Yes, Copyright's Sole Purpose Is To Benefit The Public

from the let's-get-this-straight dept

We recently posted about comments from the US Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, in which she stated that "copyright is for the author first and the nation second." As big believers in the original intent of copyright law, this is quite horrifying and quite wrong. And yet, amazingly, I found that this particular post, which should have been wholly uncontroversial, really seemed to get the dander up of some IP lawyers, especially on Twitter. I won't repeat them here, but two, apparently prominent, IP lawyers chose to use Twitter to point to that article and throw personal insults my way. But when challenged to support their position, they could not. And that is because they are wrong.

The US Constitution is pretty clear about the purpose of the power that it is giving Congress with the Copyright clause:
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.
Now, we often see people falsely claim that this clause of the constitution guarantees authors copyrights (or inventors patents). But that is not the case. It merely gives Congress the power to do so for the expressed purpose of "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts." And, in case you're wondering, when originally written, the "science" part was directed at copyright, and it really meant "learning." Going back to the original intent, it most certainly was not created to cover all kinds of creativity -- but certainly the law has changed over time.

I have trouble understanding why so many people -- especially those employed as IP lawyers -- have so much trouble separating out the purpose from the method. Yes, the clause grants the power to Congress to create copyright law -- but for a specific purpose: "to promote the progress of science." Nowhere does it suggest, nor even hint at, the idea that copyright's purpose is to benefit creators. Rather, that is the method. So, to claim that the protections of the author are greater than or even equal to the benefits to the nation, is a clear flip-flopping of the method with the purpose. Of course, in doing so, it not only flip flops the method and the purpose, but it completely distorts the nature of copyright law, and leads to maximalist-style positions, where absolutely no consideration is given to how the public benefits (or, more importantly, is hurt) from specific changes to copyright law.

Thankfully, regular commenter Karl, provided a bunch of quotes in support of this point, from both Congress and the Supreme Court (in a comment that won our weekly award for most insightful comment), but which is worth repeating and discussing on its own:
The primary purpose of copyright is to benefit the public, a fact that has been reiterated by Congress and the Supreme Court, repeatedly:

The enactment of copyright legislation by Congress under the terms of the Constitution is not based on any natural right that the author has in his writings, for the Supreme Court has held that such rights as he has are purely statutory rights, but upon the ground that the welfare of the public will be served and progress of science and useful arts will be promoted by securing to authors forr limited periods the exclusive right to their writings. The Constitution does not establish copyrights, but provides that Congress shall have the power to grant such rights if it thinks best. Not primarily for the benefit of the author, but primarily for the benefit of the public such rights are given. Not that any particular class of citizens, however worthy, may benefit, but because the policty is believed to be for the benefit of the great body of people, in that it will stimulate writing and invention, to give some bonus to authors and inventors.

In enacting a copyright law, Congress must consider two questions: First, how much will the legislation stimulate the producer and so benefit the public; and second, how much will the monopoly granted be detrimental to the public? The granting of such exclusive rights under the proper terms and conditions, cofers a benefit upon the public that outweighs the evils of the temporary monopoly.
- H.R. Rep. No. 60-2222

It may seem unfair that much of the fruit of the compiler's labor may be used by others without compensation. As Justice Brennan has correctly observed, however, this is not "some unforeseen byproduct of a statutory scheme."... It is, rather, "the essence of copyright," ... and a constitutional requirement. The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts."
- Feist v. Rural

The limited scope of the copyright holder's statutory monopoly, like the limited copyright duration required by the Constitution, reflects a balance of competing claims upon the public interest: Creative work is to be encouraged and rewarded, but private motivation must ultimately serve the cause of promoting broad public availability of literature, music, and the other arts. The immediate effect of our copyright law is to secure a fair return for an "author's" creative labor. But the ultimate aim is, by this incentive, to stimulate artistic creativity for the general public good.
- Twentieth Century Music v. Aiken

The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the monopoly lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors.
- Fox Film Corp. v. Doyal

I could understand the usual kneejerk anti-Techdirt trolls lying about this.

But when the person who is supposed to be in charge of copyright doesn't even know this basic fact, it's time for her to be fired.
Now some have tried to twist Pallante's argument to suggest she meant "first" and "second" temporally. That is, she meant "copyright first benefits the artist, and then benefits the nation second." That's an interesting way to twist it, but there are two problems with this attempt to whitewash Pallante's actual words. First, it's not what she said. If she meant it in terms of the timeline, she would have said that copyright goes to the artist first, and then to the public later. But she said "for," which implies something very different. Second, and more importantly, even if she did mean that, it's simply not true. The point of copyright is not to benefit the public "eventually." It's to benefit the public first and foremost. The idea (not necessarily borne out in practice) is that if copyright is working properly, some benefit accrues to the public (generally in the form of access to new works). On top of that, if we do take Pallante's statements at the interpretation presented by her supporters, that implies that the public doesn't get a benefit until the work moves into the public domain. And, as we've seen, works no longer move into the public domain here in the US.

No matter what, this isn't just a semantic argument. This is a key argument about what this law does, who it impacts and how it is structured. And it is simply preposterous, and outside the realm of logical thought, to argue that it was designed first to benefit the artists. Yes, it does benefit the artists as a byproduct of the method. That is, it decides that if it benefits the public then it is great to also benefit the author. The general recognition of the framers was that this is not a zero sum game, where one side wins and the other side automatically loses. This is about finding the maximization point -- the point at which the public benefits the most, by figuring out what sorts of benefits should accrue to authors.

When people flip the argument on its head, and suggest that the benefit to the artists is more important than the benefit to the public, they aren't just bastardizing the point of copyright law. They are setting up a structure where the public is inevitably harmed. If you are merely judging the propriety of copyright law based on how much it benefits authors, then the entire calculus is different, and you undoubtedly hinder the promotion of progress, since at no point is that a consideration factor. One of the key framers of the Constitution, James Madison, clearly worried that this would be the way things would go:
But grants of this sort can be justified in very peculiar cases only, if at all; the danger being very great that the good resulting from the operation of the monopoly, will be overbalanced by the evil effect of the precedent; and it being not impossible that the monopoly itself, in its original operation, may produce more evil than good.
This shouldn't be controversial, nor should it lead to personal insults about my intelligence. It should be plain old common sense, that the purpose of the law is to benefit the public first, and the method chosen is through a system that benefits some authors. The hard truth that appears to block many IP lawyers from coming to grips with this is the realization that if they acknowledge this fact, it means that copyright law that can be shown not to benefit the public or (worse) to hinder the public is, on its face, unconstitutional, since Congress has no power to grant such monopolies if it is not to benefit the promotion of the progress of science.


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  1.  
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    Dan Bull, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    It would be most entertaining if copyright law were to be ruled unconstitutional. I can certainly think of many more cases where copyright law has hindered creators by preventing them from creating or publishing, than where it has benefited them, by stopping others from doing the same.

     

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    6, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:23am

    Iiip lawlyers are too invested in their systemlol to "understand" basic tenants. Much like patent lawlyers "misunderstood" 101 for decades prior to Bilski and Prometheus.

    Silly Mike, you know this.

     

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    Mr. Smarta** (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:23am

    Quote the bible

    Post about religion, not for trolling or flaming. Warning you now before you read on.

    If these people are religious in any way, just quote the bible. More specifically, point to the story where Jesus multiplied the fish and bread so that everyone could eat... and then ask them where it says those fishermen and bakers were paid for those multiplied fish and loaves. I've looked and can't find it anywhere. So there must not be anything wrong with copying. It's not stealing, otherwise Jesus broke one the of the commandments. So copying isn't stealing... purely from a religious point of view.

     

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    John Doe, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:25am

    What you and Karl are doing should be done by our government

    What you and Karl are doing is exposing the true intent of copyright by examining what the constitution actually says along with the outside writings of those who wrote the law. This is exactly what our government (congressman, senators and President) should be doing when they pass new laws. It is wha t the courts should be doing when they interpret laws and it is what the media should be doing when they report on laws.

    But alas, it is not what is being done by any of the above mentioned parties. If you examine the constitution and the writings of those who wrote and passed it, you would find out that separation of church and state is nothing like we are being told it is today. You would also find that we actually do have the right to bear arms. It is a bit of revisionist history to try to say otherwise.

     

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    bob, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:27am

    Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    When some DRM-loving Hollywood studio makes a big, expensive movie for $100 million, it doesn't make a difference to me at all. When they finally release it and the reviews are in, I get to make a decision about whether to kick in my share of the creation costs. Let me tell you I'm happy to spend $10-20 to get $100m+ of entertainment. It's a great deal!

    The whole system fails, though, if piracy makes it possible for a significant number of people be free riders. Those jerks are hurting me because they're undercutting the system that makes it possible for me to enjoy $100m+ of entertainment for $10-20. Studios need to charge more to break even and that means I get to pay more because of a bunch of IP anarchists keep spreading manure about how piracy is really a social good.

    As a member of the public who's just sitting around waiting to be entertained, I don't think copyright hurts me in the slightest. It makes it possible for the economic system to spread the costs out as thinly as possible, lowering costs for everyone. It enforces fairness and that helps me.

    So quit arguing that it's an us-against-them thing. It isn't. If the studios succeed, all of us get more choices. If IP anarchy succeeds, though, I'll be stuck watching cat videos on YouTube because there will be no money left to fund fancy movies.

    Oh wait, you're going to make some looney argument about how the studio's so-called monopoly on controlling their work is somehow hurting your 1st amendment rights. BUZZ -- wrong answer. You're free to find your own actors, make your own movies and distribute them however you like. If someone else copyrights a work, it doesn't hurt you unless your rights to express yourself. Alas, you probably think that making a copy of someone else's work is "innovation" and OMG, it needs to be protected. Sheesh.

     

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    MrWilson, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:34am

    Re: Quote the bible

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:34am

    "Now, we often see people falsely claim that this clause of the constitution guarantees authors copyrights (or inventors patents). But that is not the case. It merely gives Congress the power to do so for the expressed purpose of "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts." And, in case you're wondering, when originally written, the "science" part was directed at copyright, and it really meant "learning." Going back to the original intent, it most certainly was not created to cover all kinds of creativity -- but certainly the law has changed over time. "

    More of the tap dancing and standing too close to a subject to see the whole thing. I am really happy to have finally figured out your technique, it's amusing how simple it is, really.

    What is key here is that the system is two sides, and not one sided as you try to paint it. The courts, while understanding that it is to the benefit of the public, aren't so silly as to think that the benefit would come without there being a balance for the creators. That is to say that without the positive benefits to the authors and creators, there would be no benefit to the public because they might not create in the same manner.

    Opportunity cost, something you studied in your first year in business. I am sure you understand. The copyright system benefits the public in part by creating a system under which authors and creators can get paid for their efforts. Having a writer be able to write full time, instead of spending 40 hours a week at another job and 10 hours a week in traffic / commuting is a true benefit to the public.

    Your narrow, close up look ignores how the benefits to the public come to exist. It's ignorant to exclude the other half of the process to just try to make a point.

     

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    Tim K (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:37am

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    you probably think that making a copy of someone else's work is "innovation"

    Copying others work and building on it is innovation. Just copying is obviously not innovation, that's copying. You think google wasn't innovative? They weren't the first search engine, they weren't the first to do email, create a set of office applications, music locker, etc, but they are successful because they built off of what other people had already made.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    I reported this because the level of "stupid" in it quite literally hurt my brain for a moment and I'd like to spare others such pain.

    I have no problems with opposing points of view, provided they're well thought out and logic/factually based. But this... this comment by "bob" was anything but.

    And no, clicking "report" enough times to make the comment hidden BUT STILL VIEWABLE BY ANYONE WHO WISH TO SEE it is NOT censorship. I'm aiming it at those few ACs who love saying "reporting = censorship".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:39am

    why is it then that copyright keeps having it's term extended, so it now means that the originator and the next half a dozen generations benefit before the public, if the public are going to benefit at all? why does Congress not do as it should and ensure that the public benefit, after a reasonable time, instead of keeping the restrictions in place or worsening them? oh, sorry. i forgot. MONEY!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    Having a writer be able to write full time, instead of spending 40 hours a week at another job and 10 hours a week in traffic / commuting is a true benefit to the public.

    I don't disagree with your general point, but I want to single out this idea, and ask the following:

    Is this still realistic in our globalized workforce? I mean, jobs are being outsourced to China/India, corporations are hiring fewer people and asking them to do more with less.

    In this climate, is it still a realistic expectation to ask the public to allow artist to be full time artists?

     

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    Mr. Smarta** (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Quote the bible

    I missed that one!! That's hilarious! Thank you for the link.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:40am

    Mike you have a very interesting interpretation of the purpose of Copyright protection,(actually Copyrights in general.)That being said, after reading what you posted we here can fully understand why other lawyers would think you intellectually challenged; no offense intended.
    But do keep up the postings, we all find your website an amusingly refreshing distraction from reality.

    Thanks for the chuckle Mike!

     

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    Machin Shin (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    "Oh wait, you're going to make some looney argument about how the studio's so-called monopoly on controlling their work is somehow hurting your 1st amendment rights."

    No actually, I'm going to make the point that it is so easy to pirate a movie that a retarded chimp could do it. That being the case how do you think movie companies are getting all their money? It is easy to download the movie for free in high quality often before it is even available in stores. So how are they getting any money at all?

    You guys love to pretend that piracy is destroying the industry and that it is just a bunch of "freetards". If you stop, open your eyes and actually look you will find that most of us PAY FOR MOVIES.

    Yes, I can get them for free and yet I still pay for movies and music. The point so many of us are trying to make is that we WANT TO BUY these things. The problem is the stupid release windows, DRM, and other bull shit. When I buy a movie I expect to be able to watch it when I want and where I want. I'm sick and tired of finding the movie I paid for will not play because I live in the wrong "zone".

    Yes there are those that just want something for free and they will take it. Those people will NEVER pay for it so it is NOT a lost sale. You cannot loose something you never had. It is time these idiots woke up and realized that attacking customers and calling us criminals does not help sell more movies. Instead they should invest the substantial amount of money wasted fighting pirates into making new films and providing new services to those who will pay.

     

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    Tim K (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    Re:

    no offense intended.

    Why bother saying that when all you did was attack him without even talking about how he supposedly misinterprets everything?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:51am

    Mike,

    I'd love to debate you on this and prove you wrong, but sadly, I know you'll just run away and let others do the arguing for you.

    If you want to prove me wrong, then start by explaining what you mean by: "The point of copyright is not to benefit the public "eventually." It's to benefit the public first and foremost." If the purpose is to benefit the public first, then why is the first thing that copyright does is create a property right for the author which includes the right to exclude everyone else? Please find me Supreme Court language that says it benefits the nation first--not foremost, like the quotes you have above say. But first, as in temporally.

    And you do know there's lots of places where the Court explains that the benefits accrue to the author first and the nation second, right? I can start finding great language to that effect if you like. I've got unlimited access to legal databases and nothing better to do than prove you to be wrong, which you so clearly are on this point. You up for actually debating me, Mike? I have no interest in explaining the law to all of your flunkies who will undoubtedly jump in. You and me. You game?

     

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    Trails (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    "Miek is teh dum! Wah wah wah!"

    Have something to add or just here to throw ad homs? Thought so.

     

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    Trails (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    Re:

     

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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    Ha "flunkies"...coming from someone who is afraid to reveal themselves, that's fairly low.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    while I think you're referring to audio/video, if we got rid of all copyright law it could spell trouble to a lot of different things. Audio/video/photography? definitely past it's time.

    example: microsoft would no longer own copyright on any of their software, oracle would have not even a claim against google (even if it's a nonexistent claim), and GPL would be gone.

    so let's not put software in the same category as the rest. Software doesn't fit for copyright as we know it at all, but that won't fix anything to just get rid of it.

     

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    fairusefriendly (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    Re:

    copyright law as a whole being declared unconstitutional is not very likely because the act was originally balanced. It additions like the anti circumvention clause in the DMCA that are problematic, they serve no public good and have been proven to hinder the advancement of technology as well as take away peoples fair use rights.

     

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    Tudor Capusan (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re:

    Very well put. We sometimes wonder why HBO shows are better than most YouTube videos. Artists behind HBO shows get paid, while most creators of YouTube videos don't. Could that correlation be a coincidence?

     

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    Jake (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Re:

    If you read the entire article you will notice that both sides of your equation are talked about, but they are given their proper places as the "purpose" of copyright, benefiting the public, and the "method", incentives for the creators. I believe that his point is that by increasing the use of the "method" we are not achieving the "purpose".

    As an example, say you wanted to make roadways a better way to travel by increasing safety while still allowing you to reach your destination in a reasonable amount of time. That would be your purpose. Now you have to choose your method. You could choose to enact speed limits, you could choose to widen roads to decrease congestion, you could choose to make all roads elevated and double layer. Some of these would obviously work better than others. Now, say you choose to enact speed limits as your method. You start with a speed limit of 60 mph, you look and notice that things are working better, there are less accidents, leading to more safety and less congestion. So you take the next step and lower speed limits, but instead of checking to see if that helped, you just assume it did. Again and again you lower the speed limit, assuming it is helping, until finally it is all about the method and not about the purpose.

    So you see, by focusing on the method of copyright, we have lost the purpose.

     

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    varagix, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Re:

    "The copyright system benefits the public in part by creating a system under which authors and creators can get paid for their efforts."

    I just want to point out that you're making an assumption that copyright is the -only- way that artists can profit from their work. There's plenty of examples of artists online making money through means other than exclusive copy rights: commisions for custom art/music, high quality original prints, advertising revenue, etc.

    Copyright is only one system, and a system that today gets used and abused (alongside patents and trademarks) in ways never intended by the founders of our nation nor by the original drafters of the law.

     

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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Perhaps, and this is merely a suggestion, IP lawyers (or anyone else who believes these laws are to benefit the creators) take a walk through the Library of Congress to read the notes of our Founding Fathers, several (read: more than half) debated this very inclusion into the Constitution knowing full well it would be abused.

    I often wonder where this common sense, our government once had, went.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re:

    I agree copyright law should not be abolished altogether. However, I think you have part of it backwards. Software BELONGS covered under copyright law and not patent law. It's just that copyright law needs to be restored to it's original intended spirit where the period of time that the monopoly is granted is much more limited.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re:

    Attack?
    Not at all, as I said, we all find Mike to be a very entertaining individual(that has to be his intention... right?)
    And this on-line diary (website) has some of the funniest comments on the net.
    My co-workers refused to believe that this site even existed, so I gave them the link to techdirt; we're all hooked!

    Once again, a big thank you Mike!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:16am

    Re:

    I'd like to debate you as well on your assertion that the "sole" purpose is for the nation. You do understand the difference between "primary" and "sole," right?

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:17am

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    It would be lovely, bob, old buddy, old pal if you could do more than simply rewrite the same post over and over again.

    That and your obsession with $100 million movies. Get off that, already!

    And just where in the U.S.Constitution do you find mention of spreading costs around so that bob can go to a movie? Or the predecessor in the UK known as The Statue of Anne. And what makes you think, for a moment, that studios and theatres will charge the same price for the blockbuster as they will for the failure? Doesn't happen.

    Get this into your head. Monopolies by their very nature lead to higher costs, less innovation and invention than competition and challenge do. That applies to the MPAA and RIAA members as much as it does to anyone else.

    Copyright (and patents for that matter) were never intended to stretch into eternity as some US Courts and lawmakers seem to want them to. They are, if anything, short term rewards for the act of creation. Creation, incidentally, that would continue in the absence of copyright and patent law. It's something we humans do. We create and write stories. We create and develop better ways of doing things that may copy components of the older solution but are themselves new works

    You'd still get your $100 million movie full of CGI effects and explosions, sex, drugs and rock'n'roll with or without copyright. You'll still get people inventing useful things. The purpose of copyright and patents in the USA is to promote the useful arts and sciences not to guarantee some suit in a record company office who can't tell an obobe from an electric bass an income. Universal, remember, hired a failed distilling company executive to run their show. (The rest of his family fired him.)

    And we may even get better LOL Cat videos, too!

    Though I doubt we'll ever get bob to stop copying bob.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re:

    Just watch your great leader. He pretends in the article like he bested some hotshot IP lawyers (nice lack of links to prove it, of course), yet he won't come into his own comments and debate me head to head.

    Wonder why he's so scared. He's smarter than two IP lawyers and Register of Copyrights combined!

    Two issues, Mike:

    1. Whether the "sole" purpose of copyright is for the nation, and therefore, its purpose is not for authors in any way.

    2. Whether the benefit accrues to the author or the nation first.

    C'mon, Mike. Show all your followers how brilliant you are.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    "Yes, Copyright's Sole Purpose Is To Benefit The Fortune 500"

    There I fixed it for you, no charge.
    /scar

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    Re:

    And you do know there's lots of places where the Court explains that the benefits accrue to the author first and the nation second, right? I can start finding great language to that effect if you like.

    Do it then! Mike's points are in the text of the post. You counter his points with yours. You don't need to wait for permission (unless you are expecting to bill Mike for your time).

     

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    Nathan F (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Re:

    "What is key here is that the system is two sides, and not one sided as you try to paint it. The courts, while understanding that it is to the benefit of the public, aren't so silly as to think that the benefit would come without there being a balance for the creators. That is to say that without the positive benefits to the authors and creators, there would be no benefit to the public because they might not create in the same manner."

    So if this is true, then why doesn't copyright expire upon the creators death? After all a dead person doesn't need any kind of incentive to create anything besides fertilizer.

     

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  34.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you came here for semantics I would presume the authors you speak of are actually, you know, citizens of the nation...hence, it still benefits the nation (albeit a very small percentage).

     

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  35.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re:

    Good analogy. Eventually the speed limits are lowered to 0, you've made it 100% completely safe, but no one is getting to their destination. You've given so much thought to the method that you've completely lost all thought about the purpose.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re:

    I'm not going to debate you flunkies, as I said. Mike did not produce any language that shows copyright is "solely" about the nation, or that says that the nation benefits "first" in time. He's making the arguments, let him back them up.

    I'm more than happy to spend hours and hours digging up all kinds of language to back up my position. I want Mike's promise first and up front that he'll see the debate through to the end before I waste my time. I don't want him to run away before admitting he's wrong, or declaring one of you flunkies the victor, or any of the other tricks he's pulled.

     

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  37.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do you guys bill all your time spent on this site to the MPAA/RIAA?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    If the purpose is to benefit the public first, then why is the first thing that copyright does is create a property right for the author which includes the right to exclude everyone else?


    Mu.

    If the purpose of traffic laws is to make the roads safer, why is it that the first thing that traffic laws do is create a way for police officers to give tickets?

    You have confused the *mechanism* with the *purpose*.
    I suspect if you read and tried to understand the entire article, you wouldn't come up with the twaddle you post here.

     

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  39.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you can't debate us then what makes you think you can take Mike...other than your mere claims.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Re:

    Said the "Anonymous Coward".

    Be a man of your words and post your name. Give him someone to debate. Otherwise, your words are empty and shall be ignored.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're so eager to disprove
    Mike, why don't you just do it and spare us you angry ad-homs!

    And please cite your arguments. AC's are notorious for forgetting this important step in crafting intelligent arguments.

     

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  42.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:43am

    Re:

    Why not take this opportunity to actually mention what it is that was so humorously misinterpreted? You have a chance to educate us, I find it telling that you've not only decided not to bother, but that all you are offering is name-calling.

    I think you got nothing.

     

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  43.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe you should try not insulting Mike...or possibly emailing him, he could turn the debate into an article. Otherwise, you're losing credibility with all the personal attacks. IF you were any kind of a discussion expert you would know that.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re:

    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/09/be-safe-break-the-law.html

    Eventually the absurdity of the 55 mph speed limit sunk in and in 2006 MassHighway traffic engineers recommended a speed limit increase. State Police vetoed the change, preferring the 99% violation rate that let them write tickets at will. Police have no legal role in setting speed limits. Somebody in the Romney administration weighed the risk of losing ticket revenue against the risk of being blamed for accidents. Police won.

    After engineers lost that fight people began to worry about the high accident rate on Route 3. The state hired a consultant to do a Road Safety Audit. The consultant’s report blamed the low speed limit, among other factors, for the high crash rate. The report explicitly recommended raising the speed limit.

    Three years later, state officials have not followed the advice of their engineers, their consultant, or 100,000 drivers per day. State police are still out there running speed traps and helping keep the road as dangerous and profitable as they can.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:48am

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    As usual, bob, you miss the point altogether. From a legal perspective, the whole point of copyright law is to benefit the public NOT THE HOLDER OF THE COPYRIGHT. So even IF you could produce credible evidence that supported the concept that piracy hurt the holder of the copyright, PROTECTING THE HOLDER from harm IS NOT THE PURPOSE of the copyright and therefore not part of it's mandate UNLESS and this part is the important part, bob... UNLESS PROTECTING THE HOLDER BENEFITS THE PUBLIC.

    Now, tell me how allowing the draconian laws have tons of collateral damage to the public in violation of their other constitutional rights in the name of protecting obsolete business models of an industry that refuses to adapt is in the public's best interest? How is allowing the allowing special interest groups to censor others without due process via bogus DMCA takedowns in violation of the first amendment in the best interest of the public? How is extending copyright terms ad infinitum so that works never enter the public domain while other works already in the public domain are pilfered then entangled in new copyrights guaranteeing that they are no longer usable by the public in the public's best interest? How is allowing our public tax dollars to be wasted on and our court systems tied up with frivolous litigation by patent trolls and other greedy IP monopolists is in the public's best interest? Tell us bob. Go on. "Educate" us. We want to be enlightened by your infinite "wisdom" (or at least we can be entertained by it.)

     

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  46.  
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    jd2112 (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:48am

    Re: Quote the bible

    Perhaps, but didn't his dad own the copyrights and patents on the fishes?

     

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  47.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Mike did not produce any language that shows copyright is "solely" about the nation, or that says that the nation benefits "first" in time. He's making the arguments, let him back them up.


    Actually, he did. He quoted the Constitution, which is enough.

    Here, since you failed to notice it, it is again:

    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.


    I don't know how it could be made any more clear than that. The only purpose it lists is the benefit to the nation.

    Also, Mike never claimed anything about "first in time." He was talking about arguments that supporters of Pallante are making.

     

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  48.  
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    ChimpObama McBinLadenBurton, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    Your comments = foolish
    Mike's comments = well thought out and phrased.

    It takes a bigger man to play here. Thanks for trying.

    COMBB

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    IP laws should be no different than any other laws, including physical property laws (and eminent domain laws). Their primary purpose should be to benefit the public.

     

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  50.  
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    Charles (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    Who or what says you have to get paid for a copyright? You get exclusive rights for a limited time. Getting paid is a side benefit, not a right. It is NOT about getting paid.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:52am

    Great and clear writing and argumentation.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    What I really what to know is is silverscarcat still keeping bob's scorecard and if so what's it up to now?

     

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  53.  
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    SeanSatori, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    It's a "monopoly" right, not a property right. The term "intellectual property" didn't even exist prior to 1980.

    Might want to start putting that great access to "legal databases" to good use.

     

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  54.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Methinks someone has a small penis.

     

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  55.  
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    SeanSatori, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    Easy to answer that. It's called public choice theory. Business concentrates on passing laws which benefit them, and the costs of those laws are passed on to society as a whole.

     

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  56.  
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    Richard (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re:

    and GPL would be gone.


    The GPL would be unnecessary - as Stallman himslef has said.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Re:

    His view point is narrow to discuss the specific issue of the intended purpose not to say that it doesn't benefit the public until the work goes into the public domain. In fact he addresses this briefly...

    "The general recognition of the framers was that this is not a zero sum game, where one side wins and the other side automatically loses. This is about finding the maximization point -- the point at which the public benefits the most, by figuring out what sorts of benefits should accrue to authors."

    However, at the point that the harms to the public (collateral damage and infringement on constitutional rights) begin to outweigh those benefits, it DOES BECOME A ZERO SUM GAME in violation of the Constitution. Which is ENTIRELY the point.

     

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  58.  
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    Richard (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Quote the bible

    Yes - but he published them under a share alike license.

     

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  59.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    I am really happy to have finally figured out your technique, it's amusing how simple it is, really.

    And yet, somehow you strangely don't come across like that at all.

     

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  60.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not going to debate you flunkies, as I said.

    Yeah, that's totally convincing. Well done, master of logic ;)

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    Re:

    Opens source just proved that there is no need to grant monopolies to anyone and that a market can exist without the true evil of monopolies.

     

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  62.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Software BELONGS covered under copyright law and not patent law.

    Lord help us, yes. Software patents are, in my humble opinion, as bad an idea as patenting genes. But the software maker should have an opportunity to profit from their creation, so I can support software copyrights.

    #piracyiseverywhere

     

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  63.  
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    Jesse (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly. The GPL uses copyright to create a safe haven FROM the negative impact of copyright. No copyright, no GPL necessary.

     

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  64.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    1. The sole purpose of copyright law's existence is to benefit the public. The means that have been chosen to do that also benefit an author. If the means no longer obtain the end, then the means are wrong.

    2. The benefits of the work's existence go to the nation as soon as the work is published. The copyright's benfits go to the author as well. Temporally, they both benefit at the same time. The purpose of copyright has been fulfilled (the work was made and published) and the means for that benefit to the nation is at the same time granted (copyright to the author).

    Let me put it in another way. The sole reason for me to be employed is to gain money, but that doesn't mean that my employer gets nothing out of my working. I didn't set out to give a benefit to my employer, I set out to make money. They offer money in return for my work, that suits my purposes as well as theirs, so I'm fine doing it. We both benefit at the same time.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re:

    The only part of the GPL that would be gone is the part that it can force others to share anything.

    Which in a connected world is not an issue at all.

    The more I think about how laws are made today the more I realize that we shouldn't be making more laws but finding ways to do away with them.

     

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  66.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    Yeah, but two things:

    1. His post was actually pretty funny. I'm glad I clicked to unhide it.

    2. I believe that the report button should be reserved for the most egregious cases of "abuse", basically personal attacks and insults, obscenity (yeah, I know, define obscenity), profanity.

    Otherwise, while it's not censorship in any kind of government sponsored way, it is a form of passive-agressive censorship by our little community, and we should try and stay away from that.

    #piracyiseverywhere

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re:

    "I just want to point out that you're making an assumption that copyright is the -only- way that artists can profit from their work. There's plenty of examples of artists online making money through means other than exclusive copy rights: commisions for custom art/music, high quality original prints, advertising revenue, etc."

    No, I am not assuming it's the only way to get paid - but it does create a bit more certainty that they can have a certain amount of control over their works, at least in the short run.

    All of the things you listed in part hinge on copyright existing. An advertising company won't pay for a work if they can just copy it for free without any risk. That's the funny part about copyright in all of it's plural methods, it really does support so much of the system.

     

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  68.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Mike did not produce any language that shows copyright is "solely" about the nation, or that says that the nation benefits "first" in time.
    You're right. Mike didn't produce the language. The authors of H.R. Rep. No. 60-2222, the Supreme Court did, the United States Constitution did, and James Madison did. Karl showed us those quotes, and Mike published them (he hit the publish button). I'm glad you were here to tell us that Mike didn't say those things, and to make it clear that those things were said by people who had a higher authority on the subject than you or Mike.

     

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  69.  
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    Ruben, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm not sure what you're getting at. Are you saying that, because people get paid, that makes them better at what they do?

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re:

    People PAY for access to HBO also. People don't pay for YouTube. That's a difference too.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What weaseling IP lawyer wouldn't?

     

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  72.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    He's smarter than two IP lawyers and Register of Copyrights combined!

    You act like this is difficult to achieve.

     

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  73.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re:

    After all a dead person doesn't need any kind of incentive to create anything besides fertilizer.

    Well obviously, the work would never have been created in the first place if the creator couldn't be assured that his or her great-grandchildren would still be fighting the recording studio over royalty payments.

     

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  74.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
    -Upton Sinclair

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There is a big difference between copying for professional use v. copying for personal use. Someone downloading a film or music they hadn't heard or seen before often is making a decision whether they want to spend money on it in terms of buying the cd/dvd quality or going to the theater or concert.

    That is not the same as mass producing warehouse full of items to sell as the same thing or copying a item and using it as a logo, in advertising or on a letterhead and profiting from someone else's work.

    Just like AP charges that Fairy had used a photo they held copyrights to (not created). The work was transformative. There were thousands of photos published with the same pose and it was difficult to figure out which "one" was used. The AP photo wasn't used.

     

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  76.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re:

    Hey Tudor, welcome to techDirt. Now that pleasantries are out of the way: No, you're wrong and AC lied, as he always does about a very key point:
    That is to say that without the positive benefits to the authors and creators, there would be no benefit to the public because they might not create in the same manner.

    This is 100% pure bullshit. Content creators have been creating all throughout mankind's short stay on this planet, and the lion's share of that time was without copyright protection. People will continue to create with or without copyright protection.

    In the same manner? What does that mean? A few lucky artists (and I use that word loosely) hitting it mega-big and becoming millionaires? Guess what, that possibility is BRAND FREAKING NEW, it has never occurred before in history, and has only been possible in maybe the last 50 years or so. Personally, I don't consider it to be a big step forward (I'm looking at you, Kardashians). Minstrels used to travel from place to place and sing for their supper, and maybe a little extra coin, but there was never a shortage of minstrels, and I'll bet the music was a lot better too.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ...and we all know how Mike makes his living.

    'nuff said!

     

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  78.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    You up for actually debating me, Mike? I have no interest in explaining the law to all of your flunkies who will undoubtedly jump in. You and me. You game?

    You might not be aware, but Mike is traveling to Europe this week and might not have the time available to debate you:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120405/03380218382/brussels-london-berkeley-some-upcoming -events.shtml

     

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  79.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

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

    Yes, Mike makes a living writing articles that show IP lawyers and other greedtards as the stupid dolts they are. It's very difficult to get him to understand that doing so hurts their feelings and makes life harder for them.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re:

    "In this climate, is it still a realistic expectation to ask the public to allow artist to be full time artists?"

    Well, this is one of the benefits of the way the copyright system functions for artist and creators. They can sell limited rights (aka a copy) of their work for a price that is much lower than the overall cost of the work, and do so to many, many people. Each one may only contribute a small amount to the bottom line, but a beloved artist with many fans can make more than enough money to make a decent living - and to as a result be a full time artist to the benefit of society as a whole.

    I am much happier in a world that had Lennon / McCartney as a writing and recording team rather than two guys working on a milk skip playing shows on the weekends. I look at that as a proven benefit of the copyright system, that they were able to write and record amazing music, which is timeless and an integral part of our culture.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re:

    "Opens source just proved that there is no absolute requirement to grant monopolies to anyone and that a market can exist without the true evil of monopolies."

    FTFY

    The thing is, while here is no absolute requirement, copyright not only defines "rights", it also helps to create the framework under which commerce can happen in these things.

    The need for a system is always there. We need to have rules of the road in order to do business.

     

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  82.  
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    Trails (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Feel free to start whenever you want, you don't need to be invited.

     

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  83.  
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    Foobar, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

    Re:

    And then there's the recent graph showing books sold by amazon by year. It steadily increases until 1922 - and then drops dramatically, only increasing again in the 2000's. Showing that the plethora of abandoned-by-their-publishers or unknown-status copyrighted material since 1922 is not being read at all.

    Which, indeed, is a great harm to the public good.

    The other option would be a 16 year copyright term, renewable on each subsequent year by $2^n, where n-16 is the year published. Year 17, you pay $2. Year 18, you pay $4. Year 19, you pay $16. Year 20, you pay $32. Year 21, you pay $64. Year 22, you pay $128. Year 23, you pay $256. Year 24 you pay $512. Year 25 you pay $1024.

    To renew the copyright on Steamboat Willy (and by extension, mickey mouse), then, Disney would have to renew the copyright this year and pay $1.93428131 * 10^25.

    On the flip side, abandoned copyrighted works written in the 1950s might be able to be published again - for the public good.

    It would also enable a clear path of ownership for a copyright, proving that something has either fallen into the public domain or has not.

    But having the monopoly on something created - by an individual for a corporate entity's benefit - for 84 years is unthinkably anti-public-good.

    Baseline: the near-infinite-extension copyright system in place currently benefits artists (and, more often, the corporations that own them), and in the short term benefits the public. But fifty years from then, it actively harms the public by restricting access to lost work. It degrades the history of art dramatically. Abandoned out-of-print materials from the 1950s should be sold based on artistic merit, not on scarcity. Not in the kind of post-scarcity-when-it-comes-to-media world we live in today.

     

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  84.  
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    Watchit (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Quote the bible

    haha, interesting idea :D

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Come on... put it out there if you got it.

     

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  86.  
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    Watchit (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    While I agree there does need to be a balance, even as you say yourself, my problem with copyright law as it stands now is that it has tipped too far in favor of copyright holders, not even the authors, artists, and musicians, but the holders. So, in order to find that balance again, copyright law sorely needs to be revised.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    The concept of a law

    I see a lot of Mike's opponents arguing about how to interpret the law. I think that it's completely beside the point. For that, you must first understand what a law means.

    I'm not at all versed in lawmaking or IP law but as a 'commoner' my view on the law is that it attempts to state, clearly and unequivocally what we as a society deem to be our rules for living together. Laws are an invention of civilization, they're a means to be able to punish those who break the laws. Stating that, if you want to live, work or trade in this geographic region then abide the law, go someplace else or risk facing punishment. The law is a way to make this punishment justifiable. It is (and this is very important) _for the greater good_. You harm a few to protect the many. THAT is what a law is. Regardless of the wording used in the law you must understand the _intent_ of the law. The first and foremost intent of any law should always be that it is in the interest of the greater good.

    --
    Note that I used the term "geographical region", this is simply because before 'modern time', distance was a great and simple means to avert danger, today that no longer applies so strongly so you can already see how quickly the concept of law becomes outdated. It is simply a tool, a means to an end. The civil landscape is changing and we must adapt or incur a heavy cost (and maybe we already are?).
    --

    The process of lawmaking should be designed to protect the virtue of the greater good. You must understand that a violation of this fundamental makes my cringe at the idea of SOPA. Not only does it not protect the interest of the many. It was also attempted to circumvent much of the process that would ensure it's power distribution. I can only imagine that these laws are being drafted by people straddled by money or stuck in a train of thought that they can no longer escape from, with almost religious fervor.

    Now to copyright law. Yes it's important to compensate authors for their work. Money is a great incentive after all. But money should not be the only incentive. Most artists create because they want to create, this is as simple as saying that people do things they enjoy doing. There is value in just the process of creation. I am a programmer myself and I _enjoy_ programming. I make money doing it, but even in my spare time I am working on several projects without monetary compensation. I believe this to be true for most of my direct colleagues and in fact anyone who does anything remotely creative.

    I understand that making a $100 million dollar movie, you'd want to at least recoup on that expense, that is simple business after all. But I can't help but wonder what that money is spent on and how much that actually benefits to the entertainment value of the work. Is it really worth to spend several millions on special effects? Is it really worth to spend millions on well known actors? This again is a business equation, well known actors advertise for the movie, special effects lure people in. But this alone does not make a great movie. But the nice thing is, this is an open market! Anyone is free to make a movie and show it, earn some money. The cost of making a movie is going down (camera's get cheaper, distribution is almost free) so I expect to see (and am already seeing) a boom in new markets (YouTube.com, Twitch.tv etc.). I am fearful though that laws similar to SOPA will attempt to stop this inevitable change by essentially turning a free market into a monopoly.

    Notice that I haven't even come to the concept of 'piracy' yet. Simply put mass-piracy is a result of the disgruntled masses. A simple example: JK Rowling has made millions writing Harry Potter. It's a success story you can't deny. But can you blame the simpleton for thinking "she already has so many millions, she doesn't need my contribution, I'll just pirate it". Pottermore (the e-book site selling exclusively selling Harry Potter works) recently launched has opened 'higher than expected' (Google if you want a quote on that). E-books are probably the easiest works to pirate of all. They're small files that can be hosted and exchanged almost for free but people are still buying the e-book en masse. Why? Because they love Harry Potter! Maybe people pirate works because they don't really care?

    I can understand that you don't 'believe' that the entertainment industry can survive without copyright. But is it in the greater good to preserve the industry as it is in it's current form? I don't think so. There is no real benefit to the greater good. Other people, artists, have discovered to entertain and to make some money in a way that doesn't need copyright. They're not making millions, most of them probably have to work very hard but what is wrong with a little hard work? Especially if you enjoy what you're doing.

    Copyright is a fabrication as Mike explained very clearly. The purpose is for the greater good. The means is by creating a monopoly on things that inherently have no protection (that is why we create it). You can argue about this but there is no evidence what so ever that indicates there is an inherent right to an 'idea'. You can argue that there _should_ perhaps be a right and this is what copyright essentially is. Similarly there is no inherent right on physical objects. The concept of 'mine' and 'yours' and in "my chair", "not yours" is something we as a civilization have agree on because it's a concept works fairly well. Very similar to copyright, you reward people we bring benefit to society. This reward is usually measured in money. See how this is all connected?

    There is only benefit in creating the monopoly because it is expected (hoped) that this benefits the greater good in the long term. So essentially the monopoly harms the greater good in the short term, but benefits the greater good in the long term. It's like working really. Working is stressful, if you didn't have to work you'd probably still do what you're doing now (because you enjoy it!) but not so frantically, and with less stress. But we accept this stress, we incur the penalty, so in the future we may gain from it (money!).

    We're going through a large entertainment reform fueled by advances in science which has reduced the cost of 'creating' to almost nothing. What is left is just bare creativity and a whole lot of it all vying for your attention. Artists are becoming obsolete, ideas become transient and take on a life of their own increasing it's value for the masses, this could never happen under strict copyright law. I'm sure this is scary for many of the established artists, suddenly there isn't as much money to go around and the competition is fierce. But this is how it should be. Please step down from your ivory tower and look at the world the way your 'customers' experience it and see that beautiful things are created even when you are not running the show. Please step down and let the new generation take over. This cycle of death and rebirth is so essential that is a fundamental concept in nature - all living things must die to favor the young, the more adapted.

    That's a bit of tangent but I hope you see really how insignificant all this bickering really is. Use your best judgement if you are in a seat of power, be selfless and don't indulge.

    --

    Lastly I am disgusted by "Anonymous Cowards" who, rather than make sensible debate, are reduced to ad hominem arguments. I trust myself to be sane and intelligent enough to discard such comments but I fear not everyone is this fortunate. Don't underestimate the power of misinformation. I choose to remain anonymous because, as I said, I'm just a commoner, I do not (yet) wish to engage in this discussion and I do not wish to be slandered (which is the topic of this article after all). I believe I have the right to protect my privacy, do not judge me for it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Poter of 87 The concept of a law.
    Subsequent paragraphs have more and more typos. I apologize for that.

    > The concept of 'mine' and 'yours' as in "my chair", "not yours" is something we as a civilization have agreed upon because it's a concept that works fairly well.

    Here is some magic: 23e62b16db1661366ce89a29d9609ded. Feel free to ignore it.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re:

    You realize that there are far more people who want to be professional artists than there will ever be money to pay them all. Every artist has to figure out how to make a living on their own, and nearly all of them will fail and end up working other jobs.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re:

    I don't think that most of the people posting videos to Youtube are trying to do something as good as HBO.

    Just because it's printed on paper doesn't mean my daily junk mail is on par with the great works of literature, and the people creating my junk mail are not trying to create great works of literature.

    Quality has nothing to do with who gets paid or how much or how popular it is. Adam Sandler gets paid plenty and his movies are crap and people still go see them.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    I think that they would argue that they are Fortune 500 because of copyright.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    "nothing better to do than prove you to be wrong"

    That says more about you than anything anyone else could ever come up with.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    But but but... wont someone please think of the revenue.

     

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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    Statute of Anne

    It might be worth looking a bit earlier than the Constitution to the Statute of Anne. It includes as part of the purpose section "and for the Encouragement of Learned Men to Compose and Write useful Books".

     

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    Watchit (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    they probably work for them :P

     

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    Watchit (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    If you wanted to argue with Mike only and not us "Flunkies" as you call us, wouldn't it have been better to email Mike directly rather than post in the comments here? Unless your purpose was indeed to troll, or perhaps to inflate your e-peen?

     

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    AR (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    For the IP lawyers and copytards

    Article 1,sec 8 "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."

    This states that Congress has the power to (not the obligation to):
    "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"

    This part states HOW the Congress is allowed 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."

    Here is the common sense reading of it;
    If "their respective Writings and Discoveries" DO NOT "PROMOTE THE PROGRESS of Science and useful Arts", then Congress DOES NOT have the power to "secure for limited time" the Authors and Inventors "exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" (copyrights and patents). Also if those "exclusive rights" restrict the PROMOTION of "the Progress of Science and useful Arts", then Congress does not have the power to grant those exclusive rights.

    Clearly the overriding AUTHORITY (not the right) is in the Constitution for the broader and public "PROMOTE THE PROGRESS OF" Science and useful Arts, and not for the individual "interest in" (exclusive Right) the Sciences and useful Arts.
    Congress can only, and under certain conditions like the public interests, grant conditional rights that DO NOT normally exist. They can also take them away when they are no longer in the best intrests of the public and do not "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"

     

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    Richard (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    As a member of the public who's just sitting around waiting to be entertained, I don't think copyright hurts me in the slightest. It makes it possible for the economic system to spread the costs out as thinly as possible, lowering costs for everyone. It enforces fairness and that helps me.

    Think a bit deeper about it Bob.

    The reason your logic fails is because copyright is not economically enforceable.

    Basically most people pay for stuff because they want to encourage further production or because they are happy to reward the producers. They pay willingly not because they are forced. (I presume that you, like me, are a willing payer. )

    So long as the majority pay willingly copyright is not necessary and the expense of enforcement is a waste.

    Trying to force the can't pay/won't pay brigade is pointless, creates collateral damage to innocent third parties and doesn't recover its own costs.

    The net effect is that copyright is a pure waste of money - and guess who pays - you do!

    Without copyright exactly the same or better content would be available and it would be cheaper. You wouldn't have the hassles of dodgy DRM.

    The fact that you, as a consumer, are in favour of copyright enforcement leads me to conclude that you must be a masochist!

    The only real beneficiaries of copyright are lawyers and purveyors of DRM technology.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Software copyrights with lower term lengths I can get behind. Software companies horde old properties that they never plan to make a sequel for forever and try to license them at exorbitant fees. A recent interview with some devs stated that they tried to get the license to Kings Quest (or possible Space Quest the interview was about both I forget which license carried these figures) and Activision wanted to sell a license for 500,000 upfront and 50% of all profits. This is for a property created by a twice dead company in a genre activision has made 0 games for and which they have no plans of ever releasing a sequel.

    So yes offer protection to software but not at the length we offer now.

     

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    Jay (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    While I agree there does need to be a balance---

    If infringement were a zero-sum game, then yes, there needs to be a balance. But it's not.

    That's the entire concept that people miss. If you were to eliminate copyright law tomorrow, people would continue to create. The objectives is a subsidy for people to create works. Nothing more. With technology as it stands today, we don't need to strike a balance. We can do without copyright. And that's what people should focus on. How many works are being created to progress knowledge and learning?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    Why do you people even respond to him anymore? He has been using the same argument in every post for months and never responds to anyone. Just ignore Bob until he actual comes up with a new argument instead of just rehashing the same thing to try to fit it into every article.

     

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    Dionaea (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:20pm

    Re:

    Dead writers don't need jobs and don't get stuck in traffic, so what the hell do they need copyright for? You're missing the point entirely.

    What the article was about is that copyright was meant to benefit 'the people' as in the general population of the country in some way. And copyright & patents CAN benefit the general populace, by providing inventors and artists with incentives to keep doing what they're doing. Copyright isn't there to benefit creators, it exists to benefit the public. But right somehow it has become all about benefiting IP trolls. And even you should get this, if the inventor/artist is already dead he doesn't need to be stimulated to create more, since he's DEAD. Which means current copyright terms make NO sense at all, even with your example.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Adam Sandler gets paid plenty and his movies are crap and people still go see them."

    They all pray that he has a second Billy Madison still in him.

     

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    International awesomeness confirmation officer, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:24pm

    Re:

    If you're dan bull the artist, I'm here to inform you that you're legally awesome.

     

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    Dionaea (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They're literally laughing their way to the bank. I'd laugh my head off too, getting to screw over the general populace and getting paid for it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    Let's get THIS straight...

    NOTHING the government does is to benefit the public.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes HBO shows are better because they have a budget and they have a budget because the content is paywalled. We are not saying artists shouldn't be paid we just want the monopoly gatekeeper system that is currently in place to be openly and honestly reevaluated for the modern age.

    Copyright should be about promoting art and protecting the creator. These days its mostly about protecting a corporations control of a IP once they have bought it from the artist for a pittance. 30 years ago we needed these corporations to create and distribute these works. I could not edit and mass produce VHS tapes easily or cheaply in my house, that problem is gone now. With it much of the cost and risk associated with it is also gone.

    Technological advances alone will kill these companies over time if they fail to adapt to the modern age. But they are not willing to change their business model and even less willing to get out of the way and relinquish the control they have had over their medium since their inception. 30 years ago if you wanted to release an album globally you needed one of the majors to back you, and whatever offer they gave you was your only shot at being a global name no matter how good the deal was. This is simply not the case anymore. So they use piracy as their smokescreen while they try to disrupt the technologies that will bring them down in the long run. Copyright laws are their weapon and 100 year monopolies are a powerful tool that benefits no creator but greatly benefits these dinosaur mega-conglomerates.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Correct but our rules in their current form are only beneficial to a few. The rules of the road should benefit all players equally.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    "So called monopoly"

    It IS a monopoly.

    Property: Entity A cannot take an object from entity B

    Monopoly: Entity B cannot make/distribute an object similar or identical to one offered by entity A.

     

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    PRMan, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    And Amazon and iTunes have PROVEN this to be true. They sell MP3s/AACs without any restrictions, and they are amassing huge profits doing so. They're both so convenient, why would anyone pirate?

     

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    Watchit (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    people would still create, but would there be the same amount of creation without some form of incentive? That's the problem I guess. It's hard to tell when there's no contemporary example of a first world country without copyright, or is there?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The curious part to that is copyright can be overcome by clean room design. Where as patents cannot. Patent law does not allow for independent invention where as copyright has no such provision. If you remove software patents and only cover software by copyright, as it should be, and two independently come up with code that accomplishes the same functionality. They do not infringe on one another.

     

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    Watchit (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Let's get THIS straight...

    now do you actually believe that, or are you just saying it out of frustration at the government's incompetence?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    Why? One word: Schadenfreude.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    However just as has happened before (see TV,VCR), they are slowly being dragged kicking and screaming like little children to the dentist into the 21st century. Remember the article about Warner Bros. stupid digital conversion program where you take your DVD to the store to have it converted to a digital format? Even though the implementation of the delivery method is dumb, it's still progress for them to start to offer a legitimate digital file that is transferable to other devices. Also I purchased a DVD form my daughter the other day of a recent 20th Century Fox title where the during the previews was an ad for legally transferring your purchased DVD to a digital file without having to leave your house. I was actually shocked when I saw it. I caught it briefly and haven't had a chance to look into the details but the sheer fact that they are advertising such a thing is progress.

     

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    Cowardly Anonymous, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    A backhanded compliment is very much an insult, which is why I'm voting your posts up as funny. I think you'll find our styles of humor similar, even if we very much disagree on certain other things.

     

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    Cowardly Anonymous, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

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

    Precisely, I certainly wouldn't be here if Mike didn't demonstrate his understanding on a regular basis.

     

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    jem40000, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 3:20pm

    Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    Mr. Masnick writes above:

    " ... it means that copyright law that can be shown not to benefit the public or (worse) to hinder the public is, on its face, unconstitutional, since Congress has no power to grant such monopolies if it is not to benefit the promotion of the progress of science."

    So the best way to challenge such a contention is find a case where someone is harmed by the current copyright law or an improper implementation of current copyright law.

    I am not a lawyer but in my personal work regarding Section 121 of the Copyright Act I believe there may be such situations where organizations or government entities have enacted binding contractual agreements that misrepresent plainly worded statute.

    All it may take is one such instance and then you may be able to start peeling away others. So are you, Mr. MM, a lot of smoke but no fire?

     

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    Cowardly Anonymous, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Said the "Anonymous Coward".

    What matters is the ideas in the debate, not the list of participants.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    Every day that I, as a member of a public, get denied legal access to a work and have my rights impeded by the government is a day I am harmed by these laws. Government established monopolies are harmful, they reduce aggregate output and increase prices. The fact that all of our works can not be stored, referenced, and accessed by search engines harms everyone. So we need to ensure that the benefits outweigh the harm. Currently, given IP lengths (and insane infringement penalties) the harm outweighs the benefits.

    Copy protection length was supposed to last a limited time but due to continued extensions it effectively doesn't anymore.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    (freely stored, referenced, and accessed * For this limits my access to works since no one has an infinite supply of money to access all works).

     

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    varagix, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "An advertising company won't pay for a work if they can just copy it for free without any risk." Who said the ad company was buying the work? I was referring to ads accompanying freely available work, in which case they technically are buying the artists viewership. Commissions are paid for up front before the art is even created, let alone available. Original prints are, by their definition, not a copy (as they are the origination of said copies).

    None of those things require copyright; their value comes from other places, from being offered a useful or valuable service (commissioned art), inherit rarity (originals are one-of-a-kind, almost by diffinition), and exposure to a specific audience.

    All of those things are valuable, of limited quantity, and within easy control of the artist. And they're turning out to be more and more important in a world where general media is plentiful, easily reproduced, and nigh infinite.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    and lets not forget about the difficulty of access discontinued works. Our current generation and future generations may no longer have access to many discontinued works. This distorts our cultural heritage and past knowledge which harms us.

    There was a book I wanted that was discontinued. When searching for it on Amazon and all of the various sites it shows up, but when you actually try to purchase it the site says they have zero. I tried going to a local Barnes and Noble (or was it a Borders?) to get it and they didn't have it and they said it was discontinued. I eventually did find it and bought it on a website but it took me quite a while. This was a book around ten years old at the time.

    Huge university libraries are hesitant to allow students to check out many older books because they know that these books are discontinued and irreplaceable. and they are even more paranoid about journal publications, even high schools are. The public is harmed by this. Many discontinued works may die into history before entering the public domain, only very popular ones may survive. Even Dr. Who episodes have died into history because there are no more left over, the only ones that survived to this date were pirated. Considering that the overwhelming majority of works are not popular hits with millions of sales, it's not hard to imagine that the overwhelming majority of works die into history by the time copy protection expires. The public is harmed by this.

    Heck, I used to work for a video rental store and customers would always come up and ask "do you have this movie. Do you have that movie". My response "Sorry, we don't carry it."

    "Dang, I looked everywhere for this movies and I couldn't find it". and these were often/usually (discontinued) movies around ten years old or so. This happened at least a few times a day, it was quite common. Imagine 95+ years from now. These customers are harmed by our laws.

    To say that our current laws are not socially harmful is either a statement of utter delusion or it's an outright lie.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 4:34pm

    If you must quote from Madison's Detached Memoranda, then at the very least is should be more than a cherry-picked portion that ignores his comments concerning works of authorship and inventions. As to these he does express certain limitations. However, it could not be more clear that he does support them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    and, heck, even some of the older amazon books have missing pages that maybe difficult to recover. For instance, a book I was looking at says

    Ventilation, weather and the common cold; a study of the prevalence of respiratory affections amoung school children and their association with school ventilation and the seasonal changes in weather

    "This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book."

    http://www.amazon.com/Ventilation-prevalence-respiratory-association-ventilation/dp/117233 3157

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    What a surprise. MM won't debate his critics.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 5:15pm

    Re:

    What a surprise, his critics have no criticisms.

     

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    Woody Guthrie, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 5:17pm

    Generally speaking...

    You are mad and frustrated with copyright law as it exists today.

    Some of you have very good reasons for your anger. Some of you don't. Basically, you are here to vent to one another. This is your club. That's cool! Enjoy your club. Enjoy your life. Just recognize that Mike really wants to be a start-up marketing guru, at the end of the day. He wants to attract a "tech-savvy" audience for his advertisers. This copyright stuff is just here to get the clicks. It pays his bills talking about how patent laws are "just ridiculous" and entertainment companies "just don't get it." His tone is forever defensive, forever the victim, forever self-righteous, forever ready to lash out at everyone who "just doesn't get it." And who "gets it?" Well, Mike and the people who agree with him. What a wonderfully selective reality. Humility is not the guy's strong suit, but hey, he has a business to run and a brand to protect. I won't knock him for that, I just don't expect the truth from him on any regular basis.

    You might love this site because he gives you a happy, comforting home where nearly all IP and patent lawyers are "idiots." Artists who advocate for their own legal rights are "stupid." And the worst capitalist pigs aren't in oil, or insurance or defense contracts -- they make movies! (Do you illegally download/stream the movies and shows these awful, terrible people make, for free?)

    He is using you to market himself. If Mike knew a fraction of what he claims to about "innovation," he wouldn't be farming out marketing advice from his own audience (!) for $25 a pop, he'd be in business making real money.

    As an above "coward" mentioned, perhaps it would be useful to check out that OG of copyright law, The Statute of Anne of 1710, the principles of which were legally adopted by the US Congress in 1790. Before we the Bill of Rights existed, we had a federal copyright max term of 28 years for authors and mapmakers. Like it or not, babes, copyright is foundational to modern culture. I'm right there with you in thinking the terms are way, way too long today. The goal should be simple -- reduce the terms! But don't pretend we can do away with copyright altogether and the world will finally be... free!

    Nope. Not gonna happen. It's a fool's quest. We would simply revert to a patronage system, run by major multinational corporations. (Yay!) We would be sharing more and more high quality content in the form of... advertising. (Awesome!)

    So, below is the Statute of Anne. Take note of the word "consent." Back then it was the Stationer's Company profiting off authors' work without their consent. Today the profiteers are The Pirate Bay, Google, Megaupload, the ISPs that transfer the bits, and on and on. Same concept, people. Consent.

    You may hate the major studios and labels for one reason or another, but do you know who agreed to partner with them, legally and of their own consent? Artists. The artists who are protected by copyright, imperfect as it is. So if their models are SO outdated, why do any artists choose labels and publishers? Because they calculate for themselves that it is in their long-term interest. Maybe they're right. Maybe they're wrong. But it's their choice and not anyone else's, and that is the wisdom of copyright. Choice. Consent.


    The Statute of Anne:

    "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by Vest-
    ing the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or
    Purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein
    mentioned.

    Whereas Printers, Booksellers, and other
    Persons, have of late frequently taken
    the Liberty of Printing, Reprinting,
    and Publishing, or causing to be Print-
    ed, Reprinted, and Published Books,
    and other Writings, without the Con-
    sent of the Authors or Proprietors of
    such Books and Writings, to their
    very great Detriment, and too often
    to the Ruin of them and their Fami-
    lies: For Preventing therefore such
    Practices for the future, and for the
    Encouragement of Learned Men to Compose and Write use-
    ful Books; May it please Your Majesty..."


    Copyright is meant to prevent undue exploitation of the creator AND benefit the public. These are mutually beneficial aims, folks. People like Mike and the RIAA/MPAA who like to uphold one end of that equation and ignore the other are pure opportunists/extremists and shouldn't be taken seriously.

    Are we to ignore the legal and human (Artcle 27 UNDHR) rights of creators, illegally exploit them for their own labor and investment, and then find some haphazzard way to justify it later? Will anything positive come from such laziness? Just because Mike makes shoddy, unprincipled, ignorant arguments out of the necessity of keeping the gravy train rolling doesn't mean you have to, Techdirt readers. You are smarter than that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Generally speaking...

    Best post ever. Thanks for sharing.

     

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    AR (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Generally speaking...

    One major fault (In my opinion) in your use of the statute of Anne for this discussion. It can be summed up in with final sentence;
    "May it please Your Majesty..."

    Mike was commenting on A1,s8 of the US Constitution. what you refer to is something from the laws of England. If I remember correctly, our founding father fought with and defeated the English to be able to establish the US Constitution and not have to follow the laws of England. The Constitution that was written, to be followed instead of those English laws and clearly states what Mike has presented. What you are quoting is irrelevant to US law and this discussion. using your logic I could quote any law from any country as justification for claims that may or may not actually exist in the US.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Generally speaking...

    Wow, we've had these discussions with shills and trolls a long time ago and it seems like we're having the same discussions all over again. All of these arguments have been addressed by Mike a long time ago.

    What happened, did the old trolls either quit or get fired?

    "The Statute of Anne:"

    Which was in the U.K.

    As Thomas Jefferson notes

    "By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is the property for the moment of him who occupies it, but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property.

    If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

    http://movingtofreedom.org/2006/10/06/thomas-jefferson-on-patents-and-freedom-of-ideas/

    N o one is entitled to an IP privilege. These laws, like physical property laws or any other laws, should exist only to the extent that they benefit the public.

    and to the extent that IP laws are not designed only to benefit the public (perhaps through the means of providing content creators with a limited and temporary monopoly) that should change.

    If someone wants to invest a lot of money in something and ruin themselves in the process then that's their own problem. It's not the governments job to protect their works or their investment and ensure they can profit off of such investments. This isn't socialism or communism, entities willing to make investments should be willing to take personal responsibility for making bad investments. It's the governments job to ensure the public interest is served, not to protect entities who wish to make bad investments.

     

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    JMT (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

    Re:

    What a surprise, an AC thinks Mike should have to do nothing but sit at his computer responding to their whiny ad hom attacks. A 'critic' should have a counter-argument. I've yet to see one.

     

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    The Moondoggie, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    But words are empty when there is no honor to back them up. The words of a (Anonymous) coward is not even worth a penny.

     

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    The Moondoggie, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Let's get THIS straight...

    True. But whose fault is it that those people are running the government anyway? Who are the people swayed by honey-sweet, forked-tounges of these snakes so they can be voted into office?

    Isn't it you?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    >(nice lack of links to prove it, of course)

    Your point? There's been critics waltzing in to call Mike slimy, two-faced amongst other insults, and when Mike alluded to knowing who it was, the same person lashed out at him for removing his anonymity. (We still don't know who he is, of course.) You're going to insult him whether he links or not, after he's stated that for the sake of the other party's privacy he is not mentioning them.

    Empty vessels make the most noise, and boy, are you noisy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 7:52pm

    Crickets. Oh well. I was going to start with this tasty nugget from Eldred:
    Justice STEVENS' characterization of reward to the author as “a secondary consideration” of copyright law, post, at 793, n. 4 (internal quotation marks omitted), understates the relationship between such rewards and the “Progress of Science.” As we have explained, “[t]he economic philosophy behind the [Copyright] [C]lause ... is the conviction that encouragement of individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance public welfare through the talents of authors and inventors.” Mazer v. Stein, 347 U.S. 201, 219, 74 S.Ct. 460, 98 L.Ed. 630 (1954). Accordingly, “copyright law celebrates the profit motive, recognizing that the incentive to profit from the exploitation of copyrights will redound to the public benefit by resulting in the proliferation of knowledge.... The profit motive is the engine that ensures the progress of science.” American Geophysical Union v. Texaco Inc., 802 F.Supp. 1, 27 (S.D.N.Y.1992), aff'd, 60 F.3d 913 (C.A.2 1994). Rewarding authors for their creative labor and “promot[ing] ... Progress” are thus complementary; as James Madison observed, in copyright “[t]he public good fully coincides ... with the claims of individuals.” The Federalist No. 43, p. 272 (C. Rossiter ed.1961). Justice BREYER's assertion that “copyright statutes must serve public, not private, ends,” post, at 803, similarly misses the mark. The two ends are not mutually exclusive; copyright law serves public ends by providing individuals with an incentive to pursue private ones.
    Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186, 212, n.18 (2003).

    The fact is, the courts and the commentators are divided when it comes to the proper way to understand the Copyright Clause. The fact that Mike thinks his interpretation is supreme is laughable. Sure, you can find older language from the Court that supports the public interest rationale, as Mike and Karl have done, but you can also find some newer language that supports the private interest rationale, as I've just quoted.

     

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    Ophelia Millais (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 8:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hmm, so your argument, basically, is that there weren't very many Beatles bootleggers because people were afraid of being sued or charged with a crime for copyright infringement; and if that fear wasn't there, then the Beatles would've been bootlegged so heavily that hardly anyone would've bought their official product, gone to see them on tour, performed their music in public, or done any of the other things that got them royalties in that era...and the end result would be they would've had to work at the factory and only play at the pub on weekends.

    Well, Lennon & McCartney started their wild ride as teens; they never had real jobs to quit. And I'm not sure they'd admit if they were in it for the copyright, but I don't recall them ever implying as much, or that they were only going to stay together as long as it was profitable for them as songwriters. Is that why the Beatles broke up—because they couldn't sue enough bootleggers? Too many cover bands selling records and too many publishers selling sheet music without paying royalties? No, I think people really loved the songs, the recordings, and the band; the public bought Beatles product in absolute droves, and this was long before the sound recordings themselves had copyright (mid-1964 UK, 1976 US). Almost all of what people bought was official, licensed, songwriter-royalty-earning product, because Apple Records, EMI, Capitol, and Northern Songs made darn sure that official Beatles music was widely available for a long, long time, in formats people wanted, at affordable prices. The market was so saturated with the real deal, bootleggers generally couldn't compete. I'm sure copyright helped stymie would-be bootleggers to some small degree, but it's silly to say it was responsible for the Beatles' success, or that Lennon and McCartney ever would've worked at a factory. Ostensibly they had the choice to get a real job or take their rock'n'roll cover band on tour in Europe. Which did they choose, and how did it work out for them?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Generally speaking...

    Before independence was secured from the England, english law governed and became an integral part of our legal system, what is otherwise know as "common law". The ratification of the Articles of Confederation, later replaced by the Constitution, had but a modest effect on then existing common law. It is, thus, incorrect to draw conclusions that US law from its infancy as a nation started with a blank slate. Quite the contrary. For example, just take a look at our body of law concerning real estate and you will very quickly realize it traces its roots to English law developed hundreds of years ago.

    If one doubts the above, one need only look at the 7th Amendment where common law is expressly incorporated into our body of constitutional law.

     

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    jem40000 (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    From above: Every day that I, as a member of a public, get denied legal access to a work and have my rights impeded by the government ...

    Maybe true but total BS unless you can find a harmed party with legal standing that is denied rights under the law as it exists today -- not under the law as you think-it-should-be.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    "Maybe true but total BS unless you can find a harmed party with legal standing that is denied rights under the law as it exists today"

    Wait ... are you serious? So if the law required that infants or children or [insert group here] be murdered for no good reason and gave that party no legal standing or rights under the law then that party is not harmed under the law, you are arguing that the law is a good one and it promote their welfare?

    You must be a lawyer. and you must be new. Because your stupid argument was made and destroyed here ad-nauseam by IP extremist lawyers around here a long time ago. In fact, I haven't seen it around in a while.

    Your argument is nonsensical. The law itself is to benefit the public, not to claim that the public isn't harmed under the law due to some retarded legal technicality when in fact the law harms the public. Otherwise, if the government made it legal to arbitrarily take your property then you aren't harmed under the law and so, by your dumb definition, the law hasn't harmed you.

    The question of whether someone has legal standing and is harmed under the law and whether his rights are violated under the law is irrelevant when the utility of the law itself is under question. The law is to promote the progress of the sciences and useful arts, the law should be in the public interest, not in the private interests of big corporations. and our current law is not in the public interest, it harms the public.

    I don't have to find an example where I am harmed under the law with legal standing and legal rights to show that the law is harmful and needs to be changed. That's ridiculous and, under those conditions, we could never request a law to be changed. I absolutely am harmed, the general public is harmed, as the law exists today. We may not be 'legally' harmed, but we are harmed, which is unconstitutional and against what we should allow the law to do.

    "not under the law as you think-it-should-be."

    If the law were as it should be then the law would better serve the public interests and not just the interests of big corporations and so there would be less harm done.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    The law itself is harmful, which is the point. If the law were as it should be then it wouldn't be so publicly harmful.

     

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    AR (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Generally speaking...

    As you have stated "The ratification of the Articles of Confederation, later replaced by the Constitution" just as the articles of confederation were established as a replacement to the laws of England (along with the English government itself that was replaced). The 7th amendment speaks about case law and precedent and not specifically about copyright itself. Since it was not mentioned in the 7th amendment then it is automatically covered by A1,s8 which speaks about it specifically. Sorry but specifics overules ambiguity every time.
    The revolution was fought in part to release the people from the laws of the despot who made up those rules at his whim and that of those who sucked his... toes the best at that particular time. It also released the people from the precedents set forth by the judges who only held their positions at the whim of that despot and his "toe" suckers. So enforcing those laws as precedent goes totally against what the founding of democracy in this country was about. Especially since the constitution was intentionally established to replace all of that. I could see where case law would supersede where it is not addressed specifically, but since it IS addressed specifically, then despotic case law is irrelevant.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    Apparently you are unfamiliar with the difference between criminal and civil law. Standing is a legal issue associated with civil law and, in essence, requires that the person bringing suit establish some demonstrable harm limited to him/her, as opposed to the public in general.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Generally speaking...

    "It is, thus, incorrect to draw conclusions that US law from its infancy as a nation started with a blank slate."

    You must have a reading comprehension problem because no one, besides maybe you, drew those conclusions. So to bring them up is irrelevant. What the author of the post (not I) said was pretty simple.

    "our founding father fought with and defeated the English to be able to establish the US Constitution and not have to follow the laws of England."

    That is they could follow laws of England but they don't have to.

    What happened all of a sudden? The shills years ago were completely retarded and then, over time, they somewhat improved. Now, it's like the old shills got fired or quit and corporations hired new shills and the cycle is starting over again (well, the old shills were more retarded than even this, half the time no one could even understand what they were trying to communicate). What, did the old shill demand a raise or something? I suppose this is what corporations get when they hire inexperienced shills. We get the same old well refuted nonsense that seems to suffer reading comprehension problems and a lack of common sense that we got many years ago. I really thought the shills got over this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    I absolutely am familiar with the difference between criminal and civil law and I know what standing is and the difference between a crime and a tort, thank you very much. That you would even suggest such a thing indicates that you think it's enough beyond common knowledge for someone else around here not to know something so basic suggests how clueless and naive you are. You must be new here or something.

    Both civil and criminal laws should serve the public interests. I'm still waiting for you to make a valid point beyond saying "but the law says you aren't harmed". When the law is what's questioned, be it civil or criminal law, then what the law says is irrelevant.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Generally speaking...

    Yours has a nice "ring" to it, but it does not and never has reflected US common law juridprudence (this is intentionally a broad, general statement since there were a few aspects of prior common law that were not adopted; however, these were relatively few.)

    Of course there are fundamental differences between the form of government in England and that of the US at the constitutional level. The common law, however, is another matter altogether.

    Our system of law is rich in the tradition of English law, and many of its doctrines have been firmly embraced and incorporated into our laws. Over time some of these doctrines have changed, but in many areas they remain largely unchanged. There is one notable exception that has an admixture of English and French Law (the Napoleonic Code); namely, Louisiana.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    (and please don't take that last sentence out of context. because you seem retarded enough to do so).

     

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    AR (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Generally speaking...

    Oh, as for real estate law, well, back 200-300yrs ago the despot owned everything and the "occupation" of that land was by whim of that despot. He could grant land, and also take it away, at his whim and that of his judges and "toe" suckers. These issues (and many other injustices) were specifically addressed in Constitutional law to supersede despotic case law which allowed them. So your premise that despotic case law overrules specifics in the Constitution is totally illogical at best.

     

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    wvhillbilly (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:03pm

    Re:

    I think copyright law in recent years has become more of a tool for extortion than to protect actual works.

    Why else would the term of copyright be made to span up to seven generations when the commercial value of most copyrights is exhausted in less than 28 years? And why does it get extended another generation every time a certain commercial copyright is about to expire? At this rate a work copyrighted today might not enter the public domain in the lifetime of your great-great-grandchildren, by which time it would be long forgotten and lost forever.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Generally speaking...

    No one here denies that our legal system often reflects the legal system of the European ancestors that migrated here. But that's besides the point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    I am not the one who said "but the law says you aren't harmed". You must have me confused with another commenter.

    BTW, I did say in a comment "Apparently you are unfamiliar..." A response using terms like "clueless" and "retarded" is not exactly good form in any discussion.

     

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    jem40000 (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    Thank you so much Mr./Ms. Anonymous Coward, but this is work I actually do on a daily basis both in the USA, through the copyright law of other countries, and WIPO/Geneva. If you want to come up with hypothetical constructs please go right ahead. I leave it to others to change existing law; I try to use existing law in ways that is outside the norm. Only time will tell how effecticve that may be.

     

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    AR (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Generally speaking...

    "That is they could follow laws of England but they don't have to."

    Exactly. Also where it is specifically addressed otherwise in the constitution, then the English law should NOT be followed at all. As it is with artical 1. sec.8 of the Constitution which supersedes and nullifies (in US law) the despotic law of Statute of Anne.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    That's basically what you said.

    You said "unless you can find a harmed party with legal standing that is denied rights under the law as it exists today" basically the same thing. According to the law I am not a 'harmed party' IOW, the law says I am not harmed. and so according to you my claims to harm are negated by the fact that the law says I am not harmed. That's a nonsense argument.

    "requires that the person bringing suit establish some demonstrable harm"

    Requires that the person bringing suit establish demonstrable harm according to what ... their arbitrary definition of what constitutes harm? No, according to the law. IOW, if they can't then the law says they aren't harmed ...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    That's not what I meant. I meant that you must be new around here because your comments completely lack common sense and miss the point. They keep on arguing what the law is, which is what IP extremist lawyers have traditionally done, missing the point that the current status of the law isn't self justified. We are arguing that the current status itself isn't just. We're not a judge trying to approve the legality of someone's behavior based on existing law, we are a public audience judging the morality of the law not based on the law itself but based on the public utility it provides.

    "I try to use existing law in ways that is outside the norm"

    No, what you are doing has been done by IP extremist lawyers around here a long time ago, it's nothing new and it's absolutely nonsense.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    and I'm still waiting for you to make a valid point. Our current IP laws substantially and very obviously harm the general public, which goes against what the general public should ever allow. I, as a member of the public, am harmed by these laws and so are the majority of us. IP is a privilege, no one is entitled to an IP privilege, and these laws, like any other laws (ie: physical property laws), should be granted only to the extent that they benefit the public. Nothing less is acceptable. Our current laws do far more harm than good. To say otherwise is either very ignorant, utterly delusional, or outright dishonest. and you have yet to address that beyond "well, you don't have a point under the law" which, again, is besides the point entirely.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Generally speaking...

    and, frankly, I don't care about the original intent of IP laws. Even if their intent was to benefit the artists at the potential expense of public utility that needs to change. The original intent is irrelevant. Laws should solely benefit the general public. Benefiting artists as a means maybe OK, but the sole purpose should only be to benefit the general public. Anything less is unacceptable and it is the duty of the general public to demand that the laws be designed to only benefit the general public alone.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    It is my right to freely copy as I please whatever I please however often and in whatever quantity as I please. It is a privilege for someone to have the legal ability to stop me from copying. My rights are being impeded for the sole benefit of someone else and that's unacceptable. No one is entitled to a government established monopoly privilege and they're not entitled to my tax dollars to fund their stupid privileges and its enforcement yet these IP extremists have this false sense of entitlement. My right to copy exists outside and without government, anything the government provides for is a privilege. IP is a privilege, freely copying anything is a right since that exists outside of government. Driving is not a privilege, it's a right, though it's a right I don't mind the government limiting for the sake of public safety. But notice what happens here, I get something in return, public safety.

    I'm sick and tired of government established monopolies. Government established taxi cab, cableco, patents, copy protection, mailbox delivery, etc... monopolies. Practically everything is plagued with anti-competitive laws. NO MORE!!!!! This nonsense needs to end.

     

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    jem40000 (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:18pm

    In Harms Way

    "I, as a member of the public, am harmed by these laws and so are the majority of us."

    I am sure some US Federal Court would be delighted to have you or your attorneys explain to them that you are harmed on a daily and ongoing basis and therefore offer an immediate injunction such that you and those in your representative class are in no way further harmed.

     

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  160.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "That's the entire concept that people miss. If you were to eliminate copyright law tomorrow, people would continue to create."

    Jay, nothing like a little faith based sermon to try to rally the troops. It's not working.

    Re-read my post. Are we or are we not a better place because Lennon / McCartney could write songs instead of delivering milk? Are we not a better place because Springsteen is, well, Springsteen the performer and writer and artist, rather than Bruce the guy working at your oil change place who also plays some guitar from time to time?

    Nobody says people won't create, the question would be quality, quantity, and durability.

    "we don't need to strike a balance. We can do without copyright."

    The problem is that YOU can do without copyright. The rest of us can figured out that there is a balance achieved with copyright that would be lost, and that absent the current system, that a new system with similar parameters is likely to come up.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutionality of copyright Law -- test case?

    (and, in case I have to spell it out for you ... meant back around to your nonsense argument of I'm not harmed because the law says I'm not harmed).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, talk about a collection of red herrings, misinformation, and misdirection.

    " Is that why the Beatles broke up—because they couldn't sue enough bootleggers?"

    No. Just no. Not even relevant.

    Fail.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "In the same manner? What does that mean? A few lucky artists (and I use that word loosely) hitting it mega-big and becoming millionaires? Guess what, that possibility is BRAND FREAKING NEW, it has never occurred before in history, and has only been possible in maybe the last 50 years or so. "

    yeah, it's that magic thing called communication. Up until, what, 100 years ago or so, we didn't even have radio. I cannot claim to be shocked that the increase in communication has boosted careers.

    Further, your just wrong.

    "In 1916, the Mutual Film Corporation paid Chaplin US$670,000 to produce a dozen two-reel comedies"

    (what cost $670000 in 1916 would cost $13253590.38 in 2010).

    I would say that Charlie Chaplin was an artist "millionaire" a long time before your short 50 year period, and certainly before your seemingly short view of history.

    You may want to reconsider your stand.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "one of those things require copyright; their value comes from other places, from being offered a useful or valuable service (commissioned art), inherit rarity (originals are one-of-a-kind, almost by diffinition), and exposure to a specific audience."

    For the most part those things apply to "piece art" such as paintings or sculpture. Those things generally are sold that way anyway. Music, movies, and the like are mass market things, and don't fall under the same system as actual solid "art" pieces.

    Trying to quantify copyright by looking only how it applies to a small part of the community of artists is rather misleading.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    and lets not forget the content of Beethoven, Mozart, among others, all without copy protection laws. and these musicians built on previous content as well, copy protection laws could have very well reduced their success.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:47pm

    Re: Re:

    You don't HAVE to get paid - but copyright defines rights, which in turn can be monetized if you wish. Further refinements have allowed us to come to a collection of accepted slivers of those rights that are sold under terms that apply generally to all.

    Getting paid is a side benefit, but money generally is the lube to any system.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:55pm

    Re: Re:

    "We sometimes wonder why HBO shows are better than most YouTube videos"

    Actually, I don't wonder.

    At one time Cable used to have no commercials and it used to be much cheaper. Now it's plagued with commercials and costs a fortune.

    The biggest reason why broadcast networks can traditionally afford a bigger budget has little to do with copy protection laws. It has more to do with the fact that they benefit from government established monopolies over cableco infrastructure and broadcasting spectra and so they can better monetize their government established monopoly power through advertising and charging people money. It's why bands have traditionally paid to get their content played over radio (they didn't get paid royalties), so that they can use the publicity they make to make money elsewhere, ie: concerts. Even today, bands hardly make money off of royalties, it's through other means that they make money.


    With the Internet more independent artists and film makers are finding success because they now have distribution. Of course it takes time because the community doesn't yet have the experience, but Techdirt has shown that there has been tremendous success among independents so far. This is partly what government established incumbents are really afraid of. Not just infringement, but competition. Competition that they have managed to ban outside of the Internet through anti-competitive laws.

    It's primarily the wrongfully government established monopoly power over these communication channels that give incumbents a monetary competitive advantage. Those government established monopolies should be abolished. Abolish government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies.

    and IP laws, thanks to their one sided penalty structure, that deter restaurants and other venues from hosting independent performers (without paying a parasite third party collection society a fee or else get faced with a potentially expensive lawsuits that could bury the company even if the restaurant could win the case) under the pretext that someone might infringe and laws that deter bakeries from allowing children to draw custom pictures on their birthday cakes because they might draw something infringing like SpongeBob, should also be abolished. It's absolutely ridiculous, unacceptable, and publicly harmful.

     

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    jem40000 (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 11:55pm

    Harm? What Harm?

    To Whomever -- If one can establish and prove genuine harm regardless of what is in current law, you have 2 (I would guess) avenues of recourse: Sue under current law that in someway can be interpreted to redress your harm or find someone in the US House or Senate that would sponsor legislation to redress that harm.

    ... or just keep posting anonymously c/o Mr. Masnick or elsewhere.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Music has been and will continue to be made without copy protection laws. Heck, most musicians don't make most of their money from royalties, they make it from alternative activities like concerts. The only thing the distributor really offers them is access to their government established monopolized communication channels, but that can be fixed by simply abolishing wrongfully granted government established broadcasting and cable monopolies. But with the Internet more and more artists are able to gain recognition through the distribution that the Internet offers without going through these government established monopoly gatekeepers. and this is partly what incumbents are afraid of.

     

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    DandonTRJ (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:12am

    Re:

    He's in Europe. Which you would know if you bothered reading things around here.

    I would recommend putting off beating your chest until you remove your head from your ass.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:18am

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

    I do think that some copy protection laws are a good thing, but our current system is so entirely one-sidedly plutocratic and abusive that I am constantly changing my opinion.

     

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    dcee (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Why not use some kind of welfare for artists related to credits they accumulate in "art" during the year, like in France? No need to copyright everything, just make sure they can live from their art and not be stressed about the next rent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:23am

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

    I can do without copyright as well. I think, if implemented with very strict limitations for a short period of time, it can be a good thing, but I can also do without it.

    and for those who can't, well, they could just find other jobs. It's not my job to sacrifice my rights just to subsidize someone else's career or desire to have 'quality' content. If you want 'quality' content, fund it yourself. Or find a community that thinks like you to help you fund it. But don't sacrifice my rights just to support your arbitrary definition of quality content.

     

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    Ophelia Millais (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Fail." Since you seem to have trouble understanding, I'll simplify it for you. You implied that copyright was a crucial factor in Lennon-McCartney being full-time musicians. But copyright clearly isn't what inspired them to collaborate or remain together or be full-time musicians; certainly if it was the glue that you seem to think it was, they wouldn't have parted ways when they did. And copyright didn't confer riches upon them; they were getting gobs of royalties because their contracts demanded it and their official product was well positioned in the market. The onus is on you to explain how and why copyright law kept them out of the factory when they were together, because frankly, I just don't see it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Laws encouraging commerce shouldn't be passed just for the sake of encouraging commerce. They should be passed for the sake of serving the public interest. Not for the sake of creating jobs. The government can do that by simply hiring people to dig holes all day and fill them back up. Generally speaking, the purpose is to optimize aggregate output.

     

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    Jay (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:34am

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

    Yes, I would argue that you do not need copyright to create. The schemes used now merely prevent someone from their natural inherent right to share information. If copyright is not helping the public,it should be abolished for the social contact with the public is gone.

     

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    Jay (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:36am

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

    Funny, that wasn't a reply to an anonymous ac...

     

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    varagix, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not true, except maybe in the case of selling off originals. Any kind of art can be commissioned; all a commission entails is that the creation fits certain parameters from the commissioner.

    And ad revenue has been a monatizer for mass media for -decades-. Its how television made money back before premium cable and is still a major contributor to television revenue. Many services that distribute content, like radio, and websites such as Youtube and Hulu, make money through advertising.

    And anyways I was just throwing out examples of non-copyright dependant methods of making money. I'm sure there's plenty of others. The point is you don't need copyright to make money off of art. Not unless you're a gatekeeper built up around exploiting it, anyways.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 1:27am

    The Sleeping Giant

    This debate doesn't matter. We can go around and around about the current system and its purpose, but it doesn't really matter.

    The fact is that the laws that govern copyrights and patents were written centuries ago for a different point in human evolution. Technologically we were not moving as fast as we are now nor were we as interconnected.

    As we saw in the SOPA protest, there is a sleeping giant out there and it can wake up if prodded hard enough. Children are growing up on the web now and don't really care about archaic laws that don't fit the real world ( yes there is a world outside of the court system ).

    So if you are an IP maximalist with the law on your side, go ahead and keep prodding the giant. We've seen it's reaction and I'm sure the next few times it wakes up, it won't be as pleasant.

     

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    Just John (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 1:59am

    Re: Generally speaking...

    I think you painting Mike as an extremist shows you have been putting your own spin on his words.

    Mike has never said, at least that I remember, that IP should be eliminated. He has in fact mentioned before that it can, as you say, benefit both the public and the creator.

    His main argument is not how it should be removed completely, but about the erosion of the "public good" that has taken place in modern day IP law.

    Please feel free to go back and review his articles again so you can understand how he demonstrates his viewpoints on how IP law has been completely perverted into "idea ownership", and that was not the spirit it is suppose to be operating under. Also please feel free to state one place, in case I missed it, that Mike has actually stated, ever, that IP should be eliminated completely.

    I have always noted he specifically states that IP has benefits, but that the system has been abused and corrupted. Or do you honestly believe Life + 70 years benefits the public, or the artist dead for 69 years (Or some other arbitrary number of years dead, I just like 69...), in any way, shape, or form?

     

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    Gleep, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 2:37am

    Re: Re: HBO Shows

    Have you seen True Blood? That show doesn't just portray vampires, its like a vampire itself. It should be dead yet its still moving around. I couldn't even get through the first season without wanting smash TV just so I would never have to watch it again. I'd take a YouTube video of a baby dancing in front of a TV over that show any day. Why? Because the YouTube video is shorter and doesn't make me want to cut myself.

     

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    RT Cunningham (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 3:18am

    Unconstitutional

    I've been patiently waiting for the uprising. When the public, whether off or on the net, realizes that the current copyright laws are unconstitutional, heads should roll.

     

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    RT Cunningham (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 3:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    Because buying that stuff from Amazon and iTunes can't be accomplished everywhere.

     

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    Ophelia Millais (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 3:59am

    Re:

    I'll have a go. The quoted footnote doesn't reject the notion that reward to the author is secondary. That notion is the Court's position. Stevens' statement is merely quoting the majority opinion in United States v. Paramount (1948), as requoted in Mazer v. Stein (1954).

    In defense of what I admit is his dubious assertion that copyright law mustn't serve private ends at all, Breyer cites the Constitution, the Court, the papers of Jefferson and Madison, and Congress's own statements about the purpose of the laws it was drafting. These sources, as cited, agree that author reward isn't the primary objective. But in the footnote, the majority points out that such reward isn't precluded, either. (Implicitly:) The law can still grant it, such as through copyright term extension, as was at issue in Eldred...so long as the primary purpose is achieved. Whether term extension actually achieves the primary purpose is another matter.

    So I don't think this footnote contradicts Mike's points at all. Pallante was wrong. Reward to the author is secondary, and it's a means rather than an end. The Court doesn't seem particularly conflicted.

     

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    Ophelia Millais (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 4:13am

    Re: Generally speaking...

    Do you have anything to say in regard to Mike's post, or are you just practicing your ad hominem and straw-man skills?

     

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    bob, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    Why not? Mike rewrites the same posts each time. Blah blah innovation. Blah blah blah piracy good. Blah blah blah Google.

    And yet you repeat the same blather about how humans naturally create. Or really? How many movies are coming out Somalia or any of the other wartorn parts of the world where the rule of law is gone? They don't even make cat videos there.

    While I'm sure some rich person is going to use their spare time to make some heartfelt movie about how some love didn't work out, I think that we have a much wider collection of art because we pay the people who create the things. We let them keep their day jobs.

     

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    bob, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "None of those things require copyright;"

    Dream on. If it weren't for copyright, I would be putting my logo on some of the great art that comes out of the advertising firms running Coca-Cola or Disney or any of the others. If it weren't for copyright, I would let others do the hard work and then wrap myself around their work and tell them it was really cool.

    Copyright prevents freeloaders.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 6:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    and what's worse is not only does the government grant wrongful monopolies on these communication channels (broadcasting and cableco monopolies) they also grant monopolies on the content. They grant monopolies on both content and distribution to ensure that consumers hate little choice but to pay monopoly prices. That's unacceptable. and this is what the government-industrial complex is trying to do to the Internet as well.

    In addition to ensuring that they don't, we need to proactively

    A: Fix our current copy protection laws

    B: Abolish government established broadcasting and cableco infrastructure monopolies. The government has no business granting monopoly power for commercial purposes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If it weren't for copyright, I would let others do the hard work and then wrap myself around their work and tell them it was really cool. "

    Yes, just like it's so easy to copy a good search engine, like Google, and claim it to be your own. It's so easy to copy something without adding much value and convince people that you have added value. It's obviously not.

    Mozart and Beethoven existed without copy protection laws and no one has given someone else the credit. To say that you can simply copy someone and take credit is silly, the public isn't dumb to believe your nonsense when you copy someone. We know who originates it.

    and you're confusing copy protection laws with trademark laws and anti-plagiarism laws. No one here is against anti-fraud laws and anti identity theft laws, but we don't need copy protection for that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re: Let's get THIS straight...

    Perhaps some things the government does may consequently benefit the public but nothing the government does is to benefit the public.

     

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    The Logician (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your argument is inaccurate, bob, because you do not understand that there are already laws in place to handle plagiarism. Copyright law has nothing to do with that and is unnecessary for that purpose. Copyright merely addresses the right to make copies, as its name implies. And to withhold that right from the public for over a century when most commercial benefit is gained within approximately ten to twenty years at most is unethical and goes against copyright's original purpose as written in the Constitution.

    There are certain inalienable rights we have as human beings, and one of them is the right to access our common culture, to share it with each other and to experience it and preserve it for future generations. Only monopolists and those who benefit from the abnormal state in which the law currently exists oppose this natural right. Technology has allowed us to reassert that right, and those who have distorted the law fear this, and the loss of control over our lives, above all else.

    And as a species, humans do naturally create. Consider the following, as Mike has already stated elsewhere:

    User uploads to YouTube are now running at one hour of videos every second.
    Tumblr has over 20 billion posts on 51 million blogs, and each day, over 60 million more are added.
    Content in the form of wikis is being produced in ever-greater quantities.
    • Twitter and Facebook alone have hundreds of millions of users each.
    • Thousands of fan works - stories, art, videos - are created every day
    • Open source software represents yet another form of creativity without copyright

    Copyright in its current state is an anomaly, not the rule. It has only existed for a small part of human history, and a vast amount of creative works precede it. The entire European Renaissance, for example, occurred without the need for copyright, as well as the many works in the centuries preceding it. In essence, bob, creativity is in our very being, and to deny that is to deny reality.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:41am

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    "As a member of the public who's just sitting around waiting to be entertained, I don't think copyright hurts me in the slightest."

    Yeah, you've concluded the latter because you've bought the former hook line and sinker. You're not just someone sitting around waiting to be entertained even if they've convinced you you are. What's worse still than this is they've convinced you that if you're just sitting around waiting then everyone else must be do. We aren't. If you want to believe that you are that's your business and I lament for you but pity is quickly replaced by irritation and anger in the face of your brazen insistence that everyone should sit around waiting to pay to be entertained by whatever is chosen for us.

    The only one arguing that it's an 'us-against-them thing' and it's hilarious that you would suggest otherwise after literally three paragraphs about how 'they' are against you and harming you directly through their adversarial actions e.g. "Those jerks are hurting me." That's an 'us-against-them thing' and you're the one making it out to be that way by trying to put everyone into categories with clear boundaries and no overlap that simply only exist in the narrative you, and those who've convinced you it's true, have created.

    You're really not free to find your own actors and make your own movies as long as the Content Publishing Lobby is continuously waging war on distribution channels they don't directly control. Furthermore when 1st amendment issues are actually raised they're usually about just that, 1st amendment issues: has in censorship 'designed' to curtail piracy end up resulting in censorship of competing products or views but you know this because you clearly read techdirt and the post articles about that every day. This for example.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    "Somalia doesn't make blockbuster summer action flicks so obviously we need to increase copyright enforcement!"

    Do you even listen to yourself anymore?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:49am

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

    Yeah, observing the historic evidence that before copyrights existed art was created and the contemporary evidence that even today art is created under licenses that abdicate almost all of the rights copyright reserves is 'faith based.'

     

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    Watchit (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:52am

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

    My thoughts exactly :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, talk about a collection of meaningless words without any context that do absolutely nothing to address what was said.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "In the same manner? What does that mean? A few lucky artists (and I use that word loosely) hitting it mega-big and becoming millionaires? Guess what, that possibility is BRAND FREAKING NEW, it has never occurred before in history, and has only been possible in maybe the last 100 years or so."

    Do you have an argument that's not just a pedantic point about a number that's only relevance was its size relative to the history of human artistic creation? The difference between 50 and 100 is completely insignificant given that the crux of the argument is that human artists have been creating quite literally for thousands of years.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re:

    Your point being that production values = artistic merit?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re:

    That quote from Eldred is a majority of the Supreme Court less than a decade ago saying that the very position Mike is espousing "understates" and "misses the mark." It directly "contradicts Mike's points."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 8:01am

    Re:

    Again you pretend that a 'public benefit' is somehow one-sided and the 'artistic benefit' is somehow two-sided even though it's patently obvious to any sensible person that the public means everyone as therefor includes every side while the 'artist' in the narrow definition your'e using clearly means only one person and only one side. You've made this intellectually bankrupt argument before and been called on it, maybe after a second time you'll learn from your past mistakes?

     

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    Watchit (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 8:04am

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

    What if there was some other form of incentive for content creators that did not include giving the rights holder a monopoly on that content, would you be more open to the idea? To actually find that alternative is for those more savvy than I.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 8:34am

    Re: Harmed? I'm not harmed by rich artists. I'm made happier

    > As a member of the public who's just sitting around waiting to be entertained

    There's much more to life than being a couch potato.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 8:39am

    Necessity, not avarice.

    Necessity is the mother of invention, not avarice.

    Real artists and inventors are driven to create. They simply don't need encouragement. They do it because that is what they are born to do. They also do it because stuff needs to get done.

    You are confusing the bean counters with the talent.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 8:48am

    Distorting the law again...

    > but copyright defines right

    No it doesn't. There you go lying about the law again and trying to distort and discussion about it in your favor.

    Copyright defines a power of the government. That power is not granted based on the idea of giving money to certain people.

    There is no natural right to copyrights or patents.

     

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  205.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    The Anonymous Pot

    You are the one mentally deficient here, not Mike.

    Mike at least bothers to try and support his claims.

    All you have are childish insults that would get you an F in an inner city public school. Never mind any sort of University or Law School.

    No cites. Not to the law itself. Nor to any of the associated case law.

     

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

  206.  
    identicon
    indieThing, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 8:56am

    Re: The concept of a law

    Thank you.

    Nice to see a sane AC.

     

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

  207.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 9:12am

    Re: In Harms Way

    I can't use my personal property as I see fit.

    Can I have the DMCA revoked now?

     

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

  208.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    The sleeping giant...

    I don't think most people see it as terribly relevant. The problems caused by the distortion of copyright are subtle. Most people don't fully realize or grasp the fact that "Happy Birthday" is suppressed by copyright law. Until the man on the street is feeling some real pain over the situation, there will likely be little motivation to care.

    Prosecuted individuals are few and far between. Most of the public are either unaware or buy into the corporate propaganda that "thieves must be punished".

    I don't think people at large will start objecting until they feel some measure of pain directly.

    This may change as the millenial generation matures and a more distinct "generation gap" opens between Big Content and the population at large.

     

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

  209.  
    icon
    Rob Taylor (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 10:35am

    Numubu = Nu Music Business

    http://www.numubu.com

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLfBXyUgX9w



    I would like to invite you to join me on our new Global music based website called NuMuBu = Nu Music Business this is a free service that is run as a way of uniting all aspects of the music industry, by bringing it all under one umbrella.

    Numubu will also conduct cross promotions and banner swaps for free

    Many world class musicians and performers as well as all other areas of the music industry are already on board this includes countless others that have a passion for all the various different genres of music including the fans, I would appreciate having you listed with us, this is a free site open to all to enjoy.



    What NuMuBu offers to Artists:

    1. Sell more downloads with NuMuBu Coupons


    As a music creator, you may have songs that you'd like to sell. Attaching a name-brand coupon to your song will give your friends and fans savings on everyday purchases thus giving them incentive to pay for your downloads. This patent-pending feature will In essence ask them to spend a little bit of money on your download in exchange for a money-saving deal that saves them many times the amount they'll spend on your download.

    What's more is that every artist needs sponsors. The companies offering the coupons for you to attach to your songs will in essence function as your sponsors in support of increasing your downloads revenue.



    2. Write yourself into the news


    Almost everyone and every business is looking for more publicity. NuMuBu's global news feed is viewable by all members and visitors to the site which means you get exposure to all kinds of people who don't yet know you. Stand up and be counted by regularly posting your songs, updates, tips, photos, events, etc. This will allow you to become more known to the entire network of pros and listeners with the potential of bringing you more opportunities, fans and recognition.



    3. Get more exposure using NuMuBu Live!


    Most artists aim for more exposure to support sales and to get more bookings. NuMuBu Live! allows you to stream live video to the entire planet. This means you can show off your music and your skills by broadcasting live performances, rehearsals, sessions, master classes and anything else you think will help to bring you more attention. It's as simple as pressing "Go" from your profile and with as little as a laptop with a built-in camera. The world is your audience.



    4. Network with the pros


    What better way is there to find bookings of all kinds - offers for online session gigs, performances, collaboration and more. NuMuBu's network includes professionals from dozens of categories, and many of them are big-name award winners, all accessible to you on NuMuBu. Other members may be looking to buy your talents, or they may have the talents you need to complete your projects. Reach out to them and they will reach out to you. And your profile functions as a full-fledged EPK.

    There's lots more you can do on NuMuBu:

    § Sync up your posts with Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and MySpace

    § Advertise products and items you have for sale

    § Get even more exposure with full membership ad space

    § Sell your online session tracks by using the NuMuBu Collaborations feature (coming soon)

    § Engage in real time chat (coming soon)

    and more...




    And finally

    A Quote from Elliott Randall (Steely Dan )


    NuMuBu exists to support artists and their music through patronage, sponsorship, sharing and assistance. Our site aims to provide all of the tools necessary to enable musicians to establish a relationship with those who love music in an effective, lucrative and enjoyable way.

    www.numubu.com

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLfBXyUgX9w

     

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

  210.  
    identicon
    Ricardo Farone, Sr., Apr 11th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    copyrights/patents

    Congress? The Supreme Court? Please! Give the citizens of this nation a break! Most are liberals and could give a hoot about this nation and its existence coming from Almighty God!!! YES...ALMIGHTY GOD

     

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

  211.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Generally speaking...

    If you own a piece of real estate, take a look at your deed and the phrases used to declare the specific type of property interest you acquired. Hopefully, it is "fee simple absolute". Look at probate documents to see what real property interests are transferred to heirs. A life estate with reversion back to the grantor? A remainder interest that invites application of the Rule Against Perpetuities? A life estate to person A, and then to A's heirs, thus implicationg the Rule in Shelley's Case and the Doctrine of Merger? These are just a few examples among many that subsist in most states today, all of which were a part of our common law both before and after independence from England.

    Re your "despot" comment, this is in large measure why the 5th Amendment was enacted. Unlike England, in the US the sovereign can take title to one's real (and personal) property, but only on the condition that the title holder receive reasonable and entire compensation for the property taken.

     

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

  212.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Re:

    Wait, so explain retroactive copyright extensions, then?

     

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

  213.  
    icon
    Ophelia Millais (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hm? Breyer "misses the mark" when he concludes author reward has no place in copyright law, whereas Masnick doesn't say any such thing. And Stevens' selective quoting of previous majorities who said author reward is "not the primary objective of copyright law" merely "understates" the issue; the majority clarifies, without contradicting those previous positions, that the reward's secondary status doesn't mean that it's necessarily outside the scope of copyright law; just that it's (as said) secondary. Or as Mike clearly said, it's part of the method, it's not the purpose. No contradiction there.

     

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

  214.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I gave up faith-based filmgoing long ago.

     

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

  215.  
    icon
    AR (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Generally speaking...

    "this is in large measure why the 5th Amendment was enacted"

    Your starting to get the idea (albeit slowly). The 5th amendment overrules the despotic case law which reinforced the the claims the despot had before independence. Because the issue is specifically addressed in the Constitution (5th amendment), any despotic case law to the contrary is then nullified and irrelevant. just because the law is still active in Englad does not mean it applies to the US

    Now apply this to the discussion. Article 1 section 8 of the US Constitution specifically states that congress has th power to;

    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."

    Because "exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" is not a natural right, or previously granted right, (thus nullifying the despotic statute of Anne) Congress has the power to create that right (but not the obligation to), "for a limited time" (not on into forever), for "the "Authors and Inventors" (not for their heirs like in Anne), and (and this part is KEY) for the purpose of promoting "the Progress of Science and useful Arts".

    Like I said, because it is specifically addressed in the Constitution, any previous despotic case law that contradicts A1, s8 would be nullified and irrelevant. Especially since the founding fathers knew about the statute of Anne and purposely created an entry in the US Constitution to overrule and nullify it.

     

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

  216.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Apr 11th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

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

    There's already a number of incentives given. If you're looking for monetary support, that comes from good Kickstarter campaigns.

    If you're on Youtube, you can make money through Google Adview or working with a licensor.

    Further, you are building your own streetcred. Copyright has always been a subsidy to create works. I doubt you need it any longer. People have found their own way to create, monetize, and distribute their works. The concept of copyright is being distorted to prevent artists from doing this exact thing. If there were evidence of copyright being used to create more works, I would be open to the research. Sadly, I have yet to see that in the last 15 years I've studied copyright.

     

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

  217.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2012 @ 7:23am

    Re: Statute of Anne

    When referring to US Law, you can look to the Statute of Anne for the logical reasoning as to why the framers thought allowing a monopoly for a limited time to the creator would benefit the public in the long term. However the Constitution is the root authority for all US law regardless of where the ideas originated which still doesn't change the point that the authors of the Constitution intended the law to benefit the public above the creator.

     

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

  218.  
    identicon
    ThoughtfulThoughts, Apr 12th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Anonymous Coward

    So, now that copyright law is much longer than a human life span, 110 years, how do you justify your hollow argument?

    Where in the 110 years does the public benefit. After 50 years where does the average author benefit? The original guarantee in the 1700s was 30 years.

    The only thing that has changed between then and now is companies like Disney with lobby groups larger than most corporations, making these laws extend. By the end of the next 10 years I'm guessing that they copyright law will be extended to people further in the future than the country has been in existence.

    The type of argument you are making is at best a farce and at worst an outright lie. The current system is in no way setup to strike a balance between the public good and the promotion of the creation of new ideas.

    Please go lobby elsewhere.

     

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

  219.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2012 @ 5:15pm

    "Further, your just wrong."

    YOUR just wrong?
    Oh, the irony...

     

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

  220.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2012 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Harm? What Harm?

    I buy something and I can't use it for what I buy for, and now I have to sue to be able to use it; otherwise I pound sand?

    You have a very, very fucked up way of how the world works.

     

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

  221.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Cable used to be a lot cheaper because of why cable even exists. It was a way to get news and entertainment to areas that didn't have television stations of their own. Originally, the signals were broadcast from tower to tower, using multiple repeaters to get the programming to a central location. Then the programming would be transmitted to subscribers via copper cable so that more people would have access to news and culture.

     

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

  222.  
    icon
    GSRich (profile), Apr 18th, 2012 @ 12:31am

    Purposive Language vs. Limiting Language

    While I appreciate this article's emphasis on the Constitution's 'to promote the Progress' language, I think it's important to note that the Supreme Court does not necessarily find such language controlling. I refer to the Heller case, where the 2nd Amendment was interpreted. The 'Militia' language in the 2nd Amendment is similar to the Copyright clause. From the text, it would appear that the right to bear arms should be understood only in the context of a Militia, just as the text of the Copyright clause suggests that the exclusive Right to Authors and Inventors should be understood only insofar as it promotes Progress. Nevertheless, the SC recognized an individual's right to bear arms (absent a Militia), and they could just as easily recognize an exclusive Right to Copyrights or Patents that is not limited to a paradigm that promotes Progress.

     

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

  223.  
    icon
    saulgoode (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 3:04am

    Re: Purposive Language vs. Limiting Language

    There is a distinction between the two in that the Second Amendment does not purport to grant the right to bear arms; it prohibits the government from acting to take away that right. If the Second Amendment did not exist and the government did nothing with regard to gun legislation, the citizens would still retain their right to arms.

    Contrast this with copyright and patents, where explicit action is required -- that action being to rescind the rights of everybody except the creator or inventor -- in order for the rights to be exclusive. If the government does nothing with regard to copyrights and patents, the creator/inventor still retain their rights publish or practice, it's just that they wouldn't have the prerogative of preventing others from doing likewise.

    Congress only has the powers imparted by the Constitution; and should it be found that copyrights and patents fail to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts", Congress would be reaching beyond their authority in perpetuating those laws.

     

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

  224.  
    icon
    GSRich (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Purposive Language vs. Limiting Language

    I can't agree that that's a relevant distinction. You're essentially saying that the SA refers to a pre-existing right, and that requires a belief in natural law.

    But without even debating natural law, positivism, etc., it's irrelevant whether the text concerns a positively granted right or merely the acknowledgement of a pre-existing right. The only issue is the scope of the right, and both the SA and the CC contain prefatory language that may or may not limit the scope of the right. The introductory text does not limit the scope of the SA, and it therefore seems reasonable that it may not limit the scope of the CC.

    Cheers

     

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


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