Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works? Or Is It Just Free Market Research?

from the not-too-hard-to-figure-out dept

One of the key questions that comes up when you discuss the concept of a world without copyright is "what's to stop others from just copying that book/DVD/CD etc. and selling it themselves, thus making the money that you could have made." The answer is that there's usually a lot preventing it. Filmmaker Nina Paley, a big supporter of culture without relying on copyright, has a great post discussing the "what's stopping you" question, where she notes that most people simply won't go through the hassle. However, what's more interesting is that even if people do start selling your works, it's not necessarily a bad thing. This is the similar to the discussion we recently had about others making money off of your content. If they're able to do so, it often suggests some sort of demand that you haven't met. As Paley notes, it's free market research:
In general, I would much prefer you bought Sita merch from the Sita Merch Empire than from a CafePress store. Reasons include: I know the Merch Empire merch is high quality, I personally designed and like all the products there, and a much higher % of the money goes to me. CafePress merch tends to be overpriced for the quality, and CafePress takes almost all the profits unless the seller sets prices absurdly high.

That said, Drakar's store offers Sita merch that doesn't exist at the Merch Empire. If I offered mugs, mousepads and stickers, he wouldn't have needed to make a Cafe Press store in the first place. If he actually sells any, it will demonstrate there is demand for such products. Then I can offer the same or similar products at my store. Drakar is essentially providing free market research, as are any other "competitors." If any of them do exceptionally well, I'll know what merch I should be selling.

This is why old-school economists say competition is good for businesses. It is. Too bad there's so little real competition in our supposedly "free market democracy."
Indeed. This is also why we've said time and time again that it's perfectly fine if you want to copy this blog and try to sell ads against it (or make money some other way). If someone actually figures out something that works well, then that's useful info to us, and would allow us to then incorporate those findings into our own offering. That's actually good for everyone...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Alan Gerow (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    But Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiike, that's not what government schools are spoon feeding people, so it can't possibly work and must be evil and the work of godless commie child-molester terrorist immigrant Craigs.

     

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    moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    Really...

    So you'd be fine with someone re-selling all your content? What if your findings to incorporate back were that "someone else stole all your traffic and now you can't get it back"? Would that be fine too? My guess is the money behind this site would get a little bit more than peeved, and all of a sudden you'd care a whole lot about the protection of copyright.

     

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      moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:36pm

      Re: Really...

      Furthermore, what if you decide to ask me how I'm getting all that traffic, and I say "not telling". Now you're competing with me ... but really, you're competing with your own content. While you're still spending to generate more content, I can use all the money and time I would be spending making content in order to recruit YOUR audience.

       

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

        Re: Re: Really...

        Furthermore, what if you decide to ask me how I'm getting all that traffic, and I say "not telling".

        I wouldn't expect you to tell. Why would you?

        Now you're competing with me ... but really, you're competing with your own content.

        Indeed. And I think my readership is smart enough to know that it makes more sense to go to the original source. Not only that, many of them know that if they want me to discuss stuff, I'll do it here.

        While you're still spending to generate more content, I can use all the money and time I would be spending making content in order to recruit YOUR audience.

        Good luck. If you can figure out a way to do it, more power to you.

         

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          moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          It isn't up to me to do it, the point is there exist ways to do it and if a large company wanted to really cook your company's goose, it would be pretty easy for them to do given that they wouldn't have to worry about the content production.

           

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            Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

            It isn't up to me to do it, the point is there exist ways to do it and if a large company wanted to really cook your company's goose, it would be pretty easy for them to do given that they wouldn't have to worry about the content production.

            Again, I'm still wondering what you mean. How would this be possible? We set up our business model so that the more people who read our content, the better off we are. If it's on some other site that's *GOOD* for us. It doesn't harm us at all.

             

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              moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

              it's not your content, it's everyone's content. That's the problem. I agree, the more people that read YOUR content, the better it is for you. Once it's on someone else's site, if they don't link back to you, there's nothing stopping them from growing as large or larger than you are with your own stuff until it affects your site.

               

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                ., Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:44pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                The case of the newspapers vendors that are buying the newspaper to give it for free to customers doesn't support your idea.

                When others need you for original content they will end up paying you back, you just need to keep producing.

                 

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                Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:45pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                it's not your content, it's everyone's content. That's the problem. I agree, the more people that read YOUR content, the better it is for you. Once it's on someone else's site, if they don't link back to you, there's nothing stopping them from growing as large or larger than you are with your own stuff until it affects your site.

                Huh? This doesn't make any sense. Even if the content is on someone else's site and they don't link back to us we still benefit.

                But the point is, if people LIKE the content, they tend to want to go to the source.

                And what else is at the source is the fact that we'll discuss it here. I won't necessarily go to your site and discuss stuff in the comments there.

                And most people are smart enough to know to go to the original source for the content, rather than some scraper site. They value getting it here. They'll look on your as a parasite.

                Unless you're targeting an audience of dumb readers. I guess that could be a goal. But I figure most readers are smart enough to prefer the source, where they know they can actually interact with the people who created the original content.

                 

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      Ryan, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

      Re: Really...

      How is someone else gonna resell all his content? What, we're all gonna go visit a derivative site so that we can pay money for it, instead of getting it for free here?

      The only reason why anybody would do that is if that other site offered something additional of significant value--at which point there's nothing stopping Mike from adding that very thing to techdirt's offering and voila...everybody returns to the improved techdirt that provides the original content.

      I would have thought this was obvious to anybody that read the post since I'm essentially just paraphrasing, but some of the readers are evidently of a deficient reading level. Let me know if you want me to repeat this in Dr. Seuss format.

       

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        moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

        Re: Re: Really...

        Actually... it has nothing to do with the audience getting the content for free. As I said, if this site has to spend money to generate content, and I can use that same content for free for my own profit, then I have a huge financial advantage by not having to generate any of that content. In case you didn't realize, most legitimate businesses have to pay to license content for commercial use. Even most "free" open-source software packages require fees for commercial use.

        Let me know if you want me to repeat this in Dr. Dre format.

         

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          Doh, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          Wow, logic fail
          Ha ha

           

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            moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

            Really? Please elaborate.

             

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              Doh, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

              From the summary above: "One of the key questions that comes up when you discuss the concept of a world without copyright is "what's to stop others from just copying that book/DVD/CD etc. and selling it themselves"

              moore850 -> "most legitimate businesses have to pay to license content for commercial use."

              Somehow these two trains of thought do not mesh - or maybe you think they do ?

               

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                moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                Aside from public domain grandfathering after time, which obviously is not what this is about, even the most liberal of copyright licenses are still licenses that require some kind of payment for commercial use somewhere down the road, as I point out in examples in that same reply, such as open source software licensing that is free at home but pay for commercial license. Sure, you could install it at work, but people are compelled to pay for that.

                 

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                  chris (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                  open source software licensing that is free at home but pay for commercial license. Sure, you could install it at work, but people are compelled to pay for that.

                  yeah, but no one trusts those licenses.

                  for a great many of us it's GPL or don't bother.

                   

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          Doctor Strange, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          But let's at least compare apples to apples. The content here is fine, but it's not representative of all content. It's got interesting characteristics. It's relatively cheap to produce. It's short-form (bite-sized). It's got a very short expiration date. Its primary mode of use is like a greeting card: you read it, think a little, maybe make a comment, and throw it away.

          These characteristics go a long way toward making the Techdirt business model hard to copy profitably (and they also make it easy to give the content away).

          Mike or others may claim that this makes the business model here especially smart given the current climate on the Internet, and in some sense that is true. What I have a much harder time believing is that content with these characteristics (cheap, raw, ephemeral, short, frequent) is an adequate substitute for content with other characteristics (expensive, polished, archival, long, infrequent).

           

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            Nina Paley (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:12pm

            archival

            I can't speak to "expensive", but "archival" works benefit greatly from being free licensed, allowing everyone to archive them. Proprietary films are disintegrating in cans because copyright prohibits any potential archivists and restorers from sharing them. Especially as digital formats change rapidly, open licenses encourage free, decentralized, and continuous format updating at no cost to the author.

            My work is sometimes long-form, and often infrequent, and is doing much better under copyleft than copyright.

             

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              Doctor Strange, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

              Re: archival

              There are numerous and explicit exceptions in copyright law, especially in the U.S. (see section 108), for librarians and archivists specifically to prevent the loss of works due to deterioration or neglect. These have the added bonus that the copies must generally be made available to the public (and not locked away in somebody's attic).

               

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            Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

            The content here is fine, but it's not representative of all content. It's got interesting characteristics. It's relatively cheap to produce. It's short-form (bite-sized). It's got a very short expiration date. Its primary mode of use is like a greeting card: you read it, think a little, maybe make a comment, and throw it away.

            These characteristics go a long way toward making the Techdirt business model hard to copy profitably (and they also make it easy to give the content away).


            You do realize that the *post* was actually about a movie, that was neither short-form, nor cheap to produce, nor does it have a short expiration date.

            In other words, the original basis of this story responded to all your points already.

             

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            Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

            What I have a much harder time believing is that content with these characteristics (cheap, raw, ephemeral, short, frequent) is an adequate substitute for content with other characteristics (expensive, polished, archival, long, infrequent).

            Heh. You do know that we put together a bunch of this "cheap, raw, ephemeral, short, frequent" content into an "expensive, polished, archival, long, infrequent" book, right? And it sold pretty damn well for us.

            Amazing how that kinda thing works out.

             

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          Actually... it has nothing to do with the audience getting the content for free. As I said, if this site has to spend money to generate content, and I can use that same content for free for my own profit, then I have a huge financial advantage by not having to generate any of that content.

          Ok. So how come the dozen or so sites that copy the content from here get no traffic? How come they get no comments on their blogs? By your logic, they'd be much better off. Yet we get all the traffic and all the comments...

          In case you didn't realize, most legitimate businesses have to pay to license content for commercial use.

          Except those using public domain content.

          Even most "free" open-source software packages require fees for commercial use.

          Really?

           

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            moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

            the other sites that don't get traffic even though they use your stories are doing something else wrong (separate discussion)

            a good lawyer could help you claim copyright over current content at any time as long as it has your name attached to it, so I don't think your argument stands that your content is "public domain" per se, i think you'd still go after someone if they really affected your site's traffic by using your stuff;

            yeah, i think most open-source apps have pay commercial options, especially the really large ones.

            Unfortunately I don't have time to address all of these, but hopefully others will see my side and not just bash me here. Obviously I'm playing devil's advocate in order to make sure that all the avenues are covered, but basically:

             

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...


              a good lawyer could help you claim copyright over current content at any time as long as it has your name attached to it, so I don't think your argument stands that your content is "public domain" per se, i think you'd still go after someone if they really affected your site's traffic by using your stuff;


              Um. Any lawyer would immediately point to the many, many, many times where I have declared all my content in the public domain and I would get laughed out of court.

              On top of that it would destroy my credibility. Why would I ever do that?

              Even more important, as I already explained to you, we benefit the more my content is spread. I have no reason to get upset about you using my content.

              So, no, we would not sue. There are many reasons not to sue, and no reasons to sue. Why do you insist we would?

              yeah, i think most open-source apps have pay commercial options, especially the really large ones.

              Hmmm. MySQL? Nope. Apache? Nope. Linux? Nope. Help me out here...?

               

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                moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 3:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                Redhat. Oracle. Netscape. Why would they charge for support on free projects if there's no benefit to putting up a pay wall?

                 

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                  Modplan (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 3:22pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                  Seriosuly? You have no clue about the typical FOSS business model.

                  They do not put up pay walls. Red Had certainly have all their software under the GPL. In fact, CentOS is a rebuilt from source clone of RHEL (Red Hat's Linux based operating system, itself mostly under the GPL).

                  You pay for services relating to software, but there's no pay wall for the software itself - support, integration (business or OEM's that don't have the expertise in-house) amongst others. They use free distributions to drive use, with the higher use driving demand and value to other things. Very similar to the way how Techdirt uses free content, and on top of that provides certain products or services whose demand and value increases the more people are able to view their content.

                   

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                Luke, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 3:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                I just want to point out here that MySQL has(or at least had, pre-acquisition) a commercial license that you paid for.

                 

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                  Michael, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 4:20am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                  They had a support tier that you could pay for, but the software was free. I have worked for several companies that paid for the support tier BECAUSE THEY WANTED SUPPORT. It was not because they got some different version of the software.

                  This is actually a great example of a reason to buy something (service) leveraging a free infinite good.

                   

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              Alan Gerow (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 6:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

              "yeah, i think most open-source apps have pay commercial options, especially the really large ones."

              You think incorrectly.

              Most open-source projects that get ANY traction and developer support are 100% free for most if not all uses. You aren't paying for a commercial license if you do pay, but you are paying for professional support. So, if you have a problem installing MySQL or PHP or Apache or Red Hat or any number of other open-source software packages, then you have a resource to go to for assistance. THAT's what you're paying for. The software itself is free to install, just you get no help if you have questions or problems.

              With most major OSS projects, you are free to install, modify, redistribute however you see fit.

               

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          Burgos, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          Actually... it has nothing to do with the audience getting the content for free. As I said, if this site has to spend money to generate content, and I can use that same content for free for my own profit, then I have a huge financial advantage by not having to generate any of that content. In case you didn't realize, most legitimate businesses have to pay to license content for commercial use. Even most "free" open-source software packages require fees for commercial use.

          Site hosting and maintenance cost money too. Granting that you won't be spending anything on content generation, you'll still have other costs that you'll need to recover.

          The real value of this site, in my opinion, is not in the quality of Mike's writing. The real value of this site is in the way posts are discussed in the comments section.

          I mean, if you set up a copied site of Techdirt, I won't go there since I'd be missing the shill comments and the counter-comments of people like Dark Helmet. Of course, Ima Fish won't be in your site too. Doctor Strange won't be in your site too. Anti-Mike won't be in your site too. And so on and so forth.

          Now, I don't know what Techdirt's secret is, but I'm pretty sure that this site's earning power has a lot to do with audience participation and satisfaction. But definitely, a rip-off site (that you will be spending on) will have a hard time generating the same type of participation and satisfaction from its audience, if ever the site can accumulate some.

           

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      Hulser (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

      Re: Really...

      My guess is the money behind this site would get a little bit more than peeved, and all of a sudden you'd care a whole lot about the protection of copyright.

      My guess is that your guess is wrong. See, the part of TechDirt that is easilly copied, the "content" is actually not the sole reason for the traffic. As this thread itself demonstrates, it's the community. So, even if someone did copy TechDirt -- which people apparently already do -- they never get nearly the traffic that TechDirt itself does because the readers of those ripoff sites eventually find their way here and see the benefits of reading the original.

       

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

      Re: Really...

      Hey big mouth! Put up or shut up.

      Why don't you go build that site that uses all techdirt's content but it's so much better that it gets all the traffic. Go right ahead.

      'What if's and 'Might be's are fine and all; but if you really want an answer to that question, then you need to proceed with some actions which will bring about results.

       

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        moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:48pm

        Re: Re: Really...

        So if I build a better site that scrapes all of techdirt's traffic, do I get a mea culpa from all of you, or just a lawsuit from Techdirt? Let me take a wild guess which one would really happen.

         

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          Modplan (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          That assumes that a sight that simply takes content from another site is really genuinely viable - that people will not simply just go straight to the source, or simply use your site as a reference - not actually replacing Techdirts views, but supplementing them and perhaps increasing them by linking and cataloguing the work.

          Assuming of course you put this into practice, and aren't simply trying to get a rise out of people, or thinking you're showing us up by getting us and Mike that this would be OK - As if affirming what we've already said is somehow showing us up.

           

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          BullJustin (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:57pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          IF you could build a better site that still used all of TechDirt's free content, you would get neither a mea culpa nor a lawsuit. You would get traffic - that is, until the folks at the content originator figured out what you were doing that was drawing their audience away and did something better to draw them back. It's called competition and it's how the business world operates under capitalism.

           

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            moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

            It's not capitalism if I don't have to pay for the stories and the original site does. The only way they can compete with me is to turn around and charge me money for the stories, or cut off my access to the free stories. Otherwise, as I stated, I have an enormous financial advantage by not having to generate the seed content.

             

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              Modplan (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

              Because this site would still have an advantage - content would still appear here first, there's a community who comment and provide further value to the stories, along with access to the store, and certain niceties the store gives you that only apply on this site (insider badge for example).

               

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                moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                All of that relies on the content. If I have the content for free, then I can rebuild all of it except for a millisecond delay between when the posts appear. Then the only thing left for me to do is to provide something better, say, comment moderation like slashdot does, and boom, I have a majorly cool site with no content development costs whatsoever.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                  And if that starts to draw traffic, then you've done free market research for Mike, and all *he* has to do is add comment moderation to compete with you, and the traffic goes right back to the source. Only now consumers are better off, because they have a better product.
                  That's the definition of free market capitalism and competition.

                   

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                  Modplan (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                  No costs at all?

                  Hosting for a start. Paying for developers to implement this for you, or taking the time to create it. Then Mike can also do more to attract people to his site.

                  This is the basis of every post. You can't expect to stay ahead of the competition if you don't do anything to stay ahead - and you don't know Mikes future plans, meaning catching up to where he is now - which may take months - may mean in that time that Mike has added more, meaning you have to continue trying to copy to fully "steal" his site, which may never happen due to the site itself continually moving and adding more value for people who visit.

                  Then as soon as Mikes site goes down, assuming you're site was successful and Mike stayed stagnant with the site, you would be forced into a bad position - a site with no new content, which then means you'd have to create your own. It's inherently short term, and inherently unstable, assuming success.

                   

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                  CastorTroy-Libertarian, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                  except 2 little points you seemed to have missed
                  1) You can not just replicate the community, it has to be built and while you may be able to eventually do that, its a way down the road, so you will have to invest too.
                  2) You will still have developement cost, and if your just scrapping stories, then you open your self to being hurt by it (like if Mike posts that all the stuff on Moore850wasteso2.com suxs and the mod is a left wing lunitic that doesnt believe people have a voice with out his ok..) now your fledgling community is going huh? and your left holding the bag

                  Another point to be made, you said if some one takes Mikes stuff and charges for it... Well unless you have something super (and i mean mind-blowing) to offer, why would anyone pay for whats free, that gets proven more and more, if 1 and 2 are the same (or in this case 1 is a copy) and 1 charges, and 2 is free... FREE WINS everytime, its common sense..

                   

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                    moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                    Seems to me that Microsoft has built an empire by being late to the game and selling things that used to be free, so they're a pretty good example of how it can be done.

                     

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                      Modplan (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 3:01pm

                      Re: Re: What?

                      Was that a troll? Microsofts only products that have been truly successful have been Office and Windows.

                      The reason people bought them was because they were above what free versions were doing - in other words, they added value to a degree that people would buy them, and were cheaper than more expensive alternatives.

                      As soon as Linux came onto netbooks for example, they dropped the price of XP dramatically to OEM's so as to fend Linux off - they knew competition was about to squeeze them out from underneath with a model that could provide an operating system for free.

                       

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              BullJustin (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

              The only way they can compete with me ...

              I believe you mean The only way I can think of to compete with me ... which only shows that you haven't thought very much about it.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          "scrapes all of techdirt's traffic"

          How is this done - exactly ? (emphasis on traffic)

           

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          Another AC, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          Something tells me that if Mike ever did sue for something like that, his business would be completely destroyed because his community would take their ball and go somewhere else to play.

           

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            moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

            Exactly. And of course, I would exploit the story in the news to steal the last of the traffic away. Muhahaha! And that's how you use free content against itself.

             

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              Nina Paley (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

              So what's stopping you? You have the answers, now scrape that traffic and use free content against itself!

               

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                moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                I don't feel like doing that, because I am gainfully employed and I don't need the headache of dealing with the techdirt lawsuits, etc. But that doesn't mean that it couldn't be done just because I don't feel like it.

                 

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                  :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                  I don't feel like doing that, because I am gainfully employed and I don't need the headache of dealing with the techdirt lawsuits,

                  Ah! So you're just an empty windbag after all.
                  Mike has said on many occasions that he would not bring a lawsuit should such occur.

                  Alas, you're too gutless to do anything than talk a big game.
                  I'll bet you used to brag alot about things you'd never done, too.

                   

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                    moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                    Did I say I had done this before? Nope. It's not gutless, it's called a discussion. Do you argue with someone that says that it's possible to run the 100m in 10 seconds that if they can't do it, they are gutless and and empty windbag?

                     

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                      Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                      "Do you argue with someone that says that it's possible to run the 100m in 10 seconds that if they can't do it, they are gutless and and empty windbag?"

                      Well, I do, but I'm kind of a jackass that way...

                       

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                      :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:32pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                      Generally, yes; at least if they are completely unwilling to find any way to demonstrate their hypothesis.

                      You asked a hypothetical question, and got a solid factual answer. And then you continued to emphasize your (incorrect) point, as though repeating it louder might somehow make it true. The only way to prove you're correct is to actually put forth some effort to DO that which you've been speaking about. Hell, Mike pretty much gave you explicit permission and dismissed your "legal claims" possibility. So what's stopping you now?

                      Otherwise... hey, if the shoe fits.

                       

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                      SteelWolf (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:56am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                      At the very least, you could provide examples to back up your statements. You don't necessarily have to do it yourself, just find another site that's successfully illustrating your point.

                       

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                  Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:30pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really...

                  And that proves you couldn't do it.

                   

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          chris (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          So if I build a better site that scrapes all of techdirt's traffic, do I get a mea culpa from all of you, or just a lawsuit from Techdirt? Let me take a wild guess which one would really happen.

          read like 4 articles on techdirt and you will see mike saying over and over again to go ahead and copy his shit.

          so go ahead. do it faggot. we're all waiting.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          So if I build a better site that scrapes all of techdirt's traffic, do I get a mea culpa from all of you, or just a lawsuit from Techdirt? Let me take a wild guess which one would really happen.

          You would get neither. First, how do you "scrape traffic"? I'm really confused by that.

          And why would we file a lawsuit? We explicitly told you it was fine.

           

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

      Re: Really...

      So you'd be fine with someone re-selling all your content?

      Yes.

      What if your findings to incorporate back were that "someone else stole all your traffic and now you can't get it back"?

      How does one steal traffic?

      My guess is the money behind this site would get a little bit more than peeved, and all of a sudden you'd care a whole lot about the protection of copyright.

      Too late. We've already put the content in the public domain. There's no copyright to care about.

       

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        moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

        Re: Re: Really...

        Do you have any comment on me being called a gutless windbag for trying to get a discussion going about this topic?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          You are a gutless windbag.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: Really...

          Do you have any comment on me being called a gutless windbag for trying to get a discussion going about this topic?

          I don't see that phrase being used anywhere, but if so, it's unfortunate, but the nature of internet discussions. We believe in free speech here, though, so we expect people to be able to handle things for themselves.

          Perhaps in this hypothetical new site you are setting up where you "scrape our traffic" and our content, you can also try censoring the speech of commenters and see how that works. As noted, it would be useful market research for us.

           

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      Vincent Clement, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:11am

      Re: Really...

      Both Tylenol and Aspirin are readily available in cheaper generic forms. Yet both MacNeil and Bayer continue to manufacturer and sell their respective products. Why is that? Because the value is in the brand name.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

    That sort of thinking doesn't do well for the "sell a T-shirt" approach that has been mentioned as an alternate route for bands to make money.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      That sort of thinking doesn't do well for the "sell a T-shirt" approach that has been mentioned as an alternate route for bands to make money.

      Why not? That's exactly what Nina Paley is talking about. If someone else is making money selling t-shirts, she knows she should sell t-shirts too... and lots of people will choose to buy from her, knowing they're supporting the artist, rather than someone else.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:56pm

        Re: Re:

        "and lots of people will choose to buy from her, knowing they're supporting the artist, rather than someone else."

        Assuming a variance in price, doesn't that rely a hell of a lot on the good nature of the general public? I'm not saying I don't believe that good nature exists, but is it smart to build a business model around it, or even a portion of a business model?

         

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    Modplan (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:44pm

    GPL

    This is somewhat similar to what the GPL software license does - it stipulates that when software is allowed to be distributed and modified, so to should the right for the copier or recipient to sell it on be upheld.

    There's no restriction on re-selling the software, even if the original is free, or is allowed to be distributed freely.

     

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      moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

      Re: GPL

      GPL is very different from what's being stipulated in the article. GPL means that if I am profiting, I also have to make my changes available for free for others to profit from my work. What the article's talking about is basically "public domain" meaning I can take your content and profit from it... no stipulations beyond that. Without the "teeth" of the GPL requiring the new content to also be free back, you get into a serious problem, right?

       

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          moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: GPL

          From the site:

          "Certain musical works included in Sita Sings the Blues, listed below, are subject to restrictive licenses. This is not by my choice; it is the result of retroactive copyright term extensions that I had no say in." So no, she couldn't just take whatever.

           

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          moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: GPL

          More from that site:
          "the song licensors require additional payments per 5,000 DVDs sold. "

          If you are giving away content for free "unlimited", this is where the model breaks down.

           

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        Modplan (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:03pm

        Re: Re: GPL

        There is no need for "teeth", because the original content is already freely available, and so presumably would be your "new" form or service - unless after you make changes and improvements, and then stick on DRM to try and force it to be closed off, but even then the wanders of the internet and piracy guarantee that they'll be freely available in some form :) GPL needs teeth because software is slightly different - there's 2 components involved, source code and the binary executable. GPL requires you re-publish source as this is what is required to be able to properly modify and improve software, and publish under the same licence. If Mike was still genuinely worried, he could use a Creative Commons licence for the works on this site that apply the same principle - that you re-publish derivative works under the same licence.

         

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        chris (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:44pm

        Re: Re: GPL

        Without the "teeth" of the GPL requiring the new content to also be free back, you get into a serious problem, right?

        not really. the BSD license has no such requirement to make changes available. it's up there with the GPL in terms of popularity. it's the basis for the licenses for mozilla, apache, eclipse, perl, and a lot of google code.

         

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        nasch (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:58pm

        Re: Re: GPL

        GPL means that if I am profiting, I also have to make my changes available for free for others to profit from my work.

        No, it means if you distribute binary software (executable programs), you have to also release the source code. That is true whether you profit or not.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

      Re: GPL

      "so to should the right for the copier or recipient to sell it on be upheld."

      What ?

       

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        Modplan (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:08pm

        Re: Re: GPL

        Sorry, didn't word that well. Free software definition states anyone who receives or copies the software should not be stopped from selling it, as part of being able to modify and redistribute. The GPL in turn does not stop you from selling copies. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
        "Free software" does not mean "noncommercial." A free program must be available for commercial use, commercial development, and commercial distribution. Commercial development of free software is no longer unusual; such free commercial software is very important. You may have paid money to get copies of free software, or you may have obtained copies at no charge. But regardless of how you got your copies, you always have the freedom to copy and change the software, even to sell copies.

         

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:00pm

    Yay!

    It's the monthly post where I don't agree! There's so few of them ;)

    I guess my problem with this is that I don't favor copyright abolishment. I think the happy medium provides for a limited copyright that allows for a first to market scenario. If, after that extremely limited copyright time frame has expired, this scenario is repeated then the original author has a greater liklihood of being able to use such free market research, as he or she will have already established their following and loyal fanbase because they were the first to market and had some time to acquire said fanbase.

    The overall point remains true, in that authors selling around their works can learn from those who are able to garner sales on the work that the author has not come up with themselves, but without at least SOME time to build up the base, I'm not sure one can appropriately capitalize on the free market research in the way you describe.

    I should note that this of course varies with the form of the work, i.e. what makes sense for a blog may not work in identical fashion for a novel.

     

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      Nina Paley (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

      Re: Yay!

      It's called First Mover Advantage. No copyright needed.

      And it's happening right now, with my new CC-BY-SA short Copying Is Not Theft. Released 2 days ago, freely shared, fanbase (and enemy-base) growing nicely. Everyone knows who the author is BECAUSE it's being freely shared. Copyleft protects authorship better than monopoly can, ensuring any saleable products the author endorses have added value.

      In the age of the Internet, the time a work needs to establish authorship is very, very short.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

        Re: Re: Yay!

        "In the age of the Internet, the time a work needs to establish authorship is very, very short."

        Ah, a valid point, but I'm not sure it is debunks what I said either. I see the harm in copyright in the extreme lengths it lasts and the way it is abused by a few, most often those not creative in their work but rather those that distribute creative work.

        I see a 1 year non-transferable copyright law, one that can only be invoked by the original content creator(s) as serving the original purpose of the law, which I believe was to encourage artists to create more. It's still a monopoly, yes, but one that affords artists little hope in living off a single creation....

         

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          Derek Bredensteiner (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 3:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yay!

          I do agree that 1 year would solve many problems with the infinite years we're working towards now, but would you argue that there is 0 harm done in granting even a 1 year monopoly? If there is harm, can we ask the question, is it needed? As some others have said ...

          "It's called First Mover Advantage. No copyright needed."

          And I'd argue there's a few other factors besides first mover in there too, such as the social ones that have been discussed here a bit recently.

           

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        moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re: Yay!

        You use "Creator endorsed" marks... they seem so very close to copyright. This is what I was talking about in all my other posts, that inevitably you end up back at something like copyright even if you think you're not actually using the current "copyright" designation:

        "A distributor may only use the mark with permission from the creator of the work, and creators may grant blanket permission to use particular versions of the mark to anyone who meets certain conditions. For example, the creator might say that anyone who shares any profits at all with them can use the generic "proceeds support" version of the mark"

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yay!

          You use "Creator endorsed" marks... they seem so very close to copyright.

          No, quite different. One is a gov't granted monopoly, the other is an indication of why a consumer might *want* to support the artist.

          Do you not see the difference? One is about the carrot and one is about the stick. They are almost entirely different.

           

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          ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 3:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yay!

          "You use "Creator endorsed" marks... they seem so very close to copyright. "

          No, it's more like a trademark, which is different. CE simply means that you are offering a work in a manner that the author approves of. It's protecting the 'brand' of the author, not restricting what you can actually do with it.

          Perhaps you're confusing it with CC licensing?

           

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    identicon
    ., Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    Vocaloid

    If I use vocaloid to make versions of music I have to pay something?

    vocaloid sample:
    http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/vocaloid-miriam-every-breath-you-take/AFCC925AF6ED12 72DD8FAFCC925AF6ED1272DD8F

     

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      moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

      Re: Vocaloid

      The Police/Sting could absolutely get royalties off of you for that particular recording, according to the current recording deal laws.

       

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        moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

        Re: Re: Vocaloid

        although... you can use up to 8 bars with a 'wink and a nod' and not have to pay generally speaking (rap music does this a lot.)

         

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    Mike Caprio, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    Culture and agriculture

    Dan Barber gave a keynote speech at the Brooklyn Food Conference where he discussed a sustainable environmentally supportive fish farm in Spain. The fish farm lost 20% of their fish and fish eggs to predators. And Dan was incredulous: aren't thriving predators the last thing you want on a fish farm??

    And the answer is no, it's an ecological network, and the idea is to create a self-perpetuating system where EVERYONE wins. The network is the farm, the farm is that land, et cetera, so the healthier the predators are, the healthier the farm is - and despite losing 20%, they were still making lots of profit, and the land itself benefitted due to the restoration of wetlands that actually filtered the water and reduced overall pollution.

    Human culture is very much the same as agriculture. If you create a corporate monoculture in either, the system becomes unhealthy and unsustainable.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

      Re: Culture and agriculture

      The answer is simple, in both cases. Just kick the predators off of the fish farm. Three-strikes and you're out!

      Easy as pie. Sweet sarcastic pie.

       

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    identicon
    ., Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    Vocaloid

    Had and idea, using the compulsory fees everyone can copyright a performance of a song using singing syntesizers LoL


    Vocaloid let it be
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W010620_W4Q&feature=related

    Would they sue Yamaha for making the software?

    Getting on track now.

    I don't see the problem with others making money from my work in fact as a programmer I saw many people openning ubuntu services and signing up to tech support so when they don't know what to do they message the other boys to get some answers is like a cascade business.

    And it would work with music too, nobody can copy the artist so some that are sucessuful may contact the artist to go play, or make exclusive material.

    The same thing may happen with blogs were the copied blog is the source of the original content others may come to talk and see if they can do other things.

     

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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    Call me when Nina finally breaks even on her masterwork. Market infomation and a couple of dollars can buy you a coffee at McDonalds, which is about $2 more than she made on the movie.

    Qualify this one as "attempting to find a silver lining in a lead cloud"

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 3:18pm

      Re:

      I broke even on my masterwork a long time ago. Of course, it didn't cost anything for me to make my masterwork. I borrowed the paper and found the pencil in an alley.

      An hour later, one masterwork.

       

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    ., Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:55pm

    Perfection.

    To extract something that have vast reserves is easy, the more it gets it depletes the harder it gets.

    Is like making windows the margin for error is in millimeters, then you start producing something that needs microns as a margin error, then you start creating things in nanometers and it gets expensive from there on.

    In business is the same thing, there is the profits that are easy to come by, then you try to extract more profits from the market and it starts to get more difficult.

    Trying to monetize every single instance of anything will prove costly specially when your customers are not happy with you.

     

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    Doctor Strange, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 4:10pm

    So I can't figure out if the movie has made money (net, not gross) for Ms. Paley. Her original tally for the cost was $290,000, not counting Ms. Paley's time. An article in the Wall Street Journal two weeks ago reported total revenue thus far (I.e., minus expenses related to these revenue-generating activities specifically) of about $55,000.

    Are these figures accurate? That would put Ms. Paley out $235,000 thus far...

     

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    Blamer .., Dec 17th, 2009 @ 4:17pm

    but but but...

    No this ISN'T free market research at all.

    1. they'll copy your content covertly
    2. they'll remove your name from it
    3. they'll not report anything back to you

    If you're a small business then you're business model will unexplainably start failing and you'll have to use your days trying to work out why.

     

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    Barry, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 4:31pm

    Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

    However, Mike, what's more interesting is that even if people do start entering your home when you're not there, to steal your valuables, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Because if they're able to do so, it often suggests some sort of need for better security that you haven't met.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

      Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

      However, Mike, what's more interesting is that even if people do start entering your home when you're not there, to steal your valuables, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Because if they're able to do so, it often suggests some sort of need for better security that you haven't met.

      Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't have a test before you can comment. Can you understand the difference between stealing something (taking it away so I don't have it) and copying something (making one more of something). If not, perhaps you shouldn't be able to comment. On this site at least.

      Feel free to copy on moore850's site, with all of the "scraped traffic."

       

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        Doctor Strange, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 5:34pm

        Re: Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

        Wait, a negative consequence of openness and free, un-"censored" speech? Surely you don't really mean that. It will be just like how blogs will improve journalism: someone posts something wrong and the community, in the ensuing "conversation," fixes the problem by correcting (and, I guess, shaming) the person. Accountability from the community, rather than a few self-described "experts," right? VoilĂ ! Problem solved!

        What could possibly go wrong?

         

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          ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 5:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

          "Wait, a negative consequence of openness and free, un-"censored" speech?"

          Yes, we have to endure people who cannot parse simple explanations. It's what you call a trade-off.

           

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        moore850, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 6:22pm

        Re: Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

        You're right, "scraped" was a dumb word. I should have said "poached". You're right, my crazy wacky idea about a site getting huge as hell from other people's traffic could never happen (Slashdot). If a site that can't possibly exist according to some people here (despite having existed for more than a decade) started posting your stories tomorrow without links back, personally I would be pretty nervous, but you operate a site that is giving away your content potentially to sites like that one that doesn't exist. How would you recommmend I combat this non-existent site from doing that to my stuff, and thus "poaching" my traffic, assuming they were doing it?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 6:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

          I still have no idea what the hell you are even talking about. Could you use smaller sentences? Or formatted with bullet points?

          Wait? Slashdot "poached" from another tech site? Was it also called Slashdot?

           

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            moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

            Slashdot poaches other site's traffic and user bases by linking to other site's content, and by giving users no reason to need the original site. As they say on Slashdot, hardly anyone RTFA's, and so even with links and attribution, Slashdot has become a massive tech community. Do you really think a community of 800,000 will hold up to a community of 10,000,000+? I would be willing to bet that every single techdirt reader at one time was a Slashdot reader. If all of these stories were available there, via a screen scraper within milliseconds of their posting on here, why would anyone still come here for that content?

             

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

              Slashdot poaches other site's traffic and user bases by linking to other site's content, and by giving users no reason to need the original site. As they say on Slashdot, hardly anyone RTFA's, and so even with links and attribution, Slashdot has become a massive tech community.

              Um. Have you never heard of the Slashdot Effect? We love it when Slashdot links to us, because it drives a ton of traffic.

              No offense, man, but you aren't making any sense in this thread.

              I would be willing to bet that every single techdirt reader at one time was a Slashdot reader. If all of these stories were available there, via a screen scraper within milliseconds of their posting on here, why would anyone still come here for that content?

              Man. If /. wanted to distribute all of our content that would be FANTASTIC. It would be a huge boost for our business model, because the more people who see our content, the more money we make from our actual business. That would be great.

               

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                moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

                SIGH. They wouldn't be linking to your site. You wouldn't get the Slashdot effect.

                 

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:04am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

                  SIGH. They wouldn't be linking to your site. You wouldn't get the Slashdot effect.

                  You brought up two separate issues, so let's keep them straight.

                  1. You claimed -- falsely -- that no one clicks on /. links. The explanation of the /. effect was to prove you wrong.

                  2. Separately, you asked what would happen if they scraped all our content. That's different, and I still explained why that would be cool, and it's NOT because of the traffic, but because it would get our content and our views in front of a much larger audience. That would be HUGE for our business. That has nothing to do with the /. effect. Though, separately, I will note that we do tend to link back to older Techdirt posts as well, so there would probably be some residual linking -- but even without that, it doesn't matter. Our business model isn't based on traffic.

                   

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                    moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:10am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

                    People click on /. links, but just to see the very front page, it's not your content if it doesn't have your name or links in it, I don't think it would be huge for your business, but why am I continuing to argue my points if your business model doesn't require traffic in the first place?

                    That's all you had to say, "you win".

                     

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                      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:13am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

                      People click on /. links, but just to see the very front page, it's not your content if it doesn't have your name or links in it

                      You are still arguing two separate things. If they're clicking on links, then they're going to our content with our name on it. That's good.

                      If they don't put our name on our content, then we would discuss that publicly, and it would get attention (a la the Google discussion). Again, good for us.

                      Man. I really hope someone big does that. It would be great to get that kind of attention.

                       

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    Barry, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 4:31pm

    Is It Really Such A Problem If People Sell Your Works?

    However, Mike, what's more interesting is that even if people do start entering your home when you're not there, to steal your valuables, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Because if they're able to do so, it often suggests some sort of need for better security that you haven't met.

     

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    pixeltheater, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 5:20pm

    to be honest

    to be honest, i will get incredibly pissed if someone were to sell products directly related to my art (make money off my work) more so if they didn't even mention me as the artist. but lawsuits and/or unfocused tantrums won't do anything to have it stopped. the only real solution is to compete with them. just by competing in their market you automatically get the advantage. you can create new work/art/products and most importantly, you can release it before anyone else. the competition can't. they have to wait for you.

    i hope that made sense... hmmm...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 9:27pm

    Mike

    The strength of this site is the community, not your content, which is why you are OK with anyone copying it. Naturally anyone who spots this content elsewhere could find their way to the source and decide to stay, after seeing the community.

    But if I find content on Youtube, why would I try and go to the source? It's the content I'm interested, and as long as Youtube offers the most convenient option, I'm gonna stick with it.

    No wonder content companies are pissed off at someone else making money off their content, because their content isn't worthless (unlike Techdirt's)...it's what people want. Youtube is getting traffic and making money not from their great community or the quality of discussion (mostly retarded), but the quality and variety of content that is available (much of it unauthorized).

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 11:31pm

      Re:

      The strength of this site is the community, not your content, which is why you are OK with anyone copying it. Naturally anyone who spots this content elsewhere could find their way to the source and decide to stay, after seeing the community.

      Well, first, I agree that the community is the strength, but it's the combination of the content and the community that makes it work.

      But if I find content on Youtube, why would I try and go to the source? It's the content I'm interested, and as long as Youtube offers the most convenient option, I'm gonna stick with it.

      I'm not sure what point that makes. As one of my other articles discussed today, this is a good thing. You get to use YouTube to your advantage, because they're providing free bandwidth, software and hosting. Great. So if you created the video, you can still take advantage of it, even though it's on another site.

      That's the point I was making.

      No wonder content companies are pissed off at someone else making money off their content, because their content isn't worthless (unlike Techdirt's)

      Oh, I see. You weren't making a serious point. You just wanted to toss out insults.

      If their content is valuable, then they should build a community around it, just like we did. IF they don't, I can't see how they have anyone to blame but themselves.

       

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        moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:42am

        Re: Re:

        You still don't get it. Let's use yet another example of why you need to at least have a CC attribution license on your works. Google is not supposed to be evil, but they could be pretty evil to you by doing the following:

        1. Take all your public domain content.
        2. Take your name and your site links off of all of it.
        3. Rebrand it with "google" links and authors.
        4. De-list your site from google's search results, replacing your links with links to their version of your stuff.

        You really don't see how you need to at least have an attribution license for you to be able to get any credit/income whatsoever from your works?

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Let's use yet another example of why you need to at least have a CC attribution license on your works

          Dude. No, we don't need a CC attribution license. We DO NOT have such a license. The content is public domain. Anyone can use it. However they want. With or without attribution. We don't care. In fact, we were among those who complained that the CC attribution license was too restrictive, helped leading to them releasing the CC-0 license, which does not require attribution.

          And, please, sir, you do not get to tell me what I "need."

          1. Take all your public domain content.
          2. Take your name and your site links off of all of it.
          3. Rebrand it with "google" links and authors.
          4. De-list your site from google's search results, replacing your links with links to their version of your stuff.


          Yes. They could do that. Would they? No. If they did, can you imagine the very first thing we would do? We would point this out, and alert the press. The press would report on it, and talk about how evil Google is, and we would get a TON of TRAFFIC and FREE PUBLICITY from folks coming to check out what Google had done and who they had copied.

          Huge win.

          For us.

          Cool. I seriously hope it happens. Honestly, I can't think of a situation that would help us more.


          You really don't see how you need to at least have an attribution license for you to be able to get any credit/income whatsoever from your works?


          Nope. No need at all. As I explained above. There are perfectly good ways to deal with the issue without a restrictive license.

           

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            moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Why would the press care? Google would just say you said it was OK. I really don't think this is an example of the Streisand effect, but for your sake I hope that you're right.

             

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Why would the press care? Google would just say you said it was OK. I really don't think this is an example of the Streisand effect, but for your sake I hope that you're right.

              Heh. The press would love a story that makes Google look "evil." Because MOST PEOPLE (apparently not you) have a sense of common decency and pretending someone else's content is your own -- even if it's public domain -- is not considered to be socially acceptable.

              So, yes, the press would eat that story up in a second.

              I don't know why you are acting this way on this story. You seem to have a near total blind spot for the value of free content.

               

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                moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:01am

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

                Because I believe there is a difference between "free content" where somehow people wind up back at your site because your name or something is on the work, and "free content" in which people can take credit for your work and basically pretend that you don't exist.

                 

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:05am

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

                  Because I believe there is a difference between "free content" where somehow people wind up back at your site because your name or something is on the work, and "free content" in which people can take credit for your work and basically pretend that you don't exist.

                  Sure there's a difference, but there's a massive SOCIAL PUNISHMENT for the latter. Why do you think that backlash doesn't occur?

                   

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                    moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:13am

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

                    Because there's no backlash if they have your permission?

                     

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                      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:15am

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

                      Because there's no backlash if they have your permission?

                      Sure there would be backlash. They would have stripped our name off of it and (in your scenario) removed us from the Google index. You don't think that would be a huge story?

                      Look, even if the content is public domain, as it is, it's still *socially* the norm to properly credit it. We work on that assumption that most people would do so. And if they don't, we highlight that they're socially deviant. And that's a news story. A big one.

                       

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                        moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:32am

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

                        Although I disagree, at least I understand how you're saying it would work now.

                         

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    Freedom is Freeloading, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 12:35am

    Techdirt spin fails again

    This entire post is based upon the ramblings of a woman who went full steam ahead putting Mike's theories to the test only to end up LOSING OVER TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS on her film.

    Is this really the kind of person anyone should be taking business advice from?

    What I have a much harder time believing is that content with these characteristics (cheap, raw, ephemeral, short, frequent) is an adequate substitute for content with other characteristics (expensive, polished, archival, long, infrequent).


    Precisely.

    Trying to compare blog entries (of all things) to everything else under the sun (including hugely more expensive and time consuming endeavors) is absurd. Here we have Mike's usual, timeworn tactic of trying to extrapolate a micro into a macro without any evidence to actually make the leap.

    You do realize that the *post* was actually about a movie, that was neither short-form, nor cheap to produce, nor does it have a short expiration date.


    Yes, a movie that lost it's economic ass in a failed attempt to prove your gospel right.

    In other words, the original basis of this story responded to all your points already.


    No. In other words, it verified his points already.

    No, quite different. One is a gov't granted monopoly, the other is an indication of why a consumer might *want* to support the artist.


    AKA give it away and pray (that they buy it from the originator)

    My work is sometimes long-form, and often infrequent, and is doing much better under copyleft than copyright.


    While it might be true that you "benefited" more with copyleft distribution than you would have with a more typical, limited distribution deal, the fact is, you still lost a great deal of money. As such, the whole thing makes for a rather miserable copyleft "success story" despite your own and Techdirt's many efforts to spin it that way.

    "You use "Creator endorsed" marks... they seem so very close to copyright. "

    "No, it's more like a trademark, which is different."


    Trademark law and copyright law have more in common than they have apart. Both are in the realm of intellectual property. Circumvention of either is referred to by lawyers as "infringement". Both have "fair use" exceptions. Both are a set of proprietary, exclusionary rights. Both can easily be considered government granted monopolies. The trademark Coke-Cola has over its select images, advertising, packaging and brand names that cover its large stable of products is NO LESS MONOPOLISTIC than what a studio has with its films.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:44am

      Re: Techdirt spin fails again

      Oh snap!

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:45am

      Re: Techdirt spin fails again

      Just for anyone who wants a little perspective, "Freedom is Freeloading" is a representative of Hollywood, employed by the move industry, and who comes here to bash us on a regular basis.

      But, as per usual, he gets the facts a bit mixed up, which is unfortunate -- but not surprising.

      This entire post is based upon the ramblings of a woman who went full steam ahead putting Mike's theories to the test only to end up LOSING OVER TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS on her film.

      Uh, no. You did *read* the post, didn't you? It doesn't look that way. The discussion wasn't about making money on her film, it was looking at whether or not it's a bad thing if others make money off your work. And her argument -- made sensibly and on point, unlike yours -- is that it's not so bad.

      But you didn't address that argument at all. Instead, you focus on something different, without discussing the details of what actually happened.

      Is this really the kind of person anyone should be taking business advice from?

      Hmm. Let's see. Universal Pictures made "Land of the Lost" for $100 million. It grossed about $50 million. So, by your definition, clearly, we shouldn't listen to anyone associated with Universal Pictures on the movie industry business.

      Weren't you the one complaining about taking micro examples and assuming macro findings? And yet you do that with Ms. Paley?

      Funny. Last time we had a discussion I pointed out filmmakers who had made a ton of money by embracing these concepts. And what happened to Mr.MPAA here? He disappeared. But next time he stopped by he cursed a lot more. Funny.

      Trying to compare blog entries (of all things) to everything else under the sun (including hugely more expensive and time consuming endeavors) is absurd. Here we have Mike's usual, timeworn tactic of trying to extrapolate a micro into a macro without any evidence to actually make the leap.

      I never said blog entries were the same as everything under the sun. Reading comprehension problem there?

      I'm not sure how you could read that into what I've written. Very odd.

      Yes, a movie that lost it's economic ass in a failed attempt to prove your gospel right.

      Again, we weren't discussing the success of the movie overall. Reading comprehension failures don't make you look smart. It makes you look like you're grasping for straws.

      In the meantime, it's good to know that you think Universal Pictures shouldn't be allowed to comment on movie business models. I'll be sure to remind you of that in the future.

      You don't happen to work for Universal, do you?

      AKA give it away and pray (that they buy it from the originator)

      Uh. You do know that we've explained why "give it away and pray" is a bad business model. Not sure why you would then purposely misread what we write to suggest we support it. Guess when you have no real argument flat out lying is the next step.

      FiF, I recognize that you are troubled by the fact that your bosses seem to not understand basic economics, but I've already offered to give you a good deal on an economics lesson. I'm serious about this. Just give us a call and we'll give you a good discount.

       

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        moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:49am

        Re: Re: Techdirt spin fails again

        Where did Universal get the $50 million to lose on land of the lost? They made a crap ton of money on other movies. It doesn't work if you lose 200k on one movie and don't make it back.

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Techdirt spin fails again

          Where did Universal get the $50 million to lose on land of the lost? They made a crap ton of money on other movies. It doesn't work if you lose 200k on one movie and don't make it back.

          Thank you for proving the point. You can lose money on one aspect of you business, and then make it up elsewhere. Which is what Nina is doing.

          On top of that, given how much publicity she's been getting, guess how much easier it will be her to make money on her next film?

           

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            moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt spin fails again

            If she hasn't made any money at all? Incredibly difficult, and it will get exponentially harder to get funding for each new movie that also doesn't make money.

             

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt spin fails again

              If she hasn't made any money at all? Incredibly difficult, and it will get exponentially harder to get funding for each new movie that also doesn't make money.

              *Sigh*. Devin. She's MAKING MONEY. A lot of money. A lot more than most indie movies. Pay attention.

               

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                moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 3:03am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt spin fails again

                I'm just responding to the discussion point that supposedly she lost 200k on it... I don't think it means I'm not paying attention if I took that from the comments, do you?

                 

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                  Michael, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 4:35am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt spin fails again

                  The is making money elsewhere. This one movie is not the only aspect of her business.

                   

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        nasch (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 4:11pm

        Re: Re: Techdirt spin fails again

        I think the name "Freedom is Freeloading" is all I need to know to ignore him, but thanks for the tip.

         

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    identicon
    drew Roberts, Jan 1st, 2010 @ 5:24am

    Fees required for commercial use of Free works?

    @moore850 "Even most "free" open-source software packages require fees for commercial use." Huh? Examples? Unless you are using a different definition of open-source software than I know of. The definition I know of basically makes open source software the same as Free Software which is how I look at things but it is generally two ways of looking at the same code. I think Nina's stuff is BY-SA which is quite a bit like the GPL in fact. all the best, drew -- Join the Free Music Push

     

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