UK Entertainment Industry: Fair Use Hurts Economic Growth

from the are-these-guys-serious? dept

Just as we're seeing increased recognition about the importance of exceptions to copyright law in making sure that creativity can thrive, you have a bunch of the biggest copyright trade organizations in the UK putting out a document that completely trashes the notion of copyright exceptions. In a list of "myths about copyright" the most stunning one is:
‘…exceptions deliver economic growth...’

Wrong. Exceptions remove the core asset value of the creative work and so reduce incentives for creators for greater economic activity. An exception may benefit the public sector, but that has to be weighed against the loss of revenue to the creative sector of the economy. Far better for the Government to examine ways of modernising copyright licensing that incentivise digital businesses and creators together, so that consumers pay a fair price and creators receive a fair reward and incentive.
This shows a rather stunning, and near total, misunderstanding of culture, creativity and economics, all in one brief paragraph. That's impressive! First of all, exceptions do not "removed the core asset" of the creative work. The core asset of the creative work is the creative work. And that remains in place. All it does is allow for a few specific uses that, for the most part, do not interfere with the economic prospects of the work, and can often increase the value of the work itself.

Second, claiming that exceptions "reduce incentives for creators" is flat out ridiculous. The US has had fair use rules in place for decades (the UK does not, and that's part of what they're arguing against), and it's widely recognized how useful fair use has been in creating incentives for creators to create without having to be bogged down with asking permission and paying tolls. Imagine where hugely successful TV shows like The Daily Show would be if it couldn't make fair use of news clips?

Next, it's a bizarre statement to note that an exception may benefit the public sector... and then to diminish that because the entire point of copyright law is to benefit the public sector. This suggests, ridiculously, that the industry associations that signed this letter actually believe having artists get paid and "the public benefit" are in eternal conflict -- what's good for one must be bad for the other. That's ridiculous. There's a situation where the public benefit is maximized, and it's the same point at which content creators are creating good works for them that are accessible. Finally, if we want to "weigh" the losses from copyright exceptions, that's great, but that's never what the industry does. It most certainly doesn't seem to want to look at all of the revenue gains from fair use as well. The fact that more people can create by building on the works of others without having to pay, and without having to get permission, is a huge boon for creativity, including the creativity of new works. And, often, that will drive commercial benefit to the works used that way. Just as an anecdotal example, I've been listening to a bunch of mashups lately, and some of the really good ones created massive new interest from me for artists that I'd never even known about before. And that's only happening because of the "exceptions" to copyright law.

The statement by the industries is so out of touch both with economics and the realities of the creative industries, that if I were a creative person represented by one of these organizations, I'd be horrified.


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  1.  
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    hfbs (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:07am

    While this plainly ridiculous and absurd and I roll my eyes and everything, the thing that stood out most to me was your comment about mashups. Mainly because I'm a mashup producer. May seem stupid, but I grinned like a Cheshire Cat when I read that..

     

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    Paddy Duke (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:16am

    What deeply disturbs me about modern governments is that we can clearly demonstrate that these legacy businesses are lying, time and time again, - not just wrong, but being wilfully misleading - and it appears to have no effect on their influence over our politicians.

    The UK government (and I guess most others) is so ideologically focused and faith based, that they will do something that will have exactly the opposite effect of what they intended, just because of who tells them to do it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:20am

    The common theme with all of this is "Someone else may get money that im not getting, i deserve all the money"

    Le sigh

     

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    Robert (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:24am

    Maybe they need to learn from Microsoft

    While attending university, my computer (running Windows ME) upon updating became a paperweight. The U's IT department put me in touch with a free (ie: no cost to me) copy of Windows XP with a valid product key that was my own.

    Microsoft gave it to me, no charge.

    I'm not a Windows fan. But many others who were gifted a copy have become even more entrenched in the Windows mindset.

    The same applies to fair-use. Just as the Mashup example explains, when schools are permitted to show clips of films or play clips of audio, when news corps are free to do the same, it acts as free promotion!

    Fair-use exposes more people to work they would not have heard about otherwise. That inspires people to create their own and it inspires others to seek out the fair-use content, or works from the creators of said content.

    Can't we just copyright and patent the act of screwing over innovation to maximize profits and squash competition? Maybe then we can stop this BS and society will be better for it. If you were 15 and labelled a thief, would you spend your cash on works from such organizations? Nah, didn't think so. Especially if you were innocent.

    Think of a convenience store owner who accused you of stealing (actually depriving the owner of the opportunity to sell a product to someone because you took it and it is no longer available) when you didn't. Think you'll go back? Think you'll tell others what happened? Think they will go to that store and spend their money there?

    Now imagine if you were not labeling people as thieves, were not trying to kill competition, if you encouraged innovation by giving some lessons on how to play or how to create like you did? How would people react? That would be like the convenience store owner to has free samples and offers them with a smile. You'd go back wouldn't you when you needed to buy something. You'd tell your friends about how awesome that convenience store owner is and they'd go too.

    I don't understand why the Entertainment industry is full of lawyers running the show and bean counters trying to maximize profits with minimal cost and quality (MPCC anyone?).

    Perhaps we need a movie about said industry and how they act just as the MPCC did.

    Said movie, if done well (decent score, good acting, good editing and dialog) it could really perform well financially and hopefully expose the Entertainment goons for what they are.

     

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    Mike C. (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:28am

    Broader picture is the issue

    What I see as the core issue is that the legacy entertainment complex refuses to look at the bigger picture. They are solely focused on maximizing revenue for each individual product in a false assumption that the effort will increase overall corporate revenue.

    A lot of people growing up in the "Internet Age" understand just how connected things are and how new works build on the efforts of those that came before. Until a significant majority of those "in power" can come to the same realization, we will continue to have clueless statements and legislation such as this latest message.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:29am

    well, if you cant rely on the US entertainment industries to come out with absolute bollocks, just wait a short while because the UK section will do the job instead! talk about total out of touch and completely self-centered. as said in the article, anyone in a relationship with these people should be horrified and want out asap!

     

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    abc gum, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:30am

    Re: Maybe they need to learn from Microsoft

    Do not expect tyrants to understand logic, much less even listen to it.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    That is because the politicians are not going to risk the party donations and their cushy future jobs on the boards of these companies. Politics is rotten to the core with corruption.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:53am

    Reality, meet the MAFIAA.

    MAFIAA, this is reality.

    Now shake hands and go play.

     

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    Ian (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:53am

    Keep in mind that you're talking about a group that only has one lens with which to understand public benefit--they view it as something that they ought to have been paid for.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:53am

    So that customers pay a fair price

    Translation: give us 3 month of your wages in order to watch a movie ... with comercial ... you fucking pirate

    And creators recive a fair reward

    Translation: a few cents the publisher gives them (maybe)

     

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    Ed C., Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:21am

    I think one of the biggest wedges driving the copyright debates is this bizarre assertion that the "creative sector" is somehow separate from the "public sector". Of course, anyone with a wick of sense knows that the "creative sector" is merely a sublet of the general population, and that abusive copyright laws affect them as members of the public just as much as anyone else. Yet, this idea is asserted so strongly by some that they are holding themselves captive--creatively, economically and even physically--just to maintain the illusion of separation.

    People complain about how much the "ivory tower" academics who isolate themselves from society tend to be divorced from reality. We need a similar meme to make sure creators at least keep one foot grounded.

     

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    Bengie, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:29am

    Just like...

    Education and competition also hurts them. We should just make them dictators and remove all education so they can have as much power as they want.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:31am

    "the entire point of copyright law is to benefit the public sector"

    Incorrect - or should I say, a representation of only half of the equation. You just put up the E, but ignored the MC^2.

    There are two parts to copyright, the benefit to the public, and the incentive to creators. The public does not benefit if the creators do not create.

    Seems mostly you are desperately trying to disagree with them, this time by entirely ignoring the balance in copyright.

     

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    Rich, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Re:

    It's funny that you use a common misrepresentation of Einstein's famous equation to try to misrepresent copyright law. The entire point IS to benefit the public sector. Creator's were creating before copyright, and would continue to do so.

    As for E=MC^2. It's wrong. It was a misquote by a reporter. It is not mass, but relativistic mass which must be multiplied by the speed of light squared, and is often written as gamma MC^2 (E=ɣMC^2).

     

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    artp (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Those poor, misunderstood content owners!

    The core asset of the creative work is that the RIAA/MPAA/others get paid for it. How much better can you get than that?

    The real pirates are the companies who have somehow (Oh, my!) ended up owning content created by others.

    Meanwhile, I quit watching TV about 20 years ago and never looked back. People keep telling me I have to watch The Big Bang Theory. I don't HAVE to watch anything! But someday, I plan on catching up on Star Trek.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re:

    yadda yadda. The point is that without creativity, the benefit to the public is NULL. So there is always a balance, you must encourage creativity in order for the public to get benefit. Without the creativity, you have a one sided equation, one that means nothing and doesn't work.

    yes, creators were creating before copyright (and patent). But one only has to look at the history of man to realize that the amount of creation and innovation has only picked up since those measures have been in place.

    Look at the years, I dunno, 1200-1300. Then look at 1900-2000. Which one do you think did better?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I notice you quoted "E=MC^2" from a certain unknown, as-yet unattributed reporter. I hope you enjoy the fact that his children will never eat again, because you have stolen his words.

    You monster.

     

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    teka, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Marked as funny.

    yes, creators were creating before copyright (and patent). But one only has to look at the history of man to realize that the amount of creation and innovation has only picked up since those measures have been in place.


    This might be the most short-sighted and incorrect statement I will read all week.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Which one do you think did better?"

    Depends on the metric you use, whether you take into account the massive differences in both access to content and population, access to the means and distribution to create said art, the fact the the lack of recording capabilities meant that earlier works may have been created and lost before any of us were born, and so on...

    Original 13th Century Gothic art is very much more valuable than the crappy 1960s cover albums made to cash in on the success of other artists, for example. The fact that the latter perhaps made more cold hard cash at the time doesn't mean they benefit the public more.

     

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    hfbs (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The only thing that's improved in those centuries is the availability, amount, and ease of ways of RECORDING creativity. The 1200s weren't exactly known for their DVDs and stuff, whereas now, we can immortalise creativity in just about any way - on a DVD, a CD, in a book, a text file, a photograph, a painting, a song.. the list is endless.

    The only reason there's more recorded creativity in the latter years is because of the abundance of recording mediums the former century lacked. Are you seriously suggesting that literally, the only creativity in the 1200s is what was recorded?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    Re:

    As I commented in the article on Bully, they really don't care about faith. That's only the way they sell their agenda to the public.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "But one only has to look at the history of man to realize that the amount of creation and innovation has only picked up since those measures have been in place."

    But explosive overall population growth has absolutely nothing to do with this right?

     

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    lolzzzz, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:23am

    sick n tired of copyright scam

    its all a scam by lazy lazy people. END of story to pull welath out of society for osmehting so old in some cases we ought to wonder WHY ARE THEY DOING IT BUT FOR CONTROL. THERE just cant be that much money for something 150 years old let alone 50. AND IM NOT TOUCHING any of there shit to create off. WOW ....PROFITS NOT....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Look at the years, I dunno, 1200-1300. Then look at 1900-2000. Which one do you think did better?

    Comparisons like these are not cannot be fair and thus are silly. One of the key attributes of the art from periods like 1200-1300 that we have today that adds to it's value is that has stood the test of time and is still around today. Any qualitative comparison that isn't narrowed to the specific attributes being compared is naturally unfair as the recent works "value" simply cannot be determined by the same criteria.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Look at ancient Greece. You know, where all the stories come from.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:45am

    Well - start with shutting down libraries then. Since their 'fair use' is killing your industry....

    LOL

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:49am

    FUKN' LEECHES

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:49am

    Re:

    And the Internet, we should shut that down too. How hard could it be?

     

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  30.  
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    Amber, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:51am

    Re: Those poor, misunderstood content owners!

    I stopped watching TV many years ago also. Now when I sit down in front of a set, I can't stand the canned, predictable dialog and the constant interruption of the commercials. How did I ever put up with that? I get restless and have to leave the room. It's funny that people keep telling me to watch Big Bang Theory too. They must think that people who don't watch TV programming because they have better things to do must be really smart, so this show would appeal to them. I watched an episode. It's just as inane as all the other shows out there.

     

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    Damien Sturdy (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 8:57am

    It also hurts users/listeners/customers.

    ...I proposed to my other half in a computer game, with a small piece of Nickelback music that had words that had meaning to us. Youtube pulled the video from everywhere except the UK and then removed the audio in the UK.

    Fair Use is fair use. I'm not paying WMG to show people how I proposed. Feels like a punch in the face by a company I chose to support. I'm not making money from it. They're not losing money for it.

    In fact they have lost money by blocking, because I'm now going out of my way to ensure I do not buy music from WMG or it's child labels.

    I do believe you should be able to protect your IP, I don't believe that being this anal about it is productive.


    But then maybe this is a childish stance on my behalf- I don't know, I don't care. :-)

     

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    Michael, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The point is that without creativity, the benefit to the public is NULL. So there is always a balance, you must encourage creativity in order for the public to get benefit. Without the creativity, you have a one sided equation, one that means nothing and doesn't work."

    Your argument is built off a false premise, that being that content creators, like myself, require financial compensation from the public in order to motivate further creation. The fact is I'd still continue to create music regardless because of the tremendous satisfaction that comes with a completed work.

    There still exists many different ways to generate profit, including physicals. The thing is, if I were to create an album, I'd still give it away for free on the internet (so as to promote my work). Physical albums (CDs) should cost no more than $5, period. All musicians should get into the habit of releasing their work independently through the internet. In this way, they'll earn 100% of all profits (after distribution costs, if applicable) and have full ownership of all their work. Touring, merchandise, mechanicals, side-projects, et al.

    The more that the legacy players attempt to enforce a monopoly, seize websites and sue/extort from average joe citizen, the more consumers will boycott them and their products. Increasingly, people are looking elsewhere for their art/entertainment fix. How many more times can they charge for the same old films, TV shows and music that we've all seen/heard a thousand times before? Oh, that's right: the legacy players don't have anything original to offer anymore, so they churn out bad remakes and the same music acts playing to a nostalgic crowd of baby boomers.

    The 20th century is over with. Let's turn our attention towards the future generation of artists and entertainers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:03am

    Re:

    The MPAA? Yeah they are aren't they?

     

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  34.  
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    MrWilson, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's quite a revisionist version of history.

    It's estimated that there was a world population of 400 million in 1200 and there was a world population of 1.6 billion in 1900. So there were four times as many people in the 20th century. Add in the fact that a large portion of the world population in 1200 had less access to artistic materials or occupations that allowed for much creativity or free time ("I'm going to plow the field in a Celtic knot this year!"). Add in the fact that a significant portion of the world's population was dealing with poor living conditions, disease, and Mongol invasions in the 13th century. They weren't exactly living at the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs where they would have the free time and luxury to be very creative.

    Now look at the 20th century, after the increase in population, the increase in idle time due to middle class jobs following the industrial revolution, the availability of the printing press and later printing machines for several centuries, television, cameras, and even computer technology and the internet in the later half of the 20th century, etc., etc.

    Copyright didn't help creativity in the 20th century. It hindered it. The people and their tools helped increase creativity.

     

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    saulgoode (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Re:

    There are two parts to copyright, the benefit to the public, and the incentive to creators. The public does not benefit if the creators do not create.
    No, there is only the benefit to the public. If the public is not served by its governance then that governance is unjustifiable.

    Whether or not providing incentive to creators actually proves beneficial to the public is an issue that can be argued separately from whether government has an obligation to benefit the public, which is inarguably uncontestable.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:13am

    Re: Maybe they need to learn from Microsoft

    "I don't understand why the Entertainment industry is full of lawyers running the show and bean counters trying to maximize profits with minimal cost and quality (MPCC anyone?)."

    Because their clueless, talentless, greedy hacks.

     

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  37.  
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    MikeVx (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:17am

    Re: Abandoning TV

    I don't really have any clue what TV is like these days. I went off of it thereabouts of 15 years ago. My reasons are different than most, however. I can't stand those idiotic logos that now infest nearly every channel. (This gleaned from what I see when I visit friends, or am wandering near a TV for whatever reason.)

    I find the things so intolerable that there is no content good enough for me to watch if those ugly little "bugs" as some call them are present. If I am going to watch anything from TV, I basically have to get opinions from people whose TV tastes I trust, then wait for the show in question to hit DVD.

    The only reason I still have broadcast receiving gear (old TV and a digital-to-analog converter) is for things like weather emergencies.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Those poor, misunderstood content owners!

    Being snobby does not help the cause, you know. Assuming everything created by a big media company is garbage is just as silly as when big media companies suggest that everything created without them is garbage..

    People probably suggest you watch the show because the jokes, many of them inside jokes, are tailored to the geek crowd. For example, in a flashback, two main characters discuss putting watching Firefly every Friday in the "roommate agreement" because they "might as well put it in there, because the show will be around forever". I laughed, my definitely non-geek wife didn't get it. It probably has very little to do with your perceived intelligence.

    Now, reality tv, on the other hand, makes me want to bash my own skull in.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Your argument is built off a false premise, that being that content creators, like myself, require financial compensation from the public in order to motivate further creation"

    No, that isn't the premise at all. Rather, it goes back to a post yesterday or the day before here on Techdirt, discussing copyright and attribution. Your getting paid isn't the point, it's you being able to take credit for your works and being able to (some extent) control how they are distributed - even if it is for free, as creative commons, and copyleft, or whatever.

    "The more that the legacy players attempt to enforce a monopoly, seize websites and sue/extort from average joe citizen, the more consumers will boycott them"

    There is no extortion. If you want to make your product (I am guessing music) and give it away, NOBODY WILL STOP YOU. If you have a better business model for YOUR content (and people like minded), then go for it. There is no gun to anyone's head - until they decide to use someone's content without permission. That's their fault, not anyone else's.

    "The 20th century is over with. Let's turn our attention towards the future generation of artists and entertainers."

    I invite the artists and entertainers to do so. But they need to remember that they cannot do it by ripping down the structures and works of others because they are too successful. If you have a better idea, go with it, use it, prove it. Better business models always win - and they don't have to first take the competition out back behind the shed and put a bullet in it's head.

    If the legacy players have nothing to offer, than why is their content the most pirated?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    SO pick the 1600s, or the 1800s for that matter. It all piles up the same thing - we are in an era of unprecedented growth, innovation, discovery, and advancement. More of us than ever live in a situation of "freedom from want", where even the poorest in our societies tend to get something to eat. Most people do not spend their days foraging for food, or trying to scratch a living out of an overworked plot of land.

    We are better off than ever, we continue as a people to move ahead quickly... so remind me again how this is all so bad?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because piracy is destroying everything!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Show us how copyright had the least bit to do with any of that.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I invite the artists and entertainers to do so. But they need to remember that they cannot do it by ripping down the structures and works of others because they are too successful. If you have a better idea, go with it, use it, prove it. Better business models always win - and they don't have to first take the competition out back behind the shed and put a bullet in it's head.

    If the legacy players have nothing to offer, than why is their content the most pirated?


    You make a very valid argument, but it falls down when it meets humans, especially greedy, legacy content distribution company execs.

    The new business models are not a filter, like the old legacy companies, but a pump. They allow anyone to distribute anything. This, of course, opens up the ability to infringe on another's copyrights. The old guard rushes in and demands that this new technology be outlawed, because of the possibility of piracy. This will result in the legitimate uses of the new model going away, maintaining the old guards position as a filter.

    So, you're right, in a perfect world, it would be as you say. Unfortunately, we have plenty of proof that the old guard reacts very poorly to new technology, so we *do* have to tear them down to move forward.

     

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    dwg, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 10:03am

    Re: "two parts to copyright"

    Have you read the constitution? There is one part to copyright, and the constitution allows limited monopoly to reach that one point--the point is to "promote the useful arts and sciences."

    As in: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

    See the "To" and the "by?" "To" means the end, and "by" means the means. I can't believe that you spouted all the below historical bollox without once mentioning this.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    These things occurred IN SPITE OF copyright not because of it.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Those poor, misunderstood content owners!

    Big media doesn't really create anything. They just profit from it.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Ruben, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Re: sick n tired of copyright scam

    By locking up anything that's really old, they're forcing people to buy their new, polished crap.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Incorrect. The Hindu people were the earliest civilization to have a known written language, so that everyone could STEAL letters and arrangements from everyone else.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Funny I always thought it was from Mesopotamia.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Quote:
    If the legacy players have nothing to offer, than why is their content the most pirated?


    Others are saying differently, according to Hotfile 54% of all their content is used by people who use the place as a backup system and never were download.

    Youtube has 60 hours of video uploaded per second, the whole output of the entertainment industry can't and it is not responsible for all of that.

    When you say pirated you are forgeting the legal stuff that people go after that is far superior in volume than any crappy content from a dying industry holding own to dying laws.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    No. You are confusing the point of copyright with it's mechanism.

    If I were to ask you what the point of traffic laws were, you might say "public safety" or "reducing accidents" or something like that. The purpose of that body of law - it's reason for existing - is to lay out rules that everybody follows. The mechanism it uses (citations and tickets) are there to ensure that everybody follows the law. If you were to say "oh, the point of traffic laws is so that police can give out tickets", you would be confusing the mechanism with the purpose.

    Similarly, the purpose (point) of copyright law is to enhance the public domain. The mechanism it uses to do that is to provide a limited monopoly to creators.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ????

    It took 200 hundred years for creativity to be incentivized by copyrights?

    Looking at the history of man, everytime there was a granted monopoly countries withered, rebellions arouse and the people where said.

    Lets just look at the 80's the golden age of American entertainment, nobody cared about copyright it was there, but it mostly was toothless, now that it become a problem people don't create anymore, to clear the rights of anything you have to waste millions of dollars how is that useful?

    Patents are creating mega pools of patents that are like an impregnable wall, the only way to enter that market today is to find something that nobody thought about it ever before and pray to God that it has no patent pieces in it or you are screwed. Even NASA is selling patents now, how is that useful?

    Granted monopolies are not useful, they benefit a minority that is already wealthy they do not help create more wealth far from it they help extinguish wealth.

    Producers of products can today outsource American jobs or any jobs in the industrialized world because they can hold back the competitors and stop them from producing something, that is the tool used to create unemployment everywhere.

     

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  53.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 11:39am

    Hide a lie in the truth.

    > There are two parts to copyright

    No there isn't. There is only a public policy objective.

    That public policy objective ultimately all that matters and the only thing that allows the US government to have any sort of copyright whatsoever. Temporary distribution monopolies are only a means to achieve that public policy goal.

    You are trying to distort the law to suit your own agenda.

    There is no natural right to a "copyright".

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The point is that without creativity, the benefit to the public is NULL. So there is always a balance, you must encourage creativity in order for the public to get benefit.


    Nice attempt at misdirection, but still ultimately a fail. How does this support your mistaken claim that the purpose of copyright is to benefit creators again?

    Look at the years, I dunno, 1200-1300. Then look at 1900-2000. Which one do you think did better?


    I'd ask what colour the sky is in your world, but instead I'm curious why your calendar skips from 1300 to 1900, and thus doesn't include the Renaissance?

    It couldn't possibly be because it would completely undermine your point, right?

     

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  55.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    Snooty Beer. Snooty Whiskey. Snooty...

    I still watch TV but I don't watch much current stuff anymore. I have had a PVR for over 10 years and I haven't watched any "Live TV" to speak of in that time. In the meantime I have become more and more disconnected with what is current and instead prefer to consume thing that I judge as the best works available.

    Fortunately we live in a golden age of highly cheap and available physical media. You can largely ignore the old way of doing things.

    If I do manage to stumble upon something new, I find the old way of dealing with it annoying and seek to make my consumption of the new conform to how I watch 50 year old classics.

    It's a very disconnected approach where I get to pay Hollywood once and then turn my back on them.

    We're already living in the future. Soon, everything you would ever want to "consume" will fit in the palm of your hand and it may seem silly to go back to the well to buy new stuff.

    Quite literally, the price of watching a new film that's a remake of an old TV show may set you back more than the entire 5 seasons of that show on DVD.

    The grim reaper is the back catalog, not the pirate.

     

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  56.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 11:52am

    Re: It also hurts users/listeners/customers.

    If you can do more with it, then it is more valuable.

    How hard is that to understand?

    If something is perceived as more valuable, this will drive improved sales.

    That seems obvious enough?

    Crushing innovators destroys the value of their work. It decreases economic activity. It does not increase it.

     

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  57.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Abandoning TV

    I don't really have any clue what TV is like these days. I went off of it thereabouts of 15 years ago.


    It's no different now than it was then. You aren't missing anything.

     

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  58.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    Re:

    I think their view is there are a small group of people who create (that work for us) and then everyone else merely consumes our creations, and that's all there is.

    Anyone that creates and doesn't work for us is a pirate and a thief.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Mar 29th, 2012 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re:

    True, those middlemen are a major driving force behind this wedge, to insure that no one can benefit from their copyright without going through them--even their own artist!

    Moreover though, I find this same division being driven by some independent artist too--that they are the noble elites who have the "moral right" to rule by decree and everyone else are mere peasants. Some contract artist feel that way too, the only difference is that they are in debt to the publishers for the benefit of selling their works.

     

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  60.  
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    Kyle Reynolds Conway (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    It seems like they really are going after libraries. As my librarian uncle said: "It would be cheaper to buy a Kindle with the book loaded on it, and loan that out. Libraries are so screwed." -- http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/03/ebooks/librarians-feel-sticker-shock-as-price-for-random-hous e-ebooks-rise-as-much-as-300-percent/

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ever consider the fact the true "legacy" content shouldn't even be under copyright anymore, it should be public domain... I mean bad enough that copyright has been extended to a ludicrous period, but that it was done retroactively is the real joke. The claim that creators only create to have copyright that basically goes on forever is belied by the fact that these works were created when it was only 24 years. Copyright extensions only encorage creators to stop creating when they have a back catalogue that can keep them (and their families) forever.

    The "legacy" creators should not be pirated, because their content should be free by now. The "legacy" gatekeepers can just fuck right off, all they do now is try to maintain some sort of relevance in a world that has moved past them, like some-one pushing that every home must have an outhouse in a world or internal plumbing and flush toilets.

     

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  62.  
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    Watchit (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you may be missing the point here, the article was on the UK Entertainment Industry decrying the "evils" of fair use. It's not about "We should tear down ALL copyright and patent laws!" The article is about how copyright law has gone too far, and needs to be brought back a notch or two or ten. First explain to me why wanting Fair Use is a bad thing before you claim I want to destroy copyright outright.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "yes, creators were creating before copyright (and patent). But one only has to look at the history of man to realize that the amount of creation and innovation has only picked up since those measures have been in place.

    Look at the years, I dunno, 1200-1300. Then look at 1900-2000. Which one do you think did better?"

    How far in advancement in technlogy do you reckon we'd be in if patents and copyrights were there from the start, limiting what someone could or could not do.

    I dont account our advancement due to patents and copyrights, but to the advancements in technology which has gradually been building upon eachh other, taking aspects known to work in order to create something new which in turn becomes widespread and popular, because that someting "new", does things better

     

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  64.  
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    JMT (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright and patents also encourage population growth. Didn't you know?

     

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  65.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, there are certainly a lot of people being fucked, for sure.

     

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  66.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, there are certainly a lot of people being fucked, for sure.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:22am

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

    "The old guard rushes in and demands that this new technology be outlawed, because of the possibility of piracy."

    They only rush in when it's used for actual piracy. I think that true advancement could be made in the music world (and the movie world) if the people operating these sites did it on a slightly more closed model, at least to start with, to establish themselves as a valid, legal, and ethical source for new, non-infringing music.

    I think there is also the problem that today's "culture" (and I do put it in quotes) seems to think that taking someone else's recorded work and adding their own words over it is somehow creative and should be exempt from copyright laws. Until that mentality is filtered out, new music sites will always have problems because the content will be questionable.

    The old guard can't do anything to stop you doing what you do - until you give them the chance.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly - yet there are strong claims here that patents and copyrights somehow are such major blocks that we are stumbling as a people - yet the reality on the ground is very different from what is said.

    The issue is that we tend to look at things in our short lifespan window, or worse, in realtively short periods in our lives (such as "high school" or "university" or "retirement"). We confuse what some might see as short term pain, and fail to catch the longer term gains.

    I would bet you that the vast majority of people here wouldn't know what a Bell model500 is. They wouldn't know that it wasn't that long ago that "touch tone" was a truly special new technology. They are too caught up with fighting over who has the patent or the rights or should be allowed to use a "slide to unlock" on a smart phone. They apparently are unable to stand back and go, well damn, in less than 50 years, we have gone from the first touch tone phone to phones so small, so smart, and so impressive that they can do more than most people ever imagined.

    Innovation and progress is in the details, yes, but in the end, it's in the overall arc over time that it really matters.

     

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  69.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:49am

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

    "They only rush in when it's used for actual piracy"

    Erm, name one technology that's not been used for "actual piracy". You can't - from the printing press to the photocopier to the audio cassette to the floppy disk, piracy has always been there.

    Somehow, despite their constant assertions to the contrary, the entertainment industries involved didn't suffer once they stopped complaining and adjusted their business tactics to address the new market realities. Why is it so hard this time?

    "I think there is also the problem that today's "culture" (and I do put it in quotes) seems to think that taking someone else's recorded work and adding their own words over it is somehow creative and should be exempt from copyright laws. Until that mentality is filtered out, new music sites will always have problems because the content will be questionable."

    You realise you just described half the major label music out there as well, right? Are you also opposed to them profiting in this way, or are these actions OK as long as its one of your beloved corporations doing it?

    "The old guard can't do anything to stop you doing what you do - until you give them the chance."

    Which is why we oppose SOPA and all the other bullshit you try to push to protect your imaginary profits.

     

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  70.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 4:03am

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

    If you don't think this requires both talent and creativity, then your opinion on the subject is worthless because of an obvious bias.

     

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  71.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Since fame is built on talent, ego, and reputation, it makes sense that artists might think this way. It's what happens when you're constantly compared to the greatest of the greats.

     

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  72.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Calling up comparisons between the 13th Century and the 20th Century is another one of the strawmen ACs keep criticizing others for but are more than happy to toss out as well.

    But let's look anyway. Communication, thanks to the telegraph and radio was on the verge of becoming global as the 20thC opened up. At best it was regional, frequently local in the 13th.

    The 13th Century, the end of the period known as the High Middle Ages, would feature notables such as Thomas Aquinas, Peter Abélard, Roger Bacon and Dante.

    The rise of Parliament an institution with some, if not much, authority the signing of perhaps the most important document in the development of democracy and freedom in the English speaking world leading to such documents as the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence -- Magna Carta.

    The introduction of Arabic numbers into Europe, the development of the number zero which, until then, didn't factor into western mathematics. Wind and watermills, the spinning wheel, paper mills (paper as we know it), non-movable type printing, gunpowder, eyeglasses, the astrolabe and magnetic compass, scissors of the modern design, musical notation, Romanesque architecture, the fixing of ships rudders to the aft (rear) of the ship instead of on the port or starboard side near the aft and I could keep going.

    Not bad for a period with no copyright or patent law. All built, of course, on the knowledge of what came before and influenced by the Muslim and Byzantine empires of the time who never did lose contact with ancient Greece and Rome or China.

    The 20thC did extremely well too. Once again, built on knowledge that came before the inventors invented, literature and writing in styles and formats based on what came before. (Sadly no Divine Comedy though.) Though, I should caution that patent and copyright terms were much shorter until the 1980s. The two worst wars in human history helped immensely, I'm sorry to say. Oh, and the entire concept of copyright and patent as something called "intellectual property" didn't show up till the last quarter of the 20th C. Oh, as we now have to ability to destroy the planet at the push of a button and we're filling the atmosphere with more carbon dioxide that is good for us or the planet.

    To be honest I suspect that historians in the future will label the 20thC as an age of rapid technological change and innovation, the first half of the century great powers either fighting one another or preparing to and I'll bet they'll still be trying to count up the dead. Large damage to the environment. Oh, and overpopulation something the 21stC will have to deal with.

    Though MOST of the 20thC's innovations and "invention" began in the 19thC including such things as the assembly line and most of the electrical theory that has made the world what it is. Digital computers, in fact, are a development of technology that existed in the 18th and 19thC.

    Given what each century had to draw on I'd suggest the 13thC did much better than the 20th. What happened in 13thC set the stage for and started the Renaissance, after all. It's too early to say what the 20th is leaving behind for the 21st. And the 13thC did it all without copyright or patents.

    The 20th would have done much of what it did to with or without copyright or patent laws. Why? Because that's what people do. Just that simple. But the 20th had far more to draw on and did nothing in isolation except, perhaps, figure out that fuller's earth makes wonderful kitty litter.

     

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  73.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'd argue, as I already have that the overall arc of "progress" would have occurred with or without copyright or patents.

     

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  74.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

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

    Hmmmmm...

    "I think there is also the problem that today's "culture" (and I do put it in quotes) seems to think that taking someone else's recorded work and adding their own words over it is somehow creative and should be exempt from copyright laws. Until that mentality is filtered out, new music sites will always have problems because the content will be questionable."

    That MUST mean the content of most Hymn books is questionable music as hymns are classic example of taking someone elses music and putting new words to them. Ancient psalms did the same thing. Which means that the compilers of hymnals are...shudder...PIRATES!!!! HOLY PIRATES!!!!!!

    And while we're on this subject of mentality, by your definition of "culture" we really should stop performing most 19th Century symphonies as the composers freely borrowed (infringed or pirated) the public domain and their peers. Let's stop grand opera, too, for raping the works of Shakespeare and translating them (remixing) into badly broken Italian and horrible "music".

    Remind me to ask both you and the old guard just what is acceptable creation, valid and non infringing. Oh, and ethics as that same old guard during the early days of the recording and movie industries freely ignored, infringed on copyright and broken patent law to get what THEY wanted.

    Just the group I need to lecture me on ethics, creation or just what makes a good author or composer or musician. When hell freezes over.

     

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  75.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "We are better off than ever, we continue as a people to move ahead quickly... so remind me again how this is all so bad?"

    Well, if you live in the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand or the EU.

    The rest of the world still scrabbles for their next meals, a greater percentage of humanity is starving than at any other period in written human history. And in many places people DO try to scratch out a living out of an overworked plot of land which WE make so much easier by depositing carbon into our atmosphere by the star system load. In more than a few places on this planet the same people live in decades old wars that this overfed part of the world cheerfully ignores.

    Is it really that possible that as you call for comparisons between time periods that your are so completely ignorant of this one? Or totally ignorant of history beyond a cartoon book perspective that focuses only on the United States?

    It's not so bad. Until you ignore the rest of the human species which you seem more than happy to do. That's what's so bad. Your abominable ignorance both of history and of the state of the world as it is now.

    May I suggest you spend some time in the Congo, subSaharan Africa, large parts of South America or Central Asia? Then come back and tell me with a straight face that all we should care about is fucking copyright and patent law as if either are going to help those people?

    It's your ignorance that's so fucking bad. It's your near total lack of historical knowledge that's so fucking bad.

    Now tell me, once again, about the ethics of infringing on something so damned unimportant as copyright to the majority of people on this planet or patents to the same people? Or how vital and important they are?

    Guess, what, kiddo, people will create because that's what humans do and have always done. Copyright and patent law had places before they stretched into eternity, when the monopoly period was short and before the *AAs of the world who are only creative when it comes to cheating creators out of what's theirs by not paying them.

    Now tell me that a starving child or adult will care a tinkers damn about your precious copyright or patent. Or how THEY help find them food.

    Are you really that heartless and well as willfully ignorant?

     

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  76.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Even if you look at the 13thC alone in any detail it undermines his point and then some. As I say in another post the 13thC set the stage for the Renaissance in many important ways. All without copyright or patents. The High Middle Ages was a very creative and innovative period.

     

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  77.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: REPORT HIM...HE INSLUTED A TROLL!

    (Waiting for the AC to hit the report button on me!!

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 9:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    i guess you forgot that the reason why there was less creative work is because there was no printing press in 1200 ad.not to mention it was the friggin DARK AGE!

     

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