And Here We Go Again: Argentina Extends Copyright

from the cry-for-creativity,-Argentina dept

It's nearly impossible to keep track of the recording industry's efforts to extend copyright around the globe, using its usual "leapfrog" means of claiming that copyright lengths need to be "harmonized," and thus ratcheted up and up and up on a rotating basis. Apparently, while everyone was focused on places like Europe and Japan, the industry has successfully been able to get Argentina to extend the length of copyright on performances from 50 years to 70 years. Amusingly, all those quoted in favor of it, make bizarre claims that retroactively extending copyrights on content already created 50 years ago will somehow promote the creation of new music.

And, of course, as this news comes out, it's worth pointing out that a commenter last week reminded us of economist Rufus Pollock's paper from June of this year, which tried to calculate the optimal length of copyright and found that it is likely in the 10 to 15 year range. So why are governments moving progressively further away from that rate based on nothing other than demands from the record labels who know that lengthier copyrights are nothing more than a monopoly rent for them? What's truly amazing is that pretty much the entire history of the copyright debate has been based on claims without any evidence that "more" must be "better." But these days, we have plenty of evidence that shows that's not true. So why do politicians keep extending copyright?


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    Mike C. (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 5:41am

    Duh...

    So why do politicians keep extending copyright?

    I'm surprised you gave us such an easy question. I believe that if they didn't, they couldn't get all those luxury dinners and vacations courtesy of the MAFIAA.

     

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    BoloMKXXVIII (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 6:04am

    "So why do politicians keep extending copyright?"

    It is called payoffs, I mean campaign contributions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 6:14am

    It's fun how you find out your local laws have changed by checking a foreign site. There was absolutely no report of this on the media.

    Also, this probably only helps foreign artists... our movies almost never lasts more than a year or so on the mainstream (very few end up being printed in dvd's and they last about 2 weeks on the theaters). Our music industry is very good, but I have never heard an argentinian artist complain on piracy.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 6:36am

      Re:

      "It's fun how you find out your local laws have changed by checking a foreign site. There was absolutely no report of this on the media."

      Thank Juan Peron for letting all those sandy haired blondes with blue eyes into the country back in the 40's. But fear not, America and Russia did the same thing.

      Ain't fascism fun?

       

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    WammerJammer (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 6:32am

    Why do politicians keep extending?

    They are owned by the corporations. You can't be elected into any office without deep pockets. The corporations have turned into the mob.
    Prime example is the health care debacle in America. The politicians are all bought and paid for. As long as Insurance and other financial corporations dictate policy because of money they will make or lose. We the people have already lost. The only solution is total, absolute revolution. Time to take down your boss.

     

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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 6:33am

    Well DUH!

    make bizarre claims that retroactively extending copyrights on content already created 50 years ago will somehow promote the creation of new music.

    It does promote the creation of new music, because it dissuade people from just re-recording old music. With a very short copyright term (say 10 years) the musical landscape would be littered with huge numbers of cover bands, just doing other people's music over and over again. Why risk on something new when you can get a reliable cover band to redo the AC/DC catalog?

    You often seem to forget that copyright doesn't just encourage new music, but it also discourages repeating, which also gets us more new music.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 6:38am

      Re: Well DUH!

      "Why risk on something new when you can get a reliable cover band to redo the AC/DC catalog?"

      Er, because they have to? You can only repeat old music so long before the thirst for something new takes over. I like my oldies as much as the next person, but I certainly don't keep them on the radio all the time, because I need something new. I would imagine most of the music consuming public is the same.

       

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      Some dead guy, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 6:52am

      Re: Well DUH!

      I am really encouraged by this development. I will begin making new music now that I am afforded copyright forever plus one day. The fact that I am already dead has nothing to do with my ability to accomplish this feat.

      Thank You Music Lobbists everywhere.
      Sincerely, Some dead guy

       

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:06am

      Re: Well DUH!

      Psssh! More like it keeps being re-done until somebody does it RIGHT. Once the definitive work is done; the song stops being covered.

      (for example, one day one of your descendants might be an enlightened intellectual... but until then, ya got keep re-hashing those genetics until you get something worthwhile. :P )

       

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        The Anti-Mike, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re: Well DUH!

        There is no definitive version (except the original). Everything else is a copy, a redo, a replication. The time spent on the replication might have been better spent to create something new instead, no?

        copryight only punishes those who seek to be less than original.

         

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          Yep, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re: Well DUH!

          "he time spent on the replication might have been better spent to create something new instead,"

          I agree.

          Dear Hollywood, please stop making sequels - they suck.
          Anyone think they care? Didn't think so.

           

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            The Anti-Mike, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Well DUH!

            A movie sequel is still much more original than someone covering another artists song. Yes, there are some very good and very interesting cover songs out there, but in many cases they are just like taking a good story and reprinting it in a different font - nothing new was added.

            Sequel movies aren't just a refilming of the same movie, they have different stories, and only duplicate characters or situations. It's like adding more chapters onto the original book, not just changing the type face of the current book.

             

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              Ryan, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well DUH!

              So it's all the remakes we're getting now that need to be stopped? I can go with that. I mean, just about every movie takes elements from other movies and it'd be really tough to figure out where to draw the line, meaning yet more resources would be wasted in court rather than letting artists make what they want to make and audiences see what they want to see, but...wait, why am I even arguing you? I just wasted 45 seconds of my life typing this, I'm gonna go wrestle in the mud with pigs instead.

               

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                The Anti-Mike, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 9:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well DUH!

                Remakes are a real issue, and in the end you make my point for me:

                Remakes are a waste, in all forms, including in movies and music. Sadly, enough people will line up and pay, thus making it economically viable (even after paying licensing fees), even if it is a waste of time and effort.

                Remakes and sequels are not the same thing, although some people may confuse them.

                 

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                  ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 10:22am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well DUH!

                  "Remakes and sequels are not the same thing, although some people may confuse them."

                  Correct. The remake of BSG is far better than Spidey 2.

                   

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                  Remake - Sequel - WTH, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 11:48am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well DUH!

                  TAM -> "Remakes and sequels are not the same thing"

                  examples:
                  1) Remake - The Bourne Identity

                  - Which I thought was very good, too bad TAM does not like it.

                  2) Sequel - Rocky

                  - Seriously, how many Rocky movies can one endure?

                   

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          known coward, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:03am

          Re: Re: Re: Well DUH!

          Absolutely right; I know nirvana's cover of the Huddie ledbetter tune 'in the pines' adds nothing to the genre


          /sarcasm off

           

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      ac, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:18am

      Re: Well DUH!

      ...that's your argument, that copyright needs to be extended so that it discourages people from repeating/re-recording music? Do you have any studies, any information at all that would help support your argument, or is this your usual "just disagree with whatever is posted on Techdirt" post?

       

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      Joe (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:40am

      Re: Well DUH!

      What?! When's the last time you saw a cover band hit the mainstream?!! Never, that's when. And why would you need a cover band to "re-do" the catalog? If there was no more copyright on it, people could just get the original works with ease.

      What copyright DOES do is prevent people from using that music to create new works. Remixes, sampling, etc are all NEW works that can't be done without deep pockets thanks to copyright.

      Your cover band argument is probably the worst one I've ever heard...

       

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        Joe (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:52am

        Re: Re: Well DUH!

        To clarify; the original catalog could be gotten for cheap/free, so nobody would pay for a re-work. They might pay to see someone PERFORM the re-work (scarcity), but not the work itself.

         

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      The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:41am

      Re: Well DUH!

      "Why risk on something new when you can get a reliable cover band to redo the AC/DC catalog?"

      Congratulations, you just showed how musicians lack any creativity or any desire to create something new unless they are forced to. Why do we have them again? They should get a real job and get off my lawn.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:35am

      Re: Well DUH!

      This is already a problem. But it is more the listeners fault.

       

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      Richard (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:48am

      Re: Well DUH!

      It does promote the creation of new music, because it dissuade people from just re-recording old music. With a very short copyright term (say 10 years) the musical landscape would be littered with huge numbers of cover bands, just doing other people's music over and over again. Why risk on something new when you can get a reliable cover band to redo the AC/DC catalog?

      Well read the story! This is about copyright on PERFORMANCES.

      It has nothing to do with whether you record new or old music.

      And of course for those who hold copyrights on performances it removes the need to make any new ones - since the old ones can continue to generate royalties.

      With a very short copyright term (say 10 years) the musical landscape would be littered with huge numbers of cover bands, just doing other people's music over and over again. Why risk on something new when you can get a reliable cover band to redo the AC/DC catalog?

      As opposed to the current situation....

       

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      Richard (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:56am

      Re: Well DUH!

      You often seem to forget that copyright doesn't just encourage new music, but it also discourages repeating, which also gets us more new music.

      Actually it is really an argument for zero copyright term since then the artists would have to keep creating new stuff because all their old stuff was freely copyable and therefore had no further economic value to them.

       

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      Richard (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:57am

      Re: Well DUH!

      You often seem to forget that copyright doesn't just encourage new music, but it also discourages repeating, which also gets us more new music.

      Of course copyright extension is theft from the public - so this is an argument justifying theft on the grounds that it generates economic activity when the victims have to go out and replace what was stolen.

       

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      Gordon, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 10:04am

      Re: Well DUH!

      And to add to what DH was saying,
      If you went to see a band and all they did was covers, How many times would you go see them? Myself...2...maybe 3 times.
      After that they need to be writing their own stuff. Covering other bands music is a way to get your name out there for upcoming acts. You get asses in clubs and people hear your voice/musical chops. Once they've heard you, if they like you they'll keep listening....unless that is, you just play covers all your career. So to play covers is a good stepping stone to get your name out.
      THEN ppl will be more likely to have an open mind to your originals.

       

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      Vincent Clement, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:38pm

      Re: Well DUH!

      What proof do you have that the "musical landscape would be littered with huge numbers of cover bands"?

      This isn't a cover band issue. The point behind shorter copyright terms is to encourage those that have already created to create new things. Longer copyright encourages existing creators to sit on their ass and collect royalty cheques.

       

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      John Lennon, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 2:08pm

      Re: Well DUH!

      It does, does it?

      Do you know how many re-releases and remasters there have been of The Beatles?

      Also thanks to statutory licensing anyone can do a cover version right now, they just have to share any royalties.

      What was your point?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 6:44am

    b

     

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    Monarch (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:17am

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Is why!

     

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    gg, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:44am

    variable length copyright

    The government should just let authors sign up for whatever term of copyright they want when they first register. But any term longer than a dozen or so years should require payment of an escalating fee. You want a 50 year copyright, fine. That's a million bucks.

     

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      Andrew F (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 11:27am

      Re: variable length copyright

      Or to mix your idea with the idea of the poster below you: Escalating property tax.

      First 10 years = 0% tax. Next 10 years = 10% tax. And so on -- with it basically becoming public domain after 100 years.

       

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    Just Sayin, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:04am

    If copyright is actually property, as a few who post here think it is, then why is it not subject to pproperty tax levied upon its declared worth?

    If these forever and a day copyright types had to pay tax upon their hoarded, ill-gotten gains then they might have a different perspective on things.

     

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      The Sarcastic Anti-Mike, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 2:54pm

      Re:

      Intellectual property is absolutely nothing like real property and that is why when one infringes upon copyright it is actually stealing.

      Trent Reznor says it's stealing, even though he isn't a lawyer, and if we don't listen to Trent Reznor then who will we listen to? The public?!? Ha! Don't make me laugh.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:12am

    Argentina, called home by European Nazis.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 9:39am

    Today in a shop

    I saw a USB turntable.

    Now in the UK format shifting is still not strictly legal - but fortunately - owing to a stalemate in the EU we still haven't had this particular (50-70) extension so there are quite a few old classical vinyls that can be legally copied.

    Still I'm guessing that mostly people will be copying stuff that isn't strictly legal - so why doesn't the recording industry go after these devices?

    I looked on the box and discovered that one of the features of the turntable is an "RIAA equaliser". I wonder if that has something to do with it.....?

     

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      How many licenses does one need to obtain?, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 12:00pm

      Re: Today in a shop

      "RIAA equaliser" -- pretty funny

      I was under the (potentially incorrect) assumption that all I need was one legitimately purchased copy and I could create a copy to listen to in my vehicle, on my bicycle, etc. It probably depends upon where you live.

      Anyways, I have lots of old vinyl. So long as I keep the vinyl, as that is my license, I can make flac, mp3, whatever files for use in a player of my choice. Or am I just a thieving pirate terrorist ?

       

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