Deutsche Bank Report Notes That It's Time To Rethink Copyright

from the but-the-report-is-copyrighted dept

Glyn Moody points us to an interesting report from Deutsche Bank suggesting that it’s time to rethink copyright (Google translation from the original German blog post). If you know German, you can read the full report (pdf) or try to muddle through the Google translation of the report.

From what I can tell from the translation (and any German speakers, feel free to add to/correct/whatever), it looks like the report’s authors are effectively saying what many of us have been pointing out for ages: that a very large number of people today ignore copyright because it gets in the way of doing perfectly normal and natural things online. Furthermore, it notes the rise of “remix culture” and how valuable that can be to society, and suggests that copyright all too often seems to get in the way of such things. A “translated” passage:

The copyright in its extreme form, “all rights reserved” can suppress creativity. In the worst case, inhibiting innovation potential. It raises the question whether, in the digital age, a conflict of interest exists between the understanding of copyright as a source or as a handicap for innovation.

The paper also points out the problems with DRM and how banning certain websites is a form of “censorship.” On top of that, it discusses “alternatives” like Creative Commons and the fact that all sorts of interesting new business models are opening up because of this lack of respect for copyright. In the end, it notes that this is an opportunity:

Even though some traditional business models are doomed from the analog world from destruction, the digital world provides a wealth of new ideas and business models, especially in services. For this however, creativity is in demand.

Nice to see more folks recognizing that weaker copyright isn’t necessarily bad for business, but is creating all sorts of opportunities and encouraging creativity in many areas. Of course, as one of the comments on the blog post notes, it’s a shame that such a report… has a big copyright notice across it.

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Companies: deutsche bank

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Comments on “Deutsche Bank Report Notes That It's Time To Rethink Copyright”

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118 Comments
average_joe says:

“a very large number of people today ignore copyright because it gets in the way of doing perfectly normal and natural things online.”

Infringing on other people’s rights is “normal and natural”? You wish. Taking what isn’t yours to take when you think you can get away with it, morality and legality be damned, is more like it.

Infringers aren’t recognizing their natural rights, they’re just rationalizing taking what isn’t theirs to take.

It’s natural to claim rights in the fruits of your labor. It’s unnatural for others to think they can just take what’s yours because technology has made it easy to do so.

Piss in the wind all you want, but the “it’s natural to take other people’s copyrighted material” will never win. Never ever.

DH's love child says:

Re: Re:

OK average_joe, here’s an exercise for you:

Find me a popular song that didn’t use anything from any other song ever written. Careful, this is a trick question. This means, in your view, that every popular (and not to popular) song has stolen from someone.

Get back to me when you’ve successfully completed this assignment.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:

OMG! You cracked the code! Since musicians use the same chords and keys, copyright is rendered moot!

Let’s all “share” what we have. The artists be damned! They used the same notes that someone else used, so it’s OK to “share” what they came up with!

We’ll just take what we want! It’s all good! They used the same notes for heaven’s sake!

Stupid artists! Always borrowing from others! They deserve it!

Snore.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Sigh, that isn’t what was being said, and I think you know it. He said that copyright was getting in the way of what seems natural and normal in the digital world. For instance, plucking an infinitely abundant object seems natural. Owning a book and having it on my computer at the same time feels natural. Having my legally bought music on multiple devices is natural.

Copyright is the unnatural construct here. That’s why, despite all the years we humans have been around, copyright has existed for only a blink of an eye, relatively speaking….

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:

Copyright only became necessary when the technology to copy other people’s works became more abundant. Increased ease of copying doesn’t mean that copyright is less needed. Quite the opposite. That indicates the need for greater copyright.

And it’s not an “infinitely abundant object” that’s being plucked. An author’s recompense for his labor is limited. Obviously.

Rationalize all you want, but copyright isn’t going anywhere.

And why are you on the wrong (minority view) side of the issue? Ever wonder that? Is it because you’ve cracked the code, or perhaps because you’ve got it wrong?

I suggest the latter.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Proof please? Huh?

Ever notice copyright law? That’s the proof.

If the majority of mankind were against copyright, we wouldn’t have copyright.

If you spent years of your life creating something, can I just take it?

Let’s say you create a beautiful piece of furniture. Once you create the furniture, does it belong to the world? Nope.

Now let’s say you create a beautiful symphony. Once you create it, does it belong to the world. Nope.

Just because one can be copied easily and one cannot doesn’t change the moral or legal underpinnings.

Piss in the wind all you want, people, but copyright is here to stay. Those who think otherwise are in for disappointment.

Has copyright lightened up since the advent of the internet? Nope. It’s gotten stricter.

What makes anyone think it’s going to lighten up now? Misguided rationalizations, perhaps, but reality, certainly not.

Bruce Ediger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I’m noting that your analogies don’t even come close to the situation.

You wrote:
Let’s say you create a beautiful piece of furniture. Once you create the furniture, does it belong to the world? Nope.

I’d have to agree: “belong to the world” amounts to theft, if I understand.

But what if someone else uses the design elements (color combos, methods of joining, techniques used in woodworking) and produces a different piece of furniture (chair as opposed to table) that’s beautiful in the same way as mine?

Deliberately or not, you’re confusing the work involved in making something physical, and the physical object itself, and the appearance of the object. Copyright suits are rarely about total copying, but rather about the details, just like your “Average Joe” tee shirt re-use.

You’re also confusing “theft”, as in taking away the newly created furniture, with “copying”. Copying a piece of furniture, even exactly, doesn’t deprive the owner of the original of the use of the furniture. Copying a digital song doesn’t deprive anyone of the use use of the original.

You need to make a better analogy, one that models all the relevant facts, before you claim some moral or ethical underpinngs. You haven’t been clear about what “belongs to the world” means here either.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I know analogies will always be problematic in that they aren’t perfect. My point was that whether your work is furniture or symphonies, you naturally expect certain rights for your trouble.

And I fully understand the arguments that copying isn’t theft. I wholeheartedly disagree. Infringers are taking something that isn’t theirs to take. The differences between tangible and intangible goods doesn’t make infringement OK.

Infringing on someone’s copyright takes away their rights and opportunities. An author naturally has rights in his creation. Those who infringe on those rights are thieves and infringers. I don’t care what you call it. To me it’s the same.

Modplan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Then you are disingenuous or merely deliberately ignorant.

Copying an MP3 does not take away an opportunity for an artist to make money, and in fact the ability to copy may produce an opportunity in itself to make money. The only thing it takes away from the author is their belief that they have the absolute right to control how publicly released works are used, exchanged or shared amongst the wider public, and hopefully will eventually replace it with a far more realistic view of how the world works.

Again:

Do you get to exclude other people from recreating that piece of furniture? Do you have exclusive right over the design of that piece of furniture? Do you get royalties when ever a new chair you designed is sold? Do you get to use legally enforced measures of stopping people who buy it from being able to use it how they wish or reselling the chair? Nope.

Modplan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

If the majority of mankind were against copyright, we wouldn’t have copyright.

If the majority of mankind didn’t want Guantanamo bay to exist or for water boarding to be done to people interrogated there, we wouldn’t have either!

Let’s say you create a beautiful piece of furniture. Once you create the furniture, does it belong to the world? Nope.

Do you get to exclude other people from recreating that piece of furniture? Do you have exclusive right over the design of that piece of furniture? Do you get royalties when ever a new chair you designed is sold? Do you get to put legally enforced measures of stopping people who buy it from being able to use it how they wish or reselling the chair? Nope.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

‘If the majority of mankind were against copyright, we wouldn’t have copyright.’

If the majority of the world realized that everyday they are breaking Copyright Laws by doing the things that come naturally to them we wouldn’t have copyright especially if they were penalized for their activities.

Gwiz says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Ever notice copyright law? That’s the proof.

Because it’s a law doesn’t make it proof of anything. Why do you think there are so many discussions of copyright going on right now – because more and more people are realizing they are not necessary GOOD laws.

If the majority of mankind were against copyright, we wouldn’t have copyright.

If the majority of mankind had access to the available means of copying we have now then perhaps there wouldn’t be copyright at all.

If you spent years of your life creating something, can I just take it?

Let’s say you create a beautiful piece of furniture. Once you create the furniture, does it belong to the world? Nope.

If I create a beautiful piece of furniture, then I sell it for a ONE TIME fee, then the purchaser can do with it at they please – including giving it to the world.

Now let’s say you create a beautiful symphony. Once you create it, does it belong to the world. Nope.

So you are saying the the works of the greats like Mozart etc. don’t belong to the world? Odd.

Just because one can be copied easily and one cannot doesn’t change the moral or legal underpinnings.

Whether something is legal or not has no relation to whether I believe it’s moral or not. Apples and oranges. And who gets to dictate my morals? Why that would be me, not you or anyone else.

Has copyright lightened up since the advent of the internet? Nope. It’s gotten stricter.

Once again – that’s why we have so many discussion of this happening – because it has gotten stricter and has started to invade peoples live in terms of privacy and reduced rights.

What makes anyone think it’s going to lighten up now? Misguided rationalizations, perhaps, but reality, certainly not.

I think it is going to lighten up eventually – because people will only put up with so much and then they push back.

DH's love child says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“If the majority of mankind were against copyright, we wouldn’t have copyright.”

I want whatever drugs you’re on. Copyright exists because the COMPANIES that most benefit from it (not the actual content creators, mind you) have lobbied for more and tougher laws. If you think the majority of people want the restrictions placed on things they legally purchased, you need a serious reality check. Laws are not made by the people, they are made by politicians, and politicians do not have the general public’s best interest anywhere in their plans until election time.

“Let’s say you create a beautiful piece of furniture. Once you create the furniture, does it belong to the world? Nope.”

Apples to oranges here. You need to bone up on scare and infinite products. as a chair is a physical object it is scarce. I cannot reproduce a chair at a cost of close to $0.

“Now let’s say you create a beautiful symphony. Once you create it, does it belong to the world. Nope.”

It does if I say it does when I created it. Most creative artists would tell you that they would rather have 10,000 people experience their art for free than have 100 people pay for it. Copyright is an artificial restriction on the preservation and reproduction of culture. 100 years from now, if copyright keeps going the way it is, people will no NOTHING about the real culture of our country from WWI onward. They will only know about the culture that the plutocracy deems fit to release.

I know that these points are probably too much for you to absorb, so you can go back to your corporate masters now and tell them that your work for the day is done.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I’m going to remind you of the same artists that I have used again and again in my arguments:

Beowulf

Shakespeare

Christopher Marlowe

Tchaikovsky

Bach

Mozart
——————————————————-

“If the majority of mankind were against copyright, we wouldn’t have copyright.”

Name one way that copyright ensured them income in their later years. Or perhaps, as being said, it is a false hope, more in tune with what copyright is made for. Control. Also, that is the biggest strawman argument I have seen. And again, I challenge you to tell me who created Beowulf.

“If you spent years of your life creating something, can I just take it?”

Logical fallacy. No one is saying you need to take other’s work. That’s plagiarism and certainly someone isn’t allowed to do that. But just as I showed to your other argument, people have built upon earlier work, with this building slowing with copyright BS. Also, if you spent years for one work and that was your swan song, you may be remembered for it, but it shouldn’t guarantee you an income for X amount of years. Life is about choices. Some choices make better rewards. Quite frankly, copyright laws are a false incentive. As is being proven with Youtube, Napster, or a Creative Commons license on Jamendo, people are being creative. As is being proven WITH copyright, it is impeding young artists from pursuing their creative talents. They have to worry about a chord being copyright to this band that causes a HUGE fee.

“Has copyright lightened up since the advent of the internet? Nope. It’s gotten stricter.”

You seem not to realize why people are resisting that change. You seem not to understand why the Creative Commons is out there, why the EFF is helping people such as Jammie Thomas, or why KEI is against that strict rule of law. You also seem to forget about all of the resistance to the ACTA, which include Michael Geist, Mike Masnick, Lawrence Lessig, or anyone else that understand basic economics and the fact that this won’t do anything to stop copyright infringement. All it will do is make the rules of law look more absurd. People have a hard time respecting this strict law now.

“What makes anyone think it’s going to lighten up now? Misguided rationalizations, perhaps, but reality, certainly not.”

When people start losing broadband connections (See also: France) and the people will have to vote for the repeal of this act, who do you think they will go to? I’m fairly sure no amount of redistricting will help a Senator if their constituents are locked up for nothing more than downloading a song. We haven’t gotten to that point yet. But if the ACTA in all it’s former glory had allowed that, I’m sure there would have been a revolt.

Hell, maybe the Pirate Party of the US would have gotten some seats.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Ever notice copyright law? That’s the proof.

The law is proof that it is right? As plenty of others have pointed out, that’s a ridiculous and childish argument. Slavery was legal once. According to you it was “right” back then.

If you spent years of your life creating something, can I just take it?

You’re a first year law student, yes? Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Feist. Sweat of the brow arguments show an ignorance of copyright law basics.

Besides, nothing is being “taken.” It’s being copied. That is *another* copy is being made. Nothing is missing. Your inability to get this damns your argument.

Let’s say you create a beautiful piece of furniture. Once you create the furniture, does it belong to the world? Nope.

The furniture does not, but if you come up with a cool chair, and I want to make my own version, why should that not be allowed?

Now let’s say you create a beautiful symphony. Once you create it, does it belong to the world. Nope.

Not “belong to the world,” but what’s wrong with people making copies of it?

Just because one can be copied easily and one cannot doesn’t change the moral or legal underpinnings.

Um. Yes, actually, it does. It also changes the economic underpinnings. Which is kind of important.

Piss in the wind all you want, people, but copyright is here to stay. Those who think otherwise are in for disappointment.

Of course it is. There’s too much regulatory capture and there’s too much money for clueless people who go to law school and think they understand copyright, because they understand the law, not the economics.

Has copyright lightened up since the advent of the internet? Nope. It’s gotten stricter.

And this argument proves what?

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“The law is proof that it is right? As plenty of others have pointed out, that’s a ridiculous and childish argument. Slavery was legal once. According to you it was “right” back then.”

That the majority of people think it’s OK usually means it’s OK. You can point out a few derivations from that theme, but that’s just a smoke screen. And are you really equating infringement of copyright with slavery? I’m not impressed. Nor was I impressed with the people in your comment section who recently brought up Rosa Parks, MLK, or Hitler. Yawn.

“You’re a first year law student, yes? Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Feist. Sweat of the brow arguments show an ignorance of copyright law basics.

Besides, nothing is being “taken.” It’s being copied. That is *another* copy is being made. Nothing is missing. Your inability to get this damns your argument.”

I’m a second year law student for whatever that’s worth. I’ve never taken a class in copyright, but I have read Feist. Twice in fact. I’ve also read dozens of other copyright cases, and hundreds upon hundreds of law journal pages concerning copyright. I do get Feist. I think perhaps you do not.

I actually guess that you’ve thought about these things more than me, but that doesn’t lead me to think you’ve got it all figured out, and I’m in the dark. I’m a pretty quick study. And I get your argument that copying doesn’t take away anything from the creator. I disagree. It takes away their natural rights and their opportunities to profit from their labors.

I don’t wish to argue further about my chair analogy. I know the analogy wasn’t perfect. My point was that I don’t draw distinctions like the anti-copyright folks do. To me, intellectual property and regular property deserve the same protections for the author/creator.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

That the majority of people think it’s OK usually means it’s OK.

So if the majority of people file share, will you say that file sharing is ok?

I’m not impressed. Nor was I impressed with the people in your comment section who recently brought up Rosa Parks, MLK, or Hitler. Yawn.

Ah. Ok. Because you’re not impressed — but can argue no actual basis for you’re argument — we’re supposed to believe you. Convincing.

I’m a second year law student for whatever that’s worth. I’ve never taken a class in copyright, but I have read Feist. Twice in fact. I’ve also read dozens of other copyright cases, and hundreds upon hundreds of law journal pages concerning copyright. I do get Feist. I think perhaps you do not.

Try me.

I actually guess that you’ve thought about these things more than me, but that doesn’t lead me to think you’ve got it all figured out, and I’m in the dark. I’m a pretty quick study. And I get your argument that copying doesn’t take away anything from the creator. I disagree. It takes away their natural rights and their opportunities to profit from their labors.

Taking away “opportunities to profit from your labors” is not illegal.

Let me prove it to you. You go out for lunch today, and there’s a pizza shop and a deli next to each other. You’re about to go into the deli to get a sandwich and someone steps out of the pizza place and offers you a free drink with your pizza. So you change your mind. The pizza place just took away an opportunity for the deli to profit.

That’s not illegal. It’s called competition and normally we consider that a good thing.

You have no right to a business model. It troubles me that you think people do.

I don’t wish to argue further about my chair analogy. I know the analogy wasn’t perfect. My point was that I don’t draw distinctions like the anti-copyright folks do. To me, intellectual property and regular property deserve the same protections for the author/creator.

I see. You do realize that copyright is not property at all, right?

But if you believe they deserve the same protections, then you believe copyright should last forever? You don’t believe in the public domain?

Fascinating.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“So if the majority of people file share, will you say that file sharing is ok?”

OK, you got me there. I walked into that one.

“Ah. Ok. Because you’re not impressed — but can argue no actual basis for you’re argument — we’re supposed to believe you. Convincing.”

My arguments aren’t baseless. I feel yours are. When are you going to share the basis of your arguments? My arguments are admittedly the regurgitation of what I’ve read plus my own analysis. I’d love to see you cite authority for your side. Not being a smart-ass. I actually read your site since I want to understand both sides.

I fully admit I plan on a career in IP litigation. I honestly don’t care which side of a case I represent. I plan to give it my best.

“Taking away “opportunities to profit from your labors” is not illegal.

Let me prove it to you. You go out for lunch today, and there’s a pizza shop and a deli next to each other. You’re about to go into the deli to get a sandwich and someone steps out of the pizza place and offers you a free drink with your pizza. So you change your mind. The pizza place just took away an opportunity for the deli to profit.

That’s not illegal. It’s called competition and normally we consider that a good thing.

You have no right to a business model. It troubles me that you think people do.”

If you take away my ability to compete by copying my work verbatim, then yes, it is illegal. And for good reason.

With such an analogy, though, we’re bound to get caught up in the differences between finite and infinite goods. We both understand the differences. We just walk away with a different take on the matter–and that’s OK.

We probably won’t convince each other of anything… but I’m enjoying the debate.

“I see. You do realize that copyright is not property at all, right?

But if you believe they deserve the same protections, then you believe copyright should last forever? You don’t believe in the public domain?

Fascinating.”

I believe that copyright recognizes a person’s natural property right in his creation. This right SHOULD last forever, but copyright guarantees that it won’t. Eventually, it becomes public domain. The whole point of copyright is to ultimately benefit society by making works public domain.

Why else would copyright grant a limited monopoly to an author? Why else would authors be allowed to copyright unpublished works?

We can disagree on copyright’s efficacy, but I don’t see much argument over its purpose.

Not that you asked, but personally I’m pro-copyright. Although, I think the duration of copyright is ridiculous, and I think that statutory damages for copyright infringement are wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Why else would copyright grant a limited monopoly to an author? Why else would authors be allowed to copyright unpublished works?

Too make money that was the use for copyrights called monopolies in the middle ages and because it was abused by the Queen that little trick was taken away after the revolt of the commons. After that fearing new revolts the Queen instituted a limited monopoly and only for some things and not others and it was more too control what it was being published.

Then it came to the U.S. where a very different form of it from todays was adopted, only changing in the last 60 years or so dramatically, and starting to resemble the times that preceded some revolts over the same issues.

Justice Steven is ignorant of history, and so are you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Copy rights are not property, they are rights to certain uses, because it was long debated and found to not be property even in medieval times people knew they were not property or something that could be protected.

To prove that I will tell you now, that I have done acts of digital piracy, now what will you or any other people do about it?

Can you stop me from doing it?
hint: you can’t.

I will start pirating now, please stop me now if you think you got the means to do it.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Look AJ,

You say you want to be an IP lawyer. The problem is that you don’t seem to have an understanding of the rules and why they were switched to reflect this maximalist(?) point of view as we have now.

Lawrence Lessig does a good job of showing why. He refers to a lot of books that can help you understand copyright in more terms than just “It’s the law”

His books (all three) showed me WHY Disney fought so hard to keep Mickey Mouse from being in the public domain.

His books also showed why the RIAA and the MPAA lobby so hard to destroy not only Creative Commons, but also any threat to their control of old copyright.

Nowadays, we have the rule of law. But when it’s subverted to give more power to an entity than a person, you need to tread carefully on what you demand from that law.

I would suggest you read those books to understand copyright law. Last I checked, Lessig is a professor, same as Geist, who does quite well at defining his arguments. It’s one of the reasons I will never believe that strong enforcement of copyright can do anything but harm to society.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

OK, you got me there. I walked into that one.

And that’s it? So we proved you wrong… and you just move on still standing by your same position?

The cognitive dissonance really is strong with you.

My arguments aren’t baseless. I feel yours are. When are you going to share the basis of your arguments? My arguments are admittedly the regurgitation of what I’ve read plus my own analysis. I’d love to see you cite authority for your side. Not being a smart-ass. I actually read your site since I want to understand both sides.

Over the years we’ve pointed to tons of research highlighting how a lack of copyright encourages more creation and how copyright stifles creativity. We’ve asked for actual evidence that copyright stimulates greater creativity, and have yet to see it.

Economics shows that artificial monopolies limit markets. If you are going to argue against that, the onus is on you to provide the proof.

If you take away my ability to compete by copying my work verbatim, then yes, it is illegal. And for good reason.

That’s not what we were discussing. Stop changing the topic whenever anyone pins you down and proves you wrong. I don’t know where you go to law school, but I hope the profesors don’t let you get away with such tricks.

You argued that taking away opportunities to profit was illegal. But that’s false. Taking away opportunities to profit is called competition.

With such an analogy, though, we’re bound to get caught up in the differences between finite and infinite goods. We both understand the differences. We just walk away with a different take on the matter–and that’s OK.

It’s not okay if your view is based on fallacies, like claiming that competition is somehow illegal.

I believe that copyright recognizes a person’s natural property right in his creation

I’m going to have to revert back to Thomas Jefferson on this one: there is no property right, natural or otherwise, in an idea. Sorry.

This right SHOULD last forever, but copyright guarantees that it won’t. Eventually, it becomes public domain. The whole point of copyright is to ultimately benefit society by making works public domain.

But above you stated the exact opposite. You said “To me, intellectual property and regular property deserve the same protections for the author/creator.”

You’re contradicting yourself as more people prove you wrong.

Why else would copyright grant a limited monopoly to an author? Why else would authors be allowed to copyright unpublished works?

You do realize the unpublished works part is a recent addition to copyright law, right?

The purpose of the limited monopoly was *supposed to be* to promote progress through the creation of new works. The question is whether or not it works. And the evidence is very much lacking on showing that it works.

Not that you asked, but personally I’m pro-copyright. Although, I think the duration of copyright is ridiculous, and I think that statutory damages for copyright infringement are wrong.

Yet, above, you claimed that copyright and property rights should be no different?

Do you not realize that nearly everyone else here keeps catching you in blatant contradictions that suggest you’re not really that knowledgeable on this subject?

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Ahh, we meet again average_joe.

“””To me, intellectual property and regular property deserve the same protections for the author/creator.”””

What does ‘deserve’ have to do with it? We’re just talking about physical realities here. It’s difficult (and expensive) for me to precisely replicate a [car, chair, pizza, human]. Therefore, those things will not be copied any time soon. But as soon as someone invents a [car, chair, pizza, human] digitizer, you are GOING to see copies of those things proliferate and laws be damned.

It’s not difficult (anymore) or expensive to duplicate a [book, song, movie, picture] and so those things get duplicated.

Get over your inane fascination with laws (yes, I read you are a law student, more’s the pity) and just take a look at reality.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Copyright only became necessary when the technology to copy other people’s works became more abundant. Increased ease of copying doesn’t mean that copyright is less needed. Quite the opposite. That indicates the need for greater copyright.”

Er…what? The only thing that indicates the need for greater copyright is if less works are being produced without it. If works are not being hidden (and to date, they aren’t), then clearly there is an impetus for creation that copyright doesn’t touch, and is therefore not/less needed.

“And it’s not an “infinitely abundant object” that’s being plucked. An author’s recompense for his labor is limited. Obviously.”

I’m not sure that makes logical sense. An author’s recompense, otherwise known as the lost sale theory, is not something that is quantifiable (how can you lose something you never had?). Therefore, that portion of the equation is neither limited nor unlimited; it simply is yet to exist. But the digital good IS in abundance, infinitely so. How does one logically try to charge for that which is reproducable at no cost?

“Rationalize all you want, but copyright isn’t going anywhere.”

I guess we’ll see. Not sure what that has to do with anything, though….

“And why are you on the wrong (minority view) side of the issue? Ever wonder that? Is it because you’ve cracked the code, or perhaps because you’ve got it wrong?”

What minority view? I’m not anti-copyright, I’m pro LIMITED copyright. I’m an author, for Christ’s sake, someone attempting to make a living through the very creative works copyright is often taughted to protect….and I just don’t see it. I put a full novel of mine online, free of charge BECAUSE I see the benefit of free digital distribution in creating name recognition. I just did a blog post (link in my name) talking about and looking for feedback for some experimental business models I’m going to try.

Since when has the “Copyright forever minus a day” view EVER been the majority view?

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Since when has the “Copyright forever minus a day” view EVER been the majority view?”

I would guess that the majority of humans alive today have never given copyright a single serious thought. Same goes for the majority of Americans.

Furthermore I’m certain that the majority of humans that have existed never gave copyright a whisp of consideration. And they willingly and unwittingly copied and shared art, knowledge, tools, skills, music, speech and much more.

Average Joe, with the understanding that everything we know, all we own, all our technology is built on the shoulders of the giants who preceded us, what is the fair price to pay for that knowledge? Its value is inestimable. It is the basis of all economies short of agrarian gathering. Copyright is the recent aberration from the human tradition. It tries to force us to allocate and pay for each contribution. Yet it’s impossible to pay for the sum of human knowledge – and its just in our nature to share it…and to take it.

Best we can do is to try to contribute something back into the pile and pay it forward. Unfortunately, your chosen profession (willing to be a pro-IP hired gun) doesn’t add much to the sum. That is the true moral discussion we might be having. That is the real case where someone is taking a benefit without offering anything in return. But no law should say you can’t – it’s free, after all.

chris g (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually once the data is created, it is an infinite good ( which according to basic economics, the price should tend towards zero)

That which IS scarce, is all future creations by the artist/worker, etc. What needs to happen in the digital era is people need to say what they want in order to produce future works. If they are any good, people will pay because there is a demand for it. If they suck, people won’t pay, and it’ll save the world from ressources being wasted on shitty music/movies/works.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Copyright only became necessary when the technology to copy other people’s works became more abundant. Increased ease of copying doesn’t mean that copyright is less needed. Quite the opposite. That indicates the need for greater copyright.

That has to be one of the more ridiculous statements made on this site. Do you have *any* actual evidence to support this? All of the research I’ve seen has shown the exact opposite.

I recognize you’re a new law school student who loves copyright, but it might help to learn some of the history and economics.

And why are you on the wrong (minority view) side of the issue?

Minority view automatically means wrong? Yeah, ok… You’ve lost all credibility.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“That has to be one of the more ridiculous statements made on this site. Do you have *any* actual evidence to support this? All of the research I’ve seen has shown the exact opposite.”

Sure. Would Justice Stevens delivering the majority opinion of the Supreme Court suffice?

“From its beginning, the law of copyright has developed in response to significant changes in technology. Indeed, it was the invention of a new form of copying equipment-the printing press-that gave rise to the original need for copyright protection. Repeatedly, as new developments have *431 occurred in this country, it has been the Congress that has fashioned the new rules that new technology made necessary.” Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. 464 U.S. 417 (1984).

“I recognize you’re a new law school student who loves copyright, but it might help to learn some of the history and economics.”

I love history and economics. Why don’t you point me to authorities that comport with your views? Can you?

“Minority view automatically means wrong? Yeah, ok… You’ve lost all credibility.”

Correct. It doesn’t follow necessarily, but it does generally. That was my point.

Before I went to law school, I got a degree in mathematics. I love logic. πŸ™‚

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Sure. Would Justice Stevens delivering the majority opinion of the Supreme Court suffice?

Not in the slightest. A lawyer understands the law. Not economics.

I love history and economics. Why don’t you point me to authorities that comport with your views? Can you?

Here’s a good place to start:

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

Also, how about the study from a few years comparing the results of Database rights in Europe vs. the lack of database rights in the US. Result? US industries based on database rights (sweat of the brow, rights, which apparently you support) were significantly larger than in Europe in comparable industries. The lack of copyright helped increase both the public welfare AND the business opportunities.

There’s similar research in the fashion industry as well, where the LACK of copyright in the US has helped the industry thrive and be more creative.

Over and over again we see studies that highlight this key point. Artificial monopolies SHRINK markets. That’s been known for years. They shrink markets and lead to hoarding and monopoly rents. That’s not good for anyone. Why is it that you think it’s okay to create such artificial monopolies of the mind when it shrinks a market?

Correct. It doesn’t follow necessarily, but it does generally. That was my point.

I disagree. Wholeheartedly. Making an argument that is “the majority says so” discredits your argument. It suggests you have no real argument.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Food for thought. I’ll give it a read… I’ve got exams to cram for now, and then a nice vacation up north after that. And I have 6 classes starting after that in late August; free time won’t be a luxury for me then. Not to mention the fact that I have three kids, and another one on the way in a couple of months. LOL! I’m a busy guy!

Nevertheless, we’ll battle again soon. Take ‘er easy, Mike. It’s a pleasure to be a guest on your site, and I look forward to further discussions with you down the road.

Of course in no way is this a victory for you. Don’t go thinking otherwise. LOL! πŸ™‚

Cowardly Annon says:

Re: Re:

And yet you yourself are guilty of doing what’s natural. I see your profile image there. It’s from a t-shirt “Average Joe’s” from a movie right?

You probably just did a search and grabbed it from google images. Did you ask permission for it? Or did you just take it? It’s not yours, yet you are using it as your avatar and have even modeled your user name on this site after it.

You are infringing, and yet you did what just comes natural in our digital society to you to create your online persona here.

V says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Does that negate my arguments? Nope.

LMAO!

Here is the thruth about copyright.

I just ripped 4 DVD’s(backup), what are you going to do about it?

Hint: Nothing. He can’t do anything about it.

I’m going to Jamendo to listen to some music for free, want to join me?

After that I’m hitting Youtube movies care to join me?

http://www.youtube.com/movies

After that I’m going to flicker to get some pictures to use as reference for creating thunderstorms in 3D environments, please feel free to stop me and force me to pay at any moment.

Here are your hopes going up.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqCZUDifhM4

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Not for that but by the fact that you naturally got something and didn’t even thought it was wrong until people pointed it out for ya.

Your very own nature worked against you. If copyright was a natural thing you would never do such a thing, if it was so horrible you would never do such a thing.

Common Sense says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Negate your arguments? Perhaps not exactly, but it certainly renders you a hypocrite and minimizes any credibility that you may or, more likely, may not have had…

Protip: When you’re telling someone not to steal things off the internet, make sure you do not expose any of the number of things you’ve quite likely copied from the internet yourself.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I got the image from google images. The doubt the phrase “average joe” is copyrightable, but the movie image I used without permission probably is. You caught me. Good for you.

Does that negate my arguments? Nope.

Actually, it does *totally* negate your argument that doing this isn’t “normal and natural.” You obviously thought so. Cognitive dissonance is really strong with you.

This is the point we’re making. There are all sorts of “normal and natural” things — like grabbing an image for a profile — that are technically infringing, but most people don’t think of it. Even law school students who think copyright is just grand.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Actually, it does *totally* negate your argument that doing this isn’t “normal and natural.” You obviously thought so. Cognitive dissonance is really strong with you.

This is the point we’re making. There are all sorts of “normal and natural” things — like grabbing an image for a profile — that are technically infringing, but most people don’t think of it. Even law school students who think copyright is just grand.”

So anyone who uses an image in good faith believing that it is fair use is automatically an infringer? I actually chose that image with the idea that it might be infringing in mind. I doubt most infringers do the same. A quick search of google showed me that many different companies were selling t-shirts with this same image on it. I know the image was part of the costumes used in a movie. I took a calculated risk using the image. Using this image doesn’t show my leisurely approach to copyright infringement, it shows my calculated assessment to it.

But anything to discredit me, right? Ignore the substance of my arguments. I’m using an image that MIGHT infringe copyright.

If anything, Mike, your belief that I’m an infringer only makes you secondarily liable for my infringement. LOL! Let’s not travel down that road, though. I know you don’t want to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

But anything to discredit me, right? Ignore the substance of my arguments. I’m using an image that MIGHT infringe copyright.

Have you no morals child? What about the artists? Why do such a thing?

Because it doesn’t feel wrong does it?

People don’t need to discredit you, yourself do a pretty good job at it already.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Correct. It doesn’t follow necessarily, but it does generally. That was my point.

We said no such thing.

Honestly, when you go through your moot court exercises (and eventually if you become an actual litigator), please DO NOT make arguments this specious. It really hurts your credibility. Judges will not like it.

I actually chose that image with the idea that it might be infringing in mind.

And yet you still used it? Then you’re a hypocrite given your stance here.

Using this image doesn’t show my leisurely approach to copyright infringement, it shows my calculated assessment to it.

No, it does not. It shows that you felt that it was okay to use based on what you know. Same with most people who use content online.

Your level of rationalization is really, really stunning, especially since you accuse those of us who AREN’T violating copyright of rationalizing.

But anything to discredit me, right? Ignore the substance of my arguments. I’m using an image that MIGHT infringe copyright.

Not at all. You discredit yourself. But this point is a big one. That you don’t see it is really kinda funny. You claimed that copyright infringement wasn’t normal… and then can’t adequately explain why you do it yourself.

It highlights the whole problem with your argument.

If anything, Mike, your belief that I’m an infringer only makes you secondarily liable for my infringement.

Back to the lawbooks Joe. You must know the factors for secondary liability, don’t you? I qualify for all none of them. Nice work.

Ron Rezendes (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: below average_joe

Hypocrites are always wrong, at least half the time! ~Rezendes

Yes, this is an original quote, feel FREE to use it – just be sure to give credit to the author, thanks.

Since you are claiming to be so right and upstanding on the practice of copying material from others and how wrong that is to do, you have now proven exactly the opposite point by using the avatar you selected. Your credibility has diminished faster than the price of a digital copy and is near zero as well!

“Arguing with you guys is fun.”
You’re arguing with yourself at this point, and yes, it is becoming entertaining to watch you stumble all over the place trying to claim the moral high ground while actually being the poster child for infringement.

Try this thought out for just a moment, what if the creators got paid for the actual goods the first time they sold them? Once you sell the item you no longer have any control over it. I can burn it, paint it, resell it, take a picture of a dufus who believes copyright laws protect the world from evil, whatever – it’s mine, I bought it.

If the creators want to make more money they just have to make more things? You can make as much money as you want – just keep producing tangible/scarce items that cannot be reproduced for virtually no cost, like a table or chair.

You seem like the kind of person who would cheat at solitaire then feel good when you win. Those people always strike me as odd.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ha! I’d say it goes a long way!

Specifically, though, it negates the part of your argument based on: “the majority think copyright is good, therefore it’s good”

First of all, that’s wrong because the majority don’t give a rats ass about the issue. That’s too bad. What ends up happening is that just about everyone involved in the copyright discussion is being remunerated from the spoils of copyright. Another portion of those involved in the discussion are just lawyers, tasked with interpreting our laws as they are written. A tiny portion are legislators influenced by the moneyed supporters of copyright. There is almost zero financial reward for being a champion against copyright, say Masnick, for example. Small wonder, then, that the “perceived” majority is pro-copyright.

But if you actually could educate the masses about the issue, I’m not so sure they would side with the RIAA that is suing them for sharing a song with a pal. And you find sharing/copying as natural as us. Ha.

The fact that EVEN YOU, who are pro-IP, can easily run afoul of the system doing something you think is NATURAL, illustrates that your core human beliefs aren’t in sync with your indoctrination. You’re not the first. We’ve seen a steady stream of hypocrites on this site who preach tough IP laws, then use copyrighted materials. Politicians make frequent dishonor role appearances here.

Sadly, we’ve also seen lots of mooks like you show up, have most sections of your arguments refuted, nailed, squashed or embarrassingly proven inconsistent…only to hear them say, “Of course in no way is this a victory for you. Don’t go thinking otherwise.” Sorry, Joe. Debates are not just “matters of opinion. They can be won and lost. You lost pretty badly. Maybe you are stubborn enough to never yield. I’m not so sure, you seem like a soul that is still somewhat willing to listen. We’ll see.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Remix Manifesto. Better yet watch this.

“Infringing on other people’s rights is “normal and natural”? You wish. Taking what isn’t yours to take when you think you can get away with it, morality and legality be damned, is more like it.”

You’re right but aiming it at the wrong people. People have always used past source material to create something new. Language, writing, all of these little things add up to creativity. Saying that people are taking what isn’t theirs isn’t an argument. Criminalizing something that comes natural to human beings (the need to share experiences and make better interpretations of culture from the ones that came before) is still an unnatural thing.

“Piss in the wind all you want, but the “it’s natural to take other people’s copyrighted material” will never win.”

Be very, very careful with this…

Australia has the Kookaburra song that an Aussie made famous, even though it’s an Aborigine folk song. Disney had “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” that was a South African folk song. What you’re saying is that if it’s not copyrighted, they lose all rights. The thing about it, these songs were sung a long time before Disney or the Aussie got there. You’re also asking people not to share great songs and influence others.

btrussell (profile) says:

Re: Re:

In College, the bookstore did not order enough books for the entire class to purchase a copy. Six weeks until we could receive next shipment(14 week course, already in second week).
Department head called publisher requesting permission to photocopy a couple of chapters so I could do the course that I had already paid for and also informed them that I will purchase the book as soon as it arrives(I still have every book I purchased for College).
Publisher would not grant the permission, I did not do the course that I paid for.

I used to be foolish and believed in morals and ethics. Copyright has taught me different. They think the average joe should kiss their ass!

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Did you try to buy used copies on Amazon?

In College, the bookstore did not order enough books for the entire class to purchase a copy. Six weeks until we could receive next shipment(14 week course, already in second week).

Whenever I want a book, I check Amazon and some of the other bookseller sites and can usually find what I want dirt cheap, sometimes used in good condition, sometimes brand new at used prices. I just ordered a book for $.01. With shipping, the book will cost me $4.00.

Did you try that route when you found out the bookstore didn’t have enough copies? For that matter, if I were in college, I’d always check online for used copies before buying new at the college bookstore even if they are in stock.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Did you try to buy used copies on Amazon?

C’mon Suzanne, you’re smarter than that!

It was a very serious question on my part. He said he didn’t take the course because he couldn’t get the book

Department head called publisher requesting permission to photocopy a couple of chapters so I could do the course that I had already paid for and also informed them that I will purchase the book as soon as it arrives(I still have every book I purchased for College).
Publisher would not grant the permission, I did not do the course that I paid for.

Seems like the most expedient solution would have been to track down a used copy.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Did you try to buy used copies on Amazon?

The most expedient solution is to ignore the publisher and make a copy, since he already new where to find one and would not need any additional resources to complete the task.

Yes, but sounds like the professor didn’t want to okay this.

What would have happened at my university around 1992 when I was graduate school and pre-Amazon would have been that the professor would have put at least one copy on reserve at the library. Then those of us who didn’t have a copy yet (and this did happen) would have checked it out and either read it at the library or we would have used the copier at the library to make a copy for our own personal use.

btrussell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Did you try to buy used copies on Amazon?

“Yes, but sounds like the professor didn’t want to okay this.”

The Professor was prepared to make copies without the publishers blessing. I was not.

I was an Accounting student. One of the first things they taught us was to abide by rules and ethics. I practice what I preach.

Some life lessons are not cheap. Monetary or otherwise.

Bruce Ediger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’ve got a question about this “natural right”.

It’s certainly possible to independently invent something that violates a copyright. Yet current law gives The Copyright to only one of the two people.

I know I’m risking it with this example, as it’s a patent issue, not a copyright issue, but… the telphone was something like that.

Elisha Gray seems to have invented something very, very much like Bell’s telephone. Independently.

We (computer programmers) see this all the time. Someone writes a program, comes up with some new idea, but thinks it’s obvious, so doesn’t bother even claiming the idea publicly. Someone else comes along, bothers to patent (or register) it, and blammo! Lawsuits galore.

Doesn’t the likelihood of independent invention render “copyright” into something that doesn’t qualify as a “Natural Right”?

Crosbie Fitch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s not possible to invent something that violates a copyright (unless you mean a device that can make unauthorised copies, e.g. a pencil). Copyright can only be infringed by provenance (the act of copying). If you can prove you created your poem without reference to a previously published but extremely similar poem then it is not copyright infringement (though you need deep pockets even so).

Copyright is not a natural right. It is a privilege that necessarily derogates from a natural right (liberty). It was granted by Queen Anne in 1710 (and copied! by the US in 1790).

Patent is also a privilege, a monopoly based on similarity rather than provenance, so it is indeed a matter of ‘the first’ gets the prize or being able to prevent all competition.

Privileges are not natural rights, but the lawyers who claim their protection prefer to term them as legally granted rights, or legal rights for short (often just ‘rights’). Indeed it is only with the popular terming of privileges as rights that natural rights have to be qualified as natural.

Bapzzy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s natural to make videos with your favorite background music. It’s natural to copy and paste some text into an email or on your blog from an interesting article. Is everyone over 40 guilty of infringing because they made cassettes of their favorite tunes? That was natural too. Piss in the wind all you want, you’ll never win. Never ever.

Crosbie Fitch (profile) says:

Understood?

With regard to “understanding of copyright as a source or as a handicap for innovation”, I don’t think it’s ever been UNDERSTOOD as a source of innovation.

It’s always been misunderstood – and those in a position to benefit from copyright have always been very happy to perpetuate such a misunderstanding.

Copyright is a source of revenue (due to monopoly enjoyed by the press) and power (through suppression of seditious propaganda by a beholden press).

But innovation? Innovation only in the amount of invalid argument generated to pretend justification for its continuation, extension, and ever harsher enforcement.

One immortal publishing corporation’s piracy is a human being’s cultural liberty.

interval (profile) says:

A copyright tale:

Way, waaay back in 1978, I was a jr. in high school. Right at that time a great new game finally hit my little corner of N. California, it was called “Dungeons & Dragons”, and me and my friends geeked out every day after school and weekends, sometimes all night Fri, Sat, & Sun too, to the annoyance of my parents, and some of the parents of my friends. This game was not cheap to play if you wanted to play it correctly, it required reference books, and I remember them as rather expensive for a high school kid’s budget.

The game in its first incarnation came out as a series of staple-bound paperback things, but after authors Gygax & Arneson started making a little money publishing the rules in that form they trotted out something called the “Monster Manual”, a compendium of creatures fitted to the rules of the game. This was a very important book if you want to play the game correctly, and it was even more expensive than those folio-bound deals. When one of us finally got a copy (Todd was the rich kid of the lot) we pretty much hi-jacked his copy, went to the school office, and photo-copied the entire book three times so three of us could have it.

Did we commit copyright theft, or whatever? Yeah. I suppose. Did we same our coin and buy every new stupid hardbound book Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (Gygax & Arneson’s original publishing company) could put out, plus expansion pack and extra scenarios and etc? Yeah. By committing that one “theft” and getting a taste of a stupid game that company made more money on us idiot kids than they would have if copyright had gotten wind of the original copy machine shenanigans and locked us all up, or sued our parents, or whatever they might have done, had “piracy” been an issue back then.

Now, things are different, but I think the DRM folks could learn a thing or two from this story.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: A copyright tale:

> that company made more money on us idiot kids than they would have if […] locked us all up, or sued our parents […]

The way things are going nowadays, they would make even more money from you by suing your parents, getting all their money, and leaving you and your families penniless.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: A copyright tale:

Actually, D20 as well as Wizards of the Coast (owners of DnD) have put all of their material online.

Unless you want to put money down on the books, with everything online, it makes it so much more convenient.

Regardless, that doesn’t stop people from continuing to buy books (now in its 4th edition). It actually enhances what they do with the material.

Beta (profile) says:

Re: A copyright tale:

A good story and a good point, but in fairness I have to point out:

You shared Todd’s book, and later everything else, among a dozen people. So together you bought one copy of everything instead of buying nothing (except that first book). But suppose you had had the internet back then, so that one person could scan a book and complete strangers could download it. Then you’d be sharing each new book not among a dozen people, but among thousands. Compare those sales to what the few, the rich, the Todds would have bought if sharing were magically forbidden.

You can still make a case that Todd wouldn’t have bought any of the later books if none of his friends wanted to play the game because they couldn’t afford it, but the new technology does change the equation.

(None of which changes my disgust at their releasing a new edition of the Dungeon Master’s Guide with no change except vastly inferior new cover art. And you could write a whole article about how their restrictive policy on lead miniature manufacture harmed their own market and detracted from the game, or how they themselves ripped off copyrighted Tolkien works, or… oh, never mind.)

interval (profile) says:

Re: Re: A copyright tale:

@Beta”You shared Todd’s book, and later everything else…”

Not true. We only copied that first book. Everything else we scrimped and saved for. Besides being very inconvenient, our high school refused to let us use the copier again like that. We paid for all the rest of the material retail. We just had to mow more lawns and take out more trash or what ever…

Beta (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: A copyright tale:

“We only copied that first book. Everything else we scrimped and saved for.”

All right, I misconstrued what you wrote. But… now we have several scenarios to consider:

If you had not copied the first book, the game would not have been nearly as easy and fun, and you might have dropped it entirely (though I doubt it) and never given another dime to the authors, after that first book.

If copying had been easy and cheap (e.g. your school had continued to allow it, or the library hadn’t charged five cents per page — or was it ten, I forget) you might have bought one copy of everything from then on, for the whole group.

As it happened, further copying was forbidden and/or expensive, so you each bought a copy of everything.

If scanning/copying had been free (maybe even legal) and internet-style sharing had been possible, you might never have bought any of it.

If there had been no such thing as copyright I suppose some other publisher might have undercut TSR on the same material, but publishing in general would have been a very different business so it’s not fair to extrapolate from that.

So by chance or design, things worked out perfectly for TSR. Copyright is pretty ineffectual in all of these scenarios, but it’s very much like a wish for that perfect scenario, implemented as a law that would actually lead to the first if followed strictly, and to something else entirely if completely ignored or made irrelevant.

Bengie says:

Won't someone thing of the Pie?!

OK. the pie argument.

Pie aka 3.14….. is an infinitely long and random/non-repeating number.

This means ALL digital content every or will be create WILL be contained in the number pie.

So, digital copyright is just giving a monopoly over a subset of pie.

I guess some numbers are illegal

average_joe says:

Re: Won't someone thing of the Pie?!

Pi is one of my favorite numbers, having been a math major and all… Digital content is a series of ones and zeroes. Are you saying that since pi is a non-repeating, random number (though more precisely it’s an irrational, transcendental number) then any representation of a subset of pi that happens to be the same as a binary representation of copyrighted material is therefore unenforceable? That makes for an interesting thought experiment, though it’s hardly persuasive. Don’t forget the intent to copy in your calculus.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Won't someone thing of the Pie?!

“Are you saying that since pi is a non-repeating, random number (though more precisely it’s an irrational, transcendental number) then any representation of a subset of pi that happens to be the same as a binary representation of copyrighted material is therefore unenforceable?”

No, that is not what they were saying. You seem to have a habit of putting words into other peoples’ mouths.

Anonymous Coward says:

There was in the past something called Spiritual Property, ask if anybody recognizes that today.

http://www.copyrighthistory.com/donaldson.html

”The booksellers, he observed … had not, till lately, ever concerned themselves about authors, but had generally confined the substance of their prayers to the legislature, to the security of their own property …”

Anonymous Coward says:

All of this happened before.

http://www.copyrighthistory.com/donaldson.html

”… what property can a man have in ideas? whilst he keeps them to himself they are his own, when he publishes them they are his no longer. If I take water from the ocean it is mine, if I pour it back it is mine no longer.”

”So that Mr. Harrison, after constructing a time-piece, at the expence of forty years labour, had no method of securing an exclusive property in that invention, unless by a grant from the state; yet if he was in a few hours to write a pamphlet, describing the properties, the utility, and construction of his time-piece, in such pamphlet he would have a right secured by common law … ”

”Most certainly, every man who thinks has a right to his thoughts while they continue his; but here the question again returns; when does he part with them? … While they are in his brain no one indeed can purloin them; but what if he speaks, and lets them fly out in private or public discourse? Will he claim the breath, the air, the words in which his thoughts are clothed?”

All those arguments are not new, even the predictable expansion of those ridiculous rights happened before and are happening now and so it is the end result of that path that will lead inexorably to conflict and to the end of those same laws, that will of course reignite the cycle again, making people enact those laws again at first humble and slowly turning despotic.

Crosbie Fitch (profile) says:

Re: All of this happened before.

It only took three years after the US Constitution for the individual’s natural right to liberty to give way to commercial privilege. So, I daresay the second copyright is abolished, some cartel will be busily drafting a plan of action for their lobbyist campaign to plead for some other monopoly or commercial privilege.

No matter. The important thing is public awareness – that yes, only lasts for a generation until it is again lulled into believing that liberty must once again be surrendered for security/prosperity/progress/learning/etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

All of this happened before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donaldson_v._Beckett

Donaldson v Beckett, 2 Brown’s Parl. Cases 129, 1 Eng. Rep. 837; 4 Burr. 2408, 98 Eng. Rep. 257 (1774); 17 Cobbett’s Parl. Hist. 953 (1813) is the ruling by the British House of Lords that denied the continued existence of a perpetual common law copyright and held that copyright was a creation of statute and could be limited in its duration.

Following the English Civil War, which was partly fought over the Crown’s abuse of monopolies, the Stationers’ power was threatened when the last Licensing Act expired in 1694. Without their monopolies, London’s booksellers faced an unregulated influx of cheap texts printed outside Britain, and in Scotland, that began flooding the English market. After years of lobbying Parliament by authors and members of the Conger, the world’s first modern copyright statute was enacted – the Statute of Anne, 8 Anne, ch. 19 (1710).

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

and Parliament, already hostile to Buckingham for his monopoly on royal patronage, opened impeachment proceedings against him.[9] Charles responded by dissolving Parliament. This move, while saving Buckingham, reinforced the impression that Charles wanted to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny of his ministers[9]

Having dissolved Parliament and unable to raise money without it, the king assembled a new one in 1628. (The elected members included Oliver Cromwell.) The new Parliament drew up the Petition of Right, and Charles accepted it as a concession in order to obtain his subsidy.[10] Amongst other things, the Petition referred to the Magna Carta.[11]

The monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England ended with the victors consolidating the established Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland.

Anonymous Coward says:

you acquired your “copy” without paying for it, that’s theft, call it “infringement” to make yourself feel better, help you sleep at night

bottom line, you have a product you wanted, but didn’t want to pay for

take your laptop into a store and open a CD/DVD/SOFTWARE package and start “copying” it there, tell them your only making a copy, you’re not “depriving” them of selling it, see how far your useless argument goes, and then you can try to demand they charge you with “infringement” not theft, when you refuse to pay for the package you opened

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