Want To See Peak Copyright? Here's What To Do

from the if-only-it-were-that-simple dept

It's a curious fact that the term of copyright only ever gets longer. Since copyright is a government-backed monopoly, and monopolies are generally regarded as bad things, you might have expected some countervailing pressure against this continual extension, and that at some point Peak Copyright would have been reached. You might, if you were extremely optimistic, even expect copyright term to be reduced occasionally.

Of course, it doesn't work like that. Copyright term is like a ratchet, that only admits movement in one direction: upwards. We have become so inured to this that we rarely stop to ask why. But you only have to look at the way major treaties like ACTA are negotiated in secret to note that while industry groups are given privileged access to the negotiators, the public is not even allowed to see the draft versions of the treaty. There is simply no voice behind the closed doors which might object to the unremitting erosion of the public domain, or protest against the constant sharpening of copyright enforcement's instruments.

Here's an example of a similar state of affairs in the UK, where the detailed implementation of the Digital Economy Act – itself legislation that paid no heed to the concerns or cares of the public – is being debated. Using Freedom of Information requests, the UK's Open Rights Group (ORG) found out some details of "private" meetings that the Minister responsible, Ed Vaizey, held on the topic of the Act's new "streamlined" website blocking scheme.

As the list of participants shows, the main groups present were the copyright lobbying organizations - BPI, Publishers Association, MPAA, UK Music, UK Interactive Entertainment – some big Internet names (Google, Yahoo), several UK ISPs and a few government advisers. Judging by the minutes of that meeting, also obtained under an FOI request, Google actually expressed support for "an accelerated Court process to generate blocking orders" – thanks, a bunch, Google – while Yahoo worried about "the broader implications of site blocking on an international scale". The ISPs, as might be expected, focused on how they might be affected.

There was just one group that might vaguely be construed as representing the people – Consumer Focus. This organization describes itself as a "statutory consumer champion", "persuading businesses, public services and policy makers to put consumers at the heart of what they do." According to the minutes, Consumer Focus (CF):
emphasised that action against infringement needs to be effective and proportionate, pointing to the risk of over-blocking. The rights holder proposal paper goes further than the scope of Newzbin2. CF queried the feasibility of expediting the Court process. CF reiterated the importance of developing the legitimate market, as a preferable alternative to enforcement measures which may impact on consumers.
That's all good stuff, but it was clearly a voice crying in the wilderness since the copyright industries' groups had got together to prepare a joint seven-page "Proposal for Code of Practice Addressing Websites That Are Substantially Focused On Infringement", which they used to frame the discussions with Vaizey.

The meeting was clearly stacked in favor of the copyright industries against the public interest, with only a token voice speaking up for the consumer. Conspicuous by their absence were several other important stakeholders whose views should have been heard. For example, the UK human rights group Liberty would surely have had something to say about the proposed online censorship, as would ORG itself, which has fought on behalf of the general public in the area of digital rights for years.

In fact, when people found out about these "private" meetings that had excluded so many other organizations, ORG and some others were finally invited to another meeting with Vaizey, for an interesting reason:
The meeting was organized by Dominque Lazinksi of the Tax Payers Alliance after a Twitter storm following ORG and other group’s exclusion from the website blocking meetings.
The moral seems clear: if you want to break up the cozy club of industry insiders plotting even longer, harsher intellectual monopolies, you have to kick up a hell of a fuss.

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 5:52am

    I am not entirely clear how this shows "peak" anything, except perhaps peak rhetoric on your behalf.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 5:53am

    Quote:
    The moral seems clear: if you want to break up the cozy club of industry insiders plotting even longer, harsher intellectual monopolies, you have to kick up a hell of a fuss.


    I take pleasure in simple things, for example I just ripped Christmas Carol from Disney along with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides also from Disney, and I take great pleasure in doing so and distributing that to the whole bunch of boys and girls I know, for music people actually don't need to rip anything there are great legal alternatives that are free and will not treat you like a criminal like Jamendo, for TV shows there are a lot of webseries coming along just fine, and I don't care about sports so they can just keep their blackout zones all they want.

    What I'm trying to say is that, no matter what laws are in place, people will find alternatives legal or illegal. Those laws hurt business not people and the day it starts hurting people those entertainment and government types will find themselves in hot waters, people don't care about the law until the morons in power actually try to enforce it on them, then things get uggly fast, but I guess some people need to learn that lesson the hard way.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Re:

    Well peak copyright was reached a long time ago ever since I started taping radio stations.

    I got zelous over the years, I don't buy CD's, DVD's or Blurays, I don't buy merch, I don't watch TV I don't have a radio anymore, I don't have cable and I don't buy books from big name publishers.

    Instead I just go out and copy everything I need, and I take great pleasure to ripping of Disney, Warner and Universal any chance I get, so in a very real sense copyrights for me are no existent and you apparently can't make it real no matter what you try.

    Have you tried putting an capital "L" on your forehead?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re:

    Why, because I cannot understand why Glyn's story indicated peak anything?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Re:

    Well, this little peek into how these negotiations are done has certainly piqued my interest.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:42am

    In Germany they organized an entirely CC licensed music festival. GEMA still billed them 200 Euros regardless.

    http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/11/11/14/0248208/german-copyright-group-to-co llect-from-creative-commons-event

     

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  7.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:47am

    Can we just completely abandon the idea that Copyright has anything to offer the public?
    Given how it is supposed to be a 2 way street and they keep putting up more and more construction barrels blocking our path, it should be clear that the public is not considered to have any stake in this.
    So what if the public domain is being gutted.
    So what if the real issue is a business model that is failing to adapt to the reality of instant distribution.

    Until the people start standing up and making it clear they will no longer vote for those people who put the interests of corporations above the interest of the public we can expect nothing to change.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:53am

    Re:

    Yup, you stop consuming copyright material, and that will certainly start a trend. See, if you want to get away from it, you have to move away from it yourself, and encourage others. It isn't through playing with the laws, it's with taking the steps in your own life to avoid the copyright material. Don't go to movies, don't watch TV, don't read the news, and don't listen to the radio.

    Take positive steps in your own life, and then you can preach to others.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It didn't indicate it, it stated what you had to do if you ever hope to see peak copyright.

    "The moral seems clear: if you want to break up the cozy club of industry insiders plotting even longer, harsher intellectual monopolies, you have to kick up a hell of a fuss."

    That really shouldn't be hard to understand.

     

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  10.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re:

    But, we're still being billed regardless. Like a commenter above, he linked to a story where a German party was held, playing only Creative Commons. Yet, GEMA still sent over a bill. So, basically, the way it is, even if we don't watch TV, don't listen to the radio, and don't consume ANY copyrighted content in any form...we're still forced to pay. Live in Canada and want to burn your holiday photos to CDs? Sorry! Some (most) of the cost of that blank CD goes to copyright holders, who have NOTHING at all to do with you. You, who have not purchased their content and want absolutely nothing to do with their content, are still being forced to pay them.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, just like when there was a window tax, if you didn't want to pay it, you didn't get the law changed, you just did without windows.
    Only in that way could you possibly be in a position to preach to others.

     

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  12.  
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    anonymous, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:29am

    and that is exactly the sort of thing that SOPA will stop. once implemented in the US, it will quickly travel across to the UK. once in, any and every web site that any company, industry, person or GOVERNMENT dislikes can be taken down at the drop of a hat, with a 99.9% chance of never reappearing, especially if that site relies on some sort of donation to keep running. internet censorship, web site blocking and ultimately, dictatorship seems to be the destiny of the world. all at the behest of a what amounts to the megalomaniacs in the music and movie industries. what a prospect!!

     

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  13.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re:

    Funny the copyright holders all seem to be playing with the laws, they keep demanding more to prop up their monopolies at the expense of all of that innovations they keep telling us is so important. Infact if they don't understand it the copyright holders call it the killer of their industry and demand it be banned.

    As you know so little about me, you are not in a position to make judgements about how I handle myself.

    And copyright can be fixed, if we start voting against leaders who vote for these insane laws and let them know we are voting against them because of the positions they are taking against the people they might actually fear having to work for a living rather than just insider trading on the hill.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It would be nice if it was true, but it is not.

    Yes, they are looking for longer. But as has been discussed here often, the long tail (those works at the end of their copyright lives) are not exactly being held from a huge, waiting public. There isn't some sort of lineup at the public library or near printing presses to suddenly start turning out a work the minute it goes into the public domain. The fact that there are millions upon millions of works already in the public domain getting ignored sort of shows what happens to those works.

    If a copyright holder maintains the work, and continues to work to publish it, make it available, perhaps even update it and keep it relevant, that has to be at least as good as a work sliding into that abyss and being solidly ignored.

    As for "harsher", actually we are in a time where the laws of copyright are the least harsh that they have been in centuries. DMCA safe harbors, fair use, and other situations in the US have chipped away at copyright from a legal standpoint, and also from a moral one. Changes to the law upcoming (SOPA / Protect IP) are there only to try to re-assert a balance that has been lost in the internet era. The laws aren't harsher, as much as the abusers are more blantant, more militant, and seemingly deaf to the "greater good" arguments made in law.

    You push hard, the other side pushes back harder. The more you pirate, the more likely the industry will push back.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    Re:

    "very web site that any company, industry, person or GOVERNMENT dislikes can be taken down at the drop of a hat"


    BULLSHIT!

     

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  16.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re:

    If you disagree with the oxygen tank, just stop breathing. That's the only way you can preach to others.

     

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  17.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Tax. Oxygen tax.

     

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  18.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re:

    Yep, great job you've done there in saying how he's wrong. /sarcmark

    It is not bullshit as you said. The private right to action is exactly that! Hollywood sees new startup that offers competition. One complaint to the payment processors and the startup is effectively barred from doing business.
    Same thing with government. New communications startup that some in a governmental office dislike. They can either file a complaint themselves or get someone else to do it. Either way, the startup is killed dead.

     

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  19.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    We will win in the end - there are more of us - it is unstoppable.

    The smart ones in the industry will recognise this and more on ahead of tiome.

    You sir remind me strongly of Comical Ali.

     

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  20.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re:

    Yup, you stop consuming copyright material
    Your stupid laws have created a situation where that is impossible and you know it so your suggestion is just plain stupid. Everything is copyrighted by default (even these comments). The sensible thing is to boycott those who are aggressive about their copyrights and/or those whose business model relies on copyright. That is possible. You can still watch/listen to all free to air radio/TV. You can go to live concerts etc etc.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re:

    That's what they said about the argument that government established broadcasting monopolies will stop free speech and obstruct open communication ... yet, here we are today. The media cartels are very one sided in what they broadcast, they hardly ever allow IP criticisms to be broadcasted over public airwaves or cableco infrastructure despite the completely indefensible nature of our IP laws in the face of criticism. Censorship is already a reality and bad laws are responsible.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:01am

    Speaking of Dictatorships...

    I wonder when the US "Cultural" stooge dictatorships will come home to roost like their military ones...

     

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  23.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re:

    "very web site that any company, industry, person or GOVERNMENT dislikes can be taken down at the drop of a hat"


    BULLSHIT!


    You think that's not going to happen - you just wait to see what the Scientologists will do with this law!

     

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  24.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I cannot understand
    You just summarised it perfectly there.

     

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  25.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re:

    Why don't you stop supplying your works?
    Clearly it's disadvantageous for you, if you released your works to the general public, as "they only steal it."
    So stop publishing, that way no-one can "steal" it.
    Do away with your audience.
    Don't organize venues, don't air your stuff on radio/tv/movie screens, don't publish your books.

     

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  26.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re:

    [Citation needed]

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:16am

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

    You may be more... but you don't make the content that you so highly desire.

    It's sort of like the mentality of line up all the greedy doctors against a wall and shoot them. That will stop them from being greedy. It will also, sadly, stop you from having any medical help.

    You aren't unstoppable - you are just too arrogant to realize the harm you are causing yourself.

     

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  28.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And copyright can be fixed, if we start voting against leaders who vote for these insane laws and let them know we are voting against them because of the positions they are taking against the people they might actually fear having to work for a living rather than just insider trading on the hill.

    You can't vote against someone in the US, you can only vote for someone. And there are precious few people to vote for who want to reign in copyright law.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The suggestion isn't stupid. Listen to only non-copyright music. Watch only non-copyright movies and TV, and "stick it to the man". Vote with your eyes, your attention, and your wallet.

    All of those things you suggest as okay are just feeding the machine. Your ears listening to the radio brings the the ad dollars that pay the royalties back to the labels and artists. Same with "free" TV. Those models rely on copyright. Don't kid yourself otherwise.

    If you really want to make a difference, get off the grid. Stop supporting it, stop letting them profit from you, and stop profiting from the content that you are unwilling to support. GET AWAY FROM IT.

    The laws don't force you to do anything. If you don't want copyright content in your life, just say no. How hard is that?

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How do you argue with someone who is trying to suggest that the law would be used for widespread repression of points of view the government(s) don't support? How else can I reply except "BULLSHIT"?

    It's bullshit, end to end. It's fear mongering crap that makes the debate meaningless.

     

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  31.  
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    abc gum, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:21am

    Secret meetings to decide what new laws to implement with secret interpretations and the ability to lie about their existence .... awesome.

    Oh ..... and did I mention - ignorance of the law is no excuse.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What actually happened is the internet allowed businesses to see and point to, for other people to see, perfectly normal behaviour by ordinary people.
    Sharing things they like with other people, a situation that has been normal forever.
    Then despite an amazing lack of evidence, they claimed that this normal, everyday, human behaviour was harming the music, movie and software industries, while those industries as a whole were doing better than ever in a simple demonstration of the harm this normal behaviour causes.

    Let us weep now for the music industry that has more writers and performers working and earning a living now than ever before, weep for the movie industry that has been having record breaking years overall and some of the highest grossing and most profitable films of all time, as their destruction is certain, weep for the software industry that is now more valuable than the entire movie industry despite its current records.

    Bow your heads and weep I tell you.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It may seem picky, I know, but the expression I believe you were looking for is "rein in" not "reign in"
    The meaning is really and truly different.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's the only way to stop piracy!

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    See Rikuo, he doesn't mind the private right of action, he just doesn't believe that any government could ever misuse such an ability themselves.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    unless it's the laws against torture.

    Then ignorance is utterly acceptable.

     

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  37.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And still pay for the privilege of doing that. You are willfully ignoring the actions of YOUR licensing group in Germany called GEMA. Yes, those big buddies from Germany of your masters.

    When I buy blank DVDs, CDs, SD-cards, CF-cards, I pay a copyright tax. Even though NOTHING I put on those discs will contain copyright that isn't my own.
    Thankfully they aren't allowed to introduce a copyright tax on mp3-players, harddrives and pcs. (which they were planning to do at some point)

    If YOU want to make money, make products that people want to buy. Give us an offer we can't refuse. That sort of thing.
    And not in the way of: "Nice internet you got there, would be a real shame if something were to happen to it. Now pay up or we'll torch the place."
    But more in the way of: "Here, have some quality content."

    The laws don't force us to do anything BUT PAY.

    If we don't want copyright in our life, we'd have to kill ourselves, as EVERYTHING that's published, whether a blog post, a song, anything, is automatically copyrighted, due to the stupidity of your masters.

    But you will never acknowledge that, as you love to live in La-la-land. As in: "La-la-la-la-la! I can't hear you!"

    The world has changed since the golden 70s and 80s. But that too is something you don't want to see. You want the world to change back to the time where money flowed from the heavens.

    Don't forget, most of the western world is in a deep recession, and your industry is barely noticing it.

     

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  38.  
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    abc gum, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It's bullshit, end to end. It's fear mongering crap that makes the debate meaningless."

    Yeah, you're right. No law has ever been misinterpreted in order to further ones agenda and there is no corruption in government.

    Hey, you interested in purchasing a bridge?

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:24am

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

    "What actually happened is the internet allowed businesses to see and point to, for other people to see, perfectly normal behaviour by ordinary people. "

    Yeah, but in the real world, most of us won't point to illegal content, illegal sites, or illegal places and "recommend" them. When a friend asks where to see a movie, we don't suggest a dark alley or some anonymous house on a dark street. We suggest a movie theater or Netflix.

    You cannot say that it is human nature to point people to dangerous, illegal, or illicit content providers as a default habit. Only online does this seem to be acceptable.

    Let us weep now for those who didn't realize that putting down "the man" was in fact putting themselves down. Congrats to the "winners" like the OWS people, who use their high end Apple phones and laptops over AT&T's network to text out over the internet their hatred of the man, and how they have big companies making big profits. They are so pissed off, that they will chant as they slug back their expressos and lattes from Starbucks, cursing the man as they use their credit cards and debit cards to pay for it all.

    Yup, the irony is heavy these days.

     

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  40.  
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    abc gum, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "That's what they said about the argument that government established broadcasting monopolies will stop free speech and obstruct open communication"

    And, the restrictions put in place to curtail perceived abuse are being assailed in an attempt to garner additional monopoly in the broadcast medium to the detriment of the public interest.


    "Censorship is already a reality and bad laws are responsible."

    Indeed, and we are told to go back to sleep. Nothing to see here.

     

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  41.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It may seem picky, I know, but the expression I believe you were looking for is "rein in" not "reign in"

    D'oh, just a stupid typo. At least I didn't write "loose" instead of "lose". ;-)

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:44am

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

    Maybe content owners should utilize the power of the internet instead of trying to fight the power of the internet.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:13am

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

    heh. You guys don't make any content that is even worth a hoot anymore. Makes it way too easy to shield myself from all this nonsense.

     

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  44.  
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    MrWilson, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:26am

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

    Just because patronizing large corporations has become almost a sine qua non of existing in civilization doesn't mean that the people patronizing those corporations have to like their abuses or pretend that the corporations are benevolent benefactors or else go live in the woods like the UniBomber.

    It's possible for the corporations to provide these products and services without being greedy and irresponsible.

     

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  45.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How do you argue with someone who is trying to suggest that the law would be used for widespread repression of points of view the government(s) don't support? How else can I reply except "BULLSHIT"?

    Actually you're right!

    You're admitting that you don't have any reasoned arguments so all you can do is write expletives!

     

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  46.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But as has been discussed here often, the long tail (those works at the end of their copyright lives) are not exactly being held from a huge, waiting public. There isn't some sort of lineup at the public library or near printing presses to suddenly start turning out a work the minute it goes into the public domain. The fact that there are millions upon millions of works already in the public domain getting ignored sort of shows what happens to those works.

    Last I checked, Ernest Hemingway's books can't benefit the public domain. Neither can classical music that should be within the PD. So the question remains, if you have to jump through legal hoops to exercise rights and build new businesses, what's the point?

    If a copyright holder maintains the work, and continues to work to publish it, make it available, perhaps even update it and keep it relevant, that has to be at least as good as a work sliding into that abyss and being solidly ignored.

    But the case remains that a LOT of work is left in disarray when it could do the world some good to be released. Charlie Chaplin's silent works are just one example.

    As for "harsher", actually we are in a time where the laws of copyright are the least harsh that they have been in centuries.

    HAHAHA! "We're only going to bankrupt you for two acts of copyright infringement." Good one.

    DMCA safe harbors, fair use, and other situations in the US have chipped away at copyright from a legal standpoint, and also from a moral one. Changes to the law upcoming (SOPA / Protect IP) are there only to try to re-assert a balance that has been lost in the internet era. The laws aren't harsher, as much as the abusers are more blantant, more militant, and seemingly deaf to the "greater good" arguments made in law.

    SOPA is like finding a needle in a haystack in a barn with a blowtorch. You probably won't find the needle, you might burn down the barn, and you most certainly won't be able to get anywhere near the mess you've caused from the burning.

    Then you go to blame this on the "abusers?" The people that are charged over $1 million dollars in a copyright case or companies that aggregate torrents for legal media? These are the companies that are militant about copyright in having a hearing BEFORE anything is taken through SOPA, or not funding an army of YES COPYRIGHT government workers to other countries? What are you paying attention to?

     

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  47.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Kind of hard when we allow regulatory capture in our voting process...

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It wouldn't be nice if what you say were true, and fortunately, it is not.

    The reason that public domain works are not in high demand is because the length of copyright means that works coming into the public domain may be largely irrelevant to contemporary audiences. Sure, there are some timeless classics that translate well into modern times, but even Sherlock Holmes which should be in the public domain is still being milked for licenses. What you've stated is good reason why copyright should be shorter, like, 15 years at most. Works still need to be relevant when they enter the public domain. People who were alive when the work was first published should be able to use it as they see fit while it is still relevant (which involves more than just passively viewing/reading/etc the work, since artists can use it as a source for new material as well - like Disney did with public domain fairy tales...). Your argument is that the public domain is irrelevant because not many people use it, but that is an irrelevant argument. More people use it than you imagine. It doesn't have to be for big mainstream entertainment or make millions for the public domain work to be beneficial to the public. It doesn't matter if a singular work is used much or at all. It is the possibility of its use or relevance to someone that is important. You only see profit as a laudable goal of a work, so you will only see value in the profitability of a work. You're ignoring a whole world of value outside of the monetary value.

    We are definitely not in a time where the laws are the least harsh that they have been in centuries. Copyright law wasn't used in previous centuries to punish the viewers of content like they are now. They didn't use civil law to charge a single mother who illegaly obtained copies of songs more than a million dollars more than the songs actually cost. DMCA safe harbors weren't a step back towards anarchy but simply a logical assertion that actual perpetrators be the ones held liable for their actions. It doesn't make sense to blame a tool-maker for how a customer uses their tools. Fair use has been suffocated under current practices and in its current form is a step back for user rights since it can often only be asserted as a defense in court, rather than before a user would have to incur significant monetary losses simply to defend themselves in court. The technology has made the old business models of the entertainment companies obsolete and they are using the corrupt government to try to protect their old methods of doing business.

    When you have legacy entertainment companies both reporting record profits and inflated estimations of losses and the supposed death spiral of the industry due to piracy in order to demand harsher laws, you are going to have pushback from the rest of the population whose interests aren't being represented in the legislation.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:22am

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

    Actually we would.

    We certainly taped stuff off air and gave it to friends, whether music or tv and in Britain at least that was copyright infringment. We also loaned books and copied software.

    Nothing has changed about consumer behaviour here.
    The only difference is that it can be "seen".
    It didn't cause problems for the industries before and it still doesn't, as is highlighted by the fact that the industries as a whole are doing better than ever.

    Laws that try to prevent ordinary people from doing ordinary things are not the best respected and they depart from all reason when they are ratcheted up and increased to resolve problems that don't actually exist.

     

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  50.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    I think the way to kill copyright is to kill the industries that thrive on it. We need to wipe the big labels and the big studios off the face of the earth. Then we can start lobbying Congress to wipe out copyright.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

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

    Quote:
    Yeah, but in the real world, most of us won't point to illegal content, illegal sites, or illegal places and "recommend" them.


    Yeah right, from slums to high society events the one thing I see is piracy everywhere, so I'm not sure in what universe your real world is located.

     

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  52.  
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    JMT (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Vote with your eyes, your attention, and your wallet."

    What rock have you been hiding under? We already are voting with our wallets! You just don't want to hear our message.

    "Those models rely on copyright."

    In a digital world where copying, transmitting and storing data has become cheap and easy, a business model that "relies on copyright" is doomed to fail.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, that has happened already with music, there are a lot of open music out there already that is good enough, children just need an incentive to find it and many will.

    Judge William Adams beats daughter for pirating

     

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  54.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Just stop!

    Ok... ENOUGH WITH THIS!

    The daughter being beaten is NOT relevant anymore! I'm sorry for the girl. The family needs counseling. The Judge is an ASS! But for the love of all that's holy, STOP posting it as if that's going to make this any better for the family!

    It's an emotionally charged story and no one disagrees that the father doesn't have a karmic punch in the nuts coming. You don't need to post it in every thread to take away people's feelings about the injustice of it.

    We all know this! We know that our laws are beholden to the copyright owners. We know that artists get worse than the Montreal Screw Job on a weekly basis based on contractual agreements. We know that shills come on this site to talk down copyright issues because they're paid to do so.

    We're working to fix this travesty at any chance. But we can't move forward if every five minutes we're talking about how Adams is the worst kind of person in the world!

     

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  55.  
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    hmm (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:04pm

    I think

    It would just be easier if we dispensed with all this legal bullshit and just allowed the BSA, RIAA or MPAA to kill anyone they wanted in their home if they even suspect them of piracy.

    It would cut out all the tedious waiting around for the inevitable public backlash where parliament / congress etc get burned to the ground and various political figures wiped from the map.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

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

    "he reason that public domain works are not in high demand is because the length of copyright means that works coming into the public domain may be largely irrelevant to contemporary audiences."

    We have millions of works from thousands of years of man's history, and most of those are ignored as well. Would it matter if they were copyrighted today? Not at all. There is so little in the public domain that is actually desired. THe point is moot, at 75 years or whatever, it's no longer a real issue, and certainly not something worth getting all bitched up about.

    "We are definitely not in a time where the laws are the least harsh that they have been in centuries. Copyright law wasn't used in previous centuries to punish the viewers of content like they are now. "

    Well, you have to remember, the ability to distribute content widely was not very easy, and the speed of copyright violations so slow as to be a non-issue most of the time. The real action 100 years ago was in the patent field, not the copyright field. We are only 100 years into movies and not that much longer on recorded music. But clearly, we did not have anything like safe harbors or fair use 100 years ago. Clearly the rules today are in many ways more lax, and give more leeway to offenders, but at the same time, we have learned many new ways to offend.

    "When you have legacy entertainment companies both reporting record profits and inflated estimations of losses "

    They are making profits by tossing out workers, by shrinking investments, and so on. Recorded music is down 58% (including digital) in 10 years. They aren't profitable because they are growing, they are profitable because they are getting rid of staff, buildings, and so on faster than sales are dropping.

    What is key here is the same thing I mentioned to Jay in another thread. If the new business models are truly that good, and truly that profitable, then go for it. Just don't force the existing businesses to do it your way. You want to give it all away? FINE. Just don't give their stuff away as well as an incentive for people to come find your stuff. If their business models suck, let them die of their own accord. Stop pirating their stuff, stop giving them all the free promotion you seem to think the new models give, and instead use that powerful new medium to promote your own bands, your own movies, and your own ideas.

    My guess? It won't work, because people in general aren't looking for what you are pushing. That's why piracy is all powerful in this discussion, because without that base of users grabbing the latest hollywood movie, you wouldn't have anyone looking at the "new" infrastructure. Everything would end up looking like Step2, pretty colors and no action.

     

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


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