All Of These Works Should Be In The Public Domain, But Aren't

from the depressing dept

Every year for the past few years, the good folks at Duke's Center for the Study of the Public Domain have put up a list of works that should have gone into the public domain on January 1st had Congress not massively expanded the law. Each year, it's a depressing look at what works should be in the public domain. As a reminder, when these works were created, the creators knew the terms under which they were created and knew that they would have gone into the public domain by now -- and they found that to be more than enough incentive to create those works. Given that, it makes absolutely no sense that these works are not in the public domain. The latest list has many, many examples of classic works that should be in the public domain.

Here's a list of famous books from 1958 that should have gone into the public domain:
  • Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
  • Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition
  • Isaac Asimov (writing as Paul French), Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn
  • Simone de Beauvoir, Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée (Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter)
  • Michael Bond, A Bear Called Paddington, with illustrations by Peggy Fortnum
  • Eugene Burdick and William Lederer, The Ugly American
  • Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Agatha Christie, Ordeal by Innocence
  • John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society
  • Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss, Anthropologie Structurale (Structural Anthropology)
  • Mary Renault, The King Must Die
  • Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
  • T.H. White, The Once and Future King
As noted, it's somewhat ridiculous that, say, The Once and Future King is based on public domain King Arthur legends, but is being kept out of the public domain itself. And, seeing how we've just discussed how copyright is being used to hide Martin Luther King's words, it's sad to see that one of his books is also being held back from the public domain.

Onto a list of famous movies:
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, a low-budget horror/sci-fi cult hit.
  • Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell, Coral Browne, Roger Smith, and Peggy Cass.
  • The Blob, sci-fi/horror classic starring Steve McQueen in his first leading role.
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, and Burl Ives.
  • The Defiant Ones, starring Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, and Theodore Bikel.
  • From the Earth to the Moon, starring Joseph Cotten, George Sanders, and Debra Paget.
  • Gigi, directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, and Louis Jourdan. The film garnered 9 Academy Awards.
  • Mon Oncle, writer/director Jacques Tati reprises his comic alter-ego, Monsieur Hulot, and wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
  • Some Came Running, directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine.
  • South Pacific, Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical, directed by Joshua Logan, starring Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor.
  • Touch of Evil, written and directed by Orson Welles, starring Welles, Charlton Heston, and Janet Leigh.
  • The Young Lions, starring Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and Dean Martin.
  • Vertigo, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes.
And some of the top music hits from 1958:
  • "Johnny B. Goode" (Chuck Berry)
  • "Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)" (Domenico Modugno, F. Migliacci, Mitchell Parish (English translation))
  • "Yakety Yak" (Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller)
  • "Chantilly Lace" (Big Bopper)
  • "Purple People Eater" (Sheb Wooley)
And, of course, it's not just about entertainment, but important scientific developments as well:

1958 was another noteworthy year for science: the US launched the Explorer 1, its first successful satellite, which confirmed the existence of the Van Allen radiation belt. The first integrated circuit was demonstrated. There were groundbreaking publications in the fields of laser technology and cloning.

If you follow the link from “cloning” above (and you do not have a subscription or institutional access), you will see that this 1958 article is behind a paywall. You can purchase it for $32. A distressing number of scientific articles from 1958 remain behind paywalls, including those in major journals such as Science and JAMA. You can’t read these articles unless you pay or subscribe. And the institutional access that many top scientists enjoy is not guaranteed—even institutions such as Harvard have considered canceling their subscriptions because they could no longer afford the escalating prices of major journal subscriptions.

It’s remarkable to find scientific research from 1958 hidden behind publisher paywalls. Thankfully, some publishers have made older articles available in full online, so that you can read them, even though it may still be illegal to copy and distribute them. In addition, some older articles have been made available on third party websites, but this is not a stable solution for providing reliable access to science. Third party postings can be difficult to find or taken down, links can get broken, and would-be posters may be deterred by the risk of a lawsuit. Under the pre-1978 copyright term, all of this history would be free to scholars, students, and enthusiasts.

As the article notes, all of those works would have been in the public domain if not for the Copyright Act of 1976. Even though the creators of all those works knew -- without a doubt -- that those works would be in the public domain today, they are not. I have yet to see anyone come up with a credible explanation for why that is.

Meanwhile, over at Vox, Tim Lee came up with a related, but different, depressing list of works that should be in the public domain. This one looks at works that also got the gift of the 1976 Act, but then still should be in the public domain today... except for the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) -- sometimes called the Sonny Bono Act. These are works that (even after the 1976 Act) would have been released 75 years ago, which was the limit for "corporate" authored works, but which got extended to 95 years. In other words, these are works that have dodged the public domain "bullet" twice thanks to Congress. There are some impressive works here -- including The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind. Also, the very first Batman comic, meaning that the basic character of Batman would have gone into the public domain.

Instead, they're all locked up for many more years, and many people alive in the US today have never had an old work moved into the public domain in their lifetimes.

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    antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 3:15pm

    It's easy to say those works should be in the public domain because of copyright expansion. But do you think those works should've ever been copyrighted in the first place? That is, do you think we should have any copyright?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 3:27pm

      Re:

      "It's easy to say those works should be in the public domain because of copyright expansion."

      It's easy to say that these works should be in the public domain because they really should be. Copy protection lengths do in fact last way too long (assuming copy protection should even exist).

      "That is, do you think we should have any copyright?"

      Mike doesn't have to have an answer to this question in order to reasonably determine that our existing laws are a result of corruption and are not publicly beneficial.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 3:31pm

        Re: Re:

        IOW, your post is irrelevant to the point the OP is trying to make. Do you have something relevant to contribute to the discussion?

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          antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 7:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          IOW, your post is irrelevant to the point the OP is trying to make. Do you have something relevant to contribute to the discussion?

          It's not irrelevant. OP determined that these works should not be protected by copyright. I'm trying to understand what factors OP uses to determine whether works should be protected. If he has an opinion about one, surely he can share his opinion about the other.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 1:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The OP determined that if copyright is intended to incentivise the creation of works, when these works were created the incentive provided by the then-copyright term was deemed sufficient by the creator to incentivise the work and they would be public domain now on that basis.

            The fact that the copyright term was then extended brought no additional incentive to the creation of the works, as they had already been created, therefore they should be in the public domain as that was what was expected by the creator of the work.

            Assuming you believe copyright is designed to incentivise the creation of new works.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 1:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              (https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070919/033302.shtml Here's the argument that copyright is about incentive, from Mr Masnick)

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              antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The OP determined that if copyright is intended to incentivise the creation of works, when these works were created the incentive provided by the then-copyright term was deemed sufficient by the creator to incentivise the work and they would be public domain now on that basis.

              The fact that the copyright term was then extended brought no additional incentive to the creation of the works, as they had already been created, therefore they should be in the public domain as that was what was expected by the creator of the work.

              Assuming you believe copyright is designed to incentivise the creation of new works.


              I think incentivizing authors is just one part of it. I don't read the Constitution as only supporting the access vs. incentives view of copyright. I think that's an extremely narrow view that is unsupportable, frankly. I think copyright also recognizes that authors deserve rewards for their efforts, and it protects their noneconomic interests as well. That said, I don't agree with the premise. I think authors can be incentivized by the rewards that exist when they create the work, but they can also be incentivized by the knowledge that those rewards might be increased later on.

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                PaulT (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:54am

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

                "they can also be incentivized by the knowledge that those rewards might be increased later on."

                Really? You're going with "those authors were incentivised by a gamble on what a court might decide after their deaths"? They didn't need any actual benefits, just a roll of the dice of what might be there at some unspecified point in the future!

                That's meant to be a convincing argument here?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:00am

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

                "I don't read the Constitution as only supporting the access vs. incentives view of copyright."

                I suppose you can read any document any way you personally want but that doesn't really change how the document was written or intended. Why should we care how you personally choose to read the constitution vs what it actually says?

                "I think that's an extremely narrow view that is unsupportable, frankly."

                Why?

                "I think copyright also recognizes that authors deserve rewards for their efforts"

                Again this seems to be something you made up. The constitution and the founding fathers seem to disagree with you.

                http://rack1.ul.cs.cmu.edu/jefferson/

                Regardless no one is entitled to a reward for their efforts. To the extent that copy protection laws are about anything other than serving the public interest I believe they should be abolished. Laws that serve the interest of the few over the public are laws that effectively subsidize those few at the expense of the many. The few are not entitled to have laws that favor them, such is a privilege and the enforcement of those laws comes at the expense of taxpayers and at the expense of everyone that must comply with them and the few are not entitled to have everyone comply with their wishes just to appease them. That's stealing, they are effectively stealing the economic value society would otherwise benefit from just to appease the wishes of a few. If you wish to support artists by obeying copy protection principles to an extent that exceeds the extent that these laws support the public interest you are free to do so. But to the extent these laws do not meet the public interest you are effectively forcing else everyone to subsidize these artists and I do not wish to subsidize them. Forcing me to is morally wrong and for you not to see that shows what kind of immoral person you are.

                "but they can also be incentivized by the knowledge that those rewards might be increased later on."

                I think the benefit that I, as a member of the public, receive from having these works made available in a much shorter period of time far outweighs what little additional incentive copyright allegedly creates after ten years.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:04am

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

                  and it shouldn't be called copy'right', that's a dishonest misnomer. It's copy protection laws or copy privileges or something else.

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                  antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:25am

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

                  I suppose you can read any document any way you personally want but that doesn't really change how the document was written or intended. Why should we care how you personally choose to read the constitution vs what it actually says?

                  It's not just a view I made up. I've read lots and lots of case law, treatises, commentary, etc. that supports my view. I think the words are susceptible to multiple interpretations--as are many words in the Constitution. The problems of discerning the Framers' intent are well-known.

                  Again this seems to be something you made up. The constitution and the founding fathers seem to disagree with you.

                  http://rack1.ul.cs.cmu.edu/jefferson/


                  Thomas Jefferson wasn't there when they wrote the Constitution, right? Regardless, Jefferson's views ran the gamut. He changed his mind several times. So what? He's not a Framer, and even if he were, there were others. I know copyright opponents place great weight on what Jefferson thought. I've never understood why. It's cherry-picking.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:42am

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

                    "It's not just a view I made up."

                    You and other IP extremists.

                    "I've read lots and lots of case law, treatises, commentary, etc. that supports my view."

                    Anyone can write a commentary.

                    "I think the words are susceptible to multiple interpretations"

                    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts", to interpret that in any other way seems dishonest.

                    "I know copyright opponents place great weight on what Jefferson thought. I've never understood why. It's cherry-picking."

                    Not 'opponents', just opponents of the current system. We also put a lot of weight on what the constitution itself says. Is that cherry picking too?

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                      antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:46am

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

                      "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts", to interpret that in any other way seems dishonest.

                      I think it's dishonest to say that that phrase is only capable of one interpretation. That it's susceptible to more than one interpretation is common knowledge.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:25am

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

                        "than one interpretation is common knowledge."

                        Common knowledge among whom, IP shills that wish to twist everything in their favor?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You understand of course that these works should be in the public domain.

            New copyright laws should never be retroactive, copyright laws are sold as an incentive to creators. If the work has already been created it does not need more incentive to be created, does it?

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              antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:40am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You understand of course that these works should be in the public domain.

              New copyright laws should never be retroactive, copyright laws are sold as an incentive to creators. If the work has already been created it does not need more incentive to be created, does it?


              I think the main fault is your premise that copyright is only about incentives to create. It has never been understood to be only about that. Second, authors can be incentivized by the known rewards AND the knowledge that there may be some future rewards.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:08am

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

                "I think the main fault is your premise that copyright is only about incentives to create."

                I want copy protections to only be about promoting the public interest. This is supposed to be a democracy and so my opinion should matter. If enough people agree then the government should comply.

                "It has never been understood to be only about that."

                You want an honest discussion yet you keep repeating this unsupported lie.

                "Second, authors can be incentivized by the known rewards AND the knowledge that there may be some future rewards."

                Laws should not be based on hypothetical possibilities. They should be evidence based.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I agree.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "It's not irrelevant."

            It is.

            "OP determined that these works should not be protected by copyright."

            It is the OP's opinion that these works should not be protected by copy protection.


            "I'm trying to understand what factors OP uses to determine whether works should be protected."

            You are shifting the burden. It is not for the OP to justify works not being protected. No one is entitled to a government enforced monopoly. Such is a privilege that only exists in the presence of government. It is for IP defenders to justify why these works should (still) be protected. One reason copy protection lengths should not last so long is because there is no good reason for them to. You have failed to justify such lengths. I don't have to have a reason to believe these works shouldn't be protected. It is you that must have a reason to believe they should. You haven't given a good one.

            Another reason is that retroactive extensions do not encourage the creation of works that were already created.

            Another reason is that many works maybe lost to history by the time they reach the public domain.

            Another reason is that this is supposed to be a democracy and these lengths and extensions were not democratically passed but, instead, were lobbied for by corporate interests. Laws should be democratically passed. The blog believes IP lengths last way too long. I happen to agree as do many others. If enough people agree then they should be absolutely shortened because the people said so. If you disagree start your own blog and attract your own followers. I suspect the reason you come here is because no one cares about your opinion.

            I want copy protection lengths to be shorter because I personally want to be able to enjoy public domain works in a much shorter period of time. I have every right to my opinion and a responsive democracy should take my opinion into account. If enough of us agree then the law should be changed. Part of the purpose of this discussion is to allow everyone to express their opinions so that we can determine what we believe the laws should be and attempt to participate in the democratic process and effect change instead of allowing corporate interests that buy politicians to step all over us.

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        antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 6:42pm

        Re: Re:

        It's easy to say that these works should be in the public domain because they really should be. Copy protection lengths do in fact last way too long (assuming copy protection should even exist).

        Why is it too long?

        Mike doesn't have to have an answer to this question in order to reasonably determine that our existing laws are a result of corruption and are not publicly beneficial.

        The determinations are related. If he has an opinion about one, he can form an opinion about the other.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 3:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          IT's too long because, and this may be hard for you to comprehend, copyright law is no longer interested in the progress of artistic works.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If he has an opinion about one, he can form an opinion about the other."

          Why should he have to? Because you said so? Get lost.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Talking to you is a tiresome full-time job. You demand answers, but I've never once seen you accept an answer -- you fancy yourself some sort of Socrates who will no doubt make everyone look foolish if only they would engage with you long enough to fall into your "clever" traps (which are all devoid of substance, and which we can all see coming a mile away).

          Why should Mike, or anyone, set aside hours of their day to debate with you? You are a nameless, faceless voice on the internet with points that nobody here finds particularly compelling, yet you are acting as though a blog that interacts regularly with senators and CEOs and academics and artists and other actual experts owes you a bunch of one-on-one attention.

          Maybe you should stick to your blog, and if one day it ever has a meaningful audience (don't hold your breath, unless you plan on developing some more interesting and convincing opinions) then blogs like Techdirt will actually take their time to engage with you.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 3:39pm

      Re:

      Aww how cute, you're doing that thing where you pretend to be relevant and rational.

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

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        antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 6:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Aww how cute, you're doing that thing where you pretend to be relevant and rational.

        Instead of insults, why not join the conversation?

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        • icon
          JMT (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 9:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          At this point we've all had this conversation with you at least a dozen times, so it's not worth wasting time and effort on anything other than insults. Other regulars have a pretty good handle on Mike's opinion on copyright, but unfortunately it's not the 'gotcha' answer you so desperately want, so you just keep on keeping' on...

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            antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 10:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            At this point we've all had this conversation with you at least a dozen times, so it's not worth wasting time and effort on anything other than insults. Other regulars have a pretty good handle on Mike's opinion on copyright, but unfortunately it's not the 'gotcha' answer you so desperately want

            How am I looking for a gotcha answer? I'm just asking for his opinion. Everyone here seems capable of stating their opinion. So can he. You might have a "pretty good handle" on his opinion, but you don't know whether he thinks there should be any copyright. He's never said one way or the other. Why do you think that is?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I'm just asking for his opinion"

              He has given his opinion on many occasions. Just use the techdirt search tool and find the answer yourself. He shouldn't have to repeat himself in each post just because you think you are winning some kind of petty argument.

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                antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:42am

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

                He has given his opinion on many occasions. Just use the techdirt search tool and find the answer yourself. He shouldn't have to repeat himself in each post just because you think you are winning some kind of petty argument.

                I will ask you what I ask everyone who says Mike has given the answer and it's obvious. What is Mike's answer?

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:55am

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

                  Did you read the link others have provided, or the well-established search functions? Plus, presumably, the answers to times this question has been answered in other threads you've shat on in the past?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:56am

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

                  Still playing games. You know his opinion perfectly well -- and you also know it's complex and multi-faceted and conditional, and can't be summed up in one sentence. Furthermore, you know that phrasing the question in loaded, reductive ways like "should there be any copyright?" is a tactic that you've chosen because you favour childish rhetorical technique to substantive discussion. You also know that, regardless of what answer is offered by Mike or anyone else, you plan only to use it as a jumping off point -- you will reject it outright, or demand a long list of details and secondary questions, and then if you do not get another reply within moments you will begin accusing Mike of running away. If he or someone else does take the time to walk through all your issues, as has happened on multiple occasions in the past, you will reject those with another long list of followups -- or you will distill things back to a reductive, simplistic question and demand an answer to that, then start the cycle over again. You will pepper this entire ordeal with personal insults, while simultaneously denouncing anyone who insults you.

                  And if, at any point during this process that will take hours with no visible progress or likelihood of resolution, anyone involved fails to reply to you immediately (possibly because they have other things to do, or because they simply find the experience of interacting with you highly unpleasant) you will immediately accuse them of running away, and declare victory.

                  Do you really not understand why nobody wants to engage with you?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No, you are playing a silly game. You KNOW his opinion. There are 50,000+ posts on this blog for you to peruse to learn his opinion. There are plenty of articles discussing the reasons for it from every angle.

              You are playing a silly game, demanding that this post (or Mike in the comments) rehash the entirety of Techdirt's philosophy about copyright from top to bottom.

              Once again, willful stupidity for the sake of starting a fight. That's all you ever have to offer.

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

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                antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:44am

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

                No, you are playing a silly game. You KNOW his opinion. There are 50,000+ posts on this blog for you to peruse to learn his opinion. There are plenty of articles discussing the reasons for it from every angle.

                You are playing a silly game, demanding that this post (or Mike in the comments) rehash the entirety of Techdirt's philosophy about copyright from top to bottom.

                Once again, willful stupidity for the sake of starting a fight. That's all you ever have to offer.


                I'm here answering questions directly, stating my opinion, challenging others on their opinions, etc. Isn't that what the comments are for? As far as Mike goes, I do not know whether he thinks there should be any copyright because he has never answered the question. If you think you know the answer, tell me what it is. I think it's obvious that Mike goes far out of his way to avoid answering this very question.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 3:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Have you seen a mirror lately? You're hilarious.

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    • icon
      jameshogg (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 3:46pm

      Re:

      No I do not.

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    • icon
      Rapnel (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 3:51pm

      Re:

      I think we should have this allowance for copyright:
      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.

      And no others.

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

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        antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 6:46pm

        Re: Re:

        I think we should have this allowance for copyright:
        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.

        And no others.


        We do have that allowance already. But "promot[ing] the Progress" is a fairly broad standard. Do you think copyright currently doesn't meet that standard? If not, what is the proper standard and why doesn't copyright meet it?

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

        • identicon
          Gothenem, 5 Jan 2015 @ 9:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Alright. I'll bite. I do not think that copyright is necessarily a BAD thing, but the term on it is far too long. I honestly think the original 14 years, with the option to reapply for an additional 14 (Heck, even a third 14 years if a fee is paid).

          Listen, authors, musicians, actors, et. all are hard working people, and they should get compensation for their work. Copyright is a way of doing that, but:

          1. Copyright should NOT be automatic. If one wants to have an item to be covered by copyright, it should be registered as such.

          2. Copyright should have a Limited term. 14 years, with one (or two) optional extensions that can be paid for.

          I don't have a problem with a limited time monopoly, but Life+70 years is NOT a limited time. For anyone alive when a work is created, that is basically a "You'll never be able to use this." With such long terms, creativeness, is greatly stifled.

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            antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 10:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Alright. I'll bite. I do not think that copyright is necessarily a BAD thing, but the term on it is far too long. I honestly think the original 14 years, with the option to reapply for an additional 14 (Heck, even a third 14 years if a fee is paid).

            Listen, authors, musicians, actors, et. all are hard working people, and they should get compensation for their work. Copyright is a way of doing that, but:

            1. Copyright should NOT be automatic. If one wants to have an item to be covered by copyright, it should be registered as such.

            2. Copyright should have a Limited term. 14 years, with one (or two) optional extensions that can be paid for.

            I don't have a problem with a limited time monopoly, but Life+70 years is NOT a limited time. For anyone alive when a work is created, that is basically a "You'll never be able to use this." With such long terms, creativeness, is greatly stifled.


            Thanks for sharing your opinion. Everyone here seems to have no problem stating their opinions--with one glaring omission, of course. That said, you're just telling us what your preferred system would look like. You haven't shown that the Constitution requires your system. The person I was responding to brought up the constitutional standard. My point is that that standard is quite flexible, and anyone arguing that it must be a certain way is just injecting their preferred view.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You do not refute his proposed system so I guess you agree with it?

              Constantly nagging Mike to keep on repeating his point of view won't make it happen. You have been around this blog for long enough to have read Mikes opinion several times before. Do you have dementia? That could explain your memory issues.

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                antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:46am

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

                Constantly nagging Mike to keep on repeating his point of view won't make it happen. You have been around this blog for long enough to have read Mikes opinion several times before. Do you have dementia? That could explain your memory issues.

                What is Mike's opinion? Does Mike think there should be any copyright? If it's so easy to find the answer, you should have no trouble telling us what it is.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Everyone here seems to have no problem stating their opinions"

              This is supposed to be a democracy. The opinions of the corporations that determined the current laws aren't the only opinions that should count just because they have managed to buy and pay for politicians through secretive back door dealings. I know this maybe hard for a shill like yourself to believe but everyone's opinion should count.

              "You haven't shown that the Constitution requires your system."

              and you haven't shown that it requires the current system. What we are showing is that we disagree with the current system. It's called democracy. We have a right to publicly disagree and if enough of us do so then the laws should be changed. You fear democracy because you don't want enough people to disagree with you to effectively change the laws against your personal interest in favor of the public interest. That's what makes you a lowlife scumbag.

              The person I was responding to brought up the constitutional standard. My point is that that standard is quite flexible, and anyone arguing that it must be a certain way is just injecting their preferred view."

              Retroactive extensions such that nothing ever enters the public domain anymore effectively negates the 'limited time' clause. and a million years is technically a limited time but that's just a formality. Just like the current lengths and extensions. and the constitutional standard is that IP should promote the progress. The burden is on you to provide that the current system promotes the progress (not the other way around). You have failed to meet that burden.

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                antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:47am

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

                This is supposed to be a democracy. The opinions of the corporations that determined the current laws aren't the only opinions that should count just because they have managed to buy and pay for politicians through secretive back door dealings. I know this maybe hard for a shill like yourself to believe but everyone's opinion should count.

                So do you think ANY laws are legitimate? I'm not following how copyright laws are undemocratic unless all laws are.

                and you haven't shown that it requires the current system. What we are showing is that we disagree with the current system. It's called democracy. We have a right to publicly disagree and if enough of us do so then the laws should be changed. You fear democracy because you don't want enough people to disagree with you to effectively change the laws against your personal interest in favor of the public interest. That's what makes you a lowlife scumbag.

                I'm a "lowlife scumbag"? That's not productive. I'm here to have an intelligent debate. Join me?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:11am

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

                  "So do you think ANY laws are legitimate?"

                  Sure, many traffic laws are legitimate.

                  "I'm not following how copyright laws are undemocratic unless all laws are."

                  It's perfectly possible for some laws to be undemocratic while others aren't. Copy protection extensions were mostly lobbied for by Disney, for instance. The DMCA was pushed for by the MPAA/RIAA. Government officials have participated in secretive meetings over various pro-IP trade agreements where only industry interests are invited. When the MPAA tried to create astroturfing campaigns to support their undemocratic efforts they failed. Yet the efforts against SOPA easily created huge public support. To say that 95+ year copy protection lengths and retroactive extensions was a product of democracy is a deliberate lie.

                  "I'm here to have an intelligent debate. Join me?"

                  Wow, more dishonesty I see.

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                    antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:15am

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

                    How am I not trying to have an intelligent conversation? I'm asking questions, I'm supported my legal arguments with citations, I'm explaining what I believe and why I believe it, etc. I don't get the need to pretend like I'm not trying to foster an honest debate. You guys create an incredibly hostile environment for anyone who doesn't subscribe to your views. I think that's shameful. You should welcome diversity, not punish it.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:38am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I think the phrase "Limited" in that particular clause should be amended to mean, "Less than half the median lifespan" at the most. In my own estimation, given that 90% of the profit on partiscular works is made in the first ten years after release, I would consider that to be the reasonable metric by which this work could be outside the public domain. In the cas eof the death of the author within that time period, his Estate should be able to recieve the profits of that particular work for a maximum of three years from the date of the author's death.

              I would also make it an opt-in, non-transferable right by the actual creator of the work, and that that particular right cannot be abrogated through a contract. Even "works-for-hire" would essentially be leased to the corporate entity, with language to ensure that, should the creator of the work want to terminate the lease, there is a framework available for that to happen.

              This is all, of course, based on enough data samples that there is an empirical reasoning for each of these changes. But I'll leave you to figure out which.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "You haven't shown that the Constitution requires your system."

              Actually, boy, the system he mentions was the one in use from the Founding Fathers until the Bicentennial, when Disney started lobbying to keep their mouse under their control.
              History is not your friend, kid.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 5:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Terms can now easily go more than 160 years, with 90 years for corporate works.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Do you think copyright currently doesn't meet that standard?"

          Not only does it not meet that standard, it is extremely damaging to society. And that damage it's not limited the loss of culture.

          No, the biggest damage is to the will of a large percentage of the population, people like you. It teaches children about entitlement, and leads them to believe in imaginary things. The idea of doing something, and getting paid for it for the rest of one's life is extremely appealing, especially when we are children and cannot comprehend the implications. By the time we are adults, many have accepted it as normal, and refuse to even attempt to think rationally about it.

          It's tempting to make a joke about saving the children, but it's really the adults who can't let go of childish fantasies that need saving.

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        • icon
          Rapnel (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Specifically, "limited" has been distorted beyond what is reasonable, "Authors and Inventors" has been distorted to include myriad groups of folks and "Progress" has been nonsensically twisted into profit. All of these distortions are detriments to progress.

          As for my own ideas of what "limited" might actually mean when "Progress" is, once again, the intention then I might think that 14 years, a single extension of same and then a fee (say a 35% renewal fee based on the previous 14 year period for that work's taxable income) for another 14 year extension. Five 14 year periods maximum granting up to 70 years for any "Writings and Discoveries". 14+14+(35%@14(x3)) - So, either works enter the public domain or one pays for the privilege of a 70 year lock up. ... and no others.

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      • identicon
        Zonker, 8 Jan 2015 @ 11:27am

        Re: Re:

        Which is why I argue that, at the very least, the retroactive clause of the 1976 Act is unconstitutional. The retroactive clause removed the limit that was in place at the time those works were created. If it were constitutional, then any future Act could retroactively extend the limit further. With no limit to the number of times a limit can be replaced with a higher limit, those "exclusive Rights" become by definition unlimited.

        The Free Dictionary - Legal Dictionary defines Limited: Restricted in duration, extent, or scope; confined.

        Thus the ability to retroactively increase the "limited Time" of "exclusive Rights" with the 1976 Act, or any other, makes the term unlimited by definition and thus unconstitutional.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 4:04pm

      Re:

      That is, do you think we should have any copyright?

      Absolutely not.

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        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 8:36pm

        Re: Re:

        I bet you think the Easter Bunny is real as well.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 4:49pm

      Re:

      It's easy to say that airline crashes suck. But do you think people should've ever boarded planes in the first place? That is, do you think we should have any airplanes?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 5:23pm

        Re: Re:

        It's easy to say drunk driving related car accidents are bad. But do you think people should ever drink in the first place (or, alternatively, do you think people should ever drive in the first place). That is, do you think we should have any alcohol (or cars)?

        It's easy to say obesity is bad. But do you think people should ever eat junk or fast food? That is, do you think we should have fast/junk food?


        It's easy to say harming the environment is bad and we need to always work to minimize our negative impact on it. but do you think people should ever use anything that potentially pollutes the environment? That is do you think we should have cars, refineries, various household chemicals, pesticides, etc...

        It's easy to say too much medicine is dangerous. But do you think people should ever take medicine at all? That is do you think we shouldn't have medicine?

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          antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 6:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's easy to say drunk driving related car accidents are bad. But do you think people should ever drink in the first place (or, alternatively, do you think people should ever drive in the first place). That is, do you think we should have any alcohol (or cars)?

          It's easy to say obesity is bad. But do you think people should ever eat junk or fast food? That is, do you think we should have fast/junk food?


          It's easy to say harming the environment is bad and we need to always work to minimize our negative impact on it. but do you think people should ever use anything that potentially pollutes the environment? That is do you think we should have cars, refineries, various household chemicals, pesticides, etc...

          It's easy to say too much medicine is dangerous. But do you think people should ever take medicine at all? That is do you think we shouldn't have medicine?


          My opinion is "yes" to all of the above. Can you explain what your point is? It's easy for me to state my opinion.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The point is that it's possible to have an opinion about one question without necessarily having an opinion about the other. It's possible to believe that the current copy protection lengths last too long without necessarily having an opinion about whether or not copy protection laws should even exist in the first place (or to believe they should exist but for a shorter time). The two questions are separate questions. Someone giving their opinion about one question doesn't' require answering the other.

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          • icon
            Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's easy for me to state my opinion.

            What is your opinion on retroactive copyright length extension? I've read all your posts on this page and you've never stated specifically your opinion on retroactive extension. Please do so.

            I'd also like to know your specific opinion on ex post facto law, or as Wikipedia puts it, law "that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions that were committed, or relationships that existed, before the enactment of the law."

            Why do retroactive copyright length extensions not violate this principle? Isn't Congress barred from passing such laws? When all of the works mentioned in this article were created, and granted copyright, weren't the terms of the deal with the public for the granting of that temporary copyright that the works would pass into the public domain this year?

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              antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What is your opinion on retroactive copyright length extension? I've read all your posts on this page and you've never stated specifically your opinion on retroactive extension. Please do so.

              I doubt we'll have any more extensions. If anything, I think we might dial the term back. I don't think copyright needs to be any longer, and there are good arguments for making it shorter. That said, I think the life of the author should be the minimum, and I like the idea of it going one generation after that. There is no scientific way to determine the "optimal" length, IMO. That answer you?

              I'd also like to know your specific opinion on ex post facto law, or as Wikipedia puts it, law "that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions that were committed, or relationships that existed, before the enactment of the law."

              Why do retroactive copyright length extensions not violate this principle? Isn't Congress barred from passing such laws? When all of the works mentioned in this article were created, and granted copyright, weren't the terms of the deal with the public for the granting of that temporary copyright that the works would pass into the public domain this year?


              My understanding of ex post facto is that it applies to criminal law: If something is legal when you do it, it can't be made illegal if the law is changed later. If you do the act after the law has changed, that would be breaking the law. But the fact that you did it before the law was changed means you didn't commit a crime. I guess the same holds true for civil law, but I've not seen it in that context.

              I'm not sure how that ties into copyright. Nobody made an ex post facto argument in either Eldred or Golan. Congress can take works out the public domain and give them copyright protection, and this doesn't violate ex post facto because it doesn't change any legal consequences of acts that occurred PRIOR to the change in the law.

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              • icon
                Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:28am

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

                There is no scientific way to determine the "optimal" length

                Sure there is. So long as you adequately define what the goal of copyright is, it's dead simple to determine some tests that can be performed, or data that can be examined to determine the optimal length of the copyright term.

                If the goal is to incentivize new works being created, then examine the number of works being created versus the length of copyright (and for all these examples, as in all well performed scientific studies, control for external factors). If the goal is to allow for greater access to the works that have been created, then we can examine what works are in print or otherwise available, as discussed here: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141229/10521029540/how-copyright-makes-culture-disappear.shtml

                My understanding of ex post facto is that it applies to criminal law: If something is legal when you do it, it can't be made illegal if the law is changed later.

                While I'm not a lawyer, I don't see any reasons that the principle does not apply to civil law.

                I guess the same holds true for civil law, but I've not seen it in that context.

                Then let me put it into context for you. The "deal" the creator of a work agreed to when given an exclusive right to their idea or expression was that after a limited period of x years, it would then be legal for the public (everyone) to then use that creation in any possible way, regardless of the creators permission or wishes.

                If I were to share one of the works in the article, wouldn't I, as a member of the public, be upholding that original deal?

                Eldrad/Golan - since I'm not a lawyer, I don't really care about nitpicky details of whether an argument was made. I care about overall principles and whether or not the law in question is good for the public.

                As to Congress, if you think Congress speaks for the public, then you're more deluded than you accuse me of being for having anti-copyright views.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:49am

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

                "I think the life of the author should be the minimum, and I like the idea of it going one generation after that."

                Why?
                The author is dead, so there's no financial incentive for him/her.

                "Congress can take works out the public domain and give them copyright protection, and this doesn't violate ex post facto because it doesn't change any legal consequences of acts that occurred PRIOR to the change in the law."

                Incorrect as usual, boy.
                If, say, Sherlock Holmes works currently PD are declared "in copyright" again, what happens to all the currently-issued reprints and new works based on the PD material (such as the American and British shows currently airing)?
                Are they taken off the shelves/cancelled immediately?

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        antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 6:47pm

        Re: Re:

        It's easy to say that airline crashes suck. But do you think people should've ever boarded planes in the first place? That is, do you think we should have any airplanes?

        Yes, my opinion is that we should have airplanes, crashes notwithstanding.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 5:31pm

      Re:

      And you're back to the classic 'Why won't you debate me?!'

      Ah AJ, never change.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 8:37pm

        Re: Re:

        No, he's showing how absurd Mike Masnick is and why he's so universally mocked.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 9:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You know, I'm pretty sure thinking that just because you believe something, that everyone believes it, shows an astounding level of ego, arrogance, or just plain mental issues. Might want to look into getting some treatment for that.

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        • icon
          JMT (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 9:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Is 'universally' a fancy word for 'by you'?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          and who are you that we may determine how universally you are mocked? Some random AC comes here and proclaims that an non-anonymous person is so universally mocked and we're supposed to take you seriously? Where is your blog with such a large following? Oh, that's right, the reason you must come here is because no one would ever take you seriously.

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        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Universally"?!

          I don't you know what that means.

          What you meant is "all two of you".

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 5:37pm

      Re:

      To answer your question, even though you didn't actually want an answer, if the choice is between copyright as it stands now, or no copyright, then I'd go with no copyright.

      At this point it benefits large companies, while only rarely doing so for the actual creators, and since the only valid beneficiary of copyright was meant to be the public, it needs to be either eliminated entirely, or cut back until it actually serves it's intended purpose.

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        antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 7:03pm

        Re: Re:

        To answer your question, even though you didn't actually want an answer, if the choice is between copyright as it stands now, or no copyright, then I'd go with no copyright.

        My question was directed at the author of this post, and I certainly would like the answer. That's why I asked. Thanks for sharing your opinion. It seems everyone here can form an opinion.

        At this point it benefits large companies, while only rarely doing so for the actual creators, and since the only valid beneficiary of copyright was meant to be the public, it needs to be either eliminated entirely, or cut back until it actually serves it's intended purpose.

        How did you determine that it doesn't benefit actual creators? That doesn't make much sense to me. And how did you determine that only the public was meant to benefit from copyright? The exclusive rights go to authors so that they can control the uses of their works, no? The benefits to authors are the exclusive rights. The public benefits during the copyright term to the extent authors or their assigns want to disseminate the work. The public gets unfettered access AFTER the copyright term has ended. See, for example:
        The monopoly privileges that Congress may authorize are neither unlimited nor primarily designed to provide a special private benefit. Rather, the limited grant is a means by which an important public purpose may be achieved. It is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors by the provision of a special reward, and to allow the public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive control has expired.
        Sony Corp. of Am. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417, 429 (1984). You seem to be deleting the entire part of copyright where authors or their assigns get the exclusive rights, that is, where they are the beneficiaries. Are you discussing the actual law, or just your own version of what you think it should be?

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 7:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          My question was directed at the author of this post, and I certainly would like the answer. That's why I asked. Thanks for sharing your opinion. It seems everyone here can form an opinion.

          Yeah, I know, you ask a question on a public forum and all sorts of other people answer, the nerve of them, right? /s

          How did you determine that it doesn't benefit actual creators?

          Really? How many dead artists are benefiting from the copyright on their works? How many dead musicians are getting royalty checks from their music? How many dead authors are getting paid for reprints of their stories?

          Other people, or more often companies may benefit from current copyright lengths, but the actual creators most certainly don't.

          Sony Corp. of Am. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417, 429 (1984).

          ... did you actually read what you just quoted before posting it? Because it doesn't seem to support your side of the discussion at all.

          The monopoly privileges that Congress may authorize are neither unlimited nor primarily designed to provide a special private benefit.

          In other words, the design isn't to provide private benefit, but rather public.

          Rather, the limited grant is a means by which an important public purpose may be achieved.

          And again, the purpose is meant to be benefiting the public. Benefits to the creator, or more often these days copyright owner, are a side-effect, the means with which the public is meant to be served, not the goal of copyright.

          It is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors by the provision of a special reward, and to allow the public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive control has expired.

          Copyright durations are not even close to limited, at this point they are, for all practical purposes, eternal, given nothing that is created in a person's life will enter the public domain during their life, but only decades, if ever, after they die.

          At this point, copyright, which was meant to be an equal deal between creators and the public, is completely and utterly one-sided. The public gets nothing, the copyright owner gets everything.

          So like I said, if the choice was between copyright as it stands now, or no copyright, I'd be for no copyright, as the deal has been broken, and I don't see why the public should have to hold up their end of the bargain, when the other side isn't.

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            Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 8:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            This is just silly. The benefit to the public occurs via promoting creators. You'll notice "the public" can't copyright something. Copyright law is written to protect creators and provide a means for them to make a living so they can spend time creating instead of working in a cubicle or flipping burgers.

            It is endlessly amusing to see you people post such drivel about copyright here, but it serves an important purpose: to show lawmakers just how deluded anti-copyright activists are.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 12:24am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Have you heard of creators spending time creating in the seventy years after they're dead?

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 1:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Copyright law is written to protect creators and provide a means for them to make a living so they can spend time creating instead of working in a cubicle or flipping burgers."

              Yes, it is. So, how does extending copyright for decades after their death do this? How does retroactively extending copyright decades after the work is already created do this?

              Perhaps instead of whining about "deluded" people, you'd be better off reading what their actual arguments are - or at least offer a reasonable, logical explanation for the utter bullshit trotted out by maximalists.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The benefit to the public occurs via promoting creators. You'll notice "the public" can't copyright something. Copyright law is written to protect creators and provide a means for them to make a living so they can spend time creating instead of working in a cubicle or flipping burgers."

              By that logic, boy, the copyright term should end upon the creator's death, since he/she would no longer need to ",ake a living".

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            antidirt (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 8:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Really? How many dead artists are benefiting from the copyright on their works? How many dead musicians are getting royalty checks from their music? How many dead authors are getting paid for reprints of their stories?

            You moved the goalposts. Why are you only referring to dead authors now?

            Other people, or more often companies may benefit from current copyright lengths, but the actual creators most certainly don't.

            If the rights were transferred to a company, then the company owns those rights. If they weren't, then they are passed down as personal property. So what? If the rights were transferred to a company, presumably it was in exchange for something of value to the author that transferred them. Again, so what? The exclusive rights are benefits to authors. What makes them beneficial, in part, is their transferability.

            ... did you actually read what you just quoted before posting it? Because it doesn't seem to support your side of the discussion at all.

            Of course I read it. I've read all of the Supreme Court's copyright opinions several times.

            In other words, the design isn't to provide private benefit, but rather public.

            It says it's not designed PRIMARILY to benefit authors. You're reading it to say that it's not at all about benefitting authors. That's not correct. The two ends are not mutually exclusive:
            Justice STEVENS' characterization of reward to the author as “a secondary consideration” of copyright law, post, at 793, n. 4 (internal quotation marks omitted), understates the relationship between such rewards and the “Progress of Science.” As we have explained, “[t]he economic philosophy behind the [Copyright] [C]lause ... is the conviction that encouragement of individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance public welfare through the talents of authors and inventors.” Mazer v. Stein, 347 U.S. 201, 219, 74 S.Ct. 460, 98 L.Ed. 630 (1954). Accordingly, “copyright law celebrates the profit motive, recognizing that the incentive to profit from the exploitation of copyrights will redound to the public benefit by resulting in the proliferation of knowledge.... The profit motive is the engine that ensures the progress of science.” American Geophysical Union v. Texaco Inc., 802 F.Supp. 1, 27 (S.D.N.Y.1992), aff'd, 60 F.3d 913 (C.A.2 1994). Rewarding authors for their creative labor and “promot[ing] ... Progress” are thus complementary; as James Madison observed, in copyright “[t]he public good fully coincides ... with the claims of individuals.” The Federalist No. 43, p. 272 (C. Rossiter ed.1961). Justice BREYER's assertion that “copyright statutes must serve public, not private, ends,” post, at 803, similarly misses the mark. The two ends are not mutually exclusive; copyright law serves public ends by providing individuals with an incentive to pursue private ones.
            Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186, 212 n.18 (2003). I suggest reading that a couple of times. You appear to be erasing the MEANS, i.e., granting authors exclusive rights, from the copyright equation.

            And again, the purpose is meant to be benefiting the public. Benefits to the creator, or more often these days copyright owner, are a side-effect, the means with which the public is meant to be served, not the goal of copyright.

            The public and private ends are not mutually exclusive. It fulfills its public purpose by granting authors exclusive rights, that is, by bestowing private benefits.

            Copyright durations are not even close to limited, at this point they are, for all practical purposes, eternal, given nothing that is created in a person's life will enter the public domain during their life, but only decades, if ever, after they die.

            Life plus 70 years is a limited time. Regardless, you missed the part about the "special reward" to authors. You know, the exclusive rights. The rights are the reward. The rights are intended to benefit authors, and this, in turn, benefits the public. You keep erasing the part where authors benefit. That's part of the copyright bargain.

            At this point, copyright, which was meant to be an equal deal between creators and the public, is completely and utterly one-sided. The public gets nothing, the copyright owner gets everything.

            The public gets what the copyright owner decides the public should get because the exclusive rights give him that control. You state that it's not an "equal deal" as if that were a fact. That's just your opinion. My opinion differs from yours.

            So like I said, if the choice was between copyright as it stands now, or no copyright, I'd be for no copyright, as the deal has been broken, and I don't see why the public should have to hold up their end of the bargain, when the other side isn't.

            The "deal has been broken"? How? Because you think copyright protections are too broad? That's just your opinion about what the proper scope of copyright should be. You haven't shown that there's an official standard and copyright has gone beyond it.

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              That One Guy (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 11:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You moved the goalposts. Why are you only referring to dead authors now?

              To show how copyright has been distorted and stretched far beyond it's original purpose. Copyright may benefit living creators while they are alive, but the only purpose to extend the duration beyond that is to benefit someone other than the creator.

              You're reading it to say that it's not at all about benefitting authors.

              No, I'm saying the benefit to authors/creators is meant to be the means, not the goal.

              Accordingly, “copyright law celebrates the profit motive, recognizing that the incentive to profit from the exploitation of copyrights will redound to the public benefit by resulting in the proliferation of knowledge.... The profit motive is the engine that ensures the progress of science.”

              Only if the results are usable by the public. It doesn't matter after all if a given law doubles the productivity of private individuals, if none of the results from that increase make it to the public.

              Or put another way, if a change to the law resulted in two books being written, where before only one would have been, but also made it so neither of them could be used by the public to build upon, where before the original book could have been, the net outcome would be a loss, not a gain.

              Life plus 70 years is a limited time.

              In the same way that 'Infinity minus a day' is 'limited'. Technically true, but you have to stretch the definition of 'limited' to the breaking point to get there. And somehow, when the people who threw together the language that allows copyright laws in the US, I don't think they were using your definition of 'limited' when the included that word in the text, given the original copyright duration was less than 30 years total.

              If the duration of something lasts longer than I will be alive, it doesn't matter if the particular number is 70, 700, or 7,000, it's all 'infinite' to me.

              Put another way, say I offered you a deal. In exchange for 'some' of your money, I would 'sell' you something. You agree, and I then proceed to take all but a dollar from you, draining your bank account and any other money you may have had. Would you agree that I held up my end of the bargain? After all, I didn't take everything you had, I left you a buck, so technically I did indeed just take 'some' of your money.

              (Oh, and after I take almost all of your money, I then inform you that the 'sale' was actually a 'license', on my terms, terms I just changed, so you get nothing)

              That's basically how 'limited' is currently treated with regards to copyright. True technically, but not even close in practice.

              Regardless, you missed the part about the "special reward" to authors. You know, the exclusive rights. The rights are the reward. The rights are intended to benefit authors, and this, in turn, benefits the public.

              Not at all, I just treat them as what they are meant to be, incentives, rather than the goal. Those exclusive rights are meant to be the means, not the purpose, of copyright.

              You keep erasing the part where authors benefit. That's part of the copyright bargain.

              Far from it, I keep pointing out that currently only that half it being upheld. The copyright owners are the only ones getting the benefits(legal protections and a monopoly on their works) from the deal, while the public isn't getting their half(control over the works after a limited time has passed).

              The public gets what the copyright owner decides the public should get because the exclusive rights give him that control.

              So the public gets only what the copyright owner lets them have? And the benefit to the public is what again? Seems pretty one-sided to me.

              You state that it's not an "equal deal" as if that were a fact. That's just your opinion. My opinion differs from yours.

              Because it isn't. The 'deal' as it was originally conceived was the creator has a legally backed monopoly over their works for a limited time. After that limited time was over, the public gets ownership of what was created, so they can in turn build off of it(like the creator built off of what came before for their creations).

              That was a reasonable deal, the creator gets legal rights over their creations, but in exchange the public gets something out of it too. Now however, the public gets nothing, since those 'limited' time rights extend well beyond the lifespan of anyone alive. A 'deal' where only one side has to hold up their end of the bargain is not even close to a 'fair' deal.

              The "deal has been broken"? How? Because you think copyright protections are too broad?

              As explained above, because the duration has exceeded the lifespan of anyone alive, rending the 'limited time' language completely useless, and leaving the public without their half of the deal.

              Example time again.

              Say I offer you something I created in exchange for your last buck, but, due to some random circumstance, I can't hand it over right this moment. Not to worry though, I promise that I'll give it to you after a 'limited' time has passed. Fast forward a few decades, and you're on your deathbed, and I still haven't handed over what you purchased. When confronted by this, I simply say that the 'limited' time hasn't yet been reached, and in fact will not be reached, until long after your death.

              You upheld your end of the bargain by paying me, would you agree that I've upheld my end as well? After all, I said I would hand over the creation after a 'limited' time, and given eternity hasn't yet passed, 'well after your lifetime' is still limited, so I'm in the clear, right?

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                Alien Rebel (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:27am

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

                'A' for effort, One Guy. Too bad there isn't an honest dialog taking place that would make your effort worthwhile.

                As antidirt wrote, "It seems everyone here can form an opinion."

                I'd like to point out that it seems everyone but him. If this were an honest discussion, he might eventually get around to providing specifics and a clear rationale to support his unstated, though implied, opinion that current copyright term length is just peachy (and perhaps should last forever?)

                The original post was about illustrating the COST of extended copyright terms by listing works that would have entered the public domain but for term extensions. Quantifying that cost comes down to subjective measurement, a matter of imagining what would be the result of people being able to share the wit, wisdom, and science contained in the works, rather than having them lay dormant. Funny that; not something antidirt cared to tackle. See, if this were an honest dialog, antidirt would have done that, given us his opinion on what those costs are, and then what benefit to society he sees in a copyright term of life + time until our sun runs out of hydrogen; finally, he'd elaborate on why he feels the benefits outweigh the costs.

                But nope, Rule #1 of engaging in a BS adversarial dialog is, don't volunteer anything that's not absolutely necessary. So fat chance you'll squeeze anything out of him that can be held up for examination.

                Obviously there's no reasonable dialog happening here, there's only just a troll picking at whatever loose threads he can in other's statements, and I don't see any purpose in point-by-point exchanges. Go enjoy a cold one, or whatever. antidirt's lawyerly response of "life + 70 is a limited time" is too asinine for words. We're all well aware who's the jerk sitting in his own steaming pile.

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                  antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 5:49am

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

                  As antidirt wrote, "It seems everyone here can form an opinion."

                  I'd like to point out that it seems everyone but him. If this were an honest discussion, he might eventually get around to providing specifics and a clear rationale to support his unstated, though implied, opinion that current copyright term length is just peachy (and perhaps should last forever?)


                  This is an honest discussion, and I'm happy to answer whatever questions you may have as honestly and directly as I can. You seem to be implying that I'm not honest because I didn't answer questions that nobody asked of me. I don't think that's fair. Again, ask me direct and honest questions, and I will answer directly and honestly. I won't run away. I won't not answer and then pretend it's because it's you asking the question. Fire away, friend.

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                    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:19am

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

                    So how long do you think copy protection lengths should be and why?

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                      antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:06am

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

                      So how long do you think copy protection lengths should be and why?

                      Life of author at a minimum. I think it's the author's personal property, because he deserves it morally, and there is no reason why it should not exist as long as he does. I don't subscribe to any one basis for copyright, so you have to keep that in mind. I think it should go beyond the life of the author. 70 years might be too much, because there is a point where it ceases promoting progress. I don't think anyone can say precisely where that point is. It's not something that can be calculated scientifically because there are noneconomic considerations that cannot be qualified.

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                        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:19am

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

                        I think it's the author's personal property, because he deserves it morally

                        And there's the rub. Virtually everyone here disagrees with that moral assessment. You waste all your time here attempting to start a million idiotic debates when fundamentally they are all about the same thing: a different value system and a different moral opinion.

                        So finally the onus falls to you: why is your moral stance correct? It does not extend from natural law nor is it common in human history, so you better make a case for it. I'd also like to know how you feel about room in the world for differing perspectives on moral questions -- you've frequently rejected the idea that morality is personal and not the subject of Techdirt, calling it a cop-out. But, personally I think it's fine for you to have a different opinion on that, I just think it's ridiculous and pointless for you to spend so much time on what are ultimately secondary debates. So, please, explain the foundation of your view that creative output is morally the author's personal property, and explain why we should be convinced by it. Realize that the onus is on you to find a common ground of values and morals in order to have all the debates you want to have -- without one, you are just a fool screaming at aliens. Your answer will not be deemed complete until everyone here has explicitly stated that they accept it. Your answer must also be attached in full to every comment you make in the future, and you must re-state it and re-engage in the entire process of discussing it whenever anyone requests, even if doing so requires hundreds of comments and hours of your time. Any failure to do any of these things in a timely manner will be labelled "running away" and deemed to automatically invalidate all other points you have made or are attempting to make.

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                          antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:37am

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

                          And there's the rub. Virtually everyone here disagrees with that moral assessment. You waste all your time here attempting to start a million idiotic debates when fundamentally they are all about the same thing: a different value system and a different moral opinion.

                          So finally the onus falls to you: why is your moral stance correct? It does not extend from natural law nor is it common in human history, so you better make a case for it. I'd also like to know how you feel about room in the world for differing perspectives on moral questions -- you've frequently rejected the idea that morality is personal and not the subject of Techdirt, calling it a cop-out. But, personally I think it's fine for you to have a different opinion on that, I just think it's ridiculous and pointless for you to spend so much time on what are ultimately secondary debates. So, please, explain the foundation of your view that creative output is morally the author's personal property, and explain why we should be convinced by it. Realize that the onus is on you to find a common ground of values and morals in order to have all the debates you want to have -- without one, you are just a fool screaming at aliens. Your answer will not be deemed complete until everyone here has explicitly stated that they accept it. Your answer must also be attached in full to every comment you make in the future, and you must re-state it and re-engage in the entire process of discussing it whenever anyone requests, even if doing so requires hundreds of comments and hours of your time. Any failure to do any of these things in a timely manner will be labelled "running away" and deemed to automatically invalidate all other points you have made or are attempting to make.


                          Haha. That's some bar you've set. I'm happy to explain. The idea that the fruits of one's labors are his property, and morally so, is an ancient one. Grotius, Pufendorf, Blackstone, Locke, etc.--these are some of the bigger names. Are you seriously asking me to defend multiple centuries of jurisprudence? This natural law view runs through the case law, and it was commonly understood by many--including the Framers--to be fundamental to the law. I think it makes sense to many when the fruits of one's labor are physical: You fell a tree and build a chair, it's your chair. But I think the case is EVEN STRONGER when it's mental labor. I'm not just making this stuff up. Read some case law or treatises from the 1800s--this is what they say. The incentives/access paradigm rarely is mentioned, if at all. The foundations of copyright law are in natural law, but modern scholars tend to focus elsewhere. I don't care what basis others have for copyright. I'm not demanding that Mike or anyone else share my views. I'm just curious whether Mike thinks there should be any copyright--for any reason. Any more questions? I'm happy to answer them. I probably won't have time to produce the research paper you seem to be asking for, though.

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                            Ninja (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:53am

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

                            The idea that the fruits of one's labors are his property, and morally so, is an ancient one.

                            Yep, they are usually paid once. That's when any support for copyright goes downhill. Also, physical works cannot be copied or modified easily. That's why there is value in a vintage toy or an old car. And copying them is hard. As for intellectual property the only value lies within the performance of such ideas. Paying for who produced is a little trickier and that's what copyright tries and fails at addressing.

                            There's no centuries of jurisprudence here. Copyright is fairly new. Prior to it the artists got money from patronage or for their own performances.

                            I'm just curious whether Mike thinks there should be any copyright--for any reason.

                            I'd ask you to stop being a moron but it's in your nature. The views Mike holds are crystal clear if you take your time to read this blog but worse, he specifically replied directly to you with all the answers but you chose to ignore them and keep acting as a spoiled kid.

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                              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:59am

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

                              "There's no centuries of jurisprudence here. Copyright is fairly new."

                              True. and his claim that "I've read lots and lots of case law, treatises, commentary, etc. that supports my view." is equally suspect. He wants to have an honest discussion yet he keeps repeating the same lies over and over. There is no honesty in this person. I can only hope that he would one day change but I highly doubt it.

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                                antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:17am

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

                                True. and his claim that "I've read lots and lots of case law, treatises, commentary, etc. that supports my view." is equally suspect. He wants to have an honest discussion yet he keeps repeating the same lies over and over. There is no honesty in this person. I can only hope that he would one day change but I highly doubt it.

                                How am I lying? What lies have I told? Please be specific. If you're to attack my integrity, back up your claims. What lies?

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:33am

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

                                  For one thing

                                  "The idea that the fruits of one's labors are his property, and morally so, is an ancient one."

                                  is a lie.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:40am

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

                                    Yes, I'm sure that you can come up with some ancient text from some random person that may have argued it but it hasn't been an ancient mainstream idea. Copy protection laws did not exist for the overwhelming majority of history so to try and claim that this is an ancient idea without putting it into context of the fact that mainstream implementation or support isn't ancient is disingenuous at best. Heck, there isn't that much evidence that mainstream public support even existed at the time that copy protection laws were created. Even when they were initially passed it was only because a very small minority of distributors lobbied for them (not due to public pressure). "These restrictions were enforced by the Stationers' Company, a guild of printers given the exclusive power to print—and the responsibility to censor—literary works."

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

                                    The primary beneficiaries (and proponents) of these laws were not the public but a
                                    guild of printers.' Even today retroactive extensions have been implemented predominantly because Disney the MPAA/RIAA lobbied for them. It's not clear at all that these ideas you propose were ever intended to promote a moral good. In fact all of the evidence would suggest the exact opposite. But you dishonestly neglect this when you make your claims.

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                              antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:15am

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

                              There's no centuries of jurisprudence here. Copyright is fairly new. Prior to it the artists got money from patronage or for their own performances.

                              Sure there is. Even if you start with the Statute of Anne, it's three centuries. But the natural law stuff goes back much farther. Early copyright law is replete with references to natural law. I should dig up some quotes. If I have time later, I will.

                              I'd ask you to stop being a moron but it's in your nature. The views Mike holds are crystal clear if you take your time to read this blog but worse, he specifically replied directly to you with all the answers but you chose to ignore them and keep acting as a spoiled kid.

                              They aren't clear. We're all sharing our views of why we have copyright and what it should look like. I'm just curious if Mike thinks we should have copyright. He's mentioned before that his answers aren't perfect. None of us have perfect answers, because none can exist. But we all have opinions based on what we think is right. I'd like to hear his views on that.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:24am

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

                                "Even if you start with the Statute of Anne, it's three centuries."

                                OK, three centuries. For the overwhelming majority of our history copy protection laws did not exist.

                                "Early copyright law is replete with references to natural law."

                                Middlemen that immorally benefit from copy protection laws at the expense of everyone else have long argued anything they can. Who cares.

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                                Ninja (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:30am

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

                                Early copyright law is replete with references to natural law. I should dig up some quotes.

                                Please do. Most of the world seems to disagree with the 'natural law' status.

                                I'd like to hear his views on that.

                                Read. The. Goddamn. Site. It's easy to see he believes the current system is broken but that there is space for copyrights. He disagrees with levies on blank media or media devices or anything like. He sees possible value in collection societies but believes they are currently doing it very wrong. He disagrees with the current takedown process. He thinks fair use should be stronger. He agrees with protections for services providers against liability for what their users do. I can go on and on and on. Mike never said it personally to me. I've learned his views READING THE GODDAMN SITE.

                                I'm done with you.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:39am

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

                                Nobody wants to have your boring first-year law student debate about whether "we should have copyright". Nobody is required to engage with you on the reductive and counterproductive playing field you've defined. Some people are actually focused on ways to move forward to everyone's benefit, not on feeding your fragile intellectual ego.

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                                  antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:49am

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

                                  Nobody wants to have your boring first-year law student debate about whether "we should have copyright". Nobody is required to engage with you on the reductive and counterproductive playing field you've defined. Some people are actually focused on ways to move forward to everyone's benefit, not on feeding your fragile intellectual ego.

                                  A second ago you were chastising me for not stating my believes, and now you're saying nobody cares. If people ask, I'm happy to answer. If you want to have a serious discussion, I'll be here.

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                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:58am

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

                                    "This was the dominant view."

                                    More unsubstantiated nonsense.

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                                      antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:06am

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

                                      vMore unsubstantiated nonsense.

                                      I quoted a leading treatise and provided a link to the original. That's substantiation. Can you demonstrate any courts rejecting the natural law view? I can find many applying it. I provided a cite to one case. What have you cited?

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                                      • identicon
                                        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:56am

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

                                        You really twisted what you quoted in as much as you twist the constitution and the intent of the founding fathers. You haven't really provided evidence for your claims, all you managed to do is to quote things and twist their intent as per usual.

                                        "Property in literary productions, before publication"

                                        Once published there is no natural right limiting its distribution.

                                        "I can find many applying it. I provided a cite to one case."

                                        As usual even your own citation doesn't really support your claim as you say. Just like you twist the constitution you twist everything you quote.

                                        "What have you cited?"

                                        The constitution for one.

                                        Here is another citation

                                        "The "natural right" aspect of the doctrine was repudiated by the courts in the United Kingdom (Donaldson v. Beckett, 1774) and the United States (Wheaton v. Peters, 1834). In both countries, the courts found that copyright is a limited right created by the legislature under statutes and subject to the conditions and terms the legislature sees fit to impose."

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

                                        The overwhelming majority of texts disagree with you and even the texts that IP extremists here quote are often twisted to mean something they don't (how badly you twist the constitution should bring into suspect anything you say).

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                                          antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 1:39pm

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

                                          You really twisted what you quoted in as much as you twist the constitution and the intent of the founding fathers. You haven't really provided evidence for your claims, all you managed to do is to quote things and twist their intent as per usual.

                                          "Property in literary productions, before publication"

                                          Once published there is no natural right limiting its distribution.

                                          "I can find many applying it. I provided a cite to one case."

                                          As usual even your own citation doesn't really support your claim as you say. Just like you twist the constitution you twist everything you quote.

                                          "What have you cited?"

                                          The constitution for one.

                                          Here is another citation

                                          "The "natural right" aspect of the doctrine was repudiated by the courts in the United Kingdom (Donaldson v. Beckett, 1774) and the United States (Wheaton v. Peters, 1834). In both countries, the courts found that copyright is a limited right created by the legislature under statutes and subject to the conditions and terms the legislature sees fit to impose."

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

                                          The overwhelming majority of texts disagree with you and even the texts that IP extremists here quote are often twisted to mean something they don't (how badly you twist the constitution should bring into suspect anything you say)


                                          You're all over the place. I don't know where to start. The meaning of the Copyright Clause? The holding of Donaldson v. Beckett? The holding of Wheaton v. Peters? My understanding runs far deeper than the Wikipedia article. I'm having trouble seeing how the game is worth the candle with you. The insults aren't helping.

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                                            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:08pm

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

                                            "My understanding runs far deeper than the Wikipedia article."

                                            Ahh, you're a self proclaimed expert. Are we really supposed to take you seriously just because you said so?

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                                              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:08pm

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                                              I'm sorry, you have to do better than that. Proclaiming your own expertise is not enough to convince anyone of anything. You must do better.

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                                              antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:12pm

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

                                              Ahh, you're a self proclaimed expert. Are we really supposed to take you seriously just because you said so?

                                              You're the one quoting Wikipedia. Have you read Beckett, Wheaton, or their progenies? I have. And I've read lots of commentary discussing them. It's difficult to discuss this with you if you're insulting me the whole time and you haven't even read the opinions. Sorry, but that's the truth.

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                                                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:18pm

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

                                                Proclaiming that you're an expert just because you read some book or text doesn't mean anything. You must do better than that.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:01am

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                                    ha good luck with that. These people have no solid basis to their "arguments", so all they're going to do is censor you.

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                            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:13am

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                            You're dodging the question. Why can't you give an honest answer? You conflate the ancient and natural ideas about the physical fruits of one's labour with the much-less-natural-and-obvious assertion that it's more true for the non-physical fruits of mental labor. And you do this intentionally, because you know that you have a much weaker moral case to make when it comes to that second assertion. There is, at least, an equally strong moral argument to be made that infinitely replicable, non-physical, non-rivalrous things such as ideas and creative output are naturally nobody's "property" at all, and that attempting to limit their dissemination is itself fundamentally immoral.

                            Stop dodging the question, stop giving dishonest answers, and stop making weak and vague appeals to supposed authority. Why do you think that things which have none of the natural properties of "property", and abide by none of its physical laws, should be subject to such control? For whose benefit do you believe it should, and on what basis do you say that is morally correct?

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                              antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:01am

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

                              You're dodging the question. Why can't you give an honest answer? You conflate the ancient and natural ideas about the physical fruits of one's labour with the much-less-natural-and-obvious assertion that it's more true for the non-physical fruits of mental labor. And you do this intentionally, because you know that you have a much weaker moral case to make when it comes to that second assertion. There is, at least, an equally strong moral argument to be made that infinitely replicable, non-physical, non-rivalrous things such as ideas and creative output are naturally nobody's "property" at all, and that attempting to limit their dissemination is itself fundamentally immoral.

                              Stop dodging the question, stop giving dishonest answers, and stop making weak and vague appeals to supposed authority. Why do you think that things which have none of the natural properties of "property", and abide by none of its physical laws, should be subject to such control? For whose benefit do you believe it should, and on what basis do you say that is morally correct?


                              No need for the drama. I’m happy to answer your questions. I’m not dodging anything.

                              I disagree that the case is weaker for mental labor than for physical labor. As one treatise author noted in 1870:
                              What property could be more emphatically a man’s own than his literary works? Is the property in any article or substance accruing to him by reason of his own mechanical labour denied him? Is the labour of his mind less arduous, less worthy of the protection of the law?
                              Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=JhkzAAAAIAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

                              There’s a Lockean argument for why the moral argument is stronger, but I’d have to start with the provisos and walk you through it. There’s a good journal article that does this. If I can find it, I’ll give you the link.

                              You should read the beginning of that treatise if you have time. It places the foundation of copyright on the natural law. There’s no mention of consequentialist/economic reasoning. And that treatise was the leading treatise of its day.

                              If you read older case law, you’ll see that it’s replete to citations to natural law. For example:
                              The same conclusion is reached on principle and apart from authority. It is generally recognized that one has a right to the fruits of his labor. This is equally true, whether the work be muscular or mental or both combined. Property in literary productions, before publication and while they rest in manuscript, is as plain as property in the game of the hunter or in the grain of the husbandman. The labor of composing letters for private and familiar correspondence may be trifling, or it may be severe, but it is none the less the result of an expenditure of thought and time. The market value of such an effort may be measured by the opinions of others, but the fact of property is not created thereby. A canvas upon which an obscure or unskillful painter has toiled does not cease to be property merely because by conventional standards it is valueless as a work of art. Few products of the intellect reveal individual characteristics more surely than familiar correspondence, entries in diaries or other unambitious writings. No sound distinction in this regard can be made between that which has literary merit and that which is without it. Such a distinction could not be drawn with any certainty. While extremes might be discovered, compositions near the dividing line would be subject to no fixed criterion at any given moment, and scarcely anything is more fluctuating than the literary taste of the general public. Even those counted as experts in literature differ widely in opinion both in the same and in successive generations as to the relative merits of different authors. The basic principle on which the right of the author is sustained even as to writings confessedly literature is not their literary quality, but the fact that they are the product of labor.
                              Baker v. Libbie, 210 Mass. 599, 604, 97 N.E. 109, 111 (1912) (emphasis mine).

                              This type of language is quite common in older opinions. I realize that statutory copyright supersedes common law copyright. But the point is that both, at least in part, are situated on natural law. We give authors rewards as incentives for them to labor, but we also give them rewards because they deserve it because they labored. I think it's both. The Supreme Court agrees. See my Eldred quote above.

                              As far as the moral claims of others to use works they did not labor to create, I don’t think that claim is very strong. Prof. Gordon has a great piece on this. I’ll post the link if I can find it. I think the view that authors deserve rewards based on their labors runs far deeper than you are acknowledging. And I'm not sure what moral basis you see to reap where one has not sown. I agree that there is a public interest, but I think it's weak early on. The benefits go to the author first and then the nation second because the author deserves them first as a reward for his labor.

                              I’m out the door. I’m happy to address any more questions you may have. I’m enjoying the conversation. I could do without the insults, but you keep throwing out if they make you feel better. I’m immune at this point, so I don’t care either way.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:24am

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

                                So you cite a few quotes, make no cohesive argument, then run away. Nice!

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                                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:25am

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                                All you are doing is saying "I think it should be morally so, and here are a few other people who somewhat agree."

                                You haven't explained your moral opinion at all. You just keep restating it. Stop avoiding the question and give an honest answer. Why do you think it should be so?

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                                  antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:47am

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

                                  All you are doing is saying "I think it should be morally so, and here are a few other people who somewhat agree."

                                  You haven't explained your moral opinion at all. You just keep restating it. Stop avoiding the question and give an honest answer. Why do you think it should be so?


                                  It’s not just some people who agree with me. This was the dominant view. I’m not just inventing this stuff for the first time. It’s been around a long time.

                                  Here is my answer: I think that a person has a moral claim to the fruits of his labor. This is the labor-desert view. I subscribe to that theory. I am a Lockean. Are you just unfamiliar with the theory? I don’t know how I could be any clearer. I think that if a person mixes his labor with something to create something new, he has a moral claim, superior to others, to that thing. There are provisos, but that’s the gist. Why do I believe this? Because it resonates with my subjective understanding of the difference between right and wrong.

                                  But I’m not only a Lockean. I also subscribe to the Hegalian personality theory, as well as to the economic incentives view. I hold a plurality of views. I think all of these views have a moral element. All positive laws are steeped in normative judgments. Before you say I'm dodging the question again, i suggest framing the question more precisely so that I may answer more precisely. I'm clearly trying to respond to the substance of your question. I know you're just trolling. But I'm obviously not running away. I am stating, explicitly, what I believe and why I believe it.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 1:03pm

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

                                    Still haven't answered either of my questions. Waiting to hear WHY that resonates with your subjective understanding of right and wrong, what that subjective understanding is and why we should agree with it. I also would like to know what you mean by "thing" -- what are the boundaries of a novel or a song or an image as a "thing"? You are relying on the implicit meaning of simple words which really only have meaning in relation to physical property -- if you want to use them here, you need to define them in this context and explain why you think it's appropriate for us to use them when there is no reason or need to.

                                    Still waiting for you to stop dodging the question, stop making increasingly pretentious appeals to authority (seriously dude, you sound like a hipster-philosopher humanities student who has never had an original thought in his life) and give us some honest answers.

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                                      antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 1:22pm

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

                                      Still haven't answered either of my questions. Waiting to hear WHY that resonates with your subjective understanding of right and wrong, what that subjective understanding is and why we should agree with it. I also would like to know what you mean by "thing" -- what are the boundaries of a novel or a song or an image as a "thing"? You are relying on the implicit meaning of simple words which really only have meaning in relation to physical property -- if you want to use them here, you need to define them in this context and explain why you think it's appropriate for us to use them when there is no reason or need to.

                                      Still waiting for you to stop dodging the question, stop making increasingly pretentious appeals to authority (seriously dude, you sound like a hipster-philosopher humanities student who has never had an original thought in his life) and give us some honest answers.


                                      it's quite obvious what you're doing. I clearly am more forthcoming than Mike with my beliefs, and you know it. You're asking me to explain how I determine right from wrong. That's a great question. It's a philosophical issue that I'm not qualified to answer. I can only tell what I believe, explicitly, and tell you the philosophy that i ground it in. You want me to defend all of morality on some deeper level. I can't do it. I'm not a philosopher. The best I can do is tell you that I have a moral compass. I think everyone does. How that moral compass works, I honestly don't know. Can you tell me anything that you believe to be right, and then explain to me in the level of detail that you want from me? Maybe you understand this better than me. I'd love to know how it works if you do. I am being as honest with you as I can. The "thing" is the work, in the copyright sense. I don't understand what you want me to say in addition to that. It's not a physical thing--except insofar as it's fixated initially. But the work itself is incorporeal. As is all intangible property. What don't you understand?

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                                        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 1:32pm

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

                                        it's quite obvious what you're doing

                                        Just as it has been quite obvious what you're doing for a very long time now.

                                        You are ignoring the fact that creative output is, in addition to being intangible, non-rivalrous. And that changes the moral situation drastically. The notion that a person has a natural right to the fruits of their labour is an easy thing to define and understand regarding rivalrous goods; it is not so simple with non-rivalrous ones, and you are ignoring that fact (and for the first time I'm not going to accuse you of willful ignorance -- I think you just genuinely haven't thought this through).

                                        "Ownership" is a concept that relies entirely on rivalrousness. My moral right to deprive you of use of my property exists because the only other option is you depriving me of my use of my property. It's a zero-sum game. Not so with creative works. There is no way that you using, publishing, sharing, altering or performing my works can limit my ability to use, publish, share, alter or perform my works, and vice versa. There is no rivalry, and thus no need for either of us to be deprived of use of the work.

                                        And I would argue that to demand deprivation, to demand control and limitation of people's freedom, where none is necessary or natural and where this is no rivalry or scarcity, is fundamentally immoral.

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                                          antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:07pm

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

                                          You are ignoring the fact that creative output is, in addition to being intangible, non-rivalrous. And that changes the moral situation drastically. The notion that a person has a natural right to the fruits of their labour is an easy thing to define and understand regarding rivalrous goods; it is not so simple with non-rivalrous ones, and you are ignoring that fact (and for the first time I'm not going to accuse you of willful ignorance -- I think you just genuinely haven't thought this through).

                                          I have thought it through. I simply disagree that the nonrivalrous thing changes the calculus much. The value isn’t in how easy it is copy. The value is in the author’s time, energy, money, skill, etc. that went into creating the thing. It’s also in that author as a person, for his or her own sake.

                                          "Ownership" is a concept that relies entirely on rivalrousness.

                                          That’s simply untrue. Intangible property is owned. Ownership is the legal relations between a person and the public vis-à-vis a given thing. Whether that thing is corporeal or incorporeal, rivalrous or nonrivalrous, it’s still a thing that can be owned.

                                          My moral right to deprive you of use of my property exists because the only other option is you depriving me of my use of my property. It's a zero-sum game. Not so with creative works. There is no way that you using, publishing, sharing, altering or performing my works can limit my ability to use, publish, share, alter or perform my works, and vice versa. There is no rivalry, and thus no need for either of us to be deprived of use of the work.

                                          You’re deprived of my work because it’s mine. I created it. You didn't. My labor created it. I have the moral claim to it because I expended time, energy, money, skill, etc. into creating it and you didn’t. If I spend a year writing a book, you have no moral claim to benefit from my labors. You didn’t earn it.

                                          And I would argue that to demand deprivation, to demand control and limitation of people's freedom, where none is necessary or natural and where this is no rivalry or scarcity, is fundamentally immoral.

                                          It’s completely natural. It comes from the natural law. What’s unnatural is reaping where you have not sown. I get that you disagree with me, but I don’t think you’re dishonest. I hope you can afford me the same courtesy. I simply don’t think you have any moral claim to download a work that is for sale (or otherwise) that you didn’t create. The fact that it’s easy for you to do does not address the moral issue. It’s easy to do lots of things that are not morally right.

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                                            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:16pm

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

                                            "It’s completely natural. It comes from the natural law."

                                            This, again, exposes what kind of dishonest person you really are. Natural law is what exists outside of government. Copy protection laws are a result of government. There is no natural law entitling anyone to benefit from their labor. If you spent all your time building a nice sand castle or digging a hole at the beach that doesn't entitle you to anything. No one forced you to build or dig anything. If you don't like the fact that no one wants to pay you to dig holes at the beach then don't do it. But to force everyone else to comply with your demands just because you did something is not something you are entitled to. Until you can have the honesty to admit that copy protection laws are not natural it would be impossible for you to have a serious discussion on the matter. By refusing to acknowledge this simple self evident truth you are refusing to have an honest discussion and are only showing what kind of dishonest person you continue to be.

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                                              antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:20pm

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

                                              This, again, exposes what kind of dishonest person you really are. Natural law is what exists outside of government. Copy protection laws are a result of government. There is no natural law entitling anyone to benefit from their labor. If you spent all your time building a nice sand castle or digging a hole at the beach that doesn't entitle you to anything. No one forced you to build or dig anything. If you don't like the fact that no one wants to pay you to dig holes at the beach then don't do it. But to force everyone else to comply with your demands just because you did something is not something you are entitled to. Until you can have the honesty to admit that copy protection laws are not natural it would be impossible for you to have a serious discussion on the matter. By refusing to acknowledge this simple self evident truth you are refusing to have an honest discussion and are only showing what kind of dishonest person you continue to be.

                                              Wow. The insults are strong with you. If you'd like to discuss natural law more with me, stop with the insults. I love natural law. I'm happy to discuss it with anyone. Well, anyone except serial abusers as you're being now. Seriously. Drop the 'tude, dude. Make an argument without insulting me, and I'll gladly respond.

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                                                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:34pm

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

                                                What's there to discuss. Natural laws exist outside of government. Copy protection laws require government. Therefore they are an unnatural result of government. To deny this self apparent truth is to be dishonest.

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                                            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:36pm

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                                            If you're just going to continue pretending that there's no difference at all between rivalrous and non-rivalrous things, then there's no point continuing this. That's a facile approach to the topic, and it can be your moral opinion if you want, but it aint too inspiring.

                                            You’re deprived of my work because it’s mine. I created it. You didn't.

                                            Is that really the foundation of your morals here? You sound like a bratty five-year-old.

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                                            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:38pm

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

                                            "You’re deprived of my work because it’s mine. I created it. You didn't. My labor created it."

                                            So if you labor to dig a hole at the beach that hole is automatically yours and so now you own the land?

                                            Labor entitles you to nothing.

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                                            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 3:25pm

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

                                            It’s completely natural. It comes from the natural law.

                                            Copyright as an authors right has only existed since the statute of Anne, and written works have existed for at least 6,000 years. Therefore copyright is far from a natural law. Note that the first 300 years of book printing was carried out without authors having any copyrights, and they were able to sell manuscripts to printers.

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                                            Gwiz (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 7:45am

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

                                            It’s completely natural. It comes from the natural law.


                                            I disagree that copyright is anywhere near the "natural state" of human culture and learning.

                                            When dealing with a tangible good, say a chair I designed and built, you are right, I built it, so it's mine. But those natural rights only extend up to the point when I transfer ownership to someone else. Then it theirs to use, destroy, modify, copy, resell or whatever.

                                            Copyright is unnatural because it extends the original owner's rights BEYOND the transfer of ownership. If I legally purchase a book I am not free to do what I wish with it.

                                            The only "natural rights" that exist with copyright are those prior to publication. The rights extended by copyright after transfer of ownership are completely unnatural and go against thousands of years of human behavior.

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                                              Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 9:12am

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

                                              Don't bother -- he ran away. Just as he did on the New Year's post once I called out his obvious childish tactics.

                                              Just remember these threads: they will be handy links next time he accuses others of refusing to engage.

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                                                antidirt (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 9:35am

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

                                                Don't bother -- he ran away. Just as he did on the New Year's post once I called out his obvious childish tactics.

                                                Just remember these threads: they will be handy links next time he accuses others of refusing to engage.


                                                Refused to engage? LOL! I sat here for hours yesterday and engaged several people at once directly and honestly. I'm working today. I wish I had time to continue the lengthy discussions we've had already, but I need to make up for the time I spent here yesterday as it is.

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                                                  Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 9:53am

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

                                                  Excuses. The truth is nobody was accepting your circuitous, bullshit answers -- they were demanding actual honesty -- so you gave up and ran away.

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                                                    antidirt (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:26am

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

                                                    Excuses. The truth is nobody was accepting your circuitous, bullshit answers -- they were demanding actual honesty -- so you gave up and ran away.

                                                    Attacking my integrity and credibility? Super angry? Thinks anyone who disagrees with him is dishonest? You sound just like someone I know. Hmm...

                                                    Just to prove that I'm not running away, I will take time out of my busy day and devote it you. You're that important. Ask me anything, and I will respond swiftly, honestly, and directly. I'm happy to do it. Fire away, friend. I don't have time for the pile-on. But I will answer your questions, and only your questions. Shoot! Give me your best. Show everyone how I'm running away. I can't wait.

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                                                      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:35am

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

                                                      There are already a bunch of questions and points above you haven't responded to. In fact, of all the threads you ran away from, the only one you seem to have found time to respond to today is the one accusing you of running away. Funny, that.

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                                                        antidirt (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:39am

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

                                                        There are already a bunch of questions and points above you haven't responded to. In fact, of all the threads you ran away from, the only one you seem to have found time to respond to today is the one accusing you of running away. Funny, that.

                                                        Good. You're here. You are claiming that I'm running away from questions. Back up that claim. Ask me the specific questions you think I'm running away from, and I will answer them directly and honestly. It should be easy. Copy and paste if you want. No more generalizations. Be specific. What are the exact questions that I'm running away from?

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                                                          Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:44am

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

                                                          I'm not re-stating questions from a few comments ago. Stop trying to turn this into a silly game. Start offering up some honest replies to the many threads you've run away from.

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                                                            antidirt (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:50am

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                                                            I'm not re-stating questions from a few comments ago. Stop trying to turn this into a silly game. Start offering up some honest replies to the many threads you've run away from.

                                                            It's easy to claim that I'm running away from questions. But it's much harder to ask me questions I won't answer. Prove to everybody that I'm running away. What are the specific questions I won't answer? Be specific.

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                                                              Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:59am

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                                                              lol okay. Well, I'm not playing this game -- instead of answering questions you're just repeatedly asking me to re-ask them. I mark this down as you running away from offering real answers, you can view it how you like.

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                                                                antidirt (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:33pm

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                                                                lol okay. Well, I'm not playing this game -- instead of answering questions you're just repeatedly asking me to re-ask them. I mark this down as you running away from offering real answers, you can view it how you like.


                                                                I sat here hour after hour answering question after question, and then it was time to leave. I'm sure some people asked me some questions after I left, but the truth is I haven't had a chance to read them yet. Hard as it is this may be to believe, I have other obligations. After I logged out last night, I ended up staying up very late to make up on the work that I did not do because I was here answering questions. Today, I'm working extra hours to make up for the time that was lost yesterday. I logged in today, and I saw one of the last post was you claiming I'd run away. Give me a break. At some point I have to leave. If you think there are any questions in particular that I'm too scared to answer, then produce said questions. I will give you an answer. It's really that simple. But give me a break with the running away thing. I'm not scared to answer any questions. I think I explaine myself more fully and defend my position better than most people here. And despite the constant abuse, my posts being hidden, and the increasing difficulty of reading nested replies, I stuck with it for several hours yesterday. Give me a break with the running away thing, dude.

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                                                                  Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:12pm

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                                                                  Whined the guy whose best definition of an argument for months was spamming chicken noises and whining about Masnick hating copyright enforcement. Give us a break, dude.

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                                                              Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 5:46pm

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                                                      Alien Rebel (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:12pm

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                                                      I hope this doesn't break the internet, but I'm going to give credit where credit is due; antidirt, you're a trooper. Why, I have no idea, and I won't go there; that's between you and your professional psychiatric caregiver.

                                                      I'm going to simply provide an observation which I won't spend further time arguing about; take it FWIW. In all your attempts at rebuttals, and efforts to support your points, you have cited past law and legal opinions numerous times. Law is of course built (some might say arguably) on great ideas, and the thinking of others. I'd like to point out that great works of intellect are not exclusive to the legal profession. Obviously, this leads us right back to the original post this train wreck of a dialog should have been about- what gets lost when the thinking of others is sequestered.

                                                      If you have any kind of an imagination, you can understand that just as with law, great works in all the intellectual and creative disciplines of mankind have immeasurable value when others can access them, modify them, build upon them. No need for me to go further; you either get it or you don't. See you around.

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                                                    antidirt (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:34am

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                                                    Excuses. The truth is nobody was accepting your circuitous, bullshit answers -- they were demanding actual honesty -- so you gave up and ran away.

                                                    I've been waiting for an hour. Where did you go? I want to answer each and every question that you think I'm avoiding. I am heading out soon, but I will check in this evening. Post that list! I want to dive into each and every question until you are satisfied.

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                                                    antidirt (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:35am

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

                                                    Excuses. The truth is nobody was accepting your circuitous, bullshit answers -- they were demanding actual honesty -- so you gave up and ran away.

                                                    I've been waiting for an hour. Where did you go? I want to answer each and every question that you think I'm avoiding. I am heading out soon, but I will check in this evening. Post that list! I want to dive into each and every question until you are satisfied.

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                                                      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:37am

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                                                      They are all up there, waiting for your reply, including the assertion that your morality is based on childish selfishness (care to respond?) and that your refusal to acknowledge the importance of non-rivalrousess is facile (care to revisit?) Not to mention all the earlier points about your transparently disingenuous debate tactics (you ran away from those one ages ago)

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                                                        antidirt (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:48am

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                                                        They are all up there, waiting for your reply, including the assertion that your morality is based on childish selfishness (care to respond?) and that your refusal to acknowledge the importance of non-rivalrousess is facile (care to revisit?) Not to mention all the earlier points about your transparently disingenuous debate tactics (you ran away from those one ages ago)

                                                        OK, since you haven't provided links to the questions above, I'm just going to have to go from what you've said here. If you want something more specific, you need to ask questions are more specific.

                                                        1, Childish selfishness: I assume you think that the "I made it; it's mine" thing is childish and selfish. Is that it? it's hard to tell since you're not being specific. That Lockean notion of ownership from labor is literally the basis of most property systems around the world. Are you seriously trying to brush off centuries of property law with a couple negative adjectives? I can't tell if you're just not aware of the law and its history. it seems to be the case. Have you studied this stuff at all? Are you denying that Lockean notions are not a part of the property system?

                                                        2. Nonrivalrousness: I happen to the think the nonrivalrousness thing is not a big deal. You disagree. Again, centuries of law are on my side. Patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, publicity rights, privacy rights, etc. Almost every country around the world on multiple dimensions affords property rights to nonrivalrous things. It's the excludability that matters, right? You seem to think I'm crazy for thinking this, but again I have to wonder if you've just never studied property law. Have you?

                                                        3. Debate tactics: I'm happy to address whatever your question is here, but I can't figure out what it is. What are you getting at? Be specific. Thanks.

                                                        Anyway, I'll check back in tonight. I await your detailed questions.

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                                                          Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:02pm

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                                                          Again totally ignoring the fact that 1 & 2 are interrelated, and the Lockean notion of ownership from labour is nowhere near as obvious or natural when applied to nonrivalrous goods. But you know that, and thus you are attempting to keep them separate because you know you don't have a cohesive overall argument.

                                                          You're right about one thing though: it's the excludability that matters. And one class of goods -- rivalrous ones -- has natural excludability. The other class of goods -- non-rivalrous ones -- has absolutely no natural excludability, indeed that's the very definition of non-rivalrous.

                                                          The case for artificial excludability for non-rivalrous goods is an different and far less obvious moral argument than that for societally reinforcing the natural excludability of rivalrous goods. And you are avoiding making that case, because you know you can't make it very strongly.

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                                                            antidirt (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 4:51pm

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                                                            Again totally ignoring the fact that 1 & 2 are interrelated, and the Lockean notion of ownership from labour is nowhere near as obvious or natural when applied to nonrivalrous goods. But you know that, and thus you are attempting to keep them separate because you know you don't have a cohesive overall argument.

                                                            You're right about one thing though: it's the excludability that matters. And one class of goods -- rivalrous ones -- has natural excludability. The other class of goods -- non-rivalrous ones -- has absolutely no natural excludability, indeed that's the very definition of non-rivalrous.

                                                            The case for artificial excludability for non-rivalrous goods is an different and far less obvious moral argument than that for societally reinforcing the natural excludability of rivalrous goods. And you are avoiding making that case, because you know you can't make it very strongly.


                                                            Your argument, I believe, is that there is no moral claim to nonrivalrous information. As a counterexample, I’ll point to your privacy interests. Should there be no privacy since the information is nonrivalrous? I don’t think anyone thinks that. The people on TD generally place great value in their privacy, despite its nonrivalrousness, in my experience. Simply saying something is nonrivalrous does not answer the moral question about granting people rights in it. People are morally justified in their privacy despite its nonrivalrousness. Do you agree?

                                                            The reason the nonrivalrous thing creates a STRONGER moral claim is because of Locke’s proviso about leaving “enough and as good” for others. The idea is simply that everybody has an obligation to leave enough in the commons so that others may appropriate things for their own needs. As long as someone does not fail to leave “enough and as good” for others, there is no moral inequity: “For he that leaves as much as another can make use of, does as good as take nothing at all.” John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, Book II, Section 33.

                                                            This proviso is fundamental to Locke’s theory: When the proviso is satisfied, the acquirer is morally justified in excluding others because he is not impairing the needs of others with his ownership of the thing. (There are other provisos, but I’m simplifying things here.) With rivalrous things, if one person uses it, another cannot. This diminishes the commons, and the “enough and as good” proviso places moral limits on how much one can take.

                                                            But with nonrivalrous things, such as copyrights, the commons are not diminished. An author has a copyright in his work, which protects his particular expression. This does not diminish the commons, that is, the public domain, as this particular expression did not exist beforehand. The “enough and as good” proviso is easily satisfied: The author leaves the public domain as he found it, and he has not taken from the commons.

                                                            Of course, copyright promotes the creation of new works and actually adds to the public domain. It does the opposite of what property rights in rivalrous things do. Thus, it has a stronger moral claim: It not only does not take from the commons, it adds to it.

                                                            There’s a lot more to the argument than that. And there's lots of counterarguments. If you’re interested in this stuff, I highly recommend Prof. Gordon’s article: Wendy J. Gordon, A Property Right in Self-Expression: Equality and Individualism in the Natural Law of Intellectual Property, 102 Yale L.J. 1533 (1993). Source: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/IPCoop/93gord.html And I recommend Prof. Hughes’ article: Justin Hughes, The Philosophy of Intellectual Property, 77 Geo. L.J. 287 (1988). Source: http://pages.uoregon.edu/koopman/courses_readings/phil123-net/property/hughes_phil_ip.pdf

                                                            Much has been written about Locke as applied to intellectual property. Check it out! The fact is, John Locke himself advocated for a copyright term of life plus 50 or 70 years: “[I]t may be reasonable to limit their property to a certain number of years after the death of the author, or the first printing of the book, as, suppose, fifty or seventy years.” 1 Peter King, The Life of John Locke 375, 387 (1830).

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                                                              Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 7:29pm

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                                                              The privacy analogy fails on two fronts. Firstly, no: I don't see that anyone has a natural or moral right to privacy. Rather, it's something we all agree upon as a right because it makes us all happier. It's artificial. The same is true of copyright -- it's neither moral nor natural, it's something people agree on because they believe it will benefit everyone. The difference is that, in the case of the latter, I don't believe it is actually beneficial.

                                                              Secondly, privacy exists precisely because something is not made public by a person — copyright exists to retain control of something after it has been made public. I no more agree with that than I agree with the UK's out-of-control superinjunctions or Europe's right to be forgotten.

                                                              As for the concept of leaving "enough and as good" for others, that's precisely what doesn't happen with copyright. Instead, a monopoly is created on a piece of expression, and others are forced to go without entirely.

                                                              Your are treating copyrightable material as a commodity, with each piece as good and equal to the next. But that's not how it works. Every copyright is a monopoly, every one creating an artificial and unnecessary exclusion on a piece of culture, depriving the commons of that culture and excluding others from its use, despite there being no natural limitation or scarcity that forces that state of affairs. And as you surely suspect by now, I entirely reject the silly idea that copyright promotes the creation of new works and adds to the public domain — that's what it's supposed to do, and may have done in some of its less ludicrously extreme forms, but what it is now utterly failing to do.

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                                                                Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 8:20am

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                                                                So shall we chock this one up as yet another of the several lines of conversation, in this comment thread alone, that you are running away from?

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                                                                  antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:18am

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                                                                  So shall we chock this one up as yet another of the several lines of conversation, in this comment thread alone, that you are running away from?

                                                                  I am literally in the middle of writing out a response. Give me a break with the childishness. I'm happy to take time out of my incredibly busy day just for you. Reply is coming soon. You keep coming up with questions. I'm happy to answer them, in detail, with complete frankness and honesty. You know, the opposite of Mike.

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                                                                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:24am

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                                                                    Detail, frankness and honesty -- just no substance or any interesting ideas.

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                                                                      antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:32am

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                                                                      Detail, frankness and honesty -- just no substance or any interesting ideas.

                                                                      So now you're just going with straight up ad hominems. What issue have I not supplied a substantive response to? Be specific. Point out my shortcomings with exactness.

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                                                                        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:34am

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                                                                        Um, no?

                                                                        I'm not satisfied with your answers. I think they are weak, and don't hold together. And I'm perfectly happy with that assessment. If you think I should change it, it's up to you to convince me.

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                                                                          antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:40am

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                                                                          I'm not satisfied with your answers. I think they are weak, and don't hold together. And I'm perfectly happy with that assessment. If you think I should change it, it's up to you to convince me.

                                                                          What argument of mine does not hold together? Be specific.

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                                                                            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:42am

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                                                                            It's amazing how you only find time to reply to the comments accusing you of not giving honest answers -- and rarely find time to pause and give honest answers to all the open questions and rebuttals still sitting here in this thread.

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                                                                              antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:56am

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                                                                              It's amazing how you only find time to reply to the comments accusing you of not giving honest answers -- and rarely find time to pause and give honest answers to all the open questions and rebuttals still sitting here in this thread.

                                                                              Keep coming up with every personal attack you can, while never giving us any basis for your beliefs. Sounds about right. I was going to answer Pragmatic, just as soon as I finish my response to you above. I don't have time to field tons of questions, and that's because I have other work to do. It's not easy to carry on several conversations at once, but I did so for hours. I'm sure there are some questions above that I did not answer, and I honestly have neither the inclination nor the time to answer them all. But keep insulting. Insult me. Insult me. Insult me. That's obviously what you're here for. Have at it. But when you're ready to tell us what you believe and why you believe it, I will be here to bask in your gloriousness.

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                                                                                Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:01am

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                                                                                My beliefs are explained above. You've yet to respond to them. Keep trying to worm your way out of it, though, it's amusing to watch, and it's giving us regulars lots of embarrassing stuff to link to next time you accuse Mike of avoiding questions. It's very amusing actually -- at this point, you've accused me of all the things you do on a near-daily basis around the TD comments, and have offered up all the very same defences that you reject and mock when anyone else uses them. Deeper and deeper the troll digs...

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                                                                                  antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:05am

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                                                                                  My beliefs are explained above. You've yet to respond to them.

                                                                                  Link to them. Tell us exactly which post you're referring to. Let us read your exact words. List the questions I am not responding to. Be specific. Tell us the exact things I refuse to address. Stop playing games. Put up or shut up.

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                                                                                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:06am

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                                                                                    I'm not linking you to comments in this very thread, or restating things I already said an hour ago. You can respond or you can not respond -- but your attempt to stall by repeatedly asking me to re-state the question is not fooling anyone.

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                                                                                      antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:12am

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                                                                                      I'm not linking you to comments in this very thread, or restating things I already said an hour ago. You can respond or you can not respond -- but your attempt to stall by repeatedly asking me to re-state the question is not fooling anyone.

                                                                                      You make a list of questions. I vow that I will come back to this thread for days, nay, weeks, to come, and I will answer your specific questions to the best of my ability. I will spend hours citing sources, the fruits of hours of research, just to appease you.

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                                                                                        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:12am

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                                                                                        they are all there -- just scroll up. Still waiting for you to respond to some of the points being made, instead of ignoring them and only replying to the comments accusing you of ignoring them.

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                                                                                          antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:25am

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                                                                                          they are all there -- just scroll up. Still waiting for you to respond to some of the points being made, instead of ignoring them and only replying to the comments accusing you of ignoring them.

                                                                                          If you think there is another question I'm ignoring. Link to it. I will address that question. Back up your claims. What am I scared to discuss? Be specific. Prove to everybody how scared I am. One day you can say: "People of Techdirt. I have vanquished antidirt. He would not answer this question. He was too scared. I present to you the question by which I have slain the troll. It is X." Now, tell me what X is. I love a good vanquishing.

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                                                                                            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:27am

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                                                                                            X is the same question we've been discussing from the start: why you think that people have a moral right to diminish the rights of others in order to retain unnecessary control of non-rivalrous, non-scarce culture.

                                                                                            So far, your answers have been pathetic.

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                                                                                              antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:31am

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                                                                                              X is the same question we've been discussing from the start: why you think that people have a moral right to diminish the rights of others in order to retain unnecessary control of non-rivalrous, non-scarce culture.

                                                                                              So far, your answers have been pathetic.


                                                                                              You mean the comment I told you earlier i was in the middle of replying to? I'm happy to finish that reply. Why don't you stop with the personal attacks and give me time. I'm trying to dig up cites for you. Not that you appreciate it.

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                                                                antidirt (profile), 9 Jan 2015 @ 7:33am

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                                                                The privacy analogy fails on two fronts. Firstly, no: I don't see that anyone has a natural or moral right to privacy. Rather, it's something we all agree upon as a right because it makes us all happier. It's artificial.

                                                                So you insult me and say that my replies aren’t even “answers” because they sound like something a freshman would say, but then this is your explanation? We just agreed on it? And that’s it? That’s the extent of your analysis? Honestly, your approach makes it abundantly clear that you have neither studied nor thought about it very much. It’s hilarious that you brush off what I’m saying when you have nothing yourself. I had started to write out a lengthy response to you. I was going to explain the seminal article by Warren & Brandeis on the right to privacy. I was going to delve into its development under various state laws. I was going to explain the constitutionalization of the right under the substantive due process doctrine. We didn’t just “all agree upon” it, as you so thoughtlessly put it. The right to privacy is, like so many other things, linked to Locke. I’m happy to discuss all these things with you, but it’s clear that you have no interest in what I have to say. You just want to pretend like I can’t back up what I believe, while you have made no real effort to back up anything that you believe.

                                                                The same is true of copyright -- it's neither moral nor natural, it's something people agree on because they believe it will benefit everyone. The difference is that, in the case of the latter, I don't believe it is actually beneficial.

                                                                And if I pull out centuries of case law, treatises, commentary, etc. all disagreeing with you, you’ll just brush them off as meaningless. And you’ll do this even though you’ve never actually studied these things and even though you have no basis for your beliefs—whatever they may be. I understand that you don’t really understand these things. I don’t understand why you’re so hostile to anybody suggesting that there’s more to them than your unsubstantiated opinions.

                                                                Secondly, privacy exists precisely because something is not made public by a person — copyright exists to retain control of something after it has been made public. I no more agree with that than I agree with the UK's out-of-control superinjunctions or Europe's right to be forgotten.

                                                                But privacy is nonrivalrous. So why shouldn’t everything be nonprivate?

                                                                As for the concept of leaving "enough and as good" for others, that's precisely what doesn't happen with copyright. Instead, a monopoly is created on a piece of expression, and others are forced to go without entirely.

                                                                You haven’t actually addressed the point I made in the lengthy ANSWER that you’re responding to. These works are not plucked out of the public domain by authors. They don’t even exist until the author creates them. Nothing is taken from the public when an author is granted a copyright. If you disagree, then explain how a poem I write later today is taken from the public. How could the public possibly have my poem such that I am taking it away from the public when I write it for the first time?

                                                                Your are treating copyrightable material as a commodity, with each piece as good and equal to the next. But that's not how it works. Every copyright is a monopoly, every one creating an artificial and unnecessary exclusion on a piece of culture, depriving the commons of that culture and excluding others from its use, despite there being no natural limitation or scarcity that forces that state of affairs. And as you surely suspect by now, I entirely reject the silly idea that copyright promotes the creation of new works and adds to the public domain — that's what it's supposed to do, and may have done in some of its less ludicrously extreme forms, but what it is now utterly failing to do.

                                                                No, I’m not treating it as a commodity. I’m treating it as a resource that belongs to the author because of his time, effort, money, skill, etc. in creating it. I simply disagree with your freshman-like move of calling it “culture” such that now everyone has some moral claim to it. An author doesn’t take culture from the public. He creates new culture that never existed before. You say that copyright “depriv[es] the commons,” but you have yet to explain how the commons can be deprived of a work that never existed before the author created it. How, exactly, does the author take something from the commons when the work was never in the commons in the first place?

                                                                I know you’ve indicated that you’re done with this conversation, and that’s fine. I’ll stick around longer if you want to keep discussing it. But I must ask you to drop the insults. Stop pretending like I’m not answering you just because you disagree with my answer. It’s still an answer. And I’m happy to go down any tangential roads you’d like. But it is dishonest of you to say that I haven’t answered a thing. This comment right here is an answer. I know you don’t like it. I know you think I’m wrong. But it’s an answer. Be honest and just admit that much, if you please.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:49am

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                                    I think that a person has a moral claim to the fruits of his labor.

                                    If I find a pile of sticks in my neighbor's yard and build a chair out of them, whose chair is it?

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                                      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 1:25pm

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                                      Still waiting for you to answer this question:

                                      If I find a pile of sticks in my neighbor's yard and build a chair out of them, whose chair is it?

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                                        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 5:27pm

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                                        Still waiting. Why are you afraid to answer my question?

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                                          antidirt (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 6:37pm

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

                                          Still waiting. Why are you afraid to answer my question?

                                          Sigh. It's not a terribly interesting question. Does the neighbor know you're taking the sticks? Do you want me to apply the law of a certain state? Etc. I need more info.

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                                            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 5:42am

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                                            It's not a terribly interesting question.

                                            And yet, when Mike says that to you, you accuse him of avoiding the question.

                                            So why are you avoiding the question?

                                            You said that you believe that "if a person mixes his labor with something to create something new, he has a moral claim, superior to others, to that thing."

                                            So it's a simple question. You built the chair. That is your labor. Do you have a moral right to that chair?

                                            Don't avoid it. Don't equivocate. Do you own the chair?

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                                              antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 7:01am

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

                                              And yet, when Mike says that to you, you accuse him of avoiding the question.

                                              So why are you avoiding the question?

                                              You said that you believe that "if a person mixes his labor with something to create something new, he has a moral claim, superior to others, to that thing."

                                              So it's a simple question. You built the chair. That is your labor. Do you have a moral right to that chair?

                                              Don't avoid it. Don't equivocate. Do you own the chair?


                                              Oh, you're playing the "I'm running away card," even though I sat here for hours and hours explaining myself in great detail as I answered question after question--something Mike has never done and will never do. I am quite obviously more forthcoming than Mike. By a mile.

                                              Yes, I said if you build something, you have a superior moral claim. I didn't flesh out all the possibilities. That was a general claim. It was an oversimplification that did not account for all possibilities.

                                              I asked for more facts, but you didn't supply them. So I'll supply my own. Using materials that belong to another, without their knowledge or permission, takes those materials from somebody else who has a superior moral claim. So, no, morally speaking, the chair maker does not have a superior moral claim, under these facts.

                                              I assume you have a point, or some kind of "gotcha!" Why not just jump to the punchline and save us both some time? Thanks.

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                                                Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 8:19am

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                                                even though I sat here for hours and hours explaining myself in great detail as I answered question after question--something Mike has never done and will never do. I am quite obviously more forthcoming than Mike. By a mile.

                                                Hahaha. You haven't answered anything, you've just spouted some boring appeals to authority and continually repeated a facile, simplistic understanding of property and ownership. Mike's engaged with you plenty of times in the past, and you accepted not one of his answers, instead accusing him of the same. Doesn't feel great, does it?

                                                Also... Mike sits here for hours every day writing dozens of posts discussing the topic. Not only is he more forthcoming than you by several miles, he's more productive and more interesting (and he has an actual audience). Enough with the sour grapes, it's pathetic.

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                                                  antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:24am

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                                                  Hahaha. You haven't answered anything

                                                  Now you're back to claiming i haven't answered anything, even though, just above, I crafted a lengthy response citing Locke, Gordon, Hughes, etc. Those are substantive answers that directly answer the questions you've asked. No need to be dishonest.

                                                  That said, if there is some question you think I am too scared to respond to, then tell us all exactly what that question is. What question will I not answer? Be specific.

                                                  And, honestly, why should I sit here and answer question after question for you if you're (1) going to pretend like I have supplied no answer whatsoever, and (2) keep attacking me personally?

                                                  Seriously. Why should I? Can you not act like an adult and have a friendly conversation with me? I am happy to answer your questions. I will be here day after day if need be. I am not running from a single thing. I understand your need to attack me personally. But can you attack the substance of my opinions? That's what I'm here for.

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                                                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:31am

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

                                                    Now you're back to claiming i haven't answered anything, even though, just above, I crafted a lengthy response citing Locke, Gordon, Hughes, etc. Those are substantive answers that directly answer the questions you've asked. No need to be dishonest.

                                                    No, they are empty and flimsy and facile, and once again you sound like a first-year university student who just discovered philosophy.

                                                    That said, if there is some question you think I am too scared to respond to, then tell us all exactly what that question is. What question will I not answer? Be specific.

                                                    Again you try to turn this into a game. I'm not repeating myself for your benefit. The questions are all here, from me and others, and so far nobody is even slightly impressed by your answers. Keep trying.

                                                    And, honestly, why should I sit here and answer question after question for you if you're (1) going to pretend like I have supplied no answer whatsoever, and (2) keep attacking me personally?

                                                    Because that's what you do. Shall I start linking to all the many times you have done exactly that in your little tirades against Mike? Or the dozens of times you flipped out and switched over to 100% personal attacks with no attempts to say anything at all?

                                                    Nobody is buying your little innocent act. Nobody. You should give it up.

                                                    But can you attack the substance of my opinions? That's what I'm here for.

                                                    I have. Not only have I attacked them, I've made them look quite foolish and idiotic. And you have yet to back them up or flesh them out with anything other than weak appeals to authority. If that's what you're here for, don't quit your day job.

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                                                      antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:39am

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                                                      No, they are empty and flimsy and facile, and once again you sound like a first-year university student who just discovered philosophy.

                                                      Huh? How are they flimsy and facile? These ideas are centuries old and are fundamental to how many things in the real world work. I'm not making these things up. They've been understood and applied for generations. You seem like you've never discovered philosophy of any kind. You were the one quoting Wikipedia and suggesting that things are the way they are because we all just magically agreed on them, right? You haven't offered any philosophical underpinnings for your beliefs. Care to start now? if my ideas are so dumb, then show us your smart ideas. We're all ears. Wow us with your greatness.

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                                                        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:41am

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                                                        I've made the philosophical underpinnings of my beliefs quite clear -- and I've done it by spelling them out in plain terms, not trying to see how many philosophers I can quote like that lends me some sort of legitimacy. And who quoted Wikipedia?

                                                        You're the one who seems to be bothered that nobody is agreeing with your beliefs. I'm perfectly comfortable in mine, and quite happy in this community full of people who I know share similar values, so you can stop trying to put the onus on me here. If you want anyone to have any respect for you or be even vaguely interested in what you have to say, maybe stop reporting your comments and treating you like the unruly, disruptive child you normally behave as, then it's up to YOU to give us some honest answers that are actually interesting. Still failing at that, though.

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                                                          antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:03am

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

                                                          I've made the philosophical underpinnings of my beliefs quite clear -- and I've done it by spelling them out in plain terms, not trying to see how many philosophers I can quote like that lends me some sort of legitimacy. And who quoted Wikipedia?

                                                          You've made them "quite clear"? Can you please link to the comment or comments you're referring to?

                                                          You're the one who seems to be bothered that nobody is agreeing with your beliefs. I'm perfectly comfortable in mine, and quite happy in this community full of people who I know share similar values, so you can stop trying to put the onus on me here. If you want anyone to have any respect for you or be even vaguely interested in what you have to say, maybe stop reporting your comments and treating you like the unruly, disruptive child you normally behave as, then it's up to YOU to give us some honest answers that are actually interesting. Still failing at that, though.

                                                          Again, what question or questions, specifically, have I failed to answer? Be specific. No general claims Back it up. List the questions here. I will answer them directly and honestly. I welcome the challenge.

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                                                            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:07am

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                                                            I welcome the challenge.

                                                            No you don't. In fact all morning, all you've found time to do is repeatedly claim that you are answering questions -- you've yet to find time to actually answer any of the open questions in the thread. "Welcome the challenge" indeed -- I suppose you welcome it because you think you can weasel your way out of it with these dumb games.

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                                                              antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:09am

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                                                              No you don't. In fact all morning, all you've found time to do is repeatedly claim that you are answering questions -- you've yet to find time to actually answer any of the open questions in the thread. "Welcome the challenge" indeed -- I suppose you welcome it because you think you can weasel your way out of it with these dumb games.

                                                              You're the one claiming I refuse to answer questions. You have not produced any evidence of any question I refuse to address. Ask me the question right here, right now. I will answer you right here, right now. it's that simple. You can prove to us all how scared I am. Go.

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                                                                Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:11am

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

                                                                To quote YOU, from two years ago:

                                                                "If you think anyone is going to read this thread and think that you answered the question, you're delusional."

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                                                                  antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:21am

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

                                                                  To quote YOU, from two years ago:

                                                                  "If you think anyone is going to read this thread and think that you answered the question, you're delusional."


                                                                  That's not substantive. Please, name the question I refuse to answer. I will be here for as long as it takes. You ask this question that I will not answer. This thread will become part of Techdirt lore for generations yet to come. You will vanquish me... just as soon as you identify the question I refuse to answer. I'll be here, friend. You let me know when you're ready.

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                                                                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:23am

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

                                                                    I have a lengthy response explaining why I totally reject your privacy analogy, your weak appeal to Locke and "enough and as good", your incorrect claims about copyright helping the commons, and your overall flawed understanding of the nature of cultural output and nonrivalrous goods in general. It basically invalidates all your points, and you've yet to respond to any of it -- so in my view, you haven't offered any answers at all yet. Still waiting.

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                                                                      antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:26am

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

                                                                      I have a lengthy response explaining why I totally reject your privacy analogy, your weak appeal to Locke and "enough and as good", your incorrect claims about copyright helping the commons, and your overall flawed understanding of the nature of cultural output and nonrivalrous goods in general. It basically invalidates all your points, and you've yet to respond to any of it -- so in my view, you haven't offered any answers at all yet. Still waiting.

                                                                      Link to it. I will answer. Stop not being specific. I am here for you. I will answer question after question after question. Bring it.

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                                                                        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:29am

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

                                                                        lol you know exactly what comment I am talking about -- you even claimed earlier that you were halfway through writing a response to it. Are you such a moron that you can't scroll up half a page and find it? Stop playing this silly game -- I have no need to hold your hand here. By my reckoning, you've looked like quite the fool in this thread with an utter dearth of interesting ideas -- which is what I suspected, and how I already viewed you from the beginning. If you don't want to change my mind (and there's no reason you should need to) then you don't have to -- but attempting to pretend it's because I won't link you to a comment that you've clearly read and are probably re-reading right now is just sad.

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                                                                          antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:34am

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

                                                                          lol you know exactly what comment I am talking about -- you even claimed earlier that you were halfway through writing a response to it. Are you such a moron that you can't scroll up half a page and find it? Stop playing this silly game -- I have no need to hold your hand here. By my reckoning, you've looked like quite the fool in this thread with an utter dearth of interesting ideas -- which is what I suspected, and how I already viewed you from the beginning. If you don't want to change my mind (and there's no reason you should need to) then you don't have to -- but attempting to pretend it's because I won't link you to a comment that you've clearly read and are probably re-reading right now is just sad.

                                                                          What's sad is that I stopped writing that reply so I could address your barrage of personal attacks. I'm here to the end. I am not going anywhere. I have a life, and I will not be able to reply in real time. But I accept your challenge. I will answer every single one of your questions. Bring it. I hope you'll share your secret views at some point. I can ask you tons of hard questions too.

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                                                                            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:39am

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                                                                            The difference is I really don't care about your questions -- what you've said so far as already demonstrated to me that we approach this topic from such vastly different directions, with entirely different value systems and moral opinions, that there's unlikely to ever be any common ground, and thus little point continuing this conversation. You're the one that seems intent on barrelling forward, and seems rather insecure about the fact that people here reject your views and, frankly, consider many them somewhat laughable. I don't give a damn what you think about my views.

                                                                            The thing is, the Techdirt community is one mostly comprised of people with values similar to mine, focused on actually finding productive ways to move forward, change to fight for that is beneficial to the world -- you, for some reason, have stuck around in this community for years despite sharing no common goals or values with it, and constantly attempting to disrupt, derail and insult it. Why? Frankly I'm not entirely sure, but I think it has something to do with three aforementioned features of your personality: arrogance, insecurity, and immaturity.

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                                                                              antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:49am

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

                                                                              The difference is I really don't care about your questions -- what you've said so far as already demonstrated to me that we approach this topic from such vastly different directions, with entirely different value systems and moral opinions, that there's unlikely to ever be any common ground, and thus little point continuing this conversation. You're the one that seems intent on barrelling forward, and seems rather insecure about the fact that people here reject your views and, frankly, consider many them somewhat laughable. I don't give a damn what you think about my views.

                                                                              The thing is, the Techdirt community is one mostly comprised of people with values similar to mine, focused on actually finding productive ways to move forward, change to fight for that is beneficial to the world -- you, for some reason, have stuck around in this community for years despite sharing no common goals or values with it, and constantly attempting to disrupt, derail and insult it. Why? Frankly I'm not entirely sure, but I think it has something to do with three aforementioned features of your personality: arrogance, insecurity, and immaturity.


                                                                              So (1) do you want me to answer the comment I started answering already, the one above, or (2) want to continue this conversation at all? I'm lost. I'm not at all insecure. I haven't "reported" those who disagree with me. I accept that others do. I don't think they're dishonest for doing so (as you seem to think). if you want me to continue to answer questions, then just start asking questions. Cut the fat so I can get right to the meat. I love hard questions. I don't care if EVERYONE disagrees. I'm here because I can take it. Fire away! I will answer your questions with neither arrogance, insecurity, nor immaturity. If I am doing something wrong, it is not on purpose. Explain exactly how I am wrong, and how my values could more match yours, and I will consider it with all seriousness. Let's go. What are we waiting for? Let's do this. You explain how I'm wrong, and how I'm arrogant, and how I'm stupid, etc. Vanquish me. I'm salivating at the thought. But if you want me to answer that earlier comment, then stop distracting me with these pithy comments. I can only do so much.

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                                                                                Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:52am

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

                                                                                You know that attitude about loving these arguments -- enjoying entering a community with questions that you know are based on an entirely different value system from them, just so you can relish the debate and feel like a smart maverick?

                                                                                Yeah, I label that as a combination of arrogance, insecurity and immaturity. I don't see it as a brave or admirable character trait. I see it as pathetic.

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                                                                                  antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 11:06am

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

                                                                                  You know that attitude about loving these arguments -- enjoying entering a community with questions that you know are based on an entirely different value system from them, just so you can relish the debate and feel like a smart maverick?

                                                                                  Yeah, I label that as a combination of arrogance, insecurity and immaturity. I don't see it as a brave or admirable character trait. I see it as pathetic.


                                                                                  And your personal attacks of me are mature and not pathetic? You've made it abundantly clear that your primary purpose is to attack me. The merits come second. I don't even care that you're doing this. I want to discuss the merits. Shall we discuss those? Just be specific with your criticisms. Or else it just seems like you're making it up. Let's be specific so we can get to the bottom of this quickly. I can keep responding to your personal attacks all day long. Let's talk about what matters: Why I'm dumb and you're smart. So, just to be clear, your position is that you don't have to answer any of my questions, yet, I have to answer all of your questions. Is that right? If it's wrong, please tell us, specifically, why it's wrong. But that's your claim, right?

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                                                                                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 12:39pm

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

                                                                                    You haven't asked any questions. You've just repeatedly asked me to "specify" questions I've already specified multiple times. You don't look good in this one, buddy. And my interest is not in proving you are dumb -- it's in proving that there's zero point in spending so much time on Techdirt the way you do. You're nothing but a disruption, and not a heroic or productive one -- just an immature, insecure one.

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                                                                                      antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 1:17pm

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                                                                                      You haven't asked any questions.

                                                                                      OMG. You're delusional. Ask me a question, any question, right here, right now. I will answer that question directly, honestly, and post haste. What EXACTLY is the question I will not answer. Tell us all the question. What question will I not answer. I will try my best to answer it. I will stay up late, responding to follow up upon follow up. I don't not want to sleep again until this question is answered. What is the question? Please, explain exactly what the question is I'm too scared to answer. Why can't you tell us the question?

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                                                                                      antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 1:21pm

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

                                                                                      You haven't asked any questions. You've just repeatedly asked me to "specify" questions I've already specified multiple times. You don't look good in this one, buddy. And my interest is not in proving you are dumb -- it's in proving that there's zero point in spending so much time on Techdirt the way you do. You're nothing but a disruption, and not a heroic or productive one -- just an immature, insecure one.

                                                                                      Seriously. Just say: "Here is the question you won't answer: Why do you think X about Y?" I will then answer that question as best as I possibly can. Stop saying you feel sorry for me, etc. Stop insulting me. Ask me the question directly. No more excuses.

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                                                                                        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 3:14pm

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                                                                                        Well, this has gotten boring, and you've clearly burned yourself out and are now just repeating the same stupid thing that I've already responded to over and over in the hopes it will somehow disguise the fact that you've clearly got nothing.

                                                                                        See ya 'round (presumably and unfortunately).

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                                                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:58am

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

                                                    The Yale Law Journal shows that although the theory and doctrine of copyright fair use shares many characteristics with Lockean fair use, the current U.S. fair use right is MORE limited than the Lockean right.
                                                    http://www.yalelawjournal.org/note/limiting-locke-a-natural-law-justification-for-the-fair-use-doctr ine

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                                                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:25am

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                                                    And, honestly, why should I sit here and answer question after question for you if you're (1) going to pretend like I have supplied no answer whatsoever, and (2) keep attacking me personally?

                                                    Wait. Did you honestly just say that?

                                                    Isn't that EXACTLY what you do to Mike over and over again and have for years?

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

                                                    Here's an example:

                                                    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130121/14473121743/global-hackathons-prepared-to-carry-f orward-work-aaron-swartz.shtml#c377

                                                    Mike clearly answered the question you asked. Your response? Pretend he did not:

                                                    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130121/14473121743/global-hackathons-prepared-to-carry-forwa rd-work-aaron-swartz.shtml#c412

                                                    And then, personal attacks:

                                                    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130121/14473121743/global-hackathons-prepared-to-carry-f orward-work-aaron-swartz.shtml#c463

                                                    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130121/14473121743/global-hac kathons-prepared-to-carry-forward-work-aaron-swartz.shtml#c524

                                                    And yet, somehow, you think you hold the moral high ground here?

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                                                      antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:30am

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                                                      And yet, somehow, you think you hold the moral high ground here?

                                                      I am not scared to state my beliefs. I don't run away when someone asks me about copyright or anything else. I am more forthcoming than Mike. It is a fact. Mike is too scared to answer these same questions I am answering. Mike will never be that honest and direct. Any questions? I will answer them. Ask me what I believe directly, and I will answer you directly. I get that you're only purpose is to attack me personally. Is that all you have? Discuss the merits with me if you can.

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                                                        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 4:50pm

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                                                        Whined the barnyard impersonator.

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                                                Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:30am

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                                                So I'll supply my own. Using materials that belong to another, without their knowledge or permission, takes those materials from somebody else who has a superior moral claim. So, no, morally speaking, the chair maker does not have a superior moral claim, under these facts.

                                                So it's not the labor that makes the value then, is it? You're changing your position. You don't actually believe that labor gives you the moral right. It's actually who owns the underlying components?

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                                                  antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:41am

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                                                  So it's not the labor that makes the value then, is it? You're changing your position. You don't actually believe that labor gives you the moral right. It's actually who owns the underlying components?

                                                  No. It's that labor is but one dimension of the analysis. When someone uses stolen materials to make something, the morality changes. I have not changed my position in the least. As I made perfectly clear, in general, labor implies morally-based ownership. There are provisios, such as not using more than you need, or so much that not enough is left for others, or wasting, etc. It's not simple black/white, here's the rule that applies across the board thing. The rule is general, but specific fact patterns change the analysis. Was the chair needed to save someone's life? Stuff like that. You can change the facts, and the answer will change. But, in general, labor begets ownership. This is the fundamental rule. There are, of course, exceptions, and exceptions to the exceptions, etc., but these are also based on the underlying morality.

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                                                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 1:24pm

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                                                    No. It's that labor is but one dimension of the analysis. When someone uses stolen materials to make something, the morality changes. I have not changed my position in the least. As I made perfectly clear, in general, labor implies morally-based ownership. There are provisios, such as not using more than you need, or so much that not enough is left for others, or wasting, etc. It's not simple black/white, here's the rule that applies across the board thing. The rule is general, but specific fact patterns change the analysis. Was the chair needed to save someone's life? Stuff like that. You can change the facts, and the answer will change. But, in general, labor begets ownership. This is the fundamental rule. There are, of course, exceptions, and exceptions to the exceptions, etc., but these are also based on the underlying morality.

                                                    In almost no actual real world situation does "labor beget ownership." In almost every real situation the "exceptions" that you describe take over. And all of those exceptions debunk the "rule" that labor begets ownership, because it's almost never true.

                                                    Ownership of the underlying components may lead to ownership of the later product, but it is almost never labor that creates the conditions for ownership. Claiming otherwise sounds like someone who is a first year philosophy student with no real world experience.

                                                    Besides, if "labor begets ownership," and you believe that is the basis for copyright, why is that so few of the "laborers" retain their own copyrights?

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                                                      antidirt (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 2:03pm

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

                                                      In almost no actual real world situation does "labor beget ownership." In almost every real situation the "exceptions" that you describe take over. And all of those exceptions debunk the "rule" that labor begets ownership, because it's almost never true.

                                                      Have you never worked for a paycheck? How is this idea foreign to you? What situations are you referring to? Can you give me one example?

                                                      Ownership of the underlying components may lead to ownership of the later product, but it is almost never labor that creates the conditions for ownership. Claiming otherwise sounds like someone who is a first year philosophy student with no real world experience.

                                                      Then what, specifically, is it based on? What would an expert such as yourself say?

                                                      Besides, if "labor begets ownership," and you believe that is the basis for copyright, why is that so few of the "laborers" retain their own copyrights?

                                                      Are you talking about when an author transfers his ownership to another IN EXCHANGE for something of value? Do you really not understand how the author had to have been granted the resource before he could trade it to another? The fact that it's transferable is irrelevant to the fact that the benefit goes to the author first. Care to explain why you disagree?

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                                                        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 4:50pm

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                                                        Have you never worked for a paycheck? How is this idea foreign to you? What situations are you referring to? Can you give me one example?


                                                        Working for a paycheck actually disproves your "labor begets ownership" concept, because working for a paycheck shows that labor does not, in fact, beget ownership. In all those cases, it's the capital provider, not the labor, who owns the products.

                                                        The owner is paying for the labor and the resources, and retains ownership after. At no point does the "labor beget ownership" at all. The laborer "owns" only his or her willingness to supply the labor, but the result of that labor is not owned.

                                                        This is an important point: the choice to labor or not is a rivalrous, excludable good. The laborer can offer *that* for sale. But the result of that labor begets no ownership at all.

                                                        Then what, specifically, is it based on? What would an expert such as yourself say?


                                                        Capital begets ownership. Not labor. It's been that way for a long, long time.

                                                        Are you talking about when an author transfers his ownership to another IN EXCHANGE for something of value?

                                                        No. Because at no time does the laborer "own" the product of his labor in an employer/employee relationship. There is no "transfer." The laborer is selling the ability to do the labor, not the ownership of any product.

                                                        If you hire a gardener to handle your garden, the gardener, at no time, has ownership of the garden, no matter how much labor he puts into it. Labor does not beget ownership. At all.

                                                        Do you really not understand how the author had to have been granted the resource before he could trade it to another?

                                                        Yes, I understand that. But that's not what we're talking about here. You claimed that labor begets ownership, but that's true almost nowhere in society.

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                                                          antidirt (profile), 9 Jan 2015 @ 8:03am

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

                                                          Working for a paycheck actually disproves your "labor begets ownership" concept, because working for a paycheck shows that labor does not, in fact, beget ownership. In all those cases, it's the capital provider, not the labor, who owns the products.

                                                          The owner is paying for the labor and the resources, and retains ownership after. At no point does the "labor beget ownership" at all. The laborer "owns" only his or her willingness to supply the labor, but the result of that labor is not owned.

                                                          This is an important point: the choice to labor or not is a rivalrous, excludable good. The laborer can offer *that* for sale. But the result of that labor begets no ownership at all.

                                                          Capital begets ownership. Not labor. It's been that way for a long, long time.

                                                          No. Because at no time does the laborer "own" the product of his labor in an employer/employee relationship. There is no "transfer." The laborer is selling the ability to do the labor, not the ownership of any product.

                                                          If you hire a gardener to handle your garden, the gardener, at no time, has ownership of the garden, no matter how much labor he puts into it. Labor does not beget ownership. At all.

                                                          Yes, I understand that. But that's not what we're talking about here. You claimed that labor begets ownership, but that's true almost nowhere in society.


                                                          I think we're talking past each other, and I think I see the source of the confusion: The labor begets ownership thing is just a shorthand. If something is in the commons, that is, not already owned, then labor begets ownership. Think of a fisherman in the ocean casting his net and pulling in fish. He owns those fish legally, and this flows from his moral claim to the fish based on his labor. But it's different, obviously, when the thing labored upon is not in the commons, that is, somebody else owns it. If I offer you $50 to rake up the leaves in my yard, and you agree and then do the work, I owe you the $50 legally, as we had a contract. But I also owe you the money morally, since you labored for my benefit. Your labor creates in you a moral claim. So when I say that labor begets ownership, I mean it in the broad sense. Whether that ownership is of the thing itself, as with the fisherman, or it's of the sum of money promised, as with the raking, labor begets a moral claim to it. I hope you understand that the theory is way more complicated than this and that I'm oversimplifying.

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                                                            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2015 @ 11:44am

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                                                            The labor begets ownership thing is just a shorthand.

                                                            If by shorthand, you mean "wrong" then I agree. But if you mean "generally true" then I do not agree. At all.

                                                            Because, as I stated earlier in this discussion, in almost every case, labor does not beget ownership at all. It is a very rare exception, and thus no law at all. And you prove that with your next statement:

                                                            If something is in the commons, that is, not already owned, then labor begets ownership. Think of a fisherman in the ocean casting his net and pulling in fish. He owns those fish legally, and this flows from his moral claim to the fish based on his labor.

                                                            So now you're admitting that "labor begets ownership" only in the very rare circumstance in which none of the underlying material is originally owned -- a case that happens quite rarely.

                                                            Even in the example you cite, the fisherman bagging the fish, even there labor does not, in fact, "beget ownership." Because there is no ownership associated with the labor. I could go out and "labor" away at fishing all day long and if I catch nothing, I get nothing. Or what of the fish that I catch, but which slips away as I try to take it off the line, leading someone else to catch it. I did the labor. I got no ownership.

                                                            In that case, possession begets the ownership. Not the labor. The amount of labor has no impact on the ownership.

                                                            If I offer you $50 to rake up the leaves in my yard, and you agree and then do the work, I owe you the $50 legally, as we had a contract. But I also owe you the money morally, since you labored for my benefit.

                                                            I see no moral obligation beyond the contract there. If you help an old woman across the street, do you believe she morally owes you money? You labored for her benefit.

                                                            Labor begets no moral requirement without the contract.

                                                            My neighbor is old and frail. I helped him take out his garbage the other day because it was the nice thing to do. I see no moral obligation on his part.

                                                            Whether that ownership is of the thing itself, as with the fisherman, or it's of the sum of money promised, as with the raking, labor begets a moral claim to it.

                                                            Again, I fail to see that in any of your examples. I still don't see any case where you can accurately say that labor begets ownership.

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                                                              antidirt (profile), 9 Jan 2015 @ 2:00pm

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                                                              If by shorthand, you mean "wrong" then I agree. But if you mean "generally true" then I do not agree. At all.

                                                              Because, as I stated earlier in this discussion, in almost every case, labor does not beget ownership at all. It is a very rare exception, and thus no law at all. And you prove that with your next statement:

                                                              If something is in the commons, that is, not already owned, then labor begets ownership. Think of a fisherman in the ocean casting his net and pulling in fish. He owns those fish legally, and this flows from his moral claim to the fish based on his labor.

                                                              So now you're admitting that "labor begets ownership" only in the very rare circumstance in which none of the underlying material is originally owned -- a case that happens quite rarely.


                                                              Sigh. Lockean theory is complex. I boiled it down to one phrase, while focusing on one context. You do understand that my three-word synopsis does not cover all facets of this complex theory, right? I was originally talking about labor on the commons. You changed it to labor on property stolen from another. That’s fine, but if you’re going to change the context, my three-word synopsis is not going to cover all other fact-patterns. How could it? Let’s skip the “gotcha” game.

                                                              Even in the example you cite, the fisherman bagging the fish, even there labor does not, in fact, "beget ownership." Because there is no ownership associated with the labor. I could go out and "labor" away at fishing all day long and if I catch nothing, I get nothing. Or what of the fish that I catch, but which slips away as I try to take it off the line, leading someone else to catch it. I did the labor. I got no ownership.

                                                              In that case, possession begets the ownership. Not the labor. The amount of labor has no impact on the ownership.


                                                              The fisherman who catches fish does in fact have ownership of the fish. His labor led to that ownership. How could he have caught any fish without labor? If you go out and catch no fish, you get no ownership. Why? Because your labor was not PRODUCTIVE. Again, since I’ve only grossly-oversimplified the theory, I did not specify that Locke was referring to productive labor—not just any labor. You, who caught nothing, own nothing. Your labor was not productive, so you have no moral claim to anything.

                                                              If I offer you $50 to rake up the leaves in my yard, and you agree and then do the work, I owe you the $50 legally, as we had a contract. But I also owe you the money morally, since you labored for my benefit.

                                                              I see no moral obligation beyond the contract there.


                                                              So if I labor, at your request, for hours, to rake your leaves, benefitting you to my detriment, you see no moral obligation at all on your part to repay me for my labors? Are you serious? I couldn’t disagree more. I find it amazing that you see no moral issue there whatsoever. Let me guess: You live in Silicon Valley?

                                                              If you help an old woman across the street, do you believe she morally owes you money? You labored for her benefit.

                                                              Labor begets no moral requirement without the contract.

                                                              My neighbor is old and frail. I helped him take out his garbage the other day because it was the nice thing to do. I see no moral obligation on his part.


                                                              I understand that you can come up with all sorts of difficult fact patterns. What if I took out the neighbor’s garbage, but I had borrowed three cups of flour the week before and not repaid the favor? Does the fact that the neighbor is old and frail change the outcome? Etc. I could make these up all day. So what? There will always be difficult cases close to the margin, where it becomes increasingly more complicated. No doubt. But this is not science so much as it is art. The raking leaves thing is not a close case, IMO. The fact that you can find hard cases says not one thing about the easy cases.

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                                                                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2015 @ 5:02pm

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                                                                Sigh. Lockean theory is complex. I boiled it down to one phrase, while focusing on one context. You do understand that my three-word synopsis does not cover all facets of this complex theory, right?

                                                                Complexity is one thing, but it's in unpacking the statements where we find if the underlying theory makes sense. Here, it does not.

                                                                I was originally talking about labor on the commons. You changed it to labor on property stolen from another. That’s fine, but if you’re going to change the context, my three-word synopsis is not going to cover all other fact-patterns. How could it? Let’s skip the “gotcha” game.

                                                                There's no gotcha game. I am seriously having trouble finding a single real world example where labor begets ownership in any meaningful sense.

                                                                The fisherman who catches fish does in fact have ownership of the fish. His labor led to that ownership. How could he have caught any fish without labor? If you go out and catch no fish, you get no ownership. Why? Because your labor was not PRODUCTIVE. Again, since I’ve only grossly-oversimplified the theory, I did not specify that Locke was referring to productive labor—not just any labor. You, who caught nothing, own nothing. Your labor was not productive, so you have no moral claim to anything.

                                                                Okay. What about the case where a fish leaps into the boat. You still get possession then. Labor has nothing to do with who gets ownership of the fish. It may lead to ownership. It may not. Or you may get ownership through other means entirely unrelated to labor. Labor has nothing to do with it. It actually comes right back around to capital. You get ownership if you supply the rod and the boat. Not the labor.

                                                                So if I labor, at your request, for hours, to rake your leaves, benefitting you to my detriment, you see no moral obligation at all on your part to repay me for my labors? Are you serious? I couldn’t disagree more. I find it amazing that you see no moral issue there whatsoever. Let me guess: You live in Silicon Valley?

                                                                If you're going to request my labor, then I would set some sort of agreement first about what it's in exchange for. There is no moral obligation from the labor, just the contract. If I choose to rake my neighbors' lawn of my own free will, without a contract, I have no moral claim to repayment. In fact, it's rather concerning that you think mere labor alone, absent any sort of agreement should lead to a moral obligation.

                                                                I understand that you can come up with all sorts of difficult fact patterns. What if I took out the neighbor’s garbage, but I had borrowed three cups of flour the week before and not repaid the favor?

                                                                You're merely getting into the realm of social relationships. But, unlike you, I do not keep a running tally of favors owed by me to neighbors or owed by my neighbors to me. If I can help my neighbor out I do. My moral obligation is to help when possible because I like my neighbor.

                                                                I find your position a lot more morally compromising, where you apparently feel you only do favors when you expect to be paid back -- and in fact appear to suggest that there is a moral requirement to pay you back. I don't expect my neighbor to repay my favor at all.

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                                                                  antidirt (profile), 10 Jan 2015 @ 2:43pm

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                                                                  Okay. What about the case where a fish leaps into the boat. You still get possession then. Labor has nothing to do with who gets ownership of the fish. It may lead to ownership. It may not. Or you may get ownership through other means entirely unrelated to labor. Labor has nothing to do with it. It actually comes right back around to capital. You get ownership if you supply the rod and the boat. Not the labor.

                                                                  You’re correct. Labor begets ownership, but it’s not the only mode of acquiring ownership under natural law. The one you’re referring to is acquisition. So in the examples above about the sticks or the leaves in the neighbor’s yard, those belong to the neighbor even if he expended no labor on them. Say, a seed planted itself and the tree grew without him laboring on it. Nevertheless, the tree, branches, leaves, fruits, etc. that are in the tree are his because the land beneath is his. He acquired them not from labor, but from acquisition. Your dogs have a litter of pups? That litter is yours, because of acquisition. Same with the fish that jumps in the boat. It’s your boat, ergo, it’s your fish. You own it, even absent labor. The answer to your question is simply that there are OTHER ways of acquiring property. Labor is but one. Acquisition dates back to Roman law (maybe earlier).

                                                                  If you're going to request my labor, then I would set some sort of agreement first about what it's in exchange for. There is no moral obligation from the labor, just the contract.

                                                                  I think there are underlying moral issues that take shape in contract doctrine. For example, even if we have a contract, a court may not enforce it for many reasons. Maybe the terms are unconscionable, or maybe the liquidated damages amount is unreasonable. Maybe there was fraud that vitiated consent, or maybe it involves an illegal act. If it’s unfair—that is, unjust and immoral—to enforce the contract, the court won’t enforce it. And this goes the other way. Even if there is no contract, a court will sometimes find one based on quasi-contract or detrimental reliance theories—which are themselves morally-based. Just because there’s a contract, that doesn’t mean morality is not involved. The law typically follows the morality, naturally. If you ask someone to do the work, then I think there is a moral claim on their part, even if there is no contract. If they work at your request, to your benefit and their detriment, then I think they could sue you for restitutionary damages. There are other avenues to right this wrong because it is a wrong, whether there’s a contract or not. Even if there’s no loss under the contract to be compensated, your gain at another’s expense is a wrong that the law will remedy. You don’t seem to think it’s a wrong, but I don’t think the courts agree with you. The law certainly does not.

                                                                  You're merely getting into the realm of social relationships. But, unlike you, I do not keep a running tally of favors owed by me to neighbors or owed by my neighbors to me. If I can help my neighbor out I do. My moral obligation is to help when possible because I like my neighbor.

                                                                  I find your position a lot more morally compromising, where you apparently feel you only do favors when you expect to be paid back -- and in fact appear to suggest that there is a moral requirement to pay you back. I don't expect my neighbor to repay my favor at all.


                                                                  On the contrary, I agree that one has the moral obligation to help one’s neighbors, with no moral obligation in return. I disagree that this is because I "like my neighbor," which is your criteria. I never said that I expect all favors to be repaid. That was your caricature of my position.

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                                                                    antidirt (profile), 10 Jan 2015 @ 2:48pm

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                                                                    You’re correct. Labor begets ownership, but it’s not the only mode of acquiring ownership under natural law. The one you’re referring to is acquisition. So in the examples above about the sticks or the leaves in the neighbor’s yard, those belong to the neighbor even if he expended no labor on them. Say, a seed planted itself and the tree grew without him laboring on it. Nevertheless, the tree, branches, leaves, fruits, etc. that are in the tree are his because the land beneath is his. He acquired them not from labor, but from acquisition. Your dogs have a litter of pups? That litter is yours, because of acquisition. Same with the fish that jumps in the boat. It’s your boat, ergo, it’s your fish. You own it, even absent labor. The answer to your question is simply that there are OTHER ways of acquiring property. Labor is but one. Acquisition dates back to Roman law (maybe earlier).

                                                                    Sorry. I brain-farted. It's accession, not acquisition. Mea culpa. I thought one thing and typed another.

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                                                                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2015 @ 6:26am

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                                                                    You’re correct. Labor begets ownership, but it’s not the only mode of acquiring ownership under natural law.

                                                                    That's a lot of words to never actually respond to the point that I raised: in almost no actual situation does labor beget ownership. Instead, it's always something else. I gave you a bunch of examples and your response is "yes, other things beget ownership" but you still haven't shown real world cases where labor begets ownership. Because they basically don't exist.

                                                                    The entire basis of your argument, that there's some sort of "natural law" saying labor begets ownership is simply wrong.

                                                                    I think there are underlying moral issues that take shape in contract doctrine. For example, even if we have a contract, a court may not enforce it for many reasons.

                                                                    We agree, but you're back to making statements that are irrelevant to the point.

                                                                    In the end, you've got nothing but a tautology for your argument. "Natural law" says "labor begets ownership" for "moral" reasons. Yet, when we dig in, we find it's all exceptions and labor never actually begets any ownership at all, but you have an excuse for every single possible counter example. But the problem is that the underlying rule doesn't actually exist in any real world. Even when we show that labor never begets ownership, you simply move the goalposts (as you've done for years) and say "sure, but morals." Okay.

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                                                                      antidirt (profile), 11 Jan 2015 @ 12:28pm

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                                                                      That's a lot of words to never actually respond to the point that I raised: in almost no actual situation does labor beget ownership. Instead, it's always something else. I gave you a bunch of examples and your response is "yes, other things beget ownership" but you still haven't shown real world cases where labor begets ownership. Because they basically don't exist.

                                                                      The entire basis of your argument, that there's some sort of "natural law" saying labor begets ownership is simply wrong.


                                                                      I’ll give you four concrete examples, some old and some new.

                                                                      Haslem v. Lockwood, 37 Conn. 500 (1871). This is one of the first property law opinions that I’ve read. It discusses the two modes of acquisition I mentioned above: occupancy and accession. Here are the facts:
                                                                      Manure which had accumulated in a frequented place in a public street of a borough, where the fee of the street belonged to the borough, was raked into heaps by the plaintiff in the evening, and left in that condition, to be carried away by him the next evening. During the forenoon of the next day the defendant, finding the manure in heaps, loaded it into his cart and carried it away.
                                                                      So you’ve got manure on a public street. The plaintiff raked it into piles with the intention of coming back the next day to pick it up. The defendant came along in the meantime, found the piles, and took them. Who should win? What principles should be applied?

                                                                      The court, quite naturally, turned to natural law. It first noted that the manure would belong to the owner of the animal:
                                                                      The manure originally belonged to the travelers whose animals dropped it, but it being worthless to them was immediately abandoned[.]
                                                                      This is the principle of ACCESSION. In general, whether your animals create manure, calves, meat, skin, etc., it belongs to you because it’s your animals. When your horse poops on the street, that’s your poop. And if you leave it there, you abandon it. It goes back to the commons until someone else claims it. That’s what happened in this case.

                                                                      The defendant tried to escape liability by pointing out that the streets were owned by the borough, not the plaintiff, but the court didn’t buy it:
                                                                      The defendant appears before the court in no enviable light. He does not pretend that he had a right to the manure, even when scattered upon the highway, superior to that of the plaintiff; but after the plaintiff had changed its original condition and greatly enhanced its value by his labor, he seized and appropriated to his own use the fruits of the plaintiff's outlay, and now seeks immunity from responsibility on the ground that the plaintiff was a wrong doer as well as himself. The conduct of the defendant is in keeping with his claim, and neither commends itself to the favorable consideration of the court. The plaintiff had the peaceable and quiet possession of the property; and we deem this sufficient until the borough of Stamford shall make complaint.
                                                                      Because the plaintiff had “had changed its original condition and greatly enhanced its value by his labor,” he had “peaceable and quiet possession of the property.” The defendant could not have “seized and appropriated to his own use the fruits of the plaintiff's outlay” simply by pointing out that the borough owned the street. The borough might bring its own claim, but between the plaintiff and the defendant, that doesn’t change anything. The plaintiff’s claim is superior because he labored on the manure first. This is the principle of OCCUPATION. It’s the notion that labor begets ownership. This stuff is literally millennia old.

                                                                      The court further rejected the argument that, whatever rights the plaintiff had acquired by way of occupancy in raking the manure, were lost when he left the piles on the street:
                                                                      It is further claimed that if the plaintiff had a right to the property by virtue of occupancy, he lost the right when he ceased to retain the actual possession of the manure after scraping it into heaps.

                                                                      We do not question the general doctrine, that where the right by occupancy exists, it exists no longer than the party retains the actual possession of the property, or till he appropriates it to his own use by removing it to some other place. If he leaves the property at the place where it was discovered, and does nothing whatsoever to enhance its value or change its nature, his right by occupancy is unquestionably gone. But the question is, if a party finds property comparatively worthless, as the plaintiff found the property in question, owing to its scattered condition upon the highway, and greatly increases its value by his labor and expense, does he lose his right if he leaves it a reasonable time to procure the means to take it away, when such means are necessary for its removal?

                                                                      Suppose a teamster with a load of grain, while traveling the highway, discovers a rent in one of his bags, and finds that his grain is scattered upon the road for the distance of a mile. He considers the labor of collecting his corn of more value than the property itself, and he therefore abandons it, and pursues his way. A afterwards finds the grain in this condition and gathers it kernel by kernel into heaps by the side of the road, and leaves it a reasonable time to procure the means necessary for its removal. While he is gone for his bag, B discovers the grain thus conveniently collected in heaps and appropriates it to his own use. Has A any remedy? If he has not, the law in this instance is open to just reproach. We think under such circumstances A would have a reasonable time to remove the property, and during such reasonable time his right to it would be protected. If this is so, then the principle applies to the case under consideration.

                                                                      A reasonable time for the removal of this manure had not elapsed when the defendant seized and converted it to his own use. The statute regulating the rights of parties in the gathering of sea-weed, gives the party who heaps it upon a public beach twenty-four hours in which to remove it, and that length of time for the removal of the property we think would not be unreasonable in most cases like the present one.
                                                                      So even though the plaintiff did not have actual possession of the piles, he had constructive possession. Since he had “greatly increase[d] its value by his labor and expense,” he had possession, and this meant that he had a “reasonable time to remove the property.” The court looked by analogy at the statute on seaweed on a beach, which permits someone 24 hours to remove the piles of seaweed once they’ve been gathered. Since 24 hours is reasonable there, the court held that 24 hours is reasonable here. As the plaintiff had left the piles less than 24 hours, he had the superior claim.

                                                                      The case law is teeming with applications of natural law modes of acquisition of property, such as accession and occupation. You seem to deny this, and I can only assume it’s because you’re simply not familiar with this aspect of property law. These notions date back many, many centuries—especially in the context of land, animals, and the like. But they turn up in intellectual property as well.

                                                                      Int'l News Serv. v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918). The is where the Supreme Court adopted the “hot news” doctrine. Of course, the opinion is no longer good law because of the Erie doctrine, it nonetheless shows how labor begets ownership. The Court, when it had the power to make such declarations, did so. Said the Court:
                                                                      Obviously, the question of what is unfair competition in business must be determined with particular reference to the character and circumstances of the business. The question here is not so much the rights of either party as against the public but their rights as between themselves. See Morison v. Moat, 9 Hare, 241, 258. And, although we may and do assume that neither party has any remaining property interest as against the public in uncopyrighted news matter after the moment of its first publication, it by no means follows that there is no remaining property interest in it as between themselves. For, to both of them alike, news matter, however little susceptible of ownership or dominion in the absolute sense, is stock in trade, to be gathered at the cost of enterprise, organization, skill, labor, and money, and to be distributed and sold to those who will pay money for it, as for any other merchandise. Regarding the news, therefore, as but the material out of which both parties are seeking to make profits at the same time and in the same field, we hardly can fail to recognize that for this purpose, and as between them, it must be regarded as quasi property, irrespective of the rights of either as against the public.

                                                                      In order to sustain the jurisdiction of equity over the controversy, we need not affirm any general and absolute property in the news as such. The rule that a court of equity concerns itself only in the protection of property rights treats any civil right of a pecuniary nature as a property right (In re Sawyer, 124 U. S. 200, 210, 8 Sup. Ct. 482, 31 L. Ed. 402; In re Debs, 158 U. S. 564, 593, 15 Sup. Ct. 900, 39 L. Ed. 1092); and the right to acquire property by honest labor or the conduct of a lawful business is as much entitled to protection as the right to guard property already acquired (Truax v. Raich, 239 U. S. 33, 37–38, 36 Sup. Ct. 7, 60 L. Ed. 131, L. R. A. 1916D, 545, Ann. Cas. 1917B, 283; Brennan v. United Hatters, 73 N. J. Law, 729, 742, 65 Atl. 165, 9 L. R. A. [N. S.] 254, 118 Am. St. Rep. 727, 9 Ann. Cas. 698; *237 Barr v. Essex Trades Council, 53 N. J. Eq. 101, 30 Atl. 881). It is this right that furnishes the basis of the jurisdiction in the ordinary case of unfair competition.

                                                                      The question, whether one who has gathered general information or news at pains and expense for the purpose of subsequent publication through the press has such an interest in its publication as may be protected from interference, has been raised many times, although never, perhaps, in the precise form in which it is now presented.
                                                                      Because of the “the cost of enterprise, organization, skill, labor, and money” in collected the news, the Court found “quasi property” rights as between the parties. Note that this is but an application of the general rule: “a court of equity . . . treats any civil right of a pecuniary nature as a property right.” Though these rights weren’t legal—that is, recognized in courts of law—they were nonetheless—recognized in courts of equity. Those courts determined what is just and right, equitable and moral. A person has “the right to acquire property by honest labor” and “is as much entitled to protection as the right to guard property already acquired.” Labor begets ownership.

                                                                      The defendant, said the Court, was reaping where he had not sown:
                                                                      The fault in the reasoning lies in applying as a test the right of the complainant as against the public, instead of considering the rights of complainant and defendant, competitors in business, as between themselves. The right of the purchaser of a single newspaper to spread knowledge of its contents gratuitously, for any legitimate purpose not unreasonably interfering with complainant's right to make merchandise of it, may be admitted; but to transmit that news for commercial use, in competition with complainant—which is what defendant has done and seeks to justify—is a very different matter. In doing this defendant, by its very act, admits that it is taking material that has been acquired by complainant as the result of organization and the expenditure of labor, skill, and money, and which is salable by complainant for money, and that defendant in appropriating it and selling it as its own is endeavoring to reap where it has not sown, and by disposing of it to newspapers that are competitors of complainant's members is appropriating to itself the harvest of those who have sown. Stripped of all disguises, the process amounts to an unauthorized interference with the normal operation of complainant's legitimate business precisely at the point where the profit is to be reaped, in order to divert a material portion of the profit from those who have earned it to those who have not; with special advantage to defendant in the competition because of the fact that it is not burdened with any part of the expense of gathering the news. The transaction speaks for itself and a court of equity ought not to hesitate long in characterizing it as unfair competition in business.
                                                                      This was an unfair business practice. While INS v. AP is no longer good law, the law of unfair competition goes back centuries. And it is based on these same notions of fairness, and, of course, labor begetting ownership. If you want to see real world applications of natural law, read some of the unfair competition case law. These torts were invented by the courts based on equitable principles.

                                                                      Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard Broad. Co., 433 U.S. 562 (1977). The plaintiff had a “human cannonball” performance that a news station aired in its entirety. The news station argued that the First Amendment trumped the performer’s property rights under the state’s right of publicity. The Supreme Court first distinguished the right of publicity from the other three types of privacy torts:
                                                                      Time, Inc. v. Hill, which was hotly contested and decided by a divided Court, involved an entirely different tort from the ‘right of publicity’ recognized by the Ohio Supreme Court. As the opinion reveals in Time, Inc. v. Hill, the Court was steeped in the literature of privacy law and was aware of the developing distinctions and nuances in this branch of the law. The Court, for example, cited W. Prosser, Law of Torts 831-832 (3d ed. 1964), and the same author's well-known article, Privacy, 48 Calif.L.Rev. 383 (1960), both of which divided privacy into four distinct branches.7 The Court was aware that it was adjudicating a ‘false light’ privacy case involving a matter of public interest, not a case involving ‘intrusion,’ 385 U.S., at 384-385, n. 9, 87 S.Ct., at 540, ‘appropriation’ of a *572 name or likeness for the purposes of trade, id., at 381, 87 S.Ct., at 538, or ‘private details' about a non-newsworthy person or event, id., at 383 n. 7, 87 S.Ct., at 539. It is also abundantly clear that Time, Inc. v. Hill did not involve a performer, a person with a name having commercial value, or any claim to a ‘right of publicity.’ This discrete kind of ‘appropriation’ case was plainly identified in the **2856 literature cited by the Court8 and had been adjudicated in the reported cases.9

                                                                      The differences between these two torts are important. First, the State's interests in providing a cause of action in each instance are different. ‘The interest protected’ in permitting recovery for placing the plaintiff in a false light ‘is clearly that of reputation, with the same overtones of mental distress as in defamation.’ Prosser, supra, 48 Calif.L.Rev., at 400. By contrast, the State's interest in permitting a ‘right of publicity’ is in protecting the proprietary interest of the individual in his act in part to encourage such entertainment.10 As we later note, the State's interest is closely analogous to the goals of patent and copyright law, focusing on the right of the individual to reap the reward of his endeavors and having little to do with protecting feelings or reputation. Second, the two torts differ in the degree to which they intrude on dissemination of information to the public. In ‘false light’ cases the only way to protect the interests involved is to attempt to minimize publication of the damaging matter, while in ‘right of publicity’ cases the only question is who gets to do the publishing. An entertainer such as petitioner usually has no objection to the widespread publication of his act as long as the gets the commercial benefit of such publication. Indeed, in the present case petitioner did not seek to enjoin the broadcast of his act; he simply *574 sought compensation for the broadcast in the form of damages.
                                                                      The right of publicity, said the Court, is analogous to patent and copyright law in that it seeks to protect “the right of the individual to reap the reward of his endeavors.” Labor begets ownership. The other three privacy torts, by the way, also come (at least in part) from natural law—more specifically, the Lockean notion of bodily integrity.

                                                                      The news station lost because it tried to reap where it had not sown:
                                                                      The broadcast of a film of petitioner's entire act poses a substantial threat to the economic value of that performance. As the Ohio court recognized, this act is the product of petitioner's own talents and energy, the end result of much time, effort, and expense. Much of its economic value lies in the ‘right of exclusive control over the publicity given to his performance’; if the public can see the act free on television, it will be less willing to pay to see it at the fair.12 The *576 effect of a public broadcast of the performance is similar to preventing petitioner from charging an admission fee. ‘The rationale for (protecting the right of publicity) is the straightforward one of preventing unjust enrichment by the theft of good will. No social purpose is served by having the defendant get free some aspect of the plaintiff that would have market value and for which he would normally pay.’ Kalven, Privacy in Tort Law Were Warren and Brandeis Wrong?, 31 Law & Contemp. Prob. 326, 331 (1966). Moreover, the broadcast of petitioner's entire performance, unlike the unauthorized use of another's **2858 name for purposes of trade or the incidental use of a name or picture by the press, goes to the heart of petitioner's ability to earn a living as an entertainer. Thus, in this case, Ohio has recognized what may be the strongest case for a ‘right of publicity’ involving, not the appropriation of an entertainer's reputation to enhance the attractiveness of a commercial product, but the appropriation of the very activity by which the entertainer acquired his reputation in the first place.
                                                                      The interest being protected was the “product of petitioner's own talents and energy, the end result of much time, effort, and expense.” Labor begets property.

                                                                      The Court noted that it’s the same underlying rationale for copyright:
                                                                      Of course, Ohio's decision to protect petitioner's right of publicity here rests on more than a desire to compensate the performer for the time and effort invested in his act; the protection provides an economic incentive for him to make the investment required to produce a performance of interest to the public. This same consideration underlies the patent and copyright laws long enforced by this Court. As the Court stated in Mazer v. Stein, 347 U.S. 201, 219, 74 S.Ct. 460, 471, 98 L.Ed. 630 (1954):

                                                                      ‘The economic philosophy behind the clause empowering Congress to grant patents and copyrights is the conviction that encouragement of individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance public welfare through the talents of authors and inventors in ‘Science and useful Arts.’ Sacrificial days devoted to such creative activities deserve rewards commensurate with the services rendered.'
                                                                      Copyright, like the right of publicity, are rewards based on labor. Such labors “deserve rewards commensurate with the services rendered.” Labor begets ownership.

                                                                      Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc., No. 13 CIV. 5784 CM, 2014 WL 6670201 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 14, 2014). This is the Turtles’ lawsuit over pre-1972 sound recordings under New York. These recordings are neither protected nor preempted by the 1976 Copyright Act, so the question was whether they were protected under the state’s common law. The court held that they are. Can you guess why? Labor begets ownership. Said the court:
                                                                      New York has elected to “fill th[e] void” Congress left, by continuing to enforce its preexisting body of copyright common law for pre–1972 sound recordings. Capitol Records, Inc. v. Naxos of Am., Inc. (Naxos), 4 N.Y.3d 540, 559–60, 565, 797 N.Y.S.2d 352, 830 N.E.2d 250 (2005); see Capitol Records v. Mercury Records Corp., 221 F.2d 657, 662–63 (2d Cir.1955); Firma Melodiya v. ZYX Music GmbH, 882 F.Supp. 1306, 1316 (S.D.N.Y.1995). Under that law, artists can acquire a common law copyright in “any original material product of intellectual labor” A.J. Sandy, Inc. v. Junior City, Inc., 17 A.D.2d 407, 234 N.Y.S.2d 508, 510 (App.Div.1962)—including sound recordings—by expending “time, effort, money, and great skill” in its creation. 104 N.Y. Jur.2d Trade Regulation § 262; see RCA Mfg. Co. v. Whiteman, 114 F.2d 86, 88 (2d Cir.1940). The term “any original material product of intellectual labor” includes sound recordings. See, e.g., Capitol Records, Inc. v. Greatest Records, Inc., 43 Misc.2d 878, 252 N.Y.S.2d 553, 554–55 (Sup.Ct.1964); Metro. Opera Ass'n, Inc. v. Wagner–Nichols Recorder Corp., 199 Misc. 786, 101 N.Y.S.2d 483, 492–93 (Sup.Ct.1950) aff'd, 279 A.D. 632, 107 N.Y.S.2d 795 (App.Div.1951).

                                                                      The Turtles originally acquired a common law copyright in their sound recordings by expending time, effort, money and skill to create them. That copyright was then transferred to White Whale, and eventually to Flo and Eddie, which now owns the sound recordings. Sirius does not contest Flo and Eddie's claim to possess a common law copyright in the Turtles recordings (though it insinuates that some of the underlying ownership transfers are undocumented). Rather, Sirius contends that Flo and Eddie's rights as holder of the copyright in the sound recordings does not give them the exclusive right to publicly perform those works.
                                                                      How does one acquire the common law rights? Simple: “by expending time, effort, money, and great skill’ in its creation.” The Turtles had the rights because they expended “time, effort, money and skill to create them.” Labor begets ownership. We don’t often think about copyright this way because the Copyright Act for the most part preempts state law, but where it doesn’t, you see labor theory applied. As mentioned above, labor is also one reason we have statutory rights. But even when the statutory rights aren’t there, the common law declares those rights to exist because of labor.

                                                                      You seem to deny all of this, and, again, I have to assume it’s because you haven’t ever really looked into it. The reports are full of courts invoking natural law. This has been going on for centuries. All you have to do is look, and you’ll see it too.

                                                                      In the end, you've got nothing but a tautology for your argument. "Natural law" says "labor begets ownership" for "moral" reasons. Yet, when we dig in, we find it's all exceptions and labor never actually begets any ownership at all, but you have an excuse for every single possible counter example. But the problem is that the underlying rule doesn't actually exist in any real world. Even when we show that labor never begets ownership, you simply move the goalposts (as you've done for years) and say "sure, but morals." Okay.

                                                                      Still think I’m moving the goalposts? I can find example after example from decade after decade applying these principles in multiple contexts. In contract law, the courts don’t simply enforce the contract because it’s a contract. The courts enforce it because it’s the right thing to do. People SHOULD keep their promises. You seem to think that law and morality don’t overlap. Nothing could be further from the truth. The former flows from the latter. And when the contract is immoral, it’s not enforced. And even when there’s no contract, the courts might enforce one anyone based on the morality. These moral issues arise in all law: contracts, property, privacy, publicity, etc. You name it. I don’t get the sense you’ve studied this closely. Is that correct?

                                                                      If you want to check out some of the classical references, I recommend starting with Blackstone’s Commentaries from the 1760s. Source: http://lonang.com/library/reference/blackstone-commentaries-law-england/ Check out Book II in particular. Kent’s Commentaries from 50 years later are also a must-read. Here’s Kent explaining the different modes of acquiring property (occupancy, accession, intellectual labor): http://lonang.com/library/reference/kent-commentaries-american-law/kent-36/ These treatises base property on natural law because that is where property law comes from, if you go back to first principles. I can dig up links to many early treatises on copyright law, all replete with references to natural law. You’d be surprised at how deeply this stuff runs, apparently. I'm not (just) making the normative argument that the law should be this way. I'm arguing that it is in fact this way in the descriptive sense.

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                                                                        antidirt (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 8:19pm

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                                                                        Crickets? That's a shame, Mike. I thought we might get somewhere.

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                                                                          PaulT (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 11:44pm

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                                                                          ...and your obsessive delusion takes you to the point where you have to assume that it can only be the subject of your pathological obsession that you've been bullshitting to. Not that, you know, it was clear 100 posts ago that you're not interested in a real conversation and sane people have other things to do with their lives.

                                                                          Get help. That's not Mike, it's a windmill.

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                                                                        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2015 @ 3:46am

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                                                                        I asked for *real world* examples, not court examples.

                                                                        And all you can come up with is shit in the street, hot news and a human cannonball -- with hot news and publicity rights being completely under attack as unreasonable extensions of the law.

                                                                        These don't look good for you. I asked for REAL WORLD examples where labor actually begets ownership.

                                                                        And I love how you repeat over and over again that copyright is also from this mythical "labor begets ownership regime" using court quotes over other concepts as your basis, ignoring that the court explicitly rejected that claim in Feist. You know this so I don't know why you ignore it. But to refresh your memory:


                                                                        The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors...


                                                                        and


                                                                        Without a doubt, the “sweat of the brow” doctrine flouted basic copyright principles.


                                                                        and


                                                                        In summary, the 1976 revisions to the Copyright Act leave no doubt that originality, not “sweat of the brow,” is the touchstone of copyright protection


                                                                        In fact, Feist actually rejects your reading of the hot news doctrine to somehow support "labor begets ownership" as applying to copyright.


                                                                        The best example is International News Service v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918). In that decision, the Court stated unambiguously that the 1909 Act conferred copyright protection only on those elements of a work that were original to the author. Associated Press had conceded taking news reported by International News Service and publishing it in its own newspapers. Recognizing that § 5 of the Act specifically mentioned “periodicals, including newspapers,” § 5(b), the Court acknowledged that news articles were copyrightable. Id., at 234. It flatly rejected, however, the notion that the copyright in an article extended to the factual information it contained: “The news element -- the information respecting current events contained in the literary production -- is not the creation of the writer, but is a report of matters that ordinarily are publici juris; it is the history of the day.”


                                                                        So we're left with a few discredited court rulings that you take out of context, no real world examples and a clear delineation that copyright is not subject to that standard.

                                                                        Very convincing.

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                                                                          antidirt (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 8:35am

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                                                                          I asked for *real world* examples, not court examples.

                                                                          And all you can come up with is shit in the street, hot news and a human cannonball -- with hot news and publicity rights being completely under attack as unreasonable extensions of the law.

                                                                          These don't look good for you. I asked for REAL WORLD examples where labor actually begets ownership.


                                                                          Each one of those cases is a “real world” example of where labor begets ownership. The plaintiff in Haslem v. Lockwood had a proprietary interest in the manure superior to the defendant because of his labor. The plaintiff in INS v. AP had a proprietary interest in the news superior to the defendant because of its labor. The plaintiff in Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard had a proprietary interest in his performance superior to the defendant because of his labor. Each one of those is a “real world” example of labor begetting ownership. Why deny that?

                                                                          Funny how you completely failed to mention Flo & Eddie v. Sirius XM. That opinion came out just two months ago. That’s a “real world” example. Why did the Turtles have proprietary rights to their sound recordings? Labor. Said the Court:
                                                                          [A]rtists can acquire a common law copyright in “any original material product of intellectual labor”—including sound recordings—by expending “time, effort, money, and great skill” in its creation. The term “any original material product of intellectual labor” includes sound recordings.

                                                                          The Turtles originally acquired a common law copyright in their sound recordings by expending time, effort, money and skill to create them.
                                                                          I cut out the citations so it’s easier to read. Now, please, explain to me how that is not a “REAL WORLD example[] where labor actually begets ownership.” Quite clearly, it is. Can you explain how it's not?

                                                                          Look, I get that this is all new to you—it has not gone unnoticed that you don’t deny never having really studied these things. But don’t confuse your absence of knowledge with knowledge of absence. I know you don’t want it to be true, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is true. I assume you didn’t read the sources I linked to (Blackstone and Kent). I assume as well that you probably wouldn’t understand them even if you did. It took me a long time to get to where I really understand them. I was up until 3 AM this morning reading case law from the 1700s and 1800s. I don’t think I can even estimate the number of hours I’ve spent poring over these things. I love this stuff. Clearly, you’re simply unfamiliar with it.

                                                                          That said, I get what you’re saying on one level: Where does occupancy fit into this modern world? Occupancy is a mode of acquiring property that is not already owned. Most things nowadays are already owned, so its application to tangible things is limited. It comes up in cases where property is abandoned and has no owner (the manure is an old example, but you can easily think of more modern ones—the law of treasure-troves is a favorite of mine). It comes up where the property is simply unowned (such as the fishing example).

                                                                          But where it comes up most often today is with intellectual property. All branches of intellectual property are based on the notion that labor begets ownership. Trademark: Use of the mark leads to a proprietary interest. That use is labor. Copyright: Creation of original works leads to a proprietary interest. That creation is labor. Trade secrets: Development of the secret leads to a proprietary interest. That development is labor. Publicity, hot news, patents, etc. You name it. All based in labor. You really should spend some time looking into this before you brush it off. Clearly you haven’t done so.

                                                                          And I love how you repeat over and over again that copyright is also from this mythical "labor begets ownership regime" using court quotes over other concepts as your basis, ignoring that the court explicitly rejected that claim in Feist. You know this so I don't know why you ignore it. But to refresh your memory:

                                                                          The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors...

                                                                          and

                                                                          Without a doubt, the “sweat of the brow” doctrine flouted basic copyright principles.

                                                                          and

                                                                          In summary, the 1976 revisions to the Copyright Act leave no doubt that originality, not “sweat of the brow,” is the touchstone of copyright protection


                                                                          Yes, Feist. I’m glad you pulled out that case. You seem to think it erases centuries of labor begetting ownership. It does no such thing. Nor does it conflict with anything the Court said in INS v. AP.

                                                                          I’m happy to explain.

                                                                          First, let’s be clear about exactly what “sweat of the brow” is. It concerns granting copyright protection to compilations of FACTS. Said the Court:
                                                                          Making matters worse, these courts developed a new theory to justify the protection of factual compilations. Known alternatively as “sweat of the brow” or “industrious collection,” the underlying notion was that copyright was a reward for the hard work that went into compiling facts.
                                                                          Some courts had been inclined to recognize copyrights in compilations of facts, based on the compilers’ LABORS. But, as you well know, the problem with this doctrine is that facts are not copyrightable. There’s nothing original about facts, and the Constitution requires works to be original (not to be confused with novel) before they can be protected by copyright. It doesn’t matter how much work one puts into compiling facts. The facts themselves can never be copyrighted because they are not the product of intellectual labor.

                                                                          As the Court noted: “[O]riginality requires independent creation plus a modicum of creativity.” The writings that are protected “are founded in the creative powers of the mind.” They are “the fruits of intellectual labor[.]” You need INTELLECTUAL LABOR to get a copyright. That intellectual labor is embodied in the originality requirement. Slavishly copying facts is not intellectual labor. It’s physical labor, but it’s not intellectual labor because there’s nothing original about it. You need to apply intellectual labor to come up with something original before you can get a copyright. Feist only confirms that labor begets ownership. The critical thing missing in Feist was the intellectual labor. Without intellectual labor, that is, without originality, there was no copyright:
                                                                          It is this bedrock principle of copyright that mandates the law's seemingly disparate treatment of facts and factual compilations. “No one may claim originality as to facts.” Id., § 2.11[A], p. 2–157. This is because facts do not owe their origin to an act of authorship. The distinction is one between creation and discovery: The first person to find and report a particular fact has not created the fact; he or she has merely discovered its existence.
                                                                          So what can be copyrighted with compilations of facts? The selection and arrangement of the facts. Why? Because this involves intellectual labor:
                                                                          Factual compilations, on the other hand, may possess the requisite originality. The compilation author typically chooses which facts to include, in what order to place them, and how to arrange the collected data so that they may be used effectively by readers. These choices as to selection and arrangement, so long as they are made independently by the compiler and entail a minimal degree of creativity, are sufficiently original that Congress may protect such compilations through the copyright laws. Nimmer §§ 2.11[D], 3.03; Denicola 523, n. 38. Thus, even a directory that contains absolutely no protectible written expression, only facts, meets the constitutional minimum for copyright protection if it features an original selection or arrangement.
                                                                          If somebody copies the unprotectable facts, the remedy is not in copyright law (as facts are not copyrightable), but rather in unfair competition law: “Protection for the fruits of such research ... may in certain circumstances be available under a theory of unfair competition.” And speaking of unfair competition law, let’s turn to your next point:

                                                                          In fact, Feist actually rejects your reading of the hot news doctrine to somehow support "labor begets ownership" as applying to copyright.

                                                                          The best example is International News Service v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918). In that decision, the Court stated unambiguously that the 1909 Act conferred copyright protection only on those elements of a work that were original to the author. Associated Press had conceded taking news reported by International News Service and publishing it in its own newspapers. Recognizing that § 5 of the Act specifically mentioned “periodicals, including newspapers,” § 5(b), the Court acknowledged that news articles were copyrightable. Id., at 234. It flatly rejected, however, the notion that the copyright in an article extended to the factual information it contained: “The news element -- the information respecting current events contained in the literary production -- is not the creation of the writer, but is a report of matters that ordinarily are publici juris; it is the history of the day.”


                                                                          All the Court is saying there is that the facts in a copyrighted news article are not protected by copyright. No duh. Facts are not original. An author does not create facts from intellectual labor. Facts are not copyrighted, as per the Constitution. We know that. INS v. AP was not a copyright case. The federal courts were hearing the case based on diversity of citizenship, not a federal question under the Copyright Act.

                                                                          The Court noted that news articles can be copyrighted:
                                                                          No doubt news articles often possess a literary quality, and are the subject of literary property at the common law; nor do we question that such an article, as a literary production, is the subject of copyright by the terms of the act as it now stands.
                                                                          Why are news articles “the subject of literary property at the common law”? Because of labor, of course. But that protection is thin. Why? Because news articles contain lots of facts, and facts can’t be copyrighted as they are not original. But, again, this was not a copyright case. It was an unfair competition case. Even though the news articles were not claimed to be copyrighted, the Court found that they were nevertheless property to be protected as between the parties. Why? They were “gathered at the cost of enterprise, organization, skill, labor, and money.” Labor begets ownership.

                                                                          So we're left with a few discredited court rulings that you take out of context, no real world examples and a clear delineation that copyright is not subject to that standard.

                                                                          Very convincing.


                                                                          I can find example after example from decade after decade applying this theory in context after context. I read over two dozen opinions applying occupancy to “real world” examples just last night. This stuff runs incredibly deep. Yet, you, without having really made any effort to understand it, completely reject that it’s real. Not very convincing, my friend. Why don't you start with the Flo & Eddie opinion, released just two months ago, recognizing property rights explicitly because of labor? Explain how that is not labor begetting ownership. Don't just ignore the parts you don't like! And let's hear a cogent response to my arguments about Feist. Shall I dig up more and more examples? I’m happy to. There are so many to choose from. I can go on for days with citation after citation after citation.

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                                                                            Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2015 @ 5:02am

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                                                                            To clarify, perhaps "real world" was not entirely clear. I actually meant everyday examples *that don't require a lawsuit* because it's obvious. Examples that are common. Your shit in the street and a human cannonball are not exactly good examples, because they're not at all common.

                                                                            So, not extreme legal cases or obscure philosophers. Every day real world examples. The point is that it almost never happens. For all your "labor begets ownership" the fact is that almost never happens in real life. Thus it's hard to see how it's a "natural law" at all. It's a decision that some judges have made in tough cases because it seems like the best result. But it's hardly common or natural.

                                                                            As for the Turtles case, I didn't address it because I wasn't familiar with the details like I was with the others. And, frankly, your repeated arguments that I didn't understand or read the stuff you were talking about shows, again, why no one wants to engage with you here. Stop trying to show off about how you read this or that. It doesn't further the conversation. It makes you look like a jackass (not trying to insult you here, just letting you know what you look like when you pretend that you're smarter than everyone else because you read a book or a case).

                                                                            Having now read the Flo & Eddie case, I still don't see how it supports your position at all. Again it's an obscure situation, not a common every day case, and it involves an interpretation of basically obsolete California common law that only comes into play because of an error in federal copyright law that left out pre-1972 sound recordings.

                                                                            Your attempt to distinguish "sweat of the brow" from "labor begets ownership" is fascinating, but makes no sense. If labor begets ownership and that's the basis of copyright, as you claim, than of course the compilation of facts would be copyrightable, because there was labor involved. You seem to be tapdancing around this because it so demolishes your argument.

                                                                            This could have been an interesting conversation in which we delved into what actually leads to ownership. Instead, it resulted in your usual appeals to authority. Oh well. If you're doing all this reading on philosophers and legal cases that makes you feel so smart, how about some basic studies in logic and logical fallacies?

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                                                                              antidirt (profile), 14 Jan 2015 @ 5:52am

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

                                                                              To clarify, perhaps "real world" was not entirely clear. I actually meant everyday examples *that don't require a lawsuit* because it's obvious. Examples that are common. Your shit in the street and a human cannonball are not exactly good examples, because they're not at all common.

                                                                              So, not extreme legal cases or obscure philosophers. Every day real world examples. The point is that it almost never happens. For all your "labor begets ownership" the fact is that almost never happens in real life. Thus it's hard to see how it's a "natural law" at all. It's a decision that some judges have made in tough cases because it seems like the best result. But it's hardly common or natural.


                                                                              Do you even know what natural law is?

                                                                              As for the Turtles case, I didn't address it because I wasn't familiar with the details like I was with the others. And, frankly, your repeated arguments that I didn't understand or read the stuff you were talking about shows, again, why no one wants to engage with you here. Stop trying to show off about how you read this or that. It doesn't further the conversation. It makes you look like a jackass (not trying to insult you here, just letting you know what you look like when you pretend that you're smarter than everyone else because you read a book or a case).

                                                                              It’s exceedingly clear that you haven’t studied these things. I’m pointing out the obvious because you keep saying I’m wrong about something you haven’t really looked into. Don’t take it personally.

                                                                              Having now read the Flo & Eddie case, I still don't see how it supports your position at all. Again it's an obscure situation, not a common every day case, and it involves an interpretation of basically obsolete California common law that only comes into play because of an error in federal copyright law that left out pre-1972 sound recordings.

                                                                              There’s the California case, which held that the Turtles have property rights in their sound recordings under STATUTORY law (specifically, Section 980 of the California Civil Code), and then there’s the case in New York, which held that there are property rights in the sound recordings under COMMON law. I’m talking about the latter. There is no statute granting such rights in New York, yet courts recognize these rights based on labor. The court said: “The Turtles originally acquired a common law copyright in their sound recordings by expending time, effort, money and skill to create them.” This is labor begetting ownership. Why did the Turtles have the rights? Because they expended labor in creating the sound recordings. The labor begets ownership thing could not be any clearer in this example, yet you don’t seem to grasp it.

                                                                              Your attempt to distinguish "sweat of the brow" from "labor begets ownership" is fascinating, but makes no sense. If labor begets ownership and that's the basis of copyright, as you claim, than of course the compilation of facts would be copyrightable, because there was labor involved. You seem to be tapdancing around this because it so demolishes your argument.

                                                                              There’s no tapdancing, and it demolishes nothing. It’s extremely simple: The Constitution requires originality. You seem to think that the “labor begets ownership” rule is that all labor, no matter what, leads to a copyright. That is not the rule. The rule IN THIS CONTEXT is that it must be intellectual labor, that is, labor that leads to the creation of something original. This is a constitutional requirement. But it’s still labor leading to a copyright. Without that intellectual labor, there is no copyright. I don’t think this could be any clearer, yet you don’t seem to grasp it either.

                                                                              This could have been an interesting conversation in which we delved into what actually leads to ownership. Instead, it resulted in your usual appeals to authority. Oh well. If you're doing all this reading on philosophers and legal cases that makes you feel so smart, how about some basic studies in logic and logical fallacies?

                                                                              Can you point to even one single logical fallacy of mine? I’m all ears.

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                                                                          antidirt (profile), 13 Jan 2015 @ 10:00am

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                                                                          I’ll provide another “real world” example from the more recent case law: Morris Commc'ns Corp. v. PGA Tour, Inc., 235 F. Supp. 2d 1269 (M.D. Fla. 2002) aff'd, 364 F.3d 1288 (11th Cir. 2004). I came across this one a while back, and it’s a great example of labor begetting ownership—even in the absence of any intellectual property doctrine.

                                                                          Morris, the plaintiff, published newspapers, both in print and electronically. The issue was whether the PGA Tour could prevent Morris from reporting golf scores in real-time. The PGA compiled the scores through a system of people stationed around the course who called in the scores to a central location. Morris wanted to disseminate the scores as gathered in this central location; he did not want to wait until they were published on the PGA’s website.

                                                                          The court called this what it is, free riding on the PGA’s labor:
                                                                          Morris asks the Court to force the PGA Tour to provide Morris with the compilation of scores, for which the PGA Tour spends considerable money and time creating, at no cost to Morris. While Morris does invest its own cost in re-keying the scores for syndication, Morris free-rides on the PGA Tour's efforts in compiling the scores. As Morris admits in its Memorandum of Law, “Morris cannot duplicate the functions of RTSS, which depends on the efforts of hundreds of volunteers each week.” Even if it is the efforts of “volunteers”, the PGA Tour has still invested time and money in the organization and technology to make RTSS possible. [footnote 14]

                                                                          [footnote 14] Morris's claim that replication of RTSS would be socially wasteful belies its claim that it does not free-ride. Replication would be wasteful, precisely because the PGA Tour has invested time, money, and resources that Morris has not and does not wish to expend.
                                                                          The court held that the PGA had a PROPERTY right in the scores. Why? Because of labor, of course:
                                                                          The PGA Tour claims that the restrictions have a valid business justification, because they are necessary to protect a property right in the scores that it compiled by use of RTSS. Morris argues that the PGA Tour lacks a property right in the score, thus negating the claimed business justification. For the following reasons, the Court finds that the PGA Tour does have a property right in the scores compiled by the use of RTSS, but that property right vanishes when the scores are in the public domain.

                                                                          The PGA Tour's property right does not come from copyright law, as copyright law does not protect factual information, like golf scores. See Feist Publications v. Rural Tel. Serv. Co., 499 U.S. 340, 348, 111 S.Ct. 1282, 113 L.Ed.2d 358 (1991). However, the PGA Tour controls the right of access to that information and can place restrictions on those attending the private event, giving the PGA Tour a property right that the Court will protect.

                                                                          In the early half of the 20th Century, the Supreme Court dealt with a similar issue in several cases, known as the “ticker cases”. In Board of Trade of the City of Chicago v. Christie Grain and Stock Company, 198 U.S. 236, 25 S.Ct. 637, 49 L.Ed. 1031 (1905), the appellee sought an injunction preventing the use and distribution of “continuous quotations of prices on sales of grain.” See id. at 245, 25 S.Ct. 637. There the Supreme Court held, “plaintiff's collection of quotations is entitled to the protection of the law. It stands like a trade secret. The plaintiff has the right to keep the work which it has done, or paid for doing, to itself.... The plaintiff does not lose its rights by communicating the result to persons, even if many, in confidential relations to itself, under a contract not to make it public.” Id. at 250, 25 S.Ct. 637. The Supreme Court further stated, “[t]ime is of the essence in matters like this ... if the contracts with the plaintiff are kept, the information will not become public property until the plaintiff has gained its reward. A priority of a few minutes probably is enough.” Id. at 251, 25 S.Ct. 637.

                                                                          In Moore v. New York Cotton Exchange, 270 U.S. 593, 46 S.Ct. 367, 70 L.Ed. 750 (1926), plaintiff sought an injunction forcing defendant to furnish plaintiff with a ticker and a declaration that defendant was a monopolist. See id. at 603, 46 S.Ct. 367. The Supreme Court held that the allegations did not support a claim under the Sherman Act and refused to grant the injunction. See id. at 603–05, 46 S.Ct. 367. The Supreme Court reiterated the holding of the Christie Court that the exchange had a property right in the information “which relates solely to its own business upon its own property.” Id. at 606–07, 46 S.Ct. 367. Further, the exchange was able to determine to whom it will sell: “the ordinary right of a private vendor of news or other property.” Id. at 605, 46 S.Ct. 367. Accordingly, the Court found that the exchange's actions were appropriate and legitimate to protect and to further its business. See id. at 606, 46 S.Ct. 367.

                                                                          Like the “ticker cases”, the instant case deals with facts that are not subject to copyright protection. The compiler of the information in both cases collects information, which it created, at a cost. Also the events occur on private property to which the general public does not have unfettered access, and the creator of the event can place restrictions upon those who enter the private property. The vastly increased *1282 speed that the Internet makes available does not change the calculus or the underlying property right. Accordingly, the PGA Tour, like the exchanges in the ticker cases, has a property right in the compilation of scores, but that property right disappears when the underlying information is in the public domain.
                                                                          The PGA “has a property right” because it “collects information, which it created, at a cost.” Labor begets ownership. Note the reference to Feist. This was not a copyright case. It was a labor begets ownership case. PGA labored to collect those scores, and those scores were not published. They were not in the public domain. As such, they were the PGA’s property and Morris could not free ride.

                                                                          The Eleventh Circuit, quite naturally, affirmed:
                                                                          PGA has refused to grant Morris access to PGA tournaments unless Morris agrees not to sell the product of PGA's proprietary RTSS—compiled real-time golf scores—to non-credentialed third-party Internet publishers. Morris responds that it has a right to sell such product notwithstanding that RTSS was developed and paid for, and is operated by, PGA. We disagree with Morris. The compiled real-time golf scores acquired through RTSS are not a product that Morris has a right to sell because they are a derivative product of RTSS, which PGA owns exclusively.
                                                                          Duh. It’s a no-brainer. Labor begets ownership, and Morris did not labor to collect the scores. The PGA did. And this gave the PGA a property interest in the scores: “PGA has a right to control its property interest in its RTSS and the compiled golf scores, which are the product of RTSS[.]” This wasn’t based on copyright or trade secrets or any other branch of IP. It was a straightforward application of labor begets ownership. Is this not (another) "real world" example? If not, explain why not.

                                                                          I can dig up many, many more examples just like this, spanning centuries of time. Yet, I suppose, you’ll just deny them all—the fact that you haven't really researched any of them notwithstanding.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:31am

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                                " but we also give them rewards because they deserve it because they labored."

                                No one is against authors being rewarded for their labor. However there is nothing wrong with being against laws that require the government and society to undergo the expense of enforcing a monopoly privilege. Authors are not entitled to such privileges and it is their responsibility to figure out how to monetize their works without requiring the government and everyone else to undergo the burden of enforcing their arbitrary monopoly privileges.

                                Now, if a certain degree of monopoly privileges can be shown to be publicly beneficial I may agree with having them. But the government shouldn't try to allocate resources based on what it arbitrarily thinks people deserve. Otherwise everyone can argue that they deserve a million dollars for any reason they wish. Government should pass laws that attempt to maximize everyone's contribution back to society.

                                "As far as the moral claims of others to use works they did not labor to create, I don’t think that claim is very strong. "

                                Again you are attempting to impose your presumed superior moral opinion on others. This is morally wrong. The government should not regulate morality. Different people have different moral opinions. Your arbitrary moral opinion is no more valid than anyone else's. If you wish to follow your arbitrary moral opinion go ahead. But you have absolutely no right to impose it on others.

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                                  antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:04am

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                                  Again you are attempting to impose your presumed superior moral opinion on others. This is morally wrong. The government should not regulate morality. Different people have different moral opinions. Your arbitrary moral opinion is no more valid than anyone else's. If you wish to follow your arbitrary moral opinion go ahead. But you have absolutely no right to impose it on others.

                                  Are you suggesting that morality has no connection to positive law? People have different moral opinions, but that doesn't mean that there's not a general consensus. For example, most agree that murder is wrong, morally speaking. That's why it's illegal. The morality of the act and the legality of the act are intertwined.

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                                    Gwiz (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:27am

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                                    For example, most agree that murder is wrong, morally speaking. That's why it's illegal. The morality of the act and the legality of the act are intertwined.


                                    I agree with this. Law should reflect the morals of those governed.

                                    My question is this: Why is that fact pointedly ignored by copyright maximalists? If filesharing is considered to be morally OK by a large swath of the population, why have we been ratcheting up the penalties for personal filesharing into the realms of the uncomprehendable? Shouldn't we be moving in the other direction?

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                                      antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:42am

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                                      My question is this: Why is that fact pointedly ignored by copyright maximalists? If filesharing is considered to be morally OK by a large swath of the population, why have we been ratcheting up the penalties for personal filesharing into the realms of the uncomprehendable? Shouldn't we be moving in the other direction?

                                      Ignored by many, yes, but how many pirates really think they're morally justified in benefitting from a work they didn't pay for? I dunno. I doubt it's a large percentage. The penalties may be steep, but they're basically a joke for the right holder. I think we are moving in the other direction at the same time. Fair use is broader than ever. More uses are understood to be personal and non infringing. The First Amendment is more robust than ever. I think we're witnessing a seismic shift in copyright policy because of the internet. I support meaningful rights for authors with plenty of privileges for the public. I have no trouble with the shift away from more protection. I think it's probably a good thing. But I also think the rights that do exist should be meaningful, that is, enforceable and enforced. /ramble

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                                      antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:43am

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

                                      My question is this: Why is that fact pointedly ignored by copyright maximalists? If filesharing is considered to be morally OK by a large swath of the population, why have we been ratcheting up the penalties for personal filesharing into the realms of the uncomprehendable? Shouldn't we be moving in the other direction?

                                      Ignored by many, yes, but how many pirates really think they're morally justified in benefitting from a work they didn't pay for? I dunno. I doubt it's a large percentage. The penalties may be steep, but they're basically a joke for the right holder. I think we are moving in the other direction at the same time. Fair use is broader than ever. More uses are understood to be personal and non infringing. The First Amendment is more robust than ever. I think we're witnessing a seismic shift in copyright policy because of the internet. I support meaningful rights for authors with plenty of privileges for the public. I have no trouble with the shift away from more protection. I think it's probably a good thing. But I also think the rights that do exist should be meaningful, that is, enforceable and enforced. /ramble

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                                        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 12:22pm

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

                                        but how many pirates really think they're morally justified in benefitting from a work they didn't pay for?

                                        I'll raise my hand to that.

                                        I think every single person on this planet should have unrestricted access to the sum total of human knowledge, ideas, and culture. That is the ultimate goal.

                                        I think intentional restriction of that goal of sharing is the immoral act.

                                        Now, I live in the real world, so I understand that there will be some barriers based on economic scarcities (real scarcities, not made up ones), so I'm not saying that Hollywood *has to* buy every kid in underdeveloped countries an iPod and build their internet infrastructure so they can listen to American pop music. However once that infrastructure exists, why *shouldn't* those kids have access to all of those ideas when the real marginal costs to provide it is vanishingly close to zero?

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:50am

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

                                    "Are you suggesting that morality has no connection to positive law? "

                                    There is a difference between saying that morality has no connection to law and saying that your arbitrary moral opinion is not justification for passing a specific law.

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                            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:52am

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

                            "The idea that the fruits of one's labors are his property, and morally so, is an ancient one."

                            So why isn't Homer or Shakepeare copyrighted, boy?

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:21am

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

                        "I think it's the author's personal property"

                        I disagree. The author is not entitled to a government enforced monopoly, there is no reason they should be. To the extent they are granted one it should only be to serve the public interest.

                        "because he deserves it morally"

                        The law should not be about legislating your arbitrary definition of morality. Not everyone holds your personal moral views. I don't. If you wish to follow your personal IP principles you are free to follow them. I think it is just as morally wrong for you to impose your personal moral views on me as it is for me to impose mine on you. For you to think that you are somehow morally superior than I just because you have a different opinion I think is morally appalling and condescending.

                        "there is no reason why it should not exist as long as he does."

                        There is no reason why it should even exist. If you want a law the burden is not on me to prove that the law shouldn't be passed it's on you to prove that it should.

                        "I don't think anyone can say precisely where that point is. It's not something that can be calculated scientifically because there are noneconomic considerations that cannot be qualified."

                        One can use hypothetical and unquantifiable possibilities to justify a very wide array of bad laws. To the extent that we can't reasonably quantify the public benefits of copy protection laws/lengths they should be reduced or abolished.

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                          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:23am

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

                          The extent that we can't make these determinations is an argument to reduce or abolish these laws. Government established monopolies cause known economic and social harm. Copy protection lengths cause a lot of cultural harm. That they can have hypothetical and unsupported benefits is no reason to allow them. You hold the burden of justifying their social benefits not the other way around.

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                        Rapnel (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:48am

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

                        I would think that progress, in this context, is realized only by using any given work to create another and so, in effect, your usage of the word progress is entirely and exactly the opposite. Long lengths only has potential to create "profit" - bereft of progress.

                        For "the life of the author" is progress defeating and that is most clear with regards to that author. His own potential for progress has been unwittingly truncated where that one work is concerned. That defeat of progress increases exponentially the longer works are held from the public domain. That's why "limited" is crucial to "progress".

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                          antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:15am

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

                          I would think that progress, in this context, is realized only by using any given work to create another and so, in effect, your usage of the word progress is entirely and exactly the opposite. Long lengths only has potential to create "profit" - bereft of progress.

                          I think progress means dissemination: We advance knowledge by encouraging authors to dissemination their works by way of the marketplace. It's not about disseminating at all costs. it's about disseminating on the author's terms.

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                            Gwiz (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:42am

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

                            I think progress means dissemination: We advance knowledge by encouraging authors to dissemination their works by way of the marketplace. It's not about disseminating at all costs. it's about disseminating on the author's terms.


                            I vehemently disagree with this. Yes, encouraging the authors to disseminate their works via the marketplace is a good place to start, for a limited time. (Personally, I feel 20 years or so to be about the maximum term for copyright).

                            But, you seem to be forgetting the most important part of how human culture and knowledge evolves - by building upon the works of others. By locking works up for 150 years (or forever, if Disney keeps up their antics) you have effectively curtailed human creation. Is that within the stated purpose of copyright?

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                              antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:48am

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

                              I vehemently disagree with this. Yes, encouraging the authors to disseminate their works via the marketplace is a good place to start, for a limited time. (Personally, I feel 20 years or so to be about the maximum term for copyright).

                              But, you seem to be forgetting the most important part of how human culture and knowledge evolves - by building upon the works of others. By locking works up for 150 years (or forever, if Disney keeps up their antics) you have effectively curtailed human creation. Is that within the stated purpose of copyright?


                              That's right. it's because it's important to build on the works of others that copyright is for a limited time. But how long is too long? The answer to that question requires normative judgment calls. It's often spoken of as "balancing." But I think balancing is code for injecting one's subjective beliefs of what is best.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 12:04pm

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

                                So first you say

                                " I don't think anyone can say precisely where that point is. It's not something that can be calculated scientifically because there are noneconomic considerations that cannot be qualified."

                                Then you say

                                "I think balancing is code for injecting one's subjective beliefs of what is best."

                                So you are in favor of using 'noneconomic'/subjetive considerations to determine lengths yet you are against the use of subjective beliefs being used to determine what is best.

                                What objective considerations do you have to support whatever length it is that you support? Oh, that's right, you already admit that you don't have any because it's not something that can be scientifically calculated.

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                                  antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 12:33pm

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

                                  So you are in favor of using 'noneconomic'/subjetive considerations to determine lengths yet you are against the use of subjective beliefs being used to determine what is best.

                                  Of course not. My point is that we determine what is best based, in part, on our own sense what is just. Many of the doctrines in copyright law were created by courts of equity--the chancellor imposed his own view of the right and good ("et aequo et bono"). This is where first sale, fair use, implied licenses, common law copyright, etc. come from. Subjective considerations about things such as distributive justice have always been a part of copyright law. Many of the doctrines that people here value come from those subjective determinations of what justice requires. This happens in all law, not just copyright.

                                  What objective considerations do you have to support whatever length it is that you support? Oh, that's right, you already admit that you don't have any because it's not something that can be scientifically calculated.

                                  I think there are good arguments based on economic reasoning. For example, a work is commercially valuable for a shorter time than the copyright subsists. That implies that maybe we should have shorter terms. But then there are countervailing interests in the author's just deserts and personhood. How to balance those requires subjectivity. That's what I'm saying. Do you have a perfectly objective system for copyright that you think would work better?

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                                    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 12:42pm

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

                                    Do you have a perfectly objective system for copyright that you think would work better?

                                    No copyright for anything, for anyone, would be a perfectly objective system. Anything that anyone creates would be fair game without any restrictions for everyone else to use/change/profit from however they could manage.

                                    A completely even playing field in terms of the law. What's not to love about that?

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 12:46pm

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

                                    "Do you have a perfectly objective system for copyright that you think would work better?"

                                    You dishonestly miss the point. You complain about others injecting your perception of their subjective beliefs yet you admittedly inject your own.

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                                      antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 1:15pm

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

                                      You dishonestly miss the point. You complain about others injecting your perception of their subjective beliefs yet you admittedly inject your own.

                                      Good grief wit the insults. I just feel sorry for you at this point. When did I "complain about others injecting [my] perception of their subjective beliefs"? I'm not sure I even understand what that means. Who is injecting my perceptions into their beliefs?

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                                        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:06pm

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

                                        "I think balancing is code for injecting one's subjective beliefs of what is best."

                                        It is your perception that their beliefs are subjective. Your criticism is that they are injecting your perception of their subjective belief into what is best. Yet you admittedly do the same.

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                                          antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:17pm

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

                                          It is your perception that their beliefs are subjective. Your criticism is that they are injecting your perception of their subjective belief into what is best. Yet you admittedly do the same.

                                          I gotcha now. Yes, I think everyone instills their subjective beliefs into what they think is right and wrong. There's no such thing as total objectivity.

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                                            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:19pm

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

                                            The hypocrisy is in the fact that you are being critical of others because you perceived that they are doing what you yourself admittedly did.

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                                              antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:22pm

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

                                              The hypocrisy is in the fact that you are being critical of others because you perceived that they are doing what you yourself admittedly did.

                                              Please link to and quote where I was "critical of others" because I "perceived that they are doing" what I myself "admittedly" do. I'm happy to address your criticism, but your basis has not been established yet.

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                                                Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:30pm

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

                                                "I think balancing is code for injecting one's subjective beliefs of what is best."

                                                Why even say this is you aren't implying that people shouldn't inject their subjective beliefs into what's best.

                                                If you don't mind people injecting their subjective beliefs into what's best it is both my objective and subjective belief that copy protection lengths should last no longer than ten years.

                                                It's my objective belief because most of the money made is made well before the ten year mark. So, objectively, there is little reason to believe adding more time would add a lot of incentive to create more works.

                                                Objectively long copy protection lengths leads to many works being lost to history due to neglect.

                                                Objectively copy protection laws are a government established privilege and not a natural right that exists outside of government.

                                                Objectively our current copy protection lengths are a result of corporations buying politicians and not a result of any form of democratic process.

                                                Objectively there is little to no objective reason for them to last longer and the only reasons you have presented thus far are hypothetical and subjective.

                                                Subjectively I value my ability to enjoy public domain works within ten years more than I value whatever amount of works might unlikely and hypothetically be created due to longer terms. This is supposed to be a democracy and my opinion should count. If enough people agree with me then, objectively, in a democratic society the law should be changed accordingly.

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                        Pragmatic, 8 Jan 2015 @ 8:17am

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

                        If copyrighted works are property, ownership can only ever be transferred, it can and will never end, at least in theory. My keyboard is mine and my PC is mine. They are my own property until I either sell them, give them to someone else, or throw them away.

                        Copyrighted works cannot be property and have never been treated as such. The sweat of the brow, welfare for the author and his/her family, and the "I made it, so I own it" arguments keep getting tossed out because they are emotion-based opinions that reject the established fact that copyright is a monopoly privilege.

                        All of your arguments, Antidirt, are based on your desire to corrupt the purpose of copyright from a limited term monopoly privilege to actual property. Since the premise is flawed, all you can ever do is repeat yourself because you can't admit to being wrong.

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                          antidirt (profile), 9 Jan 2015 @ 7:52am

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

                          If copyrighted works are property, ownership can only ever be transferred, it can and will never end, at least in theory. My keyboard is mine and my PC is mine. They are my own property until I either sell them, give them to someone else, or throw them away.

                          I think the fault in your reasoning is with your supposition that anything labeled "property" must have ownership that is potentially never-ending. All property rights are limited in many ways, and this is so because there are countervailing considerations. Copyright is no different. It is limited in many ways, including term, because of countervailing interests.

                          Copyrighted works cannot be property and have never been treated as such. The sweat of the brow, welfare for the author and his/her family, and the "I made it, so I own it" arguments keep getting tossed out because they are emotion-based opinions that reject the established fact that copyright is a monopoly privilege.

                          Copyright is, and has been for centuries, understood to be grants of property rights. An author is granted the rights, in part, because he deserves them. The "I made it so I own it" thing is fundamental to property law around the globe. It's amazing that anyone denies this. And I hope you realize that "I made it so I own it" is a gross oversimplification. The theory is more complicated than that. By a lot.

                          All of your arguments, Antidirt, are based on your desire to corrupt the purpose of copyright from a limited term monopoly privilege to actual property. Since the premise is flawed, all you can ever do is repeat yourself because you can't admit to being wrong.

                          I think it's both. It's a limited monopoly and it's a set of property rights. Those terms are not mutually exclusive. I've never understood that debate. I'm happy to admit I'm wrong, but I doubt very seriously that you've read much old case law. Literally centuries of jurists referring to it as property. I think you don't know about it because you simply haven't looked into it. Mike surely will never ever write about it.

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                    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:54am

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

                    This is an honest discussion, and I'm happy to answer whatever questions you may have as honestly and directly as I can.

                    Hahahahahahahahaha.

                    Okay, honest question: what do you think you are accomplishing in your pointless life in the Techdirt comments?

                    (Hint: the answer is nothing, except lowering the world's opinion of you.)

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:24am

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

                  "and then what benefit to society he sees in a copyright term of life + time until our sun runs out of hydrogen"

                  The benefits? It provides politicians with back door dealings, that's the benefits. Since politicians are members of society too that's how it benefits society.

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                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:02am

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

                  "If this were an honest discussion, he might eventually get around to providing specifics and a clear rationale to support his unstated, though implied, opinion that current copyright term length is just peachy (and perhaps should last forever?) "

                  If this were an honest discussion he might eventually get around to admitting that he doesn't care about the public interest or about the artists but only about the parasite middlemen and that's the true reason he believes copy protection lengths should last forever. But there can be no honesty found in scumbag IP extremists, just attempts to buy politicians and subvert the democratic process through backdoor dealings.

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                    antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:10am

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

                    If this were an honest discussion he might eventually get around to admitting that he doesn't care about the public interest or about the artists but only about the parasite middlemen and that's the true reason he believes copy protection lengths should last forever. But there can be no honesty found in scumbag IP extremists, just attempts to buy politicians and subvert the democratic process through backdoor dealings.

                    I care about the public interest. That's why I think copyright should be for limited times. I think the Framers were wise to put that in the Constitution. I care about artists--it pains me to see their rights trampled on by those who want to watch a movie or listen to a song without paying the asking price. I care about the middlemen. They provide the resources so that authors and artists can thrive. You seem to think that anyone who supports copyright is pure evil. That's not the way I see it.

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                      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:14am

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

                      "That's why I think copyright should be for limited times."

                      How long and why?

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                        antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:17am

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

                        How long and why?

                        I've said it already above. Life of the author, at a minimum, and one generation past. See above.

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                          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:28am

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

                          So from what I gather you think copy protection lengths should be based on your arbitrary moral opinion because you arbitrarily think that your moral opinion is better than mine and the government should give your moral opinion superiority over mine and should enforce your moral views on me and others.

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                            antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:40am

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

                            So from what I gather you think copy protection lengths should be based on your arbitrary moral opinion because you arbitrarily think that your moral opinion is better than mine and the government should give your moral opinion superiority over mine and should enforce your moral views on me and others.

                            I think everyone's notion of the proper term for copyright protection is arbitrary. That's one of my points. The economic view, which purports to deliver a scientific answer, is nonsense. Many things can't be measured, and if they could be measured, they can't be compared to other things, etc. It's all arbitrary.

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                              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:49am

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

                              "The economic view, which purports to deliver a scientific answer, is nonsense."

                              It's not nonsense. The absence of laws needs no justification it's the existence of laws that needs justification. If you can't justify a law then it shouldn't exist.

                              "Many things can't be measured"

                              So we have good quantifiable arguments against copy protection lengths (ie: cultural harm in the form of lost orphan works, the fact that I am harmed by not being able to enjoy public domain works within a reasonable period of time) and your response is that you don't have any good reason to favor them other than the fact that you wish to impose your arbitrary moral convictions on others and that there could be some hypothetical benefits towards keeping them? How is that convincing?

                              "It's all arbitrary."

                              Copy protection laws are a privilege. Laws need justification, their absence does not. and the only think you can come up with to 'justify' these laws is that they may hypothetically have some benefits under hypothetical conditions and that they comply with your arbitrary moral convictions? Really?

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:56am

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

                          "How long and why?

                          I've said it already above. Life of the author, at a minimum, and one generation past."

                          Why after the author's death, boy?
                          Since he/she can no longer create (due to being deceased), there's no benefit to them.

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                          Gwiz (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:50am

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

                          I've said it already above. Life of the author, at a minimum, and one generation past.


                          Why so long? Most studies show that most profits are received within the first ten years of the copyright term.

                          And why one generation past? Copyright was never, ever supposed to be welfare plan for the creator's children. Why are artists so special that they can't save and invest their present day earnings for their children's future like everyone else on the planet does?

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                          PaulT (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:53am

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

                          Why life? Are you under an impression that an artist won't create something if they live past a 28 year copyright term? If so, why?

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                            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 12:24pm

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

                            "Why life?"

                            because this person has no moral conscience. He still comes here and repeats the same unsupported lies over and over. He doesn't care about the public interest or the artist, his true intent is to support the useless middlemen. That's all he cares about. If it were up to him he would really want these laws to last forever but making these privileges last long enough to effectively make most works disappear from history due to neglect is good enough.

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                      Ninja (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:45am

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

                      I care about the public interest.

                      No you don't. That said, suppose I see a movie and get an idea that involves using most of its setup to make a completely different plot that's novel and would be simply awesome. If the copyrights expired within my lifetime the world could maybe see my works. But if it lasts more than the lifetime of virtually anybody able to produce further culture on top of it then it is actively hindering creativity and not contributing to the growth of culture.

                      A 14 year copyright term is plenty to make money for an entire life.

                      I care about the middlemen.

                      Nobody does. If they are not needed they can go die in a corner. Nobody cares about buggy whip resellers nowadays.

                      You seem to think that anyone who supports copyright is pure evil. That's not the way I see it.

                      You seem to think that anyone who doesn't support your maximalist version of copyright is pure evil or wrong. And you refuse any arguments that hurt your beloved point of view. So far you haven't added anything that can remotely support your opinion whatever it is. If you have nothing to add get lost.

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                        antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:10am

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

                        No you don't. That said, suppose I see a movie and get an idea that involves using most of its setup to make a completely different plot that's novel and would be simply awesome. If the copyrights expired within my lifetime the world could maybe see my works. But if it lasts more than the lifetime of virtually anybody able to produce further culture on top of it then it is actively hindering creativity and not contributing to the growth of culture.

                        I'm sure there are some close cases where the line between derivative work and transformative fair use are hard to define. I'm not sure how it could be any other way, unless we create some better-defined uses that are fair. For example, we could saying that quoting 10% of a book over 400 pages long is fair use by definition. I see that as a problem that needs to be worked on, so I think there we agree to some extent. I don't agree though that it's necessarily a bad thing for culture. Culture seems to be thriving to me. Now more than ever. I'm having trouble seeing the doom and gloom because there's a few close cases. I'm all for broader personal use rights. I say just make them clearer so there's not so much guess work.

                        Nobody does. If they are not needed they can go die in a corner. Nobody cares about buggy whip resellers nowadays.

                        I think you're downplaying the importance of these middlemen. They provide funding, much like VCs in Silicon Valley. They provide resources. We all love (well, most of us love) the high quality stuff these people put out. I know I do.

                        You seem to think that anyone who doesn't support your maximalist version of copyright is pure evil or wrong. And you refuse any arguments that hurt your beloved point of view. So far you haven't added anything that can remotely support your opinion whatever it is. If you have nothing to add get lost.

                        I don't think my view is the only reasonable one. I'm not that black and white. I'm genuinely interested in why people infringe. I think copyright is gravely misunderstood, and I think TD is part of the problem. That's why I'm here.

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

                        • icon
                          Ninja (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:40am

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

                          Culture seems to be thriving to me. Now more than ever

                          Despite copyright. Many things are only available because the Internet caught it and kept it going regardless of shitty copyright notices.

                          I say just make them clearer so there's not so much guess work.

                          That's a decent goal. And it actually reinforces my point. The length must go down too so the works can be used without strings attached. And the availability of the works to the public must be conditioned to the continuity of the copyrights.

                          They provide funding, much like VCs in Silicon Valley. They provide resources. We all love (well, most of us love) the high quality stuff these people put out.

                          True enough at least for part of the cases but they aren't the ones copyright should benefit.

                          I'm genuinely interested in why people infringe. I think copyright is gravely misunderstood, and I think TD is part of the problem.

                          Your tonne says otherwise. If you care about the "whys" then you should be agreeing with quite a few ideas here. Agreeing with the reform of copyright towards saner terms, greater fair use, clearer and narrower limits, takedowns with due process and punishment for abuse etc etc etc. Most of us here agree that some form of copyright is ok but not what is out there today. TD is doing an amazing job informing and providing arguments of why this is true. Where is your part? Why life+75 years is ok when no other profession works this way?

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:59am

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

                          " I think copyright is gravely misunderstood"

                          Just because many people disagree with you about it doesn't mean it's 'misunderstood'. It's not that you think it's misunderstood it's that you fear that the public may hold a position that you don't like and you fear democracy may result in laws you personally don't like.

                          "I think TD is part of the problem."

                          Why, because we disagree with you on many issues and you don't want the people to democratically disagree with you and democratically change the laws to their liking?

                          "That's why I'm here."

                          Why don't you start your own blog and gather your own audience instead of coming here and leeching off of techdirt. Oh, that's right, because no one would take you seriously and your blog would be empty. Everyone democratically chooses to visit a blog that you disagree with and your response is that, instead of starting your own blog that everyone would democratically choose not to visit, you will come here and try to tell us that your opinion is better than everyone else's.

                          IP extremists are scumbag. Government established monopolists wrongfully control radio and television and they abuse their monopoly position to prevent people from democratically discussing issues that go against the agenda of these monopoly holders. Our current IP laws are absolutely indefensible and yet the selfish IP extremists that wrongfully control television and radio (when they shouldn't) absolutely refuse to allow IP critics to openly discuss these issues on television and radio. IP extremists censor their critics while trying to indoctrinate us with their dogma.

                          https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101005/12204511290/why-won-t-universal-music-let-you-see-t he-20-20-report-from-1980-about-how-the-music-industry-is-dying.shtml

                          This nonsense that these people broadcasted are almost comical in retrospect, so much so that Universal now wrongfully uses copy protection laws to censor these videos out of embarrassment (an abuse of copy protection laws that you, little doubt, support). IP extremists have abused their monopolized media position to claim that every new technology is going to kill their industry and it never happened yet they absolutely refuse to allow critics to comment whenever they can prevent it.

                          You see any criticisms of your views as a 'problem'. The reason you fear criticism and see it as a problem isn't because it's really a problem it's because you know very well that your views are indefensible in the face of criticism. So Techdirt comes along and criticizes your views and it's a problem. Techdirt is a problem because it disagrees with you. People disagreeing with you is a problem. Democracy is a problem to you. You have no conscience.

                          If we democratically disagree with you and decide copy protection laws should be substantially reduced or abolished that's not a problem. It's democracy. For you to consider democracy a problem is despicable.

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

          • icon
            JMT (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 10:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "So like I said, if the choice was between copyright as it stands now, or no copyright, I'd be for no copyright, as the deal has been broken, and I don't see why the public should have to hold up their end of the bargain, when the other side isn't."

            The massive scale of copyright infringement in all areas of creative work all over the work shows that your feelings are becoming very commonplace.

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

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 5:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No it doesn't.

              It doesn't show anything other than many people are greedy and will take something they shouldn't if they they think they can get away with it.

              That's it. Nothing more.

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

              • icon
                David Muir (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:30am

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

                Yes. Yes, they will.

                But truly, which side is greedier? The working people who get money for work done in their lifetimes and infringe copyright along the way? Or the corporations who appropriate work from the public domain or a starving artist and then sit back and gather an ever-growing pool of income for an ever-longer period of time?

                To paraphrase a recent political wag: In the current IP maximalist regime, the rising tide raises only a few boats, and all of those boats are yachts.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 12:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "My question was directed at the author of this post"

          But not sent to him directly. Not only is he under no obligation to answer, but everyone else has that opportunity. If you dislike this, there are ways to contact Mike directly other than making a comment among hundreds that the site received every day and hoping that Mike notices. But you wouldn't get your ego massaged by trying to goad him openly on his own site then, would you?

          This site has other admins, who's to say he even reads most of the comments himself, even if he is inclined to answer someone whose own public persona is of someone who will never agree with anything he says on principle?

          "It seems everyone here can form an opinion."

          Including you, as faulty and baseless as it tends to be.

          Perhaps this is an indication as to why you're so wrong-headed about copyright. After all, you ask a question in a PUBLIC forum, then seem to have a problem when the PUBLIC respond to you! No wonder you seem so ignorant of what the PUBLIC benefits of copyright were meant to be from its inception.

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

          • icon
            Ninja (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not to mention Mike replies to mails sent to him. I've received a few already. And if he really wants to debate a $50 subscription will get him a Hangout session with Mike.

            I do like the discussion spawned and the ideas that flourish out of his bullshit but that's about it. He could simply be ignored without any consequence to the discussion.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Did it ever occur to you that Mike might have more important things to do than answer all of your disingenuous questions?

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 11:55pm

      Re:

      Moving the goalposts and ignoring the central issue being addressed in the very first comment? Impressive, even if it unfortunately signals that we're in for yet another year of obsessive fictions and strawman beatings rather than real discussion about the points at hand.

      To give my personal opinion: Yes, we should have copyright. No, the system as it is now is broken so that's not what we need. The fact that the deal these artists made with the public to incentivise their works has been changed - retroactively and often post-mortem - at the expense of the public is testament to that.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 5:32am

      Re: Copyright is good

      Copyright is a good thing. What is bad about it is the ever lengthening definition of a "limited time."

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:21am

      Re:

      "But do you think those works should've ever been copyrighted in the first place? That is, do you think we should have any copyright?"

      Of course, boy.
      But for the period listed (28 + 28) at the time of publication, which would have ended this year.

      Note that the books and movies listed were renewed at the 28 year point, as required by law.
      They thus gained the additional protection
      Others that weren't renewed at the 28 year point have fallen into the public domain.

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

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:36am

      Re:

      Mike states his opinion very clearly right in this very article (and every article he writes):

      "Given that, it makes absolutely no sense that these works are not in the public domain."

      Sounds like a statement of opinion to me.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:17am

        Re: Re:

        Mike states his opinion very clearly right in this very article (and every article he writes):

        "Given that, it makes absolutely no sense that these works are not in the public domain."

        Sounds like a statement of opinion to me.


        That is an opinion. He has no trouble telling us that in this case, there should absolutely be no copyright. But this is a safe thing to say. I'm asking him to discuss the more difficult issue of whether other works should be copyrighted. That's a tougher question.

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

        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 1:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          For starters, that's not what this post is about. Why change the subject and address something that the post is not about?

          Secondly, what does it matter whether he thinks there should or should not be copyright? Why is this such an important question that you have to keep asking it for years?

          And if he actually answered how you think he should - that yes, there should be no copyright (which I don't believe for a second is his opinion) - so what? What have you proven? What kind of triumph is that?

          Do you honestly believe the only reason he runs this website is to justify movie piracy? And you're going to call him out on it?

          Mike states his opinion on every single post on this website. It's an opinion blog based on current events. There is nothing but opinion here, every single day. Stop pretending he's keeping his true feelings hidden, just like you pretend your agenda is hidden.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re:

        ha good luck with that.
        AntiTechdirt has no solid basis to her "arguments", so all she's going to do is whine and cry "censorship"

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 7:09am

        Re: Re:

        "Given that, it makes absolutely no sense that these works are not in the public domain."

        Since their period of copyright (as established when they were published) had expired.
        Amazing how jk leaves that little fact out.
        Like Repugs who snip Obama's quote "You didn't build that..."
        while leaving out
        "Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges.
        If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.
        Somebody else made that happen.
        The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
        The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.
        There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.
        I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires."

        This proves most copyright maximalists are Repugs!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 3:19pm

    When was the last time something moved to the public domain?

    eom

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

  • icon
    mudlock (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 3:23pm

    Johnny B. Goode

    It all makes sense now! That's why Back to the Future has that Johnny B. Goode number, and why they travel to 2015 in Back to the Future II, because that's when it was suppose to become public domain!

    Clearly, by traveling back in time, Marty McFly caused both the 1976 Act AND the Sonny Bono act to happen!

    Dammit Marty, didn't Doc tell you that anything you do could alter the timestream?!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 3:47pm

    I feel like there's a dystopian sci-fi flick somewhere in here - like the Book of Eli, but instead of the Bible, the hero carries around the last copy of the last book to ever enter the public domain.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 4:16pm

    That is, do you think we should have any copyright?


    Since the original purpose of copyright has been twisted and mangled into something that no longer resembles at purpose, the deal with copyright has been broken beyond repair.

    So no, I no longer support copyright as it is.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2015 @ 4:18pm

      Re:

      Agreed. The purpose should be to promote the progress and serve the public interest. Middlemen have twisted it into promoting the artist for the underlying purpose of promoting the useless middlemen at the expense of both the artists and the public.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:59am

      Re:

      It would be worse not to have copyright at all. They have to allow library lending, fair use, first-sale expiration. All that would be gone if there were no copyright.

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

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:22am

        Re: Re:

        "All that would be gone if there were no copyright."

        Absolutely untrue on all counts:

        Library lending would be unaffected. Copyright does not enable the existence of libraries.

        The concept of "fair use" is only necessary because of copyright. If copyright didn't exist, then all use would be fair use.

        First-sale would likewise be unchanged. Much like fair use, the concept is only needed because of the existence of copyright. Without copyright, you could freely sell anything you own.

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

      • icon
        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:23am

        Re: Re:

        Without copyright there would be no need for any of those.

        No copyright? Libraries could lend any books they want. Heck, libraries could go and copy every book they had, and hand those copies out free of charge if they wanted to.

        No copyright? Fair use wouldn't be needed, because there would be no concept of copyright infringement.

        No copyright? The whole concept of first sale would be silly, since once you had the work, you could do whatever you wanted, including making copies and distributing them yourself.

        What you're saying is that because band-aids are good, we all need to have bleeding wounds.

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

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 5 Jan 2015 @ 4:19pm

    Hollywood Upcoming Movies

    Well, I now know what movies Hollywood will be putting out in the future. Just have to subtract 3 from the year these movies copyright expires and voila, the upcoming hits in 2046.

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

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 4:36pm

    Meanwhile in the Life + 50 Years countries, many works did go into the public domain. Apparently Canadians can now make their own James Bond movies using Ian Fleming's books.

    Is there a site that covers the legal issues of hosting public domain works online in Life+50 countries - despite being accessible and non-public domain in the US?

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

  • icon
    1st Dread Pirate Roberts (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 6:20pm

    Statute of Anne

    We have ventured very far from the Statute of Anne. This was the first law which used the power of government to force works into the public domain.

    It has very little resemblance to copyright today.

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

  • icon
    1st Dread Pirate Roberts (profile), 5 Jan 2015 @ 6:22pm

    Orphaned and Out of print works

    Copyrights last longer than the lifespan of the majority of the population.

    So, I have a compromise: Orphaned and out of print works shall fall immediately into the public domain.

    There, now publishers must publish all of their works for the entirety of the copyright to prevent it falling into the public domain.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 12:38am

      Re: Orphaned and Out of print works

      Ah, that would force Disney et al to publish all of their libraries all of the time, or lose them.

      More bluntly put, it's a *fair* change to copyright, hence the maximalists (especially in this thread) will be opposed to it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 5:35am

        Re: Re: Orphaned and Out of print works

        Bingo! We have a winner!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re: Orphaned and Out of print works

        Seems if they aren't making money (or whatever remuneration) they expect from the works, they can stop production, and transfer it into the Public Domain.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 2:05am

    Surely they are still making a wholy gargantuan lot of money and spawning tremendous creativity being under copyright, no? They are also broadly available for anyone that wishes to enjoy them for money, no?

    Copyright needs to be abolished.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 3:43am

    Don't buy their shit.

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

  • icon
    David (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 6:41am

    I wonder what the whole list looks like

    This is just a list of stuff that should have come into the public domain this year. I wonder what the entire list of items looks like, added together with all previous years, of works that are still locked up.

    These items go all the way back to the 20s or 30s, right?

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:38am

    To all the people "reporting" my comments: I am having an extremely difficult time following threads so that I may respond to the commenters that are trying to engage me in a productive discussion. You are ruining it for everyone. Some of us actually want to discuss these important issues. You are making that next to impossible. If you can't join in, just sit back and let others talk. Thanks.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:51am

      Re:

      Funny, I can follow your rambling bullshit just fine. Even the comments that have been hidden because people are reporting comments for trolling, as per a stated intended use of that button.

      "Some of us actually want to discuss these important issues"

      Yes, but you immediately derailed the thread with an irrelevant question and haven't addressed any of the points raised regarding the subject of the actual article. Past that, the people trying to have an actual conversation (i.e. those who don't choose a name and avatar specifically to attack the site they comment upon) find that more difficult.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:13am

        Re: Re:

        Funny, I can follow your rambling bullshit just fine. Even the comments that have been hidden because people are reporting comments for trolling, as per a stated intended use of that button.

        Many of my comments have been "reported," even though they cannot possibly be read to be trolling. People are being extremely abusive to me, yet they are not "reported." I'm surprised you guys think this is a healthy environment for meaningful discussions. It's not.

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

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You heap what you sow. Stop trolling and eventually people will stop reporting. Before you showed your true colors when you re-branded to antidirt people weren't doing it.

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "People are being extremely abusive to me, yet they are not "reported.""

          For the record, I report those comments as well. I know I'm not the only one since sometimes they accrue enough votes to get hidden, although that doesn't happen with enough reliability.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I'm surprised you guys think this is a healthy environment for meaningful discussions. It's not."

          You're free to leave, boy.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You're a racist and all your comments should be reported

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 11:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "they cannot possibly be read to be trolling"

          Which part? The part where your entire person here consists of a name and avatar chosen to attack the site, or the part where your first comment is to derail the conversation? Be specific.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm surprised you think that barnyard noises was meaningful discussion. It's not.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      ...I am having an extremely difficult time...

      Ah good, then it's working.

      You're a troll AJ. This is how trolls are treated.

      Don't like it? Stop being a troll.

      YOU are the problem.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        antidirt (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 8:11am

        Re: Re:

        Ah good, then it's working.

        You're a troll AJ. This is how trolls are treated.

        Don't like it? Stop being a troll.

        YOU are the problem.


        I'm having a calm, rational discussion about issues that are important to many people here. It seems to me that you are trolling. Are you adding anything of value to the conversation?

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

        • icon
          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, you're really not. You're still resorting to your utterly boring attacks on Mike for the delusions in your head that tell you he hasn't shared his opinions on copyright in the nearly daily posts on the subject for more than a decade.

          That is not rational.

          If you want to be taken seriously, ever again, you will never once in the future ever ask Mike what his opinions are, or try to bait him into a corner for expressing them in the articles he writes. As soon as you do, you are either back to intentionally trolling, or being completely delusional.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 4:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            When has average_joe ever seriously stopped intentionally trolling?

            In the past few months any fool can find him making chicken noises and ad hominem attacks.

            He's not worth it. He's barely worth taking a dump on.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2015 @ 9:46am

    Repeat After Me

    Copyright = Good
    DMCA = Bad

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

  • identicon
    AC, 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:22pm

    Anything over 20 years old is public domain.

    Copyright terms in excess of 20 years are unreasonable, and thus unconstitutional. Remember this is you're ever on a jury in a copyright infringement case.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:55pm

    95 year copyright terms? I won't even be alive to experience my grandmother's generation of culture. I'll be dead before it's released into the public domain.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 6:37pm

    There once was an average_joe
    Who worked as an average ho
    He slept with Chris Dodd
    Stripped down his Chris bod
    And gave him an average blow

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


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