Just As Many Musicians Say File Sharing Helps Them As Those Who Say It Hurts

from the and-guess-which-way-that's-trending... dept

We've discussed in the past that the Future of Music Coalition was putting together a fantastic artists revenue streams project, in which they sought to look at the myriad ways in which musicians make money today. FMC has been releasing bits of data from the project here and there, but now TorrentFreak has alerted us to a big analysis of the data done by Northwestern Law professor Peter DiCola, entitled Money from Music: Survey Evidence on Musicians' Revenue and Lessons About Copyright Incentives. It's worth reading in its entirety.

TorrentFreak highlights one key point: which is that of the surveyed musicians a mere 6% of revenue comes from the sale of licensed music. We've long argued that music sales make up a minority of the revenue artists make, so it's good to see some support for that. Of course, the report notes that different types of musicians make money in different ways, so this does not mean that the 6% number applies across the board to all musicians. There certainly are some musicians who make a large percentage of their income from sales. But the key point is that those artists are in the minority, and focusing solely on music sales and changes to that market gives you a very distorted picture of how artists are making money, and the impact of things like a decrease in revenue from music sales.
There is plenty of interesting data in the report, but one thing that struck me concerned the artists' general attitudes towards technology. It's mixed, to be sure, but some of the often-repeated claims by some maximalists don't appear to be true. For example, we hear stories that part of what's so unfair with the system today is that the artists are "losing control" over their works, but many artists don't agree with that at all, recognizing that technology means they have a lot more control over their works. The difference, of course, is that the complaints about "loss of control" were really more driven by the old gatekeepers -- mainly the major record labels. For them, it's true that they really have been losing control, but much of that control has actually moved back to the artists (and, yes, much of it has also gone to fans). But for artists who were outside of the major label system, it's often meant much more control over their own careers.

The end result is that artist attitudes towards technology and its impact on their careers is really mixed. In many cases, on key questions -- it seems like artists are almost equally divided. You can see that in the chart below:
From this chart, you can actually see that just as many artists think that file sharing has helped them as think that it has hurt them. Remember that the next time someone claims to be speaking for all artists' attitudes on these kinds of things. If I had to guess, it seems likely that trends are moving more towards artists recognizing the benefits of such things -- but I could be wrong about that assumption. I guess we'll see the next time they do this survey.

The report also looks closely at how much copyright really impacts an artist's income. To hear some talk about this stuff, without copyright, there would be no way for artists to make money at all. However, as we've argued over and over again, many revenue streams have nothing to do with copyright, and the report bears this out. As noted above, direct sales only account for 6% of income on average, but the report digs in even more and looks artists across different income levels and genres, showing both differences across those different slices, but also confirming that there are many different revenue streams:


Those charts show some differences, including that higher earning musicians do tend to rely on copyright more, but it's still a relatively smaller part of their income than other sources.

Putting it all together, DiCola created this wonderful chart that looks at copyright- vs. non-copyright income across different income levels and genres:
Really interesting stuff. Not surprisingly, composers rely on copyright quite a bit, as they tend to get a significant chunk of revenue from licensing efforts. But even they still tend to rely heavily on income that is at best, indirectly related to copyright. All in all a very interesting read, as you begin to realize that the primary story usually told -- that artists all rely on copyright and that infringement is clearly a bad thing -- isn't necessarily true across the board.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Michael, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:57am

    Distorted numbers

    These numbers are completely distorted. As soon as you add in the grocery store employees and their reliance on intellectual property you will see that it is critical to the world economy.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    "Remember that the next time someone claims to be speaking for all artists' attitudes on these kinds of things."

    I like this line in the article, you might as well have directed it directly at AJ, bob, out_of_the_blue, ethicalfan, etc.

    Seeing as how they are all speaking directly on behalf of the artists from their comments. Yet none are artists themselves. Well, better said none are artists themselves insofar as providing ACTUAL proof and evidence of being an artists.

    Because as we all know, any of us can make wild claims on the internet. Guess what guys? I'm an artist too. I have videos of myself playing music, I've also got the tablature for songs I've written (all completely original), etc. I'm also a writer too. I'd gladly share any and all of what I do creatively, I'm not afraid to do so like some. There's nothing to pirate to be honest. Nor do I feel I'm that creative, although some people who know me would beg to differ. But note this, that's the key difference between myself and some of you "alleged" artists. I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is and back up my assertions. Rather than say, "I'm an artist. I'm hugely known. I'd tell you who I am, but you thieves would just rip me off. So you'll just have to take my word for it." Yeah, that really lends credibility to your outrageous claims.

    Per the article though, more of the same for those with a clue. The "but the artists" claims tend to be by those who want to put words in the artists mouths and/or exploit them to try and maintain the status quo. Funny how exploitation is horrible when done by the fans, yet perfectly acceptable when done by the need to make a buck... for the record labels (aka gatekeepers/middlemen). Where is your moral outrage then, kids? Oh that's right, it's shielded by an incredibly thick layer of hypocrisy, which is itself protected by a suit of irony. [shrugs] Them's the breaks.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:19am

    Re:

    Seeing as how they are all speaking directly on behalf of the artists from their comments.

    I never claim to speak for the artists. My position has always been that people's rights should be respected and that we all have the duty not to violate other people's rights. If artists want to embrace copyright, I support that and I'm against anyone who violates those rights. If artists chose to forgo copyright, I support that as well.

     

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  4.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re:

    I support that and I'm against anyone who violates those rights. If artists chose to forgo copyright, I support that as well.


    If a majority of the population supported abolishing copyright would you support that also?

    Just curious.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    TorrentFreak highlights one key point: which is that of the surveyed musicians a mere 6% of revenue comes from the sale of licensed music.

    No shit Sherlock, that's because everyone is ripping them off. Duh.

    When artists want people to just take their music and not pay for it, then they offer it that way themselves.

    That's common sense a 4 year old would understand.

     

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  6.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re:

    except copyright isn't a real right + it doesn't grant rights it takes them away, it's a monopoly pure and simple

     

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  7.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:32am

    Re:

    And yet they're still finding multiple ways to generate revenue.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Re:

    Uh oh, it's the guy who supports the labels even though they're being sued by artists for terrible royalty reimbursements.

    And you sound like the same douchebag who claimed ISPs can see through VPN encryption.

     

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  9.  
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    riposter (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:38am

    kudos

    Nice job on the MacDraw graphics. That brings me back.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    except copyright isn't a real right + it doesn't grant rights it takes them away, it's a monopoly pure and simple

    The right subsists in the author. It isn't taken from some other person and given to the author. The author is the first party to have the right.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re:

    I know nerds feel a special kind of retribution when they see musicians forced to take jobs washing dishes or waiting tables, but musicians know and feel the economic damage caused by piracy. Pretending it doesn't exist is disgusting.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I believe in copyright for a plurality of reasons, some economic and some noneconomic. If via the democratic process copyright laws were changed, I would respect them no matter how I felt about them personally.

     

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  13.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Re:

    No shit Sherlock, that's because everyone is ripping them off. Duh.

    When artists want people to just take their music and not pay for it, then they offer it that way themselves.

    That's common sense a 4 year old would understand.



    You should read the whole report, I read most of it over the weekend. One of the most telling items came from the couple of questions that were directed at filesharing and musicians. The questions of "My music has been devalued" and "Un-authorized filesharing has made it more difficult for me to earn income" both received a big "Neutral" answer. As in: "I don't much care either way."

    Maybe the problem isn't as worrisome as you seem to be painting it.

     

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  14.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re:

    You are right, people's rights should be protected. Too bad the copyright industry completely disregards the rights of consumers.

    Why should we respect their rights when they don't respect ours? Respect has to be earned.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Did you replace the 'kick me' sign on your back with one that says 'I pirate'?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    " but musicians know and feel the economic damage caused by piracy."

    Here's the secret:

    This "economic damage" is caused by people not wanting to listen to your crappy music, not piracy.

    Pretending that piracy is the source of all your monetary woes is an easy way to get out of having to actually make good music so stop being such a whiny troglodyte.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well whether he would or wouldn't is highly pointless a question to have him answer. Seeing as how we can't tie the answer down to him later down the line what with his use of the AC moniker.

    It's why debating with some of these ACs is so difficult. They consistently point out and make claims that many of us here say this or that, despite never doing so and being able to prove it, yet the minute you try and pin something on one of them they respond with, "I never said that. You can't prove it."

    But suffice it to say, in the minds of many of these ACs the people are irrelevant. They're all dirty pirates. So if the majority supported abolishing copyright it'd only be because they're all thieves or something like that.

    Haven't you heard the latest bit they use?

    "All animals are created equal. But some (artists) are more equal than others." Artists rights and will (or better said copyright industries' rights and will) trump the rights and will of the regular common folk. If the majority of the people are violating copyright on a daily basis and do so because they no longer respect or support it then obviously the solution is not to change the laws to reflect the will of the people. But to change the laws so it beats the people with a stick, one bought and paid for with money taken from the people.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re:

    Hey Freetardo, if Masnick actually gave two shits about musicians, then he'd be lobbying for transparency in royalty reporting, not constantly defending piracy.

     

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  19.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re:

    My position has always been that people's rights should be respected and that we all have the duty not to violate other people's rights.


    We agree 100%!

    Which is why I am opposed to the actions of the major media companies and to legislation such as SOPA/PIPA, etc. They seek to actively violate people's rights.

     

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  20.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Did you replace the 'kick me' sign on your back with one that says 'I pirate'?

    Don't be pissy now, just because most of those assholes terrorizing the geeks in high school are now employed by those same geeks. It's just Karma turning full circle, that's all.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Law X is the law! You have to follow the law! Unless Law X is changed to Law Y then everything I said about Law X is irrelevant; regardless of what the law is, I support it, 100%, because the law is the law!

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What's nice is you have time to come here and accuse people of being "freetardos" and insulting Mike Masnick. Then lambasting him for "constantly defending piracy" (which he actually DOES NOT do, and he's consistently said is illegal and he does not condone... which is NOT the same as defending or supporting it, as much as you like to believe otherwise). But I digress. Anyway, on topic, you're here insulting people and yet when there are articles about musicians and actors having to sue to get paid royalties due them, you and yours are oddly silent in the comments. In fact, more often than not, in such articles there's nary a peep from you or people like you. Unless of course it's "Oh look at Mike Masnick cherrypicking stories in his constant need to fulfill his vendetta against the studios/labels."

    Basically, when he does what you are saying he should do you insult him. When he doesn't you insult him. As for transparency, kind of hard to achieve. Seeing as how every attempt at it has resulted in the studios/labels settling as quickly as possible and making sure all parties involved were essentially put under gag orders or agreed to contracts strictly forbidding them from further speaking on the matter.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you dumb? Where does he defend piracy?

    Also, lobbying for transparency on royalty reports? UMG settled with Eminem's producers so they wouldn't have to reveal how those things work - http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/umg-reaches-settlement-trendsetting-lawsuit-384381

    I like this little gem:

    "The proceedings would have detailed the millions of dollars the Bass brothers felt they were owed plus the alleged way that a big music conglomerate like UMG apportions revenues between its foreign and domestic divisions before sharing the proceeds with revenue participants. In June, the judge in the case blasted UMG for attempting to "dupe" him."

    So yeah, I'm more concerned about whether UMG gives two shits about musicians than whether Masnick does because UMG has the ability to change things, but you'll never see that because it's easier to say piracy is to blame.

     

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  24.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Name one right that copyright grants an author that he can't do without copyright.

    Note: Avoid "rights" that take away someone else's right.

     

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  25.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In fairness, mainstream label music doesn't have a higher or lower percentage of crap than independent music does. It just tends to be homogenous.

    However, the mainstream music industry's business practices have absolutely been the source of economic damage for them. At least, that's why I stopped buying that music a couple of decades ago.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Agreed. I think the biggest difference between crappy indie music and mainstream, is that indie bands are experimenting while mainstream bands are just being told how to play (record labels love short term success!).

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If the music was so crappy then people wouldn't pirate it.

    Seriously, stopping dragging out long-refuted cliches from 2004.

     

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  28.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Re:

    that's because the recording and publishing industry is ripping them off.

    FTFY

     

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  29.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "see musicians forced to take jobs washing dishes or waiting tables" - Because musicians never had to do that until file sharing came along.

    DERP.

    "Pretending it doesn't exist is disgusting."
    Pretending it does exist is disgusting.
    FTFY

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually that was just a potshot at you for claiming people were pirating your music. Frankly, I doubt it's even happening, but good luck shilling for the labels.

     

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  31.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It isn't taken from some other person and given to the author.

    That's exactly what happens. Were it not for copyright, everyone would have the right to copy, distribute, or perform whatever expressive works they pleased. They would have these rights as both property rights, and free speech rights.

    That includes the authors themselves, of course. Copyright doesn't give license to copy, perform, and distribute copies of expressive works; such a government-granted licensing scheme would be clearly unconstitutional. The only thing copyright does is allow authors to take away these rights from everyone else.

    Whether or not you believe copyright is justified, you cannot deny that it is nothing other than the removal of certain rights from the public.

    Given this undeniable fact - if the majority of musicians' income is from things that don't rely on copyright, why shouldn't we limit copyright? The only reason the copyright monopoly exists is to grant authors a financial incentive to publish. Why should the public put up with the restrictions on their natural rights if it isn't absolutely necessary?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Masnick writes those articles to encourage people to pirate; he provides a rationalization for it. Piracy makes his employer, Google, millions of dollars every year via illicit ad revenue. There's no mystery to any of this.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    the right to sue

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think most people here have a more consequentialistic ethic rather than deontological ethics. While your theory flies fine as long as you are not adversely affected by the specific law, it is far more muddy as soon as you no longer are a part of administering the effects!

     

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  35.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:34am

    Re: Distorted numbers

    And think of the popcorn farmers!

     

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  36.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:35am

    Also Intreasting.

    The report data also seems to support that the music industry is a "lottery" or "winner-take-all" type of system and copyright benefits a small percentage at the top the most.

    From the report:
    The survey findings are most consistent with a particular version of the incentive theory of copyright. Rather than providing marginal incentives to create to all musicians at all times, copyright law mostly affects the revenue of the highest-­income musicians in a direct fashion. This is not a surprise, given the prevalence of the winner-­take-­all markets in the entertainment industry.

    Shouldn't we be working towards a way for all musicians to be making decent living, as opposed to supporting a system that only a small percentage "make it" and are rewarded way beyond any reasonable amount needed to live on?

     

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  37.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re:

    > If artists chose to forgo copyright, I support that as well.

    But in the US it is impossible to forego copyright.

    The next best thing is for such an author to license their work under a Creative Commons license. Do you support their right to do that?

     

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  38.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    No shit Sherlock, that's because everyone is ripping them off. Duh.

    The numbers were the same at least as far back as 2004, when there was far less piracy than today.

    And as far as anyone knows, it was always the case, even back in the 90's. Musicians always made more money from things that didn't require copyright restrictions (live income, work-for-hire situations, teaching salaries, etc).

    There was never a time when most musicians made their money from recording or composition royalties. They were always a pittance.

     

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  39.  
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    Colin, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why did you reply to your own comment? Did you just insult yourself?

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Re: Also Intreasting.

    One of the reasons the report is invalid is that it doesn't distinguish between working musicians and hobbyists. Not doing so essentially makes its findings worthless.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm pretty sure that the Google makes way more money via non-illicit ad revenue. But no, it's all a conspiracy; my god! Conspiracy! I've cracked the code!

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Also Intreasting.

    What's the difference between a working musician and a working hobbyist?

     

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  43.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Also Intreasting.

    One of the reasons the report is invalid is that it doesn't distinguish between working musicians and hobbyists. Not doing so essentially makes its findings worthless.

    Not so. It attempts to make that distinction when and where possible. Actually, I believe the data was skewed a bit towards salaried orchestra members anyways (one of the largest respondent groups and incidentally the most educated group) and they are "full-time musicians" aren't they? Also, the survey process itself weeded out most of the "hobbyists" because they lacked the financial info to continue.

    Just out of curiosity, what constitutes a "working musician" in your mind? Over $100,000 a year? Over 40 hours a week? Where do you draw that line?

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Also Intreasting.

    Do I detect a hint of "no true musician/artist" argument?

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Also Intreasting.

    Do I detect a hint of "no true musician/artist" argument?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Also Intreasting.

    Damn double-post.

     

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  47.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    " then he'd be lobbying for transparency in royalty reporting,"

    Which he has done. He's written many an article about the opaque nature of royalty settlements. Have a look here.
    https://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=royalties

    This one in particular is about a secret royalty agreement
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121030/14173020888/universal-music-settles-key-fight- over-eminem-royalties-with-secret-agreement.shtml

     

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  48.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'd like you to quote the one time where Mike Masnick has said "Go ahead people, pirate away!" and give a source for it. Go on.

     

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  49.  
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    out_of_the_blue (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    except copyright is a real right + it does grant rights it doesn't take them away, it's not a monopoly pure and simple

     

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  50.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Also Intreasting.

    it doesn't distinguish between working musicians and hobbyists.

    Yes, it does. It breaks down the amounts by income group. Those in the top 1% do not make any more from recording income than the lower 99%.

    Unless you think it matters whether someone who makes $100K per year as a musician is a "hobbyist" or not.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:38am

    And these results are DESPITE the misinformation campaigns funded by the mafiaa...

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh. It's you again. I guess you didn't read my response to you regarding Mike not being a Google shill. Should I copy and paste my previous reply that debunks your stupidity/overuse of that bit? Or would you just not read it and continue spreading your own brand of stupidity?

     

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  53.  
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    MrWilson, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And if the democratic process that is meant to represent the will of the people is broken, would you support people in breaking laws that weren't created with their consent and instead were created at the behest of a minority of wealthy corporations who have no qualms about subverting and corrupting that democratic process?

     

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  54.  
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    MrWilson, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's the purported reason for copyright, but in it's current state, corporations benefit from copyright more than artists. Artists have their talents. They can make contracts to sell their works or services which can be enforced by contract law. Corporations need artists to turn over their copyrights or else they have nothing. Only corporations can benefit for the length of the artist's life plus 70 years since only corporations can live that long.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:53am

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

    The right to Sue Who?

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, copyright is a privilege. Get it right.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't. I give money to the artists directly, then download the hell out of the music that I give artists money for. None of this iTunes and Amazon crap.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Also Intreasting.

    The hobbyist doesn't count because he isn't a "real musician".

    No True Scotsman and all that.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's just AJ. He insults himself every morning by telling himself how special he is.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:16am

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

    It will always be the latter response, because he can't hear anyone else over the sound of how awesome he is! (And the clink of the coin falling into his hands from his own corporate masters.)

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Also Intreasting.

    But orchestra and concert musicians don't know how to rock! ... Oh, wait, there's Apocalyptica. Nevermind.

     

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  62.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Also Intreasting.

    Those in the top 1% do not make any more from recording income than the lower 99%.

    I'm not sure about "recording income" part of your statement, but the chart above does show that the top 5% in the Rock, Pop, Etc. genre rely on copyright directly or indirectly for about half of their income, as opposed to the remaining 95% who only rely on copyright directly or indirectly for about 25% of their income.

    Copyright seems to be much more important for those who "make it big" than it is for the rest of musicians. And when translated into actual dollars, I'm sure that divide is even larger than when looking at just percentages of overall incomes.

     

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  63.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:33am

    My personal experience

    Actually, from my personal experience, I don't think I would have become a songwriter or a musician if it weren't for the internet.

    My last album The Aftermath, (which you can buy here) made me $180 if you remove the money I paid bandcamp. For an unknown who rarely plays concerts and makes music as a hobby, I'm doing pretty well! As I said before, this would have not happened to me without the internet.

    BTW, I'm one of those musicians who actually WANTS his stuff to be torrented; that way, I know that people are interested in me! After all, as Tim O'Reilly has astutely pointed out: For people like me, the problem isn't piracy but obscurity!

     

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  64.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:50am

    What say you…

    So what's your opinion on bandcamp?

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's exactly what happens. Were it not for copyright, everyone would have the right to copy, distribute, or perform whatever expressive works they pleased. They would have these rights as both property rights, and free speech rights.

    Your own words belie the fallacy of your argument. You have to argue that the public would have gotten the rights had it not been for copyright. In other words, they never owned the rights. The authors own the rights.

    That includes the authors themselves, of course. Copyright doesn't give license to copy, perform, and distribute copies of expressive works; such a government-granted licensing scheme would be clearly unconstitutional. The only thing copyright does is allow authors to take away these rights from everyone else.

    Copyright grants to authors certain exclusive rights. Rights have correlative duties. So if an author has a right, the public has a correlative duty to not violate that right.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 1:01pm

    "You have to argue that the public would have gotten the rights had it not been for copyright. In other words, they never owned the rights. The authors own the rights."

    Yes, that's the point of copyright. However, your words, to argue against what Karl said miss the point.

    COPYRIGHT RESTRICTS THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS. Ignoring that the public can't copy/distribute works that aren't created, the point raised still stands. Which I put in big capital letters and as simply as possible for you to understand.

    "Copyright grants to authors certain exclusive rights. Rights have correlative duties. So if an author has a right, the public has a correlative duty to not violate that right."

    Mhm. This is true. But you overlook the fact that this is supposed to be an agreement in which both parties give something up and gain something in return, which is sadly no longer the case. Public gets the works, after the LIMITED TIME that the authors get exclusive rights. LIMITED TIME. Life + 70 years is NOT limited. It is limited if you say, "Well, it's not infinity." But it's not limited and is a gross warping of the spirit and original intent of the law.

    When one side of the agreement has drastically changed what was originally agreed to, to the point that copyright now last indefinitely for all intents and purposes and is grossly capable of causing all kinds of havoc through other laws intent on keeping it as such, then the other side has a right to violate said agreement however they see fit.

    That may not be what you think is acceptable, but it is indeed for the vast majority of the public. "You won't honor your end, why should we honor ours? Because 'the law'? Not good enough." And I'm not saying that as someone out there pirating, but just saying it as the way the common person would.

     

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    Samuel Abram (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 1:25pm

    I agree. Copyright Law as it stands now is disgusting.

    I'm in the ©-reformer camp, and considering how the terms just keep getting extended and extended (extensions that were upheld by the US Supreme Court a decade ago), I will dedicate everything I have ever created into the Public Domain upon my death. Not just "created and published," created. I have even dedicated some works into the public domain already, which you can find here, here, here, here, and here.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 1:29pm

    Re: What say you…

    He's lying so what does it matter anyway?

     

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  69.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: What say you…

    [citation needed]

     

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  70. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    Re: My personal experience

    No one's stopping you.

    Problem is, Masnick doesn't even want you to have that choice; he's anti-choice. He wants to remove what little rights and protections artists have.

    Why? Because it makes Google more money.

    Google, the mega-corporation that has so much cash that the SEC classified them as a bank.

     

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  71.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: My personal experience

    No one's stopping you.

    Problem is, Masnick doesn't even want you to have that choice; he's anti-choice. He wants to remove what little rights and protections artists have.


    You're really blaming Mike Masnick for the structure of the internet? Who do you think he is, Tim Berners-Lee?

    Why? Because it makes Google more money.

    Google, the mega-corporation that has so much cash that the SEC classified them as a bank.


    Are you from Denmark? Because you're offering quite a bit of Red Herrings here. (No offense to any actual Danes here)

     

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    cpt kangarooski, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

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

    Your own words belie the fallacy of your argument. You have to argue that the public would have gotten the rights had it not been for copyright. In other words, they never owned the rights. The authors own the rights.

    No, not quite. Everyone inherently has a right to copy, distribute, perform, etc. This is the right of free speech. It applies to all works, whether you create them yourself, or are merely copying verbatim what someone else has done. The government doesn't grant this, instead acknowledging that it exists already, but it does promise that it will not interfere with it itself. (Though that promise is not so absolutr in practice)

    This isn't the same as a right to access to copies of a work. If I have a copy of a book, your free speech right doesn't obligate me to let you read it. But if I do, my ownership of the copy doesn't give me rights over what you do with what you've read.

    Not does free speech function as a way to force authors to create works. That would be very wrong indeed.

    But if an author has willingly chosen to create a work, and you have someone gotten access to a copy of that work, then you have every right to do whatever you like with the work. No one has a right to stop you.

    And it should be noted that the very idea of rights in a work is wrongheaded. There are no such rights. The rights are in us.

    Unless you enact copyright laws.

    (And incidentally, in legalese, an exclusive right doesn't mean a right only one person holds. It means a right to exclude others, though not necessarily to right not to be excluded yourself. Copyright holders are granted a right to forbid others to make copies, distribute them, etc. Now I may very well respect someone else ordering me not to do things that I would otherwise have every right to do. But there needs to be a good reason, and it needs to benefit me more than it harms me, or else why should I bother? Given that legitimate government is based upon the consent of the governed, this is a central question not only to copyright but to all law. Perhaps you'd like to take a stab at it?)

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    Re: What say you…

    I don't particularly like it, but I will use it, on the proviso that neither of the two aforementioned companies are the places to purchase from. If that's the case, then I'll pass it up for someone else.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: My personal experience

    Those herrings? They're red from the blood spilled by the excesses of Hollywood.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: My personal experience

    He wants to remove what little rights and protections artists have.


    That statement made me chuckle a little.

    It's especially funny when it's on an article describing a study indicating that the artists are split about 50/50 on whether those "rights and protections" you speak of are all that important to them.

    It's like YOU are forcing your view of copyright on every artist, regardless if they want it or not and then claiming everyone else is being "anti-choice". Funny stuff.

     

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  76.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Re: I agree. Copyright Law as it stands now is disgusting.

    How does one go about putting works into the public domain while you're still alive? I actually want to know. However, if it turns out its an incredibly involved process, then I won't be surprised.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I think you and I are looking at 'embracing copyright' differently. When you say it, it sounds like what you're saying is, "The artist is free to use copyright laws and I support their choice to do so." And on the surface, that makes sense and I might even agree with it when it's worded like that. Almost like when someone says, "I don't believe in gay marriage, but if you want to marry another man, I support your choice to do so."

    The problem is that copyright laws don't just affect the artist. Copyright laws make me a criminal for wanting to play a DVD on my computer. Copyright laws make me a criminal for emailing a friend a song and saying, "Dude, check these guys out." So when an artist wants to 'embrace copyright' they are forcing themselves into my rights. Current copyright law is more like saying, "I don't believe in gay marriage and I'm not going to allow you to either."

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:45pm

    Re:

    COPYRIGHT RESTRICTS THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS.

    Yes, all of my rights create duties in other people, just as all of your rights do the same. So what?

    Life + 70 years is NOT limited

    Of course it's limited. That argument was tried by Lessig, and no one bought it because it's a silly argument.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

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

    Before the work exists, no one has any rights to it because there is nothing for there to have any rights in. The moment the work is fixed in a tangible medium, the author has the rights. The rights aren't first held by the public and then given to the author. The author is the first party to have the rights.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, copyright is a privilege. Get it right.

    It's certainly a "right" and not a "privilege" if you're referring to Hohfeld's theory of jural relationships.

    Care to explain what you mean?

     

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  81.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Life + 1,000,000,000 years is also "limited". But not really.

     

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  82.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 3:09pm

    Here's how I put works in the Public Domain

    Well, when I say "grant works into the public domain", I really mean use this: http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    Still, it completely sucks that there isn't an official, legally-recognized way to actually DO that, so Creative Commons it is…

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That would be a far different matter than life plus 70.

     

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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    Here's a question

    Since I don't have a lot of free time to read through this study, I have to ask this:

    Which musicians participated in the study? Did the big names from before the advent of the internet, such as Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, or [insert any band pre-1990s here], give their input? Or are all the participants anonymous?

    Either way, it's rather unlikely that the music gatekeepers (RIAA, GEMA, etc.) are going to take it very seriously.

    As the Zen Master says, "We'll see."

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Here's how I put works in the Public Domain

    Still, it completely sucks that there isn't an official, legally-recognized way to actually DO that, so Creative Commons it is…

    Why wouldn't that be legally recognize? You guys really love to pretend that dedicating works to the public domain is difficult. It could not be any easier.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 3:49pm

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

    Your own words belie the fallacy of your argument. You have to argue that the public would have gotten the rights had it not been for copyright. In other words, they never owned the rights. The authors own the rights.

    That the public would have gotten the rights had it not been for copyright, is exactly what I have stated. It is not an argument, it is a fact.

    If copyright did not exist, all works would be in the public domain. I, as a member of the public, have rights in public domain works. I can produce copies of them; and those copies are my property, to dispose of as I see fit. I also have the right to prepare derivative works, to perform the work publicly, and so forth. I have just as much a right to sell them, or not, as I do to engage in any other form of commerce with my own property. And because these acts are expressive in nature, they also arise from my free speech rights.

    If you were correct, then as soon as a work enters the public domain, nobody would have the right to copy them, distribute them, perform them, or what have you. This is not what happens, and if it was, it would unquestionably involve Constitutional rights to speech, commerce, and property, and the laws that prevented me from doing so would almost certainly be unconstitutional.

    Those rights do not arise from the government, and they do not arise from authors. They initially invest in the public, and are shared among all members of it. In theory, the public grants a limited monopoly on those rights to the author exclusively. It does this because granting this monopoly provides a financial incentive to produce and distribute artworks. The public benefits more from this increased production and distribution, than it loses from giving up those speech and property rights.

    That is why copyright is supposed to exist. But the moment that the detriments to the public outweigh the benefits to the public, then lawmakers have a public duty to change the laws until the balance is once more in the public's favor.

    So, once again. If artists make the majority of their money from sources that don't require copyright, then copyright probably isn't acting as an effective incentive to create and distribute artworks. Why should the public put up with the loss of their rights? What are we all getting out of it? Why shouldn't we get rid of some (or all) of those rights?

     

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  87.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 3:50pm

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

    They initially invest in the public

    Er, initially vest in the public. Sorry.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

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

    The moment the work is fixed in a tangible medium, the author has the rights. The rights aren't first held by the public and then given to the author.

    Yes, they are. They are given to the author, by the public (through their representatives), via statutory copyright laws. If copyright did not exist, they would not first be held by the author. They would be held by every member of the public.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But because you and copyright maximalists think it's limited, you see no problem having it extended to those levels of ridiculosity. And going by the rates you keep demanding for 20 more years, you're getting there.

    You can claim is less "limited" but it's not very convincing when you keep shifting the goalposts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 4:57pm

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

    Nothing you've said changes the fact that the author is the first party to have the rights. The rights don't belong to anyone before they belong to the author. The rights aren't owned by the public and then transferred to the public. The author owns the rights first. Therefore, it is incorrect to state that the rights are taken away from somebody else and given to the author. No other party owns those rights before the author owns this. This is so obvious that it's silly to argue otherwise.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 4:58pm

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

    Yes, they are. They are given to the author, by the public (through their representatives), via statutory copyright laws. If copyright did not exist, they would not first be held by the author. They would be held by every member of the public.

    Yes, Karl. The rights are granted by statute. But the fact remains that the public never has any ownership of the rights that is then transferred to the author. The author is the first party to hold the rights. Those rights are not the property of anyone else that is then transferred. This isn't hard.

     

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  92.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 5:59pm

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

    But the fact remains that the public never has any ownership of the rights that is then transferred to the author.

    That is simply false. Without copyright, there would be no post-publication monopoly, and that is what copyright is. Without the statutes, I would have as many rights to copy, distribute, perform, etc. that work as the author does. Without copyright, those rights are "owned" by the public, because every member of the public "owns" their own property and free speech rights.

    Let's be clear here. If by "initially," you mean "prior to publication," then you are right. But that's not what copyright is. Copyright is a post-publication monopoly. Were the work unpublished, it would be covered by other rights (privacy rights, private property rights if the work needs to be physically taken to be published, or what have you). These rights are not granted by Congress, do not exist "for limited times," etc. And they end as soon as the work is first published. The author "owns" those rights to exactly the same degree as he "owns" the rights to any other book on his shelf.

    But the monopoly rights granted by copyright absolutely are held by the public initially. That's why copyright is not a right granted to authors in the Constitution. It is a right that is granted to Congress, because Congress represents the public - the ultimate "owner" of those rights.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 6:21pm

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

    And they end as soon as the work is first published.

    Actually, I should have said "as soon as that copy is transferred to someone else." It doesn't really matter if it's published or not. If I buy an author's unpublished manuscript, then I have a natural property right to sell it, copy it, and distribute those copies as my own private property. Because it's expression, I have a free speech right to repeat it or re-express it in a manner of my choosing. These rights are not granted by authors, nor "authorized" by Congress.

    Copyright removes those rights from me. You can't deny this. The benefits from giving up those rights may outweigh the detriments; but I, as a member of the public, have the ultimate right make that choice. The fact that I am also an artist is immaterial.

     

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    Karl, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Here's how I put works in the Public Domain

    In fact, it is impossible to put your works into the public domain globally, due to "moral rights" in many countries.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:17pm

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

    There is no transfer of ownership. The rights vest initially in the author: "(a) Initial Ownership.--Copyright in a work protected under this title vests initially in the author or authors of the work. The authors of a joint work are coowners of copyright in the work." 17 U.S.C. § 201(a).

    Even in your alternate universe (and the fact that you have to talk about things other than reality to make your argument should tell you something) where there is no copyright, the rights wouldn't vest in anyone because there are no rights. The public domain is not owned by everyone. It's owned by no one since it's not property.

    But the monopoly rights granted by copyright absolutely are held by the public initially.

    That makes zero sense and it's the exact opposite of what the actual law says. It vests initially in the author. It doesn't vest in the public to then be transferred to the author. It vests in the author. Sorry, Karl, but you aren't making any sense with this. You cannot point to one court ever that says the rights are held by the public initially. I can point to hundreds that cite Section 201(a) to say that they vest initially in the author. This is just a really bad argument. Sorry.

     

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    MrWilson, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:20pm

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

    You're arguing what the reality is based on the existence of copyright, but copyright doesn't exist in a state of nature. Copyright is what gives authors that "right"/monopoly privilege. In a state of nature, authors cannot exclude others from copying their works except by failing to publish their works and keeping all copies to themselves. In a state of nature, if an author publishes their work, there is nothing to stop a person from copying it if they have access to a copy of it.

    This is absent any moral arguments since morality can be culturally relative and some cultures may value artistic control of works (US, theoretically) or wealthy patron/corporation control of works (US, realistically) or state control of works (Soviet Union) or other cultures may value sharing of works freely (All of the oral history cultures).

    Copyright is, theoretically, a social contract in which the public temporarily gives up its natural ability to copy anything it has access to (and not just to copy, but republish, edit, remix, burn, take a steaming dump on, etc.) in exchange for incentivizing authors to create more works.

    The "rights" provided by copyright are artificial, where as the ability of the public to copy works is natural and predates the establishment of copyright laws.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:32pm

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

    Yep, absent copyright law the default would be that everyone can copy. That doesn't change the fact that the statute says that the rights vest initially in the author. Karl is trying to say that there is a transfer of ownership from the public to the author, but this is clearly not how it works.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:13pm

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

    The rights vest initially in the author: "(a) Initial Ownership...

    Quoting copyright law is a red herring, since you and I both agreed that we were talking about what happens when copyright law does not exist.

    And, when copyright law does not exist, initial "ownership" vests in every single member of the public.

    This is objectively true, and agreed upon by everyone except yourself.

     

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    cpt kangarooski, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:37pm

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

    Before the work exists, no one has any rights to it because there is nothing for there to have any rights in.

    True, but a non sequitur.

    The moment the work is fixed in a tangible medium, the author has the rights. The rights aren't first held by the public and then given to the author. The author is the first party to have the rights.

    Which rights, exactly?

    The right of free speech is inherent to all people, including authors. It includes both creating works and copying, distributing, etc. works. It doesn't matter whether the work is someone else's creation. It doesn't include compelling an author to create, but when an author does create of his own free will, this is the right he is exercising in order to do so. It doesn't include compelling someone to provide access to his specific copy of a work, but gaining access to a work in order to make copies (whether authorized or not) is usually not too difficult, particularly in the case of published works. This right is not granted by the government, but it is recognized and (in the case of the US, at least) guaranteed by them. Sadly, this guarantee is not as rock-solid as one might hope; there are a number of exceptions.

    The rights that comprise copyright, on the other hand, are not inherent to anyone. This is because copyright, as was pointed out earlier, is a right to prohibit others from exercising their right of free speech. It is a right to censor, vested in private individuals, and ultimately enforced by the power of the government. This is one of the exceptions to the aforementioned government guarantee.

    When a work is copyrightable, it is the product of the author's free speech right. Since all people inherently have a right of free speech, which includes the unauthorized reproduction of other people's works, everyone, at that instant that the work is created, has a right to copy it. Exercising that right may be difficult as a practical matter if the work is not available to them, but that doesn't lessen the right itself. Simultaneously, the government grants the author a copyright, which can be used to prohibit people from doing that.

    If people didn't already have a right -- an inherent right, granted by God, or nature, or whatever -- to make copies, there would be no reason to grant a right -- an artificial right, granted by a government -- to prohibit it.

    So you're kind of right, in that the public isn't being granted a copyright before the author. But that would be an insane idea to begin with! Since a copyright is a right to prohibit doing things, not a right to actually do them, giving each individual a right to ban all the others would be a pointless tragedy of the anticommons. Clearly this isn't happening anyway, and it makes no sense for it to happen. So no, the public is never granted a right of copyright in other people's works.

    But the public does have an inherent free speech right in other people's works, and while copyright temporarily suppresses this right, it doesn't stop it from existing. This is the right that the public has in the work at the instant that it is created, and it is a completely different right from copyright. It is a right to do things, not a right to prohibit others.

    Since you like the statute so much, you can see exactly how this works there.

    As noted, when a work becomes copyrightable, a copyright pertaining to it is granted, something that would only be needed if there were some other, larger, more fundamental right at work to which copyright is opposed. But did you look at what happens at the other end of the life of a copyright?

    The statute tells us that copyrights last for a limited amount of time, and then they expire, evaporating, as it were, into nothingness. Here's an example, from 17 USC 302(a): Copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, subsists from its creation and, except as provided by the following subsections, endures for a term consisting of the life of the author and 70 years after the author’s death.Nowhere in the statute does it actually say what happens next. All we're told is that the copyright stops existing at such and such a date.

    People talk about works entering the public domain (or more commonly of late, gripe about works not entering the public domain), but there's little discussion as to what, exactly, that means. The statute does not grant any rights to the public to copy works, or distribute copies, or any of the other things that copyright prohibited while it existed in a work. Are we to understand then, that even once a copyright expires, the public still has no rights to do things with works? Clearly, the answer is no. Well, are we to read the statute as to mean that once the copyright ends, Congress affirmatively grants to the public the right to make copies, etc.? Well, again no. That's all exercise of free speech stuff, and it's an inherent, human right. Congress doesn't grant that. They don't have to; we already have it.

    And that's the answer -- When works enter the public domain, because the copyright no longer exists, this means that copyright is no longer suppressing the inherent right of free speech that each of us possesses, and which includes the right to do all the things that copyright says not to do. And if that right were only being suppressed by copyright, it must exist during the copyright term as well.

    And, since copyrights are granted by the government, and governments are only legitimate when they have the consent of the governed, and since governments only have as much power as those who allow themselves to be governed are willing to grant to it, copyright must be inferior to the right of free speech. Copyright consists of nothing other than the public -- via their servant, the government -- willingly ceding some of their inherent free speech right for some important public purpose, subject to various limits, and only for a short time.

    Thus the author only has his copyright in a work because the public is willing to set aside its superior rights to do as it pleases with the work. That copyrights happen to be granted simultaneous with fixation is a mere feature of the statute. It could just as easily be granted a year after fixation; that doesn't matter. Neither is first in time, and being first in time wouldn't matter anyway. Copyright flows from the free speech right. That's the relevant priority to bear in mind: that copyright exists because we allow it to, will stop existing when it ceases to please us enough to be worth maintaining, and can be shaped according to our whim.

    Copyright maximalists would do well to shape up and get with the program, lest they find copyright swept aside merely because it has become too big a nuisance to tolerate any further.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:40pm

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

    the rights wouldn't vest in anyone because there are no rights.

    Wrong. There are property rights. You have property rights in your copies, just as you would have property rights in a chair you built that was based on another chair you own. You would not have exclusive rights in that chair, in the sense that you would not have the legal right to exclude everyone else from building chairs. That does not mean you would not have property rights. You built it with your own labor, so it is yours.

    And, since that "property" is expression, you would have First Amendment rights to that "property" as well. Your rights to make "derivative works," for instance, would be protected by the First Amendment. Since it is free expression, Congress shall make no law abridging it.

    These are the rights that are removed by copyright law. And this is not debatable, nor controversial. It is recognized by everyone who studies copyright law, and it is recognized by the Founding Fathers, the Supreme Court, and Congress. What is not recognized, or agreed upon, is whether our current statutes ultimately benefit the public.

    That makes zero sense and it's the exact opposite of what the actual law says.

    Sorry, I should have been clearer. The only rights that are not held by the public are the right to monopolize, that is, the right to exclude others from those rights.

    This is literally the only thing copyright grants. If you look at the ability to exercise the rights in 17 USC 106, you'll note that every single one of them is available to everyone (including the author) for public domain works. Which is what works would be without copyright. Copyright does not "grant" authors or publishers anything but the "right" to prevent others from doing what they do.

    I can point to hundreds that cite Section 201(a)

    Which is completely irrelevant, since we are talking about what rights would exist without the copyright statutes - or what those statutes would be if we, the public, decided to change (or do away with) the copyright statutes. We are not talking about the law as it stands, we are talking about what the law should be under the theory of copyright.

    What would happen if 17 USC simply did not exist? And why would that be a bad thing for the public? If you can't come up with an answer to the latter, then we should do away with 17 USC altogether - otherwise it is an unjust law. That is what copyright theory says.

    Given the data in this article, artists are not particularly incentivized to produce new works (or publish older ones) by the current copyright statutes. Under the theory of copyright, if copyright statutes are to be just laws, they must benefit the public more than they burden the public. Since the copyright laws burden the public's property and free speech rights, but do not benefit the public by resulting in more (or more widespread) distribution of artworks, the laws must be changed, or they are unjust.

    Why is this so hard for you to understand? I know you've studied copyright laws, and know that the above is absolutely true. Are you just being an asshole?

    ...Wait, I forgot who I was talking to.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:55pm

    Re: Here's a question

    No, they're not going to take it seriously, considering that they think suing dead senior citizens is fully within reason and common sense.

     

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    JMT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Masnick writes those articles to encourage people to pirate; he provides a rationalization for it."

    An explanation for why something is occurring is neither encouragement nor rationalisation. It takes a huge and twisted leap of logic to get from Mike's position to your interpretation.

    "Piracy makes his employer, Google, millions of dollars every year via illicit ad revenue."

    Your whole "employed by Google" schtick couldn't possibly be genuine, because I struggle to believe you could be so stupid as to reach that conclusion from the facts presented. So surely it must just be a very weak attempt at an insult, throwing mud to see if it sticks. It's not working; try something new.

    But ignoring the lack of any citation for your accusations towards Google, their 2012 profit was $10.73 billion. Your "millions" would be chump change.

     

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    JMT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:35am

    Re: Re: My personal experience

    "He wants to remove what little rights and protections artists have."

    I think you'll find most record label contracts have already done that.

     

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    JMT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re:

    Ah, the old "no one bought it", head-in-the-sand denial. That'll be an effective argument...

    There are few creatures on the planet that will live to see something created in their lifetime get into the public domain. It's limited in only the most literal sense, but not in any practical sense, and as noted in the comment above, this is a "gross warping of the spirit and original intent of the law". For someone so pro-copyright, you certainly seem to have a complete lack of respect for the intention of the creators of the original laws.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:11am

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

    None of what you're saying makes any sense. I'm not talking about what might exist in some parallel universe where copyright doesn't exist. I'm saying that legal title to the copyright rights vests initially in the author. There is no transfer of legal title from the public to the author. The author is the first party to own the legal title. I am talking about what actually exists and what actually happens, not about what would happen in a parallel world. It's really, really, really, really simple. Only you could make this difficult. You can point to no source anywhere--no court, no commentator--that says that legal title passes from the public to the copyright holder. As Section 201(a) says explicitly, title vests initially in the author. This is so simple and obvious that you're just proving--again--that you haven't the slightest clue.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:17am

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

    I'm not talking about what might exist in some parallel universe where copyright doesn't exist.

    We are though. Most of this discussion is about whether copyright is actually "promoting progress" the way it supposed to based on emerging empirical data.


    You can point to no source anywhere--no court, no commentator--that says that legal title passes from the public to the copyright holder.

    The point you seem to be missing is that copyright law itself curtails rights that already exist. It's copyright law that grants those exclusive rights to the authors. If copyright law was eliminated or revised tomorrow that might not be the case anymore. It doesn't really matter if that is how it works at the moment, it can be changed. Capiche?

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:26am

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

    Karl is trying to say that there is a transfer of ownership from the public to the author, but this is clearly not how it works.

    You are confusing "rights" with "ownership". Of course "ownership" doesn't transfer from the public to the author. That's is more along the lines of "property rights" which copyright doesn't actually cover.

    We are talking about the natural rights to copy and whatnot that copyright law removes from the public concerning an author's work and grants them exclusively to the author by means of legal statue.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:32am

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

    Of course, as I said above, in the absence of the statute the default would be that people could copy (pushing aside issues of nonstatutory copyright). That's not the same thing as saying that legal title passes from the public to an author. The title vests initially in the author because that's what the statute provides. Karl's trying to say that the statute vesting title in the author is the same thing as transferring title from the public. That's not the case. Karl also seems to think that the public domain is legally owned by the public. That's also not the case. The public domain is not owned by anyone.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:13am

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

    That's not the same thing as saying that legal title passes from the public to an author.

    I haven't seen anyone, but you, refer to the natural rights of the public that copyright curtails as "legal title". So I'm not sure why you keep repeating it.


    That's not the case. Karl also seems to think that the public domain is legally owned by the public. That's also not the case. The public domain is not owned by anyone.

    Once again, your are conflating "ownership" with "rights". Yes, no one "owns" public domain works, but everyone (ie: the public) has rights to copy, distribute and perform those works. For works still under copyright, those rights are removed from the public. Copyright does not bestow magical rights onto creators, it removes those rights from the public and grants them exclusively to the author on the theory that it promotes progress. It's a bargain between the public and the creators. A bargain that I personally believe the creators have reneged on by extending copyright into perpetuity.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:58am

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

    I'm not talking about what might exist in some parallel universe where copyright doesn't exist.

    That is precisely what you demanded of me: "You have to argue that the public would have gotten the rights had it not been for copyright."

    Had it not been for copyright, all members of the public would have full property rights in whatever copies they produced. They would have exactly as many free speech rights in those copies, or their own performances of those works, as they would in copies or performances of works that they authored.

    But because of copyright, the public does not have those property rights and free speech rights. That is what copyright is designed to do: take away certain rights that otherwise would be held by every member of the public.

    You don't need some parallel universe to see this. All you have to do is compare public domain domain works, vs. works under copyright.

    This is not controversial, nor debatable. I know you personally believe that copyright is some sort of inalienable right of authors, that is legally taken away when works enter the public domain. But that is not the theory of copyright as it was envisioned by the Founding Fathers, nor by Congress, nor the Supreme Court.

    It will be seen, therefore, that the spirit of any act which Congress is authorized to pass must be one which will promote the progress of science and the useful arts, and unless it is designed to accomplish this result and is believed, in fact, to accomplish this result, it would be beyond the power of Congress.

    The enactment of copyright legislation by Congress under the terms of the Constitution is not based upon 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 for limited periods the exclusive rights 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 policy 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, as has been already stated, 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, confers a benefit upon the public that outweighs the evils of the temporary monopoly.
    - House Report on the Copyright Act of 1909

    As the text of the Constitution makes plain, it is Congress that has been assigned the task of defining the scope of the limited monopoly that should be granted to authors or to inventors in order to give the public appropriate access to their work product. Because this task involves a difficult balance between the interests of authors and inventors in the control and exploitation of their writings and discoveries on the one hand, and society's competing interest in the free flow of ideas, information, and commerce on the other hand, our patent and copyright statutes have been amended repeatedly.
    - Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios

    This is the theory of copyright in the United States. It is, by design, a limited restriction on the public's natural rights to "the free flow of ideas, information, and commerce," which are "the evils of the temporary monopoly." Copyright statutes must "benefit the public," or they are unjust.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:08am

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

    There is no transfer of legal title from the public to the author.

    The public's property rights I was referring to are - explicitly - the ownership rights of physical copies. Copyright limits those rights (and others), by design.

    That doesn't mean I'm saying there was a "transfer of legal title," or some other straw man bullshit. Don't put words in my mouth.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:33am

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

    Yes, no one "owns" public domain works,

    To be clear, what I explicitly said is that members of the public own their own copies of public domain works.

    If Dover creates copies of Macbeth, those copies are their private property. I can't break into their warehouse and take one; that would be theft. Likewise, if I buy a copy of that book, it is my own personal private property.

    On the other hand, if Dover creates copies of The Sound and the Fury, those copies are not (entirely) their private property. Because of copyright, the Faulkner estate has the right to demand part of the fruits of Dover's labor as royalties.

    And if those copies are unauthorized, they have no private property rights at all. The government, at the request of the Faulkner estate, can break into their warehouse, and take all of those copies, as well as all the money made from previous sales of those copies, and more besides. Because of copyright law, Dover has no rights at all to the fruits of their labor.

    Likewise, if I buy a copy of that book, I do not have the right to make derivative works from The Sound and the Fury, or to perform a reading of it in public, or what have you.

    So, clearly, copyright is a restriction on private property rights. Rights that would be held by Dover (and any other publisher), and the purchaser, without copyright.

    But I never said, or even suggested, that the "legal title" to those copies is "passed" to the author. Nor that the public "legally owns" all public domain works. Those are bullshit straw man arguments.

     

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    MrWilson, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:48am

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

    The problem with applying Hohfeld's theory here is that you're only applying Hohfeld's criteria re: rights vs. privileges to the copyright held by a copyright holder.

    You're treating copyright as if it is the right (not privilege) that Hofheld might refer to, but it's actually the right of the public to naturally copy whatever it physically able to copy which the public has, theoretically, through its elected officials, agreed to forgo for a (again, theoretically) limited period of time in exchange for granting an artificial privilege to the author, for the ultimate purpose "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts."

    Copyright in practice no longer exists in a limited state or for the purpose of promoting the progress of science and useful arts, nor even to incentivize authors, but rather it incentivizes corporations to lobby for more copyright laws that worsen the fracturing of the original social contract that was copyright - the bestowing of a privilege, not the acknowledgement of a natural right - to authors who publish their works.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 8:33am

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

    I'm not putting words in your mouth. I've been talking about copyrights, not property rights in a given particular copy. As I've said numerous times, the copyright rights initially vest in the author. They are not taken from the public and then given to the author. The author is the first party to own them. Yes, without copyright law the author would not have the copyright and the public would have the right to copy the work. But we do have copyright, so the public doesn't possess those copyright rights.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 8:34am

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

    Yes, all sorts of laws restrict what you can do with an item of tangible property. Copyright law doesn't let you copy it. Littering law doesn't let you litter it. Battery law doesn't let you hit people with it. Etc. All private property rights are restricted. So what?

     

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    cpt kangarooski, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 11:48am

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

    That doesn't make any sense, though. Copyrights are a right to restrict the public; the public never possesses them, and it would be pointless if they did. What the public possesses is eg the right to make copies. Copyright doesn't include this right, it just has the opposite: a right to prohibit others from eg making copies.

    The effect of giving an author a copyright is to infringe upon the right of the public, but since the nature of the rights is different, no rights are being transferred from one to the other.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

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

    I've been talking about copyrights, not property rights in a given particular copy. As I've said numerous times, the copyright rights initially vest in the author.

    But not the natural rights to copy and distribute. Those existed prior to copyright law and exist with or without copyright. Copyright restricts those rights by law, that's all. Once a work is released beyond the original author, the natural rights of copying and distribution exist. Period. The only way to truly restrict those rights on a particular work is to lock that work in your bottom desk drawer and never let anyone else see it.


    They are not taken from the public and then given to the author. The author is the first party to own them.

    Copyright itself restricts the natural rights to copy and distribute. Those rights were removed from the public with the threat of legal consequences at the inception of copyright. That is what we are talking about here.



    Yes, without copyright law the author would not have the copyright and the public would have the right to copy the work. But we do have copyright, so the public doesn't possess those copyright rights.

    The public may not posses the legal rights of copying and distribution, but they always have and always will have the natural rights to do those things. If the public somehow didn't have those natural rights, then piracy wouldn't exist at all, would it?

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

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

    Maybe I can clarify with an anology.

    You verbally tell me a story that you made up. I have the right to retell that story to other people. I have the right to embellish that story to make it more interesting to my audience or to omit parts that aren't relevant. I have the rights to do those things and have always had those rights to do those things throughout history.

    Now, take that same story and write it on a piece paper (ie: fix it to a tangible medium) and because of copyright law, I no longer have the same rights as when you verbally told me the story. Copyright has restricted my rights.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:15pm

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

    Yes, all sorts of laws restrict what you can do with an item of tangible property. Copyright law doesn't let you copy it. Littering law doesn't let you litter it. Battery law doesn't let you hit people with it. Etc. All private property rights are restricted. So what?

    Law are supposed to represent the wishes of the majority of the public. Take a survey about litttering and most people would answer that they want littering laws to keep our parks clean. Take a survey about battery and pretty much all people would say they think laws against physically hurting other people are good things.

    Now take a survey about copyright and see what you get. A lot less support for copyright laws. Hell, this very article we are commenting on indicates that even amongst musicians themselves they are split about 50/50 on whether copyright law is really all that beneficial to them making a living.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

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

    I'm not putting words in your mouth.

    Bullshit. Here's what you said:

    Karl's trying to say that the statute vesting title in the author is the same thing as transferring title from the public. That's not the case. Karl also seems to think that the public domain is legally owned by the public. That's also not the case.

    I never said either of those things, and you know it.

    I've been talking about copyrights, not property rights in a given particular copy.

    Here are your exact words: "You have to argue that the public would have gotten the rights had it not been for copyright. In other words, they never owned the rights. The authors own the rights."

    "Had it not been for copyright," the public "would have gotten" all the rights that are exclusive to authors under 17 USC 106. The public would have the right to copy, distribute, perform, make derivative works, etc. These rights would all accrue to members of the public because of private property rights and/or free speech rights. Like I've been saying, consistently, throughout this whole discussion.

    You were the one that used the term "own." If such rights can be "owned" at all, they are "owned" by the public originally (meaning: before copyright).

    But "own" is a very bad term, which is why I always used sarcasm quotes. Copyright is not traditional property, and is not "owned" in the same manner as traditional property. For example, it would be misleading to say a visual artist "owns" the right to attribution and integrity created by 17 USC 106A.

    I prefer the term "held." The rights that are held by authors, exclusively, under copyright law, are held by the general public, non-exclusively, absent copyright law.

    Yes, without copyright law the author would not have the copyright and the public would have the right to copy the work.

    So then you agree, these rights are "taken from the public and then given to the author."

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:12pm

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

    So what?

    So, when you said this:

    The right subsists in the author. It isn't taken from some other person and given to the author.

    ...you were wrong. The rights that are granted to authors, exclusively, under copyright law, would be held by everyone, non-exclusively, absent copyright law.

    The rights do not "subsist in the author." They subsist in the public. They are taken, not just from "some other person," but from all other people, and given to the author. That is what copyright does, and that is all that it does.

    And theoretically, the rights are taken from the general public, because the benefits to the public outweigh what is taken from them. The moment the laws do not do this, they are unjust.

    Whatever duties the public has towards copyright law, is the same duty that the public has to any other unjust law. Whether that duty is to follow them and promote their revision/repeal, or to ignore them and behave justly (and in the process disobey them), is certainly up for debate.

     

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  122.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

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

    That doesn't make any sense, though. Copyrights are a right to restrict the public; the public never possesses them, and it would be pointless if they did. What the public possesses is eg the right to make copies. Copyright doesn't include this right, it just has the opposite: a right to prohibit others from eg making copies.

    The effect of giving an author a copyright is to infringe upon the right of the public, but since the nature of the rights is different, no rights are being transferred from one to the other.


    All property rights restrict the public since they create in the public the duty to not interfere with the right. Take any property you own. Say you own a car. We don't walk around saying that you took the car from the public, even though without your right to own the car everyone would be able to own it. We don't consider your right to own your car to infringe upon the public's rights. That's why it's silly.

     

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  123.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

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

    But not the natural rights to copy and distribute. Those existed prior to copyright law and exist with or without copyright. Copyright restricts those rights by law, that's all. Once a work is released beyond the original author, the natural rights of copying and distribution exist. Period. The only way to truly restrict those rights on a particular work is to lock that work in your bottom desk drawer and never let anyone else see it.

    All property rights restrict what other people could do. I really don't understand why it's something special and different with copyright. So do other rights, like your right not to be murdered by me. We don't walk around complaining about how the murder laws take away our rights to kill people.

    Copyright itself restricts the natural rights to copy and distribute. Those rights were removed from the public with the threat of legal consequences at the inception of copyright. That is what we are talking about here.

    Murder laws restrict my natural right to murder you. Those rights to murder you were removed from the public with the threat of legal consequences at the inception of your becoming a person. That is what I'm talking about.

    See how dumb?

     

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  124.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:22pm

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

    Now take a survey about copyright and see what you get. A lot less support for copyright laws. Hell, this very article we are commenting on indicates that even amongst musicians themselves they are split about 50/50 on whether copyright law is really all that beneficial to them making a living.

    If so many people are against it, it should be a cinch to get the laws revoked. Good luck with that.

     

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  125.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 5:10pm

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

    If so many people are against it, it should be a cinch to get the laws revoked. Good luck with that.

    Notice that I said "supposed to represent the wishes of the majority". I am not naive enough to believe that we have anything remotely resembling that these days with the way business is done on K Street.

     

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  126.  
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    cpt kangarooski, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 10:17pm

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

    Say you own a car. We don't walk around saying that you took the car from the public

    Well, there is that well-known saying that all property is theft. And there's some truth to that. After all, property is a utilitarian construct, which operates by mutual agreement. If Alice claims to own something, it's only true insofar as she can either defend it from others or others voluntarily agree to her claim. But if other people can overpower her, or if too few people are willing to go along with it, then they can take it away and even claim that they're right to do so.

    Even though property law is utilitarian, it developed organically, and there were other, superseded theories to explain it (e.g. it came from God), so most people don't really think of it in this way. But it's not grounded in anything other than convenience and tradition, and can be (and has been) changed when necessary. And even now, some things aren't property (no one owns the air, or the open ocean, or space) and if you claimed to own them (say, you own the moon), you'd just be laughed at, because you're silly.

    Copyright is a more recent development, and was known to be utilitarian at the time it was created. And given the lack of tradition and calcification, it's even more easily changed.

    A right to property in, say, land, does indeed interfere with the public's right to enjoy that land. If we took something from the public domain, like the beach (in many places, the beach up to the high tide line is public) and gave it over to private ownership, it would cause an uproar. People wouldn't stand for this infringement of public rights.

    Well, we're beginning to see an uproar about copyright. It's gotten too big, lasts too long, and is enforced too harshly. People are beginning not to stand for it. And that's not silly at all.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 10:38pm

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

    Say you own a car. We don't walk around saying that you took the car from the public, even though without your right to own the car everyone would be able to own it.

    My right to own a car was not granted to me by public servants, so that the public can benefit from the use of my car.

    If it was, then the moment I stop letting the public use my car, is the moment I should no longer have the right to own it. If that didn't happen, it would be entirely appropriate to say I took the car from the public.

     

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  128.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 4:28am

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

    Actually, the reason people don't go around complaining about not being able to murder each other with their property is because doing so infringes upon another right: the right to life. With the right to life comes the duty to respect others' life. Copying a book that is in your possession, on the other hand is exercising one's rights and does not infringe upon anyone's fundamental rights -or at least none that I'm aware of-.

    Remember the saying "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."? That's exactly what's at work here.

     

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  129.  
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    wiredworx (profile), Feb 13th, 2013 @ 1:34am

    press release service

    Thats awesome...

     

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  130.  
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    DorothyWenger (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 6:35am

    You have done a lot of research I can see... Very informative post..Well done

     

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  131.  
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    JackSeven, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:15pm

    File Sharing

    Interesting topic by the looks of things. I have a relation who just started a band. They released their first single on iTunes and put out a Youtube video. I plugged the name of their song into MOG and afew days after they had releassed the song it was on there. I contacted them to let them know it was amazing that their song was on MOG being shared and they freaked out.

    They said in no way did they want there song on there. They didn't give permission or were they ever asked? So how does that happen so fast without even the permission of the artist? At least they should have the Decency to asked the artist's.

     

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


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