...and there's your problem. Mike has answered every single one of your questions. You just refuse to see that he's answered them.
Seriously, you and I used to have some pretty involved debates, where I learned a lot (by reading the source material, and realizing that you're wrong, but still...). I was incredibly disappointed when I realized that you were the idiotic "moo, quack" dope who obviously was nothing more than a reactionary troll.
Incidentally, I'm pretty sure I know who you are in real life. I know this not because of IP addresses or anything like that, but because of information that you voluntarily revealed here in your comments, and because your legal arguments are so completely off the wall that only you could make them.
I won't reveal who I think you are, unless you tell me to guess. But trust me - your loony tunes style is unmistakable.
When posts are routed to your spam filter, sometimes it takes hours until they show up and sometimes they don't show up at all.
For the record: my posts are being "held for moderation" as well. And I have no inkling whatsoever that Mike, or anyone else on Techdirt, bears the slightest grudge against me.
Sometimes this stuff just happens. Deal with it.
It's not like Techdirt has any obligation to provide you with a forum for your stupid rants. And Techdirt is much, much better than most sites, which nowadays require you to link to Facebook or something. And he's not even remotely as bad as Trichordist - where Lowery not only blocked my emails and deleted my comments, but hunted down my school email address, and implied that I would get sued.
Disney is a sophisticated rightholder, so I find it hard to believe that it would use the song without permission.
Your entire post rests on the idea that a "sophisticated rightholder" would not infringe on copyright. Of course they would. They would infringe upon whatever copyright that they can, if the rights holder is someone who can not afford an expensive lawyer. If it isn't, then they can infringe however they like, because the artist can't afford to sue them.
As for the Master, he claims that Zimmerman’s rights are being violated, but then he also says that Zimmerman granted “certain rights thereto” to Virgin and Ultra that possibly are also being infringed. Which is it?
You're being disingenuous. Let's read the quote in context:
Moreover, Zimmerman was an exclusive songwriter of EMI Music Publishing Limited ("EMI") when he composed "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" (the "Composition") and granted certain exclusive rights in and to the Composition to EMI. With respect to the Master, certain rights thereto have been granted to Virgin Records Limited ("Virgin") and Ultra Records, LLC ("Ultra"). Zimmerman is unaware of any license(s) between Disney and EMI, Virgin, and/or Ultra granting Disney the right to synchronize the Composition with the Infringing Video or to exploit the Master in any manner or media. If Disney has any such licenses, please forward them to my attention immediately. Accordingly, hnot only is Disney violating the rights of Zimmerman, but it is also infringing upon the rights of EMI Music Publishing Limited, Virgin Records, Limited, and Ultra Records, LLC.
Clearly, Disney does not have any sort of licence. He only brings up the other parties to make it clear to the Court that Disney is infringing upon the rights of multiple rights holders.
The request from Disney is something that they do not believe Disney can provide, because they clearly do not believe Disney has any kind of license with any of those rights holders; it's simply boilerplate language.
So basically it claims infringement, but then admits that maybe other parties who hold some unspecified rights might have granted a license.
No, it claims infringement of the plaintiffs' rights, then accuses Disney of infringing upon the rights of other rights holders. It "admits" nothing.
Incidentally, it's pretty telling that you take the side of Disney in a copyright fight against an actual artist - but you always take the side of the rights holders in any case where the rights holder isn't an artist, but is a major media company instead. It demonstrates pretty clearly where your loyalties lie.
And, of course, describing Brown as a "thug" just shows a pre-disposition against Brown, and the willingness to believe the party line. It's no more than an ad hominem designed to portray the victim as a perpetrator.
So, basically, everything you said was wrong. It's extremely likely that you heard these falsehoods from right-wing media, and simply didn't check the facts.
It just goes to show that the last thing that anyone should do is "give the Wilson/Brown issue a rest."
What most people don't seem to grasp is the government is "of the people"
If you actually believe this, you're completely out to lunch.
The government is "of the lobbyists and those with political connections." Sometimes their interests coincide with the interests of "the people," but just as often, they are diametrically opposed.
Besides: the government is not just supposed to be "of the people." It is also supposed to be by the people, and for the people. Interesting how you conveniently left off those parts of the Gettysburg Address.
and those who work in government are just "the people".
No. They are people, but they are not "the people."
That means that they are prone to the same corruption as any other people who are given power. They're only human. But don't for one instant think that their corruption represents the will of "the people."
Do you honestly believe the police tactics used in Ferguson represent the will of "the people?"
You know all those people who do drugs, drive drunk, drive too fast, park illegally, don't pay taxes, and a myriad of other "little" offenses against the state (and each other) each day? They are the ones creating the situation.
Here's the difference: when those people break the law, they are punished. When the people in political power break the law, they get away with it. They are, after all, the ones who created the law in the first place.
For example, if you're a member of Congress, you are explicitly allowed to drive to fast and park illegally. Congress has also written tax law "perks" that are only beneficial to themselves.
But if that were the extent of their wrongdoing, nobody would really care.
Criminals and crooks at every turn, everyone thinking they are above the law, and that they can choose to follow or not follow the law as they see fit.
Here, you're just proving my point. If "everyone" does not follow the law, then that law is against the will of the people. Conversely, if the law really did represent the will of "the people," then "the people" (more or less) would follow it by choice.
Really, you are just an apologist for bad laws and bad lawmakers. It's appropriate that your username is "Whatever," since that's the only response your post really deserves.
Did Molyneux actually file a DMCA takedown or use one of the many other ways Youtube has to screw people over?
You should watch the embedded video. About midway through, the video narrator makes the point that Molyneux could easily have filed an abuse report to YouTube. But he didn't do that, and used the DMCA instead.
It could be that he was just confused. It's just as likely that he figured he couldn't file bogus abuse reports as easy as bogus DMCA reports. After all, the anti-abuse policy is YouTube's internal policy, so truly bogus reports can be ignored. The DMCA is enforced by law (what he would call "state violence"), so YouTube can't easily afford to ignore bogus DMCA claims.
You know what? I am a software programmer (or in college to become one). And even a lowly undergraduate knows that ALL of these things:
side effects, functional programming, determinism
...originated in mathematics. Specifically, Turing machines and Church's lambda calculus, both of which are abstract math.
Not to mention big-O notation, recursive formulas, P vs. NP completeness, matrix manipulation, etc. It's like you have no understanding of how much programming depends upon the theories formed by discrete mathematics, linear algebra, or computation theory.
If any of these could be patented, then the software industry would be decades behind where it is now.
If something is in the public domain, nobody "owns" the copyright, because it doesn't exist.
And it can't be the case that "everyone owns it," because the only thing left to "own" are copies - and those copies are private property.
What everyone holds are the rights that are made exclusive to authors (and their assigns) in 17 USC 106: the right to make copies, the right to public display or performance, etc.
But the reason everyone holds these rights is not because they were "granted" by copyright law. It is because they are private property rights and free speech rights. They hold those rights because they are human rights, and the government should not have the power to remove those rights from its citizenry.
The fact that copyright - a right that is entirely government-created - does in fact take those rights away, should be very meaningful to you.
Not according to Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid
That case dealt with whether the person was a subcontractor or an employee. This would determine if the work was a "work for hire" or not. The ownership of the equipment was only used to determine that relationship, and it was only one factor out of many. And, in fact, it was used as evidence against a "work for hire" relationship (since the subcontractor used his own equipment).
So, no, merely owning the equipment does not confer any sort of copyright ownership. It has absolutely no bearing on who would ultimately hold the copyright to the photo, unless Slater claims that the monkey was "an employee [working] within the scope of his or her employment" (17 USC 101).
For example, if I shoot a photo for TechDirt and TechDirt pays me and also owns the camera, they (generally) own the copyright.
No, they don't. You would own the photo. Techdirt would only own it if you signed a contract with them (before taking the photo) saying that it's a work for hire.
(You could, of course, assign the copyright to them at any time, but you would still be the original author under copyright law.)
See, for example, this interview with Carolyn E. Wright, LLC:
Q: Who owns the copyright in a photograph once it is taken?
In general, when the shutter is released, the photographer who pressed the button owns the copyright. An exception is when the image falls into the "work-made-for-hire"(also known as "work for hire") category. A work-made-for-hire relationship is created in two situations: (1) the photographer is an employee hired to take photographs for the employer - an example would be a photojournalist who is an employee of a newspaper but not a wedding or portrait photographer who is hired for one event; or (2) the photographer is hired to provide photographs for collective works or compilations and signs a written agreement that specifically states that the work is to be considered a work made for hire. Therefore, freelance photographers are subjected to work-for-hire status only when they agree to it contractually.
Prove there's a god and I'll give her the copyright.
If something is of value to human culture, it must be owned by the being that created it.
Therefore, there must be a God, otherwise the picture would be owned by nobody. QED.
It's called the "IP-leological Argument." I think it was first proposed by Thomas Aquinas in his "Summa IPologica" (c. 1274). It's been making a resurgence lately due to proponents of "Intelligent Design Patents."
... "therefore it doesn't matter if you work against print books" seems to be your argument. By the same logic, I should kill you personally "because you're going to die eventually anyway, and you're no particular use to *me* anyway."
Yeah, because choosing to buy an e-book rather than a print book is exactly like murder.
The plain fact is that customers - who have every right to choose what to buy and what not to buy - are moving towards e-books, and those that aren't are staying with paper books for reasons other than price. I'm not saying that it doesn't matter if you work against print books; I'm saying that consumers are choosing e-books, and either you accept that they're your market, or you don't deserve to stay in business.
My personal anecdote is that a bookstore is a "not-bad" place to look for new titles, and that a web page is very poor for the same task.
Well, then, it doesn't matter how e-books are priced, does it? You're going to the "not-bad" place to look for new titles either way.
Other consumers may have different tastes, and maybe not enough find having a "not-bad" place to look for new titles doesn't trump the lower market value for e-books. Tough. Your tastes can't dictate the market.
And the development costs are amortized in individual sales, same as they are in books. Guess what? The development costs of books are proportionally higher, and the volume of sales lower.
Of course they'll be "proportionately" higher if you price e-books high enough. There will be less demand at that price, therefore a lower volume of sales. That's how price elasticity has always worked.
If (Volume of books sold) * (price per unit) < (development cost), it's a loss for the publisher, period.
Right, but if you lower the price, you'll increase the volume, so you'll end up making more money. Again: that's price elasticity. Selling 175,000 e-books at $9.99 each will make you more money than if you sell 100,000 e-books at $14.99.
If $9.99 is the "high end," it just means that they'll sell many more books at the "high end" than they're selling right now.
And while lower prices often lead to higher volumes, not only is that not guaranteed, there's an upper limit to the number of customers. You do a lot of hand waving saying "it'll be all right" but I'm not seeing citations to numbers drawn from experience.
If there weren't an upper limit to the number of customers, then prices would be infinitely elastic. There isn't, so of course there's always going to be a "sweet spot" that maximizes revenue.
The numbers that Amazon quoted are taken from their own sales records, so those would be "numbers drawn from experience." On the other hand, I've never seen anyone who actually quoted numbers when claiming book prices should be higher. The best they can come up with is "lower prices = less profits," which is simply not true, and never has been in any industry.
Yes, they are saying that "as a general rule, the upper bound will be $9.99".
You do know what "upper bound" means, right? It means "maximum." It does not mean "as a general rule." That would be "average" (more precisely, "weighted average" or "expected value").
Interesting that you make this argument along with arguing that lower prices will increase volume. If they're complaining, you'd think it was that they were getting less money, in an absolute sense.
It was just a guess. Authors may be getting less money in an absolute sense, but not because of Amazon. (For example, some publishers pay lower royalty rates for e-books than they do for paper books.)
It could also be that authors are complaining because they buy into the publishers' claims that lowering e-book prices will cannibalize paper-book sales. Well, guess what? Sales of paper books are already being cannibalized, and there's no way to prevent that.
Or it could be that authors are making the same mistakes you are. They look only at income per copy, see that they're making less per copy on digital sales, and think that they're being ripped off somehow.
You call out ignorance of basic economics. But what I see you arguing is theoretical economics, rather than practical applied economics based on existing sales data.
There is no such thing as "theoretical economics," really. It's an applied science, and economic theories are based on empirical sales data. If you want examples, open up any economic textbook and read about them.
In the e-book space, Amazon has already given its numbers based on their own sales figures: "We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000."
O’Reilly had a similar experience when they released a $25 book as a $5 iPhone app: How E-Books Make (A Lot Of) Cents. There are probably more case studies, if you're not too lazy to Google.
Having read it, I can certainly dismiss it - because his arguments are wrong. Let's take a look:
If you entertain the notion that Amazon is just 30% of the market and that publishers have other retailers to consider — and that authors have other income streams than Amazon — then the math falls apart. Amazon’s assumptions don’t include, for example, that publishers and authors might have a legitimate reason for not wanting the gulf between eBook and physical hardcover pricing to be so large that brick and mortar retailers suffer, narrowing the number of venues into which books can sell.
The plain fact is that most people are moving towards e-books no matter what. Physical sales are going down, because the demand is going down, regardless of e-book prices. On the other hand, those who buy physical copies will likely pay more for them anyway - they're already paying more than they would for an e-book, even if prices remain exactly the same as they are now.
In other words, the gulf in prices is not what would drive down sales of paper copies. So the only question is how much money authors want to make from the dominant format, meaning e-books. And by Amazon's own data (which is backed up by basic economic principles widely known for many decades), lower prices will result in higher profits.
Incidentally, Amazon may be only 30% of the book market, but e-books in general have a far, far higher market share than that. In nearly all book categories (and all fiction categories other than graphic novels), e-books have a much larger share of book sales than paper copies. (See e.g. BISG Report – A Few More Ebook Stats.) If Amazon doesn't lower their prices, then Kobo, Sony, Apple, and Barnes & Noble eventually will, for exactly the reasons that Amazon said.
Amazon’s math of "you will sell 1.74 times as many books at $9.99 than at $14.99" is also suspect, because it appears to come with the ground assumption that books are interchangable units of entertainment, each equally as salable as the next, and that pricing is the only thing consumers react to.
Except Amazon is not making that assumption. In fact, they say exactly the opposite: "So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99."
This is how basic price elasticity works, and basic economics predicts that goods that are less necessities will be more elastic. This has been shown to be true for many, many years. It is in total agreement with data collected across other artistic industries, such as the video game industry.
This is where many people decide to opine that the cost of eBooks should reflect the cost of production in some way that allows them to say that whatever price point they prefer is the naturally correct one. This is where I say: You know what, if you’ve ever paid more than twenty cents for a soda at a fast food restaurant, or have ever bought bottled water at a store, then I feel perfectly justified in considering your cost of production position vis a vis publishing as entirely hypocritical.
Ironically, this goes against his point. The production costs associated with the fountain sodas or bottled water are much higher than they are for e-books. The costs of the products themselves are much higher - both for fixed costs (factories, land, bottling machinery) and per-unit costs (shipping, labor, packaging, etc). And people pay for these things because they are convenience; and unlike convenience on the Internet (which is essentially free), that convenience also has higher costs (store rents, labor costs, etc). Yet people pay far, far less for a soda at a fast food restaurant, or for bottled water at a store.
Unless he's ever paid $14.99 for a soda at a fast food restaurant, or more than $9.99 for a bottle of water at a store, then I feel perfectly justified in considering his cost of production position vis a vis publishing as entirely hypocritical.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I think it’s very likely that if $9.99 becomes the upper bound for pricing on eBooks, then you are going to find $9.99 becomes the standard price for eBooks, period, because publishers who lose money up at the top of the pricing scale will need to recoup that money somewhere else, and the bottom of the pricing scale is a fine place to do it.
First: if he'd have paid attention, he would have noticed that publishers would make money "up at the top of the pricing scale." So his whole assumption is invalid.
Second: publishers that price books at "the bottom of the pricing scale" are doing so precisely because the bottom is where they make the most money regardless. If publishers could make more money by raising prices at "the bottom," they would have done so already. So that argument is also invalid.
Third: Amazon explicitly said that they don't think $9.99 should be the upper bound. From their forum announcement: "Is it Amazon's position that all e-books should be $9.99 or less? No, we accept that there will be legitimate reasons for a small number of specialized titles to be above $9.99."
I think Amazon taking a moment to opine that authors should get 35% of net revenues from publishers for their eBooks is a nice bit of trying to rally authors to their point of view by drawing their attention away from Amazon’s attempt to standardize all eBook pricing at a price point that benefits Amazon’s business goals first and authors secondarily, if at all.
Or, it could be Amazon drawing attention to the fact that authors blame Amazon for low payouts, while the actual reason is that the publishers keep the money that Amazon gives them. (This is essentially how it works in the music biz.)
And it's really hard to argue that higher sales don't benefit Amazon and authors equally, if both make their money as a share of the income (which is the case). If you earn 35% of a hundred thousand in e-book sales, then it makes no difference if you get a hundred thousand from 10,000 sales at $10, or from 100,000 sales at $1. So, if the price elasticity benefits Amazon, it benefits authors as well.
The other type of revenue sharing is a flat per-book fee, like the royalty rates in streaming music. But if that's the case, then authors would benefit from price elasticity more than Amazon itself would.
Either way, higher sales due to price elasticity benefit authors at least as much as it benefits Amazon.
I will grant you this: his position certainly isn't "an example of reflexive hatred." In his other posts, he's made it clear that he works with Amazon, and doesn't dislike them in particular. It's simply an example of being ignorant of basic economics, which unfortunately seems to be endemic to a lot of artists.