Damaging The Internet Is Not Acceptable Collateral Damage In The Copyright Wars

from the speak-up,-speak-out dept

Cory Doctorow has a fantastic opinion piece over in the Guardian in which he talks about how unfortunate it is that people seem to think that it's okay to damage the internet in any and all attempts to stop copyright infringement. The whole thing is absolutely worth reading, so here are a few snippets should whet your appetite.
The internet is important, but the copyright wars treat it as a triviality: like cable TV 2.0; like the second coming of the telephone; like the world's greatest pornography distribution system. Laws such as the Digital Economy Act provide for disconnecting whole families from the internet without due process because someone in the vicinity is accused of watching TV the wrong way. That would be bad enough, if the internet were merely a conduit for delivering entertainment products. But the internet is a lifeline for families, and giving some offshore entertainment companies the right to take it away because they suspect you of doing them wrong is like giving Brita the power to turn off your family's water if they think you've been abusing your filter; like giving KitchenAid the power to take away your home's mains power if they think you've been using your mixer in an unapproved way.
And, of course, like me, Cory makes his money by producing content. But we realize that the internet is much more important to us than stopping any kind of infringement of our content.
Look, I'm in the industry. It's my bread and butter. If you buy my lovely, CC-licensed books, I make money, and that will make me happy. As a matter of fact, my latest UK edition is Pirate Cinema, a young adult science fiction novel about this very subject that won high accolades when it came out in the US last autumn. But I'm not just a writer: I'm also a citizen, and a father and a son. I want to live in a free society more than I want to go on earning my improbable living in the arts. And if the cost of "saving" my industry is the freedom and openness of the internet, then hell, I guess I'll have to resign from the 0.0000000000000000001 percent club.

Thankfully, I don't think it has to be. The point is that when we allow the problem to be framed as "How to we get artists paid?" we end up with solutions to my problems, the problems of the 0.0000000000000000001 percent, and we leave behind the problems of the whole wide world.
The key point he's making there: the vast, vast, vast majority of folks who try to make a living making content will fail. The problem, today, is that many are blaming those failures -- which would have happened in almost any other era as well -- as if it's a problem from the internet. We have this blind spot for all of those failures. When people talk about how much musicians make or how many musicians are employed today, they leave out the parts about all the people who tried under the old system and were unable to make it. When you add those back in, the picture looks very, very different. And all of the amazing things that the internet is enabling is actually making it easier for many to create, to promote, to distribute and to monetize their content than ever before. By a long shot. But much of the "copyright wars" are not really about all that. It's about protecting the old gatekeepers who kept most comers out of the system altogether.

And, for various reasons, politicians often fall for their story.
Anti-piracy campaigns emphasise the risk to society if people get the idea that it's OK to take without asking ("You wouldn't steal a car...") but the risk I worry about is that governments will get the idea that regulatory collateral damage to the internet is an acceptable price for achieving "important" policy goals. How else to explain the government's careless inclusion of small-scale bloggers and friends with their own Facebook groups in the scope of the Leveson press regulation? How else to explain Teresa May's determination, in the draft communications bill, to spy on everything we do on the internet?

These policy disasters spring from a common error: the assumption that incidental damage to the internet is an acceptable price in the service of your own goals. The only way that makes sense is if you radically discount the value of the internet – hence all the establishment sympathy for contrarian writers who want to tell us all that the internet makes us stupid, or played no role in the Arab spring, or cheapens discourse. Any time you hear someone rubbishing the internet, have a good look around for the some way that person would benefit if the internet was selectively broken in their favour.
There's much, more where that came from. Highly recommended.


Reader Comments (rss)

 
Let us all just agree that copyright should ideally balance the rights of artists and creators with the rights of the general public. However this appears to be an inpediment to the whiny Google lobbyists on this board that wish to line their pockets with stolen content.

This statement may have had relevance ten years ago. It doesn't now. The fundamental premise of this logic is flawed because there is no functional difference between "artists and creators" and "the general public." You act like these are completely separate groups when modern technology easily combines the two. Youtube users are both creators and the public. Game modders are both creators and the public. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, deviantart...all these people are creators and the public.

The concept of "art" as something created by an elite few for the pleasure of the masses has been dying a slow death since the internet developed. It's like we're passing legislation to prevent cars from going faster than 15 MPH in order to avoid causing "irreparable harm" to the horse-and-buggy industry.

You can't steal culture. You can fight culture, you can direct culture, you can profit off of culture. But it is not a commodity that can be taken away by spreading more of it.

We've created a society where every single person, including you, breaks the law on a daily basis, often without even realizing it. When a normal life becomes illegal, there is a problem with the law, not a problem with the people.
—JP Jones

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    icon
    uRspqF7L (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:04am

    cool

    so is Mike also going to write an article against DDoS attacks on targets whose copyright policies techdirt fans don't like? or are their sites not part of "the internet" that can be damaged? I could swear there was a small story about some sort of attack like this just the other day, internet speeds slowed all over the world or something (but I'm sure you know it's all propaganda).

     

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

  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:10am

    But much of the "copyright wars" are not really about all that. It's about protecting the old gatekeepers who kept most comers out of the system altogether.

    For you, anyway, it's about taking away the rights of authors and artists. Your rhetorical move in focusing on these evil "gatekeepers" is cute (and I'm sure effective), but at bottom you don't think authors and artists should have any rights to their works. You never want to discuss that part of it because you know it doesn't sell as well to your audience of puerile malcontents.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:14am

    Go away AJ.

    Just. Go. Away.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:18am

    Re:

    "You never want to discuss that part of it because you know it doesn't sell as well to your audience of puerile malcontents."

    Well, since you are here (and don't seem to want to leave any time soon) I suppose I should welcome you to the club.

    Here's your malcontent shirt.
    And your puerile hat.
    And this rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle. Don't ask.

    Enjoy your stay.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    Vidiot (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:21am

    Re: cool

    Thought that attack was against Spamhaus' high-handed, blacklist-everything-with-no-recourse policies. And I recall it being thoroughly rejected at this site as being antisocial and moronic. Maybe you were absent that day.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:22am

    like every other article of this type, on this subject, you are, in the main, preaching to the converted. it isn't the 99% you need to convince, we are already convinced. it is the 1% that hold the money, the power and the 'ears of the others in similar positions' that not only need convincing, but need converting. until you can get them converted, the cause is lost, and you cant get them converted because they either dont want to listen to sense or are paid not to listen to sense. most are more concerned with not only making sure they keep their positions and their power and wealth but that the ordinary people are kept where, in their opinion, they should be, ie, under the thumb, under control, under paid, under powered and under catered for! the only way us ordinary people have achieved things, like the stopping of SOPA and ACTA is by demonstrating, in the streets, in multiple countries at the same time. is that the only way we have to be listened to? why should we have to go to these lengths. all governments and all politicians are voted in to look after the interests of the people, not just those of the rich and famous, not just those of massive corporations and industries. the biggest problem of all is, no one listens to the people; no one gives a toss about the people, because the people dont give bribes! the people are of no use, until votes are wanted. after the votes are cast, they are back to being a waste of space again.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    cpt kangarooski, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:27am

    Re:

    at bottom you don't think authors and artists should have any rights to their works

    Well I can't speak for Mike, but I have no problem with authors having rights to their works. I just think that the rights (and the rest of the copyright laws) should be carefully tailored so as to best serve the public interest, which is apt to result in rather different copyright laws than if we merely gave authors everything they wanted. I can't say I see a problem with putting the interests of everyone as a whole above special interest groups.

    You never want to discuss that part of it because you know it doesn't sell as well to your audience of puerile malcontents.

    You're just jealous that you haven't been taught the secret puerile malcontent handshake.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:27am

    Re: Re:

    LOL!

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:27am

    Re:

    No, it's focusing, once again, on how their actions are directly and provably harming others. The point was made best by the Heinlein quote right at the end of the linked article.

    But nope, that would be too easy.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:29am

    Good article and I pretty much agree with all of it. The Internet is so crucial to all industries that the entertainment industry's pursuit of it's own monopoly is going to destroy economies.

    I especially like the loss aversion part. I never thought about it before but it sums up the entertainment industry perfectly. Their tunnel vision is so strong that they focus on what they see as losses that they completely miss the gains they have made.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh! And by the way, I know I'm a radical, politically-speaking. But I'm not exactly a malcontent - I just want an economically rational change to business practices. Which copyright, as-is, most definitely is NOT.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:31am

    Re: cool

    Hey the inning is over you can come in from left field now!

    Where did any author on this site having a call to action for a DDoS on any site!

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:33am

    Re: cool

    Your sarcasm detector seems to have critically failed. Please come into the the J. Edgar Hoover building for a refit.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:35am

    Re:

    For you, anyway, it's about taking away the rights of authors and artists.

    Cory Doctorow is an Author and he releases all his books under a CC license. He is also making money from selling the same books. He is not just competing with free ebooks, but competing against free copies of his own titles to make his money. Copyright could be abolished today, and he would still be able to make a living, as nothing would really change.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:36am

    Re:

    Welcome to my world!

    I don't have any rights to my work! Once my work is completed I get paid (once) and - that's it! Sorry, but, your special snowflake status is about to be revoked for good. And that's a good thing - for you, me, everybody.

    Have a nice future.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re:

    Why does Doctorow use a copyright license if he's so opposed to copyright? Seems illogical to me.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Please point out where in the article he came out against copyright.

     

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

  18. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re:

    I appreciate that you're willing to discuss your beliefs about copyright directly. If only Mike were so open about his. He has stated definitively that the *only* reason he thinks piracy is not OK is because it ignores the wishes of authors and artists. That + the thousands of articles he's written complaining about copyright + the complete absence of articles discussing anything positive about copyright tell us that he doesn't think authors or artists should have any rights in their works whatsoever. Again, it's sad that he can't discuss this stuff directly. Everyone else here is able to discuss their beliefs, but Mike, who is incredibly opinionated on these matters, refuses. Hmmm. It's not hard to read into it the fact that he's ashamed of what he truly believes.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you want to be a member of the club, you have to learn a few basics.

    Copyright, as it stands, is designed to take rights away from users. CC (and the GPL, for example) are designed to take rights away from the "artist" and give rights to the user. Hence the term Copyleft (the reverse of copyright).

    If copyright did not exist, we wouldn't need CC or GPL.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:44am

    Re:

    "Your rhetorical move in focusing on these evil "gatekeepers" is cute (and I'm sure effective), but at bottom you don't think authors and artists should have any rights to their works."

    Authors and artists DO deserve the rights to their works!
    But the corporations who own the copyrights via work-for-hire contracts don't give them their due!
    Examples:
    Jack Kirby at Marvel Comics (owned by Disney)
    Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster at DC Comics (owned by Time-Warner)

    BTW, the vast majority of copyrights (movies/tv/prose/graphic novels, et al) are work produced for corporations under similar work-for-hire contracts, even today!

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:46am

    Re:

    First off that's a bad AC for constructing a straw-man.

    Authors and artists (generally speaking) have very few rights, more often than not they've traded them away to the gatekeepers for a shot at the big time. So lets be real it's not their rights we're talking about.

    We do want IP laws scaled back because they're increasingly encroaching on our rights as private citizens. Free speech is being removed, our browsing habits are being snooped on and lets not forget the guilty until proven innocent aspect of programs like 6-strikes. Oh yeah and we don't trust our governments to only censor the "bad stuff".

    It would be a very different situation if the copyright cartels were actually working for the artists. But time and time again we're seeing the money from the trials of "evil file sharers" going into lawyers and execs pockets (and then into congress but let's not go there).

    I'd actually like more rights for artists I think the best way to do that would be to make copyright non-transferable to stop large corporations making hugely 1 sided deals with them. I doubt you'd go for that because it's not actually the artists you're in support of is it?

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:46am

    Copyright Trolls: Of course damaging the internet isn't acceptable collateral damage in the copyright wars. We only want to DESTROY it, we survived without the Internet for centuries, we can do so again!

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually CC and GPL is designed to create a symbiotic balance between creator and user.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re:

    If this whole "war" were about individual authors or creators making a living off their work for a limited time while they continued to work to create new works, I'm sure most folks would not have as much a problem with copyright as they do today. But, all the issues with copyright stem from large multi-national corporations who own most copyright today who have the wealth and power and willingness to corrupt governments to buy laws that favor them at the expense of the public benefit.

    Here's the relevant quote from the linked article. It was true in 1939 and it's still true in 2013 and will still be true in 2039.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2013/mar/28/copyright-wars-internet

    And what of the entertainment industry and its "piracy" problem? Well, back in 1939, the science fiction writer Robert A Heinlein published his first story, "Life-Line," that contained his truest prediction:

    "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:47am

    Re:

    We survived without copyright for centuries, we can do it again.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeahbuhwha?

    Mike said he's copyflexible. Time and time again, but that pure-monopoly copyright isn't the correct way. Having a copyright system that allows for building on top of a work, whilst still preserving the rights of the creators of a work, is a far more laudable goal than the current system.

    We just need to kill the MAFIAA and make it politically toxic to support breaking inter-connectivity in order to support a model that is negatively impacting all other aspects of economic growth.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:53am

    Its not like they couldn't make plenty of products even if copyright were abolished tomorrow. They wouldn't have a monopoly over it but its definitely possible. People wouldn't stop caring about good movies, music, ect just because copyright isn't there anymore.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re:

    I'd actually like more rights for artists I think the best way to do that would be to make copyright non-transferable to stop large corporations making hugely 1 sided deals with them.

    That would probably fail to change the actual situation, the corporation would switch to a commercial contract giving them sole permission to publish a work, and prohibiting the work being offerered to any other publisher.

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:00am

    Re:

    "People wouldn't stop caring about good movies, music, ect just because copyright isn't there anymore."

    Correct, people would care more.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re:

    Culture grew up without copyright for millennia, not centuries. Homo Sapiens is at least 100,000 years old, and has been sharing culture for all that time.

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I know, I was just rewriting the "We lived without the Internet for centuries" thing ;-)

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    To quote Cory:-
    And if the cost of "saving" my industry is the freedom and openness of the internet, then hell, I guess I'll have to resign from the 0.0000000000000000001 percent club.
    That is he values the Internet and its benefits to society over making a living as an author.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:27am

    Re: cool

    Your typical troll logical fallacy.
    Just because you speak up against one injustice doesn't mean you have to speak up against every single other injustice for the sake of neutrality.
    ...and thank God for that or we'd waste a lifetime listening to everyone to speak out against everything wrong in the world every time they want to complain about something.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re:

    "Authors and artists DO deserve the rights to their works!
    But the corporations who own the copyrights via work-for-hire contracts don't give them their due!
    Examples:
    Jack Kirby at Marvel Comics (owned by Disney)
    Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster at DC Comics (owned by Time-Warner)
    "

    "Authors and artists (generally speaking) have very few rights, more often than not they've traded them away to the gatekeepers for a shot at the big time. So lets be real it's not their rights we're talking about."

    What they have mentioned in the above quotes never seems to get answered by the IP retards that troll around here. So many true artists and creators buy into the snake oil pitch they get tossed and only when they get burned do they realize they got played.

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    Ben S (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Easy fix here. Give the artist the ability to revoke the licence after (just throwing out a number) 1 year. No exceptions.

    If one of the big record labels/movie studios cheats a creator, they will end up losing access to the work in question. If the label/studio succeeds in making it popular, the creator can then take full advantage of it.

    Now other labels/studios are more likely to give better licensing terms for something that's already hugely popular, assuming the creator of the work decides to go with another group. They could self-publish by that point in time.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    uRspqF7L (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: cool

    i read the article on Spamhaus (linked below) and did not notice the words "antisocial," "moronic," or anything of the sort. the article I read asked for better defenses against DDoS or something like that, but contained no moralizing parallel to this one.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130327/15000422489/internet-under-attack-worlds-largest-d dos-attack-almost-broke-internet.shtml

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If only Mike were so open about his."

    Which dragon are you trying to slay again?

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Re: cool

    Conflation + Lies = what exactly?

    DDoS'ing a site (which may or MAY NOT have had knock on effects for others) for a period of time is very different from undercutting the fundamental technologies of the internet.

    Mike has been pretty consistent in his take on DDoS.

    Ipso facto, you suck.

     

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

  39. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:59am

    First flaw: Innumeracy, the inability to grasp numbers.

    Example: assuming this Doctorow is referring to population, then 7,000,000,000 * 0.0000000000000000001 = 0.0000000007, not even near a whole person. What's his point there, when he doesn't know simple arithmetic? (And actually, since he states the number is a percent, it's 1/100 of that.)

    Now, you kids may think that as author Doctorow is entitled to exaggerate for effect, but his inability to work with real numbers surely indicates a disdain for facts. And it IS an opinion piece, that's all. He has his notions: they aren't matched in reality.

    Doctorow is asking for a situation he doesn't actually want. He appears to be both loony libertarian and nihilist, destroying his own ability and right to profit from his works. Actually, he's benefitting from the current legal milieu. Like many, he thinks that a complex system of rights and moralities can be eliminated entirely and the situation will only get better. That's clearly insane.

    And he fancies himself as part of "industry"! Sheesh. I've read some of his product: he churns out pablum for kids.

    As Mike says in his last line: there's TONS of soft-headd crap like Doctorow's on the internet. But if you want to KNOW about copyright, sit down and write your own work, then see how you feel about it being taken without money sent your way.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, right.

    Everyone has to eat and pay rent, and if Cory darling wasn't getting paid for this he'd be doing something else.

    The most damage being done to the Internet isn't being done by creators, but by snooping, privacy invasive entities like Google.

    Google glasses? Just say no to more "spywear" from the Evil Empire.

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As various authors have demonstrated, it is possible to compete with free. My personal opinion is that it is easier to defend no copyright than any reduced form of copyright. If a form of copyright exists the corporations can obtain small changes until they are back where we are now. I would wonder how long the authors right to revoke a license would last against corporate lobbying.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:03am

    Re:

    For you, anyway, it's about taking away the rights of authors and artists. Your rhetorical move in focusing on these evil "gatekeepers" is cute (and I'm sure effective), but at bottom you don't think authors and artists should have any rights to their works.

    I suggest you actually read the linked article, which was written by an author who explicitly said that he thought his "rights" were less important than the integrity of the internet and he was prepared to abandon them if the damage caused by keeping them was too great.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are making the very silly "2 sides" mistake, as so many have done before.
    "You are not supporters of the system we have now, so you must be the extreme opposites and support anarchy, no money for the artists and terrorists".
    There are quite a lot of space in between these 2 sides and that is where most people are. I think that almost all of us on this site support some form of copyright, but the way it is today, is not the way to go. It shits on the artists and the fans, and the collateral damage is so huge it makes my head swim just thinking about it.
    We are already a decade behind the technology but ask yourself this: if we stop discussing this, if we stop protesting, if piracy stopped tomorrow; what do you think would happen?
    Would the big corporations embrace technology suddenly and innovate?
    I fear they would actually keep trying to make laws to control(break) the internet to make it hard for new artists to be successful without them and I believe they would actually go back to the physical media which they could control better than iTunes, Spotify, Netflix and the like.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re: @AC: Because want to get filthy rich easily.

    "So many true artists and creators buy into the snake oil pitch they get tossed and only when they get burned do they realize they got played." -- As Ayn Rand wrote: The desire for the unearned is corrupting. Getting rich with little effort is the main hook for "artists", as for those who frequent casinos and play the lottery. It's a societal disease. The way to combat it is to progressively tax the hell out of unearned income. Authors, down at the low end and as producers, should be barely taxed, while taxes on corporate fat cats should approach 100% confiscation.

    Wasn't long ago -- the 1970's -- that the US had reasonable rates of taxation as I outline above, and everyone WAS better off.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly.

    Furthermore I would say that copyright acts as a magnet to the dregs of humanity. Its promise of a income (effectively) for ever in exchange for no further effort brings out the worst in people (and brings the worst people in!).

    Look at the kibnd of people who run the gatekeepers, the kind of creators who proactively defend copyright - and - yes - the trolls round here - and you will see what I mean.

     

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

  46. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:09am

    Re: First flaw: Innumeracy, the inability to grasp numbers.

    Nice...another impostor in before I could have my say.

     

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

  47.  
    icon
    Ben S (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, I don't doubt it'd never make it through lobbying, but should such a change occur, that would, for the most part, fix the issue with large corporations controlling all the works.

     

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

  48. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: First flaw: Innumeracy, the inability to grasp numbers.

    I wouldn't sweat it. This place is a clown shoe store; mocked and snickered at mercilessly everywhere.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:26am

    Re: First flaw: Innumeracy, the inability to grasp numbers.

    I've done that before - shit was so cash.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re:

    Welcome to their world, where you may or may not get paid after you do your work, and most likely will not get paid nearly enough for the amount of work you do, because people think you're a special snowflake.

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: Re: First flaw: Innumeracy, the inability to grasp numbers.

    Yeah, no. You just won't listen.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 9:55am

    What's the point of Copyright again?

    Isn't the concept that people will do what makes them the largest profit (money, happiness, etc) the whole point of capitalism, economics, and a global economy?

    If so, why do we need to incentivize people to make works? I mean if there isn't a market for it, there shouldn't be (as many) people thinking their entitled to an earning by doing it. If there aren't enough atrists/works, then won't people start paying more?

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Let us all just agree that copyright should ideally balance the rights of artists and creators with the rights of the general public. However this appears to be an inpediment to the whiny Google lobbyists on this board that wish to line their pockets with stolen content.

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 10:08am

    It's more subtle than that.

    > at bottom you don't think authors and artists should have any rights to their works

    They shouldn't. Artists aren't the point. They never were supposed to be the point. The point of copyright law is supposed to be the art.

    It's the art, not the artist.

    As far as artistic megalomania goes: once you release something into the economy, your ability to control it obviously diminishes because justice dictates that the rights of all of your customers are no less valuable than your own.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    He is basically forced to do that if he wants to avoid having companies who search for monopoly on sale of his works or derivatives there-off pumping his mail-box full.

    The problem with the permission-society today, is the sheer amount of permission seeking needed. If you are a big company, you can deny and sue as you please, but if sir Doctorow as a single person wants to distance his works from that industry, he has to use a low-restrictive copyright license to make his stances clear to avoid having to deal with the copyright flood! It is ironic and kind of highlights the problem with the way copyright works.

    Registration of copyrighted works should be a demand to make life easier for Doctorow. Nothing very painfull for the oldschool industry at all, to solve this "conondrum"!

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    CC is a quitclaim. Nothing more.

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re: First flaw: Innumeracy, the inability to grasp numbers.

    Only by copyright apologists who brown nose the copyright cartels.

     

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

  58. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Once again fakes trying to derail honest discussion about thieves and mike supporting theft

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Dave Xanatos, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    the complete absence of articles discussing anything positive about copyright tell us...
    ...that there isn't anything positive about copyright?

    Seriously, dude. Please post links to all the stories you've found that explain how copyright saved the day. If you could put them in separate posts with a summary, that'd be great. I seriously feel they would add to the discussion.

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know, maybe it has something to do with the fact that everything created is copyrighted automatically?

    His books are copyrighted whether he wants them to be or not, the CC license is just his best attempt to mitigate that.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Jeff (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you just missed their advertisement for Google Tinfoil Hat... it searches what you want before you know you want it...

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    Philip Dorrell (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Preaching to the converted

    I agree that "Preaching to the converted" is a major problem in the fight for digital freedoms. But what are the alternatives?
    One alternative, which I have attempted at http://digital-freedoms.org/, is to spell out in relentless (and possibly boring) detail, exactly what digital freedoms there are that we might care about, and how copyright and patents and security and various other things might all conflict with those digital freedoms.
    The general theme of my approach is not so much "we have to do this", or "we have to do that", but more, "these two things conflict, and we actually have to choose one of them and not the other".

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:37pm

    This copyright laws today must die, they can be reborn another day but this incarnation must die.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    JP Jones (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Let us all just agree that copyright should ideally balance the rights of artists and creators with the rights of the general public. However this appears to be an inpediment to the whiny Google lobbyists on this board that wish to line their pockets with stolen content.

    This statement may have had relevance ten years ago. It doesn't now. The fundamental premise of this logic is flawed because there is no functional difference between "artists and creators" and "the general public." You act like these are completely separate groups when modern technology easily combines the two. Youtube users are both creators and the public. Game modders are both creators and the public. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, deviantart...all these people are creators and the public.

    The concept of "art" as something created by an elite few for the pleasure of the masses has been dying a slow death since the internet developed. It's like we're passing legislation to prevent cars from going faster than 15 MPH in order to avoid causing "irreparable harm" to the horse-and-buggy industry.

    You can't steal culture. You can fight culture, you can direct culture, you can profit off of culture. But it is not a commodity that can be taken away by spreading more of it.

    We've created a society where every single person, including you, breaks the law on a daily basis, often without even realizing it. When a normal life becomes illegal, there is a problem with the law, not a problem with the people.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    AC Unknown, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Shut up, troll. Google only provides people with links to what they're searching for. That's why they're called a search engine

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Let us all just agree that copyright should ideally balance the rights of artists and creators with the rights of the general public.

    Nah, let's just stick with the Constitution, which says the purpose of copyright is to benefit the public.

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 12:31am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:10am

    In what sentence did he imply that he wants to get rid of the artists rights on their own works? I think I missed it. What I read was that many of the laws created to protect the artists do not protect the majority of artists, but only the big content creators who have been around since the days before the internet. I'm not an expert on this matter so I won't defend this statement, but if you want to criticise the article please go ahead and use it's actual content.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    AC Unknown, Apr 4th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

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

    I call shenanigans on the whole "CC is a quitclaim" nonsense.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This