IP Czar Report Hits On All The Lobbyist Talking Points; Warns Of More Draconian Copyright Laws To Come

from the oh-great dept

We had serious questions from the beginning about Senator Patrick Leahy's "ProIP" bill, which was pushed very strongly by the lobbying group, the US Chamber of Commerce, using widely debunked stats to claim that there needed to be an "IP Enforcement Coordinator" in the White House. Yet, as we explained, such a position makes absolutely no sense. Even "pro intellectual property" folks noted that the law was anything but "pro intellectual property." Instead it was pro-legacy business structure. So giving a role in the White House to someone whose sole job is to protect legacy business models is the very definition of regulatory capture. And while the IP Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, has been kind enough to personally reach out to us multiple times since taking on the job, in the end she still sees her role to be protecting legacy industry jobs, rather than (as the Constitution requires) making sure that intellectual property promotes the progress.

Given the level of regulatory capture, it's no surprise that Espinel's first report on the "progress" of her strategy reads like a checklist of what the big IP lobbyists wanted. Not surprisingly, the US Chamber of Commerce, who misled Congress to create this role in the first place not only cheered on this new report, but also urged Espinel and the White House to go even further in passing even more draconian, legacy industry-protecting legislation.

And that appears to be coming. Within the report, there's a note that new copyright laws are on their way "in the near future."
The U.S. Government must ensure that intellectual property laws keep pace with changes in technology and the practices of infringers. As part of a process initiated by the IPEC, Federal agencies reviewed existing laws to determine if changes were needed to make intellectual property enforcement more effective. The initial review began shortly after the release of the Joint Strategic Plan and was completed within 120 days. The IPEC will include legislative proposals identified in that review in a White Paper on legislative recommendations that the IPEC expects to submit to Congress in the near future.
It's not difficult to read between the lines. Considering that it was US Chamber of Commerce lobbying that created this role in the first place, and now she's discussing new laws, to then see the Chamber of Commerce immediately announce it was "ready to work with Congress and the administration" on increasing IP laws, you can bet that the laws in question have already been written mostly by such lobbyists, and we should see them soon. Protectionism, protectionism all around.

That's not how to create innovation. It's how you prop up obsolete businesses at the expense of innovation.

The rest of the report, which is embedded below, just shows the sad state of affairs of industries who won't adapt and can't compete, abusing the legal process to put up barriers to new technologies, abuse the free speech and due process rights of those who actually innovate, and celebrate stagnation as a strategy for innovation. It's a depressing document all around. It celebrates the international joke that is the Special 301 report from the USTR. It mockingly celebrates "increased transparency" from an administration that supported the massively secretive process behind ACTA (which the document also cheers on), which only now we've confirmed was always about holding back developing nations rather than increasing innovation. Not surprisingly, the report cheers on the illegal seizures of domain names, despite the likely prior restraint and due process violations those seizures entailed. It ignores the international incidents created by seizing domains of sites declared legal in their home countries. And, of course, nothing in the report discusses new business models or how decreased IP enforcement has resulted in greater creative output, more opportunities for content creators, and new innovation throughout the world.

In other words, the report is a complete joke. Reports like this are incredibly frustrating, because they simply highlight how our government has been taken over by special interests who have no desire to actually improve the country, but merely to protect a few powerful lobbyists and the corporations that support them.

What bothers me the most, frankly, is that nowhere does the report make even the slightest attempt to support any of its assertions that greater IP enforcement is actually good for the economy. There are tons of evidence that this is not true, and yet Espinel repeats the claim as if it's proven fact. This is unfortunate because she does know better, but I guess appeasing special interests is more important than actually working to promote progress and improve the economy.


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  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Baka

    Idiot. Not even bothering to cite actual research - just crap.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:30am

    The U.S. is turning into Russia, favoring big business over free market capitalism and innovation.

     

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  3.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    and people wonder why the US is on a downhill

    our IP laws are by definition, what is pulling down our entire country.

    Let's hope politicians wake up before we bankrupt.

     

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  4.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    It would take...

    It would take an amazingly small object to contain the amount of surprise generated by me on having learned this news.

    What comes after regulatory capture? Governmental capture? "We the people" are apparently silent 4th-partners in the US Government, we have no voice and haven't the right to know more than we're told.

    Best be careful with that whole 'speaking the truth' bit, you may be labeled an 'enemy of democracy' (that is the current euphemism, right?)

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    Re: It would take...

    "It would take an amazingly small object to contain the amount of surprise generated by me on having learned this news."

    If congress cared even one iota about the public interest their first order of business would be to shorten copy protection length from 95+ years to something somewhat reasonable instead of seeking to break the laws even further than what they are. The fact that they are only seeking to move in the opposite direction without first fixing what's wrong with the laws is strong evidence that they are only serving corporate interests.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:40am

    In other words, the report is a complete joke. Reports like this are incredibly frustrating, because they simply highlight how our government has been taken over by special interests who have no desire to actually improve the country, but merely to protect a few powerful lobbyists and the corporations that support them.

    Quotes like this pretty much sum up TD for me. When things don't go your way, it's "special interests". For someone with an MBA, you seem to be all to quick to ignore the economic realities of the situations in play.

    What is happening is what I have mentioned in other threads: The US government is becoming more and more aware of the huge economic impact of piracy, and the impacts of the loss of IP to countries with weak protections (or none at all). The US is not a producer nation of hardgoods for the most part anymore, the US is a producer of IP, of the most desired music and movie content in the world, and generally a leader in all things that would fall under copyright.

    They are hit by the double whammy - erosion of the internal market (through piracy and such inside the US) and the erosion of the non-entertainment IP through non-protecting countries basically stealing it outright.

    In the end, changes are coming because of economic reasons, not because of a few lobbyists. If it was only for lobbyists, abortion would be entirely illegal, pot would be entirely legal, and everyone would be packing a pistol at all times.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re:

    "When things don't go your way, it's "special interests"."

    Yes, because 95+ year copy protection lengths is the result of a government that seeks to serve the public interest. and instead of fixing these stupid laws, the government is only going in the other direction.

     

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  8.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re:

    Well, you got my vote for 'funny'

    So, Coward, what's your angle? It's rare to find somebody who supports a rights-crushing regime unless they stand to benefit from seeing everybody's rights crushed...

    Also, feel free to cite logical reasons to your position, or have you only opinion statements?

     

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  9.  
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    Greevar (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Re:

    Actually, the US has been the pawn of the financially powerful ever since this nation was founded. Why else do you think we have the 16th Amendment, The Federal Reserve Bank, and Fractional Reserve Banking? That's why material and monetary contributions to political offices and candidates should be outlawed and political office terms should be limited to one term per office.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:53am

    Re: and people wonder why the US is on a downhill

    "Let's hope politicians wake up before we bankrupt."

    Actually the incumbent politicians will not change. So lets hope the population wakes up and votes them out before we bankrupt.

     

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  11.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re:

    I was with you right up until "That's why"
    Really, we need to remove the "Federal" (snort, chortle, tee hee, as if) Reserve, as well as the other blood sucking ticks it has infested us with--the IRS, for example.

     

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  12.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re:

    Lobo ... trying to get on the top 10 poster of the year by any chance?

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I would, but I'm waa-aay too lazy (and busy) for that. You'll note I don't post as much as I used to... Nowadays I barely have time for lurking, let alone actively participating.

     

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    cc (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Re:

    "The US is not a producer nation of hardgoods for the most part"

    Which is why wasting time propping up IP with more and more draconian laws is precisely the wrong strategy.

    Fix your manufacturing sector if you really care about your country's long-term economic viability, because the IP bubble could pop any time just like the housing bubble did!

    As for the lobbyists, they are the ones working to convince your government to ignore basic economics and go for more and more enforcement. You cannot possibly claim the lobbyists have no impact on your government's decisions -- if they had no impact, then they and their multi-million dollar campaigns wouldn't exist in the first place!

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    "In the end, changes are coming because of economic reasons, not because of a few lobbyists."

    These lobbyists spend tons on campaign contributions exactly because they know that their money makes changes. If their money didn't make the changes they wanted, they wouldn't be wasting it.

    For example, the steelworkers union encouraged Obama to pass ridiculous trade tariffs on Chinese tire imports.

    "The steelworkers union, which represents 15,000 employees at 13 tire plants in the U.S., said cheap imports were forcing factories to close, eliminating jobs. "

    Now look at the response

    “These remedies are a necessary response to the harm done to U.S. workers and businesses,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aIMC3B3J0bQE

    It's practically admitted, because of the welfare of a few workers, millions of Americans must suffer with unnecessarily higher prices.

    and lets not forget about things like Taxi cab monopolies, which is another thing that is only implemented to serve big business. Not to mention every other monopoly that exists.

    "through non-protecting countries basically stealing it outright."

    It's not stealing, it's infringement and there is nothing wrong with it. Calling it stealing is a lie and that makes you a liar.

    "In the end, changes are coming because of economic reasons, not because of a few lobbyists."

    The evidence disagrees with you. For instance, 95+ year copy protection lengths disagree with you.

    "If it was only for lobbyists, abortion would be entirely illegal"

    Why? If anything, wouldn't doctors want abortion because they can make money charging people to abort?

    "pot would be entirely legal"

    No, because pot is something you can grow and hence it's difficult for the government to tax and it's also difficult for big corporations to sell at monopoly prices. and to some level, it competes with things like cigarettes and other products. Yet, cigarettes are legal, but the FDA doesn't allow newcomers into that market in an effort to protect the existing status quo.

    "and everyone would be packing a pistol at all times."

    This is also nonsense. I don't pack a pistol but that's only because I don't want to. Perhaps some people simply don't want guns in their house.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    "What is happening is what I have mentioned in other threads: The US government is becoming more and more aware of the huge economic impact of piracy, and the impacts of the loss of IP to countries with weak protections (or none at all)."
    1. What scientific source do you have for the impact of piracy? Any? Or how about the economic reasons for these laws?
    2. Strong local, in country, protections do nothing when other countries with lower protections exist in a global economy.
    "The US is not a producer nation of hardgoods for the most part anymore, the US is a producer of IP, of the most desired music and movie content in the world, and generally a leader in all things that would fall under copyright. "
    Wow, you have zero idea of what you are talking about. The US is still the top producer of goods. China though growing is at second and will be still years before they overtake the US. And by GDP, music and movies are basically nothing.

    "They are hit by the double whammy - erosion of the internal market (through piracy and such inside the US) and the erosion of the non-entertainment IP through non-protecting countries basically stealing it outright." Translation: So basically companies that rely on ideas and are not innovating or uncompetitive are suffering because of poor business models.

    "In the end, changes are coming because of economic reasons, not because of a few lobbyists." False. Demonstrably so. There is little to no economic reasons for these laws as Mike stated. There is proof that millions have been contributed by the RIAA/MPAA. Follow the money.

    "If it was only for lobbyists, abortion would be entirely illegal, pot would be entirely legal, and everyone would be packing a pistol at all times." Well abortion and pot lobbyists don't exactly have millions to contribute to politicians. And last I heard in the US you have the right to bear arms.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re:

    "but the FDA doesn't allow newcomers into that market in an effort to protect the existing status quo."

    In fact, you should see the things they did to the smokeless cigarettes. At one time they put a ban on imports of smokeless cigarettes (despite the fact that they were invented in another country) and then tried to allow U.S. companies to copy the idea and sell it here (another example of government not protecting the innovators, which is what patents are allegedly for, but of them only trying to protect big business). If memory serves me correctly, Internet (not mainstream media) backlash eventually got the FDA to allow imports of the product to some extent. Another example of how the U.S. doesn't care about protecting those who innovate, they only care about protecting big (and local) businesses. But protecting them doesn't encourage them to innovate, it encourages them to stay lazy by selling a worse product at a more expensive price.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re:

    "The US government is becoming more and more aware of the huge economic impact of piracy"

    More and more aware of something that there is to date absolutely no evidence for.
    What little evidence there is suggests that any impact while small is likely to be positive.

    So if you are aware of something that the US government are apparently "more and more aware of" you should be able to point to the evidence.
    Go on, give it a try, it would be good for you to deal in facts and could lead to an interesting discussion.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re:

    In fact, here is some citation

    http://www.buzzle.com/articles/court-rules-fda-cant-regulate-electric-cigarettes.html

    Apparently the FDA tried to protect incumbent cigarette companies by banning smokeless cigarettes (and their imports, despite the fact that smokeless cigarettes have far fewer carcinogens and chemicals are hence probably not nearly as bad for you, yet they do allow the sale of regular cigarettes which are far worse for you) but the courts shot it down.

    It's all politics, don't be fooled. There are many dietary supplemental products that the FDA banned, at the will of big pharmaceutical corporations, that have had very little evidence of harming anyone and, in many cases, have had much evidence of helping people (ie: red yeast rice). Yet, they still allow the sale of cigarettes, which has been shown to be far more harmful than many of the products that they have banned.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    and chemicals and are hence *

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re:

    Speaking of the government becoming "more and more aware"
    this little snippet from the wiki page on awareness seems appropriate

    "In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding."

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

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re:

    Fix your manufacturing sector

    The manufacturing sector works perfectly, except for one very basic problem:

    US workers are unwilling to work for $1 an hour. In fact, US workers cost so much that it is cheaper to produce overseas,put it in a container, ship it to a port, sail it half way around the world, and then transport it by truck the rest of the way across the US to sell it. Net all of those expenses, the US manufacturing system is just too expensive.

    It is incredibly unlikely that any time in the near future that you will see that change. The only reasons you see cars being produced in the US is the costs of shipping and import restrictions that are in place. Without tariffs and other restrictions, your cars would all be made wherever it was cheapest, no matter what.

    In the end, the US is just too expensive to produce the goods (and the same thing applies for many Western nations, who has the misfortune of being world leaders in the economy rather than dirt farmers or lucky enough to be living on a sand dune full of oil). Since that won't change, the US has to do what it is best at, which is IP - and that needs to be protected.

    Care to explain your "IP bubble" theory?

     

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    average_joe (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    I wonder what exactly these new IP laws are going to look like?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Since that won't change, the US has to do what it is best at, which is IP - and that needs to be protected."

    So you're saying that the only thing the U.S. is good at is IP. They suck at innovation, they suck at working, they suck at everything, so the only thing they can do is to try and extort money out of everyone else for anything anyone does.

     

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  25.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    "because the IP bubble could pop any time just like the housing bubble did!"

    Its closer than you think for the content industry. Several things could cause it. Off the top of my head ...

    1) Easy to use, all in one, torrent or P2P Software that allows for encrypted anon connections.

    2) Legal decisions shutting down the dept of IP enforcements actions.

    3) One or more US politicians blocking any further advancement of draconian IP laws.

    4) Public outcry over the rules going to far. More than likely due to the criminalization of file sharing.

    5) Several tech companies getting together to push back against further advancement of IP content laws.

    6) Due to the complexity and conflicting nature of the rules for paying for

    7) Competition from inside and outside causing the financial ruin of the content companies, leading to the end of lobbying efforts.

    Its probably going to be a combo of all of the above that causes the Content IP bubble to burst.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and you're saying that the solution to this problem is to encourage them to keep sucking at everything by protecting their failed business model with more IP. Excellent logic.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re:

    's rare to find somebody who supports a rights-crushing regime unless they stand to benefit from seeing everybody's rights crushed

    I don't support "rights-crushing" in any manner. I support balance. Copyright (and patents) have positive and negative aspects. The question is balance. It is very easy as an end consumer to look only at the negatives (why am I paying this much?) rather than looking at the overall impacts in the economy. I look at the incentives that copyright gives to businesses and individuals to make the investment of time and money required to develop new products, new ideas, and so on that benefit everyone.

    I understand there are other views of what could and could not be accomplished. But so far, I haven't seen any other alternatives out there that appear to have the long term stability and the long term incentives in the system to make it go. Short term, abolishing these things would be a boon to everyone who could just go and take what they want. But like looters in a riot, it is a short term effect that does not support long term "going forward" business models.

    The reality for Americans (and most western countries) is without protection against low cost countries, we all get dragged down to that level, we don't drag them up to our level. Every penny of the Chinese advancement has come out of the West's hide. They appear to be improving, but it is as much an averaging of wealth going on. The US as a whole isn't exactly a viable financial model in that scenerio, is it?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry, I responded to the wrong post. My mistake.

     

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  29.  
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    Blatant Coward (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:34am

    Re: and people wonder why the US is on a downhill

    14 trillion in debt and climbing.

    If this was my bank account I would have been shot, hung, drawn & quartered by now by the bank.

     

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  30.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    Infringing will get you a needle in your arm.

     

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  31.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry to cite you as being dead wrong, but you are.

    The only way in reality to increase wealth, be it one's personal wealth or a nation's GDP, is thru manufacturing. When a person/company acquires $3 of raw materials and turns it into a $300 part--value has been created.

    China's growth has not come at our expense--it is NOT a zero-sum game.

    IP, on the other hand, is the masturbation of the wealthy--they dream of a world wherein they have money forever and no need to do anything to protect it because the entire system is stacked in their favor. Such a system will not last (for precedence, review medieval feudalism).

    The only way to move forward is manufacturing and innovation. Taxes, tariffs, patents and the like only act as a brake.

     

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  32.  
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    Christopher (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Too expensive = not cutting enough corners

    Manufacturing is too expensive because we actually have laws we enforce on how long you can work, what a minimum wage should be, what kinds of working environments you can have, and how safety and environmental protection should be governed.

    You simply cannot produce the same way as China without flouting labor laws and environmental restrictions. We're company against a nation that will happily poison an entire region just to win. We no longer do it -- at least on that scale -- and that's good for our environment, but bad business.

    Where's the level playing field?

    -C

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I haven't seen any other alternatives out there that appear to have the long term stability and the long term incentives in the system to make it go."

    There are many better alternatives, and there is no evidence that IP has long (or even short) term stability or incentives to "make the system go." If anything, all the evidence says you're wrong.

    "The reality for Americans (and most western countries) is without protection against low cost countries, we all get dragged down to that level, we don't drag them up to our level."

    The solution to their improvement isn't to try and restrict their (and our) improvement through unnecessary copy protection laws, it's to encourage us to compete with them in a free market so that we can learn to do so.

    "Short term, abolishing these things would be a boon to everyone who could just go and take what they want. But like looters in a riot, it is a short term effect that does not support long term "going forward" business models."

    Proof by assertion shouldn't, and isn't going to, convince anyone. You need a thing called substantiation.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re:

    (well, technically the FDA could allow new competitors into the cigarette markets if they apply, pass vigorous FDA standards, and the FDA approves them to sell cigarettes. Generally, though, they do not allow newcomers into the market).

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re:

    oh yes, all the record stores dying and sales being cut in half since 1999 is just a coincidence.

    Retarded freetard is retarded.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re: Too expensive = not cutting enough corners

    Japan did it.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    If I didn't had legal free alternatives I would get pissed, but since I have legal free alternatives those bastards can pass all the laws they want, I still ain't buying anything from those creeps.

     

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  38.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    China's growth has not come at our expense--it is NOT a zero-sum game.

    THANK YOU. I was beginning to think I was the only person in the world who could see that.

    IP, on the other hand, is the masturbation of the wealthy--they dream of a world wherein they have money forever and no need to do anything to protect it because the entire system is stacked in their favor.

    Also true. +1 for you, sir. IP is where a country gravitates to when it gets fat and lazy on the proceeds of its industrial success.

     

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  39.  
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    cc (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The manufacturing sector works perfectly, except for one very basic problem: US workers are unwilling to work for $1 an hour."

    Hello? You are in a country with 10% unemployment and about 15% of the population living below the poverty line. People want the work!

    The strength of the dollar as a reserve currency has made it cheaper for companies to invest outside the country and import more. Exports are suffering for the same reason. Your most recent governments have done nothing to mitigate the problems, leading to the death of your manufacturing sector.

    As for the "IP bubble" concept, see here.

     

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  40.  
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    cc (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So people are no longer buying CDs. Your point?

     

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  41.  
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    cc (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re:

    Also, the rightsholder of the infringed work will be granted exclusive broadcast rights to the event.

     

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  42.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Record Company != Music Industry

    Terrible troll is terrible.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Record Company != Music Industry

    Terrible troll is terrible."

    I'll see you and raise you a:

    CD sales != music industry

    ignorant troll is ignorant (not you, the troll)

     

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  44.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    oh yes, all the record stores dying and sales being cut in half since 1999 is just a coincidence.

    Let's start with "all the record stores dying".

    I am assuming you mean the old brick and mortar stores. These are facing competition from online stores. Nothing nefarious about that.

    "sales being cut in half since 1999"

    Music is now competing tons of other forms of entertainment these days that take up time we used to spend on music...video games, social networks, online video, etc, etc..

    Also, there hasn't been a major format change in music since before 1999, people are not repurchasing their music every 5-6 years as before.

    Retarded freetard is retarded.

    Whatever...tossing out insults SO helps your argument.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Shouldn't you put some of that on... I dunno.. skinny guy, wears jeans and a turtleneck? His company, you know, the one with all that digital media being sold from it?


    Fail troll is fail.

     

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  46.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    I wonder what exactly these new IP laws are going to look like?

    Simply having a song stuck in your head will constitute willful infringement.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    Well, I'm sure they'll be "stronger" than other countries IP laws, like Mexico and Canada. Which will then make Mexico and Canada look like their even more lax on their IP laws and will probably be forced to change them, you know, because of America and freedom.

     

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  48.  
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    Jeremy7600 (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That was me, too lazy to log in on my phone

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    record stores dying out:

    1- ever heard a little thing called WALMART? They undercut the record stores.

    2- Record stores depended on the same thing the recording idustry did, mainly the customers repurchasing recordings on new formats.

    3- The record stores sold discs (at the end) that no one wanted, the consumers wanted mp3's.

    4- Competing with other forms of entertainment.

    I'm also pretty sure as the sales from point 2 started to dry up, the recording industry did whatever they could to get more 'profits' out of the stores and killed the stores profit margins.

     

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  50.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Baka

    What would be really interesting is taking what Obama said yesterday to the CoC, "Companies need to give back" and pointing straight to IP stuff. cough *Disney* cough.

    Copyright is the *very definition* of 'giving back'.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re:

    Meh, why wonder about those things, people will continue to flaunt the law in the faces of you guys, it would be better to wonder how to get laid instead :)

     

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  52.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Record stores are thriving - if you're looking at second-hand sales. If you're looking at new, well, iTunes and Amazon have helped kill off the legacy record stores.

    It'a no coincidence that musicians in general are making more money. Madonna and co. are just outliers.

     

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  53.  
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    CommonSense, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    There is no lobbyist big enough to counter all the religious groups, energy groups, enforcement agencies, and big pharma groups. Those are the groups that keep pot illegal. The general public, over half of which has smoked pot at least once, is starting to care less and less about it. If it weren't for lobbyists, pot would have been legalized a long time ago...

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Who cares really?
    Let them deal with the consequences for loosing respect for the public.

     

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  55.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    "but I guess appeasing special interests is more important than actually working to promote progress and improve the economy."

    You're missing one important piece of the puzzle that will make this all crystal clear. Rule #1 in every persons book is to look out for yourself. What is in the IP Czar's best interest is getting paid large sums of money by those special interest groups, and in order to accomplish that, those groups need to be appeased. Appeasing the special interests alone might not be more important, but as the only way to pad your own pockets, it jumps a few spots on the list, at the expense of the rest of the world. It's all about selfishness and greed, and an inability for these people in power to look beyond their own needs to the needs of the general population. The only solution I can think of for this problem, is real, true transparency...and now you know why that isn't really too high on anybody's list of things to accomplish.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    BTW Americans can't even control controlled substances inside their own prisons, now imagine trying to enforce anything outside of a prison or even in another country LoL

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    What is in the IP Czar's best interest is getting paid large sums of money by those special interest groups

    So what you are saying is that the IP Czar is taking bribes, right? You have some proof of this, I gather?

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh gosh, that's a great read, thank you!

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, the Earworm Act of 201?.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Isn't that why some guys start bands? ;)

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re:

    Wherein bribe = taking a paycheck for obliviously supporting more bad and ineffective law based on flawed numbers and vested interest of industries with no forward thinking skills whatsoever...yeah?

     

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  62.  
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    chris (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

    Re:

    The US government is becoming more and more aware of the huge economic impact of piracy, and the impacts of the loss of IP to countries with weak protections (or none at all). The US is not a producer nation of hardgoods for the most part anymore, the US is a producer of IP, of the most desired music and movie content in the world, and generally a leader in all things that would fall under copyright.

    this is exactly right.

    this is exactly why the US needs to stop IP enforcement and focus on labor and environmental standards for other countries.

    all the IP enforcement in the world isn't going to make a lick of difference for the US economy.

     

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  63.  
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    chris (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Care to explain your "IP bubble" theory?

    like tech companies in 1999-2001 and like real estate in 2005-2007, intellectual property is over valued.

    so long as the market has faith in intellectual property, as it kept faith in tech companies and real estate, IP will increase in value, the instant that faith is lost (like in 2002 and 2008 respectively) there will be a crash.

     

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  64.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 8th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re:

    In America, bribes are also known as lobbys.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Addendum:

    Inside an American prison guards have total access to anything a prisoner do, prisoners have zero rights there and even are subject to anal probing...I mean cavity search.

    Still somehow all those criminals manage to get contraband inside that place WTF?!

     

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  66.  
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    Jose_X, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    >> the IRS, for example.

    That anti-tax comment supports the views of the very wealthy. The less government interference, the more unfair can be their contract terms with mere mortals, and the less likely mere mortals have a chance to win things back.

    A more perfect Union cannot come to pass (and certainly not promote the general welfare) with even more lopsided wealth distribution than we have now. We need income and other progressive taxes always to try to fight back against those with very large levers using that leverage to more easily acquire even larger levers.

     

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  67.  
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    Jose_X, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    >> The only way in reality to increase wealth, be it one's personal wealth or a nation's GDP, is thru manufacturing.

    So you don't think that the Internet has brought and will bring a great amount of wealth to us all just be being used more?

    Since when is a growth of information, especially for the class of information known as "software", which helps power amazing mechanical devices, and for the class known as entertainment, not a gain in wealth?

    Since when is having more efficient structural setups around us not a gain in wealth?

    And isn't having a bunch of garbage and poisons lying around people's drinking water and air and destroying lots of lifeforms we haven't yet had a chance to study, a loss in wealth even though it does tend to result from gains in manufacturing?

     

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  68.  
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    Jose_X, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    >> "sales being cut in half since 1999"

    An explanation I saw for that was that we are back to the ordinary rate and that the fast rise in the 90s was because of all the people buying CDs to replace old LPs.

     

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  69.  
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    Jose_X, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    >> The less government interference

    Didn't mean to suggest that the more interference the better but simply that there is a "level" at which we gain and lose as it drops below that level.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Of course it isn't a zero sum game, but since there is only so much economic pie, when China takes a bigger slice it comes off of someone else's plate. It's only in the second step (that China is currently entering) where their domestic market grows enough to increase the pie.

    Until there was a way to trade overseas easily, everything in the US was made in North America, or just about. Shipping was expensive and time consuming, such that local and regional production was key.

    However, wages, benefits, and all that comes with it in the US have made manufacturing almost impossible for many items. It is cheaper to sell the raw material to China and buy it back finished than it is to make it locally. When that happens, the manufacturing jobs leave and go where it is cheaper to get the finished product.

    We hate to lose the jobs, we love Wal-Mart. Self defeating actions, I guess.

    The world uses more steel than ever, but it doesn't come from the US. The world consumes more shoes, shirts, and all manner of household goods than ever, and effectively none of it is made in the US.

    Until the US gets wages down to the level of matching places like China, Thailand, India, and even Mexico, they jobs won't flow back. We the people don't want to pay $150 for a coffee maker when we can buy the Chinese made one for $40. You can't change those basic facts.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Josh Taylor, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 7:39pm

    Everything's coming clear. As of now, Obama has signed an executive order creating 2 more IP czars.

    One day, Everything you do that the MPAA and RIAA doesn't like and deems your everyday actions, even if it's not internet related, copyright infringement. Everything you try to think the MPAA and RIAA deems it trademark infringement and you will be forced to get a full frontal lobotomy.

    Hidden camera and microphones, courtesy of the MPAA and RIAA, will record your everyday life and no matter what you do, you are GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. Phone companies are on patrol as the Phone Police obeying the RIAA and MPAA's demand.

    Read the comic "Total Control".

    Here's the plan, leave your house, leave everything that is modern and live in the wilderness. Survive by fishing with your bare hands. Think like a Nomad.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Finally, I found the source to the original claim, though it was just a comment by someone.

    Posted by Ecig22

    "There is a lot more to the story, I have an online store call SmokeSticUSA.com and the E-Cigarettes that I sell comes from a company that makes there cartridges here in the USA, and as of right now they are the only E-Cigarette company that is. Here is there statement:

    LOS ANGELES, July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The FDA announced that after laboratory analysis of electronic cigarette samples they have discovered that Electronic Cigarettes contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals. However, this does not ring true for U.S. based manufacturer, SmokeStik, LTD. The FDA report analyzed e-cigarettes cartridges and listed several compounds of concern, such as, Diethylene Glycol, Tobacco specific nitrosamines, Anabasine, and Myosmine. Independent lab results have shown that none of these compounds are present in SmokeStik products"

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-07-22-electroniccigarette_N.htm

    I was reading comments from somewhere else (though I can't find them) indicating that the ingredients in the FDA approved version (at the time) were actually worse for you than the ingredients in the imported version.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So how does hamstringing US business entrants with overbroad IP law help?

    How does exporting this US based law idea that IP is all important help when it will be used in reverse against it - 'cause you know it will.

    How does creating dependency on IP make any business stronger when it can literally be ignored at will by anyone in any country at any time?

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:56am

    Re: Re:

    Why do you care about the length of copyright protection? The stuff you guys rip off is usually less than a couple years old.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 1:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Unless you can show how IP isn't as valuable as it was say, 20 or 50 years ago, your theory of a bubble is massively stupid.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 1:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The record store closings started en masse well before itunes existed.

    They started the year after Napster.

    My friend owned one in a large University town. He had student friends that came in and told him why the sales had stopped. Everybody was downloading from Napster.

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 3:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is not the real problem, you have people who already are at that level in the U.S. they just can't produce anything or they go to jail for infringing on IP laws, you see those same companies that shipped out all those jobs are also the people who don't want anyone having the power to produce anything for themselves this is really the problem.

    But that kind of behavior also creates masses of people with nothing to do which could end with someone self immolating in front of the White House in despair after having his living taken because he was selling illegal produce, when that happens maybe people will rise, do we need to wait for people to start to die though?

     

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  79.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Care to explain your "IP bubble" theory?"

    See this comment. Basically the failure of the content IP Bubble will be caused by one or more things that errode the monopoly. These will occur due to competition, the laws not working because no one believes in them, and people pushing for ever more oppressive laws. If you have been watching the riots around the world recently, you see that if you keep pushing eventually people push back. combine that with the fact that we are reaching the push back point.

     

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  80.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Unless you can show how IP isn't as valuable as it was say, 20 or 50 years ago, your theory of a bubble is massively stupid."

    It has nothing to do with if the IP is as valuable as it was 20-50 years ago. It has to do with people overvaluing IP and percieving it to be more valuable than it actually is.

    If you have followed any of the bubbles, or market fluctuations, over the past 40 years you will see one very simple thing. When it starts getting hyped as having almost infinite value, and people start rationalizing how valuable it is, and its actually worth even more. Thats a sign its about to crash. Sound familiar?

     

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  81.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Music is now competing tons of other forms of entertainment these days that take up time we used to spend on music...video games, social networks, online video, etc, etc..

    Also, there hasn't been a major format change in music since before 1999, people are not repurchasing their music every 5-6 years as before."

    Wow we see eye to eye on this. Rational thought ... how refreshing.

     

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  82.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re:

    Let me correct that for you ....

    "If it weren't for lobbyists, pot would have been legalized a long time ago..."

    If it weren't for lobbyists, pot would never have been made illegal in the first place.

     

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  83.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks, that is actually even more correct.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:30am

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

    I'm very familiar with both bubbles, thanks.

    There is no correlation between them and IP whatsoever. There is nothing analogous in the equity market that would manifest such a bubble, either.

    Like I said, you have no evidence at all that IP is less valuable now than it was 20 or 50 years ago. Ergo, it's not overvalued.

    In fact, this "concept" is easily one of the stupidest things I've ever read on this site. And that says a lot.

     

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  85.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 9:06am

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

    Your logic is flawed.

    The true value of something does not need to shrink whatsoever for that thing to become overvalued. The perceived value would simply need to grow at a rate faster than the true value is growing. See all the laws, and the lack of any actual benefit coming of them, for your proof of overvaluation.

     

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  86.  
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    chris (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Unless you can show how IP isn't as valuable as it was say, 20 or 50 years ago, your theory of a bubble is massively stupid.

    well, if you look at the increase in litigation surrounding patents which has been ruled bogus, or the ineffectual efforts of the music and movie industries to control unauthorized file sharing, or the fact that some countries have simply ignored pharmaceutical patents for certain medications it would appear that intellectual property may no longer be as valuable as it was when copying was so much harder to do. it would appear that the efforts invested in protecting IP are outstripped by the actual protection those efforts provide.

    if intellectual property, or rather the unauthorized distribution of it, is not worth the dollar figures in damages that the various industries claim, how does that affect the perceived worth of the legitimate product?

    the logic works like this:

    if an item is copied without authorization and the claim is made that the copy cost a company a large sum, and it turns out that the loss was at best not as large as claimed (see studies that debunk said claims), and at worst, not in fact a loss at all, what does that say about the valuation of the "legitimate" copies?

    but honestly, even if it hasn't lost value (indeed if it ever had value to begin with) it most likely hasn't increased in value at the rate that it is being hyped at (see: failed patent lawsuits, illegal file sharing, etc.)

     

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  87.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    ...GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY..

    At first that made me chuckle....then I thought about it some more....

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

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

    The bubble comes from the effect that people who don't produce anything and don't know how to produce anything are making money out of it because they don't trade in real products but artificial schemes like every bubble out there.

    What the financial sector know about construction and home sales? nothing but they knew how to sell promises.

    What to labels produce actually? nothing, they get what is produced elsewhere and do what banks did promote it and sell imaginary goods to stupid people.

    What do patent trolls produce? nothing they get hold of ideas of others make baskets of offerings and sell that or extort money from others.

    It looks like a bubble to me and it will burst eventually, see EMI for a real case scenario of that, they sold a basket of worthless imaginary products way over what it was worth it and are chapter 11 right now.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What flawed numbers? You're not drinking the Masnick kool-aid again, are you?

    There have been studies done just in the past 6 months that demonstrate how widespread piracy is and it's economic impact.

    And no one has done a shred of debunking them.

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You know this because?

    and even if it's true, isn't that just more reason that copy protection laws shouldn't last so long, since each additional year after only a few years produces very little additional economical incentive to create in the first place.

    and some of the reason that much of the older music has died is because it's been protected for so long that much of it has been forgotten, since it hasn't been repeated long enough for younger people to hear and appreciate. If people were allowed to make copies a long time ago, they can better preserve it for the younger generation to appreciate.

     

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  91.  
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    Peter the great, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 11:29pm

    Re: What an ignorant statement

    Small businesses also need IP protection. Why are copyright laws deemed in existence on Techdirt as solely for the big company? Infringers of copyright respect not the size of the company that owns a copyright. Instead, crooks just want what they want when they want it--and for free.

     

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  92.  
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    RxRights, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    The fallout from this could be devastating not just for business and innovation but also for public health. The report indicates that “protection of public health” includes shutting down illegal online pharmacies. I agree that it's critical to act against rogue pharmacies and counterfeit drugs. But there are also legitimate, safe online pharmacies out there that have become a “virtual lifeline” to needed medicine for over a million Americans. Find out more at: http://www.rxrights.org

     

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  93.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 11:54pm

    Re:

    We'll see about that.

    If SOPA goes down in flames, a precedent will be set about future IP laws. If Google blacks out, SOPA goes down in flames.

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, and it is fundamentally unbalanced.

    You see, the general population just doesn't "buy" IP in their gut the way they buy a car or a house being private property. IP kind of goes against the natural law in that it tries to make an idea something that it isn't - private property. Once an idea leaves someone's mind and is expressed, it becomes naturally free. Indeed, IP can be copied without depriving the original owner of possession, and there is no scarcity with IP except for managed, artificial scarcity. IP is fundamentally a government granted monopoly, a legal fiction, unlike real and chattel property, and as more people come to understand and be negatively impacted by that legal fiction, the more likely that fiction will become viewed by the public at large as an obstruction to the general welfare and the specific welfare of given citizens, and eventually maybe even as usurpatious and tyrannical.

    Indeed, we've gotten a pretty good critical mass of discontent about this nation's IP laws being expressed about SOPA.

    How far will it take to tip things over the edge? The further IP interests and IP maximalists push, the more resentment and anger they generate, and as we move towards more and more of a physically disconnected world, and as consumers encounter and resent more and more IP enforcement, the day will eventually and inevitably come when the tables are turned, and consumers, not rightholders, are in control of IP and are able to alter or abolish its' monopolies as they see fit.

    Maximalism for IP owners is very shortsighted because there will eventually be blowback, and that blowback will be hard.

     

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

  95.  
    identicon
    SBJ, Feb 5th, 2012 @ 4:08am

    Take it to the core of the problem

    the expression of art, music and innovation has existed sine the dawn of mankind, and ironically the biggest leaps forward was taken in times when the protection of "intellectual propertity" didn't really exist yet.

    It isn't about economics, it's about control. As several pretty big artists/creators have discovered, piracy can be beneficial, and in most cases are I think.

    Take Marcus "Notch" Persson and his game Minecraft. He actively promotes piracy, and tells people (last in I heard in an interviu with Aftonbladet in Sweden (one of the biggest newspapers)) And even so, he has become a millionare on his game, with an excess of 2 million copies sold.

    And on YouTube there's a clip with Neil Gaiman, explaining his view on Piracy, and how at first he saw it as stealing, but subsequently found out, through some experiments of his own making, that piracy actually increased his sales.

    English singer Joss Stone promotes piracy as well, but I only know it's her view from an interview, that she think it's great, not aware of any salesnumbers for her, though I suspect that lots of Pirates have bought/are buying her stuff simply to support her due to her liberal views on it.

    In the future, unless the Lobbyist manage to illegalize anything not published by big corporations, artists/creators who communicate with their fanbase, will be successfull. While companies that, in an effort to keep people as passive consumers, will fail because they wage war on their own consumers.

    As far as I am aware, every analysis that has not been payed for by the entertainment industri and their lobbyists, has come to the conclution that Piracy does generally not have a negativ impact on economy nor innovation, rather the opposite.

    Baseline is public relations really, if you treat your fans/consumers with respect, and as actual humans, they will keep supporting. But if you treat them as walking purses to be emptied and treated like presumtive criminals, they will stop buying your stuff.

     

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


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