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
    frankthetank, 29 Jan 2007 @ 9:27am

    making copyright compare to chairs

    i think i've found an argument with the chair vs. music

    i buy a chair. i own it. it's mine. no one disputes that, right? well, now say i move, or decide to have an addition put onto my house. if i move the chair to a new location, do i have to pay the creator again? i would hope not.

    that's what happens with music. if i get a new computer/player or whatnot, i'll have to rebuy the music because it's copy protected. it's protected because of copyrights.

    now here's something funny. back to the chair. if i break the chair, i can attempt to fix it. if if destroy it, yet have detail drawings/instructions i can build a new one. while it may not be the same molecules that the orginal chair was comprised of, it is still one chair, that i bought.

    now the market stuff. artist should be compensated, and that's what the market does. the market also shows that is possible to compete with free. CD sales still are the leader in music sales. why? many reasons. i would venture a guess at the standing physical medium in which it's on. next is the extra content you get. that little book with pictures/lyrics/band bios... the CDExtras with more pictures/ maybe a live performance, codes for concert tix. that all adds value to the music. it also adds costs of production, but as production goes to infinity, the costs go to zero...economics again

    well that's that and a bag of potato chips

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