New Book On The History Of Music, Copyright And Piracy Shows How Copyright Tends To Hold Back Music

from the but-of-course dept

Reason is running a very interesting review of a new book by Alex Sayf Cummings, called Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century. It reiterates many of the points that we've made before about music and copyright, but with a strong historical basis, highlighting how these issues are not new. In fact, it reiterates how Congress was quite concerned that putting copyright on recordings was a very dangerous mistake:
The fact that music is widely seen as "intellectual property" is itself a product of that struggle. For a long time, the U.S. worked to separate intellect and property. In the early 1900s when copyright issues around sound recording were first being negotiated, the law "protected the tangible expression of an idea and not the idea itself," Cummings writes. Lawmakers struggled to figure out where sound recordings fit into that framework. Was the recording a tangible expression of a new idea? Or was it simply a copy of an idea? Congress initially leaned towards the second interpretation—and, as a result, sound recordings could not be copyrighted. For decades, pirates had to be prosecuted under common law or statutory bans on unfair competition. It was only in the 1970s that copyright was extended to sound recordings.
As the book notes, lawmakers were quite worried that extending copyright to sound recordings would stifle creativity -- and, as the book shows, their fears were not out of line:
Unrestricted property rights in music, they feared, could create monopolies, harm consumers, and throttle innovation and competition This was the rationale, in part, for giving songwriters only limited rights over the use of their songs. Under the law, licensing was compulsory: Songwriters received a fee from recordings, but could not refuse the use of their work. You can thank this system for America's long history of cover versions. Indeed, in the years before it was common to play records on the radio, these remakes were central to the record labels' business model: Re-recordings of hit songs by different artists were a major source of income. A whole subset of artistic production and commerce, in other words, was enabled not by the expansion but by the limitation of intellectual property rights.

This apparent contradiction surfaces again and again throughout Cummings' book. Property rights in music are supposed to promote creativity, but often they seem to either be irrelevant, or else actively retard it.
You can read the full review over at Reason, but the full book sounds like a must read in the collection of books that highlight how damaging copyright has been to creativity over the years.


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    dennis deems (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 6:53am

    For ages I've felt the need for a good, scholarly history of the sound recording. When I was an undergrad studying music, there wasn't much available beyond sweeping surveys that restricted themselves either to itemizing the advances in technology or to presenting a succession of biographical and career sketches of recording artists. I never found one that adequately examined the recording as a cultural phenomenon. Looks like here may be the book I've been wanting.

    At Amazon, you can preview a good sampling of the book. It's very well-written, serious in purpose and tone, but nonetheless entertaining. The first chapter deals with the early days of the sound recording, and Cummings wittily seizes on the irony of the dog Nipper and the slogan "His Master's Voice". "The dog looks rapt and attentive, as if his master were standing right there." Originally the dog was pictured listening to a cylinder, which could actually be recorded on by the user, so it was conceivable it could actually be his master's voice. When the image was adopted by Victor as their emblem, the cylinder was replaced by a phonograph, "a medium that did not allow consumers to make their own recordings. Unless the dog belonged to a recording artist like Enrico Caruso, [the record] was unlikely to feature the actual voice of his master." Cummings establishes a pattern of consumer involvement is transmuted into passive reception that I hope is repeated throughout the book. I'm looking forward to reading this.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 7:05am

    If ootb had a blog I'd suggest we go troll it with links to this book hahaha.

    But in a somewhat serious note could it be that the MAFIAA is shooting down their own money makers? Nah, not happening, right?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:02am

    First, let's see the metrics for measuring "creativity".

    You can't, so that make this mere opinion.

    "For decades, pirates had to be prosecuted under common law or statutory bans on unfair competition. It was only in the 1970s that copyright was extended to sound recordings." -- SO? Now it's codified and clarified in statute. Clearly the author acknowledges that common law and unfair competition principles are against piracy, so he's only sort of vaguely arguing that the derived statutes are bad. What the hell is the point, then? Just don't violate common law, kids, and you'll be okay on copyright.

     

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      Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:05am

      Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring "creativity".

      I suppose you have never violated ANY common law then?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:13am

        Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring "creativity".

        "I suppose you have never violated ANY common law then?"

        I'm sure the boy's got traffic tickets and other citiations showing him breaking "common law"

        (I don't since I don't own a car.)

         

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        out_of_the_blue, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring "creativity".

        @ "Zakida Paul" - "I suppose you have never violated ANY common law then?"

        Oooh, what a zinger.

        How about instead of an irrelevant question, you state a bit of substance on whether you agree with the author and me that common law supports copyright?

         

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          dennis deems (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 9:08am

          Re: Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring "creativity".

          So you've read the book then? You seem certain of the author's position.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:11am

      Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring "creativity".

      "You can't, so that make this mere opinion."

      Like your own comments, boy?

       

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      RD, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:23am

      Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring

      so you supported slavery then, because it was codified in law, and you just follow the law and you'll be alright right?

      Hey everyone! ootb supports slavery!

       

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        Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:26am

        Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring

        I was gonna make a similar point to his response above. Just because something is codified into law that does not make it morally right.

         

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          out_of_the_blue, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:30am

          Re: Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring

          @ Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:26am

          Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring
          I was gonna make a similar point to his response above. Just because something is codified into law that does not make it morally right."

          ------------

          IT DOES WHEN IT'S DERIVED FROM COMMON LAW, as I stated, you lightweight, gainsaying simp.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring

            Get out!!!!

            *mumbles* Stupid drunk people pestering...

            I think OOTB is so uncommon, that he doesn't need to obey a mother in common law or whatever he is shouting about.

             

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        out_of_the_blue, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:28am

        Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring

        @ "RD, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:23am

        Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring
        so you supported slavery then, because it was codified in law, and you just follow the law and you'll be alright right?

        Hey everyone! ootb supports slavery!
        -------------

        Congratulations. You've plumbed a new low in stupid and slimy.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 10:28am

          Re: Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring

          Oh, please don't worry. No one could ever be as low, stupid and slimy as you. Well, I suppose there is average_joe.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 11:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring

            Oh, please don't worry. No one could ever be as low, stupid and slimy as you. Well, I suppose there is average_joe.

            I am still not convinced that average_joe and ootb aren't the same person suffering from multiple personalities disorders. Until Mike provides the session logs and ip addresses, there is no way to be sure. I am pretty sure that ootb is dorpus, however. He's grown up some, but the writing style is pretty similar.

             

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring

              I am still not convinced that average_joe and ootb aren't the same person suffering from multiple personalities disorders. Until Mike provides the session logs and ip addresses, there is no way to be sure. I am pretty sure that ootb is dorpus, however. He's grown up some, but the writing style is pretty similar.

              I'm amazed that someone still remembers dorpus, the first major troll that we ever had. He hasn't been on the site in ages.

              Anyway, AJ and OOTB are not the same person. Pretty convinced of that. I had never considered the OOTB/dorpus connection, though. There are some stylistic differences, but I've almost forgotten dorpus' style.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 2:00pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring

                Bawk! Bawk! I can't discuss my beliefs on the merits! Cluck! Cluck! Even though I'm the most opinionated guy in the world when it comes to copyright, and even though I publish more words about copyright than anyone else, I just can't state my opinions about copyright! Ah, shucks! Cluck! Cluck! It's so hard for me to have an opinion! Bawk! Cluck! Bawk! Cluck!

                Think I'll go with Chicken Mike from now on. Fits so well. Play all your little games, but at the end of the day you know I'm right. Total coward. Total fake. And you know it.

                 

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        Digitari, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 1:04pm

        Re: Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring

        he also supports murder and abortion of corporate peoples

         

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      Gwiz (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:44am

      Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring "creativity".

      What the hell is the point, then? Just don't violate common law, kids, and you'll be okay on copyright.


      Can you point me to where in common law it was illegal to copy another's creation prior to copyright, patents and other forms of IP?

      That is exactly how wandering minstrels made a living from as early on as the 1200's (if not earlier). It's exactly how humans moved from hunter/gatherers to farmers - by learning from what the next village over was doing.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 10:03am

      Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring "creativity".

      Ah, so you've fallen back to your "it's immoral because it's against the law because it's immoral because it's against the law" infinite loop. Let me know when you manage to crawl out of that rut.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

      Re: First, let's see the metrics for measuring "creativity".

      you obfuscate with the best of em blue

       

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    out_of_the_blue, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:14am

    The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

    that first made almost unlimited copies possible, and soon spread and made unlawful copying easier than ever. No principles were obviously changed with the spread of such machines, just that statute got caught up to a new bunch of pirates with acces to new machines that they didn't make, either, trying the same old grifting to get unearned income off someone else's creations.

     

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      Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:16am

      Re: The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

      "same old grifting to get unearned income off someone else's creations."

      That is the very definition of a record label.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:21am

        Re: Re: The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

        So true.

         

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        out_of_the_blue, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:26am

        Re: Re: The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

        @ "Zakida Paul" - "same old grifting to get unearned income off someone else's creations."

        That is the very definition of a record label.

        --------

        What's your point? First, record labels actually do some selection and then promotion -- within the evil system of griftage. -- But will you for once acknowledge that I say often that all fat cats and grifters within the existing system should be limited? -- No, you're blinded by Mike's anti-copyright mania, and won't see that the problem is The Rich and their corporations. Mike actually supports the corporations; I don't. I wonder why you anti-corporate types are here, too, when Mike is clearly PRO-corporation.

         

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          Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:29am

          Re: Re: Re: The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

          The biggest job of a record label is promotion - that is exactly what the 'pirates' are doing as well. They are just using a different medium to do it.

          If you are so anti corporation, why are you not anti copyright? The only people who benefit from copyright are the corporate middle men and lawyers.

           

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            out_of_the_blue, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

            @ "Zakida Paul"

            Will you for once acknowledge that I say often that all fat cats and grifters within the existing system should be limited? -- NO, you go on with other irrelevancy. What a nasty little ankle-biter you are. When I lift one ankle out of your reach, you just go for the other, and when I lift both, you yap your fool head off louder than ever.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

              Copyright is a corporate invention, and is applied whenever an industrial process becomes available for copying. With music, prior to recording music mainly spread from performer to performer without any issue of copyright or licenses. Indeed without this transmission a lot of music would have died out. With a workable recording technology, copyright was applied to music to control commercial copying, and protect the income of the labels, not the artists.

               

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              Gwiz (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 9:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

              Will you for once acknowledge that I say often that all fat cats and grifters within the existing system should be limited?

              Once again, how do you propose to do this? Penalize those who become "too" successful? Who defines what is "too successful", you?

               

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              Gwiz (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 9:17am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

              What a nasty little ankle-biter you are.


              Oh man, Blue. Thanks for the laugh - I needed it today.

              You calling someone an "ankle-biter" for responding to your comments is fucking hilarious. This is the exact same behavior you exhibit towards Mike on every single article.

              Pot, kettle.....

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 10:04am

          Re: Re: Re: The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

          No, you don't say it often. You whine in defence of performance rights organisations. You fail to appear whenever it's pointed out that Mitch Bainwol and Cary Sherman are paid in millions each year. Your supposed rant against "corporations" and "grifters" is a poor facade and insult to anyone with any degree of cognitive ability.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 2:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: The "Remaking of American Copyright" was due to new machinery,.

          outa both sides of your obfuscating mouth

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    Sounds to me like a bunch of vague nonsense. It's not surprising that Mike's repeating it. Too bad Mike's too scared to discuss his own beliefs about copyright on the merits. It's sad. Most opinionated guy in the world about copyright, yet he can't form an opinion about copyright when asked what he believes. And he can't just have a nice conversation where he answers direct questions with direct answers. Really sad. I wonder why he's so unsure of himself?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:17am

      Re:

      Hi, AJ, did you get kicked out of law school yet?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re:

        No. They keep me around because I'm not too scared to discuss issues on the merits. Maybe there's a job scrubbing toilets for you. I'll ask around.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you a lawyer, or a comedian?

           

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          dennis deems (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 9:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm not too scared to discuss issues on the merits.
          And unafraid to dismiss a book you haven't read based on a review of a review. Which is nothing like discussion an issue on its merit, but it does save time.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 9:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Mike wasn't too scared to recommend the book even though he hadn't read it. Not sure why you're giving me grief and not him. Hmmmm.

             

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              AC Unknown, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 10:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's because you and your buddies (like OOTB) have it dead-set that you're gonna attack Mike at every opportunity. I'm surprised that Mike hasn't banned you guys for being complete jerks.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Not sure why you're giving me grief and not him."

              Because you're an idiot and he isn't, boy?

               

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      Niall (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:18am

      Re:

      Cluck! Cluck! Cluck! goes the broken gramophone record...

       

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      Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:19am

      Re:

      Mike has given his opinion on copyright and how to fix it many times. It's not his fault if you are too stupid to understand his opinions.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re:

        Fix it? Hmmm. Seems to me he only wants to get rid of it. Is that what you mean by "fix it"?

         

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          Jay (profile), Apr 13th, 2013 @ 6:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, Mike doesn't want to get rid of it. He wants copyright law to support the public instead of going against them.

          People that are against it, would be me for the reason that it represents a mercantilist capitalism which doesn't deliver the goods for society and only supports the select few at the top of the food chain.

          I think we can do a lot better without out it than with trying to reform a broken system.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:49am

        Re: Re:

        Just ignore him. He is a pure-breed attention troll. Somehow I would respect Mike more if he just ignored AJ.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Don't worry, he does ignore me because he's too scared to have a frank and honest discussion.

           

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            AC Unknown, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 10:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Then why don't you go and start your own blog, AJ?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 11:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'd rather stay here and keep reminding everyone that Mike is too dishonest to discuss his own beliefs about a subject he obviously has many deep-felt beliefs about. It's fun for me.

               

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 9:04am

        Re: Re:

        Mike has given his opinion on copyright and how to fix it many times. It's not his fault if you are too stupid to understand his opinions.

        Hey ZP,

        Since you're so smart and I'm so dumb, would you please explain to me exactly which exclusive rights Mike thinks authors/artists should have? As far as I can tell, he doesn't think they should have ANY exclusive rights. But I'm just stupid, unlike you. Let me know too, please, the scope of those exclusive rights that Mike supports. I'd love to hear all about the parts of copyright that Mike supports. Thanks! I really appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me since I just can't figure it out myself, being so dumb and all. Thanks again!

         

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:20am

      Re:

      "Sounds to me like a bunch of vague nonsense."

      I'll translate for everyone else:

      "I haven't read the book, but I'll assume I won't like it and attack it with my preconceived assumptions rather than any factual retort. I'll then whine that Mike won't talk to me, even though he has"

      Vague nonsense indeed.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    so ootb

    do you display books and magazines on shelves or tables so others can browse, read or borrow them? Maybe even books you don't own, your partners or children? Have you never borrowed a book, read it and then bought more of that author? You share files, your parents shared files, becasue its good to share, it increases learning and sales. You are just a hypocrite.

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:29am

    "Re-recordings of hit songs by different artists were a major source of income."

    Which is where A&R guys got their name. A&R stands for Artist and Repertoire. Their job was to get musicians to perform songs from the label's repertoire. It was huge money at one time.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    I've always thought the compulsory music licensing was the perfect example of how legislation is crafted around current business practices. The music world was traditionally one where people sang other people's songs all the time. In any other medium you would need to permission to make such copies, but no musician would have ever stood for that.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Here's what's so horrible Techdirt fanboys can't stand it be seen!

    This comment has been flagged by the community. Click to show the comment.

    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    Sounds to me like a bunch of vague nonsense. It's not surprising that Mike's repeating it. Too bad Mike's too scared to discuss his own beliefs about copyright on the merits. It's sad. Most opinionated guy in the world about copyright, yet he can't form an opinion about copyright when asked what he believes. And he can't just have a nice conversation where he answers direct questions with direct answers. Really sad. I wonder why he's so unsure of himself?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 9:12am

      Re: Here's what's so horrible Techdirt fanboys can't stand it be seen!

      You understand that your post is redundant, correct?

      People are smart enough to click on the red banner, if they wish so.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 10:09am

      Re: Here's what's so horrible Techdirt fanboys can't stand it be seen!

      That's not horrible. It's infantile and a thorough waste of space, but no surprise that it's exactly the sort of thing that gives you an anti-Mike boner. Should we give you and average_jackass a room, too, so you can both post naughty things on his wife's computer?

       

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    ByteMaster (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 9:54am

    If any change is made to rules regarding "fixations", it should also be explicitly stated that the expiration of the copyright to the fixation trumps any other right, i.e. a copyright in the lyrics cannot stop the recording from becoming public domain, in the sense that the copyright to the lyrics does not apply for the lyrics *as fixed in the recording*. You would not be allowed to transcribe them from the fixation and publish those, but you can still share the recording all you want.

     

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    Trevor (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    Welp

    Sayf is right: copyright is retarded.

     

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    special-uninteresting, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    About the review on Amazon. They used the word piracy! Did the book also use the same word? Idiots. The public has clearly not recognized any new meaning for that word especially not the MPAA or RIAA and not the least general prosecution attorneys. The accusation of 'pirate' still has a stinging aspect to it used effectively (and unfairly) by malcontents contending that sharing culture is bad.

    Grrrrr. Wruff. Rufff! Down boy... Dowwwwnnnn. Easy there.

    For the general public this is rocket science. Most people have been brainwashed (including me) over the years to blindly accept copyright/bureaucracy/corporate benevolence as a good and wise thing. Don't we all feel so much safer and comfortable with so much protective custody of our culture and property rights? Its incalculable. It has taken years of paying attention, questioning authority repeatedly, to be able to think in a stand alone way.

    Although copyright might be just a small part of the overall whitewash strategy (hint; special interest groups) it is so much more important to the average citizen through the sharing and creation of new culture. Modern day eternal copyright combined with current criminalization of (What was once) civil law has such a stifling restraint on new cultural works creation that... few time am speechless.

    One might cry out that all this is aleatory tin foil hat imaginary paranoid corckity crap. And. For the most part... YOU'D BE RIGHT! The exception being special interest groups as even government does not have the general resolve or consistency needed to pull something/anything like that. (off)

    Special interest groups are extremely educated, highly paid organizations forcibly held to the grindstone by industry/corporations/business. They have a permanence that spans over the political interruptions normally called elections. This consistency allows them to out maneuver/plan around even the smartest of candidates/electives. They write speeches, give consultations on strategy for legislation, provide even the text for such legislation and grease the way with contributions.

    It is likely that current special interest groups know that their efforts to preserve or expand the current eternal copyright regime is killing off new cultural growth. If true it would make their whining machinations cigarette arguments. These same special interest groups might just as well be called Shinigami-Grim Reaper Cultural Death Scythe Incorporated. Especially when one realizes that it is done only for monopolistic reasons. (The very definition of a copyright is a monopoly.)


    Arrrrr. -dumps rant- (go read some past posts on that) Onto the meat of the topic.

    The whole concept of live or recorded performance regulation (another idiotic term 'performance rights' should be rephrased as 'performance rights theft' as in the right to perform music for ourselves, whatever the source, has been stolen.) removes from daily use the songs/plays/TV-shows/books that we want to sing-about/act-out/act-out/quote-from (respectively) to enrich our lives with the learned wisdom of others. To put up barriers preventing us from growing along ways that are good/better/great is a cultural crime.

    To copywrong (right) such valuable cultural works out of mainstream society/use cuts off any increase in our cultural IQ. Such legal walls keep us and our children from benefiting from ANY of the works we taught them from including school books and all the nursery rhymes sung/read to them. When the term limits of copyright are beyond the lifetimes of the audience its useless to even purchase or use such legally DRM'd material or media. Yes copyright can also be explained as legally applied DRM on any sort of media.

    Why pay good money for a song you cannot sing whenever one wanted? Why go to a play when you could get fined/jailed for just acting out a scene or two from memory to your friends? Why purchase a video that you and your friends could not put together a skit to perform at a party/school/work event?

    In short. With copyright and performance laws the way they are cultural development is at a standstill and will go nowhere anytime soon. To make things worse our cultural IQ will get lower without practice or use. Thats right we get dumber as a society without being able to share freely.

    -jumps on high horse- (that just happens to be running by randomly)

    Be it gossip about the news to one or many friends (without limit), singing around the campfire with family/friends or at girl/boy scouts outings (without limit), reading a book to a group of kids at the library reading group or school classroom (without limit), acting our TV shows or book passages for school/home events (without limit)!!! Karaoke, parodies, satire, comedy or whatever new (story telling method?) culture the general public can create thats great! It must be OK to be creative or it will never happen normally.

    Without such freedom of expression cultural expansion will be limited, curtailed and stunted in ways that cannot be evaluated presently. What copyright does is unavoidably regulate the passage of innovation/technology/techniques withing our social circles be it friends/social-groups/business or work related.

    Want some reasonable limits? This would apply to groups over 200-500. Seem to high? Nope. Its normal to have 100 plus people over for a decent party. Its bad form to regulate the right to assemble (Public Assembly. A basic human right sometimes interpreted as the right to party, with music or other entertainment, without harassment.) in any way. Its in no way acceptable to intrude upon the daily lives of ordinary citizens. Especially in legal ways be it civil or way out of line criminal.

    Want some reasonable limits? Large events. Some commercial usage rules. (hard to work out every detail on the fly here)

    Want some reasonable limits? Try a term limit for copyright of 14-28 years as arguably even that is to long for exponential cultural growth. (a great mystical goal of enlightened society) -waves hands in dramatic storyteller flourish- Am not asking for these terms... am expecting them. -finality-

    Fair use will hereafter be labeled “Fair Use Rights” just to reaffirm that they are sacred and beyond commercial/corporate selfishness. Additionally the Public Domain will also be labeled Public Domain Rights for similar cultural defensive posture. The phrase 'Intellectual Property' is banned as nothing intellectual can be considered as property. Call it a claim or rent if you want but no term that decries ownership over ideas should be used.

    The 14 years would be absolute and any longer terms won by application would not be as firm. Some sort or version of creative commons license would be best. Treaties would be satisfied by requiring continual reapplication every 5years or so. Orphaned works are placed in the public domain after a grace period of 5years. The use of unauthorized works will not be referred as piracy or theft upon risk of defamation or slander as such terms presuppose guilt and can unduly influence an otherwise untainted jury pool.

    -hops off high horse- (My back aches. Sure covered a lot of ground there.)

    Besides the cultural reasons given its important to not allow the daily intrusion/regulation into the average citizens life by either corporations or government. Anthill societies are NEVER creative and, basically, culturally dead.

    Only by increasing the size and breadth of the Public Domain Rights can creativity be enticed/flourish/take-off. Do we visualize a society where our lives are not exploited daily by commercial monopolies? Can we imagine a way of life that accepts the use of ideas created by others for the enrichment/benefit of the wisdom/ideas/knowledge we share as culture? Do we understand the exponential reciprocal benefits such a reiteration of those same ideas by modifying/adding to them as we re share them?

    -out of breath- (that was a culturally fun 1200 word ride. Hope ya did not fall asleep.)

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 1:37pm

    Today's public service announcement:

    To save time and sanity, any time AJ starts throwing his 'why won't you debate me?!' fit, just post the following link and then ignore him.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-tech dirt.shtml#c1210

    He's not interested in debate, just in causing a mess in the comments section, so responding to his fits is doing nothing more than indulging his tantrums, so stop doing it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 2:50pm

    I assume the book is copyrighted.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 4:23pm

    True in copyright as it is everywhere else

    "All things in moderation"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 5:24pm

    Bawk! Bawk! Bawk!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 7:13pm

      Re:

      Cried the Chicken Joe, as his heroes at Prenda got what was coming to them.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2013 @ 12:25am

      Re:

      Bawk! Bawk! Bawk!


      Can I ask you a serious question? What do you honestly think you're accomplishing with comments like this and your other antics on this site.

      I've seen you say over and over that you're doing this to let people know that Mike is dishonest and unwilling to engage in an "honest debate on the merits" with you. But, I've yet to see any single person here who thinks that's actually true. Lots of people point to previous cases where Mike did engage in a debate with you and you respond childishly by moving the goalposts and pretending he didn't answer when he did.

      Furthermore, a comment like the one above does absolutely nothing to convince people that you're right, and does a LOT more to convince people that you're just a very stupid troll.

      So, I'm honestly confused. The "bawk, bawk, bawk" comments, which seem straight out of a third grade classroom, clearly don't serve your claimed purpose of alerting others to the idea that Mike is too "chicken" to debate you. No one else has been convinced by that from everything I've seen to date. Instead, it really seems to just make you look like a childish asshole.

      So, can you be honest and say what you're really trying to do here? Because, frankly, based on what you've said, it makes no sense. If you're being truthful, then you're not very effective and appear to not be very smart. If you're being deceitful, and you're doing it just to make a mess on the site of someone you don't like, well, then that says plenty about you right there, doesn't it?

       

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


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