Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the back-to-our-regularly-scheduled-commenting dept

First week of the year, and it started off with quite a bang. Leading the way on the "most insightful" side was DH's Love Child responding to a comment from one of our usual "critics" who tried to claim that tech companies are nothing but "parasites" because they "are reliant on infringement to make money" and that they should "create their own worthwhile content." DH's LC pointed out that the "companies" in the content industry don't actually create much content themselves:
Name me one COMPANY that creates content. They have people who create content and then the company publishes or distributes it.

Content is created by people using tools that companies make. Just because the content wasn't distributed by your beloved RIAA/MPAA, etc, doesn't make it any less worthwhile.
Indeed. Take a look at the tech companies and the legacy entertainment industry companies today, and tell me which ones are actually responsible for enabling the creation of more content? That's easy: tech wins by a long shot.

Coming in second was Hephaestus responding to one of the typical claims of how, without copyright, there would be no culture:
Dear Big Content

I recently heard that you said "that there would be no culture if there was no copyright monopoly." I guess the library of Alexandria is a myth, there are no Greek tragedies, the Bible doesn't exist, the Koran is a fairy tale, that fairy tales are recent fakes, philosophy from the times of Thales and Aristotle is one of my delusions, and we do not have extant literature from Sophocles and Euripides.

Thanks for clearing that up for me.

David
The third place comment, by Anonymoose Custard, was so good that I'm making it my first editor's choice comment of the week. It was in response to a comment from Brian from the band "Enter the Haggis." ETH actually is a pretty innovative band that has been more than willing to test out new business models and has been quite successful doing so. However, Brian challenged my suggestion that the public domain is the necessary end result of copyright, or that copyright is a contract between the public and content creators. He also suggested that we should be much more concerned about patents than copyright (we're actually pretty damn concerned about both!). A number of people responded to Brian, but Anonymoose Custard's got the most insightful votes, and for a good reason:
The problem is that Copyright came with a promise similar to the promise that Patents have: That once the creator has profited from the work, the work enters the collective cultural domain. The reasoning is that then the Public will always have access to the works.

As it is, though, these works remain under Copyright, and it is still technically illegal to create archival copies for cultural preservation, and it's also therefore illegal for the Public to gain access to those archival copies for their enjoyment.

Right now, there is a collection of recordings of Jazz music from the '30s by some of the masters of early Jazz - from Armstrong to Basie - that no one is allowed to listen to because they're under Copyright, even though it's not clear that anyone actually holds the Copyright to these recordings. So they will remain in an archive in Harlem until the Copyrights expire, probably sometime around 2025 at the earliest, if not longer. It's a travesty that no one will be able to listen to it.

Worse, there are huge storerooms at the movie studios in Hollywood that hold collections of some of the most influential and (culturally) important movies of the Silent Era and the early "Soundies" that are simply decaying in their tins. The film is a material that is extremely fragile and doesn't survive even in controlled conditions, and so the reels are covered in a brow-gray gunk that used to be film. None of those movies will ever be seen again because the Copyright owners have no interest in recovering what's left (they don't see a market) and no one who has the funding is able to recover them all because they can't get the Copyright releases - if they can get it at all. In many cases, the studio that "owns" them can't even prove they have the Copyright.

And so our Culture is being destroyed or lost because no one is allowed to make valuable archival copies, and no one is allowed to view them because the proper royalty payments can't or won't be made.

Even if it can be proven that the works are true orphan works, no one will touch them because someone will make a Copyright claim that needs to be verified, even if the claim is invalid.

Worse yet, derivative works that build on this culture (like tributes and documentaries and the like) can't use this material, even if they can get their hands on it.

It is as if Copyright is making it illegal to record and share any of our History that occurred between 15 years ago (which is roughly when most Copyright owners seem to abandon their works) and 95 to 170 years ago (which is when the current Copyright extensions expire).
I also responded to Brian, and noted that I think he got the basic equation backwards. In his comment he suggests that copyright is the natural state of things, and the public domain "strips creators" of their rights. That's not the case at all. The natural state is no copyright, where anyone can do anything. Copyright was, quite explicitly, a deal with creators that the public would not make use of that natural right for a limited time to (in theory) give creators an exclusive right to benefit. Either way, I should note that a few commenters weren't that nice to Brian and I find that unfortunate. While we certainly have some "trolls" in the crowd who make crazy statements just to piss people off, Brian appeared to be asking a sincere question, signed his name to it -- and has a clear track record of being quite willing to experiment with directly connecting with fans and trying out exciting new business models. So just a heads up to our regulars: not everyone who you disagree with is a troll.

For the second editor's choice comment, we've got Ima Fish bringing back an old comment that he actually used a few years ago on a different site, but it sure seemed relevant again:
There was recently a post on Techdirt about how even those who fight for stricter copyright laws end up accidentally infringing copyrights themselves.

The reason it's so incredibly easy to infringe copyright law has to do with how out of control copyright laws have become.

As copyright was originally enacted, it was next to impossible to accidentally infringe. In the good old days in order to infringe on a copyright you had to physically publish a song or a book without permission by printing it onto paper via a printing press. There was no other way to copy or infringe on a song or a book and there was no such thing as a performance right protected by copyright.

Nowadays we infringe copyrights numerous times throughout the day without even thinking about it. Watching an unauthorized SNL clip on YouTube. Playing the radio in the background at work where customers can hear. Loaning a copy of your Finding Nemo DVD to play at your kids' daycare. Downloading clip art to use in a personal scrapbook. Scanning your own wedding photos. Forwarding a funny photograph to a friend. Loaning a co-worker some software. Etc., etc., etc…

Copyright laws are so utterly pervasive in our lives that we simply cannot reasonably function without at least some innocent infringement. I personally think it'd be easier to avoid jaywalking and speeding than it would be to avoid infringing.
Moving on to funny... in our Techdirt 2011: The Numbers post from this week, we noted a growing "rivalry" between Dark Helmet and Marcus Carab over who was deemed the site's funniest commenter -- and both took their best shots this week. And, amazingly... they took the top two spots in the funny category this week in a race that was incredibly close... but where DH won by a hair. It was his comment in response to the story of ICE deporting a missing teen to Colombia (she was American) because she gave them a fake name (and ICE didn't bother to do any actual investigative work -- such as making sure she was who she said she was). DH combined this with the other ICE story we've been following and noted:
The fake name she gave police was Dajaz and ICE just went nutbars trying to keep her out of the States, amirite?
Meanwhile, Marcus' second place comment was actually a direct response to DH on that "Numbers" post, where DH issued a sort of challenge to Marcus, in which he tossed out this insult: "pronounced More-Kiss Car-Rob, descriptive for the smooch-stealing auto-theif that he is," which left Marcus no choice but to respond:
DH has never forgiven me for kissing his car and hotwiring his girlfriend...
Oh, the competition is on...

For editor's choice, we've got Rich Kulawiec (check his background if you don't know who he is) responding to Rep. Lamar Smith's ridiculous claim that those opposed to SOPA are not serious and don't understand the bill. Kulawiec went sarcastic:
But...but...but of course he's right... since none of us have any idea how the Internet works, whereas Lamar Smith is internationally renowned for his technical prowess and keen understanding of the Internet's architecture.
Make sure you click the link in that comment.

Finally, we've got PopeHilarius responding to the story of how service provider Bandcamp was helping artists turn people looking for infringing materials into buyers. Responding to a sentence in the post about how Bandcamp "can effectively compete with filesharing and other free distribution platforms" by giving fans a way to "directly support the artist," PH detected the real issue:
See there's your problem right there. If fans can directly support the artist, it takes money away from hardworking gatekeepers like media conglomerates. Directly supporting an artist is the same as stealing.
Indeed. Please, who will think of the gatekeepers?

On that note, get ready for another fun week -- and remember, if you're at CES this week come and say hello.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    No deal

    Copyright was, quite explicitly, a deal with creators that the public would not make use of that natural right for a limited time to (in theory) give creators an exclusive right to benefit.


    If the courts won't enforce the deal, then there isn't any deal.

    In Eldred v Ashcroft (2003), Justice Ginsburg, writing for the court, decided that the courts won't enforce the deal.
    [Petitioners] contend, in this regard, that Congress may grant to an “Autho[r]” an “exclusive Right” for a “limited Tim[e],” but only in exchange for a “Writin[g].” Congress’ power to confer copyright protection, petitioners argue, is thus contingent upon an exchange: The author of an original work receives an “exclusive Right” for a “limited Tim[e]” in exchange for a dedication to the public thereafter.

     . . . .

    Accordingly, we reject the proposition that a quid pro quo requirement stops Congress from expanding copyright’s term


    If the courts won't enforce this supposed quid pro quo, then there's no deal. As Justice Ginsburge makes clear, the courts won't enforce the terms.

    There's no deal.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

    Question

    If my love child gets a kudo here and I do as well, do I get, like, 1.5 Techdirt points or something?

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    Re: No deal

    So the deal has been reneged on then.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: No deal

    So the deal has been reneged on then.

    Call it reneged —call it whatever you want— call it void ab initio, void from the get-go. It doesn't matter what you call it.

    A paper promise that the courts won't enforce is not a deal: It's just a worthless scrap of paper.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: No deal

    So the public has been conned.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Question

    are you sure you're the father?

     

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    Brian, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Thanks Mike

    Thanks for the kind words and measured response, Mike. I'll admit, I got kind of annoyed when the first couple responses to my post basically just insulted me for having an opinion, and I left the thread behind before some of the more intelligent answers were posted - I'll have to go back and read it now.

    My post was kind of a knee-jerk, and I wish I'd taken more time to think about it before I posted. I did leave the impression that I guard my intellectual property jealously, which isn't true. I actually WROTE that post while taking a break from cutting together a 12-song digital live release which I plan to give away this week for free, and I'm always among the first people to upload our albums to torrent sites.

    I am, however, always irritated when someone tries to argue that it's just selfish of me to want to own something I create, or when they posit that it's a foregone conclusion that I owe it to the world for nourishing and educating me. Sure, I appreciate the help I've had, and I'm grateful for the built-in advantages of living in a developed country with access to food, training and the means of distribution - but it always seems like a double standard. Would the poster who angrily wrote that I could happily have anything he created the day he died feel the same way if he died penniless, the day after penning a hit song? I think he'd be grateful that his dependents could squeeze a little profit out of his composition to pay for his funeral costs.

    And would he feel the same way if he was a carpenter who died with a warehouse full of custom-built furniture? Would his family be called "greedy" if they sold off his inventory?

    I understand that it's different with intellectual property because it's the only kind of property you can sell and still own. If I could only make money from the first sale (as is the case with most other types of business), I'd have to sell at a much higher price to stay alive, and that obviously would mean that only the rich could afford new music.

    Sorry. Rambling.

    All that aside, I DO agree that it's unfortunate when entertainment giants like Disney bend, break or reconfigure rules to squeeze out a few more dollars when it means the public is denied access to works of art. I just don't agree with the sentiment that it's my RIGHT to make copies of Snow White and sell them, just because the movie did well enough to become part of our "culture". Corvettes are part of our culture too, but I'll have to lawyer up if I want to start making and selling my own without Chevrolet's permission.

    Thanks for having a discussion instead of a shouting match. A bunch of people refusing to listen to one another and just being as loud as possible makes for bad conversations.. and terrible music.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: No deal

    US judges don't have the right to change the deal. The deal predates the US. It was struck in England in 1710 - as is made clear here.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Question

    I mean, w/the mother in question, it's hard to be sure of anything.

    .....I said "hard".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    US judges don't have the right to change the deal.

    Justice Ginsburg, and her fellow judges have the power.

    What you going to do? Shoot someone? You're crazy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Thanks Mike

    Quote:
    And would he feel the same way if he was a carpenter who died with a warehouse full of custom-built furniture? Would his family be called "greedy" if they sold off his inventory?

    Would you call other carpenters that made the exact same custom-built furniture criminals? would you call their families criminals for daring to sell those copies?
    Carpenters somehow without IP protections manage to create the same things others can and make a living out of it, pay their bills like everybody else except IP holders, that is the only class that have special priviliges inside society and those privileges are getting harder to justify.

    In the past, people had to invest a lot to get things to the public, that is not true today, people in their bedrooms can create multi-billion dollar companies using a computer or disrupt business models in a global scale(aka digital distribution), if they can anybody can, the field is leveled people don't actually need copyright anymore they need to create a fan base and work on that, big companies can't stop you from showing up anywhere today, that wouldn't be true if SOPA passes though, since they can just keep complaining about something without consequences for getting it wrong which stimulates fraud, corruption and anti-competitive practices.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    Re: No deal

    Quote:
    If the courts won't enforce this supposed quid pro quo, then there's no deal. As Justice Ginsburge makes clear, the courts won't enforce the terms.

    There's no deal.

    Exactly there is no deal, it was broken, the agreement is gone and therefore all the respect for the laws that made it possible.

    I don't feel I need or have to follow the law or even pay attention to those, I know it can't be enforced, I know it is useless if I decide it is, so I'm now ignoring it and teaching others how to do it too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    If by shoot someone you mean he will aim his CD ripper and fire it away then sure, why not, if judges can just change the spirit of the law sure others can just ignore those laws.

     

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    Brian, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Good points, Coward (is that kosher? I feel like I'm insulting you..)

    The difference is that with something like music, or an ebook, the copy you're making (and potentially selling) IS the original. It has the creator's name on it, not yours. If, in your example, other carpenters made exact copies and sold them as the works of the original creator, then yes - that would be a crime, called counterfeiting.

    Music is complicated because in most cases, you aren't selling a SONG - you're selling a performance. Some fantastic songwriters aren't great performers or singers, and it's only through royalties and licensing that they manage to survive and continue to create. I don't particularly care for Leonard Cohen's voice most of the time, but he's one of my favorite songwriters. If he didn't "own" his songs, Jeff Buckley, Tori Amos and dozens of others could have just claimed the songs they covered as their own, and most people would never have known any different. He might not have been able to scrape by just by selling HIS versions of his songs, and his career might have been very short.

    (I know there are a hundred reasons why this is a terrible example, but I think you get my point.)

    I guess this is sort of a different conversation, since I'd extrapolate from some of your statements that you'd favor abolishing IP protection laws and copyrights entirely. I do agree that it's odd to afford IP owners different privileges than creators of physical goods, and that monopolies are usually a bad thing. I just don't see how artists could survive and keep creating if the things they created went straight into the public domain.

    People sometimes try to use the "healthy competition" line. "If someone else can take what you created and do it better than you, why shouldn't they? Wouldn't we all benefit from a better version? Why should you be "protected" from competition when nobody else has that kind of protection?" I believe somebody in the other thread literally told me that if I couldn't personally create the best version of my song, I was pathetic and irrelevant and only worthwhile as an organ donor. Seemed... a little harsh. I wonder if they'd say the same thing to Leonard Cohen?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    Yet the government would have no problems using violence to enforce its bad laws but they're not crazy. I suppose your point is that might makes right.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    ...might makes right.

    Read it that way if you want. It doesn't matter how you read it, 'cause I'll tell you one thing, for damn sure:

    Might makes LAW.

     

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    "Some fantastic songwriters aren't great performers or singers, and it's only through royalties and licensing that they manage to survive and continue to create."

    False dilemma, you assume that royalties are the only way that songwriters can make money for their song writing.

    "I just don't see how artists could survive and keep creating if the things they created went straight into the public domain."

    Just because you personally can't perceive something doesn't mean it can't or won't be done. It can and will be done and it has been done (be it through public domain or CC licensed content). In fact, most bands hardly make their money from royalties, they make their money from concerts and other methods. The IP holders/government established monopoly content distributors are the ones who make most of the money from the IP privileges and they're the ones pushing for these laws. They're pushing for these laws not because they're in the best interests of artists, but because they're in the best interests of the middlemen that contribute nothing.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    So your point is that it doesn't matter if the law is wrong, because those making the laws have military might on their side, they can do whatever the heck they want and pass whatever laws they want without accountability and we shouldn't resist and we must follow unjust laws, no matter how bad, because they have might on their side. I say nonsense, we absolutely should resist. Not with violence unless absolutely necessary, but we should still resist. and part of the point of this discussion is to resist, to try to get elected officials and judges in place that will not pass bad laws and make bad rulings.

    Your response was to the following...

    "US judges don't have the right to change the deal."

    I agree that they absolutely shouldn't have that right and they actually don't. They may have a legal right, but not a moral right to do this.

    but your point is that they have the 'power' to do this. IE: Might makes right. They are morally wrong but they are right on basis of their power and their ability to use powerful violence to enforce their bad decisions. and it's not crazy for them to use violence to enforce their tyrant laws but it's crazy for others to resist with violence because they have the might and might makes right, it's OK for them to use violence only because they have more power.

    I don't think we should resist with violence but I also don't think they should use violence to enforce bad laws. Instead, they ought to not pass bad laws.

    and SOPA et al are absolutely powerless to stop or even noticeably slow down piracy and Hollywood et al know it. They want these laws not to stop piracy but to stop competition, just like they managed to do outside the Internet through the imposition of bad laws (ie: govt established cableco and broadcasting monopolies and laws that deter restaurants and other venues from hosting independent performers in fear of getting sued by parasitic third party collection societies under the pretext that someone might infringe).

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    Oh, and lets take your 'power' 'Might makes LAW.' argument to its logical conclusion. Your argument is simply that since they have the power to pass bad laws they can do so and it's fine. Their correctness is based on their power.

    Fine, then if we have the power and might to break these laws and get away with it then we should do it when it's in our best interest. We're right, because we have the power and the government is wrong because they are simply powerless to stop us.

    So yes, Justice Ginsburg et al have the power to make bad decisions, but neither they nor the government has any power to enforce those decisions against a public that wishes to simply ignore them. So the public is therefore right because they have power and might to ignore bad laws and get away with it.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    and, therefore, it is the law that IP laws don't exist and are void if simply we have the might and power to ignore them and get away with it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    Therefore IP abolition is the law because might makes law and we have the might and power to ignore these laws and get away with it.

     

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    Brian, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    You're right - most bands don't make the bulk of their money from royalties, but a lot of bands DO at least supplement their business by licensing to TV, movies and video games. It seems like you're making one of my points for me, though: the bands who make money from shows are selling PERFORMANCES of their songs, or performances of songs by other writers. Not all songwriters are great performers, though - and some of those ONLY make money from royalties and licensing, or by selling songs outright. If they didn't "own" the songs to begin with, there'd be nothing to sell.

    I'm curious to hear the other ways you know of for songwriters to make money for writing songs if they can't sell them or perform them. Are you talking about the idea of commissioned works? Or writers being hired by performers on a salary basis? I suppose those models would work for some writers, but really only pop songwriters.

    Money aside, I personally am glad of some of the protections I get under copyright laws. I'm glad that I don't run the risk of spending months crafting a song only to turn on the tv one day and hear it as the theme song for the new season of Jersey Shore. I'm glad that Nickelback can't steal my melodies, write some new lyrics and turn them into a cawk-rawk anthem.

    I'm also glad that there are a few avenues available to me to make money that don't involve driving hundreds of thousands of miles, missing birthdays and weddings and funerals and sleeping in motels 200 nights a year. I mean - I do that anyway, but if I should destroy my voice or cut off one of my hands in a freak ramen-cooking accident, it's comforting to know that there are other options. Mostly thanks to the idea of IP ownership.

     

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  23.  
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    chris, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:35pm

    Watching an unauthorized SNL clip on YouTube.
    Youtube would be the one liable for infringement in this case, not the user but point taken on the rest. The wedding photographs are a good example, especially if you are sending out the scans (scans for archival would probably be fair use). I personally think this should be considered work for hire (in which case you would own the copyrights) but it's not. Some photographers will agree to work that way. Ironically, if there was clothing copyright (which I don't support at all) you might actually then hold the copyrights for the photos. More likely the photographer will hand you a copyright assignment contract to sign (which you won't read of course) so you'll end up in the same situation.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    "...because they're in the best interests of the middlemen that contribute nothing."

    Hear hear! That is exactly the problem. Artists don't really need copyright because they create art and can refuse to create if they aren't paid. Publishers need copyright because they create nothing and sell that nothing for profit. They only get to take profit because they have control over the flow of goods between the artists and the consumers. Without that artificial monopoly their model falls apart.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    "I suppose those models would work for some writers"

    No model will work for all writers no matter what so it's not the governments job to give people business models that will work for everyone.

    "but really only pop songwriters."

    [citation needed]

    "I'm also glad that there are a few avenues available to me to make money that don't involve driving hundreds of thousands of miles, missing birthdays and weddings and funerals and sleeping in motels 200 nights a year."

    So others must subsidize your income and music by sacrificing their rights and the social cost to abide by and enforce your business model under the law (ie: the cost to service providers who are required to police content, costs that will invariably find their way back to consumers in one way or another)? Sorry, these are sacrifices I'm not willing to make. Find your own business model and pay for it yourself.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    (and it's not the governments job to give you a business model that will work for you either. Or for me. What, is it the governments job to provide every person with a business model that works for them? Fine, I want a business model where I can get paid millions to dance in the street like a retard and I want the government to provide me with it. It would make me glad just like your government granted business model makes you glad).

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    and I also want the government to provide me with a business model that gets me paid millions to contribute nothing. It would make me so glad. I might even write a song about it and contribute something!!! but if you don't give me the money then I won't write this song and society will not have it.

    It's not the governments job to personally satisfy you and your business model and to give into threats that you won't work and you won't do something if you don't get what you want. I don't care, threaten all day, you should not get what you want from government on the basis of the threat that if you don't you won't work. Then don't.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    That's terrorism talk, right there. Your local NDAA-enforcement agent will be along shortly. Have a nice day.

     

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  30.  
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    Suja (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    if you gotta have an artificial prop to make a source of income viable there's a problem and that's that it wasn't a viable source to begin with


    Money aside, I personally am glad of some of the protections I get under copyright laws. I'm glad that I don't run the risk of spending months crafting a song only to turn on the tv one day and hear it as the theme song for the new season of Jersey Shore. I'm glad that Nickelback can't steal my melodies, write some new lyrics and turn them into a cawk-rawk anthem.

    ah, so you want power/control

    the root of copyright along with money

    grants too much power/control for anyone person to have, it's completely in favor of one party ignoring the other as in a king over a serf, there is no balance

     

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    Brian, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Wait a second. What "rights" are you "sacrificing" by allowing me to own a song I wrote? Do you sacrifice the same rights when you don't walk into our metaphorical carpenter's shop and walk out with whatever you like?

    Any business model presupposes that you have something that others value enough to pay you for it. In order for you to sell it to me, it logically has to be something that you have and I don't. One of the government's many jobs is to keep me from just taking what you have from you without paying for it. Yes, that requires policing. Is that the social cost you're referring to? Do you have a problem with paying the police force to stop me from walking off with your stuff? If IP is, in fact, property (legally), there's not much difference that I can see.

    Your "citation": the chances of a non-pop songwriter being put into a salaried position to write for someone else are slim to none - "pop" being used broadly, obviously. Songwriters get hired to write hit songs; hit songs are pop songs. That's all I meant. If writing hits for established performers was the only way for non-performing songwriters to make money, music would suck even more than it already does. Nobody is out there hiring and paying songwriters to take chances or challenge listeners.

     

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    Suja (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    so, for you to have these "protections" (which aren't protecting you from anything cause there isn't anything to be protected from) i must be restricted

    where is my "protections" against being restricted in what parts of my culture i can use & modify?

    where is my backup chorus of "but.. but.. but.. free culture! won't someone please think of the culture?!"

    there is none, copyrightway or copynoway

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Quote:
    Good points, Coward (is that kosher? I feel like I'm insulting you..)

    Nope, I don't mind.

    Quote:
    The difference is that with something like music, or an ebook, the copy you're making (and potentially selling) IS the original. It has the creator's name on it, not yours. If, in your example, other carpenters made exact copies and sold them as the works of the original creator, then yes - that would be a crime, called counterfeiting.

    Is no different, the original design of a furniture is not protected a carpenter have to go out and churn out his products just like other carpenters and they can copy him all they want and he can't do nothing about. That is also true for food, apparel and so many other things and until recently every industrial park could copy others without problems that is what made the world great.

    BTW counterfeiting is only a crime if you try to say your copies were made by somebody else, there is no laws against one making an exact copy of a Victorian chair and selling it under their own brand.

    Counterfeit laws were made in theory to protect the public and not the manufacturer.

    Quote:
    Music is complicated because in most cases, you aren't selling a SONG - you're selling a performance. Some fantastic songwriters aren't great performers or singers, and it's only through royalties and licensing that they manage to survive and continue to create. I don't particularly care for Leonard Cohen's voice most of the time, but he's one of my favorite songwriters. If he didn't "own" his songs, Jeff Buckley, Tori Amos and dozens of others could have just claimed the songs they covered as their own, and most people would never have known any different. He might not have been able to scrape by just by selling HIS versions of his songs, and his career might have been very short.


    Well most carpenters are not good at finances too, they are not designers either, but they all seem to find customers and people who would pay them for their skills, maybe songwriter as a profession shouldn't exist, one should be whole and know how to do it all or fail and not have protections, the harm a granted monopoly causes is much more worse than the benefits to any single individual so I don't feel inclined to give up, my rights to enjoy something or even use so another don't have to work as hard. I was just looking for 3D assets to try and remake some old The Real Ghostbusters cartoons and I found some music fans made, I also found the wikipedia article and following that I read that the "original music" (not so original after all) for the Ghosbusters (1984) movie was done in 1.5 days, does it mean he should hold the monopoly for the rest of his life depriving everyone else in humanity from using it? I think not, just like we don't allow car manufacturers to hold a monopoly or have rights after a sale, just like we don't allow house builders to charge you for the use of that house after a sale or collect royalties. People find a price point sell things and have no control over it after why should a musician or songwriter, book writer, actor, director or anyone else have that power?
    Nobody should have that power, not any manufacturer nor artists, it harms business, markets and people.

    I often here people complaining that people copy what they "invented" or "created" the fact is, they discovered something and they probably were guided by cultural references of their times, it doesn't matter what others do with that creation what is important is what you do and is able to achieve with it, if you are not good enough to make something out of it why should you have the power to stop others?
    If somebody can make a new version out of some music and make money with it good for them, if he sell more tickets than the guy who originally wrote the song why should I care?
    I shouldn't care, I should care about what the original songwriter is able to offer me and in return I would support him any way I could and if not enough people agreed with me that guy should find another line of work because he is not that good at what he does there is something missing he is not complete, he didn't learn everything he needed to learn to succeed.

    Quote:
    (I know there are a hundred reasons why this is a terrible example, but I think you get my point.)

    I guess this is sort of a different conversation, since I'd extrapolate from some of your statements that you'd favor abolishing IP protection laws and copyrights entirely. I do agree that it's odd to afford IP owners different privileges than creators of physical goods, and that monopolies are usually a bad thing. I just don't see how artists could survive and keep creating if the things they created went straight into the public domain.

    Well, I don't know what would happen if IP was abolished the thing that I do know is that artists would find a way, these IP protection mentallity only recently started to get traction until the 70's there was no such a thing, in the 80's the explosion of American content around the world didn't see the levels of "protection" that people claim are needed today and somehow artists got paid, the fact is that protection for artists was always an illusion, it was never real.

    I do want IP laws to be abolished but that was not always the case, 15 years ago I was just like you, I thought people who took ideas from others were thieves, I even posted in forums "you guys know that we are thieves right?", then I started to look into it and become aware of what the law really said and what it enabled, that changed how I viewed those things, I felt I was ignorant before, I didn't understant what it meant, I just wanted artists to get the same chances as everybody else, I believed they were special that they deserved it, boy was I wrong.
    IP is actually an exclusion tool, is not something designed for partnership or creation, it is designed to stop others from doing something, sometimes it has a good reason but for the most part it is used to block business and censor, it creates tremendous liability issues that only major players can afford everybody else is excluded from that space. What was once only used in business settings, now was being used against normal people. So yes I want IP laws to end, they affect everybody negatively that is not capable of having a multi-million dollar legal fund to enter that scene, it blocks the natural evolution of markets, it create handicaped business that are unable to cater to the public needs and it destroy the little guy without them even being aware of it, musicians lose places to play because of collection agencies absurd powers, even buskers can't play in public spaces because local authorities don't want to pay those things, from which they apparently see no benefits of getting a license to let buskers play, it stops others from gettting something and making it better, it stop preservation of culture, it stop the flow of culture, it increases the cost of living for everybody and it make it risky to have a business, people can't open a pop and mom LTD store anymore they need to open an LLC store or face absurd liabilities.

    Here is an example, Ubuntu an opensource OS based on Linux can be freely distributed copied, modified and can even be sold by anyone, most custumers to Canonical are actually other people selling services based on their services, somehow the people who find a way to make money go back to Canonical and pay them for more things, when you don't interfere someone will find a way to make money even if the "product" is free. People buy canned air today, and air is free, anybody can can air, but people keep buying compressed air cans to clean their keyboards. Copyright on the other hand destroy that ecosystem, it destroy the creation of ideas for business, it harms you in the end.

    Quote:
    People sometimes try to use the "healthy competition" line. "If someone else can take what you created and do it better than you, why shouldn't they? Wouldn't we all benefit from a better version? Why should you be "protected" from competition when nobody else has that kind of protection?" I believe somebody in the other thread literally told me that if I couldn't personally create the best version of my song, I was pathetic and irrelevant and only worthwhile as an organ donor. Seemed... a little harsh. I wonder if they'd say the same thing to Leonard Cohen?

    Competition is never healthy, that is why I don't compete, I do my thing and don't bother with what others do, I don't care, I care about my little space and that is my little physical space that I occupy, I produce my services and products and try to sell them and try to find out what it takes for others to care, it makes me stronger and a better person because I need to comply to the whims of others, it makes me realize I'm not alone and my opinions or vision can be significantly different from others and it shows me where I need to go, but if I got the power to tell others how they should view the world why would I ever change?

     

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    Brian, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    The "prop" is no more artificial than the concept of ownership in any other venue. If you have a store full of goods, but you don't own any of them - if, in fact, EVERYONE owns them and has a right to them from the moment of their fabrication - nothing stops me from walking in and taking them without compensating you, right? If we pass laws saying you DO own your goods and that my taking them without paying is a crime, is that an "artificial prop" that proves your business model as a store owner is fundamentally flawed?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    How about the old fashioned way?
    You know, some band comes to him and pay him to write songs for them and they pay him for his troubles.

    What is wrong with that?

     

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    Suja (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    IP is, in fact, property (legally), there's not much difference that I can see.

    ... you can't see the difference between infinitely copyable goods (such as songs or any other kind of art) & finite physical goods?

    the law can say whatever it wants it cannot change the base fact that the two are vastly different from eachother & cannot be compared let alone treated the same way

    kind of the big fundamental problem with the whole system, it is trying to apply rules to something where those rules don't apply


    it's like trying to play chess with the rules of the 3-dimensional chess from Star Trek it just doesn't work

     

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    Robert (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    but if I should destroy my voice or cut off one of my hands in a freak ramen-cooking accident, it's comforting to know that there are other options. Mostly thanks to the idea of IP ownership.

    The one thing you're forgetting though Brian, no one else has that luxury, so what makes you so important?

    That's not meant to be offensive, despite the bolding. Think about it, I don't have any protection with my job if I lose a hand or get maimed in a car accident or suffer a severe head injury which renders me a "vegetable."

    That's another problem with copyright/patents, the idea that somehow you're supposed to be protected from accidents. Some places do, like the automakers, but that's due to union contracts. My place of employment doesn't do that, and I know others don't either.

    It's like this Brian, you have to invest in your future regardless of how you earn your money. If you're a pro sports player, you're likely to be injured, so you have to play for your own future. If you're injured, you're on your own.

    A temporary monopoly is what was intended so you could have some income while you created something new. It's not intended for you or your dependents to live off of, that's what financial investment is for. Unfortunately, corporations want perpetual income from every "investment".

    My children will have to follow in my footsteps; they will need to get an education, acquire skills, and make a career for themselves. If you mass so much fortune that your future is financially set, and maybe even the future of your children, then more power to you. But that can't be through a forced monopoly of your creations for 95 years after you registered the copyright.

    And while I sympathize with the Nickelback issue, I'd be furious too, but something to consider is this: who would know about the many famous classical composers if their works were not in the public domain? If some orchestra in Germany had secured the performance rights to Beethoven or Mozart, would you have heard of them?

    The problem Brian is that copyrights are used to strangle, control, squeeze the use of creations for profits for as long as possible. How is that beneficial to society?

    Not everyone wants to see the artists work go straight to the public domain where you have to compete with Nickelback for your own songs. But we don't want to be sued for giving you free publicity or trying to listen to your music on our iPod/CDPlayer(iWalk?)/laptops/etc... because your music is locked down. We want to be able to enjoy your music, covered or original, without hindrance from SOCAN.

    And as Mike M has said so many times, are you recording and releasing and hoping and praying or giving a reason to buy?

    Relying on copyright to stop people from earning profits from your work without your consent or supporting you in a royalty - good. Relying on copyright to stop the use of your works for something you don't support - good. Relying on copyright to "guarantee" income for you and your kids for the next 95+ years - not good. Going after people who used your work in a mashup (as long as it doesn't violate your code of ethics, ie: used to torture people at Guantanamo) - not good. Going after people who play your music in a bar-band but do not claim it to be their own song good.

    And I know your worry about Cohen and his music, however, did you know that "I Write The Songs" was popularized by Barry Manalow, but NOT written by Manalow? In fact, a person I took martial arts with in Montreal sat next to the original writer on a plane who kept saying "I wrote that song" with anger and passion. Original writer: Bruce Johnston. But people attribute the song to Manalow.

    Copyright didn't change that. Regardless of whether Nickelback or Justin Bieber perform your works, unless the public reads the fine print of the writer, they won't know or care.

    So, in that case, as with the case of songwriters, you should consider works for hire but also a myriad of other ideas, see CWF+RTB for songwriters who don't perform (ie: Cohen). Or how about you write it, promote it, let others perform it whether they pay you for it upfront or you arrange a license with the performer. Others may cover it, big acts too. If you don't jump up and down screaming at them, maybe they will say you wrote it and others will come to you asking to work with you.

    Check out the post on being awesome (I forget the name of the artist) and how they made a million dollars just by being awesome and not pulling a copyright "that's mine" approach.

    I am NOT trying to undermine your feelings, I'm just trying to give you more ideas and more views so you can understand where the "freetards" as the shills like to call us, are coming from.

    Basically, you can work with us, play neutral, or against us. The order listed is the also the order of your income, that is you'll make more if you work with us, than if you play neutral, and much more than if you go against us.

    We WANT to pay for your creation, just be sure you're giving us a reason to beyond the fact that you created something and expect because people see/hear/read about it, you somehow are owed something. Those days of forcing such things upon the consuming public are gone.

    You can prosper man, you really can. Read up on CWF+RTB and you'll do very well, if you have the talent. Even if you're not the greatest, if you're cool and be creative and are willing to try new things, you can still make a good living. Invest your good living in your future and you won't need draconian laws, beyond stopping Nickelback from writing 3+ songs with different lyrics and slightly different melodies, but using everything else the same from one of your songs.

     

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    Brian, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Holy... that's a hell of a reply. I take it there are in fact two separate anonymous cowards with whom I'm conversing? (Nope, still feel like a jerk when I say that.)

    Well - you've all given me lots to think about, and I'm going to go do some reading and pondering before I spend more time throwing opinions around. I appreciate you taking the time to seriously discuss this - it's nice when people you don't agree with are intelligent and insightful. Maybe there's hope for this internet thing after all...

    ...well, at least until SOPA passes.

     

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    Brian, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Haha. That's only because you're not thinking four-dimensionally.

     

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    Brian, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply - you guys are awesome, and you're definitely hitting me with arguments I haven't heard before. I'll do some reading.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    "Wait a second. What "rights" are you "sacrificing" by allowing me to own a song I wrote? "

    I am sacrificing my right to freely copy that which is publicly distributed.

    "Do you sacrifice the same rights when you don't walk into our metaphorical carpenter's shop and walk out with whatever you like?"

    Taking something from a carpenters house deprives them of that which is taken. Copying a publicly available song does not deprive anyone of that song. So, no, not the same rights are being sacrificed. I'm sacrificing my right to take stuff in return for my right not to have scarce goods in my possession from being taken. I value that. The public is sacrificing their right to freely copy in return for nothing. My right to freely copy is more important to me than whatever allegedly gets produced as a result of IP and it's more valuable to me than whatever I'm allegedly getting in return from these laws.

    "Any business model presupposes that you have something that others value enough to pay you for it."

    I don't value what you have enough to grant you a monopoly privilege on it. and I don't want my government granting you that privilege on my behalf. If you can't find people who would pay you then that's your problem alone. Don't make it my problem by getting the government involved and having them tax me to enforce your monopoly privileges. Don't make it my problem by forcing me to go through the trouble of abiding by your privileged wishes and spending the time and resources necessary to determine what's infringement, what's permissibly licensed, what's in the public domain, etc... before doing anything, especially since IP laws are opt in and practically require a psychic to make these determinations since I maybe in no position to do so. Don't make it my problem by forcing service providers to police content and hence bringing those costs back to down to me somehow.

    "In order for you to sell it to me, it logically has to be something that you have and I don't."

    My right to copy something is not something I want you to be able to sell me, it's something I want freely available to me. You can sell the first release if you want, or find some other way to make money, that's your problem and not mine. but once released then it is my natural right to copy as I please and my right to copy is something I don't want to sacrifice to you just so that you can sell it. If you don't like it then don't release content (or threaten not to), I don't care.

    "One of the government's many jobs is to keep me from just taking what you have from you without paying for it. "

    It should be the governments job to serve the will and interests of the people.

    I don't want it to be the governments job to prevent me from freely copying something. All laws should be in the public interest, not just in the interests of IP privilege holders. The public interest partly depends on what the public values. As a member of the public I may value physical property laws. I don't value intellectual property laws at all. I say abolish them.

    "Your "citation": the chances of a non-pop songwriter being put into a salaried position to write for someone else are slim to none "

    That's not a citation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    "If IP is, in fact, property (legally), there's not much difference that I can see."

    I don't care whether or not you personally see a difference. I see a difference. I don't want IP laws to exist regardless of your inability to see a difference.

     

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    Robert (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    I'm going to be checking out your music. Should Nickelback play your songs without your permission, let us know, I'll donate to your LLC fund.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 6:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    and just because the law considers something property is meaningless in this discussion since we aren't discussing what the law is but we're discussing what it should be.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Honestly, sorry for being so rude to you. I don't mind IP laws so much and wouldn't mind them if they were reasonable. As much as I shout and yell and pout "ABOLISH IP", the reality is, if these laws were reasonable and intended for the public interest then I wouldn't mind them so much. It's our current laws that I have problem with.

    Physical property laws, like IP laws, should be designed to serve the public interest. IP laws are no different. They SHOULD be to serve the public interest. To the extent that they don't, they should be abolished. Same thing with physical property laws.

    In determining the extent that IP laws should be enacted and could serve the public interest some things should be considered. The social cost of enforcing, policing, and abiding by these laws is publicly detrimental and so it should be weighed against the social benefit of having these laws. Having these laws be opt out increases this cost because now service providers and others must be psychic to determine what's infringing vs what's not. So if we are going to have these laws we should be able to minimize the social cost. Sure, this may place some burden on the IP holder, to opt in(to a centralized database that others can easily reference) but the IP holder is in a much better position to declare his privileges than others are in to determine who has privileges over what, so it's a much lesser burden to the IP holder.

    I can go on, but our current IP laws are not socially beneficial. They're socially detrimental and intended to only serve the interests of middlemen and government established big media conglomerates.

    You may also want to read Thomas Jefferson's thoughts on similar matters.

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_8s12.html

     

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    chris, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Thanks Mike

    I understand that it's different with intellectual property because it's the only kind of property you can sell and still own.

    As long as you understand that IP is a descriptive term not a legal one. There is no such thing as intellectual property codified in law. There are copyrights and patents. Musical recordings involve the former. In this case the copyright holder is considered to be the intellectual property owner. Now lets look at the list of rights normally associated with ownership of property and compare the copyright holder to the owner of a music CD. Those rights are:

    The right to consume: The CD owner has the right to listen to the CD whenever he chooses and the copyright holder has no say in this.

    The right to sell: The CD owner can sell the CD to whomever he chooses and the copyright holder can do nothing about it.

    The right to rent: The owner of a CD can rent that CD out to anyone and the copyright holder is powerless to stop them.

    Mortgage, transfer, exchange or destroy: I don't need to list these individually because you get the idea. Under the concept of intellectual property, the "property" owner has none of the rights normally associated with property.

    Further, real property rights have no time limit whereas the rights associated with intellectual property have a constitutionally mandated time limit. So you see it doesn't make much sense to refer to a copyright as property.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 7:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    and another thing to consider is that one of the reasons its difficult to prosper outside of copy protection laws is the fact that corporations control most of the information distribution channels outside of the Internet. They receive that control from the government. Government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies deprive you of the ability to distribute your work outside of the media cartel's distribution channels and restaurants and other venues are afraid of hosing independent performers because collection societies demand money and threaten them with expensive lawsuits if they don't pay under the pretext that someone might infringe.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111010/04381116281/bmi-hurting-artists-yet-again.sht ml

    The laws are intentionally designed to make it difficult for independents who don't sign away their IP privileges over to big media conglomerates to ever have their music distributed so that they can prosper. The govt is intent on doing the same thing they did outside the Internet to the Internet with laws like SOPA. It's not piracy they want to stop, it's competition, which is exactly what they managed to do outside the Internet.

    Our government passes an unbelievable amount of anti-competitive laws. Do you know that most state governments grant monopolies on taxi cabs? That's why in the U.S. they're so expensive. The list goes on and on and on (govt granted USPO mailbox delivery monopolies, govt granted electricity delivery monopolies, as mentioned they grant cableco and broadcasting monopolies, many products are covered by all sorts of patents whereby the USPTO has little regard for prior art and obviousness, even the hotel industry is a mess of incumbents that spend a lot on getting the government to stifle competition, there are electricity delivery monopolies, water delivery monopolies, in fact, you would be very hard pressed to find much that the government doesn't grant monopoly privileges or anti-competitive laws on. Maybe basic things like haircuts and fashion but the things the government doesn't pass anti-competitive laws on are few. Even things as simple as e-filing have anti-competitive laws associated with them. The problem is that most people are ignorant and we're intentionally kept that way), and the purpose of IP laws are no different, they're not to serve the public interest but merely part of the governments broad agenda to stifle competition in as many markets as possible.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Sadly you're conflating finite physical goods with infinite non-physical goods. Which is the root of the problem: you're trying to justify ownership over something that cannot be owned.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 8:10pm

    Re:

    "Youtube would be the one liable for infringement in this case, not the user"
    How? Why? Unless someone at Youtube actually uploaded the clip or aided the uploader in some meaningful way...

     

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

  50.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 10:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Surely you mean the ability to walk to the store, look at a good, then go back to my home and replicate the same good somehow without paying?

    Or go to the store, buy a good (say, a box of ramen), then eating it, determining what I need to make my own ramen, buying the ingredients from somewhere else and cooking it myself?

    Or, after learning how to make ramen noodles exactly like the boxed ones, opening a ramen stand in the street and selling ramen, without paying for each copy of the ramen noodles that I sell to the store that "published" the box of instant ramen?

     

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

  51.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 11:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    > US judges don't have the right to change the deal. The deal
    > predates the US. It was struck in England in 1710 - as is made
    > clear here.

    US judges are not bound by laws passed in other countries before the US even existed. They could expressly rule against such a law/legal principle and declare it inapplicable to US law.

    So yes, they do have the authority to 'change those deals'. What they're not supposed to have the authority to do is overrule the Constitution, which is what the Court did in Eldred.

     

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

  52.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 8th, 2012 @ 11:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Hi Brian,

    Interesting discussion you're having... I don't have too much time to get involved, and looks like others are getting into the nitty gritty with you, but I did want to dig in on a few points:

    The difference is that with something like music, or an ebook, the copy you're making (and potentially selling) IS the original. It has the creator's name on it, not yours. If, in your example, other carpenters made exact copies and sold them as the works of the original creator, then yes - that would be a crime, called counterfeiting.


    It's worth noting that counterfeiting -- or a violation of trademark law -- comes from an entirely different line of legal precedence (and even comes from a different part of the Constitution). Trademark law, in its original form, was designed as a form of consumer protection law -- to keep a consumer from being *confused* into buying, say, Bob's Cola, believing that it was Coca-Cola. It's about protecting the consumer, not the trademark holder.

    Admittedly, in the past few decades there has been a big push by trademark holders to make it more about protecting them, but that was certainly not the original intent.

    Music is complicated because in most cases, you aren't selling a SONG - you're selling a performance. Some fantastic songwriters aren't great performers or singers, and it's only through royalties and licensing that they manage to survive and continue to create. I don't particularly care for Leonard Cohen's voice most of the time, but he's one of my favorite songwriters. If he didn't "own" his songs, Jeff Buckley, Tori Amos and dozens of others could have just claimed the songs they covered as their own, and most people would never have known any different. He might not have been able to scrape by just by selling HIS versions of his songs, and his career might have been very short.

    The thing is, I'm not sure your concern here -- that "Jeff Buckley, Tori Amos and dozens of others could have just claimed the songs they covered as their own" -- is really a copyright issue at all. I think that that concern can be handled socially, rather than legally.

    That is, if Tori Amos records her version of a Leonard Cohen song and "claims it" as her own, fans of Leonard Cohen have all the incentive in the world to call Amos out on it, and that makes her look bad, and damages her reputation. However, if she wants to keep her reputation in good standing, she has every reason to make sure both that Cohen is properly credited *and* that he's happy, so there's likely to be some sort of relationship worked out anyway.

    We actually see this in practice already. Take the example of "news events" that are turned into movies. Quite frequently, the moviemakers will "buy" the story from either people involved in the story or from a reporter who deeply covered the story or wrote a book about it.

    But news is facts and facts are not copyrightable. You *can* make a movie based on a true story without buying the rights in most cases... but many studios do so anyway. Why? Because they want those involved to stay happy, not bitch about it publicly and harm the studios' reputation.

    I just don't see how artists could survive and keep creating if the things they created went straight into the public domain.

    There are all sorts of ways, honestly, and we've been trying to detail them out here for years. It involves focusing on the *scarcities* that you have as an artist that can't be copied (whether it's "pirated" or if it's "in the public domain"). One of those scarcities is a true connection with your fans, such that those fans WANT to support you (as you've done with your own work). Another may be performances. Another may be to pre-fund or crowdfund a new work. There are lots and lots of ways this can and does work.

    People sometimes try to use the "healthy competition" line. "If someone else can take what you created and do it better than you, why shouldn't they? Wouldn't we all benefit from a better version? Why should you be "protected" from competition when nobody else has that kind of protection?"

    Again, it should be worth noting that there are compulsory rights on cover songs, such that you can't stop anyone from doing a cover song, anyway. So I'm not sure this directly applies. But there is something to be said for allowing others to create "better" versions. But here's the thing: taste is subjective. Some people will always like your version better, others may like the other version better. Having other versions out there does not make your version disappear. In fact, it may draw more people to learn about your version.

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 12:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Agreed with the last paragraph. Case in point, Bob Dylan's famous song "All Along the Watchtower". I hate the original but the Jimi Hendrix and Bear McCreary covers are simply fantastic. I listened to the covers, discovered that it was Bob Dylan who wrote the song and then started looking for his other songs, and now, apart from the original Watchtower, I love the rest of his songs.

     

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

  54.  
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    mike allen (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Hi Brian
    First i will checkout your music and if i like it play it on the radio.
    I never see the artist as a problem but the labials as the problem they tie up the artist with contracts which all too often means the artist never gets royalties.
    Also with sopa they seem to be saying that no one can release their own work without going through them or at least RIAA same i guess for movies.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    They don't have the power for me - I'm not in the US - you're parochial.

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 1:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    US judges are not bound by laws passed in other countries before the US even existed. They could expressly rule against such a law/legal principle and declare it inapplicable to US law.

    They can make decisions in the US - but in case you hadn't noticed the US is only 5% of the world...

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2012 @ 2:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Crosbie never knows when it's time to stop tilting at windmills...

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, Jan 9th, 2012 @ 3:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Incidentally: Bob Dylan really likes the Hendrix version -- see his comments, quoted in the Wikipedia entry on the song.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Loki, Jan 9th, 2012 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    Might makes LAW

    There's a little document that responds to that attitude. You may have heard of it. It's called the Declaration of Independence.

    ...But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security...

     

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

  60.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 5:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    IMHO, The best version is this one

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2012 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Yeah, but food items are essential to survival. Music? Not so much.

     

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

  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    But then they use that might we’ve just been talking about to force the other 95% to follow suit.

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    With the ongoing economic rise of China and projected cuts in US defence spending don't expect that situation to last much longer.

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2012 @ 6:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Even the food you eat is covered by all sorts of anti-competitive laws.

    Do you know that many cities even require a license to sell coffins, effectively ensuring only one seller in the city?

    The list goes on and on and on. Everywhere you turn you are affected by anti-consumer, anti-competitive laws in one way or another. Again, IP laws are part of the governments overall agenda to scam consumers and create anti-competitive laws in almost every market. These laws are not intended to be in the public interest and they're not.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2012 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    ...when a long train of abuses and usurpations...

    “When a long train of abuses and usurpations” results in one big yawn.

    Supposably, political speech is among the most protected. But in October 2008, during the final month of that presidential election season, the McCain-Palin Campaign complained that DMCA copyright-enforcment was wrongly suppressing their political speech.

    McCain Campaign Feels DMCA Sting

    [O]verreaching copyright claims have resulted in the removal of non-infringing campaign videos from YouTube, thus silencing political speech. Numerous times during the course of the campaign, our advertisements or web videos have been the subject of DMCA takedown notices regarding uses that are clearly privileged under the fair use doctrine. The uses at issue have been the inclusion of fewer than ten seconds of footage from news broadcasts in campaign ads or videos, as a basis for commentary on the issues presented in the news reports, or on the reports themselves. These are paradigmatic examples of fair use...

    It's probably fair to say that most of the NRA whack-job gun-nuts favored McCain (or Palin). How did they respond to the silencing of the McCain-Palin Campaign's political speech? Did they rise up to “Defend the First Amendment with the Second?”

    No.

    McCain's campaign sent a letter, pleading —begging— for special privileges.

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    moronnorom (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Question

    That comment brought me happiness.

    ... I said "penis".

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    That's the Bear McCreary cover - He was the music composer for the Battlestar Galactica series.

     

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

  68.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    Ramen is essential to survival?

    I guess not everyone is very critical of what they eat.

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    chris, Jan 9th, 2012 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry. What I meant is that whoever watches a clip from Youtube, contrary to the above article, would not be infringing since the copying in this example occurs on Youtube's servers. It is not copyright infringement to take possession of an infringing copy that has already been made. You're right that Youtube would be protected from liability under the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act.

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jan 10th, 2012 @ 4:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Mike

    He's a college student.

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jan 11th, 2012 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No deal

    > They can make decisions in the US - but in
    > case you hadn't noticed the US is only 5%
    > of the world...

    In case you hadn't noticed, we weren't talking about the rest of the world. We were talking about the authority of US judges in deciding US cases.

     

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


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