If This Is 'Piracy' Then I Support Piracy

from the cut-and-paste? dept

One of the common refrains in the comments from some of Techdirt’s biggest critics is that I’m a “piracy supporter.” I’m not sure what to make of such claims, because I don’t actually support or endorse copyright infringement. I don’t partake of it (willingly). I don’t use any file sharing programs for downloading or sharing content. I don’t download unauthorized music or movies. My position is solely from the point of view of the content creator and how they might be able to better engage their audiences and put in place smarter business models. Yet, for some reason, people keep trying to paint me, falsely, as a supporter of “piracy.”

Of course, what I do support is the creation of new and engaging content. What troubles me, is when people try to imply wonderful creative works are somehow not creative because they build on the works of people before them. Of course, that’s silly. All kinds of wonderful creative works you enjoy almost certainly come from near direct copies of things that came before. A lovely demonstration of this is seen in this short clip from the documentary RIP: A Remix Manifesto:

But I still feel that one of the best examples of creative works building on the works of others comes from Kutiman, the Israeli artist who burst on the scene two years ago with his absolutely amazing album Thru You, in which he assembled random clips from around YouTube — without permission — into an entire album that sounds absolutely nothing like its component pieces. Kutiman is the modern conductor, putting together an amazing, involuntary orchestra of players who don’t even know what’s happening. While he’s been somewhat quiet (though, apparently touring the world), Kutiman has just released a brand new track, once again combining various YouTube videos into quite the jazz song, entitled My Favorite Color:

Seeing people’s reactions when they first see the videos really is priceless. They’re amazed as they realize what’s happening. The one that seems to get the most attention (for plenty of good reasons) is the first track off the Thru You album, The Mother of All Funk Chords.

However, when trying to show the power of remixing and building on creativity, I actually think the second song from Thru You can be more instructive. That’s because if you break down a number of the component parts, you realize that some of them just aren’t all that impressive by themselves. Take, for example, trombone part that’s used in the song. When viewed by itself… it’s really nothing special:

Now, put it into the middle of a larger song, with the very accurate (for this discussion) title of This Is What It Became, and you get an incredibly powerful, haunting and moving trombone solo, which comes in at about 43 seconds:

And, if you look at some of the other component videos, including a family vacation video, a simple demo of a bass synth, a fire engine siren and even crappy toy piano, and pull it all together to become the song above… it’s really quite amazing.

And yet, to hear some people talk about these things, none of this is “creative.” It’s all just “copying.” In some cases it’s outright “piracy.” After all, Kutiman is using the works of others, and doing so entirely without permission. And yet, I have trouble seeing how anyone can legitimately claim that these songs are “piracy” in any real sense of the word. Kutiman is clearly a musician. That he uses a note played by someone else on a YouTube video, and then “plays” it himself, strikes me as no different than playing a keyboard that plays a recorded sounded, or even strumming a guitar. A musician is putting different sounds together to create music. Does it really make a huge difference if that music involves someone making a note from an instrument directly themselves… or by taking the note originally played by someone else and doing something creative and amazing with it?

Is this really the kind of thing that our politicians and copyright defenders mean to outlaw?

I’m not a supporter of copyright infringement or “piracy.” But if this is piracy, then I am a supporter of it. Because this is truly creative works, whether or not it’s built on the works of others.

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Comments on “If This Is 'Piracy' Then I Support Piracy”

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237 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Naturally, someone posts a little truth here, and is immediately censored.

No one denies that creative works can be obtained by using previously written material. That’s just another strawman. But if that creative work is still largely the work of someone else, well that’s why we have copyright, to protect those original creators.

So why is he an idiot that doesn’t understand what he supports? One reason might be that he posted a video demonstrating 3 songs that were ripoffs and then didn’t bother to explain the back story.

1. Led Zeppelin was successfully sued by Willie Dixon for ripping off ‘You Need Love’. I worked with Willie Dixon’s son for a few years, and the Dixon family has been able to live comfortably off those and other royalties.

2. The Stones ripped off Last Time from a gospel song that was in the public domain.

3. Verve was sued for ripping off Bittersweet Symphony and all songwriting credits and royalties now go to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

You would think someone that rails on copyright so much would understand fair use.

The reason Mike Masnick is called a piracy apologist and supporter is not because of his take on creative infringement, but his tacit approval of consumptive infringement. He has never offered any solutions to it, and all outside attempts to control it or enforce the law are rebuked with snarky, biased and misrepresented diatribes.

He is an indeed an idiot if he thinks people don’t see that.

cc (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Did Mike’s point totally fly over your head? Hmm, yes.

What you brand as ‘piracy’ has been around since time immemorial. It has always been the norm. The natural order. Ideas in all shapes and forms have always been copied and shared. Always. It’s a natural phenomenon.

You don’t need apologists for natural phenomena. You DO need apologists for laws that try to outlaw natural phenomena.

Therefore YOU are the apologist here.

YOU and your fellow trollmates are the morally bankrupt idiots who twist the law in ways that would make the founding fathers cringe. What’s worse, you don’t seem to realise you are acting like religious extremists, willing to bomb free speech and privacy in the name of your copyright god.

And then you come here and complain about “censorship” of your deliberately provocatory comments, just because your trolling got hidden.

You assholes make me sick.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I didn’t write the censored comment, Einstein.

And I don’t need a talentless content junkie like yourself to explain art to me, thanks.

If you’re too dense to understand the difference between being influenced by something and taking something essentially whole cloth, then that’s your problem, not mine.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Naturally, someone posts a little truth here, and is immediately censored.

No one denies that creative works can be obtained by using previously written material. That’s just another strawman. But if that creative work is still largely the work of someone else, well that’s why we have copyright, to protect those original creators.

So why is he an idiot that doesn’t understand what he supports? One reason might be that he posted a video demonstrating 3 songs that were ripoffs and then didn’t bother to explain the back story.

1. Led Zeppelin was successfully sued by Willie Dixon for ripping off ‘You Need Love’. I worked with Willie Dixon’s son for a few years, and the Dixon family has been able to live comfortably off those and other royalties.

2. The Stones ripped off Last Time from a gospel song that was in the public domain.

3. Verve was sued for ripping off Bittersweet Symphony and all songwriting credits and royalties now go to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

You would think someone that rails on copyright so much would understand fair use.

The reason Mike Masnick is called a piracy apologist and supporter is not because of his take on creative infringement, but his tacit approval of consumptive infringement. He has never offered any solutions to it, and all outside attempts to control it or enforce the law are rebuked with snarky, biased and misrepresented diatribes.

He is an indeed an idiot if he thinks people don’t see that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

Naturally, someone posts a little truth here, and is immediately censored.

No one denies that creative works can be obtained by using previously written material. That’s just another strawman. But if that creative work is still largely the work of someone else, well that’s why we have copyright, to protect those original creators.

So why is he an idiot that doesn’t understand what he supports? One reason might be that he posted a video demonstrating 3 songs that were ripoffs and then didn’t bother to explain the back story.

1. Led Zeppelin was successfully sued by Willie Dixon for ripping off ‘You Need Love’. I worked with Willie Dixon’s son for a few years, and the Dixon family has been able to live comfortably off those and other royalties.

2. The Stones ripped off Last Time from a gospel song that was in the public domain.

3. Verve was sued for ripping off Bittersweet Symphony and all songwriting credits and royalties now go to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

You would think someone that rails on copyright so much would understand fair use.

The reason Mike Masnick is called a piracy apologist and supporter is not because of his take on creative infringement, but his tacit approval of consumptive infringement. He has never offered any solutions to it, and all outside attempts to control it or enforce the law are rebuked with snarky, biased and misrepresented diatribes.

He is an indeed an idiot if he thinks people don’t see that.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

So why is it suddenly okay now for one type of infringement if all of it was bad not even last week? After all, the same damn person has been saying all along that all infringement, regardless of intent, is wrong. Bit of a turnaround, isn’t it?

Here’s the skinny; copyright has never been needed. Not ONCE has it actually benefitted society as a whole. It only benefitted a select few. It disincentivises new works by the same author because they know that they don’t need to produce or monetise their own works. It disincentivises creation of derivative works, because the original creators can just sue, or place punitive licensing terms on the derivative work.

There are people who remix tons of works each day, and a large percentage of that will probably be horrid dreck. However, there are some who know what they want to do with a number of works, and turn it into something creative; take for example, Girl Talk. Nearly everything he does transforms the work into something new. IF certain vested groups had their way, he would be hung, drawn and quartered, literally.

Another one is the case of Sony vs Hackers. Their neverending drive to control everything about their PS3 and NGP systems will drive people to their rivals – and all because, “someone might infringe on works”. Had they approached Geohot and asked him not to release the code politely, they wouldn’t be in the middle of a considerable PR disaster.

Moreover, the person I resoponded to was actually being a cunt, and has been so for at least three months. There is room for debate – there’s no need to come off as being a hypocritical ass. I’m insane, what’s his excuse?

Any Mouse (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

The first video in the article shows songs that were resung in new and interesting styles, and passed off as original works. They sound similar, and they are built upon the same music base, but they are not the same.

In fact, they were showing that some of the most loved songs in the past century were never completely original, whole-cloth from the artists’ creative mind. A point you miss.

In those case, the ‘original’ creators are often even older than the ones shown. Who were the original creators? Does anyone know? Very likely not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

The first video in the article shows songs that were resung in new and interesting styles

The first video is a textbook example of why copyright is a good thing.

If the slave that sang the original ‘You Need Love’ had been availed to copyright for their work, they could have fed their family on that song; as it stands at least another descendant of slaves, Willie Dixon, was able to do so; instead of Led Zeppelin making all the money.

Bittersweet Symphony is one of the most clear cut cases of infringement in song history. An enjoyable new style, but one that was only possible thanks to the original creator.

Who, thank god, was protected by copyright and given the credit due.

Never would have happened without copyright.

Eat that, Masnick.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Naturally, someone posts a little truth here, and is immediately censored.

No one denies that creative works can be obtained by using previously written material. That’s just another strawman. But if that creative work is still largely the work of someone else, well that’s why we have copyright, to protect those original creators.

So why is he an idiot that doesn’t understand what he supports? One reason might be that he posted a video demonstrating 3 songs that were ripoffs and then didn’t bother to explain the back story.

1. Led Zeppelin was successfully sued by Willie Dixon for ripping off ‘You Need Love’. I worked with Willie Dixon’s son for a few years, and the Dixon family has been able to live comfortably off those and other royalties.

2. The Stones ripped off Last Time from a gospel song that was in the public domain.

3. Verve was sued for ripping off Bittersweet Symphony and all songwriting credits and royalties now go to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

You would think someone that rails on copyright so much would understand fair use.

The reason Mike Masnick is called a piracy apologist and supporter is not because of his take on creative infringement, but his tacit approval of consumptive infringement. He has never offered any solutions to it, and all outside attempts to control it or enforce the law are rebuked with snarky, biased and misrepresented diatribes.

He is an indeed an idiot if he thinks people don’t see that.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

If the slave that sang the original ‘You Need Love’ had been availed to copyright for their work, they could have fed their family on that song

If the slave that sang the original “You Need Love” had been able to copyright that song, all of the profits would have gone to the slave owner.

Exactly like it is now.

Jay says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“The reason Mike Masnick is called a piracy apologist and supporter is not because of his take on creative infringement, but his tacit approval of consumptive infringement.”

And there’s the crux of the issue. As I understand it, Mike has reiterated about 5600+ times that if you can learn to make money by taking advantage of digital tools, piracy is the least of your concerns. You have Bittorrent, you have Ustream, you have Jamendo, and you have cyberlockers that are NOT going away.

You also have the “gatekeeper” society that will have to die in order for us, as a society, to move on. How they come back and resurrect themselves is up to them, but at the very least, I would say that no matter who you dismiss as “that other side” the facts continue to remain the same. Piracy and potentially lost sales aren’t the problem here. What IS the problem is the failure to adapt.

The RIAA could have put up a donation button a LOOOONG time ago. They could have reached out to the consumer base and said “Look, we’re not understanding this Napster crap, and we want you all to buy CDs. What can we do to appease you, the fans of [artist]?”

They decided that wasn’t going to be their strategy.

You have the MPAA trying to take down websites for CI. How has that worked in the Bittorrent era?

The problem continues to look at you in the face. You just need to burn the sand until it’s nice and shiny.

“He has never offered any solutions to it, and all outside attempts to control it or enforce the law are rebuked with snarky, biased and misrepresented diatribes.”

Uhm… Have you looked at the artists making money? How about Magnatune’s success, the success of Jamendo, and the success of every last artist on Myspace that actually works for it?

Why can you not be happy for the artists that have better positions to negotiate with labels? Why is it that you sit here and try these ad hominem attacks? If you want to read the site, you have a google search. Just look up some of the ones that use Garageband, Kickstarter, and look at how they do it through their own due diligence.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

All of that has been said before. If Jamendo was so great then it would see the same traffic as the Pirate Bay.

If there was a better business model for entertainment it would have been tried long ago.

You’re now seeing what the entertainment industry’s model is going to be in this millennium: further expansion in the digital realm and long overdue enforcement of their rights in the digital realm. No amount of complaining here or anywhere else is going to change that.

cc (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“If there was a better business model for entertainment it would have been tried long ago.”

I’m sure other things were tried before copyright came along in 1700. Plus, the internet as we know it didn’t exist a mere 15 years ago — this is the disruptive thing that is raining on your parade of spectres, and trying to legislate around it is like trying to legislate around the elephant in the room.

“You’re now seeing what the entertainment industry’s model is going to be in this millennium: further expansion in the digital realm and long overdue enforcement of their rights in the digital realm. No amount of complaining here or anywhere else is going to change that.”

Whatever. You won’t have my rights without a fight, nor those of my children, or my children’s children. When the blood money you get from this whole deal runs out, your children’s children will be in the same boat as the rest of us, so well done.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Naturally, someone posts a little truth here, and is immediately censored.

No one denies that creative works can be obtained by using previously written material. That’s just another strawman. But if that creative work is still largely the work of someone else, well that’s why we have copyright, to protect those original creators.

So why is he an idiot that doesn’t understand what he supports? One reason might be that he posted a video demonstrating 3 songs that were ripoffs and then didn’t bother to explain the back story.

1. Led Zeppelin was successfully sued by Willie Dixon for ripping off ‘You Need Love’. I worked with Willie Dixon’s son for a few years, and the Dixon family has been able to live comfortably off those and other royalties.

2. The Stones ripped off Last Time from a gospel song that was in the public domain.

3. Verve was sued for ripping off Bittersweet Symphony and all songwriting credits and royalties now go to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

You would think someone that rails on copyright so much would understand fair use.

The reason Mike Masnick is called a piracy apologist and supporter is not because of his take on creative infringement, but his tacit approval of consumptive infringement. He has never offered any solutions to it, and all outside attempts to control it or enforce the law are rebuked with snarky, biased and misrepresented diatribes.

He is an indeed an idiot if he thinks people don’t see that.

Jay says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Thank you for closing off your end of the debate. Since we all know that you won’t read this I’ll post it up here for posterity:

But expanded police power
and diminished judicial safeguards are viewed in many countries as recipes for abuse?especially
in contexts where police forces have been deliberately decentralized or subjected to sharp
judicial checks on power, as in Mexico and Brazil. The private direction of public enforcement
is also problematic on a number of levels, and raises concerns about accountability, fairness,
and due process.

The lack of a clear enforcement endgame contributes to these concerns. The moral
framework of anti-piracy campaigns makes it difficult to articulate an acceptable level of
piracy that would set a boundary against the erosion of civil liberties. In this environment,
enforcement policies have a strong tendency to fail up. Measures that do little more than
inconvenience pirates will tend to be portrayed as insufficient rather than misguided, creating
pressure for stronger, more pervasive, more expensive enforcement. Although greater public
capacity to enforce might, in theory, diminish the incentives for private involvement, we have
found no examples of private-sector pullback from this role in any of the countries examined
in this report. Indeed the opposite is often true: greater public-sector buy-in on enforcement
signals compliance, which spurs greater private sector involvement and investment. Although
industry association members have shown signs of balking at the high costs of enforcement,
they have expanded efforts to shift costs to other actors, including governments and ISPs.

Page 20 – Media Piracy in Emerging EconomiesLink

Enjoy thinking the world is coming to an end. It will, but not the way you imagine.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Naturally, someone posts a little truth here, and is immediately censored.

No one denies that creative works can be obtained by using previously written material. That’s just another strawman. But if that creative work is still largely the work of someone else, well that’s why we have copyright, to protect those original creators.

So why is he an idiot that doesn’t understand what he supports? One reason might be that he posted a video demonstrating 3 songs that were ripoffs and then didn’t bother to explain the back story.

1. Led Zeppelin was successfully sued by Willie Dixon for ripping off ‘You Need Love’. I worked with Willie Dixon’s son for a few years, and the Dixon family has been able to live comfortably off those and other royalties.

2. The Stones ripped off Last Time from a gospel song that was in the public domain.

3. Verve was sued for ripping off Bittersweet Symphony and all songwriting credits and royalties now go to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

You would think someone that rails on copyright so much would understand fair use.

The reason Mike Masnick is called a piracy apologist and supporter is not because of his take on creative infringement, but his tacit approval of consumptive infringement. He has never offered any solutions to it, and all outside attempts to control it or enforce the law are rebuked with snarky, biased and misrepresented diatribes.

He is an indeed an idiot if he thinks people don’t see that.

Jay says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

With Doug Morrison being clueless as the head of… Sony was it? I see…

So you’re basically ignoring all of the smaller artists that are on the come up to say that the Big Four will survive this next decade basically intact. I believe, I’ll just strongly disagree there.

BTW, something to know. The industry could probably dissolve tomorrow and I’m pretty sure that music will be created in ever larger doses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

1. It’s Doug Morris

2.If all majors died tomorrow, so what? Some other label would take their place the NEXT DAY. It’s like a hydra. Only legal and for real.

And what do you care about the majors? You guys rape poor indies all the time. Like you only rip off the majors, LOL

When are you ever going to come up with an argument that isn’t laughable? Never.

cc (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“I didn’t write the censored comment, Einstein.”

Never said you did, Einstein.

“And I don’t need a talentless content junkie like yourself to explain art to me, thanks.”

I’m not a pirate, not a content junkie, sorry. Talentless? You know me so well.

“If you’re too dense to understand the difference between being influenced by something and taking something essentially whole cloth, then that’s your problem, not mine.”

Mike understands it, and I understand it. He even says he supports ‘piracy’ like in the videos (sampling, therefore not fair use, mind you; “creative infringement” in your terminology), but doesn’t support unauthorized wholesale content copying.

However, as far as I’m concerned the distinction is generally rather pointless, since my problem is with the ever-more cruel copyright enforcement attempts that increasingly limit people’s rights.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Naturally, someone posts a little truth here, and is immediately censored.

No one denies that creative works can be obtained by using previously written material. That’s just another strawman. But if that creative work is still largely the work of someone else, well that’s why we have copyright, to protect those original creators.

So why is he an idiot that doesn’t understand what he supports? One reason might be that he posted a video demonstrating 3 songs that were ripoffs and then didn’t bother to explain the back story.

1. Led Zeppelin was successfully sued by Willie Dixon for ripping off ‘You Need Love’. I worked with Willie Dixon’s son for a few years, and the Dixon family has been able to live comfortably off those and other royalties.

2. The Stones ripped off Last Time from a gospel song that was in the public domain.

3. Verve was sued for ripping off Bittersweet Symphony and all songwriting credits and royalties now go to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

You would think someone that rails on copyright so much would understand fair use.

The reason Mike Masnick is called a piracy apologist and supporter is not because of his take on creative infringement, but his tacit approval of consumptive infringement. He has never offered any solutions to it, and all outside attempts to control it or enforce the law are rebuked with snarky, biased and misrepresented diatribes.

He is an indeed an idiot if he thinks people don’t see that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Consumptive infringiment is consuming without paying?

LoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooL

WTF is wrong with you?

Do you pay to watch TV I don’t I’m a consumptive infringer, I listen to free radio I’m infringing on the rights of some crazy person that thinks I should be paying for every instance where I consume something incidental or not.

I also lend, share and give away things I bought to others I can’t help myself of being a criminal now.

Creative infringement is even more hilarious.

About where to go sit and spin, can I sit on your head and shit while I’m spinning on it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Quote:

consumptive infringement: consuming without payment.

That still seems vague, I consume a lot of things that I don’t pay like free radio, free TV, borough books, CD’s, DVD’s, Bluray’s, cloth, cars, food is that all infringing?

LoL

Quote:

creative infringement: infringing in the creation of a new work.

The same thing as above, apparently there is no lines, no gray areas no mistakes possible, there are no lines, there are no limits to what constitute infringement so we all are infringers is that right?

Care to spin some more? I’m will enjoy sitting on your head while I take a dump on it.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

AC1: To not pay for every instance of consumption is piracy now?

AC2: consumptive infringement: consuming without payment.

According to this douche, yes. I guess everyone who buys a used CD or checks a book out of the library is a pirate now.

And, AC2: “you don’t understand what you’re supporting” really just means “I think you’re supporting something that you’re not.” Might want to check that.

Also: I generally don’t like when commenters here report people they don’t agree with. But since you’re doing nothing but lying and throwing insults around, I’ll make an exception.

Steve says:

Re: Anonymous Coward

“Then you are an idiot, because you don’t even truly understand what you support.”

Please oh great and powerful coward. Educate us. Teach us how it’s right for Disney to build upon the work of the Brothers Grimm (The Seven Dwarfs), but it’s wrong for there artists to build upon the work of others.

Loonesta says:

Re: Re: Anonymous Coward

It’s another thing to do your alleged creative “building” by literally sampling the other artists’ efforts. Posting a YouTube video is not implied consent to having its contents appropriated by less creative people who are desperately trying to come across as “gifted” on your coat-tails. Consider making a painting wherein your influence from DaVinci is to literally use cut-up pieces of the Mona Lisa. That’s what this crap is like.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Anonymous Coward

Windows was cut-up “crap” from a user interface design by Xerox, Shakespeare was cut-up “crap” from many other playwrights of the time, the famous Obama colorized poster was cut-up “crap” from a photograph?

Who are you to judge the impact of these works on our culture?

Or, another alternative: please define, SPECIFICALLY, where the line is between cut-up “crap” and what you think is an acceptable creation.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Then you are an idiot, because you don’t even truly understand what you support.”

You’re not being very helpful here, even by the low standards I’ve come to expect. Please could you tell us why you believe he doesn’t truly understand what he supports? You might want to start by telling us what you believe he supports. Also of use would be whether you believe the above examples constitute piracy or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Here, let me start you down the road.

Ever here of the term “slippery slope”?

A little piracy, or a little violating copyright “because it is creative” is the first step on a slippery slope.

It is in the same manner as the recent ruling supporting those (very annoying) funeral protesters. If you are willing to take away their rights, it is a slippery slope until rights are taken away from many.

If you are willing to tolerate some violation of copyright, you are in the same hot tub as the pirates, hackers, and so on willing to make off with anything that isn’t virtually nailed down.

Slippery slope.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“It is in the same manner as the recent ruling supporting those (very annoying) funeral protesters. If you are willing to take away their rights, it is a slippery slope until rights are taken away from many.”

It’s stunning that you got your own analogy so backasswards. Here’s its real version:

It is in the same manner as the recent ruling supporting those (very annoying) funeral protesters. If you’re willing to take away their rights to free speech, it’s a slippery slope until rights for speech are taken away from many. That’s why we support not taking away the right of creators to create, because if you start taking away that right, it’s a slippery slope to nothing being created.

Which, of course, is an equally stupid argument to make based on the slippery slope fallacy.

Someone else asked you to try again. Me? I ask that you don’t….

RadialSkid (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Here, let me turn your post around on you.

Ever here of the term “slippery slope”?

A little copyright, or a little trademark or patent, “because I deserve to get paid” is the first step on a slippery slope.

It is in the same manner as the recent ruling supporting those (very annoying) funeral protesters. If you are willing to take away their rights, it is a slippery slope until rights are taken away from many.

If you are willing to tolerate some restrictions on culture, you are in the same hot tub as anyone who seeks to stifle free speech, the right to bear arms, reasonable restrictions on searches and seizures, and everyone else who wishes to restrict the evolution of culture by making sure everything is virtually nailed down.

Slippery slope.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I have come to a point where I am tired of posts from ACs that add less than nothing to the conversation. If all they contain is ad hominem attacks and absolutely nothing to debate, I am just clicking the report button now. If you guys have a point, you can easily make it without all the ad hominems you so willingly throw about. If you have evidence for your arguments, please show us where. If it is just your opinion, please state so. I do not feel I am really asking that much unless A) You have no purpose here other than to be a jackwagon, or B) You have no argument and are just making stuff up.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Freedom of speech applies to the government, not to individuals. I don’t have the right to stand on your lawn and shout at your family as they walk by; neither do you have a right to post on TechDirt.

That said, I wouldn’t support getting rid of Anons. Some of them actually contribute and it’s easy enough to mark down the trolls.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Chris, do you realize the logical corner you back yourself into with this? Techdirt is all about standing on everyone else’s lawn and doing whatever you want, because lawns are infinite and it doesn’t matter.

What you are admitting is that both sides have rights. In the case of copyright, shouldn’t it be the same? Just as these people have the right to be “artists”, do the people they decide to remix also not have the right to be asked, and to opt not to be part of it?

I can invite you on my lawn to yell if I like. You can’t go there alone. The difference is clear. Can you please explain it to Mike?

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Techdirt is all about standing on everyone else’s lawn and doing whatever you want, because lawns are infinite and it doesn’t matter. “

Technically, copying in the lawn analogy would be standing on a lawn that looked just like someone else’s, but without the consequence of them even knowing of your existence.

“What you are admitting is that both sides have rights.”

Doesn’t that generally go without saying? Unless the other side is an alien.

‘Just as these people have the right to be “artists”, do the people they decide to remix also not have the right to be asked, and to opt not to be part of it?’

They may, then again they may not. They certainly don’t have the right to be asked just because the remixer has the right to remix, which is what you’re implying.

“I can invite you on my lawn to yell if I like. You can’t go there alone.”

Again, this isn’t so much yelling on your lawn, but one that looks like yours and in this case only partially.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Mike, how about we scrap the ability to post anonymously? In fact why not give the facebook commenting API a trial? I know it removed most trolling issues on TechCrunch

Not happening. We’ve discussed this plenty of times. We want to be open to whoever wants to post comments here (outside of spam). Just last week 3 of the top 4 most “insightful” posts came from Anonymous commenters.

Do not confuse anonymity with the quality of comments.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Do not confuse anonymity with the quality of comments.”

It seems that those who lack confidence in their position will often resort to posting anonymously. I guess for the obvious reason that they can say what they like without fear that someone will judge their comments on subsequent threads in light of what they’ve said previously.

It is fortunate for them that other anonymous posters make the option worthwhile to keep.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I have confidence in my positions. I just don’t see the reason why a comment from “viaelamor” is any more useful than one from “xyz” or “anonymous guy”. If you were actually signing your real name (with address, phone number, and your IM) you might have a point. But on a site with nothing but nicknames, it is sort of meaningless to claim that one group of posters are any different from anyone else.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“I have confidence in my positions.”

Then what I said doesn’t apply to you, obviously. Although there are probably other less than justified reasons to post anonymously that I didn’t cover.

‘I just don’t see the reason why a comment from “viaelamor” is any more useful than one from “xyz” or “anonymous guy”‘

Why don’t you see that? It’s been explained enough times. I have a consistent identity on this site whereas you only have a consistent identity on this thread. You are able to associate what I have said in previous threads to what I say now. I have heard the argument that only what you’re saying now matters, but that only applies if you are dealing in verifiable facts, not opinions. Forming an opinion about someone is a basic tool we use to determine whether what others say is worth reading, whether what others say should change our own opinion and whether what others say is likely to be true or false. If we dealt only with immediately verifiable facts then we probably wouldn’t need to communicate anyway.

“If you were actually signing your real name (with address, phone number, and your IM) you might have a point”

You have never explained to me why it would be useful to have my real name or other traceable details. I suspect that anything you might come up with in that regard would also apply to having a consistent identity. Lacking your explanation, I’m left to speculate that you don’t actually have a point but are merely using my lack of a real name to point to in lieu of a real issue.

“But on a site with nothing but nicknames, it is sort of meaningless to claim that one group of posters are any different from anyone else.”

Perhaps if I were generous then I could conclude that you are mistaking the issue for that of proof of identity. That may be an issue, but you’ll have to be more explicit in explaining why the issue of proof of identity makes the issue of having a consistent identity meaningless.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Simply put, if you have a consistent name to refer to, I can separate your assertions from the masses of faceless trolls that frequent this site. I can also more effectively debate your points because I know better what your position is. Without an attributable avatar to refer to, you can’t except anything but prejudgement from registered users about your motives and agenda.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“Simply put, if you have a consistent name to refer to, I can separate your assertions from the masses of faceless trolls that frequent this site. I can also more effectively debate your points because I know better what your position is. Without an attributable avatar to refer to, you can’t except anything but prejudgement from registered users about your motives and agenda.”

If they get it this time then I’m going to congratulate you for catering to their attention span. And try it myself sometime.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Positive feedback from one of the artists

“wondered if I’d ever have heard her if not for this cornucopia of supposed infringement”

One of the interesting aspects of Kutiman’s work is the processing he does to the clips used, whether to make the sound fit better or just to clean them up. The processing on her vocals seems mostly stylistic compared to some of the others which have been drastically altered just to be usable, but either way the editing likely gives the clips a new audience even without taking the mixing into account.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

I support this.

You can call it “piracy.” You can call it “derivative.” You can call it “infringement.” You can call it whatever your joyless mind imagines it to be. If you can’t see the beauty of creating something cohesive from a collection of unrelated parts, then your definition of “art” is incredibly narrow.

If you can’t find a single thing interesting or wondrous or flat-out kickass in Kutiman’s works or the works of the thousands of other cut-n-paste and mashup artists, then I truly believe your soul is dead. It most likely died at whatever point you believe music stopped being “innovative.” (In most cases, this seems to be somewhere in the late 1970’s. Of course, there are always outliers…)

Go ahead and heap your derision on these works of art. You’ll receive nothing but scorn, lightly sprinkled with pity, from me.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: I support this.

If you can’t find a single thing interesting or wondrous or flat-out kickass in Kutiman’s works or the works of the thousands of other cut-n-paste and mashup artists, then I truly believe your soul is dead

That’s the ticket right there. Techdirt is frequented by Trolls Without Souls. If Kutiman is wrong, I don’t wanna be right…

CommonSense (profile) says:

Re: I support this.

A friend of mine in college was in the Art program. He took a class where he had to build a sculpture. He took a bunch of old things he had laying around, including a car that didn’t run anymore, and turned it into his class project. He did a great job, and got an A (A- iirc) because his artist teacher recognized it as art, and a job well done. If that is art, then this is art. If someone tries to tell me that Chevy could have sued this guy for using one of their cars in his sculpture, I will slap them in their face for being stupid. This is like that case. If you think this is piracy, you aren’t informed enough for your opinion to really matter.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I support this.

You are falling into Mike’s logical fallacy here. I am not against art.

But we all have rights. Artists have the right to make art, but the people who make and own that art have the choice of not allowing it to be part of other people’s art.

The works in the technical sense are amazing. In the legal sense, they violate copyright in many cases, and may also violate rights regarding the use of likeness, etc.

There is a balance. If the artist asks and gets permission, there is no issue.

It isn’t about art, it’s about people who cannot respect the work or the privacy of others.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I support this.

Karma really is a bitch, you at how you get all rilled up because you are powerless to stop people from ripping you off LoL

It is funny to see you, trying to portray fantasies as reality since everybody knows you can do nothing about it and that is a fact a very real one that anyone can check it out by simply copying anything, there will be no sirens, no helicopters and no invoices and that is why I just smile at your angry fits, because they are like that angry kid on Youtube that smashes everything and changes nothing.

Sneeje (profile) says:

Re: Re: I support this.

NO THEY DON’T HAVE THE CHOICE OF NOT ALLOWING IT TO BE PART OF OTHER PEOPLE’S ART!

They only have the choice of sharing or not sharing. Once it is shared, it will become part of someone else’s art. PERIOD.

If we’re going to talk fallacious slippery slopes, what about the slippery slope of the monopoly on the specific expression? Today, we are well down that slope–meaning, infringement is claimed on all kinds of things that use PART of an expression, sometimes nothing more than a name (e.g., sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird). Why are you afraid of one slippery slope leading to complete piracy and not the other which could lead to the implosion of cultural progress?

(sorry to shout).

Atkray (profile) says:

Re: Re: I support this.

“You are falling into Mike’s logical fallacy here. I am not against art.”

No, from your comments it becomes apparent you are against anyone using anything that you feel you are somehow entitled to be paid for.

“But we all have rights. Artists have the right to make art, but the people who make and own that art have the choice of not allowing it to be part of other people’s art.”

Artists make art not commercial products.
It is because of the good nature of people and the sympathy they have for the ever-popular tortured artist that Artists have been able to make money from their craft.

Welcome to 2011, Ideas travel at light speed across the internet.

Artists have abused the sympathy people once had for them and now feel scorn and contempt because they see how the artists have placed themselves above the masses as an elite group that deserves the special treatment that was once given.

Artists are feeling that they no longer have respect given to them, so just as you do here, they demand what they want.

Go to a high school with your arguments and talk with the students, they will laugh you off campus. It has been stated before but those clinging to the old ways are increasingly becoming irrelevant.

If you are an artist you will create because you have to. It is inside you and you have to let it out whether you are paid or not. It is a gift that many do not have. In the past this made your art valuable to others. Now there are more artists in more art forms and more people with the time and resources to explore their own creativity. The rare thing that once was valued by society is becoming more common and the value is decreasing.

True artists create for the joy it gives them and the satisfaction of having others appreciate something they created.

Yes there are ways to monetize this but the old ways no longer are working(that is what Mike keeps trying to point out to you) and in fact are disliked by the rising generation.

If you want to create by all means do so but if you are concerned about what might happen to it if someone else sees it then lock it up in your basement. Then when they come and kick the door in because your corpse has started to stink people and the landlady or your kids go down to the basement they will exclaim “What a shame he never showed this to the rest of the world”, and you will have the reward you deserve.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: I support this.

Quote:

The works in the technical sense are amazing. In the legal sense, they violate copyright in many cases, and may also violate rights regarding the use of likeness, etc.

Copyright is wrong then, because if what you say is true every writer in the world is a criminal for copy & pasting words from dictionaries.

It can be argued that those bits and pieces are just blocks that form an original work not a derivative one, that can’t be possible “piracy”.

Now I don’t like copyright, copying something is a natural human response, is how we learn and it is how we survived and flourished, copying doesn’t take away from people it enhances the world we live in, things are only useful if people can make use of them, they become less useful if they cannot use it, further this copyright craze control thing will harm artists because of exactly that, because it kills the soil they need to flourish and grow, with people not making use of it they have nothing to sell and people will just migrate naturally to things that can be used for free and create opportunities to others to make money.

In music musicians shouldn’t be worried about who is selling their music or who is distributing it, the real product is not the music that is just a vector for the musician to get recognition and be needed for other things like live performances, product endorsements and so forth, his real work is creating the right conditions for him to succeed, but this control nonsense have gone to far, they are asking for people to turn their backs on them and have to pay attention to licenses now, people will learn their lesson and start using free legal alternatives and those other people will be forced to migrate to that very system they don’t like and because of the very laws they are putting in place it will be very difficult to argue against that in the future and that is priceless.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I support this.

I just want to add the following. Although I understand the use of the term “cut and paste artist” as an effect statement I’m not sure those people really are derivatives, not more derivative than a writer cutting and collating words on a sheet of paper from a dictionary to make a new work, culture is the dictionary of the people and we draw from that to create things, because of that I don’t think those works are derivatives but are new expressions all together.

Jay says:

Two things at work regarding piracy...

Two things that I’ve noticed when arguing piracy is that people automatically bring up a moralistic tone when viewing it. Like you say, Mike, it’s as if people look at copyright infringement as a zero-sum game where people are forced to change or adapt to the new digital reality of today.

What’s incredibly amazing is how people take the concept of “artist rights” and absolutely ignore what you’ve just shown:

These are the new creators, building off of older works. And it sounds amazing.

The second thing is that people automatically blame the torrent provider, the website, or something static. Let’s forget the fact that there are a plethora of people that want the content for a cheaper price… The fact that it’s out there means that someone isn’t paying money for it so we fall back into the immoral loop of people getting angry at the fact that hey, music still lives on in new ways.

Good job on showing the difference.

Nom du Clavier (profile) says:

Re: Two things at work regarding piracy...

These are the new creators, building off of older works. And it sounds amazing.

I think humans have probably been in the remixing game since one of them used to pieces of wood to make fire and accidentally discovered that banging them together in certain ways sounded kinda nice.

Consider the rest of knowledge similarly shared and remixed to figure out ever better ways to make fire (and make music) and all manner of other unrelated discoveries by happenstance.

If early humans had started out with ACTA, we’d probably have died out a long time ago for failing to come up with better ways to get our basic staple foods sorted.

It’s probably a good thing it looked more like PD (CC0) or CC{-By}-SA until relatively recently in our history.

Anonymous Coward says:

Is this really the kind of thing that our politicians and copyright defenders mean to outlaw?

I’m not a supporter of copyright infringement or “piracy.” But if this is piracy, then I am a supporter of it. Because this is truly creative works, whether or not it’s built on the works of others.

I’m one of those copyright defenders you speak of, but like Terry Hart, I make a distinction between consumptive and creative infringement: http://www.copyhype.com/2010/09/creative-vs-consumptive-infringement/

I am all for making fair use more explicit and more “fair” so creative uses of other people’s materials is less of a gray area and more clearly not piracy.

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I think that’s an artificial distinction. I actually do stuff with the crap I buy and/or D/L but I don’t always know beforehand what I’m going to do with it. (And I stopped D/Ling from iTunes precisely because I wasn’t able to reuse it easily.)

I understand your thinking, it’s how I approach fonts, but not everyone works that way. In fact, I’m betting most don’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You know what another word for creative infringement is?

Art.

I agree that it’s art, and I’m one of the most (if not the most) prolific Techdirt pro-copyright commentators (aka AJ). It’s also probably infringement. I personally think fair use should have more bright line rules, so remixes and such can be created with the knowledge and security that it’s not infringement.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Kudos to you for the well reasoned and intelligent posts. I miss those from you, and when you were logged in. The only thing I don’t miss is when stress or .. something? got to you and you started posting for about a month like those other ACs. I defended you a few times because of the great comments you used to post like this. Please, keep posting intelligently without attacks like you have here. It is very welcomed.

KMA (profile) says:

There are some really good points of view posted here, and, of course, the truly clueless who feel they need to post their brainless idiocy for all to scratch their heads and wonder “huh”?

I strongly believe in freedom of speech! That being said, SOME people should have their tongues cut out….. (or at least their fingers broken so they can’t type offensive attacks).

Maybe it’s time for techdirt to turn off the reader responses.

Read the articles, take them or leave them, without comments would be a nice thing.

DJ (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m noticing a bit of a schism:
You say you believe in free speech, yet you say that some people should not be allowed to express their opinions so that you don’t have to “wade through the daily garbage to get to the roses”.
So which is it? Freedom of Speech across the board, or only for those who are deemed “worthy”?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

There are some really good points of view posted here, and, of course, the truly clueless who feel they need to post their brainless idiocy for all to scratch their heads and wonder “huh”?

That’s ok. It simply is a good way to strengthen reasonable arguments. People who don’t understand these things always hit back with such responses, and I find that even when it’s frustrating and some of the commenters are clearly here for the sport of disagreeing, reading through what they have to say and responding to them makes for better, more thorough, and more well thought out posts in the future.

The site wouldn’t be the same without them.

bob (profile) says:

You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

This is a completely different beast from what goes on at RapidShare, Megaupload and all of the other excuses for navelgazing about fair use. This is something that’s worthy of the debate.

What I always find frustrating is that this is one of the rare posts where you even hint that maybe there’s a difference. In nerd land, programmers like to create logical sophistries and suggest that maybe some torrent site is “speaking” when it points to a location of getting copyrighted material. Therefore any limitation is–OMG, OMG, OMG– a violation of the First Amendment.

Balderdash. This is crying wolf and your repeated attempts to lump some cheap jerk with a bittorrent tracker with what Martin Luther King and many others did is pretty crass. It makes us dismiss you and assume that you have the inability to see the difference.

If you want to complete the circle, start looking at the prices that RapidShare and the other USENET slime charge. Then compare it to the prices that the NYT charges. Don’t you think that perhaps the NYT — the unionized NYT that pays for health care– is somehow, maybe, contributing more to society despite the complexity and fragility of it’s paywall? If you’re really against piracy, you should start condemning these equally paywalled sites and their wink-wink-wink treatment of piracy. Then start admitting that there’s a difference.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

BoingBoing is just a symbol for many bloggers. It’s one thing to complain about the biggest blog in the world. It’s another to pick on some kid.

But I’ll be happy to bring you updates. If you ask me, they seem to be avoiding some of the easy plagiarism that allowed them to knock off articles in a few minutes. But I may be speaking too soon.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

Thank you Bob for expanding on my #1 comment on this thread.

Those who seek to hide behind “good”, to somehow hide their bad acts from people are the worst of the worst. Around here, it starts with the “legal uses of bit torrent” and crash lands through jumping into the hidey holes of the 1st amendment.

What is most amusing is when Mike gets all uppity when he gets called on it.

cc (profile) says:

Re: Re: You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

Hold on, aren’t you the ones hiding behind words like “property” and “rights” to describe monopolies that limit people’s rights? Aren’t you the ones exploiting “bugs” in the law to justify internet censorship and Orwell-level surveillance, while pretending that’s exactly what the constitution intended? Aren’t you the ones who pretend copyright is about “artists” and patents about “inventors”, to hijack the legal process and pass protectionist laws on behalf of a bunch of anti-competitive corporations? Aren’t you really not the defenders of justice that you claim to be, but a bunch of lawyers with massive conflicts of interest on these issues?

You are the ones spinning lies and hiding behind “good”. You are the ones killing free speech and privacy. You are the ones corrupting the system. You are public enemy number fucking one, whether you tossers like it or not.

FFS.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

The issue with your whole “both sides have rights” idea is that both sides do not have natural rights. There is no natural right to words or music or anything – once it is made public, it is impossible for you to defend it by any natural means the way you can defend your home or car or other possessions.

Now, I agree that creators do deserve certain rights, and that’s what copyright does: grant those unnatural rights in the form of a contract with the public. I am all for this: start at the natural baseline of ideas being free and uncontrollable (because, quite simply, they are) then carefully add artificial rights until a balance is struck. That is how copyright came into being.

The problem is that now copyright has been so massively expanded that people view it as the natural baseline, and any exceptions to it as artificial allowances. That is the complete opposite of the truth. It’s looking at the entire situation backwards.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

You know goddamn well that the content you lift is not egregiously outdated copyrighted stuff.

Er… did I say it was?

I have never denied that I engage in casual piracy on a regular basis. Go ahead and lambast me for that all you like. I’m going to go listen to some Kutiman.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

Marcus, I have to say that this is truly one of the weakest arguments going.

Civilized life is based on the idea that, beyond the natural rights (sun comes up, sun goes down, breath in, breath out), we can move forward as a people and as a society by making choices and compromises, even if those choices are not apparently to everyone’s benefit at first blush.

In a civilized society, we accept and work with those choices and compromises, and make them the baseline of our behaviors and actions. For those people who cannot follow those baseline rules, we have things like prison.

If we don’t like the choice and compromises, we don’t pick up weapons are shoot each other (as has happened in other countries), rather we would within our democratic systems for change, electing new representatives, new governments, and new administrators that better reflect our views. Not our personal views, but the views and the will of the people as a whole. We accept and respect that the will of the people as a whole may be different from our personal views, and we don’t answer with a gun or with an attack.

Copyright is the baseline now, just as speed limits are the baseline, just as property taxes are the baseline, just as all of those taxes taken off of your (buggy whip newspaper job) paycheck are the baseline. We don’t get to choose to ignore those baselines without risking penalty. You also can’t ignore those baselines without affecting the other people who are using them.

What you are suggesting is that you want a sort of anarchy, where you can select the rules you like, and ignore the ones you don’t, no matter what that does to others. It sounds selfish.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

“If we don’t like the choice and compromises, we don’t pick up weapons are shoot each other (as has happened in other countries)”

I feel compelled to point out that the United States of America was founded on a revolutionary war and has had a civil war since then. Pointing to other countries and suggesting they’re not civilised merely for the fact that they have civil wars suggests that the US wasn’t civilised until the late 1860’s. The first US copyright act was in 1790. Of course, none of that matters except to illustrate the absurdity of your statements.

“What you are suggesting is that you want a sort of anarchy”

It’ll probably annoy you but I’m going to bring up civil disobedience here. Was all Rosa Parks wanted a sort of anarchy?

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

Wow. Understanding the basis of copyright law and its history, and the ways in which it has been expanded to the point that its efficacy is highly questionable – that’s “one of the weakest arguments going”?

Well, that explains why you fail to have even a basic grasp on these issues…

DJ (profile) says:

Re: You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

TANGENT!
“Don’t you think that perhaps…unionized NYT that pays for health care…is somehow, maybe, contributing more to society….”

When unions first came about in the US in the 1950’s, they had their place because management attempts to violate contract provisions of their employees was quite common; it still happens, so unions still do have a place.
However, nowadays most unions are simply taking employee funds and using them to lobby for political ideals. How does this help the worker? Answer: it doesn’t, it helps union leaders and ONLY union leaders.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

Am I the only one that thinks this post is a mashup of the last weeks worth of news?

Threadjack #1: The nice part about nerd land: Logic rules. Something illogical is picked apart to figure out how it ticks. Then we figure out how to make it better, and more logical.

Threadjack #2: I think commenting systems should come w/ a flowchart for people when they are typing out their comments. Maybe that would make people stop and think….”Is what I am saying even have a flow or make sense?”.

I think the biggest issue is that where nerd land wants defined boundaries, rules and pricing, greed land likes to lump it all together under one “piracy” umbrella and charge and arm and a leg, multiple times, forever.

Chris in Utah (profile) says:

Re: Re: You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

Actually I don’t think the analogy nerd land fits. Anybody over the IQ of 90 these days know what logic gaps are even if they don’t know the definition of any of the fallacies.

Insulting someones intelligence is what it boils down to and the scream issues forth from both sides so an agenda can take place. ie. Abortion debate. Vilify both sides so nothing meaningful can come about.

Ben (profile) says:

We are lucky

that patents did not exist when the 12 note Western music scales were developed. EVERY SINGLE DAMN musician today would be unable to create music without paying a license fee to long dead gregorian monks.

D#? Oh yeah, patented. And A through G#, sorry buddy.

Percussion too.

Whistling would come with penalty of death for patent infringement. Woe betide anyone with musical farts

Frost (profile) says:

"Copyright" is the violation, not breaching it

It’s ridiculous that we even have such a brouhaha over copyright violations. Copyright in itself is something we have to transcend, just like we have to transcend money. Sharing the culture is unabashedly a positive thing – the ONLY way it is truly negative is that that so-called content creators don’t make money off it. But true artists create art because they’re driven to it, not to make a buck, so what we have to do is change society itself in such a way as to make profit and money itself pointless and an anachronism. Then we can all copy everything freely, which makes total sense in every way except financial. But then again, financials themselves make no sense so it’s not a shocker that everything it touches becomes warped and crazy.

DJ (profile) says:

Re: "Copyright" is the violation, not breaching it

Unfortunately the society you suggest will never exist.
Why? Food.
Until someone invents a device like the “replicator” from Star Trek, food must be produced — either agriculture or horticulture — and then provided to people. It’s human nature to not want to do work without compensation, so farmers will typically ask for some sort of trade, often in the form of money. If you want to buy the food you must first have money, and, therefore, a means by which to acquire said money in accordance with local laws and societal norms.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: "Copyright" is the violation, not breaching it

Unfortunately those poor farmers got the short stick since they obviously can’t stop anybody from producing their own food or even have a say on whom can distribute that food once it is out of their land they have no control at all, farmers should get more rights like get paid every time restaurants use their food to produce some dish and sell those to customers, get money every time a transaction is carried out with their foods is just unfair that restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, supermarkets and food chains don’t pay them every time their food is sold, they are loosing billions.

Frost (profile) says:

Re: Re: "Copyright" is the violation, not breaching it

Well… with all due respect, you’re wrong. On pretty much all counts.

Food is easy. Less than 1% of the US workforce works in agriculture, yet the US produces more food than ever before in its history. Automating virtually all of the remaining 1% too is comparatively childs play.

Energy is easy too. We have practically limitless amounts of it, just build the wind generators, solar, wave, geothermal…

As for human nature, that’s the biggest load of all. There is no such thing as “human nature” in this context, there is only culture and learned behavior. A proper society without money would make sure people’s needs were met; that would be one of the basic tenets of it. Once that happens then people do get compensated for work – they get compensated by things improving for everyone. All of this is stuff rooted in thoughts about a resource-based economy instead of a money-based one, and it had better be our future… or our future is looking even more bleak than the current horror show we’re living today.

DJ (profile) says:

Re: Piracy?

ok ok so the original definition of piracy is
“practice of a pirate; robbery or illegal violence at sea”

The problem with your argument is that English is a living language. For example, the orignial definition of “Terrific” was synonnymous with “Terrifying”, but bastardizations of the definitions have changed that term to be more synonymous with “stupendous”.

So get off it.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Piracy?

The problem with your argument is that the word piracy was deliberately chosen in order to make something sound far worse that it actually is. It’s ridiculous to suggest the effects of copyright infringement and actual piracy (y’know, where people get killed) can be though of as similar, but that’s what copyright maximilists do every time they use the word.

So you get off it.

Hiiragi Kagami (profile) says:

What a small world we live in.

I was having an interesting chat with someone regarding IP and and it started to get a little heated. Their idea of “piracy” was “theft” of completed works, and that patents are there to protect from the theft.

This came after a recent discussion of the Microsoft case involving XML and software patents.

My position was that every program, which makes something, has a limit. There’s no way to justify patenting this limitation because everyone, at some point, will hit this limit.

This example is absolutely perfect of my defense. Each video, on its own, is like a software package. Some are good, some are bad, but together, they’re something new.

To think people want to protect these limits with laws is appalling and, unlike Mike, I’ll pirate stuff without hesitation if they’re created by one who supports protecting these limits via unnecessary laws.

Kudos for this article. Absolute kudos all around. I’m definitely going to use it in my other heated discussions.

JMT says:

Re: Re:

I didn’t (and won’t) give you my car, diary, bank account number or paycheck. But you did give us your notes (or more likely your arrangement of someone else’s notes), whether you realise that or not.

But amazingly, you still have them! Because they’re nothing like a car, diary, bank account number or paycheck.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Long Tradition

Just to point out how long artists have been doing this sort of thing:

  • Hexstatic have been chopping up videos for years. Of course, they didn?t have YouTube in those days.
  • Emergency Broadcast Network did this even earlier on. They were even commissioned to do a video for U2.
  • found art goes back to Picasso, Duchamp and others.

In short, anybody who tries to downplay the significance of this sort of thing as art is talking through their arse.

Huph (user link) says:

Red Herring?

I’ve been in the sample-based music game for over a decade, and I have to honestly say that I’ve *never* heard sample-based music likened to “piracy”. Ever. I’ve heard plenty of people/musicians dismiss it as derivative, uncreative, lesser-than ‘original’ music, creative theft, infringement, and any number of nonsense.

But never piracy. Not once. Even the RIAA doesn’t call it piracy.

I hate to be the guy to do this, but unless I can see some actual evidence of anyone calling sample-based derivative works “piracy” specifically, then this post really is FUD. (First time I’ve ever used the term!) Now, there may really be tons of cites for this, I’m not saying I know it all, I’m just talking from the experience of someone who has been making sample-based music and performing it live for more than 10 years.

One of the reasons you see a lot of sample-based artists (DJ Steinski, DJ Shadow, Greg Gillis, any number of hip hop producers) defending the idea of copyright is strictly because of the way the anti-copyright and free-music crowds have co-opted most of our philosophical arguments for more permissive fair-use laws to further their less-than-noble goals.

It’s a slippery slope we started on when arguing that music is conversation and is totally built on the past. Most of us samplers LOVE the artists we sample and do everything we can to encourage our listeners to seek out and purchase the original sources. We’re the guys buying vinyl records and we want others to do it, too, so there will be more vinyl releases. We are mostly DJs, after all. It’s the least we broke fools can do for the artists that came before us.

Please don’t mix up these two debates. We need a more permissive attitude towards bricoleur-like magic, but we won’t get it if we’re swept up with the “pirates” (a nonsense term in itself, but that’s another topic).

Just accept, and this is after arguing about these things for longer than Techdirt has existed, that what the industries call “piracy” will not be tolerated. Whatever you think of it, it just won’t be tolerated; they are going to spend the money to lobby for change, and they’ll most likely get it. Let’s keep the Fair-Use Debate separate because we DO have a chance of swaying the debate in favor of more permissive exceptions. Derivative works spark interest in the originals, it’s undeniably good for the musical eco-system and economy. It’s a debate that can be won through appealing to people’s good sense.

Piracy can be spun to have a superficially apparent negative effect on the economy, whether lies or not. The Courts/Congress will never pass a ruling that they perceive as negative to the economy. We can spin the Fair-Use debate differently, but only if we separate it from discussions of “piracy”.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Red Herring?

“I hate to be the guy to do this, but unless I can see some actual evidence of anyone calling sample-based derivative works “piracy” specifically, then this post really is FUD.”

Here he is supporting something that is potentially infringing copyright, and there they are calling him a pirate supporter. It seems closer to the truth to suggest that remixing is piracy than that Mike supports some other form of copyright infringement. As far as I’m aware, the term piracy doesn’t specifically exclude remixing.

Jay says:

Re: Red Herring?

“I hate to be the guy to do this, but unless I can see some actual evidence of anyone calling sample-based derivative works “piracy” specifically, then this post really is FUD. (First time I’ve ever used the term!) Now, there may really be tons of cites for this, I’m not saying I know it all, I’m just talking from the experience of someone who has been making sample-based music and performing it live for more than 10 years”

If you’re in the music genre, you should know of The Grey Album. The mixing of The Beatles and Jay-Z was met with a “piracy” claim, where Dangermouse had to ask permission.

OCRemix was given an odd reprieve… Somehow, none of the creators went after them for competing with their music. But then again, game music hasn’t been the end product, merely a by product of the story in a game.

In other industries, this same thing hasn’t faired as well.

Crimson Echoes was taken down before it could spread. The game has JUST been release 2 or 3 months ago, but Square did its best for it not to compete with the regular Chrono series.

In movies, look at the takedowns on Youtube because of copyright infringement. That’s somewhat subtle given that there are major rants where people legally purchase music but the ID system marks something as infringing which goes to piss off people even more. If memory serves, you can find very few unauthorized full length movies on Youtube because of that system. If it becomes too much of a hassle, more people will probably move away from Youtube.

The hard part is what piracy purports onto the listener. You can actually have two different systems be discussed, but piracy is going to sound different depending on where you fall on the spectrum.

I see it as more a discovery thing. For example, look up Torrent Butler and how one person seems to have a display of movies for the eye to see. Does this mean that the movies shouldn’t be shared? I think not. But perhaps I can find ways to enjoy those movies after I’ve seen if they pass my judgement.

pixelm1 (profile) says:

Since when are piracy and creativity antithetical? This is wonderful stuff, and very creative. The new creativity is copyrightable – and Kutiman ought to be able to decide how his new works are exploited.

People lose sight of the fact that whether you infringe someone elses work is different than whether what you create is original for copyright.

I could create a copyrightable book of other people’s photos – but would still need rights to the pictures.

In this case, these uses seem pretty clearly fair uses – but if he was going to make a significant commercial use of his works, he’d probably want to obtain some clearances. At the same time, no one could use his NEW work without his permission. that said, by posting it on Youtube, he’s probably granted his permission.

pixelm1 (profile) says:

Since when are piracy and creativity antithetical? This is wonderful stuff, and very creative. The new creativity is copyrightable – and Kutiman ought to be able to decide how his new works are exploited.

People lose sight of the fact that whether you infringe someone elses work is different than whether what you create is original for copyright.

I could create a copyrightable book of other people’s photos – but would still need rights to the pictures.

In this case, these uses seem pretty clearly fair uses – but if he was going to make a significant commercial use of his works, he’d probably want to obtain some clearances. At the same time, no one could use his NEW work without his permission. that said, by posting it on Youtube, he’s probably granted his permission.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Since when are piracy and creativity antithetical? onderful stuff, and very creative. The new creativity is copyrightable – and Kutiman ought to be able to decide how his new works are exploited.

Really? Even though the people behind the works he used did not have that?

People lose sight of the fact that whether you infringe someone elses work is different than whether what you create is original for copyright.

Actually, I don’t think anyone’s lost sight of that. In fact, it’s kind of the key point.

I could create a copyrightable book of other people’s photos – but would still need rights to the pictures.

Which is the problem, isn’t it? Kutiman didn’t get permission.

It’s the permission society that’s the problem. It’s the permission society that limits creativity.

In this case, these uses seem pretty clearly fair uses – but if he was going to make a significant commercial use of his works, he’d probably want to obtain some clearances. At the same time, no one could use his NEW work without his permission. that said, by posting it on Youtube, he’s probably granted his permission.

Interesting question. Is posting your own works on YouTube granting permission?

As for the fair use question, I agree, but I’m not sure the 6th Circuit would…

Anonymous Coward says:

A basic point to make...

Well said Mike.

However I think it also worthwhile to point out that beside the permission culture issue is a perhaps more underlying one…

Why should an artist get paid (especially more than once)?

If you look at the history of art and artist compensation – they can go get a day job and create in their spare time. I create “value” for my employer every day (or at least he thinks I do) but if I stop creating I stop getting paid.

DO engineers get paid every time someone uses their bridge? Ok that was a poor analogy. And i am sure someone will think they should (Hi AC). But artists should have a choice… sell the work and move one to the next, or choose to share it… and move on to the next.

There are innumerable institions, grants, patrons etc willing to support art for philanthropic motives and surely even more people willing to pay for the “original”.

If people “stealing” your work is “Costing” you an income – find another job. I put up with a boss and no freedom to create in return for a regular known paycheck… it’s a choice I made – if they (an artist) chooses to take the path of freedom and creation… good for them. But they knew the risks – and they can choose again.

And before you t-aargh me with the “pirate” brush I do sponsor the arts. But only those that in turn sponsor OUR culture.

Idobek (profile) says:

You don't want to be considered a piracy supporter? Condemn some sites.

Oh, for a world where this had only occurred with copyright.

The conflating of natural rights and unnatural, granted, rights is at the root of the erosion of those natural rights. See the Canadian Human Rights Commission vs. Mark Steyn (or the right not to be offended vs. freedom of speech).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Good, we agree on one thing. It is one potential measuring stick, but not THE measuring stick. So your original assertion is not supported prima facie.

Your new assertion (that copyright law can play a part in determining how original something is) makes little sense. You can subjectively assess how much of one (or more) works are used to create a new work without ever considering copyright. They are independent issues. For example, if I took a public domain work, changed one word, and called it a new work–most would argue it was unoriginal. And yet the concept of copyright was never needed for the assessment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

My point is, the assessment of originality did not require even a wisp of copyright. So your assertion includes two independent concepts.

And since determining originality does not require copyright, copyright is not necessary to assess creativity.

Then your original assertion is invalid–you cannot judge creativity based on whether something infringes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“If your “new work” relies so much on previous old work, that it runs afoul of copyright law, then it must not be as mind-bogglingly creative as you wish it was.”

I figured that would be what you would do–try to redefine the argument once you ran out of responses.

Let’s see, the above referenced assertion contains no examples as you state in your previous response. Fail #1. I created no strawman as I simply concluded (and you agreed) that degree of copyright infringement cannot be a judge of creativity.

Perhaps you need to learn to read better?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

simply concluded (and you agreed) that degree of copyright infringement cannot be a judge of creativity.

Funny, I agreed to nothing of the sort.

It sounds like you’d like to go to law school someday. Good luck with your LSATs. But here’s a bit of advice: if want to try and disprove something, make sure you work on what you were given, not what you wish it was.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“if want to try and disprove something, make sure you work on what you were given, not what you wish it was.”

Look in the mirror my friend. I love how you’re using pretty much a checklist of weak-minded things to use in a debate:
1) Ignore all points made
2) ad hominem – it’s really precious when you misspell words in the process
3) Throw out the strawman word without defining and explaining the specific straw man argument. But… But… straw man!
4) Speak down to the other individual by giving them “advice”
5) Redefine what you’ve said to what you think it should be

“Funny, I agreed to nothing of the sort.”

Ok, let’s grant you that–although you did not dispute it either. In fact all you’ve really done is stamp your foot and say your assertion stands. You have also given no reasoning that would lead anyone to conclude that copyright has anything to do with creativity let alone be a yardstick for it. And since copyright and originality have nothing to do with one another (again, something you have not disputed), not sure where you’d like to go from there.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Karl, all you’ve done here is show your infamous propensity for arguing the points you want to argue, rather than the issue being discussed.

Copyright protects original works from being infringed upon; outside of the small window of fair use, someone can’t use them to create a “new” work and then claim that as entirely their original work.

Whether you like it or not, a work created without using someone else’s work, *is* considered more original and therefore more creative.

And calling out spelling? You really are acting desperate, as well as being the buffoon you’ve always been.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

0. Once again, TAM, you ignored all prior points and argued whatever the heck maintains your worldview

1. I’m impressed! You looked up “desperate” in the dictionary!

2. I’m not Karl, but I take that as a major compliment.

3. If I’m desperate for calling out spelling or that says quite a bit about your continued ad hominem attacks.

4. I can do nothing but pity you at this point.

5. Booyah!

Karl (profile) says:

Re:

Karl

For the record, I always use my Techdirt account when I post here.

Nor am I one to argue that “originality” (in the copyright sense) has even a single thing to do with creativity. My favorite musician is Jim Thirwell, whose music is largely cut up from other peoples’ music. Yet his music sounds like none of it, nor like anyone else – because he’s creative.

“Originality” has nothing to do with copyright, and everything to do with thinking outside the box. Marcel Duchamp did that with his “ready-mades,” even though they were 100% “unoriginal” in the copyright sense.

On the other hand, 99% of all rock bands in existence write derivative crap, easily shoehorned into pre-defined “genres.” They’re completely unoriginal, even though not a lick of their music was infringing on anyone’s copyright.

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