Would Copyright Work Better If It Was Treated More Like Property?

from the um,-no dept

Lawyer Terry Hart, who we linked to last month for his discussion about whether or not it was okay to call infringement theft has now written another piece arguing that those of us who point out that copyright is not property may also be making a mistake. Specifically, he points to a recent paper by Christopher Newman, which suggests that the problem might be that we don't treat copyright enough like property, and that if we treated it even more like property, many of the problems with copyright law, specifically in the area of derivative works, would be more efficiently handled. In many ways, Newman's paper is quite similar to the argument of Bessen and Meurer in the patent realm. Their research details how much the patent system is hindering innovation, and they chalk up the problem to the fact that patents are not enough like property, in that the boundaries are not clearly defined. Newman appears to take a similar position, with a few more specifics having to do with copyright.

At a first glance, there is definitely something compelling about this argument (in both the patent and copyright realms). The lack of clear boundaries in either is, certainly, part of the problem because it allows the copyright and patent holders to try to expand their ability to exclude well beyond what many people feel is reasonable or economically justifiable. So, the argument goes, if the boundaries could be more properly calibrated, and clearly stated, it would do away with the worst abuses of each system.

In the end, though, I find neither argument convincing. Both are predicated on the idea that property rights, when properly defined with clear boundaries, lead to the more efficient allocation of resources. This is, of course, the fundamental rationale behind economics and property rights. The problem? They leave out an important condition: property rights are about the efficient allocation of resources in the presence of scarcity. The real reason for property rights was to handle the allocation of scarce resources. And, in fact, property rights do a pretty efficient job of that. The problem is that when the resource isn't scarce, allocation is not the problem any more. Putting property rights on non-scarce items doesn't make it more efficient, it makes it less efficient. It's telling, then, that Newman's paper makes no mention of either abundance or scarcity.

That's not to say the analysis provided in both Newman's paper or Bessen and Meurer's book isn't interesting and worth reading, but the fundamental error of not recognizing the different fundamental issues when dealing with scarce goods and abundant goods means that the solutions presented in each seem to be answering the wrong question, set up by a faulty assumption concerning the nature of property rights.

The reason that we point out that copyright and patents should not be considered property is not because we believe, as Hart implies, that thinking that way only papers over the problems of copyright, but that, fundamentally, copyright and property rights serve exceptionally different purposes. Could clearer boundaries improve things at the margin? Perhaps, though I doubt how effective it can really be. But, focusing on property rights as a "solution" is tackling the wrong problem. We don't need more efficient allocation of creativity -- it can already be allocated perfectly efficiently, since you can never run out of a particular (digital) work. So aiming for a better property rights regime, by definition, can only serve to limit that efficient allocation and make it less efficient.


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  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 5:37pm

    Oh please...

    Blah, blah, blah. Pay taxes, then.

    Heck, when shit really went off the rails it was because you didn't have to make even the minor transaction cost of REGISTERING YOUR PRECIOUS CRAP! If we just went back to that there'd be a hell of a lot less to bitch about.

    Of course, that still ignores the free speech aspect of being able to repeat what you've been told, but it'd be a start in the right direction.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 5:50pm

    I think those people are deluding themselves, IP laws will never have boundaries that can be enforced in a practical way.

    Besides it creates an adversarial environment where cooperation is lost along with the utility of "the product".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Oh please...

    :D

    That is a seriously missed opportunity for the gubmint to generate revenue: required registration and fees for every copyright.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re: Oh please...

    Non-registration for the existence of copyright might be the only thing Berne got right.

     

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    Karl (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:23pm

    It's not only wrong, it's dangerous.

    It's not only incorrect to treat copyright as property, it's downright dangerous. The absurdities we see everyday from copyright maximalists are an example of what happens when you think of copyright as a property right.

    Sheldon Richman wrote a very compelling article about why this is. I strongly urge everybody to read it, as it succinctly illustrates the point. It's telling that a year after he wrote it, the article comments contain no further refutation from those who disagree with him than "nuh-uh!"

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:54pm

    "The real reason for property rights"

    is to distinguish between mine and yours. Has nothing to do with efficiency (that's a dangerous basis that leads to monopolies of all kinds); it's intrinsic to personhood. You can't understand property at all if you don't include that historically, *everything* was considered to belong to the sovereign; he then divvied up land (revocably) to those who promised to serve him, or pleased him, totally up to the arbitrary whim of the sovereign. -- The ordinary person had *no* rights whatsoever throughout most of history, was in fact considered chattel that went with the land, bound to it, not permitted to travel elsewhere.

    It's only in modern times that "allocation" has been more fair, and in the New World, the only reason that ordinary people ended up with lands was that no else had yet grabbed it (purposely ignoring natives, who had no actual claim to the land nor gov't to defend it, just happened to be on it; they were doomed upon meeting more advanced peoples).

    Anyway, "property rights" are a weak basis for copyright. Like all analogies, its basic differences just make for irrelevant quibbles, as here. -- Copyright isn't property, but does need to be clearly defined, to *stop* increasing its coverage, to be greatly rolled back from current, to an actually *limited* time period, and to be a privilege available only to "natural" persons (stupid qualifier that we're now forced to use).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:11pm

    Copyright provides incentives to authors to create new works. It is that creativity that is the scarcity. Focusing on the ease of copying the resultant work misses the point. It's the creation of the work that matters.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Oh please...

    How so?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re: Oh please...

    Not only that, you get to pay taxes on a declared value for the IP. That declared value should also be the maximum damages that you could be awarded in the event of an infringement.

    So, if you really think your IP is worth $500m then you pay an annual tax proportional to $500m every year.

    Stop paying the tax and the IP returns to the public domain.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:41pm

    Corporate Welfare

    There is a ridiculously low cost to get a copyright, then an absurdly high cost of infringement. At the moment, a content creator merely has to create something -- anything, even of the most miserably low quality -- then a government-granted monopoly privilege sort of floats down from heaven and envelops the precious copyright work, raising it to the status of something sacred. The new copyright owner did not even have to put on a copyright notice, nor fill out any forms, nor pay any fee, nor conform to any other bureaucratic requirements. They just get a monopoly privilege, which often lasts over a hundred years, from the wildly generous US taxpayer.

    Then, if somebody has the temerity to infringe the precious copyright, the hounds of hell are let loose. At vast expense to the US taxpayer, enormous police investigations happen. Huge and expensive court cases are fought, lasting years. Monstrous fines are levied, then payment gets fought over for more years.

    This is an insane disparity. If copyright is so mightily valuable, then the government should be charging a handsome fee to get it started and renewed. There should be stiff bureaucratic requirements to be fulfilled, otherwise no copyright. The government and the copyright owners are in a very unfair partnership, where the government pays all the costs and the owners get all the benefits. The present copyright system is a clear case of corporate welfare. What were the politicians thinking?

     

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    jon, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:49pm

    You are still confused

    Mike you're confusing creativity with reproduction.

    Sure, you might be abble to reproduce a work infinitly, but the time and abilities of the creator are not infinite, they are relatively scarce.

    The cost involved in producing a creative work is not in the marginal cost of reproduction, it's in the fixed cost of creation.

    Any model that bases its assumptions on the marginal cost of reproduction - like iStock photo for example - is doomed to be unsustainable.

    Any economy that mistaks the two, is simiilarly doomed to lag behind economies that understand.

     

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    MrWilson, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 8:13pm

    The problem for the IP industry is that copyrighted material is already thought of as property - by the purchaser. When I buy a DVD, it belongs to me. That's what I paid you for - to own it. I didn't license it. I didn't rent it. And my ownership expires when I throw it away or give it to a friend.

    But the IP industry saw an opportunity with newer technologies to squeeze blood from already drained turnips. Why should I pay more for a new copy when I already have a copy? I bought the music. That ownership comes with rights, whether the laws you've paid for respect that or not.

    I wouldn't have bought the CD if the music weren't on it. The music is the inherent property that I paid for. The CD is just the medium. I didn't buy a blank CD for a reason.

    The concept that copyright is like property has another side that copyright maximalists aren't considering (but also won't accept since it's only about what they want, not fairness). If all the media that I purchased belongs to someone else and I'm supposed to treat it like someone else's property, then I'm charging you rent for storing your music in my head. That movie you own that I can quote verbatim? Yeah, that's $100/month for space I could have filled with something else. All the shelf space that your CDs are filling up in my house? That's sending my kids to college.

    Or it can be considered abandoned property. You didn't come to my house to pick it up, so I guess it's mine now and I'll do what I like with it.

    If I destroy a CD that technically belongs to the recording company, am I liable for property damage? If I forget the tune or the lyrics to a song that was stuck in my head a year ago, am I liable for property damage?

    To treat "Intellectual Property" like real property means that I can read you my poem and then cut your head off because it's the only way I can make sure you don't keep my property.

    Absurd? Of course. Oh you meant my analogies? I was just talking about treating Intellectual Property like real property. Now that's absurd.

     

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    Terry Hart (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 8:32pm

    Re:

    I'm unaware of any situations where you can cut off someone's head to recover real property.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 8:46pm

    Re: You are still confused

    You nailed it.

     

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    MrWilson, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:05pm

    Re: You are still confused

    You seem to be confusing creative effort (an action or series of actions) with a work (a product of creativity that has been fixed in a tangible medium).

    Copyright doesn't exist for creative effort, only for products.

    Title 17 § 102
    "Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."

    The effort, which involves creativity (s, is in fact scarce. The product of that creativity is not scarce if able to be copied. Most products of creativity can be copied, or reasonably reproduced (like taking a picture of a painting if you can't otherwise paint a duplicate).

    Some artists are in fact paid for the creative effort. Concert musicians, wedding singers, performance artists, strippers, when playing for limited attendance events where no recording is taking place, get paid for their effort.

    Other types of artists, especially ones involved in the selling of tangible products rather than in services such as live performances, make money for the products they create.

    You don't pay a writer for a book they wrote but never published. You pay them for the book so that you can read it. The book itself is the product for which the writer earned his money.

    Yes, the product couldn't have existed without the creative effort and the creative effort can exist without the product, but only the product earns the money unless you negotiate to sell the performance. If you can find someone to pay you to write, regardless of what final product you create, then you have a very niche job in performance art and I'd like to know if I can get in on the act.

    The fixed cost of creation must be taken into account and negotiated for by the artist if he's working with a production company. If he's selling his own work, he has to work out his own business model. Once the work is fixed in a tangible medium that can be infinitely copied, however, it is irrelevant to the pricing of the product. This is proven by the movie industry again and again.

    Blair Witch Project cost $600 thousand to make but grossed $140 million in the US. On the other hand, Cutthroat Island cost $115 million and made only $10 million in the US.

    I can buy Blair Witch Project on DVD for $6 on Amazon and Cutthroat Island on DVD for $8. Where does how much it cost to make either film deeply affect the pricing of the product after it's fixed in a tangible medium? Where does how much it cost to make either film deeply affect the profitability of the product?

    Movie actors negotiate for a salary regardless of how well the movie does (usually), but this is the production studio paying them, not the consumer of the final product. Actors don't sell movies. They get paid for their performances by companies who record and edit and package and sell those performances along with the performances of other creative (and uncreative) people in a fixed medium. It is irrelevant to the consumer how much the studio decided to spent on creative effort.

    This is not to say that the creative efforts of artists are worthless. It just means that they have to recognize that spending 10 years or 2 months writing a book isn't going to greatly effect the sales price of a hardcover edition. Production cost is a consideration only for the producer. It has nothing to do with copyright law.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:22pm

    These discussions re copyrights and property will continue to be nothing more that the back and forth lobbing of a tennis ball across a net until it is recognized that property is both a legal and economic construct.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re: You are still confused

    Authors are granted exclusive rights to incentivize their creativity. If these rights weren't exclusive, they wouldn't be very good incentives. As you said, this creativity is a scarcity. Mike's focus on the ease of copying the subsequent creation completely misses the point.

     

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    MrWilson, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Re:

    That's because real property can't be kept in the head (unless you're Johnny Mnemonic). But real property that belongs to someone else can be repossessed.

    Real property can also be stolen, so as soon as you create a flawless memory wiping device that can target specific memories, I'll hold creative people at gunpoint, record their works in a tangible medium, and then wipe their memory of the work and the whole gun-to-the-head episode.

    But to be fair, I put the property in your head since I was the one who read it to you. So I should probably pay you for storing my stuff. But then, if I pay you to store it, you have an incentive to remember it. And if you tell it to someone else and subsequently forget it, then you're giving away my stuff without my permission. That's theft!

     

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    MrWilson, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    You're also confusing the creativity with the work.

    Authors are granted exclusive rights to the copying of the products of their creativity. They are not given any rights in regards to their creativity itself. Creativity is not tangible.

    The (misnomer) "intellectual property" refers to the products of creativity (among other things, but in this specific case we're referring to copyright). The creativity itself is not the intellectual property.

    Copyright law doesn't grant you any rights to the mental process of thinking up the words you write. You only get rights to the product of that mental process once it is fixed in a tangible medium.

    It's absurd enough to treat the products of creativity like real property. It's even more absurd to treat the creativity itself as real property. In fact, it's impossible to do so even if you wanted to.

    Which is why the scarcity of creativity is irrelevant to the discussion.

    Artist's who are selling the performance of their creativity do not retain copyrights over their performances (unless they are being recorded, in which case the recording would constitute a fixed work in a tangible medium). There's nothing tangible to treat like real property. It might as well be a pretty sunset that no one records.

    So why do you think that the scarcity of creativity has relevance to the concept of treating copyrighted material like real property?

    As I said before, I'd love to get paid a salary (with decent medical, dental, and retirement benefits while we're daydreaming) just to "be creative" without having to fix anything in a tangible medium. Are you hiring?

     

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    jon, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:44pm

    Re: Re: You are still confused

    Since when does the cost of *anything* reflect the price? Text messages don't cost what telcos charge us, nor do cars, or a can of coke, nor just about anything.

    It's the value determined on the market that defines the price.

    You argue in circles; of course the copyright exists in the fixed book or film, and of course the writer isn't paid for just sitting there and thinking.. But if production of a book, movie or film costs anything more than the marginal cost of REproduction (which is often close to zero), you have a problem.

    Thats exactly the purpose copyright serves - to try to balance private and social goods.

    If you spend $600,000 making a film and you make a profit, how is that bad? If you spend that and can't get it back somehow, you'll think twice about trying it again.

    It's pretty normal business practice.

    If you spend millions developing a car, and it sells heaps and you make a profit, that's generally a good thing, why are easily reproducible items any different?

    If you rent a car for a day for a fraction of the cost of buying it new, do you winge when the owner wants it back, that its unreasonable to restrict your use of it?

    No one expects to own a car for the cost of renting it.

    Your use defines the value proposition.

    If you want to OWN a movie, then be prepared to pay what it cost to produce, if you want to watch it a few times, then pay for a fraction of the cost of production, its not that expensive.

    People who want things for free are just freeloaders, nothing more.

    Free stuff dosn't grow the economy or benefit anyone, all it does it create massive economic distortions.

    Production costs form the very basis for the concept of copyright law - if you don't know that you don't know much.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    I'm not confusing creativity and the resultant work. I full well understand the difference. And of course creativity is not tangible. I never said it was.

    You give the author exclusive rights in the tangible product of his creativity to incentivize his creativity in the first place

    The scarcity of the creativity is absolutely relevant to the equation. If it wasn't a scarcity, you wouldn't give the author exclusive rights as an incentive to create.

     

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    Terry Hart (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Intellectual property" isn't kept in the head either; it's kept in tangible copies of the expressive work.

    The rights to intellectual property don't concern possession ; they concern reproduction, distribution, public performance, etc.

    The idea that one can "possess" intellectual property is neither here nor there.

     

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    MrWilson, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 10:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    It's irrelevant to speculate on what it would be like if creativity weren't scarce. Ignoring all other human factors involved in creativity, time is a universal constraint on the supply of creativity. There's only so much a creative person can do at one time. If there was no time, so many other, more important aspects of reality would be different that creativity itself would be irrelevant in contrast.

    But that's beside the point.

    While creativity is in fact a sine qua non for creative works (allowing for the broadest definition of the term "creativity"), the incentive is for the creation of the copyrighted material, not for the creativity itself. You don't have to incentivize artists to be creative. They are creative by nature. They aren't artists if they aren't creative, by definition. The exclusive right is to incentivize them to use their creativity to create a fixed work in a tangible medium. You have the same exclusive rights to the copying of your fixed work regardless of how much it cost you to create it, how many hours (or years) it took you to create it, or how much "creativity" you put into it. Those are all concerns of the producer, not of the market, nor should they be concerns of the lawmaker.

    To rephrase what I've already said, the incentive is to create something, not just to be creative. There's no incentive in copyright law to think up creative things you never express.

    Another way to look at it is that copyright allows you to make money off of the commercially viable products of your creativity. The incentive is to be able to make money. You can't make money off of just "being creative." You make money off of creating (commercially viable) products and selling them.

    To be more honest though, copyright creates an incentive for the entity that sells the product, which is not always the artist. Copyright mostly benefits the middlemen who purchase the copyrights to the products of creative people. If copyrights were truly about creating incentives for artists to create fixed works, copyright would expire upon the artist's death since the artist would no longer have an ability to be incentivized to create anything.

     

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    MrWilson, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 11:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The fact that intellectual property cannot be possessed (by the owner of its copyright) means that it can't be treated like real property, which was my whole point.

    This is why the term "intellectual property" has always been a misnomer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 12:29am

    Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    It seems like you're implying that someone is arguing against copyright altogether, but no one has asserted that position.

    Your original statement also seemed to confuse business models and economies.

    "Any model that bases its assumptions on the marginal cost of reproduction - like iStock photo for example - is doomed to be unsustainable.

    Any economy that mistaks the two, is simiilarly doomed to lag behind economies that understand."

    The first sentence is about a business model. The producer of the infinitely reproducible good must determine the best way to deal with their costs and to make a profit.

    The second sentence is about an economy. The reality of the (somewhat) free market economy that we have is that other market players will take advantage of any other player's inability to develop a business model that can adapt to the current market conditions. The entire concept of altering laws to provide a company with a failing business model with an unfair advantage over other companies that have adapted to the market conditions goes against the welfare of the economy. Suddenly innovation is no longer incentivized.

    "If you spend millions developing a car, and it sells heaps and you make a profit, that's generally a good thing, why are easily reproducible items any different?"

    Easily reproducible goods are inherently different because their low reproduction costs are factors the producers must take into account when determining their business model. The problem with copyright is that companies have taken up the business model of trying to push for and purchase legislation that protects an ailing, obsolete business model because they refuse to adapt. They refuse to acknowledge that the market has changed.

    You can't tout the market and then suggest that the market doesn't work the way it's supposed to and requires legislation to fix a flaw created by technology. Technology is a market condition. Adapt or get out of the market, but don't screw up the market for other players who are willing to adapt.

    "If you want to OWN a movie, then be prepared to pay what it cost to produce, if you want to watch it a few times, then pay for a fraction of the cost of production, its not that expensive."

    A copyright holder cannot own a movie regardless of how much the production costs. It's a copyright, not an ownership. You can own legally-granted rights to the reproduction of a creative work, but you cannot possess creative works themselves the way you own physical property (unless you never utter them, but such works are irrelevant to copyright discussions). Ownership is an exclusivity of possession. A creative work cannot be taken back once it is uttered.

    "People who want things for free are just freeloaders, nothing more."

    Who said anything about free? I'm talking about using copyright law in order to subvert the market.

    "Free stuff dosn't grow the economy or benefit anyone, all it does it create massive economic distortions."

    While we're on the subject of free though, free can contribute to economic growth and it benefits a lot of people. Some people have even (god forbid) adapted to the market condition of having a supply of free stuff available and turned it into a viable business model (YouTube for example).

    Even violations of copyright can benefit the economy. Let's say you can't afford the $600+ cost of the Adobe Creative Suite. Even if you want to buy it, you wouldn't because you have to pay your rent and buy food. Buying the software when you can't afford it would deprive your landlord of income (and get you evicted) and would deprive the local supermarket of income.

    So you download a copy of the software in violation of Adobe's copyright. Adobe isn't losing a sale because you wouldn't have bought it anyway. Their costs aren't going up at all because it didn't cost them for you to download the copy.

    You invest a lot of hours and learn how to use the software really well. You end up getting a well-paying job due to your experience with the software. You make more money, pay more taxes, and you spend more money. The company even buys a license for the software you use.

    "Production costs form the very basis for the concept of copyright law - if you don't know that you don't know much."

    The fact that production costs exist is taken into account in copyright law. However, the actual production cost itself is a business model matter. The movie producer who spends $100 million on production costs gets the same copyright protection as the movie producer who spends $500 thousand on production costs. The actual costs are irrelevant to copyright.

     

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    Terry Hart (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 12:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's plenty of property that can't be possessed: future interests, security interests, commercial paper, financial instruments like stocks and bonds, etc.

    Within the substantive due process realm, there are intangibles which can't be possessed that are certainly treated as property interests: tenure, certain licenses, etc.

    "The fact that X can't be possessed so it can't be treated as property" is an idea that hasn't had favor for hundreds of years.

     

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    yandabrown, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 12:41am

    Is it really about scarcity

    2/3 of the planet is covered in water, even in the most water abundant places people still pay for it, is there a scarecity of electricity (OK occasional brown outs in places) but it's not scarce it's abundant and we pay for it, everytime you use it and it's exactly the same stuff each time.
    Not saying you are wrong but there must be something else too

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 12:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Basically what you are saying is that without money there would be no creativity.

    That is not true, just look at open source today people create for a whole lot of reasons and they keep doing so, even without a financial prospect. If you want to look at the past, surely you can find that every culture have produced a lot without any of those "incentives" you talk about. The internet for example was build completely without any rules or monopolies, everybody copied everyone and it grew to what it is today, now some people want to limit it, the U.S. grew its industrial park without limiting anything that is what made the manufacturing industry great it was not IP laws that produced those outcomes it was the freedom to tinker and produce that created the right environment to a explosion in creativity and the production of a vast market it is only after that some figures think they can come in and cash in on that and try very hard to make it happen and usually transforming the field into a desert with concepts like "copyrights".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 12:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Basically what you are saying is that without money there would be no creativity.

    That is not true, just look at open source today people create for a whole lot of reasons and they keep doing so, even without a financial prospect. If you want to look at the past, surely you can find that every culture have produced a lot without any of those "incentives" you talk about. The internet for example was build completely without any rules or monopolies, everybody copied everyone and it grew to what it is today, now some people want to limit it, the U.S. grew its industrial park without limiting anything that is what made the manufacturing industry great it was not IP laws that produced those outcomes it was the freedom to tinker and produce that created the right environment to a explosion in creativity and the production of a vast market it is only after that some figures think they can come in and cash in on that and try very hard to make it happen and usually transforming the field into a desert with concepts like "copyrights".

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 12:48am

    Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    I think you are right those people wanting to get free money charging people over and over again for the same product are just freeloaders that don't deserve to get paid or respect.

     

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  31.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 2:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ""The fact that X can't be possessed so it can't be treated as property" is an idea that hasn't had favor for hundreds of years."

    You left out the very important word "real." By "real property," I'm referring to tangible physical objects. Land is real. Your car is real. Real objects have material limitations and are not infinite goods. You can treat all of those examples you mentioned as property, just like a copyright. But you just can't treat them as real property. And that's where the significance of the distinction comes into play.

    Tenure and licenses are rights and they're not treated like real property. You can't sell tenure like you can a car. There's no doctrine of first sale regarding tenure.

    Certain licenses can be seen as infinite goods, such as software licenses. These are not treated like cars or coffee mugs or real estate either. And a judge recently ruled that the doctrine of first sale doesn't apply to software licenses, whereas it most definitely would apply to a physical object or "real property."

    If you can somehow make infinite goods scarce (like DRM attempts to do but always fails), then you might have an argument for treating it like real property. But you cannot plug the analog hole until you can control every human mind on the planet and that's not going to happen.

     

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  32.  
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    Terry Hart (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 2:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    First of all, there's a distinction between "real property" and "personal property". "Real property" is land. Second of all, if you're only talking about tangible property, that's great, but there's no such distinction at law, and hasn't been for hundreds of years.

    Second of all, tenure and licenses are most certainly treated as property in certain contexts. You're mistaken in that "property" must mean the same thing in every context it's applied.

    Finally, "you cannot plug the analog hole" is flawed, if by that you mean "we shouldn't recognize property rights in something that can be accessed by defeating limits on that access." Every safe can be cracked, every lock can be broken. But we still recognize the property relationship between the 'things' under the lock and the person who controls the lock. It is no different conceptually from recognizing the property interest between the thing protected by 'DRM' and the person who made the DRM.

     

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  33.  
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    Bob, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 4:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    All property is artificially protected by legislation, it's the primary reason the western economies exploded in the way they did since the end of feudalism.

    The only reason anything is of any value and you don't have to protect it by force at our own expence is because the force is delegated to the coercive power of Govt in exchange for our taxes.

     

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  34.  
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    jopn, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 4:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly, all property, physical or otherwise is protected artificially by law, and that's what gives it its tradeable, alienable value.

     

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  35.  
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    btrussell (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh please...

    ...and expenses declared evenly over the length of the copyright. Or if they use accelerated/declining method, maximum damage awards accelerate/decline accordingly.

     

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  36.  
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    cmn (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 5:41am

    A few comments

    Hey guys, Chris Newman here.

    Thanks to Terry and Mike for noticing and giving thought to my article. I'm glad if it provides any food for thought.

    In response to Mike, while I did not use the specific terms "abundance" or "scarcity", I am very focused on the issue that you are referring to with those terms. I call it the issue of "consumptive" versus "beneficial" use. Making use of a work of authorship is not consumptive (i.e., it doesn't consume opportunities for others to make use of the same work). It's precisely because of this important fact that I argue the scope of copyright owners' rights should be kept cabined much more strictly than it is in the realm of traditional tangible property, so that most transformative uses are simply outside the owner's right to exclude.

    I'm well aware that property rhetoric can be used (and has been used) in the service of "copyright maximalism" (what I refer to in the article as "expansionism," and what I'm trying to do is drive a wedge between the two.

    If you're someone who thinks we shouldn't have copyright at all, then you won't be interested in the thrust of what I'm doing. But if you think copyright might be good if properly limited, then you should be. Property theory (properly understood) provides limits on what owners can claim. Making everything an ad hoc fair use determination creates uncertainty, which leads to rights accretion.

    Anyway, thanks again for your interest.

    Regards,
    Chris Newman

     

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  37.  
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    cc (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh please...

    There is a lot of IP whose value is exactly zero (e.g., recordings from the 1920s that will never be recirculated). Of course that would mean, the tax due would also be exactly zero, so it provides no incentive to release that IP to the public domain.

    A better system would have a tax proportional not to the declared value of the IP (which would also be impossible because of tricks like RIAA accounting), but to the time since the IP was published, payable yearly or every term of some fixed duration (e.g., 5 years) when the copyright requires renewal.

    This would force a lot of orphan works and dead IP into the public domain, because eternal IP hoarding would become a lot costlier.

     

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  38.  
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    cc (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Copyright isn't an incentive to create. It's an incentive to publish.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    ...and it always has been. Until 1978 federal copyright law did not reach works that were unpublished (hence why a few states crafted copyright laws pertaining to unpublished works).

    It was no accident that the original copyright law enacted in 1790 used "promote progess" in the context of encouraging learning. This meaning carries forward even to this day, nothwithstanding "economists" who would have you believe otherwise.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    If copyrights were truly about creating incentives for artists to create fixed works, copyright would expire upon the artist's death since the artist would no longer have an ability to be incentivized to create anything.

    That's just simply not true. You don't seem to understand how the incentives work.

    The incentive is to get the creator to create the work in the first place. If the work gets created, then the incentive has already done it's job.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Not true. You get copyright on unpublished works. Granting copyright on unpublished works guarantees that they entire the public domain once the exclusive rights have expired.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    Re: A few comments

    If you're someone who thinks we shouldn't have copyright at all, then you won't be interested in the thrust of what I'm doing.

    And that's Mike's position. He does not believe in IP, and he claims he cannot think of a single example in the history of IP where it did anybody any good.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    First of all, there's a distinction between "real property" and "personal property". "Real property" is land. Second of all, if you're only talking about tangible property, that's great, but there's no such distinction at law, and hasn't been for hundreds of years.

    Trying to explain property law to laymen can be frustrating.

    The first thing you learn in property law is the different kinds of property. The first property Article in the Louisiana Civil Code breaks it down quite nicely: "Things are divided into . . . corporeals and incorporeals; and movables and immovables." La. C..C. art. 448

    We use different terminology in Louisiana than the other states, but the ideas are the same. Corporeals are tangible property, and incorporeals are intangible property. Movables are personal property, and immovables are real property.

    I think it's the tangible/intangible property dichotomy that gives laymen the most trouble. The other sticking point in the difference between possession and ownership. These concepts aren't obvious, so it's no surprise that people don't grasp them without some study.

    Wikipedia has a good article on property that's a good starting point for those interested:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property

     

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  44.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Correlation does not equal causation.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Of course it doesn't. I know where you're going with that, and it completely misses the point. In fact there are authors who are incentivized by the exclusive rights that copyright secures to them. Of course there are others who create that are not incentivized by copyright, but that doesn't change the fact that others are so incentivized.

     

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  46.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Which assumes that copyright does the job it's intended. An author can be just as misinformed to his ability to make a living (and perhaps a better one) without copyright and think that copyright is needed, and lumped in the "was given incentive" pile.

    An author believing they need copyright is is just as much correlation as that in itself can be misinformation of the author in how he/she can and does make money.

     

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  47.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Not putting copyright on unpublished works guarantees they enter the public domain from the beginning. Why you need copyright to guarantee entry to public domain is beyond me.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Copyright does its job all the time. If an author creates a work, incentivized in the knowledge that they will get exclusive rights in their creation, then copyright worked in that case. And of course copyright's ultimate goal will kick in down the road when that work enters the public domain.

    Copyright works like this all the time, and it has done so for centuries.

    And it's not that such an author needs copyright, it's that copyright is available to them if they want it. They have the choice. Do you want to take that choice away from them? I don't.

     

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  49.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All physical property is inherently scarce in that if I have it, you do not. That is what gives it tradeable, alienable value that allows it to be relatively easily governed by law, and without law, by force.

    The same is not true of ideas and expressions of them, in which to remove them once I am in possession is impossible as they remain in mind or invasive as they exist in modern storage like hard drives, CD's and through distribution means like bittorrent, or if I have exclusive ownership (the idea exists only within my head at this time) may require extremes like torture for me to give up which is already governed by laws.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Huh? If an unpublished work is not copyrighted, how does it enter the public domain? If I write a book and never publish it, but I do obtain a copyright in it, that book is guaranteed to enter the public domain when the copyright expires. That's the whole point.

     

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  51.  
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    Bengie, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    I agree

    Once they sell you their property, it is no longer their's. I whole heartedly agree with treating copyright like property.

    I paid for my DVD, it is now my property. I will copy/sell it if I feel like it.

    Can't have your cake and eat it to.

    If they don't want to "sell" their property to us and instead want to rent it via EULA, they should have to pay taxes on it. Yearly Property taxes, ftw.

     

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  52.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused


    And it's not that such an author needs copyright, it's that copyright is available to them if they want it.


    Copyright as a system assumes they need it. Copyright applies from the moment of creation without any need to think or express any preference that can be considered choice on the artists part. Copyright was created because it was assumed it was a needed system to address economic pressures assumed to not work in favour of society.

    If an author creates a work, incentivized in the knowledge that they will get exclusive rights in their creation, then copyright worked in that case.


    So it's irrelevant as to how efficient a system is, whether there are alternatives and whether those alternatives are better, so long as someone *believes* they needed it, it worked? That sounds like a fantastic way to build a false economy with enforced inefficiency that's worse off for all. Copyright assumes that is needed to address an economic inefficiency, not because authors only create when given exclusive control over something out of belief they need it.

    o you want to take that choice away from them?


    Yes, if the choice isn't even needed and has no benefits to society other than engaging in someones delusions. I can certainly allow them to believe they need copyright or some other means to enforce exclusive control, I can certainly allow them to try and create contractual agreements or build software that blocks unauthorised copying, but that doesn't automagically deserve the full backing of laws like copyright merely because they believe they need it.

    Far better for everyone to educate them on how everyone can be better off - including the artists - without the need for such systems and without enforcing inefficiency.

     

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  53.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Huh? If an unpublished work is not copyrighted, how does it enter the public domain?

    Wow...just wow.

    Public domain is any work not covered by copyright. Public domain is not something that is asserted or registered, it is a state that describes any work not covered by copyright. An unpublished work not covered by copyright would automatically mean is it in the public domain.

     

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  54.  
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    dan, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:08am

    bull shit

    The ONLY reason people download and trade files is because they are immoral. The ONLY reason they don't want this activity to be subject to the same considerations as property is because they would then find themselves subject to laws such as shoplifting(which it should be).

    http://www.onlinelawyersource.com/criminal_law/shoplifting/laws.html

    Shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor petty theft if the value of the stolen goods totals less than $300 to $500. In some cases, first time offenders may be charged with a less serious crime such as disorderly conduct so as not to face the consequences imposed by shoplifting laws.

    If an offender has a history of shoplifting or the value of the stolen goods exceeds $500, shoplifting laws often yield harsher penalties. An offender can be charged with grand theft or larceny , both of which are felony crimes. Under shoplifting laws, a person who is convicted of this crime may receive a sentence that includes jail or prison time, punitive fines, community service, and/or other penalties.
    ----------
    Currently downloading/uploading are mostly considered civil offenses. They should be treated the same as shoplifting. The more you take, the higher the penalty. YOU SHOULD be charged with grand theft if you upload/download thousands of files.

    Me, I think you slime ball scum bags should have your hands cut off as they do to thieves in various Arabic nations.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Copyright works, plain and simple. You really sound silly to me. Sorry.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    So if I write a book and lock in my closet and never show it to anyone, that book is in the public domain? I don't think so.

     

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  57.  
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    dan, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Re: I agree

    And when YOU GIVE someone else a copy of that software. YOU NO LONGER HAVE A COPY. Thats right asshole. It's property. You do not own it once you give it away.

     

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  58.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Ah, the stick your head in the sand approach, fantastic. I guess you're in the group who'd rather have their fantasies indulged rather than apply critical thinking and any semblance of an actual thought process.

     

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  59.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Doesn't matter what you think sorry, what matters is reality. Works not covered by copyright are automatically considered public domain. Public domain is the lack of copyright restrictions, not a stamp of having been through a process of being copyrighted and fallen out of it.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    You're the one living the fantasy. Copyright says to authors, if you create a work, I'll give you exclusive rights in that work. A prospective author says, I think I'll create a work because I want those exclusive rights. That author then creates a work because they were incentivized by copyright. That is an example of copyright working.

    It's so simple that it's silly you are arguing against it. Authors are incentivized by copyright all the time. There are millions of examples of copyright working all around you.

    You really strike me as a silly person, Modplan. I don't see much point in debating with you.

     

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  61.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    It appears you didn't read what I said on second glance. You asserted that public domain only applies if an unpublished work has already been copyrighted, and that for something to be public domain, it must have already been put under copyright.

    This is not true.
    Granting copyright on unpublished works guarantees that they entire the public domain once the exclusive rights have expired.


    Huh? If an unpublished work is not copyrighted, how does it enter the public domain?


    Whether this is merely bad wording or misinterpretation on my part or not I have no idea, but to clarify, if an unpublished work is not copyrighted for whatever reason, then it must by definition be public domain. If an unpublished work is copyrighted (which by default it is) then it may eventually fall into the public domain, but this is not a guarantee when you consider semi-regular demand for extensions to copyright protection and Congress saying the limited times clause is not in itself a restriction on how long copyright can last.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    I know what public domain is. I tell you what, Modplan, spend a couple of years reading tons of published caselaw and then we'll talk. Otherwise, you really just strike me as a silly person who insists they understand the law but has never really studied it.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:25am

    star trek repilicators

    will be the end of you all

     

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  64.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: A few comments

    Either you don't actually read what Mike says about copyright much or you're intentionally ignoring what he says in order to portray him in what you consider to be a bad light.

    Also, copyright and IP are not the same thing. Copyright falls under the catch-all misnomer of intellectual property, but IP includes patents, such as software patents, that it does seem like Mike is against.

     

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  65.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    That is an example of copyright working.

    Except if alternative means can create a better situation for all including the artists themselves, in which case it would not be working and it would be misinformation to say that copyright is needed, to assert that authors that believe it is needed are right and that therefore copyright is doing its job to incentivise people.

    To you, a system can be considered working merely because people believe it has worked and believed they needed it. This entire site is dedicated to showing alternative means that produce a better off situation for all without copyright and provide just as much if not more incentive to craete. Building systems based on effectively fantasies that create inefficiencies are not what I consider working systems, and that educating people on better, more efficient means of authors to earn money for their work is far more productive.

    The definition of a working system is not based on whether people believe themselves to have needed it and in turn incentivised by that, but the reality of how it works, its efficiencies and inefficiencies, its social costs and how they measure up to the goal. Copyright is far from working in most of those regards.

    http://www.eff.org/wp/unintended-consequences-under-dmca

     

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  66.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Tell you what, actually describe where I am wrong and maybe I'll be inclined to listen. Telling me I'm a silly person isn't a convincing argument, especially when it doesn't in any way describe why it is I'm wrong.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    It's a strawman to say that the pro-copyright side is arguing that copyright is the ONLY way to incentivize people. That's never been the argument.

    To me, the system works because people are in fact incentivized to create new works by copyright.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: bull shit

    Uh, morality is determined by what the society in general this is moral or immoral, not by what _you_ think.

    Right now, many many people seem to disagree that "downloading and trading files", as you call it, is an immoral action (just check how many people are downloading/uploading files for any given "illegal" torrent). My guess is that, eventually, this will no longer be considered illegal, since:

    a) the law is impossible to enforce
    b) there is no real proof of the supposed negative economical impact of "file-sharing"
    c) nobody should be able to own ideas (or the right to prevent others from making copies of their ideas) in the first place

    By your logic, about 40% of the people in the world (I just picked a random number...I have no statistics) are pure evil and should have their hands chopped off. Never mind that there are MUCH WORSE things going on in the world that go unpunished (famine, war, poverty...). Nope, gotta keep feeding the ol' record labels or else they might starve. Hey, you know what's funny? Apparently they are making much more money today than they ever did. Poor bastards.

    *Downloads another file*

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Tell you what... I'm not interested because I know for a fact that debating you is a waste of time. I'm happy to leave it at that.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    If copyright works so well then why am I not allowed to use the 1939 version of Superman to create my greatest creative endeavour?

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    All property is real but not all intellectual property is real.

     

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  72.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    It's a strawman to say that the pro-copyright side is arguing that copyright is the ONLY way to incentivize people. That's never been the argument.


    It's also a strawman to claim I said something I did not. What I did say was that to assert that copyright works merely because an author believes they have benefited or will benefit from it is a pretty crappy measure of how well a system works, and that there are alternative means that do not require or rely far less on copyright whilst providing just as good if not better incentives to create and produces a socially better system. Seems better to me to educate people about these means and use this to inform law, rather than having copyright exist because an author believes they need it and count that as an example of a working system.

    To me, the system works because people are in fact incentivized to create new works by copyright.


    I see very few given incentive by copyright. I see large media companies complaining constantly that copyright doesn't go far enough, demanding 3rd parties like Google to filter content for them that they don't like and that said industry is doomed without action whilst simultaneously making billions every year, whilst small artists are finding more ways to make money with means that don't involve locking up the content with copyright.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    But if people don't have patents on their software then no one will ever create software, ever. Wait, don't you write software, so wouldn't it be covered by copyright and not patents, boy, these issues sure are confusing, am I glad that our politicians are there to figure all of this out for us!

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Re: bull shit

    Because cutting the hands of off hundreds of millions of people worldwide wouldn't have any negative consequnces whatsoever!

     

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  75.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    Re: bull shit

    (I know I'm not supposed to feed the trolls, but it's so hard to resist.)

    The ONLY reason people make statements such as, "The ONLY reason people download and trade files is because they are immoral," is because they are absolutists.

    Would you advocate for the cutting off of the hands of a poor person who stole life-saving medication in order to save someone's life? That IS shoplifting and there's a good reason we don't cut off hands for it. It also wouldn't necessarily be unethical for the person to steal in that scenario.

    You should take an ethics class if you think anything is that black and white.

    Why would we cut off the hands of a significant portion of our population just to protect the failing business models of entrenched companies who refuse to adapt to market conditions? We'd be impacting the earning potential of citizens who pay taxes. If they can't work without their hands, then they can't pay taxes. Essential services cannot be funded. The loss of income would also impact their ability to purchase products from the same companies who you're saying should get this kind of protectionism. Some file-sharers are children. Would you argue that cutting off the hands of children is ethical?

    But all of that speculation is irrelevant because cruel and unusual punishment is unconstitutional.

    Do you actually believe your own rhetoric? When should I be over to your house with a hacksaw? Surely you've consumed goods without paying for them. Ever listened to the radio? Are you reading this blog? Walked out of the room when the commercials are playing on the TV? No, of course you haven't, because that would be immoral.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Ah, the most surefire way to admit you lost the argument.

     

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  77.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    "But if people don't have patents on their software then no one will ever create software, ever."

    Exactly! Art and products never existed until the Statute of Anne because until the first intellectual property laws came into existence, no one was incentivized to create anything. My literature professor never would believe me when I argued that Anne Bradstreet’s poetry doesn't qualify as art. Now we see the truth!

    /sarcasm (I know the sarcasm disclaimer isn't necessary for the regular readers, but we seem to have some trolls about recently that might actually agree with such statements)

     

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  78.  
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    jon, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    no where near true.

    Property - say a piece of land, is protected by laws that enable the owner to exclude others, the Govt backs these laws with force, this gives it its value.

    If the Govt didn't do this, each landowner would have to maintain a private army to protect their land.

    This was the situation in Europe in the middle ages.

    We've progressed since then.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Lost the argument? Hardly. I just don't see the point in arguing with silly people who insist they know the law when in fact they haven't studied it at all and they have no idea what they're talking about. It's rather frustrating.

     

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  80.  
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    slopecarver, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    They should pay tens of thousands of dollars to patent it while the patent only lasts 20 years and can not be renewed. Consumers would pay rights to use it and if they don't then they could be charged with theft. The recording industry would need to pull patents in other countries to claim rights in those countries too.

     

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  81.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Property - say a piece of land, is protected by laws that enable the owner to exclude others, the Govt backs these laws with force, this gives it its value."

    No, the government has laws that protect property rights of owners because the property is already valuable. You don't protect property that has no value. The scarcity of the property and the desire of others to possess that property is what gives it value.

    A person living in anarchy without a government to protect his property rights still has valuable property if someone tries to take it from him. They wouldn't try to take it if it wasn't valuable. Governments and laws are not necessary for value to exist.

    If I try to sell a product that nobody wants, the product has no value. It may have value to me, but until that value is recognized by someone else, it doesn't exist (and that other person doesn't have to represent a government or a corporation either). I also don't get taxed on the supposed value I put on that property unless it is recognized by the government.

    A perfect example of this is the spider drawing prank that David Thorne did: http://www.27bslash6.com/overdue.html

    He jokingly tries to pay off a debt with a drawing of a spider that he claims has the exact monetary value of the debt. But of course the person representing the company to whom he owes the debt does not recognize the value of the drawing at all. It is valueless regardless of his claims.

    When law enforcement seizes illegal products, such as drugs, the news usually mentions the monetary value of the product. The law doesn't protect property rights of drug dealers in regards to their illegal drugs. But the drugs still have value because someone is willing to buy them.

    Value is determined by other people. You may refuse to sell me a pencil for less than $100 dollars, but since I don't value it at $100 dollars, I won't buy it. Until you can sell it for $100 to someone who is willing to pay that much, it doesn't possess that value. I can buy a pencil for less than a dollar somewhere else (I guess - I don't buy pencils anymore and I don't know what inflation has done to the cost of pencils these days).

     

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  82.  
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    jon, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright isn't about the ideas in your head, its about the right to profit from creative works fixed in a medium.

     

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  83.  
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    hxa7241, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The ultimate point here is fairly simple. It ought not to be lost behind contingencies, generalities, or legal niceties:

    Intellectual monopoly institutes a restriction of something highly valuable where there is none in physical fact. Furthermore, in doing so it must conflict with pre-eminent personal freedoms. That requires a good deal to be justified.

    The propertarian mindset seems to produce, by its prejudicial effect, specious arguments that wholly fail in that task. I do not attribute such instances to you, though I fear some might read them in to what you say.

    One example has the form of: "IP counts as property, property is solidly accepted, so IP should be too.". This fails because it is in the *differences* to other kinds of property that the questions of legitimacy arise.

    Another is like this: "Just because it is possible to get free access to the property doesn't mean it is right to.". This fails trivially because it simply assumes what it needs to prove.

    Any defence of intellectual monopoly must be clearly rooted in justifying its restriction of access to goods and impeding of personal freedom. Yet any use of the term or concept of 'intellectual property' tends to lead surreptitiously and hence harmfully away from fulfilling that vital duty.

     

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  84.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    No, value exists in things that are scarce in supply and wanted by others. The government and laws are not required for this to exist.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Now you know how some artists feel when discussing culture with lawyers.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So what happens when the internet moves into your head?

     

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  87.  
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    cc (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    It's true. Copyright on unpublished works is a very recent idea, introduced as a result of automatic copyrights.

     

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  88.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    Re:

    Copyright provides incentives to authors to create new works. It is that creativity that is the scarcity. Focusing on the ease of copying the resultant work misses the point. It's the creation of the work that matters.

    Right. And I've always said that the creation is a scarcity (one worth selling). Not sure your point. I haven't missed the point. You seem to have missed mine.

     

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  89.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 4:52pm

    Re: You are still confused

    Mike you're confusing creativity with reproduction.

    No. I'm not actually.

    Sure, you might be abble to reproduce a work infinitly, but the time and abilities of the creator are not infinite, they are relatively scarce.

    Indeed. A point I've made *repeatedly*.

    The cost involved in producing a creative work is not in the marginal cost of reproduction, it's in the fixed cost of creation.

    Again, a point I've made repeatedly.

    Any model that bases its assumptions on the marginal cost of reproduction - like iStock photo for example - is doomed to be unsustainable.

    You're confusing business models with economics. The *economics* say that, in a competitive market, price gets driven to marginal cost. So, understanding marginal cost is key. The *business model* side, says that you need to understand these pressures to find something to sell that *won't* get driven to marginal cost.

    Any economy that mistaks the two, is simiilarly doomed to lag behind economies that understand.


    Again, you seem to be confusing two things: economics, which are forces that you can't change, and business models, which you can.

    My point has always been that you need to find a business model that doesn't fight economics.

     

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  90.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    The incentive is to get the creator to create the work in the first place. If the work gets created, then the incentive has already done it's job.

    Quite true. And this is why you're against retroactive extension of copyright, right?

     

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  91.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    To me, the system works because people are in fact incentivized to create new works by copyright.


    That makes no sense. By that argument, the gov't handing out a sugar monopoly "works" because one company got rich off of it.

    Have you no concept of how helping a small group can harm many more people?

    Copyright only works if it works in the aggregate. If the net result makes people worse off, then we have a problem. You can't keep defending copyright as working based on a single example.

     

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  92.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Since when does the cost of *anything* reflect the price? Text messages don't cost what telcos charge us, nor do cars, or a can of coke, nor just about anything.

    Again, you seem to be confusing basic economics with business models.

    The point of economics is that, if the market is competitive, then the price will get driven towards marginal cost. The way you beat that is you keep innovating, and you create an advantage, that advantage gives you the ability to charge over marginal cost. So the fact that not everything you see is priced at marginal cost just means that the market is working. In the case of text messages, the market is not competitive (you're stuck with paying messages from your carrier, and switching costs are high). With Coke, you're paying extra for the *perceived* value of Coca Cola over the competition.

    It's the value determined on the market that defines the price.


    That's actually not true. That's wrong economically. The price of something is determined by the intersection of supply and demand (which really is the same thing as saying price is marginal cost, by the way, just looking at the graph from a different angle). *VALUE* plays into the supply and the demand *curves* which can *influence* the price, but value does not determine the price.

    As a practical matter: I can value the book in front of me at $50. That shows you my demand curve. If the price is less than $50, I will buy it. If it's more than $50 I will not. Now you might say, well, the seller will price it at $50. But that's not true, because in a wider market, others may value it at different amounts. Value is not an objective number, but a number indicated by the overall market -- which is the demand *curve* which is what ends up setting the price, when it intersects with the supply curve (the same equation on the supply side).

    Thats exactly the purpose copyright serves - to try to balance private and social goods.


    And if it did that, you'd have a point. The problem is that over and over again it has been shown that it does not balance those things at all.

    If you spend $600,000 making a film and you make a profit, how is that bad? If you spend that and can't get it back somehow, you'll think twice about trying it again.

    No one said it was bad. In fact, that's great. That's why we spend so much time highlighting how people can profit without copyright. Your mistake is thinking that without copyright you can't profit. That's wrong.

    If you spend millions developing a car, and it sells heaps and you make a profit, that's generally a good thing, why are easily reproducible items any different?

    They're not. That's why we're happy if people can make a movie and make a ton of money. But you don't need copyright to do so. You seem to be making that very wrong assumption.

    No one expects to own a car for the cost of renting it.


    Huh? Who said anything like that?

    People who want things for free are just freeloaders, nothing more.


    Yeah, you freeloader. Where can I send you the bill for reading this page? The information you're getting here, seeing as you seem ignorant of basic economics would cost you at least $10,000 in college classes. Where can I send the bill?

    Free stuff dosn't grow the economy or benefit anyone, all it does it create massive economic distortions.

    Heh. Actually, you should try reading some Ken Arror or Paul Romer economics. Free stuff absolutely grows the economy.

    Production costs form the very basis for the concept of copyright law - if you don't know that you don't know much.

    And if you believe that, you don't know economics. Try again.

     

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  93.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    All property is artificially protected by legislation, it's the primary reason the western economies exploded in the way they did since the end of feudalism.

    The only reason anything is of any value and you don't have to protect it by force at our own expence is because the force is delegated to the coercive power of Govt in exchange for our taxes.


    Ah, your first and second sentences disagree with each other. Property can be protected by force. We've added laws to make that easier, and less violent, but "intellectual property" cannot be protected by force. That's the point. You don't NEED laws to protect property.

     

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  94.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 5:16pm

    Re: Re: A few comments

    And that's Mike's position. He does not believe in IP, and he claims he cannot think of a single example in the history of IP where it did anybody any good.

    I'm not sure what goes through your mind that compels you to flat out lie. I have never made any such claim. In fact, I wrote a response to you just a couple days ago that said just the opposite.

    Your compulsion to lie is really quite disgusting, especially since you called me intellectually dishonest.

    What I *have* said is that in the *aggregate* copyright, as it is today, is making the economy and creativity worse off -- a statement that Chris might agree with. I admit that it has benefited some people, but very much at the expense of others and the greater good.

    I would appreciate it that you do not lie when discussing this stuff. It does not make you look good, though it explains your desire to remain anonymous. You are being incredibly intellectually dishonest, and it would reflect poorly on you if you actually identified yourself.

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: You are still confused

    OR FUCKING CULTURE!!!

     

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  96.  
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    Dohn Joe, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 7:04pm

    What About the Tax?

    They don't seem to talk about or consider Intellectual Property Taxes the way Real Property is Taxed. This could actually remove the need for copyright "terms" since there would now be a cost associated to hanging onto copyrighted material. Companies and artists would then release their works into the public domain once they are no longer profitable - removing the "Copyright Hoarding" we see today.

     

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  97.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 7:19pm

    Re:

    "Copyright provides incentives to authors to create new works. It is that creativity that is the scarcity."

    Right, and artificially creating a scarcity of *works* is counter-productive. If your *grandsons* can make money off of a popular work, it's hardly an incentive to produce new ones.

     

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  98.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Can you put guards in front of imaginary property?
    Can you physically enforce the security of imaginary property?

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 8:33pm

    Re: Is it really about scarcity

    Is there somebody else trying to say to you you can't produce electricity?

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 8:37pm

    Re: Re: I agree

    Last I checked I still have my original CD's even after copying them what do you say to that?

     

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  101.  
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    What now?, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 9:09pm

    Re:

    Beg pardon? I'm a published author. The copyright doesn't encourage me to produce more works. My ideas do. Ideas are not scarce, the ability to put them down in a logical, concise fashion and make them compelling? That's the real scarcity in this situation.

    Do I freak out if someone photocopies a published work of mine to hand out without permission? No. I'm thrilled they think the ideas in the article are worth sharing. One of my instructors had copied something I'd published and gave it out in class. Later, she connected the dots and apologized profusely. I told her it was fine, I was flattered she thought so highly of my work that she felt it needed to be shared.

    I got paid for writing the piece by the magazine it appeared in. I was allowed to keep the copyright as well. But we worked out a blanket deal. I get paid per word when writing it instead of by issue of magazine sold. Both the publisher and I won with that agreement.

    Being published, I don't see why people demand to be paid each time their words are reprinted, repackaged and sold to new readers. My words and ideas may belong to me. But the reason I put them on paper (or more aptly, on a disk) was because I felt they needed to be shared.

    (I write very specialized articles about dog training, learning and behavior theories.)

     

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  102.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 8:45am

    Re: What About the Tax?

    "They don't seem to talk about or consider Intellectual Property Taxes" All businesses recover their taxes from their customers. What that means is that a big part of what you pay for intellectual property is already taxes which are passed on to you. But if you want to have the government collect more taxes and have those passed on by all means lets do so:)

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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  103.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 8:49am

    Re: star trek repilicators

    Just think how much money inventors of a functional replicator will make. That would be a great place to charge a third of the savings in royalties.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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  104.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: bull shit

    "Why would we cut off the hands of a significant portion of our population just to protect the failing business models of entrenched companies who refuse to adapt to market conditions?"

    Did we tolerate a lawless west? Should we have tolerated the rise of mobsters?

    Lots of people feel quite justified in lying, cheating, stealing when it suits them. A somewhat smaller number are quite capable of rape, maiming and killing.

    Most of these people are kept in line by rule of law and knowing that they will be punished if they break the law.

    Groups of people are quite capable of rationalizing doing things which many would not do in a one on one situation. This happens with all groups, corporate, nonprofit, government and church. How many clergy administer one on one therapy to their flock or collectively cover for pedophiles in their ranks?

    The software community suffers from this problem.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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  105.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    Re: Oh please...

    "Of course, that still ignores the free speech aspect of being able to repeat what you've been told"

    I am a big believer in free speech and sex.

    Actually, we all learned in sixties and seventies that sex was not free and we spent the rest of our lives dealing with that.

    The same is true of speech. It is not free, for we must constantly fight to keep our rights.

    But free speech has limits. In this case if someone has an invention you exercise your free speech right to encourage infringement then you could be used for inducing said infringement.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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  106.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 9:34am

    Fatally Flawed Reasoning

    "Putting property rights on non-scarce items doesn't make it more efficient, it makes it less efficient."

    Mike Masnick has admitted that inventions are scarce but argues that once something is invented that there should be minimal restrictions on use of the invention. The essence of his argument is that those using an invention, who often characterize their use as innovation, interests should have priority over those who actually produce the invention.

    What he fails to understand is that the patent system is meant to maximize inventions so as to facilitate (for a price) society's advancement.

    Mike's reasoning on this topic is fatally flawed.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Quite true. And this is why you're against retroactive extension of copyright, right?

    The argument for retroactive extension of copyright is to incentivize the creation of new works, not to incentivize works that were already created. Of course it doesn't incentivize works that were already created. That's so obvious, it's not really worth mentioning. That doesn't stop you from focusing on that silly argument though.

     

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  108.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    That makes no sense. By that argument, the gov't handing out a sugar monopoly "works" because one company got rich off of it. Have you no concept of how helping a small group can harm many more people? Copyright only works if it works in the aggregate. If the net result makes people worse off, then we have a problem. You can't keep defending copyright as working based on a single example.

    Prove that it doesn't work in the aggregate. I'll be waiting.

     

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  109.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    I'm not sure what goes through your mind that compels you to flat out lie. I have never made any such claim. In fact, I wrote a response to you just a couple days ago that said just the opposite. Your compulsion to lie is really quite disgusting, especially since you called me intellectually dishonest.

    OK, Mike. If you don't think IP is all bad, then tell me what's good about it. Especially copyright. I dare you to say good things about copyright. I don't think you can. Seriously, I don't.

    What I *have* said is that in the *aggregate* copyright, as it is today, is making the economy and creativity worse off -- a statement that Chris might agree with. I admit that it has benefited some people, but very much at the expense of others and the greater good. I would appreciate it that you do not lie when discussing this stuff. It does not make you look good, though it explains your desire to remain anonymous. You are being incredibly intellectually dishonest, and it would reflect poorly on you if you actually identified yourself.

    OK, Mike. Prove that in the aggregate it makes the economy and creativity worse. I've been waiting to see this "proof."

     

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  110.  
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    Jay (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    The proof is all around you.

    Thing is when someone has their hands in their ears, they ignore what's right in front of them.

     

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  111.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    The proof is all around you.

    Could you elaborate?

     

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  112.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    lolwut?

    You admit that an extension of copyright over already existing works obviously not give incentive as works it would cover had already been created. So why have a retroactive extension in the first place? You just defied your own argument. If retroactive extensions are not needed as works that would be covered by them already exist anyway, then there's no reason to make the extension retroactive in the first place.

     

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  113.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

     

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  114.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    I asked you to correct me if I was wrong. If I have no idea what I'm talking about (and you apparently do), then please do correct me.

    As it stands, when cornered, you merely refer to me as being silly and talk about how I know nothing. If you cannot provide even a remote idea about how I am wrong, then either you either cannot or are simply not interested in honest debate in the first place and want to stir the hive so to speak.

     

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  115.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I never said anything different. I merely made reference to how ideas and expressions of ideas are inherently different to physical property through various characteristics, like how they can remain with an individual without the fixed form, and how modern technology provides capabilities that are not the same as traditional ways of spreading ideas and expressions like books.

    Treating them as if they're the same is your down fall.

     

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  116.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    There were several arguments for extending copyright retroactively. You can research the history of the CTEA or read the briefs in Eldred if you want to see what these arguments were. No one argued that it would incentivize authors to create works they already had created. That's just silly. The only people making that argument were those opposed to the retroactive extension, or people like you who don't understand what the real arguments are.I did not defy my own argument. The retroactively extension was for OTHER purposes. Duh.

     

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  117.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Silly person. Why should we explain anything to you? It's pointless, you're a silly billy who doesn't understand economics.

     

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  118.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Why don't you explain it to me then? No links, please. Tell me in your own words. I'm silly, so don't use big words, please.

     

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  119.  
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    Andrew F (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Fatally Flawed Reasoning

    Ronald, Mike's point is that while inventING is scarce, inventIONS are not. Or to frame it in copyright, creativity is scarce. Copies are not.

    The problem is that most of IP law recognizes a property right in the act of copying, not in the act of creating. Now the obvious rejoinder (spread out over the preceding 100+ comments) is that giving a property right in exclusive copying is necessary to incentivize creation.

    That misses the point though. Thinking about rights as incentives and thinking about rights as property often yield divergent outcomes.

    For example, take the limited duration of a patent. From an incentive perspective, this makes sense. We only want to grant enough of a right to encourage people to invent, since if we grant anything past that, we might begin to discourage others from making improvements. But from a property standpoint, all of this is irrelevant. My house doesn't revert to the public after 20 years. Nor do I have to grant an easement to my neighbor so that he can make improvements based on my land, even if I am being adequately compensated.

    And that's (I think) Mike's point. Property works well when you recognize the scarcity in X by recognizing a property right in X. It does not work so well, when you recognize a scarcity in X by allocating a property right in Y.

     

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  120.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    It would be lost on silly people like you.

    P.S. I have an odd feeling this is Average Joe

     

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  121.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Lengthy copyright prevents me from utilizing the artifacts from my childhood to create art that is relevant, not only to my past, but to my present and future as well.

     

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  122.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    Changing the terms of a deal.

    "Ronald, Mike's point is that while inventING is scarce, inventIONS are not."

    Isn't the essence of this argument about those who do no InventING trying to lower the compensation of those who do?

    It is an attempt to change the terms of the contract between inventors and society to the detriment of the inventors.

    Now, how about your boss comes in next week and says, Andrew, I only want to pay you twenty percent and by the way it is retroactive and not negotiable.

    I think you might take exception to this.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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  123.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    I really am curious what your argument is. If you want to share it, I'd be obliged.

     

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  124.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Now now Joe, only once you share your argument as to why I know nothing of the law and why what I said before makes me silly. A full rebuttal of the economists who wrote the linked book on the history of copyright and patents as to why their arguments make no sense or don't show that copyright is harmful as well (no links).

    I'd quite like to know also why someone who lambasted others for being anonymous is now himself anonymous. Is that you being a bit silly again?

     

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  125.  
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    Jon, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Laws are backed by the explicit threat of force - if you break them the Police use force to fine you or lock you up.

    If we don't need laws to protect property, why do we have them, whimsy?

     

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  126.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Fatally Flawed Reasoning

    The problem is that most of IP law recognizes a property right in the act of copying, not in the act of creating.

    How would you recognize property rights in the act of creating? I don't follow.

     

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  127.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    So you can't make the argument. Gotcha.

     

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  128.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Snore! Come back when you can show why I'm wrong about the law and why the linked economists are wrong, then we can have an honest debate where you don't look like a hypocrite.

     

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  129.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    It's kind of silly that you couldn't type out a paragraph sketching out the argument, you know? And you do realize that no matter what it says, it's silly to think that it ends the debate once and for all, don't you?

     

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  130.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    When have I claimed it ended the debate? I'm asking you to present anything that might refute it, then we can have an honest debate. But you don't want that - you'd rather dismiss it through odd things like saying no links when asking me to provide an argument or evidence against copyright, despite having already done so further up the page.

    It's kind of silly that you couldn't type out a paragraph sketching out the argument, you know


    It's also kind of silly that you regularly treat commentators like dogs, yet when pressed in any way to back up your position, you're quite happy to deflect. It's kind of silly you selectively ignore posts and comments so that you can pretend something hasn't already been discussed or shown, despite claiming to be a regular reader (I'm gonna go ahead and assume I was right about you being Average Joe). It's kind of silly you couldn't take the the time to write a paragraph describing how I was wrong about the law and didn't understand it, or a paragraph on why you're anonymous after having ridiculed or dismissed other AC's merely for being AC's. Why should I not do the same with you? Why should anyone here put any effort in a debate with you that you're quite happy to just deflect, dismiss or ignore when you feel like it?

    This will be the last time I'll reply to you (so long as I don't get itchy fingers).

     

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  131.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Guess you couldn't just sketch out the argument. Oh well.

     

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  132.  
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    Karl (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Dude, you just said this:

    The argument for retroactive extension of copyright is to incentivize the creation of new works, not to incentivize works that were already created.

    Retroactive copyright extensions only cover works that were already created.

    You have given no argument for why a retroactive copyright extension would incentivize the creation of new works.

    And I have read the arguments in Eldred. As far as I can tell, the Supreme Court didn't rule that retroactive extensions actually incentivized new works - or even that they needed to. They essentially said, "Hey, it's up to Congress, we don't have the power to stop them."

     

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  133.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Did you read the amicus briefs from Eldred? The arguments are in there. Also, try reading up on what Congress said. You can start here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/R?cp104:FLD010:@1%28sr315%29

     

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  134.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Some of the arguments for extending existing copyright:

    1. Extending existing copyrights can incentivize new creations. Authors are incentivized knowing that down the road Congress is likely to extend their existing copyright. Congress has extended existing copyright four times since the first Act, and they are likely to do it again.

    2. To harmonize U.S. copyright with E.U. copyright. As explained in Eldred: "[T]he EU directed its members to deny this longer term to the works of any non-EU country whose laws did not secure the same extended term. . . . By extending the baseline United States copyright term to life plus 70 years, Congress sought to ensure that American authors would receive the same copyright protection in Europe as their European counterparts."

    3. To incentivize existing copyright holders to preserve their earlier works that were about to lose copyright protection

    4. Because it would be unfair to give new copyright holders more protection than existing copyright holders.

    There were other arguments in the briefs as well.

    Nobody ever argued that existing copyright holders would be incentivized to create the works they already created, since that makes no sense.

    Shallow thinkers like Modplan think that since existing copyright holders can't be incentivized to create the works they already created, then there can't be a single reason to extend existing copyrights. That's just silly. The fact that Congress has extended copyright means that they had a justification for doing so. Rather than do some reading to learn what those justifications were, silly people like Modplan just say that there's no reason.

     

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  135.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upron Sinclair

     

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  136.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Yeah, I've heard that one before, Modplan. Laws will always exist, and lawyers will always have work no matter what the laws are. I'm not worried about it. The fact is, I don't care what the IP laws are. If people think they can make them better, I'm all for it. What I can't stand is people who think they can break the laws because they don't agree with them. I also don't like it when people think something is black and white when most of the time it's gray. As soon as someone says something is clearly one way, I know they're most likely wrong.

     

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  137.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    By the way, I'm reading through the article at the link you gave me earlier. Good stuff. Thanks.

     

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  138.  
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    Jon, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re: You are still confused

    Really?

    So When you buy Louis Vuitton or Chanel, you're buying it at marginal cost? I don't think so.

    As far as I'm aware, Coase disproved marginal cost theory over 60 yrs ago.

    You say; "The *business model* side, says that you need to understand these pressures to find something to sell that *won't* get driven to marginal cost."

    So, a photographer say, should simply not deal in photographs? Or a search engine should not deal in computer code?

    After all, the marginal cost of reproduction is zero.

    The implication of what your saying are huge, if you had your way there would be no economy.

    Re Arrow and Romer - I assume you're talking about papers by them that show research that proves your point, would love to know which ones you're refering to.

     

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  139.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    The fact is, I don't care what the IP laws are.

    Neither do I.

    What I can't stand is people who think they can break the laws because they don't agree with them.

    Underground Railroad: LAWBREAKERS!!!

     

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  140.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    I was referring to pirates.

     

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  141.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 8:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    So you're for lawbreaking in some cases?

     

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  142.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    To end carnage and reduce violence.

    Will copyright holders start a war?
    They would be murdered.

     

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  143.  
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    Dohn Joe, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 9:33pm

    Re: What About the Tax?

    All businesses recover their taxes from their customers. What that means is that a big part of what you pay for intellectual property is already taxes which are passed on to you. But if you want to have the government collect more taxes and have those passed on by all means lets do so:)

    ===========================

    Technically businesses pass on their costs to their customer, taxes are only one cost of many. But now that you mention it, how much extra are citizens paying in taxes when Governments have to pass on the cost of creating, enforcing, and maintaining these expensive copyright and patent regimes at the behest of those who stand to gain from it? Shouldn't they at least pay their own way? Is it fair for taxpayers to be paying for laws that only end up taking away what's left of their paycheques?

    One additional benefit of taxing "Intellectual Property" is one way Governments could recoup these massive costs being shouldered by taxpayers!

     

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  144.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    I don't think "The Problem of Social Cost (1960) by Ronald Coase" means what you think it means.

    His theories don't deal with marginal cost but shows how they get there.

    Coase acknowledges that there are external and internal forces and those forces drive costs up and down(Transaction cost) he didn't try to disprove marginal cost at all but he gave people a way of thinking of how things get there.

    Now with that poor understanding of basic economics you want to try and tell people how they should behave? You will drive them into the ground.

    A photographer don't need to deal with photographs to get money he can sell his services can he not?

    A search engine don't deal with code it deals in search.

    Louis Vulton doesn't deal in goods it is about the brand name, copycats from Asia can be spotted for the higher quality products they put on the market did you know that?

    The production cost is not zero the reproduction can be almost zero. When reproducing something is as easy as talking, the cost of enforcement goes into orbit making it not only inviable but undesireble in that scenario you either find something you can offer that can't be easily reproducible or you fail in the market.

    Search engines have no protection from the law, none and still they keep popping up why?

    Louis Vulton have no protection for products and they still make a killing, they can protect the brand which is what people buy, a photographer is selling his services not photographs he can still make a living if there are not many other photographer's on the field that can deliver good enough services which today nobody is willing to pay that much because anybody can shoot a photo and repair it in photoshop it is getting harder to make a living being a photographer but not because of use of his work but because of the many variables in the market that are pushing the cost to nothing.

     

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  145.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 10:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: bull shit

    "Did we tolerate a lawless west?"

    Yes we did, for quite some time. Some of the worst injustices in the West were at the hands of the robber barons and the vast corruption revolving around the railroad expansion. We also had terrible worker's rights and violent union busting by Pinkerton Detectives. What's your point?

    "Should we have tolerated the rise of mobsters?"

    Are you seriously equating copyright violation with mobsters?

    Where's the racketeering? Oh yeah, that's the current flood of dubious patent lawsuits regarding obvious software patents that lead to "licensing deals" despite some of the patent holders never actually producing anything of value.

    Where's the extortion? Oh yeah, that's the current flood of copyright lawsuits and settlement offers/lawsuit threats by groups like Righthaven LLC and the US Copyright Group.

    Where's the corruption and bribery? Oh yeah, that's how we got ACTA and the DMCA.

    Where's the loansharking? Oh yeah, that's the "advances" that RIAA artists get when they release an album that strangely sells millions but never recoups the costs so that the band can actually make a decent living.

    About the only thing I don't have an example for is murder, but 4 out of 5 ain't bad.

    "Lots of people feel quite justified in lying, cheating, stealing when it suits them."

    Yes. Amongst all of these people, some are managers and CEOs of large corporations. Some of these people are lawyers who happily sue anybody for their own profit with no concern for ethics. Some of these people lobby for harsher punishments of civil violations like copyright infringement.

    "Most of these people are kept in line by rule of law and knowing that they will be punished if they break the law."

    It seems the richer these people are, the less they are kept in line by the rule of law or fear of punishment. They can afford to buy legislators who can change the laws in their favor and preserve their obsolete business models. They can afford to hire lawyers to sue anyone who crosses them.

    You know who can't afford lawyers and lawsuits? The teenagers, single moms, and elderly folks who the RIAA sued for copyright infringement.

    (By the way, the full signature and contact information at the end of all your posts is unnecessary and annoying. People can find all that information on your website by clicking on your username. They could also google you if they really wanted to know more about you.)

     

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  146.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 17th, 2010 @ 10:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    "What I can't stand is people who think they can break the laws because they don't agree with them.

    I also don't like it when people think something is black and white when most of the time it's gray."

    So those darn Jews who married Germans after the Nuremberg laws were unethical?

    The black people who opposed apartheid in South Africa were unethical?

    The American colonists who rebelled against English rule were unethical?

    Rosa Parks should have been imprisoned for refusing to move to the back of the bus, right?

    13 year old girls who illegally download Justin Bieber songs should go to juvenile detention, right?

    Single mothers who illegally download mp3s should have to pay $1.92 million for copyright infringement and permanently have their ability to provide for their children hindered, right?

    It doesn't seem like the issue of breaking laws that you don't agree with is so black and white after all.

     

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  147.  
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    Karl (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Did you read the amicus briefs from Eldred? The arguments are in there.

    Yes, I read them. But amicus briefs mean nothing unless the Supreme Court actually takes those arguments into account when making their decisions. For the most part, they did not.

    But for the sake of argument, I will.

    Authors are incentivized knowing that down the road Congress is likely to extend their existing copyright.

    So, authors would not write new works, unless they had the opportunity to gamble on the fact that copyrights would be extended? And if they weren't, that authors would stop producing out of protest? Yeah, right. Unless you have some data to back that up (and the amicus brief didn't, despite its claims), then I'm going to call bullshit on that.

    Even if that were somehow true, "incentivizing new works" is not the ultimate goal. Public use of those works, is. So you would not only have to prove that more new works would be created, but also that more works would enter the public domain. Nobody has suggested that.

    To harmonize U.S. copyright with E.U. copyright.

    Two criticisms:

    1. This never stopped Congress before. Just ask Shostakovich.

    2. Recognizing this as valid, means that you place U.S. treaties with other countries above the law of the Constitution. There is no legal basis for this.

    To incentivize existing copyright holders to preserve their earlier works that were about to lose copyright protection

    There is no evidence that releasing works into the public domain will prevent their preservation. On the other hand, there are tons of cases where preservation is legally impossible due to copyright issues. That's because the preservation of copyrighted works depends on the efforts of one entity (the copyright holder), whereas preservation of the public domain will happen if only one social entity desires it (and more preservation will happen the more members desire it). In other words, this criticism is ass-backwards: copyright prevents preservation.

    Because it would be unfair to give new copyright holders more protection than existing copyright holders.

    Copyright holders who produce new works would have the same protection as new copyright holders. So it would actually incentivize the production of new works - thus be a far better law according to the Constitution. But even if not, whether it's unfair to copyright holders is completely immaterial.

    Copyright is a contract between publishers and the public: copyright is granted in exchange for a larger public domain. The terms of that contract were voluntarily entered into when those works were published. If your company (the public) offers a better deal to people it "hires" later, why is that unfair? It's just a different contract.

    Say you signed with a distributer for a 12% royalty rate. If that same distributer signs a contract for 15% with someone else, they're not breaking your contract.

    Of course, even this sidesteps the real issue. Congress has allowed publishers to default on their contract every time copyright lengths have increased. Congress is supposed to be the public's representatives, but just like Colonel Tom Parker, Congress has exploited the public while lining its own pockets.

    It's like facing a murder charge, and learning your lawyer has entered a guilty plea without even asking you. Then saying "it wasn't murder when the victim died, but it is now, so you have to serve a life sentence."

     

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  148.  
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    Karl (profile), Oct 17th, 2010 @ 11:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    if an unpublished work is not copyrighted for whatever reason, then it must by definition be public domain.

    Not quite. Public domain refers to works which are published but not copyrighted. Until 1976, public domain was the default status of published works, unless you went through the legal process of copyrighting them.

    For example: the Mark Twain papers, which he did not want published until 100 years after his death, were never public domain. But they do enter public domain once they are published. On the other hand, if the owner of those papers chose to publish them earlier (but after the copyright had expired), there would be nothing stopping him from doing so; and once he did, those papers would be public domain.

     

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  149.  
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    Karl (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 12:13am

    Re: Changing the terms of a deal.

    Isn't the essence of this argument about those who do no InventING trying to lower the compensation of those who do?

    No. If a company takes a raw invention, and brings it to market, then that company has added value to that invention. And done it at great personal expense. Because of this, the inventor is more likely to get compensated, and for higher rates than he/she would get otherwise.

    Now, how about your boss comes in next week and says, Andrew, I only want to pay you twenty percent and by the way it is retroactive and not negotiable.

    I would think my boss works for the *IAA. The public domain is the public's "payment" for the contractual granting of copyright, and what you describe is exactly what has been happening for over thirty years.

     

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  150.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    The argument for retroactive extension of copyright is to incentivize the creation of new works, not to incentivize works that were already created. Of course it doesn't incentivize works that were already created. That's so obvious, it's not really worth mentioning. That doesn't stop you from focusing on that silly argument though.

    That has to be perhaps the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard. So more people will create today because they think that at some point in the future, Congress might retroactively extend their copyright again?

    Talk about taking "faith-based" copyright to a new level.

    I can't believe that any thinking person would accept such drivel. We're talking about a statute designed specifically to take away free speech rights and folks like yourself accept a purely faith-based argument as to why that's okay. Disgusting.

     

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  151.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Prove that it doesn't work in the aggregate. I'll be waiting.


    You must be new here. Try the search engine.

    But, if you are unable to do so (and I get the feeling that you are), then I'll summarize: in the whole of human history, it's been shown over and over again that monopoly rights limit market size. If you are arguing against the basic physics of how markets operate, then it would behoove you to have some (any!) proof that a market can be made larger with such monopoly rights.

    But, in absence of that, we have a variety of like/like situations to compare, and in every one of those, the markets without copyright protections tend to be larger, and allow producers to make more money. Just as one example, look at the difference in weather data in the US and the EU.

    Either way, in every market comparison I've seen of like-like situations, the overall market size in the one without copyright has been larger than in the one with copyright.

     

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  152.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    OK, Mike. If you don't think IP is all bad, then tell me what's good about it. Especially copyright. I dare you to say good things about copyright. I don't think you can. Seriously, I don't.

    My goodness, do you ever have reading comprehension problems. I will note that you clearly have changed (subtly, but obviously) the terms of what we were discussing. It's a weak trick that I hope you never try to use in court, because a judge will slam you so hard you will want to leave the legal profession.

    You initially said (falsely): "[Mike] claims he cannot think of a single example in the history of IP where it did anybody any good."

    I responded, accurately, that of course IP has done some people good, just as a sugar monopoly benefited the monopolist who had it, at the expense of the rest of society.

    You now respond with a claim about whether or not IP is "all bad," something I have no made any reference to one way or the other.

    Please refrain from such transparently ridiculous styles of argument. It makes you look totally clueless.

    OK, Mike. Prove that in the aggregate it makes the economy and creativity worse. I've been waiting to see this "proof."

    Use a search engine, learn some economics. Or, if you'd like, feel free to hire me to teach you economics. My rates are probably too high for you, but it might help you not look so foolish.

     

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  153.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Yes, I read them. But amicus briefs mean nothing unless the Supreme Court actually takes those arguments into account when making their decisions. For the most part, they did not.

    I really doubt you read the amicus briefs because there are like four dozen of them. I only read a few of them.

    That's besides the point though.

    The Court DID take those arguments into account. It's not the Court's job say which arguments are good and which are bad. The Court simply looks to whether Congress had a rational basis for enacting the law as they did. And Congress did have such a rational basis.

    You can disagree with every single reason Congress put forth, and that doesn't matter. I've never said I even with any of those reasons. Again, all that matters is that they had reasons to begin with.

     

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  154.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Mike, I didn't say I believed that argument. I only said it was one of the arguments put forth by supporters of the CTEA.

    And I disagree that CTEA is "designed specifically to take away free speech rights." Yeah, right. Save your rhetoric for someone else. I don't buy it.

     

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  155.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    I understand the detriment side of the equation. I'm waiting for you to show that the detriment outweighs the benefit. You're the one making the claim. You back it up.

    I must warn you though. I think most economics is just voodoo.

     

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  156.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    No search engines, Mike. Can't you prove it to me yourself? You're such a smart teacher and all, right?

     

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  157.  
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    Karl (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Actually, thank you for this link. As it turns out, Senator Hank Brown already brought up a slew of sane rebuttals to the Act. Senator Herb Kohl also brought up some good points, including the fact that at the same time this bill was being passed, Congressional funding for the arts was being slashed.

    They were both absolutely right, and it's a crime that other Congressmen didn't listen to them. Indeed, they couldn't: almost half of the votes that approved the Act were delivered by proxy.

     

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  158.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 6:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Actually, thank you for this link. As it turns out, Senator Hank Brown already brought up a slew of sane rebuttals to the Act. Senator Herb Kohl also brought up some good points, including the fact that at the same time this bill was being passed, Congressional funding for the arts was being slashed.

    They were both absolutely right, and it's a crime that other Congressmen didn't listen to them. Indeed, they couldn't: almost half of the votes that approved the Act were delivered by proxy.


    Good stuff. I'm reading it now.

    Personally, my gut feeling is that the term of copyright is just too long. I don't know exactly how long the term should be though, and I'm suspicious of anyone who claims they do.

    I especially liked Stevens' dissent in Eldred, but I pretty much like anything he wrote. :)

     

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  159.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Great, but your rhetoric isn't much better. What does copyright do other than impede on the rights of people?

    You aren't allowed to copy.

    You aren't allowed to bring forth your own ideas.

    Face it, it takes away free speech for some made up number of profit. All in the name of being for artists?

    Why not take some of that evidence (RIAA taking down Mulve, Limewire taken down by RIAA, BREIN trying to take down Pirate Bay) and wrap around the fact that, as Al Franken says, these are the new fights for equal rights?

     

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  160.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So far, that has yet to work for anyone.

     

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  161.  
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    Jay (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    (Assuming this is) Average Joe, you have no argument yourself. I can sketch it out, I could post all day about it. The fact remains that no matter the argument, you'll simply dismiss it. In essence, it's a lesson in futility. If you haven't learned by now the arguments presented, I can't help you. Go ahead and post anonymously if you want.

    Here's the facts of debating with you:

    You've never brought up a reason for your position.

    You've always tried to challenge others, while showing no evidence for your own position.

    You've always dismissed arguments that are deemed "inconvenient" for you.

    So no, I have no time to argue again. Good luck with everything you are doing. Hopefully more people can learn that law affects economics for good and bad, and the entertainment industry can (one day) learn that fighting filesharing is like pushing back the ocean tide. A tide which law just cannot stop.

     

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  162.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Really, you don't know what copyright does "other than impede the rights of people"? And you do realize that ideas aren't copyrightable, right? It's hard to have an intelligent conversation if you don't even understand the basics.

     

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  163.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    If you told me that you could prove to me that copyright maximizes the public good, I wouldn't believe you either.

    I'm an equal opportunity doubter.

    My position is that nobody can say either way for sure.

     

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  164.  
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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: bull shit

    A few small nitpicks:


    "Should we have tolerated the rise of mobsters?"

    Why did mobsters rise in our society?

    1930s = Prohibition.

    The government lost the ability to regulate alcohol feeling that "faith based" enforcement would stop the people from drinking.

    That didn't work.

    Or maybe Ronald meant the gangstas of the current era.

    1970s - Controlled Substances Act

    Effectively bans drugs by a structure system.

    Pros - Safer streets? HAHAHA!

    Cons - Decay in inner cities as youths are pulled into the drug game. Delays in people going to hospitals, causing Overdose Deaths to increase

    200+% increase in drug arrests around the country. More people are arrested in this country than anywhere else in the WORLD by a very large amount.

    Worse healthcare since money is spent on enforcement, not research.

    I could go on. The fact remains that the government's "rule of law" as alluded to can affect the behavior of a society.

    So this?

    "Most of these people are kept in line by rule of law and knowing that they will be punished if they break the law."

    Is entirely bullshit. 'Scuse my French. People respond to incentives. That's a rule of economics. If the law effectively bans a behavior, you've just created black market demand for it. The war on drugs is a great example. $70 billion dollars annually goes into enforcement for the DEA, FBI, and all those other acronyms. And for what? A drainage to our society in more incarcerations, more enforcement, in a vicious cycle that will go on until the law is reversed.

     

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  165.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    So are most laws.

     

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  166.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Faith-based doubt?

     

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  167.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    I'd answer you, Modplan, but I don't understand your point.

     

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  168.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bull shit

    "People respond to incentives."

    At last, a point of agreement. People produce intellectual property in large part for the "incentives". Government offers us a property right to produce. Big companies and mobs of rift raft try to defraud us of those incentives and then whine when we slap their paddies.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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  169.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    You know what, I am not Modplan and you're a moron for making that assumption. I mean, if you can't even get that right . . . .

     

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  170.  
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    Jay (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bull shit

    Bwuh?

    People produce intellectual property in large part for the "incentives".

    That's the cart before the horse.

    Copyright comes AFTER something is created, not before. In essence, the argument you're presenting is that IP protection is needed in the before time when they're creating.

    How is that ever the case?

    Let's really put this in invention terms.

    The new Honda robot - did it need protection or did it just need improvement?

    In effect, if Honda wasn't so successful in other areas, they would not be tinkering with robotics. As we're learning more and more, the patent and copyright litigation slows down this process a lot more than it helps with its supposed fair litigation.

     

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  171.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    I still can't respond to your post since I don't get your point. Wanna explain what your point was?

     

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  172.  
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    Modplan (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    Thanks, at least you actually provided a point and didn't just dismiss me after even asking for a correction on what I was apparently wrong about.

     

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  173.  
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    Jay (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: star trek repilicators

    You totally missed the reference to modern day cell phones coming from Star Trek's replicators...

     

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  174.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bull shit

    Intellectual Property is too large of a term to argue that everyone who creates IP does so due to the incentives provided by the various laws that cover IP.

    Are you saying all artists only ever create art for the money? If so, they're pretty stupid because a lot of them hardly ever make anything off of their art.

    Certainly not all inventors create for the sake of money. Some people just like to solve problems. It's great to get paid for it, or even to be able to make an entire living off of it, but money is not a sina qua non for creation.

    Or is this a "no true Scotsman" argument where you're only referring to creators who are actually incentivized thus, so you can claim that all of the people you're referring to are in fact incentivized?

    It's quite apparent that the incentive for many individuals and companies in filing for certain patents is purely to make money even when the patent is a joke. The incentive works all too well when people who don't add any value use the patent system to simply subtract value by getting paid for the minimal efforts of patent filing and threats of lawsuits.

     

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  175.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    That you're a moron.

     

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  176.  
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    jon, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are still confused

    I was refering to "The Marginal Cost Controversy" by Coase.

    The cost of enforcement does indeed go into orbit, just as it does if you wish to personally protect physical property by your own efforts.

    That is why the government protects it for you, in exchange for taxes; it's seen as more efficient.

    Hence people generally don't build castles any more.

    Louis Vuitton has legal protection at every stage of the process, both intellectual; the designs, photographs, patterns, trademarks etc and physical; it's generally illegal to steal physical property. They are also protected in many jurisdictions by customs duties and restraints of trade etc etc etc...

     

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  177.  
    identicon
    Jon, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "A person living in anarchy without a government to protect his property rights still has valuable property if someone tries to take it from him. They wouldn't try to take it if it wasn't valuable."

    That may be so, but the cost of protecting it offsets that value - to marginal levels.

     

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  178.  
    identicon
    Jon, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Yeaaaah! Go on Mike! Yooo can dooo eeeet!

     

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  179.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Yeaaaah! Go on Mike! Yooo can dooo eeeet!

    Crickets... I guess he can't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  180.  
    identicon
    Jon, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    How?

     

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  181.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:28pm

    When i think of copyright i think of an incident where a porn shop was selling copied dvds to customers instead of the original. They were caught by the producers and sued etc. To me that what copyright was about, people who profit off of others work. Sure you can argue p2p is wrong but the reality is they weren't going to pay for it to begin with. I can see where they will make content where you have to take a pill so your mind is a certain state to view the content and the people arent on the drug will just hear/see it as random noise and it will brain wipe you once it's done so you cant playback music or scenes in your head

     

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  182.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    No search engines, Mike. Can't you prove it to me yourself? You're such a smart teacher and all, right?

    No search engines? You really don't know how to use Google? Oh well. Your loss.

    I've explained the proof in detail on this site in the past. Your failure to comprehend it is not my problem, though it amuses me.

    And, as mentioned, you are free to hire us if you'd like more instruction, if you can afford us.

     

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  183.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    I want to make copies of everything from my childhood, and then sell my replicated childhood, for money.

     

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  184.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:28pm

    Background Check Companies

    I say the people should push to have your identity as IP. Background check companies collect data on individual and sell it. why shouldn't that be protected under IP laws? They are making money off of your identity without your consent or knowledge, hence no one should respect IP

     

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  185.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    So you can't prove it. No surprise there.

    Mike's got a tall hat but no cattle.

     

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  186.  
    identicon
    Jon, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Oh, you want to copy shit and sell it to make money.

    Well, I wouldn't call that art, but whatever. Have you tired contacting the owners of the IP and see if you can reach an agreement to license the right to make copies?

    That's how most people and companies do business.

     

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  187.  
    identicon
    Jon, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 11:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Mike, you're wrong, google it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  188.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Mike, you're wrong, google it.

    LOL! That's awesome! :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  189.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    That's over 1000 entities that I have to contact. And please don't refer to the objects from my childhood as shit.

    And you wouldn't call it art? What else would you call it? Notice, as well, that I am still being prevented from making art thanks to lengthy copyright.

     

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  190.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A few comments

    Also, some of those objects, liked stuffed animals, have no business associated with it, there's no mark, or company label attached to it, so how do I contact who?

    If only copyright lasted a reasonable amount of time, I wouldn't have to worry about such nonsense.

    So long as the dead have more rights than the living . . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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