How ACTA Will Increase Copyright Infringement

from the it's-all-about-respect dept

Every so often, we get copyright system supporters here in the comments who, when they run out of arguments, go with something along the lines of “but it’s the law, and it’s your duty to respect the law.” It’s a rather authoritarian point of view and there are all sorts of reasons why that makes little sense. We don’t need to go into the full philosophical arguments, but one key one is that you should never respect something just because someone says you should — only because it has earned the respect. Glyn Moody has a fascinating post highlighting a new paper about ACTA that suggests the process by which ACTA was agreed upon has all sorts of problems. Moody calls out one paragraph in particular that I think is quite important:

there is the question of public perceptions as to the value and fairness of the agreement. A perception that it is fair as between stakeholders is important to IP law, which it is not readily self-enforcing. By this I mean that IP law requires people to self-consciously refrain from behaviours that are common, easy, and enjoyable: infringement is so easy to do and observing IP rights, particularly copyright, involves, particularly these days, some self-denial. IP law therefore needs support from the public in order to be effective, and in order to receive any such support IP law needs to address the needs of all stakeholders. 135 Treaties that strengthen enforcement without addressing the needs of users look unfair and will bring IP law further into disrepute.

This is a key point that gets ignored in all of this. When you negotiate agreements like ACTA in secret, leaving out key stakeholders, it should come as no surprise when those same people feel no compulsion to respect the agreement. They were left out of the discussion and so, in their minds, such an agreement should not hold any weight.

What this means, of course, is that the very awful process by which ACTA was put together may actually serve to create the exact opposite scenario that the drafters hoped to create. Rather than strengthening the power of copyright law around the globe, ACTA has only served to increase the lack of respect for copyright law, as the process by which it was put together has been shown to not be deserving of any respect, in that it failed to take into account the interests of most of the people it would impact.

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Comments on “How ACTA Will Increase Copyright Infringement”

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94 Comments
out_of_the_blue says:

Er, the key fact is they NOW don't *need* your respect.

They’re escalating *force*, and not just force, but arbitrary by mere assertion with no appeal. That’s the *whole* point of ACTA and COICA. The Rich are done with the carrot phase of capitalism, having gotten automated policing machinery built (besides such useful things as armed drones), and are now going to STICK it to you.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Er, the key fact is they NOW don't *need* your respect.

The same principle applies there, too. The more draconian and unresponsive a government becomes, the less the people respect it. At some point (and we are not close to that now), they will rise up and strike it down. The worst case scenario is if they keep the oppression at a level almost bad enough to incite revolution, but not quite.

Little Content Creator says:

“It’s your duty to respect the law – It’s a rather authoritarian point of view and there are all sorts of reasons why that makes little sense.”

How can one fight the power of this argument? Huh?

Lighten up people. Keep your sticky fingers away from the creators paychek, the way they do with yours. Whats the matter with you?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

How can one fight the power of this argument? Huh?

I believe it was stated in the post itself: laws need to be seen as viable to earn the respect of the people they govern. If the laws are not seen as legit, people will not obey them. Saying you should obey “because it’s the law” is not reasoned argument.

Lighten up people. Keep your sticky fingers away from the creators paychek, the way they do with yours.

Hmm? No one is trying to take away your paycheck. Not sure what you’re saying here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Please tell me what you produce, because I’m more than glad to oblige your request, now will you get out of my house, you are not welcome.

I gave you people everything, attention, money and love and you gave me COICA, DMCA, ACTA, copyright expansion, lawsuits, absurd statutory damages.

You want something more? F. you.

Is that clear enough?

Tuxmelv says:

Re: Re:

Ah, sweat of the brow. So you believe that just because you did something that everybody owes you. Take that business plan to a bank and see me if you are not laughed out of the building. You have to give an incentive to buy, know what you are selling, and whether it is a viable product.

Music these days is more akin to a commercial or Advertisement Poster. Lots of money is spent to create those, but they are given to the customer for free! (factoring distribution costs such as printing or air time into the PRODUCTION cost.) These drive people who listen/see the content to what the actual product is. That is to say, YOU! Access to you, whether it be a sense of belonging with fan clubs, merch, readings or shows, commission work, your expertise in the field via consultation, ect. There is more money available if you sell what people want instead of telling them what they want and demanding payment for it. Basic economics dude, its so sad very little people understand it these days.

Anonymous Coward says:

“If the laws are not seen as legit, people will not obey them.”

Yes, they will. That’s what the law is all about after all. Do we really need to debate on every “stupid” law we disagree with and need to respect anyway?

Besides, I do agree with you in the end. It has to be viable. And there is nothing more viable than creator that doesn’t permit his work to be distributed freely and free. Its his right to do so. Its his work. Exactly like your work and your paycheck.

There is a difference between freedom and “free”, ya know?

TehZomB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yeah, plenty of old laws in many states that they never bothered to repeal and are never enforced anymore.

Right now, copyright law is almost like a curfew. It’s only enforced when the entertainment industry sees it as a “problem”. They don’t care if you download something made by the little guy, but cut into their profits and/or resell it and you’ve got a bloodhound behind you. A poorly trained one, at that.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

By the way, using the “reply to this” link below a comment makes it possible to follow your comments in a more readable fashion.

Yes, they will. That’s what the law is all about after all. Do we really need to debate on every “stupid” law we disagree with and need to respect anyway?

I think it’s pretty clear that people do not obey laws they do not feel are just, and I do not see why that’s a problem. You disagree?

And there is nothing more viable than creator that doesn’t permit his work to be distributed freely and free. Its his right to do so. Its his work. Exactly like your work and your paycheck.

You are equating content creation to a paycheck. But the two are separate. It is quite possible to give away your works for free and to make plenty of money. I know that because I do. But I’m curious about your assertion of “viability.” If it were so “viable,” then there would be nothing to complain about, right, since you’d be making money.

The issue is that putting such artificial restrictions on content are not viable — that’s why people are not obeying them.

There is a difference between freedom and “free”, ya know?

Yes, of course. Not sure what that has to do with the discussion here however.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’ll make this my final attempt to explain myself, before I get accused of littering.

People usually follow “property” laws without questioning them. I do agree. When laws become unacceptable to society, they need to be changed. I am still waiting for a proposition that will bring a viable and long term solution. Preferably one that will consider the view of creators. Ideas, anyone? We might even start a revolution, once we give up the convenient online “pirate” anonimity.

It is not possible to make a film or a decent music album “for free”. You have to invest. It really is a bad business plan when that investment never pays off because of theft. Would you take a job like that?

Creators do make money, true. Far less since the internet “economy” diverts the profits from creators to ISP’s. Nothing is for free in the end. You pay for your online content just like the next guy. The only problem is that the payment lands in the wrong pockets.

Believe it or not. The choice stays with consumers. The less income to the creative industry – the less creativity. I am not that upset by that fact. I think I am not too stupid to get another job that pays better.

How come everybody else gets upset so easy when the copyright is in question? Comments start flying left and right. Do people get upset like this when they pay for a bag of chips?

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’ll make this my final attempt to explain myself, before I get accused of littering.

Don’t be glum, chum. We have heated debates here all the time.

When laws become unacceptable to society, they need to be changed.

You know how to tell when laws are unacceptable to society? When people don’t obey them.

That’s the case with copyright law right now. Unfortunately, rather than recognize that this means copyright law should be rolled back, our lawmakers listen to the media empires that give them money. Instead of seeing it as popular opinion, they see it as an “escalating problem.”

Solutions are unlikely to come from either the media companies or the government, which is why artists themselves need to take up the charge to roll back copyright. Otherwise, both they and the public will suffer.

I am still waiting for a proposition that will bring a viable and long term solution. Preferably one that will consider the view of creators.

Unfortunately, there is no “magic bullet.” There never was. Copyright is better than old systems of patronage or government subsidy, but it never really worked optimally for artists.

The best solution IMHO is to embrace file sharing, and sell non-scarce goods (concerts, merch, “authenticity,” exposure to the artist, whatever). Most artists never made money through record sales anyway.

It really is a bad business plan when that investment never pays off because of theft.

It’s not “theft,” it’s infringement, but never mind.

The reason these investments fail nowadays has less to do with “theft” and more to do with increased competition from other media, and selling a product in a form that people don’t want to buy.

Far less since the internet “economy” diverts the profits from creators to ISP’s.

This is a claim that is regularly made by media industries. It is, of course, pure bunkum. ISP’s don’t make money from piracy. For one thing, the more traffic you use, the less money they make. For another thing, most bandwidth isn’t used for infringement (think: streaming videos from Netflix or YouTube, VoIP, gaming).

The less income to the creative industry – the less creativity.

It depends on your definition of “creativity.” It’s certainly true that more music is being produced now than in the past. The only question is if you judge “quality” by the amount of money spent on production. Sometimes it’s true, most of the time (especially with music) it’s not.

How come everybody else gets upset so easy when the copyright is in question? Comments start flying left and right. Do people get upset like this when they pay for a bag of chips?

Stealing a bag of chips won’t land you in jail for three years, or get you sued for millions of dollars. Frito-Lay doesn’t use “theft” as an excuse to cut down on the number of chips in a bag. Pringles doesn’t shut down convenience stores that won’t pay them a license. Dorito’s doesn’t claim shoplifting hurts the factory workers, then use lower profits “due to shoplifting” as an excuse to halve those workers’ salaries. There are no laws in Congress allowing the government to shut down grocery stores, without a trial, that it believes aren’t doing enough to curb shoplifting.

All those things happen with copyright: the ART Act, RIAA lawsuits, DRM, ASCAP shutting down venues, “360 deals,” COICA. Fighting copyright infringement is doing serious harm to the public, culture, and artists themselves.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Solutions are unlikely to come from either the media companies or the government, true, but I don’t see how “rolling back copyright” benefits anyone but the guy that wants a free bag of chips. And yes. In the long run, the public will suffer.

“Are you Bono? Only he and his manager have that ridiculous view. But I agree the money is going in the wrong pockets is just not the ISP’s pockets or please show me your facts that prove me wrong I love to be corrected as I don’t have so much love for ISP’s either.”

OK. Whats wrong with Bono? I happen to like their views.

I will expand on this. Not only ISP’s. Content providers (from YouTube to labels) and hardware manufacturers that invent ways to put a mp3/divx player in a swiss knife get their share too.

Finally multimedia corps take their share as well, there can be no question about it. Creators are left with peanuts in the end. Agreed. Not fair.

So? How to go on about it?

Kill the transfer of rights in copyright legislation alltogether! IF rightsholder wants to donate his income to a corporation, make him carry the money to them in a plastic bag and not transfer it to them by signing a routine industry contract.

Part two of my devious plan is enforcing blank tape levy and “global license” like ISP tax that will make all creative work legally available online to everyone. No more entertainment corporations control over the entertainment industry market. Diversity, based on market value. Respect for consumers choice.

Finally, the money collected this way is to be used to support new talent and new creativity.

How about it? A bag of chips worth investment in creative industry every month, and you get everything legally and free? Immagine the benefits of the library of recorded music, pictures and literarature we could create online this way?

Se Habla Espol says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Part two of my devious plan is enforcing blank tape levy and “global license” like ISP tax that will make all creative work legally available online to everyone. No more entertainment corporations control over the entertainment industry market. Diversity, based on market value. Respect for consumers choice.

“Diversity, based on market value”? You get to get my paycheck in your sticky fingers, even though my place in your “diversity” is the null position? I get to pay you for uninteresting creation, because you find your work to be unmarketable?

“Respect for consumers [sic] choice”? I choose not to bother with any of the so-called creative content in the entertainment area. I find none of it to be of interest. Therefor, since you produce nothing worth buying, I get to pay for it anyway, just so you don’t have to do any work (whether in a day job, or in coming up with a working business strategy for your hobby)?

Hey, I wrote something once, too. I can haz perpetual income??

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I don’t see how “rolling back copyright” benefits anyone but the guy that wants a free bag of chips.

You’re assuming that someone that has a free bag of chips won’t turn around and buy some fish. People getting music for free doesn’t automatically hurt music sales. In many cases, it allows artists to make more money. It worked for radio, it can work for filesharing as well.

And there are ways to “roll back copyright” to be more fair to the public, but still earn artists money. For example, there’s no reason copyright should last longer than an artist’s life. The original term was 14 years, and I think that’s fair enough. If you haven’t recouped your costs in fourteen years, you’re probably never going to.

Another example would be limiting copyright to commercial infringement. If someone’s making money from your work, it’s only fair you should get a cut (I believe). But if someone makes no money, it’s unfair to expect blood from a stone.

Other options would be doing away with statutory damages for non-commercial infringement, and doing away with some of the more evil anti-“piracy” laws (e.g. the NET Act, DMCA anti-circumvention laws, ACTA, or COICA if it even passes). None of these allow rights holders to earn more money, they just make criminals out of the populace.

OK. Whats wrong with Bono? I happen to like their views.

Bono endorsed Chinese-style internet censorship to combat infringement. Paul McGuinness, his manager, consistently cites bogus music stats, supports “three strikes” laws, and wants ISP’s to pay major labels because they “make money from infringement.” And, of course, there’s the whole Negativland thing.

Kill the transfer of rights in copyright legislation alltogether!

If you mean getting rid of “assigning” rights, and only allowing “licensing” rights, I’m 100% with you. Good luck getting that through Congress.

enforcing blank tape levy and “global license” like ISP tax that will make all creative work legally available online to everyone.

You’re essentially talking about socialized art. You’re not alone in this idea (even the EFF supports it), but it’s a bad idea, and I’ll tell you why.

First of all, it requires everyone to pay for art, even art they don’t like, don’t support, and wouldn’t pay for if they had the option. Even if they would like it, it would discourage additional payments to artists. “I already pay my ISP tax, why the hell should I support those guys any more than that?”

In order to be fair, it would require a monitoring system that is both intrusive and expensive. To divvy up the money from that tax, an ISP would need to keep track of every single use of copyrighted material that flowed through its wires. Not just music and movies – photographers and writers are artists too, and will want a piece of the pie.

This would require ISP’s to have a record of everything that its users download. Every music file, every picture, every piece of text. If the cost of this would be even a penny per person per day, this adds up to billions of dollars per year spent on that bureaucracy. If the bureaucracy is run by the government, it would be paid for by taxpayers. If by ISP’s, it would be paid for by consumers (internet prices would double overnight). If borne by a PRO like ASCAP, it would be borne by the artists themselves. In any case, that’s billions going to a bureaucracy that could have been going to artists themselves.

Needless to say, such a scheme would violate everyone’s right to privacy. Merely having those systems in place would be a goldmine for abuse, from overzealous law enforcement to sneaky advertisers.

Of course, it’s more than likely that system won’t be fair at all. “Private copying levies” have been tried in many other countries. They’re usually divvied up according to some quasi-related metric – CD sales, for example, or radio play. This means that it would be biased towards traditional media players, and away from artists – precisely the ones who are more likely to be discovered on the internet rather than the radio, and precisely the ones who you think should be helped.

In no case would it ever go towards “investment in creative industry.” It hasn’t in any country that’s tried it.

And, finally, it’s not offering the public anything they don’t already have. There’s already an online library of nearly every single piece of media ever created, which people can get for free. They often can’t get it legally, but the chances of getting caught are astronomically slim. If this idea is put to a general vote, I’ll guarantee that it would lose.

Now, if you want to start a private company that offered this service, I say go for it. Of course, the major label rights holders will demand such astronomical licensing fees, you won’t be able to offer it for less than $50/month. Ever wonder why Spotify isn’t available outside of Europe? There you go.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Now there is a productive post :=)

?You’re assuming that someone that has a free bag of chips won’t turn around and buy some fish.?

I thought the debate was about online creative content economy? Lets stay with chips and deal with fish at the fish market?

?For example, there’s no reason copyright should last longer than an artist’s life.?

I could actually agree with that. But it does seem that many corporations keep their patents longer than that. People keep the house, built by their grandparents. Church keeps the 12,000 square feet of the paintings on Sistine chapel ceiling for 500 years and still don’t let go. Bit unfair, when you look at it that way.

?Another example would be limiting copyright to commercial infringement. If someone’s making money from your work, it’s only fair you should get a cut (I believe). But if someone makes no money, it’s unfair to expect blood from a stone.?

My point exactly. Copyright legislation in Europe is actually based around. Thats why it deals with ?equitable remuneration? and not ?fair remuneration?.

?Other options would be doing away with statutory damages for non-commercial infringement, and doing away with some of the more evil anti-“piracy” laws (e.g. the NET Act, DMCA anti-circumvention laws, ACTA, or COICA if it even passes). None of these allow rights holders to earn more money, they just make criminals out of the populace.?

Once again, I agree. I only doubt the part about ?criminals? a bit. Lets leave the ?infringment? in the domain of morality? Sure. Let’s leave taxes there too. I’ll pay them, once I like the government I am under.

?Bono .. wants ISP’s to pay major labels because they “make money from infringement.”

Right. Better yet. They should pay creators directly. Who needs labels anymore?

?If you mean getting rid of “assigning” rights, and only allowing “licensing” rights, I’m 100% with you.?

See. We are getting somewhere πŸ™‚

?You’re essentially talking about socialized art. ?

It can either be economically inefficient and drop dead, socialized, or completely market/capital based. Which do you think would benefit society more? Isn’t the ?free online access to all? idea just another form of ?socialized art??

?First of all, it requires everyone to pay for art, even art they don’t like, don’t support, and wouldn’t pay for if they had the option.?

Not really. You could always go for the optional online access to copyrighted material, based on consumers choice.

?In order to be fair, it would require a monitoring system that is both intrusive and expensive.?

That is why my position was to invest in new creations and new talent. There is no need for monitoring with that.

?And, finally, it’s not offering the public anything they don’t already have.?

But it gives us a chance to make sure we will get something we don’t have yet in future.

?Of course, the major label rights holders will demand such astronomical licensing fees, you won’t be able to offer it for less than $50/month.?

Major labels never wrote a song. Why do you keep bringing them up? πŸ˜‰

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

> But it does seem that many corporations keep their patents longer than that.

Aren’t patents limited to around 20 years, which is already long enough to cause endless amounts of trouble?

> Church keeps the 12,000 square feet of the paintings on Sistine chapel ceiling for 500 years and still don’t let go.

I do not think there is anything forbidding you from copying them. Not only would they be long out of copyright, but also they are from a time before copyright itself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

I read once somewhere that the intense light from camera flashes can actually damage some kinds of paintings. Not to mention that they can be very annoying to other people trying to appreciate the work. So, please, no flashes.

(Thanks for the link; I did not know it was treated as a museum, where cameras are usually forbidden by default. Of course, it is the use of cameras that is forbidden, not the copying; you can always do it the old-fashioned way and copy into a canvas.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“It is, of course, pure bunkum. ISP’s don’t make money from piracy.”

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/Cisco_VNI_Usage_WP.pdf

– today (2010) less than 60 percent of upstream is P2P

– Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing is now 25 percent of global broadband traffic

– Peer-to-peer has been surpassed by online video as the largest category. The subset of video that includes
streaming video, flash, and Internet TV represents 26 percent, compared to 25 percent for P2P2.

With all due respect to online video content providers. Big part of what they got in store is distributed illegaly. Even when the distribution is legal, there is no solution in this “business model”, that will provide any kind of compensation to creators. What is the future of that?

60% upstream and some 40% or so of all traffic? Do you still think ISP’s don’t earn on piracy?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

http://www.dailytech.com/Report+Netflix+Will+Clobber+US+Internet+Bandwidth/article20075.htm

“Netflix currently boasts over 15 million members and according to network management company Sandvine, their 2010 Global Internet Phenomena Report indicates that Netflix accounts for 20 percent of downstream traffic during peak periods beating out YouTube, iTunes, Hulu, and p2p file-sharing.”

Netflix is beating piracy OMG!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“With all due respect to online video content providers. Big part of what they got in store is distributed illegaly. Even when the distribution is legal, there is no solution in this “business model”, that will provide any kind of compensation to creators. What is the future of that?”

Explain to us how a Youtube celebrity can make 6 figures and you can’t?

duffmeister (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

So now providing a method to achieve something is the same as profiting from it?

Sweet!!!! We can sue gun maker for all murders for profiting from it. We can sue all car makers for all the times someone is killed in a car accident. We can even sue alcohol manufacturers for every DUI incident! You have stumbled on a gold mine here.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Karl

very weird, you seem to have pretty much all the same thoughts on copyright that I do. Like …

“… and more to do with increased competition from other media, and selling a product in a form that people don’t want to buy.”

Texting, social media, gaming, cell phone, YouTube, CC music, 3 million artists and bands, web surfing, blogging, etc, etc, etc …

“Solutions are unlikely to come from either the media companies or the government, which is why artists themselves need to take up the charge to roll back copyright. Otherwise, both they and the public will suffer.”

IMHO this is already happening. Artists are beginning to distance themselves from the record labels. We see all sorts of artists “doing the Masnick” as it were. (I really hope that phrase doesn’t catch on)

“the ART Act, RIAA lawsuits, DRM, ASCAP shutting down venues, “360 deals,” COICA… “

forgot a couple … the DEA, Hadopi, South Koreas ??? act, ACTA, EMI’s law suits against any website trying to distribute music. Have I forgotten any???

“The best solution IMHO is to embrace file sharing, and sell non-scarce goods (concerts, merch, “authenticity,” exposure to the artist, whatever). Most artists never made money through record sales anyway.”

Some artists made money off of record sales but that is a recent development from the 1970 on. Pre 1970 artists didn’t make money off of record sales.

Now for a simple observation that has been running through my mind for a couple weeks. Music has reached a saturation point. In every industry there is a limit on how many people can be in a given profession. Currently there are millions of artists all trying to succeed in the music business. Because of the internet they all can bypass the monopoly of the record labels and be heard.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Relax. As of yet there are very few art forms that are not better appreciated in their original form. Movies are better in a good theater. Books are better on paper. Music is better live. Paintings are better than prints or digital representations.

I put it to you that if you can’t draw enough money to live off of selling the original, you’re not a very good artist and the medium you work in would be better served by you retiring and getting a day job. Artistic Darwinism if you will or simply capitalism.

Television is an exception but simply releasing the shows for free with advertising, like the networks did for decades, is still a perfectly viable business model. As long as you don’t do something moronic like let the torrents beat you to market, require a specific player/platform, or inhibit copying. Be first, be convenient, and people will gladly do the same thing they did with the ads on television. They’ll either watch them because skipping is too much bother or they’ll hit the skip button just like their DVR remote has.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

> Movies are better in a good theater. Books are better on paper. Music is better live. Paintings are better than prints or digital representations.

There is a reason for that. They were designed for that media. Movies are filmed and produced thinking how they will look in a movie theater. Books are formatted to match the limitations of the paper media (size per page, even/odd pages, etc). And so on. In the same way, something designed for reading on a web browser will not work as good on paper (things like hyperlinks, animated images, embedded media, and so on).

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It is not possible to make a film or a decent music album “for free”.

Lots of successful creators disagree with you there. Check out the links on the site, we highlight them all the time.

It really is a bad business plan when that investment never pays off because of theft. Would you take a job like that?

It’s not theft. The point is you put in place a business model that captures money elsewhere. Try it, it’s fun.

Creators do make money, true. Far less since the internet “economy” diverts the profits from creators to ISP’s.

This is not true. If you look at the actual stats, the actual creators are making more money these days. We’ve covered the research:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090723/0351345633.shtml
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091213/1648377324.shtml
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100621/0933449895.shtml
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100914/14214111013.shtml

Content creators are able to make more money today than in the past, and that’s because the gatekeepers are being moved out of the way, enabling artists to get more of the pie directly, especially as that overall pie grows.

Don’t believe the myths you may have heard.

The less income to the creative industry – the less creativity.

Do you honestly think there’s less creativity in the world today than in the past? I see an amazing outpouring of creative content.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

?Lots of successful creators disagree with you there.?

Many more agree. Do we get a say?

?The point is you put in place a business model that captures money elsewhere. Try it, it’s fun.?

Done that. Great fun. Still, there has to be a solution to online market as well. You are part of it in a way (http://www.techdirt.com/advertise.php) ?

?If you look at the actual stats, the actual creators are making more money these days. We’ve covered the research?

I can throw a study that proves otherwise at every version of your ?Wallis? studies.

?Content creators are able to make more money today than in the past, and that’s because the gatekeepers are being moved out of the way, enabling artists to get more of the pie directly, especially as that overall pie grows.?

I would call this statement naive. And that’s me being nice.

?Do you honestly think there’s less creativity in the world today than in the past? I see an amazing outpouring of creative content.?

As in free blogging, TV reality shows and twitter posts about shaving? Here’s a fine example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mIOGryLgks&feature=related

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“, there has to be a solution to online market as well”

Do you mean online “marketing”? If so, that is the last piece that is missing, promotion and marketing. But there are several ways to do this. Vodo, uTorrent Apps, getting listed on the front page of a torrent site, go to the people with the top downloaded videos on YouTube and ask if for their next video if you can supply the music, social networking, etc. Its being worked out slowly but surely. Once it is, that is the end of the record labels.

“I would call this statement naive. And that’s me being nice.”

Not really. With a couple million musicians now being able to by pass the record labels and go directly to the public the money is being distributed away from the labels and the plastic disks they sell.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

You can try to make money any way you like. However history proves that there is no guarantee that one way of survival will always be viable or will always work for everyone.

The social upheaval over copyright we see today is nothing more than politics interfering with the natural death of lines of business in several industries whose business models relied on now outmoded methods: e.g.: buying copyrights and pressing and distributing compact discs.

Artists have always had a choice to use or not use the middleman industries, but for a very long time there were precious few ways an independent artist could reach a large audience without them. With the Internet at most anyone’s disposal, the creators with the skills, or the right help can reach millions without giving up any rights at all.

Many artists have already reached large audiences by freely distributing their work over the Internet, and made money by following up with shows, events, merchandise. For these entrepreneurs, Freedom most definitely started with ‘free’.

If some method isn’t working because society has passed it by, we should move on to greener pastures, not put a mandate on the past to control the present. Much less should we subsidize the past, for instance through a media tax, to placate dinosaurs.

Live and let die.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Many more agree. Do we get a say?

Actually no. You made the point that it was impossible to make something for free. If you are making an absolute statement a single bit of evidence the other way proves you wrong. Your point was wrong. That some people THINK it’s right is meaningless.

Done that. Great fun. Still, there has to be a solution to online market as well. You are part of it in a way (http://www.techdirt.com/advertise.php) ?

I’ve read this statement over and over again and I have no idea what you are trying to say.

I can throw a study that proves otherwise at every version of your ?Wallis? studies.

What is ‘Wallis’? Anyway, if you have a study that proves otherwise, I’d love to see it. I’ve been asking for such evidence for years and no one has provided it. There are some industry studies, but once you look at them, the details show that they are not supported by facts.

I would call this statement naive. And that’s me being nice.

You can call it whatever you want, but all of the evidence I’ve seen suggest it’s absolutely the truth.

As in free blogging, TV reality shows and twitter posts about shaving? Here’s a fine example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mIOGryLgks&feature=related

Um. So because you can find some content you don’t find valuable online it means there’s less creativity in the world? Do you realize how stupid that makes you sound? Yes, a lot of the content created is crap. But we’re not talking about that. There is more quality content being produced today than at any time in the past. If you disagree with that statement, you’re not paying attention.

Johnny says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Believe it or not. The choice stays with consumers.”

But you see the Music and Movie cartels have made me hate them, so I now want nothing more than for you lot to go bankrupt.

Why? Because I don’t want you to have money to corrupt politicians in my country, to buy laws, to restrict Internet access, to spy on me, to extend copyright law, to impose huge unjust punishments, to make international treaties that try to screw us, etc…

If I have to choose between your content and freedom, freedom wins every time!

There should be a “health” warning on all the Music cartel’s music:

PAYING FOR MUSIC CAN COST YOU YOUR FREEDOM!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

> PAYING FOR MUSIC CAN COST YOU YOUR FREEDOM!

In fact, this is why I do not download music from major labels. Since (as IIRC has already been discussed on this site before) downloading their music is beneficial to them, and since I do not want to help them at all (since what they are doing is morally wrong and can risk the future of the Internet), I prefer to simply not get their music at all (either via downloading or buying physical CDs).

Instead, I just go download Creative Commons licensed music from Jamendo, or sometimes buy CDs on the street from minor independent labels.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Creators do make money, true. Far less since the internet “economy” diverts the profits from creators to ISP’s. Nothing is for free in the end. You pay for your online content just like the next guy. The only problem is that the payment lands in the wrong pockets.”

I see exactly the mistake you are making (willfully or not, I can’t tell).

You are lumping together the actual content creator and the distribution channel on how it was before, but not now.

You say that the money is going to the wrong place. How is that any different than the music industry 20 years ago?

Old way: Artists and musicians create content. They go to the labels and studios to get their music out and heard. Studio must invest money to get that music out and make money off it. Lucky artists get paid, but not very much. Labels and studios get the lion’s share of the money.

New way: Artists and musicians create content. They get their music out on the Internet for little to nothing and can be heard by a much wider audience. Skilled artists make money (more than they would’ve under the old system). ISPs and other Internet companies make money as well by selling access or attention to that content.

The Internet does distribution more efficiently (cheaply) than do the traditional channels. The only reason you don’t like it is you’re part of the old distribution channel that is being replaced by a more efficient one. And that more efficient replacement is more beneficial to everyone but you.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“New way? Profits are either not generated at all, or don’t get split. “

Wrong. You don’t seem to understand economics. Just because your old dying legacy business isn’t generating profits doesn’t mean those profits aren’t being generated elsewhere. In many cases those profits being made elsewhere cause far more economic growth than if the legacy business had generated them. There are any number of high-school and college level classes you can take to learn more about this.

“Do explain. How exactly do skilled artists make money online?”

You ask this question like you’re new on this site. Techdirt has highlighted dozens of artists who have embraced new business models and made money. There are also plenty of other sites and publications where you can find other examples.

You also seem to be asking for a magical money making formula. It doesn’t exist. It never has. That’s why most of the examples you’ll find are artists doing new and different things to see what works for them and their fans.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Preferably one that will consider the view of creators.

How about nothing? As far as I can see, while there probably is a copyright system that produces benefit and incentive to creators without seriously impeding usage the current system isn’t it.

The current system is set up for the benefit of the copyright holders, who are largely not the creators and it appears to me and many people that creators would be better off without copyright entirely than they are now.

So why not start from scratch to improve the situation then carefully trial specific laws crafted to inventivise creators and see what works?

Or, was your concern not actually for the creators after all?

By the way, I am an author of sorts, though my “pubishing” is through companies that pay for my work. I seem to create despite the fact that it is the companies I work for that hold all the rights to my work and are free to re-sell it with no further payment to me. (note: NOT “share” it… commercialy make money off my work). It turns out that enjoying what I do and being paid a living wage for it incentivises me just fine thank you.

I’m growing increasingly suspicious of the cry “think about the poor authors(/musicians/whatever)”. It’s starting to sound to me a lot like the “think about the children” cry raised every time someone wants to invade privacy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“If the laws are not seen as legit, people will not obey them.”

Yes, they will. That’s what the law is all about after all. Do we really need to debate on every “stupid” law we disagree with and need to respect anyway?

When was the last time you drove on the freeway?

Did you see ANYONE driving the posted speed limit?

Ron Rezendes (profile) says:

Re: Ever heard of the Revolutionary War?

“If the laws are not seen as legit, people will not obey them.”

Yes, they will. That’s what the law is all about after all. Do we really need to debate on every “stupid” law we disagree with and need to respect anyway?

A couple of hundred years ago England believed EXACTLY this and guess what happened? They got an ass whooping and sent home to their little island in the North Atlantic.

We don’t have to debate any little thing at all. Piss off enough people and they will collectively revolt. Piss them off enough and you could die in the process of spewing out the phrase “But the world owes me something – I’m a creator of content!”

If you think it couldn’t happen then you haven’t learned from what history has repeatedly shown over centuries!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Yes, they will. That’s what the law is all about after all. Do we really need to debate on every “stupid” law we disagree with and need to respect anyway?”

If people would obey those laws what do you need more laws for then?

Something is not adding up about your statements, because the more laws about copyright I see the more people I see not following those LoL

Anonymous Coward says:

“So you believe that just because you did something that everybody owes you.”

Naw. Only those that steal what I “did” instead of buying it. Those owe me big time. I bet you would feel the same in my shoes. Take that to the bank πŸ™‚

“The world will survive without your content my friend… And by your logic save a few bucks in the process. If you don’t like it, go get a real job and earn your money, don’t be so lazy.”

I guess thats what I was fishing for. Right! Stop the show! No more creativity, music, film and books, unless its free and made by amateurs. Lets all get jobs in a bank like normal people do.

The Arts are what mark a society’s greatness? Pfff… We are great enough as it is! We got U-Tube.

RadialSkid (profile) says:

Re: Re:

No more creativity, music, film and books, unless its free and made by amateurs.

That’s what I’m aiming for, personally. If T.S. Eliot could write The Wasteland as an “amateur,” then I don’t see how it’s a condition that produces undesirable work.

Hell, I stopped p2p-ing music about two years ago when sites like Jamendo turned me onto CC-licensed free music. I don’t listen to commercial music at all anymore.

So how about it? Is that what you want…nobody pays you, and nobody listens either? Or will you whine that the other artists are “stealing” listeners from you?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“I guess thats what I was fishing for. Right! Stop the show! No more creativity, music, film and books, unless its free and made by amateurs. Lets all get jobs in a bank like normal people do.”

Woot?!

Are you trying to say that working in a bank is somewhat demeaning?

Are you saying that honest work is demeaning?

AR (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Since Bach Mozart and Beethoven (sp?) were not employed by corporations does that make them amateurs? What do you class as professional and amateur?

The thing about “artist” that you may not remember is that their works dont gain significant value until after they are dead. With some exceptions of course. if you are referring to singers they are a dime a dozen (just watch American idol) and are normally forgotten before death. with a few exceptions. If people dont find value in what you do then you wont get paid for it. Dont demand payment just because you exist.

AR (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

It is after you train yourself to ignore the ads. I dont even hear them any more. But my point is you will always have people that refuse to pay. Thats just humanity. Its been that way since the beginning. The idea is to provide a valuable enough service (in this case entertainment) that more people will pay you than not. no one is entitled to a paycheck. I believe the Supreme Court has already made that ruling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

OK. Deal. You find me a state where I can pay taxes (if its any good) or not and I will try to provide some entertainment you can pay for (if its any good) or not. Same goes for bread, coffee and soft drinks. Few cigarettes now and then, and I am happy.

P.S.: I feel sorry about the adds and music you hate. Why don’t you resort to civil disobedience and turn the stupid reciever off? πŸ™‚

AR (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Thats the point Mike makes everyday. Sometimes putting the music out there for free gets you the audience to be able to get a following. Nothing has changed. You connect with fans, use social networking and the like to meet with them so you can perform,(preferably at a club where you get part of the door receipts or something), and you get them to keep coming back. A big enough crowd and the club asks you to come back. Its just that with the Internet your fan base has the potential to be huge. but you may need to let at least some of the music go for free just to keep their interest.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Read your Wiki πŸ™‚

I did and it turns out the bit you left out is that he was composing and performing from the age of 5. That’s 12 years of creating before his “corporate employment”. It also turns out he composed “Requiem” and many of his famous works while basically being unemployed in Vienna. I wonder how on earth he could have been incentivised to create without copyright.

Was that the point you wre trying to make? Or did you not in fact intend people to follow the link?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Right! Stop the show! No more creativity, music, film and books,

Yeah, if it’s so hard to make money making art, you should probably just stop doing it, and leave it to the people who either can figure out how to make money at it, or don’t care if they make money. Then you could stop complaining about how everyone is stealing from you. Wouldn’t that be a relief?

Anonymous Coward says:

“It is not possible to make a film or a decent music album “for free”. You have to invest. It really is a bad business plan when that investment never pays off because of theft. Would you take a job like that?”

You have to have resources and invest your time, those resources can come in a variety of forms and that has already been proven.

“Creators do make money, true. Far less since the internet “economy” diverts the profits from creators to ISP’s. Nothing is for free in the end. You pay for your online content just like the next guy. The only problem is that the payment lands in the wrong pockets.”

Are you Bono? Only he and his manager have that ridiculous view. But I agree the money is going in the wrong pockets is just not the ISP’s pockets or please show me your facts that prove me wrong I love to be corrected as I don’t have so much love for ISP’s either.

“Believe it or not. The choice stays with consumers. The less income to the creative industry – the less creativity. I am not that upset by that fact. I think I am not too stupid to get another job that pays better.”

I have doubts about that, you can’t see the obvious I doubt you can get paid more in any other place.
About choice, I rather have all my entertainment from amateurs than from people like you, that is for sure.

“How come everybody else gets upset so easy when the copyright is in question? Comments start flying left and right. Do people get upset like this when they pay for a bag of chips?”

I get upset that is why I’m learning everything I can to make my own chips now, but it does upset me more when it comes to laws that don’t respect me, my home and my property, you think you have the right to get inside my house and dictate to me what I can and cannot do? yep dream on.

Anonymous Coward says:

In all this you know what I never see made mention of that happens all the time in copyright infringement?

Whenever a court case is presented in court, lawyers never seek copyright permission before presenting evidence. If an article is needed, it is copied directly from the copy machine. No one ever objects to it either.

On the subject of obeying law; no one obeys laws that don’t make sense. If they did, they would still be hanging horse thieves in Texas because it’s still on the books. That law hasn’t been removed but it isn’t obeyed either. It’s now considered cruel and unusual punishment.

What happens when the public doesn’t agree with a law, is they ignore it. Case in point is p2p file sharing. The laws on copyright are so twisted and out of reality to the average citizen they ignore it.

This will be no different in real life.

GH says:

Open letter ? Distribute freely

We at the ITMA (International Toy Makers Association), would like to voice our support for our brothers in the RIAA and MPAA, for setting the new paradigm that exposes sharing for what it really is – piracy. For far too long, we remained silent as our rights had been violated by kids sharing their toys with others. It has been estimated that more than 90% of our potential market is lost due to flagrant toy sharing. Based on the paradigm being advanced by the RIAA and MPAA, we demand new legislation that will get us the justice we so rightly deserve.

The Toy making industry employs millions of workers in developing, creating, marketing and distributing toys to kids, only to see our efforts stolen by free-loaders who enjoy our toys without having to pay for the experience. All this rampant toy-sharing, robs retailers of billions of dollars, and even places ToysR?us in danger of going out of business.

We all know how vulnerable toys are to having their novelty and desirability wear off, due to frequent and widespread exposure . When kids share their toys, infringers are able to fulfill their desires, and lose interest in acquiring the toys for themselves. Anti-sharing legislation is necessary to stop this abusive pattern and protect our rights. We are not breaking new ground with our demands, since the RIAA and MPAA have already established the fact that sharing is immoral, unethical, and illegal.

We plan to establish a task force to persecute violators. We are working on embedding RF tags in our products so that roving patrols may scan neighborhoods to detect any toy usage outside of predetermined parameters. Violators will be subject to law suits, and multi-million dollar penalties, in accordance with RIAA and MPAA precedents. Of course we are reasonable people and would rather have the kids work-off their debts in our toy factories.

We are working with religious groups to tone down their hateful rhetoric encouraging sharing. The message of ?sharing is caring? is much too subversive and inconsistent with the new paradigm. It promotes the exact sort of violations we seek to eliminate.

Communities and playgrounds that will not block kids from sharing toys, will be blacklisted and shut down. We must deploy enforcement personnel in playgrounds to ensure that kids who can?t afford their own toys, will have to sit outside the playground, looking in with envy and resentment. There will be no negative social consequences from doing that at all, on the contrary. Envy and greed contribute to the competitive social dynamics that separate the winners from the losers. If we are to remain a nation of winners, we must keep the losers down by any means necessary, including manufacturing artificial scarcity, and creating ceaseless propaganda, encouraging meaningless consumption by the masses.

We support circumventing constitutional due process with secretive ?trade agreements?, and we applaud the Obama administration and Congress for looking the other way, while we implement the new paradigm. There?s nothing anyone can do about it now.

Remember our motto kids: ?he who has the most toys wins!?

ATC says:

World Control

What does ACTA really mean? – Americans To Control All –

What does it really protect?

a)The American film industry
b)The American Software industry
c)The American Music industry
d) All of the above

Fact: China, where almost everything is being copied, is politely being asked to join because nobody has the guts to force them anything. President Obama, you little girl, where are thy now?

Fact: All the other little countries are driven into submission by threatening them with donation loss if they do not join. Slaves of the American dollar. People with no dignity.

Fact: Millions of people will lose their jobs because of this (most people in third world countries live in harsh conditions). When can they pick up their welfare check Obama?

Fact: Prepared in utter secrecy to protect the consumers world wide is just another farce to protect the “AMERICAN ECONOMY”, how many small companies on this planet have had their ideas stolen by American companies?

Fact: The United States of America owes billions of dollars to many countries and one of their policies is, as you might already have guessed, NOT TO PAY THEM NO MATTER WHAT. How can you trust a country which doesn’t honor simple ethics? How can you trust a country which has one president after another staring into the cameras and telling lies to the whole world without blinking an eye? How can you trust a country which calls themselves your allies but in dire need they do NOT come to your aid? The answer is simple………………………………………………………………….. YOU CANNOT……………………..

I will never ever in my life set foot in the U.S.A. or spend any money on American products. Check Google if you are not sure if it’s American made. Remember, Coke made in Italy still counts as a BOY-COT item.

Made in the U.S.A. (or American related companies)= BOY-COT

Fact:They will laugh at one person, they will laugh at 100 people, but will they laugh at a 1.000.000 people or more? Emergency meeting will be called for, fingers will be pointed, apologies to the public uttered, and in the end president Obama will screech that was never part of all of this. Who dares? Do you have what it takes to make a difference, or are you enslaved already?

I do have my pride, and yes, I do feel insulted by ACTA. I am a free man and make my own decisions. Do you?

By the way all of this is copyrighted and forbidden to copy and/or share with anybody.

Josh Taylor CEO of IAPA says:

Open Letter - Criminalize Fandom and Private Acts of Copyright Infringement

We at the IAPA (International Art and Publishing Association), would like to voice our support for our brothers in the RIAA, MPAA, art, television, cartoon, anime, and manga industry, for setting the new paradigm that exposes sharing for what it really is – fandom. For far too long, we remained silent as our rights had been violated by kids and teens of copying, altering, parodying, and distribution of fandom from other people’s intellectual properties. It has been estimated that more than 90% of our potential market is lost due to fandom. Based on the paradigm being advanced by the RIAA and MPAA, we demand new legislation that will get us the justice we so rightly deserve.

The art, publishing, and television industry employs millions of workers in developing, creating, marketing and distributing art and other media to the web, only to see our efforts stolen by slackers who enjoy being fans of our work without having to pay for the experience. All this rampant fandom , robs artists, publishers, and media companies of billions of dollars, and even places anime companies in danger of going out of business.

We all know how vulnerable art and publishing are to having their novelty and desirability wear off, due to frequent and widespread of fandom. When kids do a fandom version of our work, infringers are able to fulfill their desires, and lose interest in buy our products for themselves. Anti-fandom legislation is necessary to stop this abusive pattern and protect our rights. We are not forcing anti-consumerism with our demands, since the RIAA, MPAA, art, media, and publishing industries have already established the fact that fandom is immoral, unethical, and illegal.

We plan to establish a phone police to listen in on a residential copyright infringer’s calls such as a family member or the enitre family, keep and send records of their calls to the DOJ, RIAA, MPAA, Anime and publishing companies, mangakas, and other creators of their intellectual work. We are working on installing wireless surveillance cameras in residental homes so that the DOJ may monitor any personal or family activity to detect if any such illegal copyright infringement activity, such as singing a copyrighted song in the shower, copying a cartoon/anime character off their TV, and quoting from a movie or TV show, violates an owner’s intellectual rights.

Violators will be subject to loss of citizenship, and blacklisted from society, meaning they will be forbidden from accessing or creating a bank account, buying a home, shop at the supermarket, being taken in by the homeless shelter or orphanage, etc., in accordance with ACTA, COICA, and any other bill or treaty that is related to intellectual property and copyright protection. Of course parents are irresponsible people and we would rather have the kids and teens work-off their debts, like Ben Bernanke and Sholam Weiss, serving no more than 150 years in prison per infringed work.

We are working with Congress, The EU Commission, UN Council, and the Japanese Diet, to aggressively increase their anti-piracy laws and criminalize fandom. The message of ?fandom supports the artist? is immoral and libel. It promotes the exact sort of copyright infringement we seek to eliminate.

Remember: ?Winners, don’t do fandom!?

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