I would not argue that crowdfunding - or to give it its formal name "assurance contracts" - is a substitute for patents (patents deserve a more socialist perspective for reasons out of scope here), but I would argue that assurance contracts are a substitute for copyright.
The fact that folk who make lots of money on, say, Kickstarter for creative projects without giving up the copyright on those projects says nothing about the potential of those projects to make that exact same money upon the promise of them being released into the public domain. It just says creators don't like giving up copyrights - nothing more and nothing less.
If Amanda Palmer made a promise to release the music into the public domain, she still would have got the $1.2 million - because she has every right to insist that she be paid before she works, and she could very well have stuck to that by demanding the payment everyone would have had to cough up. The fact that she gets BMI cheques says nothing to discredit this.
Demanding you get paid for your work before you work can work on such a platform without the assumption of copyright. If the new Batman was planned, with the promise of it being public domain after, there's nothing wrong with DC saying "but we need $50 million for it to happen - so that we can make the movie, get paid, and even make a profit which we believe would be rightfully ours". And they would most certainly get it, considering how people know that if they don't pay it won't happen.
And bear in mind that if internet corporations want the traffic that comes from this public domain Batman, they'd have to contribute to the crowdfunding pot too. Depending on the potential that could tally several hundreds of thousands of dollars a corporation (if they want the profit from the traffic) - in other words, you can hold to account those who might have otherwise used the uselessness of copyright to screw you over instead.
What's clever about assurance contracts is that they solve the so-called "free-rider" problem in a very direct and head-on way. The claim by copyright advocates is that if you don't prevent the copying of a movie, 3 people will have only paid $10 in total to the artist while the artist should have got $30. But assurance contracts does not need to stop the unauthorised coping: it just means the artist says "all 3 of you pay $10 each totalling $30, or nobody gets any movie". And there the artist can secure the $30 that was rightfully his. I can't think of a more effective paywall than that.
And as we can tell from those who buy pre-owned DVDs only to give the artist nothing at all - something that copyright law does nothing to stop - there will always be those who don't pay but yet there is still a standing movie industry, so there's no "game theory" issue to worry about crowdfunding either. In other words, if everybody waited for someone else to pay for the brand new DVDs straight from the artist, the industry would collapse, but that doesn't happen. Therefore, it wont happen with crowdfunding substituting copyright either.
And also, others DO know the value of paying artists directly and not via pre-owned art. Copyright law doesn't really deserve credit for the funding of artists (and I'd especially say that more so in a world where people can "steal" on the internet without getting caught, but regardless there are others who still pay - again, no credit to copyright law for those who do the right thing without having to be told by a law).
Simultaneous payments are not that hard to set up. When ISPs take monthly payments from millions of subscribers, that's a multi-million dollar simultaneous payment for a server - and de facto assurance contract - every month. Same with tickets for gigs. Same with subscriptions. Same with pre-orders. Same with betting agencies for live sports events. There is plenty of evidence that it works, and that copyright is not necessary for payment. And there's no reason why it can't extend to Google, ISPs etc to make them pay their share simultaneously with other interested parties to the creative project.
Copyright is at the end of the day a system that is worse than the Ron Paul vision of replacing the US state dollar with a private currency, and even someone as stupid and crazy as him wouldn't dare advocate such a private currency should be in digital JPEG form. And why shouldn't I make this comparison? Isn't a private currency, made up of JPEG images, something you would forbid other people from infringing by making unauthorised copies for their own unjustified value? Shouldn't such a private JPEG money system work according to the logic of copyright? We all know everybody would cheat such a crazy set up of money and companies would end up having more confidence in the Zimbabwean Dollar.
There is a reason why politicians make jibes about how their opponents take on policies with the worth of "Monopoly money", though what is not as known as it could be is that Monopoly money, from the board game, is copyrighted, and therefore in theory should be a valuable, tradable, de facto private currency according to those who believe in artificial scarcity. I would seriously like to hear a good reply as to why this should not be the case, considering everything copyright advocates believe in about the notion of "utilitarian" policies and the like.
I wonder if I should go on a rant about how the centralisation of the police force under Alex Salmond has helped create nonsense like this. And about how the Scottish National Party were up in arms when it was revealed how GCHQ was spying on MSPs, yet have been rather lacking of the same energy to protest about this.
Maybe I can find out if the cybernats have reached this far on the internet with their cultist affiliation with anything as long as you attach "because Scotland" to it.
"Man I always hated those misleading PSAs 'This is your brain' for example. I have seen a lot of things on drugs but I have never ever ever EVER... looked at an egg... and thought it was a fucking brain not once. I have seen UFOs flying through the sky, I have seen why we are all one consciousness and how life's but a dream and seen that kind of enlightenment but I have NEVER looked at an egg and thought it was a fucking brain. Now, maybe I wasn't getting good shit, but..."
You have to be real fucked up to imagine cutting off the ears and fingers and eyes of the artists that work for you and make you rich.
I find it amusing how groups call for people to have their real names online, and then also want the "right to be forgotten" when embarrassing stuff is said under those real names and can't be removed without broad-sweeping court orders (e.g. Google). You must identify yourself!...unless you don't want to!
Now we are being told that anonymity is something that tech companies now have to allow on top of every other regulation that was put beforehand, no matter how contradictory.
If we had been listened to, fools would have known that anonymity is the best defence against your embarrassing stuff online. And unless there's a court order forbidding your name from being mentioned - say in serious sex assault cases - people have the right to talk about your kerfuffles as much as they want and that includes search engines being subject to the right to be forgotten nonsense (Do people wanting false or outdated info that is embarassing to them removed also want false or outdated info that is reputationally convenient removed about them too? Of course they won't).
"We must now pass a law forcing Google to operate in our country and abide by this law because we hate Google so much."
"Get the fuck out Google. What, you're actually leaving? You see how much of a dick Google is, guys?!"
"Why can't anyone compete with Google? It's too damn powerful! Let's pass a law that attacks its competitors then!" While the competitors still have it rather difficult even when Google is no longer in the fucking country. Still Google's fault
Yes. Nazis did indeed have copyrights like anyone else. And it is precisely those copyrights that were used to prevent English translations of Mein Kampf from circulating in America - the result of which kept the West in ignorance of fascism and anti-semitism until Europe mutated into hell.
It is because they had copyrights that copyright must be removed from society.
I don't want to even begin to imagine what hell humanity would have gone through if either the Bible or the Koran were copyrighted. The Bible was forbidden from being translated from Hebrew to English, and Islamofascists to this day insist the Koran should only be recited in Arabic. These are de facto copyrights in a way. And should be met with nothing other than condemnation.
"Any selfies of you looking sad next to evidence of war crimes by Russian troops and paramilitaries in Eastern Ukraine may endanger your body by exposing it to bullets. Russia Today will subsequently publish a forged selfie of you showing how it was all your fault."
Property rights and moral rights (e.g. defamation protection and plagiarism protection) should not intersect precisely for this reason.
It would mean presidential candidates would have to put up a disclaimer saying the band doesn't support the campaign and the music is being used "unofficially". That seems to make perfect sense, regardless if copyright was involved. If this were an issue of, say, using Jeremy Clarkson's persona on Fiat cars without his permission it would be far clearer without the mess of including property considerations.
But again, because of the hijacking of these issues by copyright, this is not easy. It would be ridiculous if I "signed away" my right to sue a company I work for because of a dangerous slippery floor for example. Either civil rights are inalienable or they are not. Pre-emptive waivers are nonsensical and nobody would sign them in any other context.
This is exactly why I support abolishing copyright but keeping (most of) the moral rights stuff in a separate legal sphere. The property question can be solved through assurance contracts. The moral issues just need to stop being seen through the lens of copyright.
Why do people keep on claiming copyright protects the moral rights of the author?
In cases such as this one it clearly doesn't. No approval or endorsement was given by the band to the presidential bid, effectively slandering them. Yet a licence was given de jure. If anything, under the probable terms that were signed up with that copyright, the band most likely couldn't stop such a licence from being granted.
Copyright gets in the way of moral rights. On what other planet would it be seen as appropriate to sign away your right not to be defamed?