Apparently The Purpose Of Copyright: Keeping Our Ancestors' Promise To Noah Webster

from the wait,-what? dept

One would think that an article written by the CEO of something called the First Amendment Center in Tennessee would have, at the very least, something of a nuanced opinion when it comes to the intersection of copyright and the First Amendment in the digital era. We are constantly hearing about the new ways people are discovering art, and we are hearing about how more and more works are being created while more money is being made by artists. If you're a supporter of "free expression," you'd think this would be something to celebrate. Similarly, when you hear of stories of how over-aggressive copyright enforcement is being used to censor speech or shut down criticism, you would think that the head of the "First Amendment Center" would express concern about the attacks on free speech and the First Amendment.

Well, apparently that's not the case. Meet Ken Paulson, aforementioned CEO of the FAC, who last made an appearance on Techdirt way back in 2009 exhorting the virtues of newspapers over internet news organizations. This time, he's back at USA Today to explain to us all what the real cost of pirating media is, and he does so with the kind of revisionist history and myopic thinking world dictators have long dreamed of harnessing. Take, for instance, the outstanding un-logic of his opening in the article.
Nashville's Craig Carothers is a singer-songwriter whose livelihood depends on concerts and CD sales. Yet sometimes, his biggest fans make that job tougher.

"I've had the experience more than once of having someone come up to me and — completely pure of heart — excitedly tell me they bought copies of my CDs when I was last in town and they enjoyed them so much they made copies for 15 or so of their friends," said Carothers.

There goes the revenue stream.
Let me see if I've got this right. Paying customers express to the artist that they enjoyed his music so much that they chose to introduce 15 of their friends to it, thereby widening the fan-base that can then go on to, oh, I don't know, buy more music, go to concerts, and all the rest...and this is a bad thing? This is the myopia of the hardline anti-sharing crowd: all they can see is that someone listened to some music without paying for it. But so what? Before the sharing occurred, these potential fans/customers ostensibly didn't know who Craig Carothers was! This isn't some devil you have to legislate against; it's your market growing. Even as a song writer, who may not get much of a cut of concert or merchandise sales, this is a can't hurt situation. New people are being introduced to the music and those new customers can then be sold to. You simply don't have to make money on every listen for you to reap the benefits of sharing.

But we aren't done.
Virtually every entertainment and media company has been buffeted by the digital revolution, but the music industry was the first to see major economic consequences and a dramatic shift in the buying habits of a new generation. Despite growth in iTunes and other digital sales, many young people continue to see "free" as the appropriate price tag on music.
Let's point out a few things here. First, the "music industry," and the entertainment industry as a whole, are doing wonderfully, particularly in a down global economy. Some specific big record labels may be floundering due to the fact that it isn't 1990 anymore, but that isn't the entire music industry. Secondly, it's an interesting method of logic to acknowledge that the most popular platform on which to purchase digital music is growing in sales and then conclude that people just want free music. I may as well use that logic to my own end, so here we go: as I've gotten older, despite the fact that I've gained some weight and worked out less, I'm even more of a man-hunk than before. Doesn't make sense, right? God I wish it did, though.

In any case, the article then wastes some more words-without-logic before admonishing the general public with these little nuggets of shame.
Noah Webster would not have been amused. Primarily known for his early and influential dictionary, Webster campaigned in the 1780s for copyright laws to protect American authors from theft of their content by printers. The printers of the 1780s were not large corporations. They were small shops that made their living largely by stealing the content of books published in Europe. Webster wanted to make sure his work would not be published without compensation.

Sept. 5 marks the 225th anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution's copyright clause. Advocates argued that ensuring authors were paid would encourage literary arts, lead to a body of truly American literature, unify the nation and demonstrate that the U.S. could be a leader in creativity. This notion of building a haven for creative people was so important that it was ratified as part of the Constitution in 1789, two years before ratification of the First Amendment, which gave us freedom of expression.

I love these two paragraphs so, so much, because of how awesomely pitiful they are. First, chiding the general public by holding up Noah Webster, (that's right, history buffs, his first name wasn't Merriam), is pointless because he lived in a time when rifles were less deadly than mosquitoes. Things may just have changed a bit since the 17-freaking-hundreds. Add to that the fact that the purpose of copyright had nothing to do with making the U.S. a leader in "creativity." This is pure revisionism. The purpose was to encourage learning. The "science" in the "promoting the progress" clause was a synonym for learning, not creativity. That's why the original Copyright Act of 1790 in the US only covered "maps, charts and books." Notice something missing? Oh, right: music. So, if we're going to go all the way back to the original intent and all, shouldn't that mean music doesn't get copyright?

Oh, and that talk about printers "stealing content of books published in Europe," and the claims that Webster wanted to make sure "that his work would not be published without compensation," it's got nothing to do with anything. As we were just discussing, American printers still figured out ways to pay foreign authors, even without copyright. Furthermore, studies have shown that it was the cheap books that American printers were able to make that helped to spread culture and literacy around the US -- which is what we were supposed to be "encouraging" with copyright law anyway.

Finally, I note that last little bit about how the Constitution's copyright clause was written two years prior to the First Amendment. Maybe someone can help me here, but I cannot fathom any reason for making this point beyond associating some kind of dominant weight to the former because it came before the latter. This is an interesting way to view Constitutional amendments, in that it's completely wrong. By this logic, I mean, yeah we repealed prohibition, but prohibition came first, so we should still have it...or something. Along those same lines, some have argued it's quite reasonable to assume that the later clause, the one promoting free expression, supersedes the earlier clause. Though, the real story is that since copyright was really designed to be narrowly focused on promoting one aspect of learning, it had little conflict with free speech. It's only since (due to exaggerated claims like the ones found in this article) copyright expanded massively, as did the tools of production, that we've created a monster in which nearly every written or recorded thing is covered by copyright that the two have obviously come into conflict.

Obvious, that is, unless you're the apparently oblivious head of the clearly misnamed "First Amendment Center."


Reader Comments (rss)

 

Something much more valuable than dollars

"...many young people continue to see "free" as the appropriate price tag on music."

I am getting so fucking sick of this discussion....

Content creators, copyright holders, please, think about this.

Do you honestly think that you are competing for my dollars? Mere money? Really?

You are competing for something much more valuable. My time

Every minute I spend reading your book, or listening to your song, is a minute I am not reading or listening to something else. That's a minute of my life that I will never get back! What do you think that's worth? How do you even put a pricetag on that?

First, you need to grab my attention. Then, if you're lucky I will give you my time. After that, if I like your stuff, there is a chance that I will give you money.

If I don't know about you or your work, what chance do you have of getting my money?

If I don't think your work is worth my time, what chance do you have of getting my money?

I have the utmost respect for content creators. Authors, musicians, film makers, painters, etc, all of you. But you must understand that I don't need you to keep myself entertained.

Your music is not available on YouTube? Oh, I better run to my local record store and buy your.... No, actually, I will probably just listen to something else. I love music, but I can always live without your music.

I can't download the latest episode of a particular TV show for a decent price, in a decent format, without DRM? Oh, I better run and buy the... No, chances are I will just watch something else. There are millions of hours of cat videos online that will keep me entertained for weeks.

You've written a novel and you don't want me reading it for free? You think I'm stealing bread from your mouth by borrowing your book from a friend? That's easily solved. I'll just read something else.

Does that feel better? Me not reading your book? Not listening to your song?

How are you profiting from that?

The truth, that you don't want to accept, is very simple....

If I read your book, you are lucky! There are hundreds of thousands of other books that I'm not reading at that time. I can always get more money, but the time I spend reading your book, I can never get back. Think about that for a minute.

Wether I pay you or not, if I am consuming your content, you should be thankful. And if I give you money, you are one of the lucky few. Because I have plenty of options.

Think about that.
—Stig Rudeholm

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    'printers "stealing content of books published in Europe," and the claims that Webster wanted to make sure "that his work would not be published without compensation,"

    so, according to what he's saying here, it was perfectly ok to steal works from Europe and copy them but a cardinal sin to do the same thing with works produced in the US?

    the guy is a nob! and please tell me what is different in that statement compared to what happens today? everyone involved in the US entertainment industries (and other industries as well, eg Pharmacy) thinks they are entitled to steal whatever they want, to copy whatever they want from whoever they want from wherever they want. the problems arise when they are caught and when the reverse is attempted. that brings in the big ol' green eyed monster and instigates the law suits!

     

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    John Doe, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 8:23am

    Finally, I note that last little bit about how the Constitution's copyright clause was written two years prior to the First Amendment. Maybe someone can help me here, but I cannot fathom any reason for making this point beyond associating some kind of dominant weight to the former because it came before the latter.

    I fall into this line of thinking actually. I feel the 2nd amendment should have been the first, because it guarantees the rest of the amendments.

     

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    Forest_GS (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 8:25am

    Copyright was made with the intention of forcing mankind to further their studies, medicine, and research.

    The current copyright is a complete mess. It is prohibitive to create anything new, because someone could of just thought of the idea earlier and claim your hard work today.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 8:30am

    Re:

    while I agree that copyright is a mess, what you are describing sounds more like patent law (which is probably an even bigger mess)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 8:44am

    "Paying customers express to the artist that they enjoyed his music so much that they chose to introduce 15 of their friends to it, thereby widening the fan-base that can then go on to, oh, I don't know, buy more music, go to concerts, and all the rest...and this is a bad thing? "

    Tim, you need to learn some basic economics here.

    First off, if they have all the music, what music MORE would they buy? Answer: None.

    Second: Concerts? Only a small percentage of fans go to live events, most have lives that don't allow them all the free time in the world, nor the budget to pay for it. I might like 50 or 100 acts, but only got to 1 or 2 shows a year. Most of the acts I would want to see only come to town about once every 4 or 5 years, and then there are only 20k or so tickets available. Not exactly good math for a "fan".

    So I guess we are back to "lotssss of t-shirts"?

    It's sort of sad to see you write a big long piece and then miss sort of the basics.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 8:46am

    I'd like to point out that the 1st Amendment doesn't give us freedom of expression, it ensures the protection of our natural right to freedom of expression. The Bill of Rights wasn't included in the original draft of the Constitution because it was seen by many of the drafters as unnecessary: the constitution is a proscriptive document limiting the powers of the government, rather than manufacturing rights for the populace. This can even be seen in the wording chosen for the first amendment, which addresses Congress, not the People.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 8:46am

    Between the time of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, copyright was the province of the 13 states, 12 of which enacted copyright laws.

    What Webster was lobbying for was a national system vs. a state-by-state system.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 8:47am

    Can I try?

    But, Pirate Mike, can't you see, you freetard? If we don't respect copyright, then all the creativity will go away.

    And it's all because you're a piracy apologist! Stop stealing other people's works and create your own!

    But I know that's too hard because, well, piracy!

    We need laws like SOPA and PIPA because we're losing TRILLIONS of dollars every day! I mean, THINK OF THE CHILDREN! They'll grow up in a world without culture or grocery stores!

    Remember! Grocery Stores are more IP intensive than even computers! You put it up on this site yourself!

    You want everything for free!

    Piracy!

    /End rant

    How'd I do?

     

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    BigKeithO, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    Just because you can't make it to a show doesn't mean that the other fans in this situation can't. It isn't like you are buying up all of the 20,000 tickets yourself. I'm pretty sure these concerts aren't full of empty seats because everyone downloaded the music beforehand.

    And speak for yourself. In the last few years myself and my group of friends have attended more concerts than ever before. Tickets for shows are selling out in hours or minutes, demand is so great acts are booking second and third nights in town. Indie bands are playing to sold out bars and clubs. The concert scene is alive and well in my neck of the woods.

    Sort of sad to see you miss the basics of concerts.

     

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    BigKeithO, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 8:55am

    Re: Can I try?

    Pretty good. These fake troll posts annoy me however. What is the point? Trolls are stupid, we get it.

     

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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:00am

    The nature of copyright

    I agree with Mr. Geigner on a lot. The argument made by the First Amendment Center is easily refutable. I would also like to preface my comments by saying that I agree grosso modo that copyright is broken and isn't accomplishing it's stated goal in many cases.

    That said, a couple things:

    - You're right that the "ultimate" goal (or purpose) of copyright law is the dissemination of works of knowledge and culture. However, the manner in which it is supposed to do that is by securing rights for a limited time in those works encouraging authors to create them. The "ultimate" goal of copyright is exactly as you say; but the operational goal (the goal immediately in the cross hairs of copyright for achieving that ultimate goal) is to see that as many works as possible be created in the first place.

    The way you frame it- securing rights for authors will serve to disseminate knowledge and culture- copyright doesn't make any obvious sense. But in reality the securing of the rights is for the goal of stimulating the creation of new works, not (directly) the dissemination of knowledge and culture. It's a fine nuance but it needs to be pointed out.

    - I disagree as to the argument that, if anything, the first amendment should "repeal" the copyright clause because it came after. This is false. When a law is repealed, it is done so expressly. You don't enact a conflicting law as a tool to repeal an old one. The only reasonable statutory interpretation is that these legal principles must coexist and it falls on courts of law to interpret the often jagged boundaries of these principles.

    Now, the First Amendment Center fellow's argument is equally untenable. He's completely and totally wrong and there's no merit to his reasoning.

    - Copyright has come to cover musical works. This shouldn't be questioned. The more salient question is the contours and limits of that protection. I've done some interesting research on substantial similarity in music plagiarism and the line is far from clear.

    - I'm not sure that the narrow scope you confer on copyright is 100% accurate. The Act has been revised (and I don't mean recently, over 100 years ago) since the inception of the commerce clause). Congress has seen fit to allow copyright to cover what it does. Again, I'm referring to congress well before the birth of the RIAA and other lobbying groups.

    The point is that congress et al. have to get in touch with the 21st century and the manner in which people consume content TODAY.

    Most of the arguments and pity speeches made by the content industry reflect their lack of will to get with the times and take the plunge into a new business model. It's been shown that when a company does so (Apple) they flourish (iTunes). Apple is not a singular example. Netflix is doing rather well. Spotify and alike are breaking ground. I share Mr. Geigner's desire to play the worlds smallest violin for the record execs...

    We have to find a happy medium. One that recognizes the rights of authors int heir creations, but simultaneously recognizes the needs and demands of the public.

     

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    Dreddsnik, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:03am

    Ahhh yes, the FAC. It's too bad Billy Bragg took down the p2pnet/FAC website A2F2A. That was a real eye opener as to the true intentions, and nature of the FAC. We at p2pnet wanted to discuss alternate ways an artist can succeed ( many of them, as Techdirt frequently highlights ) All the FAC members ( the ones that participated ) wanted to so was push an internet 'tax' as an alternative to suing fans. Before A2F2A the FAC had stated that they weren't in complete support of suing fans. When it became clear that those at A2F2A found the idea of another bottomless black box that only the 'featured' would benefit from, the FAC decided to slap us in the face and change their stance, officially supporting lawsuits. During this time it came out that the FAC was actually created by a focus group with the intent to convince people that internet levies were a great alternative to being sued. Fuck the FAC. They now want fans to support their endeavor to get their rights back from their respective labels. The FAC is a phony organization with an agenda.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:03am

    Re:

    > I feel the 2nd amendment should have been the
    > first, because it guarantees the rest of the
    > amendments.

    Well, except for the fact that the amendments aren't listed in order of importance in the first place.

    The Founders made that clear, and the courts have consistently reinforced the point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:06am

    Re:

    Yes, because signing on with a major label to sell music albums on CDs is the best possible deal for musicians in 2012.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:07am

    Statutory Construction

    > I cannot fathom any reason for making
    > this point beyond associating some kind
    > of dominant weight to the former because
    > it came before the latter. This is an
    > interesting way to view Constitutional
    > amendments, in that it's completely wrong.

    Yep. It's completely backward. One of the basic principles of statutory construction is that if two laws conflict, the most recent law controls.

     

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    Ben S (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    So, you are suggesting that no more music will ever be made by a group or band beyond a single CD? Never will another CD be released by this artist? Never will another song be added to iTunes? You are also making the assumption that this *IS* all the music the artist has created, which isn't necessarily the case. There could already be stuff not on any CD yet, or other CD's as well.

    Beyond that, in regards to concerts and such, 15 new fans from the first one means 16 that will be vying for tickets. You said 1 or 2 a year, that's 16-32 a year with 16 fans. While not all of them will be the same band, chances are a few of those will be for that artist now that they have now learned about the existence of.

     

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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    Re:

    He may be guilty of oversimplifying, but there's more to making money in the music business than selling discs these days.

    If we take your economics argument a little farther, you like 100 acts but only go to see 2 per year. The more people hear the music, the more people like the act which increases the chance that they'll go to the show. So, if a band has 1,000 fans and each one shares the music with 10 people (who for the sake of argument like the music and become fans) they now have 10,000 fans. if each of the 10,000 fans likes 100 bands then only a percentage of them will go see the band in question this year. but the pool of people who "may" go see them has grown 10 fold.

    In the event that the people a fan shares the music with don't end up liking the band, no love lost. The band wouldn't have made any money off that person anyways.

    ...and then there are t-shirts...(and other promotional products which also grow the bands goodwill. Other goodies like "celebrity guitar lessons" or "intimate show bookings" are in the mix as well!)

    So you see, there's more to it than album sales. I think that Mr. Geigner would have been hard pressed to include all this in the article and it wouldn't have really been on point...so there you have it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:09am

    First Amendment* Center








    *removal

     

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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:12am

    Re: Statutory Construction

    Your right. That's one principle of statutory interpretation, but it isn't the only one. Also, the laws aren't in direct conflict. By that I mean it isn't as though law 1 says "you must do "x" or you will be punished" and law 2 says "you must never do "x" or you will be punished". In a case like this, then your absolutely right. But come on...even for the biggest 1st amendment proponent that's not the case...

     

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    Thomas, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    Selling someone else's work vs sharing it

    It looks like he missed the biggest reason behind Webster's worries.

    Someone was profiting from someone else's work. This is definitely unethical and what copyright laws should be written to protect.

    It is totally different from sharing work with someone else.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    Re: The nature of copyright

    First of all, thank you for being one of the folks around here who can disagree with portions of articles while being level-headed, reasonable, and on point. A couple of quick notes, however:

    "You're right that the "ultimate" goal (or purpose) of copyright law is the dissemination of works of knowledge and culture. However, the manner in which it is supposed to do that is by securing rights for a limited time in those works encouraging authors to create them. The "ultimate" goal of copyright is exactly as you say; but the operational goal (the goal immediately in the cross hairs of copyright for achieving that ultimate goal) is to see that as many works as possible be created in the first place."

    Perhaps, but we've seen an explosion of content creation in the same age as the explosion of piracy, so I'm not sure this is a point in favor of Copyright or Copyright enforcement....

    " I disagree as to the argument that, if anything, the first amendment should "repeal" the copyright clause because it came after. This is false. When a law is repealed, it is done so expressly. You don't enact a conflicting law as a tool to repeal an old one. The only reasonable statutory interpretation is that these legal principles must coexist and it falls on courts of law to interpret the often jagged boundaries of these principles."

    I had no intention of seriously suggesting that the 1st amendment repealed copyright law. It may LIMIT it, or limit its enforcement, but not repeal.

    Instead, I was pointing out that the quoted source's claim to some importance of copyright over the 1st Amendment because it came first could cut both ways, depending on how you assign privelage to both clauses. The truth is that no such assignment should exist, so the whole point is moot.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    Webster was an instrumental lobbyist is getting those copyright laws in the individual colonies before the constitution. He was pushing for it at the state level before he was pushing for a national system.

     

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    Forest_GS (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re:

    Correct. That's how messed up they are. I'm getting confused pretty badly. >.>

     

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    John Doe, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, I understand that, I was stating that I feel it should have been done in that order.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:44am

    AC: "Hey, I like that song playing on your laptop."

    Bob: "Yeah, it's Craig Carothers. He's my favorite. You really should get a copy of this album."

    AC: "Cool. Here, why don't you copy it to my USB drive so I can listen to it."

    Bob: "I can't do that. It's copyright infringement."

    AC: "Dude, I just want to listen to the whole album to see if I like it."

    Bob: "But that would be against the law."

    AC: "It's just a few mp3 files. Big deal."

    Bob: "No, I'm listening to a CD, see.."
    (opens his satchel to show it's stuffed with plastic discs)

    AC: "You carry things those around with you? Why don't you just rip it to the hard drive."

    Bob: "Because that would be copyright infringement. I'm not a thief."

    AC: "You can't steal from yourself. Besides, isn't that fair use."

    Bob: "Fair use is a lie."

    AC: "So how about lending me the disc?"

    Bob: "The RIAA prefers that you buy your own."

    AC: "Oh? And have you paid a public broadcast license, because I can hear your music playing."

    Bob: "Oh my God!" (quickly hits mute) "I'll write the RIAA a check immediately."

    AC: "It's okay. I think you got away with it."

    Bob: "I'll just listen with the speakers off from now on."

     

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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: The nature of copyright

    I appreciate your reply. I agree that this site could use more respectful and on-point discourse!

    "Perhaps, but we've seen an explosion of content creation in the same age as the explosion of piracy, so I'm not sure this is a point in favor of Copyright or Copyright enforcement...."

    I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, you've hit the nail on the head with regards to why copyright law MUST change to adapt to this new paradigm. Still, copyright (according to the doctrinarians and I agree) is first and foremost an economic right. It's a right for creators to exploit their works for gain. With that in mind, we need to come together and find a way to make sure authors get compensated- not outrageously, but fairly- for their work.

    Not doing this presents certain dangers; namely that if professional artists (and by professional I mean that they survive off their artwork and that it isn't simply a hobby pr passion) can't earn a living, they will be forced to do other things which presents a net loss for society as a whole.

    Now, the other side has overstated this danger. Some would have you believe that "there won't be anymore music" if professionals can't make money. This is false, mainly because of the paradigm shift you rightly alluded to above. Now, you don't have to exercise music as your profession to put out "professional quality" (or damn near close) music. The same can be said for visual arts. Technology has made possible a whole new class of creators which have been coined (not by me) "ProAms" or professional amateurs.

    Unlike the copyrights fundamentalists, I don't think the end of record labels is the end of recorded music- far from it. But I do see the value in maintaining a "music industry" where people can in fact devote themselves entirely to their craft. We should therefore try to find a happy medium between outright piracy and strict adherence to the mœurs of copyright law.

    "I had no intention of seriously suggesting that the 1st amendment repealed copyright law. It may LIMIT it, or limit its enforcement, but not repeal.

    Instead, I was pointing out that the quoted source's claim to some importance of copyright over the 1st Amendment because it came first could cut both ways, depending on how you assign privelage to both clauses. The truth is that no such assignment should exist, so the whole point is moot."

    I agree 100%. I apologize if I mis-characterized what you wrote. As you say it's moot because neither interpretation makes sense in the given context.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    Typical AC drivel.

    Take the premise of the article to its extreme, make ridiculous assertions based on that, and run the other way when anyone disproves said post.

     

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  28.  
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    Milton Freewater, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 10:02am

    Re:

    " I feel the 2nd amendment should have been the first, because it guarantees the rest of the amendments."

    I know right? Establishing it Second means they meant it less than they meant the first one. And can you believe they put abolishing slavery all the way down there? They did it after all of these so it must be less valid.

     

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  29.  
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    Stig Rudeholm (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 10:03am

    Something much more valuable than dollars

    "...many young people continue to see "free" as the appropriate price tag on music."

    I am getting so fucking sick of this discussion....

    Content creators, copyright holders, please, think about this.

    Do you honestly think that you are competing for my dollars? Mere money? Really?

    You are competing for something much more valuable. My time

    Every minute I spend reading your book, or listening to your song, is a minute I am not reading or listening to something else. That's a minute of my life that I will never get back! What do you think that's worth? How do you even put a pricetag on that?

    First, you need to grab my attention. Then, if you're lucky I will give you my time. After that, if I like your stuff, there is a chance that I will give you money.

    If I don't know about you or your work, what chance do you have of getting my money?

    If I don't think your work is worth my time, what chance do you have of getting my money?

    I have the utmost respect for content creators. Authors, musicians, film makers, painters, etc, all of you. But you must understand that I don't need you to keep myself entertained.

    Your music is not available on YouTube? Oh, I better run to my local record store and buy your.... No, actually, I will probably just listen to something else. I love music, but I can always live without your music.

    I can't download the latest episode of a particular TV show for a decent price, in a decent format, without DRM? Oh, I better run and buy the... No, chances are I will just watch something else. There are millions of hours of cat videos online that will keep me entertained for weeks.

    You've written a novel and you don't want me reading it for free? You think I'm stealing bread from your mouth by borrowing your book from a friend? That's easily solved. I'll just read something else.

    Does that feel better? Me not reading your book? Not listening to your song?

    How are you profiting from that?

    The truth, that you don't want to accept, is very simple....

    If I read your book, you are lucky! There are hundreds of thousands of other books that I'm not reading at that time. I can always get more money, but the time I spend reading your book, I can never get back. Think about that for a minute.

    Wether I pay you or not, if I am consuming your content, you should be thankful. And if I give you money, you are one of the lucky few. Because I have plenty of options.

    Think about that.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re:

    Your math is good in a straight line, but doesn't work out in reality.

    See, there is a problem that rarely gets discussed here: The population is actually a limiting factor. Even in a place with 1 million people, there may only be only a very small percentage of people who are even into that type of music and can be a fan of the band. You can get the gist of it by checking out the listenership of your local radio stations by music / content type.

    There are not an infinite number of fans.

    The biggest problem with your whole deal in the end is that adding fans (especially casual "someone gave me the CDs" type fans is that they may be less inclined to spend money to start with. Are they FANS or just fans, or even just "enjoying the tunes"? How big of a pot of these people do you have to get to sell a single concert ticket?

    "...and then there are t-shirts...(and other promotional products which also grow the bands goodwill. Other goodies like "celebrity guitar lessons" or "intimate show bookings" are in the mix as well!)"

    Finally, this is the biggest misdirection of all. First off, I have enough t-shirts to last me 3 lifetimes already. I am not dying to buy more band shirts. In fact, the vast majority of shirts in my collections were given away. How odd! The "guitar lessons" and "intimate evenings" deals are misleading for so many reasons. First off, they would have been available anyway if the artist wanted to do them. Now they are FORCED to do them to make money. Further, the entire deal is predicated on a small number of people spending a whole lot of money, in order for everyone else to get free music. It's a business model that is likely to fail if that one person doesn't show up and spend money, or worse, that one person figured out they are being taken for a ride.

    "So you see, there's more to it than album sales."

    There always has been, I don't think anyone argues that. What is misleading is to suggest that it wasn't there before, or is somehow making up for lost music sales. They were doing it before, they are doing it now, they are just doing it with 5 billion a year less music sales. It explains why concert tickets have gone up so much, driving concert attendance into the same category as flying first class on an airline. Most people will never do that anymore, either!

     

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  31.  
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    Milton Freewater, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    What a weird article

    The article is supposed to be about illegal downloading - it's called "The Cost of Free Downloads" and it uses the phrase over and over.

    And yet, the "feature lede" at the beginning has nothing to do with downloading.

    And then it brings up the whole David Lowery thing, which ALSO has nothing to do with illegal downloading.

    The article isn't saying every free copy is illegal ... it's saying every free copy is downloaded. It's not incorrect, it's incoherent.

    What is about this subject that makes copy editors check their brains?

     

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  32.  
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    Lord Binky, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 10:17am

    You only begin to losing revenue...

    When you stop working, that's when you're cashing out on what you have built up to that point. You have 15 more fans to buy the NEXT thing you produce, so your make MORE money than was possible the last time you sold whatever. You only lose out on those 15 new fans, when you don't go on to make something for those 15 fans to purchase, at which point not making more money is because you stopped working, at which point someone's starting to sound entitled for expecting to recieve constant money for work they have already done.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    It's not about thinking of the idea first, it's about convincing a judge that you thought of it first. Which is why it's a huge mess when we have people patenting imaginary concepts and well-defined algorithms instead of ideas and inventions.

     

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  34.  
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    John Doe, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re:

    Can there really be this many people who don't understand what they read? I was stating that I felt it should have been in order, not that it was. Had you read my response to the first reply you would understand that. Please, stop & think before hitting the submit button.

     

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  35.  
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    Ezekial, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re:

    I on the other hand cant understand why ANYONE would want to go to a concert. You fight traffic for hours, wait in long lines to get in and to get mech and refreshments, then you sit or stand crammed in with 20,000 other hot, sweaty, stinky people who scream (which interrupts the song) and yell and stand up the whole time so you cant see the concert. In addition they sing along loudly with the band. I paid to hear the band sing, not a bunch of stoned idiots in the crowd sing the song. No thanks

    Id rather have a way to buy a CD and listen to it in the comfort and quietness of my home to support my bands

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re:

    "Take the premise of the article to its extreme, make ridiculous assertions based on that, and run the other way when anyone disproves said post."

    See Mike's entire post about the German linking law being proposed.

    I think you need to go call him out for it.

    Either that or just give it up.

     

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  37.  
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    Beech, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re:

    There are 2 options. 1) Guy's friends never hear the artist. total money spent on artist: $0
    2) Guy's friends get free burned CDs. money spent $0

    So really it's a break even for the artist, until you count that having more fans is more good than less fans. If even one of the friends likes the artist enough to buy a ticket, or a tshirt (oh noes), or pledge to a kickstarter campaign, its money the artist wouldn't have had if the friend wasn't a dirty pirate.

    Personal example: I love the New Pornographers. Heard them from a college roomate who pirated them from someone who pirated them from someone else. Now, if it weren't for the dirty coven of dirty pirates, i NEVER would have heard of my favorite band. Money I would spend on a band I've never heard of: $0. Money the band earned because pirates gave me the money: $0. Break even.

    Now it gets fun. The problem with the way people like in the article think is that they don't count fans as a resource. Having fans makes you money, if you can leverage them correctly. It's like bitching that you're broke when you live on top of a gold mine, but all your gold is in the mine and you cant be bothered to get it out. Now, since my introduction to the band at the hands of piracy I've bought every one of their CDs I've been able to find, so right there, they made money THANKS TO DIRTY PIRATES STEALING THEIR MUSIC. They came to town a year or so ago, and I went. I talked a bunch of my friends into going. We all bought Tshirts (oh noes! tshirts bad!). So, people kicking one of their albums around for free turned me into a fan, which made the band a bunch of money off of me. Money they would not have had if it weren't for piracy. I know it's getting redundant, but you seem thick enough to need it.

     

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  38.  
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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's why I don't go to arena shows.

    Concerts are all about the venue...We have some great ones here in Montreal!

     

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  39. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Pirate Mike's B Squad Strikes Again

    You know what's really pitiful? That people actually think the way you do.

     

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  40.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe you attend the wrong concerts. Perhaps you should try Peter, Paul and Mary.

    Puff that magic dragon!

     

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  41.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    Re:

    First off, if they have all the music, what music MORE would they buy? Answer: None.

    Wrong. I did that with a few groups already. I may be a lone example in the whole humanity but the very fact I exist already makes your answer invalid.

    Second: Concerts? Only a small percentage of fans go to live events, most have lives that don't allow them all the free time in the world, nor the budget to pay for it.

    Wrong again. I'm having a damn hard time to buy tickets for a few shows here, specially the ones with cheaper tickets (but the more expensive ones are being sold out fast too). The budget part is the main reason I don't go to more live shows.

    I might like 50 or 100 acts, but only got to 1 or 2 shows a year.

    Welcome to reality, artists must fight for that scarcity. But remember that if 100.000 go to 1 or 2 shows per year then there's a public of up to 400k ppl that can go to your show if you are good enough.

    Most of the acts I would want to see only come to town about once every 4 or 5 years, and then there are only 20k or so tickets available. Not exactly good math for a "fan".

    Good thing you don't answer for the behavior of all humanity.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: The nature of copyright

    we need to come together and find a way to make sure authors get compensated- not outrageously, but fairly- for their work.

    It is not the job of legislators to ensure that someone gets paid for pursuing a career. If someone's work is worth paying for, people will pay for it. Of course, in an age where digital goods can be sent across the globe almost instantaneously and for almost zero cost, making your music or films worth paying for involves more than merely creating them.
    Not doing this presents certain dangers; namely that if professional artists ... can't earn a living, they will be forced to do other things which presents a net loss for society as a whole.

    If their business models are insolvent, they should go out of business. Protectionism is not the solution.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    5 billion? I can't think of any billionaire artists. Care to expand upon that?

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re:

    Perhaps I am mistaken, but I have not seen any documentation that Webster was involved in state lobbying.

    The encouragement for state laws associated with copyright was recommendation to the states by the Continental Congress at or about the time the Articles of Confederation entered into force.

    Webster's name appears in the historical record with which I am familiar in association with federal powers under the Constitution.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Total recorded music industry in 2000 was about 11 billion. Total recorded music industry (including all online digital sales) in 2010 was under 5 billion.

    So somewhere between 5 and 7 billion dollars disappeared out of the ecosystem.

     

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  46.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    This comment is beyond any award of internets. I'd give +1000 but it wouldn't be fair.

    Bob's world must be sad and silent =(

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re:

    "Wrong. I did that with a few groups already. I may be a lone example in the whole humanity but the very fact I exist already makes your answer invalid."

    So you are saying you have a perfectly good copy of a CD, all of the music, everything that comes with it, in good quality, and you turn around and re-buy the CD? For what purpose?

    "Wrong again. I'm having a damn hard time to buy tickets for a few shows here, specially the ones with cheaper tickets (but the more expensive ones are being sold out fast too). The budget part is the main reason I don't go to more live shows."

    Not wrong, you make both my points. Most of us don't have the time, don't have the money, and don't have the ability to get to the very limited number of concert dates that come available in our area. The pricing on shows now makes it pretty much impossible for the average person to go to a show. Why? Because the artist have to make all their money here. Your concert ticket price in part covers what wasn't made on music sales.

    "Welcome to reality, artists must fight for that scarcity. But remember that if 100.000 go to 1 or 2 shows per year then there's a public of up to 400k ppl that can go to your show if you are good enough."

    Again, the math sounds good until you realize that for each musical gendre, there is only a small subset of the population that will be interested enough to even consider the event. While they may have in the past considered just buying your CD and enjoying your music, they are now on a more of an all or nothing thing - buy expensive concert ticket, or nothing. Most choose nothing.

    "Good thing you don't answer for the behavior of all humanity."

    I don't claim to, nice strawman. I am only pointing out that the numbers don't add up. More importantly, you know the numbers don't add up because you don't see anyone doing it that way.

     

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  48.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Re: Something much more valuable than dollars

    And you get +1000 internets for insightful. Also, I spent my time reading your comment, congratulations!!!

     

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  49.  
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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The biggest problem with your whole deal in the end is that adding fans (especially casual "someone gave me the CDs" type fans is that they may be less inclined to spend money to start with. Are they FANS or just fans, or even just "enjoying the tunes"? How big of a pot of these people do you have to get to sell a single concert ticket?"

    I think There are a lot of these people. I'm one of them. I admit that I'm a bit more of an audiophile than your average joe, but my friends and I share music all the time. I hardly think my little circle is unique. I've gone to concerts on the strength of a few songs heard on Grooveshark or someones iPod, let alone whole albums.

    I agree that there aren't an infinite number of fans. If there are 1 million people, only one in one thousand need take enough interest to head to a concert hall for the a band fill up a decent size room or field. No one said this music career thing was easy! You need to have appeal and you need to sell your product. If the product is the music, then artists must realize that the proportions of the revenue streams have changed.

    A common misconception is that if you're not selling out arenas, you're not living off your music. This is false! You don't need to sell out a 20,000 or even 2,000 person hall on a nightly basis to put food on the table and pay the bills. I used to gig semi-regularly. Some of my colleagues would play 4-5 nights a week and never to a group bigger than 500 people. They aren't rich, but they're happy making their living off their original music (and the odd cover tune...)

    " First off, I have enough t-shirts to last me 3 lifetimes already. I am not dying to buy more band shirts..."

    Well that's cool. Except I think you missed the point. T-shirts is a synonym for merch. in this context. Stickers, patches, hoodies, posters and other artwork (very big, particularly at festivals) etc. It seems you underestimate the ability of bands to find novel promotional merchandise.

    As for the intimate performances and lessons etc., the whole goal for the professional musician is to make money! I don't see how being "forced" to give smaller unplugged converts or guitar lessons (things that are right up the alley of many gigging musicians anyways) is different from being "forced" to record an album. In both instances the artist is furthering their career and making money through the exploitation of their craft. Again, I speak from experience here when I say that many musicians teach anyways. The ability to parlay your artistic fame into being able to charge a little more for lessons is not coercion...it's business.

    I never said these avenues haven't always been here. Indeed they have. The difference is that they should and are being given more importance now that another revenue stream, record sales, has dried up significantly.

    None of this is to say that artists can't or shouldn't still try to sell their music. In fact, it's easier to record, produce and distribute music now than ever before. So much so that for between $5,000-$10,000 of equipment and a little knowhow, one can accomplish what used to take a million dollar studio and experienced engineer and producer. Pro tools to the rescue!!!

    Finally, it's true that the price of top bill artists has gone up significantly. I find it to be a little ridiculous actually. That said, small and medium level artists are not charging exorbitantly for their shows.

    For example, I saw Reel Big Fish when I was 15 (I'm now 25) for $35. They're currently charging in the $40-45 ballpark. An increase, yes, but hardly outrageous. A fan (not only a FAN) may very well pay that price. And we're not talking about nobodies here. While they aren't a top bill act, they're a well established band with a well established and loyal fan base.

    This is all to say nothing about other more minor revenue streams like the sale of sheet music and royalties collected by copyright collectives.

    I think your view is heavily predicated on the outdated perspective that for an artist to make it- and by make it, I mean make a living off their music...or more- they need the muscle of a record label and music publisher with a complaisant population who will consume as they are told. With respect, I don't think this accurately reflects reality.

    Musicians have to view their craft as a business. When one revenue stream fails, you redouble your efforts in others. Thinking outside the box and hard work is critical, but it can be done!

     

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  50.  
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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    Yeah...if you believe in Natural Law Theory...That's but one of several schools of thought in the philosophy of law. It's a popular one, but it isn't the leading one (still legal positivism).

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That was me. I stopped buying music when the recording industry started suing innocent people.

     

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  52.  
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    Simple Mind (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Something much more valuable than dollars

    If there was a [send money] link, I'd drop him a quarter.

     

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  53.  
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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The nature of copyright

    Well it's clear that you're political philosophy is Libertarian (or Libertarian inspired).

    This is one way to look at it. It isn't the wrong way, but to suggest it's the only way is disingenuous. I think the copyright clause implicitly means that the founders of the United States thought that the promotion of sciences (including what we would call the arts) and the useful arts (which we today would be more likely to call sciences...) is a worthwhile endeavor regardless of what the free market has to say.

    I know the Ludwig von Mises' and Murray Rothbards of the world may disagree, and that's fine. I just want to espouse the point of view that there are certain principles that a may society values that trump the point of view you seem to be a proponent of. I would further suggest that the United States is one of those societies. After all, nobody gets behind the view that if music can't be profitable there should be no music...

     

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  54.  
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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The nature of copyright

    "principles that a may society values... "

    oops...

    I meant: "principles that a society may value"

     

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  55.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can get the gist of it by checking out the listenership of your local radio stations by music / content type.


    Not where I live. Where I live, radio is for "old people" (30+ years old, mostly 50+ years old). When you look at the available radio stations, you only see one or two that plays music of interest to the sub-30 crowd.

    And yet, there is a huge and vibrant market for the sub-30 crowd. Concerts sell out, local venues pack 'em in, and so forth. They just don't listen to the radio, to the radio market doesn't cater much to them.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can read more about it at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1941506

    He first succeeded in getting Connecticut to give him a publication monopoly, and then went around to the other states and prominent people to make it happen elsewhere.

    Here's the relevant quote from the paper:

    "By early 1784, several northern states had passed copyright laws similar to Connecticut’s...In the spring of 1785, ...[Noah Webster]... embarked on a national tour with the dual purposes of promoting his spelling books through public lectures and personal meetings, and lobbying for the passage of copyright laws in those states that had yet to establish them. ...Biographer Richard Rollins asserts that “virtually every important figure in the new nation’s public life appeared in the pages of Noah Webster’s diary” during the time of his travels, among them George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, Tom Paine, Benjamin Rush, and John Adams. These influential acquaintances praised his patriotism and work toward the creation of a national language and were instrumental in his efforts to encourage the southern states to pass copyright laws. Among a wealth of letters addressed to his new political allies, Webster wrote to Washington in December of 1785 to thank him for his help in securing copyright laws in Virginia. By the time his southern tour concluded in the spring of 1786, all but the state of Delaware had established some form of copyright laws.

     

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  57.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not speaking for Ninja, but I do the same thing as him, so I'll chime in...

    So you are saying you have a perfectly good copy of a CD, all of the music, everything that comes with it, in good quality, and you turn around and re-buy the CD? For what purpose?


    Who said anything about CDs? I don't want CDs, I want the music.

    But I have received complete song collections of artists from friends, and then purchased the same music again because I enjoyed the work and it's the right thing to do. Even if I didn't, though, the artist continues to make new music that I don't have and I purchase that.

    The bigger picture is this: without free distribution of some sort, I would never have heard the artist's work in the first place, and would never have purchased anything.

    Most of the new music I've purchased in the last several years is music I've heard directly through a friend, music that was distributed in some form via YouTube, or music that was discovered by an AI-based crawler I use that looks for music on the net that I'm likely to enjoy (really!).

    In this day & age, I'm not sure how else to even know what new music exists.

     

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  58.  
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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And this is the reality upon which a modern copyright law should be modeled!

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not sure where you're getting your numbers from, but a cursory glance at the IFPI's 2010 numbers aren't jiving with what you posted here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_music_industry_market_share_data

     

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  60.  
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    monkyyy, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    im sorry but i have no intention to keep my ancestors promises, much less ones im that not actually related by blood to

     

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  61.  
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    MahaliaShere (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Something much more valuable than dollars

    Well said. What copyright holders like to believe is that they have a right to dictate to others what content people should have access to. Promoting the progress by being given the legal right to stop someone else from progressing? Nope.

    As an individual it is my natural right to decide for myself what knowledge or entertainment I acquire. No one else decides for me and I don't recognize anyone as having the right to do so. I am not breaking into anyone's home or business and taking physical things. I am not hacking/cracking into anyone's computer and lifting the contents of their hard drive. I don't have a device that's able to break into the mind of a creator to "steal" their thoughts and ideas.

    Show me an artist who doesn't want me acessing their work in a way most convenient to me, and I'll show you lost potential fan. Not that I'd want to anyway if they belong to a major label, a big six publisher, or simply hate that people can choose not to support them.

    I've largely stopped listening to RIAA-label represented music, stopped going to the theater, and read free ebooks made available directly from the writers. And there's still no shortage of content. All without file sharing a single byte. Imagine.

     

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  62.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    I read that article, made me think of a Techdirt rebuttle

    Glad you covered this, because when I got the USA Today and read it in an airplane, I nearly used the barf bag.

    And by "got the USA Today", of course I mean "stayed at a hotel".

    Apparently, there is some value to someone in putting a free newspaper in front of every door, every day.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    oh. you mean when people were all done rebuying the music they already owned (on cassette and vinal) in CD format?

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Something much more valuable than dollars

    blah blah blah, you think your time is what they want?? lol, no its your money, they could care less if you read the book, listen to the album, it is and always will be about your money

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 5:17pm

    The problem is that big media is used to people not being able to copy and now that anyone can they keep trying to legislate morality and then get pissed when it turns out people won't think copying is immoral and stop just because there's a law agaisnt it.

    The music industry needs to face the reality that copyiing isn't naturally seen as evil and will not be seen as such by normal people

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    Re: What a weird article

    Someone pirated the copy editors brains and thanks to those dirty theives they not have brain to think gud

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 9:53pm

    Re:

    "I feel the 2nd amendment should have been the first, because it guarantees the rest of the amendments."

    Your fantasy amuses me.

     

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

  68.  
    icon
    Stig Rudeholm (profile), Aug 25th, 2012 @ 3:01am

    Re: Re: Something much more valuable than dollars

    "blah blah blah, you think your time is what they want?? lol, no its your money, they could care less if you read the book, listen to the album, it is and always will be about your money"

    What you're saying is not wrong. At least not always. But it is completely irrelevant.

    If I'm going to spend money on a book, I have to at least believe it is worth my time to read it, even if I end up never actually reading it. Plus, spending time purchasing a good is also spending time. That's why convenience is so important. Make me jump through too many hoops to buy your stuff and I just won't bother.

    Attention and Time are scarce resources, indeed. Content is not.

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    Modplan (profile), Aug 25th, 2012 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The nature of copyright

    Copyright law is fundamentally based on the assumption of high costs of production combined with less powerful authors, artists etc. who want to get their works printed in significant numbers.

    I'm not sure how copyright guarantees the creation of works "regardless of what the free market has to say", seeing as it only allows for you to stop others copying and selling the work, allowing you to both maintain higher prices and at least attempt to capture more money from those who want to use it or produce it. At some level it is still subject to the free market in that there has to be someone willing to pay that price, it is merely distorted so that only the copyright holder is allowed to copy and sell work even as it is widely available.

    It is also fundamentally a right granted to promote the creation and dissemination of works, though not the only one and in some (perhaps many) cases not even the most significant. It also does not ensure artists get paid fairly - a goal that doesn't make a lot of sense. Does someone who gets paid $1,000,000 for a single song fair compared to someone who gets paid a comparative pittance despite consistently recording and performing their works? Here you see that regardless of copyright or not, the market always has something to say, "fairness" be damned.
    We should therefore try to find a happy medium between outright piracy and strict adherence to the mœurs of copyright law.

    Which will never happen without a severely locked down society where every device you own has spyware on it that checks you are authorised to listen or to watch or to play. Piracy is rampant and has been for some time. That hasn't stopped artists earning a living doing their craft, nor can it be said that is has decreased the artists earning a living doing their craft. It can't even have been said to have significantly damaged the established industries.

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The nature of copyright

    I am totally not a libertarian (being s 'dirty European socialist liberal commie', or something...) but I do agree that no-one 'deserves' an income any more than anyone else, so why should content creators be guaranteed any more income than anyone else? At most they could argue to get 'welfare-level' compensation, or minimum wage...

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Something much more valuable than dollars

    Your time is worth your money, so if they want my money, they need to make my time worth it. Plus, my time might actually be worth it to them if they had a clue, if I were to get other people to devote time and money to their product, instead of to other things.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    but one would have to agree with your statement. something i do not.

    freedom of speech/religion/press and assembly will always be the most important part of the bill of rights.

     

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


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