Can You Really Be A Copyright Expert If You Think Copyright Should Last Forever?

from the all-kinds-of-cluelessness dept

A couple months ago, a so-called "expert" in copyright law in Australia, Dr. George Baker, the director for the Centre of Law and Economics at the Australian National University, argued that rather than pushing back on over aggressive copyright law, New Zealand ought to be making copyright law a lot more strict, to the point that he actually argued copyright should last forever:
"Why not have copyright law like property law - ie it lasts forever?"
And then he claimed -- really -- that if copyright law were infinite it "would in turn increase the investment in industries like music." Does he have any support for this at all? If you look through the actual academic evidence on these things, no one has ever found any proof that longer and longer copyrights leads to greater investment. It's not as though Universal Music is going to think "gee, if only copyright lasted another century we'd invest more in it now." No one makes decisions like that. A key study from 1998 (the last time the US extended copyrights) in fact found that increasing copyright terms would "not be a useful" as an incentive to create more content. Even more ridiculous is Baker's focus on music, as that same study pointed out that, of all the major types of content, the revenue generated by copyright extension would have the smallest impact on music.

But Baker isn't done with his ignorance. He's also against any kind of fair use/fair dealing, even for research. Yes, this is an academic arguing against research exceptions to copyright.
Dr Barker was also critical of the exceptions that have crept in.

"It has become like Swiss cheese where someone can turn up and say I'm doing research and therefore I don't have to pay you copyright. It makes it impossible to secure investment in creative goods."
Impossible? Is he crazy? The US has decently broad fair use rights. Is he seriously arguing that it's "impossible to secure investment in creative goods" in the US because of our fair use policy? No serious person would ever make such an argument, which raises questions about just how serious Dr. Baker truly is.

Meanwhile, over at the EFF's Deeplinks blog, another New Zealand based academic, Eric Crampton, has posted a detailed rebuttal explaining why the idea of an infinite copyright is absolutely ridiculous.

So why shouldn’t copyright be infinite?

Five years ago, Larrikin Music, who bought the rights to an old Australian folk song, sued Men At Work for including an 11-note flute sequence from it in their 80s-hit, “Down Under”. Where Men At Work had intended homage in its celebration of all things Australian, Larrikin, and the law, saw copyright infringement.

But does that really go far enough? If an 11-note sequence counts as infringement, how much do modern artists owe Pachelbel’s descendants? The four-chord sequence making up the core of his Canon in D has been repeated in dozens, if not hundreds, of subsequent songs. Should evidence produced by Australia’s Axis of Awesome be used in copyright lawsuits by anyone who can document that, ten generations back, Johann Pachelbel was a great-great-grandfather? It seems absurd.

Even from the perspective of a profit-seeking artist, copyright is a double-edged sword. Stronger copyright both increases the rewards from having produced a piece of work and increases the cost of creating new works.

As the piece concludes:
Current creators draw on a global commons in their artistic creations, and future generations of artists deserve a commons too
A true expert in copyright would actually understand that simple fact.

Filed Under: copyright, copyright term extension, copyright terms, eric crampton, george baker, infinite copyright, new zealand, tpp


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:14pm

    Good point, alternate universe

    If copyright were to be treated like property, he has a point that it is absurd that the government could simply allow your "property" to "expire".

    But instead of seeing how this highlights the obvious point that copyright is nothing like property, he reverses it by claiming it's an argument to treat it more like property.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 3:45pm

      Re: Good point, alternate universe

      If copyright were to be treated like property, he has a point that it is absurd that the government could simply allow your "property" to "expire".
      But it kind of does work like that in some areas: "Development in Canberra [Australia] has been closely regulated by government [...]. All land in the ACT is held on 99[-]year leases from the national government". Also see Hong Kong.

      And if copyright were more like property:
      ‣ registration would be mandatory (and not free); the property would be very specifically identified and anyone could look up ownership
      ‣ taxes would need to be paid based on value; otherwise it could be forfeited
      ‣ laws could require the owner to develop it, and set standards on this
      ‣ the government could purchase it via eminent domain
      ‣ there could be rights of easement, etc.
      ‣ the owners would have responsibilities and potential liabilities to the public
      ‣ it could not exist simultaneously in multiple jurisdictions

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:19pm

    YES!!!

    you can indeed be an expert, just a bought and paid for expert. Knowledge of a subject matter does not end just be because you betrayed it!

    Always follow the money, you can get a LOT of experts willing to shill if the price is right. The vast majority of people are not moral unto themselves and if you check you will find most would do things if reasoned no one would ever find out!

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:32pm

    Why not? One site I know of has a soi-disant "expert" who makes the hoot-able claim to support both copyright and Kim Dotcom!

    Further, that person (or so some assume despite evidence is an AI re-write bot without true self-awareness), claims uber-expertise and can disqualify others claiming expertise, engaging in ad-hom rather than merits of argument.


    The above is contrived to test whether that AI bot at all relates to external reality. I suspect it's the same pre-megalomaniac program that concluded humans should be kept safe in a zoo, and that problem with self-driving cars is similarly, humans.

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    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:34pm

      Re: Why not? One site I know of has a soi-disant "expert" who makes the hoot-able claim to support both copyright and Kim Dotcom!

      Mike is an AI bot?!?!?!? All hail our new robot overlord!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:40pm

      Re: Why not? One site I know of has a soi-disant "expert" who makes the hoot-able claim to support both copyright and Kim Dotcom!

      Wow, your AI script learned how to project on others. That's progress!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Why not? One site I know of has a soi-disant

      It's odd seeing a bot diss itself. It's like some really bad performance art.

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  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:42pm

    Yes, in the same sense that robosigners were mortgage service experts.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:46pm

    Lets see, if the human race started out with infinite protection of copyright, we would be hitting each other over the head because one persons grunt sounds too similar to someone else's. Language and co-operative culture would be very limited, because people could not communicate without infringing someone's copyright.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:48pm

    You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

    Please, no one point out this is NZ... I'm just referring to where an explicitly stated Right.


    And I can't think of any way that I'm harmed by Mickey Mouse being locked up forever! In fact, I'd like LESS of it!

    BUT there is a distinction can be made for technical writings / patents. Keep that same. Just lock up entertainments so stoops don't repeat those, only worse. -- Oh, and softwares? Those should never be copyrighted, but operating systems should in fact be open source by law. We the people can't let Microsoft, Google, and Apple just spy on us without limit. -- Whatever serves the public should be the law, but the "give away free and then try to grab back when others do take it" looniness of "Dan Bull" simply won't work.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:52pm

      Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

      Take your "we the people" bullshit back over to Breitbart where it belongs.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:58pm

        Re: Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

        giving up on the concept of "We The People" is terrible.

        Just because "The People" have collectively abused or misused it, does not make the idea terrible.

        The only terrible ideas are the ones that allow too much power flow to a single figure, allowing them to cause massive damage on a whim.

        Every political ideology you can come up with from Capitalism to Communism only go south because people are corrupt not the ideas. What made them bad ideas is because there are NOT enough protections built in to ward off corruption.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

          What made them bad ideas is because there are NOT enough protections built in to ward off corruption.

          The constitution and its amendments give the citizens the means to protect their rights, but they have to exercise those rights. Militias marching through Washington might be enough to remind the politicians who they serve, and give a chance to avoid a shooting match.

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          • identicon
            David, 4 Sep 2015 @ 2:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?


            The constitution and its amendments give the citizens the means to protect their rights, but they have to exercise those rights. Militias marching through Washington might be enough to remind the politicians who they serve, and give a chance to avoid a shooting match.

            So you think when Eisenhower sent the Army to desegregate the Southern schools, the Southerners should have raised a militia to fight them and remind the politicians who they serve, and give a chance to avoid a shooting match?

            In the end, enough of them decided that blacks in their schools was not really worth dying over. It was not like they would be enjoying their school time in their white schools, anyway, even if no accident befell them before they finished.

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            • identicon
              Reaonably Unreasonable, 6 Sep 2015 @ 6:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

              "So you think when Eisenhower sent the Army to desegregate the Southern schools, the Southerners should have raised a militia to fight them and remind the politicians who they serve, and give a chance to avoid a shooting match?"

              Yes. There is no way to know what would have happened if people had stood up for their beliefs. Eisenhower, fearing a blood bath, may have backed down.

              If you're not willing to die defending what you believe in, then perhaps what you believe in is a lie, or the belief itself is the lie, or both.

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              • icon
                John Fenderson (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 6:52am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

                Many people through history have been willing to die for what they believed in even when what they believed in was a lie.

                WIllingness to die for something does not in any way indicate whether or not that something is truth.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 12:58pm

      Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

      If you don't want those companies to spy on you, you can just, you know...not use their products.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:05pm

      Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

      Future generations should have access to past culture and there shouldn't be laws that prevent that.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:06pm

        Re: Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

        (or laws that can prevent that *)

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        • identicon
          David, 4 Sep 2015 @ 3:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

          "more continuing value"? Are you nuts? I can read books from 500 years ago just fine. Can you do the same with "recording tech" media in common use 25 years ago?

          A book plate from the age of the printing press was good for almost indefinite copies, and any mechanic can make you a press when you have only the plates. So what do you do if I hand you a 5¼" floppy disk with a WordStar document on it? Where's the "continuing value" in that?

          How would the Founding Fathers have had less faith in media durability than warranted today? The only known media were durable for centuries, when done according to the state of the art, for millennia. And only a very small headstart in that time was reserved for copyright protection.

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          • identicon
            cpt kangarooski, 4 Sep 2015 @ 6:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

            I can read books from 500 years ago just fine.

            Really? I can't, because there are relatively few books printed 500 years ago that are available, and access to them is usually limited due to their fragility.

            Instead, if you want to read a book written 500 years ago, you're going to need someone to make more copies of it, and distribute those copies widely, both of which increase the odds that any copy of the book will even survive. And when anyone with a desire to do so can do this, this increases the odds for the book's survival further. In fact, virtually all the books we have from antiquity survived in exactly this method; only a handful of manuscripts from that era survived.

            And that's the solution to your 5.25" floppy problem. You have to keep copying stuff all the time to maintain access to it, and keep converting the file formats to newer ones that are still viable (or older ones that are so basic and common that they're not going anywhere, like ASCII).

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:09pm

      Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

      Your title raises a valid point. There are of course valid responses.

      For example those writing the Constitution were entirely familiar with printing presses. Little has changed since then with regard to printed books, so there's no reason to believe that they would have extended copyright terms since then.

      While they likely didn't foresee audio and video recording, the copyright principles are the same as with books. They'd likely extend copyright to audio and video, but there's no reason to believe that they would have extended the terms.

      And why should operating systems be "open source by law?" Privacy is a separate issue than copyright. Either pass a law declaring that users should be able to turn off all telemetry, or have them do a better job of explaining when and why the SmartScreen Filter sends the URLs you visit to a malware-checking server, or why Cortana sends your requests off-site.

      It's REAL EASY to check whether an OS is sending information elsewhere, with free tools like Wireshark. That's why we know that Windows, iOS etc. do it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 2:04pm

        Re: Re: You do recognize that recording tech makes for more continuing value than foreseen in US Constitution, right?

        "While they likely didn't foresee audio and video recording, the copyright principles are the same as with books. They'd likely extend copyright to audio and video"

        You know that Audio recordings weren't included in US copy law until 1978.
        At the last major update of copy law before that, in 1909, the gramophone had been around for 32 years and there was no protection of Audio recordings added. So it's more likely that they wouldn't, or not for 101 years anyway.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:04pm

    Guy needs to change his name to Dr. McStuffins, because that motherfucker is living in a dream world.

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  • identicon
    Glenn, 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:14pm

    Copyright

    It's not actually a "right". It's a privilege--granted by legal status, which is now far beyond what anyone has the "right" to expect from a rational society. Sadly, society is no longer rational. So, we get what we deserve.

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  • identicon
    David, 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:39pm

    Makes perfect sense to me.

    "It has become like Swiss cheese where someone can turn up and say I'm doing research and therefore I don't have to pay you copyright. It makes it impossible to secure investment in creative goods."

    Yeah, it's like "scientific whaling" in Japan: the "researchers" kill thousands of whales for "scientific" purposes just to bring their meat to market as a "byproduct".

    In a similar vein, people can just download all those phoney "research papers" into their MP3 players and, uhm...

    Anybody seen my harpoon?

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  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 1:58pm

    Let's see just how that would play out

    So things centuries old would be under copyright.

    Beethoven.

    There would in fact be no public domain.

    And it wouldn't just be an individual asserting rights, it would be a bunch of greedy corporations.

    The guy who proposes infinite copyright is also advocating stricter copyright laws. I can only assume this would include the expansion of what is eligible for copyright. How about things that are presently patentable like ideas? Or rectangles with rounded corners. Or colors. Clothing cut patterns. Clothing colors.

    Just think what the world looks like only 200 years down the road. It is impossible to express any idea. Any tune. Any kind of text of speech whatsoever. Somewhere in history, that combination of words, chords, colors, etc will have been used. And stricter copyright means that ever smaller and smaller elements should be protectable. Forget Rigthhaven's copyright on words, how about copyrighted letters of the alphabet. Or simply combinations of digrams or trigrams of letters strung together. I, for one, claim copyright on the letters "T" and "H" consecutively put together.

    There could be no two maps that are of the same place. I'm sure copyright owning corporations would work out which map makers get the 'copyright' over maps for certain geographical regions like states, or even counties.

    Let's do it. Ever stronger copyright. Ever expanding copyright rights. And infinite copyright. Pass the popcorn. This is going to be fun to watch the economic havoc.

    The best way to get rid of an unjust law is to enforce it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 4:23pm

      Re: Let's see just how that would play out

      Or simply combinations of digrams or trigrams of letters strung together. I, for one, claim copyright on the letters "T" and "H" consecutively put together.

      The single letters did not exactly fall off a tree, either, you know? Someone designed them as well.

      Ok, I was being facetious. We all know that the Mycenaean Linear-B artifacts and/or their Minoan Linear-A predecessors likely borrowed their syllabic character from Phoenician merchants' accounting methods, but the Romans did not exactly leave much of Carthago for us to corroborate, just like RIAA and MPAA do with historic recordings that are not permitted to get copied before falling apart.

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    • icon
      art guerrilla (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 5:01pm

      Re: Let's see just how that would play out

      "And it wouldn't just be an individual asserting rights, it would be a bunch of greedy corporations."

      yep, factually INEVITABLE...
      here's why (real simple):
      korporations are immortal, immoral, legal fictions with -relative to the 99%- infinite resources; people are comparatively short-lived, and needing money *now*, not over hundreds+ of years...
      ... do i have to draw a fucking diagram ? ? ?

      ALL your copyright belong to us ! ! !
      hee hee hee
      ho ho ho
      ha ha ha
      ak ak ak

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    • identicon
      Dixon Steele, 6 Sep 2015 @ 12:53am

      Re: Let's see just how that would play out

      Even better: Let's retroactively extend all intellectual property infinitely backwards. Put the bible back under copyright. Lock up a patent for a system of symbols to represent phonetic expression. Someone should own the concept of a nation-state, right? That should lead to some interesting suits.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 2:00pm

    as wrong as his statements are, you can bet the entertainment industries will be all over it like a rash! if there's one thing they like, it's someone who is a self-proclaimed expert, coming out with a statement that backs what they want but haven't worked up the balls to try to demand, not yet, anyway!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 2:13pm

    First the Huffington Post, now Techdirt.

    "another New Zealand based academic"

    You do know that New Zealand is a completely separate country from Australia, don't you?
    That should be "a New Zealand academic".

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  • icon
    John William Nelson (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 2:36pm

    Property doesn't last forever . . .

    The premise seems to be that intellectual property, i.e. copyright, should last forever like property.

    Except property law does not allow for property to last forever. It requires constant maintenance in the law or it becomes abandoned.

    Any decent property law scholar knows this.

    Utter fail.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 8:33pm

      Re: Property doesn't last forever . . .

      Also you should have to pay property tax (in addition to income tax). If I own property and make money renting it out I pay property tax just for owning the property and I pay income tax on what I make renting it out.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 8:50pm

        Re: Re: Property doesn't last forever . . .

        And the property tax is the money you pay the government to enforce your exclusive control over that property even if you don't rent it out. But IP holders just want everything for free. They want the government to freely enforce their exclusive IP privileges even if they sit on it and do nothing. They want society to pay for enforcing their privilege. Which makes sense that they would opt for such laws that let them freely freeload off everyone else. It is very well known that those responsible for lobbying for the existence, expansion, and extension of IP laws are among the biggest freeloaders that ever existed. Freetards. Parasiting off the government, the public and artists. Then they have the nerve to pretend their pro IP position is for the artists, as if they care.

        If IP is really property why isn't there a use it or lose it clause. Because I know if I don't maintain property that I own most cities will take it away. Why don't you pay property taxes to the government for enforcing your exclusivity, even if you don't make it available to others, like you would with real property. Why should everyone else bear the burden for you.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 8:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: Property doesn't last forever . . .

          Not every country has a property tax, I have none, and no capital gains tax on selling a house if you lived in it for two years.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2015 @ 4:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Property doesn't last forever . . .

            Do you pay any kind of municipal rates? If so then this is a per se property tax.
            Do you pay any automobile registration fees? If so this is a per se property tax.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2015 @ 5:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Property doesn't last forever . . .

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2015 @ 12:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Property doesn't last forever . . .

                That list is questionable. UK property owners generally pay council tax, which could be seen as a property tax. And New Zealand appears to have property tax, except it's based on occupation rather than ownership.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2015 @ 10:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Property doesn't last forever . . .

                So there are very very few exceptions to the rule but the overwhelming majority of countries do charge property taxes. And even a cursory look at the exceptions shows that they are limited in nature. For instance the United Kingdom is listed as not having property taxes but if you look at the taxation in the United Kingdom article

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_United_Kingdom

                You find that various members within the united kingdom do have local property tax like taxes. For instance (from the linked article)

                "Council Tax
                Main article: Council Tax

                Council tax is the system of local taxation used in England,[30] Scotland[31] and Wales[32] to part fund the services provided by local government in each country. It was introduced in 1993 by the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as a successor to the unpopular Community Charge ("poll tax"), which had (briefly) replaced the Rates system. The basis for the tax is residential property, with discounts for single people. As of 2008, the average annual levy on a property in England was £1,146.[33] In 2006/2007 council tax in England amounted to £22.4 billion[34] and an additional £10.8 billion in sales, fees and charges,[35]"

                It wouldn't be surprising if there are more local exceptions within the listed broad areas that don't charge property taxes. and, if a government does provide the service of allocating/enforcing property rights then they should charge property taxes as the overwhelming majority of governments do.

                But IP laws were just made by a bunch of freeloaders who want free laws to enforce their agenda without having to pay for the social and governmental cost of those laws. They want all of the benefits of property laws without any of the costs or requirements (ie: requirement to maintain it that most jurisdictions have, property tax to pay for the government's allocation and enforcement and the social cost of having these laws). and the only way they managed to get something for nothing is by unethically subverting the democratic process by buying politicians.

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  • icon
    flyinginn (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 2:41pm

    The current trend in musical copyright rests on the delusion that copyrightable music arose from nowhere, is absolutely unique, has no predecessors, draws on no musical or cultural traditions or works, and came into being without any debt to a shared musical heritage.

    In fact, copyright in music is an attempt to enclose and control part of a heritage which belongs to the public, just like the Enclosure Acts stole common land in Britain. The longer copyright persists, the more it steals from the public. Downloading and reselling for commercial profit is not an answer, it is a parasite on the original immorality.

    Rationally, copyright must be viewed as an indulgence granted by the state to borrow from the cultural heritage for a limited time, not a corporate right to steal from it forever.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 3:06pm

      Re:

      "The current trend in musical copyright"

      Current since 1710.

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    • identicon
      David, 4 Sep 2015 @ 3:14pm

      Re:

      The current trend in musical copyright rests on the delusion that copyrightable music arose from nowhere, is absolutely unique, has no predecessors, draws on no musical or cultural traditions or works, and came into being without any debt to a shared musical heritage.

      Oh, not at all. It arose from copyrighted music under the control of the RIAA, is possibly identical in parts to music under the control of the RIAA, has possible predecessors in music under the control of the RIAA, and came into being with debt to a shared musical heritage under the control of the RIAA. The novel elements are surely due to an artist under contract of one of the RIAA subsidiaries, so once the pesky Public Domain has been terminally dealt with, accounting becomes very straightforward: everything is taxable to the RIAA.

      Copyright expiry on a continuing basis eventually leads to a situation where the RIAA's control over culturally relevent music converges towards zero eventually, eternal copyright would instantly fix their control at 100%.

      Whatever bribes or propaganda or reality distortion fields it takes will be worth the investment.

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  • identicon
    DCL, 4 Sep 2015 @ 3:06pm

    Intereseting take...

    I am very against forever copyright... but I would be less so if there were some stipulations:

    * Strict definitions for what is copywritable: Make clear delineation for digital (or easily replicated) vs physical works. Properly define a segment and how many changes per segment are needed to constitute an new work. Also take considerations for overall context and spirit of the new work.

    * Opt in Copyright: works must be registered to qualify for tracking compensation. Ownership is determined by first to file, but can be contested within 3 years with evidence of first created. Due diligence must be taken by copyright office to identify prior art.

    * Fair use: Cases similar to existing usages for but with strict burden of proof on accuser and heavy ramifications for false accusations.

    * Narrowly Defined Ownership: Only be one full owner of the copyright with no partial transfers nor temporary adjustments. Word the legislation to remove the usefulness of conglomerates to get around the issue. The only exception being for compensation agreements with the original creator (non revocable after initial transfer away from creator). Require upfront explicit opt in for "work for hire" situations.

    * Timing/Grandfathering: Ownership only 'controls' new works created with the said content. Works created previous to current ownership are not subject to current owners demands.

    * Content creator first right of refusal: (not completely thought out yet) some rights giving the original owner (that is still being compensated/or that retained the right at time of initial registration) first right of refusal (at market rates) when ownership is transferred.

    * Public work clause: Owner can permanently transfer the content to be a public work at any time during their ownership (subject to first right of refusal).

    * Alteration/Destruction clause: Owner can destroy or permanently alter physical works at anytime with no regards to the original owner's claims.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 3:12pm

    Mike,

    Funny how you left off this part from the EFF "rebuttal":
    In the 2000s, well, it is hard for new innovation to occur because copyright law, at least in the United States, has frozen the usage of most important works produced since 1923.
    Can you really call it a "rebuttal" if the person thinks that it's "hard for new innovation" to occur because they can't copy/infringe works under copyright?

    Seriously, if the work is innovative and new, then it wouldn't come from copying to the point of infringement? Can't they just work up something fresh, i.e., noninfringing?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 3:20pm

      Re:

      When are going to invent your own language and stop you borrowing from the works of other that developed the English language. If you did that, it would be much easier to ignore you valueless contributions to the debate.

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

    • identicon
      David, 4 Sep 2015 @ 3:25pm

      Isn't it amusing?

      Now that we have the technical tools for preserving and proliferating and developing most works of culture, we invented the legal tools to keep us from doing that.

      I just hope I'm not the one who has to explain to him what humanity has been doing when Jesus has his second coming. It would be more embarrassing than explaining to Archimedes the experiments at Lagado.

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

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 11:51pm

      Re:

      Mainly because that's not how most art is created. Most art is derivative, and that's partly what makes it successful.

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

      • identicon
        David, 5 Sep 2015 @ 1:25am

        Re: Re:

        I would not call most of the music bouncing around "art" with a straight face. But the whole point of culture is accumulation of information beyond generational constraints. Humans have outperformed other species because of the capacity of storing, processing and passing information between specimen independently from the genetic information pool which has to strike a balance between complexity/size of organism and speed of reproduction. Basic teaching behaviors can be witnessed in a lot of vertebrates, not just mammals.

        We are throwing away what makes us stand out from animals.

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

    • identicon
      Drawnder, 18 May 2016 @ 4:10pm

      Re:Seriously, if the work is innovative and new, then it wouldn't come from copying to the point of infringement?

      This is going to be a short example. Do you like the TV show The Walking Dead? Do you like the video game Resident Evil? These two works are actively building on pre-existing material a movie called Night of the Living Dead. Through a fluke this movie fell into the public domain. However it is still responsible for a lot of the innovative creations of the today. there is more to innovation then completely off the top of my head stuff. How do you make cars better? By starting from the very concept of a wheeled vehicle, or by building on the preexisting ones?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 3:58pm

    Facts about Dr. George Barker

    He has a Law Degree - this means he knows the law : you think?

    He has a Post Graduate Degree in Economics - this also means he knows about the interactions of goods, services, etc : you think?

    On the website page, //researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/barker-g, he has a picture that shows his incredible intelligence : you think?

    He email address for contact is NOT available on said website page - not acceptable.

    On said website page, there is a reference to another website for further information which just happens to return the following information
    Your requested page could not be found

    The ANU College of Law has recently updated its website and the content you've requested cannot be found. Visit our homepage and search again.


    I think the above says it all about the level of expertise, this fellow exhibits.

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

  • identicon
    Sunhawk, 4 Sep 2015 @ 4:16pm

    Wait... how does one buy the rights to an "old Australian folk song"?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2015 @ 4:56pm

      Re:

      One doesn't, and that removes a source of competition against the works that the RIAA members decide to make available on the market.

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

  • identicon
    michael, 4 Sep 2015 @ 5:01pm

    It's actually a good idea

    It would be great to treat intellectual property the same as physical property.

    That would mean that, if you want to retain ownership, you'd have to pay periodic taxes on your works. Failure to do so means losing ownership to the government.

    It's not unlike my favorite solution to the IP fiasco: Charge people $100 every 10 years for copyright renewal. Those works that don't get paid for are released into the public domain.

    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, 4 Sep 2015 @ 6:36pm

    out_of_the_blue and average_joe just hate it when due process is enforced.

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 4 Sep 2015 @ 7:55pm

    Well, maybe you can't be a proper copyright expert if you have this opinion. But you can be a shill. A corporate shill. A well paid corporate shill.

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

  • identicon
    anon, 4 Sep 2015 @ 9:00pm

    Just the other day, and friend and I were talking about how to troll Techdirt. As a joke I said the best way would be to extol infinite copyright. Ta-da.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2015 @ 12:03am

    His surname is actually Barker, but the article misspells it "Baker".

    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, 5 Sep 2015 @ 2:46pm

    ITT: Freeloaders who think people shouldn't be able to be compensated for their work. Get over yourselves and I hope to god none of you ever vote.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2015 @ 8:23pm

      Re:

      So you think corpses should be compensated for eternity for something that they did once?

      No, I think the rest of the world hopes to hell that you never vote for a welfare system bent on throwing money at dead bodies. What the fuck is with you copyright fanatics who think that the world is irreparably screwed if we don't keep paying royalties to cadavers forever, anyhow?

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 7 Sep 2015 @ 3:13am

        Re: Re:

        Oh but you see, the money's not being thrown at corpses but companies, which have the ability to live far beyond that of a flesh and blood person. Once you understand that, their push towards eternal copyright makes a lot more sense, and it has absolutely nothing to do with benefiting creators.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2015 @ 8:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          To be fair I think most of us understand that - what I can't understand is why shills think that the average person would get convinced by eternal copyright.

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

    • identicon
      Just Another Anonymous Troll, 8 Sep 2015 @ 6:10am

      Re:

      Troll logic 101: Not thinking that copyright, a privilege extended to increase creative works and by extension the public domain after a time, should be infinite means you're in favor of piracy and no copyright at all.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2015 @ 8:28pm

    End with the creator

    Our constitutional right to have works pushed into the public domain has been turned on its head.

    We really should make copyright closer to the term of a patent. I would like to see 14 years, with a non-automatically renewing 14-year term.

    However, if that's too much to swallow, copyright should in no instance last longer than 70 years. This would be a 14-year term, with 4 14-year renewals.

    If we can't get it back down to 70 years, it should, for corporate creators (rather than individuals) be forced into the public domain after 70 years.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2015 @ 11:23am

    The monopoly experts

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2016 @ 1:39am

    out_of_the_blue and average_joe just hate it when due process is enforced. Why was this truth censored?

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


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