Musician/Media Professor Explains Why Teenager Was Right In Debate With Composer

from the look-to-the-future dept

We recently discussed the email debate held between a teenager and composer Jason Robert Brown, where the teen tried to convince Brown that he was overreacting to people trading copies of his sheet music online. The debate was pretty interesting, and we (not surprisingly) sided with the teen. The NY Times' David Pogue has now written about that story as well, at first saying that he sided with Brown, claiming that the teen's claim that she has no way to buy his sheet music because her parents won't pay for it and she has no credit card is unpersuasive because "I don't see why it's Mr. Brown's obligation to sacrifice on her behalf." To that, I have to ask, what sacrifice? What has Brown "lost" in allowing Eleanor to download a copy of his sheet music? She not only wouldn't pay for it, she couldn't. There's no doubt that there is no loss at all here, and thus, no sacrifice.

But where the Pogue blog post gets really interesting is that he spoke to Michael Hawley, an award winning musician and former MIT Media Lab guy, who totally sides with the teen, and says that downloading sheetmusic without paying for it isn't just okay, but it's necessary. Here's some of what he wrote, though you should read the whole thing in Pogue's post:
I play the piano. Over the years, I have collected 15,000 piano scores in PDF form, covering about 400 years of classical keyboard works.

It's like lint in the drier of the Internet. Much of it is not available anywhere for purchase, or even findable in libraries for circulation. Max Reger's arrangement for two pianos of Wagner's overture, for instance? Well, the Max Reger Institute in Karlsruhe, Germany has a copy....

....

Fortunately, over the last ten or fifteen years, amateur pianists have been scanning the contents of their grandmother's piano benches, and... voila. A million monkeys typing don't get you Shakespeare, but a million monkeys scanning -- that makes a dent. I began collecting this stuff as a hobby. One day, I looked at my pile of music score bits. In those days, 15 gigabytes was most of my hard drive. But it was all there. All of Bach. All of Scriabin. All of Rachmaninoff.

At the Van Cliburn piano competition, a couple years ago, I gave tiny thumb drives to some of the winners and said, "Enjoy." Each thumb drive was smaller than my pinky but contained was the whole 15 GB trove. It blew their minds. Basically, every significant piano piece is in the pile.

What happened is, the classical piano sheet music publishing world plotzed a long time ago. But thanks to the monkeys, a lot of DNA has been preserved and is more available now than ever before. The monkeys aren't as well organized as the Wikipedia minions, but someday they will be.
The point is pretty clear -- and it's one we've made many times in the past. What these people are doing is not just sharing culture, but it's preserving and bolstering culture. Those who focus on the copyright issue only miss out on the fact that when you put a toll booth on cultural references, many of those references lose their value. In the end, Hawley notes "Generally, I side with the teenagers." It's really a question of whether you're looking at what the law says or what the technology allows. Those who stick by the law are missing out on why the law is outdated, and purposely shutting yourself off from the wonderful things technology can do makes very little sense.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Dude, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 11:40am

    yeah but

    Preserving culture? Oh, perhaps. But this is a tired, tired argument from you. Of course it would be nice to let some teenager use my Porsche when I'm not using it. But is it fair? What incentive will be there be to create music? Suddenly composers will only be able to work for free and while there may be some who continue, they'll all be forced to have a day job. All so you can let some teenager do whatever they want.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Re: yeah but

    "What incentive will be there be to create music?"

    Music was created before copyright. Music will be created after it. There are plenty of incentives, including the love of art, expression, and the ability to earn a living that remains despite your simplistic attempt to state otherwise....

    "Suddenly composers will only be able to work for free and while there may be some who continue, they'll all be forced to have a day job."

    Er...what? How did composers live before copyright then? I guess they must have all starved. Or maybe they did work for hire arrangements, strike paid deals with performers, etc. Simplistic arguments are not compelling....

     

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  3.  
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    RD, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    OK! so all you detractors of this idea of preserving and making available lost works, an idea that is unnecessary, please point me to exactly where I can purchase the following:

    Song of the South disney movie
    The John Larroquette Show - all seasons
    VR.5 TV show from the mid-90's

    When you can point me to legal, legitimate, fully-authorized purchasable copies of these, then you can open your yaps. Otherwise, S T F U.

     

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    RD, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 11:53am

    Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right? (take 2)

    OK! so all you detractors of this idea of preserving and making available lost works as an idea that is unnecessary, please point me to exactly where I can purchase the following:

    Song of the South disney movie
    The John Larroquette Show - all seasons
    VR.5 TV show from the mid-90's

    When you can point me to legal, legitimate, fully-authorized purchasable copies of these, then you can open your yaps. Otherwise, S T F U.

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Re: yeah but

    Preserving culture? Oh, perhaps. But this is a tired, tired argument from you. Of course it would be nice to let some teenager use my Porsche when I'm not using it. But is it fair? What incentive will be there be to create music? Suddenly composers will only be able to work for free and while there may be some who continue, they'll all be forced to have a day job. All so you can let some teenager do whatever they want.

    I'm assuming this is satire, because it hits on all the debunked talking points of copyright defenders....

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    If copy protection laws last enough years to make many pieces of work (ie: newspapers and others) potentially go out of print and existence before the copy protection expires then the protection effectively doesn't last a limited number of years as required by the constitution. Under such circumstances I have a constitutional right to make copies without authorization regardless. Otherwise the work could disappear and never be found and hence, by preventing the work from ever effectively reaching the public domain, the copy protections effectively lasted forever, which is unconstitutional.

     

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    Dude, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: yeah but

    Partisan much? If you want the world to be fair, you've got to apply the same rules to everyone. And so if you let the teenager freely copy everything, you've got to let everyone else copy stuff too. And so then everyone gets everything for free. And yeah, there will be some folks that make music for fun, but they'll all be forced to get day jobs. At least the copyright world made some musicians rich. Your plan is to make every single musician rely on a day jobs just so you can let some teenager get something for free. Sounds pretty sucky. It sounds like you're banning people from making a living as musicians. I realize the old record labels sucked most of the time, but at least they rewarded some of the musicians.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    HERE HERE!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    There were no composers before copyright. Bach was a hack, and Mozart was a gay communist hippie.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    And yeah, there will be some folks that make music for fun, but they'll all be forced to get day jobs. ... Your plan is to make every single musician rely on a day jobs just so you can let some teenager get something for free.

    Because, you know, the only way musicians make money is by selling CDs (or in this case sheet music). Would you agree concerts are worthless and wastes of time for artists? How about their merchandise? Are you implying these revenue streams don't significantly help artists earn a living?

     

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  11.  
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    frankster, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: yeah but

    I thought it was a breath of fresh air. This blog is always going off on the artists accusing them for being jerks for just asking for some pay. It's about time someone responds.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    so if i cant afford a porsche, and can never afford a porsche, should the dealership just give me one? wheres the logic in that?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    Re:

    No, but they also shouldn't get all hot and bothered if you manage to construct your own using machinery in your possession. Nice try, but fail....

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Re: yeah but

    if a teenager could copy your porsche while allowing you to retain your original porsche so that there were now two porsches, blah blah blah

     

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    MrWilson, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Porsche

    If you're capable of reproducing a Porsche without incurring any cost to the designer or the dealership, then yes, you can have a Porsche for free.

    People trading digital content who would otherwise not pay for the digital content are not incurring any cost to the author/musician/creator/etc.

    If you get a Porsche from a car dealer for free, that's one more Porsche that the car dealer can't sell and he is out that money. If you get a copy of sheet music online when you weren't able to or weren't going to purchase it, you have not deprived the musician of anything.

    The value of the digital content is dependent on it being free and easily accessible.

     

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  16.  
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    crade (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    You can easily have the same rules apply to everyone without allowing everyone to freely copy everything. You do this by setting up a rule that sets the same conditions required for free copying for everyone, such as an income bracket, financial condition, intended purpose, etc. The current fair use rules are an example.

     

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    Nate (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    There's a HUGE difference between a physical item and a digital copy as follows: When the dealer gives you a Porche the dealer no longer has ownership of it. That specific Porche can only be in one place at a time. With a digital copy the original owner still retains the data even after someone takes a copy.

    What most people complain about is lost sales, which some assume occurs every time someone makes a copy of a digital work. This is a blatantly false assumption! I could, right now, go download Linkin Park's Meteora illegally, but it's not a lost sale because I /hate/ Linkin Park. They had no sale to gain from me to begin with.

    So back to your concern of lack of logic, you made a false assumption that the exchange of real life goods is exactly the same as the exchange of digital goods. This is why you are confused.

     

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  18.  
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    Jay (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    I read both of the articles linked from the original article.

    The problem that both of the authors had is that they conclude (wrongly) that if I download a copy instead of buying it, I'm somehow robbing them of a sale.

    As "Eleanor" (she hates Brennor) states, she does give reason that Jason, IMO, ignores to say "No, it's wrong."

    Perhaps later on she would have been a very good customer when she was older. Maybe, as she spreads his name and his works, her friends would have made this even better.

    As it stands, he's more of a jerk who believes in short term sales than a better reputation for the long term.

     

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  19.  
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    Vincent Clement, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    You are mistaken if you believe that copyright "made some musicians rich". The majority of top music acts make their money by touring and selling merchandise not by recording songs.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    I don't know about these specific examples, but I've had problems trying to get a book that was listed for sale on many sites. Upon trying to actually purchase the book it would later say that they didn't have any in stock and that I couldn't. Just because it lists it up there doesn't mean you can actually buy it. I have no reason to purchase from the links you provided, being I'm not the one you are responding to, but don't assume that just because it's there means it's actually purchasable. It's not always the case.

     

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  21.  
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    lux (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    "She not only wouldn't pay for it, she couldn't. There's no doubt that there is no loss at all here, and thus, no sacrifice."

    So, if no one can afford anything, it should be given to them freely?

    Let's assume for a minute that all sheet music must still come in physical form, not .PDF. Someone has to pay for the paper, and therefore there would be some type of loss if Eleanor acquired the song freely. I think we can agree on this, but let me know if otherwise...

    Now, in the digital age, you can copy-and-paste millions of times, effectively creating a million copies of this piece of work.

    Now, in the first scenario the artist would suffer if Eleanor got the song for free, because we assume he would be fronting the cost for the paper (again, this is all hypothetical), but I have to ask, why the hell would the ethical nature of this change in the digital age? The composer still produced the work, and should therefore be compensated.

    Please, let's forget the "we are pushing to preserve the arts" argument because that's only being pushed by the people who want free stuff, not by those creating the content which others distribute freely/illegally.

    Please, please address this point. I still struggle to figure our how ethics such as this could have literally changed overnight, with the creation of a paper-scanner.

     

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  22.  
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    lux (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Mike, we need edit buttons.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    "And yeah, there will be some folks that make music for fun, but they'll all be forced to get day jobs."

    and personally I don't see anything wrong with that. It is not the job of congress to distort the free market such as to encourage people to make a career out of making music. That is economically inefficient. If people make a career out of making music in a free market that is fine and efficient. If it is government regulation that encourages people to make a career out of making music that's economically inefficient. It takes away from marginally more relevant economic activities that could be served. In other words, I would much rather those people who use copy protection laws to make a career out of making music to better contribute to the economy and society by finding another job instead. Others will manage to make music and art perfectly well without these protections.

     

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  24.  
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    Bubba Gump (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: yeah but

    I vaguely recall composers being supported by wealthy patrons.

    Take away all incentive for composers to make music (and take away all music) and you'd suddenly have the same thing. A bunch of rich people would say, "Shit. There's no music, I'm gonna hire me a composer to make some."

    Of course, nowadays they would immediately claim that it would all be "work for hire" and claim copyright on the compositions...

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

    Re:

    " The composer still produced the work, and should therefore be compensated. "

    Is this seriously your argument?

     

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  26.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

    Re:

    "Now, in the first scenario the artist would suffer if Eleanor got the song for free, because we assume he would be fronting the cost for the paper (again, this is all hypothetical), but I have to ask, why the hell would the ethical nature of this change in the digital age? The composer still produced the work, and should therefore be compensated."

    Well, if we look at it in terms of ethics and set aside the economics (which is kind of odd, but let's play out your hypothetical), then you're right. Because he produced something and someone clearly wants it, he should be compensated if he wishes. Here's the problem.

    In Scenario #1:

    He produced the sheet music, which took time. He then produced physical copies of his sheet music, which involve hard marginal costs due to the physical nature of the product. Say he sells the physical sheet music at $5/pc (as has been suggested to be the norm in a few articles I've read). How much would you suggest were the costs that went into physical reproduction? I'm guessing this is being conservative, but let's say it's half the cost, or $2.50. That means that the labor required to create, market, and distribute the copies is worth $2.50/pc.

    Scenario #2:

    The ONLY cost we need to talk about is his labor to create. Most or all the other costs have gone away. It costs nothing to replicate, and the nature of replication results in most of the marketing he'll ever need. So we're left with the $2.50/pc in labor minus all the non-creation related costs. Let's say it's $1 per (I'm admittedly pulling these numbers from a sense of reason, but I DO think they're reasonable). Now let's take into account the fact that the nature of digital distribution means that, if good, his work is more likely to be VASTLY more widely spread. As a result of bulk, you would expect his demand for payment for labor to go down (after all, he isn't doing any more labor that resulted in more distribution, so ethically speaking he should expect less income per piece). If it's vastly spread to the point where infinity is a reasonable number for practical purposes, it would be UNETHICAL to charge more than a few pennies per piece.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    Re:

    "Please, please address this point."

    What point, that the computer needs to be compensated because .... I don't even know. What the heck?

     

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  28.  
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    Lyle, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:34pm

    My modest copyright proposal

    IF your book/sheet music etc goes out of print the copyright expires 5 years after that. Since the purpose of copyright is to encourage expression a book out of print no longer does that. This would be no problem for Disney et.al. as they would simply have to follow current policy and release dvds every 4 or so years to hold things. Orphan books automatically fall out.
    The other way is you get 20 years protection free but must pay an increasing amount for each year beyond that going to perhaps 100k per year past 100 for pieces. In essence you make copyright holders pay for the priviledge, it raises revenue, and shows what is really valuable.

     

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    unknown human, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    Confused

    If we are arguing about notes on paper and words on paper then why are today's bands screaming about being ripped off when that is what they are doing, i am sure that someone somewhere at sometime or another played those notes or sang those words before, maybe not in that order or style but they were still played by someone. Music is supposed to soothe the savage beast or so i heard, but all it seems to be doing is riling up the beast. Maybe we should all stop listening to music, stop buying it, stop sharing it. then the "bands" would have something to complain about.
    rant complete for now.

     

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  30.  
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    JD (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    He did specify "legal, legitimate, fully-authorized purchasable copies". I'm not sure about the other two, but Disney has never released Song of the South on DVD so it's a pretty safe bet that whatever atomicmall.com is sell does not meet RD's specification.

     

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  31.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    Someone wrote (I'm not sure of the attribution): Now, in the digital age, you can copy-and-paste millions of times, effectively creating a million copies of this piece of work.


    OK, if we imagine that this "piece of work" is "manufactured" by cut-n-paste millions of times, and we imagine that this "piece of work" is some kind of property, like a car, or a lathe or a radio antenna, then the price should fall to something very close to zero. The marginal cost of production has decreased to nearly zero. Classical economics would have us believe that a nearly zero cost of production would end up putting the price of a good at nearly zero.

    So, how is the file-sharing situation any different?

     

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  32.  
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    lux (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:43pm

    " The composer still produced the work, and should therefore be compensated. "

    Is this seriously your argument?
    ------------

    Does the Anonymous Coward care to elaborate?

     

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  33.  
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    Art, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    Oops. I must have missed that part of the Constitution that said you have the right to any creative content you wish even though the creative of such content desires otherwise.

     

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    lux (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    "If it's vastly spread to the point where infinity is a reasonable number for practical purposes, it would be UNETHICAL to charge more than a few pennies per piece."

    I absolutely see your point, and it borders on basic supply/demand economics. But, where's the upside to the content creator if you just copy his work 12 billion times over, and therefore reduce the value of his work by 12 billion percent.

    Hypothetically, no matter how many copies are available, infinity copies are STILL available, so there is no end to this. It might be "free" marketing, but not when the 12 billion copies get distributed and no one pays. Or the 1,000 people are who REALLY interested do pay, but pay the extremely deflated cost.

     

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  35.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:14pm

    Re:

    "Hypothetically, no matter how many copies are available, infinity copies are STILL available, so there is no end to this. It might be "free" marketing, but not when the 12 billion copies get distributed and no one pays. Or the 1,000 people are who REALLY interested do pay, but pay the extremely deflated cost."

    It's a reasonable question and, ultimately, the crux of the issue. The thing is, it's on the CREATOR to figure out how to make money from his craft. As you asked an ethical question, I answered that it would be unethical to apply old world pricing to new world situtations. Now you're asking me an economical question, so we have to go back to economics. The short story is that a creative person will figure out how to make money from his/her creative works. A few quick examples for sheet music that I can thing of in about thirty seconds:

    1. Selling physical sheet music books to those that download the digital version. All the normal book rules apply: signed copies, valuable extras, etc.

    2. Selling access to the creator. For example, if you buy the book, you can have the creator of the sheet music review your own composition and critique it for you.

    3. Work for hire. Get famous from the distributed sheet music, movie/tv studios want you to compose for them.

    And I'm sure there are many more. I'm exploring doing some of these types of things with my own work (fictional novels), and I'm actually getting MORE excited as time goes on....

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    In other words I don't want the government "subsidizing" music and art with monopoly rents. Even if it encourages more people to create music and art it comes at the expense of other sectors of the economy and there are many other more important things to subsidize (though govt granted monopoly rents isn't the proper way to "subsidize" anything). People will create music and art perfectly will without these monopoly "subsidies."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    perfectly well *

     

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    nasch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    Say it again! Maybe the third time it will be right.

     

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    lux (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:27pm

    "The short story is that a creative person will figure out how to make money from his/her creative works."

    That does pretty much sum it up.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    I am all in favor of Open Source and Creative Commons, but let's face it, people have to make a living... So back to the Porsche analogy:
    If you can reproduce a Porsche at 0 cost, then everyone can get one, so why would anyone buy it? Let's say for the sake of argument that the original Porsche has better quality or more features, still by letting anyone have an indistinguishable copy it loses its value because it is not rare anymore.

    So by letting the teenager just download a copy he is not protecting his Intellectual Property, and even though he is not losing a direct sale, his work loses value because now the people who were going to buy for it's exclusiveness don't want it anymore because it is not exclusive. Now if the composer offered it as a free gift to this one teenager that is another matter, and good PR for him.

     

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  41.  
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    mojo, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:29pm

    Saying the girl couldn't afford to pay, therefore there was no loss, therefore it was ok for her to download the work is an irresponsible and dangerous argument.

    When i was a kid, if i wanted to buy something, be it a toy or a record album, I had to save my money to be able to buy it. Or work to earn the money, or come up with a trade.

    There was MOTIVATION to work to earn money to buy the things I wanted.

    But to suggest that it's ok to give away something for free just because a teen can't afford it takes away one of the basic motivations for what makes the world turn.

    I don't care if a generation of teens thinks music should be free, or dirt cheap, because "I can't afford to fill my iPod with paid music." If you want something that has a pricetag, get a frakking job, earn the money and BUY IT.

    Just like your parents do.

     

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  42.  
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    coldbrew, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Re: conflating physical vs. virtual

    This should be addressed with an official TD "FAQ" that can be easily referenced, and possibly obnoxiously large text (as it would appear w/in the comment section).

    I can't believe the regular commenters don't get tired of this crap.

     

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    lux (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    "Classical economics would have us believe that a nearly zero cost of production would end up putting the price of a good at nearly zero."

    Classical models do not take into consideration modern-day problems created by technology.

    Just imagine all the time/money/resources it took to produce 1 vinyl album back in the 50's, now flash forward and take that record, and right click it, select 'Copy', now right click again and click 'Paste'. Repeat the last step, 100 million times.

    You just blew the mind of the 1950's economist.

     

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    nasch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    Re:

    If you can reproduce a Porsche at 0 cost, then everyone can get one, so why would anyone buy it?

    A few people would still buy one because they want a genuine Porsche, but probably hardly anyone.

    by letting anyone have an indistinguishable copy it loses its value because it is not rare anymore.

    Nobody should drive a car because it's rare or valuable. Collecting cars because they're rare or valuable is fine, but getting a car to drive for that reason is stupid. And I wouldn't care if the people who do that suddenly find themselves with a common vehicle. They'll have to find some other way to demonstrate to other people that they're rich.

    So... in this hypothetical situation, I'm still not sure what your point is. We would legally prevent people from making their own Porches? For what reason? To protect Porsche's profits? Why would we want to do that?

    his work loses value because now the people who were going to buy for it's exclusiveness don't want it anymore because it is not exclusive.

    Seriously, people buy digital files because they're exclusive (or rather, they pretend they're exclusive)? That is just beyond stupid, even more so than with the Porsche example, and again something I have no sympathy for. Actually I just don't believe anybody does that.

    The producer needs to find some other reason to buy than "there aren't very many copies of it that I know of." Even something as simple as "it's really good" would be a lot better than that.

     

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  45.  
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    nasch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:50pm

    Re:

    How does that show that the same old economics no longer apply? You've demonstrated that the cost of production is, in fact, effectively zero. And that it used to be higher than that. From that you seem to jump to the conclusion that price is no longer going to tend toward marginal cost of production? Why not?

     

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    jjmsan (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    Just out of curiosity how do you know they are not pirated copies? I have never heard that Song of the South was put on DVD by Disney.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

    Re: yeah but

    "What incentive will be there be to create music? Suddenly composers will only be able to work for free and while there may be some who continue, they'll all be forced to have a day job."

    Here's a News Flash for you...
    I'm a music promoter and personally know MANY bands of different stature. Some are local, some are national, some are international. Only a VERY small percentage of them live off of their music alone. Some that do, are only able to do so because they still live at home with their parents. (Not uncommon outside the U.S.) The others that are able, do so only by touring relentlessly.

    My point is though, that most of the bands I know DO have day jobs and often remark about what a "shit business music really is". They do it anyway because they love music and enjoy playing for an audience, big or small. None of them are disillusioned, expecting to be millionaires. They work hard by day and play hard on the nights and weekends.

    These are real bands I'm talking about. Real musicians. Not the talentless "Lady Gaga's" of the world. If copyright law was reduced to it's original form, nothing would change musically. More real musicians and less "Lady Gaga's" would be a big plus. Only the big labels and talentless hacks supported by them would suffer. For everyone else it would be life as usual.

    If you want an eye opener check out the movie "The Story of Anvil". This band has been around over 35 years and still do it purely for the love of it, all while working day jobs. It's a touching, funny movie, similar to "This is Spinal Tap" except it's a real story about a real band, unlike Spinal Tap which was actors playing fictional characters in a scripted movie.

     

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    lux (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

    "How does that show that the same old economics no longer apply? You've demonstrated that the cost of production is, in fact, effectively zero."

    Well for starters, those pesky computers that have copy-and-paste functionality aren't free, so I'm not sure why you keep saying the production cost is zero.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:57pm

    Re:

    That's a sunk cost, not a marginal cost. Sunk costs generally do not factor into price....

     

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    lux (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    Does economics take into account the effort needed to produce a copy of a good? If not, why not? Economists seem to be able to quantify everything else (i.e. propensity to consume and whatnot), and these things are just human behavior, but make their way into economic models.

    This is going to be a bad example, but clearly, the effort to produce 2 Porches far outweighs the simplicity of copying an MP3 of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Again this is a crappy example, but something must be said for the level of effort used to increase/decrease the marginal cost of a good.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    This blog is always going off on the artists accusing them for being jerks for just asking for some pay.

    No one has ever said that an artist is a jerk for "asking for some pay." We've argued that they're upsetting fans for feeling *entitled* to an obsolete business model.

    Quite different.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Let's make a revolution in congress to get them to approve a 10 years protection on Intellectual Property, with extensions costs based on the profitability of said IP with a maximum time of say 50 years or the life of the CREATOR (the last creator living in case of a group) whichever comes FIRST. I think that is reasonable. IPs should not be transferible nor owned by legal entities rather than persons. If an invention is a collaboration of many employees for a company and the employees were already compensated (they got paid their salary) then the owner or board of directors as individuals should be the IP holders.

     

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    crade (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:05pm

    Re:

    Meh, you can set up arbitrary motivations anywhere, that doesn't mean they are neccesary for "the world to turn". Keep in mind that the fact that this has a pricetag is just some arbinatraty regulation the government made up, which they could make up for anything.

    The government could say you must give them 20 grand by your 15th birthday or be killed, which would probably be a great motivator to make money. Turning 15 now has a pricetag. You want it, earn the money and buy it!

    That said, I agree the fact that can't afford it doesn't matter.

    The claim they are trying to make there is that she already has no motivation to purchase, so there is no loss to the seller.

    I don't see how this claim holds any water though. The whole plan of selling infinite goods depends on being able to pretend they are actually a scarcity, and not let on that they are actually in unlimited supply. To do this, you must maintain strict control of the source.

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: yeah but

    Second the "Anvil: the Story of Anvil" recommendation.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    Partisan much?

    Huh? How is being honest partisan? Truth knows no parties.

    If you want the world to be fair, you've got to apply the same rules to everyone.

    Sure. Let's do that. If I build a house, no one pays me every time someone uses that house. So, let's get rid of the rules that do the same thing for content. After all, you want to apply the same rules to everyone, right?

    And so if you let the teenager freely copy everything, you've got to let everyone else copy stuff too.

    Sure, copy away. What's wrong with allowing copying?

    And so then everyone gets everything for free.

    No, not everything. Only the stuff that can be copied. You can't copy everything. You can't copy the artist. You can't copy access to the artist.

    And yeah, there will be some folks that make music for fun, but they'll all be forced to get day jobs.

    Funny then, that we keep pointing to more and more artists who are making a living by employing business models that don't rely on copyright. And it's THOSE artists who in the past would have had to have gotten a day job because the old model of gatekeepers never would have accepted them.

    At least the copyright world made some musicians rich

    Not because of copyright.

    Your plan is to make every single musician rely on a day jobs just so you can let some teenager get something for free.

    Not at all. We detail tons of business models that work for musicians.

    It sounds like you're banning people from making a living as musicians.

    How is helping artists make money from their art banning people from making a living?

    Your mistake is thinking that the only way to make money being a musician is through copyright. You're wrong. Very, very wrong.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:12pm

    Re:

    So, if no one can afford anything, it should be given to them freely?


    No. The argument is that if a copy can be made for free, the market will drive the price to that point, and that makes the whole market better off. It's not about "giving it to them freely." It's about letting the market create copies.

    Let's assume for a minute that all sheet music must still come in physical form, not .PDF. Someone has to pay for the paper

    Hey look! You finally recognize the difference between scarce and infinite goods.

    Now, in the digital age, you can copy-and-paste millions of times, effectively creating a million copies of this piece of work.

    Yes, modern technology makes the economics more efficient. Why some people want to artificially make the market inefficient is beyond me.

    Now, in the first scenario the artist would suffer if Eleanor got the song for free, because we assume he would be fronting the cost for the paper (again, this is all hypothetical), but I have to ask, why the hell would the ethical nature of this change in the digital age? The composer still produced the work, and should therefore be compensated.

    Ok. While we're making ridiculously bad scenarios, let's talk about telephone operators. It used to be that to make a phone call, you had to have a person (usually a woman) physically connect the lines. Then technology came along and made it so you didn't need that gatekeeper any more. Now with that automated switching technology, suddenly there was less need for the human operator.

    Most people think that increased efficiency is a good thing and opens up all sorts of new opportunities. Why do you think otherwise?

    Please, please address this point. I still struggle to figure our how ethics such as this could have literally changed overnight, with the creation of a paper-scanner.

    I've addressed it multiple times. A more efficient market increases the size of the pie, increasing the opportunity for everyone, so long as they embrace new models. There is no moral question if everyone can be better off:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20061115/020157.shtml

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:15pm

    Re:

    Classical models do not take into consideration modern-day problems created by technology.


    Uh, sure they do.

    Just imagine all the time/money/resources it took to produce 1 vinyl album back in the 50's, now flash forward and take that record, and right click it, select 'Copy', now right click again and click 'Paste'. Repeat the last step, 100 million times.

    You just blew the mind of the 1950's economist.


    Depends on the economist, certainly, but if we're talking about 1950s economists, you might when to check with Ken Arrow, who more or less defined the profession at the time. His works suggest he got what you don't understand. The economics of information includes a component where the information trades at $0.

     

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    lux (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    "Hey look! You finally recognize the difference between scarce and infinite goods."

    Easy with the sarcasm, I was an IS major, and currently work at a medical software company, I'll be the first to state I know (next to) nothing about economics, but that doesn't mean I don't have reason or common sense.

    "Then technology came along and made it so you didn't need that gatekeeper any more. Now with that automated switching technology, suddenly there was less need for the human operator."

    That human operator simply provided a service, and did not produce a physical good. For a more recent example, we could say the same thing about toll operators and the EasyPass system, which surely makes for more efficient highways, but again, I'm not arguing that we should be giving anything to the toll operators.

    Your example is simply referring to the removal of the middle man, which in all obviousness makes for a more efficient process/highway/phone call/whatever. However, in your example, no noticeable change was made known to the caller or the callee (word?), since they were totally abstracted away from this change in process. So in essence, nobody took a hit but the middle man. The driver and the highway don't care about the toll operator, just that they get to their destination quicker.

    Now, in today's world, the person taking the hit is not the middle man, but the creator of the content themselves. I still don't know why people are failing to see this difference.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    Actually the constitution says that congress may (not that it doesn't have to) grant a monopoly for a limited time to promote the progress. It has nothing to do with what the creators of the content want, only with what promotes the progress, and the time limit doesn't include indefinite retroactive copy protection extensions and it doesn't include the time needed for a work to stop existing and hence never enter the public domain (which effectively negates the limited time clause).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    not that it has to *

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

    On Porsches...

    I own a Porsche, which was given to me by Porsche in thanks for some work I did for them. Admittedly it is a very small Porsche, suitable for someone the size of Stuart Little, and would require some "magic" to drive in that case...

    But still, it is so, and it is a physical object which cost something to produce, it sits in a box on my mantelpiece. Digital copies... don't cost something to produce in the same way.

    Ideal car? I have sometimes thought about purchasing a Jaguar (a real one, this time, that I could drive), I probably could do that, but keeping it running/in good condition, not really viable. For actual practical use I drive a 2001 Kia.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

    Re:

    "Now, in today's world, the person taking the hit is not the middle man, but the creator of the content themselves. I still don't know why people are failing to see this difference."

    No, actually, in yesterdays world the creator took the hit from the middle men. In today's world the creator takes no hit. and if the creator doesn't like it the creator can simply choose not to create because it is mostly the middle men that traditionally lobbied for these retarded laws and it is mostly they who currently do. No one is forcing the creator to create. They can contribute elsewhere in the economy and find another job. but art and music will still be created perfectly well. No monopolies are needed and no one is forcing the creator to create if the creator thinks s/he is taking a hit.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:48pm

    Re:

    Yet plenty of free music is created all the time, music released under a CC license that needs no copy protection laws to be created.

     

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  64.  
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    MrWilson, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    Re:

    The entire problem is the fact that you're referring to the Porsche as if it is the same as the sheet music. They are not comparable commodities.

    The Porsche suffers from the law of scarcity. Only so many Porsche's can be manufactured. The classical economic concept of supply and demand applies to cars. The manufacturer will not make many more cars than it thinks it can sell. It is a product that is priced by the dealer and purchased by the consumer with its scarcity in mind.

    Sheet music in digital form is not subject to supply and demand. An infinite amount of copies can be made. No one buys the sheet music because its the Porsche version of sheet music. There is no premium brand of digital sheet music. All pricing of digital items is arbitrary.

    But back to your question regarding why anyone would buy a Porsche if everyone could get one for free - if they could be had for free, then the entire car manufacturing industry would disappear overnight and it wouldn't matter. Since this is an impossible hypothetical situation, it doesn't matter what people would do in that scenario.

    But people paying according to what they can afford and what their intended purpose is for purchasing the commodity is a good place to start. Rich people can afford more, so they can pay more. It's similar to how Adobe turns a blind eye to small time copyright infringement because college kids learn on unauthorized copies of Photoshop and then go on to work at big companies who buy bulk licenses of the software. If you couldn't afford to buy it, you can't deprive the creator of the sale. And you're spending the money you do have elsewhere and still helping the economy.

     

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    lux (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:52pm

    "In today's world the creator takes no hit."

    I take it you didn't read the article of the composer, which is what this whole thread was about.

    "No one is forcing the creator to create. They can contribute elsewhere in the economy and find another job."

    You clearly are a very cold, calculated individual with no sense of the arts. Nice chatting!

     

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  66.  
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    crade (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 3:56pm

    Re:

    Actually, the ones raising the stink are still the middlemen who are being made obsolete by the rise in technology.
    Although they are doing their best to convince everyone that they are really only raising this stink on behalf of the creators, obviously (in my mind at least) they are doing it for themselves (after all, their business is to make money for their company, not do charity crusades for others).

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:01pm

    Re:

    No, it is those who lobby for 95 year copy protection lengths (and constant retroactive extensions) that are cold and calculated with no sense of the arts. It is those who insist on making music for the sake of making profits, and optimally monetizing (by charging monopoly prices for) every copy of the music they originated, that are cold and calculating. Personally, I don't mind these people finding another job.

    After all, isn't the whole purpose of copy protection laws to enable people to make more money? Isn't that cold and calculating? You want artists to be able to use copy protection laws to make music their careers, that's kinda cold and calculating. Forget about making music and art as a hobby because you like it, it's about making a career out of it.

    But the reality is that you don't care about the artists, you only care about the cold and worthless middle men who have managed to coerce our media distribution channels outside the Internet to monopolize both content and distribution.

     

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  68.  
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    MrWilson, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    Re:

    I can't speak for the person you're quoting, but I can use my own example to refute your implications.

    I work in a creative field creating works in various media, including music, prose, visual art, interactive multimedia, and even games.

    I produce these for clients who pay me for the work. I found a way to use my creative skills to make a living. I'm not naive enough to think I can sell my digital works as if they were physical commodities.

    Artists can still utilize their creative skills to make a living without attempting to profit off of obsolete business models.

     

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    dorp, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:15pm

    Re:

    Your example is simply referring to the removal of the middle man, which in all obviousness makes for a more efficient process/highway/phone call/whatever. However, in your example, no noticeable change was made known to the caller or the callee (word?), since they were totally abstracted away from this change in process. So in essence, nobody took a hit but the middle man.

    You are having one hell of a time with virtual vs. real goods. The callers saw a huge change: faster calls AND cheaper too. In case that needs to be explained: with no need for manual connection, the call was dialed faster and since there was no longer a person that had to be paid daily, it was cheaper to provider and caller.


    The driver and the highway don't care about the toll operator, just that they get to their destination quicker.

    Sure as hell drivers care. Less toll operators charging less money equals quicker time to destination at less cost.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:19pm

    Re:

    Now, in today's world, the person taking the hit is not the middle man, but the creator of the content themselves. I still don't know why people are failing to see this difference

    But they're not taking the hit. That's the point. It's just that their business model options change, mostly for the better.

     

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  71.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Re:

    You are having one hell of a time with virtual vs. real goods. The callers saw a huge change: faster calls AND cheaper too. In case that needs to be explained: with no need for manual connection, the call was dialed faster and since there was no longer a person that had to be paid daily, it was cheaper to provider and caller.

    Not only that, but it resulted in new and useful services, including wider distribution of phone service, answering machines, voice mail, call waiting, caller ID... and... the internet.

     

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    rl78 (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    What is the true debate here?

    "It's really a question of whether you're looking at what the law says or what the technology allows. Those who stick by the law are missing out on why the law is outdated, and purposely shutting yourself off from the wonderful things technology can do makes very little sense."

    Technology allows me to pick the lock on your front door and disable your alarm. So it's alright for me to enter your home and steal your shit? Also I feel that the value of the possessions you own may be lost if I don't take them, so I am doing you, myself and the world a favor?

    Come on.

    Just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should, or that it's inherently right because we can.

    The notion that we should take something that isn't ours, because it would be otherwise lost to future generations, while sounding noble, is still wrong. The motives may be pure, but to say by any means necessary really isn't.

    Why can't the authors of this intellectual property preserve their work for future generations in the same way the article describes the millions of monkeys uploading sheet music to an online repository do. For the smart ass that will state that Bach had nowhere to upload his work to, of course he would have had to do it by other means, but I hope you all get my point there. After all the author should have more reason to save his or her work for posterity than anyone else.

    It's not like we're even debating stealing for the sake of survival, or necessity. I steal some bread and milk, so that my family doesn't go hungry. I still think it's wrong, but more so understandable. To me, this is more of a gray area than obtaining copyrighted material, however still wrong.

    Maybe the debate should be whether or not its justified for someone to want to have there intellectual property noted somewhere to be original to them, therefore allowing them to use it exclusively, while holding someone accountable for using it, or merely possessing it without their permission. This seems more to the point.

    The argument I feel here is wrong.

    I liken it to the debate over this Arizona immigration law. The current administration wants to sue the state on the grounds that the law amounts to racial profiling, which is totally disingenuous given the fact that it mirrors to an extent the federal law, and also falls short because in the federal law, the gov't needs no cause to question your citizenship. they can do it as they see fit.

    The argument should be whether or not the state has the rights to enforce immigration law. Whether or not it is constitutionally allowed for a state to pass such a law.
    On these grounds the law may be illegal, not because it promotes profiling, or questioning without cause.

    We need to make the right argument.

    As far I am concerned, and I realized to some people right and wrong is subjective, right and wrong do not change with time and technology, people change, and therefore try to move the line in the sand so they always remain on the side of right.

    Full disclosure, I have obtained copyrighted material by means which I consider wrong, but I don't try to justify it simply because I could do it, or did do it.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:45pm

    Re: yeah but

    http://fumijp.blogspot.com/2010/06/hatsune-miku-recap.html

    Hatsune-miku is a software developed to facilitate non musicians to create music, couple that with vocaloid and you got thousands of creators that are climbing the charts in karaoke's everywhere in Japan, and those people are competing directly with commercial music and it is legal.

    Want to see a graphic chart of what that does mean for creation?

    One music chart showing how it explodes when there is no barriers for remixing it.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_pT-vUOwT9QM/S8qqtDfmc6I/AAAAAAAABk4/Bp3GG7ltR8g/s1600/miku.bmp

    P eople don't need composers anymore that is that sad sad truth. They need raw material, to experiment and create.

     

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    rl78 (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:56pm

    The argument of no loss no foul.......

    So if someone has something tangible or intangible that they didn't incur cost to obtain, than the concept of theft of that property disappears because no value was lost?

    Come on

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 5:28pm

    Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    First theft is when you deprive someone of something.
    Can you show that the other person was deprived of something?

    How in the world people put into law something that can't be even measured.

    Obviously those people that made those laws didn't care much about reason.

     

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    Dementia (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    I actually do have a copy of Song of the South, and it is a completely legal copy. The downside is that it is in PAL format.

     

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    Dementia (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    must have clicked the wrong reply link.

     

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    Dementia (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right? (take 2)

    As I said before, I do have a copy of Song of the South, and it is legal. It is NOT on DVD. It was released in Europe on VHS in the PAL format. It can still be found around the internet although I do not believe Disney is currently distributing it.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 5:52pm

    Re: What is the true debate here?

    Technology allows me to pick the lock on your front door and disable your alarm. So it's alright for me to enter your home and steal your shit? Also I feel that the value of the possessions you own may be lost if I don't take them, so I am doing you, myself and the world a favor?

    Entirely different situation. In one, you're taking something away from someone. In the other, you're adding one more copy to the world.

    See the difference?

    The notion that we should take something that isn't ours, because it would be otherwise lost to future generations, while sounding noble, is still wrong. The motives may be pure, but to say by any means necessary really isn't.

    No taking. It's about making an additional copy.

    Why can't the authors of this intellectual property preserve their work for future generations in the same way the article describes the millions of monkeys uploading sheet music to an online repository do. For the smart ass that will state that Bach had nowhere to upload his work to, of course he would have had to do it by other means, but I hope you all get my point there. After all the author should have more reason to save his or her work for posterity than anyone else.

    It's already been explained that they have not.

    It's not like we're even debating stealing for the sake of survival, or necessity. I steal some bread and milk, so that my family doesn't go hungry. I still think it's wrong, but more so understandable. To me, this is more of a gray area than obtaining copyrighted material, however still wrong.

    There's no stealing here.

    Full disclosure, I have obtained copyrighted material by means which I consider wrong, but I don't try to justify it simply because I could do it, or did do it.

    I do not use any file sharing and I pay for music (or obtain it from musicians who willingly give it away for free). I am not justifying anything. Why do you assume otherwise?

     

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    crade (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 6:07pm

    Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    Cost incurred to obtain something has nothing to do with value to you if it is lost.

    The concept of theft disappears when nothing is taken away though. Copyright infringement is most definitely different from theft (not to say it's better or worse, but most definitely not similar) and every law in every country acknowledges this established fact.

     

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    rl78 (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: What is the true debate here?

    I can't say that aren't justifying anything. You point to Pogue's assessment of what happened in the article, and then say his point is clear, and proceed to say why you think it is, and that WE'VE been arguing this for awhile. In my mind, it appears you agree with him, maybe you don't, however your points of contention with my post would suggest you do.

    If copying something as you say is not taking anything anyway, and only adding, and therefore not stealing, then why don't you use file sharing sites? Why only acquire intellectual property from sources that provide it freely? You would be simply promoting it as this article suggests by the young woman obtaining the sheet music. ( I did read the entire article about the communication between the composer and the aspiring musician.)

    Intellectual property is impossible to steal in the sense that reproducing a copyrighted work never takes the work from the author, it simply adds another copy. That's inherent in the nature of what we are discussing. I agree with that, but the unauthorized reproduction is what is considered the crime here.

    Copyright laws allow for the copying of intellectual property for personal use, and preservation if the copy was legally obtained, so copying in and of itself is not the issue.

    While unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works may have beneficial side affects to the author, does not negate the illegality of the initial action. As you state, anyone can create anything and distribute it freely if they choose.

    This is why my main point is that I feel we should be arguing whether or not copyrighting a song, the music, for instance should at all be allowed. If we can prove that unauthorized copy and distribution of I.P. has no negative effects on the author, the end result would be the same with or without it, then what is the point of copyright to begin with?

    The counterpoints that you make in your reply seem to be semantic in nature, taking away as opposed to adding.

    Mike, is this article copyrighted?

    Thanks for the reply, I welcome the conversation.

     

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    rl78 (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    Your point is taken but I think the difference is more semantic in nature than anything else, as I replied to Mike in my above comment. He says like you that because one would copy something, that it is a + and not a - therefore its not theft. Help me see why it's entirely different. I feel like its theft in a sense that one obtains something in a manner that's not authorized.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re:

    No, you have "the whole plan of selling infinite goods" completely wrong. The (one of many) plan is to use infinite goods as a way of convincing people to purchase OTHER scarcities. This does not preclude selling infinite goods, but you must give people a reason to buy them and price them accordingly.

    Your point about pretending they are actually a scarcity has been shown demonstrated again and again to be a recipe for failure. Customers are excellent at realizing when sellers are trying to create artificial scarcity.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    One reason it isn't theft is because it isn't under the law. It is infringement. So to continue you must choose how to continue the conversation: as an ethical one, an economical one, or a legal one.

     

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    crade (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    It's not semantic, it's completely different. The motivations that cause one to perform theft vs. copyright infringement are different, the harm they cause is completely different and thus the punishment for each is different. The harm caused by copyright infringement is not well understood despite what anyone on either side of the argument will tell you.
    It's like saying assault and murder are the same thing because they both cause "some sort of harm". It's just untrue, its not semantics.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: What is the true debate here?

    If copying something as you say is not taking anything anyway, and only adding, and therefore not stealing, then why don't you use file sharing sites? Why only acquire intellectual property from sources that provide it freely? You would be simply promoting it as this article suggests by the young woman obtaining the sheet music. ( I did read the entire article about the communication between the composer and the aspiring musician.)

    Because it is still illegal today. It is not *stealing* but it is infringement. I seek to convince content creators that they can be better off by freeing their works, and I believe I have a stronger position in doing so if I am not engaging in file sharing while doing so.

    Intellectual property is impossible to steal in the sense that reproducing a copyrighted work never takes the work from the author, it simply adds another copy. That's inherent in the nature of what we are discussing. I agree with that, but the unauthorized reproduction is what is considered the crime here.

    A civil offense, mainly, not a crime. And yes, it is illegal. No one is denying that. The question is should it be?

    Copyright laws allow for the copying of intellectual property for personal use, and preservation if the copy was legally obtained, so copying in and of itself is not the issue.

    Uh.... not quite. It does in certain, very limited, exceptions.

    While unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works may have beneficial side affects to the author, does not negate the illegality of the initial action. As you state, anyone can create anything and distribute it freely if they choose.

    Indeed. Not saying it negates the illegality of it. Just explaining why content creators freaking out over the illegality are overreacting and probably making a mistake.

    This is why my main point is that I feel we should be arguing whether or not copyrighting a song, the music, for instance should at all be allowed. If we can prove that unauthorized copy and distribution of I.P. has no negative effects on the author, the end result would be the same with or without it, then what is the point of copyright to begin with?

    Excellent question. I'm still searching for an answer.

    Mike, is this article copyrighted?

    Nope. All content on the site is public domain.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    I feel like its theft in a sense that one obtains something in a manner that's not authorized.

    I bought a chair a few years ago. Last month I gave it away to my neighbor. I didn't need "authorization" to do so. Why should I need authorization to share content with someone?

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Re: yeah but

    Hatsune-miku is a software developed to facilitate non musicians to create music, couple that with vocaloid and you got thousands of creators that are climbing the charts in karaoke's everywhere in Japan, and those people are competing directly with commercial music and it is legal.

    This is the future I see.

    Even if you get rid of the major labels, the music business scenario everyone still talks about is that there will be musicians and then there will be fans who come to the shows, buy the merch, etc.

    But what happens when technology allows everyone to make their own music? When given the tools, people become more creative themselves and it will change the economics. And when you have sophisticated enough music generators, you won't need to buy or pirate music because you'll be able to create your own. So the dynamics of licensing and copyright will also change.

    It's pretty exciting how quickly music is moving along these lines. There are music technology professors at MIT and Stanford (and other places I am sure) whose goal is to make music creation accessible to everyone. And iPhones and iPads are what they are using to get these software tools out to the masses.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:16pm

    Re:

    Not that Anonymous Coward but I'll give it a go. One can try to be compensated. I've made an unbelievable amount of art but that doesn't mean I automatically get paid.

     

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    The Sarcastic-Mike, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    WE'RE RAISING A GENERATION OF THIEVES; A SOCIETY OF STEALERS!!!

     

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    RD, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:29pm

    Re: Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    "http://www.tvshow-kingdom.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=VR.5+DVD+Series

    http://www.tvaddict s .tv/movie/comedy/The_John_Larroquette_Show.html

    http://www.atomicmall.com/view.php?id=752556

    A nything else?"

    Yes actually. Since when did selling OFF AIR BOOTLEG COPIES of these things constitute "legal purchasing"? Please, enlighten me. Because NONE of your examples are legitimate, they are all bootlegs or illegal copies. It is WIDELY known that Disney HAS NOT MADE Song of the South available in ANY home video format, or at least, not in the present. All of the ones you show are "import" deals as well, which means they are highly suspect. That also doesnt make them "legally available" in MY region, necessarily. FAIL.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    Sounds like there are some legal used copies floating around.

    Song of the South - Frequently Asked Questions: "A. You cannot find this movie anywhere because after Song of the South's last theatrical release in 1986, Disney decided not to re-release it again, most likely because of the movie's 'racial' stigma (although there are no documented complaints stemming from the movie's 1986 theatrical release.) The movie has been released on video and laserdisc in various foreign countries, but never in the United States. As of December 2001, Song of the South was withdrawn worldwide."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    I am seeing the points being made by yourself and Crade in the difference between stealing and infringement and the distinction regarding the acts and motives involved in both, however isn't there a difference in buying a chair and giving it away as opposed to buying music and giving that away? Does the copyright not come into play there when giving away the music? Is is legal for me to purchase music and share it? I know its not in the case of software because what you are actually purchasing is the license to use it, but not so sure about music, or a movie for instance. Wouldn't sharing or giving away a legally obtained copy of copyrighted material amount to infringement?

    I will look into this myself as well, I don't intend on learning everything from you guys, but your replies are helpful.

     

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    rl78 (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    Mike and Crade the above comment is mine, I wasn't logged in when i posted it.

     

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    rl78 (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    I'm seeing the light. I replied to both you and Mike a few replies below this one.

     

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    rl78 (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What is the true debate here?

    I do see what you mean.

     

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    Modplan (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    The point wasn't whether it's illegal under copyright law, but the idea of authorisation being needed to give away or sell a product on to someone else. Especially considering rights of first sale, that are designed to allow you to sell a copyrighted work on to someone else.

    Though there are the likes of liberal Creative Commons licenses that explicitly give you the legal ability to distribute works, and in software, the likes of the GPL that allow similar things.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    I'd like to chime in, assuming all y'all aren't getting sick of me.

    isn't there a difference in buying a chair and giving it away as opposed to buying music and giving that away? Does the copyright not come into play there when giving away the music? Is [it] legal for me to purchase music and share it?

    It depends on what you mean by "buying music." If you're talking about a physical book of sheet music, then for the most part, no. Right of first sale applies in both cases. (Otherwise, used record stores would be illegal.)

    Where copyright is involved is when you make a copy of material covered by copyright. Unless it's for personal use, or covered under fair use doctrine, making a copy is infringing.

    An example. Say, for the sake of argument, that Eleanor did actually buy a paper copy of the sheet music. She is legally allowed to make copies for personal use, so she could leave the original on her piano at home, and make another copy to take to rehearsal (so she can jot notes on it, for example). But she legally could not make a copy for her troupe.

    She can, however, give away the original to her troupe. But then a funny thing happens: she also loses the rights to her personal copies. Suddenly, the photocopies of the music (with her notes on it) have now magically become illegal. She must either destroy them, or give them to the troupe as well.

    If this seems really strange and stupid to you, then you're not alone.

    In contrast, this would never happen with a chair. If you build a copy of the chair to give to your friend, that's perfectly legal. If you loan it to your friend, and they build their own chair, that's also perfectly legal. Hell, if that chair is on public property, and a stranger takes photos of it and makes his own chair from those photos, that's also perfectly legal.

    This highlights a common misconception about copyright. Copyright does not grant rights to the copyright holder. It grants the copyright holder the power to take rights away from others. By default, giving away a copy of a property in your posession is a natural right. Copyright takes away that right.

    This is why I dislike statements like "why should Brown give away music for free?" He is not "giving away" anything. She is making her own copy, using her own time and resources. If Brown did nothing at all, she would be getting her copy. But instead, Brown went out of his way, spending time and resources, to prevent her from getting a copy.

    Even if he did have financial reasons for doing this, there's no way anyone should call it ethical.

    I know its not in the case of software because what you are actually purchasing is the license to use it

    That's not quite true. Right of first sale should apply when you buy software as well. It's still being decided in the courts, though. The most famous case is Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc. Read the Wikipedia entry on first-sale doctrine for other cases.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 1:10am

    See the funny thing is that the stealing/copying thing works just a sensibly with a sex/cloning analogy; in one, you're making a copy, whilst in the other, you're doing something that you may or may not be legally entitled to do.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 5:09am

    Re: yeah but

    Suddenly composers will only be able to work for free and while there may be some who continue, they'll all be forced to have a day job.

    Why would that be so terrible? After all copyright only pays after the music is created. So the first successful work of every composer (often the best or only good work) is written supported by a day job.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    Re: Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    s. I must have missed that part of the Constitution that said you have the right to any creative content you wish even though the creative of such content desires otherwise.

    Your argument is fine for unpublished content - however for published content (note the word root publi.. as in "public") the creator has given up some of the control in exchange for money. From that point on the public has a stake.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 5:29am

    Re:

    so if i cant afford a porsche, and can never afford a porsche, should the dealership just give me one? wheres the logic in that?

    If the dealership could give you one at zero cost where is the morality in denying you?

     

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    Richard (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 5:46am

    Re:

    Well for starters, those pesky computers that have copy-and-paste functionality aren't free, so I'm not sure why you keep saying the production cost is zero.

    When the copy is made by the customer at his own expense then the cost to the creator/distributor is exactly zero.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 7:05am

    For me, the debate between the girl and the composer is a simple one. Since the sheet music is the composer's work, he can choose how to share it with others, if at all. He doesn't choose to give his sheet music to the girl for free. That's his exclusive right, and she's infringing on it. Whether or not society is better off or whether the composer is better off doesn't matter. The composer has the right to do as he sees fit, and the girl should respect that right.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Re:

    He doesn't choose to give his sheet music to the girl for free.

    So he shouldn't. He shouldn't make her a copy, and he shouldn't distribute free copies himself. Nobody (including the girl) ever said he should.

    But that is not what is happening here. If he had never asked people not to share his music, then he would not have been "giving away" anything. He would still have the right to make his own copies and sell them, just like he is doing now.

    Instead, he is spending his own time and resources to prevent others from making copies at their own expense. He is going out of his way to take away the rights of others.

    Whether or not society is better off or whether the composer is better off doesn't matter. The composer has the right to do as he sees fit, and the girl should respect that right.

    He doesn't have a "right to do as he sees fit" unless society grants it to him through copyright.

    Society only allows copyright because society is better off and the composer is better off. If neither of these things is true, then he shouldn't have a copyright in the first place.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    Is is legal for me to purchase music and share it? I know its not in the case of software because what you are actually purchasing is the license to use it,

    Actually the software issue is a bit odd. Originally software was "licensed" because the vendor gave you more rights than if it was sold as a copy under copyright. For example in many countries you do not have a right to make a backup copy under copyright law (and technically under copyright law as it stood in the 1970's it wasn't clear that you had the necessary rights to make the temporary copies (in RAM) needed to even run the software. However vendors have since used the licence as a way to take away rights. This however is a legally dubious practice under many national consumer protection laws (note that the licences often admit this fact in the small print.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2010 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    "at least copyright made some musicians rich"

    I'm not sure how you've come to determine that a rich musician is a good thing for anyone.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Suggest some income streams

    Let's get some brainstorming here.

    So a person is a composer. Let's say there is no longer any money in sheet music because it has all become free.

    Let's say there is no money in having other people perform your music because ASCAP/BMI/SESAC have disappeared and no one is paying you a licensing fee for using it.

    Let's say you aren't a performer so you don't go on tour to get money that way.

    You could do workshops on composing, but that market is small. And maybe at your first workshop, someone has come in with a camera, taped your lecture, and released it to the public, thus discouraging potential workshop attendees from coming because they can watch YouTube instead.

    You could put out signed copies of your music, but it's likely that the market for that is very small, too, if there is one at all.

    You could put out t-shirts with your name or your compositions printed on them, but the market for that is small, and if there is any market, someone else starts making the same t-shirts.

    You could do composing on commission, where you write a piece and you get paid by a person or organization for writing it. No more money from it after that because once it is out in the world, it becomes free because it becomes free.

    You could give composing lessons, and to make them not appropriate for copying, you customize them to each person taking a lesson, so copying it becomes pointless.

    The only things that I can think of, offhand, for a composer to make money where copying won't affect the income are work-for-hire composing and work-for-hire lessons. In order to make enough to live on, you'll likely need to set your prices in both cases high enough to make it worth your time, but it also means that your income primarily comes from rich people who have the money to pay you for a commissioned composition or who can pay you for private lessons.

    For those of you who write software, how to you make money from it? Or do you? If all of your software is available for free, what do you do for income?

     

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    nasch (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Re: Suggest some income streams

    I make money from it by working for a company that pays me to do it. Obviously that market is much larger, so it would make sense that our society will support a lot more professional programmers than professional music writers.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    You get a salary, like a commissioned composer might also get a salary.

    Does your company place restrictions on what you can do with what you create? Let's say that your spouse goes to work for a competitor and needs the same code. Are you free to give it to her?

    I'm looking for examples comparable to a situation that a composer might encounter and how it is usually handled in other industries. Generally when a composer commissions a piece, it ends up out in the world and then if everyone makes copies, that's that. So the person/organization who commissioned the work either wants that to happen anyway, or accepts that it will happen if the piece gains any exposure.

    But in the case of software, I was wondering how many companies are okay with having the software they paid for then freely available after they get the first copy, or whether they use a combination of legal restrictions to keep that work in-house or only salable by them. I'm sure it varies from company to company. I'm just looking at how the work-for-hire situation gets handled outside of music.

    I've done writing as a work-for-hire and as long as I get the appropriate amount for having written something, I don't care what the company does with it. But they may place their own set of restrictions on how it is used. For example, I did market research for a company that paid me and then sold those reports for a lot of money. I've also done market research for someone who paid me by the hour and then turned around and sold my work for twice as much per hour to his clients. I didn't have a problem with either scenario. In both cases it was work-for-hire that was then resold for a profit. They were proprietary reports, so I wouldn't have been able to make copies and upload those online for everyone to have for free. In fact, it would have hurt me professionally because if everyone in the world could get the research for free, there wouldn't have been a market for the research I did, and I wouldn't have gotten those contract jobs.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re:

    "Instead, he is spending his own time and resources to prevent others from making copies at their own expense. He is going out of his way to take away the rights of others."

    He is simply enforcing his exclusive rights, the choice of which is his own prerogative, not someone else's.

    "Society only allows copyright because society is better off and the composer is better off. If neither of these things is true, then he shouldn't have a copyright in the first place."

    Apparently society values this composer's work, and he values his rights in that work. I don't see the problem.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    "And so if you let the teenager freely copy everything, you've got to let everyone else copy stuff too. And so then everyone gets everything for free. And yeah, there will be some folks that make music for fun, but they'll all be forced to get day jobs. At least the copyright world made some musicians rich. Your plan is to make every single musician rely on a day jobs just so you can let some teenager get something for free."

    Where to start ... well ... there is this thing called reality. Most people live and work in it. You seem to have this entitlement mentality combined with a wish to get rich quick. The label based music business is a lottery held up for poor fools like yourself to make the distributors of content wealthy. What is happening now seems to be dashing your dreams. I am sorry but its going to get worse.

    I really should change my pseudo to "RealityCheck"

     

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  113.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re: yeah but

    "They do it anyway because they love music and enjoy playing for an audience, big or small. "

    And they enjoy getting laid ...

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    "It's pretty exciting how quickly music is moving along these lines. There are music technology professors at MIT and Stanford (and other places I am sure) whose goal is to make music creation accessible to everyone. And iPhones and iPads are what they are using to get these software tools out to the masses."

    The same thing is happening with video production. CGI, Virtual sets, 1080p cameras for under $200 USD, high end microphones for under $100 USD. Its all converging to the point where any idiot with an iPad or clone can create movies and music. It dosen't bode well for musicians, actors, the labels, or the studios. Thats probably why GE is selling NBC off to comcast. There is no real future in music or video production.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re:

    " I could, right now, go download Linkin Park's Meteora illegally, but it's not a lost sale because I /hate/ Linkin Park."

    Actually you can get the whole album as promotional music off various web sites. Which has gotten me wondering. Is it okay to distribute promotional music, you downloaded from a website, on a P2P network?

    Wouldn't that make a great defense in a court of law.

    "Your honor everything I was distributing was released as promotional music by the record labels"

     

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  116.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    Actually we need to be able to edit our own comments and maintain a history of the changes. Much like a wiki ... :)

     

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  117.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re:

    " I've made an unbelievable amount of art "

    LOL ... you call that art !! just kidding :)

     

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  118.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Re:

    "Well for starters, those pesky computers that have copy-and-paste functionality aren't free, so I'm not sure why you keep saying the production cost is zero."

    Actually with the computers ability to make infinite copies, the cost per copy associated with the computer, approaches zero.

     

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  119.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The argument of no loss no foul.......

    "I'd like to chime in, assuming all y'all aren't getting sick of me."

    Me they are sick of ... you not so much ...

     

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  120.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    Suzanne ... That is probably as close to having sympathy for the record labels as I have ever, or will ever come.

     

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  121.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    The same thing is happening with video production. CGI, Virtual sets, 1080p cameras for under $200 USD, high end microphones for under $100 USD.

    Yes, I have been looking into the technology. I'm very interested in finding tools that let anyone create a 3-D animation very quickly.

    I've liked those flash apps where you can insert a image and you have a customized video you can share with friends. Those are fun, so I want to take it a step further so that if you have a story idea (or even if you don't -- you can use story generators), you can create your own video. I absolutely think this is where creative content is going. And yes, it is going to screw up the music industry, the video industry, graphic arts/design industries, photography. The machines/software are getting so smart and so inexpensive that they can fill in whatever gaps you have in skill, talent, and training.

    It's fun to create. Clay Shirky is saying the same thing in his latest book. Creating is a different process than consuming, so the whole idea of being a passive fan is going to change dramatically.

     

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  122.  
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    Karl (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    He is simply enforcing his exclusive rights, the choice of which is his own prerogative, not someone else's.

    Yes: his entirely legal perogative to take away the rights of others.

    My point was that if he did not enforce that right, he would not "give away" anything, and nobody would "take away" anything from him.

    Apparently society values this composer's work, and he values his rights in that work. I don't see the problem.

    We were not talking about whether society values this composer's work. (And indeed we shouldn't: imagine what a mess it would be if copyright was contingent upon popularity.)

    What you said was "Whether or not society is better off or whether the composer is better off doesn't matter."

    According to our Constitution, copyright itself exists only to a) benefit the public, through b) providing a financial incentive to create. So the things you believe don't matter, are the only things that matter.

    My point was this: in this specific case, if society is better off, and the composer is better off, then it shouldn't be infringement at all. It should be fair use.

    The fact that it's not is unjust. Legal, sure, but not ethical.

     

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  123.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 5:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    "Yes, I have been looking into the technology. I'm very interested in finding tools that let anyone create a 3-D animation very quickly."

    That is difficult at this point, easy to use and 3d software dont go together. What is needed is a body suit linked to blender or some other 3d software for body motion input. 3d scanning software for objects, or 3d cameras with video capability for input into 3d software.

    "Those are fun, so I want to take it a step further so that if you have a story idea (or even if you don't -- you can use story generators), you can create your own video. "

    This is already here in a limited way. Mike had a story about a person fired from BestBuy for a video he did about the iPhone and HTC. I believe the software he used did type text and produce video in a limited way. When software like this allows for the moving of characters and choice of voices that is when it will really take off.

    "Clay Shirky is saying the same thing in his latest book. Creating is a different process than consuming, so the whole idea of being a passive fan is going to change dramatically."

    What is happening is that people are interacting more now because of technology. The people that can't interact person to person are interacting and seeking interaction and praise online. Now the point, people need to interact. The whole passive nature of old media is going away. Which is old school "we feed you the content. f#ck you if you dont like it. try to find something else" entitlement attitude is going to destroy a bunch of corporations and industries over the next couple years.

     

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  124.  
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    Karl (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    So a person is a composer.

    Suzanne, as someone who studied music composition in college, I can tell you right now that there have always been only a few ways a composer could make a living wage:

    1. Become a teacher (ideally a professor).
    2. Do the lecture circuit (after you're famous).
    3. Have a residency in a university or gallery (ditto).
    4. Do commercial work for hire: jingles, film scores, etc.

    Composers have almost never made real money from either record sales or performance royalties. Some have made money from sheet music, but not very many.

    But if you're one of the composers that do, then you should focus on commercial licenses. Licenses for commercial entities aren't going anywhere. Even if all the PRO's fold, you (or your publisher) could still negotiate with orchestras or troupes directly.

    Also, if you've studied composition in school, then you're also required to learn a major instrument. So, there's that.

    maybe at your first workshop, someone has come in with a camera, taped your lecture, and released it to the public, thus discouraging potential workshop attendees from coming because they can watch YouTube instead.

    The valuable thing about workshops is that you participate in them. You can't do that with a YouTube video. This applies to lectures as well.

    If all of your software is available for free, what do you do for income?

    Mathematics is "available for free." That doesn't mean you can't make money as a mathemetician.

     

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  125.  
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    average_joe (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Yes: his entirely legal perogative to take away the rights of others.

    My point was that if he did not enforce that right, he would not "give away" anything, and nobody would "take away" anything from him."

    What "rights of others" is he taking away? I don't follow you. He wants to enforce his own exclusive rights. You seem to have things backwards. I read your post above that copyright law doesn't grant the copyright holder any rights. How do you figure? Citations?

     

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  126.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    That is difficult at this point, easy to use and 3d software dont go together. What is needed is a body suit linked to blender or some other 3d software for body motion input. 3d scanning software for objects, or 3d cameras with video capability for input into 3d software.

    I'm not talking about true 3-D, as with glasses. Just realistic looking animation.

    I haven't tried this, but this is the sort of thing I meant.
    http://www.moviestorm.co.uk/

    In terms of the very low end animation tools, there's this, and I have seen it used very effectively.
    http://www.xtranormal.com

     

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  127.  
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    average_joe (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I looked it up for ya.

    "§ 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works

    Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

    (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

    (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

    (3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

    (4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

    (5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

    (6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission."

    17 U.S.C.A. § 106

    And then the official notes sum it up nicely:

    "The five fundamental rights that the bill gives to copyright owners--the exclusive rights of reproduction, adaptation, publication, performance, and display--are stated generally in section 106 [this section]."

    Clearly, copyright owners are given rights. I'm curious how you could think otherwise.

    I can get you some Supreme Court language that says exactly the same thing if you like.

     

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  128.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    Suzanne, as someone who studied music composition in college, I can tell you right now that there have always been only a few ways a composer could make a living wage.

    You know, I don't have a problem with telling people this. In fact, that is my perspective. It is hard to make a living at this. It's going to be hard whether or not the copyright laws stay the same or change, so I don't really focus on them.

    I'm just curious who people in other industries approach having created something that can be reproduced for free. Like I said, perhaps the best example I could come up with is having been paid by your employer to write code and then being asked by someone outside your company for a free copy. Are you free do that? Does your employer have a company policy? Would you go around it anyway on the assumption that the code should be free? If something can be copied for free, should it always be? If not, what would be appropriate limits?

     

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  129.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    Teaching art follows along with the idea that perhaps people are more likely to pay to learn how to be creative themselves than to pay for what others create.

    The challenges with teaching the arts these days are:

    1. In the K-12 system, programs are being cut.
    2. If there isn't a career path, college programs may suffer as well. I've been reading some of the discussions about whether there are enough jobs to absorb everyone who comes out of college with a music-related degree.
    3. Technology allows more people to become self-taught.

    But I think teaching music is a great day job, so as long as musicians can find sufficient students, I say go for it.

     

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  130.  
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    Karl (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What "rights of others" is he taking away? I don't follow you. He wants to enforce his own exclusive rights.

    If a right is "exclusive" to him, it cannot be held by anyone else.

    In this example, he is taking away the natural right of people to make a copy, and use it however they like.

    I gave a "chair" example to another commenter above. If you bought a chair at Sears, you could build an exact duplicate of that chair and give it away to a friend. There would be nothing illegal about it, you wouldn't be "stealing" anything, and nobody would say that Sears was "giving away" that chair for free.

    I read your post above that copyright law doesn't grant the copyright holder any rights.

    That's not at all what I meant, and I don't think that's what I said.

    I said, and meant, that the "rights" granted by copyright are "negative" rights - not the right to do something, but the right to prevent others from doing something.

    Whenever you grant the ability to prevent others from doing something, you'd better have a damn good reason. According to the Constitution, that reason is that it grows the public domain.

    The theory is that by legally excluding everyone except authors from the natural right to copy, authors will be provided with a financial incentive to create more, and after a short time, those creations can go into the public domain.

    So, it's a trade-off. The public gives up some rights, in exchange for greater access to knowledge and artistic culture.

    The moment that trade-off isn't worth it to the public is the moment copyright becomes, in Thomas Jefferson's words, an "embarrassment."

     

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  131.  
    identicon
    FUTURE ACTA ENFORCER, Jul 10th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You will.

     

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  132.  
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    nasch (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    My company owns the copyright, and make sure to keep the code away from the public. My boss seems to think it might be a pretty big deal if a competitor got hold of our code, but I don't see it that way. There's no way they would be able to compete with us on that basis, because by the time they figured it all out and got their competing service running, we'd be way ahead of them again.

    On the other hand, we make our money as a service company, not by selling software, so there's not really an advantage to us distributing our software freely.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 7:05pm

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

    "If a right is "exclusive" to him, it cannot be held by anyone else.

    In this example, he is taking away the natural right of people to make a copy, and use it however they like."

    Huh? Since when do people have the natural right to make a copy and give it away in violation of the copyright holder's exclusive right? Citation, please.

    "That's not at all what I meant, and I don't think that's what I said.

    I said, and meant, that the "rights" granted by copyright are "negative" rights - not the right to do something, but the right to prevent others from doing something."

    Above, you explicitly said: "Copyright does not grant rights to the copyright holder." This is completely erroneous, as indicated by Congress and by the Supreme Court.

    All of this debate is really missing the point: the composer wants to exercise his rights, and the girl wants to infringe on them. That the composer has these rights is not debatable. He does.

     

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  134.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

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

    Since when do people have the natural right to make a copy

    I'd go along with this. I know that people do make copies all the time, but I don't think it's a "right."

    When cloning becomes more common, will people have the right to take some cells that another person left on a glass and then make a copy of that person?

    The fact that technology enables one to make a copy does not necessarily mean you then have the right to make a copy.

     

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  135.  
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    Karl (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 8:06pm

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

    Huh? Since when do people have the natural right to make a copy and give it away in violation of the copyright holder's exclusive right? Citation, please.

    It's not that they have that right "in violation of the copyright holder's exclusive right." It's that copyright itself violates that natural right:

    "That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody."
    - Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson (the whole thing is worth reading)

    On the other hand, copyright is not a natural right:

    "The enactment of copyright legislation by Congress under the terms of the Constitution is not based upon any natural right that the author has in his writings... but upon the ground that the welfare of the public will be served... Not primarily for the benefit of the author, but primarily for the benefit of the public, such rights are given."
    - U.S. Copyright Act (1909)

    "The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but 'to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.'"
    - Supreme Court, Feist v. Rural

    Emphasis mine. For some good overviews:

    The Purpose of Copyright Law by Patrick McKay
    The Purpose of Copyright by Lydia Pallas Loren
    Purpose of Copyright Law from National Information
    Infrastructure

    Above, you explicitly said: "Copyright does not grant rights to the copyright holder." This is completely erroneous, as indicated by Congress and by the Supreme Court.

    You're absolutely right, sorry. I thought it was clear in context, but obviously I worded it very wrong. What I meant was that copyright does not protect the "rights" of a copyright holder. Such rights do not occur in nature. Copyright is not a right to do, but to prevent; and it is not a natural or inalienable right (like the right to free speech), but a statutory one (like the right to make a right turn at a red light).

    All of this debate is really missing the point: the composer wants to exercise his rights, and the girl wants to infringe on them. That the composer has these rights is not debatable. He does.

    That the composer has these rights is not debatable, but it's also not the point. The question Eleanor asked is: "Why does he choose to exercise that right, if he has nothing to gain?" The question I'm asking is: "In this situation, would it be better if he didn't have that right?"

    Ideally we, the public, always have the option of taking away that right. If that right is doing nobody any tangible good, why shouldn't we?

     

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  136.  
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    Karl (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 8:25pm

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

    Well, that will get into a rather lengthy debate about what a "right" actually is. So I'll put it simply.

    I have the ability to do something. It does not deprive you of anything, nor does it prevent you from doing anything. What right do you have to stop me?

    (Before you answer "copyright" - that's a law, not a right.)

     

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  137.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 8:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but

    "http://www.xtranormal.com"

    Is from the bestbuy video I mentioned.

    "I'm not talking about true 3-D, as with glasses. Just realistic looking animation."

    By realistic looking animation, are you talking about cartoons or the movie Avatar? They are different yet the same.

    "What is needed is a body suit linked to blender or some other 3d software for body motion input."

    What I was pointing out is that with a spandex body suit, some MEMS sensors, wires, and glue you dont need to animate the characters. You just wear a suit, record you motions, and move to make the characters move. Hence no animation skills needed just some serious flexibility if you are a silly rabbit. :) Like those silly VR gloves from the 1990's, move you hand it does the same thing on the screen.

     

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  138.  
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    Karl (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 8:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    You know, I don't have a problem with telling people this. In fact, that is my perspective. It is hard to make a living at this. It's going to be hard whether or not the copyright laws stay the same or change, so I don't really focus on them.

    Fair enough. That was mostly my point, too. Sorry if I got snippy with you.

    perhaps the best example I could come up with is having been paid by your employer to write code and then being asked by someone outside your company for a free copy.

    Well, the main difference between proprietary and open source code, is that proprietary code is usually never released to the public. (At least not in human-readable form.)

    It's the difference between copying a Madonna CD, and breaking into Madonna's house to record her singing in the shower.

    Proprietary code is often protected by trade secrets laws, which are different than copyright or patent laws. Programmers have to sign non-disclosure agreements as a condition of employment. If they do give away trade secrets, they're in a lot of trouble.

    Software companies are opening up more nowadays (especially after looking at Google's profits), so it's less of concern than it used to be. Still happens all the time, though.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    "2. If there isn't a career path, college programs may suffer as well. I've been reading some of the discussions about whether there are enough jobs to absorb everyone who comes out of college with a music-related degree."

    English Literature comes to mind, so do a whole host of other non university based jobs.

     

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  140.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 9:14pm

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

    I have the ability to do something. It does not deprive you of anything, nor does it prevent you from doing anything. What right do you have to stop me?

    I think that is going to get tricky as the technology advances. As I mentioned, the most extreme example would be cloning people. If you make multiples of me, it doesn't deprive me of anything, but I would surely hate to see myself all over the place.

    And you don't necessarily have to "steal" cells from me to do it. If I am in a public place and touch something, I leave behind cells.

    We already know people collect sweat, etc., from celebrities and sell it on eBay.

    One issue that almost touches upon "cellular rights" is whether or not parents can have their unused fertilized eggs destroyed. The pro-life people say that it's taking life to destroy them and if the parents don't want them, they should be given to infertile couples who do want them. The parents who want them destroyed argue that they don't want kids conceived with their cells unless they give consent.

     

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  141.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 9:18pm

    Re: Re:

    "I could, right now, go download Linkin Park's Meteora illegally"

    I just finished a scan of both my database and a bunch of search engines, all 13 songs from "Linkin Park's Meteora" are available for download on sites that "say" they are promotional and/or direct from the record label.

     

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  142.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2010 @ 2:03am

    Why should I need authorization to share content with someone?

    because copyright law says so.

     

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  143.  
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    Karl (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 2:45am

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

    Sorry, one more copyright analogy, then it's bedtime for me. Hopefully it'll explain my answer to this question:

    What "rights of others" is he taking away?

    Let's say that the First Amendment was phrased like this:

    Congress shall have the Power to promote the Awareness of Truth, by securing for limited Times to Registered Journalists the exclusive Right to the Freedom of Speech.

    Would you say this is "granting" the freedom of speech to journalists? Or would it be taking away free speech rights from everyone else?

    In a sense, this is exactly what copyright does. "Free speech" really means freedom of expression; we communicate by "making copies" of our expressions and "distributing" them to other people. Those people then "make copies" and "distribute" that expression to others, and have a natural right to do so.

    It's not a huge secret that copyright and free speech are diametrically opposed. When we equate copyright with "ownership" by authors, what we are really saying is that those authors "own" speech. It is no longer free, not as in "freedom" and not as in "beer." The law makes compromises (separating "ideas" from "expressions," fair use), but it is still compromising free speech rights.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 6:52am

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

    "Well, that will get into a rather lengthy debate about what a "right" actually is. So I'll put it simply.

    I have the ability to do something. It does not deprive you of anything, nor does it prevent you from doing anything. What right do you have to stop me?

    (Before you answer "copyright" - that's a law, not a right.)"

    Copyright laws creates exclusive rights in the copyright holder. If I have the exclusive rights in a work, you have no rights in that work, by definition. That's the whole point.

    I never did address your chair analogy above, so I'll give that a shot now... If you own a chair, you have two things: the chair itself, and the rights that go along with ownership in the chair. You are free to give away the chair but keep the rights, give away the rights but keep the chair, or give away both the chair and the rights.

    Now with a copyrighted work, you only have the work itself. You do not have the rights, as the rights remain with the copyright owner. You cannot give away what you don't have.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 7:28am

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

    "It's not that they have that right "in violation of the copyright holder's exclusive right." It's that copyright itself violates that natural right . . . . On the other hand, copyright is not a natural right . . . . What I meant was that copyright does not protect the "rights" of a copyright holder. Such rights do not occur in nature. Copyright is not a right to do, but to prevent; and it is not a natural or inalienable right (like the right to free speech), but a statutory one (like the right to make a right turn at a red light). . . . Ideally we, the public, always have the option of taking away that right. If that right is doing nobody any tangible good, why shouldn't we?"

    OK, I think I see where you're coming from. You don't have a natural right to give away something you have no right in. It doesn't work that way. It doesn't matter that copyright rights are statutory, since a right is a right. The copyright holder has the right, you do not.

    I get the argument that copyright laws aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing, so we should change them. I think there are good arguments on both side of that debate. My comment in this thread was to say that since the composer has chosen to copyright his works and he chooses to enforce his copyrights, then that's his right to do so. The girl is legally in the wrong.

     

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  146.  
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    Jay (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 8:04am

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

    "I think that is going to get tricky as the technology advances. As I mentioned, the most extreme example would be cloning people. If you make multiples of me, it doesn't deprive me of anything, but I would surely hate to see myself all over the place."

    That example isn't quite accurate. The clones of you would take resources and they are ruled by the very same urges. They would grow hungy, share base knowledge and possibly experiences with you.

    What we're dealing with is data which is meant to be copied, and culture, which (IMO) is meant to be shared.

    The cell argument is interesting but I'm not touching that with a 10 foot pole.

     

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    Jay (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 8:06am

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

    First sale doctrine disagrees.

    Also, we can battle about the EULA but that's entirely another debate.

     

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  148.  
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    Jay (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yaargh! We still be fightin' ya boyo!

     

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  149.  
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    Jay (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    Your argument makes a lot of assumptions. I'll list them and possible alternatives that don't require a copyright infringement suit.


    So a person is a composer. Let's say there is no longer any money in sheet music because it has all become free.

    Great, but they aren't guaranteed a living. I did want to mention this first. Not many composers become greatly famous but the incentive for them is to create and build their reputation in the arts, not sell sheet music.

    Let's say there is no money in having other people perform your music because ASCAP/BMI/SESAC have disappeared and no one is paying you a licensing fee for using it.
    And where is the incentive for the new guys? These collection companies are all about the Pareto Principle, skewing all of collected revenues towards the ones that make the biggest hits.

    You could do workshops on composing, but that market is small. And maybe at your first workshop, someone has come in with a camera, taped your lecture, and released it to the public, thus discouraging potential workshop attendees from coming because they can watch YouTube instead

    I fail to see how you've made your market smaller with Youtube. Maybe you find a backer or even more people that are influenced by your particular style and want to see it. If the workshop is small, there is nothing to say that it won't grow for you personally.

    You could do composing on commission, where you write a piece and you get paid by a person or organization for writing it. No more money from it after that because once it is out in the world, it becomes free because it becomes free.

    You could give composing lessons, and to make them not appropriate for copying, you customize them to each person taking a lesson, so copying it becomes pointless.


    I believe I've iterated my statement above but again... How is this a bad thing? We've had respective copyright for quite a long time. Even Shakespeare didn't care about a play after he was done with it. King Lear was given a happy ending. It did rather well in the time of Shakespeare, but he didn't stop the play from being created. Further more, we still believe that Christopher Marlowe and Shakespeare are some of the greatest playwrights of all time. Hell, Beowulf doesn't have an author and it's a great pagan/Christian poem that is referenced and recreated to this day. What is to say that people can't adjust to the reality that they can't stop us from influencing our culture and recreating as need be? I'm sure that bards of yesteryear traveled for coins until they found backing. Nothing says that copyright as a government subsidy can't be removed and people can't learn to make do as need be.

    For those of you who write software, how to you make money from it? Or do you? If all of your software is available for free, what do you do for income?
    And for every person that sells software, there are about 30 who do it either independently or just to learn something new. We have Newgrounds.com, armorgames.com, for entertainment. We have the Free Software Foundation as well as Wikipedia as just a few examples that say the world won't end because copyright did. Some of them make money through licenses. Tom Fulp, founder of Newgrounds, now makes games on the Xbox. He probably wouldn't have gotten his start if he hadn't started NG.

    Teaching art follows along with the idea that perhaps people are more likely to pay to learn how to be creative themselves than to pay for what others create.

    I think that with resources such as Youtube, it's great. But the personal touch of another person doesn't always come through for the arts. It's still far better to learn by strumming the guitar and someone showing you the notes rather than playing for hours on end to just your favorite songs. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Youtubers still don't have a teacher to show them how to listen effectively to what they're playing.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 8:59am

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

    "First sale doctrine disagrees."

    Huh? Let's look at the statute:

    "(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106(3), the owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord. *** (4) Any person who distributes a phonorecord or a copy of a computer program (including any tape, disk, or other medium embodying such program) in violation of paragraph (1) is an infringer of copyright . . . ." 17 U.S.C.A. § 109

    You can dispose of your copy, as I said. The statute confirms this. You can't give away the copyright holder's rights, since you don't have them to give away. You can only give away the ownership interest that you actually have. And don't confuse "disposing of" with "distribution." One is legal, the other is not. One leaves you with a copy, the other does not. You can give away your copy, but you can't make a new copy and give that away. This is basic copyright stuff.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    Your argument makes a lot of assumptions. I'll list them and possible alternatives that don't require a copyright infringement suit.

    I'm not making an argument for copyright.

    And I don't think my assumptions are incorrect. Composers as a rule don't make a lot of assumptions.

    What I was pondering is if you strip out some of the current ways to make money, what is left? And based on the reality of being a composer, there isn't much left. There wasn't much to begin with, but there's not much to work with anyway.

    So I was asking people to suggest ways a composer could make money.

    The two of us discussing this the most agreed that teaching might be the best option.

    I don't think, though, a lot of people will take in person lessons from a composer because there are a lot of other options. And I don't think creating online fame for a composer will translate into a lot of people taking a workshop because composers aren't viewed in the same manner as rock stars, even if people happen to be downloading this particular composer's sheet music. What they seem to want is to use it to play songs themselves, not to become composers. There might be more of a market in having the composer actually accompany you at an audition. However, for the composer to make it worth his time, he'd have to charge a lot. And that puts him even more off limits of teenage girls.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    A traditional revenue stream that has decreased is writing for movies and television. The market has dropped out of this, too. There is so much competition for the work that is out there that the payment has been lowered for much of it. And as a result there are discussions in the movie composer forums that the college programs turning out composers for movies are misleading them into thinking their will be careers for them.

    What I see is a flood of people being creative. That's great for us as a society, but it does mean that the monetary value placed on a lot of creative work has gone down. I'm not arguing that shouldn't be the case. In fact, I'm suggesting that we should be prepared for and embrace the opposite. Let everyone make their own art. Then we'll focus on the best ways to meet the basic needs of everyone out there. We don't necessarily have to tie income to art. If people are getting paid to do something, and they are also feeling creative making art, we have more or less accomplished the desired goal. So I am far more interested in the discussions about the economy as a whole, and reinventing world economic systems to reflect that, than specifically focusing on IP issues in a vacuum.

    I'm working on a blog now about the future of work. We've gone from a hunter/gather mentality, to agriculture, to manufacturing, to information/ideas. What's the next revolution going to be where most of the employable people in an affluent society will migrate to?

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Suggest some income streams

    And I don't think my assumptions are incorrect. Composers as a rule don't make a lot of assumptions.

    TYPO.
    That should have said, "Composers as a rule don't make a lot of income."

     

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    lux (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Middleman:


    "But they're not taking the hit. That's the point. It's just that their business model options change, mostly for the better."


    Right, so explain again how the composer is this scenario isn't the middle man?

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Talent

    As I have repeatedly, my goal is to see everyone become more creative and to feel creative. Make your own art to put on the wall. Make your own music to listen to. Make you own little stories to watch. (Those experiments where average citizens are encouraged to record a story about their lives can be expanded so that they see their own lives as material for videos.)

    It's been argued in the anti-copyright discussions that art is built upon what has gone in the past, so by tying it up with copyright, we deprive people of the necessarily material. Okay, so let's run with that. Let's show people how to take the basic pieces of a story, or a video, or a song, drop in their own words or bits and come out with a finished piece that is memorable, at least to them.

    I'm talking about the democratization of arts creation. If we take the talent factor out of art creation via smart tools, then it becomes more accessible, but career paths for current artists are likely to change. Giving the ability to create to everyone tends to reduce the need for "professional creators."

    I'm not promising that by taking away copyright, artists will be better for it and perhaps make more money. I don't see the connection. In my view, as you have more people making art, there is more art and no one can consume it all. So most of it becomes art with small audiences. That's not a bad thing if the value is in the creative process rather than in generating income from it.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Talent

    I'm not promising that by taking away copyright, artists will be better for it and perhaps make more money.

    I should clarify. I'm neutral on IP laws. I know they aren't going to change anytime soon, so I don't get worked up about them one way or the other.

    Sometimes I raise questions because, as a person who is pretty much neutral, I might say, "That reasoning doesn't persuade me," but other than that, I'm not being a crusader one way or the other.

    I'm more interested in the overall economic situation in the world. If the entire package of laws results in a better standard of living for the most people, that's my interest.

     

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  157.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Talent

    I think a sharing mindset definitely has value. But I'd like the idea of sharing IP coupled with other kinds of sharing.

    Detroit gets growing : "As with many community or charity-run farms, the food is simply available free to residents. When it is ready they can come and harvest it straight from the ground themselves. Such a scheme might seem a recipe for chaos, but vandalism on the city's urban farms is almost unknown. They are unfenced, open to all, and run by volunteers or charity workers. It is hoped that residents who eat the food will also help to grow it. But there are no set rules. 'It's beautiful,' Myers says. 'There's a lot of people around here who really need it, and they say it tastes very good.'"

     

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    nasch (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 6:16pm

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

    You don't have a natural right to give away something you have no right in.

    You just switched in midsentence from talking about natural rights to legal rights. If something is in my possession, my natural right is to do with it anything I please, short of what intrudes on others' natural rights. If that thing is a recording of music that you made, you naturally have no right to that item, nor to interfere with anything I want to do with it.

    It doesn't matter that copyright rights are statutory, since a right is a right.

    Ah, well many (most?) philosophers disagree.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_and_legal_rights

    This is the point being made, that copyright is purely a legal construct, not based on "brute facts"*. Without referring to any law, can you explain why you should be allowed to interfere with my ability to do what I want with the music recording I possess, including copy it?

    * from the video arguing that intellectual property rights are unethical, which I recommend even if you don't agree with it, for if nothing else it's also good material on the difference between natural and legal rights:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100519/0404029486.shtml

     

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  159.  
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    Karl (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 7:40pm

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

    Copyright laws creates exclusive rights in the copyright holder.

    Yes, copyright creates a legal right to exclusion, which would not exist otherwise. I was asking by what right does copyright law exist? If none, we should change the law, or abolish it.

    If you own a chair, you have two things: the chair itself, and the rights that go along with ownership in the chair.

    If I don't have "the rights that go along with ownership in the chair," I don't own the chair. It is not my property.

    If I have the exclusive rights in a work, you have no rights in that work, by definition. (...) Now with a copyrighted work, (...) you do not have the rights, as the rights remain with the copyright owner.

    So, put another way: copyright laws take away the public's property rights, and grant them to copyright holders.

    Without copyright, the public would have all property rights associated with the sheet music (& etc.) that they paid for, so they could do with it as they pleased.

    And if you keep in mind that the "right" created by copyright is the right to control expressions, we now have two natural rights that copyright laws infringe upon. The right to private property, and the right to freedom of expression.

    The Constitution is clear on why we grant authors the right to exclusion, even though it removes rights from the public. That reason is to give the public access to more works, by allowing the authors to profit off of them. Neither of these things is happening in this situation. So, in this situation, the "right" of the copyright holder should be taken away, and restored to the public, where it naturally resides.

    You cannot give away what you don't have.

    You also cannot give away what has been stolen from you.

    ...Why is this so hard to understand? Without copyright law, everyone would hold the rights to the material, including the author.

    For example, if an author's work was in the public domain, that doesn't mean the author couldn't sell copies of it, exactly as he would if copyright existed. He just couldn't prevent others from selling copies as well.

     

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    Jay (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 10:12pm

    My mistake

    Apologies. I took your statements the wrong way. I probably read them too fast but I'll try to answer the other question:

    "What I was pondering is if you strip out some of the current ways to make money, what is left? And based on the reality of being a composer, there isn't much left. There wasn't much to begin with, but there's not much to work with anyway."

    There's still a few options and untapped markets. The videogame market is a great source because I'm sure that not too many composers are used for gaming music. The problem is the stigma that comes with being a video game artist. Still Halo's music is very much very highly regarded.

    Movies continue to make memorable orchestral pieces. As entertainment goes more grandiose, there will be a need for music. I just believe a lot of composers have to work to find these deals. Still, all of the other options pale in comparison to the money anyone makes with sheet music. It's kinda why Mr. Brown was so upset. XD

    I guess he needed those $5 for gas money.

     

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  161.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 4:52am

    Re:

    That's his exclusive right, and she's infringing on it. Whether or not society is better off or whether the composer is better off doesn't matter.

    The purpose of copyright is to make society better off, so I would argue it matters a great deal.

     

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  162.  
    identicon
    Joshua, Jul 12th, 2010 @ 6:02am

    Case by Case

    Downloading scores that are in the public domain (most if not all key classical works), or available no where else, as seems to be the justification put forth by the media professor, is justifiable. However, this girl was not complaining that the scores weren't available any other way, but that she couldn't afford them. That is a completely different issue. She wanted the scores, and instead of convincing her parents to purchase them on her behalf, or waiting until she was old enough for a credit care (only a couple of years) she looked for them on a file sharing site. The artist is still alive, and his scores are still available via other means, therefore the argument that she is "Preserving Culture" is specious.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 6:46am

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

    "You just switched in midsentence from talking about natural rights to legal rights. If something is in my possession, my natural right is to do with it anything I please, short of what intrudes on others' natural rights. If that thing is a recording of music that you made, you naturally have no right to that item, nor to interfere with anything I want to do with it."

    If I lose my watch at the park and you find it, you possess it, but you don't own it. It's in your possession, but you don't have the right to do anything with it you please. Possession does not imply you have all the rights of ownership. Ever lease a car or mortgage a house?

    "This is the point being made, that copyright is purely a legal construct, not based on "brute facts"*. Without referring to any law, can you explain why you should be allowed to interfere with my ability to do what I want with the music recording I possess, including copy it?"

    Copyright is a legal construct. Of course it is. That doesn't mean the rights it creates are less enforceable than other rights. If the creator of the work chooses to copyright the work and chooses to enforce his copyright, as the composer here is, other people should respect his choice. He could have chosen "copyleft" or public domain or whatever else, but he didn't. I respect his choice.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 7:01am

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

    "Yes, copyright creates a legal right to exclusion, which would not exist otherwise. I was asking by what right does copyright law exist? If none, we should change the law, or abolish it."

    Copyright law exists via Article I of the Constitution, as I'm sure you well know. I'm all for making the law better.

    "If I don't have "the rights that go along with ownership in the chair," I don't own the chair. It is not my property."

    You can possess a chair yet have limited rights in the chair. Perhaps you used it as collateral for a loan. Maybe you leased the chair from a furniture store. Etc. Ownership can be dismembered, and rights can be limited.

    "So, put another way: copyright laws take away the public's property rights, and grant them to copyright holders."

    Nope. The public never had the rights to begin with, so they aren't being taken away.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re:

    "The purpose of copyright is to make society better off, so I would argue it matters a great deal."

    I knew that was going to come back and bite me. :)

    What I meant was this: you can't rationalize infringing on the composer's rights because you think doing so makes society better off or it makes the composer better off. The fact is that the rights are his exclusively, and we should respect his choice.

    I'm all for change and I think you've got some great ideas, Mike. That's why I read your site. :)

     

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  166.  
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    Jay, Jul 12th, 2010 @ 7:48am

    Re: Case by Case

    How so?

    Her parents wouldn't allow her to own a credit card. Never mind the fact that the alternative was to use something else.

    And to be honest, there was no way it hurt him. He doesn't make his money from that paltry sum of ~$5. He makes it from selling his work to theaters to be used in theater.

    Had he have allowed the girl to use it with his credit, he would have had a lifelong fan, a person that could have spread his work to other areas as well as someone who might have liked him more. Perhaps she's not a fan now, but she could have been a paying customer later on.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Case by Case

    Had he have allowed the girl to use it with his credit, he would have had a lifelong fan, a person that could have spread his work to other areas as well as someone who might have liked him more. Perhaps she's not a fan now, but she could have been a paying customer later on.

    A sliding scale to accommodate those with no money is an option. But my guess is that he's working with a music publisher and can't set the prices himself.

    One could also set up a special site for teens, allowing them access to some free print music in exchange for some info like school, interests, etc. There are educational discounts for other products, so this could be set up as well. Of course, the teens could then just go on and make copies themselves and provide them to their friends, but if someone wanted to set up a site for teens interested in sheet music, there might be some long-term benefits and they might go to that site rather than one that provides unauthorized copies.

    Personally, I'm lousing at charging people for stuff. I tend to give it away for free, and of course I don't make any money in the process. I've had these discussions with other people in the arts. One associate said that she may give people some of her services at a reduced rate, but she always invoices them the full price (and then shows the discount) to impress upon them that she's put in some high priced labor into the effort and she is doing them a favor.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 9:39am

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

    The public never had the rights to begin with, so they aren't being taken away.

    You have it ass-backwards. Authors, by default, do not have the right to exclude others from making copies. Copyright grants it to them.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 9:51am

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

    "You have it ass-backwards. Authors, by default, do not have the right to exclude others from making copies. Copyright grants it to them."

    Huh? Copyright gives the author exclusive rights, by default. Rights aren't transferred from other people and given to the author. They are created anew.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What I meant was this: you can't rationalize infringing on the composer's rights because you think doing so makes society better off or it makes the composer better off. The fact is that the rights are his exclusively, and we should respect his choice.

    Well, I agree that you can't legally rationalize infringement that way. However, if you are trying to show how the law goes against the state purpose of the Constitution... it seems relevant.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Well, I agree that you can't legally rationalize infringement that way. However, if you are trying to show how the law goes against the state purpose of the Constitution... it seems relevant."

    Roger that. I'm reading some Supreme Court cases now to learn more about their view of the purpose of copyright. Thanks for the thought-provoking nudge.

     

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    nasch (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

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

    If I lose my watch at the park and you find it, you possess it, but you don't own it.

    That is not at all analagous to a CD I bought at a store. I both possess and own the CD. I thought that was clearly the situation we were talking about.

    Copyright is a legal construct. Of course it is. That doesn't mean the rights it creates are less enforceable than other rights.

    Nobody is claiming the rights are less enforceable. We're saying there is a different reason those rights exist. They are a different kind of right. So far it sounds like you're not convinced of that, but if you've read up on it on the Wikipedia link I gave you, and watched the video I linked to, and still don't see it, I guess I don't know what else to say.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

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

    Rights aren't transferred from other people and given to the author. They are created anew.

    So, you're saying if copyright did not exist, then nobody would have the right to copy anything whatsoever?

    That's wrong, and you know it. Without copyright, everything would be in the public domain. If a work is in the public domain, then every citizen has the right to copy and distribute it, even for profit.

    What is created anew is not the right to copy, but the right to prevent others from copying. It is the transfer of rights from the public domain to private interests.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 2:14pm

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

    "That is not at all analagous to a CD I bought at a store. I both possess and own the CD. I thought that was clearly the situation we were talking about."

    You possess the CD, and you have some rights of ownership, but you don't have all the rights of ownership. Since the CD is copyrighted, the copyright holder retains certain exclusive rights.

    "Nobody is claiming the rights are less enforceable. We're saying there is a different reason those rights exist. They are a different kind of right. So far it sounds like you're not convinced of that, but if you've read up on it on the Wikipedia link I gave you, and watched the video I linked to, and still don't see it, I guess I don't know what else to say."

    I get it, don't worry. I've forgotten what we're even debating about. LOL!

     

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  175.  
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    average_joe (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

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

    "What is created anew is not the right to copy, but the right to prevent others from copying. It is the transfer of rights from the public domain to private interests."

    The copyright owner is given certain exclusive rights. He can choose to copy or not to copy. He can authorize others to copy. Nobody else has the right to copy unless he transfers it to them first. The public never had the right in the first place, so nobody has taken it away from them.

    Let's continue this debate some other time... it's wearing me out. :)

     

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  176.  
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    Karl (profile), Jul 12th, 2010 @ 5:02pm

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

    The copyright owner is given certain exclusive rights.

    ...rights which - if copyright didn't exist - would not be "exclusive," but held by everyone.

    Nobody else has the right to copy unless he transfers it to them first.

    Unless it's for personal use, or educational use, or parody, or commentary. Or if it falls under fair use. Or if they pay a statutory fee (set not by the author, but the government) to copy it. Or if his rights have expired, and his work is in the public domain.

    Another example. Prior to 1976, creative works were exempt from copyright by default. In order to gain any rights under copyright law, you needed to register your work with the Copyright Office. Even today, unregistered copyrights are more limited than registered copyrights (for example, you can't sue for statutory damages or legal fees).

    Part of the registration process is to deposit a copy of the work with the Library of Congress - so that anyone can access that work.

    All of these exemptions should make the situation clear: the public's rights are more fundamental than the author's copyright. The public domain is the default state of the work, from which it is taken at birth and given to the author, but to which it must return once it's grown up.

    So, let's rephrase that statement more accurately: "No author has an exclusive right to copy, unless Congress transfers it to him first." Congress did so, through copyright law, but they don't have to. If copyright laws were abolished tomorrow, there would be nothing unconstitutional about it, and it wouldn't infringe on anyone's rights.

    Let's continue this debate some other time... it's wearing me out. :)

    Sure, why not. I'm pretty sure you're not going to listen to me anyway.

     

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

  177.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2010 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ok! So then I can buy what I want, right?

    In other words s/he can not obtain that content legally.

     

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


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