The Amount Of Content Created In Spite Of Copyright Is Staggering

from the so-what's-the-purpose-of-copyright dept

We hear all the time how the world needs stronger copyright laws or people will have no motivation to create. This is obviously false, but to what level? Well, the amount of content creation going on these days is staggering. By some reports, every two days, we now create more content than was created from the beginning of time until 1993. I'm not sure I totally believe that stat, but even if it's an exaggeration by an order of magnitude, we're still talking about a ridiculous amount of content creation every single day. And the thing is, the vast, vast, vast majority of that content creation is done for incentives that have nothing to do with copyright. I think it can easily be argued that over 99% of the content created today is done for reasons that have nothing to do with copyright.

Of course, when we talk about things like torrent trackers, copyright maximalists like to point out that since (according to some reports) 99% of the content found via those trackers is infringing, then the trackers and search engines themselves should be deemed illegal. Of course, if we are to accept that logic, then shouldn't it apply equally to works automatically covered by copyright, despite no need for them to be covered by copyright? If 99% of works created are not due to copyright incentives, by the very argument of the copyright maximalists, copyright should be deemed worthless. Note, I am not saying that copyright is definitely worthless. I'm just pointing out that if we use the same basic logic as those who wish to condemn tools like The Pirate Bay using the 99% claim, then those same folks should obviously support the idea that those works created without copyright as an incentive do not deserve copyright. Why do I get the feeling they will claim otherwise?


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    The eejit (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Logic has no place in reality. It's only based on The Law of the Land, where raping and pillaging culture is normal.

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Using logic with the copyright maximalists is wasted effort unless the logic is backed up with bogus statistics.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 8:54am

    Actually

    Everything I create is made specifically to spite copyright.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:11am

    This one's a pretty funny stretch of logic. Funny how the 99% of traffic on torrent networks that's infringing is copyrighted, and copyright incentivized its creation. The stuff worth "stealing" is the stuff where copyright is working as designed. The copyrighted stuff is the "good" stuff.

     

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      hobo, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:45am

      Re:

      Don't feed, I know, but..
      The stuff worth "stealing" is the stuff where copyright is working as designed. The copyrighted stuff is the "good" stuff.
      Oooor, the copyrighted stuff is the only stuff that needs to be "stolen" because everything else is already legally free. Just a thought.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:51am

        Re: Re:

        Don't feed, I know, but..

        The stuff worth "stealing" is the stuff where copyright is working as designed. The copyrighted stuff is the "good" stuff.

        Oooor, the copyrighted stuff is the only stuff that needs to be "stolen" because everything else is already legally free. Just a thought.


        [Nobody's trolling. It's called "having a conversation."]

        But somehow people aren't "stealing" the 99% of works that are copyrighted by default, but that were created in spite of copyright. Dance around it all you want, but the works that were incentivized by copyright are the works that are the most desirable.

         

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:15am

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          You are trolling because you're insinuating that 99% of all downloads are illegal, they're not. You also suggest that all copyrighted work was created exclusively due to copyright, that's bull. You also don't take into account the rest of the damn web. For small things, like books and music, it's just easier to distribute from a central website.

          So, you are a troll, and at best you don't know it.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ummm. The 99% number was Mike's, not mine. And I am not suggesting that "all copyrighted work was created exclusively due to copyright." I think you are misreading what I've posted.

             

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              Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              He was using it in a way that suggests it was bullshit. You use it in a way that suggests it's gospel.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:33am

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                LOL! Was I? What percentage of torrent traffic is infringing then? And what is your source?

                I don't pretend to know. I was just using Mike's number.

                 

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                  Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:39am

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                  You almost had that turned around on me. You in marketing? Nah, with double talk like that, I would guess that you're a lawyer.

                  The argument was about you being a troll, and I think I've proven that quite successfully.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:44am

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                    Would you be surprised to learn that the vast majority of works that are infringed via torrent are in fact works that were incentivized by copyright? I wouldn't. Seems perfectly plausible to me. As Mike pointed out, "some reports" confirm this.

                     

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                      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:49am

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                      I would actually be dumbfounded if anyone could prove that copyright was the reason most things were created. I would put my money on money being the reason these things were created. I doubt that copyright even came into the conversation until after the item was created. Maybe artistic expression would be the majority reason, but money would have to be high up there.

                      And don't give me this crap about copyright being needed to make money. It's already been shown many times that it's not.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:53am

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                        I'd bet there is not one copyright protectable work *ever* that was created because of one reason and one reason only. Copyright protection (and related incentives) may be a minor or major incentive, and may act directly or indirectly, upon an author who is conscious or unconscious of copyright protection.

                        The notion that copyright doesn't do any good unless someone is conciously thinking "I'll only make this work because of copyright protection" is a terrible fallacy.

                         

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                          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:01am

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                          But to think of it as the only way anything will ever get created is also a fallacy. Even to think that it's the main reason most things get created is simply ignoring human tendencies. To even think that it's necessary at all is a fallacy.

                          Many, many great things were created before copyright was invented. Much money was made before copyright was invented. Why the hell do we need stricter and stricter copyright? What was so bad about the old laws?

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:08am

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

                            "But to think of it as the only way anything will ever get created is also a fallacy."

                            I agree. Luckily that's not what we're talking about.

                             

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                              Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:13am

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

                              No, what we're talking about is my second paragraph. That's what it all boils down to.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:17am

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                                That seems to rehash the same idea. Yes, people have created and will create without copyright.

                                That is irrelevant to whether people will create as much or as intensely without copyright.

                                 

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                                  Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:23am

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                                  No, the question is whether greater and more restrictive copyright will harm creators. It's been shown that the lack of copyright won't stop people from creating. We have absolutely no problem with what copyright use to be. Why does it need to be more restrictive?

                                   

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                                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:32pm

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                                    Again, whether lack of copyright will prevent people from creating is irrelevant to the first question (i.e., what is the optimal level of protection and is stricter protection better than the current level).

                                    What did copyright used to be? When? Who are "we" by the way?

                                     

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                                      chillienet (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 4:35pm

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

                                      "i.e., what is the optimal level of protection and is stricter protection better than the current level"

                                      I would argue that a better question to ask before asking "what is the optimal level of protection" would be to ask if protection is required at all.

                                       

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                                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 5:15pm

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

                                        I would argue that a better question to ask before asking "what is the optimal level of protection" would be to ask if protection is required at all.

                                        If 99% of works are being created despite copyright, how is copyright hurting anything? What are you guys so worried about?

                                         

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                                          monkyyy, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 6:00pm

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

                                          i like this long text, very easy to read

                                           

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                                          chillienet (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 6:39pm

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

                                          "how is copyright hurting anything?"

                                          Million dollar lawsuits, websites taken off line, forms of technology depicted to be evil.... Shall I continue? Do you need links? The 'idea' behind copyright has some merit. The current implementation does nothing but make me feel sick.

                                           

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                                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 6:06pm

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

                                        that's the same question.

                                         

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                                          chillienet (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 6:41pm

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

                                          No, it isn't. Asking what level of protection is needed is making the assumption that there is some level of protection that is needed.

                                           

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                                            Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 11:08am

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

                                            I assume the answer to the question "what level" could very well be "none." I don't see why anyone would assume otherwise.

                                             

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:57am

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                        I don't really follow you. Aren't most of the things "traded" on torrent networks movies and albums that were created because of copyright? Do you think copyright is an afterthought when James Cameron makes a movie? Do you think U2 cuts an album with no thought of copyright? Do you think that Rowling writes books and then later decides she might enjoy the benefits of copyright?

                        The money you speak of is possible because of the copyright. This is not to say that one cannot make money without copyright. This is only to say that the vast majority of works worth "stealing" are works where making money from the copyright was the incentive from the get-go.

                         

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                          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:12am

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                          Yes, actually I do. I think that each and every one of those people are thinking $$$$$ when they start. They want money.

                          OK, maybe I don't give them enough credit. Maybe they create things for artistic expression. Yeah, who am I kidding, they want money.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:13am

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                            So...it's a good thing they'll get copyright protection.

                             

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                              cj7wilson (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:27am

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                              Copyright protection != making money.

                              I could write the Anonymous Coward's Big Book of Circular Arguments and copyright it all to hell and back, but I wouldn't make any money, because no one wants to buy it.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:33pm

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

                                Luckily, I never asserted that copyright protection = making money.

                                If you're going to criticize logical arguments, you might not do so without relying on a straw man.

                                 

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                              Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:27am

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                              I don't see how you're making that jump in logic. They don't need copyright to get money. They don't need copyright to be artistic. Copyright isn't necessary. Getting a copyright on one work of art isn't good or bad. It's when it gets insanely strict on many, many works is when it becomes bad.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:35pm

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                                "They don't need copyright to get money."

                                If you can explain to me how a major Hollywood movie (that's what we're talking about) is going to get financed, made, and distributed without copyright protection, I am all ears.

                                 

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                                  Jay (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:42pm

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                                  Avatar, most pirated movie of 2010

                                  Avatar, $1 billion dollars of revenue

                                  Copyright had nothing to do with its success as you seem to believe.

                                   

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                                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:54pm

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                                    Give this a read Jay.

                                    Some highlights:

                                    "First, the reported "grosses" are not those of the studios but those of the movie houses. The movie houses take these sums and keep their share (or what they claim is their share)—which can amount to more than 50 percent of the original box-office total.
                                    ...
                                    Finally, and most important, the fixation on box-office grosses obscures the much more lucrative global home-entertainment business, which is the New Hollywood's real profit center.
                                    ...
                                    These numbers tell the story. Ticket sales from theaters provided 100 percent of the studios' revenues in 1948; in 2003, they accounted for less than 20 percent. Instead, home entertainment provided 82 percent of the 2003 revenues. In terms of profits, the studios can make an even larger proportion from home entertainment since most, if not all, of the theatrical revenues go to pay for the prints and advertising required to get audiences into theaters.
                                    ...
                                    Consider, for example, Touchstone's Gone in 60 Seconds, which had a $242 million box-office gross. From this impressive haul, the theaters kept $129.8 million and remitted the balance to Disney's distribution arm, Buena Vista. After paying mandatory trade dues to the MPAA, Buena Vista was left with $101.6 million. From this amount, it repaid the marketing expenses that had been advanced—$13 million for prints so the film could open in thousands of theatres; $10.2 million for the insurance, local taxes, custom clearances, and other logistical expenses; and $67.4 million for advertising. What remained of the nearly quarter-billion-dollar "gross" was a paltry $11 million. (And that figure does not account for the $103.3 million that Disney had paid to make the movie in the first place.)"

                                    So instead of focusing on box-office revenues to draw such sweeping conclusions, you should at least have a proper understanding of what that $1billion really means.

                                     

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                                      vivaelamor (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 6:23am

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

                                      "Give this a read Jay."

                                      Give this a read Anonymous Coward.

                                      One highlight:

                                      "Avatar, a saga of colonialism and environmental destruction on a distant planet named Pandora, has raked in record box-office takings of $2.7bn. It sent profits rocketing by 76% to $497m at News Corp's Hollywood studio, Twentieth Century Fox.

                                      Murdoch identified Avatar as one of his company's top success stories"

                                      "So instead of focusing on box-office revenues to draw such sweeping conclusions, you should at least have a proper understanding of what that $1billion really means."

                                      So instead of shifting the focus away from Avatar's success with a claim that box office revenue mean nothing, you should at least look at the actual profits reported by the film studio.

                                       

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                                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 7:54am

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

                                        Vivaelamor:

                                        with a claim that box office revenue mean nothing

                                        I mad no such claim. I simply encouraged Jay to understand what $1billion in box office revenues really means (a figure he cited, not me).

                                        Your own quote makes my point clear: Avatar brought in $2.7 billion and yet Fox's TOTAL profits for the year were $497 million for ALL of Twentieth Century Fox. There is a major disconnect there. Only stating the box office total is misleading.

                                        Further, as the Slate article makes clear, the margins are generally much smaller for movies that aren't the top grossing movie of all time, and that the studios depend on home-entertainment for over 80% of their revenue. Those aren't my figures, they come directly from the studios themselves.

                                        So, yes, copyright does have something to do with the success of movies, including Avatar (which goes to Jay's point). When 80% of revenues comes from non-theater based sources, it is not difficult to see how piracy can quickly cut into the meat of the studios profits.

                                         

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                                          vivaelamor (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 10:43am

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

                                          "I mad no such claim. I simply encouraged Jay to understand what $1billion in box office revenues really means (a figure he cited, not me). "

                                          In other words, you made an assumption about his understanding of the figures, while ignoring the fact that he was right in his conclusion. Is my facetious exaggeration worse than that?

                                          "Your own quote makes my point clear: Avatar brought in $2.7 billion and yet Fox's TOTAL profits for the year were $497 million for ALL of Twentieth Century Fox. "

                                          How is that a bad thing? How does that in any way suggest that Avatar wasn't a success as Jay claimed?

                                          "Only stating the box office total is misleading."

                                          I can see how it would be misleading if it turned out that the film didn't make a profit, but it did and a big one at that.

                                          "Further, as the Slate article makes clear, the margins are generally much smaller for movies that aren't the top grossing movie of all time, and that the studios depend on home-entertainment for over 80% of their revenue."

                                          But we're talking about Avatar at the moment, not much smaller movies. If you'd like to talk about them then please bring them into the discussion instead of pointing out that Avatar isn't one.


                                          "So, yes, copyright does have something to do with the success of movies, including Avatar (which goes to Jay's point). When 80% of revenues comes from non-theater based sources, it is not difficult to see how piracy can quickly cut into the meat of the studios profits."

                                          None of what you've said backs up the argument that copyright has anything to do with the success of movies.

                                           

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                                            Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 11:46am

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

                                            while ignoring the fact that he was right in his conclusion

                                            Where is the support that Jay is right in his conclusion that copyright had nothing to do with the success of Avatar? Do you have any proof? For instance, do you have evidence that Twentieth Century Fox would have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the film if it were not guaranteed copyright protection on the back end? Even considering the fact that 80% of revenue comes from non-theater sources?

                                            How is that a bad thing?

                                            It's not. It simply shows that box office revenue does not equal studio profit, not even a little. Which is why throwing around billion-dollar figures is misleading.

                                            I can see how it would be misleading if it turned out that the film didn't make a profit, but it did and a big one at that.

                                            What is misleading is saying that Avatar made $1billion (which it didn't according to your cite), and that therefore copyright has nothing to do with the success of the movie. The analysis is much more nuanced than that, especially when you consider how much the studios really make after expenses and how much of their ultimate profit comes from home-entertainment sales.

                                            None of what you've said backs up the argument that copyright has anything to do with the success of movies

                                            I think it does. If you consider the fact that, on average, 80% of studio revenues come from home-entertainment sales, it is clear that the studios rely on the sale of something that can be (and is) pirated. Without copyright, 80% of the studios revenue is put at risk. That is huge. This information is, at the very least, an important consideration when determining whether the studio would have put the money up at all or whether they would have invested the same amount, if they knew that copyright would not protect what amounts to 80% of their profit. The analysis is certainly not as easy as $1b = copyright is worthless!"

                                            But on a more fundamental level, are you truly satisfied with Jay's analysis so much that you are willing to defend him? He basically said... Avatar made $1billion therefore copyright had nothing to do with it's success. You are really defending that grossly unfounded position?

                                             

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                                              vivaelamor (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

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

                                              "Where is the support that Jay is right in his conclusion that copyright had nothing to do with the success of Avatar?"

                                              The part where he points out that it's the most pirated movie. Hardly irrefutable, but that seems like far stronger evidence than any presented that piracy has a negative effect. Regardless, I was referring to his point that it is successful, not that copyright had no effect. Apologies for not being more specific.

                                              "For instance, do you have evidence that Twentieth Century Fox would have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the film if it were not guaranteed copyright protection on the back end?"

                                              What would that prove? Apart from Fox's opinion on copyright, that is.

                                              "It's not. It simply shows that box office revenue does not equal studio profit, not even a little. Which is why throwing around billion-dollar figures is misleading."

                                              Why? He called it revenue. It's only misleading if someone removed revenue from the dictionary.

                                              "What is misleading is saying that Avatar made $1billion (which it didn't according to your cite)"

                                              Didn't you read the dates on those articles? His was from Jan 2010, mine was from May 2010. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that there may have been a passage of time between the two of them.

                                              "The analysis is much more nuanced than that, especially when you consider how much the studios really make after expenses and how much of their ultimate profit comes from home-entertainment sales."

                                              Feel free to explain how Avatar wasn't a success using your nuanced analysis.

                                              'If you consider the fact that, on average, 80% of studio revenues come from home-entertainment sales, it is clear that the studios rely on the sale of something that can be (and is) pirated. Without copyright, 80% of the studios revenue is put at risk. That is huge. This information is, at the very least, an important consideration when determining whether the studio would have put the money up at all or whether they would have invested the same amount, if they knew that copyright would not protect what amounts to 80% of their profit. The analysis is certainly not as easy as $1b = copyright is worthless!"'

                                              When you come up with a shred of evidence that supports the notion that high piracy = high risk to revenue then maybe we can delve into more complex analysis. So far, we have on the one side the fact that the most pirated movie happens to also be the most successful movie; while on the other we have your claim that 80% of revenue is at risk because of piracy, without anything to back it up.

                                              "But on a more fundamental level, are you truly satisfied with Jay's analysis so much that you are willing to defend him? He basically said... Avatar made $1billion therefore copyright had nothing to do with it's success. You are really defending that grossly unfounded position?"

                                              As opposed to your entirely unfounded position? Sure.

                                               

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                                                Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 8:14pm

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

                                                Vivalemor:

                                                I do think Avatar was a success, and if I made it seem otherwise I apologize for being unclear.

                                                A strong correlation between the number of unlawful downloads of a movie and that movie's box-office revenue is NOT proof that copyright had nothing to do with the movie's success. It is proof that the movie is popular. Your desire to defend such a weak argument is unfortunate. I sincerely doubt that you would defend similar logic if it was posted by someone who disagreed with your position.

                                                Copyright is important to the creation of films like Avatar (which is what Jay's post was trying to disprove), because many content investors (like 20th Century) are incentivized by returns. And, perhaps surprisingly, studios aren't making the majority of their revenues from billion-dollar box office revenues (which is why I called Jay's statement misleading). Instead, studios' revenues are largely dependent on home-entertainment sources. Since they are the ones producing the content, I thought it was important to point out that looking at box office revenues alone doesn't tell the whole story. The theater and home-entertainment markets may be impacted by piracy differently. Maybe not. But the distinction is important, and one that I wanted to point out to readers so they can draw their own conclusions.

                                                 

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                                                  vivaelamor (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:20am

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

                                                  "A strong correlation between the number of unlawful downloads of a movie and that movie's box-office revenue is NOT proof that copyright had nothing to do with the movie's success. It is proof that the movie is popular. Your desire to defend such a weak argument is unfortunate."

                                                  Had you originally argued that point then I may have supported you. We'll never know.

                                                  His statement is backed up by the evidence, even if not proven. Sure, he sounds a bit cocky, but hey, we're the ones who have to deal with 'copyright infringement is theft' all the time. Regardless, I'm not impartial, I'm biased.

                                                  "Since they are the ones producing the content, I thought it was important to point out that looking at box office revenues alone doesn't tell the whole story. The theater and home-entertainment markets may be impacted by piracy differently. Maybe not. But the distinction is important, and one that I wanted to point out to readers so they can draw their own conclusions."

                                                  If you want to make a case that Avatar is failing in those markets then go ahead. Strangely, you didn't make that distinction at all in your original reply to Joe.

                                                   

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                                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:57pm

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

                                    Link?

                                    Also, what is "it" in your sentence?

                                     

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                                      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 5:32pm

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

                                      In the first sentance...

                                      "Give this a read Jay."

                                       

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      athe, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      If the "copyright is working as designed", how are people "stealing" it?

       

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    FatGiant (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:12am

    I am fairly convinced that a majority of that content is created without any consideration of copyright.

    In fact I believe that copyright is not a concern to any of those content creators, they create "in spite" of copyright, not because of.

    There are probably some "decent" uses of copyright. I can't right now remember of none, but, I am sure that they exist. For the majority of the world, right now, copyright is a synonym of repression, censure and almost an obscene word.

    Who made them think that way?

    Any involved and connected content creator right now, has to consider carefully what kind of license they will offer for their work. Or, face the risk of alienating it's fans.

    Copyright is being defined as a money grabber scheme, something to avoid. Only the ones doing the grabbing haven't seen it yet. But they will. :)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:27am

      Re:

      I suspect a lot of content created doesn't "need" copyright. Think Youtube videos. The creators release it for free, and that's that. Copyright DOES protect them though, in that Sony can't just take their video, air it on TV, sell DVDs and try to profit from them. Copyright has it's use, but you're right, it's often abused (especially today) as a means of exerting control and trying to screw the little guy.

       

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        Jose_X, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 9:44pm

        Re: Re:

        >> Copyright DOES protect them though, in that Sony can't just take their video, air it on TV, sell DVDs and try to profit from them

        Well, if copyright didn't protect them from Sony, it wouldn't protect Sony form them either.

        Now, if Sony did try to profit from that and did without sharing or giving credit (assume copyright doesn't exist or is very weak), then do you think Sony isn't going to suffer once that information gets out?

        Who likes plagiarists or bullies?

        Have you heard of brand value?

        But here is the really good part: let Sony do its thing.

        Do you honestly think that if the person who made the video passed around the virtual hat, that many people wouldn't contribute? So here Sony allows 10 million people to learn about it. Then news spreads that Sony short-changed the owner. Do you think it will be that difficult to have 1% of those 10 million people donate $1 to that person? Do you know what that adds up to? $100K.. all for simply letting Sony rip you off.

         

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      Paul (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:52am

      Re: Fair use

      I always download my Linux distributions via torrents as they are far faster (and cheaper for those publishing distributions).

      These are huge. I am having a hard time believing I am the only one that does this.

      The torrent protocol is useful and is used for all sorts of open source tasks where code and meta information needs to be distributed across the web.

      I don't think such uses would be more than a few percent all torrent uses, but I find it difficult to believe they would be less than a percent. On top of that, much content is distributed via torrent legally.

      So I kinda doubt the 99 percent copyright infringing statistic for torrents.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:59pm

        Re: Re: Fair use

        I downloaded Windows 7 SP1 via Torrent, because it does hash checking on the fly and it delivers the product far far faster than Microsoft.

         

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        monkyyy, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 6:04pm

        Re: Re: Fair use

        sadly linux is by all technical means, copyrighted, and add`s to the stat

         

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          PaulT (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 8:09am

          Re: Re: Re: Fair use

          Yes and no. Yes, as in it's not public domain and has some kind of copyright protection. No, as in the GPL licence waives the standard copyright protections in favour of a less restrictive version that encourages sharing.

          For the purposes of this discussion, i think that the fact that standard copyright doesn't apply would add to the "non-copyright" side of the equation, in the same sense that CC licenced product and freeware product (i.e. still technically under copyright but the author doesn't ask for payment) would.

           

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            Jose_X, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 9:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Fair use

            Downloading Linux is not infringing.

            Linux is also "copyleft", a technique of granting rights in such a way that it helps promote a reduction in the copyright restrictions of new valuable works.

            Linux (and its license) aids those that want to share. It promotes sharing. It leverages copyright ONLY because we live under a set of laws where working within the copyright regime cleverly can lead to more sharing than by going public domain. If copyright weren't around, then the Linux license would not need to worry about discouraging copyright restrictions because there wouldn't be any copyright restrictions to worry about discouraging.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:34am

    Strawman "par excellence".

    The only persons I have ever seen going after P2P sites are those whose works are being copied and distributed without their permission.

    You can call their business models whatever you may wish, but at the end of the day it is still their right to require permission as a condition of copying and distributing their works.

    If people do not like having to ask permission, then the right thing to do is vote with their "feet" and their "wallets".

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:44am

      Re:

      People are, in fact, voting with their "computer" and their "time" rather than their "feet" and "wallets" but, close enough, eh?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:10am

        Re: Re:

        They only do it because they feel they can get away with it.

        Make pirating content less attractive, and suddenly the feet and the wallets are heading back to legal sources. It's been proven over and over again (and is proven every day on your favorite torrent sites): People want the content. They would pay for it if they had no alternative. They have found an alternative for now, but it won't last forever.

        When they no longer feel they can get away with it, they will be back to buying it, because they value it and they want it.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, the only thing that has been proven is that people are willing to pay for content in general, having an alternative has nothing to do with it. If the price was reasonable and the content easy to access, people will pay. Look at iTunes; why would anyone BUY music that they can EASILY get for free from any number of websites? Because the price is right and it's easy to get to.

          Thinking that taking away torrent sites and usenet and whatever else will magically make people start paying for things they aren't paying for now is wrong. Most people will simply not consume those goods if they don't feel the price is right. THAT is what is proven every day.

           

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          The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Make pirating content less attractive, and suddenly the feet and the wallets are heading back to legal sources.

          This has never once been shown, so if you have some proof, I would be interested to see it. Logically, it is false: I've accepted something for free that I wouldn't pay for if it wasn't free. Everyone has. Some would, I have no doubt, but considering the amount of money being dumped into fighting piracy I cannot imagine it will be worth it.

          It's been proven over and over again (and is proven every day on your favorite torrent sites): People want the content. They would pay for it if they had no alternative.

          This is an interesting spin on the reasons to pirate. Wouldn't a simpler conclusion be that the current price of the media being pirated is above what the majority of the market is willing to pay?

          When they no longer feel they can get away with it, they will be back to buying it, because they value it and they want it.

          Again, your grasp on economics seems a tad shaky, and your grasp on human nature isn't much better.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Please to explain Joe.

            If people want something, they will buy it if they can afford it. If they cannot afford it, they do without. Ask the people who are eating baloney on hand instead of filet mignon.

            This has never once been shown, so if you have some proof, I would be interested to see it.

            IPRED - when this became law in Sweden, file trading activity went down, and sales of recorded music went up. It is the best example to date, because there was a clear drop in traffic, a clear situation that made file trading less attractive legally, and the results showed up at the cash registers.

            This is an interesting spin on the reasons to pirate. Wouldn't a simpler conclusion be that the current price of the media being pirated is above what the majority of the market is willing to pay?

            Chicken and the egg. If more people paid the price, the price could be lower. If all the people who used Photoshop actually paid for it, the software could easily be half the price and still bring in stellar profits. The high price of content / media / software often is taking into account some of the losses to piracy (in the same manner that your local retail store prices in shrinkage).

            Would the same number of people buy who currently pirate? Nope. But pirates don't have to make an economic decision (food or new game) that the rest of us make in the real world. Removed from the free flowing teat of piracy, they would suddenly have to make those decisions. Obviously, choosing the pirated product eliminates the "food or game" dilemma, but if you eliminate or make that choice to pirate less attractive, people will once again make choices.

            If people really want something, they will buy it if they can afford it. If they cannot, they will do without. That is very simple economics.

             

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              cc (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "If people want something, they will buy it if they can afford it. If they cannot afford it, they do without. Ask the people who are eating baloney on hand instead of filet mignon."

              If I could copy a potato and feed everyone in the world, I'd do it.

              "IPRED - when this became law in Sweden, file trading activity went down, and sales of recorded music went up. It is the best example to date, because there was a clear drop in traffic, a clear situation that made file trading less attractive legally, and the results showed up at the cash registers."

              Which shows terrorism works, but only kind of. Two weeks later, p2p levels were back to normal.

              "If all the people who used Photoshop actually paid for it, the software could easily be half the price and still bring in stellar profits."

              95% of PC users use Windows, billions of them legally, yet it still costs more than $5. How does your theory account for that?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:35pm

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

                For $199, you can get a Microsoft Technet subscription that gives you nearly all their desktop and many of their server products. Although it's a "subscription," you keep the licenses after you cancel. There are about 40 or so distinctive products in that package, including effectively every version of Windows back to 3.1.

                If you value each product equivalently, Windows does cost about $5.

                 

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                  cc (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:38pm

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

                  I know, but that's not what the average user pays.

                   

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                    Huph, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 2:49pm

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

                    Don't be purposefully obtuse. Most users don't "pay" anything for Windows, it comes pre-installed. That explains its high usage percent. I know that the cost is built in, but most purchasers see Windows as free software that comes with a computer. How many "average" computer buyers are even aware that you can buy a computer with no installed OS?

                    It would be more prudent to examine the number of off-the-shelf Windows packages are purchased and at what price.

                     

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              JMT, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "If people want something, they will buy it if they can afford it. If they cannot afford it, they do without."

              So currently, if someone wants it but can’t afford it, they can download it illegally for free. The result is that the consumer has the product but the creator gets no money from a sale.

              In your fantasy non-pirating world, if someone wants it but can’t afford it, they do without. Now the result is that the consumer has nothing and the creator still gets no money from a sale.

              So given that the creator gets no money directly from either of these scenarios, which do you think is the most beneficial to the creator? A smart creator would prefer their content is out their being experienced, because that’s always to their benefit.

              Of course the logical middle ground is to set the price where more consumers can afford it, then everybody wins.

               

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                Anonymous, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 7:38pm

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

                In your fantasy non-pirating world, if someone wants it but can’t afford it, they do without. Now the result is that the consumer has nothing and the creator still gets no money from a sale.

                And in your fantasy world, no one has any money to buy anything.

                Retarded.

                 

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              Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Your IPRED probably isn't such a great example considering the police over there have already complained that the law is making it harder to catch Actual criminals.
              http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100517/1609539448.shtml

              Also, your 'proof' that the pirate activity dropped is very likely overstated, since in most cases, people just went further underground to the areas that aren't monitored.
              http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091103/1744406785.shtml

              I would venture to say that is not just an estimate, but it is exactly what happened. They knew the law was coming so they had methods to conceal themselves in place for when the law took effect. So to any outsider of the system, they would see a drop in pirated material. The only problem is they see that drop because they are not looking at the larger picture. And sales may have went up, but I am pretty sure I read that they came back down, and it was just a temporary surge.

              So lets see, the Swedish public doesn't like that law, and neither do the law enforcement over there. Yet you try to use it as proof of a good thing. When you use something that nobody likes who is affected by it as proof of a good thing, you may need to reconsider whether using it is good proof, because nobody likes it. And laws that nobody likes that have no actual purpose, other than perhaps making it harder for police to catch criminals, should not be on the books.

              On your other point though where they have to decide game or food, then the content people are losing absolutely zero money by your own argument. Not a penny. They will choose food and do without the content. And you know what, their mental health will decline a little due to lack of entertainment. Or they will find some other way to stay entertained. And either way, you STILL don't get their money, which makes your actions of stopping their piracy a complete waste of your resources and time.

               

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              The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If people want something, they will buy it if they can afford it. If they cannot afford it, they do without.

              If they cannot afford it, but can get a copy for free, is there any harm? If they *can* afford it, but don't feel the asking price is reasonable, but they can get a copy for free, is there any harm? In both of these scenarios, there would be no sale if piracy did not exist, so they are not a lost sale, and are not doing harm to the artist's bottom line. Further, any informal promotion these hypothetical people do is a net gain, since it is free promotion. Free promotion is a good thing, right?

              IPRED - when this became law in Sweden, file trading activity went down, and sales of recorded music went up.

              You are correct, *shortly* after IPRED became law, there was a dip in file sharing (though I do not recall a bump in music sales- link, please?) but it has since gone back *above* where it was before. Swedish officials believe that file sharing didn't go down at all, it just went further underground. (link) So, your best example to date is a bad example, yes?

              If more people paid the price, the price could be lower.

              Oh, so all those years that CD sales kept going up and up, they should have been going down? I see. Seriously, though, it's not a chicken/egg scenario. It costs almost nothing to make copies of mp3s. Pretending that it costs millions of dollars to record a song (it doesn't), shouldn't the song on itunes drop from the $1.29 price to the $0.99 price and then to the almost unused $0.79 price? I don't believe that, were piracy wiped off the planet tomorrow, prices would go anywhere but *up*. If anything, piracy is a pressure relief valve on big media's greed.

              The high price of content / media / software often is taking into account some of the losses to piracy

              If you have proof of a non-industry study on these supposed losses, I will cede you this point. All it takes is one link. Try me. :)

              But pirates don't have to make an economic decision (food or new game) that the rest of us make in the real world.

              This is a very telling statement. You assume that there is a difference between pirates and "the rest of us". It has been discussed here many times that so called pirates spend more on media than average. What people can spend on media in a set period is obviously less than the amount of media they can consume over that period. Back to my first point, if they weren't going to (or couldn't) buy it even if there was no piracy, then how does it hurt you if they get it for free?

              Obviously, choosing the pirated product eliminates the "food or game" dilemma, but if you eliminate or make that choice to pirate less attractive, people will once again make choices.

              You want people to experience *less* art because they need to save money for food? That's an interesting stance. You probably really hate museums, too, because they spread culture to those who would otherwise not be able to experience it. The bastards!

              If people really want something, they will buy it if they can afford it. If they cannot, they will do without.

              Again, if they can get it for free even though they can't afford it, how does it hurt *anyone*? (Maybe the middle men?)

              I'm interested in reading your responses!

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 3:37pm

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

                If they cannot afford it, but can get a copy for free, is there any harm?

                A good place to start. If as a gaming business, you think that your competition is only other gaming companies, the harm is only the potential market shrinking by 1 consumer. But if you consider that the money that would have been spent on a game is instead spent on something else that would compete with gaming time (say, I dunno, another hobby), then not only are you losing a potential consumer, but you are also feeding your wider competition. The harm comes when the consumer can have your product for free, and pays someone else for something that makes your product less important to them.

                though I do not recall a bump in music sales- link, please?

                http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100521/0343109522.shtml

                Words of god himself.

                Oh, so all those years that CD sales kept going up and up, they should have been going down?

                Actually, I don't remember CD prices ever going up. If anything, I have seen them come down. Funny, Radiohead is now selling their WAV files of the new album for a price that is very similar to a CD price ($14 for 8 songs), and that is without any of the overhead of a label deal or all those nasty middlemen. Can you please give me examples of CD prices increasing in the last 10 years (beyond the levels of inflation, of course).

                If you have proof of a non-industry study on these supposed losses, I will cede you this point.

                It's pretty hard, because even government reports are often based on studies from one side or the other, like:

                http://www.cipe.org/publications/ert/e29/E29_07.pdf

                It is mostly a question of piracy. If you can forecast a 10% increase in sales because of reduced piracy, and you can perhaps lower the amount of time and money spent on securing the product, it is reasonable to assume that product prices would be lower. You don't think that the millions a company like Sony spends on legal action doesn't translate into higher product prices? I will admit, they may be fueling their own demise, but I suspect they see the steep cliff on the piracy side more clearly than they see the steep cliff on the overpricing side.

                You want people to experience *less* art because they need to save money for food? That's an interesting stance.

                Not at all. I am accepting though of the idea that Paris Hilton has probably seen more art than I have (and has made a little of her own, nice video girl!). I am understanding that someone much poorer than I who cannot afford a TV might experience less. We each live our lives within the means we have. If you are suggesting that there should be some sort of video game social assistance or top hollywood movie stamp program, that wouldn't go over very well. I actually think that this sort of decision process would re-spawn the rental market. I actually think that netflix (and game sharing companies with monthly subscriptions) are an excellent choice both for industry and consumers. But many people don't have to look at that choice, because they are just taking stuff for free.

                It isn't "game or food" as a nasty choice, just a reflection of the reality that many people are in. You can replace "game" with "movie" or "beer" or "drugs" or "car" or "hooker", or any other non-essential thing they may desire.

                You want people to experience *less* art because they need to save money for food? That's an interesting stance.

                When it's a small percentage of people doing it, the harm (whatever it may be) is lost in the mix, in the shuffle. But when it becomes a large part of the market, the effects are rather staggering, see the recorded music industry. People love music, they want the latest for the pod / player / mp3 thing, but they no longer worry about buying it, because they know how to get it for free. The music industry has been gutted, even while turning out a product that people value highly and seek out aggressively. It would be different if people were not consuming what the record labels put out, but one look at your typical music trading site finds almost exclusively label content being traded.

                It hurts the middle men, of course. It hurts those who would choose to invest in new music (because they risk getting no return), and it hurts the artists (who can no longer be only recording or studio artists, but must give up part of their life to perform live to be able to hopefully record more one day). It hurts the consumer, because bands are spending more time touring (where only a few people get to see them), while taking years between albums, because they cannot afford to stop touring long enough to record. It hurts the product, which is often slapped together by computer jockeys instead of the artists themselves, who are often relegated to a "special guest star" status on their own albums.

                The harm, the hurt, it is very hard to stick a tape up next to and measure. But the changes are there, and they are not to really anyone's best interesting. Short term, the "fan" gets a ton more music as they fill in their back catalog, but after a while, they get fewer and fewer new songs, and things stagnate.

                It's the old "feast today, starve tomorrow" problem. Nobody at the feast thinks too hard about tomorrow.

                 

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                  The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 5:37pm

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

                  But if you consider that the money that would have been spent on a game is instead spent on something else that would compete with gaming time (say, I dunno, another hobby), then not only are you losing a potential consumer, but you are also feeding your wider competition.

                  I'm really glad you brought it here. So, if I can't spend $60 on your game, but I can afford a $20 novel, it *hurts* you if I pirate your game? The obvious solution is to lower the price of your game. It's called competition. Ya know, high school level economics? Either way, I'm not buying your game-- but if I like it, I may budget to buy the sequel.

                  Words of god himself.
                  As for the increased money in the music industry? A lot of that is actually due to new offerings, such as Spotify.
                  So, spake the Mike? (Thanks for the link, though, just the same!)

                  Speaking of, I *love* the all-you-can-stream music business model. The only problem is the record labels insist on making it cumbersome because they're (apparently) afraid I'm going to infringe on their copyrights. But, I'm actually a paying customer, so I don't understand why they think that. I'm looking forward to Spotify in the US, in spite of the label's attempts to reject my money.

                  Actually, I don't remember CD prices ever going up. If anything, I have seen them come down.

                  Really? Were you around before iTunes? I only ask because from their adoption until iTunes' adoption, the price of new CDs only went up. After everyone realized it makes zero sense to buy plastic to take data off of it and throw it away, *then* prices went down. So, in the last 10 years, yes, prices have fallen quite a bit. But, who is still buying CDs, really? :P As for the rest of it, I have no proof, unfortunately, except for the experiences of living through it all as a music fan. So, if you so desire, take it all with a grain of salt.

                  It's pretty hard, because even government reports are often based on studies from one side or the other, like:

                  Um.. how to put this? Yeah, if the report you cite has in it, anywhere, the phrase "revenues lost due to the work of a high-tech cat burglar— the software pirate" you can be sure of at least two things: 1) That it is biased and 2) That I will stop reading when I get to that phrase, because it's obviously biased. Thank you again, for the link, just the same.

                  If you can forecast a 10% increase in sales because of reduced piracy, and you can perhaps lower the amount of time and money spent on securing the product, it is reasonable to assume that product prices would be lower.

                  This seems to be an oft-used line of reasoning, but it doesn't hold up to scrutiny. No one is forcing anyone to come up with ever elaborate means of making their product less useful... err.., I mean, "securing their product", this is just their reaction to the "threat" of piracy. This *is* a chicken/egg scenario-- they are reacting to piracy by giving a reason to pirate!

                  We each live our lives within the means we have.

                  ..and with high speed internet, a solid distribution infrastructure aka p2p, cheap storage and ever falling hardware prices, the only reason more people can't experience more culture is greed. The only reason our culture is locked away is because people are being punished for sharing their culture with each other.

                  I actually think that netflix (and game sharing companies with monthly subscriptions) are an excellent choice both for industry and consumers.

                  I totally agree. 100%. However, I don't understand why I have to wait until after a movie is in the theater, and then on-demand, and then for sale on DVD, and THEN another 28 days before I can watch it. I simply won't pay for that. I *really* want to get a netflix subscription. However, the industry is making it undesirable to me, and what I ask is within their power. They don't want my money? I have no experience with the gaming version of netflix, (gamefly?) but I have been meaning to check it out. (Games are expensive!) They'd be able to get me easier if my monthly subscription could be used towards a game to buy, once a month. (If I found a game I want to own, which happens occasionally.)

                  The music industry has been gutted, even while turning out a product that people value highly and seek out aggressively

                  Gutted, and making record numbers? Oh, did you mean the Recording Industry? Times change, and for some industries, people lose jobs, or make less money-- but that does not mean forward progress should be halted. As Mike has often pointed out, what if these media companies got their way with the VCR, or the DVR or every other "threat" to their business model? Would we be better off? Would smart phones exist? Would iPods? Would computers?

                  It would be different if people were not consuming what the record labels put out, but one look at your typical music trading site finds almost exclusively label content being traded.

                  I have an opinion that it is solely because people are force fed it from every orifice and they don't know any better. I think, based on that opinion, that if the record labels succeed in pushing away the fans, people will realize that this cookie-cutter, creativity-by-number crap that is "popular" is as much "art" as shoving paint up your ass and shitting it on a canvas, and it will cease to be. So, I am torn, as you might guess. :)

                  It hurts those who would choose to invest in new music (because they risk getting no return)

                  Maybe I'm confused. I was under the impression that musicians made art long before they signed to a label. Is this not how it works? Do the labels cold-call people, these days, and inspire them to make new art for them?

                  and it hurts the artists (who can no longer be only recording or studio artists, but must give up part of their life to perform live to be able to hopefully record more one day).

                  Live performances are not the silver bullet to being successful. Connecting with your fans in *some* way is. That can be through touring, or through some other way. It could be that the record labels' new role in this new music landscape is less distribution, and more enabling artists to connect with fans. I don't know. No one does. Scary, isn't it?

                  Short term, the "fan" gets a ton more music as they fill in their back catalog, but after a while, they get fewer and fewer new songs, and things stagnate.

                  It's scary that you *really* seem to believe that people will stop making art because some executives can't make obscene amounts of profit tricking people into buying an infinite good.

                  Sorry about the wall of text. Always interested in a response!

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:03pm

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

                    First off, let me say congrats for a great back and forth. Proof that two sides can discuss without sinking into the mire of "foolish" or "childish".

                    Anyway...

                    I'm really glad you brought it here. So, if I can't spend $60 on your game, but I can afford a $20 novel, it *hurts* you if I pirate your game?

                    It only hurts because it have made a choice. That choice is not only to buy the book instead of waiting a day / week / month to be able to afford the game, but you have also removed yourself from the market for the game by taking it. The direct harm is that the market is now one consumer smaller. The indirect harm is that you have now learned to pirate rather than buy, which may remove you as a consumer going forward.

                    Were you around before iTunes? I only ask because from their adoption until iTunes' adoption, the price of new CDs only went up

                    First CDs I bought was back when men were men and sheep were scared. Or the late 80s. I remember them being frighteningly expensive, about twice what a cassette cost at the same time. I don't remember the prices going up much, nor do I remember them coming down much. I do remember that cassettes and vinyl disappeared almost completely in very short order, and removed many of the lower price options.

                    if the report you cite has in it, anywhere, the phrase "revenues lost due to the work of a high-tech cat burglar— the software pirate"

                    The link was only to point out that it's pretty hard to find a study that won't be considered biased. The government doesn't seem to want to do it's own studies, except to study the reports of others.

                    ..and with high speed internet, a solid distribution infrastructure aka p2p, cheap storage and ever falling hardware prices, the only reason more people can't experience more culture is greed. The only reason our culture is locked away is because people are being punished for sharing their culture with each other.

                    This is sort of where I have a problem. I think you are confusing the transport with the product. High speed internet is just like a good running car. It gets you places. But having a car doesn't get you into the movie for free, doesn't get you a free meal, etc. In this case, the medium isn't the message.

                    I totally agree. 100%. However, I don't understand why I have to wait until after a movie is in the theater, and then on-demand, and then for sale on DVD, and THEN another 28 days before I can watch it. I simply won't pay for that. I *really* want to get a netflix subscription. However, the industry is making it undesirable to me, and what I ask is within their power. They don't want my money?

                    The problem you face here is the very basics of supply and demand at work. Your monthly Netflix money isn't enough to pay to make the movies you love. If Netflix was priced to cover the dozens of new movies that come out each month at theater prices, you would be paying hundreds of dollars a month for Netflix. Actually, you wouldn't, you would be on here complaining with everyone else about the high price.

                    Simply put, the studios are not going to step over the 50 million opening weekends, the 150 million 5 week runs, or the decent payouts from "early" PPV revenue just to make you happy for a couple of pennies a view. It there was enough critical mass in Netflix to merit putting movies on there at release, they would do it. But it is literally stepping over dollars to pick up pennies, it's just not a valid business model at this point.

                    Gutted, and making record numbers? Oh, did you mean the Recording Industry? Times change, and for some industries, people lose jobs, or make less money-- but that does not mean forward progress should be halted.

                    Actually the music industry isn't making "record numbers", they at best traded one source of income for another, and have to work much harder to get it. 2011 and 2012 are forecast to be horrible years for live music, and unless recorded music makes a sudden about face, things will be dropping all around. The real action is outside of consumer spending, in licensing and product placements. Consumer spending is flat and forecast to drop.

                    Maybe I'm confused. I was under the impression that musicians made art long before they signed to a label. Is this not how it works? Do the labels cold-call people, these days, and inspire them to make new art for them?

                    Funny, but no. They made "art" before, but that art went to nobody except themselves. It is one argument here I always find misleading. If a tree falls in the forest stuff, really. If someone makes "art" but nobody ever sees it or hears it or whatever, is it art? Or is it just musical masturbation?

                    It's scary that you *really* seem to believe that people will stop making art because some executives can't make obscene amounts of profit tricking people into buying an infinite good.

                    Not the point at all. It isn't a specific question of money or profit, except in it's ability to get the music to the masses is some sort of organized format that can achieve critical mass.

                    I actually think thaqt there will be more and more people making music (because with the current tools, talent is fairly optional). But I think the quality of the music will drop, and without the filters that exist currently, we will be subjected to a firehose of musical crap.

                    The new Radiohead album is a great example of what happens without guidance. The album is, well, not very inviting (and this comes from someone who has paid for three Radiohead CDs in the past). You can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV4xhsYvU2g

                    Oh yeah, last thing: the distribution of the good may be "infinite", but the actual product is very rare. Don't confuse the speed of your internet connection with the ability of musicians to produce good music. We didn't buy CDs for the shiny discs, so infinite distribution isn't really key. Again, don't confuse the car (transport) with your destination.

                     

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                      artistrights (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:54pm

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

                      This post was thought-provoking, respectful, and conveyed an important message. Bravo.

                       

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                      Chris in Utah (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 4:54am

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

                      Actually the music industry isn't making "record numbers", they at best traded one source of income for another, and have to work much harder to get it. 2011 and 2012 are forecast to be horrible years for live music, and unless recorded music makes a sudden about face, things will be dropping all around. The real action is outside of consumer spending, in licensing and product placements. Consumer spending is flat and forecast to drop.

                      "They" said the same thing last year. I hope we get to prove ya wrong this one to ;)

                      The indirect harm is that you have now learned to pirate rather than buy, which may remove you as a consumer going forward.
                      Fear of loss != lost value
                      If learning to do something is causation for loss than time to really go forward rather than protecting the obsolete (not to mention extremely out of your control if you don't lower your prices to build or distribute... the article today on cheap games is a prime example). It's the fundamental flaw in science simplified: Once aware of itself or others it changes.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 5:49am

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

                        "They" said the same thing last year. I hope we get to prove ya wrong this one to ;)

                        The "they" in this case aren't record label types, they are concert promoters and others who have been getting a windfall. See, Mike didn't address what happened in 2010, as major tours were cancelled, shorted, moved to smaller rooms, and even festival tours that would sell big loads of tickets in the past were playing for free, just to get people in the door. With average ticket prices tripling in less than 10 years, it is surprising anyone shows up anymore.

                        Fear of loss != lost value

                        First off, it isn't a "fear of loss", it is reality. You just have to go back to the music business: They make the product everyone wants, and yet sales are dropping fast. Why? People have learned to pirate. Yes, they still value the product, but not enough to pay for it. All that value and $3 gets you a good cup of coffee, but it isn't a functional business model. There is nothing complicated about it, and cheap only competes where costs allow (and they certainly don't on your standard console style game).

                         

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                          Chris in Utah (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 6:42am

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

                          First defiantly need citation.

                          And saying its reality doesn't make it so.
                          Btw games are something most people want as well and MMOs distribute the software completely free and turn profit on aesthetics alone: see Riot Games' League of Legends. Sustainable business model? LMAO. As for consoles... by who's standards?
                          AS for music the functional business model the 3 dollar mp3 I haven't seen in Itunes in quite a while.
                          Free and Cheap can compete anywhere, its the unimaginative lot that re-enforce the archaic.

                          P.S. I'm a game designer and havn't touched let alone played a console since N64 so I may be a bit biased on the "future of consoles" when I see syncing between a computer and TV and emulators everywhere.

                          Its a sad day when a logical mind sees a potential fan sharing a [blank] to a complete stranger as lost value.

                           

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                          Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 7:34am

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

                          The music industry is getting the "You Reap What You Sow" thing.

                          They sued everyone, threatened and basically treated folks badly do you really think they will buy anything from those people if they find and alternative?

                          The game industry saw fantastic numbers these year despite piracy, the MPAA just release their numbers again at it was a wonderful year again despite rampant piracy.

                          The thing is nobody is buying CD's anymore like nobody is buying vynil anymore it is an old technology that is fading away rapidly and the industry didn't find a new format to monetize it, nobody is going to go back to a proprietary one. That industry actually failed to come up with a product and the market filed that void and no longer needs them.

                           

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          Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          This demonstrates a subtle yet problematic difference in our minds.
          Make pirating content less attractive, and suddenly the feet and the wallets are heading back to legal sources.
          First off, I don't believe that's true. When someone pirates a movie, they spend the money they would have spent on that movie elsewhere. Just because that movie isn't available to be pirated, doesn't mean that the movie is necessarily valuable enough to warrant the former pirate from spending his money on whatever else he was already spending it on. As an example, say he pirated the movie and spent $20 on food. If the movie had been unpirateable, he still would have spent the $20 on food but gone without the movie.

          Secondly, why is the thinking go that we have to make pirating less attractive. Why isn't it "make legal sources more attractive"? You can compete with free. It's really easy to compete with The Pirate Bay. It's just that few people have tried. Many who have tried have been successful.
          They would pay for it if they had no alternative.
          This is not necessarily true. It may be true in some cases, but not in all. There are people who pirate stuff because they can't afford it (take the example I gave above). There are people who pirate stuff just because they can (hoarders). There are people who pirate stuff as a try before you buy and if they had to buy to try, they'd just move on and never consider it. There are people who pirate stuff after they made a legal purchase just because they don't want to have to go through the effort of converting it to a different format. Sure this isn't all cases, but just because you see a movie/book/game/song downloaded 10,000 times, doesn't mean that if it wasn't pirateable that there would be 10,000 purchases more.
          When they no longer feel they can get away with it, they will be back to buying it, because they value it and they want it.
          This hearkens back to my first point. Sure they value the content enough to consider it worth pirating. But if you change the costs involved then you have to go back to the value equation to determine whether you should get the content. Make pirating more difficult and you lose piraters. That doesn't necessarily mean you add buyers. Someone might find it worth it to download with relative ease and for free the latest Lady Gaga album (heaven knows why), but if downloading was more of a hassle or if the song cost even a penny, you can't say for certain that they would still find it worth it.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 5:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well this opne wont.

          Didn't buy a single CD or Movie for 5 years before P2P came around.

          If P2P goes still not gonna buy your crap.

          While it's here happy to make donations to artists for stuff I stumble across I like.

          After it's gone wont - will not have heard/seen them and wont care.

          AND I AM NOT ALL PEOPLE!

          Use a fuggen qualifier you sanctimonious arrogant person!

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:34am

    Wait a sec.

    Why is it you assume this is in spite of copyright law and not because of it?

    For someone who derides "faith based" IP ideology, this strikes me as a way-out-of-left-field claim with no support (but maybe you just didn't include it in the posting).

     

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      Jose_X, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 10:12pm

      Re:

      >> Why is it you assume this is in spite of copyright law and not because of it?

      Because, as a human out in the population, I have never heard of a grandmother who created a movie of her grand kids in order to take advantage of the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act.

      I like to go out for walks from time to time, and I think I can say with about 99% confidence that I have never overheard this conversation:

      "Grandma look at me!"

      "Yes dear, I see you. .. Thanks to Sonny Bono, I think I will in fact record this moment."

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

        Re: Re:

        That's a pretty weak justification for the assumption.

        If all you've got are sarcastic fictional anecdotes, you might want to reconsider the wisdom of your assumption.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:51am

    So wait Mike, are you saying that copyright doesn't hurt actual creativity? So all your bitching and moaning about how bad copyright is really means nothing, because the exact opposite has happened?

    The rest of your arguments about trackers and search engines is amusing, but pointless. Chasing your tail action, I think.

    So there you have it folks. Mike Masnick admits that copyright does not have a negative effect on content production, but rather that it is increasing dramatically in the period of the supposed "maximalist reign".

    Next, he will admit that patents don't stop true innovation, and then shut down Techdirt as being meaningless.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      So wait Mike, are you saying that copyright doesn't hurt actual creativity? So all your bitching and moaning about how bad copyright is really means nothing, because the exact opposite has happened?

      As per usual, he's trying to have it both ways. I don't expect there will be a straight answer to your straight question.

       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:21am

        Re: Re:

        That's not a straight question. That's circular logic while putting words in Mike's mouth and cherry picking arguments.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think not. Is copyright harmful, hurting creativity, or is copyright harmless, having no effect on creativity? The argument seems to shift depending on which Techdirt article you're reading.

           

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            Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I know it's a little over the top but: Like how more black people sat in white only sections? The law just made more people sit there, so I guess it wasn't harmful to their rights.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What?

              No, really, what?

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I don't follow you here at all. Can you explain what you mean?

               

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                Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:20am

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

                You say copyright doesn't harm anyone since the law caused more people to create.

                Using that logic, the segregation laws didn't harm anyone since they caused more people to sit where they weren't allowed.

                In both cases more of the right thing was done, more freedoms were expressed. So using your logic, nether law was damaging.

                In reality, an increase in the right thing and a harmful law aren't mutually exclusive. The law can be harmful and cause more of the right thing to be done in civil protest.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:56am

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

                  Now you are trying to FUD things out by trying to come up with some parallel that doesn't come to the same conclusion.

                  The question is simple, given the facts:

                  1 - we have copyright, it lasts long, and has existed for 200 years.

                  2 - we had copyright before 1999, and we have copyright now.

                  3 - during the period of copyright, the production of content has shot up dramatically.

                  Given those three facts, is there any indication that copyright is stopping creativity?

                  The answer is clearly no.

                  The only thing copyright may get in the way of is derivative works, replication, or misappropriation of existing copyright work. Tons and tons of new work is created regardless of copyright, so copyright in and of itself isn't stopping much of anything.

                  I know Mike is trying to make the point that copyright wasn't an incentive to many of these people. But at the same time, he accidentally has proven that copyright didn't hinder them either. In the time of the strictest copyright rules, we have more content being produced than ever.

                  If the result was the opposite, you know that Mike would be all over it. The results are there, stated by the man himself. With the toughest copyright laws of all time, we have more content per day.

                  Seems conclusive, no?

                   

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                    Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:23pm

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

                    I can kind of see where your coming from on this but you make one mistake.
                    The only thing copyright may get in the way of is derivative works...so copyright in and of itself isn't stopping much of anything.
                    Depends, I suppose, on how important you think derivative works are. From what I can see, derivative works are extremely important. Ask Mr. Disney (see nearly every movie on this list), or ask Warner Bros (see here for example), or ask Ray Charles (see ). See also the Catcher in the Rye sequel, Led Zeppelin and Star Wars, Yogi Bear, Zelda fan films, and many more that I couldn't possibly count. Some of these were stopped, others weren't. All are derivative, all affected our culture (or had the potential but were stopped). Derivative works are very important to culture. Copyright laws have been used to stop or seriously delay or maim derivative works. And that is unfortunate.

                     

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                    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:48pm

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

                    "Seems conclusive, no?"

                    Using only those three facts and ignoring everything else, yes. Looking at the other facts, hell no.

                    All I'm trying to point out with my FUD (and it was FUD) was that a damaging law and the thing that it damages are not mutually exclusive. You can have both at the same time, just not for long. One will win out over the other eventually.

                    I hope that creativity wins and copyright goes back to the way it was. The more likely outcome is that creativity wins and copyright goes away (it's like dealing with a kid, you abuse it, you lose it). Both are more likely then draconian laws wining. I don't know what you're rooting for, but I want copyright to go back to the way it was.

                     

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                      Jay (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:55pm

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

                      Don't forget, 1 & 2 are the same so he really only has one argument where he's trying to FUD something fierce by saying "because we've had copyright for 200 years, it's all increased our profitability"

                      Never mind that Youtube has a TON of derivative work...

                      Never mind the fan games...

                      Never mind the facts about the "automatic" copyright of a man made right to "control" works distributed by one person.

                      Never mind the facts about how publishers abuse copyright for their own benefit.

                      Never mind the arguments about how normal people are silenced from rich copyright holders who want to control the market for their own purposes.

                      No, copyright wins because it's been around for 200 years.

                      BTW, when was Leonardo da Vinci alive?

                       

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                        Huph, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 3:08pm

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

                        Can anyone give an example of a creator who DIDN'T create because of Copyright? I'm not looking for someone who didn't distribute, but instead an example of a person who decided *not to create* because of copyright?

                        And if they would forego their art because they had no hope of distribution, is that person really an 'artiste'?

                        Hell, for ALL the Youtube video that are removed for being infringing, you *have* to admit that those works were still created.

                        I make willfully infringent music every day, sometimes I make it BECAUSE it's infringent and I like the idea of being an outlaw. I like sampling Disney just because I know it's not cool with them. I'm not absolutely sure I would find Turntablism as exciting if it wasn't flouting the law. Maybe I would, I can't say. But whatever, that's just me.

                        All I'm saying is that I can't think of one artist who lets copyright, legalities, distribution, contracts, etc get in the way of CREATING anything.

                        It seems that people around here are of the opinion that if something doesn't get distributed, then it was never created. That's ludicrous, and needlessly dismissive, especially in light of the number of people who claim to champion independent artists (TRULY independent, that is). As people like to say over and over: Artists create because it is its own reward. Distribution, putting it out there, trying to make a buck, is a TOTALLY different field than artistic endeavor.

                        I create something new every single day, and usually I'm the only person that will ever know about it. Does that make the art meaningless? Does that mean my craft is unfulfilling for me? Of course not.

                         

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                      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:15pm

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

                      Part of the point I am trying to make is if you carefully pick and choose the "facts" under discussion, you can draw the conclusion you are looking for. It is why I object o much of what is on Techdirt, because there is careful pruning of reality going on (note no posts from Mike about Radiohead's change of direction... )

                      But further, we only have a very few facts to work from here, and Mike's conclusions drawn (or suggestions made) look very, ummm, speculative at best.

                      Copyright isn't really any different that is has been for 100+ years. The only difference is in a world where you can replicate anything quickly, it is more likely we run into the problems of copyright violation. Copyright didn't move, technology did. It is really up to technology to be moulded to fit the laws of the land, no?

                       

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            Ccomp5950 (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You can tell from the post it's not his real view but is a "if you use this style of logic and level of evidence to justify this _____. How do you deny it when applied in this manner?"

            Cognitive Dissonance of the Copyright Maximalists. It's more likely than you think.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              His argument relies on a postulate that he does not support (99% of material is not incentivized by copyright).

               

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            cj7wilson (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Seems to me both arguments (harmful vs. harmless) fail to make a case FOR copyright... bad vs. ineffective, right?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Seems to me both arguments (harmful vs. harmless) fail to make a case FOR copyright... bad vs. ineffective, right?

              Well, I didn't mention the third possibility: Is copyright good, helping creativity? Considering that the most desirous works are incentivized by copyright (i.e., Hollywood movies, television shows, best-selling novels, top-20 singles, etc.), then it seems perfectly clear to me that copyright is good.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:10am

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

                I agree that copyright in general is good. But a better question is whether our current copyright law provides optimal incentives.

                I think it does not, because it does too much to hinder use of existing works in creation of new works by those without significant financial backing.

                 

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                Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:34pm

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

                But you fail to realize that some of the most desired long term creative works were created without copyright. Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, et al.

                Granted, they also came before copying was as easily done as it is now. But then, they also came before content creating was as easily done as it is now. There is no way to say that content would be created more or less or with more or less quality with or without copyright. Perhaps in a parallel universe that doesn't have copyright laws there are business models that make copyright unnecessary.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:40pm

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

                  I am baffled by the number of people making this argument: people created good work without copyright, therefore copyright is not an incentive.

                  Now, maybe you're not going quite so far in your post, but whether good works have been created in the millennia without copyright is not really relevant to whether copyright works as an incentive.

                  You're right that an increase in production correllating with copyright protection is not definitive evidence of a causal relationship, but it is some evidence of a relationship, and it's downright bizarre to claim that there is an inverse relationship (as Masnick appears to) without at least some evidence backing that up.

                   

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                    Jay (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 2:03pm

                    Inverse

                    At least with Leonardo da Vinci stopped people from "pirating" him by writing upside down and backwards with his left hand (IIRC, he was right handed)

                    While people have created without incentives, it is the same around our time that people make things without copyright as an incentive. We can't just look at the major works and believe that copyright works to just their advantage.

                    We already have evidence of plenty of people making things and not letting copyright issues stand in the way. We already have a lot of artists and authors embracing the paradigm shift of digital goods in this new era, weakening the market economy that the major labels want.

                    We already have plenty of new directors making free movies on shoe string budgets that could rival the larger productions.

                    The incentives are homage, pride, prestige, creativity in directing and a variety of other reasons.

                    But I've yet to see one major work (other than those ingrained in the old system) that relies on copyright for cultural or financial success.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 2:22pm

                      Re: Inverse

                      Basically, you just repeated the "some people make stuff without copyright incentives" claim. Great. How is that relevant to whether copyright is an incentive? Some people don't drown even without life jackets. That does not mean life jackets don't keep people afloat.

                      Aside from that, I don't think it's easy to identify works made without copyright incentives (or at least works that would been made and made the same way in the absence of copyright).

                      "But I've yet to see one major work (other than those ingrained in the old system) that relies on copyright for cultural or financial success."

                      How do you go about identifying and differentiating such works and what they rely on for financial success?

                       

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                        Jay (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 6:22am

                        Re: Re: Inverse

                        You asked specifically for someone that didn't create because copyright was an incentive.

                        I picked Leonardo for quite a few reasons:

                        First, his works helped to create not only tanks, but helicopters and planes as well.

                        Second, his work was "reverse engineered". Once someone had his drawings and figured out his sketches, they took those ideas and made them work a LOT better.

                        What I WAS saying is that there are ways to protect that don't involve the courtrooms. 'Vinci solved that with his "encryption" that stopped people for quite a number of years after his death.

                        "How do you go about identifying and differentiating such works and what they rely on for financial success?"

                        Cultural success equates to how they remain relevant. The more savvy bands and artists differentiate themselves in a number of ways. When it comes to financial success, look at all of the bands that are out there working in various places to continue what they like or love. Think about all of the various artists that tour together and "piggyback" off one another for success.

                        In every way you can imagine, copyright doesn't do anything to "protect" artists. It acts more as an afterthought when the creation is already done.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 11:11am

                          Re: Re: Re: Inverse

                          "You asked specifically for someone that didn't create because copyright was an incentive. "

                          No I didn't. Is there some sort of reply bug on Techdirt? I'm getting some weird replies. Maybe I'm being mistaken for another AC.

                           

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                    Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 2:09pm

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

                    I don't doubt that copyright is an incentive for some to create works (who wouldn't want a monopoly just handed to them?). I question whether it is enough of an incentive to create significantly more/better works than if copyrights didn't exist, taking into consideration the harm to the public domain that comes with it.



                    It's obvious that people were creating content without the copyright protections as an incentive. It's obvious that people are creating content with copyright protections. What is unknown is if those copyright protections are enough of an incentive to get more/better works released than if it wasn't around. Remember, monopolies are generally considered a bad thing, and a government enforced monopoly is just asking for trouble.



                    The thinking went that perhaps a temporary government granted monopoly would be worth the problems it creates if it were enough of an incentive to get even more/better works into the public domain. So the real question is not "Is copyright an incentive?" The real question is "Is copyright worth the trouble?"

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 2:25pm

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

                      Well, I at least agree that you're considering the right questions, although I probably disagree as to the results.

                       

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      The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      3/10

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      If the site were truly meaningless, you would not read it. Much less analyze and comment.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:11am

      Re:

      Here's the thing: the increase in production of copyright protectable works does not necessarily conflict with the proposition that copyright hinders such production, even if it makes it a harder proposition to support.

      BUT, Masnick and many other Techdirters would gladly accept that logic if you were talking about, say, filesharing lawsuits (i.e. a rise in absolute numbers of filesharing shows that filesharing lawsuits don't hinder filesharing).

      It's the willingness to accept any half-hearted argument as gospel if it conforms with the kool-aid, while refusing to accept anything that does not unless it meets the most rigorous standards of proof, that is most annoying to me.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re:

        Here's the thing: the increase in production of copyright protectable works does not necessarily conflict with the proposition that copyright hinders such production, even if it makes it a harder proposition to support.

        BUT, Masnick and many other Techdirters would gladly accept that logic if you were talking about, say, filesharing lawsuits (i.e. a rise in absolute numbers of filesharing shows that filesharing lawsuits don't hinder filesharing).

        It's the willingness to accept any half-hearted argument as gospel if it conforms with the kool-aid, while refusing to accept anything that does not unless it meets the most rigorous standards of proof, that is most annoying to me.


        That's what's known as "The Techdirt Double Standard." Also called "The Masnick Effect."

         

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          Modplan (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The TAM effect is the over use of Mikes last name to force a troll meme.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sorry, I'm not on a first-name basis with him, and there are a lot of "Mike's" out there.

             

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              Modplan (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Did you just accidentally admit to being the same poster as the green icon AC, considering I was referring to him, not you?

              Wow, that was easy.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:12am

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

                No. I am the poster who was quoted by the other AC.

                I'm not sure why you would criticize the other poster for a term he didn't decide to use, but just quoted, so I responded.

                 

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                  Modplan (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:21am

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

                  He was the one who tried to coin the term "Masnick Effect" which I was mainly referring to, combined with referring to Mike as Masnick or "The Masnick". It's a regular term and way of speaking used seemingly in a disparaging way, combined with previous troll memes like bootstrapping, "it must be Friday" and a bunch of others.

                   

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          Paul (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          How is there a "TechDirt Double Standard"? Over the last few years I have read TechDirt where various studies are discussed that disprove various copyright and patent myths. I have then gone and tried to find studies that would support strong copyright and strong patents.

          Honestly, I haven't found them. I have found lots of very questionable studies, but nothing rigorous with defined, published methodologies done by independent and reputable organizations.

          So what is the "TechDirt Double Standard" of which you speak? What are the studies that TechDirt ignores or spins?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The example I gave:

            Despite RIAA filesharing suits, filesharing overall increases. This is taken as evidence that filesharing suits don't hurt filesharing.

            Yet, when production of copyright protectiable works increases despite increasing copyright protection, this is not taken as evidence that copyright protection doesn't hinder creative production.

             

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              Modplan (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              This is taken as evidence that filesharing suits don't hurt filesharing.


              because there is a lack of distinct evidence that those suits do have any significant affect.

              Yet, when production of copyright protectiable works increases despite increasing copyright protection, this is not taken as evidence that copyright protection doesn't hinder creative production.


              That wasn't the point of the post, the point was to show up the logic that if there is 99% of something (illegal file sharing), that justifies ignoring the 1% of the opposite (legitimate file sharing). If 99% of creativity is done without copyright needed as an incentive, then we can ignore the 1% and ditch copyright by the same token.

              That's not what's actually being suggested or argued, merely presented to show up a piece of logic that can easily be used against those that use it as an easy means of supporting something without deeper argument or evidence.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:45pm

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

                First, lack of evidence to the contrary is not the same as evidence in the affirmative. I have no evidence that you are not a demon. That is not evidence that you are a demon.

                Second, the argument in favor of what you deem the "point" relies on the premise that 99% of works aren't incentivized by copyright. This directly contrary to the evidence that production has increased if you take the "increased rates of Y activity during X activity = X activity did not hinder Y activity" logic to be valid.

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 2:09pm

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

                  First, you need a source for the 99%.

                  Second, there is evidence that some works are overstated in being downloaded along with some works being underrepresented.

                  Third, the download of torrents isn't illegal by any means. If you look into torrenting, it's a way to distribute a number of files. But by all logic, it doesn't mean we're looking at ONLY copyrighted files when we look on a file sharing site.

                  What I would want is a little excerpt of legal files that are on TPB versus copyrighted works in a day. I bet either the Pareto Principle would take over, or there's better explanations than saying 99% of work on TPB is illegal.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 2:17pm

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

                    "First, you need a source for the 99%."

                    I don't understand what you're getting at. I am not claiming that 99% of works are not incentivized by copyright. That is something Masnick claimed, or at least used as a premise for his argument. This is what he wrote: "I think it can easily be argued that over 99% of the content created today is done for reasons that have nothing to do with copyright... If 99% of works created are not due to copyright incentives, by the very argument of the copyright maximalists, copyright should be deemed worthless."

                    The point I have been making is that this is a pretty outlandish claim to make without support.

                    Wait...are you responding to me? I don't see how the rest of your post is relevant to anything else I posted. Maybe that was an accidental response or something.

                     

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                  Modplan (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 3:37pm

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

                  First, lack of evidence to the contrary is not the same as evidence in the affirmative.


                  Continued inability to provide evidence in the affirmative of file sharing being significantly curbed, whilst the only evidence we have showing consistent, continued increase does however, make for a very, very weak argument otherwise.

                  This directly contrary to the evidence that production has increased if you take the "increased rates of Y activity during X activity = X activity did not hinder Y activity" logic to be valid.


                  I don't, there are a number of reasons why such activity can increase, primarily technological development that makes it significantly easier for any kind of content to be created. You're arguing that if we believe that file sharing has not been significantly hindered then we must also believe that copyright must be responsible for the majority of created works in that they're the same basic logic - however, the latter has a significantly bigger step, in that you must believe it be responsible for, not merely a lack of hindrance to.

                  This is very different, in that it involves a question of premise (the underlying assumption and presence/lack of evidence to support it), not just logical steps. We believe different things in each instance because of different underlying assumptions about the nature of each.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 3:57pm

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

                    "You're arguing that if we believe that file sharing has not been significantly hindered then we must also believe that copyright must be responsible for the majority of created works in that they're the same basic logic"

                    Whoah, that's not what I'm arguing at all.

                    I'm arguing that if you accept that increased rates of file sharing shows that RIAA suits don't hinder file sharing, you should accept that increased production of creative works shows that copyright protection does not hinder production creative works.

                    I don't think either increase is definitive evidence for either conclusion.


                    "- however, the latter has a significantly bigger step, in that you must believe it be responsible for, not merely a lack of hindrance to."

                    My previous argument regarding a double standard had nothing to do with whether copyright is responsible for creative works.

                     

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                      Modplan (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 4:31pm

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

                      I'm arguing that if you accept that increased rates of file sharing shows that RIAA suits don't hinder file sharing, you should accept that increased production of creative works shows that copyright protection does not hinder production creative works.

                      I shouldn't, because I/we have a fundamentally different premise in each one that changes the logical steps afterwards. One being an action that has relatively little chance of the majority of individuals that partake in it being caught and less so as time goes on (increase in participants, better technology to obfuscate participants, limited time and money to prosecute), and one that they actively want to engage in for a variety of reasons, vs a legal right automatically granted to anyone that creates, and is used and misused in a variety of ways.

                      In trying to present a series of logical steps we accept in one case that we must accept in another, you neglect the fundamental difference in premise in each case.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 6:11pm

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

                        You're talking about *other* reasons the RIAA suits may or may not hinder filesharing. That's irrelevant to what I'm saying. If there are other reasons they may or may not work (there are) then it's not just acceptance of "increase in filesharing shows suits fail to hinder", it's the "increase + XYZPDQ causes me to believe RIAA suits fail to hinder."

                        Importing other considerations into the premise makes it a totally different question, but that's not what I was talking about.

                         

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                          Modplan (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

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

                          You're talking about *other* reasons the RIAA suits may or may not hinder filesharing.


                          No I'm not, I'm talking about the fundamental assumptions that the next logical steps have to be based on. When someone says file sharing is higher - file sharing has ceased to be limited by lawsuits, implicit in the statement file sharing is higher is likely to be other evidence and assumptions relating to the nature of file sharing, which differs from the evidence and assumptions relating to the nature of copyright.

                          You do not have to believe that copyright has failed to stifle creativity if file sharing is not being hindered by law suits, only if you ignore what the base assumptions someone is making are should you assume that.

                           

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 5:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Try this one then...

              "Yet, when production of copyright protectiable works COMPARED TO ONES COMPLETELY EXEMPT FROM COPYRIGHT increases despite increasing copyright protection, this is not taken as evidence that copyright protection doesn't hinder creative production."

              Oh wait... there aren't any

               

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        cc (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re:

        "the increase in production of copyright protectable works does not necessarily conflict with the proposition that copyright hinders such production, even if it makes it a harder proposition to support."

        I don't think TFA made reference to an increase in production of copyright works in particular. The argument being made, which all of you are trying too hard to misrepresent, is that content production in general has vastly increased. That includes all non-professional content, much of which never gets published.

        And that's what copyright really does discourage. Content publication. Even the most amazing non-professional work that doesn't have all rights to every last sample, song, quote (..) cleared is against the law and cannot be officially distributed.

        "Masnick and many other Techdirters would gladly accept that logic if you were talking about, say, filesharing lawsuits (i.e. a rise in absolute numbers of filesharing shows that filesharing lawsuits don't hinder filesharing)."

        Perhaps they do, perhaps they don't. That argument is usually made like this: despite the billions spent on lawsuits and lobbying, the trends have not reversed in any statistically significant way. Cat, bag, out.

        "It's the willingness to accept any half-hearted argument as gospel if it conforms with the kool-aid, while refusing to accept anything that does not unless it meets the most rigorous standards of proof, that is most annoying to me."

        Come on, if anyone is guilty of obnoxiously pushing the same arguments it's you, and you do it in the most irritating way possible. You clearly take intellectual monopolies at face value and obsequiously go about trying to give everyone an enema with your "kool-aid" (more like vitriol, actually), conveniently leaving out your motivation for doing so (let me guess: IP lawyer?).

        If Mike says something (or says something somebody else said), it's automatically false and wrong. If there are so many wrong, half-hearted arguments on this site, then why are you so afraid of them that you feel compelled to disprove them all? If you think everyone around here is an idiot without the ability of critical thought, why don't you go play with the clever kids? Clearly, if we are all idiots, then you have nothing to fear form us.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Things don't need to be published in order to be protectable or protected by copyright, so I fail to see this distinction between "copyright works" and "production in general."

          I have no idea what you are trying to say with the "cat, bag, out" business. If I frame an assertion as "despite the increased copyright protection and enforcement worldwide over the last couple decades, the amount of production of creative works has increased a gagillionfold in that time" it's essentially the same argument as the filesharing argument you post, but is not treated the same here.

          I'm not sure what "the same arguments" you're talking about are. I was talking about applying one standard of proof to arguments supporting conclusions you agree with, and another to arguments supporting conclusions you disagree with.

          If you can show where I've done that, I'll be embarassed.

          I am an IP lawyer. My motivation for criticizing weak arguments is to expose their flaws. You may note that I've criticized some "pro-copyright" arguments in this very thread, because they are weak.

          I'd like to know how I am acting in the most obnoxious way possible. Am I being more obnoxious than someone who discounts someone's arguments because of who they are, rather than the merit of their argument?

           

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            cc (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 4:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Things don't need to be published in order to be protectable or protected by copyright, so I fail to see this distinction between "copyright works" and "production in general.""

            The stat in TFA concerns all content creation, regardless of whether it was produced in a professional capacity or for the lulz. It's fair to assume that the majority of content is not created by professionals who want to publish it and assert copyright control over it.

            Thus, copyright is most likely not the motivator for the creation of those works. However, should those non-pro creators decide to share their work (e.g., on YouTube) for others to see, they could face legal trouble because of copyright (if, for instance, they used a copyrighted song).

            So, a lot of that content may go unpublished, even through it may contain culture or knowledge that would be valuable to others. Content that does get published may be censored on copyright grounds, for example a video may be taken off YouTube because it contained copyrighted music.

            Net effect, copyright has a chilling effect on the publication of some works. I don't know how much this is generally felt by professionals, especially those who work for publishers in ownership of most content. At the very least, I know the sound-sampling music genres have been affected -- meaning there's also a chilling effect on the professional creation of those works, as they can't be legally published without clearing the rights for hundreds of samples.

            "If I frame an assertion as "despite the increased copyright protection and enforcement worldwide over the last couple decades, the amount of production of creative works has increased a gagillionfold in that time" it's essentially the same argument as the filesharing argument you post, but is not treated the same here."

            You must be able to see that you're comparing apples with oranges here, so there's no double standard.

            The two arguments are that more copyright enforcement may lead to:
            1) Less file-sharing, and
            2) Less content creation.

            (1) can be checked just by looking at the measurements of p2p traffic year-on-year. The lawsuits have not reversed the upward trend. Perhaps they've decreased the rate of change, however there's no evidence of that.

            That means, the lawsuits have been ineffective at completely stopping file-sharing, and have had unmeasurable and quite possibly negligible effects as a deterrent. There's not even any data showing a chilling effect, and all we know is that the only people who are no longer file-sharing as a result are the people sued (so, apples).

            (2) is much more nuanced. Like I said above, it's difficult to show that creation has been affected, except where professionals know they will not be able to legally publish their works because of licensing demands. If TFA's argument is true, overall creation is increasing, and I argue that copyright does not so much affect the production of non-professional derivative works, as much as it restricts their publication.

            Some of those works are still published in spite of copyright, as some creators who feel like defying the system may choose to upload their works to the internet. Even then, IP filters will catch anything that contains even small amounts of copyrighted content and the entire works will be deleted, fair use or not.

            In other words, there is clearly a chilling effect on the publication of these works, and it's on a massive scale (ah, oranges!). Tens of thousands of user-created videos are likely being deleted from YouTube alone every day as an effect of copyright enforcement.

            "I'm not sure what "the same arguments" you're talking about are. I was talking about applying one standard of proof to arguments supporting conclusions you agree with, and another to arguments supporting conclusions you disagree with."

            I've made my case on why the two arguments you juxtapose are far too different. Perhaps you disagree with my reasoning, but that's no reason to make any unnecessary accusations.

            And seeing we are on the topic of accusations, the industry is notorious for presenting some of the most one-sided and deluded reports, blatantly devoid of all forms of reasoning, specially crafted for duping fickle-minded individuals into jacking up enforcement. If you think a blog owner like Mike is more guilty of gaming the system for personal gain and misrepresenting evidence, then turn to/on your masters.

            "I am an IP lawyer. My motivation for criticizing weak arguments is to expose their flaws. You may note that I've criticized some "pro-copyright" arguments in this very thread, because they are weak."

            Why do artists never drop by to tell us what's on their mind? It's always the IP lawyers. It's as if the IP lawyers have more to lose from copyright being fixed than the artists themselves.

            Oh, wait. That's actually true. Your motivation is nothing other than self-preservation and greed. As long as there's conflict over copyright, the IP lawyers get to make tons of money. So, keep feeding the fires. Make us all kill each other. Divide and conquer.

            "I'd like to know how I am acting in the most obnoxious way possible. Am I being more obnoxious than someone who discounts someone's arguments because of who they are, rather than the merit of their argument?"

            - What do you call 5000 IP lawyers at the bottom of the sea?
            - A good start.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 6:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Ok, that's a very long post, and hard to respond to comprehensively.

              First, assuming that there is only one motivator for creation of creative works and "copyright is not the motivator" I think is not based in reality. Saying that most "works" are not professionaly done (a) may or may not be true, and (b) doesn't mean that copyright provides no incentive for such work. The kid in his garage might not be thinking about copyright, but he wouldn't be an aspiring rock star without it (because "rock stars" wouldn't exist, or at least wouldn't exist the way they do now or for the last several decades).

              I don't dispute that copyright, in addition to being an incentive to creativity, is also a hindrance. However, I do believe it has a net incentive effect (which could probably be optimalized from what it is now by reducing restrictions on use of preexisting works).

              "The two arguments are that more copyright enforcement may lead to:
              1) Less file-sharing, and
              2) Less content creation."

              That's not really my argument.

              My argument is that the increase in file-sharing was in the past conclusorily treated as conlusive proof that RIAA suits don't hinder file-sharing. I argued then (against a tide of Techdirt commenters) that a more nuanced view is necessary to evaluate whether that's true.

              Now, increase in creative production isn't treated as conclusive proof that copyright doesn't hinder creative production. NOW everyone seems to accept that a nuanced analysis is needed to evaluate whether that's true. I don't disagree, I just wish people were willing to accept this even when it counters their pre-conceived notions.

              You seem to do the same thing. You there's not data showing a chilling effect from RIAA suits, so apparently assume there is none. Yet, where is your data for the chilling effect of copyright law? I agree that it happens in certain contexts, but that's not data.

              "the industry is notorious for presenting some of the most one-sided and deluded reports, blatantly devoid of all forms of reasoning, specially crafted for duping fickle-minded individuals into jacking up enforcement. If you think a blog owner like Mike is more guilty of gaming the system for personal gain and misrepresenting evidence, then turn to/on your masters."

              What does the existence of other falsehoods and weak arguments have anything to do with the falsehoods and weak arguments on this board? Saying "Jimmy's a worse liar" is not a defense. Who do you presume my "masters" are? I suspect you'd might be surprised if you saw my list of clients.

              Speaking of presumptuousness, on what basis do you presume to know that my "motivation is nothing other than self-preservation and greed."

              Because you disagree with me? Because you can't imagine someone would hold an opinion different than yours based on rational thought? Please enlighten me.

              I see you have no response regarding how I'm supposedly being "obnoxious." I think your own words show who is acting in a more objectionable manner.

               

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                cc (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:07pm

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

                "First, assuming that there is only one motivator for creation of creative works and "copyright is not the motivator" I think is not based in reality."

                I never assumed that. I do assume that those who do not aspire to sell their work professionally are mainly motivated by a host of things other than copyright.

                "Saying that most "works" are not professionaly done (a) may or may not be true, and (b) doesn't mean that copyright provides no incentive for such work."

                (a) I'd say there's way more content being created by amateurs, however a lot of it is never published (I would also argue that copyright routinely fails to incentivize publication, and often actively discourages it).
                (b) Useful for plagiarism protection, not necessarily useful as an economic motivator if your main concern isn't making money by selling copies.

                "The kid in his garage might not be thinking about copyright, but he wouldn't be an aspiring rock star without it (because "rock stars" wouldn't exist, or at least wouldn't exist the way they do now or for the last several decades)."

                Aspiring doctors and engineers don't need super-star legends to look up to, just good raw models. I'm sure that kid will find artists to look up to, copyright or no copyright, and maybe when he grows up the wealth distribution in his chosen field will be a bit more even without the super-stars.

                "I do believe it has a net incentive effect (which could probably be optimalized from what it is now by reducing restrictions on use of preexisting works)."

                Ok, but is the net effect still positive after things like the societal dead-weight loss and draconian enforcement issues are accounted for? I strongly suspect that it's not.

                "You seem to do the same thing. You there's not data showing a chilling effect from RIAA suits, so apparently assume there is none. Yet, where is your data for the chilling effect of copyright law? I agree that it happens in certain contexts, but that's not data."

                Like I said, the difference between the two is their scale. The lawsuits are a scare tactic, so what you need to measure is how many people were terrorized to stand in line as a result of seeing what happened to their fellow citizens. Collecting that data is nigh impossible.

                On the other hand, measuring how many users have had their content deleted from YouTube or some other internet website on copyright grounds is simply a matter of counting! It would probably be very easy to find millions of such cases.

                That's why you're comparing apples and oranges.

                "Who do you presume my "masters" are? I suspect you'd might be surprised if you saw my list of clients."

                Would I be disgusted if I found out about the things you've done?

                "on what basis do you presume to know that my "motivation is nothing other than self-preservation and greed.""

                It's because as an IP lawyer you cannot be impartial -- IP is your business. It's more your business than any content creator's, in fact. That people like you feel more compelled to speak for IP than the artists themselves really shows what IP is for.

                It's self-preservation to kindle the flames of conflict so you can play the role of the peacekeeper, and it's self-preservation to try and justify that IP protection is a beneficial and virtuous thing so you can feel you're not a villain.

                Of course I'm hyperbolizing shamelessly, but I have some pent up anger for those who want to preserve these mythical artist incentives while depriving the public at large of basic privacy, speech and property rights. It makes me mad when those individuals come here trying to rationalize that that's somehow a fair trade for more creative output, but fail to provide any evidence to support their positions.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 11:20am

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

                  I don't believe that someone simply cannot be impartial due to their profession, although I acknowledge that one's profession may (and may likely) affect one's impartiality.

                  I am also a musician and have a lot of friends whose creativity has been hindered to one degree or another by copyright law. Does that mean I'm necessarily biased against copyright law.

                  I think if anyone is displaying impartiality, it is you. You have made many assumptions about be based on little information.

                  I think my experience being on many ends of IP disputes (both professionally and otherwise) helps me see both sides of arguments for more or less stringent copyright laws.

                  You may disagree with me (you may even be right about somethings!), but discounting the merits of what I have to say and presuming you know some secret reason I say them is not a path toward intelligent debate. It is a path only toward reinforcing your own preconceived conclusions.

                   

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                    cc (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 5:33am

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

                    "I think if anyone is displaying impartiality, it is you."

                    I am impartial only as far as not being in the employment of the industry in whatever role, or in fact a pirate. My stakes in this, really, are as amateur creator and as a human being with some supposed rights.

                    "You have made many assumptions about be based on little information."

                    Should glaring conflicts of interest be ignored? If it's "likely" that you are not impartial because of your job, then I don't regret using that against you.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

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

                      Saying "I suspect your view is colored by your profession" is a lot different than saying "Your motivation is nothing other than self-preservation and greed."

                      One is reasonable skepticism of someone with an open mind, the other is presumptuous, and indication of a close-minded zealot.

                      As for the actual facts, (a) I'm not even certain how much longer I want to continue practicing law, and (b) if IP law disappeared in its entirety tomorrow, I would not have too much of a problem finding a job.

                      So, my opinions on IP law have little to do with "self-preservation and greed."

                       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:36pm

      Re:

      So wait Mike, are you saying that copyright doesn't hurt actual creativity?

      I made no argument related to that at all. Not sure how you could read that into what I wrote.

      So all your bitching and moaning about how bad copyright is really means nothing, because the exact opposite has happened?

      I said nothing of the sort. You seem to confuse absolute and relative results. We've had this discussion in the past as well. Just because there is content creation it doesn't mean that it doesn't hinder creation. Hindering doesn't mean stopping.

      So there you have it folks. Mike Masnick admits that copyright does not have a negative effect on content production, but rather that it is increasing dramatically in the period of the supposed "maximalist reign".

      Anyone is free to read what I wrote and know I said nothing of the sort, but it amuses me to no end the level of intellectual dishonesty you will go to to try to suggest I said something I didn't.

      Next, he will admit that patents don't stop true innovation, and then shut down Techdirt as being meaningless.


      In fact, I believe this is the topic where we discussed this in the past. I have never claimed that patents stopped innovation, but the evidence suggests it severely hinders the *pace* of innovation. Once again, learn the difference between absolute numbers and rates of change. It will help you look less foolish.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:57pm

        Re: Re:

        "You seem to confuse absolute and relative results. We've had this discussion in the past as well. Just because there is content creation it doesn't mean that it doesn't hinder creation. Hindering doesn't mean stopping."

        Yes, yes, yes!

        But, before, it was like pulling teeth to get you to admit this! I believe it was because it worked against a sacred cow (RIAA suits are unproductive/counterproductive) instead of for it (Copyright hinders creativity).

        BTW, someone has claimed that I'm being obnoxious in this thread. I don't hesitate to call you or otheres out on things that I think are B.S., but I want you to know I'm not *trying* to be a dick about it.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 2:01pm

        Re: Re:

        I made no argument related to that at all. Not sure how you could read that into what I wrote.

        That doesn't make much sense to me. If "it can easily be argued that over 99% of the content created today is done for reasons that have nothing to do with copyright," then how is it you're not arguing that copyright "doesn't hurt actual creativity"? If 99% of creativity happens despite copyright, then copyright's not really a problem, no?

        A simple, direct answer would be nice. It would be more helpful to your readers, myself included, if you would explain what you actually meant rather than tell commentators that don't understand what you meant.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 5:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          With copyright amount created = X
          Without copyright amount that WOULD/COULD have been created = Y

          90% of X.
          X

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 5:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Damnit filters..

            The 90% of X would have been the same percentage of a much larger amount without the copyright.

            So yes copyright could be said to harm cration by reducing the amount (no derivatives) thus yes copyright could actually be a very large problem.

             

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              Chris in Utah (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 5:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm a stickler for mum's widsdom on shoulda, "could"a, wouldas.

              Refer to CC post up a ways on millions of takedowns.. thats quantifiable & more importantly not a could but a is actually a very serious problem.

               

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 3:48pm

        Re: Re:

        So wait Mike, are you saying that copyright doesn't hurt actual creativity?

        I made no argument related to that at all. Not sure how you could read that into what I wrote.


        It's sort of clear: If copyright is such a blockage of creativity, wouldn't the production of content be dropping? With all your hand ringing over this lawsuit and that lawsuit, you make it sound like we have come to the point of having no creativity left, that everything is just replication, and that all these lawsuits are somehow stopping everything.

        Yet, here we are, " By some reports, every two days, we now create more content than was created from the beginning of time until 1993.".

        If copyright was all powerful and all harmful and all blocking, none of that would happen.

        It would be a much saner conclusion that "during the time of strongest copyright, we have more content than ever."?

        n fact, I believe this is the topic where we discussed this in the past. I have never claimed that patents stopped innovation, but the evidence suggests it severely hinders the *pace* of innovation. Once again, learn the difference between absolute numbers and rates of change. It will help you look less foolish.

        Good to see you down to insults already. That didn't take long. Perhaps you can flog yourself in the same manner you flogged RD last weekend. Way to set the tone for your site.

        The problem you will always face is that the pace of innovation is increasing as well. The "hindrance" you mention never seems to play out in the real world, except in very, very narrow situations. Progress is faster than ever. If we are being hindered in any way, it doesn't seem to be hurting us.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 4:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You won't get a straight answer out of Mike on this one. He's really backed himself into a logical corner. His m.o. in such cases is to tell people they're foolish and they don't understand what he's saying. What he won't do is take the time to explain anything.

          He's now on record as saying: "I think it can easily be argued that over 99% of the content created today is done for reasons that have nothing to do with copyright."

          That's great news, because it means copyright isn't stifling creativity. Not in any possible meaningful way.

          That's great news, Mike!

           

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            The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 5:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Doesn't this also mean that copyright is no longer needed, as it exists to give incentive for the creation of art at the detriment to society at large by keeping said art out of the public domain?

            So, if the pros of copyright are gone, but the cons remain, the copyright should be abolished, yes?

            That *is* great news! :)

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 8:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Actually, you got it backwards. The cons of copyright (the overwhelming stifling of creativity and new content) are all gone, so there is no more issue. Mike has cleared it up, in 99% of the case, copyright isn't an issue one way or the other. He has been bitching and moaning for years for 1%.

              No wonder he hates patents, because the failure rate on patents is probably lower than that!

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 6:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "That's great news, because it means copyright isn't stifling creativity. Not in any possible meaningful way."

            It doesn't mean that at all.

            I disagree with his premise, but the premise that copyright didn't motivate in any way the creation of 99% of works, that doesn't foreclose the possibility that it hindered the creation of 5 times as many works that would have been created but for copyright.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 6:44am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I disagree with his premise, but the premise that copyright didn't motivate in any way the creation of 99% of works, that doesn't foreclose the possibility that it hindered the creation of 5 times as many works that would have been created but for copyright.

              Or, there are 5 times as many works as there would have been. Who cares? The fact is, creativity is thriving and is at all time highs. If copyright's holding people back, it sure doesn't look like it to me.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 11:22am

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

                I agree that thriving production is an indication that copyright is not very stifling overall. However, there are reasons why production might thrive despite actual stifling from copyright law.

                Basically, the rate of production is one bit of evidence, but not conclusive either way, and certainly not conclusive that copyright is optimal in its current form.

                 

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    hmm, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:52am

    incentive

    In the beginning, people (apparently) created stuff without copyright, and the corporate firmament was dark and without form.

    And then came a lawyer who said "LET THERE BE COPYRIGHT". and there was copyright. And he saw it wasn't good (but it could make a large amount of cash).
    And he said "let there be a division between the heavens (where all the men in suits could live) and the earth (where all the criminals...sorry customers..could stay) and the peaceful universe was torn in two....

    Now the question that the filthy dirty 'criminals' (for thusly had they been labelled by those on high) asked was "well if it takes incentive to copyright stuff, how was anyone incentivized to sit there and create a copyright law in the first place?". And the Lawyers were exceedingly angry saying "question not your master, for he is always right, and yeah verily are compulsory licenses great, woe unto he that uses p2p". and the lawyer did smite the questioner with lawsuits of fire and brimstone forever and ever, amen.

     

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    Georg, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Logic flaw

    Uh, in the US, Canada and the UK you automatically get copyright when you create something. Assuming that's the convention through most of the civilized world, does it not follow that pretty much everything on the internet is covered by copyright? (ignoring various internet overheads like packet headers)

    So that 99% claim is... well, silly.

    The sky is blue! We need stronger law!

    I place this message into the public domain. Have the big fun. :-)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 5:59pm

      Re: Logic flaw

      Sorry - but by law you cannot.

      So sad.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 6:44pm

        Re: Re: Logic flaw

        "Sorry - but by law you cannot."

        Of course he can (in the U.S. anyway). It's called "abandonement" and you just need to make an unequivocal public statement that you abandon your copyright (there might be some other requirement, but I think that's it).

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Hey look, content popularity (and probably value) follow a power-law distribution. Shocker.

    The whole 99% argument is an effort to bolster the thesis that all content us fundamentally equivalent: the creation of Gone With the Wind is a fundamentally equivalent act to a 12-year-old taking scenes from his favorite amine and backing them up with a Nickelback song. When you believe that, it is easy to see how you can interpret the phrase "promote the progress" as being primarily about refrigerator art and AMVs.

     

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    hmm, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:11am

    if

    If i create a very large poo, is that copyrightable as a unique work or is it a 'derivative work' from the fast food restaurant I went to last night?

     

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    hmm, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:13am

    make pirating not as attractive

    There's only one way to do this:

    find the lamest most uncool 'celebrities' you can and have them start saying how good p2p and filesharing is.....
    that'll drive them darn kids away...

     

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    javabean, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:35am

    4chan

    when i read that article the first thing that came to mind is all of the *Chan type websites out there.... they are good evidence that people "create things" without worrying about copyright....from the vector tracers that take images and redraw them so they can me different sizes....to the rule 34 people who turn nearly any image into porn

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Am I correct in thinking that, in order to be created "in spite of copyright" the works would have to be not be copyrighted? Since all works are automatically copyrighted (at least in the US), wouldn't that mean that only those works created with a CC or similar license should be considered in this argument? Just because these people aren't out actively enforcing their copyright doesn't mean their works aren't copyrighted.

    Unless I'm missing something in the argument. I agree that copyright is something that's being abused, but this article seems off point.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:05am

      Re:

      I think the "in spite of argument" is based on the premises that (a) copyright hinders people's ability to freely create new works, and (b) copyright does not really incentive the creation of many works.

      I think that's based on a irrationally narrow view of the role and nature of copyright incentives.

      Some kid might be inspired to make a video based on seeing a movie on tv or in the theater. He might not think about getting a distribution deal or copyright law, but he wouldn't have been inspired in the first place had copyright law not enabled/incentivized the financing, work, etc. for the original movie he saw.

      There are many ways in which copyright and the accompanying financial incentives spur creation of new works. Do you think we would have the advanced and cheap digital recording technology we have now if copyright had not enabled record labels to make $$$ to pay recording studios for the more expensive precursors? I don't.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 10:15am

        Re: Re:

        You hit it exactly. Mike is making the (unproven) assumption that copyright is massively holding back creativity, by putting out a report that shows that creativity is at an all time high. The statement in and of itself is contradictory, and the only facts actually in play here are that creativity is at an all time high, no spite required.

        Essentially, Mike has shown one of his major pillars, one of his major points, the underlying concepts of Techdirt to be wrong, disproved by the very data he tries to use to prove it.

        We have copyright, more copyright than ever - and more content is produced. In a normal world, it would be a pretty good conclusion that copyright is working within reason, protecting those who choose to be protected while not stopping those who do not.

        It's a miracle day, Mike finally admitted what has been in front of his nose for years.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 10:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's a miracle day, Mike finally admitted what has been in front of his nose for years.

          Obviously Mike disagrees with this and thinks we're all getting it wrong and not understanding what he's really saying.

          I really do wish he'd come onto this thread and explain what his position actually is. There really does seem to be an inherent contradiction here.

          It would be so much more helpful if he explained himself rather than say: "I made no argument related to that at all. Not sure how you could read that into what I wrote."

          What exactly is your argument, Mike? Please explain in detail. Don't just tell us we look "foolish." That gets us nowhere.

          Just explain yourself, clearly and directly. Address these issues head on.

          Thanks.

           

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            Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 12:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sorry. I've been traveling and at a conference and in meetings this week, so wasn't following this thread. Just picked it up, if anyone's still around.

            I really do wish he'd come onto this thread and explain what his position actually is. There really does seem to be an inherent contradiction here.

            I see no such contradiction. It's entirely possible to create lots of new content, with creation still being hindered by copyright. It's the same point I explained above. One of us (me) is talking about *rate* of change, while the other is talking about the absolute number.

            I believe the rate of content creation is lower than it could be and that some very important works of art are hindered/blocked/killed off by copyright law. Do you find it okay that some musicians can't create the music they want because of copyright, and find that's okay because lots of other people are creating music?

            I don't. I think everyone should be able to create the expression they wish to create, and am troubled that anyone is held back by copyright law.

            When someone has a book banned or a song banned, I find that to be the antithesis of creativity and it troubles me.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Everything you've said here makes sense.

              However, that doesn't lead to a conclusion that 99% of works are created without any copyright-related incentive.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, I'm not sure that we really have "more copyright than ever," but maybe that's true.

          And I don't think the rise of production is as strong or conclusive evidence of copyright's incentive as you seem to (though it certainly is some evidence).

          I do think it's wacky to put increase that together with an assumption the copyright hinders production (overall) and an assumption that copyright has no motivating effect on 99% of works without *any* evidence supporting those assumptions.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:17am

    We hear all the time how the world needs stronger copyright laws or people will have no motivation to create.

    Wrong. This is the "fallacy of intellectual property" fallacy that is used by Mike to stir up anger and debate. As Terry Hart eloquently explains:

    "It’s a fallacy because it doesn’t accurately state the theory behind copyright. The economic justification for copyright is that it is an incentive to create — not a necessary condition. True, there exists a base level of drive to create knowledge and culture. But, as knowledge and culture are fundamentally important to a democratic society, an incentive to create above and beyond this base level provides significant benefits to that society."

    -http://www.copyhype.com/2011/01/the-fallacy-of-intellectual-property-fallacy/

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      Wrong. This is the "fallacy of intellectual property" fallacy that is used by Mike to stir up anger and debate. As Terry Hart eloquently explains:


      Heh. You do realize I linked to an example of someone making the argument? It's not a fallacy. The argument is made repeatedly.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:10pm

        Re: Re:

        You may hear it all the time, but the fact that you cited to a student newspaper certainly doesn't change the fact that this is a poorly informed opinion to base your article upon.

        PS - why does nearly ever post from Mike start with "Heh" "Uh" or "Um"? The condescending, childish responses continue to abound here I see.

         

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        Fickelbra (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:10pm

        Re: Re:

        To me, it is painfully obvious that copyright laws DID serve a great and meaningful purpose. They were put into law to inspire people within a burgeoning nation (USA) to create. Fast forward down the timeline and you can watch utilization of copyrights go from spurring innovation to controlling who is allowed to innovate.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 2:01pm

        Re: Re:

        It is a fallacy to the extent that people seem to think that if they refute this ridiculous assertion, they have refuted the justification for copyright laws.

        Of course, the people making the "copyright is necessary to have any creation" assertion are just as wrong as the people saying "because copyright is not necessary it is not an incentive."

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 9:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          the people making the "copyright is necessary to have any creation" assertion are just as wrong as the people saying "because copyright is not necessary it is not an incentive."

          The funny part to me is the "copyright is necessary" quote doesn't come from anyone supporting copyright, it comes from the anti-copyright people trying to paint the supporters of copyright into a small corner, trying to make us fight from an almost indefensible position.

          It's dishonest, because the evidence is all around that content is created without concern one way or the other about copyright (which often gets people in trouble, but that is for another day).

          However, what I have pointed out before, and will likely to again, is that without a method to monetize their investments, people will not put up the money to make the expensive movies, the high end video games, or the high end recordings we all enjoy. Would something like Avatar exist today if there wasn't a huge pile of investor money handy to make it happen? Nope. We might get it one day, but not for now.

          We won't even discuss the knock on effect, as the technology created specifically to make such a movie is repackaged, redone, and make available to lower budget film makers, who turn out better movies as a result.

          Movies would still be made. But they would be more of the "on the cheap" types we see from time to time, and certainly not done on the blockbuster scale. Without a valid business model, these things just don't happen.

          Avatar would have likely been a cartoon, done cheaply like the old Spiderman TV shows or something.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 6:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Right. Most of the great movies, TV shows, books, etc. these days are created BECAUSE of copyright. Yet Techdirt gives practically no acknowledgment of this fact. It instead focuses on a few outliers, pretending like what's good for a few is necessarily good for all.

             

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              Modplan (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Most of the great movies, TV shows, books, etc. these days are created BECAUSE of copyright.


              So copyright still isn't strong enough to incentivise them such that they'll completely stop being made if we don't have agreements like ACTA or bills like COICA. They're so ineffective that piracy is destroying jobs, yet also responsible for most of the works created today.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

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

                That has nothing to do with what the previous AC said, does it?

                He didn't say copyright isn't strong enough. He didn't say copyright was "ineffective." Why bring up the most ridiculous arguments some other person somewhere might have made in an attempt to counter the totally different arguments made by the person you're actually conversing with?

                 

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                  Modplan (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

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

                  That has nothing to do with what the previous AC said, does it?


                  Yes it does, considering those same companies about whom it's being said are creating because of copyright are right now complaining that copyright isn't strong enough and that without greater protection, there won't be a music, film or book industry.

                  So we take the claims that they're creating in an environment where copyright isn't strong enough and isn't providing the necessary protections, in which case their creations are happening not directly because of copyright enabling them to do so, or we can dispense with a significant amount of the noise being made by those companies in favour of stronger protections. Maybe the poster agrees with the latter, but nevertheless someone is in some way wrong or over stating things.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

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

                    Again, you're talking about claims other people are making, not the AC.

                    You can't just lump all people who aren't in favor of abolishing copyright together and assume they all get together in their secret meetings and agree on everything, therefore if one of them says something ridiculous it undermines everything any one of them says on the topic.

                     

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 7:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You keep saying that, but what I see is just the contrary, technology is getting so good that there is no technical problems anymore to do a good film or game.

            More please show me one game that have not been pirated or a movie not available and yet those 2 industries are having a blast financially, why is that only that only the labels are failing but other musicians and indsutries are thriving?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "technology is getting so good that there is no technical problems anymore to do a good film or game."

              This is true. But that technological development has been spurred by the fact that studios making $$$ could pay for the more expensive technological precursors. Without copyright protection, there would have been less (I'm not saying "none" but less) $$$ to invest in such development.

              That is the "knock on effect" the prior AC refers to.

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 11:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I agree with you, except for the fact that there are copyright supporters who make outlandish statements like "nothing will get done without copyright" or something.

             

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    Anonymous, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Asinine.

    If 99% of works created are not due to copyright incentives, by the very argument of the copyright maximalists, copyright should be deemed worthless


    Why? Copyright exists to make it possible for people to make a living from their work. Who cares what percent of content is or isn't copyright? How many millions of jobs depend on copyright to function? How many billions of industry?

     

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      cj7wilson (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:50am

      Re: Asinine.

      It was possible for people to make a living from their work before copyright, too. It exists in it's current form to allow content holders (note I didn't say content creators) to sue others if they feel like they're not making enough money.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:46pm

        Re: Re: Asinine.

        It exists in it's current form to allow content holders (note I didn't say content creators) to sue others if they feel like they're not making enough money.


        If you don't want to get sued, don't pirate it. Since 99% of content is not copyright (according to Masnick), why would that be such a hard rule to live by?

        Is it honestly that hard for you not to pirate the latest copyright movie, book, or game? If so, maybe you should re-evaluate just how important that stuff is to you.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 6:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: Asinine.

          Fallacious.

          Under current law 100% of content is copyright.

          It is automatic... and even you seem to have a problem with that.

           

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      Fickelbra (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 1:17pm

      Re: Asinine.

      I don't think you're making as strong a point as you think you are with the logic that copyright is good because it requires millions of jobs to enforce and maintain. To me, that's another point for Mike's argument. Spending more time in court than in the research lab benefits no one in the grand scheme of things.

       

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        Anonymous, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 2:06pm

        Re: Re: Asinine.

        Copyright doesn't require millions of jobs to enforce. Lawyer fees are no different in copyright industries than most other industries. And law enforcement costs so far have been minimal, since they've done little to nothing to intervene.

        Copyright maintains millions of jobs in companies who solely exist to sell digital content.

        It is far more economically positive than it is negative. That's why the government is finally sitting up and paying attention.

         

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          Jay (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 6:37am

          Re: Re: Re: Asinine.

          "Copyright maintains millions of jobs in companies who solely exist to sell digital content."

          Copyright sure as hell doesn't do that. There's a business model run by a corporation that believes control of IP (read: Imaginary Property) through certain channels will maintain an above average profit margin.

          What some people do is share a digital file online, that hurts those jobs and does it for free.

          This act of torrenting, downloading, etc, endangers the business model hemmed up on 1980s mentality.

          There is still a model of selling DVDs, TShirts, and merchandise based around certain movies and songs.

          But there is also a movement for people to see and consume a show at their convenience. If your business is propped up on only using a few channels, you may want to rethink your strategy. It simply fails when people do more to distribute products on their own.

           

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          Jose_X, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 5:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Asinine.

          >> Copyright maintains millions of jobs in companies who solely exist to sell digital content.

          There is no analysis there of opportunity costs.

          We can require every human on the planet to only hop on one leg to move around. And you will correctly be able to point out that from this one-leg-hopping law many jobs will exist.

          So what? It comes with a greater opportunity cost.

           

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      Jose_X, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 6:10pm

      Re: Asinine.

      >> Copyright exists to make it possible for people to make a living from their work.

      Copyright exists to promote the progress.

      We know that every monopoly (ever action) comes with opportunity costs.

      The Internet has led to these opportunity costs becoming much higher than they ever were because so much more can now be done by so many more if they could leverage existing works more easily (or at all).

      Also, the Internet has made it much easier to earn back the costs to make a work, thus, decreasing the potential for such a monopoly to incentivize that much.

      It's hard to reasonably argue that a copyright term longer than 5 or 10 years would be beneficial to society. And never mind how obscenely out of sync with fairness the penalties for copyright infringement have become.

      Note that copyright doesn't just cover the work identically and entirely but is being used against what the author might call a "derivative work" that in fact has a whole lot of content that differs from the alleged base.

      Note that the digital revolution has for the first time ever enabled a great many to do amazing things at very low cost and in collaboration.

      Fortunately, there are ways to fight back against copyright law legally. My favorite is to use share-alike/copyleft open content (or open source) licenses.

      Unfortunately, it still is not fair that so many cannot create many things using their culture and what they know. We need to displace current culture hampered down by copyright with open content. [It will take some time, as many people still don't recognize their options.]

       

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      Jose_X, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 6:18pm

      Re: Asinine.

      >> Who cares what percent of content is or isn't copyright?

      Well, the problem is that, to the degree these monopolies are stifling to the rest of the world, the authors are trading it away in exchange for food/shelter.

      People trade what they can trade, but this trade is really short-changing society. The authors never should have had that much power in the first place.. especially because of:

      (a) its very long length,
      (b) its applicability to "derivative works"
      (c) with very few exceptions ("fair use")
      (d) and out-of-proportion penalties for infringement.

       

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      Jose_X, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 6:24pm

      Re: Asinine.

      >> How many millions of jobs depend on copyright to function?

      How many millions of jobs fail to exist because of it?

      And these would be jobs by other value-add artists as well as by businesses that would add efficiency and forms of creativity to the system.

      And ESPECIALLY since in many cases the original authors who had a job with copyright would also have a job without copyright make money as well or better. [As a starting point, take a look at the case studies on techdirt]

       

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      Jose_X, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

      Re: Asinine.

      >> How many billions of industry?

      How many of those billions of dollars are going to "middlemen" and to corporations supporting some very wealthy investors rather than going to the original authors?

      How much of that money results in other artists having a lowered ability to create because of the higher bar? [Eg, as one example of perhaps an "infinite" number, see the story of the copyrighted songs used in the animation Sita Sings the Blues.]

      These monopolies definitely stifle the creation of more sophisticated works that would rely on reusing existing copyrighted "wheels".

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:32am

    I'm just pointing out that if we use the same basic logic as those who wish to condemn tools like The Pirate Bay using the 99% claim, then those same folks should obviously support the idea that those works created without copyright as an incentive do not deserve copyright. Why do I get the feeling they will claim otherwise?


    That makes no sense whatsoever. The only thing people claim about the Pirate Bay is that if the Pirate Bay wants to start a legal service focused on releasing only that legal content, they are within their rights to do so.

    Copyright does not prevent the Pirate Bay from releasing legal content. This is no different than in Arcara vs. Cloud Books (Supreme Court). They would always be free to open a legal outlet for legal activities. But having 1% legal activity does not shield 99% illegal from liability.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 11:41am

      Re:

      ...and since they host no files themselves, but merely provide an ability to search for torrents of all kinds, what liability would that be, exactly? Despite their name, they are not, in fact, pirates...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 12:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Why do they have to host the files themselves to be guilty for piracy? Limewire and Kazaa didn't host files either. And the Swedish courts have already agreed the Pirate Bay is not legal.

        But no one is stopping them from operating legally and focusing on the 1% they have permission for instead.

         

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          Jay (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 6:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I like how you look at the end result, ignoring the fact that the courtroom didn't understand the technology.

          Oh, let's remember that a piece of paper pointing to the url of a torrent is also illegal.

           

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    seeker5528 (profile), Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 3:50pm

    I would say the "reports" are credible....

    "By some reports, every two days, we now create more content than was created from the beginning of time until 1993. I'm not sure I totally believe that stat, but even if it's an exaggeration by an order of magnitude, we're still talking about a ridiculous amount of content creation every single day."

    Twitter, Facebook, blogs, mashups, amature *, fan fiction.

    The thing that was missing before the 1990 to 2k time frame was the easy to use avenue anybody could use to distribute content they produced to a mass audience.

    Sure there were usenet, ftp, and things before that, which were great at the time, but not exactly the most practical venues or most widely used once the web technologies started to develop. Usenet was good for text, not so much for larger binary stuff, ftp was good for general distribution, but needed to be combined with something else advertise the contents.

    It wasn't until the web based avenues started to mature that that things really took off and to my vague recollection it seems like these avenues never really matured until the post 2k time frame so "By some reports, every two days, we now create more content than was created from the beginning of time until 1993." seems completely credible to me.

    Later, Seeker

     

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    Not an electronic Rodent, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 4:25pm

    Is it just me?

    Or does this thread look like a pantomime?
    "Oh no it doesn't!"
    "Oh yes it does!"

     

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    Ryan Diederich, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 5:32pm

    This is the way things are headed...

    People never understand that things can be created without pure moneymaking ideas at heart.

    Tens of thousands of open source projects and systems have taught us this. Companies should take the hint, the power of the masses can replace all of them. Their business needs to change.

    Microsoft damn well better have nice customer service, because Im not going to pay 300 dollars for MS Office when I can get Openoffice for free, and have access to thousands of people who can answer my questions at any time.

    This is the change that companies are having a hard time grasping, and it forces companies that have never had customer service (aka the RIAA, MPAA, etc), companies that are ONLY gatekeepers, and serve no real purpose, to take losses.

    Why do we need the RIAA? The answer is we did, 20 years ago. Now we dont.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 7:00am

      Re: This is the way things are headed...

      People never understand that things can be created without pure moneymaking ideas at heart.

      Of course people "understand that things can be created without pure moneymaking at heart." It's anti-IP people like Mike who set up this strawman only to knock it down.

      Copyright incentives work. How many great movies have been made in spite of copyright? Only a few. The vast majority exist because of copyright.

       

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        Modplan (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

        Re: Re: This is the way things are headed...

        How many great movies have been made in spite of copyright? Only a few.


        Oh really?

        http://www.cracked.com/article_19012_5-hollywood-secrets-that-explain-why-so-many-movies- suck.html

        Hollywood studios generally buy 10 times as many scripts as they make into movies, which means they currently own exclusive rights to a shitload of films that will never see production. And in most cases, they won't let anyone else have them. E.T., The Matrix, Pulp Fiction and Star Wars are all films that you never would have seen because the studios that owned them were content to sit on each forever. They were saved only because someone convinced another studio to re-buy them, usually at a higher price.

        Sometimes the reasons for stalling a project are even more duplicitous. According to screenwriter Howard Meibach, in the 90s Disney bought a script for a hockey-related movie that was getting attention in Hollywood simply because it had a different hockey movie in production and "[didn't] want another studio to get it." Thanks to Disney's unapologetic cock-blocking, we will never know what the actual film was about.

        [...]

        OK, so you probably don't care about a crappy superhero B-movie or some foreign flick about old people falling in love or, like, rain (look, we don't see a lot of foreign movies). But how about Mike Judge's movie Idiocracy? Despite how much America loves Judge for Beavis and Butthead and Office Space, 20th Century Fox did everything it could to bury his movie. It tried to weasel out of a theatrical release for over a year and finally did the bare minimum to fulfill its contract by opening Idiocracy in seven cities, with no trailers or press kits.

         

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    iveseenitall (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 2:28am

    Why object if artists/authors/whoever copyright their work?
    Content is more affordable now than at any other time I can think of.
    Are you saying that preserving the rights of an artist to profit in any way shape or form from creative work is unacceptable?
    Personally speaking I don't feel that way at all.
    Just want good quality at a reasonable price. More to the artist and less to the middleman. And lawyers. No offense.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:07am

    I guess Mike couldn't take a couple minutes to explain himself to us lowly readers and fans. I sure would have liked for him to explain his position. It's a shame. This thread is really interesting.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    but hey, we're the ones who have to deal with 'copyright infringement is theft' all the time

    Is that a reason to support a poor argument? Your comment highlights why it is difficult to have productive conversations on this blog: we're right even when we're wrong, and it's someone else's fault.

    His statement is backed up by the evidence, even if not proven.

    No, his statements are not backed up by the evidence. He cites two data sets that in no way support his conclusion. Why is it so hard for you to admit that?

    If you want to make a case that Avatar is failing in those markets then go ahead. Strangely, you didn't make that distinction at all in your original reply to Joe.

    I'm not making the argument that Avatar is failing in those markets, which is why I never did. I wanted to provide data, however, to counter the billion-dollar figures as I have described above. I'm sorry if you don't appreciate the value of relevant information when forming opinions.

     

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      vivaelamor (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:19am

      Re:

      "Is that a reason to support a poor argument? Your comment highlights why it is difficult to have productive conversations on this blog: we're right even when we're wrong, and it's someone else's fault."

      Aside from my disagreement with your criticism of Joe's (obviously flippant) comment; why do you hold me responsible for the views of those who tend to agree with me? I recently made the point that it's good to criticise people who tend to agree with you, unfortunately that is reliant on not spending all your time replying to those who tend to disagree with you.

      "No, his statements are not backed up by the evidence. He cites two data sets that in no way support his conclusion. Why is it so hard for you to admit that? "

      Because I disagree with you. Why is that so hard to believe?

      "I'm not making the argument that Avatar is failing in those markets, which is why I never did."

      Then make the argument that someone else is failing in those markets. Avatar is the example at hand, feel free to provide some more. Of course, you'd still need to show the link to piracy (which is why Avatar was brought up, being the most pirated movie, but one that isn't failing).

      "I wanted to provide data, however, to counter the billion-dollar figures as I have described above."

      You haven't provided any data to counter the billion-dollar figures; all the available data supports the fact that Avatar is a success. All you've done is pointed out the difference between revenue and profit, which hopefully everyone knew anyway, while making a vague suggestion that home entertainment may be more at risk from piracy. Of course, any argument that it is more at risk makes the assumption that piracy is inherently harmful, rather than just another market force.

       

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        Chris in Utah (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 8:30am

        Re: Re:

        I focus.
        assumption that piracy is inherently harmful, rather than just another market force.

        Its wording is all. Replace pirate with someone who shares files to friends and complete strangers is by definition people who are a market force... imagine that.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 6:13pm

        Re: Re:

        why do you hold me responsible for the views of those who tend to agree with me?

        I don’t. However, I do hold you to the views you espouse: “His statement is backed up by the evidence…”, “…ignoring the fact that he was right in his conclusion.”

        Because I disagree with you. Why is that so hard to believe?

        You disagree that his statements are not backed up by the evidence? So a high rate of piracy plus a high box office figure means copyright had nothing to do with a movie’s success? I’m not sure that’s what you meant to say.

        Then make the argument that someone else is failing in those markets.

        No. You do this often, vivaelamor. You demand that people engage in arguments with you. I posted a link to an article discussing studio revenues. Now, you’re trying to turn this into a debate about whether piracy harms certain markets disproportionately. You’re trying desperately to make up for the fact that you replied to, and subsequently defended, a poor argument by now steering the conversation someplace else and demanding proof.

        All you've done is pointed out the difference between revenue and profit, which hopefully everyone knew anyway, while making a vague suggestion that home entertainment may be more at risk from piracy. Of course, any argument that it is more at risk makes the assumption that piracy is inherently harmful, rather than just another market force.

        I don’t think there is anything inherently obvious about that fact that studios’ revenue is almost 80% dependent on home entertainment sales. I also believe it is important to consider that fact when debating whether copyright played a role in a movie’s success. As Mike has explained on this site before, movie theaters offer an experience that cannot be duplicated by piratical copies and bootlegs. Home entertainment, on the other hand, is different (legal and illegal copies of movies can both be watched on TVs and computers, for instance). With that in mind, along with the fact that content creators are looking out for their bottom line when they invest in new content, I thought it important to highlight the distinction between box office and studio revenues. Notice I don’t have to prove to you that piracy in fact does disproportionately impact the markets in order to contribute relevant information to the discussion. It’s unfortunate that those as “biased” as you hold such contempt for those of us who seek to offer perspective, all the while blindly and dogmatically defending unsupported arguments like those from Jay (which you STILL won’t admit was wrong).

        I’m done with this “debate.” I’ll let you have the last word.

         

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        •  
          icon
          vivaelamor (profile), Feb 27th, 2011 @ 11:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          'I don’t. However, I do hold you to the views you espouse: “His statement is backed up by the evidence…”, “…ignoring the fact that he was right in his conclusion.”'

          Perhaps his last line is problematic due to it's flippancy, but you haven't actually done anything to refute the conclusion, merely pointed out that it might not be true. If you want to argue that Avatar was successful because of copyright despite the fact that it was the most pirated film of the time then go ahead, make that case. Until then I'm comfortable with the conclusion that copyright had nothing to do with its success. A bit like I'm comfortable with believing in evolution despite there being unanswered questions here and there, because no alternative theories have enough evidence to compete.

          "So a high rate of piracy plus a high box office figure means copyright had nothing to do with a movie’s success? I’m not sure that’s what you meant to say."

          Who said that? We're talking about the most pirated movie being also the most successful. Perhaps it would have been ten times more successful without the piracy, but it was successful either way. Perhaps you believe that copyright had a significant effect despite the high piracy rate, but I'm happy with the assumption that many of those who respected copyright now would pay for the movie regardless of copyright. I'd be interested to hear why that might not be the case.

          "I don’t think there is anything inherently obvious about that fact that studios’ revenue is almost 80% dependent on home entertainment sales."

          It's a great point, I'm just unsure why you keep bringing it up on a thread about Avatar. I did ask you for an example where this point was relevant, but you haven't provided one.

          'It’s unfortunate that those as “biased” as you hold such contempt for those of us who seek to offer perspective, all the while blindly and dogmatically defending unsupported arguments like those from Jay (which you STILL won’t admit was wrong).'

          Hey, if I wanted to blindly and dogmatically defend Jay then I'd have just pointed out the ambiguity in his language, forgoing the need to agree with anything. I'm not doing anything blindly, I'm giving my honest and considered opinion. I'm sorry that hasn't worked out for you.

          'I’m done with this “debate.” I’ll let you have the last word.'

          You're so "gracious".

           

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


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