Can Anyone Name A Programmer Still Getting Paid For Code He Wrote In 1962?

from the we'll-wait dept

So, we already wrote about the RIAA’s big new legal attack on Pandora over royalties on pre-1972 sound recordings. The legal issues there are complex and convoluted, involving a mix of state common law along with federal copyright law. However, the RIAA has clearly decided that it’s not going to delve into the nuances there, preferring to go with totally bogus spin. This started with an opinion piece by SoundExchange’s CEO, in which he claimed that it was unfair that artists from pre-1972 works weren’t getting paid. And with the launch of this lawsuit, the RIAA is trotting out some artists who are making similarly bogus statements:

The RIAA circulated the lawsuit on Thursday along with quotes from artists or their heirs. “It’s an injustice that boggles the mind,” says Booker T. & the MG’s Steve Cropper. “Just like the programmers who deserve to be paid for their work, I deserve to be paid for mine.”

This depresses me, in part, because I’m a huge Steve Cropper fan — and have spent tons of money purchasing a variety of music from Booker T. & the MG’s over the years (and plenty of other of Cropper’s work both at Stax and elsewhere). However, this is a really unfortunate and misleading argument. It’s obviously an attempt to hit at those terrible “techies” at Pandora, implying that Pandora’s engineering staff continually gets paid for their work.

But it actually underlines how silly the RIAA’s argument is here. Because no Pandora programmer expects to get paid for his work 50 years from now. They get paid today to work today. And that’s it. If that person leaves Pandora tomorrow, then they don’t keep getting paid for it. Nor do they expect their children and grandchildren to keep getting paid for it. Booker T. and the MG’s biggest hit, Green Onions, came out in 1962. It would be great if Cropper could point to a programmer who is still getting paid for code he wrote in 1962. Because I would imagine it’s not a very big list.

This is also why many of the other quotes the RIAA is pushing concerning this effort are so misleading as well. Buddy Holly’s wife, Maria Elena Holly, rightly notes that “Many artists from the 1950s are retired and struggling to support themselves or have families or heirs who are trying to make ends meet.” That is, no doubt, true. But that’s a different issue. Copyright was never meant to be a welfare system for artists. It was never meant to keep paying them in retirement. It was meant to be an incentive to create, and once it worked, that was it. In fact, under the copyright laws that were in place in 1958 when Buddy Holly released his hit “Everyday,” the absolute longest that the copyright on that song could have lasted was 56 years. In other words, when Holly released that song, he knew that by 2014 (hmmm…) that song would be in the public domain. So it seems, well, a bit unseemly to suddenly be whining about it now.

In fact, I’m sure that many programmers from the 1950s are similarly “retired and struggling to support themselves or have families or heirs who are trying to make ends meet.” And many of those retired programmers created the underlying structure and systems for today’s computers and internet, which has created so much value for the world. But we don’t see them and their heirs whining about how the world owes them a living for work they did more than half a century ago.

And this is the problem. There are almost no professions in the world in which you get to do some work (even if it’s amazing work) half a century ago, and then still have people paying you for it today. To act like this is some sort of massive offense just seems silly and misguided.

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Companies: pandora, riaa, soundexchange

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Comments on “Can Anyone Name A Programmer Still Getting Paid For Code He Wrote In 1962?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Oh, there are some...


I’m sure the code that these people wrote when they were younger is not even in common use today. Certainly, if I was to buy a secondhand Apple II computer, I wouldn’t expect to pay Wozniak money to run BASIC on it (it’s built into the ROM, so…)

Likewise with Gates, he may have hacked together Microsoft BASIC, but when I fire up a Commodore, I don’t expect he’ll get a dime from me for it.

These people made money, and invested it – either in companies that they built, or in other investments. This is how you plan for retirement. You don’t sit back on your ass and pretend like people will pay you for the rest of your life to listen to something you spat into a microphone 50 years ago.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Oh, there are some...

Especially if you’re not writing anything new!

One mistake artists and labels make is the assumption people will keep buying at the same rate. Not everyone likes it and musical styles change through the years. It should be no surprise, even without file sharing, your royalty checks drop when you’re not writing anything new.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Oh, there are some...

gates LITERALLY dumpster dove to STEAL the code he started out with…
yes, he settled later to make the truth shut up, but that is how he started out: an IP ‘THIEF’ ! ! ! imagine that: one of the richest men in the world who got his leg up by thievery; i bet that’s the first time that has ever happened ! ! !

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Oh, there are some...

If there was still software doing the same job as 1962, then I’m quite sure the developer would still be getting paid if it was purchased again.

The difference is the end consumer of music and movies is our ears and eyes. Neither of which has changed much in the last 50 years. The ‘consumer’ of a software program certainly has as new versions and incompatible OS’s are routinely updated.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Oh, there are some...

The code may be in use, but is anyone actually still paying for it? I’m guessing that most code in the 60’s wasn’t set up with a licensing agreement that called for ongoing payments. I’m also guessing that nobody is buying new systems that use programs from 1962.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Oh, there are some...

perhaps not, but i think even superficial techies would be aghast at the amount of kludged code from the 60’s/whenever, which is patched, band-aided, fudged, tricked, and otherwise ‘fixed’ with the programming equivalent of duct tape and bailing wire…
in fact, MANY of the HUGE legacy systems are like that: so spaghettied up, NO ONE can untangle it, and so they just keep adding on to the mess until it collapses from the weight of the bugs…
inertia is our default mode…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Oh, there are some...

Actual comment:

Of course it was work for hire.

Rest is an ad-hom attack. And if you’re a work for hire person, you don’t receive royalty checks. So Mike is reporting on what someone else (aka Steve Cropper) is saying and he’s explaining the analogy without explicitly saying “Steve is wrong because programmers are works for hire vs musicians signing royalty agreements to the labels.

But feel free to join the other haters of logic and reasoning with your attacks (notice the subtle attack there?).

Zonker says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Oh, there are some...

The successful musicians are work-for-hire. They are paid to tour and perform. They are paid advances to create new albums. It’s the labels who are paid by royalties for the musicians work, and what little of it is claimed to go to the artist usually just goes into paying back their advances and loans to the labels and nothing more.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Oh, there are some...

programmers are paid via work-for-hire and musicians are paid via royalties.

If you make money as a musician, then it’s more likely than not that you’re not making your living from royalties. For the vast, vast majority of musicians, royalties pay them nothing, and the rest have always made more money from non-royalty sources like performances, teaching, endorsements, or merch.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Oh, there are some...

Oh look, it’s Karl acting like he knows what he’s talking about again.

Say Karl: instead of gracing everyone with your comical opinions on how things work, why not post stats- rates and figures from first-hand sources.

Not Techdirt links, you fucking fucking worthless freetard.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Oh, there are some...

Oh look, it’s Karl acting like he knows what he’s talking about again.

Oh, look, it’s Anonymous Coward acting like he’s not an apologist for the big labels that make their money solely through exploiting musicians.

Say Karl: instead of gracing everyone with your comical opinions on how things work, why not post stats- rates and figures from first-hand sources.

Okey dokey.

Of the average income from the top 35 grossing musicians from 2002, roughly 17% was from recording and performance royalties combined. (And the only ones who made more than half their money from royalties, were those artists who were also other artists’ record producers.) Source: File-Sharing and Copyright (PDF), Oberholzer-Gee & Strumpf, 2009, p.44 (Table 6).

For the 5,371 respondents, the aggregated amount of income derived from sound recordings in the past 12 months was 6%. This is the same size as the aggregated income from compositions, which was also 6%. The largest pie slice was income from live performance, which accounted for 28% of survey respondents? music-related income.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation [27-2042 Musicians and Singers]:

Performing Arts Companies: 22,500
Religious Organizations: 8,090
Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers: 1,830
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events: 1,450
Amusement Parks and Arcades: 960

The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties.

A word here about that unrecouped balance, for those uninitiated in the complex mechanics of major label accounting. While our royalty statement shows Too Much Joy in the red with Warner Bros. (now by only $395,214.71 after that $62.47 digital windfall), this doesn?t mean Warner ?lost? nearly $400,000 on the band. That?s how much they spent on us, and we don?t see any royalty checks until it?s paid back, but it doesn?t get paid back out of the full price of every album sold. It gets paid back out of the band?s share of every album sold, which is roughly 10% of the retail price.

If you thought the life of most musicians was comparable to the blissful and blinged-out existences of Kanye and Rihanna, you’ve clearly not heard much about our ever-desiccating music industry. According to the latest Nielsen research, only 2.1 percent of the albums released in 2009 sold even 5,000 copies — that’s just 2,050 records out of nearly 100,000, and to fewer people than go to a small liberal arts college.

As if that weren’t bad enough, even the bands who do move units end up paying through the nose, mouth, eyes and ears for management, legal fees, producers and other expenses, leaving most of them scrounging to pay for record advances and, if they can afford it, health care.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), approximately 90% of the records that are released by major recording labels fail to make a profit.

  • How Record Companies Make Money (Please note: Until the label makes a profit, performing artists get paid absolutely nothing from sound recording royalties.)

If we’re not songwriters, and not hugely successful commercially (as in platinum-plus), we don’t make a dime off our recordings. Recording industry accounting procedures are right up there with films.

Most artists never see any mechanical royalties, because the record companies have such an interesting way of accounting for all their expenses.

PM: Breakage, and all those clauses.

MS: Right, and you never see any mechanical royalties. That’s why, in the late 80s/early 90s, when Beck got that huge advance, bigger than anybody had heard of, that’s basically all the money he’s ever gonna see from his mechanical royalties, in spite of massive sales figures. Because they always find ways of deducting costs in their accounting reports of your sales.

Today I want to talk about piracy and music. What is piracy? Piracy is the act of stealing an artist?s work without any intention of paying for it. I?m not talking about Napster-type software.

I?m talking about major label recording contracts. […]

This story is about a bidding-war band that gets a huge deal with a 20 percent royalty rate and a million-dollar advance. […] The record is a big hit and sells a million copies. […] Since the original million-dollar advance is also recoupable, the band owes $2 million to the record company.

I’ve never made a dime from a record sale in the history of my record deal. I’ve been very happy with my sales, and certainly my audience has been very supportive. I make a living going out and playing shows.

If you think the fact that we have sold in excess of 2 million records and have never been paid a penny is pretty unbelievable, well, so do we. And the fact that EMI informed us that not only aren’t they going to pay us AT ALL but that we are still 1.4 million dollars in debt to them is even crazier.

  • A Letter From The Front… (30 Seconds To Mars)

    Now, it’s your turn. Please post any reputable study – any whatsoever – that shows musicians make a living mainly through royalties, and not through the sources I mentioned.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Oh, there are some...

The Beatles.

You’re a fucking idiot.

That’s your entire rebuttal to Karl’s post??

That’s really, really lame, dude.

Not only do you use one of the very, very few acts to actually win the “record contract lottery” where a label actually aggressively promoted them early on, you use an act that eventually went on to form their own exclusive label (Apple) because they recognized that’s where the “real” money was actually at.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Oh, there are some...

Hey Gwiz,

you’ve forgotten that Sony and the Michael Jackson estate owns much of the Beatles back catalog. They’re the ones getting the royalties. Do you know Sir Paul McCartney has to pay to perform Hey Jude in public? Now the Brits have increased copyright terms to 70yrs + life of the author.

Imagine an old man running for a bus. It stops, and just as he’s about to touch the back of it, it takes off again, travels for 200 yards, then stops. Just as he’s about to touch the back of it…

…you get the idea.

I use that as ammo on every jerk who tries to tell me copyright is for the artists. Oh, no, it ain’t. It’s for the copyright holders, who, more often than not, are NOT the artists.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Oh, there are some...

If there was still software doing the same job as 1962, then I’m quite sure the developer would still be getting paid if it was purchased again.

And I’m quite sure you are wrong – for two reasons.

1. In 1962 software was not even recognised as being copyrightable – that came later.

2. Almost all programmers (and certainly ALL programmers in 1962) are employed on a salary – hence their output counts as work for hire and they would never be entitled to royalties.

3. In 1962 all software was either bundled with the hardware or written bespoke for the user. “Selling” software came later.

OK that’s three reasons – but you get the drift…

DOlz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Oh, there are some...

No! Some start up companies did that, but most companies don’t. I’ve never gotten a dime for code I wrote after the paycheck that covered the week it was done. Most of that code I wrote was used for years, again without me being given a cut of the action. I didn’t expect to be payed forever for the work I did and anyone who does is a self entitled prick.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Oh, there are some...

Bill Gates was born in 1955, and his first product, BASIC, was released (well, a pre-release was pirated) in 1976.

The Woz is five years older than Gates, and he and Jobs first hooked up in 1971. The development of the Apple I arguably began in 1973, while Jobs was still working for Atari.

So, in neither case did they produce any commercial code in the ’60s.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Oh, there are some...

Jobs and Gates were born in 1955. Woz in 1950.

Apple 1 was built in 1975. It has been abandoned.

Current programming styles might be from the 60’s, but the code is constantly refreshed. Look at the versions of Operating Systems. Depending on where you look (Mac, Linux, Windows), they are on different cycles. And, every couple of years, they prune old code.

So, I can’t imagine any really old code/ “Prior Art” is making money.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Oh, there are some...

There is. And more of it than Microsoft wants you to know.

This is a good thing, though. If you have existing, mature code that does the job correctly, you really want to keep using the same code unless there is some seriously compelling reason to rewrite it. Every line of code you write or change is a chance to introduce a new bug.

any moose cow word says:

Re: Re: Re: Oh, there are some...

No, there isn’t. Windows 8.1 is based on the long linage of Windows NT. Technically it’s NT 6.3.

First, NT was created from a completely new 32-bit code base, it had nothing to do with the older 8-bit and 16-bit code from DOS or Windows 3. NT’s DOS compatibility was basically emulated, it didn’t use the original DOS code. And even then, Microsoft cut or rewrote all of the legacy code held over from old versions of Windows as a matter of security.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Oh, there are some...

“NT was created from a completely new 32-bit code base”

Not entirely. When this code was reverse engineered, it was found to contain quite a lot of original DOS code. Microsoft claimed otherwise at the time, but they were straight-up lying about it, and later had to walk back from that claim.

any moose cow word says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Oh, there are some...

The article seems a little less than credible.

To the point, the 64-bit versions of Win7 and 8 can’t run 16-bit code at all. Any lingering legacy DLLs and the such either had to be updated or cut, much of which had been cut by then anyway.

Basing the Win32 API on the older 16-bit versions was a major fuck up though. It’s primarily those conventions, and others like drive letters, is where the ancient legacy lives on. Microsoft could have made a clean break at some point, but businesses are lazy and never want to give up backwards compatibility. Generation after the next, Microsoft mostly caved in and we were certainly all the worse off because of it.

any moose cow word says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Oh, there are some...

Just an example, his characterization of Win95 being merely an “application-level shell” running atop DOS, just like Win3. Yes, Win95 did boot to DOS first before loading Windows proper. Anyone who took the time to read the documentation, like the Windows Resource Kit, would have known that the only purpose for this was for backwards compatibility with DOS drivers and that if none were loaded Windows would kick this DOS environment to the curb. If I recall, the DOS memory managers like EMM386 were replaced with it’s own internal versions which were then used to run DOS programs inside the Windows environment.

Shoehorning backwards compatibility with DOS drivers was a major mistake that lead to many architectural issues with the entire win95/98/ME line, but it was in no way just a graphic shell duct taped atop DOS like Win3 was.

any moose cow word says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Oh, there are some...

More than I’d trust someone with hatred for Microsoft strong enough to create a reality distortion field. I have NO love for the company either, but I prefer to look at the facts, both good and bad, in the larger context of the industry at the time, rather than narrowly cherrypicking for a pitcher of hateraid.

Apparently you’ve never read any of Microsoft’s documentation. They didn’t exactly spell out the glaring issues, but they didn’t do much to sugar coat them either. The design flaws were fairly clear to anyone who understands software system design.

any moose cow word says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Oh, there are some...

More specifically, Microsoft’s OS/2 3.0, aka “NT” OS/2 (not to be confused with IBM’s 3.0, aka OS/2 Warp). It was said to start as a rewrite of the OS/2 system, which had architectural issues, but ended up moving from supporting the OS/2 API to Win32 instead–becoming Windows NT.

Came across an interesting article on the transition.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Furthermore Open Source is now used in literally everything around you.

If you can find a gadget around you that has any of:
* USB port
* Ethernet port
* WiFi capable
* Accepts SD cards
* A web based user interface (eg, setup or configuration)

then chances are that it runs Linux and a ton of open source. Even if it is an Apple device, it runs a cousin of Linux but more importantly incorporates open source components.

Cameras. Set top boxes. Television sets. E-book readers. Phones. Tablets. (Including 100% of Android devices) Children’s toys. WiFi routers. GPS Navigation devices. Chrome Cast. Storage appliances you attach to your home network. Printers (that have web based or touch screen configuration). Digital photo frames. And many other things.

Tons of programmers have written tons of code that you are free to copy, use, study and redistribute without paying anyone or asking permission.

Imagine what might happen with culture if things went out of copyright just a few years after initial creation.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It does not change what I stated. 100% of Android devices run Linux and a ton of open source.

What exactly do you mean by ‘proprietary’ code? Do you mean closed source? Downloadable Android cannot have any closed source and still be downloadable.

Or do you mean Google’s proprietary Apps (Gmail, Maps, Play Store, Drive, Go, etc, etc)? Those Apps have always been proprietary, nothing new here. Google exerts control over devices with it’s apps by attaching a lot of conditions to getting a license to distribute Google’s proprietary apps. But Google’s proprietary apps are not Android.

any moose cow word says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Android” is the name for the OS, that’s got nothing to do with individual apps. Sure, the core OS is open source, but the newer APIs in Android 4 are tied to code that is not.

And yes, Android apps can be “closed source”. They’re compiled to Google’s VM byte code. That’s what you download, not the original source code.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Of course I know what an API is. What does that have to do with anything?

Let’s recap. You said “My point is that Android is no longer purely an “open source” OS.”

I answered that the closed portion of what Google distributes (gApps) is not part of the OS. The OS itself is open. The proof is right on my phone — all Android, but no closed source Google code at all.

The links you added in your next two comments don’t address this issue at all. They’re talking about gApps. You don’t need to use gApps to have a fully functioning Android device.

Geno0wl (profile) says:

Not exactly all the way back in ’62 but recently there was that story about the original coder for Madden wanting paid for his work for basically every Madden game to come after.
Don’t know the details of how that case worked out but it is the closest thing that I am aware of some coder at least attempting a similar payment for work long past done.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

At first, he seems to have won the case:

But a federal judge has tossed out the jury’s award:

Anonymous Coward says:

Rental Investment

This is a far more appropriate match to how the recording industry works. You get a loan or take your savings and ‘invest’ in a house to rent out (or small apartment building).

You get some renters (customers) who pay you and that pays back your investment and maybe even enables you to make a small profit, if your rent total is above your mortgage payments.

If someone were to live in those rooms/apartments for free, not paying rent, then you’d be pretty pissed and you’d have a harder time receiving income from your investment.

I honestly don’t know why the industry refers to candybars and stupid shit like programmers rather than a simple investment income idea with property management.

For the record, I don’t support the industry and don’t agree with most of what they do because they are like investors buying/building homes that are totally identical, many in remote areas where people don’t live or can’t find income to pay their rent, or have stupid restrictions that make it unattractive to sign a lease.

I still cannot believe they would use the programmer royalty argument. It is just so inappropriate. It’s like they are trying to be as convoluted as possible, hoping the public falls for the BS (because bullshit baffles) like politicians do.

Thankfully not everyone in the public is as easily mislead as politicians are.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Rental Investment

Yeah, except we’re not talking about tangible property here – there is no scarcity involved. If it was possible to make a copy of the rental you’re in and share it infinitely with everyone, then that might be closer to the truth – but in reality you can’t. And that’s why real estate investment is completely different than copyright and intellectual property.

Thanks for playing though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Rental Investment

I realize the tangibility is one aspect, but you might have missed the point of the analogy: it was to explain royalties and investments to the public in a way they could understand.

The public can easily understand they are not paid for work they did years ago, not in a royalty fashion, so to many it is an abstract concept.

Most of the **AA analogies are much worse than this one. But since the point of the original article was royalties and retirement income based on a royalty, I figured real estate was comparable.

Intellectual Property is actually meant to benefit the public at large and real estate is meant to benefit the investor. The view from the **AA orgs is very similar to the latter, despite the intent of both copyright and IP meaning the former. Who opens their doors to free renting after x-years, regardless of the return on the investment? No one, that’s precisely what the **AA groups want – nothing enters the public domain, ever!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Rental Investment

Sorry, it still doesn’t make any sense.

I own 4 rental properties, and I would never consider that anything remotely like producing artwork and having someone pay me royalties for it. As a software developer, the rental properties are part of my retirement plan, not the software I wrote.

I think all you’re doing is trying to create another confusing analogy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Rental Investment

But that’s what you’re doing by renting out those properties. Imagine if you could not rent them out or sell the property (even at a loss). You’d be out of your retirement investment and a lot of money.

Your renters, like customers, can’t afford to pay back the initial investment all at once. They pay the rent like you pay the mortgage payment.

They take their investment and divide it up into millions (they want millions anyway) of mini-returns, purchases of the copies.

Would you pay $5million to the Wu-Tang Clan for their next album? But you’d be the sole owner, assuming you didn’t share. That’s seems more analogous to what you’re thinking.

I would invest in art but I know that:
a) the market is flooded by oldies who don’t release anything new but expect people to continuously seek them out and buy their stuff they released 20+ years ago
b) the market is flooded with oldies touring because they don’t receive royalties like they used to
c) new folks entering at an ever increasing rate thanks to lowering the entry boundaries (thanks to technology)

So touring is saturated, the web is flooded with so many people trying to be discovered by the listening public, and music is competing with: home video, video games, etc… for entertainment.

How many people who bought records during the glory days of the 90’s (when they were really replacing chewed cassettes or scratched vinyl, not buying new shit — notice how they only show total units, not the breakdown by year released for each calendar year?) would sit at home and listen for anything beyond entertainment that video games provided?

I did, I don’t play video games. I have a tough time concentrating when certain music is playing because I get so into it. I can spend hours just listening to music with headphones.

I know many who don’t and can’t do that, they play it like background noise or something to discuss like a movie or a videogame, entertainment!

Hmm I’ve totally tangented here but I was validating the points and got lost.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Rental Investment

If you have a thing for investing in artificial scarcity, by all means, go for it. Hopefully copyright laws will protect your “investments” for the next 50 years (hint: don’t count on it).

Me, I’ll stick with tangible investments.

Also note, you cannot claim that purchasing the $5m single copy of wu tang’s album is buying intangible material. It’s not – it’s buying the media that the music comes on. Only one person can own that physical recorded copy at any given time.

Stop trying to confuse the issue, you seem to be living in some world where tangible and intangible are somehow equal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Rental Investment

You’re too obsessed with tangibility and the reason I can claim that is the assumption you made that $5million for Wu-Tang is tangible.

I never made that claim! I was not obsessed with physical and copies of an infinite good, like copies of music. You were dude!

I was trying to explain the point of royalties and it’s flaws and how the only way you can avoid royalties is to pay the $5milllion for the release. And the point of that specific example is to explain to you why people invest in royalty based ideas to begin with.

Just because you wouldn’t doesn’t mean others shouldn’t. They just have to understand the risks and how the risks are significantly different than tangible investments like real estate. Speaking of tangible, are RRSP’s tangible? Maybe what they invest in, but you don’t actually get anything tangible, just a return. Just another analogy.

You’ve made way too many assumptions here and that’s the only source of confusion. To you, you want black and white and the world is not black and white. It doesn’t work that way and doesn’t have to.

Context is everything and real estate investments contain many different context, not just one: tangible. So stop getting confused! The best way to do that is to stop making assumptions based on what you THINK someone is saying.

If I am not saying it, I am not implying it! I am not some **AA supporter or an artist, though I wish I was.

And if others didn’t believe in investing in intangible things, then there would have been no Mozart or Bach. People invested in these guys, though I don’t know the details (cut from the show proceeds? who knows). Maybe they simply paid Bach’s rent and board. Maybe they gave him extra for clothes.

Point is, if no one provided him anything he’d have been a beggar and likely not have been able to afford a piano/harpsichord or whatever he used to compose, so he would have had to compose with only his voice.

People invest in artists for a reason. That reason has changed. It used to be so others could appreciate the art, though now it seems more like so people could reap the profits in the stock market (and the execs).

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Rental Investment

I realize the tangibility is one aspect, but you might have missed the point of the analogy: it was to explain royalties and investments to the public in a way they could understand.

The only thing that would do is mislead the public, in exactly the same way the “you wouldn’t steal a car” campaign attempts to do.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re: Rental Investment

Intellectual Property is actually meant to benefit the public at large


Seriously, wtf?

The Constitution’s take on copyright is that it’s meant to benefit the public at large. However, ascribing property rights to creative output has created the problems we’re experiencing today. When we use terms like “consume” and “intellectual property” frame the maximalist’s argument such that anyone who disagrees with them is a freetard at best or a piratey thief at worst, starving orphans and punching old grannies, etc.

To avoid falling for their BS we must stop using their words and reframe the argument as “Constitution-violating, overly-entitled, pretentious, duplicitous, conniving public domain thieves who think the world owes them a living years after the people they claim to represent created stuff because .”

Let us speak instead of experiencing content or creative output and point out the multiplicity of income streams available to artists and their representatives that don’t require rent-seeking.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Rental Investment

I’m not seeing it.

They’re making music, that’s not an ‘investment’ in any sense, it’s a product, much like the code that a programmer puts together, and as the article points out, while a programmer gets paid for his code and that’s it, musicians, for whatever reason, expect to be paid again, and again, and again for their work.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Rental Investment

Because their payment was agreed to be based on sales, a commission of sort, and if there are no sales then they don’t get paid.

The initial product investment was on behalf of the label, much like the landlord, but the landlord is both label and artist combined, because they both require renters to pay rent to collect royalties.

One big diff though is the landlords don’t usually restrict new housing development to force people to rent from them. Most landlords don’t bitch and complain when people don’t rent from them, at least not if they want to remain in business. They learn what is wrong and fix it, if possible, or lose renters.

Too bad labels don’t do that.

any moose cow word says:

Re: Re: Re: Rental Investment

Landlords are also responsible for the upkeep on all of their properties, including the abandoned ones. The city, or other local authority, can issue fines or demand forfeiture if it is not maintained. It’s generally in a landlord’s interest to sell off properties that can no longer cover its own cost and property taxes.

Copyright, however, has no direct long term cost. There’s no tax or maintenance requirements. Once you have it, doesn’t require another cent from you. However, enforcing old copyrights do cost money. This is why it actually makes little sense for copyright holders to hold on to old unprofitable works. Sure, they don’t want anything to compete with them, even older works they own the rights to, and then there’s their pathological obsession with control, but there really isn’t any good reason to cling to them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Rental Investment

Music is first and foremost an expression. That is the reason why people have been creating music long before they could get rich with it and it is the reason why they will do so long after all we know now is dead and gone.

However, the music that is made now with the intention to generate a profit is an investment. And that includes all the risks with it. They don’t have an inherent right to generate a profit, they only have the right to try. There is no guarantee that it will pay off and they don’t deserve such a guarantee (which nobody else gets anyway) either.

michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Rental Investment

“musicians, for whatever reason, expect to be paid again, and again, and again for their work.”

I’ll point out that this is untrue for the vast, vast majority of musicians. Most musicians who play on albums from the ’50s through the ’80s were session musicians who collected zero royalties. This isn’t true of all bands, but it’s certainly true of most Big Band, jazz, blues, ethnic music, early rock, Motown, and classical.

There’s even a massive contingent of musicians who never record anything at all. These include backing bands for current performers (I live in Vegas, and there are a million of these), and most orchestral performers.

Not all musicians are money-grubbing a-holes who pissed away their fortunes and now think they (and their grandkids) are entitled to millions. Some are happy just making music, and earning a living.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Rental Investment

They don’t talk in investment analogies because that would imply (and rightfully so) that they would take a risk in not making the investment back.

They live in a makebelieve world where they are so special that any investment they make has to make a profit ten times over regardless of any realities involved. The whole idea of investment risk is anathema to them.

But they come up with this asinine analogies that make no sense to purposefully avoid the one you make. The artists are investing time and money in the hope that this investment will pay off. In some cases it does, in others it doesn’t. But the MPAA/RIAA companies are unwilling to accept the fact that there is a risk in the first place and blame everyone and everything else if something doesn’t follow their expectations.

They have right to try to make a profit, but society has no duty to reward each and every risk they chose to take. And it most certainly has no duty to generate profits for one and the same thing thing for all eternity.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Rental Investment

I’m confused, you example is a perfect one for agreeing with the point of the article yet you seem to act like it’s some how counter to it?

Going with your example the musicians would be the architect’s (who design the house/writes the song) and/or builders (the people who construct the design/play on the given recording) who built the homes the record industry is investing in.

Once they’ve been paid for their work neither architect nor builders tend, or demand by some kind of basic right, to be paid every time someone buys a house or rents in room in something they’ve built.

So what exactly is your point? That investors who invest in a business are upset if they can’t make a return on that profit?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Rental Investment

Unless the agreement was the investor (label) would pay the architect a portion of the rent received from tenants, then it’s a close approximation.

The point I was trying to make was the analogies used (such as programmers who are works for hire) from musicians and the labels and the studios, do not jive with reality for everyone else. The analogies just don’t make sense because they are trying to make too much of a “if your job” type of statement.

They need to word it so people who are paid in works for hire (from Walmart to some CEO) could understand. That’s why I attempted the analogy.

I also tried to show how the industry and the musicians who support their views, really don’t understand how the rest of the world thinks.

I also ranted against the industry to show that I wasn’t in support of said industry. I Have ZERO sympathy for the business middlemen who only think of $$. That’s NOT the drive for creativity. Artists create, with or without money. If they required $ to create we would not have any art!

People need to be compensated for their work, yes, of course, but that is not the drive for something creative like art! Open source is a prime example of that, when people give their free time to work unpaid on projects they love, they are being creative. They are contributing to society. When people create music and art, they are contributing, but if that creation only exists when $$ are given to them, then is that person really an artist?

NOTE THE WORDING: “if that creation only exists when $$…” that does not apply to someone who creates because they “have” to (as many artists do) and then hopes to release it for compensation. Totally different.

Remember Jack Black’s “No money, no rocket sauce” well that just shows you that’s not an artist, that’s a capitalist, using art to get paid. One doesn’t work at Walmart for the love of it. Some love working at Walmart, maybe, but they don’t do it for the love of it. So if you take away the pay, they would not be there.

Artists are different. Many have demons that need to be released and that’s what their art does for them.

Yes, there are artists who do not have demons and create great works. But they do it for the love of it.

Again NOTE THE WORDS: They create for the love of it meaning their love of creation is what makes them create, not the $$.

Can you imagine? In the RIAA’s eyes (and Jack Black if he was serious, but I doubt he is in that PSA), an artist, sitting there with no creativity at all. Just sitting there, total blank canvas. Someone comes by, drops $50 000 and wham, the artist springs to life, creativity flows out every possible avenue and within a week, the artist has produced a canvas painting that rivals Da Vinci?

Yeah, that’s a dream, not reality. So all that BS about “pay us or we can’t create” is bullshit from the point of creation. “pay us or we can’t focus on our art and provide the best we can, because we would have to have jobs to pay our bills” is the more accurate response.

None of this is targeted at Tim, just explaining the views and trying to show that a proper analogy can help convince those who can afford it but choose not to, to change their minds and support artists.

Likely the money they had they spent on other forms of entertainment, video games or whatever, and music took a backseat.

Anyway, enough rambling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Rental Investment

The major problem with getting any income from old music is not the royalty rates, or piracy as these are purely distractions from the labels not keeping the music available for purchase. Unlike a house, it does not cost money to keep a property of of the market, but rather saves money for the label in not producing a digital copy of old music, or vinyl, or cd copies, even if they can find the original tapes.
Creators of old music should take the issue of lack availability up with their labels, as this may be a reason for no income.

David says:

Re: Donald Knuth

No, Don Knuth is not being paid for code written in the 60s. All of the code examples in “The Art of Computer Programming” are in the hypothetical MIX assembly language.

They don’t translate to actual “modern” programming languages in a manner that would trigger copyright. Not enough structural similarity. He could try taking out patents, but for one thing he considers software patents more a pest than a boon, and for another this work is predominantly a painstakingly diligent elaboration on the state of the art, so a lot would actually be covered by prior art and, if at all, patentable by other people instead.

He is getting royalties of course, based on copyright. But that’s more because of the text in those books rather than the embedded “code” examples.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Many artists from the 1950s are retired and struggling to support themselves or have families or heirs who are trying to make ends meet.”

Sorry, but my sympathy for heirs sharply declines when they turn 18, and basically ends when they hit 22/23. By that point they should theoretically have been able to go through college, and be capable of making their own way in the world. If they’re struggling to make ends meet, so what? Plenty of other people their age are in the same boat.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, that’s not a fix, I meant exactly what I said. It’s fine if you have a different opinion than mine, but kindly take the time to actually state your dissenting opinion as such instead of pretending my is wrong and needs fixing.

I find it perfectly reasonably for people to be concerned about minors. It’s natural for parents to provide for their minor children, and for minor children to be supported by their parents. If something happens to break that, they deserve some sympathy, and depending on the actual circumstances, some actual support. When they turn 18 though, they are no longer children, but are now adults. As such they’re expected to be able to make their own way in the world. That goes doubly so when they’re 23 and have had enough time to have put themselves through college.

If they’re struggling to make ends meet after either of those points, as Mrs. Holly implies, well then tough shit, that’s on them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Big Iron Age

System/360 Announcement.The following is the text of an IBM Data Processing Division press release distributed on April 7, 1964.

A new generation of electronic computing equipment was introduced today by International Business Machines Corporation.

IBM Board Chairman Thomas J. Watson Jr. called the event the most important product announcement in the company’s history.

The new equipment is known as the IBM System/360.


beltorak (profile) says:

Re: Big Iron Age

I don’t know what kind of comment you are trying to make, but I would like to point out that the IBM System/360 was pretty influential:

> [1964] IBM’s new System 360 computers come onto the market and set the de facto worldwide standard of the 8-bit byte, making the 12-bit and 36-bit word machines almost instantly obsolete.

Imagine if the inventors / engineers / creators of the 8-bit byte were payed royalties for every machine that is based on an 8-bit byte.

Anonymous Coward says:

If these artists are not getting paid, it is not the public they signed a contract with. So blaming the public for their lack of pay is misguided.

These songs are at least 42 years old. Not exactly new nor are they worth high prices. These bitching artists have had that length of time to do something with the money they were paid besides party time. No one now owes them a living.

Anonymous Coward says:


FORTRAN: History


Starting in 1961, as a result of customer demands, IBM began development of a FORTRAN IV that removed the machine-dependent features of FORTRAN II (such as READ INPUT TAPE), while adding new features such as a LOGICAL data type, logical Boolean expressions and the logical IF statement as an alternative to the arithmetic IF statement. FORTRAN IV was eventually released in 1962, first for the IBM 7030 (“Stretch”) computer, followed by versions for the IBM 7090 and IBM 7094.?.?.?.

madasahatter (profile) says:

Sales Curves

I wonder what the total sales for the older works are. My suspicion is they low enough that very few could live off the residuals. The total sales are worse for older works; fewer are interested in purchasing them.

What most of the maximalists focus on are the few “classics” that continue to have decent sales for decades or centuries. Even there, how many copies of Moby Dick is one likely to buy in any format?

Pragmatic says:

Re: Sales Curves

Good point, madasahatter. I’ve got a copy of Moby Dick but I don’t owe Herman Melville’s descendants a living.

If the purpose of copyright is to encourage creativity, why continue the rights after the author’s death? Would it stimulate them to write great classics themselves?

Christopher Tolkien’s curation of his father’s work has merit, I’ll give him that, since there’s an element of creativity involved [Disclosure: I’m a HUGE Tolkien fan]. However, in the vast majority of cases I can’t see any justification for pretending that copyright stimulates creativity if extended to a time after the author/artist’s death. They’re not producing anything so the copyright revenues are but a form of welfare for them. I fail to see why they are entitled to it by merely existing.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Many artists from the 1950s are retired and struggling to support themselves or have families or heirs who are trying to make ends meet.”

Yes indeed! I won over a billion dollars in the lottery, but now I’m flat broke and me and my family are struggling to get by because we squandered all our money! Something must be done about our unwise financial decisions, the lottery should have to keep paying us what we’re owed for winning 50+ years ago!

Brazenly Anonymous says:

Re: Re:

Oh yes, because relegating our skill-set to an ancillary advisory role for the rich and powerful would have been such a coup for the programming industry. /s

The personal computer owes its existence to open-source hardware, the internet to open-source protocols. These two things have made the programming industry massive. Programmers still make a good chunk of money pretty much across the board despite the large numbers of graduates in the field because many are willing to collaboratively and freely expand the available coding infrastructure. A stronger infrastructure allows software to permeate an ever-expanding portion of life in our society, increasing demand for programming tasks.

Compare this to the masses of struggling artists chasing a dream of making it big. Yeah, I think programmers have the better strategy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Copyright Office Circular 61, May 1964

?Copyright and Computer Programs: A Failed Experiment and a Solution to a Dilemma?, by William F. Patry, New York Law School Law Review, 2003


While ordinarily ?books? contain compositions of words, they may also consist of tables of data. It was against this background that the Copyright Office decided, on May 19, 1964, to register computer programs as ?books? under its rule of doubt. The Office?s decision was the result of an application submitted on November 30, 1961, by North American Aviation, Inc., for a computer progrom (SCOPAC-PROG.63) embodied in magnetic tape. Subsequently, on April 20, 1964, a very brief computer program created by a student at Columbia University Law School was published in the Columbia Law Review Notes. Registration for this program was made in May 1964. Registration for the North American Aviation program was made in June 1964.

While the Copyright Office had doubts about whether computer programs could be considered the ?writings of an author?.?.?.?.

?.?.?. The Copyright Office?s practices were never challenged in court, and only a few decisions can be read as inferentially touching on the copyrightability of computer programs under the 1909 Act.

(Footnotes omitted.)

Loki says:

“Many artists from the 1950s are retired and struggling to support themselves or have families or heirs who are trying to make ends meet.”

Boo effin hoo

Do you know how many millions of people work their asses off every day for increasing “slave labor” like corporations like Walmart of McDonalds for what is increasingly a barely subsistence paycheck (and in many cases having to rely on 2nd and sometimes 3rd jobs – thereby removing job opportunities from others who might need work, or increasingly relying on government programs like food stamps to get by) much less have any money they can spend on entertainment.

And that’s what you are: entertainment.

Most of us are to busy trying to make ends meet to worry that you:
wrote a book
painted a picture
recorded a song
and still can’t get paid for it 20,30, 40 years later.

Secondly, most of us really don’t care that you were gullable, niave, greedy, or whatever it was that caused most of you to sign horrible deals where you got mere pennies for the dollar from companies that claim they represent you but take every opportunity to screw you (and we have even less sympathy for people who do so now, knowing what most of us know about how the business is run) and then turn around and continue to support that system knowing it will continue to screw people for generations to come. If you’re really so damned worried about your heirs and loved ones, stop supporting a system that rewards mere pennies on the dollar (even the lucky ones who makes millions could be making that many MORE millions).

And thirdly, most of you are NOT that damn special. Go to YouTube and look up first auditions for America Got Talent, Britain Got Talent or Australia got Talent. Do you think Susan Boyle’s friends and family care you can’t get paid for work you did decades ago while she had to struggle all those decades before her incredible voice was discovered?

Here’s a few more for you:
Lucy Spraggan, who’s catchy little ditty that she wrote herself got a standing ovation, and could easily be a hit.
Ella Henderson, who not only has an awesome voice, wrote a song at 16 that is just as good as 90% of what is considered a hit today.
Jai Weatford, who at 14 wrote and perfomed a song that literally brought a tear to the eyes of the singer from LMFAO, and could quite easily replace Justin Beiber tomorrow.

If you can’t continue to produce material that remains relevant, and if you want to continue to support a system that screws a vast majority of the artists, than you can join the rest of us in our daily struggle to survive. There are literally THOUSANDS of people who can replace most of you tomorrow.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Should be obvious...

Go and listen to the first podcast in this feed, from Abigail Hilton and find out what a real author and producer of her own work thinks about the importance of earning a living from her story telling. She is following the advice given to all authors, do not give up the day job, and the one she has is a demanding job.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Should be obvious...

That’s a nonsequitor. While it’s true that everyone has monetary expenses they need to cover, why does that fact mean that working without compensation stifles creativity and innovation?

Besides, pretty much the entirety of mankind’s history shows this is not true: from as far back as we know, up to today, enough truly creative and innovative things have been developed by people without compensation to indicate that there’s little, if any, correlation there.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Should be obvious...

People working without compensation stifles creativity and innovation, as everyone has rent to pay.

Tell that to those who claim we have the right to work for low wages and reduced workers’ rights such as paid sick leave.

In any case, you’ve forgotten that they DO get paid via performance fees, merchandizing, and personal appearances, etc. The idea that we expect them to perform for free is as outrageous as it is untrue.

Anonymous Coward says:

CIAA, Coding Industry Association of America. Every business in the world, must be required to share a percentage of profits with software authors who wrote code while employed with them.

For the entire lifetime of the software author, plus pay their family a percentage of profits for 75 years after the software author’s death.

It’s only fair to properly compensate software authors and their families under the same conditions as the MPAA and RIAA compensates their artists and authors.

ECA (profile) says:


WHAT artist, painter, gets money to a GREAT painting?
HOW many descendants of the GREAT artists would LOVE for you to pay $1,000,000 for a piece of work that is over 100 years old.. HOW about a LEASE PRICE to hand it on a wall?

I think the descendents of Shakespeare, WOULD LOVE to get paid for all the books, movies, series, BASED on his plays..

HP Lovecrafts, descendents WOULD LOVE TO GET PAID got ghost busters..and MAny other films, shorts, and Stuff..based on his Mythology..

The Children of Edgar rice Burroughs WOULD LOVE to get more money..

Im old enough to remember the OLD computer days. When Programmers BUMPED around from OS to OS.. AND SHARED knowledge..(this is from 1978 Onwards)
How many Consoles Had PONG?? how many were Sued? NONE.
THE ONLY real fight was between ATARI and ACTIVISION.. And that was based on ACTIVISION making games on ATARI cartridges(no CR).. And Activision WON, and made 10 times the GAMES that Atari made.
ATARI STILL releases those OLD GAMES, that they created in the past, for ANY computer/smart phone/CONSOLE it CAN..

When the PROGRAMMERS SHARED information and ideas, THINGS CHANGED fast and for the BETTER..Everyone LEARNED from the SMARTER people, and did better and MORE GAMES..

The Main restriction in the past, was the Distributors of GAMES..They DIDNT want to sell LEMONS.. In EU and JAPAN, there was 10 times as many games being made, nd TONS of choices..In the USA we got FPS MOSTLY. Very few other games were marketed..

NOW with the NET, a GAME MAKER(not a distributor..) can SELL A GAME..
If you consider MARKUP prices at the store..a MAKER can DROP the price by over 90%..
NO SHIPPING handling
NO advertising in OBSOLETE magazines/TV/CABLE/..
Selling DIRECT to ANY customer, ANY PLACE..
NO locations with 1000 copies they CANT SELL
NO LOCATION runs OUT of the product

Selling 1,000,000 copies ISNT HARD..and isnt location BASED. And the MAKER with a GOOD price, MAKES all the money with little or NO markup to cover ALL those companies in the middle..
Then to KEEP the consumer HOOKED to your product, you ADD CONTENT…and KEEP MAKING MONEY..
At $5 to ADD more content, its NOT hard to keep things going, if you have a USER base.

Do you WORRY about copy cats?? WHY?
IF they have a BETTER PRODUCT, let them TRY to keep up. The only thing that could COMPETE would be FREE!..

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Me too.

I even used to get paid for it in the past. Now I code just for fun and to keep my skills reasonably sharp since I no longer work in that field anymore. It’s a creative outlet for me.

Lately I’ve been trying to code using the GTK+ libs with the intention of porting to Windows, but I’m not real thrilled with the aesthetics so far.

ECA (profile) says:

I tend to believe

I believe an ARTIST makes more pictures, if he gets PAID for the first…
He will make MORE as he needs more money..

A programmer will make CODE for programs and get PAID each time he uses it in another program..

The DIFFICULTY is that its NOT the coders that are getting PAID…its the BUSINESS/CORP/COMPANY..

Atari BUYS a program from a batch of coders..the Coders GOT PAID 1 time, ATARI gets PAID forever..

Microsoft, BUYS, a program and makes another BASED on that program..(look up Mech warrior)
The Coders got PAID for the program, MS now OWNS the CODE, and MS gets all the money..

EVEN if CODERS hold their rights..
$5 to split with coders..
$5-10 to distributor
$10-30 to seller..(why they can MARK DOWN a price and still make money at 50% off)

LAB (profile) says:

“It?s an injustice that boggles the mind,” says Booker T. & the MG’s Steve Cropper. “Just like the programmers who deserve to be paid for their work, I deserve to be paid for mine.?

I really don’t understand the backlash from this statement. He stated programmers DESERVE to be paid for their work and he believes he DESERVES to be paid for his. This statement is true. As long as both were not creating works for hire. The programmer and the songwriter are both authors. Sadly, either the author works for a salary, giving up their copyright interest in their works (programmer) or signs contracts that name the label as the owner of the copyright and stating their music is a work for hire (musician).

Apple Computer, Inc. v. Franklin Computer Corp.
United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.August 30, 1983
“The definition of ‘literary works’ in section 101 includes expression not only in words but also ‘numbers, or other … numerical symbols or indicia’, thereby expanding the common usage of ‘literary works.'”
“Thus a computer program, whether in object code or source code, is a ?literary work? and is protected from unauthorized copying, whether from its object or source code version.”

If a programmer retained the rights, just like if the musician retained theirs they to would be entitled “royalties”(a licensing construct). Apple sued for this and I’m sure there are programmers that are still getting paid for the code they wrote as Apple is not an open platform.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re:

Oh, hello LAB.

We’ve been over this again and again and it’s getting REALLY old. PLEASE let go of the idea of copyright rents as an income stream. Copyright is a monopoly right, not property.

Please note, every time I catch you playing your “But copyright rents are the main/only income source for artists/authors/creators,” game, I’ll remind you that we’ve been over this again and again: other income streams exist. You’ve just chosen not to accept this. It’s annoying. If you think repeating things over and over again makes them true, I’ll repeat this over and over again till you accept it as truth.

As for whether programmers are still getting paid for the code they wrote, it’s doubtful. The actual programmers are saying that they don’t, so it’s likely to be the same for the Apple programmers.

LAB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“But copyright rents are the main/only income source for artists/authors/creators,”

I didn’t say this. And I want you to realize that some of my views on copyright have changed and some have not(that is why I visit this site). If you continue to put words in my mouth you miss the points I express. I am not a so called “Maximalist” and I do not work for any AA. I never said musicians don’t have other revenue streams and have been one of the first to admit the recording industries and movies industries are and have needed to change their business models. However, copyright is the law. And enforcement of it provides legitimate income for creators. Thus, I rail against the notion that breaking the law is and should be justified and piracy is a misnomer. My comment stated that both programmers and artist are authors. Without content Pandora does not exist. Whether they pay to much for content or not enough is debatable. Re-read exactly what I wrote in my comment and I believe you will see yours is reactionary and misguided.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I have ascribed to you the notion that you hold the opinion that other business models don’t exist, and for that I am sorry. I was wrong to fail to notice your change of opinion in that regard.

However, copyright is the law. And enforcement of it provides legitimate income for creators.

That’s the problem. The law changes every once in a while and never for the common benefit. Enforcement doesn’t provide income for creators but for enforcers. If creators get some of what’s left after the enforcement fees have been paid, it’s probably not that much. In any case, copyright revenues are not the main income source of any creator that I know of, as has been pointed out before. They go first to collections agencies and publishers, then to the creators, etc.

That revenues exist and are collected MAY provide income for those creators who have signed the appropriate agreements. Those who have been suckered into work-for-hire agreements don’t have that luxury.

Thus, I rail against the notion that breaking the law is and should be justified and piracy is a misnomer.

For the record I don’t agree with breaking the law but I do believe we should campaign to change the law. Piracy is a misnomer because they’re calling infringement theft. No item is being taken, infringers are usurping a monopoly privilege via unauthorized sharing. This problem could easily be dealt with by addressing the market by supplying the demand instead of segmenting and controlling the market. That they’ve chosen not to fuels the infringement (which I don’t approve of). No, infringement isn’t justified but it can be dealt with more efficiently and at less cost to the taxpayer by changing business models. Enforcing monopoly controls and extensions at taxpayer expense may be legal, but it’s not right.

Please join us in railing against those copyright holders and enforcers who break the law by infringing themselves, and actually steal items by removing them from the public domain when they extend copyright terms AGAIN. Those who take the income of artists that the copyright rents are earmarked for should also be thoroughly railed against.

My comment stated that both programmers and artist are authors. Without content Pandora does not exist. Whether they pay to much for content or not enough is debatable.

Yes, they are authors, but they are not treated in the same way, whether they deserve to be or not. That Steve Cropper seems to think that “deserves to” and “are” is causing some misunderstanding. Compensation options are available; let’s make sure we compensate the creators themselves, not merely those who claim to represent them.

Re-read exactly what I wrote in my comment and I believe you will see yours is reactionary and misguided.

Okay, you got me on “no other business models” but you still appear to see copyright as property. It’s not. You still seem to think that arbitrary moral principles need to be enforced under criminal law and that infringement = theft. It’s not. I don’t mind being corrected; if I’m wrong about you thinking those things, I’ll admit it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Apple is not an open platform.

Final Report of the National Commission on New Technology Uses of Copyrighted Works (July 31, 1978)
Chapter 3 ? Computers and Copyright
Dissent of Commissioner Hersey


The Commission report has based much of its case on its conclusion that copyright would ensure greater public access to innovative programs than would continued reliance on trade-secrecy law.

The evidence the Commission has received casts considerable doubt on this argument. In the first place, the testimony CONTU has heard makes it quite clear that the industry would have no intention of giving up trade-secrecy protection in favor of copyright; to the contrary, every indication is that it would fight hard to assert its undeniable continuing right to the former. It is obvious that the industry, faced with a choice between secrecy and dissemination, as represented in the choice between trade-secrecy laws and copyright, has overwhelmingly opted for the former. From 1964, when the Register first received programs for registration, to January 1, 1977, only 1,205 programs have been registered (and two companies, IBM and Burroughs, accounted for 971 of them).?.?.?.

ECA (profile) says:


WHO knows about the space sim, ELITE..And its later versions..

WHO HERE thinks that EVERY space sim AFTER, should be paying for that IDEA/CONCEPT/…
This game is PRE-windows..1985..
AND all the things they used in that program, have been passed DOWN in many varieties, to OTHER GAMES..

I know a couple of programmers(there were only 2) that WOULD LOVE for others to PAY for their ideas..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 50 years?

? 1962?

Would there even _be_ a list?

History of Lisp by John McCarthy

LISP prehistory – Summer 1956 through Summer 1958.

?The first problem was how to do list structure in the IBM 704. This computer has a 36 bit word, and two 15 bit parts, called the address and decrement, were distinguished by special instructions for moving their contents to and from the 15 bit index registers. The address of the machine was 15 bits, so it was clear that list structure should use 15 bit pointers. Therefore, it was natural to consider the word as divided into 4 parts, the address part, the decrement part, the prefix part and the tag part. The last two were three bits each and separated from each other by the decrement so that they could not be easily combined into a single six bit part.?

? The motivation for implementing car and cdr separately was strengthened by the vulgar fact that the IBM 704 had instructions (connected with indexing) that made these operations easy to implement.?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

If posting the same gorram thing on every other freakin’ story, whether or not the people being talked about have shown up or not isn’t spam, I don’t know what is.

I think Pragmatic is saying LAB doesn’t spam. That annoying AC needs to shut up about due process though. After 5,000 comments, we get the picture.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I was, Nasch.

LAB sees copyright rents as a legitimate income stream while accepting that other business models are available.

He’s just keen on respect for the law; I’m arguing in another thread that pirates aren’t the only “thieves” and infringers. The difference is, we haven’t got as much influence as the **AAs do to shape the law to suit ourselves. If I did, I’d be enforcing the crap out of the perjury clause of the DMCA.

LAB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

This story has nothing to do with Prenda. Nor did my comment. But If I must…….the law is quite clear… if you infringe a copyright holder’s copyright, they can sue you. Whether the Prenda attorneys were slimy and getting there just dessert is a given. Perhaps you do not agree with the law. You are entitled to beliefs, as am I. If you speed, you might get a ticket. If you pirate some porn without paying for it, you might get sued. Are speed traps a bummer? Yes. Are the Prenda lawyers a terrible representation of the legal profession? Yes. I don’t sign in Anonymously because I have no problem with my beliefs and expressing them. I am sorry you do not feel the same.

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