Protecting Copyright Often Seems To Fly In The Face Of Good Business

from the bingo dept

Dave Title recently had a post on his My Media Musings blog, where he talks about a student "lip dub" music video, which he notes almost certainly violates copyright law, but that it would be really dumb for the copyright holder (in this case, whoever holds the copyright on music by the Black-Eyed Peas) to enforce. Then Title busts out a line that should be repeated often:
Protecting a copyright often seems to fly in the face of good business.
Bingo. This is an argument we've been making for over a decade. There are many in both business and law who seem to assume that because you can enforce a right, it means that it always makes business sense to enforce that right. And yet, as we see over and over and over again, it's quite often not the case at all. In an awful lot of cases, very strong arguments can be made that the reverse is true and that protecting your copyright actually does a lot more damage than good.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Richard (profile), Oct 7th, 2009 @ 3:27am

    Who makes the decision

    Probably these decisions are overly influenced by the legal department. It may not make business sense for the form overall - but it makes "business sense" for the legal department.

    Firms should set their policies such that

    "Total losses from Patent/copyright Infringment"= Legal Costs

    Anything else is clearly non-optimal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2009 @ 4:08am

    copyright appears to be the right to copy online

     

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    David Canton, Oct 7th, 2009 @ 4:35am

    protecting copyright vs good business

    That is absolutely correct. There are many legal issues where I view our jobs as lawyers is to put clients in the best legal position they can be in - which then gives them the most options from a business perspective.

    Another example is having e-commerce sites set up so if there is an error (such as monitor mistakenly advertised for $1.99 instead of $199.) the vendor can refuse to sell it for that price to those who have ordered and paid. At least that gives the vendor the option to decide from a business perspective whether it wants to refuse the sales - or allow the sales as a gesture of good will and promotion.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Oct 7th, 2009 @ 7:18am

    Lobbying

    But of course it is good business sense to do what the laws allow. They're the ones that paid the lobbyists and politicians to write the laws!
    /sarcasm

     

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    DS, Oct 7th, 2009 @ 8:53am

    Ugh

    Well, there's on copyright on the concept of bad music, that's for sure.

     

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    Thomas, Oct 7th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Good Business sense...

    is an oxymoron in today's world.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Protecting a copyright often seems to fly in the face of good business.

    More like protecting a copyright seems to go against people who want everything for nothing.

    I am not entirely sure how everything for nothing would be considered good business.

     

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    another mike (profile), Oct 7th, 2009 @ 4:17pm

    remember scrabulous

    I thought we already coined a term for this? When protecting your legal rights is a bad business decision. We were calling it the Scrabulous Effect in honor of that little Facebook game that Hasbro tried to crush but ended up having it blow up in their face.

     

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