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 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: what a load of nonsense

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

    L.D.: Yes, some of us are.

    Liberty Dave, you and I just had this conversation where I thought you agreed that price had nothing to do with value. Yet here you are again saying that it does matter.

    I'm sorry, but your own arguments continue to be entirely inconsistent. Misanthropic Humanist's post was a very good one. You do not need to know about copyright to state your opinion, but your ignorance makes your argument extremely weak. You change the basis of your argument in nearly every post, every time any of us points out an inconsistency. It would very much help if you bothered to understand copyright, because you seem to have a blindspot to understanding why it does what it does -- and why your thoughts on copyright aren't just bad, they're harmful for the very artists you claim your position would help.

    What you are suggesting would make it impossible for any artist today to create any new works, by impossibly burdening them with tremendous costs based on all previous works. It really is that simple.

    Your position limits creativity and innovation by adding tremendous cost. That means, the only people who get to make money are the descendants of those who created years ago. How is that helpful to society?

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