Sarkozy Worried About The Internet 'Stealing Audience Share' From 'Regulated' TV Services

from the a-series-of-tubes dept

Earlier this week Techdirt reported on the surprisingly forthright statements of Neelie Kroes concerning the failure of the copyright system in the digital world. She made her remarks at the Forum d'Avignon in France, which was about "strengthening the links between culture and the economy".

Of course, Kroes was not the only speaker there. Another participant was the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who used the occasion to present his by-now familiar tirade against the "lawless" Internet and its dire effects on creativity. His speech was a classic compilation of his greatest hits in this respect, as captured in the impressive live-blogging of the English translation by David Weinberger.

Early on, Sarkozy states one of his chief concerns about culture in the age of the Internet:
all cultural protagonists are facing a crisis of distribution. This is a matter of extreme seriousness, if we consider ó as I consider ó it is no service to culture to say that it is free for all. The disappearance of traditional distribution methods threatens traditional culture itself.
Sarkozy seems to believe that without traditional distribution methods, there is no traditional culture, and that a means of controlling and selling culture is essential for culture to exist. The implication being that the best way to provide both is to allow the traditional media companies to preserve their stranglehold - and with it, their existing business models. No wonder that he can't quite understand the point of the Internet and its new approaches that help artists profit from their work more directly - for example, without the need for distribution companies. And no surprise either that he goes on to say:
I have always believed that there would be no form of creation if there were no longer to be respect for upholding and respect for copyright and authorís rights.
Unfortunately for Monsieur le Président, a couple of thousand years of cultural history disagrees. The vast majority of art we regard today as forming the cultural heritage of humanity was produced around the world before copyright existed. It is simply a myth that copyright is needed for creation: artists have always created, whether or not they were given legal monopolies for their works, because that's what artists do.

Sarkozy also asks the usual rhetorical question, responding to which is left as an exercise to the reader :
Who would buy the film or music if you can access it free of charge?
On the subject of getting stuff for free, he has this to say about free access to museums:
I donít think thatís the ultimate response because you donít respect what is free. Everything has a price. Everything has a value. There has to be a bit of an effort for there to be pleasure. But we have for 18-25 and teachers access to museums should be free.
So let's get this straight: if you have free access to anything, you don't respect it, but in France access to museums "should be free" for students and teachers according to Sarkozy. So from that must we deduce that he wants those groups to disrespect culture? Probably not, but at the very least it shows how confused his thinking here is.

Unfortunately, there can be no doubt about his thinking when it comes to regulation:
We are indeed facing challenges. E.g., digital TV that puts on the same screen the traditional, regulated services and the Internet world, which is not regulated and that does not contribute to the film industry the way the traditional services do. The latter will be stealing audience share. So we are going to have to work on how to regulate digital, connected TV era.
That sums up Sarkozy's mindset perfectly: that the Internet should be regulated like traditional TV services, because otherwise it would be "stealing audience share" - that crisis of distribution, again. Indeed this reveals that in Sarkozy's view, the main problem with the Internet is that it isn't a traditional TV service Ė and suggests that he aims to do everything in his power to rectify that dreadful state of affairs.

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Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Kevin H (profile), Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:39pm

    I would think that..

    It is common knowledge that Nicolas Sarkozy is a technophobe who feels that anything new or innovative is out to destroy France. His constant ramblings about protectionism and how the internet is killing culture show just how backwards he is. GET OFF MY LAWN!

     

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  2.  
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    Kurata, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:41pm

    Sarkozy is also preparing a Hadopi 3, aiming this time at streaming.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:44pm

    This guy makes "bob" look like a genius.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 7:14pm

    Let Sarkozy with his loony ideas, the rest of the world including the French population don't share his views and will continue to undermine copyright laws that have become a problem.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 7:25pm

    It's simple

    Sharing culture for free through libraries and museums is okay because they're libraries and museums, but sharing culture for free through the internet is bad because it's the internet.

     

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  6.  
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    Kevin H (profile), Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 7:27pm

    Re:

    But Bob is so much more fun. Have you ever seen someone so clueless go through THAT much trouble just to be wrong? Its like the Mall Ninja Technology Edition.

    http://lonelymachines.org/mall-ninjas/

    Its a long read, but its just that damn funny.

     

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  7.  
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    justok (profile), Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 7:43pm

    so, are Jerry Lewis movies free in France?

     

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  8.  
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    Kevin H (profile), Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 7:57pm

    Re:

    Well we didnít want to pay for them here.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 10:15pm

    Since when are Governments in the business of protect a certain industry from another? They should ALLOW more competition and even encourage it - not try to protect the old businesses.

     

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  10.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 10:58pm

    The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.
    - John Gilmore

    The French people are more likely that other countries to have national strikes over issues, I suggest we cut France off the internet. Let Sarkozy have his own special internet and see how well that works for the people.

    It should be obvious he is fully in the pocket of the media corporations and does not care about the people. I think if the net gave France a view of their future under Sarkozys plans they would make a little bit of a ruckus and get him to rethink his decisions.

    Besides isn't Sarkozy banned from the internet? I thought we caught him 3 times infringing copyrights.

     

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  11.  
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    FuzzyDuck, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 12:03am

    Unfair and distorted markets

    Sarkozy has a history of such things. During the Lisbon treaty negotiations he opposed that the EU strives to create fair and undistorted markets. Because he of course wants unfair and distorted markets, he wants the French government to be able to unfairly give French state companies advantages (in the form of subsidies and regulations) over companies from other European Union countries.

    In a way he is repeating that again here, he doesn't want fair and undistorted markets in culture where every artist has a chance to reach his audience without interference from the state and big corporations - which is the huge potential that the Internet offers. NO, he wants to give the legacy content industry unfair advantages by regulating competition away and subsidize that industry for instance by financing their enforcement efforts with public funds (Hadopi).

     

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  12.  
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    Hans B PUFAL (profile), Nov 24th, 2011 @ 1:04am

    No wax cylinders in France !!

    Sarkozy is falling behind at an alarming rate. Here in France I am unable to find a single wax cylinder recording and have had to resort to piracy to acquire them. Surely French culture died long ago because of this.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 1:19am

    Re: Unfair and distorted markets

    I'd like to say that you are just being paranoid but he has been using the whole bailout in the EU thing to push for higher taxes for corporations in other EU countries. With no change to France's own corporate tax.

     

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  14.  
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    FuzzyDuck, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 1:36am

    Re: Re: Unfair and distorted markets

    Since you bring it up. The whole Euro bailout thing is about saving French banks, not Greece. Traditionally countries are responsible for bailing out their own banks, but Sarkozy of course wants the rest of Europe to pay to save French banks.

     

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  15.  
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    anonymous, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 2:02am

    the man's an obvious wanker! be good for France if he is defeated in the next elections. perhaps the new guy will better understand the internet and what it does do FOR artists, companies, etc, instead of concentrating on what it doesn't do

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 2:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Unfair and distorted markets

    *Le Sigh* Yep, from Ireland myself. As soon as the banks here were bailed out, that money went straight back to Germany and French Banks that had speculated on the property here. Doesn't seem to have done any good for France anyway.

    Sarkozy had a huge push to up our "low" corporate tax rate. But, given the number of allowances etc that French business can receive they pay far less tax then this so-called "low" tax in Ireland.

    Of course, this change would have resulted in loads of industry etc moving over to France ¨_¨

    Now they are pushing for a two-tier euro system. People in the lower tier could see their savings effectively reduced overnight.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 3:01am

    Sarkozy's wife thinks she doesn't sell her crap music because of Internet. She an ex-model, and lives inside a president's brain. mmmmm...

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 3:02am

    "strengthening the links between culture and the economy".

    and why does the law need to strengthen the links been culture and the economy. This is something the law has no business doing and it is something that should be left to the free market. The law has no business ensuring that culture costs money or that culture provides someone with monetary benefits. To the extent that these laws even should exist they should only exist to the extent that they promote the progress of the science and useful arts, not to the extent that they can help someone monetize culture.

    This is one reason why I say we abolish IP, even IP maximists seem to admit that the purpose of IP is not about promoting a public good but about something else. ABOLISH IP!!!

    "Sadly, many see the current system as a tool to punish and withhold, not a tool to recognise and reward."

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111121/07305616860/eu-commissioner-kroes-copyright-is -tool-to-punish-withhold-new-business-models-not-more-enforcement-needed.shtml

    Even she doesn't get it. These laws should not be to 'recognize and reward' they should be to promote the progress and serve a public good. They've turned into something else and I say we abolish them. ABOLISH IP!!!!!!

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 3:21am

    Re:

    "strengthening the links between culture and the economy".

    The purpose of these laws should not to be to ensure that every cultural expression costs money or that every cultural expression provides someone with money/monetary value. but that's what the law has turned into and that's why I say we abolish these laws.

    The law has turned into a tool that tries to ensure that any enjoyment anyone can ever get optimally benefits some monopolist and that it costs people monopoly prices. Governments (at least the U.S. government) pass anti competitive and pro-monopoly laws when it comes to nearly everything and every single last anti-competitive laws need to be abolished (from taxi cab monopolies to mailbox delivery monopolies to intellectual property to every other anti-competitive law that the government passes).

     

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  20.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Nov 24th, 2011 @ 5:14am

    Re: Re:

    You don't have enough cash to pay me to watch them. Of course, should you accidentally swallow poison, then watching Jerry Lewis movies should solve your problem quickly.

     

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  21.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Nov 24th, 2011 @ 5:18am

    Sarkozy is a major douchenozzle, and fellates pigeons.

    His wife is a hagged-out has-been, and never had any real talent to begin with, much the same as her brain-dead husband. The French richly deserve both.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 6:14am

    Sarkozy should see Herzog's documentary "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" which is about incredible 30,000 year old cave paintings recently discovered in... yes, FRANCE of all places. Perhaps someday we'll learn exactly how the painters back then monetized their art and maintained their copyrights.

     

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  23.  
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    iBelieve, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Some common sense is missing.

    Artists should be able to copyright their physical work, be it created with pens, pencils or brushes or keystrokes or mouse movements and clicks as this is expected, but to use a technology that is not of their origin or design to claim copyright infringement for every conceivable or unknown copy is not right. Everyone who posts an origional work online and who fails to realize that they do not own the technology that enables them to approach a worldwide audience for their own show must expect that their work will be copied by some of the public at large using this technology which is and always has been a selling point for companies creating the technology.

    Where copyright rule should apply is in protecting them from those who for any reason would attempt to pose this work as their own or who without license would sell those digital or printed or subsequently forged copies for commercial or private monetary gain or from those who would seek credit for works that are not their own and re-posting it online without permissions for any reason.

    Copyright can work in the digital age, but some very basic rules must be observed as it is in the best interests of all. Copyright law oversteps its bounds in making hyperlinking to works illegal. That was the whole marvel of the internet. There should be acknowledgement from the owner of the works to know who is linking and what is being linked to, and that was as a courtesy in the early days, but now can result in more costly, sometimes unwanted bandwidth use.

    It seems that if it were simple, there would not be all the hooplaw being created by those who make their living off of copyright law.

     

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  24.  
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    Cowardly Anon, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    Dear President Sarkozy,

    I feel that it would be good to inform you that as of right now, I can get everything I want online for free. It's not something that is going to happen unless we stop it. It is something that has happened and something that happened years ago. Perhaps it's not by the most legal of channels, but free is here, and it is here to stay.

    And, I'd like to point out, the sky did not fall when it happened and society as a whole seems to still be intact. I also notice that even though we must 'Do Something' to stop people from getting around the gatekeepers, those gatekeepers keep reporting record profits. Not only that, but there is more art being distributed and more artists getting paid for their works.

    Even though people can get things for free, they understand that unless they support the artists, those artists will not be able to produce more content for them to enjoy. Always remember, value and price are two very different things. Though, you as a politician might not feel something that is free has any value, that doesn't mean the rest of the world feels that way.

    Might I suggest that instead of fighting an invisible boogie man and fundamentally breaking new technologies and innovations before they are even out of the gate, why don't you and other people in power suggest that those gatekeepers who are most worried invest some of the profits they keep reporting into actually adapting to the way the world is heading.

    Sincerely,

    Cowardly Anon.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 7:23am

    I wouldn't refer to anything that was mass-produced for profit as "culture." Culture forms around mass-produced goods, as it does around everything of human interest, but that doesn't make the mass-produced goods culture themselves.

     

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  26.  
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    Yash, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 8:49am

    Sarkozy.. deal with france.. TV is none of your business

     

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  27.  
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    Robert Shaver, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    BOOKS ...

    stealing audience share from TV (& movies) since ... well ... TV (& movies) were invented. (Not to mention sex ... stealing audience that is, although Nielson can't tell what you're doing while you TV is on.)

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Phrasing!

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 6:29pm

    "Sarkozy Worried About The Internet 'Stealing Audience Share' From 'Regulated' TV Services"

    Sarkozy assumes that 'Regulated TV Services' are somehow entitled to an audience share. Competition may take customers away from a business but it's not stealing because no business is entitled to have customers.

     

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  30.  
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    Bengie, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 7:44pm

    Language

    Language is also created by culture. Mr France guy, STFU and stop making illegal use of culture.

    I think these people don't realize that EVERYTHING about society is created from culture.

    "Human societies are characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals who share a distinctive culture[...]"

    Anything that reduces the sharing of culture, directly attempts to undermine society itself.

     

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  31.  
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    dave, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 8:20pm

    Re: Some common sense is missing.

    Very well said, mostly.

    Yours is the only intelligent posting in this thread so far. Thank you.

    For all the people who are downloading music and films , books and images, just because you can do it doesn't make it right. If you don't pay the artists for their work, then you are stealing. Yes, many businesses that supposedly represent artists and distribute their works are morally vacant entities, but that is a separate issue. When you download a digital copy of someone's work without paying them for it, or from a location that doesn't have licensing from the artist, you are stealing. It's that simple. Attributing ownership can sometimes be such a legal morass it's almost hopeless. And that's yet another issue.

     

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  32.  
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    FuzzyDuck, Nov 24th, 2011 @ 11:46pm

    Re: Re: Some common sense is missing.

    When you download a digital copy of someone's work without paying them for it, or from a location that doesn't have licensing from the artist, you are stealing. It's that simple.


    I guess you've never heard of open source, or creative commons. The creators of those works want you to download it for free!

    For instance I am using Firefox right now, on a Linux box, I downloaded both for free. Recently I watched an episode of Pioneer One, which I downloaded for free. I regularly download music from Jamendo for free. I read Wikipedia for free. Etc...

    In other words your simplistic little reasonings about not paying being equal to stealing aren't that simple after all. Plus you might want to look up the real definition of stealing, that's basic 101 if you want to enter a real discussion here instead of just trolling.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2011 @ 4:48am

    Re: Re: Some common sense is missing.

    Nothing is "that simple", unless you are referring to your simplistic though process. I really don't care what you think constitutes "stealing", since you obviously haven't devoted a single moment of critical thought to it. Now get back to shilling, because your masters expect productivity, no matter how pointless. Your post is the rhetorical equivalent of flatulence.

     

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  34.  
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    dave, Nov 25th, 2011 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Some common sense is missing.

    You are absolutely correct to correct me about Open Source software.

    Those works have been made available by their creators and their creators wish for their free distribution.

    But not all of the digital works that are downloaded are Open Source, are they?

     

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  35.  
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    Bon Vivant, Nov 25th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    Sans Souci

    Not to worryee Sarkozy... How you say in engleesh, ze idiot boxe is ze same wherever eet ez. Ignore eet and you will live longer, have better sexxy moments and ze thoughts... ah, could not beee better.

     

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  36.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 25th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

    Re: It's simple

    Further to Masnick's point, Museums in France have a history of offering free admission, one day a week, or on special occasions. The notion being that greater exposure will only increase overall interest, increase revenues on other days, and raise the value that the culture within can offer the country and humanity.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/01/04/us-france-museums-idUSL1841277820080104

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Nov 25th, 2011 @ 7:43pm

    Re:

    can someone tell me how this idea started? if the market is to exist by capitalism, how can the market stay after we give the people already winning a way to rewrite the rules

     

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  38.  
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    monkyyy, Nov 25th, 2011 @ 8:19pm

    Re:

    maybe one day we will know how every past civilization run their copyright system, as well as their governments and official money printing and how the rich got richer secretly w/o the public knowledge

     

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  39.  
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    Overcast (profile), Nov 26th, 2011 @ 8:45pm

    Since when are Governments in the business of protect a certain industry from another? They should ALLOW more competition and even encourage it - not try to protect the old businesses.

    Most of these companies pay big money for campaigns.. they expect a ROI from the palms they grease.

     

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  40.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Nov 27th, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Some common sense is missing.

    Am I stealing from Homer because I have a copy of the Iliad on my phone? How far do you want to extend the insanity? 50 years? 100? 500?

    Sooner or later you have to "let the thieves" have stuff.

    That's just a part of copyright. It's an integral part of copyright. It was never meant to be a form of property. People tend to forget that.

    TV includes works old enough that no one associated with the original production is alive anymore.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Nov 27th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Some common sense is missing.

    > Yours is the only intelligent posting in this thread so far. Thank you.

    Not really.

    The only thing that has any real significance here is "making money". If you aren't making money off of it then there is really no actual damages. You can pretend that every copy equals lost money but that's really a fantasy.

    The only people that should be subject to the draconian enforcement shenanigans are the commercial ventures.

    Unfortunately, this also includes the so-called content owners. Publishers are the biggest thieves of anyone.

    The only thing that the pursuit of individual infringers does is to undermine personal liberty in general.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    professional network, Nov 27th, 2011 @ 8:25pm

    Being able to go through the reviews and see what other people have to say about the products that they have tried is a great way to find out if you want to try the products, or shop for something else.

     

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


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