Why Debates Over Copyright Get Bogged Down: Conflating Use With Payment

from the separate-them-out dept

A few weeks back, we covered the "debate" that composer Jason Robert Brown had with a young fan of his, concerning the reasonableness of sharing digital copies of his sheet music online. For some reason, Brown keeps appearing in the press over this issue, which is a bit unfortunate, as there are plenty of folks who understand the issues at a deeper, more nuanced level than he does, and could do a better job presenting his case. However, the latest appearance of the story was at NPR. There's really not much new there, as it rehashes the basics that you're probably already familiar with.

However, what I did find interesting, was that the NPR piece mentioned an email that Alex Feerst, from Stanford Law School, sent Brown, suggesting that Brown was mistaken about some of his arguments. Brown got permission to publish the email a few weeks ago (though I just found out about it via the NPR story), and it's well worth reading. Much of it will sound familiar to regular Techdirt readers, as it covers much of the same ground, such as pointing out that copyright is designed to promote the progress, not to protect an artist's moral rights. It also does a nice job pointing out how copyright is regularly abused by industries trying to hold onto an obsolete business model, and that we shouldn't confuse promoting the progress with propping up obsolete business models or middlemen. As I said, the whole thing is well worth reading.

One part, early in the email, stood out to me, because it helped crystallize why so many of these discussions about copyright break down, which is that defenders of today's copyright system often conflate two very separate issues, which makes it difficult to move the debate forward: that is, they inherently link together the "this is how I get paid" part with the idea that "this is my right." As Feerst eloquently explains:
In your email, you shift from this idea, the zero-sumness of a physical object, to the broader point that you deserve to be paid for your work (right around where you say "The way I support myself and my family. . ."). But these are two separate points, one correct and one not, that you have run together -- (1) songs are like objects, when they are taken by one person, another person is deprived of their use. This is not accurate -- you may have been deprived of money, but not use. You can keep playing your song. (2) You deserve to get paid for your work. I agree with this completely. But your story conflates using the song and paying you for your work. They are not the same thing. It's not hard to imagine a world in which these are separate -- e.g., you get a generous monthly stipend that you are happy with from a patron on the condition that anyone can play your music, trade your sheet music, etc.

These two issues -- payment and ownership/control of copies should be conceptually separated. They are connected under our current system, but they are not naturally or necessarily connected. We can unfasten them and toggle them separately to see what happens. If we could imagine other ways for you to get paid for your work (maybe we can't, but assume for argument's sake we can) as an artist, then whether or not people "take" your song is beside the point. You only want to stop people from taking things because you need to get paid. If you got an acceptable income from your work, you would probably not care about who plays or doesn't play your song. This is because, unlike a screwdriver, it is not bound by physical world zero-sumness. In fact, you'd probably prefer such a system because you'd get paid and at the same time a greater number of people would hear your song. I think your teen correspondent mentioned a similar point.
This sort of thing comes up, quite frequently, in statements from people along the lines of "this is how I make my living," or "I have a right to be paid," both of which implicitly make this conflation error. Copyright grants you a right to exclude, not a right to get paid -- and there is no guarantee that "how you make your living" must always stay the same. At one point, most people made their living farming. Now they don't. The world changes, and people change how they make their living. So I think it really is important, when people make these arguments, to point out how conflating those two issues is a major flaw.

Further on this point, reading the comments on Brown's post, a lot of people take offense at one of the comments Feerst states, specifically:
So, although it may sound odd, it is not necessarily your right to get every possible penny from your work. Rather, our system is designed that you get enough to create, which promotes progress. But money that does not go toward promoting progress is not an entitlement.
I think that many people are misunderstanding what Feerst is actually stating here. It is not that artists should only get "just enough" money and then everything else must be free. Instead, he is arguing (quite correctly, from a Constitutional standpoint) that copyright is only supposed to help you get to that point. That is the very basis of copyright. But, creators are free to make use of other business models to make more money beyond that. The problem here comes in where too many seem to think that the only way to make money is to rely on copyright.

As such, it often feels like copyright has become a crutch. Because content creators use it to earn some part of their living, they start relying on it for all of their earnings, and fail to flex their "creative business models" muscle and let those atrophy, as they increasingly rely on the gov't granted monopoly privilege of copyright to act as a de facto business model.

Unfortunately, Brown's responses to Feerst's carefully argued points suggest he does not actually understand these points. He goes back to "but this is how I feed my family" multiple times, even in defending copyright lasting well past death. What he ignores, is that if he were working a 9-to-5 job as a banker or a construction worker, if he died, his family does not get to keep collecting his salary. Now, it is entirely possible to make an argument that content creators deserve special treatment that keeps their estates making their money after they die (a belief I do not agree with). However, Brown doesn't even try to make that argument. He just says:
"I've got bills to pay and I don't pay them by working at a hedge fund. If I were to die tomorrow, the lifestyle that I have built up for my family would be severely endangered, but at least the continuing royalties from the performances of my shows might pay for my childrens' college educations."
Yes, but if you did work at a hedge fund, well, then your family wouldn't continue to get your salary. That's the point that Feerst is making, and Brown totally ignores it with an incredible sense of entitlement that for some reason, because this is how he feeds his family, it has to continue.

Brown also brushes off Feerst's point about how Brown's own musical talent and creations are built off of "raw materials" that he "received" from others for which he does not pay royalties. Brown explains this away by pretending that those "raw materials" are "abandoned in the street," so it was okay for him to take them without paying. Yet, later on, he complains about the idea that anyone could ever use his raw materials for their own works without paying. It's quite a double standard.

Either way, Feerst's contribution here is definitely a good one, in highlighting that conflation of "getting paid," vs. "use" -- and pointing out that the two may be connected, but often are not, and certainly do not need to be connected.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ccomp5950 (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:45pm

    One side see's the copyright minimalists as "Waaah, I want free music"

    The other side see's copyright maximalists as "Waaah, I have a right to be paid in perpetuity"

    But on this argument, I have to say Feerst came out on top.

     

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    Richard Hack (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:05pm

    Also, as I've pointed out many times, there is a difference between a "right to be paid" and a "right to a sale".

    Yes, an artist has a right to make money off his work. However, he does not have a GUARANTEE of making money off his work.

    Copying does NOT prevent him from making money. It merely removes a specific SALE from his revenue stream, just as if the sale were removed by someone simply deciding not to pay what he is charging for the item because it is considered too expensive and therefore deciding not to buy.

    The fact that if he sold only one copy of his work, and then EVERYONE copied that one copy such that he never again made a sale from that work does not invalidate the fact that no one is OBLIGATED to buy his stuff if they don't value it at the price he is offering.

    It's exactly the same situation as the following example:

    If I buy a hammer, then loan it to my neighbor to complete some work of his, I have deprived the hammer manufacturer of a sale. But I have not STOLEN anything.

    Even if I proceed to make in my home workshop an exact duplicate of the hammer I bought and then give it to my neighbor, I still have deprived the original hammer manufacturer of a sale, but I have not STOLEN anything.

    If I were to make that hammer, mark it as having been made by the original manufacturer, and sell it as such, I have committed fraud in misrepresenting the manufacturer of the hammer. But I STILL haven't STOLEN anything. Theft and fraud are not the same thing, either.

    So copying BY DEFINITION is not theft. The effect is merely to deny the producer a SALE, NOT to deny them any "right to make money".

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:06pm

    lets see

    i use a spoon a lot do i pay each time?
    i use my underwear a lot should i pay all the time ( yes of course they get washed ) and yes i use the washer a lot should i pay every time OR isn't that the idea of buying one so you do not have to pay like the laundry mat.

    I use my computer a lot should i pay all the time for its use?
    I buy a cdr burner should i pay for each use because i'm smart and tek savvy enough to know its cheaper to burn the content?

    I buy blank cdrs but have to pay a levy cause they know im going to place audio music on it, should i then each time i listen to these pay again?

    ITS SO ridiculous how lazy and just plain jerks these pro copyright people are and why they would hide away and not debate people with half a brain cause they will come out looking like utter idiots.

    people use hammers a lot should they pay everytime they use it to build something, aka a creation?

    THATS a good example cause if they did it would be like the tax called copyright except it would be called buildright.

     

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    dan, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    Re: lets see

    i use a spoon a lot do i pay each time?
    ---
    the spoon stay sin ONE PLACE, you DID NOT MAKE A COPY. Stupid point.
    ----
    You play a song that YOU PURCHASED, can you play that song again> YES. Fucking idiot.

    You TAKE that song by copying SOMEONE ELSE'S purchased file. NO, you do not have a right.

    Again, your a fucking idiot. You don't see the difference.

    Middle eastern countries have it right. Cut a part of your body off for every fucking illegal media file you own. Fuck you, you deserve to lose something just like your taking from others.

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    @2

    Copying does not always reduce a sale....

    If i have no money but lots of well to do friends i may copy and a few of them might copy but some might having heard of it go and buy the item.

    Such was even the case for the last video game i bought
    diabloII

    i heard of it tried the pirated copy then went and bought a boxed set having saved up.

    as that rolling stones item said if you remove all the free advertising they are really gonna have hard times and are just seeing every download as a dollar sign when in fact 99% prolly won't ever buy anything.

    copying by any definition is not theft.
    THINK Gene Roddenberry of a future where replicators are the norm for all things. IN TIME thats the ultimate copy device.
    Transporters too are the same thing.

    Man has always imitated that which preceded him its how we developed language , and all the art and science we have today.

    To deny our nature is to deny our selves true freedom and to be forever enlightened.

    AND the reason you about hammers is flawed my above referance is more true , if every use and time you use that hammer you were required to use a hammer would as much get built and created? NO and you don't need 5 studies to tell that. rents would sky rocket, building prices would be insane, you'd have masses of poor living in tents or shanty towns and this alone is proof that we do not need copyrights at all. YOU push regular people to paying such stupid prices they become that which you fear most a pirate.

    AM i a pirate in canada for burning music onto a levied cdr?
    BY your definition no, yet they call us all such.

    The manufacturer of a hammer knows they only last so long and there needs ot be a certain many in the universe as we all cant borrow one guys hammer at the same time.
    IF you use that premise that YES even the burned cdrs don't last forever get scratched, rust etc....then you have the end result of what musicians and hollywood should be doing investing in the tech and spreading that back to artists.
    makes sense as long as htey dont then try and "corner hte market and raise prices" freemarkets will keep that in check.

    i cna buy a single dvdr ( not levied and 4.7gb space)at half the price of a levied cdr ( 700meg space)
    adding 75$ to a single device like an ipod is only going to stop sales of the device and now im going ot buy a dvdr and say to hell with the levy cause they overpriced it. I know im not alone cause cdr sales have dropped a whopping 75% in canada due to there doubling the levy last year.

    actor should get hired to do the tv ep or show and thats it he gets nothing like hte factory worker

    movie studio should sell it as they can and not worry about pirates just sell it a lot cheaper ....include special stuff.

    whats the avg wage daily of a actor in a guild something like 5000$ a day....thats more then some get on welfare in a year and they seem to be living on.....

    this is one union we need ot bust up for good its over taxation is ruining the planet.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Re: lets see

    If you knew what the word "take" meant, you might actually be taken more seriously than the insane person you replied to.

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:38pm

    @4 no

    i move the spoon arounbd a lot it goes form the cupboard to my plate do i nee dot pay everytime i eat wiht this mad eby the builder pieces association of america
    BPAA
    they have these people that make them and want m to either pay each time i use it or buy a new spoon.

    and with a cdr levy i can take any persons music i like even yours , thats the law and up to you to get your 26.7 cents for a full cdr of music.....

    WHICH might be why 300000 musicians in canada are suing the CRIA in canada cause they aren't paying them....why no fraud charges are because all the leaders of the top 3 parties are copyright guilds or supporters.

    so they have it right in hte middle east eh....you believe having an affair you should get stoned to death? well ther goes have the pron you will ever watch. NO more video games for you. NO wearing your cloths from walmart .....
    YEA freedom or NO freeodm that is the question.

    and again #4 your swearing proves your the idiot, as they say when the message is sound attack the messanger.
    Funny hting is they want you to pay like i said for the hammer, or did you miss the tech dirt article about how they are applying copyright style law in southrn usa to home sales, aka everytime you sell the hosue 1% goes to the home builder. WHY? cause PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE GREEDY LAZY MOTHER FUCKING COCKSUCKERS.

    happy now got a rise , isn't that special, do i win a prise for slapping you like a noob.

    BEAM ME up scotty with that copying transporter there is no intelligent life at #4

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:41pm

    @6

    were not talking about TAKE you idiot were talkign about copying and use.I BUY the HAMMER I OWN IT
    I BUY A CDR i OWN IT
    both things i should be allowed to do with as i please.


    perhaps you should go and stuck a thumb up your ass and see if yo can blow out your mouth while pinching your nose, i bet some foul comes your way

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:47pm

    @6,4 and whatever other number you want to be

    and if i lend MY HAMMER I bought to a friend WHAT business is it of the manufacturer for having a lost sale, TOOO bad as i explained we all cant borrow the same hammer.

    unlike copying which we can. SO in a medium where everyhting can be remade why the hell are we not dumping copyright and have all actors who want to act that can afford to of there own free time go and do so. WHAT will they do otherwise i guess is really the question , these unskilled lazy bums won't be able to eat live or rent a room or even work at macdonalds?

    ya i see this perfectly form a they are over paid way too much and are just another group a unionist lazy fucks that need a reality check that the technology has arrived to make there jobs ROBOTED( AKA technology has obsoleted your jobs) like a GM workers was.

    THAT'S REALITY and taking or stealing or thieving or pirating or copying makes no difference buddy instead a yelling better start looking for a new line a work cause
    THIS SHITS HERE TO STAY

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:05pm

    Your hammers exist in a different world.

    In the world of music and books and movies, ratio of the fixed costs to the marginal costs is, or is close to, infinity.

    In the world of hammers, it's not anywhere close, and probably won't be for a long, long time (Star Trek replicators aren't scheduled until the 24th century, sorry).

    Moreover, it's pretty easy to assess the utility of a hammer, and make a guess of its value. Each song, book, or movie is a new invention, and you can't just look at it and assess how good it is (if you could, you'd be a billionaire. Since you're posting here, I'm going to assume you're not).

    But you ignore these differences with real gusto.

    I BUY the HAMMER I OWN IT. I BUY A CDR i OWN IT

    Sure. But your analogy fails, because you didn't buy the music. If a song cost $10,000 to make, and the author was not purposely selling it at a loss (as people sometimes do with scarce goods), you'd pay at least $10,000 for that music. But you didn't. You probably paid about $1 for a license.

    It's not like you can't buy out music. You can, for a bit more than $1, but you can do that. Work-for-hire, buy the copyright... If you did that, you really do own the music, and then you can feel free to make as many or as few copies as you want.

    So how much music have you actually bought? My guess: none at all. You want 100% of the value of buying music for the price of an individual license. And you seem unwilling to abide by its terms.

    You probably paid $10 for a good hammer. But what if I offered you the same hammer for $1, as long as you'd promise to never loan it out? Would you still loan it out?

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:13pm

    yup

    Yeah, we probably shouldn't equate listening with ownership; I download plenty of music that I don't even want to keep.(hope my operating system is smart enough to delete the ol' temp files) Seems to me there should be some distinction between auditioning and commenting on a track, and providing it to all and sundry for indiscriminate downloading. Maybe that's just me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:19pm

    Re: yup

    There are plenty of mechanisms for this, and a sliding pricing scale.

    Auditioning tracks, where the tracks are selected by others: free over FM radio, Pandora...

    Auditioning segments of tracks, where the tracks are selected by you: free over most online music stores.

    Auditioning whole tracks, where the tracks available are a subset of all tracks you might ever conceivably listen to: free over official band sites on MySpace/videos on YouTube...

    Auditioning whole tracks for any track you want, any time you want: About $0.99 per track, give or take, over iTunes, Amazon MP3 store, the CD section at Best Buy.

    Providing a track to all for sundry and indiscriminate downloading: varies, cost is negotiated with copyright-holder.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:23pm

    Then again...

    The use of the work has nothing to do with the ability to play it, whether for compensasion or otherwise; the usefulness of a publicly available musical work is in its attending income; something that can be put to an actual use, like sending the composer's children to college, where they'll hopefully learn the difference between morality and sophistry.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Re: yup

    I also forgot:

    Audition as many whole tracks as you want as many times as you want from a truly massive collection of tracks for the period of one month: about $9.99 from many "all you can eat" music services.

    What price/auditioning scheme would you like, exactly, that isn't provided?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Then again...

    The use of the work has nothing to do with the ability to play it, whether for compensasion or otherwise; the usefulness of a publicly available musical work is in its attending income; something that can be put to an actual use, like sending the composer's children to college, where they'll hopefully learn the difference between morality and sophistry.

    What does that even mean? I can't quite parse this, but if I'm reading this right then I'm fairly certain you're full of shit. How do you explain them playing songs in supermarkets and shopping malls and video games? Or on the radio? They could save a lot of effort by stopping.

    Oh, because the ability to play that music is useful in making shoppers buy more, manipulating a player's mood, or getting people to listen to advertising.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:38pm

    Re: Re: lets see

    come and take it, if you think i owe a body part. i copy files, and i've paid my dues, over and over, and still i do.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:50pm

    In US History, "copyright" was been sometimes quite literally taken to mean a money payment. See Anderson's "Pimps and Ferrets" pp.103-105.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:57pm

    made you think

    Composers get paid when their work is used to promote commerce; same in a grocery store as on the radio. (hint: radio is free to you, but it costs the advertisers money) You're using my product to make money, I want a piece; is that so hard to understand?

     

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  19.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:07pm

    a couple more things...

    Grab a sandwich and something to drink; this will take a while.

    Richard Hack: "Copying does NOT prevent him from making money. It merely removes a specific SALE from his revenue stream, just as if the sale were removed by someone simply deciding not to pay what he is charging for the item because it is considered too expensive and therefore deciding not to buy."

    Someone decides not to pay for an item offered for sale and takes it, without compensating the creator; if you consider this to be a moral course of action, I fear for your soul, but I suspect that Satan doesn't mind, if you don't.


    Nameless One: The fact that if he sold only one copy of his work, and then EVERYONE copied that one copy such that he never again made a sale from that work does not invalidate the fact that no one is OBLIGATED to buy his stuff if they don't value it at the price he is offering."

    I think you meant, "the price he's asking", but the inherent unfairness of others profiting from a creator's work is the reason we have copy rights to begin with.

    "If I buy a hammer, then loan it to my neighbor to complete some work of his, I have deprived the hammer manufacturer of a sale. But I have not STOLEN anything."

    And neither has the library deprived the author, but there is a question of scale. Also, the library PAID for their copy.

    "If I were to make that hammer, mark it as having been made by the original manufacturer, and sell it as such, I have committed fraud in misrepresenting the manufacturer of the hammer. But I STILL haven't STOLEN anything. Theft and fraud are not the same thing, either."

    Yes, you have; you've stolen the name of the manufacturer, which he has spent a great deal of time and effort in building.You have thereby taken something of value from him; this is the foundation of trademark law.

    "So copying BY DEFINITION is not theft. The effect is merely to deny the producer a SALE, NOT to deny them any "right to make money"."

    If you deny a sale to someone with a legal claim to such, it's a fundamental point of law that you can be sued for damages.It need not, by definition, be theft, but that doesn't void liability.

    "i use a spoon a lot do i pay each time?
    i use my underwear a lot should i pay all the time ( yes of course they get washed ) and yes i use the washer a lot should i pay every time OR isn't that the idea of buying one so you do not have to pay like the laundry mat."

    Part of the price of your washing machine includes payments to the originators of the patents on which your personal hygiene depends, and that's one reason why owning such a machine is cheaper than renting one by the load.

    "I use my computer a lot should i pay all the time for its use?
    I buy a cdr burner should i pay for each use because i'm smart and tek savvy enough to know its cheaper to burn the content?"

    Thankfully, no, because there are limits on intellectual property, and your predecessors have already paid for the computer and the CD burner, but the content creators are not magical beings like Santa Claus; we have families and would like to have an opportunity for our children to be educated as well as yours.

    "ITS SO ridiculous how lazy and just plain jerks these pro copyright people are and why they would hide away and not debate people with half a brain cause they will come out looking like utter idiots."

    I presume it's your intent that I be profoundly saddened by my intellectual laziness and your obvious moral superiority, when you clearly desire something for nothing; why don't you bite my shiny pink ass, you sorry piece of shit?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:13pm

    @19

    so your saying it should be illegal to have a robot ( tech ) replace a human beings job as this copying seems to be doing and if they cant afford to make stuff dont make it, i have a feeling things will still get made....in fact i know it will just like linux gets made and polished up.....and all those apps that go with it....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:16pm

    @19 owning your washing machine and paying at a laundry mat

    well one is in the end more expensive cause you have to pay n pay n pay per use + employees of the store there hydro and water and the space...., the other just depends on your utility costs and can over hte long run be cheaper , if we didn't have patents and such as longer term yes things would be cheaper that way too, you make my argument that all this is now is a taxation cause the larger corporations want to keep the cashola flowing and they don't need ot invent anything new

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:17pm

    Re:

    Thank you for laying this out so clearly. Having been bitten by DRM'd products that made trouble ONLY for those who paid for those products, I came to realize that "piracy" (often) and boycott (always) are enacted first by the *decision* to not buy. Same difference in the end, only the motivations for the decision vary.

    Perhaps I'm odd, but I boycott out of principle and *refuse* to pirate out of spite...I'm not sure why, I think it has to do with a complete turning away from products from companies that have treated customers badly. I want nothing to do with them. At all. I wish obscurity upon them, maybe. The old refusal to reward bad behavior with money or attention.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:21pm

    Re:

    "You probably paid $10 for a good hammer. But what if I offered you the same hammer for $1, as long as you'd promise to never loan it out? Would you still loan it out?"

    You'd get nothing from at least me, since your terms are ridiculous at any price.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:29pm

    @19

    also you say
    "If you deny a sale to someone with a legal claim to such, it's a fundamental point of law that you can be sued for damages.It need not, by definition, be theft, but that doesn't void liability."

    this is copyright abuse at its core. Legalese for its mine always and you can not share or do stuff you want with it.
    WE dont need law here anymore its whats wrong is the laws.
    again if i have a hammer in a store and run in and take it thats theft.....if i use a star trek replicator and replicate it its not missing....i have copied it. SO there is no theft EVER. I am surprised some slander and libel suits over this issue have not been filed. liability means i owe yo something right? WHY? cause you were the monkey on the typewriter that got lucky and created somehting amusing , ya know eventually it all gets created, and that was why this was a very limited time monopoly, to get you creating more not sit back for 120years on your lazy zombie greedy lawyery butts.OR get large conglomerates that see the $$$$ and buy up all the peeps rights they can in a fest of greed and lust of r the almighty dollar. your going to start seeing major economic downturn in the usa if you dont smarten up. Canada 84% dont wan the current proposed law and 74% want reduction in terms.

    THATS half of the ruling party as well
    you cant go forward any more ONLY abuse and destruction are your ends now, so what i see is an all we can get before they all wise up mentality....ACTA is national security ROFL ROFL sorry michael jacksons hts are not national security nor is the next episode of "big brother"

    none has answered any questions i posed they just attacked the messenger or message.

    DO you agree factory workers deserve the same product rights as actors products or musicians products....
    if you do your insane.

    as to the questions #19
    its put in a way you should re rad the original post.
    DO you agree factory workers deserve the same product rights as actors products or musicians products....

    if home sales can get 1% to the home builder why not cars and everything lets just tax the shit out of everything so we can get this revolution going.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Mojo Bone, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:37pm

    Re: @19

    Not at all; jobs are malleable, and have always been, and machines may one day write songs better than people. It'll likely happen just as soon as machines understand people better than people do. The programmers that build free Linux apps are wonderful, sometimes selfless people, who contribute to the benefit of mankind by choice; many songwriters and performers do the same, but denying them that choice is both a legal and a moral crime, no matter how you slice it.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:18am

    Re:

    "One side see's the copyright minimalists as "Waaah, I want free music""

    Not necessarily. I want free markets. If free markets produce free music then so be it.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:21am

    Re:

    "If I buy a hammer, then loan it to my neighbor to complete some work of his, I have deprived the hammer manufacturer of a sale. But I have not STOLEN anything."

    Wow, you said it better than I could. Nice.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:29am

    Re: made you think

    I buy a hammer, I use it to build a house and make money, what, you want more money than what I bought the hammer for?

    You can't always get what you want, don't like it, find another job.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:30am

    Re: made you think

    "You're using my product to make money, I want a piece; is that so hard to understand?"

    I want a million dollars, the government should give me it, is that so hard to understand?

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Moj O' Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:35am

    Oh, please

    If there's no such thing as theft, I'll grant you all the monkeys on all the typewriters, and you're entitled to everything they produce.

    "WE dont need law here anymore its whats wrong is the laws." There's as slick of an indictment of your mindset as has ever been produced, disregarding the grammar and punctuation, and I didn't suggest it, nor create it.

    Oooh, eventually, it all gets created, anyway; are you really so infantile? Use an imaginary Star Trek replicator, do you think I won't sue if you replicate my design? You could replicate a banana, I wouldn't give a sh*t; I didn't invent bananas, but are you seriously suggesting that humans, as a group, shouldn't have laws? Cause that seriously begs the question of your sanity.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:37am

    Re: Re: made you think

    And you gave them what?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:37am

    Re: Oh, please

    No one said that we shouldn't have laws, just that we shouldn't have bad laws.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anthony Lloyd, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 1:15am

    If Brown's copyrighted material continues to earn money after he dies,then his heirs deserve the money earned from them. That is, if Brown left the rights to his copyrights to his family.

    If you work at a hedge fund and die, you are not making any money for that company. I.E. that company doesn't owe your family anything.

    If Brown's songs are played on radio, television and are covered and sampled by other artist who make money with them, Brown is owed money. Period. Even after he dies.

    If a website is getting visitors and earning money by using James Robert Brown's work, then Brown is owed something.

    As far I know, he asked the website owner to take down his sheet music. Nothing else. Which is his right as the copyright owner. All other agruements are void.

    It doesn't matter if he didn't say all the right things, it's his work. It doesn't matter if he lost money or not. He didn't want it on the website.

    If some artists don't have a problem with their work being used, it is their right.

    I agree with some of you who say that some copying doesn't reduce a sale. Look at all the free music, books and movies that you can get at a public library. But what about mass copying? The kind that is done with Limewire and other p2p services? What is an artist to do? Not all artists are multi-millionares.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 1:20am

    Re: a couple more things...

    "Someone decides not to pay for an item offered for sale and takes it, without compensating the creator; if you consider this to be a moral course of action, I fear for your soul, but I suspect that Satan doesn't mind, if you don't."

    Wrong allusion, the right one is someone see a sandwich at the store and goes home and make another one just like the one on the store, that is copying it and on the physical world is not forbidden, I would like to see a law forbidding people to make their own sandwiches and see how far does it go.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 1:31am

    Re: Oh, please

    I wouldn't go so far as no laws, but copyright laws definitely we don't need them.

    Is and entitlement law for crazy people who think they can own some form of expression of ideas, that is dangerous for prosperity and innovation.

    No one should own rights to sounds or words, it will eventually be used to abridge free speech and puts a heavy burden on society that have to pay for the enforcement machinery and live with the consequences.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 1:34am

    Re: Oh, please

    "Oooh, eventually, it all gets created, anyway; are you really so infantile? Use an imaginary Star Trek replicator, do you think I won't sue if you replicate my design? You could replicate a banana, I wouldn't give a sh*t; I didn't invent bananas, but are you seriously suggesting that humans, as a group, shouldn't have laws? Cause that seriously begs the question of your sanity."

    And that right there is the problem with IP laws they are designed to counter the spread of ideas, they harm innovation, creation and society that is why they were so limited only blinded fools don't see that.

     

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  37.  
    icon
    Modplan (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 2:43am

    Re:

    If Brown's copyrighted material continues to earn money after he dies,then his heirs deserve the money earned from them.


    In which case, feel free to send the money you get any time you sell any of your possessions, like chairs, tables, desks, DVD's, games (both board and video game variety) to the creators. If something continues to earn money after someone who created it died or even merely can be claimed to have made any money at all for any one in any way, the creators deserve it.

    Though I'll assume you've never done this throughout your life. Time to start emptying that savings account...

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 2:54am

    Re:

    I like your way of thinking, because the reality of the law applies it is ok, then you would have no problem understanding this.

    Copyright cannot be enforced on the individual level inside society period.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:27am

    Re: Re:

    Do It Yourself is killing the handyman business.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:34am

    If I had a hammer
    I'd hammer in the morning
    I'd hammer in the evening
    All over this land

     

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  41.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:37am

    The Techdirt Cookbook!

    FYI, fellow Techdirters, check out the link below for the work in progress, The Techdirt Cookbook. The link will show you what this is going to look like. Best part is, I want everyone else to help. The link will give you a basic frame work for what submitted "recipes" should look like, but feel free to be creative.

    Just send in your text and I'll do the rest: editing, formatting, input into cookbook template, adding pictures/quotes, etc. If you have any questions, let me know.

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/51314966/The-Techdirt-Cookbook

     

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  42.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:05am

    Re: The Techdirt Cookbook!

    Oh, and you can send in any text you wish to submit to tim at digeratigroup.com, replacing at with @, of course....

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:11am

    Re: The Techdirt Cookbook!

    Is there a TOR friendly version?

     

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  44.  
    icon
    Adam Wasserman (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:14am

    Why Debates Over Copyright Get Bogged Down

    Although at times it may be due to conflating use with payment, a quick read of the comments suggests otherwise.

    My observation of the bogged down debate in the comments section is that it mostly due to:

    1. a basic lack of common courtesy and civility
    2. dogma and lack of critical thinking
    3. Manichean thinking where everything is construed to be either absolutely Good or absolutely Evil
    4. Name calling and swearing are rarely if ever conducive to open and productive exchange of ideas

    Copyright is a legal construct, not a moral imperative.
    For those who take their morality from the Bible, Koran or Torah, I point out that copyright appears nowhere in religious law.

    For those that consider morality from a non-religious perspective, I would remind you of the the common good - agreed by almost all to be a fundamental underpinning of morality - and that a) it is considered to supersede personal satisfaction or gain, and b) it is not dogmatically or strictly defined and therefore needs open and productive exchange of ideas (polite discussion) to achieve a working societal definition as regards specific cases.

    Of course the above comments do not apply to every single contributor to the comments. Some of you have been reasoned and balanced, and making a good faith attempt to really discuss. You know who you are.

    Others of you have been rude, closed minded, and in some cases completely incoherent. I have my doubts as to whether those people know who they are.

     

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  45.  
    icon
    Nina Paley (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:25am

    Copyright grants you a right to exclude, not a right to get paid

    Copyright grants you a right to exclude, not a right to get paid

    My favorite line in the article.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:32am

    Re:

    But what about mass copying?


    Did radio and TV killed sales? why?

     

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  47.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re:

    "One side see's the copyright minimalists as "Waaah, I want free music""

    Not necessarily. I want free markets. If free markets produce free music then so be it.


    I don't even particularly want free markets (not everywhere anyway). But I don't want a police state or crippled technology - and enforcement of copyright in the modern world implies at least one of these.

     

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  48.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:35am

    Re:

    Sure. But your analogy fails, because you didn't buy the music. If a song cost $10,000 to make, and the author was not purposely selling it at a loss (as people sometimes do with scarce goods), you'd pay at least $10,000 for that music. But you didn't. You probably paid about $1 for a license.
    Of course the hammer cost a lot more to make too - if you include the cost of the production line that made it - probably far more than even your ridiculous over valuation of the song.

    Where does that $10,000 tag come from?

    It certainly doesn't come from the time taken by the composer to put together 4 minutes of music. That takes a few man hours - worth at most $300-400 at any reasonable hourly rate.

    Nor does the cost of recording equipment or performance time (I know that I could record some of my favourite musicians playing 10-15 songs for under $2000).

    No that $10,000 valuation is based on two things:

    1. The vague feeling that any song "just might" be a big hit - which could under current copyright rules net a very large return.

    2. Deliberate attempts to overvalue all "creative" works in order to restrict their ownership to a small minority of wealthy corporations.

     

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  49.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:35am

    proof the usa is mental about IP

    Patent Office Ramps Up Patent Approvals
    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/08/20/2137259/Patent-Office-Ramps-Up-Patent-Approvals

    this is exactly what your country needs to patent things that should never get patents

    whats good here is its showing the rest of us in ohter countries how insane the lobby effort wants to go and to get ready and put up a unified front against such stupid behavior.

    LOOK for new laws soon that will prevent this in canada....and not from a harper govt

     

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  50.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re: made you think

    taxes, and my time.

     

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  51.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:43am

    Re: a couple more things...

    Someone decides not to pay for an item offered for sale and takes it, without compensating the creator; if you consider this to be a moral course of action, I fear for your soul, but I suspect that Satan doesn't mind, if you don't.

    and I fear for yours for raising the issue

    (from Luke Ch 6 v29)
    " and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also"

     

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  52.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:51am

    Re: a couple more things...

    I think you meant, "the price he's asking", but the inherent unfairness of others profiting from a creator's work is the reason we have copy rights to begin with.

    1) It isn't inherently unfair - unless you believe the myth about the special status of "creative" work. In the rest of the world people profit from one another's work all the time. My students spend a lifetime profiting from the things I have taught them (and some of them make a lot more money than I ever will) - that doesn't mean they owe me a cut forever.

    2) The reason we have copyrights is nothing to do with fairness. Copyrights are part of the old medieval feudal system by which the King maintained his power. The real idea of copyrights is that if you owe your living to a monopoly right granted by the government then you will naturally support the government in time of trouble (and maybe you will pay them a bit for the privilege in the first place.) In this sense granting a copyright is no different from granting a Dukesdom...

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re:

    ""One side see's the copyright minimalists as "Waaah, I want free music"""

    Or maybe we just want to freely enjoy the music that others are willing to give away for free.

    Why should big corporations work so hard to prevent that (ie: by monopolizing broadcast radio frequencies and cableco infrastructure to ensure that indi artists must go through monopolist gatekeepers. By having collection societies make it difficult for indi music to make it to restaurants and other venues. By taxing all CD's in Canada and 'audio' CD's in the U.S. and having that money go directly to big corporation entities like the CRIA/RIAA and hardly paying anything to many artists or even keeping track of what is owed). Because it's more profitable for them that way? Because they know that if people are allowed to give away free music that most music would be free or far cheaper since far fewer people would pay for it? That's not a good reason.

    Big corporations: Waa, waa, if people are allowed to freely give away their music then music would be free and no one would ever pay us for the expensive music that we don't produce but just own the "rights" to. We must stop anyone from giving away their music.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    big corporate entities *

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:04am

    Re:

    "The other side see's copyright maximalists as "Waaah, I have a right to be paid in perpetuity""

    It's more like, "Waah, I have a right to get paid in perpetuity for the work of others and to prevent anyone from distributing any work unless I get paid for it"

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:07am

    Re: a couple more things...

    "I think you meant, "the price he's asking", but the inherent unfairness of others profiting from a creator's work is the reason we have copy rights to begin with."

    You mean like how big corporate entities (like the RIAA) and collection societies disproportionally profit from the works of others and how they then make it more difficult for others to independently distribute their own work so that they can more directly get paid for it?

     

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  57.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:57am

    [C]opyright is designed to promote the progress, not to protect an artist's moral rights.

    The Supreme Court in Eldred said that the "to promote the progress" preamble is not a substantive limit on Congress' legislative power. It is not a grant of power in its own right. Agree with it or not, this interpretation is controlling.

    The Supreme Court has also said that authors deserve to be rewarded for their efforts:

    "The economic philosophy behind the clause empowering Congress to grant patents and copyrights is the conviction that encouragement of individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance public welfare through the talents of authors and inventors in ‘Science and useful Arts.’ Sacrificial days devoted to such creative activities deserve rewards commensurate with the services rendered." Mazer v. Stein, 347 U.S. 201, 219 (1954).

    In 1783, when the U.S. was governed by the Articles of Confederation, Congress recommended that each of the thirteen states adopt a copyright law. All did but Delaware. In The Illustrated Story of Copyright, author Samuel Edwards writes:

    “The preambles in some of the state statutes passed under the Articles of Confederation were even more effusive than their later federal counterpart. For example, in Connecticut’s 1783 statute, the preamble stated that:

    it is perfectly agreeable to the principles of natural equity and justice, that every author should be secured in receiving the profits that may arise from the sale of his works, and such security may encourage men of learning and genius to publish their writings; which may do honor to their country, and service to mankind.

    The Massachusetts statute of the same year served also as a model for New Hampshire and Rhode Island:

    [T]he improvement of knowledge, the progress of civilization, the public weal of the community, and the advancement of human happiness, greatly depend on the efforts of learned and ingenious persons in the various arts and sciences: As the principal encouragement such persons can have to make great and beneficial exertions of this nature, must exist in the legal security of the fruits of their study and industry to themselves; and as such security is one of the natural rights of all men, there being no property more peculiarly a man’s own than that which is produced by the labour of his mind.'"

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    jduhls, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:02am

    Entitlement

    I think the following memes that have been injected into our society, specifically into artists, are "entitlement", "originality", and "individualism". Unfortunately, I think these memes are VERY BAD for art (personally, I think these memes are very bad for society, in general, and manufacture suffering and stagnation). Science will show you that the greatest benefit comes from copying and sharing A LOT because multiple iterations of things brings (a) diversity and (b) really really beneficial solutions. This applies to ideas in very obvious ways. They must be shared. They must be co-mingled. They must be copied. This is for maximum benefit of humankind.

    Also: I think, over time, ANY system with inherent contradictions are doomed to failure by their very nature. They "self-destruct", in a sense. This is apparent in macro- and micro- levels in all kinds of systems. I think this applies to business as well as ethics. I think this article does a great job of highlighting some of the basic contradictions found in the existing system of copyrighting material. These contradictions have only recently been made apparent after the invention of the "easy-share-idea-portal" (a.k.a. the interwebs). Let's keep moving, people. We can't afford to get bogged down by inferior ideas, systems, and models. In summary: let's make this place totally awesome!

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    jduhls, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:07am

    Re: Entitlement

    P.S. Dear Artists: ANYONE can have an idea. Therefore, WE ARE ALL ENTITLED TO IT. That is reality. Let's start looking at reality. It's time to "keep it real".

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    jduhls, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Entitlement

    P.P.S. Nina Paley, I love you: you are an inspiration to us all - and not just as a talented artist. Thanks for "keepin' it real".

     

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  61.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: @19

    Nonsense. Giving creators limited privileges on work which they made widely available was a *concession* on the part of the people.

    It's a moral crime to remove my right to do whatever I like with real property I own, but how is it morally wrong not to grant creators any privileges? And don't get me started on how current copyright "law" came to be law.

     

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  62.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: lets see

    Is there a way of cutting off the typing fingers of a troll?

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re: @19

    You seem to have things upside down.

    Lack of copyright is not a denial of choice: copyright is a special privilege -- to deny *others* freedom in what they can or cannot copy.

    And this privilege is not one grounded in morality. Quite the opposite: it is immoral, and only proposed as justified pragmatically.

     

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  64.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:47am

    Re:

    "If Brown's copyrighted material continues to earn money after he dies,then his heirs deserve the money earned from them."

    Why should anyone continue to get money from a dead person's work?? If he's dead, his copyrights should be voided and his work should enter the public domain.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    You are simply reiterating the same old 'It is the law, so obey it!' form. It is hollow when the law is wrong.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Rob, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:22am

    Creative Commons

    "These two issues -- payment and ownership/control of copies should be conceptually separated. They are connected under our current system, but they are not naturally or necessarily connected. We can unfasten them and toggle them separately to see what happens."

    Isn't that what Creative Commons tries to do ... "unfasten them and toggle them separately to see what happens"?

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    "If Brown's copyrighted material continues to earn money after he dies,then his heirs deserve the money earned from them."

    Yeah, his heirs worked so hard to deserve that money.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: @19

    My right to make copies trumps anyone else's right to prevent me from making copies.

    Exhibit A: Reality

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Stan Thow, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:54am

    Copyright.

    The arguments regarding Copyrights are bogus.
    Man can intelectually justify just about anything.
    Any creative person that CREATES something that benefits mankind and patents it owns it.
    That is what created the Technological quality of life that we have today.
    Without invention or creative activity we would live in the stone age.
    There is no difference between physical Inventions and intellectual inventions in value.
    And society puts a time limit on patents.
    it is really very simple.Its just that people that want to benefit from other peoples creativity can think up 1000 reasons to justify their theft of others creativity.
    Theft is theft.

     

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  70.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    Sorry, AC, but hammers and songs/books/poetry exist in the same world. They all need to be created or improved in the real human world.

    And, no, the ratio of fixed to marginal cost of music, books, music, poetry, Mickey Mouse and so on is not close to or anywhere near infinity. Nowhere near it.

    "Moreover, it's pretty easy to assess the utility of a hammer, and make a guess of its value."

    I'd hazard a guess you don't use hammers much or you'd know what a crock you just spewed. (Or tools of many kinds, judging by your lack of understanding.)

    What kind of hammer? Or do you see hammers as some general purpose dollar store hammer that'll break in a few uses? Hammers and mallets appear to do the same thing but they really don't and are used for vastly different things. Hammers used to bang a nail into wood are different that what one would use on metal to shape or modify the object are different (hint, the heads are different).

    Actually for a really good hammer I'd pay (and have) more than $10 cause I need a tool that lasts and that I can use without damaging what I'm working on or me.

    "But what if I offered you the same hammer for $1, as long as you'd promise to never loan it out? Would you still loan it out?"

    I wouldn't touch the thing because it's likely a piece of crap. I might suggest a sunless place you might want to store it in, though.

    "Each song, book, or movie is a new invention, and you can't just look at it and assess how good it is"

    They are? Each of the examples you give build on everything that came before not appear to the 'creator' out of thin air, totally original in every respect and 'new'.

    Hard to make your argument by the time one gets to Rocky 33 or Star Wars 109, isn't it?

    And I take it that you're aware that there are a limited number of plots available to novelists and short story writers. If memory serves it's about 7.

    I don't think I've ever encountered a piece of music that is totally and completely original, including solos and jams. The writer and musician carry around bits and pieces of different songs, breaks, solos and so on that stick in their minds and honest ones, at least, admit that these things make their way into compositions and concerts.

    "If a song cost $10,000 to make"

    Please provide me with detailed accounting if you don't mind. Use fully auditable double entry accounting that would be acceptable to auditors in any business but motion pictures and recording where the accounting processes are, let me see, 'creative'.

    Oh, and by the bye, if you wanted to charge ten grand for a song you wouldn't sell any would you? At any time in human history. Copyright or no copyright.

    The minor little detail you miss in your rant is that humans buy songs not licenses. We buy albums not licenses.

    The analog to the "real" world as opposed to fantasy creative world you live in is that every time a craftsman/woman/person picks up a tool they create. Every time someone changes how a garden is planted or rearrange it they create.

    I use my hammer(s) to create something that wasn't there before. I use my tools to create something that didn't exist before in the physical world.

    Often out of my head, quite often because I'm not aware of a set of plans for a given situation or, at least, plans I wouldn't have to modify to such an extent that they barely resemble the plans I started with.

    But I'm not fool enough to even begin to think that with all my skills and knowledge of what to do with my tools that I ever, ever create something unique in human history or that I'm not building on the skills and talents of others who came before me or that I've encountered.

    At the end of the day I sell or donate my creations to someone who can do with them what they will. I don't license the damned things. I wouldn't make much of a living if I did. I'm as good as my last creation in the physical world and if I'm not then I won't be doing that kind of work much longer.

    Neither I or my family unto the 500th generation will live off the proceeds of that.

    I wouldn't have it any other way. It keeps me sharp and improving my skills and talents because I know there's not much of a tomorrow if I don't.

    By the way, my tools include my guitar(s), piano, keyboards and my voice and I do pretty good with them. So much so that I'm constantly pressured to join choirs and other such things but for now I'm happy just using them for relaxation and re-creation (not misspelled, btw). Note that I'm saying their tools because, in reality, they are. Tools which make sounds that when joined together create this thing we humans called music.

    And my music library is in excess of 1000 LPs, 78's, CDs and mp3s (total aural junk as mp3 format is) so I have bought music. And, I'VE NEVER BOUGHT A DAMNED LICENSE I'VE BOUGHT MUSIC.

    Yes, the artist deserves to be paid, I'm not saying anything different nor is anyone here.

    BUT, as with the "tools" you look down your long regal nose at, there are fixed costs to creating music. The instruments don't have to be bought each time a song is created, the recording studio hasn't run out and bought new consoles and other equipment to record it, new CD manufacturing plants haven't been built to burn it, the distribution channels haven't changed nor the promotional channels. These are fixed costs not variable costs of input.

    The only variable cost I see is where the "artist" has to sit down and put a song together (or a symphony, screenplay, poem, novel or what have we) and write it down or chart it. Perhaps (almost always, in fact) a bit of rehearsal with other musicians to get the sound right.

    That sounds suspiciously like the variable costs I incur when I'm looking at a blank piece of lawn and create a garden from that with my tools.

    Almost all humans are creative and are creating all the time. So what gives "Creators" of songs (and so on) the right to a perpetual monopoly of income on their (mostly) empirical creations whereas what I create, if I've done it right lasts years if not generations yet I pass it on by sale or donation once and it's no longer in my control.

    I daresay that the home, garden or whatever will be seen and remembered long after your song is long forgotten and collecting dust somewhere or has been lost even if the copyright is still in effect.

    We both created. We both got renumeration in one form or another. Done, over with. Move on to something new.

    I'll freely acknowledge those who shared their knowledge or inspired me to create what I did.

    Brown (and you, it seems) won't. At that point you and Brown have crossed the line (actually 18 lane freeway at rush hour) into blatant plagiarism demanding for yourself what you refuse to acknowledge those whose work you borrowed or inspired you.

    As for copyright I have no real problem with the concept as long as it's temporary (say 7 years, to pull something out of my hat) before it moves into the public domain.

    (In this post for creator read recording, movie studio or publishers who demand a creator's copyright be assigned to them and whose only creative burst after is to find ways of not paying the author, songwriter, band and so on and invent terms like piracy out of thin air.)

    I can point to my creations and say "I did that". Can you?

    Jerk.

     

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  71.  
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    Stan Thow, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Copyright.

    The arguments regarding Copyrights are bogus.
    Man can intelectually justify just about anything.
    Any creative person that CREATES something that benefits mankind and patents it owns it.
    That is what created the Technological quality of life that we have today.
    Without invention or creative activity we would live in the stone age.
    There is no difference between physical Inventions and intellectual inventions in value.
    And society puts a time limit on patents.
    it is really very simple.Its just that people that want to benefit from other peoples creativity can think up 1000 reasons to justify their theft of others creativity.
    Theft is theft.

     

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  72.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: @19

    The programmers that build free Linux apps are wonderful, sometimes selfless people, who contribute to the benefit of mankind by choice; many songwriters and performers do the same, but denying them that choice is both a legal and a moral crime, no matter how you slice it.

    They still have the choice to distribute or not to distribute. What they should not have is the right to distribute on unfair terms. Copyright is a feudal concept. No one these days complains that aristocrats can't exercise all the other oppressive feudal "rights" that were available in the past - but at the time I'm sure they thought it would be "immoral" to remove those rights.

    Think on this:

    Suppose you have just written a song that (you think) is pretty good. Now you decide to sell a share of that song to (say) 9 other people. There are now 10 people who have the same rights as you. Those 9 people can now each distribute to another 9 (and of course you can do the same again). This process can repeat again and again with exponential growth until eventually the number of rightsholders is so large that the price drops to zero. Given the internet this process can be organised efficiently and rapidly and requires no copyright laws since it is a self enforcing protocol - the mutual interests of the rightsholders (who have all spent money and hence have a shared interest in keeping the price high for as long as possible).

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Re: Why Debates Over Copyright Get Bogged Down

    Thank you.

    (As guilty as I am at times of making rude, occasionally incoherent comments though , I pray, never being close minded about it.)

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Re:

    That's really interesting (I wasn't aware that states could, would, or had their own input on copyright law), but my main question is could they have possibly foreseen the mess copyright law could, would, or has become today with federal laws being expanded as they have been? Technological progresses alone have made enforcement of these laws a losing battle. Add in abuses or shortsighted changes of the law and we're really in the soup now.

    I think on some level at least, everyone can understand the 'I made this, if you want it you may have it at the price I'm asking' mindset. Same as 'I harvested this, here's what I'm asking for it'. But anything you want to sell will always be subject to the inevitability of supply vs. demand, which is where copyright as a concept of compensation will stumble.

    I don't think those making law in even 1998 could have envisioned the present ease of removing the barriers to distribution of copyrighted works. Morality plays only get you so far. Reality is what must be dealt with. Current law is too haphazardly patched and awkwardly complicated and, I think we can all agree, far too divisive to serve society as a whole anymore.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:17am

    Re: Copyright.

    The inventors of the wheel would like a word with you.

     

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  76.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Re: proof the usa is mental about IP

    From the Grits perhaps?

    The same bunch that promised to repeal the GST when Chretien became PM?

    From the NDP? Oh, I forgot, they have about as much chance of getting elected to government federally as a polar bear. Less maybe. Outside of back door "coalition" deals, of course.

    When they get in provincially they tack right so hard and fast they can't see the letters CCF anymore because they lost it in the curvature of the earth.

    Just in case, you want to have a look Canadian patent and copyright laws are often more intrusive than those of our American neighbours.

    Reality check time. The difference, other than attitude and platitude between the Tories and Grits in power is, well, nada. Though the CBC adores Jack Layton for some strange reason.

    Reality check #2. If American IP law is "mental" then our IP laws require we get locked in the rubber room forthwith.

    Sad but true. I'm afraid.

     

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    Sntrx, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re:

    I have, in the past, cracked/downloaded games which I bought legally. That's not a crime, it's the most common form of "piracy". The violin playing about artists getting paid is true...but only because the lawyers pay themselves first ;).

     

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    Shadow Six, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re: Copyright.

    "That is what created the Technological quality of life that we have today."

    Even if that were the case, how do you accredit whats happened in the last 20 years with patents, to the state that the software and other technically innovative industries today?

    See, it went the wrong way... rather than extending more and more IP protections to an ever broader scope, they should have reigned in IP, to encourage competition. What we have right now, is actually very sad. It denies inventors the right to make money on their own intellect. That, as you eloquently put it, is a crime.

    On that point we agree.

     

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  79.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re:

    Globally copyright needs a good long look at, in fact.

    That said, I'm sure, in spite of effusiveness that no one foresaw a time when copyright would extent to the ridiculous limits that it has now while the 1998 enactment certainly saw that and must have seen the possible divisions that would be created. All the signs and technical ability to foresee the ease of distribution that we now have. For example, Bittorrent existed then as much of a pain as it was then.

    All that said, there needs to be a realistic look at what the concept of copyright is supposed to entail. Does it entail the protection of multinationals with incomes that exceed the GNP of small nations and probably some states in the US or does it entail the protection of creators in the sense of making sure they actually get paid. (For example looking at provisions that protect creators from pressure/ requirement to hand over their copyrights to media companies so that they may actually have real control over their works.)

    Remember too, that the top of the slippery slope began when Disney (see multinationals above) panicked when the copyright on Mickey Mouse was about to expire and their Representative Sonny Bono introduced legislation to extend copyright in order to preserve Disney's trade mark on Mickey beginning the lengthening of copyright monopolies to near permanency.

    With respect, I'll disagree with your removal of supply and demand from copyrighted works as you can copyright all you want but if there's no demand you're not making a dime which is where this post started off in the confusion of copyright as a monopoly and copyright as an absolute assurance of an income. I suspect you've strayed to the latter rather than the former.

    Given as you say, the massive change in ease of distribution of works now for me the central question of copyright is do we protect the publishers, industry associations, recording companies, newspapers and others that technology and society seem to be demanding be allowed to fail so that other distribution channels can take their place in the largely, to my mind, misguided notion that we're protecting authors, song writers, performers and others who do the actual creating. That's the first question to my way of thinking.

    The second has to be the length of time copyright exists which now seems in danger of stretching into infinity in order to protect the industries mentioned above while they do little for the "artist"/"creator" their PR has invented.

    Even if the Disney's of the world vanish and copyright reduced to a decade something will rise up to take their place. Disney may have to become a theme park operator but that's really what they do best now.

    We're already seeing a shift in the 4th Estate from hot lead and newsprint to Internet based journals even if how that's going to be supported is uncertain. The market is there as we humans crave news/gossip so it's certain that even if dailies and weeklies fail something will take their place.

    Part of the reality is that consumers of copyrighted items tend to see those industries as the bad guys and most are sophisticated enough to separate the what the potentially dying industries call the "artist" or "creator" from the reality of who the artist and creator really is. And have realized that the real artist and creator is as abused and exploited as the consumer has been.

    So we're back to the basic question of what purpose does copyright (and patents) serve. To give the creator some small time of monopoly to earn back their input and maybe a little more from what they've done or to continue supporting industries that technology, like it or not, has made obsolete.

    One of these situations of "they're dead but they won't lie down".

    Of course this means uncertainty for those who create while industries wither and die and others take their place but where is it written that creators are to be isolated from what the rest of us experience daily?

    If you're suggesting protection of the movie studios, record companies and other media properties that refuse to adapt and run to politicians for protection while nothing else changes, I'm sorry but I have to disagree. It denies reality and they need to be reminded that De Nile is a river in Africa not useful state of mind.

    If, on the other hand, you're proposing a close look at copyright and what it's stated goal has been regardless of the future of the current media giants then I'm with you. At least at the start cause we'll have items to disagree on as we go.

    Right now the option, particularly with ACTA slowly coming at us seems to be almost open war between the media giants and consumers with the creators stuck in the middle.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Copyright.

    Denying someone a monopoly doesn't deny them the ability to make money off of their intellect.

     

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    Sid, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Copyright

    I am immensely amused by the efforts of people to justify copying songs. They rail against the copyright owners and creators saying they have no right to be paid in perpetuity for their creations. They claim the creations are derivative and based on the works of others. They deny they have taken anything and only copied something so it really isn't theft. They refuse to conflate owning the rights with getting paid.

    Under today's laws it is illegal to copy a piece of music and use it when someone else owns the rights to distribute that music. Whether or not you agree with that law is immaterial. The way to change that law has a process, and constantly breaking that law to try to make it defacto legal isn't included in that process.

    By copying music we violate the law and the copyright owners legal rights and take the copyrights owner's opportunity to license that music away from him. We do not exercise control over what is done with that copy in the future and have no way of knowing if the people we distribute these copies to will use them personally or burn them and distribute thousands of copies.

    The huge flaw in all the arguments for copying is the assumption that our right to use this music is greater than the right of the copyright owner to legally control the use of that music. It isn't. We have no right to freely use that which someone else has created and if we want to use it we should pay for it.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Copyright.

    Any creative person that CREATES something that benefits mankind and patents it owns it.


    LoL

    I have zero respect for those people that think like that.

     

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  83.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm personally not convinced that copyright is "the" way for artists to make money. I believe the dead weight cost it imposes on society is too great: the amount of effort expended policing the online and offline worlds for infringement far outweighs the benefit of more art being produced.

    I know that it's silly to expect users to respect laws that stop them from copying files, and impractical to expect ISPs and other tech companies to magically know which files are legally copied and which aren't.

    In my view, thanks to computers and the internet there is no scarcity in copying, so paying artists to make copies of their work is a pretty stupid system. It would be much better if we could have a system where we pay artists to create, as the creation of new works is naturally scarce.

     

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  84.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Copyright

    And before the civil war, it was illegal to tech slaves to read. Good thing everyone respected that law, huh? After all, the right of the slave owner to legally control the use of his slaves was greater than the right of the slaves to have an education.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Copyright

    "The huge flaw in all the arguments for copying is the assumption that our right to use this music is greater than the right of the copyright owner to legally control the use of that music."

    It's not an assumption its an empirical fact, a fact that even the founding fathers agreed with.

     

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  86.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Copyright

    The huge flaw in all the arguments for copying is the assumption that our right to use this music is greater than the right of the copyright owner to legally control the use of that music. It isn't. We have no right to freely use that which someone else has created and if we want to use it we should pay for it.

    and the huge flaw in your argument is the assumption that the law can be enforced without collateral damage.

    The reason we will eventually abolish this law is because the cost of total enforcement is now too high.

    With only partial enforcement then it is inevitable that some people will disobey the law and the rest of us (that's everyone - not rightholders) will effectively be subsidising them which is unfair.

     

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  87.  
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    jduhls, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Copyright.

    "That is what created the Technological quality of life that we have today."

    Slavery helped a lot, too.

     

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  88.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Copyright.

    Inventive and creative activity in humans has existed since we have which means long before copyright and patents existed.

    The Bible's content was written before copyright existed, so was the Quran, so were the holy books of the Hindu's. Chaucer wrote before anyone had heard of copyright as did Homer.

    Archemedies developed a lot of the things that were later used in the Industrial Revolution to create the machines we take for granted today, each and every one of them before copyright or patents. (Most of those containing devices and technologies Archemedies developed and subsequently patented.) Not a one of them patented.

    We have all benefited from another's creativity and do so every single day of our lives.

    Software wasn't patentable until the 1990s and most people in the business would argue then and would still argue now that the evidence is in that it has slowed the innovation and creativity that marked the development of software up to that point. Naturally corporate lawyers and CEOs publicly disagree with the conclusion though many privately agree.

    Software was and still is copyrighted even using the GPL.

    At some point, though, patents and copyright deny economies and cultures of their due having supported the creator by granting a limited monopoly in the first place and get sick and tired of it being renewed and extended long beyond its usefulness or need. And it's society that grants both and can take both away. Please remember that.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Copyright.

    The pharmaceutical industry is arguably one of the least innovative industries now, it used to be much more innovative during times and in places of fewer IP restrictions.

    See
    http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htm

     

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  90.  
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    Shadow Six, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright.

    "What we have right now, is actually very sad. It denies inventors the right to make money on their own intellect."

    Think about it, (I) conceive -> toil -> (finally)create -> publish -> hire support-> hire developers -> draw up designs for the next version -> fire everyone so I can pay lawyers to defend myself from several companies that contact me in sideways insinuations that I'm violating their "Intellectual Property", which covers everything ever developed that accesses a database. What's worse, they don't even come out and say it! Because it's triple the 200 bijillion dollar award, if they succeed in playing those smarmy little word games. Yeah, I'd say that's denying a creator the ability to profit from his work. Having idea Monopolies is a far, far greater crime against upward mobility, than just copying an instance of my work. They're not PREVENTING me from selling the next copy, or threatening to take something away from my existing customers. (Who are also liable for the same bijillian dollar claim.) How the hell am I supposed to know who has what IP, everyone has EVERYTHING locked. You HAVE no choice but to infringe just by opening up the compiler, you infringe on a number of patents held by (big company, small acronym, with oceanic color in its namesake title).

     

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  91.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: a couple more things...

    Disagree. In this country, we have copyrights because Franklin, Jefferson, Adams and others agreed that allowing authors a share of publishing profits would promote the creation of new works; similarly for patents and invention. This is the single reason why the US is the richest country in the world today, even despite our manufacturing base being offshored. In this information economy, nearly eighty percent of the non-government jobs depend directly or indirectly on patents and copyrights; in other words IP.

    Heard any good music lately? Wonder why not?

    If we have any economic sectors still following a feudal model, it's the fashion industry, which is supported almost entirely by a patronage system of only the wealthiest 5% of Americans, who can easily afford as many $40,000 handbags as they like, while the rest of us console ourselves with cheap imported knockoffs.

     

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  92.  
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    Shadow Six, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Copyright

    yyyyeah, I honestly didn't know they wanted to "control how I listen to music"... I thought I just purchased a license to be bound by fair use? I seriously always thought, that DRM was just some experiment that went tits up in 03. Why do they even want it? Most everyone, would rather pay more for DRM free music, so they can copy it to their non-apple devices when they get them. I just always presumed that the industry figured that out, and that DRM was some Jobsian Megalomania issue. Interesting... So, who controls the rights? Apple, The recording company, the publisher, a separate "digital" publisher and the Artist? There are a lot of legacy entitlements to feed off of 99 cents.

    I'm just curious BTW... I don't see how this can work out for everyone. From a business standpoint, it seems that most of those relationships are like "pimps" middle men, that should be eliminated when craigslist gave prostitutes a way to sell their "wares" without standing on street corners. hmm, I guess the difference is, pimps don't have a lobby.

     

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  93.  
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    Adam Wasserman (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Copyright

    @Sid You say "Under today's laws it is illegal to copy a piece of music and use it when someone else owns the rights to distribute that music"

    But this is factually incorrect. Under today's laws the owner has the exclusive right to copy and distribute... EXCEPT...

    The exclusive right is granted in 162 words including section headings. The exceptions to this exclusive right cover 77 pages and well over 35,000 words.

    So as a matter of fact, there are many, many, many instances in which under today's law it is perfectly legal to copy a piece of music and use it.

    There are also instances in which it is illegal as you suggest, but let us not forget that there are myriad cases where contrary to your rather bald statement copying is absolutely legal.

    You also state "The huge flaw in all the arguments for copying is the assumption that our right to use this music is greater than the right of the copyright owner to legally control the use of that music"

    However as I just pointed out, there are 35,000 words worth of legal rights granted by act of Congress that make it matter of legal fact that the rights of use are greater that the rights of the copyright owner.

    Finally, I appreciate that you do a good job of referring to "copyright owner" and not "creator", because as we know, the copyright owner is very often not the creator.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    songs

    What a song costs depends on what sort of song. I can make a song, if I have a pencil, but you can't hear it and you probably don't want it. The expensive part is getting it into a form you can hear and a place where you can purchase it. It's also far, far more expensive to make you want to buy it. An artist's debut on a major label costs a minimum of $250,000, the lion's share of which is the promotional budget.

    It's true that most of us no longer use $50k mixing boards in multimillion $ facilities, though we'd probably sound a lot better if we did, but there's a lot more to it than that. A team of experienced and educated engineers, a producer, equipment rentals, instruments, instrument technicians, A&R, copyists and arrangers, a promotion team, ad buyers, manufacturers, package designers, printers and the girl who answers the phone (and yes, the bag man who delivers the bribes) -all cost money, and they don't go away just because the product is digital, because some buyers still want CDs, and a record can't really be taken seriously if it's not physically available in at least some retail stores. In other words, a song costs nothing, but a hit single is a very expensive proposition indeed.

     

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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    Disagree. In this country, we have copyrights because Franklin, Jefferson, Adams and others agreed that allowing authors a share of publishing profits would promote the creation of new works;
    Wrong

    In the early days copyrights were always lobbied for by the publishers rather than authors and at first only publishers were allowed to hold them!

    Have a good look through all the documents (not just the US ones - remember US copyright is copied from the early British version) on this site:

    http://www.copyrighthistory.org/

    if you don't believe this.

    his is the single reason why the US is the richest country in the world today, even despite our manufacturing base being offshored.
    Early US copyright (before you joined the Berne convention) was always more lax than the British/European version (eg you did not protect works of foreign authors like Dickens) - so your relative wealth is due to relative lack of copyright.

    In this information economy, nearly eighty percent of the non-government jobs depend directly or indirectly on patents and copyrights; in other words IP.

    Wrong again.

    Those jobs may be in industries where copyright or patents exist - but it is a false connection to claim that they depend on copyright. You might as well say that jobs in the beer and auto trades depend on the drink-driving laws! If you look through the techdirt archives you will see that your argument has been debunked many times. In fact far more jobs depend on exceptions to copyright than depend con copyright itself.

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:44pm

    So as a matter of fact, there are many, many, many instances in which under today's law it is perfectly legal to copy a piece of music and use it.


    Except the reality on the ground were fair use is no were to be found the DMCA make sure of that and to aggravate the situation the terms for those rights are absurdly long.

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re: Copyright.

    "Archemedies developed a lot of the things that were later used in the Industrial Revolution to create the machines we take for granted today, each and every one of them before copyright or patents. (Most of those containing devices and technologies Archemedies developed and subsequently patented.) Not a one of them patented."

    Without expressing an opinion on the pros and cons of patents, I happen to wonder why it took almost 2,000 years before his work began to appear in products having widespread application? For all that time people were free to use the fruits of his genius, and yet it seems it was not until the 1700's that applications for his work came to the fore.

    Is it possible that had property been extended to include subject matter such as inventions such applications might have come forth centuries earlier?

     

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  98.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    Re: songs

    What a song costs depends on what sort of song. I can make a song, if I have a pencil, but you can't hear it and you probably don't want it. The expensive part is getting it into a form you can hear and a place where you can purchase it. It's also far, far more expensive to make you want to buy it. An artist's debut on a major label costs a minimum of $250,000, the lion's share of which is the promotional budget.
    We were talking about the cost of buying a song. If I want to get someone to make me a song as a work for hire then I don't have to pay for promotion - so most of your comment is spurious.

    As far as getting it to a place I can access it is concerned - bittorrent costs zero and will do fine. If I want a CD I can burn one for less than $1.

    a song costs nothing, but a hit single is a very expensive proposition indeed.

    And all the differences between them are irrelevant from my viewpoint.

    You sound like the hairdressers in the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy who were inhibited from inventing the wheel because they couldn't decide what colour it should be!

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    This is the single reason why the US is the richest country in the world today, even despite our manufacturing base being offshored.


    Nope the country grew because of a creative inflationary policy that exploded in the face of everybody, the U.S. sold their liability to everyone else in the world and made them pay for it, it was very clever but it can only be done once, ask if any one will buy any assets from the u.S. anytime soon?

    The U.S. doesn't have a positive balance for commerce and it expends more then it makes how is that they are still functioning?

    Because other countries are buying that debt and injecting money inside the U.S. so people can continue to buy.

    IP laws have nothing to do with it. What they do promote is stagnation in the creation of new companies.

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright.

    I think you don't know much about history, Rome was big on inventions of all kinds and used arquimedes ideas extensively, in the dark ages the church took over control and asserted property over a lot of things, it didn't work that well. Did you know that in the middle ages people could loose their land and possessions if they infringed on the churches property? We all know how that ended.

     

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  101.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright.

    Without expressing an opinion on the pros and cons of patents, I happen to wonder why it took almost 2,000 years before his work began to appear in products having widespread application? For all that time people were free to use the fruits of his genius, and yet it seems it was not until the 1700's that applications for his work came to the fore.
    Materials, manufacturing techniques and infrastructure explain a lot of the delay. However the major reason is the huge gap between rich and poor in the ancient and medieval worlds. In ancient Greece you didn't need labour saving devices - you had slaves for that. Archimedes' inventions were mostly toys - or for the military.

    The emergence of the middle classes who were wealthy enough to have spare cash to buy things beyond the bare necessities - but not wealthy enough to pay the cost of inefficient manual production best explains the 17th- 18th century boom in technology.


    Is it possible that had property been extended to include subject matter such as inventions such applications might have come forth centuries earlier?

    No because such rights were not initially thought of as property in the modern sense. In fact such rights existed already in the form of feudal rights granted by the Crown to engage in various forms of trade, manufacture etc. In fact the initial transformation of these rights into modern patent and copyright can be seen as a liberalisation!

    One might argue however that this liberalisation partially triggered the industrial revolution - along with the other factors noted above.

     

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  102.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    Heard any good music lately? Wonder why not?

    Plenty - just not on the major labels.

    If we have any economic sectors still following a feudal model, it's the fashion industry, which is supported almost entirely by a patronage system of only the wealthiest 5% of Americans, who can easily afford as many $40,000 handbags as they like, while the rest of us console ourselves with cheap imported knockoffs.
    Actually the fashion industry is the least feudal of the "creative" industries. It is also very innovative and successful - as has been reported on this blog on many occasions.

    Since your comment includes the statement that 5% of Americans can afford as many $40,000 handbags as they like.
    (Even if that only meant 3 each - that's a luxury handbag expenditure of $1.2 Trillion ) I think I 'll believe those reports rather than your comment!

     

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  103.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re: songs

    Respectfully, the excerpt you quoted dealt with the cost of making a song, not buying one.

     

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  104.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:39pm

    Re: songs

    That is what the internet took care of.

    People can get a song in the top 100 and in some places the top 10 just by doing all of that with home equipment.

    Japan constantly have music produced by people in their homes in the top 10. Now say that Japan doesn't matter since they are the second or third market for music on the planet.

    Recently a music done by people on the internet climbed to the top 100 on the U.S. charts and probably will not be the end of it.

    Some internet shows are just as popular as regular TV and are attracting real interest from other producers of content.

    More and more content will appear and some people are desperate because that means real competition that will bring down prices.

     

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  105.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: songs

    Respectfully, the excerpt you quoted dealt with the cost of making a song, not buying one.

    Which still doesn't include most of the things you mention - which are at best "packaging".

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    But without patents how will handbag designers make any profits? Someone can just easily copy their handbags and sell knock offs and no one would pay $40K for a handbag and the poor handbag designers will starve.

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    Patents or copyrights *

     

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  108.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:07pm

    minimal

    "The minor little detail you miss in your rant is that humans buy songs not licenses. We buy albums not licenses."

    That is precisely incorrect, according to both the letter and the spirit of the law. When you buy music, the only thing you 'own' is a hunk of plastic or vinyl. Your purchase gives you certain rights that do not include making copies beyond a limited (yet generous, imo) number, and for personal use, which includes, I kid you not, sharing, in some limited ways, with your friends. What the law specifically excludes, is setting up a server with tens of thousands of music files, and giving them away while charging $ for advertisers on your site.

    "Almost all humans are creative and are creating all the time. So what gives "Creators" of songs (and so on) the right to a perpetual monopoly of income on their (mostly) empirical creations whereas what I create, if I've done it right lasts years if not generations yet I pass it on by sale or donation once and it's no longer in my control."

    No person or entity has such a perpetual monopoly; what the law grants to the author is a limited monopoly. Further, the author is only compensated the first time a physical copy is sold; she gets nothing when you resell a book or CD.(hey, not so different than selling your house)

     

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  109.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:20pm

    songs

    Never happened; Owl City was a con job, Justin Bieber was a con job. OK Go was real, but they ain't exactly GaGa, now, are they? (and they've since dropped their label) Can a homemade production become popular? Yes, but how popular? Not very. In the words of mastering engineer Paul Abbott, "Find me one album on the Billboard charts that was recorded, mixed and mastered by the same person, in the same facility, and I'll buy you lunch." He's still got his lunch money.

     

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  110.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:25pm

    songs

    Tell you what; burn your torrent to a CD-R, label it with a Sharpie, put a price tag on it, any price at all, then hang it in a shop window, see what happens.

     

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  111.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:35pm

    made you think

    If I designed and patented the hammer, I get a piece of every unit sold; it's a small piece, but a significant chunk o'change if enough units sell. What do you think happens to the people making bootleg hammers?

     

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  112.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    Re: songs

    Albums?

    How about music, there are a lot of examples that happened in the last decade and continue to happen, Paul Abbott may keep his launch money for now but is doubtful that it will not loose it at some point.

     

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  113.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:44pm

    Re: songs

    Or burn your torrent, print it on a inkjet printer and sell it to others it has been done for ages and stopped because people don't buy CD's anymore CD's don't play on MP3 players.

     

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  114.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:48pm

    Re:

    If you work at a hedge fund and die, you are not making any money for that company. I.E. that company doesn't owe your family anything.

    Oh really? What if the investment he made pays off at a later date?

    If Brown's songs are played on radio, television and are covered and sampled by other artist who make money with them, Brown is owed money. Period. Even after he dies.

    Yes, this is the law. We're not discussing what the law says. We're discussing what's reasonable. Copyright was designed to promote the progress. How does it promote the progress to give money to a dead person's grandchildren?

    If a website is getting visitors and earning money by using James Robert Brown's work, then Brown is owed something.

    If you build a house with my hammer, do you owe me something?

    As far I know, he asked the website owner to take down his sheet music. Nothing else. Which is his right as the copyright owner. All other agruements are void.


    You're right if we're only arguing the law. We're not. Pay attention.

    It doesn't matter if he didn't say all the right things, it's his work. It doesn't matter if he lost money or not. He didn't want it on the website.

    Yes, but that's a bastardized version of copyright law, which is the point. It's not supposed to be about the artist's rights, but what's best for the public.

    But what about mass copying? The kind that is done with Limewire and other p2p services? What is an artist to do? Not all artists are multi-millionares.

    No one said all artists are multi-millionaires. In fact, we've noted the opposite -- and much of that is because of copyright laws distorting incentives and putting gatekeepers in charge.

    As for what is an artist to do? Why not try a smarter business model?

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091119/1634117011.shtml

     

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  115.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:48pm

    Re: made you think

    Except there is no bootleg hammers because there is no patents on hammers and what happens is that everyone can produce hammers and profit from it in equal terms on the market which spreads the jobs and the money not concentrating it on any one place, which in return creates wealth and opportunities.

    How wealth is produced, was produced and will be produced can you answer that?

     

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  116.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    Re: a couple more things...

    Of course you're free to make your own sandwich; bread, meat and cheese are freely available to everyone, right?

     

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  117.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:50pm

    Copyright

    Excellent article. I am still appalled about the importance that Americans place on entertainment (football, especially, but music ad nauseum as well). It is almost as if these things were fundamental needs (yes, some people honestly think they are!). However, this is an excellent article on the subject.
    I would have liked to have seen an argument that you have made before - we aren't sure the teen would have PAID for the music, so confronting her for "stealing" is all the things that were discussed PLUS "unreasonably vague" from a legal standpoint.

     

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  118.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:55pm

    Re: made you think

    Network wealth creation.

    http://www.congo-education.net/wealth-of-networks/ch-04.htm

    Network production has emerged as a contender for wealth creation it is challenging deep rooted beliefs and transforming the way we think and work.

    It has proved itself capable of not only producing real goods, but services and capable of being sustainable.

    That could bring changes to the political landscape also.

    Some experiments are underway to prove its viability. But there is real world examples of management being substituted by networks.

    How wealth on the 21th century will be created?

    I don't believe it will be produced by monopolies, not ones granted by a higher authority anyways.

     

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  119.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:56pm

    Re: minimal

    A limited monopoly that can last for centuries now.

     

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  120.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:57pm

    Re: songs

    And illegal downloading is irrelevant, because nobody needs to fill up a hard drive when they can easily stream the music; my point is that there's a great deal of cost involved in making the best music, and the people who make it should be paid. If you want free music, you can put your lips together and blow.

     

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  121.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re: a couple more things...

    What is the point, people will use their own resources to reproduce something so what?

    Care to point to any instance were anybody in the world was forbidden from copying a sandwich?

     

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  122.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Re: songs

    "and the people who make it should be paid.'

    Saying that they should get paid is not the same as saying they should get a monopoly.

     

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  123.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    made you think

    It so happens, I have a patented hammer, right here in my garage; it's a Stanley Anti-Shock. Best damn hammer I've ever owned, and I paid more for it, because of the patented technology that reduces wear and tear on my wrist and elbow. I doubt that Stanley would have poured R&D money into it if they couldn't charge a premium; which I was happy to pay.

     

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  124.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re: songs

    Yes they should be paid, the problem is how and how much.

    Copyright owners should be paid once like everybody else.

     

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  125.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Re:

    "and much of that is because of copyright laws distorting incentives and putting gatekeepers in charge."

    Exactly, the gatekeepers scam artists out of their rights to do what they want with their own music to give that music access to the distribution channels that they unrightfully deny everyone else access to.

    They monopolize the cableco infrastructure (so that musicians can't get recognition there without going through the monopolist gatekeepers), they monopolize the broadcasting spectra (same reason), they harass gyms, restaurants, barber shops, and other venues with legal threats to prevent them from playing any music without paying the gatekeeper unreasonable sums of money, they collect a tax on all blank CD's in Canada and blank 'audio' CD's in the U.S.

    They do everything in their power to ensure that any artist that doesn't give all of their rights to the gatekeeper will suffer from obscurity and never gain any recognition.

     

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  126.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    songs

    "Saying that they should get paid is not the same as saying they should get a monopoly."

    And a copyright is not a monopoly; it's beyond ridiculous to suggest that it is. The only way I could get a monopoly is if we round up all the other authors and songwriters and have them shot.

     

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  127.  
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    Adam Wasserman (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Copyright

    Actually some very respectable neurologists (Oliver Sacks, Daniel J. Levitin) argue that music is indeed a fundamental need, and that there is both physical and sociological evidence in support of that position.

    If you are interested in reading their arguments I suggest Musicophilia and This Is Your Brain On Music respectively.

     

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  128.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    and the monopolies mentioned above are mostly government imposed monopoles, the very antithesis of free market capitalism.

     

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  129.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:24pm

    Re: songs

    Even the constitution calls it a monopoly.

     

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  130.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: songs

    Ok, well maybe but, but it is a monopoly.

     

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  131.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:27pm

    Re: songs

    "And a copyright is not a monopoly; it's beyond ridiculous to suggest that it is."

    No, it's ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

    "The only way I could get a monopoly is if we round up all the other authors and songwriters and have them shot."

    Monopoly = single seller. If all artists got shot then you would have no sellers and it won't be a monopoly.

     

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  132.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:30pm

    Re: made you think

    Good for you now ask what the patent is for, I bet is not for the hammer but for the shock absorbing part, which can be reproduced using new shock materials and they(Stanley) would have done much more even without patents you wanna know why?

    Not only to stay relevant but to capture money from people who don't understand how those things really work is incredible how stupid people are.

    Do you have a Platinum Starlight HDMI cable too.

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/08/wireworlds-platinum-starlight-hdmi-cable-is-only-1-000-be tter/

     

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  133. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:33pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMUhpxETuFs

    How to transform all your tools into shock absorbing tools that will reduce your wear and tear, buy a sleave made of shock absorbing material and put them on.

    Dumb people who fall for marketing should not procreate.

     

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  134.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:35pm

    Re: minimal

    The law is completely irrelevant. You know as well as I do that it was bought and paid for by rich media companies, not borne out of intelligent debate. For that reason, stop referencing what the law says and use your head.

    The fact is, the vast majority of people don't have any understanding of the insane limitations that copyright law imposes. When they buy a CD, they think they are buying music, not a "license". When people in the UK rip a CD to their mp3 player, they have no idea they are breaking the law.

     

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  135.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think it is illegal in the US according to the DMCA to use a cracked .exe for any program since you're circumventing DRM.

    Hasn't stopped me in those instances where the DRM was toxic, but...here's the sound of me not caring. ;)

     

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  136.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:41pm

    Re: songs

    I lost respect for you now.
    Getting desperate ey?

     

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  137.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re: Copyright

    If it is fundamental how can people survive without it?

     

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  138.  
    icon
    cc (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:46pm

    It's hammer time

    I'll bet you a million pounds that Stanley would have innovated, patents or no patents, to stay ahead of the competition and keep its brand strong.

    Perhaps others will eventually copy Stanley's innovation if there is no patent, but will their products be of the same quality as Stanley's? If you need to buy a new hammer, won't you go for a Stanley just because you trust the brand, regardless of whether their patent has expired or not?

    If Stanley's innovation can be copied overnight, then surely that innovation was not worth a patent. If it takes months or years for others to copy it, then Stanley will have received its monopoly rent by the time competing products are brought to market.

     

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  139.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:02pm

    Re: a couple more things...

    I don't believe in Satan. Got another argument, or is your flimsy sense of morality and self-righteousness all you got?

     

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  140.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: a couple more things...

    The RIAA is a nonprofit organization, as are the performing rights societies (PROs) ASCAP and BMI. Of course I'm aware that the RIAA is the lobbying arm of the major music companies, but being corporations, and being big, doesn't necessarily make them bad, and just because musicians and songwriters enter agreements and relationships with same doesn't mean they shouldn't be paid for their work.

    Due to a landmark court case, artists are also able to license music directly, so they needn't deal with a given PRO, if they feel their system is unfair.(and yes, I feel ASCAP's system for determining royalty payments, in particular, is rigged against smaller labels and independents, nearly all PROs are, save the UK's PRS, but I hope to live to see the day when all artists are fairly compensated for their work, in direct proportion to its use)

     

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  141.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: songs

    "Monopoly = single seller. If all artists got shot then you would have no sellers and it won't be a monopoly."


    Please read carefully; I said I'd have a monopoly if we shot all authors and songwriters except me. ;-)

     

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  142.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: songs

    Ok, but copy protection laws still grant a monopoly on specific works.

     

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  143.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    "but being corporations, and being big, doesn't necessarily make them bad"

    No one said otherwise, and you'll note that when corporations like Google (or any corporation) get attacked for no good reason MM and techdirt commenters will defend them.

     

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  144.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    What makes them bad is how they have distorted the legal system to their unfair advantage.

     

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  145.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:27pm

    Re: songs

    Huh? Come again? Of course it's a monopoly -- it's a government-enforced monopoly on copying.

    If I copy your stupid little file, you'll sue me for all I've got. Not only is copyright a monopoly, it's a monopoly of the worst kind.

     

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  146.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If, on the other hand, you're proposing a close look at copyright and what it's stated goal has been regardless of the future of the current media giants then I'm with you. At least at the start cause we'll have items to disagree on as we go."

    Yes, that is what I was (ineptly?) saying. lol!

    It seems to me that these extensions to copyright are only going to bite the ones that wanted them as time goes on, and perhaps that's what was itching the back of my mind.

    I do know that copyright means squat as far as earning a buck on what's copyrighted. Strangulation comes to mind with current law, for consumers and creators especially, which is loaded with sometimes nonsensical tripwires too numerous to navigate. Until the day there is a complete rework, it is the abuses of current law that, to me, need to be far more policed than the random, myriad, and inevitable transgressions against copyrights that we all commit every day in some manner.

    *pastes lolcat into email for daily copyright infringement*

    It's late and I'm rambling, but we are in agreement! I was responding to the post before mine quoting law from 1783 and 1954. I appreciate your response, though. :)

     

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  147.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: minimal

    Doesn't seem such a threat; I'm unaware of any monopoly that ever lasted more than a century, other than silk.

     

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  148.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    "Due to a landmark court case, artists are also able to license music directly, so they needn't deal with a given PRO, if they feel their system is unfair."

    Yes, techdirt had an article about this before, and it's an improvement. But

    A: it doesn't negate the immoral nature of these collection societies and their immoral efforts to deny independent musicians the right to be heard in restaurants and other venues. It doesn't negate all the difficulties these collection societies have created for artists to get heard.

    http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/jan/28/re-opened-mic-after-run-copyright-police-mudstomp -/

    B:It doesn't negate the costs of that court case.

    C: It might get appealed (causing more legal expenses) and even if it doesn't, unless a high appellate court or the supreme court takes the case other courts may still take the case and serve mixed decisions, causing lots of expensive lawsuits or threats of lawsuits and undesirable verdicts. Getting that judgment was a very expensive legal process, a process that many smaller venues are not willing to endure.

    D: It only seems to deduct a portion of the cost, not sure where it stands in terms of deducting all of the costs if only independent artists perform or are played. Such ambiguity can leave open the possibility for other court cases and still opens the probability of collection societies attempting to collect fees.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100729/13371210416.shtml

     

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  149.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    "but I hope to live to see the day when all artists are fairly compensated for their work, in direct proportion to its use"

    Me too actually, and at least this shows integrity on your part that you acknowledge that these collection societies have been a burden on artists and have done a lot to harm them and hopefully this can be corrected in the future.

     

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  150.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: minimal

    Uhm.... copyright for artists lasts life + 70 years. Depending on when the copyright took effect and when the artist dies the monopoly can last more than a century.

     

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  151.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: minimal

    Since copyright is in fact, a law and not a moral right, I completely fail to see how the law is irrelevant to the discussion. (and presumably there was some debate, before the law was enacted) I won't argue over your opinion of what limitations might be sane or otherwise, but I can tell you that in this country, ripping MP3s from a CD you've bought isn't illegal, nor is making a backup copy; you can even make mixtapes for your friends, so long as you don't profit from your copies, nor provide them, gratis, to millions of strangers on sites that sell advertising. Some media companies got rich? Hang them, the bastards! [sarcasm] That doesn't even qualify as an argument!

     

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  152.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:30pm

    Why the continuing attempt to place a self-employed person (here a musician) in the same financial renumeration category as one who is in the employ of another party? Not that one is more deserving than the other, but from a financial standpoint there are marked differences.

    The former relies on cash flow that can vary over a period of time from generous to virtually nothing. There is nothing steady about it. In contrast, the latter generally does enjoy a degree of cash flow predictability. If the former has employees, payroll must be first met. This is certainly not true of the latter.

    The former assumes personal responsibility to pay for things such as a higher SS rate, his/her own medical insurance, no company car or expense account, no company provided retirement plan, no company provided stock options, no company matching contributions to a 401(K), etc. In other words, some of the employment benefits that so many seem to take for granted as a normal incident of being an employee are not part of the renumeration received by the self-employed. Not only that, but many of these employment benefits are, if fact, passed along to an employee's heirs in the event of the employee's unexpected demise.

    And yet, I see a constant stream of comments that do not account for these very fundamental differences. For example, many years ago during the recession in the early 80's I can recall working for a six month period where after business expenses my secretary received a salary (and year end bonus and other financial benefits) that by far outstripped what was left over for deposit in my and my partner's spersonal bank accounts. We assumed a risk and paid the price. Our secretary did not, but profited nonetheless.

    As best I can figure, there seems to be among some commenters a bias that I have to wonder would exist if they were on the hook for paying the bills for an ongoing business.

    Now, the musician here takes a risk. He labors upaid in the hope that whatever cash flow is received from such labors proves well worth the effort. At the same time he/she labors without any guarantee that their labor will generate any cash flow, whereas the employee does not have this "Sword of Damacles" constantly hanging over their head.

    Hence, I ask again. Why the constant attempts to try and equate to entirely different cash flow situations? It does seem quite unfair.

     

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  153.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:33pm

    Re:

    Please note. I am not saying, not should it be inferred, that current copyright terms are fine and dandy and well deserved. What I am saying is I wonder why the constant attempt to constantly equate to markedly different cash flow positions?

     

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  154.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: minimal

    "but I can tell you that in this country, ripping MP3s from a CD you've bought isn't illegal, nor is making a backup copy; you can even make mixtapes for your friends, so long as you don't profit from your copies, nor provide them, gratis, to millions of strangers on sites that sell advertising"

    Or you are ignorant of the law or you are a liar which is?

    Making a mixtape is illegal, you are infringing on the copyright holder rights to distribution, if that is not the case please show us where in the law it says you can do it.

    As for ripping a CD for backup purposes you can do it because CD's don't have DRM the industry failed to change the format and got stuck with it, but DVD's you can't because you would be circumventing the DMCA provisions.

     

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  155.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright.

    "One might argue however that this liberalisation partially triggered the industrial revolution"

    I think you have hit upon a very important point that to my knowledge has received scant, if any, consideration in the articles presented on the site.

    Is it possible, mind you...possible, that the expansion of property to embrace intangible rights did serve a laudable societal purpose promoting progress, even in the very limited sense that progress is used here?

     

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  156.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    Re:

    Does any other class of self employed people have that too?

    Besides the topic is just about that, copyright is not a tool to get you paid is to give an incentive, no where in the law it says you will get paid, and you will be given guaranteed profits.

    The bias and misunderstanding comes from your part that keeps trying to say that copyright is a means to get paid, it is not, is to encourage people to do something or that was the intent of that law that got F. up beyond belief.

     

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  157.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright.

    I don't think it is possible what I do see, is very few companies trying to fend off smaller ones, either by buying them, blocking them with IP laws or manipulating distribution channels.

    Copyright today is an abomination to free markets and provides no benefits to consumers and it burdens society that have to pay for the enforcement mechanisms, not to mention the consequences to free speech.

     

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  158.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    Specious. I never said they all bought handbags, and you're either disingenuous, stupid or deliberately missing my point.(also, your math is as suspect as your logic)

    When was the last time you stumbled across a piece of truly great music completely by accident?

     

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  159.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: minimal

    You are right copyright is a monopoly only in the books in reality people already broke that one and no longer poses a threat.

     

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    cc (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: minimal

    If you haven't noticed, the discussion around here mostly revolves around the moral and economic aspects of copyright, and basically the question of whether copyright law should exist in the first place. It doesn't matter in the slightest what is illegal and what isn't.

    As for making mix tapes or ripping mp3s, it's totally illegal to make copies for your friends (incl. mixtapes), even under fair use, and you aren't allowed to break DRM. It's actually illegal to play your music loud enough that others can hear it, even if you are in the privacy of your own house.

    "Some media companies got rich? Hang them, the bastards! [sarcasm] That doesn't even qualify as an argument!"

    Bugger off. I clearly said that copyright law as it stands today was put in place by rich companies, and thus its utility and morality are questionable.

     

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  161.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: minimal

    You are right it doesn't pose a threat because it is broken already. People are just waiting for the law to catch up.

    Copyright is not enforceable, if it was we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    Since it doesn't work and copyright holders cannot stop people from doing what they are doing, it is pointless to keep laws that burden society economically and socially.

     

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  162.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    This is an argument you can't win, since "great music" is relative and depends on the listeners taste.

    Just the other day I heard some fantastic tunes on Jamendo, you should try it.

    The handbag situation I will let you hash it out with the other guy, I don't understand what you said there and didn't see the point either.

     

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  163.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    I don't think you will live to see that day, mostly because you don't want to accept the reality of the situation and that is artists will get paid just not the way you think they should or for price you imagined.

     

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  164.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright.

    It is most likely that the expansion of freedom promoted the progress more than the restrictions on freedom that IP imposed. The founding fathers were very skeptical of IP and hence IP was very limited during those times and this skepticism held by the founding fathers likely fostered a lot of innovation.

    If you want IP privileges the burden is on you to justify them, attempting to justify them based on an unlikely possibility when the exact opposite is more probable doesn't constitute sufficient justification.

     

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  165.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright.

    Very interesting viewpoint.

    My first instinct is to question whether what was considered liberal in the early 18th century is no longer quite so liberal today. Compared to a feudal system, copyright and patents might have been a system that could scale up and was open to the general public, then.

    Patents were mostly for mechanical inventions, which would be easy to evaluate by looking at schematics -- not so the case today.

    Copyrights only applied to publishers and not individual copying, so controlling infringement was possible -- today, the creeping scope of copyright and new copying technology make copyright law pretty much unimplementable.

    These laws are DATED, and I think they've become a burden to the people. They either have to be thrown out and rewritten from scratch, or just thrown out.

    The question is, how can we prompt change? (and I don't mean Obama's fake, vote-for-me kind of change) How can the people wisen up and speak with a clear enough voice to be heard? Perhaps illegal filesharing is the best way to make ourselves heard, though that's quite sad if you think about it.

     

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  166.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    but in all seriousness, if you feel that artists should get paid, instead of complaining that you want others to pay them, why don't you simply donate money to the artists you like instead.

     

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  167.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright.

    Instead of promoting copyright music (ie: when you play it others might hear, listen to the band, like the band, buy its music. They are more likely to buy music that they experience while having a good time) why not download CC only music. Play the music in your home, play it around your friends, while you are having a good time, have your friends build good memories around the music, promote the music and hopefully they too start to like it. Upon liking it it will necessarily take away from their propensity to listen to and hence pay for other, copyright, music. Spread CC music, people have limits on the amount of music they're willing and able to listen to, by getting people to listen to CC music it will necessarily change the market. It will make people less willing to consume and pay for copyright music, since they have alternatives, and it will make them willing to pay less, driving down demand and hence driving down quantity supplied. Any level in the increase of CC and other copyleft music that you can get people to adopt will result in (not necessarily proportionally) less copyright music that people will listen to and pay for.

    Don't pirate music, heck, many studies presented on techdirt show that piracy actually helps increase music sales of whatever it is being pirated. You are only feeding the problem. Instead, find alternatives, support alternative bands, encourage your friends to do the same.

     

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  168.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 11:02pm

    Re: songs

    Show me something on the billboard charts that's actually worth listening to, and I'll buy YOU lunch. It's all reprocessed CRAP. Not a damned thing on there worth my time or money, anyways. (Here's a hint: I don't even download music that isn't offered for free, anyways)

     

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  169.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 11:33pm

    Re: songs

    Never happened? Oh, let me assure you that it has happened many times already. Unless you've been under a rock for all of last week, you must have heard the Bed Intruder song.

     

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  170.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 2:42am

    Re: songs

    Why do you persist in assuming that I want to make money from it?

     

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  171.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 2:55am

    Re: Re: songs

    my point is that there's a great deal of cost involved in making the best music, and the people who make it should be paid.

    No your point is that there is a great deal of investment involved in putting music into a saleable form and promoting it so that, under previous technological regimes, money could be made from it. However sometimes investments go bad because the technology has changed - and trying to protect bad investments by changing the law is futile.

    The fact that you wasted a lot of money over-producing and over-promoting a song performance does not increase it's value or oblige anyone to pay you for it. Ultimately many legally produced CDs end up in landfill and make a loss for their producers.



    If you want free music, you can put your lips together and blow.

    Yep - that's the most enjoyable kind - ask any amateur musician or singer what they find the most rewarding.

     

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  172.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 3:22am

    Re:

    Now, the musician here takes a risk. He labors upaid in the hope that whatever cash flow is received from such labors proves well worth the effort. At the same time he/she labors without any guarantee that their labor will generate any cash flow, whereas the employee does not have this "Sword of Damacles" constantly hanging over their head.

    The "labouring unpaid" bit is a choice - even for a musician. There are plenty of ways for a musician to make money without taking the risk.

    eg commissioned work, teaching etc etc.

    The reason many do take the risk rather than a more certain route to making a living is because they have a sort of vague hope that they could make a fortune.

    For most it's not really different from buying a lottery ticket. In my opinion it would be a good idea if the lottery stopped running.

     

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  173.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 3:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright.

    It is most likely that the expansion of freedom promoted the progress more than the restrictions on freedom that IP imposed.
    Yes - that was my point. Compared to the earlier regime where the government granted a monopoly on all printing, copyright (which granted the monopoly only on printing specific works) was a step forward.

     

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  174.  
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    Adam Wasserman (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:27am

    Re:

    "Now, the musician here takes a risk. He labors unpaid in the hope"

    I read this and I have difficulty connecting the dots between musicians and copyright.

    Most of the musicians I have played with get paid regularly. There is a union scale, and when we play a gig or do a recording session we get paid to scale. Non-unionized musicians also get paid a fixed amount per gig, although there is a greater risk that the venue will rip them off.

    Professional orchestral musicians have an annual salary as do professional musicians in the armed forces (quite a nice one too because they make captain quickly), and house musicians.

    Of all the musicians I have played with and known, only a small percentage composed music that was subsequently recorded. And this small percentage is the only percentage that cares much about copyright one way or the other.

    The people who own copyrights, the people who care about it, are record companies who have been screwing over musicians since day one. And for every musician who actually does make some nice coin on a record, for every Metallica, there are thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of musicians who have been taken advantage of, ripped off, screwed every way that you could possibly imagine and a few ways that you could not.

    So I do not really think that it is relevant - or even appropriate - to bring musicians into this debate. To me, it seems the same as saying: "think of the children".

     

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  175.  
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    Adam Wasserman (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re:

    "For most it's not really different from buying a lottery ticket"

    With all due respect, as I say in my reply to the anonymous coward, this is not the case at all for most of the musician I know and/or play with.

    Most either play simply because they love to play, or they play and make a living at it because they want to earn their living doing what they love.

    I got out of pro music specifically because *I did not want* to earn my living doing what I loved. I felt the "earning a living" part of it compromised "the doing what I love" part of it.

    Although I have no doubt that what you say may be true for someone somewhere, I can honestly say it does not describe any of the musicians I have every personally met.

    And for a musician that wants to earn a living playing music, it is not much harder than any other profession.

    Just like a welder, you work 8 hrs a day at it, make sure that you know what you are doing, choose your employer (and there are many) wisely, and live with the fact that you don't always like your boss, and some days you don't like your job. And just like welders, there are some people who just not very good at it and will never find a job welding because they suck, there are many people who will not make a living playing music because from a professional standpoint, they are simply not competent.

     

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  176.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:45am

    Protect copyright owners build a turtle fence.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qizNQKzatXA

    For those vulnerable slow people/entities who can't keep up, lets build a turtle fence now to guarantee that we will provide for them, feeding them in a secure environment full of love.

     

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  177.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re:

    Exactly, copyright is about the record labels and the middlemen, it has and never had anything to do with the musicians/artists, it was invented because the middlemen lobbied for it and it exists because the middlemen continue to lobby for it. Those who want it, those who argue for it, are mostly parasitic middlemen and their lawyers and they use the musicians as the poster child.

     

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  178.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re:

    and there is nothing wrong with risk, lawyers take risks, they may not find clients and go for a week unpaid. Should they continue to get paid for past work? No. Musicians, lawyers, and everyone else needs to work and keep working, 9 to 5 or whatever it is, to make money, this nonsense where musicians should be paid in perpetuity for past work needs to end.

     

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  179.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I agree with all you say - my comment about lottery tickets was aimed at the minority that rely (or most likely claim they rely) on copyright for their income.

    The point is that - as you say - for most musicians the sensible choice is to get a job - either as an orchestral/band player or as a school music teacher or similar.

    If you want to freelance then playing sessions or (again) personal tuition are better options than trying to make a living via recorded or sheet music and copyright.

    The reason that a minority of musicians are so keen on copyright is because it gives them the hope of fame and fortune - but that hope will only ever be realised by the tiniest of minorities.

     

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  180.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:04am

    Protect copyright owners build a turtle fence.

    We also need a healthcare fence I just read that the national debt has 100 trillion dollars in unfunded obligations(deficit), now the shocker medicine needs to be paid and it is being paid by borrowing money from other countries, people are not able to pay their own medicine and are rolling the problem to future generations this is what IP gave us, debt, those companies grow extracting money from the people that have no options but to find a way to pay that in turn is handed over to the government that has to pay for all of it and were do that money come from? That is right your pocket citizen or to be more exactly it will explode in the hands of your children that will have to pay it back somehow and that will be painful.

    Some argue that the U.S. can simple get default payment by letting the dollar devaluate, which will erode the capacity for America to negotiate and to be fare other countries are working hard for that to happen because nobody wants annoying entitled people making demands.

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    That is IP law enacted by interests that don't care about public safety or the countries economy health, they only care about their bottom line and can choose any other country to be in it, they don't need the U.S. do they?

    All that "IP property" BS is about ripping others off.

     

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  181.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Agreed - although there is one important point that is often missed. In the early days of printing authors were often concerned that piracy resulted in inaccurate editions of their work being produced. Here is Martin Luther for example

    " Avarice now strikes / and plays this knavish trick on our printers
    whereby others are instantly reprinting [our translation] / and are thus depriving us of our work
    and expenses to their profit, / which is a downright public robbery /
    and will surely be punished by God / and which is unworthy of any honest
    Christian. It is not for my own sake, though, that I am concerned / since it was
    freely that I received / and freely that I gave it, / and I ask for nothing in return:

    / Christ my Lord has repaid me for it many hundred thousand times over.

    But this I must lament about avarice, / that these greedy and rapacious
    pirate printers are handling our work carelessly.
    For, seeking only
    their own profit, / they don't care much about the accuracy of what they are
    reprinting, / and it has often happened to me / when reading their reprinted text / that
    I found it so full of errors / that in many places I couldn't recognize my own work /
    and had to correct it from scratch. / They just print it off quickly, as there's money to be made.
    Whereas (if they were true printers) they surely ought to know from experience
    that one can't be careful enough when it comes to such work / as printing.
    / Anyone who has ever tried such work / will bear witness to what I am saying /
    about the amount of care that it demands.

    Therefore, / if someone wishes to acquire our newly revised version of the Bible for himself / or
    for a library, / I hereby honestly warn him /
    that he should pay attention / to what and where he is buying / and that he should try to buy this version
    only / which was published here this year (1541). "


    See this link

    With filesharing of digital copies this particular point is annulled. I would be interested to se how Luther would react.

     

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  182.  
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    Adam Wasserman (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Exactly, copyright is about the record labels ... it was invented because the middlemen"

    This may be true as regards sheet music and music recordings, in the US, but I would argue that copyright in its original pre-musical form was a more complex issue, and not always about middlemen.

     

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  183.  
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    average_joe (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re:

    Copyright was designed to promote the progress.

    Notwithstanding my point above that the Supreme Court has held that "to promote the progress" is not a substantive limit on Congress' legislative power nor is it a grant of power in its own right, I'm curious what you think "to promote the progress" means and why you think that. Assuming you think your interpretation is the correct one, I'm curious why you think that too.

    How does it promote the progress to give money to a dead person's grandchildren?

    Do you really not know the arguments for this? They are easy to look up.

    Yes, but that's a bastardized version of copyright law, which is the point. It's not supposed to be about the artist's rights, but what's best for the public.

    Copyright is most certainly about artists' rights. To say otherwise it is to be disingenuous. It's pretty simple: creative people are induced to create by granting them property rights in their creative works. Of course, the ultimate purpose of copyright is to benefit the public good, but it does so by recognizing rights in the artist for a limited time. You love to point out the ends, but you seem to gloss over the means.

     

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  184.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you haven't already, make sure to see the pirate party video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08gfh_6sbQI

     

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  185.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I'm curious what you think "to promote the progress" means"

    It says,

    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"

    Not "To promote the Progress of ensuring that anyone gets paid"

    "You love to point out the ends, but you seem to gloss over the means."

    No, it's just that we note that the current means do not lead to the intended ends.

     

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  186.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Do you really not know the arguments for this? They are easy to look up."

    Disagreeing with an argument is different from being unfamiliar with it.

     

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  187.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    Appeals to authority? Let us check what they actually contend:


    > "The economic philosophy behind ...

    That, as quoted, is insufficient to justify copyright, since 'personal gain' does not necessarily require copy-restriction.


    > "It is perfectly agreeable to the principles of natural equity and justice ...

    Since copyright implies that people be constrained in copying and re-using, it directly and materially curtails their personal liberty -- which can hardly be 'perfectly agreeble' to principles of natural justice.


    > "[T]he improvement of knowledge

    If someone produces an idea, they can be paid for it once. There is no necessity for them to be paid for every use and consequence of it -- even less that other's freedom should be violated to do so.


    The funny thing is that these 'noble' and 'learned' declarations don't stand up to even superficial examination.

    The government-corporate structure likes copyright because it is a good way for them to make profit. It fits the dominant industrial systems. It is easy to see this is the real reason, because none of the other reasons they give are supported by sense, or evidence, or either.

     

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  188.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Not "To promote the Progress of ensuring that anyone gets paid""

    But there is nothing in either Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the US Constitution or the implementing legislation or the existing case law that ensures anyone gets paid. There is no Author/Inventor "minimum wage" embodied in law. Authors and Inventors are subject to the very same rule that governs all self-employed persons; i.e., if you try and sell something that no one cares about your cash flow will total one big 'goose egg"...nada, nunca, zero, zip, etc. Of course, there is the possibility that because of being a rights holder one may have an opportunity to pursue some measure of cash flow because others may decide to either copy your work and make a go in the market where the original author/inventor did not succeed, or such others may make some changes to your work and try and market the work as changed. Whether this is good or bad is not what I am trying to explore. Mine is merely directed to the refrain from those that the law is meant to ensure that they have a right to be paid merely because they have expended labor, and in this regard the law is clear that no such right exists in law unless and until someone decides they like it enough to actually secure a copy of the work, be it a work of authorship or an invention.

     

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  189.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: a couple more things...

    What are you trying to say? What is your point here?

     

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  190.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    "Heard any good music lately? Wonder why not?"

    Yes I have mostly Indie music, not the cookie cutter crap that makes up 90% of what the indistry puts out.

    I don't wonder at all, it's the corporations trying to squeeze every last penny out of a CD. Three good songs and the rest is filler, killing off the single cause they make more off the album.

     

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  191.  
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    Karl (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 10:22am

    Re: songs

    Copyright is the statutory right to prevent others from putting out your product, which is pretty much the definition of a monopoly. Here's proof: Both Jefferson and Madison, the founding fathers who created the Copyright Clause, viewed copyrights as a monopoly privilege:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070613/161904.shtml

    It's ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

     

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  192.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 10:32am

    Re:

    Up until the Copyright Act of 1978 both the states and the federal government exercised concurrent power for legislating in the area of copyright. It was not until the Act that the states, via Congress, agreed that the exclusive power to enact copyright legislation resided solely with the federal government, so-called "express preemption".

    As a practical matter, states such as California limited copyright legislation to areas that were not covered by the federal law. For example, since prior to 1978 federal copyright applied only to works post-publication, California law encompassed works during pre-publication.

     

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  193.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: minimal

    It is a threat. Culture doesn't work that way and hasn't for a very, very, very long time.

     

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  194.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: a couple more things...

    If those ingredients are digital then yes, they are freely available to everyone.

    Free digital sandwiches for all!

     

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  195.  
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    Freak, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Taking things to an (illogical) extreme

    Let's pretend that IP is sacred and we respected every piece of IP that was ever made.

    Forgetting creative works, because they are too often too intangible to measure, let's start with examining science.

    What was the total worth of the entire planet earth and all it's belongings just before mankind first stepped onto the surface?
    Economic principle tells us: $0. At that point in time, there was nothing humans could use. We didn't know how to use rocks and sticks to make spears, we didn't need meat, we didn't croon and whistle in strange patterns that others might like to copy.
    Once we did step on the earth, now it has a lot of value: We need food, we need shelter, we need water. Now we can monetize the earth. But at the same time, everything is in abundant supply. At the same time, it's in ABUNDANT supply.
    Quadrillions of tons of rock, billions of tons of meat and vegetables, and so much water you would never think of conserving it. It's just a matter of processing it; chipping the rock into sharp things, killing and cooking the meat . . . but the entire planet might only be worth a comparative amount of couple billion modern US dollars to the humans living there. Almost enough to build a single stealth bomber.

    Then, history happens, let's skip forward to the bronze age.

    How much is the earth worth now? Now the ground isn't just rocks and dirt to grow stuff in and make spears out of, now we have metal tools, and tin and copper, and we really start being different from animals!
    Imagine how much more the earth was worth . . . those billions of tons of copper and tin in the earth are now worth something, whereas before they were useless? Each kilogram is worth thousands of dollars.
    Well, the earth just made it's worth into the trillions.


    Let's skip forward again, when we start using coal and oil . . . now all the whales, and all that black stuff in the ground become worth a lot more.
    Nevermind all the metals we discovered in the meantime, and all the uses we found for them, and the rising demand of everything as humankind becomes more populous.

    Let's say the earth is worth a trillion times more than it was last time we took a look.

    Now, let's skip forward to the present day. Uranium. Solar power. Fresh water. The highest human population ever and the highest demand ever. By far.
    The earth is now worth something so large the number of 0's would make your head spin.

    All of this is due to the fact that we moved beyond hunter-gatherers, because people made discoveries and created demand for things that had previously been useless.


    If we assume each creator and his descendants are owed a millionth of a percent of the worth they've granted us, and that we've only used a trillionth of the resources the earth has to offer, we still get a number that is trillions times more the current GDP of the entire earth.


    Wanna honour copyright and patent law and stuff to the fullest? That's the debt you owe to our ancestors.
    (OF course, that's why copyrights and IP run out. You can;t own ideas forever, simply because they are responsible for every single bit of value the earth, and the entire universe, has)

    I'd rather give my creations away for everyone to use, because it makes the species as a whole richer. And if everyone would do the same, I would be paid back many times over in a very indirect fashion as science alone progresses. No one need give me money, only to share their creations as I would share mine.
    Felicitous calculus and all that jazz.


    Of course, that argument fails as I realize I need food to live, not just an endless bounty of awesome music, thus why we do deal with limited IPs in order to allow creators live to create.

     

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  196.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "and in this regard the law is clear that no such right exists in law unless and until someone decides they like it enough to actually secure a copy of the work, be it a work of authorship or an invention."

    The law is not intended to promote the progress of ensuring that people get paid for the use of their work, the law is to promote the progress of the arts and sciences. To the extent that ensuring artists get paid for the use of their works contradicts the intent of copyright then congress should grant no copyright. We are merely pointing out that the current use of copyright hinders progress and doesn't promote it and hence its use is unconstitutional.

     

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  197.  
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    average_joe (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It says,

    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"

    Not "To promote the Progress of ensuring that anyone gets paid"


    I know what it says. I'm asking Mike what exactly he thinks it means.

     

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  198.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Disagreeing with an argument is different from being unfamiliar with it.

    I understand that those are two different things. That wasn't my point. I was asking Mike a question.

     

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  199.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It means exactly what it says it means. What else can it mean?

     

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  200.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I was asking Mike a question."

    Mike was asking you a question. Why don't you answer.

     

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  201.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Satan

    Surely, my faith and God's love are the only things I have that'll outlast this world. The Devil doesn't need you to believe in him; he prefers otherwise. You may rest assured that he believes in you.

     

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  202.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    Re: minimal

    > "The minor little detail you miss in your rant is that
    > humans buy songs not licenses. We buy albums not
    > licenses."

    > That is precisely incorrect, according to both the letter
    > and the spirit of the law.

    ...which you clearly know nothing about.

    I buy the song. That is it. I buy a copy of the song. There is no extra "contractual baggage". What does exist is a government enforced monopoly on attempting to manufacture more copies of that song.

    The whole "copy right" thing.

    Anything beyond that it either wishful thinking on the part of Big Media or recent examples of how they have corrupted democratically elected governments.

    This is why strictly electronic media is ultimately just a glorified rental. There are real no ownership rights transfered because no real objects are transfered.

    Things like the First Sale Doctrine still apply for a copy because it becomes a straight property rights issue. Even the fat cats don't want to destroy those.

     

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  203.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's also killing the prostitution business.

    Seriously though, old ladies at my church tell me about when they were younger (and birth control didn't really exist) that many wives sort of expected their husbands to cheat on them. In their mind, cheating didn't risk their lives with another tough pregnancy.

    So I bet birth control hurt prostitution too.

     

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  204.  
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    average_joe (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 2:53pm

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

    It means exactly what it says it means. What else can it mean?

    Believe it or not, but people have been debating the meaning of words and phrases in the Constitution for years. :)

    "Science" and "useful arts" probably don't mean what you think they mean, for example. And "to promote the progress" means different things to different people.

    Do some research if you're really interested.

     

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  205.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Then again...

    the usefulness of a publicly available musical work is in its attending income;
    Exactly back to front.
    On this basis nothing in the public domain is useful - which is obviously false.

     

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  206.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 3:27pm

    Re: a couple more things...

    Yes, you have; you've stolen the name of the manufacturer, which he has spent a great deal of time and effort in building.You have thereby taken something of value from him; this is the foundation of trademark law.

    Wrong! The foundation of trademark law is to protect the public from deception. In spite of attempts to change this basis it is still perfectly legal to use someone else's trademark to attract attention to your product - provided you do not deceive the buyer.

    (As in "first laptop capble of running Windows 7" for example).

     

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  207.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    Specious. I never said they all bought handbags, and you're either disingenuous, stupid or deliberately missing my point.(also, your math is as suspect as your logic)

    Maths first:

    US population =300,000,000
    so 5% =15,000,000. Reduce to 10,000,000 to allow for those who don't buy handbags at all.

    then 3*40,000*10,000,000=12*10^11=1.2*10^12 = 1.2 Trillion

    OK they may not all actually buy handbags - but if what you say is correct then a $40,000 handbag to such a person must be of no more consequence than (say) a $100 handbag to an ordinary person. Even with a conservative estimate of $30,000 for an ordinary income that gives your wealthy 5% an annual income of at least $12,000,000 - whereas in fact less than 2% have incomes above 250,000.

     

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  208.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re: songs

    Okay, then, I must have been under a rock. How much money did Bed Intruder make? Here's what some YouTube stars are making: http://yhoo.it/a7moCU Notice the utter lack of musicians?

     

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  209.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    Re: songs

    Can a homemade production become popular? Yes, but how popular? Not very.
    Popular enough for the band to make a comfortable living - why isn't that enough for you?

     

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  210.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: minimal

     

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  211.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    centuries

    So, in practical terms, about 170 years, which does not equal centuries, plural. Personally, I'd be satisfied with the old standard of life plus fifty, since songwriters can expect to live longer, nowadays.

     

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  212.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:04pm

    Plots

    According to the anthropologists, there are actually roughly fifty-five stories in all of human history. The genius of authorship is in refurbishing them, blending them, updating them so as to make them appear new. If you don't believe that's a skill with value, I suggest you try it sometime; it's a lot tougher than it looks.

     

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  213.  
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    average_joe (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:10pm

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

    I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. Nor do I really care at this point...

     

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  214.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:20pm

    Re: centuries

    That's a 170 year monopoly, when there is no evidence to suggest that any monopoly is required or deserved at all. Something's wrong with that picture.

     

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  215.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: songs

    So? Bed Intruder was in the Billboard Top 100, so Mr Abbott owes me money.

     

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  216.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:37pm

    Re: It's hammer time

    And I'll bet my last ten bob you don't have a million pounds. Here's the crux of the biscuit:

    "If Stanley's innovation can be copied overnight, then surely that innovation was not worth a patent."

    The value of a patent has nothing to do with any ability to copy the technique of building such a hammer; it's only value is in the prevention of such copying.

    In other words, technology changes nothing; your ability to quickly and cheaply copy my product does not make it your product any more than borrowing my hammer makes it your hammer.

     

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  217.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Re: songs

    I stand corrected; it is indeed a limited monopoly over (only my)song, but as a practical matter, there's no single seller. My song is unlikely to earn anything without a publisher, who will demand half the copyright for his services in securing cuts and collecting payments.

     

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  218.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    hammer

    Copying, by DEFINITION, isn't theft, it's infringement, and morally equivalent to theft.

     

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  219.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:54pm

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

    We've done the research, we've read up on what Jefferson et al said, and we know what they meant. What they say may not mean what you want it to mean but that doesn't change the meaning.

     

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  220.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    Re: hammer

    "and morally equivalent to theft."

    So then you think there is nothing wrong with theft?

     

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  221.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: It's hammer time

    "your ability to quickly and cheaply copy my product does not make it your product any more than borrowing my hammer makes it your hammer."

    Copying your product doesn't make your product my product, it makes the copy of your product my product.

     

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  222.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's hammer time

    It's my copy, the copy belongs to me. The original belongs to you, the copy belongs to me.

     

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  223.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: It's hammer time

    "The value of a patent has nothing to do with any ability to copy the technique of building such a hammer; it's only value is in the prevention of such copying."

    He is referring to the social value, not just the value to the patent holder.

     

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  224.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re: centuries

    What you said was

    "I'm unaware of any monopoly that ever lasted more than a century"

    Anything over 100 years is over a century.

     

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  225.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:08pm

    Re: centuries

    What you said was

    "I'm unaware of any monopoly that ever lasted more than a century"

    Anything over 100 years is over a century.

     

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  226.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: songs

    "My song is unlikely to earn anything without a publisher, who will demand half the copyright for his services in securing cuts and collecting payments."

    The publisher is likely to demand the copyright entirely or the right to exclusively sell the song even if you wished to give it away. So only the publisher can sell it and hence the publisher (not you) is the single seller.

     

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  227.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: It's hammer time

    "In other words, technology changes nothing"

    I agree, there was nothing wrong with copying before (and the founding fathers agreed) and there is nothing wrong with copying now.

     

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  228.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Even after Brown attempted to "fix" his screwdriver parable, it still doesn't work.
    In such a case where Brown did have a "self-replicating" screwdriver he
    would indeed be entitled to charge whatever he wanted for the
    scewdrivers in his garage. However, once I buy a screwdriver from him,
    he would then be powerless to stop me from replicating that same
    screwdriver in my own garage and giving it away for free.

     

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  229.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 6:57pm

    Re: hammer

    Except it's not morally equivalent to theft. Depriving me of real property I bought and own using made-up laws like copyright IS morally equivalent to theft.

    Think about it. Why is theft immoral?

     

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  230.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: hammer

    Well, they're not depriving you of real property, they're depriving you of various uses of real property. While doing so is morally wrong, the idea behind IP is that the overall good may outweigh the overall bad so as to justify this wrong. Currently this is not the case being that our current system provides little good and tons of bad.

     

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  231.  
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    darryl, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re:

    It certainly doesn't come from the time taken by the composer to put together 4 minutes of music. That takes a few man hours - worth at most $300-400 at any reasonable hourly rate.

    You DO NOT have a clue do you !!!..

    So the MonaLisa painting is no more than $20 bucks worth of paint and a chunk of canvass ?

    Mabey that performer has trained and practiced for years and years to gain that skill, the nurture a talent (which clearly you do not have a concept of).

    And how much do you think it would cost to create a hit song, movie clip, with all the engineering, promotion, training, insurance, and so on.

    And you think that its a 'couple hundred dollars'.

    Im glad Mike keeps guys like you around here, makes for some amusing stories.

    You could not do a better job at killing off Mikes arguments, than you have done with your stupid comments.

    Most people here clearly do not have a clue what they are talking about, but are happy to parrot Mike's misguidance.


    Its easy to comment when you have never done anything yourself.

    As for 'infinite goods', Mike you know that is bullshit,

    Most people here do not seem to understand even the most simple concepts, or have drinken the Mike Coolaid about 'infinite goods' rubbish..

    As yet Mike or ANY one else has been able to show me one single 'infinite goods', or to show how that would work, and how that 'infinite good' is going to effect DEMAND.

    Sure, you can 'sort of have' an excessive supply (not infinite), but if the damand is lower than supply,, then WHAT IS THE POINT..

    YOU have more of an item, than people want, supply exceeds demand, and you think

    "OK, Supply has exceeded demand, so well fix that by increasing SUPPLY".


    Smart business practice that.. lets make supply exceed demand and promote it as a good thing..

    well done guys,, now that is a 'mike business model' that we can all understand.

    1.What are and where are the 'infinite goods'.

    2. what would making supply exceed demand improve your market?

    If you did not create the product you intend to supply, but you rely upon someone else creating it, you just want to profit from it..

    Then you plan is to make supply exceed demand, and somehow from that you are going to make money, and are going to able to screw the person who actually created the work in the first place.


    but thats ok, as long as you are able to break the law, and do what you like with other peoples possessions and works.

    And justify it by means of complaining about the system that content comes from.

    (that works by the way)...

    You dont like the system, so you intend to screw the artists. Nice..

    No wonder no one is taking up your 'plan', and no wonder every day, the same world works and is successful, dispite of Mikes ravings.

    So Mike you introduce some 'equation' that is supposed to save the world, and NO ONE CARES..

    You have grandly failed yet to provide any viable alternative to a system that has been inplace for hundreds of years and that has sporned a massive movie, entertainment, music and arts industry.

    Like any field of endevour there are the 'rock stars' and the 'rest'. Some will work hard and have talent to become a rock star and many will spend their lives as most do somewhere in the middle.

    The 'system' you are proposing has NEVER historically worked, it DOES NOT work for open source for example.

    Open source and FOSS has been around for over 20 years, and it is certainly not a market or technology leader.

    It struggles in every quarter, as it is constantly trying to catch up with the professional guys.

    FOSS is well know for its LACK of innovation, and you want to employ similar models to the music and entertainment industries. When it is a clear failure in software. As shown by FOSS.

    FACTS are simple, if you are a skilled musician, artist or actor, you get paid for your work.

    If you are a skilled manager you get paid for your work.

    Managers, workers or artists do not JUST get paid for the hours they are physically working.

    So like someone invensting money into a stock or share, they are not doing any work but making money.

    That is ok, that is normal, what is the difference of that to a musician, 'investing' his money into stocks and shares of HIS SONG, and making a profit off it, because people like his work and want his product.

    So you entire system its totally flawed, its has not worked historically, and it shows NO signs for working better than the existing system, that is THE LAW..

    So talk all you like, it makes no difference, few if anyone is listening to you.. and even less are agreeing with you...

     

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  232.  
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    darryl, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 9:41pm

    Your not paid for 'man hours'.

    Im an electronics specialist, I run my own busines, I work on contract for the military and NATO.

    Ive spent 30+ years studying and working hard to know electronics and systems engineering.

    When Im called in to fix a bit of miltary equipment, I am called in on a fixed price for system restoration.

    IE, it does not matter to them if it takes me a day or a minute to get it going as long as I do.

    (actually they would care very much if it took a day).

    They want their equipment working, so if I go in there and it takes me 5 minutes to sort out the problem, I write them a bill for $800 and they pay it without a worry.

    They do not care how long it takes me, they are not paying for my 5 minutes it takes to sort out the problem, they are paying me for my skills and knowledge that I have gained over YEARS OF WORK.

    This applies to all fields and industries, you are usually paid for what you CAN DO as much as what you DO DO.

    Just because it takes me only 5 minutes to earn $800, that 5 minutes is backed up by years and years of hard work acquiring the skills necessary to do the job in 5 minutes.

    Actors, engineers, musicians, composers, writers are all the same, they are rewarded for their skills and abilities not for their 'man hours'.

    The fact you guys cannot seem to understand that fundamental aspect of human existance means that your idea's are very skewed and that is the reason why your 'plans' are contrary to the law. With little or no hope for any significant change.

    Why not jump on a bandwagon that is actually going somewhere ?


    Why would someone work hard all their lives to gain skills that are of value, to allow someone else who has done NOTHING to gain off those skills and hard work.

    Do you really think those people will bother creating hit songs or inventions if there is no reward for their work ?

    WHY dont you state the full copyright preamble, instead of the 'advance the art' snippet.

    Which is so misleading, (is that why !!!)..


    State the ENTIRE PREAMBLE if you dare... LOL..

     

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  233.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Your not paid for 'man hours'.

    But both hit songs and inventions were made before copyright/patent law existed, and even then it was possible to get paid for such work.


    I can understand feeling entitled to get paid for the initial act of creativity, but why should artists be able to collect monopoly rents for copies they did not manufacture?

     

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    Jay (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 10:45pm

    Re: Your not paid for 'man hours'.

    The "man hours" of a trade laborer such as yourself, and a musician are different. How you can equate the two is beyond me.

    It's like saying a scientist and an engineer are two of the same. You know full well, they both apply similar principles, that still doesn't mean you get to call one the other.

    The skill of a musician is usually about new performances. Sometimes you have a popular song that does quite well such as JRB. But what you're ignoring is that time marches on and people ask for the new stuff. The old songs can be forgotten unless they are made new and kept in the conscious eye. This doesn't happen without societal help. Copyright laws do more to impede this progress than to really help.

    Finally, you're flat out wrong about copyright being an incentive. If it were, we would be able to discuss Ernest Hemingway without his estate getting in the way. We would be able to talk about music before the 20s that copyright is impeding upon.

    Instead, we still know more about Shakespeare and Marlowe than Tyler Perry's work. All because we can't discuss Tyler Perry in any way unless we want to pay him some inordinate amount.

     

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    Karl (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 11:43pm

    Re:

    First, you should understand why copyright exists. Copyright is an incentive, granted by society, to get artists to produce more works, which will (after a short time) enter the public domain.

    In other words, it is a voluntary suspension of society's property rights, to ensure that society benefits in the long run. If copyright laws doesn't serve this purpose, then they're bad laws.

    If Brown's copyrighted material continues to earn money after he dies,then his heirs deserve the money earned from them. That is, if Brown left the rights to his copyrights to his family.

    This does not serve to get his works into the public domain. Nor is it likely to incentivize the creation of new works. So, according to the Constitution, you're wrong.

    Now, that does NOT mean that his heirs would have to stop publishing Brown's works, or that they couldn't make money from them. Lots of people sell public domain material all the time. It just means that they couldn't prevent others from also publishing those works.

    If Brown's songs are played on radio, television and are covered and sampled by other artist who make money with them, Brown is owed money. Period. Even after he dies.

    You may believe this, but the Constitution disagrees. It is not the purpose of copyright to ensure compensation for artists. It is to ensure the growth of public domain works.

    As far I know, he asked the website owner to take down his sheet music. Nothing else.

    One thing I will give Brown is that, wrong-headed as I think he is, at least he contacted the users (not the site owners) directly, rather than going for his lawyers. That is the proper way to settle these things, I think.

    It doesn't matter if he didn't say all the right things, it's his work. It doesn't matter if he lost money or not. He didn't want it on the website.

    Hold on... first you make it all about money ("Brown is owed money. Period"). Now it doesn't matter if he lost money, because it's about approval. Those are not, at all, the same thing. Which do you think it should be?

    If you do believe it's about approval, then you must be against statutory royalties. For those rates are set by the government (mechanical royalties) or a collection agency (performance royalties) - not by the artists. And if you pay them, you can perform that material, even against the artist's wishes.

    And of course you must not believe in fair use, because this use is absolutely outside of his control.

    But what about mass copying? The kind that is done with Limewire and other p2p services? What is an artist to do? Not all artists are multi-millionares.

    Because we're still living under the remnants of a "lottery system" for art, then if an artist isn't a multi-millionaire, he's likely making little or no money at all from his copyright. (Brown appears to be an exception, and good for him.) For artists such as this, obscurity is a far bigger problem than piracy.

    So, if he wants to make money, he should view this mass copying as something he can exploit commercially. (It wouldn't hurt if the multi-millionares had this attitude, too.)

    That is, in fact, what tons of underground and mid-level musicians are doing already. The ones that are suffering from mass copying are the ones whose income is controlled by the reproduction industry.

     

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    Karl (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 12:22am

    Re:

    The Supreme Court in Eldred said that the "to promote the progress" preamble is not a substantive limit on Congress' legislative power.

    That is not at all what Eldred said. The Supreme Court simply decided that retroactive copyright extensions are not unconstitutional, provided they are also "for limited times."

    The issue of "impeding progress" (harm to the public domain) wasn't even raised - much to Lessig's regret:

    There were two points in this argument when I should have seen where the court was going. The first was a question by Kennedy, who observed,
    Well, I suppose implicit in the argument that the '76 act, too, should have been declared void, and that we might leave it alone because of the disruption, is that for all these years the act has impeded progress in science and the useful arts. I just don't see any empirical evidence for that.

    Here follows my clear mistake. Like a professor correcting a student, I answered,
    Justice, we are not making an empirical claim at all. Nothing in our copyright clause claim hangs upon the empirical assertion about impeding progress. Our only argument is, this is a structural limit necessary to assure that what would be an effectively perpetual term not be permitted under the copyright laws.

    That was a correct answer, but it wasn't the right answer. The right answer was to say that there was an obvious and profound harm. Any number of briefs had been written about it. Kennedy wanted to hear it. And here was where Don Ayer's advice should have mattered. This was a softball; my answer was a swing and a miss.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 12:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I recognize it's kind of pointless to respond to Darryl -- as I've tried to engage him multiple times and he has never, not once, actually responded to my points -- but I did want to make one point for anyone playing the economics game at home:

    As yet Mike or ANY one else has been able to show me one single 'infinite goods', or to show how that would work, and how that 'infinite good' is going to effect DEMAND.

    Sure, you can 'sort of have' an excessive supply (not infinite), but if the damand is lower than supply,, then WHAT IS THE POINT..

    YOU have more of an item, than people want, supply exceeds demand, and you think

    "OK, Supply has exceeded demand, so well fix that by increasing SUPPLY".


    Smart business practice that.. lets make supply exceed demand and promote it as a good thing..


    Darryl here is confusing "quantity supplied" with "supply." I've explained this to him before, but for others, it may be useful. When economists talk about "supply" that is not the "quantity supplied" as Darryl falsely insists. "Supply" is the overall *curve* over all the quantities supplied at different price points.

    Darryl, rather than understanding this, pretends that when we are talking about supply, we are talking about *quantity supplied* rather than the overall curve.

    That's a fundamental mistake.

    An infinite good is one where it does not matter the price, the quantity supplied remains infinite -- thus it is a flat curve.

    1.What are and where are the 'infinite goods'.


    Generally speaking, they are anything that is considered non-excludable and non-rivalrous.

    2. what would making supply exceed demand improve your market?


    I'm not quite sure what this question is even asking, but if you happen to be in a business where supply *IS* (it's got nothing to do with "making" it this way) infinite, then it can absolutely improve your market if you focus on selling the things that your infinite good makes more valuable.

    You dont like the system, so you intend to screw the artists. Nice..


    Bizarre statement, considering how much time we spend helping musicians make more money than they could before. Darryl, please refrain from such statements in the future.

    The 'system' you are proposing has NEVER historically worked, it DOES NOT work for open source for example.


    Funny, then, that it is working.

    So talk all you like, it makes no difference, few if anyone is listening to you.. and even less are agreeing with you...

    Keep telling yourself that.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 12:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Notwithstanding my point above that the Supreme Court has held that "to promote the progress" is not a substantive limit on Congress' legislative power nor is it a grant of power in its own right

    First of all, I do not believe that is true. You mention the Eldred case, which did not specifically address the preamble. Anyway, in turn, I would ask of you, if "to promote the progress" is not a substantive limit on Congress' legislative powers, then why is it included?

    Frankly, Joe, it scares me to no end that you are studying to be a copyright lawyer, and you don't think "promote the progress" matters.

    I'm curious what you think "to promote the progress" means and why you think that. Assuming you think your interpretation is the correct one, I'm curious why you think that too.

    I've answered this question many times. Promote the progress is to create the greatest economic opportunity possible.

    Do you really not know the arguments for this? They are easy to look up.


    I know the arguments that folks make. I am asking if anyone can explain any one that makes sense. The ones given to date do not make any sense.

    Copyright is most certainly about artists' rights.

    No, actually, it's not. Again, it's worrisome that you think they are.

    To say otherwise it is to be disingenuous.

    Being accurate and truthful is never disingenuous.

    It's pretty simple: creative people are induced to create by granting them property rights in their creative works

    This is incorrect in so many ways. What you meant to say is that, "the theory is that creative people may be induced to create by giving them a gov't granted monopoly privilege in their creative expression place in a fixed form."

    Of course, the ultimate purpose of copyright is to benefit the public good, but it does so by recognizing rights in the artist for a limited time.

    Again, the THEORY is that these rights benefit the public good. Reality, tragically, shows the opposite.

    You love to point out the ends, but you seem to gloss over the means.

    Not at all. I've discussed the theory tons. Just because you just found this website a month ago, do not make an assumption that we have not discussed these issues before.

    The theory behind copyright is well known. The problem is that the reality does not match up with the theory, which is why we focus on the "promoting the progress" clause. If the reality does not live up to the theory, and progress is not promoted, then, as the founders made clear, such monopoly rights are simply not valid.

    In the meantime, I'm curious if you would like to defend the idea of granting monopolies that hinder progress?

     

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  239.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 12:44am

    Re: Your not paid for 'man hours'.

    Just because it takes me only 5 minutes to earn $800, that 5 minutes is backed up by years and years of hard work acquiring the skills necessary to do the job in 5 minutes.

    The problem Darryl is that you have scarce skills that have Military application. This is not duplicatable in the private sector. If the consultants could suck methodology out of your brain, they would. But you're shielded from the realities of the private sector because of your military expertise. Many people with the letters "MBA" behind their name will maintain their position as long as it successfully "normalizes workflow" as professed in academic realm.

    When it comes to Techdirt, they like to suck your ideas. In this, I remain troubled because I haven't seen Mike take the same approach to normalizing commentary in an MBA manner I would apply.

    So with the advent of tech, many are let go by a continual focus on profit and profit margins. In your situation, face it, you're called in as a last resort. There are multiple levels and technicians that are called before you are, you just don't see it.

    Secondly, in Military, profit is not the core motivator, so words like "normalizing workflow" are not typically used. In the private sector, companies can issue a "PR Release" this is a luxury the Military doesn't have.

    This applies to all fields and industries, you are usually paid for what you CAN DO as much as what you DO DO.

    Again, no. Maybe this was true even as little as a decade ago, it's not the case today. I have a friend who is a musician and he's solely paid on when he plays. Granted, he has a 30 year reputation to maintain, but at the end of the day, he is paid on a per-hour basis. He toured the world for ten years.

    Why would someone work hard all their lives to gain skills that are of value, to allow someone else who has done NOTHING to gain off those skills and hard work.

    I wonder about that all the time. Have you read "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword‎"?

     

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  240.  
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    Karl (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 12:50am

    Re: Entitlement

    I think the following memes that have been injected into our society, specifically into artists, are "entitlement", "originality", and "individualism".

    I disagree 100%. The first one is bad of course, but as far as artists are concerned it's not "entitlement," so much as it is a mindset that comes from a long history of publishers, labels, and studios ripping them off.

    Originality is still a very good thing. Diversity cannot exist without it. It's not, however, connected to copying (at least not in the copyright sense). Some of the most original artists I know sample other artists.

    Likewise with individualism. The opposite of "individualism" is not "collectivism," it's "slavery." If you're like most people, you just have to wash the taste of Ayn Rand out of your mouth. (I suggest Early Times and PBR.)

    I think this article does a great job of highlighting some of the basic contradictions found in the existing system of copyrighting material.

    I don't think copyright is filled with contradictions by nature. It's just outdated, made for a time when copying had to be a commercial enterprise. And when unlawful copying is a commercial enterprise, copyright does still make some sense. It's just being mis-applied, shoehorned into a society where it no longer belongs.

    But on that point, I'm just nitpicking.

     

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    Karl (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 1:08am

    Re: Copyright.

    Leaving aside the obvious flaws in your arguments ("theft is theft"), let's look at this:

    it is really very simple.Its just that people that want to benefit from other peoples creativity can think up 1000 reasons to justify their theft of others creativity.

    That mindset perfectly describes James Watt, the "inventor" of the steam engine. He took many of his ideas from someone else (William Murdoch), and was a notorious patent troll - so much so, that he set back the development of steam-powered trains by 50 years.

    On the other hand, early U.S. industries "stole" ideas from foreign countries all the time (since patents were only available to U.S. citizens).

    So, no, patents didn't create "the Technological quality of life that we have today." They inhibited it.

     

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    cc (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 1:25am

    Re: Your not paid for 'man hours'.

    A skilled artist will have a bigger following than an unskilled artist, and thus will have a better chance of monetising her art.

    I don't see how that should entitle anyone to a monopoly on recordings of their work.

     

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  243.  
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    Karl (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 1:31am

    Re: Copyright

    By copying music we [...] take the copyrights owner's opportunity to license that music away from him.

    That is utterly ridiculous. No matter how much piracy occurs, you can still license your music. You can still sell it. No amount of file sharing will remove your ability to sell your art. It cannot. Even if copyright was abolished completely, you would still have the right to sell your art.

    For example, CC licenses are copyrights. They are also non-exclusive copyrights. That means that you can release music under a CC license, but still work out a deal with a corporation (label, advertiser, broadcaster, whatever) where they pay for the rights to your music.

    This is something people say all the time, and it really bugs the shit out of me.

    The only thing that can possibly take that right away is copyright law.

    The huge flaw in all the arguments for copying is the assumption that our right to use this music is greater than the right of the copyright owner to legally control the use of that music. It isn't.

    Unless you read the Constitution. Which says, pretty clearly, that it is.

    According to Jefferson and Madison, the public's right to copy is a property right - which is a natural right. Copyright is a statutory right - granted to authors by the public. In exchange, the public eventually gets a larger public domain, which is the whole point.

    You have your opinion, and it is a widely held opinion. It is just not the opinion of the Founding Fathers.

     

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    Karl (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 1:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just like a welder, you work 8 hrs a day at it, make sure that you know what you are doing, choose your employer (and there are many) wisely, and live with the fact that you don't always like your boss, and some days you don't like your job.

    I don't know where you live, but outside of L.A. or Seattle (Musak), this won't guarantee you an income as a musician. It's a lot harder to earn money as a musician than it is to be a welder.

    Feel free to prove me wrong. I'd really like the work.

     

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    Karl (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 1:48am

    Re:

    Yeah, I was going to comment, but I doubt it would do any good.

    What he doesn't realize is that he's asking his neighbors to please stop giving away their screwdrivers. (And if they don't, sue them.)

     

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  246.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 1:52am

    Re: Your not paid for 'man hours'.

    After that rant then you have nothing against people being paid to perform their art and being paid, which is not what people are complaining, you don't get a check for done last year do you? and people would laugh hard if you tried to get money from work done half a century before and I doubt you can exclude anyone from the trade that perform the exact function you do, could you stop another engineer from fixing anything?

    You are just dumb, for real :)

     

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  247.  
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    Karl (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 2:13am

    Re: Your not paid for 'man hours'.

    What you're describing is "work for hire."

    "Work for hire" artists usually do not make any money whatsoever from copyright royalties.

    In your job, it would be like getting paid a penny every time the equipment you fixed was used.

    Why aren't you charging that royalty? Aren't you outraged by those NATO officials who have "done NOTHING to gain off those skills and hard work"?

    WHY dont you state the full copyright preamble, instead of the 'advance the art' snippet.

    Here it is in full. I've broken it down to outline form for readability, and added my own notations in square brackets:

    The Congress shall have the Power: [Note that this right is granted to Congress, not to authors or inventors]

    • To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts [the ONLY purpose of copyright]

    • by securing for limited Times [limited, to grow the public domain]

    • to Authors and Inventors [theoretically; this "right" is assignable, so Authors and Inventors can be deprived of it by contract]

    • the exclusive Right [the right to exclude others]

    • to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

    Good enough?

     

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  248.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 2:16am

    Observations

    I liked Karl until he went bat shit insane and posted six things in the span of an hour.

    But I think these are things that Karl wanted to re-iterate. Just poorly executed timing by Masnick.

     

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  249.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 2:17am

    Re: Observations

    Oh he posted another, so I guess it's seven.

     

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  250.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 2:26am

    Dear Karl

    Many of us love you, but please tell us that you've been working on these comments since Friday because you're probably freaking a lot of people out because we think you should be working for a Think Tank or someone on the Congressional Oversight Committee.

    XOXOXOXOX

    AC

     

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  251.  
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    cc (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 2:35am

    Re: Dear Karl

    Dear Coward,

    What the hell is wrong with you?

    Love and kisses
    cc

     

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  252.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 2:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know where you live, but outside of L.A. or Seattle (Musak), this won't guarantee you an income as a musician. It's a lot harder to earn money as a musician than it is to be a welder.

    Mainly because (relative to the demand) more people want to be professional musicians than want to be welders. The more desirable a job is the tougher it will be to get - especially in fields where not that many workers are needed.

    My first career choice was to be a theoretical physicist but I ran into the same problem - so now I teach/research in Computing - where the demand is higher.

     

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  253.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 2:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Open source and FOSS has been around for over 20 years, and it is certainly not a market or technology leader.


    Really?

    http://www.infoworld.com/t/open-source-applications/open-source-innovation-the -cutting-edge-732

    Open source is even making medicine can you believe that?

    Home production of microchips? it could become a reality since a girl have produced the first DIY microchip ever.

    But FOSS is just a fad right?

     

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  254.  
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    Any Mouse, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 2:50am

    Re: Re: Re: songs

    There is a single seller. You. No one else is selling it. Everyone else is helping YOU sell it. That publisher demanding half? That's a middleman.

    I'd also like to point out that just because you are unlikely to earn profits doing it all yourself does not mean that others will face the same outcome.

    One last thing, that's off the topic in this particular thread, yet it's been annoying me. People complaining about the audio quality of MP3's. Learn what a freaking BITRATE is. You buy low bitrate recording, you're getting crap, and it's your own fault. Don't blame the friggin MP3!

     

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    Dr Huge (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 4:21am

    Re: theft

    @Richard:

    "Copying does NOT prevent him from making money. It merely removes a specific SALE from his revenue stream"

    This is true, but doesn't removing the sale from the revenue stream have the same effect? I mean, if the copy can only be obtained by making an authorised purchase, then allowing a copy without the purchase reduces the *probability* of a sale, surely ... it just seems a little like technical hair-splitting to argue this way.

    It's far more constructive to argue that without the free copies being available, less potential purchasers would know about the track's availability and thus less likely to buy anyway. That has been Corey Smith's experience. Or that without the free copies, potential supporters are less likely to be aware that the artist exists, which is more up our alley ...

    But the essence of your comment is spot on. Well said.

     

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  256.  
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    Karl (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Observations

    Sorry. When I get in a mood, sometimes I go a bit overboard.

     

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  257.  
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    jduhls, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Entitlement

    I agree with your nitpicks. Perhaps I would feel better about saying something like:

    There has been too much emphasis on "originality" and "individualism" and, by their very definitions, exclude history - or, at least, I believe these parts of the definition have been played heavily. So trying to create AND trying to ACTIVELY exclude history and past experience is not HONEST creation, in my not-so-humble opinion. So this meme along with the "lottery" meme created by the existing copyright system, which convinces many artists that being creative for a living is a lottery and so don't bother being creative at all. In conclusion, this is what is hurting art and culture.

    I must confess, this is quite a leap:
    "The opposite of "individualism" is not "collectivism," it's "slavery."" This is just reactionary. We are all born the same, regardless of fortune or misfortune and there's nothing wrong with that. It's our personal histories and experiences that make us individuals, right? But along that same line of thought, it's our SHARED histories and experiences that make us a community. To acknowledge that does not make one a "slave". Anyone can be a "slave" to ANY meme, including "individualism without acknowledgement of history". You clearly demonstrated this with your statement:

    "...it is a mindset that comes from a long history of publishers, labels, and studios ripping them off."

    Copyright is, in fact, a contradiction. Follow the simple logic/reality: anyone can have an idea, therefore, no one can own the "right" to that idea. The copyrighting industry and the plutocrats are gonna need thought police, soon, if they want to protect their assets. And I don't think that's gonna go over will with the 5+ billion poor folks who are all having the same idea that they're tired of watching plutocrats enjoy yachts, destroy ecosystems, and rip people off when they can easily have that idea, too. It's just that the 5+ billion folks who are having this thought are 500 billion times more ethical than the plutocrats.

     

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  258.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 6:58am

    Another thing that bothers me is the fact that copyrighted content is what occupies the govt imposed monopolized distribution channels (ie: cableco and broadcasting).

    It's one thing if a private restaurant, barber shop, grocery store, or other private venue plays copyright music. But when copyright music occupies public airwaves (airwaves that should belong to the public and be used for the public good), airwaves that everyone has an inherit right to freely listen to and record and transmit information over without govt approval, that copyright music necessarily takes away from spectra that could be used to play public domain or copyleft music. It's unacceptable that the govt can prevent me from using public spectra to distribute any work if I choose to make any and to prevent me from copying whatever work is distributed on those public spectra at the same time. A govt imposed monopoly on both the content and the distribution channel is unacceptable because it restricts the rights of the public to freely copy that which should be freely copyable and it restricts the ability of artists to distribute copyleft licensed music (since that spectra is being taken by copyright music, there is a limited amount of spectra, and so that copyright music necessarily has to displace whatever else can take its place).

     

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    average_joe (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    First of all, I do not believe that is true. You mention the Eldred case, which did not specifically address the preamble. Anyway, in turn, I would ask of you, if "to promote the progress" is not a substantive limit on Congress' legislative powers, then why is it included?

    Frankly, Joe, it scares me to no end that you are studying to be a copyright lawyer, and you don't think "promote the progress" matters.


    I didn't say that I don't think it matters. There is no reason to be scared or to put words in my mouth. Besides, whatever I personally think about the theory of copyright really won't matter much in the IP litigation setting--I'll be arguing for whatever interpretation helps my client. I was simply stating my interpretation of the Court's holding in Eldred. The lower courts did specifically hold that "to promote the progress" was preambular and not a substantive limit on Congress' legislative powers. Eldred et al. conceded as much to the D.C. Circuit. It is true that the Court did not explicitly state the same, but their interpretation of "to promote the progress" was so broad that it renders it meaningless as a practical limitation, IMO. Justice Stevens seems to agree. In his dissent he said, "[f]airly read, the Court has stated that Congress' actions under the Copyright/Patent Clause are, for all intents and purposes, judicially unreviewable." Personally, I think that "to promote the progress" should be interpreted broadly, though I do think that broad interpretation tends to make it meaningless as a practical matter.

    I've answered this question many times. Promote the progress is to create the greatest economic opportunity possible.

    Thanks for sharing that. My other questions, which you didn't answer, were really the things I'm interested in. Why do you think that? And if you think your interpretation is the correct one, then why do you think so?

    I know the arguments that folks make. I am asking if anyone can explain any one that makes sense. The ones given to date do not make any sense.

    OK, good. I'm glad you know the arguments that are being made. I'm curious why you don't find them compelling.

    No, actually, it's not. Again, it's worrisome that you think they are.

    I can't imagine why it's so worrisome that I think copyright is partially about artists' rights. Of course it is. I'm curious how you could think otherwise. 17 U.S.C. § 106 lays out what these rights are.

    Being accurate and truthful is never disingenuous.

    That's true in general, but you aren't being accurate and truthful, so that doesn't really apply here.

    This is incorrect in so many ways. What you meant to say is that, "the theory is that creative people may be induced to create by giving them a gov't granted monopoly privilege in their creative expression place in a fixed form."

    Nope. I stand by my statement. You can say and think what you want, but don't put words in my mouth and tell me what I meant to say. The exclusive rights are delineated in 17 U.S.C. § 106.

    Perhaps you should reread my Supreme Court quote from above:

    "The economic philosophy behind the clause empowering Congress to grant patents and copyrights is the conviction that encouragement of individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance public welfare through the talents of authors and inventors in ‘Science and useful Arts.’ Sacrificial days devoted to such creative activities deserve rewards commensurate with the services rendered." Mazer v. Stein, 347 U.S. 201, 219 (1954).

    Again, the THEORY is that these rights benefit the public good. Reality, tragically, shows the opposite.

    That is certainly debatable. It depends on your point of view. Lots of rational people disagree with you, myself included.

    Not at all. I've discussed the theory tons. Just because you just found this website a month ago, do not make an assumption that we have not discussed these issues before.

    The theory behind copyright is well known. The problem is that the reality does not match up with the theory, which is why we focus on the "promoting the progress" clause. If the reality does not live up to the theory, and progress is not promoted, then, as the founders made clear, such monopoly rights are simply not valid.


    I don't make that assumption. My point was that you seem to frequently talk about your narrow interpretation of "to promote the progress" and you tend to leave the rest of the clause out, i.e. the part about granting exclusive rights to artists. I think it's interesting that you think the reality doesn't match up the theory, but so far I'm not convinced. By the way, my interest in this is academic, and I'm trying to understand all sides of the debate. I'm not here to convince others of my point of view.

    In the meantime, I'm curious if you would like to defend the idea of granting monopolies that hinder progress?

    I'm not really sure what you mean.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 7:06am

    Re:

    Copyright music or content should never occupy public airwaves and it should never even occupy a govt imposed monopolized cableco infrastructure.

    If the cableco infrastructure were open to free competition then it makes more sense to allow copyright content on it because anyone is then free to start their own cable company anywhere they wish, offer any copyleft or copyright content that they wish (that content creators are willing to have distributed on their infrastructure) and customers are free to subscribe to the cable companies services. If one cable company only offers copyright content and the public wants copyleft content they will create demand for cable companies that offer copyleft content and the market will naturally adapt. But the current market can't adapt because the government won't allow it.

     

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    Michael, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "In the meantime, I'm curious if you would like to defend the idea of granting monopolies that hinder progress?

    I'm not really sure what you mean."

    Ok, what he is talking about here is the idea that progress is also hindered by the copyright monopolies. Take, for example, the simple idea of sampling. Lately, artists have been unable to produce works based on sampling other works without tripping over copyright. Now, you can argue that the original creator should get paid - that's fine - say I agree, but then copyright has granted rights to the original artist that hinder the new artist. How does that work with promoting the progress - on one side of the equation, it prevented a work from being created.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Personally, I think that "to promote the progress" should be interpreted broadly"

    Your personal opinion really has little bearing on reality.

    "And if you think your interpretation is the correct one, then why do you think so?"

    Based on many of the other writings of the founding fathers, that the purpose should be in the public interest. It's disingenuous to ignore the context of the constitution to make your own personal interpretations of it.

    "I'm curious why you don't find them compelling."

    Which argument are you referring to?

    "I can't imagine why it's so worrisome that I think copyright is partially about artists' rights. Of course it is. I'm curious how you could think otherwise. 17 U.S.C. § 106 lays out what these rights are."

    The constitution supersedes the U.S.C. and the purpose of copyright as stated in the constitution is about the public good. It should not be about having the government ensure some business model for anyone, that's a business model issue and it's the job of each artist to find a business model that works for them without the governments help. If copyright is bad for the public then it should be abolished, if your benefit from copyright causes a net public harm then your making your money by harming the public. You shouldn't be allowed to make money by harming the public, if you want society to give you something for your work then your contributions for what you receive in return should be a net positive to the rest society, not a net negative. If copyright is harming the public good then its contributions, and the contributions of those that benefit from it, are a net negative and your use of copyright isn't doing anything beneficial to society to deserve anything in return. You get something in return for contributing to social welfare, not by reducing the contributions to social welfare via the existence of copyright.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 7:28am

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

    then you're making your money *

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re:

    OK, so tl;dr, but I have to disagree with this:

    And, no, the ratio of fixed to marginal cost of music, books, music, poetry, Mickey Mouse and so on is not close to or anywhere near infinity. Nowhere near it.

    The fixed cost is something, and the marginal cost of another copy is essentially zero, which would lead to a ratio approaching infinity.

     

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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 10:17am

    Re: centuries

    "So, in practical terms, about 170 years, which does not equal centuries, plural." English is not a strong point of yours I take it? 170 years is 1.7 CENTURIES - yes it is very much plural - it's more than one century!

     

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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: a couple more things...

    "Heard any good music lately? Wonder why not?"

    Yes I have and it was ALL free - much of it came directly from the artists themselves!!

    Try http://shuffler.fm - pick your genre and listen away for free - that's right FREE! I don't have to download or copy a damn thing either! I just simply bookmark the songs I really like and I even email those links to my kids if I think they will also enjoy the song.

     

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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 10:44am

    Re: Satan

    The boogeyman, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus have all assured me throughout my life that the Devil will not harm me. I'm just as likely to believe my cast of imaginary friends as you are to believe yours.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    @ Richard

    "more people want to be professional musicians than want to be welders"

    Really? Is that just a personal opinion or some kind of fact that you can back up?

    You say you are a teacher, teaching computing. So I assume you have never personally looked for work as a musician. I have.

    I lived in Montreal, Canada at the time, which is just a medium sized city with no particular claim to being a center for music like LA or NYC.

    Your statement makes me think of the many people who minimizes the amount of hard work it takes to become a professional musician. After you just pick up a guitar and play it, right? So therefore everybody is interested in doing it, right?

    From where I sit, that takes the "professional" out of "professional musician".

    Are there more people who fantasize about becoming a rock star than there are who fantasize about becoming a welder - yes I would easily believe that to be true.

    But I'm not talking about fantasy. The reality is that training to be a professional musician takes many hours of dedicated practice, and a whole lot of gumption. More than most people *really* want to have to do.

    A basic welding training course takes about 80 hours. All of the training necessary to achieve AWS Certified Welder Status can be achieved in less than six months, a good welder can reasonably expect to make $40-60/yr or over $25/hr.

    Most musicians require *years* - not months - of training, and start to earn money much later.

    So I do not believe that there are many more people who are truly serious about becoming a professional musician and put in the time and effort than there are people who are serious about becoming welders. There are well over 500,000 welders in the US, and there are less than 100,000 union musicians.

    (So yes from that point of view *becoming* a professional musician is harder than *becoming* a professional welder.)

    But once the entry fee has been paid, once you have achieved the professional status, the jobs are there. There are quite a few different places to earn a living a musician if one is willing to approach it as a job and not as a pastime or artistic endeavor.

    So unless you have worked as musician, or done a serious study, I would not think that you are really qualified to promote a credible opinion on how easy it is or is not to earn a living as a professional.

    My opinion is not terribly scientific, but at least it is based on some amount of real world experience.

    So if what you mean to say is that more people fantasize idly about being a rock star, sure I grant you that. I never said otherwise.

    What I said - and what I do not believe you have convincingly proved otherwise - is that it is not much harder to earn a living playing music than it is to earn a living at any other profession.

    @Karl
    You are an "noise" musician. I am not sure what that is. But assuming you are amateur and might like to go pro...

    Well, for starters I would say: give up the programming and web development, it sucking valuable practice time away from you. Woodshed till you can play seven different musical styles in your sleep. Know your intervals, learn how to transpose reasonably well, make sure you can sight read. Master the art of not playing (know when to stop for an instant, sometimes silence is golden, only Phil Spector wants a wall of sound).

    Then once you have the basic professional competencies, to get work:

    low-hanging fruit is to enroll in the armed forces (particularly the Air Force if you wish to avoid front-line duty), I seriously considered it, good steady pay, travel, camaraderie, educational benefits to name just a few of the benefits.

    I could also suggest that you join the AFM (if have not already) and seek work with either an orchestra or, if you absolutely do not want to play classical music, local television stations for steady a steady gig, or seek employment as a music teacher, or put together a kick-ass cover band and you will also get pretty steady employment - if you are good - Boston area is a pretty place for live music. Cruise ships are *always* looking for good musicians who can sight read, there are numerous resort hotels around the country that a decent wage for a house piano player.

    Just as a start.

     

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    Adam Wasserman (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 10:51am

    That was me up there

    Sorry all, I did not mean to be anonymous, I thought I was logged in when I clicked Submit. :(

     

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    Adam Wasserman (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright

    That is one of the offered proofs: that nowhere can be found examples of music-less societies.

    Even if the best people can muster if is banging two spoons together, or slapping their thighs, or playing a washboard, or using their voices - then that is what they do.

    These two authors (and I am sure they are not the only ones) maintain that music is so essential that special highly specific areas of the brain exist for the sole purpose of processing music which is rare (very very few parts of the brain are as site specific as pitch processing sites, most brain function is regionalized and somewhat plastic) and that humans will create music by *any* means available rather than live without it.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Re: minimal

    Let's go back here.

    We humans buy music, not licenses.

    I wasn't commenting, one way or another, on law rather what we humans do in reality.

    If I don't like the music I'm not likely to buy a "license" am I? Ergo I'm buying the music with, under law, the secondary baggage of a license to actually listen to it. Or maybe not depending on the mood Mojo Bone is in or MCA, Warner, Polygram, Sony and so on are in.

    Being human should I find the license unreasonably cumbersome I'll do what I damned well please with it. Burn a copy for my car, remix with other music I like for my mp3 player (yes, I know the sonic equivalent of compressed trash), play it at some event for my church in honour of someone and so on. In this last case despite it being off-license, let us say, it may actually sell one or two more CDs. It often does.

    "for personal use, which includes, I kid you not, sharing, in some limited ways, with your friends." Not at all familiar with Canadian copyright law are you? And the fact that in the case stated above it's a public performance of the music which, last time I looked, required a payment to someone like CAPAC, ASCAP or BMI which I've failed to do.

    "No person or entity has such a perpetual monopoly; what the law grants to the author is a limited monopoly."

    One that under current law can extend to 170 years or so and counting; nowhere but up. You also ignore the minor fact that unless you're a well known, top selling novelist or musician you end up signing your copyright away to the publisher, rights collection 'collectives' and so on and, depending on their mood, may never see much more dime of it.

    In some cases the creator can end up actually owing one or more of these generous agencies money!

    The point I'm making is that the argument about copyright as it stands is less about what the person who creates it gets than about the uncomfortable fact that most of it goes to anyone BUT the creator.

    "What the law specifically excludes, is setting up a server with tens of thousands of music files, and giving them away while charging $ for advertisers on your site."

    Outside of the fact that file sharing sites rarely, if ever, store the music on their servers what they do is store torrent files of a few hundred KB length. Nor do the sites themselves give the songs away. Or torrent files, for example, for hundreds or thousands of other perfectly legitimate and unarguably legal uses.

    Should the advertising money earned be the problem then that's another problem with another solution rather than the "where I need a fly swatter I'll rather use the equivalent of the USS Kentucky's entire nuclear arsenal".

    You still haven't refuted the central point that all humans are creative by nature so why a select group should be granted monopoly protection over creations that borrow, lift, plagiarize and outright steal from other's creations including all that came before them in their field.

    We all create but it's arguable that any of us create anything that is totally, completely unique and original. What we do create is a riff on something(s) that came before and express it differently. This applies to all human activities.

    What you wish to protect is a system, as it's currently functioning, that protects only the "middle man" in a technological culture that is rapidly losing it's need for the middle man. And it's desire to reward that middle man for the creations of someone else up to about 170 years (assuming one could write "A Day In The Life" seconds after birth) or longer with a monopoly. The reference to the length increasing is because that is the aim of the "middle man" if not the creator themselves.

    What you wish to protect is a collection of industries that have grown up around and feed off the creations of others, there's no other way of describing the recording industry and increasingly publishing industry, while returning to the vast majority of them a pittance if anything. In short the "middle man".

    These industries have nothing at all to do with the impulse to create, in fact, they often appear to block it, though defenders such as yourself will insist that they have everything to do with the impulse to create.

    If remittance directly to the creator is a problem then that's what we need to address for the good of the creator not the good of a long list of "middle men" between the creator and those who enjoy the creations who are no longer technologically required and who no longer have the confidence of those wishing to enjoy said creations to do so fairly for both the creators and themselves, not to mention the broader culture.

    As for resale there have been moves by these self same "middle men" to find a way to collect on that too both in ACTA and in the current proposed revisions to Canadian copyright.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 11:22am

    Re: Plots

    Plots and stories are two different things. Please don't confuse them.

    And I do believe it's a skill with value. Huge societal value otherwise before publishing we humans wouldn't have gathered around those who could develop, tell and enhance the stories as they moved from village to village, city to city telling them or playing the music. All without Polygram or Random House!

    I've done more than try it, I've done it and continue to. Nothing officially published because in the areas I do it in I consider it morally abhorrent to add a copyright to most of them and should I it's a version of Creative Commons.

    Yeah, it's hard. Then anything worth it is, right? You get out what you put in, right?

    BTW, I think the number 55 for complete stores is a little low but I'll accept your figure.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: lets see

    So if I buy a CD can I play it in my bar? No. If I buy a MP3 from iTunes can I play it on my Zune HD? No. If I buy a copy of Windows 7, realize I don't want to want it and remove it from my computer, can I sell it to someone else? NO.

    Because I don't have property rights in those examples I have a license to use them. They are not real property and should not be treated like they are!

    Cursing just degrades your argument and makes you sound stupid.

    BTW: Which middle eastern countries cut off body parts for illegal media files?

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Oh, please

    Law, both criminal and civil, in a free society exists at the pleasure of and to the tolerance of that society. That is one of the pillars of a free society and has been central in the development of law courts independent of government.

    We see this in action in the American DCMA in the, hopefully stillborn , Bill C-32 before the Canadian House of Commons right now, in revisions to Criminal Codes, court rulings (precedence) and so on.

    None of this means that once a law or legal concept has passed its time that it is guaranteed to continue into perpetuity. Well, the Hollywood lobbies and their allies in other countries might like that to be the case but that doesn't justify it.

    None of this means that current copyright (or patent) laws need to remain as they are and protect who they protect in future. It's only marginally arguable that creators are protected as the laws and interpretations of the laws exits while it's far from arguable that the recording, publishing and other businesses feeding off the creators do.

    And that's the crux of the argument.

    And no, we can't and won't live without law because we need some way or organizing society and ways to protect ourselves from some of the violent impulses of others (though you'd be hard pressed to convince a large number of Canadians that our sentencing and parole practices come close to doing that) known as criminal law and to organize trade known as civil law.

    None of that is immutable. And as, elsewhere, you've added religious beliefs into the mix here what do you think was the major argument between Jesus and the Pharisees as they agreed on many other things? Jesus's major disagreement with them, and it was huge, was they they honoured the letter of the Law without honouring it's spirit or intent.

    I suspect that's a major issue here.

    Not that the AC you're responding to isn't several kinds of idiot but I get more and more convinced of that as this debate goes forward. Some regard copyright (and patents) as something that has always been there and must, in it's current form, always be there.

    Others want to trash it entirely.

    Some of us would rather see it reformed to take into account the current state of technology and take into account creators limited rights and societies overarching rights. And allow the current crop of "middle men" to either live or die as they will. I view myself as in that category, by the way.

    Seems to me that we're all to busy yelling at each other to actually take the time to listen to those few voices of calm that do exist in all three groups.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Why Debates Over Copyright Get Bogged Down

    Others of you have been rude, closed minded, and in some cases completely incoherent. I have my doubts as to whether those people know who they are.

    While I haven't read all the above comments, I've read a most and with only a few exceptions they are hardly rude. And while I'm guilty myself of occasionally being rude and some may think incoherent, I came to this site very open minded since I had no firm opinion one way or the other on issues of copyright.

    What I did have, however, was a basic understanding of economics and an inate belief that paying $.99 for a song that could be copied for free was rediculous. If any of the commenters who disagree with Mr. Masnick had presented a reasoned, rational, sound arguement explaining why copyright as it now stands makes sense, maybe I'd have been pursuaded to see their side of the argument. But all their arguements were/are lacking. So now that I've heard both sides, I've made up my mind. Does that mean I'm now close minded? I guess you can say that. Oh well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: lets see

    . If I buy a copy of Windows 7, realize I don't want to want it and remove it from my computer, can I sell it to someone else? NO.

    Assuming one complies with the terms of the license agreement, there is nothing that prevents you from removing it from your computer and selling it to someone else.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: made you think

    The linked article seems a good argument for how to better handle health care. You also don't get more musicians by paying them more; most of us consider it a calling, like becoming a monk or a priest, there are certain things you give up. (royalties ain't one of them) Like teachers, we already earn way less than our value to society would appear to indicate, particularly when expressed in terms of average salary as compared to gross receipts by the industry.

     

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    Karl (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 5:33pm

    But...

    Derek & The Dominoes' Layla wasn't a hit, 'til the third time it was released; if Duane and Eric were paid once, they'd have missed out on all the revenue earned by the song since the initial release. Do you not see a problem with that?

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 6:08pm

    Re: Re: hammer

    Theft isn't immoral because of its inherent harm to the property owner; it's the inherent harm to the thief. I'm not at all interested in depriving you of the use of music you've bought; I sell music for a living, and I want you to have more music, not less. I hate DRM because it presumes the worst of people; not how I like to do business. I just want people to realize that there's very real harm being done to very real musicians (also writer, actors and directors) through P2P and other forms of copyright infringement. Your pension isn't real property either; a bunch of imaginary numbers, governed by a bunch of made up laws, how would you feel if somebody stole that? If you have any music in physical form, pull it out and see if you don't find the phrase "rights reserved" on it somewhere; see, music really is free, because you can't buy it, you can only license it.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 6:10pm

    hammer

    Well, I license music, heh. ;-)

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: songs

    "I'd also like to point out that just because you are unlikely to earn profits doing it all yourself does not mean that others will face the same outcome."

    True enough, and much that a publisher might do, I can do myself, as well, given the wonderful technology available, but I'm a trained musician, not a trained publisher, nor do I have a publisher's established relationships. Hence partnership; it's also why the publishers pay the lawyers and the accountants.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 6:35pm

    Bed Intruder

    AutoTune The News is a production team; Antoine himself is not affiliated. This makes the production at least a three man show, so no free lunch will be forthcoming, sorry.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Re: songs

    Roughly 80% of all the music released in the US earns less than $200; I believe this means the signal to noise ratio in the music industry is pretty bad; it takes significant promotional money to be heard in this environment.Who decides what's comfortable? Musicians. I could probably name about fifty of my own acquaintance that used to do music full time, but have taken day gigs or gone back to school.You can argue that this will make music better, because only the truly committed will remain musicians, but I disagree; I think it means we may soon see a day when all the musicians ought to be committed, because they'd have to be insane to keep doing it.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: hammer

    Theft isn't immoral because of its inherent harm to the property owner; it's the inherent harm to the thief.

    Well I've never heard that one before. What harm does it do to the thief?

    I just want people to realize that there's very real harm being done to very real musicians (also writer, actors and directors) through P2P and other forms of copyright infringement.

    Sometimes, and very real benefit sometimes too.

    Your pension isn't real property either; a bunch of imaginary numbers, governed by a bunch of made up laws, how would you feel if somebody stole that?

    Just like if they stole anything else I own. But you're not trying to say that's the same as somebody making a copy of something I own, are you?

    see, music really is free, because you can't buy it, you can only license it.

    How does that make it free, in any sense of the word?

     

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  286.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 7:08pm

    Supply

    This seems to be a classic case of how education can get in the way of understanding. There is and can be no such thing as a flat curve. If it doesn't curve, it's a line, thank you, Pythagoras. The arguments here are well summed-up by this: http://www.digitalsociety.org/2010/07/jason-robert-brown-debates-rationalization-of-theft/

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re: centuries

    One century and seven tenths. [shakes fist] And get off my lawn.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 7:42pm

    Whoah

    I speak of matters in the US; of course things are a bit different for EU and UK. I'll grant mixtapes is a bit of a gray area; RIAA shut down MuxTape.com, but I can pretty much guarantee nobody will bother you, if you bother to use a physical cassette or CD-R and aren't selling it; there's a levy built into the price of blank media for that purpose; the legislation included some pretty generous fair-use language that is not abrogated by the DMCA.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 23rd, 2010 @ 10:44pm

    Re: But...

    Derek & The Dominoes' Layla wasn't a hit, 'til the third time it was released; if Duane and Eric were paid once, they'd have missed out on all the revenue earned by the song since the initial release. Do you not see a problem with that?

    (1) Who said they'd get paid only once?

    (2) If you get a hit song, there are tons of ways to make money beyond selling that song.

    (3) If you honestly believe that Eric and Duance couldn't have made more money from leveraging the success of Layla down the road, then you should not be in the music business. You deserve to fail.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 24th, 2010 @ 12:55am

    Re: Re: Re: @19

    "Suppose you have just written a song that (you think) is pretty good. Now you decide to sell a share of that song to (say) 9 other people. There are now 10 people who have the same rights as you. Those 9 people can now each distribute to another 9 (and of course you can do the same again). This process can repeat again and again with exponential growth until eventually the number of rightsholders is so large that the price drops to zero. Given the internet this process can be organised efficiently and rapidly and requires no copyright laws since it is a self enforcing protocol - the mutual interests of the rightsholders (who have all spent money and hence have a shared interest in keeping the price high for as long as possible)."

    Sounds like "weedshare", iirc. Massive failure; know why? Same incentives that are threatening Ticketmaster, LiveNation and the concert industry as a whole, most people know the price will be lower if they wait; everybody waits, hardly anybody buys. Also, does everyone that buys a music track want to be a salesperson? Who wants to be obligated? I bought at a higher price, so now I have to go find more buyers? I wanted music, not a second job! What if the track is licensed for use in a TV show or a major motion picture? How do we track down all those rightsholders to pay them their ever-increasingly smaller shares of the royalties? Have you really thought this through?

    Barring that sort of chaos, the result is a system not so different than what we have now, except that people aren't paid to sell, they only get a discount, and the artist deals away even more equity. Under the current system, you can buy a record when it comes out for 10.99, wait 8 months or a year 'til it's 5.99 or wait three years and pick it up at a yard sale for a couple bucks. The artist, publisher and label only get paid on the first sale; after that it's pure profit for the retailer. Or you can cherry-pick the hits from iTunes, where the artist gets thirty cents on the dollar and has to split it with the label, the publisher and the songwriters. And you want the artist to water down the rights even further? Insane.

     

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  291.  
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    Mojo Bone, Aug 24th, 2010 @ 1:03am

    Re: Re: But...

    "(1)Who said they'd be paid once?"

    "Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:11pm

    Yes they should be paid, the problem is how and how much.

    Copyright owners should be paid once like everybody else."

    Also, an artist cannot fail; it is success merely to be one.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 24th, 2010 @ 1:13am

    Re: Re: But...

    "(2) If you get a hit song, there are tons of ways to make money beyond selling that song."

    The majority of which I have no participation in if I am not the artist as well as the writer. If you don't know that, you're shockingly ill-informed, and since I believe you do know it, it suggests that you're being deliberately disingenuous or perhaps have some hidden agenda.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 1:17am

    Re: Re: Re: But...

    The majority of which I have no participation in if I am not the artist as well as the writer.

    Um, wait. If you're not the artist or the writer, why do you think you deserve to keep making money?

    And, you're wrong, of course. If you played drums on Layla, trust me, you can make plenty of money, even if not on that song directly.

    it suggests that you're being deliberately disingenuous or perhaps have some hidden agenda.

    Never.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 24th, 2010 @ 3:36am

    Canadian

    Not at all familiar with Canadian copyright law are you?"

    Guilty, as charged.

    "Being human should I find the license unreasonably cumbersome I'll do what I damned well please with it. Burn a copy for my car, remix with other music I like for my mp3 player (yes, I know the sonic equivalent of compressed trash), play it at some event for my church in honour of someone and so on. In this last case despite it being off-license, let us say, it may actually sell one or two more CDs. It often does. And the fact that in the case stated above it's a public performance of the music which, last time I looked, required a payment to someone like CAPAC, ASCAP or BMI which I've failed to do."

    But the church or funeral home, in that event, already does. (but maybe not in Canada) I have no problem with your copy for the car or your mixtape, playlist, mashup, scratch it on a turntable, remix it to your heart's delight, until you start charging admission or make it available for sale. (and I'm saddened if Canada has a problem with it)


    [a limited monopoly that] " under current law can extend to 170 years or so and counting; nowhere but up. You also ignore the minor fact that unless you're a well known, top selling novelist or musician you end up signing your copyright away to the publisher, rights collection 'collectives' and so on and, depending on their mood, may never see much more dime of it. In some cases the creator can end up actually owing one or more of these generous agencies money!"

    Yet plenty of completely unknown songwriters (and some known ones) make quite a good living by writing for other markets such as TV and film; disbursements from the PROs are not based on mood but rather a complex and cumbersome system of sampling surveys, which I'll grant, almost nobody is happy with, including yours truly. Nevertheless, not a whim, and publishers earn their money by pursuing further uses for our music and handling various administrative duties such as rights clearances, in concert with production houses and music supervisors. There have indeed been many instances of music artists owing their labels (google recoupables and albini) but the system works reasonably well for songwriters, even though we're the last to be paid. There is a single major flaw, in that not all the artists who get played get paid. I'm known for having an overdeveloped sense of fair play, but I maintain that the obstacles to paying everyone fairly have been reduced to near the vanishing point by technology.

    "The point I'm making is that the argument about copyright as it stands is less about what the person who creates it gets than about the uncomfortable fact that most of it goes to anyone BUT the creator."

    A fair point; new writers and artists have very little leverage in a business that's about established relationships, but we need publishers and labels to gain any traction at all in a sea of amateur mediocrity. Hopefully, the cream rises, and as we grow in stature, we gain leverage.

    ME:"What the law specifically excludes, is setting up a server with tens of thousands of music files, and giving them away while charging $ for advertisers on your site."

    TTFNJohn: "Outside of the fact that file sharing sites rarely, if ever, store the music on their servers what they do is store torrent files of a few hundred KB length. Nor do the sites themselves give the songs away. Or torrent files, for example, for hundreds or thousands of other perfectly legitimate and unarguably legal uses."

    Whether the servers store bits or merely bits of bits, isn't really relative to the discussion, when the result is infringement; a recent survey revealed that 90% of what's downloaded from torrent sites is illegal. Of course that's in Australia, nothing like Canada at all. ;-)

    "Should the advertising money earned be the problem then that's another problem with another solution rather than the "where I need a fly swatter I'll rather use the equivalent of the USS Kentucky's entire nuclear arsenal".

    I, too would prefer that RIAA and their ilk would consider a more measured response than some which have been reported, but I can't say I wouldn't petition for an injunction if my initial 'cease and desist' didn't produce the desired effect, nor even a response, if it were my money-oh, but it is my money being stolen. Nevertheless, I'm not in favor of suing children; too bad the US courts and many others blocked the rightsholders from going after the advertising money. (I forget the Latin for "who benefits?") The scorched earth policies of the major labels were less than helpful. It's a frightful mess, and I didn't make it, but the question is whether we're all of us better off with or without copyrights. I say WITH, but we could certainly use a few tweaks.

    "You still haven't refuted the central point that all humans are creative by nature so why a select group should be granted monopoly protection over creations that borrow, lift, plagiarize and outright steal from other's creations including all that came before them in their field."

    Yes we all create things; sadly, only some of us create things that other people want to buy or use to promote a product or service. Perhaps, since there are only twenty-six letters, all writers should be paid the same. (a little less for Russians and Greeks, but we'll have to put the third world to work making bigger wallets for all the Chinese writers)

    "We all create but it's arguable that any of us create anything that is totally, completely unique and original. What we do create is a riff on something(s) that came before and express it differently. This applies to all human activities."

    But "unique" is far more important to the value of a work than "original", since we all stand on the shoulders of giants. If a mind can produce a work that has value to a culture, no, that adds value to a culture, raising the bar of human achievement in such fashion that it's still widely appreciated after twenty years, or a hundred, THAT is truly unique, and should be rewarded even if the value isn't discovered until after the author's death. (hardly fair to poor Van Gogh, I know)

    "What you wish to protect is a system, as it's currently functioning, that protects only the "middle man" in a technological culture that is rapidly losing it's need for the middle man. And it's desire to reward that middle man for the creations of someone else up to about 170 years (assuming one could write "A Day In The Life" seconds after birth) or longer with a monopoly. The reference to the length increasing is because that is the aim of the "middle man" if not the creator themselves.

    To the extent that technology can reduce the number of middlemen, increasing efficiency and making art morer affordable for all, I'm in favor. (just don't pass my share of the savings on to somebody that didn't earn it, thank you) But the thing that some in this endless thread want to destroy is the ONLY thing that protects me from him. (and from these BitTorrent assholes who are ALSO middlemen)

    "These industries have nothing at all to do with the impulse to create, in fact, they often appear to block it, though defenders such as yourself will insist that they have everything to do with the impulse to create."

    I've said nothing of the sort; these entities you describe as parasites have, in fact a symbiotic relationship with creative people and with the public. They're all about the urge to sell, and under the best circumstances, they add tremendous value to what's created. (I'll agree, it's never a good thing when the tick is bigger than the host)

    "As for resale there have been moves by these self same "middle men" to find a way to collect on that too both in ACTA and in the current proposed revisions to Canadian copyright."

    I'm not on board with that; as I've stated elsewhere, I was, and remain fine with life plus fifty. You can thank Sonny Bono and Disneycorp for it.

     

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    Mojo Bone, Aug 24th, 2010 @ 3:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Whole lot of 'play' in that word, "essentially".It assumes the cost of maintaining the entire internet, for one thing. Thank you for playing.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 7:24am

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

    Ok, what he is talking about here is the idea that progress is also hindered by the copyright monopolies. Take, for example, the simple idea of sampling. Lately, artists have been unable to produce works based on sampling other works without tripping over copyright. Now, you can argue that the original creator should get paid - that's fine - say I agree, but then copyright has granted rights to the original artist that hinder the new artist. How does that work with promoting the progress - on one side of the equation, it prevented a work from being created.

    Is that what Mike meant? I was waiting for him to answer.

    To your point: Copyright involves costs and benefits. The idea is that the cost of securing an author's property rights in their works is exchanged for the benefit of placing that work in the public domain after a limited time. Of course you can find examples of works that are locked up by copyright. That's how it works. If you couldn't think of examples like that, then that would be noteworthy.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 7:32am

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

    Your personal opinion really has little bearing on reality.

    Huh? Congress, the Supreme Court, and President Clinton (who signed the CTEA) all interpret it broadly. I said I think a broad interpretation is also proper. Not sure what your point was.

    Based on many of the other writings of the founding fathers, that the purpose should be in the public interest. It's disingenuous to ignore the context of the constitution to make your own personal interpretations of it. . . .

    The Constitution says copyright is about balance. Authors' rights are balanced with the public good. If you think the net effect is harm to the public good, then please explain exactly how you arrived at this conclusion. Seriously, I'm curious what the arguments are.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 9:43am

    Re: Supply

    I think you need more education so you have greater understanding. In mathematics, a curve need not be curved.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_%28geometry%29

    There are only a couple of good arguments he's responding to on the page you linked and the rest are stupid.

    "Change your business model since you can’t stop piracy”

    This is one of the more common arguments I hear and it even comes from some of the more conservative types. The fallacy of this argument is that the current business model still allows the artists to scrape by even if they’re suffering from piracy. There hasn’t really been a “free” or advertisement based business model that has been shown to be significantly profitable or even profitable at all. Those who argue for a change of business model can ignore this “minor detail”, but those whose livelihoods depend on copyright and the enforcement of it don’t have that luxury.


    This is still sticking your head in the sand. It doesn't refute the argument at all. The point is "you can't stop piracy" and his response is "I don't know how to make money if there's piracy." It's completely irrelevant, and really sounds like wishful thinking.

    “Stealing a song or video isn’t the same as stealing physical property”

    The argument is made that because a piece of content can be replicated at no expense to the creator of that content without depriving someone else of a physical item that was bought with money, it’s not actually stealing. The fallacy of this argument is that theft of a physical property deprives someone of past income, but theft of content deprives the creator of that content of future income.

    Now we could argue that it’s not a 1:1 comparison because someone who downloaded $10,000 worth of content would never have bought that much content, but that person would have bought some content if he/she didn’t just steal it. Even if we say the person would have only bought $1,000 of content had they not stolen $10,000 of content, they’ve still stolen $1,000 someone’s earned income. So even if we haggle over what fraction is theft, it’s still ultimately theft.


    This is just wrong. In fact it even starts off with a fallacy: "stealing a song or video". We're not even talking about stealing. Obviously breaking into someone's home or business and stealing something, whether it's a CD or jewelry, is wrong and reprehensible. But he, amazingly, still doesn't get that copyright infringement isn't stealing (which doesn't mean it isn't wrong).

    Then he claims "theft of content deprives the creator of that content of future income", which, as a blanket statement, is at best not certainly true.

    Next, "someone who downloaded $10,000 worth of content would never have bought that much content, but that person would have bought some content if he/she didn’t just steal it." Another unfounded assumption. Some people would have bought some of it. Some would have bought none of it. Some still do buy some of it even after downloading for free. Some download for free and spend the money instead of concert tickets, etc. What would happen to that mythical $10,000 without infringement is impossible to say.

    Next: "they’ve still stolen $1,000 someone’s earned income." No, no money was removed from anyone. Everyone has just as much money as they did before. Just because the uploader of the content doesn't have the right to distribute it (the downloader is probably not even guilty of copyright infringement), doesn't mean the creator has the right to a dollar because of it.

    So before you jump down my throat, I don't consider any of those to be good arguments for why it's OK to download infringing material, but those few are good reasons why creators need to deal with piracy in a constructive way, rather than fighting it. There are good reasons to infringe that are not listed too, such as orphaned works, broken DRM, regional restrictions, and the like. I'm guessing he didn't list those because either they didn't occur to him, or he doesn't have good rebuttals (not that I think his rebuttals are good to begin with).

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's a fixed cost, you ninny! OK you're not a ninny, really. :-) But seriously, that does not factor into the marginal cost (meaning the cost of making one more copy) even slightly.

    The "essentially" is because the marginal cost, while perhaps technically not zero, is so small as to be immeasurable. For example, it's possible a processor will consume slightly more power than it would have otherwise. It's possible a hard disk will experience slightly more wear and thus fail slightly earlier. And so on. But you can see that these effects are so tiny that even the effort to quantify them (if that's even possible) would cost far more than what you're actually measuring.

    Thus in effect the marginal cost is zero.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 10:09am

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

    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

    I don't see anything about balance. The only purpose is promoting progress, in other words the public good. Authors' rights are a means, not an end.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

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

    I don't see anything about balance. The only purpose is promoting progress, in other words the public good. Authors' rights are a means, not an end.

    It's always been about balance, the balance between authors' rights and the public good. Give the authors too many rights, and that's not good for the public. Give them too few, and that's not good either. Balance.

    I'll find some better citations on point later when I have time, but for now I'll leave you with this:

    "Article I, s 8, cl. 8, of the Constitution gives to Congress the power- ‘To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Rights to their respective Writings and Discoveries . . ..’ The clause thus describes both the objective which Congress may seek and the means to achieve it. The objective is to promote the progress of science and the arts. As employed, the terms ‘to promote’ are synonymous with the words ‘to stimulate,’ ‘to encourage,’ or ‘to induce.' To accomplish its purpose, Congress may grant to authors the exclusive right to the fruits of their respective works. An author who possesses an unlimited copyright may preclude others from copying his creation for commercial purposes without permission. In other words, to encourage people to devote themselves to intellectual and artistic creation, Congress may guarantee to authors and inventors a reward in the form of control over the sale or commercial use of copies of their works." Goldstein v. California, 412 U.S. 546, 555 (1973).

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

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

    To me, "balance" implies that there's an inherent reason to give exclusive rights to creators, which needs to be balanced against the inherent benefit to society of letting the public keep all the rights. But that would be a false reading of the Constitution. There is no other reason to give exclusive rights other than to promote the public good. In other words, there aren't two competing interests to weigh in order to come up with a fair solution, there's only one relevant interest: promoting progress.

    If by "balance" you simply mean the best way to tune the laws to maximally promote progress*, then no problem, but that doesn't seem like how it's usually meant.

    * including to the point of completely eliminating monopolies, if that best serves the public

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2010 @ 2:27pm

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

    "The Constitution says copyright is about balance. Authors' rights are balanced with the public good. If you think the net effect is harm to the public good, then please explain exactly how you arrived at this conclusion."

    Because this site says so, and I always accept what it says at face value.

    Next question, please.

     

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    Bruce Partington, Aug 24th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

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

    Woodshed till you can play seven different musical styles in your sleep. Know your intervals, learn how to transpose reasonably well, make sure you can sight read.

    I think you've picked the wrong person to give this advice to. Noise music has none of these qualities. More modern forms of music explore a range of possibilities much wider the traditional music you describe (classical, rock, blues, jazz, western folk etc), and with instruments far more capable.

    Psychoacoustics and vibrational physics are much more useful fields of study than the ability to transpose "My Way" into F#. And there's no substitute for listening to a wide variety of music from all over the world.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

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

    Here's a few more cites about balance in copyright:

    “As the text of the Constitution makes plain, it is Congress that has been assigned the task of defining the scope of the limited monopoly that should be granted to authors or to inventors in order to give the public appropriate access to their work product. Because this task involves a difficult balance between the interests of authors and inventors in the control and exploitation of their writings and discoveries on the one hand, and society's competing interest in the free flow of ideas, information, and commerce on the other hand, our patent and copyright statutes have been amended repeatedly.” Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984).

    “The fortunes of the law of copyright have always been closely connected with freedom of expression, on the one hand, and with technological improvements in means of dissemination, on the other. Successive ages have drawn different balances among the interest of the writer in the control and exploitation of his intellectual property, the related interest of the publisher, and the competing interest of society in the untrammeled dissemination of ideas.” Foreword to B. Kaplan, An Unhurried View of Copyright vii-viii (1967).

    “The limited scope of the copyright holder's statutory monopoly, like the limited copyright duration required by the Constitution, reflects a balance of competing claims upon the public interest: Creative work is to be encouraged and rewarded, but private motivation must ultimately serve the cause of promoting broad public availability of literature, music, and the other arts.” Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken, 422 U.S. 151 (1975).

    “In enacting a copyright law Congress must consider ... two questions: First, how much will the legislation stimulate the producer and so benefit the public, and, second, how much will the monopoly granted be detrimental to the public? The granting of such exclusive rights, under the proper terms and conditions, confers a benefit upon the public that outweighs the evils of the temporary monopoly.” H.R.Rep. No. 2222, 60th Cong., 2d Sess. 7 (1909).

     

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    average_joe (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 9:31pm

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

    Because this site says so, and I always accept what it says at face value.

    Next question, please.


    LOL! That's awesome!

    I'm still waiting for someone (anyone) to make an argument that's convincing... It's so obvious, it should be simple to make the argument, right? ;)

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 24th, 2010 @ 10:04pm

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

    The Constitution says copyright is about balance.

    The Constitution says no such thing. As was pointed out to you, it explains a purpose, and a means to that purpose. However, if the means does not serve the purpose, then those means should not be allowed. This is rather basic, and I'm still wondering how you can, in good conscience, support the idea that copyright is okay even if it makes people better off.

    f you think the net effect is harm to the public good, then please explain exactly how you arrived at this conclusion. Seriously, I'm curious what the arguments are.

    If you study even the most fundamental economics, you would know that monopolies limit markets, limit efficiency and lead to some form of harm. That doesn't mean that potential corresponding benefits might not exist, but the burden of proof should be on those requesting the monopoly to show why such a monopoly is actually needed.

    When we look at actual evidence, comparing similar areas with and without copyright protection *invariably* we see greater activity and greater economic output in the areas without copyright protection, which is why many of us believe that copyright creates a net negative result, thus violating the key premise of the Constitution's copyright clause.

    I'll provide two examples here, both from eloquent writeups by Jamie Boyle, the first comparing the "natural experiment" of Europe's database directive, at the same time that the US made it clear that databases could not be covered by copyright. If you believe that copyright creates more harm than good, Europe's database industry should be destroying the US's. Except that's not happening:

    http://www.law.duke.edu/boylesite/experiment.html

    Second, a comparison of weather data. In the US, the federal government makes weather data public domain. In Europe it's locked up. In the US, contrary to the idea that you need monopoly protections to innovate, there's a thriving, innovative and competitive industry built off of that weather data. In Europe... there is not.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/cd58c216-8663-11d9-8075-00000e2511c8.html

    Of course, the more you look, the more economic research you find that shows this same thing time and time again, whenever there is an opportunity for a natural experiment. We recently wrote about an analysis of the German book market, that showed how it thrived due to the lack of copyright, compared to its main competitor in the UK:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100809/03545810554.shtml

    Time and time again, the details show that copyright shrinks an overall market, and does not actually provide the incentive people think it does.

     

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    Adam Wasserman (profile), Aug 26th, 2010 @ 9:32pm

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

    Thx for the primer.

    FWIW I would say that this has nothing to do with being a professional musician as I understand the word professional.

    So based on what you tell me of noise music (is this what I would call concrete music?) Karl is interested in Art. I love Art. I like Cage and Boulez as much as I like Frank Zappa and Professor Longhair (to name some random Artists I like).

    But if one wants to make Art then one takes ones chances with making money. If one wants to make money for sure, then you go pro. And in my books a professional in any field is distinguished by their ability to work productively in a variety of situations, under a variety of conditions, not always of their choosing, and still be able to produce consistent results to their employers satisfaction.

    By extension, I maintain that a musician who is willing and able to play a variety of styles, with a variety of different other musicians, not always of their choosing, and produces consistently satisfying (to the employer) results will be as able to earn a decent living as any other similar professional. Perhaps a welder was not the best choice, perhaps a copy writer or a professional illustrator would have been a better comparison, but the main point remains the same:

    All this copyright bull has little importance to most professional musicians I know. I means a whole lot to records companies (which by virtue of being a company are soulless). It might mean something to Artists who dream of striking it rich.

    But I started by saying: A) please don't drag musicians into this. and B) that contrary to what Richard wrote, the professional musicians I know do not "labor unpaid in the hope that whatever cash flow is received from such labors proves well worth the effort". They earn regular livings and get paid predictably for their labors.

    And really, that's all I am trying to say.

     

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  309.  
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    average_joe (profile), Aug 29th, 2010 @ 6:15am

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

    Thanks for the response. Don't think I didn't notice that you didn't answer any of my questions above.

    The Constitution says no such thing. As was pointed out to you, it explains a purpose, and a means to that purpose. However, if the means does not serve the purpose, then those means should not be allowed. This is rather basic, and I'm still wondering how you can, in good conscience, support the idea that copyright is okay even if it makes people better off.

    You are way off the mark. Your misunderstanding of copyright history and law is pretty remarkable, especially for someone who puts himself out there as being knowledgeable on the subject. I've got over two hundred years of jurisprudence on my side of the debate, and I've included several citations above. You've only made unsubstantiated claims. Readers of this thread can decide for themselves who has backed up their arguments who hasn't.

    If you study even the most fundamental economics, you would know that monopolies limit markets, limit efficiency and lead to some form of harm. That doesn't mean that potential corresponding benefits might not exist, but the burden of proof should be on those requesting the monopoly to show why such a monopoly is actually needed.

    When we look at actual evidence, comparing similar areas with and without copyright protection *invariably* we see greater activity and greater economic output in the areas without copyright protection, which is why many of us believe that copyright creates a net negative result, thus violating the key premise of the Constitution's copyright clause. . . .


    The Constitution says we secure limited monopolies, so the burden would be on the other side to prove that we shouldn't do that. That is pretty basic stuff. And I wouldn't go so far as to say that your analysis is a foregone conclusion. Quite the opposite. Your position is conjecture, pure and simple.

    You might be right though, Mike. We might be better off without copyright. I don't pretend to know. One thing I will say, though, is I highly doubt we'll ever find out. Not in our lifetimes. I don't see copyright going anywhere.

    I know one of your themes is that existing industries cry that the sky is falling whenever a new technology comes out. Of course they put up a fight at first. That's not really remarkable in my book. The other thing they do is adapt and change. We've seen this with every new technological advance in the history of copyright. It's no different now with the internet and file sharing. They will adapt and change just like they always have.

    The ironic thing, IMO, is that you are the one who really thinks the sky really is falling for copyright. It's not.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2010 @ 9:02am

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

    The Constitution says Congress declares war, so the burden would be on the other side to prove that we shouldn't do that.

    That follows from your reasoning, right?

     

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  311.  
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    average_joe (profile), Aug 29th, 2010 @ 9:31am

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

    The Constitution says Congress declares war, so the burden would be on the other side to prove that we shouldn't do that.

    That follows from your reasoning, right?


    If the Constitution says Congress is the one to declare war, and someone wanted to change the Constitution so that it is someone else who can declare war, the burden would be on that person to prove why it's better to have somebody other than Congress with that power. The burden would not lie with Congress and its supporters to prove why the status quo should remain.

    So too with copyright. If people want to change the Constitution to remove the part about authors being granted exclusive rights, the burden is on those people calling for the change to prove why it should be changed. How could it be any other way? If it were the other way, every time someone thought they had a better idea, the burden would fall on the defenders of the Constitution to defend the status quo. It doesn't work that way, nor should it.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

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

    We're not talking about who has the power; that is clear. We're talking about whether the power should be exercized.

    The Constitution empowers Congress to enact monopolies over writings and productions in the same way it empowers them to declare war. I don't see why the burden of proof should be different in the two cases. I believe those in favor of copyright and patent law should prove its benefit, just as those in favor of a war should prove its necessity.

    I invite you to defend why either 1) Congress should declare war on every country all the time unless someone specifically demonstrates why they should not or 2) why Congress should act without evidence in one case but not the other or 3) agree with me that the burden of proof should rest with those favoring copyright and patent laws.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Aug 29th, 2010 @ 1:52pm

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

    I'm not sure the analogy to Congress' power to declare was is a good one, nor do I even understand why I'm supposed to defend it either way.

    Nevertheless, the general idea I'm espousing is that the party wishing to change the status quo has the burden of proving why it should be changed. That much is clear.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2010 @ 4:32pm

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

    That is true. It's important to remember though, that the status quo is not correct or appropriate merely by virtue of being the status quo. As far as I'm aware no US copyright law has ever actually been based on evidence of its necessity or public benefit.

    It's unfortunate that we are now stuck with a status quo that is not only not based on evidence, but crafted by one particular industry at the expense of the public. How to get that changed at this point is not clear because of the lobbying power of that industry (or set of industries). The best we can probably hope for is that the law doesn't get even more slanted in favor of content industries.

     

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


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