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  • Apr 26th, 2012 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re:

    But what incentive would Picasso have to paint the painting if he'd known that his children wouldn't be able to collect a fee for the brief appearance of the painting in a 3d re-release of a successful movie 105 years later? You're robbing the painters of their incentive to create!

  • Apr 20th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re:

    "Why is it that law enforcement almost never seems to think through the actual consequences of actions like these?"

    Because there are no consequences - for them, that is.

  • Apr 20th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

    Cause and blame

    The question about cause and blame in this case is not the most important point. Clearly many factors led to his death. The important point is that copyright lawsuits have a profound negative effect, both personal and financial, on all those involved, and that a system that encourages this, over the question of just a couple notes, is not fighting for good.

  • Mar 29th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    What is and isn't theft

    A copyright to a particular work is a piece of property in the sense that I can buy or sell it and it (at least potentially) has value. Thus, if I own a copyright to Book A, that is property. What would not count as theft is someone illegally copying Book A, since I still own the copyright. What would count as theft is if somebody stole that copyright. For example, if through some sort of legal trickery or some forging of records, someone made it appear that they produced or legally bought the rights to Book A and thus started effectively stealing my royalty payments.

    "Copyright infringement" is the only term that can capture what unauthorized copying actually is, since a copyright grants me the right to control the copying of a work, and if someone copies something without my permission, they have infringed my copyright powers, but nothing has been stolen, since a new copy is non-rival. Someone stealing a copyright is rival, since only one of us gets the royalty payments (or one only gets more of them to the degree the other gets less) or gets to negotiate the move rights.

    Whether it is morally justifiable to grant such a copyright is a question for another day.

  • Mar 27th, 2012 @ 4:33pm

    They don't understand

    The fact that anyone thinks this would be a sensible strategy really shows how they don't understand the difference between rival and non-rival goods. If I "steal" something that is non-rival, such as an mp3, no one loses anything. Sure, if I was going to buy it otherwise, they might, in a sense lose a sale, but in another sense, they never had that sale to begin with. It's like how teachers always say that at the beginning of a semester, you start out with 0 points, and you have to earn points to achieve a good grade. You don't lose points on a test, since you never had them to begin with. A case like this, in which leading customers to pirate a competitor's satellite leads to no profit to the other competitor illustrates this point.

  • Feb 16th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    RIAA not kooks?

    "Of course, most of those suing over this are kooks... but apparently a much larger potential lawsuit on this issue has been considered. The IFPI and the RIAA supposedly have asked for a confidential legal analysis..."

    Are you implying the RIAA and IFPI aren't kooks? I think the sentence should read: "Of course, most of those suing over this are smalltime kooks. But now the IFPI and RIAA are considering a lawsuit, which would dwarf in size and scope lawsuits by previous kooks."

  • Feb 14th, 2012 @ 8:47am

    Candlemaker's Petition (as Joseph K)

    The ultimate irony is that the Candlemaker's Petition was written by a French guy. (For those who haven't read it, it's an satirical plea by the candlemakers to deal with the unfair competition from the sun)

  • Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:19pm

    Benefits Megauploads Competitors (as Joseph K)

    To expand on what Mike was saying, the reason why it didn't have any effect on file sharing is because there are countless competitors to megaupload waiting in the wings for megaupload to fall. These competitors would love if megaupload disappeared, since it means more traffic for them. The irony of the whole thing is that it benefits other filesharing services like rapidshare, yousendit, hotfile, filesonic, wupload, depositfiles, upload.to, letitbit, etc, etc, etc.

  • Dec 7th, 2011 @ 9:51pm

    Bad business strategy

    You've pointed out so many times how companies pursue short-sighted legal strategies, which have the potential to (and sometimes do) come back to bite them in the butt, and I really think in all these cases it's because the people deciding to pursue these lawsuits are not business-minded or customer-service-minded people, they're lawsuit-minded people (namely, lawyers). Many businesses, I think, give way too much leeway to their legal teams to unilaterally pursue stupid lawsuits and legal arguments.

  • Dec 6th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    If Copyright infringement is theft

    Since copyright maximalists love to compare copyright infringement to theft, let's compare second party liability in copyright infringement to that in theft. If I go rob a bank at gunpoint is the gun store owner liable in any way? That would seem to me tantamount to second party liability. Well what about the gun manufacturer that sold the gun to the gun store that sold it to me? Third party liability. What about the company that sold the metal used to make the gun? It's hard to see liability at any level, in fact.

    Certainly there are some cases of second party liability, such as if some accomplice drives me to the bank robbery. But that's only if he is directly and complicity involved. If he's a cab driver, and I'm just a fare that he doesn't know is involved in robbery, then he has no liability, even though he could be said to be benefitting from the theft. And if I use public transportation to get to a bank robbery, the government running the transportation system will certainly face no liability.

    The question then is if neither the gun store owner nor the cab driver is liable for my bank robbery, why would youtube, or the advertisers that pay youtube?

  • Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    A business plan (as Joseph K)

    I'm going to offer the studios a business model and they can take this business plan totally for free, no need to pay me royalties. Here's what you do: when you release a movie in theater, you also release it on DVD at the same time (genius, huh?). The virtue of this is that the DVD sales get to free ride on all the millions you spend on promoting the theatrical release. Then you sell the DVD in the lobbies of the movie theaters where the movies are showing, maybe along with merchandise, like t-shirts, movie posters, soundtracks, etc. If you're worried about people eschewing the theater for the DVD, then you sell the DVDs exclusively in the theaters, and (perhaps even) only to those who bought movie tickets, encouraging people to go to movie theaters. The reason I'm willing to give you this free business model is because (and many other movie goers) would friggin' love it! Please do this now (or sooner, if possible).

  • Aug 8th, 2011 @ 8:14am

    That last quote (as Joseph K)

    The quote at the end totally nullifies everything in this post before it, as well as the title (I'd say you'd buried the lead). The fact that there is a 400% change in whatever bogus numbers they're officially recording doesn't tell us anything. The important thing they're using these "emergency" requests a lot, and they're lying about it, even in their internal documents, which require FOIA requests to see.

  • Jul 22nd, 2011 @ 6:27am

    Re: Re: China heading toward "perfectly competitive"... (as Joseph K)

    I agree with Richard that Trademark infringement is (at least in many cases) a form of fraud. On the other hand, I don't see why we need separate laws to cover this particular instance of fraud, when there are already plenty of laws on the books that cover fraud. The problem with trademark law is that it covers more than just fraud, and it's regularly abused to attack competitors in cases where there is no fraud whatsoever.

    The public is not always the victim. If you, for example, go out and buy a faux Hermes handbag that you know is a faux Hermes handbag, then you're certainly not worse off, since you know what you're buying and Hermes isn't worse off, since you wouldn't have been able to buy one of their bags anyways. It's a victimless crime.

  • Jul 18th, 2011 @ 5:17pm

    3 Strike Rule (as Joseph K)

    And they're planning on introducing a three strike rule, such that if the facial recognition software accuses you three times of being a terrorist, then you lose your driving privileges permanently.

  • Jul 18th, 2011 @ 8:12am

    "Suitable" (as Joseph K)

    To appreciate the full absurdity of this you have to read the part where the city planner, Kevin Rulkowski says: "If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster's dictionary, it will say common. So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what's common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers"

    Of course a lot of people did look it up at Merriam-Webster's dictionary here and discovered (to no one's surprise but Rulkowski's) that "suitable" does not mean "common." And if you go there you'll see many sarcastic and critical comments about this.

  • Jul 15th, 2011 @ 6:34am

    A Wast of a lot of money (as Joseph K)

    So, let me get this straight. Over the past 9 months the French government has spent probably millions of Euros to find, then notify millions of French citizens, which has resulted in 10 people who might have to pay a fine of 1500 euros and lose their internet access temporarily, while France is still facing a weak economy, has a debt to GDP ratio of 82% and is looking at multiple EU countries possibly defaulting. Does anything think they might be squandering a lot of money to prevent people from illegally downloading things they probably wouldn't buy otherwise?

  • Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:13am

    Original Film (as Joseph K)

    I'm not sure that calling the 1939 adaption of the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, "the original movie" is quite appropriate. At the time, it was not the first adaptation of the novel (and has been adapted several times since too). There had been several short and at least one feature-length adaptation of the novel at the time, many of which are in the public domain. I assume that the court didn't take into account all of these adaptations when it made its decisions.

  • Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    When can we start submitting accusations (as Joseph K)

    When can we start submitting accusations of piracy against the people responsible for this law (the heads of the RIAA, MPAA, the various ISPs, the lawyers, government officials and so on)? With a little community effort it shouldn't take long to get them all kicked off the internet.

  • Jun 8th, 2011 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Patenting music?

    Yeah, I think I'm going to apply for these patents:

    Patent on using a percussion instrument to set the beat of a song.

    Patent on accompanying a solo pianist with a full orchestra.

    Patent on playing the notes in a chord in succession instead of simultaneously.

  • Jun 8th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    How do you lure the artists

    If you can't get any musicians to sign up, then no investors are going to front you the cash, no advertisers are going to want to advertise with you and no subscribers are going to want to subscribe. So, what reason do artists have to sign on to this clearly rotten deal? They'll make little money off of it and lose a lot of lifetime earnings. The only benefit would be the promotion, but that would only be worth something if you had a lot of subscribers or a lot of hits to your website. But you don't. So, again, what makes musicians want to sign up for this?

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