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
    misanthropic humanist, 26 Jan 2007 @ 11:53am

    what a load of nonsense

    Good Lord! "Liberty Dave", for someone who disgraces that word by prefixing your moniker with it you show a dreadfully opinionated attitude to other peoples business.

    Your reasoning and your arguments are brimming with emotion and are quite specious and incoherent.

    We are not discussing the value of a creative persons work.

    We are not discussing any agreement between the artists and their audience.

    We are not discussing the operation of a free market economy.

    What we are discussing here is copyright extension. In order to participate in the discussion you need to understand what copyright is. You do not. You've jumped head first into a debate about a subject you clearly haven't a clue about. That is why I suggested you go away and read something about copyright in order to better offer something to the discussion.

    Study this and then see where your views lie.

    I suspect that your motivations are good, that you want to see artists fairly compensated for their efforts. That is noble, but you do a disservice to all when you misrepresent the essential facts and philosophies of the argument. As I said, I've worked as a creative producer and have benefited handsomely from copyright provisions. For the mostpart I support the principle of copyright. That is why I oppose its debasement by the lazy bastards who seek to twist it to exploit both artists and audience. You do not seem to understand the nature of intellectual property, that it can be bought and sold as well as licensed and that in that process the public/audience and the artist may be equally abused and the wealth of intellectual activity destroyed.

    I'm simply putting forth a philosophy that differs from many of you, saying that the author or creator of something has a right to be paid for works they created.

    You're entitled to that philosophy, and you are entitled to put it forth. It is however, in my humble opinion, complete and utter bollocks.

    If it held then I would have a right to be paid for the post I have just written. If you still feel this way please let me know and I will make arrangements to invoice you.


    Kindly refrain from menstruating in your posts.

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