Too Much Copyright: This Generation's Prohibition

The folks over at ReasonTV have put together a great episode about the state of copyright law today. Hosted by Zach Weissmueller, the video includes three guests. Professor Tom Bell, who is well known for his useful depiction of the insanity of copyright extension via the Mickey Mouse curve, Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh, and the MPAA's Ben Sheffner.
There's a nice animation of the Mickey Mouse curve which is even more powerful than the standard image version:
Sheffner trots out the usual lines about property rights and how we're going to see less content going forward, which Bell rightly scoffs. The video then uses our Sky Is Rising report to highlight how silly Sheffner's claims are. Sheffner also has the unenviable task (because it's a despicable position to take) of claiming that site blocking is a perfectly reasonable solution. Go censorship!

It's also nice to see ReasonTV highlight the ridiculousness of copyright laws today by refusing to use any material covered by copyright to demonstrate certain points. So, rather than show Mickey Mouse, they show three revolving balls, and ask you to imagine how they might come together to form a mouse-like shape.
Is this an exaggeration of the restrictions in place today? Sure. They have a perfectly valid fair use claim to showing Mickey Mouse -- but they're being safe in an era where people are getting sued for the same sorts of things all the time. And, in an era where the MPAA argues, with a straight face, that blocking entire sites is a reasonable remedy, you can understand why they'd rather be safe than sorry.

The whole thing is worth watching, but the key point really comes at the end from Ben Huh, and it's a point that we've been raising for years:
This disconnect between the public's view of copyright and fair use and what should and should not be prosecuted vs. the copyright maximist's view of the law is our generation's prohibition. The law no longer reflects what the society believes to be true. And I think that if they continue to go down that route, they're going to see even bigger backlash.
This is such a key point, and one we've raised over and over again. The disrespect for copyright law today is not because people are uneducated or immoral. It's because copyright law just doesn't make any sense at all. It's so disconnected from reality and societal norms, that people can't respect it. The fact that the industry's response to this is to push to make the laws even more ridiculous and push them further away from people's natural tendencies, is only going to serve the opposite purpose of the maximalists' intentions. They are driving an entire generation into thinking that the whole of copyright law is entirely pointless.


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    STStone, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 7:50pm

    Heh…not exactly the best thing to post after that last post.

     

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      Traveller800 (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:09pm

      Re:

      he has a point though...the MPAA and I.C.E's answer IS to simply shut down websites left, right and center...and to extridite foreign tudents on jumped up charges to face 10 years IN A HIGH SECURITY PRISON!!!

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:28pm

        From: Sir Thomas Moore
        To: Annoying Entitlement 1% Acronymn-Bound Dunce Cabals
        Subject: Practical Morality

        [Ye pirates threaten to copy Sir Thomas' rhetorical logisms (and Paul Scofield's oratory style)]

        Acronymn: "Arrest ye pirates!"

        Moore: "Why? They've broken no law."

        "They're bad! I'll change the law to make them criminal."

        "I'll let them go along until they break the law."

        "So, now you give piracy the benefit of law!"

        "Oh, what would you do? Cut a great road through teh intarwebz to go after ye pirates?"

        "Yes, I'd cut down every site on the web to do that."

        "And what would you do when the pirates turned round on you? The earth is planted thick with websites from 0 to 4pi sterads and if you cut those down, and you're just the bureaucracy to do it, do you really think you can stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"

        "I give ye pirates the benefit of law for my own livelihood's sake."

         

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    ArkahnX (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:08pm

    I've been reading all of Techdirt's articles since I discovered the website during my hunt for knowledge of SOPA and PIPA way back in October. I don't comment hardly at all, as I have difficulty compounding my thoughts into a coherent mass, but I do open up the article on Techdirt as opposed to simply reading it on Google Reader. This way I at least can show some respect to the various authors hosted here in terms of page views.

    Putting that aside, I won't say that the articles here are wholly unbiased. But every time I try to look at what the MPAA and RIAA write, I can barely stand to read it. Some of their statements are so disconnected from reality and the public opinion it would be enough to make one think they were trying to be funny. And I would laugh, if it weren't for the fact that our sad governments keep bending over for these horribly outdated corporations.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:02pm

      Re:

      "I don't comment hardly at all, as I have difficulty compounding my thoughts into a coherent mass"

      I understood everything you said just fine so you must be doing something right.

      Your (alleged) communication difficulties are exactly why you should comment and read the articles and read the comments of others, respond, and engage. You won't learn to communicate well unless you practice. Over time, you will improve. Just like with anything else, practice makes perfect.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:08pm

        Re: Re:

        and, besides, it's better for you to learn effective communication skills here on Techdirt and over the Internet where making silly mistakes is acceptable than for you to turn a poorly written essay or document into your teacher or your boss.

        Also, a good suggestion is to use the preview button before submitting your post (something I used to not do early on because I never thought it was important, but later on I learned that it really helps).

         

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          G Thompson (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          These two comments by the greenish AC should be preserved forever as one of the best comments on TD, or in fact I have ever read on the internet/usenet/fidonet/altnet

          You have just re-established my faith in the theory that humanity has a chance and we are not all devolving into inconsiderate, look at me, mindless masses.

          Kudos to you.


          @ ArkahnX:
          Post whatever you want and make yourself heard. Whether people agree with it or not, understand it or not, or read it. That's their problem and the world will be a better place if more people expressed themselves as you are doing. Welcome

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Post whatever you want and make yourself heard."

            Exactly, he who is afraid to fail will never succeed. Making mistakes is how you learn, if you are afraid to make them you will never learn.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:11pm

    Good. Hopefully copyright as a whole goes the way of prohibition: repealed by constitutional amendment.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:25pm

    My view on DRM...

    I know this is about Copyright, but since DRM is used to fight piracy to protect Copyright, I think this is important...

    There is an old law where, if you drove a car, you had to be as slow as someone who walked in front of the car waving a bell, warning people that a car was coming.

    DRM is the bell ringer and software is the car.

     

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      Richard (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:28am

      Re: My view on DRM...

      DRM is the bell ringer and software is the car.

      and the MPAA and RIAA are the railway companies who sponsored the law...

       

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    Mr Big Content, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

    Society is Ripe For A Revolution

    It is clear society has become corrupt, immoral and ridden with piracy. It's time for a revolution to sweep away the old society and bring in a new, more law-abiding, cleaner one.

    Thank Almighty God for the Second Amendment, that we still have the means to defend ourselves against this encroaching corruption. We can stop it in its tracks before it goes any farther. Who's going to be first against the wall? Let's start with those wonderful Google and Wikipedia guys...

     

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      Chris, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:56pm

      Re: Society is Ripe For A Revolution

      Why kill people when we can kill laws that no longer serve them? Hell, I'm all for firearms but bullets cost money and digging graves is hard work.

       

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      silverscarcat (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:04pm

      Re: Society is Ripe For A Revolution

      I think Chris Dodd needs a visit from the revolutionists before Google or Wikipedia does.

      Do no evil.

      Information should be free.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:09pm

        Re: Re: Society is Ripe For A Revolution

        "Information should be free."

        I agree, and extend to you the opportunity to practice your views by posting as much of your personal information as possible so that we can better understand you as a person and frame our comments accordingly.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: Society is Ripe For A Revolution

          Since you agree, and you choose to take your out of context definition of the term literally, why not you set a good example and volunteer all of your information first?

           

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          The eejit (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Society is Ripe For A Revolution

          You're under the mistaken assertion that the information isn't already available in one form or another. True anonymity in the Internet age is a myth, and one parroted out by those who do not understand it.

          For example, Googling my own full name gives me two more famous people for a large nunmber of hits before I can fine anything on me. But that doesn't mean I'm hidden.

           

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            surfer (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 4:22am

            true anon

            unless of course, you have controlled your online exposure since the inception of the intertubez. no linked in, no facebook, twitter, myspace.

            and when I blog its under psuedoname, and done by VPN via proxy.

            There are some of us out there that actually DO know how to be truly anonymous online. and irrelevant of the laws you put in place, I will always maintain my anonymity.

            -surfer

             

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            Cynyr (profile), Apr 25th, 2012 @ 8:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Society is Ripe For A Revolution

            lol, hit #2 on my non-personalized results is my linked-in profile, of course that is the only hit for me on the first page, although there is a facebook profile that is me of a guy at a party with the same name.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 10:12pm

        Re: Re: Society is Ripe For A Revolution

        Information is free, some people just don't know it yet LoL

         

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      gorehound (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:15am

      Re: Society is Ripe For A Revolution

      The Government and their Corporate Masters are the ones who should face the Wrath of the people.
      Oh wait, most of the people are nothing but mindless Consumers.
      Boycott the MAFIAA
      Only Buy INDIE
      Do not buy new MAFIAA or go to the Theater

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re: Society is Ripe For A Revolution

        Then the MAFIAA will complain about record losses and blame it on piracy. This will give them an excuse to regulate competition off the Internet just like how they destroyed competition through too bad laws outside the Internet.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:46pm

    Techdirt is a tabloid newspaper on the internet. It is putting a spin on everything and truely not in a way the US government would like. However they are not pushing as far as to be lying and attacking Mike or any of the others personally is just so far into Disneyland. I hope the people getting personal would proclaimed their workplace to give stuff for future stories, but I am not holding my breath.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:51pm

    Wait . . . Google and Wikipedia LEAD the anti-SOPA campaign?

    I seem to remember Reddit leading the way on the blackout, and Google and Wikipedia jumping onboard after much hemming and hawing.

     

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      The Groove Tiger (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 10:55pm

      Re:

      Yeah, that was my first thought. But I guess people still think it was Google whodunnit.

       

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        Greevar (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:06am

        Re: Re:

        Reddit is a community of many people. Google is a corporation and a singular entity. It's easier to feel you've made some ground by attacking a single corporation than it is to attack the amorphous masses of internet users.

         

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 3:32am

      Re:

      A lot of pro-SOPA folks seem to really hate those 2 sites, and try to pin conspiracy theories on to them. Really, it's not hard to see why. Both companies champion free access to information, at no charge whatsoever, and yet the for-profit company still makes billions.

      Plus, of course, if these people had to face reality, it would be too complex for them to find an easy scapegoat. A site like Reddit which consists mostly of people posting their opinionsis no good for their needs.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:57pm

    "This Generation's Prohibition"

    Mike, you're talkin bout my generation.

    Wait, I hope I didn't just infringe.

     

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      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 2:21am

      Re:

      Wait, I hope I didn't just infringe.
      'Fraid so... though over in the alternate reality of Saneville not so much since songs 50 years old aren't subject to copyright there.....

       

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      Richard (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:34am

      Re:

      Mike, you're talkin bout my generation.

      Wait, I hope I didn't just infringe.


      You didn't there is no copyright on titles.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:03pm

    I am ashamed to admit I have never considered the possiblity that the entire of our society is now disenchanted will all aspects of copyright law, both as enacted and conceptually. Why some give even a fleeting thought to the wishes of an author strikes me as being archaic and so pre-21st Century.

    My take away, then, is that I/we should hereafter do all I/we can do to ensure semiotic democracy rules the day.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 10:11pm

      Re:

      The iconic idols are dead live the semiotic society behind and embrace the cybernetic society.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:02am

      Re:

      "I am ashamed to admit I have never considered the possiblity that the entire of our society is now disenchanted will all aspects of copyright law, both as enacted and conceptually."

      Conceptually and in pre-1976 practice, copyright law was great!
      Simple, effective, practical.
      Then Disney started pushing it's agenda as their earliest cartoons were reaching automatic Public Domain status.
      The resulting mess is largely their fault.

       

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        AzureSky (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:52am

        Re: Re:

        the sad part is, having talked with people the likes of those who pushed for extensions at Disney, They actually think that if they didnt "protect" their "property" that they would have lost money had steamboat mickey gone into the public domain....

        they think that if they cant control something and be the only ones profiting from it, that its costing them money...

        makes me sad but, having worked for people like this....I can tell you, they arent the brightest most logical bunch, they may be smart in some ways(and some are very smart in a very limited scope) but in other ways they are flat out morons.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:05pm

    " They are driving an entire generation into thinking that the whole of copyright law is entirely pointless."

    The whole of copyright law _is_ entirely pointless. It's an an ever-expanding, civil-rights-destroying monopoly that's never been shown to actually fulfill its original purpose: "to promote the useful arts and sciences."

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 11:21pm

      Re:

      (Technically, copyright law is only the "to promote the useful ... sciences" part, where "sciences" meant "literature and art". The "to promote the useful arts..." part was patents, the "art" referring to artisan work, like inventions, etc.)

      To be fair, it did fulfill its original purpose, but that was when it was relatively hard to copy things, compared to modern day technology.

      I'm thinking, if any amendment is to be made about copyright, that it shouldn't repeal it, but restrict the terms to something like, maybe, 8 years? (Maybe it should be a formula for a negative correlation with Moore's Law.)

       

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        Greevar (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:13am

        Re: Re:

        The problem with leaving any kind of copyright in place at all is that lobbyists will perpetually try to restore it to its former powers. No, you can't solve it by anything but a full repeal. You have to make certain that it's gone and stays gone.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          At this point, I'm somewhat agreeing.

          When I Google creative commons books, for example, I get this list.

          http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Books

          However, I can't conveniently get access to these books anymore. Few are willing to host them without requiring a login. Before what happened to Megaupload, I used to have access to all sorts of permissibly licensed books just by hitting a download button. Megaupload, Scribd, etc... would host them. After what happened to Megaupload, all of these file sharing services, that substantially hosted non-infringing content, no longer host non-infringing content to be easily downloadable (ie: without registering at least). I have to Google these titles separately and go through all this extra trouble to find and download them. Very few are willing to host permissibly licensed or independent books and content and make them easily available anymore because of the associated liability.

          I blame IP laws and the government-industrial complex directly.

          This is especially true of new startups, maybe only incumbents like Youtube who already have the resources to stand their ground in court would be willing to fight and even they are being held to insane standards in places like Germany.

          Like IP extremists on Techdirt have said a few times, this isn't just about whether or not they are guilty of breaking the law. What it's really about is stopping competition altogether and it's working.

          Just like the government industrial complex have destroyed everything outside the Internet through too many anti-competitive laws, they are doing the same thing to the Internet. It's unacceptable. Bakeries are afraid to allow children to draw custom drawings on their birthday cakes because they may draw an infringing picture of Spongebob. Restaurants and other venues are afraid to host independent performers (without paying royalties to collection societies under the pretext that someone might infringe) because they may get sued by some collection society and face expensive legal battles. The government-industrial complex wrongfully monopolize Cableco infrastructure and broadcasting airwaves and they use their military power to prevent competition from entering these domains.

          At this point, I'm all for abolishing IP laws. If they can stay in some reasonable form, I do think some good could come from them. But I'm very skeptical.

           

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            AzureSky (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I would say "working as intended" not as the founders intended, but as big content/big business intended/intend.

            welcome to the Incorporated States of America, enjoy your stay.....and give them your money.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:07pm

    Piracy increase sales 300% for author.
    Youtube: Gaiman on Copyright Piracy and the Web

    If that doesn't dispel the myth that copyright is something good, see the study about monkeys producing paintings and rewards.
    Quote:
    In 1962, Desmond Morris did an experiment where monkeys produced art. After starting to reward them, their quality continued to decrease until they produced the bare minimum to get rewarded.

    Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/l8plw/til_in_1962_desmond_morris_did_an_experiment/

    Copycrap like any monopoly is a bad thing.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:23pm

      Re:

      Wow. Are you really comparing a wild animal to a human? LOL! A monkey in a science experiment and a human being paid to create a game/music/whatever are not the same thing. Are you seriously saying people shouldn't be paid to make things like video games and music?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:52pm

        Re: Re:

        Funny how humans and monkeys behave the same way isn'tit?

        Quote:
        The overjustification effect occurs when an expected external incentive such as money or prizes decreases a person's intrinsic motivation to perform a task. According to self-perception theory, people pay more attention to the external reward for an activity than to the inherent enjoyment and satisfaction received from the activity itself.

        Source: Wikipedia: Overjustification Effect

        One can possibly infer by that, that using copyright to incentivize the creation of anything is a bad thing, because it harms the goal of creating more quality content, so that copyright should not be used for it and instead another way should be found that produces something better, maybe like cooperative production where everybody contributes to a certain production and everybody rips the benefits of that production?

        People should always get paid for services and work they do, they should never be allowed to extract rent from past work and copyright do exactly that.

        If you believe otherwise have you paid your car manufacturer this month? have you paid the farmers, apparel people, and everybody you depend on to work for their contributions that you steal from everyday and never pay a dime?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:03pm

        Re: Re:

        You forget that humans are also animals, we are not that different from them when it comes to basics, they have all the same underlying instincts that we have and tend to act in the same manner, that is why they are used as proxies in psychological experiments.

        You can understand that can't you?

         

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  •  

    Better safe than sorry

    And that's why I try to read works by authors dead before January 1st, 1912 (since the longest copyright term in Earth is life+100 years - better safe than sorry). Or else, works by authors that *continually* use CC-BY-SA or "higher".

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:14pm

      Re: Better safe than sorry

      You do realize, of course, that you can also read books by contemporary authors?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 10:05pm

        Re: Re: Better safe than sorry

        Not without being called a thief though.

         

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          AzureSky (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Better safe than sorry

          wrong http://www.baen.com/library/defaultTitles.htm

          free and even encouraged to be shared, also some of their titles you buy come with a cd/dvd thats got all of that authors previous works on it, and is licenced to encourage you to copy and share the disk(not kidding)

          baen has found since the initial exparement that the authors whos works are offered free in part or in whole make more due to this "Free eBooks" deal then they make before their works are put up free.

          good stuff....to bad more authors/publishers cant catch the clue.

           

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          AzureSky (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Better safe than sorry

          wrong http://www.baen.com/library/defaultTitles.htm

          free and even encouraged to be shared, also some of their titles you buy come with a cd/dvd thats got all of that authors previous works on it, and is licenced to encourage you to copy and share the disk(not kidding)

          baen has found since the initial exparement that the authors whos works are offered free in part or in whole make more due to this "Free eBooks" deal then they make before their works are put up free.

          good stuff....to bad more authors/publishers cant catch the clue.

           

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            TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 2:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Better safe than sorry

            Both the authors and publishers are trapped in a thought maze that says a "shared" book is a lost sale. Of course, as the video succinctly explains the opposite it true. Similarly to the fact that a lent book doesn't result in a lost sale but often results in increased sales.
            They're so trapped in finding the way out of the maze that they've missed the exit hundreds of times. It's clearly marked though they miss it because it doesn't enter into their minds that what they see IS the exit.
            Whether it's copying or lending or whatever they can't get beyond that property thing to latch on to the reality is that the more a creation is shared, lent, copied the more the person(s) responsible for it's creation and initial distribution are rewarded. They can't catch the clue because, in their minds, the clue doesn't exist or, where it does, they call it "piracy" or "theft".

             

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    Nic, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:42pm

    I like the analogy to prohibition because it's in many ways quite similar.

    The alcohol prohibition was the government forcefully pushing its morals onto the people, morals its citizens just didn't share at all. So it became completely trivial to break those laws just as if it was jaywalking.

    Copyrights are becoming so out of touch with reality and getting so far away from their original goal to promote works and creativity that they're actually stifling them instead. And the public is becoming more and more cynical over the special interests buying those laws that they stop respecting them because they're too ridiculous and completely unreasonable.

    So yes, copyright law is probably this generation's prohibition. It would be fun if a Pirate Party could start influencing politics in North America like they are in Europe.

     

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      varagix, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 10:44pm

      Re:

      With the way that US elections work, they'd either get next to no influence, or would have to compromise their goals to get support from one of the two main parties. If voting were like in the EU where percentage of party votes = percentage of party representation, then it might be different and we -maybe- wouldn't have a 2 party system.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 2:57am

      Re:

      Ironically, the liquor business is now so big that government dares not try another Prohibition-type law on it.
      But the tobacco business, which was once-equally powerful, is now being Prohibited, slowly but surely.

      Considering the numbers of proven deaths/injuries caused by the products of both industries are about equal, it doesn't seem logical.

       

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        silverscarcat (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:58am

        Re: Re:

        Because alcohol doesn't kill people around you like tobacco smoke does.

         

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          Kaden (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 6:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm not sure the victims of drunk drivers would agree with your conjecture.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And that is why driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal and I doubt that even people opposed to the banning of alcohol are opposed to that.

             

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              Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 2:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And that is why driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal
              But killing someone with a car while drunk as a skunk recieves a significantly smaller jail sentence typically than, say, fraud or copyright infringement. Nice to know where the government's priorities lie isn't it?

               

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            Richard (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 11:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Because alcohol doesn't kill people around you like tobacco smoke does.
            I'm not sure the victims of drunk drivers would agree with your conjecture.

            They would be wrong - and he is right.
            Alcohol doesn't kill people around you in the same way that tobacco does.
            Tobacco is harmful to the user/bystander in any dose and under any circumstances.
            Alcohol is only harmful is very specific circumstances i.e. only in excessive quantities or combined with another activity.

             

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          Goyo, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          We were taling about proven deaths/injuries.

           

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      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:13am

      Re:

      Then vote for them if they have any candidates in your area. Failing that, the Greens tend to side with the Pirates so vote for them. The trouble with your electoral system is that it is similar to ours. This means the Pirates need more votes than they would under proportional representation.

      However, people tend to vote for those candidates they believe will get in because they don't want to risk "wasting" their vote by voting for a minor party. Vote for them anyway. If enough people do, the majority parties will have to deal with them. Eventually, one of the majors will end up being sidelined. This is why the Liberal Party in the UK is no longer the Opposition. That's gone to Labour.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Party_%28UK%29

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:44am

        Re: Re:

        It's not that simple though. Most US states put up major barriers to entry in the form of ballot access laws. That's in addition to the fact that the mainstream media gives the major parties almost exclusive coverage, and the fact that those guys love throwing around (and catching) millions of dollars at a time.

        The pirates are utterly dwarfed. Any noise they make will be drowned out by the Big Two.

         

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 9:42pm

    Re. Sheffner and the MPAA

    I have only one thing to say about these shills: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 10:50pm

    Look, more magician's flash paper! Don't look at the real issues, just concentrate over here on this one thing, and ignore everything else.

    Quick question: What is mostly pirated? What is mostly subject to copyright abuse? What is most likely to be re-used without permission?

    It's not the mouse.

    Getting all uppity about copyright extension is one thing, but really - the action isn't happening out there. It's happening up close, new material, newer songs, newer movies.

    Don't let the flash paper distract you. The real story is over here.

     

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      Greevar (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:24am

      Re:

      What is mostly pirated?

      Copyrighted works are. Without copyright, there is no piracy.

      What is mostly subject to copyright abuse?
      That would be broad and vague ideas that copyright holders use to inhibit others from benefiting from those works in anything other than a read-only relationship.

      What is likely to be re-used without permission?

      Again, it would be vague ideas and interpretations of the expressions. The likes of Disney are free to take what has come before and remake it, yet they deny others the ability to do the same to their remakes. Such is the way of those that support a double standard.

       

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:59am

      Re:

      The real story is over here.

      Both stories are real. Both stories are valid. And while closely connected, they are also two separate stories.

      Half of the content on Techdirt is about current, active piracy of new material and suggestions for pragmatic ways of fighting it. Please don't act like we are ignoring that side of copyright. The best way to fight active media piracy is by offering better legitimate alternatives.

      The stagnation of the public domain due to long copyright terms, bad records and copyfraud is not the same problem, just related. There, you have a huge dearth of economic activity, with decades of material going under-exploited, which is also a huge dearth of cultural activity, with the same material becoming virtually unavailable - all caused by the fact that we grant commercial monopolies that last much longer than such monopolies are worth. All because one in a million copyrights - like MIckey Mouse - is still worth something 80 years later, we're now saddled with laws that grant such a monopoly to everything.

      It is hardly insane or stupid to address those two aspects of copyright separately at times. Of course, there is also plenty of overlap - if the public domain was (as it was originally supposed to be) ten times as big and full of much more recent works, don't you think the piracy of new media would decrease? And don't you think people would have more respect for copyright, and would be more open to stronger enforcement laws, if it wasn't a mysterious draconian umbrella that they are told covers every single piece of culture that is familiar to them?

       

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    saulgoode (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 11:45pm

    Quick question: What is mostly pirated? What is mostly subject to copyright abuse? What is most likely to be re-used without permission?

    It's not the mouse.

    Then there should be no objection to reverting the duration of copyright back to its 1978 level (of up to 48 years).

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:06am

      Re:

      "Then there should be no objection to reverting the duration of copyright back to its 1978 level (of up to 48 years)."

      It was 56 years (28 plus a renewal if you did the paperwork of another 28).

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 1:17am

    Prohibition has done shit little to me but I have suffered for years at the hands of alcoholics and drug addicts.

    It's OK I will take care of them for y'all. Wouldn't want to impinge upon their rights and freedoms.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 2:00am

      Re:

      Is sad when parents are addicts.

       

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      The Devil's Coachman (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:55am

      Re:

      Ummmmmm................what?

       

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 4:49am

      Re:

      "I have suffered for years at the hands of alcoholics and drug addicts."

      You still would have done if prohibiton was still in place. Unless you're stupid enough to believe that prohibition actually stopped people from drinking. Pretty much all it really achieved was a more dangerous product and the advent of large-scale organised crime.

      "Wouldn't want to impinge upon their rights and freedoms."

      Good. Until they are in violation of a law, they have the exact same rights as you, no matter how much you personally dislike them.

       

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    Michael, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 6:55am

    The thing about the copyright maximalists is that they fear having to come up with new ideas and works on a comporable level to their older stuff like Mickey Mouse, The Beatles, Star Wars, etc. etc. In short, they've become lazy ideasmen, complacent with the notion that they'll continue to find newfangled methods to hawk the same old ideas to the public ad nausea. In this way, the corporate middle-men, who do none of the actual work, are ensured a constant revenue stream. Anything which can be preceived as eating away at that revenue stream, e.g. file-sharing sites, is treated like a threat. The government has, in effect, become the enforcers for entreprenurial aristocrats and have proven to be quite willing to erode our rights in the process.

    They'll either protect the rights of the greater public or dismantle ours for the sake of the corporate elite and risk public backlash. They can't have it both ways.

    Is piracy equivalent to stealing? I don't know but I'll err on the safe side, not because I fear the law but rather God. Regardless of how unjust or corrupt the people in power are, that doesn't give me carte blanche to do whatever I want. Two wrongs don't make a right, after all.

    Just my two cents.

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:12pm

      Re:

      I'm going to open this by saying that God doesn't care about our squabbles over copyright and more than God cares about the outcome of a sporting event.

      As you say (indirectly) the ironic part of the attitude of IP Maximalists in the so-called "content industry" often end up copying themselves. Over and over again. A perfect illustration of just how uncreative those running the business in the "content" industry truly are. That's not to say that those lower down the food chain aren't creative. Many are wonderfully so.

      For them, it's alright to copy files, scripts, indeed whole film and recording catalogues because they own them, dammit!

      The notion that they should pay attention to the "greater good is laughable to them.

      And yes, I know that the only job of the board of directors for a publicly traded corporation is to make as much money as possible for the shareholders. I'd suggest that as attitudes towards and about he insanity that copyright has become I'm suggesting that, over time, being a maximalist will hurt sale and profits as much or more far worse that piracy is supposed to have had.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:32pm

        Re: Re:

        I know that the only job of the board of directors for a publicly traded corporation is to make as much money as possible for the shareholders.

        You swallowed that one? It may be the theory - but my observation is that the only job of the board of directors is to divert as much money as possible to the board of directors.

         

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          Richard (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Whoops - last comment is mine!

           

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            TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Shhhhhh..no one is supposed to know that. It's supposed to be secret!!!

            In either event my comment stands, that they don't create much of anything. They just copy. And they want to toss people in jail for doing what they do.

            If the Board and Executive get most of the money then that shows how brain impaired the shareholders are.

             

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 5:13am

      Re:

      "new ideas and works on a comporable level to their older stuff like Mickey Mouse, The Beatles, Star Wars, etc. etc"

      Amusingly enough, however, none of those were actually new ideas...

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 8:53pm

      Re:

      Please don't bring God into these discussions. This isn't a religious website, and I can guarantee there are people who don't care about your religious beliefs.

       

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    JQP, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 6:56am

    We have met the enemy and it is The Copyright Cartel.

    The discussion is about what exists in fact, not the idealist dream of copyright.

    What exists in fact is The Copyright Cartel.

    The Copyright Cartel is the anti-human, greed-driven aberrant monster that was accidentally created through failed experiments at copyright and that exists today as both an enemy of the people and of progress.

    The Copyright Cartel exists solely to accumulate massive wealth almost exclusively using terrorism via the threat of the force of law. Remember that law is a concept that is meant to protect society's interests, not The Copyright Cartel's wealth-accumulation methods.

    The Copyright Cartel is an enemy of the people, period. It must perish.

    The legal and effective way to cause The Copyright Cartel to perish to starve it to death.

    It only takes the actions of the people to succeed.

    The Copyright Cartel itself, the so-called "rulers" owned by The Cartel, and all the greedy hangers-on making their livings off supporting their anti-human terrorism must be boycotted in every way imaginable and starved into non-existence.

     

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    The Logician (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:42am

    Michael, I respect your position, however, theft cannot occur without loss. And as no loss occurs in infringement, which is merely the creation or use of an unofficial copy, it is therefore not theft. You cannot steal what cannot be diminished, and digital content cannot be diminished so long as new copies are made. Infringement or sharing is addition, not subtraction, and it is also multiplication on an exponential level. Stealing, therefore, is unethical, but infringement is not.

    JQP, for any boycott to be successful, it must inflict billions of dollars worth of damage upon its targets, because these companies are multi-billion dollar companies and in order to cripple them, they must suffer monetary damage on that level. For that to happen, it would require hundreds of millions of participants in a worldwide, coordinated effort.

    I would not be opposed to such an effort, however, but to launch such an economic offensive on that scale would require a great deal of planning and preparation and the involvement of major sites on the internet to ensure the message reaches as many individuals as possible. The support of several major technology companies and consumer rights organizations would further bolster this effort, as they did for the anti-SOPA blackouts.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:17pm

      Re:

      Yes, theft cannot occur without a loss- but what about unjust enrichment? Is that somehow OK in your world? You take the creative output of another- that is being offered for sale- for your own personal enjoyment, without compensating the rightful owner and that is not unethical? You need to change your name from The Logician to The Self-Serving Excuse Maker.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:04pm

        Re: Re:

        Yep somebody that doesn't do any work and claims it is owned certainly should be charged with illegal enrichment, but I doubt copyright owners would be happy with that.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:06pm

        Re: Re:

        Why should anybody be paid for work they did last year?
        Who else in society get that kind of privilege?

        Nobody is the answer to the second question.
        But somehow some people believe they should get money just because they did some work at some point in time and everybody who doesn't agree is immoral LoL

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 5:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's a stupid analogy. Look at it from the consumption perspective. Tangible goods are consumed or used. You pay the full price at time of acquisition/use. Entertainment is consumed as an experience. If a film producer has to recoup investment on a single sale (like a manufacturer) then the first guy would pay $20 million and everyone else would get it for free. How would that work? The ability to recoup incrementally over time is what makes entertainment affordable.

           

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            Richard (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 6:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If a film producer has to recoup investment on a single sale (like a manufacturer) then the first guy would pay $20 million and everyone else would get it for free. How would that work? The ability to recoup incrementally over time is what makes entertainment affordable.
            Actually the economics DO work - you just haven't thought it through.

            The first guy doesn't pay $20 million - he pays (say) a little more than 10 million.

            No he and the creator have each shelled out around $10 million (net) and have an equal interest in the distribution.

            Next they each sell a share to another person for just over 5 million - Now we have 4 people - each having a net investment of around 5 million.

            This process continues until the price is down to a level where a buyer feels they have sufficient value from their purchase not to need to sell again. At that point all the early entrants including the original creator are in profit (because they always sold for a little more than half what they paid) and all the later entrants have paid for (early access to) the work. From this point on it can be distributed for free and everyone will be happy.

            See - it just takes a little creative thought to see how it could work!

             

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            Karl (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 9:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Look at it from the consumption perspective. Tangible goods are consumed or used. You pay the full price at time of acquisition/use.

            That's not true of Tangible goods, either.

            If you produce a hammer, there are essentially two costs to make it: sunk (fixed) costs, and marginal costs. Marginal costs are, the cost of the materials to make that particular hammer, plus whatever labor costs were used to produce that particular hammer. Sunk costs would be the cost to buy property for the hammer factory, the costs of the machines used to mass-produce the hammers, etc.

            In a perfectly competitive market, unit price tends to drop to the marginal cost. This is the point at which the minimum price, and the maximum profit for the producer, are attained.

            That's not true for a monopoly, where the producer can assign the price based purely on a supply/demand curve, without having to take costs into account. That is, they can price their product as high as they want to, up to a maximum point where raising it would cause people to buy less of it, even if their costs are zero.

            As you can imagine, unit prices under a monopoly are far higher than unit prices under a competitive market. Monopolies tend to cause the price to go up, not down.

            And copyright, as many people have made explicit, is just such a monopoly. Copyright doesn't keep prices down. It keeps prices high.

             

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        The Logician (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 7:34am

        Re: Re:

        As you have not provided any empirical evidence of your claim, AC 135, your argument has no support and is therefore invalid. There is no structural difference between an infringing file and a non-infringing one, as they both contain the same sequence of information. It often difficult to tell whether a file is infringing. Even courts of law struggle to do so.

        In addition, you have not demonstrated any provable loss or that such "enrichment" is unethical at all. If you wish to be believed, you must support your statements with evidence, and it must not have been created by the legacy entertainment industries. The kind of control you seek is not possible with the existence of digital technology, and it would not be advisable for you to continue to attempt to retain it. What you seek is identical to attempting to empty the ocean with a spoon. It cannot be done.

        Fear of the unknown is understandable, as is the use of moral outrage to mask it. However, clinging to such emotions will only hold you back. Also, the use of insults and condescension immediately discredits you, so do not use them. They are especially useless against me, as this persona has no emotion and therefore cannot feel insulted. If you will not be more constructive and receptive in the future, then you will become obsolete along with the legacy entertainment industries whose views you share.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:48am

    Second Amendment

    "Thank Almighty God for the Second Amendment, that we still have the means to defend ourselves against this encroaching corruption. We can stop it in its
    tracks before it goes any farther. Who's going to be first against the wall? Let's start with those wonderful Google and Wikipedia guys..."

    I am against copyright, and I frankly find the Second Amendment parody unfunny and offensive.
    It's very strange that antigun propaganda infects even copyright discussions.

    Second Amendment and defending copyright has nothing to do with each other, and libertarian progun advocates are as if not even more likely to favor abolition of copyright than statist socialists.

     

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    tp, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:07am

    It's limiting both sides...

    One important thing missing was that the limitations are not meant to make hobbyist's lives any better. There is a reason for it. They're designed to protect _professional_ authors of creative works. Noone cares about some hippy in his garage filming propaganda against riaa/mpaa. The _professional_ word is important here. In case you can't do it with creative industry, you should stay silent. If you receive no money for your creative output, stay silent.

    It is causing limitations on both the creators and the end users. Creators need to work longer to get their work acceptable quality, since the output of the world is not available to be included inside the work. To offset that, the world will follow some limitations. See how we used the word "world" twice. It ensures that new content is being created by professionals, instead of just endless chain of copying of existing popular works.

    How the hobbyist aspect is working out is this: Allowed work hours divides people's time to two parts, work time, and free time. During work time, people are considered professionals and _everyone_ needs to generate enough money. During free time, people are free to do anything they want, but cannot expect money generation. Your hippy riaa/mpaa video was done in free time, changing the equation slightly.

    The real problem is that internet people assume that they can compete against professionals while using their free time. It just does not work like that. Attempt to compete using free time will be rejected by the publishers. It's a small problem with the internet - the division between free time and work time is disappearing and work time is taking over with free time disappearing. This is considered a bad thing.

    So why does the world have to follow some arbitrary limitations about copying people's work? It's about availability. All work that is available should be coming from the _professional_ authors of creative works, and not from the copycats who just duplicate existing works or use free time to create it. This is why the author has ability to prevent others to copy it. Or allow it if he so wishes. But it needs to be checked separately for each case, whether that one person can survive in case widespread copying happens.

    Hobbyist filming videos in his free time cannot understand the problems those professional authors are facing. Free time is about fun and games, not about generating money. Thus the internet is wrong. We haven't seen this in a long time.

    In summary, if you're spending your free time, you're not expected to work hard. But you also cannot expect to receive money from those hours. Copyright and professional authors are completely separate issue. It's about money and only that. And the expectation that everyone in the world has some way to get it. The system has chosen that content creation is useful enough activity that those authors should be able to expect getting paid some money.

    There is a grey area between work time and free time. It's when people are practising their skills to ensure that they can most efficiently create works whenever it becomes professional activity. Preparation for professional activity is a small exception. But this grey area is not supposed to be used for competing against professional authors. Internet broke this area completely by allowing everyone to publish on the internet without the checks/filters that were implemented by publishers. The check that prevented use of free time before publishing the work. It allowed work done in free time to be published, providing availability of non-professional work.

     

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      Richard (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:36am

      Re: It's limiting both sides...

      Copyright and professional authors are completely separate issue. It's about money and only that.
      And the expectation that everyone in the world has some way to get it. The system has chosen that content creation is useful enough activity that those authors should be able to expect getting paid some money.


      That can be done by commissioning the work upfront - no copyright required. Many of the great works of art in history were made that way. (eg Beethoven's 9th).

      Plus many great works have been created by your despised "amateurs". How about Holst's "Planets" suite?

      The reality is that this copyright thing is actually a recent aberration!

       

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        tp, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:53am

        Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

        >That can be done by commissioning the work upfront - no >copyright required. Many of the great works of art in >history were made that way. (eg Beethoven's 9th).

        Copyright is not about how people are being paid or how the work is created. It's about availability of products and which products are allowed to the market. Copyright prevents certain kinds of products to enter the markets. One such product is a product that was copied in it's entirety. Another product is such that was created by using people's free time. If your work can be easily copied by _everyone_ in the world, then authors have no position in the marketplace, when those limited number of opportunities for selling products are taken by products that were directly copied with small amount of effort. Copyright tries to keep the market in the hands of original authors, and not in the hands of simple copiers. How the products were created is not relevant - only the market is. The piracy thing is failure in this process; part of the market was lost and original authors do not have opportunity to fill those positions. New people who want to be authors cannot fill those opportunities, since someone already fullfilled the need for such product.

         

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          Richard (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

          Copyright is not about how people are being paid or how the work is created. It's about availability of products and which products are allowed to the market.

          You are factually right - are you saying that copyright is evil.

          Copyright prevents certain kinds of products to enter the markets..... Another product is such that was created by using people's free time.

          Any good reason for that - it would have stopped Holst's "Planets" since he obtained his income as a teacher - not as a composer?

           

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            tp, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

            >Any good reason for that - it would have stopped Holst's >"Planets" since he obtained his income as a teacher - not as >a composer?

            well, the Planets would have been replaced by some other work by some other author. And bonus would be that now 2 people have enough money to live, instead of just Hoist getting all of it.

            In practise, if a work is created, it will get some market from the publishers. But the area reserved for each product is smaller if the author is not doing it for living.

             

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              Richard (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

              Are you serious?

              If you are then you are an idiot!

              By your reckoning all the popular artists who have already earned enough to last them until the end of their lives should stop working immediately!

               

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                tp, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:58pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                >By your reckoning all the popular artists who have already >earned enough to last them until the end of their lives >should stop working immediately!

                Competition still needs to work. People are evaluated by how much money they can get.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 1:28pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  Maybe that is the problem.
                  Companies make a lot of money but are not producing the most important part of the equation and that is work, most work has been outsourced and that is a problem because it also decimates the internal market making any country vulnerable to to other countries markets.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:24pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                    Maybe that is the problem.
                    Companies make a lot of money but are not producing the most important part of the equation and that is work, most work has been outsourced and that is a problem because it also decimates the internal market making any country vulnerable to to other countries markets.


                    That certainly doesn't apply to the US motion picture and television industry. Unlike the tech companies, they don't outsource to nearly that degree and they don't abuse the visa exceptions to hire foreigners. By comparison, the tech companies are in the same league as Wal Mart.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:03pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                      Are you kidding me?

                      LoL

                      Quote:
                      Lucasfilm www.lucasfilm.com. Autodesk® Maya®. We are very proud of what our Singapore team has achieved with. Transformers 3.


                      images.autodesk.com/adsk/files/lucasfilm_maya_transformers3.pdf

                       

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                        Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:27pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                        Are you kidding me?

                        Yeah, no kidding. When was the last time any animation was actually produced in America? It's all farmed out to North Korea. And half of the Syfy Network's shows are filmed in Vancouver.

                        I mean, that's a total joke. Whatever the tech industry's failing, it created more American jobs in the past ten years than Hollywood ever has. And it's not like Hollywood is giving back to the nation; they get tax breaks out the wazoo. (See e.g. the Domestic Production Activities Deduction.) Hell, even tech companies from India paid more in taxes to the U.S. than Hollywood did last year.

                         

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                          Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:31pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                          farmed out to North Korea

                          Oops, yes, I did mean South Korea. My bad.

                          Although, apparently North Korea makes a few as well.

                           

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                          Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 5:45am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                          How much is animation a percentage of aggregate production and aggregate spending? Syfy? You have to be kidding. Syfy pays a 1.5-2 million dollar license fee up front for each of their productions and then if the producer needs more than that they have to sell additional rights. How many movies does Syfy do a year?

                          As for the tech firms, how many computers or digital devices are manufactured in the US? Any?

                           

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                  Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 1:52pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  People are evaluated by how much money they can get.

                  I have never known any industry, artistic or not, where this is true. Hell, if what you said is true, there would be no need for college degrees, industry awards, or accreditations.

                  People are evaluated by how good their (artistic) labor is. A higher evaluation may enable them to demand more money, but the reverse certainly isn't true.

                   

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                  Richard (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:04pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  Competition still needs to work. People are evaluated by how much money they can get.

                  You have cause and effect the wrong way round.

                  You are seriously confused.

                  The world does not revolve around money.

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 1:29pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

              Like Tolkien?

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 1:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

          If that is true how do you explain Red Hat?

          They give it away their product for free, everybody can copy, distribute, modify and even sell it, and despite all of that it is now a billion dollar company.

          So I say that the view that you need a granted monopoly is just an excuse designed to shift the perception and make it others accept an erosion of their own rights for the benefit of others that don't really need that monopoly to make a living.

           

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          Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

          Copyright prevents certain kinds of products to enter the markets. One such product is a product that was copied in it's entirety.

          I go to an electronics store. I can either buy an iPod, or a cheap Chinese-made MP3 player for less than half the cost. It is perfectly legal.

          If Apple sells fewer iPods because of those cheap MP3 players, that's not a failure of the marketplace. It's a failure of Apple's business model.

          Same here. If someone can copy your product in its entirety, a free market dictates that they should be allowed to do so. If you can't compete with them, then you have a problem with your business model. That's not a "failure" of the marketplace - it's a success. The end result is maximum value for consumers, and maximum opportunity for companies to make money (just not your company).

          It certainly does not mean that "authors have no position in the marketplace." Authors have something nobody else has: the ability to produce new works. That should be rewarded, but there's no requirement that the reward should come only from selling copies of the works. (And, even without piracy, it usually doesn't: most artists get the majority of their income by accepting a fee or salary for their labor, not from copyright royalties.)

          Also:
          http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe

          Another product is such that was created by using people's free time.

          You're actually saying that copyright should prevent artworks from entering the market that were created "using people's free time?"

          If so, this you are a total moron. Even the most hardened copyright maximalists don't believe this (or claim not to, at any rate).

          It also goes against the 1976 Copyright Act, which granted copyright to anyone who creates a work, using their free time or not.

          If "amateur" artists can enter the market, they should do so. If the market accepts their work more than the "professionals," the market should do so. This is not a problem. "Fixing" it is a problem.

           

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            Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 1:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

            If so, this

            Oops. "If so, then". I guess I shouldn't criticize grammatical mistakes when I make them myself.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

            Same here. If someone can copy your product in its entirety, a free market dictates that they should be allowed to do so. If you can't compete with them, then you have a problem with your business model.

            Exactly. If I have the ability to copy stuff at zero cost, ideally there is nothing stopping me from doing it. That's the natural state of things. The burden of proof is on those trying to go against nature by setting artificial restrictions like copyright.

             

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          TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

          Copyright prevents certain kinds of products to enter the markets. One such product is a product that was copied in it's entirety. Another product is such that was created by using people's free time. If your work can be easily copied by _everyone_ in the world, then authors have no position in the marketplace, when those limited number of opportunities for selling products are taken by products that were directly copied with small amount of effort. Copyright tries to keep the market in the hands of original authors, and not in the hands of simple copiers. How the products were created is not relevant - only the market is.


          As you're defending this so eloquent, mistakes of logic, ignorance of history, the law and more I have to assume you believe this nonsense.

          It's really hard to know where to start. It may come as a complete surprise to you that most authors before they were published and signed with a publisher did create their work in their "free" or spare time. And it was that work that was submitted to one or more publishers by the author for them to get published. At some point it was picked up, revised in line with an editors suggestions (also in free or spare time) and then published. New authors don't get cozy things like advances, you know. Rarely does a new work by a previously unknown writer become a best seller to their first work will have a limited print run and far less promotion than, say, Stephen King.
          In your imaginary world this writer wasn't a professional because he wasn't published prior to the publisher running off a couple of thousand books. In the real world, by the way, the writer has, by then assigned their copyright to the publisher.
          Let's move on. You claim that if a writer chooses to release a work under a Creative Commons license then they cannot be, by your definition of the word, a professional because they will never sell anything. Real world experience says otherwise whether you like that or not. The existence of downloaded free copies actually increases the ability to sell, if not that work, then the next one. The sales possibilities, then, are not limited. Except by imagination, of which you have little. Before moving on every Creative Commons work I know, including my own, are protected by copyright.
          About all you say that makes sense is when you say that how the work is created doesn't matter, the market does. Which invalidates your statement that works created in "spare" or "free" time can't possibly be professional.
          As for a world flooded with copies I'd suggest you read the background behind the Statute of Anne in England which created copyright. You'll find that publishers were flooding the market with the same works by the same authors at the same time. In part, then, copyright came about to protect the publishing industry at the time from itself. The other goal of expanding education is similar to the stated goals of copyright in the United States.
          Incidentally, a market exists on so called "pirate" sites that's counted by the number of downloads or active torrent links.
          Copyright may attempt to keep the works in the hand of the rights holder but THAT more often that not is not the author.
          Until the advent of the Internet and the Web it was publishing houses NOT copyright status that by and large determined the market for written goods. Works in the public domain were printed although those things that made a particular publisher's edition unique were covered by copyright even though the work was not. IF you can...think Holy Bible.
          As for simple copying, the market that you describe has been chock full of anthologies for years, assembled by editors and issued regularly particularly in the Fantasy and SciFi categories or any others where the Short Story is dominant. Remember that these are EXACT copies of earlier published works.
          Piracy is a market failure but the failure is in the hands of the publishing, recording and motion picture industries for not making their catalogues available in a timely, easy to access and purchase manner as well as not encumbered by DRM. That piracy exists at all is all the evidence and testament you or anyone else needs to prove that failure.
          By the way, new authors are appearing all the time so your final statement is out and out wrong. In fact the publishing industry in the United States shipped a record number of books in all categories and formats in the last fiscal year. So there is space for new authors and demand is still there for new works by new people.
          I see there's more you insist on being wrong about so it's time to move on.

           

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      Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:46pm

      Re: It's limiting both sides...

      The _professional_ word is important here. In case you can't do it with creative industry, you should stay silent. If you receive no money for your creative output, stay silent.

      I'd just like to point out how utterly and completely bogus this attitude really is.

      First of all, "amateur" art is often better art than "professional" art. This is especially true the closer you get to "pure" art, such as music and writing, as opposed to things like graphic design or computer programming.

      As I look at my music collection, for example, the vast majority of my CD's, LP's, and MP3's are done by musicians who made their living working a "day job."

      There's a good reason for this. If you're making art for a living, you have to limit your art to only that art that you think will make a profit. This means going with tradition, and producing whatever will appeal to the lowest common denominator. If you don't depend on it for your income, however, you're not as limited. You can take risks; you can make unpopular statements; you can make art that is significant, rather than art that is designed solely to be a consumer product.

      This is probably why none of the significant music genres in the past century were created by "professional" artists. They were all created by "amateurs." Every single one of them.

      In fact, this is the biggest conflict that concerns "professional" artists. It's not a conflict between pros and amateurs; it's between professional artists and their publishers/labels/studios. The pros want to do art that they consider important, or at least of higher quality. The publishers won't let them because it's "too risky." Or, when they do green-light the projects, they screw them up in order to make them more "commercially viable."

      Hell, the pros love the amateurs. I've yet to meet one that didn't. For most pros, that's because the amateurs are producing art for the reasons they always wanted to in the first place. The more cynical of the pros (there are only a few, thankfully) like the amateurs for one simple reason: they know they'll be ripping off those same "amateurs" in a few years.

      Limiting art to those who make their money only on that art would result in the death of art itself. You'd have nothing but a cultural wasteland, a vast dead landscape dotted here and there by the barbed-wire enclaves of multinational corporations. Culture is not something you buy at the Disney store.

      Second of all, the "professional" artists are the ones who are the least likely of anyone to actually hold the copyrights on their works. Recording artists do not hold the copyrights on their albums. Actors do not hold the copyrights on the films they're in. Even most professional authors do not hold the copyrights on their articles and books.

      Such artists usually don't make enough on royalties to live off of. They must take other "jobs," which don't rely on copyright, in order to make ends meet. Musicians need to play live or sell merch; authors need to take speaking engagements. Many of these people will not be able to make money at that, either, and will have to take non-artistic "day jobs," even when under contract with publishers or labels. According to your criteria, then, even most musicians on a label are not "professional musicians."

      Of course, many artists work under a "work-for-hire" basis. Studio musicians, commercial jingle writers, newspaper copywriters, etc. But, again, these artists do not hold the copyright on the works that they produce. Probably not coincidentally, these artists also make much more money from their art. They're paid a flat fee rather than a percentage of royalties; and for most artists, these fees dwarf royalties by an order of magnitude. These jobs are very often unionized, and because of their rarity, they're highly coveted. They are able to get these fees, not by threatening to withhold their copyright, but by threatening to withhold their labor. Just like most other workers.

      Acting is a good example, as actors earn both statutory wages, and some royalties. Taking a bit part in a TV show will earn you a couple of grand from your labor. The royalties you'll earn from that part might net you enough to buy a cup of coffee, if that.

      And, of course, those "work-for-hire" jobs are often the only ones available the further you get from "pure" art. I've never heard of a graphic designer or a computer programmer who earned royalties.

      Third of all, this statement is provably false:

      The real problem is that internet people assume that they can compete against professionals while using their free time. It just does not work like that.

      The reason the "internet people" assume that, is because the internet itself shows it does work like that. The internet would simply not exist without open source software, which is often created by people "using their free time." Wikipedia is doing pretty well, and those entries are written entirely by people "using their free time."

      If the internet has shown us anything, it's that people "using their free time" not only can "compete against professionals," but that they win the competition. The Encyclopedia Britannica, despite being written by "professionals," is closing its doors precisely because it can't compete against Wikipedia, which is done by people "using their free time."

      Now, open source software is not done entirely by people "using their free time." Though "amateur" programmers contribute the most, there are quite a few who get paid a salary, and make quite a bit of money.

      And this brings me to my last objection. That's the notion that you have to protect your works in order to make money.

      This is absolutely false. In the open source world, the reason people are able to make more money is because the authors intentionally do not use copyright protections. If you look at the industry as a whole, the plain fact is that the fewer copyright protections you demand, the more money you will make.

      This is not just true of the individual programmers, either. By creating software that wasn't restricted by copyright, and didn't require expensive licenses, the open source world allowed the software world in general to explode and grow. The internet would simply not exist as it is today without open source, and that is the fastest-growing industry in the country, resulting in many more programmers earning much more money than they ever would had copyright protections been enforced.

      And this is true of other forms of art as well. To cite one of many examples, Trent Reznor made much more money by putting his music under a CC license than he made in the entire time he was signed with a label. Not only does copyright protection harm the art world, it ends up harming the very artists it is theoretically supposed to encourage.

      And, just like the open source world, fewer copyright protections will enable a better artistic scene as a whole. If you look at all the relevant music that was created in the last century - blues, jazz, rap, punk, metal, grunge, whatever - you'll notice one thing in common: everyone was copying everyone else. Sometimes blatantly. And this was accepted, and usually encouraged, by the artists themselves.

      Even when you talk about blatant copying by non-musicians (your traditional form of "piracy"), the lack of enforcement of copyright within those scenes usually caused those scenes to grow. Hell, I'm a noise musician - a genre almost nobody likes (with good reason) - and I've had more lucrative gigs, and gotten more records released, than I ever did before the internet. That's because widespread piracy enabled the scattered fans across the world to communicate with each other, share music, become a community, and (if you want to be cynical) create a market through word-of-mouth advertising. In fact, even the "classic" noise/industrial bands from the 80's and 90's are coming out of retirement because there's more demand for their music now than there ever was. It is the widespread dissemination of music that made this possible - the same widespread dissemination of music that would not be possible if everyone involved was enforcing their copyrights.

      Loosening copyright restrictions results in the democratization of art. This is good for the public, good for consumers, and (perhaps most importantly of all) good for the artists themselves. Yes, even "professional" artists.

      So, sorry for the long reply. But that philosophy is so wrong-headed, for so many reasons, that I got a bit pissed off.

       

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        tp, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 1:25pm

        Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

        > First of all, "amateur" art is often better art than
        > "professional" art. This is especially true the closer you > get to "pure" art, such as music and writing, as opposed to > things like graphic design or computer programming.

        Yes, but you know... The pyramids are still way much better than anything your amateur artists have managed to create. These were created in slave labor and involved thousands of people, but noone would today say this would be acceptable today, recardless of how wonderful the result would be. Today the requirements of what you can expect people to do are different from what they were few thousand years ago, but once you change free time to mean work time, you're very near of creating another pyramid with slave labor. Once this becomes required of everyone, the world will not be better off. There is reason why the rules for free time are available. Competition needs to have level playing field, and using free time has it's dangers.

         

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          Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 2:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

          The pyramids are still way much better than anything your amateur artists have managed to create.

          So, your argument is that we should not let anyone build a pyramid unless they use slave labor?

          Considering that "professional" artists are the ones who don't own their own copyrights, and that the ones who make money off of royalties are the publishers rather than the authors, that seems to be exactly what you're saying.

          Unless you're saying that "professional" artists can't compete with "amateur" artists in an open market. If that's the case, then those artists have no business being "professional" in the first place.

          Even if what you say is true, then so what? Perhaps "professional" artists would make less money (though there's no evidence that this is the case), but we're not just talking about any product. We're talking about culture. A vibrant artistic culture is far more important than protecting some professional artists' incomes. Even professional artists would agree with that.

          In fact, that's the sole reason copyright exists: to benefit the public, by promoting the widespread availability and use of artworks. If amateur artists can accomplish this better than professionals, then it's better for everyone that they do so. If some professional artists make less money because of it, tough shit for them.

          Of course, it's not true; professional artists make more money with an unrestricted and open artistic culture. No professional artist I know about has ever felt threatened by amateurs. It's just the reverse: they encourage amateurs, both because they revere the art form, and because they know that widespread amateur production can only benefit the pros.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

            quote: "Considering that "professional" artists are the ones who don't own their own copyrights, and that the ones who make money off of royalties are the publishers rather than the authors, that seems to be exactly what you're saying."

            You're stuck in old thinking. Plenty of professional artists own their own copyright. Have you never heard of self releasing (books, music). With the internet, increasingly artists are creating and funding their own work. Then when it's illegally copied it's the artist that directly suffers. You need to keep abreast of current business models if you are going to argue with artists and tell them they are wrong.

            quote
            "Unless you're saying that "professional" artists can't compete with "amateur" artists in an open market. If that's the case, then those artists have no business being "professional" in the first place."

            I support the rights of amateur artists. I relish competing with amateur content. But we aren't competing with amateur content, we're competing with professional content that's been shared illegally. Actually I think this copyright debate would never have happened if amateur artists had blown away the professionals with free, high quality content. You really can't argue against someone doing something better than you and attracting more eyes and ears.
            The trouble is, part time music, amateur sports and amateur theatre don't attract anywhere near as much enthusiastic custom as the professional equivalents.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

              Quote:
              Then when it's illegally copied it's the artist that directly suffers.


              That goes against some artists stating tha actually piracy increased their sales treefold.

              That also goes against an empirical verifiable business model that allows people to copy, modify, redistribute and even sell without having to have permission or being criminalized.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                quote:
                "That goes against some artists stating tha actually piracy increased their sales treefold."

                The fact a few in the minority disagree with the majority does not prove anything. When most artists agree their income has increased due to illegal copying, then you will have a point.
                In the end, the goal of artists is to create art and to be funded sufficiently to create that art.
                It actually makes no sense to criticise a better way of funding your art. Ergo, if the vast majority of artists criticise the anti-copyright view, it's simply because it does not demonstrate a viable way to fund the arts.

                 

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                  Richard (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:56pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...


                  The fact a few in the minority disagree with the majority does not prove anything. When most artists agree their income has increased due to illegal copying, then you will have a point.


                  What people believe is irrelevant. THe objective truth is what matters - and the objective truth is that free disribution increases impact and therefore income for all but the few who alredy have global reach without it.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  I already have a point they didn't just disagree they experimented and reported their own findings, which dispels the myth that weakening of a granted monopoly is always bad, it is not and some people just proved and they are the same artists that do the same thing as others and if you want more proof of it look at open source where copying, distributing, modifying and even selling without permission doesn't seem to have stopped them from producing billion dollar companies or being used to generate local employment since people do hire locals to produce things they need meaning you stimulate the local economy and not some other economy.

                  If an entire sector can do it, why can't others?

                  About the making sense part so why are you criticizing a better way that can increase your sales 300%, causes no PR problems, cost you less to police your products and doesn't depend on any government to guarantee you anything?

                  I just don't understand why would you want to annoy people, sell less and be willing to get vilified just so you can assert control apparently because you want to and not because of any rational line of thinking.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:46pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                    quote:
                    "I just don't understand why would you want to annoy people, sell less and be willing to get vilified just so you can assert control apparently because you want to and not because of any rational line of thinking."

                    I don't understand that either.
                    So the fact millions of creative people suffer those consequences means they must have a strong reason to do so.. or they would not do it.
                    A small minority practice the free information business model.
                    Creative people are amongst the most innovative, independent thinkers in society. So if a new way of working actually worked, there would be no argument. people would just be doing it.
                    So why aren't they?

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:34pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                      Quote:
                      So the fact millions of creative people suffer those consequences means they must have a strong reason to do so.. or they would not do it.

                      How do you know they are a small minority, did you count them please I love to see your sources so I can check them out for myself or are you just pulling out statements out of your ass?

                      What consequences are you talking about? the ones where piracy pushes sales to triple their numbers or the consequences that allowing free copying, distribution and modification has no impact on the ability of people to construct a successful business?

                      Apparently the creative people are not that creative since according to you most of them depend on a granted monopoly to exist at all which I find it funny since creative people existed long before any granted monopolies ever existed, so there is something wrong with what you are saying and it is starting to stink.

                      Once thing we do know is that monopolies are bad, they cause all kinds of problems and monopolies on the type of creativity you are so fond of talking about is even more pernicious since it affects others people's rights, for a minority of society to get monopolies means excluding the whole of society from that market, that should never ever be something considered lightly and without the acquiescence of society ever, because to allow that is to destroy democracy and freedom, you don't get to tell everybody else that you can tell them how to use something or for what to use it, not without a very, very good reason to do so, you don't get to spy on other to protect that monopoly and believe everything is cool, it is not.

                      Copyrights and democracy are mutually exclusive, we can't have both there is not enough room for it and that is getting crystal clear with each passing year.

                      I am sorry that people won't surrender their rights so you self centered people can get a monopoly, I am sorry that people won't give up their own rights so you self centered people can get some more privileges.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:09pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                        quote:
                        "you don't get to tell everybody else that you can tell them how to use something or for what to use it,"

                        But you get to tell me what I do with my art?
                        Hmmm, I guess that's fair.. I guess?

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:08pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                          The beauty of it is that I can't tell you what to do, you can do whatever you like as long as you don't get to tell other not to use it in some way you don't like it, there is your limit like everything in life.

                          You can sell it alongside others trying to do the same thing, you can rip it apart if you like you can go to the couch and keep feeling sorry for yourself what you don't get to do is to dictate to others what they should do.

                           

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                  Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:25pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  The fact a few in the minority disagree with the majority does not prove anything.

                  There is no "majority" in this fight. There are plenty of artists who believe piracy destroyed music, and an equal amount who believe it's the best thing for music ever.

                  Of course, most artists are in neither camp. Most believe that the things that allow piracy also benefit fans and help the overall artistic culture. Some believe the losses of the one outweigh the benefits of the other, some the reverse.

                  If there is a majority viewpoint, it's that piracy is bad, but the labels' reaction to it is also bad, and passing bad laws won't help anyone. Beyond that, there's really no consensus.

                  But regardless of their opinions, what most musicians are actually doing is accepting the fact that their fans share music, not worrying about that too much, and instead focusing on the many ways that new technology can be used to better themselves. Just as they should be.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 9:02pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  Since the professional is in the minority, does that not just turn everything you've said on its head? The sheer volume of ego in your posts makes me want to vomit all over them. Of course, I could dry that out and sell it as art and probably make a buttload of cash. Nay, a /metric/ buttload.

                   

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              Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

              Have you never heard of self releasing (books, music).

              According to tp, these are "amateurs." And, according to him, copyright law is supposed to "prevent [these] kinds of products to enter the markets."

              He was not discussing piracy at all. He was talking about limiting the market to "professional" artists alone.

              It is this kind of thinking that I find abominable.

               

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                tp, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:42pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                > He was not discussing piracy at all. He was talking about
                > limiting the market to "professional" artists alone.

                The existing system already limits it to professionals for two reasons: 1) it's illegal to make people work overtime without paying them extra 2) free time is not allowed to be used at all in creation of _any_ products.
                If we didn't have these rules, half the work on the planet would be done by some companies trying to trick people do all their work for free. (no wait, what are these web sites all about?)

                Free software is different slightly because it is only attacking existing moponoly of computer operating systems.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:23pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  Open source is more than just computer operating systems.

                   

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                  Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:04pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  The existing system already limits it to professionals

                  Dude, seriously, what the hell are you talking about? Copyright law, right now, does not limit the market to professionals. That's not even remotely close to what it was intended to do.

                  Copyright law also has nothing whatsoever to do with labor laws. Nothing. In fact, much of the entertainment industry is exempt from labor laws, because they're working on a royalty basis.

                  Seriously, you're not making any sense at all. You really have no idea how copyright works, do you?

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 9:10pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  2) free time is not allowed to be used at all in creation of _any_ products.

                  You have anything to back that up? AT ALL? ALL of my time if 'free time,' and I can create anything I damn well please and sell it for a profit. What are you gonna do about that?

                   

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

            > Considering that "professional" artists are the ones who
            > don't own their own copyrights, and that the ones who make > money off of royalties are the publishers rather than the
            > authors, that seems to be exactly what you're saying.

            It does not work exactly like this. To keep the system going, the system limits the area and time where each author can market his products. The whole world is not available to most authors infinitely. The ownership goes to publisher to prevent authors from expanding their "impact area" in the world to too big. Exclusive contracts often prevent authors from going to next publisher and selling the same product again several times. Each product only gets small market. When there are thousands or millions of authors in the system, the whole globe is covered. Everyone gets small area.

            Anyone trying expand their market presence too much will become a problem in the system. The area you are allocated should be based on amount of work that went into your product, not based on how many times you can duplicate your work with a for-loop. (we have spam and virus problems caused by the people who tried this, and piracy is similar)

            > Unless you're saying that "professional" artists can't
            > compete with "amateur" artists in an open market. If that's > the case, then those artists have no business being
            > "professional" in the first place.

            No, it's more like people doing it for living are entitled better guarantee that there is some money available than the people who spend their free time for it. Work time vs. free time is easy way to choose which products are entitled this better guarantee. Choosing to drop everything and start doing it for a living is the decision that needs to happen to get that guarantee.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

              In other words granted monopolies only benefit the owner of the content not the producer that is unable to market it as he see fit or reuse material and since he is doing it for the money and not for the creative purpose quality suffers.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

              The better way to limit market share is to let competition do its magic and that means allowing others to copy freely, which means you have to woo customers and not try and force them into schemes that they can't get out of it.

               

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                tp, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:35pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                > The better way to limit market share is to let competition > do its magic and that means allowing others to copy freely, > which means you have to woo customers and not try and force > them into schemes that they can't get out of it.

                But then we would have things like facebook which are expanding in the world rapidly using some automated script which sends spam and invites people to join their network. It is going to cause problems pretty soon. What do they expect when they eat millions of hours of people's free time for something completely useless activity.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:53pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  How is that?

                  Did the world get McDonalds spamming them using automated scripts to make customers buy their burgers?

                   

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                  Richard (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  Last time I looked we had facebook. It ain't going away either.

                  btw consuming mainstream media is the biggest waste of time of all.

                  tp I am now convinced that you are quite mad. Your arguments make even less sense than those of the usual copyright maximalists (if that were possible).

                   

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                  Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:06pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  But then we would have things like facebook which are expanding in the world rapidly using some automated script which sends spam and invites people to join their network.

                  Of all the spamming I've suffered through on Facebook (and, earlier, MySpace), by far the most has been from "professional" musicians looking to market their major-label releases. I even got an unsolicited message on my mobile phone by some rap artist plugging his latest release on Universal.

                  But since they're from "professional" musicians, it must be A-OK, right?

                   

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              Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

              No, it's more like people doing it for living are entitled better guarantee that there is some money available than the people who spend their free time for it.

              No such "entitlement" is anywhere in copyright law. It is also completely incompatible with the idea of an open market. Additionally it would completely destroy a thriving artistic culture.

              Worst of all, we are talking about expression, so anything that limits expression to "professionals" is a direct violation of free speech.

              This is certainly not even close to the goal of copyright law. If that is the effect of the current laws, then the current laws must be changed immediately.

              Thankfully it is not. It is completely legal for amateurs to have just as much power in the marketplace as professionals. Just the way it should be.

               

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              Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

              The ownership goes to publisher to prevent authors from expanding their "impact area" in the world to too big.

              I know I'm probably harping at this point, but I really need to point something out.

              This is exactly the opposite of what copyright is supposed to encourage. Copyright exists solely to benefit the public, and the main benefit is supposed to be the wider distribution of literature and artworks.

              If copyright law really does "prevent authors from expanding their 'impact area' in the world," then the law is doing exactly the thing that it was designed to prevent.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 6:02pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                This is exactly the opposite of what copyright is supposed to encourage. Copyright exists solely to benefit the public, and the main benefit is supposed to be the wider distribution of literature and artworks.

                Wider distribution is clearly not correct for this. If it was, they would have never forbid _copying_. Copying is easy way to get wider distribution. In fact, whole copyright is moving responsibility for distribution only to the author. It is limiting that _only_ author is allowed to do it. It is author's exclusive right to do distribution. The world is not allowed to do it at all.

                The actual benefit from copyright is that authors have opportunities to _sell_ their products in the market when those opportunities are not taken away by unauthorized (cheaper or free) copies.

                If money doesn't move, the whole thing just is not doing the correct thing.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:38pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  No the actual supposed benefit of copyrights is that through a granted monopoly the carrot of a bigger pay would stimulate the production and distribution of those works, which today the distribution part is not a problem anymore, copyright has done its service and it is now time to retire those laws and allow them to vanish into the dark night.

                   

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                  Karl (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:18pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  Wider distribution is clearly not correct for this.

                  Copyright law was created at a point in history when for-profit publishers were the only ones with the ability to widely distribute works to the public. The theory was that unless artists were granted the exclusive rights to their works, they wouldn't make them, publishers wouldn't distribute them, and the public wouldn't get any sort of access to the works at all.

                  That's clearly not true in this day and age, of course. And if you think that contradicts the stated intent of copyright law, don't worry - you're not alone.

                  The actual benefit from copyright is that authors

                  Wrong again. The primary beneficiary of copyright is supposed to be the public. Several Supreme Court cases, as well as the Congressional record, have made this absolutely clear.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 8:04am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                    I would read Eldred again, including its reference to Graham v. John Deere ( a case involving a patent), paying particular attention to what the Supreme Court has stated about the "precatory clause", i.e., "In order to promote...". Even in Eldred the Petitioner conceded that the precatory clause is not a limit on Congress' legislative power under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8.

                    IOW, the "guiding" principle is that if patent and copyright laws are created, the only limiting principles are that they are secured to authors and inventors, and that such laws are to provide exclusive rights for limited times. Eldred and Golan, and many of their ancestors, demonstrate that "limited" is to be determined by Congress, with the Supreme Court as yet not having been presented a case where "perpetual" is the keystone issue.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 8:09am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                      IOW, as between the Register of Copyrights and Ms. Lofgren, The Register's comment that has been criticized here is actually more in keeping with the holdings by the Supreme Court regarding Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8.

                       

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                      Karl (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 12:11am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                      I would read Eldred again, including its reference to Graham v. John Deere

                      For those playing along with the home edition, here's the relevant part of Eldred v. Ashcroft:
                      As petitioners point out, we have described the Copyright Clause as "both a grant of power and a limitation," Graham v. John Deere Co. of Kansas City, 383 U.S. 1, 5 (1966), and have said that "[t]he primary objective of copyright" is "[t]o promote the Progress of Science," Feist, 499 U.S., at 349. The "constitutional command," we have recognized, is that Congress, to the extent it enacts copyright laws at all, create a "system" that "promote[s] the Progress of Science." Graham, 383 U.S., at 6.18.

                      We have also stressed, however, that it is generally for Congress, not the courts, to decide how best to pursue the Copyright Clause's objectives. See Stewart v. Abend, 495 U.S., at 230 ("Th[e] evolution of the duration of copyright protection tellingly illustrates the difficulties Congress faces [...] . [I]t is not our role to alter the delicate balance Congress has labored to achieve."); Sony, 464 U.S., at 429 ("[I]t is Congress that has been assigned the task of defining the scope of [rights] that should be granted to authors or to inventors in order to give the public appropriate access to their work product."); Graham, 383 U.S., at 6 ("Within the limits of the constitutional grant, the Congress may, of course, implement the stated purpose of the Framers by selecting the policy which in its judgment best effectuates the constitutional aim.").

                      Nowhere does the Supreme Court say promoting the progress is "not a limit on Congress' legislative power." It's just that it's an incredibly broad limit. As long as Congress can give a rational basis for the proposed legislation "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts," then they are not acting unconstitutionally.

                      But if Congress cannot provide a rational basis for the law "promoting the progress," then Congress is acting outside the bounds of the Copyright Clause, and the law is unconstitutional. You may also want to read the explanation of these limits in the court case that you cited, Graham v. John Deere:
                      The Congress in the exercise of the patent power may not overreach the restraints imposed by the stated constitutional purpose. Nor may it enlarge the patent monopoly without regard to the innovation, advancement or social benefit gained thereby. Moreover, Congress may not authorize the issuance of patents whose effects are to remove existent knowledge from the public domain, or to restrict free access to materials already available. Innovation, advancement, and things which add to the sum of useful knowledge are inherent requisites in a patent system which, by constitutional command, must "promote the Progress of [...] useful Arts." This is the standard expressed in the Constitution, and it may not be ignored. And it is in this light that patent validity "requires reference to a standard written into the Constitution." Great A. & P. Tea Co. v. Supermarket Equipment Corp., supra, at 340 U. S. 154 (concurring opinion).

                      Within the limits of the constitutional grant, the Congress may, of course, implement the stated purpose of the Framers by selecting the policy which, in its judgment, best effectuates the constitutional aim. This is but a corollary to the grant to Congress of any Article I power.

                      This is why both the Graham case, and the Eldred case, spent over half of each ruling going into the reasons why Congress enacted the laws it did, and whether those reasons constituted a rational basis for promoting the progress.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:33am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                        As always, a very thoughtful response.

                        Unfortunately, Supreme Court opinions are oftentimes laced with seemingly contradictory pronouncements, with the one to which I was referring (repeated twice) being essentially as follows:

                        More forcibly, petitioners contend that the CTEA’s extension of existing copyrights does not “promote the Progress of Science” as contemplated by the preambular language of the Copyright Clause. Art. I, §8, cl. 8. To sustain this objection, petitioners do not argue that the Clause’s preamble is an independently enforceable limit on Congress’ power. See 239 F.3d, at 378 (Petitioners acknowledge that “the preamble of the Copyright Clause is not a substantive limit on Congress’ legislative power.” (internal quotation marks omitted)). Rather, they maintain that the preambular language identifies the sole end to which Congress may legislate; accordingly, they conclude, the meaning of “limited Times” must be “determined in light of that specified end.” Brief for Petitioners 19. The CTEA’s extension of existing copyrights categorically fails to “promote the Progress of Science,” petitioners argue, because it does not stimulate the creation of new works but merely adds value to works already created.

                        Thus, the petitioner's conceded that the preambulatory clause did not impose a limitation on Congress' legislative powers, but then proceeded to argue that in effect it was.

                        The quotes you provide are "mom and apple pie" commentary that appear in decisions such as this (it is not a limit, but let's now talk about how it might be a limit without actually being one). In all candor, these irrenconcileable positions leave most who follow the Supreme Court in matters such as this collectively scratching our heads.

                        Nevertheless, the issues raised by the petitioner did not relate to the precatory clause, but to the substantive limitation that rights secured by the clause must be limited in duration, and that by failing to do so the First Amendment has been "laid to waste" (quote mine). As the court stated, this was a rather novel argument, taking the admittedly non-limiting precatory clause and using it to forge an argument that it really is. The court did not bite, and rightly so under existing precedent.

                        I have never argued that any of this makes any real sense to professional and layman alike, but there it sits and as yet has not been specifically overruled by the court. One this does seem clear however; it is not a de facto limitation, but the Congress does appear to use it as a non-mandatory guidepost when crafting legislation.

                         

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              TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

              The ownership goes to publisher to prevent authors from expanding their "impact area" in the world to too big. Exclusive contracts often prevent authors from going to next publisher and selling the same product again several times. Each product only gets small market.


              Now where did you get THAT from? Exclusives prevent the author from going to another publisher but not to stop the writer from doing anything. Publishers want to hold onto writers with a record of turning out best sellers and so they want to increase the "impact" area as much as possible. More sales, you know.
              What you are trying to want us to believe is that a publisher will limit the new book by a Stephen King or a Margaret Atwood in order to keep your "system" going and, therefore, limit their profits. Both sell a huge amount of "product" with each new release all over the English speaking world.
              Even restricting the discussion to the English speaking world there are already thousands, perhaps far more than a million, published authors on the globe. In places like China and India alone the number IS in the millions in their own languages. And both are huge markets for books written in English as well.
              No, it's more like people doing it for living are entitled better guarantee that there is some money available than the people who spend their free time for it. Work time vs. free time is easy way to choose which products are entitled this better guarantee.

              Copyright did NOT appear to guarantee authors or publishers an income. It might have improved the chances for both but it did not and does not guarantee it.
              You also need to remember that those who write guaranteed best sellers likely started out writing in their spare time and submitted manuscripts written in their spare time to publishers before they got their fist contract.
              Copyright is not a welfare system for writers or publishers. And heaven forbid that it ever comes to that.

               

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                tp, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 4:28am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                > The ownership goes to publisher to prevent authors from
                > expanding their "impact area" in the world to too big.
                > Exclusive contracts often prevent authors from going to
                > next publisher and selling the same product again several
                > times. Each product only gets small market.


                Now where did you get THAT from? Exclusives prevent the author from going to another publisher but not to stop the writer from doing anything. Publishers want to hold onto writers with a record of turning out best sellers and so they want to increase the "impact" area as much as possible. More sales, you know.


                Where did I get that? Well, maybe I've sold one of my products to the publishers. That's how you get information about how the process works. Of course publishers want you to think they can sell the product to half the world and other side of the galaxy. The truth just isn't available when doing the decision which publisher to pick. Several publishers is _not_ available. (and I know because I've _rejected_ publishers -- contracts just do not allow both publishers to use the same product) Publishers can't get the contract if they don't promise half the world. The reality hits only after signing the contract - the publisher just do not have resources to spread your product to half the available world; so they just use tiny area of it.

                Now that author is not allowed to choose another publisher, what is the author going to do? Take his xerox machine and start selling it themselves? One person can only cover very small area of the world, or are you going to start travelling the world and selling it yourself?

                 

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                  TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 8:16am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  I didn't say that you could choose a second publisher, now, did I?

                  Though I did point out earlier that one of the reasons for the enactment of the Statue of Anne, the first copyright legislation in the English speaking world that part of the reason for that was multiple editions of the exact same book by different publishers before the Statue was passed. In essence the publishers were destroying each other.

                  "the publisher just do not have resources to spread your product to half the available world;"

                  As I don't know, nor do I want to know, which publisher you signed up with I don't know their resources. Some do have the resources to publish the book in half the "available world", outfits like MacMillian and Penguin come to mind without having to think about it. Of course, they don't until they have your book (product) as a best seller in their home market and THEN it's published in other markets they serve globally. It may even be translated into languages other than English at that point.

                  And if their home market is the United States or United Kingdom then, as book markets go, they are not considered a "tiny part" of it. They are considered to be the trend setters of the English speaking world, in fact. Once again, if they have a best seller on their hands on one or both of THOSE markets if they've been holding back in other English speaking markets the release the book in all of them. THAT is called maximizing profit which is what they want to do, after all.

                  Assuming the the contract the writer signs with their publisher isn't strictly exclusive then perhaps they get to shop the book around themselves. More likely if they don't then..
                  "Take his xerox machine and start selling it themselves? One person can only cover very small area of the world, or are you going to start travelling the world and selling it yourself?"
                  that is far from the only alternative. In this day and age it's the worst one. By the way the photocopy option isn't available as the layout of the book itself is covered by the publisher's copyright including the selection of font, illustrations if any, kerning, spacing, how a chapter break is dealt with and so on. So you can forget that option.
                  What you're failing to understand is that the Internet and Web have changed everything about publishing. Should your publisher release you from your contract because the book just sat there gathering dust in book stores or you fire them, though you have not right to republish what they've already published unless they assign your copyright to the work, as opposed to the physical book, back to you. At that time you can self publish and put it on the Web. There are inexpensive to very expensive programs that allow you to do that and can even go so far as selecting the appropriate file format for ebooks. So you take your "product" put it up on a web site and, voila, it's available to the entire world. You can choose how to promote that book, say blog like crazy about it, offer sneak peaks as Amazon does and more but, unless you really want to you don't NEED to travel the world or out of the comfort of your armchair, if that's your wish. The choice is yours at that point.
                  The point is that the "impact" of the book, regardless of publishing method, is limited only by the resources available and the amount of "product" sold. It's not limited geographically or in any other way.
                  The subject of the book may limit you. A book on learning to program in PHP or ASP doesn't have the same potential for sales as does a work of general fiction (prose or poetry).
                  What you're trying to convince me of is that the publishers of the Harry Potter books chose not to satisfy the immense demand for a new Harry Potter book due to its alleged "impact". Impact, be damned, they printed and distributed as many copies of the book as they were capable of until the demand lessened.
                  Your description of the publishing world is that it operates in some strange world of mercantilism, price fixing and supply fixing. The last pair illegal the last time I looked.
                  Copyright has nothing at all to do with any of it. It wasn't designed with that in mind. It was designed to protect the rights holder, who isn't usually the writer, for a limited period of time until the work fell into the public domain. Nor was it intended to last forever which is where we seem to be going.
                  It's that ever increasing length of copyright that's being talked about as a form of prohibition, technically it is, and the fact that's it's a perversion of the purpose of copyright.
                  What you propose is several degrees more of a perversion of copyright than the term. Thankfully it doesn't exist.

                   

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                    tp, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 9:28am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                    > As I don't know, nor do I want to know, which publisher you > signed up with I don't know their resources. Some do have
                    > the resources to publish the book in half the "available
                    > world", outfits like MacMillian and Penguin come to mind
                    > without having to think about it. Of course, they don't
                    > until they have your book (product) as a best seller in
                    > their home market and THEN it's published in other markets > they serve globally. It may even be translated into
                    > languages other than English at that point.

                    I have to comment one thing...

                    The specific situation I'm thinking about isn't actually in the book world, but in the gaming... Software has slightly different system since there are other considerations like how long the underlying platforms are available or popular.

                     

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                  Karl (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 9:55pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

                  Well, maybe I've sold one of my products to the publishers. That's how you get information about how the process works.

                  Um, you do know that this is a contract, not the law, right?

                  If the publisher wrote the "impact area" into the contract, that's between you and the publisher. There's no law that said the publisher had to do that, and no law that said you had to accept the publisher's contract. Plenty of other publishers offer contracts without the "impact area" clauses. Hell, I'll bet your publisher does, too, just with other authors.

                  The terms of your contract have absolutely no relevance to anyone but you and your publisher. No other authors, "professional" or "amateur," are required to abide by them.

                  It has absolutely zero to do with copyright law.

                   

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          Richard (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

          Competition needs to have level playing field, and using free time has it's dangers.

          Yes - dangers to the encumbent businesses - free time is precisely where disruptive innovation comes from.

          Tim Berners-Lee thought of the web in his free time, Frank Whittle thought of the jet engine in his free time

          The Wright brothers thought of the aeroplane in their free time.

          Without things people did in their free time we would stil be building pyramids with slave labour - actually no - without free time we would never have got even that far.

           

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          TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's limiting both sides...

          Wrong again.
          The pyramids are still way much better than anything your amateur artists have managed to create. These were created in slave labor and involved thousands of people, but no one would today say this would be acceptable today, regardless of how wonderful the result would be.


          In fact archeological evidence has established that the myth that the Great Pyramids were build by slave labour to be absolutely and completely wrong. They were, in fact, built by free Egyptians. There's ample evidence of "towns" constructed for that purpose around and near each of them that were occupied so we now know who, what crafts, trades and kind of people they were. Work stopped for after the annual Nile flood so that the men could go home and plant the crops for the coming season and resumed when that was done. Work stopped again for the harvest and resumed when that was done for the remainder of the year till the next flood. The people working on the Great Pyramids were paid labour and not slaves.
          The craftsmanship of the Great Pyramids themselves and the smaller ones around it is something we can no longer do. Even with all our modern tools, we can't replicate that. Nor absorb the cost of it.
          For all of that, the Egyptians first few attempts at pyramids failed and that failure is visible and easily found around Egypt.
          And for all your notions of what is "work time" and what is "free time" the builders must have been amateurs. Yet those structures have endured for about 3300 years. Some amateurs!

          And yes, their construction took thousands of people each doing their own jobs and yes there were slaves there but by all the evidence available now the slaves did NOT take part in the construction. They were there to cook food, keep the "camps" clean and provide for those doing the work when their families couldn't be there but they didn't build the pyramids.

           

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    Simple Mind (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:10am

    Forgetting Something

    This generation's prohibition is still the war on some drugs.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:48am

      Re: Forgetting Something

      Yea. Prohibition of drugs causes far more casualties than any copyright laws. Many people are having their lives totally destroyed due to moronic anti-drug laws.

       

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    JQP, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:44am

    It's not as tough as you believe.

    JQP, for any boycott to be successful, it must inflict billions of dollars worth of damage upon its targets, because these companies are multi-billion dollar companies and in order to cripple them, they must suffer monetary damage on that level. For that to happen, it would require hundreds of millions of participants in a worldwide, coordinated effort.

    That it must inflict large damages on The Copyright Cartel - there is no question. It will take effort and financial restraint. Coordinated? Only in the loosest sense. Participants just have to dodge The Copyright Cartel's financial tentacles wherever possible. Buy less. See less. Make more from scratch. Hell, take a walk. Yeah, you've got to do a little. Not a lot.

    Hundreds of millions of participants? It can't be expressed that way. It takes The Copyright Cartel members incurring a sufficient revenue reduction - that's all.

    It may come as a shock, but those of you who don't "fight" back, are their slaves. They are laughing at you. Each of you is another sucker for them to plunder. That's how they see it.

    And they are right.

    There would need be no fight in the traditional sense of the word (unless that is what they want, to which I say "bring it on!"). We can fight back as Gandhi would have. We simply do nothing that helps them.

    It is legal, ethical, moral and I would argue it is imperative for mankind to destroy the cancer that is The Copyright Cartel in order for mankind to advance. It is going to happen anyway. It is just a question of compressing the time-scale so that society can cut its losses and get back to focussing progress.

    Furthermore, it is by no means all or nothing scenario.

    Most all members of The Copyright Cartel are publicly traded companies. So, the corporate ideal (enriching themselves at the expense of others' money) can be used against them. They only have to become sufficiently less profitable as compared to other investments in order for their stockholders to flee and their so-called value to disappear and for them to perish.

    But it means that you'll have to turn off the television for a few bloody days and not take the kids to the latest time-wasting and money soaking baby-sitting piece of disney screen puke (let's not forget which well-known mouse often supports such humanistic efforts as the Iraq war).

    By the way, I am not against the concept of (very limited intent and very limited duration) copyright as defined by the real public and for the purpose of the benefit of all mankind.

    But I am 100% against unethical money-soaking bloodsuckers that contribute a net negative to society, robbing the world blind, buying governments and getting their newly-bought governments to change the laws over and over again to further entrench their outrageous ongoing theft.

    This has nothing to do with the idealism of copyright. It's about primitives that will do anything to further enrich themselves, no matter whom they hurt and whose human-rights they violate.

    Their end is near and we must help speed their demise.

    Boycott.

     

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      The Logician (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:07am

      Re: It's not as tough as you believe.

      You cannot spread the message on a worldwide scale, JQP, without sufficient coordination. The only way to make hundreds of millions of individuals act in concert in this effort is to encourage them to become involved, but do so on the scale required for inflicting billion dollar damages requires planning, coordination, and widespread visibility. Otherwise, few will participate and any such boycott will be ineffective.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 1:43pm

        Re: Re: It's not as tough as you believe.

        There is no concerted scale on P2P.

        We all know what is right in this case, people don't really need to organize they just need the tools to make it happen and by tools those can be legal tools like CC-by-SA licenses, GPL, better tools to share like new P2P clients, more curating websites about open resources and that is on the legal side of things on the illegal you can copy anything and just give it away to anyone you know, it is not that hard.

        The best way to damage that industry is to make it more agressive, the more agressive they are the more people get turned off and the more people move away from it, so the only thing people need really do is to troll the copytards, so they get pissed and think they need to do something about it, the more medieval laws get the sooner they will be gone.

        The catalyst for the end of IP is legislation the bad kind that massively increases the power and punishes everyone.

        It takes some decades to work its magic but eventually things get uggly and when they do there will be no reasoning with the angry mob, because every single person will have a bad story about how IP hurt them and those around them.

        This is not something that needs massive coordination, this is natural stuff that will happen, people can see it happening, but to control it is almost next to impossible, so just let it happen, do your part, that is all that is needed.

        Do not give those people money, and when possible migrate to other alternatives, be an early adopter of something.

         

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    netwrok, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:10am

    I'm pretty sure this generation's prohibition involves the "war on drugs". You've seen all the headlines about it, right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:04pm

    Oh i can understand it, its all about money to them, that is their main driving force...........for us, well, we are a generation who thinks information sharing should be nurtured, not kicked in the balls

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:57pm

      Re:

      quote:
      "Oh i can understand it, its all about money to them, that is their main driving force...........for us, well, we are a generation who thinks information sharing should be nurtured, not kicked in the balls"

      Ha, ha. I think statistically you're also a generation still living at home with a parent at 30 years old.
      I left home when i was 16 and immediately had to budget for rent and groceries.
      It's only about money because money buys tools to work with, it pays for a roof over your head, it pays your ISP, so you can upload all this free information.
      Sure, if mummy and daddy cover those bills for you, it ISN'T about money and it IS about sharing.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:35pm

        Re: Re:

        Nah, you are just another overweight dude living in the basement aren't you, be honest we all know you are not what you say you are.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 6:02pm

    quote:
    "There is no "majority" in this fight. There are plenty of artists who believe piracy destroyed music, and an equal amount who believe it's the best thing for music ever.........
    ......
    If there is a majority viewpoint, it's that piracy is bad,"

    Huh? You are contradicting yourself.
    Well I agree with your one point, the clear majority have stated that piracy is bad.
    This is thru organisations like songwriter associations, musicians unions, association of American independents, featured artists coalitions.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:59pm

      Re:

      I see what happens with open source, everybody contributes to the software then some poor programmer is hired by locals to implement something they need the software to do it and he implement that in the open source code and give it back and so local jobs are created.

      We would have more theaters and more retail stores moving more money about in the entire country without granted monopolies, more people trying to create and expand markets, more people experimenting with new business models, more people actually succeeding in selling something in more ways than one.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 6:09pm

    It's also naive to assume big business wont take advantage of a dismantling of copyright. Copyright and patent also protect one business from another.
    Imagine an independent black writer releases an account of their father's role as a lawyer in the civil rights movement as a free e-book. It's a sensation and Steven Spielberg decides to make it a movie.
    Without copyright, the penniless black writer gets nada. Not only that but Spielberg chooses to hire Tom Cruise to play the black lawyer as an enlightened southern white lawyer.
    How many public appearances and t-shirts does the original writer have to sell to earn the money they would have earned from Spielberg buying the story, instead of just copying it?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 6:29pm

      Re:

      That's another good point of why to be cautious of nixing copyright. But I wonder what everyone here will think of that. Last time I said something like that in a comment, (that big tech would have NO incentive not to be the new asshole middlemen if the labels actually died) the reply was "lol 10 or 15 percent off the sales aren't a big deal." It's only 10 or 15 percent NOW...if big tech succeeds in killing off the labels, I won't be surprised if all of a sudden that small cut becomes a lion's share!

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:00pm

        Re: Re:

        Without copyright you be rewarded by the work you do not by some sense of entitlement trying to extract rent from others that is just dishonest.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:55pm

      Re:

      And so what is the problem with that, the guy can then go on and get the Spielberg movie and do the same thing Spielberd did to him, selling the movie himself and thus getting a cut of the profits in another way.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 6:18pm

    That video is hilariously biased. Two people on their side, and only one against? What is this, fox news? Mike, try and find a neutral video next time. Like, maybe one with ACTUAL professionals who work in the entertainment industry (read: NORMAL EVERYDAY PEOPLE like you and me just trying to make a living) like a musician or game dev instead of some suit from the MPAA who probably can't play twinkle twinkle little star on a piano.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:40pm

      Re:

      Why those people don't represent the whole of society, why should they have more representation in any video.

      Want to be fare lets get a 100 to one video where musicians get only 1/100th of the time to speak, now that would be representative of society.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 6:09am

      Re:

      Of course the was "biased". It's was meant to prove a point, not both "sides", one which as to bulls__tin' the same level of attention.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:09pm

    quote:
    "In either event my comment stands, that they don't create much of anything. They just copy. And they want to toss people in jail for doing what they do.
    If the Board and Executive get most of the money then that shows how brain impaired the shareholders are."

    Musicians don't have shareholders. Neither do many creative software businesses.
    Your condoning attacking individual creative people and small business start ups using executive and shareholder income as an excuse.
    That's the problem with the free information movement, it's a very blunt tool.
    You impact small independents, average working individuals and small privately owned businesses in pursuit of a crusade against Disney and Sony.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 7:41pm

      Re:

      So you are saying that freedom of speech is bad now?

       

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:37pm

      Re:

      Actually, in many ways their income in irrelevant, their creativity is the relevant part.
      Musicians starting out on in their own, they absorb most of the costs of what they do including travel, set up, sound check time and all the rest of it in their spare time from their day jobs so they can play the gig. Start-ups software or otherwise are 17 hour day propositions.
      Many of those creative software businesses being set up today are in open source, too, remember. The gaming sector is mostly closed source, I know.
      I'm certainly not condoning an attack on small business, independents, average working folks, musicians or anyone else on a crusade against Sony and Disney.
      But, as a craftsman myself I can tell you that I've been held up at jobs too often in my working life by information that isn't freely available than helped by things like copyright and paywalls. Information should be free, as in freely accessible. If it sometimes needs paying for perhaps I will if I need it badly enough but if I can't find it then it's NOT freely available.
      You're trying to compare the structure of medium and big business to that of smaller enterprises and that just doesn't work. Their needs are widely different. Where a large corporation may not need some information NOW, the smaller ones often do but often can't get it because of the action of the larger ones who hold the copyright on it. When it's said that information is or ought to be free it doesn't always mean free of charge though it means freely and easily accessible and freely available. Setting information free helps the little guy a whole lot more than the mythical damage it can do the big one.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 2:40pm

        Re: Re:

        Dude, you really have no idea what you are talking about. Creative projects like music or video games are those same all day propositions as well.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    quote:
    "And so what is the problem with that, the guy can then go on and get the Spielberg movie and do the same thing Spielberd did to him, selling the movie himself and thus getting a cut of the profits in another way.'

    This just demonstrates the deep naivety of the debate.
    How many urban poor can go out and make a Spielberg movie?

    I mean even if you dismantle copyright, you'll still have Hollywood rich kids using their inheritance to fund projects. So why wont they just steal every good idea that isn't protected by copyright? The answer is they wont. Neither will Sony or Google.
    They aren't going to become penniless corps overnight.
    So they'll get into the business of marketing copies of ordinary people's work, without paying them.
    And that's a good thing?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:12pm

      Re:

      Quote:
      This just demonstrates the deep naivety of the debate.
      How many urban poor can go out and make a Spielberg movie?

      Without copyright everybody would be able to have a Spielberg production if he made one including the guy from which Spielberg ripped off the script meaning that guy got Spielberg to do a big movie and he got all that work for free and can now market it to his own little market receiving his proceedings, but he needs to work for it and that means finding someone to buy from him and not Spielberg.

      In the same vein Spielberg would get his cut selling to his own crowd it works beautifully and there is no complications, no fights no extra cost to protect anything.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:33pm

    The same goes for the music industry.
    Justin Beiber isn't backed by low paid Asian musicians.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:16pm

    Hmmm, how about I get paid for the work I'm doing THIS YEAR?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:35pm

    I think you have North and South Korea confused. Which is a little alarming given the differences between the two.
    Secondly, Singapore isn't a cheap 3rd world country. Singapore is actually #8 on the list of the most expensive cities in the world.
    It may just have a better standard of tech worker when it comes to animation etc

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:03pm

    I'm running a small business.
    What you have to do is accept you have to budget costs to cover information that isn't free.
    For example, I buy all my software tools. They don't come free, but they do if you pirate them.
    Talking of mythical damage done to big business. It's largely a myth that piracy really damages big business. It mostly damages small to medium businesses, because we have tiny margins and don't have the power to diversify to the extent big corps do.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 1:52am

      Re:

      Really?
      Why is Arduino making millions then?
      They are after all an open source hardware manufacturer how do you explain that they apparently doesn't suffer those mythical harms you speak off?

       

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    copyrightsmatter (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 1:46am

    Its All About Money

    The public is not against copyright. The majority of Americans recognize that downloading a song or a movie that you didn't pay for is wrong. The issue is that Google is training and teaching people that stealing is OK and normal because they make billions of dollars pushing ads on pirate sites and pages.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 1:50am

      Re: Its All About Money

      Yah right LoL

      I was ripping music in the 70's, ripping games in the 80's and was all Google's fault.

       

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    Matt, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 4:05am

    Copy wrong

    Interesting that drug companies get such a limited time for their patented medicines and Disney who overcharge for their product appear to get 100 plus years, to ensure they can continue to do so instead of having to come to the market with the product they wish to sell.


    I think the patent law on drugs needs to match the copyright law as far as protection is concerned. Lots of people are going to die, but it is a small price to pay to guarantee corporate profits.

     

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    Kevin (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 6:31am

    Unpopular law will never work

    The whole copyright issue shows a glaring fault in the USA's legal system. The original intent has been corrupted so much by various courts that it no longer represents it's original intention.
    It is a pity that constitutions of counties such as the USA did not include an expiry dates on amendments to the original constitutions and all laws. Many of these amendments and laws no longer reflect the will of the people and should be debated and renewed completely. After all the original constitution of the USA does start with "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
    Maybe it should have read "We the corporations of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect ownership of the union"

     

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    Patrick Cortes, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Nope - prohibition is this generation's prohibition.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 10:26am

      Re:

      WTF?! Most countries haven't had prohibition as the 1930s or never had it as all!

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 2:33am

        Re: Re:

        Most countries definitely have had their own prohibitions, maybe not the same things but they all had their failed prohibitions.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    MPAA guy: "bla bla bla (...) it's wrong!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    MPAA guy: "websites that do nothing else except distribute INFRINGING MATERIAL" That's right! Hollywood movies must be _not_ distributed because they suck!

     

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    Shock, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Copyright does provide fuel.

    If most works were public domain, then we'd be inundated with remakes, sequels, and prequels of movies that we wished would have stayed dead.

     

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    Ralph Wiggum, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 10:54pm

    99 Problems but Mickey Mouse Ain't 1

    Here's the thing about Mickey Mouse ... he could be trademarked, which last indefinitely (until the end of the World or it stops being used). Copyright gets you life of the author, plus 70 now. Maybe Disney Inc. was dumb enough to spend money and time on a fight to protect their competitors.

    But I think the Mickey Mouse mark is well known.

    Trademark=forever
    Copyright = Life +70 .... which would you choose?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 2:30am

      Re: 99 Problems but Mickey Mouse Ain't 1

      He could be is wrong he is trademarket, Mickey is a trademark of Disney, his cartoons on the other hand would have been in the public domain by now and could be used, edited or whatever if it was not for the copyright extensions that took that away from the public along with hundreds of thousands of others works artistic, educational and scientific all because of freaking Mickey mouse.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 2:01am

    Rational basis

    Carl, rational basis review is extremely deferential. As you may already know it happens rarely if ever that the court strikes down a law as lacking a rational basis.

    Rational basis review is not what ordinary people think should be rational basis review, but may entail any conceivable rational basis on which the legislature might have acted and does not even be its actual motivation.

    As one scholar has described rational basis review, it
    doesn't have to bbe rational and it doesn't have to be the basis.

     

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      Karl (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:14am

      Re: Rational basis

      Carl [sic], rational basis review is extremely deferential.

      It may be an ineffective limitation. But it is still a limitation under the law.

      And it would be pure madness to say that it's not the intent of copyright. No court ever said that. They have all consistently said that copyright benefits the public first and foremost.

      The theory is that benefiting authors will also benefit the public. Those benefits are not at odds, but reinforce each other. Fair enough. But if anyone says the benefits to the author outweigh the benefits to the public - or are even on par with them - then those people are wrong, and the Supreme Court has regularly told them so.

      (Incidentally: How on earth can you get my name wrong, when it's spelled out right above my post? You have to look at it to see who's posting!)

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:58am

        Re: Re: Rational basis

        Stealing is fun, but it's still irrational.

        Fortunately the courts will always uphold whatever copyright law Congress sees fit to pass.

        I am only playing your game.
        The constitutional limitation of copyright is only what the courts says it is.

        Copyright is a one way street. Human rights to property can't be abolished.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Rational basis

          Except that ignoring copyright is not stealing, is ignoring the granted monopoly to exclusive distribution of a work.

           

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Rational basis

          Except copyright is not property is a right a granted right to exclude others from doing something.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Rational basis

          If sharing is stealing I will die a thief.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Rational basis

          Copyright is also not a human right.
          And can be abolished since it never existed, their existence is a blip in the history of mankind.

           

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 6:02am

    I see a future where copyright and advertising don't exist. Call me crazy!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 7:10am

    Boycot them

    I stopped buying CD's in the mid 90's and have really slowed down on DVD's. I've pretty much stopped going to the movies. I used to go to the movies once to 3 or 4 times a month. Now it's down to much less. The only movies I've gone to in the last few years have been Harry Potter and I missed the last 3 movies. I'll wait till it makes it to broadcast TV.

    I think Congress should read Melancholy Elephants by Spider Robinson regarding the problem with overly long copyright. (I may have the story title wrong a bit, working from memory ;)

     

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    nraddin, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:21pm

    This generations prohibition is prohibition

    There are hundreds of laws against chemicals used for the same reasons as Alcohol. Copyright system sucks, but it doesn't put millions of people in jail, costing billions of tax dollars in capital output annually and trillions more is lost capital input to the economy, meanwhile fund criminal gangs that kill thousands annually in their drive for the illicit profits (Like the Mob during Alcohol prohibition). I fight for copyright reform but it's nothing next to the actual prohibition going on today.

     

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


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