What's funny in this entire argument is that the ARTISTSs are actually making MORE money than EVER. It's only the record companies that are making less.
Fans now have access to everything an artist has ever done, including demos and concert recordings, and they become even bigger fans, and are willing to plunk down up to $1200 to see Lady GaGa IN CONCERT. I'm sure Lady GaGa would rather you buy a ticket to see her than buy all her albums where she might get a few dollars in royalties.
I think Kim Dotcom is just being honest about something that takes place every day, namely corporate lawyers using legal blackmail to make other companies and individuals do what they want. Here, Dotcom will give Amazon, etc., a license to use his patent in return for joining him on his lawsuit and loaning him money until he can unfreeze his assets. Companies make these sorts of arrangements all the time. Kim's just being more upfront about it.
Some people have noted the 35% cut (20% cut under 10,000 words) seems unfair. I'm guessing Amazon is probably kicking back a third to the copyright holder as well. But keep in mind writers who are published by major publishing companies sign deals where they get as little as $1 per hardcover sale and 25 cents per paperback sale, after all other expenses and advances are paid. That's about a 5% commission, so it's important to put things into perspective.
As people have criticized, I agree that I don't like the fact that Amazon is taking over ownership of the work, but in the old days publishers use to file the copyright on published works and tie up novels for 28 years. It's not too much different.
Well, Tech Dirt has written many times about companies using copyrighted artwork in their ads. Last week, there was a story about a copyright organization using a copyrighted piece of art they didn't ask permission to use. But now Tech Dirt says it's all right to steal something off the Times' Website and use it to sell a product? Eh, it seems a bit hypocritical.
I agree. Even the old system where you renewed a copyright after 27 years worked. 70% of works were never renewed because they held no value for their creators. Other people should be allowed to come along and use them as they want.
As I understand it, Australia is so use to being left behind media-wise that the country has become quite adept at using the Internet to download shows that will not be available for some time, or shows that will never make it to their shores. For example, the country embraced the Chinese VCD format so Australians could watch bootleg movies from Asia. This is just an evolution from those days. If anyone knows how to get US TV shows, Australians and New Zealanders certainly do.
The bottom line is HBO is only interested in getting people to sign up for HBO, so the only place you can watch it is HBO. Although HBO could probably make a lot of money charging for access to the show, it makes a whole lot MORE money by signing up subscribers. So that creates a scarcity condition that makes it ripe for "sharing." But whether HBO is actually losing money from piracy is another issue. I'm sure most of the people watching the show for free either don't have enough money to subscribe to HBO, would watch it at a friend's house, or wouldn't subscribe anyway for various reasons. HBO will still make plenty of money on BluRay and DVD sales and eventual syndication sales.
But the ultimate issue is control. It's "our" show and you have to watch the way "we" tell you to. I think there has to be some kind of balance there. But some entities don't see it that way.
The recording industry has always played fast and loose with royalties collection. In the old days, it simply estimated the number of plays to compute the copyright royalties, which meant indie artists received nothing since they weren't being included in the surveys. Then recently it was revealed that US PROs couldn't be bothered computing anything but the largest concerts, therefore giving big artists royalties that should have gone to small artists. The entire system is against the hard working artist.
I think the argument about copyright here is moot. Warner Bros. owns a trademark on the Harry Potter name, regardless of whether the Troll movie had a character named Harry Potter first. To quote the government's USPTO's website: a trademark grants the "exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration." So I would think the problem would boil down to how Warner Bros. described the use of the name in its paperwork. Does it cover all fictional characters? All fantasy fictional characters? All fictional wizards? Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to rename the character to avoid a lawsuit. But the article says that Warner Bros. only warned the producers to be "careful" not to infringe on its rights, meaning the trademark. I would think Warner would be angry if the character picked up a wand and started reciting magical spells. It's also interesting that Warner preemptively warned the producers while it was in the early development phase. Is someone at Warner Bros. a fan of the movie? As for why anyone would remake it, people have heard of the title even though they haven't seen it, and it's a cool-sounding title regardless of the quality of the film..
Advertisers, as they're called, have always been a proven business model. Other industries need to adapt and find a way to integrate the "free" business approach into their profit-making activities.
Someone in another forum commented that you can't have "free" movies, but you can. Cable movie channels need to fill airtime and will buy the rights to movies for airplay for decades to come. A lot of direct-to-video movies don't really sell many copies on DVD, but make their money selling off broadcasting rights. You could give away the movie on the Internet and still make money.
Other industries just need to think outside the box a little more.
It's amazing that the video game industry is still fighting the piracy wars. How many times has it been shown that games without DRM make more money than games with DRM? Remember how DOOM! became an overnight sensation and ID made a ton of money by allowing people to share the game? Everyone was playing it, and even though only 1 in 10 people bought the game, that 1 in 10 represented MILLIONS of purchasers!
The problem the video game industry has to come to grips with is that people are playing more and more on their smartphones and have less and less time to play on PCs. (Game consoles are holding their own but are starting to slip.) Every game should have the ability to be played in single player mode so you can play them on the go and not be tied to WiFi! I think EA shot themselves in the foot with this one.
In the Wall Street Journal today an industry group claimed the movie-tv industry was losing $58 billion a year from piracy. That's 5x the entire theatrical gross of North America and 2.5x the theatrical gross of the ENTIRE WORLD! I don't think the movie-tv industry can prove any losses at all. The music industry is another thing, but Adele, Taylor Swift and One Direction seem to have singlehandedly boosted music sales in 2012. Good music sells, bad music don't.
I think the writer is confused about what the story really is about. It's difficult to speculate what the true nature of the story is from this article. I did a Google search, and all of the stories about this are quoting the Telegraph article, so apparently the Telegraph is the only news source on this story and if it was misstated and misunderstood, it is simply spreading that throughout the Internet right now.
Well, I can see his side a little. I always bought my reading for pleasure books while I used my school's library and the public library for research, reports, and so forth. I also use to check out old sf books that were written mostly before I was born and were unavailable to buy. Neither library bought many best-sellers at the time, and if they did, it was only a copy or two and you had to put your name on a list and wait months or years to read it.
I now live in an affluent suburb and I see that instead of libraries being used for research, they mostly act to provide residents with a never-ending flow of bestselling books, CD and DVDs, and a huge lending library of kiddie books. The irony is that most of these folks make over $100k and could well afford to buy these books.
I think the mission of libraries have changed from research to providing free entertainment, which has helped to undermine bookstores, video rental outlets, etc.
Maybe libraries should not offer a book to lend until it's been out for a year or two, giving authors an opportunity to earn some money for their efforts.
Libraries are a godsend for researchers because publishers can almost guarantee sales of 5,000 copies to the nation's libraries and research books don't sell much in bookstores. But to a bestselling author, sales of 5,000 copies means losses of $50,000 to the author or more ($1 a book) if each book is loaned out 10 times. (That's a year's pay for a lot of people!)
I don't want to take away the special protection libraries have within our country, but I do think libraries are taking advantage of the loopholes available to them to try to maintain their relevancy during a time when the Internet has more information than all of the libraries in the entire world!
She's just plain crazy. This was all fought in the 1990s when various newspapers sued the Drudge Report because he linked to their stories. And news stories always had a fair use exemption when quoting material that was newsworthy. Someone she thinks the Internet is taking money out of her picket, although like the record companies with piracy, she can't demonstrate that.
I heard this on my local radio station this morning. The newscasters were probably quoting from a reprint of the Washington Post story in the Boston Globe. The piece was that basically the government is going to offer a free, more powerful Wifi that can penetrate even through cement walls. Doing a Google search, it seems quite a lot of websites are parroting the story. Thanks for setting the record straight. I knew it was too good to be true.
To get back at the US, Antigua should offer citizenship to all US artists, musicians, writers, actors, etc. and guarantee them no income tax on their earnings. That will hurt the US's tax revenue, and these "new" Antigua citizens might buy new homes in Antigua and hang out there spending the money they don't have to pay in US taxes!