Ideas Do Matter, But That Has Nothing To Do With 'Intellectual Property'

from the keep-up-folks dept

Glyn Moody points us to a website put together by Microsoft, Philips and DSM -- three giant companies that have relied heavily on intellectual property laws to fend off upstart competitors and disruptive innovation -- called Ideas Matter - the value of intellectual property. As you can tell from the title, the website focuses on two key points, which they then try to conflate as a single point: (1) Ideas matter and (2) because of that, intellectual property is important.

Of course, there's a huge problem with this: while ideas do matter, that has nothing to do with intellectual property. As people are quick to point out in our comments any time we suggest that ideas are being blocked or censored by intellectual property laws, such laws are not supposed to apply to ideas. In fact, it's explicit with both copyright and patent law. In copyright law, protection is supposed to be applied to expression, not ideas, and the difference is supposed to be key -- even if it isn't always observed. Similarly, with patents, protection is supposed to be applied to inventions, not ideas -- again even if that isn't regularly observed in practice.

To be honest, I find this particularly nefarious and disingenuous, in that any time people point out that ideas are being censored, defenders of IP laws insist that there's a split and "ideas" are not covered. Yet, when these same folks seek to push forth a propaganda campaign in support of greater protectionism, they use the claim that "ideas matter" to support those laws. Not surprisingly, given the nature of the site's name and premise itself, the rest of the site is filled with ridiculous and unsupported propaganda, such as this laughably misleading video that seems to assume that because certain things are protected by intellectual property laws, they wouldn't exist without them. It also tosses out ridiculous debunked industry figures on "losses" due to infringement. This is extreme propaganda.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 8:58pm

    Ideas and IP are not mutually exclusive. They can exist together. They can exist apart. Attempting to drive a wedge between the two is a weak argument.

     

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  2.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 9:00pm

    defenders of IP laws insist that there's a split and "ideas" are not covered.

    Let's run a test for those defenders of IP laws and see if they really mean what they say.

    Publicly state, along with your name and any organizations or law practices you represent, that you would support adding to copyright and patent laws this phrase:

    "Under no circumstances whatsoever is this law to be used to block the expression or use of generalized or specific ideas. This law may only be used when significantly specific expressions or inventions are used without permission. Any party found attempting to assert ownership of an idea will be liable for all reasonable legal fees and damages that result in such assertion."

    Or if that doesn't quite work for you, offer a alternate phrase that conveys the same thing.

    I'm one of the more vocal commenters on TechDirt in support of complete abolition of all copyright and patent law. If I can take a step away from that "extreme" position (despite it being evidence backed), and admit this may help fix those systems, certainly you can support adding that line that would not be used anyway if you really do mean what you say.

    I imagine all we'll hear is crickets. Prove me wrong.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 9:10pm

    ...nefarious and disingenuous...

    ...nefarious and disingenuous...

    ...laughingly misleading video...

    Even one of your infamous "morons in a hurry" can easily discern that general statements are being made, and not "legal treatises" analyses of law.

    Why not just simply come out and say what you mean? All patents, even from Nobel Laureates,are invalid because, after all, every one of them "stood on the shoulders of giants", are blatantly obvious, are laughably supported by those who point out that they serve the function of imparting useful information to the public worldwide, kill sick kids, etc., etc., etc.

    Can people abuse the system? Yes, and some do. But exceptions are not the rule, and to focus on just the 6 sigma extremes is hardly a basis by which to level what is clearly a personal animus to a an entire body of law that experience reading many of the tomes here teaches me is understood at largely a very superficial level.

     

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  4.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 10:05pm

    Re:

    *facepalms*

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 10:10pm

    Ideas have nothing to do with intellectual property.

    Thanks Mike Masnick, for clearing that up.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 10:25pm

    Re:

    Your first sentence and the rest of what you wrote are at odds with each other.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Facepalm back at you. You have no argument.

    btw, I've noticed Masnick's Friday "trolling for weekend hits" is getting more extreme by the week...

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:18pm

    Propaganda is what these companies do best, to be blunt on the subject. No one wants to admit that, but that is the bottom line.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The only one with no real argument is you, Anonymous.... and it's time for you to admit that.

     

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  10.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Great, now we have two TAMs...

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:16am

    Re:

    Well, you do need facts cleared up for you.

     

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  12.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:24am

    Re: Re:

    They're not. They're really, really not.

    Josh has stated, repeatedly, that he would love to see a world without IP law at all. He's actually willing to compromise with the most vehement defenders of IP, and yet, those two goals are at odds?

     

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  13.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:25am

    Ideas Are A Dime A Dozen

    Remember the old saying: anything worth doing is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. As example after example on this site has shown, what matters is not the idea, but the execution. So what if a rival “steals” an idea for you? That’s not where your effort went. They still have to redo the effort you went through in order to compete with you; you still have the advantage of having done that first.

    Once you start getting distracted by litigating, you cease innovating.

     

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  14.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:27am

    Re:

    You mean like Microsoft, Apple, the Big Media's trade unions, and Big Oil?

    Yup, people can abuse the system all the time.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 1:05am

    Re:

    If exception is not the rule, THEN WHY IS PIRACY A PROBLEM?

    Epic fail. Go back to trolling with the record companies.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 2:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "they're really, really not" isn't a valid argument.

     

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    anonymous, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 2:07am

    trouble is, that the politicians and law makers get sucked in by this propaganda, or are 'encouraged' to be sucked in, then make and/or change things to suit. put enough of this propaganda 'out there' and eventually it is believed by the majority.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 2:23am

    companies that have relied heavily on intellectual property laws to fend off upstart competitors

    as opposed to the hundreds of innovative companies that *don't* rely on intellectual property when competing...

    Masnick = Silly.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 2:33am

    Re: Ideas Are A Dime A Dozen

    You pirates don't perspire much on the couch there, so yeah...

    You're wishin this blog had an edit option.

     

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  20.  
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    Squire Headlong, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 3:38am

    A translation . . .

    Monopolies Matter

    Why do monopolies Matter?

    Monopolies Matter is a consortium of cross-sector enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses and trade associations that aims to expand awareness and propagandize the benefits of intellectual monopoly (IM). We firmly believe that IM -- and the money that lies underneath it -- are important to the business, important to corporations, important to companies both large and small. In other words, Monopolies Matter.

    Despite its importance, intellectual monopoly (which includes patents, design rights, trademarks, domain names and copyrights) remains a complex and often misunderstood topic. We want to tell the personal stories of individuals and businesses that are enriching themselves due to IM and give attention to the enormous profits that IM, without any need for innovation, brings to companies, corporations and businesses in general.

     

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  21.  
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    Nicedoggy, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 4:09am

    Re:

    Anybody understood what he was trying to say here?

     

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  22.  
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    ECA (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 4:25am

    tHIS IS DISTURBING

    Lets ask a question..
    If ideas are money...
    And Copyright should be held forever..
    AND all the good ideas of the past are copyrighted...
    WHERE do you stand?

    yankee doodle is held in copyright?
    The pledge of aligence?
    How about all the mechanical devices..
    HOLD IT..ALL resisters are copyrighted..
    tHE CPU is copyrighted..
    PLASTIC is copyrighted..
    on and on and on...

    So..What would be the cost of ANY device/product you wish to make? After 2000 copyrights are paid? For every PART/PIECE/COVER/GLASS/resister/capacitor/battery/USB connection.. Each program used, on and on and on...
    Even at a $0.01 each...everything would start at $20 COST.

    How befuddled do you REALLY want this?

    How long did MP3 format take to be used?? AFTER the copyright ended, EVERYONE JUMPED onto it. Even AAC..is a free format.

     

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  23.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 4:35am

    Re: Re:

    I don't see how. Please explain.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The same as "they are!" isn't either, yes.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 5:32am

    Re: tHIS IS DISTURBING

    Your disturbing idea would only exist if copyright applied, but it does not. You also assume that nobody will find alternate solutions. Mankind is smarter than that.

     

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  26.  
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    ECA (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 5:44am

    Re: Re: tHIS IS DISTURBING

    Mankind yes...CORPS NO..

    Parts of the auto industry is held in limbo bt patents held for over 50 years. both in Europe, USA, Asia.. The USA will NOT copy/use a foreign design/concept of a motor even if its Proven better then the USA versions.

    The Media industry(movies/audio) have controlled ALL IMPORTS into this country.

    You may not believe this but, Corps have figured out how much money you have..and are willing to raise prices to MATCH that value.

    Corps will push any concept or idea that befits them.. DARE them with retroactive Copyright. it will SCARE them to death.

     

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  27.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Re:

    *sigh*... I know you're probably trolling but let's go for a little lesson in the reading comprehension your type usually lacks.

    "Relied *heavily* on intellectual property *laws*" does not mean the same as "relied on intellectual property". There's a reason those sentences contain different words, and the four letter one at the end changes the scope of the sentence completely.

    Try to learn the differences here, it really helps when you try addressing the claims people are actually making rather than a fictional reality. The argument often presented here is that while IP can be useful and even necessary, the laws to "protect" it are often overreaching, draconian and even counter-productive.

    If you want to debate opinions, try debating those that people actually hold.

     

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  28.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Or he's multitasking. Perhaps he finally worked out what those snowflake things are and he's trying his pathetic best to mask his identity again...

     

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  29.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: Ideas Are A Dime A Dozen

    > You pirates don't perspire much on the couch there, so yeah...

    You labor under the false notion that none of us here are capable of "inventing" those things that often fall under patent or even copyright.

    With patents, things are especially out of balance and trivial things that were published in consumer computer magazines in the 80s end up patented.

    The underlying problem here is that it really doesn't take that much to run afoul of IP law. The more broad you make a law, the more likely more people will run afoul of it.

     

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  30.  
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    anonymous, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 7:13am

    They are cowards

    If they really believed that we believed in what they say is true, there would be a blog we could comment on in their website.

     

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  31.  
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    darryl, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Always the same response - where is YOUR originality Mike ? This is Glen Moodys

    Mike, using someone elses IP for his own gains, think for yourself mike.

    (I know it's harder than surfing the web for 'dirt') or just going to moodys site and 'cut and paste' + dirt + Spin = $$$$)

    How about you work for a living, instead of your constant feed of others peoples dribble.

    If we wanted to know what Glen Moody is saying, we'll go and freaking look.

    Mike, are you capable of developing your OWN idea's and constructs ? you're own independent thought ?
    Or, your own research ?

    WHY NOT ?


    sounds like you are doing exactly the same thing Mike, that is conflating Interlectual property directly with copyright.

    and you damn well know that is not the case.

    Where are all you examples (except comments) that show that copyright limits IP ?

    You will never apply your 'theory' or bias to issues such as 'idea's' used by the military for example.

    Military equipment and developments by it's nature does not lend itself to copyright protection. (enemy is hardly going to care about breaking that law as well).

    So what happens in the military to protect their Intellectual property ?

    Thats right, you guessed it, they keep it a VERY HIGH SECRET.

    All copyright does is protect that SPECIFIC things, that specific practical application of that idea. (such as a patent).

    You cannot patent 'an idea' you have to specifically patent a specific method of achieving some specific goal.

    Of course, Mike you fully understand this, but why then do you not tell the truth ?

    1. you are either fully aware that you are not telling the truth about the real issues, and you are just interested in building false strawmen (or)

    2. You are really as unaware of the reality of IP, Patents and copyright, and in that case why do you claim you have experience and expertise in these fields?

    I think you also need to get a bigger list of more emotive 'buzzwords' and standard responses and phrases that you trot out on every occasion regarding the same subject.

    (then refer back to yourself as support for your 'argument').

    Similarly, with patents, protection is supposed to be applied to inventions,

    Yes, thats right Mike, at least you understood that, now you just have to grasp that an idea and an invention are not the same thing.

    Innovation and invention are also not the same thing.

    Then you can try to grasp that if someone invents "television" that it in any way stops other people from also inventing television using THEIR OWN IDEA's.

    If you think every invention and patent stops anyone else from development a BETTER method to apply that 'idea' (that has been developed into A practical method). By using ANOTHER practical method that that method does not have the right to also apply for and receive a patent.

    It also does not mean that the IP of the original method was or has to be employed in the new method for achieving the final goal (of a practical device or function) that performs a specific task, using the method that is the subject of the copyright of the IP or the patent, or the military secret, or the commercail secret.

    Say you have the idea that you think you can make icecream, you build a machine, and you put in the ingredients and out comes icecream.

    You can go and patent that METHOD of making icecream, you cannot go to the patent office and patent "making icecream".

    This is FUNDAMENTAL to IP concepts (and LAW).

    How on earth Mike, can you be so ignorant of those basic facts, unless you are not ignorant, if that is the case why do you lie ?

     

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  32.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    Re:

    > exceptions are not the rule

    Funny thing is, good patents seem to be the exception, at least for software and business method patents, while bad patents seem to be the rule.

    In fact, I am unaware of a single good software or business method patent. A genuine invention. Not just a paper patent. Something that took time and sweat to develop rather than an obvious idea or extension of existing practice, written down, and patented.

     

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  33.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Ideas Are A Dime A Dozen

    So who is lazy?

    People who actually wrote useful software? (ideas)

    People who later patented trivial techniques that were used in that software years earlier? (intellectual property)

    (ideas != intellectual property)


    Oh, look! People are being sued over a patent on putting a spinning animation as a placeholder in a rectangle on a web page before the content for that rectangle is available.

    So who is lazy?

     

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  34.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    As an IP attorney, I substantially agree, but once again, we have a case of "pegging". Because large entity or "defensive" IP, especially patents, is grossly abused, and SHOULD BE ELIMINATED; the idea is "all IP is evil".
    We are urged to "throw out the baby with the bath water".
    This shows a complete ignorance of the reason the founding fathers put a provision for IP in the US Constitution, and assumes they were wrong in doing so.
    If anyone were willing to listen (like saying, "is there intelligent life here"?), anyone with an understanding of this could explain why IP could be a major good... I realize that is asking for intelligent discussion, silly me!

     

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  35.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    I just find it difficult to believe that we could elimitate "defensive" IP only. (I assume that by defensive IP you mean IP used to destroy competitors) However, IP is designed to work by stopping competition so you can collect monopoly rents on a particular technology. So, I find it hard to believe that we can somehow let companies use IP and not let them use it in such a way as to destroy competition. (Not to mention that their enormous lobbying power can be used to bypass any safety mechanism that would have been put it place.)

    As for ignorance of the reasons why the founding fathers put IP in the Constitution, I think it's pretty clear why they put IP in the Constitution: "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;" Much of the arguments on this blog specifically call out what seems to be pretty clear by now that IP is unnecessary and that it is more harmful than helpful as far as the progress of science and useful arts is concerned. So, no, the founders weren't wrong to allow IP to promote progress. (Progress is good and if IP helped, maybe it would be a good idea) Congress is wrong to keep using IP to attempt promote progress because IP hinders progress.

     

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  36.  
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    pahosler, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 9:55am

    but the Flag...

    Did anyone else not notice that the American Flag was backwards on the flag pole? IMHO this alone speaks volumes in the message they are trying to convey, and it's not a good message.

     

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  37.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, that's Buck. You can tell by the tone.

    He's basically TAM cranked up to 11.

     

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  38.  
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    pahosler (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re: but the Flag...

    errr, the flag in the video, sheesh

     

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  39.  
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    IanM (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Was it really really so difficult to read the first sentence that you couldn't go on to the second?

    Replying to just the first sentence isn't a valid argument either.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "He's actually willing to compromise with the most vehement defenders of IP, and yet, those two goals are at odds?"

    I don't want a government that in any way compromises the public interest, I want a government that serves the public interest without compromise.

     

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  41.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    As is trying to tie them together.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re:

    "Under no circumstances whatsoever is this law to be used to block the expression or use of generalized or specific ideas. This law may only be used when significantly specific expressions or inventions are used without permission. Any party found attempting to assert ownership of an idea will be liable for all reasonable legal fees and damages that result in such assertion."

    Doesn't go nearly far enough. Thanks to the corporations that write the laws, infringement damages are absurd. I want plaintiffs who initiate bogus IP lawsuits to potentially face damages that are equally as high. Why should the laws that protect the rich have steeper penalties than the laws that protect the public?

    and if you're a patent troll, or if you're suing over a patent that you do not use, you should automatically lose the case and be subject to equally high damages, since you don't directly use your patent for anything other than suing others and collecting licensing fees.

    If you sue for IP that you do not own, the damages should be at least equally as high as infringement damages. Plaintiffs are in a better position to know what IP they hold than defendants.

    Non-used patents should be abolished within a reasonable period of time. Books that are out of print should automatically enter the public domain. Copyright needs to be substantially shortened anyways. Tech related patents should also be substantially shortened.

    If a company goes out of business, any IP (patents and copyrights) they have should automatically enter the public domain. Companies do not invest in R&D for the sake of being able to pay 6% of their debt in opposed to paying out 5% after they go out of business. The company is going out of business anyways, whether it can sell its IP or not is meaningless to it.

     

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  43.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Re:

    The don't get "sucked in".

    Politicians and lawyers are a small group that make money off of the favorable legislations they pass.

    It's uncanny how the money passes around Washington and how much each Senator/Congress representative has to spend money to look good for their state. Corruption isn't the word here.

    Unfortunately, it's moral bankruptcy. The quid pro quo is that businesses pass so much money around for legislation, that the ones that end up getting screwed is the public. Meanwhile, this is a good thing for a politician because in a sense, it's job security. They get elected to "fix" problems, when all they really do is exacerbate it. The more turmoil that they can legislate, the better they'll do until the other representative comes in.

    That's the state of our legislative branch.

     

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  44.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    Ideas are commonplace and are not exclusive to any individual. Thus, you cannot, ever, copyright an idea such as a red balloon on a blue sky. To call an idea your "intellectual property" would bar any person from using the same idea to produce a independent, but similar work. This would do untold damage to the arts, as ideas are not exclusive to the creator that expresses them. What if you took the idea of freedom and expressed it in a work? Should you own the idea of freedom? Should it be your "intellectual property"? Certainly not, that would be a terrible thing lock up in such a way.

     

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  45.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Agreed. Abolishing copyright would serve that end.

     

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  46.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    The fact is, nobody needs patents to make money from their inventions. As long as there are other ways to make money from ideas, there is no real need for patent. You could argue that it's easier to make money with patents, but patents weren't intended to make it easier. It's also true that inventors did create their inventions from the ideas of those that came before them and that means they have taken from the public domain to create their inventions. Therefore, they are entitled to their labor, but not the ideas, because most are really just improvements on what came before (i.e. other people's ideas). It's great that they put in the work to create new things and I feel that they should be compensated for making the effort to innovate, but I do not agree that they should be able to milk one idea in perpetuity, especially since the idea is not entirely theirs.

     

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  47.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re:

    Interesting argument. I never imagined that they wanted things to be shitty so they can keep their job and pretend they are the solution to the problems they actually create.

     

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  48.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re:

    But it's so much easier to create straw men and knock them down!

     

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  49.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: They are cowards

    You must not question our wisdom. We are very rich and successful companies, thus we must know what we're talking about right?

     

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  50.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Always the same response - where is YOUR originality Mike ? This is Glen Moodys

    You make kittens cry!

     

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  51.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you may have missed my point: that oine side of the argumnent is willing to compromise in order to better society, who wants to abolish IP law completely, and yet, he is being called a hypocrite for stating a reasonable addition to current law to prevent abuse of IP laws.

     

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  52.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    The founding fathers instituted the power to create copyright and patent, but not a mandate to do so. I think they were planning ahead in this, as it avoids the issue of copyright being a default right rather than one that is granted. If copyright and patent should prove to not serve its intended purpose to promote science and art, it can be removed from law with ordinary legislation. It was never meant to be forever, but only as long as it promotes the progress and since it is apparent that it no longer does, especially in its current state, then it should be revoked before it gets worse.

    As a copyright and patent lawyer (I refuse to use the term "IP" seriously.), you should know that these two systems were meant to promote the progress by providing incentive to authors for the opportunity (as opposed to a mandate) of exclusive rights to profit from works for a limited time. Look at copyright today and tell me that it provides incentive to create more works (which would promote the progress) rather than to use their copyright to produce fewer works, but squeeze every work to its maximum potential profit. That is not what copyright and patent is for. Copyright and patent encourages people to hoard ideas and inventions for the express opportunity to use it as leverage for profit while contributing as little additional labor as possible.

     

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  53.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, it is a compromise. It's not contradictory, but is it really in the public's best interest? I think of it in terms of getting a daily beating rather than an execution. You're still alive, but do you really want to live this way? What happened to "Give me liberty or give me death!"? Those aren't just idle words. They mean to say that we should never compromise our liberty for anything. Unfortunately, we've compromised a lot for more security, profit, and comfort.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re:

    "I am unaware of a single good software or business method patent."

    That's because there aren't any.
    By definition, software and business method patents are not good.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    "Ideas have nothing to do with intellectual property. Thanks Mike Masnick, for clearing that up."

    i·de·a /īˈdēə/ Noun
    1. A thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action: "the idea of linking pay to performance".
    2. A concept or mental impression.

    Ideas cannot be owned.
    Ideas are not property.
    You can not stop others from "having an idea".
    You have no way of knowing when the ideas of others are similar to yours.
    You can not charge others when their idea is similar to yours.

    Not sure why this idea is so difficult for some to grasp.

     

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  56.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, the question is, how much of a stink is raised by screwing over the public versus passing woefully bad legislation?

    Criminalize everything, then let the judicial branch sort out the details. That seems to be how it works.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    heh - hehheh
    he said pegging

     

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  58.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Always the same response - where is YOUR originality Mike ? This is Glen Moodys

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Always the same response - where is YOUR originality Mike ? This is Glen Moodys

    So, who is selfishly holding onto the patent on a "method for converting Darryl's gibberish into a human-readable language?"

     

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  60.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jun 12th, 2011 @ 2:13am

    Re: but the Flag...

    That they're all Seekrit Muslym Commie Pinkos out to break America's soul?

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2011 @ 3:23am

    Re: Always the same response - where is YOUR originality Mike ? This is Glen Moodys

    Every time I read one of your comments, I feel compelled to ask if your mother lived under power lines while she was pregnant with you. You might have a case!

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Schmeckel, Jun 12th, 2011 @ 3:27am

    Re: but the Flag...

    The film crews way of dissenting. They grumbled every time they had to pay Flag Corp for using their Patented stars and stripes technology.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    The limited time thing is what anti-copyright lawyers tend to like to hang their hats on, but it a pretty iffy term to work with.

    Disney is often used as the example, and the truth is that the Mickey Mouse brand, content, videos, shows, and even original movies are still valuable, and the public still values them enough to pay to see them. With a valid and ongoing brand, it is easy to imagine the brand harm that could be done by people corrupting the original works if they were in the public domain.

    In a similar fashion, consider TV programs and syndication. Many modern TV products are not profitable in and of themselves as an original work. They only because financial viable when they reach the second or third round on syndication. Many shows never make it. The incentive is there to encourage new works, and to encourage people to take risks. Without financial viablity, there would be little desire to move forward with the initial product.

    We also have to look at the public's valuation of the products. With people paying money for cable channels that have classic TV shows on them, buying box sets, and even still buying the proverbial t-shirts, it is clear that the works have enough value that they could be abused if dumping too quickly into the public domain.

    Patents last for such a short time in reality. I mean, Viagra is already expired patent in Brazil, and will expire in the US next year. That is just a blink of the eye in bigger picture. It's come and it's gone.

    Copyright doesn't allow people to hoard ideas. It is somewhat distressing to see a copyright lawyer who can't understand the concepts in play.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    Just so long as dead artists have more rights than the living.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    Togashi (profile), Jun 12th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    In a similar fashion, consider TV programs and syndication. Many modern TV products are not profitable in and of themselves as an original work. They only because financial viable when they reach the second or third round on syndication. Many shows never make it.


    Well not every modern TV product deserves to be profitable. Intellectual property law does (or at least should) not guarantee that any copyrighted work is profitable; it guarantees that for a limited time, only the originator has the opportunity to profit. If it doesn't make a profit, that's probably because either it sucks or it wasn't managed well.

     

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  66.  
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    ECA (profile), Jun 12th, 2011 @ 3:40pm

    Copyright a THOUGHT..

    It has been going on since about 85..
    Where software companies THINK that they can create something NEW.
    Copyright of software and Scripts.
    The thought that 1 person will come up with an IDEA, that another can/will not find on their OWN, is strange.
    Yes, its nice to see what others had done, and USE/CHANGE/AUGMENT there idea in a game.

    IN THE OLD DAYS,
    we had a few programmers that jumped from group to group, to make games for the Different OS's.. They made abit of money even.
    Then there were the hacks(not hackers) that decompiled the code to see how things were done, and improved THEIR OWN programming skills.
    You could tell whom had made certain designs/scripts..
    1 group would make a good looking interface or driver, and it spread around. Showing that the idea was good.
    NOW you cant even copy TRIBES 2.. because of a copyright for the scripting. And there are FEW games that will let you have 64 players, AIR/LAND vehicles, and dont LAG..

    "WE HAD THE IDEA FIRST, and you cant HAVE IT"...is not a good idea.

    Even NOW there is a ton of tech other there, that HASNT been used. And the corps wont give it to you.
    Even MS, has stopped letting the HARDWARE advance beyond a point. As, intel wanted to goto Multi processed(multi CPU, Multi Pass-thru,...) hardware long ago.
    The auto industry has bought up MANY ideas and concepts, from long ago, and never Registered them. HOLDING them until they NEED them. As copyright STARTS after its registered, NOT from creation.
    The concept of MAKE the market, then MAKE the device/product has been around awhile. But, how many nations have the CORPS restricting products. In the USA they do. There are a few products available in other nations you WILL not have access to.
    Even cable and Sat services do it. They REALLY dont want you to copy the programs, so they make it HARDER and HARDER. We used to have VHS with a built-in tuner to record shows form other channels.. NOW you cant tune to the channel, unless its on the BOX supplied, and playing.

    There is also TECH out there NOW. that would run 2-3 fiber optic lines to your home and supply:
    Power
    HEAT
    INTERNET
    PHONE
    TV(500+ channels)

    Add to it...
    Wireless phone server for both CELL and HOME use..
    Access to CELL to others...
    Full wireless to anyone in 200-300 feet..

    And how many corps HATE this combination/joining of all these services.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2011 @ 8:31pm

    Re:

    "But exceptions are not the rule"

    Yeah, so the fact there maybe one good patent does not prove that patents are good.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2011 @ 8:33pm

    Re:

    "But exceptions are not the rule"

    Most patents never make it to product (at least not by the patent holder) and every patent that doesn't make it to product (by the patent holder) is a bad patent, and so most patents are bad patents.

     

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  69.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 12th, 2011 @ 11:45pm

    Re:

    Even one of your infamous "morons in a hurry" can easily discern that general statements are being made, and not "legal treatises" analyses of law.

    General statements being made that are nefarious and disingenuous and seeking to influence people's positions and policy.

    Why not just simply come out and say what you mean? All patents, even from Nobel Laureates,are invalid because, after all, every one of them "stood on the shoulders of giants", are blatantly obvious, are laughably supported by those who point out that they serve the function of imparting useful information to the public worldwide, kill sick kids, etc., etc., etc.

    Because that's not what I mean at all. Why would you say that?

    Can people abuse the system? Yes, and some do. But exceptions are not the rule, and to focus on just the 6 sigma extremes is hardly a basis by which to level what is clearly a personal animus to a an entire body of law that experience reading many of the tomes here teaches me is understood at largely a very superficial level.

    Yes, some people abuse the system, but that's not the key concern. The key concern is, as noted in the Constitution, that these systems are designed to "promote the progress," and the economic evidence suggests that the system as a whole DOES NOT DO THAT, and, in fact, hurts the progress.

    I find that to be a problem.

    As someone who has profited off of such a broken system, you, apparently, feel otherwise.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jun 13th, 2011 @ 12:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    "
    Disney is often used as the example, and the truth is that the Mickey Mouse brand, content, videos, shows, and even original movies are still valuable, and the public still values them enough to pay to see them."

    So are the arts and sciences that allow people to learn. Galileo's work influenced Newton, who later influenced Einstein. Ironically, Einstein learned a decent amount in a patent office, but he was a rebellious kid. And Newton was VERY upset with Leibniz during the Calculus wars. Society benefitted not from locking up the ideas expressed by any of these men, but the discussions, theories, and principles they lay in the arts and sciences. Essentially, what copyright does is lock up those ideas to one or two people even after death. That's not right at all.

    "With a valid and ongoing brand, it is easy to imagine the brand harm that could be done by people corrupting the original works if they were in the public domain."

    BS. Undoubtedly so. Disney would still make works based off of Mickey Mouse. But there would be MORE of the work. Also, Walt Disney himself got the idea for Steamboat Mickey from somewhere else. Ironic that Disney is allowed to use fair use, but no one else without their ungodly amounts of money can do so. That's where the problem lies.

    "Many modern TV products are not profitable in and of themselves as an original work"

    Do you realize how much Joss Whedon's works are still valued? Please get a better argument.

    "Many shows never make it."
    Unless you can prove that, you're full of it. Especially when HBO's shows have been getting a lot better with Camelot, Game of Thrones and a number of other shows among their movies. Distribution is where everything is faltering, not syndication. The incentive for people to ship a show overseas where it makes even more money has been altered by the internet. It's why Hulu only works in the US. The *smart* thing to do is set up a global service and monetize the access in various ways. But no one is looking into it enough yet.

    "With people paying money for cable channels that have classic TV shows on them, buying box sets, and even still buying the proverbial t-shirts, it is clear that the works have enough value that they could be abused if dumping too quickly into the public domain."

    Pay attention because this has already been discussed. People are cutting out broadband at an expanding rate and going with internet only service. People are going to watch what they want to watch and distribution is only going to expand from here. The internet will have little regard for copyright laws because they're more a relic (at this time) to the need for a gatekeeper system in the 20th century. There ARE other ways to make money, and it's mainly by setting up a natural scarcity (not artificial such as regionalization) that lets people like you or your service without any arbitrary limits.

    "Patents last for such a short time in reality."

    14 years is NOT short.

    "Copyright doesn't allow people to hoard ideas. It is somewhat distressing to see a copyright lawyer who can't understand the concepts in play."

    This is quite laughable. If you have yet to see all of the ways that copyright DOES in fact stop progress (Napster, video streaming in the US, etc) then you should stick around and read some of the older articles. It's quite eye opening.

     

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  71.  
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    ECA (profile), Jun 13th, 2011 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    Let me add a comment about Disney..

    And where did disney get most of his material??
    PUBLIC DOMAIN.
    Find out who wrote..
    Cinderella.
    Sleeping beauty..
    And all the rest from his time.
    YES, he even CHANGED them.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2011 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re:

    For the sake of accuracy, the constitutional provison is not simply "promote the progress" but rather "To promote the progress of science and useful arts". The constitutional provision then goes on and provides "by securing for limited Times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."

    For the provision to reflect what is so oft repeated here, it would read something such as "To promote the economic progress of society as a whole in the sciences and useful art, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors exclusive rights to their respective writings and discoveries so long as such exclusive rights do not impose any burdens on subsequent authors and inventors".

    As recurringly proffered here, the operative effect would be to render Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 as constitutional surplussage and of no moment.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 13th, 2011 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are not alone. I believe his assertion of an argument and lack thereof are at odds.

    You see there in AC's first sentence, he opens what would appear to be an argument, yet there in the rest of it...well nothing.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Bill Benzon, Jun 13th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    Also, Walt Disney himself got the idea for Steamboat Mickey from somewhere else. Ironic that Disney is allowed to use fair use, but no one else without their ungodly amounts of money can do so.


    Why do people constantly cite "Steamboat Mickey" as a spin off of "Steamboat Willie" that couldn't happen now? Please Google "Steamboat Itchy" and watch a very deliberate derivative work based on the Disney short. In fact, The Simpsons have spoofed and parodied several Disney properties. The Itchy & Scratchy Land episode alone is full of it. So this idea that no one can build on Disney's ideas has been proven false by The Simpsons. Not to mention Family Guy. South Park spoofed several properties in the Imagination Land episode or whatever it was called.

    I just find it funny that people specifically point out this particular Disney short as some sort of sign that IP law is broken even though it has legally been used for derivative works. It's almost like you guys just read something somewhere and then start spouting it again without actually researching any of your opinions.

     

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  75.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Jun 13th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    The purpose of copyright and patent is to give authors incentive to create more works for the benefit of adding their wealth knowledge and culture for the common good of the public domain. It is not, was not, and never will be intended to provide a profitable business model for those that create and discover. It is not and was not meant to provide a guaranteed return on your works. If you create a work that people use and benefit from while you make nothing on it, the core principle of copyright (to add to the collective knowledge and arts) is still satisfied. It is not a promise nor a protection for you to make money. It provides the opportunity to make money, but it must be limited in order give incentive to create more works.

    Just because a work is still finding an audience willing to pay for it, does not justify holding it back from defaulting to the public domain. You are not entitled to keep things from the public domain just because it can still make you money. That's not the purpose of copyright. It is not contingent on how much you make or if there is still profit to be had. If you want to make more money, make more art and inventions. That creates new copyrights/patents and new opportunity. That's the point of patent and copyright. To stay profitable as an author or inventor, you need to keep writing more works or creating new inventions/innovations.

    Let me make this clear. Copyright and patent takes away that which belongs to the public (i.e. everyone). You are granted this temporary privilege with the expectation that you will create new and improved works from the ones we are letting you use to build on. You are given the opportunity to make a profit from your innovations for a limited time to give you an incentive to create/discover these new creations/inventions. When a sufficient amount of time has passed that would be reasonably long enough to exploit the new works for your profit, the results created from the commonwealth of knowledge that is the public domain will reclaim those works and you must innovate further to continue earning a profit from your works.

    They are not your ideas, they are everyone's ideas. The labor is yours, but we give you a chance to make money from your labor so that it will convince you to provide us with new innovations. Copyright is not a mandate that you should be paid for your work. There are other ways you can demand payment for your labor. Labor has never needed special laws to guarantee you are paid for it. To create something and demand payment for its use until the day you die is nothing short of parasitic. Nobody's labor is worth a perpetual income.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    dwg, Jun 13th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Re: A translation . . .

    Translation: SPAM.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    dwg, Jun 13th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Always the same response - where is YOUR originality Mike ? This is Glen Moodys

    Sir...step away from the parentheses...slooowly.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    dwg, Jun 13th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    ...a refreshing post from an IP lawyer. Well done, sir.

     

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

  79.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jun 13th, 2011 @ 10:15pm

    *sigh* Rebuttal time.

    "I just find it funny that people specifically point out this particular Disney short as some sort of sign that IP law is broken even though it has legally been used for derivative works. It's almost like you guys just read something somewhere and then start spouting it again without actually researching any of your opinions."

    You do realize that under Michael Eisner, Disney became such a hated name that it helped to create Pixar as we know it today?

    You also realize their "vault" idea, where they lock away their works, bringing them out every 20 years with an "update" is only possible because of copyright preventing anyone else from making their own modifications?

    How about their suing a guy that worked for them? Link

    Oh wait, there's plenty of inner problems I could get into, such as the similarity of Kimba and Simba. Maybe, just maybe, I know a thing or two about Disney and their copyright crusade. I know a little about Disney's hypocrisy in using other materials and not compensating the authors (Brothers Grimm, Tezuka, etc). Perhaps, it's better to stop passing judgement and be conducive to the debate instead.

     

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

  80.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 13th, 2011 @ 11:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "For the provision to reflect what is so oft repeated here, it would read something such as "To promote the economic progress of society as a whole in the sciences and useful art, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors exclusive rights to their respective writings and discoveries so long as such exclusive rights do not impose any burdens on subsequent authors and inventors"."

    Yeah, I love making up other peoples' positions too. Much easier than actually debating their real, more nuanced and realistic opinion.

    For example, "To promote the infinite monetisation of existing content, for the sole benefit of major players at the expense of any work not already massively successful and the prevention of future works built off existing content as my works were built". That the opinion of you and your ilk, isn't it?

     

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  81.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    " In fact, The Simpsons have spoofed and parodied several Disney properties."

    I'd say that the key word here is "parodied". Parody is explicitly protected under fair use in the US. If they tried creating an original, non-parody property that borrowed some ideas from Steamboat, I'd expect the lawyers to come down quite heavily.

     

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

  82.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Ideas Do Matter, But ....

    "the Mickey Mouse brand, content, videos, shows, and even original movies are still valuable, and the public still values them enough to pay to see them"

    Which has bugger all to do with their copyright status.

    "With a valid and ongoing brand, it is easy to imagine the brand harm that could be done by people corrupting the original works if they were in the public domain."

    Therefore, they should enforce the brand, which has bugger all to do with copyright, again. Also, if you think that Disney's brands are not already remixed, reused and parodied to breaking point already, I have a bridge to sell you...

    "Many shows never make it."

    Most of the good ones do unless they're badly marketed or cancelled before they've gained an audience (Firefly). Why is a life+70 years protection necessary to make money from TV shows? Sounds like a poor business plan to me if they can't make money in the first 20 years or so...

    "With people paying money for cable channels that have classic TV shows on them, buying box sets, and even still buying the proverbial t-shirts, it is clear that the works have enough value that they could be abused if dumping too quickly into the public domain."

    Here's the thing: people still buy those things for public domain works. The only thing that changes is that instead of being the only people who are able to do so, others can jump in and offer the same product. The originators of the product can still retain the brand, any associated trademarks, any exclusive unreleased footage and access to the original scripts, advertising, etc. that were used. They just can't control the product directly. Meanwhile, products that weren't successful aren't doomed to be erased from history because nobody has financial incentive to restore the works that are either deemed uncommercial by the copyright holder, or for whom the copyright holder cannot be located (orphan works).

    "I mean, Viagra is already expired patent in Brazil, and will expire in the US next year"

    ...and presumably the manufacturers have made a handsome sum of money in the time where they held the monopoly. They can continue to manufacture and sell Viagra in the Brazilian market, they just aren't the sole providers any more. This will most likely drive prices down and perhaps enable others to improve the product, but the manufacturers will still have the rights to the trademarked brand name and thus sell at a premium as the "trusted" and "original" brand.

    Where's the problem here, again?

     

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


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