is down the "weepy morality play" road, which he also did about 2 weeks ago. It's crap, it's the admission of no true valid arguments against the system."

    Moral discussion is valid, seeing as the pro-copyright lobby has brought morality into play many times during the long IP debate.

     

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    Doctor Strange, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:30pm

    If you can structure things such that everyone is better off, then morality shouldn't even come into play at all.

    The problem, of course, is that it's often not the actual content creators whose livelihoods are at stake. Instead, it's various middlemen who have worked themselves into a certain position.

    What's incongruous about these two statements? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The difference is that a grocery store isn't an artificial need where as the record labels create an artificial need for themselves through lobbying efforts, unnecessary taxes (ie: radio stations that play music, often a flat fee even if they play indie music as well), trying to restrict indie singers, etc... ( see http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090109/1823043352.shtml ). They also lie about how much they pay the artists and they hardly pay most artists at all yet they want to force themselves as an unnecessary leech gateway to artists when, aside from the laws they lobby for, they are not needed at all.

    If they wanted to promote the artists without lobbying for laws that benefit only the RIAA then that's fine. But that's not the case.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:34pm

    Re:

    Well, there is no reason to believe patents need to last nearly as long as they do with respect to pharmaceuticals. A: the government funds a lot of the R&D and B: Time value of money principles dictate that it's very unlikely current R&D dollars will be considered for money that will be collected 20 years from now.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't think Mike has said that artists shouldn't make use of middlemen, merely that the middlemen who are trying to defend copyright status quo are the same ones that abuse their position.

    Your example of apple as a middleman seems a poor one, from what I have read they barely break even on the costs. Most of the money that isn't going to the artist isn't going to Apple, it is going to the labels. They are the middlemen that people should be concerned about and in the admittedly short time I have read Mike's blog, I have not seen anything to suggest that iTunes should be scrapped.

    You see, middlemen are fine when there is economics at play.. i.e. they actually provide a scarce service (such as a marketplace with all its overheads), which is what iTunes is. Middlemen are bad when they arbitrarily set the price without providing a service in the guise of getting a return on their investment at rates that would make loan sharks gasp. Big music labels have gone from being able to screw everyone over at the same time to being almost entirely impotent. Yes, music still needs investment but it doesn't need loan sharks any more.

    To cite an example, I pay a monthly fee to Magnatune.com who are middlemen, so to speak. I do that because they offer both me and the artists they represent a fair and perhaps more importantly, transparent, deal. In using their service I know almost exactly how much of my money is going where and feel more confident that using their service is an informed decision. Contrast that with labels who insist on making heavy profits and using that money to invest in bands I have no interest in while hassling me over how I use what I pay for, they are the middlemen we need rid of.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly, they're basically unnecessary middlemen, they don't do anything useful (neither for the consumers nor the artists) besides collect money and lobby the government to create an artificial need for themselves.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Radio stations, clubs, restaurants, etc... are a useful middlemen; but the RIAA and other collection agencies are worse than useless. All they do is tax for no reason and interfere in other peoples business.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:11pm

    Re:

    Huh, I'd be quite ecstatic if I lost my job because it was genuinely redundant. Better for everyone doesn't necessarily mean making more money, it might mean more economic efficiency or being able to progress onto something more meaningful. While they may not consider themselves better off, I'd certainly consider them better off. Who knows, they might find some work that doesn't involve leaching off other peoples work while accusing everyone else of that very same thing.

    I'm not a spiritual person but I would guess some spiritual people would say something like their karma has increased, which seems as good an analogy as anything. Certainly if they're so bothered about right and wrong then they should get something out of doing what's right even if it is forced upon them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Re:

    The fact is that the record industries, the FDA, the FCC, most of the other unelected agencies, the pharmaceutical corporations, etc... have no regard for morality and ethics. The only thing they care about is themselves.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:31pm

    FIXED: Pirates have no regard for morality and ethics. The only thing they care about is themselves.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:41pm

    Re:

    What's incongruous about these two statements? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    I should clarify. The problem is ONLY if the old middlemen don't adjust. There is room in the new market for different kinds of middlemen -- and it's more lucrative. So the overall opportunity is greater for everyone. It's only those who stick to their old obsolete ways who are in trouble.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Where Mike is going is down the "weepy morality play" road, which he also did about 2 weeks ago.

    Did you read the post? I said the exact opposite. That there is no weepy morality play.

    His logic, applied to any other business, would be to destroy the business and give the product away because it makes the people happy, with no consideration of the implications on not just the immediate middlemen, but the very supply itself.

    Um. Someone hasn't read my argument. Or, more likely, didn't take the time to understand it. Because what you write above is not what I say at all.

    Emotional pleas are pretty much a logical dead end.

    Indeed. That's why I don't make emotional pleas and this whole post is about NOT using emotional pleas for stronger copyright.

    Again, I have to ask if you actually read the post, because it appears you have not.

     

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  20.  
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    Doctor Strange, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's true. I once saw a documentary about this.

    At the FDA, the Human Resources department had a special screening program such that they could screen out anyone who wasn't a sociopath. After all, it's hard to be a purely evil agency if you accidentally hire some do-gooders. Luckily, there were thousands and thousands of sociopaths to go around. The problem, of course, is to get them all to do the same evil thing, and that's what the special indoctrination and training was for. Little is known about this training, but it's heavily implied that the end of it is the same as the entry test that Matt Damon had to do in the Bourne movies to join Project Treadstone.

    Once you got badged and such, you could get into the main area. There, there was a big whiteboard in the middle of the giant cube farm where everyone worked. It was sort of a public "suggestion box." In permanent letters at the top of the board was etched:

    "FDA: DON'T FEED'EM, FUCK'EM!"

    Under that was etched the purpose of the board:

    "How can we make America a worse place to live today?"

    Every week, people would write suggestions on the board as to how to make America worse. At the end of the week, the executives would pick four or five suggestions - usually looking for the ones that did the most harm and were the easiest to implement, and turned them over to the Army of Lobbyists. These folks were the elite sociopaths of the organization, with special military-style training in screwing the common man.

    The lobbyists, of course, needed to be paid, and paid they were. Their pay far exceeded the budget for the FDA, but they had a solution for that, too. The Mint, another corrupt department of the government, created a special machine just for the FDA. This machine had a big hopper on one side. Into the hopper went the bodies of people who died because the FDA purposefully didn't approve drugs that hadn't yet been through the rigorous process that shows they are "safe" and "effective" (yeah, right). The machine converted these bodies into pure black tar heroin, which was then sold on the streets of inner-city neighborhoods, but only to children under 10. The Army of Lobbyists, then, was paid from the revenues of those sales.

    At the time the documentary was being made, the FDA was streamlining its processes. Instead of using the heroin profits to pay the lobbyists, it was kidnapping the heroin-addicted 10-year-olds and raising them in a sort of feral, Mad-Max like environment. Why? To become the next generation of lobbyists, of course. These super-lobbyists could be paid directly in heroin, thus eliminating the need to deal with cash at all.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Sigh. I mean, is this the sort of thing you think goes on? Do you know anyone, personally, that works for these agencies that you demonize? Have you spoken with them about their motivations? Have you made any effort at all to understand what makes these agencies, and the people that constitute them, "tick?"

    And, other than posting trollish screeds on Techdirt 'exposing' the evils of companies and government agencies, what have you done for your country? What have you sacrificed to contribute to the betterment of the nation?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    my favorite comment on techdirt. ever.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Sigh. I mean, is this the sort of thing you think goes on?"

    You're just building a strawman, but you already knew that. But the fact that you would knowingly build a strawman suggests that we shouldn't take you seriously on the subject matter.

    Also, I have talked about the corrupt nature of the FDA here

    http://forums.christianity.com/m_3795161/mpage_1/key_/tm.htm#3795161

    and here

    http://forums.christianity.com/m_3777330/mpage_1/key_/tm.htm#3777330

    "What have you sacrificed to contribute to the betterment of the nation?"

    What have you done besides lobby for industries that exploit the public.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "And, other than posting trollish screeds on Techdirt 'exposing' the evils of companies and government agencies"

    So when the rich and the powerful unethically exploit the public we should just do nothing and allow it? Is that what you suggest?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 11:16pm

    Re:

    Or perhaps they realize that it's more unethical to support our corrupt RIAA than not to.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 11:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Sigh. I mean, is this the sort of thing you think goes on?"

    and the fact that you would knowingly build a strawman further demonstrates that you have no regard for ethics. You don't care about truth, you just want to say anything to justify your attempts to exploit the public.

     

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    Devonavar, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 12:34am

    You have a narrow view of morality

    "If you can structure things such that everyone is better off, then morality shouldn't even come into play at all."

    People have already picked this apart, but this quote encapsulates Mike's mistake perfectly. This statement clearly implies that copyright *should* be a moral issue. The existing middlemen are clearly not better off, so it's no surprise they see this in moral terms. The fact that these middlemen are largely obsolete and redundant is certainly a good reason for why these middlemen should disappear, but it does nothing at all to make them better off. Given what they stand to lose, of course they see it in moral terms.

    That said, seeing morality purely in terms of being "better off" (which you seem to think of in solely economic terms) is a very limited view of morality. You're essentially accepting the Utilitarian view of morality (see John Stewart Mill) as correct and ignoring all other ways of thinking about it. Utilitarianism is a popular and profound approach, but it's not the be all and end all of morality. There's more at stake here than just being "better off" — and more ways of being "better off" than you seem to think.

    There's a reason that many countries have "moral rights" as part of their copyright law. Being a creator or an artist often entails being connected to your creations in a very deep and personal way. Moral rights recognize this by offering some assurance that one's creations are respected by society at large in ways that will not affect the creator adversely. For those not familiar with moral rights, they are generally concerned with protecting the *reputation* of the artist and preventing certain remixes in ways that would disrepect the original works.

    The moral side of copyright is all about respect — of the artists and the works themselves — and it's not hard to see how Mike's cold economic lens could disrespect artists. Allowing people to do *anything* they want with artistic works can easily be disrespectful. The economic reality that this is how the world works does not change the fact of this disrespect. Morality comes into it because morality is about changing and regulating the realities of the world for the better. Unless economics can address the problem of respect, it is not a complete way of looking at copyright.

    Assuming that just because things *are* a certain way means they *should* be that way is a classic mistake of economic thinking. (Moralistic thinking makes the opposite mistake — it assumes that because things *should* be a certain way that it is feasible to behave as if they *are* that way.) It's a reality that copyright is broken and it's impossible to stop copying. The smart money right now accepts that and works within those boundaries. But, just because it's smart doesn't make it good, and that is the moral crux of the debate.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 12:52am

    Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "The existing middlemen are clearly not better off"

    Yeah, those who make money without doing any work at the expense of those who do work are not better off. But who cares? If the middlemen don't want to do work and all they want to do is lobby the government then they don't deserve to be better off.

    The people who don't get millions of dollars from taxpayers for doing nothing are not better off as a result. Who cares?

    "There's a reason that many countries have "moral rights" as part of their copyright law."

    Perhaps because intellectual property maximists just want to come up with any excuse, no matter how false or lame, to promote their position?

    "Moral rights recognize this by offering some assurance that one's creations are respected by society at large in ways that will not affect the creator adversely."

    No one morally owes a creator a monopoly or any "rights" to monopolize or regulate his/her work. If we are to grant it it should ONLY be to the benefit of society. If the creator doesn't like it no one is forcing that creator to create anything. By creating something they are agreeing to the terms that society provides and if society doesn't want to provide copyright terms, tough, society does not morally owe them any such thing.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 12:56am

    Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "and it's not hard to see how Mike's cold economic lens could disrespect artists. Allowing people to do *anything* they want with artistic works can easily be disrespectful."

    Well, anything can disrespect an artist. I can call an artist an idiot because I don't like the artists work or perhaps if I looked at the artists work the wrong way the artist may take offense. Some people will get offended at anything. Doesn't mean we should pass laws to accommodate them. We owe no such laws.

    Sometimes some customers are NEVER happy, they complain no matter what and it's impossible to please them. What, should the world succumb to their every demand no matter how unreasonable and pass laws as a result? No. Some people are easily offended, anything can offend them no matter how small. We don't need to pass laws just because some artist is sensitive. We owe them no such laws.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:01am

    Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "Unless economics can address the problem of respect, it is not a complete way of looking at copyright."

    It's disrespectful to our intelligence for you to come up with such nonsense arguments. You're assuming we're stupid enough to buy this garbage and I feel disrespected. Now we should pass a law to prevent you from doing this.

    The fact is, as an intellectual property maximists, you are just trying to find any excuse, no matter how false and lame, to promote your pro exploit the public position. We have shown this over and over on techdirt, intellectual property maximists contradict themselves all the time and they have no regard for non contradiction or truth.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:13am

    Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    The point is that what constitutes respectful and disrespectful conduct is often subject to opinion. Different cultures consider different things disrespectful and everyone is different. But we shouldn't ruin our economy just because some weird person might be offended at something arbitrary.

    Also, intellectual property isn't a way to control ones own property, it's a way to control someone elses property. Say I buy lego ( http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090819/1852525935.shtml ) and I use it in a video in a way that upsets Lego Inc. Who cares, people know the difference between the lego video post and Lego incorporated. Lego has no say with respect to how someone uses their property. People know not to wrongfully associate the alleged misuse of a product/invention with the originator. Sure, some people like Lego might find an arbitrary excuse to be offended but that's no reason to pass laws that allows them to control someone else's property.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:30am

    Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    FIXED: The fact is, as an freeloading, something-for-nothing, parasite, you are just trying to find any excuse, no matter how false and lame, to promote your pro exploit-the-artists position. We have shown this over and over on techdirt, free loading, selfish and self righteous pirates contradict themselves all the time and they have no regard for non contradiction or truth.

    (You're welcome)

     

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  32.  
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    ERH, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:32am

    Interesting

    I don't see how any person can ever at any time disassociate anything they do from ethics. Ever.

    This being said, I think that copyrights as they've been interpreted in the past decade have become morally wrong. They protect individuals by limiting the rights of the community to leverage from works created by members of that community. I've seen arguments for it from "protecting individuals from exploitation" to "providing economic incentive to individuals to create". Regardless, the pendulum has swung too far in that direction if teachers are afraid of copying books, and a single bar of music remastered and reused can get an artist into trouble. There's a difference between plagarism and inspiration, and Fair Use just doesn't seem to cut it these days.

    Communities /need/ to learn from, build off, and generally progress as a whole by learning from its masters and talents. This advancement is a matter far more crucial than the mere lifespan and pockets of any individual. And since copyright is mostly economic in practice, it also creates a cash-is-king mentality about creations instead of passion, despite the fact that most advances are done out of passion. I wish there was a better balance at play.

    Anyway, the whole thing makes me sad. When I was a kid, it wasn't illegal to give my friends a copy of the music I bought or recorded off the radio. Now I have to teach my daughter NOT to share things with her friends.

    And all of these issues? Moral, not economic. Whether I'm right or wrong about my stance, certainly I can't see it be effectively argued that the issues here shouldn't be considered when writing or enforcing copyright law.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 2:27am

    Mike, please don't be offended, I'm usually one of your biggest supporters, but you've destroyed your own argument.
    "If you can structure things such that everyone is better off, then morality shouldn't even come into play at all."

    The problem with this is that "structure[ing] things such that everyone is better off" IS where the morality comes into play. Only a moral person (or group of people) could structure things such that EVERYONE truly IS better off. Obviously, someone who is not moral would structure the deal such that they would be the only ones better off, or such that though everyone else is also better off, they come out MUCH better off than everyone else. Oh, wait, I just described the recording industry's current business model. Oops.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 2:42am

    Obviously, someone who is not moral would structure the deal such that they would be the only ones better off, or such that though everyone else is also better off, they come out MUCH better off than everyone else. Oh, wait, I just described the recording industry's current business model. Oops.

    Actually, you just described capitalism.

    Some people will always be "better off" than others.

    You, yourself, are "better off" than a lot of the people in the world so "Oh, wait, you just described your own current business model" as well.

    Congratulations.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 3:24am

    Re:

    A basic flaw in your thought process is to dismiss everyone who isn't an artist or a consumer as leeches.

    Except, he didn't. He only spoke of the ones trying to prop up obsolete business models. That kind of makes the rest of your comment loose it's value.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 4:47am

    Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    Copyright was never about the artist, it was always about the distributor, as history has shown. It has always been mostly the distributor lobbying for it, not the artists. The artists are free not to utilize it, but it's the distributors that are lobbying for it most strongly. Assuming that the masses want to exploit the artists is assuming that the masses are evil despite a complete lack of evidence. It's the RIAA that has done nothing but shown itself evil and contradicted itself. Find contradictions in our arguments, we find them in yours all the time. Mike has even shown many business models where the artists make money from the people without relying on copyright and most artists have always made most of their money on things like concerts, not music sales, because it's the RIAA that steals all the money from artists. The only one that have always been exploiting both the people and the artists (ie: by trying to artificially make themselves necessary through government intervention) is the RIAA and now thanks to the Internet they are no longer needed so they want more government intervention to make themselves necessary so they go crying to the government. You don't care about the artists, stop the lies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 4:52am

    Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    Ok, give me examples. Here are examples of you exploiting the public and/or contradicting yourself

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091013/0205396505.shtml

    and

    http://www.techdirt .com/articles/20091014/0128436520.shtml ( Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:22am ).

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    and other examples have been given, see
    Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:57pm
    Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:00pm

    on this thread. The fact is that we can substantiate our position, we have evidence and facts to back us up, you have nothing. I know it sucks, the RIAA industry is nothing more than a bunch of lazy parasites who do nothing but exploit the public and want to make money without doing any work but the mainstream media has always covered it up. Now thanks to the Internet you can't hide it as well anymore. Yes, it sucks, the public is becoming more aware of the damage you cause to both the artists and society and your complete and total disregard for ethics. But how you can totally neglect ethics and not care about anyone but yourselves is beyond me, it's really a shame that people like you exist.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    sp/The artists are free not to utilize it/The artists are free to utilize it

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 5:14am

    Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "We have shown this over and over on techdirt"

    You have not shown it once, give examples. We have shown it ( see http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060921/192446.shtml and http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090811/0152565837.shtml among MANY other examples). You have yet to show anything. Please provide examples.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 5:38am

    Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    Yes, because it's the masses that are the criminals and the masses are always wrong and you're always right.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091015/0223246544.shtml

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 6:31am

    and here are some examples of these collection agencies pretending they represent the artists when they really don't

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080416/135916866.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/2009 0601/0644235082.shtml

    Also see
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080228/125620382.shtml

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Simon, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 6:57am

    Re:

    It's not about being an artist or a consumer, it's about adding value. If you don't add value (or enough value to justify your additional cost), then expect to be made redundant - it's as simple as that.

     

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  44.  
    icon
    Comboman (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:04am

    Morality is relative

    The health care debate is actually a good example of why morality shouldn't be involved in legal/legislative matters. Morality is relative. On one side, you have people saying it is immoral for the government to demand (some would even say "steal") an increasing amount of our hard-earned income in taxes. On the other side are those who say it is immoral to not use those funds for the greater good to provide health care to all regardless of whether they can afford it. The issue cannot be decided on morality when both sides claim the moral high-ground. It must be decided on more practical considerations, and copyright is no different.

     

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  45.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:14am

    Morality should play a role in everything.
    T=Something that this culture has forgotten it seems...

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, it's your typical Friday afternoon post - You say "don't talk about morality", but what you are really talking about is morality.

    Because you fail to consider factually what would happen without the dreaded middlemen, your entire argument in on morals. Basically, you say that they play the moral card against piracy, you play the same card back saying that it's okay. You might not realize it, but it's all emotional, it all morals, and you are just as bad as they are.

    In the end, you support a socialist musical system, and they don't. They have shown for many years that their system does work, product gets out, radios have some thing to play, etc. Your model is theoretical, and doesn't appear to hold up to basic economics. Some would say that makes your points entirely emotional, not at all based in fact.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    Sorry, copyright is very much about the artist, because without the distribution, without the rights that come on their music, most artists wouldn't be artists, they would be office workers, they would be warehouse workers, or they would be street corner buskers.

    just yelling "RIAA! RIAA!" over again doesn't change the reality that most of the people involved with artists aren't part of that group. The RIAA would disappear tomorrow and the music industry would still be the same, and some other gorup would be created to collect the valid earnings of artists and rights holders.

    In the end, artists create music we enjoy over and over again, and that many people profit from in their businesses. The artists and rights holders get paid when someone else runs a business based at least in part on their products. It is a pretty simple system, it isn't evil, it isn't immoral.

    The only replacement I have seen here is total music socialism, where artists make music, and the public immediately snatches it away from them and they lose all control over their work. Other people can make millions playing the song on the radio, at concerts, in night clubs, on TV, and such and the artist would make nothing, because there would be no artists rights system.

    I have to think that at the end of the day, there wouldn't be many artists left.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:27am

    Re:

    You would be better to link directly to the underlying articles, rather than to Mike's opinion pieces. It has been shown before that Mike is VERY selective on the facts he uses, and often with deeper review, you will find that his opinion pieces are just that, opinion, and not fact.

    Think for yourself, don't let the Guru of Musical Socialism do it for you.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Jeano, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:39am

    Morality is involved in all aspects of law and life.

    As for copyright, limited copyright is justified. Copyright that extends for decades is -in my opinion - crazy.

    I expect to pay for goods and services that others provide. Music, food, housing, etc. I expect that once I purchase recorded music, I can listen to it over and over without paying extra money (performance fees) because it was recorded for that purpose. I expect to make copies (or convert to diff formats) of it for my own use. I do NOT expect to make copies of it for others.

    But then again I expect to treat other people in the same manner that I want to be treated. I don't want to be deprived of a livelihood and won't do so to others.

    Think Golden Rule.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    1DandyTroll, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:42am

    Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    '"If you can structure things such that everyone is better off, then morality shouldn't even come into play at all."

    People have already picked this apart, but this quote encapsulates Mike's mistake perfectly. This statement clearly implies that copyright *should* be a moral issue.'

    Sry, but then follows a lot of blah blah blah.... what with it not actually explaining the supposed mistake at all.

    Unless otherwise limited, everyone actually means everyone, i.e. including all them hobnobs that are supposed to act as ballast.


    The context of the post is about if the morality card is justifiable to justify an outdated economic system of the mentioned monopoly industry.

    The answer is simply no.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "Sorry, copyright is very much about the artist, because ..., without the rights that come on their music, most artists wouldn't be artists, they would be office workers, they would be warehouse workers, or they would be street corner buskers."

    Making things up again despite being proven wrong many times. If copyright were about the artists why are the primary lobbyists unnecessary entities like the RIAA

    "because without the distribution"

    The RIAA is not needed for distribution and the laws in place only hinder the distribution by making it more difficult for independent artists to get on public airwaves or mainstream media or television.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "Other people can make millions playing the song on the radio, at concerts, in night clubs, on TV, and such and the artist would make nothing, because there would be no artists rights system."

    Again, you're making things up because there is no reason to believe that these other people wouldn't make their own songs instead. Why, because you said so? Nice try.

    "I have to think that at the end of the day, there wouldn't be many artists left."

    Wow, appealing to your imagination and not to evidence or logic.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re:

    "You would be better to link directly to the underlying articles, rather than to Mike's opinion pieces."

    Instead of making retarded statements like this why not actually address the issues.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "The only replacement I have seen here is total music socialism"

    Copyright is closer to socialism in that the government restricts the marketplace by creating government granted monopolies and hence the government has more control over how resources are allocated. The lack of intellectual property is closer to free market capitalism.

    "I have to think that at the end of the day, there wouldn't be many artists left."

    This is just a bunch of useless scare mongering. Now, thanks to the free flow of information, there are plenty of artists who create music under creative commons licenses and such. See http://creativecommons.org/

    Lets also not forget about indie films

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091014/0128436520.shtml

    The fact that they try to explicitly eliminate the effects of copyright on their content indicates that copyright is not needed to create content. In fact, what traditionally prevented these things from advancing was the regulatory structure that entities like the RIAA, pharmaceutical corporations, mainstream media, etc... have created by getting the FCC/government to regulate airwaves and cableco/telco infrastructure in a way that prevents indie artists/producers from using them to promote their products. The RIAA and these other groups have always been part of the problem, not the solution, and they want to turn the Internet into the same nonsense that mainstream media has turned into, a medium where independent artists can't readily promote their products without turning it into the intellectual property of the RIAA or without someone forking over money to the RIAA.

    Also, people create linux distributions and other GPL software for free and have long done so. They often live off of donations, like many artists who create free content as well, because people are willing to donate.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "Sorry, copyright is very much about the artist, because without the distribution, without the rights that come on their music, most artists wouldn't be artists"

    We have shown this to be false on techdirt many times. There is an array of independent artists, MANY MANY of them, that release their content under creative commons licenses. There are sites dedicated to these artists and the distribution of their content. But I suspect you already knew that, you know darn well what you're saying is false (because we've said it OVER AND OVER on techdirt), and you're just being dishonest. Just goes to show your total disregard for morality. Why should we take your position seriously?

    It's the current legal structure that prevents these people from using the public airwaves and cableco/telco structure to promote their content, otherwise many independent artists would be more than happy to use public airwaves to distribute their music (without pay even) if only the FCC allowed anyone to use those airwaves. We either should disbar the FCC or force them to create a structure that somehow makes it more plausible and cheaper (or free even) for these people to promote their content. See, society doesn't owe the FCC regulatory authority over the airwaves and we don't owe the government the ability to regulate who can and can't build new cableco/telco infrastructure. We can just as well have it unregulated which will allow anyone to use it. We delegate that authority to the government because we expect them to act in the public interest and they are not doing so. If they don't want to act in the public interest we are better off disbarring unelected entities like the FCC. We either need to force the government to act in the public interest or disbar entities like the FCC who act in the best interest of rich and powerful corporations at public expense (ie: by creating laws that effectively make it implausible for independent artists to use those airwaves or by censoring important issues and arguments/perspectives and open discussions like the ones that occur here on Techdirt).

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    THEM STEALERS ARE DESTROYING YOUR READING COMPREHENSION!!!

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    Basically, as soon as you start "self linking" techdirt articles, you already failed. Your argument is one of opinion and emotion, and not much else.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    So then you are free to deny the obvious fact that many artists do release their music under creative commons licenses. You don't like the link I provided because it disagrees with you, all those artists under the creative commons sites that release their music under creative commons licenses are all imaginary, none of them really exist and all that free music I can legally download isn't really there.

    Lets see, I link to techdirt articles discuss the matters meaningfully and make a lot more sense than anything you say and you disregard them simply because they disagree with you.

    You tell lies (ie: "I have to think that at the end of the day, there wouldn't be many artists left." ) that you know are false.

    Uhm... Who is someone supposed to believe, techdirt or you?

    Liar vs techdirt. Liar vs techdirt. I think that's an easy one.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    and even if you are new to Techdirt, anyone with an Internet connection these days pretty much knows by now that many programs are offered for free under the GPL and it hasn't stopped these programs from being developed or advanced, anyone with an Internet connection knows by now that there are plenty of independent artists that freely distribute their content while trying to limit the effect that copyright has on them (ie: via creative commons licenses), the fact that you have managed to find a blog like techdirt suggests that you know it to and you're just being dishonest. Given your blatant dishonesty with no regard for even trying to hide it or make it less obvious even, then why should we take you seriously over techdirt?

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    bigpicture, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Re: Root Cause??

    To everything there is a cause, and the deeper you go the more fundamental the cause. That is called the "root cause", which in all these cases is selfishness, greed and corruption. Until this (root cause) is rooted out there will be no "satisfactory" solution, because the solution will have to embody some kind of balance and fairness to all. It is just like a disease you can keep treating the symptoms with no lasting results, or you can treat the "root cause" and cure the disease.

     

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  61.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Morality for you BUT not for me

    Those who appeal to your sense of morality are themselves usually unwilling to act morally. The content industry doesn't want you to "steal" and attempt to lay a guilt trip on you. However, they themselves feel no obligation to act morally. Want to return that awful CD, to bad. Oh, by the way - all that music you thought you "bought", we just turned off the server. Sorry about that. To make up for that, here's a new $$offer$$.

     

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  62.  
    icon
    Mike C. (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The point I think you've missed is that Mike isn't completely against middlemen. He IS against middlemen who no longer serve a viable purpose attempting to frame the argument so that their failing (or failed) business model can continue.

    Using the music industry as an example, I think we can both agree that large scale production of cassette tapes is no longer needed. People rarely buy them anymore. If the cassette manufacturers were to come in complaining that piracy killed their business and they need a bailout, would you be more or less inclined to agree. Personally, I dropped cassette for CD's a long time ago.

    Fast forward to current technology and the CD is being replaced by the MP3. The problem I face as a consumer is that the music industry does not seem willing to accept that. My friends and I no longer want to be forced to buy a complete album with 2-3 good songs and 8-12 moderate to crappy ones. I want to just buy the 2-3 good ones, but the RIAA is extremely reluctant to let me do that.

    Don't get me wrong - I understand their reluctance. It's because their facing their shareholders who want a guaranteed return on investment. As a general investor, I understand that desire too. The problem is you can't guarantee music. You can have an artist create a dozen albums and none of them sell well, but write one hit movie theme song and everybody loves it.

    Taste is a subjective thing and not prone to guarantees. I believe that the sooner they realize this, the sooner they can get over their fear of technology and start moving forward.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:09am

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

    The point I think you've missed is that Mike isn't completely against middlemen. He IS against middlemen who no longer serve a viable purpose attempting to frame the argument so that their failing (or failed) business model can continue.

    Their business model is failing only due to widespread piracy and theivery, nothing more and nothing less. It isn't a business model replaced with a business model, it's a shop keeper being driven out of business by shoplifters.

    Mike's attempt to say "There is no moral issue at all" is to say we shouldn't look at all the stealing, piracy, and violations of copyright, we should just keep going until the middlemen all die. It's insane, because the replacement for the business model is musical socialism, nothing more or less. What's the point?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:12am

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

    "It's insane, because the replacement for the business model is musical socialism, nothing more or less."

    Again, you keep telling this lie when you know darn well that capitalism means less government regulation and copyright = more govt regulation.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    Mike C. (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:29am

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

    Their business model is failing because people KNOW they can buy the 1-3 songs they like for $1 to $3 instead of having to shell out $12+ for a CD containing a bunch of stuff they DON'T want. People don't want to buy crap anymore and thanks to the MP3 format, we don't have to.

    The other factor they absolutely refuse to consider is that consumers do not have an unlimited entertainment budget. I still spend about the same now as I have each year for the last couple decades. The problem for the RIAA is that in addition to music, I also spend some on online gaming, Wii games and am actually reading more, so there are more books being bought. I'm able to do this because I'm no longer spending an extra $9-$11 for songs I don't want.

    The music industry MUST adjust to the current times. Their abject failure to do so is what is causing their failures - not piracy.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:47am

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

    "Their business model is failing only due to the widespread" increase of amateur art which decreases the value of professional art, "nothing more and nothing less."

    "It's a shop keeper being driven out of business by shoplifters."

    You don't understand art or the internet or technology.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:51am

    Re:

    "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." - Jack Valenti, MPAA shill

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re:

    Don't forgot all those new amateurish middlemen taking away business from the professional middlemen.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    I think the shill's argument is more for the people who are new to the internet. Right off the boat people who don't fully grasp this whole "technology" thing.

    Everyone else has stopped listening to them. The boat people are the only ones left for the shill. Poor shill.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    I think the shill's argument is more for the people who are new to the internet. Right off the boat people who don't fully grasp this whole "technology" thing.

    Everyone else has stopped listening to them. The boat people are the only ones left for the shill. Poor shill.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Re:

    FIXED: Copyright infringers have no regard for morality? Well, when you put it like that it does sound kind of dumb.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re:

    Is Musical Socialism anything like Musical Fascism or Musical Communism? As opposed to the Musical Capitalism going on right now?

    "Those dirty pirates are stealing our property and are destroying the Free Market! The Free Musical Market!"

    Free music? I like the sounds of that.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 11:32am

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

    Mike, it's called Itunes, been around for a while, you know? 99 cents? Maybe $1.69? Sorry, but the "have to buy a CD" saw is old, worn, and gone.

    NEXT!

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    The problem is that (bribed) governments still listen to them.

     

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  75.  
    icon
    max (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    The Internet generation is right...big business HAS abused the copyright system that was intended for CREATORS. But, new revenue streams for creators of songs and similar content should be backed by the government on behalf of creators because that is in the Constitution. And it shouldn’t require that a creator/writer turn into a merchandiser etc. Reasonable use of statutory rates will work fine in the background and the collective can consist of a democratically administrated group representing the members, industries and entities involved. The CREATOR in this scenario will be at the top of the food chain.

    As the United States Defense Department moved to enable commercialization of the Internet there were meticulous considerations regarding The Domain Name System and related issues. ICANN, a nonprofit organization contracted by The Department of Commerce led the way in the administration and eventual privatization of the Domain system. By most standards this was an excellent model of transitioning from a government entity to privatization. The foresight in understanding the repercussions of NOT having a plan for Domains going forward is highly commendable.

    But ironically, that same foresight was grossly absent in considering the repercussions that public use of the Internet would have upon the U.S. copyright system.

    If the Betamax Case was a Supreme Court precedent setting event, what in the world were we thinking by unleashing the Internet without addressing the copyright issues beforehand? The Internet coupled with a personal computer is the most powerful copying and publishing mechanism man has ever known!

    Therefore, it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that a CREATOR/rights holders’ interests were protected before unleashing the greatest copying and publishing mechanism ever and it was the government’s responsibility to insure that ISP’s, (Internet Service Providers), would be in compliance or they would NOT be issued clearance to be an ISP.

    So, it is the government that should help fix this mess on behalf of creators of copyrighted materials which is protected by the Constitution of the U.S. Although our government may have missed this opportunity via the “first edition” Internet they can get it right this time with the “second edition” Internet - Mobile Networks. After all, in time there will be many more Internet transactions done via mobile networks and devices than tethered Internet transactions. Now’s the time to put these measures in place. Can we get some help? DataRevenue.Org has been unsupported in these efforts and its about time we reached out for help from those that are about actions beyond words. Can you hear us now?

     

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  76.  
    icon
    max (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 12:48pm

    ur exactly right...the middlemen should NOT be involved in setting new policy

    ur exactly right...the middlemen, (BIG BUSINESS) should NOT be involved in setting new policy, they have abused the system and that's why the Internet generation is justified in resenting their efforts to maintain control.

    BUT........new revenue streams for creators of songs and similar content should be backed by the government on behalf of creators because that is in the Constitution. And it shouldn’t require that a creator/writer turn into a merchandiser etc. Reasonable use of statutory rates will work fine in the background and the collective can consist of a democratically administrated group representing the members, industries and entities involved.

    As the United States Defense Department moved to enable commercialization of the Internet there were meticulous considerations regarding The Domain Name System and related issues. ICANN, a nonprofit organization contracted by The Department of Commerce led the way in the administration and eventual privatization of the Domain system. By most standards this was an excellent model of transitioning from a government entity to privatization. The foresight in understanding the repercussions of NOT having a plan for Domains going forward is highly commendable.

    But ironically, that same foresight was grossly absent in considering the repercussions that public use of the Internet would have upon the U.S. copyright system.

    If the Betamax Case was a Supreme Court precedent setting event, what in the world were we thinking by unleashing the Internet without addressing the copyright issues beforehand? The Internet coupled with a personal computer is the most powerful copying and publishing mechanism man has ever known!

    Therefore, it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that rights holders’ interests were protected before unleashing the greatest copying and publishing mechanism ever and it was the government’s responsibility to insure that ISP’s, (Internet Service Providers), would be in compliance or they would NOT be issued clearance to be an ISP.

    So, it is the government that should help fix this mess on behalf of CREATORS of copyrighted materials which is protected by the Constitution of the U.S. Although our government may have missed this opportunity via the “first edition” Internet they can get it right this time with the “second edition” Internet - Mobile Networks. After all, in time there will be many more Internet transactions done via mobile networks and devices than tethered Internet transactions. Now’s the time to put these measures in place. Can we get some help? DataRevenue.Org has been unsupported in these efforts and its about time we reached out for help from those that are about actions beyond words. Can you hear us now?

     

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  77.  
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    Lisa (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    Re: big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    "The Internet generation is right...big business HAS abused the copyright system that was intended for CREATORS."


    This is false: Copyright's purpose is "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts" accomplished "by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."


    Supreme court on Fox Film v. Doyal:

    "The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the [copyright] monopoly lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors."

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:09pm

    Why are like 50-70% of the comments here obviously written by a single fanatical idiot? There's no spam filter? If someone doesn't put the leash on Masnick's little lap dog, soon he'll be making individual posts for every single one of his pandering proclamations.

    I expect to pay for goods and services that others provide. Music, food, housing, etc. I expect that once I purchase recorded music, I can listen to it over and over without paying extra money (performance fees) because it was recorded for that purpose. I expect to make copies (or convert to diff formats) of it for my own use. I do NOT expect to make copies of it for others.

    I think you'll find very few people who would have a problem with this stance. Its only the last item on your list that I have any concern with.

    To everything there is a cause, and the deeper you go the more fundamental the cause. That is called the "root cause", which in all these cases is selfishness, greed and corruption.

    Says the guy chit-chatting on his computer, using, in all likelihood, a high-speed internet connection, while MILLIONS of people starve to death all across the planet...

    The RIAA is not needed for distribution and the laws in place only hinder the distribution by making it more difficult for independent artists to get on public airwaves or mainstream media or television.

    It's also hard for athletes to get into the various professional leagues and associations. Try not to cry yourself to sleep tonight at all the "injustice" present in any industry or profession. Independents and aspiring professionals of every kind have many avenues to get their work shown. In fact, they've never had more than they do today.

    in that the government restricts the marketplace by creating government granted monopolies and hence the government has more control over how resources are allocated.

    All property laws can be considered "government granted monopolies". They are all exclusionary societal constructs devised to better allocate resources. Property laws do not exist in nature.

     

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    max (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    lisa

    That is the same preamble in the Constitution that we reference. But did you notice that the Constitution is for the people as individuals NOT big business. Big business legally rode the principles of this as they started their own publishing companies and coerced CREATORS into signing some or all of those CREATOR's rights to them. Which they then exploited. Big business was only doing what businesses do..make money legally anyway they can. But that caused conflict when the gov prematurely unleashed the Internet so now all those copyrights that big business invested in were in jeopardy of NOT making money anymore and so they rose up defensively and turned the Internet generation off. All the time they were dong this they were carrying the banner of CREATOR'S rights and causing confusion upon the Constitutions real intentions, CREATOR'S RIGHTS.

     

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    Richard (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Therefore, it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that a CREATOR/rights holders’ interests were protected before unleashing the greatest copying and publishing mechanism ever and it was the government’s responsibility to insure that ISP’s, (Internet Service Providers), would be in compliance or they would NOT be issued clearance to be an ISP.

    They didn't do it because it wasn't practical. Protecting rights as you suggest would cripple the internet - if it were possible.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Yes. It would definitely cripple the ability to be a freeloader.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

    Re: lisa

    Max, the CREATOR'S RIGHTS include the rights to assign those rights to a third party, most often done in return for some sort of recompense.

    Exploitation is a nice term to try to add emotion where none exists.

     

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  83.  
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    Dohn Joe, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well...it's not that they have NO morality, but they certainly do exhibit "moral underdevelopment" (stage 2 - pre-conventional, yes?):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development#Pre-Conventional

    No t to mention that Copyright fails the most basic moral test: that of universality (i.e. highly special treatment for creator's effort, but no respect for the effort to earn the money that's paid in return for the content).

    Universality as per Noam Chomsky below:
    "In fact, maybe the most elementary of moral principles is that of universality, that is, If something’s right for me, it’s right for you; if it’s wrong for you, it’s wrong for me. Any moral code that is even worth looking at has that at its core somehow. But that principle is overwhelmingly disregarded all the time. If you want to run through examples we can easily do it. Take, say, George W. Bush, since he happens to be president. If you apply the standards that we applied to Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, he’d be hanged. Is it an even conceivable possibility? It’s not even discussable. Because, we don’t apply to ourselves the principles we apply to others."

     

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    Richard (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    if you go to a grocery store, how many people were involved in the process of the food coming from the field to the store? There are many "middlemen" in the process, unless you are either growing your own food or buying directly from the farmer.


    Yes - if the middlemen are necessary - but if they aren't then they are leeches.

    I no longer buy bread from the baker or supermarket. This is because I have a home bread machine which makes bread more cheaply than buying from a shop.

    Should we ban home bread machines because they put bakers out of work?

    Should we tax flour or electricity because they are used to make bread - taking rightful income away from bakers?

    If the bakers' trade association were lobbying to ban home bread machines (which are obviously like the Boston Strangler to the baking industry) would we be wrong to regard them as leeches?

    In the past the main function of the publishing middlemen was to organise the copying process.

    This function is no longer needed - since it is cheap enough for the consumer to do it him/herself.

    There is still a need to middlemen but their function will be rather different from what it was in the past.

    The existing set of middlemen seem to be mostly incapable of adapting to the new situation so it would be appropriate if they went out of business. Unfortunately the extremely long term of copyright is an obstacle to this inevitable economic process.

     

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    Lisa (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:59pm

    Re: lisa

    "and causing confusion upon the Constitution's real intentions, CREATOR'S RIGHTS."

    "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts" is not the same thing as "to protect the rights of the creator"

    The constitution says nothing about creator's rights.

     

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    Richard (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    No - it would cripple the internet for a whole raft of purposes which have nothing to do with copyright or creative industries.

    Actually it wouldn't cripple the ability to be a freeloader - since offline copying enables this quite adequately.

    It would also increase the market for commercial piracy.

     

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  87.  
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    Lisa (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: lisa

    Or more accurately, it says nothing about creator's rights in the way you are implying.

     

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    max (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: lisa

    Yes, the right to assign is fine. Exploitation is fine too = Capitalism. The problem is how to move forward productively based upon the Constitution, which to date is the root equation. That equation starts with the root principle-CREATORS. Once we move ahead you can be sure big business will be back to get those assigns and exploit them as usual. But Congress has no obligation to make laws on behalf of big business, however they ARE obligated to do it for the CREATORS. read the following please........
    Rowena, our organization is focused on multimedia via mobile networks as a new revenue stream so we will have a perspective that supports those copyright initiatives going forward. However, you bring up an interesting scenario that can be resolved. The existing business model in the music industry is where the creator/writer/publisher are considered as one. So when a creator signs or shares rights with a publisher they share the revenue generated. The revenue is usually generated from sales/performances of the materials that are usually produced/manufactured by a recording label, (one example of big business is a recording label). The recording label has to pay the creator/writer/publisher a statutory rate for the copyrighted material used in its sound recording. It has been an accepted business practice for recording companies to also have a publishing company. Herein lies the “coerced or forced” scenario. Big business is not doing anything illegal but they use this in the make or break a deal negotiations. They pay publishers the statutory rate mainly because they are at the “collection point of a sale”. In the strategy that we advocate, “the collective” would be at the point of sale and therefore be in a position to pay the statutory rate directly to the creator/publisher and it’s assignees in that order. The assignees could be the recording company, production company and any other participants in the exploitation of the materials. Now this scenario could only work in a situation where a statutory rate was set that would include considerations for assignees, (as datarevenue.org is proposing for mobile networks) but it would be set on behalf of the creator/writer/publisher, not big business. The creator/writer/publisher can make their deal with big business to share in that revenue but won’t have to depend on big business to administrate and/or pay it to them. Please keep in mind that we are only advocating for the future of multimedia via mobile networks as a new revenue stream.

    Now, to be included in this futuristic but necessary scenario you as a book/print author would have to find a way to convert your materials to multimedia. There are a number of ways that you may do that but you must think creatively about the options and understand that this would be a new revenue stream and not a replacement for your current model.

     

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    bigpicture, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 3:06pm

    Re: lisa

    And? Is this not perpetuated by greed, selfishness and corruption? By any means possible including misinformation and reinterpreting the Constitution. The "cover up" being THE SERVICES THAT THEY OFFER ARE NO LONGER OF ANY PUBLIC OR SOCIAL VALUE.

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    So painfully true.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: lisa

    It was never needed, they only created an artificial need for themselves by using the government to regulate the airwaves and cableco/telco infrastructure in such a way that makes it implausible for independent artists to get their work promoted. They want to do the same thing for the Internet.

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 3:54pm

    Re: iz U hi ?

    errr - wtf are you talking about

     

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  93.  
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    1DandyTroll, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    I'm sorry, I don't understand, but what exactly is:

    '"The Internet generation is right...big business HAS abused the copyright system that was intended for CREATORS."


    This is false: Copyright's purpose is "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts" accomplished "by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."'

    supposed to prove?

    Other then the meaning of the quote you yourself made.

    What is so hard to understand about big business' abusing the copyright legislation for their own financial gain?

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What an amazing story Richard, but with plenty of holes.

    Nobody wants to stop you from making bread. But because you want to make bread at home doesn't mean that the bread business should just shut down and go away.

    More importantly, you don't get to choose how much the baker sells his bread for. You don't get to take all his bread for free and give it away to your friends. You don't get to ransack his store and tell him to get rid of his clerks, bookkeeper, and assistants who are all just middlemen in his process.

    You can do your own thing, but you have to respect those who do it another way.

    The music business is simple. If the artists (or whoever controls the rights to a given song) want to give away their music, they are free to do so. They are not free to take everyone else's music and give it away without permission.

    SO your bread story is amusing but pointless, because you missed the point. It isn't people making bread at home that is the issue, it's the people stealing the product out of the store and giving it away that is the issue. That issue is one of morals (QUIT YER STEALIN'!) and respect, something that has been lost over the years.

     

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    Lisa (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    "What is so hard to understand about big business' abusing the copyright legislation for their own financial gain?"

    I'm not arguing that point at all. It's this part I take issue with:

    "the copyright system that was intended for CREATORS"

    The quote from the clause in the constitution justifying copyright and the quote from the Fox Film v. Doyal case prove that this statement is false.

     

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    Lisa (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    The other part was left in by mistake. I didn't bother correcting myself because someone else wanted on the computer.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 5:20pm

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

    Did you even read the post you replied to? I quote: "Their business model is failing because people KNOW they can buy the 1-3 songs they like for $1 to $3". Sounds a lot like iTunes to me.

     

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  98.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

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

    That's the point - if the music industry was stuck on a single "sell CDs only" mentality, there would be no itunes (or at least no corporate support for it).

    The music industry has always sold singles, it's a part of the game. Nothing more, nothing less.

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    Mommy kicked you off again?

     

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  100.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You know, you'd have a point if it wasn't for the little flaw that stealing doesn't mean what you'd like it to mean. To put it simply, to steal someone's intellectual property you would have to actually deprive them of their property rights. Copying something does not deprive them of anything, it merely infringes on their rights. Using the word steal may seem right, but it is wrong because of the context. Kinda like you could say 'steal a kiss' but you wouldn't include a kiss in a list of stolen items, because it isn't an item.

    With that out of the way let me explain the whole morality thing (again). The right of property ownership is a natural right because it is impossible to have a capitalist economy without it. The right to have control over one's creations is not a natural right because while many may consider it a must have, the right is exclusive to their expectations. So, given that there is actually a choice between having copyright and not having copyright the issue becomes is it better for the economy or not. If you still didn't get it let me point out that a moral choice is a choice between right or wrong. If the choice is one of preference then it is not a moral choice.

    The first copyright law in my country, known as the Statute of Anne, starts off its title with "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning". Not, 'an act for the protection of creators rights', nor 'an act to enforce creators rights'. Why? Because there is no natural right.

     

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    Devonavar, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "The people who don't get millions of dollars from taxpayers for doing nothing are not better off as a result. Who cares?"

    Not me, but that wasn't my point. My point is that Mike's claim is that there's no moral issue at all since everyone is better off. If you want to understand why people are making a moral issue out of this, it helps to realize that not everyone *is* better off. Asking whether the *right* people are better of is a different question (one that has quite a moral bent to it).

    " "There's a reason that many countries have "moral rights" as part of their copyright law."

    Perhaps because intellectual property maximists just want to come up with any excuse, no matter how false or lame, to promote their position?"

    Actually, moral rights were developed in France over a hundred years ago. Moral rights have nothing to do with property claims. You have no idea what you are talking about here.

    "No one morally owes a creator a monopoly or any "rights" to monopolize or regulate his/her work."

    I never said they did. I never mentioned monopoly at all. Moral rights aren't about property or monopoly. They are about recognizing that artist's reputations are made or broken on the basis on their work — and how their work is seen. Moral rights bear more in common with defamation and slander rights than property or monopoly rights.

     

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  102.  
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    Devonavar, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 6:52pm

    Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "It's disrespectful to our intelligence for you to come up with such nonsense arguments. You're assuming we're stupid enough to buy this garbage and I feel disrespected."

    Actually, I'm assuming you are intelligent enough to understand it. The fact that you are too stupid to grasp why people get moral about this is not my problem (there, now you can feel disrespected).

    "The fact is, as an intellectual property maximists, you are just trying to find any excuse, no matter how false and lame, to promote your pro exploit the public position."

    Perhaps it might be wise to cut down on the assumptions. My actual position on copyright is the opposite of what you are assuming here; with the exception of certain moral rights, I am in favour of abolishing copyright outside the commercial realm. Inside the commercial realm, I would remove any mention of copying or property as criteria for infringement and move to something based on intent and how a work was used.

    Now that you know this, read my post again and actually try to understand what I am saying rather than assuming I am an enemy. If we want to create a law that actually does benefit everybody, we have to understand where people are coming from — that includes copyright maximalists. My original post is my attempt at understanding where they come from.

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "Actually, I'm assuming you are intelligent enough to understand it."

    I understand its flawed nature perfectly well, thank you very much.

    "My original post is my attempt at understanding where they come from."

    Well, let me explain where intellectual property maximists come from. They're selfish and want to benefit at public expense.

     

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  104.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    Re:

    Hello, may I be your designated 'lapdog' for this comment. I'll take liberty to skip to the only bit of your post that stood out as interesting to me: "All property laws can be considered "government granted monopolies". They are all exclusionary societal constructs devised to better allocate resources. Property laws do not exist in nature."

    Property laws do not exist in nature, this is true. The point of natural rights however, is that they are a concept that does not rely on a legislator. To use the example of property, the concept of ownership rights comes from its necessity for a functioning economic system. It is not a right because it has been made law, it is a right because it is a necessary part of an equation.

    Government doesn't grant a monopoly on real property, the monopoly is determined by the economy and the law enforces it.

    In the case of copyright the monopoly does not exist naturally within the economic system, it can only exist via the legal system.

    To sum it up, nature in the context you were referencing equates to the economic system we call capitalism. Nature doesn't necessarily mean green fields and birds singing.

     

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    max (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:31pm

    Re:

    Since the Library of Congress and Copyright offices are branches of the gov it is more likely that it was a gross oversight. Left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing etc........

     

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  106.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:41pm

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

    There was no corporate support for it from the music industry, the only reason it lives is because Apple use it to sell iPods. It was four years before they started to offer DRM free tracks and I'd be surprised if everything is DRM free yet another two years later.

    What is the game you talk of? Something involving people who bend reality around their own wishes?

     

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  107.  
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    1DandyTroll, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    Not taking into consideration the stuff you apparently don't like, and just focusing on:

    "the copyright system that was intended for CREATORS"

    Believe it or not, but it actually was, sort of. It was created for the best of society as a whole, taking into consideration the need of the content creator right to have a chance to be able to support one self financially if he, or she, so wanted.

    The "copyright system" was intended for the likes of me, and you even, by regulating the middlemen, i.e. what people could do with the original content.

     

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  108.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    Some people just don't want to be helped.

     

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  109.  
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    Devonavar, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:49pm

    Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "The point is that what constitutes respectful and disrespectful conduct is often subject to opinion. Different cultures consider different things disrespectful and everyone is different. But we shouldn't ruin our economy just because some weird person might be offended at something arbitrary."

    Agreed. Morality is often a very subjective thing. That's part of what makes it so difficult to deal with. I suspect that's why Mike wants to remove it from the debate — it defies rationality and you can't argue with it. Unfortunately, we live in a world full of subjective people, and stubbornly insisting that the world should be more rational is not a path to making it so. It is, however, an effective (if somewhat tired) rhetorical device.

    I'm not in favour of ruining our economy to prevent people from being offended. I'm not in favour of laws or rights that attempt to prevent people from being offended in general. But my point was somewhat stronger. I *am* in favour of laws that prevent the actual harm that disrespect can cause. And I am certainly in favour of laws that prevent artists from being exploited by people who are better at selling other people's work than creating their own.

    Sadly, our current laws have failed massively at preventing this kind of exploitation. I don't know what laws will work (I have some ideas...), but I do know that the problem that copyright was originally intended to solve — the sale of artistic works by people who haven't put any effort into creating them — hasn't gone away.

    I'm not really sure where you are going with your Lego example, but I don't really see it as a representative example of how moral rights should be used (I *do* see it as a decent example of how moral rights can be abused). Most artists have nothing like the name recognition that Lego has. In situations where moral rights are supposed to be effective, the notoriety of the "remix" is often better known than the original. In this situation, people often do *not* know that the problem remix did not come from the originator, and this fact can certainly cause harm to the original artist's reputation. And, that in turn can have serious financial repercussions in trying to produce future art.

    I'd also like to point out that moral rights are designed to prevent harm, not restrict reuse of materials. Remixes that incorporate prior works in a respectful way do not infringe moral rights. Your Lego example would not be considered a violation, since the Lego "remix" was on the whole a respectful reuse of their product. As I said, I see this as an example of abuse, not a case of how things are supposed to work. I also don't really think this is all that pertinent to copyright; there is clearly nothing copyrighted in lego blocks.

     

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  110.  
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    Devonavar, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "The context of the post is about if the morality card is justifiable to justify an outdated economic system of the mentioned monopoly industry.

    The answer is simply no."

    Ok, perhaps I was missing the context here, but there's a difference between saying that there's no moral argument to support an obsolete economic system (something I strongly agree with), and stating outright that copyright has nothing to do with morality whatsoever (something I strongly disagree with).

    It's a reality that the internet has made copyright and the business models based on it obsolete, and anyone who wants to succeed has to recognize this truth and work with it rather than against it. But, that doesn't change the fact that entire industries are collapsing because of this change and people are suffering because of it. And that suffering is absolutely, unequivocally, 100% a moral issue that we should be concerned with. It's all very well to say suck it up, learn to deal with the changes, but it doesn't really help these people fix their lives.

     

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  111.  
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    Devonavar, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Interesting

    Thank you. You've said very well all the things I was trying to say and more, and you did it without inciting accusations of being a shill for the copyright maximalists. This is the single most intelligent post I've seen on this thread.

     

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  112.  
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    Devonavar, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:21pm

    Re: big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    "The CREATOR in this scenario will be at the top of the food chain."

    This is a pipe dream. Creators will never be at the top of the food chain because, economically, what they produce is oversupplied and lacks demand. The number of artists vastly outstrips the demand for art because, almost unfailingly, the creation of art means more to the creator than society at large. Being artistic is an end in itself, and art gets created in response to a desire in the artist himself, not according to the needs of others. A lucky few artists are able to create art that does provoke demand in others, but even in these cases the competition is fierce because there is so much art out there created for reasons other than satisfying demand.

    In contrast, the publishers and distributors that are at the top of the food chain supply services that are scarce and in demand (mostly from artists trying to sell themselves). The power that distributors have (or, have had...) is economic, not legal, and it comes from the fact that attention (eyeballs) is more scarce than places to put that attention (art).

    With the internet making publishers and distributors irrelevant, the new people at the top of the food chain are editors: People who can direct other people to content / art that is worthwhile. Hopefully, these editors will be less exploitative than the big media industries of the past.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:31pm

    Is Morality Even A Question In Copyright?

    As long as we have copyright laws that prohibit certain types of conduct, and as long as we have people who care not a whit about conforming their conduct to the strictures of law, then "yes"...there is a moral demension to copyright.

     

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  114.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "but it doesn't really help these people fix their lives."

    These people have always been able to make money without doing any work and they just want to continue to make money and not do any work. Yes, they were rich and now they have to work like the rest of us but we shouldn't hand over money just because they want to continue to make money off of the work of others.

    Your argument is equivalent to saying, if someone make money from stealing from others and stealing is legal, just because the person didn't break the law that person didn't do anything wrong. All of a sudden we pass a law that says stealing is illegal and now we're supposed to subsidize the person who has long made money off of stealing? I think not. If anything that person should be thrown in jail.

     

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  115.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    Basically, the big corporations have turned public airwaves from a communication medium, which it used to be back in the days (where many people owned it and radio was more local and independent thought and people could get their views and content out) into a commercial medium meant to serve corporate interests at public expense. Cableco/telco infrastructure has also been unethically turned into a system where the govt regulated it to the benefit of corporations a public expense. It has resulted in the unethical censorship of much important information that now gets discussed on the Internet and the unethical censorship of independent artists so that only intellectual property can make its way on PUBLIC airwaves (this is itself unacceptable IMO). Yes, these people have long been making money off of exploiting the public and yes, now that the market has changed, they will lose out, but IMO they deserve much worse. They should be thrown in jail.

    "It's all very well to say suck it up, learn to deal with the changes, but it doesn't really help these people fix their lives."

    Think of a group of bank robbers that get away with robbing banks for years and years and years and finally he gets caught. Their lives are now ruined. Should society do anything to fix their lives? NO! Not only that but in this situation these peoples lives aren't ruined. They can still go out and find a job like the rest of the world instead of just freeloading off of the hard work of artists while they do nothing.

    The RIAA can't even both to update it stupid website, they're lazy, they want to make money and not do any work and they've gotten used to getting away with it for long enough (ie: just like the bank robbers have gotten used to robbing banks for long enough in my analogy). No, we don't owe the RIAA anything, if anything they should be thrown in jail and they're lucky we don't throw them in jail but instead we give them the opportunity to get a job like everyone else (an opportunity they don't even deserve).

    ""The RIAA lists its member labels on their website [1]. However, their website lists not only includes RIAA labels but non-RIAA labels that are distributors that report to the RIAA. The site is outdated and has not been updated since 2003."

    http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20090820%2F0218425942&threaded=false&sp=1# comments

    Heck, people have to start new lists listing all the members that the RIAA falsely pretends to represent that they don't really represent and others have to start new sites just to keep track of which artists they do represent.

     

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    Lisa (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    No, hubby.

     

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    Devonavar, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    I'm not talking about the fat cats. For the most part, they're still rich. When an industry collapses, there's a lot more people out of work than a few rich execs. There's a ton of people who built lives in the industry who are now losing their jobs because the system that they understand — the system where their skills are useful — no longer exists.

    I'm not saying things should have continued the way they were going ... the system was corrupt and needed to be swept away; the superior qualities of internet distribution and promotion have done that. But there's a lot of innocent, ordinary people who depended on that system to survive.

    The best analogy I can think of is GM. GM was big, complacent, and massively mismanaged. It deserved to fail, probably a long time before it actually did. But, we didn't let it fail, not out of any sympathy to the managers who created the mess, but because of the massive moral dilemma that allowing it to fail would have caused. There's a huge number of workers whose lives would have been ruined. Even if you think bailing out GM was a mistake (I'm not sure where I stand myself), I don't think it's controversial to think about the dilemma of saving GM's workers in moral terms.

     

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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:46pm

    i swear it made sense in my head...

    i find it amazing that in the world of open commentary such as we have here, so few people can grasp and employ the concept of gradients and severity to their own conversations.

    do you people actually live in black and white worlds where everything is so absolute? if you say yes, please either up the voltage or get your meds checked (assuming you have been taking them).

    we live in a world that has a million points along the path that ties the black and white of these conversations together and yet we rarely (if ever) see such commentary tossed around.

    e.g. morality DOES in fact have a place in the conversation... the question that no one is answering (or maybe no one has even stopped to think about if there are unknown questions out there that we should be concerned with?) is where does it belong?
    if i just stopped with that first part of the sentence its yet another black and white statement and because of that it automatically becomes suspect. if i also toss out the idea that the further away from the creator of the material in question, the less right you have to toss it out in regards to your monetary livelihood being threatened... well then, now we have something we can have realistic conversation about.

    since i am a consumer, i have no rights to toss out any morality argument. period. i also have no right to try to negate the morality claims that the person who created the material may make.
    in like manner however, major corporations that use any loophole possible, abuse the legal system by the use of flimsy civil cases requesting overblown sums of money, bully, harass, lie, cheat and spend most of their profit on legal harranging rather than R&D for new distribution methods in order to prop up an obviously terminal business model also have no legitimate right to toss the morality card either.

    its also nice to see that while on complete polar opposites of the subject at hand, both sides (unknowingly) agree on one item...
    the idea that if you just ignore the glaringly obvious and proven fact that you cannot legislate morality, you still have a chance to win your argument.

    too bad morality doesnt give a crap about the legal system huh?

     

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  119.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    Furthermore, I think that it's an injustice that these RIAA people and the people responsible for lobbying for and creating and maintaining the current laws on public airwaves and on cableco/telco infrastructure (ie: who can and can't build new infrastructure) that are designed to serve corporations at public expense, not to be thrown in jail. These people deserve to be thrown in jail for a VERY LONG time and it's an injustice that they aren't in jail given all the massive harm they cause society.

    Mainstream media is a joke when it comes to the news and I don't see how the laws in this nation can prevent someone else from building new infrastructure or using the existing infrastructure to communicate to the world the issues that we discuss on techdirt and many other important issues (ie: regarding the corrupt nature of the FDA) that are censored from the public while allowing our current mainstream media to censor these issues as well. Yes, the Internet is changing things, which is good (though we must be mindful that a lot of evil entities are working hard to turn the Internet into our currently broken mainstream media system), but that's not to say that those who have long ruined public airwaves and cableco/telco infrastructure and who continue to do so deserve to go unpunished. They should be punished and the broken laws in this nation responsible for this nonsense should be overturned.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "the system where their skills are useful — no longer exists."

    These (allegedly deserving) people, if they even exist, can file for unemployment and collect money until they have time to transition.

     

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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:00pm

    by the way, max? the idea that copyright issues should have been taken care of before the internet was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world is sheer fantasy. by your argument, the fault lay with the department of defense in creating ARPAnet. surely they should have foreseen that "computers" more powerful than what we used to send a man to the moon and back would, in just 30-40 short years, be running my cell phone right? no?

    oh... well then yeah, back in the early 90's they should have all seen that someone was going to come up with a way to compress audio and video files to the point that they would only take about 400mb per hr of video using a widescreen presentation...

    why... i could fit an entire half hour show on my first windows machine from back then and still have enough space to install AOL so i could download it with my blazingly fast dialup modem.. i swear i could hit 3kb/s sustained on that thing!

    the point is, back then no one really thought any of this stuff would be a result of a bunch of guys working for the department of defense ok?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    besides, these allegedly deserving people should have thought of that before they decided to work for such a corrupt industry. That's like the allegedly innocent person who worked for the bank robber, knowing he was a bank robber, but all he did was polish his shoe and the bank robber gave him stolen money. Now that the bank robber got caught and is in jail the shoe polisher is out of a job. Tough.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    besides, these allegedly deserving people should have thought of that before they decided to work for such a corrupt industry. That's like the allegedly innocent person who worked for the bank robber, knowing he was a bank robber, but all he did was polish his shoe and the bank robber gave him stolen money. Now that the bank robber got caught and is in jail the shoe polisher is out of a job. Tough.

     

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    Lisa (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: big business has abused the system and the Internet generation is right!

    "Believe it or not, but it actually was, sort of. It was created for the best of society as a whole, taking into consideration the need of the content creator right to have a chance to be able to support one self financially if he, or she, so wanted."


    Taking creators needs into account when creating copyright is not the same as copyright being created for creators. Relative to copyright supporting the artist is merely a means to an end, not an end in itself.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:11pm

    Re:

    "the idea that copyright issues should have been taken care of before the internet was unleashed"

    Would have hindered advancement further demonstrates that intellectual property only hinders advancement and statements suggesting that this sort of thing should have been taken care of before the release of the Internet further demonstrates that intellectual property maximists are only interested in hindering advancement.

     

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    Devonavar, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "these allegedly deserving people should have thought of that before they decided to work for such a corrupt industry."

    Not all of the industries collapsing under the weight of the internet are corrupt. And, when the majority of these workers entered their industries 20 to 40 years ago, it was far from obvious that there was any corruption at all. You are blaming these people for not knowing things they could not know and for simply existing in a system that no longer works.

    If you are going to assign guilt by association like this, you might as well blame the entire population of America for being complicit in any number of the war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, for the torture in Guantanamo, and for profiting off an economic system that has been stacked against the third world for centuries.

     

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    max (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:35pm

    Re: harbinger

    Very good observation except that multimedia is not the only copyrighted materials available on the net. Images, printed publications etc were all available from the start.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:57pm

    Re: i swear it made sense in my head...

    ...the glaringly obvious and proven fact that you cannot legislate morality...

    Huh? What an absolutist statement. Do you actually live in a black and white world where everything is so absolute? If you say yes, please either up the voltage or get your meds checked (assuming you have been taking them).

     

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    Steve Poling, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 11:23pm

    When Moses Came Down From Mt. Sinai...

    When Moses Came Down from Mt. Sinai, the two tablets included: no stealing. Every object of economic value at that time was tangible. If I steal a coin from you, you no longer possess it. Copyright infringement does not deny the owner possession of his property. If morality is predicated upon the Decalogue, you must prove copyright infringement is theft.

    The value of copyrighted works is predicated upon artificial scarcity. Is the creation and sustenance of an artificial scarcity a moral act? I think it is not. I'd like to hear any counter-arguments to this point.

    Copyright is a legal construct. Though the US Constitution includes copyrights, at that time they did not extend at that time to the absurd lengths that Disney, et alia, have purchased from the US Congress. Nor do the restrictions on free speech (e.g. publication of DRM circumvention mechanisms), appear to be consistent with the Bill of Rights. (We wait for protectors of "the little man" in either party to do anything about this.)

    Thus, I think morality is indeed a question in copyright, but the question may have unexpected answers.

     

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    Irate Pirate, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 2:52am

    People need to read their own comment before hitting the submit button and ask themselves whether they are adding to the discussion by making a valid point or simply insulting others who have.

    While I would label myself as being far from religious, I have to agree with the well made comment above mine by Steve Poling.

    Advancement in technology is what actually allowed for new business opportunities to arise, including that of copyright. That those same businesses would eventually find themselves under pressure to change and adapt due to technological pressure was inevitable. The problems we've seen arise are coming solely from an unwillingness to do exactly that. Nobody wants to let go of a good thing when they have it and the role of middleman has always been a lucrative one. Being spoiled by having a monopoly for such a long time only makes things worse.

    When your business relies on selling a product to the masses, a willingness to adapt is definitely a prerequisite, especially where competition is concerned. For starters the masses must desire your product, either because it is something they need or because it is something they want. The thing about wants vs needs is that wants are neither important to survival, nor happiness (sadly most folks lack the wisdom to truly get this). It is therefore the responsibility of those running the business to add value and generate desire. If you cross the line and try to gouge the masses while forcing your product on them, asking them to give up something that is necessary to their survival (hard earned money) to obtain something that is not (music for example), it is hardly surprising when you find yourselves facing a backlash.

    Under normal circumstances, most businesses understand that success against their rivals often relies on trying to add more value to their offering, while at the same time trying to lower it's cost to the consumer. The industries who rely on copyright, on the other hand, have always used it as a means to create artificial scarcity. This allowed them to do the opposite of most businesses and some would say it's the truest form of capitalism, to give as little away as possible for maximum profit. When all of a sudden that artificial scarcity disappears, what are they to do?

    When a business has had a monopoly for such a long time, it is hardly surprising to see them flounder about. They simply cannot conceive of a world where income isn't guaranteed. This is why we see them lobbying for laws that protect the old ways instead of conforming to the new reality. Whether the internet is a legitimate source of competition or not is a whole other box of crayons, but it is competition nonetheless and that is something else much of the copyright industry isn't really used to.

    Change will always be inevitable, whether it be technological or some other means. It is human nature to believe something can last forever and we have an amazing capacity to rationalize just about anything. Wishful thinking and the desire to force reality to conform to our whims certainly doesn't help. Are the masses immoral for using the internet to download copyrighted files? Are the corporations immoral for how they've reacted to technological change? Like copyright, morality is a construct of the human psyche. There are two sides to every war and both will tell you that they don't see themselves as the bad guys, that what they're doing is for the greater good. It is because of this that I believe Mike may be correct in asking whether morality is even applicable to the copyright debate, especially when the goal is to work towards benefiting everyone regardless of which side they're on. Proclaiming morality while throwing blame at your enemy is rarely helpful, not when it is both sides who will lose greatly by going to war (as is the case with ALL wars).

    That my two and a half cents anyways. If you feel I'm wrong, feel free to show me where and why.

     

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  131.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 4:07am

    Re: Is Morality Even A Question In Copyright

    Sorry to burst your bubble but laws are not inherently moral. Morality is subjective and your morals may not be the same as my morals. You can write a code of morals and you can write laws based on those morals but you still cannot say that they are my morals.

    Given the subjectiveness of morals your comment appears to say 'it is a moral issue to me so it must be a moral issue to everyone because I equate law with morality'. What you might suggest is that people should consider conforming to laws a moral imperative in itself, but that is a whole different argument and I would say an even harder one to make than the one for copyright.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:29am

    There is no moral argument for stealing (linguistically speaking of course!) the fruits of another man's labor against his will and without remuneration. That is parasitism. It is freeloading.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:34am

    The Final Step

    In the IP and copyright debate, there is
    one...
    final...
    step..

    It's a step that the IP maximalists can't get through, and every US Citizen believes in, and that is the Charter of the United States: Our Own Constitution, which in its very own text, would re-baseline the very purpose of the USPTO.

    Even majority Senate and House votes on a bad bill from 1976 can't eliminate the Constitution, and that is a very beautiful thing if you ask me.

    So Congress has this ability to vote and have their say, by extending copyright, and IP. But we have this thing, this document, this very fabric of our own society that says you only get to go this far and you don't get to go any further.

    "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"

    Seems to me these days if rights holders really wanted to promote progress, the idea would be around licensing instead of suing.

    If you owned IP, you would allow someone to license it in an online shoppingcart where Joe Smartypants could enter a credit card number and within an hour, someone could receive a confirmation fax with a license.

    Anything else seems like the rights holder isn't really promoting progress in this technological world we live in.

     

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  134.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    Re: The Final Step

    And to some of you, all I can say is good luck with that.

    My conversations with several IP attorneys in Los Angeles Surrounding areas state that they would rather see it go to the Supremes first.

    Need more high quality Supreme Court-Ready lawsuits...

     

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  135.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "And, when the majority of these workers entered their industries 20 to 40 years ago, it was far from obvious that there was any corruption at all."

    You're just making up anything to support your position to bail out the executives who then receive substantial bonuses for failing. Or maybe you have stock in the RIAA and you're afraid of losing it? It's highly unlikely that employees are unable to detect the corruption of their employers. If anything it was more obvious back then since back then there was more opportunity than now to exploit the artists and the public where as now the Internet prevents it.

    Then they/you claim to be free market capitalists, you claim to be against socialism and more government regulation, but then you turn around and want the government to bail out a big corporation every time the overpaid executives who mismanaged everything are about to lose their jobs.

    I remember reading a news blurb about Microosft laying off a bunch of workers a while back and there was no moral panic. It's amazing how the too big to fail argument comes up only when rich executives are about to lose their jobs. Companies downsize all the time and it's perfectly fine, the mainstream media is perfectly OK with it, but all of a sudden it's a moral issue when big executives are about to lose their job under the pretext that the bail out is for the little guy? Companies lay off employees all the time, should everyone go out of their way to make every company never lay off any employee because there is some moral panic? So every time an employee gets laid off we should all start a whole moral panic? No. Same thing applies here. We have unemployment, they can join until they get a new job just like anyone else. Why should these people be given special treatment?

    Furthermore I contend that the little guy is better off because of this. Those resources and money that all went disproportionally to executives who mismanaged things are now going to be more equitably allocated among new workers in the workforce.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "Why should these people be given special treatment?"

    In fact to give these people special treatment would be morally wrong, if you think unemployment isn't enough for these people who lose their jobs then we should change unemployment for everyone so things are fair for everyone.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    and special treatment to these employees includes bailing out the corporation. If I worked for a corporation and they were about to lay me off the government won't bail them out to prevent them from laying me off. Only when the executives are about to lose their jobs does the government bother to do anything. No, these people should be given no special treatment by having the government bail out the RIAA. At MOST we could temporarily extend their unemployment benefits slightly but I tend to be against that too because that's unfair for everyone else.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "And, when the majority of these workers entered their industries 20 to 40 years ago, it was far from obvious that there was any corruption at all."

    and besides, this statement lacks reasonable falsifiability which itself suggests that it's probably false.

     

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  139.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 7:00am

    In fact, come to think of it, one of the biggest problems I have with most pro intellectual property arguments is the lack of falsifiability.

     

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    pirate #8046, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 9:06am

    Re: pirates

    That's not a statement that can ever be true, because of the wide nature of the term 'pirate'. So called pirates are usually fans, and in many cases care deeply about the music they are swapping and sharing. They are often hardcore fans(When I was a child I made tapes of bands I liked because I wanted my friends to like them too) who will wear tshirts, attend shows, and act as a virtual street team for acts they like. The idea that pirates don't care about anything except themselves is ridiculously sweeping, and in most cases, just not true. I and most people I know would probably fit a few definitions of pirate, and I am also a musician, DJ and producer. I also do a radio show. I do care deeply about the world I contribute to and promote, and yet comments like yours would paint me as only ever taking from it. Large companies historically have been unethical, and have largely lacked any concern beyond their income. The statement you are attempting to parody is far more accurate than your poor shadow of it. Even a halfwit could see that, which leads me to believe that not only are you an anonymous coward, but that you have an agenda. So, are you a troll, or are you a shill?

     

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    JezuitX, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    I just don't get why this is an argument

    Why are you arguing about the morality of stealing copy written material? It is without a doubt 100% wrong to steal anything. We're not talking about someone stealing bread and water so they can live in this case either. All the common pirate does is steal a movie, song, or even a whole collection of episodes or albums.

    It doesn't matter that you don't like who's making money when you by a CD. It's like saying you don't want Walmart to make money so on moral principles you steal from Walmart. At the end of the day it's still stealing stuff you don't need to survive (for a side note here I believe even stealing stuff you need is wrong as well, but it's slightly less wrong than this kind of stealing).

     

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    DanC (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Re: I just don't get why this is an argument

    Why are you arguing about the morality of stealing copy written material?

    Because stealing and infringement aren't synonyms.

    We're not talking about someone stealing bread and water so they can live in this case either.

    Exactly correct - those are physical items. If you take someone's bread and water, they no longer have those items. It doesn't work that way with so called "intellectual property". Infringement is unlawful copying, not stealing.

     

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    Lisa (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 12:20pm

    "Why are you arguing about the morality of stealing copy written material?"

    We're not. Stealing is when you take a music CD without paying, the person/store you took it from is now deprived of that copy. With infringement, you're creating a new copy.

     

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    Richard (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What an amazing story Richard, but with plenty of holes.

    Nobody wants to stop you from making bread. But because you want to make bread at home doesn't mean that the bread business should just shut down and go away.

    If enough people did as I do then they would have to ...


    More importantly, you don't get to choose how much the baker sells his bread for. You don't get to take all his bread for free and give it away to your friends. You don't get to ransack his store and tell him to get rid of his clerks, bookkeeper, and assistants who are all just middlemen in his process.


    If I copy a CD likewise I have no effect on the stock of CDs that the record labels, shops etc have. All i have done is a simple process using physical items that I legitimately own. All this "ransacking" business is just useless hyperbole.

    Remember - in this analogy the baker represents the copier not the artist.

    You can do your own thing, but you have to respect those who do it another way.

    The music business is simple. If the artists (or whoever controls the rights to a given song) want to give away their music, they are free to do so.


    In practice the music industry (esp the collection societies) puts a lot of obstacles in the way of those who want to work this way. They insist on charging a licensing fee even for those who protest that they will only play public domain or cc music.


    They are not free to take everyone else's music and give it away without permission.


    So you agree that retrospective extension of copyright terms is immoral then - (i.e. stealing the rights to things that have entered, or are due to enter the public domain .) Good.

    SO your bread story is amusing but pointless, because you missed the point. It isn't people making bread at home that is the issue, it's the people stealing the product out of the store and giving it away that is the issue. That issue is one of morals (QUIT YER STEALIN'!)


    Copying isn't stealing - it is infringement of the terms of a contract. If that contract was immoral in the first place then the argument is somewhat different.

    If fact copyright term extension is more like stealing than copying is since it actually removes a right from the public whereas if I copy something to which (say) Sony owns the rights then it does not interfere with their ability to make copies in any way.


    and respect, something that has been lost over the years.


    and the "copyright industries" lost respect for their customers and suppliers long ago - long before copying became cheap. That is the root of the problem.

     

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    Mike, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    You just made a moral claim

    Look if you are making a judgment about right, wrong, good, bad, or even who should benefit (even if the who is everyone) you are making a moral claim. The idea that we should all work for the greatest good of everyone involved is a moral claim in fact its the largely dismissed concept of ultilitarianism. Don't pretend you aren't making a moral judgment just assert that yours is the correct judgment and support it with proof.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    Re: I just don't get why this is an argument

    Just FYI (yes it's pedantic), the term is copyright not copywrite.

     

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  147.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 1:23pm

    Re:

    "There is no moral argument for stealing (linguistically speaking of course!) the fruits of another man's labor against his will and without remuneration. That is parasitism. It is freeloading."

    Perhaps you could explain why, is it in the ten commandments or something? 'Thou shalt not copy without permission'.

    Copyright isn't protecting some natural right, it is a contract that says society will pretend there is scarcity in order to encourage people to create. Unfortunately nearly the entire population of the world had nothing to do with agreeing to that contract and the terms have got gradually ever less reasonable.

    Calling it stealing (I like how you obtusely admit that you are misusing the word), whatever definition of the word you are using, is akin to calling someone a thief for defaulting on a loan that was taken out before they were born. I can't say that I would have been successful preventing copyright had I been around when it was introduced but I'd have been damned sure to inform those considering it that I had no intention of adhering to such a thing.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    Re: You just made a moral claim

    A moral judgment is a choice between right and wrong. Mr Masnick is arguing that the choice is not predetermined by a lack of alternatives and therefore should not be treated as a question of right or wrong so much as which option has a the greatest overall positive effect.

    Consider a comparison of stealing, if you take an item on sale without paying for it then the effect it has on the person is predetermined by depriving them of the item. In contrast, if you infringe someone's copyright then your choice of whether to pay them is not predetermined by the act of copying and may well be facilitated by it because you can make a more informed decision.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Perhaps you could explain why, is it in the ten commandments or something?

    Are you trying to claim moral relativism here? Why not just come out and say it?

    Unfortunately nearly the entire population of the world had nothing to do with agreeing to that contract and the terms have got gradually ever less reasonable.

    LOL!

    ..."nearly the entire population of the world" had nothing to do with agreeing with ANYTHING in the constitution. What is your point? Do you have one? Do you feel one should be present at the signing of every law before they can be expected to adhere to it?

    Calling it stealing (I like how you obtusely admit that you are misusing the word)

    Only in the legal sense. According to my dictionary, I am not misusing it at all.

    There is no moral divide between appropriating the physical fruits of someone's labor against their will and appropriating the intangible fruits of someone's labor against their will. Trying to endlessly harp over the deprivation principle is not enough to hang your moral hat on. The fruits of a man's labor should be his own to use or dole out as he sees fit. That is a widely established axiom supported by many of the greatest thinkers throughout history, including, quite obviously, the founding fathers who perceived a market failure (*pause to allow Libertarian theorists to reel back like vampires exposed to a cross) in need of correction.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 2:50pm

    Re:

    "That is a widely established axiom supported by many of the greatest thinkers throughout history, including, quite obviously, the founding fathers"

    In the case of intellectual property the founding fathers understood that a monopoly is not owed to anyone and that intellectual property should be granted only to the extent that it benefits society as a whole.

     

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  151.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    Re:

    "All property laws can be considered "government granted monopolies". They are all exclusionary societal constructs devised to better allocate resources. Property laws do not exist in nature."

    Property laws exist for the purpose of benefiting society as a whole, so from an economic perspective they should be granted only to the extent that they better society. This is true for physical property. To the extent that physical property laws are bad for society as a whole they should not exist. To the extent they are good for society as a whole they should exist. The argument for physical property laws is that they are good for society. However, current intellectual property laws cause much more harm to society than good. So whether or not intellectual property should exist and to what extent, as mike points out, is very much an economic question. The question is, what set of laws is best for society. Which set of laws helps advance technology the most. Which set of laws helps advance society the most. The set of laws that should exist should be the set of laws that helps advance society the most. Physical property nor intellectual property laws are exempt from this requirement. So it is very much so an economic question and it should be dealt with as such.

     

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    Lisa (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 3:16pm

    Re: re:

    'There is no moral divide between appropriating the physical fruits of someone's labor against their will and appropriating the intangible fruits of someone's labor against their will."

    There is however, the flaw in IP that treats every instance of a concept as a single object. There have been cases where different inventors have reached the same idea in isolation from each other. Why should they not be able to use the fruits of their labor just because they were late to the party?


    "That is a widely established axiom supported by many of the greatest thinkers throughout history, including, quite obviously, the founding fathers"

    But they did not view ideas as property. Hence why the justification for copyright is 'to promote the progress of science and the useful arts'.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 3:33pm

    Re:

    Only in the legal sense. According to my dictionary, I am not misusing it at all.

    I'm not surprised considering your dictionary seems to be based on lies.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    I thought that Mike clearly defined the scope of his argument, limiting it to economics and the original intent of copyright. What you refer to is the non economic effects of copyright, which you correctly liken to the rights against defamation and slander. As you say, these were introduced over a hundred years ago by France and Germany before being included in the Berne Convention. I would add that their distinction as moral rights separate from the original copyright law serves to bolster Mike's argument.

    While the consideration of what are labeled 'moral rights' in copyright law brings an important distinctions to make, I still agree with Mike's assertion that pro-copyright interests are using the morality card speciously to avoid discussing the economics.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re:

    Perhaps you could explain why, is it in the ten commandments or something? 'Thou shalt not copy without permission'.

    In fact, I seem to recall there being a story about Jesus himself copying some loaves of bread and fish to share with a crowd. Those who go around saying that anyone who would do such a thing is a thief obviously aren't too concern with Christ's judgment in the afterlife.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: pirates

    "So, are you a troll, or are you a shill?"

    Some form of new hybrid, a shitroll if you will.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    And, when the majority of these workers entered their industries 20 to 40 years ago, it was far from obvious that there was any corruption at all. You are blaming these people for not knowing things they could not know and for simply existing in a system that no longer works.

    When I lost all my savings in the stock market it was far from obvious that was going to happen. Therefore, the government should give me a bail out. It's the only morally right thing to do.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    when Enron scammed me it was far from obvious that it was a scam. So the government should bail me out.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Those who go around saying that anyone who would do such a thing is a thief obviously aren't too concern with Christ's judgment in the afterlife."

    Well neither am I because I'm not a Christian, but Bible metaphors illustrate a point in a way that connects to such a high proportion of the population that they're an effective tool for lazy people like me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 4:43pm

    "If even the content creators are better off under certain systems, then where is the moral question?"

    The moral question is obvious. If I create a body of work under existing copyright laws, I should be protected by those laws. If you change the laws after the fact (either through copyright extension or through sweeping reform) it should not apply retroactively.

    Everyone has an opinion on what is "better" for artists (note that I ignore the rather dehumanizing argument of "content creators"). Everyone has an opinion. Some of those opinions will turn out to be right. Some will turn out to be wrong. And since we have no definitive answer for what will be "better", the only one who should decided how their art is affected by said "system" is the artist. Taking that choice out of their hands, circumventing the legal guidelines in place when the artist created their art, just because you believe you are doing something that will benefit them is morally wrong. It is not your place to dictate how and when my art is distributed.

    You're talking about taking control of an artists art out of said artists hands. Morality cannot be ignored in this dialog. Not if teh exchange is to have any merit.

    But it is continually ignored. It's ignored because it poses an insolvable conundrum to filer sharing advocates. How to justify circumventing the will of the artist without being the bad guy.

     

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    Lisa (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re:

    "How to justify circumventing the will of the artist without being the bad guy"

    But why should the artist have any say after the work has changed hands? If I buy a house, do I have to care about the will of the construction crew?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 4:58pm

    There's also a continual misconception that entertainment pricing has been based on scarcity. That's not entirely true. Pricing is based on availability. Meaning that a years worth of artistic labor can be sold for 20 dollars. Duplication already has brought the price down to an affordable level. The cost structure was never dominated by the economics of physical media. So arguing that the new world of intangible media and infinite duplication is a definitive game changer is false. This is why there is a genuine concern on the part of artists. People have gotten into their head that cheap art is actually expensive.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:05pm

    @Lisa

    Your argument is based on the misconception that purchasing one copy of an artistic endeavor means you should own that artistic endeavor in totality. Art is priced on a one copy at a low price system with well known conditions, and those conditions exist for a reason. That's why you can purchase work that took a year to produce for 20 dollars. Now, if you want to pay the full price, you can do with the art whatever you like. And this happens as well. That's how corporations get all rights to artistic endeavors. They pay for them in the tens of thousands (or more) of dollars. That allows them the rights to copy and redistribute and alter.

    In short: One copy = $ Infinite copies = $$$$

    And you're only paying $.

    As for your analogy... everyone likes to throw out analogies on this topic. But the situation isn't really analogous with anything.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:05pm

    Re:

    "Only in the legal sense. According to my dictionary, I am not misusing it at all."

    So by quoting someone else you have committed theft, according to your dictionary?

    You are directly copying someone else's written words without their explicit permission.

     

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  165.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:06pm

    Re:

    "the only one who should decided how their art is affected by said "system" is the artist."

    No, because it is society as a whole that grants these monopolies but society does not owe the artist a monopoly. Society should only grant them to the extent that it helps society as a whole.

    Your argument is like me saying, if I sign a contract with someone only one party should have a say in the terms of the contract, the other party should simply accept the contract and have no say in the matter. This is incorrect, the contract should be for the ultimate benefit of all parties involved.

    Same here, intellectual property is an agreement between the people and the artists. It should be for the benefit of everyone, not just for the benefit of rich and powerful corporations at public expense. Society does not owe the artists or anyone any such agreement.

    "The moral question is obvious. If I create a body of work under existing copyright laws, I should be protected by those laws. If you change the laws after the fact (either through copyright extension or through sweeping reform) it should not apply retroactively."

    But it's OK for Disney and others to ask for extensions and to have their work that should have gone into the public domain a long time ago not go into the public domain.

    Furthermore, the constitution (the law) says that the purpose of intellectual property is to promote the progress. We live in a constitutional republic whereby all laws must comply with the constitution. If laws that must comply with the constitution do not comply (ie: to the extent that copyright laws do not promote the progress) they are void. Just like if the FDA or FCC passed a law outside of its granted scope of authority or a law that contradicts a law that congress passed, then that law is void. Or if a city passed a law that contradicts a state law then the city law is void. The length and terms of intellectual property laws do not promote the progress and to the extent they don't they should be void. The author already presumably knew that all intellectual property laws should promote the progress ahead of time.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:14pm

    Re:

    "What is your point? Do you have one? Do you feel one should be present at the signing of every law before they can be expected to adhere to it?"

    My point, should you be interested enough to look for it amongst all these pesky words, is that there is a distinction between just and unjust laws. While you can expect people to follow laws that are there because there is no reasonable alternative, expecting them to do something primarily because some dead guys said so only harms the laws based on imperative need, or moral imperative to use another word.

    The distinction between laws based on a moral imperative as opposed to those based on a choice of social framework has historically been codified by the concepts of Civil and Criminal law. Over the years that distinction has blurred but it remains that copyright is largely a Civil Law concept yet those who don't follow it are branded criminals. If those opposed to my view were able to make that distinction then we might have a constructive discussion on why our views differ on what is required for a better social framework. Because there is practically no discussion of that sort in politics, the most obvious option left available is civil disobedience.

    "Only in the legal sense. According to my dictionary, I am not misusing it at all."

    As I have said before, context is important. To repeat an example of the perils of context, you might say 'steal a kiss' but you shouldn't include a kiss in a list of tangible items that were stolen.

    "There is no moral divide between appropriating the physical fruits of someone's labor against their will and appropriating the intangible fruits of someone's labor against their will. Trying to endlessly harp over the deprivation principle is not enough to hang your moral hat on. The fruits of a man's labor should be his own to use or dole out as he sees fit. That is a widely established axiom supported by many of the greatest thinkers throughout history, including, quite obviously, the founding fathers who perceived a market failure (*pause to allow Libertarian theorists to reel back like vampires exposed to a cross) in need of correction."

    Perhaps you could read up on what the founding fathers had to say about intellectual property so that you are better able to make your argument. While doing so you might come across the writings of Thomas Jefferson and what he had to say about intellectual property.

    You state "The fruits of a man's labour should be his own to use or to dole out as he sees fit", and call it an axiom which implies that your argument is self evident. Being self evident you should be able to explain its reasoning instead of relying on the decisions of long dead people as a justification. If you do not consider yourself capable of understanding their reasoning then I would suggest that you should not be using their arguments. If you do consider yourself capable then I would ask you do not insult me by making the assumption that I am any less capable than you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:14pm

    "But it's OK for Disney and others to ask for extensions and to have their work that should have gone into the public domain a long time ago not go into the public domain."

    Take a look at my quote. See the part where I criticize copyright extension. Here it is again for you: "...either through copyright extension..."

    So no... it's not okay. If an artist creates their work under a certain set of laws, that work should be protected by those laws. retroactive changes should not apply.

    "No, because it is society as a whole that grants these monopolies but society does not owe the artist a monopoly. Society should only grant them to the extent that it helps society as a whole."

    Nope. If I spend 3 years writing a novel, and decide to share one copy to a friend. That friend does not have a right to redistribute it to millions of people. they didn't write it. It's not theirs to give away. It's mine. And what is done with it should be up to me, first and foremost.

    You talk about what is best for society. Okay. What's best for society? Telling an artist that they have zero say over their work or telling an artists that once they produce art, it belongs to everyone right out the gate?

    If you answer is "belongs to everyone", you automatically fail.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:16pm

    "Your argument is like me saying, if I sign a contract with someone only one party should have a say in the terms of the contract, the other party should simply accept the contract and have no say in the matter. This is incorrect, the contract should be for the ultimate benefit of all parties involved."

    Anyone can set whatever terms they want in a contract. No one is forced to sign. If an artist says: I will sell you my art, provided you never duplicate and redistribute it, for 10 dollars". And you agree. Then you agreed. If those terms don't work for you, don't buy the art. Simple.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:18pm

    Re:

    "This is why there is a genuine concern on the part of artists.'

    as google has proved with their logo ordeal, plenty of people are willing to make art absolutely free and even give it away. Plenty of people are willing to make music absolutely free and give it away (ie: at creativecommons.org ). There is an myriad of art, music, etc.. available on the Internet for free under licenses like creative commons licenses. So there are SOME, an overwhelmingly small minority, of artists that want these laws and it's not really artists that want them it's big corporations like the RIAA pretending to represent artists. Should the world succumb to these few people and change the laws just to please every last person who would otherwise cry and not do art? Every time some crybaby cried that "if society doesn't pay me more or give me more favorable laws I won't work or instead of working at a restaurant I will work at a grocery store" should society all of a sudden create laws to make more people work at restaurants? Doing so is economically inefficient and artificially brings people to do things (ie: create art or music) that are less relative to what the market needs hence increasing scarcity (by moving workers away from items that the market demands, like maybe building airplanes or whatever) in other segments of the market where the market needs less scarcity. If someone has a high price tag to do art why should society artificially pay them more (or create laws in their favor) than what the free market would demand, hence taking away their time from doing something more productive relative to market demands?

    We have enough artists, musicians, etc.. who are more than willing to give their art and content away for free, we shouldn't succumb to the demands of every last artist. Let them do something more productive.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:21pm

    Re:

    "The moral question is obvious. If I create a body of work under existing copyright laws, I should be protected by those laws. If you change the laws after the fact (either through copyright extension or through sweeping reform) it should not apply retroactively."

    Your 'obvious moral question' has little to do with the moral question that Mr Masnick is discussing. You are talking about the moral question of whether people should follow the law regardless of their opinion of it. Mr Masnick is talking about whether the reasoning behind the specific law itself has a moral grounding.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:28pm

    Re:

    "And what is done with it should be up to me, first and foremost."

    What you do with it is up to you. If you're worried about your friend telling others then don't give your art to untrustworthy friends.

    But if your friend decides to spread it and you want to make it the governments and taxpayers responsibility to rectify the issue by either punishing your friend or otherwise then everyone has a say in the matter. It's taxpayers that pay for law enforcement and taxpayers shouldn't pay for the enforcement of laws unless they better society. The government nor society has a responsibility to waste government resources to fix your conflicts with others and if they are going to do so then the laws should be for the benefit of everyone.


    "If you answer is "belongs to everyone", you automatically fail."

    So anyone that disagrees with you automatically fails? Great logic.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:30pm

    Re:

    "Anyone can set whatever terms they want in a contract. No one is forced to sign. If an artist says: I will sell you my art, provided you never duplicate and redistribute it, for 10 dollars". And you agree. Then you agreed. If those terms don't work for you, don't buy the art. Simple."

    Perhaps you can explain why we need copyright if people can already make these contracts?

     

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  173.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:30pm

    Re:

    "Telling an artist that they have zero say over their work or telling an artists that once they produce art, it belongs to everyone right out the gate?"

    No one is forcing the artist to produce and release art. If an artist doesn't like the terms with society s/he does not have to produce anything.

     

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  174.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Re:

    For example, one may argue that it is to everyones benefit that the government spend taxpayer money creating and enforcing physical property laws. But is it to everyones benefit that the government spend taxpayer money creating and enforcing intellectual property laws? and to what extent? The government should create and enforce these laws ONLY to the extent that it benefits society as a whole.

    and there are many contractual agreements that the government will not enforce as well because it is not to everyones benefit. If a contractual agreement is against the law then the government will not enforce it (for instance). Since it is taxpayers that are paying for the resources required to enforce these agreements they do have a say with respect to which stipulations they wish to enforce.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    For instance, many states will not enforce non - compete clauses or if they do they will only enforce them for a limited period of time (regardless of what the contract says) only within a limited area. The people absolutely have a say with respect to what laws or which contractual clauses they wish to spend government resources to enforce and which ones they wish not to.

     

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  176.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 7:42pm

    "We have enough artists, musicians, etc.. who are more than willing to give their art and content away for free, we shouldn't succumb to the demands of every last artist. Let them do something more productive."

    Every time I see an argument like this I roll my eyes. The relevant suggestion is that creating art isn't productive.

    "But if your friend decides to spread it and you want to make it the governments and taxpayers responsibility to rectify the issue by either punishing your friend or otherwise then everyone has a say in the matter..."

    If I loan my friend a car and he gives it away, it becomes a matter of the government and the taxpayers to rectify the matter, In turn, they can try to see a return on their expenses by taking legal action with the person who broke the law by taking my property. There is s system in place, funded by the taxpayer, to protect the taxpayer's rights. And art created by an individual and taken from them illegally deserves protection.

    "It's taxpayers that pay for law enforcement and taxpayers shouldn't pay for the enforcement of laws unless they better society. The government nor society has a responsibility to waste government resources to fix your conflicts with others and if they are going to do so then the laws should be for the benefit of everyone."

    It's impossible to construct laws that everyone will agree serve the betterment of society. That's why we don't listen to a majority it claims that society would be best served by denying interracial marriage. That's why there are lawsuits in regards to gay marriage. In short: You don't seem to understand how the law works.

    "So anyone that disagrees with you automatically fails? Great logic."

    If you believe that something someone labors over for years is automatically the property of everyone and anyone, than you are wrong. If you think you're right, it's because you have no idea what you are talking about. You probably don't like the logic. But it is sound. You don't get the right to decide how an artists work is distributed just because you gave them ten bucks once.

    "Perhaps you can explain why we need copyright if people can already make these contracts?"

    The short answer: Because people ignore these implicit contracts. The longs answer: If you don't purchase something, you haven't actually agreed to the artist/purchaser agreement. Enter copyright law, which is binding regardless of whether or not you entered any other agreement.

    "No one is forcing the artist to produce and release art. If an artist doesn't like the terms with society s/he does not have to produce anything."

    In which case, we have a scenario that does not encourage the creation of art. Which is typically considered a negative for society.

     

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  177.  
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    Cendir, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 7:43pm

    gov

    The less the government's involved the better.

    If anyone is good at taking someone else's ideas and taking credit for them, it's the government.

    Logically not everyone will be happy with the rules of the game.

    Great care need be involved when copyright is concerned. I'd rather not let Kanye and the like be the only person(s) allowed to print say the Bible or the Qur'an.

     

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  178.  
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    kanye hater, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 7:47pm

    i agree

    yeah, that would be pretty immoral

     

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  179.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 8:05pm

    Re:

    "The relevant suggestion is that creating art isn't productive."

    No, I never said any such thing. But everything exhibits diminishing marginal benefit with respect to how much net utility it provides society. Free markets are the best way to allocate how resources should be distributed to provide the greatest net utility.

    For instance, with my restaurant vs grocery store example, both restaurant workers and grocery store workers are important. But to pass laws to entice more people to become restaurant workers artificially takes away from grocery store workers and it's more productive to allow the free market to allocate labor. That is, with the laws passed it would be more productive for some of those restaurant workers to become grocery store workers because that's where the most benefit to society would be provided. This is basic economics.

     

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  180.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 8:16pm

    Re:

    "If I loan my friend a car and he gives it away, it becomes a matter of the government and the taxpayers to rectify the matter,"

    Only to the extent that doing so is to the GREATER benefit of society. In this particular situation I would argue that it is.

    "There is s system in place, funded by the taxpayer, to protect the taxpayer's rights."

    but taxpayers get to decide what alleged rights they want to fund the protection of and which ones they don't. If a taxpayer doesn't want their tax dollars going into enforcing your petty disagreements with everyone over petty issues then taxpayer should certainly have a say in the matter. It's his/her tax dollars and s/he doesn't owe you their money going into litigating your retarded issues. Otherwise we could start litigating stupid issues like if your neighbor looked at you the wrong way or if s/he said something and it hurt your feelings and we could start wasting all sorts of money on retarded issues. No, the taxpayers have a say in what issues they want to the law to pursue since they are the ones funding such legal endeavors and they don't owe you the enforcement of anything just because you think they should.

    "And art created by an individual and taken from them illegally deserves protection."

    Whether or not the government should have laws protecting against this sort of thing and whether or not the government should protect against this sort of thing depends on whether or not protecting against this sort of thing benefits society more than it harms it. For instance, in many states the law may not enforce non complete clauses. Or if they do there are limitations. There is an understanding that enforcing them without restrictions is bad for society and so they only try to enforce them to the extent that doing so is good for society. Same thing with intellectual property. Neither the government nor taxpayers owe you a monopoly on anything, they do not owe you property right protections (neither intellectual property nor physical property). If they grant them it should ONLY be to the extent that it helps society as a whole.

     

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  181.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 8:22pm

    Re:

    "In which case, we have a scenario that does not encourage the creation of art. Which is typically considered a negative for society."

    Ok, now you're just telling lies. You know better, people create art and music for free all the time and release it under creative commons licenses. Again, the whole Google ordeal regarding them asking people to create them a free logo was proof that many people are more than willing to freely create and give away art. So please don't tell blatant lies to promote your position, it only exposes your dishonesty and your complete disregard for morality and that will only make people question your position more.

    "Enter copyright law, which is binding regardless of whether or not you entered any other agreement."

    This is no excuse for having copyright law. At least not a good one.

    "You don't get the right to decide how an artists work is distributed just because you gave them ten bucks once."

    Again, no one is forcing the artist to create and release any work but if they choose to do so no one owes that person a monopoly.

     

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  182.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 8:27pm

    Re:

    "It's impossible to construct laws that everyone will agree serve the betterment of society. That's why we don't listen to a majority"

    Yet we should listen to you, a blatant liar, instead?

    "But it is sound."

    You can't even go very long without telling blatant lies, yet alone come up with decent logic.

     

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  183.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Heck, creative commons.org has plenty of creative commons art you can freely download. We don't need intellectual property laws for art in abundance to exist.

     

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  184.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Again, no one is forcing the artist to create and release any work but if they choose to do so no one owes that person a monopoly

    This is possibly the dumbest, most disrespectful argument around. It's like saying if a girl didn't want to get raped, she shouldn't have left her house. How arrogant.

     

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  185.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, it's not saying the same thing. The lack of a government granted monopoly != rape.

    Where do you come up with this nonsense? You pro intellectual property maximists don't even seem to be trying to come up with a coherent argument. Why should we take you seriously?

     

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  186.  
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    Devonavar, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    Yup, I definitely agree the pro-copyright camp is abusing the morality card. Actually, they are using it like Mike is using economics: To claim that the issue is *solely* a moral issue, and there's nothing more to be discussed. What got me upset was Mike's attitude that morality has no place in the discussion at all; he's doing the same thing, but in reverse.

    It's all about reframing the debate in terms that make it impossible for the opposition to respond. It's a powerful debating tactic, but a poor way of actually understanding each other.

     

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    Devonavar, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 11:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "You're just making up anything to support your position to bail out the executives who then receive substantial bonuses for failing. Or maybe you have stock in the RIAA and you're afraid of losing it?"

    Calm down would you? I'm not suggesting any of the things you think I'm suggesting. All I'm saying is that this debate — and the change that is causing it — has a moral dimension. I'm not in favour of a bailout, and I'm not trying to cause a moral panic. I'm trying to get you to acknowledge that the change we are in the middle of does in fact have moral consequences. Would you be here arguing if you didn't think there was a right or a wrong to the matter?

    As far as I can tell, you don't even disagree with my basic point; that people are suffering because industries are collapsing around them. If your response is to force them to tough it out, fine. But, at least recognize that in taking that tough love position, you are making a moral statement.

    Personally, I have sympathy for the people whose lives are collapsing around them, and I'd like to find a way to help them get back on their feet or at least not die poor, old and bitter. That doesn't have to involve money or bailouts, and it certainly doesn't involve making a futile attempt to reconstruct a broken and corrupt business model. But it does involve understanding where they are coming from and helping them adapt. Beyond that, I don't really know how to help them, but having some empathy for the vast number of people who are losing their lives because their industries haven't kept pace is a good starting point.

     

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    LV from canada, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 11:40pm

    Re:

    i totaly agree with you ! you've said exactly what i was aiming too say.moral rights are imperative in the known world of copyright.it matters and it is law!i wrote tons of great lyrics and some did abuse of my written works.here in canada the law states that as soon as a someone write or dots down either lyrics or music on a piece of paper with either a pencil pf shaffer pen,it becomes copyrighted work.no one can take it away from you,without proper letter written form,asking permission to do so.but if they do take it anywhere outside of canada,including canada itself by ripping it off,then yes every law that you can think of pertaining too my written works(lyrics)becomes actual law itself.moral rights,copright infringement theft of a copright etc... its against the law no matter which way one may look at it.theft is theft!!!!!!so why should we as writers put up with these songs sharks and pirates whom do rip us off whenever they feel like it???again i say moral rights is law and should be applied and respected in all terms of the word itself.end of story!!!!for you nay sayers out there,don't try and tell me crap, or otherwise, and camouflaging it all by saying,and thinking,that its all contradictory too the law itself.they still owe me tons of money so pay up !!!!!my material rights and moral rights were abused by non caring insignificant losers,in which took my bread and butter away from me,and left me out,in the dark so they could benefit from me.you call that fair play??????? BS!!!!!!!it does'nt matter if it happened yesterday,or forty years ago it's still a crime that was committed and happened over and over again,no matter which way you look at it people.i don't care how sorry they may feel about what they did too me.sorry is'nt good enough!!!!

     

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    Richard (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 1:47am

    Re: Re:

    Have you worked out how utterly ridiculous and impractical your attitude is if applied rigorously to everyday life?

    I want to make a copy of my son's Christmas list to give to his grandfather so now I have to ask his written permission to do so - otherwise its theft isn't it?

    Frankly I think morality enters the copyright debate right at the start. Claiming copyright is immoral. It is an unfair contract condition - akin to usury - and would never be agreed in a negotiation between equal parties. There is no need for any further argument.

    In the past a legal concession was made to override this immorality for economic purpose (as has also been done for other immoral activities such as gambling). The economic reasons for this concession have now evaporated so the law should revert to the true moral high ground - no copyright.

    The so called "moral rights" that exist in many european systems are quite different - since they mostly relate to telling the truth (i.e. identifiying the true author of a work). These are true moral rights and are correctly separated from copyright - which isn't.

     

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  190.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 1:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Again, no one is forcing the artist to create and release any work but if they choose to do so no one owes that person a monopoly

    "This is possibly the dumbest, most disrespectful argument around. It's like saying if a girl didn't want to get raped, she shouldn't have left her house. How arrogant."

    The analogy you make is nonsense - and the accusation of arrogance is a non-sequitur.

     

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  191.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 2:28am

    Re:

    The cost structure was never dominated by the economics of physical media.

    No - it was dominated by the cost of media (and associated storage, transportation, wastage etc) until quite recently.

    Otherwise the first CDs would have cost the same as contemporary LPs whereas in fact they cost significantly more. The industry at the time justified this on the grounds of physical cost of production (unless of course they were lying to us....uh oh).

    The big difference now is that - with file sharing - the cost of duplication has gone to zero in the sense that consumers are happy to bear that cost themselves. "Unfortunately" for the industry this means that they have also taken de facto control of the process.

     

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  192.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 3:29am

    Re:

    In short: One copy = $ Infinite copies = $$$$

    An important point but not quite accurate.

    One copy $ exclusive rights to infinite copies $$$$.

    However the issue here is non-exclusive rights to infinite copies which is not quite the same thing.

    Traditional physical property rights mostly do not need to be enforced by the state because everyone has an equal stake in the system. Even criminals would not really want physical property to be abolished - they just want to sabotage it a bit around the edges to make a living. They are typically just as keen as anybody else to hang on to their own property. Physical property is thus a self enforcing protocol.

    Before 1960 or so the same was true of copyright. All those who possessed the (then very costly) means of making copies had a common interest in maintaining the monopoly system (even if they did infringe each other's rights from time to time).

    With the new technology there is no longer a common interest since most people who have the technology to copy no longer have any need or desire to make money from the process. Once there is no common interest in the system it requires heavy handed enforcement to maintain. This enforcement is too expensive to maintain both socially and economically.

    Personally I would like to see it replaced by a system where the public commissions work from the artists - and pays a fair price for the work up front. Once the cost has been paid the artist should have no objection to free copying. I think that the communication capabilities of the internet allow this to be done. I also think that the existing recording industry would be well placed to organise the process (and take a fair cut along the way) if only they could ween themselves off their current gravy train.

    The cost of non-exclusive rights to infinite copies is then

    $$$$/(number of customers willing to participate) = $

    or turning the equation around

    revenue for artist = (number of participating customers)*$

    After all if you can make a profit from a concert of classical music that is not recorded why should you be bothered if the same concert is recorded and freely shared?

    Question: Who has most to lose from this change?

    Answer: Commercial (for profit) pirates. Not artists or legitimate disributors.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 3:51am

    Basically we have copyright laws so more people can make more money. They are also there to protect peoples works, however parts of the copyright act make it easier for artists etc to be exploited. I beleive...but im not a very intelligent person and cant argue like you lot apparently can.

     

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  194.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 3:52am

    Re:

    "It's impossible to construct laws that everyone will agree serve the betterment of society. That's why we don't listen to a majority"

    Er which country do you live in?

    In the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and most European countries we have a thing called democracy - have you heard of that?

     

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  195.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 5:00am

    Who decides my morality?

    The basis of the problem is that people don't want to make a decision about who has the authority to determine moral laws.
    If people lose religion as the sole authority for determining what is and what is not moral, which is where that authority should lie, then that authority has to be given over to somewhere else (unless a person does not want to have any morality at all).
    If everyone has the authority to determine his own morality, then nobody can ever say that anything is in itself moral or immoral. There's no way that can work in society.
    If (as most people do) one says that illegal=immoral and moral=legal, then nobody can logically work to ever change any laws. If whatever is currently legal is moral and anything else would be immoral, then to change the law would be to make it be something that is (currently) immoral.
    Another alternative, which a lot of people choose, is to give the authority for determining morality over to the media: to the news or to advertisers or anyone else who speaks authoritatively in public. That's a pretty confusing way to live especially in the internet age, because so many news sources have contradictory moral dogmas.
    And then there are the people who simply go along with the majority for their moral codes. That's a big problem for people who live in a bad neighborhood!

    Whenever anybody says something is moral or immoral, any intelligent, thinking person must question: "From where does that person get the authority to say what is moral or immoral?" Most people are too stupid or too foolish to give that question any thought.

     

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  196.  
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    twilson (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Even if an indy band is selling their material on Itunes, there is a middle man called Apple in the game."

    Actually there is usually still a music publisher (CDBaby or some similar service) between Apple and an 'indy band' as Apple will not deal with individual artists/groups directly.

     

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  197.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 6:16am

    The 10 commandments as a debate? Fine.

    When Moses Came Down from Mt. Sinai, the two tablets included: no stealing.
    Stop and think about this a moment, Poling. These tablets and copyright are the same thing. They're rules to circumvent common sense.

    Stealing. If your family's starving, and you have no assets, think it's beyond you to steal to survive? You'd be a hypocrite if you answered "no".

    Thus, what is the true definition of stealing? To simply state it's taking the possessions of another isn't quite accurate.

    Here's another example: If someone's about to kill another with a kitchen knife, and you remove the knife, isn't that considered stealing? Of course it is, but no one sees it that way when there's a life involved.

    Copyright is an extension of this "law" you referenced, by clearly defining "stealing". Of course, throwing in player pianos helped change this, as we all can clearly see how this mechanized product stole so much music.

    Most people who argue for copyright have never read the document at hand and simply go with "moral" issues of who deserves what for their work. It's hypocrisy, people. Go read the damn thing.

    If anyone walks away from reading it with the morality still attached, that's the point of this article. There should be no morality once you're done reading it.

    Copyright is a failure when a 5th grader can't decide what's right or wrong without some propaganda flier being shoved down their throats with deceptive intent.

    Copyright is a failure when ordinary adults can't determine if copying a TV show is legal, but a song to CD is not.

    Copyright is a failure when people believe its purpose is to ensure artists get paid for their works.

    Copyright is a failure.

    I'm sorry some of you will carry my words with "Socialist!" attitude, but I'll be proud that you do. Because I've yet to meet an artist who *doesn't* want people to enjoy their works.

    All copyright does is make it difficult for them to do once those who don't create take over to distribute.

     

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  198.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 6:58am

    What about the talent?

    I view the grocery store and Virgin Megastore as
    rather comparable because in both cases, it's the
    middle men and large corporations that are sucking
    all of the money out of the transaction. The artists
    and the farmers don't get squat. If there are any
    increases in prices, they will go to the middlemen
    that are responsible for the least significant part
    of the effort. Even the front end merchant won't get
    a very good cut.

     

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    chris (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 8:11am

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

    Their business model is failing only due to widespread piracy and theivery, nothing more and nothing less. It isn't a business model replaced with a business model, it's a shop keeper being driven out of business by shoplifters.

    wow. nice weepy morality play. that's exactly what this post says is unnecessary. keep on crying it's doing you absolutely no good.

    Mike's attempt to say "There is no moral issue at all" is to say we shouldn't look at all the stealing, piracy, and violations of copyright, we should just keep going until the middlemen all die. It's insane, because the replacement for the business model is musical socialism, nothing more or less. What's the point?

    how is an artist taking control of and profiting directly from his or her art socialism? it's entrepreneurship at it's finest, the exact opposite of socialism.

    and how is letting a bunch of greedy fatcats go out of business socialism? that's competition in a free market; that's capitalism at it's finest, also the exact opposite of socialism.

    how is changing the law and getting the government involved in propping up a dying industry NOT socialism? government interference with the market to protect a business that is no longer sustainable is the very definition of socialism.

    piracy is totally a business model problem. piracy is also a logical dead end because it cannot be stopped. piracy is a fact of life in the content industry that will never change. that makes it a business model problem: the product you want to sell is now available for free, so now it's time to change your business model and figure out how to sell something that is not available for free.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    "but im not a very intelligent person and cant argue like you lot apparently can."

    Don't tell yourself this, it's not true. You can very well argue. Some of us are probably just more experienced at arguing stuff, but don't ever put yourself down like this.

     

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  201.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 8:15am

    Is shoplifting a business model problem?

    Not available for free? If you steal it, everything is available for free, isn't it?

     

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  202.  
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    chris (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It isn't people making bread at home that is the issue, it's the people stealing the product out of the store and giving it away that is the issue.

    QUIT YER LYIN'!

    That issue is one of morals (QUIT YER STEALIN'!) and respect, something that has been lost over the years.

    QUIT YER CRYIN'!

     

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  203.  
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    chris (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 8:24am

    Re: Morality is relative

    On one side, you have people saying it is immoral for the government to demand (some would even say "steal") an increasing amount of our hard-earned income in taxes. On the other side are those who say it is immoral to not use those funds for the greater good to provide health care to all regardless of whether they can afford it.

    you must be new here. healthcare is either right or it's wrong. copyright either needs to be maximized or abolished. no one cares about your middle of the road, mutually beneficial, moderateness. you need to pick a side wishywashy.

     

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  204.  
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    chris (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    you lost me at forums.christianity.com

     

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  205.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 8:37am

    On the other side are those who say it is immoral to not use those funds for the greater good to provide health care to all regardless of whether they can afford it.

    Chris, this isn't quite true, healthcare should be provided to all, but the question is how do you finance it.

    I am worried about the quality of healthcare, about the access to healthcare, do the changes being talked about now lower my healthcare in the future? Would eliminating patents reduce the number of drugs produced in the future? Would limiting liability hurt me in the future due to bad products or bad doctors? Would all hospitals produce horror stories like Walter Reid?

    Those are what most people are concerned about, its not just Rush that talks about the evil government.

     

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  206.  
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    chris (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    When an industry collapses, there's a lot more people out of work than a few rich execs. There's a ton of people who built lives in the industry who are now losing their jobs because the system that they understand — the system where their skills are useful — no longer exists.

    this is america hippie, people get laid off all the time and they adapt and bounce back.

    this has been coming for *YEARS* napster was a decade ago. the "innocent" should have seen the writing on the wall.

    below the executive level, the skills required to be a rank and file industry worker should translate more or less directly to other industries. an administrative assistant, a warehouse manager, a marketing manager, etc. is still relevant position outside of the content industry. sure, there might be pay cuts and/or re-locations, but the capable people should bounce back fine.

    for those whose skill set is so niche, when the content industry finally does collapse/restructure and every artist is an independent, those accidental independents are still going to need people to make/take phone calls, promote/advertise, book events, move merchandise, and a host of other services that the labels used to provide at usurious markups. for those with sufficient talent and entrepreneurial spirit, they can freelance for independent artists providing these services.

    this holds true for all industries laid waste by the internet. thanks to cheap communications (made possible by the internet) freelancers can move out of expensive urban centers like LA and NYC (or london, or paris) and still work in their respective industries.

     

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  207.  
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    chris (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Re:

    Only a moral person (or group of people) could structure things such that EVERYONE truly IS better off. Obviously, someone who is not moral would structure the deal such that they would be the only ones better off, or such that though everyone else is also better off, they come out MUCH better off than everyone else.

    i disagree. i think that without intervention by third parties, the economics of a situation generally work out to a maximum possible benefit to all concerned parties with a minimum cost those same parties. this is the essence of competition and market efficiency. i think that a market that is kept open and cometitive will find equilibrium on its own.

    this "natural" process is almost always short circuited by interference by greedy third parties acting in an immoral manner, but morals themselves are not a requirement to benefit everyone.

     

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  208.  
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    chris (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 9:33am

    Re: I just don't get why this is an argument

    All the common pirate does is steal a movie, song, or even a whole collection of episodes or albums.

    and some exceptional pirates steal whole discographies, whole series, or all the films in a given genre, or made by a particular director, or featuring a particular actor.

    it's so easy to do, and so widespread, and so impossible to stop that it hardly feels like stealing at all. it's more like downloading stuff that people don't want you to download.

    At the end of the day it's still stealing stuff you don't need to survive (for a side note here I believe even stealing stuff you need is wrong as well, but it's slightly less wrong than this kind of stealing).

    i agree. and in the case of unauthorized digital downloads, i'd say it's like the least wrong kind of stealing, since the people you steal from still have the the stuff you stole :-)

    thank god we don't change laws just because everyone thinks they're wrong. which is why we still have prohibition, slavery, and women still can't vote.

     

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  209.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Re:

    Copyright infringement is not theft. And it is impossible to shoplift an item that is infinitely copyable and anything but scarce.

     

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  210.  
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    hxa7241, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 10:01am

    Copyright is immoral

    I think, Mr Masnick, you interpret the term 'moral' in a more limited way than is strictly correct. Morality is about answering the question "how should I/we act?". Copyright can certainly be addressed by it. But the answer is not what you seem to imply.

    The moral case for copyright is almost non-existent. To restrict a natural abundance -- copyability -- is quite plainly immoral. No-one, 'creator' included, gains anything real from that: everyone loses. The argument that copyright encourages production is so contingent on particular circumstance as to be scarcely moral at all. It could only be justified by evidence -- which is actually rather dubious or entirely absent.

    If we respect rationality as a means to decide, copyright has little standing.

     

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  211.  
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    Lisa, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re:

    "Copyright infringement is not theft. And it is impossible to shoplift an item that is infinitely copyable and anything but scarce."

    First part is correct, second is BS. If I take a copy of new super Mario bros. from the local game shop that wouldn't be theft? A situation where you deprive someone else of physical goods is most certainly theft.

     

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  212.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 12:32pm

    Do I lose my identity if I become an identity theft victim? Am I now longer me? Who am I then?

     

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  213.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    "Do I lose my identity if I become an identity theft victim? Am I now longer me? Who am I then?"

    How do you think you got to be an anonymous coward? It wasn't by choice my friend, your identity done got stoled...

     

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  214.  
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    Lisa (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    Re:

    "Do I lose my identity if I become an identity theft victim? Am I now longer me? Who am I then?"

    Identity theft is theft accomplished through posing as you. For example, using your bank account info to suck the account dry. Just having someone else's info(like finding it on the ground) is not id theft. Your point is what exactly?

     

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  215.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You have a narrow view of morality

    "What got me upset was Mike's attitude that morality has no place in the discussion at all; he's doing the same thing, but in reverse."

    I would have to re-read his posts to properly assess that point so I won't do you the disservice of pretending to have done so. When I first read it that was not the impression I got but I can appreciate the idea that he might be limiting their room to manoeuvre too much to encourage a constructive response. Perhaps adding a reference to the common moral issues associated with copyright would have served that purpose better.

    Having said that, I am not convinced either that there was a moral dimension for copyright as it was originally introduced. Of course the trap there is that while my use of moral is based on a strict interpretation of the word, that is not often how it is used. Perhaps if one person could explain why copyright as it was introduced is a moral issue then I might be able to better understand where they are coming from.

     

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  216.  
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    Benefacio, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 5:00pm

    Replies to various stuff

    "To put it simply, to steal someone's intellectual property you would have to actually deprive them of their property rights. Copying something does not deprive them of anything, it merely infringes on their rights.
    Exactly correct - those are physical items. If you take someone's bread and water, they no longer have those items.
    Stealing is when you take a music CD without paying, the person/store you took it from is now deprived of that copy.
    Consider a comparison of stealing, if you take an item on sale without paying for it then the effect it has on the person is predetermined by depriving them of the item.
    A situation where you deprive someone else of physical goods is most certainly theft."


    Consider this; I make a chair; you obtain that chair because I sold it to you; you obtain that chair because I rented/leased it to you; you obtain that chare because I donated it to you; you obtain that chair by any means without my permission. All of these instances of you obtaining the chair deprive me of the use of that chair, yet only one is considered theft. Logically then, one cannot ascribe the deprivation of use to theft. Deprivation of use is only a fundamental attribute of transferring physical goods.
    Theft has nothing to do with what is left behind or whether or not the legally defined owner still has use. It is long past time for that straw man to be burned to ash. Theft is only a factor of the condition under which something was obtained.

    Having said that, infringement is not considered theft from a legal perspective because patent and copyright codes are civil, not criminal in nature.

    "Copyright is closer to socialism in that the government restricts the marketplace by creating government granted monopolies and hence the government has more control over how resources are allocated.
    Government doesn't grant a monopoly on real property, the monopoly is determined by the economy and the law enforces it.
    All property laws can be considered "government granted monopolies". They are all exclusionary societal constructs devised to better allocate resources. Property laws do not exist in nature."


    Copyright is closer to socialism in that the government recognizes ownership rights and then strips them away in favor of the state. This gives copyright a very definite moral component by implying the good of the state is greater than the economic benefit to the individual.
    I would also say that monopoly is not a correct term since any control is purely illusionary as Jefferson so eloquently reasoned.


    "Believe it or not, but it actually was (intended for creator), sort of."

    I think it is a maxim that in order to distribute goods of any kind they must first be created. Since copyright is about enticing people to distribute content, thereby benefiting the useful arts and science, people are also enticed to create new content to distribute. No one, however, gets paid to create content and then keep it to themselves, never sharing it. If I am wrong in this, and someone actually has this sort of job, well then I guess PT Barnum was right about suckers.


    "After all if you can make a profit from a concert of classical music that is not recorded why should you be bothered if the same concert is recorded and freely shared?"

    The more important question is how can you make a profit from a concert of classical music when recordings of that music are freely shared? Supply and demand theory indicates that the more demand is met, the lower prices should be. You end up using a non-free good, the concert, to compete against a free good, the recording. Your chance of a profit in that scenario is not very good.

    What you do, instead, is change the paradigm by recognizing you are not competing against the recording because you are providing goods that the recording cannot supply. In other words, you are not providing classical music, you are providing the more personal experience of a live performance; the connecting with fans, the social connections and so forth.

     

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  217.  
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    Lisa (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Replies to various stuff

    "Logically then, one cannot ascribe the deprivation of use to theft."

    We're not talking about mere deprivation of use, it's deprivation of use against the will of the current owner. Big difference there.

     

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  218.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re:

    "(unless of course they were lying to us....uh oh)."

    They were lying. So yes, the price structure was never dominated by the cost of the physical media. That's why a blank book never cost as much as one filled with words.

     

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  219.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re:

    "Something more productive' As if art isn't productive. You = Automatic fail.

    Regardless, you are wrong for other reasons. You say there are many, many artists who want to work for free. That those who want their work protected by copyright are the minority? Well guess what? No one has to work under copyright law. It's there to protect those that want protection. So your argument is 100% irrelevant.

     

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  220.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 7:05pm

    Re: Re:

    "However the issue here is non-exclusive rights to infinite copies which is not quite the same thing."

    I didn't specify "non-exclusive" you did. So you're only correcting yourself. My original point stands. The rights to distribute a given piece of art cost more than the rights to a single copy. So when Lisa purchases a copy of an album, she's not legally free to redistribute. She didn't pay for that right. If she had, it would have cost significantly more.

     

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  221.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Bullshit. If society sets terms that artists find disagreeable, and the answer society has for those individuals is "oh well", then we definitively have a scenario that does not encourage the creation of art. Might people still create art? Sure. You can point to as many bullshit little Google logos as you want. It doesn't alter my point one bit. That society should be actively encouraging the creation of art.

    You're trying to take small examples and blanket the entire issue with them. That's the true dishonesty.

    "Again, no one is forcing the artist to create and release any work but if they choose to do so no one owes that person a monopoly."

    Again: Bullshit. You don't get the right to decide how an artists work is distributed just because you gave them ten bucks once under the agreement that the ten bucks only included one copy. It's their art. Not yours. And they have a right to see their efforts distributed in the manner of their choosing. Not yours.

     

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  222.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Your head is so far up your own ass, I doubt you could discern truth from fiction.

     

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  223.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How stupid are you? the analogy presented isn't literally equating the subject to rape. It's pointing out the stupidity in blaming the victim. That makes it an accurate analogy and a very coherent argument. I mean, the argument was literally made that if artists don't want their work treated in a manner that goes counter to their will, they just shouldn't produce art.

    Either you can grasp the accuracy of the analogy or you cannot. Apparently, it went way to far over your head.

     

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  224.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The analogy is sound. Both examples choose to blame the victim.

     

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  225.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah. And do you know how democracies work? Majority will. Now take a look at the current political strife in the US. You know, one of your key examples.

    Does everyone seem in agreement?

    No?

    Furthermore, the US isn't strictly a democracy. It's a republic. And there are myriad decisions that get made by appointed political figures that go against majority will.

    I swear, you're making this too easy.

     

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  226.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    According to a Justice of the Supreme Court, unlawful infringement is theft.

     

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  227.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Re: Replies to various stuff

    The legal perspective: "Deliberate unlawful copying is no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft."

     

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

  228.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2009 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re:

    Hahaha, that made me laugh. Good one.

     

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  229.  
    icon
    Lisa (profile), Oct 20th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "According to a Justice of the Supreme Court, unlawful infringement is theft."


    Quote please? I have posted two quotes that say that copyright is for advancement of the public good, meaning the law is of a regulatory nature as opposed to a property law.(Thus infringement != theft)

     

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  230.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2009 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, (in his concurring opinion in MGM vs. Grokster): "Deliberate unlawful copying is no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft."

     

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

  231.  
    identicon
    Benefacio, Oct 20th, 2009 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re: Replies to various stuff

    When you have deprivation of use with the permission of the owner and deprivation of use without the permission of the owner what then is the deciding factor in defining which is legal and which is not? Since deprivation of use occurs in both and is not changed in any way then isn't permission of the owner the deciding factor?

    Lisa, are you really trying to say that theft ONLY occurs when physical goods are involved?

     

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  232.  
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    klassen, Nov 15th, 2009 @ 5:33pm

    you're talking about utilitarianism

    you talk in your article about the greatest good for the greatest number; this is a moral framework developed by Bentham and Mill in the 1700s - Utilitarianism - you're talking along moral lines whether you admit it or not. your framework just depends on different rules than the record companies who argue along the lines of duty-ethics.

    I do agree however that their arguments along these lines probably aren't sincere, i mean look at the moral evolution that took place in the IFPI (the international federation of the phonograph industry)between 1930 and the present day. They develop a new moral arguements with regards to copyright everytime it suits their business interests to do so, their current moral framework relies only on making money and using what means they have available to facilitate the process.

     

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  233.  
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    SDS, Jan 31st, 2010 @ 8:44pm

    Interesting Discussion

    I am surprised why most of the comments above cannot pick out the utilitarianism in Mike's original post, whether intended or not.

    I am also surprised at why most the comments above, including the original post, talk about 'morality' without identifying what aspect about 'morality' are they talking about. Are you talking about meta-ethics, normative ethics, descriptive ethics or applied ethics? The tendency to blur these rather separate lines of inquiry make it difficult to get anything out of the majority of these posts.

     

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  234.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2010 @ 10:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, my argument is 100 percent relevant. Just because a waiter wants the government to pass laws that favor waiters does not mean that such laws should be passed. The free market is economically best suited to sort this stuff out and not the will of some minority that could care less about public interests. If the waiter does not like the laws in place then they can find another career. Crying to the government for laws that unfairly favor one group of people over another is not a career that the public should be willing to entertain.

     

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  235.  
    identicon
    DarCK, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    A parasite harms it's host. A leach by taking the blood from it's host.

    I don't take your idea away when someone shares it with me. You aren't denied it. So it's not the equivalent of sucking blood.

    Some compensation for work is justified. Using government enforcement of monopoly isn't right.

     

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


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