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Old 05-01-2012, 06:57 PM   #241
QuantumIguana
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Well the invention and spread of gramaphones and radio probably had something to do with that? Live performers were no longer required for music to be enjoyed.
To be fair, I think that was his point, that recorded music meant less demand for live music, and that demands for music could be met by having fewer musicians. It didn't have anything to do with the public domain, of course.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:13 PM   #242
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Now I'm really confused about what the argument is about. Of course, if I read Author A I'm not reading Author B. I don't make my decisions on which author to read based on who is public domain, I make it on who I feel in the mood to read at that moment.

Is the argument that there shouldn't be public domain books because then people read for free (or cheap) rather than reading modern authors who are more expensive?

Yes, the more long-tail books there are available, the more competition any give book has for my attention. Does that mean that old books should be made unavailable just so I'll be forced into reading something more current?

Does that mean that there shouldn't be any blogs or this forum, because the time I'm spending reading this free content could/should be spent reading books for which I've paid money?

I'm seriously confused about this all.

Last edited by BeccaPrice; 05-01-2012 at 07:14 PM. Reason: additional thought
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
Now I'm really confused about what the argument is about.
Until someone can tell me who should get the royalties for the Bible, I'm confused as well.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:20 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
Until someone can tell me who should get the royalties for the Bible, I'm confused as well.
Ohh, that would be me.
I have put in a request with LoC, claiming to be the illegitimate great great great great great granddaughter of Mark, Luke and Matthew, they being evil triplets seducing the same woman, eventually leading to me as the sole descendant.

So far my request has being denied. The bastards require DNA proof.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:21 AM   #245
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Until someone can tell me who should get the royalties for the Bible, I'm confused as well.
Royalties for the King James Version go to the Monarch of the UK.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:40 AM   #246
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Who should control the copyrights for them, and make the money for those sales?
This is a very good question. From a practical perspective I think if the horse is out of the barn, so to speak, then it should probably stay that way. It is just not realistic to try to recopyright out of copyright works.

This of course does not create a level playing field, so to speak. It does however limit the escalation of free material which I believe will result in the end of writing fiction as a profession.

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Why should new authors *not* have to compete with the entire public domain? After all, they have always lived in a world where those works are widely, cheaply available, and for the last several decades, thousands of those works have been free from Project Gutenberg.
Physical copies of out of copyright books still cost money. In fact, their cost is not appreciably less than that of other fiction. Such competition was still somewhat fair. However, in the digital age, these works are free. It is very hard to make a living by selling books for nothing.

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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Do you think that forcing Austen back into copyright, assigning an heir to get profit from her books' sales, and assuming that greed will make the price of those books rise, will help new authors? That people will therefore decide to buy New Author's work instead of Austen's, since they're now all the same price?
This is of course a hypothetical, as I am not proposing recopywriting her works. This being said, I believe that such action would result in some people choosing to purchase a new book instead of purchasing one by Austen.

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(Also: does your notion of removing works from the public domain apply to all copyrighted materials, or just books? Are photographs, movies, and songs all to be assigned to someone for perpetual copyright protection to "make a level playing field" for new artists? Should new composers and lyricists not have to complete with free versions of Greensleeves and Deck the Halls?)
I do not think that removing works from the public domain is practical. This being said, my position applies to other fields as well, such as music, and motion pictures.

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What do you mean, "less than it costs to produce them?" Books are *always* sold for less than the cost of production... if "time the author spent writing them" is part of the equation.

If it takes six months to write a book, the ebook certainly isn't selling for "half a year's rent, utilities, food, and other expenses" per copy. Each book is priced low in order to make those costs up by selling many copies.

If a book takes six months to produce, what do you think the minimum cost for the ebook should be? Should fast writers charge less per book than slower ones?
You are correct in questioning my statement, as it is incorrect. I think that it is important that authors are able to earn a living from writing. Thus, if an author spends six months writing a book, and then distributes it for free he cannot possibly recoup his expenses. It is important that books be priced so that the author can recoup his expenses based on expected sales.

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I don't get this. What's being subsidized? Who is getting money from an outside source?
Maybe my use of the term subsidy is non-standard. An author who spends his time writing, spends no time earning a living, and charges no money for his books, is effectively subsidising his writings. My concern here is that such authors have the potential to drive all other authors out of the marketplace.

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Authors with a day job are welcome to distribute books for free, but retired or disabled authors have to charge $5 a copy? I don't follow your logic at all.
I would not condone any authors distributing books for free. It took time and effort to write the book and they should be compensated for their work.

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Originally Posted by CommonReader
Porn is pretty much generic. Most men do not particularly care if it's Busty Girl A or Busty Girl B who is exerting herself, yet few people who want to read Jane Austen would be happy to be handed Chaucer instead.
I think that if you saw the John Edwards video you would beg to differ. Like most books, the hero 'wins' in the end, it is how the story is told and the cast of characters that determine its quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice
Now I'm really confused about what the argument is about. Of course, if I read Author A I'm not reading Author B. I don't make my decisions on which author to read based on who is public domain, I make it on who I feel in the mood to read at that moment.
Some people are also influenced by price. Especially if they can find something similar that is a lower price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice
Is the argument that there shouldn't be public domain books because then people read for free (or cheap) rather than reading modern authors who are more expensive?
This is certainly the danger. Thus I propose to maintain copyright on all books that are currently copyrighted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice
Yes, the more long-tail books there are available, the more competition any give book has for my attention. Does that mean that old books should be made unavailable just so I'll be forced into reading something more current?
No, this is rather draconian.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:41 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by petrucci View Post
This is a very good question. From a practical perspective I think if the horse is out of the barn, so to speak, then it should probably stay that way. It is just not realistic to try to recopyright out of copyright works.

This of course does not create a level playing field, so to speak. It does however limit the escalation of free material which I believe will result in the end of writing fiction as a profession.


Physical copies of out of copyright books still cost money. In fact, their cost is not appreciably less than that of other fiction. Such competition was still somewhat fair. However, in the digital age, these works are free. It is very hard to make a living by selling books for nothing.


This is of course a hypothetical, as I am not proposing recopywriting her works. This being said, I believe that such action would result in some people choosing to purchase a new book instead of purchasing one by Austen.


I do not think that removing works from the public domain is practical. This being said, my position applies to other fields as well, such as music, and motion pictures.


You are correct in questioning my statement, as it is incorrect. I think that it is important that authors are able to earn a living from writing. Thus, if an author spends six months writing a book, and then distributes it for free he cannot possibly recoup his expenses. It is important that books be priced so that the author can recoup his expenses based on expected sales.


Maybe my use of the term subsidy is non-standard. An author who spends his time writing, spends no time earning a living, and charges no money for his books, is effectively subsidising his writings. My concern here is that such authors have the potential to drive all other authors out of the marketplace.


I would not condone any authors distributing books for free. It took time and effort to write the book and they should be compensated for their work.


I think that if you saw the John Edwards video you would beg to differ. Like most books, the hero 'wins' in the end, it is how the story is told and the cast of characters that determine its quality.


Some people are also influenced by price. Especially if they can find something similar that is a lower price.


This is certainly the danger. Thus I propose to maintain copyright on all books that are currently copyrighted.


No, this is rather draconian.

I feel your argument is rather idiotic.

Even if the books that are currently in copyright never go out of copyright...older books would still be competition for new books. So how does that help this poor hack authors you are so concerned about?

Also, what do you expect now? No one should have access to free reading materials? What kind of illiterate world do you want this to be? That will be a great way to make sure the poor and disadvantaged never have the opportunity to learn.

Free works have been around since people first started telling stories.

Publishers give away free books every single day. Writers give away free books every single day. There are free stories on blogs, fanfic, websites, in the mail, on the news. I get books from the library and borrow them from friends. Free books/stories are everywhere and they always have been and always will be...

Stop making excuses for inadequacy. There is no such thing as a "level playing field" that isn't falsely created in order to give the appearance of such. People like what they like. And if they prefer Austen to new hack writer...then they will read Austen even if they have to go on the black market to do so.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:26 AM   #248
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I would not condone any authors distributing books for free. It took time and effort to write the book and they should be compensated for their work.
Not all compensation is monetary. Some authors are happy to get recognition. Fanfic takes time and effort to write, and nobody's insisting those authors should get paid. Many of those works are so obviously transformative there'd be no question of valid commercial use, especially the ones based on public domain works.

Are you saying that fanfic authors who write alternative endings to Pride and Prejudice or modernized Red Riding Hood stories, should sell them?

Why should an author have to charge readers if they've got enough money to not need that? If they're unemployed and retired, or supported by their family, why are they morally obligated to make strangers pay them money they don't need, to cut down on the amount and quality of free works available for people who don't have money?

And "took time and effort" doesn't translate to "is of a quality that's worth money." You're proposing that the public be required to pay for works regardless of their value or quality.

At what point does a work fall into the category of "this should cost money so that people have to pay to read something worth reading?"

I really don't get your arguments. How is society better off if quality books are kept from the poor, and authors are forbidden to share their art on their own terms?
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:08 PM   #249
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Royalties for the King James Version go to the Monarch of the UK.
Given that none of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (renamed the House of Windsor in 1910) are descended from King James I, therefore they have no legitimate claim. The Church of England (headed by the monarch) might be able to claim copyright, though not under current copyright treaties (unless there's been a special exception made somewhere, obviously)

Last edited by JD Gumby; 05-02-2012 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:12 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by MrsJoseph View Post
Also, what do you expect now? No one should have access to free reading materials? What kind of illiterate world do you want this to be? That will be a great way to make sure the poor and disadvantaged never have the opportunity to learn.
Sadly, that is a result greatly desired by many elite interests...
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:51 PM   #251
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Given that none of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (renamed the House of Windsor in 1910) are descended from King James I, therefore they have no legitimate claim. The Church of England (headed by the monarch) might be able to claim copyright, though not under current copyright treaties (unless there's been a special exception made somewhere, obviously)
Obviously, the royalties for sales of the Bible go to the Catholic church, because they were the ones who assembled the original Latin text that was later translated to English. Except, no, translators also get royalties, so the C of E also gets some. (Or the Lutherans? Both?) Possibly, royalties should be equally split among the entire membership of all involved organizations.

Pagan groups would be substantially disadvantaged, until they lay claim to copyright on the various pre-Christian artistic works; I can think of several Hellenic Reconstructionist groups that would benefit from royalties from sales of the Iliad.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:05 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Obviously, the royalties for sales of the Bible go to the Catholic church, because they were the ones who assembled the original Latin text that was later translated to English. Except, no, translators also get royalties, so the C of E also gets some. (Or the Lutherans? Both?) Possibly, royalties should be equally split among the entire membership of all involved organizations.

Pagan groups would be substantially disadvantaged, until they lay claim to copyright on the various pre-Christian artistic works; I can think of several Hellenic Reconstructionist groups that would benefit from royalties from sales of the Iliad.
Wouldn't Pagan groups benefit from the proceeds of Christan religious artworks? IIRC a lot of the visuals we have in (especially older) religious artworks are based on older Pagan works...
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:11 PM   #253
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Much of the Bible is plagiarised from older sources, so I guess the copyright holders would have a lot of defending to do.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:22 PM   #254
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Given that none of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (renamed the House of Windsor in 1910) are descended from King James I, therefore they have no legitimate claim. The Church of England (headed by the monarch) might be able to claim copyright, though not under current copyright treaties (unless there's been a special exception made somewhere, obviously)
Paul is referring to "Crown Copyright". The copyright to the KJV (and to lots of other things too) is held by the "Crown" - the "office" of the Monarch, not the person.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:31 PM   #255
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Wouldn't Pagan groups benefit from the proceeds of Christan religious artworks? IIRC a lot of the visuals we have in (especially older) religious artworks are based on older Pagan works...
Trouble is, none of today's Pagan groups and societies are even remotely connected to the Pagans of yore in anything other than belief (and even that's very highly debatable), no matter how loudly they claim otherwise, so there are no descendants of those particular copyright holders.
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