How Years Of Copyright Maximalism Is Now Killing Pop Music

from the originality-is-a-con dept

Almost five years ago, we warned that years of copyright maximalists brainwashing the public about ever expansive copyright and the need for everything to be "owned" had resulted in the crazy Blurred Lines decision that said that merely being inspired by another artist to make a song that has a similar feel, even if it doesn't copy any actual part of the music, was infringing. We warned that this would lead to bad things -- and it has.

Over the last few years, we've been detailing story after story of similar cases being filed. It's become so common that we don't even bother to write about most of the cases. As we've said, though, this really is the industry reaping what they've sowed. It's gotten so crazy that even the RIAA (yes, that RIAA) has felt the need to tell courts that maybe their interpretation of copyright has gone too far in the direction of over-protecting copyright holders.

It's now become such a fact of life that the NY Times has a giant article on how copyright is basically eating pop music these days. It describes a bunch of these cases, and notes that merely "being influenced" makes you liable for copyright infringement, and how that's causing problems for the very concept of pop music:

That is, to put it plainly, bad news for pop stars, and the producers and songwriters who help them craft hits. They are now marks for frivolous litigation premised upon nebulous assertions as well as a complete and willful ignorance of how pop music is actually made.

Occasionally, pop innovates in a hard stylistic jolt, or an outlier comes to rapid prominence (see: Lil Nas X), but more often, it moves as a kind of unconscious collective. An evolutionary step is rarely the product of one person working in isolation; it is one brick added atop hundreds of others.

Originality is a con: Pop music history is the history of near overlap. Ideas rarely emerge in complete isolation. In studios around the world, performers, producers and songwriters are all trying to innovate just one step beyond where music currently is, working from the same component parts. It shouldn’t be a surprise when some of what they come up with sounds similar — and also like what came before.

The whole article is great, including this fantastic line:

It fails to make a distinction between theft and echo, or worse, presumes that all echo is theft. It ignores that the long continuum of pop revisits sonic approaches, melodies, beats and chord progressions time and again. It demands that each song be wholly distinct from everything that preceded it, an absurd and ultimately unenforceable dictate.

All echo is theft. That's definitely the argument that many copyright system supporters have made for years. And now it's coming back to bite them.

But here's the most frustrating part of all of this: even with that one RIAA filing admitting that sometimes copyright could go too far in over-protecting rightsholders, it's not stopping them or other copyright maximalist organizations from still pushing for more expansive, more draconian, more protective copyright reform. Get ready for it, because it's coming. There are efforts to import the EU's dreadful copyright directive, as well as a very strongly backed effort to get rid of the DMCA's safe harbors. And this is coming at a time when actual revenues for artists have continued to shoot skyward.

However, as with so much about copyright, this is all about third parties -- not the artists and creators themselves -- looking for their own monopoly rents. They're looking to figure out how to get a piece of the pie for literally doing absolutely nothing. But if something becomes successful, suddenly they all want a cut, and copyright maximalism has handed them the tools to get exactly that. And, as a result, pop music is under ongoing litigation assault. The labels are making money. The lawyers are making money... and, according to a new Rolling Stone article, the insurance companies are making money:

While some record labels may have the budget to hire on-call musicologists who vet new releases for potential copyright claims, smaller players who can’t afford that luxury are turning toward a tried-and-true form of protection: insurance. Lucas Keller — the founder of music management company Milk and Honey, which represents writers and producers who’ve worked with everyone from Alessia Cara and Carrie Underwood to 5 Seconds of Summer and Muse — recently began encouraging all his songwriter clients to purchase errors-and-omissions insurance, which protects creative professionals from legal challenges to their intellectual property. “We all feel like the system has failed us,” Keller says. “There are a lot of aggressive lawyers filing lawsuits and going ham on people.” (He’s particularly critical of publishers whose rosters are heavier on older catalogs than new acts: “Heritage publishers who aren’t making a lot of money are coming out of the woodwork and saying, ‘We’re going to take a piece of your contemporary hit.’ ”)

Under E&O policies, insurance companies can cover several million dollars of an artist’s costs if they lose a copyright lawsuit. Joe Charles, senior vice president at insurance provider Alliant Insurance Services, says that as many as half of his personal A-list music clients — a roster of stars who already pay for tour insurance and other standard entertainment-industry policies — have recently shown interest in E&O coverage. “When a major claim is all over the press, we’ll get 10 to 20 calls from musicians asking how they can protect themselves and what it will cost,” Charles says.

Notice that all this is money that is not going to the actual artists. The entire premise of the Rolling Stone article is basically that having a hit song is simply too expensive these days, because of bullshit copyright lawsuits that actually have a chance because copyright law has gone insane. Something is clearly broken here, and supporters of the copyright system need to admit that maybe they've gone too far.

Filed Under: blurred lines, copying, copyright, inspiration, insurance, lawsuits, liability, pop music


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  1. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 9:44am

    The History of Music

    300 BC to 1976, music develops.

    1976 Sony Bono puts his foot in his mouth.

    2014 Courts begin interpreting that all the music has been made and any 'new' music is infringing.

    2019 RIAA...Noooooooo!

    All dates approximate as they are more of a range than absolute.

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

  2. icon
    crade (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 9:45am

    Copyright Maximalism Is Now Killing Pop Music

    I'm so torn

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

  3. icon
    radix (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 9:47am

    It fails to make a distinction between theft and echo

    Ooof. The New York Times just lost that Teespring ad contract.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 9:55am

    Re: The History of Music

    300 BC to 1976, music develops.

    Your start for the development of music is off by about 40,000 years, see Bone flutes. Music is at least as as old a Homo Sapiens.

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

  5. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: The History of Music

    Thank you, now where is that edit button?

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

  6. icon
    aerinai (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:05am

    This is working exactly how RIAA wants it to...

    While they may feign being upset, adding all these additional hurdles and unexpected fees gives the people RIAA ACTUALLY represents more money. It makes the environment so toxic for an independent that they HAVE to sign to a label out of fear of having their creation taken away from other greedy labels, lawyers, and whoever else thinks they are entitled to free money for nothing.

    I mean... it is really a perfect model when you are trying to extract extortionate rents from the artists who really do all the work...

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

  7. icon
    Wyrm (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:06am

    ... and supporters of the copyright system need to admit that maybe they've gone too far.

    They do, when they are the victims. As quoted in this article, the RIAA did admit it once, which should send others the message that it has really gone too far.
    But that's the problem: they know it. They just won't admit that they were wrong and that things need to be rolled back. They prefer to fight on single cases such as "Blurred Lines", but not the overall issue.

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

  8. icon
    BeldansFire (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: The History of Music

    Can we make an estimate as to the day the music died?

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

  9. identicon
    bob, 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:22am

    worth of digital goods

    Yeah the NY Times article even has a link to royaltyexchange .com where you can own a portion of a royalty. I had no idea royalties could be divided up for sale like bitcoin. Seems their worth is just as likely to drop or raise on the whims of society as bitcoin does.

    What's truly crazy is that neither have any intrinsic value. Only what people think they should be worth at the time. And with music, especially pop, that value can change instantly.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:26am

    Re: The History of Music

    2014 Courts begin interpreting that all the music has been made and any 'new' music is infringing.

    American courts. Perhaps in 20 years we'll only have Chinese pop music.

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

  11. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:29am

    Copyright maximalists created this situation. They shouldn’t get to complain about how they kicked themselves in the ass as a result.

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

  12. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:33am

    I’ll tell you after me and my friends finish this whiskey and rye.

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

  13. icon
    Nathan F (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:33am

    How's that song go?

    Video killed the radio star?

    I'd say someone needs to release a song about how copyright killed the pop star... but they would just get sued into the ground by the Buggles.. or their estate holders.. and we would never actually get to hear it.

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

  14. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:36am

    Copyright Killed the Pop Music Scene, by “Weird Al” Yankovic

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

  15. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:37am

    'How about that, the water we chummed is filled with sharks...'

    Was just about to post that very thing. Sure a lawsuit happy arena is a pain and downright disastrous to artists, but primarily for smaller artists, those that don't have a label backing them to scare off or pay the parasites.

    With the threat of 'publish a song on your own that sounds a little too close to another and face a million dollar lawsuit, or sign with a label and avoid that' people are going to be much more likely to ditch self-publishing and go back to the gatekeepers, playing right into their hands.

    Given that they'd have to be nuts to object to the general trend or try to reverse it, as it's working out great for them.

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

  16. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    Other than the occasional incident when it affects them directly they have to reason to complain, as they couldn't have asked for a better result.

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

  17. icon
    Cdaragorn (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:39am

    Re: worth of digital goods

    What you're describing isn't actually the core of the problem. You've just discovered Economics, my friend.
    Nothing has "intrinsic value". All value is determined by the individual and therefore the "whims of society". This is more obvious in areas where haggling is more prominent but it's absolutely true everywhere. It's how the entire supply/demand curve works.
    Much of the issue with the value of digital goods is that they have consistently been massively overvalued. People tend to freak out when they see the low dollar points that come out of calculating things the way physical goods are when the cost of reproduction is literally 0 and overhead costs are in the sub-dollar ranges per month. They can't handle that and start insisting that "normal" prices must be applied here because reasons.

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

  18. identicon
    Baron von Robber, 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:44am

    Those guys from England were right!
    Pop Will Eat Itself

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

  19. icon
    Andrew (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:45am

    We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    Read "Melancholy Elephants" for a pretty humorous but accurate description of the endgame here....

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:55am

    Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    Nd here's the link to the story Direct from the Author himself.

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

  21. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 11:05am

    This is as far as I'll go with this.

    I heard your song back in the year 2002
    I learned to sing it so I'd sound a lot like you
    Your type of music is what I'd try to outdo

    Oh-ah-oh

    I made a song that sounds like yours the other day
    Nobody told me that it wouldn't be okay
    But when you sued me, it sure taught me the hard way

    Oh-ah-oh
    You wanted my head
    Oh-ah-oh
    And my career dead

    Copyright killed the pop music scene
    Copyright killed the pop music scene
    This outcome was not foreseen…

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

  22. icon
    rkhalloran (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The History of Music

    Obviously 3 Feb 1959, now where's my whisky & rye ....

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

  23. icon
    Bergman (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:31pm

    Re: This is working exactly how RIAA wants it to...

    These decisions won't make RIAA happy for very long, since there's a fundamental problem with the viewpoint that copyright protects ideas not expressions. And once the courts notice, then combined with recent precedents it has the potential to destroy just about all music copyrights, everywhere.

    Music is iterative.

    The thing that illegal copying and theft have in common is that neither one confers ownership. If courts are ruling that the current generation of musicians are violating copyright because they utilize new expressions of the same idea, then those older expressions of those ideas cannot be copyrighted either, because they in turn infringe the copyrights of older expressions!

    And if copyright protects ideas, not expressions, the fact that some of those protected ideas are older than their creator's life plus 70 years combined with copyright violation not conferring ownership means that NOTHING is copyrighted!

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:46pm

    Manufactured pop stars being brought down by their own makers, how appropriate. The best part of this debacle is that it's mostly impacting the very same legacy music industry that is responsible for it. The independent music scene is still growing exponentially, with no signs of slowing down.

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

  25. icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:55pm

    Re: The History of Music

    Sonny Bono was responsible for the 1996 copyright extension, not the original 1976 disaster.

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

  26. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: The History of Music

    I thought the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act was in 1998, not 1996…

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

  27. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 1:01pm

    Re:

    It still doesn't justify the "Blurred Lines" decision, though.

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 1:08pm

    Re:

    The independent music scene is still growing exponentially, with no signs of slowing down.

    But those musicians will be attacked in the same way as soon as the make enough money that they can pay most of the damages. Also, because of lack of money, how many have been driven out of the business by threats of law suites that they cannot afford to fight.

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

  29. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Also, because of lack of money, how many have been driven out of the business by threats of law suites that they cannot afford to fight.

    More than that, how many won't even try to enter the business for fear of a lawsuit bringing financial ruin should they write a song that sounds too 'similar' to another one? How many would-be musicians won't even bother because it's simply not worth the risk, and move on to other things, eliminating any chance for the music they had or would have created to be heard and enrich culture?

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

  30. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: This is working exactly how RIAA wants it to...

    Sadly I suspect you are expecting far more rationality than could be reasonably expected from the courts with regards to copyright, because as numerous cases on TD alone have shown nothing causes quite as much insanity as The Holy Copyright.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 2:34pm

    Re: worth of digital goods

    All the financial markets work the same way, even if some instruments have a spot of intrunsic value, deep down. That same value can also be erased, for all practical purposes, by the markets.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 2:35pm

    Re: This is as far as I'll go with this.

    ok, you win some internets for this today

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

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 2:39pm

    Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    "To me, filthy assistants!"

    Oops, wrong Spider.

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

  34. identicon
    bob, 13 Jan 2020 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    That's a good short story.

    But why did he delete the tapes? Knowing that we aren't creating but instead rediscovering doesn't sound like a big problem to me.

    I would think that that knowledge would be accepted by the populous and forgotten over 100s of years.

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

  35. icon
    BernardoVerda (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: This is working exactly how RIAA wants it to...

    Except, eventually you get to the point where the court declares that nobody who wants to complain has standing to pursue the matter?

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

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 6:07pm

    Re:

    There's no need to be torn. Copyright maximalism is joined to pop music at the hip.

    Once copyright maximalism kills off enough funding and interest in pop music they'll have nothing to maximalize their copyright on. And what that happens, in the words of Pikasprey Yellow, "I guarantee that the life in their eyes will fade away in the most satisfying way imaginable."

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

  37. icon
    MikeVx (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 7:33pm

    The movie industry has been feeling this for years.

    The steady churn of remakes/reboots/sequels in the motion picture industry (sometimes "motion putrid" seems more appropriate) owes a fair bit to this same effect. It is safer to remake/mutate something you already own rather than risk getting sued because someone once had an idea that came within screaming distance of yours.

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

  38. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 4:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The History of Music

    "Can we make an estimate as to the day the music died?"

    No specific date...but I'd say the day after a court recognizes the four chords as being copyrighted.

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 5:16am

    Copyright induced self censorship. Nice.

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

  40. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 5:23am

    Re: Re: Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    "But why did he delete the tapes? Knowing that we aren't creating but instead rediscovering doesn't sound like a big problem to me."

    Because you aren't a creator by profession and/or calling. Let's assume every christian, jew, muslim and hindu manage to obtain mathematical proof that God does not exist and that every prayer they have ever uttered was simply a deluded person talking to thin air.

    Care to guess the extent of the chaos?
    I like to call copyright a cult, because it is. A religion centered around the tenets of control and ownership over some immaterial concept that you must take on faith is unique and indivisible and sprang wholly formed from the inner depths of your soul after extensive and laborious effort.

    The RIAA and MPAA have made it their lives work to convince artists and hopefuls that this is sacred truth...
    ...so at the end of that everyone invested in art would have to realize that, in fact, their work is about as unique as flipping burgers or working an assembly line.

    If the copyright cult hadn't fostered belief in copyright and the creative process to the point where it actually makes up a new religion then artists and creators might move on and settle for "This sounds damn fine" or "I could do this piece better".

    But we live in an age where that belief is taken so seriously that a german rock band will pursue a ten-year litigation case against another artist because there are two seconds worth of industrial noise from the german bands tune in the work of the new artist.

    If I was a US senator and actually cared about a few million special snowflakes with fragile egos going berserk or suiciding, then I'd probably erase that recording too.

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

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 5:41am

    Re: This is as far as I'll go with this.

    This outcome was not foreseen…

    If I may suggest an additional line:

    But they made some nice dough inbetween...

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

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 6:42am

    "copyright maximalism is killing pop music"

    Wtf, I love copyright maximalism now.

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: This is working exactly how RIAA wants it to...

    And if copyright protects ideas, not expressions, the fact that some of those protected ideas are older than their creator's life plus 70 years combined with copyright violation not conferring ownership means that NOTHING is copyrighted!

    Lol, that's cute - those ideas didn't legally exist until the copyright was filed. And even if they did exist, the inventor is dead and can't sue. So no new ideas until 70 years after all current copyright holders are dead!

    Consulting payments for this and further ideas can be made to Trolling Rent-Seekers, LLC. We accept cash, credit or salt. Can't wait to hear from the RIAA.

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

  44. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The History of Music

    Bad news for these guys, apparently.

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

  45. identicon
    bob, 14 Jan 2020 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    If the copyright cult hadn't fostered belief in copyright and the creative process to the point where it actually makes up a new religion then artists and creators might move on and settle for "This sounds damn fine" or "I could do this piece better".

    I'm an engineer by trade so yeah, "I could do this piece better" is very natural to me. Engineers are always thinking of better ways to do things. Which would explain why the notion of artistic creation like you said wouldn't have occurred to me.

    Thanks for the explanation.

    Would your description of copyright as a religion also apply to the real world? I dont personally believe so. I dont think people (even copyright maximalists) believe that copyright signifies the belief that the creation came from solely the one person and is indivisible. I would think it is more about how much money they can make as well as the prestige of being known to have done something of note.

    Without copyright people create anyway, they just may not be able to support their lifestyle by just creating.

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

  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    Most of the copyright maximalist are corporations. They are the people that attack the Internet using piracy as an excuse, but their real issue is that they are losing control over what is published, and with it their ability to make a profit. They well know that copyright is not a driver of creativity, as they reject far more original works that they ever accept for publication. They are scared that without copyright their businesses would be washed away by a flood of self published works.

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

  47. identicon
    CharlieBrown, 14 Jan 2020 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The History of Music

    That's exactly what I was thinking as I finished reading the article. Here is, IMHO, a better version of that mashup (its live) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I

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

  48. identicon
    CharlieBrown, 14 Jan 2020 @ 2:58pm

    Re:

    Home taping failed.

    Now the record industry is killing music.

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

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    Without copyright people create anyway, they just may not be able to support their lifestyle by just creating.

    This suggestion doesn't really make sense to me. Copyright by itself doesn't lead to money rolling in. You can license something for distribution, sure. But the copyright on the content doesn't make the product worth more for the consumer. It's why copyright lengths are completely silly. Copyright lasting 70 years after death doesn't motivate more creation than 50 years after death.

    As for a supported lifestyle, not everyone who's a copyright holder is going to live it up like Robert Downey Jr..

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

  50. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    ... and now I'm going to have to read that series again. Look what you've gone and done.

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

  51. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 10:46pm

    Re: The History of Music

    People will always listen to music, just as they have since some caveman banged stones together in a way that pleased the tribe. It's the second caveman that we have to watch out for, the one who walked up and told the tribe that only the stones he licensed would be permitted

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

  52. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 12:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    "Would your description of copyright as a religion also apply to the real world? I dont personally believe so. I dont think people (even copyright maximalists) believe that copyright signifies the belief that the creation came from solely the one person and is indivisible."

    Sadly, it does hold up in the real world. When I read what copyright adherents say out loud what comes to mind is the speech and body language of an iranian mullah or pulpit thumping western priest exhorting the virtues and commandments of the One True God.

    "I would think it is more about how much money they can make as well as the prestige of being known to have done something of note."

    Similar to the medieval church i often compare the copyright cult to, the top layer is primarily vested in money and control, naturally. But look at Sonny bono for a good example of people who take for granted that they should retain full control over information in someone else's possession that bono (in every other area considered philanthropic) blurted out his admiration for China's state censorship and rhetorically asked why we couldn't adopt the same model to enforce copyright.

    Here's the thing. bono isn't an undiluted asshole or fascist. He just has a conviction which makes him ignore what factual reality and common sense is telling him. That, in my book, is faith.

    "Without copyright people create anyway, they just may not be able to support their lifestyle by just creating."

    With copyright some 99% of all creators still can't support their lifestyle by just creating. That calculation remains the same whether copyright exists or not. That the copyright cult (RIAA/MPAA/BSA/Etc) keep spinning a different story is what has so many of them believing, with all their heart that if it weren't for "piracy" then somehow their self-perceived genius would let them live well just doing what they want to do.

    Copyright is hyped and presented to deny the hard, unshakable fact that "Many are called but few are chosen" is still the golden rule when it comes to being an artist. It's a religious belief, all right.

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

  53. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 1:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The History of Music

    Yup. Axis of Awesome did a wonderful demonstration of just HOW unoriginal music really is.

    We're talking about what, a hundred hits from as many different bands, all based on the same configuration of chords?

    The blurred lines decision is a tool the RIAA is really afraid of using because even they must be aware that its a legal MAD.

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

  54. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 2:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson story

    Would your description of copyright as a religion also apply to the real world? I dont personally believe so. I dont think people (even copyright maximalists) believe that copyright signifies the belief that the creation came from solely the one person and is indivisible. I would think it is more about how much money they can make as well as the prestige of being known to have done something of note.

    "Religion" is not confined to monotheism. Take a look at some of the others.

    The religion of copyright is faith-based exclusivism; the belief that if you conform to the prescribed rituals*, you will achieve salvation, where "salvation" means "Huge piles of dosh you can swim in like Scrooge McDuck."

    The prescribed rituals include

    • getting signed up to a publishing/record company
    • signing your copyright over to them in exchange for promotion and distribution
    • releasing recorded or published items within segmented markets
    • touring to promote sales of copies of the recorded or published items
    • issuing statements condemning unauthorised copying

    Woe unto the infidel, who doth not believe in the Almighty Copyright, the Holy Trademark, or in the doctrine of Ever-expanding Terms. Behold, he will be subject to infringement claims and speculative invoicing even unto the third and fourth generation.

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

  55. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 2:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: We're finally living a Spider Robinson s

    Copyright is hyped and presented to deny the hard, unshakable fact that "Many are called but few are chosen" is still the golden rule when it comes to being an artist. It's a religious belief, all right.

    Indeed, and pirates are the devil, who will be cast into eternal denial of internet access at home if they exceed the Three Strikes rule, amen.

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

  56. icon
    restless94110 (profile), 16 Jan 2020 @ 3:12pm

    Insane

    It is literally insane how informative and right you can be on copyright issues, but then flip and be completely crazy when talking about Trump or litigants like Devin Nunes. Nunes will succeed just like the Covington Kid has done. It's coming.

    I wish you would have more articles about copyright tyranny and NO articles about Trump or individuals who are fighting slander and libel (which you are against, meaning you are totally cool with slander and libel if you don't like the people being slandered and libeled.) It makes you look stupid. Utterly.

    And blind to boot. I hope that you somehow drop your nonsense and concentrate on copyright abuses among other things. An extra bonus would be that you strongly support Nunes in suing the fock out of slanderous crazed lunatics that don't care about truth.

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

  57. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 16 Jan 2020 @ 8:58pm

    Yet another victim...

    The magic code strikes again, forcing yet another victim to read articles against their will! Truly, the world can but hope that TD never inflicts their mind-controlling powers against the populace at large, lest they too be forced to read things that they don't like.

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


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