Songwriters Guild Claims The Internet Makes It Impossible To Create Content

from the good-luck-with-that dept

Ah well. Last Friday we highlighted that the White House had posted the public comments on the IP enforcement plan, and pointed out a few of them. We had avoided the ones from most of the well-known lobbying groups because they tread on ground that had already been trampled to death, but a bunch of you have been submitting the filing from the Songwriters Guild of America, which takes ridiculous arguments to entirely new levels. Phillip pointed us to Ars Technica's take on the comment, highlighting the utterly ridiculous claim that bank robbery is less of an issue than copyright infringement, but the rest of the filing also raises some bizarre arguments as well.

Of course, the SGA, and its boss, Rick Carnes, are sort of famous for their over-the-top ridiculous claims that were debunked ages ago, but Carnes never seems to let up. In Carnes' world, the gov't owes songwriters a living, and the fact that the market has changed is of no concern to him, because he doesn't want to change, and the government should do everything possible to stop such market changes. Carnes/SGA also have also said that "network neutrality" means more piracy, that songwriters cannot write without copyright and, my favorite, that no technological change should ever be allowed to decrease royalties for songwriters.

So what's in this filing? Let's start at the beginning:
The current Internet delivery system is not tenable for creators and copyright owners.
Yes, you read that right. The current internet -- perhaps the greatest tool for content creation ever is not a tenable delivery system for content creators. Of course, that's easily debunked, because more content is being created today thanks to the internet and the fact that it's a very efficient delivery system. The fact that thousands upon thousands of content creators have embraced the internet, used it to help create, promote, distribute and share their music -- and as a way to build better, more efficient business models? According to Carnes and the SGA, that's "not tenable." Weird. Someone alert everyone else on the internet.
Digital piracy has almost completely destroyed the profession of songwriting, and is slowly destroying the music industry.
And yet, more songs are being produced and released every year than ever before and more money is being put into the music industry than ever before. That's a funny definition of "destroyed" and "destroying."

Of course, the crux of the Guild's argument is basically that music publishers no longer employ songwriters. Yes, and phone companies don't employ as many operators as they used to. Times change. Technology changes. Get used to it. Copyright law is not a law to require that there be a specific profession for songwriters. Copyright law is designed to promote the progress of science and the useful arts -- and if more music is being created than ever before, it appears that progress is being promoted, even if the profession of songwriting changes. But, why let facts get in the way of the claim that unauthorized file sharing will destroy the US economy:
Such piracy has deeply and materially harmed the songwriter community, but it also threatens the overall U.S. economy; the economic fate of U.S. copyright industries is critical to U.S. economic success, both domestically and in the global marketplace
Of course, he cites the already debunked claims about how much the "copyright industries" contribute to the US economy, totally ignoring the counter study that shows that exceptions to copyright law contribute much more to the economy, by using the very same methodology as the study the SGA cites. The SGA assumes, totally incorrectly, that the amount the so-called "copyright industries" contribute to society is entirely because of copyright law. And that's bunk. Most of it has nothing whatsoever to do with copyright. That the SGA has become so reliant on the crutch of copyright law and are unable to adapt is not the US gov't's problem.

The SGA then goes on to make the absolutely incredible suggestion that the FBI should be in charge of enforcing civil copyright infringement claims:
The FBI, or similar law enforcement agency, should be given the authority to investigate copyright infringement cases and pursue civil fines and penalties.
This is unprecedented. The FBI and the US gov't should not be involved in civil matters (matters between two private parties), but only criminal ones. This, by the way, is where the SGA makes the bizarre claim about bank robbers being less of an issue:
There are numerous economic crimes of much lesser magnitude (such as bank robbery) that are routinely and fully investigated, for which law enforcement agencies such as the FBI have significant resources. By contrast, online copyright piracy dwarfs bank robbery in causing economic losses, yet the FBI has limited criminal investigative interest and no civil mandate whatsoever to pursue this devastating economic harm. This inequity must change.
Except bank robbery is a crime. File sharing is not. It's a civil issue and a business model issue. And the arguments that the "losses" from file sharing are greater than actual robbery is simply not supported by the facts. As we noted, the recent GAO report should have put an end to those claims, but the SGA conveniently will ignore such things.

From there, the SGA goes on the attack against net neutrality again, insisting that net neutrality and unauthorized file sharing are linked hand-in-hand:
The Internet as currently constructed has facilitated digital copyright piracy that has led to the ruination of the music industry.
Other than the fact that the music industry is larger than ever before, it's difficult to see what point he's making.

There are ridiculous arguments and there are ridiculous arguments. Rick Carnes' filing with the IPEC goes beyond pretty much anything else out there to the level of being flat out incredible. It's incredibly backwards looking, wrong, and downright misleading.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    lavi d (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Walk it Back

    The Internet as currently constructed has facilitated digital copyright piracy that has led to the ruination of the music industry.

    Take a step back. It's the release of recorded music that allows people to engage in "copyright piracy".

    By this logic, it is the recording industry itself that is abetting the unauthorized sharing of copyrighted works.

    Stop releasing recordings and you fix the whole problem.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 8:10am

    "Digital piracy has almost completely destroyed the profession of songwriting, and is slowly destroying the music industry."

    I see they are not familiar with creative commons....

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 9:06am

      Re:

      "I see they are not familiar with creative commons...."

      They are aware of the creative commons. They only ignore it or do fear mongering about it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 8:12am

    Songwriters Guild proven wrong with just one word

     

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    awd, May 4th, 2010 @ 8:25am

    You should mail this to Espinel.

     

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    RD, May 4th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    How to get it TOTALLY wrong

    Runs rather counter to this article from today, doesnt it?

    "Indie music mogul: The net's great for us"

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/ 04/martin_mills_beggars_group/

     

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      PaulT (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 8:48am

      Re: How to get it TOTALLY wrong

      Nah, it's pretty typical. The massive incumbents who used to make a large profit from old way of doing things don't like to have to change. The smaller independents like it because they get to compete, and are much less set in their ways and so get to leverage new opportunities. That's the way it usually happens, and is the primary reason why allowing corporations to write laws is a very bad thing.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 9:04am

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 9:35am

    Funny thing

    I began writing an application a while back that is for creating lyrics. Pretty basic app 1,2...10 word phrases stored in a database. Imported every piece of poetry, haiku, and every lyrics I could find. It took 2-3 days to write and create the dataset.

    Type in the first line, it suggests the next one, lets you insert lines, choose synonyms, find stuff that rhymes, copy choruses, etc. Truth be told what it comes up with is way better than most of the music you hear on the radio today.

    It took a weekend to create an app to do the same thing as their members do. It will take another weekend to add an extension that stores every 1-20 note and chord previously used and allows you to create the music to match the lyrics. The SGA seems to think it has some importance and can't be replaced. They are so wrong.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 9:47am

      Re: Funny thing

      Rhymezone.com already does some of that.

       

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        Hephaestus (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 10:40am

        Re: Re: Funny thing

        Thanks for the link. Very soon there is going to be a "killer app" for creating music. Which is going to lead to immitation of the software, then open standards. The data pads (iPads etc) with access to the cloud make it a very real possibility that isnt workable now because of the size of smartphone screens.

         

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    NAMELESS.ONE, May 4th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    HEY i know ( 2 ideas )

    Why not make one cdr per country and have it cost a billion dollars this way the first person to buy it can copy and trade it
    have Australian like filters prevent all traffic out of each country
    and damn well make hammer makers liable for violent crime while we're at it.

    Solves problem totally.

    @11 so you prescribe to the monkey notion that if enough apes were put in a room everything would be created thus with an app like yours we should and could do away with copyright and musicians entirely
    thank you for freeing us all. to another solution.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    masnick, you need to learn how to properly say things.

    "Rick Carnes' filing with the IPEC goes beyond pretty much anything else out there to the level of being flat out incredible. It's incredibly backwards looking, wrong, and downright misleading. "

    you forgot to start out with "in my personal opinion". you state it like fact, and it is not. you can disagree with him, but his opinion is as valid as yours.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 11:32am

      Re:

      you forgot to start out with "in my personal opinion".

      Off topic, but you put the period before the parenthesis. It just gets annoying to continuously look at obviously bad syntax.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 11:32am

      Re:

      and seriously, we know it's you TAM.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 1:37pm

        Re: Re:

        hi mike. why dont you sign on to post?

         

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          Tek Vahana, May 4th, 2010 @ 1:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's laughable coming from an AC. Why don't you log in to post?

           

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          Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 2:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm not Mike.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 3:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Paranoia is both boring and uncreative. Not much of an artist, I see.

           

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          Chargone (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 6:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ... because obvious TAM post is obvious to the point where Everyone knows who it is?

          that or 'incredibly good at pretending to be TAM person is incredibly good at pretending to be TAM to the point where everyone is fooled'

          heck, one could take the scattershot method and just claim every AC who objects to the post without actually engaging any of the points was TAM... and be right 50% of the time or better (and get it regularly confirmed because TAM can't resist the temptation of taking yet Another shot at Mike, even if it's self defeating...)

          seriously, you expose your identity every time you say anything here, IP address access or no.

           

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      Nastybutler77 (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      It's not opinion when Mike has copious amounts of data that disprove what Carnes claims. For whatever reason you ignore basic facts and refuse to see reason while claiming without any data of your own that Mike is wrong. All you ever offer is YOUR personal opinion but claim that Mike is just stateing his, despite the links to study after study and other data that back up what he says.

      For Pete's sake even the PRS economist agrees that the music industry as a whole is growning, but you keep tilting at windmills and insisting that everything Mike says is false. Grow up. You're like a child with his fingers in his ears saying "I'm not listening!" when someone is telling you something you don't like. At least admit when you are wrong. Go troll somewhere else for a while.

       

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      Derek Kerton (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

      Re:

      Well, in the world, in general, it makes sense to assume that when somebody writes something, it is "in their opinion."

      But Mike, unlike you and Carnes, does suppplement his opinion with references, links, reliable studies, fresh ideas, etc. So really, what we have here is opinion + supporting evidence, and with limited bias.

      I mean, the other side may say Masnick is on a campaign of sorts, but really where is the financial payoff? Is fame or blog page hits what attracted him to be on this side of the debate? Doesn't look like it.

      In fact, if Masnick were just about the money, there is more money to be made on the other side of the debate as a paid mouthpiece for the industry. They'll pay for and support bad research, faulty economics, spin doctors, and lobbyists all day long. But when you fight for more public domain, it turns out, consumers don't compensate you very well at all for representing their interests.

       

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      Josef, May 4th, 2010 @ 1:27pm

      Re: Actually....

      Actually Mike personal opinion happens to be factual whereas that of Carnes' is not.

      I don't believe Carnes quotes started with "in my personal opinion". Nope, it's all stated as fact, despite evidence to the contrary.

      If I start telling everyone the sky is pink and clouds are made of marshmallows, that doesn't make it true or "my opinion", it's just wrong.

      You can pull the PC stick out of your.... you get the gist.

       

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      crucible, May 4th, 2010 @ 7:50pm

      Re: masnick, you need to learn how to properly say things.

      You're an idiot. Carnes is spouting misinformation and Mike is quoting verifiable facts and a verifiable fact is not opinion. Didn't they teach you that? And we capitalize names idiot...It's Masnick. Being disrespectful only illustrates what a fucking tool you are.

       

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      techflaws.org (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 3:29am

      Re:

      you forgot to start out with "in my personal opinion

      No it's not! Why the hell would he want to state anyone else's opinion but his? Contrary to cowards like you, TAM, he's even writing his name under it.

       

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    Mayor Milobar (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 10:50am

    @14

    Except that he spends the entire article debunking the claims made in the filing, hence Rick Carnes IS wrong. In my opinion, you are an idiot.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    So, where are the success stories then about non-performing songwriters making a living through new new business models (or even just without the support of a major label)?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 11:33am

      Re:

      Are you new to this blog?

       

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        Derek Kerton (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

        Re: Re:

        And, why do you require "non performing" as part of your question? Even though the answers have been offered time and again on the blog, it's disingenuous of you to eliminate the best known answer and then ask, "So what's the answer?"

        Why don't I ask you:
        So, where are the success stories for the recording studios, but not counting the cases where they used technology to record the music?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 5:58pm

          non-performing songwriters


          And, why do you require "non performing" as part of your question? Even though the answers have been offered time and again on the blog, it's disingenuous of you to eliminate the best known answer and then ask, "So what's the answer?"


          If we were talking about musical acts, indeed, answers have been offered time and again on this blog, and for the most part I believe them (though I remain quite unconvinced in some cases, e.g. classical music). But here we aren't talking about musicians, we're talking about songwriters, only some of whom are also performers.

          Suppose that you're a talented composer and lyricist of pop/rock/country/etc. songs, but don't have the talent or inclination for performing yourself. What do you do to make a living using your considerable skills?

          Twenty years ago, the answer was simple: you wrote songs for major label acts and collected royalties. What is the answer today?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 9:04pm

            Re: non-performing songwriters

            You don't write songs for major label acts and you don't collect royalties. Things change. Always has.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 7:57am

              Re: Re: non-performing songwriters

              And in this case, it seems like things are changing for the worse for some creative people who had been making significant contributions to our culture.

              We're not talking about telephone operators and the like here, but about exactly the sort of art that copyright was meant to produce a business model for. So where's the replacement business model that doesn't rely on copyright?

               

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              Derek Kerton (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 4:00pm

              Re: Re: non-performing songwriters

              Yeah. What if I'm a book author who has great book ideas, but is a terrible writer. Where does my paycheck come from?

              Answer, I need to either figure something out, or I don't get a paycheck. The world doesn't owe me a living for having a partial skill, unless that skill is in demand.

              But I see that Meatloaf has made money writing songs for other performing artists, and Celine Dion seemed to make a fair bit of cake singing one of them in her 5 year run in Vegas. So there are ways.

               

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 12:59pm

      Re:

      The purpose of government should be to increase aggregate output, not just to ensure that someone gets paid, for the purpose of money to begin with is to facilitate an economy that provides and optimizes aggregate output. What's the point of having money if you don't have stuff? So if an artist wants to offer free music and that free music competes with your copyright music and so no one buys your copyright music, I see nothing wrong with that and that's just the nature of competition. The economy is being served and aggregate output, the whole point of having an economy to begin with, is being generated, progress is being promoted.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

        Re: Re:

        and lets not forget that copyright really doesn't do much to help artists get paid to begin with. Even with copyright record labels hardly pay their artists a thing and they often don't even pay their artists what they owe them even.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 3:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The CRIA vs. Canadian artists. Allegedly.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 12:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It may not help the artists get paid, at least not very much, but it does help the songwriters. Indeed, it's one of the main sources of income for songwriters.

          Or at least it used to be. Now, when you buy a premium special edition CD with special packaging, the actual artists are getting a lot more money for selling these scarce goods, but the songwriters are still just getting the same statutory licensing rate. When you buy a T-shirt or similar item from a band, the songwriters are getting zero.

          Maybe even in the absence of copyright, the market will be able to take care of this issue (songwriters are compelled to license their songs at the statutory rate for recordings, but do have some freedom to potentially negotiate better cuts of live revenue), but I haven't seen much evidence.

          While I agree it makes more sense to look at revenues for the whole music industry rather than just the recording industry, at the same time I feel it does make sense to separate revenues going to performers from revenues going to composers/songwriters, and my suspicion is that things are not looking so good for the latter.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    "Digital piracy has almost completely destroyed the profession of songwriting, and is slowly destroying the music industry."

    And here I thought that was the Beatles.

     

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    Darryl, May 4th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    File sharing and bank robbery

    It's nice to make unsubstanciated claims that you "think" bank robbery would be more damaging that file sharing.

    You say "file sharing is not even a crime".. sorry yes it is.
    And regardless of the level of crime assigned to it, it would be obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that file sharing would greatly outstrip the annual loss from bank robbory.

    And lets face it, creative commens, and all the other alternative business models that you propose to allow theft of what is not your's to take.

    sure, if you can get the law changed, good luck to you, but before you do, you have to abide by the existing laws of the land.... Like it or not.. (and clearly you dont). but hey we all have to live in this world.

    If you want something bad enough, it has value to you, you would not want to download anything you do not want.

    so someone creates something you want, and you want it for free.

    Sooner or later, those creating those things you want, will stop doing it.. than we all miss out.. just because you wanted something for free.

    Something someone else created, that you see as value.

    If you see value in it, (thats why you want it), then it has real value, that value is what you steal when you illegally download that file.

    it's really that easy... play by the rules, like all of us.. or suffer the consequences..

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 6:04pm

      Re: File sharing and bank robbery

      First off, A Work being Creative commons means the artist chose to release under that license. The fact that you claim that downloading CC music is immoral really blows my mind.

      "If you see value in it, (thats why you want it), then it has real value, that value is what you steal when you illegally download that file."

      By your logic frying your own hamburgers is theft from McDonald's.

       

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        Css3337, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

        Re: Re: File sharing and bank robbery

        Seriously your logic is slightly askew don't you think? Go ahead and make your own "burgers" everyday, no one will have a problem. "McDonald's" doesn't own the right to make hamburgers...just the right to make there "style" of burger and call it there's. As you metaphorically eat your own hamburgers day in and day out, and still feel the craving for "McDonald's" burgers, you shouldn't steal them. Comparing the right to make burgers isn't the issue...stealing there taste (song) because its better or popular is. Just using your metaphor.... If the song is still in production and is being collaborated on, has a CC license etc...these things are different, but IN MY OPINION once completed it should be purchased...you as an artist would expect the same.

         

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      jjmsan (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 6:42pm

      Re: File sharing and bank robbery

      No file sharing is not a crime. If it is my content and I share it no crime is committed. Even if it is infringing content it is a civil matter and still not a crime. The amount of damages or cost does not make it a crime so the songwritters and you are wrong.

       

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    jon, May 4th, 2010 @ 8:52pm

    Farcical discussions

    Good god,

    What a load of BS....

    If someone creates something - a song, a photograph, a novel, a painting whatever, they have the right to make money from it.

    It's classed as a Basic Human Right by the Bern Convention on Human Rights.

    If you pretend to yourself that somehow by buying (or stealing) a copy of a song you are now the owner of that song, you are an idiot.

    To liken the idea of cooking your own hamburger to stealing from McDonalds as if that somehow equates to copying a song, is the most ridiculous statement ever; if you make your own song - really create it, from scratch - sure, you own it and that is similar to making your own hamburger, but copying something someone else made is not creating it, and is an Human Rights Violation.

    Mike, your understanding of copyright and the purpose it serves is stunted, reactionary and weak.

    Bank robbery is certainly less of a problem than copyright infringement, thousands of businesses steal photographs from thousands, if not millions of photographers every day, let alone musicians, writers, scientists, illustrators, painters, sculptors etc… (I myself have had tens of thousands of dollars worth of value stolen over the years by large corporations).

    The value is incalculable (and largely unmeasured because most creators are sole traders or freelancers with limited resources), and because the system is set up to favour the strong companies that can afford lawyers, they mainly get away with it by bullying and intimidating (and by lobbying in blogs like this one).

    This inequality between the powerful thieves and the weak victims is what law is supposed to iron out.

    As Lands and Posner state in “The Economic Structure of Intellectual Property Law”;

    “there is a danger of losing sight of the continuity between rights in physical and in intellectual property and thus the utility of using what economics has learned about the former to assist analysis of the latter……when intellectual property is “propertized,” that is, made subject to a regime of legally enforceable property rights, the rights holders should have the full range of remedies that owners of physical property have”.

    In other words; the only reason your car or house has any value is because laws artificially protect their value.

    Imagine what would happen if, laws did not artificially protect the value of your car – the day you brought it home and parked it in the drive, it would be stolen or stripped.

    This is what currently happens to musicians, writers photographers etc every day.

    It is quite possible for a photograph to generate many millions of dollars worth of value (in brand image and sales) for the company that uses it, but because copyright is so weakly enforced, the creator has very little chance of realising the true value of their creation – as is supposed to be their Basic Human Right.

    The inestimable growth of the world economy over the last thousand years is directly attributable to the development of property laws that protect the value of physical property. When intellectual property laws are equally as effective at protecting the value of intellectual property, we will see similar explosive growth of the world economy. We will see growth in the companies that are good at producing creative works, and a boom in the industries that support them.

    Copyright Law protects the little guy.

    The only people who argue for the abolishment of copyright, and for creative commons etc, are people who want something for nothing and who are lobbying on behalf of large corporations (search engines and newspapers) who want free content.

    Of course the big guy wants free stuff.

    If you argue against copyright, you’re an pawn for the large corporations, you are arguing for legalising stealing from hard working, creative individuals who create the things you enjoy, you’re are arguing for extreme backwards economic movement, and you risk sounding like a Human Rights violator.

    You also sound like an idiot.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 9:10pm

      Re: Farcical discussions

      I'm a copyright abolitionist and a content creator who is saddened by the strangling of the public domain.

      Intellectual privilege ain't a human right.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 9:27pm

      Re: Farcical discussions

      "If someone creates something - a song, a photograph, a novel, a painting whatever, they have the right to make money from it."

      No they don't. They have the right to try to make money and be paid for agreed upon labor, but hard work in and of itself does not entitle you to money. Otherwise there'd be a law against simply choosing not
      to buy from a certain store and going elsewhere.

      "To liken the idea of cooking your own hamburger to stealing from McDonalds as if that somehow equates to copying a song, is the most ridiculous statement ever; if you make your own song - really create it, from scratch - sure, you own it and that is similar to making your own hamburger, but copying something someone else made is not creating it, and is an Human Rights Violation."

      But copying does in fact create a new copy from scratch, usesing an older copy as a sort of "recipe".

      And no, monopolies are not a human right.

      "
      Mike, your understanding of copyright and the purpose it serves is stunted, reactionary and weak."

      First off, I am not mike. Second, copyright's purpose is to promote progress in the US. And had pretty much the same purpose when the statute of anne was passed.

      "Bank robbery is certainly less of a problem than copyright infringement, thousands of businesses steal photographs from thousands, if not millions of photographers every day, let alone musicians, writers, scientists, illustrators, painters, sculptors etc… (I myself have had tens of thousands of dollars worth of value stolen over the years by large corporations).
      "

      Copying is not the same thing as theft. You did not lose anything, new copies were created. It's like saying burger king stole from McDonald's because the competition reduced the value of their hamburgers.

      I'll get to the rest of what you wrote later, but my god you are so wrong I can't help but laugh.

       

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    identicon
    Thos003, May 4th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    Anthem - Ayn Rand

    Some of these arguments are as backwards as the ideals of Ayn Rand's democratic government of the future. "But what would the candlemakers do?"

    The Internet makes everything more competitve. Competition fuels the fire of innovation. Creativity that gets you ahead pulls everyone else along as well.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    jon, May 4th, 2010 @ 10:09pm

    Not Mike

    Hey 'not-Mike', (not sure why you thought I as calling you Mike, must be the narcissist in you...)

    That's not even close to a refutation.

    The Bern convention states;

    "The countries to which this Convention applies constitute a Union for the protection of the rights of authors in their literary and artistic works."

    And;

    "The expression “literary and artistic works” shall include every production in the literary, scientific and artistic domain, whatever may be the mode or form of its expression"

    Seems pretty clearly a right to me.... Not sure why you think its not...

    Trust me, if a company uses a photograph of mine without my permission, it sure feels like theft, and I sure do lose money, and they sure do gain from my creation.

    Someone using a photo I created is not reducing the competition, they are stealing.

    If they were competing they would go make their own photo.

    I don't have a monopoly over making photos because of copyright, I have thousands if not millions of competitors in this global economy.

    If I had a Monopoly you would only be able to buy photos from me.

    Considering just about every business in the world uses photos to market itself, that would make me bigger than Bill Gates....

    Clearly I'm not.

    People who use the monopoly argument don't know what it means and are simply trying to use scaremongering tactics to help the search engines and newspapers get free content.

    Sure, I might have a single image that can provide value to you - and if you want to use it, you can come to an agreement with me to use it in exchange for money - but that is hardly a monopoly.

    And it's hardly unfair.

    I think you are getting copying and creating mixed up - if you copy a song or a photograph, you are stealing someone's intellectual property, and helping to make it really hard for them to scratch a living.

    All you guys arguing in circles are really just pissed that it's getting harder to steal music and software and games...

    Not sure what Tek Vahan is on about, sounds like he's had a few bad experiences trying to get tunes outta pigs...

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 11:01pm

      Re: Not Mike

      "Hey 'not-Mike', (not sure why you thought I as calling you Mike, must be the narcissist in you...)"

      You mentioned the hamburger analogy and then mentioned mike, of course I would assume you were calling me mike.


      "The Bern convention states;

      "The countries to which this Convention applies constitute a Union for the protection of the rights of authors in their literary and artistic works."

      All that proves is that bern is full of shit.


      "If they were competing they would go make their own photo."

      Copying is making your own photo.


      "Trust me, if a company uses a photograph of mine without my permission, it sure feels like theft, and I sure do lose money, and they sure do gain from my creation."

      You falsely equate money not earned with money lost. They are not the same. If they were competition would be classed as theft.


      "If they were competing they would go make their own photo."

      In other works, they should copy it?

      "I don't have a monopoly over making photos because of copyright, I have thousands if not millions of competitors in this global economy.

      If I had a Monopoly you would only be able to buy photos from me."

      You're confusing a market monopoly with a monopoly on a specific product.



      "I think you are getting copying and creating mixed up - if you copy a song or a photograph, you are stealing someone's intellectual property, and helping to make it really hard for them to scratch a living."

      No, you're trying to separate copying with creation when they aren't really separate. Copying IS the creation of an entirely new copying, that is a fact.

      Besides if you're using your labor(scarce resource) to create a non scarce resource and are expecting to sell the non scarce for a profit you have no one to blame but yourself for sticking to such an idiotic business model.

       

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    identicon
    jon, May 5th, 2010 @ 12:23am

    not mike

    Wow...

    Dude, you are really confused.

    The Bern Convention is signed by many countries, and is a legal convention, your opinion that it's "full of shit" is funny, but hardly a convincing argument.

    A monopoly is a monopoly; Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary;

    "Exclusive possession or control of the trade in a commodity, service etc; the condition of having no competition in one's trade or business; a situation in which one supplier or producer controls more than a specified fraction of the market; an exclusive privilege (conferred by a monarch, state etc) of selling some commodity or trading with a particular place or country."

    The idea that I have a monopoly because I create a single photo is farcical.

    Copying is by definition.... copying - to pretend that it's your own creation is ludicrous - do you seriously think that if you make a copy of a Wiggles track (I figure that's what you listen to), that somehow you created that - that you wrote the music, you sang the lyrics, recorded the instruments, mixed the various tracks to perfection, created the CD artwork, designed the layout, paid the musicians and designers, briefed and paid the marketers, briefed and paid the photographers and illustrators etc etc etc....

    Do you even have any idea how much investment and skill goes into creating something like that (yes, even that)...?

    Or perhaps you want to stay with photo's?

    Do you honestly think that because you re-save a JPG of The Wiggles from the web, and used them to advertise your Kebab shop, that somehow you created that photo?

    You are kidding yourself.

    Did you invest tens of thousands in education, career development, camera equipment, computer equipment, business development, spend years building client relationships until finally you had someone ring and ask you to make a particular picture of The Wiggles?

    Not even close to possible.

    You need to provide some kind of backup to your (idiotic) assertions regarding what is fact...

    You car sitting outside is not a scarce resource, there are millions of them everywhere... But I bet you wouldn't be very impressed if I came and took it.... And I bet you would call the cops and expect them to get it back if I did...

    Your 4th grade philosophising is laughable....

    If what you suggest was actually implemented, the entire world economy would disintegrate.

    Nice try though...

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 12:54am

      Re: not mike

      "Copying is by definition.... copying - to pretend that it's your own creation is ludicrous - do you seriously think that if you make a copy of a Wiggles track (I figure that's what you listen to), that somehow you created that - that you wrote the music, you sang the lyrics, recorded the instruments, mixed the various tracks to perfection, created the CD artwork, designed the layout, paid the musicians and designers, briefed and paid the marketers, briefed and paid the photographers and illustrators etc etc etc...."

      What you just described the first creation. While harder than just copying it does not make copying any less an act of creation.

      Creation is the process of bringing something into existence, therefore copying is creation because the result is that a new copy exists.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 12:59am

        Re: Re: not mike

        And it does qualify as a monopoly as the market for that specific thing is controlled by a single entity.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Fred, May 6th, 2010 @ 5:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: not mike

          Just so I understand this; if a specific thing is controlled by a single entity, then the single entity has a monopoly on that specific thing?

           

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    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 3:42am

      Re: not mike

      "The idea that I have a monopoly because I create a single photo is farcical."

      Not, it's not. For the duration of copyright, you are given the monopoly on that photo. That's the entire definition of copyright - a temporary monopoly to promote the advancement of the arts.

      "You car sitting outside is not a scarce resource"

      Erm, yes it is. To understand this, instead of the word "scarce" try using "finite". There is a limit to how many cars that can be made, be it due to cost, raw materials, labour, whatever. There is no limit to the number of copies that can be made of a digital good, therefore it is not scarce.

      Also, to go back to a previous copy of yours:

      "Trust me, if a company uses a photograph of mine without my permission, it sure feels like theft, and I sure do lose money, and they sure do gain from my creation."

      It might *feel* like theft, but it's not. You haven't lost the photo - it's still yours to do what you want with. The only thing you've lost is the *potential* to sell to the same person who has obtained a copy without your permission, or licence fees that you would have gotten.

      This is not theft. This is a violation of temporary monopoly contract that copyright provides, and it's a civil matter not a criminal one. However your feelings are hurt and how much you think you're owed, it's not the same as stealing a physical good.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        jon, May 5th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

        Re: Re: not mike

        Paul,

        I gave the definition of monopoly earlier, but here it is again for you, from the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary;

        "Exclusive possession or control of the trade in a commodity, service etc; the condition of having no competition in one's trade or business; a situation in which one supplier or producer controls more than a specified fraction of the market; an exclusive privilege (conferred by a monarch, state etc) of selling some commodity or trading with a particular place or country."

        A monopoly applies at a trade, business, or industry level, not at the individual level of an object.

        Vilifying millions of individual photographers and songwriters and musicians and pretending they each have a pressing monopoly (which defies logic) on each object they create, when large phone companies, utilities, search engines, and military contractors have infinitely more dangerous and real monopolies, is completely farcical.

        Large corporations that want free content (so they can make money) are propagating linguistic contortions, and you lot are lapping it up because you think you'll get something for free.

        It's the same mindless following that enabled Nazism.

        Because Monopoly is a charged word (for very good reason), already loaded with negative connotations, it is misappropriated by people who want to perform the biggest (illegal) 'land-grab' in the history of the earth.

        The idea that just because it's easy to copy something, creators should be forced to give out their creations for free to everyone and anyone, is morally bankrupt.

        It's easy to shoot someone, it's easy to burn down a house, it's easy to steal candy from a baby.

        Is that the kind of person you are PaulIT?

        Do you really think that simply because something is easy, it should be legalised?

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Fred, May 6th, 2010 @ 6:43pm

        Re: Re: not mike

        "There is a limit to how many cars that can be made, be it due to cost, raw materials, labour, whatever. There is no limit to the number of copies that can be made of a digital good, therefore it is not scarce."

        So the ownership of an infinite resource - i.e. one that is not a physical good, and is infinitely digitally duplicable, should not be artificially constrained by law to a single owner?

         

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  •  
    identicon
    jon, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:10am

    not Mike

    Nice one, you are an intellectual tour de force...

    You've clearly never created anything other than a wad of wet tissues....

    I'm done..

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:22am

      Re: not Mike

      I do programing for a living, no copying involved. By your standards that is creation.

      Your problem is you're emotionally unsuited to debate on the facts.

       

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    •  
      icon
      techflaws.org (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 5:22am

      Re: not Mike

      I'm done..

      Finally. It's always painful to see someone go on while being to stupid to use the reply button properly.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2010 @ 7:21am

      Re: not Mike

      "You've clearly never created anything other than a wad of wet tissues...."

      Feeeeeeeeeel the entitlement oozing and dribbling out...

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Darryl, May 5th, 2010 @ 2:42am

    To Jon

    Well said....

    At least some people here seem to have a clue about how society actually works. and are not motived by greed and having the opinion that if someone makes something they like they have the right to take that thing for their own purposes.

    As for making a hamburger and copying macdonalds, what a joke, it's clear some if not most here drink from the same cool aid fountain as Mike does..

    If Mike is a laywer, then he needs to hit those books again, and get a bit of an idea about the law.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 2:49am

      Re: To Jon

      I see Jon has an alter ego.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 3:21am

      Re: To Jon

      "At least some people here seem to have a clue about how society actually works."

      Not you apparently.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Nastybutler77 (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

      Re: To Jon

      Not motivated by greed? Really? You're saying the person whining about not being paid for overpriced photographs isn't greedy?

      Oh, Mike isn't a "laywer" or a lawyer, but he does have an economics degree which allows him to understand the difference between infinite goods and scarce goods, which you obviously have no clue what the difference is. Perhaps you should hit the Econ 101 book and educate yourself to the fact that the world doesn't work how you might necessarily want it to, but as the market dictates.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    DONNA, Jul 27th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    SONG

    Question: I have a song that's copywrited. How do I get in touch with a big rock band to hear it? Should I get an entertainment lawyer? What are the steps for me to get the song out there for maybe a cd or for TV or for a movie? I know there's only a tiny chance anyone would want it, but I have to start somewhere. I'm asking for advice. Thanks.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    I'M AUTHOR TOO, Aug 16th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    I understand you, boy, some of my works have been "shared" too so I'm not going to do more until this is not fixed.
    Today internet sucks so I'm out of businees for a while.
    Obviously piracy will not long very much, because it's a menace for world security, so sooner than later the governments will find a way to cut it, but meanwhile nobody is going to steal my work.

     

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


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