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. identicon
    Liberty Dave, 26 Jan 2007 @ 1:06pm

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

    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.

    Ok, ok, ok. Now I see why we're not understanding each other. You seem to think I was acting as though I know copyright law and that I was saying incorrect things about it.

    So let me just state that I don't know all the details of copyright law, as you have so humbly stated on my behalf so many times.

    I wasn't insisting that copyright law is designed for anything...I was simply stating what I think it SHOULD do. So yes, I was taking the position that copyright law should "support the artist". And as you point out, it is factually incorrect to say "current copyright law is designed to support the artist". I tried not to say that...but yes my position is that copyright law should be to support the artist.

    Was I really that confusing to you and others? The points I was making were quite simple, I never attested to the fact that I know copyright law and I never tried to state what current copyright law does.

    I THOUGHT I was disagreeing with you, Mike, on current copyright law, and how it's being interpreted. I also thought I was disagreeing with others when they were supporting current copyright law or wanting the number of years reduced.

    And there are lawsuits, or have been, where someone was sued for copying another's furniture style. That's what I was getting at in terms of the whole chair argument.

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