So A Lawyer, A Comedian And An Economist Walk Into A Bar... Copyright, Reputation And Comedy

from the it-all-works dept

A couple of times in the past we've looked at the question of copyright on jokes, noting that there generally isn't "copyright" on jokes, but that copying jokes can potentially hurt someone's reputation if called on it. In other words, even without making use of protectionist laws, creative types figure out social norms for punishing those who just "copy." Yes, some of the copying still occurs, but it can seriously hurt someone's reputation. At the same time, for those who do copy, it pushes them to actually do much more with a joke to actually stand out.

The more you think about this, however, the more interesting it gets. Michael Scott points us to discussion by Mike Madison concerning copyright and jokes, where he points to a short snippet from a NY Times article on the very famous "2,000 year old man" sketch done by Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. The snippet that interested Madison was this one:
REINER We did [the 2000 Year Old Man routine] out here in Los Angeles at what you would call a Class A party. One by one people came over to us. George Burns came by with a cigar and said, "Is there an album?" I said no. He said, "Well, you better put it on an album, or I'm going to steal it."

BROOKS That's true, he said he was going to steal it.

REINER Edward G. Robinson, who was there, said: "Write a play. I want to do it on Broadway." And the one who came up to us and really made sense was Steve Allen. He said you have to make an album.
As Madison notes:
The standard rap says that you make an object and people might copy it ("steal" it), so you have to have rights to go after the thief. Here, the rap is turned inside out: You make an object in order to keep people from copying it. Social norms are still important, because they have something to do with why and how making an album would keep George Burns from becoming the 2000 Year Old Man. But they aren't everything.
Madison's argument is that social norms alone aren't enough to keep people from copying in the absence of copyright -- but that setting the work in some sort of fixed form helped do the trick. Still, I'd argue this is a part of the "social norm," because it was a way of planting the flag by Brooks and Reiner that this was something they had created -- such that if anyone else copied it, people could easily point to the album and say "George Burns copied that," such that Burns would have less credibility. Burns, then wishing to avoid the loss of credibility, has less reason to copy.

Now what I find most interesting about all of this is that it runs entirely counter to the arguments made by many copyright maximalists, who say that without the incentive of copyright, creators would have little incentive to create such a recording, for risk that it would then be "pirated." But, what this shows (in an admittedly anecdotal fashion) is that there are additional incentives for putting the work into a fixed form: such as planting a flag for the sake of reputation and to ward off copying.


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  1.  
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    Lobo Santo's Ugly Cat, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 6:51pm

    grey and dull

    It's an amusing story, but it is so far out of date that the story can collect a pension.

    These days, things are exactly the opposite: You record something, and it's cool as hell to copy someone else's stuff and add your own 'yeah yeahs' over the top of it, to riff off it, or even just to redo it and put it on youtube. Nobody worries about credibility, because today's youth culture doesn't grasp the concept that stealing someone else's ideas is wrong.

    Just watch the posts after mine. All sorts of "mommy's basement" kids will be here telling me that stealing ideas isn't bad, that if I didn't want ideas stolen I shouldn't publish them, etc. It's amazing mostly to see how an entire generation has not only learned to steal, but gained respect for those who steal, not those who really create.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:13pm

    Re: grey and dull

    "It's an amusing story, but it is so far out of date that the story can collect a pension."

    But still be under copyright.

    Thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:16pm

    "So A Lawyer, A Comedian And An Economist Walk Into A Bar... Copyright, Reputation And Comedy"

    The lawyer sues the comedian for mocking his reputation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:18pm

    Re: grey and dull

    "because today's youth culture doesn't grasp the concept that stealing someone else's ideas is wrong."

    and who made YOU the ultimate authority over morality?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    Re: grey and dull

    "It's amazing mostly to see how an entire generation has not only learned to steal, but gained respect for those who steal, not those who really create."

    You mean like the CRIA who sues others who infringe but then it turns around and infringes itself, despite the fact that the CRIA nor the RIAA have created a darn thing, they simply benefit off of the hard work of those who do create while ensuring that the laws outside the Internet do not allow independent artists and musicians distribution of their work (and they're working hard to restrict such distribution within the Internet as well).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    Re: grey and dull

    "It's amazing mostly to see how an entire generation has not only learned to steal, but gained respect for those who steal, not those who really create."

    Understanding that no one is entitled to a monopoly on anything is not the same thing as disrespecting them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:26pm

    Re: grey and dull

    and it's not stealing, it's infringement, and it's amazing how morons like you still don't get it yet you expect us to take you seriously.

     

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    Lobo Santo's Ugly Cat, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re: grey and dull

    I rest my case, Mommy will be down to unplug their internet soon.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: grey and dull

    You mean because you can't actually create, you have to make money off of those who do create, and you want to ensure that those who disagree with you are censored so you're going to cry to the government for help since you can't actually compete in the free market.

     

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    rjk (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 9:00pm

    Re: grey and dull

    "today's youth culture doesn't grasp the concept that stealing someone else's ideas is wrong."

    It's kinda hard to grasp the concept when EVERYBODY 'steals' ideas ALL the time.

    Commenting on a post. Your idea?
    Paragraphs, words and letters. Your idea?
    Concept of Intellectual Property. Your idea?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 9:02pm

    Re: grey and dull

    You forgot to say "Get off my lawn you darn kids!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 9:35pm

    As someone who lives in my mother's basement and makes collages all day long I must say that I totally agree with Trent Reznor, it's stealing. That's what I do with the culture I grew up in. I stole it. Recontextualized it? Nope. Straight up stole it.

    Also, comic books are destroying the youth of today. Not to mention the unrepentant thievery.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 12:15am

    Re: grey and dull

    You sound like a broken record. Do you happen to work for the broken recording industry?

    Zing!

     

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    TW Burger (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 12:15am

    So, Make it That Copying isn't Stealing

    Let everyone copy your work. It worked well for many. Make your money from being recognized and popular and charge for added value. For example: If a musician - sell concert tickets. I sell IT consulting. I do not mind (actually I encourage) people to distribute my articles. As long as my name is on the material and they are not profiting from or misrepresenting the work I do not have a problem.

    The real issue here is is recognition and maintenance of the integrity of an author's authorship. I want to hire the guy(s) that came up with the original 'A' material, not the schmuck that sole it.

    Burns was right. He was the big star, Reiner and Brooks were new guys, he was helping them become the next big stars.

     

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    norman cho, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 4:16am

    Copying is stealing.

    If I spent hundreds of hours perfecting a recipe for chocolate cookies that make mine so delicious that no one will buy anyone else's - and you steal the recipe and sell identical cookies, that's theft. You may not have stolen the actual cookies, but you've deprived me of part of what took hundreds of hours to create. Why is it so difficult to understand that the same applies to music, writing, or any other creative art form?

    The argument about record companies would hold true if the thieves were actually donating something directly to the artistes whose work they stole or to some form of charity. No one does. The fact that Ferraris and Porsches are expensive doesn't give you the right to steal one. The fact that you CAN doesn't make it right.

    The idea that selling IT consulting is in anyway comparable to filling a concert arena is laughable. It takes thousands of hours of practice and experimentation to become good enough to sell out a concert tour. Thousands try and only a handful succeed. Bill Hicks reckoned that he had a one in two thousand chance in succeeding as a stand-up comic. Starting out as a stand-up myself, my current earnings amount to less than a pound a gig. I have spent hundreds of hours and hundreds of pounds travelling mastering a craft in which the odds of success are less than one i two or three thousand.

    The same applies to any creative art form. And someone who got his knowledge from a book and is selling on that knowledge is telling me that an original work of art that took hundreds of hours to create is exactly the same. I would say write your own programming language from scratch, create a market for it, and let everyone else profit for it without putting any effort into it, and come back and tell me you haven't changed your mind.

    'Burns was right. He was the big star, Reiner and Brooks were new guys, he was helping them become the next big stars.'

    Burns was wrong. He was an arrogant asshole and a thief.

    That record companies are greedy vampires doesn't entitle you to steal from the artistes they are leeching off. All it makes you is as bad as they are. You're exploiting the artistes in the same way they are.

    'The real issue here is is recognition and maintenance of the integrity of an author's authorship. I want to hire the guy(s) that came up with the original 'A' material, not the schmuck that sole it.'

    No it isn't. It's about money. Mine and you're stealing it. If you spent hundreds of hours creating a work of art and some just takes it without compensating you for it, that's no different from working at a regular job and having someone collect your salary. The fact that you can't afford it and can just steal it is neither here nor there. What you do end up doing is stifling access to the creative work because there's not much point in spending that kind of time working on something original if someone can just steal it.

    For those who argue that creative work should be a labour of love - be serious - does anyone believe that the greatest works of art created by humanity could have been created by someone taking a few hours off on the weekend and on week nights? Be serious. No one can prevent you from stealing but don't kid yourself that you have some sort of moral right on your side. You do not and never did.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 4:28am

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    A: It's not stealing

    B: Don't kid yourself into thinking that intellectual property is somehow needed for art to be made, even good art.

    C: Don't kid yourself into thinking that somehow you have a moral right to monopoly on anything.

    D: It is our current intellectual property laws that are immoral. Don't kid yourself into thinking that you regard morality, you do not. You only care about yourself and you have the nerve to try to claim that it is us who disregard morality.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 4:34am

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    "If I spent hundreds of hours perfecting a recipe for chocolate cookies that make mine so delicious that no one will buy anyone else's - and you steal the recipe and sell identical cookies, that's theft. You may not have stolen the actual cookies, but you've deprived me of part of what took hundreds of hours to create."

    The fact is that you're not a creator, you freeload off of the works of others. You haven't created a darn thing and neither has the RIAA. Their need is only artificial, they lobby the government to deny individuals artists distribution of their art and music and they have accomplished exactly this outside the Internet (and are working to accomplish this within the Internet). You're a leech, you're not an inventor, and your only defense is a bunch of hypotheticals. You want to deny people common sense stuff that they can figure out perfectly well without you, perhaps stuff you even stolen, by patenting it and claiming it as your own. You haven't spent a second trying to innovate but because you think you can come up with some hypothetical you think you deserve a monopoly on other peoples stuff.

    If you don't like people copying your work, though many can probably invent the same thing perfectly fine without you (given the fact that our patent system grants patents on common sense), then don't make it. No one owes you a monopoly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 4:41am

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    "The same applies to any creative art form. And someone who got his knowledge from a book and is selling on that knowledge is telling me that an original work of art that took hundreds of hours to create is exactly the same. I would say write your own programming language from scratch, create a market for it, and let everyone else profit for it without putting any effort into it, and come back and tell me you haven't changed your mind."

    and that's the thing, all knowledge is cumulative. Just because you can't innovate whatsoever does not mean you have to prevent others from innovating off of prior knowledge just because you want to freeload off of their hard work.

    "What you do end up doing is stifling access to the creative work because there's not much point in spending that kind of time working on something original if someone can just steal it."

    Except you have no evidence for this, and you're a liar, because the only people who are stifling access to creative works are those who are responsible for ensuring that outside the Internet independent artists can't get their work distributed, and they are also trying to do the same thing within the Internet. You have no regard for morality, for a second I want you to stop thinking of yourself and to think of others.

    "The idea that selling IT consulting is in anyway comparable to filling a concert arena is laughable. It takes thousands of hours of practice and experimentation to become good enough to sell out a concert tour. Thousands try and only a handful succeed. Bill Hicks reckoned that he had a one in two thousand chance in succeeding as a stand-up comic. Starting out as a stand-up myself, my current earnings amount to less than a pound a gig. I have spent hundreds of hours and hundreds of pounds travelling mastering a craft in which the odds of success are less than one i two or three thousand."

    Good for you, no one owes you a monopoly and if you can't compete in the free market then tough.

     

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    norman cho, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 4:46am

    'The fact is that you're not a creator, you freeload off of the works of others. You haven't created a darn thing and neither has the RIAA. Their need is only artificial, they lobby the government to deny individuals artists distribution of their art and music and they have accomplished exactly this outside the Internet (and are working to accomplish this within the Internet). You're a leech, you're not an inventor, and your only defense is a bunch of hypotheticals. You want to deny people common sense stuff that they can figure out perfectly well without you, perhaps stuff you even stolen, by patenting it and claiming it as your own. You haven't spent a second trying to innovate but because you think you can come up with some hypothetical you think you deserve a monopoly on other peoples stuff.'

    By your logic, Bruce Springsteen didn't create 'Born To Run', Harper Lee didn't write 'To Kill A Mockingbird', and Picasso did not paint 'Guernica'. The RIAA may have an artificial need but my need for money to live on is very real. The idea that anyone could have created the works of art I've referred to is laughable. If they could, why bother stealing. It's like arguing that anyone could win the 100m sprint - not just Usain Bolt. This is absurd.

    'If you don't like people copying your work, though many can probably invent the same thing perfectly fine without you (given the fact that our patent system grants patents on common sense), then don't make it. No one owes you a monopoly.'

    It's true that no one owes me a monopoly on music or painting or writing. But the existence of the above relies on my retaining a monopoly on the creation on my own works. The problem with the concept of free art is not that art will die out and that people will cease to make them. I love stand-up and would do it for free. The problem is that the artistes and the creation of art will revert to being the playthings of the wealthy. Only people with private incomes will be able to devote themselves to creating art for free and only the very wealthy will be able to support artistes in their endeavours and the ordinary person will be deprived of any opportunity to see the best that humanity can create.

    In short, we would revert to the pre-industrial age where art was a privilege of the wealthy elite. If that's what you ultimately want, carry on stealing - just don't pretend it's anything else.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 4:49am

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    "I would say write your own programming language from scratch, create a market for it, and let everyone else profit for it without putting any effort into it, and come back and tell me you haven't changed your mind."

    I would say write your own LANGUAGE from scratch and don't communicate with us in English or any existing language. Lets see how far your comedy act goes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: Copying is stealing.

    Actually it might be funny, at least at first, trying to watch you communicate with us without using an existing language.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 4:57am

    Re:

    "By your logic, Bruce Springsteen didn't create 'Born To Run', Harper Lee didn't write 'To Kill A Mockingbird', and Picasso did not paint 'Guernica'. The RIAA may have an artificial need but my need for money to live on is very real. The idea that anyone could have created the works of art I've referred to is laughable. If they could, why bother stealing. It's like arguing that anyone could win the 100m sprint - not just Usain Bolt. This is absurd."

    The idea that a monopoly is needed by the RIAA to create a piece of works is absurd. Just because the RIAA does not create does not mean they can force their artificial need on others.

    "But the existence of the above relies on my retaining a monopoly on the creation on my own works."

    Just because you demand a monopoly on anything does not mean that others will and it does not mean we should give in to your every demand just because you give us an ultimatum. Otherwise we would give into the demand of every terrorist. Sorry, society does not work that way. If you demand a monopoly on something just to work I prefer you find another business. Others will be more than happy to create art and music without a monopoly.

    and it's not for the government to artificially create more or less work. The government should allow the free market to decide how resources are allocated. Not that art isn't important, but the free market should decide how resources should be distributed for art and everything else. By the government granting a monopoly they distort the free market by taking away from marginally more important things (not that other things are more important overall, just that the importance of everything exhibits diminishing marginal importance with every additional unit). In other words, if waiters demand government stimulus money to continue to be waiters then we shouldn't grant it because giving that money may create more waiters but it will take away marginally more important jobs from other job segments (ie: grocery store workers perhaps). The FREE MARKET should decide how resources are allocated, not the government.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 5:00am

    Re:

    "In short, we would revert to the pre-industrial age where art was a privilege of the wealthy elite. If that's what you ultimately want, carry on stealing - just don't pretend it's anything else."

    Except you're a liar and you're trying to use fake scare tactics to lie to us.

    A: Many people are perfectly willing, to release, and do release, their art and music under licenses designed to circumvent copyright (ie: creative commons).

    B: Back then copyright did not last nearly as long as it does now. It's the more stricter copyright laws that have hindered art and music.

    C: Hollywood was built on piracy. One of the reasons why the U.S. innovated is because we ignored the intellectual property of other nations and our laws weren't as strict as those of other nations.

    D: The evidence disagrees with you. You're just making things up, without evidence, and you expect us to believe you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 5:04am

    Re:

    "The problem is that the artistes and the creation of art will revert to being the playthings of the wealthy. Only people with private incomes will be able to devote themselves to creating art for free and only the very wealthy will be able to support artistes in their endeavours and the ordinary person will be deprived of any opportunity to see the best that humanity can create."

    Please provide evidence instead of just scare tactic speculation. We're not congress, we don't believe something just because you can make it up and lobby us and bribe us. Nice try though.

    Plenty of people release free music under creative commons licenses and I doubt they're all rich. Furthermore, ordinary people can download and listen to that music. So the evidence seems to disagree with you. Remember, we're not a government body being bribed, so don't expect us to believe something you say just because you can make it up. You must substantiate, WITH EVIDENCE. I know, that maybe hard to do and making things up is easier, but you can't expect us to believe you just because you can make something up.

     

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    Murdoch's #37 fan, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 6:16am

    What is truly amusing is watching a single anonymous coward have a whole discussion with himself.

    Dude, seriously, let someone else answer once in a while.

     

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    Lobo Santo's Mother, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    Re: grey and dull

    Lobo dear ...
    Can you kids keep it down?
    The adults upstairs are trying to have a conversation

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 7:04am

    Re: So, Make it That Copying isn't Stealing

    "As long as my name is on the material and they are not profiting from or misrepresenting the work..." Ahh, but here's the rub. What happens when the point of infringing (stealing, whatever) IS to profit? To repurpose creative, change it in a basically immaterial way, or overlay some bolt-on "yeah-yeahs" or whatever, and SELL it. That is precisely one of the challenges here. Oh and keeping the original creator's name on the material is another problem.

    Endless distribution of infinite goods leads to one set of questions. But the annexation of someone else's creation for profit is another.

    I think the story above has it largely right...for comedians. They are notoriously good about self-enforcing anti-theft (or theft without attribution) within their community. Unfortunately, most other communities are not so good, hence the perception for the need for a legal construct and law suits to underpin what used to be somewhat enforced by social mores.

    New lines definitely need to be drawn. But I don't think an absence of lines is the answer. You have it about right: required attribution and some form of limits on the profits gained by outright annexation of someone else's creation. But that's tough to enforce in a way that doesn't land everything in court.

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re:

    Mr. AC, you should step out form behind your cloak of anonymity and adopt the name "Pontificating List Maker." I'm not necessarily in agreement with Norman, but sheesh!

     

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    Derek (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 7:31am

    Re: grey and dull

    I don't think you get it... an idea is just an idea. If you take that idea and make it into something that can stand on it's own, then you have something of value.

    Look at the car industry, the idea of a car has been around for a long time, in fact, everyone stole Henry Ford's idea of a cheap and effective automobile. But each iteration of that "stolen idea" is something that adds value to the original and people are willing to pay for that. That is what drives innovation, if you create something and expect to make money off of it for the next 100 years without innovating, you are going to be sorry.

    An idea by itself is worth absolutely nothing. I have a crap load of great ideas in my head right now, but unless I create something of value from them, they do not good at all. In fact, there may be lots of other people with the same ideas.

    Everyone knows that stealing is wrong. But do people complain about all the touch screen phones ripping off Apple's iPhone? It is basically the same with music, you create something and it has value for a while, but then you need to innovate to create new value. in 10 years the iPhone will have no value at all, but will Apple be complaining? No, they will be innovating.

    Your argument, in all honesty, is a very VALID one (almost the same as the record labels). The only problem is that your argument ignores the cold hard facts. If the record industry keeps this whiney, "It's not fair" attitude they are going to slowly die... and probably create a bunch of stupid and hurtful laws in the process!

     

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    ., Dec 12th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    Regardless artists don't have a choice in it.

    It is not getting difficult to copy anything far from it, is getting easier, people don't even need to have physical hardware to do it because any machine can be made of pure code.

    People want a monopoly competition not a state granted monopoly. Look up the difference.

     

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  31.  
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    ., Dec 12th, 2009 @ 8:26am

    TV and Radio stations.

    Viewers and listeners steal music and video all the time.

    Is fantastic no one ever pays to see TV or listen to Radio.

    WTF!

     

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    grapeshot, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: grey and dull

    Mr. Lobo Santo doesn't seem to understand the comedy biz. The age of the story in this post doesn't invalidate it's lesson. Comedy writers and comedians have long had a code that you simply don't steal other comedian's jokes. Especially not popular and successful ones that clearly belong to the originator. For example, no current comedian has ever done any Woody Allen material, or no one does Richard Pryor's material, and, in point of fact, no one does Burns and Allen material -- which is old enough by now to be unfamiliar to most Americans.

    Every successful comedian is unique in their approach, their on-stage personas, and their material. Even relative unknown comedians, who you are likely see tonight at your local comedy club, aren't copying their jokes from others. Even if you can see their influences, you won't hear them regurgitating jokes and lines from other comedians. If someone were to go so far as to break this rule, they would not only find their peers giving them a cold shoulder, but also find that their bookings would dry up. THAT'S how pervasive this self-policing is. A public record of a comedian's performance merely serves to seal the ownership of a joke, and within the comedy biz world, copyright is not necessary.

    Of course, the other reason that a joke is indelibly tied to the originator is that the average person is incapable of performing it. My sister and I might memorize routines from the 2000 Year Old Man, but we could never make it funny.

    Another creative industry which survives without copyright protection, and has done so for more than a century, is the fashion industry. And there, cheap knock-offs of successful designs is the norm. How do designers manage to make money? Constant, incessant innovation.

     

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    norman cho, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 8:45am

    AC. I've put my name and email address in the first post because I believe I am right and prepared to justify what I say. As another poster has said, step out from behind the cloak or be dismissed as the coward you are.

    Copyright is a complicated subject and I admit that I am coming from it as someone who one day hopes he *might* perform for a living. For that to happen, I need to have my original material protected.

    It is true that some artistes do give their material away for free. I think that's laudable but isn't that the right of the individual artiste? If I choose not to, what gives you the right to simply take it?

    That the RIAA are greedy is beyond dispute but what some people fail to understand is that copyright protects not just the RIAA but individual artistes. Say, I come up with some fantastic piece of music. Me, the nobody from nowhere. Copyright, and similar laws, also protect the little guy from theft by large corporations.

    Copyright and associated laws are important because they protect the little man as well as the large.

    See here; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/inventor-of-walkman-wins-millions-from-sony-dispute-over-7 30910.html

    The inventor of the portable stereo cassette player had his idea stolen by Sony and it took many years of litigation before he finally got paid for his ideas.

    Copyright means that EMI cannot simply steal my song, change it a little, and have one of their artistes release it and make millions, while giving me nothing.

    James Dyson, inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaner won millions in damages from Hoover UK for stealing his original ideas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dyson

    George Harrison plagiarised My Sweet Lord and had to pay damages for doing so: http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net/mysweet.htm

    The reverse is also true - a relatively unknown writer plagiarised Martin Amis's novel The Rachel Papers: http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/02/01/home/amis-epstein.html

    I would agree that some bad things have been done by the Disney Corporation to protect their bottom line but that's an argument for making the protection of copyright last for a shorter period of time as opposed to not at all.

    AC has asked for evidence of the likelihood that the creation of art and the sponsorship of artistes would revert to being the playthings of the wealthy elite as it was in the pre-industrial age. Leaving aside folk music and dance, there is no evidence of it ever being anything else. Michaelangelo's masterpiece - the fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was commissioned by a Pope. Constable's paintings were all commissioned by wealthy Britons. Mozart was sponsored by Royalty.

    If AC has got the guts to step out from behind the cloak, I'd challenge him to produce evidence that pre-industrial art and music was anything other than a privilege accorded the elite.

    What seems to be forgotten here is that it is not general ideas that are being protected but specific expressions of those general ideas. I cannot or should not be allowed to copyright a a general idea. What's ultimately under attack here is the idea that musicians, writers, artists, and a whole range of performers are entitled to devote their lives to honing their craft and profiting by it. You wouldn't deprive someone working at McDonalds from their wages even if you think the food is crap. Why should artistes give their work away for free?

    It is as much as argument about money as it is about art and I see no reason not to make it plain that if I produce a great work of art I would expect to be well paid for it. If AC thinks he can do just as well, let him do so and don't steal mine. Another thing that seems to be forgotten is that artistes take enormous personal, financial, and professional risks. I don't begrudge Chris Rock his millions because I know he took the risks that I'm doing now and there was no guarantee that he would have succeeded either. In pursuing a career in stand-up, I'm accepting that I am likely to end up as one of the thousands of also-rans and am likely to end up with zip to show for it. If I'm prepared to spend thousands of hours and thousands of pounds to try and make it, why shouldn't I benefit enormously, given the odds? If AC is so talented, let him write his own works of literature, sing his own songs, and paint his own paintings. If they're any good, I'll come and enjoy them - for free, of course.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: grey and dull

    It's an amusing story, but it is so far out of date that the story can collect a pension.

    and where did you steal that line from? I'm sure I've heard it before!

    These days, things are exactly the opposite: You record something, and it's cool as hell to copy someone else's stuff and add your own 'yeah yeahs' over the top of it, to riff off it, or even just to redo it and put it on youtube. Nobody worries about credibility, because today's youth culture doesn't grasp the concept that stealing someone else's ideas is wrong.

    Pay attention to the story here. It's about COMEDY not music.

    In comedy the "rules" are (and always have been) a bit different. As you just demonstrated yourself by stealing a lame joke

     

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    norman cho, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Hi Richard,

    As a comic who regularly sees people steal material and then murder it, I would say that the principles are exactly the same regardless of the art form we are talking about.

     

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    grapeshot, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Copying is stealing.

    Actually, lots of people make a profit from making chocolate chip cookies -- ranging from Famous Amos to Mrs. Fields to your local bakeries and supermarkets. The basic recipe is essentially within public domain, and you are free to make your own either to market and sell, or for personal enjoyment, or to buy someone else's version of it. Using the chocolate chip cookie as an example of the creative process and the sole right to profit from the creative idea is a false analogy.

    Now if you had created a cookie that was made out of some unique blend of ingredients, and/or put together and constructed in some unique way, then you might have a claim on the right to be the sole ownership of all the profits from the recipe. But simply taking a chocolate chip cookie recipe and adding some lemon peel or a splash of brandy to it, and then calling it an original that no one else is allowed to copy at all ever, is not likely to be in any way enforceable, no matter how rigorously you try to construct the laws.

    The analogy to your example that you cite would be if you took Abbot & Costello's classic "Who's On First" routine, changed it so it's not about baseball, and added a few more line's involving common phrases, and then tried to present it as your own, unique creation. No one would be fooled, and you could only get away with it IF you innovated their CONCEPT sufficiently to put a unique twist on it, AND your performance of it was novel enough to allow the audience to be surprised despite their well-worn familiarity with the material. (Even then, they wouldn't be fooled into thinking that you were the originator of the concept.)

    Whether or not this is stealing or innovating depends entirely on if you have the smarts to write a new twist to the original, and the chops to pull it off in the performance. In either case, you have either reinforced with the audience that there's nothing as good as the original version and that you are a completely lame performer, or you've succeeded with them sufficiently to make them wonder if it's worth listening to more from you. What you have NOT done, is diminish the original, nor have you caused the estate of Abbot & Costello to have lost income. (After all, Abbot & Costello are not in a position to perform their work anymore, and your audience at your performance isn't being deprived of an opportunity to buy a recording of Abbot & Costello's performance, and the renown of this routine is sufficient to prevent anyone from mistakenly thinking that you're the creator.)

    As a comedian, if you are finding that your work is being stolen, which I think is doubtful, you might want to consider that the material is strong, but the performance is lacking. Perhaps your forte is writing, not in performing.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    f I spent hundreds of hours perfecting a recipe for chocolate cookies that make mine so delicious that no one will buy anyone else's - and you steal the recipe and sell identical cookies, that's theft. You may not have stolen the actual cookies, but you've deprived me of part of what took hundreds of hours to create. Why is it so difficult to understand that the same applies to music, writing, or any other creative art form?

    In the cookie case the answer is simple. You would keep the recipe secret (like Coca-cola or Technoweld). Then if someone sneaked into your kitchen and stole the recipe that would be stealing.

    However with music etc you willingly sell copies of the information and what happens next depends on the contract of sale.

    The most that your customer can be guilty of is breaking their contract with you - which is not theft.

    The moral situation depend on how fair the contract was.

    This leads into the question of how the contract was negotiated. The nature of such negotiations depends on two things.

    1) The default contract set by copyright law and fair contract law.

    2) The power relationship between the parties.

    Historically the publishing industry has dominated on point 2 - and hence delivered a lousy deal for artists and has lobbied to influence 1 - and hence delivered a lousy deal for the public.

    What is happening now is that the public and the artists are re-asserting their power against the industry and the industry doesn't like it.

    However at the end of the day there is no natural right to a "have your cake and eat it" and when these contracts are actually negotiated between equal parties rather than imposed by lobbying we should expect something rather different from current copyright law to emerge.
    In the meantime a wise independent artist - effectively negotiating directly with the public - should try to offer a fair deal. (And it is for the public to judge whether it is fair.)

     

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    norman cho, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Richard,

    You make fair points about contract and copyright law as well as the power relationships. Like consumers everyone, I am outraged by the record industry's attempts to sell me music I already own in an ever increasing range of formats whilst simultaneously attempting to restrict my rights more and more. I also agree that the prices for music and other forms of copyright music is ridiculous.

    On the other hand, I think you're wrong in your assertion about what happens when I sell copies of my performance or whatever. I have no problems with someone who's bought a song sharing it with friends on a small scale. I do it myself and I have also gone onto buy more stuff that I liked from the artiste in question

    The problem starts when this happens on an industrial scale with people who have literally thousands of songs or whatever, have not paid for any of it at all, and see no problem with stealing.

    It's people like this who are posting as anonymous cowards trying to justify theft. It's a bit like someone justifying rape on the grounds that several other chaps already had a go at the victim so it's alright if he has one too.

    The current contract between the record companies and the consumers is grossly unfair and I would support a re-negotiation. There is already a groundswell against it and artistes are trying to find an alternative to it. People often run the argument that the music (or the comedy or whatever) should be free whilst performers make their living from live performance. What I would say is that this is only viable for a small number of people. It's unbelievably gruelling. Not only that, taken to its logical conclusion, you would end up with a much smaller people getting the chance to enjoy the best that's out there.

     

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    G. Steve Arnold, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Nice piece

    I would point out that this is a big part of the reason why scientists publish - to stake their claim and place in the work.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Re:

    "It's people like this who are posting as anonymous cowards trying to justify theft."

    and you know this how?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 11:29am

    Re:

    "Not only that, taken to its logical conclusion, you would end up with a much smaller people getting the chance to enjoy the best that's out there."

    and how is this so?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Copying is stealing.

    "But simply taking a chocolate chip cookie recipe and adding some lemon peel or a splash of brandy to it, and then calling it an original that no one else is allowed to copy at all ever, is not likely to be in any way enforceable, no matter how rigorously you try to construct the laws."

    The problem is that the patent office seems to hold the position that anything that hasn't already been patented can be patented. They grant patents on absolutely ridiculous things. and even if the patents are not enforceable if taken to court just the cost of litigation will scare anyone into complying with the patent holders will. The fact is that everything you say simply disagrees with the facts. and this is one of the problems with intellectual property maximists, they arbitrarily claim things but the evidence disagrees with them substantially.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    "If I choose not to, what gives you the right to simply take it?"

    If you choose not to then simply don't make it instead of thinking that somehow society owes you a monopoly. Society does not and if we are to grant it it should only be to the extent that it benefits society. Our current laws do not benefit society, they only benefit the wealthy at the expense of society.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re:

    "Leaving aside folk music and dance, there is no evidence of it ever being anything else."

    Creative commons websites disagree with you. Again, Hollywood was built on piracy and part of the reason we succeeded is because we didn't have the strict laws that exist now. There is plenty of evidence that disagrees with you, there is zero evidence that agrees with you.

    and monopolies are universally bad for society, they are known to help special interest groups at the cost of society. This is basic economics. If you think that intellectual property should exist the burden is on you to justify their existence, not the other way around.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    "That the RIAA are greedy is beyond dispute but what some people fail to understand is that copyright protects not just the RIAA but individual artistes. Say, I come up with some fantastic piece of music. Me, the nobody from nowhere. Copyright, and similar laws, also protect the little guy from theft by large corporations."

    Which is exactly why independent artists who had their work stolen by the CRIA were not protected and many of the artists are no longer even alive and they never received any protection from anyone.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    "AC has asked for evidence of the likelihood that the creation of art and the sponsorship of artistes would revert to being the playthings of the wealthy elite as it was in the pre-industrial age. Leaving aside folk music and dance, there is no evidence of it ever being anything else. Michaelangelo's masterpiece - the fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was commissioned by a Pope. Constable's paintings were all commissioned by wealthy Britons. Mozart was sponsored by Royalty."

    This was back in the days when building a rock cost millions of dollars and you needed an army to simply build anything. It had nothing to do with copyright or the lack thereof that made it possible to build these things, just the resources necessary. Yet despite all that all these things were built, as you point out, without copyright or intellectual property. and there is no reason to suggest that intellectual property is needed to build any of these things or that the lack thereof would interfere with the quality of works that the people enjoy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    "What seems to be forgotten here is that it is not general ideas that are being protected but specific expressions of those general ideas."

    The problem is that this has been forgotten by the USPTO and by those who grant intellectual property.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 11:58am

    Re:

    "If AC has got the guts to step out from behind the cloak, I'd challenge him to produce evidence that pre-industrial art and music was anything other than a privilege accorded the elite."

    "Most settlers “made their own entertainment” with folk arts including music, letter-writing, and story-telling. Letters from central Oregon correspondents like the Robbins family and Alberta McCabe are remarkable for their ability to present the drama of the frontier and at the same time show us the ordinary details of domestic life."

    http://www.ohs.org/education/oregonhistory/narratives/subtopic.cfm?subtopic_ID=392

    Art and music existed for everyone, even the poor. Sure it may not have been the same but that doesn't have anything to do with copyright. If anything our current laws outside the Internet have intentionally ensured that only non independent artists get recognition and such an artificial lack of competition makes prices higher making it more difficult for poor people to enjoy music and such since the only people they can easily find are non independent artists. But now thanks to the Internet more artists can get recognition allowing even those with less money to afford cheaper "concert" tickets and to form smaller groups of fans hence giving the artist a higher degree of participation with each fan. Before those without as much money were stuck with more expensive, monopolized concerts.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    Re:

    Firstly whatever copyright infringement is it isn't theft. If you look the word up in the dictionary you will find that there are two key features missing, depriving the owner of the item (which doesn't happen because both now have it) and taking total control of the item (which doesn't happen for the same reason).

    It is important to get the words right otherwise what you say becomes meaningless.

    Please avoid making analogies with crimes against the person. You may "feel" that the analogy is sound but that just reveals more about your personal emotional response than anything else.

    I find it strange that you are OK with small scale sharing but object to the large scale version. Surely there can be no logical difference here - at least whilst the activity is not being done for financial gain. (Unlike the industrial scale copyright violations of the CRIA!)

    You also must avoid confusing the prediction of unstoppable large scale sharing with justification of it.

    I would also predict that large scale sharing will happen, that there is nothing that can be done about it and that the attempt will unacceptable collateral damage to other industries. That does not mean I approve of it - but equally I disapprove of the imposition of non-negotiated conditions - I take the attitude "render unto Caesar" on that one.

    As to whether music "should" be free. Well that is not a question. Music IS free, it always has been and always will be. Most can sing, many can play and almost everyone (given a bit of effort) can create using a computer a serviceable version of any piece of music that they hear. The same is true of comedy anyone can repeat a joke they have heard - and whilst the performance may not be wonderful - it will kill the joke for that audience.

    It is not the art that copyright restricts - rather it is the use of technology to reproduce it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    "If AC has got the guts to step out from behind the cloak, I'd challenge him to produce evidence that pre-industrial art and music was anything other than a privilege accorded the elite."

    and if the lack of copyright were responsible for this then that would suggest that everyone was copying pre industrial art and music which would mean ... everyone (not just the elite) had access to it).

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    "It's about money."

    I'll let someone else answer that one

    "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

    (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. "

    from Matthew Ch 6

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    "For those who argue that creative work should be a labour of love - be serious - does anyone believe that the greatest works of art created by humanity could have been created by someone taking a few hours off on the weekend and on week nights?"

    Ever heard of Gustav Holst?

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    The idea that selling IT consulting is in anyway comparable to filling a concert arena is laughable.

    Yes - because IT consulting is far more useful than stand up comedy. An IT consultant who knows his job could save billions from the costs of a major company - or from the state.
    IT consulting is a real world serious enterprise. Concert tours are just entertainment.

    The value of what Tim Berners-Lee has done exceeds that of the whole entertainment industry put together.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Copying is stealing.

    Maybe if you don't include Carrot Top.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Copying is stealing.

    "If I spent hundreds of hours perfecting a recipe for chocolate cookies that make mine so delicious that no one will buy anyone else's - and you steal the recipe and sell identical cookies, that's theft. "

    Nope. It's not even infringing. You can't copyright a reciepe.

    And yet we have no cookie shortage.

     

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    Norman Cho, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 3:00am

    "Most settlers “made their own entertainment” with folk arts including music, letter-writing, and story-telling. Letters from central Oregon correspondents like the Robbins family and Alberta McCabe are remarkable for their ability to present the drama of the frontier and at the same time show us the ordinary details of domestic life."

    I'd like to see most settlers put on a performance of Swan Lake. As I've posted before, it's not that no entertainment would exist, it's that the highest achievements of any art form was only made possible through specialisation made possible by the remunerating artists.

    With regard to Gustav Holst, so what? If his wiki entry is anything to go by, he earned a living from music and had sufficient free time to compose and finally earn his living from composition. I think it makes my point for me.

    Is IT Consulting more valuable than stand-up comedy? No offense but people's need for entertainment has existed throughout history. From Roman Circuses to the Music Hall of the Victorian era. No one would lose any sleep of IT consulting disappeared but the world would be a much poorer place without stand-up and other forms of comedy.

    Re: Cookie recipes. The point is not that we have no cookie shortage. The point is that if there is no protection for the best ideas the incentive to share them would be much less. Put it another way, not all cookie recipes are the same and you're only deluding yourself if you think otherwise.

    As for quoting the bible to me, when *you* work for free, THEN come give me a lecture. ACs and the like seem to be in total denial about the fact that artistes have as much right to earn a living from their work as anyone in a mundane job. If the very best make fortunes, so what? The very best IT consultants will charge disproportionately more than average IT consultants. The same applies to creative work. My paintings - well, I couldn't give them away - but Picasso's? That's a very different story. Why is it so hard to understand? Plagiarism, and other forms of copyright theft is simply stealing.

     

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    Jesse, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 7:29am

    I bet there are plenty of ways to "copy" and not lose reputation. I would be totally fine with a comedian taking another's joke and adding their own twist, and giving credit:... "Now there is this joke by Jerry Seinfeld I really like."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Norman's Talents

    Norman:

    It's not Society's job to monetize a business. Failure to monetize or take advantage of technology breakthroughs is almost like the Parable of the Talents.

    Because you created a cookie recipe, and can't monetize it, doesn't make it Society's job to protect you. It isn't Society's fault that you were unable to get the talent necessary to apply proper marketing, or hire a baking company with a robust supply chain to grow the business. Your problem is that the cookies aren't in every grocery and convenience store. It isn't that Otis Spunkmeyer sells raw cookie dough at Amazon, Sam's Club and Costco, but that you are not in all actuality, competing for Otis' business.

    As long as you see the problem being Sam's Club, Amazon, and Costco, you'll continue to put off what you should be doing, and the most important work: getting your cookie in the stores.

    And there's the problem and why The Parable of the Talents is so important-

    "To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

    Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

     

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    Jose Burgos, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    "It is true that some artistes do give their material away for free. I think that's laudable but isn't that the right of the individual artiste? If I choose not to, what gives you the right to simply take it?"
    True. You should have the choice to make your work available or not. But if you do make your work available in a form where it's possible for others to make copies of it, that's your mistake (since you think it's wrong for others to make copies of your work).
    "That the RIAA are greedy is beyond dispute but what some people fail to understand is that copyright protects not just the RIAA but individual artistes. Say, I come up with some fantastic piece of music. Me, the nobody from nowhere. Copyright, and similar laws, also protect the little guy from theft by large corporations. Copyright and associated laws are important because they protect the little man as well as the large."
    Do you honestly believe this? Assuming you really are a nobody from nowhere, meaning you're not as rich as the RIAA, can you honestly say that you can fund cases against the 10, 20 or 100 people who you feel infringe on your copyrights? No. Current copyright laws are for rich people that have the means to go to court; not for nobodies from nowhere.
    "The inventor of the portable stereo cassette player had his idea stolen by Sony and it took many years of litigation before he finally got paid for his ideas."
    Patents are not copyrights.
    "Copyright means that EMI cannot simply steal my song, change it a little, and have one of their artistes release it and make millions, while giving me nothing."
    If it happens that you make a song and EMI steals it, you'll need to go to court and sue them. Again, can you afford it?

     

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    Jose Burgos, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 9:40am

    Re:

    "Re: Cookie recipes. The point is not that we have no cookie shortage. The point is that if there is no protection for the best ideas the incentive to share them would be much less. Put it another way, not all cookie recipes are the same and you're only deluding yourself if you think otherwise."


    This shows how little you understand the situation.

    You can copyright a cookie recipe. But copyright law does not prevent people from reading your recipe and making the same cookies for themselves.

    If you don't want your cookies to be stolen by other people, patent your cookies. Of course, that's easier said than done.

     

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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Dec 13th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Copying is stealing.

    You can't copyright a reciepe.


    Kentucky Fried Chicken and Coca Cola will have certainly tried.

     

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    Lobo Santo's Ugly Ferret, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re:

    Please provide evidence instead of just scare tactic speculation.

    One only has to think back to the times before copyright and patents, when inventors and artists were considered "kept pets" by noblemen and wealthy merchants. Go back further, the only ones getting entertained was the king and his court, and pretty much nobody else.

    One of the amazing things is that the rise of modern culture and the rise of copyright and patent laws have been almost exactly in lockstep. Mankind has advanced more in the last 150 years than we did in the 1500 years before that. It is pretty hard to ignore the situation and claim otherwise.

     

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    Will (profile), Dec 13th, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    Re:

    So if I make an exact copy of your car. Down to every detail (scratch, paint fading, bobble head on the dash board) and drive away in that copy. Did I steal your car? NO. I copied it. You still have your car and so do I. You are able to use your car all you want without me stopping you in any way. That is why infringement is not stealing. Stealing implies you can't use your idea anymore.

    Also to point the problem with saying that mass copying will hurt you. If your comedy act is truly amazing, people will hear you, and want to see you live. Comedy is different recorded, you don't get the expressions, the visual enjoyment you get from a live performance. I attend live comedy all the time, and yet I widely share many comedy acts with anyone who wants to listen. If the comedy act is good recorded, most want to see it live. That is how you can make as a comedian.

    Actually, the world will still have comedy without professional comedians. I hang out with friends and I laugh and have a good time. Some of my friends are just comedians, they make people laugh. They just don't get paid for it. How can you possibly believe we need professional stand-up comedians to make people laugh. We have many other forms of entertainment that make people laugh. The idea that professional comedy has always been around and needs to stay around doesn't work due to the fact that up until the last 100 years, entertainment didn't include movies, tv, or internet. You-tube has tons of comedians who do it because they enjoy it.

    What about web comics for professional artists. For example the two guys who own and run penny arcade. It is a hilarious comic strip that has a huge following. They now have their own video game expo, that is the largest of its kind. The two of them can have just about anything they want. They raise something like 2 million a year for charity. They found a way to make everyone who reads their comics pay them, why can't you or a professional comedian do the same?

    In all, the idea that people 'should' pay you is not a way to become a successful artist, comedian, musician, whatever. The way to do that is to make people WANT to pay you.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 13th, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    Oh I get it. You mean it's stealing, like how stealing a kiss is stealing. Or stealing a peek. Or stealing a smile?

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Re: TV and Radio stations.

    Moron! They pay with their attention, subjected to advertising, plugs, and product placements.

    Don't know you that paying doesn't involve money? Silly rabbit!

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    During the first 186 years of America, copyright doubled from 28 to 56 years.

    During the last 34 years, copyright has more or less doubled again to 95/120 or life + 70 years.

    So in the next few years we can see more "lockstepping" to keep up with these "modern" times.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "One of the amazing things is that the rise of modern culture and the rise of copyright and patent laws have been almost exactly in lockstep. Mankind has advanced more in the last 150 years than we did in the 1500 years before that. It is pretty hard to ignore the situation and claim otherwise."

    That's not true, a lot of advancement has occurred without copyright and patents. Most of the computer advancement occurred due to a lack of intellectual property (ie: PC's weren't as strict with Intellectual property as Apple and Mac and so the open nature of their infrastructure caused people to develop on it. Much of the hardware also advanced due to a lack of intellectual property). Also, the concept of patents have been around a long time.

    "In 500 BC, in the Greek city of Sybaris (located in what is now southern Italy), "encouragement was held out to all who should discover any new refinement in luxury, the profits arising from which were secured to the inventor by patent for the space of a year."[5]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent#History

    One of the reasons why America and others advanced so much is because we weren't so strict on patents. However, intellectual property is now getting in the way of advancement. and many studies lots of evidence suggests that nations with less intellectual property advance more (and it has nothing to do with them copying those with more intellectual property either).

    So, once again, you are just making things up, without evidence, to promote your selfish position that benefits you unfairly.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 2:58pm

    The usual pro-piracy arguments. I'll just fill in the blanks with the accurate and appropriate responses.

    A: "Anyone could do what you do."

    Then do it. Create your own original works. You just made a strong argument against piracy. Congratulations.

    B: "You're not owed anything."

    And neither are you. You don't want to pay for it, you're not owed access to it.

    C: "It's not theft! It's infringement!"

    A US Supreme Court Judge has already equated unlawful copying with theft. The legal terminology was written before the current technology exists. That's why we have a legal system. To interpret and apply the law.

    D: "Copyright is oppressive!"

    Last I checked, no one was forced to copyright there own work. Artists should have a right to choose. The work is created by them, there voice trumps everyone all the rest.

    E: "Copyright extension is immoral!"

    Agreed. But so is copyright circumvention. Alterations in law should never apply retroactively, but circumventing the will of those protected by the law just because you disagree is no better.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "One only has to think back to the times before copyright and patents, when inventors and artists were considered "kept pets" by noblemen and wealthy merchants."

    What time is that and how is a lack of copyright responsible?

    "Go back further, the only ones getting entertained was the king and his court, and pretty much nobody else."

    and to the extent that a lack of copyright was the reason for this then that would mean that everyone was copying each other which means that everyone had access to this entertainment (or copies of it). Once again, you try to substantiate your claims with make belief and not facts.

    "One of the amazing things is that the rise of modern culture and the rise of copyright and patent laws have been almost exactly in lockstep."

    Except this is not true at all, and you're just once again making things up. Much of the rise of modern technology was a result of fewer intellectual property laws.

    "Mankind has advanced more in the last 150 years than we did in the 1500 years before that. It is pretty hard to ignore the situation and claim otherwise."

    Much of that is because of things like the printing press and the ability to communicate and across further distances and to better store and communicate information and to COPY that information in order to build upon it. But locking everything up behind intellectual property will bring us back to the ages before the printing press, where it is more difficult to build upon old information and to advance. But it sure makes selfish people like you rich and thus happy, you don't care about others.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    See, much of the reason for modern advancement is exactly because things like the printing press have made it easier for us to build upon prior knowledge. Intellectual property partly defeats the purpose of the printing press and hence makes it more difficult to build upon prior knowledge which will slow advancement.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    Re:

    "And neither are you. You don't want to pay for it, you're not owed access to it."

    and no one is owed the air they breath, but that doesn't mean you have a right to deny them that air.

    "Artists should have a right to choose. The work is created by them, there voice trumps everyone all the rest."

    Nope, it's society that gets to choose what rights it wants to grant. If the artist doesn't like it he doesn't have to make art. We don't live in a state of tyranny. Artists can vote just like anyone else, but only as a member of society, not as people who have more control over law than others.

     

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  72.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 13th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    Re:

    With regard to Gustav Holst, so what? If his wiki entry is anything to go by, he earned a living from music and had sufficient free time to compose and finally earn his living from composition. I think it makes my point for me.

    Try reading the wiki entry:

    "An enthusiastic educator, Holst became music master at St Paul's Girls' School in 1905 and director of music at Morley College in 1907, continuing in both posts until retirement.[2]"

    Which translates to:
    He was a music teacher who composed in his spare time. He never needed to earn a penny from composition.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    Re:

    "The inventor of the portable stereo cassette player had his idea stolen by Sony and it took many years of litigation before he finally got paid for his ideas."

    and this is just more evidence that our intellectual property system is designed for the rich. For the most part an individual inventor does not have the resources to enforce sanctions against those who copy them (and it also costs money to obtain a patent) yet for a big corporation, who can utilize economies of scale, it's easier for them to use intellectual property to exploit individuals.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Re:

    "That's a very different story. Why is it so hard to understand? Plagiarism, and other forms of copyright theft is simply stealing."

    Yes, because you can simply repeat a lie more times it must make it true.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    "A US Supreme Court Judge has already equated unlawful copying with theft. The legal terminology was written before the current technology exists. That's why we have a legal system. To interpret and apply the law."

    "Courts have distinguished between copyright infringement and theft, holding, for instance, in the United States Supreme Court case Dowling v. United States (1985) that bootleg phonorecords did not (for the purpose of the case) constitute stolen property, and writing:

    interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The Copyright Act even employs a separate term of art to define one who misappropriates a copyright: ... 'an infringer of the copyright.' ...

    The infringer ... does not assume physical control over the copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use. While one may colloquially link infringement with some general notion of wrongful appropriation, infringement plainly implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud.

    The key distinction generally drawn, as indicated above, is that while copyright infringement may (or may not) cause economic loss to the copyright holder, as theft does, it does not appropriate a physical object, nor deprive the copyright holder of the use of the copyright."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement#Comparison_to_theft

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 13th, 2009 @ 3:45pm

    Re:

    Is IT Consulting more valuable than stand-up comedy? No offense but people's need for entertainment has existed throughout history. From Roman Circuses to the Music Hall of the Victorian era. No one would lose any sleep of IT consulting disappeared but the world would be a much poorer place without stand-up and other forms of comedy.

    Yes and the internet has enabled comedy along with a lot of other things - so this IT consulting that you despise is necessary for the modern entertainment industry as well as many other industries. Without IT there would be no ticketing, no television, no DVDs, no lighting in the theatre, no amplification. Your stand up comedy wouldn't be so great in a dark theatre with no PA system and no audience now would it. (Not to mention - given the size of the current population - no food or water). I think we would miss that. That is why it is more important.

    One other thing - for a self proclaimed comedian your posts seem to be remarkably lacking in humour...

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 13th, 2009 @ 3:57pm

    Re:

    As for quoting the bible to me, when *you* work for free, THEN come give me a lecture.

    OK, that's easy. I'm an academic. I earn my living by teaching but I also do research - and that is what I really care about. My research I give away for free. Although I earn my living from teaching I wouldn't mind if other teachers copied my lecture notes - I would regard that as flattery. I understand that the real value I have to offer is in the scarce good of personal contact and that cannot be undermined by copying.

    The problem with those who want to live by copyright is that what they really want is to "make it" and hence become unreasonably wealthy. Copyright provides a mechanism for this and they don't want to lose the dream.

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 4:13pm

    Re:

    It's been over ten years since Napster and that's the best you can do?

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 4:39pm

    Re:

    "Agreed. But so is copyright circumvention. Alterations in law should never apply retroactively, but circumventing the will of those protected by the law just because you disagree is no better."

    Too bad you aren't the ultimate authority of morality, as much as you would like to set yourself up as such.

    The reason why it's not as bad is because a world without intellectual property is far better than our current world with intellectual property the way it is now. and I think most people understand this.

     

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    Lobo Santo's Ugly Sofa, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Can you try to control yourself and answer in a single post? It's funny as heck to watch you talk to yourself.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re:

    See, often an important basis for ethics is rule utility. That is, if you make something a rule, what would be the ultimate outcome. and I think most people have an understanding that a world without intellectual property (ie: patents and copyrights) is a far better one than the world we live in now, as much as liars would try to brainwash us into thinking otherwise.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 5:01pm

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

    We all talk to ourselves on the internet.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 5:02pm

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

    I was just elaborating on what I said before. Sorry that you can't argue against the content of my posts so you must attack other things.

     

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    Freedom is Freeloading, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 7:01pm

    Firstly whatever copyright infringement is it isn't theft. If you look the word up in the dictionary you will find that there are two key features missing, depriving the owner of the item (which doesn't happen because both now have it) and taking total control of the item (which doesn't happen for the same reason).


    Unless you're talking about Black's Dictionary, you are wrong.

    Linguistically (not legally) speaking, calling it "stealing" is perfectly acceptable. The appropriation of something against the owner's will that does not belong to you and that you are not entitled to, can very easily be linguistically classified as "stealing" which is why it so often is by so many people.

    "STEAL may apply to any surreptitious taking of something and DIFFERS FROM THE OTHER TERMS BY COMMONLY APPLYING TO INTANGIBLES AS WELL AS MATERIAL THINGS".

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/steal

    What is truly amusing is watching a single anonymous coward have a whole discussion with himself.


    Exactly. It's unfortunate that the most prolific AC is also the most imbecilic. I'm tired of having to wade through his obnoxious, individual replies. What kind of idiot thinks he needs to make separate replies for every syllable he wishes to comment on?

    If you demand a monopoly on something just to work I prefer you find another business.


    Well that's just it, no one cares what YOU prefer. You're just a little kid who makes mash-ups or something and is obviously embittered over the fact that there are artists who are well known, respected, and are able to create art full time whereas you are none of the above and likely never will be. That must be a hard fact to deal with and you have my sympathies but your sour grapes, misplaced blame game is getting annoying. No one cares what YOU think about copyright. On the other hand, lots of people DO care what the founding fathers thought. And obviously what they thought was that certain trades required protection from market failure for the betterment of all. Unlike you, they realized that the free market was far from infallible and that not all monopolies are of the pure, market behemoth variety and that smaller ones concerning individual expressions could in fact be beneficial to everyone but parasitic freeloaders who would seek to unfairly and selfishly benefit from the investments and labor of other men without any recompense.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 7:38pm

    Re:

    Copyright will be rendered obsolete in the near future. Good luck.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 10:08pm

    Re:

    "Well that's just it, no one cares what YOU prefer."

    Because only the big corporations who exploit the public and only the rich and the powerful matter.

    Just goes to show the mentality of intellectual property maximists.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 10:10pm

    Re: Re:

    I wish this were true, but I don't see intellectual property going away anytime soon. Too many evil rich people lobby for it.

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 10:13pm

    Re:

    "and that smaller ones concerning individual expressions could in fact be beneficial to everyone but parasitic freeloaders who would seek to unfairly and selfishly benefit from the investments and labor of other men without any recompense."

    You mean selfish people like the record industry. Face it, you don't care about the artist, you only care about exploiting both the artist and the public and you want intellectual property to exist to enable you to do just that. That's why the CRIA et al can infringe without punishment yet if anyone infringes the rich and the powerful they will face huge problems with our broken legal system.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 10:14pm

    Re:

    "Linguistically (not legally) speaking, calling it "stealing" is perfectly acceptable."

    Well you are free to keep telling lies and make up your own language but we speak English over here.

     

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  90.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 13th, 2009 @ 10:49pm

    Re:

    Just for reference, "Freedom is Freeloading" has admitted in the past that he is employed by the movie industry -- potentially a major studio. So his childish insults and attacks are no surprise.

    If there were some logic behind what he had to say, it could be interesting. Tragically, he appears to only want to insult, but not actually add value. Seriously, anyone who argues by calling those who raise good points "You're just a little kid who makes mash-ups or something and is obviously embittered over the fact that there are artists who are well known, respected, and are able to create art full time whereas you are none of the above and likely never will be" isn't someone who has a strong argument.

    They're someone lashing out because their own business model is dying, and they don't know how to deal with it. It happens.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Ok, I get the message, I have gone too far with too many posts. I apologize for flooding your blog by feeding the trolls.

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 11:40pm

    Observations of this thread

    When the ability to bring dissenting opinions are quashed, it's difficult for any real progress to be made.

    Instead of focusing on dissent as it applies to the ACTA trade agreements, let's focus on another example: The very real and very recent problems with climate change research. What's interesting is that this research is occurring between a small group of researchers and it appears recommendations are being brought through the legislative process prior to any peer-review to the validity of the data that recommendations are based upon.

    Those with dissenting views are silenced, usually being justified on an emotional or personal attacks rather than on application of scientific method substantiated with agreed upon data. What's worrisome is that in tandem, world-wide legislation is seemingly pre-written.

    This could mean great amount of revenue via bunk legislation based on doomsday scenarios if their opinions were the only ones available or recognized. It leads me to believe that legislation is/was created prior to any studies based on reliable data were recognized.

    But I'm not watching Green Technology or Green Jobs. They lost my interest when they only satisfied an internal cost subluxation rather than meeting a more important need of incensing trade. You get the President on that and you have no way to win the argument.


    When I see people prefacing their commentary with an attack in their name as an "Ugly Sofa" or "Ugly Cat" or Ugly Goldfish" it really makes me wonder what driving forces are in play to push someone to resort to such well, quite frankly, childish behaviour. It's even more telling when apparently this person made a commitment to come back on Monday, yet, this person didn't keep their word. All this calls into question the reliability of such attacks.

    The problem, as one commenter pointed out, is that an industry has deliberately over the course of over a decade, decided to not meet the needs of it's customers, and more recently, the people it represents. By proxy, this has created an "entire generation has not only learned to steal, but gained respect for those who steal, not those who really create."

    But what is stolen, and what is created? I ask.

    Your CDs are still on the shelf. But what was created was a social connection. It's well known that people with the most expendable income are actually the ones in the 8-12 segment. Tween spending worldwide is growing fast, and in 2008, the segment clocked in at an estimated US$210 billion. This age group spends a good chunk of its expendable income on what are considered "luxury goods", and chooses brands that don't use overbearing legalistic means to acquire what they desire.


    But, then que the personal attacks: "Mommy will be down to unplug their internet soon." Now, this was a very odd statement because whomever they are speaking on behalf of, seems to not understand the importance of this size, or capability of this vertical market. Their recommendations often usurp those of their siblings and influence decisions by a much larger audience- the Baby Boomer Generation. If you need any supporting evidence of this, look to why President Obama was elected.

    In retaliation it's possible that banks, hedgefunds, and others self-imploded. In the process, they took people's retirement funds with them.

    It's important to know that by treating these younger consumers right. Especially in their younger years, as they have a higher likelihood of repeat business over their entire lifetime. A good question to ask is "Are you willing to say NO on a 50¢ profit on a single purchase, or a $100,000 hit on cash flow you WOULD have accrued over the entire customer's lifetime?"

    It's well known that as CD sales have fallen off a cliff while other luxury product segments continue to grow.

    So what's wrong and what's so what's different?
    It all boils down to one word: Interactive.

    How you interact with content and artists and people is going to be a key piece going forward. This is in the opposite direction that the market is dictating with such secret agreements as ACTA. Such a lockdown is overbearing and draconian. It goes the opposite direction that your customer wants and desires, and that seems to be what Anonymous Coward is claiming. And I agree to a point.


    Contrary to popular belief, Freedom isn't Freeloading.
    Unemployment is a bigger problem. Many people I know actively say "I don't want to find a job because unemployment pays me as much as I made when I was making at XYZ."

    So maybe these guys fire up their browser and make comments that would get them a job doing what they used to do.

    Personally, I don't expect a handout but if I can see a video on JewTube that someone was inspired to make because they had freetime, by gum, I'll buy the original before I buy the remix.

    Why?
    Because I wanted to honor the original creator, even if they only get 15¢ royalty after the lawyers and accountants say they deserve.

    It would undoubtedly be better if they would have negotiated a non-exclusive contract and I could go to their website and spend $1.29 with them directly. But that's just me.

    I know I'm right, and I have never been on any type of social welfare of any type, and I will continue to support artists that people recommend to me.

    The alternative looks like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HPZpYKCpwY

     

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  93.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 11:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not that it matters, but I wrote #92 for you.

    Take care, AC. Make us proud.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 2:12am

    Re:

    Linguistically (not legally) speaking, calling it "stealing" is perfectly acceptable.
    I used a legal definition of stealing not a linguistic one. Of course lots of things can be referred as stealing linguistically - for example the phrases "stealing your thunder" or "stealing a march" and they are not necessarily immoral let alone illegal.

    However we are talking legalities here so the legal definition is the one which should be used.

    Your use of the word is designed to distort attitudes by associating one kind of activity with another. As such it is dishonest.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re:

    "Firstly whatever copyright infringement is it isn't theft. If you look the word up in the dictionary you will find that there are two key features missing, depriving the owner of the item (which doesn't happen because both now have it) and taking total control of the item (which doesn't happen for the same reason)."

    Hooah!!! someone that gets it

     

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  96.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re:

    Mike

    The Music Labels and News industry are going through the 5 stages of grieving, so the comments by "Freedom is Freeloading" are understandable. There are multiple inidividuals and groups at different points of this. They deny what is happening, they are angry, they are attempting to bargin (copyright law modifications, ACTA, etc) their way out of this, and there is a great sense of hopelessness in the media industries. We are seeing artists like Trent Razor and others like him Accept what is happening. That is the good point, they are experimenting and trying to adapt. As long as the record industry doesnt accept what is happening they will continue down the same path they have been following. By the time they do accept it, it will already be to late...

    .... JMHO


    1-Denial-"this can't be happening to me", looking for the former spouse in familia places, or if it is death, setting the table for the person or acting as if they are still in living there. No crying. Not accepting or even acknowledging the loss.


    2-Anger-"why me?", feelings of wanting to fight back or get even with spouse of divorce, for death, anger at the deceased, blaming them for leaving.


    3-Bargaining-bargaining often takes place before the loss. Attempting to make deals with the spouse who is leaving, or attempting to make deals with God to stop or change the loss. Begging, wishing, praying for them to come back.


    4-Depression-overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, frustration, bitterness, self pity, mourning loss of person as well as the hopes, dreams and plans for the future. Feeling lack of control, feeling numb. Perhaps feeling suicidal.


    5-Acceptance-there is a difference between resignation and acceptance. You have to accept the loss, not just try to bear it quietly. Realization that it takes two to make or break a marriage. Realization that the person is gone (in death) that it is not their fault, they didn't leave you on purpose. (even in cases of suicide, often the deceased person, was not in their right frame of mind) Finding the good that can come out of the pain of loss, finding comfort and healing. Our goals turn toward personal growth. Stay with fond memories of person.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 7:17am

    Re:

    "It's people like this who are posting as anonymous cowards trying to justify theft. It's a bit like someone justifying rape on the grounds that several other chaps already had a go at the victim so it's alright if he has one too."

    The Aristocrats!

    *rimshot*

    Yeah, I know, I 'stole' that joke.

     

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  98.  
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    isaac Kotlicky (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 7:24am

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    Ok. so. You just proved that you didn't get it.
    Can people replicate your recipe?
    OF COURSE.
    IT ISN'T ILLEGAL TO COPY A RECIPE, EVEN IF YOU WANT TO KEEP IT A SECRET.

    What they CANNOT copy is your experience and knowledge.
    You spent hundreds of hours perfecting a recipe, so you will automatically be FAR ahead of anyone else - though they may try to copy you:
    A) you can boast about being the "original."
    and
    B) your experience and knowledge enables you to make better recipes from scratch with less investment costs.

    NO ONE can duplicate your experience even though they may duplicate your product. That gives you an unconquerable edge.
    So, people keep trying to copy your recipes, they are FOLLOWERS. and it just forces you to come up with MORE recipes and INNOVATE.
    Why do you assume that because you created ONE RECIPE you get the right to abuse the public with your monopoly forever?

    There is no singular "best recipe of all types" for cookies, just like there is no "best song of all types" for music or "best clothing design" or "best piece of artwork EVER!"

    These myths are precisely the strawmen always placed on a pedistal to be "preserved" through copywrong and artificial monopoly. If you are a creative person, then create, if you can't create, either hire someone else who can or get out of the market before you crash and burn.

    Stop dragging the rest of culture down because you want to rest on your laurels and have others feed you grapes and fan you with palm fronds for your all-holy "creativity."

    Stop idolizing yourself and get your butt back to work.

     

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

  99.  
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    isaac Kotlicky (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 7:43am

    Re:

    If I copy the Picasso and put my name on it, is it worth the same priceless millions?
    How about those newer modern art pieces? with the red square on a white canvas?

    The value lies in the novelty. My work imitating Picaso, the Rolling Stones, or Robin Williams will NEVER be as valuable as theirs, because it isn't ORIGINAL. Time and again studies have shown that even identical copies are only a poor substitute for the original.

    MORE THAN THE PRODUCT ITSELF, the market craves novelty and creativity. It's the reason why we subconciously associate "new" with "better" (in many cases) - the thrill of a different experience. Once that experience becomes commonplace, replications become trite.

    Ultimately, the Human Race are junkies looking for their next creative fix. Art, Music, Comedy, Literature, and "News" itself are only ways of satisfying the primal urge to experience something different.

    Springsteen built his work on hundreds of musical history and studies in chord progression. He "stole" it and made something new, so we remember and REWARD his newness.

    Harper Lee built on the subtleties of the english language, all borrowed and "stolen" as well as literary idioms. His creativity is what we laud.

    Picasso's work is "stolen" from the studies of light, shading, and perspective (and non-perspective) that predate him hundreds if not THOUSANDS of years. HOWEVER, he opened whole new vistas of art and ways of experiencing expressions of the world. THAT is hsi granduer and continuing contribution to our society and culture.

    Look it up - priceless art IS already only the privilege of the wealthy elite - YOU SHOW ME a middle class or even upper middle class person who owns a Renoir, a Michealangelo, or any widely recognizable piece of art.

    POINT to the people with houses under 400k who are the benefactors of major musicians and writers.

    Or you can stop trying to delude yourself that we live in world that ISN'T controlled by multimillion dollar media conglomerates that took the place of individual sponsors when they were told they could take rights away from other people.

     

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

  100.  
    identicon
    BBT, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    "In other words, even without making use of protectionist laws, creative types figure out social norms for punishing those who just "copy." Yes, some of the copying still occurs, but it can seriously hurt someone's reputation."

    I'm sure Carlos Mencia, Denis Leary, and Robin Williams are all just crying their eyes out all the way to the bank about their damaged reputations.

     

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

  101.  
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    isaac Kotlicky (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Go back further, the only ones getting entertained was the king and his court, and pretty much nobody else."

    Wow. You REALLY don't know your history.

    Let's go back further - tribal dances? cave paintings?
    Colloseums weren't private.

    Theater has a VERY LOOOONG history of being paired with (and subsequently seperated from) religion. Are you aware the the very STRUCTURE of Eastern Orthodox Churches are derived from the traveling THEATER troops who would go from place to place and set up shop in the local town square to perform religious re-enactments of bible scenes?

    ENTERTAINMENT HAS NEVER BEEN THE SOLE PURVIEW OF THE WEALTHY. Stop lying to yourself.

     

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

  102.  
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    isaac Kotlicky (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Re:

    "Well that's just it, no one cares what YOU prefer. You're just a little kid who makes mash-ups or something and is obviously embittered over the fact that there are artists who are well known, respected, and are able to create art full time whereas you are none of the above and likely never will be."


    OOO! We are getting SO CLOSE to Godwins law. I think I saw a post earlier equating one side with giving in to terrorists.

    Seriously. What you ACTUALLY PROVIDE is a unique experience and interaction as a comedian, writer, artist, etc. Your "physical product" is just information, and can be freely copied whether you like it or not.

    The only reason why people hire Elvis impersonators is that they real King (and the King of Pop now, too, I guess...) is dead, so they settle for a substitute.
    I don't hire someone to tell Eddie Izzard jokes, I hire Izzard because he's the CREATIVE SOURCE. If Izzard decides not to, I use a substitute, and tough noogies to him that someone can do his job even if he doesn't like it.

    "No one cares what YOU think about copyright. On the other hand, lots of people DO care what the founding fathers thought."

    And obviously they had some fallacious ideas - to quote 1776:
    "If we give in, Franklin, the future will never forgive us!"
    "Who does the future think we are? DEMI-GODS? We're men, no more, no less..."

    So the founding fathers placed a CAVEAT in their allowance to monopoly: "TO PROMOTE THE USEFUL ARTS"

    They understood that, being falable, it was POSSIBLE THAT THEY WERE WRONG! (*gasp*)
    Copyright has been PROVEN time and again to PREVENT the useful arts. I think it is time to invoke the caveat our wise founding fathers included and step into a future where people aren't prevented from expressing creativity because someone else "owns" some miniscule part of it.

     

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

  103.  
    identicon
    Jess, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 8:41am

    Re #33

    "See here; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/inventor-of-walkman-wins-millions-from-sony-dispute-over-7 30910.html

    The inventor of the portable stereo cassette player had his idea stolen by Sony and it took many years of litigation before he finally got paid for his ideas."

    Uhhh in the article you cite, they said that BOTH cases he filed against sony were dismissed because the patent he tried to apply for was an obvious extension of existing technology: "He lost both cases when judges ruled his patent was invalid because it was an obvious extension of the technologies existing at the time it was filed."

    Sony was NOT forced to pay the guy, they settled with him. My guess would be they settled to avoid further litigation costs since that is cheaper. And then the guy is going to take the money he supposedly "earned" in order to sue Apple because the ipod also infringes on his obvious patent? How is that not also an obvious extension of technology? Isn't the patent system supposed to prevent obvious patents from being filed? This doesn't look like a case of the giant steamrolling the little man, it looks like a case of exploiting the legal system to one's own advantage.

     

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

  104.  
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    chris (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 8:54am

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    If I spent hundreds of hours perfecting a recipe for chocolate cookies that make mine so delicious that no one will buy anyone else's - and you steal the recipe and sell identical cookies, that's theft.

    if you are so worried about protecting your cookies then pull them off the market.

    Why is it so difficult to understand that the same applies to music, writing, or any other creative art form?

    it's not difficult to understand. we get it. we just don't care. it's painfully clear that the old industries are scared of copying. they want to protect their cookies and go back to the old days when you could make millions from them. we understand that and we don't care.

    if you don't want your cookies copied, then pull them off the market. why is that so hard for you to understand that?

    if you are afraid of someone taking your work, then you should stop creating it. the sooner you artistic cowards go out of business, the sooner you can be replaced by artists who understand copying and are brave enough to create anyway.

    No it isn't. It's about money. Mine and you're stealing it. If you spent hundreds of hours creating a work of art and some just takes it without compensating you for it, that's no different from working at a regular job and having someone collect your salary.

    again, if you don't want your art to be copied, then stop creating it. you have said yourself that there is no incentive. i guess traveling, making friends, and being creative isn't fun for you. so do us all a favor and quit.

    the difference between art and a regular job is that with a regular job you set the terms of compensation BEFORE the work is done. even the stock boy at a grocery store knows what he will be paid BEFORE he lifts a single box.

    if you want that kind of safety, quit touring and get a real job. if you want to be an "artiste", then man up and roll the dice.

    Bill Hicks reckoned that he had a one in two thousand chance in succeeding as a stand-up comic. Starting out as a stand-up myself, my current earnings amount to less than a pound a gig. I have spent hundreds of hours and hundreds of pounds travelling mastering a craft in which the odds of success are less than one i two or three thousand.

    if you don't like your job, then quit. stop touring. if you work so hard and lose so much money touring, then flipping burgers at mcdonald's should be a big pay increase with a big decrease in labour. it's all about money for you anyway, right? what are you waiting for then?

    here's a bit stolen advice for you: winners never quit, quitters never win, and people who never win and never quit are idiots.

    if your art is such misery, why are you still doing it?

    For those who argue that creative work should be a labour of love - be serious - does anyone believe that the greatest works of art created by humanity could have been created by someone taking a few hours off on the weekend and on week nights?

    no one believes that. but it's time for you to be serious as well. does anyone believe that you can put the internet genie back in the bottle? be serious. the market has changed and you can choose to change along with it or go out of business.

    you're damn right no one can prevent copying. morality doesn't even figure into it. you can bake a big morality cake and walk right into the middle of tienamen square and it won't make a lick of difference because copying cannot be stopped and will never be stopped.

     

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

  105.  
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    chris (profile), Dec 14th, 2009 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: Copying is stealing.

    Ever heard of Gustav Holst?

    how about albert einstein? his most notable work was done while he worked as a patent clerk.

     

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

  106.  
    identicon
    Freedom is Freeloading, Dec 15th, 2009 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re:

    Seriously, anyone who argues by calling those who raise good points "You're just a little kid who makes mash-ups or something and is obviously embittered over the fact that there are artists who are well known, respected, and are able to create art full time whereas you are none of the above and likely never will be" isn't someone who has a strong argument.


    I have bolded the portion of your quote what you got completely, laughably, wrong.

    Your use of the word is designed to distort attitudes by associating one kind of activity with another. As such it is dishonest.


    It's not murder, it's manslaughter! How can you call the simple, everyday act of slaughtering a man...murder? Why it simply boggles the mind to make such a tremendous leap of logic!

    Or you can stop trying to delude yourself that we live in world that ISN'T controlled by multimillion dollar media conglomerates that took the place of individual sponsors...


    This ignores entire factions of independent artists whose businesses rely on their copyrights. I also don't think anyone has deluded themselves to the reality that wealthy corporations have replaced wealthy patrons. Although if you're insinuating that means opportunities haven't improved tremendously for artists since the Statute of Anne...please allow me a preemptive chuckle at your expense.

    OOO! We are getting SO CLOSE to Godwins law. I think I saw a post earlier equating one side with giving in to terrorists.


    LOL

    Yes, you did indeed see that. Coincidentally, the person who made that "terrorist" remark is the same idiot I was replying to.

    You will find the perpetrators of Godwin's Law and other such hyperbole ("evil", "terrorists" etc) are almost always on the anti-copyright side such as the case here, with the comment you referenced.

    Copyright has been PROVEN time and again to PREVENT the useful arts.


    No.

    Copyright has been PROVEN time and again to PREVENT economic parasitism by hacks too lacking in work ethic, social ethic, or natural ability to create something original.

    if you are so worried about protecting your cookies then pull them off the market.


    Disregarding this particular metaphor, the sentiment that artists should just not make art if they don't want it pirated is asinine and quite literally, counter-productive. Copyright was created to incentivize art. All laws, in fact, are created and enforced to incentivize behavior that wouldn't otherwise come natural to us as evidenced by the need for such laws in the first place.

    You might as well say:

    If you don't want your car broken into, don't have a car.

    If you don't want to be accosted, don't go out at night.

    etc etc

    you're damn right no one can prevent copying. morality doesn't even figure into it. you can bake a big morality cake and walk right into the middle of tienamen square and it won't make a lick of difference because copying cannot be stopped and will never be stopped.


    Pirates are like cockroaches, no one thinks it's possible to eradicate them. What they DO think is that the cockroach population can be greatly diminished from it's current level of infestation.

    Whether that's true or not remains to be seen.

     

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

  107.  
    identicon
    Jonathan, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:41pm

    Re: Copying is stealing.

    "write your own programming language from scratch" ?

    Try writing your own joke structure from scratch. Let's see if you can make one where the premise doesn't come first. No? Maybe you're also riding on the shoulders of giants like the rest of us.

    It takes hundreds of hours of training for someone to become good enough to become good at the IT work. And if a technician does a good job, and then someone else comes in and says that THEY did it, that would be pretty devastating.

    So yeah, there's a fair comparison there, and also in any other situation where someone could falsely claim they originated or accomplished some work. For example, when Al Gore claimed he invented the Internet, that pissed off a LOT of smart guys out there who did actually contribute to any one of the many technologies that make it possible.

     

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


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