Give A Man A Fish… And Make It Illegal To Teach Fishing

from the welcome-to-the-world-today dept

We’ve talked in the past about how intellectual property rules seem to directly conflict with the purpose of educational institutions — and yet, many of those institutions are now starting to try to enforce those rules. Taking that a step further, in response to Bono’s recent confusion over ISP filtering, Russell McOrmond makes a great point in updating the old parable of “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime,” to the more modern version of: Give a man a fish, make it illegal to teach fishing. (found via Michael Scott):

There are those who think that making knowledge scarce, including criminalising private citizens owning and controlling their own communications technology, is the only way to make it possible to pay authors/inventors for their important contributions to society. This ignores all the experience and research to the contrary. Whether you believe this or not, you must admit that deliberately making knowledge scarce and thus more expensive greatly harms the interests of the worlds poor.

The repercussions of deliberately making knowledge scarce will be an underlying issue that will show up in many global conflicts in the next decade, whether talking about poverty, western economic recovery or global climate change.

Indeed. It’s a scary world when people think that locking up naturally abundant information and knowledge somehow makes sense. All it does is lock away a natural resource that can be used at no cost to make the world a better place.

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Comments on “Give A Man A Fish… And Make It Illegal To Teach Fishing”

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303 Comments
The Anti-Mike (profile) says:

I have to say that I get a laugh out of the lengths that people will go to try to hide illegal fie sharing under legitimate looking logical blinds.

Made music isn’t the same as teaching someone how to make music. Giving someone an MP3 file of a song isn’t the same as teaching them how to play guitar. Nobody is attempting to make music lessons illegal.

This is one of those major stretches of logic, pretty much snapping it completely.

Shouldn’t it be:

“Give a man a fish, he eats for a day… expecting the fisherman to give away all his catch every day means no more fishermen”?

you want more music? MAKE YOUR OWN. You want more movies? MAKE YOUR OWN.

The Anti-Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Nobody is attempting to make it illegal to teach fishing, or anything else like that.

heck, teach everyone to fish. They can all go fishing, and the economy can suffer because rather than buying fish at the market in 5 minutes on the way home from work, everyone spends half their days trying to catch dinner. In the end, most people don’t care to know how to fish anymore, because it is a significant waste of time for them to do it. Anyone who wants to learn is free to do it, just don’t steal the fish out of someone elses boat and claim to be a fisherman (rather than a thief).

Opportunity cost is one of those things in business that Mike never likes to talk about.

Ross Nicholson (profile) says:

Re: MAKE YOUR OWN MOVIES

Actually, patents and copyrights are not infallible. For instance, I created the story for Avatar and James Cameron owns the copyright. Why? Because he stole the story from me. The Writer’s Guild refuses to step in, why? Because it is a sham organization. Impoverished, I have to hire my own lawyers–and who is going to go up against James Cameron?
So, sticking up for our current system is like sticking up for stick-up men. It just doesn’t make sense. We need revolution for justice, clearly.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

you want more music? MAKE YOUR OWN. You want more movies? MAKE YOUR OWN.

And that is EXACTLY what big content is trying to stop.

Sites like youtube are all about making your own stuff but of course big content doesn’t like that so they use the ridiculous “permissions culture” that they have constructed over the years to try to prevent it.

They use each others stuff all the time – and couldn’t manage any other way (when did you last see a film where ALL the music was specifically written/performed for that film?).

But of course they won’t give permission for you to do that – or if they do it will be way beyond your budget (just ask Nina Paley about that one). In fact even finding the time to go around asking is probably beyond most budgets…

All this was OK when the cost of the technical side of making decent quality recordings or films was also prohibitive for the ordinary person – but now it isn’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

But commenter #2 doesn’t know how these rules actually works.

Here in Canada, SOCAN is trying to enforce some IP rules. The rule is very simple. If you rent a public space and play music (any music), then you pay SOCAN a fee. Sounds reasonable?

Of course it is not reasonable. It means even if you write your own music, you cannot play it without paying SOCAN. Or, even if you only want to play folk music in your native country, you have to pay SOCAN a fee. This is among the most ridiculous things I have ever seen and yet it has the force of extortion.

Making your own music or not doesn’t matter. To the “IP control freaks”, even if you make your own music you are not allowed to play it in public.

The Sarcastic-Mike says:

Re: Re:

But the system we have is perfect! If you’re against the system then that means you must be against the artists!

Artists need protection. They are weak and poor and starving. If we don’t protect the artist and their artistic expression then no would would ever make art again.

Is that what you freetards want?

To destroy art?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Har-de-har-har

Again, no. I’ve seen no evidence his opinion is “bankrupt”. The original analogy drawn here is completely false. It’s just another example of the continued crusader to oversimplify copyright. And Anti-Mike does a perfectly good job explaining exactly why this is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Har-de-har-har

Copyright is confusing. Everyone infringes on someone’s copyright every day. Which is what happens when you change the law so that everything ever created is assigned a copyright.

Copyright is confusing. Why has the public domain stopped growing at an exponential rate?

Copyright is confusing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Har-de-har-har

Copyright is only confusing if you are not particularly well versed in copyright law. Copyright law only protects content creators who choose to enforce said laws. No one is obliged to enforce copyright law in regards to their own work. Copyright law is quite strict in defense of free use. Copyright law protects derivative works.

If copyright is actually quite simple.

Tom (profile) says:

Let's take your principle

and apply it to your intellectual property, Techdirt. It took you a lot of intellectual work and creativity to make this website. It took you a lot of intellectual work and creativity to get the current level of readership that you now enjoy.

Let’s say I were to agree with your premise, that Intellectual Property should be free for everyone. I also have a website, but I don’t get nearly the same amount of readers that you do.

You are a fascist government capitalist pig dog if you do not give me your domain name, website, and readership so that I can use your Intellectual Property for the benefit of my blog.

SparePlanet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Let's take your principle

I am saying that Mike’s willingness to put his IP in public domain does not mean others should be forced to.

If a musician, fashion designer, painter, author wishes to restrict copying of their work, because they feel they will profit more, or for any other motive, they should have they right. It’s THEIR work.

Whether that backfires or not for the producer, you the consumer, should not have any problem with it.

In fact, mass distribution of the Mona Lisa probably wouldn’t be a problem for DaVinci –it likely wouldn’t devalue the original. But it should be DaVinci’s choice.

If Metallica doesn’t want their album distributed thru P2P, that should be their choice, also. Whether it is good for them or not.

What is your problem with that?

SteelWolf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Let's take your principle

Nobody’s forcing them to. They’re just pointing out that it’s the only business model with a chance of succeeding. You can keep trying to sell fake scarcities all you want, it’s just dumb. Instead, embrace the cultural sharing that the Public Domain makes possible, and reap the benefits.

SparePlanet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Let's take your principle

“Nobody’s forcing them to.”

Yes, they are. Everytime a thief steals a work and puts it into PD, it was forced into PD (unless done with the creator’s permission). And devalued.

I had already pointed out that there are other, possibly better, business models.

The question was:

What is your problem with a creator choosing not to give away his works? How does that negatively impact you?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Let's take your principle

New art may draw inspiration from old art. Sure. And that’s one of the benefits of copyright. That it allows this activity, as long as there is a reasonable degree of new creative work added.

The “don’t sell your work to the public unless you want your work to be pirated” is beyond stupid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Let's take your principle

Show and not sell. If you don’t want your work to be seen by the public then don’t show it to the public.

If you don’t want your work to be shared by the public then don’t show it to the public.

You are still free to sell your work. No one is stopping you from selling your work.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Let's take your principle

I just asked a simple question. What is your problem with an artist choosing not to give away his works? How does that negatively impact you?

If someone sells their work with restricted rights then they will at some point realise that it is practically impossible to enforce given current technology and privacy rights. They will then start lobbying for useful technology to be banned and for draconian enforcement regimes.

This damages many people’s ability to do perfectly legal stuff such as upload their own content to Youtube (see the latest laws in Korea) or play their own (or PD) music in a public place.

SparePlanet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Let's take your principle

Thank you for answering. I appreciate that you stepped up because I really wanted to know.

Do you really think that an artist who felt he was ripped off would lobby for a draconian laws that would prevent legal activity? I think that is highly unlikely. As well as insulting. I am quite sure that most artists are intelligent, well-meaning people that would lobby for progressive, fair laws that would protect the rights of all concerned, to every degree possible.

Record companies, no doubt, are far less altruistic. Correction, not altruistic at all. Correction: They suhkk bawlz.

But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Let's take your principle

If a musician, fashion designer, painter, author wishes to restrict copying of their work, because they feel they will profit more, or for any other motive, they should have they right. It’s THEIR work.

Whether morally they should have that right – or to be precise whether it is morally acceptable for a large group of such people to form a cartel with the aim of standardising (to their own unfair advantage) the terms and conditions under which they distribute their material is one issue.

However, given modern technology, such a right cannot be imposed on an unwilling public. The cartel has therefore attempted to have the technology made illegal and that is what we are objecting to.

SparePlanet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Let's take your principle

OK, I am fine with your objections to “cartels”. If “a large group” (or more accurately, a small group with a large amount of money) wants to control “the pipepline” and puts profits at odds with the general public’s interests, that is wrong, and I am just as much against that as you are.

Let’s not confuse that with the spirit of IP. The spirit of IP protection is to respect/honor/value the work of talented, creative people just as much as we respect/honor/value work done in other fields.

Is it important to make sure that corporate interests do not hijack IP law and make it self-serving? By all means.

But that does not automatically mean abolition. Total abolition of IP law might be just as bad as a twisted IP law which essentially grants monopolies to the financial sector, to the detriment of innovation and the public.

Crafting laws requires thought, effort, creativity, cooperation, and perhaps a degree of compromise. In short, it requires intelligent input from all affected parties.

Unilaterally declaring that music should be as free as the air we breathe is not intelligent input.

Nor is name-calling.

This forum can be used for constructive debate only if their is willingness of the participants to engage in such, rather than merely promote an agenda.

Now that you have some understanding of what I object to, let’s address your stated objection:

“The cartel has…attempted to have the technology made illegal”.

“The cartel” may have, at one point, tried to get courts to criminalize P2P technology itself, but there is not a jurisdiction on earth that would buy that argument in this day and age. You probably weren’t trying to imply that that is their current agenda.

Your beef is probably that “the cartel” is trying to profit obscenely by acting as an intermediary between artist and audience.

I get that, and I think most artists and audiences do.

I don’t understand why free music advocates don’t realize that stance is counterproductive to efforts to draft a fair use policy.

Godric says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Let's take your principle

“If a musician, fashion designer, painter, author wishes to restrict copying of their work, because they feel they will profit more, or for any other motive, they should have they right. It’s THEIR work.”

Correct, but no-one else should be able to enforce that for them. That includes RIAA, MPAA, or anyone else. Only the artist should be suing for infringement and collecting on their own works. Only the artists should retain the copyright on their work. Once the artist is dead, maybe + 10 years and the works should transition to public domain.

Like you said… it is THEIR work. No matter who promoted it.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Let's take your principle

“You are a fascist government capitalist pig dog if you do not give me your domain name, website, and readership so that I can use your Intellectual Property for the benefit of my blog.”

To quote-paraphrase … mike which I hate doing …. opposite sides of the fence and all …

“Feel free to copy the articles and comments on this site as much as you want.”

and for a cool 100 million US dollars you can hijack this site….

:) says:

Re: Re: Re: Let's take your principle

Well the fact is if that old, ugly, washed-up, disease-infected street whore decide not to offer services to a drug dealer but instead make here own stuff with her own means the drug dealer would feel compelled to attack the old, ugly, washed-up, disease-infected street whore and probably go to jail why artists that do the same don’t go to jail?

TW Burger (profile) says:

Perfect Knowledge

The idea of the Internet that I envision is to allow everyone access to everything that is known in real time – perfect knowledge.

But, music and movies are entertainment and not knowledge. There has to be a way to separate the issues so knowledge is not controlled by corporations like Sony controls a Britney Spears track. Even the dimmest of law makers should be able to tell the difference.

whgeiger (profile) says:

Of Fish, Fishermen & Pandora As Well

Restricting access to information has been the mission of those that do not welcome competition in the marketplace.

In the case of institutions of higher education, they have been doing this for years, by imposing entry prerequisites, diverse degree curriculum, class prerequisites, high tuition fees and unnecessary and frequent change of course textbooks. All of these impositions, of course, combine to make higher education economically untenable to the citizen majority, many of whom are not credentialed as well. Such institutions do not want attendance by those that might require an extra effort to educate, or that show no interest in a particular subject having little to do with the education they are pursuing.

For others, the claim of plagiarism is only one means used to deter the dissemination of information. The notion that a copyright protects the facts or ideas conveyed in a covered publication is yet another absurd ploy. For patents, only the specific implementation(s) of an idea are covered, and they are supposed to be protected only for a limited time; but nevertheless, they are public disclosures as well.
Now with the presence of the Internet, dissemination of information is available to all fish and non-fish eaters alike, whether rich or poor, educated or not. Knowledge is power and the Internet conveys both. A long time ago, Intel and Microsoft with the unwitting help of IBM and the DOD, took computers off their raised floors, and out of the control of an elite minority. They then put them on the desktops and laps, and in the hands of the masses, and then gave them the freedom of the Internet to absorb and spread information far and wide. For those concerned and disappointed by this situation, they should be advised that this Pandora is out of her box, she is alive and well, and will never return to that enclosure. With our vigilance, she will be free.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Oh you again with the bullshit.

Your participation on this forum is worthless. You’re obnoxious, a douche, impolite, mostly incoherent, and generally an asshole.

You may feel you’re superior because you’re thinking “outside the box” but, really, your logic is flawed most of the time and you’re just annoying. But when people point out the aberration of most of your “contributions” you’re unable to make the effort to think back and revise your viewpoint.

You should really lay off the Internets on weekends. Give self-fellatio a try instead, it should be more worthwhile to you. And us.

The Anti-Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually, this is only the second day on the internet in the last little bit, I was online for a short bit in mainland china, and now in thailand (5 star hotel includes free internet, and I am killing time waiting for some friends for dinner right now).

I don’t feel superior at all. Do you? You seem intent on shouting me down, which suggests you think your viewpoint is more relevant than mine. That smacks of superiority. I would say you would be the one needing a little timeout.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Hey, at least he isn’t cussing anonymously. I’d rather have anti-mike than any number of anonymous cowards telling anti-mike where to go. If you really wanted to you could write a greasemonky script to filter out all his comments. All you do is give people who have something useful to say but don’t want to sign up a bad name.

Josh (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Hmm, yes, well… no. I may disagree with TAM on most things, and think he’s probably a MAFIAA shill, but his “participation on this forum” is worth more than yours. You see, TAM actually constructs arguments which, while flawed, make more sense than incoherent rage such as yours. I would continue along this line of reasoning, but I do not want to stoop to your level or be championed as a defender of TAM.

Have a happy Caturday.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s the real problem. The techdirt crowd-mantra is that they should decide what is free, not the artist or the rights holders.

You on the other hand seem to think that “right’s holders” should be able to dictate forever (or as near to forever as makes no difference) what is done with stuff that they have distributed.

This is most definitely not a natural right but at most a privilege granted by the state ( and that ultimately means by the people). To repeat – if you don’t want someone to do something you disapprove of with your work then you are at liberty not to give or sell them a copy. You cannot expect to be able to sell something and get some money without giving up something yourself at the same time.

The founders of most of the world’s major religions would have disapproved of copyright and patents for the same reasons that they did in fact disapprove of usury – because it involves taking money for doing nothing.

To summarize the artist can decide what he wishes to distribute but for distribution to take place the recipient must agree with the terms.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

Patent System makes Knowledge Available To All

Big business loved it when they could get inventions for virtually nothing and student and faculty inventors were easy pickings. Today many institutions have technology transfer offices and while they are not perfect most are conducted with far more ethics then you see in large companies who will steal from anyone they view as vulnerable.

I do think that universities should use an opt in policy for their inventors as opposed to mandatory policies.

Most universities handle all the costs of patenting and marketing an invention and they pay faculty and student inventors 30-50% of the resulting income. That is far better than what those inventors would get from an employer. And most companies try to outright steal from independent, academic and small business inventors. They are capitalists when they are selling their products or services and socialists when they need the fruits of other’s creativity.

“It’s a scary world when people think that locking up naturally abundant information and knowledge somehow makes sense.”

Then you should love the patent system because it is about ensuring that knowledge is preserved and widely disseminated. Today universities are playing a role in disseminating ever larger amounts of information through their tech transfer programs.

The patent database is a treasure trove on how to information which moves into the public domain once the patents expire. It would behoove you to spend more time learning from that vast body of knowledge and less spewing nonsense about patents and inventors.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Patent System makes Knowledge Available To All

Geez, talk about full of yourself. I appreciate your views on the patent system and would engage you in discussion, if you hadn’t already dismissed Mike’s position as ignorant and nonsensical without saying why.

Suited troll is still a troll. Want a grown up talk? Learn some respect for others that befits all the self respect you present, otherwise you’re just arrogant and will get ignored or ridiculed.

SparePlanet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Patent System makes Knowledge Available To All

The anti-copyright articles and posts here are just as extremist. Very disrespectful, radical, completely nonconstructive. If you would treat people like people, realize that all they want is to make a legal living, and try to work towards solution, that would be constructive and appreciated.

Granted, there are big money interests that do not play fair and they deserve all of your animosity. They do not care if they nurture or stifle creativity and innovation. (typically their strategy is to purchase the fruits of creation/innovation and then spoon-feed it to the public as slowly as possible) Only their bottom line matters, and they are rather ruthless in pursuit of profit.

Nonetheless, big business interests and the interests of individual artists, musicians, innovators and inventors are far from one and the same.

I am a creator/inventor, and I despise being lumped together under the same umbrella as big business. Big business is my adversary and yours. We (consumers and innovators) should be ganging up on them.

But by trying to obtain the fruits of my labor as cheaply as possible, you are actually playing right into the hands of Big$$$, and serving their interests.

Which means I end up with enemies on both ends of the spectrum.

SparePlanet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Patent System makes Knowledge Available To All

Why do you hate copyright?

Would you not mind if someone hijacked a creation or concept that you had painstakingly refined, toiled over for a long time?

You are fine with them sending their kids to college with the $$$ that could have/should have paid for your kids school?

You are perfectly happy that you and the hijacker will escort a woman out of a club at last call and she will see his 2010 Mercedes and go home with him and give him incredible sex and you will go home and jerk off…

Are you really an artist/creator/inventor, or are you like an untalented American Idol hopeful who wasn’t chosen and therefore decided the whole system is crooked?

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Patent System makes Knowledge Available To All

“The anti-copyright articles and posts here are just as extremist. Very disrespectful, radical, completely nonconstructive.”

Radical, no negative connotations.. why do you lump it in with disrespectful and non-constructive? Extremist presumably refers to over the top which is a pretty subjective statement in itself. Both together imply that you see copyright as an axiom, which is very shaky ground to base anything on.

With regard to respect, I try to show at least the same respect to others as they show for others. For example, if someone substitutes infringement for theft then they are calling someone a thief. If someone calls me a thief then however much they might believe me to have thief-like qualities they cannot expect me to respond without contempt. What is more constructive, starting a conversation with ‘you dirty thief!’ or responding with a detailed explanation of why thief is inappropriate in that context? As far as I’m aware, attempting to bore people to death isn’t considered immoral. Perhaps you can tell me how discussion is non-constructive.

“Granted, there are big money interests that do not play fair and they deserve all of your animosity. They do not care if they nurture or stifle creativity and innovation. (typically their strategy is to purchase the fruits of creation/innovation and then spoon-feed it to the public as slowly as possible) Only their bottom line matters, and they are rather ruthless in pursuit of profit. “

I’d say I’m glad we agree on something but you’d have to be more specific.

“Nonetheless, big business interests and the interests of individual artists, musicians, innovators and inventors are far from one and the same. “

I’m not sure how this follows on from the last paragraph, but I take your point.

“I am a creator/inventor, and I despise being lumped together under the same umbrella as big business. Big business is my adversary and yours. We (consumers and innovators) should be ganging up on them.”

I don’t lump you together with big business, where’d you get that idea? I’ll form an opinion based solely on what you have said, which so far has led me to believe that you are in favour of copyright because you believe it is essential for you to make a living. I respect that position but disagree that copyright is the right way to go about it, let alone the only way as seems the prevailing opinion in the wider world.

While I’d certainly welcome a compromise of limited copyright, at the moment the only ‘extremities’ of note are the institutions that allow almost perpetual copyright. As long as such abuse continues it is unreasonable to expect people to adhere to a law so far removed from their beliefs.

“But by trying to obtain the fruits of my labor as cheaply as possible, you are actually playing right into the hands of Big$$$, and serving their interests.”

I’m playing into the hands of ‘Big$$$’? You’ll have to explain that one to me better because I just don’t get your point.

Anonymous Coward says:

re: Patent System makes Knowledge Available To All

How about that your whole system can be hijacked by a douchebag judge in some east texas no name town. Kind of makes your whole program kind of useless if you have no easy way of dismissing bias and gross negligence. It is indeed a treasure….but if you think its identified by anything but big pharm locking much needed generics or trolls raping it while it bleeds you are mistaken (and the seed bank shit is just retarded, someone should drawn and quartered for that idea).

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

Re: re: Patent System makes Knowledge Available To All

Actually the Eastern District in Texas is one of the better courts for many reasons and that is why large and small companies whose inventions are being infringed flock to that court.

It is serial infringers like those who formed the Coalition for Patent Fairness who are spending massive amounts of money to demonize inventors and courts alike who hold them accountable for their disreputable conduct.

While not quite as bad there is another group calling itself the Coalition for 21st Patent Reform who is working to HARMonize our patent system, which really means to turn it into a kings sport, making sure all the little people stay in their place and dutifully toe the line to maximize their profits.

The Eastern District court stands up to both groups of shysters.

What is ironic is how many people buy these companies propaganda. Piracy Coalition and Patent Deform Coalition members offer incentives to various academics, certain media outlets and journalists and bloggers to lead all of you around by the nose.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: re: Patent System makes Knowledge Available To All

“You cannot speak on your own behalf and then list a paragraph of your shilling organizations (and a corpse).”

Yes I can. Unlike you, I sign my name to what I have to say and I disclose my affiliations. But I do not have the time or inclination to get approval for every opinion which I might want to express from the leaders of each organization. This is why there is a disclaimer. That is the honest way for me to operate.

There is an industry of paid bloggers. Are you on the payroll of a large corporation? If not, why do you publish anonymously?

One last point, the corpse comment is especially crass. Paul Heckel was an inventor who died before his time because large companies ripped him off. It was tragic and should not have happened. His death and the decade of poverty he faced before passing while large companies made millions prevented him from being able to produce subsequent inventions. Corporate abuse of inventors is costing America dearly in lost jobs and prosperity.

In the end I have to wonder that if people are stupid enough to buy corporate propaganda and immoral enough to rationalize why they should be able to profit on others work if they don’t deserve to live under the heals of these disreputable companies. What do you think?

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: re: Patent System makes Knowledge Available To All

You might be interested to know who the corpse was

“Paul Heckel of HyperRacks, who spoke yesterday, was once an innovative programmer –Jwho foolishly thought a software patent would protect his innovation.But he is neither an attorney nor wealthy.So he has wasted most of his last decade in bitter, consumptive attempts to protect his patent, but has reaped little reward.His patent left him no time to use his technical talents for personal benefit nor to promote progress. “

see

http://cache.zoominfo.com/CachedPage/?archive_id=0&page_id=421645318&page_url=%2f%2fwww.base.com%2fsoftware-patents%2fstatements%2fautodesk.statement.html&page_last_updated=1%2f26%2f2006+6%3a37%3a55+AM&firstName=Paul&lastName=Heckel

for more.

Hassle says:

Fishing made better Finux

Let me try and put this in simple terms you guys can understand.

Music ( unless its yours )
Movies ( unless released free to public )
Books ( unless released free to public )
these are the issues, these are illegal to download, copy, and distribute. Hands down thats something that everyone understands, yet most do not care or want to care about the consequences.

Software are the other hand is a different story, yes there are people even now downloading hacked, cracked and unlawful software as we speak. But what is the cost, software prices are over the top to say the least. Lets take Microsoft, they make many different software suits, from operating systems to accounting software. Which can all be offered for free and are. Microsoft charges for Windows $150 plus USD.

Can you run a computer without a operating system NO.

there are alternatives to Microsoft out there and yes the are easy to get and use, Linux has many different systems and options that are free to use. Not only are they free but in most cases that offer a community of people working to together to make them even better.

I can understand, that the money paid for software goes back to making the software better in the long run, but we do the same thing with open-source software and don’t charge a dime. I want to say if the software company wants to make profits then they need to offer something better then the free stuff does.

Please stuff complaining about music and movies and crap like that.

Josh (profile) says:

Re: Fishing made better Finux

“these are illegal to download, copy, and distribute. Hands down thats something that everyone understands”

That’s not entirely accurate, I think.
While everyone (capable of doing so) may KNOW it’s illegal, we can’t quite fathom WHY it is, so we do nut truly understand. Also,slightly off topic, while it may be illegal, so was the American Revolution.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Fishing made better Finux

Books (unless released free to public) these are the issues, these are illegal to download, copy, and distribute.

Yes, even books that were published back in 1925 with an author that died in 1940. It’s illegal to download a dead author’s work that is over 85 years old.

That’s wrong. You shouldn’t do that. It’s wrong and immoral and illegal.

Hands down thats something that everyone understands, yet most do not care or want to care about the consequences.

Anonymous Coward says:

The Anti-Mike

It is refreshing that amidst all of the misinformation, righteous indignation, etc. at least one person provides comments that tend to reflect an understanding of the relevant issues.

If copyright law was the “Hydra” so many mistakenly seem to believe it is, then why is it that examples are continuously noted here where groups are making movies and songs without a single label filing a lawsuit. Could it be perhaps that such movies and songs are the original works of these groups?

jeffshattuck (profile) says:

C'mon people!

As I read through these comments I am absolutely staggered — and depressed — by the hostility to the notion of protecting ideas for a time.

Here’s my question: do you think that there would have been such an explosion of knowledge in the world if ideas had not been protected these last several hundred years?

Jeff

:) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 C'mon people!

Yes it is.

And many people are proving what a waste of resources copyright and patents really are.

Red Hat proved software can be done without protections.
Jamendo, Magnatune proved you don’t need protections for music just need protections to attribution.
Many open source projects in education, health and hardware are proving that you don’t need intellectual protections what people need is a common platform to build upon where everybody contributes to it and that is the public domain.

The selfish feeling of not letting others use something that they could have done it themselves needs to stop, Any society will find solutions given a medium that is fertile start enforcing IP laws and it turns into a wasteland.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 C'mon people!

Without copyright, those with massive amounts of money (corporations) will be free to appropriate and commercialize the works of independent artists without credit or permission or compensation. Put simply, you’re dead wrong. Copyright law is NOT inherently bad. It can be abused just like anything else. and it has been. But that does not mean it is without merit.

:) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 C'mon people!

So what?

You can’t make live concerts?
You can’t sell your own merch?

Are you incapable or unable to compete?

My personal view is that if someone is making money out of my work that is ok I have zero problems with that and they could do whatever they want with it except trying to stop others from using it and there comes the GPL and CC sharealike type of licenses.

You are an artist and respect people and want to make money do a CC Commons no commercial use permitted, but you wouldn’t do that would you?

For centuries cultures flourished without any copyright now you are telling us that we need to protect you at great cost and without any return?

Are you crazy?

:) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 C'mon people!

IP laws today are toxic waste to society.

It takes the rights of the many for the rights of the one.

It puts power on the hands of a few and punish everybody else.

It doesn’t create innovation it destroy the incentives to do it as people have no way of knowing if they can do something and almost everything know today is the result of other ideas and expressions.

Is ridiculous to someone have a patent on electrical signal translation(convertion) but that is what happened with the credit card reader for the iPhone, is absurd to patent lifeforms and that is what happened with monsanto and the bio engineered crops that can cause harm to your health as described by scientific reports recently released, is ridiculous to ask people to take care of other people and ask of them to be proficient in areas they have no previous expertise like the mom in germany that needs a degree in IT for her to be able to properly watch her children, it is absurd and immoral to use copyright laws and trademarks to try to censor others but that happens all the time, is immoral to take others rights to ownership because of fear but that is what happens when people cannot modify or use things they bought with their own hard earned money.

Where is the good for society?

:) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 C'mon people!

The first step to reform IP laws is to ignore it.
The Second step is to start using alternatives that takes away the incentives those other people want to maintain.
The Third step is to change the laws.

In the meantime copyright maximalists and IP maximalists should try mental treatment for mental disorders.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/science-news/2009/non-invasive-technique-blocks-a-conditioned-fear-in-humans.shtml

People appear to be making some improvement on some fronts LoL

:) says:

Re: C'mon people!

The answer is yes.

IP laws were not enforced or changed for hundreds of years and suddenly in the last decades this all changed.

11 times in the past 40 years copyright was amended.

There was no need to change laws and still people did it anyways and now want more control at some point enough is enough and we reached that point.

It is now encroaching into social habits and costumes, it is hurting innocent people who did nothing wrong or try to fallow the law the best they can and it is harming innovation, competition and jobs everywhere.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: C'mon people!

As I read through these comments I am absolutely staggered — and depressed — by the hostility to the notion of protecting ideas for a time.

Here’s my question: do you think that there would have been such an explosion of knowledge in the world if ideas had not been protected these last several hundred years?

Answer Yes, in fact I think there would have been an even bigger explosion of knowledge.

If you look at the actual history of both the arts and sciences you will see that:

1. Countries with weaker patent and copyright laws have grown faster than those with stronger ones. That is the reason why the US overtook Britain and the West coast overtook the East within the US. It is also why the Swiss and Germans developed stronger chemical and drugs industries than the French or British.

2. Pursuing IP protection instead of innovation has been the downfall of many companies not least the Wright brothers whose patent war crippled american aviation for 10 years.

3. The most spectacular progress of all has been in pure science – which is completely unfettered by both patent and copyright. Under the analysis of the IP lobby Newton, Faraday, Darwin, Maxwell, Einstein, Feynmann and Hawking should never have bothered – since they could not protect their work in any way. And why on earth would a genius like Paul Dirac move from electrical engineering (where he could have patented his work and made lots of money) into theoretical physics where there is no IP protection of any kind?

The idea that monopoly protection is necessary for progress is a myth. The anti-IP lobby has quoted example after example to verify their case. I have however never seen anything other than blind assertion from the other side. Show me a single example of an invention or work of art that would not have been created without IP and I might believe you – but none of the IP apologists has ever done so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: C'mon people!

As an artist I couldn’t agree more. Artists can protect themselves. We actually don’t need a government-enforced monopoly to succeed, in my opinion, but what do I know, I’m just an artist.

And artists are weak and poor and starving and need all the protection that they can get.

Especially in the 21st century.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: C'mon people!

“Here’s my question: do you think that there would have been such an explosion of knowledge in the world if ideas had not been protected these last several hundred years?”

You appear to live in the US, perhaps you need some history lessons?

From the link: “The absence here of any “natural” or “moral” rights conception of intellectual property set the stage for the long history of appropriation of foreign IP by the United States. During the 1830s, an economic depression encouraged the wholesale piracy of the English publishing industry, leading British authors–most famously, an irate Charles Dickens–to petition the US congress in 1836 for protection for non-US authors, to no avail (Sell 2003: 61). During the same time, as mentioned earlier, the US was appropriating English steam engine technology with no attribution or recompense.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: C'mon people!

… The entire American industrialization of the 19th century was based on rampant piracy of European patents. Contrary to the stale argument you present, innovation actually increases dramatically when everyone becomes able to improve on the idea.

Pharma and all others with R&D budgets spend paltry amounts of dollars on R&D next to their marketing and legal divisions (protect those patents! no cheap drugs for the poor! but dont forget you NEED drugs, yay!)

Henry Emrich (profile) says:

See, THIS is why I don't even bother to read the "comments"

1. None of the copyright apologists can bring themselves to admit that they’re defending an expressly-limited monopoly privilege which is SUPPOSED to eventually expire (and thus, allow for the public domain about which they also don’t give a shit.)

2. They never actually even admit that there’s any such thing as the “copyright bargain”, or that corporate front groups have been busily *breaking* their side of that “bargain” for DECADES, whenever they wheedle another term extension out of their cronies in government.

3. They also never even admit that their lobbyist pals have routinely reacted badly to any technological innovation that even potentially empowered users. The mere fact that Valenti compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler necessarily means that he was either a senile imbecile, or lying. That’s unforgiveable.

Put bluntly, it is *your* side that started this war…and yes, it IS a war. None of us actually expect you to formulate a coherent defense of IP “law” as currently codified (which even *you* know is indefensible.)

What boggles my mind is why in the *hell* we’re 80 comments deep in a thread that basically highlights something blindingly obvious: namely, that the monopoly privileges misnamed intellectual “property” have as their SOLE intention to make knowledge (and products BASED upon that knowledge) scarce, in order to allow those monopolizing such knowledge to gouge their “captive market” at whim.

They understand this. What’s most amusing about these….people (hey, I’m being charitable here), is that they defend State-granted monopoly privileges as a bulwark of “free-market capitalism”.

I don’t think it’s “extreme” at all, to admit that a given “law” is both morally indefensible and socially damaging.

Speaking strictly for myself, until — and unless — they:

1. Own up to the real history of so-called “Intellectual Property” (starting with the fact that it *is* a system of coercive, State-backed monopoly privilege)

2. Admit that multinational corporations and their lobbyist front-groups have been breaking *their* side of the “copyright bargain” for decades

3. Stop agitating for longer copyright monopolies, and start admitting — no matter how grudgingly — the importance of the Public Domain

4. STOP apologizing for an IP system that allows multinational corporate megaliths to try to suppress potentially disruptive (read: customer-friendly) technologies at the barrel of a Government Gun.

Until they do *all* of the above, they are nothing but slimy, dishonest little trolls, and NOTHING that they say should be treated with even the thinnest semblance of respect.

Fuck ’em. Treat ’em like the dishonest little shits that they are.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: See, THIS is why I don't even bother to read the "comments"

Yeah. Money. What exactly is wrong with wanting to get paid for your labor?

You don’t want to get paid? Okay. That’s your business. I wouldn’t dream of telling you that your can’t do what you do. But who are you to argue that I must adhere to your beliefs?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: See, THIS is why I don't even bother to read the "comments"

Nothing wrong with wanting to get paid for your continued labor.

Seems kind of suspect when your great grandchildren, or Some Corporate Trust, is still getting paid for the labor of Some Dead Artist, who published an expression of an idea more than 85 years ago.

Why would people be possibly upset by this? Do they hate those who make money?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 See, THIS is why I don't even bother to read the "comments"

You’re pointing to extreme exception. And you’re ignoring over an important fact. The royalty structure exists so that artists can sell work at an affordable price. Otherwise a novel that takes a year to write will cost alot more than 10 bucks. So “continued labor” is not the right argument at all. Without being paid repeatedly for past work, the price of art rockets right out of most peoples budgets.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 See, THIS is why I don't even bother to read the "comments"

Without being paid repeatedly for past work, the price of art rockets right out of most peoples budgets.

Oh dear, what you could have said was that without the cost of art being shared by a large number of people it would not be affordable.

However that does not require being paid repeatedly for past work at all. There are many other ways of achieving the same end all that is needed is some organisation. This is much easier today than ever before but was also possible in the past. For example concerts are affordable to ordinary people and great buildings have been created out of public subscription – for example Chartres cathedral.

And actually most of us can afford to hire another’s time for a short space. You can buy several days worth of a plumber, electrician or builder. And it is possible to afford one to one attention from a great musician (eg teaching) at a fee that will not break the bank.

Henry Emrich (profile) says:

What's wrong with "protecting" (monopolizing) ideas for "a time"?

1. The “time” keeps shifting — tellingly, getting longer and longer.

2. What exactly are you being “protected” from? Competition? IP apologists can’t have it both ways: either you admit that all forms of (so-called) Intellectual “property” are basically a “social safety-net” for the business-class, or you keep lying to us.

So yeah, the “hostility” is understandable.

Y’know, during slavery (yes, I’m going there) there were probably a significant minority of people stupid enough to actually say things like “well, of COURSE slave-holders are permitted to free *their* slaves, but why should anybody be ‘forced’ to free THEIRS?”

Y’know what, folks? The only thing you’re “forced” to do if the misbegotten mistake known as IP is repealed, is to STOP expecting the government to step in a “protect” you from the “market forces” you corporate/business-types otherwise treat like some kind of sacred idol (especially in regard to OTHER “social safety-nets”….especially those which help the non-corporate class).

Enough of this shit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: What's wrong with "protecting" (monopolizing) ideas for "a time"?

The guy just equated copyright law to slavery. That’s the work of an idiot. If you need convincing that such conflation is, in fact, idiotic, than you’re already beyond intellectual salvation. So why should I waste words constructing a counter argument? I would get more results from debating with a kitchen table.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 What's wrong with "protecting" (monopolizing) ideas for "a time"?

You’re ignoring what I said. Without copyright law, corporations don’t NEED artists permission. And without copyright law, exploited artists will have zero recourse when their work is taken and exploited against their will.

Anonymous Coward says:

http://poemshape.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/let-poetry-die/

“The best thing that could happen to poetry is to drive it out of the universities with burning pitch forks. Starve the lavish grants. Strangle them all in a barrel of water. Cast them out. The current culture, in which poetry is written for and supported by poets has created a kind of state-sanctioned poetry that resists innovation. When and if poetry is ever made to answer to the broader public, then we may begin to see some great poetry again – the greatness that is the collaboration between audience and artist.”

RD says:

Even so..

“Would you not mind if someone hijacked a creation or concept that you had painstakingly refined, toiled over for a long time?”

Which would PREVENT the author from exploiting his own work

NOT

ONE

LITTLE

BIT.

If you author a famous (or popular) novel/movie/etc and someone else comes along and makes another novel/movie/etc based on the same work, HOW does that in any way completely GUT your ability to exploit your own work? YOU are the creator of it. No one FOLLOWING you will be mistaken for the CREATOR of it anyway. Anyone who might want the “real deal” will come to YOU. Yes, there may be offshoots others might do that you wont like (say, by making your main character a murderer) but really, seriously, do you REALLY think that EVERYONE will ABANDON the original author completely and take up with these derivative works INSTEAD? Come on, you are doing drugs if you think that.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Patents vs Innovation

It’s interesting to see, with so many important ideas, that there is about a two-decade lag between the original invention, and the major commercialization of the idea.

For example, the germanium transistor was invented at Bell Labs in 1948, and patented the same year. Yet it wasn’t until the latter part of the 1960s that transistorized electronic appliances became mass-market consumer items. Texas Instruments invented the silicon transistor in 1954. And again, silicon didn’t take over from germanium in a big way in electronics until the 1970s. The first patent for CMOS integrated circuits was granted in 1963. But they didn’t become commonplace until the 1980s. And so on and so on and so on.

Why is this? Could it be because two decades is just about long enough for the original patents to lapse and no longer be a brake on innovation?

:) says:

Re: Patents vs Innovation

Does anyone did credit the Canadian scientist that made the transistor possible with his research that described all the concepts but wasn’t able to produce a working prototype?

Lasers would not be possible today if thousands have not tinkered for free with einstein ideas.

The part of people saying what would you feel when others get money from things you think you did but was unable to market or produce should be secondary to this whole thing.

If you had one idea and can’t market it or make it work why should you be paid for something?

Why should anyone get paid for ideas? I can solve problems would I need to pay someone else because he found the answer first?

Copyright is even worst as you can’t even make a derivative work you can use resources to make something new, copyright blocks the use of basic resources to build anything.

transmaster (profile) says:

I am a musician and I agree you should get paid for your work. However the way the current system works unless you have the means to market your own work, and thankfully the internet is starting to be a means of doing so you are screwed. Sign with a recording label and you become an indentured servant. They own you, your music, everything. When the are done with you, you have nothing to show for your work. The vast majority of the artists singed never even pay back the money advanced to them.

This is bad enough however the worst part is the 40+ year copyrights enforced for music. This is ridiculous if these old recording where available it would be one thing but what is happening now is Music labels that are nothing more them a post office box are holding copyrights on music they have no intention of ever publishing they are just sitting on these copyrights speculating, it costs them nothing to hold the publishing rights. The only way you can get much of these old recording is if you bootleg them. I would be more them happy to pay for them but this old stuff is not available any other way. Copyright law needs to be reformed. I believe that after a artist has not been published for a period of time measured in several decades these works should become the property of the Library of Congress (LOC). Indeed the Library of Congress already does this, an example is John Philips Sousa. His scores and what recording there are located, for the most part, at the LOC.

I would like to see a system that If anyone wants to release the originals then a fee would be paid and the work published with royalties to be agreed to. If somebody wants make a new recording, again a reasonable fee for the maintenance of the scores and masters would be paid and the new recording made with a new performance copyright enforced. The LOC could make money releasing recordings in their care. I who love to be able to get the collected works of Kay Kyser in a new digitally remastered collection. I can see the LOC releasing such a recording as an example on Kay Kyser’s 115th birthday. What few CD’s are out presently done on the cheap and really need to have a high powered digital restoration remastering. the bottom line is things just can not continue the way they are now.

Henry Emrich (profile) says:

Couple more things:

1. Which “aspects of copyright law” do you agree with, exactly? The runaway term extensions? Or maybe it’s the back-room lobbying used to purchase such extensions?

This is the part that makes *any* attempted defense of such laws extremely suspect: You refuse to admit that your precious, precious monopoly privileges are *supposed* to expire in a timely fashion. You play dishonest little games like “well, how would *you* feel”, as if that’s at all relevant.

I’m pretty sure it galls the hell out of Disney that THEIR version of “Snow White” is merely a “derivative work” lacking in any sort of originality.

Attempted apologetics for IP “law” needs to start by admitting the realities of the situation — which all of you have, yet again, conveniently failed to do:

1. Are copyright and patent privileges (oops, I mean “protection”) supposed to expire? If so, why?

2. What exactly are such monopoly privileges “protecting” you from (if not the very “market” you capitalist types are always prattling about?)

No, I don’t think that “anyone who agrees with any aspect of copyright law is a “shill for the man”. I don’t *believe* in “the man”. I accept the existence of multinational corporations with a vested interest in distorting a limited-term monopoly privilege into perpetual monopoly on the “installment plan”. I also accept the fact that the only reasons one could even attempt to justify such actions is through ignorance, or support.

If you *really* want people to start taking your all-precious monopoly privileges seriously, stop apologizing for organizations like the RIAA, and start supporting drastically reduced copyright terms.

Because Y’know what? Ultimately, it is *your* side that has de-ligitimized copyright and patent by stupid bullshit like comparing the VCR to the Boston Strangler.

So go ahead: please refute any of the points we’re raising here. Explain how the “copyright bargain” ISN’T violated by preventing stuff from entering the Public Domain on schedule. Explain to us exactly why already-wealthy corporate megaliths “need” to be “prevented” from the public domain.

As for patent, it’s an attempt by the State to prevent companies from trying to do “trade secrets” — you’re granted the *privilege* of monopolizing a given design or technology for a VERY STRICTLY LIMITED TIME, on provision that you publish the design specs of what you want to monopolize, so that when such a monopoly expires, the technology or design can actually be used.

Last thing:
Various “anonymous” posters hurling insults back and forth is fuckin’ genius! It’s like the blog has multiple personality disorder or something.

Amazing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Couple more things:

I’m in favor of copyright law. And I’m not in favor of the existing copyright extensions. But I am absolutely free to speak in favor of the benefits of copyright without stopping and explaining that the system can stand to see some reform.

the way you present your argument is quite telling. You conflate support for copyright as support for corporate abuse. You state things as “fact” that are not factual. If you *really* want to have an adult conversation about copyright reform, you can start by not assigning arguments to your opponents that do not necessarily exist.

I deal with copyright law professionally. I have fought to see work prohibited form being released to the public domain freed of copyright restrictions. I have also fought to see copyright enforced when it is justified. You can pretend that this is simply an “us versus them” scenario. But you will be wrong. Copyright itself is a tool. And it can be beneficial or harmful depending on how it is used.

:) says:

Re: Re: Couple more things:

What is not fact:

– 120 years of protection for copyrighted works?
– Patents trolls?
– Sample trolls?
– People geting in trouble legaly because they filmed some birthday party on a theather?
– People who tried to use songs they bought at the store and wasn’t told it was not bought but rented to them?
– People who can’t afford medicines, and could have had some generic available, dying?
– People using the DMCA to exclude competition from things that have nothing to do with it like some garage door openers?
– People using copyright and trademarks to try and make bad publicity go away?
– People trying to make quoting a crime? murdock that is for ya.
– People claiming more copyrights on works then they have the right to?
– People using patents to force others to comply with them and corner the market? (monsanto)
– People using the courts as a hammer to intimidate and educate others even though not in any part of history EVER people did fully comply with such a ridiculous concept as copyright? One could force copyright on business but on the public? When EVER did people not copy or share anything?

Copyright is bad, is toxic and is immoral period.

Are people not proving with open source initiatives that protection is to be on the “less” side of things?

Have not alternatives like jamendo and magnatune not proved less is just as good?

Have not all the open initiatives in the world not proved that the public domain is better for innovation and is badly needed?

Have not the fact that companies are going elsewhere far away from countries like the U.S. not a big sign that IP is harming business and jobs?

Even Thomas Jefferson was not warm to the idea of copyrights but it was convinced as long as it was limited and he should have stated very, very limited.

Copyright today is an abomination and is evil.

:) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Couple more things:

The facts are there copyright and IP laws don’t work and anyone can see that except those who profit from it.

Copyright is not fair is a monopoly and all monopolies are bad even the ones that save resources because they have a social cost.

Copyright is even more insidious than patents and patents are horrible.

I could go on and on about the evils of copyright and IP laws but the people are waking up to it as is affecting their lives more and more.

Copyright failed to maintain a balanced environment, failed the public and failed a lot of people who believe in it, and the more appalling aspect of it, is that people still believe blindly in copyright even when they can’t prove that without it not much would change.

I dear you prove that without copyright people would not get paid or it would harm innovation and creation.

There are no benefits to copyright, but there are very heavy social costs to it that everyone have to bear in order to few have their way.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Couple more things:

It’s very basic. But your dogmatic adherence to an oversimplified argument has blinded you to it. Copyright law protects individual artists work from corporate exploitation. I had a corporation appropriate my work once, without permission and without compensation. Copyright law protected me and the corporation was forced to stop using my work and pay me for what they had done.

And you’re approach to debate is very sad. You’re daring me to prove an argument I did not make. That is very sad.

You obviously only have an internet forums knowledge of copyright law. But you are intent on arguing as if you can see all truth and all those who disagree with you are simply delusional. I’m sorry. the world is not as simple as you wish it to be.

DCX2 says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Couple more things:

Indeed, the world is not simple. That nice little copyright that you used to protect yourself is being exploited by Big Content in ways that go against the intent of copyright.

1) Copyright is supposed to be time-limited. The government gives you a state-granted monopoly, and in exchange you eventually give your content back to the public. And yet it seems that every time Mickey Mouse is about to get back into the Public Domain, Congress finds it necessary to extend copyright again. Hell, if it weren’t for the Public Domain, half of Disney’s stuff wouldn’t have ever existed. Cindarella is hundreds of years old, for instance.

2) Copyright is supposed to encourage people to create content by providing the monopoly. How exactly is, say, F. Scott Fitzgerald being encouraged to write more novels? HE’S DEAD. So why hasn’t his stuff moved into the public domain? Because we’re trying to encourage his kids (…grand kids…?) to write more novels? How many have they written so far? Or is copyright just a free ride so his heirs don’t need to work like the rest of us…

Content must pass into the Public Domain eventually. To allow copyrights to live on past the author is just another entitlement program. To keep it copyrighted forever is to hold our very culture for ransom. Yes, the world is not nearly as simple as anyone ever thinks.

DCX2 says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Couple more things:

F. Scott Fitzgerald had no heirs.

Really? Then explain the last picture on this biographical page regarding Fitzgerald’s wife. It’s a picture of Fitzgerald, his wife, and their four year old daughter, standing in front of a Christmas tree.

Or this Wikipedia entry on Fitzgerald’s daughter.

Or this techdirt post about how Fitzgerald himself made

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Gawd, Masnick!!!

I taught at universities and colleges. I was paid for it. But if I want to invent, I should not be paid??

Who said that?!? Not I. But when you taught at the university, the university was paying you for your time. When you invent something, you make money either like that — with a company paying you for your time — or by creating a product that people want to buy, and you make your money selling the product.

I want inventors to get paid, absolutely. I just don’t see why you deserve to block anyone else from inventing and innovating.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

TechDIRT Ignorance or Design??

Development of church, state and law has in large part been driven by the necessity to lay down rules of conduct for those people who lack an innate grasp of ethics and morality.

TechDIRT serves as a testimonial to how common this is. Overall I would guess that 20-30% of people suffer from this problem.

Nothing in life is ever free. Someone has to work to create everything. Those who advocate taking the fruits of others work conduct speaks for itself. They are at best parasites and often much worse.

All forms of publishing are in flux right now and it is my hope that a viable business model emerges which allows content creators to receive fair compensation without the need for middlemen. Time will tell.

Those who do not want to pay for content need to create their own, that is if they can. I suspect most lack the ability and their sole motivation is laziness.

I do not believe that copyrights create new wealth and that as such their term should not be as long as big corporate interests have been able to get. I believe that once each individual buys rights to a work that those rights should be for life and that those rights should be transferable. I firmly support fair use.

What I cannot support is the kind of entitlement mentality I see on TechDIRT. Those of you who think everything should be free need to be spanked.

Most of you do not seem to realize that patents allow someone who does invent to take on even the biggest companies and extract retribution. They are a great equalizer. This is especially true of software patents where the capital outlay is fairly low because most of the value is in the labor as opposed to the huge capital expenditures which are required to enter many other industries.

I am an example in that may grandfather was blue collar, my father a teacher and I bootstrapped myself from nothing to being able to retire at forty. That is the American dream, work hard and become independent. Inventing is not the only way to accomplish this but is a important way both for the inventor and for the public who benefits from the inventions and for jobs and prosperity created by those invention.

There is an orchestrated attempt by transnational corporations to socialize all invention for their and only their profit. It is interesting that TechDIRT promotes in large part their agenda and that TechDIRT also just happens to work with a number of the worst players. Perhaps this is just coincidence and perhaps not and I doubt that we will ever know for sure.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

Re: Re: TechDIRT Ignorance or Design??

“More lazy then the guy that wants to get paid for ethernity for having had a thought first then the others?”

There is much more to producing an invention than a “thought”. Beyond producing the invention and reduction to practice is the cost and time involved in teaching that invention through a patent. In exchange for this inventors are given the exclusive right to control the invention for a limited time of twenty years from date of filing the patent.

It is not unusual for five or more years of the twenty to be used up by delays in the patent office. After grant of the patent it can easily take another 5-10 years to commercialize the invention and far too often big companies rip off the invention and the inventor is instead faced with having to litigate to get their due.

As long as one company is getting away with infringement others generally will follow suit and even if they don’t infringe they usually will not invest in the invention. This situation leaves inventors with NO CHOICE but to sue one or more of the infringing companies.

Plenty of inventors would like to produce products but are precluded from doing so by the actions of large thieving companies. In many cases the inventor had already been working on product development but are forced to divert their resources, laying off their staff to defend their property rights by actions of patent pirates.

No inventor likes litigation. We would much rather put our time into producing more inventions and products.

When you talk about patent trolls you are really pushing the big crooked business agenda. Lest say you worked hard for something, amounting to many years of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars and some crook stole it. How would you react to such?

It is probably fair to say that inventors are a product of their environments. They are used and abused by parasitic large corporations who then compound this with a massive smear campaign. Their actions are similar to arguments by rapists that their victim somehow asked for and deserved to be raped.

How many of you would accept that argument? I hope none would be that stupid yet many of you do buy the propaganda spewed by big business interests and their shills on forums like this one.

How many of the anonymous posters on TechDIRT are really paid corporate shills? I think that there are thousands of corporate shills working even more forums for Piracy Coalition members.

This fight is about much more than inventor rights being trampled. There is a war being waged by transnational corporations who are trying to subvert all governments and people for their and only their ends.

It is long past time that the public recognizes that there is a big difference between the way intellectual property rights are used by independents rather they are inventors, authors, musicians or other content producers and how large business use IP. It is stupid for you to alienate us. We are not the enemy.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: TechDIRT Ignorance or Design??

When you talk about patent trolls you are really pushing the big crooked business agenda. Lest say you worked hard for something, amounting to many years of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars and some crook stole it. How would you react to such?

The problem is that many who feel they have been wronged in this way have not in reality.

Typically what happens is that an inventor has an idea and patents it but lacks the resources, and expertise to develop it into a product, and one crucial ingredient is missing.

Later a large company comes along, has the same idea independently and, given better resources IS able to develop a product. They also add that extra ingredient that the original inventor missed.

Now I can understand our inventor feeling sore about the situation – and he may think that he has been robbed – but the reality is different.

Now along comes a law firm who buy out the inventor’s patent and proceed to harass the large company.

Now I have every sympathy with the plight of individuals in their dealings with large companies, whether as employees or as independents but I don’t think patent law actually helps their plight. As you admit, many inventors end up feeling that they are forced to spend much of their time in legal struggles. As in the case of Wilbur Wright the stress of this can lead to health difficulties and premature death.

Personally I favour the system operated in the UK during WW1 and WW2 (the most innovative years in human history) where inventors were rewarded after the fact by an independent panel. Now Frank Whittle, who abandoned his patents before the war, was rewarded under this system and I feel did better than the Wrights, who ended up bitter and disappointed as a result of their pursuit of the patent system.

:) says:

Reason why IP must die.

IP laws fail to protect what they were created to protect.
IP laws fail to be balanced.
IP laws fail to safeguard the rights of the people.
IP laws have a heavy social cost that will ultimately lead to the creation of alternatives in vast numbers and have a very real financial impact in those who still believe in that nonsense.
IP laws are abused without impunity.
IP laws only benefit a small part of society and thus a country.
IP laws are not about the best, they are about the first one.
IP laws don’t make money, demand for something does and that can be shared and everybody gets a piece of it.
IP laws don’t breed cooperation, they do the contrary breeding distrust, envy, greedy, entitlement and a lot of toxic social behaviours.
IP laws are for the lazy and dumb, it is for those who can’t compete in a market without legal crutches.
IP laws produced more laws that only benefit one side and don’t let anyone else have their needs even heard.

Henry Emrich says:

Wow......this just gets dumber the more I read!

1. Hell yeah I drew parallels to slavery. Well actually, not specifically *me* originally, but it’s an extremely apt parallel.
Y’know why? There were quite a few moneyed elites who had a *hell* of a lot to lose from slavery being repealed:

A. Everybody involved in the “Middle Passage” (capturing and transporting slaves).
B. Every slave “owner” who was destined to lose a hell of a lot of “property” for which he’d paid. Think about that.

Oh wait, my bad — the institution of chattel slavery wasn’t “inherently bad”, slavery was just “a tool”.

Yet again, NONE of you have actually managed to either refute the points raised about the negative consequences of current IP ‘law’, or actually come up with a way in which copyright/patent actually makes things better.

But the dumbest thing I’ve read on this entire thread, is the notion that “without copyright, corporations would be able to seize and commercialize without credit”. So? Doesn’t stop *you* from selling it. Evidence? Which corporation, exactly?

Of course copyright law is “merely a tool”. So are laws that attempt to criminalize homosexuality and “blasphemy”. So are laws that prohibit women from “legally” learning to read. So is corporate lobbying (which, oddly enough, your pals at the RIAA/MPAA/IFPI/BREIN etc. have been doing quite a lot of, recently.)

Of course, the good news is that thanks to a recent supreme court decision here in the U.S., corporations now lack even the relatively modest restraints on their direct financing of political activity. We’ve officially become the “Corporate States of America”, folks, so buck up, IP trolls: rest assured that your multinational corporate pals will excercise that “legal personhood” thing, and buy themselves more toadies to enforce whatever the fuck they want.

But hey, where’s the harm in that, hmm? After all, “corporate personhood is only a tool.”

Fuckin’ amazing.

CHRoNoSS says:

and wow OPENSOURCE guys get paid?

wow how can these guys that used to now get paid now be getting paid as 75% of the kernal contributors are not sponsored by YOU guessed it wealthy corporations that get free code.

LETS imagine a system like this for tv and movies
you have the network wanting to make a few bucks right?
OK it has ads that go every 15 or so minutes.
thats money
you have theatres that have ads before the show.
you have dvdr sales ( for collectors and those wishing to watch again)
and you give free downloads to advertise and spread the word keeping the commercials in it. YES you can skip….
and how do the actors get paid cause the network that gets all the possiblities of revenue above and pays them

YEA know like the over paid hockey players of wayne gretzkeys day and that strike/lockout where they had caps oput on what they can make perhaps we should be revisting what the max money a movie is allowed to make and then after that all the cash goes to homeless or charites as well.
actors and muscians are paid crazy monies
and you can get a full pay scale just by saying 3 full lines in any tv or movie.
WATCH for that.
this is why so many people standing there you never hear them say shit.
youtube proves as did that “startrek in the prekining”
fan movie with babylon V and star trek showed it might take a pro move 5 years but the end result is that it advances the tech for others wishing to do so.

blair witch project howd that do on a 30K budget?
yea ….
the top percent are extremely nervous that they are going to lose there positions people keep this push up.

THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO ACCEPT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE AND THEY DO NOT WANT ACTA NOR LONG TERM COPYRIGHTS

SparePlanet (profile) says:

Let's take your principle

You still didn’t answer my question.

But I will answer yours.

IMHO, musicians shouldn’t give music away. IMHO, what they should do is charge a varying price. My biz model would be to charge nothing or close to nothing if you are fighting in Iraq, doctoring in Haiti, teaching in West Baltimore, or other rather thankless but noble activities. And to charge $50 per song if you are selling tobacco, drugs, kiddie porn, or anything else I disapprove of. Those wouldn’t be the only two prices. Lots of levels in between, and lots of thought put into the specifics. But if people in other professions followed suit, eventually there would be real impact and the impact would be that the common man (read, “poor man”) would have as much power as the rich man. Like it’s supposed to be in a democracy.

If you don’t charge, you are basically willfully giving up your power. Abdicating the throne. You would then have no right to complain about anything. IMHO, giving away your gift, your voice, is like castrating yourself. It’s not just inadvisable, it’s highly irresponsible. Future generations are depending on us to save the planet, bro. If we don’t do it, who will? The record companies?

PS The above business model is my intellectual property but you are more than welcome to copy it. Please do! Let’s start a movement!

SparePlanet (profile) says:

Let's take your principle

Yes, but as we know, and unfortunately, once a musician transfers (aka “sells”) the copyright the work is now technically The Corporation’s property. And they will, of course, want the government to enforce the law and protect their investment.

It’s ripe for abuse, far from a pefrect system, but one which I think needs to get back on track, or on a better track, rather than being derailed or brought to a screeching halt.

Richard (profile) says:

Let's take your principle

Of course most artists aren’t like that but (as you admit) the middlemen are. The laws exist and have attracted into the industry the kind of people who lobby for draconian measures. Actually these laws were created because of lobbying by publishers in the first place. Authors never asked for them.

Unfortunately the only way to make these people go away is to take away the laws that feed them.

If the world was populated only by reasonable and moral people then there wouldn’t be lobbying for draconian enforcement – but then you wouldn’t need enforcement – and actually you wouldn’t need the laws either.

Personally I think the artist has to trust his customer – and work to attract the kind of customer he can trust.

I buy music from Magnatune whenever possible and I always pay more than the suggested price. The main (selfish) reason I do this is because I want the site to succeed and I want the musicians who contribute their work to make more music. I am not paying for the past I am investing in the future.

Injecting the law into this relationship inserts a poison that affects the attitudes of both parties.

RD says:

Precisely

“Paul Heckel of HyperRacks, who spoke yesterday, was once an innovative programmer –Jwho foolishly thought a software patent would protect his innovation.But he is neither an attorney nor wealthy.So he has wasted most of his last decade in bitter, consumptive attempts to protect his patent, but has reaped little reward.His patent left him no time to use his technical talents for personal benefit nor to promote progress. “

Exactly

RD says:

Precisely

“Paul Heckel of HyperRacks, who spoke yesterday, was once an innovative programmer –Jwho foolishly thought a software patent would protect his innovation.But he is neither an attorney nor wealthy.So he has wasted most of his last decade in bitter, consumptive attempts to protect his patent, but has reaped little reward.His patent left him no time to use his technical talents for personal benefit nor to promote progress. “

Exactly. The patent system kills people, and keeps them from inventing or doing useful, progressive, or that contributes to society. They spend most of their time and money fighting lawsuits. And THIS is what the “intent” of patent law was created for? REALLY?

vivaelamor says:

TechDIRT Ignorance or Design??

Well you certainly know how to provoke a response. I didn’t respond to your earlier points because of your righteous attitude, I am now inclined to respond for that same reason.

“Development of church, state and law has in large part been driven by the necessity to lay down rules of conduct for those people who lack an innate grasp of ethics and morality.”

Civil disobedience has in large part been driven by the necessity to show these rules to be wrong.

“TechDIRT serves as a testimonial to how common this is. Overall I would guess that 20-30% of people suffer from this problem.”

Your subjectivity is matched only by the irony of accusing others of the same.

“Nothing in life is ever free. Someone has to work to create everything. Those who advocate taking the fruits of others work conduct speaks for itself. They are at best parasites and often much worse.”

Could you be any more vague? You’ve just called every library card holder a parasite, for a start.

“All forms of publishing are in flux right now and it is my hope that a viable business model emerges which allows content creators to receive fair compensation without the need for middlemen. Time will tell.”

Why wait for a mythical panacea when people already have working business models that don’t rely on copyright? Some of them even use middlemen, as Nina Paley pointed out recently.. middlemen are a good thing if they’re providing a useful service.

“Those who do not want to pay for content need to create their own, that is if they can. I suspect most lack the ability and their sole motivation is laziness. “

Poor people are bastards, aren’t they?

“I do not believe that copyrights create new wealth”

I am unsure what you mean by new wealth here.

“What I cannot support is the kind of entitlement mentality I see on TechDIRT. Those of you who think everything should be free need to be spanked.”

No one I’ve seen has ever advocated everything being free, merely that there be freedom to share that which is inherently free.

“Most of you do not seem to realize that patents allow someone who does invent to take on even the biggest companies and extract retribution. They are a great equalizer. This is especially true of software patents where the capital outlay is fairly low because most of the value is in the labor as opposed to the huge capital expenditures which are required to enter many other industries.”

Except, programmers seem overwhelmingly opposed to software patents. Just Google ‘software patents’ to get an idea of how little support the concept has as opposed to other forms of IP.

“I am an example in that may grandfather was blue collar, my father a teacher and I bootstrapped myself from nothing to being able to retire at forty. That is the American dream, work hard and become independent. Inventing is not the only way to accomplish this but is a important way both for the inventor and for the public who benefits from the inventions and for jobs and prosperity created by those invention.”

Luckily I’m not American. Unluckily I’m British, but that’s besides the point. Considering your country infringed upon a lot of IP from our country back in the 18th century I’m find it funny to hear about IP being part of the American dream. Frankly I’m glad you infringed on our IP but with your country now pushing for us to have stronger IP laws I’m thinking your country owes us some back payments.

“There is an orchestrated attempt by transnational corporations to socialize all invention for their and only their profit. It is interesting that TechDIRT promotes in large part their agenda and that TechDIRT also just happens to work with a number of the worst players. Perhaps this is just coincidence and perhaps not and I doubt that we will ever know for sure.”

Excuse me? How do weaker IP laws help corporations ‘socialise all invention’?

Anonymous Coward says:

See, THIS is why I don't even bother to read the "comments"

Clearly I must spell out my argument. When I say that royalties exist becasue otherwise a novel would cost more than 10 dollars, it’s the exact same thing as when you argue to share the cost by a large number of people.

Concerts are affordable for the exact reason I already specified. the cost is divided by multiple consumers. The way this is applied to other forms of art is through royalties.

And if you think you can hire a novelist to write you a book in a couple of days, you’re delusional. But yes, every person can afford to buy a few days of an artists time. And that’s why we have royalties. Because you can’t afford to buy large chunks of an artists time.

It’s like you’re arguing in favor of a return to the traveling minstrel. That’s a pretty fantasy. It doesn’t work in the real world though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Couple more things:

Yes, hundreds of millions of people infringe on copyright. And most of that is harmless and much of it is ignored. Copyright infringement is difficult to prove and difficult to prosecute when we’re talking about individual usage.

But that kind of infringement is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to copyright law. Again, copyright protects individual artists from corporate exploitation. That’s a very good thing, whether you want to admit it or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Let's take your principle

If a musician, fashion designer, painter, author wishes to restrict copying of their work, because they feel they will profit more, or for any other motive, they should have they right. It’s THEIR work.

But why should they have any right to copies they did not make and were never in their possession?

How are the ‘pirated’ copies rightfully theirs?

Anonymous Coward says:

Let's take your principle

But why should they have any right to copies they did not make and were never in their possession?

How are the ‘pirated’ copies rightfully theirs?

Hmm. That’s a very valid point. And today in a pre-acta world, some countries don’t recognize ‘pirated’ copies as belonging to the artist. ACTA appears to re-harmonize the definition of Real Property on a much larger scale thatn I believed before.

Richard (profile) says:

See, THIS is why I don't even bother to read the "comments"

You didn’t say “Concerts are affordable (because) the cost is divided by multiple consumers. “

I did.

You said that the only mechanism that allows this subdivision (in at least some cases) is having a property “right” that allows you to restrict what people can do with your stuff after they purchase it.

That part is however not true. Even if the novel takes a year to write then it is still financeable by a smallish number of ordinary people ( a few thousand at most).

The problem with copyright is that with modern technology around it is unenforceable.

Therefore you have three choices.

1. Prohibit or cripple the technology with DRM (like Valenti wanted to do with the VCR).

2. Institute an electronic “police state” (and probably a physical one too in the end). (Like China – only more so)

3. Allow a large amount of infringement to take place.

Bearing in mind that 3 will happen anyway since neither 1 nor 2 can ever be fully effective what it all adds up to in the end is that the customers who do pay and abide by the rules end up paying for all the enforcement AND being inconvenienced by it (and by the rules themselves).

All this actually makes the legit customers even more fed up with the system that those who try to beat it. And of course the commercial pirates actually like more DRM and more enforcement because it pushes up the value of their output more than it increases their costs.

So, for the sake of the legit. customers you have to find a different way of doing things. That is why I favour fund and release as the way forward – with no downstream ipr. That way the legit customers do get to buy something that is not available to the freeloaders. What they get is a small degree of control over what is produced – as in “He who pays the piper…”

Hephaestus says:

Re:

Anti mike you are missing the point again and trying to mis direct …

“for limited times” means just that. It was put in our founding documents for the advancement of the arts and sciences. Not for corporations to make money. It was put their by people who understood right, wrong, and oppression. Copyright is to protect the creator of a work of science, art, or literature. The key word being creator and not corporation. It is not meant to span lifetimes or to lock up art forever.

Anonymous Coward says:

See, THIS is why I don't even bother to read the "comments"

Again, it’s the exact same thing. Both involve breaking a large cost up amongst a small number of people. It’s a very simple concept, and you repeating it back to me is pointless.

The copyright system actually allows quite a bit of flexibility in terms of releasing work that only appeals to a minority. Putting the control over what is produced into the hands of the consumer directly does not seem particularly beneficial to the continued development of art.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

NOT Precisely

NO NO NO, Paul Heckel played by the rules. Many big companies flat out stole from him in the same way that the banking industry has stole from every man, woman and child in the US.

The problem is that we have laws for the masses but allow big business to trample everyone in their quest for unjust profits.

The patent system is one of the few ways that a person can successfully take these bad corporate players to task. Paul did win a moderate amount of money and Paul invested a staggering amount of time in community service as have I.

Patents and copyright are very different animals. The difference in work product is very different, in that inventors greatly improve everyone’s life. Inventors cannot afford to invent if they cannot receive compensation.

In the end it is a fact that big companies are using propaganda to get people to give them a blank check to steal. If they get it new job creation will come to a standstill, overall progress will slow down, and those big transnational companies will be able to profit with little risk of disruptive technology making them adapt.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

NOT Precisely

“And THIS is what the “intent” of patent law was created for? REALLY?”

This was not the intent it is simply how big companies have been able to warp the system.

From the 1920 through the 1960 time frame not one patent was upheld for an independent inventor. Today many those patents are upheld and that is something big companies hate. This is why they are spending over 200 million a year trying to pass patent Deform and why they whine just like a school yard bully who picks the wrong fight and gets their tail kicked about mythical trolls.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

Reason why IP must die.

IP will not die and you are a fool if you think it will. Big business will just change it under the guise of Patent Reform to keep all the little people from using it. While it is difficult it does serve the interests of upstart start up companies.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

TechDIRT Ignorance or Design??

“Excuse me? How do weaker IP laws help corporations ‘socialise all invention’?” Weaker IP allows those who are not inventive but who have capital and marketing machines to capture the market and leave the actual inventors with nothing.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Let's take your principle

Let’s not confuse that with the spirit of IP. The spirit of IP protection is to respect/honor/value the work of talented, creative people just as much as we respect/honor/value work done in other fields.

Many people claim this, but it is not true at all. The spirit of IP was for one thing and one thing only: to provide incentives to creators to create something that benefits the larger population (“promotes the progress.”) It has nothing to do with respecting, honoring or valuing the works of anyone.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

TechDIRT Ignorance or Design??

Even air is not free. Human actives pollute the air and stopping the pollution or filtering out pollutants costs money.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

“Sell a man the seeds. Make it illegal for him to grow his own.” copies of the patented seed. He is perfectly free to grow a multitude of varieties of naturally occurring seeds.

Most farmers are honest hard working people but all groups have people looking for easy money. Farmers want to use engineered seeds because their yield is much higher.

Incidentally, some of the patents are expiring and those engineered seeds will then be public domain. The patent system does work as intended.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

:) says:

Re:

Except when they don’t like most likely those patents will be retrofitted with minor changes and re-issued ad infinitum.

Besides is the ability of the people to commercialize something that will make them money not the invention per se prove of that is the most patents never get out of the patent office and only after they expire people start to use and innovate.

Big corporations in the U.S. are loosing ground for people who don’t even have basic necessities and those IP policies is what most likely is holding their extinction.

IP laws are a disgrace for the human race. They failed humanity and are keeping many in poverty and most likely killing people.

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Let's take your principle

Then the resale of copyrights should be made illegal, as they make no sense whatsoever.

I create something, and I get protection from the government for a limited time over that creative work. I can then hand over the work a corporation, and they can sell the work in my name. Why would I, as an artist, then also hand over all my rights to MY work over to them? What incentive would I as an artist have to create new works, if all I get for it is a bit of royalty and none of the rights to my creative works?

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Re:

When did Mike say that? Nice try to make a strawman…

Look, let’s just face facts here.
Yes, copyright infringement is illegal, but it is a natural reaction from the market.
It’s a reaction to years and years of overpricing of content, the locking up content, the infinite extensions of copyright laws, and the secrecy around ACTA.

If you could somehow replicate cars without having to spend much or any materials, the price of cars would go down significantly, because the cost of the production of the cars become 0 or close to 0.
Now, the *value* of the car might still be the same, the *cost* of said car should not.

On the internet, the distribution costs for digital copies of cultural products are near 0. (just bandwidth and storage), and yet, if you want to purchase that, you have to pay almost the same price you’d get for buying a physical good. Meanwhile the companies providing those copies get to keep larger chunks of the money in their pockets. (same or lower percentage go to the artists as royalties)
Keep in mind, your market knows this, and reacts in kind. “Ok, so you charge a lot for cheaply distributed music, and then don’t give your artists the same or a bigger cut, then why should I pay?”

Many new artists can sell their stuff online. And you can embracy so-called piracy as marketing for your other money-making venues, such as performances, licencing deals, and other deals you can think of.

You don’t have to criminalize your fan base.

There has so far been no study that could prove the correlation between copyright infringement and lost sales, because the infringement also induced sales.

Your worst nightmare should not be ‘piracy’, but rather obscurity. It’s better to be known and shared and sell a few things, rather than be unknown and not sell a thing.

Another thing, look at the box office figures and correlate those to the movies popular on p2p networks. What do you see? The big ticket movies, that rakes in millions in the first box office weekends, are also the ones downloaded the most. If no-one pays for content anymore, where do those millions come from?

Richard (profile) says:

Re:

Actually some corporations have put patents on varieties that poor 3rd world farmers were already growing (that they had developed themselves via selective breeding). They are being charged for growing their own seeds.

Once again the corporate pirates use the patent system to their own advantage.

Given your stance of standing up for the little guy I would have thought you would have backed the farmers on this one.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Let's take your principle

Um, I have some major problems with that statement. Would you care to clarify?

What is to clarify? The gov’t does not grant anyone the right to gain respect or honor. Only you can do that individually.

The purpose of copyright and patents is found in the Constitution: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

Note that it says nothing about respect, honor or value. It is to serve one purpose: to promote the progress overall.

I am not against respecting, honoring or valuing artists and inventors. In fact, I’m very much in favor of it. But that has nothing to do with intellectual property.

Richard (profile) says:

C'mon people!

Moral damage is objective – it creates stress, makes you unhappy, and in extreme cases can cause illness and death.

Morality is not subjective simply because some people disagree about (what are these days) relatively minor things.

If an axe murderer killed your family I don’t think you would accept his plea that “morality is subjective – and to me axe murdering is not immoral.”

What I was saying was that becoming obsessed with protecting your intellectual property will make you bitter, unhappy, lacking a sense of humour (something I notice about most of the pro IP posters here – even the one who claimed to be a comedian) and generally unpleasant to be with. In go playing terms your life will become “heavy”.

Stephen says:

Re:

Don’t get me started on Monsanto.

They have been snapping up claim on breeding that local farmers don’t have the resources to patent themselves – even suing and taking farmers crops that were cross-pollinated (due to Mother Nature) with their patented genetics.

There is a huge case for abuse of the system as it was intended to operate.

Richard (profile) says:

See, THIS is why I don't even bother to read the "comments"


Again, it’s the exact same thing. Both involve breaking a large cost up amongst a small number of people. It’s a very simple concept, and you repeating it back to me is pointless.

No it isn’t the exact same thing. There is a difference in timing.

With copyright the artist/publisher puts the capital up before creating the work but only get any money in after it is created. They take the risk and gamble that sales will be high enough to cover the investment and make a bit of profit.

Under this scheme many works don’t make a profit and have to be cross subsidized by the few that do really well. The publisher therefore has a strong incentive to milk the last penny from his portfolio of successful works – and is more or less forced to be stingy with the artist. In earlier times this model was more or less inevitable because of the high cost of tooling up to print books/press records meant that you had to sell a lot of each title to be economic and so a large publicity budget was inevitable.

Under fund and release the money is raised directly from the customers before the work is created. e.g. you sell concert tickets in advance. Thus all the costs have already been covered by the time the work is done and so there is no need to apply downstream terms and conditions like copyright.

This mode of operation – always used for concerts – is now viable for recorded music (certainly where the composition is already PD) because the cost of making a recording is so much less – and with P2P the distribution cost is zero.

The internet allows large groups of people to be organised at no cost. Eg facebook enabled “rage against the machine” to beat X factor to Xmas no 1 in the UK. These people wern’t buying music – they were voting. I downloaded it on behalf of my daughter – she hasn’t even bothered to listen to it even once!

In future fans will pay up front for new music to be created by their heroes – and downstream copyright will be unnecessary.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

Expired Patents

“Except when they don’t like most likely those patents will be retrofitted with minor changes and re-issued ad infinitum.”

When a patent expires it may be used. If there are other improvements invented then just the new improvement gets patent protection. The expired patent is prior art and can be used by anyone the same as traditional remedies are prior art and can be used by anyone. As far as I can tell ALL claims of Bio-Piracy are bald faced attempts to force others to pay for public domain material.

It is a fact that most of the people starving are doing so because they consistently reproduce to excess. It is one thing when a group suffers a natural disaster but otherwise live with the bounds of their resources to support them and another when they doom their self and their children to a continuous cycle of poverty.

They would be in this condition regardless of rather an invention is produced and they have no innate right to take others property rather it is inventions or food itself.

In twenty years they will have a right to use inventions which are produced today with no strings attached just as scientists today have a right to study and improve upon traditional remedies.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Henry Emrich (profile) says:

"Terminator" seeds, anyone?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_use_restriction_technology

DRM for crops?
Or would that be “BRM” (Biological “rights” management?)

Care to try again with the claim that saving seeds and planting for the next harvest (so you don’t have to BUY them from the supplier every year), is simply an instance of “most farmers” not being “smart or ethical enough” to not “steal” their next season’s crops, by doing so?

More IP-troll failure — but what can we expect from folks who mistake a limited-scope monopoly *privilege* as a “way to honor creativity” (How? By preventing/penalizing *other* creativity!)

IP wouldn’t be nearly so pernicious if it was actually allowed to expire in a timely fashion. It would *still* be bad in principle, but at least we’d still be in the realm where it could be called a “necessary evil”.

The current system is indefensible, and even the “spirit” of IP as described by apologists doesn’t actually hold up to scrutiny.

http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htm

Now be good little trolls, and follow the links. If after doing so you can *still* bring yourselves to apologize for some sort of mythical “spirit of IP” even after being shown that it *doesn’t* aid invention or innovation, AND having been forced to admit that IP as it currently exists is basically one giant corporate screw-job on the rest of us, then you’re probably also the type who still believe Bush’s “mission accomplished” bullshit about Iraq.

chris (user link) says:

Fishing made better Finux

Yes, even books that were published back in 1925 with an author that died in 1940. It’s illegal to download a dead author’s work that is over 85 years old.

That’s wrong. You shouldn’t do that. It’s wrong and immoral and illegal.

it doesn’t matter. morality and legality just don’t come into play with this stuff.

IP protectionism is out of control, but it doesn’t matter. unauthorized distribution is illegal, but it doesn’t matter.

the fact of the matter is that unless the IP cartels are allowed to go house to house and shoot people, it is physically and technologically impossible to stop it. that is the only thing that matters in all of this.

Anonymous Coward says:

See, THIS is why I don't even bother to read the "comments"

And what does that have to do with modern day? the world is different, technology is different, the corporate machine is different, the cost of living is different, the foundation of the economy is different…

I never claimed art would disappear without copyright. What I said was that, without some form of copyright, corporations could abuse artists without limit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Let's take your principle

You seem to think that people come here to interact with you.

I sure as hell don’t, and probably won’t ever after a comment like “It has nothing to do with respecting, honoring or valuing the works of anyone.” Then you get all offended .

Nice….And classy! Maybe the headline to your website should read “Shut Us Up before we get bitchy”

Godric says:

Let's take your principle

Precisely my point.

Not to mention, I absolutely hate lobbying groups, and RIAA is just that sort of group. Now, I’m not suggesting any action here, but if someone were to bring all of the entertainment group lobbyists to their knees, and removed any power they think they have, I would not feel bad one bit. Again, not condoning any illegal activities at all.

Honestly, if I could get a job at RIAA, I would so I could take that place down from the inside. I would collect all of the memos I could that no-one wants published. Everything would be sent to all of the media outlets in a nice little press kit. Any outlets that do not air the info are shills and are in need of reform. Maybe some political re-education.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

Short Term Mangers / was TechDIRT Ignorance or Design??

We are working to get employed inventors a portion of the value of inventions they produce. In part this is because we believe that they deserve such but part of it is based on the fact that people will be more inclined to disclose inventions and put the extra work in which is necessary to if they will see something in return. I am personally a big believer in performance incentives which are based on long term goals. I think that much of the problems with management of big companies is that the managers are being lavishly rewarded for short term gain which often comes at the expense of the long term prospects of the company. The managers rape the company treasury, move on to their next rape job and leave the employees with a empty husk of a company.

Anyone can improve short term profits with a slash and burn management style. Just look at the financial dis-service industry and our political leadership.

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

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