I didn't think "progress" needed to be defined, but since I'm apparently the one to take the time, the object of the Copyright Act of 1790 was the "encouragement of learning."
It also only lasted 14 years and you had to register your creation with the Copyright Office, and could be renewed for an additional 14 years, but hey, that's the same as over a hundred years automatically, right? Beyond the lifetime of everyone for which the creation is relevant makes complete sense.
This needs to be repeated more often. Complete focus on short-term profits has destroyed the world economy. We really need to get out of this "slash-and-burn" mindset where we milk every company for maximum profit until they collapse, then move on to the next. While doing so makes a few people rich, most people are just losing out and the economy as a whole suffers.
I don't really see this happening with Google any time soon but I suppose anything is possible.
The article isn't about a contradiction in the facts of the case. As Mike points out in the original article:
The case involves what appears to be a fairly straightforward question: can a patent holder demand royalties after a patent has expired. The obvious answer to this question is "hell no." And, in fact, that's exactly what the Supreme Court itself said in 1964 in Brulotte v. Thys Co.
Nobody is arguing that this is wrong or even a contradiction (the opposite, in fact, which is why the case has gone nowhere). There is some case law that makes it slightly unclear (hence the only reason it's in court at all) but Mike pointed that out as well.
The issue is the irony of Disney's statement that "modern developments underscore the need to protect the public domain [from patent royalties] that would accumulate forever." This is from a company that has heavily lobbied for extensions of copyright terms from the more reasonable 28 or 42 years to 75 years or life of the author plus 50 years then to 95/120 years or life of the author plus 70 years. This was specifically designed to prevent its own intellectual property from entering the public domain.
So, for a company that his historically fought tooth-and-nail to prevent their own products from entering the public domain to point out how important it is to ensure other people's products enter the public domain in a reasonable amount of time is hilarious.
It's like North Korea calling out the United States for human rights violations. Technically they're correct, however, their own policies make the accusation ironic considering the stance of the source.
That's all that happened here; Mike called out Disney for encouraging a stance that, historically, they've done everything they can to avoid. It's ironic, nothing more. Disney is going to win their court case (and should). They still have a stranglehold on Mickey Mouse for perfectly legal (but ridiculous) reasons.
If anything, modern developments underscore the need to protect the public domain from the aggregate toll of patent royalties that would accumulate forever. - Disney Lawyers
Now, put that into the context of a company that has lobbied heavily throughout it's entire history for extending the duration of intellectual property protections.
Now, go back to the quote where they talk about protecting the public domain from trolls that want their royalties to "accumulate forever." Now think about how Disney has spent millions of dollars trying to ensure that their own ownership of Mickey Mouse accumulates forever.
I know, sometimes irony is a difficult thing to grasp. This is complicated, high level stuff, and it's not something that was even argued in court! I know it's hard for you to accept that there are truths that haven't been determined by court precedent. Sadly, irony is not yet settled case law (but probably should be).
But it's real, and it applies here. You're completely hung up on the details of this specific case, in that the patent had already expired, so clearly the royalties should not continue (which is obvious to you, obvious to Mike, and obvious to the courts).
But that isn't relevant to the irony; the point is that Disney has claimed in court that extending patent protection indefinitely is a bad thing when they've argued for extending copyright protection since the company founded. I know you can't see it, but that's your lack of imagination and intelligence, not Mike's.
The point is that we have two situations. The first situation is one where Disney lobbies heavily for copyright extensions designed to keep their creation out of the public domain. The second situation is, after licensing someone else's patent, Disney is arguing that it's important for creations to enter the public domain.
Of course the positions are consistent, from a greedy "what's best for me" position. They like extensions to intellectual property when it's their intellectual property, but they like when things enter the public domain so they can scoop them up (and then probably try and protect the rights from others).
The point is that it's ironic that one of the biggest lobbyists arguing to extend IP protection for as long as possible is currently arguing in court that they should be able to utilize an expired patent without paying royalties to the creator.
Either way, you are again looking at things purely from a legal standpoint and not from a reality standpoint. This article makes perfect sense to someone who isn't only looking at the legal arguments. Legally, Disney is "correct."
But that doesn't mean they're not still giant hypocrites.
I guess my point is that if you leave something unsecured on your public-access property with no sign or lock indicating it is not for public use then you would naturally assume other people could use it. That would be like having a water fountain outside your business and then arresting people for using it because it's for "employees only" even though there's no sign or other restriction on use.
Complaining to the police costs nothing for the business, but they shouldn't even be able to complain about it. The police aren't free and hopefully have more important things to do, like stop or deter actual crimes. My issue is that using a public outlet shouldn't be a crime unless you've made it obvious that it's not for public use, and if it isn't a crime, the police should not be allowed to get involved.
This is a double standard and it needs to be exposed and forbidden. No regular citizen would be charged with a crime for using public outlets; in fact, using public outlets to charge phones and computers is incredibly common in coffee shops, book stores, and other small businesses. I've never seen anyone ask for permission or seen a sign allowing it, both indoors and outdoors.
The homeless have enough issues without adding ridiculous legal charges.
DRM is sort of like most of the major broadband companies; a crappy service that everyone hates but is the only way to get the product they want. So they deal with it because there isn't a viable alternative.
The sad part is that DRM does almost nothing, for physical products or software. Physical products are easily broken by mechanical or electronic fixes, and software is easily broken by hex editors and a bit of creative thinking (or not even that much, since most software DRM uses similar methods that are equally easy to crack).
The fact is that if you give a human being an object they'll eventually be able to take it apart and modify it. The only way to prevent people from messing with your stuff is to simply not give it to them or scare them into not messing with it. That's why the only "effective" DRM is the type used in MMOs; since the game server is owned and managed by the developers it's very difficult, if not impossible, to replicate the game by breaking its DRM (you can hack accounts to gain access or even create your own server, but you won't be replicating the standard user experience). Other than server-reliant video games virtually all other software I know of has either been cracked or has the potential to be cracked.
For anyone who's used a crack (before all the "pirate!" cries I'd like to point out that cracks are often used on legally purchased software) you know that they are easy to use and rarely cause issues. DRM likely causes more issues for paying customers than it does for pirates.
DRM feels good to the executives who demand it. It's an easy way to pretend they're doing something to prevent "theft." In reality DRM does nothing to protect against copyright infringement; it's easily circumvented and copyright infringement is illegal (or legal) regardless of DRM.
DRM has one other purpose: abusing the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA in order to make otherwise legal uses of a product illegal. And while it hasn't really held up well for physical products it certainly makes legal uses of software into a litigation landmine. The goal is to create a chilling effect on legal, but not necessarily supported, uses of your product.
Pirates aren't concerned with this. Competitors, however, are very concerned. People attempting to innovate legal-but-not-supported uses for existing products can easily be shut down or frightened into inaction by DRM.
Which, of course, is the whole point. Maybe there are some executives out there that truly believe piracy is "killing" their industry but they're the dumb ones. The rest preach anti-piracy but their real goal is anti-competition. After all, competition makes you have to do irritating things like deliver a decent product at a reasonable price while treating your customers well.
Meanwhile they will point out imaginary "losses" to piracy to keep legislators and the public focused on a scapegoat that literally cannot be "beaten." It's a fantastic system for them; whenever the debate moves towards the anti-competitive, anti-consumer practices they've built their business on, they can just call all their opponents "pirates" and gain imaginary moral high ground. And it works.
The biggest losers in all of this, of course, are artists. It's easy to convince them that people are stealing their work and then be the "good guy" that will protect them from all the "bad guys" by going after those mean old pirates. All you have to do is sign up with us and give away us 70% or more of your profits along with all your rights to your work. You even have a 1% chance of being one of our sponsored "stars" decided by our executive boards. What a fantastic deal!
Is anyone surprised they don't want this money train to end?
Um, I have a question...what are those outlets for? I've plugged electronic devices into external outlets on numerous occasions. It's not like I'm unplugging another device, there usually isn't a cover and/or lock, and certainly no sign. If you have a public building with exposed outlets with no "Not For Public Use" sign I find it ludicrous that you can complain about people using them.
This is simply another case where the homeless get charged with laws that don't apply to other citizens, such as how long you can stand in one spot or what businesses you can enter.
According to Wikipedia, DRM is a class of technologies that are used by hardware and software manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders, and individuals with the intent to control the use of digital content and devices after sale.
So I would apply the "devices" category to this situation, similar to hardware/software switches designed to prevent rooting a phone or installing Linux or your Playstation. The DRM has little to do with copyright and everything to do with using their device in the way the manufacturers "intended." And the term is commonly used any time an electronic mechanism is utilized to prevent behavior in a device that it is otherwise capable of doing, such as using off-brands of ink/cleaner/coffee, rooting/jailbreaking, or running otherwise compatible but not "official" software.
In this specific case I do not believe "planned obsolescence" applies because planned obsolescence implies a mechanical or other failure of some sort, such as an inferior piece breaking. If the creator had used ridiculously cheap LEDs that simply broke down after a month, that would be planned obsolescence.
That's not the case here. The hardware works fine. It simply has an electronic switch that tells the device not to turn on once a completely arbitrary time has been met. In this case, much like you have the "right" to use off-brand components that physically fit into and are technically compatible with your device, you have the "right" to turn on a perfectly functional device you bought. It's a purely digital restriction that prevents you from doing so, hence "Digital Rights Management."
Maybe it's splitting hairs, but hey, you started it =).
I've been thinking about this statement because I recognize nothing in it.
I think it's a personality type thing. For many people (primarily extroverts) talking and interacting about a TV show is one of the primary draws of that show. For others (primarily introverts like me) unless the conversation has something to do with deep intellectual concepts behind the show I'm not particularly interested.
Also, I'd only go to the water cooler to get a cheap plastic cone of water, certainly not to talk about TV shows or anything else. So maybe I'm not the best representative =).
For Steam, have you tried the queues, which show a list of games you may be interested in and/or are popular? Signed up for curators for genres or reviewers you like? Checked the "recently updated" list (sometimes you'll find games that were interesting but still unfinished and you can see a big patch that makes them better)? What about the sales pages, or recommendation pages (popular, new, upcoming, etc)?
Of all the services I've used for content I find Steam is probably the best at letting me find stuff I'm interested in. I'm somewhat surprised you used Steam as an example of something that doesn't give you enough ways to explore content (this is actually one of my biggest issues with GOG; hard to find games I'm interested in, otherwise a fantastic service).
From the link, one of the things that cannot be registered with Content-ID:
•music or video that was licensed, but without exclusivity
So UMG violated Google's Content-ID rules when they added the artist's music. Too bad there's no actual penalty for doing so. The "loophole" they likely used was the fact that the audiobook itself was exclusively licensed. The system can't tell the difference between the exclusive audiobook and the licensed music.
The reality is that this entire system probably doesn't involve a single human being until the appeals stage, if then. Even the 30 day wait and rejection is likely automated. That way, even if there was an error, UMG gets 30 days monetization for no effort. Since there's no penalty for a false claim, this is free money.
Sucks for the artist, but hey, he's just one of probably thousands being screwed but too afraid or ignorant of the process to speak out.
UMG rectified the mistake. Have you rectified your mistake of stealing from artists for years?
I didn't think so.
Did UMG pay back all the revenue they received from Bjorn's video during the period which they'd stolen it? No?
Then the mistake has not been rectified. Also, to my knowledge, I have never taken a signal revenue stream from another individual or company for content I did not own, so no, I have not rectified any imaginary mistakes.
Re: Yet you advocate: "sit back and let [minor] players claim your stuff"
There's also a fundamental difference between monetizing something you specifically own ("your stuff") and something that you generally created ("your intellectual property"). It may seem like it's splitting hairs, but there's a HUGE difference between the two.
In the case of file lockers, even if you assume all the bad things you're obviously assuming and ignoring how they actually work, at worst they are providing a new copy of something you created. If, for example, a musician sells their music on iTunes, and that song is available on Megaupload, their music is still available on iTunes. In other words, if someone chooses to do so, they can still pay the artist.
In this case, however, it's as if Megaupload went into iTunes and took all the sales from the artist. UMG monetized the creator's own video, literally taking ownership of their revenue source. This is very different both emotionally (how it feels to have your stuff taken) and functionally (the artist's primary revenue stream was directly taken away).
The reason it's "your stuff" is because UMG didn't make a copy of the video. They didn't upload a copy of the original video and monetize the new video. They took rights and money directly from the artist's original video and account. And, once they finally "solved" the dispute, UMG literally walks off with all that revenue and no penalty.
There's plenty of other reasons why it's different, but that's the most obvious one.
It's not really a misrepresentation. The burden of proof is effectively still on the accused. This is because all UMG really had to do was threaten to go forward with the lawsuit and they would have "won."
Why? The artist probably could afford even the initial legal proceedings, and UMG lawyers could have delayed until he couldn't afford to fight anymore. And even if it did end up in court (or, more likely, dismissed in favor of the artist) he still would have been financially ruined and UMG would be mildly irritated, if they even noticed. And, during the entire dispute and appeals process, UMG is still getting the artist's ad revenue.
UMG got some money from the artist, had no penalty for the theft, and decided to walk away with what they took. Tim's representation is perfectly accurate; until the appeal and possible legal proceedings completed, the artist's ad money was being rerouted to someone with no copyright claim. And, even after the dispute is settled, there is zero penalty to UMG. Win-win for them, lose-lose for the artist.
At the very least there should be some sort of restriction from takedowns or monetization for giving a false Content-ID notice. Something like preventing you from issuing new takedowns for 30 days. That might encourage companies to verify they actually have rights to something before stealing money or shutting it down.
Planned obsolescence is intentionally using inferior or otherwise engineered to break after a certain period of time. Items with planned obsolescence are typically designed so that the cost of repairing the broken item is equal to or greater than simply buying a new one.
After the maximum uses, this product doesn't break down or otherwise fail; it uses an electronic system to deliberately refuse to turn on. All parts are still in perfect working order and, without the electronic switch, would continue to work for a significant period of time.
While the end state of these two methods is similar (forcing users to rebuy the product) the DRM method feels much worse. This is because, logically, you know that nothing is wrong with the product. There's no broken piece, no fading light, nothing physically wrong. It just stops working because the company that sold it to you said so. At least with a cheap plastic part or other failure you can see that something is broken. If it was a cheap item in the first place, you don't feel as ripped off because the creator used cheap components, and theoretically it could have kept working (planned obsolescence rarely has a specific date it's designed to break down).
People don't like being told what they can and can't do with products they buy. They paid for it, it's "theirs," and if the creator doesn't like it...don't sell it. We like to own things, and having other people restrict our use of things we own, especially if it is purely for their benefit and not ours, is insulting and frustrating.
This is why DRM in general is so unpopular. It's not that everyone just wants to "steal" stuff, or pirate it. It's that we don't like strings attached to stuff we bought.