Mike appears to be saying that the proper term of copyright is ONLY about how economically valuable the copyright is to the owner. I don't think that's true, but even if that were the only consideration, that would indicate that some period of copyright greater than zero is what's economically best. But will Mike use that logic to state that the term of copyright should be whatever produces the greatest economic return for the copyright owner?
The purpose of copyright is not provide a mechanism that allows the copyright owner to produce the greatest economic return possible. It is to grant the copyright owner a limited monopoly to profit on the creation in order to provide incentive for the creator to produce new works. Note the key words "limited" and "incentive to create". You are beginning from a flawed premise.
What this article is trying to show is that certain types of copyrightable material lose almost all economic value after a defined period of time. Current copyright law allows for the monopoly to last well after the creator passes away as well as his children and their children. This allowance is absurd, and this article clearly shows why. Please do not confuse setting a copyright term length that balances the owner's ability to effectively monetize the work with one that provides the owner with the greatest economic benefit. The later system is what we have now which is essentially an endless copyright and is a perversion of copyright's original intention.
I'm going to see if I can fix this post for... and free of charge no less!
If I live alone in a big (house), is it better for "society" if you take my house from me and give it to a family of 5?
Sure, it's better for those 5 people. But you've also just enacted Communism, and that's worked so well everywhere it's been tried.
Taking away Copyright is EXTREMELY different, which is why I used a nonsensical example to make sure I've got your attention.
Words on paper aren't some magic thing that has no value. Neither are bits on a hard drive or music on a recording. They're the result of my time and energy, exactly the same way my car is the result of the time and energy expended by the design team and manufactures that built it.
Everything that you build, buy, or create is the result of exactly two things: time and energy, and no expression of time or energy is inherently more valuable to society than another, except for works covered under copyright which are the only ones that have to be continuously paid for or licensed even after they are actually sold.
People who try to maximize Copyright are basically saying that one of form of work is more valuable than another - that the work I put in to writing a book is more valuable than the work someone else put into building my car.
People who say that society's rights to my work are more important than my rights to my work are basically saying that all idea belongs to everyone, since all ideas available to the public are the result of their public expression and presentation.
We've seen that the only effective, long term system of economy is a well-regulated open market, one where individual rights are paramount, and even the government cannot take someone's property without due compensation.
So my point is that you have to protect the individual's rights first. When you take away one person's rights, you take away the rights of anyone and therefore everyone. Since copyright is inherently a restriction on every individual's rights aside from the copyright holder's, there is strong evidence to show this limitation to individual's rights is grossly disproportionate in favor of the single copyright holder and therefore a detriment to the rest of society.
Also, the show is aired on SciFi (still refuse to spell it the new way), but I'd recommend firing up your favorite torrent client and surf the pirate bay... Since the show was a space western about smugglers it's a little more fitting ;)
Actually anyone with an antennae can have free TV service. You pay for it by watching ads called commercials. There are many people just like myself that only receive TV this way. If the networks close down and move to a subscription model through cable, then there are a lot of other people just like myself who will simply live without them. The end.
I'm not sure if the Steam example would be infringing under this ruling. They already have the distribution rights for the games they are selling, and in their contract there is probably a provision that allows them this right based on their DRM scheme. While it's not intrusive, Steam is DRM, and these are exactly the types of digital rights they are trying to manage.
While I do think this ruling is atrocious, the example doesn't really fit because Redigi is a third party to the transaction and attempts to be a broker between two end users for a fee. They never had any distribution rights, so technically copies they make would be infringing. The law currently does not keep up with the reality of the current technological climate, but a conservative reading of it would come to this result.
I think this brings up a bigger issue though that will eventually bite the labels in the ass. If first sale doctrine does not apply here, the traditional reasoning behind this is because you are purchasing a license and the license is nontransferable. As seen by the recent Eminem ruling, a license commands a substantially higher royalty rate than a sale, typically on the order of 50% vs 8% respectively. While they claimed this was a special deal they reached with Eminem it seems like Chuck D and some others have begun a class action proceed (which I think techdirt has covered in the past) to try and test this theory. It seems that in the labels shortsightedness they continue to help set precedent that will go against them in that case. I can think of no way to drive them out of business faster than having to pay out 50% of all the revenue they've generated from digital sales.
I would tend to agree with you to a point. Once they have your cash, whether the game is terrible or broken no longer matters... you aren't getting a refund. The fact that anyone would give EA any money at all amazes me, but giving it to them before even seeing the product is insane.
Where I disagree is ever paying 50-60 bucks for a game in the first place. There are simply too many good games that can be played for free or at a reasonable price on Steam/GOG to even consider dropping that kind of cash for the "new shiny thing". Too many people fall into that category, but at least for EA, it seems like every new game they release loses more customers than they gain, so hopefully after a few more like this they'll just be gone for good.
I'm not following your logic... Mike clearly is showing empathy to the victims. The victims in this case are obviously private individuals sharing for non-commercial purposes now facing potential jail time and/or a fine of over 21k. Any moron in a hurry can see this punishment is beyond disproportionate, completely out of touch with reality, and the very definition of draconian.
As was requested below, why don't you present your interpretation of what he said, why you describe Mike's interpretation as "pulled some quotes out of context and twisted their meaning", and present the merits of why you feel your interpretation to be correct. I would think that if Mike was actually going to respond, this would be the minimum amount of effort you would need to display to initiate a serious conversation. Even if he doesn't respond, there are plenty of us here that wouldn't mind having a rational discussion which you have proven you are capable of. The ball is in your court...
The best line in the article was the end of the quote: " it is not surprising that as the law evolves to disrespect the public domain, that the public would grow to disrespect copyrights" Once the maximalists get past this "all your cultures are belong to us" mentality, and some real discussion opens up about bringing some balance back to copyrights, then maybe, just maybe, these cries to respect copyright won't fall upon deaf ears. Until then, the bilateral contract between rightsholders and rightsgrantors has been rendered null and void due to repeated breach of unilateral changes to a 2 party deal.