Rep. Marsha Blackburn's Staffer Lashes Out At Derek Khanna And RSC Report

from the can't-deal-with-reality dept

Ah, Representative Marsha Blackburn. This is the self-styled "limited government" Member of the House of Representatives who famously posted a nearly 100% factually misleading attack on "net neutrality" just shortly before sponsoring SOPA, despite the fact that almost everything she complained about in her mythical version of net neutrality was true of SOPA. For example, she talked about the wonders of the internet (yay!) and sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and talked about how they've been built up entirely without government intervention (ignoring, of course, the government's rather large role in the creation of the internet, but let's leave that aside). And then she states: "There has never been a time that a consumer has needed a federal bureaucrat to intervene (in the world wide web)." And she worries how under the net neutrality she fears "the next Facebook innovator" may "have to go apply with the government to get approval to develop a new application."

Yet, of course, when it comes to SOPA and copyright, she ignores these very same arguments. SOPA itself was very much about federal bureaucrats, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn, intervening in how the internet was to work. And, of course, the very nature of copyright these days is that it means that innovators often do have to effectively get "approval" from the government to develop a new product. In fact, the former director of the US Copyright Office, Ralph Oman, recently stated specifically, in the Aereo case, that he believed the intention of copyright law was that new technologies must first get Congressional approval before they can be considered legal -- and this appears to be Blackburn's position as well.

Of course, this blatant contradiction is explained away easily enough, since her district is up against Nashville, Tennessee, a major outpost of the recording industry. Given that, it was no surprise to see it confirmed that she was one of the leading voices among Republican members who led the Republican Study Committee to first retract Derek Khanna's "copyright myths" policy brief, and then to push to make sure that he was not retained as an RSC staffer.

The latest, is that when asked about Blackburn's role in Khanna's employment situation, a Blackburn staffer, Mike Reynard, went off on an ill-informed rant against the policy brief:
"She does not believe the radical positions espoused in a recent so-called policy paper regarding copyright," Reynard said. "Conservatives aren't going to tolerate the ideology that copyright violates nearly every tenant of laissez-faire capitalism, that copyright is a government monopoly, and that property rights don't matter anymore."

"We were concerned that the RSC's Executive Director, Paul Teller, and Congressman Jim Jordan associated themselves with these bizarre ideas and were happy to see them denounce the process and the ideas in the paper after it was published," he added.
So much lies and distortions in two short paragraphs. First of all, the ideas in the paper were hardly "radical." They've been widely discussed for quite some time outside the halls of Congress, but they rarely make it inside, because Blackburns' close friends at the RIAA and MPAA do a bang up job keeping them out. Second, the idea that "conservatives aren't going to tolerate the ideology that copyright violates nearly every tenant of laisez-faire capitalism" is kinda laughable, since an awful lot of conservatives not only "tolerate" the idea, they believe it to be true. In fact, as we've noted, there's an entire new book making the "conservative" case for massive copyright reform (even going beyond Khanna's so-called "radical" suggestions). Furthermore, an awful lot of prominent conservative thinkers have come out in favor of the report. So whether or not Blackburn "tolerates" it, doesn't have much bearing on whether or not "conservatives" tolerate it. It just seems to show that Blackburn may be completely out of touch and out of step with those she claims to represent.

As for the idea that copyright is not a government monopoly -- well, that's just wrong. I mean, there's nothing to argue here. It's a simple fact: a copyright is a monopoly. In the earlier days of the US, the founders even directly referred to them as monopolies. So I'm not even sure how this point is debatable, unless you're entirely ignorant.

Then there's the idea that "property rights don't matter anymore." That's just weird, because no one suggested that at all. In fact, if you actually read Khanna's paper, he argues quite the opposite. Property rights matter a great deal. The problem with copyright is that it's a restriction on people's private property rights.

Finally, while the RSC did retract the report, after heavy pressure from various lobbyists, at no time did they "denounce the process and the ideas in the paper." They simply argued that it did not properly represent the views of all of their members. One assumes this includes Marsha Blackburn, but judging from the comments from her staffer, I would think that the RSC would not wish to associate itself with the pure and blatant ignorance coming out of her office. We can argue the merits of the paper (and, in fact, we've been trying to do that in a series of posts). But to pretend the paper says stuff that it doesn't... and to argue things that are clearly factually 100% false is no way to go about making policy.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    "But to pretend the paper says stuff that it doesn't... and to argue things that are clearly factually 100% false is no way to go about making policy."

    But isn't that what those in the government actually do to get policies passed.

     

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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    "She does not believe the radical positions espoused in a recent so-called policy paper regarding copyright," Reynard said. "Conservatives aren't going to tolerate the ideology that copyright violates nearly every tenant of laissez-faire capitalism, that copyright is a government monopoly, and that property rights don't matter anymore." --- So sayeth the Minister to HRM Queen Blackburn, in this puissant year of Our Lord 1812.

    This fellow Reynard writes as though he were a penny-dreadful novelist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    i wonder what would happen if someone had a 'rant in favour of copyright reform' to the same magnitude as those that 'rant' against it? i also wonder why it is that i have never read 'a rant in favour of copyright reform'. is it because no one wants to do it? is it because everyone is scared of doing it? is it because all the media openings would immediately be closed because rather than reporting on the truth or simply just reporting, those in charge of the media have to allow only the one-sided view of the scaredy cats in the industries? i suppose it could be that the ones shouting the loudest are doing so out of total fear of change. the trouble is, while that change is desperately needed, if the powers that be cant be convinced in some way to actually commit to the changes, keeping quiet sure isn't going to help!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    As for the idea that copyright is not a government monopoly -- well, that's just wrong. I mean, there's nothing to argue here. It's a simple fact: a copyright is a monopoly. In the earlier days of the US, the founders even directly referred to them as monopolies. So I'm not even sure how this point is debatable, unless you're entirely ignorant.

    Well, that's not exactly true. The local electric company has a monopoly on the use of electricity. The only practical way to get it is through the monopoly supplier. There is no real substitute for electricity.

    A copyright covers a particular work, generally for education or entertainment.
    There are many substitutes for individual works for one to entertain or educate oneself. There's also the option to borrow from the public library. So in the classic sense of a monopoly: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly) copyright doesn't fit the definition as copyright is not controlled by a single entity. And if you dispute that by saying "Studio X has control over Film Y". True, but unlike electricity there are a universe of alternatives to Film Y.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    in the classic sense of a monopoly


    The classic sense of a monopoly is the sense of the “Case of Monopolies” (Darcy v Allein) and the “Statute of Monopolies”.

    The Wikipedia article isn't very good.

     

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  6.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    Re:

    " Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody. Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "But grants of this sort can be justified in very peculiar cases only, if at all; the danger being very great that the good resulting from the operation of the monopoly, will be overbalanced by the evil effect of the precedent; and it being not impossible that the monopoly itself, in its original operation, may produce more evil than good." -- James Madison

    "I believe, Sir, that I may with safety take it for granted that the effect of monopoly generally is to make articles scarce, to make them dear, and to make them bad. And I may with equal safety challenge my honourable friend to find out any distinction between copyright and other privileges of the same kind; any reason why a monopoly of books should produce an effect directly the reverse of that which was produced by the East India Company's monopoly of tea, or by Lord Essex's monopoly of sweet wines. Thus, then, stands the case. It is good that authors should be remunerated; and the least exceptionable way of remunerating them is by a monopoly. Yet monopoly is an evil. For the sake of the good we must submit to the evil; but the evil ought not to last a day longer than is necessary for the purpose of securing the good." -- Thomas Macauley

    Copyright has long been referred to as a monopoly, because that's what it is. It is a monopoly on that particular work.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

    Re:

    That is almost true, you forget that copyright doesn't need to be an exact copy it just needs to be close enough in the opinion of someone else you boom! you can't do a lot of things.

    Also you can't backup your own property that you paid for, you can't open a business with the property that you bought legally fair and square, you can't show it in public(e.g. churches, picknicks, etc) you can't even listen in your workplace or else be persecuted by the collection agencies.

    There is more and it seems every year the list of don'ts keeps growing.

    For all intent and purposes it is a monopoly and it has the same effects of any artificial monopoly.

     

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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    Re:

    While the alternatives to a copyrighted work are more numerous, it is still accurate to call it a monopoly. A monopoly is defined as a single company or entity controlling (almost) the entire market for a single commodity. In addition, it creates barriers to entry that allow the entity to operate without competition. This is exactly what happens when a copyright is granted.

    To address your example of electricity, while there are not as many alternatives, there are some... they just tend not to be as convenient, scalable, or practical. One could take themselves off the grid with solar, wind, water, gas, or even steam and still have electricity in the home.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Re:

    Factually 100% false statements can be made good arguments. Lies are good if you stick to them. Only if you start to wobble can they become a problem.

    Clearly Mike could never become a politician. If you cannot lie and look convinced, you are basically dead in the water of politics.

     

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    Planespotter (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Of course he is going to say that.... he's looking at moving on probably in the next 5 years so he's scoring points towards his interview with the RIAA/MPAA etc.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Re:

    Did I meantion the free money that monopolies get from levies?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re:

    In more recent times, Justice Stevens, delivering the opinion of the court in Sony v Universal (1983)
    Article I, § 8, of the Constitution provides:
    "The Congress shall have Power . . . To Promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
    The monopoly privileges that Congress may authorize. . . . .


    (Emphasis added).

    How many examples using the word “monopoly” do we need to cite between 1600 and the present?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    The Wikipedia article isn't very good.

    The Wikipedia article discusses monopolies as they are understood in economic theory. That is what the author suggests, copyright as a classic monopoly with no competition. But it is simply incorrect. That is like decrying Safeway's monopoly on Safeway-brand canned peaches. True, they have a "monopoly" but it is meaningless. There are plenty of other sources of peaches(movies) and lots of other sources of food (entertainment and education).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    Mike Reynard speaks like a true acolyte of the high priestess of copyright. Anybody who speaks of weakening copyright is a heretic, and those are burnt at the stake.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Earlier in the 20th century, Mr Chief Justice Hughes, delivering the opinion of the court in Fox Film v Doyal (1932):
    The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the monopoly lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors. A copyright . . .

    (Emphasis added).

    How many examples using the word “monopoly” do we need to cite between 1600 and the present?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: @ Mike "Striesand Effect" Masnick

    "the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices" -- SO NO DIFFERENCE THEN! Much depends on other factors -- that you never even consider. Like industrial policies.

    Anyhoo, I think that's all needs to be said. The main piece is too full of ad hom pejoratives and absolutist rejections to bother with.

    I do wish YOU'D state as I have bullet points of copyright fundamentals as you believe it should be construed and constructed, Mikey, because I think your views are flexible to whatever suits your rant of the day. (I looked for such in the "features", but don't see it.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re:

    In the latter part of the 19th century, Mr. Justice Miller, delivering the opinion of the court in Burrows-Giles Lithographic v Sarony (1884):
    The monopoly which is granted to the former is called a copyright . . . .

    (Emphasis added).

    How many examples using the word “monopoly” do we need to cite between 1600 and the present?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re:

    To address your example of electricity, while there are not as many alternatives, there are some... they just tend not to be as convenient, scalable, or practical. One could take themselves off the grid with solar, wind, water, gas, or even steam and still have electricity in the home.

    That is even more true in the copyright realm. And the alternatives are more convenient, scalable and practical.

    While the alternatives to a copyrighted work are more numerous, it is still accurate to call it a monopoly. A monopoly is defined as a single company or entity controlling (almost) the entire market for a single commodity. In addition, it creates barriers to entry that allow the entity to operate without competition. This is exactly what happens when a copyright is granted.

    There is no single company or entity that controls copyright. There are hundreds of thousands of competitors who control copyright on individual works. The barriers to entry are extremely low. Anyone can write a book and with modern technology, recording a song or motion picture are easier than its ever been. Your point about a single commodity is absurd. There is enormous competition for your education and entertainment dollar. Pretending that copyright in any way like the monopoly over electricity is a joke.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Also you can't backup your own property that you paid for, you can't open a business with the property that you bought legally fair and square, you can't show it in public(e.g. churches, picknicks, etc) you can't even listen in your workplace or else be persecuted by the collection agencies.

    So how do you think broadcasters operate? They license the rights to monetize individual works.

    And nothing you said is consistent with any known definition of what constitutes a monopoly.

     

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    cpt kangarooski, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 11th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    A copyright covers a particular work, generally for education or entertainment. There are many substitutes for individual works for one to entertain or educate oneself.

    There's your mistake. Copyright may exist in regard to individual works, but it doesn't regulate works, which are fairly resistant to it. Instead copyright regulates copies, i.e. tangible objects, and certain uses of works, which effectively means control is exercised against people, who also are tangible and thus susceptible.

    Copies of a work are commodities; one copy of The Hobbit is more or less interchangeable with another. The copyright is interested in the similar bits -- the story -- rather than if one is a paperback and another hardback. People might attach special significance to one copy over another, e.g. a manuscript v. a Kindle with the book loaded on it. But that's not to do with copyright.

    Being commodities, in the absence of other regulation, prices of books plummet to about the marginal cost. More expensive editions might appear -- I have a few nice complete Shakespeares -- but a price conscious reader can also just download the same thing for free.

    Copyright interferes with this and imposes monopoly pricing and control over copies that should be commoditized.

    Your notion that one work is a substitute for another -- the complete Ed Wood is just as good as the complete Shakespeare, right? -- is you barking up the wrong tree. They're not. If they were, what would be the point of creating things?

     

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    Shadow Dragon (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    You're So Predictable,OOTB

    You post the same nonsense,That's so predictable that suspect that you're a phony fifth column troll that undermining the side that your represent,ie copyright maximalist,that you're really a copyright reformist or abolitionist.

     

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    Lord Binky, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

    I think this is funny because what she calls radical is actually classical.

    The original, ie classical, view of copyright being a monopoly (which it factually, and by definition is) is radical to her because it radically changes how much money she gets from her present supporters.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

    Re:

    there's nothing to argue here. It's a simple fact: a copyright is a monopoly. In the earlier days of the US, the founders even directly referred to them as monopolies. So I'm not even sure how this point is debatable, unless you're entirely ignorant.
    Well, that's not exactly true. The local electric company has a monopoly on the use of electricity.


    Sorry - what? Mike says that it absolutely true that it's a monopoly, and you say it's "not exactly true" because someone else has a monopoly on a different thing?

    What do the two monopolies cancel each other out or something? - Oh look - Microsoft didn't have an OS monopoly in 1998 because Comcast had a cable monopoly in Philadelphia!

    There is no real substitute for electricity.
    And this shows that copyright is not a monopoly how, again?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh, and just to make sure that we're right up to date with a 21st century citation, Justice Scalia, delivering the opinion of the court in Dastar v Twentieth Century Fox Film (2003):
    The rights of a patentee or copyright holder are part of a "carefully crafted bargain," under which, once the patent or copyright monopoly has expired, the public may use the invention or work at will and without attribution.

    (Emphasis added; citation omitted.)

    How many examples using the word “monopoly” do we need to cite between 1600 and the present?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re:

    While that is technically correct, it is meaningless and using the overarching term "monopoly" is misleading at best. Core to monopoly are the principles that there's no viable substitute. That is simply untrue in the realm of copyrighted works. And because of that close substitution, it is impossible to exploit pricing the way a producer of oil, electricity, etc. could.

    In your Macauley example, he talks about a monopoly of books as synomous with known monopolies on tea and sweet wine. This is true. But this falls apart when substitution enters the equation. If there were a number of producers of sweet wine and tea, each with their own brand- the argument crumbles. Macauley's argument is that all books, like all tea and all sweet wine are controlled by a single entity. That is not the case and makes the term "monopoly" misplaced at best when applied to copyrighted works.

     

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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think you are missing the point... Copyright is absolutely a monopoly over the individual work. Just because there are more alternatives to the copyrighted work do not make them a direct replacement like moving to a competitor that offers the same product or service. In other words, while Justin Bieber is an alternative to David Bowie, he is by no means a replacement.

    Your initial post indicated that there were no alternatives to dealing with the local electrical monopoly, and my response was aimed at helping you understand this was false. While the alternatives are not as numerous, they do exist. In a way, copyright is even more of a monopoly than electricity because in many markets there is an alternative utility provider or reseller. With a copyrighted work there is only the one work which is under the absolute control of a single entity.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Lets look at making a video set in a house.
    Step 1)
    Write a story.
    Step 2)
    Go over the house and ensure that there are no items that will be caught on camera that are under copyright. This means any pictures on the wall, patterns in carpet or curtains. Also make sure that no trademarks are visible. This may seem excessive, but the cost of proving that the appearance was fair use is too high to risk.
    Step 3)
    create some new picture to decorate the place. Also put some dummy books in the bookshelf’s just to be safe. Want a glossy magazine on the coffee table, better make it, and the coffee table if the existing one is an easily recognizable design.
    Step 3)
    Make the Video recording.
    Step 4)
    Write and create some music to go in the background.
    Step 5)
    Do the video editing.
    Step 6)
    Release and hope that you haven't overlooked anything that a copyright holder or tradmark holder could take exception too.

    As demonstrated the risks of offending copyright or trademark holders cause significant work.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Missing up classic civics definitions.

    It's not surprising that the same people that confuse terms like conservative, social conservative, and social reactionary might also screw up a term like radical and be completely ignorant of the historical context of political ideas.

    Khanna is most accurately describe as a reactionary. So are Republicans in general ironically enough. So the idea that they are trying to shun him is really funny.

    The entire Tea Party contingent should be quite comfortable with rolling the calendar back to 1790 here.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 3:40pm

    It is so rare the public gets to see the blatant corruption as so well displayed in this article. Green is black and black is blue to hear the supposed facts as put out for public consumption.

    It is long ago high time for the pendulum to swing in the other direction from over protected graft to the real reasons for copyright to exist. Despite the vested interests stance it is not for a guaranteed income, nor an unlimited protection.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "...Exclusive right..."

    I mean, seriously. MY 6-year-old knows this from the game of the same name, in which the objective is to be the last player standing and thus, have the "monopoly" of the game board.

    An exclusive right to do something is a monopoly to do that thing. Copyright is a government-granted monopoly on a particular expression of a work. IF someone adapts it, or transforms it, then that is, in theory, a new monopoly. However, the content companies involved with the MAFIAA think that this is not the case, and have gone to court to prove that this is not, in reality, correct.

     

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    Scott (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

    What so-called document

    "She does not believe the radical positions espoused in a recent so-called policy paper regarding copyright," Reynard said.

    I wonder if Mike would publish the original document in total, the RSC would claim copyrights. It would be nice to see some acknowledgement that this was a published policy position that just happened to get squashed. It may have been a short lived policy position, but it was at least a viable position for a short time.

     

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  32.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re:

    " Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody. Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "But grants of this sort can be justified in very peculiar cases only, if at all; the danger being very great that the good resulting from the operation of the monopoly, will be overbalanced by the evil effect of the precedent; and it being not impossible that the monopoly itself, in its original operation, may produce more evil than good." -- James Madison

    "I believe, Sir, that I may with safety take it for granted that the effect of monopoly generally is to make articles scarce, to make them dear, and to make them bad. And I may with equal safety challenge my honourable friend to find out any distinction between copyright and other privileges of the same kind; any reason why a monopoly of books should produce an effect directly the reverse of that which was produced by the East India Company's monopoly of tea, or by Lord Essex's monopoly of sweet wines. Thus, then, stands the case. It is good that authors should be remunerated; and the least exceptionable way of remunerating them is by a monopoly. Yet monopoly is an evil. For the sake of the good we must submit to the evil; but the evil ought not to last a day longer than is necessary for the purpose of securing the good." -- Thomas Macauley

    Copyright has long been referred to as a monopoly, because that's what it is. It is a monopoly on that particular work.


    Instead of quoting the Founding Fathers, who no doubt called it a "monopoly," why don't you pull out those fancy economics books that you think are so keen and read for us the modern definition of the word "monopoly." A monopoly--the "evil" kind--is more than the control over the market for one work, especially when every other person on earth can legally compete in that same market with that very work. Give me a break with these silly word games in lieu of actual, substantive arguments. You know damn well that we don't normally refer to one's "monopoly" over a single piece of property as a "monopoly" in the evil economic sense.

     

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    Alex, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 4:55pm

    Re:

    You are conveniently side-stepping the issue of derivative works.

    The whole copyright issue is even uglier than a regular monopoly. Without fair use exceptions, one simply cannot quote parts from someone's work, or critisize said work, so effectively, a copyright monopoly on a work is a monopoly on any idea that somehow bases off the original work. Now that is like the coal power company forbidding you to generate solar power because they have a monopoly on moving electrons in a wire - an entire new field of activity is forbidden by every single copyrighted work coming into existence. If that is not crazy, I do not know what is.

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    But, copyright *IS* a monopoly.

    It's a monopoly on something that is not scarce at all and it keeps everyone from doing what they want with it legally.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And it is not limited to a time of fourteen years or twenty-one years. Nor even limited to two terms of fourteen years. Nor even now limited to two terms of twenty-eight years.

    The copyright monopoly has become “odious”.

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Re:

    Personally, I think that water needs to be flushed.

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "While that is technically correct"

    AHAHAHAHA, oh joe, you are so funny. For someone who based their entire arguments that copyright is actually property solely on the legal definition, now when you are presented with legal definitions that don't support your world view all these laws and law experts are suddenly wrong? HAHAHAHA

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    hmm, lets see who should we trust: The founding fathers, or a anonymous nobody on the internet, who spends his days trolling a website and attacking a expert in economics to defend the honor of Hollywood?
    Some guy who claims he is in laws school for the past 10 years, or Thomas Jefferson?

    hmmm, tough choice. Yeah I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to go with Thomas Jefferson on this one.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 6:19pm

    There's no such thing as intellectual property. Property is a physical object. We don't copy-write a house and then state that after 75 years, anyone is free to take your house. We need to stop saying knowledge is property.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Core to monopoly are the principles that there's no viable substitute. That is simply untrue in the realm of copyrighted works.

    If people were satisfied with the substitutes, they wouldn't pirate. They would just go download substitute works made available for free. Clearly those are not a close enough substitute to satisfy the market.

     

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

  41.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 6:49pm

    Re:

    That is like decrying Safeway's monopoly on Safeway-brand canned peaches. True, they have a "monopoly" but it is meaningless.

    The monopoly there is on the Safeway brand; you cannot get Safeway brand anything from anywhere else. They absolutely do have a monopoly on that, via trademark. The purpose of trademark is quite different from copyright, but the monopoly aspect is similar.

    There are plenty of other sources of peaches(movies) and lots of other sources of food (entertainment and education).

    Yes, there are plenty of other things besides what the monopoly covers. That doesn't make it not a monopoly. Your argument is like saying the electric company's monopoly on electricity distribution is meaningless, because there are plenty of places where you can buy gasoline.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 6:54pm

    So-called

    "She does not believe the radical positions espoused in a recent so-called policy paper regarding copyright,"

    So-called? What does he think it really is?

    SOPA itself was very much about federal bureaucrats, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn, intervening in how the internet was to work.

    Blackburn is an elected legislator, not a bureaucrat.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re:

    No that is not what I am saying. I say that electricity IS a true monopoly. The ability to get electricity from another source (solar, gas generator, wind) is NOT any easy thing to do and there are few (if any) viable substitutes for electricity. Is English not your first language?

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Core to monopoly are the principles that there's no viable substitute. That is simply untrue in the realm of copyrighted works."

    If people were satisfied with the substitutes, they wouldn't pirate. They would just go download substitute works made available for free. Clearly those are not a close enough substitute to satisfy the market.

    People pirate because it is easy and the consequences are almost nil. Looking at the statistics of what are the most pirated works, it is easy to see that most are readily available to the public. But many are common thieves who will unjustly enrich themselves because of the technological ease and low level of consequences.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    AHAHAHAHA, oh joe, you are so funny. For someone who based their entire arguments that copyright is actually property solely on the legal definition, now when you are presented with legal definitions that don't support your world view all these laws and law experts are suddenly wrong? HAHAHAHA

    HAHAHA... I'm not Joe, asswipe. And there's no conflict between what I said and the concept of intellectual property. Other than that, you're spot on.

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Is English not your first language?

    Maye it please your most Excellent Majestie att the humble suite of the Lordes Spirituall and Temporall and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, That it may be declared and enacted and be it declared and enacted by authoritie of this present Parliament That all Monopolies and all Commissions grauntes licences Charters and lettres Patentes heretofore made or graunted or hereafter to be made or graunted to anie person or persons bodies pollitique or Corporate whatsoever of or for the sole buyinge selling makinge worcking or usinge of anie thing within this Realme or the Dominion of Wales, or of anie other Monopolies . . . .

               ——21 Jac. 1, c.3    (anno Domini 1624)

     

    [ Note: variant spelling “Monapolies” is also attested. ]

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but do not many of these "must have" works come from companies associated with the MPAA, the RIAA, the BSA, and other lesser known...but corporate nonetheless...entities? Just an anecdotal observation, but it does seem as if many who pirate, while slamming these groups, are simply out to cop a freebie and assuage their conscience by after the fact rationalization?

     

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

  48.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The alternatives are the exact same thing. The product is still electricity.

    Numbnuts above you thinks getting a different song/book are exactly the same. The alternatives are tape/CD, hardcover/paperback, not different performers/writers.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, you might benefit from taking a look at the document cited as being representative of James Madison's views. Yes, he equated such rights with the term "monopoly", but then again he also equated the works as to which the rights apply with the term "property".

    See, for example:

    http://memory.loc.gov/master/mss/mjm/26/2100/2190.jpg, Page 11.

    The link is to a JPEG that was purportedly penned by Madison. This excerpt is contained in what is known as Madison's "Detached Memoranda".

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:14pm

    Careful, if you educate said troll...what ever will you do with a smart troll? /s

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Additionally, I believe the copyright monopoly, as it is legislated today, is unconstitutional. There is nothing limited about life plus 70 years. Nothing at all.

    The founding fathers spoke at length about copyright, about the monopoly that it is and the ills that it could (would) bring about if not approached properly. Ultimately, they settled on two 14 year terms and then to the public domain it goes. I truly wish we could get their feedback on what it has morphed into today. Knowing what they have said about it in the past, I cannot imagine their opinion would be anything short of complete disgust.

    Nothing short of special interests and corrupt government officials feeding from the trough laid out before them by those special interests has allowed it to morph into the atrocity that it is now.

    aj, bob, ootb and a few others are fond of trumpeting, "It's the law!" But, what do we expect when they and others have a financial incentive to ensure that this law never changes. They'll throw up one reality distortion field after another in order to deflect as much criticism of copyright as they can. They'll throw as much money as they can at a corrupt government to ensure that they never reform it. In the meantime, they'll lob insults and yell "Pirates and pirate apologists, all of you!" to anyone who even dares to question why we should be continuing to grant these parasites monopoly privileges. Reform may come but it's going to take a very, very long time.

    The Stamp Act of 1765 was also "The Law." I don't think it worked out quite as well as the British Parliament would have liked.

     

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

  52.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    My point is you're defining terms however it suits you to make your argument. You define a substitute good for a song as any other song, arguing that copyright is not a monopoly. Yet when it comes to the energy we use in our homes you decide to define a substitute good as only electricity, leading to a natural monopoly, rather than any other source of energy, which would mean there's no monopoly.

    In the electricity analogy, electricity isn't analogous to all songs, it's analogous to Call Me Maybe. If somebody wants Call Me Maybe, then Hit Me With Your Best Shot is not a substitute good. Whatever record label that is has a monopoly on Call Me Maybe, even though somebody else can distribute Hit Me With Your Best Shot.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    AHAHA, so you're even worse then. Just an anonymous nobody, don't even have a name worth shit.

    Post some sources, oh wait you don't have any, except your own opinion which isn't worth SHIT, douchebag.

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    People pirate because it is easy and the consequences are almost nil.

    And because they want the thing they're pirating. Not some other thing that's also in MP3 format, they want that very thing they're getting.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Instead of quoting the Founding Fathers, who no doubt called it a "monopoly," why don't you pull out those fancy economics books that you think are so keen and read for us the modern definition of the word "monopoly."

    My econ textbook doesn't discuss copyright at all, but it certainly discusses other forms of IP, especially patents:
    Barriers to Entry: For any amount of monopoly power to continue to exist in the long run, the market must be closed to entry in some way. Either legal means or certain aspects of the industry’s technical or cost structure may prevent entry. [...]

    Legal or Governmental Restrictions: Governments and legislatures can also erect barriers to entry. These include licenses, franchises, patents, tariffs, and specific regulations that tend to limit entry. [...]

    Patents: A patent is issued to an inventor to provide protection from having the invention copied or stolen for a period of 20 years. Suppose that engineers working for Ford Motor Company discover a way to build an engine that requires half the parts of a regular engine and weighs only half as much. If Ford is successful in obtaining a patent on this discovery, it can (in principle) prevent others from copying it. The patent holder has a monopoly. [...]

    It is possible that certain barriers to entry have prevented more competition in oligopolistic industries. They include legal barriers, such as patents, and control and ownership of critical supplies. Indeed, we can find periods in the past when firms were able not only to erect a barrier to entry but also to keep it in place year after year. In principle, the chemical, electronics, and aluminum industries have been at one time or another either monopolistic or oligopolistic because of the ownership of patents and the control of strategic inputs by specific firms.

    - Economics Today, by Roger Leroy Miller

    Economically speaking, a patent (though treated as property by legal statute) is fundamentally no different from other government-erected barriers to market entry, such as tariffs, licenses, or government-granted franchises.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Lets see now, there is YOU, a nobody OR Mike, a accredited expert. Which do you think the audience will go with? Not you, that's for sure slimeball.

    No wonder people hate DC

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And, with the copyright length being life plus 70 years, they are making sure that the work itself and any derivatives that might be made from it are locked up for a long time.

    Disney has famously raided the public domain to find material they can use for new copyrighted works. And yet, Steamboat Willie continually gets its copyright protection goal posts moved out indefinitely. They're taking and not giving back.

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Disney has famously raided the public domain to find material they can use for new copyrighted works.

    "Raid" is an awfully negative term for something that's perfectly above-board. That's what the public domain is there for: for anyone to take from it and do whatever they want. I think it's even perfectly legitimate to copyright the result, since it's clearly not just a repackaging of the public domain material but a new creative work.

    It's all the lobbying since then that's despicable. If they had just allowed their stuff to pass into the public domain like it was supposed to, it would be a perfect example of how copyright is supposed to work. Instead, it's a perfect example of how broken it is.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 10:31pm

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

    The Disney arguments are so stale.

    BUT, BUT, DISNEY!!!

    yeah, because you've been waiting patiently to release that reinterpretation of "Steamboat Willie" that the entire world has been dying for...

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    People pirate because it is easy and the consequences are almost nil.

    This has always been the beginning and end of the subject. But Mike Masnick is too intellectually dishonest to ever admit it.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 11:05pm

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

    Which is probably due to the fact that people still buy TONS of stuff at/in decent prices/formats DESPITE being able to pirate it because it is easy and the consequences are almost nil.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 11:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So after failing miserably at redefining the meaning of "property rights" you're now having a go at "monopoly"? Impressive.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 1:31am

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

    Then what about "Happy Birthday", which is derived directly from a song that was copyrighted at the time? And yet, a corporation over 75 years later "owns" the song.

    Disney is the largest example, but by no means, the only one.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 1:54am

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

    Dunno about you, but I'd like Who Framed Roger Rabbit to become Public Domain.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 3:41am

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

    Lets see now, there is YOU, a nobody OR Mike, a accredited expert.

    Accredited expert? Accredited by who, his Google paymasters? Mike is just another shill. Nothing more, nothing less.

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    Cory of PC (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 5:38am

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

    Hi, nice to meet you... question for you: should I take you seriously? I see you missed something entirely and are only focusing on your very narrow tunneled vision. Why don't you go seek help and have that vision fix, OK?

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 5:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, the ability to get electricity from another source is an incredibly easy thing to do, and getting cheaper every year. Did you know that the electric company is required by federal law to purchase your surplus energy? Try a different simile. This one doesn't work so well.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re:

    Moreover, the word means, "one seller." Which is precisely what copyright enforces. (Or rather, grants the power of enforcement.)

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    > That is simply untrue in the realm of copyrighted works.

    I'm glad that the media cartels for which you appear to be shilling will so not care when the public substitutes other copyrighted (but independent) works for theirs.

    "The public doesn't/won't do that because ...", you reply?

    Then you, in essence, _do_ agree that there is a monopoly involved, no?

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re:

    there is a famous aphorism about politicians along these lines:
    Once you can fake sincerity, you've got it made.

    correlation does not equal causation, blah blah blah; *BUT*, sometimes it does: kongresskritter = sociopath ? ? ?
    i bet the rich, loudmouthed ones are...
    oh, wait...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:08am

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

    If you didn't sue the wrong people so often maybe people would actually give a shit about what you think.

     

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


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