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 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So are ideas. Yet you are willing to give away your thoughts on this topic for free?

    Yes, some people such as myself are willing to give away their ideas for free. Whether or not I find them valuable or anyone else does doesn't matter to me. They're my ideas, I decided to give them away for free, of my own free will.

    But I could also go be a consultant on certain topics, giving away my ideas or knowledge for free...or charge for it. If people want to buy it, great. If not, I will have to find something else to make a living at.

    It is important to recognize a simple fact of economics: value does not equal price

    That is very, very true, which I recognize, but I don't think that has any bearing on the discussion we're having. And where are you going with that statement? I'm not quite sure. Stating such a wise statement is nice and all, but I'm not sure why you're saying it, or what point you're trying to make with it.

    The main question I ask is why do you, or anyone else, think they have a right to tell someone when they can no longer profit off of something they created due to a passage of time? Why not just let the free market be, it works great. If someone has made a recording, for example, and stipulates a price for it, and also that it cannot be used commercially without their consent or payment in some fashion, then let consumers decide if that's of value enough to them to agree to that.

    If your so against artists making money after a certain time period then why not just make it one year? Why not one month? What's the magic number you'll use for it? Where do you come up with this number? How is it determined? And lastly, why do you or anyone else care so much what someone makes from their creation after the passage of a certain amount of time?

    If you don't agree with it you certainly have the right to say so, and so do I. I think we need to let the free market do the pricing for products and services. No one gets hurt, except envious people or people that want something for free.

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