Shouldn't Unilateral Retroactive Copyright Extension Mean Copyright Is Void?

from the just-thinking-this-through dept

With Europe approving this ridiculous retroactive copyright extension, which has set off an angry public who is reasonably frustrated that they'll be paying the cost to support a few rockstars and dying record labels -- there's an argument that this fundamentally breaks copyright law. And, it's making me wonder if it actually should mean that copyright is null and void.

I've argued in the past that this constant expansion of both copyright and copyright enforcement has only served to make people respect the law less and less, because it gets further and further away from what people think is reasonable. Rather than making more people respect the law, it drives more people to ignore the law. Dirk Poot takes that argument a bit further, and suggests that with such things, we've actually gone full circle and copyright law has become exactly what it was originally designed to stop.

If you know your history of the Statute of Anne, one key goal of the system was to stop overarching monopolies among publishers, by granting them limited monopolies. But as we've moved further and further away from such limited monopolies, Poot argues that we've actually gone back to exactly what copyright law was supposed to be against:
It is clear that the copyright deal is dead. The perpetual monopoly that Queen Anne sought to end in 1709 has, for practical purposes been restored. From the public have been taken all the benefits which made the deal worthwhile to begin with; from a cultural perspective we are back in the late 17th century.

So where does that leave the public? The benefits are gone, and adding insult to injury, copyright lobbyists are actively forcing web-sniffing, packet-inspecting and blocking-technology upon society, willfully endangering basic human freedoms. What incentive, except the threat of massive litigation and draconian measures is there for the public to accept this farce of a copyright law? For how long will society put up with prohibitive fines and three-strikes legislation?

With the latest copyright extension, the EU may have dealt a deathblow to copyright. Internal enforcers like morals and ethics have been taken out; the only thing that copyright law still has going for it, is the empty threat of dire consequences.

Copyright law has lost its legitimacy; heavy-handed enforcement can only lead to uncomfortable questions about the validity of the underlying laws, and eventually copyright will be become a mere curiosity, not unlike the obligation for males to schedule in two hours of longbow practice each week.
But all of this got me thinking about this from a slightly different angle. When you're locked into a term-based contract with, say, a mobile phone provider, one thing that has become standard is that if they unilaterally change the terms, you are granted an out. You get to say "that's not the deal I agreed to, so I'm voiding the whole deal." So... um... shouldn't the public now be able to make that same argument with copyright law? After all, the government has unilaterally changed the terms of the deal. The original deal was a limited monopoly of specific length, in exchange for the work itself being created, and then being contributed to the public domain at the end of the agreement. But, if the length of time is changed unilaterally -- especially with the public not getting any compensation -- then hasn't the government effectively reneged on the entire deal? Couldn't an argument be made that the public should now have the option of "opting out" of the copyright regime, because the terms of our contract have changed?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Ah, yes, "opt-out". We have dismissed that claim.

     

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    herbert, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:01am

    sounds good to me!

     

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    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:01am

    Jury nulification

    The only way you could realistically get this to happen would be for a general backlash where juries (and this must be nearly universal) simply nullify the law by finding defendants not guilty of copyright infringement.

    My guess is that this would be a serious uphill climb at best and would be more likely to fail as it would inevitably lead to a different kind of push back from the government and those special interests that fund the political system...

     

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    Dano, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    How does that even make sense?

    Copyright is a law, not a contract. That's like saying that changing sentancing periods means that we should let all the people out of jail since they 'broke the contract'. Doesn't sound very logical to me.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    Me and everybody else ..

    .. I know has already opt-ed out. We don't care about copyright. For some of the exact reasons listed above. We don't see it as serving anything except those who wish to oppress. There were a few people I knew who used to be on the fence. After explaining to them all the stuff the labels are doing to make our internet connections bad though, they quickly decided copyright was not something they should respect. You can't mess with people's internet access and expect them to just take it.

    Things that people have mentioned to me about why they don't like copyright:
    1) A cool video on YouTube disappeared, and there is no good reason why. It was only a tune you could barely hear in the background anyways.
    2) DRM on video games makes the game unplayable (and even the user made the connection that it was because of copyright). One user even had to reformat because of Securom before.
    3) Fan site they followed got shut down.
    4) Got yelled at by their ISP for something they didn't download.
    5) Cool web service online got shut down because of stupid fees they were being charged by the licensing agencies.
    I am sure there are others but I cannot say I have but once heard people my age or younger (and a few years older) talk favorably about copyright. The ONLY time I heard people my age talk about it nicely is when they specifically mentioned they wanted to write a few good songs and then not have to work the rest of their life. The rest of the group looked at them with disgust, amusement, and humor. They were mostly laughed at for the comment.

    Going back to the start, when I say we don't care about copyright, I mean the way that the laws are now, we have no respect for. I have some friends who download, and nobody I know sees any harm in it. There is no proof it has harmed anybody. In most cases, the artists they download want the music shared anyways. There are just too many sources of legit content to need to give the big labels any money through any source. It is no wonder that even after all the labels have taken (and in some cases stolen) from the artists, they are trying to take some of their touring revenue too. People are trying to avoid giving those dying industries money.

    There are a few of us who attempt to stand up against stupid legislation but our representatives just send us those stupid form letters back basically telling us we have promptly been ignored by a staffer. This further results in even less respect not just for copyright, but for our government as well.

     

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    Sandman, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Re: How does that even make sense?

    Agreed. We as the public can't invalidate laws simply because they changed from what they first stated.

    If there is a 'contract' we as the public have for copyright law, then our Senators and Representatives are the ones who are representing us as we elected them. If they are not performing their duties as we expect, then we should not re-elect them and elect someone who will defend the publics' side in the copyright disputes. Then the 'contract' can be renegotiated.

    Of course the likelihood of finding any politician who is willing to put the publics' interest ahead of his pocketbook is....well, a depressingly low/non-existant probability.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    Re: How does that even make sense?

    Actually, all of what we refer to as "society" IS nothing more than a contract--an agreement amongst individuals.

    Roughly, it says "let's have laws we can all agree upon instead of just killing each other". Sadly, the state of most laws is utter rubbish at present, and many do not agree with them. But, yeah, social contract; there ya go.

     

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    V Max, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    Who broke what contract?

    The "real" contract that was broken was our representatives to their contstituents. The contract was for them to work for our best interests. The only relief available to us is to not elect them again; then elect someone to un-do the law. Sadly, this does not happen and we are stuck with the bad actions of those we trusted.

     

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    cjstg (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:17am

    we are contracted with the wrong person

    law isn't a contract. your contract is with the idiot who passed the law. you opt out of the contract by voting for someone else next time. that's the way that representative democracy works. otherwise, there would be different laws for different people depending on which contract they opted for.

     

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    WysiWyg (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:17am

    Re: How does that even make sense?

    While I do agree with you, at least in so much that most politicians think of this as just another law, your example doesn't make sense.

    If we change the sentencing period for a crime, that doesn't apply retroactively.

    Likewise, if we outlaw something, it doesn't make you retroactively guilty.

    That's the thing that bugs me the most, that they apply it retroactively. Which should negate the argument that the law is to encourage creativity.

     

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    Tom, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:17am

    Everyone Shares Files - even TAM

    Everyone and their parents have a file sharing system that they encourage others to use. Its called a book shelf, cd rack, or a coffee table. We encourage people to take a copy of a book , or read a magazine. Thus denying a sale. I probably share about 25 books/cds a year - the same as Jammie Thomas. But it means, as the research says, that if i like an author/artist i then buy more, or see them live etc... You can argue that p2p file sharing is faster and anonymous, but there is no real difference that i can see. Sharing is good - keep doing it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:24am

    Re: Who broke what contract?

    Actually the real contract is between the governments and copyright holders. The representatives in government are the ones representing you in the said contract ("law"). They've decided not to back out of the copyright contract, they could've said "no we're not going to change the terms", "we're ending the contract" or "we dutifully accept your proposed changes to the contract." They chose the third option on our (the general public) behalf. This process is what we agreed to by participating in this specific society, and that contract has certain remedies that you correctly point out, but requires the general public to enact it (via an election/s).

     

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    Jan Bilek (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:24am

    Unilaterral?

    The problem with this argument is that in theory this is not unilateral. In theory the contract is between artists on one side and people represented by government on the other side.

    The fact that in reality government represents the other side of the contract than it should is another thing. And if this is the reason for opting out of the law... well than I am opting out of half of the whole legal system.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    Re: Jury nulification

    The only way you could realistically get this to happen would be for a general backlash where juries (and this must be nearly universal) simply nullify the law by finding defendants not guilty of copyright infringement.

    It's probably more like 1 out of every 12 people, which is a far cry from "universal". There's hope yet.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re: How does that even make sense?

    Actually it makes alot of sense. I had this very same conversation last year.

    The role of copyright is to remove the monopoly on content, and put it in the public domain. It was designed to be a balanced system that monetarily incentivized the creation of content, allowed for a short period of monopoly, and then put it in the public domain for all to use. What we have now is what it was designed to remove, a never ending monopoly.

     

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    Dave, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:29am

    So... um... shouldn't the public now be able to make that same argument with copyright law? After all, the government has unilaterally changed the terms of the deal.

    Someone less jaded than me would point out that the government are our representatives and as such have authorization from us to make changes to the deal.

    But I am jaded. I know that no one in any office really represents me. They represent the guys that give them money to get elected. So I would say, yes. Yes is does nullify the deal. But I'm also pretty sure it already happened many years back.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Re: How does that even make sense?

    That's like saying that changing sentancing periods means that we should let all the people out of jail since they 'broke the contract'.

    Sentencing period changes don't apply retroactively. In fact, it would be unconstitutional to do so.

     

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    Adam, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:32am

    Draconian laws just make scofflaws of us. People will willfully break laws that most people think are unreasonable. If you come to a red light that stays red long after it should have changed, you check both ways and go through it. The analogy here is that folks will break this law, but they'll be careful about it. A panoply of ways will evolve for doing that.

     

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    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    ...We as the public can't invalidate laws simply because they changed from what they first stated....
    Actually, yes the public can invalidate laws through various types of approaches; one of which I opined about above.

    Another means would be for the public to elect representation that would actually work to repeal these changes and/or the entire law itself...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:36am

    Re:

    Poot!

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    Re: Me and everybody else ..

    I feel like Mike's post has pointed out a glaring problem: Most people don't feel the government represents them.

    Now, why did our revolutionary war start, again?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:39am

    More copyright is the solution, not the problem

    Mike,

    I agree 100% with the sentiment of your post. And the fact that these terms have been applied retroactively should be struck down by the Supreme court in a case with any citizen since we all have standing.

    However, I don't see this happening.

    So I believe the best strategy is to rally all the time we spend on trying to make copyright and trademark and patents sane, and join the dark forces in demanding more and more onerous restrictions.

    As someone else pointed out, a vocal minority of the population cares or understands what is happening here. Most do not. However if we band together to get things to the point where nothing new can be created, we might actually reach the tipping point of having all this thrown out.

    I mean look at Rock Band. The entertainment industry took a golden goose and killed it and yet they still persist. Only until these companies are smoking holes in the ground from litigating each other into oblivion, armed with the most oppressive and protectionist legislation possible will sanity be able to reign.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Something about taxes... I'm certain I read it somewhere in that state-sponsored revisionist history book from elementary school...

     

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    Jay (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Re: Me and everybody else ..

    I got into a Youtube argument with someone that says ASCAP helps out artists. Not only was the person belligerent, but when I pointed out all of the new avenues that artists could take without having to rely on copyright enforcement to take from small businesses to promote older artists, they ignored that point to say "but that's their own ignorance talking".

    Further, I was saddened when Square used copyright law against fan sites for making their own custom stories on the internet.

    If anything, I would love to make a digital platform for fans of a series to look at older games and make them relevant again. Know what stops me?

    You guessed it. The games may be 20 years out of date, but copyright allows a company to sit on an idea, even though the people that worked on it are long gone.

    I've seen very little good in copyright law. I've seen very little benefits from using this tool of censorship in the digital era. Maybe it made sense at one time.

    But now? Not so much.

    And I constantly get the same form letter from my Senators regarding the law. It should be easy to meet him and talk to him about this. It's not. Instead, I get to see bullshit like this about a person representing my latest sell of military weapons to Taiwan as a win-win for the economy instead of actually following what people say about the economic issues that matter on a federal level. Can we change our government? I'd like to think it's time to try some new ideas for elections. How about crowdsourcing instead of putting more money into a broken system of laws to support our two party system?

     

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    Jamie, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    First amendment

    Copyright (and patents) are in the US constitution. The first amendment comes later, ie it changes/ corrects/amends the constitution. So shouldn't (from a constitutional law perspective) the first amendment nullify the restrictions on my speech that copyright law provides? What is the constitutional argument that justifies the first amendment's total non-effect on a relevant part of the constitution?

     

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    Ian Kerr, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Where do you stand?

    Can I take it from this that, if Copyright was reduced to a reasonable term, Techdirt would accept that it is right and agree that piracy is wrong?

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Re: we are contracted with the wrong person

    All laws are social contracts.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract

    "...political authority must be derived from the consent of the governed."

    What happens when laws become too far out of step with what "the governed" think is acceptable? Some form of political upheaval. This can range from the ruling party being voted out of office, to constitutional amendments, to rioting, mass protests and civil movements, to full revolution and civil war.

    Such is history. Very few governments have been brought down from external factors (war against another country) - most were brought down from within by internal forces of dissent or dissatisfaction. There's even an argument to be made that many of the ones brought down from an external war were the result of not respecting the wishes of their citizens, or some significant subset of them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:52am

    I think the problem with the argument is that it's "the public" (i.e., elected reprsentatives) that is changing the terms of the deal.

    Obviously, many members of the public don't like this (including myself and perhaps a majority, even a sizable majority), but I think our beef is with our elected representatives.

     

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    cc (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    Heck, the US constitution even allows revolution.

     

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  30. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Wow Mike, talk about trying to find an easy way to dismiss copyright in one swoop.

    I am sure glad you aren't in government or doing anything that is truly powerful, because your jumps of logic are rather dangerous.

     

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    cc (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    To take it a step further, shouldn't we consider that copyright law as it was originally intended was enacted to control only the actions of corporations (ie. the publishers) and not of individuals? In other words, there was no conflict with the rights of natural persons like there is today. Today's copyright law is an abomination.

     

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    Zot-Sindi, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re: Where do you stand?

    well i won't ever agree "piracy" .. you mean sharing? is wrong, they teach kids to do it at school, i mean come on

    it's all balanced by the fact no copyright supporter would ever agree on a "reasonable" length, which would be 1-2 years, no more

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re:

    They represent the guys that give them money to get elected.


    Politicians are easy. They'll take money from anyone. All you got to do is donate, and you've got representation.

    Quit bitching, and get out your checkbook.

     

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    Zot-Sindi, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    Yeah, well, *I* am sure glad you aren't in government or doing anything that is truly powerful, because your jumps of logic are rather dangerous.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: Where do you stand?

    Right or wrong doesn't enter into it.

    If copyright was for reasonable terms (I'm not just talking term of duration here, I talking about issues of derivation, technological restrictions, automatic copyright without authors wanting it, etc.) then I could definitely see a pragmatic purpose in copyright. Are there other means that might achieve the same goals as a reasonable copyright? absolutely. I don't think copyright is a right/wrong issue. It's more a transactional issue. Does it get us what we want at a reasonable price?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    To answer your question, no the public won't get so fed up with copyright law and get the whole thing overturned because of how unreasonable and ridiculous it's gotten. Most people will just forget all about this extension in a few weeks, a month is a long time in politics, let alone years.

    Worse yet the politicians who passed this bad legislation will also get away with it, or if they lose it won't be because of it. Passing it will probably help them get reelected because of the massive campaign contributions the lobbyists have steered into their campaign bank accounts for reelection.

    Also, no the public won't get fed up with Protect IP like legislation and force a change when too many of them get kicked off the Internet. The traditional news media will most likely just ignore that story completely. After all, the traditional media is a slowly dying industry with more and more people getting their news from blogs & other free specialized news sources on the Internet like Techdirt. Kick people off the Internet and they have to watch the old traditional media to get their news then. Plus Protect IP legislation could even give old Traditional Media a weapon to fight the new media so they won't have to adapt to the changing news environment.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re: Me and everybody else ..

    " I know has already opt-ed out. We don't care about copyright. For some of the exact reasons listed above. We don't see it as serving anything except those who wish to oppress."

    Yet you are willing to enjoy the product produced as a result of the system. That is where your logic falls down.

    If you really want to vote, and really want to opt out, do the following:


    1 - Don't watch TV. It's all copyright, and your watching supports copyright.

    2 - Don't listen to the radio. It's all copyright, your listening supports copyright.

    3 - Don't listen to any music made by label musicians, or any musician that claims copyright on their material: you are just feeding the system

    4 - Don't go to the movies. Bad, bad copyright things there.

    5 - Most of all, don't download any of it for free, peer it, seed it, share it, or enjoy it, because in all of those ways you are perpetuating the system you want to opt out of.

    Honestly, copyright holders would be hugely happy if you opted out and quit giving away their stuff online. Opt out. Stop using copyright material. Stop enjoying it. The copyright holders grant you full permission to opt out of the system.

    Don't let the good stuff hit you on the ass on the way out the door.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: we are contracted with the wrong person

    Listen. Strange lobbyists lying in ponds distributing money is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

    You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw money at you!

    I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbied me, they'd put me away!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    But everything is automagically copyrighted the moment it's expressed in a fixed medium.

     

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    Brendan (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    only opting out of copyright, not entertainment. Better luck next time

     

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  41.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re: Where do you stand?

    From what I can tell, Techdirt does not ever say piracy is acceptable. Only that it is inevitable. So, rather than discuss or try to engineer ways to reduce piracy through draconian laws and DRM etc., TD tries to explain and show how to meet the customers demands (CwF+RtB) for example. Piracy exists because the customers demands are not being met in an efficient manner. I posted this elsewhere on TD but it is really the exact same answer everyone in the content industry doesn't seem to understand - which is perplexing in and of itself because there are no prohibitive costs to doing business in a consumer friendly manner...

    Try using this statement as the crux of the IP "war":
    When what the public actually wants is to be able to experience the content they want, when they want, where they want, how they want, for a reasonable, uninflated price.

    If you fail to understand the market then you will fail in that marketplace. The statement above is a clear cut explanation of what the customers want and if you took the time to fully understand that you would see how the infringement issues, piracy, unauthorized file sharing and all the other boogeymen could be taken care of in short order by the content creators themselves if they would just provide their content in such a way that "the public is able to experience the content they want, when they want, where they want, how they want, for a reasonable, uninflated price."

    The solution is actually within their capabilities, yet they are unwilling to accept such an easy road to resolution because the concept of satisfying the customer is not something they understand.

    Case in point: I bought an album X from the music group Y in the year 19XX. The musicians got paid, the music execs got paid, the distributors got paid. So why the hell does it matter to any of them if I convert MY album to a different format because I now own different hardware? Furthermore, why is it any of their business at all - it's MINE! I ALREADY PAID FOR IT! The music company and I are only connected by this transaction, which was completed years ago. Leave me ALONE so I can enjoy the music I PAID for!

    Reduce copyright to 10 years and provide me content people want, when they want, where they want, how they want, for a reasonable, uninflated price.

    Piracy will still exist but I suspect it will be greatly reduced without lining the pockets of the lawyers, clogging up the courts and with little to zero collateral damage of any innocent parties. All of that money stays in the pockets of the industry. It really sounds almost to good to be true!

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    If you want to opt out of the contract, you opt out of your right to what comes from it.

    If you opt out of the lease on your apartment (or mom's basement) you don't get to keep living there and getting all of the benefits without paying the price.

    In opting out, you get to choose to remove yourself from the situation, but you cannot enforce that on the other party. You cannot force your landlord to give you the apartment for free because you "opt out" of the lease. If you leave copyright, you lose the benefits too.

     

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  43.  
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    Bengie, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    It doesn't just allow revolution, it claims it as a civic duty when the government stops being for the people.

     

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  44.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:36am

    Licensing

    Gibson and Fender should license out the sound their guitars make, instead of just selling it. That way they could charge royalties from the labels on every song made, ever, and prevent people from stealing their chords.

    If the above statement seems reasonable to you, please drown yourself, and your label-running shmuck buddies.

     

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  45.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Question, and I don't mean to sound cheeky or anything...but what benefits? What benefits does copyright give me?

     

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  46.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Lol, how stupid can you get? "You opt out of your right to what comes from it." Content doesn't come from copyright, copyright comes from content. Also, if its a 'right' then you can't opt out.

    Also, in the states he has the right to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness'. You can stop him from being happy with your rhetoric, but you can't legally stop him from trying.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Actually, my landlord did let me opt out of my lease.

    They called it month to month. It was not a contract. It was not a lease. I had the choice to stay or move out during any month I chose.

    So, I didn't lose anything, I gained the ability to move out whenever I wanted to without being told I had to stay until my time was up.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    There's a lot of people who should be doing their civic duty right now.

     

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  49.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: we are contracted with the wrong person

    Yeah, its not going to be copyright that forces this issue, but the 10 trillion dollars of debt that people under 30 are going to refuse to pay (if they are smart). Robbing works from the public domain is bad, but a small deal compared to the theft of the American future.

    Thats the day the 'social contract' will be tested, when those who feel they were not represented by the political process refuse to pay the debts for those that were represented.

     

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  50.  
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    Whisk33, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    You forgot to say it...

    "People wouldn't do anything without copyright"

    oh, but wait, that isn't true is it... people have, and always will, create art and entertainment with and without government granted monopolies.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Your analogy is missing the part about the landlord raising your rent by 500% and charging you retroactively.

     

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  52.  
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    Bengie, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    It wasn't "taxes", it was unfair "taxes".

    Why did a flood cause damage? Because of water? No, because of the "amount" of water. The water itself wasn't an issue. If water was the issue, then you would need to remove all water.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    wait wait wait.... where do I schedule my two hours of longbow practice?

     

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  54.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    You have a good point about moderation on things overdone. I would still be open to the idea of a very small and limited part of copyright, but right now it is way overboard.

     

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  55.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    I would love it so very much if we had more than a two party system. Right now while we do get to pick from more than two people, it effectively doesn't matter. Too many people are afraid of the candidate they don't want getting voted in because they don't trust people who are seen as for the other party. That whole group A vs group B mentality when really group A should be voters and group B should the Repubs and Dems.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    In the US the case of Eldred v. Ashcroft laid this issue to rest by the Supreme Court upholding the CTEA.

    Even now we are seeing a very limited move to restore copyright to a narrow group of foreign works, and almost certainly this will be upheld should it ever be challenged and make its way to the Supreme Court.

    Barring only the most extreme of circumstances, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court will be inclined to curtail in any significant manner the power vested in the Congress by Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8.

     

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  57.  
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    cc (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Re: Where do you stand?

    Length is just ONE of the various things that are wrong with copyright.

     

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  58.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Yet you are willing to enjoy the product produced as a result of the system. That is where your logic falls down.

    Actually no, I don't. And I don't really care for the accusation either.
    1- I haven't watched TV in many many years. It originally started with a dislike of commercials. Then I was given additional reasons not to watch it.
    2- Don't really listen to the radio either. They tend to play too much hip-hop, rap, and country around these parts. Only a couple of rock stations and I wouldn't want to hear the same songs repeated constantly anyways.
    3- I do tend to avoid label type music. Thank you riaaradar. I get my music from jamendo, 8bc.org, and other such sources where the artists want their stuff shared.
    4- I've gone to the movies maybe twice in the last three years. Nothing ever feels worth going to see.
    5- Don't worry, I don't download either.

    Overall your whole argument is for me to stop doing things I don't really do. Unsure where you got these assumptions about my free time for but don't let that stop you from making an entire argument based on those assumptions. I think we call that a straw man argument.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    "I have altered the deal...

    ... Pray I don't alter it any further."

     

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  60.  
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    Ian kerr, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    For hundreds of years, content creators have been paid by their customers for the right to have a copy of their work. This seems a very well accepted and direct way of rewarding them in proportion to how many people value the work, and by how much. The principle of a purchaser re-basing the copy for their own use has been accepted since the advent of VCRs. However, the offering a copy of the work to World+Dog for free, against the wishes of the creator, is theft of the creator's ability to earn a living. 'Alternative Business Models' is nothing but a truism - if piracy/sharing is rife and accepted, then there is no alternative. But why should we accept the destruction of a perfectly good business model - the selling of copies? 'Alternative Business Models' may be possible for Rock Musicians, but what about Novelists, poets, artists, protographers, journalists...?

    Rather that criticise all attempts to police the violation of copyright, why not have some constructive suggestions? It cannot be beyond the wit of man, even in the age of the Internet.

     

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  61.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    Actually, a review is coming up soon in regards to copyright. If anything, I would think the Jammie Thomas/Joel Tenenbaum case may be the case that decides how SCOTUS looks at copyright for the next few years.

     

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  62.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    His argument becomes even more ridiculous when you realize that, because of the lobbying efforts of his employers, when I doodle a cartoon of a horse having sex with him, it is automatically under copyright. It is literally impossible to drive down the highway without being exposed to copyrighted material. He's asking you to do something that is literally impossible, but he thinks it strengthens his argument, when in fact it undermines it.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    No, I didn't miss it at all. At that point, you can opt out of the lease. No big deal.

    But you cannot continue to ALSO live in the apartment.

    If you opt out of something, you give up all of the benefits as well as the obligations.

    If you opt out of of copyright, you not only opt out of respecting the laws as passed, by you also opt out of the right to use it. If you don't like the terms, stop using it.

    As for the other anonymous coward:

    "They called it month to month. It was not a contract. It was not a lease. I had the choice to stay or move out during any month I chose.

    So, I didn't lose anything, I gained the ability to move out whenever I wanted to without being told I had to stay until my time was up"

    Duh! You still have a contract, a new one each month. Yes, you did lose something, if someone had come along wanting to rent the apartment on a longer term contract, your landlord could have turfed you out at the end of the next month and you could be done.

    You still had a contract. Opting out would mean you move out.

    It's really hard to explain basic things to people sometimes!

     

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  64.  
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    Dave, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re:

    Yep, then all I need is a lobbiest to get access to them to let them know what I want. Good plan! Got a spare million or two?

     

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  65.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Re: we are contracted with the wrong person

    Thats the day the 'social contract' will be tested, when those who feel they were not represented by the political process refuse to pay the debts for those that were represented.

    And by my watch, I'm thinking that test will likely happen within 20 years, maybe less. It depends on how fast the Boomers die off.

     

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  66.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    If you want to opt out of the contract, you opt out of your right to what comes from it.

    I would never say I have a "right" to content. But if someone is offering it up for free online, I'll take a copy, sure.

     

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  67.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re: First amendment

    The first amendment only prevents Congress from passing a law limiting speech, it doesn't prevent all limitations of speech in law...

     

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  68.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: Where do you stand?

    I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but I believe so-called "intellectual property" laws are immoral.

    The only "reasonable term" is zero.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Got a spare million or two?


    You don't need a million dollars. Not in America.

    The most amazing thing about American politicians is how cheap they are.

     

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  70.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    constructive suggestions

    Abolish IP.

     

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  71.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Because all business models die, to be replaced with evolved alternatives. Case in point: MS, who is struggling with trying to change from selling software to selling services.

    and honestly: "if piracy/sharing is rife and accepted, then there is no alternative". So you understand the reality and yet still fight it? Thats a textbook definition of insanity.

     

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  72.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Of course they are immoral, they are the only form of 'property' that ones doesn't pay tax on.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    " Techdirt does not ever say piracy is acceptable. Only that it is inevitable"

    First off, you missed the ", so profit from it!" at the end.

    Second, piracy is no more inevitable than cars capable of more than 65 MPH are inevitably going to be used for speeding or bank robberies or anything else like that. Breaking the law, no matter how much you agree with it, isn't inevitable. It happens when people do not have the moral ability to see right from wrong, or have been encouraged by a mob mentality to do things as part of a group that they would not do alone. The anonymous and remote nature of the internet encourages people to do things they would never do in front of other people, in public.

    Example: most people on here would download movies, but most of them wouldn't go into a store, take a DVD off the shelf, put it in their laptop, rip a copy, and then put the DVD back and walk out of the store. It's an issue of morals, in public they would feel they are doing something wrong, online they are anonymous, unseen, and unnoticed.

    The marketplace right now is slanted only because of this lack of moral character. It is no different from trying to operate a store in the middle of a riot. Trying to act like the riot is "the new normal" is a pretty dishonest way of painting the future. Mike knows that things cannot stay as they are now, but he won't talk about it.

     

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  74.  
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    arcan, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: How does that even make sense?

    i am just going to point out that multiple documents that the US constitution and the declaration of independence specifically refers to the citizenry of a country being in a social contract with the government. so therefore they should be able to opt out.

     

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  75.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: we are contracted with the wrong person

    WIth the state of social security and medicaid, pretty damn fast!

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Chris, you don't have the right.

    If the content is copyright, you are using it under the terms of copyright. Like it or not, copyright material usage is part of the copyright laws. So if you want to use it, you cannot opt out.

    Now, if you are going to pirate it, you are still under copyright law (just now you are breaking it).

    The only way you can opt out is to not use, not consume.

    Free online happens under copyright. Sorry for that. Still want to opt out?

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    Depends on your definition of "the People."

    Right now, the gummint is solely working in the interests of the corporate "persons."

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:42am

    Re: How does that even make sense?

    It will when you realize that copyrights depend on the public accepting it, otherwise it is unenforcible.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Joe, if you doodle your favorite horse sex toy, you can move it to the public domain if you want to not be part of copyright. That is up to you.

    If you want to opt out of copyright you can. I just know that most people here still want to benefit from the products of copyright holders, still want the movies, the music, and all that comes with it. But they don't want to accept their side of the deal to get it.

    Try to live without it. Anyone who wants to opt out are more than welcome to do it. Good luck with it.

    (oh and get off this website, it's copyright).

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Hmm...I didn't think it was the amount of taxes. I was under the impression that it was the nature of the relationship between the taxor and the taxee.

     

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  81.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Do you actually not think that the occasional speeder or bank robbery isn't inevitable? Wheres the evidence. Show me a period in time where that hasn't happened since it became technically possible. Tell me how I can reduce speeding to 0%. Tell me how I can secure my bank 100% with no security system? Are you really that naive?

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: we are contracted with the wrong person

    The game have changed you don't just vote anymore, you need write your own laws and find a group of people that can be elected to enact those laws otherwise you are just wasting your time.

    Since every politician today will have the benefit of working for the special interest that they represent and don't care if they do it right by the people or not and anyone you put there will that has not pledged to do something will screw the people if he can get a comfy job after he is out or a million bucks in the Cayman Island.

     

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  83.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    If you want to opt out of the contract, you opt out of your right to what comes from it.

    Apply that rule to those who unilaterally changed the terms and you will understand the point of this article.

     

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  84.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    But why should we accept the destruction of a perfectly good business model - the selling of copies?

    Because that business model no longer makes sense in a market where a copy can be produced so cheaply it's practically free. For most forms of media, with a few mouse clicks anyone can produce an exact digital copy of that media for at the cost of the hard drive space, which nowadays is fractions of a penny per MB.

    'Alternative Business Models' may be possible for Rock Musicians, but what about Novelists, poets, artists, protographers, journalists...?

    Sorry, but you'll have to be more specific that that, because at TD, the "Sure it worked fine for X, but what about Y?" doesn't count as an argument, though it is good for a chuckle.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: Unilaterral?

    The thing is, I can just ignore copyright and I will suffer zero consequences, can you do that with every law?

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I hear that $5k will buy you a governor.

     

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  87.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    So the content industries decided to unilaterally opt out of the whole Public Domain part of the Copyright monopoly they were granted?

    You know - the part where we lose our culture because they want to lock up a movie in a vault for 10 more years so they can resell the exact same content in the new format the technology industry has brought about but if I want to change my own previously purchased version to the new format I have suddenly become a criminal?

    Every single extension to copyright that has ever been enacted since 1709 is a reprehensible abomination of the very rights that were granted to allow the SHORT TERM monopolies for the content industry!

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re:

    In the middle of a recession, are you dumb?

     

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  89.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    it's all balanced by the fact no copyright supporter would ever agree on a "reasonable" length, which would be 1-2 years, no more

    Martin Luther suggested " a couple of months" - I'd go with that!

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    I opted out and I can tell you I also pirate everything, I paid for, fock you.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Name 1 law that everyone obeys? And don't get cheeky and say gravity.

    Why would you ever have a law that everyone obeys? What would be the point?

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    No stupid, I can opt out by not giving money to you that is all, until the other options appear.

    Like in music, I don't need to go illegal anymore I have a lot of options like Jamendo, Magnatune, Youtube, those punks from the industry even want to give their music for free on the internet why?

    Did you see Facebook giving away free music to 750 million people wow!

     

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  93.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Rather that criticise all attempts to police the violation of copyright, why not have some constructive suggestions? It cannot be beyond the wit of man, even in the age of the Internet.

    The sensible suggestion is to move to "fund and release". That way the artist doesn't have to take the risk. The internet enables crowdsourced funding to be organised efficiently on a large scale. We DO need to educate the public that, in future, if they want new art they will have to dig into their pockets upfront but remember - this is not an untried scheme - Beethoven's 9th symphony was commissioned by the London Philarmonic society - crowdfunding 19th century style.

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Hmmm...lets see:

    It have more than a decade since I bought anything from the creeps in the industry so I didn't finance them, it didn't stop me from enjoying free music, free books and even free movies that are starting to appear everywhere and are getting good enough to be bought by TV producers.

    I can tell you, you can live without the crap from the industry and it is not that difficult.

    do you want a list of all the free places one can go to get free culture?

     

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  95.  
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    egghead (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: we are contracted with the wrong person

    Awesome adaptation of Monty Python; well done...well done!

     

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  96.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Free online happens under copyright.

    Free online happens in spite of copyright.
    FTFY
    And yes, we all still would opt out. Even without copyright, artists would still put stuff up online for free. They don't think, 'Oh, I have been given copyright, I guess I will put it up online for free'.
    They put it up online for free because obscurity is a much larger problem than trying to squeeze every penny they can from a ridiculously outdated system.

     

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  97.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Just a thought

    Ya know... After watching how much a Senator spends a day on these issues, I have an idea.

    Imagine that someone presents their views on the economy, shows factual research into various parts of political intrigue, and actively works to show how much he cares for his state.

    Imagine that s/he shows that he can put together a platform for her/his constituents without needing lobbyist money. Imagine that the PAC rules don't apply because he never takes that money. S/He asks the crowd to support his campaign.

    This means a look into using Youtube to discuss views, why he feels the way s/he does. Twitter is used to answer a few questions. The website shows and tracks our public figure's expenditures from the fund used to represent his people. Donations are not given anonymously, they have a name labeled to them along with what they campaign for.

    The election process is not locked into how much money it takes to put you on the ballot. You see a small summary of the people's position, make a choice, get a receipt. As a second way to verify your vote, a website is maintained that counts your ballot, then shows the progress of all other cities.

    Since this data is very precious, it's sent to a third party like Wikileaks, who publishes it when all results are in. Each party constituent is given a copy for their records, as well as a public copy posted for all to see.

    Finally, a review process for ALL members of our government. What's been needed is a way to redress all of the dark spots in our government. It's been a well known fact that getting information out of the dark pits of government has been stymied. It used to be that most media groups fought to get that story out.

    So routinely, we need a way that the government is held accountable to actions instead of softballed questions in a Congressional review, or a complaint letter that gets ignored.

    Could there be more? I like to think so. There's plenty of ways to make our government a LOT better. I'd just like to think that some of the ideas around the world could be utilized a lot better than the US exporting their aggressive stance on copyrights.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Hmmm...I know a couple of old ladies that probably would.

     

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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    " Techdirt does not ever say piracy is acceptable. Only that it is inevitable"

    First off, you missed the ", so profit from it!" at the end.

    Citation requested

    I love how this is all based on the lack of moral character of the ENTIRE POPULATION OF THE PLANET rather than a business model issue. I really have to wonder WTF you must be thinking to believe that everyone else is at fault because they won't buy shiny plastic discs anymore - which by the way, is the least convenient format to come around since eight track tapes.

    You convince yourself the whole world is to blame, I'm sure you'll find a cure all for it soon.

    By the way, when industry insiders do the leaking of material the whole Us vs. Them thing kind of goes out the window doesn't it?

    So, to bring it all the way back around to your point, the lack of moral character you claim of others, is actually universal, apparently. Therefore your fight is not just against everyone else, it is literally against everyone!

    Good luck with that! Fight the good fight!

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    Re:

    And that is why nobody cares about copyright and piracy goes unabated.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    Copyright the never never land.

    Copyright to be serious should be enforcible since it is not is just a laughing matter for most people.

    Is the thing that proves the government is full of asses and lawyers in the DC area are idiots LoL

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Just a thought

    An insightful vote for you. I would love to see those changes.

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    Re: First amendment

    Copyrights and patents are not in the constitutions the power to enact some law to incentive the production of useful arts is.

     

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    Jay (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    " I just know that most people here still want to benefit from the products of copyright holders---"

    Glad you realize the difference between a copyright holder and the original artist. But let's continue.

    "But they don't want to accept their side of the deal to get it."

    I bet you, right here in this thread, I can name more people that don't use copyright enforcement to make a buck, than you can the ones that use it.

    "Try to live without it. Anyone who wants to opt out are more than welcome to do it. Good luck with it."

    Anyone can. It's called "alternative choices of entertainment".

    You should really look that up.

     

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  105.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Well, you know... Copyright can be explained. It's forever less one day

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    For thousands of years mankind somehow did just fine without copyrights I don't see why it is necessary at all.

     

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  107.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    "It wasn't "taxes", it was unfair "taxes"."

    I'm no US historian, but wasn't "without representation" part of the reasoning? I suspect that was Joe's point.

     

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  108.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    For hundreds of years, content creators have been paid by their customers for the right to have a copy of their work.

    Wrong! For hundreds of years, content creators have been paid by the content copying industry for the right to make a copy of their work.

    The end user simply bought a physical object for a fair price related to the cost of making said item. Because the technology of copying was cumbersome and expensive the end user did not have the means to make his own copies so copyright's prohibitions had no impact on him.

    The problem is that technology has undermined the content copying industry by driving the price of copying to zero.

    Funding creation as a tax on copying no longer makes sense because the rate is now effectively infinite. Few people will live with an infinite tax rate for long.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Your view is off. Opting out of copyright does not mean give everything up just because it has copyright. Artists giving stuff away online is NOT because of copyright. It is in spite of copyright, and ignoring copyright. Mike wants us here to add to his community. Just because this site is covered by copyright doesn't mean we can't visit it just because we would opt out. Your whole opinion is off the mark simply because you view that everything made is Because of copyright, when in fact most stuff is made just because, or for other reasons. I don't know of any artists that make stuff just because "hey, I will have a copyright so I will make art!". Copyright is not the end all be all you make it out to be.

    Btw, are you going to actually respond to the fact that you accused me of supporting the copyright system and I replied pointing out you are horribly wrong? I see you responding to everybody else down thread so I think you are just avoiding admitting you are wrong.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    *whoosh!*

    You know, if you're hearing that every time you post (and you really should), maybe you should think to look up at that point that just flew over your head. Just once, you might be arguing the same point as everyone else, or at least be able to recognise it.

     

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  111.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Second, piracy is no more inevitable than cars capable of more than 65 MPH are inevitably going to be used for speeding or bank robberies or anything else like that.

    It's not a good argument when the things you list are all pretty much inevitable too!

    Really you make it too easy.

     

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  112.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    I was mostly following right up until #5 because it makes no sense. Is internet infringement killing the industry as they claim when the push for tougher legislation or is it 'perpetuating the system?'

     

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    Ian Kerr, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    There is a lot of muddled thinking here. The cost of a book, print etc always reflected two components: the cost of the physical copy, and a payment to the originator. That payment represents an award for creating the material and an inducement to create more. There is no reason for the payment to the originator to become zero just because the cost of the physical copy becomes zero.

    Before we accept that 'sharing' really is inevitable we should consider if that is what we really want. We do not have to accept things just because they are technically possible. Technically I could drive my car at 135 mph, or stab a passer-by in the street. However there are laws against these actions that are generally accepted and obeyed.

    I have seen no attempt to show that it is technically impossible to prevent sharing, just a lot of moaning about the methods that have been tried.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    You can if your apartment is something you can magically produce out of thin air with nothing but a computer and a few minutes of time.

    You keep insisting on this asinine analogy between physical property and culture that simply doesn't make any sense. The two things are not at all 'like' on another.

    It's really hard to explain basic things to people sometimes!

     

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    The eejit (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: we are contracted with the wrong person

    IT's already happened in the UK, but the "Government" didn't listen. So they got riots, where the punishment most definitely did not fit the crime.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Joe, if you doodle your favorite horse sex toy, you can move it to the public domain if you want to not be part of copyright. That is up to you.

    I understand this. Along the same lines, you don't seem to have adequately grasped my point, or the point of the OP. If you would like, I can try to explain it in more detail, but I would suggest re-reading it first. You can do it!

    If you want to opt out of copyright you can.

    No. You. Can't. I'm growing tired of this lie. Since *everything* is automatically under copyright, I can't view videos of my neice on youtube, because my brother doesn't know it's copyrighted, and doesn't care. This is the system *your* employer created. When it became opt-out instead of opt-in, the death warrant for copyright (or, at least, common respect for copyright) was signed. Since it is nearly impossible not to live a modern life without infringing on copyrights, no one takes copyrights seriously. Indeed, the average person doesn't even realize that they *are* infringing when they watch an unauthorized clip of the Simpsons on youtube. Also, the more ridiculous the rules, the terms, and the license requirements become, the less and less the average person will care.

    I just know that most people here still want to benefit from the products of copyright holders, still want the movies, the music, and all that comes with it. But they don't want to accept their side of the deal to get it.

    Most people want what they want, when they want, how they want, for a price they feel is fair. They don't care about copyrights. They have $20, and they want to give it to someone to watch a movie on their phone in an airport. If no one is there to take the $20, but someone offers it for free, then that's your employer's fault, not theirs.

    I'd like to point out that I used to pirate exclusively. However, I now have a Mog subscription, a Netflix one and a Hulu one. I recently canceled my Gamefly account, but for months I had that too. I don't hate the content, I don't hate the content creators. I hate the useless, wasteful, clueless middlemen. I don't need them, I don't want them, I refuse to pay for them. However, *because* of said middlemen, I'm probably going to cancel my Netflix and Hulu accounts, because they keep making it suck more. For no good reason. My safety net is copyright infringement. I can *always* fall back on it, but I don't want to. I will get the content either way, the only variable is who, if anyone, will get paid for it.

    Your employers are their own worst enemy, and wielding copyright as a weapon will be their undoing.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No $5k will buy you time. A Governor costs much, much more than that. Say, a month's worth of China White.

     

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    Joe Publius (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    I agree, the girth is pretty painful too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    I'm very certain that I will never stop sharing and I also know copyright can't be enforced on a personal level, and trying to do so will lead to hilarity.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    So try and make the price point of the physical copy at cost + X% margin (say, 115% of cost).

     

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    The eejit (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Only if you're a tight-arsed freeloading bastard, apparently.

     

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    Dave, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's not the polititians that are expensive. I know I could get a good congressman for $100k or so. But those lobbiests are a killer! Donation without a lobbiest is like taxation without representation.

     

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    Joe Publius (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: we are contracted with the wrong person

    I heard about that on the radio. Folks are averaging 2 to 3 times the average penalty, is that right?

    Did I also hear my radio right in that some of the larger sentences went to people who were said to have organized some of the mobs through Facebook? Which sentence aside, does sound kinda heinous.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re:

    Says the person who consistently attacks, yet conveniently fails to come up with either:

    a) alternative business methods;
    b) doesn't know if it's arsehole or breakfasttime; and
    c) has literally no citations to back up his so-called "infallible logic".

     

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  125.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    On York or Carlisle battlements in the UK. Hell, you even get free targets (Welshmen and Scots, respect5ively).

     

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  126.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    It can't be, freeloading bastards don't have girths do they?

    If they do can you take a look at my back to see if you see it because I can't find it.

     

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  127.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    If law breaking is not inevitable then the law, as it is written, need not exist. The only reason to have a law is because there is a non-zero risk someone will break it.

    Copyright is not an issue of morality. It's not a natural law, it's not a question of morals. It's a statutory abstraction designed to produce a specific social effect, it's not a moral truth. Trying to act like it's a question of morals is a dishonest way of painting the situation.

     

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    blaktron (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

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

    LOL holy 80s, 'China White'. Love it.

    I think most politicians these days have upgrade to Oxy... at least their glassy, empty eyes suggest that.

     

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  129.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    "It's not that what we're doing is asinine, it's that we haven't been trying hard enough!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    No if he opt-ed out, that law no longer affects him. The part his is giving up is the protection of copyright as applied to the content he produces.

     

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  131.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Breaking the law, no matter how much you agree with it, isn't inevitable. It happens when people do not have the moral ability to see right from wrong, or have been encouraged by a mob mentality to do things as part of a group that they would not do alone.

    So breaking any law is automatically immoral?

    You really should not confuse what the law says with what is, in fact, moral and ethical.

    The marketplace right now is slanted only because of this lack of moral character

    Good luck changing the moral character of the world.

     

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  132.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    I don't care about the cost, it is not my problem it is yours, I don't care if you get paid or not, I don't care if you die in poverty or not, I don't even care if you are a billionaire, what I do care is when people try to say to me I can't share something, to you people I say fock you, if you can't make money in that environment where sharing is permitted as always was than fock you and your supposed rights I don't care, I don't give a damn and more importantly I want to see you enforce anything unto a public that have extreme aversion to the concepts you are trying to push.

     

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    Jim_G, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Re: How does that even make sense?

    This is EXACTLY the same analogy I was about to make.

    Now I can't make it because I will violate your automatic copyright on any version of this meme. :(

     

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  134.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    When you're locked into a term-based contract with, say, a mobile phone provider, one thing that has become standard is that if they unilaterally change the terms, you are granted an out. You get to say "that's not the deal I agreed to, so I'm voiding the whole deal." So... um... shouldn't the public now be able to make that same argument with copyright law? After all, the government has unilaterally changed the terms of the deal.

    I know this is just a FUD puff piece... But really, Mike? You don't have a contract with the government like you do with your mobile phone provider. To suggest that contract law can be applied to determine whether citizens can opt out of the law is really one of the stupidest things I've ever heard you say--and that's saying something. Wow, you really are desperately scraping the bottom of the barrel. LMAO! Fucking idiot.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Thanks for a reasoned and intelligent response Ian. I do have a few points to respond to here:

    "The cost of a book, print etc always reflected two components"

    You missed out a third - profit for the retailer and publisher. These middlemen are tending to be the driving forces of the laws people object to, and they fight harder because they've the most to lose. The same with record labels, movie studios, etc.

    "There is no reason for the payment to the originator to become zero just because the cost of the physical copy becomes zero."

    Indeed. That's why cost and value are 2 totally separate things. There are many examples where people pay even though the basic content is available for free. There are numerous examples where authors made *more* money after making their books available for free. This is why business models rather than prohibition are the recommended solution. Something can still be worth paying for, even if the marginal cost is zero.

    "Technically I could drive my car at 135 mph, or stab a passer-by in the street."

    The latter is a silly analogy, one of the problems with comparing physical vs. virtual crimes. For one thing, the latter is clearly a felony whereas file sharing is a civil crime, not criminal. Also, it results in actual physical harm to life or limb, something that no pirated file will ever do directly.

    Speeding is perhaps the better analogy, albeit extremely flawed (due to actual physical danger). Forget 135MPH as that's excessive - what about 10 MPH over the limit, on a road on which you feel safe? Even that much is usually illegal, yet few drivers can honestly say they've never done it. Sure, most people don't on a regular basis and most haven't gone significantly faster than that. However, at those levels everyone does it at least occasionally, despite the risks they've informed of. That's not to defend repeat, persistant or excessive offenders, but it's impossible to police with any kind of certainty without costs that far outweigh the benefits.

    "I have seen no attempt to show that it is technically impossible to prevent sharing, just a lot of moaning about the methods that have been tried."

    For several major reasons. First of all, it's not technically impossible to prevent file sharing. The problem is that the collateral damage on free speech and the existence legal uses for the protocols make it a very undesirable goal to achieve through available methods. Then, as the throughline from usenet > Napster > Limewire/Kazaa > torrents > TOR > whatever show, law enforcement is always playing catchup.

    It may be possible to completely eliminate currently known, publicly available methods, but at great cost, and piracy will always exist. It existed well before the internet was invented, and will still exist even if swapping 3Tb hard drives via sneakernet becomes the new norm. There will always be a new method, and it will take time to stop. That time will be enough to lead to the next method...

    So, back to the methods. It *may* be possible to defeat file sharing via draconian laws and heavy punishment, but this does nothing to approach the core problems - lower incomes, more choices for the entertainment dollar, greater expectations of choice and quality, lesser importance of international boundaries. These will not cease to exist just because file sharing disappears, yet by addressing them, most of the central problems with making money from "free" content disappear. You just have to make it a more attractive option to pay, and thus far the entertainment industry has failed to do so.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    True, governmental power is created through a consensus of the people forming a contract between the governing body and the governed. If only it were as easy to break that contract when one party violates the agreement as easily as we do with business contracts. IMO, we should be able to break such broadly modified contracts and demand a new contract that fits better to the will of the people.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    Come to think of it, isn't ex post facto law illegal in the US? Is it the same in the EU?

     

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  138.  
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    6, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Mike there is no such thing as the public being able to decide not to follow the laws that are enacted by our elected leaders.

    However, there is one thing which I'm always kind of curious why nobody brings a suit about.

    That is, wouldn't copyright retro-extension be a "taking" under the "takings" clause? Over in the patent arena there are a lot of lawlyers, and they often argue that if congress (as opposed to a court's "interpretation" of a current law like 101) were to outlaw gene patents or business methods etc. by statute then it would be a taking under the takings clause if they made it retroactive.

    So, for instance, if there is a company using works that were not covered, but then became retroactively covered, for some art project thing they were doing, then wouldn't that then be a taking from them by the government?

    That is your better argument in place of this "well can't we just decide to not follow the law that our officials place upon us?"

     

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    Greevar (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    I agree to a point, but isn't the default status of works already without monopoly, regardless of copyright? Authors can't maintain a monopoly on their works if they publish them, but they can if they don't publish. Basically, "it's mine alone until I make someone a copy". Once a copy is in circulation out of the author's hands, the monopoly is dissolved.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Don't put words in his mouth. There are people who create art and don't enforce copyrights over it. By opting out of the copyright contract, you can still listen to or watch these arts.
    What you are not allowed to do if, you reject copyright, is listen to or watch anything that has copyrights enfoced on it: No TV and no Music controlled by the MAFIAA or anyone else.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    American colonists revolted because King George, at the behest of the Bank of England, outlawed the interest-free currency the colonists were growing prosperous from and siphoned most of the legal currency from the colonies through unjust taxes. This resulted in mass poverty and unemployment (ironically the reason there were colonists in New England in the first place; unemployment was a crime), which incited revolt.

     

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    Joe Publius (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    For laws to be followed they have to make sense to people. If copyright laws are being increasingly flouted, maybe it's because they no longer make sense as they are.

    As for suggesting being able to opt out of a law is silly. It may sound odd in the legal sense, but socially it has tremendous power, as a matter of fact, it's woven into the US cultural and political fabric.

     

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  143.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Are you saying that the only reason you don't stab people is because its against the law? Most people have morals that align with the 'don't stab people' laws. What has happened now with copyright is that peoples morals no longer line up with the laws.

     

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  144.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Can I use OSes as an example? Linux is FOSS. Windows is not.

    Linux would happen even if there were no copyright. We agree, yes?

    What I am saying is, if you disagree with copyrights, it does not give you permission to download Windows for free online. What you should do if you disagree with copyrights is use Linux.

     

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  145.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Re:

    The contract is with the person who sold you the work. The government determined what terms and conditions were legally enforceable.

    SO yes - you should be able to opt out of the deal - by getting a refund of part of the original cost of the work.

    In the same way artists who sold their rights to corporations have in the past been given the right to renegotiate the price when the term was extended. (This has happened before in the UK and is the basis of the 35 year reversion right in the US).

    IN the present case the artists are being ripped off - as this doesn't seem to be happening.

     

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  146.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    "Mike there is no such thing as the public being able to decide not to follow the laws that are enacted by our elected leaders."

    Heh, I bet you believe that as well, right?

    "However, there is one thing which I'm always kind of curious why nobody brings a suit about."

    At a guess, money. Those who either lobby the politicians to have these laws put into place or have the most to lose have much deeper pockets than the average citizen or charity. Plus, sadly, there's huge middle ground of people who don't know or don't care until it's too late...

     

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  147.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Just imagine every software license had included implicitly "by using this software, you agree to abide by copyright laws", which they mostly do. What you are breaking by breaking copyright laws are the ability to use any software that requires its users to follow copyright.

    And before you are like "things will still be made without copyright", I know that there are licenses that say 'to hell with copyright' - CC, GPL, things like that - and those would still be made without copyright, and they do not require a person to obey copyright to use.

     

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  148.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    Mike there is no such thing as the public being able to decide not to follow the laws that are enacted by our elected leaders.

    Prohibition!

     

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  149.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    You avoid giving money to me by not using any services - including art - that I offer.

     

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  150.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    "For hundreds of years, content creators have been paid by their customers for the right to have a copy of their work."

    ~300 years to be exact. But who's counting. And now, you have other options you can make people pay for instead of just a copy.

    "This seems a very well accepted and direct way of rewarding them in proportion to how many people value the work, and by how much. "

    It was really great... Except for the fact that this spurred on the growth of middlemen such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, the MPAA and RIAA, who campaign for the people with the highest profit margins, not the ones who created content.

    "However, the offering a copy of the work to World+Dog for free, against the wishes of the creator, is theft of the creator's ability to earn a living. '"

    Yeah... In the last 20 years of living (no, I'm not 20) George Lucas is deprived of one sale of a very popular franchise because I saw the movie with a friend. Are you SURE you want to go with that argument?

    "...if piracy/sharing is rife and accepted, then there is no alternative"

    Kickstarter, Rockethubs, and the proliferation of Youtube disagrees with you.

    "Alternative Business Models' may be possible for Rock Musicians, but what about Novelists, poets, artists, protographers, journalists...?"

    And on that note, Neil Gaiman , Joe Konrath, Mickey Mouse on Deviant Art, Flickr, and this very blog disagree with you.

    "why not have some constructive suggestions?"

    We do. Take away copyright enforcement, learn to lower prices on digital goods, stop trying to impede on civil rights, understand that technology enables more content to be made, not less, learn to pay for access, learn to stop using bogus statistics for falsities, and lrn 2 crowdsource.

    Is that so hard?

     

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  151.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Ahhh, but if someone else removes that contract from the software, before it gets to him (perhaps in violation of some contract), then he is not bound by that contract. Copyright laws are the only laws that apply a contract to a third party. I can't sell you an apple and then sue the person you gave it to for eating the apple, no matter what terms I put in the contract. I could sue you, if the contract stated that you can give the apple away, but I have no recourse against the person you gave the apple to. So the software vendor could sue the person who removed the contract that required the abiding of copyright law, but not someone who is only subject to contract law.

     

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  152.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Thousands, if not millions, of people already have opted out of copyright and continue to do some or all of the things on your ridiculous little list.

    Welcome to the real world, not sure if you'll make it here, but welcome!

     

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  153.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Yes, I also steal your art and make it my own without permission from you or any crazy person that thinks they deserve to get paid without having to really do any real work.

    And that is the brutal truth of the matter, I will steal your "art" modified it and lie about how original I am.

    Have a nice day.

    I also would record any TV show I like, any music I can get from the radio and give copies of discs to friends and relatives and I dare you stop me.

     

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  154.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    I also have no problem photographing books in public libraries.

     

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  155.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    That is the entire point, it doesn't give anyone the permission, but people can do it anyways and they don't need permission to do it, they can just take it and there is nothing you can do about it, absolutely nothing, that crap may have worked with companies but with the public you are screwed.

     

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  156.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

    Re: How does that even make sense?

    Your analogy is weak. Just because we change the standards for sentences doesn't retroactively extend sentences already handed down.

    You serve the sentence you were given. Unless your crime is deemed no longer a crime, then you get out.

     

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  157.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Who broke what contract?

    That is exactly why you will see no respect from the public for copyright, they didn't agree to it and no matter how much you dislike the thought of it, if the public don't want to respect it there is absolutely nothing you can do about it and not even the government will be able to help you, copyright is not something you can enforce in private homes across the world, if it were possible you would see blood on the streets for people tired of the police state.

     

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  158.  
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    Digitari, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    umm, using it and NOT buying the sponsors product, is how you opt out.

    Don't like something, don't buy it or ANYTHING sponsored by it, no Money, no bought politicians !!

    what a crazy Idea huh??

    Your Vote is and will continue to be rigged if you have no receipt.

    Vote with your FRN's

     

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  159.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Nah. You changed the agreement. Now your whining is meaningless. Don't like it? Tough luck, pal. Want to come after me? Gotta prove I've done anything illegal. Good luck with that.

     

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  160.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    No, all you're breaking are TOS' that are chunked in underneath the wrapper making it impossible to return software after you've opened it. So we use it anyways, and TOS be damned. We are being forced into an agreement to which we do not agree. You can paint it any color you like, but a zebra is still black and white.

     

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  161.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Who broke what contract?

    A bought representative no longer represents their constituents but the people who paid for them. No one that voted for longer copyright represents /my interests/ no matter how you spin it.

     

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  162.  
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    Karl Fogel (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 4:37pm

    See also "Breaking the Bargain" -- it's a unilateral contract extension.

    For comparison, see:

    http://questioncopyright.org/breaking_the_bargain

    Heck, it's short -- I'll just quote it here:

    When the copyright industry lobbies for extensions to already-long copyright terms, they always present it as a way of giving the artists of the past their due as a further protection of the "moral rights" that artists have in their creations.

    But consider this: many artists of the past were forced to sign over their copyrights in order to work at all. They may have taken comfort in the fact that copyright would expire after a set time, and in knowing that people would eventually be able to share their work freely. Today, when copyright terms are continually extended, we should stop and wonder if these extensions go against the wishes of the works' dead creators. Few artists of the 1920's or 30's had the option of saying, "I want people to share my work", but they at least knew that copyrights would expire after 28 years if the terms had been left alone, that is and this may have made a temporary lockup more acceptable to them.

    How many of those artists are rolling over in their graves now, as copyright is continually extended? Just because the Disney Corporation thinks copyright should be forever doesn't mean the thousands of artists whose works are now locked up thought so, or would think so now. The fact that so many artists are adopting Creative Commons licenses today indicates that many artists believe otherwise. If artists have "moral rights" to their works, surely extending copyright terms without their consent violates those rights.

     

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  163.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Um...if you didn't watch anything that was copyrighted, you would be respecting copyright, not opting out. Opting out means that the public no longer recognizes the constraint of artificial monopolies.

    The natural state of media and culture is that it can be copied. Copyright is an artificial restraint on that natural state. Copyright says, "it's physically possible to copy it, but you're not supposed to." Opting out means ignoring the, "but you're not supposed to," part.

     

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  164.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 5:46pm

    Re:

    Mike there is no such thing as the public being able to decide not to follow the laws that are enacted by our elected leaders.

    I'm sure that was running through the recently severed head of at least one French nobleman right after it landed in the basket.

     

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  165.  
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    darryl, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 6:59pm

    not all law is contract law

    especially copyright law,

    Unless you have signed a contract for every copyrighted work (that you do not own the copyright for) and the copyright owner has also signed the contract, then there is no contract.

    And I am sure you do not hold a single copyright contract, and I am sure you have NEVER held a copyright contract on a work you do not hold the copyright on.

    Mike arn't you supposed to have some knowledge of the law ?

    I though you were some king of "law speaking guy" ???

    or is it you are not good enough to 'walk the walk'???

    it's clear you are not able to "talk the talk", I guess that is why you eek out a living playing in the dirt!!!

     

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  166.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:06pm

    Re: not all law is contract law

    I can't tell if you are being willfully stupid, our if you really don't understand the words you read.

    Do you have a blog or a google plus profile? I'd like to figure it out.

     

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  167.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

    Re: not all law is contract law

    You don't know what "contract law" means do you?

     

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  168.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re: not all law is contract law

    After reading his dribble for sometime now, I believe its the latter.

     

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  169.  
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    darryl, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    no do not agree, GPL is a COPYRIGHT license, without copyright protection the FSF would have NO authority to enforce the GPL..

    Again FOSS and the GPL are BAD examples of copyright being BAD, because the GPL relies so heavily on copyright.

    You are right that "linux would never have happened if it were not for copyright law".

    but proprietary software would still exist and thive as it has so far.

     

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  170.  
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    darryl, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    citizenry of a country being in a social contract with the government. so therefore they should be able to opt out.

    sure you can, if you wish to opt out of that society.

    Therefore is you do not like the rules and 'contract' you are in because of the sciety you live in, you're only option is to reject that society, go somewhere else, or go to jail.

    You're rights and position in your society is your tacit contract to abile by the laws and rules that society decidees to take or use.

    You 'payment' for being able to live in that society is your OBLIGATION to abile by that social contract.

    As soon as you breach that social contract (break the law) if it is serious enough you will be removed from that society, and placed in another society with different rules (that you probably will not like either!!).

    I am sure prison society is not nearly as pleasent as the one you are in now.

    Opt out = break the law

    Sure you can opt out, but you will be in breach of contract and be suitably punished for that breach.

    There is no 'opt-out' or 'opt-in' for common law, or common sense.

     

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  171.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Chris, you don't have the right.

    I don't recognize copyright as a right, and breaking the law is a form of opting out.

     

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  172.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Nicely put! Glad to see someone else gets it.

     

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  173.  
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    darryl, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: not all law is contract law

    what was you point again Joe ???

    oh thats right, you dont have one..

    It least there is no question about figuring out what you are !! You've made that very clear.

    It is quite clear Joe that there is not alot you CAN tell!

     

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  174.  
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    darryl, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Dick !!! of course people choose to break the law all the time, that is a decision they make. Does not mean it is right and it does not mean that they have a right to do that.

    If you do not agree with a law, you can run for president and have it changed, otherwise STFU and live by the laws and rules of your society.

    Or find some other society that will accept you making up the rules as you go along. Like Bosnia, I am sure you will be better off there...

     

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  175.  
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    TheBigH (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    I think a better analogy would be this:

    I and a computer vendor agree to a contract that says that, for a specified period of time, I pay the vendor for the right to use the computer. After that period of time, the computer becomes mine to do with as I please.

    If the vendor then decides to retroactively change the terms of the contract so that I have to go on paying him indefinitely, then I say "Bad luck. Computer's mine."

    This is exactly how it is with copyright. It was agreed, long ago, that inventors, artists, etc. could have a monopoly on their creations for a limited time so that they could profit, and go on creating more stuff. As part of that agreement, the content is to enter the public domain once that limited time is over. Copyright is supposed to be a compromise that allows both the individual creators and society as a whole to be enriched.

    By extending copyright retroactively and indefinitely, the government has reneged on that deal. They are taking from us something that the terms of the deal explicitly grant us.

     

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  176.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Ron, no.

    Actually, the creative side is still part of copyright. The other side of the agreement, the government, aka, the people, granted them an extension to the terms.

    The creative side is still within contract, they just got offered better terms and accepted them.

    If you want to get mad, get mad at your own politicians who offered up the extension, not the industry people for taking them up on their offer.

     

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  177.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    That's entirely bullshit.

    The artists are moving on, the middlemen rely on copyright and artists and the public got screwed in the deal.

     

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  178.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: not all law is contract law

    A is for Asshole
    B is for Ballistic
    C is for Court

     

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  179.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 1:07am

    The Queen Anne copyright statutes were an aberration

    And we don't even use that model anymore. The Berne Convention was never about limited monopolies.

    Nobody with power cares about history unless using it will help them keep their current power or gain new power.

     

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  180.  
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    darryl, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 1:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    does not matter what you recognize or not, if you dont recognize murder that does not give you the RIGHT to commit murder.

    In fact you do NOT HAVE THE RIGHT, to recognize what others rights are.

    And that is exactly your RIGHT !! you have a right to expect others to respect your rights regardless of if they choose to "recognize' them or not.

    All the right you have and the rights you in the right that others will expect you to unhold for yourself AND for everyone else.

    With every right you have an obligation, that obligation is to respect the rights of others in your society.

    Like, if you expect NOT to be killed (murdered) your obligation to society is not to get out and kill other people. (breaching their rights).

    If society says if you create something you have a RIGHT to that thing, then your obligation is to uphold that right, as you would expect everyone to uphold it FOR YOU..

    That is how societies work, when a society breaks down it is because some of that society decide they want MORE rights that others.

    I dont expect too many here to be able to understand this, but that is your problem not mine.

    But it is amuzing to read the attitude of some of the commenters here, and how they come across as spoilt children crying because another baby has a candy and you dont...

    And using things like "RIGHTS" and "OBLIGATIONS" as your 'excuse' for what is essentually pure theft.

     

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  181.  
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    darryl, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 1:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    I opted out and I can tell you I also pirate everything, I paid for, fock you.

    Then in fact you really OPTED IN !!

     

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  182.  
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    darryl, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 1:59am

    Re: Re: Who broke what contract?

    Actually the real contract is between the governments and copyright holders.

    So the contract is between the 'government' and THE PEOPLE !!!! go figure !!

    what does that contract say ?

    The Gov says "you elect us, you (the people) agree to abide by the rules and laws we provide, and in return we (the Gov) will provide the people with a social structure and political stability to allow for a social and economic structure to exist.

    If you the people break the rules you will be punished for your 'anti-society' actions, as you have chared us (the Gov) to uphold social values.

    If you break the rules badly enough you will be removed from society

    Your side of the contract is to follow the rules, our side of the contract is to make and uphold the rules.

    Not licking a rules does not entitle you to 'opt-out' of that rule.

    You're either 'IN' (a member of society) or "OUT" (not a member of society).

    You do not get to pick and choose what laws and rules you feel like following, you have an obligation to society to respect the rules and the rights of the rest of society.

    When you go to a shop you respect the right of the shopkeeper to be paid for what you take from his shop.
    that is your social obligation to respect the rights of all other's in your society.

    Just as the shop keeper respects your right to take something from his shop and give you money in exchange for it.

    If either party does not respect the RIGHT's of the other party then it is a breach of contract, that is the contract you enter into, when you become a member of a society that you respect the rights of the rest of that society.

    why cant you guys get that ??

     

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  183.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Who broke what contract?


    If you the people break the rules you will be punished for your 'anti-society' actions, as you have chared us (the Gov) to uphold social values.

    If you break the rules badly enough you will be removed from society





    The same could be said by the Taliban. If you break sharia law, you'll be stoned for behavior against society.

    The only problem with that argument is that it elevates legality to a social good in itself.

    I hope that almost everyone understands why this must go wrong.

     

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  184.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Who broke what contract?

    The same reason you don't get it either, we don't want to.

    The government made and agreement with people without our permission any poll will tell you that and now they want to force people to comply well good luck with that.

    In a way is payback time, you force things to the public and the public responds in kind.

     

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  185.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    The thing is I'm not paying, if you want to get paid go find a real job bum.

     

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  186.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    It is a thing of scale, many people also don't recognize copyrights and that is why you keep moaning about it LoL

    Please try harder to stop piracy, we are all waiting for that day to come.

     

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  187.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Who broke what contract?


    So the contract is between the 'government' and THE PEOPLE !!!! go figure !!





    And if 70 % thinks that the the remaining 30 % of the population should be killed and their organs harvested for "the good of society". The minority should just obey the law or be removed from society.

    If the law only offers bad incentives and coersion it ceases to be legitimate.
    The logical conclusion to the-government-is-always-right-to-suppress-as-long-it-is-legal is that coersion can't be a goal in itself.

    What you are saying is no less psychopatic than Muammar Qaddafi's response to his people.

    In hindsight, following your logic to its conclusion Qaddafi was justified in killing his people, as long as he had the law on his side.

     

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  188.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:37am

    With rights comes obligations

    copyright even in the 10 commandments, it is a moral and social standard. again a standard that you do not have a choice to opt-in or opt-out.

    The 'contract' you have made is with the society you live in, your social values should direct your morals, and if you social values fail and your morals fail, then the law will ensure you act in a social way and be part of society.

    You break the social rules, the moral and ethical rules of that society you loose certain rights that that society provides.

    Commandment 8 You shall not steal
    Sommandment 10 You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor

    So if your morals fail you, and your ethics fail you, then you have to abide by the laws if society. The society you are a part of.

    To abide by those laws you are required as an obligation to respect the rights of the other members of that society, and those other members have the same obligation to abide your your rights.

    If you do not meet your obligations to society then that society will remove your rights.

    Because you cannot have one without the other, with Rights goes obligations allways.

    You may be granted the right to drive a car, but if you fail to meet your obligations you can have that right removed, your obligations might be to learn how to drive, to drive according to the law, and to respect the rights of other people.

    Just because you have a right to drive a car does not give you the right to take away someone elses right to walk, or to walk safely without your running them over.

    When you run them over you take away THEIR right, and you breach your obligation to that right.

    You have commited a crime.

     

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  189.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:55am


    copyright even in the 10 commandments, it is a moral and social standard. again a standard that you do not have a choice to opt-in or opt-out.


    This comment should be flagged for trolling.
    Copyright is no part of the ten commandments.

    Just because a modern statutory privilege grants person a the power to prevent person b from copying something doesn't mean that infringing on the state granted monopolly is "stealing".

     

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  190.  
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    hmm (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 3:29am

    Re: Everyone Shares Files - even TAM

    This means you are a monster that deserves to be publicly flogged through the streets before being hung drawn and quartered hehehehehe

    Every time a tiny child looks at the spines on that shelf or takes a magazine and doodles in the margins thats a lost sale.....you owe every publisher on the shelf eleventy trillion dollars....

     

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  191.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 3:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    > There is no reason for the payment to the originator to become zero just because the cost of the physical copy becomes zero.

    No, just that the business model has been rendered inappropriate and the originator should be paid in a different way.

    > We do not have to accept things just because they are technically possible. Technically I could drive my car at 135 mph, or stab a passer-by

    But copying information is *good*. It is something we should not be trying to prevent.

    You are thinking upside-down. You are taking copyright as given and wanting to force the world fit, when you should be looking at the world and trying to make laws that fit reality.

     

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  192.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    I think you're confusing the US Constitution with the Declaration of Independence...

     

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  193.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:38am

    Re: With rights comes obligations

    "copyright even in the 10 commandments, it is a moral and social standard. again a standard that you do not have a choice to opt-in or opt-out."

    LoL

    Watch me.

     

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  194.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:40am

    Re: With rights comes obligations

    Exactly copyright have trespassed on my rights for privacy, it reduces everybody rights to ownership, it create a class of bums that don't do real work for a living and it is immoral.

    Copyright should be shunned by society and it is being shunned, nobody respect copyrights and they have even less sympathy for people who defend it.

     

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  195.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:47am

    You misunderstand open-source licenses

    CC and GPL don't say "to hell with copyright". Hell, they respect copyright and can't exist without copyright. They use copyright as an enforcement mechanism for their conditions. Also, you can't give up rights if you don't have any.

    So you're wrong on both fronts.

     

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  196.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:53am

    Bad analogy.

    But if I take a book from a book shelf, it's not there anymore. If I take a CD from the CD rack, it's not there anymore. If I download an ebook or album, they have it, and I have it.

    Sorry, but you fail analogies 101.

     

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  197.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:57am

    Copyrights and Patents ARE in the US constitution

    Actually, Copyrights and patents are indeed in the constitution:

    "Congress shall have power...To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

    Sounds like Copyrights and Patents to me.

     

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  198.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 5:01am

    10 years is too short.

    10 Years is way too short. However, 95 years is way too long. That's why I suggest 50 years. It seems fair like that.

     

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  199.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 5:07am

    I disagree

    I disagree, Copyright anarchist/abolitionist (and with all the copyright abolitionists here). A reasonable copyright term IMHO would be 50 years. What should be done is make the copyright terms be cut in half.

    Copyright should be reformed, not repealed as you copyright abolitionists desire.

     

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  200.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 5:31am

    Re: Copyrights and Patents ARE in the US constitution

    No copyright is the use of the power granted to congress to do so.

    It doesn't say we need copyright to exist it says "laws" that can grant one right for limited times could be used for the purpose of incentivating science.

    It didn't say it should cover, arts(useful arts meant at the time science not music, not video, not fiction arts).

     

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  201.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 5:32am

    Re: 10 years is too short.

    Is the average commercial life span of most copyrighted works today.

    Fifty years is too long.

     

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  202.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 5:36am

    Re: I disagree

    No copyright must be shuned first just so people on the other side understand how horrible it is, just like people did numerous times along history.

    And it already started, people everywhere are just ignoring copyright, which just proves another thing, the artists bums that depend on it continue to make a buck despite all the piracy going on, which proves that they don't need all the extreme protections actually granted to them.

    It was easy before to pass copyright laws because they didn't affect normal people just companies, now that it is affecting people inside their own homes no less, you will see more and more people just trashing the law.

     

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  203.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Bingo.

     

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  204.  
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    darryl, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Who broke what contract?

    no.

    because apart from the common law that your Government has, you have FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, and the Government has their own rules and laws they have to abide by.

    In the US there is even other documents telling the people and the government how to act !!..

    but if you cannot understand how your own society functions, there islittle hope for you..

    At least I am using logic, and not talking total rubbish, you should damn well know that Governments and leaders are bound by the same laws and rules as 'the people'.

    Don't you in the US have this "by the people, of the people, for the people".

    Just because you did not vote for the guy running the show, does not mean you are exempt from the rules and laws imposed by your social structure.

    They do not need to abolish copyright in the US they need to abolish stupidity.

     

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  205.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: Re: not all law is contract law

    I didn't mean to be so harsh, but I suspected you have a mild form of mental retardation and I feel I have to be completely blunt with you or you'll misunderstand. Apparently, that theory is not valid, as you, again, missed my point. Trying to be even blunter would look a lot like trolling, so I'm going to have to switch tactics.

    My point was: I don't think you actually read and comprehend the posts. Either from a poor grasp of the english language, or laziness, you seem to see a few words, perhaps in the title, and then go off in a rant that no one can follow, using random words in all caps and excessive punctuation. (Seriously, one question mark is plenty)

    My new theory is that you aren't mentally retarded, you're 12 years old. That actually fits quite nicely with your writing style, reading comprehension and general demeanor.

    If you *do* get a blog, feel free to drop a link. :)

     

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  206.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: I disagree

    Most the artists I know personally work just as hard as anyone else; Maybe even harder. It seems, you're linking the content creators (artists) with the content distributors (labels, studios, etc)

    The distributors *want* you to link them with the creators, because they think that gives them a moral high ground. Unfortunately, it's having the opposite effect, and the creators are being dragged down with the distributors.

    Place blame where blame is due.

    Please note: Not *all* artists are hard working, just the good ones. The other 5% are bums. :P

     

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  207.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:16am

    Re: With rights comes obligations

    copyright even in the 10 commandments,

    If copyright had existed then we wouldn't even have the 10 commandments.

     

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  208.  
    identicon
    darryl, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    no society expects total compliance with the laws of that society, and as the society changes over time the laws should change to reflect those.

    But laws are not put in place because they do not expect people to break that law.

    Just because there is a law on murder and that murders still occur, is not an excuse to not abide by that law.

    You have a "RIGHT" to not be murdered, and that right is reflected in law, it is also reflected in morals and ethics.

    It still comes down that with every right you have an obligation, you have a right not to be murdered, you have an obligation not to murder.

    You have a right to own the produce of your labor, you have an obligation to respect the right of other to own the produce of their labor.

    You cannot have the right to not be murdered, if no one else has the obligation not to murder.

    And if you cannot work out that basic precept of how society works, you have a major problem or a very poor education!!!

     

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  209.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:26am

    Re: Copyrights and Patents ARE in the US constitution


    Actually, Copyrights and patents are indeed in the constitution:





    No the aren't. The Constitution grants Congress the power to pass legislation. It doesn't guarantee any right to have copyright or other intellectual property based privileges enforced by the state.

    The state *may* elect to protect intellectual property but it isn't an argument for any policy position, more than the army clause is an argument for a standing army.

     

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  210.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:35am

    Privatize enforcement of copyright


    I disagree, Copyright anarchist/abolitionist (and with all the copyright abolitionists here). A reasonable copyright term IMHO would be 50 years. What should
    be done is make the copyright terms be cut in half.

    Copyright should be reformed, not repealed as you copyright abolitionists desire.




    That's okay with me, even though I don't like copyright.
    But privatize the enforcement and let the right holders pay all enforcement costs.

    You might well have a right to have copyright enforced provided that you can afford the lawyers, forensics experts and technicians but you don't have any inherent right to impose your enforcement costs onto third parties who aren't direct infringers.

    And any damages for copyright infringement should of course be limited to *actual* and proven losses.

     

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  211.  
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    darryl, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    why would a law ever be though of, or created that everyone does anyway.

    Laws are put in place to address a specific problem, or to uphold a social or moral standard. (dont murder someone).

    But what kind of law would you propose that everyone would comply with, and why would you bother ?

    You do not make laws because people are NOT going to break them, you make laws with the expectation that people WILL break them, so the law is in place for when that occures.

    If no one stole anything, there would be no requirement for laws on theft.

    If everyone respected the rights of others to create works and profit from that work, there would be no requirement for copyright laws.

    This web site (TD) is here because Mike is exercising a "right" to have a web site.

    You are exercising your right to be able to get on the net, and to be able to walk down your street without being murdered or robbed.

    They are basic rights that you accept, and your obligation to those rights is that in return you will not rob or murder, or 'dis' other peoples rights.

    Mike wants the rights, but without the obligations, and that simply does not work, it will never work, rights have to be universal, Mike has a right to copyright this web site, just as you have a right to copyright YOUR web site.

    You respect Mikes right to do that, and Mike respects your right to do that.

    So you do not get to 'opt-in' or 'out' of your rights and obligations, or to get to pick and choose what rights you want and what obligations you are willing to make!.

    you cease to be a part of your society once you decide your
    'rights' trump the rights of your neighbor.

     

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  212.  
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    darryl, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:42am

    We'll we know where you stand

    Mike, the law reflects morals and ethics, and you damn well (should) know it !!!

    What is immoral is expecting to have 'rights' without having to meet any obligations or to respect the same rights for others.

    that is also unethical, and illegal.
    It is also immoral to believe that you have some how risen above ethics and morals and that your 'rights' exceed the rights of others.

    It is also immoral to think that if you do not agree with the laws society has accepted that they do not apply to you !.

     

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  213.  
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    pjcamp, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:48am

    laws are not contracts

    They aren't agreements. They are compulsory, backed up by the coercive power of the state.

    So no. Duh.

     

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  214.  
    identicon
    darryl, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: not all law is contract law

    again joe when are you actually going to address the issues ??

    you joe would be the last person I would ask for logic knowledge or advice.

    but again, you managed to say alot of words but fail completely in addressing the issue, that by definition is a TROLL..

     

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  215.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:59am

    Re: We'll we know where you stand

    Was slavery moral, then, because it was legal? Was it immoral to abolish it?

    The law is not necessarily moral. It can be, but to assume it has to be is foolish.

    Which, of course, is exactly what the post you're responding to says. It's like you're arguing Jeopardy style.

     

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  216.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: not all law is contract law

     

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  217.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:21am


    It is also immoral to think that if you do not agree with the laws society has accepted that they do not apply to you !.





    Why? In some nations the husband and father may kill a female family member for dishonoring sexual morality.'
    And strangers helping the woman flee the family may be killed with impunity.

    The state is protecting the property rights of the family. I suppose that's immoral to help the woman breaking the law.

    Right?

    If property is what the law says, I should have a right to have you killed for infringing any exclusive privilege granted to my by law - whether the exclusive privilege is dominion over my children or my sister.

     

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  218.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    You are right that "linux would never have happened if it were not for copyright law".

    Wtf? He didn't even say that. You are are just making stuff up.
    Lets take the shortest look at what he said:
    Linux would happen even if there were no copyright. We agree, yes?

    And yes AC, we agree, it would have happened anyways.

     

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  219.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    Joe, if you doodle your favorite horse sex toy, you can move it to the public domain if you want to not be part of copyright.

    [...] (oh and get off this website, it's copyright).


    This is more than ironic.

    First of all, Mike has publicly stated, repeatedly, that he considers the material on this site to be public domain.

    Yet, he officially can't make the material public domain in many countries. Simply put, the laws are set up so that it is impossible to do so. Even in the U.S., it requires putting a copyright license (CC) on the content.

    He wrote an article about it here:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090116/0348223430.shtml

    Also:

    If you really want to vote, and really want to opt out, do the following:
    1 - Don't watch TV. It's all copyright, and your watching supports copyright.

    2 - Don't listen to the radio. It's all copyright, your listening supports copyright.

    3 - Don't listen to any music made by label musicians, or any musician that claims copyright on their material: you are just feeding the system

    4 - Don't go to the movies. Bad, bad copyright things there.

    5 - Most of all, don't download any of it for free, peer it, seed it, share it, or enjoy it


    This is not opting out of copyright. This is opting in. You don't opt out of a contract by obeying its terms.

    Of course, I find nothing wrong with doing as you suggested, and in fact it's what I do myself.

     

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  220.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    The creative side is still within contract, they just got offered better terms and accepted them.

    This is, of course, utter nonsense. The "creative side" didn't get offered anything. They pay hundreds of millions of dollars per year to the people who write the contract, in order to alter it on their behalf.

    If you want to get mad, get mad at your own politicians who offered up the extension, not the industry people for taking them up on their offer.

    I think it's fair to get mad at both.

     

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  221.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re: Where do you stand?

    Can I take it from this that, if Copyright was reduced to a reasonable term, Techdirt would accept that it is right and agree that piracy is wrong?

    A term reduction would certainly be a good start. Personally, I think there are bigger problems than the term (out-of-date and draconian statutory damages, for instance, or the ghastly ICE seizures).

    Also, Mike has always stated that piracy is wrong.

     

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  222.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 9:30am

    Re:

    You don't have a contract with the government like you do with your mobile phone provider.

    The "contract" is not with the government, but with the creative industries. That's how copyright law is supposed to work: the public grants those industries "rights" which they would not normally have, in exchange for greater creative output, public use of the works, and a larger public domain.

    That "contract" is created to benefit the public (not the creative industries), is written entirely by the public, can be altered only by the public, and is offered on a "take-it-or-leave-it" basis.

    That's why the Constitution grants rights to Congress, not to creative industries directly. Congress is supposed to represent solely the public's interests.

    Think of Congress as the representatives of a labor union: just as a labor union is supposed to represent their workers, and not the industries they bargain with, so Congress is supposed to represent the public, and not the creative industries who are granted copyright.

    The problem is that Congress does not represent the public when it comes to copyright. That's largely because the creative industries have spent billions of dollars over the years lobbying for alterations of that "contract" against the public benefit.

    Using the labor union metaphor, it's what would happen if Ford Motors paid the salaries of UAW representatives.

     

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  223.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who broke what contract?

    Saddam Hussein was elected everytime by the Iraq people does it make him less of a dictator?

     

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  224.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ...or I can just keep looting yay!

    Come and get me if you can, I dare you airhead.

     

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  225.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: not all law is contract law

    Is hard to read when you are drunk.

     

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  226.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: not all law is contract law

    I don't know about Joe but you should address your issues with drinking and typing first LoL

     

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  227.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Copyrights and Patents ARE in the US constitution

    Point taken. Also, re-reading the AC's sentence to which I responded the first time, I realize that he was right.

    Also, the US Supreme Court got it wrong in Eldred v. Ashcroft. A perpetual extension of copyright terms is de facto perpetual copyright, which the US constitution doesn't say that congress has the power to grant.

    Then again, Evidence of Absence ≠ Absence of Evidence...

     

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  228.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    5 microseconds is too long for a copyright abolitionist

    10 years is way too short for the 1% of works that actually make mega-money.

    You know, your Harry Potters, your Bugs Bunnies, your Supermen, your Mickey Mice, you know what I mean.

    Though it is unfair that copyright pro toto should be extended to keep Mickey Mouse exclusive, at the same time, it would also be unfair to the copyright owners of those 1% of those valuable franchises to have such a tiny term. They would have a grand incentive, but not perpetual. Besides, if it flops in the first year, then no renewal after 24 years. Keep in mind that copyright is supposed to be utilitarian, so that everybody gets benefits out of it. The top 1% of Authors, the mid 50%-99% of Authors, the bottom 50% of Authors, not to mention the consumer and the publishing houses. Copyright should return to that utilitarian standard, not be abolished outright.

    Besides, James Joyce had his work Ulysses censored for more than ten years. It would have hardly been fair to Joyce to see his work in the public domain immediately after the obscenity ban was lifted. This bitterness is still with his grandson Stephen Joyce (and why he, like his grandfather, is a copyright maximalist).

    Copyright got it right around the time Steamboat Willie was created. It was neither too short nor too long. Now it's extended just to keep that one movie from entering the public domain. It has now become what it has sought to prevent.

    Still, I am not a copyright abolitionist. If your computer crashes, you reboot it. You don't throw it out the window (barring some viral videos). That's what should be done with copyright: a reboot, not a reactive urge to scrap it.

     

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  229.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    The principle of a purchaser re-basing the copy for their own use has been accepted since the advent of VCRs.

    Ironic you should say that, because one of the more infamous Jack Valenti quotes was comparing the VCR to the Boston Strangler. He viewed it as entirely a "pirate technology." Yet within a decade, the VCR opened up a secondary market that oftentimes dwarfed income from ticket sales.

    This is one thing that is usually disregarded: the same technology that allows piracy, also allows for more profitable and efficient business models. You can't have one without the other.

    However, the offering a copy of the work to World+Dog for free, against the wishes of the creator, is theft of the creator's ability to earn a living.

    It does no such thing, of course. It possibly means that one particular way of earning a living is unsound. The creator can still make money; and in most fields (like the ones you mentioned), the artists' primary incomes never came from selling copies anyway.

    But why should we accept the destruction of a perfectly good business model - the selling of copies?

    No amount of piracy will ever prevent anyone from selling copies. (In fact, that's what copyright law prevents.) The only thing that might happen is that people buy less of those copies, but it doesn't prevent you from selling them.

    Furthermore, there are plenty of reasons people will pay for a copy, even if they can get a pirated version. Supporting the creator, convenience, authenticity, early availability, etc.

    Rather that criticise all attempts to police the violation of copyright, why not have some constructive suggestions?

    Constructive suggestions are posted on this site all the time. Just click on the link under the Techdirt logo that says "Case Studies." In fact, offering such suggestions is how Floor64 makes its money, from what I understand.

    That doesn't mean we can't also criticize many (not all) attempts to police the violation of copyright - especially those that interfere with free speech or due process (which, as any artist will tell you, are central to artistic creation, not to mention a just society). And most especially to those which don't actually benefit "novelists, poets, artists, protographers, journalists," etc., yet do damage to the public good (like runaway extensions to copyright terms).

     

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  230.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    does not matter what you recognize or not, if you dont recognize murder that does not give you the RIGHT to commit murder.

    I never said I had a "right" to content. If it was a right, I would justified in forcing other people to give me content by any means necessary. Obviously that wouldn't be justified, so it's not a right of mine.

    If society says if you create something you have a RIGHT to that thing, then your obligation is to uphold that right, as you would expect everyone to uphold it FOR YOU..

    First off, rights don't come from the whims of society, therefore what society thinks is irrelevant. Secondly, for me to be beholden to a contract, I have to agree to the contract. You and your friends deciding to put a law in place that limits my freedoms does not make me morally beholden to your decision. Thirdly, I don't expect them to uphold copyright for me. Where have I ever said that?

    And using things like "RIGHTS" and "OBLIGATIONS" as your 'excuse' for what is essentually pure theft.

    I completely agree. IP supporters use words like "rights" and "obligations" as their excuse for stealing from the public. Thanks for making my point for me.

     

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  231.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    I don't have a right to prevent others from freely sharing content I create, therefore I don't recognize that right of other people.

     

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  232.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re: We'll we know where you stand

    Mike, the law reflects morals and ethics

    So Rosa Parks was immoral? As if anyone needed a bigger excuse to ignore your ramblings . . .

     

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  233.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re: I disagree

    Why 50 years and not 5, or 500?

    Unless you have a philosophical basis with which to draw the line at 50 years, it's no more valid than any other line you could draw.

     

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  234.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you do not agree with a law, you can run for president and have it changed, otherwise STFU and live by the laws and rules of your society.

    "I know you don't want to go to the gas chamber, maam, but the laws says you have to go. If you don't like it, you can always vote against Hitler in the next election. Otherwise STFU and live by the laws and rules of your society."

    Great philosophy you have going there.

     

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  235.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    First off, you missed the ", so profit from it!" at the end.

    If artists and content producers are profiting from it, then it's not piracy, it's simply good business. That is what Mike has always advocated, and those that listen to him have made more money than they would have otherwise.

    Example: most people on here would download movies, but most of them wouldn't go into a store, take a DVD off the shelf, put it in their laptop, rip a copy, and then put the DVD back and walk out of the store.

    Most posters on Techdirt do not download movies. But let's ignore this obvious ad hominem.

    If there was only a slim chance that they would get caught, then you bet your ass the public would do it, and do it without shame.

    Other than for fear of legal or professional repercussions, I've never heard of anyone who had the faintest qualms about admitting to piracy in public. Nobody views it as "a lack of moral character." Even artists who are against file sharing don't view those fans as immoral; they're just concerned about getting paid.

    If anyone suffers from "a lack of moral character" in the eyes of the public, it's the RIAA and MPAA. For reasons unrelated to file sharing as well.

    Mike knows that things cannot stay as they are now, but he won't talk about it.

    You're right: things cannot stay as they are now. In the future, the ability to pirate will only increase. That's what happens when you have an open communications network, and no matter how much people block access to information, it's human nature to route around it.

    And thank goodness that's true - because an open communications network is far more beneficial to mankind than are the profits of media conglomerates.

     

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  236.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Re: First amendment

    To answer your question about why the First Amendment's "non-effect on a relevant part of the constitution", the general legal doctrine on conflict of laws is that it's presumed that a drafter of laws--especially the Framers of the Constitution--doesn't intend to draft a law that conflicts with another law unless they specifically say so (like the 21st amendment repealing the 18th). Therefore, possibly conflicting laws (or constitutional provisions) are to be interpreted in harmony whenever possible.

    Specifically dealing with copyright, copyright laws are created under Congress' constitutional power to pass laws to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts." Therefore, courts are supposed to interpret copyright laws and First Amendment protections so that they both work. In practice, what really happens is that the First Amendment trumps copyright laws quite a bit. It's largely why we have lots of exceptions to the normal copyright monopoly--parody, matter of substantial public concern, "fair use," etc.--for activities that are protected by the First Amendment. But the copyright clause of the Constitution is why sharing copyrighted music with everyone you see online for free is not protected by the First Amendment--even though in general giving music to others would otherwise be protected speech.

     

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  237.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Privatize enforcement of copyright

    You won't get any argument from me.

    My point is that copyright should return to what it was established to do: provide a monopoly that is limited both in duration and scope. I like Cory Doctorow's analogy of copyright to chilies in soup: some of it is good, but too many (or much in the case with copyright) spoils it, like we have now with copyright. Now some people like their food way hot, just like some people like maximal copyright. That doesn't mean everybody has to eat Cajun food, if you know what I mean.

     

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  238.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    Re: 5 microseconds is too long for a copyright abolitionist

    "10 years is way too short for the 1% of works that actually make mega-money."

    Really? Harry Potter made her the most money the first ten years, more then enough actually.
    Even so, I don't see why it should be on our burden for the 1% to be Guaranteed a Mega Profit in Billions.

     

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  239.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    Piracy...happens when people do not have the moral ability to see right from wrong, or have been encouraged by a mob mentality to do things as part of a group that they would not do alone.

    Do you really think that ideas of what's "right" and "wrong" are anything other than mob mentality to begin with?

    Here's an easy illustration: slavery. At one point most people thought that slavery was a-OK, but some thought it was wrong. Slavery went on widely and publicly and with the approval of the masses. Now most people think it's wrong, but some think it's a-OK. Slavery is opposed and suppressed with the approval of the masses. The same arguments could be made for and against slavery now that were made back then. The only thing that's changed is the number of people on each side of the argument. The mob always thinks it's right, and it always is, because the mob is what decides what's right and what's wrong.

    If the vast majority of people see freely copying music, movies, etc. as morally right, and see restricting it as wrong, then it's the people who want to restrict that copying when there's no economic or majority-supported moral justification for it who are wrong. If you make your money as a restrictard? Well, too bad. If people don't think your music/movie/text/etc. is worth the price you're selling it for, tough cookies. Content creators are no more entitled to payment for products or services they offer for sale than anyone else is, no matter how much time or energy they put into creating them or what effects people not buying will have. The "create once, sit back, profit forever" model is no longer viable. Create a more compelling product, because we no longer live in a world where gargantuan profits can be realized by selling overpriced garbage that can't be returned for a refund to a naiive market who has no other options.

    If your business model is obsoleted by economic and technological Darwinism, it may make you mad, it may destroy good-paying jobs, and it may even bring about massive changes to culture and groupthink/morality. But you will be obsoleted no matter how much you cry and whine in the process. Your only options are to adapt and continue on, or die and be replaced by someone who's more flexible. Nothing you can do or say or buy will change that.

     

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  240.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: 5 microseconds is too long for a copyright abolitionist

    So it could have 15 more years, and 25 more if J.K. Rowling so chooses. But no more than that. If it were up to me, Harry Potter would become public domain by 2048 (and Star Wars by 2027 and Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Superman, Spiderman and 1984 (The George Orwell Novel) right now!). But no more than that.

     

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  241.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 3:50pm

    Here's why I say 50 years

    When I say 50 years, I really mean "50-years-ish". It could be 40 years. It could be 45 years, It could even be 60 years. As long as these conditions are kept in mind:

    A: It must be a definite time, so that every new years day there will be new works entering the public domain;

    B: It's not so long ago that works in a more comprehensible version of English (or your own native language) are available for use;

    C: It's not so short that people and companies won't have an incentive to create.

    10 years is too short for, say, the 1% of works that may be really successful. The reason why I keep bringing up those 1% is because those people deserve to earn rewards for their fruit too. Forget for a moment your J.K. Rowlings or George Lucases. If we had copyright for only 10 years, his first show story Craphound ( 1998 Cory Doctorow) would be in the public domain right now and Cory couldn't possibly earn any more money for it. Also, Jonathan Coulton couldn't make any more money for his Smoking Monkey album in two years (or "Code Monkey" and "Re: Your Brains" in five). That's why I think it's too short.

    The current length of 95 is too long. because we are so far removed from 1916 that it's as if it were another dimension, yet we have no access to everything in between. Besides, all the extensions that caused such a long term are meant to serve one mouse, if you know what I mean (and you obviously do).

    The maximum copyright term circa "Steamboat Willy" was 56 years. The copyright terms ended soon enough so that Walt Disney (the person) could adapt from stories in the public domain. And keep in mind that copyright terms were extended before Steamboat Willy arrived, just not to the same degree afterwards.

    The TL;DR version is this: 5 years is too short for authors to enjoy the fruits of their later and 500 years gives authors a near-permanent tyrannical monopoly (like is what is happening now)

     

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  242.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:27pm

    Re: 10 years is too short.

    10 Years is way too short. However, 95 years is way too long. That's why I suggest 50 years. It seems fair like that.

    If we're going to have a serious discussion about copyright lengths, we should do better than "seems fair." It has to be based on evidence.

    Obviously, you want the copyright monopoly to last long enough for content producers to recoup their investments, with enough left over to produce more, but not longer than that.

    So, what should happen is that we should have a study that shows how much money creative works bring in over time. Average them out, then set the cutoff date after the income drops below a certain threshold - say, below 10% of their original earnings.

    Also, certain works (e.g. Mickey Mouse) can earn income for much longer than average. So, perhaps we could do the above for the top 1% of creative works separately. The 10% threshold could be a renewed copyright term (but which would not last longer than twice the first term).

    But that brings up another issue: That top 1% is by nature much more famous than the other artworks, therefore much more a part of our collective culture. So, paradoxically, if we are actually trying to maximize the public good, that top 1% should enter the public domain sooner than the other artworks. That could be an argument against copyright extensions.

    Incidentally, patents are theoretically supposed to do the same thing as copyrights. Patents last for a maximum of 20 years. That should give a good indication of the time frame I'm talking about.

    Other than term reductions, there are a number of obvious things that must be done:

    1. Repeal the NET Act in its entirety. For that matter, repeal all copyright laws that were passed afterwards, too.

    2. Eliminate statutory damages for infringement without pecuniary gain. Damage awards for non-commercial infringement must be limited to actual damages.

    3. Widen, and clarify, fair use laws.

    4. Eliminate all criminal infringement laws. For one thing, copyright infringement, alone, does not raise to the level of a criminal offence. For another thing, the public is not harmed by infringement, so they shouldn't have to pay for it. Make the rights holders pay for their own enforcement.

    5. Change the DMCA notice-and-takedown system to a notice-notice-takedown system. That is, give the allegedly infringing parties a chance to respond before the content is taken down.

    6. Clarify 17 USC to make it absolutely clear that third parties to infringement (e.g. search engines or forums) can never be considered the primary infringers. Also, unless those third parties willfully induced copyright infringement (with the burden of proof resting upon the plaintiffs), they should not be liable at any level.

    ...Of course, while I'm at it, I might as well wish for a pony. Copyright has ceased being about evidence, reason, or the public good since 1978 (at the latest).

    Nowadays, it's only about making your donors happy.

     

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  243.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: 10 years is too short.

    Next time I make an argument, I should just quote you in full. Well done!

    By the way, in addition to your pony, I want a unicorn that shits double rainbows.

    Hey, it's probably more likely than what you're suggesting should get past, though.

     

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  244.  
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    DNY (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:01pm

    Opting out when terms change

    Yes, the people have the right to opt out when the government changes the terms of the deal. Unfortunately, the only effective way of doing this is called a revolution (or if the people in a region want to opt out, secession, which tends to involve a war of independence).

    Anyone care to go to the barricades (literally) to undo copyright maximalism?

     

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  245.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Here's why I say 50 years

    If we had copyright for only 10 years, his first show story Craphound ( 1998 Cory Doctorow) would be in the public domain right now and Cory couldn't possibly earn any more money for it.

    It's not possible to make any money selling things in the public domain?

     

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  246.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: 5 microseconds is too long for a copyright abolitionist

    A generation is 20years, for any new works to be created for her he current works I have to wait till 2048 even trough she made billions? Yeah, that is very fair /s. Lets apply this to all works ever made. A builder makes a structure, he gets paid the next 50years for the one time work he did. After all, why shouldn't he be paid?

     

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  247.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Where do you stand?

    protip: use less copy/pasting of ready comments and actually write something yourself next time. It will be hard I know, but it will improve your English

     

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  248.  
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    Bryan O'Doyle, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:39pm

    Curious, am I the only one who finds a desire arising sometimes to click a comment with *insightful* and *funny* and *report* ??? There were a number of those in the past week. It is a HatTrick Comment!!! full of win...

     

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  249.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 1:23am

    Re: 5 microseconds is too long for a copyright abolitionist

    I'd agree that 10 years is too short if copyright has to exist (I prefer the idea of 20-25 plus options to renew for those who require it - creators, not corporations. or heirs).

    But, I think the point I like to make most is that copyright is meant to encourage new works. Apart from Harry Potter, every work you mentioned was created during a time when copyright was much shorter than it is now. Their creators knew this. So, why the hell aren't they PD already? The characters could probably be protected with trademark law, so we're in a situation where because Disney doesn't want to let Steamboat Willie go, other animations (and, yes there were others!) disappear from history because they're left to rot due to copyright..

     

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  250.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 1:54am

    Re: Re: Re: 10 years is too short.

    By the way, in addition to your pony, I want a unicorn that shits double rainbows.

    Your unicorn would be infringing on copyright. What are you, a dirty pirate or something??!!

     

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  251.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 2:18am

    Re: Re: Here's why I say 50 years

    It's not possible to make any money selling things in the public domain?

    I'd like to second this. It's a huge misconception about the public domain.

    If your work enters the public domain, that does not mean you can't still make money off of it, in exactly the same way as you always have.

    It only means you can't prevent others from making money off of that work (or derivative versions).

    Just because Walt Disney made a movie version of Pinocchio, doesn't mean Carlo Collodi's family can't still make money off of the original book if they so choose. Of course, if copyright terms in 1940 were the same as they are now, Pinocchio would have still been under copyright, and the film version might not have even existed.

     

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  252.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 2:32am

    Re: Here's why I say 50 years

    "his first show story Craphound ( 1998 Cory Doctorow) would be in the public domain right now and Cory couldn't possibly earn any more money for it"

    Erm, what?

    1. Cory already gives the story away for free.

    2. It's perfectly possible to earn money from things in the public domain. The PD status just means you lose the artificial monopoly to do so.

     

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  253.  
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    Karl (profile), Sep 18th, 2011 @ 2:00am

    Re: With rights comes obligations

    copyright even in the 10 commandments

    This is completely absurd. Especially since infringement is neither "stealing" nor "coveting anything that belongs to your neighbor."

    It is especially galling because Jesus' teachings were spread by word-of-mouth, without expecting payment to either the speaker nor Jesus himself - something that is antithetical to copyright law. See, for instance, 1 Corinthians 9, where Paul expounds on the "sweat of the brow" argument for paying apostles - and rejects it:
    "What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge..."


    Nor is it seen to be in any way moral in other religions or philosophies, either. Take the Sophists for example. They were people who were paid to teach "arete," and they were roundly criticized by Plato, Aristotle, and Xenophon for this reason (and others).

    That is where we get the term "sophistry," a phrase which ran through my head more than once as I read your comment.

    Now, of course you won't find any direct references to copyright law in most ancient texts - since there was not even anything close to copyright law until very, very modern times. Ancient humans simply couldn't conceive of preventing others from repeating the stories they told.

     

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  254.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 18th, 2011 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: With rights comes obligations

    Don't forget, Karl, about the story of the loaves and the fishes. That's the only accurate analogy of copyright infringement using physical goods I've ever read. Maybe the OP needs to re-evaluate what his religion says is okay.

     

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  255.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Sep 18th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    (oh and get off this website, it's copyright).

    You really don't understand how Mike approaches that, do you?

     

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  256.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who broke what contract?

    They do not need to abolish copyright in the US they need to abolish stupidity.

    Can we start with you, first? It would do the world much good.

     

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  257.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Oh yeah - I'm mad alright....

    I'm mad that my government representatives are selling me out to lobbyists who can buy whatever they want from my officials.

    I'm mad that the judiciary branch has given the OK for this to happen.

    I'm mad because the industry didn't take them up on anything - they proposed it in the first place!

    I'm mad because in no way does my representative government actually represent ME.

    I'm mad because there are those who believe this is perfectly acceptable and I should just get over it.

    I'm also mad at myself, because I know I'll NEVER "get over it" as long as it remains the way it currently stands.

     

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  258.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: How does that even make sense?

    I would have to look it up to be sure, but I think ex post facto only refers to charging someone with a crime. So they can retroactively extend copyright without violating it, but they couldn't prosecute you for criminal copyright infringement for something that was in the public domain at the time you did it.

     

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  259.  
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    Emmanuel Carabott (profile), Sep 20th, 2011 @ 1:10am

    loosing perspective

    I think that moral has actually made it nearly impossible to see this correctly. The retroactive part of each copyright extension is a big problem. Forget for a second whether you agree or disagree with copyright. So there is this agreement that was made between the public and content creators, both have a stake and one day the agreement is change in favor of one party retroactively. How can anyone think this is fair? Now I understand you might subscribe to the believe that content creators should get to own their creations for ever thus any extension is fair in your eyes but thats moral and is probably cause you dont have a vested interest in copyright. If everytime house prices go up, whoever sold you the house comes and claims the added difference because house pricing apply retroactively would you see that as fair? no, no one would.

    Also the idea that whoever is against copyright extension is so because they want to copy stuff for free isn't entirely accurate either. Copyright holds art hostage and as more art is created as long as it is copyrighted there is less possibility for other artists to create. I think we're already living in a world were it is next to impossible to create something new that doesn't infringes to a degree on someone else copyright or even worst patents. Luckly not everyone enforces their copyright because if they did I think there is a good chance art creation would stop. You might think I am exagerating maybe but seriously Think of a story plot line and then search around a bit and see how many times it was done before. Search for photo on a particular subject and see how many you find that are similar.

    Copyright isnt just about creators getting paid, copyright is also about artists / public being able to create their own thing building, inspiring, imitating, deriving from previous works. This didnt come free we paid for this by offering a limited monopoly in exchange for this. As things are this limited monopoly is turning out to be a permanent monopoly disguised as a limited monopoly to make people accept it even if it makes not sense to them. Mike is right in that if this is actually a permanent monopoly there is really no point to it for the general public so might as well abolish it. if you remove copyright from the equation copying becomes lawful again and the artists loose in that they will have to figure out how to protect their works since they will not be able to threating people with the law. Copyright is in the best interest of both artists and the public but a one sided copyright agreement is pointless. Now obviously you cannot simply decide to opt out but I cant see how one can really not be outraged when an agreement is changed over and over again so that you're cheat on whats yours. Going back to the house analogy what if you buy a house for x amount but is not yours until you pay it in full, however year after year the price increases as such it becomes impossible to ever pay it in full with the end result you end up paying the seller all the time but never get actually anything in return. Would anyone not be outraged over this? This is exactly what continuously expanding copyright retro actively is doing. We're paying the price, the price keeps on increasing and the goods we bought with that price (art going in the public domain) is never delivered.

     

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  260.  
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    bongo houzi (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Me and everybody else ..

    I choose not to murder because I find it morally reprehensible. If I choose not to respect copyright it is because I find it morally reprehensible.

    Just because there is a law for whatever does not make it right, especially when it has been permutated into exactly what is was meant to circumvent in the first place.

     

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


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