UK Gov't Pushing For 10-Year Jail Sentences For Copyright Infringement Based On ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

from the faith-based-policy dept

For many years, we've pointed out that so much policymaking around copyright law is what we'd argue to be purely "faith-based." The fact that there is little to no actual evidence that stronger copyright protections lead to better outcomes for the public, the economy or for society is ignored by people who just know it must be true. And the constant assertions about extending and expanding copyright always seem to come from this same faith-based positioning. An exploration into the empirical basis for copyright law finds that there basically is none and the reason we have copyright is because a couple of centuries ago some people thought it was a good idea, and no one's really bothered to check since then.

One of the most ridiculous examples of this "faith-based" reasoning is the belief, among many, that the way to stop widespread copyright infringement is just to increase the punishment for those who are caught. Sure, you can understand the armchair economists' reasoning here: if you increase the punishment, you're increasing the "cost," which should decrease the activity. But, that's just wrong on many, many levels. First, let's take a step out of the copyright realm and into the criminal justice realm. After vastly expanding punishment (via things like "three strikes" laws), many, many people (even those who supported such programs) are now admitting that long sentences don't actually do much to deter crime. While there were some studies in the 80s and 90s suggesting long sentences reduce crime, more recent (and much more thorough) studies have basically rejected that view. A recent survey of many studies in the area found little support for the idea that longer sentences deter criminal activity.

A bunch of other, even more recent, studies agree. A massive report from the University of Toronto goes through the history of the support for harsher sentencing, and a ton of historical and modern research, and concludes:
At this point, we think it is fair to say that we know of no reputable criminologist who has looked carefully at the overall body of research literature on “deterrence through sentencing” who believes that crime rates will be reduced, through deterrence, by raising the severity of sentences handed down in criminal courts.

The evidence supporting this conclusion has been accumulating for decades. In the 1970s, thoughtful reviewers were cautious in their conclusions, suggesting only that the deterrent impact of harsh sentences had not been adequately demonstrated. More recently, we, and others, have been more definitive in our conclusions: crime is not deterred, generally, by harsher sentences.
Another major study, from two years ago, by the National Research Council more or less says the same thing: "the evidence base demonstrates that lengthy prison sentences are ineffective as a crime control measure." Another recent research report, which also delves deeply into the arguments from the 70s and 80s now concludes: "The empirical work of the past thirty-five years has presented evidence that some of the deterrence we thought that we were likely to get was not, in fact, forthcoming.... " Hell, even the National Institute of Justice, the "evaluation" agency that's a part of the US Justice Department (which regularly pushes for harsher punishment) says directly on its website:
Increasing the severity of punishment does little to deter crime.

Laws and policies designed to deter crime are ineffective partly because criminals know little about the sanctions for specific crimes. Seeing a police officer with handcuffs and a radio is more likely to influence a criminal’s behavior than passing a new law increasing penalties.
That same page further notes that "sending an offender to prison isn't a very effective way to deter crime."

At this point, you have to be willfully ignoring the evidence to argue that throwing people in jail for a long time is a way to deter crime. The reasons why the simple theory at the top of this post is wrong are that (1) most people committing crimes don't expect to get caught and (2) many people who are committing crimes don't even know what punishment might be, or vastly misunderstand the likely punishment.

Okay, so let's jump back into the copyright world. For reasons that are beyond comprehension, the UK government has announced plans to try to put copyright infringers in jail for 10 years. The UK's Intellectual Property Office recently released a report, following a consultation on this issue, in which it clearly supports a 10-year sentence for infringement, arguing:
The UK is frequently cited as the world leader in IP enforcement, and as Minister for IP I want to do everything I can to preserve this standing. The provision of a maximum ten year sentence is designed to send a clear message to criminals that exploiting the intellectual property of others online without their permission not acceptable.
The report also states, unequivocally:
The Government believes that online offences should be treated no less seriously than their physical counterparts. Harmonising these will provide a deterrent effect to criminals and, where criminality continues, provide for tangible punitive action.
Notice, of course, that there is no citation for this view. And, also, the fact that it clearly contradicts a ton of empirical research, as discussed above. Perhaps noticing the same thing, Kieren McCarthy at the Register sent a FOIA request to the Intellectual Property Office asking them where the 10 year maximum sentence idea came from. The answer? The IPO just made it up based on... nothing.
Such information was derived from our analysis of the evidence and opinion provided to us by a wide spectrum of interested parties, over the consultation period.
No empirical understanding of the issues of punishment and deterrence. No actual understanding of the issues. Just a bunch of people gave us their opinions, and we just plucked 10 years out of thin air. And, of course, as McCarthy notes, even that line above is clearly untruthful, since the vast, vast majority of the submissions provided to the IPO opposed the 10-year sentence proposal, which the IPO then stuck with anyway. In the IPO's response to McCarthy, it also cited a couple of studies concerning copyright, but both of those studies advise against such an increase in sentencing.

So it appears that the Intellectual Property Office is focused on increasing criminal penalties for copyright infringement to 10 years in jail based on proactively and willfully ignoring the empirical evidence both in the criminal justice world and in the copyright world.

And then they wonder why the public doesn't respect copyright law?

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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 5:12am

    And then they wonder why the public doesn't respect copyright law?

    Dear editor,

    Having read the article, I was taken aback by the closing sentence, which I included in bold above. Perhaps it's just me, but shouldn't the sentence have ended with:
    "And then they wonder why the public doesn't respect copyright law."

    Note the end punctuation. Rather makes a bolder statement of truth, rather than question.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to check my torrent to see if I have the latest episode of "Boobs and Dragons".

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 6:16am

    Perfectly logical actually. Absurd and wrong, but logical

    They've spent so much time harping on how copyright law must always be ratcheted up, the terms increased, the punishments made worse that it's all they can do at this point.

    To admit at this point that actually no, what they've been saying doesn't work and isn't true would undercut decades of fact-free assertions on their part, so all they can do is double-down and continue the failed strategy of longer terms and harsher punishments.

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    • icon
      MrTroy (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 7:53pm

      Re: Perfectly logical actually. Absurd and wrong, but logical

      I'm not sure why they would be particularly worried about that. People (in aggregate) have shown themselves willing, any number of times, to forget about just about everything that happened more than a few weeks ago.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 6:29am

    Sounds based on the highly successful mandatory sentencing policy in the US.

    /s

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 6:47am

    Ah, jail for copyright infringement. Because clearly waving massive fines at grandparents and children just needed that teensy weensy push to put piracy in its place and instill respect for copyright law in the citizenry.

    I mean, it's not like the scheme's been a massive failure in Japan or anything, right? Oh, wait...

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  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 10 May 2016 @ 6:52am

    It's sad when you spend less time in jail for killing someone than you do for Copyright infringement.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:05am

      Re: Sad, but also very dangerous

      Suppose the existence of an infringer who knows the sentence for copyright infringement and the sentence for murder, and that as parent poster IT Guy says, the penalty for murder is less than the penalty for copyright infringement. The rationale thing for a copyright infringer to do is to commit murder to cover it up. Even if he is caught for the murder, and serves its full sentence, he comes out ahead of where he would be if he were caught for copyright infringement. When penalties for less dangerous crimes (e.g. copyright infringement) rise above the penalties for more dangerous ones, rational criminals will switch to more violent crimes. That is a definite loss for society. Ideally, we want no crime, and failing that, we want to encourage criminals toward crimes that do the least damage to the public. Encouraging them to commit murder to cover up non-violent crimes is exactly backwards.

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    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 7:22am

      Re:

      It's sad that a teenager can spend more years in jail for downloading a song than a wall street bankster who can almost destroy the global economy.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:47am

        Re: Re:

        "almost" ?
        no almost about it, and we have yet to plumb the depths of where this economic sinkhole is bottoming out...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:27am

      Re:

      It's sad when you spend less time in jail for killing someone than you do for Copyright infringement.

      Makes perfect sense when you look at it the way they do:
      1. Copyright infringement can harm corporate profits.
      2. Corporate profits are more important than human lives.
      3. Therefore, infringement should be punished more harshly than murder.
      See?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:11am

    one of the annoying things about this is that baroness whatever says there were 1000 people who voted for this punishment, but she doesn't say who those people were, ie, were they industry people? i suspect they all were! then there is no mention of the 10s of thousands who voted against the punishment! so why is it that suddenly a minority vote can be brought to law while a majority vote cant?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:17am

    [quote]Laws and policies designed to deter crime are ineffective partly because criminals know little about the sanctions for specific crimes. Seeing a police officer with handcuffs and a radio is more likely to influence a criminal’s behavior than passing a new law increasing penalties.[/quote]

    Glad this was in here because it's pretty obvious. The vast majority of people have no idea what the penalties are for any crime. They have some idea about what they "feel" is appropriate but that doesn't necessarily have any basis in reality. Changing it has no effect because they still won't know what it is let alone what it was. General understanding of the law is poor as there is simply too much written law and a lot of the interpretation depends on case law which is massive and hard to get ahold of even if you wanted to get it.

    A criminal also never thinks they'll be caught, especially with something like copyright infringement.

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    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 7:28am

      Re:

      Back in times when laws were more sane, people could fairly naturally understand that serious crimes had serious penalties.

      Rob a bank at gunpoint, and get serious jail time. The average person might not know what the exact penalty actually is. But they know it probably is somehow related to the seriousness of the crime.

      Kill someone, similarly, a serious crime, and serious punishment.

      Jaywalking, a minor crime, a minor punishment.

      Once laws become insane, people become confused about what new 'crimes' are serious and which ones are not. Sort of like in most dictatorships and police states in the world. Smiling the wrong way at the dear leader could be a very serious crime indeed.

      Copyright is not only censorship.
      Copyright is not only about corrupting the mechanisms of democracy.
      Copyright is not only about working against the best interests of the people you see as indentured customer servants.
      Copyright is not only about taking away a kid's savings that was to go for their college education.
      But copyright is also about throwing people in jail for years and years. Ruining lives. Ruining families. Because -- OMG!!! -- they downloaded a song!

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 1:55am

        Re: Re:

        The big problem is that the idea of what infringement actually is hasn't changed along with reality.

        Once upon a time, copyright infringement was something that was difficult to do on a large scale. Sure, people were infringing all the time, whether it was copying a tape you borrowed from the library or VHS you rented, making a mix tape for a friend, recording a song from the radio, etc. but they were always small scale. Going beyond a couple of friends became time-consuming and expensive so only people making money would bother doing more than a few copies.

        So, the law was built not to address those small-scale efforts that were hard to detect and pointless to prosecute, they were built to go after large-scale pirate and counterfeiters. It made sense to charge tens of thousands and years in prison to those caught, because they were criminals doing it for large scale profit.

        But, reality has changed. It's as easy for a penniless student to share copies for altruistic reasons as it is for a pirate to make money (in fact, often easier). The law, however, is still built to attack people as though they are making thousands in profit as part of a criminal enterprise.

        That's the disconnect. The law is built to assume a large scale for-profit enterprise, but reality is usually that it's a person with no money doing it for non-profit reasons. Unfortunately, the people making the most money have a massive incentive not to adjust to reality and stop the law from doing the same. For now, at least.

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    • icon
      Richard (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 5:49am

      Re:

      The vast majority of people have no idea what the penalties are for any crime.
      Actaully the vast majority of people have no idea what is and isn't a crime in respect of copyright.

      Plus, when they actually find out they are usually quite shocked and somewhat disbelieving!

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  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 7:19am

    Lost Sails

    Piracy is theft.

    Piracy causes the loss of cargo. Sometimes the loss of shipping vessels. And sometimes injury or death to crews.

    Often, piracy results in a Lost Sail and loss of other shipping or boating related items.

    The Lost Sail is the main concern of the copyright maximalists.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:37am

      Re: Lost Sails

      The really asinine thing is that there are probably some acts of sea based real piracy that would land you less jail time than the 10 years they are proposing.

      If you used a dingy to sneak up onto some guy's yacht in the night and stole several thousand dollars worth of equipment off of it, you'd probably get like 3-5 years tops.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 1:03pm

        Re: Re: Lost Sails

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy_Act_1837

        If you just steal stuff you can get away with a few years: robbery. But if you use guns with I guess is normal for pirates then you can get 10+ years or to life if you do it outside UK territory.

        Kind of weird when you can steal the DVDs off a cargo ship and get less than downloading them.

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    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 10 May 2016 @ 8:13am

      Re: Lost Sails

      I had a lost sail once... took me weeks to get back to shore. :)

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  • icon
    NeghVar (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 7:19am

    Copyright unconstitutional

    In the US, most copyright laws are unconstitutional and here is why.
    "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."
    "to Authors and Inventors"
    In other words, the individuals who created the stories, music and pictures. Not the corporation to which it was passed nor the author's children's children's children.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:23am

    The more law I read,

    the more it seems that the only thing uniform about it, is its flexibility before the cognitive dissonance of its executor.

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  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 7:28am

    The public just hates it when copyright law is enforced.

    And that deterrence thing - i sort of think it is another one of those things that is good to debunk, but it probably isn't the real reason, but merely one of those things offered to make something sound more rational (or believable or palatable or whatever). It's probably like most incarceration schemes: retributive only. Industry members really just want to smack someone with a stick when they don't follow their wishes. (And given the severe lack of actual commercial infringement cases we ever hear about anymore, and most commercial infringers being out of reach, we all know who this sentencing proposal will apply to.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:30am

    Welp, I guess I'm getting a 20,000 year sentence for livestreaming CC0 music.

    That is how stupid this law is, and I left my recommendations as such in the consultation period.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:38am

    There was actually a news article yesterday on Ars which says, due to a FOI request, that they actually pulled the 10-year-sentence out of their ass.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:40am

    What ever happened to the punishment fitting the crime? That's what it used to be but for decades now it's just been one failure after another in that area, the drug war and 3 strikes and mandatory minimums that don't do anything to deter crime and absolutely do not fit the crimes. Now it's moving to the new popular thing, IP and hacking, with punishments like decades in jail for copyright infringement and life for "hacking" a car. Just like all the failures before this all it will do is keep the prisons overflowing with people that should not be in there, or at least not for anywhere near as long.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:42am

    The reasons why the simple theory at the top of this post is wrong are that (1) most people committing crimes don't expect to get caught and (2) many people who are committing crimes don't even know what punishment might be, or vastly misunderstand the likely punishment.

    So the reason for long sentences may not be deterrence but for punishment. But regardless of the reason, the punishment should fit the crime. For copyright infringement, should we really be locking people up for 10 years or even 1 year? Is the "crime" so severe that jail is warranted at all? That is the type of questions that need to be asked.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:51am

      Re:

      The reason that the legacy content industry pushes for excessive punishment is to gain headlines that scare people away from all music and video that is on the Internet. This has nothing to do with protecting the creators rights, but rather to strengthen the position of the gate keepers as the 'safe' source of entertainment and information.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 7:44am

    "The UK is frequently cited as the world leader in IP enforcement, and as Minister for IP I want to do everything I can to preserve this standing. The provision of a maximum ten year sentence is designed to send a clear message to criminals that exploiting the intellectual property of others online without their permission not acceptable."

    So was the UK 's Intellectual property office heavily lobbied or do they still call it bribery in the UK?

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  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 7:52am

    "For many years, we've pointed out that so much policymaking around copyright law is what we'd argue to be purely "faith-based." The fact that there is little to no actual evidence that stronger copyright protections lead to better outcomes for the public, the economy or for society is ignored by people who just know it must be true. "

    Replace "stronger copyright protections" with "concealed carry handguns" and you pretty much have the gun lobby at it's best.

    The problem is in many ways WE JUST DON'T KNOW. Moving from what we have to something else that may or may not pan out (because nobody knows) is faith based at best. Saying to abolish copyright or to limit it to an extremely short period of time is faith based, pure and simple.

    When you look from the other side you realize your own words can be used to argue almost any point.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 8:04am

      Re:

      Saying to abolish copyright or to limit it to an extremely short period of time is faith based, pure and simple.

      No, actually it isn't. Many works were created long before we had long copyright terms. No reason to believe they wouldn't be today as well.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 8:06am

      Re:

      Actually you are wrong. We have seen studies showing that the lack of copyright is what caused a lot of development in the past. We've also seen evidence that besides big labels and artists, copyright does absolutely nothing for the artists (except maybe screw them when somebody sues) because they need the material to be spread and known so the infringement that is being considered here (file sharing) is actually beneficial for these people.

      But you'll ignore everything that doesn't fit your view of the world.

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    • icon
      Jeremy Lyman (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 8:13am

      Re:

      I'd be interested to know what you consider "an extremely short period of time." Certainly not 100 years. 75? 50? How much time is needed to properly monetize a work and incentivize its creation? Sure seems like with modern production and distribution methods, that number should be going down. Not inexorably up.

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      • identicon
        I.T. Guy, 10 May 2016 @ 8:25am

        Re: Re:

        Whatever wiLLie has no opinion and is just a low level troll, trying to "get" Mike.

        He sets up the straw-man:
        "an extremely short period of time."
        I dont think I have heard ANYONE here advocate "an extremely short period of time."
        -
        FACT is... we DO KNOW the current length of time provides no value to society as copyright was intended. It was there to provide a SHORT period for the inventor/creator to capitalize on their idea and if they couldn't, then it's time for others that CAN.
        -
        What the hell is wrong with the water up there in Johnstown Pa?

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        • icon
          Whatever (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 5:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I dont think I have heard ANYONE here advocate "an extremely short period of time.""

          The typical position on copyright term if the concept remains is something like 10-15 years. Many point to the original US copyright act of 1790 with it's 14 year term.

          It sounds nice, until you realize that in modern terms, 14 years is a very short period of time. It would mean, as an example that some episodes of say The Simspons would already be in public domain, while new ones are created, which might lead to marketplace confusion and encroachment into the "still copyright" material.

          Would it be fair to Matt Broenig to have to fight against people making knock off Simpsons episodes and distributing them on network TV? Would that sort of thing actually count as an advancement for the population, or would we become even more focused on a few winners to the detriment of other development?

          "we DO KNOW the current length of time provides no value to society as copyright was intended."

          How do you know? Can you show us actual proof or studies that show actual test cases, or is it all just faith based?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 5:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually, especially in modern terms, 14 years is a very long time. Almost all revenue generated is well within the 10 year period. The few exceptions is no excuse to extend it beyond that.

            "Would it be fair to Matt Broenig to have to fight against people making knock off Simpsons episodes and distributing them on network TV?"

            Copy protection laws should not be about the artist or IP holders. It should only be about the public.

            "Would that sort of thing actually count as an advancement for the population, or would we become even more focused on a few winners to the detriment of other development?"

            No one is forcing you to watch the 'knockoffs'. If you don't like them then don't watch. And if knockoffs are enough to stop an artist from producing more art then that artist is immature at best and we shouldn't hold back the public domain because of a few immature artists.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Copy protection laws should not be about what you personally think is 'fair' to the artist/IP holders. It's not fair that I must sacrifice my natural rights so that others can have a privilege. It's perfectly fair to abolish copy protection laws.

              What copy protection laws should be about is the public and only the public.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 2:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "It sounds nice, until you realize that in modern terms, 14 years is a very short period of time."

            Yes and no. But, since you constantly lie about the positions here, why should we take your position that it's too short? Most works make the bulk of their revenue during that time, even in the modern day.

            For the record, while you harp on about the fiction of people wanting to abolish copyright completely, the reality of the position I've stated many times is this - an automatic period of 14-25 years (debatable though I'd prefer the shorter), with an option to renew up until the author's death - after which it cannot be further renewed. This allows for the estate to gain some benefit but not for works to be locked up a century after the author's death or for orphaned works to become lost.

            Can you address the actual positions of people here instead of whichever fantasy you find more convenient for once?

            "Would it be fair to Matt Broenig to have to fight against people making knock off Simpsons episodes and distributing them on network TV?"

            You could respect the man by getting his name correct, but he's made plenty of money and the way I described a preferred position above, he would still be able to make money if he wants. Fox just wouldn't be able to stop everyone else from benefiting from the same public domain the show has taken from many times without giving back once Groening passes.

            "How do you know?"

            The current length of copyright extends beyond the ability of the author to provide any value, and the retroactive changes made actually removes works from the public long after the work was created. Which benefits do you imagine outweigh the obvious downsides?

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 19 May 2016 @ 3:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Can you address the actual positions of people here instead of whichever fantasy you find more convenient for once?"

              That will be a "no", then. Typical...

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          • icon
            Jeremy Lyman (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 5:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            (Let me start with a preface that 14 years is wildly more rollback than I can even dream of seeing effected in my lifetime.)

            What about "modern terms" makes 14 years shorter than ever? People experience and consume more, travel and communicate further and faster, records are more permanent and accessible, job/career turnover is more frequent and prevalent, and there are more efficient methods for devising and expressing creative output than ever before in human history. Everything happens more immediately in "Modern Times". This means that 1) things can be brought to market and monetized in less time and 2) popular entertainment holds our attention for less time before the endless swirling cycle replaces today's hot new thing; relegating it to a brief stint with syndicated tv on its way to sadly fading from existence at Foster's Home for Orphaned Works.

            The only way that 14 years seems shorter is if you're an immortal being seeking to pump out franchised sequels for 100 years without coming up with anything new. Which in my view should be a separate debate. Should Groening have lost the monopoly rights to the concept of the characters he created? Eh, they're still doing things with them so let's just assume for now that he's allowed to prevent knockoff competitors (and nevermind that there essentially have been, just with different characters) and focus on the literal fixed expressions.

            The Episodes. 26 years later, what real value does Groening derive in preventing school children from seeing the very first Simpsons episode? Is it greater than the benefit of permanently preserving the phenomenon? Is that episode really the same packaged entertainment drawn to drive ad impressions, or is it now historical context, part of our collective conscience and modern culture? I bet you can guess my answers, but to quote the illustrious Dr Jones "it belongs in a museum!"

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2016 @ 4:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Good point. Back in the days it was argued that copy protection lengths should last longer partly because it may take a long time for someone's work to get recognized. Now a days, with the Internet and modern communication, that's not so much the case and the cases where this happens are the exception and not the rule. By and large almost all revenue is made well within the first ten years. The very very few exceptions do not justify holding back the public domain.

              Of course if we allow cable companies and broadcasters to wrongfully monopolize communication more than they already have they can make things worse for us again.

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            • identicon
              I.T. Guy, 12 May 2016 @ 9:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "popular entertainment holds our attention for less time before the endless swirling cycle replaces today's hot new thing"

              Yo guys I heard of this great new thing called MySpace. Sure glad they get a life + 70 copyright so they can keep on creating new things. Without it they may fade into nothingness.

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          • identicon
            I.T. Guy, 12 May 2016 @ 8:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "It sounds nice, until you realize that in modern terms, 14 years is a very short period of time."

            Sounds like a FAITH based OPINION.

            "It would mean, as an example that some episodes of say The Simspons would already be in public domain"
            Which would benefit society for others to build upon. 14 years of the Simpsons have made the "creator" plenty of money and the incentive to create more works has long passed. Another straw-man "argument."
            -
            How do I know? It's common sense which you appear to lack. At life +70 if someone lives to 70 that's 140 years.

            MATT GROENING... is 62 now, say he lives to 80... you can build on the Simpsons in 150 years.
            -
            Can you show us actual proof or studies that show actual test cases, or is it all just faith based?
            https://www.scribd.com/doc/172985274/LSE-MPP-Policy-Brief-9-Copyright-and-Creation

            https://sour ce.wustl.edu/2009/03/economists-say-copyright-and-patent-laws-are-killing-innovation-hurting-economy /

            http://www.aei.org/publication/nobel-winning-economist-patent-and-copyright-laws-are-hurting-us-inn ovation-and-economic-growth/

            https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121116/16481921080/house-republicans -copyright-law-destroys-markets-its-time-real-reform.shtml
            Yes, yes I can.

            "Would it be fair to Matt Broenig to have to fight against people making knock off Simpsons episodes"
            There already are knock offs: The Samsonadzes

            Troll harder wiLLie... troll harder.

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    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 10 May 2016 @ 8:17am

      Re:

      Please tell the orderly the nurse forgot to give you your meds today.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 8:31am

      Re:

      The problem is in many ways WE JUST DON'T KNOW.

      We do know that cultural works are produces in the absence of copyright, and indeed they are created in an world where the only way that they will survive is by people passing them on by copying them. Various licenses, free and open source license, and CC0 have been used by people creating new works, and those amount to people giving their work away.

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 8:35am

      Re:

      Without using a single bit of faith, I can assure you with fact and reason that dead people whose works are still under copyright do not need any further incentive to create new works, and probably will not create any new works.

      The children of dead authors and creators also do not need any incentive for their dead ancestor to create new works.

      If you want to talk about faith based, then talk to artists and actors who pray that they might actually see a wee bit of the huge pile of money after Hollywood Accounting is done with it.

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    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 8:36am

      Re:

      Just because you either don't know, or pretend not to know, do not assert that the rest of us are so stupid as not to know.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 8:55am

      Re:

      The problem is in many ways WE JUST DON'T KNOW.

      You seem to be conflating "no evidence is presented that strengthening copyright is beneficial", with "no evidence of anything related to copyright exists."

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:39am

      Re:

      The burden doesn't lie on IP abolitionists to prove that IP is harmful. It lies on IP supporters to prove that it is beneficial.

      A: Monopolies do cause known economic harm. IP is a form of monopoly

      B: IP is a privilege that infringes on my natural right. Anything that infringes on my natural right is what needs justification, not the other way around.

      C: IP laws are socially expensive to police

      The existence of a law is what needs justification, not the absence. Without such justification the law should be done away with. Furthermore laws should be democratically decided and not corporate decided. The fact that it is corporations that disproportionately deciding IP laws suggests their intent and effect are nefarious and socially harmful.

      Plus, as others have pointed out, there is plenty of evidence of their harm.

      So without evidence of their benefit my vote is to reduce or abolish IP laws. My vote is based on reason, namely, the reasoning that their existence is what needs justification and not the other way around. Your reasoning for keeping them is based on nothing if you don't have evidence of their benefit. Saying that we should keep them because, at best, we don't know (and at more likely the evidence suggests their harmful nature) does not provide any reason to keep them.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:42am

      Re:

      Replace "stronger copyright protections" with "concealed carry handguns" and you pretty much have the gun lobby at it's best.

      Yeah, because they're pretty much the same, huh?

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 2:02am

        Re: Re:

        He equates lots of things in his mind. Few of them based in reality, but whatever he has to feel superior to everyone else he takes. Even if it's complete fiction.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:51am

      Re:

      and you could have also just as easily made the argument that slavery abolition or racial segregation abolition were unknowns at one time and so that's why they should have been maintained. Again, the burden is never on those that want special privileges (IP laws are special privileges) to be abolished to prove their detriment. It's always on those that want special privileges to exist to prove their social benefit.

      (and no I am not comparing IP laws to slavery or racial segregation I am merely making the point that if you want IP laws to exist the burden is on you to prove their social benefit and not the other way around).

      and I don't really care if we know or just don't know. Laws should be democratically decided and not decided by corporations. IP laws were not democratically decided, they were decided by corporations (secretive meetings with industry interests invited, things like https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100630/14391410029.shtml and the fact that the MPAA is the one that argued for retroactive extensions and forever minus one day). Laws should be decided based on social values. These laws were decided based on corporate subversion of the democratic process. My vote, for one, is that I don't value these laws very much and I value my natural rights more than the current state of IP laws. To substantially reduce them would be providing me with more value than whatever value I would lose by not maintaining them. That's my choice. This is supposed to be a democracy and I want my vote to count and not just the votes of corporations. Whether or not we know the consequences of IP reduction or abolition is irrelevant, this is still supposed to be a democracy and we should make that decision together. Corporations shouldn't unilaterally make that decision for us.

      Furthermore almost all of the money from works is made well within the first ten years of release. There is little reason to hold the public domain back because of the very very few exceptions.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      Also lets not forget that with your logic no laws should ever be changed. There should never be the creation of any new law and there should never be the alteration or abolition of any existing laws because we just don't know for sure. I'm sure there are some laws you would like to see changed right?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 11:20am

        Re: Re:

        We shouldn't pass any more laws to stop piracy and we should do nothing to enforce the existing laws because people have been pirating stuff forever and we just don't know the effects of stopping it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 6:11pm

      Re:

      You mean like you? Any and every time calls are made for copyright law to be revamped and looked at, you start foaming at the mouth and scream that people are demanding for copyright to be abolished.

      If anyone's making "faith based" decisions about copyright, it's you. The rest of us can look at the years of suing end users and realizing that it's done just about fuck all to stop anything.

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      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 10:27am

        Re: Re:

        "You mean like you? Any and every time calls are made for copyright law to be revamped and looked at, you start foaming at the mouth and scream that people are demanding for copyright to be abolished."

        Aside from the amusing visual, I have to tell you that I don't foam at the mouth or even have my pulse raise a bit (according to my fitbit...). I only ask the logical question, which is if you want to get rid of copyright, what do you replace it with? If you want to cut back or limit the term, how do you handle those works created under the current setup, without creating confusion about what is and what is not copyright? For that matter, if you are (say) 40 years old, does it really, really matter that much if copyright drops from 75 years to 60 years? You will still be dead as a dodo before the copyright expires. If you are younger, you might to get to copy that movie just before you are too senile to understand it.

        I think the current system work well, in no small part because it allows for so many outcomes and scenarios. We have everything from open source and CC licensing to the strictest of nastygram toting lawyer loving Metallica listening public hating copyright robber barons. If falls to the creator to have the choice which way they want to play the game, and that all starts out by having a system that first allows them right to "own" what they create, at least for as long as they will live (and beyond). They can turn around and issue a CC-by or whatever they like license to give their work away, they can license it commercially, they can add it to an open source project, they can give it away, or they can even assign the right to make such choices to someone else.

        We have an insanely vibrant world full of creative people, and we guild and create more and more new works every day. We produce more now than ever. It's hard to say that copyright is somehow massively holding us back, reality seems to say otherwise.

        (and if you think this post is foaming at the mouth, you really need to get your foam detector fixed, it's not working).

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2016 @ 11:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I only ask the logical question, which is if you want to get rid of copyright, what do you replace it with?

          Sanity.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2016 @ 4:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If you want to cut back or limit the term, how do you handle those works created under the current setup, without creating confusion about what is and what is not copyright?"

          In opposed to, what, the current system where, thanks to retroactive extensions, everything is always protected?

          and, as techdirt already pointed out with things like Happy Birthday and discontinued works or abandoned or orphaned works, there is a lot of confusion with the current system. Long lengths make it even far more confusing since it's now harder to track back the history since it was so long ago. The confusion aspect is a problem with copy protection laws themselves that long lengths only make worse.

          Take the extreme examples. Copy protection not existing. No confusion, nothing protected.

          Copy protection lasting one year. After three years we can be sure it's not protected. Happy birthday or anything 30 years old is definitely in the public domain. No confusion at all. This includes orphaned works.

          Copy protection lasting 95+ years. You have the mess we have today with lots of confusion. At public expense.

          Infinite copy protections. OK, no confusion, but at public expense.

          Works should have a release date

          Copy protection should be opt in with required registration

          The confusion we have today is due to copy protections

          A: Not having required registration with a body keeping track of protected works and their release dates

          B: Copy protection lengths being way way way too long making it harder to track the history of a work.

          Not the other way around. Your logic is exactly backwards.

          This is yet another example of why copy protection laws are far worse than real property laws. With real property laws the property is either registered or anyone claiming the property in the possession of someone else needs to prove it belongs to them. Likewise works in the possession of the public should belong to the public unless someone can prove it's not public domain and they do in fact still hold control privileges over it.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2016 @ 4:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            (well, infinite copy protection lengths can still result in things like licensing confusion, confusion over who has privileges over what, false takedowns, etc.. which is the same confusion we see today. Or at least service providers are the confused ones, the ones sending false takedowns may be doing so nefariously or at the very least negligently. But this confusion is due to a lack of registration, copy protection lengths being way too long, and a one sided penalty structure that doesn't sufficiently punish those that send bogus takedowns).

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2016 @ 6:56pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I like how your takeaway from the original post is "replacement", which isn't the point most people are making.

          If the basis of not reducing length of copyright is because people will be dead, how then does it justify lengthening it beyond what it already is, given that the people proposing those changes will be long dead?

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        • icon
          MrTroy (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 7:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think the current system work well, in no small part because it allows for so many outcomes and scenarios.

          And which of those scenarios are lost if copyright term is reduced to 25 years from registration, or 14 years on registration with an optional 14 year extension?

          And remember, because this seems to get lost in the debate every time... the copyright holder doesn't lose anything at all when the copyright expires. They can continue to do business with the work however they want... they just have to compete with free. But guess what? They already do, even while the copyright is still in place. Something being in the public domain doesn't mean that you can't make money from it, you just can't do it with a monopoly any more.

          As others have pointed out, 14 years today is longer than it has ever been, in terms of scope for monetising work.

          Would it be fair to Matt Broenig to have to fight against people making knock off Simpsons episodes and distributing them on network TV? Would that sort of thing actually count as an advancement for the population, or would we become even more focused on a few winners to the detriment of other development?

          Well, I don't know. Perhaps we can look at some cases where this has actually happened, like "The Night of the Living Dead" being in the public domain due to misfiled paperwork, and yeah, that's failed all the way to $30 million in the box office (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Living_Dead). Having public domain material to work off certainly didn't seem to harm the zombie movie genre, either... I would definitely say that the boom in zombie movies following the success of NotLD counts as "advancement for the population" (at least if you like zombie movies).

          And reiterating the first point, NotLD made huge amounts of money (relative to its budget) despite having to compete with free, and despite the increase in competition from derivative zombie movies as well! The public domain could be said to have grown the zombie movie pie considerably - a consideration which is typically missing from all industry predictions.

          "we DO KNOW the current length of time provides no value to society as copyright was intended."

          How do you know? Can you show us actual proof or studies that show actual test cases, or is it all just faith based?


          Well, let's see...

          * https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160429/18014234315/australian-govt-commission-copyright-is-copyw rong-hurting-public-needs-to-be-fixed.shtml [2016]
          * https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130114/20344621680/new-research-extending-copyright-massively-in creases-prices-limits-dissemination-knowledge.shtml [2013]
          * https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130924/01594224630/more-more-research-showing-that-assumptions-u nderpinning-copyright-law-are-fundamentally-wrong.shtml [2013]
          * https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100621/0933449895.shtml [2010]
          * https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090617/1138185267.shtml [2009]
          * https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070405/194853.shtml [2007]

          Now, you don't have to say it, obviously all of these researchers are poisoned on the TechDirt kool-aid. But can you show us actual proof or studies that current copyright terms are better for creators and the public than going back to shorter terms, and/or mandatory registration?

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

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 10:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "And which of those scenarios are lost if copyright term is reduced to 25 years from registration, or 14 years on registration with an optional 14 year extension?"

            None of them would be lost. Silly question. They might however be somewhat less relevant, as creators may choose to retain their rights or issue more restrictive CC licenses as their ownership length is much less.
            "How do you know? Can you show us actual proof or studies that show actual test cases, or is it all just faith based?

            Well, let's see..."

            Standard answer is this: If you point to Techdirt for answers, you fail. The recent Aussie government thing is written by two commissioners who have publicly come out as copyright abolitionists. Not exactly unbiased - and entirely opinion as they have nothing but faith based concept to support their ideas.

            Generally every study, report, and talking point comes with a basic faith based "things would be better without copyright" mentality without any proof except that they THINK things would be better.

            We create many, many times more works today with copyright than we ever have in our history. We have created more works in the 21st century alone than any century before the 20th, and we continue down that road. Faith based says we would have more without copyright, but so far beyond the statement of faith, there is nothing.

            You wrote a good post, but it's all pointing to things of faith and not things of fact.

            (Oh, and for what it's worth, there are a very few places on earth without some sort of copryight, and none of them are havens of mass content production, great writers, or stunning artists. Stick that in your faith and smoke it.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2016 @ 11:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So according to you, since reducing the length of copyright any lower than what it currently is is faith-based, the position that perpetuating the existing status quo of retroactive extensions is rooted in empirical evidence?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2016 @ 2:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "None of them would be lost. Silly question. They might however be somewhat less relevant, as creators may choose to retain their rights or issue more restrictive CC licenses as their ownership length is much less."

              That makes no sense whatsoever. Releasing something under a CC license means it's immediately publicly free right away upon being released under that license. If the author wanted to release something in a public domain like license after 25 years they can freely do so now simply by licensing it as such already. If they don't it's because they didn't want to either way.

              As per usual, most of your arguments are based on very very poor and often backwards logic.

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              • icon
                Whatever (profile), 12 May 2016 @ 11:28am

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

                You are thinking to linear here. One of the reasons people release stuff through CC or other means that is that normal copyright is to long term and they don't want their work cooped up. But if copyright was reduced to a very short period of time (say a couple of years) they might be tempted to just keep the copyright and work from there.

                There would be a tipping point where CC licenses would be perhaps less desirable or perhaps the ability to exercise a little more control for the short period of "ownership" would be more desirable.

                It might be said that a little short term money making might not be so bad...

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                • identicon
                  I.T. Guy, 12 May 2016 @ 11:56am

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

                  "One of the reasons people release stuff through CC or other means that is that normal copyright is to long term and they don't want their work cooped up" - Citation needed.

                  Learn the difference between Too and to.... Then and Than... Muppet. LOL.

                  "copyright was reduced to a very short period of time (say a couple of years)" Nobody is saying that Wilbur.

                  "There would be a tipping point where CC licenses would be perhaps less desirable" Do you have any data to back that up or... is that what you... believe?

                  Might, perhaps... Ha ha ha you're full of a bunch of maybe's and what-if's.

                  Ha ha ha this is the MOST wiLLiesque statement you have ever said:

                  "We create many, many times more works today with copyright than we ever have in our history."
                  Do you think the proliferation of various works has exploded due to technology empowering the average person to be able to create and publish? Nah that never occurred to you. Anyone can launch MovieMaker or iMovie and be creative... anyone can make music with MusicMaker, Sountrap, etc, etc. No more need for recording studios and 100,000 dollar mixing boards. ProTools will do just fine.

                  Copyright had NOTHING to do with the explosion in creativity and technology did.

                  Whatever AKA wiLLie, has taken a stance opposite that of the general consensus here and will argue it to the death... even though he does not believe the crap he spews himself. It's like he's on a high school debating team tasked with defending a position.

                  It is fun to watch him get obliterated though.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2016 @ 4:35pm

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

                  "But if copyright was reduced to a very short period of time (say a couple of years) they might be tempted to just keep the copyright and work from there."

                  Law shouldn't be based on very speculative and illogical psychology. With your poor logic you can reason that copy protection laws upset people and cause them to go on a rampage and kill people. Hence IP laws are responsible for murder. Lets remove it. Illogical psychology is not a valid argument for anything because I can make anything up with such weak standards and find some illogical psychological justification in one way or another to justify any law that I please. Laws shouldn't be based on such nonsense.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2016 @ 4:39pm

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

                    and the fact that Whatever must resort to illogical psychology to justify his position shows how indefensible his position is. More reason to doubt his position. I can use illogical psychology to justify any law I please. Such should have no place in law.

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                    • icon
                      Whatever (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 1:17am

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

                      The fact that you are down to trolling tells me everything I need to know - you have no true response. Thanks for playing, troll!

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                • icon
                  MrTroy (profile), 12 May 2016 @ 5:35pm

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

                  You are thinking to linear here. One of the reasons people release stuff through CC or other means that is that normal copyright is to long term and they don't want their work cooped up. But if copyright was reduced to a very short period of time (say a couple of years) they might be tempted to just keep the copyright and work from there.

                  You demand that we show sources, and then resort to "If this happens, then this other thing might happen". The whole point of this discussion is that pro-copyright stance is faith-based and controlled copyright is backed by research (which you ignore).

                  You say that those links to Techdirt don't count, but did you read the research that those links point to... that wasn't conducted by Techdirt?

                  And finally, for what it's worth, I suspect that the creators of the Creative Commons license would consider it a success if people no longer felt the need to use a CC license because copyright terms were no longer ridiculous, and there would be much rejoicing and carousing in the Creative Common.

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

                  • icon
                    Whatever (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 1:17am

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

                    "You say that those links to Techdirt don't count, but did you read the research that those links point to... that wasn't conducted by Techdirt?"

                    As I have mentioned before, Techdirt stories are often based on other people's opinions or studies written by people who are pretty biased on the subject. As I said, the Australian Commission thing is a perfect example, it's written by two commissioners who have been very publicly against anything and everything copyright - so citing it as some great change in attitude by the government is meaningless.

                    "And finally, for what it's worth, I suspect that the creators of the Creative Commons license would consider it a success if people no longer felt the need to use a CC license because copyright terms were no longer ridiculous, and there would be much rejoicing and carousing in the Creative Common."

                    Yet that would be forcing everyone into the commons if they want to or not. Abolishing copyright (or limiting it so much that it's neutered) would diminish creator rights and would very likely harm and discourage creative works from being made and distributed widely in their various forms. The beauty of CC licensing is that it works with (and against) copyright in a manner that allows the system to work BOTH ways, not just one way.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2016 @ 6:25am

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

                      "studies written by people who are pretty biased on the subject."

                      Maybe their 'bias' comes from the fact that the data says IP is bad.

                      Your argument is like saying that because those that conducted studies on the subject have found that we need water to survive they must be biased and so we don't need water to survive. Or maybe they built their opinion on the data.

                      What, did you expect people to conduct a study with results that say water is wet to then later conclude that water is dry in order to convince you that they aren't bias?

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2016 @ 7:05am

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

                        The distinction between independent studies vs studies from an entity with an obvious conflict of interest in the matter (ie: the MPAA or its members) is also an important factor when considering the merits of a study.

                        Being 'bias' in favor or against something in itself doesn't reflect on whether or not that thing is good or not. It could be that the bias is derived from the data.

                        But if those that are conducting the studies or giving their opinions have a disproportional conflict of interest in the matter that automatically makes anything they say very suspect.

                        (disproportional as in their conflict of interest isn't only derived from the fact that they are simply a regular citizen and want the laws to reflect what's best for all citizens including themselves as a citizen)

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2016 @ 7:08am

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

                          (and hint: businesses, assumed to be self serving wanting to maximize their own profits, should be assumed to have a conflict of interest and to be basing their opinions on their own interests. Anyone receiving astroturfing money from them should also be assumed to have a conflict of interest).

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2016 @ 4:41am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Standard answer is this: I am going to outright ignore anything from anyone I don't like, because fuck that shit, and this is clearly NOT faith-based."

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2016 @ 5:03pm

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

                He is desperate to defend an illogical and irrational position and so this is what you get. What do you expect? His desperation is showing.

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        • identicon
          I.T. Guy, 12 May 2016 @ 9:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "It's hard to say that copyright is somehow massively holding us back"

          Nobody says that wiLLie... except you. What we say is it has become a roadblock and is a burden to up and coming artists/services/etc. It is abused to stifle free speech.

          "we guild and create more and more new works every day."
          Yes and most do it because they love it not because they get a copyright. That garage band that practices every weekend all weekend doesn't do it because... copyright = paid(because it doesn't)... they do it because they love it. Kill off copyright tomorrow and nobody will throw their hand up an say "shit, it's time to give up because I can't get a copyright."

          People created long before copyright because they love to do so and it is part of human nature. To say that would cease if copyright was abolished is just willful ignorance. You live at the corner of Hope Ave and Willful Ignorance Way.

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          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 12 May 2016 @ 11:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Nobody says that wiLLie... except you."

            Actually, you need to search Techdirt. Mike had said that (in various ways) any number of times over the years. Certainly copyright has stopped people from creating derivative works that might otherwise have existed.

            "Yes and most do it because they love it not because they get a copyright."

            Most garage band types dream of monster success, of being rock stars and living the life - and that is mostly based off of writing and selling lots of CDs and touring like mad. Without copyright, they would have no means by which to convert their desires to cash in their pockets to fulfill their rockstar fantasies of hookers and blow.


            "People created long before copyright because they love to do so and it is part of human nature."

            Yes, and as a culture, western people generally also like money, fame, fortune, and all the trappings of it. Money is an incredibly powerful motivator, both for the creator and those who seek to profit from their creations. It has driven a society that creates more than ever. Don't take my word for it, Mike has said many times over that we create so much more content than ever - with this "oppressive" copyright regime getting more "oppressive" and still we produce more... it;s like cause and effect!

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

            • identicon
              I.T. Guy, 12 May 2016 @ 12:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Reading comprehension fail Wilbur:
              What we say is it has become a roadblock and is a burden to up and coming artists/services/etc. It is abused to stifle free speech.

              I said:
              "People created long before copyright because they love to do so and it is part of human nature."
              You replied:
              Yes, and as a culture, western people generally also like money, fame, fortune, and all the trappings of it. Money is an incredibly powerful motivator, both for the creator and those who seek to profit from their creations. It has driven a society that creates more than ever. Don't take my word for it, Mike has said many times over that we create so much more content than ever - with this "oppressive" copyright regime getting more "oppressive" and still we produce more... it;s like cause and effect!
              To which I am replying: Potato. And... taking a snippet from another comment:
              Do you think the proliferation of various works has exploded due to technology empowering the average person to be able to create and publish? Or... do you give copyright all the credit?

              What does human nature to create have anything to do with money? Nothing. Painters... most of which go through life not making a dime... still paint. Why is that wiLLie? Singer/songwriters go through life never making a dime off of their music... but they still play. Why? It's not copyright. AND... their is no guarantee that even with a copyright you'll make money. If you cant or cant bring a product to market then... troll. Right... wiLLie?

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

              • icon
                Whatever (profile), 12 May 2016 @ 4:52pm

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

                "What does human nature to create have anything to do with money? Nothing."

                Actually, it has a lot to do with it for many. Money isn't the driver, it's a requirement to be able to live. They have the desire to create, but not the time. They still do, but perhaps it takes much longer or perhaps the create less.

                Also, for people who are creative but perhaps normally can't find the time, financial incentive is pretty powerful.

                The Rock and Roll dreams of many a young musician involve playing front of big audiences, being popular, and living "like a rock star". The truth is that money and sex are two of the biggest motivators for humans in the world. Combine them (get rich and get laid a lot) and for many it's a pwoerful incentive to create.

                "What we say is it has become a roadblock and is a burden to up and coming artists/services/etc. It is abused to stifle free speech."

                Baseball bats are used to stifle life from time to time. It doesn't mean that we ban them. Heck, in the US, we know that guns hurt, maim, and kill thousands each year - certainly limiting their victim's free speech - yet they are legal. Laws are exactly like a baseball bat, most of us use it to play ball, a very few use them for more sinister purposes. We don't ban bats just because of them.

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

                • icon
                  MrTroy (profile), 12 May 2016 @ 5:37pm

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

                  Do you have any research or sources to back up anything that you say? Please just go away and let the adults talk until you're ready to join the conversation properly.

                  Read back through your comments on this article, and your arguments are all just different mixes of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

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

                  • icon
                    Whatever (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 1:22am

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

                    "Read back through your comments on this article, and your arguments are all just different mixes of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯."

                    Why? Because copyright has been around for a couple of hundred years and generally seems to work pretty well. It's not perfect, but it would be a truly faith based more to kick it to the curb. My arguments are only that if you want to replace copyright with something, replace it with something better that has some facts behind it to make it go, and not just "get rid of it and we are all better" - there is no proof that it would be a good solution to anything!

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 4:55am

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

                      What is it with you and equating making changes to the existing system with throwing it away entirely? Exactly how is the current system of scaring potential pirates by suing people who obviously aren't the culprits, retroactively extending copyright far beyond the original author's lifespan, and allowing people to use the current system to shut down criticism and discussion supposed to be a good thing? This is the system you want perpetuated, unfettered?

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2016 @ 12:03am

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

                        And... we have crickets.

                        He thinks posting trollish shit, then running away and refusing to answer somehow makes his position not ridiculous or faith-based. He's the proverbial ostrich ducking its head in the sand.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2016 @ 5:43pm

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

                  Baseball bats are used to stifle life from time to time. It doesn't mean that we ban them

                  Neither does encryption, but going by your comment history, you have quite the passion for advocating everyone reducing their security to satisfy the wet dreams of a few politicians.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 6:39am

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

                  You still haven't provided any evidence that it's been working well at all yet there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. In fact Hollywood was built on piracy. Nice try though.

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

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 6:13am

      Re:

      The problem is in many ways WE JUST DON'T KNOW. Moving from what we have to something else that may or may not pan out (because nobody knows) is faith based at best. Saying to abolish copyright or to limit it to an extremely short period of time is faith based, pure and simple.

      You say we can't do that because "anything could happen".

      I say lets push the improbability drive switch because otherwise we are VERY DEFINITELY GOING TO DIE.

      (Aplogies to Douglas Adams)

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 6:03pm

      Re:

      "The problem is in many ways WE JUST DON'T KNOW."

      See, this is why people call you a troll. We do know that the current copyright terms are detrimental, the evidence is overwhelming. We also know the only people claiming otherwise are large corps who are only interested in protecting their cash cow. It's not artists who benefit, its the companies that hold their copyrights. Why else would they argue an artist's work needs protection decades after their death?

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 8:02am

    Actually, increasing the severity of the punishment may have the exact opposite effect and have people question the law itself. Just apply to a common crime and ask people. What do you think of life imprisonment for jaywalking? Most people will either be outraged or laugh it off as a joke. And then there's the fact that most people actually don't see a problem with file sharing (the infringement form behind these anti-piracy idiocies) meaning it is socially accepted. Same with marijuana. And the alcohol prohibition.

    My view is, let them make it a capital punishment and we'll see how fast copyright will crumble.

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

  • identicon
    Dan, 10 May 2016 @ 8:45am

    When I read the title I thought "¯\_(ツ)_/¯" was copyrighted.

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 9:30am

      Re:

      Then try giving a closer look (ಠ_ಠ ) to the following:

      Try using ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯

      Or maybe ¯\_ʕ͡°.͡°ʔ_/¯

      But maybe they're patented. Or tirade marked.

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

  • identicon
    Dan, 10 May 2016 @ 8:45am

    When I read the title I thought "¯\_(ツ)_/¯" was copyrighted.

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

  • icon
    Binko Barnes (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 9:09am

    In the past it was universally understood that copyright harms the public by limited access and preventing derivative works. But it was considered to be beneficial to grant creators a LIMITED copyright monopoly in order to provide incentives to create. The limited term was balanced against the public harm and was kept short (14 years with an optional renewal of another 14)

    But now, under a relentless barrage of corporate propaganda and influence purchasing most people have been brainwashed into believing that endless copyright is some sort of absolute right. The norm used to be that culture was universally available. But now culture is locked down, privately owned, and doled out to the public for maximum corporate profit.

    At this point, I consider the battle to be lost, the authoritarians and the enforcers have won. Copyright is a lost issue. There's too much money involved and money buys laws.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:26am

      Re:

      Not really. Hollywood sprang up where it did to avoid patents and copyright. Disney built itself on public domain, and almost immediately turned to predatory behavior.

      In fact copyright only got worse. The Statute of Anne of 1709 contained a (primitive) form of the First Sale Doctrine (a.k.a Exhaustion of Rights).

      It took until 1908 for the US to recognize it and it was only amended for imported foreign goods in 2013!!!
      Many Berne-adherent countries across the world DON'T EVEN HAVE a proper First Sale Doctrine in 2016.

      But sure, let's extend copyright some more! :O Lifetime + 75 years is clearly not enough. :DDDD

      In fact let's also expand copyright's scope to include ideas and the discovery of naturally occurring phenomena. :DDDD

      Oh the poor, poor pharmas! Oh the poor, poor CEOs! Oh the poor, poor lawyers! That third yacht ain't paying for itself
      after all.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 9:24am

    UK government should push for 25 to life. Maybe then the people will outrage and this sort of crap will stop (at least for a while).

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

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 9:25am

    "The Government believes that online offences should be treated no less seriously than their physical counterparts."

    Are they planning to increase the penalty for lifting a CD to $160.000 or 10 years in jail, or will the penalty for downloading an album be brought down to $10, then?

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

  • identicon
    Alan Turing, 10 May 2016 @ 9:31am

    parity

    The UK doesn't even put child molester rapist murderers away for ten years. WT living F?

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 9:36am

      Re: parity

      I can imagine a copyright maximalist saying:

      Those children who are victims need to learn how to get lawyers, and lobbyists, and learn how to work the political system in favor of their interests.

      (Yuk! I feel like taking a shower now.)

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

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 9:34am

    The effectiveness of this law

    Compare this law to raising the age to legally buy e-cigarettes to 21.

    Now if teenagers continue to buy e-cigs, then can really crack down by raising the legal purchase age to, say, 30. That will stop those teenagers from buying e-cigs.

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

  • identicon
    Louis IV, 10 May 2016 @ 9:43am

    just gonna leave this here

    Rick Falkvinge questions how far it needs to go before people realize enforcement won't stop copying when copying feels totally natural. He points to the situation a few centuries ago in France, where the king set up (and sold) monopolies on certain fabric patterns -- and when people kept copying the fabric patterns, they kept ratcheting up enforcement mechanisms until it was punishable by death. And out of that, sixteen thousand people ended up dying.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:37am

      Re: just gonna leave this here

      We probably won't get to death sentences... probably... I hope... :DDD

      But I could see them moving the penalties up. Maybe they'll even bribe, I mean lobby for harsher sentences for OTHER crimes, so they have a bigger roof to expand. /s

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:01am

    Sounds very British to me, remember pilliwinks, the iron maiden, the rack, or boiling. 7 years is reasonable, 20 years is a generation. Anything beyond that is worth fighting against, with any means at we the peoples disposal. Keep worshiping mammon, see how far it takes you. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:11am

    Obviously the paid prison corporations have moved to the UK and need to fill their cells...

    I'm not saying that the **AA and those in charge of running the paid prison systems are in cahoots, just that they see an opportunity to expand both of their profits.

    Prisons from the 10 year sentences and the **AA's from the corresponding monetary penalties (as I don't see anything removing the statutory 150K penalty, only adding an additional prison sentence).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:33am

      Re: Obviously the paid prison corporations have moved to the UK and need to fill their cells...

      What, you don't like good 'ole capitalism? You some kinda pinko commie?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re: Obviously the paid prison corporations have moved to the UK and need to fill their cells...

        I know it's sarcasm... well, I HOPE it's sarcasm, but this isn't what capitalism means.

        Capitalism does not entail absolute, anarchic, rights of property. While the people have no right to impose what one may do with/on their property, how one is allowed to spend their money, etc. there are still legal and moral limits.

        Kind of reminds me of GOP fans who want no taxation without realizing that they depend, daily in fact, on the fruit of said taxation. :P

        Wait... wait... I think I got it! If there is no taxation... there will only be, at most, a paper-thin government, funded from donations, at best. That means total freedom for them to do as they want, even moreso than today. :DDDD /s

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 12:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: Obviously the paid prison corporations have moved to the UK and need to fill their cells...

          Actually, the for-profit prison system is good example of capitalism in action. All nice and legal, too.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 10:35am

    Abolish Copyright

    It breeds tyranny, among other evils.

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 10:55am

    One small step

    This is just one small step in the "right direction" for infringement penalties; you can be sure that MPAA and RIAA are hoping and praying for a mandatory death penalty.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 11:13am

    All of you are so addicted to movies and music that you steal it. Then you complain about the people that create it and bring it to you.

    Go read up on the pathology of that behavior.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 10 May 2016 @ 12:41pm

    Is this funny or not

    1. LONG terms dont detur anything, except to force the criminal to USE GUNS, to stop others from arresting him..
    1.a. LONG terms only place the person in a position,, on release, to be into retirement, State assistance, dependent on the SYSTEM..no training, no experience, NOTHING..
    2. HOW many rich people GOTO JAIL?? LONG TERM??
    2.a. how many FALL guys are in jail insted of the Owners/CEO/Boss's...
    3. what do you learn in Jail/prison..NOTHING..nothing good.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 3:54pm

      Re: Is this funny or not

      This kinda reminds me of how Ferguson MO was shown to work after Michael Brown brought the place to international attention.

      1. Cops enforce minor laws strictly and frequently
      2. Courts: minor infractions get max penalties (fines)
      3. Sacrifice everything to pay & stay at subsistence, or
      3b. Fail to pay: harsher fine and/or jail time
      4. Brush with law = fewer job options
      5. Lower standard of living = more minor laws violated
      6. Only routes of survival: state aid or crime
      7. Fine people on aid = state collecting its own money
      7b. More crime = more money for cops & courts to 'fight' it

      This is actually a pretty nice, self-sustaining system... for authoritarian half-wits and sociopaths. They seem to be setting it up on all sorts of different scales, all over the world.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 12:58pm

    Even life in prison or death penalty will not stop file-sharing.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2016 @ 1:27pm

    Somehow I know for a fact that any members of the government/police forces or anyone with political/corporate or high social connections will be given an exemption instead of being charged.

    This will only be applied against those too poor to fight it.

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

  • identicon
    Ed, 10 May 2016 @ 5:24pm

    Pick your crime carefully

    So the UK government is actively encouraging shoplifting by enacting this law.

    Penalty for stealing a CD from a shop is a penalty notice and a fine of around £80. Penalty for staying at home and downloading a file from that CD is 10 years imprisonment.

    Obviously the message is "go out there and nick stuff from the shop".

    Probably part of the war on obesity.

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

  • icon
    Homer (profile), 11 May 2016 @ 7:17am

    You wouldn't steal a handbag...

    But if you did then you'd get a much more lenient punishment than if you committed the victimless "crime" of copyright infringement, which amounts to nothing more than the unsubstantiated presumption of some imaginary future loss.

    A "loss", incidentally, that is based on the fraudulent presumption of entitlement to monopolise the accretive results of other people's work.

    What a detestable racket the "IP" industry really is.

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

    • identicon
      Philly Buster, 11 May 2016 @ 9:41am

      Re: You wouldn't steal a handbag...

      ,which amounts to nothing more than the unsubstantiated presumption of some imaginary future loss.

      Isn't that the logic being pressed by the lads and lasses and their desparation for corporate sovereignty and the sueing of governments that don't award certain contracts??

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


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