Copyright is like trying to set up an official state currency made up of only jpg files, expecting the police to realistically enforce rules against unauthorised duplication of such a currency (including from outside the state's borders), and expecting nobody to become corrupt in the process.
There is a significant parallel between freedom and the skeptical necessity of burden of proof.
If the citizen is a danger towards the public, or has committed a crime towards the public, it is the role of the authorities to prove this in the positive, not the role of the citizen to prove the negative. Authorities must show why a citizen may be guilty. It is no good saying the citizen must show why he is NOT guilty.
And "everybody is suspect" is not an argument in itself unless it can be proven, which it cannot be.
"It [freedom of expression] is not just about the right of the speaker to be heard. It is also about the right of everybody to listen, and to hear. And every time you censor literature you make yourself a prisoner of your own action because you deny yourself the right to hear something."
- Christopher Hitchens, as he was attempting to summarise the major arguments made by John Milton, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Paine.
This point is almost always overlooked by those who think slippery slopes do not apply to them in these cases.
And what best proves my point when it comes to copyright is the issue of translation, and how copyright owners can forever deny expressions be read in a language they don't agree with. It is hard to find any other issue that goes against EVERYTHING worth defending about freedom of expression like that in such an ugly and revolting manner.
Then again, perhaps not so hard. Only the most toxic religious extremists want their holy books to be expressed in one language only, whether it is Hebrew for the Bible or Arabic for the Koran.
If there is one thing the planet needs more of, it is translators. Translators that flatten borders and offer humanity a more united front of solidarity. And what do copyright believers say? "We want nothing to do with it".
Alan Turing did not crack the Enigma code by politely asking the Nazis to install backdoors.
What makes the state think that just because it can force tech companies to install sabotaged encryption protocols, that therefore really nasty people - for example ISIS - will somehow NOT go out of their way to research what the REAL, unsabotaged encryption is like and put it into practice?
The point is that we cannot "uninvent" the mathematics no matter how hard we try. And we would not want to stop such mathematics from being discovered by scientists either as that would do nothing to stop the scientists of our enemies from conducting their own research.
Islamofascists are racist and totalitarian, but one thing they are not is stupid. Sam Harris sums this up in one terrifying sentence: "It is actually possible to be so well educated that you can build a nuclear bomb and still believe that you are going to get the 72 virgins."
I save the "thieving scum-of-the-earth pirates" appellation for people who simply pirate works wholesale. Derivative uses are different, and I actually support broader fair use and personal use rights. But fan fiction is a closer call for me. I don't think those who write it are all terrible people, I just think that what the author wants matters too.
Fan artists must be treated the same as wholesale pirates according to copyright property theory, especially when hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake. There is no way you can avoid it. DeviantArt makes tons of money from advertising, merchandise, extra website features, etc. Anime conventions make tons of ticket money from the infringement of art via cosplays. Meme generator websites are guilty, too. Facebook is guilty via all the fan stuff that circulates around there. You have to face up to it and not take the cowardly option of saying "well they're just different", just because it's an uncomfortable conclusion. It is the natural end-result of the "ownership of expression" mentality.
All ownership involves the owner's right to administer the uses of the owned property to the exclusion of others.
Ah. I see you agree with the above, then.
It's not prior restraint in the First Amendment meaning of the term, if that's what you mean. It's simply respecting the rights of owners to determine how they want their property to be used.
"It wasn't murder, officer. It was a meditated preemption of an unwelcome incitement to outrageousness that was justified through my expression of lethal and calculated aggression."
Do you reckon there is something noble in, say, Disney going around to public schools and suing the schools if their kids happen to paint Mickey Mouse on the playground walls? Or Disney sending lawyers round to bakers to sue on the spot if the baker ends up baking cakes with Mickey Mouse icing?
Because both of these things have happened. All in the name of three black circles.
If that is the case, feel free to call the many loving fan artists of deviantArt, and those who view the fan art, thieving scum-of-the-earth pirates who don't know any better, and call for the website owners of deviantArt to be thrown in jail for mass piracy.
Your position really begs historical condemnation. There are many people across the planet who have plenty of liberal argument behind the claims to freedom of expression - a freedom that does not just defend the right of the person to speak, but the audience to listen - and folk such as yourself who think "well, I won't fall for any slippery slopes you are all freaking out about when it comes to expression because I have ownership of expression to focus on" are going to be pushed past in the moral Zeitgeist one way or another.
Ownership of expression is a euphemism for prior restraint.
There is a case to make that Google is a tyrannical monopoly over several business sectors, and that more needs to be done to compete with them.
But of course, if more search engines had a position of power of the same position as Google and could compete, the fight against piracy would be exponentially harder for copyright believers as now they would have several corrupt corporations to keep in line. A pirate downloader would have more alternatives to seek out what he wants.
Don't copyright believers know that there are legions of black-marketeers who cannot WAIT for the day that the Pirate Bay finally gets shut down by the authorities? That they cannot wait for that vacuum? And all the profit that comes from the advertising? Illegal downloaders do not exist because there are pirate webstes: pirate websites exist because there are illegal downloaders. And as long as that remains true, you will always have those willing to fill that market whether out in the open or behind TOR.
And just as you have the police always willing to point to the temporary statistics whenever they do a drug bust about drug use going down, so too will you have legions of copyright believers pointing to temporary studies of piracy reduction after MegaUpload gets shut down. Those markets, without exception, will keep on being filled as long as the market exists. Why else are advertisers so bold to show themselves out on the open on these sites?
How do you really stop it from happening? You end the prohibition, of course.
As far as I can tell, one big thing that gets in the way of battles against revenge porn is copyright.
If somebody else is doing the filming, i.e. the ex-boyfriend jerk, according to copyright he has full control over that porn. So you have to say copyright must be made irrelevant when passing laws to take the revenge porn down in order to look the least bit sane.
And if the victim had the copyright that also would likewise be irrelevant.
It doesn't matter either way. And it is ridiculous of copyright believers to say that copyright should be involved at ALL, along the lines of "we wouldn't be able to do the right thing here if it wasn't for copyright". Total babble. As well as all the other irrelevant things they try to tie in the strictly economic theory of copyright such as plagiarism, trademarks, quality assurance, branding, defamation, libel and - putting it bluntly - blasphemy via remixes.
Very good post. We must all raise hell whenever derivative works are slandered as "cheap cat videos from the internet".
Copyright advocates do not believe that derivative art is real art. And they would feel no shame whatsoever in calling for deviantArt.com to be shut down in the name of "artists rights".
Ownership of expression is at odds with freedom of expression, despite the rationalisations from the other side. I have heard some people say that copyright should be an "exception" to free expression because somehow derivative art is not real art in the "property" sense and therefore it is disposable, and I have on the contrary heard that copyright is PRO freedom of expression because it supposedly brings about expressions that would not have been possible otherwise.
But the attitude really being expressed here can be better summed up like this: they believe it is necessary to sacrifice some expressions in order to preserve other expressions, and more worryingly that they consider themselves fit enough to know where to draw the line between freedom and ownership. I say this is unjust. And I have plenty of historical examples of what happens when you get folk who consider themselves fit to draw lines like that.
I don't have to believe in copyright in order to help artists make a living. I am against pirates taking something from artists without giving anything in return, and I am against pirates exploiting the artist's faith in the empty promises of copyright.
But I ALSO believe this with respect to derivative artists, too. If there is one thing pirates and copyright believers have in common, it is that they both see derivative artists as disposable.
That is why I do not believe in copyright. Assurance contracts are how you fund artists, and they are also how you secure equality for derivative artists. Because the WORK is what we are paying for, not the pseudo-product. And the work put in by derivative artists is JUST as laborious as original artists and therefore deserves all the same protection of property. Therefore, to get this equality we must abolish copyright and harness assurance contracts.
A drug dealer can be in the moral wrong by using lack of regulation to mix soft drugs with hard drugs to keep customers hooked. They may also not check for I.D., foster other kinds of crime and violence, and encourage corruption among departments of justice, politicians and corporations (e.g. banks).
Likewise, a pirate can offer deals no one can compete with as his own little "gateway". They don't have to put BBFC/PEGI ratings on films to protect kids from adult content, encourage money laundering, fraud, and have some pirates armed with sawn-off shotguns, and encourage corruption among courts who will not stop them, tech-utopian politicians and corporations (e.g. Google. And banks.)
So the answer to your question can be "yes". But you're still going to have do a lot better than that.