Smashing The Scales: Not Everything Needs 'Balance'

from the zero-sum-game dept

For many years I've argued against those (who I often agree with otherwise) who claim that we need "more balance" in copyright laws. As I've said, thinking of it as balance is the wrong frame of reference. It assumes that there is a necessary conflict between what's good for content creators and what's good for content consumers -- that improving the situation for one necessarily hurts the situation for the other. Yet, we've seen over and over again that this is not the situation in reality. You can improve the situation for both at once, and if you're thinking about "balancing" the two, you're already starting with the wrong framework.

Julian Sanchez has noticed something similar, though in other areas of the policy debate, such as the claim that we need to "balance privacy and security," and suggests that the whole balance metaphor is a serious problem in many such debates in part because it assumes a zero sum game (if you're better off, then I must be worse off):
Perhaps the most obvious problem with balancing metaphors is that they suggest a relationship that is always, by necessity, zero sum: If one side rises, the other must fall in exact proportion. Also implicit in balancing talk is the idea that equilibrium is the ideal, and anything that upsets that balance is a change for the worse. That's probably true if you're walking a tightrope, but it clearly doesn't hold in other cases. If you have a perfectly balanced investment portfolio and somebody gives you some shares of stock, the balance is upset (until you can shift some assets around), but you're plainly better off--and would be better off even if for some reason you couldn't trade off some of the stock to restore the optimal mix.
And when it comes to privacy and security:
In my own area of study, the familiar trope of "balancing privacy and security" is a source of constant frustration to privacy advocates, because while there are clearly sometimes tradeoffs between the two, it often seems that the zero-sum rhetoric of "balancing" leads people to view them as always in conflict. This is, I suspect, the source of much of the psychological appeal of "security theater": If we implicitly think of privacy and security as balanced on a scale, a loss of privacy is ipso facto a gain in security. It sounds silly when stated explicitly, but the power of frames is precisely that they shape our thinking without being stated explicitly.
Julian is reasonably worried that this type of "balance" thinking drives people to make very bad policy decisions, relying on what feels like a useful metric that is really quite misleading at times. It's definitely a worthwhile read, and let's hope we can start to get past the claim of "balance" where it is not appropriate.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 5:28am

    The purpose of copyright law

    The purpose of copyright law should always be to the benefit of consumers (I wrote this once and a slashdotter replied "What about us non-consumers?" heh.). We want to maximize the size and variety of content available to consumers, and copyright law should be tailored to do that, but it doesn't. Instead it's used as an faux economic stimulus that in the long run limits available content and drives people to alternative (and usually free) types of content. I think the reason you see both conservative and liberal politicians flock to protectionist measures is because they're so damn afraid of causing an economic drop if they liberalize copyright law that we end up getting tighter and tighter controls. And yet there's still that economic drop (abet in old styles of content distributions like CDs).

     

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      Michael, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:03am

      Re: The purpose of copyright law

      "The purpose of copyright law should always be to the benefit of consumers"

      That's a weird "should" and not the stated purpose of copyright law. It's originally stated purpose was to "promote the progress of science and useful arts". That is not really saying it is to benefit consumers. It's intention was to benefit society. It is supposed to help give incentive for creators and inventors in exchange for their creations being bestowed upon the rest of us.

       

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        Not an electronic Rodent, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:41am

        Re: Re: The purpose of copyright law

        It is supposed to help give incentive for creators and inventors in exchange for their creations being bestowed upon the rest of us.
        Excellent. When does the "bestowing" part happen?

         

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          chris (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 9:18am

          Re: Re: Re: The purpose of copyright law

          Excellent. When does the "bestowing" part happen?

          after the life of the author +95 years. unless the "author" is a corporation which never dies, then it's never.

          you got a problem with that?

           

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      monkyyy, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:13am

      Re: The purpose of copyright law

      +1 talked of /.

       

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    Steve R. (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 5:30am

    Time

    The concept of "balance" neglects the role of time. Copyright, over time, has become more onerous; it was meant to provide a limited monopoly for a limited period of time. To achieve "balance" the copyright has been extended in scope and time.

    Furthermore, we see copyright holders extending their reach to assert ownership on content placed on new forms of media. There is no attempt by the content holders to even offer "balance".

    Balance may be a wonderful concept, but the fulcrum point is movable by those defining "balance". Unfortunately, we don't have balance in setting the fulcrum point. Seems that the content holders have that power, unfortunately.

     

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    Alex Daniels (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 5:50am

    No comment, just this:

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 5:52am

    The Force

    Needs more Balance. Karate kid, too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 5:53am

    I think the funniest part of all of this is that the balance is out of whack now, heavily in favor of the consumer, because the consumer has chosen to ignore the law entirely.

    The balance of copyright isn't just the balance between producers and consumers. There is also the balance between incentives to create new rather than replicate old. The balance between the right to create and own versus the right to use without restriction.

    Those who want to "smash the scales" are the ones who profit only from the "replicate the old" and "use without restriction" parts, without consideration for what it will do to the other sides.

    Congrats Mike, at least you have made yourself clear for once.

     

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      btrussell (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:22am

      Re:

      "I think the funniest part of all of this is that the balance is out of whack now, heavily in favor of the consumer, because the consumer has chosen to ignore the law entirely."


      "This is even more ironic because the head of the Canadian Recoding Industry Association, Graham Henderson, is on record as complaining that Bill C-32 gives those engaged in non-commercial activity a “license to steal”, even though they could be found liable for far more than $150 per work to a maximum of $5,000. A $5,000 damages award to an individual is far more severe than a $50,000,000 hit that retroactively and with an apparently very substantial discount wipes the commercial mechanical license infringement slate clean for an industry that still takes in about a $1,000,000,0000 a year in Canada from various revenue sources. One might even say that the operative rule that eventually led to this litigation could have been to the effect of "exploit now, pay later if at all.""
      http://excesscopyright.blogspot.com/2011/02/45000000-chet-baker-estate-copyright.html

      Par don? What did you say?

       

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      Michael, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:11am

      Re:

      The LAWS are heavily weighted toward copyright owners. The reality of society ignoring these laws is what is tipping the scales in the other direction.

      You can argue that making the laws more harsh could help reduce the number of people ignoring the laws, but historically, increasing the punishment for a law that people find does not make sense has little effect on their decision to ignore the law.

      And again, your post is making this a balance between consumers and copyright holders. Those are the wrong groups. Copyright is supposed to create incentive for content creators. They are given a limited monopoly as incentive to create in exchange for their creations having a benefit to society. These days, copyright holders seem to rarely be the content creators, and if you think consumers make up our entire society you are missing a big piece of the puzzle.

       

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        chris (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 9:22am

        Re: Re:

        These days, copyright holders seem to rarely be the content creators

        yes, but in order for the "OMG steeling" meme to work, you have to conveniently ignore that fact.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not at all.

          Someone created it. They sold their rights to someone else. That sale doesn't negate the creation.

          Someone builds a car, you buy the car, someone steals the car. Do you have less rights to complain about car theft because you didn't build it?

          OMG FUD!

           

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            harbingerofdoom (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 11:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            your line of reasoning is only valid if the "OMG THEY STOLDED IT FROM US" is theft of physical medium, not creating an additional duplicate copy.

            the car analogy has been over done a bazillion times already... cant you think of something better yet? use your imagination here....


            oh... and if you can, try to incorporate garden gnomes into it... most people hate those things and you may pick up some fence sitters if you incorporate the hatred of garden gnomes into your next idea...

             

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      Not an electronic Rodent, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:40am

      Re:

      Marked as funny because there's no "Can I borrow your secret decoder ring" button.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 9:50am

      Re:

      "I think the funniest part of all of this is that the balance is out of whack now, heavily in favor of the consumer, because the consumer has chosen to ignore the law entirely."

      Dang it, I can't find it, but there was a quote of someone arguing against extensions a long time ago, arguing that it will only lead to more disrespect of the law and it will lead to more people ignoring the law.

      But anyhow, three points to make

      A: The government should serve the public interest/will. If the public has chosen to ignore the law then that's evidence that the public doesn't like the law and the law should change. The fact that the law hasn't changed just means that the government isn't serving the will of the public (they are only serving the will of big corporations).

      B: By making the laws so ridiculously unacceptable, hence revealing their true purpose (to serve a plutocracy and not the public interest), they only did this upon themselves. The laws are so ridiculously unacceptable that no reasonable person can look at them and say that they are intended to serve the public interest. and if people perceive that copy protection laws aren't intended to serve the public interest then they will likely ignore them. Big corporations and the government deserve to have these laws ignored (well, they actually deserve to be thrown out of office and jailed for passing these laws in the first place) and if they hadn't made the laws so ridiculously absurd, perhaps people will be more respectful of them.

      C: The laws are so ridiculous and complicated that they are practically impossible to follow, yet alone be familiar with them all. The fact that everyone breaks the law suggests that the law is the problem.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:03am

        Re: Re:

        Regarding B: After all, why follow a law that isn't intended to serve our interests?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:13am

        Re: Re:

        A: Sometimes the public interest isn't what the public wants today. Kids want candy, candy rots their teeth. Should parents give in to the current interest in candy and ignore the future implications?

        B: Nice run around to try to tag it on the big corporations, but you keep forgetting that it isn't big corporations, it is individual artists and creators that are at the end of the trail. When you stick it to the big corporations, you are also sticking it to the artists who make their living from selling their works.

        C: Actually, the laws aren't complicated at all, only made complicated by people trying to tapdance on the head of a pin. If you didn't create it, don't re-use it without permission. Don't make copies for all your friends. Don't post it up on the internet and invite people to download it. You buy it, you can use it. You can't replicate it for other people.

        How hard is that?

        If you search for ways to make something complicated, you can do it. If you use very basic common sense, there isn't an issue.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "A: Sometimes the public interest isn't what the public wants today. Kids want candy, candy rots their teeth. Should parents give in to the current interest in candy and ignore the future implications?"

          Yes, because the government and big corporations know what's in the public interest better than the public and we can all trust the government to want what's in the public interest. Sorry, I see no reason to buy that argument. Comparing the public to little children who doesn't know better is condescending and dishonest. The government only has its own best interest in mind and the corporations that control it only have their own best interest in mind.

          "B: Nice run around to try to tag it on the big corporations, but you keep forgetting that it isn't big corporations, it is individual artists and creators that are at the end of the trail."

          It's big corporations that keep lobbying for these laws and the corporations end up ripping off individual artists and creators. It's the corporations that end up having control over the work, they pay the artists very little, and even then they hardly ever pay the artists what they owe. The big corporations have control over most media outlets (broadcasting, cableco infrastructure, and they sue individual restaurants and venues that try to have independent artists or they try to make them pay a fee under the pretext that someone might infringe, which prevents individual venues from having independent performers) and so, at least outside the Internet, artists have little choice but to put up with such an abusive system.

          "C: Actually, the laws aren't complicated at all, only made complicated by people trying to tapdance on the head of a pin. If you didn't create it, don't re-use it without permission. Don't make copies for all your friends. Don't post it up on the internet and invite people to download it. You buy it, you can use it. You can't replicate it for other people."

          The laws are so restrictive that they're difficult not to break. For instance (and examples have been shown on techdirt), taking a picture or video of someone in your house with a painting (that you own) in the background and distributing it can be infringement. If the painting accidentally shows up on the video it can be infringing. Lots of things that we take for granted can be considered infringement. If my T - Shirt has a picture on it and it shows up in a picture on Facebook that can be infringing. The law needs to change.

           

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            Anonymous, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Your answers:

            1. No evidence of it being the rule rather than the exception. This was mostly FUD.

            2. Exact same thing. The big corporate boogeyman. You guys always drag out the word 'corporation' when you're trying to rationalize illegal behavior. It's retarded. It doesn't fool anybody.

            3.The laws are so restrictive that they're difficult not to break.

            More bullshit. Effort is required to download something illegally. Your other examples are all pure FUD.

            You fail.

             

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              btrussell (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 4:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "More bullshit. Effort is required to download something illegally."
              I find it very easy to download from internet.
              What makes it harder to download something illegally compared to legitimately?

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              1: There is plenty of evidence. ie: 95 year copy protection lengths. There is plenty more. You simply ignore the evidence.

              2: The politicians that support most of these laws tend to receive a lot in campaign contributions from the big businesses that support them. Ditto on the 95+ year copy protection lengths and the fact that it is big corporations that put these laws in place and, on top of that, the government is only trying to make the laws more restrictive without even trying to lift a finger to fix the laws. Again, that's the action of big business. That is evidence as well. Feel free to keep ignoring the evidence.

              3. Just because some aspects of the law require effort to break doesn't mean they all do.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 9:31am

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

                More evidence is the fact that much of the ACTA negotiations were done in secret from the public (and only released after they leaked) yet industry representatives were invited to the negotiations.

                It's obvious who's running the show, there is evidence galore of it. The big corporations are. The fact that you simply choose to ignore the evidence doesn't mean it's not there. It's there and your willful ignorance of it doesn't stop anyone else from noticing it.

                 

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              CheMonro (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              3.The laws are so restrictive that they're difficult not to break. More bullshit. Effort is required to download something illegally. Your other examples are all pure FUD. I admit it, I was singing Cold Play in the shower yesterday. Come and put the handcuffs on me... *shivvers*

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 11:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Golly! What happens when the internet moves inside our own heads?

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re:

        (if someone can find me that quote, it would be nice. Someone was arguing to extend the law and this person was arguing against it, saying it will lead to the law being ignored and widely disrespected, which will only hurt artists. He argued about the benefits of having poems or works in everyone's bedroom to read, and that while copyright is bad because it temporarily prevents people from having them, it's good because in the long run it helps more people to have them. but if the law gets extended, people will simply ignore and disrespect it. I'm sure it wasn't in the U.S. either and I think the outcome was that it wasn't extended at the time. I've posted it on techdirt before).

         

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    Steve R. (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:03am

    Laws Should NOT Protect Business Models

    "I think the funniest part of all of this is that the balance is out of whack now, heavily in favor of the consumer, because the consumer has chosen to ignore the law entirely."

    When a law no longer serves a legitimate societal purpose it is ignored. This is especially true of so-called "laws" that deprive the consumer of a legitimate use but at the same gives someone else an unfair advantage. The law should provide a level playing field, not serve a special interest.

    The current state of laws related to so-called "intellectual property" make a mockery of the law.

     

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    Jay (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:03am

    True story

    Funny thing about balance. I actually have an argument with someone about it. They say that because I argue that copyright law doesn't really provide nothing more than false incentives to authors, it doesn't need to be thrown out. Like I am saying that copyright law is like thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

    After reading this site, seeing that copyright law is an economic issue and not just a matter of law, and also seeing that it really doesn't pay artists, I tend to disagree. The good news is, Techdirt has a lot of great articles about the economic abundance achieved through the internet. The bad news is, everyone I argue either tries to play the morality card (not realizing that they're basically arguing monopoly rights) or ignore it to agree with fair use but say the author's wishes trump anything else.

    Not only does it seem backwards, but it seriously makes me want to reinvent the wheel or look for alternate solutions with other people that don't want to play the zero sum game.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:24am

      Re: True story

      not realizing that they're basically arguing monopoly rights

      Monopoly would mean nobody else could write a book, a song, or make a movie. That isn't the case. There is no monopoly in copyright.

      Copyright is about the artists right to control their work, to resell the rights, and otherwise profit from their work. It is about a process which allows the artist to sell those rights in various ways, without giving up ownership. Selling a movie on a DVD is done because copyright creates the mechanism for micro rights sales. It creates a standard agreement that exists between artist and consumer that allows this sort of business to even exist.

      Copyright doesn't stop people from making new movies. It doesn't stop people from making new songs, writing new books, publishing new magazines, making new seminars or any of those things. It does stop (legally anyway) people from making copies of existing things without permission. It puts that control in the hands of the owner.

      Copyright isn't really any different from rules that let you rent an apartment, or lease a car, or fly on an airplane. Each of those in an agreement between owner and consumer, a limited set of rights for an agreed price.

      The good news is, Techdirt has a lot of great articles about the economic abundance achieved through the internet.

      When you take products that sold for billions and put it online and sell it for millions, you haven't really accomplished anything positive. Yes, if you look only at the interrnet, it is selling millions. What was lost outside isn't relevant, apparently.

      With the arrival of the internet, overall consumer spending hasn't shot up dramatically. The internet didn't really add much, it moved it. Think of it as the Wal-Mart effect. People use to go to local stores, they open a big walmart, and suddenly the local stores go out of business. The consumers aren't spending more, they are just spending it somewhere else.

      Music being a good example: Net everything, all of the studies that have been pushed on TD show that consumers aren't spending any more on music entertainment. Overall sales (music sales and concert) are flat for the last 10 years, even as concert tickets have doubled and tripled in price. Fewer total consumers for the product is never a good thing!

       

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        btrussell (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:38am

        Re: Re: True story

        "Overall sales (music sales and concert) are flat for the last 10 years, even as concert tickets have doubled and tripled in price. Fewer total consumers for the product is never a good thing!"

        Too bad people can't read what they write.
        By doubling and tripling ticket cost, how many people have you pushed out of the playing field?

        Overvaluing your product has reduced sales.

        "Copyright isn't really any different from rules that let you rent an apartment, or lease a car, or fly on an airplane. Each of those in an agreement between owner and consumer, a limited set of rights for an agreed price."
        Then don't sell it to me to "Own it on DVD today!"
        Rent it to me "For as long as the medium lasts!"

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:46am

          Re: Re: Re: True story

          By doubling and tripling ticket cost, how many people have you pushed out of the playing field?

          The doubling and tripling of concert ticket prices is the "selling the scarce" thing taught heavily here on Techdirt. The idea is that while consumers no longer pay for recorded music, they will pay for concerts and events. Since most artists are unable to add significantly more concert dates (as they are already touring extensively) they instead are raising the costs of the concerts to the point that only dedicated fans can afford to attend.

          Think of of it as the few paying for all the free music that was pirates / distributed / traded.

          Here is the rub: if ticket prices drop significantly (as they are indicating for 2011, forecast 10-12% drop, from what I have seen) it will drop overall music sales directly. Once consumers stop overpaying for the scarce (real or imagined), the wheels fall off the whole "cwf+rtb" wagon. When they run out of people willing to pay stupid inflated prices for certain things, things will change.

          As for "own it on dvd", you purchase (own) certain rights. You own the DVD. So yes, you own it on DVD, in a small way.

           

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            btrussell (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:12am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

            A friend of mine is going to see John Cougar tonight.
            If ticket price was lower, I may have gone as well, just for the party(not a fan).
            It would have increased sales(2>1), not drop overall music sales.
            There is also the lost opportunity of paraphernalia sales as I won't even be there to see what else is for sale.
            No ticket sale AND no paraphernalia sales.



            I own the DVD, not any rights as rights holders are trying to block even second hand sales(meaning "owning" the DVD is worthless).

            So I own the right to play it on authorized hardware when I want? Mighty generous of you.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

              If ticket price was lower, I may have gone as well, just for the party(not a fan).
              It would have increased sales(2>1), not drop overall music sales.


              Is the concert sold out? Selling you a cheaper ticket would have lowered income. Your idea only works when there is effectively an infinite number of tickets, and in which case, they would be priced at 0.

              I own the DVD, not any rights as rights holders are trying to block even second hand sales(meaning "owning" the DVD is worthless).

              See, you own certain rights, not all of them. In the same manner that renting an apartment doesn't grant you ownership of the block.

              If you want to own Avatar, I think it cost $300 million to make. Would you like to pay cash or charge card?

              As for second hand sales, well, that is one of those issues of not accepting DRM - there is no way to be sure that you are selling all of your rights, rather than just selling a copy of them.

               

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                btrussell (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

                "See, you own certain rights, not all of them. In the same manner that renting an apartment doesn't grant you ownership of the block."
                You keep using "own" and "rent" to make a point.
                You say I "own" it, then compare it to renting.
                Make up your mind.

                 

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                btrussell (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

                "If you want to own Avatar, I think it cost $300 million to make. Would you like to pay cash or charge card?"

                Doesn't matter what it cost to make. It matters what myself or another is willing to pay.

                 

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            Jose_X, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 9:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

            >> Since most artists are unable to add significantly more concert dates (as they are already touring extensively) they instead are raising the costs of the concerts to the point that only dedicated fans can afford to attend.

            I don't see the point of this. Do you raise the price of your time? Most people eventually get raises to keep up with inflation. What is unique about this concert thing that would cause such an increase not to apply to concerts?

            Again, all humans' time is limited. We all try to get raises when we can. And the higher the demand for you, the more you can charge.

            There are also many other business opportunities. For example, Nina Paley received over $100K in income off Sita Sings the Blues in the one year following its release. I think most of this money came off endorsements and promotion efforts of various sorts. Clearly this took time, but most of that money was not based on how many people she could pack into an auditorium. In fact, there is "nothing" stopping every person on the planet from seeing that flick and buying a nice DVD (from which NP would make a little money).

             

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            chris (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

            The doubling and tripling of concert ticket prices is the "selling the scarce" thing taught heavily here on Techdirt.

            no, price is determined by the market. if the market is unwilling to pay your prices, then lower them. if you cannot lower the price, change your product so that you can offer it at a competitive price. if you are unwilling to change your product, then you will go out of business.

            Think of of it as the few paying for all the free music that was pirates / distributed / traded.

            that's subsidy. you're still thinking about music in terms of 1990's revenue: as in, "we need something to keep the revenue at the level it was in 1995 when everyone was buying CD's."

            you need to think about music like an ecology: a global drought has occurred you need to find a way to survive in the new, drier environment. the crops you used to grow can't grow anymore. people don't want to buy the food that you are selling.

            the revenue from the 90's is gone and it's not coming back. you need to make your business work in the current environment of less money in the industry and having to work harder to earn it. the old guard is making legal threats and moral pleas in the face of what might as well be an ice age.

            Once consumers stop overpaying for the scarce (real or imagined), the wheels fall off the whole "cwf+rtb" wagon. When they run out of people willing to pay stupid inflated prices for certain things, things will change.

            if your business model is predicated on people being stupid, you need a new business model.

            only time will tell, but personally, i think the recording industry has had well over a decade to pull out of it's current nosedive. if it hasn't managed to do so by now it's not going to.

            but hey, don't let me stop you. by all means, keep on whipping that dead horse.

            and keep crying about how a bunch of mean old pirates killed it, cuz that's gonna make a difference.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

              no, price is determined by the market. if the market is unwilling to pay your prices, then lower them. if you cannot lower the price, change your product so that you can offer it at a competitive price. if you are unwilling to change your product, then you will go out of business.

              Sorry, I must not have made my point clear. I agree with you, in a free market, supply and demand yadda yadda yadda. That isn't my point.

              My point is that Mike keeps pointing to the upswing in concert sales as the great solution to recorded music not selling. It is the "selling the scarce" item #1, musicians can perform concerts and make lots of money (and sell lottttsss of t-shirts, apparently). Ticket prices have increased dramatically in the last few years, as artists have been making less on their other musical ventures, such as selling their recorded music. But if the concert ticket buyer has caught on and is no longer interested in paying $500 for a 90 minute concert, the whole thing starts to fall apart.

              See, what is happening in concerts is what happens to all of the "buy scarce" stuff: When too many people are doing it, you get buyer fatigue. They only have $x per year for concert tickets. When they could afford to go to 6 shows a year, they did. Now that same money only pays for 3 or 2. So what happens is demand for the "scarce" drops. At the same time, more and more artists are forced to do extended tours to make a living. It means more live music (yeah!), but it also means that there is a market glut of concerts and concert tickets as a result.

              People only buy so many t-shirts, they only attend so many shows, they only buy so much "merch". They can't buy more. More importantly, a market glut in all of this stuff tilts the supply and demand curve so much, that there is an incredible oversupply in the market place. Yes, individual items might be rare, but there is so much of it that even real collectors can't afford to buy all of it.

              The end result? The wheels start to fall off the RtB wagon. It doesn't matter if they have a reason to buy if they are already tapped out - they aren't going to buy.

              if your business model is predicated on people being stupid, you need a new business model.

              What do you call $5000 picnics, or miniputt games or drunken nights out in Mexico? They are entirely predicated on people being stupid enough to pay for the transient value that is immediately lost and unrecoverable.

              Another wheel falls of the RtB wagon.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:43am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

                "See, what is happening in concerts is what happens to all of the "buy scarce" stuff: When too many people are doing it, you get buyer fatigue."

                This same concept applies to buying things like copy protected music.

                "They only have $x per year for concert tickets."

                and they only have $x per year for copy protected music as well. But what gets spent on copy protected music can't get spent on concert tickets.

                 

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                chris (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

                Mike keeps pointing to the upswing in concert sales as the great solution to recorded music not selling.

                i get that. and you keep saying that prices are going up and sales are going down.

                and i'm saying "duh. that's how the market works."

                you keep saying "the revenue to replace record sales isn't coming back"

                again, i am saying "duh, that shit's gone forever and it's not coming back."

                that's the fundamental disconnect. you are stuck on the idea of the old revenue figures coming back. they won't. not ever. the bubble has burst.

                it's time move on. it's time to go back to the business of selling stuff.

                the way forward is to do more with less. lower prices, more sales, more diversity in the things you sell.

                if you can't make it work then get out of the business.

                See, what is happening in concerts is what happens to all of the "buy scarce" stuff:[...] it also means that there is a market glut of concerts and concert tickets as a result.

                concert tickets are one avenue. if ticket sales are shrinking sell other shit that people are actually willing to buy.

                if you don't know what your fans are willing to buy, ASK THEM. that's what the whole CWF thing is about.

                piracy is free and it's completely unstoppable. you compete with free by offering something genuine. get people to like you so they want to be associated with you. if they like you and your work enough, they will buy stuff to support you.

                People only buy so many t-shirts [...] They can't buy more. [...] there is an incredible oversupply in the market place [...] even real collectors can't afford to buy all of it.

                so sell something else.

                in japan you can literally buy any conceivable object with "hello kitty" on it. in the U.S. you can buy any conceivable object with a sports team on it. music, movies, television, and books should be the same way.

                if you can't sell more, then figure out how to survive on what you are able to sell.

                reduce your costs and use your resources more efficiently. a good place to cut back is on middlemen. another good place to save is on promotion and distribution. get your fans to help you out with logistics for your tours, the true believers will be happy to do it.

                if after all of that, you still can't make it work, then quit and do something else.

                They are entirely predicated on people being stupid enough to pay for the transient value that is immediately lost and unrecoverable

                maybe your lack of success in music is based on your inability to understand what people want.

                a good experience is a scarce, salable commodity, as long as the value derived from it is greater than the price paid to have it.

                maybe if you treated fans like they were people who want you to succeed, and not stupid marks with their wallets open, the new music landscape won't look so desolate and lonely.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

                  that's the fundamental disconnect. you are stuck on the idea of the old revenue figures coming back. they won't. not ever. the bubble has burst.

                  Can you please explain that to Mike Masnick then please? His grand claims of "success" of the new model is that concert sales are up, so artists are "making more". Yet it is clear that as we go past the initial bubble, that level of income is just not going to get maintained.

                  maybe your lack of success in music is based on your inability to understand what people want.

                  a good experience is a scarce, salable commodity, as long as the value derived from it is greater than the price paid to have it.


                  I understand that. But when you have thousands of such chances, when every act, every performer, and every artist is whoring out their "special time", it creates the massive flood of the market place that ruins it's value.

                  A flood of scarcity is still a flood, and well beyond the market's ability to absorb it. Supply and demand does apply, even in the scarcities.

                   

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                    chris (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

                    Can you please explain that to Mike Masnick then please? His grand claims of "success" of the new model is that concert sales are up, so artists are "making more".

                    i think you might have missed like 99.99% of the posts here:

                    amanda plamer makes 15k in 3 minutes (no concert necessary):
                    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100722/12084810324.shtml

                    modest success is still success (selling recordings even!)
                    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100411/2208368956.shtml

                    or just one of thousands of others.

                    or do you just hate mike?

                    if that's the case, then hate away. i'm sure it hurts him deeply.

                    when every act, every performer, and every artist is whoring out their "special time", it creates the massive flood of the market place that ruins it's value [...] A flood of scarcity is still a flood...

                    do you actually do anything with music or art? cuz it sounds like you have a weird concept of value.

                    would you buy the t-shirt for a band you weren't that fond of just because it was cheaper than a shirt from your favorite band?

                    i certainly wouldn't. that seems like a waste of money to me.

                    competition is always good. it drives up quality and drives down price. only lazy, greedy, or dishonest people fear competition.

                    i find it hard to believe that if you are making a worthwhile product, like music that resonates with someone, that you have to worry about competition. it's that whole "connect with fans" thing again. that connection is what differentiates your product.

                    now, i get worrying about competition with a mediocre product, people only have so much to spend and so they want to spend it on things they truly value.

                    maybe you should take a look at your product. are you just grunting out lame half-assed covers or something?

                     

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            Jose_X, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

            >> Once consumers stop overpaying for the scarce (real or imagined), the wheels fall off the whole "cwf+rtb" wagon.

            Fall off? Hardly.

            But let's talk a bit about how copyright monopolies allow for unmerited gain.

            Part of the unfairness of copyright monopolies is that some works become a part of culture. Culture is a network effect. It's isn't that the particular work is that much better than the runners-up. It's that people tend to gather around a small number of items naturally as they share common experiences.

            At this point, the work is gaining beyond it's "fair share". We have many people who have the work in their minds and need to leverage what is in their minds as they create their own signature works or leverage culture in other ways.

            The good news is that supposedly 17 USC 107 allows sharing for purposes of teaching, research, etc.

            The bad news is that "derivative works" still can block off a lot of new creative material even when the new author leverages parts of culture and what is inside the mind.

            And worse is that this restriction exists even if the main author already made 1 million or even 1 billion USD.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

            Most artists (at least traditionally) don't make their money from CD sales, they make them from concerts. The CD sales are just for promotion, that's where the RIAA et al make their money.

            and just because ticket prices are dropping doesn't mean there will be less content. Perhaps ticket prices are dropping because there are more concerts and smaller artists can get some of the money, attention, and consumer time that would otherwise go to bigger artists that charge more for concerts. If anything, the fact that concert tickets are dropping is a good thing. There is no indication that there is any less content being created now than before, there is plenty of content being created under CC licenses for instance. Your problem is that the market is being more saturated with more people generating content and that takes away from much of the centralized content producers.

            People don't care for movie stars and celebrities as much anymore

            (ie: see http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110113/18102412663/celebrity-endorsement-deals-almost-always-bad- deal-brands.shtml ).

            People don't get their entertainment from centralized outlets so much anymore, there is way more content out there than ever before and much of it is more tailored to the specific desires of consumers instead of a previous one size fits many. Techdirt, for example, has many examples of independent and smaller artists making money. Sure, that means concert tickets will drop, because that takes away peoples attention from the more centralized entertainment producers. But that's not a bad thing and that's hardly a measure of creativity.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 11:27am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

              (heck, for myself, reading techdirt is content and that takes away from other things. Blogs are a form of content. Facebook is a form of content. It takes away from other things, like interest in mainstream artists and their concerts).

               

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        Richard (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:41am

        Progress

        When you take products that sold for billions and put it online and sell it for millions, you haven't really accomplished anything positive.

        The entire advance of mankind has consisted of taking things that used to be expensive and making them cheaper. That is pretty much what progress means.

        Go to the science museum in London and you will see a disk drive that occupies half a room. When new it cost as much as a whole streetful of detached houses in a good area. It stored just 20MB. We now give away a pendrive that stores much more than that as a freeby at open days.

        This is the way economic progress goes. If you think one part of the economy can be exempt from this process then you are foolish.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:51am

          Re: Progress

          It is true of hard goods, but not true of the works for man. The cost of an hour of man's time is pretty much at it's peak of all times right now, and will only continue to go up.

          The production of music (or movies) isn't going to suddenly be 100 times more efficient. U2 isn't suddenly going to write a full catalog of new songs in the 30 days. Microsoft isn't going to release a completely new operating system every month. Kevin Smith isn't going to release a new movie every weekend.

          Progress of "things" isn't the same as the progress of the works of man. We may be able to change the formats underwhich those works are delivered, but the hard graft of actually producing them remains the same. That hasn't changed, and likely never will.

           

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            Richard (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:57am

            Re: Re: Progress

            Sorry - no exceptions. The hard graft has changed significantly with the advent of cheap tools for producing music and movies - and the cost of making a copy - which at one time was most of the cost of a CD has plummeted.

            The value of labour has not changed - but when the other costs change so radically then labour has to re-deploy itself.

            We used to all work on the land - then most of us worked in factories - now most of us provide services.

            Communication has gone from one to few - through a phase of one to many until it is now many to many.

            Given modern tools an amateur can now produce music and films that used to reqiuire a professional and still have time for a "day job". Maybe technological change means we don't need professional musicians for recording anymore. We still need them for live performance and teaching.

             

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              Jose_X, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 9:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Progress

              >> We still need them for live performance and teaching.

              and for help in creating new works or modified works, especially if related to their past creations.

              Plus, out of appreciation and respect, and from "undivided" attention, a brand gets built up which creates extra earning potential for virtually anything it gets associated with it. The author merely has to endorse products or indicate they gain financially, and this will help sell those products, from which the author will be able to earn.

               

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            Jay (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:58am

            Re: Re: Progress

            You might want to read TD a little more...

            There's other things you can sell besides the movie, harddrive, or catalog of songs to make money without nary a worry about copyright infringement.

            Movies - Kevin Smith is selling access to him after his movie plays. If it really comes up, I bet people will record his sessions and the movie, putting it up on Youtube and make it MORE successful

            Music - Backstage passes, anyone?

            Microsoft - REALLY needs better customer service.

            There's always opportunity. It doesn't end with something being free.

             

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              Jose_X, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 9:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Progress

              Many competent professionals have always made their money on a time basis. That is largely what would exist (and with potential for other approaches) with no copyright.

              As author, some will pay you (proportionally to past successes and how well you market your skills and drive) to come up with something else. Others will pay you to extend or modify or employ what you already created.

              And you and others have earning potential, like all other professionals, from dealing in material that others have created but over which you may have become something of an expert.

              In short, to the extent the new works would be created [and note: most authors have a "need" to create; they benefit from creating in various ways; and studies have shown too much compensation can be a disincentive to working with the same passion and focus], we get more material for society to leverage at lower costs to everyone. We get more expertise and opportunities. And we still have the main protagonist likely to additionally get specific grants (for future work or prizes for past works) as well as royalties for lending of brand to other products or services and various other unique opportunities (eg, speaking engagements).

               

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        Jay (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:45am

        Re: Re: True story

        If anything economics has taught me that one person controlling everything is never a good thing for all involved.

        First, copyright in the long term falls flat on its face. I've yet to see actual copyright law in the major fields of entertainment, past 10 years unless it's a successful franchise.

        I argue against copyright technically controlling what consumers can do with their legally owned media. If I bought a product, the law should not be able to take away my rights in anyway shape or form. If I want to look and see all of the different files on the CD, that's my choice. But that's another issue.

        In regards to your other points, you've already said that people are paying more on concerts because there is now an abundance of material. I can copy a song quickly and cheaply. The money is going elsewhere because the old gate is now closed.

        I would look at the data as saying that the old way of doing business was quite inefficient...

        If anything, I would stretch and say that copyright law was like a financial bubble waiting to pop when something new came along to disrupt the model.

         

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        Richard (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:49am

        Re: Re: True story

        Copyright isn't really any different from rules that let you rent an apartment, or lease a car, or fly on an airplane. Each of those in an agreement between owner and consumer, a limited set of rights for an agreed price.

        Copyright holders have broken their side of the bargain many times in the past 50 years - every time they extended the copyright term. If you don't keep your end of the bargain you can't really complain about what the other side does.

         

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        kirillian (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re: True story

        Arguing against poorly realized statements by fleshing them out yourself free from context and then responding to these arguments of your own fashioning is actually a perfectly legitimate way of debating in high school. It does not, however, make for useful or constructive discussion.

        I am aware that you most likely hold strong opinions (or are paid to hold these opinions just as likely), but you actually engender no sympathy nor reason to read your arguments by arguing in this way. Should you temper your arguments a little more and provide evidence, citations, and other support, we might be more prone to not feel like we wasted 30 seconds of our lives reading your crap.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re: True story

        There is no monopoly in copyright.

        In 1932, Mr Chief Justice Hughes used the legal term of art “monopoly” to refer to the copyright monopoly in Fox Film v Doyal:

        The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the monopoly lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors.

        (Emphasis added.)

        This was not a new coinage by Mr Chief Justice Hughes. Fact is, the term “monopoly” has been used in English since at least the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.

         

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          Jose_X, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:26am

          Re: Re: Re: True story

          Of course it's a monopoly. The law gives "exclusive right to ...."

          What does "exclusive rights" mean if not monopoly? It's a monopoly grant. It's effectively sole control over what 17 USC 106 provides minus some exceptions such as the fair use exceptions of 107.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 10:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: True story

            What does "exclusive rights" mean if not monopoly?

            Letter from James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, (Oct 17, 1788):

            With regard to Monopolies, they are justly classed among the greatest nuisances in Government. But is it clear that, as encouragements to literary works and ingenious discoveries, they are not too valuable to be wholly renounced? Would it not suffice to reserve in all cases a right to the public to abolish the privilege, at a price to be specified in the grant of it? Is there not, also, infinitely less danger of this abuse in our Governments than in most others? Monopolies are sacrifices of the many to the few. . . .

             

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        vivaelamor (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:20am

        Re: Re: True story

        "Monopoly would mean nobody else could write a book, a song, or make a movie. That isn't the case. There is no monopoly in copyright."

        A monopoly does not imply absolute exclusion. You seem to have made a straw man.

        "Copyright doesn't stop people from making new movies."

        No one is suggesting that it does, you seem to be lining up the straw men.

        "It does stop (legally anyway) people from making copies of existing things without permission. It puts that control in the hands of the owner."

        You seem to use the word owner to imply that being a creator naturally infers the right to control. I wrote this comment, it is my comment, therefore I own it. I don't, however, have the right to control it. Ownership as conferred by creating something only acknowledges the identity of the creator.

        "Copyright isn't really any different from rules that let you rent an apartment, or lease a car, or fly on an airplane. Each of those in an agreement between owner and consumer, a limited set of rights for an agreed price."

        You mean apart from those agreements being between two equal parties. I don't recall a law requiring me to lease a car rather than build a new one, which would be more analogous.

        "When you take products that sold for billions and put it online and sell it for millions, you haven't really accomplished anything positive. Yes, if you look only at the interrnet, it is selling millions. What was lost outside isn't relevant, apparently."

        Leaving aside the fact that your whole example seems to be baseless, if your products cost more to sell offline than online then you may be making more profit by selling less.

        "With the arrival of the internet, overall consumer spending hasn't shot up dramatically. The internet didn't really add much, it moved it. Think of it as the Wal-Mart effect. People use to go to local stores, they open a big walmart, and suddenly the local stores go out of business. The consumers aren't spending more, they are just spending it somewhere else."

        I guess you agree that unlawful file sharing doesn't harm the economy then, as you acknowledge the fact that money doesn't disappear down a black hole. Would you support legislation banning Wal-Mart?

        "Music being a good example: Net everything, all of the studies that have been pushed on TD show that consumers aren't spending any more on music entertainment. Overall sales (music sales and concert) are flat for the last 10 years, even as concert tickets have doubled and tripled in price. Fewer total consumers for the product is never a good thing!"

        I have to wonder what you are reading, considering even the chairman of Warner Music acknowledged the growth of the music industry, three years ago. The economist did another piece which was posted on Techdirt discussing the growth of the music industry.

         

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        Jose_X, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 9:45am

        Re: Re: True story

        >> Copyright is about the artists right to control their work, to resell the rights, and otherwise profit from their work.

        Artists profit from works without leaning on copyright. There are many examples of this. People will pay for a DVD for example rather than burn one. They will pay even more for an autographed version. Businesses will pay an artist to endorse their product or to help them create a commercial.

        >> Selling a movie on a DVD is done because copyright creates the mechanism for micro rights sales.

        I think selling a movie on a DVD is done because there is demand for it. The artist and partners are in an unique position to draw competitive advantage.

        >> Copyright doesn't stop people from making new movies. It doesn't stop people from making new songs, writing new books, publishing new magazines, making new seminars or any of those things.

        It certainly does, unfortunately. This control comes from the "derivative works" clauses. If you create a totally new and rather different "mashup" that uses extensive components from existing works, each of those authors can send that new rather valuable work into the garbage dump.

        >> With the arrival of the internet, overall consumer spending hasn't shot up dramatically.

        Efficiency has.

        >> Fewer total consumers for the product is never a good thing!

        It seems to me that "piracy" (if you are talking about that) has allowed many more to consume per unit time.

         

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    btrussell (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:15am

    Only if we think balance refers to a scale.

    Think of it as it is, an equation.

    If both sides don't benefit, it is no good.



    Scales can "balance" at unequal levels.

    We are dealing with equations, not scales.

     

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      Jose_X, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:38am

      Re:

      It's engineering. Just because you make trade-offs does not mean that products made today have the same trade-off as those made 1000 years ago. It's a much larger than two dimensional problem, and it's certainly time varying.

       

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        btrussell (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 3:40pm

        Re: Re:

        Right. So if 14 years was long enough to profit 200 years ago, why isn't 5 years long enough with the technology of today as well as having a worldwide market?

         

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    Matthew, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:49am

    Mike, thank you for posting this. It emphasized a point that had long eluded me. I have occasionally posted in defense of copyright holders. I sympathize(d) with the dismay of those whose product had become unsellable. (Not valueless, but having a marginal cost and, therefore, a sale price, of approximately nothing.)

    That mindset, however, is grounded in the assumption of a zero-sum game. You talk about the difference between scarce and abundant goods all the time but I hadn't made the connection about how the shift to abundance also eliminates the zero-sum game.

    This is actually kind of embarrassing to me because I enjoy sharing the things that I have in abundance and I've personally seen how it's enriching to both the people to whom I'm giving and to myself.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 6:52am

      Re:

      What sort of abundant things are your own? What sort of work do you do that you can create abundance and give it away without issue?

       

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        The eejit (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re:

        Well, there's my body odour for a start. It retails at 20GBP. IT has a nice, pleasant smell.

         

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        Jay (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 7:34am

        Re: Re:

        Webcomics are one aspect...

        You can show people an xkcd comic or even one from a series you're reading and it can still update without you taking away from it.

         

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        vivaelamor (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:24am

        Re: Re:

        "What sort of work do you do that you can create abundance and give it away without issue?"

        The first example that springs to my mind is advice. You can charge for it, but there is no law preventing people from passing the advice on to others.

         

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          identicon
          Jose_X, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You also gain in that there is an opportunity for you to receive criticism (new perspective) on that advice and thereby gain for your own future use. You might even receive more free useful advice in return.

          You also can gain reputation which might lead to a trusted paying position or fanbase. Improved branding and audience are leveraged into money all the time (eg, endorsements and the willingness of others to divert their time and consideration to paying for products/services from which you will benefit via the endorsement).

           

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        identicon
        Matthew, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 9:20am

        Re: Re:

        Broadly speaking, the things that I have in abundance are abstracts like kindness and peace of mind. Somebody below mentions advice, though, and that's another good example. When I know something that would be useful to others, I don't feel compelled to hoard my knowledge unless somebody will pay me to share it.

        Now, having said that, there's a necessary disclaimer. When I share knowledge, it is more of a hobby than a profession. If I were an educator, then no amount of enthusiasm on my part would pay the rent. That's where I sometimes get frustrated when reading articles here at TechDirt.

        I'm not a very good businessman and I know I'm not alone. If I were a educator (NOT necessarily in the school/classroom sense of the word) or an author, both things that I would probably enjoy doing, I wouldn't know how to associate scarce goods with the abundant goods/services that I'm good at producing. The tone here, while polite, often leans in the direction of "Well, that's your problem." Figuring out how I could write or teach and still make a living is what keeps me from doing them.

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 11:18am

        Re: Re:

        My art.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    average_joe (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:44am

    As I've said, thinking of it as balance is the wrong frame of reference. It assumes that there is a necessary conflict between what's good for content creators and what's good for content consumers -- that improving the situation for one necessarily hurts the situation for the other.

    Why do you think that something that is good for one side must necessarily be bad for the other? I don't think it works like that. The same regulation could very easily be beneficial to both. You're right, it's not a zero-sum game. It can be about balance and also be a non-zero sum game, IMO. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

     

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    Hugh S. Myers (profile), Feb 9th, 2011 @ 8:44am

    Balance?

    This reminds me of the long ago argument about spotted owl protection and the EPA--- the forces 'against' kept demanding compromise and I kept having this picture of a tree limb lined with owls where the senior owl says "Draw straws?" as to who was going to be the compromise victim (i.e. dead)

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 4:48pm

    > balance privacy and security

    You cannot have true security without privacy.

    You cannot have true privacy without security.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Matthew Barich, Aug 13th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    The balance concept is fundamentally wrong

    The "balance" concept is fundamentally wrong. The following article by Richard Stallman explains why it's wrong:

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/misinterpreting-copyright.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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