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Old 05-30-2008, 06:17 PM   #31
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I think protection-for-availability is a damned fine trade.
very nicely said. i'm actually applauding your entire post, but it seemed silly to quote all of it in such proximity.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:42 PM   #32
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The capital costs of print publishing made this impractical until very recently, but with services like Lulu and IUniverse now available, no work ever has to completely leave public access.

The notion that rightsholders might have to be forced to make money is an interesting one--but taxes pay for copyright's legal machinery. I think protection-for-availability is a damned fine trade.

Actually, patent works that way. Once your are issued a patent, every few years you have to cough up more money to keep it in force. If you don't pay on time, the patent reverts to public domain, because it is considered to be abandoned, even if your 20 years aren't up.

The real problem is big business has hijacked copyright in order to convert a limited, wasting asset into a permanent asset. And they will brook no change that would deprive them of their assets....

Copyright and patent have historically been considered equal under the law ( and I posit equal under creativity as well), only since the 1920's law revision have they been treated differently.....
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:52 PM   #33
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Actually, patent works that way. Once your are issued a patent, every few years you have to cough up more money to keep it in force. If you don't pay on time, the patent reverts to public domain, because it is considered to be abandoned, even if your 20 years aren't up.
i don't think he was talking about paying to maintain copyright, but ensuring the work is available to the public (in exchange for a fee, paid by the public *to* the artist) during the entire duration of the copyright.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:45 PM   #34
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Correct Zelda. I was showing that in the patent world, the onus is on the creator to maintain his monopoly by repeated economic actions, whether he makes money off of his patent or not. My opinion (which is usually worth less than zero), is that one solution to the copyright problem is that copyright should work the same way. People pay taxes on their real (estate) property, in order to keep it, you pay to keep up your patent, why should copyright be tax exempt? (You don't pay your taxes, it reverts to the public domain.) Valuable properties remain in copyright, stuff with low value reverts (unless somebody's ego wants to keep their copyright, and is willing to pay a tax to keep it going.)
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:49 PM   #35
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hmm... interesting idea... as long as there is some (reasonable) limit to how long you can maintain the copyright... that would definitely resolve the infuriating "orphaned works" problems, in any case...
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:51 PM   #36
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Hmmm. The more I think about it, the more I like it. I think I'll start a new thread tommorrow about it. (At least I'm not adding more reading to your pile, Zelda!!!)
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:53 PM   #37
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thank heaven for that, you know how i hate to read...
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:44 AM   #38
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That's tricky, because there are too many extenuating circumstances, including the rights of the artist. If I create a novel, copyright it, then decide to sit on it for 20 years, why should you be granted the right to just take it from me?

I can't see how availability can be fairly applied to copyright... copyright gives the owner the right to decide how their product is used (or, by extension, not used). Either it is copywritten for a period of time, or it's not.

Sure, it sucks when a product could be made available and isn't... but within copyright, as all laws governing possession, there's really nothing that can be done about that. If I actually owned the Mona Lisa, I could lock it up in my basement, and no law could make me unlock that room for others to see it.
If a work has been published it is available - but visiting the British Museum/Library of Congress is (or may be) difficult. I would suggest that if a work has been published and is now out of print/unavailable there should be a right to make a copy, with a reasonable fixed fee owing to the copyright holder (if (s)he can be located).

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Old 05-31-2008, 05:50 PM   #39
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People pay taxes on their real (estate) property, in order to keep it, you pay to keep up your patent, why should copyright be tax exempt?
A copyright tax, huh? Yeah... I can see that...

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I would suggest that if a work has been published and is now out of print/unavailable there should be a right to make a copy, with a reasonable fixed fee owing to the copyright holder (if (s)he can be located).
This sounds good, too, providing you could work out the method of getting the appropriate monies to the copyright holder from any book production source (like, say, a Kinkos, or the office in my house). Perhaps if the money was collected upon copying and sent (with the book data) to an organization (publisher, government, non-profit, etc) that would see to directing the money to the owner. And if the owner could not be located, the money would go to some other fund related to author compensation (or organizational support).
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Old 06-01-2008, 05:31 AM   #40
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Systems for compensating copyright holders must be SIMPLE

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This sounds good, too, providing you could work out the method of getting the appropriate monies to the copyright holder from any book production source (like, say, a Kinkos, or the office in my house). <SNIP!>
But let's not try and set up a lawyer/government inspired system with with infinite complexity to prevent people avoiding paying - such systems end up paying their administrators more than their beneficiaries and are so expensive and complex to use that they provoke the end-user into trying to circumvent them.

How about a simple website where you enter the name of the work, the author, and the publisher - and a PayPal button (and a credit card payment system for the unPayPalled). And the option to send a letter with the same information and a currency note or postal order to an address. If you provide your name and (email?) address you get a receipt proving you have paid, if you don't then you don't. The existence of such a website/service must be well publicised and the website must be very easy to find.

If people don't pay the author is no worse off than at present, but the availability and promotion of a way of paying a small user fee when copying a copyright work will be a powerful incentive to the honest to encourage them to do so.

IMHO, to digress from the subject slightly, organisations like Project Gutenberg should do a deal with PayPal to let people give them 10 cents, if they wish - strictly voluntary, when downloading uncopyrighted work. At present PayPal take 30 cents plus their percentage from each payment which hurts with small donations, but as an organisation they care about their image and they might be prepared to devise a "micropay" system for small charitable donations.

James - who has been thinking about such things for many years
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Old 06-01-2008, 06:05 PM   #41
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Whether the system is handled by a government or organization or not, the problem you're going to have is convincing people to pay after they already have the work. That system becomes entirely voluntary, and that means plenty of people who simply won't bother. It's already been demonstrated that incredible amounts of loss are accrued by any such system.

(And we've talked around here about the idea that an author is no worse off if he doesn't get paid for an e-book... I personally don't agree: If someone's obtained the author's work, and the author has not been properly compensated for it, I see them as worse off.)

For such a system to work, it must be understood that everybody pays to get their book. Otherwise, people will dodge the system to get the book elsewhere, and avoid paying.

So, you need a system that requires payment before you get the book, or before you have permission to copy the work. At the very least, that means systems designed to prevent your producing/copying the work, until you get an authorization releasing whatever production/copying systems you are using. Or, a place to do the work for you, with 100% control over said equipment, and again not producing until they have your payment... and not before.
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