"Everyone wants stuff for free" is true and should be an integral part of these policy discussions. "Everyone just wants stuff for free" is not true and should not be the basis of policy.
The reality is that right now, many people choose to get gobs of convenient content for free, and most of those people also choose to pay for some content in various forms. This has been going on for a long time. Content still generates tons of cashflow. It's in different configurations than before, but the money is still all there, notwithstanding wages not keeping pace with inflation and debt.
What needs to be abandoned in these discussions is the notion that this longstanding reality - that not all content needs to be licensed and paid for ad infinitum - is an unsustainable situation which government needs to put an immediate and total stop to, or even curb to some degree. Likewise, pitting every proposal against the binary choice of strictly paying for every use and experience of content, versus no payment or enforcement for anything, is utter nonsense. And as we repeatedly point out here, it is counterproductive to regard as a hostile adversary every consumer who expects certain things - or anything - to be free.
Yet, the copyright maximalists have long dominated Congress's ear and have very well established these strict, absolute parameters for the conversation. It will require creative thinking to get lawmakers to understand that progress will come from realizing it is their duty to abandon this polarized framing of the issues.
A much more realistic starting point for policy is to acknowledge that the public fully expects that certain kinds of uses of content need not be licensed or subject to fees, and that most people draw some kind of distinction between the acceptability of unlicensed commercial and noncommercial uses. This has been manifesting in people's actual behavior for decades, and is supported by polls and the surge of democratized, creative output. Lawmakers and industry need to stop fighting these expectations and developments; these changes need to be enshrined and protected by law, not punished.
Re: Re: WHOA! Stop at: "everyone just wants stuff for free".
I look at it like the copyright industries have spent decades getting us to treat content as nothing but a commodity. They have drilled into our heads that nothing else matters but the money. It's not art, it's not work product, it's not culture, it's not ideas. So now that's exactly what we all do: treat it as a pure commodity. And that means that we sometimes get to determine the market value of the content to be less than what they want it to be. Oh well.
Sounds to me like he was deliberately sold a product which could not legally be used to do the things it was sold for
As the linked court opinion notes, the grain elevator sold the seed for the ordinary use of consumption, not the extraordinary use of planting. I think warranty of merchantability would only apply if the seed were unfit for the ordinary use of consumption.
That fact that I can't imagine any politician, let alone law enforcer, nowadays saying anything like "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" really makes me wonder how bad things are going to get. The next big terrorist attack may well succeed at causing us to destroy ourselves.
This pretending-to-be-stupid applies just as well to the farces of streaming, DRM, and copy protection.
We are expected, by the copyright industry and its enablers like Congress, Spotify, Google, etc.; to pretend that the data flowing through devices we own is not ours to do with as we please; to pretend that we can't decrypt, unwrap, demux, save to disk, or otherwise recontextualize the content. We are expected to pretend we are so stupid, we can only handle being told where to enter our credit card numbers and personal info, and where to click to access the music or movie or e-book. We are told to pretend that any technology the content industry doesn't want us to have, doesn't, shouldn't, and mustn't exist, and that sharing such technology amongst ourselves, just like sharing the content amongst ourselves, is a crime and is wrong. Oh, and we must pretend that only the government and industry-approved devices can break digital locks.
My understanding is that she wrote Mockingbird after friends & family encouraged and subsidized the couple of years she spent on it, and she didn't write again mainly just because she hated the limelight. Maybe that's related to fear of criticism/failure, who knows.
We can speculate as to what degree copyright and the promise of a lifetime-plus of royalties played in her life and career choices, but to be fair, she doesn't owe the public anything, nor has she made the kind of arguments we're railing against here, and her current dispute has nothing to do with it. I hope I didn't imply those things.
Like I said, I just think of her when I hear defenders of copyright, in litigation and legislation, insist that creativity depends on long, strongly enforced terms.
Rather than begging the question, I'd say this was a straw man. We did not argue that she shouldn't have had any copyright at all, but your reply is written as if we did.
Regardless, you suggest she only wrote the book because she knew she could get (at the time) 56 years'-worth of royalties. I believe that it would still have been written even if she could've only gotten, say, 10 years'-worth. Since writing was her true calling, maybe even less than that. And I believe that the prospect of the gravy train coming to an end so "soon" would've helped motivate her to bestow more great works upon the public.
This is exactly my problem with Harper Lee. I mean, it's a shame that someone has taken advantage of her, and I do hope she gets this matter resolved. But although she's someone who said that writing was her true calling, her literary output has been a bit underwhelming. In fact, she's exactly who comes to my mind whenever someone insists that long and strongly enforced copyright terms are necessary to encourage new creations by the most talented artists. What has she been encouraged to do? She wrote exactly one book, then kicked back and lived off the royalties for over 50 years.
Under the copyright law in effect at the time she wrote it, it would be slated to enter the public domain in 2016, I think, so Pinkus wouldn't have as much incentive to swindle the little old lady in her twilight years. Had it entered the public domain sooner, the swindle wouldn't have happened at all, and she may well have had an incentive to contribute more great works to society.
No, that's wrong. Copyright only applies to certain kinds of works, and only to the extent that it's used in certain ways. To say that a work is "copyrighted" doesn't mean that every possible use, such as butt-wiping, is only allowed by the copyright owner and licensees. Rather, it implies only that certain kinds of uses of that work (copying, distribution, etc.) are protected. Fair use law explicitly declares that a subset of these uses (like copying an excerpt for criticism) are beyond the scope of copyright altogether. It's not about equity, and it's not about using something in a certain way despite the rights that someone has over it (there is no "anyway"). It's about that person not having all the rights over the work that they think they do.
Copyright is not just about which works that copyright applies to, it's about certain kinds of uses of those works. The law (U.S., at least) limits the works that are covered, and it limits the types of uses that are covered. Thus, fair use is not "I know this work is covered by copyright, but..."—it's "I know that many uses of this work are protected by copyright, but this particular use is not".
That part of Mike's analysis leapt out at me as being somewhat off-the-mark, too. I'm no more of a lawyer than Mike, but it seems your response isn't completely correct, either. Or rather, it's a matter of philosophy: if a court has not weighed in on it, is a given use (like the Kind of Bloop cover art) definitely either infringement or fair use? Or is it neither?
Fair use puts a limit on what copyright covers. Certain kinds of uses are not, as the copyright maximalists would have us believe, "permissible infringement", but rather are just things that copyright doesn't even encompass; there can be no infringement in those situations, as there's no exclusive right upon which to infringe, and no license to seek.
But the plaintiff in a copyright infringement lawsuit asserts, implicitly, that the defendant's use is not one of these outside-the-realm-of-copyright situations. It is up to the defendant to convince the court otherwise, so it's hard to see how anyone could say it's not a defense.
That said, I don't see how it can be said that infringement has occurred, unless there is a judicial finding or admission of infringement. A prima facie showing of infringement is neither of those things. It is a modestly supported accusation, an assertion that something looks like infringement.
I can say you did something which infringed upon some right of mine, and offer some evidence that you indeed did commit the act which I say is infringing, but unless you admit to infringement, it's up to the court to say that yes you did commit the act and yes that act infringed upon my rights. Until then, the infringement is just, like, your opinion, man.
From the (big) copyright owners' perspective, there's no need to define anything. They would be quite happy to charge for a license for every one of those incidental copies, no matter how fragmented, inaccessible, and transitory they are. Hasn't this been part of their m.o. in the anti-DVR cases?
MPAA member companies welcome a continuation of the ongoing discussion of the importance of copyright. We welcome a discussion based on facts, experience, and rational analysis.
I was unaware there was ongoing discussion of this nature. As far as I can tell, the MPAA makes no effort to avail itself to anyone who wants to debate its positions, in any way, ever. Perhaps there was a typo, and they meant to say ungoing discussion.
Re: This is AGAIN the use of RARE anomalies to attack...
you're ready to undermine 200 years of good because you want to watch some silly movies for free
Straw man. Some here do advocate for abolishing copyright and patent law, but most prefer reform.
If the copyright framework leads to injustice, no matter how much "good" also comes from it, then something needs to change. It is therefore not wrong to gripe about the abuses that come to light, nor is it wrong to advocate for reform. It is not immoral to question the myths and foundational philosophy of copyright, and copyright's conflict with the public interest, public rights, changes in public opinion, and advances in technology. It is not wrong to challenge the self-serving power grabs by the copyright exploitation industry, or the abuses of copyright by those who want to avoid embarrassment or silence critics. It is, in fact, a noble and constructive endeavor.
Championing the status quo, with all its overreach and abuse by the entrenched industries which have come to rely on exploitation of others' creative labor, not so much.
every one of you every day enjoys the artistic and entertainment creations that are only possible in a legal framework where the profits from creations are protected
Certainly there are creations that exist specifically to generate revenue within the copyright system, but these things exist and continue to be created despite flagrant disregard for the system among non-commercial users, especially on the Internet. People are already "watching silly movies for free" in staggering numbers, while the motion picture industry posts record box-office takes and revenues every year.
Decriminalizing what the public already is doing wouldn't have the devastating effects you predict on the industry, because the public is already acting as if it isn't a crime. So the "problem" of piracy is not a problem at all, and it could be "solved" with the stroke of a pen.