Copyright Is Not A Welfare System For Musicians

from the please-explain dept

As the battle over copyright term extension is still going on in the UK, the Register has an interview with a former general manager of Motown, talking about how those in favor of extending the length of performance rights screwed up because they had successful musicians like Cliff Richard as the figurehead for the movement, leading people to question why a successful musician needs any more money. Instead, he points out that they should have focused on the studio musicians or less well known players where "500 quid a year to them that's a significant amount of money." Of course, that bases the entire argument on the idea that copyright is some sort of welfare program for content creators. It's not. It's very clearly laid out purpose is simply to put in place the incentives for creation of new content. The content that was created 50 years ago does not need any more incentive to be created. Yes, additional money to these musicians probably would be nice for them, but copyright isn't designed as a system to support musicians. They did this work 50 years ago. They got paid then, and they've been paid for it for 50 years, as the law stated. It was enough incentive for them back then -- and it's one of the few jobs in the world where you get paid for work you did 50 years ago. If we want to create a welfare system for musicians, that's a different discussion -- but don't try to hide a welfare system in copyright.

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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 26 Jan 2007 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: copyright is your righ

    Mike, it's really not tough to discuss something with someone just because they're not as knowledgeable as you on that particular subject.

    Dave, I'm not saying you're not knowledgeable. I'm saying you are consistently WRONG in stating the facts. That's why it's difficult to discuss with you. I've pointed out repeatedly why you are factually wrong, and you say it's a difference of opinion. It's not opinion. You are wrong. That's what makes the discussion difficult.

    We can discuss opinion, if you want, but it needs to be on a sound factual basis.

    But it's quite rude to have that high and mighty attitude with someone, but I guess I've gotten under your skin a bit, so your attitude is understandable.

    Not trying to be "high and mighty." Just saying that we can't discuss this reasonably when you claim things that are simply untrue.

    If you and I tried to discuss programming, and I kept insisting that programming didn't make any sense because my computer works fine, you would have trouble discussing things with me. Yet, that's the equivalent of what you're doing. Your making a totally different claim based on factually problematic information. All we're suggesting is that if you want to state an opinion on a subject, it helps to base it on facts rather than falsehoods.

    Are you saying that if you buy a chair you don't "own" it?

    No. I'm saying that if you copied a chair, you are not stealing (as you claimed).

    Are you saying that when you buy music you ARE allowed to use it comercially without the artists consent?

    Yes, you absolutely are allowed to use it commercially without the artist's consent, with extensive limitations that are explained within copyright. In fact, that's a large part of the point of copyright.

    Just because I disagree with that above part of your post, and your opinion that musicians shouldnt' be paid after 50 years, doesn't mean I need to go read up on the details of copyright law.

    Yes it does. Because the POINT of copyright law is to create the incentives for creations, NOT to support the artist. The whole point of my post was to say that if you want to create laws to support the artist ("welfare") then create those laws -- but don't use copyright for them. However, your continued insistence that copyright is designed to support the artist is FACTUALLY incorrect and is the basis of why your opinion is problematic and why we are trying to help you understand this.

    I'm sure you mean well, but you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

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