from the dropping-knowledge dept
You are 100% wrong. The primary purpose of copyright is to benefit the public, a fact that has been reiterated by Congress and the Supreme Court, repeatedly:This is such a great comment, that I'm probably going to write some more about it this upcoming week, so stay tuned for that.
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.- H.R. Rep. No. 60-2222
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.
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.
Coming in second was a comment from Killer Tofu responding to the story about the White House hinting at a new SOPA in its annual "IP Enforcement" report. KT had a simple suggestion:
How about the US stop trying to make laws to control the rest of the world. I don't know hardly any Americans at all that like how our government makes us all look like controlling imperialistic bastards.Moving on, we have Jay with a post that he admits upfront is somewhat controversial, but it has to do with the unintended consequences of prohibition -- specifically when it comes to prostitution (the article was about public pressure against Backpage for allowing "adult services" ads).
How about we try to get our own laws in order first. When most of the population doesn't agree with the laws they are trying to pass to control us or anyone else in the world, how about the government consult the people and actually listen. Then we can arrive at much more reasonable laws. It would be a lot better than their current procedure of ask the public for opinions, then ignore everything they hear so they can pass some bill written by a lobbyist instead.
Or, and for the record, even when our laws do become much more reasonable instead of the copyright insanity that exists today, we STILL don't want our government trying to force our views down other country's throats.
I'm going to say a few things that people may not understand. The human trafficking problem is significant, but there really is a solution. If you notice, the problem with human trafficking is the same one we have for drugs, the same one we have for piracy, the same one we had for alcohol...That isn't to say the profession is a good thing, but by making it illegal and pushing it underground, you automatically increase the value to criminal operations, which leads to some very serious problems, such as people being more or less forced into the situation. I don't know that I fully agree with Jay about the "solution," but I definitely think there are better ways to deal with things than the way it's handled now.
It's prohibition. We put more cops on the street to enforce laws and it doesn't help the situation at all. We have people preaching about the morality of these girls being pimped and prostituted while we do very little to help these women get out of their situation. As evidenced by the NY Sex Trade, women can actually do better if they want to go it alone. But the key point here: we're not doing a lot to protect women from pimps or police officers.
If women had a choice to be an escort (or a real estate agent...) and the trade is regulated (ie government taxes it) we could have less women forced into sexual slavery from out of the country. There are a number of countries that have proven this such as Ontario and the Netherlands. If that's to be your choice, the government shouldn't try to punish a woman who they have failed to protect. And they fail to protect these girls, not from the trade, but by creating unsafe environments that can cause them to be jailed for the world's oldest profession or having to rely on pimps that may physically hurt them (although the pimping business has shifted as well since most of the need for pimps in the form of protection are gone)
What we have here is a recognition that our morality can not change what people do on a massive scale. We don't need to continuously attack areas where people congregate to force consumers (of whatever material) to purchase inferior goods. What is sorely needed is a recognition that markets are changing, be it the sex trade or music goods and that the laws might need to change along with our new realities.
Finally on the insightful side, we've got Ed C. explaining that big media has never been about serving customers well:
The sad truth is that big media has never really been about the customers, or the talent. It's about using their money and clout to own media, just so they can control who gets to see it and how. They don't make money by making content. They can't! These middlemen don't have a creative bone in them. They make their money by selling their services, such as reproduction, distribution and advertising, to those who really create the content. For instance, the MPAA studios constantly took movie trailers down from free sites like YouTube. Why would movie productions pay them billions annually to use their mandatory promotional services if they could simply get them from a third party for free? It's the same reason why they don't want anyone else to replace their reproduction and distribution services either. At least not without paying them wads of cash first.Moving over to the funny side of the ledger, the clear winner (by a wide margin) was Dark Helmet's response to Microsoft's nonsensical anti-piracy commercial that involved guys dressed up to camouflage themselves stealing credit cards or copying your personal information:
You see, it's all really about forcing creators and their fans to keep paying the publishers, whether they want to or not.
One time when I got home from the grocery store, pulled the NY Ribeye I bought out of the plastic bag. I inspected it to make sure it was safe, looked at the label to make sure it was from the store brand, and sniffed it to make sure it was real meat, not spoofed almost-protein.Welcome back to the winner's circle, DH!
I then put that steak into a lovely balsamic vinegarette marianade, allowed it to soak for nearly an hour, and then placed it on a clean plate to be peppered with garlic salt and crushed red pepper. Then I took the steak out onto my deck and opened the grill-
AND BICKETY BAM SIX MEN IN HOODIES AND WEIRD ANKLETS POURED OUT OF THE GRILL HATCH, KNOCKED THE FUCKING STEAK PLATE OUT OF MY HAND, AND PUNCHED ME IN THE LEFT NUT.
I died of testicular tortion later that day. And do you know why?
Amusingly, the second place comment, from an Anonymous Coward responding to the same exact ad. In fact, DH's comment that won is actually a reply to this comment. I think that means that DH, the student, has surpassed AC the teacher. The teacher is still pretty damn funny, though:
That commercial makes perfect sense. I recently bought a used couch. Thankfully I did a virus/malware scan before I installed it in my house. I caught three perps that were going to try and pirate my vinyl collection. Piracy is everywhere.Actually, it turned out that a full five of the top 10 comments on the "funniest" list were replies to that same post, so let's go with one more in the editor's choice section. This one comes from Yakko Warner and does a nice job mashing up the Microsoft commercial with another bizarre commercial:
Identity theft, apply directly to the forehead.For the final editor's choice for funny comments, we'll move on to another post, and chose an Anonymous Coward's alternate explanation for the massive gap in books available on Amazon in the middle of the 20th century, where the immediate and massive jump at the 1923 cutoff (any book published before that is in the public domain). It seemed clear that copyright was the issue here, but there are other possibilities:
Loss of data, apply directly to the forehead.
Financial risk, apply directly to the forehead.
Palm slap, apply directly to the forehead.
That's one theory on what's happening.I should note that a few people voted to "report" that comment, which is the sign of a truly good satirical comment. Anyway, get to work on sharpening your wit to see if you can make it into next week's list.
Another, simpler explanation (and the simplest explanation is usually correct) is that every book between 1925 and the first Harry Potter book was garbage and not worth publishing or buying.