Yes, People Can Comment On Content Business Models Without Having Produced Hit Content

from the appeal-to-false-authority dept

We've seen it over and over again in the comments on Techdirt. We'll talk about the impact of copyright or patents, and a lawyer will claim that unless we're an IP lawyer, we should not comment. Or we'll talk about content business models for the music or movie industry, and someone will claim that until we've had a hit song or movie, we should not comment. The argument always struck me as a curious one. After all, just because you don't have a law degree, doesn't mean you can't understand copyright law. In fact, since we're usually talking about the economic impact of copyright law, it seemed like the easy retort is that if those lawyers didn't have an economics degree, perhaps they shouldn't be talking about the impact of copyright law either. Of course, that's silly. The fact is, anyone who understands the basic issues has a right to give their opinion, and back it up with facts and discuss their positions. But saying that someone who doesn't have "x degree" or "y experience" is usually a response from someone who doesn't want to argue the actual details.

Filmmaker Ross Pruden just wrote a blog post discussing this, where he pointed out that you don't need first-hand experience to understand details and make a proper judgment call about how to run a business. When we talk about music or movie business models, I'm not suggesting I know how to make a hit song or movie. But I can look at the economics and suggest what makes sense from a business perspective given the market today. Just as Ross can look at the market and realize that how things are done today don't make as much sense, even if he hasn't (yet) made a "commercially successful film."

This whole appeal to a false authority is a bit annoying, because it's an easy way to dismiss the messenger without addressing the message. I doubt it will change, but it was nice of Ross to call out this point. Having created a hit song doesn't mean you know how to navigate a changing market. Knowing how to produce a blockbuster movie doesn't mean you know how to use the internet to your advantage. Knowing how to get a patent doesn't mean you know how patents impact innovation. Unfortunately, some people think that if they know one aspect of these things, only they are allowed to comment on the business models or economic implications. That's simply not true -- and those who go there tend to be in denial about the market challenges they face.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 6:06pm

    Why does my company make money?

    Most companies, I think, have no idea why they are able to turn a profit. Of course if you ask them they'll talk about "high-quality products and a focus on customers" and a bunch of other possible reasons, but in the end, they really don't know. If Hollywood knew which movies would make money and which didn't, why would they every make a movie that lost money (for real, not just on paper)?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 6:16pm

      Re: Why does my company make money?

      Perhaps because nobody can predict exact consumer demand, and there are fringes of movies that might experiment with formulas that could really take off. See My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Paranormal Activity, and Blair Witch Project.

       

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        abc gum, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:31pm

        Re: Re: Why does my company make money?

        "Perhaps because nobody can predict exact consumer demand"

        This may explain why there are so many reruns, sequels, prequels and remakes. Many in Hollywood lack creativity and just go with what worked in the past.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    We're all consumers and our comments are justified on that basis alone.

    Content would get keep on getting produced without anyone getting paid for it, let me assure you of that. We don't need Big Content. But Big Content needs the money, and it needs us consumers, and so it is we who are in charge here. So we get to comment.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 6:19pm

      Re:

      The best comment you can make to a company is silence, followed by putting your money elsewhere. They lose on revenue, and they lose of the vital information and feedback that could help them correct their mistake. I imagine this is why every freaking company in the world plasters surveys on their web pages now, all of which I long since stopped answering, since my feedback never seemed to matter on the ones I did fill out.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

        Re: Re:

        I often find those surveys are often built to obtain the answers they want or justify decisions already made, like doing research after the fact.

         

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        PaulT (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 5:47am

        Re: Re:

        ...except that's proven not to work. If I choose not to buy content from my current location in Spain and buy from the UK instead (due to poor supply, high prices and long wait for releases), the industry screams about how "piracy" is killing their business and threaten to pull out of Spain completely. If I choose to buy nothing at all, *both* locations scream "piracy" rather than examine their business.

        Region coding, DRM, proprietary formats, windowed releasing, double-dipping, etc. are all anti-consumer tactics that have had some small measure of success but were doomed to fail in the long term. Those of us who have been pointing out their inevitable failure all along have been shouted down as either "pirates" or by using the tactics described by Mike above.

        Sadly, while we're being proven correct, the industry still isn't listening.

        As I've always said: I'm here, entertainment industry, and I'm telling you exactly what I want to buy and how I'd like to buy it. It's not my problem if you choose not to offer that to me, but you lose the right to complain when your sales drop as a result.

         

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    Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    Yes, people can comment on anything they want. But an educated/experienced opinion will likely carry more value than an uneducated/inexperienced opinion.

    People like to talk about how Copyright is "wrong". But my experience seems to indicate that most people commenting barely understand what copyright actually is and how it works. Furthermore, few people seem to have a reasonable solution to the riddle of keeping art profitable yet distributing it for free. The answer often given to this problem is "It's not my job on how to keep artists employed".

    In short: There's alot of talk going on. But not alot of answers.

     

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      Dementia (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 6:29pm

      Re:

      Do I know all the ins and outs of copyright law? No, I don't, but I do comprehend the basics and, more importantly, I understand how it is being abused.

      Also I am more than willing to admit that I'm not an economist or business manager, so no, I don't necessarily have great ideas about how to generate revenue streams. I do, however, understand that some people here do have this knowledge, and I can follow the discussions and understand their ideas.

      In reality, how an artist stays employed ISN'T our problem. As has been stated many times, no one is owed an income, it is something that must be continuously earned. I certainly don't get a check every week for sitting on my couch doing nothing. I've created things that qualify for a copyright but no one just brings me money. Why should an "artist" be any different?

       

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        Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 6:58pm

        Re: Re:

        Dementia: "I certainly don't get a check every week for sitting on my couch doing nothing."

        This is the kind of basic failure to understand copyright and how it works that I am talking about. Artists work on a royalty based system so that a novel that takes a year to write can be sold to the consumer for under ten dollars. Artists are often self-employed (the ones who work with a royalty structure anyway). That means no corporate health insurance. No matched 401k payments. No sick days. No vacations days. No maternity/paternity leave. No fixed regular paychecks. No job security. Little in the way of retirement. No severance packages. So many things that are provided for with standard employer/employee relationships do not exist. Why should an artist (nice quotes you used around the word artist, by the way) be treated differently? Because the entire economic structure is different.

        Most artists make under the poverty line, even with those royalties. You think that equates to sitting on the couch doing nothing? Seriously? The royalty structure helps ensure fair compensation to artists while making art affordable for everyone.

        If you want to pay 50,000 dollars for a novel, than sure. Royalties may not make sense for you. I doubt you want to do this though.

        People here have "great ideas" on how to generate "revenue streams"? No. Not really. There are some ideas of varying quality that apply in certain circumstances. The question of how to keep art affordable and profitable in the digital era has not been quietly and universally solved at Techdirt while everyone else was looking the other way. No.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You meant under $10 to rent a novel.

           

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            Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No. I meant "buy a novel". You're confusing this with "buy the rights to a novel". "Rent" means you have to return your individual copy. Not the same at all, despite popular internet myth.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              After copying it and digitizing it, for the price of the rent.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Rental means that the owner dictates the terms of your ability to use the product...

              ...just like copyright holders enjoy doing.

               

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                Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:11pm

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

                No. The definition of "rent" usually involves regular payments at specific intervals. You own one copy, and can do what you want witho that one copy without any further payments. There are a few basic limitations, but purchasing a book is not a "rental".

                This is what I'm talking about. Most people simply have no idea what they're talking about in regards to this subject.

                 

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                  PaulT (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 5:58am

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

                  "Most people simply have no idea what they're talking about in regards to this subject."

                  Case in point.

                  The issue is this: how can you truly own something if the copyright owner can change the terms of your ownership, or even revoke said ownership, at any time (as with many eBooks).

                  Maybe there's a better word than "rent" to describe this situation, but it sure as hell isn't "ownership".

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 6:07am

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

                    [crickets]

                     

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                    Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:19am

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

                    I was speaking of physical copies. In regards to digital copies, I consider altering terms of sale after purchase a crime.

                    The reality is, digital distribution is new. And needs alot of work still.

                     

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                      Free Capitalist (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:29am

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

                      The reality is, digital distribution is new. And needs alot of work still.

                      While it is not exactly "new" to a lot of folks outside of Washington, I agree 100%.

                      I think the broadening interest and concern about copyright stems from the lumbering, one-sided efforts to deal with the digital mediums.

                      When a lay person looks at a digital remedy such as "Hadopi" in France, or the Digital Economy Act in the U.K., it's easy to see why a lot more people all of a sudden are interested in copyright law.

                      While I agree copyright needs works, we need all sides weighing in to the conversation, especially the consumer and artists, not unilateral decisions leading to stupidity such as the ACTA negotiations.

                      While dealing with the digital medium, interest holders and politicians need to be very cautious about the very nature of digital communications, and how it is being used increasingly as a manner of expression, connecting with family, work and for commerce.

                      We should also be wary of methods that might lead to tragic consequences down the road: such as unregulated user monitoring, global site blocking or other technologies that can be used to oppress, and to control people in general, not just copyright infringement.

                      Thanks for your input. I hope you understand why it is so important for people to watch the progress of copyright as applied to the Internet.

                       

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                      PaulT (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

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

                      "I was speaking of physical copies."

                      Strange that you would, considering that the entire discussion is about how business models need to change with digital distribution but I accept that distinction. However, that still makes your comment fairly pointless (who the hell rents a physical book using "regular payments at specific intervals"? - libraries are still free, aren't they?).

                      "In regards to digital copies, I consider altering terms of sale after purchase a crime."

                      Here, we agree.

                      "The reality is, digital distribution is new."

                      Not really. It's been around in various forms for well over a decade. During which time, people have been saying that they need to work their business models around the new realities rather than try to force old models to work in a marketplace where they are no longer valid.

                      "And needs alot of work still."

                      Only because media companies have been panicking about "piracy" rather than adapting. As I've mentioned in other posts, instead of adapting, they've tried to force regional restrictions, DRM, proprietary formats, etc. - wasted effort that could have been much better spent. If they'd have done this instead of fragmenting the marketplace through futile efforts to control it, we probably wouldn't be having this kind of discussion.

                       

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                        Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

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

                        "However, that still makes your comment fairly pointless (who the hell rents a physical book using "regular payments at specific intervals"?

                        That's my point. No one does. That's why buying a book is not the same as a rental.

                        "Not really. It's been around in various forms for well over a decade.

                        Relatively speaking, that's very new. Particularly when you consider that entire industries are only still just starting to adopt the practice instead of print distribution.

                         

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                          PaulT (profile), Jul 31st, 2010 @ 4:33am

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

                          "Particularly when you consider that entire industries are only still just starting to adopt the practice instead of print distribution."

                          Excuse me for not having sympathy for people who only move with the times when it suits them, and then complain when they're left behind.

                           

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              Karl (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 5:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              People like to talk about how Copyright is "wrong".

              Yet you don't say why it's right (nice quotes you used around the word wrong, by the way).

              But my experience seems to indicate that most people commenting barely understand what copyright actually is and how it works. Furthermore, few people seem to have a reasonable solution to the riddle of keeping art profitable yet distributing it for free.

              Apparently you don't understand copyright either, since copyright is supposed to benefit the public. The "riddle of keeping art profitable" has little to do with it. If the public gains access to more works because of copyright, then copyright is doing its job, even if nobody makes a profit.

              There's also the fact that in most commercial artistic fields (e.g. music, movies) the artists have never made money off of copyright royalties. (Musicians make money off of touring, and artists in movie studios are work-for-hire.)

              Not to mention the fact that Techdirt has plenty of stories on how artists were able to succeed without using copyright, and does so itself.

              The answer often given to this problem is "It's not my job on how to keep artists employed".

              That is exactly the right answer. Keeping artists employed is nobody's job but the artists'.

              Now, that doesn't mean that most people are against artists earning money. They just need to do it in ways that don't depend on copyright.

              In my day job, I work in the print industry (as in, printing presses and blueprints). This is an industry that has been hit hard by digital publishing - much, much harder than the music industry has.

              Now, obviously I want to get paid. But do I have a right to run to the government, and demand legal protections against people emailing PDF's instead of FedEx-ing drawings? No, I do not.

              Dementia: "I certainly don't get a check every week for sitting on my couch doing nothing."

              This is the kind of basic failure to understand copyright and how it works that I am talking about. [...] The royalty structure helps ensure fair compensation to artists while making art affordable for everyone.


              If artists are getting royalty checks, but not producing more works, then they are sitting on their couches doing nothing. (J.D. Salinger comes to mind.)

              If artists' heirs are collecting checks for their copyrighted works, then those heirs are getting a check every week for sitting on their couches doing nothing.

              And in just about every publishing system, the royalty system does not ensure any "conpensation to the artists," fair or otherwise. It ensures compensation to the publishers. While those publishers may not be sitting on the couch doing nothing, they're certainly not creating any works themselves.

              I agree with you that artists get paid the least out of all the people who work in the artistic industries. When you advocate copyright, you're really advocating the continuation of those industries.

              Which of us, exactly, doesn't want artists to get paid?

              AC: You meant under $10 to rent a novel.

              No. I meant "buy a novel". You're confusing this with "buy the rights to a novel".


              Actually, you're both confusing this with licensing a novel.

              If you don't own the all the rights to an object when you pay money for it, then you haven't bought it. This is why people don't "buy" commercial software, they "license the right to use" the software.

              Copyright creates the situation where it's the same with books, music, movies, etc. What you buy isn't legally yours. In a colloquial sense, "rent" is not such a bad term. (It's more accurate than calling infringement "theft," for example.)

              This is why economists use the term rent seeking, which is what copyright is all about.

              The question of how to keep art affordable and profitable in the digital era has not been quietly and universally solved at Techdirt while everyone else was looking the other way. No.

              Well, Techdirt's content is public domain, and they still make money, so it's been solved for Techdirt at least. It hasn't been "universally solved" because there is not a universal solution. Every industry is different, and can offer different things.

              But Techdirt has espoused one general solution: don't charge for public goods, use public goods to charge for private goods or club goods. In non-economic terms, don't "sell" the work itself, which can be copied at no cost. Sell the things that can't be copied. What that "thing" is, is up to the artists and publishers to figure out and exploit.

              Theaters do this. Perhaps that's why, even as infringement has become ubiquitous, movie studios made more money in the past few years than they have in their entire history.

               

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                Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:18am

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

                "Yet you don't say why it's right (nice quotes you used around the word wrong, by the way)."

                Actually, I did mention a benefit of copyright. Very specifically. Copyright protects against unauthorized distribution. Theoretically ensuring payment per copy of work sold for artists. That payment allows works of art to be distributed at a low cost while allowing the art a greater chance of being economically self-sustaining. Thus encouraging the creation of further works of art.

                "Apparently you don't understand copyright either, since copyright is supposed to benefit the public."

                Making art affordable while using financial gain as an incentive for the creation of further works of art benefits the public. This is pretty basic math here. I shouldn't have to explain it.

                "The "riddle of keeping art profitable" has little to do with it. If the public gains access to more works because of copyright, then copyright is doing its job, even if nobody makes a profit."

                If nobody makes a profit, theoretically less artists will be able to create art. The money may not go directly to the artist, but that doesn't mean financial gain isn't still the incentive for those hiring the artist. That said, you're taking two subjects that I specifically separated and treating them as one. I try to chose my words carefully. Please try to read them carefully.

                "That is exactly the right answer. Keeping artists employed is nobody's job but the artists'."

                Bullshit. If your favorite type of art ceases being created because no one can make money producing it, you lose. Again, the math here is very simple. Regardless, I was clearly referring to the commonplace hypothetical discussions over the transition from distribution for pay to free distribution. If the argument presented doesn't include a practical solution to keeping art economically viable while still altering the existing structure, it's relatively a worthless argument.

                Or to be more clear: Arguing for change without discussing the ramifications of change is a worthless exercise.

                You go on to use your position in print as an example of how jobs should not be protected. Many people do the same with broken horse and buggy analogies. This further highlights the failure to understand the current scenario. People stopped wanting horse and buggies. People want less to do with print. People still want art, and I doubt anyone would legitimately argue that encouraging the promotion of art (something that arguably enriches culture) is the same with propping up a dying industry.

                "If artists are getting royalty checks, but not producing more works, then they are sitting on their couches doing nothing. (J.D. Salinger comes to mind.)"

                The only way your argument works is if you include the word "IF". Most artists will never receive Salinger level royalties. Most descendants of artists will never see a dime from the artists work.

                "I agree with you that artists get paid the least out of all the people who work in the artistic industries."

                I never said this. And I think that it's bullshit. The only times this is the case is when artists align themselves with a corporate entity. And that's a choice the artists make. Even then, I work within that field from time to time and off my art itself, I make more than my editors. I make more than the distributors. I make more on my work than the corporate lawyers. I make more than the guy in the mail room. I make more than the printer.

                You simply do not know what you are talking about.

                "Which of us, exactly, doesn't want artists to get paid?"

                Please quote me saying that someone doesn't want artists to be paid. I'll be waiting.

                "What you buy isn't legally yours."

                If you want to go into those terms, you purchase a license. Same difference. You don't purchase the rights to multiple copies, but you have still purchased a copy for personal use.

                "If you don't own the all the rights to an object when you pay money for it, then you haven't bought it."

                That's absurd. Even with licensing rights you still must purchase the rights.

                "Well, Techdirt's content is public domain, and they still make money, so it's been solved for Techdirt at least."

                Techdirt is art?

                 

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                  Karl (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 3:12pm

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

                  Actually, I did mention a benefit of copyright.

                  Not in the post I replied to, you didn't. Also, even if there are benefits, that doesn't mean that copyright is not wrong. The benefits would have to outweigh the detriments. And, currently, copyright law is probably more detrimental than beneficial to the public. Since the only barometer of copyright's worth is whether it has a net public benefit, that means that it's wrong, at least as it stands right now.

                  Very specifically. Copyright protects against unauthorized distribution.

                  Very specifically, copyright creates the "right" to authorize distribution in the first place. It doesn't "protect" a right, it creates one. But perhaps I'm nit-picking.

                  Theoretically ensuring payment per copy of work sold for artists. That payment allows works of art to be distributed at a low cost while allowing the art a greater chance of being economically self-sustaining. Thus encouraging the creation of further works of art.

                  I've yet to see anyone explain how copyright lowers the end costs to the consumer. You're the first person I've seen claim that it does, in fact. File sharing is an example: without copyright, legal distribution costs nothing.

                  But yes, the reason copyright exists at all is to encourage artistic output to the public. If that output would happen without copyright, or if copyright prevents that output from being used by the public, then copyright is either detrimental or unnecessary.

                  That appears to be the case. For one thing, most artists would still create art even if they didn't make money due to copyright (as evidenced by the fact that most don't make money - even most professional artists). For another thing, those that do make money, have the ability to make just as much money without relying on copyright.

                  And the current copyright lengths (which are six times longer than patent lengths) are definitely keeping art from being used by the public. Let's not forget that artists are members of the public, too; so artists are also prevented from using the works of past artists.

                  Making art affordable while using financial gain as an incentive for the creation of further works of art benefits the public. This is pretty basic math here. I shouldn't have to explain it.

                  Assuming that's what copyright actually achieves, and assuming that those benefits outweigh the social ills of a government-enforced monopoly.

                  "That is exactly the right answer. Keeping artists employed is nobody's job but the artists'."

                  Bullshit. If your favorite type of art ceases being created because no one can make money producing it, you lose.


                  If I drive a DeLorean, and DeLorean goes out of business, then I also lose. Does that mean it's my job to keep DeLorean in business? No.

                  Now, obviously if I like artists, then I should support them. No argument here. There are plenty of ways to do that that don't rely on paying for public goods.



                  Regardless, I was clearly referring to the commonplace hypothetical discussions over the transition from distribution for pay to free distribution. If the argument presented doesn't include a practical solution to keeping art economically viable while still altering the existing structure, it's relatively a worthless argument.

                  Or to be more clear: Arguing for change without discussing the ramifications of change is a worthless exercise.


                  Change has already come. That's not the argument in question. The question is not whether to "allow" people to get your works for free. The question is what you're going to do since they can.

                  And if you're not an artist, your interests should lie squarely in whether copyright law inflicts harm on the public. Currently, it inflicts a tremendous amount of harm, with little or no benefit.






                  You go on to use your position in print as an example of how jobs should not be protected. Many people do the same with broken horse and buggy analogies. This further highlights the failure to understand the current scenario. People stopped wanting horse and buggies. People want less to do with print. People still want art, and I doubt anyone would legitimately argue that encouraging the promotion of art (something that arguably enriches culture) is the same with propping up a dying industry.

                  Actually, that statement highlights your failure to understand the current scenario. People still want what used to be printed on paper. Architectural drawings haven't suddenly lost their value because they're being transferred digitally.

                  What has lost value is the paper format. And it's lost value because digital formats can be reproduced and distributed for no cost. If your business depends on selling and distributing the old format, your business is going to fail, just like print shops are failing, and you'll have nobody to blame but yourself.

                  That does not mean that I (or anyone else) is arguing against "encouraging the promotion of art." Just as I'm not arguing against encouraging the promotion of architecture.




                  The only way your argument works is if you include the word "IF". Most artists will never receive Salinger level royalties. Most descendants of artists will never see a dime from the artists work.

                  Most artists won't receive any royalties whatsoever, in fact. And you're right, I don't believe most artists are lazy assholes who sit around all day. (They're not all like me.)

                  "I agree with you that artists get paid the least out of all the people who work in the artistic industries."

                  I never said this. And I think that it's bullshit. The only times this is the case is when artists align themselves with a corporate entity. And that's a choice the artists make. Even then, I work within that field from time to time and off my art itself, I make more than my editors. I make more than the distributors. I make more on my work than the corporate lawyers. I make more than the guy in the mail room. I make more than the printer.


                  Well, this is definitely not true in music, which is my area of interest. Major label musicians usually make about as much as the cashier at a 7-11. But I don't know what industry you're in. If it's book publishing, I understand that authors get treated quite a bit better.

                  I'm not sure I believe you about the lawyers, though. Probably not the editors either.

                  Please quote me saying that someone doesn't want artists to be paid. I'll be waiting.

                  This, after you wrote paragraphs about how copyright is necessary for artists to get paid? Really?

                  If you want to go into those terms, you purchase a license. Same difference. You don't purchase the rights to multiple copies, but you have still purchased a copy for personal use.

                  And that's the problem. If I buy a chair, I own it. I can make copies of it and give it away to folks, completely legally. That is a necessary part of private property rights - which, unlike copyright, are considered natural rights.

                  "Well, Techdirt's content is public domain, and they still make money, so it's been solved for Techdirt at least."

                  Techdirt is art?


                  Why not? If you don't consider nonfiction writing to be art, then at least it's content that could be covered by copyright (but isn't). If he can make money without copyright, then smart artists can make money too. And many have.

                   

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                    Karl (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 4:46pm

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

                    Wow, sorry about all the typos. I was in a hurry.

                     

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                    Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

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

                    "Not in the post I replied to, you didn't."

                    It's a threaded conversation. And honestly, you and I have discussed this at length before. You have the benefit of coming into the discussion with a contextual understanding of my position.

                    "And, currently, copyright law is probably more detrimental than beneficial to the public."

                    That's your opinion. I would disagree. The public seems to show little sign of this detriment.

                    "But yes, the reason copyright exists at all is to encourage artistic output to the public. If that output would happen without copyright, or if copyright prevents that output from being used by the public, then copyright is either detrimental or unnecessary.

                    That appears to be the case. For one thing, most artists would still create art even if they didn't make money due to copyright (as evidenced by the fact that most don't make money - even most professional artists)."


                    Potential of earnings goes along way. And the current system holds said promise. So any art created under the current system is invalid as a form of proof that without said potential, output would not falter.

                    For another thing, those that do make money, have the ability to make just as much money without relying on copyright.

                    That might be true for some. I don't believe you have proof that this is true for all.

                    And the current copyright lengths (which are six times longer than patent lengths) are definitely keeping art from being used by the public. Let's not forget that artists are members of the public, too; so artists are also prevented from using the works of past artists."

                    As you and I have discussed at length at least two other times, you should know that I favor reform. But abuse of the system does not mean the system is invalid.

                    Assuming that's what copyright actually achieves, and assuming that those benefits outweigh the social ills of a government-enforced monopoly.

                    The outpouring of art created under the current system and the obvious affordability of art for the masses goes along way to arguing that copyright does achieve this.

                    "If I drive a DeLorean, and DeLorean goes out of business, then I also lose. Does that mean it's my job to keep DeLorean in business? No."

                    But we're not talking about cars. We're talking about hypothetical scenarios that will allow art to remain profitable for artists. As you say: You like artists, then you should support them. No argument here.

                    I'm uncertain why you challenged me on this. I clearly included changing the existing structure within my argument. This encompasses transitioning art from a paid system to free distribution. As long as consideration for the artist continues. A point you agree with.

                    "Change has already come. That's not the argument in question. The question is not whether to "allow" people to get your works for free. The question is what you're going to do since they can.

                    The "change" in question is obviously the alteration to copyright law that people champion. Last I checked, that had not arrived.

                    "And if you're not an artist, your interests should lie squarely in whether copyright law inflicts harm on the public. Currently, it inflicts a tremendous amount of harm, with little or no benefit."

                    I disagree. I think the public is willfully ignorant of the benefits of copyright.

                    "Well, this is definitely not true in music, which is my area of interest. Major label musicians usually make about as much as the cashier at a 7-11. But I don't know what industry you're in. If it's book publishing, I understand that authors get treated quite a bit better.

                    They do. But they have opportunities to monetize their existence through their art that are not available to writers. Live shows and t-shirt sales and the like don't translate over in the same way.

                    I'm not sure I believe you about the lawyers, though. Probably not the editors either."

                    You don't have to believe me. But it's true. This gets back to the heart of the discussion. Which is informed opinion versus uniformed.

                    "This, after you wrote paragraphs about how copyright is necessary for artists to get paid? Really?

                    Really. By all means, quote me saying that copyright is necessary for artists to get paid.

                    "I can make copies of it and give it away to folks, completely legally.

                    You can do that with books too. But the cost of purchase is higher. If you want to pay a fraction of the cost, accept a fraction of the rights.

                    Don't worry about typos. Anyone who ever gives you grief about typos in a forum debate is just being an ass. You're points are well written and easy to understand. That's all that matters.

                     

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                      vivaelamor (profile), Jul 30th, 2010 @ 10:17am

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

                      "Potential of earnings goes along way. And the current system holds said promise. So any art created under the current system is invalid as a form of proof that without said potential, output would not falter."

                      You seem to be saying that artists not making money using copyright keep going solely because they have the 'potential' to make money via copyright. Do you have any evidence to back that up? I can offer Amanda Palmer as evidence to the contrary. She started giving her music away because she was not making any money via copyright.

                      "The outpouring of art created under the current system and the obvious affordability of art for the masses goes along way to arguing that copyright does achieve this."

                      That sounds like painting a car while someone is upgrading the engine. You could say that the increase in speed coinciding with the new colour goes a long way to arguing that the paint job made the car faster. Oh, sorry, weren't you talking about cars?

                      "I disagree. I think the public is willfully ignorant of the benefits of copyright."

                      You've just accused pretty much everyone of being deceitful. Why do you think the public is wilfully ignorant? Have you been waving evidence of the benefits of copyright in our faces?

                       

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                        Memyself, Jul 30th, 2010 @ 10:54am

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                        "You seem to be saying that artists not making money using copyright keep going solely because they have the 'potential' to make money via copyright."

                        I said it serves as an incentive. Not that it was the sole motivation. I hardly need evidence that the incentive exists.

                        "That sounds like painting a car..."

                        If we had hundreds of years without painted engines, and then hundreds of years with painted engines, and engine performance improved after the transition and the improvement was measurably consistent, your analogy might work.

                        "You've just accused pretty much everyone of being deceitful.

                        Willfully ignorant and deceitful are two different things.

                        "Have you been waving evidence of the benefits of copyright in our faces?"

                        If you mean the global "you", yes. I've stated it on Techdirt repeatedly. Copyright helps protect artists from corporate exploitation. This is beneficial and it is fact.

                         

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                      Karl (profile), Jul 31st, 2010 @ 8:36am

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                      It's a threaded conversation. And honestly, you and I have discussed this at length before.

                      Several threaded discussions, in fact, which have all gone in different directions. I do apologize for not remembering our previous sparring sessions.

                      That's your opinion. I would disagree. The public seems to show little sign of this detriment.

                      The RIAA and Hurt Locker lawsuits, the FBI arrests of movie leakers, the seizing of domain names by Homeland Security, ACTA... these are all obvious detriments to the public. Less obvious detriments are added financial costs to consumers and businesses, restrictions on personal property rights, and restrictions on the freedom of expression.

                      Potential of earnings goes along way. And the current system holds said promise. So any art created under the current system is invalid as a form of proof that without said potential, output would not falter.

                      So, because there's a brass ring, it's OK that we're all forced to ride the merry-go-round at gunpoint?

                      Also, for many creative industries (e.g. acting), there's not even the potential for earnings through copyright, since they're work-for-hire. I guess the existence of actors is proof that copyright isn't necessary?

                      That might be true for some. I don't believe you have proof that this is true for all.

                      I recently read a new paper by Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf, which came to my attention because they now admit that noncommercial infringement is hurting the recording industry (though they still say the amount is highly exaggerated). But there's lots of other neat facts in there.

                      Included is a table (Table 6, pg. 39) that lists the 35 top-earning musical artists of 2002, and shows how much each earned due to touring, artist's royalties, and songwriter's royalties. All but four made more money from concerts than from artist's and songwriter's royalties combined. For example, total royalties accounted for only 15% of Paul McCartney's music-related income. (The four exceptions were Eminem, Jay-Z, Linkin Park, and Brian “Baby” Williams - who earn more royalties because they're also producers.)

                      So, while it may not be true for all, it's certainly true for most.

                      I don't know much about the publishing industry, so that may not be true for authors. Even so, I'm betting they could earn money in ways that don't involve selling their copyrighted material.

                      As you and I have discussed at length at least two other times, you should know that I favor reform. But abuse of the system does not mean the system is invalid.

                      If the system is being abused, then the system as it currently stands is invalid.

                      Incidentally, I don't think most people here (myself included) want to abolish copyright altogether. That's not what most people mean when they say copyright is "wrong." It is wrong - as it stands. It was not so wrong prior to 1976 (or maybe even later, depending on one's views).

                      When I talk about abolishing copyrights, I'm not actually advocating it, I'm saying that copyright does not have the effects you claim it does. I can see why you might get confused about this, so I thought I'd clear the air.

                      The outpouring of art created under the current system and the obvious affordability of art for the masses goes along way to arguing that copyright does achieve this.

                      Because these things happen under an enforced system, does not mean that they wouldn't happen without it.

                      I haven't seen any evidence that artistic output would decline without copyright, but I do know that copyright inhibits artistic production in many cases (e.g. derivative works). See also this paper by Mark Nadel (PDF) that details how copyright discourages creative output.

                      On the other hand, there are some examples that show how artistic output increases when artists ignore copyrights. (Folk, jazz, punk, etc.) That's about as close as we can get in a system where copyrights are mandatory.

                      Outside of art, there's plenty of examples where lack of copyright promotes creativity.

                      And I still have no earthly idea why you think copyright helps make art affordable. Were copyright abolished, art would cost a lot less, because there would be legal competition to drive the price down.

                      But we're not talking about cars. We're talking about hypothetical scenarios that will allow art to remain profitable for artists.

                      We're actually talking about whose responsibility it is to come up with these hypothetical scenarios. I still say it's the artists' responsibility, and theirs alone. That's how it works in every other business on Earth.

                      The "change" in question is obviously the alteration to copyright law that people champion.

                      As is pretty clear, people are going to share files whether copyright law changes or not. They've been doing so for over ten years now, and the number of people has been steadily increasing, even as the laws get more and more restrictive.

                      So, no, the change is already here, and has been for some time. Artists need to adapt or fail, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

                      You can do that [copy & distribute] with books too. But the cost of purchase is higher. If you want to pay a fraction of the cost, accept a fraction of the rights.

                      I shouldn't have to pay anything for what is fundamentally my right in the first place.

                      If we had hundreds of years without painted engines, and then hundreds of years with painted engines, and engine performance improved after the transition and the improvement was measurably consistent, your analogy might work.

                      Prior to copyright, we had government-granted licenses and outright censorship. Obviously copyright is better than that. But since the invention of the printing press, I don't know of any system that has only a public domain.

                      Copyright helps protect artists from corporate exploitation. This is beneficial and it is fact.

                      Wow. This is wrong on a lot of levels.

                      First of all, copyright does nothing to protect artists from corporate exploitation - see the music industry. If artists have protection from corporate exploitation, it doesn't come from copyright, it comes from things like labor unions or contract laws.

                      Second, copyright was never intended to protect anyone from exploitation. That purpose is not anywhere in the Constitution, case law, or Supreme Court judgements.

                      Third, if it did help protect artists, then that would be beneficial to artists. But it's not necessarily beneficial to society at large, and that's the only thing that counts, constitutionally speaking.

                      Now, I wholeheartedly agree that protection from financial exploitation should be an effect of copyright. But if that's your yardstick, then current copyright law just doesn't measure up.

                      Also: thanks for forgiving the typos.

                       

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                        Memyself, Aug 1st, 2010 @ 3:26pm

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

                        Okay. A few extra minutes now.

                        "If the system is being abused, then the system as it currently stands is invalid.

                        Just because a system is abused does not make the system itself invalid.

                        "We're actually talking about whose responsibility it is to come up with these hypothetical scenarios. I still say it's the artists' responsibility, and theirs alone. That's how it works in every other business on Earth."

                        No... that's not how it works with every other buisness on Earth. Regardless, art is not every other buisness. It's art. Society has a responsibility to cultivate culture. It's a self rewarding system. Now you might take a more libertarian viewpoint to art as buisness. I take a more socialist approach.

                        "So, no, the change is already here,"

                        Again, no. It's not. Otherwise all those lawsuits you mention? They wouldn't exist. We're talking about a change to the legal structure.

                        "I shouldn't have to pay anything for what is fundamentally my right in the first place."

                        How is it that purchasing my book for ten dollars with the clear understanding that you are not purchasing distribution rights gives you a right to redistribute the book?

                        No way shape or form does what you argue here make sense. My work. My art. You want to get my rights to distribute my labors, pay for them. Because the right to my efforts belongs (inherently) to only one person. Me.

                        "First of all, copyright does nothing to protect artists from corporate exploitation"

                        This is a topic we have covered before, as I recall. And you are as wrong as wrong can be. I (and some of my peers) have been the victim of corporate exploitation. Without copyright protecting us, we would have had zero recourse. I have tested and proven this topic in a court of law. Copyright protects against corporate exploitation. Absolutely.

                        "Second, copyright was never intended to protect anyone from exploitation.

                        And yet it does. And this is one of the good things about copyright that most people are unaware of.

                        "Third, if it did help protect artists, then that would be beneficial to artists.

                        Which helps promote the production of art, which in turn is beneficial for society. Or would you argue that corporations having sole dominance over any and all art created is better for society?

                        "But if that's your yardstick, then current copyright law just doesn't measure up.

                        It does. It may not be of help when the artists sign away their rights. But that is a choice the artists make. Most artists do not make that choice.

                        "Also: thanks for forgiving the typos.

                        Enh... We're all friends here, ideally. Plus: My grammar sucks. So who am I to throw stones?

                         

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                          Karl (profile), Aug 1st, 2010 @ 10:57pm

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                          Again, no. It's not. Otherwise all those lawsuits you mention? They wouldn't exist. We're talking about a change to the legal structure.

                          Even in the face of all those lawsuits, filesharing continues to grow. Those lawsuits have not altered the public's consumption habits one bit. Those consumption habits almost universally support filesharing.

                          If we're talking artists getting paid for their work: even if those lawsuits were successful in wiping out infringement entirely, there's absolutely no evidence that the lack of filesharing would make people buy art. (Especially not considering that infringers are 10x more likely to legitimately buy content.)

                          If we're talking about change to the laws: If the majority of the populace breaks the law, then maybe it's the law that needs changing, not the populace. Think about all the people you know who infringe on copyright in some way or another. It's most likely your friends and family, not some criminal underground. Perhaps that is evidence the laws need to be changed.

                          How is it that purchasing my book for ten dollars with the clear understanding that you are not purchasing distribution rights gives you a right to redistribute the book?

                          Most people do not sign a EULA at the register. They therefore don't have the "clear understanding" that what they legally purchase is subject to different laws than the every other thing that they legally purchase.

                          Even if they did, that would still take away rights that otherwise would be theirs. Honestly, I don't see how you're not getting this, it's hardly rocket science: by natural law, you're allowed to do anything whatsoever with the property that you gain, including reproduce it or give it away. If I have a cake, I can give it away to my neighbors, and I can give them the recipe, and if they want they can publish it in a cookbook, even for profit.

                          Copyright takes all those rights away. To ask the public to pay for those "rights" is insulting: it's like asking you to pay for the "right" to bake a cake using someone else's recipe.

                          I (and some of my peers) have been the victim of corporate exploitation. Without copyright protecting us, we would have had zero recourse.

                          Well, good for you. But for every success story of yours, there's a thousand stories of artists who have been exploited. Seriously: look at music. Every single artist on a major label is being exploited. Has copyright helped them? No. Copyright has benefited the labels themselves. That may not be true in your industry, but so what? That doesn't help the millions of artists in other industries that are being metaphorically robbed at gunpoint, and they have just as many rights under copyright laws as you do.

                          Which helps promote the production of art, which in turn is beneficial for society.

                          So long as that art enters the public domain. If it doesn't, then it isn't beneficial for society - it's just another thing that society has to pay for.

                          Now, if copyright lengths were shorter, I would agree with you wholeheartedly. Too bad that we're moving in the wrong direction.

                          Or would you argue that corporations having sole dominance over any and all art created is better for society?

                          Copyright has encouraged corporations having sole dominance over any and all art. Copyright is a publishing right, so naturally it will benefit the publishers most. Because the economy is becoming more and more global, that means that publishers are just one department of a multinational corporation. Copyright has done absolutely nothing to slow this trend, and has in fact been an instrument to accelerate it.

                          On the other hand, art outside of those same corporations has always ignored copyright restrictions, and been better for it. (Underground music springs to mind - including "underground" acts like Nirvana, Sonic Youth, REM, etc.)

                          If I'm against copyright, it's primarily because I'm against corporations having sole dominance over any and all art created. The idea that copyright serves to break this dominance is, frankly, laughable.

                          But that is a choice the artists make. Most artists do not make that choice.

                          If we were talking music, musicians would not have a choice. Other than to not be musicians, of course - because major venues would not book artists (no matter how popular) who weren't represented by a major label, radio would never play indie label music, and the press would ignore you.

                          Historically, this is not much different than other forms of art. Copyright has already been around for hundreds of years, without improving this situation one iota - because it was never a priority. It took labor unions (historically) and filesharing (lately) to break that stranglehold. Because of that, the majority of artists are better off now than they ever were in history - no question about it.

                           

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                            Memyself, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 1:26am

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

                            "Think about all the people you know who infringe on copyright in some way or another. It's most likely your friends and family, not some criminal underground."

                            I never called it a "criminal underground". Does the fact that many of us break the law in question mean the law itself should be eliminated? Absolutely not.

                            The rights of the artists have to come first. there right to see there efforts distributed as they see fit. No one has provided a single compelling argument in any debate I have participated in as to why the rights of consumers should trump the rights of those actually producing the art. My time, My efforts. my creativity. My rights. You want to take my rights away? No. Not acceptable. Never.

                            "Seriously: look at music. Every single artist on a major label is being exploited."

                            And all of those artists signed a contract. They made that choice. There's no debate to be had here.

                            The majority of artists do not make that choice. It's not even a choice offered to them. yet there are many, many cases of individual artists having their work exploited by corporations.

                            I'll say it again, though it should not have needed to be said even once. Most artists are not in bed with a corporation. You are pointing to the vast minority and calling it a majority. That makes no sense.

                            Regardless, I have friends who have contracts with major labels. They would disagree with you. Not everyone gets a bad contract and you making sweeping generalizations does not equal fact.

                            "Most people do not sign a EULA at the register."

                            Shorthand terminology exists for a reason. I understood what a copyright symbol meant by the time I was 5. This isn't rocket science either and anyone who disagrees with the terms of any purchase is free to choose not to make said purchase. Sales carry terms. There is nothing wrong with that, particularly when those terms help protect the rights of those who offer the service or goods in the first place.

                            Now, if we were talking about home rentals or food or anything people had to have to survive, there might be an argument here. But this is something people want, rather than something people must have for survival. The terms are reasonable. I spend a years worth of time and resources creating something, I provide the fruits of those labors and investment and a fraction of the cost to me, provided you obey some very simple and reasonable restrictions. If you want more, pay me the asked for price. If you don't like my terms, don't partake of my services/goods. Simple. Reasonable.

                            For the public to insist on a right they were never granted, when it involves property they do not own, that's the insult. It's a bullshit sense of entitlement that drives someone to believe that ten dollars should grant universal rights to the labors of another. There is no way that will ever be acceptable. Note ever.

                            "So long as that art enters the public domain. If it doesn't, then it isn't beneficial for society - it's just another thing that society has to pay for."

                            I'd like to think that my opinions on copyright terms and extensions has been made clear by now.

                            "Copyright is a publishing right, so naturally it will benefit the publishers most."

                            I know at least a hundred artists that publish their own work. Self publishers are publishers too, and their rights count.

                            "The idea that copyright serves to break this dominance is, frankly, laughable."

                            Current scenario. I write a book. Corporation takes interest in it. They have to go through me if they want a piece. Without the protection offered by copyright. They take my work and profit from it at will, using their vast resources to push me out of competing buisness. Copyright gives independent artists (and independent artists are the majority of artists) protection. This is fact.

                            "If we were talking music, musicians would not have a choice."

                            There is always a choice. I grew up in and around Gilman (in Berkeley) during the 80's. Some of my closest friends have done just fine without a major label. Additionally, my father worked with Bill Graham from the 60's-80's. And his experience and mine suggest that what you are claiming is simply not true. I worked for a music magazine for about 5 years. A major one. And we always covered independent bands. Now, radio, I have little experience with. But I'm betting college radio was a viable option.

                            "Because of that, the majority of artists are better off now than they ever were in history - no question about it."

                            No... .there most certainly is a question about it. Most of what you claim simply seems factually incorrect. Including the supposed negative effects of copyright.

                             

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                              Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 1:45am

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                              My time, My efforts. my creativity. My rights. You want to take my rights away? No. Not acceptable. Never.

                              What an entitlement attitude you have there. Yes, you put in your effort, but once you've released your work, you are now trampling on the rights of others. Why is it acceptable to you to trample on everyone else's rights, because you're too stubborn to adapt and put in place a smarter business model?

                              I find your statement above to be sickening.

                               

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                                Memyself, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 2:18am

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                                "What an entitlement attitude you have there."

                                Your entire blog reeks of entitlement.

                                "Yes, you put in your effort, but once you've released your work, you are now trampling on the rights of others.

                                Bullshit bullshit bullshit. Why does a ten dollar sale give you universal rights? Because you say so? Sorry, no. You want the right to copy and redistribute my efforts? Pay for it. If you don't want to make a conditional purchase, don't. But don't pretend that participating in a terms based transaction that you know damn well is limited is somehow a trampling of your rights. It isn't and it never will be.

                                "Why is it acceptable to you to trample on everyone else's rights,"

                                Are you forced to buy my work? No. You know what you're buying and the inherent limitations of your purchase. My rights as the one who puts in the time and effort trumps your assumed rights based off of making a single purchase.

                                And it turns out that just calling it "your rights' doesn't actually make it so. The only rights you are entitled to in regards to the products of my labor are the ones we agree to when we make our transaction. I would think that this very basic aspect of economics would not be so difficult for you to comprehend.

                                Answer me this: Why am I not allowed to offer my work up for sale under conditions. And why am I not allowed to price my work according to those conditions? And why the hell am I not allowed to push to punish a person who agrees to those conditions, pays the price set according to those conditions, and then breaks those conditions? You seriously think I'm the one with the sense of entitlement when you're sitting there telling me how I HAVE to give up my rights in regards to my work?

                                Again, you don't like the price, you don't like the terms of sale, don't fucking buy it. It's that simple.

                                "because you're too stubborn to adapt and put in place a smarter business model?

                                So what if I am? It's my right to set the terms and conditions of what I am selling. It's your right to buy or not buy. If I go out of buisness because of my choices, so be it. But just because you don't like the rules you don't have to obey them? No. Sorry. Doesn't work that way.Pay or don't pay. But don't pretend that asking a person to adhere to agreed upon terms is somehow equal to a sense of entitlement. It isn't and it never will be.

                                "I find your statement above to be sickening.

                                I find your statements to be simply foolish. And ignorant. And naive. And insulting.

                                 

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                                  Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 4:16am

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                                  Your entire blog reeks of entitlement.


                                  How so? Asking folks like yourself to stop whining to the gov't to protect your obsolete business models?

                                  Sorry. Telling you to grow up and learn how to act in a marketplace is not a sense of entitlement.

                                  Bullshit bullshit bullshit. Why does a ten dollar sale give you universal rights? Because you say so? Sorry, no. You want the right to copy and redistribute my efforts? Pay for it. If you don't want to make a conditional purchase, don't. But don't pretend that participating in a terms based transaction that you know damn well is limited is somehow a trampling of your rights. It isn't and it never will be.

                                  Talking with you is like talking to a brick wall. You seem to think that the artificial rights that a gov't gives you are somehow god-given. They're not. They purposely infringe upon a user's rights. So, no, the onus is on YOU to explain why it makes sense to take away these basic rights from users.

                                  Are you forced to buy my work? No. You know what you're buying and the inherent limitations of your purchase. My rights as the one who puts in the time and effort trumps your assumed rights based off of making a single purchase.

                                  Then create a contract to assert your rights. Don't rely on the gov't to force people into a shitty deal that goes against the Constitution's "promote the progress" claim.

                                  And, no, your rights DO NOT trump the rights of the public. The purpose of copyright is to help THE PUBLIC. Your failure to understand that is at the heart of your misunderstanding here.

                                  And it turns out that just calling it "your rights' doesn't actually make it so.

                                  Look in the mirror.

                                  The only rights you are entitled to in regards to the products of my labor are the ones we agree to when we make our transaction. I would think that this very basic aspect of economics would not be so difficult for you to comprehend.

                                  If we make a contractual deal, then fine. But that's not what has happened here. You are relying on an artificial construct to avoid making a contractual relationship.

                                  Answer me this: Why am I not allowed to offer my work up for sale under conditions.

                                  You are. But the problem is the reliance on copyright to do so, rather than a contract.

                                  And why the hell am I not allowed to push to punish a person who agrees to those conditions, pays the price set according to those conditions, and then breaks those conditions?

                                  Sure, you're allowed to under the law. No one has argued otherwise. We've just argued that it's NOT in anyone's best interest to do so. It's not in your best interest. It's not in the public's best interest. And yet you still want to do so because you're lazy and unwilling to adapt. It's sad and it harms everyone.

                                  Again, you don't like the price, you don't like the terms of sale, don't fucking buy it. It's that simple.


                                  And if that results in less cultural output? And if that results in less cultural progress? Then what?

                                  So what if I am? It's my right to set the terms and conditions of what I am selling.

                                  No. Not if you're using copyright. Copyright has one purpose: to promote the progress. If you're using it as a crutch because you're too fucking lazy to actually understand how to put in place a competent business model, then you shouldn't be allowed to use copyright. Sorry.

                                  If I go out of buisness because of my choices, so be it.

                                  Indeed. But if you get in the way of progress, well, copyright law should not allow you to do that.

                                  But just because you don't like the rules you don't have to obey them? No.

                                  I'm not saying it's okay to disobey the rules. I do obey them. As I've said countless times, I've never downloaded an unauthorized work. I don't use file sharing programs. I'm not defending file sharing at all.

                                  But I am questioning your idiotic sense of entitlement to laws that are not just about letting you set up a contract as you pretend.

                                  I find your statements to be simply foolish. And ignorant. And naive. And insulting.


                                  They are not foolish, ignorant or naive. They may be insulting to you, but that's of no concern to me. Frankly, anyone with such a sense of entitlement deserves to be insulted.

                                   

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                                    Memyself, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 10:08am

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

                                    "How so? Asking folks like yourself to stop whining to the gov't to protect your obsolete business models?"

                                    You sure do like assigning general insults, don't you. You might notice that the person I was discussing this with, when you dropped in with your comment to me, was able to debate while keeping it perfectly civil. Is it to much to ask you to do the same?

                                    "You seem to think that the artificial rights that a gov't gives you are somehow god-given.

                                    If "natural law" exists, then it is reasonable to claim that the product of my own mind is my property, and should be disseminated only as I see fit.

                                    "Then create a contract to assert your rights. Don't rely on the gov't to force people into a shitty deal that goes against the Constitution's "promote the progress" claim."

                                    The end result is the same. No one is forced into purchasing a work protected by copyright. By purchasing something protected by copyright you are entering into an agreement. If you dislike the terms of sale, don't fucking buy it.

                                    Arguing for contracts over copyright is like arguing which brand of bottled water is more wet.

                                    "If we make a contractual deal, then fine. But that's not what has happened here. You are relying on an artificial construct to avoid making a contractual relationship.

                                    A contract and copyright are equally artificial. Holding one up over the other as superior is a pointless endeavor.

                                    "Look in the mirror.

                                    Difference is, my rights are recognized by law. Yours is a product of wishful thinking. Not much of a mirror you have there.

                                    And if that results in less cultural output? And if that results in less cultural progress? Then what?

                                    And if it doesn't? And if a lack of copyright results in less cultural output? Then what?

                                    "Copyright has one purpose: to promote the progress."

                                    And progress can be gained by ensuring artists control over the product of their labors.

                                    "I'm not saying it's okay to disobey the rules. I do obey them. As I've said countless times, I've never downloaded an unauthorized work. I don't use file sharing programs. I'm not defending file sharing at all."

                                    And I've stated countless times, on this very site, that I distribute my work for free with great frequency. I assumed you were smart enough to understand the difference between a a debate utilizing hard line perspectives and the practice of the real world.

                                    And yet you still want to do so because you're lazy and unwilling to adapt. It's sad and it harms everyone.

                                    You're insistent on making this specific to the two of us, rather than a discussion of behavioral archetypes. Note: You're the one who began launching personal attacks. Good way to foster a discussion.

                                    Let's be clear on what you have exposed here: You're not speaking of the general "you". Hence you jumping to defend your so called "honor". See, I HAVE been speaking in the general sense. It's like I just said "I hate all people who wear red shirts, and you responded with, "I never wear red shirts, and I'm horribly offended that you hate me!"

                                    So yeah, I'm speaking in general terms about people who DO act and think in a specific way. Is that really such a difficult concept? Yes? Sorry you find it so challenging.

                                    You agree that I have a right to distribute my work as I see fit. Frankly, that's the end of the discussion.

                                    But there is still this little bit here...

                                    "They are not foolish, ignorant or naive.

                                    Um... yeah. They are. Sorry to burst your foolish ignorant and naive bubble.

                                    They may be insulting to you, but that's of no concern to me.

                                    Which nicely underscores the reality that you are not interested in legitimate discussion. You just want to be a dickbag, and you've created platform to highlight your dickbaggery.

                                    Frankly, anyone with such a sense of entitlement deserves to be insulted.

                                    See that bit right there? Just above this sentence? That's why you're a dickbag.

                                     

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                                      Modplan (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 10:27am

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                                      If "natural law" exists, then it is reasonable to claim that the product of my own mind is my property, and should be disseminated only as I see fit.


                                      Please tell me, at what point has man ever had the natural ability to dictate this to such an extreme degree as to restrict people from copying or reselling a work that they already own? At what point have laws dictated that a man should not have control over his own possessions because he supposedly licensed them, and not bought them outright?

                                      The only example I can think of is copyright law, and I don't think that was ever founded on the principle that you're entitled to control works even after they've left your possession, nor that they're an inalienable right for you to control distribution.

                                       

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                                      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 12:54am

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                                      You sure do like assigning general insults, don't you.

                                      I respond in kind to arguments made by people. If someone makes an ignorant argument once, I may consider them uninformed. If they continue to repeat it, even after being taught otherwise, then I'm going to make it clear that you are, in fact, ignorant. If you then start making even more ridiculous claims, as you did, I'm sorry but I'm going to call you on it.

                                      This isn't kindergarten. I assume you can handle someone pointing out when you are wrong.

                                      If "natural law" exists, then it is reasonable to claim that the product of my own mind is my property, and should be disseminated only as I see fit.

                                      Nope. None of the above statement is true. Natural rights do exist, of course, it is not reasonable to claim the product of your minder is either property or something you can control after you've distributed it to others. It's easy to see why. Before IP law was in place, there was no such concept. If it were a natural law, there would be evidence to the contrary.

                                      Also, you cannot have a "property right" on a non-scarce good. Sorry. It doesn't exist. That's just the definition.

                                      The end result is the same.

                                      No. It's not. If you can't understand a willing agreement made between two parties, and an agreement that one side never gets to agree to, but the other side has the gov't enforce... well, then I can't see how to explain it to you any further.

                                      No one is forced into purchasing a work protected by copyright. By purchasing something protected by copyright you are entering into an agreement. If you dislike the terms of sale, don't fucking buy it.

                                      If only it were so simple. I love copyright defenders who make claims like "don't fucking buy it." It's as if they live in a fantasy world where they haven't paid attention to what happens in the world. A recent study found that in an *average* day, people infringe on copyrights hundreds of time. What are we supposed to say in all of those cases? "Don't fucking buy it?" Not fucking likely.

                                      Arguing for contracts over copyright is like arguing which brand of bottled water is more wet.


                                      This is wrong. I don't know what else to say, other than you're wrong. A gov't enforced deal is entirely different than an agreement made willingly between two parties.

                                      And if it doesn't? And if a lack of copyright results in less cultural output? Then what?


                                      Then you should present me with the evidence. That's all I've asked for all along. So far, every natural experiment where copyright has been reduced/is non-existent has shown increased output. Which also fits with basic economic theory (no monopoly rights = greater efficiency = greater economic output). You're the one arguing against basic economic concepts, so the burden of proof is on you: prove that without copyright output would decline. If you can prove it, then I'm more than willing to grant the idea that copyright should exist.

                                      I'm just waiting for the proof. Honestly, here's your one shot easy way to prove me wrong. I'll admit it and support your position. Just present the proof.

                                      I'll wait.

                                      And progress can be gained by ensuring artists control over the product of their labors.


                                      Don't confuse the tactic with the goal. Yes, the founding fathers felt that... in certain circumstances, giving creators *some* monopoly rights (not "control" as you claim) might grant greater progress, but they were unsure of this, and made it clear that this should be watched carefully to make sure that it actually did promote progress.

                                      And, again, all studies that have looked at this in detail have found no such evidence.

                                      So, again, please present the evidence.

                                      You're insistent on making this specific to the two of us, rather than a discussion of behavioral archetypes. Note: You're the one who began launching personal attacks. Good way to foster a discussion.

                                      My "personal attacks" as you call them were in response to your childish footstomping to wit: "My time, My efforts. my creativity. My rights. You want to take my rights away? No. Not acceptable. Never." This was so childish that it deserved to be called out as being ridiculous.

                                      I'm sorry, but honest debate doesn't work that way. You don't get to stomp your foot when someone proves you wrong and say "No. Not acceptable. Never." So, I'm sorry if you can't take it when someone calls you out. But, honestly, it's not really my problem. I don't respond well to people making foolish arguments, being proven wrong, and then stomping their feet.

                                      This isn't kindergarten. If you're going to make a foolish argument, be prepared to back it up. Otherwise suck it up and stop complaining that you think I somehow made this "personal."

                                      So yeah, I'm speaking in general terms about people who DO act and think in a specific way. Is that really such a difficult concept? Yes? Sorry you find it so challenging.

                                      No. I don't find that challenging. What I find ridiculous is the way that you are arguing with people who are running rings around you intellectually when it comes to actually understanding what's being discussed. You can complain about file sharing all you want. But it's meaningless.

                                      You agree that I have a right to distribute my work as I see fit. Frankly, that's the end of the discussion.


                                      Uh, no. It's not. Because we're discussing whether or not your attempt to claim extraordinary rights beyond the initial distribution actually do live up to the constitutional requirement to promote the progress.

                                      Agreeing that the law says x and that I will abide by x does not mean I think that x is right.

                                      So, not the end of discussion.

                                      Um... yeah. They are. Sorry to burst your foolish ignorant and naive bubble.


                                      Heh. No bursting, and no bubble. Do I believe some anonymous internet coward who won't even post under his real name and who seems ignorant of both the law and history... or do I trust the real people in the real world who I talk to about this stuff all the time, who have PROVEN that I am right and that what I talk about is correct. Gee... tough decision.

                                      Which nicely underscores the reality that you are not interested in legitimate discussion.

                                      Always interested in legitimate discussion. But if you're so thin-skinned that someone pointing out your argument is wrong and ignorant gets you in a huff, that really is not of my concern. I have no problem having legitimate discussions with people who want to discuss, not stomp their feet like a child and say "No. Not acceptable. Never." to something that not only is acceptable and widely embraced, but quite reasonable and within the concepts of the Constitution. But if you're going to act that way, then I'm going to call you on it, because I think that actually furthers the discussion.

                                      I realize that being proven wrong may feel like it's insulting, and it may cause you to lash out with kindergarten insults like "dickbag," but rest assured, that only confirms the initial diagnosis.

                                       

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                              nasch (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 8:11am

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                              The rights of the artists have to come first.

                              No, that is not correct. The purpose of copyright as stated in the Constitution is to promote progress. Not just the primary purpose, the only purpose. Whatever rights are granted to you are a means, not an end. They are unimportant except insofar as the granting of them promotes progress.

                              No one has provided a single compelling argument in any debate I have participated in as to why the rights of consumers should trump the rights of those actually producing the art.

                              Once you understand and accept what I wrote above, you'll see why the public's rights trump yours.

                              For the public to insist on a right they were never granted, when it involves property they do not own, that's the insult.

                              The public can't be granted this right, because it's a natural right. Without any laws, I would obviously have the right to make whatever copies of anything I please, and do whatever I want with them. Copyright takes that right away from me. And there is no property involved. Copyright is not property, it's a monopoly privilege.

                               

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                              Karl (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 12:21am

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                              I never called it a "criminal underground". Does the fact that many of us break the law in question mean the law itself should be eliminated? Absolutely not.

                              When the majority of otherwise law-abiding citizens habitually break a law, then it's a good bet that the law should be changed or repealed. Marijuana laws are a pretty good example. (I don't smoke weed, in case that makes any difference.) For one thing, you're criminalizing the populace, which is a recipe for totalitarianism. For another thing, it means the law is unenforcable (or only selectively enforcable, which is probably worse).

                              No one has provided a single compelling argument in any debate I have participated in as to why the rights of consumers should trump the rights of those actually producing the art. My time, My efforts. my creativity. My rights. You want to take my rights away? No. Not acceptable. Never.

                              Legally speaking, artists only have those rights because the public grants them (through their Congressional representatives). That's a fundamental principle of copyright, upheld repeatedly by the Supreme Court, and explicitly written into the Constitution. If you don't like it, then you don't like copyright. I'm sure I've quoted Jefferson at you before, but I'm going to do it again, because he phrases it so well:

                              "Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody."

                              Philosophically speaking, artists have exclusive right to their art only as long as they don't publish it. Once it has been released to the public, then in a very fundamental way, it belongs to the public as much as it belongs to artists. Once you sell it to them (or give it away), then it's their property, just as ideas in their heads are their property. Copyright, of course, takes some of those rights away from them, which is why it's called a "negative right" - it's the right to prevent others from doing what they naturally would be allowed to do.

                              Artistically speaking, your viewpoint runs counter to the very purpose of art itself. Art was never supposed to "belong" to the artist; it's supposed to belong to the world (or "to the ages," as they say). Art is supposed to be available to everyone; that's the fundamental principle behind art galleries and libraries. Furthermore, art is not a fixed object that is hurled into the void; it is one side of a dialogue between the artist and the audience, collectively and (to an audience member) individually. It is the most successful when the audience is also composed of artists, who then take up that art and run with it themselves, turning it from a sole creation into a movement.

                              None of this is to suggest that artists shouldn't be compensated. But that's an economic argument. Economically speaking, consumers ultimately set the price of a product; it's economically unfeasible to sell public goods; and nobody has a "right" to an income, only a "right" to convince consumers to pay them.

                              Finally, let's speak about fairness. You said earlier that "Society has a responsibility to cultivate culture." You're right, that responsibility is to cultivate culture. Culture, by definition, is a matter of public domain. In other words, society has this "responsibility" only because it benefits. If not, then it holds no responsibility to you, me, or anyone else who seeks to lock up that culture. Why would it have a responsibility to cultivate its own destruction?

                              If none of those arguments are compelling, then I have a sneaking suspicion that no argument could be compelling to you.

                              And all of those artists signed a contract. They made that choice. There's no debate to be had here.

                              When child labor was allowed, children and their parents also made the choice for them to work in factories. But nobody is suggesting that child labor isn't exploitation.

                              The majority of artists do not make that choice. It's not even a choice offered to them.

                              For many many years, the artists who did not make that choice were essentially blackballed. If your only choices are to take the deal or starve, then I'd say "exploitation" is not a terrible word to use. Yes, that's a problem with bad deals and bad industries - but copyright didn't prevent it.

                              If you want to change this - and I wouldn't blame you - then you should write your Congressman to change copyright laws. For example, get rid of "assigning" rights, and only allow "licensing" of rights. The Featured Artists Coalition has some good suggestions (and also some bad ones, in my opinion). They're musicians, but many of their ideas apply to any artistic industry.

                              Most artists are not in bed with a corporation.

                              "In bed with" implies collusion. That's not what I meant. Actually, by saying that artists are responsible for their bad deals, you seem to be implying this more than me.

                              Sales carry terms. There is nothing wrong with that, particularly when those terms help protect the rights of those who offer the service or goods in the first place.

                              But those terms must have limitations. Otherwise, consumers would have absolutely no rights whatsoever. The rights of the consumer always have to be balanced against the demands of those who offer the goods and services.

                              Especially when those demands are enforced by the government.

                              But this is something people want, rather than something people must have for survival.

                              You could turn this around, of course. Making money from art is something you "want" too. If you can't, then the world can always use more ditch diggers.

                              I write a book. Corporation takes interest in it. They have to go through me if they want a piece. Without the protection offered by copyright. They take my work and profit from it at will, using their vast resources to push me out of competing buisness.

                              More likely scenario: they dictate the contract's terms, and if you don't play ball they walk. (Heaven help you if you signed a "deal memo," because then you can't publish with anyone else until you work out a contract.) Then they sign your competitor, or someone who writes with the same style. They profit at will, and you can't compete anyway. See e.g. labels signing white versions of black rock-n-rollers in the 50's and 60's.

                              But if they did take your work and profit from it, then it's also possible this would benefit you indirectly. For one thing, it would promote your other works. And, the public backlash would drive consumers to your business instead. (This is how Techdirt works, apparently.)

                              There's also this issue: would this result in that work getting to the public more efficiently? If the public gains, then according to copyright's constitutional purpose, I'm afraid we must consider it beneficial, even if your business fails.

                              But having said all that, this is one effect of copyright that I do support, and the public would probably agree. Changing copyright laws to emphasise the defense of artists against corporations would be a good thing in my book. But as it stands now, copyright benefits corporations and publishers far more than it benefits artists.

                              I also distinguish between commercial exploitation and peer-to-peer infringement. The law does not (anymore), which is one of the reasons I don't like it.

                              Some of my closest friends have done just fine without a major label.

                              I also know a ton of people who are musicians and people who run labels themselves. This might be my crowd, but most are doing about as good as they were before file sharing came on the scene. With indie music, fans purchase things largely because they want to support the artist, not because copyright forces them to.

                              Also: Mike may be prickly as a porcupine, but as of your last post, you were not really being that civil either. So, let's all just relax and have a nice cup of tea.

                               

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                                Memyself, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:54pm

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

                                Lot's of thought provoking content in your post, and alot I agree with. I'm short on time right now, but didn't want you to think your efforts were wasted. I will try to return to this soon.

                                 

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          Reforma, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You're coming across as rather defensive. Many people work for pay, meaning they don't expect to get paid over and over for what they did last Monday, and, to lots of folks, that's what copyright represents anymore: getting paid in practical perpetuity for doing one thing.

          It's the abuses of copyright, the stretching of it into something it shouldn't be, something strangling and door-slamming and bludgeoning and rights-skinning, that makes people take issue with it.

          Copyright is not a government mandated income generator for creative types. Copyright does not instruct on business models at all. Copyrighting something doesn't mean someone cuts you a check. You have to do something with the work, like sell copies of it, to earn from it.

          Where copyright breaks down is when those copies become infinite, further multiplied that is, as is done with digital copies. Distribution is beyond the creator's control as supply far outstrips demand and the price - any price really - plummets accordingly.

          So what now? How does copyright save you now? It won't. But the old standards of hard goods, services, access or any kind of true added value (meaning valuable to customers, not valuable to sellers, btw) will always be in scarce, or limited, supply and therefore where the money can be made. These days it's becoming a very individual kind of way to do business, which can be greatly freeing...and deadly frightening to those relying on copyright to do anything for them.

          All this is predicated upon having something to sell that someone wants, of course. Someone can copyright all the crap they want, but crap is still crap and won't sell no matter what law or economic theory you throw at it.

          Creative works are not equal, talent comes in degrees, and not everyone deserves to be a highly compensated star. I'm a painter and writer with lots of copyrighted works myself, you see.

          I work retail for the health benefits.

           

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            Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Reforma: "Many people work for pay, meaning they don't expect to get paid over and over for what they did last Monday, and, to lots of folks, that's what copyright represents anymore: getting paid in practical perpetuity for doing one thing."

            And those people have clearly failed to understand why the royalty system exists. Thus underscoring my point that an informed opinion potentially holds more value than an opinion borne out of ignorance.

            Reforma: "Copyrighting something doesn't mean someone cuts you a check. You have to do something with the work, like sell copies of it, to earn from it."

            Hence the royalties. Unless you believe that those copies should be priced according to time spent on the work. If so, a novel might well be out of the price range of most consumers.

            Reforma: "Creative works are not equal, talent comes in degrees, and not everyone deserves to be a highly compensated star."

            I never stated otherwise. Not anywhere. At all. No one gets royalties in a vacuum. Royalty earnings are sales based. If no one wants the work in question, the artist receives no royalties. Copyright protects against illegal distribution of protected works, thus attempting to ensure that artists collect a royalty on copies sold. This hardly equates to arguing that artists are owed money automatically due to copyright or anything else.

             

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              Reforma, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:14pm

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              "And those people have clearly failed to understand why the royalty system exists. Thus underscoring my point that an informed opinion potentially holds more value than an opinion borne out of ignorance."

              No, 'those people' are not ignorant, they understand work for hire perfectly well. They understand getting a percentage from copies made and sold of one's novel from the publisher. They understand paying to see someone perform. They understand paying a plumber to install a new toilet. They even understand a car company paying a song writer/band/singer for the use of their work in an ad. These things make sense - something for something.

              What they don't understand is paying some agency to play terrestrial radio in a shop or restaurant, or an effort to collect fees for publicly ringing phones, or being sued for infringement and socked for nearly a million dollars for 24 songs that could still be found anywhere for nothing on the internet, or dead people due anything for what they did while alive for 70 years after they've gone to dust.

              As I said, it's the abuses and perversions of the law that people find nonsensical. Their perceptions and commentary aren't unimportant because they don't know the nuances when all they see is the unfairness or inefficiency or pointlessness or damage that results from those nuances.

              "Hence the royalties. Unless you believe that those copies should be priced according to time spent on the work. If so, a novel might well be out of the price range of most consumers."

              Market sets the price. Ask whatever you want for it, but the market will be the final determinant of what you get.

              "The royalty structure helps ensure fair compensation to artists while making art affordable for everyone.
              Copyright protects against illegal distribution of protected works, thus attempting to ensure that artists collect a royalty on copies sold. This hardly equates to arguing that artists are owed money automatically due to copyright or anything else."

              Please explain how that works out for copies made that you cannot, and, if you face facts, will never be able to control.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:22pm

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                Reforma: "No, 'those people' are not ignorant"

                Let's be clear: You were very succinct in your description of what copyright means to people. You said: "getting paid in practical perpetuity for doing one thing". That's a gross oversimplification. You're expanding on your argument now. But my response stands in context with your original statement.

                Reforma: "Market sets the price. Ask whatever you want for it, but the market will be the final determinant of what you get."

                Sure. And the market wants to pay nothing. And the technology has given people the means to pay nothing. This is irrelevant to my point. Royalties exist to make the cost of a years worth of labor affordable to most everyone. people might still not want to pay this, but that has nothing to do with why royalties exist.

                Reforma: "Please explain how that works out for copies made that you cannot, and, if you face facts, will never be able to control."

                Why would I need to explain anything of the sort? We're talking about why copyright exists and how it relates to royalties. Not whether or not enforcement is effective, possible or practical. Two separate issues, and you're challenging me on one that has no context to our dialog.

                 

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                  Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:22pm

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

                  Reforma: "No, 'those people' are not ignorant"

                  Let's be clear: You were very succinct in your description of what copyright means to people. You said: "getting paid in practical perpetuity for doing one thing". That's a gross oversimplification. You're expanding on your argument now. But my response stands in context with your original statement.

                  Reforma: "Market sets the price. Ask whatever you want for it, but the market will be the final determinant of what you get."

                  Sure. And the market wants to pay nothing. And the technology has given people the means to pay nothing. This is irrelevant to my point. Royalties exist to make the cost of a years worth of labor affordable to most everyone. people might still not want to pay this, but that has nothing to do with why royalties exist.

                  Reforma: "Please explain how that works out for copies made that you cannot, and, if you face facts, will never be able to control."

                  Why would I need to explain anything of the sort? We're talking about why copyright exists and how it relates to royalties. Not whether or not enforcement is effective, possible or practical. Two separate issues, and you're challenging me on one that has no context to our dialog.

                   

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:48pm

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          The royalty structure is a sham.

          Now about that living under the poverty line, please most people who work for themselves don't have royalties to pay bills, do you think all those people working odd jobs should get royalties too?

          They work even harder than artists, and have bigger families, why is that a bunch of babies get preferential treatment inside society? That is just wrong and it compel other unscrupulous people to just want to get that too and will ruin things for everybody.

          Besides, 200 years of total copyright seems like what?
          Also why can't an artist get funding before? Are he/she incapable of showing what he can do? I see people getting 50K in donations to do stuff, there are thousands of people being crowd-funded right now are you saying it doesn't work?

          Also it doesn't stop the "artist" from selling anything, it doesn't stop the artist from having total control of himself and what his image is worth, it doesn't stop him from monetising other revenue streams like commercials ads, promotional trips, talks, conventions, merch deals etc. Are you saying those things don't happen, the "artist" lost all revenue streams?

           

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            Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Anonymous Coward: "most people who work for themselves don't have royalties to pay bills"

            No. But they also get to charge full value for services rendered. An author who charges a customer for a novel at the rate of minimum wage will not have any customers. You're trying to compare apples and oranges. That simply does not work.

            Anonymous Coward: do you think all those people working odd jobs should get royalties too?"

            Are these people charging a fraction of the normal cost? No? Okay then.

            Look, the math is really simple. A book only costs about ten dollars because the cost is split up amongst a large amount for people. The more people, the lower the cost can be. This helps ensure that art is affordable for everyone, not just the wealthy.

            Anonymous Coward: "They work even harder than artists"

            You don't know that.

            Anonymous Coward: "and have bigger families"

            You don't know that.

            Anonymous Coward: "why is that a bunch of babies get preferential treatment inside society?"

            They don't. And your language makes your bias clear.

            Anonymous Coward: "That is just wrong and it compel other unscrupulous people to just want to get that too and will ruin things for everybody."

            Ridiculous.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No. But they also get to charge full value for services rendered. An author who charges a customer for a novel at the rate of minimum wage will not have any customers. You're trying to compare apples and oranges. That simply does not work.


              It is the same thing or do you think repairing a sink for $10~$50 bucks will get food on the table for an entire year?
              Of course not the reason he can do it cheaply is because he do it a lot and spread the cost of his living amount a larger group of people, just like your suppose author that takes a year to do something. Do you think people would pay 50K for anybody to fix a leaking pipe?

               

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                Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:24pm

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

                You're making no sense. A plumber costs a hell of alot more than $10-$50. I have one out about every 6 months. Costs hundreds of dollars for an hours worth of labor, not to mention cost of parts.

                It doesn't help your argument if you make facts up.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 3:42am

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

                  Nice dodge. Care to answer the question?

                   

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                    Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:22am

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

                    Hardly a dodge to point out that plumbers are well known for charging an hourly rate plus cost of parts. Art for mass consumption is not charged according to time spent. The cost is divided up amongst multiple customers.

                    Just because you don't understand the answer doesn't mean the question wasn't answered.

                     

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                  vivaelamor (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 4:45am

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

                  "It doesn't help your argument if you make facts up."

                  For all you know their plumber does cost $10~$50. It doesn't help your argument if you complain about assumptions while making your own.

                   

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                    Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:27am

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

                    The pricing structure of plumbers is hardly a secret. They charge hourly rates for their time, usually with a minimum, and the charge for parts, usually at a higher rate than they have to pay.

                    Yeah sure. Maybe they found that one magic plumber that defies all the standards of the industry. But that doesn't change the standard.

                     

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              Modplan (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              A book only costs about ten dollars because the cost is split up amongst a large amount for people.


              Nope, it's because it's closer to the cost of reproduction. Fixed cost doesn't come into it.

               

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                Michael Long (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:33pm

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

                No. Royalties and other other costs constitute a significant portion of the cost. Physical costs are about 10%.

                See.... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/business/media/01ebooks.html

                The price of a book is a balancing act between its costs (both material and royalties and others) and the amount of money that most people are willing to pay. (The amount of value received.)

                 

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                  Modplan (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:00pm

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

                  No. Royalties and other other costs constitute a significant portion of the cost.


                  Perhaps I should've just said marginal cost, which is generally what I intended as royalties would most likely be included in that (or would it be part of fixed cost?)

                  The price of a book is a balancing act between its costs (both material and royalties and others) and the amount of money that most people are willing to pay. (The amount of value received.


                  Which was my general point, that the cost isn't defined so much as by the cost to produce the book in the first place, but closer to the cost to produce each new copy (value received was assumed as a given). Books aren't so cheap because publishers are some how selling them for less than they're worth or work fundamentally different to any other product as Memyself seemed to be suggesting:

                  No. But they also get to charge full value for services rendered. An author who charges a customer for a novel at the rate of minimum wage will not have any customers. You're trying to compare apples and oranges. That simply does not work.


                  Like any good, books are sold closer to the cost to produce each new one, with which the creator (writer, publisher) hopes to make enough from assuming customers value it enough to charge a price above marginal cost.

                   

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                    vivaelamor (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 4:57am

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

                    "or would it be part of fixed cost?"

                    Depends on what you're looking at. If you've got to pay royalties, per unit, then that's a marginal cost. If you've just got to pay the author back, royalties aside, then that is a fixed cost.

                     

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                  Richard (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 11:26am

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

                  "No. Royalties and other other costs constitute a significant portion of the cost. Physical costs are about 10%."

                  Reading your link it is clear that your interpretation of the data is incorrect.

                  If you actually look at the numbers you will see that physical production costs are similar to royalties at about 10%. Publisher's and retailer's margins are in fact 75% of the cost and these are effectively physical factors also. The retailer's costs relate to physical premises and staff whilst the publisher is covering the physical production costs of all the failures that get remaindered at 1$ or even pulped.

                   

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                Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:27pm

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

                I've been working in publishing for almost 20 years. Fixed cost absolutely plays an integral part. We price books according to overall cost. Not just the cost of individual copies/reproduction costs.

                What are you basing your argument on?

                 

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                  Modplan (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:42pm

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

                  *sigh*....

                  You price books according to market demand and cost of reproduction (supply). Hopefully the value you provide will allow you to charge higher than marginal cost so as to make back any fixed costs, but it is not the most important factor in the final pricing. Marginal cost plays a much larger role than fixed cost does in the pricing of your books.

                   

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                    Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 1:12am

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

                    *sigh*....

                    Overall costs dictate price. That price includes compensation for the author. Usually either a flat rate or a royalty or a low flat rate with a conditional royalty attached. As books are usually ordered months in advance, a book with orders to low to cover said costs may be canceled.

                    Value to the customer is gauged by orders. If the public doesn't show enough interest to make the book a viable gamble, then production does not occur. To be clear: Market demand doesn't alter price. It simply determines viability.

                    Or to put it another way: A book only costs ten dollars because the overall cost is split up amongst multiple customers. Combined they should cover costs and create a profit. If they don't... there is a good chance there will be no book.

                     

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                      vivaelamor (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 4:54am

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

                      "Overall costs dictate price. That price includes compensation for the author. Usually either a flat rate or a royalty or a low flat rate with a conditional royalty attached. As books are usually ordered months in advance, a book with orders to low to cover said costs may be canceled."

                      Freudian slip? You said price includes compensation for the author; I'm pretty sure you meant cost.

                       

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                        Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:28am

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

                        No. if a publisher hires an author to produce a book, then compensation is a part of cost.

                         

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                      nasch (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:37am

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

                      Overall costs dictate price.

                      The more competitive the market, the less relevant fixed costs are. If the market were perfectly competitive, your fixed costs would not factor in at all, and if you tried to price higher than marginal cost of production to cover your fixed costs, you would sell nothing because your customers would buy your competitors' products instead.

                      So, the only reason you can charge so much is because of imperfect competitiveness, most obviously I would think from barriers to entry and imperfect substitution.

                      And those people have clearly failed to understand why the royalty system exists.

                      I think they understand it just fine: to enrich publishers and distributors. I can certainly see why you're in favor of it.

                       

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                        Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:46am

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

                        "I think they understand it just fine: to enrich publishers and distributors."

                        You think they shouldn't make money on their efforts?

                        And no. You at least, clearly do not understand the purpose of royalties.

                         

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                          Richard (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 11:50am

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

                          I have no problem with Royalties. BUT royalties are not dependent on copyright. Royalties, agreed between publisher and author, can exist even if the work is available digitally for free. Cory Doctorow has proved this in practice.

                          Copyright, on the other hand, is the thing that enables the publisher's margin to be the largest single component of the wholesale price (exceeding the author's royalty).

                          (Figures quoted from a link elsewhere on this page)
                          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/business/media/01ebooks.html?_r=2

                           

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                            Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

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

                            "BUT royalties are not dependent on copyright."

                            I never claimed otherwise. But copyright can help ensure royalty payments are made.

                            "Royalties, agreed between publisher and author, can exist even if the work is available digitally for free."

                            I release work for free all the time. That doesn't mean the work isn't protected by copyright.

                            Copyright, on the other hand, is the thing that enables the publisher's margin to be the largest single component of the wholesale price (exceeding the author's royalty).

                            And copyright can protect artists from corporate exploitation. Copyright is a tool. It can be abused or it can be used for good purposes.

                             

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                              Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 7:20pm

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

                              95+ years is great for everyone!

                               

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                                Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 7:53pm

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

                                Supporting the fundamentals of copyright is not synonymous with supporting all aspects. I have stated on multiple occasion on Techdirt that copyright length desperately needs reform.

                                To put it more simply: You don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

                                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              They don't. And your language makes your bias clear.


              What you don't like my bias? That is your problem, not mine.

              Anonymous Coward: "They work even harder than artists"

              You don't know that.


              Go do odd jobs and raise 50K a year and see if I'm joking, crazy or telling the truth. I respect people more when they do those "odd jobs" or "McJobs", those are F. hard working people, those jobs are hard, why do you think nobody like to do those?

              Unfortunately for you I do know, I worked on both sides so I do understand the differences.

              Anonymous Coward: "and have bigger families"

              You don't know that.

              Ok, probably have bigger families, is that good enough for ya?

               

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                Michael Long (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:59pm

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

                "I respect people more when they do those "odd jobs" or "McJobs", those are F. hard working people, those jobs are hard, why do you think nobody like to do those?"

                Anyone can do those odd jobs. They require no special skill, training, or education. That's why they're paid accordingly.

                Yes, I respect someone who works hard. I have more respect for someone with education. Who put themselves through school. Who created a business or thought up some new invention or who can heal me when I'm sick.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:14pm

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

                  Anyone can do those odd jobs. They require no special skill, training, or education. That's why they're paid accordingly.

                  Yes, I respect someone who works hard. I have more respect for someone with education. Who put themselves through school. Who created a business or thought up some new invention or who can heal me when I'm sick.


                  I don't think you understand the meaning of the words "hard working" at all.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:43pm

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

                  Fine then, fair enough, now explain why we reward thousands of incompetent artists that will never make money or be noted, with copyright's, surely if they deserve so do the McJob workers no?

                   

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                Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:30pm

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

                I've worked both sides too. I've been living off my art for years, but worked demolition on houses prior to that. Making a living off your art can be grueling work. It may not be physically taxing in the same manner as tearing down a house built on a hill with a crowbar and lugging the debris up the hill all day. But it's equally challenging and laborious in other ways.

                If it wasn't, more people would do it.

                 

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              Hephaestus (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Dude to funny ...

              "An author who charges a customer for a novel at the rate of minimum wage will not have any customers. You're trying to compare apples and oranges. That simply does not work.

              Anonymous Coward: do you think all those people working odd jobs should get royalties too?""

              Its so much of a set up I am not even going to go after it.

               

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            Michael Long (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Why should they get preferential treatment? Do you not understand the concept of risk vs. reward?

            Besides, I also believe that very, very, very few people can create wonderful characters and engaging stories that resonate with a large number of people. As such, those people have an extremely high value to society.

            Any idiot can be a greeter at Walmart, and their compensation is adjusted accordingly.

            And if you think that it's such an easy way to make money, why not do it yourself?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:08pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Why should they get preferential treatment? Do you not understand the concept of risk vs. reward?


              I don't understand what you are saying, because they risk something they need to be rewarded? Heck I hope every soldier going to Afghanistan get royalties then.

              Besides, I also believe that very, very, very few people can create wonderful characters and engaging stories that resonate with a large number of people. As such, those people have an extremely high value to society.


              Yah so what? those very few people don't need copyright do they? They are the last ones in need of help from copyright crutches, and if they are not in that small group of very talented people why the untalented need to be rewarded for their incompetency? that only serves to get nothing but give some parasites like ASSCAP, RIAA, MPAA, Warner Brothers, Universal, Sony, Vivendi and others the means to extract rivers of money and give very little in return.

              Any idiot can be a greeter at Walmart, and their compensation is adjusted accordingly.

              So to be an "artist" you need to be special is that it?
              I don't know why this reminded me of the special olympics.
              LoL

              And if you think that it's such an easy way to make money, why not do it yourself?


              What you don't thing others work harder? Why don't you try to work like others and see if they get royalties.

               

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          Richard (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 4:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Most artists make under the poverty line, even with those royalties.

          No one forced them to become artists. It was a choice they made. The reason they are poor is because there is an oversupply of people who want to be professional artists.

           

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            Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And what does that have to do with anything?

             

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              nasch (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Ironic. He's pointing out that how much money most artists make is irrelevant. Society's interest is in making sure there is good "content"* being created. If it's necessary for creators to make a lot of money for that to happen, then things can be so structured. If it is not necessary for them to make a lot of money in order to produce, then setting things up artificially (such as through copyright) so that they do make a lot of money is wasteful.

              It looks like it is not necessary, so we should not be looking to set up laws that make sure artists get more money. Which is not the same thing as saying artists ought not to make money.

              * shorthand for the science and useful arts stuff that's supposed to be encouraged, which has since been expanded to include art

               

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                Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 11:01am

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

                "He's pointing out that how much money most artists make is irrelevant."

                The dialog doesn't exist in a vacuum. My comment about artists living under the poverty line was in direct response to a statement made by Dementia that artists sit around on the couch doing nothing while collecting royalties. Agree or disagree with the royalty structure, fine. But don't oversimplify or generalize it to the point of absurdity.

                So no... The topic of money is not irrelevant. Not when the context is specific to supporting or denying the royalty structure.

                 

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                Nastybutler77 (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 11:24am

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

                * shorthand for the science and useful arts stuff that's supposed to be encouraged, which has since been expanded to include non-useful art

                FTFY

                 

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              Richard (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              nd what does that have to do with anything?

              I was pointing out that the improving the financial "deal" for artists will actually result in more starving artists because it will attract more "hopefuls" into the profession.

              The prospect of sitting back and counting the royalty cheques has the unfortunate effect of encouraging lots of no-hopers to try their hands.

               

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          Richard (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 2:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you want to pay 50,000 dollars for a novel, than sure. Royalties may not make sense for you. I doubt you want to do this though.

          I don't have to pay $50,000 individually. Sites like Kickstarter and Quidmusic enable a large number of ordinary people to club together and raise that $50,000 by each donating a modest sum.


          The thing that has to change is that the money has to be raised before the work is released (or even created) rather than afterwards. It doesn't imply that the whole sum has to be raised by a single person.

           

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            Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 5:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's essentially the same thing as royalty payments. Except that you run a greater risk of investing/paying and seeing no result.

             

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              Richard (profile), Jul 30th, 2010 @ 6:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's essentially the same thing as royalty payments.

              No it isn't because the artist has already been paid and so there is no need for downstream control. The output can be released to the public domain - (or maybe on a liberal CC license).

              Except that you run a greater risk of investing/paying and seeing no result.


              Not necessarily because the organising system can hold the money on behalf of the donors and only release it on delivery.

              Having said that, any artist who failed to deliver would face problems later and I personally would be quite happy to trust them.

               

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                Memyself, Jul 30th, 2010 @ 11:22am

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

                "No it isn't because the artist has already been paid and so there is no need for downstream control. The output can be released to the public domain - (or maybe on a liberal CC license)."

                This is true under a royalty structure as well. There is no reason an author cannot release their work to the public domain after it turns a profit. They rarely choose to. But you've framed this as about ability rather than actual choice.

                "Not necessarily because the organising system can hold the money on behalf of the donors and only release it on delivery."

                Fair point.

                 

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                  Richard (profile), Jul 30th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

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

                  This is true under a royalty structure as well. There is no reason an author cannot release their work to the public domain after it turns a profit. They rarely choose to. But you've framed this as about ability rather than actual choice.

                  Actual artists are very rarely in a position to exercise that right because the rights are generally held (at least partially) by middlemen. The middlemen have strong incentives not to free anything.

                  The system I am proposing dispenses with the middlemen and replaces them with crowdfunding from consumers who have very different incentives.

                   

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 6:40pm

      Re:

      If you played chess you would have learned one thing: Even the most hopeless player can sometimes surprise you and make an awesome game.

      The moral is: You should pay attention to everyone and treat every opponent as if he was a worthy opponent. Maybe you'll learn something. Or maybe not. But at least you'll get some practice.

       

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        Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:00pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't see where I said anything that excludes this possibility.

         

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          abc gum, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I don't see where I said anything that excludes this possibility."

          "Yes, people can comment on anything they want. But an educated/experienced opinion will likely carry more value than an uneducated/inexperienced opinion."

          Possibly the comment was in reference to the above, where you assign more value to one opinion over another.

           

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            Michael Long (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "...where you assign more value to one opinion over another."

            Yes, I do assign more value to some opinions than I do to others. Especially when that opinion is backed by training or education or demonstrated competence.

            Tell you what. You go ask your auto mechanic his opinion about your next medical problem.

            Me, I'll stick with my doctor.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 3:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Given my years of experience with the medical community? I'll go with the mechanic. Wanna know why? MOST medical prognoses are, while based upon symptoms, little more than educated guesses given in an egotistical manner.

               

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            Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            abc gum: "Possibly the comment was in reference to the above, where you assign more value to one opinion over another."

            Where do I omit the possibility? Note that I specifically stated "likley" in that quote you included.

            Words matter. We choose them for a reason. Or at least, we should.

             

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              abc gum, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 6:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You asked for answers, I provided one possible answer, a guess really, since I am not the poster to which you reponded.

              Shooting the messanger is a common occurance and I take no offense.

               

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        Michael Long (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:51pm

        Re: Re:

        "Even the most hopeless player can sometimes surprise you and make an awesome game."

        If you really believe that, let's have a tournament with a hundred "hopeless" players vs. a hundred chess masters. I'll back the masters to the tune of a thousand dollars, you back the hopeless players. If ANY hopeless player wins a game, you win. If not, I win.

        Ready to play?

        Exceptions prove no rule. I'll take the experienced, informed opinion any time over an uninformed one.

         

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          abc gum, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 6:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I find it interesting that you brush aside an opinion about how people should not just brush aside the opinions of others.

           

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          nasch (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That could be a good bet depending on the odds you're giving. Which demonstrates that his point is correct, though does not indicate how useful it is.

           

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          Richard (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Even the most hopeless player can sometimes surprise you and make an awesome game."

          If you really believe that, let's have a tournament with a hundred "hopeless" players vs. a hundred chess masters. I'll back the masters to the tune of a thousand dollars, you back the hopeless players. If ANY hopeless player wins a game, you win. If not, I win.


          The problem here is that Chess is an awkward analogy. Chess has an objective means of assessing how good a player is, and so it is very unlikely that a hopeless player will play an awesome game, although he might come up with an awesome move.

          In other fields however there is no such objective measure, and very often we are discussing issues that cross the boundaries of computing, morality, law, economics and business.

           

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 6:52pm

      Re:

      "few people seem to have a reasonable solution to the riddle of keeping art profitable yet distributing it for free. The answer often given to this problem is "It's not my job on how to keep artists employed".?""

      This reflects a feeling of entitlement in the "I produce a song: therefore I deserve a profit" sense excused by it being art when we would laugh at the corner store owner who said the same thing.

      Copyright does not guarantee a profit for the artist. Let's get that little lie out of the way first. All kinds of artists have copyright on all kinds of songs, photos, drawings, sculptures and so on haven't seen a dime for them. Why? Not downloading but the small fact that no one wants to buy what they have to sell. In that sense, copyright alone is immaterial.

      There are many artists who have some (or a lot) of commercial success but don't see a dime due to the fees they pay out to agents, galleries, record companies, publishers and on and on. They have their copyright but not the dreamed off "house on the hill" complete with white piano.

      And no, at the end of the day it's not my job to keep artist's employed any more than it's their job to keep me employed.

      The artist's job, pure and simple, is to create something that I'm willing to pay for. Copyright won't enter in to my purchasing decision. It's do I want this.

      If there's a middle man screwing me over, say EMI, then I'm likely to want to find a bazaar that leaves the middle man out. I'm sorry for the artist but they're also the one who made the decision to use EMI/Random House/Whoever who are more interested in screwing me over than they are in the artist who they're also screwing over.

       

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        Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:09pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm not really seeing how your answer is applicable to my original statement. I never said anywhere that copyright guaranteed a profit. So calling that a "lie" is rather asinine.

        To be clear, I was speaking on two different subjects. The understanding of copyright and the riddle of keeping art profitable while distributing it for free. That's why I separated the two subjects with "furthermore".

        TtfnJohn: "And no, at the end of the day it's not my job to keep artist's employed any more than it's their job to keep me employed."

        If you want art, it's in your best interest to see that the art you are interested in continues to be created. Meaning that you should have at least a passing interest in how to keep the art you are interested in economically viable.

         

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          Reforma, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Threats of all creative endeavors ending if people don't start paying for easily disposable digital copies of copies of copies is becoming akin to Godwin's Law. Human creativity cannot be stopped, it's hardwired, if for no other reason than we have the ability to become bored.

           

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            Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            @Reforma:

            You ignored an important qualifier: "art you are interested in".

            Art might always be created. But will it be the art you want? Subsequently, it makes sense to have at least a passing interest in how your favorite type of art (style and subject matter) may continue.

            Taking my qualified statement about a specific scenario and imagining it to be a general statement about all art serves no purpose.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Ars gratia artis.

               

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              Reforma, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              :D Well...I don't know if it's the art I want until I experience it, actually.

              And I'm sorry to say, your statement did come across as the doomish threat I've seen before too many times, whether you meant it like that or not.

              Look, artists need audiences if they want to sell anything to do with their work or the work itself. Artists will also create for themselves alone. No arguments there. And I seriously doubt anyone expects artists to create for an audience purely out of love or whim or spirit of generosity all the time every time.

              My focus here is the bare-faced fact of digital distribution inevitably being out of the control of a creator and how depending on that method of distribution for revenue is simply just not reliable. It just isn't. Doesn't mean it isn't a viable method of promotion or connection or adding value or that it's pointless to make digital anything, but the nature of digital technology and how it is used by your potential customers means any artist should be looking at ways other than digital to turn a buck.

              You can spend your royalties on lawyers chasing online ghosts or spend them on enriching your life and furthering your art. That's how I see it.

               

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              vivaelamor (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 7:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Art might always be created. But will it be the art you want? Subsequently, it makes sense to have at least a passing interest in how your favorite type of art (style and subject matter) may continue. "

              But copyright fails to give people the 'art they want' because it forces them to pay for it no matter what. For example, I'd rather give Amanda Palmer £10 via Bandcamp, for music she offers for free, than buy a £10 CD off the shelf. I'd rather do this because if I'm paying £10 to Bandcamp then the majority of that money goes directly to Amanda Palmer. If I buy a CD off the shelf then most of the money is guaranteed not to go to the artist and may well fund competing artists whom I have no interest in.

              Please explain how copyright helps me choose what art I want better than me sending a cheque straight to the artist.

               

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                Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:34am

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

                "because it forces them to pay for it no matter what."

                What? Why do you have to pay "no matter what"? There's lots of art I'm not interested in. I don't have to pay for it.

                The scenario you describe (paying the artist directly either through purchase fees or donation) doesn't mean the work isn't protected by copyright.

                And if you look at the comments you are responding to, you will see that I already clarified that I was speaking of two separate topics. Copyright, and ensuring compensation for artists.

                 

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                  vivaelamor (profile), Jul 30th, 2010 @ 2:31am

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

                  "What? Why do you have to pay "no matter what"? There's lots of art I'm not interested in. I don't have to pay for it."

                  Uh, then that's not art you want. Besides, the chances are you do pay indirectly for stuff you don't want, as shown in my example.

                  "The scenario you describe (paying the artist directly either through purchase fees or donation) doesn't mean the work isn't protected by copyright."

                  They've given it away for free. Sure, it's still 'protected' by copyright, but it was not a factor in the purchase. You're very defensive about copyright for someone who complains when people mention it.

                  "And if you look at the comments you are responding to, you will see that I already clarified that I was speaking of two separate topics. Copyright, and ensuring compensation for artists."

                  So I'm not allowed to bring copyright up again? I'm sorry, I missed your suggestion for compensating artists. Mine was to send them money.

                  Let's have another attempt at the point I was trying to get across. You had said: "Art might always be created. But will it be the art you want?" in response to someone saying that art will not die. I gave an example of how the freedom to choose, which is currently restricted by copyright, is better for getting the art you want. This is evident in the lengths people will go to in order to support artists despite copyright.

                  While you may not like that the example had copyright in it, the point was that people given a choice are likely to act in their own self interest and support the artists they want more from.

                   

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                    Memyself, Jul 30th, 2010 @ 11:06am

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

                    "Uh, then that's not art you want."

                    Right. And so I spend my money on art that interests me instead. You're the one claiming you're being forced to pay "no matter what". Pay for art you like. Don't pay for art you don't like.

                    As for your example: Ridiculous. Yes, the company you pay (when not paying the artist directly) might spend the money in a manner you disagree with. However, your example ignores all logic. You think sales figures are suddenly immaterial? The person you are paying can tell where that money came from.

                    "They've given it away for free. Sure, it's still 'protected' by copyright, but it was not a factor in the purchase."

                    For most people, copyright is not a factor at all. If they like something, they get it. If not, they don't. I have no idea why you are asking what you are asking. I never claimed that existence of copyright informed purchases. Again, you seem to be taking two separate topics and confusing them.

                    "So I'm not allowed to bring copyright up again?"

                    You can bring up whatever you like. But attaching arguments or beliefs to me, and then asking me to defend them, is an exercise in futility.

                    "I gave an example of how the freedom to choose, which is currently restricted by copyright..."

                    Your freedom to choose is not restricted by copyright. You can simply choose not to participate with works under certain circumstances.

                    "the point was that people given a choice are likely to act in their own self interest and support the artists they want more from."

                    Which as I recall, was what I was encouraging. Are you just arguing for the sake of arguing?

                     

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              Richard (profile), Jul 30th, 2010 @ 7:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You ignored an important qualifier: "art you are interested in".

              Art might always be created. But will it be the art you want? Subsequently, it makes sense to have at least a passing interest in how your favorite type of art (style and subject matter) may continue.


              Yes - this is an important point - however it has individual but not general consequences.

              Under any system of funding consumers have to realise that "he who pays the piper calls the tune". Therefore one should always be prepared to pay over the odds for the present in order to secure the future. I have commented before that those who insist on never paying for anything are disenfranchising themselves from influence over future trends.

              My feeling however is that this works better when it is voluntary and when the connection between the consumer and producer is more direct. Legal measures like copyright and technical measures like DRM simply serve to undermine this and to incentivise the pirates.

               

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          abc gum, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 6:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "it's in your best interest to see that the art you are interested in continues to be created."

          I know ... lets subsidize artists.
          Oh - wait, we are already paying taxes for that.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

        Re: Re:

        Artists assume all financial burden while creating their works unless the work is commissioned or one is the recipient of development grants. Otherwise, I and my friends and family put our money together so that I can engage in artistic enterprise. And then maybe, just maybe you'll decide to pay for my song or my movie once its complete. But I still incurred the costs.
        An artist's job is NOT to create something that you are willing to pay for. Her job is to create art. If its on her dime, it should be her vision. If you are a cog in the corporate machine, than your work is tied to your pay. Answer phone here, shove paper there, clock out at 5 and lo and behold there's a check for you at the end of the week. If its not the job of said corporate cog to keep an artist employed, its not the artists' job to keep the cog from throwing himself out the window on monday afternoons. Artists and the work they create keep hapless cogs sane. How much are you willing to pay for sanity?

         

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:27pm

      Re:

      "But my experience seems to indicate that most people commenting barely understand what copyright actually is and how it works."

      Copyright is a short term monopoly on created works. Lobbied for by the printing industry, to create profits, over 300 years ago, during the reign of Queen Anne. Its stated intent was to allow for short exclusive rights to a piece of literature before it passed into the public domain.

      So tell me how you think copyright is supposed to work.

      "Furthermore, few people seem to have a reasonable solution to the riddle of keeping art profitable yet distributing it for free."

      You are talking about keeping art profitable for the middle men. I will break it to you gently, you cant.

      I will give you a perfect leading indicator, the sale of NBCU by General Electric. IF NBCU was forcasted to be profitable over the next 5 to 10 years, GE would not be sellling it. They see the trends and are attempting to maximize their profits, while slowly extraditing themselves from the position they hold in NBCU.

      Most of the broadcasters and distributors (newspapers, Record Labels, Radio Stations, TV station, TV studios, Cable, etc) are going to be replaced or obsoleted over the next 10 years. Radio Stations, and Cale TV providers are going to follow the path of the Newspapers. They are going to leverage themselves to the hilt to buy more assets, then the realities of the new market will kick in and they will fail.

      I hope that helps in your quest for knowledge of future events.

       

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        Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:37pm

        Re: Re:

        Hephaestus: "Copyright is a short term monopoly on created works..."

        That's great for a very basic and simplistic definition of copyright. But it hardly covers all the various nuances. Such as what constitutes fair use, laws covering derivative works and copyright violation through the "total look and feel" test.

        Hephaestus: "You are talking about keeping art profitable for the middle men."

        Turns out I'm not. Turns out I'm talking about keeping art profitable for artists while working within a culture that demands free distribution. Nowhere did I say otherwise. So sadly, your attempt to tell the future is obscured by your failure to address the present.

         

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          Hephaestus (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The present and the future are the same. We are going back to how things were 300 years ago, before copyright. There is no changing that. For digital media - information - knowledge the price is going to zero. For physical art like statues, paintings, etc there will money. For performances there will be money.

          For the men in the middle ... well they fall into a hell of their own creation ... poverty.

           

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            Memyself, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Hardly. 300 years ago, most art was created for the rich, and completely unavailable to the masses. Vast difference between today and then.

             

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              Hephaestus (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "most art was created for the rich, and completely unavailable to the masses."

              Most art was created by the masses actually.

              At this moment in time, the majority of the writing available to the public is written by the masses. In the past, not so much, reading wasnt a required skill. But they did have stories and verbal traditions.

              Percentage wise, the majority of the music created is created by the masses. I believe there are 2 million bands between facebook, myspace, etc (dont quote me on that I think its higher). In the past (300 years ago) we had the same ratio of musicians to the general population.

              Here is the cool thing. Humanity has maintained the same ratio of musicians, story tellers-writers, and actors for about 3000 years. Most of the art people create sucks. But you do have the top 10 percent of the curve that people do appreciate and like.

              The difference between the past and the last 100 years was the manufacturing, transportation, and promotion.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              In the past it was one patron to many artists. Now it's many patrons to many artists.

              Kind of like how the internet works as a communications platform! Many-to-many!

               

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            Nate (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm not so sure it's as simple as going back 300 years. The new bit in the mix is the free distribution, which has not occurred in any previous time period (that I'm aware of at least :/).

            To MeMyself: I imagine most artists will stay profitable, at least the ones that sell scarcities such as the sculptors, painters, or anyone who uses a physical medium. Photographers and graphic designers though, they will certainly have a tougher time trying the old way because they can't control the supply side of the equation given the nature of their work. For this, growing pains will exist and new ways will have to be figured out through a "survival of the fittest" approach. Someone will find a way to stay profitable, others will copy the idea, still others will find more ways, and some will fail. Happens all the time with businesses (which if you think about it, an artist IS a business). There will be no discrete instance where this issue will be addressed ("address the present"). It's an evolving situation that will sort itself out over a period of time. Given this reality the worst thing an artist can do now is stand still; they must move forward.

             

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              Hephaestus (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I'm not so sure it's as simple as going back 300 years. The new bit in the mix is the free distribution, which has not occurred in any previous time period"

              Actually it has always been free distribution. Finish this for me please.

              There once was a guy from nantucket
              Whose ...

              You fell into the trap of thinking that the change from physical media to digital is a change, its not. People have always sung folk songs. Up until recently people were able to sing happy birthday without a performance license. Or they were able to play the radio in their shops. Or they were able to sing while stocking grocery store shelves. Or play music to animals.

              All in all it has always been free distrubution of music as part of our cultural heritage.

               

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      vivaelamor (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 5:29am

      Re:

      "Yes, people can comment on anything they want. But an educated/experienced opinion will likely carry more value than an uneducated/inexperienced opinion.

      Only if manifested in their opinion. This is the internet, trusting people's qualifications and experience seems rather silly compared to just listening to what they have to say. Some of the most ignorant people here have been the ones flaunting their credentials (Ronald J. Riley, I'm looking at you).

      "People like to talk about how Copyright is "wrong". But my experience seems to indicate that most people commenting barely understand what copyright actually is and how it works"

      So you dismiss the argument? How many people do you think 'barely understand' it? Have you anything to show that you understand it better than everyone who disagrees with you?

      "Furthermore, few people seem to have a reasonable solution to the riddle of keeping art profitable yet distributing it for free"

      You need many people with a reasonable solution? Perhaps that is why you are not in favour of copying, you don't understand that one person with a good idea can share it with many people for mutual benefit.

      "The answer often given to this problem is "It's not my job on how to keep artists employed"."

      Speaking for myself, I keep artists employed every time I spend money on them. I don't need to answer that 'problem' because I already fulfil my obligation as a consumer in a competitive market. You could just read techdirt.com for some examples of how other artists are making money and learn from those.

      "In short: There's alot of talk going on. But not alot of answers."

      You've already admitted the answers are there, apparently you're content to ignore them.

       

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        Memyself, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 9:43am

        Re: Re:

        "This is the internet, trusting people's qualifications and experience seems rather silly compared to just listening to what they have to say."

        Who said anything about not listening?

        "So you dismiss the argument?"

        I did no such thing. I am happy to treat each argument individually. However, to date most individual arguments I have encountered on this subject forwarded by people with limited understanding have been unsurprising. Doesn't mean I don't listen or that I dismiss anything.

        Feel free to make shit up though.

        "You need many people with a reasonable solution?"

        If many people are going to claim to have reasonable solutions, it would be nice to see them actually have reasonable solutions. Hardly seems to be a demanding requirement.

        "Speaking for myself, I keep artists employed every time I spend money on them."

        If you're paying under ten dollars for a copy of a book, you're not "keeping artist employed". You are contributing, yes. But you are not single handily supporting the art form.

        Obviously, I was speaking on how society as a whole ensures that art remains accessible to the public while still encouraging artistic growth.

        "You've already admitted the answers are there, apparently you're content to ignore them."

        And you're content to twist words out of context. If there is a definitive answers that would apply across all platforms, we would not be having this discussion.

         

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          vivaelamor (profile), Jul 30th, 2010 @ 3:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Who said anything about not listening?"

          I don't know, is that a trivia question?

          "I did no such thing. I am happy to treat each argument individually. However, to date most individual arguments I have encountered on this subject forwarded by people with limited understanding have been unsurprising. Doesn't mean I don't listen or that I dismiss anything."

          Of course not, you just make vague statements about most people who disagree with you being uninformed. I don't really understand why you would care about the majority being uninformed if one person in the minority has a compelling argument though, unless you were being dismissive.

          "If many people are going to claim to have reasonable solutions, it would be nice to see them actually have reasonable solutions. Hardly seems to be a demanding requirement."

          Again, you are pointing to the 'many' ignorant people to avoid talking about the ones that aren't. Let's try again; do you need many people with a reasonable solution, won't one do?

          "If you're paying under ten dollars for a copy of a book, you're not "keeping artist employed". You are contributing, yes. But you are not single handily supporting the art form. "

          How much should I be paying and would that single handedly support the art form? I have to confess that I do not have enough money to single handedly support any art form.

          "Obviously, I was speaking on how society as a whole ensures that art remains accessible to the public while still encouraging artistic growth."

          Obviously, I was giving an example of how that can happen. If you're going to argue that it isn't enough, then argue that. I would agree that donations alone aren't enough and didn't suggest otherwise.

          "And you're content to twist words out of context. If there is a definitive answers that would apply across all platforms, we would not be having this discussion."

          I did no such thing! You said: "few people seem to have a reasonable solution to the riddle of keeping art profitable yet distributing it for free" and I pointed out that implied you already had a reasonable solution. You were too busy pointing out how few they were to bother mentioning the specific applications of the solutions.

           

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            Memyself, Jul 30th, 2010 @ 11:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Of course not, you just make vague statements about most people who disagree with you being uninformed."

            No. I make clear statements about uninformed people being uniformed. You're the one assigning that statement to most people who disagree with me.

            Again, assigning statements to me that I did not make is a useless exercise.

            "I don't really understand why you would care about the majority being uninformed"

            An uniformed majority will act in a manner based on their ignorance.

            "Let's try again; do you need many people with a reasonable solution, won't one do?"

            Like I already stated: If there is a definitive answers that would apply across all platforms, we would not be having this discussion.

            "If you're going to argue that it isn't enough, then argue that.

            Already did. Thanks.

            "How much should I be paying and would that single handedly support the art form?"

            Like I have repeatedly stated, if a book costs a year of continual labor to produce, the creator of that book will need to cover his expenses during this time. But as you say, you can't afford this. So we break the payments up amongst multiple customers. Then it's affordable and we encourage the creation and accessibility of art. That argument thread that lead us here was specifically in response to people claiming royalties should not exist. But the royalty structure is one proven method of making this possible.

            Frankly, it seems like you agree with me here. Again, I'm uncertain why you are arguing this topic.

            "I did no such thing! "

            Like I already stated: If there is a definitive answers that would apply across all platforms, we would not be having this discussion.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 10:54am

      Re:

      > Furthermore, few people seem to have a reasonable solution to the riddle of keeping art profitable

      Some people do not care if art is profitable. Some people do not care if art is made at all. Some people care only that copyright is absolutely poisonous to society. It is natural and good for society that people share with other people. Copyright forbids sharing.

       

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        Memyself, Jul 30th, 2010 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re:

        If said person doesn't care if art is made at all, they've already made their opinion on copyright and how it relates to art immaterial.

         

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    AW, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:09pm

    Where's the disconnect?

    isn't our entire system of jury law kind of based on the principle that you don't have to be a first hand experience to be able to make a decision. If this isn't true maybe someone should stop all those trials by jury cases going on, as only murderers have the ability to accurately judge if something is premeditated.

    Also I guess this means that all books should be biographical or non-fiction as writing a book based on conjecture couldn't possibly lead to anything good.

    Seriously, this just comes across as strawmanish in nature.

     

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      Reforma, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 7:51pm

      Re: Where's the disconnect?

      I've always wondered why my ignorance of the law is no defense yet my interpretation of a law is suspect since I'm not a practicing lawyer.

      As a common citizen, I should be able to parse the law so I can abide by it, yes?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:18pm

    We've seen it over and over again in the comments on Techdirt. We'll talk about the impact of copyright or patents, and a lawyer will claim that unless we're an IP lawyer, we should not comment.

    I believe it is more accurate to say that many who are lawyers challenge comments that are inaccurate as a matter of law, and not the fact that people may have an opinion one way or the other on what they believe the law should be.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:37pm

      Re:

      Except...lawyers here have *literally* posted comments stating flat-out that people without law degrees should not be commenting.

       

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        abc gum, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:49pm

        Re: Re:

        Yep, I've read those comments too.

        I understand that one should not give legal advice if they are not a lawyer, however that does not mean that one can not have an opinion about the law or how the law should be enforced.

        Is it true that lawyers are not selected to serve on juries?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 8:52pm

        Re: Re:

        Any examples of such comments? Please bear in mind I am speaking solely to what the law "is" (which in many instances is in a state of flux), and not some general reference to what a commenter believes the law should reflect.

         

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    Michael Long (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:24pm

    Opinions

    "Just as Ross can look at the market and realize that how things are done today don't make as much sense, even if he hasn't (yet) made a "commercially successful film." "

    As has been said, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.

    Yes, someone who has yet to make a commercially successful film can certainly comment on the industry....

    But I'm perhaps more interested in the comments and opinions of Cameron or Spielberg or Jackson or Scott or even Whedon. People who have in fact created commercially successful films and in doing so have demonstrated their competence and knowledge of the field.

    Which tends to reinforce the validity of their opinions, don't you think?

    I could give my advice on how to be a successful football player. But since I've never played, and in fact have only an outsiders view of the industry...

    My opinion is pretty much worth what you're paying for it.

    Nothing.

     

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      Reforma, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 9:48pm

      Re: Opinions

      "My opinion is pretty much worth what you're paying for it.

      Nothing."

      Doesn't mean it isn't valid, though.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:17pm

      Re: Opinions

      That is great because when the greatests hackers of the world all agree that copyright is unenforceable, people should just F. pay attention to it and not ignore it.

      When bankers show you how to make money charging fractions of a cent some idiots should pay attention to it. ZERO can be 0.005 cents. The banks are bigger then the F. entertainment industry are they not?

      When people all over the world show you, you cannot control distribution anymore you better F pay attention to it.

      Some people just will die dumb no matter what.

      You don't need to ask Cameron or Spielberg for advice on that or do you?

       

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      Jay (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:20pm

      Re: Opinions

      For every Spielberg, there are ten Uwe Bolls.

      If you're going to hear just from the people at the top, you may not learn the mistakes along the way.

      It's the same as being a judge. You have to hear all three sides of an argument before weighing your own opinion.

      The three sides? Your side, my side, then the truth. Not all three add up and you have to filter out what makes sense in a situation.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 12:31am

      Re: Opinions

      "As has been said, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one."
      You appear to have several

       

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      DH's Love Child, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 7:51am

      Re: Opinions

      But I'm perhaps more interested in the comments and opinions of Cameron or Spielberg or Jackson or Scott or even Whedon. People who have in fact created commercially successful films and in doing so have demonstrated their competence and knowledge of the field.

      So, would you have been as interested in any of those guys BEFORE they made megahits? Their views, opinions, etc carry more weight ONLY after they've become successful?

      So, I'm guessing you only buy designer clothes, gourmet foods, luxury cars. That you only read big name authors, listen to top 40 music, only view art by popular artists, only watch movies made by the big studios?

      You realize that a lot of the so called experts out there don't even agree on things right?

      There are certainly circumstances where the knowledge and experience are necessary such as the medical profession, but you can't paint the entire world in that same brush stroke, and it's incredibly conceited of anyone to assume that simply because someone is not as seasoned in some particular area that their opinion doesn't count.

       

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    darryl, Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:38pm


    Copyright is a short term monopoly on created works. Lobbied for by the printing industry, to create profits, over 300 years ago, during the reign of Queen Anne. Its stated intent was to allow for short exclusive rights to a piece of literature before it passed into the public domain.


    this is the problem with uninformed comment, this guy is "sort of right' and completely WRONG all at once.

    Copyright was **NOT** lobbied for by the printing industry,

    Copyright was created to break the back of the printing industries, iron grip monopoly on printing.

    If you want to go back to those times, and that system, im sure you would find it much less acceptable than what we have today.

    And Mike, it depends what you comment on, and what you say, sure you do not have to be an artist to be an art critic, but you have to KNOW art, you dont have to be a business person to comment on business, but if you want to comment in an accurte and informed manner, it is certaily best that you are.

    Or at least have done some formal studies in those fields,

    But if you are basing your opinion on what you read, and see, and its the same material that you link to us, it appears you lack some or many of the skills to perform unbiased and considered analysis of the information that is presented to you.

    You seem to quote mine, and selectively comment, that makes people wonder if it is due to bias giving you tunnel vision or is it because you have specific idea you want to convice people of, that is biased, and when people look at your source, and then your conclusions. there is a disparity.

    So in many cases, unless you have something intelligent and cogent to say on a matter you clearly are not skilled in it is better to just keep silent.

    I wonder why people like you who claim deep knowledge of successful business models for "free" giving talks and all the rest.

    Why, are you not rich, why have you not implemented one of these great schemes, the road to riches you claim is so successfull, and if you are not willing to do it WHY ?

    And why is there a big lack of these so called 'models' being employed ?

    It would be hard for someone who is color blind to be an art critic, that applies to bias and having a adjenda, like a politican no matter what the information shows, or what the facts are, there is that spin to make it support your argument, along with some charactor assination and selective quoting, makes you look like a politician in opposition, embarking on the classic smear campain.

    Its far better to accurately and in an unbiased manner present the facts as they stand, and followed by your opinion.

    Whereas you tend to discredit all reports, comments, or actions and replace it with your version of what should of happend.

    For example, if the record industry makes a profit it is because they are providing products and that file sharing is therefore not hurting the record industry.

    At another time, you will say the record industry is failing, and about to completely fail, and that the only alternative is these alternate business models, that will change the world. Or by increasing supply to meet the non-existant demand.

    So if the record industry is seen as doing well, its because they are screwing the little guy, and if they are doing badly its because they are screwing the little guy !!

    And filesharing is not hurting the record industry, because they are doing so well, and at the same time, their total failure is about to occur in the industry..

    And you dont see why readers from here will follow your provided 'reports', booklets, and your sources and see for ourselves what the reality is..

    Once you do that you quickly find out what is going on here, and a great example of how you can selectively quote and discredit / credit reports or snippets of reports to suit your argument..

    Regardless of the actual intent of conclusions of the 'report'.

    Then you layer those outside links behind multiple layers of past TD posts, so sometimes you have to take many steps to get to the raw information,

    which most of the time, is a blog by someone else with a similar axe to grind, and again to get to the raw information you have to do massive internet quests is often harder than WoW !.

    And again, when you finally read the source information you find it does not make the conclusions that are presented here, here once filtered through multiple bloggers, and past posts the end story is often the opposite to the intent of meaning of the initial data.

    So if you are that inaccurate and misleading with data that is allready clearly presented, and you use that data.

    Why would we expect any more accuracy, from your raw opinion, when you say XXX this business model will work, or that system will work. we look at your track record with facts and asses your understanding of the principles, and based on that conclude you should not be commenting of subject your appear to lack knowledge in.

    OR if you believe in your theories so much, DO IT, put it to use, and shine.

    Have you ever done a small business course, or created a startup, even written and maintained a business plan.

    Developed a business model, and used that model to gain finance?

    Studied art, or music or the art or music industries ?

    Contract or IP law ?

    No you do not have to be a musician to know what music you like or do not like, but you have to have some knowledge of music to know what most other people will like or not like, its subtle, but a significant difference.

    So you are a critic of music, you cannot play an instrument, but you are sent to be a critic of an archasta, if you cannot tell if the string section came in a fraction too late, or that the base was slightly flat, or the stage arraingement ment an unbalanced listening experience.

    If you cannot tell those things, if you do not have the skills and knowledge, of the intimate details of what you are critiqing, then you are not a critic, your a punter.

    You DO need a certain level of knowledge, experience, skill, logic, and lack of bias before you can claim to be able to provide INFORMED comment on a subject.

    At it appears many times, you lack that level of skill and knowledge, experience to comment.

    That can easily be shown when refering to the sources for your information, and the conclusions and quotes you draw from those sources.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 28th, 2010 @ 10:51pm

      Re:

      Why, are you not rich, why have you not implemented one of these great schemes, the road to riches you claim is so successfull, and if you are not willing to do it WHY ?

      Um. Darryl. Look around. I *have* implemented and embraced them. How do you think I've made my living for the past decade?

      For example, if the record industry makes a profit it is because they are providing products and that file sharing is therefore not hurting the record industry.

      When have we ever said that? It's sad that you need to make up false statements to try to prove something.

      And you dont see why readers from here will follow your provided 'reports', booklets, and your sources and see for ourselves what the reality is.. Once you do that you quickly find out what is going on here, and a great example of how you can selectively quote and discredit / credit reports or snippets of reports to suit your argument..


      I can recall no examples of this ever happening. Can you point me to one, or are you making things up again?

      OR if you believe in your theories so much, DO IT, put it to use, and shine.


      Um. I am. And have been. For many years.

      Have you ever done a small business course, or created a startup, even written and maintained a business plan.


      I have an MBA (which means nothing, of course -- but you asked about "done a small business course"). I've started and run a successful company for over 10 years, which employs a bunch of folks and makes pretty decent money.

      It's kind of funny that you think I haven't.

      Developed a business model, and used that model to gain finance?


      Yup. I've raised over a million dollars in investment funds.

      Studied art, or music or the art or music industries ?


      Yup.

      Contract or IP law ?


      Yup.

      Why do you make so many assumptions?

       

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      Jay (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 12:02am

      Re:

      "At it appears many times, you lack that level of skill and knowledge, experience to comment."

      Why do you make such a huge baseless argument that you never really back up?

      All you do is rant and rave then leave when someone calls you out on your baseless assumptions.

      If you don't want to debate, fine. But damn, grow the hell up.

       

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      Richard (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 4:32am

      Re:

      A big comment - but one statement you made is just so wrong that I must address it:
      Copyright was **NOT** lobbied for by the printing industry,

      You are wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong

      Look at this document.......

      http://www.copyrighthistory.org/htdocs/data/useimage/pdf/uk_1709/uk_1709_im_1_1_s t.pdf

      and many others on the same site.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 7:13am

      Re:

      Darryl, even if half the boat were missing, you still wouldn't be convinced that BP photoshopped those images.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 7:27am

      Re:

      "Copyright was **NOT** lobbied for by the printing industry,

      Copyright was created to break the back of the printing industries, iron grip monopoly on printing."

      Quick History lesson ...
      The governments of europe allowed all printing in the beginning. Due to wide spread critisism and material that caused discent being circulated, controls were put in place. These controls required printers to have official licences to trade and produce books. This lead to printers having a monopoly on specific works and allowed for price gouging. The unintended consequence of this was the printers got rich and allowed for lobbying for the Licensing Act 1662. The Licensing Act of 1662 lead to a 33 year government granted monopoly held by the Stationers company until 1695 when it was not renewed by parliament. This non renewal of the law was the breaking of the monopoly, not copyright. The statute of Anne came 15 years later to define what was allowable.

       

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      Nastybutler77 (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

      Re:

      So in many cases, unless you have something intelligent and cogent to say on a matter you clearly are not skilled in it is better to just keep silent.

      Daryl, you clearly lack the ability to correctly spell and/or proof read your comments, so by your logic you shouldn't comment at all until you've studied spelling and grammer.

      Nothing in your overly expansive comment was intelligent or cogent, yet that clearly didn't cause you to keep silent. Please follow your own advice from now on and spare us your diatribes.

       

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      Karl (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

      Re:

      Note to Average Joe:

      People like Darryl are the reason commenters here are short with you. He's poisoning your well.

       

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    btrussell (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 12:07am

    Do we need a degree in politics to be able to vote?

     

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    DannyB (profile), Jul 29th, 2010 @ 6:30am

    If you are not a mob boss . . .

    . . . then you should not comment on organized crime.


    If you are not a bank robber, then you should not comment on bank robbery.

    Etc.

     

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    Gene Cavanaugh, Jul 29th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    Copyright and the law

    As an attorney, I say to the quote below:

    "After all, just because you don't have a law degree, doesn't mean you can't understand copyright law.",

    RIGHT ON, MIKE! The most encouraging thing about the law, to me, is the move to take out technical language and make it where the public can understand (and, IMHO, comment!).

    Good for you! This is so true that to me it is not even worth discussing further.

     

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    Erin, Jul 30th, 2010 @ 6:43am

    KSI

    Follow our blog check out some awesome information about the IT field

     

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    Memyself, Jul 30th, 2010 @ 6:44pm

    "Actual artists are very rarely in a position to exercise that right because the rights are generally held (at least partially) by middlemen. The middlemen have strong incentives not to free anything."

    I'm a professional artist. No one makes a choice what to do with my work but me. That might mean I choose to sell controlling rights to a middleman, but I still made that choice.

    Regardless, the point remains. You are specifying a possible benefit of a specific pay structure. Most of my work (and the work of the majority of artists working under a royalty structure) see the same benefit. Primary difference is that I take a chance on losing money and release the work regardless of whether there is a guaranteed profit/cost met. Under the system you suggest, un-profitable work will rarely see release.

    Which brings us back to the potential of diminished artistic output. A negative for society in my book.

     

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    Memyself, Jul 31st, 2010 @ 5:29pm

    "The RIAA and Hurt Locker lawsuits, the FBI arrests of movie leakers, the seizing of domain names by Homeland Security, ACTA... these are all obvious detriments to the public."

    To the public? Or to select individuals? It seems like muck of what you are talking about as had little impact on the public at large.

    "Less obvious detriments are added financial costs to consumers and businesses, restrictions on personal property rights, and restrictions on the freedom of expression."

    I've pointed repeatedly to the financial savings passed on to consumers via the royalty system. A system which is, in part, protected through copyright. As for restrictions on personal property. please be specific. If you mean the right to copy and distribute something you did not pay to copy and distribute, I would disagree. In regards to personal expression, copyright goes along way towards protecting personal expression, provided the person doing the expression brings something original to the table. Contrary to what you say, copyright goes along way towards protecting derivative works.

    "Were copyright abolished, art would cost a lot less, because there would be legal competition to drive the price down."

    The price can only go down so far--

    --Cutting this short. My wife is going to either disconnect the internet on me because I should be working rather than debating. I'll come back to this soon. Sorry. :(

     

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    Memyself, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:18am

    "The public can't be granted this right, because it's a natural right."

    Natural right? What about my natural right to own what I create? On one hand you attempt to apply the letter of the law with a strict reading of the Constitution and how it applies to copyright. On the other hand you dismiss legality on favor of a perceived natural law. No. It doesn't work that way. Your so-called natural rights do not allow you to trample upon my rights.

    "And there is no property involved."

    Intellectual property is property. The product of one person's mind and how to disseminate it belong to the the person in question. The "I can therefore I should" argument does not grant you control over what I create. No.

    As previously stated. My work. My rights. I set the terms of sale. You agree to the terms then abide by the terms. If you don't agree to the terms, don't buy what I offer.

    You have no other rights to what I create.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 12:33am

      Re:

      Natural right? What about my natural right to own what I create?

      You have a natural right to it until you release it into the world. Then you no longer have a *natural* right to control what others do with it. You *do* have an artificial legal construct, but that's different than a natural right. In fact, your artificial legal construct conflicts with others natural rights. That's the problem many of us see.

      On one hand you attempt to apply the letter of the law with a strict reading of the Constitution and how it applies to copyright. On the other hand you dismiss legality on favor of a perceived natural law. No. It doesn't work that way. Your so-called natural rights do not allow you to trample upon my rights.

      You don't seem to understand what's being discussed. No one denies that the gov't grants you an artificial right. We're questioning your claims that this is somehow reasonable and just, despite the fact that the Constitution limits copyright to a specific purpose -- which is quite different (in fact, the opposite) of what you continue to insist copyright is for.

      Intellectual property is property

      No, actually. It's not. It's never been. In fact, historically, this concept was considered laughable. Copyright is not a property right. It's a gov't granted monopoly privilege. It's important to understand the difference.

      The product of one person's mind and how to disseminate it belong to the the person in question

      Yes, for the first copy. After that...

      The "I can therefore I should" argument does not grant you control over what I create. No.

      You know what's also not convincing? Making an argument based on nothing and then saying "No" at the end of it.

      No one is arguing "I can therefore I should," by the way. People are arguing (1) the specific difference between a natural right and an artificial gov't granted monopoly privilege and (2) whether or not that gov't granted monopoly privilege lives up to the requirements put on it in the constitution.

      As previously stated. My work. My rights. I set the terms of sale. You agree to the terms then abide by the terms. If you don't agree to the terms, don't buy what I offer.

      Which, again, totally ignores what's actually being discussed. You can keep claiming your work, your rights as much as you want, but that's not true. Look up fair use, and then tell me about "your rights."

      You have no other rights to what I create.


      Other than what the law allows, but you apparently don't recognize that because you keep repeating the totally false statement "My work. My rights." Sorry, that's simply not true. Your work. Your right to control how it is released initially. Then, you play within the overall set of rules designed not to benefit you and you alone, but which are supposed to "promote the progress." The argument here is whether or not copyright does so.

      The evidence suggests it does not.

       

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        Memyself, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:49pm

        Re: Re:

        "You don't seem to understand what's being discussed."

        How is it exactly that I am the one not understanding what is being discussed when I am the one who launched this thread of discussion? Do I need to explain the "red shirt" theory to you again?

        I favor copyright reform. I agree that copyright is abused. I also believe that copyright can and does benefit society and that we should not reject the entirety of the concept simply because it is abused and it does need reform. I take issue specifically with people who approach copyright from an extremist position and wish to utilize a hatchet on the subject rather than a scalpel.

        In regards to "natural rights": I'm sorry, maybe it wasn't clear. I don't believe in them. This is not a debatable point. This is a matter of philosophy - not fact. I believe, quite strongly - that no one should have control over the product of anyone's imagination other than the one who imagined it. I believe this benefits the public greatly, and have yet to see a compelling argument to the contrary. Obviously limits exist. Nothing in this matter is universally true.

        You disagree. You believe in "natural rights". That's great for you and you can release your own work accordingly. But why should I have to apply your philosophical beliefs to my output? Because you say so? No. That's why we have a legal system. To settle disputes of this nature. And currently, the legal system sides more with me than it does with you. And if you think there is any room to debate after that point, you're simply deluding yourself. Oh, there's room to debate how things might be better under a different system. But you don't get to decide that for me. Only overwhelming legal opinion can do that.

        "Copyright is not a property right. It's a gov't granted monopoly privilege."

        Semantics. Without a governing force property rights are meaningless as well. I think it goes without saying that ownership of all things is an artificial construct.

        "No one is arguing "I can therefore I should," by the way."

        Seriously? You think no one says this? These are the people I am taking issue with. Again, if you're not wearing a red shirt, don't take criticisms of those wearing red shirts personally.

        "Look up fair use, and then tell me about "your rights."

        I've already defended fair use on your site on multiple occasions. I never claimed those rights should be all-encompassing. I'm defending the existing legal definition of those rights - to a point.

        "Other than what the law allows, but you apparently don't recognize that..."

        See above. or look at post 18 on this thread where I mention fair use.

        "Then, you play within the overall set of rules..."

        Which is what I have been arguing in favor of.

        "The argument here is whether or not copyright does so.

        And I have already provided examples of ho copyright does this. Examples you have not countered in any way shape or form.

        "The evidence suggests it does not.

        Only if you ignore all evidence to the contrary.

        Thanks (sincerely) for splitting up the personal attack thread and the actual debate thread. Makes it easier for both of us.

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 4:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In regards to "natural rights": I'm sorry, maybe it wasn't clear. I don't believe in them. This is not a debatable point. This is a matter of philosophy - not fact. I believe, quite strongly - that no one should have control over the product of anyone's imagination other than the one who imagined it.

          These two sentences seem to conflict, which is perhaps the root of my problem with your argument. You claim no belief in natural rights, but at the same time seem to purport a natural right over the output of your imagination.

          Can you help explain the contradiction?

          You disagree. You believe in "natural rights". That's great for you and you can release your own work accordingly. But why should I have to apply your philosophical beliefs to my output? Because you say so? No. That's why we have a legal system. To settle disputes of this nature. And currently, the legal system sides more with me than it does with you. And if you think there is any room to debate after that point, you're simply deluding yourself. Oh, there's room to debate how things might be better under a different system. But you don't get to decide that for me. Only overwhelming legal opinion can do that.

          Again, I don't believe I have ever suggested that copyright infringement is not against the law. I have questioned whether copyright is constitutional, however.

          Semantics. Without a governing force property rights are meaningless as well. I think it goes without saying that ownership of all things is an artificial construct.

          It's not semantics. It's an important point if you want to debate this issue accurately.

          And, I believe this statement is incorrect. The concept of property has long pre-dated governance. It's just in the past, property rights were mandated by force and the simple, factual ability to exclude. What I held, you could not. That's the basis of property. Property *laws* were then built out of that, and the concept grew as an economic consequence of determining how best to allocate scarce resources.

          Seriously? You think no one says this? These are the people I am taking issue with. Again, if you're not wearing a red shirt, don't take criticisms of those wearing red shirts personally.

          It's not that I take it personally, but if your slam on the "red shirts" strikes me as inaccurate or unfair, I see no problem with standing up for the red shirts, even if I'm not wearing one. The problem is that your argument really is a strawmen. I'm sure there's someone out there who says "I should because I can," but I have honestly never run across such people, and they are most certainly not a majority factor in this debate.

          My problem with it is that it feels like a weak attempt to shift the goalposts when people engage you. People point out that the argument isn't true, and you say "hey, stay out of it, I'm not talking about *that* argument, I'm talking about this other one that I just made up."

          I never claimed those rights should be all-encompassing.

          I quote: "My time, My efforts. my creativity. My rights. You want to take my rights away? No. Not acceptable. Never."

          And I have already provided examples of ho copyright does this. Examples you have not countered in any way shape or form.

          Forgive me, for I'm reviewing this thread and I don't see any such evidence. Admittedly, it is a long thread, so it is possible I missed it. Could you point to the specific comment where it is presented?

          Only if you ignore all evidence to the contrary.

          Again, I have not seen any such evidence. But I am always happy to check it out.

           

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    identicon
    Memyself, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    "Please tell me, at what point has man ever had the natural ability to dictate this to such an extreme degree as to restrict people from copying or reselling a work that they already own?"

    1: Inhibiting the right to copy and resell is not extreme.

    2: Consumers who purchase an item under specific terms don't own the work in any manner that contradicts said terms.

    3: As far as I am concerned, the product of an individuals mind must first belong to them.

    4:You're asking for specific laws in specific law books over a discussion over what constitutes an inherent natural law?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Memyself, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    "I respond in kind to arguments made by people."

    No. You responded by turning the discussion personal. That was you, hindering discussion.

    "If someone makes an ignorant argument once, I may consider them uninformed. If they continue to repeat it, even after being taught otherwise, then I'm going to make it clear that you are, in fact, ignorant.

    That might hod some weight, if you were responding with an opinion that wasn't tainted with preconceived notions. Your opinions seem quite ignorant to me.

    "If you then start making even more ridiculous claims, as you did, I'm sorry but I'm going to call you on it.

    Which is what I'm doing to you. Calling your ridiculous claims ridiculous.

    "This isn't kindergarten. I assume you can handle someone pointing out when you are wrong."

    I have no problem with somebody arguing that I am wrong, and entering into a civilized discussion. That's not what you did. You came in with an attitude. I responded with attitude back. I can point to at least one comment in this thread where I happily conceded to a well made argument by an opposing party. That's called being an adult. You should try it.

    "Always interested in legitimate discussion. But if you're so thin-skinned that someone pointing out your argument is wrong and ignorant gets you in a huff, that really is not of my concern."

    So I'm thin skinned because I responded to your personal attacks with personal attacks? You choose inflammatory words and cry foul when they provoke the expected response?

    You're clearly just playing childish games.

    "I realize that being proven wrong may feel like it's insulting,"

    What exactly have you proven? Nothing. If you had actually "proven" anything, there would be nothing to discuss.

    No... what was insulting was your unwarranted personal attacks.

    "Heh. No bursting, and no bubble.

    If you really had an argument, you would stick to addressing the topic, not resort to making flailing frustrated childish attacks.

    Do I believe some anonymous internet coward who won't even post under his real name

    There's that childish attack again. Who cares what my real name is? I always post under the same handle so I can be identified from discussion to discussion. My viewpoints are consistent and I have had multiple friendly discussion on the topics on your forum. I'm not using anonymity to in any way, shape, or form to deceive or misdirect. I post under a private name so that my opinions will not alter how anyone treats or views my work or put me in a position where people who work with me are subjected to fallout from me taking the unpopular side of discussion. Anonymity has value, and you using it as a point of attack is beyond ridiculous.

    The fact is, it's personal attacks like this that make your position undefendable.

    "and who seems ignorant of both the law and history...

    That's funny coming from someone steeped in ignorance.

    or do I trust the real people in the real world who I talk to about this stuff all the time, who have PROVEN that I am right and that what I talk about is correct. Gee... tough decision."

    Using caps on the word proven doesn't actually mean your opinions have been "proven". If you had actual proof, there would be no discussion. And there again is that "I am right" argument. No. Sorry. You're not. I get that you really really think you are. But wishful thinking does not equate proof or fact.

    "and it may cause you to lash out with kindergarten insults like "dickbag," but rest assured, that only confirms the initial diagnosis."

    And that's where we see the depths of your hypocrisy. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here. I think you are so in love with your own arguments that you honestly can't see how absurd your above statement is. YOU launched the personal attacks. Not me. I responded in kind. This isn't exactly a chicken/egg scenario here. You can claim I "started it" all you want. But the posts are a matter of public record.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:54pm

      Re:

      No. You responded by turning the discussion personal. That was you, hindering discussion.

      How was the discussion "hindered" in any way. I called you out on a specific, incredibly childish form of argument:

      "My time, My efforts. my creativity. My rights. You want to take my rights away? No. Not acceptable. Never."

      That struck me as childish and I called you on it. Such an argument has no basis in law or in economics. Instead it has its basis in "Memyself" footstomping about what he wishes the world was like.

      So I pointed out what an incredible entitlement mentality it took to make such a statement.

      But, in the interest of "not hindering discussion," I apologize for "making it personal."

      Your opinions seem quite ignorant to me.

      Then present the evidence to the contrary. Ignorance means I don't know some factual element. I've asked time and time again for the evidence. "My time, My efforts. my creativity. My rights. You want to take my rights away? No. Not acceptable. Never." is not evidence. It's foot stomping, and it's also wrong.

      Which is what I'm doing to you. Calling your ridiculous claims ridiculous.

      Present the evidence.

      I have no problem with somebody arguing that I am wrong, and entering into a civilized discussion. That's not what you did. You came in with an attitude. I responded with attitude back.

      Again, I disagree. Your statement was "My time, My efforts. my creativity. My rights. You want to take my rights away? No. Not acceptable. Never." Are you claiming that's not an "attitude"? My whole complaint was over the childish attitude behind such a statement.

      So I'm thin skinned because I responded to your personal attacks with personal attacks? You choose inflammatory words and cry foul when they provoke the expected response?

      I have no problem with inflammatory words. You are the one who turned this into a debate over who was more civil. I don't quite see the point. That is, rather than discussing the point, you focused on the method by which I made my point.

      That's what I was pointing out here. It feels like a diversionary tactic. You don't want to discuss how your statement was incorrect and whiney, so you attack the way I pointed it out.

      If you really had an argument, you would stick to addressing the topic, not resort to making flailing frustrated childish attacks.

      Heh. This amuses me. As you will note, I only made that claim in response to your childish attack. I guess I should know better.

      There's that childish attack again. Who cares what my real name is?

      No one needs to care. I wasn't mocking you for not signing your name. You are, of course, free to do so. My point was that time and time again, people who I know and respect in the space have pointed out that I do, in fact, understand these issues. On top of that, multiple folks who have either worked with me or taken what I talk about and put it into practice have also shown that it works. So when someone comes and anonymously says I don't know what I'm talking about, I have to compare and weigh the evidence. A bunch of people I know, who are well respected and have a long history in the space... or the anonymous complainer online? It's not to insult you. Just to highlight that you saying my points are not true holds little weight until you present evidence to the contrary.

      That's funny coming from someone steeped in ignorance.

      Again, you keep making that claim, but you have not once shown me where I am actually ignorant. Please do so.

      And there again is that "I am right" argument. No. Sorry. You're not. I get that you really really think you are. But wishful thinking does not equate proof or fact.


      Amazing! This from the guy who started off this discussion with "My time, My efforts. my creativity. My rights. You want to take my rights away? No. Not acceptable. Never."

      Talk about wishful thinking not equating to proof or fact.

      If you want to talk turkey, let's break down your statement:

      "My time, My efforts. my creativity. My rights."

      This is, simply speaking, incorrect. Copyright does not stem from your time and your efforts. The sweat of the brow doctrine of copyright has been soundly rejected by US courts time and time again.

      Copyright itself is a *limited* government granted monopoly privilege, which is designed solely to "promote the progress." That is, it has nothing to do with your time, your efforts or your creativity. It has to do with whether or not that limited monopoly right promotes the progress.

      Claiming something different -- and pretending that copyright is a statute designed solely to protect the artist's time or effort, is simply incorrect. Copyright was actually designed to help the public, not content creators.

      "You want to take my rights away? No. Not acceptable. Never."

      Of course, the government has every right to take away that limited government granted monopoly privilege. And, at times, it has done so. So "never" is false. Also, you seem to ignore that there are real limitations on that gov't granted monopoly privilege. You claim "never", but that seems to contradict with the Constitution's "for a limited time." Now, perhaps you support "forever minus a day" (though I believe you've said you actually are in favor of shortening copyright term -- which also seems to contradict "never") but the law and the constitution do not.

      Furthermore, most of the discussion is not about people "taking away your rights." Nothing is being "taken" from you. People are, instead, exercising their own rights, and many have strong reasons for why they believe that makes sense. Again, the argument that someone exercising their own rights is "taking your rights away," is an argument that is not supported by the facts.

      So that's the crux of my problem with your statement and why I jumped into the conversation to call you out on it.

      This isn't exactly a chicken/egg scenario here. You can claim I "started it" all you want. But the posts are a matter of public record.

      Indeed. All anyone needs to do is see your original statement, and my response. I have no problem with the public record.

       

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    identicon
    Memyself, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 4:28pm

    I really don't have time right now to address your posts, but will try to do so later.

    I do want to make one bit clear though: If I misunderstood your initial comments to me, and reacted inappropriately, I do apologize. At the time of my response, your choice of words seemed highly uncalled for. But as the discussion progresses, and you explain your motivations, I feel a bit less severe about things. So apologies for calling you a dickbag. It was reactionary and not a true reflection of my opinions. If I really considered your arguments to be wholly without merit, I would not bother responding to you at all.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 4:35pm

      Re:

      I do want to make one bit clear though: If I misunderstood your initial comments to me, and reacted inappropriately, I do apologize. At the time of my response, your choice of words seemed highly uncalled for. But as the discussion progresses, and you explain your motivations, I feel a bit less severe about things. So apologies for calling you a dickbag. It was reactionary and not a true reflection of my opinions. If I really considered your arguments to be wholly without merit, I would not bother responding to you at all.

      Fair enough. Ditto to you as well.

      I do get passionate about this stuff, and have had these discussions so often with so many people, that at times I may respond to some people as if they took part in those previous discussions, which is unfair.

       

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


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