Jamaica The Latest To Embrace Retroactive Copyright Term Extension And Screw The Public Domain

from the sad-news-for-jamaican-music dept

Last month we wrote about Europe retroactively extending copyright, which, in effect, seized works that were supposed to go into the public domain. A study found that the cost to the public was 1 billion euros. To date, we have never seen a reasonable justification for retroactive copyright term extension. The purpose of copyright is to benefit the public by inspiring new works, by giving the creator a temporary monopoly. It makes no sense to retroactively change the deal, because obviously the deal was sufficient at the time the content was created. Nothing in retroactive extension increases the incentive for new works. If anything, it does the exact opposite -- it gives the record labels more incentive to keep squeezing money out of old songs, rather than to invest in new ones.

So it's disappointing to hear that Jamaica appears poised to follow suit and extend copyrights from 50 years to 70 years as well. In the video below, it starts off with an impassioned plea by a recording industry representative, who misrepresents some research. He notes a WIPO paper that says the copyright industries' return on investment is higher than other sectors. That may be true, but that is almost entirely unrelated to copyright term extension. There can be investment in the same sectors without copyright, and just because the copyright is extended, there is no reason to believe there is greater investment in those industries. The basic fallacy presented by Evon Mullings, is the idea that retroactive extension leads to greater investment. In fact, as noted, it gives the labels less incentive to invest in new works.

Unfortunately, the speaker after Mullings is the Minister of Culture, Olivia Grange, who flat out says: "You won't have to advocate. You won't have to fight for it. It is going to be done."
This is especially ridiculous when it comes to Jamaican culture and Jamaican music. For many, many years, we've spoken about how Jamaican music was a great example of the success of embracing a remix culture. In addition there's been plenty of recent research talking about the explosive creativity in Jamaican culture spurred on by technology, not by copyright law... It's a shame that rather than understanding this, it appears the industry and politicians there are simply repeating myths and passing legislation that will significantly harm the public.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:13am

    It's Never Enough

    Those who assert that so-called "intellectual property" exists are never satisfied. It's always more more more.

    Not only that, but as their property claims become more onerous, once legal activities become criminal. To stamp out this atrocious "criminal" active; they demand even stronger onerous laws to protect so-called "intellectual property". Sigh.

     

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

  2.  
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    John Doe, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:16am

    Did they extend copyright to dead people?

    My favorite thing about copyright is that it is life plus 70 years in the US. Without copyright, what incentive do dead people have to create?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:28am

    Is bob marley/lee scratch perry's music about to go into public domain?

     

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

  4.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:29am

    , it appears the industry and politicians there are simply repeating myths and passing legislation that will significantly harm the public.


    Their disregard of reality reminds me of Gaddafi.

     

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

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:32am

    In other developments, apparently Google wants in the music biz so bad that they've agreed to stop pointing at pirate sites in exchange for licensing agreements with the content holders.

     

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

  6.  
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    DannyB (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:48am

    Re: It's Never Enough

    Call it what it really is: Imaginary Property.

    The best way to protect your imaginary property is to KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

    That way you won't have to hear your music playing in the background on a video of someone's baby.

     

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

  7.  
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    John Doe, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:58am

    Re:

    I wonder who is going to tell them what sites are pirate sites? RIAA? MPAA? ICE?

     

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  8.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 6:04am

    Once again, if those in power do not respect the original social agreement that was copyright law, then the public will not recognize copyright law as valid.

    A citizen who continues to respect copyright law is like a battered wife who stays with her abusive husband, who also demands more and more of her earnings for himself, all because, "think of the artists (who are also getting screwed)."

     

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

  9.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: It's Never Enough

    Fully agree. What I neglected to add, is that the ever "stronger" laws concerning so-called "intellectual property" are "stealing" from the public domain and depriving people of due process.

     

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

  10.  
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    anonymous, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 7:10am

    this has only happened so as to maintain the continuing flow of drugs into the USA. Jamaica has little else to offer anyone except shit and grass! they have to earn money somehow and tourism alone wont cut it!

     

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

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 7:14am

    When humans start to interface with computers without the aid of machanical input devices, when data is piped straight into your cortex, will media companies sue you for remembering music and thinking about it? Will they ensure you forget such music and artwork, or have to buy memory licenses for it?

     

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  12.  
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    WysiWyg (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Re: Did they extend copyright to dead people?

    Well, just like the factory worker wouldn't go to work if he didn't know that the company would keep paying his great-great-grandkids for 70 years after his death, no-one would ever create anything creative without this protection. Obviously.

     

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

  13.  
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    WysiWyg (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 7:57am

    Ow, my head!

    I can't wrap my head around the logic they use; apparently the current system means that they are making more money than anyone else, so they need to change it!?

     

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

  14.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 9:32am

    Re:

    Right. The sheer quantities of Jamaican pot imports is such that the Jamaican Weed Cartel would lose billions were it to stop. They're such a huge player in the weed market that they can exert unbelievable control over their own government.

     

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

  15.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re:

    (forgot the SarcMark)

     

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  16.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    Yes.

     

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

  17.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Yay! More cultural raping and pillaging for the sake of A Few Dollars More!

     

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

  18.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Ow, my head!

    His logic is impeccable. Copyright industries having a higher return on investment can only mean that we need to add more industries under the copyright industries umbrella. This is good to know. I need to figure out a way to copyright my stock trades then I'll be rolling in money.

     

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


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