If Artists Don't Value Copyright On Their Works, Why Do We Force It On Them?

from the questions-to-ponder dept

In William Patry's book, Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars, there's an excellent chart that highlights the fact that many content creators who have copyright available to them clearly don't value that copyright very much. The chart looks at the rates of copyright renewals in 1958 and 1959. As you hopefully know, back then, you had to register your work to have it covered by copyright, and you had to renew it to keep that copyright. Yet a huge percentage of content creators simply chose not to renew their copyrights, because they knew there was little or no value in the copyright itself. Depending on the type of product, the lack of renewals paints a pretty stark picture: only 7% of books had the copyright renewed. Only 11% of periodicals. Only 4% of "works of art." Music was only 35%. In fact, the only type of work that had a renewal rate higher than 50% was movies, which came in at 74%.
If looked at with a common sense filter, it seems obvious that this suggests that the content creator clearly is no longer getting any benefit out of the copyright at that stage, and thus reverting the work to the public domain makes the most sense. So it was quite disappointing when we changed our laws in 1976 to the point that people didn't even have to register their copyrights in the first place, and never had to review, but that they automatically get a copyright for a ridiculously long amount of time (much longer than was available in 1959). Now, you can still register, and there are significant benefits to copyright holders for doing so, so many people still do.

So it's interesting to see Tunecore ask the musicians who use its service whether or not they register their copyrights, with only 56% saying they absolutely do (found via Hypebot, who incorrectly suggests that the others don't get a copyright at all):
What's fascinating here, of course, is this means that there are 44% of the musicians on Tunecore who don't really see the need to have a registered copyright, and yet they still end up with a copyright which they're unlikely to ever use or enforce. That suggests a system way out of whack with the stated purpose of copyright law. This is content that can and should be available to make the public domain more fruitful and to enable new creative works -- and yet it gets locked up anyway, even though the very people copyright law is supposed to protect clearly don't value what copyright gives them. So why do we still automatically give them copyrights, thereby harming the public domain, while adding little to no benefit to the content creators themselves?


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  1.  
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    Jose_X, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    At what cost?

    The problem is that public domain is too wimpy in relation to the copyrights others who have a bit more money can manage. What happens is, like with our patent system, the wealthy get monopolies and most everyone else does not or only a very small amount of their total productivity. This means those with money have extra government subsidy moving forward in competition: it's backwards!!

    The much more fair solution is to make these works that are not "renewed" into a copyleft/share-alike auto scheme. Without this the wealthy end up buying up all the monopolies they can afford. That is, those that were wealthy yesterday, leverage that to create laws much more favorable to them moving forward.

    Monopolies for none or else for all regardless of wealth. In fact, those with less money are the only ones that even have a reasonable argument about some sort of government subsidy.

    So until we make share-alike the default rather than public domain, it's best if those that aren't already well-positioned get the same rights as the wealthy for as low of a cost as possible. In particular, everyone can now rather easily attach a copyleft/share-alike that would last as long as the draconian monopoly restrictions given to those who could afford to renew endlessly and should not have a greater subsidy than others. So, effectively, with more public education about copyleft, today we can approach a default "renewal" of share-alike (a license, obviously, that offers the public leverage against wealthy copyright monopolists).

    Recapping: the solution is to cut down copyright law in size, but the next best position is auto copyright or a default of share-alikeness, as this gives the public much more leverage in protecting their future and present and past than would a default of public domain.

     

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    Anonymous, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:46am

    God you're an idiot.

    Most musicians don't know how to copyright a song. Most are also unfamiliar with many aspects of the business. That's what that particular poll showed.

    Which is unfortunate, because they end up getting bad advice about copyright from cretins like you.

     

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    Jose_X, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re: At what cost?

    Parent was a reply to:

    > So why do we still automatically give them copyrights, thereby harming the public domain, while adding little to no benefit to the content creators themselves?

    And the quick answer is that public domain is an unfair match against copyright. The public and those with less money need something stronger like share-alike. The real solution of course is to cut copyright down to say a decade or less.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Re:

    Huh? The song is copyrighted once fixed in a tangible form AUTOMATICALLY.

    As far as REGISTERING a copyright, that's easy enough to Google if they're really interested in doing so.

     

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  5.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    Logical Fallacy 1: Ad Hominem.

    Logical Fallacy 2: Burden of proof.

    Logical Fallacy 3: Ad Hominem.

    Troll harder.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry Freetardo, but if Masnick wants to defend piracy and continue to attack copyright laws that help musicians make money, then I'm not going to stop.

     

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  7.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ah, I see you mis-replied to somebody named 'Freetardo'

    I shall continue the conversation anyhow.

    Look, I apologize if you're mentally handicapped... but in case you're not, do try to act as though you're a sentient being.

    Apply some witticism to your logical arguments, and present them in an appealing manner.

    "Troll Harder" in not an insult, it's more like a C- from your English teacher along with the note "you should've applied yourself a little more, I know you can do better."

    Seriously, I'm certain you can attain a better level of trolling than what you've provided thus far. Just, try harder.

     

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  8.  
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    Chase Montgomery, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A more accurate adjective would be sapient (which implies conscious wisdom) rather than sentient (which just means "sensing")

    Carry on. :)

     

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    Jeff Okkonen, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Copyrights

    I don't quite know where to start...because Maznick neither understands what copyright is, nor does he appreciate the inherent value that it secures for the creator. This problem is further muddied by his muddled writing. So oar the readers of this post I'll be brief.

    There is no connection between the number of copyright registrations at the US Copyright Office and the value that creators place on their own work. As one other commentator pointed out, many just don't know how to do it. But more importantly, registration is not necessary, its just recommended to help document the creator/creation relationship.

    Under US law, the creator has complete rights to a work as soon as a work is created. So that means any of the readers here have the sole right to their writing, music, painting, design...whatever, just by creating it. This is YOUR inherent right...It’s not granted by government, but it is your right…. recognized and protected by the Constitution, as further specified under the US Copyright Law.

    Ask any musician, software designer, painter if they think a stranger has the right to take what iss theirs? ….NO.
    Do they also have any right to give it away? …NO.
    Do they have any right to sell it? ….NO.

    But if you are the creator...YOU have the right...
    YOUR RIGHT is protected Constitutionally (not granted)..to publish, sell or give away ….as YOU please.

     

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    jilocasin, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    It's not about creators, it's about corporations..

    The simple answer is that it isn't about creators but about corporations.

    There's a reason that the 'Sony Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998' is also referred to as the 'Micky Mouse Copyright Term Extension Act'

    The canard about 'helping creators' or 'protecting creators' or 'ensuring that creators get paid for their work' are just that. They are convenient lies that the establishment tells the public to generate sympathy and distract people from their real purpose, squeezing as much money out of other people's work.

    Most artists create their work from remixing or being inspired by what has come before them. Jazz being the preeminent example. Artists are hampered and hobbled by overly restrictive copyright laws. While overzealous 'collection agencies' make it harder for artists, especially up and coming ones to be heard.

    Just look to the 'creative accounting' employed by the record/movie industries. The same companies that are pushing for more government protection and harsher more draconian copyright laws, are the last ones to actually _pay_ the creators whose work they are exploiting.

    Unfortunately, until the people of this country voice an outcry reminiscent of the recent Canadian uproar over about the criminalization of our shared culture (perhaps even requiring an Egyptian like uprising) the moneyed interests will continue to exploit our shared culture for their personal monetary gain.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re:

    "Most musicians don't know how to copyright a song. Most are also unfamiliar with many aspects of the business. That's what that particular poll showed."

    Fine, then I agree with you that Mike needs to rework the title of the post to something like:

    If Copyright Is So Inconsequential That Artists Don't Educate Themselves About It, Why Do We Force It On Them?

     

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    jilocasin, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Ugg. correction to last paragraph

    The last paragraph:

    "Unfortunately, until the people of this country voice an outcry reminiscent of the recent Canadian uproar over about the criminalization of our shared culture (perhaps even requiring an Egyptian like uprising) the moneyed interests will continue to exploit our shared culture for their personal monetary gain."

    Should have read:

    Unfortunately until the people of this country voice an outcry, reminiscent of the recent Canadian uproar over the change to Usage Based Biling, about the criminalization of our shared culture (perhaps even requiring an Egyptian like uprising) the moneyed interests will continue to exploit our shared culture for their personal monetary gain.

     

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    crade (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Perhaps I am missing something, but couldn't the large amount of people who don't register easily be explained by a simple "Why should I register, I get it anyway"?

     

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    -, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    This article would be better with a brief of what such registration gives.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think that's asking a bit too much.

    ; P

     

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  16.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re: Copyrights

    I don't quite know where to start...because Maznick neither understands what copyright is, nor does he appreciate the inherent value that it secures for the creator. This problem is further muddied by his muddled writing. So oar the readers of this post I'll be brief.

    When lacking a strong point, it's always best to start out with insults for the person who wrote the comments you're attacking. It won't help your credibility, but it at least makes you feel like you're scoring some sort of points.

    There is no connection between the number of copyright registrations at the US Copyright Office and the value that creators place on their own work.

    Nor did I say there was. I said it showed how artists value *their copyright*. You seem to be conflating "copyright" and "the value of their own work." The two are not the same. You can value your own work without a copyright on it.

    As one other commentator pointed out, many just don't know how to do it.

    Um. Hate to break it to you, but that's in the post itself, where it notes that just 18% claim they don't know how. And, as others pointed out, if you don't know how it's quite easy to figure it out via Google or talking to someone who does know how. Pretending this is a real barrier is a myth.

    But more importantly, registration is not necessary, its just recommended to help document the creator/creation relationship.

    Also stated in the post, so not sure why you think you're debunking something I said or proving I don't understand copyright.

    Under US law, the creator has complete rights to a work as soon as a work is created. So that means any of the readers here have the sole right to their writing, music, painting, design...whatever, just by creating it. This is YOUR inherent right...It’s not granted by government, but it is your right…. recognized and protected by the Constitution, as further specified under the US Copyright Law.

    I find it funny that you would state this given your claim that I am unfamiliar with copyright. You are simply incorrect that this is an "inherent" right not secured via the gov't. As proof of that, I will simply point out that prior to 1976, your statement above was entirely untrue, and those who did not go to the gov't did not receive any such protections.

    What the Constitution allows is that *in the event it promotes the progress of science* you are allowed to be granted a limited monopoly (the "useful arts" stuff is for patents -- in the Constitution, copyright is only supposed to protect the promotion of science, which at the time really meant "learning").

    But, of course, none of that gets to the overall point. Even if you are granted the copyright, if the holders do not value that copyright, and the public would benefit much more highly from having that work in the public domain, under the "promote the progress" clause, doesn't the Constitution require that it be put in the public domain?

    Ask any musician, software designer, painter if they think a stranger has the right to take what iss theirs? ….NO.
    Do they also have any right to give it away? …NO.
    Do they have any right to sell it? ….NO.


    I really don't know what you're trying to say here. No one said that a stranger has a right to take anyone else's property. You seem to be making up things.

    Please, if you wish to attack what I write, next time focus on what I said, not something that you pretend I said.

    But if you are the creator...YOU have the right...
    YOUR RIGHT is protected Constitutionally (not granted)..to publish, sell or give away ….as YOU please.


    You are very confused about Constitutional law and the history of copyright. I would suggest that some history lessons would be in order. It's not out yet, but William Patry's upcoming book has an excellent section on the history of copyright law that will disabuse you of the false notions in this comment.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    Re: Copyrights

    You are contradicting your self. You can't say "Under US Law the creator has complete rights..." then follow up 2 setences later with "This is your inherent right... it's not granted by government...".

    What clause of the US constitution says that people have a fundamental right to control their creations? I don't think such a right exists since that's illogical. If you create a painting, you own the canvas and the paint you used and you can do what you please with it. But you don't have any kind of right to prevent others from making their own painting in any way they see fit, including making it look like yours.

    You are confusing ideas and expression, treating them as if they are the same thing, which by the way they are not.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re:

    Because artists are pathetically weak and need protection from dirty and filthy mouthed piratical nonsense. The only people who can protect the vitamin-deficient artist are lawyers, who are strong! They will protect the artists!

    One lawyer have the strength of a thousand artists!

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Re: Copyrights

    Ask any musician, software designer, painter if they think a stranger has the right to take what iss theirs?

    Ask me, I'm an artist but I'll say yes, so . . . .

     

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    crade (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    I am missing a connection somewhere. Why does the number of people who don't register relate to how much they value copyright instead of how much they value registration?

     

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    Matthew (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Copyrights

    It looks like you didn't even read the post or perhaps that you are trying to respond to a completely different article. The writing is not muddled just because you personally disagree with what he's saying or just don't understand it. Your bit about not needing to register copyrights is explicitly stated in the original post.

    On a tangent...

    I'm not convinced that copyrights are an inherent right. At the most fundamental level it would be something like you whistling a tune and then telling the people that hear you not to try whistling it themselves because that's your tune. In a pre-industrial society, people would think you were a bossy buffoon and the very idea of it would be ridiculous. If a right doesn't hold up in that sort of situation, i don't think it can be an inherent right.

    Hell, i'm not even sure that copyrights and patents are a good idea in any but the most limited forms. I see more time and money being wasted on arguments about who owns what imaginary property than i see benefits from uncontested control of it.

     

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  22.  
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    jilocasin, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re: Copyrights

    It appears that it it you who don't understand what copyright is.

    You wrote:
    "Under US law, the creator has complete rights to a work as soon as a work is created."

    Umm.. I hate to break it to you, but under US law they creator has a limited set of rights to their works. Mostly related to, well making reproductions. If an author sells me a copy of their novel, their rights (excepting some restrictions on additional copies that I can make) are over. I can read it where ever I want, I can tear out the pages and line a bird cage, or resell it making a million dollars profit that the author has NO rights to.

    You then continue with this gem:
    "This is YOUR inherent right...It’s not granted by government, but it is your right…. recognized and protected by the Constitution, as further specified under the US Copyright Law."

    You wouldn't happen to be European now would you? Under the US Constitution there is no moral right in a creative work. Copyright is an infringement to the First Amendment guarantee of the freedom of speech. The actual text from the US Constitution reads:

    "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." ( https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Copyright_Clause )

    If you are paying attention, the purpose of copyright is not to recognize some sort of moral right to their works, it's to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts. In other words, we infringe upon the public's right of free speech and expression, for a limited time, in the hope that this will encourage more works to be created.

    If I create a song and sing it in the local tavern, what exactly can anyone take away? The words themselves fade shortly after I've uttered them. All that remains is the memory and the ideas and feelings that they engendered. If they turn around and repeat what they've heard, they aren't stealing my words, they're voicing their own.

    Are you trying to say that artists should have the right to control other people's thoughts and memories? Good luck with that one.

     

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    Matthew (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    Good point.

    From www.copyright.gov:
    "Even though copyright protection is secured automatically upon creation, there are certain definite advantages to copyright registration. Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim. Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin. If made before or within five years of publication, registration establishes prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate. If registration is made within three months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney's fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Also, registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U.S. Customs Service for protection against importation of infringing copies."

     

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    Greevar (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    The data presented actually contradicts your first claim that they don't know how. 56% do register their copyrights, thus they do know how it works.

    You have no proof positive that most musicians are unfamiliar with the business they are a part of. You're making assumptions to support your already flimsy argument.

    Since both of your previous points are without merit, the third does not stand either.

    Based on your statements, you seem to posses far less expertise on the subject than copyright cretins like Mike. I'll take his advice over yours I think.

     

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    DandonTRJ (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    I'm taking a copyright law course right now [after having self-studied the field for years], and this post encapsulates much of what I wish we could have a frank class discussion of [but I don't want to knock my professor off track -- he's got enough on his plate just trying to cover all the substantive material]. Still, I feel like it'll be a disservice to all the other students if they leave the course without having really engaged the question as to why we grant *every* work a copyright *automatically* -- as though the only goal of copyright is to protect all artistic expression with an inherent and immediate monopoly that lasts beyond the lifespan of most anyone who enjoys its first impression. I'm almost sure nobody in the class has given much thought to the importance of the public domain, and I'm hoping like hell it comes up before the semester is out. Otherwise, we'll have another 60 potential lawyers operating under the assumption that anything that can be copyrighted, should be.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    Re: Copyrights

    Thank God I'm taking that supposed right away from you and you can't do absolutely nothing LoL

     

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    TDR, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    DISCLAIMER
    Anonymous: "I am a lying industry shill with no sense of morality or even the pretext of a point. I fear change like nothing else and cannot comprehend living without extorting as much as I can from my clients and blaming the 'losses' on a nonexistent problem. I do not know how to address an argument or even present one. I just flame because I know I'm wrong and unable to prove a single thing I've said, and I'm terrified to admit it."

     

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    The eejit (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But how does it help if those same people simply don't care?

    Simple answer: it doesn't.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    What's more important, the professor's workload or the public good? Bring it up in class.

     

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    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    "this means that there are 44% of the musicians on Tunecore who don't really see the need to have a registered copyright"

    No. It means that 2.4% of the musicians on Tunecore don't really see the need to have a registered copyright. This is abundantly clear from the information you provide.

    And the assertion that the artists of 1958 and 1959 did not value copyright because of renewal numbers is simply that - an assertion. Spending money to renew a copyright is like buying insurance. In case that thing you created pays off some day, you may want to get paid. But it very well may not pay off, so why spend the money now? There's a reason we have a saying "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". The fact that movies, the artform listed that traditionally has the deepest pockets behind it, holds 74% renewal rate, suggests volumes about why people did not renew copyright.

    It really seems like you're forcing a correlation here, when none clearly exists. If we're going to examine this topic in this manner, why not point to the obvious statistics generated by Tunecore? The definitive majority of artists appear to value copyright. 55%, to be clear.

    In fact, one could assume that the answer "don't know how" and "it's to expensive" represent people who would register, but find the task or costs daunting. That would make the pro-copyright side 91%. An assertion as well. But more reasonable than lumping those people in with the 2.4% who don't see the need.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    There is a whole lot wrong with this study, because it ignores some basic issues that existed in 1950s American that don't exist today.

    Right up front, you would have to spread out the copyrights into two classes: Owned by living artists / active companies or owned by deceased artists / inactive companies. The failure to "renew" likely has more to do with the status of the work at that point than anything. The high number of movie renewals is a solid indication to me that active companies with a valuable product are much more likely to renew than, say, a dead writer or seminar creator.

    Second, you would have to look at the status of the work. Is it in use (say being published as a book, a seminar being used, a technical drawing still valid, etc. Copyrighted works that went entirely out of date would likely have a much lower renewal rate (why bother, right?).

    Third, you have to look at what modern communication has done to the value of works. We are able to produce books on a much shorter print run now (electronic rather than typeset, example, which makes a big difference in the costs of printing a book), or we can even now sell them as electronic versions. The market (Chris Anderson's proverbial long tail) means that many older works are still in demand and still have value. Longer durability of movie stock (film), and of all media for that matter also adds to long term value.

    Fourth, you have to look at potential value. The writings of Philip K Dick (novels and short stories) to this day continue to be of great value, and film makers often buy the rights to his books as the basis of movies. The valid lifespan of works is getting longer, not shorter.

    Finally, there is the whole nostalgia thing. We have TV Land, where shows from the 60s regularly play (I always love watching the Dragnet and Adam-12 shows... talk about cardboard acting!). The value of 40 or 50 year old material is still in it, it still earns income for it's rights holders and people still enjoy the product. There is plenty of value there.

    As for:

    What's fascinating here, of course, is this means that there are 44% of the musicians on Tunecore who don't really see the need to have a registered copyright, and yet they still end up with a copyright which they're unlikely to ever use or enforce.

    I would say that is a pretty enthusiastic reading of the data. I see only about 9% who had no interest, everyone else is either "yes, don't know how, or too expensive". There is no indication in the slightest from this data that they "don't really see the need", and in fact is the price was lower and the method better explaind, you would have 90%+ registering the copyright of their songs.

    You are working very hard to try to paint things poorly, but in the end, it is clear you are reaching badly on this one.

     

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  32.  
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    Jose_X, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re:

    "Hey, Dark Helmet, it appears that big bald head of yours is good for more than just turning on the volk's engines."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Re:

    I do have to add that this entire post is certainly a prime example of the Masnick Effect, starting with a desired results (artists don't want copyright) and then locating data (50+ years old) and trying to make it fit. Add in a complete misrpresentation of the Tunecore data, and you have a slam dunk Masnick Effect move.

    Congrats Mike, you seem to have gone all out on this one!

     

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  34.  
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    jeff price, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    I come to a different conlcusion

    Jeff Price - Founder/CEO of TuneCore here.

    I come to a different conclusion over these results. It's not that artists don't value copyright, its that most artists (and non artists) do not understand copyright law in the first place - and it's not there fault, how are they to know?

    the laws in this country specifically created to protect copyright holders and artists can now inadvertently create obstacles for opportunity, revenue collection and legitimization.

    The old system, although creaky and not perfect, worked well enough, but technology created scale in a way that was never imagined. The system is now broken but sadly, when these issues are discussed on Capitol Hill, there is no voice or representative for the millions of artists in the US that are now the new music industry.

    As the old music industry works feverishly to plug the holes they see springing up, no one is paying attention to the gaping giant hole on that is now the real problem. If attention is not paid, before we know it, the whole ship may go down.

    I posted a full blog posting on this in a six part article titled: The State of The Music Industry and the Delegitimization of Artists

    Chapter Five is titled: When Good Laws Turn Bad and deals specifically with this subject

    I am not certain if I am allowed to cross post on the comment section of this blog but encourage those reading to take a moment to read the full series.

    In the event the cross post is allowed, it can be located here - http://blog.tunecore.com/2010/11/the-state-of-the-music-industry-and-the-delegitimization-of-artists -pt-5-when-good-laws-turn-bad.html

     

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  35.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    The Bargain Bin

    The DVD bargain bin at stores (such as Walmart) is another "proof" that the value of content rapidly declines. It would be interesting to see a graph of the price decline of a DVD over time.

     

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  36.  
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    Hugh Mann (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Where'd you get THAT from?

    "Yet a huge percentage of content creators simply chose not to renew their copyrights, because they knew there was little or no value in the copyright itself."

    Not sure what the basis is for the assertion in the latter half of that sentence. Did I miss it? Is it set forth in the book from which this table was excerpted? It looks like the data describing value is from a much later study than the data on how many renewals in the late 50s were registered.

    I suspect there are also those who really don't understand what their options are, etc. Potentially many other valid explanations.

    On the whole, I tend to agree with the question asked as the headline to this post. If the artist isn't willing to put in at least some minimum effort to secure copyright protection, then why should the rest of us bother?

    However, keeping in mind Mark Twain's quip that there are "lies, damned lies and statistics", I don't think you can really draw any particular conclusion from that data absent further research. You have certainly stated a theory that I think makes sense in this case, but I'm not sure that data, standing alone, tells you anything about WHY they didn't renew.

    HM

     

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  37.  
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    freak (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re:

    I've heard you mutter the term "masnick effect" several times.

    What is the definition of the "Masnick effect"?

     

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  38.  
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    bob, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Copyrights

    You're right. He makes these crazy leaps. I don't use bankruptcy law and I haven't taken advantage of all the protections it could offer me, but that doesn't mean that it should be thrown out of the window. By the same token, I've never taken advantage of the protections from most of the criminal code, but I still value them.

    Furthermore while I do copyright things, I don't copyright everything nor do I think that I should copyright everything. Heck, probably less than 1% of my typing is registered with the copyright office but it's the right 1% and I'm happy that I've got those protections.

    The important thing to remember is that we have solutions that Mike conveniently forgets at moments like this. If and when I knock of something that I want to let everyone use, I just tack on an CC license. Everyone knows what it means. The rules are pre-defined. There's no need for lawyers. Larry Lessig did it all for me already.

    So I can take advantage of the magical commons that Mike dreams will one day make me rich and I do it every day. But I'm still happy that it's my choice and copyright is automatically putting the control in my hands, not his horde of fans who seem to believe that everything should be free because they're too cheap to spend 99 cents.

     

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  39.  
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    Urza9814, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re:

    @ :Lobo Santo

    I agree with you on 1 and 3. But number two - burden of proof? It's right there in the friggin' article! Look at the chart - over 90% of the people essentially responded that they would if they knew how or had the money. Only 2% of the respondents said they didn't see any point in registering copyright. And less than 5% said they just don't register. Based on the responses given, I would have to conclude that 95% of artists see a value in copyright. It's just that a lot of them either can't figure out how to register or are smart enough to realize they don't _need_ to register.

     

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  40.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Copyrights

    Wrong and WRONG. Some people want it free now and forever. Others are willing to pay, just not through the nose for it. £10 for a cd with only two tracks on you like? No thanks. Paying 99p/track for those you like? Sure!

    It's not about wanting everything for free. It's about those who will give money, and monetising those. Reznor did this with his Ghosts I-IV album. Then again with The Slip. He connected with his fans, then gave them a reason to buy.

    IT's really that easy to not give a damn for those who abuse the legal process and the legislature, such as SonyBMG, NBCUniversal and EMI.

     

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  41.  
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    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 2:07pm

    Mike, I'd really like to hear your explanation for your assertions here. I'm assuming you have some rationale for your position, but lacking that rationale the position you take appears to be an intentional misrepresentation of information.

    If the RIAA released a statement claiming that a study showed that the majority of artists valued copyright, while the actual study suggested that a majority do not value copyright, you would likely take them to task for misrepresenting facts. So again, please explain how 55% isn't a majority, and how you align the "don't know how" and "it's to expensive" people to the anti-copyright stance.

     

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  42.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Copyrights

    He makes these crazy leaps. I don't use bankruptcy law and I haven't taken advantage of all the protections it could offer me, but that doesn't mean that it should be thrown out of the window.

    Talk about crazy leaps. Nowhere did I say this was evidence that copyright law should be thrown out the window. On top of that the study did not look at everyone, only those who actually created and released music. Thus, the analogy to bankruptcy law only works if you *actually were bankrupt* and then decided not to avail yourself of bankruptcy protections.

    If you can't understand basic concepts, please to not attack those who do.

     

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  43.  
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    remi, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    what?

    lobo when you say hominem you reffer to eminem? because if you do you're just a justin bieber frustrated fan..

     

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  44.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re:

    "56% do register their copyrights, thus they do know how it works."

    ...which leaves 44% who either don't know or don't care. This also assumes that those who do register are doing so with correct guidance and information about the way it works. From the comments often seen here by "industry insiders", this is unlikely to be true. Throw in a fair percentage of people registering either through bad advice or simple naivety, it could be 50% or less.

    Such slim margins are not worth the ridiculously overbearing and counter-productive ways in which the incumbents are trying to defend the legacy systems. There's room for argument on both sides, but the data is hardly compelling either way.

     

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  45.  
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    bob, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    Uh dude. You don't understand anything. I could have declared bankruptcy but I chose not to. There are multiple paths and using bankruptcy law only matters if you want the blessing of the court to flip the bird to your creditors. But if you choose to work with them, well, there are other paths.

    And I wasn't the one who wrote the headline that took a narrow study and asked teh question about why we force copyright on the artists. You didn't write "If Some Artists..."

     

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  46.  
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    Willton, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Throw in a fair percentage of people registering either through bad advice or simple naivety, it could be 50% or less.

    A "fair percentage"? Is your point so flimsy that you need to make stuff up in order to support it? How about we not speculate as to why people answer the way they answer and just take the data for what it's worth?

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The Masnick Effect is basically "working backwards", through creative selection of data, careful framing of information, willfully ignoring facts that don't line up with the desrired result. You start with your desired result (in this case "Artists Don't Want Copyright") and then you try to backfill in as much information as you can that supports it.

    This one is a little easier to understand, because it uses two standard techniques: Out of date or incredibly irrelevant data, and the willful misinterpretation of data.

    The misinterpretation is key on this one: Somehow Mike is able to magically determine that 44% of musicians on Tunecore "don't really see the need to have a registered copyright". Yet, he assumes that "can't afford it" or "don't know how to do it" means they don't want it. That is a pretty big logical leap.

    Worse yet, the crowning part of the Masnick Effect comes in a few weeks, when he makes another posted about a related subject, and links to this one saying "we have already shown that Musicians don't want copyright" or some other variation on that theme.

    The Masnick Effect - making data fit your preset ideas since 1999.

     

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  48.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    In Most Fields, The Used Market Supersedes Copyright

    Movies are different from nearly all other copyrighted works. For a long time the movie industry was able to collect money without delivering durable fixed copies to the consumer. They rented copies of movies to theaters, which collected admission, and then the movies were returned to the distributors, and rented to someone else, until they eventually became to ragged to go through movie projectors, and were destroyed. This meant that if the movie industry could just keep the copyrights going, it could control the market, tacitly agreeing not to show old movies at reduced rates, or to show old movies which specifically competed with new movies.

    No one else had this luxury. Everyone else had to deliver copies-- for keeps. The copies delivered to consumers inevitably and eventually went somewhere. There have been used bookstores for a very long time. There have been used vinyl phonograph record stores since at least 1980, to my personal knowledge. About 1990, I bought some used tabletop board games, war games, from a very small store specializing in used copies of those. There were stores which specialized in used comic books. In self-defense, the publishers remaindered just about everything. Extended copyright was effectively moot under these conditions.

    The movie industry sought to avoid registration and renewal requirements because it wanted protective coloration. It did not want to be the only sector with copyrights lasting a hundred years or more.

    The second-ranking category in the 1958 table of copyright renewals was maps. A map is, in essence, a database of factual geographical information, presented in a format lending itself to rapid reading. There is a long tradition of marking up maps, writing corrections or additional information on the map itself. This means that a map, like a piece of software, is updateable. Mapmakers are sometimes sued because their maps prove to be incorrect, leading to accidents. I don't mean the automobile GPS cases, in which the driver was often strangely unobservant. I mean cases involving things like Jeppeson Plates in aviation, simplified maps for use during aircraft landings, cases where the pilot was not obviously reckless, but was flying blind in clouds, with reference to maps and instruments (IFR, or Instrument Flight Rules). The state of American copyright law, post Bridgeman vs. Corel, is that databases are not copyrightable. The intent of Bridgeman vs. Corel is that a new entrant should be able to take a copy of the database, and compete with the original compiler over who can do the best job of keeping the database accurate and up-to-date.

    The third-ranking category was music, but the way the industries operated, performers tended to graduate from music to movies. A good example would be Frank Sinatra, and the various members of his crowd. They started by singing in clubs or on the radio, then singing on records, then singing in musical films, then acting in dramatic films. Renewal rates probably reflect the movie industry protecting its subsidiary interests. For both movies and music, companies set up standard office procedures to automatically renew everything. A music industry which had not been plugged into the movie industry would probably have been less intent on copyrighting things.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Out of that 44%, most of them don't want to spend the money (17%) or don't know how to do it (18%). The truth is only a very small number (7.2%) actually said "no" or "no need". Given a simpler system or one that cost less to use, it is likely that 90%+ would register.

     

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  50.  
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    Willton, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: Copyrights

    doesn't the Constitution require that it be put in the public domain?

    The Constitution does not require anything of the sort. Art. I, Section 8, Cl. 8 merely grants Congress the power to institute a copyright-like legal system. The only conditions the Constitution creates with regard to coyprights is that they be issued "to Authors" "for limited times". The Constitution creates no prohibitions with regard to copyrights, despite your wishful thinking.

     

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  51.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's one version of a subjective "truth". Another version is that those who don't understand it value it so little they have done no research, and those who say it's too expensive don't see any kind of ROI on the money they would spend, making it worthless.

    You have no more evidence for your assumptions than you claim I do for mine. But, the fact is that only 55.86% of those artists see the value of spending the time, money and effort to register. Sorry, but I don't see the majority of just 5.86% as being justification for the crap the industry is trying to pull to defend their business models.

     

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  52.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Yet, he assumes that "can't afford it" or "don't know how to do it" means they don't want it. That is a pretty big logical leap."

    Not really. It means that they didn't see the benefit of putting in the time and/or money in gaining the knowledge or that they didn't see the value of copyright as being equal to or greater than the money they'd spend to register it. I don't see a logical leap here. Maybe "don't want it" is a little extreme, but they certainly don't see the value under the current system.

    "The Masnick Effect - making data fit your preset ideas since 1999."

    Why are so many here who defend the "artists" so often lacking in imagination?

    The "Masnick Effect" is a joking term coined by a user to describe the strange way in which industry defenders would say that the current case study is not relevant. An independent artist didn't count because they weren't mainstream and their business model couldn't work for the "big boys". A big name artist didn't count because they made their name under the old system and it could never work for smaller unknowns. Wash, rinse, repeat until the ACs and trolls look blatantly ridiculous under the weight of their own claims.

    If you want to mock, at least use accurate terms or coin your own. That one's already taken and means something different to your version.

     

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  53.  
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    crade (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't know why it would be named after him.. This idea is as old as statistics.

     

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  54.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The data's not worth much on face value - all it does is show that just over half of a subset of artists decided to register. It the comparison of said data to previous data and the claims of the modern industry that leads to debate - or at least would in an ideal world. Here in the real world, we just get a slanging match because Mike stated his own personal interpretation...

     

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  55.  
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    Willton, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The data's not worth much on face value - all it does is show that just over half of a subset of artists decided to register.

    So why are you trying to misrepresent it? Why are you making up percentages out of whole cloth? Take the data for what it is worth, as little as that may be. You are pretending it says one thing when it in fact indicates something else.

    It the comparison of said data to previous data and the claims of the modern industry that leads to debate - or at least would in an ideal world. Here in the real world, we just get a slanging match because Mike stated his own personal interpretation...

    His own personal interpretation lacks substance. That's why people are taking him to task.

     

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  56.  
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    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Not really. It means that they didn't see the benefit of putting in the time and/or money in gaining the knowledge or that they didn't see the value of copyright as being equal to or greater than the money they'd spend to register it."

    You're stretching here. Not being able to afford something doesn't mean you don't recognize that the value. I would love to have health care. I absolutely believe that the value of health care would be worth the money. I see the benefit. But I cannot afford it.

    In general, you're assigning motivations and rationale that are not immediately evident. That's a logical leap. Taking the information at face value is the only thing that makes sense here. And face value is this: 56% of artists polled register their works. 42% do not, for many different reasons that may or may not have to do with an opinion about the value of our current copyright system. And 2.4% do not see the value of copyright.

    Let's be clear about this: Only 2.4 percent made any apparent claim about the value of copyright. The majority do register, and the rest offer myriad reasons as to why they don't.

    Any reading outside of those numbers requires a logical leap of some kind. And while making a leap is not necessarily a bad thing to do, suggesting that this information indicates that artists (in general) "don't value copyright on their own works" is dangerously misleading.

    Fact is, it would be more accurate to say that this poll suggests that artists DO value copyright on their works.

     

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  57.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

    They can't be bothered...

    Of course all forms of "can't be bothered" are all ultimately the same despite any attempts to spin the data otherwise.

    These are "professionals" and this is their "livelihood" and clearly they can't be bothered to invest time or money into making sure their interests are protected.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Paul, you are doing the same thing that Mike did.

    Let's try this a different way. Those 35% represent the "undecided" vote. They don't know enough to make a choice, or can't afford to make a choice. We still end up with the same result, 55.86% doing it, and 7.2% specifically not doing it. You don't even have to be good at stats to see what it means.

    In congress, that would be enough to pass a law.

    What Mike did was pile up any response that wasn't "oh yeah, did it already" and called it negative. That is somewhere between misleading and dishonest. I am not sure why you would defend it.

    The previous use of "Masnick Effect" never really took hold, because it doesn't describe anything at all. I started to use the term a while back, and we have had plenty of fine examples of it's use since. This post is a great example, as it combines all of the key elements, from funky data sets to ignoring actual data even as presented, to drawing wild conclusions not supported by the data.

    It is classic Masnick Effect on data: he found a way pick and choose data to meet his desired result, no matter how hard he had to stretch and wish away unwanted facts. It's like turning gold into lead.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    "limited times" are well... limited.

    They expire eventually. This is in stark contrast to rights with regard to real property or personal property.

    Also, such rights are not declared natural rights they are conditioned upon a certain public policy objective. The government is only allowed to create such a framework based on that public policy objective. That is the part of the clause that you conveniently left out.

    The legal language really couldn't be any plainer despite the dishonest attempts by people to wriggle around it.

     

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  60.  
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    crade (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re:

    In other words, you receive some benefits from copyright automatically, and you get some other benefits when you register and data on how many people value the registration benefits tells us nothing at all about how much/many people value copyright by itself.

    The renewal rates I would think are more telling. They are pretty dated but I would think it would be common sense that the majority of content would not be worth hoarding anymore after 28 years. What percentage of the content made over 28 years ago is going to be still directly making any money? I would think it's pretty low.

     

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  61.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

    Nice Self Nuke There

    > And the assertion that the artists of 1958 and 1959
    > did not value copyright because of renewal numbers
    > is simply that - an assertion. Spending money to renew
    > a copyright is like buying insurance. In case that
    > thing you created pays off some day, you may want to
    > get paid. But it very well may not pay off, so why
    > spend the money now?

    Clearly they didn't value it enough to pay for it.

    So yes, the original assertion correct. You even
    restated it for Mike. So you're really agreeing with him
    despite the long post trying to state otherwise.

    Artists couldn't be bothered to renew their work and
    keep it locked up and out of people's hands for another 14
    years because they saw no value in the undertaking. That
    was precisely Mike's point. The extension of copy right
    terms benefit very few people (or corporations) while
    causing considerable harm to both consumers and creators.

    If we want to pander to Disney then we should just
    drop the charade and pander to them in a manner that doesn't
    cause a lot of collateral damage in the process. Although
    Disney would probably whine about such a mechanism too.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Where'd you get THAT from?

    Hugh, have you ever considered what percentage of people don't drive in their lane, don't park their cars properly between the lines, etc? Those are basic things, but some people choose not to follow them. There are various reason. Some people don't know. Some people can't afford proper driving lessons. A few don't care.

    Still, the vast majority of people do drive in their lane, they do park between the lines, and so on. Why do we foce lanes and parking spots on people if a few of them choose not to follow it?

    Mike is looking at a very, very small percentage of people specifically opting out (7.2%) and another 17% or so that can't afford it, and 18% who don't know how to do something, and assuming that they all don't want it. It's misleading.

    Looking at 53 year old renewal data doesn't really tell us much about the current state of things either, does it?

     

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  63.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 4:23pm

    Re:

    Mike, I'd really like to hear your explanation for your assertions here.

    I believe I explained myself in the post. Which assertions are you confused about?

    I'm assuming you have some rationale for your position, but lacking that rationale the position you take appears to be an intentional misrepresentation of information.

    I made no "intentional misrepresentation of information" at all. In fact, I presented all of the information and then explained how I viewed it.

    If the RIAA released a statement claiming that a study showed that the majority of artists valued copyright, while the actual study suggested that a majority do not value copyright, you would likely take them to task for misrepresenting facts. So again, please explain how 55% isn't a majority, and how you align the "don't know how" and "it's to expensive" people to the anti-copyright stance.

    I didn't say that 55% wasn't a majority. Why would you say otherwise?

    I didn't say that the "don't know hows" and "it's too expensive" group was ANTI-copyright. Why would you "intentionally misrepresent" what I said? I said that they clearly do not value the copyright. That's hard to argue with. If the "don't know hows" actually valued the copyright they would take the 5 seconds needed to do a Google search on how to register the copyright. And the "too expensive" crew is blatantly stating that the copyright is worth less than $35 (the registration fee) which is close to nothing.

    So I stand by the point that I stated -- not the one you're pretending I said -- that it appears a large percentage of those surveyed do not value the copyright, and it's a shame then that we lock up their work anyway. Note that I did not say that those who want to use copyright should not be able to, though you falsely imply I did.

    I believe my position is supported by the facts.

     

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  64.  
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    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Nice Self Nuke There

    "So yes, the original assertion correct. You even
    restated it for Mike. So you're really agreeing with him
    despite the long post trying to state otherwise."


    What the data suggests is that the costs outweighed the theoretical gains. Yes. But that doesn't mean they didn't see the value in copyright, just that they couldn't afford the investment. That's not the same thing.

    Let's look at the data another way: Big pocket copyright holders show the highest renewal rates. So the action taken to automatically apply copyright protection to all artists levels the playing field. We can see why this was necessary, as the data Mike has supplied shows the need to sidestep unnecessary and costly copyright renewal procedures.

    And so copyright was altered so that you no longer have to register (or renew) to receive basic protection. It's all in the spin. And it can be spun any direction you choose. And frankly, it's data from half a century ago. We're talking about 50 years ago when copyright law was substantially different.

    Speculation about the motivation of copyright holders from the last century hold no relevance to today.

     

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  65.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    The Constitution does not require anything of the sort. Art. I, Section 8, Cl. 8 merely grants Congress the power to institute a copyright-like legal system. The only conditions the Constitution creates with regard to coyprights is that they be issued "to Authors" "for limited times". The Constitution creates no prohibitions with regard to copyrights, despite your wishful thinking.

    Yikes, don't they make lawyers read the Constitution at some point?

    "To promote the progress..." certainly appears to be a condition to me.

     

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  66.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    Uh dude. You don't understand anything.

    There are plenty of things I understand.

    could have declared bankruptcy but I chose not to. There are multiple paths and using bankruptcy law only matters if you want the blessing of the court to flip the bird to your creditors. But if you choose to work with them, well, there are other paths.

    Right. So clearly you DID NOT VALUE declaring for bankruptcy. You are supporting my point.

    Would you have preferred it if the gov't FORCED you to file for bankruptcy?

    And I wasn't the one who wrote the headline that took a narrow study and asked teh question about why we force copyright on the artists. You didn't write "If Some Artists..."

    Ok, kiddo, go back and try to learn how to read. Nowhere did I say take ALL copyright away. I said this shows that some artists do not value the copyright and it makes no sense to automatically give copyright to artists because of that. I never said, nor implied in any manner that this mean we should not let individuals get a copyright if they wanted it.

    Reading 101. Try it some time.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re:

    "I believe I explained myself in the post. Which assertions are you confused about?"

    This assertion here: "Yet a huge percentage of content creators simply chose not to renew their copyrights, because they knew there was little or no value in the copyright itself"

    How do you know why these people did not renew their copyrights?

    "I didn't say that 55% wasn't a majority. Why would you say otherwise?"

    I was waiting for you to contest that. I know you never literally made this claim. But what you DO claim is that "the very people copyright law is supposed to protect clearly don't value what copyright gives them.".

    But the majority of artists DO appear to value copyright. At least according to the amount of people (a majority) who choose to renew.

    "I didn't say that the "don't know hows" and "it's too expensive" group was ANTI-copyright."

    You attached them to those that claimed the do not see the need in copyright. "Anti-copyright" was my term. I obviously never claimed you used it.

    "I said that they clearly do not value the copyright."

    I value health insurance. Can't afford it. I value better quality foods than I consume. I can't afford them. I see the value in traveling the world. I can't afford it. You CAN value something while not being able to afford the thing in question.

    As for the "don't know how" crowd. Ignorance is not synonymous with a lack of perceived value.

    Besides: What you actually said was: "this means that there are 44% of the musicians on Tunecore who don't really see the need to have a registered copyright"

    No. Only 2.4 percent claimed they "don't see the need". That's an actual category. Applying a greater number to it than actually exists appears disingenuous.

    "I believe my position is supported by the facts."

    I could just as easily state that artists DO value copyright on their works and also be supported by facts. My assertion would actually be more accurate according to the Tunecore data. If your position is so easily countered, it is not well supported by facts.

    "Note that I did not say that those who want to use copyright should not be able to, though you falsely imply I did."

    Where did I imply this. Be specific please.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I could just as easily state that artists DO value copyright on their works and also be supported by facts.

    ". . . that some artists DO value copyright on their works. . ."

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

    ". . . that some artists DO value copyright on their works. . ."

    You seem to have missed the point by a wide margin.

     

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  70.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    How do you know why these people did not renew their copyrights?


    I know with utmost certainty that they did not value the copyright enough to renew it. That's all I was commenting on. From that, we can make an informed claim that the value of copyright was LESS than the effort it would take to renew -- which is TINY.

    I was waiting for you to contest that. I know you never literally made this claim. But what you DO claim is that "the very people copyright law is supposed to protect clearly don't value what copyright gives them.". But the majority of artists DO appear to value copyright. At least according to the amount of people (a majority) who choose to renew.


    I again have no idea what the purpose of claiming "majority" is here. It makes no sense and has nothing to do with what I said.

    I simply pointed out that the *automatic* granting of copyright is questionable. For those who wish to register and do believe it helps, more power to them. But why do we give copyright to people who don't value it?

    I value health insurance. Can't afford it. I value better quality foods than I consume. I can't afford them. I see the value in traveling the world. I can't afford it. You CAN value something while not being able to afford the thing in question.

    Sure. But now you're just being willfully misleading. Registering a copyright costs $35. Everything you listed above is expensive. Registering a copyright is not. I think we can safely say that those who say it's too expensive value their copyright at less than $35.

    As for the "don't know how" crowd. Ignorance is not synonymous with a lack of perceived value.


    Given the effort to figure out how -- seriously it takes 5 seconds and Google -- yes, we can.

    No. Only 2.4 percent claimed they "don't see the need". That's an actual category. Applying a greater number to it than actually exists appears disingenuous.

    Nope. It's accurate and I have explained why. That you choose not to believe the facts is a problem only you can deal with.

    I could just as easily state that artists DO value copyright on their works and also be supported by facts. My assertion would actually be more accurate according to the Tunecore data. If your position is so easily countered, it is not well supported by facts.

    Indeed. Many artists do value copyright. I never said otherwise. What I said -- despite your continued attempts to pretend I said otherwise -- is that for those who DO NOT value copyright, it does not make sense to give it to them anyway.

    Are you really arguing otherwise?

    Where did I imply this. Be specific please.


    Your entire comment does. Read it.

     

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  71.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 6:20pm

    Re: The Bargain Bin

    Somehow, I disagree on this...

    You find older movies and cheaper titles in the bargain bin. That really doesn't constitute copyright as important.

    Besides, we aren't privy to the back dealings of Hollywood where they may have forced those DVDs there or it may just be released through indie sources.

     

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  72.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 6:43pm

    Re: It's not about creators, it's about corporations..

    "...something likely well under an average of $135 per title infringed."
    http://excesscopyright.blogspot.com/2011/02/45000000-chet-baker-estate-copyright.html

    This is how much they care about creators.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I again have no idea what the purpose of claiming "majority" is here. It makes no sense and has nothing to do with what I said."

    You're suggesting that the lack of value artist give to copyright indicates we should not force copyright on them. But the majority seem to value copyright. So why shouldn't we?

    "But why do we give copyright to people who don't value it?"

    So that copyrights cannot be denied to those without resources.

    "I know with utmost certainty that they did not value the copyright enough to renew it."

    No you don't. You don't know how many of those copyright holders were in a position to understand the law or afford the costs. Not being able to afford something does not mean you place no value on it. It means you weighed the costs and made a decision. Sometimes one that is regrettable.

    "Sure. But now you're just being willfully misleading. Registering a copyright costs $35. Everything you listed above is expensive. Registering a copyright is not. I think we can safely say that those who say it's too expensive value their copyright at less than $35."

    A copyright is not all encompassing, one copyright does not cover every aspect of work a creator might produce. Through the 90's I worked on creator owned published material. Short stories on multiple self published books. To register a copyright on everything I produced would have cost quite a bit more than $35. Everytime I produced something new I would have had to go through the process again. And again. And again. I also lived on a budget of about $350 a month and anything that cost $35 had to be weighed very carefully.

    You can't just dismiss cost because you don't consider it significant.

    "Given the effort to figure out how -- seriously it takes 5 seconds and Google -- yes, we can."

    No we can't. Not with a serious degree of accuracy. Particularly not when you're concurrently throwing around pre-internet data.

    "Nope. It's accurate and I have explained why. That you choose not to believe the facts is a problem only you can deal with."

    I get that you want this to be true. But it's not. Many people have tried to explain to you with the flaw in your logic here. You don't want to see it, that's fine. But that does not make your misrepresentation of the data correct.

    "Indeed. Many artists do value copyright. I never said otherwise."

    No, but you blatantly imply otherwise with your article title and your end argument that reads "the very people copyright law is supposed to protect clearly don't value what copyright gives them." And the follow up question: "So why do we still automatically give them copyrights".

    Or is your argument really: The minority don't want this, so why are we giving it to them?

    "is that for those who DO NOT value copyright, it does not make sense to give it to them anyway."

    No you didn't. I just copy and pasted your own words. You never qualified anything in the manner you are now claiming.

    "Your entire comment does. Read it."

    No it does not. Read it yourself. If you are going to argue that I implied something specific, give an example. Otherwise your accusation is obviously insubstantial.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike, are you confusing "value" with "price"?

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 7:23pm

    Re:

    That you made the same mistake Mike did but on purpose?

     

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  76.  
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    monkyyy, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

    Re:

    no, if they really needed it they would pay the relatively small fee when compared to the riaa`s luck in the courts(not all legal stuff since i cant see those letters being cheap, or the hopeless fear spreading cases that no one should have tried for)

     

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  77.  
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    freak (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks, now I know to ignore any and all people here who use the term "masnick effect".

    Renaming a common fallacy and claiming it to appear in every circumstance, whether it applies or not, is a trick itself that's older than democratic politics. There's even a name for that behaviour.

     

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  78.  
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    freak (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 8:17pm

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

    "Not being able to afford something doesn't mean you don't recognize that the value."

    Ehhh . . . in this case, I would say yes, yes it does.
    Because registration is something that helps you make money.
    If you can't afford it, that means that registering it costs more than you expect to make from it. Hence, the copyright has little value to you.

    If you really believe the registration is worth it, you can take out a loan to cover the registration cost, because you'll easily pay that loan back afterwards, right?

     

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  79.  
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    freak (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 8:32pm

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

    . . . and copyright registration costs $35.

    And 17% of the people polled think that's too expensive to be worth their while.

    I can spend more than that on ingredients for a couple of batches of cupcakes.


    Given the cheapness of registration and availability of information, I agree with Mike that not knowing or finding it too expensive is synonymous with not caring enough to find out the price of registration or self-educate.
    I mean, if you don't take the 5 seconds to google search copyright registration, how much do you really care about copyrighting your work?

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 8:37pm

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

    Copyright registration is something that can help you make money in the same way that buying insurance can help you make money. It doesn't, and I personally do not register my works. But that doesn't mean I don't see the value of registration. It's simply a prohibitive investment. One that goes a great deal beyond the scope of $35.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 8:42pm

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

    That's 35$ for every item you wish to copyright. That can add up to a very large amount without much difficulty. The first several years I was working as an artist, I had an income of about $350 a month. I generated at least one item a month that would require registration. That would have been about 10% of my income (income not generated by my art. My art was already being produced at a loss).

    If you think giving up 10% of your income is dismissively cheap, then I doubt we will agree on much at all.

     

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  82.  
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    btrussell (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 8:47pm

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

    So copyright provided less than nothing of an incentive for you then?

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:09pm

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

    Registration was something I wanted to do, looked into many times, and finally decided I could not afford. I knew I was already protected by copyright, and decided that I had no choice but to forgo the added protections of registration. I certainly valued what registration offered, but it was simply out of reach.

    Years later, one of the things I created that I did not make money on was lifted almost entirely and turned into a television series (by a company I turned down previously). If copyright was not an involuntary process, I would have had zero recourse. I don't mind distributing my work for free. I don't mind if I can't make money off my work. But I take issue when other entities make a profit off my labor with zero compensation.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:28pm

    Registering Copyright

    I'm not too clear what the main point is with this article if not to promote the registration of copyright? (OK -I'm a little lazy to read the whole thread, but still). I get a sense from reading the article that Mr. Masnick, who was at MEDEM (yes?) heard the address by Mr. Francis Gurry, WIPO, about their 'idea' of developing an International music registry (see YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpI5Kt_OlEA). And, after a little research that idea is in fact a WIPO project (in development) and one can see this from the WIPO website at http://www.wipo.int/imr/en/ and their newly registered domain name http://internationalmusicregistry.com/portal/index.html.en. Also, after further research it is known that MR. William Patry and other Google reps. have met with WIPO behind closed doors. So, are you, Mr. Masnick now also lobbying on behalf of WIPO and certain industries and related associations for a registration system of copyright works? Also, your comment on
    "Now, you can still register, and there are significant benefits to copyright holders for doing so, so many people still do. " -- If this is the case, and I don't disagree with this comment, what are they?

    And perhaps you can answer your own question: "why do we still automatically give them copyrights, thereby harming the public domain, while adding little to no benefit to the content creators themselves?"

    It surprises me that you, Mr. Masnick, after all your articles are asking such a question, unless of course you have been 'motivated' to do so by the 'players' (read lobbyists) themselves, those you met at MIDEM?

    And fair enough, I will think and do some more research on your question as I believe there is some subtext in your article and question.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:50pm

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

    It's an estimate on his part, wasn't intended to be taken literally or as something strongly substantiated. Just a possibility to consider.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:51pm

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

    (and your inability to grasp that, and to make such a huge issue out of it, just exposes you as a troll)

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:06pm

    Re: Re: Copyrights

    "I don't use bankruptcy law and I haven't taken advantage of all the protections it could offer me, but that doesn't mean that it should be thrown out of the window."

    Copy'right' should either be thrown out, or substantially repealed, for other reasons. But he is not arguing that copy'right' should be removed because many artists don't use it. He's arguing that those who don't use it shouldn't have it 'forced' or imposed on them. It shouldn't apply to those who choose not to use it, just like bankruptcy law shouldn't apply to those who choose not to use it.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:20pm

    Re: Re: Copyrights

    Ok .. so you are privy to this unpublished work? Patry is also a Google executive - so now I get all the Google references and your 'debate' on copyright registration. By the way fyi see http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-google-music-is-taking-forever-to-launch-2011-1

     

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  89.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I give up. Arguing with someone who willfully wants to misrepresent what I say (and this is not the first time you have done so) clearly is of no benefit to you, me or anyone else here. I should know better, since we've done this before. Good luck to you, but I believe you have totally misrepresented my position for whatever reason. Arguing with you over it again is pointless. Anyone is free to read what I wrote, read how you misrepresented it, and make their own decision.

     

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  90.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, are you confusing "value" with "price"?


    No.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Memyself, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:17pm

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

    Okay. I honestly do not see where I am misrepresenting you in this matter. In fact, I feel you have gone to some lengths to misrepresent me, as I certainly never intentionally implied that you believe those who want to use copyright should not be able to do so. Now, I'm certainly willing to concede that I may have misinterpreted some of your points, but I assure you that contrary to your claim, I am not purposefully seeking to misrepresent you.

    As you say, anyone is free to read what has been written here. And in doing so, many people are questioning the logic you have advanced. From my initial post, I clarified that I believe you must have some logical reason for making the claims you have made. And I do understand where you are coming from, I just happen disagree with your position.

    Most of the time you make alot of sense. I just don't think this is one of those times. But bare minimum, try not to make it a personal issue.

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's also a name for you kool-aid drinkers:
    The Willfully Blind.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:39am

    Re: I come to a different conlcusion

    It's not that artists don't value copyright, its that most artists (and non artists) do not understand copyright law in the first place

    Thanks for posting here, and yes, you're correct.

    I pointed that out above, but you have to realize the MO of the guy that runs this site.

    The term 'Masnick effect' is described a few posts above; it will explain a lot.

    cheers

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    dsharecropper, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 2:04am

    "What's fascinating here, of course, is this means that there are 44% of the musicians on Tunecore who don't really see the need to have a registered copyright.."

    Er..Mike, the poll clearly states only 2.4% of musicians "do not see the need." 41.2% would have agreed with your statement if they had answered "we do not see the need"; instead they gave other reasons, all of them different from "we do not see the need." What IS fascinating is how you twist the data to suit your agenda.

    I don't understand how you (mis)interpreted "I don't know how" and "It's too expensive" as being the same as "I don't see any need for copyright."

    Surely musicians aren't so dumb that they would say "I don't know how to register" when they want to say "I do not need copyright."

    Your post is simply a massive stretch. And fail.

    Also, since creative commons licenses are available for the teeming millions who don't want to be shackled by the oppressive copyright system, this hand-wringing from you is so unwarranted, and dare I say, amusing.

     

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  95.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 2:29am

    Re: Re: Nice Self Nuke There

    Your speculation isn't better than the other's speculation. It's still what YOU believe the numbers represent. Without more information NEITHER of you could be said to be absolutely correct.

    In the end, the endless copyrights of today do not really seem to be helping anyone except corporations that don't NEED the help.

     

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  96.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 2:33am

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

    "In congress, that would be enough to pass a law."

    Your math does not add up to 2/3rds majority to pass that law.

     

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  97.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 2:34am

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

    Sorry, can't drink kool-aid. Those additives are outside of my dietary restrictions.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 3:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Nice Self Nuke There

    "Your speculation isn't better than the other's speculation. It's still what YOU believe the numbers represent. Without more information NEITHER of you could be said to be absolutely correct."

    Yeah, I know. That's why I already stated in the post you responded to:

    "It's all in the spin. And it can be spun any direction you choose.

    And earlier in the same thread where I clearly stated that my counter scenario was:

    "An assertion as well".

    So yes, we both speculate. That was the entirety of my point. That the opinion here is simply speculative and should not be represented as a factual interpretation of the data.

     

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  99.  
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    freak (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 4:18am

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

    Funny. The entire point of copyright is to give creators an incentive to create by making them money.

    Are you telling me that copyright registration is unnecessary for this purpose, and that $35 is not worth "chance of unwanted user making money off your work" * "$$ you'll make if registered & previous condition occurs"?
    So the value of copyright registration to you is . . .?

    You stopped a television show from being produced, you already know that you don't need to register to stop unwanted users from using your work.
    Mike suggests automatic copyright should be abolished, but he never says that an easy alternative isn't possible; why not just require a plainly visible copyright notation to have a copyright, and otherwise, assume public domain?
    Wouldn't that serve you as well?

    So, two questions that will help me understand you better:

    From the sounds of it, you could even put your works under CC-NC and not have any problem with that, is that correct? If no, why not?

    Can you put a non-zero dollar-sign amount on cost of copyright registration per piece of work, where you would register your work, and it would be worthwhile to you?

     

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  100.  
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    freak (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 4:20am

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

    One more question to add:

    I mentioned that people who don't self-educate on copyright can be held as synonymous with people who don't care enough about registration, and thus with people who see insufficient value in it.
    Do you agree? Or is that also a point of contention?

     

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  101.  
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    freak (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 4:22am

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

    If I was a kool-aid drinker I would've ignored 'masnick-effect'ers before knowing what the phrase was used to mean.

     

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  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 5:32am

    Re:

    IIRC, at this time you didn't get 'copyright' automatically, but it had to be registered for, and was only given for a set amount of time. so you had to re-register if you wanted to extend it.

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:31am

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

    Freak, their work is copyright immediately upon production. Many people don't feel the need to go past that point, at least not to start with. At $35 an item, a song writer who bangs out a few songs a week could end up spending their entire rent budget on registrations, perhaps for songs they will never actually put into public use. Their work is copyright already, registration is an extra processing.

    Automatic copyright is one of the greatest features of copyright law because it removes doubt from the situation. Instead of trying to find out if something is copyright or not, the assumption is always "yes it is". In fact, all the CC licenses and all of that spring from copyright - because without copyright and ownership, the creator would not be able to truly assign or specify a licensing regime.

    So to put a work in CC-NC first requires ownership to be defined, which is what the copyright rules set out.

    Can you understand now why tossing the copyright rules out is a meaningless concept?

     

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  104.  
    identicon
    Willton, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:34am

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

    It's an estimate on his part, wasn't intended to be taken literally or as something strongly substantiated. Just a possibility to consider.

    No, it's baseless speculation, and it should be called out as such.

     

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  105.  
    identicon
    Willton, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    Yikes, don't they make lawyers read the Constitution at some point?

    Indeed, "they" do. In fact, we are taught to study it for at least 3 months, typically by people who have a greater understanding of Constitutional history than the likes of you.

    "To promote the progress..." certainly appears to be a condition to me.

    Really? And how does the Constitution propose we measure this "progress" in order to determine whether certain laws or actions of Congress fall inside or outside this particular "condition"? What legal test does the Constitution propose?

    Clearly you do not understand the difference between a "condition" and a purpose or objective. Read the section properly, which includes the firs few words from Clause 1: "The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts ..." The "promote the Progress" portion identifies the objective of providing Congress with this enumerated legislative power. That language, however, does not describe the mechanism by which Congress is able to further this objective. Nor does this language provide the limits and boundaries of such power. The boundaries are instead described in the latter portion of the clause: "by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Not surprisingly, this language also describes the mechanism by which Congress may further said Constitutional objective.

    I don't know where you, a lay businessman, get the arrogance to tell lawyers what the Constitution does and doesn't say. There is nothing limiting about the language "to promote the Progress". All it states why the Constitution gave Congress the power to legislate patent and copyright laws. But if you think your view is correct, please feel free to provide some legal support for your view. I'll wait.

     

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    freak (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:09am

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

    "Can you understand now why tossing the copyright rules out is a meaningless concept?"

    Yes, I also already did.

    You also seem to have not read what I've said?

    Where did I say anything about abolishing copyright?
    Automatic copyright, yes, but even then, what did I say right after that?

     

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  107.  
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    Willton, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:16am

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

    Your math does not add up to 2/3rds majority to pass that law.

    Good thing a 2/3rds majority is not necessary to pass a law.

    Idiot.

     

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  108.  
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    BBT, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:34am

    Re: Copyrights

    "This is YOUR inherent right...It’s not granted by government, but it is your right…. recognized and protected by the Constitution, as further specified under the US Copyright Law."

    "YOUR RIGHT is protected Constitutionally (not granted)..to publish, sell or give away ….as YOU please."

    This is not correct. The Constitution grants Congress the right to make laws regarding copyright. The laws that Congress passes give you the privilege of copyright. Copyright is not a right granted by the Constitution, it is a privilege granted by statute. It is the right for Congress to pass such a statute that is granted by the Constitution, and even that is conditional on the statute having the effect of "promoting the progress".

    Congress could repeal all copyright related laws tomorrow, and you would no longer have a "right" to copyright. The only right you would have is to petition your elected officials to pass a law to give you copyright privileges.

     

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    Willton, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    Also, such rights are not declared natural rights they are conditioned upon a certain public policy objective. The government is only allowed to create such a framework based on that public policy objective. That is the part of the clause that you conveniently left out.

    That part of the clause does not indicate how one is supposed to determine whether certain laws or Congressional actions are in line with said public policy objective. All that portion does is provide the reason why Congress is given this power. So, like I said, the Constitution does not require the abrogation of copyrights based on the cursory economic analysis of a 3rd party who has an axe to grind.

     

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    BBT, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Registering a copyright costs $35. Everything you listed above is expensive. Registering a copyright is not. I think we can safely say that those who say it's too expensive value their copyright at less than $35."

    Mike, I'm on your side here, but this is being misleading. What this shows is that the artists feel that registering their copyright is worth less than $35. But since they still have a copyright on the work, for free, even if they do not register it, it is inaccurate to say that this shows that they value the copyright at less than $35.

    If the survey asking for artists' opinions was done in the same time frame as the renewal rate study also mentioned in this post, when copyrights were not automatically extended, then you could draw the conclusion you are drawing.

     

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  111.  
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    Brian Schroth (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    "Really? And how does the Constitution propose we measure this "progress" in order to determine whether certain laws or actions of Congress fall inside or outside this particular "condition"? What legal test does the Constitution propose?"

    What a strange question. "Legal tests" tend not to be described in the actual Constitution. Is the Lemon test in the Constitution? Does the Constitution specify the precise requirements for Miranda warnings? No, these came from court precedent (as the names we give them, Miranda and Lemon, make rather obvious).

    "Clearly you do not understand the difference between a "condition" and a purpose or objective."

    If it's a misunderstanding, it's a misunderstanding shared by, for example, Justice Breyer (as evidenced by his dissent in Eldred v. Ashcroft). It's quite possible for it to be a condition and a purpose.

     

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  112.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    God you're an idiot.

    Most musicians don't know how to copyright a song. Most are also unfamiliar with many aspects of the business. That's what that particular poll showed.

    Which is unfortunate, because they end up getting bad advice about copyright from cretins like you.


    Ooooh touched a nerve there Mike!

     

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  113.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re:

    BTW.......... Hi BobTAM TAMBob!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:47am

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

    Automatic copyright is actually key in the process, because it eliminates confusion. There is no way to claim in court "but he didn't copyright it", because it automatically happened when it was created.

    Turn off the automatic copyrighting of material, and (according to the study above) 44% of music might not be covered. Then where do we stand on rights? Do you or do you not have rights? Does the musician have the right to sell their music? What happens if someone else takes it and claims copyright on it (because it wasn't already done)?

    Creating confusion in the marketplace isn't a step forward.

     

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  115.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:49am

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

    Do you need a 2/3s majority to change that?

    Winner!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    yet if registration was free, 17% more would have done it. They still value it, they can't afford it.

    Value, price. You know.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 11:05am

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

    I don't think he misrepresented your comments at all. He, like I and more than a few others here (including some of your usual supporters) can clearly see that you have tried to draw a conclusion that is absolutely not supported by the data you presented.

    A scant 2.4% of the respondents didn't see the need to register. Everyone else either registered, or had a reason that was neither yes or no. Even if you leave them out (and score them for neither side), you are still left with 25 times more people thinking registration has value than than those that don't.

    What you attempted to do was to read into people's answers (I don't know how, I don't want to pay so much) an intent of a valuation of the product that is just not given. The 18% that were not well informed are a great example. With information, would they break down in the same manner, with 25 times as many of them registering their music as opposed to those who decide that it has no value for them? It isn't clear - and it certainly isn't clear that they don't value the process - they just don't know about it.

    As for the 1958 renewal stats, I have to ask the obvious question: Do you not think that things have change significantly in 53 years? Do we not now have wider distribution, longer shelf lives for music and movies, and generally a longer producing, income generating, value in the market place lifespan?

    You seem to be once again ignoring the very progress you purport to be in favor of, because it would go against your conclusion.

    It is clear from the comments in this thread that many people see the same thing. It appears you tried to hard on this one, trying to make the data fit your desired results. It doesn't fit. Even taking your bias, you are still left with the majority of works being renewed in 1958, and the majority of music writers not only allowing for automatic copyright, but also going the step further to register. The data doesn't support your conclusions, even after it is twisted.

    Worse yet, in using William Patry as your "source", you are already getting your data through an anti-copyright lens. There is no telling what a digging through of the filtered data he provides in his book might turn up.

    It is disappointing that you cannot look at your own work and understand how clearly it is that you are twisting the facts in this case. This time was a little more obvious and more people caught it. How many other posts have the same issue, but slightly better covered?

     

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    Brian Schroth (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 11:39am

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

    There are two flaws in what Mike is saying.

    The first flaw was his phrasing "44% of the musicians on Tunecore who don't really see the need". This was foolish, since "don't see the need" was an actual option in the survey. He should have said "44% of the musicians on Tunecore who don't see registered copyrights as being worth a significant amount (i.e. more than $35)". This is a minor flaw, but apparently the only one that you noticed. Why such a minor flaw made you whine up such a storm, I have no idea.

    The other flaw is making the unfounded leap from artists not seeing the value in registered copyrights to artists not seeing the value in copyrights, period. This is a major flaw, and you didn't even notice it. Hell, it might even be worth raising the shitstorm you have been over the minor flaw! It's a shill's dream!

     

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    Willton, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    What a strange question. "Legal tests" tend not to be described in the actual Constitution. Is the Lemon test in the Constitution? Does the Constitution specify the precise requirements for Miranda warnings? No, these came from court precedent (as the names we give them, Miranda and Lemon, make rather obvious).

    Invoking the Lemon and Miranda is clearly inapposit. The Lemon test is based on the Establishment Clause, which has clearly operative language limiting Congress's power: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Miranda was based on the Self-Incrimination Clause of the 5th Amendment, which also has clear operative language limiting the power of government: "No person ... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." No such language exists in Art. I, Section 8, Clause 8.

    Furthermore, I studied both Lemon and Miranda in school, and I can tell you that both cases exist on very shaky ground as far as the Constitution is concerned. Therefore, I would not recommend using them analogously to bolster your point.

    If it's a misunderstanding, it's a misunderstanding shared by, for example, Justice Breyer (as evidenced by his dissent in Eldred v. Ashcroft). It's quite possible for it to be a condition and a purpose.

    Feel free to find other similar clauses in the Constitution that are read this way.

    As much as I respect J. Breyer, his focus should have been on the "limited Times" language, not the "progress" language. The condition that an exclusive right be for a limited time creates a bright line by which one may judge particular acts of Congress. A general, unspecific objective of promoting "the progress of Science and Usefull Arts" creates no line or measurement by which we can make such judgments. And in any event, policy arguments as to what does and does not promote progress are best left for the legislature, not the judiciary.

    All that aside, what Mike was proposing is entirely different. Mike was proposing using the Constitution to discriminatatively invalidate the copyrights of certain works based on some flimsy judgment as to whether the copyrights of those particular works promote progress. There is nothing in the Constitution that requires such nonsense, and raising the issue would likely be deemed a nonjusticiable political question, as there are no judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving whether the copyright of a particular work "promotes the Progress". Like I said, Mike is engaging in wishful thinking that has no basis in U.S. law, beit the Consitution or otherwise.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

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

    "So why are you trying to misrepresent it?"

    How am i misrepresenting it? All I've done is quote the figures and question the interpretations others have placed upon it.

    "Take the data for what it is worth, as little as that may be. You are pretending it says one thing when it in fact indicates something else."

    I'm open to discussion. Why, for example, does "it's too expensive" automatically mean that every single one of those artists would register a copyright if only they were cheaper? Why, meanwhile, would none of the registered owners change their mind if given unbiased advice by someone other than a label manager? That's part of the line being pushed by the people you're defending - why are their interpretations right and mine wrong?

    "His own personal interpretation lacks substance. That's why people are taking him to task."

    By offering little more than their own similarly lacking, interpretations and then attacking Mike for holding his. Hardly a compelling debate tactic.

     

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    TDR, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    You should also be aware that the Constitution specifically grants Congress the power to give copyright to "Authors" aka actual creators, and no one else. Yet in today's mess that is modern copyright, most copyrights are not held by the creators of the works that are supposedly protected. But then, you would not admit that because you benefit from the imbalanced system and see any attempt at fair use, privacy rights, and protection of amendments as threats to your masters' regime. You cannot possibly conceive of being able to make a living from a creative work without copyright and a gatekeeper and refuse to believe the many, many artists and creators who are living evidence that it is possible.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

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

    "I would love to have health care. I absolutely believe that the value of health care would be worth the money. I see the benefit. But I cannot afford it."

    2 things here: first off as someone who does have healthcare thanks to not living in the US, I'm sorry that your provision of healthcare is dependent on the size of your wallet. Not to turn this into that kind of argument, but it's often astounding to me that this is acceptable to some people.

    But, that's not a good comparison because you don't directly profit from your health. You can perhaps earn more if you are healthy, but there's no direct correlation. Artists, on the other hand, are talking about their livelihoods.

    To say "registering copyright is too expensive" is to suggest that the money they believe they will make by copyrighting the works is less than they would pay to register, or that the amount of extra profit is too small to bother with the hassle.

    Given that defenders of the current copyright industry insist that artists will only make money from copyrighted works, I think that's a very important point to consider.

    "suggesting that this information indicates that artists (in general) "don't value copyright on their own works" is dangerously misleading."

    That wasn't what I was suggesting. I was simply offering a counterpoint to the ludicrous claim that this same study shows that close to 100% of them do so.

    "Fact is, it would be more accurate to say that this poll suggests that artists DO value copyright on their works."

    ...but with a margin of just 6.4% of people who can be identified as being in support of it in some way, and many of those did register may not see it as being 100% necessary (perhaps hedging their bets or doing so because a manager told them to, not because they personally believe in it). The margin of actual supporters may be much smaller (also possibly bigger, of course, but that wasn't the point I was attacking).

    I argue with that claim simply because such claims have a tendency to be used to promote things that do cause real harm in order to "protect" said copyright (such as DRM, region coding, etc.).

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

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

    "The previous use of "Masnick Effect" never really took hold, because it doesn't describe anything at all."

    It describes something perfectly. It's not our problem if you don't get it.

    Stop trying to redefine existing terms to fit your own agenda. It's like when you hear people trying to use "liberal" or "progressive" as a slur when talking about politics - it's moronic, adds nothing to the discussion and only serves to get in the way of discussion. If you say the term, I assume you mean something different to what you mean and so we end up talking about completely different things. No wonder people like you have a hard time communicating here sometimes.

    Get your own term, or better yet try to discuss the actual points being raised. You could start by not stating your own wild assumptions in an attempt to oppose Mike's own assumptions. That gets nobody anywhere.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It was coined as a joke, as a play on the "Streisand Effect" term originally coined by Mike, to describe the more ridiculous attackers on here who couldn't even keep their own positions straight between posts. Read my post for the accurate description of it - I remember seeing the thread where it was coined.

    It became something used to let off a little steam when the trollish ACs came to play (e.g. Trent Reznor did something, an AC would come in and say "that wouldn't work for an unknown artist!", someone else would say "lol, Masnick Effect!", and so on).

    It's foolish to consider it as anything more than that, but some of these ACs seem to have taken it to heart and are trying to co-opt it. It's a bit sad, really.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 4:03pm

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

    "Do we not now have wider distribution, longer shelf lives for music and movies, and generally a longer producing, income generating, value in the market place lifespan?"
    So "limited" means when you think you have milked it for all it is worth?

     

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    Willton, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    You should also be aware that the Constitution specifically grants Congress the power to give copyright to "Authors" aka actual creators, and no one else. Yet in today's mess that is modern copyright, most copyrights are not held by the creators of the works that are supposedly protected.

    That's because said creators assigned their copyrights to other entities in exchange for consideration (e.g., money, employment, equity, etc.). Copyrights are still issued to creators, but the creators have the ability to sell those rights to others if they so choose.

    But then, you would not admit that because you benefit from the imbalanced system and see any attempt at fair use, privacy rights, and protection of amendments as threats to your masters' regime.

    Who do you think I am? What do you think you know about me? Why would I benefit from such a system? Who is my "master"?

    You know what they say about people who assume....

    You cannot possibly conceive of being able to make a living from a creative work without copyright and a gatekeeper and refuse to believe the many, many artists and creators who are living evidence that it is possible.

    Do I? Am I so ignorant of the world around me? Or are you just whaling on a strawman?

     

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    Memyself, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:56pm

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

    "it's often astounding to me that this is acceptable to some people."

    It's astounding to me as well. Sadly, it's the scenario I was born to.

    "But, that's not a good comparison because you don't directly profit from your health. You can perhaps earn more if you are healthy, but there's no direct correlation. Artists, on the other hand, are talking about their livelihoods.

    I think there is a disconnect going on here. You have to consider the full context of the discussion. We're talking about registering a copyright. This has nothing to do with income, and everything to do with IP protection. It's basically insurance. It's not something that alters the way you monetize your intellectual property.

    "That wasn't what I was suggesting."

    I was referring to the source article we are discussing. Not you specifically.

    "I argue with that claim simply because such claims have a tendency to be used to promote things that do cause real harm in order to "protect" said copyright (such as DRM, region coding, etc.).

    My point was that it would be more accurate than what has been represented in the article, not that it would be wholly accurate. In essence, I agree with you. I think that declaring these statistics as leading one way or another is simply forcing a complex issue into an either/or scenario.

     

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    Memyself, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

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

    "Funny. The entire point of copyright is to give creators an incentive to create by making them money."

    Are you telling me that copyright registration is unnecessary for this purpose, and that $35 is not worth "chance of unwanted user making money off your work" * "$$ you'll make if registered & previous condition occurs"?
    So the value of copyright registration to you is . . .?"

    Copyright and copyright registration have become almost two separate things. Registration makes proof of ownership more substantial and alters some aspects of legal proceedings. It basically grants some extra protection, and little more. Turned out that I would have benefited from said protections, but not so much that it would have been worth skipping on paying my rent to make it happen.

    And lets stop calling it $35 dollars. Each instance is $35 dollars. Depending on creative output, that can run into the hundreds of dollars a month quite quickly. Registration is not cheap and is difficult to manage on a slim budget.

    "Mike suggests automatic copyright should be abolished, but he never says that an easy alternative isn't possible; why not just require a plainly visible copyright notation to have a copyright, and otherwise, assume public domain?
    Wouldn't that serve you as well?"


    As long as I am the one who decides how the products of my imagination are disseminated, and I don't need to pay prohibitive fees to make this happen, I really don't care what the system is. The question is, is copyright in this specific instance broken? I distributed my work freely. And when a corporation attempted to monetize my creations without my permission I was protected by copyright. Copyright only helped, it did not hinder. If we're going to say that this aspect of copyright is requiring repair, lets see some good evidence that it is broken first.

    "From the sounds of it, you could even put your works under CC-NC and not have any problem with that, is that correct? If no, why not?

    Possible. I haven't had any problems with copyright so have had little reason to look into alternatives.

    "Can you put a non-zero dollar-sign amount on cost of copyright registration per piece of work, where you would register your work, and it would be worthwhile to you?"

    An annual fee that would cover all creative works by one individual would be reasonable to me. My problem with registration is that it is a per-item system. If you're prolific, it;s cost prohibitive.

    So yeah, I could accept that. But I also think it would be inferior to our current system.

     

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    Memyself, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:21pm

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

    "Why, for example, does "it's too expensive" automatically mean that every single one of those artists would register a copyright if only they were cheaper? Why, meanwhile, would none of the registered owners change their mind if given unbiased advice by someone other than a label manager?"

    Well let's be fair here. Of course in a real world scenario, there is no way that every single person who declares money their reason for failing to register really would follow through if it were free to register. But just going off the data provided, they say that's why they don't. Which does indicate that they would register if registration were free. Conversely, there is no data suggesting that those that register do so based off of specific advice. That's adding a step that is not present in the poll. Is it likely true? I imagine it accounts for some. But looking strictly at the data on hand, we don't see that. It's not part of the equation.

    A cold reading of the data says that a majority of artists choose to register. According to Mike, registration equals "value" of the copyright system as a whole. So presenting this data and suggesting that it indicates that artists do not "value" copyright of their own works... that's not what the data suggests. Making that connection steps outside the boundaries of personal interpretation, in my opinion. Instead, it's a re-framing of data in a potentially misleading manner.

     

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    freak (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:30pm

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

    Thanks. Now I can totally sympathize with your point of view, and I'm better off for it.

    For incidences of places where copyright is 'broken', well, let's stop at the top and move downwards. I think to say it's broken at the individual creator level without introducing a larger picture scheme first would encourage too much bias in the viewing.

    So, the obvious stuff: Things that should be in the public domain now, but aren't, like "Waiting for Godot".

    Over-reaching claims that prevent the free-sharing of culture, like record labels trying to stomp out 'piracy', which basically means I can't share music with friends over the internet, and if 'they' had their way, the DRM would prevent anything happening in meatspace as well.

    Entirely derivative works, like that sequel to "The Catcher in the Rye" being banned through copyright.

    Copyright being owned by corporations or family members of the creator at all, (really, anyone besides the creator); how is that encouraging more work to be made?

    Don't even get me started on code copyright. That's an entirely different issue.


    So, let's tie those in to an individual creator like yourself. I think the most obviously relevant one here is "The Catcher in the Rye".
    Let's say you write a script, or whatever it is you did that got turned into a tv show, about whatever subject. Now someone who has read your script, two years down the road writes a very similar script in a very similar tone.
    Should you shut them down with copyright, assuming you can? (Like JD Salinger's family did, that is).

    My opinion, is no. They aren't stealing your script. They're writing their own inspired by your script. I would liken it to reverse engineering your competitors microchips and using some of their techniques to make a better microchip, or maybe releasing a similar quality one at a time when the market is better for it. Assuming they can be shut down for patent violation, should they be? No. No matter what it is they did, it was their execution that made it successful, not (just) the underlying idea. It's not like science where there is only one truth to be discovered, there are many different reasons even why something so technical as a microchip can fail or succeed in the marketplace, a lot of which has nothing to do with the chip.
    With something less technical, like a poem, unless, (as with the microchip), you are outright copying with little to no changes, I don't see why a derivative work shouldn't be allowed, (And even then, I could see valid arguments, although most of them would fall under the weight of 'respect for the original author').


    Before I go further, have I said anything you really disagree with?
    I've a feeling you might disagree me somewhere in that last tangle, I'm just not quite sure at which point you disagree with me.

     

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    freak (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:43pm

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

    Yeah, and I don't think a blanket solution is a step forward either. It tends to smother.

    If 44% of the artists don't care that much about their copyright to self-educate, no, wait . . .
    Let's accept memyself's assertion that $35 per item is too expensive. I disagree, but forget that.
    If 28% of artists don't care enough to self-educate or register, and presumably make an amount of money selling their works and living off of them, (They use tunecore, might be a fair assumption; might not be: there's free registration), that probably indicates a blanket solution that over-reaches.

    Memyself mentioned the idea of a registration system that charges per year, rather than per work, which seems like it might make a hell of a lot more sense for a lowly creator who might knock off a dozen tunes a week and expect to make one that people actually like once a month, (Which one? Who knows until after it's popular . . .).
    Why not have a registration system like that, and if you don't register, it ain't copyrighted?
    Requires being the original creator of the work to be copyrighted, and if evidence arises to the contrary, the copyright can be revoked.


    Anyhoo, the point is that there should be a still better system out there we can implement that would better serve the public. That better system is probably not my 1-in-the-morning-can't-sleep-foggy-thoughts idea, but none-the-less, I am certain the better system exists.

     

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  132.  
    identicon
    cram, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:57pm

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

    But Paul, it looks like the new Masnick Effect also describes another situation perfectly--Mike's predilection to twist data to suit his conclusions and carefully leave out data that don't support his wild claims. Although I don't think it's an "effect." Guess we need to call it something else.

     

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

  133.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 5:30am

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

    Statistics!

     

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

  134.  
    icon
    Brian Schroth (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyrights

    Invoking the Lemon and Miranda is clearly inapposit. The Lemon test is based on the Establishment Clause, which has clearly operative language limiting Congress's power: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Miranda was based on the Self-Incrimination Clause of the 5th Amendment, which also has clear operative language limiting the power of government: "No person ... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." No such language exists in Art. I, Section 8, Clause 8.

    Furthermore, I studied both Lemon and Miranda in school, and I can tell you that both cases exist on very shaky ground as far as the Constitution is concerned. Therefore, I would not recommend using them analogously to bolster your point.


    Boy, the point just soared over your head on this one. I mentioned Lemon and Miranda strictly to point out that "legal tests" are rarely specified in the Constitution- instead they are determined by judges. So asking what legal test the Constitution specified seemed like a question only someone horribly uneducated on the law would ask.


    Feel free to find other similar clauses in the Constitution that are read this way.


    That's what's so telling about the copyright clause. It's the only clause in the list of legislative powers that includes the reason. In fact, the way the list is written, the plain interpretation is that the first half of the clause is not the "reason" for the power, but the power itself. Meaning Congress has specifically has the power to "Promote the progress of science and useful arts", and then that power is restricted further by specifying that the only way Congress is allowed to use that power of Progress Promotion is to secure exclusive rights for authors/inventors for a limited time.

    No clause has the same exact formulation, but this interpretation goes along similar lines as others: 8.1 gives Congress the power to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises..." but then separately restricts that power to require any exercising of that power to be uniform across the country. 8.12 gives Congress the power to "raise and support armies" but then separately restricts that power to only allow money appropriation in terms less than 2 years.

    Interpreting the copyright clause as granting the power to promote progress, with the additional restriction that the only way they are allowed to promote progress is via securing rights for inventors/authors, is a plain reading of the text. If it were not intended as a restriction, it would have been phrased as "to secure for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries; in order to promote the progress of science and useful arts."

    As much as I respect J. Breyer, his focus should have been on the "limited Times" language, not the "progress" language.

    Could it not be on both?

    I just thought it might make you drop your haughty "you're just a layman, not a lawyer, so what you're saying is silly" ad hominem if I showed you a Supreme Court Justice who felt the same way.

    Mike was proposing using the Constitution to discriminatatively invalidate the copyrights of certain works based on some flimsy judgment as to whether the copyrights of those particular works promote progress.

    I can't speak for Mike, but I didn't get that impression at all. It sounds to me like he is saying the courts should invalidate certain laws if those laws do not promote progress, as "Promote Progress" is the specific power that congress has, so if a law does not promote progress it is not something Congress is allowed to pass. Not that Congress has ever seemed to care what it's allowed to pass...

     

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


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