Most Insightful, Funniest Comments Of The Week On Techdirt
from the keep-'em-coming dept
It's quite easy to spin what you say in the other direction. Techdirt has indeed seen where the future goes, and it is not towards greater protection and stronger IP laws. Those things are essentially impossible: there is no such thing as effective DRM and no such thing as unpirateable content, and there never will be. Given the nature of what is happening in the world since it became so gloriously interconnected, it is inevitable that information's tendency to be free will overpower its tendency to be expensive.The comment that came in second (juuuuust below Marcus'), from someone named Mike42 (I'm assuming he's not a clone of me), responded to someone on the post about how "piracy" sometimes looks remarkably like "freedom," in noting how freedom of speech and copyright law relate to each other:
Given that, when you see companies and creators attacking their fans, throwing temper-tantrums or reducing the value of their product with DRM and removed features, one thing is abundantly clear: they are digging their own graves. Much more frightening is when the government is complicit in this, because it erodes respect for the rule of law and teaches entire generations that those in power are clueless about the realities of technology.
And so a blog like Techdirt highlights these things, because it is the right of every consumer to criticize commercial entities, and because it is the duty of any informed citizen to criticize the government when it violates people's guaranteed rights.
The problem is this: copyright is not an inalienable right. Free speech is. Where the two conflict, free speech must win out.In the "editor's choice" category, I'll highlight two other comments I thought were insightful. SageScape discussed music publishers complaining about a free archive of public domain scores and saying they used the sales from such scores to fund new artists, by noting that this made little sense:
If you're not an American, your confusion is understandable. If you are, then your confusion is unforgivable.
As I noted yesterday over on my blog Legally Sociable, this makes no sense. It is the profit from selling/renting sheet music composed by long-dead composers like Beethoven at above-market prices that allows the G. Schirmer company "to bring out more composers’ work"? Insofar as this even makes sense, they can only mean one of two things:And then a nice short one on the post about cheap video games being more profitable for video game makers, fogbugzd responded to the question posed by the article I linked to that wondered if this was "coincidence or magic" by paraphrasing Arthur C. Clarke:
1. Traditional music publishers can only continue to publish public domain scores if they can continue to sell it at monopoly prices (e.g., $30-50 for "[a] set of parts for a mainstream string quartet", according to the NYTimes article).
Analysis: Good riddance. IMSLP will publish it for free. Deadweight loss triange: gone.
2. Traditional music publishers can only afford to take a bath on contemporary composers if it can subsidize them with profits from public domain scores of dead composers.
Analysis: Whatever this is, it's not a business argument. There are plenty of reasons to support new composers (and musicians generally) that have nothing to do with business, of course. One may think that the arts are intrinsically valuable, or may want to give back/pay it forward, or may simply want the prestige of having one's name connected rising talent as a "patron". All fair enough. But there's no business reason for a traditional music publisher to subsidize new talent with monopoly money. Why should it do that? It would make much more money if it simply sold the old public domain stuff and told new composers to take a hike. (Unless, of course, it does make money off the new composers....)
Just because a music publisher may have used some of its profits to support the arts doesn't mean that they should be able to assert legal rights they don't have to public domain musical scores just because the Internet is threatening their traditional business model. The arts can be supported much more directly and efficiently. There's no need to expand copyright law to allow a revenue stream to continue flowing into the publisher's pockets that a trickle may eventually find its way into the tip jar of the up-and-coming composer.
To the uninformed, basic economics in action can appear indistinguishable from magic.Ok. On to the funny. The winner here, by a wide margin was a commenter by the name of hmm, who went biblical:
In the beginning, people (apparently) created stuff without copyright, and the corporate firmament was dark and without form.Coming in second was an Anonymous Coward's parody of some of my critics:
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
MikeOn that note, I'll leave everyone to gear up to comment on another week of posts...
I shall give the appearance of having neither read nor understood anything you have ever written despite feeling the need to comment on almost everything you have ever written.
To do so, I will first need to say you have taken a stance you have never taken.
Why are you in favour of child molestation
Why do you support piracy
Why do you insist every business follow exactly the same business model
I will now castigate you for taking these positions that you have never taken.
When you cite evidence I will dismiss the citing of evidence as being pointless.
When you describe the general thrust of an argument I will complain that you are not citing specific evidence.
I am eternal
I am ever present
I am troll.
I do not possess the capacity to feel shame.
Freetards are destroying us all